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Self Awareness Options
RedDog
Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 3:19:33 PM

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Awareness of self is an interesting philosophical discussion found thoughout the history of mankind.
In this venue it would be interesting to hear what your perspective is on when you believe you became
aware of Self. Or to put in another way; When did you become conscious of You??
jdlaw
Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2010 4:22:35 AM

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If this reality is a program, how "self" aware can you ever really be?
RedDog
Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2010 11:51:07 AM

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jdlaw wrote:
If this reality is a program, how "self" aware can you ever really be?

Depends upon your veil.
But I'm of the opinion that even if this reality is "programmed", I am not. I am in this
program, but I am not OF this program. That certianty is what I'm looking to hear through
other peoples eye's.
Tracy
Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2010 4:28:11 PM
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I believe consciousness creates the program.
RedDog:
Quote:
When did you become conscious of You??

My earliest "motion picture" memories seem to go back to 1969, "photographic memories" go back earlier.
It seems that back then I lived on a different planet. At some point, we packed up our things and moved to this world.
This world is nothing like the old one.
Guillermo
Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2010 10:25:14 PM

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Tracy wrote:
I believe consciousness creates the program.


I believe that it is the other way around, the program (the software) creates the consciousness and through the consciousness we have access to the software.

My earliest self-aware memories are from the time that I was about 4 years old and I also felt like I come here from somewhere else ...



"We are living in a computer programmed reality."
- Philip K. Dick, 1977
RedDog
Posted: Friday, November 19, 2010 1:06:20 PM

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I'm of the opinion that consciousness here is a byproduct of this reality, and is generated by the brain/body/DNA system...
yet "I" am more than my consciousness and existed before my consciousness here became aware in lineal time of a
separate self. Most people have feelings that may morph into lineal memories of a time before they were in this
time/space body. It is those raw, unencoded feelings that seem to point to the truth of "I". Before we were in lineal
time and recorded memories in encoded space/time form.
It might be stated simply that we exist and existed in Continious form before we became discrete space/time forms.
ebb101
Posted: Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:17:17 AM
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I think sometimes this becomes a matter of semantics.
When you say the "I" that you're not aware of, it may be just a deeper aspect of consciousness. Just like subconscious thoughts and processes, beyond the surface awareness, are responsible for far more than we are aware of, like keeping the heart beating, for instance.
I believe that at a deep level, there is no difference between consciousness and the program.
jdlaw
Posted: Saturday, November 20, 2010 6:53:55 AM

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I would hope this question about becoming truly "self aware" is something we all think about alot. I think that we are (as a creature in the universe) somewhat self aware -- or at least we have been given the capability for becoming self aware -- and we as individuals have achieved a certain amount of it.

The entire world existence is always uncertain, but self awareness is actually not uncertain ("is" just "is" but "am" is possibly devoid of all extension) Meaning, things cannot be what the mind alone perceives them to be, because even though in a constant state of change, it would be insane to suggest that every thing is imagination only. This is not a circular logic, rather it introduces the concept of extension, whereby extension means that things exist in space only as an extension of our perceptions. Yet empty space, which we perceive as nothing, is abhorrent to believe as something that exists. Thus this empty space is only an extension of those things that are contained in it and those things contained in it are extensions of our perceptions of what we perceive them to be. This state of extension is the existence of our corporeal (physical) world, as we perceive it. Yet the question remains, whether our perception is the least bit necessary in order for the corporeal world to exist, i.e. the age-old adage, "if a tree falls alone in the woods, will it make a noise?"

The probabilistic approach to self awareness therefore is the ancillary to intelligence where choice is the core. Laplace's Demon in that true intelligence, unlike computational intelligence, is not probabilistic; it is a choice. (Of course Laplace's demon is that hypothetical "demon." It was posited in 1814 by Pierre-Simon Laplace. It goes like this: if that demon could know the precise location and momentum of every atom in the universe at any one instant, then it could use Newton's laws to reveal the entire course of all cosmic events of the past, present, and future.) Would this kind of self awareness be the true definition of a "fully" sentient being?

