ned block


“I did warn you not to trust me, you know.”

eddard, a game of thrones// death of julius caesar, vincenzo camuccini

Title: Mind over Matter
Character: Peter Parker

Part 2:

You were on your way down to the hotel lobby to meet with the other students on the decathlon team. You passed Peter and Ned’s room, stopping once you heard Ned’s frantic voice coming from behind the door.

You furrowed your brows, reaching up to the knock. “Ned? Peter? Is everything alright?”

When it suddenly became silent, you pushed your ear up the door and heard the sound of someone shuffling around.

“(Y/n)! Hey!” Ned called, inside the room whispering harshly into the phone, asking Peter was the hell was supposed to do. “Y-Yeah! Everything’s cool.”

“Ned, I know you’re lying to me,” You told him, arms folding as you frowned at the door. “Your voice always gets an octave higher.”

“Pff, no it doesn’t, what?” Ned tried to assure you, purposefully going into the Darth Vader voice to try and convince you.

“Ned, let me inside, now.

Here’s the thing, you grew up with two mothers, so if anyone could convince teenage boys to do something with just the tone of their voice.

It was you.

And it proved correct when the door almost immediately opened, and Ned was staring at you with minor terror. “Y-Yes?”

You tried to look over his shoulder to look for Peter, but Ned blocked your view each time you tried to look around him.

You inhaled deeply. “Move over, please.”

Ned was about to refuse but you gave him the best “mom” look you could manage and his mouth snapped shut as he moved aside.

“Thank you,” You said, walking past him to see the room was empty, and Peter’s things were missing. “Where is he?”

“Uh, one moment,” Ned told you as he returned his phone to his ear. “Alright, so, (Y/n) knows.”

Somewhere in a locked hangar, Peter was groaning into his phone. “What! I told you not to let her in!”

“Look, I did my best but-”

“She gave you the look didn’t she.”

“Yes! I’m sorry!”

“Just cover for me!” Peter said before hanging up.

You continued to grow impatient, ever since Liz’s party you felt like there was something the two of them knew that you didn’t. Despite the initial hurt you felt, you also felt somewhat insulted that they didn’t trust you enough to tell you their secret.

“You know what, I don’t really care that the two of you are keeping secrets from me, just don’t do such a shit job at keeping it.” You told him, not even bothering to listen to Ned’s excuse before you pushed past him to leave the room.


If you were pissed before the Decathlon, you were borderline completely enraged afterwards. A couple weeks ago, Peter made the surprise announcement that he wasn’t even going to D.C in the first place. Then all of a sudden he shows up the day you’re set all leave, saying he had made the time.

And now, he didn’t even show up.

You were so angry at him and Ned, you sat next to Flash the entire trip to the Washington Monument.

Mr. Harrington was leading all the students to the line to take the elevator tour of the monument when you noticed Michelle standing back, reading one of her books.

You jogged over to her. “Hey, aren’t you coming up?”

She looked up at you and shooked her, thumbing her page and closing the book. “Nah, I’m not really the ‘tourist’ type of person.”

You nodded, looking back at the group for a moment. “I can wait with you down here if you want?”

Michelle looked surprised for a minute but ultimately shook her head. “No, no. You don’t have to do that,” She said, looking down at her hands for minute. “But uh, maybe when you come back down we can go walk through one of the Smithsonian museums together?”

You smiled and nodded. “I’d like that.”


You were pressed up into the corner of the elevator, trying your best not to look at Ned, knowing that he just be looking at your sadly. He never liked it when you angry at either him or Peter, but he knew you had a right to be upset this time.

Quite frankly, the tour guide was a bit of a bore and you started to tune her out, staring along the metal walls of the elevator.

When a small explosion went off you shut your eyes and curled further into the wall, looking over to see that the elevator had stopped moving, and there was a large hole in the ceiling.

“What just happened?” You asked Ned, who was looking at you with a guilty smile.

“Remain calm, the security procedures are currently functioning.” The tour guide said, but the look in her eyes told you a different story.

