7 Quick Takes about Human Machines, Squidgy Brains, Null Eclipses

7 Quick Takes Friday of Catholic bloggers’ weeks! Join us! Hosted by This Ain’t the Lyceum.



Did you get to see the eclipse today? We were invited out of our lecture at 9.30 in the morning— to the face of a blank Berkshire sky. Oh, England.

As a friend of mine put it:

Nope, no eclipse here



One of the things I like about the academic writing of philosophy is that I get to write some pretty funky sentences. I mean, I have some pretty duff sentences, too, but then there are phrases like these, which make me happy to be a creative writer:

For the sake of a simplified example, our mind is caused by a program which loads human consciousness onto our flesh-and-blood machine, just as Microsoft Word is loaded onto a laptop.


This is the first philosophy essay that I have written so quickly, prolifically, and with understanding. The topic of Functionalism, if you don’t know it, is a fascinating interpretation of the problem of mind and how humans are, essentially, machines with ‘machine tables’ of set inputs and outputs in order to ‘work’. Behaviour and consciousness are effectively already programmed into us – this, of course, brings up some interesting questions, not to mention flaws brought out from philosophers like Ned Block and Hilary Putnam. The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy page.


I write this as part of my hour break from revision. I’ve been working on powerpoints for my three end-of-module tests next week. Neuroscience has been great, but at the moment I’m working on my social psychology stuff, namely currently mood and intelligence.

I think I’m biased towards Neuroscience, though, due to the squidgy brains that I’ve been painting to help my knowledge.



The second or third dance event of the term is this evening – hosted, technically, by the university big band, but we’re taking the society to the location, so it might as well be our social. I would be looking forward to this a lot more if I didn’t have everything on around these times. I’m just not so enthused, though I would normally be excited for a Saturday night on the dance. 🙂


Spontaneous music for your listening. It’s one of my current guilty pleasure songs (I will always have a taste for ‘pop-punk‘ bands) no matter how superficial their messages and lyrics are. There’s something optimistic and permanent strength portrayed through the lyrics and the upbeat music, but maybe those are simply the feelings I associate with the song now. I don’t know if the band had any specific connotations (apart from writing it for the film Big Hero 6), but there are elements of Eternal Life there, aren’t there? Immortals, Fall Out Boy.


No editing or fiction snippet this week, due to the above reasons. I miss working on my writing, but I have been doing a little research, something which I don’t normally have the chance to really branch into. Funny how being busy with other work changes one’s perspectives, eh?


2 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes about Human Machines, Squidgy Brains, Null Eclipses

  1. Great update. I’m sorry you didn’t get to see the eclipse, but it sounds like there are some other good things out there. And thanks for reminding me to listen to Immortals—I watched Big Hero 6 again last week and I really wanted to check out the song! 🙂

    1. Hehe, yeah. I didn’t mind, to be honest. We had a nice ten minute break from my lecture, and a friend introduced me to a caramel green tea brand she was drinking as we watched the grey sky. So, it wasn’t all bad *grin*
      Yeah – as soon as I got home from the cinema after watching Big Hero 6, I looked up the song because I loved it so much. It’s so…empowering in a good way.

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