Lessons From a Black and White World

Maurice Ashley is not your typical world-class chess competitor.  For starters, he is the first (and, so far, only) African-American grandmaster.  Then there is the fact that he is one of the only chess players in the world to make a living doing chess commentary for ESPN (teamed, as it happened, with Big Think's editorial chairman Paul Hoffman) and other media outlets.  Most chess champions today seem to have learned chess in preschool, but Ashley first studied the game as a teenager—and only earned the coveted grandmaster title comparatively late in life.  His mastery of the game as an adult should be inspiration to anyone who wants to take up a new "intellectual" activity later in life. Ashley believes that chess builds skills that are useful in other endeavors in life such as business.  Negotiating with people and taking the measure of the competition are important skills, Ashley tells Big Think: "I mean chess is nothing if not knowing what the other guy is thinking and getting deep into that thought process."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?

Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.

We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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