What is Consciousness?

I recently published another essay on Medium.com.

I take some ideas from my SciFi novels on the nature of Consciousness and Reality and flesh them out to make them explicit. I do touch on some of this in Book Three, but in a novel, I didn’t want to slow down the story by digressing too much into philosophy.
Don’t worry, there are no spoilers!

Take a look and give me a clap or two if you enjoy it!


What is Consciousness?

“We have no idea what we, or YOU—the protagonists in our subjective lives—actually are.

This is not an exaggeration. Science currently has NO IDEA what Consciousness is; not even a plausible conjecture; NOTHING. This is a glaring gap in our epistemology when consciousness is the foundation of all meaning in the universe; which it must be, because without conscious experience what is ethics, hope, passion, and art? Would there be any meaning in a vast complex universe utterly devoid of anybody to experience it? Would there be any loss if such a Universe was destroyed? Or if a Billion were created and then destroyed in the blink of an eye?


Main Image: Kevin PhilippeAgua de Estrella

Meaningful Relationships…

I enjoyed ths wired article at lot—all the while experiencing an ominous sense of wrongness.

If you have read your Asimov, it feels like parts of humanity are heading towards Solaria.

Eventually, all traces of our base, biological behavior will have been criminalized and proscribed—purged from polite society. The only flirting or f&*king we will be doing then, will be with our robot housemaids.


‘Levy takes Alan Turing’s famous claim that the convincing appearance of intelligence (in AI) is proof of intelligence, and he expands that into the emotional realm:

“If a robot behaves as though it has feelings, can we reasonably argue that it does not? If a robot’s artificial emotions prompt it to say things such as ‘I love you,’ surely we should be willing to accept these statements at face value … Why, if a robot that we know to be emotionally intelligent, says, ‘I love you’ or ‘I want to make love to you,’ should we doubt it?” Human emotions, he argues, are no less “programmed” than those of an intelligent machine: “We have hormones, we have neurons, and we are ‘wired’ in a way that creates our emotions.” ‘

Taken to extremes, this is the dark Armageddon of the body snatchers. Humans are swapped out, uploading into shiny, hygienic oids, one by one. Society continues, but it has become a kabuki of raging and laughter—there is nobody home, no Cartesian observers in the cockpit, nothing going on behind cold android eyes…

…I fear we are only starting to scratch the surface of future shock

Clever Ravens

Animals are smart, much smarter than we usually give them credit for…

These Ravens show advanced planning, and more impressively, self-control.
Our last common ancestor was over 300Million years ago, so they are basically alien thinkers, most similarities are due to convergence of evolution.

That some animals might be ‘people‘ is one of the premises of my Singularity’s Children series.

These studies were carefully set up to show that the ravens could plan
under flexible conditions—different time delays, and solving either a
mechanical (puzzle box) or social (bartering) problem. They didn’t just
match apes in their performance; they beat them. The ravens even
performed better than 4-year-old children.