021-Definitional awareness

awareness is about representation.  Awareness does not seem to exist in the absence of representations and representation making.

Consider the problem where two objects are seen as the same thing.    x;y ( [x as y is an object we are aware as a thing itself  eg.  blue car]

or where  z = (x;y)  or (x,y) ; z   [this is (blue as car) as my-car    or   my-car= (blue car) ]

or where one object is seen as two separate things.    x = x;y or x;y = y  [blue = blue;car  giving us blue = blue car  or car = car as blue  giving us the two objects car and blue car ]

This making of associations, of representations is where the issues of duality/dissonance/contradiction are resolved into one thing or where one thing is experienced in different ways.  This process of association making or representation making is awareness.  And when we cannot make associations, when we cannot make representations, that is when we do not have awareness.

When two objects are represented as the same object (x;y) or one object (x;y) is two objects (x = x;y = y) what do we have?  3 objects.  x, y, x;y are the 3 objects. Awareness itself gives us more objects.  The awareness of the object can itself be an object. Once representations begin to be made they explode.  It is this explosion of representation making that is awareness.

That there are 3 objects [ x, y, x;y ] also means there are awareness instances of x, y, and x;y  [ Aw:x, Aw:y, Aw:x;y ]
The awareness of an object can itself be represented as an object:  (Aw;x;y) ; a     Aw:( (Aw:x;y) ;a)  etc.  This representation making of the awareness of objects is not a matter of speculation, it is what happens.

Aw:x = x
Aw:x ; x

The realization:  "I think, therefore I am."  assumes there is thinking about about the fact that of thinking.  I am aware of my awareness of my thoughts.  But this awareness of the awareness of my thoughts is itself a representation, the representation of awareness of thoughts is subsumed in the statement "I think".  The assertion of a thinker is a representation of the awareness of thoughts.

I as Aw:thoughts  [ I as the awareness of thinking  - I think ]
I = Aw:I  [Awareness of representation of awareness of thinking  -- I am ]
Aw:I ; I  [Awareness of the representation of the awareness of thinking, as representation of awareness of thinking  -  Therefore I am ]

This argument demonstrates the representational process in action.  And it is the representation making itself which produces the new awareness we find in Descartes argument.  I think therefore I am is a realization of the veracity of self and of thought.  But it occurs precisely because of the representation making itself.  The realization is an awareness.

The act of representation making is what produces awareness.

How else can we know that awareness is the making of representations?   We can know because of the problems with truth and falsity.  Whether representations are "true" or "false" is of not relevant to awareness.  But to be aware of true and false things requires true or false representations.   To be aware of false facts requires making false representations.  This is implicitly in what it means to be false.

Logical errors exist because errorneous processes of representation making are followed that produce the logical errors.  If a person has a false belief, the false belief is dependent on having precursor beliefs, precursor representations that the person developed.  These precursor  representations may be incomplete or insufficient to demonstrate a true fact.  When a person claims a representation as true or false, absent a verifiable representational path, the claimant is aware of the assertion as true or false, but this can be changed through the development of better representations.   That is, something believed to be true can be shown to be false and vice versa.  The new representation making that occurs to change the belief of what is true and false is the process of representation making. The awareness of true or false is derivative of the representation making which shows something to be true or false.  The awareness of true and false is a product of the representation making to determine true and false.

representational process F the leads to factX as false   [F ->  factX ; false ]
representational process T leads to factX as true  [T ->  factX ; true ]

A person who follows process F will come to be aware that factX is false.  The process of representation making produces the object: (factX ; false)
A person who follows process T will come to be aware that factX is true.  The T process of representation making produces the object: (factX ; true)

once these representational objects are created, then there must be an awareness of those objects.  All objects are objects of awareness [demonstrated initially]

 (factX ; false) -> Aw: (factX ; false)
 (factX ; true) -> Aw:  (factX ; true)

This process is explanatory for how we can be aware of contradictions.   This representation making driven awareness gives us a path to see that representation making systems can produce awareness of contradictions.

There can also be awareness of two different or even opposite things as one thing.  For instance, we can conflate both a singular object and multiple objects into a whole.  Any group representation is exactly this kind of construction.   When we make groups of things, we are making single thing from multiple things.  This kind of representation making is also what leads to paradoxes of groups such as Russells Paradox.   And to become aware of a paradox such as Russells paradox is a fact of awareness produced from the representation making which creates paradoxical groups.

Let's propose that how awareness comes to exist is that it is the making of representations. The function of representation itself lets us apprehend, let's be aware.

