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#159- Conscious A Conversation with Annaka Harris

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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13 June 2019 14:55
 
Jb8989 - 11 June 2019 03:43 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 11 June 2019 02:21 PM

Why isn’t my drone “subconsciously aware” or aware at some “low level?”

A couple reasons. It doesn’t have a mind, specific prompts aren’t intentional behaviors, it doesn’t have autonomous emotions etc. Therefore it also doesn’t have beliefs, desires or motivations etc.

Information processing that resembles cognition only looks like it has motives, but at closer look it’s just a weak analogy.

Antisocialdarwinist - 11 June 2019 02:21 PM

More importantly, why define “awareness” in terms of things that you not only don’t know, but which are unknowable? Why not define it in terms of something you do know, like your own experience?

I never said unknowable, and I think that there’s important distinctions between subconscious awareness, conscious awareness, and self awareness - especially when taking into account observable perceptions.

Antisocialdarwinist - 11 June 2019 02:21 PM

you accidentally touch a hot stove. You pull your hand away before you’re aware of the pain, or even of having pulled your hand away. Is this the proper use of the word, “aware,” according to your meaning of it?

Sort of. I would say that your body was aware of the pain before your mind. Your drone would just melt from the heat.

So, “your body was aware of the pain before your mind.” How do you square that claim with your assertion that my drone can’t be aware because “it doesn’t have a mind?” Does your body have a mind of its own, separate from the one that becomes aware of the pain after your body does? Are you suggesting that the body’s reflexive reaction to a hot stove is more than “information processing that resembles cognition?”

I’m the one saying that what it’s like to be an ant or a technically brain dead person is unknowable. Unless you can teach an ant to speak and then ask what it’s thinking about.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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14 June 2019 18:59
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 13 June 2019 02:55 PM

So, “your body was aware of the pain before your mind.” How do you square that claim with your assertion that my drone can’t be aware because “it doesn’t have a mind?”

I don’t square them because it wasn’t my assertion that your drone wasn’t aware just because it doesn’t have a mind. It not having a mind was one of a couple factors to consider for why you’re drone isn’t subconsciously or consciously aware of it’s input. It also doesn’t feel, have motives, intent, dilemmas, instincts, emotions, autonomy, etc.

Antisocialdarwinist - 13 June 2019 02:55 PM

Are you suggesting that the body’s reflexive reaction to a hot stove is more than “information processing that resembles cognition?”

Yes I am, because your body is actually sensing the pain through microscopic receptors in your skin and then at lightning fast speed signaling is through nerves, fibers and finally your spinal cord all before your brain’s thinking chambers are consciously aware.

Antisocialdarwinist - 13 June 2019 02:55 PM

I’m the one saying that what it’s like to be an ant or a technically brain dead person is unknowable. Unless you can teach an ant to speak and then ask what it’s thinking about.

Maybe ants and brain death aren’t the best examples, but what about dogs, brain trauma, or progressing Alzheimers? Or apes and low functioning autism. We’re just not there yet, but we’ll get there; and it probably won’t involve teaching them all to speak.

 
 
mickleby
 
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mickleby
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24 June 2019 20:55
 
mickleby - 06 June 2019 03:37 PM

@RedJamaX so what is consciousness? Why do think you have it, precisely?

I wouldn’t say I have anything like a defensible theory but… It seems to me, consciousness can be nothing more than “brain resonance” perceived in “mirror neurons” and processed via “filters” (think audio processing filters)

I don’t see the NEED for a hard problem, no need for CONSCIOUSNESS per se it has been understood.

I just came across Marvin Minsky, and he sure seems to be on my side. “The idea that there’s a central << I >> who’s having experience is a typical case of taking a common sense concept and not realizing that it has no good technical counterpart, but it has 20 or 30 different meanings and you keep switching from one to the other without knowing it.” https://youtu.be/J2oZEkH2yM4?t=288

What mystifies me most, it’s pretty straightforward to shatter consciousness with vipassana. Or work through the jhanas. Or any number of other consciousness-altering experiences. (My consciousness was radically transformed by a young woman’s blush this morning.) Harris leaves me sad and wondering if he believes any of the contradictory claims he makes.

 
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