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Author Topic: What is consciousness?  (Read 9698 times)

Offline yor_on

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #25 on: 01/10/2010 01:48:45 »
I expect it to be levels to that Geezer, I think I know what you allure to as I've had some animalistic friends myself, no not human :) And I agree to them having an 'awareness', but from that to start to look at your surroundings , being 'objective' as we humans see ourselves, I think that takes it some steps further. And the mirror is a good test of this 'objectivity', as to recognize yourself in there you need to 'lift yourself' out from your own body and into someone else's head, or place as it may be here, sort of.

If you look on birds you can see that they too use tools, just as monkeys and us, and there are some amazing experiments with them where certain 'brainy' birds have solved tool puzzles in several steps to get to their food. But I've never read about them acting as if they recognized themselves in a mirror? Monkeys can do it, how about dolphins?

==
Or am I wrong there? Do birds recognize themselves in a mirror?
To define intelligence with 'tool solving' may not be the same, I'm not sure there.
« Last Edit: 01/10/2010 01:50:58 by yor_on »
 

Offline Geezer

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #26 on: 01/10/2010 08:40:25 »
We frequently give machines an objective (a what) and expect them to work out the how. That's what happens every time we plug a destination into a GPS system in our vehicles. 
 

Offline yor_on

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #27 on: 01/10/2010 15:00:52 »
A program is a square. Inside that square you define the rules for what you expect to happen, or rather what you allow to happen. That's a linear process, life's not linear. But if we get to quantum computing I believe we also will get to non-linear computing. Not in our questions though, but the way the answers come to be will.
 

Offline peppercorn

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #28 on: 01/10/2010 15:55:12 »
A program is a square. Inside that square you define the rules for what you expect to happen, or rather what you allow to happen. That's a linear process, life's not linear. But if we get to quantum computing I believe we also will get to non-linear computing. Not in our questions though, but the way the answers come to be will.

Are you saying you believe animal brains have quantum-computational elements to them?  This is a bit of a stretch of the imagination - where's the evidence?
 

Offline imatfaal

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #29 on: 01/10/2010 16:15:46 »
Doesn't Penrose argue something similar to that in the Emperor's New Mind - that book left me very cold and I don't remember it well as a result, but I seem to recollect a claim of connexion between consciousness and the collapse of the quantum waveform.  It has some real fans and hopefully one of them can set me straight
 

Offline yor_on

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #30 on: 01/10/2010 16:45:21 »
Look, I don't know what world you believe yourself to be in, heh :)

But mine is definitely a non-linear one. Not open for discussion as I see it? The evidence for it being true exist everywhere. From climate to the calculations of the orbits of the spheres ::))

I compare a super position in QM to our so called 'free choices' here, the irony of it is that in chaos mathematics you will find certain mathematical 'constants' coming back in the 'history' of their bifurcations as observed by us. Although it also are impossible to backtrack those same bifurcations to any singular origin, according to the same math. That makes Chaos mathematics, super-positions aka quantum computers and 'free will' very similar to me.

It may well be that our brains contain the same principle as a quantum computer is expected to do. As for how it does it if so? Don't know, that one becomes as weird as the whole concept of 'super positions' to me :)
 

Offline yor_on

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #31 on: 01/10/2010 16:59:52 »
And looking at it like that intelligence becomes even harder to define, as I now could state that all living things, well animal ones over a certain complexity at least, have this free choice.

Also, if we look to how entanglements is thought to play a role in the photosynthesis of plants? Here's the PDF..Quantum entanglement in photosynthetic light harvesting complexes. Where, do I draw the line?
==

Although both may be needed for us I think the idea of 'super positions', as in the possibility of two outcomes coexisting simultaneously, is the one more appropriate if comparing it to the idea of our 'free will'.

And when writing a program you might allow for an open field of possibilities, like using some 'probability generator' as a bit sequence generated from some electric clock. And in that this computer clock in itself relies on Quantum mechanical uncertainty maybe nothing is 'linear' in that motto. But, naah, a program will still conform to the linearity imposed by our limitations, I think? As well as it executes binary computations in a sequential pattern, as I sees it?
« Last Edit: 01/10/2010 17:37:26 by yor_on »
 

Offline Geezer

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #32 on: 01/10/2010 18:27:01 »
I still think my GPS example is quite interesting. A GPS system has a goal, and it is "conscious" of its location. It can handle all sorts of changes, and still figure out a way to attain the goal.

Imagine you don't know that computers and GPS even exist. Somebody hands you this "thing" that you put in your car that can tell you how to get places - it can even talk to you.

Would you be able to conclude that it was entirely artificial, or would you be forced to conclude that there must be a human on the other end controlling it?
 

Offline yor_on

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #33 on: 01/10/2010 19:56:18 »
A 'Heinleinian' example that one Geezer :) All technology sufficiently advanced becomes like magic to someone not informed. Or in this case assumed to be 'human'.

But there are the Turing test for that one too :) If you can't differ who you're speaking too from a human, then you're on your way to create something at least superficially alike a human. To really see if it's 'intelligent' it would also need to be able to make those 'Einsteinian leaps' to me though.

But I'm not sure what intelligence is either?
Tool solving, is that enough?

Or do you need self awareness like the mirror-experiments implicates?
And what more would you need, to get to those intuitive leaps of imagination?
 

Offline Geezer

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #34 on: 01/10/2010 21:01:12 »
;D

I've got a feeling we're not going to come to any hard conclusions on this one! The problem as I see it is that there is no "intelligence threshold" that allows us to decide one way or the other. It's all shades of grey.

I also tend to think that, as humans, we tend to stack the odds in our favor a bit. It may be a sort of innate human arrogance that comes from a need to convince ourselves that we are somehow "special".

I'm pretty sure of one thing though. Nearly all the electronic gadjets in my house and car would have been indistinguishable from magic as recently as sixty years ago  :D
 

Offline yor_on

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #35 on: 02/10/2010 00:29:21 »
I know one thing though, intelligence is not only to be good at physics, or math. There are guys and gals out there that are wizards at other things like boat building, music, poetry, painting, engines, wood working, carpentry, you name it. some are just very cool human beings to be with. There are all kinds of 'intelligence' it seems to me..
==

As I agree on your 'thing' too, that makes it two :)
« Last Edit: 02/10/2010 00:32:02 by yor_on »
 

Offline Geezer

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #36 on: 02/10/2010 02:21:09 »
intelligence is not only to be good at physics, or math.


That's what I kept telling my teachers!
 

Offline yor_on

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #37 on: 02/10/2010 15:56:04 »
:)

Hmm ::))

Did it work?
==

Got to admit that I might have used it once or two myself..
 

Offline yor_on

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #38 on: 02/10/2010 17:02:52 »
Maybe the origin to 'intelligence' goes back to our ability to freely choose. There's a dichotomy in those choices in that, although they are truly 'free' if they are alike a 'super position', we still want to describe them as a result from linear thinking and also define 'reality', such as it is, to fit inside those 'squares of reality' we walk between.

Heh, quite poetic.. I think I'll keep that one :)
 

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What is consciousness?
« Reply #38 on: 02/10/2010 17:02:52 »

 

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