Tony Giovia

I'd like to offer an extremely simple definition of C which may serve, in whole or in part, as the basis for a more complex definition. Agreement with the details and labels is not important, but the relationships among the parts seems to provide a servicable framework for growth.

Ideas - Manifestations of the power relationships among the physical particles composing the universe.

Universal Mind - The complete collection of ideas existing in the universe.

Local Mind -   Any less-than-total portion of the universal mind; aka the Self.

Consciousness - The process of integrating the local mind with additional portions of the universal mind.

This definition of C has certain advantages in reference to your request. For example, this definition would define all types of learning (and organizing) as a conscious process, while eliminating previously learned "bot" behavior (walking, driving, breathing, etc. - they are in-place data structures). Another advantage is that it differentiates between "Self" and "Other" data structures. A third advantage it that it can incorporate animals as test objects. A fourth advantage is that it does not limit experimental models.

This definition has implications you may not agree with. The organization of existing ideas would be a conscious process by this definition, but it allows the organization to occur at non-visible levels (an occurrence that psychologists would describe as an unconscious process). By organization of ideas I mean the ordering of ideas into logical patterned hierarchies.

Also, reliving a past pleasant or painful experience - i.e., replaying the existing data - would not be a conscious experience by the above definition. Organizing that experience into a new context - i.e., seeing it in a new light - would be conscious.

Also, it does not address what is meant by C as  "aware that its environment is reprogrammable and [that it has] access to the program" (Richard). I can't define "aware", except as a kind of polling mechanism.

Consciousness becomes an "overseer" context which routes data through the local mind's architecture, perhaps buffering it in STM. A simplified structure of C is a network of assumptions (points of view) - that is, a set of access points (ports) through which data is selectively shuttled to a "matching" function. C groups these assumptions into clusters that a humanist would call personalities (roles) and a mechanist would call protocols.

C further associates certain roles or protocols with certain behavior patterns - data "fitting into" the port controlling access to the protocol for hunger can result in food being eaten, and when a mother role receives data matching a baby crying it results in the mother rocking the baby. I am of course likening this process to BIOS calls, and C as an operating system. No match, and "learning" - the integration of the design into the mind - can occur. The analysis of data in its simplest form may just be a mechanical searching for a matching design (Richard has already suggested this).

Converting analog sounds and sights (smells could be a problem) into digital data that can be represented as ideas is existing technology. This covers your computer. A human consciousness perhaps handles analog and digital data with equal dexterity (right and left brains) - but designing these functions complicates the model at this early stage.

>> An additional requirement (thanks to Richard) is a measure of 'How Conscious IS It ?' <<

By the definition of C above, the (apparent) quantity of learning that occurs could distinguish between levels of C. I can't think of a reliable way to compare man vs animals, though. Man vs man has possibilities.

Organization requires a "depth of field" - 1) how many solutions to a problem are considered; 2) what is the quality of the solutions considered; i.e., how many appropriate assumptions (points of view, portals) are used in selecting a possible solution.

While simplified, this definition and design of C does offer some practical approaches. This machine of yours is starting to take shape and I am looking forward to watching it develop.

>> Consciousness is the localisation and ordering of a (growing) sub-set of total information space.(the word concentration is particularly appropriate here) <<

This is consistent with my preliminary definition of C.  By "concentration" I assume you mean tighter idea organization, including more associations (pathways) between protocols.

>> Consciousness includes the ability to transform information from one information Dimension into another. <<

I am very boring when it comes to the subject of definition - for me the exactness of a definition determines whether I am doing entertainment or work. Please forgive this failing in me, it is a comment about me and not you. What do you mean by "information dimensions"?

>> Mind is the environment of Consciousness, is reprogrammable and is accessible by it. <<

I think you are agreeing with me here. C is a subset of mind, C can reprogram mind, and C necessarily can access mind.

My question is: what is being abstracted, inferred, and metaphorized (sic - send your letters to NUL)? As you say, the physical sciences - which examine forms of energy - are understood in terms of mathematics, and it is mathematical relationships that are being conceptualized.

