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Do we die every time we go to sleep?


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#1 titus_pullo

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 03:29 AM


I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?

#2 Custodiam

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 08:57 AM

I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?


I read an interesting article about this subject:

https://www.dmt-nexu...nsciousness.pdf

I think during sleep there is a "base" consciousness present.

Edited by Custodiam, 29 December 2010 - 09:02 AM.


#3 firespin

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:36 AM

I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?



No. I see sleep as your conscious just partially shutdown, similar to a computer. Dreams are basically the mind's version of a screensaver. Death is when there is no automatic conscious awakening anymore. Do you have the same computer when you turn it off and then turn it back on? Yes you do. The same thing with the mind and body. Humans really are complex biological machines.

Edited by firespin, 30 December 2010 - 12:38 AM.


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#4 Marios Kyriazis

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 08:34 AM

If you could 'date' your organs/cells and molecules you would find that they are the same as the night before. So your physical body is the same. Also, what would be the evolutionary point of such a scenario?

#5 Lazarus Long

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:38 PM


I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?


I read an interesting article about this subject:

https://www.dmt-nexu...nsciousness.pdf

I think during sleep there is a "base" consciousness present.



This is an ancient topic, literally, but Custodiam is correct, there is a base form of consciousness present at all times. It is probably a result of evolutionary biology as a defense mechanism that will wake you if there are real threats and you haven't gotten into a nearly comatose sleep through any number of obvious methods, drugs, injury, exhaustion etc.

An interesting thing about our distant mammalian cousins the orca, is that they do not have a true autonomic breathing mechanism and have to consciously make themselves take each breath. In other words they have be aware enough while asleep to make themselves breathe. In fact to help accomplish this they only sleep with half their brains at a time and that is one technique it might be nice for us to learn to mimic.

Another thing that is now coming to light more and more is that not all unconscious states for us are equivalent, anesthesia for example appears to be more closely akin to being comatose than asleep.

Body Under General Anesthesia Tracks Closer to Coma than Sleep

And being in a coma is not the same as being asleep and aside from how the body rests, consciousness is more possible while in a coma than previously thought even though the body itself is even deeper in shut down mode.

Edited by Lazarus Long, 30 December 2010 - 01:38 PM.


#6 brokenportal

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:47 PM

I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?



Of course, it is likely that we dont "die" in that way, but its one of the great thinking experiments that is good to keep flowing through here as the world slowly filters in.

Sleep may be a maintenance window where we leave the matrix so the others can restore our memories so they can be retained for the life of the organism.

On a related note, as many of us have probably contemplated, it seems that sleep prepares people for death.

It seems like it might also make life less monotonous, because if "time flies when your having fun" as many of us have experienced, it might be hard to tell that x many hours have gone by if it were not for sleep to provide mile markers along the way. If a day were 500 hours long we might perceptually use them up just as fast (maybe not). On the other hand though, constantly having to delay things for sleep is getting old. I hate getting on a roll only to get tired and have to sleep each day and waste all the time involved with going to sleep and getting up again, and again, and again.

#7 Cameron

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:42 AM

Every time you have a dreamless night you've died.

#8 Brafarality

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:15 AM

IMO, the greatest proof of consciousness surviving and being independent, in some way, of the brain is that when people are knocked out or in a coma and awaken, they are there again. I THINK it is the same consciousness. Maybe field theory could help with this, since, if the brain is generating consciousness (an emergent immaterial field of some sort?) and it stops generating it, then the brain is just an organ, without consciousness, but then it starts generating it again and it reappears. it should be a new entity that appears each time a person wakes from being knocked out or coma, but something maintained the continuity and there is no physical world explanation for it that I can grasp or that really solves this paradox.
But, sleep, I am not sure about. Consciousness may still persist during all sleep. So its totally different from being knocked out. Its the strangest of mysteries and its right in front of us all the time.

Edited by Brafarality, 17 March 2011 - 11:15 AM.

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#9 tepol

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:46 PM

Every time you have a dreamless night you've died.


And that is still more alive than most people are during the day..

tepol

#10 tepol

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:55 PM


I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?


No. I see sleep as your conscious just partially shutdown, similar to a computer. Dreams are basically the mind's version of a screensaver. Death is when there is no automatic conscious awakening anymore. Do you have the same computer when you turn it off and then turn it back on? Yes you do. The same thing with the mind and body. Humans really are complex biological machines.


