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Dang, I go away for 3 months and y'all sucked up most of MF's bandwidth. Are you going for the record? I opened up on the male nipple problem, that's how long it's been. I'd be most obliged if some kind entity could summarise all the best posts since then. ...... Thanks in advance.

In the meantime, let me plug an amazing book for those who might not have caught it. It's a tough but rewarding read, necessary not only for updating what we know about consciousness, but especially for dealing with those who are caught up by the sentimental superstition that post mortem experience is somehow possible.

On the other hand, 'faith' does imply a condition of lack of understanding or more precisely, the lack of a need for understanding, so perhaps scrub the latter.

The title is the subject title of this post, by Gerald M Edelman who I'm sure is known to many of you. I've been struggling with brain and consciousness books for a long time, and this one really helped me to start getting it.

Main message - consciousness is embedded, stupid. It's a property of the dynamics of brain and body. There is no free-floating spirit outside of the body which can take over just before maggots start snacking on our brains.

There's some very good descriptions and graphics specifying how the properties of conscious experience can emerge from the properties of the brain. It's only 150 pages, so it doesn't get into too much detail on the evolutionary development of consciousness, but it sure sets the stage for how the piece of work humans are, emerged from the primeval goo.

I can hear the naysayers chanting, "Never mind the goo, where did hydrogen come from?" I would kiss the Christian who asked that question, or wash his feet. Whatever.
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