with Spencer Greenberg
the podcast about ideas that matter

Episode 075: Major and minor scales of consciousness (with Andrés Gomez Emilsson)

October 14, 2021

Should pleasure and pain be measured on logarithmic scales? How might such a scale affect utilitarian calculations? How do harmonic energy waves in the brain correspond to states of (or intensities of) consciousness? What sorts of conclusions can we draw about brain states given the resolutions and sampling rates of tools like fMRI, EEG, and MEG? What is the symmetry theory of homeostatic regulation, and how does it connect to pleasure and pain? Are uncomfortable or confused mental states computationally useful to us? To what extent can the concepts of musical consonance and dissonance map onto energy states in the brain?

Andrés Gomez Emilsson has a Master's Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in computational models from Stanford and a professional background in graph theory, statistics, and affective science. Andrés was also the co-founder of the Stanford Transhumanist Association and first place winner of the Norway Math Olympiad. His work at QRI ranges from algorithm design, to psychedelic theory, to neurotechnology development, to mapping and studying the computational properties of consciousness. Andrés blogs at

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Host / Director
Spencer Greenberg

Josh Castle

Audio Engineer
Ryan Kessler

Uri Bram

Lee Rosevere
Josh Woodward
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