Born to do Math 103 - Read Nature's Fine Print: Preconditions on Consciousness
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
January 8, 2019
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, you have the larger structure that is an as if. But you have a certain set of preconditions to get to it.
Rick Rosner: If you want to disregard consciousness with regard to mind, mind, or at least an organism with a mind, is an organism that can a bunch of different possible states and actions and possible states of awareness, depending on what is going on in its environment.
That an organism with a mind can put itself into a whole bunch of different states as part of a survival optimization. Maybe, that is more mechanistic and a more understandable way of approaching organisms.
That something in the mind, as opposed to a tree, has an option of taking action to preserve itself, to not be obliterated. A tree has a bunch of mechanisms to increase the probability of its survival. The probability that it can reproduce.
But it is severely limited in how can react to moment to moment changes in its environment. A tree cannot get out of the way of a truck. A tree is not aware of a truck. But it does have protective mechanisms.
A tree can be big and thick and cannot be knocked over by the truck, because its base trunk is two feet across. But most of the tree's mechanisms aren't moment to moment, and moment to moment reactions to the environment are sufficiently helpful; that you have an entire branch of the kingdoms. The plants are one; the animals are another.
The animals, for the most part, can have a moment to moment understanding of their representations of their environment, and can react. Although, that is not 100% true. It is not true entirely. I am not sure if an amoeba is any more sophisticated in its moment to moment defenses than a tree.
However, an amoeba is a tiny little thing. It is no more likely to react on a momentary basis than an amoeba. When you think of animals, you think of things that can react to situations on a moment to moment basis.
Basically, the moment to moment reactions are such that the organism assumes a state or takes on a state that changes from moment to moment to optimize its survival to the best of the ability of its evolved systems.
In some cases, that involves reflecting the world, developing an information processing model of the world that is sufficiently sophisticated that it embodies consciousness. Not only that a conscious being has subconscious systems to handle things that can be handled in contingent situations, which can be handled without much more than algorithmic processing.
For example, the traversing of terrain by walking is via the mechanisms of taking a step and are not very conscious. It can be handled with or by algorithms that generally do not throw the central problems of walking into the conscious arena.
But in a general sense, the order seen in animals is the ability to change state from moment to moment based on the information that the entity gets from its world.
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American Television Writer
According to semi-reputable sources, Rick Rosner has the world’s second-highest IQ. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writer’s Guild Award and Emmy nominations, and was named 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Registry.
He has written for Remote Control, Crank Yankers, The Man Show, The Emmy Awards, The Grammy Awards, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He has also worked as a stripper, a bouncer, a roller-skating waiter, and a nude model. In a TV commercial, Domino’s Pizza named him the World’s Smartest Man. He was also named Best Bouncer in the Denver Area by Westwood Magazine.
He spent the disco era as an undercover high school student. 25 years as a bar bouncer, American fake ID-catcher, 25+ years as a stripper, and nude art model, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. He lost on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire over a bad question, and lost the lawsuit. He spent 35+ years on a modified version of Big Bang Theory. Now, he mostly sits around tweeting in a towel. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and daughter.
You can send an email or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
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(Updated September 28, 2016)
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