On Apr 2, 11:29 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 4/2/2012 7:28 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> >> I like Julian Jaynes idea that it is a side-effect of using the same parts 
> >> of the brain
> >> for cogitation as are used for perception.  That would be the kind of 
> >> thing that evolution
> >> would do, jury rigged but efficient.
> > I like what I've read of Jaynes too. The Bicameral Mind helps begin to
> > model what I call super-signifying ideas in culture (much better than
> > H.A.D.D., which I hate for explaining religion but works well for
> > explaining why we want to believe computers can become conscious). I
> > don't know of anything he wrote about though that explains why or how
> > awareness could exist in the first place.
> Why perception exists is pretty obvious in terms of evolutionary advantage.

Why? The same evolutionary advantage would be conferred through
unconscious computation. Blindsight shows that perceptual function
does not necessarily rely on conscious presentation. If we had no
perception ourselves, we could never guess that such a phenomena could
exist or that it could improve survival in any way, any more than it
would improve a neuron's odds of successfully signalling to another if
it played the theme song from Hawaii Five-0 to itself every time it

> Even bacteria
> perceive chemical gradients.  Jaynes theory shows why thinking should be like 
> perceiving a
> voice in your head.

Yes, I agree, they do perceive chemical gradients, but not because it
helps them survive. Everything that they do to survive could be
accomplished unconsciously and mechanically. From a functionalist
perspective, perception can only be purely ornamental gravy. In
reality, I think that it's the survival-and-existence part that is the
gravy, perception is the essential meat and potatoes.


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