What is Consciousness?

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What is Consciousness?

Postby Mystic » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:25 am

A civil servant missing most of his brain challenges our most basic theories of consciousness

http://qz.com/722614/a-civil-servant-mi ... sciousness

According to the article, consciousness is the ability to know that you know something.

“Consciousness is the brain’s non-conceptual theory about itself, gained through experience—that is learning, interacting with itself, the world, and with other people”

Does the brain produce consciousness or is the brain more like a musical instrument for consciousness? Maybe consciousness can learn by incarnating within and experiencing different animal-body-forms?

:?:
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby snowheight » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:05 am

Mystic wrote:Does the brain produce consciousness or is the brain more like a musical instrument for consciousness?


Hello, :)

In my opinion, this question is an excellent point of focus that can put anyone who wants to consider it in an auspicious position. As they do, the way they do it is also worthy of focus, as they do it. Intellectual understanding can bring one to a point where more information and a better conceptual understanding will take them no further. What can be interesting is placing attention on our thinking as it's happening with the intent to notice how those intellectual understandings of what we are and how we "work" (in mechanistic terms) influence our moment-to-moment perceptions, reactions, and decision making.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:41 pm

Just a few thoughts on consciousness:

Consciousness = wordless knowing.

Consciousness = recognition of experience.

Consciousness = consideration of context and meaning.

Consciousness = consideration of self.

Consciousness = awareness of emotion and feelings.

Consciousness = consideration of consideration.

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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby rachMiel » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:40 am

> Mystic: Does the brain produce consciousness or is the brain more like a musical instrument for consciousness?

Does it have to be either/or?
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby Mystic » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:49 am

Consciousness is still an enigma to science in that it cannot be reduced to symbolic reasoning. George Zarkadakis, PhD in artificial intelligence says that the Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk predictions of artificial intelligence as an existential threat to humanity are probably wrong...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-za ... 49080.html

But this idea of superintelligence is fallacious because it assumes that the brain is “like a computer”, i.e. a biological information processing machine. Our brain is not neither a computer nor a “machine”. It does not “store memories” and does not “process information”. We use such words to describe the brain metaphorically, not literarily. Musk and Hawking confuse metaphor with reality, and they do so systematically. Indeed, Hawking has repeatedly said that he believes that in the future humans will be able to “download their consciousness” in a computer and live forevermore.

But human consciousness is not a software program. We have no idea what it is, but we are certain that it cannot be reduced to symbolic reasoning. So if consciousness is not an algorithm, could an apparently non-symbolic computer — such as AlphaGo — which functions on a connectionist neural network architecture and emulates how the human brain works, become conscious? Again, any machine, whatever it emulates with its software, is a Turing machine that ultimately processes logical symbols; and consciousness is not symbolic. No symbolic machine will ever have an “I” to reflect upon the pointlessness, or not, of anything.


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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby Mystic » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:54 am

rachMiel wrote:> Mystic: Does the brain produce consciousness or is the brain more like a musical instrument for consciousness?

Does it have to be either/or?


The brain does a lot of stuff that we are not aware of, like regulate many processes in the body. That would be on an unconscious level. But consciousness itself, what is it? How is it associated with the brain?

Conscious awareness can expand outside the body. Some people refer to this as an out of body experience.
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby rachMiel » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:15 pm

Mystic wrote:But consciousness itself, what is it?

What is an elephant?

Image
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby Mystic » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:56 pm

Consciousness is the elephant in the room :lol:

"Although I think that life may be the result of an accident, I do not think that of consciousness. Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else." -- Erwin Schrodinger

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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby rachMiel » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:21 pm

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby ashley72 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:03 pm

A few musings from me :)

Consciousness is most likely a "learned" process based on a form of metaphorical mapping which can lead to doubling back on itself. I've noticed with myself that my own self consciousness has evolved dramatically over the years with cumulative experience.

Panic sufferers learn to become far too self conscious of the output, this is where the output cycle doubles back onto the input cycle which can quickly lead to "paralysis by analysis." It happens because some people, not all people, learn to fear the output cycle of fear, which is a basically a doubling back on the input cycle. It's recursive, in nature and keeps repeating over and over again.

The reason it's probably so hard to account for "consciousness" is its at the highest level of emergence (all processes working in tandem).

If you think of it in terms of recent machine learning advancement, "artistic creativity" which seems to optimise the grand heights of an expressive mind, the fusion of ideas, doesn't even need a conscious observer for the algorithm to work. The algorithm merely takes a content & style element and applies some arbitrary weight to achieve a certain artistic effect. In other words, even a zombie could be an artistically creative.

If the formula or algorithm for self consciousness is ever discovered in machine learning, it will probably happen by chance rather than any intuition or knowing... which is how the neural algorithm for artistic style was stumbled upon recently.

Everybody has a sense that whilst they can observe their own thoughts, they can't control their own thoughts, they just seem to bubble along unabated. You may even have tried to stop thinking a certain way, only to find it even more pronounced than before. I think this has something to do with the fact we are always observing or self conscious of the output cycle. In other words, consciousness is some small window that can monitor some aspect of the output cycle, whilst still being probably part of the output cycle itself. Which is why you can't control your observable thoughts.

People often mistakenly believe consciousness is all encompassing, but Inattentional blindness shows that consciousness has blindspots even with a stimulus in plain sight.

One of the hallmarks of a panic attack is that it temporarily robs you of your ability to think, remember, and concentrate.
One of the most important levelers any panic sufferers learns through experience, is acceptance works much better than resistance. Resistance makes it much worse. Resistance doubles back causing paralysis whilst acceptance always brings clarity to the present moment.

My gut instinct is that consciousness will be some combination of neural learning alogrithms that can split the output cycle into at least parts, creating one able to get a sense of the other part, enabling the doubling back of the output cycle into the input cycle.... Which at both extremities leads to Panic or euphoria. Lol
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby Webwanderer » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:19 pm

For consideration:

Consciousness itself likely has little to do with the brain. The brain's function is to hold the criteria for developing perspective. Consider that consciousness adopts a formed perspective to create a sense of a specified human identification - the little me as it were. Through one's lifetime of environmental conditions, Conscious Being extends itself into a limited perspective based on those conditions to explore experiences unique to that perspective.

Why is a life born into poverty, fear and abuse equal to one born into wealth, security and love? Or equal in being born into any of the wide range of possibilities of human experience? They are equal in that they all offer valuable experience towards the evolution and expansion of the Greater Being. In an eternal existence, a single human life of seventy some years, more or less, is but one small component.

When an eternal Being, a unique perspective within the Oneness of the All of Being, wants a particular type of experience to enhance Its continuing expansion, It does so with an aspect of Its own consciousness being extended into a human life form. (Other possibilities also exist.) This self-conscious extension is never judged for its choices and can do no wrong from this larger perspective. It's simply an opportunity to gain experiential clarity. All experience gained is integrated and included into the greater awareness that It is. Love is ever the basis for Its and all other 'extensions'. This is a valuable mechanism for growth.

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Re: What is Consciousness?

Postby Mystic » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:29 am

Consciousness is the final frontier :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo0X2ZdElQ4

Title: Consciousness : The Final Frontier
Synopsis: The exploration of inner space, our own consciousness, is ultimately connected to our discovery of outer space. Just as the world becomes a smaller place with increase in communication and transport technology, so the universe becomes a smaller place with the increase in meditation technology!

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