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Julian Jaynes Society Discussion Forum: Exploring Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind Theory since 1997 • View topic - Tiredness in Pre-Conscious Beings

Tiredness in Pre-Conscious Beings

Discussion of consciousness: what it is, what it isn't, Jaynes's ideas vs. other theorists, consciousness and language, studies of cognition in non-human species, etc.

Tiredness in Pre-Conscious Beings

Postby martinem » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:39 pm

What is it that Jaynes said about tiredness? That the pyramids could be built because the builders were fatigue-free like catatonic schizophrenics? Is there a division to be made between the direct affect of tiredness and the more complex self-reflective feeling of injustice or meaninglessness?

I see animals, small kids, and people in ecstasy, they don't get tired, they move until they drop. And I see myself, almost always tired. Does that mean that I have a very high degree of consciousness? ;-)
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Re: Tiredness in Pre-Conscious Beings

Postby Star » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:01 am

martinem,

You might want to check out this thread:


I wondered myself if consciousness uses a lot of the "RAM" in our brains, so to speak.
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Re: Tiredness in pre-conscious beings

Postby martinem » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:06 pm

Thanks Star, it is interesting wether the brain uses more energy while performing conscious decisionmaking, but I wouldn't expect this effect to be huge. After all the amount of brain tissue is the same. Neuronal signalling leaks intracellular potassium which would burdon the ion pump, wasting ATP and glucose, but not all signals are positive. Some signals are inhibitory. Bicamerals, extatics, catatonics or other less conscious also have brain activity which would also consume energy. Naturally you can get exhausted after intellectual feats but I wanted to discuss if there was a more fundamental difference in the experience of meaninglessness, loss of purpose, sense of injustice, or whatever makes you and me rethinking why we should bother completing some useless task such as finishing some stupid pyramid...

I mean, as in Jaynes' discussion on affect and feeling, that preconscious beeings can feel fear, affection, shame and aversion, but only conscious people can experience anxiety, love, guilt and hatred, respectively. Is there an analogy here, that preconscious beeings can get physically tired, (exhausted?) but only conscious people get... What would the proper English term be here, please help... (bored?)
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Re: Tiredness in Pre-Conscious Beings

Postby Star » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:33 pm

Okay, I see where you are going with this now. I will be thinking about it for some time. I flipped through Jayne's and he thinks that ideas of morality and justice are products of consciousness. I'm not sure that you would be able to be aware of injustice without some understanding of justice or fairness.

I have a family member that seems incapable of introspection and who I suspect not fully conscious in the way that you and I would expect. I have grown up with this person and I don't think I have ever seen this person bored. This person is capable of sadness and grief, but I have not ever seen them experience anything I would call a "dark night of the soul," deep outrage, anger, or any real period of soul searching; and we used to be quite close. Yet, without hesitation, I can say I have experienced all of the above.

Again, I will be pondering this for some time. Thank you for the insightful post.
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Re: Tiredness in Pre-Conscious Beings

Postby Moderator » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:43 pm

Regarding boredom, there definitely seems to be a conscious component to it. But let's not forget that habituation, which might be viewed as a non-conscious form of boredom, is widespread in the animal kingdom. For example, a dog will grow tired of chasing a ball after a certain number of repetitions, and this can be seen in non-physical activities as well (a new smell is "interesting" for a fixed amount of time, etc.).
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