Ask A Genius 380 – System of a Diagnostic
September 12, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What else on Quora commenters?
Rick Rosner: One of the claims of the theory is the universe possibly has consciousness because we tend to think that any sufficiently large and broadband sharing of information in a self-consistent system will likely have the kind of awareness that we consider consciousness.
That it is one more kind of system diagnostic. One more reflection of the world that the system can comment on. That an information processing system is analyzing some chunk of the world.
In humans’ or other animals’ case, it is the world that has immediate significance to that individual. Among the things significant to the individual are the individuals’ thoughts to themselves. They are one more thing for the system to comment on, analyze, and share with itself.
That sharing with itself. The self-commentary is not a lone consciousness. That is a mistake everyone makes. The sense of hyper-reality from super-powerful analysis of the information under consideration and the feel of what comes from that is what consciousness is.
It seems reasonable that the powerful information sharing within the universe itself is strong evidence that the universe probably has consciousness. The universe has consciousness.
One of the commenters on Quora said, “I see no room in the universe for consciousness or a soul.” I know he didn’t see room for a nodule for a soul. That is the immediate image I got from that comment.
To be clear, there is no special nugget in our heads, I feel, or in the noggins of any conscious being, or in some realm beyond; no nugget inside or beyond our brains. Unless, you consider the entire mind its own magic nugget.
But rather, consciousness is a global characteristic found in the process of all the information being shared globally. That there is no one place that consciousness resides. That it is the feeling of fleshed-outness that you get when you get a hunk of pertinent information to the thing that is powerfully analyzing that information.
That information is being continually shared among specialist subsystems. That is a global thing. Everything becomes fully painted, fully fleshed out to the degree that your awareness can do it.
Awareness when sober is different than awareness when shitfaced. Your painting is way crappier if you’re drunk or if you’re a grasshopper or a dog. It doesn’t have all the dimensions and all the depth.
Regardless, it is still a global phenomenon of information sharing among all the parts of your brain that are part of that information sharing system, which doesn’t include the stuff that you’re unconscious of.
Consciousness is the conscious arena; the place where information goes when it meets the entrance requirements to receive that global, multidimensional consideration because it is not straightforward like walking or breathing.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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