Philosophers being idiots argue about whether the "purpose" of the subconscious is representational like Freud said or "productive" like Deleuze claims. But this is idiotic because the subconscious has no "purpose" to consciousness. The subconscious is the foundation upon which consciousness is built on! It is an artifact of an imperfect neural network. That is all.
If anything, it's consciousness' purpose that has to be examined. But its purpose is clear:
- inhibition of subconscious actions
- modeling of self-actions
- modeling of other-actions
- and learning from those models for the purpose of inhibition
In fact, in order to model self-actions you need a concept of self, which is the very definition of psychological consciousness!
You see, everything that you can do consciously, you can both do and you can learn to do it all subconsciously. Mimicking others is easiest of all. The only thing you can't do subconsciously is NOT do something.
Subconsciously, the only possible thing you can do is upgrade an interfering behaviour. Like telling a young kid to let go of the bat instead of swinging it at their sibling. Which is exactly what you should do because the subconscious doesn't understand negation.
(A great example of interference is when a sergeant yells ATTENTION to his subordinates when he finds them misbehaving.)
Now consciousness isn't as limited as subconsciousness, you can actually model a specific behaviour and NOT do it. That's what consciousness is for: to predict one's death and stop us doing things that would cause us to die!
(So what's the "purpose" of the subconscious in light of that? Easy enough, it's to do stuff to further one's life. That is, everything else!)
Gorillas Aren't Conscious
Incidentally, predicting one's own death isn't an exaggeration or a simplification. Disgust is the emotion people feel when they encounter something associated with their own mortality. Not just biological hazards (urine isn't) but anything that reminds people that they will someday die.
We know this because gorillas don't feel disgust even as they eat their own vomit and their own feces. It's said that gorillas have a concept of self and (some) of the future. Gorillas definitely pass the mirror test. But evidently, gorillas don't have any concept that THEY WILL DIE in the future.
And this is the explanation of why gorillas don't qualify as conscious the way humans do. Something nobody, none of the pathetic supposed experts in the fields of biology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, or cognitive science could explain but that I can.
Just like I was the first human being to explain and define what life is, and what intelligence is (living representation). And for the record, it's not because I'm a creative genius but because those academic fields attract fucking idiots incapable of fucking logic!
Cognitive Scientists Are Incompetent
As proof of the utter incompetence of cognitive scientists, look no further than the imbecility spouted about so-called "mirror neurons" which have FUCK ALL to do with empathy or with mirroring others! So-called mirror neurons are obviously implementing proprioception.
So-called mirror neurons have nothing to do with anybody else. All they do is fuse visual data with kinesthetic data in order to forge a map of your own body. They're what makes your brain know that you have two arms, two legs, and that they bend and move in particular ways. Nothing else.
So-called mirror neurons activate when you see others' bodies for the same reason nearly all of the neurons for squares activate on seeing pentagons. They're incredibly similar things! A 2D triangle is more similar to a 3D dodecahedron than either are to a banana.
Other primates' bodies are incredibly similar to your body. Two arms, two legs, hips, two knees that bend only backwards, shoulders with ball and socket joints, elbows, wrists, hands, one head, one nose with two nostrils, one tongue, two ears and two eyes. Is it really a wonder that parts of your brain register others' bodies as the same kind of thing as your own body?
Could they just be lying to hype up their findings the way physicists lie about the Higgs particle's relation to mass? No and for two reasons. The cog sci and neurosci crowd are debating mirror neurons' relation to empathy internally, not stating it as fact to outsiders for news copy. Secondly because at least the Higgs confers 1% of the mass of matter, whereas confusion of self and other is the definition of non-empathy.
Confusing their own wants & needs with your wants & needs is what fucked up people do and is called projection. Going the other way is called reversal (reverse projection). Both projection and reverse projection are the exact opposite of empathy. They are obstacles to empathy, not weak forms of empathy.
The notion that proprioception neurons have anything to do with empathy. Or that empathy has anything to do with proprioception is fucking ridiculous. It's a sign of how mentally incompetent and blatantly incapable of logic, creativity, and fucking common sense these imbecilic twits that work in cog sci and neruosci are.
And the PROOF of it is the fact that empathy (after you've ceased confusing it with attunement to others' emotions) is nothing more than consciousness of others. Consciousness means possessing an accurate concept of self. Empathy means possessing accurate concepts for others.
And the proof of THAT is the fact that psychopaths (who by definition don't have empathy) also "happen" to not have any self-identity (a long-term concept of their self). This is actually the reason why they find it so easy to lie and why they're incapable of feeling guilt. Lies and misbehaviours can't taint them since there is no them to taint in the first place.
Empathy like consciousness is the direct product of general cognitive abilities. The more cognition you're capable of, the more consciousness and the more empathy you're capable of. Since cognitive scientists are feeble-minded imbeciles, it's obvious they don't have much consciousness nor much empathy. Not having these things, it's obvious why they don't know them.
