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    Thread: Awareness?

    1. #1
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      Awareness?

      Surely, this belongs in the inner sanctum more than philosophy.

      Awareness is the smallest part in the universe. It is everything but it is so exceptionally small that it is nothing. Animals with brains is a self-perpetuated system that allows for branches of that awareness to become aware of itself and become a new point of awareness.

      That's it. Even tho i found no evidence to back this up this has grown in me and strengthened over time. I wonder if it's true and what dreams are in such a universe.

      Feedback? Insights? Thoughts? love to hear em.

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      DEATH TO FANATICS! StonedApe's Avatar
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      Bunch of crap? Sorry to be so blunt and derogatory.

      Why is awareness the smallest thing in the Universe? Even if it is it certainly isn't nothing. Without awareness we couldn't have this conversation. Even this conversation is something.

      Without awareness we wouldn't have anything. Or at least we wouldn't know it. Life would suck. Actually it couldn't even suck, or at least we couldn't know that it sucked.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      It is everything but it is so exceptionally small that it is nothing.
      I wish this idea would just die. The idea that it(or anything) is everything and nothing at the same time. It makes absolutely no sense, I challenge you to explain how it does. If something is something, anything at all, it isn't nothing. So if something is everything(or if all things were made of this something) it certainly wouldn't be nothingness, things aren't made of nothing. This is a causal or deterministic universe, things happen for reasons, not just at random.

      This is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of emptiness, which I may come back and elaborate on, but I don't completely understand emptiness myself.
      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      Animals with brains is a self-perpetuated system that allows for branches of that awareness to become aware of itself and become a new point of awareness.
      What exactly do you mean by this?
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      well.. haha, ima be completely honest with you. i just added that part to make it sound good. and cus everyone is saying it. its kinda like a joke. its so small that it is "Practically" nothing. cus how the hell can something ever be nothing?

      I thought it was pretty clear what i meant, but a new point of awareness.. ur a point of awareness, i'm a point of awareness. all the birds all have a point of awareness. etc. etc. these are all branches of the one quantum awareness point.

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      And i predict that quantum computing will result in self-aware computers.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      And i predict that quantum computing will result in self-aware computers.
      The human mind isn't quantum though, that has nothing to do with awareness. The awareness is just the massively deep and complex self-referential nature of the mind.

      The reason a human-like mind is so difficult to emulate on modern computer hardware is two-fold, a) We lack enough information about the exact connections and behavior of the billions of neurons, and b) From what we do know, the brain is a massively parallel and analog system, whereas modern computers are serial and binary. The brain's massive system of interdependent action potentials and plastic "rewiring" makes it an extremely daunting problem to translate to machines that can only process small bits of data at a time, represented in binary, even if said computer is extremely fast.

      For a serial computer to function as a brain, it would need to keep the entire HUGE map of neurons and synapses, along with all their interconnections and all electro-chemical potentials and neurotransmitter states in some very fast RAM, and go about updating the map in small steps, calculating how the state of each neuron effects it's neighbors, and writing down the new states.

      It's a very clunky way to make a mind. Like making a sphere from flat panels, doable in approximation if you use small enough panels and enough of them. A lot of things computers do seem "clunky" though, it's completely amazing that 3D physics, visuals, and sound can be produced in real-time from nothing more than binary representations of states and positions being processed serially. A brain is just a more complex problem, so perhaps it will be emulated in this manner sooner than later.

      I think a different hardware architecture would be a better approach though, something using elements that behave more like neurons, and connected together in a mesh network, in essence building a brain physically, rather than just virtually.

      But still, Quantum Mechanics doesn't actually play a role in the brain, sorry.
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      Thanks for the concrete response. I haven't even thought about building a more organic but what do you think could be used to make that other than an actual brain?

      Scrapping quantum computers completely for now since i do not know enough about the subject to actually predict anything you got me thinking about the wiring of a brain and the functions of it. I think it's prime use is interpreting what we sense. Since 4 of our senses are located so close to the brain it's likely that they came out of neccesity . When you are put in a situation i think neural acitivity is going trough past memories that mean something to you and projects a model of what is happening. It gets more easily notable when you look at details like a set of intertwined lines on a blank page. If you leave some spots open and you look at it most of the time your brain will fill in the empty gaps to complete the lines. There are some better tests of this that show this more clearly

      When an unborn baby develops the first thing that starts to form is the heart. almost together with the first neural development. At what point does it become a working brain? Is it after the brain has developed enough to complete all neural connections. Or can just one neuron be enough to produce a very primitive brain.
      If you want to simulate that maybe we don't have to simulate an entire brain but we can do sections at a time.

