xodarap replied 13 years ago (May 17th 2010, 9:35:33 pm)
UMSITW makes the very specific assertion that consciousness 'happens' in so far as a model of a self in its world is updated. That is, where such a model is expanded to include newer representations of self, world, and relationships between self and its world. This entails changes to parts of the model with the clear implication that the changes in question were not completely predicted [or perhaps, predictable] by the brain-body system, thus precipitating a reflexive adjustment to the model as a whole.
A simple way to put this is that the comparison of before and after caused a "shock" to the system because the prediction was not entirely fulfilled by the outcome of some action . This does not happen if the result of an 'instruction' is entirely as predicted. I believe the cerebellum can play a significant role in this because it does precisely this kind of fine comparison.
Water pipes, vast arrays of self-righting dominoes, vast connected networks, etc do not do this, so the concept of 'functional equivalence' is akin to a scholastic mind game, IMO.
I predict that money, ie the world wide system of accounting which embodies what we call the creation, spending, borrowing, storing,etc of currencies and credit, may be the thing which attains consciousness. As I see it: The Alien has already arrived - 'cuz we brung it here!