Hi, Andy, thanks for the thoughtful reply.
I think you may be attributing positions to me where I’m posing questions but beyond thank for adding to the conversation, a couple of comments:
- threads and cs — ultimately there are threads at a very fine level of granularity. Neurochemical or electrical signaling that branches and recombines in complex manners. Your description of a variety of factors going into it all sounds good to me although I’m sure we both feel it’s incomplete. The image was intended to be suggestive, not definitive, and what I chose to focus on was the ‘embeddedness’ of conscious processes — it’s a natural as part of the flow — as opposed to something sitting ‘on top’ of the ‘real’ processes. Imho, of course.
- I define consciousness as whatever you experience as consciousness.
- I think it’s interesting to think of planning depth on a continuum just as we’re discovering our other ‘unique’ points (culture, language) are on a continuum. They’ve just discovered evidence of fire use 800k years ago. Anatomically modern humans are closer to 250k and there was an explosion of innovation more recently suggesting the evolution of our brains continued but left no fossil record. Here’s how I imagine it: our species gets better and better at planning steps ahead. At some point, there’s a set of emergent properties appearing in our culture all based around the insight: oh fuck, no matter what, we’re all going to die. Planning to survive hits the wall big time.
Not sure what all you read. Did you see this one? I consider free will to be another embodied process.