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Posts posted by tar

  1. Area54.

    You have the highest horse.

    And you are missing the point.   

    In a discussion such as this, the answer is not already existent.  

    That is the point of the discussion.

    Regards, TAR


    Socratic method, also known as maieutics, method of elenchus, elenctic method, or Socratic debate, is named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates. Elenchus is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions.



    You want Gee to give you the answer.  I want to, together, arrive at it.


  2. Evolution is generally considered not guided, but by the ability of a new arrangement of an organism to survive better than competing organisms.

    Not guided by anything purposefully done by the organism.   That is human consciousness cannot guide the evolution of human consciousness.  Humans were not made in God's image, so a human consciousness does not control the universe, nor set the rules for evolution.

    You can no more "make" human consciousness, than you can build a living tree from carbon dioxide, water and some trace elements.   You need something pretty much like a tree, or a sprig from a tree or something, to make the tree out of.   You need soil and air and sunlight and such.

    In the same way, consciousness can not create consciousness from the ground up.   You can explain how it happened from the ground up, but you need the whole world to evolve along with it, to explain it.


  3. iNow,

    Well yes and no.   Yes it can't be that consciousness and communication come linked at the hip.  But the idea is that communication, getting some form from here, over to there, is central to our sensing and remembering of the world, and thusly is a piece of our consciousness.

    Regards, TAR


  4. iNow,

    probably neither, but the idea I am trying to work with, is that the components of consciousness must be natural, unmagical, and most importantly NOT guided by a human consciousness.

    That is, there is no such thing as artificial intelligence, because if it worked, and it was actual, it would be real intelligence.

    Regards, TAR

  5. 34 minutes ago, iNow said:

    We're in "it's turtles all the way down" territory here. How are you defining communication?

    Are the interactions of atoms and quarks as governed by the laws of physics "communication?"

    Is the interaction between plankton and sunlight "communication?"

    How about the transaction between flowers and butterflies? Your position implies a consciousness in the flower  

    What about the exchange of information along root systems in vast forests or fungi that connect with other members of their species across kilometers? Is the cell phone you cite conscious, too?


    No need to jump to conclusions or engage in sarcasm or hyperbole.  Gee has already expressed her opinion that all life is conscious.  To various levels or in various ways. And yes sunlight hitting a rock is communication.   If the rock warms up from the engagement it holds heat, or remembers the encounter.  That night it releases the heat back into the air  and thusly announces itself to the air around it and the infrared energy released reaches space if it passes by all molecules.

    In the case of life, it seems the pattern of behavior developed, and the structure and connections of the organelles, are in tune with the cycles of the Earth, in such a way as to continue to exist.  Continue to pass on a workable pattern.  This is the "self", I imagine is the thing that is passed on to the next generation, and the thing that is maintained, throughout the lifetime of this individual. 

    I believe it is common knowledge, that all life is connected in an ecosystem.  We as humans care about our environment for instance, because we know we would die without it working like it does.

    We are conscious of the place, and care about it possibly more than a bear.  The bear is very conscious of the place as well and knows were the fruit trees and the good garbage bins are on his miles long daily route.  But there is something a little different about our consciousness than the bear.  Just some little something or group of somethings that had to have evolved in us, that gave us a leg up on the bear.   Use of tools?  Opposable thumbs? Language? Math?  The ability to take analogies?  The ability to pretend, rehearse, deceive?  Something, or some group of things that happened in our evolutionary path, that did not emerge during the bear's evolution.   Something, related to our consciousness that is like a bear's, but with a twist, an other little aspect that allows for humans to be conscious of the things that a human is conscious of that a bear is not.

    Regards, TAR


    Yes I like interpretation.   Especially because it has "inter" in it.

    Regards, TAR



  6. iNow,


    How can you say the two were just as manufactured.  The coffee cup was really there, outside my skull, the colored fringes existed only in my skull.


    Regards, TAR

    I saw the coffee cup.  I manufactured the fringes.  I used the same equipment and neurons and brain parts to do both, but one was using real information and the other was making something up.

