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Lights, Camera, Consciousness
So consciousness is one of the deepest mysteries
that we have ever attempted to resolve.
And part of the problem with studying consciousness is that
it’s very difficult to measure.
But we do have some insights,
and for one, in the context of how the brain tells time,
there’s evidence that consciousness is not really what it seems to be.
So what I mean by that is
we feel our subjective experiences unfolding in the world around
us in sort of this linear narrative,
A后面是B B后面是C 而D紧跟着C
in which B follows A, in which C follows B and D follows C,
in which things are happening in a linear progression.
But in reality it seems that our subjective experiences,
our conscious narrative might not be that linear.
So there’s a number of experiences or experiments that
suggest that the brain processes information
in sort of a discontinuous and discrete manner.
So it’s not that I’m conscious of everything happening in a nice linear progression.
It seems to be in some cases that
what happens after interferes or modulates
what our conscious experience of those things that came before.
So there’s something called the cutaneous rabbit illusion
in which if you feel a couple of taps on your arm
maybe one, two, three, four
people will feel that as sort of a continuous progression.
But in reality that can’t be a continuous progression
because it’s the taps that came later that determined
where you felt that the previous taps were occurring.
And if you think of something like speech,
you’re probably not aware of my speech in
a syllable by syllable, word by word manner.
It seems to be that we become conscious of
events around us sort of in chunks in which
your unconscious mind reaches a point of analysis
by taking and sampling everything that’s happening around it
before a subjective experience is delivered into your conscious mind.
So I think there’s some suggestions that
the unconscious brain is continuously taking in
sampling events through its sensory organs
waiting to appropriate points in the narrative to deliver something,
a nice narrative of the world around us into our conscious mind.
So in the case of speech, for example,
we don’t have an experience of
every syllable by syllable, every word by word.
But sometimes we have this chunking that happens.
So, for example, if I say
the mouse pad was beside the computer,
in that case the mouse could have another meaning.
The mouse could mean a rodent
or it could be the mouse pad of a computer.
But you only knew the meaning of the word mouse
with the word in this case that came after the word mouse,
so the mouse pad.
I could have said the mouse was hungry.
So the meaning of the word mouse can only be understood
based on what comes after that.
So it seems that when people understand that
they might have to wait
until the appropriate time to create a conscious perception
or a conscious interpretation of what we’re listening to.
So I think there’s mounting evidence that
consciousness is not a linear flow of what’s happening around us
而是一种创造 一种叙述 一种关于我们周围发生的事情方便的叙述
but sort of a creation, a narrative, a convenient narrative of
what’s happening around us created for our viewing pleasure by the unconscious brain.
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