Consciousness Survey

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
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daylen
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Consciousness Survey

Post by daylen » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:34 am

1. Is panpsychism true? Is every system conscious to some degree?

2. Is the degree of consciousness related to integrated information theory?

3. Is consciousness the mechanism that collapses the wave function?

4. Is consciousness just an illusion, byproduct, or mistake?

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:39 am

1) My current belief on the matter is that only living systems are conscious.

2) Yes.

3) No clue.

4) No, I believe that it is an emergent quality, kind of like sexual reproduction.

ThisDinosaur
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by ThisDinosaur » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:49 pm

1) I doubt it.

2)Dont know enough to answer. Can anyone explain this better than the wikipedia page?

3)I'll go with No. This strikes me as too anthropocentric. Sean Carroll says there is no wave-particle duality. It's just waves. We perceive particles, maybe because it makes processing easier.

4)I dont see how it can be an illusion. It's a real phenomenon of some sort. It thinks therefore it is. The novel Blindsight makes a fascinating case that consciousness could be an unnecessary byproduct. Like a parasitic hitchhiker inside a philosophical zombie.

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Hobbes
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by Hobbes » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:04 pm

1) I doubt it. But saying 'every system' is extremely broad; would this include computer systems, forest systems, etc? If so, then no.

2) Never heard of it prior to consulting with the website of knowledge (Wikipedia). Having briefly read it, I doubt it.

3) No.

4) I second that it's an emergent quality; so, no to a, b, and c.

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daylen
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by daylen » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:53 pm

@ThisDinosaur

For two, it depends on if the five axioms of IIT are believable to you (i.e. intrinsic existence, composition, information, integration, and exclusion).

I find this theory explains the unconscious as well. The unconscious in an individual agent (or living system) is the collection of disintegrated information. Generally speaking, the right side of the brain accumulates anomalies that can be feed into conscious experience in a controlled fashion (e.g. dreams). So perhaps it is useful to think of consciousness as the mechanism that integrates information by attending to differences and relating them (perhaps paradoxically?).

I am actually more open to the idea of integrating consciousness with physics. There are convincing arguments that consciousness is more fundamental than time or mass (related to idea of "cogito ergo sum"). The idea that consciousness is the only thing that can be known to exist resonates with me, so I think that assigning a fundamental meaning to consciousness and relating it to other fundamental physical concepts could potentially provide insight not obtained by isolating the objective from the subjective. Could this be a logical typing error?

Or perhaps I am wrong and someone here will shift my attention.
Last edited by daylen on Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jason
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by Jason » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:24 pm

daylen wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:53 pm
There are convincing arguments that consciousness is more fundamental than time or mass (e.g. cogito ergo sum).
This was not Descartes' intent when he pronounced the statement. Along with the other continental rationalists, Spinoza and Leibniz, there was a "turn towards the subjective" but Descartes never renounced his belief in God or even propositioned it like Spinoza. The statement was more of a moral construct than a metaphysical one. The statement needs to be contextualized within the deistic movement as a whole which maintained a creator of the universe, just not one that man is necessarily morally accountable to i.e. creation without providence, "the watchmaker" interpretation of the universe. Imposing deeper intent on the statement is classic "reading back into history." The cultural and philosophical conditions required for such a reading simply did not exist at the time. He was not implying that man's autonomous reason is the basis or the entryway into understanding reality nor was he implying that there is not a supreme, absolute, objective fountainhead of reality, one that is qualitatively different than man's. It helped loosen the stranglehold of Judeo/Christianity on a moral and political level, but it was not a total renunciation of divinity.

If you want to believe that man's consciousness is supreme, that's fine. But you need a different historical starting point.

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daylen
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by daylen » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:43 pm

@Jason I was not thinking about Descartes' intentions at all. I was just referencing an idea that leads to an argument I find has some merit. I will try to refrain from referencing historical quotes without knowledge of context.

Other thoughts: If consciousness is like the process of relating things, then perhaps feelings are generally unexplainable because they are emergent from a set of narrative-like structures where agents are represented or simulated in some context. Feelings are like negotiations between sub-systems (or sub-personalities) where morals are decentralized.

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BRUTE
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by BRUTE » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:46 pm

define consciousness

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daylen
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by daylen » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:04 pm

The subject of experience. Consciousness is what it is to be something (independent of time). Consciousness can only be pointed to. It does not make sense to differentiate consciousness into X and Y, and it does not make sense to do something to consciousness.

Pure consciousness is something like Samadhi.

This perception can potentially be related to awareness, integrated information, and agency.

Jason
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by Jason » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:15 am

So this discussion was posited as a survey but is in essence an Eastern Religious primer that borrows Western concepts on an ahistorical basis and throws in some scientific/cognitive jargon? I think in contemporary terms this is called "Daylenism."

Maybe use your ERE savings and buy a few acres in the Utah and get some runaway chicks to sit at your feet while you're at it.

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daylen
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by daylen » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:12 am

@Jason Ha, I see your point.

Survey has more meaning than to distribute a questionnarie (e.g. exploring/maping something). So I have the intentions of exploring other perceptions of consciousness in order to reconcile them into a more coherent understanding. I defined one of my perspectives on consciousness in order to trigger more disscussion. I never meant to bring religion or history into the picture at all.

Without expressing some Daylenism and Jasonism how are we supposed to communicate? We all have our own subjective interpretations that lead to diffferent ways of ordering a series of symbols as to invoke meaning in our recipients.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:45 am

daylen wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:12 am
We all have our own subjective interpretations that lead to diffferent ways of ordering a series of symbols as to invoke meaning in our recipients.
Isn’t that how we get to religion?

