TechCast in a recent article, Halal (2012), reports on the consensus (through a survey) of futurists on the significance (rank importance) of certain technologies in the impending development of automating and redefining human consciousness and their likely arrival (in a future year). This topic continues in the tradition of my theme for this course-transhumanity and the transformation of human-machine species and thought. In particular, Halal conducts a survey among futurists on topics of the technologies of consciousness (ToCs), as he phrases it. These technologies include respectively: (1) AI or general AI (GAI) in my view, (2) biofeedback (mental control of body functions), (3) sex technology (robotics, virtual sex, etc.), (4) collaborative enterprise (stakeholder collaboration), (5) mild drugs (Marijuana, Aderall, and I would also include Modafinil and other mild psychedelics), (6) neurotechnology (enhanced brain functioning), (7) global moral code (synthesis of major religions), (8) thought power (brain-machine interfacing), and (9) virtual reality. These are overly broad topics (and strokes) in technologies that could, in varying ways, affect how we understand human and artificial consciousness and thought. They certainly do not pinpoint how consciousness could be reframed, broadened, or even effectively emulated, but they may contribute in cumulative and synergistic ways towards an epic knowledge of human consciousness.
Some of these technologies are more science-driven than others, (i.e., biofeedback remains sketchy and non-universal). However, in the framework for human consciousness-possibly the grandest project of humanity-classical logic is likely insufficient. Hence, currently accepted traditions of scientific research methodologies will need to be broadened or even revolutionized to cover legitimate post-modernist approaches from non-classical logics such as paraconsistent, fuzzy, and quantum logics and inference systems. These approaches may be needed to transition to the understanding and modeling of strongly emergent systems-precisely the frameworks needed to further enhance our knowledge of neuro-systems, more precise and succinct quantum-gravity cosmological theories, and complexity sciences. Emergence cannot be just observed after the fact. It must be reliably approximated as phenomena within phenomena in order to understand the foundations of complexity dynamics.
|Trans-consciousness of the universe (Wadhawan, 2009)|
The manifested changes in our economy, ethics, socio-technical structure, and science philosophy cannot be overstated by such a revolution in emergent science methodologies and logics. Paradigm shifts in our understanding of consciousness may transcend to more universal definitions of a system consciousness-expanding to a view of a thinking computing universe that self-reproduces as in cyclical models of cosmology (Gurzadyan & Penrose, 2010; Penrose, 2006; Steinhardt, & Turok, 2001). All consciousness may be merely a matter of adaptive, holographically representational, and evolutionarily computational information (Bohm, 2002; Deacon, 2011; Goswani, 1995; Koch, 2012; Penrose & Hameroff, 2011; Susskind, 1995). If this thesis develops into a working definition of consciousness-a new zeitgeist-all technologies dependent on computation (which ones are not?) can be reduced to the simple manipulation of space-time topology and the information-consciousness duality may replace that of energy-matter in the universe (Laszlo, 2009; Stapp, 2009; Vedral, 2010; Deutsch, 2011). Pure thought would then become the only universal currency of value. In a sense, the current era of transparent digital knowledge, is a harbinger of the future development of a universal trans-consciousness. The notion of this trans-consciousness must be arrived at through falsifiable physical-logico systems of reasoning and not from spiritual belief systems (Wadhawan,2009).
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