conscioussness is wet

· erock's devlog

how water changes how I think about being alive

I read this awesome article today about water.

Every once in awhile I get inspired to think about something outside of programming and water is quite an interesting topic. Water has some properties that have been said to be fundamental to complex life. When scanning the galaxy for life, planets that can harbor water is one of our best signals. Water sparks thought about the complex nature of reality.

How can we predict a chemical mixture is wet?

This question leads me into chaos theory: We can predict what happens when a single drop of water lands on a body of water but we cannot meaningfully predict what happens when multiple drops of water fall at the same time; we would need the computation capacity of the universe to perform that calculation.

Similarly, we cannot pull out a single water molecule and call it wet, rather, it's a feature of a system of water. And as far as I understand physics, we cannot look at the periodic table and determine if a chemical mixture will be wet, we must experience it.

I wonder, what happens if the same problem applies to other epiphenominal features, like consciousness?

It seems to me that we will not be able to predict if something will be conscious, rather, we will observe it after-the-fact. Like the transformer, shocking everyone by how impressive it is scaling, only after the silicon is already online will we observe a new conscious entity.

conscioussness is wet.

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