I agree that consciousness is a kind of fundamental building block.
I think one of the most basic expressions of consciousness is simply inertia. An object remembers its direction and momentum, but this is just the
beginning. Another expression of this is the kinetic energy contained within a volume of vibrating atoms. In other words, they remember their
temperature and whatever other physical manifestation results from the internal vibrations of the atoms. They remember their internal ratio of protons
and neutrons and whatever else is inside them as well, like the nuclear (strong) force.
From the start, at the very basic level of atomic things, you see that they remember key things about themselves and retain this memory dependent on
what's around them. An object set into motion in a certain direction with a certain temperature will maintain this until it interacts with something
The fact that things interact and change each other is another key trait.
As atoms come together they form materials and these materials remember their shape and have their own unique textures and tolerances. The makeup of
atoms is increasingly complex.
All of this seems to be based on the idea that matter remembers its state and can interact with other matter. The principle of locality also seems to
relate. It's the idea that there's a thick viscous goo pervasive in the universe that separates everything from everything else. As distance
increases, the goo becomes increasingly impenetrable. What this does is it creates places and these places retain their unique characters. Without
such a separating goo in the universe there would be only one place; the universe. No matter where you'd look, you'd see a relatively uniform and
stable universe that actively shares everyplace with every other place.
So from this I get the idea that for intelligence to form there must be all of these traits already present in the universe. Otherwise, I can only
think of everything as just one thing without any break.
A rock by itself is not impressive. But a rock can change over time because of the traits I've mentioned. But without memory, there's nothing to
change, right? In its shape and its various properties we can see its history; its memory. A rock has its own character. But without somebody to
observe it and characterize it, or give it a name, is it meaningful? I don't know. But I do know that the rock shows change and memory and
But does a rock act (react?) on other things? On a basic level, it does. If the earth quakes, rocks can fall from a hillside and act on other things
by colliding with them. If the heat from the center of the earth fills a rock, it can melt and change the surface of things it crosses. If the rock
emerges into water, some atoms might break away from it and circulate in the water and thus change its content. None of this is very impressive,
It's an assumption to say that intelligence is different from inanimate objects. Rather, I think it's simply a progression. It's an addition to what's
already there. We don't just remember our temperature, our direction and momentum, our shape, our density, our nuclear force, or other such things, we
also remember concepts. We build a very active memory of events as they unfold around us and this memory allows us to create a kind of
mirror-universe. This mirror-universe is a clumsy model of the actual universe and it allows us to make predictions. These predictions are the things
that're our most powerful tool. I think as this mirror-universe grew in the mind of intelligent lifeforms, they became ever more constructive and
But I want to clear up the idea of actions as opposed to reactions. The way I see it, all things are reactions. Actions tend to be more deliberate and
time consuming, but actions are based on a history of events and in that respect actions are in fact reactions to memory. In this way, intelligent
creatures are not much different from rocks. We react to our memory just as they do. If a rock is 3000 degrees (f) then it says "uh oh, I'm melting!"
If a human sees something 3000 degrees (f) they will run unless they know they're safe.
Animal intelligence REacts in much more complex ways than a rock. This is because of our deep memories of things around us. When an event in the
universe occurs within our proximity, we don't just examine our temperature and direction and momentum and density and other basic characteristics to
determine our reaction. We're more evolved than that. So, lifeforms evolved a more complex memory than rock or inanimate object. I think that was when
life was able to create a mirror-universe in its mind and predict the future.
Anyway it's late and I have to go afk. Was fun.
edit on 16-11-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)