So how do you explain lucid dreaming ?

BTW DMT is also in Ayahausca

Rick Strassman talks about this in his book ," The Spirit Molecule ".

Jeremy Narby has some interesting views regarding Conciousness too

T

#11 tepol

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:14 PM



I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?


No. I see sleep as your conscious just partially shutdown, similar to a computer. Dreams are basically the mind's version of a screensaver. Death is when there is no automatic conscious awakening anymore. Do you have the same computer when you turn it off and then turn it back on? Yes you do. The same thing with the mind and body. Humans really are complex biological machines.


So how do you explain lucid dreaming ?

BTW DMT is also in Ayahausca

Rick Strassman talks about this in his book ," The Spirit Molecule ".

Jeremy Narby has some interesting views regarding Conciousness too

T


for any one interested

DMT

#12 tepol

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:02 PM




I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?


No. I see sleep as your conscious just partially shutdown, similar to a computer. Dreams are basically the mind's version of a screensaver. Death is when there is no automatic conscious awakening anymore. Do you have the same computer when you turn it off and then turn it back on? Yes you do. The same thing with the mind and body. Humans really are complex biological machines.


So how do you explain lucid dreaming ?

BTW DMT is also in Ayahausca

Rick Strassman talks about this in his book ," The Spirit Molecule ".

Jeremy Narby has some interesting views regarding Conciousness too

T


for any one interested

DMT



Appears to be some synchronicity going on .

I just noticed this article in New Scientist while taking my usual browse , and thought it was worth adding to debate here.

T

________________________________________________________________________


Bot shows signs of consciousness
Editorial: "When should we give rights to robots?"

A SOFTWARE bot inspired by a popular theory of human consciousness takes the same time as humans to complete simple awareness tasks. Its creators say this feat means we are closer to understanding where consciousness comes from. It also raises the question of whether machines could ever have subjective experiences.

The bot, called LIDA for Learning Intelligent Distribution Agent, is based on "global workspace theory". According to GWT, unconscious processing - the gathering and processing of sights and sounds, for example, is carried out by different, autonomous brain regions working in parallel. We only become conscious of information when it is deemed important enough to be "broadcast" to the global workspace, an assembly of connected neurons that span the brain. We experience this broadcast as consciousness, and it allows information to be shared across different brain regions and acted upon.

Recently, several experiments using electrodes have pinpointed brain activity that might correspond to the conscious broadcast, although how exactly the theory translates into cognition and conscious experience still isn't clear.

To investigate, Stan Franklin, of the University of Memphis in Tennessee, built LIDA - software that incorporates key features of GWT, fleshed out with ideas about how these processes are carried out to produce what he believes to be a reconstruction of cognition.

Franklin based LIDA's processing on a hypothesis that consciousness is composed of a series of millisecond-long cycles, each one split into unconscious and conscious stages. In the first of these stages - unconscious perception - LIDA scans the environment and copies what she detects to her sensory memory. Then specialised "feature detectors" scan sensory memory, pick out certain colours, sounds and movements, and pass these to a software module that recognises them as objects or events. For example, it might discover red pixels and "know" that a red light has been switched on. In the next phase, understanding, which is mainly unconscious, these pieces of data can be strung together and compared with the contents of LIDA's long-term memory. Another set of processes use these comparisons to determine which objects or events are relevant or urgent. For example, if LIDA has been told to look out for a red light, this would be deemed highly salient. If this salience is above a certain threshold, says Franklin, "it suddenly steps over the edge of a cliff; it ignites". That event along with some of its associated content will rise up into consciousness, winning a place in LIDA's global workspace - a part of her "brain" that all other areas can access and learn from. This salient information drives which action is chosen. Then the cycle starts again.

Franklin reckons that similar cycles are the "building blocks for human cognition" and conscious experience. Although only one cycle can undergo conscious broadcast at a time, rather like the individual frames of a movie, successive broadcasts could be strung together quickly enough to give the sense of a seamless experience (see diagram).

However, just because these cognitive cycles are consistent with some features of human consciousness doesn't mean this is actually how the human mind works. So, with the help of Baars at the Neuroscience Institute in San Diego, California, who first proposed GWT, and philosophy student Tamas Madl at the University of Vienna, Austria, Franklin put LIDA into direct competition with humans.

