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OfflineKickleM
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Consciousness -- 3 differing views
    #24759006 - 11/04/17 01:04 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/consciousness-come-brain-scientist-closes-claustrum/

Quote:

Is consciousness merely an emergent phenomenon that arises as the cortex chugs through all the sensory information it’s processing? Koch doesn’t think so, and for evidence, he refers to the lessons he learned from the Dalai Lama over the past several years.

“If you do what Buddhists call pure experience or naked awareness, or content-less experience, you’re conscious,” Koch said. “The meditator is conscious without having any specific content.”

....

“There are four words you can say: ‘No brain, never mind,'” Koch said. “In other words, there has to be a physical mechanism in order for there to be consciousness. It has to be expressed in something physical. It may be something weird — quarks, it may be granularity of space itself, LIGO — but there has to be some mechanism.”





So there's a quick outline of the 3 views

1. consciousness is emergent, like wetness is from water. There is nothing that can be pointed to and said, there, that's the wet part of water. Rather wetness emerges from the interaction of hydrogen and oxygen. neither hydrogen nor oxygen contained "wetness". in that way consciousness can be said to be emergent from the interactions of life (e.g., sensations and memories). If you take these interactions away, consciousness will go away.

Here's an interesting documentary for anyone who has an hour and a half to spare. It's about a gentleman who has a 7-second memory and his attempts to grapple with his consciousness as a result.



2. consciousness exists without sensations, memory, emotions, etc. and therefore cannot be considered emergent. because of this, it must have a distinct part within the brain that can be pointed to and identified as "the seat of consciousness". the neuroscientist in this article thinks that the claustrum is where this seat is. 

3. consciousness exists independent of the contents of consciousness. Therefore it cannot be dependent on the same causes/effects as the contents of consciousness. Given this, it must not be as the contents of consciousness are.


So what do you think? Do you agree with one of these? None of these? Do they make sense to you?


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Invisiblecez
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle]
    #24759105 - 11/04/17 01:46 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

I'm not sure that I agree or disagree with anything in your op.  All three seem like valid positions.

In the Satipatṭhāna Sutta the Buddha teaches, "consciousness exists to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness."

According to this teaching, consciousness is one of the four foundations of mindfulness, other three are body, feelings and mental objects. 

Playing with this idea brings consciousness into a workable object for mindfulness I think.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle] * 1
    #24759182 - 11/04/17 02:21 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

none of them are good.
we are in kindergarten.

now I have to answer an email from a close friend who wants to talk about AI, and the declaration that consciousness can be machine hosted.

I think in that email I am going to introduce the phrase "participate in a consciousness like phenomenon", after I narrow down the consciousness like phenomenon...


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InvisibleFerdinando
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: redgreenvines]
    #24759227 - 11/04/17 02:55 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

that seems almost extremely positive maybe


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maybe just meaning as much to it as possible
and anti-meaning as little to it as possible


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle]
    #24759619 - 11/04/17 05:44 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

My summary was this:
What machines can do like humans is to express their mental media – i.e. perform tasks, speech, and even have discussions, but so far it is as if you are speaking with an entity that never yet lived, and has little immediate connection to the here and is now lacking in the whole arena of intuitive motif abstraction and apprehension from their personally accrued memory.


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Invisiblesudly
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle]
    #24759772 - 11/04/17 06:51 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

I like the first one.

Quote:

Neurophenomenology refers to a scientific research program aimed to address the hard problem of consciousness in a pragmatic way. It combines neuroscience with phenomenology in order to study experience, mind, and consciousness with an emphasis on the embodied condition of the human mind.

Phenomenology is a philosophical method of inquiry of everyday experience. The focus in phenomenology is on the examination of different phenomena (from Greek, phainomenon, "that which shows itself") as they appear to consciousness, i.e. in a first-person perspective. Thus, phenomenology is a discipline particularly useful to understand how is it that appearances present themselves to us, and how is it that we attribute meaning to them.

