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#10881 - 01/16/06 06:26 PM Human Consciousness
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thought I'd take a minute to post a speculation me and several of my colleagues have and open it up for comment.

We have good reason to believe that when different humans look at a color ... say red ... say 6943 angstroms ... they all see the same thing. We also have good reason to believe that when a bell rings they hear the same sound ... etc.

But we are far less convinced that what we view as the experience of consciousness is in fact universally shared.

In a species that historically has had an alpha male and alpha female, like a wolf pack, there is little reason for anyone other than the alpha to be able to think. The requirement for all others is to follow and when a second alpha emerges the result is invariably a fight between the alphas with only one surviving. Thus those traits that lead to leadership may be the end of the genetic trail for many.

Extend this to humans and it is reasonable that the vast majority of "morons" sitting in front of their TV watching Jerry Springer or getting emotionally involved in a televised soccer match or whatever are truly incapable of thinking the complex thoughts required to run a modern technical society.

The above inflammatory comments have been written purposefully to start a debate: Let it begin!
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#10882 - 01/16/06 09:10 PM Re: Human Consciousness
Johnny Boy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 330
Loc: South Africa
I am the universal alpha male. So shut up and follow me!
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http://www.cathodixx.com

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#10883 - 01/17/06 12:25 AM Re: Human Consciousness
bradp Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 82
Loc: Spain
We are now in 2006. Would you agree with two alpha males?????? We would be well dressed and have great interior design but It wouldn?t last long

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#10884 - 01/17/06 12:38 AM Re: Human Consciousness
Rusty Rockets Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175
Hmm, I doubt that humanity is so sharply divided into categories of subordinate and leader based on your's and your colleague?s speculation. Do you think it likely that how people spend their free time necessarily reflects their position, status or calling in life? I'm pretty sure that there is many a technocrat that enjoys shouting at the telly during evenings and weekends.

The consciousness part of your speculation certainly seems to be a major component of leadership, but then again when held up against the "complex thoughts" section of your proposal it doesn't really stand up. Some leaders merely have an over-inflated view of themselves and their ability that in the end produces nothing more than an overwhelming sense of optimism toward a situation where none really exists. This can often come across as charisma, an appealing quality likely to gain popular support, but ultimately may not be very useful when intelligence is required.

Then again, self-awareness is probably a significant factor in regard to leadership (leading and directing yourself probably precedes leading and directing others), and probably explains why there have been so many narcissistic leaders in human history.

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#10885 - 01/17/06 01:32 AM Re: Human Consciousness
Dogrock Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Ireland
...there is little reason for anyone other than the alpha to be able to think" - from original posting'.
I disagree with this conclusion: The wolf born the weakest may have to use the most cunning to survive among his pack. He/she might need the most understanding of pack dynamics. If you're a strong enough wolf you might need little brains. I think the world and it's scientific ideas are held together by the weakest people but with equal brains, not the strongest. I don't think the greatest scientists are known for their prowess or beauty. I think the ugly man has to please more than the beautiful one. But I'm sure you want to talk about all these mindless people watching TV. Truth is they've chosen the better part, we have to do the housework.

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#10886 - 01/17/06 02:11 AM Re: Human Consciousness
Rusty Rockets Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175
Dogrock, I think that you have to look at how you are using the word "weakest," and the assumptions that you are drawing from that usage.

Humans, as do some animals, can become alpha through brute force or political means. Your example of the physically weakest wolf becoming dominant does not contradict the concept of alpha leadership, as the wolf's smarts and self-awareness have allowed it to become alpha.

Apart from some exceptions through lineage and succession, which allows family and political successors to stand on the shoulders of their alpha relations and leaders, becoming alpha is a conflict between competing interests.

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#10887 - 01/17/06 02:40 AM Re: Human Consciousness
Dogrock Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Ireland
I wasn't saying the weakest wolf would become alpha, but might understand about pack dynamics better than the alpha. Indian tribes had their leaders and their medicine men, maybe a reflection on that theme.

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#10888 - 01/17/06 04:33 AM Re: Human Consciousness
Rusty Rockets Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175
Ah, ok. Seems I'm doing a little of my own assuming. Thanks for the clarification.

Perhaps we share a similar perspective on this topic, then; that a person's position or status in life is not necessarily dependent upon intelligence.

But then DA also stated in his proposal that: "there is little reason for anyone other than the alpha to be able to think." I suppose there may be differing opinions as to whether leaders prefer to lead sheep or an intelligent and experienced band of followers.

In fact, your comment about the wolf runt (while your example doesn?t require that it become leader) parallels theories regarding leadership, as often the person who can read the dynamics of a population well can succeed in leading them. How they use this knowledge of group dynamics to become alpha leader is up to them. It could be used coercively or used to attain mutual objectives with followers, or perhaps a little of both.

Furthermore, in this instance, you could say that it is the prevailing dynamics of the followers that determines the type of alpha leader and the manner of leadership. It is usually the female bonobo that is leader rather than the strongest male, for example.

