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consciousness

Started by billy rubin, May 10, 2022, 04:33:43 PM

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Magdalena

Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on August 07, 2022, 05:39:52 PM
Quote from: Magdalena on August 07, 2022, 01:08:02 AM
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on August 07, 2022, 12:18:07 AM.... As organisms evolve they become more complex, and their consciousness becomes more involved, to the point where self-consciousness arises and we can think/say "I am", or look in a mirror and say "that's me."

Fuck. I am. That's me.


Inspires a song:

The bear looked into the mirror
The bear looked into the mirror
The bear looked into the mirrorrrrrr,
And whaddaya think he saw?

He saw a bear in the mirror
He saw a bear in the mirror
He saw a bear in the mirrorrrrrr,
And whaddaya think he did?

He smashed the fuckin' mirror
He smashed the fuckin' mirror
He smashed the fuckin' mirror , etc.

His self-consciousness is a little under-developed.

 
;D
Good one.

"I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe." ~Recusant

Ecurb Noselrub

Things that we normally consider non-living can grow (crystals), attract each other (atoms/molecules), and exchange properties (chemical displacement reactions). Along the continuum of progression toward that which is indisputably life, these properties of inanimate objects seem to represent an intrinsic part of reality - to progress toward reproduction. If we consider consciousness (in its most rudimentary form) to be a fundamental aspect of the universe, I see no clear reason why we cannot also consider life to be such a fundamental property. Self-consciousness and life seem to be programmed into the nature of reality. Thus spoke EN.

Asmodean

Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on August 07, 2022, 07:43:16 PMThings that we normally consider non-living can grow (crystals), attract each other (atoms/molecules), and exchange properties (chemical displacement reactions).
It takes a combination of conditions to be considered life though.

For instance, viruses are not precisely life, but nor are they precisely "dead." From what (admittedly little) I understand, that is due to them needing a host cell in order to "feed" and reproduce.

Crystals do not reproduce - they merely grow, as you point out. A reproducing crystal would need to have an internal (or reliable external, I suppose) mechanism for dethatching parts of the lattice in order for it to grow new crystals. So... A small step on the ladder of life, perhaps. Perhaps not even that.

QuoteAlong the continuum of progression toward that which is indisputably life...
I don't think it's a continuum. I think there are some discrete jumps required, for which some specific conditions have to arise and possibly persist. Of course, this can be proven wrong by the Universe - or our own solar system, for that matter - being filled with life at various stages and dependent on all sorts of weird chemistries. So far, we can assume, but neither observe nor replicate.

QuoteIf we consider consciousness (in its most rudimentary form) to be a fundamental aspect of the universe, I see no clear reason why we cannot also consider life to be such a fundamental property. Self-consciousness and life seem to be programmed into the nature of reality. Thus spoke EN.
An interesting proposal. Personally, I lean towards consciousness being "nothing more" than a process of certain complexity running on biological hardware. The fundamental aspect here is in the multitude of chemical reactions, likely even quantum-level processes required, meaning that the fundamental components of consciousness are not conscious - they only create consciousness through "ordered" interactions on a "massive" scale.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

billy rubin

Quote from: Asmodean on August 08, 2022, 07:50:20 AMAn interesting proposal. Personally, I lean towards consciousness being "nothing more" than a process of certain complexity running on biological hardware. The fundamental aspect here is in the multitude of chemical reactions, likely even quantum-level processes required, meaning that the fundamental components of consciousness are not conscious - they only create consciousness through "ordered" interactions on a "massive" scale.

the argument here seems the same as for life, to me-- a continuum.

or best 5 out of 6.

fire grows and reproduces. it condists of complex chemical reactions, anf it responds to its environment.


and how can you smile when your reasons for smiling are wrong?

Asmodean

Quote from: billy rubin on August 08, 2022, 01:26:03 PMfire grows and reproduces. it condists of complex chemical reactions, anf it responds to its environment.
But it doesn't. It spreads, which is a third thing.

Fire itself is an artefact of high-velocity molecules, that achieve their velocity through breaking molecular bonds and sustain said breaking by having high velocity. Fire has no mechanism by which to create new fire, nor does it have any mechanism by which to grow (in the same sense as trees or crystal) It can, however, spread through high velocity molecules bumping into shit.

...Although one has to admit, being able to summon oneself an fire elemental would be really cool. :(

EDIT: The above explanation was kinda' garbage. That's what I get for replying while also attending a meeting. Lemme try for a better one;

Oxidation, which is the kind of reaction commonly associated with fire, cannot grow or reproduce. It doesn't even have to produce fire (You could burn aluminium, for example, in oxygen - or "merely" let it rust)

Rust doesn't grow or reproduce - it spreads as long as there are enough reactive surfaces and enough energy in the system to support continued reaction. The difference in terms, as I use them here, is that "grow" implies structure - "spread" does not.

There. Much better.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

billy rubin

respiration is also oxidation.

life is one of thoe things we define descriptively, by deciding in advance what is alive, and then looking at its characteristics to produce a definition.

youve pointed out already how that doesnt work in the edges, because viruses reproduce, have DNA, and yet dont satisfy other, more complicated definitions of life.

there really isnt any reason that i know of to draw a line that excludes a virus from the various kingdoms of life. we already use, what, five or six kingdomns to classify biota? why not seven? why not just admit that the distinction between life and non-life is arbitrary?


and how can you smile when your reasons for smiling are wrong?

Icarus

here is a video that is nearly relevant to the current conversation.  Give it a look.

 


I cheerfully confess that I have a fatherly crush on this charming Aussie woman.

Asmodean

Quote from: billy rubin on August 08, 2022, 06:32:57 PMrespiration is also oxidation.
No, respiration is a gas exchange.