  7. iNow,


    Well I can agree with the fact that all three are sense experiences, in the way that our consciousness is aware of each, but the character is the important part that make the one the sensing of outside reality, the second the sensing of remembered and reconfigured internal impressions, and the third, the illusion group, the sensing of something that is erroneous and not present in the outside world, but seems or looks like it is.   

    The best example I have of this, by means of personal experience, is having a visual migraine one day at work were there was colored fringes around various things I was looking at, that were absolutely no different from the things I knew were actually there, in terms of the reality of their presence.   That is, my brain was informing me of the presence of the color fringes in exactly the same manner that my brain informs me of the sight of a teacup.  The fringes were really there, I was really seeing them, like my Dad is really seeing various animals in the trees in front of the house across the street from his bedbound position.  Yet I "knew" the fringes were manufactured, and I knew the coffee cup was real.  This ability to tell the difference between real and imagined, is an important distinction, and is evidence that the two are different things.   The character difference puts the two sensed things in their own category of things.  In my estimation.

    Regards, TAR


    Try this experiment.  My dad says that the brain does not like to not be activated.  That is, if you look at a white wall for several minutes...after about 40 seconds or so you will start seeing motion and colors and such.  This is partially due to the rods and cones in your eye fatiguing since white is activating all three color cones and the various cones are running low at random times on the chemicals it needs to  send a message along the optic nerve...but the main cause is that the brain is basically looking for something to notice.

    If you try this, and see various shapes and colors moving about, you will not think there are actually various shapes and colored beings crawling around on your wall.  You will know it is an illusion.   The white wall, on the other hand you will know is not an illusion.

    This is also why I am not too worried about my dad seeing items across the street that are not there.  He is an intelligent guy, and has been unable to get up out of bed for several months, looking out the same window at the same trees and house and roof and horizon every day.   

  8. 2 hours ago, cladking said:

    I have no problem with the word and find it apt.  But what individuals see varies from virtually 100% illusion to 0%.  I'd even agree that for the main part most experience is far more illusion than it is reality.  For the main part most individuals see their belief, expectations, and experience rather than the reality itself.  I maintain though this is not in any way natural.  It is the result of how we think.  The root cause is our symbolic languages.  Animals don't see their beliefs nor have a language like ours.  Everything they experience is reality itself though, obviously, they have a fairly limited understanding of this reality because none have a sufficiently complex language to pass knowledge through the generations.  It is language that sets humans apart but this separation has no bearing whatsoever on what we are calling "consciousness".  All living things are conscious to some extent.  At the risk of going off topic, humans haven't always had a symbolic language.  We had a natural representative language until it became too complex for the average man ~4000 years ago.

    An individual will generally have a weak grasp of what the "moon" is but to the degree he understands it he can see it.  Indeed, even the new moon can sometimes be seen bathed in the light from the Pacific and it can be seen during the day.  While most have a weak grasp of "moon" and it is largely an "illusion" most have a better grasp of "wet" and it is (for most) less an illusion.  




    The underlined portion smacks of original sin, or falling from grace, or the idea that once we knew the difference between good and evil, we were above and different from nature.

    I have always had a problem with understanding where we divide what we make and do from nature.  Like when does something go from natural to man made.  Easy to define in the sense of something that does not exist where man does not, and does exist where man does...but there is much that is slightly changed by man, that is produced mostly by nature.  And man is 100% natural herself.  So in the overall, it is difficult to consider that anything is "not natural".  And in the flow of the thread,  to where and when different aspects of our consciousness naturally developed, it is out of place or at least contrary the thread theme, to   consider conscious "not in any way natural".   It seems logically consistent to instead consider that consciousness must in every aspect be 100% natural...by definition, if one is to simultaneously reject any creator, or magic or illusion.

