Archive for the ‘when’ Category

Darwin in Chile

February 20, 2010

Mr Charles Darwin spent considerable time in Chile (1835) where he experienced a 8.5 earthqueake in Concepcion, a chain of formidable volcanic eruptions and crossed the Andes walking  to Argentina, and back, at Santiago latitude (~35 S)!!. The only other person I know walked the Andes is Dr John Rombold, a professor at Northwest Indian College, my former employer (sic). He used to be, Mr Rombold, a good friend. I watched a decent docudrama narrating -Mr Darwins- adventures in Chile  in the international Chilean TVN signal (dishnetwork) lead by Dr Purto, a respected mountaineer of Everest fame. Many events were reported by Mr Darwin while in Chile. He did 1/3 0r 1/4 of Chile by land. My favourite report  is his narrative of the astonishing rate of growth of the chilean giant barnacle: austromegabalanus psittacus (in Coquimbo, which you can find, if I am not mistaken in his cirripedia compendium)

Society for Anthropology of Consciousness at Berkeley March 17/21

February 20, 2010

My dear friend Matthew Bronson is leading the next Society for Anthropology of Consciousness meeting at Berkeley faculty club March 17/21. I sent an abstract that expect to read march 19, saturday. Here it goes: From James to Jaynes, or The Mind Turned Itself On(line). After reading Darwin, William James suggested that human consciousness emerged from an evolutionary continuum: a “consciousness” ladder throughout the living.Thence, according to WJ, “there must be an infinite number of degrees of consciousness”, which presumably would apply to the human lineage, which poses a question about the “completeness” of the consciousness of our homo ancestors. A century later, without reading Darwin, Julian Jaynes suggested that consciousness emerged as recent as 3,000 years ago, preceded by a “bicameral” mind, rendering “ancient” people not subjectively conscious. We have proposed that the subjective self appeared as a quantum brain architectural jump, correlated with conscious experience leading to this subjective mind. From the very start, the self pondered about its own existence. Today, the mind confronts, once again, the void and existential immensity-angst of its own, striving to make meaning the attractor thatcoalesces the self. Being mentally ill kidnaps meaning and erases self-existence,throwing its bearer in a pathway with devastating consequences, sometimes.