Supernatural selection Pt2.
So this new science, where is it? If it is consciousness, it's currently at the stage where chemistry was when they still called it alchemy. We are trying to study it, understand it, poke it with a stick...
It's still very much a soft science. It's called psychology or cognitive science. Nobody knows how the fuck it works, when compared to the hard sciences. But then this was also true of all the others. First they're soft, then we start really working the shit out, we start doing increasingly cool stuff with them.
Mainstream utility is proportional to scientific hardness.
So right now consciousness science is very much flaccid, we haven't enough laws and good cohesive theory to really harness the power of cognition but we're progressing on that vector. We've noted a lot of cause and effect shit. Sooner or later some smart arse will come up with a periodic table of sentiments or whatever...
Meanwhile the actual phenomena itself is still in it's infancy. Think of how long it was before the last one got going. Biology. From single celled, to eukaryote and all the way up. Took fucking donkeys! Well consciousness has only really just gotten started. We are arguably the highest form of consciousness currently resident in this corner of the galaxy and, in the grand scheme of things, we the consciousness equivalent of the amoeba.
Whilst we're comparing consciousness to the platforms that evolved before it, how about we take another look at that common thread that I was discussing earlier - complexity. The atoms clumped together, then the chemicals clumped together, then the cells got in on the act. Gonna go out on a limb here - maybe consciousnesses are somewhere along the road to clumping together.
Any early indicators that something like this might be in the pipeline?
Societies? Corporations? Offloading cognitive function to technology? Using technology to enhance cognitive function? If we're suddenly demoted to cells in some cosmic megabrain how does it work? Will we even know it's happening? Maybe it's happening already?
It's tempting to ask whether the cells in our bodies are aware of us but the logic doesn't carry. Our cells are not consciously aware of anything. We are. How do conscious components interface with the meta conscious machine?
I'm struck by the parallels with current biotech. Lot of pundits saying it's now an information technology. Consciousness, too would seem to lend itself naturally to an IT approach. If we're going to clump together we need networks, bandwidth, communication protocols, storage, subroutines...
In case you're still wondering, yes - I think I'm talking about the Borg.