    Instead, I propose that at some point in our evolution we gained the ability to pretend, to practice, to forecast to imagine, and this was an important stage in our evolution, and the bedrock happening that allowed our divergence from relative lifeforms, in the sense that from this we developed language and symbolization and the like, one thing standing for another.   Without this ability we could not make analogies or switch grain size, or imagine the galaxy like we were holding it in our hand.

    Regards, TAR

    Regards, TAR

    13 minutes ago, iNow said:

    No. I'm not. I'm simply referring to it as an illusion, which you for some reason conflate with a negative thing.


    It is so simple and direct to me, that considering the way we have to be experiencing reality, it has to be by analogy, by bringing the outside world in, by sensing the feelings and timings of ones body, and brain, and the beating of ones heart.  This is all actual stuff.  There is nothing wrong or false and no trickery involved.  The moon is real.  It appears as a disc of light, variably lit during the month. to everybody on the planet.  It pulls the ocean into tides, and one can go down to the beach and stand on dry sand in the same place that later will be waves in 3 feet of water when the part of the Earth that you are standing on turns to face the moon.   What we are conscious of, is an important if not crucial aspect of consciousness.   When the thing we experience is part of the waking world that peer reviewed investigation can verify, then the knowledge, or the experience or the perception of, is not illusory.  It is actual.   When the thing is not around for anybody else to test or see or any of its effects are not noticeable to where its existence can be implied, then the thing is part of someone's imagination, or is part of the "authored by" stuff that is in a person's head  The crucial thing that happened in our evolution is when we had the ability to tell the difference between the three.   That which exists and is verified by its being true in more than one way, by the coherence of more than one sense or by the verification of other conscious beings...like if you think you see a  cat coming, and all the birds fly in the other direction.  Secondly that which we remember of the world and manipulate and try and test in our heads without firing motor neurons, but which we know will be, or could be real, if we engage things right.  And thirdly that which appears to be real, but we know is not.

    The three are different.  And the ability to know the difference between a dream and a waking experience is crucial to our understanding of the world and our interaction with it.  So the fact that both "things" happen in our head, is not grounds to put both things on the same footing, because we know the difference.   One cannot explain human consciousness, without explaining the ability to tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined.  It is central.   And illusion, is something that Mohammed had in the cave.  It was real to him but an Atheist like me, can tell that what he experienced in the cave was not of the stuff of peer reviewable reality.  The angel Gabriel does not exist outside the cave, and Mohammed's mind, and the minds of those who believe Mohammed to be a prophet of Allah.

    There is again, for the fourth time, nothing wrong with us sensing the existence of the moon.  There is on the other hand, something wrong with us seeing cats on the roof, where there are no cats.    One is a sense experience, the other is an illusion.

    Regards, TAR

  9. dimreepr,


    I was not arguing your point so much as pointing out, that our consciousness or awareness is not all encompassing and perfect, but neither is it an illusion, per iNow's claim.

    Maybe its a half full, half empty situation.   I am claiming that our consciousness is half full.  iNow is claiming it is half empty.

    My backup argument is that no matter half full or half empty it is better to have something in the glass.    And no one can claim we are not having this conversation.  Everyone here is aware of the internet and computers and English and characters on the screen, standing for ideas in each other's brain.   It   is actually working rather well and whatever tricks are involved in bringing the patterns to the screen, they are not illusions, but actual photons hitting the back of our eye that result in a coherent signal passed from my brain to yours.

    Regards, TAR

    as gee says "communication"

    well Area54 would argue that my signals are not coherent,  but that is his/her opinion, and has nothing to do with the actual communication that has occurred between the minds of Gee and the rest of us that have participated in this thread

  10. (we buy tuna sometimes from the bulk store, where it comes in plastic wrapped six packs, not in the shape of a tuna fish can, a can shape is the shape my mind was scanning for, looking for a match)

    Such is why we have such a thing as a double take.   We see something unexpected and we look again to make sure we saw it right.

  11. 37 minutes ago, iNow said:

    Let's see if we can come together here. How about this?

    They're both illusions, just different types.

