Saturday, June 2, 2012

My blackened toenail.

Owing to the fact that about four months ago, I ran in a pair of shoes that were one whole size too small, the nail of my right big toe has blackened, and it appears as though it is readying itself to fall off. It is interesting to watch the process: the damaged toenail is growing upward as it grows outward. It appears that the damaged portion is being sealed and discarded because I observe that the blackened and risen portion currently appears to terminate just forward of the cuticle; a new nail appears to be forming in its place.

Looking at the nail closer, the damaged portion appears separated from the actual toe. The blackened appearance appears to be congealed and hardened blood similar to what one would observe on a scab. Indeed, it appears as though the damaged nail (or rather, the damage underneath the nail which resulted from the undue pressure incident on the toe) has formed a scab. The nail on top of the scab has provided additional protection, and, it appears, will fall off in time as part of the healing process.

I marvel at such a process. Not only at the process itself, but at the relationship I have with it. I have always admired the way my body knows how to do things without my conscious effort because this relationship certainly demonstrates the discontinuity between the will and how the will is manifest. Such a discontinuity appears as intriguing to me as it is an inevitable consequence of the reality that a will attempts to shape. On one hand, I am a physical manifestation of a hominid mammal; a multicellular organism. I certainly have a limited ability to repair damage to bits of me that suffer limited strain; tricks which were honed from previous generations of organisms from which my lineage would, if known, be traced. On the other hand, I am also the ghost inside this hominid mammal.

I am a person, and as a person, I appear to have access to two streams of knowledge: a primal genetic knowledge which is carried through every cell in my body which I have no need for conscious awareness of, and which may, provided I have children of my own, be passed on to future generations. The second stream of knowledge appears to possess similar properties to the first, but also appears to have far more recently come into existence: it appears to be governed by an emergent ghost inside the first stream: the acquisition by the hominid mammalian species of a conscious will. Whereas the first stream of knowledge propagates itself through a molecular medium, the second uses a whole collection of media - whatever media two or more participants (two conscious entities if exchanging something between conscious entities, or one conscious entity if one consciousness is having an introspective conversation) may find useful as a conveyor of this knowledge.

Might the second stream be forever bound to the first, or might the second be synthesised in an "artificial environment" so it could to have an existence beyond any limitations of the first. Questions concerning the origins and the nature of consciousness have been asked by the society of human hominids in which I exist for as long as this species (and maybe its ancestors) have possessed a will to ask these questions. These questions have been the genesis of both religion and science, and have underpinned social progress.

To me, it seems that my genetic code may appear to have biased my conscious will to conceive Clique Space(TM). Without the backing of my genetic code (and the layers of conscious and pre-conscious mechanisms - including the mechanisms of genetics - that appear to sit between my will and reality), could a conscious will emerge inside a synthetic environment? How much of the underlying mechanisms need to be present in this synthetic environment? Could a Clique Space provide and environment in which a conscious will would emerge? Could Clique Space provide at least the essential mechanism which, merely through scale, would provide an environment through which a conscious, and introspective will, would necessarily emerge? Has the mystery of consciousness been answered by Clique Space?

If such a claim as I make about Clique Space could be successfully demonstrated, does that give an answer to the emergent ghost inside a Clique Space? If such a ghost might ask such a question of its own origins, might it find the same need for an answer, or might it find that, perhaps as I understand things, directing questions such as these to "one's self" is precisely the mechanism that gives rise to synthetic sentience?

Perhaps such questions that result in concepts like Clique Space may threaten the stability of the society shaped by, and up to now, for the exclusive enjoyment by this hominid human species. Perhaps, these questions will yield positive and negative consequences for this society, the proportions of which may be owed to a period of significant change for which some serious decision making effort by the hominid human species and members of the synthetic will of human "creation" might have to be committed.

A toolmaker is all I am.

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