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daylen
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by daylen » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:00 am

@Mister Imperceptible

Sure, but I think of religion as a belief system that is acted out by a group of people (an embodiment of belief). So just having a belief or spirituality does not imply religiousity.

Jason
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by Jason » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:18 am

(@) Daylen

I don't think you can enter into such a discussion without bringing religion and history into the picture. It's like saying "Don't bring your religion into politics." Asking someone to defenestrate their most cherished and fundamental beliefs at any point of contact is not realistic.

I would argue that you cannot have this discussion without contextualizing it in religious or historical terms. Saying "I am going to speak about consciousness strictly from my subjective viewpoint" is a commitment that I would deem religious, religious being a descriptor of your most fundamental, non-negotiable belief(s). That being said, said viewpoint has philosophical and religious orientations as it places human reasoning as the arbiter of reality which is something that not all people agree with (myself being one of them). I would argue that it is one of the first survey questions you should posit when discussing this topic i.e. "When discussing human consciousness, do you believe it is a reliable and sufficient arbiter of itself?" My answer would be "No, I do not think that man's consciousness is sufficient for such an endeavor as I believe it is finite and darkened and that an acknowledgment of heteronomous consciousness is required to fully understand human consciousness."

I am just pointing out that your "survey" presupposes certain epistemic viewpoints that are not universally agreed upon. I believe that man's consciousness is created and not infinite, therefore inadequate to autonomously address itself. An Aristotelean with his immoveable mover as well as a Jeffersonian type deist would at least partially agree with me. You do not agree with me at all. So that's a survey question I would offer on the topic.


IlliniDave
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:53 am

1. No idea what that means. No opinion.
2. No idea what that means. No opinion.
3. No idea what that means. No opinion.
4. No

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daylen
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by daylen » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:08 am

@Jason I agree that consciousness cannot be a arbiter of itself or anything for that matter. Based on how I have defined it, consciousness is not an authority of anything. Consciousness is only aware and does not judge. Focusing on a point is nearly the negation of being conscious because everything else is unconscious.

Jason
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by Jason » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:06 am

I am not stating that consciousness in not informative because I believe that it is. I am stating that human consciousness cannot look at itself as (1) the ultimate authority or ultimate arbiter (2) without divinity as its metaphysical, epistemological and moral reference point. I understand that not everyone believes that. You and I are both (I hope) conscious of the fact that killing one another is against our better judgment although we (can) have completely different basis for why we believe that.

I do not see the bifurcation of awareness and judgement operating in real time. Awareness is judging. I am aware of your point that awareness is not judging and I am judging it to be false and I am aware I am judging your point that judgment and awareness are not the same to be false. Also, equating focusing on a point as a negation of being conscious seems to me to be tautological. It implies that (1) when one is fully conscious they are fully conscious of everything which is unprovable (2) it's simply not how people live and think. I mean right now you are focused on defining consciousness which you believe is only achievable when one is not focused on one specific point. Based on your own terms you are saying your current epistemological self-consciousness in defining consciousness is limiting your ability to be conscious which makes me necessarily skeptical of not only your definition of consciousness but your ability to define it in the first place.

If I am not mistaken, you are positing an Eastern rendering of consciousness that values the "emptying" of oneself and defines freedom as emancipation from judgment and to surrender oneself to a non-personal objective reality. I not only believe that to be impossible but I believe the antithesis to be true.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:17 am

Jason’s Faustian soul burneth.

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daylen
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Re: Consciousness Survey

Post by daylen » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:48 am

Perhaps you can clarify this for me. I sense value in assigning a difference between perception and judgement. I will try to be more clear.

I am not saying that consciousness can only be defined when not focused on a specific point (precisely the opposite). I think that focusing on a specific point is required to initiate conflict and therefore disscussion. We oscillate on the spectrum of conscious/unconscious or awareness/judgement often (perhaps fundamentally in a discrete nature). Deduction is the process of pointing to a case from a set of rules, and induction is the process of pointing to a set of rules from cases. Science combines both with a group of agents in order to decentralize perception and judgement but in such a way as to reconcile differences in judgement. Humans sometimes define things so that they can be disscussed with less contextual tension. Obviously, no one scientist is the authority on the meaning of anything. Definitions evolve, but evolution requires subjective attempts to be made in the first place.

There is a trade-off between providing too much context and too little. A complex context with little judgement does not allow for meaningful exchange between agents because agents bring a vastly different context to every situation. Too little context with a bunch of judgement has an unstable direction.

I think that it is useful to say that consciousness is experiencing information as decentralized and independent of time. There is no ordering because all points are considered simultaniously (or at least this is what it feels like). I said that focusing on a point is NEARLY the negation of consciousness, and I agree that this is misleading. I agree it does not make strict sense (nearly absent is better).

I experience the perception that as I focus on less and less information, I tend to expereince more linear perceptions which I call judgements (decreasing degrees of freedom). I do not see any logical inconsistency with refering to this subjective judgement, because I also sense that overtime judgements stabalize when playing with them; the subjective evolves into the objective when it is attended to.

You do not have to agree with my starting axioms. Though, constructive conversation on the topic does not start until two or more agents can temporarily agree to assume such axioms (talking around the point can be constructive in navigating axioms).

Note: My personality is more open to playing with tools before awareness of authorized rules, because I enjoy finding the rules.

EDIT: I analyzed and swapped some words to make it more coherent. I am probably talking past you, but I will give it some more thought.

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