Greta wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:19 am
Serendipper wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:55 am
Greta wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:55 am
Again, I don't think that sense of self is an absolute but a continuum; we experience those gradations as we grow just as other species have a stronger or weaker sense of self (while species like dogs routinely pass an olfactory version of the mirror test - they failed the visual test because they are smell-oriented).
If it's a continuum, then there was never a point when sense of self didn't exist, right? Alan Watts said he was the evil gleam in his father's eyes. He would say "When were you born? Let's go back. When was it? Parturition? Conception?" There are no separate events. He said "You are the big bang still coming on at me."
I don't think the continuum entirely consists of consciousness but reactivity, of which conscious responsiveness is only a small part when one considers the huge range of possible reactions between entities. So, before a conscious self came reflex actions. In a sense, consciousness is constructed of reflexes, that are turned on and off like switches. Hence all the computer / brain analogies.
How do you know it's not the other way around: that conscious action became reflex? Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Eggs come from chickens, but chickens evolved from other animals, so the chicken came first.
Bruce Lee said we train to forget. In other words, we train so much that it becomes reflex, mindless. In a fight, if you have to stop to think, you've already lost. Likewise when learning new words, I have to practice for a bit in meatspace until the word becomes part of me and then I won't have to stop to think which word to use.
I think we may have the problem upside down; it's not that determined stuff came first then engendered consciousness, but the determined stuff was determined by the consciousness that cannot be manufactured by unconscious stuff.
There must logically be a "shoreline" between reflexes and the development of a sense of self, both in the flow of evolution and in our personal growth as infants.
Yes a shoreline, but is a beach is continuous with the ocean? If not, then certainly a shared border because an ocean couldn't exist with a beach and a beach couldn't exist without an ocean.
The human advantage is to not only be able to control our responses, but to be able to control our controls - to deliberately shape and improve our responses rather than relying on genetics, health and luck. That is self awareness - the control of the controls. If AI start learns to control the controls of the controls then that will be literally mind-bending!
That's interesting. I used to define terms as follows:
Perception - the interception of information
Awareness - the perception of perception (interception of the information that information had been intercepted)
Consciousness - the perception of awareness (interception of the information that interception of the information that information had been intercepted)
I'm not sure what to call the perception of consciousness.
It looks like we have similar divisions based on different angles - you focused more on the input and I was thinking about output.
So we have reactions.
Then control over that control.
Control demands a will, right? Otherwise control is a deterministic reaction.
Note that the way we control our responses has been successful but far from flawless. Consider the athlete who tells himself sweet lies so he has a chance in a game where he will almost certainly be thrashed. Maybe there's a better a batter way for people to perform above themselves, to better achieve their potential?
Delusions of grandeur lol. I suppose if we didn't think we could win, we wouldn't try, so that behavior was selected for.
That is a meta-control over the way we control our basic animal-style controls - largely science, philosophy, religion and law. That's the next level you asked about. However, these methods, these institutions, are also far from flawless and can be improved in how they do things. What if a methodology is devised by AI that supersedes all of these means of better regulating ourselves?
So the Star Trek Borg would be example of the 4th order perception? Or maybe the internet?
Unfortunately, I suspect AI is backwards. It starts with predetermined code and works towards consciousness, which I doubt can be obtained. I think, in a way, we could consider AI growing out of the universe, but in another way it was manufactured. It's like the US vs China whereas the US evolved into what it is, but China simply copied what the US had discovered. So they built lots of empty cities and have a facade of growth, but not much essence. AI can probably mimic life, but I'm not sure about actually being alive because it will be void of essence.
I'd go back to the video I posted to IC - Martin Hanczyc's TED Talk about the line between life and non life. Basically the difference is that the carcass will no longer sustain itself and be absorbed back into the environment like a still-living microbe continues to heroically fight off the forces of entropy
Ok I'll listen to it now. But what I mean is if we build a cell one atom at a time, will it then be animate? Will it spring to life or will it require some intangible element? When I think about that problem, I always return to wondering what changes when a cell dies. Is a dead cell and live cell identical on the atomic level? If so, then what changes? If not, then how does the position of a few atoms determine life from death?
Emergence. If you build a car, one piece at a time, at what point does it drive? This comes down to systems integration but I don't know anything about it, just that if certain critical parts of systems, even very small ones, are not present or functional then an entire system can break down (obviously enough).
