Have you ever wondered if a zombie is conscious? Do you love hip-hop? This a show that addresses the former through the latter. Baba Brinkman tackles ‘the hard problem’: how are we conscious? Consciousness is the awareness of your own existence, sensations and thoughts. So how then do the 90 billion or so neurons in our brain create a conscious being? This is a question science does not yet have the answer to, but though a series of ‘peer-reviewed raps’ Brinkman explores what we know about the brain and what this can tell us about the nature of consciousness.
Brinkman takes us from Bayesian probability theory to panpsychism (the theory that the universe is conscious). He breaks down these complex ideas using his son, acid trips and Google’s DeepDream generator, to create a funny and enjoyable hour long discussion about some hardcore scientific ideas. This makes Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide to Consciousness a fantastic example of how to communicate complex scientific ideas. Every day we are bombarded with news stories about the latest scientific discoveries and asked to change our behaviours and lifestyles, and yet more often than not we are expected to just believe in the experts as the science is too hard to explain. With global phenomenon like climate change and obesity having the ability to affect us all, it has never been more relevant that we demystify science and remove the lab coat and safety goggles.
- Kate Porcheret
Links relevant to this diagnosis:
Consciousness Round-Up - New Scientist
Your Brain Hallucinates Your Conscious Reality - Anil Seth (TED)
Rapping Evolution: An Interview with Baba Brinkman - Committee for Sceptical Inquiry