I’ve found a thought-provoking Google Hangout discussion about consciousness, featuring a group of more or less widely known transhumanists including
- David Pearce
- Zoltan Istvan
- David Saintloth
and others here:
In particular, I was surprised that the view that there is only one universal consciousness (a statement that I agree with) was raised and presented and that this view reduced fear of death (it does)! Also, there was mention of a thought experiment of connecting different individuals with analogs of the the corpus callosum that connects both brain hemispheres. Potentially even between members of different species!
Also, the panellists agreed that we know almost nothing about consciousness.
Some interesting topics were raised:
- The binding problem
- How well we need to understand the brain in order to understand consciousness, or to create a conscious being (artificial intelligence)
- Whether the brain or consciousness actually requires quantum phenomena
- How psychotropic change perspectives and how little they are considered in research papers and essays about consciousness
Do we need a theory of qualia to make a direct connection between different brains work correctly? Would such a connection in turn be helpful for finding such a theory?
Interestingly, what was not much discussed at all was the topic of uploading consciousness to other substrates.