Ask A Genius 303 – Sensory Systems and Consciousness (2)
September 27, 2017
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Rick Rosner: And it’s not the best argument but it’s you know just a little dinky argument that eyes are such an efficient funnel of outside information into the brain, they take what’s going on the outside and accumulate you know all this information via photons and then you have efficient processors, it’s a super smooth flow of visual information from the outside to the inside.
Ditto for most of our senses and foremost of our lives you know ears are pretty smooth and you could argue that, that the hearing is a much more kind of it’s a harder to construct kind of canyon. You can imagine that might be harder to construct a world of sound than a world of light because light you know it comes in discrete photon packages. There’s a lot of you know that you have to process the patterns formed by these photons but the photons themselves are you know pretty sharply, informationally sharp and then but hearing you know processing sound, I don’t know well involves stage involve different issues and they’re in there aren’t there aren’t you know sound particles.
You have to take vibrations which might be Messier and turned them into signals but any in each case I you get really smooth processing from the outside to you’re to your experience. And I believe that argues for if eyes and ears are so slick, then you know it argues for a similar slickness, as a consequence of hundreds of millions of years of evolution for our understanding of visual and auditory information. And as a further step our conscious understanding of it.
You know you first you’ve got the outside information then you have the prod then you have the receiving of that the processing of it in such a way that it delivers a reasonably accurate picture of the world, and you can still have all three of those steps without having consciousness. You know you can have an electric eye that still needs those same kind of signals it’s not conscious, but the smoothness of every step leading up to consciousness argues that consciousness is itself a slick and mechanical property of information processing in the little brain.
So I guess it’ proof through slickness but the various steps in information processing all work really nicely, which argues for consciousness being a further really nice, highly evolved, technically slick, a further step of the processes sensory and information processes.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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