Sudoku Or Crossword?

What is your puzzle of choice when you need a distraction: a crossword, or a Sudoku? Or is there another puzzle you prefer?

Share why if you wish.

Sudoku Or Crossword?

How Are Your Body And Mind Intertwined?

We tend to think about our mind as something apart from our body. In truth, the two are linked. Can you think of examples?

It seems natural to separate the mind and the body. If you fall, say, and break your leg, your mind is not overly impacted. You still have your full range of cognitive abilities.

Similarly, as we age, our body and our mind often do so at different rates. A ninety year old who can barely walk might be mentally sharp, while an otherwise healthy older person may be unable to remember the names of people he or she has known for years.

However, this division is arbitrary at best, and actively harmful at worst. The brain is a part of the body. They use the same blood supply. They are impacted by the same hormones. There is every reason to believe that what happens in one has an impact in the other.

This is obvious in certain ways. When the blood sugar drops, for example, it can make it difficult to think cohesive thoughts. Many people know to carry around a candy bar or other source of sugar to ingest in an emergency.

And yet, we may not recognize how the two are linked. Studies have shown that the physical act of making your mouth smile, even if you don’t feel like doing so, can brighten your mood. Changes in diet can be reflected in changes in attitude.

Are there other examples of ways in which you have noticed that your mind and your body are actually two sides of the same coin? How are the two intertwined?

Related questions: Mind or body? What do you do to clear your mind? What does it mean to be healthy? How can you change your attitude?

What Do You Do That No One Else Does?

There are traits and behaviors that set you apart from others in your community. What types of things do you do that no one else does?

You might think that with nearly eight billion people in the world, everything is accounted for. There are no traits or abilities that one person has that are different from the billions of people all around the world.

However, that’s not true at all. While you certainly may have some shared commonalities with others, the combination of past experiences and internal differences makes you unique.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What gives a person value?’


It is certainly true that a larger overall population means that there are people who like the same thing. For example, you might find just a few – or even zero — people who like the same obscure band you like if you live in a small town. There will be more of them if you live in a big city.

And yet, your totality is as unique as a snowflake. There is no one else who has the same brain connections that you have. No one has read the same books, in the same order, and has the same conversations. Just like there is an endless difference in our different fingerprints, there is infinite variation in brain patterns and experiences.

So what sets you apart? What are the things that are unusual about you? What do you do that no one else does?

Related questions: Why do we like what we like? What makes you you? How do you judge yourself? What gives you purpose? Do you feel lonely?

Left-Brain Or Right-Brain?

Are you more of a left-brain thinker (logical, organized), or right-brain (spontaneous, creative)?

Share why if you wish.

Left-Brain Or Right-Brain?

Will Machines Develop Consciousness?

It is easy to see that artificial intelligence has been improving consistently over the last several years. But will machines ever develop consciousness?

It might seem that society has been anticipating intelligent machines for a long time. Science fiction writers have been envisioning self-directed, thinking machines ever since the word “robot” was introduced in 1920 (and even before then, as well). From Asimov’s robots to Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, fictional thinking machines have been a part of our culture for a long time.

Our modern world has ever-advancing technology. On one hand, simple robots, ones that do a very limited series of tasks, are everywhere. They populate factory assembly lines, and zip around our homes, vacuuming up our spills and messes.

On the other hand, advances in artificial intelligence have led to breakthroughs like Deep Blue beating a human World Champion in chess, or Watson winning handily against past Jeopardy! champions. And Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are becoming increasingly able to understand human speech and respond appropriately to human interaction.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘Is technology neutral?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Freedom or security?’


And yet, true intelligence has proven harder to produce in machines than some have thought. Estimates for the arrival of truly intelligent machines seem to recede further and further into the future.

Of course, intelligence is not the same as consciousness. What we mean when we refer to a human being being conscious is not obvious. And if we cannot define what exactly it means to be conscious, we may not be able to recognize consciousness if or when it arrives, via another species on earth, and alien from another planet, or from an AI we have designed and built ourselves.

Is the era of conscious machines right around the corner? Or is it in some distant future, or will it never get here at all?

Related questions: Will technology save us? What new technology do you want? What are you thinking about?