Re: virus: Consciousness

Dave Pape (
Thu, 13 May 1999 00:54:46 +0100

At 21:26 10/05/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Tim Rhodes wrote:
>> Tell me why consciousness good and what good it can do, not that its better
>> than un-, if you really want to sell me on it.

KMO wrote

>In the book, "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" Robert B. Cialdini,
>describes 5 "weapons of influence" that "compliance professionals" use to
>people into taking a desired (by the compliance professional) action. [SNIP]
>Each chapter ends with a section titled "How to say no" [SNIP] the common
thread running through
>all of these discussions of psychological defense is to be AWARE of how your
>psychological constitution can be used against you and with that awareness
>when someone is attempting to use that aspect of your own psychology
against you. [SNIP]
>Here's an excerpt [SNIP]
>***As long as we perceive and define his action as a compliance device
instead of a
>favor, he no longer has the reciprocation rule as an ally:*** The rules
says that favors
>are to be met with favors; it does not require that tricks be met with
[End exerpt]
>Obviously this is a specific set of cases in which consciousness of human
>tendencies and techniques designed to exploit them offers an improved
range of options
>than would be open to someone not conscious of these tendencies and
>strategies, and you're welcome to argue that no amount of individual
examples like this
>can bootstrap us up to a general rule about the value of consciousness. I
would find no
>fault with that line of argument.

I reckon that after a lot of practise you could do this trick WITHOUT BEING PARTICULARLY AWARE OF IT. Like you learn to drive by starting off painfully aware of the decisions you make in terms of which pedal/which gear/what stopping distance, and eventually you just drive.

Is the "value of consciousness", then, that you can learn new complex sequences of behaviour?

>As I've mentioned before, I did not decide to value consciousness after
weighing the
>potential benefits. Consciousness is something that I value for it's own
sake. Call it an
>element of my phaith.

That feels a bit like you're using "phaith" in the same way that xtians use "faith"- as a fence with a sign saying "in here I don't have to be rational."