On coincidence

Illustration by Clayton Junior Lightning can strike twice and people do call just when you’re thinking of them – but are such coincidences meaningful? Cody Delistraty is a writer and historian based in New York and Paris. He writes on literature, psychology and interesting humans. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Atlantic, among others. Edited by Marina Benjamin In the 1920s, one of Carl Jung’s female patients proved particularly frustrating to him – notwithstanding her ‘excellent education’ and ‘highly polished Cartesian rationalism’. She was ‘psychologically inaccessible’, the Swiss psychiatrist later wrote in his Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle (1960), by which he meant … Continue reading On coincidence

Digital Mental Health Drug Raises Troubling Questions

The goal of the digital sensor is for doctors to monitor their patients’ intake of Abilify MyCite remotely and ensure that the patient is adhering to the correct drug dose and timing. ShareTweetShareEmail    By Anthony Ryan Hatch, Wesleyan University Moments after Neo eats the red pill in “The Matrix,” he touches a liquefied mirror that takes over his skin, penetrating the innards of his body with computer code. When I first learned about the controversial new digital drug Abilify MyCite, I thought of this famous scene and wondered what kinds of people were being remade through this new biotechnology. Otsuka Pharmaceuticals … Continue reading Digital Mental Health Drug Raises Troubling Questions

Forget Killer Robots: Autonomous Weapons Are Already Online

BY Jeremy Hsu International discussions about lethal autonomous weapons have often ignored the fact that AI weaponry is already coursing through cyberspace. ARLIER THIS YEAR, concerns over the development of autonomous military systems — essentially AI-driven machinery capable of making battlefield decisions, including the selection of targets — were once again the center of attention at a United Nations meeting in Geneva. “Where is the line going to be drawn between human and machine decision-making?” Paul Scharre, director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C., told Time magazine. “Are we going to be … Continue reading Forget Killer Robots: Autonomous Weapons Are Already Online

Could Quantum Computing Be the End of Free Will?

YUSUF AHMAD / REUTERS On the fear that too much processing power will make us cease to be human by RACHEL GUTMAN Faster, more powerful computing has the potential to revolutionize fields from drug delivery to freight transportation. But some are also worried that the computers of the future could also upend what it means to be human. Quantum computing capitalizes on the quantum-physics principle that a particle may be in two states at once, as long as it does not leave a record of either state. Unlike traditional computers, which are made of bits restrained to values of zero or … Continue reading Could Quantum Computing Be the End of Free Will?


by Zen Gardner, Guest Waking Times This is fundamental in many ways but the solution may surprise most. Nothing is as it appears. Nothing. The answers lie in the observer and within each of our grasps. But it requires some serious personal work and true honest evaluation of many profound things. Mainly ourselves, at levels many may have not yet begun to fully perceive. The ultimate challenge and final frontier…. What is the truth? What do we base what we call truth on? When it comes to information we tend to trust what we consider “reliable sources”. And just where do they … Continue reading THE PUSH ME, PULL YOU SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL TAFFY MACHINE

Artificial Consciousness: How To Give A Robot A Soul

Victor Tangermann, The Birth of Alexa, Photoshop, 2018  StockSnap/Victor Tangermann by Dan Robitzski  The Terminator was written to frighten us; WALL-E was written to make us cry. Robots can’t do the terrifying or heartbreaking things we see in movies, but still the question lingers: What if they could? Granted, the technology we have today isn’t anywhere near sophisticated enough to do any of that. But people keep asking. At the heart of those discussions lies the question: can machines become conscious? Could they even develop — or be programmed to contain — a soul? At the very least, could an algorithm contain something resembling a soul? The … Continue reading Artificial Consciousness: How To Give A Robot A Soul

But, Seriously, Where Are the Aliens?

BETTMANN / GETTY Humanity may be as few as 10 years away from discovering evidence of extraterrestrial life. Once we do, it will only deepen the mystery of where alien intelligence might be hiding. by DEREK THOMPSON Enrico Fermi was an architect of the atomic bomb, a father of radioactivity research, and a Nobel Prize–winning scientist who contributed to breakthroughs in quantum mechanics and theoretical physics. But in the popular imagination, his name is most commonly associated with one simple, three-word question, originally meant as a throwaway joke to amuse a group of scientists discussing UFOs at the Los Alamos … Continue reading But, Seriously, Where Are the Aliens?