To continue my experiences. Eventually I left chemistry for software development. In those days (1974) computers seemed to offer endless prospects, and I'd already programmed computers to perform QM calculations as part of my PhD. There was a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligence. Most people didn't make a clear distinction between intelligence and consciousness (I'm still not sure one exists) and the world was building up to the first decade of AI hype (1980 - 1989). The problem was that the computer manipulations that were called AI didn't seem that sophisticated, and although the media were full of AI hype, the reality seemed almost puerile.
Computers also brought the Hard Problem into particularly stark relief unless you made a serious argument that consciousness was completely distinct from intelligence. Without that serious argument, the problem to me was that consciousness would reside in the AI software itself or maybe in the actual computer hardware itself! Assuming it lay in the software, that seemed rather in the realm of ideas rather than being tied to physical matter. I also tried (and failed) to envision how a conscious computer program would feel if it were debugged by repeatedly pausing it and examining its variables or registers!
Somewhere about that time, I discovered that there was already a scientific literature on psi with papers reporting successful ESP experiments and other types of phenomena.
Then I happened to watch a TV program about psi, which ended with a scientific skeptic who explained that there was "no scientific evidence for psi". It might have been Wiseman, but I'm not certain. However to me "no scientific evidence for psi" was factually incorrect if even one paper had been accepted for publication - which meant in turn that there were people who were prepared to lie to the public to keep psi secret!
Forum Borealis - Clif High - Clif provides the best explanation for consciousness I've ever heard. Not sure how much I agree with it as conclusive, but it's really a beautiful job explaining. I think it's a couple minutes long. The whole series of interviews is amazing, link to series playlist below also.
Clip starts at 9min40sec: