This book talks a lot about the relative merits (or lack thereof) of consiousness but I came away very confused about what consiousness ev...

This book talks a lot about the relative merits (or lack thereof) of “consiousness” but I came away very confused about what “consiousness” even means in the context of the book. Seemed very ill-defined.

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Agreed. It's an interesting book but .. unpopular opinion. Highly overrated.

    I think he tried to imply that consciousness was self-awareness, and then his protag was capable of being an impartial observer/analyst on an unconscious level, and other characters were multiple personalities (more than one self), non-human (vampiric), and so on... And his alien was basically a non self aware entity.

    So he tried to spam the spectrum and this imply that the "consciousness" aspect was optional, and even exceptional, but I feel like, yes, he failed to be convincing (to me) in his portrayal of that. The alien "being" seemed way too capable of some order of decision making that implied some level of conscious response at times. (IMHO)

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      https://i.imgur.com/lpLfmWB.jpg

      This book talks a lot about the relative merits (or lack thereof) of “consiousness” but I came away very confused about what “consiousness” even means in the context of the book. Seemed very ill-defined.

      P-zombies, the both of you

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >and then his protag was capable of being an impartial observer/analyst on an unconscious level
      The entire point of Siri's character arc is that he LARPs as an impartial observer, but over the course of the story it is shown he's full of shit, and he comes to realize it himself at the end.
      >The alien "being" seemed way too capable of some order of decision making that implied some level of conscious response
      The claim being made in the book is that such decision making does not need a consciousness/qualia/first-person view.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >The alien "being" seemed way too capable of some order of decision making that implied some level of conscious response at times
      do you speak to chess engines when you play against them?

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    you know what consciousness is because you are a human being

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I know what consciousness is because I'm conscious. I have no clue if you're conscious or not besides you acting like you are. That's the problem with treating consciousness as some magic fairy dust it becomes impossible to prove something is conscious or not.

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Just finished the book last night. I think it’ll become more n more relevant as humans begin morphing with computers and the underlying question of “what is consciousness” is asked

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >I came away very confused about what “consiousness” even means in the context of the book
    It's the little moronic monkey slapping at the control panel in your brain and calling itself "me" or "I" while the subconscious does all the actual work with no delusion of identity.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      In not convinced there’s a meaningful distinction between the monkey in the brain saying “I” and the subconscious “doing the work.”

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        "You" have no have no clue how, on a functional step-by-step level, to move your arm or wiggle a toe or walk. Your motor cortex does that basically all on its own, running off a vague initial notion that you give it.
        Also, have you ever had an epiphany, where some difficult question or concept finally "clicks" out of nowhere and you have a fully-fledged solution or understanding of something that was stymieing you? Usually after a prolonged break from actively thinking about it? That was your subconscious, laboring in the background of your brain that you don't occupy, delivering an answer after doing all the cognitive grunt work for you.

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I loved this book. So many authors explore consciousness from a kind of stoner point of view
    >Woah maaan, what even IS consciousness

    It seemed to me like a fairly original take to say
    >Is it even good for anything?

    Made me think. Pretty sure human beings are the only creatures whose desire for self-preservation will get overpowered by "intelligence" and "consciousness" to willingly self destruct

    I mean some mammals will kill themselves on accident
    >lemmings off a cliff

    or bugs will sacrifice themselves for the good of the collective
    >bee stinging

    But people are the only ones that just randomly go:
    >nah, no reproduction or living, time to peace out

    Is consciousness and self-awareness more of a coincidence than a useful trait? COULD an advanced space-faring species exist without any of the negatives from individuality and the illusion of free will?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I agree I did find the book to be very interesting and original

      Just finished the book last night. I think it’ll become more n more relevant as humans begin morphing with computers and the underlying question of “what is consciousness” is asked

      Weird I also finished it last night

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I really don’t get how Sarasti and Captain determined that the scramblers didn’t have self-awareness.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Neither of them are self-aware, and like recognizes like.
      Though it's kind of unknown so far with Watts' AI in that setting. It's possible that they're self aware but it doesn't impede them like with the humans. They could be a synthesis of the conscious and unconscious with none of the drawbacks, but that's a pretty optimistic outcome for his stuff.

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Sociopaths and malapropisms are linked in this. Is that true? Do sociopaths actually mess up grammar like that? If so, why?

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I love shit like this and Saccade by Michael Cisco. Anyone have recs like them?

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If I suddenly lost me consciousness but retained my intelligence, would other people be able to tell?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      You having an inner-life, isn't necessary to cause any of the outward behavior other people see

      Still..
      Why did you lose you consciousness? It would be a pretty fantastical hypothetical, if you stopped being conscious and yet retained all the same behavior.

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