Julian Jaynes Society Discussion Forum: Exploring Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind Theory since 1997

Julian Jaynes and the Singularity
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Author:  selfreplicate [ Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Julian Jaynes and the Singularity

As I come back around again and again to the Singularity, I consistently hear this analogy:

To explain the post-singularity world to a human of our current day, would be like trying to explain 'human-ness' to a goldfish.

(I heard this in a talk given by SciFi author Vernor Vinge, but the analogy is made by most people trying to explain the subject.)

Being a strong supported of Jaynes' Bicameral Mind Theory, I cringe somewhat at this description. What really sets humans apart from animals if not for conscsiousness? It is not the homo-sapien itself that is the distinctive evolutionary leap, it is consciousness. Humans are just another mammal on the tree of life. As an organism, they don't differ much from primates. It is the changes that took place in the mind, the almost non-physical place, that made the drastic leap into a whole new sphere of evolution.

I would like to push forward what I think is a more accurate analogy in reference to the Singularity, and one that I imagine would be shared by others who would be reading this forum, for example, simply by saying -

The Singularity reflects the transition from the bicameral to the conscious.

Humans left the collective consciousness, or the socially/culturally-governed network of group consciousness, for the individual, subjective, autonomous consciousness. In this same way, proceeding the Singularity, we will have left behind the old organization of information, that which exists on the individual level, in pursuit of the super-intelligence that comes from a new form of technologically-augmented collectivization.

And ultimately, I wish proponents of the Singularity would see the significance of Jaynes work in helping us assimilate into this new world.

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