To increase her chance of success, they grounded the timings of LIDA's underlying processes on known neurological data. For example, they set LIDA's feature detectors to check sensory memory every 30 milliseconds. According to previous studies, this is the time it takes for a volunteer to recognise which category an image belongs to when it is flashed in front of them.

Next the researchers set LIDA loose on two tasks. The first was a version of a reaction-time test in which you must press a button whenever a light turns green. The researchers planted such a light in LIDA's simulated environment, and provided her with a virtual button. It took her on average 280 milliseconds to "hit" the button after the light turned green. The average reaction time in people is 200 milliseconds, which the researchers say is "comparable".

A second task involved a flashing horizontal line that appears first at the bottom of a computer screen and then moves upwards through 12 different positions. When the rate that it shifts up the screen is slow, people report the line as moving. But speed it up and people seem to see 12 flickering lines. When the researchers created a similar test for LIDA, they found that at higher speeds, she too failed to "perceive" that the line was moving. This occurred at about the same speed as in humans. Both results have been accepted for publication in PLoS One.

"You tune the parameters and lo and behold you get that data," says Franklin. "This lends support to our hypothesis that there is a single basic building block for all human cognition." Antonio Chella, a roboticist at the University of Palermo in Italy and editor of the International Journal of Machine Consciousness agrees: "This may support LIDA, and GWT as a model that captures some aspects of consciousness."

Murray Shanahan, a cognitive roboticist at Imperial College London who also works on computational models of consciousness, says that LIDA is a "high level" model of the mind that doesn't attempt to represent specific neurons or brain structures. This is in contrast to his own lower-level models, but Shanahan points out that both types are needed: "We don't know what the right theory or right level of abstraction is," he says. "We have to let a thousand flowers bloom."

So is LIDA conscious? "I call LIDA functionally conscious," says Franklin, because she uses a broadcast to drive actions and learning. But he draws the line at ascribing "phenomenal consciousness", or subjectivity to her. That said, he reckons there is no reason in principle why she should not be fully conscious one day. "The architecture is right for supporting phenomenal consciousness if we just knew how to bring it about."


Can a computer ever be aware?
At what point does a model of consciousness itself become conscious - if ever?

Antonio Chella of the University of Palermo, Italy, says that before consciousness can be ascribed to software agent LIDA, (see main story) she needs a body. "Consciousness of ourselves, and the world, is based on a continuous interaction between our brain, our body and the world," he says. "I look forward to a LIDA robot."

However, cognitive roboticist Murray Shanahan at Imperial College London says that the robot need not be physical. "It only makes sense to start talking about consciousness in the context of something that interacts in a purposeful way with a spatio-temporal environment," he says. "But I am perfectly happy to countenance a virtual environment."

LIDA's inventor, Stan Franklin of the University of Memphis, reckons LIDA is already "functionally conscious", but makes a distinction between that and subjectivity or "phenomenal consciousness". He is planning to build a version of LIDA that interacts with humans within a complex environment. "When this happens, I may be tempted to attribute phenomenal consciousness to the agent," he says. The trouble is, even if LIDA could have subjective experiences, how would we prove it?

We can't even prove that each of us isn't the only self-aware being in a world of zombies. "Philosophers have been dealing with that for more than 2000 years," says Franklin. Perhaps we will simply attribute subjectivity to computers once they become sufficiently intelligent and communicative, he says.



#13 Brafarality

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 04:19 PM

A computer can be 'aware' but it will never manifest an immaterial phenomenon like consciousness.
Like it or not, there is a huge explanatory gap problem that all the correlation in the world happening in neurological science is not going to solve.
100% full understanding and mapping of the human brain will not solve it, not even close.

#14 skep155

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:39 PM

I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?


