Where the Mind Meets the Brain

What is the relationship between mind and body? Is consciousness an accidental byproduct of neuronal complexity? Tonight (Tuesday October 13th, 2009, 6-7 p.m.), Joe Quirk will be posing questions like these, only funnier, to this impressive array of panelists --

Paul Ekman, world authority on facial expressions.

Robert Burton, a writer and neurologist who has suggested that, rather than think of consciousness and unconsciousness as fundamentally different, we see cognition as a single entity that is subdivided into various ways of being experienced.

Alva Noë, a philosopher who argues consciousness is not something that happens inside us, but rather something we do.

Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, whose work at the Institute of Noetic Sciences is featured in the last Dan Brown novel.

The event takes place at the Mechanics Institute Library, 57 Post Street, famous for being the San Francisco library it's hardest to find parking near. Tonight, however, you should be able to leave your car at home and swim there. It will apparently be a good event at which to meet “brainiac singles," as well as an opportunity to return some of those overdue books.

I personally feel the mind is like an operating system – I keep opening more and more windows about unrelated topics, it gets harder and harder to find the one I'm supposed to be dealing with, and finally the whole system crashes, kerblam. Well, maybe it's just as well I'm not one of tonight's panelists.

And tomorrow (Wednesday, October 14th 2009, 8 p.m.) -- the Amy Tan roast at the Opera House!)
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