Like Minds

consciousness vanishes like the gorgeous fever it is

the polite fictions of subjectivity

This notion of this body as a bottle in which consciousness is trapped like a genie [appears in art, philosophy, religion] . . . is clearly a fantastic sensory illusion all humans share.

Diane Ackerman

Conscious ideas . . . enlarge the fleeting present to minutes, hours, seasons, and lifetimes.

The conscious flow is constructed so as to make sense of almost any consistent input . . ..

. . . creative construction of reality does occur. Every waking moment we construct a smooth visual reality out of dozens of narrow jumpy snapshots collected over many separate eye fixations.

. . . the desperate creativity with which humans maintain as much coherence and stability in their conscious experience as they can, even when the brain itself has gone awry.

Bernard J. Baars

In the brain, every input builds on what went before.

Memetic theory easily explains why the education of women is so important in changing family size.

. . . we believe 'as if' other people (and sometimes animals, plants, toys, and computers) have intentions, desires, beliefs, and so on.

Susan Blackmore

Films and gramophone records, music, books and buildings show clearly how vigorously a man's life and work go on after his 'death,' whether we feel it or not, whether we are aware of the individual names or not . . .. There is no such thing as death according to our view!

Martin Bormann

Evolution requires two things: replication, with a fair degree of fidelity, and innovation, or a certain degree of infidelity.

Asking questions is a Trojan Horse method for infecting people with memes.

Truth is not one of the strong selectors for memes.

Richard Brodie

The public interest requires doing today those things that men of intelligence and goodwill would wish, five or ten years hence, had been done.

Edmund Burke

On death we do not lose life, we only lose individuality: we live henceforth in others not in ourselves.

Bodily offspring I do not leave, but mental offspring I do. Well, my books will not have to be sent to school and college and then insist on going into the Church or take to drinking or marry their mother's maid.

Samuel Butler

It has been said that the immortality of the soul is a 'grand peut-être'- but still it is a grand one. Everybody clings to it- the stupidest, and dullest, and wickedest of human bipeds is still persuaded that he is immortal.

Lord Byron

Consciousness involves our operating on the margins, . . .

. . . waste seems to be its [nature] key to making things better: It's what natural selection is all about, wasting the less fit.

. . . simplicity is not one of Nature's principles . . .

intelligent behavior consists of new combinations of old things

dreams illustrate the same kinds of confabulation seen in people with memory disorders, in which bad guesses are unknowingly tolerated.

We are always guessing, filling in the details

William H. Calvin

The brain . . . thrives on imperfect information, generalizing, filling in the missing parts . . .

The mind seems to be metaphorical to its foundations.

Memories are not stored, they are recreated over and over again . . ..

. . . the brain tries to make sense of what is essentially junk.

. . . the dreaming brain and the waking brain are alike in the way they explain information that is so disconnected it seems to have no rhyme or reason.

The biases, obsolete opinions, and inaccuracies with which the self is riddled are normal and healthy.

Jeremy Campbell

We are built as gene machines and cultured as meme machines, but we have the power to turn against our creators. We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators.

Richard Dawkins

our innate tendency to treat every living thing as if it had a soul

A scholar is just a library's way of making another library.

Conscious minds are more-or-less serial virtual machines implemented--inefficiently--on the parallel hardware that evolution has provided for us.

This is a glorious time to be involved in research on the mind.

one of the most striking features of consciousness is its discontinuity . . ..

. . . a human mind is itself an artifact created when memes restructure a human brain in order to make it a better habitat for memes.

Daniel C. Dennett

. . . temporal smoothing is an essential and generally useful form of computation.

It is possible to construct self-preserving systems that grow, evolve, and learn but do not reproduce, compete, or face death in any given amount of time.

Until we understand our own consciousness, there is no way to agree on what, if anything constitutes consciousness among machines.

. . . somehow our brains preserve the sequence of our lives from one moment to the next.

George B. Dyson

I'm as fond of my body as anyone else, but if I can be 200 with a body of silicon, I'll take it.

Danny Hillis

Technology is the continuation of evolution by other means, and is itself an evolutionary process.

We will be software, not hardware.

The accelerating pace of change is inexorable. The emergence of machine intelligence that exceeds human intelligence is all of its broad diversity is inevitable.

Ray Kurzweil

robot learning can be copied from one machine to another

transplanting human minds . . . into hardware . . . might allow human personalities to transcend their biological limitations and join the machines' rapid evolution.

Hans Morovec

. . . impossible to derive happiness from the company of those whom we deprive of happiness

resurrection is presumptive evidence that I shall die again

. . . the consciousness of existence is the only conceivable idea we can have of another life and . . . immortality.

Thomas Paine

Consciousness: knowing with; always conscious of something.

[The Delta Factor] . . . the ultimate and elemental unit not only of language but the very condition of the awakening of human intelligence and consciousness.

. . . behavior of the scientist implies a dimension of intersubjectivity: the community of other scientists engaged in this same activity.

The phenomologist starts with consciousness but never gets back to organisms and signs, and that the positive psychologist starts with organisms and signs but never arrives at consciousness.

Mead's major thesis is that individual transcendental consciousness is a myth, than mind and consciousness are indefensible social realities.

Symbolization is of its very essence an intersubjectivity.

Walker Percy

You know what's at the heard of the misery of a breakdown? Me-it is. Microcosmosis. Drowning in the tiny tub of yourself.

Amazing, that something as tiny, really, as a self should contain contending subselves-and that these subselves should themselves be constructed of subselves, and on and on and on.

the unruly tyranny of my incoherence

Philip Roth

Extinct formats: 78s, 2" videotape, phonograph cylinders, paper tape, punch cards, 7 track digital tape, reel-to-reel audio, 8-track, 8 mm movies, . . .

Clifford Stoll

In this game, the self is constructed and the rules of the game are built, not received.

computer as extension of self

social psychologist Kenneth Gergen described identity as a 'pastiche of personalities'.

You can have a sense of self without being one self.

Postmodernist idea that we don't so much perceive the world as interpret it.

Sherry Turkle

What is wrong with me, that I want to leave trace, by scribbling these distinct and jumpy notes concerning my idle existence?

the fragile succession of steps whereby consciousness dissolves.

John Updike

. . . the best we can do is to divide all processes into those things which can be done better by machines and those which can be done better by humans and then invent methods to pursue the two.

John Von Neuman

. . . humanity as such could not long survive the indefinite prolongation of all lives which come into being.

. . . the future offers very little for those who expect that our new mechanical slaves will offer us a world in which we may rest from thinking. Help us they may, but at the cost of supreme demands upon our honesty and our intelligence. The world of the future will be an ever more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot slaves.

The machine . . . is the modern counterpart of the Golem of the Rabbi of Prague.

When a soul is bought by anyone, the devil is the ultimate consumer.

. . . the machine in the flesh . . .

Norbert Weiner

  Digital-Immortality Index
  Your comments are appreciated.
Email me at

This is Like Minds page for Digital Immortality
Last updated 3/30/02
  Copyright © 2002, Lee Frank
All Rights Reserved