I've been thinking about this for a while, your basic propositions seems to be that when self awareness temporarily ceases (i.e sleep) it means that your dead. It's an interesting subject but I think it arises from a misapprehension about the nature of self awareness. Self awareness/consciousness aren't literal things like a rock or a heart, self awareness/consciousness are things/concepts that arise from the functions of the Human brain, but they do not exist in their own right. Someone I know used the example of a train and motion, trains generate motion, but you can't take a moving train put it in one box and put it's motion in another. Likewise it would be silly to say that a trains motion has disappeared into a void just because the trains engine has stopped, or that it's motion today is intrinsically different to it's motion yesterday because it wasn't moving for 7 hours in between. In my opinion, the concept of consciousness/mind/self awareness is similar to motion in relation to a train, it doesn't make sense to say that tonight your going to go to sleep, lose self awareness, and then in the morning your brain is going to generate an identical but completely distinct self awareness, whilst the original has disappeared somewhere (died) during the night. The only extent to which your mind/consciousness is distinguishable from other minds is because it is generated by your brain/hardware. I don't think your brain could generate a distinct clone consciousness of you every morning, because I think the only thing that distinguishes one consciousness from another is the physical differences in the hardware that's generating it. So tomorrow when your subconscious reactivates the areas of your brain that were on standby whilst you slept, the only self aware entity it could generate is you, because you are the sum of the hardware in your brain.

#15 Brafarality

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:12 AM


I started thinking today about death and sleep.

What if we cease to exist every time we enter a certain phase of sleep?

When we sleep, the brain releases DMT. Just before death, the brain also releases DMT.

One way to look at it would be to envision that you were born today when you woke up. You have memories and thoughts that occurred before today, but those were not your experiences. Those were experiences from another existence. Your memories trick you into thinking you have lived for years, but in reality, you were born when you woke up today, and you will die when you go to sleep. Everyday a clone of you lives on, while your previous existence ceases to exist.

Any thoughts on this subject?


I've been thinking about this for a while, your basic propositions seems to be that when self awareness temporarily ceases (i.e sleep) it means that your dead. It's an interesting subject but I think it arises from a misapprehension about the nature of self awareness. Self awareness/consciousness aren't literal things like a rock or a heart, self awareness/consciousness are things/concepts that arise from the functions of the Human brain, but they do not exist in their own right. Someone I know used the example of a train and motion, trains generate motion, but you can't take a moving train put it in one box and put it's motion in another. Likewise it would be silly to say that a trains motion has disappeared into a void just because the trains engine has stopped, or that it's motion today is intrinsically different to it's motion yesterday because it wasn't moving for 7 hours in between. In my opinion, the concept of consciousness/mind/self awareness is similar to motion in relation to a train, it doesn't make sense to say that tonight your going to go to sleep, lose self awareness, and then in the morning your brain is going to generate an identical but completely distinct self awareness, whilst the original has disappeared somewhere (died) during the night. The only extent to which your mind/consciousness is distinguishable from other minds is because it is generated by your brain/hardware. I don't think your brain could generate a distinct clone consciousness of you every morning, because I think the only thing that distinguishes one consciousness from another is the physical differences in the hardware that's generating it. So tomorrow when your subconscious reactivates the areas of your brain that were on standby whilst you slept, the only self aware entity it could generate is you, because you are the sum of the hardware in your brain.

Yes, good, yes, agree and good! :)
Agree on all points except the conclusion: it seems there is a missing element that is needed to account for the continuity of consciousness between wakefulness and stretches of unconsciousness.
If the molecules and cells are in constant turnover, motion and cycling, what is it that holds together the oneness of consciousness? What keeps the continuity if not something unknown since the brain cannot account for it.
Cheers!

Edited by Brafarality, 11 April 2011 - 05:14 AM.


#16 Guest_Eidnoga_*

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:30 AM

I'm getting my PhD in philosophy, so I tend to see questions like this as philosophical questions.

It depends on what you mean by "die." If you mean biological death, then no, it doesn't seem to be the case that we die when we sleep.

But if by "die" you mean that a person ceases to exist (and perhaps either comes back into existence or is replaced by a different person), then maybe. This is the issue of personal identity over time, and it's a thorny one.

You could ask the same question about the gradual replacement of cells (or even more basic build blocks of the body) over time. If none of the atoms which constitute my body are identical with the atoms which constituted my body X number of years ago, then am I identical with that person who existed X number of years ago, and whose experiences I now recall as memories? The answer is not obvious. The mere fact that I subjectively feel that my present consciousness is continuous with that prior one does not prove that I am, in fact, identical with that prior individual. After all, some people have the subjective experience of being continuous with other individuals (belief in reincarnation, certain cases of psychological disorder), while others lack the subjective experience of feeling continuous with anyone (amnesia). Also consider cases of multi-personality disorder.

