For Ass Clown
In the comments of this post
Ass Clown wrote:
I seem to be an "intraverted intuitive" according to psychology. I get the gist of 'complex systems' and I especially like emergence, but on the other hand I often can't follow details and frequently get spaced out so essentially my point is "who cares?" It just is.
I find I'm having an especially hard time getting myself back to into blogging mode since I've returned from my trip. The post referenced above was written before I left and instead of responding in the comments, I suppose responding in a new post is as good a way as any to get back into blogging mode. I don't expect that Ass Clown will return to read it, but it is something that's been on my mind.
Who Cares? It just is.
Ass Clown actually has good company. In this article, Why great minds can't grasp consciousness
, David Chalmers says something similar:
Just accept it.
According to Chalmers, the subjective nature of consciousness prevents it from being explained in terms of simpler components, a method used to great success in other areas of science. He believes that unlike most of the physical world, which can be broken down into individual atoms, or organisms, which can be understood in terms of cells, consciousness is an irreducible aspect of the universe, like space and time and mass.
Susan Greenfield disagrees:
"It's the last resort, because what can you possibly do with that idea? You can't prove it or disprove it, and you can't test it. It doesn't offer an explanation, or any enlightenment, or any answers about why people feel the way they feel."
For Greenfield, a conscious experience occurs when a stimulus -- either external, like a sensation, or internal, like a thought or a memory -- triggers a chain reaction within the brain. Like in an earthquake, each conscious experience has an epicenter, and ripples from that epicenter travels across the brain, recruiting neurons as they go.
Mind and consciousness are connected in Greenfield's theory because the strength of a conscious experience is determined by the mind and the strength of its existing neuronal connections -- connections forged from past experiences.
For me it's like looking at an unassembled puzzle. Sometimes I can walk past it and say, "it just is" and other times I'm compelled to open the box and play with the pieces. The puzzle of consciousness, the ultimate complex system, layers of ideas, sparks and connections, intuition. Linear thought is tedious and almost boring for me. Attention occasionally scatters into clarity when I least expect it.
Anyone who finds scattered patterns fascinating. Technology, innovation, creativity, all are furthered by ideas that come from somewhere. Even if we can't find where that 'somewhere' is, by playing with the pieces, not dismissing them, we can possibly find a way to enhance and colorize them. Bruce Eisner cares
and often has some great resources on his page.
I care because I want to find that sense of place. I want to understand where my strengths come from and use them well. When the scattered pieces are a part of you, you want to put them together. Sometimes they lead to a bigger puzzle. It's never boring, though often it's frustrating enough to stand back and say, 'it just is'. Standing back is often quite useful. How many time have you awakened after a nights sleep and known the answer to that elusive problem that was bothering you? It happens to me regularly. (especially with those tedious linear problems)
Innovation, new technology, alternatives to our wasteful living habits, and efficiency also need to find where the pieces fit and put them together creatively. Learning how we know what we know and acting on that buried knowledge are ways we can become better humans
It's understood that "it just is" is an integral piece of the whole, but it can never be the whole. Human nature doesn't allow for complete serenity.
posted by Cyndy