Introduction: We need consciousness first to compare things
What is consciousness? This essay will discuss personal consciousness, but group consciousness can be discussed in another topic. We know we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste things with or five senses. We know we can also think and remember. We know we can move our body and use tools called technology with our hand. But how are the five senses, thinking, remembering and moving our body are connected?
Our brain is the most important part of our consciousness. It processes our what our five senses can detect and there is a part of our brain that remembers things. It is responsible for controlling how we move our body. The brain alone cannot work by itself, it needs input devices to be able to process.
So our five senses are input devices and our hands are usually the output device. Our hands allow us to control technology. The input must be processed first before outputs can be produced. In general, inputs, processes then outputs.
The processing part of our brain is useless without the five senses and memory. Before the brain can process, it must gather information from its surroundings and process it based on the information in our memory, only then it can produce outputs. It can also process information based on our survival instincts. So survival instincts is our preinstalled memory.
Example: Homeostasis is a process that compares the current state of the body to the ideal state and restores the current state to the desired/ideal state accordingly. That means the ideal state is an object of memory. Homeostasis, being defined as the regulation of the internal environment of the body, is the basis of survival instincts. It lets us know whether basic existential needs are required or when we need more.
So bodily consciousness is when our five senses, our anatomy, our ability to remember and process information and our ability to use tools, all work together as a single unit called the human body or the general animal body. Human awareness cannot exist without memory. Awareness and consciousness have the same meaning.
We cannot compare without the five senses and memory working together, because memory is crucial for processing information in our surroundings. So memory whether human form (biological) or computer form (electronic), is crucial to comparing and information processing.
Comparing always happens between two objects of interest at minimum. When we are learning something, the first object of interest is usually something we remember and the second object is what we are currently observing.
It also happens in what we have remembered: Recalling two strategies best for the next task and deciding which. Strategies only exist in memory. So we can see here that deciding what to do is another form of subconscious comparing.
Information processing in computers is also based on comparing because processing cannot happen without memory. The computer microprocessor is useless without computer memory (RAM or hard disk) or input and output devices. For a computer to work, it needs something it its memory (storage device) already (the operating system software). A computer too is useless without anything in its memory.
So when the microprocessor, memory, input devices (camera, keyboard, mouse) and output devices (monitor/display) and power supply work together, they form a single unit called a computer.
What are emotions?
Emotions are what we feel about something, they are an integral to our consciousness. Whether we feel like exploring new things, create new things, or like to protect ourselves from danger.
For us to discover new things, we have to recall what we have already discovered and compare if what our five sense detected have something new. So the ability to compare is crucial to emotions. We cannot discover new things without emotions. Emotions tend to bring us to the question: What is better, or, what is more significant? This is where comparing starts.
Emotions are the driving force of whatever we do, even if are decisions are based on logical arguments. Emotions are needed to explore/discover new things, knowledge or thinking of a new idea. You need an emotion to kick a bad habit too and that requires strategies.
Example: When you feel hungry, you create logical strategies for cooking and buying things, you even avoid conversations with other people as you are busy doing those. Before the food you cook can satisfy your hunger or tastebuds, any strategy must have a logical foundation for it to achieved. Strategies and plans have almost similar meanings.
Computers don’t have emotions, so they cannot think for themselves without the input of the user. For the user to give input to the computer, the person’s emotions must be processed first. So the output of the human brain from the hand is the input of the computer.
Computers and robots can only programmed based on the emotions of the user. At the time of creating the robot, it cannot have more knowledge than the creator or the collective knowledge of the team that made the robot. The computer or robot cannot make programs by itself. Programs are packaged set of commands the computer or robot can run. The commands were written based on the emotions of the creator of the program.
Due to our five senses and memory working together, we are pattern seekers. We also have the ability to recognize and identify patterns. Our memory is essential to that ability. We need to remember a pattern before we can recognize or identify. The ability to identify patterns is an integral part of human consciousness.
We know we cannot identify or recognize an object or pattern if we say these comments:
- I have not seen it before (sense of sight)
- I have not heard it before (sense of hearing)
- I have not felt it before (sense of touch)
- I have not smelled it before (sense of smell)
- I have not tasted it before (sense of taste)
A pattern can be anything:
- The physical properties of an object (color, size and shape) and its chemical properties.
- Human behavior.
- Our thought patterns.
- Thought patterns in the form of a book (instruction manual)
- Program source codes.
- The methods in a strategy.
- The current shape of the children’s modeling clay (play-dough)
- The painting or art you just did.
- Engineering plans.
- Mathematical equations.
We compare patterns by comparing two patterns at time. As we compare, we look for similarities and differences. Looking for similarities and differences is essential to identifying and recognizing objects.
Here is the mechanism: We store in our memory the new pattern (the first time we detected something with our five senses). When we see the same pattern again, it evokes the memory of the first moment or the previous moment we saw the pattern (identification and recognition). This is also the mechanism behind speech recognition software. Only then we can say:
- I have already seen it.
- I have already heard it.
- I reminds me of something.
We can also associate emotions with patterns. We can like or dislike a color of an object. Or avoid sharp objects with our survival instincts.
- I like it, the colors look beautiful.
- This method is very useful.
- Avoid it, it is dangerous.
Not only we can sense or detect patterns, but we as powerful creator beings, we can create patterns (artists, computer programmers), and show it to somebody (communication).