TED Conversations

Farrukh Yakubov

Student, Purdue University


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Where do you think consciousness comes from?

Science can give answers to many things, but consciousness seems to be an unsolved mystery. Why do you think people have consciousness? Where does it come from? Do you think it can be created artificially? How?
You may answer based on anything you know, it does not have to be a proven fact. Thank you.


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  • Jul 14 2011: This question is a great one and still bothers me today. My latest take is that humans are one collective consciousness with the planet. Consciousness must be a new quantum state caused from the complexity of our evolved mind.

    Smaller insect like creates are so simple that they act much like robots. The environment triggers a response and they respond. Hence their intelligence can easily be fooled and manipulated by greatly evolved beings such as ourselves.

    If our mind can process 10,000 bits of information automatically at the same time. (Our programmed or unconscious mind) then our conscious mind, which can process about 40 bits (See The Social Animal TED Talk) must be a relatively newly evolved phenomenon in the history of our evolution..

    Trying to then quantify what consciousnesses is, is like trying to uncover the mysteries of solar system's latest invention.

    There must be a reason why we spawn this feeling of self or conscious 'ego' which allows us to break off from the social herd and have our own limited thoughts. It must be an evolutionary requirement to our survival, however 99% of our brain is still functioning automatically and in the unconscious to the point that we are almost programmed robots that will respond in much the same way to the same stimuli and environment. (Have you ever found yourself making an automatic response to a question only to remember having a similar question then giving the same answer a year earlier, it is almost like you are acting like a preprogrammed robot)

    I take active interest in the way we herd like animals and also are able to feel the Earth and Suns current cycle but this happens on a very unconscious level.

    Ego or consciousness is something that i would like somebody to one day explain to me the answer to this question:

    Why am I me and you you and why am i not conscious of what you are doing in your life yet i perceive that am conscious of what i am doing in my life? A TED talk on this? I look forward to it!

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