Imagine a neuroscientist who has only ever seen black and white things, but she is an expert in color vision and knows everything about its physics and biology. If, one day, she sees color, does she learn anything new? Is there anything about perceiving color that wasn’t captured in her knowledge?

My belief: She absolutely learned something new, and though that new knowledge is hard to explain, it is not mystical, unexplainable, or nontransferable. Her new brain state could in fact be replicated in another brain or machine and be experienced just as Mary had herself.

We know the science of gender is complicated and ever changing. Wherever you go on the internet, there are studies and anecdotes to define and debate the presentation of identification and expression of a person’s gender, but around the concept of biological sex there only ever seems to be potent feelings, hard lines, and outdated information.

This episode of the TED Radio Hour was the most interesting, informative, and open-minded introduction to the spectrum, yes, spectrum, of the ways a person’s biological sex can exist outside of the old male/female dichotomy.

This is a must listen!

Hand-Washing in the Search for Absolution

“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.” ― William Shakespeare, Macbeth One of the many things that set humans apart from the rest animal kingdom is the novel ways our minds have evolved to utilizing… Continue reading Hand-Washing in the Search for Absolution

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“Hey, insular cortex, that does disgusting food… ‘Moral disgust’? I don’t know, that vaguely sounds sort of like that. Hey, somebody give me some duct tape. I’m going to strap moral disgust onto gustatory disgust.” We mistake feeling disgusted by something as being a good litmus test for deciding what’s right and wrong. And what… Continue reading Untitled

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There is something I ‘know,’ which is that spatial dimensions beyond the Big 3 exist. I can even construct a tesseract or hypercube out of cardboard. A weird sort of cube-within-a-cube, a tesseract is a 3D projection of a 4D object in the same way that is a 2D projection of a 3D object. The trick… Continue reading Untitled