consciousness

From the Vault: John C. Lilly

The figure of John C. Lilly as psychedelic dolphin communicator burns in the collective memory as a counterculture avatar, yet his legacy embodies far more than the mythologized and/or vilified figure that most of us know. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they examine the life, career and ideas of Lilly the scientist, Lilly the counterespionage researcher and Lilly the psychonaut. Welcome to the province of the mind. (Originally published Feb. 23, 2016)

The Ship of Theseus

An ancient ship rots in the harbor and so we restore it piece by piece until nothing of the original ship remains. Is it still the same ship? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss one of history’s more mind-boggling thought experiments. 

Machine Consciousness and P-Zombies

If a machine told you it was conscious, how could you tell if it was lying? Indeed, how can you tell that any random human in your life is lying when they speak of their own consciousness. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a stirring discussion on AI consciousness, philosophical zombies and the coming techno-cognitive dilemma. 

The First Monster

Humans love monsters, but when did we first dare to dream up bestial hybrids and chimerical horrors? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe consider the 35-40 thousand-year-old Löwenmensch statues. Who created these images of lion-headed men? What do they represent and what do they reveal about human cognition?

Bonus: R. Scott Bakker, Consciousness & Consult

In this special bonus episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, author R. Scott Bakker returns to the show for a discussion of consciousness, philosophy, artificial intelligence, inhuman minds and the conclusion to his 2017 novel "The Unholy Consult." Don't worry, Robert and Joe will issue warnings prior to the spoiler section of the episode.

Bicameralism, Part 2: The Silent Pantheon

In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated voices in place of conscious thought, and presented archaeological, literary, historical and religious evidence to support this highly controversial view. Join Robert and Joe as they dissect bicameralism and discuss the evidence, the criticisms and more in this two-parter.

Bicameralism, Part 1: The Voice of God

In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated voices in place of conscious thought, and presented archaeological, literary, historical and religious evidence to support this highly controversial view. Join Robert and Joe as they dissect bicameralism and discuss the evidence, the criticisms and more in this two-parter.

John C. Lilly: Province of the Mind

The figure of John C. Lilly as psychedelic dolphin communicator burns in the collective memory as a counterculture avatar, yet his legacy embodies far more than the mythologized and/or vilified figure that most of us know. Join Robert and Christian as they examine the life, career and ideas of Lilly the scientist, Lilly the counterespionage researcher and Lilly the psychonaut. Welcome to the province of the mind.

Respect the Rat

You may think rats are just vermin, but the fact is they own huge metropolitan cities like New York. And when it comes to science they've contributed an immense amount of data (although not voluntarily). Find out how similar rats are to humans and whether or not they're capable of empathy in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast.

Scrooge: Post-traumatic Embitterment Disorder

Was Scrooge's bitterness an actual mental disorder? And was his visitation by the ghosts of the past, present and future his subconscious mind's attempt at DIY psychotherapy? Or did he merely spike his pot of gruel with a little mind-altering something-something?