Latest Blog Post: The Universe as a Math Pattern

What exists, is uncaused, eternal, doesn't cause anything and never changes? Logic and math and the patterns of information.

Consciousness

I wrote a paper on Consciousness From a Learning Perspective (https://psyarxiv.com/387h9)

The hard problem of consciousness is that we can only measure and observe the objective aspects of it. Only the conscious person can observe what it feels like to be that person.

One perspective that can give some insight on what generates consciousness, is by looking at learning systems. Systems that react to different situations and can adjust how they react after feedback. Brains are such a system. They learn to recognize the world and learn to predict it, including internal brain states. Learning better predictions or better choices, after negative or rewarding feedback.

To do so, a brain must be observing itself in two ways:

  • It has to scan its own predictions and judge if there are any dangers, or ways to create a benefit;
  • It has to match the current situation to past predictions and choices, to see if it needs to learn from what happened.

Our brains are self-observers, why would that not be consciousness? Enriched by all the human aspects, like episodic memory, identity, empathy and love.

Learning Creates Meaning

Moreover, learning creates subjectivity and meaning. By recognizing and adapting to situations, some situations become more meaningful than others.

For example, if a strain of bacteria undergoes a few mutations such that a new chemical can be a source of energy, that chemical has now become a food source. This might be the first time that the label “food” applies to this chemical, a new role for this chemical, a new meaning.

Skepticism

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