Member 2
13 entries

Folkert Gorter
Los Angeles, California
Immortal since Jan 16, 2007
Uplinks: 0, Generation 1

but does it float
exploring the infinity of abstract possibility
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    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    Is the mind simply an epiphenomenon created by the firing of a lot of neurons in our meat-brain? I do think that what we call the experience of self-awareness, consciousness, sentience or mind is a direct result of (unrelated) neuro-activity in the brain, but that doesn't mean that the phenomenon isn't actually real, or that it necessarily needs the meat it is currently inhabiting in order to arise. I think it's simply a direct and gorgeous result of insanely complex and beautiful emerging complexity, like everything else.

    The behaviour of a flock of birds has nothing to do with the activity of the individual bird itself, which is the whole theory of emergence—the process of complex pattern formation from simpler rules.
    An emergent behaviour or emergent property can appear when a number of simple entities (agents) operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviours as a collective. (Wikipedia)

    Funny thing is that I can only "think" this because of the phenomenon itself...crazy times.
    Via the Huge Entity:
    Human consciousness... can be best understood as the operation of a... virtual machine implemented in the parallel architecture of a brain that was not designed for any such activities. The powers of this virtual machine vastly enhance the underlying powers of the organic hardware on which is runs.
    Daniel Dennett—Consciousness Explained

    Video: A Glorious Piece of Meat—An Overture on Consciousness

    Sat, Jul 14, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: consciousness, brain, emergence
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    Can my Mind exist outside my body? Can I have a consciousness transplant?

    I suppose mind is a direct result of genetic information and environment and as such would be hard to imagine (or recognize) outside of its natural habitat. It seems that so much of what we call personality is determined by genetics and environment that displacing the self-reflecting entity (if there is such a thing) to a location outside of its host (the body) while keeping the mind in tact sounds simply impossible. But perhaps we'll be surprised when we try. Because even though the mind might be a direct result of the biological system, we could replicate this system to be like the host.

    What would it be like to "wake up" after extensive "surgery", to realize "you" are not in your own body, but transplanted (or downloaded) into an environment running on integrated circuits? Would the bandwidth available to the mind be relatively huge now that it does not have to process any physical stimuli and organize motor functions, etc.? And if all this is possible, would it mean that mind is a kind of independent life form?

    The shape of the human body—and the shape of any living creature for that matter—appears to be directly related to its activities: feeding, reproducing, defending, etc., in the particular environment (which includes climate, food supply, competition and stability factors) that the creature is born into.

    Human activity has drastically changed over a relatively short period of time, causing much of the current shape of our bodies to be inconveniently outdated. They require a lot of upkeep, like pretending to hunt prey but actually running on a treadmill. We are basically forced to use our body for activities that have been abandoned long ago in order to keep it healthy and functioning properly.

    So because it looks like the body is simply a vehicle used by the brain to get around, what would the ideal shape of the body be today? Just a head? A floating, hovering, flying head? (maybe the ears can be used as wings). We'd still be able to see, hear, smell and most importantly, think.

    Reproduction is an isssue though. Any ideas?
    Sat, Jul 14, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: consciousness, brain, biology
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