Consciousness

According to Roger Penrose ( see YouTube video) consciousness is not a computation. Martin Gardner in his essay ‘The Mystery of Free Will’ says ‘Free will in my opinion is another word for self-awareness or consciousness. I cannot conceive of one with out the other.’ I agree with both these statements.

The excellent film Ex Machina, gives us a robot that thinks and feels and develops a justifiable hatred for her creator. The script is so good that it is not difficult to suspend disbelief. Here is a short poem that deals light-heartedly with the same topic.

ON POINT
When the figure standing near the door
touched his peaked cap,
bent stiffly at the waist 
and turned his head in my direction,
I was startled and amused.

A deep voice from somewhere inside him
gravely wished me a good day.
This too was delightful,
especially as the question of sincerity
simply didn't arise.

Published by davidcookpoet

I am a husband, father and grandfather. I retired from a busy working life as an adult psychiatrist in 2014. My interests are in literature, philosophy, modern jazz and horse racing. I might represent those four fields by Shakespeare, Kant, Charlie Parker and Lester Piggott. Like nearly all of us, I can identify a number of formative experiences, one of which was a psychotic episode in my first year as a psychiatrist. This reinforced an already established interest in mystical experience, and a sense of how little human beings know. My intellectual bugbear is reductive materialism, and I am surprised at the lack of moral imagination of those who promulgate such views. It seems to me they need to consider ,perhaps by exposure, just why totalitarianism is so horrific.

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