[ExI] Bringing new life to dead matter

Will Steinberg steinberg.will at gmail.com
Fri May 25 22:09:32 UTC 2012

Yes, I think consciousness needs redefinition somehow.  I think the insane
force of my conscious perception is not really related to my intelligence
or the complexity of my thoughts but of a simpler, universal standard of
how energy and information are transmuted and encoded between various
systems.  The human brain is more conscious only in that it contains many
learned universal facts in it.  We acquire these by observing
cause-and-effect scenarios--physical and chemical reactions.  We are more
noticeably conscious because we have memories of these reactions.  I think
your pancreas is as conscious as the information it needs to process.  In
essence I am saying there is no seat of consciousness, only an emergent,
holographic pattern, called the "self" that the brain develops to cope with
the insane amount of data it receives, and that a pancreas has some
confusing pancreatic form of perception and no overarching data management
system, so it perceives selflessly as part of universal conscious force.

I think the self develops out of "oceanic consciousness" as a platform to
understand language and culture.
On May 25, 2012 4:37 PM, "Kelly Anderson" <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
> -Kelly
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