Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Makes Us Human?

World Science Festival 2008: What It Means To Be Human. Part 1 of 5 from World Science Festival on Vimeo.
Drawing on a range of disciplines, this provocative program looked at how discoveries in areas like fundamental physics, anthropology, and genomics are influencing our understanding of uniquely human characteristics. As science increasingly tests these boundaries — from the roots of morality and our capacity to contemplate our own existence to the emergence of artificial intelligence — what will it mean to be human?

The event was moderated by Charlie Rose. Participants include philosopher Daniel Dennett, artist Jonathan Harris, anthropologist Ian Tattersall, geneticist Francis Collins, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, philosopher Patricia Churchland, sociologist Nikolas Rose, embryonic stem cell biologist Renee Reijo Pera, and Nobel Laureates Harold Varmus and Paul Nurse.
(Click Through for Parts 2-5)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lars Vilks Attacked in the Classroom

Lars Vilks, the cartoonist who drew Mohammed as a dog, was attacked as he gave a lecture at Uppsala University. The attackers shouted Allahu-akbar as Vilks was head-butted, punched in the face, and had his glasses broken. If the police hadn't been present the attack could have been far worse. The disgrace was captured on video as many in the crowd cheered the violence:
(h/t Blair Scott)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dulce Et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen, as read by Tom O'Bedlam

The Evolution of Confusion

I had the pleasure of seeing Dan give this talk in Burbank.  It relates to his recently published paper on unbelieving clergy and is, as are all Dennett lectures, well worth the hour.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gravité, and Sonar, by Renaud Hallée

Gravité from Renaud Hallée on Vimeo.
Falling objects synchronized to produce rhythm.

Sonar from Renaud Hallée on Vimeo.
Rhythmic cycle w/ abstract animation.  (h/t Andrew Sullivan)