Do the Consciousness Dance

Posted in artificial intelligence on January 11th, 2010 by Samuel Kenyon

According to philosopher Alva Noë, “Consciousness is more like dancing than it is like digestion.” I.e., consciousness happens while you are interfacing with the world.

But is it ballroom dancing, techno dancing, break dancing…the robot?


Sure, you can dance by yourself—especially to industrial and EBM—but you need music. And music is at least partially external. And there’s probably people around you. Crazy people. And a disco ball, and strobe lights…it’s an environment.

Does this mean your consciousness is dependent on interactions?

If you were in a sensory deprivation chamber would you be unconscious? I think you would have hallucinations and eventually go insane. But you would probably still be self aware and relatively conscious, at least until the black hole of strange loop madness consumed you.

However, that is in lifetime space (ontogeny). Consciousness might be fully dependent on interactions in evolution space (phylogeny).

So can this metaphor stretch to unconsciousness? Maybe unconsciousness is like doing the fish stick.


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