23. Consciousness vs. Replicators (w/ Andrés Gómez Emilsson)
Andrés Gómez Emilsson of the Qualia Research Institute joins Brendan to discuss "the universal plot": what's it all about and what matters most? Andrés says the big story is one of consciousness vs. pure replicators, the struggle to resist brute, value-neutral replication processes and maximize instead the positive valence possibilities of universal consciousness. Andrés considers how this narrative emerges as the most nuanced and developmentally advanced of the various ethical stories of the past (compared to "Good vs. Evil," for instance), and considers some of the theoretical/philosophical axioms on which it's based. What then is the relationship between consciousness and replication? How do we ensure we privilege positive conscious states over parasitic replication? How does it relate to the evolution of consciousness, and avoid the pitfalls of asceticism?
0:00 Introduction 2:21 The Universal Plot at Different Levels 16:17 What is the Relationship of Consciousness to Replication? 24:07 What is the Source of Valence if not the Replication Impulse? 26:55 What is the Telos of the Evolution of Consciousness? 30:44 Integrating Replication with Consciousness 36:48 Towards Omega: How do We Engineer Paradise? 48:13 Critique 1: Evolutionary Complexity vs. Human Intellectual Hubris 54:00 Critique 2: Is this Just Gnosticism 2.0? 57:18 A Developmental Metanarrative
"A Universal Plot - Consciousness vs. Pure Replicators: Gene Servants or Blissful Autopoietic Beings?" video mentioned in the podcast: https://youtu.be/nGmETz-wDMc
"The Universal Plot: Consciousness vs. Pure Replicators" blog post mentioned in the podcast: https://www.qualiaresearchinstitute.org/blog/universal-plot