Minimal Phenomenal Experience - presentation by Thomas Metzinger
#Comment: Metzinger is trying very diligently to approach the meditative/psychedelic/qi/zen/dao/dada/call-it-what-you-want space from a rational scientific perspective - even proposing ideas for a computational model. It's interesting and fascinating work for sure - but it tethers on semiotic masturbation and it conveniently ignores the elephants in the room !
During the Q&A Metzinger says the following:
"I am just trying to make progress on this phenomenology because, it has be reported for centuries in different cultural traditions - but now we have a very new interesting situation: We have all these tools of neuroscience, we have modern analytical philosophy of mind, and we have millions of meditators in the west that are pretty secular - and don't have a strong belief system in which they report their experiences."
The notion that "secular western (meditators) don't have a strong belief system" is ridicules on so many levels - yet indicative of the world view that permeates the emerging "WEIRD, male scientists trying to compute consciousness" field (Karl Friston, Christof Koch, Hartmut Neven, etc.). WEIRD ("Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich & Democratic") make up only 12% of global population. Much greater diversity (gender, cognitive, etc.) would certainty make this type of discussion much more interesting and fun.