The gases involved may indeed be used for oxidation... I'm actually not sure how precisely living things use oxygen. Oxidation is certainly involved as a step - if nothing else.

Quotelife is one of thoe things we define descriptively, by deciding in advance what is alive, and then looking at its characteristics to produce a definition.
Much the same way as we define a chair or colours. (Blue was blue long before the discovery of photon)

Quoteyouve pointed out already how that doesnt work in the edges, because viruses reproduce, have DNA, and yet dont satisfy other, more complicated definitions of life.
DNA is a molecule. "In a vacuum" it does not do anything, apart perhaps from degrading. Viruses reproduce using cellular machinery. "In a vacuum," they are for all intents and purposes as dead as the molecule. A cell, however, is alive "in a vacuum." Its internal machinery is running and it does not require other life to facilitate its reproduction.

*Not necessarily talking about a lack-of-atmosphere vacuum.

Quotethere really isnt any reason that i know of to draw a line that excludes a virus from the various kingdoms of life.
The above, from what I understand.

Quotewe already use, what, five or six kingdomns to classify biota? why not seven? why not just admit that the distinction between life and non-life is arbitrary?
Because it's arbitrary in the same sense as the definition of a kilogram is arbitrary. Adding pounds, stones and whatever they may have used in ancient China, however, doesn't add anything beyond more complex linguistics.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

billy rubin

dammit

had questions to carry this forward then tbe system erased me

i will try again


and how can you smile when your reasons for smiling are wrong?

billy rubin

respiration is an oxidation-reduction reaction. youre talking physiology. im talking bio chemistry. the molecules dont care about out point of view.

years ago richard dawkins pointed out that the reductionist point of view ended at the gene, the combination of nucleic acids on teh DNA molecule that could be selected for,.

in my opinion, that is the fundamental unit of life: a particular expression of molecules that can reproduce itself and exhibit the ability to evolve. i dont think any other characteristics are meaningful enough to include. but thats just an opinion of a defintion.

you ve pointed out that you think metabolism is important. im not sure about that. i keep remembering the botanist who i asked abput behaviour, and who told me, behaviour is nothing more than rapid motion. . .

whether we can agree about life or not, though, what is you opinion about consciouysness? what is it?


and how can you smile when your reasons for smiling are wrong?

Asmodean

Quote from: billy rubin on August 15, 2022, 06:02:54 PMrespiration is an oxidation-reduction reaction. youre talking physiology. im talking bio chemistry. the molecules dont care about out point of view.
In that case, that is a linguistic quirk of which I am not aware. I have not ever come across the chemical reaction being described thusly. Respiration is a metabolic process. The oxidation-reduction reactions are to it what travel is to a car - at least as I have learned it.

Quoteyears ago richard dawkins pointed out that the reductionist point of view ended at the gene, the combination of nucleic acids on teh DNA molecule that could be selected for,.
In a manner. I suppose it depends on whether life is... A verb or a noun, for the lack of a better top-of-the-head analogy. Is it an "is" or does it a "do?" My understanding is the latter.

Quotein my opinion, that is the fundamental unit of life: a particular expression of molecules that can reproduce itself and exhibit the ability to evolve. i dont think any other characteristics are meaningful enough to include. but thats just an opinion of a defintion.
But a fundamental unit of life must exhibit the characteristics of life, no? Like, a fundamental unit of water is water - a molecule consisting of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms. Neither oxygen nor hydrogen are fundamental units of water though.

Quoteyou ve pointed out that you think metabolism is important. im not sure about that. i keep remembering the botanist who i asked abput behaviour, and who told me, behaviour is nothing more than rapid motion. . .
Temperature. Also nothing but rapid motion - comparatively speaking.

I consider metabolism to be important because that's what separates alive me from dead me. Sure, the compound organism which is me is dead on a "macro-scale" while individual parts still live - but when they no longer metabolise - dead as the proverbial door nails.

Quotewhether we can agree about life or not, though, what is you opinion about consciouysness? what is it?
I think it's a combination of processes. A bit like above, it's a "do" rather than "is." A combination of individual actions (electrical impulses, chemical reactions, quantum voodoo - that sort)

From the top of my head, the necessary property of consciousness would be conceptualisation. (including that of self) By that, I mean the ability to model itself and its surroundings within itself.

So, consciousness is a process which produces conceptualisation (Directly or as a by-product) in a closed system.

Of course, a proper determinist might want to boil it down to a system reacting to input of stimuli by producing set outputs - and be right to. Still, that does not clash with my proposed explanation.

Hmm... I think I can do better. I shall mentally masturbate upon this question most furiously. It's all nasty and thunder-stormy outside anyways.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

Ecurb Noselrub

Consciousness is the universe attempting to understand itself. The whole thing is "alive" in that sense. Not as we define life, but alive, nonetheless. It generates life and consciousness. It's built into the fabric of the cosmos, an elemental part.

Asmodean

Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on August 16, 2022, 09:17:34 PMConsciousness is the universe attempting to understand itself.
Poetic, but I wonder if that is a by-product of consciousness. I wonder if it itself is a by-product of life evolving ways to resist entropy in certain series of closed systems by increasing it in others. It's not a very fleshed-out line of musings, but... Interesting on the surface-level at least.

QuoteThe whole thing is "alive" in that sense. Not as we define life, but alive, nonetheless. It generates life and consciousness. It's built into the fabric of the cosmos, an elemental part.
Hmm... An interesting thought. A human is considered dead when there is no heart beat and no brain function. However, that there *point* skin cell on the tip of the ring finger. It can make it for a while even without brain and blood. I've touched up on it above. In any case, is the Universe alive in the sense that its skin cells are, here and there, or are there some higher dependencies..? The former, I think, though I don't see how it could be demonstrated. Still, it's fun to speculate, even using some deeply faulty comparisons.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.