Although probabilities can be used to influence the rate of learning, humans find these sorts of probabilities, like Laplace's Demon or Baye's theorems a little counterintuitive, because we do not actually calculate probabilities all that often in our decision making. Perhaps, rather than striving so hard for our own self-awareness, we should be trying to understand our forgetfulness -- or perhaps even our "self-forgetfulness" -- in order to really achieve this "awareness" not devoid of self, but the larger awareness which contains the self.

So, you are only as "self aware" as you "choose" to be. And choice is only as strong as your faith will allow it to be. So, if we can't even be sure of the existence of any corporeal things, even people we meet on the street, then, are simply extensions of the faculty of judgment alone, which is in the mind, and they are products of only what we believe we see with our eyes. Considering our world in the atomic theory, quantum theory, wave-matter theory, or really any theory in which you want to fathom your existence, it is now manifest that bodies themselves are not properly perceived by the senses nor by the faculty of imagination, but by the intellect alone; and since they are not really perceived by sight and touch, but only because they are understood or rightly comprehended by thought, nothing is more easily or clearly apprehended than that which we contrive with our own minds. But because it is vane and difficult to rid one's self of the concepts of reality that we have become accustomed, and lest we become convinced in our pride that it is our own self centered minds that are the cause of all existence, it will be desirable to tarry for some time at this stage, that, by long continued meditation, we may more deeply impress upon our memory this new knowledge. In other words, lets just stop and think about it for a moment, because a priori, we are thinking beings.

jdlaw
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 8:19:37 AM

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But as mankind can endeavor to obtain by degrees a more intimate and familiar knowledge of self and his affections, the knowledge of the opportunity for true companionship is no small thing when for many people, the possibility of isolation is truly one of the most feared of fears. It is no small thing therefore, to contemplate whether any being outside ourselves truly exists.
RedDog
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 4:55:45 PM

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Throughout your position JDlaw, the word "choose" and "choice" are foundational premises. I'd have to agree, that in this reality the aspect of free will and choosing A or B, ie probablities are at the core of our "selves" here.

Since we are thinking beings there is an aspect of making a decision which is involved in our internal SELF dialog, that is a wonderful thought experiment to perform upon ourselves.

Try and determine where the thought is coming from. Attempt to become so self aware, as to differenciate between a reactive thought and an original thought. Then once you pinpoint your original thought, attempt to trace it back to where it came from.

Without going crazy. :-)
Tracy
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 4:03:38 PM
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RedDog:
Quote:
Without going crazy. :-)

Too late, mad as a hatter already.
Thinking on this stuff is what got me there.

A thought I've had in recent months (no, not the detonation of a nuclear weapon on the Korean Peninsula), what constitutes consciousness? Awareness, sensory input, memory, abstract thought, what would my own self-awareness be without the rest? I try to imagine it.
You've all got me obsessing on this bit now.
Could self-awareness create the other stuff (sensory input, memory, etc.) spontaneously on its own? Out of its imagination?
Opinions?
Tell me I'm not mad, or at least only slightly so. d'oh!

Guillermo:
Quote:
My earliest self-aware memories are from the time that I was about 4 years old and I also felt like I come here from somewhere else ...

Can't shake that feeling.
jdlaw
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 10:37:15 PM

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Quote:
A thought I've had in recent months (no, not the detonation of a nuclear weapon on the Korean Peninsula), what constitutes consciousness? Awareness, sensory input, memory, abstract thought, what would my own self-awareness be without the rest? I try to imagine it.
You've all got me obsessing on this bit now.
Could self-awareness create the other stuff (sensory input, memory, etc.) spontaneously on its own? Out of its imagination?
Opinions?
Tell me I'm not mad, or at least only slightly so.


I think it is very important to remember, that even if this reality is programmed, it is still the only reality that we have to work with here -- which of course calls for a little self control. It sort of reminds me of the movie "A Beautiful Mind" -- Just because you "believe" in something, does mean you have to end up becoming institutionalized.

