Ars on your lunch break: The nature of consciousness
/ Artist‘s rendering of man experiencing awe while regarding the nature of consciousness.Adult Swim
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Below, you’ll find the third installment of this week’s interview. It’s with University of California, San Francisco neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, about his trailblazing efforts to develop the medical potential (if any!) latent in video games. Check out and if you missed them. Otherwise, press play on the embedded player, or pull up the transcript—both of which are below.
The main topic today is consciousness. Gazzaley has his own rather eclectic take on this mysterious force and presence. His perspective actually inspired several elements my (which, like my podcast, is called After On). Adam and I discuss his views, and how they infiltrated my writing.
The final chunk of the podcast is a conversation between me and podcasting superstar Tom Merritt. In it, Merritt and I discuss my interview with Gazzaley—as well as a chunk of the novel After On. You may want to skip this closing portion.
Or not. The reason is that there aren’t any spoilers in this mini-interview (for the tiny percentage of you who might actually pick up my novel!). More significantly, Merritt and I discuss the process of writing science fiction (Merritt is a fellow practitioner of this dark art). If storytelling interests you, this is something of a backstage look at how folks like us do our thing.
If you enjoy my interview with Gazzaley, a full archive of my episodes can be found , or via your favorite podcast app, by searching for “After On.” The broader series is built around deep-dive interviews with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists, and tends to be very tech- and science-heavy.
Finally, if you’re curious about the in the main After On podcast feed, last week I posted an interview with Great Britain’s Astronomer Royal Martin Rees. We of course discuss some astrophysical awesomeness, like gamma ray bursts. But our main topic is the existential dangers facing humanity in the 21st century. If you find this topic interesting, you may want to check out the four-part essay I just started posting on Medium, called “.”
This special edition of the Ars Technicast podcast can be accessed in the following places:
(Might take several hours after publication to appear.)