Re: The Conscious Mind

Hara Ra (
Sat, 12 Oct 1996 23:35:59 -0700

Crosby_M wrote:
> discussed by the Old Ones (the 'eagles' who mostly seem to be silent
> lately) they will be interpreted in the context of spreading memes to
> newcomers, as opposed to being seen as a noisy repetitive loop.

I've been here long enough to lean towards the noisy loop theory here...

> My question is, has the following been discussed on the list, or does
> anyone have any opinions about it?
> In ch.4 of his book _Elemental Mind_, Nick Herbert describes the
> little-known Spacetime Reductive Materialism (SRM) theories of
> consciousness proposed by California PolyTechnic professor James
> Culbertson (author of _The Minds Of Robot_, 1963, and _Consciousness:
> Natural & Artificial_, 1984, which, as Herbert notes, "has been
> generally dismissed by mainstream scientists as quirky and
> impractical"). SRM models are based on reflection points, influence
> trees and outlook trees described by 3 attributes: intensity, quality &
> connectiveness.
Not that I know of. Nick is an acquaintance of mine, and I've never
heard him discuss this (but neither were the circumstances appropriate).
Would you kindly provide a summary of this POV?

> Superficially this sounds like it might be a useful model of
> consciousness, but then Herbert goes on to add, "Culbertson's answer to
> the evolutionary question [of why consciousness is advantageous] is that
> because of their ability to store memories in spacetime. rather than in
> space, conscious computers can perform the same job as unconscious
> computers and require fewer parts to do so ... a conscious computer ...
> can access events that have happened long ago, events that lie 'outside'
> the computer's present state ... [having the advantage of] a kind of
> invisible spacetime 'hard disk' - that could give conscousness a
> competitive edge in the Darwinian struggle for existence." (p134).

This makes no sense to me... Rather than extending time as a dimension,
resulting in a frozen spacetime succession of states, I go the other
that time is a notion created by memory, and does not actually exist.
does exist are records indicating series of events which are
as time...

> All of this seems to imply that memories and experiences might somehow
> be distributed in the environment through which we have passed

Yes in lots of ways, but a fossil has no meaning except to a mind which
is realised physically. Easy to fall into New Age stuff here...

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