      And at what point does consiousness kick in? I was thinking that the brain forms as a result of needing something to perceive it's surroundings with and making a model out of it.

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      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      I'm with StonedApe.

      My take on emptiness is that it is "doing without doing". More concretely, it is the ability to find the smallest possible point of interaction with a system that will effect the outcome that you desire. If you're really sharp, this can mean doing nothing at all.
      Previously PhilosopherStoned

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      As to what you would use for neurons in an artificial brain; I don't think neurons are really complicated things in themselves, they're basically a lot like a transistor, when enough electro-chemical potential reaches them, they fire, when they fire, other neurons connected to it sense that impulse and fire or not, depending on how much impulse it takes for them to respond. And then there are neurons that do the reverse of that I believe. And then neurotransmitters get into the mix and change the relative sensitivities of various neurons.

      It's really the vast interconnections between them all that is the challenge I guess. They're not just vastly interconnected, those interconnections are very flexible, and change continuously. Both physically constructing and virtually modeling such a thing are very difficult. But we'll get there one day, one way or another, for better or for worse. XD

      Your idea of starting small is correct. It's certainly easier to start with smaller neural systems, and that's being done already. There's a lot of work going on with virtual neural networks, and at least some work being done on building physical neural networks.

      I might add that the emulation methods I've mentioned could be unnecessarily complex, kind of like simulating the physical functioning of an abacus to do math. There could be much more straight forward ways to do what the brain does than by simulating what it is.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      Thanks for the concrete response. I haven't even thought about building a more organic but what do you think could be used to make that other than an actual brain?
      On-Topic news :p Stanford engineers build a nanoscale device for brain-inspired computing

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      Surely, this belongs in the inner sanctum more than philosophy.

      Awareness is the smallest part in the universe. It is everything but it is so exceptionally small that it is nothing. Animals with brains is a self-perpetuated system that allows for branches of that awareness to become aware of itself and become a new point of awareness.

      That's it. Even tho i found no evidence to back this up this has grown in me and strengthened over time. I wonder if it's true and what dreams are in such a universe.

      Feedback? Insights? Thoughts? love to hear em.
      Most animals don't have awareness, actually. Crows, dolphins, and of course humans do, but there aren't very many. Most animals run purely off of instinct, no awareness about it. Think of a butterfly. Some species only live for about a month. They don't have time for awareness.

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      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jesus of Suburbia View Post
      Most animals don't have awareness, actually. Crows, dolphins, and of course humans do, but there aren't very many. Most animals run purely off of instinct, no awareness about it. Think of a butterfly. Some species only live for about a month. They don't have time for awareness.
      Replace crows with passerines (At minimum the genus corvus which includes the crows and ravens, and the mynah family), replace dolphins with cetations, and add the parrot family, all primates, cephalopods, canines, felines, the bear family, fuck, pretty much every mammal, some monitor lizards, and cephalopods.
      Previously PhilosopherStoned

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      Quote Originally Posted by PhilosopherStoned
      My take on emptiness is that it is "doing without doing". More concretely, it is the ability to find the smallest possible point of interaction with a system that will effect the outcome that you desire. If you're really sharp, this can mean doing nothing at all.
      Many things intrigue me about this response. By emptiness, are you referring to a mental/emotional state achieved during meditation? For example, I think of doing without doing similarly to when I want to practice guitar, and even learn something new and complex on it without actually physically having a guitar. I have accomplished that by doing it in my mind- reliving the mechanics of it, hearing it, etc in such detail, that it becomes possible for me to learn new things without actually doing anything on it. Is that what you mean by that? I may have completely missed the mark.

      Also, what do you mean by points of interaction? Further, what did you mean by the entire latter portion of that particular reply?

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      Quote Originally Posted by PhilosopherStoned View Post
      Replace crows with passerines (At minimum the genus corvus which includes the crows and ravens, and the mynah family), replace dolphins with cetations, and add the parrot family, all primates, cephalopods, canines, felines, the bear family, fuck, pretty much every mammal, some monitor lizards, and cephalopods.
      I think we're defining awareness in two totally different ways.

