Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Illusory Nature of Consciousness

Interesting comments at Haiku Factory on Tor Nørretranders' book, The User Illusion:

"The book looks at consciousness from a largely Information Theory viewpoint, which throws into light some pretty astonishing numbers. Via some clever experiments, scientists have been able to estimate that our consciousness is only able to actively handle about 10 to 40 bits of information per second, even though our perceptual systems take in well over a hundred million bits per second. Even more astonishing, the latency of consciousness is around 500 ms -- that is, we cannot become conscious of things until half a second after they happen. The actions we take that seem to happen in less time than that simply don't. We start to take actions before we consciously make the decision to do so. If you will your finger to move, it starts moving before you think you are telling it to. Our mind creates an illusion of consciousness in the here-and-now, processing all the information we've received, but it's simply a fiction."

Added to my Amazon Wish List.


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