March 01, 2008

Being moss

I like to quantify things, so I bought a bicycle computer to tell me combinations of time, speed and distance. I rode out into the country, just where the hills begin to rise up to the central mountain range, and ended up in a not so good botanical park, but which had a nice forest inside and paths that I could ride along. The plants I liked best were the mosses. It'd be cool to be a moss, cling to the side of something and be devoted to contemplating sunlight and moisture more deeply. Bacteria, plants, fungi, animals - we're all related and have been evolving for the same amount of time from our common ancestors, just along different paths.

We have consciousness...plants have biochemistry.
Have been entertaining the ideas of proto-consciousness and panpsychism - that consciousness pervades all things. I hardly believe it, but it's fun to let the idea run and think of moss being able to feel, if not reason. But then reason is only choices, and moss makes these to grow this way or that, taking actions that are entirely logical, given the available facts. Perhaps reason is an emergent property of cellular automatons [an example below], which is no great statement.

Maybe the ability to be stupid - to act irrationally on knowledge - is a hallmark of higher consciousness.

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