Philipp Böing

Founder: Darwin Toolbox, SynBioSoc / UCL iGEM organizer, University College London

About Philipp

Languages

English, German

TED Conference

TEDIndia 2009

An idea worth spreading

"The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance, but to overcome it' (Lawrence Krauss, during a conversation with Richard Dawkins at Stanford's Aurora Forum about science education and intelligent design)

I'm passionate about

work and projects; good books and movies; technology and innovation, science and sci-fi; singing and performing in musicals; great ideas, meaningful conversations; TED

Talk to me about

Technology; books and movies; science and sci-fi; your favorite TED talk

People don't know I'm good at

Frothing milk and making cappuccino.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

214933
Philipp Böing
Posted over 2 years ago
Which one is tougher? Brain or Universe?
Why does age have anything to do with it. You could actually argue the opposite: The universe is a product of relatively simple physics, whereas the brain is the product of billions of years of evolution adding complexity. The question that Kardelen asked I think asks for understanding the basic underlying principles that govern 1. the universe and 2. the brain. It seems to me quite likely that the basic principles of the universe are much simpler. Maybe it'd be more interesting to have an actual Neuroscientist and an actual Physicist comment on this.
214933
Philipp Böing
Posted over 2 years ago
Do you beleive in collective unconscious?
I (or Wikipedia) didn't even challenge the possibility of such communication, it simply seemed to me to be outside of the scope of the question, as it was about a specific concept of "collective unconscious" coined by C.G. Jung which I believe has nothing to do with a real-time collective subconscious communication. I agree that people who claim they understand the source of sub-conscious / unconscious are questionable. Can you link to a specific source of this animal behavior you're describing so I know what exactly you are talking about?
214933
Philipp Böing
Posted over 2 years ago
Which one is tougher? Brain or Universe?
Brain. Unless you define "Universe" as literally everything (including all the brains in it). It seems as though we understand a lot more of the principles of physics behind the universe, at least after the Big Bang. The brain seems to me to be in a completely different complexity league. Also, since the brain is part of ourselves, probably the most important - the house of our minds, I think there's a lot more opposition or uneasiness in actually mapping and understanding it. The universe seems a lot less personal, and an attractive challenge to solve. But I think secretly there are a lot of people who prefer the brain and our mind to keep a certain mystery.
214933
Philipp Böing
Posted over 2 years ago
Do you beleive in collective unconscious?
Ok, I might be wrong here, because it's late and I really should go to sleep, but it seems to me you're not referring to the actual term Kardelen has asked about. The wikipedia article seems to describe collective unconscious more as as inherited experiences, values, unconscious patterns which are "collective" to the species. (in some sense, this is undoubtedly true, albeit trivial) What you seem to suggest sounds more like a shared mind / group consciousness?
214933
Philipp Böing
Posted over 2 years ago
Do you beleive in collective unconscious?
Firstly, it seems this question should be answered by Psychologists, Neuroscientists, etc., and I'd be interested to hear their opinion on this. So after that disclaimer, here's my unwarranted opinion of this: It seems to me that the "minimalist" interpretation is a reasonable idea that should and can be taken seriously. What makes me uneasy is the quick jump to transcendence that topics like these seem to attract, with New Age types claiming what they can not possibly know.
214933
Philipp Böing
Posted over 3 years ago
Is there a working hypothesis as to how consciousness arises?
Another corollary to this point is, that consciousness is usually very overrated. We are conscious of much less than we think we are. Daniel Dennett dispels the myth of what he calls the 'Cartesian Theater'. Here's one of his TED talks: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness.html
214933
Philipp Böing
Posted almost 4 years ago
Watch TED on TV and have TED audio files
If you have an apple tv you could easily watch TED on your TV, since it's already a podcast in iTunes. Also, there's the OpenTV project that TED launched to encourage TV stations to build programmes around TED. I'm not sure how much that has taken off yet, though, I haven't heard anything about it since launch. I agree that an additional audio format would be a nice second option for most TEDtalks (as you said, not all are useful - a photography talk doesn't work without the visuals...) You could already do it yourself now, but an audio only podcast would be more convenient.
214933
Philipp Böing
Posted almost 4 years ago
Has TED EVER had an Australia Aboriginal speaker? If so, where can I find the talk?
Not TED itself, but TEDx's in Australia would be a good starting place. Apparently just a couple of days ago at TEDxManitoba, three aboriginal men were interviewed on stage and made quite an impact. Unfortunately the video isn't yet uploaded, but take a look at this: http://www.nothinginwinnipeg.com/2011/02/towards-a-more-diverse-tedx-manitoba/ Also there was this from TEDxSydney, though I'm not sure it meets what you're looking for: "Mary Victor O'Reeri - Indigenous Australian Wisdom. A Story of Life, Discovery & Death" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYAR-UYo04w&feature=player_embedded
214933
Philipp Böing
Posted almost 4 years ago
The use of population control in the fight against climate change
Let me say that I'm not necessarily against population control, but I think you're severly overestimating the problem. As Hans Rosling has pointed out (see my other post), population growth declines steadily. Also, consider the massive trend towards urbanization. People living in cities have a much smaller footprint on the environment, and - closer to the question of population - when people move to cities there's also a significant drop in children per woman. So, while there're always many things to worry about, the population isn't amongst them. An another note: You only have to look at China to look at a large-scale method of population control that worked. I'm however quite certain that a 'one-child-policy' isn't easily possible in other cultures (the question of desirability is another). An interesting issue culturally raised about this (I believe I heard it first asked by Christopher Hitchens, but I might be mistaken) is that China has now raised generations of only-children. Literally a whole culture for whom the word "sibling" / "brother" / "sister" has no direct meaning. Thats an fascinating cultural byproduct to me (although, as I realize now, slightly off track, so excuse me ;-) )