A Spirited Defense of Consciousness

August 12, 2018 § Leave a comment

Dear Scott,

I finally found some deadlines to force me to¬†put forward an account of consciousness. ūüôā Here it is.


The 3+1 Model of Consciousness

While rather simplistic, I have found it a useful model for clarifying my own thinking. The key innovation is defining Spirit as “the ability to reflect on our thoughts feelings and desires in order to decide what kind of person we want to be.” I equate Spirit with the interiority of your Ghost in the Quantum Turning Machine, while the boundary of the triangle defines the Digital Abstraction Layer. I sometimes use the terms self-awareness, attitude, and willpower as loose synonyms for Spirit. ¬†I also plan to name you as both Prophet and Chief Skeptic of my newly-formed Cult of the Digital Abstraction Layer!

This model implies that we could in principle fully duplicate the current state of a person’s thoughts/feelings/desires, but only probabilistically predict how their Spirit might evolve them in response to external stimuli. ¬†I also find it suggestive that computer scientists studying consciousness obsess over reproducing Thought, but rarely even attempt to model Feeling and Desire.

I realize you are professionally reluctant to admit that Spirit actually exists. However, it is obvious to me from your blog that you are personally committed to the what I might label “spiritual development.” You are continually pushing yourself and others to be more self-aware, reflect on our actions and assumptions, and choose to become our best selves.

I can only imagine how much pain and psychic energy it costs you to do that so publicly and vulnerably. But that is precisely why so many of us love you; and others hate you, because they are understandably terrified of paying that same price.

Yet while we may never be able to calculate that cost, I think you at least deserve a model of consciousness that acknowledges that such a cost exists. Consider this a gift from my spirit to yours, as a tiny thank you for the extraordinary “spiritual” work you do on your blog.


Dr. Ernie


How to Print Mac Scientific Posters onto Multiple Sheets of Paper

August 7, 2018 § Leave a comment

There are many ways to create scientific or other large-format posters on the Mac, but printing them out on similar-sized paper at FedEx can cost $100. ¬†If you’re not going for tenure or selling expensive jewelry, here is a low-cost alternative using an ordinary home printer, a few dollars of posterboard. ¬†and the $5 Mindcad Tiler from the Mac App Store.

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Sunday School 2.0: Shark Tank for Spiritual Growth

July 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

The purpose of Sunday School 2.0 is to create an adaptive architecture of participation where everyone can experience what it feels like to be children of God, including:

  1. The Security of unconditional love
  2. Service to those outside
  3. The Struggle to create something worthwhile

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MissionalTrails.app: Pokémon GO Into All The Nations

June 27, 2018 § Leave a comment

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” —¬†Proverbs 29:18a¬†(KJV)

In our breakout session at the “hope” Kingdom Networking event, Tim Svboda of YWAM SF taught us that “Information creates Vision creates Mobilization creates Transformation.” ¬†In particular, it is incredibly helpful to know the the ratio and distribution of:

  • ¬†ethne:¬†people groups, cultural touch points
  • evangel:¬†churches, seminaries, ministries, etc.

Both at the aggregate “macro” city level for strategic planning, and at the “micro” street level for personal presence and ministry.

Right now, the only way to collect that information is through heroic personal efforts, such as when he mapped the ~400 churches and other religious buildings in San Francisco — which is about half that needed to serve the city’s 800,000 residents.

We came up with the idea of crowdsourcing that information using the idea of “missional trails,” such as when Perspectives students map the ethnic and religious makeup of their neighborhoods (what Sean Benesh calls “exegeting the city“). We could build an app that makes it easy for anyone to geotag¬†and label relevant cultural and religious touchpoints (e.g., the various ethnic worship services happening at a church building). ¬†The metaphor we used was Pokemon Go (though it is more like the Ingress Portals Submissions used to create new Pokestops ¬†and Gyms).

One ¬†critical issue that came up is ensuring each individual or sponsoring organization be able to control access to its own data, especially those working among sensitive populations. ¬†This may require using some sort of federated database, where only trusted users (and not the central service) are allowed to access a particular organization’s information. ¬†The primarily role of the central service would be to establish standards for how organizations can establish trust to share data and updates.

The next step is to identify key sponsors to help define and distribute a Minimum Viable Product (which we could start building as Open Source during the fall 2018 Code for the Kingdom).  Potential sponsors include:

Please contact ernest.prabhakar@gmail.com if you are interested in learning more or helping out!

Whole-I-Ness: A New Job to Be Done for Christianity

June 17, 2018 § Leave a comment

In many ways, Western Christianity is now a solution in search of a problem.¬† We are a victim of our own success, having effectively worked ourselves out of a job by eliminating the “pain points” of Judaism, paganism and animism while diffusing most of our benefits into the culture.¬†Like a technology-centric startup, we now find ourselves in the awkward situation of trying to define (or worse, create) problems that need our solution.

The alternative is to go back to the customer discovery phase. Who is our customer? ¬†What are their most important¬†jobs to be done? ¬†What is the “impossible” thing that, if it could be done, would change everything for them?

What is it that the world most needs? Especially from us?

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What is a Technical Co-Founder?

April 8, 2017 § Leave a comment

Most successful startups require¬†both a technical “hacker” and a relational “hustler”¬†to bring them to life.¬† One common pattern is that a “hustler” has access to ideas and potential funding and looks for a “technical co-founder” to join him or her, ¬†through a process often compared to¬†finding a spouse.

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TypeScript 2: Adding custom.d.ts Typings Files for Existing JavaScript Modules

March 22, 2017 § Leave a comment

If you are trying to import ordinary JavaScript modules into a TypeScript project, and those modules¬†don’t already have an internal or external typings file, you may get an error like:

  • error TS2688: Cannot find type definition file for ‘lodash’
  • error TS7016: Could not find a declaration file for module ‘himalaya’

For some reason, the TypeScript documentation talks a lot about how to create typings files for modules that don’t have them, but not about how to add them to your project. And it is incredibly difficult to Google the correct answer.

The best answer I found is from: https://www.bennadel.com/blog/3169-adding-custom-typings-files-d-ts-in-an-angular-2-typescript-application.htm

The actual answer is quite simple: are only four steps:

 $ npm install -g --save typings # if you haven't already
 $ cat > custom.d.ts # type definition file for that module
 declare module 'custom';
 $ typings install --global --save file:custom.d.ts

That’s it!

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