Naturally, phenomenology and neuroscience find a convergence of common interests. However, primarily because of ontological disagreements between phenomenology and philosophy of mind, the dialogue between these two disciplines is still a very controversial subject. The influential critique of the ontological assumptions of computationalist and representationalist cognitive science, as well as artificial intelligence, made by philosopher Hubert Dreyfus has marked new directions for integration of neurosciences with an embodied ontology. The work of Dreyfus has influenced cognitive scientists and neuroscientists to study phenomenology and embodied cognitive science and/or enactivism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurophenomenology




Quote:

What is called for is a theory of embodied dynamic systems, not just of consciousness but also of life itself. The great service of Thompson’s new book is to provide this. But its genius is to integrate fully into his analysis the vast resources of [End Page 140] phenomenology, even giving legitimacy to its transcendental version. In so doing it redefines the very topography of the field of consciousness studies.

Restricting our scope to cognition, embodied dynamic systems differ from information-processing models in these crucial ways:
  • 1. Because cognition at its basic level consists of a certain know-how internal to bodily actions, ‘cognitive structures and processes emerge from recurrent sensorimotor patterns of perception and action.’

  • 2. Accordingly, meaning is not the output of symbol computation but vitally emerges from neuronal activity ‘making sense’ of stimulation and compensating for sensory disturbances.

  • 3. Cognition is ‘enacted’ by agents that are dynamically engaged in a world that is ‘constituted’ by that involvement and, thus, cognition and world are co-generated and co-emergent.

  • 4. The co-generation of cognition and meaningful environments entails the fact that causality is circular, and, thus, the system is autonomous – self-determining– and in this sense organizationally and operationally ‘closed.’


https://muse.jhu.edu/article/268430




On materialism and scientism

I do believe I have a basic understanding of what a possible 'mechanismic' explanation of mind is, there may be more to learn but the basics I think are there and capable of being understood.


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: redgreenvines]
    #24759851 - 11/04/17 07:32 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
My summary was this:
What machines can do like humans is to express their mental media – i.e. perform tasks, speech, and even have discussions, but so far it is as if you are speaking with an entity that never yet lived, and has little immediate connection to the here and is now lacking in the whole arena of intuitive motif abstraction and apprehension from their personally accrued memory.




You're probably not a gamer, but Elon Musk funded an AI development group called OpenAI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=jAu1ZsTCA64

From their website regarding the AI:

Quote:

The bot learned the game from scratch by self-play, and does not use imitation learning or tree search. This is a step towards building AI systems which accomplish well-defined goals in messy, complicated situations




If you want to see the kind of learning involved in the game it's free to play. Just takes a download.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle] * 1
    #24760095 - 11/04/17 09:54 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

feedback learning is good for intelligence, but not  analogous to consciousness.


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: redgreenvines]
    #24760191 - 11/04/17 10:47 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

well i can't say I know what consciousness is
but it's strange to think of AI learning from itself
keeping a memory of what works and what doesn't
abstracting new approaches and testing them

it's pretty advanced and it will only get more so

I'm not sure where the cutoff point is to say, ah, that's it, it's conscious now. The professional gamers who went against it were asked if it felt like a real player. Is that even a good criteria? Or just anthropocentric?


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Offlineviktor
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle] * 1
    #24760563 - 11/05/17 03:33 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
well i can't say I know what consciousness is





Are you not conscious yourself?


--------------------
"They consider me insane but I know that I am a hero living under the eyes of the gods."

Sobriety Bias Syndrome is the tendency for people to erroneously assume that, if there are two competing perceptions of reality, the one that was arrived at while sober must necessarily be the correct one.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle]
    #24761231 - 11/05/17 12:32 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
well i can't say I know what consciousness is
but it's strange to think of AI learning from itself
keeping a memory of what works and what doesn't
abstracting new approaches and testing them

it's pretty advanced and it will only get more so

I'm not sure where the cutoff point is to say, ah, that's it, it's conscious now. The professional gamers who went against it were asked if it felt like a real player. Is that even a good criteria? Or just anthropocentric?



I think it is a subset of the latter, gameo-anthropocentric,

that said, some routines, such as face recognition, conversational contextual speech, vehicular auto-piloting, are very clever, and if those kinds of things can be strung together into individual general functioning robots with sensitive bodies, we will be on the threshold of a new world altogether.

bear in mind that most human intelligence is mediocre, what really makes life sweet is sensitivities, awareness, and taking care of the planet.


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: viktor]
    #24761241 - 11/05/17 12:35 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

viktor said:
Quote:

Kickle said:
well i can't say I know what consciousness is





Are you not conscious yourself?




I am. Doesn't mean I know what it is. Have you never experienced something that you are unable to express or fully contain?


