Flowers for Hobbie-J

A single gene.   A single tweak.  Synapse speed boosted by perhaps a hundred milliseconds, tops. Transgenic Genius rats.  (PopSci story here.) Who’da thunk it would be so easy?  And how long before I can get these NR2B boosters in a nasal spray?

Posted in: Dumbspeech, neuro, sentience/cognition by Peter Watts 14 Comments

PRISMs, Gom Jabbars, and Consciousness

It’s Saturday night. I could be drinking now. I should be drinking now; a friend of mine has been liberated from his wife and larva for the weekend— a greater cause for celebration than he’ll admit publicly— and I should be out there helping him kill brain cells. And yet I have chosen to stay […]

Iterating Towards Bethlehem

Most of you probably know about Turing machines: hypothetical gizmos built of paper punch-tape, read-write heads, and imagination, which can — step by laborious step — emulate the operation of any computer. And some of you may be old enough to remember the Sinclair ZX-80— a sad little personal computer so primitive that it couldn’t […]

Posted in: biology, neuro, sentience/cognition by Peter Watts 31 Comments