Then they started to take the students out through the opening on the ceiling and moving them to the platform outside.

Flash had just pushed Liz out of the way so he could get out for himself when you felt the elevator was becoming more jittery.

You noticed the expression on Liz’s face and you placed a hand on her shoulder. “Hey it’s okay, you can go before me. I’ll hold up fort down here.” You said, making her smile.

“Thanks, (Y/n).” She said, moving to take her turn when the elevator dropped entirely, pusing her to the ground.

You let a choked scream when your hands pushed against the wall, and suddenly, the elevator was perfectly still again.

Liz looked up at you and saw the wall around your hands had a slight glow to them, and she could hear a faint humming noise all around the small space.

You were the one doing that.

You slowly opened your eyes, now realizing you weren’t dead, you saw what Liz was seeing and the slight feeling of panic settled in again.

You didn’t have too much time to think on it, because just then a masked head apppeaded through the opening.

“Is everyone alright?”

You knew that voice.

You knew that stupid voice exactly.

“You’ll have to take her first.” You said, nodding to Liz.

If you were the one keeping the elevator up, you’d have to be the last one out.

So when Peter, or “Spider-Man” reached his hand to you, you were hesitant to move your hands away.

“What’s wrong?” He asked, his tone was on complete alert. “You’re in a lot of danger in here, we gotta get you out!”

“I-I can’t.”

“Why not!”

You frowned, still mad at the boy behind the mask and you quickly moved your hands away, and just as you suspected the elevator fell a couple feet before you managed to place your hands back on the wall.

“See!” You yelled at him.

The eyes of the spider mask went wide for a second. “Just stay there, I’ll be right back!”

You scoffed. “Like I have anywhere else to go.”

He was gone for about a minute when Peter’s masked head finally reappeared on top of the elevator. “It’s safe now, you can let go.”

You slowly did as told, sighing heavily when the elevator remained in place.

“Now, give me your hand.” Peter said, holding out a gloved hand to you.

You looked at it for a moment, hesitating when he moved it closer to you.

“It’s fine now, I promise. I’m gonna get you somewhere safe, you can trust me.” He said softly.

You grabbed onto his hand, surprised when he managed to lift you the entire way out on his own. Peter wrapped his arms around you before shooting a web onto the door where all the other kids were.

Once the two of you were safely on the platform, Peter released his hold on you. “Are you alright?”

You didn’t look at him. “Fine, thanks.” You said in offhanded tone before pushing past the other kids to find the stairs.


While everyone was waiting for their parents to arrive, you stayed seated on the ambulance on your own, but you could tell Peter kept glancing back at you.

You didn’t want to talk to him right now.

Something about his expression though told you that he knew you knew his secret.

Michelle had come up to while you waited, offering to talk. But you told her you wanted some space to think.

She understood, after having a near-deth experience could make anyone question their mortality.

But you were more focused about the way you stopped the elevator, and judging by the way Liz’s eyes were following you the rest of the day, that she was thinking the same.

You looked around to make sure no one was watching before pulling out a quarter from
your jacket pocket. You placed it on your palm and stared at it for a moment, then it lifted up, and started to wobbly weave its way through your fingers.

You watched it with wide eyes, a small smile on your face when you realized that it was kinda cool.

You could move things with your mind.

You also had a lot of questions for your moms when they got here.

Black Sheep (Final/Part 9)

Originally posted by tomshollandss

Summary: Peter beat Vulture, but his win doesn’t overcome his loss. Or so he thinks.

A/N: Final part! Thank you all so much for reading this series

Pairing: Peter x reader     ///     Part 1 {x} 2 {x} 3 {x} 4 {x} 5 {x} 6 {x} 7 {x} 8 {x}

Warnings: SPOILERS, omg cute fluff

As the overwhelming pain was lifted from your chest, you felt light as a ragdoll. Murmurs were heard around your body, and you couldn’t comprehend anything that was being said or done. It was almost like being in a coma, being aware but unaware simultaneously. You were alive, but you also felt like you’d been buried six feet underground.

