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Self aware society

janesix
Posts: 3,467
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9/26/2016 6:55:16 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
Could human society as a whole be an entity that is self aware?

Are there any books on this topic, or philosopher with this line of thought?

What about ant and bee colonies? They act as if they are single entities.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,050
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9/26/2016 10:06:46 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
That is an interesting question and mistake! A big problem is how to define self aware. We certainly have lots of cpunication channels, but I don't know of that makes human society self aware. Nor am I sure if an ant or bee colony is self aware, although they have been likened to 'super ogamisms' with each ant or bee analgous to a cell in a regular organism.
But are multi-cellular organisms self-aware?

I think a major difference between human societies and any/bee colony is that insect colonies consist of many thousands of individuals with little autonomy. Each insect has its programmed role or function which it performs mechanically. Humans evolved to be members of smallish groups of highly autonomous individuals - a completely different model from the insect hive or nest.
Consequently human societies can change the way they operate very rapidly while insect societies have changed little over millions of years.
Now of course humans live in societies with millions of members, quite unlike the small bands that hunted together on the African savannah. Cultural change may have outstripped our ability to adapt to it

But i digress from the issue of self-awareness, so I'll stop now!
R0b1Billion
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9/26/2016 10:56:04 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
I don't see any reason to think society, or earth for that matter, represents a self aware entity
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Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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9/26/2016 11:16:42 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 6:55:16 AM, janesix wrote:
Could human society as a whole be an entity that is self aware?

Are there any books on this topic, or philosopher with this line of thought?

What about ant and bee colonies? They act as if they are single entities.

The philosopher you want to read is one of my all time favorites, Teilhard de Chardin, and the book you want to read is "The Phenomenon of Man".

He was a Jesuit Priest, Palaeontologist, Mystic and serious philosopher who died in 1955 but nevertheless, predicted the Internet and claimed it would bring about a phase of evolutionary development he called the "noosphere", a thinking layer of the earth in which mankind becomes collectively self-aware.

Teilhard"s philosophy reconciled science and religion; he envisioned a evolutionary unfolding of the universe from matter to spirit, characterized by a constant increase of complexity and consciousness. He said the process would lead to a day when communication technology would develop into a global network of instantaneous feedback, and planetary communication that would result in a collective self-awareness of humanity.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Perussi
Posts: 778
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9/26/2016 11:39:07 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 6:55:16 AM, janesix wrote:
Could human society as a whole be an entity that is self aware?

Are there any books on this topic, or philosopher with this line of thought?

What about ant and bee colonies? They act as if they are single entities.

Groupthinkers and exrtoverts, nuff said.
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keithprosser
Posts: 2,050
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9/26/2016 12:13:11 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
As a caveat, it is very easy to confuse statistical effects as representing something deeper and mystical.
IM-True
Posts: 20
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9/26/2016 4:08:18 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 6:55:16 AM, janesix wrote:
Could human society as a whole be an entity that is self aware?

Are there any books on this topic, or philosopher with this line of thought?

What about ant and bee colonies? They act as if they are single entities. : :

All the minds of human beings are connected to the same exact source that gives them the sense of awareness.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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9/26/2016 6:47:12 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 10:06:46 AM, keithprosser wrote:
That is an interesting question and mistake! A big problem is how to define self aware. We certainly have lots of cpunication channels, but I don't know of that makes human society self aware. Nor am I sure if an ant or bee colony is self aware, although they have been likened to 'super ogamisms' with each ant or bee analgous to a cell in a regular organism.
But are multi-cellular organisms self-aware?

Of course, that"s exactly what we are, a multi-cellular organism that is self-aware.

If we take an honest look at our evolutionary history, such speculation about some kind aggregated self-awareness makes a lot of sense. Seen in its entirety, seen the way evolution demands that we see it; there has been a direction to life towards greater complexity and higher forms of sentience, the trajectory has been from inanimate matter, to life, to sentience, to thought, to self-reflective consciousness. Life is observed to be self-transcendent, some process transcends the living individual in some mysterious way, something that draws individuals together and aggregates living things into larger wholes.