    Can you get on board with that?

    Not at all iNow. Not at all.  One we are "seeing" properly, in the best and only way we have of seeing.   And the other, the mechanisms in the brain, responsible for telling us the difference between the coherent waking world, and that which we are adding, or authoring, as you say, are misfiring, or overfiring, or in some manner are NOT properly representing actual, coherent, waking world forms and patterns that exist for everybody, outside the brain. 



    My "different" term for what a human is doing when they experience a roof across the street, with no cats on it, would be "seeing".

    If you want the term to include the reality of the experience, I would say perhaps "coherent representation".

    Getting further back to the topic,  I think, somewhere along the line, in evolution, we had to be rewarded for getting it right.  Thus my dopamine theory, that the dopamine made a person feel good about matching something properly, in terms of the inside model, and the outside world, and thus as our strategies and mechanisms improved to internalize the outside world correctly, we felt good about it, and did it again.  Thus there was a marriage between getting it right and doing it again.  Not only for an individual human, but the same tendencies and likes and dislikes were passed down in the genes to the next generation.

    My evidence that we want or need to be right, to be in agreement with the outside world, is the fact that you want to find a statement about perception and awareness that I can get onboard with that is consistent with your worldview.    Having a consistent worldview is important...almost central to survival.  The closer your model is to what actually is existent in the outside waking world...and within your brain in terms of models and ideas and theories and such...the better they all match, the better you feel and the better you will actually do in the survival game.

    Regards, TAR


    1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

    Our eyes aren't camera's downloading an image to a data storage device, our brain fills in the real time, inevitable, gaps in the data stream with what it expects to see; so if the roof generally has cats on it, then a quick glance will contain cats, not through illusion but expectation. 



    I saw the monkey and counted 17 passes between the whites.

    I was told however to pay attention to both the white passes and to look out for the monkey, so it seems to be an attention thing or a focus thing.   It is obvious, with 8 billion people on a huge planet, that we are not going to be able to go without missing something.

    I have looked out in the garage, from the top of the steps, scanned each shelf for tuna fish and reported to my wife that I didn't see any out there,  followed by her going out there and coming back with a can of tuna.

    Regards, TAR


  12. "iNow,

    I don't disagree with that post at all.  I have said the same.  As I have often used the phrase "a workable analogue representation of the outside world, in the synapses and folds of the brain."

    Up to the second to last paragraph where you say this is not "seeing".   It actually is seeing.  That is how we see.

    When I look across the street and don't see cats on the roof, I can tell my dad is having a faulty representation of reality  where the others in the room looking across and not seeing the cat can verify that there are indeed no visible cats on the roof, and the perception is in his mind.   He "sees" the cats.  We don't see the cats.   We SEE there are no cats,  he SEES there are cats.

    All of us are actually seeing the roof.   The cats are an illusion.

    I get Plato's cave. I knew about it since college. I understand that what we think of as the world, has to be happening in our brain,  has to be a shadow on the wall.   But along with that comes the fact that there must be a fire burning shedding light on a something that is blocking that light causing a difference between how the wall "looks" where the firelight shines directly on the wall and how it "looks" where something is blocking, causing a shadow.

    We would not know my dad was having an hallucination, unless the rest of us were not having that hallucination.

    Regards, TAR

    And it is evolutionarily proper for us to be able to manufacture whole cats hiding in the forest based on shadow and form and movement, and a little glimpse of fur here and the shape of an ear there, and a tail there.   It keeps us from getting eaten, so we can raise our kids.

  13. iNow,

    Because we can be foo led, we can see mirages, we can have visual migraines and see everything with colored jagged lines around it.  My dad can see animals and faces in the leaves of the tree across the street that he swears are there (when there are no cats on the roof across the street.)   These are illusions.  I have no problem with the word, when it is used to refer to things perceived, that are not there.  But its meaning is that there is something false going on, and in this way it is negative and in contradiction to proper perception, which is not illusion.    To call consciousness...proper consciousness, an illusion, a trick, a fooling of oneself, is goofy, patently false and without meaning for a human being that stakes his reality on his perception of the place. 