A cold gust knocked clean air into your lungs, and you began coughing up clouds of cement and dirt, slowly opening your eyes. You could see a red and gold suit, the night sky and the beautiful moon. You felt yourself drifting in and out of consciousness, a droopy smile on your face.

Through your limp eyelids, you saw the darkness of night turned into a bright white light, smelt an overwhelming sterile room and heard lots of bickering.

“Didn’t Peter say she was a criminal?”

“I was listening to his ear piece, she fought for him!”

“Tony, I can’t believe you, the only person here, is really defending a murderer!”

“Listen, I might not agree with Peter on anything, but I believe him. On this one, at least.”

And then you were out.

Peter kneeled in the sand on the beach, watching the fire around him burn. He saw Adrian passed out in his wings. He saw the plane burning and he felt the cool tide on his feet from the river. Peter peeled off his mask and stared at the lenses. 

As he looked down, he saw his reflection, bloodied and worn. He saw the pain etched into his forehead, a defining crease on his cheeks. He felt your hand on his cheek, saw the warmth come from your dying smile. The moonlight hit your cheekbones so perfectly, you seemed like an angel in moon dust.

Then, he wept.

For you, for being bullied and ignored. For being a nobody, but when you finally became a somebody, it wasn’t good enough to heal your wounds. Not even an offer could give any comfort. It was too late.

Spider-Man was too late.

Peter began pounding his fists into the sand, sobbing into his mask. He thought of the times Flash would pick on you at your locker, during lunch, even when you weren’t around he still gave you crap.

Slowly getting off the sand, he put on the mask and started his long walk back home.

Peter didn’t even care about the fact he wore his Spider-Man suit home, to the front door. He pounded on the door and Aunt May opened. She was shocked to see the city hero at her door, but when she heard the heavy sobs she knew it was her boy. She pushed him inside, closed the door, tore his mask and held Peter close to her heart.

He poured everything to her. How it started, the murder, Vulture, bullying, and death. Ned ended up coming by, shocked he was even in the outfit. Peter couldn’t repeat the story, your pained coughs echoed in his head. When he closed the door to his room, he could hear your yelling, your defense for him.

He sulked to his bed, pulled the sheets over his body and cried himself to sleep in his Spider-Man outfit.

Peter’s next week was full of going to school, mourning and coming home straight away. He blocked out Ned and MJ, he even said goodbye to Liz like it was no big deal. In his mind, Oregon wasn’t as far as death. 

One Friday afternoon, Peter got a text, telling him to meet Happy in the male bathroom in the school. When he got there, Happy thanked Peter for everything he had done. And how Tony needed to see him now. 

The ride to the new Avenger’s headquarters was completely silent, and for once in his life, Happy wanted to hear Peter’s conversation. How he spoke about chemistry and Ned. One time, Peter taught Happy the handshake him and Ned had over the phone. He would never admit it though, but Happy and Tony do the same handshake when they’re alone.

When Peter and Happy got inside, Tony met Peter at the door, throwing his arm around him. He gave his thanks, showed him a new Spider-Man suit, and Peter thought it was gorgeous. How could he not?

But, shiny objects couldn’t replace you. 

With the Avengers offer, Peter denied the idea, too torn up about you to do anything drastic. He told Tony he needed time. As he turned to go back to the car, the door next to the new suit opened.

“How much time is enough, Peter?”

Peter turned around, tears flooding his eyes.


Keep reading
Neuroscience's New Consciousness Theory Is Spiritual

by Bobby Azarian

It appears that we are approaching a unique time in the history of man and science where empirical measures and deductive reasoning can actually inform us spiritually. Integrated Information Theory (IIT)–put forth by neuroscientists Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch–is a new framework that describes a way to experimentally measure the extent to which a system is conscious.

