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tlogan's picture

Daedalus

So, I agree with much that has been said here, but I just would like to understand; why does consciousness need to be separated from all of its components? For my part, consciousness cannot be separated from all of its feeders, being memory, external sense, body sense, emotions, etc, but that is because I cannot separate myself from any one of those things. I don’t see why consciousness must be defined by a set of criteria, especially when there is not way to measure consciousness. How can something so intrinsic to our self-awareness be quantified? To me, I have to go back to the Beetle analogy (sorry!); we all assume that our consciousness is more or less like others (who are not extremely divergent), but there really is no way of knowing. Yes, a man with extremely impaired short term memory might experience consciousness differently from the rest of us, but how do we know what components feed into it? What would consciousness be without its peripheral components? Just thoughts in the dark?

 

Also in my thoughts throughout the whole presentation: why are we conscious? It seems to benefit us, as it adds to our adaptability, but one has to wonder, how did it evolve? Could we block it genetically, i.e. could we craft a strain of knockout mice for the consciousness gene?

 

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v403/n6767/full/403263a0.html

 

Though this is a Daedalus article, it is quite interesting, and brings up some valid ideas: suppose one could engineer a set of “advanced alcoholics” that would allow one to inhibit consciousness, only for a brief period of time? I’m really just musing at this point….

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