Thursday, December 4, 2008

Extra Credit Opportunity...

....also known as an outright bribe to attend Jonah Lehrer's talk on Monday, December 8th at 6:15 in the Hargate Auditorium.

There are two ways to earn extra credit through this talk. The first is to attend the talk and ASK a question (just raising your hand doesn't count, you need to ask the question). The second is to attend the talk and then before 10:00pm on Monday December 8th, write a 3-2-1 comment using complete sentences on the blog. I will create a post for the talk on Monday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Zoe Williams
*sorry this is late, but I didn't know that it was due last night until after the fact

I was unable to make it to John Jehrer’s discussion in Hargate, but I did attend his seminar in the Lowest dinning hall during lunch and D block. (And I did ask a question! In part of the discussion where we talked about Americans letting their biased opinions affect their rationalities in voting for a president, I asked if being more educated about the issues makes for a more unbiased voter.)

John Lehrer talked a lot about his new book that is coming out about how humans make decisions. I found the talk fascinating because it related science into our daily lives and discussed how the human brain has different capabilities than an animal brain does. I learned that there is this project (I think that it was called the “blue brain”) where a man is trying to replicate a mouse’s brain with computer chips. By performing this costly (he pays eight million dollars in electricity a month) and time consuming (he expects it to take another 5-10 years) project, he hopes to create a conscious brain. I also learned that people who are psychopathic are lacking some of the “emotional” part of the brain. And although they are only able to think rationally, they are not always able to think through all of the consequences on things before they do them. Also, I learned that people are intrinsically “fair.” Mr. Lehrer said that during a study, where people were given a ten dollars and asked to share any amount with another person, they would share about half of it with them even though they had no incentive. Mr. Lehrer also talked a bit about religion and why it is so universally recognized (that pretty much every culture talks about a god).

I would like to learn more about how the mind of a psychopathic person becomes the way it is –lacking the moral or emotional part. I would also like to learn more about the line of work that he is in. I wonder how someone in his line of work would make any money or even start their career.

My question for John Lehrer: “Do you believe in a god or do you think that religion is something that people have made up in their minds to justify natural/unnatural occurrences?”