If you're going to hold a conference about ideas, from time to time you need to step back and look at the mysterious engine that creates them: the human mind. What goes on in there anyway? How can our strange, gray, gooey brains create inspired inventions, the feeling of hunger, the experience of beauty, the sense of self? And how reliable are they? Might there be strange quirks in the ways our minds work, given that they were optimized for the needs of a savannah-roaming hunter-gatherer?
Our speakers offer numerous insights. Dan Dennett argues that brains are the ecosystem in which a new form of life, the meme or idea, can flourish. Meanwhile Peter Donnelly, Al Seckel and Dan Gilbert, in three very different ways, highlight bizarre quirks in the way we think, perceive and experience. Yes, it turns out our mental programs are a little buggy. These talks will help you take countermeasures!