At the top of the list comes my wife, Eve Lurie: artist, computer consultant, former potter, etc. Her web site showcases her greeting cards, primarily photographic, and if you want some insight into our politics, that's the place to go.

If you're interested in what life's about, who we human beings are, etc., there is probably no more worthwhile site on the web than Tom Clarks's I have been marveling at his insight and clarity of thought since the early days of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, eight years or so ago.

Susan Blackmore's web site offers a treasure of thought-provoking ideas. Her book, "The Meme Machine," was eye-opening, and at the same time, choked me up on occasion with a sense of shared understanding.

Marvin Minsky is another great thinker. His book, "Society of Mind," is a classic, and as relevant and insightful now as it was twenty years ago. He has written a new one, "The Emotion Machine," available in a pre-publication draft on his web site, along with a wealth of his earlier work. Both of these books have created immeasurably to my understanding of the brain, and I would be impoverished without them.

Daniel Dennett is not too shabby as a thinker, either, although I have a few quibbles with him. My wife asked me once, "Why do you keep buying this guy's books if you disagree with him?" I said, "Because he's so damned close to getting it right I keep thinking his next book is going to be the one." I haven't read them all, but I hope to get around to writing a review of what I have read sometime... soon? This link is to his personal web sight, which has a trail of links to some writing of his and some other interesting folks.

The Brights define themselves thusly: "A bright is a person who has a naturalistic worldview. A bright's worldview is free of supernatural and mystical elements. The ethics and actions of a bright are based on a naturalistic worldview." I have a problem with labels, generally, in that they are inevitably devisive. They create a sense of "us vs. them," and play to a prominant human tendency to find an identity for ourselves that makes us feel special. That said, I hold values that are the same as the Brights, along with some others that may not be so widely shared. The issue of identity is complex and important, and I have talked about it at length in the podcast, Bare Brains, and the subject comes up repeadedly in the blog, The Short Version.

If you can find a copy of Paul Breer's, "The Spontaneous Self," buy it. It's out of print, but it is very near top of my list of all the books I have ever read on what we are, and how to cope with that. You can read PDF's of a later work, Enlightenment: Myth and Reality, on Tom Clark's web site.

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Light & Dark Inc

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