Re: The role of consciousness

From: Toby Weston (
Date: Mon Apr 07 2008 - 15:05:38 MDT

These conciousness arguments are all old, I'm sure we have all thought ourselves to the same dead ends loads of times, so perhaps there is nothing more to say here, but...
I liked the phrase: "consciousness is the feeling data has when it is being processed".

That is basicly where I got to in my own ponderings (even though: panphyscism, thermostats with opinions, etc).

I thought: Just as electrons moving in a wire produce a magnetic field, perhaps bits streaming through a mind produce subjective experience.

I don't think this needs to be just an impotent epi-phenomonen though. If we can talk about feelings this brings them back into objective space; where evolution can work on them. E.g. Individuals or Societies that talk about love may have a selective advantage against those that just talk about the external logistical issues of survival.

But even talking about subjective experience requires that information must flow from the "soul" back into the body, where it is available to evolution.


- original message -
Subject: Re: The role of consciousness
From: "John K Clark" <>
Date: 07/04/2008 6:07 pm

On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 "Matt Mahoney"
<> said:

> Consciousness (in the sense of qualia or
> having experience) is irrelevant to the
> function of the brain or any other computer.

I also believe that is true, but if we are correct about that then there
is no way, absolutely no way random mutation and natural selection could
have produced consciousness UNLESS it if a byproduct of intelligence;
unless consciousness is the feeling data has when it is being processed.

> All I can say with certainty is that after I
> upload, there will be something that claims
> to be me that is realistic enough to fool
> all of my friends and relatives.

Forget uploading and electronic computers, right now at this very
instant all you can say is that if you are lucky there will be something
tomorrow that claims to be you that is realistic enough to fool all of
your friends and relatives, and even fool you; exactly precisely like
what happened yesterday.

  John K Clark

  John K Clark
-- - Access all of your messages and folders
                          wherever you are

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:02 MDT