Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls, just east of where the Nile takes a rest at Lake Albert, bills itself as the “Most Powerful Waterfall in the World.” I have learned not question these kinds of claims, as nothing positive can come out of that sort of conversation. After all, in my hometown the Empire State Building claims to be the world’s most famous building, which can be disputed by a number of other buildings around the world, but who cares, right?

After leaving Jinja I decided I needed to go someplace new, so I am now up at Murchison Falls National Park. I took a riverboat to the falls with the intention of hiking to the top, but then someone told me that you can just drive up, so I stayed in the boat, turned around, and then drove to the summit. Much easier. Here’s what I saw.

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On reports that bumblebees have emotions

On reports that bumblebees have emotions

A few months ago I became suddenly very fascinated by the question of whether or not we could ever attribute consciousness to a non-human. In the case of my story, the subject in question was a computer-generated little girl named Ada, but really it could have been about anything, an animal or a space alien or a hacked Roomba. The larger point is that no matter how hard we try we can only understand the world around us through our own context. Even then it is difficult. I don’t understand people who disagree with my beliefs, for example. And even though I should obviously know better, I can’t always wrap my mind around the idea that the people I see have internal lives that are kept secret from me, or that they even exist when they are outside of my frame of view.

I know that they exist, though, and that they have separate internal beings known only to themselves because I exist when they aren’t around, and I have thoughts, even complete carefully-constructed worlds, that nobody around me even suspects.

Because it is true with me, and I am human, I can assume it is true with them. But what about other things? Like bumblebees, for example?

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