Showing posts from October, 2007

Metaperception in Tokyo

Two days in Tokyo and I'm still recovering. First, on Thursday afternoon, I was invited by Prof. Syun Tutiya to give a talk on the future impact of IT on our lives at the National Institute of Informatics . It went very well, or at least I enjoyed it enormously. Superbright colleagues gave me a hard time and we kept discussing for four hours (yes, 4: one hour presentation and three hours of grilling). Much later, on Friday afternoon, a great meeting at the Uehiro Foundation , whose hospitality was simply overwhelming. We are planning the second international conference on information ethics, which will take place in NY in 2009 (the first took place in Oxford last year). In between, I was kindly invited to visit, on Friday morning, the Ishikawa Namiki Komuro Laboratory of the University of Tokyo. I was ready for something extraordinary but I was left speechless. I saw the future, thanks to two brilliant scientists: Alvaro Cassinelli , Carson Reynolds and a meeting with P

Nishinomiya-Yukawa Memorial International Syposium: What is Life? The Next 100 Years of Yukawa's Dream

"What is life?" is not a question that Pilate asked, but it is as difficult as "what is truth?", so he might. Since Schrödinger's classic , there have been endless attempts at providing a satisfactory answer. The Nishinomiya- Yukawa Memorial International Syposium seeks to provide a multidisciplinary framework to tackle the nature of life in its many forms. It is a very worthwhile project. Some papers will probably be too technical even for a scientifically-minded philosopher (check the program here , you may need to install Japanese fonts). I'm supposed to provide the philosophical contribution, and my talk will be on bioinformation. Schroedinger kepts apologising in his classic for not being a biologist. I shall apologise twice, for not being a physicist (or Schrödinger) either. I hope that my participation will also be a crash course in life-related issues.