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What is consciousness?


Xard

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Also: Free will vs determinism

 

 

Dedicated for the memory of dead philosophy topic

Edited by Xard

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

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Guest The Architect

There's no way to prove or disprove determinism. Personally I believe free will and determinism coexist. I don't think any omnipotent being asserts its control over our will and thoughts, and that we are morally responsible for our own actions, but I do believe when it comes to life, death and love, there is some sort of intervention beyond our understanding. I can't prove that is so; I just believe it.

 

Edit: What about you Xard? What do you think? And I'd just define consciousness as someone's mind and thoughts; being awake and aware of your surroundings.

Edited by The Architect
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God is a ****.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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... I want metadigital back :sad:

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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I rather ment it would've ment this thread might've not instantly degenerated into ***

 

Edit: What about you Xard? What do you think?

 

Don't ask, at least not yet. I've basically done nothing else than thinking about these things during these last two days and in this rate I'll become crazy. I've done extensive study on neurology, physics (especially quantum related), philosophy of Daniel Dennet and David Chalmers amongst many others, information theory, psychology... :p

 

Oh, and I didn't mean predestination with determinism

Edited by Xard

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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Don't ask, at least not yet. I've basically done nothing else than thinking about these things during these last two days and in this rate I'll become crazy. I've done extensive study on neurology, physics (especially quantum related), philosophy of Daniel Dennet and David Chalmers amongst many others, information theory, psychology... >_

Sounds like it is still winter in Finland... o:)

 

Can you really have a free will without an element of pure chaos? Otherwise your will is likely to have been influenced by some preceeding events, isn't it?

 

In my world, people are usually the sum of their experiences plus a weighted decision system based on said experiences. Your experiences makes up the core of your personality and within limits, you can then make decisions that deviate from that. The universe would be boring without at least a little bit of unpredictability.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Lets see if we could stay on the topic past page one. This thread is not a platform for a personal rants against metaphysical beings >_

 

Edit: In case somebody is missing a post, the thread got pruned a bit.

Edited by Gorth

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Consciousness is to the human brain what the explosion is to the firework.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Consciousness is a synonym for awareness. Awareness of the world around oneself. To get much further one has to dig deep inside the brain, and see a web of synapse, chemicals and functions.

 

I don't really see how REAL free will exists. Freewill that doesn't need a cause like a god, the unmoved mover. Rather reality is just a chain of cause and effects thats been happening since infinity.

 

What do you guys think? >_<

Always outnumbered, never out gunned!

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I don't see the connection between consciousness and killer whales.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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There's no way to prove or disprove determinism. Personally I believe free will and determinism coexist. I don't think any omnipotent being asserts its control over our will and thoughts, and that we are morally responsible for our own actions, but I do believe when it comes to life, death and love, there is some sort of intervention beyond our understanding. I can't prove that is so; I just believe it.

Do you believe intervention because you are being intellectually lazy, its the best logical choice, or the need to believe it because the chemicals the mind releases feels good?

Edited by WITHTEETH

Always outnumbered, never out gunned!

Unreal Tournament 2004 Handle:Enlight_2.0

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I thought this thread was about Cous Cous. How disappointing.

 

Oh man, now I have to cook lunch.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Consciousness is a synonym for awareness. Awareness of the world around oneself. To get much further one has to dig deep inside the brain, and see a web of synapse, chemicals and functions.

 

I don't really see how REAL free will exists. Freewill that doesn't need a cause like a god, the unmoved mover. Rather reality is just a chain of cause and effects thats been happening since infinity.

 

What do you guys think? >_

I wrote some thoughts in a completely unrelated thread (Animal rights) some days ago...

 

...

Same thing goes for love. Why exactly does a man and a woman stay together? If you seriously consider, why would a man really chose to stay together with a woman after he "knocked her up"? A pregnant woman makes a poor hunter, a less efficient gatherer and is in an awkward position to defend herself against predators. The "sensible" thing would be to dump her and move on ASAP.

Again, just guesswork: Because it makes sense to have more than one guardian and provider for the offspring. So, men and women get equipped with this unexplicable thing that draws them together and makes them stay together for a while, rewarding them with "feeling good" in each others company. Now, if men and women were ment to stay together forever is an entirely different issue o:)

...

Taken a bit out of context (why it feels good to eat meat), is still illustrates the line of thought, that giving in to instinctual behaviour gives a certain kind of satisfaction as reward. There is room for experimentation, but we are given a set of rules from which we need to cross a certain threshold in order to deviate from and make decisions that are radically different from "who we are".

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Consciousness is to the human brain what the explosion is to the firework.

 

It doesn't happen until three minutes after the fuse is lit when i'm looking right down on it?

 

I actually did some reserch on cous cous the other day, when I realised I didn't know what the buggery it actually was.

 

Well colour me suprised!

Edited by Nick_i_am

Hadescopy.jpg

(Approved by Fio, so feel free to use it)

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Consciousness is to the human brain what the explosion is to the firework.

 

It doesn't happen until three minutes after the fuse is lit when i'm looking right down on it?

 

Also, in spite of the anticipatory buzz, most of the time it's a disappointment.

 

Gorth's point I'd amend slightly. That isyour consciousness is capable of suppressing the multifarious competing demands of the hardware, like hunger and rest, but it only has a finite capacity to do so. Thus finding a drive no longer has to be suppressed is pleasurable. However, because we're talking about competing drives, this definition explains why people are not happy when they're rich. You never run out of things you need to suppress.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Gorth's point I'd amend slightly. That isyour consciousness is capable of suppressing the multifarious competing demands of the hardware, like hunger and rest, but it only has a finite capacity to do so. Thus finding a drive no longer has to be suppressed is pleasurable. However, because we're talking about competing drives, this definition explains why people are not happy when they're rich. You never run out of things you need to suppress.

