[ExI] Bringing new life to dead matter

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Fri May 25 21:37:03 UTC 2012

On Fri, May 25, 2012 at 2:15 PM, Will Steinberg
<steinberg.will at gmail.com> wrote:
> I disagree with his ascription of consciousness to humans only.  I believe
> consciousness is a byproduct of energy flows intricately related to
> entropy/complexity. The annihilation of complements provides energy and
> entropy, and this is the forge of conscious perception and experience.  We
> can only perceive of consciousness on neurological time scales, but I have
> been questioning recently whether we are in the looooong cognition of "Gaia"
> through breeding and selection, as gods small and large, planets and humans,
> learn about themselves through the lens of the complement.  Obviously we
> can't cogitate Gaia thoughts as a neuron cannot cogitate human thoughts.

There is no question that the earth is a super-organism, and that we
make up some of it's moving parts. But "consciousness" involves
self-awareness... thoughts that come from sensory organs. Earth
doesn't have sensory organs... In other words, while you can argue
that earth has "organs", you can't point to one of those organs and
say, "there is the seat of thought." Does the earth "process data",
yes, in the same sense that your pancreas does. Do you think your
pancreas is conscious? It is a self-regulating system, which is cool,
but doesn't rise to my definition of consciousness.

Now, if you throw in the Internet, a kind of nervous system for the
earth, then the earth as a whole might have consciousness someday...
but not the raw earth. This may be a religious viewpoint, but it's my
opinion. How would you argue differently Will? The only way you could
(that I can think of) is to redefine consciousness in such a way that
it loses the little firmness in meaning that it already has.


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