Sunday, October 12, 2014


I recently listened to a radio show concerning civil rights for virtual humans.  According to the two researcher guests, there will be virtual humans rolling off hi-tech production lines within ten years and the researchers were anxious to make sure that the rights of these virtual humans would be protected and they expressed the hope that those in the audience would have the necessary patience, sympathy and support for these virtual humans as they engaged in their struggle for social respect and justice just as blacks and women and other subjugated groups had struggled in the past.  The host's only query in response to this madness was to wonder if virtual humans really would be 'ready' in ten years; that he was of the opinion that it would take more like fifty.

Where do I begin to address this insanity?  Such idiocy is indicative that our society has completely lost its way and that we have forgotten who we are, why we are precious and unique, and what our real birth right is.  Let me start by saying that while a virtual human machine may give the impression that it can do things that humans do, there is not one thing that it can actually do that humans do, in fact there is not one thing that it can actually do period, in the sense that we humans have of actually doing things.  A virtual human machine cannot talk, cannot hear, cannot think, cannot listen,  cannot see, cannot smell, taste or touch.  It cannot engage you in a conversation.  It does not know that you are even there, and it does not care that you are there or care about anything else.  And that is because a virtual human machine is not conscious which means that it neither desires nor experiences anything.  It does not care whether it is turned on or turned off, it does not care whether it is talking to you or not; it does not care whether it is functional or not.  It does not care if it is used constantly or remains unopened in the package that it was wrapped in when it was originally manufactured, and it most certainly doesn't care whether it's civil rights are protected or not; as a matter of fact it is not even an 'it.'

There is no 'it' there.  There is no unitary consciousness that knows that it is a virtual human.  There is know unitary consciousness that knows anything.  A virtual human knows absolutely nothing just like a computer, even the most advanced one, knows absolutely nothing.  To know something requires a know-er.  But in these cases there is no knower.  There is not even, from the perspective of the virtual human or the computer, any information.  In fact there is not even any persepective.  To have a perspective, a point of view, to hold an opinion, there has to be an 'it', a consciousness, that has that perspective, that holds that point of view.  Now a virtual machine can be programmed to fool people into thinking that it does have a point of view, that there really is an 'it' in there that is as conscious and as intentional and as experiential as you are, but of course all this is nonsense.  All there is is programming, patterns of electrons meeting other patterns of electrons which causes certain reactions as opposed to other reactions, but never with the oversight, or interference of consciousness.  In fact, patterns of electrons are not information without consciousness.  They are just patterns of electrons.

Exactly as in our human brains, there are coded bits of information stored, but they only become information when they are translated by consciousness into something meaningful.  What the virtual human conveys to us we may translate as being meaningful, but to the virtual human there is no meaning, no information at all.  The virtual human may be talking, may be making sound, may be doing tasks, may be giving the impression that he or she is happy or sad or excited, but there is no one, no being within that machine to hear the sounds it is making, to experience doing anything that it is doing, or experience any emotion that it is mechanically conveying the experience of.

I do know that these machines are very complicated and they are the result of a lot of careful, meticulous work, but I will make the generalization that virtual human machines do things because certain patterns of electrons whose source originated in the environment external to the virtual machine, fit other patterns of electrons internal to the virtual machine which provokes certain mechanical/electrical responses, like recorded words being spoken, eyes being moved, the corners of the mouth being raised, etc.  During all these electrical/mechanical activities there is absolutely no experience of the sort that a human has when a human does anything.  First of all, a human does something because he wants to.  Never mind if that desire is instinctual, biological, learned, chosen, whatever.  It doesn't matter.  However that desire got there, a human being does something, whether it is scratching it's nose or writing the Magna Carta, because it wants to, or if it doesn't want to, someone that has a power over this individual, like his parent, his boss, his teacher, his ruler, wants him to do it; in which case he still wants to do it, perhaps not enthusiastically, but he wants to do it more than he wants to incur the wrath of the person making him do it.  So humans, us, we, do things because we experience wanting to do them.  When we speak we speak because we want to express something.  We may be pleased with how we expressed the idea or the experience that we wanted to convey, or we may not be pleased with it.  A machine is never pleased or unpleased by what it says, because, first of all, there is no "it", no "I", that is saying it.  A machine does not say anything because it has an experience or an idea or an opinion that it wants to express.  A machine has no "I" therefore it has no experiences, no ideas and no opinions.  Again, a machine may be programmed to say things that give the impression that the machine has an experience, an idea or an opinion, but it has none, because there is no "it" within the machine, no ground of being, no consciousness, no milieu of desires, out of which a virtual machine could experience or desire anything. If a machine surprises you that is because it has been programmed in a surprising way by a conscious, living, desiring, intelligent human programmer.  The machine is the non-conscious, automated recipient of that surprising program just as it is the non-conscious, automated recipient of every other program.

The French often use the pronoun 'on' which means one.  We use the pronoun also, but in English, unless it is being used in the negative, no one, it usually sounds pretentious.  "No one is home." "One should work hard if one wants to succeed."  Who is this 'one'?  It is you, the unitary consciousness.  Not the two hundred billion neurons of your brain, not the one hundred trillion cells of your body, not the 3.2 billion nucleotide base pairs within each of those cells, nor the multitude of activities within each and every one of those cells, but you, one; the one ground of being, the one experiencer, the one desirer.  This is the very you that your parents celebrated when you were born.  Yes, they were happy that you had ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, etc.  But all that would be absolutely for naught if you were still born.  The celebration happenned because a new consciousness, a new being, with the same kind of desires, and ability to experience, and capacity for love, had arrived into our world.  And when one of your parents died, it was not the body or any part of the equipment that was missed so much, but the same consciousness, the same experiencer, the same desirer, the same ground of being that had departed, leaving the body and all it's equipment in tact, but no longer animated by the experience and desires of a living being.  

I am not my wiring.  I am the consciousness that translates that wiring into experience, and my wiring allows me to have a rich and colored and sonic and textural and sensual and reliable and orderly and recognizable experience, but my wiring does not experience my experience.  I do that; and my wiring is organized so that I experience my experience in a way that is similar enough to the rest of my species so that we can have a shared community of experience, which is what a species is, or should be.  And my wiring is organized in a transcendentally precise and complex way so that my desires, can be translated instantly into the actions that allow me to fulfill those desires. I am consciousness.  I am the desirer and the experiencer which I do with the assistance of my wiring.  A virtual human is wiring. 

Before we worry about civil rights and respect for virtual humans lets figure out who we real humans really are.  We are that most precious of commodities, not the product of mechanics, programming or material, but living consciousness.

Let me know what you think.