But these concepts themselves are ultimately composed of energy - so you have energy constructs "describing" other energy constructs. This brings to mind two possibilities :

1) This "describing" is the actual reproduction of the reality as a design whose physical structure mirrors the mathematical relationship being described (ie, form = function);

2) The design "elements" - individual ideas - can be used in other designs, just as carbon can be used in multiple chemical compounds, and "addition" can be used in multiple mathematical formulas.

>>> If you can define the precise substance of information then I will of course reconsider... <<<

The relationships among energy particles, with each unique idea composed of different particles and/or relationships. Increasing the number of particles is equivaIent to joining more ideas together. Since the joining of particles is governed by forces measurable by mathematics, and insofar as mathematics is a subset of logic (or vice-versa ! ), then this joining is what we call logical thinking. I don't know how else to explain it.

From other messages I think you are saying that putting this in terms of entropy would clarify the actual mechanics. I agree with you. But not having this piece (yet) does not directly attack the logic that ideas exist as physical entities. It just means there is more work to be done.

If you are stuck on this point we will just have to agree to disagree until the point is resolved one way or another.

Since we are speaking of bits, does a cpu fit your definition of an observer? Does an operating system? For me, energy designs (/systems) that include other energy designs sufficiently describe an "observer" at a mechanical level; that is, an observer is part of the design when speaking in a purely mechanical context. An observer affects and is affected by other parts of the system in degrees proportionate to its mechanical influence on the other parts of the system. If the radiator hose of your car bursts, your engine "observes" this and overheats.

If we ever come to a conclusion that ideas have a physical design, this is the type of analogy we can apply to the interaction of ideas.



Consciousness - The process of integrating the local mind with additional portions of the universal mind. <<

This organization sounds similar to what Silva proposed almost 30 years ago. He taught his students how to integrate the local mind with additional portions of the universal mind (higher intelligence).

Through meditation (quiescing the left hemisphere, enabling the release of the right hemisphere), integration of the local mind with additional portions of the universal mind was achieved.

Desired results were achieved using dynamic meditation (creative visualization), rather than natural passive meditation.



Hello, Jerry.

>>> This organization sounds similar to what Silva proposed almost 30 years ago. He taught his students how to integrate the local mind with additional portions of the universal mind (higher intelligence)... Through meditation ... integration of the local mind with additional portions of the universal mind was achieved. <<<

I don't know Silva, except that the eerie phrase "Mind Control" looms up from memory next to his name. I would credit most of this idea organization to Castaneda, with tips of the hat to Persig and Plato's Ideals.

Silva's viewpoint bears directly on the subject of this thread (IMO). How detailed did he get on the mechanics of integration? Did he call it meditation and leave it at that, or did he get his hands into the gears?


Hi Paul,

>>> >>>  I don't think you'll find ANY word or concept to have such specialness or absolute nonequivalence as you imply. <<<

When I read this, I interpreted it to mean that ideas do not exist apart from a universe of energy; but your recent reply to Richard did not mention this. Do you postulate ideas as forms of energy?



>>> I think we are hovering on the edge of Godel's theorem (or Paul's waterfall!). <<<

Hmmm. My own logical world ... I can pack it with free pizza, hourglass blondes, perceptive literary agents ....

Whoops. This last woke me up. <g>

Seriously, I think to be Godelian here you have to prove an inconsistency, not assume an inconsistency. And it seems to me that the heart of any killer inconsistency has to be a proof that ideas are not composed of energy.

Anyway, I hope you don't think I am beating this to death. Let me flail along until I can devote a couple of months to studying the dreaded Quantum Mechanics Monster (it won't be soon). As I think Phil said somewhere, we're not getting paid for this work. So we have to take it as it comes.


That devil ('s advocate) Richard. Ideas can be understood or defined in terms of other ideas. For example, if you look at the concepts composing the idea of a toaster, you will eventually reach the concept of electricity, energy, etc. and can thereby go on to define other energy related things in terms of a toaster. This is the route of metaphor - " a toaster is like the sun because both require energy to operate".