Monday, December 19, 2011

fuck the self

Finally, a guy has added some detail to a vague argument I've felt vaguely strongly* about for the past few years: Sentience, the sense of self, is not a uniquely human trait, nor is it a necessarily important part of intelligence. The self is just a good, practical reference point in the design of thinking machine. And thinking machines are billions of years older than super-intelligent ones we are now. But you didn't come here for my perspective. Here's the video:

Hell yeah, down with the sentience cult. One thing that bothered me was the idea that the self is located down in the midbrain. I'd been rooting for the prefrontal cortex. But that's not a big deal. Only idiots worry about the location of the self.

An importanter lesson to learn from this is that intelligence is one little voice in the primitive democracy of our minds, which explains why it's so easily and often ignored. The only solution is to metaphorically locate its opponents and metaphorically beat them savagely. And that's why I didn't like the Damasio's (the guy in the video) defense of curiosity. It seemed so feeble. It also feels tragic that it's even necessary.

*Yes, you can use an adverb to modify an adverb, if you're an asshole like me.

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