If cars are atomically identical, then the only reason one runs and the other doesn't is the one is out of fuel. If both have fuel, then the reason one doesn't run is because they are not atomically identical. But a cell seems to be different because the fuel is present and they seem atomically similar, so what changed? If we could make a cell, atom by atom, would it be alive?
The more consciously aware and adaptable we are, the more likely we can place our bodies in places where danger isn't, and in this roundabout way our consciousness helps our heart to keep beating.
That's another good question: what divides the conscious from the unconscious?
As per one our earlier chats, we are still minimally conscious when we are asleep; we just call it "unconscious" because when we are unconscious from an outside perspective, which translates to "all intents and purposes". This brings us back to the opacity of other minds observed by Nagle. That may yet change with technology too as brain states and thoughts are increasingly correlated.
Lots of folks talk in their sleep
Some go walking around without being conscious of it (like folks taking Ambien).
Serendipper wrote:Anything that is not part of our conscious then becomes part of our unconscious, which not only includes our dna, but the sun and stars.
The Zen school says our unconscious is infinitely more wise than our conscious, so it almost seems the conscious is a mulling-around, processing and then filtering into the unconscious repository for encoding into the universe when key puzzles are solved. I may have just stumbled upon how Alan Watts said he is the sun; it's an extension of his subconscious mind. "Below consciousness" is fundamental knowledge that has been learned previously in other iterations/generations. So the conscious is the organism and the unconscious is the environment. Every organism then is an inkjet writing on the universe, but also an eye for reading it. The organism is made by, but also contributes to, the universe in a loop of feedback and it is that which produces the feeling of self because the loop is an infinite regression which negates determination and institutes randomness.
Obviously, randomness is the only thing that can guarantee discovery of the absolute best solution otherwise any presupposition affecting/determining outcome will taint/bias the data; therefore, in that case, nothing could be known for certain and no absolute could be found, but unlimited random samples will guarantee if there exists any superior intrinsic property, it will be discovered. I think we can say that this universe is indeed the best one because it survived the ultimate test. There can be no more ultimate test because random is random and there is no more-randomer. Maybe absolutes can exist.
Yet chaos and randomness can be hard to distinguish.
But chaos is a deterministic process that is extremely sensitive to initial conditions whereas randomness is the cause of the initial conditions (or fundamental conditions). I think randomness is not caused by nothing, but instead it's caused by an infinite regression, which could also be chaotic I suppose, but the important bit is the infinite which excludes the possibility of finding an ultimate cause which is the necessary underpinning of randomness (causeless).
This suggests that the possibilities afforded by chaos are not deterministic or uncreative, unless you feel straitjacketed by possibilities for the universe that would probably dwarf a googol
I feel straightjacketed by the determinism of it
Small differences in initial conditions such as those due to rounding errors in numerical computation yield widely diverging outcomes for such dynamical systems, rendering long-term prediction of their behavior impossible in general. This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future behavior is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory
It reminds me of people talking about a "lonely universe" as dark energy separates the galaxies. I keep wanting to ask them why hundreds of billions of stars and planetary systems are not enough to keep them company.
We could be in a "lonely universe" now from the perspective of millions of years ago.
Bottom line is there is incredible freedom in chaos - the hard part is limiting it to a point where we survive.
Chaos is only unpredictable because we cannot measure conditions accurately enough, otherwise it's a more flamboyant and extravagant line of dominoes falling.
Idk, you think the masses of today are dumber than the peasants of the victorian? I know people are stupid today, but victorians threw buckets of poo out of their windows onto the street everyday. How could those people be smarter than we are?
Then again, I can feel technology making me stupid: I can't speel, can't do math, can't remember phone numbers all because machines do that for me, so I forgot how. Now with gps navigation, we're going to loose our spacial ability. Soon we'll be skin-bag blobs with a smudgy device hanging out the side
I made the same mistake as I criticise others for - thinking in too short a time frame. In a broader historical sense, the early 20th century is "now".
On the other hand, societal and environmental change are accelerating, in which case the time frame references will shrink until we spin down whatever "plug hole" that's awaiting us. We are becoming like cells - pretty useless at almost everything aside from communicating with the "larger body", and in that cells and humans are virtuosos.
So we're evolving into an ant colony? It sure feels like we're losing a sense of self: everything about us is known and there is no longer anywhere to hide. Nothing is private and we're reduced to cogs in a machine, or like Pink Floyd said, "just another brick in the wall".
Do we exist for the government or does the government exist for us? Are we individuals or parts of a collective?