A Neuroscientist’s Radical Theory of How Networks Become Conscious

Brandon Keim, Wired, Feb 22, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I don't think the theory is all that radical - it's the same theory I have! "Consciousness arises within any sufficiently complex, information-processing system. All animals, from humans on down to earthworms, are conscious; even the internet could be." It's like the charge on an electron, continues the explanation. It "doesn’t arise out of more elemental properties. It simply has a charge.” There's a nod in the article to 'panpsychism' (probably your best read on this is Spinoza) and a discussion of John Searle's objection ("there are 300 million Americans, interacting in very complicated ways. Why doesn’t consciousness extend to all of America?")(my response: maybe it does). It's a Wired article, so there's a lot of breathlessness. But it's still an interesting read.

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