The Ultimate Thought Experiment Part II: 2001: A Space Odyssey

In our previous post, we considered the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in the context of a thought experiment: a thinking tool used by scientists and philosophers to reframe an unintuitive problem in a new, more familiar context.

Another great thought experiment of the 1960s is 2001: A Space Odyssey. Developed in parallel as both a novel by Arthur C. Clarke and a film by Stanley Kubrick, Space Odyssey is a story about the evolution of humanity and intelligence. Beginning with the invention of tool use in Africa, the story asks how intelligence might continue to evolve after humans develop sophisticated technology. Both the novel and the film follow astronaut Dave Bowman on his journey to the Outer Solar System guided by HAL 9000, an artificial intelligence (AI) that controls the spaceship and is responsible for the well being of the crew.

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Facebook Depression Knowing Neurons

Unhappy with your life? Try spending less time on Facebook!

I’m going to ask you a question, and you have to be honest.  Promise?  OK.  Here’s the question: how much time do you spend on Facebook each day?  Take a minute to add it up: scrolling through your newsfeed in the elevator, liking photos while at the gym, commenting on a friend’s post while shopping, posting a photo of your food…  Believe it or not, the average smartphone user spends 32 minutes on Facebook every day (Facebook IDC study, 2013).Continue reading