As such, it has the potential to answer questions that once seemed impossible, like “which is more conscious, a bat or a beetle?” Furthermore, the theory posits that any system that processes and integrates information, be it organic or inorganic, experiences the world subjectively to some degree. Plants, smartphones, the Internet–even protons–are all examples of such systems. The result is a cosmos composed of a sentient fabric. But before getting into the bizarreness of all that, let’s talk a little about how we got to this point.

The decline and demise of the mystical

As more of the natural world is described objectively and empirically, belief in the existence of anything that defies current scientific explanation is fading at a faster rate than ever before. The majority of college-educated individuals no longer accept the supernatural and magical accounts of physical processes given by religious holy books. Nor do they believe in the actuality of mystical realms beyond life that offer eternal bliss or infinite punishment for the “souls” of righteous or evil men.

This is because modern science has achieved impeccable performance when it comes to explaining phenomena previously thought to be unexplainable. In this day and age, we have complete scientific descriptions of virtually everything. We understand what gives rise to vacuous black holes and their spacetime geometries. We know how new species of life can evolve and the statistical rules that govern such processes. We even have a pretty good understanding of the exact moment in which the universe, and thus of all reality, came into existence! But no serious and informed scientist will tell you that at present we fully understand the thing each of us knows best. That is, our own consciousness.

One of science’s last greatest mysteries

Although we’ve come along way since the time of Descartes, who postulated that consciousness was actually some immaterial spirit not subject to physical law, we still don’t have a complete and satisfactory account of the science underlying experience. We simply don’t know how to quantify it. And if we can’t do that, how do we know whether those non-human life forms that are unable to communicate with us are also conscious? Does it feel like anything to be a cat? Most will probably agree that it does, but how about a ladybug? If so, how can we know which life forms are more conscious than others? Do animals that show impressively intelligent behavior and elaborate memory, like dolphins or crows, experience the world in a unified conscious fashion as we do? These questions are almost impossible to answer without a way to measure consciousness. Fortunately, a neuroscientific theory that has been gaining popular acceptance aims to do just that.

Integrated Information Theory to the Rescue

Integrated Information Theory (IIT), which has become quite a hot topic in contemporary neuroscience, claims to provide a precise way to measure consciousness and express the phenomenon in purely mathematical terms. The theory was put forth by psychiatrist and neuroscientist Giulio Tononi, and has attracted some highly regarded names in the science community. One such name is Christof Koch, Chief Scientific Officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, who now champions the idea along with Tononi. Koch may be best-known for bringing consciousness research into the mainstream of neuroscience through his long-term collaboration with the late DNA co-discoverer Francis Crick. Now Tononi and Koch are actively researching the theory along with an increasing number of scientists, some from outside the field of neuroscience like esteemed physicist and popular author Max Tegmark, who is joining the ranks of those who believe they’ve figured out how to reduce one of science’s greatest secrets to numbers. Bits of information to be exact.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hi. Don't you think that Catelyn started the 5 kings war by imprisioning Tyrion?

Hi there! I’m not the best person for political analysis, but in my opinion, while Catelyn definitely had a huge hand in precipitating things, it’s inaccurate to blame her for starting the war without looking at the overall context. Like many historical events irl, the war of the 5 kings as we know it was determined by a combination of several concurrent factors, and Cat’s actions were essentially a trigger in a political climate sizzling with tension and begging for a war to begin. 

Keep reading


Ned Block, on whether Consciousness might be an Illusion.

I’m not really familiar with Block, but he seems to advocate a lot of ideas I agree with.  He addresses some of the prevailing ideas from Daniel Dennet, disagreeing mostly.

Some other nice features in this 10 minutes:

  • Right off the bat, he lays out the “hard problem” of consciousness, (and attempts to coin the “harder problem”).
  • At around 3:00, he introduces the excellent philosopher’s tool, the Inverted Spectrum, with a sort of charming story about his daughter assuming everyone has the same favorite color.
  • Some interesting examples of patients with brain damage affecting their vision: effective sight with no phenomenal experience, or conversely experience of sight with no attached functionality.