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      Quote Originally Posted by StonedApe View Post
      I wish this idea would just die. The idea that it(or anything) is everything and nothing at the same time. It makes absolutely no sense, I challenge you to explain how it does. If something is something, anything at all, it isn't nothing. So if something is everything(or if all things were made of this something) it certainly wouldn't be nothingness, things aren't made of nothing. This is a causal or deterministic universe, things happen for reasons, not just at random.
      What a revolutionary concept. Up is up and down is down.
      Please define "nothing" in extradimensional terms.
      ---o--- my DCs say I'm dreamy.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Jesus of Suburbia View Post
      Most animals don't have awareness, actually. Crows, dolphins, and of course humans do, but there aren't very many. Most animals run purely off of instinct, no awareness about it. Think of a butterfly. Some species only live for about a month. They don't have time for awareness.
      Are you trying to say a butterfly has no awareness whatsoever?

      Quote Originally Posted by Jesus of Suburbia View Post
      I think we're defining awareness in two totally different ways.
      How do you define awareness?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      Are you trying to say a butterfly has no awareness whatsoever?
      Pretty much.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      How do you define awareness?
      Being able to think outside of your instincts (eat, fuck, don't die).

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      Where do the instincts come from then?

      And what do instincts have to do with a butterfly mating dance?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      Where do the instincts come from then?
      Utah.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      And what do instincts have to do with a butterfly mating dance?
      That's how they get bitches. That's part of the "Fuck, pass on your genes" part of the instincts.

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      I better check what Utah's like. I'd say there's consiousness and being aware of that is awareness. And what you call instincts is just consiousness without awareness of it. I fail to see a flat line that defines species of being aware and not aware. But yes crows , dolphins , cats and the likes are more lucid than lesser evolved animals i think. I feel that dogs have been pretty much kept stupid by keeping them as pets.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      I better check what Utah's like. I'd say there's consiousness and being aware of that is awareness. And what you call instincts is just consiousness without awareness of it. I fail to see a flat line that defines species of being aware and not aware. But yes crows , dolphins , cats and the likes are more lucid than lesser evolved animals i think. I feel that dogs have been pretty much kept stupid by keeping them as pets.
      I'd say that being kept as pets makes dogs even more aware/lucid. They then have food handed to them, they don't worry about sex, they have protection from dying, they don't rely entirely on instinct. Licking people is a very good example of this, since one reason (aside from just liking the taste of your soap or something) is to show compassion. If my dog notices that I have a cut, she licks it, showing that she has more than just instinct.

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      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rainman View Post
      Many things intrigue me about this response. By emptiness, are you referring to a mental/emotional state achieved during meditation? For example, I think of doing without doing similarly to when I want to practice guitar, and even learn something new and complex on it without actually physically having a guitar. I have accomplished that by doing it in my mind- reliving the mechanics of it, hearing it, etc in such detail, that it becomes possible for me to learn new things without actually doing anything on it. Is that what you mean by that? I may have completely missed the mark.

      Also, what do you mean by points of interaction? Further, what did you mean by the entire latter portion of that particular reply?
      The best example of emptiness that I can give is evolution. It is a perfectly empty way for the universe to have created life. There's nothing to it. It's completely empty.

      By point of interaction, I mean something about the system under consideration that we can interact with and hence modify the evolution of the system. If the system is a relationship, then everything about yourself is a point of interaction with the system. If it's an employment situation, then your conduct on the job, while preparing for the job and while interacting with people that are connected to the job would be points of interaction.

      Karma is about understanding how your actions (interactions with the system) lead to consequences. Emptiness is about realizing what you want the outcome of some process to be and bringing about that outcome with the minimal amount of interaction.

      If your especially sharp, you may realize that what you want is already going to happen (or that you should really be desiring what is already going to happen, if that's better than what you thought to want) and letting it happen.
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      Here, now Rainman's Avatar
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      Ah, okay, I think I've got it, thank you for explaining. So to affect the outcome of something that I desire to happen, the goal would be to interact with the simplest point of interaction of that outcome? But to influence even that simple point of interaction seems like "doing." Unless, as before, I'm still over complicating what you mean.

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