Symbiotic linkages between prokaryotic cells became eukaryotes which in some mysterious way developed into a single being with an extremely attenuated form of "self", but it was an autonomous individual. This individual transcended itself and achieved a fusion between different sorts of eukaryotes which led to the construction of single celled "selves" that assembled into communities that eventually became metazoan creature "selves". The fact is, you and I are actually a large, mobile colony of breathing bacteria operating a complex system of nuclei, microtubules, and neurons that is typing on a computer at the moment, and the thing is, we really have no idea how that happened.

All we know is that it happened, and that there is some unexplained principle or force that caused single celled creatures to form colonies that became multi-cellular creatures, which became unified into single sentient entities at some point. It certainly makes you wonder if the same principle is at work in ant and termite colonies, social organization, cultures and civilizations.

It appears that life has always been "self-transcending", constantly coming together and then aggregating into higher forms of self organizing wholes which become individual "selves", always with increasing degrees of sentience, awareness, and consciousness. It is therefore reasonable to assume that it will continue to be "self transcending" in this manner, and if so, what"s next?

I think a major difference between human societies and any/bee colony is that insect colonies consist of many thousands of individuals with little autonomy. Each insect has its programmed role or function which it performs mechanically. Humans evolved to be members of smallish groups of highly autonomous individuals - a completely different model from the insect hive or nest.
Consequently human societies can change the way they operate very rapidly while insect societies have changed little over millions of years.

The question is, did we pass through a similar stage, and maybe even are we passing through another one now? Bees, termites, and social wasps, are individuals, and they are at the same time component parts, cellular elements, of the hill, the nest, and the hive. Scientists who study the social insects claim that in order to understand, the hill, hive, and nest of social insects must be seen as an individual self with a collective intelligence that transcends the individual insect. Is civilization our kind of mound?

Now of course humans live in societies with millions of members, quite unlike the small bands that hunted together on the African savannah. Cultural change may have outstripped our ability to adapt to it

Yeah, and we are made up of 37 trillion cells, that were once autonomous individuals, then small colonies, then larger colonies, etc.

But i digress from the issue of self-awareness, so I'll stop now!
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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9/26/2016 6:48:29 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 12:13:11 PM, keithprosser wrote:
As a caveat, it is very easy to confuse statistical effects as representing something deeper and mystical.

You mean the "statistical effects of the gaps" argument?

You better be careful, with that attitude you might just end up in the poopshoot of the coming being.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
MasonicSlayer
Posts: 2,365
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10/1/2016 3:42:56 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
It's not unlikely that there is a super consciousness, or the collective consciousness of all minds joined together. Edgar Casey claimed the reason for his ability to recite cures for people's illnesses that were beyond the diagnosis for any one doctor, is because in a trans he could scour the knowledge at once to all the doctors on the planet. This is not to say the collective mind is the mind of God, rather to me it suggests there is a single mind to the mind of humanity. Perhaps the single mind of humanity is just one portion to the larger mind of God. Interesting to note, that it's being said that every atom in the universe is aware of the placement of all other atoms. It seems this would suggest the Universe exists solely from the mind of One.
matt8800
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10/6/2016 3:43:05 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 12:13:11 PM, keithprosser wrote:
As a caveat, it is very easy to confuse statistical effects as representing something deeper and mystical.

Yes, it is related to the phenomenon as described by Self Organization theory. It explains the patterns in crystals, convection patterns of fluids, etc.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,237
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10/6/2016 5:02:37 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 6:55:16 AM, janesix wrote:
Could human society as a whole be an entity that is self aware?

There's such thing as personal self-awareness, I suppose with enough education a large amount of people could be aware of their own bias and pursue facts but ...

Are there any books on this topic, or philosopher with this line of thought?

What about ant and bee colonies? They act as if they are single entities.

Ah as in humans as a macro species? The internet is certainly aiding towards that end. However rapid communication doesn't necessarily mean rapid agreement/action.