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Hi. I’m John Tiberio, a writer and artist with a taste for big questions. Three Mysteries is  a place where I can wonder aloud at three timeless puzzles of the human experience– or, more precisely, two mysteries inflected in a third.

What is consciousness?

Sentience. Subjectivity. What-it’s-like-to-be. The experience of  experience. The mystery goes by many names but points to one thing: that immediate essence of our waking lives that seems so obvious we can’t deny it, yet so basic we can’t articulate it. What is it? Why do we have it? Does it serve a purpose? Could it be an illusion?

What is beauty?

Stock examples abound. Your favorite Picasso. The weather. A Shakespeare sonnet. A mathematical proof. But what property–if any– do these have in common? What kind of a property is it, and where can we locate it? Is it a subjective emotion found within us? An objective pattern found in the world? Something in between? Nothing at all? Why do we have this sense? Do we need it? Does it serve a function-or is it precisely the opposite of function?

What is/should be the relationship between technology and art? Technology and consciousness?

How does technology change art? Do the forms of new media enhance the artistic experience, or do they obscure it?  Does increased access though technology place greater value on art, or cheapen it? Is technology merely a means of delivering art, or can it be art in itself?

Does technology affect consciousness? Do our media gadgets extend consciousness or divide it? Is consciousness itself, in some sense, a technology? Is technology merely a means of delivering content to consciousness, or could it– as in the singularity theory– become consciousness itself?

These three issues, and the relationships between them, are the topic for this blog. It’s worth noting that this inquiry maps roughly to  one of the oldest and most fundamental philosophical investigations: what is the relationship between the gross physical world (technology), experiences themselves (beauty) and we the experiencers (consciousness). Both  fascinating and frustrating  is these mysteries’ historical persistence and seeming resistance to explanation through any particular method, and so my intention with this blog is to try them all;  essays, artwork, book reviews, interviews and more. Above all, my intention is to start a conversation; to engage working artists, philosophers, fellow bloggers, and you! Comments, questions, and arguments are most welcome!

Thanks for reading,

John Tiberio

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