Hi Bruno Marchal IMHO One way of describing the subconscious might be along Freudian lines. The context of a conscious thought, as in peripheral vision, just out of focus.
As in dreams, this context might be in the form of a fuzzy myth, an unclear story, say as presented by a fortune-teller. This is how they do their work. Meaning comes from context and stories are a frequent form of meaning. We live by myths. Our minds read the tea leaves of memory. Roger , rclo...@verizon.net 8/14/2012 ----- Receiving the following content ----- From: Bruno Marchal Receiver: everything-list Time: 2012-08-12, 05:30:57 Subject: Re: Libet's experimental result re-evaluated! On 12 Aug 2012, at 00:57, meekerdb wrote: On 8/11/2012 9:09 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote: On 10 Aug 2012, at 18:36, meekerdb wrote: On 8/10/2012 5:04 AM, Russell Standish wrote: On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 12:10:43PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote: On 10 Aug 2012, at 00:23, Russell Standish wrote: It is plain to me that thoughts can be either conscious or unconscious, and the conscious component is a strict minority of the total. This is not obvious for me, and I have to say that it is a point which is put in doubt by the salvia divinorum reports (including mine). When you dissociate the brain in parts, perhaps many parts, you realise that they might all be conscious. In fact the very idea of non-consciousness might be a construct of consciousness, and be realized by partial amnesia. I dunno. For the same reason I have stopped to believe that we can be unconscious during sleep. I think that we can only be amnesic-of-'previous-consciousness'. With due respect to your salvia experiences, which I dare not follow, I'm still more presuaded by the likes of Daniel Dennett, and his "pandemonia" theory of the mind. In that idea, many subconscious process, working disparately, solve different aspects of the problems at hand, or provide different courses of action. The purpose of consciousness is to select from among the course of action presented by the pandemonium of subconscious processes - admittedly consciousness per se may not be necessary for this role - any unifying (aka reductive) process may be sufficient. But a course of action could be 'selected', i.e. acted upon, without consciousness (in fact I often do so). I think what constitutes consciousness is making up a narrative about what is 'selected'. The evolutionary reason for making up this narrative is to enter it into memory so it can be explained to others and to yourself when you face a similar choice in the future. That the memory of these past decisions took the form of a narrative derives from the fact that we are a social species, as explained by Julian Jaynes. This explains why the narrative is sometimes false, and when the part of the brain creating the narrative doesn't have access to the part deciding, as in some split brain experiments, the narrative is just confabulated. I find Dennett's modular brain idea very plausible and it's consistent with the idea that consciousness is the function of a module that produces a narrative for memory. OK. Not just a narrative though, but the meaning associated to it. If were designing a robot which I intended to be conscious, that's how I would design it: With a module whose function was to produce a narrative of choices and their supporting reasons for a memory that would be accessed in support of future decisions. This then requires a certain coherence and consistency in robots decisions - what we call 'character' in a person. OK. I don't think that would make the robot necessarily conscious according to Bruno's critereon. I think it would, if the system is universal it will potentially represent itself, That is a point of your ideas which frequently brings me up short. Perhaps it is because of your assumption of "everythingness", but I see a distinction between what my robot will be and do, per my design, and what it can *potentially* do. As I understand the defintion of "universal" it is in terms of what a machine can potentially do - given the right program when we're referring to computers. But if it is not given all possible programs it will not realize all potentialities. Yet you often interject, as above, as though all potentialities are necessarily realized? Well, they are realized, in the same sense that the distribution of the primes exist independently of us. But this is used to derive pohysics, and is not relevant for the intelligence and consciousness of universal system, which is an "here and now" physical sensation. And this is not merely a metaphysical question. John McCarthy has pointed out that it would be unethical to create robots with certain levels of consciousness in certain circumstances, e.g. it would certainly be wrong to have programmed Curiosity with the potential to feel lonely. I agree with McCarthy, but Curiosity, as far as I know, has no capability to represent itself enough to feel lonely. His consciousness is still in the disconnected in Platonia. His soul has not yet felt on Earth, well on Mars :) Bruno and the consciousness is the meaning attached to the fixed point. In the worst case, it is trivially conscious. But if it had to function as a social being, it would need a concept of 'self' and the ability for self-reflective reasoning. That is already self-consciousness, which ask for one more loop of self-awareness. Like the K4 reasoners in Smullyan Forever Undecided, or any L?ian machine (universal machine believe correctly that they are universal). Robinson arithmetic is conscious (the person defined by Robinson arithmetic, to be sure), and Peano Arithmetic is already self-conscious (but still disconnected, without further memories). I think currently, but I can change my mind on this later. Then it would be conscious according to Bruno. OK. Bruno Brent The reason I like this, is that it echoes an essentially Darwinian process of random variation that is selected upon. Dawinian evolution is the key to any form of creative process. Cheers -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.