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Furthermore, the process of representation making  is applicable to both objects but also to functions.  Consciousness must be not just a collection of representation objects, but a multi-system or multi-simulation where representation functions are made and where the functions of making representations are the same function in different systems, that is, the functions are themselves representationally the same even when the functions are physically or systemically different.  For instance, two different functions can be the same fz = fx;fy  or  two identical functions can be representationally different in different systems.  Some function z is function x in one system and function y in another system.

Consider addition.  A representational function whereby two elements are added together.  The same function, using the same inputs produce different outputs.  Why?  Because the function is applied to different conceptual features of the inputs.

look:  one + two = ??

it could be:  one + two = 3 or three
or it could be: one + two = onetwo

to create these divergent solutions, we must recognize that the function of addition is applied differently in both processes.  The representational function of addition is combined, representationally to produce different outcomes.  In programming we combine representational functions to produce different outputs all the time.  To achieve [ one + two = three ] we know there must have been some other representation making to convert the written number to the numerical value that was then followed by the representational function of addition, followed by converting the numerical "3" to the written "three".

In a computer system or an organism, not just data or objects are combined as representations, but also functions of representation (and representation of awareness) can be combined.  As shown, math actions or functions can be combined.  the same data and function produces different meanings, not just data with different meanings.  The representational function of meaning itself can occur in different representational modalities.

What data means is a representational function.   eg. two = "two"  or two = 2   In computers the meaning his made explicit, in conversation the representation making which derives meaning is often implicitly dependent on the fact of the conversationalist engaging in the same kinds of representation making processes.

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Re: Semantics:  When a person makes an argument about semantics this is the point of contention. A semantic argument is one where it's argued that the data is different only in name but not in meaning, not in representational function.   That is, the words are different but have the same meanings.  Whereas the argument above, [ one+two = three or onetwo ] is one where the representation making has different meaning relative to context… which means, relative to which representation making is done.

Semantic arguments typically hide they underlying representation making that is taking place by asserting that the meaning supersedes differences of expression over other kinds of representation making.  this ignores the fact that meaning itself is and is implicitly chained representation making processes.  ie. semantics is an argument that one representation making process (the semantic one) is superior to the other representation making processes, without actually examining the representation making processes themselves.
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This feature of representation making process, where the same representation function and inputs produce different outcomes relative to intrinsic factors shows up in biology all the time.   This behavior is called stigmergy.   In computer science, this is one core feature of the actor model of computing.   Where a received message can change how the actor will behave when it receives the next message.

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If awareness is the representation making, then what is consciousness?  Consciousness can be thought of as the present totality of representation making.

The assertion is that consciousness is the synchrony of a multi system of functional and object representation. the objects of consciousness are representation functions, and the representational objects of those functions, and representations of those functions.    that is, consciousness is two or more systems that generate awareness and are representationally tied together.   a system of inter-representational processes of awareness.

To disambiguate mind from consciousness, we can say the mind is the whole system of representations, representation functions,  and representation making, and that consciousness is the current instantiation of representation making.  If the representation making isn't synchronized in a complex system of representation making, this lack of synchronization will impact consciousness.  that is, it will impact what objects are objects of consciousness.

For example, representation making separated by time will obviously be treated differently in consciousness than representational changes, representation making that is sequential or co-occurring.   This would explain why synchronization of neural function and synchronicity itself are both aspects of consciousness.


Circles are representation functions or processes
Lines show input or output of data  from unconnected endpoints and input/output of representations
to other rep functions.

rectangles are systems of processes.
one representation process(z) is the same process in two systems.
Many processes share data(inputs/actions/representations).
Two cross system processes share the same data but not the same function/process, (Aa, Bn).

Each rep function expresses awareness, that is the function makes and evaluates representations.
Each rep function may contain processing functions that are not representational.

The center function (z) is the same in both systems.  The whole system of both representation
systems(A and B) is consciousness.  The system is conscious when it has a shared functional process
between the two rep systems (A, B)
A whole system would be self conscious when each subsystem shared a functional process (such as z) that is also represented between the subsystems A and B, where that shared functional process represented the whole system.


we see the divergence of meaning in biology all the time.  one molecule, say a signaling molecule interacting differently in cells of the body to do different things.  This divergence of meaning runs deep in biology.  The different cells of the body are differentiated cells of the same program (dna)     the fact of differentiation is about  running the same program in cells with the same data and groups of cells do different things.   but prior to differentiation, all the cells are identical.  This differentiation of meaning is the classic example of representation and it's this kind of process that is awareness, and when we see multiple cohering systems that employ these process in a functional way, in a representation making kind of way, we see consciousness.

