The Evolution of a Consciousness "Singularity"
Paul L Evans
June 12, 2009
This presentation was given at the Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference June 12, 2009, Hong Kong, China: Investigating Inner Experience, Brain, Mind and Technology.
The evolution of a consciousness "singularity" as a possible next stage in Julian Jaynes' model of the breakdown of the bicameral mind is presented in the slides below. The proposition is explored that consciousness singularity will come about not from the "uploading of consciousness" but will be the result of escalating interaction with machines that creates a new kind of mentality even more significant than that created through human use of language. Questions of transhumanism and the seat of the new consciousness: human, human-machine, or machine were addressed during the presentation.
Consciousness and the Technological Demiurge
Paul L Evans
University of Arizona
April 12, 2010
In this presentation transhumanism and the role of machines in consciousness are explored as a central Zeitgeist of the early 21st century. Literary works of Paolo Bacigalupi, Robert J. Sawyer and the technical writing of Ray Kurzweil are examined in the light of today's dominant movie genres and such films as Blade Runner, The Matrix, Terminator and Avatar. Also, emerging roles of virtual experience on Facebook, Second Life, and even modern drone warfare are suggested as vehicles for abstracting humans from face-to-face community and as surrogates for real life. The ideas that technological singularity will enable humans to become embedded with nanotechnology, wireless interfaces to pharmaceuticals, and the ability to procreate solely outside of the body are explored in relation to Gnosticism and the ancient concept of the Demiurge. Human abstraction from nature and embracement of a new kind of Gnosticism and the attraction of the technological demiurge are suggested as driving forces of this Zeitgeist in contemporary literature, philosophy, entertainment, and perhaps even warfare.
Singularity , Entrainment, and Altered States
Paul L. Evans
May 3, 2011
Over the last twenty years acceleration of technology has been the central feature in most discussions of human enhancement. The future development of technological entities with greater than human intelligence has been called a 'Singularity', where old models of reality must be discarded for new ones.
Yet, beyond machine intelligence, other technical advancements are proceeding very naturally and in most cases are not even recognized by their developers for what they are. More specifically, as our ability to refine techniques of consciousness enhancement through brain entrainment progresses, we may achieve an amplification in human consciousness essential to human survival in the post-Singularity world.
In fact, as the gap between computing and human cognition continues to shrink, the gap between machine and human consciousness could indeed widen by application and development of emerging entrainment technologies. Ultimately, routine adoption of entrainment technologies could lead to greater human/computer symbiosis combining and amplifying the machine intelligence of computers and the esthetic and emotional sensibility of humans.
In this presentation entrainment technologies and the role of machines in altered states of consciousness are explored. The unfolding of machine consciousness, from 18th century automata to modern nanotechnology, is examined. Similarly, the evolution of entrainment technology (from the drum beating shamans and the photonic stimulation of Ptolemy--- to hundreds of consumer electronics entrainment products today) is discussed. Suggestions are made as to how various technologies might be more fully integrated into daily use in decision making, creativity, relaxation and enlightenment in the post-Singularity world.