Computers, Brains, and the End of Logic

The online video of my TEDxBrainport talk titled "Computers, Brains, and the End of Logic" is now out. See below. I wanted to complement the information on the video with two things: a PDF file of the original slides I used during the talk (since the slides were distorted in the video due probably to version differences in Power Point), and specific references to books, articles, and people I mention during the talk.

The original slides, in PDF format, can be downloaded from this page. I am sincerely grateful to the M. C. Escher company, The Netherlands,, for the kind permission to use M. C. Escher's work in my slides. Now, the detailed references:

  • At ~2:15 minutes I refer to Daniel Dennett's concept of 'Maximally Bland Computationalism.' Dennett elaborates on this concept in his lecture 'Magic of Consciousness,' available on DVD;
  • At ~3:40 minutes I begin a brief discussion on the Correspondence Theory of Truth, which is at the basis of our logic and rationality. More on this can be found, for instance, here: Stephen Read, Thinking About Logic, Oxford University Press, 1995, pages 18-31;
  • At ~4:56 minutes I refer to a certain type of experiment carried out in physics since 1981. That is a reference to the experimental validation of Quantum Entanglement. The specific work I had in mind is this: Alain Aspect et al., Experimental Tests of Realistic Local Theories via Bell’s Theorem, Physical Review Letters, Vol. 47(460), 1981;
  • At ~5:45 minutes I mention the fact that the experiment works even if the detectors are separated by miles, as done in Switzerland in the late 1990s. The reference is to the following paper: W. Tittel et al., Violation of Bell Inequalities by Photons More Than 10 km Apart, Physical Review Letters, Vol. 81(17), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.81.3563, 1998, pages 3563–3566;
  • At ~5:50 minutes I add that it also works if the choice of measurement is made only after the photons are already in flight. The reference is to the following paper: G. Weihs et al., Violation of Bell’s Inequality under Strict Einstein Locality Conditions, Physical Review Letters, Vol. 81(23), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.81.5039, 1998, pages 5039–5043;
  • At ~6:45 minutes I refer to an experiment in Austria that threw realism into question. Here is the complete reference: Simon Gröblacher et al., An Experimental Test of Non-Local Realism, Nature, Vol. 446, doi:10.1038/nature05677, 19 April 2007, pages 871–875;
  • At ~7:10 minutes I display a snapshot of a website discussing the results of that Austrian paper. The website article can be retrieved here: Quantum physics says goodbye to reality;
  • At ~8:10 minutes I start a discussion on Intuitionism, a philosophy of mathematics created by Dutch logician Luitzen Brouwer. A thorough and more modern discussion of Intuitionism can be found here: Michael Dummett, The Philosophical Basis of Intuitionistic Logic, appearing in: Michael Dummett, Truth and Other Enigmas, Harvard University Press, 1978;
  • At ~9:30 minutes I illustrate with an example how the requirement of consistency with earlier choices forces certain truths in arithmetic. The derivation I show was adapted from one appearing here: Ian Stewart, Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, Profile Books, 2008, pages 37-38;
  • At ~12:23 minutes I refer to other work suggesting that truths are based on habits. I mentioned Alfred North Whitehead and Rupert Sheldrake. Here are the works I had in mind: Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, Free Press, 2nd edition, 1979; and Rupert Sheldrake, A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation, JP Tarcher, 1981;
  • At ~13:50 minutes I begin to discuss a particular work of Dutch artist M. C. Escher. The work in question is "Waterfall;"
  • At ~14:35 minutes I refer to a large detector used in particle physics. The detector in question is the ATLAS experiment at CERN, a piece of equipment I have had the privilege to help design when I was at CERN in the mid-1990s;
  • At ~14:43 minutes I refer to the 'strange loops' of Douglas Hofstadter. See: Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Penguin Books, 1979;
  • At ~15:30 minutes I quote Carl Jung on the slide. Here is the complete reference to that quote: Carl Jung, The Red Book: Liber Novus, W. W. Norton & Co., 2009, page 230;
  • At ~15:50 minutes I discuss Jung's general position on the meaningfulness of absurdity. This can be seen in nearly all of Jung's books. Two examples: Carl Jung, Dreams, Routledge Classics, 2002; and Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Fontana Press, 1995.

I hope this has been useful!

Copyright © 2011 by Bernardo Kastrup. All rights are reserved.


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