This evening Andrew and I supped (the guy at Kismet remembered me and complimented my “new” hair, even though he hasn’t seen me in at least six months – I like him), then met up with Sherry, Cathy, and Robin at WCI for the first Perimeter Institute Public Lecture of the year: Are You Conscious? by Jay Ingram (of Discovery Channel fame, among other credits).
Pop science certainly, at least in how it was presented (his related book is Theatre of the Mind), but a fascinating topic, and he’s a good speaker – comfortable and engaging and respectful of the audience’s questions and participation (even when the participants are clearly speaking out their asses…)
He did a very good job of using familiar examples and scenes from every day life (since his main point of fascination seems to be the study of our every day consciousness and its scope). I found his comments on “zoning out” while driving particularly entertaining, given I had a rather panicky moment on the way to Dana’s the other weekend when I “awoke” on a stretch of the 4o1 that was in the middle of nowhere and had no signage and I hadn’t the slightest clue if I’d missed my exit or not. (I hadn’t, it was coming up in about 30 seconds, which is probably why I woke up.)
The next planned lecture we’re looking at is Mission to Mars: Still Roving on the Red Planet, which John Grant from the Smithsonian. There is also a Black Hole Session on Quantum Computing this coming Saturday morning that is tentative. Mmm… nerditude… 🙂