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Conscious of a Collision

This is the first post in a series on consciousness, maybe, I'm still thinking. Anyway, I thought I'd set a baseline, bear with it, I think it all comes out in the wash...

Imagine a big rock floating free in space, just sitting there, still, lifeless, not knowing anything or recording anything just existing as a rock in space, we'll call it Eric. Millenniums later another rock appears, we'll call it Ernie. Ernie has been travelling unimpeded on his trajectory at high velocity also for millenniums but this is a collision trajectory with Eric.

The collision occurs and, in the current vernacular, *BOOM*, Eric shoots off, stealing almost all of Ernie's momentum and leaving Ernie, split into two pieces; one almost stopping its forward momentum and spinning on the spot and the other smaller piece is thrown into orbit of its larger sibling.

Neither Eric or Ernie is conscious in any way; we can all agree that a rock has no consciousness, however, even while agreeing that neither is conscious in the "Here I am and I know that I am" way, one could legitimately, if loosely, describe the collision thusly...

When Eric and Ernie collided, the condition of each was transformed by the other and the laws of physics.
Eric became conscious of Ernie's momentum via the collision.
Ernie became conscious of Eric's mass when he suddenly started orbiting himself.
The Universe became conscious of Eric & Ernie's collision by way of the effects and conditions resulting from it.

On a distant planet light years away a scientist asks "Could it be that this planet's civilisation was destroyed by a meteor (Eric)?" and part of his answer, if discernible, is "the impact registered by Eric on his collision with Ernie millenniums earlier".
If we replaced the word "conscious" with the word "interaction" then when a physical "interaction" takes place the superposition of all possible outcomes is collapsed. When an interaction between two existing objects takes place in a "meaningful" way, say as is the case in the example detailed above, in an impact or collision, where the trajectory and/or condition of one or both of the objects is physically transformed by the other, each object can be said to have become "conscious" of the other. "Consciousness", in that sense, exists even where a "mind" does not. Unless or until a physical object interacts with another both objects future states exist only as potentials.
But all these events are still not consciousness (sentience) let alone conscious (awake), and this is where lack of precision in language starts to muddy the water of comprehension. We say that this or that thing became 'aware' of an event but we don't mean awareness/consciousness, as in a sentient entity. We mean 'registered' as a needle on a gauge or 'evidenced' by a chain of causes and effects, as a line of toppled dominoes; we mean the record left in the "great list of universal events" but in order to receive that exact meaning the listener must be aware that it's the implied meaning and usage. A magic believing listener may, naturally, default to what seems, because of their prior indoctrination, the more reasonable 'Sentience with a will' meaning of consciousness or "a being that's awake" meaning of conscious. Doesn't that mean that what the listener infers from the statement differs from the actual meaning because the listener was taught to expect 'agency' and so perceives an implication where there was none? I think so.

We have an innate ability for anthropomorphising objects in conversation. I think this has evolved because it makes it easier to transmit a concept if we can voice it in a way with which the listener can empathise. However, this 'teaching method' contains within it the pitfall of personifying the anthropomorphism, which then misleads, especially for a listener who is thinking 'concretely' and not in the more abstract 'formally'. Here I'd like to draw a distinction between personification and anthropomorphising, one might anthropomorphise a bouncing ball by saying "that bounces like a rabbit", whereas personification assumes the ball is acting as though it has the 'personality' of the Rabbit, for me it's the difference between an object having an attribute of life and an actual life.

To inform clearly, don't we need to be as fully aware as possible, not merely of ALL that we are transmitting but also of the listener's ability to receive? Shouldn't we be constructing sentences that deliberately avoid any accidental personification of an anthropomorphic example? Should we consider anthropomorphic examples so susceptible to personification, because of who/what we humans are, that they should be actively discouraged as a method of delivering information?
I've no answers on that, to be honest it seems so hardwired it may be irremovable but I feel we must try.

As for the universe, I see no evidence that of itself the universe is conscious or has "consciousness", as we do. I see only a register of events.
'Our' Radio waves are travelling across space, any other sentient consciousness that there may be in the universe may one day become aware of our having existed but the record of our existence is already registered (possibly immortally) in the waves 'we' made in space. In that respect alone, the universe is 'conscious' of our, or anything's, existence but the universe does not 'know' of our existence.

So, when we hear a claim like "The universe is conscious" shouldn't we all finish the sentence, not necessarily aloud, it's still a religiously oppressed world out there and we don't want to get dead so, maybe just in our heads add "in the same way as a rock is conscious of a collision."?

For those wondering, the "Eric" & "Ernie" irony was on purpose, by way of illustration. For those not, feel free to ignore this last sentence. :)

More on consciousness in Conscious of Consciousness
This is one of the Too Many Questions
Please leave a comment - Anything will do
The best communications are often,


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