In general this seems a good introduction to my favorite philosophical problem… you know, if you’re interested in being introduced to a fresh problem.

One problem with Block’s distinction [between access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness] is that any function we may wish to attribute to phenomenal consciousness would be more appropriately attributed to access consciousness, leaving phenomenal consciousness devoid of functional significance (Chalmers 1997). The source of this unhappy consequence is the notion that phenomenal and access consciousness are two separate phenomena sitting side by side at the same theoretical level. In reality, access consciousness appears to be the functional role of phenomenal consciousness. The relation between phenomenal and access consciousness is therefore the relation of player to role: phenomenal consciousness plays access consciousness, if you will. Once we construe access consciousness as the functional role of phenomenal consciousness we can attribute again any function we may wish to phenomenal consciousness: the function is construed as part of access consciousness and is therefore performed by phenomenal consciousness. The conceptual confusion caused by Block’s distinction is overcome.

Kriegel, Uriah, (2004). “The functional role of consciousness: A phenomenological approach,” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

deercr0ssing  asked:

I hope speculation is encouraged. I'm slightly scientifically literate, but I lack any meaningful qualifications. I'm obsessed with the concept of consciousness. I have two hypothesizes that I'm wondering if you could provide any insight to prove/disprove their possibility. First: I tend to think of neurons as finite fragments of information, but storage nonetheless. But the actual conscious takes place between the synapses. Second: Conscious, on some scale, must have quantum properties.. right?

Speculation is always encouraged! It is nice to hear someone else is also obsessed with consciousness. I want to warn you now that I am passionate about this topic, and so will probably answer in a long winded manor.

First, the problem of information is one of the most fundamental problems the world of neuroscience must answer. That is, what is the basic information unit that is being transferred? It does seem to have something to do with neurons, but exactly what is being transferred? Information could be contained in the electrochemical signals (typically action potentials) between neurons. However the probability of an action potential occurring is regulated by a large range of factors, such as membrane permeability, neurotransmitter concentration, receptor concentration, etc. One level lower, the information could be contained in the diffusion of water across neurons and glia cells. Even lower, it could be the transfer of electrons through various biological constraints. The same can be said about storage. The concurrent firing of action potentials leads to changes in the synapses, myelin, cell walls, and can even lead to additional synapses (or neurons). Exactly what is being stored is where is not entirely clear.

Ultimately I think all of the above (and much more) can be thought of as information. Likewise, consciousness probably involves the transfer of information in many other ways, not just the synapses. As a science, we are slowly moving away from the idea that there must be ‘finite fragments of information’, which most likely stemmed from our experience with computers where there is fundamental discrete information - a bit. (Personal note: this is the main reason why I am currently focused on investigating the process of consciousness, instead of the mechanism.) 

Second, I am not sure what you mean by quantum properties. Ultimately, everything is based off of quantum properties, but I see no reason that consciousness requires specific quantum relationships. I often hear that entanglement may be the solution to consciousness, where atoms or molecules can transfer information instantaneously. As far as I know, there is no reason at all to require entanglement in consciousness, though the media loves it. In my opinion, talking about quantum properties for consciousness is interesting, but does not tell us anything new about consciousness and merely adds convolution. Right now, we need to focus on what we know, and what we can test. 

For example, we now know that access consciousness (if you don’t know what that is, look up Ned Block) requires a feedback loop. In vision, light enters the retina, is sent first to the visual cortex, then the frontal cortices, and then back to the visual cortex (disclaimer: this is way oversimplified). If we use TMS to knock out the feedforward stream from the visual cortex to the frontal cortex, we still consciously perceive the stimulus. However, if we knock out the feedback stream from the frontal cortices to the visual cortex, we lose conscious awareness. These sort of experiments lead to a deeper understanding, and until we tease apart everything we can about the process of consciousness, I don’t think we can say anything about how it occurs.

I hope this answered your questions. If not, or if something is not clear, please let me know! The more collaboration we have on the topic, the more likely we will come to a solution.