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Offlineviktor
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle] * 1
    #24761449 - 11/05/17 02:16 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

You don't need to express it to know what it is. You can know what consciousness is without putting it into words, you just have to be conscious.


--------------------
"They consider me insane but I know that I am a hero living under the eyes of the gods."

Sobriety Bias Syndrome is the tendency for people to erroneously assume that, if there are two competing perceptions of reality, the one that was arrived at while sober must necessarily be the correct one.


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: viktor]
    #24761621 - 11/05/17 03:07 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

If you say so. I don't view knowledge in the same way. To me you're describing experience, not knowledge.

I have experienced many things that I don't know anything about. Some I am able to learn more about, gain knowledge of. Others I am not and am left in mystery.

Did we know gravity before there was a word for gravity? We sure experienced it. But why was the theory of gravity so significant if we already had knowledge of gravity?


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle]
    #24761697 - 11/05/17 03:42 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

can't fully express the containment or fully contain the expression


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: redgreenvines]
    #24761706 - 11/05/17 03:47 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

The latter for me


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Offlinesecondorder
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle]
    #24765256 - 11/07/17 01:33 AM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle:

"Did we know gravity before there was a word for gravity? We sure experienced it. But why was the theory of gravity so significant if we already had knowledge of gravity?"





Because we were able to make better predictions about the movement of objects through space with each new theory. Coming up with new words, however, doesn't automatically grant knowledge. Turns out modern physicists still don't claim to "know gravity", it's still not well understood. The way you're defining the word "knowledge", I'm not sure even makes sense.

I would define consciousness as Thomas Nagel does, as the "What it is like to be a thing":


Quote:

The term “consciousness” is notoriously difficult to define. Consequently, many a debate about its character has been waged without the participants’ finding even a common topic as common ground. By “consciousness,” I mean simply “sentience,” in the most unadorned sense. To use the philosopher Thomas Nagel’s construction: A creature is conscious if there is “something that it is like” to be this creature; an event is consciously perceived if there is “something that it is like” to perceive it. ⁠Whatever else consciousness may or may not be in physical terms, the difference between it and unconsciousness is first and foremost a matter of subjective experience. Either the lights are on, or they are not.

To say that a creature is conscious, therefore, is not to say anything about its behavior; no screams need be heard, or wincing seen, for a person to be in pain. Behavior and verbal report are fully separable from the fact of consciousness: We can find examples of both without consciousness (a primitive robot) and consciousness without either (a person suffering “locked-in syndrome”).

It is surely a sign of our intellectual progress that a discussion of consciousness no longer has to begin with a debate about its existence. To say that consciousness may only seem to exist is to admit its existence in full—for if things seem any way at all, that is consciousness. Even if I happen to be a brain in a vat at this moment—all my memories are false; all my perceptions are of a world that does not exist—the fact that I am having an experience is indisputable (to me, at least).  This is all that is required for me (or any other conscious being) to fully establish the reality of consciousness. Consciousness is the one thing in this universe that cannot be an illusion.

- Sam Harris





This definition of consciousness would render redgreenvines statement accurate:

Quote:

feedback learning is good for intelligence, but not  analogous to consciousness.




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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: secondorder]
    #24767118 - 11/07/17 07:25 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

yeah I think you're right. i dunno?

i don't doubt that I am conscious even if I don't understand what that means from a knowledge standpoint. my mind can't grok it even if I am living it. saying that I am conscious does not help me to understand what is going on here :smile:

but experiencing consciousness does make sense to me. no understanding required to experience being conscious. no knots to try and logic through. just being


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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OfflineCapnCrown
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: Kickle]
    #24769015 - 11/08/17 01:10 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

Dan Winter has claimed to have discovered the source of gravity and consciousness and they are in the same seat. Pretty crazy stuff, my math is not up to par to be able to follow very well, but there is so much information on the site that you can start to get the idea. Gravity and Consciousness

This video gets right into it.


--------------------
Forgive my noobery.


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Offlinesecondorder
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Re: Consciousness -- 3 differing views [Re: CapnCrown] * 1
    #24769965 - 11/08/17 08:41 PM (3 years, 6 months ago)

I have no idea what he is talking about in that video. Maybe it explains gravity, I'm not sure, but it doesn't explain consciousness. No matter what physical pattern or system is proposed to explain consciousness, we have no way of testing whether or not such a system actually produces consciousness: only the thing itself will know if it is conscious...


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