Awareness is the experience of opposites.  Awareness of two opposite states, conditions, facts, results from calculations, etc.  These opposites exist in awareness and if in fact they are opposites, or logically impossible simultaneously, we must create a representation to manage opposites and contradictions.  Otherwise we see a disordered sort of behavior.

Contrary impulses, contrary facts, contrary ideas, are inputs and outputs to further representation making.  Without having representation making functions which manage contradictory inputs any organized system will thrash, will engage in switching between different indicated actions, will halt, or will wait  or engage in other kinds of disorganized behavior.   Contradiction is the indication of disorganization.

A machine cannot produce opposite outcomes from identical inputs.  Even a computer, a general purpose machine, does not produce opposite outputs from identical inputs.  If we were to list examples of computers that do just that, what we see is not that the computer creates representations to manage contradictions or to produce opposite outputs, but that a human being programs the computer to implement her representation making.  The computer is a functional extension of a human beings representation making.  It is a functional extension of the programmers representation making.

The whole idea of a machine is a that it is mechanistic.  It follows a determinant path.  non-determinant systems may produce non-determinant outcomes, and even opposites.  But the kinds of systems that do this today are not making representations, rather they are expressing a range of values for representations developed by programmers or designers.

In ourselves, we cannot simultaneously physically express a range of opposite actions such as "run and stand still".  This limitation is what causes us to generate representations to express opposites.  we may "run" and "stand still" in quick succession.  Or we may "run but act as if we standing still"  or stand still, but act as if we are running, like a mime.  This expression of opposites is art!    Mime is a great example where an opposite condition is expressed as if it were the case.  No mime is actually stuck in a box, but the mime acts as if they are stuck in the box and thus their appears, an invisible box.

All kinds of illusions (phantom limbs for instance) result from this situation.  As do all kinds of art.... is the Mona Lisa smiling?  how exactly does a pigmented board smile?   We use these opposites to raise our consciousness, to increase our awareness beyond our limitations of thought and experience and to open us to boundless nature.  Or said more prosaically, we create representations of divergent elements and create even more representations of more divergent elements.

What is the sound of one hand clapping?   The koan, the myth, spiritual experience these are experiences with opposites.

Changes of consciousness, our altered states open us to different kinds of representation and awareness.  What is being opened?  What is changing?  How can a mechanistic, or materialist universe actually have illusions?

Illusions, like paradoxes are the result of our representations.  And when we change our representation making "machinery", as we do with hallucinogens, we change our experience, we change the representations being made, we change our consciousness.  All Consciousness change is representational change.

illusions, like paradox, are a function of opposites existing simultaneously.  the existence of such opposites requires awareness.  No thermostat, engine, or machine has illusions; it is non-sensical to think of machines in those terms.  But we experience illusions and paradox.  Illusions and paradoxes result from our representation making, not from mechanization or mechanisms.  That we produce and represent illusions and paradox  is an observable fact of awareness, of consciousness.

The question for machine consciousness, and for biological consciousness is how do we get from the mechanistic behavior of computation, of automata to a representation making?  How do we get from the ordered behavior of molecular biology and chemistry to the development of representations and representations making?


20111103 update.

Consider Gazzaniga's description of split-brain how those patients function.  http://www.utdallas.edu/~otoole/CGS2301_S09/7_split_brain.pdf
A single process that produces the same inputs/outputs into vision for instance, but is interpreted and reported differently by the two hemispheres.  in a split brain case, the two hemispheres do not resolve their representations to each other, the consciousness is "split" one side of the brain does not know "why" choices are made on the other one side of the brain.   so the left side fills in the gaps  (eg, the shovel to clean out the chicken coop).   conscious of the objects, but the split left brain can't explain (because it's the right brain that sees shovel associated with snow) and thus makes up a reason for the shovel.  it resolves the problem with a representation.  The representations of consciousness are clearly separated in split brain patients... where they are not separated in a normal brain.

one same function (awareness), with prior split referent functions (representations) in each hemisphere.  Split brain phenomena show exactly how consciousness should work, if it's the result of the same awareness function in two different representational systems.

We can look at all of the brain traumas and disorders and what we see are representational differences, not differences of awareness.  For instance, a loss of memory is not a loss of particular representations.  An inability to recall a memory is a representational failing, to make a connection to a memory.  The awareness and function of being aware is the same function, it is  the objects and structures of representation which are affected by traumas, disease, and disorders.
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