    There is nobody here who has seen the moon, and thinks their eyes or brain or something is playing tricks on them.   They have really seen the moon, and 7 billion or so other humans can verify.

    Normal human conscious awareness is not a trick, not an illusion, not a thing we have been doing in some substandard, improvable way.  We have been doing it exactly right.

    And nobody you can show me has done it better than a human.

    Who or what is more conscious then Bennett or iNow, or CharonY, or Ghandi or Moses or Buddah or Mohammed, or Socrates or Einstein, or Hawkins, or Dr. Zucker or my Aunt Gloria ?

    They are all humans, and they are all much more than a collection of NAND gates.

    They are all conscious humans and you have no better examples of consciousness than them.

    Regards,  TAR

    at least no better example that is not a human

    word instead?

    I earlier suggested that Bennett should coin a term that encapsulated the meaning of "a very good, workable analog simulation of the world"

    Of course he won't cause he has convinced himself that binary information covers it.

  14. iNow,

    I am not sure where I have not answered your question...or maybe I don't know which question I have not answered.   It seems to me you were asking me what made me think, or how could I know that Bennett was using the term illusion in a negative fashion.  I have read pieces of work that have some of Bennett's language or references to Bennett, that seem to indicate that our consciousness is less than perfect.  I just watched a short talk of his and he used terms like "fooling yourself" and spoke like we did not know ourselves as well as we thought we did, and that somehow the tests people have run proved that we do not have the command over our own mind that we think we have.   I found the things he said, about not having any way of knowing if we rotated the left figure to match the right figure, or rotated the right to match the left, completely incorrect.   I knew, because I mentally held the left figure stationary and section by section rotated the right to match...so any further statement, attempting to forward the idea that we don't know our own mind, is suspect to me.

    I have many of the same interests as Bennett.  Linguistics, the meaning behind language, the way neurology has correlates to human thoughts and emotions, and some others, as you know from being on the same threads with me over the years.   What I don't have in common with him is his interest in AI or his opinion that a machine can become conscious, because our brains are just so many little switches.   Personally I think our brains are much much more than that, and what is more, what our brains hold is not merely of our own creation, but is primarily the patterns and arrangements of the outside world, analogs of, written automatically in the synapses and folds of our brain, and one very important aspect is the timing, the distance between different parts of our brain, that allows there to actually be a working model, of the outside, inside.

    Bennett thinks its all information in, information out.

    I think it is information in and then being aware of, in connection to, containing the information, and being able to operate within the information, as if you were operating in the actual world.

    Any one of us (not blind) can close our eyes and imagine the walk, or bike ride, or train ride, or bus ride, or car ride or whatever to work or school or to the grocery store.   Even a blind person can rehearse the path through the furniture and doorways, to the bathroom.

    I do not agree with Bennett that nobody is the expert on consciousness that we think we are.   I think we are absolutely experts.

    Regards, TAR


  15. iNow,

    So why does Dennett not coin a term that suggests human consciousness is an effective and highly workable simulation of the world?  Why does he not frame it in realistic, human terms?  Does he imagine he has a better way to know the world? 

    If human consciousness somehow falls short of the mark, what consciousness reaches the mark?

    Regards, TAR

  16. 7 minutes ago, iNow said:

    Why do you keep conflating illusion with defect? What is it about the term that you deem defective?

    The definition makes me think Dennett is talking about a defect.

    illusions (plural noun)
    1. a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses:
      "the illusion makes parallel lines seem to diverge by placing them on a zigzag-striped background"
      synonyms: mirage · hallucination · apparition · figment of the imagination · trick of the light · trompe l'oeil · deception · trick · smoke and mirrors · (magic) trick · conjuring trick · magic · conjuring ·
  17. iNow,

    Who is pushing back?  I am stating clearly my opinion that what we humans know of the world is not illusion.  It is the actual world that we know.   If Dennett needs to call our feelings of choice an illusion, fine, it has nothing to do with the fact that a bunch of humans stood together and witnessed the Milky Way, some nebulae, some colliding galaxies, at the same time, in the same way.   No defects in the awareness of the place noted.

