What are you?


#1

[Read the post]


#2

“Reality continues to ruin my life.”


#3


#4

I am an idea, not a body. If someone says, “he isn’t the man I married” do they mean that an action has revealed an unexpected character trait or that a limb has been lost? My entire body could be replaced and I would still be me. Just do it one piece at a time.


#5

I am reminded of Nick Chopper.


#6

I like how Charlie Stross once described it, as a wave in the human condition bounded on each end by a singularity.

I wouldn’t say I’m an idea. I’m a continuum of patterns in atoms governed by a vast biochemical web of energy centered on an information rich neuronal net and figure-headed by a deluded tyrant of ego supremely confident that he’s running the show while a rotating subconscious committee pulls the strings behind the scenes.

In my wedding vows I told my now wife that tomorrow I didn’t want to be the man she married, I wanted to be better than him, and to be a better man than that the day after.


#7

Yeah, that’s what I would call an “idea”. I’ll admit it’s not exactly a standard usage. My only point of disagreement is that I would go beyond “biochemical” and extend what I am well outside “my body” and into various spaces I inhabit, other people I interact with, and machines I rely on. I find the drawing of a line around the body or the brain rather arbitrary.

Or at least that’s what I’d do if I was thinking about what I feel objectively best describes people. Most of the time I think of myself as a dumb sack of meat rather than a shifting piece of the universe.


#8


#9

If you’re asking, “What am I physically?” then that’s easy - I’m a big biological machine made up of a lot of little biological machines.

If you’re asking about the nature of consciousness, then I’m suspicious of anyone who actually tries to give a definitive answer to that question, until we understand the mechanisms behind it well enough to replicate consciousness in a wholly artificial being.


#10

I love Kurzgesagt! Why did you not link to the video as usual? People are going to think this is yet another podcast commercial and skate right past.


#11

Greetings to all the ugly bags of mostly water.


#12

I do adore those vids:

And to answer the question, what am I?

Liked for TNG reference.

:slight_smile:


#13

I am beginning to suspect that I’m here to serve as a warning to others…


#14

I look forward to the day when a rock group called The What has a hit with “What Are You”


#15

Must resist the impulse… must… resist…

… dammit.


#16

Thanks to Hofstadter’s epic ramble I’m comfortable with consciousness as the quality of any system that contains a representation of itself. At the primitive extreme you may have a program with a single bit state representing “I”, and, via a worm with a few neurones and your very personable dog, to you, gentle correspondent, at the other extreme, modelling these existential meta-matters in your meatstate.

What really cooks my noodle though is the experience of continuous self.


#17


#18

Roger Daltrey says he doesn’t care who I am which makes me feel like he’s been lying to me all these years…in song.


#19

Here are some lyrics from a song I remember hearing on Prairie Home Companion in the 90s.
I only remember the chorus.

Who am I? Who am I?
I don’t even know.
Who I was, who I was,
just a week ago.
Who am I? Who am I?
I wish I wish I knew,
By the way, by the way,
Who the hell are you?


#20

What am I? Sick of your bullshit, pal.