Re: virus: Original Thoughts and Dennett

Chitren Nursinghdass (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 13:19:38 +0200

Eva sez :

> For some really fantastic explorations of this subject, read
>Dennett's _Consciousness Explained_. It should go quite a bit higher on
>the reading list than Jan Harald Brunvand's urban legend books,
>interesting tho they are.

One thing that really struck (stuck to) me in Dennett's "CE" is the
observation illusion caused by a "moving" circle on a screen. In fact
there are two or more circles if I remember correctly.

The circles (or dots) have different colours.

Apparently, at the conscious level, there's a kind of interpolation
and distortion of real time which happens, so that the observer is
positive that the circle changed from colour A at posisiton PA to
a colour B at position PB via an intermediate hue C - which isn't there -
at a position PC - which isn't there either.

Definitely a great book. Relies on memes : consciousness as meme flux...

...although Dennett himself says that to really understand consciousness
we cannot completely divorce from the underlying hardware (his review
of D'Amasio's "Descartes Error").

Together with Calvin's books about cortical representation of symbols
(or fundamental memes if you will), Dennett really brings home the
importance of variation-selection. Smething which we already know
to be of great importance in biological systems.

I think it's important in all complex adapttive systems.