    Regards, TAR

  18. iNow,

    It does not matter if our consciousness is a form of postdictive illusion.  If our illusory consciousness allows us to run experiments on postdictive illusion, well then, there you go, we are not incapacitated by any mistakes brought into the situation by  our propensity for postdictive illusions.  And we all suffer from the same disease.  So we have to go from there.

    I am not refuting any facts of yours, I am arguing interpretation, and implications.

    And am basically of the opinion that consciousness is not a disease, it is a rather impressive victory.

    Regards, TAR

  19. iNow,

    I have my opinions about life and consciousness and I think the way we sense the world and remember it and plan and predict and manipulate the place is evidence that the model we build of the place, within the synapses and folds of our brains is actually quite representative of the place.   It works.  Like Gee says, you drop the hammer on your toe and it hurts.  Don't like the idea  that people call our way of sensing and remembering the world and the way we notice change and make analogies, and pattern match and complete patterns  a bad way to go about internalizing the world.  It is not an illusion.  Thinking there is an Oasis on the dessert in the heat waves looking like water...that is an illusion.  There is nothing wrong with how a crowd of us  witnessed this


    We did not author those galaxies.

  20. 11 hours ago, iNow said:

    Having read and listened to Dennett speak, I didn't sense this at all and find this assertion highly suspect. Please support that second part, preferably with direct quotes shared in context. 

    The challenge here is the science disagrees with you. You seem rather emotional and married to some speculative notion... a gut feeling... and seem to be choosing to disregard all we've learned in recent decades.

    It really boils down (distills down?) to chemistry and patterns of electricity. Change either in even very subtle ways and you immediately  change both awareness and consciousness. Despite your protestations, both appear very much to be illusions continually crafted by what's happening within and around us, what we've eaten, how tired we are, where we find ourselves, which parts are firing and which are dormant. 



    I have not, like you, listened to Dennett.  And I have only read a little snippet here and there, so I don't know what he means by illusion, but I am of the thought that illusion is a bad term, because it has that "ill" in it, making it seem somehow substandard or defective. Like real knowledge of the place can be had by some other, inhuman, method.

    There is not a scientist  I know about that does not use her eyes and ears and nose and tongue and fingertips to sense the world around her.   All that outside stuff gets brought inside and a "true" representation of what was sensed is built internally.  How can this be false?  It is the actual world that is modeled.  The model is not real, it is composed of neural correlates in the sense that a rose is not really in your skull, yet you have a "picture" of it, a model of it, a representation of it constructed in the distances between and the chemicals between the synapses and folds in your brain.  TAR, here in NJ has a "feeling" of an entire universe around me,  I see the Pine trees and shed outside the window in front of me,  I hear my wife's cough from a cold, out on the deck, I watch the hurricane's damage on TV, I imagine you in the audience listening to Dennett speak.   I have a whole universe built in the synapses and folds of my brain. I watched the whirlpool galaxy collision  from the slopes of Mt. Rainer, on a crystal clear and chilly night a few weeks ago, through a 14 inch telescope set up by an expert couple and watched as two rangers took 10 or 12, 35 second exposers of the same, and then the crowd of us voted on adjusting brightness and contrast and color, and the images were then sent to my wife's email.     

    There is nothing ill about my feeling, and understanding of the world around me.   It corresponds exactly to the atoms, to the galaxy, to the world you sense around you.

    Regards, TAR

  21.  aiNow,

    I like the term "neural correlate" but I don't like the idea that anybody thinks there is a neural correlate to consciousness. Like some magic combination of a certain number of processors or memory chips wired together in a certain fashion, and poof there is consciousness.  I think it is much more a holistic thing than that.  Something you need a whole living organism, existing in an actual environment made of the same stuff, to achieve.  I think Dr. Frankenstein would disagree, but I don't think there is a proper voltage, that turns a dead collection of stuff into a living collection of stuff.

