[ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 194, Issue 3

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 9 14:09:46 UTC 2019

Is every creature conscious?  It would appear so based on this
explanation.  No creature receives a full and complete set of sensations
from its environment.

bill w

On Sat, Nov 9, 2019 at 5:51 AM Re Rose via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Responding to----Message 3---John Clarke------- Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2019
> 09:27:03 -0500----
> "When people demand an explanation fir consciousness it's not even clear
> what exactly they are demanding. Would you be satisfied if I could prove
> that X causes consciousness or would you say X causes consciousness but X
> is not consciousness"
> Apologies if my response is in an unusual format, I never know how to
> respond to this list so I mostly lurk!
> Regarding consciousness, people seem to mostly look to magical or
> spiritual explanations for it, and its subjective nature lends to that
> interpretation. I think the key to understanding  consciousness has been
> discussed by Jeff Hawkins in his book, "On Intelligence", and it works for
> me.
> Basically, each of us has a unique path through our slice of the world,
> and our sensors do not allow us to take in all the information of the
> environment. Due to physical limitations of data flow, time, and sensor
> capacity, we each obtain only one unique slice of the reality around us.
> This does not mean anything about reality itself, it means we necessarily
> have a limited access to the data of the world around us.
> Yet as an individual agent, it is our brain that must take this incomplete
> data and act on it, building our model of the world. This is the key to
> subjectivity. Since we each have different data-sets from which we formed
> our model of reality, we each have unique experiences.
> Since the brain *must* act on incomplete knowledge, at some point it must
> make decisions based on probabilities. This is the only way to operate for
> the lack of availability of a full description (i.e., a complete data-set)
> of the world around us.
> These decisions can not be autonomous (i.e., are not reflexive) but must
> be made by a decision, and decisions are made via thought. The thought
> process is internal and exclusive to the agent with the brain, based on its
> exclusive model of the world, in turn based on its limited and unique
> data-set. Since this type of thinking is neither instinctive nor reflexive,
> it must be handled by a new process which emerged to handle such judgements
> - we call that process consciousness.
> Therefore, this necessity of an individual agent needing to judge
> inconclusive situations based on a necessarily incomplete knowledge of the
> world is how consciousness emerged.
> My two cents, YMMV. I go back to lurking now - bye!
> ~regina
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