If new technologies allow you to replace your cells and organs with superior synthetic replacements, and you do so, will you continue to be "you"? (What if this includes all cells, including superior artificial neurons, replaced one-by-one gradually over time?

#17 Alex Libman

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 08:59 PM

The human concept of identity is not 100% scalable over time.

Our consciousness is wired for self-preservation, and rightly so, but the "self" is not a constant. Your instance of consciousness at one moment is not the same as it is at another moment. Cells within your body are perpetually replaced. Memories are endlessly reprocessed. You are a copy of a copy of a copy... If a copy of yourself from an hour into the future came to visit you in a time machine, would you consider that copy an equally valuable "self", so much as that your own survival would be equal to that copy? Obviously not. This, however, doesn't change the validity of the desire to perpetuate our stream of consciousness, we should just be realistic about what we are preserving - a self-replicating progression rather than an immutable and integral instance of life.

We've always had some degree of the ability to perpetuate ourselves, through biological offspring, through inheritance of property, and through durable communication of ideas. All of those things are very good, and ever-evolving technology will offer many enhancements and alternatives in the future. The "durable communication" aspect of transcending mortality will be enhanced by ever-greater digitized recording of our lives (ex. being able to holographically revisit any past event with near-perfect detail), storage of genetic and other medical information digitally, virtualization of personality through artificial intelligence, mind uploading, etc, etc, etc. The biological reproductive aspects will be enhanced through cloning, having more time to spend with one's children / clones, etc.

All of those things will work in complement with longevity to broaden the scope and impact that your lifetime can can achieve. Our fight against our limitations is a very noble one, but the inherent limits of how far we can scale our biologically-evolved monkey-brained consciousness will not be easy to overcome.

Edited by Alex Libman, 22 May 2011 - 09:15 PM.


#18 Dmitri

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:50 AM


Every time you have a dreamless night you've died.


And that is still more alive than most people are during the day..

tepol


I think Cameron was being sarcastic, either way to my understanding everyone dreams every night, some people simply don't remember which is why they might think that they don't have dreams. There have been experiments in which animals and people are deprived of dreaming (prevent them from reaching REM stage) and it affects their behavior; the subjects had memory problems, disturbance in motor coordination and difficulty concentrating.

Also, I don't think you die when you sleep because the brain doesn't completely shutdown during sleep and they know this by your brain wave patterns which can be measured on sleeping test subjects.

Edited by Dmitri, 24 May 2011 - 05:51 AM.


#19 Brafarality

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:52 PM

Also, I don't think you die when you sleep because the brain doesn't completely shutdown during sleep and they know this by your brain wave patterns which can be measured on sleeping test subjects.

But, if the brain isnt generating consciousness, then it really is nothing more than a wet organ. That is why this question is so huge.
The explanation that we are a copy of a copy of a copy, or a self-replicating stream of consciousness, is intriguing and a fine attempt to rationally explain the continuity of consciousness between spans of unconsciousness, but it doesnt work for me for all the problems listed.
This is the most interesting thread here, because, imho, this is the crux of the consciousness mystery, or, rather, the weak link in all scientific, biological explanations of consciousness and a return to the pseudo-scientific speculation of the late middle ages is appropriate here to further develop this.

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#20 adge666

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:40 PM

I got interested in sleep and dreams some time ago from a psychology point of view. Current thinking is that dreams are not 'remembered' in that there is no memory function understood to be associated with dreams. Lucid dreams tend to be remembered because I believe we become partly conscious and the events are stored as episodic memories. Thinking about the experience reinforces the memory of that event. Not remembering dreams is probably useful to us because it would lead to great confusion, we would never remember whether an event was real or part of a dream.

A discussion with a fellow psychology student made me think more about this. I told her that quite often when dreaming, I feel as if some of the places that I visit (places that I do not recognise when awake), are familiar to me. I remember being there on other occasions. My colleague said she experienced the very same thing. I began to wonder if dreams are indeed recorded in memory but perhaps they are not easily recalled in the waking state. It may be an illusion of course but my own experiences lead my to think that the dream world has associated memories that make the experience very real at the time.

As for the original post, we may as well be dead at the time of dreaming. The dream world seems pretty self contained and most of the time, the outside world is as distant to us as the dream world is when we are awake.




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