    There does indeed have to be neural correlates to the various pieces of consciousness, and I think, to the thread title, one can trace the emergence of consciousness through the evolutionary trail, but I don't think we can "make" consciousness happen any more than we can create life.

    Regards, TAR


  22. iNow,

    Nice clip.   

    Although I don't feel I am as far from an empirical understanding of consciousness, as the clip suggests "we" are.

    I think Gee and Tub and you and I are getting closer and closer to a nice explanation.

    One of the roadblocks I think people have, to determining what consciousness is, is considering it  as something private and special and generated in some magical way.   I think perhaps this idea is seeded by the creation story where god made the heavens and the Earth and the other creatures, and then created Adam and Eve, in his image.

    Obviously for those that believe in evolution, there is nothing "special" about us.    We are in and of the universe and are not separate from it but by the envelope of our skin cells.   The "illusion" of the world that the philosophers talk about, is, in my estimation, no illusion at all, but an analog representation of what is outside, within the folds of our brain.

    A piece of fruit hanging on a tree, that we see ,  must have a correlate in our brain or we would not be aware of it.

    So this is simple.  The human machine, senses the world and registers it in the brain, and compares it with previous sense input to recognize change, and is able to both  remember and replay, experience again, combinations of sensory input, AND predict how combinations of  things, behaving as they did before, might behave in new arrangements, by putting those mental correlates together internally for planning purposes.

    Special in the sense that we can do it and rocks can't, but not special in that every other fully functioning human can do it and dog's can bark at you, knowing you will then notice it's six o'clock and time for dinner. (so dogs can do it too).

    The other roadblock is that scientists have no way to prove that what they experience as consciousness is also going on in another human's head.

    Silly roadblock.   It is functionally obvious when everybody in the theatre jumps and gasps at the same moment, when the killer appears suddenly,  that we are all experiencing the same world in the same manner at the same moment.

    Regards, TAR

  23. 1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

    Not at all, which is the point of a number of members on this thread.

    It barely makes sense, so no; besides, what little sense it does make, is obvious and irrelevant 

    We all have the suitcase but it's never the same size, which is why some have trouble dragging it around.

    The secret is having a bad memory or failing that having a forgiving nature.


    I think the official definition of consciousness, with all its varied components, is absolutely helpful...for a starting point.

    Then, in the manner Gee is attempting, you have to look at each aspect, and imagine a precursor of human not having each aspect.  What is the order that certain aspects of consciousness had to arrive in, in the march from single cell to human.  What did you need to dream?  Does a single cell dream?  If not, why not?  Are there things that are like sleep that are precursors or relatives of sleep.  Why do we dream?  Would we need to dream if we were not conscious? Could we dream if we were not conscious?  How does a lifeform go from being not conscious, in the human sense, devoid of most if not all of the aspects in the definition of consciousness, to having something like one or several of the aspects.

    That is how and where did consciousness emerge during our evolution?

    Since it is admittedly complex, it had to have evolved in stages, in amounts in increments, but it also has to be made up of components we can witness in relatives on the scale, and various aspects have to be present in their precursor form, in each of our ancestors.

    To this communication with the world is evidently central. As you say obvious, but not as you say irrelevant.

    To be conscious of your hunger so you eat and gain energy for another move is crucial.

    To be conscious of your prey or a piece of fruit in a tree, is crucial to survival.

    Communication is the transfer of information from one entity to another.   The light reflected off the fruit reaches the eye of the mammal and these wavelengths are focused on the back of the eye and chemical  and electrical signals are generated from each rod and cone to where an analog representation of the fruit, in shape and size and color is established in the connections and neurons and folds of the brain.   A bond is thusly formed between the fruit and the mammal.   Communication is a central part of consciousness.  As Gee suggests.

    Regards, TAR

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