Thursday, November 21, 2013

Panpsychism


Reductionist theories are always an interesting, bone to chew on as one cuts the grass, or as Gurdjieff would say the error of eating lunch while discussing philosophy.  I recall one metaphysical wag who stated that all material in the universe would eventually become conscious, from the dirt to a meteorite, and of course this completely ignores that energy is a process that requires fuel in a stored state. Hmmm...sort of like bumping into a wall in a darkened labyrinth like a ricocheting tennis ball. Yet this theme of deconstruction and the equally reductionist suspicion I have is that the paranormal is deconstruction as a unknown process of evolution that rearranges the markers on naive realities...remains sort of lodged like a paper ship going downstream that strikes a low branch and then simply spins around it's place of attachment...perhaps for the cynical, these statements that are the raw material of rearrangement toward the more complex which eludes us., a comedic take on rational logic for which we have yet to find the punchline.

Dr Christof Koch, a neurologist who studies the nature of consciousness has rediscovered panpsychism, which, if you are unfamiliar with the term, it denotes the concept that all living species have consciousness as a broad generalization that I feel has enough holes in it that you could drive a proverbial truck full of qualifiers through this critical assumption.
None the less, all this is focused on from whence consciousness derives as well as the sort of integrated differentiation that manifests in the evolution of increasingly more complex systems of what Dr Koch would call “integration”between referents or packets of information. What always seems like an elegantly simple explanation as the basis of a theory of everything always seems to be a superimposition of added this or that ingredient to an established recipe and thus a cake can be a sirloin steak.
What is refreshing is that Dr Koch is aware of his own reductionism and has some valid observations that to me although very tentative and in some cases project stereotypes of consciousness as a self organising programming  entity that can be divorced from it’s environment rather than as an extension of it via an adaptation of the non local to the local etc...His theory strikes me as provocative and yet oddly one dimensional..and it somewhat reinforces my view of the blind men and the elephant wherein a specialist sees reality through his specialty...so you could ask, why post this?

I think this theory is an offshoot of biocentrism in a sense and has some small kernels of truth that have yet to be quantified in any specificity..but worthy of attention in relation to the stupidity that surrounds us.
Here's one gem from the interview that was conducted with Wired Magazine..

"The philosopher John Searle, in his review of Consciousness, asked, “Why isn’t America conscious?” After all, there are 300 million Americans, interacting in very complicated ways. Why doesn’t consciousness extend to all of America? It’s because integrated information theory postulates that consciousness is a local maximum. You and me, for example: We’re interacting right now, but vastly less than the cells in my brain interact with each other. While you and I are conscious as individuals, there’s no conscious √úbermind that unites us in a single entity. You and I are not collectively conscious. It’s the same thing with ecosystems. In each case, it’s a question of the degree and extent of causal interactions among all components making up the system."

Gadzooks..shades of Gurdjieff.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/christof-koch-panpsychism-consciousness/all/

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