Our wants always change. If this was a perfect society it would be static and unchanging. Perfect being defined as lacking nothing. But would we be conscious then? Brave New World, Hyperion. Is this is what heaven is pointing too? It resembles death to me.

Edited by WITHTEETH

Always outnumbered, never out gunned!

Unreal Tournament 2004 Handle:Enlight_2.0

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My rig

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I thought heaven came after death.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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While I tend to distance myself from the metaphysical pseudo-science of things like "global consciousness" etc, there is an idea of how the brain works that's semi related (in the sense that sociologists and others fools hijack it for pseudo-science):

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holonomic_brain_theory

 

And some related evidence: http://www.physorg.com/news82389042.html

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While I tend to distance myself from the metaphysical pseudo-science of things like "global consciousness" etc, there is an idea of how the brain works that's semi related (in the sense that sociologists and others fools hijack it for pseudo-science):

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holonomic_brain_theory

Interesting theory. I always imagined memory working like a jpg compression :o

 

Not having an opinion at the moment on the theory linked to, it is interesting in it's implication if it were true. Then you could actually take a snapshot in time (technology allowing) of a persons consciousness.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Not having an opinion at the moment on the theory linked to, it is interesting in it's implication if it were true. Then you could actually take a snapshot in time (technology allowing) of a persons consciousness.

 

See, I don't think this is possible, and I'm not sure it ever will be.

 

Try this: take a 'snapshot' in time of your current desktop computer. How do you do it? Well, you could probably supercool the ram and then store that (security measures exist to prevent this, but a university research group has proven these measures fail completely at low temperatures). That's the current state. Then you need the contents of the HD. That's the storage. Then, arguably, you need a detailed and completely accurate blueprint of the hardware the machine is running on. It would be hard to impossible to transfer the RAM 'snapshot' to anything else.

 

OK, that's actually doable, right? Sure, but PCs have only processor typically, do things in COMPLETELY sequential order, are a closed system (inputs limited and controlled), and only have 2 states: on/off and high/low.

 

The brain is, in comparison, a network of processors. It's like a maze of parallel processors with more intricacy then the entirety of the Internet on Earth and Space (including every satellite, home computer, mobile phone, etc). And unlike typical human parallel processing networks, the brain's networks don't just work together on a process, they concurrently also work on their own often competing processes. That basically also covers sequential order; the brain is not sequential, it is literally random; much of its underlying mechanics is governed by stochastic processes like electron flow, environmental input, the state of other cell clusters (nodes in a parallel processing network), and the hundreds of thousands of enzyme/nutrient equilibria constantly fluctuating inside the brain and body (e.g. sugar levels, dopamine levels). As for states: well on a basic high/low electron flow is the means of communication, but as I just said, there's also enzymes, acids, carbohydrates, etc that are also communication agents, not to mention that a cell/node may be taking electron flow input from TWO sources. It gets more complicated than simply on/off, even compared to computers.

 

I've avoided the notions of holography and quantum computing because I'm not sure of the validity of either model for describing the human brain. I believe they have potential, but for now I think neural nets are the most basic theory of use. In truth, it's probably a mix of all 3. Either way, you can tell that taking a 'snapshot' of the human brain is for all intents and purposes impossible; not least of all because I imagine that on the macroscopic scale, the uncertainty principle applied that many times would build up tremendous numbers of errors. And in a complex equilibria neural network like the brain, it's really a case of "if a butterfly flaps its wings in Mexico, Japan gets a tsunami". And although evolutionary mechanisms have developed to prevent many scenarios of equilibria getting out of control, in this case the errors and input changes would be so wide-spread and probably fairly different that the brain's defence mechanisms wouldn't be able to compensate; if you actually did get a valid snapshot, it wouldn't produce the same person were it somehow uploaded to something else.

 

And finally, if you did take a snapshot of the brain, it wouldn't be preservative. I.e. the brain would be destroyed.

 

And then what do you do with the snapshot? You can't put it in another brain, considering everything above; no other brain is exactly like the one you screenshot'ed. No other brain is even remotely close; it's like an iris scan or tongue print. You could try and upload it to a computer but I think that setting up an artificial neural net that even superficially described somebody's brain would be a near impossible task (and one that would take thousands or millions of years). And even then, how do you get that neural net to the point at which the brain snapshot is at? Perhaps depending on the way it is set up, you can actually set the value of every single node. That'd take a damn long time, though.

 

Of course it might be possible to grow an artificial brain based on somebody else's thoughts and behaviours, if you had at least a basic understanding of how any mammal brain functions as a neural net (i.e. could program a mammal brain in a computer). Still, this isn't really a snapshot, and again would take a long time to even get close to resembling a human. And you couldn't do it with today's computers. You'd probably need quantum computing and/or a massively distributed concurrent processing network, probably with topology physically designed to be similar to the neural net in question. And even then that's harder than you think because topology is a mathematical discipline and thus subject to things like some topologies not being possible, the incompleteness theorems (i.e. not knowing whether your topology is possible) and P vs NP (i.e. the problem would probably be NP, in which case it would take probably longer than the universe to solve, unless perhaps somebody proves P = NP, in which case it might only take a few billion years to solve, and that's assuming it's possible to even prove P = NP, because nobody knows due to the incompleteness theorems).

 

I guess I'm also putting a pretty big dent in the credibility of AI with this post, too. Still, I'm a massive fan of neural nets and do think they are part of the future of both AI and computational science.

 

Respect points to anybody who read/understood even part of that.

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