Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #261 - 20MAY17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show we replay a talk that Mystical Positivists, Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick, gave at Many Rivers Books and Tea on Thursday May 11, 2017, entitled Intelligence, Consciousness, and Slack. After the talk, Rob and Stuart continue to discuss the ideas addressed in the original talk. The published talk description is the following:
  • We have the habit of thinking we know what intelligence is. After all, didn’t I get higher grades in school than my neighbor (or the other way around)? Yet deep inquiry into its nature reveals that intelligence resists unambiguous definition. Is intelligence defined by the capacity to comprehend and manipulate symbols, or must we also consider so-called “emotional intelligence” and even body awareness as attributes of intelligence? So too with consciousness. Surely dogs and dolphins are conscious, yet is their consciousness undifferentiated from that of humans? Can we speak meaningfully about intelligence and consciousness in systems or processes larger than individual biological organisms like individual human beings? Even recent materialist writers like Yuval Harari (Sapiens and Homo Deus) acknowledge that consciousness too resists unambiguous definition. In this talk, we ask how the concept of the “third force,” or to use another formulation, “slack” can help us recast how we think about, and how we embody intelligence and consciousness. Slack is the “X factor” or space that enables us to move past our own mental and emotional habits so that we move around obstacles like water moving around a boulder in a stream.
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