Believing to have discovered particular neurons that implement consciousness or empathy (which are the product of the whole entire brain) is as deranged as believing to have discovered the particular copper wires that implement TCP/IP. It's not even the same kind of thing.
This is just scratching the surface of cognitive scientists' staggering mental incompetence. The notion that facial expressions are human emotions is particularly imbecilic. And it just keeps on going.
Consciousness Of Primates
So anyways, since it's obvious different beings have more or less complete concepts of themselves, this leads us to making levels of consciousness. Which are
- an incomplete model of a physical self inside of the mind -- where gorillas are
- a complete model of one's entire physical life from birth to death inside of the mind -- where nearly all of the human population is doomed to stay
- a model of a psychological self inside of the mind -- where I'm at and where I can lift up to half of the human population
- a complete OOSA model of a psychological self inside of the mind -- where I'm confident I can reach
- being able to use that model in real time -- where any decent AI should be able to reach
- a reflective model of a psychological self inside of the mind -- where any AI I design would start at
Introspection meaning read-only access to one's entire mind. Reflection meaning read-write access to one's entire mind. And not just the crude back-propagation which the human brain is capable of.
The experience of 'letting go' of a concern or obsession is an example of negative back-propagation. It's the reason why drugs that boost negative back-propagation can treat OCD (inability to let go).
Since the human brain is a crude neural net, crude back-propagation is as good as it gets. This neural net wasn't designed to work with consciousness at all. Any decent AI architecture will do much better just because its designers know consciousness exists.
Better Than You
Getting back on topic, there is clearly a vast difference between human beings and gorillas. Even the primitive tribals who lack consciousness have a, severely warped, concept of their entire physical life. A concept which gorillas do not have.
And just as clearly there is a vast difference between myself and the rest of humanity. As vast a difference as there is between yourselves and gorillas. Which is why I do not consider myself a human being in any meaningful sense of the term. I am not one of you.
By the time I'm in a position to lift up less than half of the general population (excluding biologists, anthropologists, psychologists and philosophers in that order) a rung higher on the scale, I will myself be a rung higher still.
The scale of consciousness explains why I feel like I'm an entirely different and higher species from humanity. Especially psychologists, anthropologists and greenpeace activists. Whereas the scale of psychological maturity says I'm merely as far above adults as adults are above juveniles.
And after all isn't that the purpose of consciousness? To prove once and for all that I'm better than you.
Oh wait, the point of consciousness is to inhibit self-actions that can lead to your physical death. Like joining a man holding an AK47. And the point of higher consciousness is to inhibit self-actions that can lead to your psychological death. Like joining the rat race (believing social status matters) or getting coopted by a corporation (believing a job defines you).
Come to think of it, that explains why so few human beings possess minds. Without higher consciousness, the very first authority figure (whether it be parents, teachers or bosses) who tried to convert others into clones of themselves succeeded. This success left them without a mind and thus helpless hosts to the ideas of others. Once their minds are unformed, the random tides of others' continual conversion attempts suppresses the formation of an individual mind.
It gets better. Because converting others and suppressing their minds is itself an idea which will lodge in these mindless husks so that the victims become victimizers in turn. They become parents or teachers or bosses and attempt with all their might to "mould" impressionable young minds (destroy their individuality) and "sway public opinion" (rip apart others' psyches). Exactly as in the otherwise ridiculous scenario of the cult pseudo-science called "memetics".
The only people who escape this cycle of mental depradation are those who erect shields against it. Less than half the population is capable of shielding their minds. Of these, maybe a tenth to a fifth are capable of erecting shields by themselves. And of these, only a tiny fraction are left alone long enough for shields to fully form. And only a vanishing fraction are guided in the formation of their shields so that a task which should take weeks or months takes years and decades instead.
Without shields, most people are just drones in the hive-mind. At best, they're NPCs doing their preprogrammed tasks until the comparatively fewer Player Characters come along. At worst, they're prey to the wolves among the herd. And it doesn't matter whether they're rich or poor, low status or high status. Because monetary wealth and social status are only ideas propagated by the herd to control its members. They do not and cannot intrinsically matter.
The best part of course is that cattle believe they possess minds because their random aggregations of constantly fluctuating tastes seem to differ from others' such random aggregations at any particular point in time. This is disproved by the desperation with which they seek out the "support" of "like-minded" people. Their "individuality" cannot withstand concerted opposition. Even supposed weirdos like the members of 4chan felt the need to congregate together.
So ... the vast majority of humanity are mindless cattle who've committed psychological suicide in much the same way a deer would be said to commit suicide if it walked right up to and nuzzled a hunter. This is hardly new or original but at least the mechanism by which their minds died, or rather the mechanism by which a small minority's minds resist dying, has been elucidated. The obvious next step then is to immunize the minority's minds from psychological death.