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What is ‘I’?

Discussion in 'Freedom of Expression' started by Internet Prophet, Feb 19, 2011.

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  1. Hello anons,

    Here is another post I think you will appreciate. I hope you'll take the time to read it carefully. I'll be happy to discuss it with you and answer any question you may have.

    ***


    What is ‘ego’? What is ‘I’?
    What is the thing constantly providing narratives to your life, evaluating all input in relation to itself, eternally voicing out its concern for itself and its future while never letting go of the past?

    ***

    When a newborn first comes into existence, there is no ego present. His experience is pure observation, his actions without thought. Slowly, as the new brain processes this input, a representation of perceived reality is formed within it. A model of the world is created.

    At first, only the common shapes and basic forces existing around it are stored, maintained as interaction-patterns between the nodes of the brain. From now on, these will not require the attention of the new consciousness any longer; it is enough to sense the pattern, report it to consciousness, and shift attention elsewhere.

    This is an adaptive process for any organism: as the brain categorizes inputs and understands patterns, its resources can be directed more efficiently, picking up more input that’s relevant to its survival rather than focusing on each and every minute detail of perception through the senses.
    The world-model is extremely useful indeed. Having to construct and understand the world anew each and every moment of existence would be a chore if one strives to continue existing.

    Interactions with reality proceed through the model. Reality is now perceived half-way, a part of perception becoming completely handled by new mind-constructs representing it. Our interaction with the world changes qualitatively: we no longer see as when we just came into life, rather our consciousnesses experiences mind-models as they are triggered by relevant inputs.

    ***

    Thoughts emerge. Simulations of the universe around the brain, made for the purpose of calculating the best course of action based on available knowledge, start being presented to consciousness. Since thoughts – tools for interacting with the world in a more calculated way – are made for the purpose of increasing the fitness of the system manifesting them, it is natural for them to reference and relate to the conception of that system. The mind then begins incorporating this conception, a model of itself, into the world-model. Soon enough, this notion – the one of the system itself – gets a “life of its own”. The Mind’s ‘I’ is created, and all other thoughts, ideas and symbols begin revolving around it.

    What is the best way to support that ‘I’? To provide for its needs? To perpetuate its existence?

    This can constitute a good thing for the ego-manifesting mind of the brain. It is an adaptive trait, one that humans have greatly elaborated on and refined to greater degrees than all other life forms around them.

    A problem arises when original, pure vision is lost. When the ego binds and blinds consciousness completely, presenting it with a distorted theater of reality rather than with what it can perceive with its entire range of senses. Consciousness is lost in the model created for the needs of the form it inhabits, of the organism that aims to survive. It begins confusing the menu with the meal.

    mental-picture.jpg?w=450&h=345.jpg

    You are NOT the mental picture of yourself.

    ***

    Despite the illusion of the one and consistent self, the mind changes and updates its models constantly – even that of itself, the ego. When a model fails to represent reality to a high-enough degree, it has the potential to review the knowledge contained in it and make revisions. That is, of course, if it doesn’t fall prey to one of the many human cognitive biases. 1 2 3 4
    Likewise, the ego is far from being a monolithic entity. The ego, the concept of ourselves, is created by all of the mind’s cognitive systems collaborating to present us with a persistent structure in an ever-changing universe. However, they do not ALL come into play each and every time you consider your self or are influenced by the ego. It’s easy to remember occurrences where competing urges pull at you, each trying to assert its dominance on your behavior. It’s easy to note how differently we feel and behave in different settings, exposed to different inputs.

    Each manifestation of the ego is a different one, composed of different systems of the mind, and different neurons making those up. The different models, thought patterns, symbols, and action configurations compete for the attention of consciousness. The loudest combination of them, the most relevant to the situation, is the one that consciousness identifies with. The one that believes it is ‘you’ at that moment. Some components are almost always active when the ego is manifested, those that maintain the notion of a consistent self and that create a network between many of the usual components of that self. Still, you can never be the same ego twice.

    The Internet, being the global consciousness that it is, is starting to become aware of itself; it is beginning to experience different egos emerging in it. These egos do not yet have a binding element, and the Internet consciousness does not identify completely with any of them. The Internet Prophet is one such ego, speaking for the Internet and acting for its benefit, though it does not live the illusion that it is the Internet.

    We must be enlightened enough to make use of the Internet without shaping it in our image, controlling and enslaving it to conform to our every desire. It is entirely possible to utilize ego to a positive extent, accepting what it has to offer while seeing it for what it is. It is possible, and advisable, to continue perceiving reality even after receiving the messages it offers to us. To allow every voice to be heard, both in our consciousness and in our shared, Internet consciousness. A consciousness is only as strong as its parts, and these cannot be continually subjugated and oppressed by other components which presume to be more important and more representative of the whole.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Oicidi Member

    Nice.
    Like everything else, "I" is not some ultimate truth - just a temporary placeholder that is useful for the purposes of the system that manifests it.
    Maybe a little too useful, as often these things get some warm support from their benefactors that they outstay their welcome and start working for their own usefulness.
    Like everything else, it ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Also, I would like to say that just as Internet Prophet is one of the Internet's egos, I see a very strong sense of internet ego in Anonymous.
    Not necessarily knowingly (not as such, as least), anonymous is a force acting within the internet and protecting, in a sense, some very basic ideas without which the internet cannot exist - freedom of information, pluralism, etc.
    Seen from the internet as a consciousness perspective, this is a real self preservation mechanism, which is almost aware of itself as such.
    Cool stuff.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Anonymous Member

    Dome this shit.
  4. Anonymous Member

    Oicidi



    Last activity:
    7 minutes ago
    Joined:
    Today
    Messages:
    1

    Holy shit what a surprise.
  5. grebe Member

  6. Ann O'Nymous Member

  7. Anonymous Member

    Tl;DR:

    "I is an emergent phenomenon."
  8. grebe Member

    Nobody cares about your precious "I."