Consciousness: Ah yes. Where were we? We were talking precisely about your current topic. Mr. Galile had assured us that all causation is only what we empirically determine it to be. But now I am left wondering do I really control my own universe? And if I am in control, why can't my thoughts become pure action without physical intervention? Although we do perceive the one event following the other, we do not observe any necessary connection between the two. And according to this skeptical epistemology, we can trust only the knowledge that we acquire from our perceptions. Why can't we trust our imaginations? Ideas differ from impressions only by being less lively, and all ideas are copied from impressions. If a philosophical term is employed without any meaning . . . we need but inquire, from what impression is that supposed idea derived?" There is the physical side of causality where the sum of all probabilities determines the outcome which is the "improper causality" otherwise known as determinism. Then there are the spiritual components to causation where volition and purpose continually guide the outcome of the many variables, which is called the "proper causation" otherwise known as free-will.

Your own self-awareness, without the rest?


"The Arrow of time" suggests that things become more disordered toward the future ("entropy").
RedDog
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 4:59:12 PM

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Your reliance upon man made mathematical models to explain Consciousness JDlaw is a flawed one I'm afraid.
Shame on you
"it is the only reality that we have to work with HERE--" Or is it?
When you ask a question like:
"And if I am in control, why can't my thoughts become pure action without physical intervention?"

Makes me ponder two points in the form of questions:
A.) What makes you think you are in control HERE?
B.) Asking the question of thoughts or consciousness creating action without physical intervention
implies a deeper truth about selfhood, or you would not phrase the question that way.

Someplace, you experience the truth of action without physical intervention, even if it is like a
distant memory. Something about that statement seems more true than what we currently experience.
I feel it, and I'm sure others here do too.
Something beyond this realities confines and temporary constructs of Time.
jdlaw
Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010 10:12:33 AM

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RedDog wrote:
Your reliance upon man made mathematical models to explain Consciousness JDlaw is a flawed one I'm afraid.
Shame on you
"it is the only reality that we have to work with HERE--" Or is it?
When you ask a question like:
"And if I am in control, why can't my thoughts become pure action without physical intervention?"

Makes me ponder two points in the form of questions:
A.) What makes you think you are in control HERE?
B.) Asking the question of thoughts or consciousness creating action without physical intervention
implies a deeper truth about selfhood, or you would not phrase the question that way.

Someplace, you experience the truth of action without physical intervention, even if it is like a
distant memory. Something about that statement seems more true than what we currently experience.
I feel it, and I'm sure others here do too.
Something beyond this realities confines and temporary constructs of Time.


Ah! But, I do not rely on man made mathematical models to explain "consciousness;" I was using it to explain the concept of entropy. Do you know what the word entropy means?

To know what a word means is completely different than "knowing" what something is. That is why I can say things like "it is the only reality we have to work with here." It is because your concept of "is" is only what you perceive it to be. Your entire reality is the result of whatever your perceptions are. You could not tell the difference between a reality, where your world is actually physical, and a reality in which your brain is programmed to perceive a physical reality.

A.) What makes you think you are in control HERE?
Answer: I do not think I am in control here. That is my point. Even as to a supposed "self-awareness" -- I may not be in full control (some have argued "any" control).

B.) Asking the question of thoughts or consciousness creating action without physical intervention implies a deeper truth about selfhood, or you would not phrase the question that way.
Answer: This was not a question on your part, but a statement. But, I agree that thoughts can exist in our minds without a connection to the physical world.

Thus, when I think of the concept of "self-awareness," I choose to define it as a belief. Meaning, you have to believe you are self-aware in fact in order to be self-aware. Therefore, the "cause" of self-awareness is a choice. And a choice, is something that cannot actually be programmed according to classical logic -- or at least classical bivalent programming logic.

So, My question A.) is: Can a computer actually make a choice?
Answer: Being a star trek "geek," I will refer you to Kiri-Kin-Tha's first rule of metaphyics, "nothing unreal exists."
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