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#10889 - 01/17/06 01:26 PM Re: Human Consciousness
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
As I said in a previous post, the most intelligent should rule the strong-but-stupid. This way, strategic and well-calculated plans of action are made and put into action successfully. Let's look at a game of chess; the king is the weakest and most good-for-nothing piece on the game yet every life of a much stronger piece that gets sacrificed is in the name of the king. The king chooses who gets sacrificed using his brain, and the stupid warriors mindlessly do what they are told. This is the only way to win a game of chess.

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#10890 - 01/17/06 06:33 PM Re: Human Consciousness
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
The most intelligent wouldn't rule. They would be the hidden one with the most influence over the Alpha. (The Merlin or The Wife)
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~Justine~

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#10891 - 01/17/06 06:57 PM Re: Human Consciousness
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
The experience of AWARENESS of consciousness is shared.
But our experience of consciousness differs by how it percieves and interacts with the world based on differing personality, intelligence, apptitudes, backround, environment, etc.

For example: in successful meditation (or even in successful orgasm) I think we have a shared experience of consciousness. Without thought we are the same.
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~Justine~

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#10892 - 01/19/06 02:34 AM Re: Human Consciousness
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
I've let this go for awhile without comment and now I'll jump back into the fray:

Rusty ... your comments are on the mark with the exception that you misunderstood one of my statements: Let me clarify.

Are we so sharply divided today? No. But we have been for the vast majority of our species existance. And during that time developing intelligence and consciousness were not necessarily traits that got your genes promoted into the future. Look at an ant colony or bee hive. What would happen if they suddenly found themselves in a different environment. Would all the workers and drones suddently become capable of the kind of consciousness and organization that the queen must exercise? Seems highly unlikely.

Dogrock ... the weak only inherit the earth in fairy tales. Many people pay taxes ... only a few tax them.

Rob ... to restate what you wrote: Consciousness belongs to the alpha. The pawns are just there to throw themselves into the fray and sacrifice for the king. They need to be big, strong, and stupid. Likely they would be watching the SuperBowl and drinking beer.

Justine ... with all due respect ... what is going thru his mind ... Paris Hilton ... and what's going thru her mind ... Brad Pitt ... are probably best left unshared. And yes Paris Hilton. We all know men are dogs (that's right read thru to what I am thinking beyond the literal words).
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#10893 - 01/19/06 03:43 AM Re: Human Consciousness
Dogrock Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Ireland
The meek will inherit the earth if they stand up and fight for it, a joke. To answer your question; I think: yes they are capable of thinking complex thoughts, but won't while someone else if doing what they believe is the boring work of running the world. A guy said to me one time. "You'd go a long way to find a fool" only years later did I accept this.

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#10894 - 01/19/06 01:42 PM Re: Human Consciousness
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
If I knew what was really going on, and if it was bad, I would rebel. If I did not know what was really going on, and finding out is the hardest thing in the world -I would do exactly what I'm supposed to.

The government must be smart to see this, so don't worry; even though your life is negligible, you are at least in the hands of intelligent people.

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#10895 - 01/19/06 02:20 PM Re: Human Consciousness
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
The question you pose about consciousness is important, to me. I want to know if the "feeling of me" is shared when individuals are awake and aware, but not thinking and not paying attention to sensations.
The experience AFTER we are overloaded with physical sensation or the experience induced by a meditative state. (Beta brain wave activity?)
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~Justine~

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#10896 - 01/19/06 10:55 PM Re: Human Consciousness
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
" I want to know if the 'feeling of me' is shared"

No, it is not. Have you ever had lapses of individuality? Have you ever seen or experienced something that for a split second totally changes your mind-frame? It's a really weird feeling. But there seems to be some kind of mind-barrier that keeps bouncing you back after these split seconds. It's really annoying. Have you ever experienced this?

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#10897 - 01/20/06 01:20 PM Re: Human Consciousness
y Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 49
Loc: everywhere
We have good reason to believe that when different humans look at a color ... say red ... say 6943 angstroms ... they all see the same thing. We also have good reason to believe that when a bell rings they hear the same sound ... etc.


I sense a departure from Boolean logic here!

Who is 'we' (i thought you would have grown out of hanging around in gangs)?


---------------------------------------------
Take me to your leader
---------------------------------------------
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y

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#10898 - 01/20/06 03:52 PM Re: Human Consciousness
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
I've experienced the a full spectrum of consciousness.....but I've always had an underlying continuum of awareness that feels the same. The awareness that's along for the ride.
_________________________
~Justine~

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#10899 - 01/20/06 05:57 PM Re: Human Consciousness
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
"We have good reason to believe that when different humans look at a color ... say red ... say 6943 angstroms"

There is a difference between seeing and interpreting. I may see the colour red as blue but I will still associate it with passion, violence, speed etc... because blood will appear blue and so will everything else that spawns these associations.

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