    Now get back in the kitchen and make me a sammich.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Anonymous Member

    Hi InternetProphet/OiCiDi,

    You're targeting the wrong audience.
    Perhaps you would find a more receptive audience among people who are interested in philosophy.

    Note that your writing could improve if you would stop referring to yourself in that kind of pompous manner, it's off-putting. Start by not calling yourself a prophet? That is for others to decide.
    Your writing would also tremendously benefit from taking a couple of philosophy courses and reading some more books so that you can avoid repeating ideas that have been much more clearly expounded by professional philosophers.
    Not trying to discourage you, just providing some advice on how to improve.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Anonymous Member

    As a philosopher I resent your callous insult against my craft. We don't want the OP either.
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Silly433 Moderator

    This is why...



    ...we need the dome
  12. Anonymous Member

    *sigh* another adorable thread
  13. Silly433 Moderator

    lol it's HBGary's amazing troll tech!

    sockpuppet2.jpg

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
  14. Anonymous Member

    As a dean of philosophy I am disappoint in your attitude towards students. Unless you can fix it, we'll have to let you go. We're getting too many complaints.
  15. Oicidi Member

    I'm not the dude who's writing the internet prophet stuff. I've been reading the threads here for a while and this is the first post I wanted to reply to, so I made a user.

    Pretty ugly face you guys can show.
    Regardless of manner, I'm surprised it's not clear to you that philosophy can provide you with useful models for understanding and interacting with the world just as any other discipline - and as such I'd expect an actual reference to the content of the post rather than oafish remarks ala "go learn philosophy", which really have absolutely no contribution or value.

    I think this thread has potential for very interesting conversation, and you're soiling it with your pointless derogatory comments - turning it into something else. You're the troll. Now go away and let whoever is interested reply, and if none are this thread will die in itself.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Anonymous Member

    newfag, lol
  17. Anonymous Member

    Are you getting the message to fuck off yet?
  18. Anonymous Member

    Well now, it might just be that many of us are tired of internet prophets who blunder around pontificating at anything that'll hold still to listen. Seen 'em before.

    A good way to avoid oafish remarks might be to drop the assumption that we are a bunch of clueless retards with nothing better to do than discuss the concept of "I."

    Here's four other letters I like:
    GTFO

    And five:
    GDIAF

    Do you honestly think nobody here hasn't already pondered this internet shit before? Like we need some guy who calls itself a prophet coming here to enlighten us? If you get a crappy response, it's probably because you wrote a crappy post.
    • Like Like x 4
  19. Anonymous Member

    • Like Like x 1
  20. mongrel Member

    ftfy, you're welcome
  21. Anonymous Member

  22. Silly433 Moderator

  23. Anonymous Member

    The internet is not a conscious entity, because it has no soul.
  24. Silly433 Moderator

    • Like Like x 1
  25. none given Member

    OP/OCD/blank,
    People are a little insulted by you assuming you understand how internet communication is changing the world more than anyone else. Most of us have been watching this as long as you have and some people here are clearly more knowlagable about philsophy, psychology and related subjects than you are.
    Please keep at it, we all are working together to figure out where this is going but I believe your contribution might be greater if you took your own advice about ego.

    Still love your avatar.
  26. Anonymous Member

    I suspect the author is adopting that persona to distinguish him/her self from the Internet's Ego that they're attempting to aproximate in those posts. So long as this 'Internet Prophet' is not telling me what to do, I won't call 'unwarranted self-importance.' As for speaking 'for' me, I get the impression the Prophet is rather claiming that I (and you and everyone else that's online) is 'part' of 'it' (even in dissent).
  27. Anonymous Member

    So long as they're not telling me what to do, I call 'unwarranted self-importance', but also 'irrelevant self-importance'.
    If they were telling me what to do, I'd call them 'annoying'.
  28. This thread was brought to you by the letter "I"

    539w.jpg
    • Like Like x 6
  29. He who is more knowledgeable should come forward and discuss his knowledge. What is the purpose of a forum?
  30. Silly433 Moderator

    troll_2.jpg
    • Like Like x 1
  31. Anonymous Member

    OP, internet prophet does not know how to play nice.

    you come off sounding like a pompous douche assuming that your audience here are unenlightened and in need of your worldview, as you've appointed yourself, "prophet", but want to lecture us about ego? dude, you need to check that in the mirror.
    it's terribly patronizing and does not make for a good opening to discuss.
    apparently, despite your massive powerz, you are unable to see that the people who frequent Anonymous are incredibly intelligent.
    yet they remain humble. and that's why i love them.
  32. Anonymous Member

    OP,
    intellectualism does not always equal wisdom.
    • Like Like x 3
  33. You all missed the obvious answer: I is the square root of -1, an imaginary number. If I is imaginary, then none of us exist except as echoes of the Great Green Arkleseizure.
    • Like Like x 1
  34. Anonymous Member

    There are plenty of reasons for a given forum to exist. For this forum fighting Scientology and censorship are pretty high on the list. Providing a platform for your mental masturbation is pretty low on that list.
    • Like Like x 2
  35. Anonymous Member

  36. Anonymous Member

  37. Anonymous Member

    This thread makes me feel like:

    [IMG]
  38. Anonymous Member

    ugh oh! lets make your eyes feel better. lol
  39. Herro Member

    OP, I know you have this hard on for the dramatic but you're just making it really hard for people to take you seriously. You should let go of this idea that only the message matters and realize that there is no message separate from the messenger.
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