The "paper" referred to below is my book "Theory of Nothing", which is
available as a free download from my website
http://www.hpcoders.com.au/nothing.html, or in dead tree format from
Amazon.

There is also a paper "Ants are not conscious" which takes that argument a
bit further, and more technical, which is available as an e-print from
arXiv. However, it doesn't discuss the mirror test. I will be revising
this paper in light of referees' comments, hopefully later this year.

Cheers

On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 07:20:53AM -0400, John Mikes wrote:
> Russell,
> 
> is there a chance I could read your paper referred to below? (Those 'some'
> hours passed what you suggested to require for getting it on the internet).
> I wonder if you referred to individual ants or a hive - that IMO may be
> socially conscious (depending on our def. of conscious).
> It all goes into the socialized 'self'  idea - maybe a further
> 'evolutionary' phase from the contemporary 'human' ideas. Or: vice versa,
> when the individual entities combined (symbiotically?) into a 'neuronal
> brain'. Either way I cannot condone reasonable thinking based on our present
> anthropomorphy (plus 'human terms').
> 
> I am not an 'antologist', I missed your paper last year.
> 
> Have a good time
> 
> John Mikes
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Sat, Sep 12, 2009 at 6:03 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> > Dr Nick,
> > I think part of what the mirror test attempts to establish is that the
> > animal recognizes the reflection as itself, therefore showing the animal has
> > a sense of itself as an independent actor within an environment as opposed
> > to simply an ego-less series of experiences.
> >
> > If an irritant were used instead of paint and the animal responded, it
> > would certainly show the animal was aware of the irritation, but it
> > wouldn't necessary prove the animal is aware of itself being an independent
> > entity.
> >
> > I think there are lots of problems with the mirror test, at least insofar
> > as it being used as a means of separating self-aware animals from non-self
> > aware ones.  I think it can be used to prove self-awareness but not disprove
> > it.  For instance, there are many dogs and cats that look at their
> > reflection and don't react as if it were another animal, is this evidence
> > they recognize their own reflection?
> >
> > I came up with a modified mirror test, which I call a surprise test.  Have
> > an animal set such that it can see itself in a mirror.  Then using a probe
> > that is silent, orderless, etc, have it slowly approach from behind (so as
> > to be visible in the mirror but not directly) and touch the animal.  If its
> > level of surprise is greater than when repeated without the mirror, then one
> > might conclude the animal anticipated being poked by the probe as it saw its
> > reflection about to be touched.
> >
> > Jason
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 12, 2009 at 4:43 PM, Dr Nick <m...@dtech.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> Russell
> >> I notice in your book "the theory of nothing that there is a test for self
> >> awareness (Gordon Gallup) called the mirror test.  Not many animals are
> >> known to have passed this test.  However I wonder whether many more would
> >> if
> >> the spot painted on them actually was not odourless or indeed was an
> >> irritant.  My point is that why should self awareness be measured by a
> >> response from signals from the eye to the brain rather than any other of
> >> the
> >> senses to indicate that the spot is present and therefore prompt the
> >> spotted
> >> one to look into the mirror to see what's what?
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> russell standish-2 wrote:
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > I have just submitted my "ants are not conscious" argument to a
> >> > journal, and to arXiv. If you're interested, the arXiv identifier is
> >> > arXiv:0802.4121. Please wait a few hours before trying arXiv, though,
> >> > until the paper is made public by the system.
> >> >
> >> > Cheers
> >> > --
> >> >
> >> >
> >> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> > A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
> >> > Mathematics
> >> > UNSW SYDNEY 2052                       hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
> >> > Australia                                http://www.hpcoders.com.au
> >> >
> >> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> >
> >> > >
> >> >
> >> >
> >>
> >> --
> >> View this message in context:
> >> http://www.nabble.com/Ants-are-not-conscious-tp15738939p25418478.html
> >> Sent from the Everything List mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> > >
> >
> 
> > 

-- 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics                              
UNSW SYDNEY 2052                         hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
Australia                                http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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