This book review would benefit from an express reference to the idea of "impermanence of conscious phenomena", which is inherent in the original treatment and has the advantage of greatly simplifying the scope of the so-called "Hard Problem" since all subjective qualia are per se momentary and impermanent, and can only ever relate or refer to previous memories, not to other qualia as such. There is no individual "self" inherent to any conscious phenomena, because consciousness has no capability for self-reference or self-perception.
> This means that tasks which require working memory can not be performed unconsciously.
There's an old chestnut that one can't have thoughts without words. As a visual thinker, I always found this assertion preposterous.
How does one explain the common experience of mathematicians and scientists of awaking to a fully formed revelation, of complexity far greater than the one bounce memory echo of 12x13?
Sleep isn’t all unconscious. Dreaming, at the least, is a state of consciousness. I have occasionally done arithmetic in a dream, then immediately on waking verified the calculations. My brother, who is way more into dreaming in general, reports the same.
Working memory isn't just for words.
Perhaps revelations don't require working memory, but are connections between known things? Hence their instantaneousness. The expression "fully formed" suggests a whole, without steps.
We’re also capable of kinesthetic reasoning - I often think in kind of physical metaphors. Language can’t perfectly represent these kinds of thoughts.
Love this book - I recommend it to all kinds of people. It really isn't about "Big C" Consciousness, but more about how our brain is doing all kinds of stuff without us knowing about it. Really fascinating experiments described and an examination of the implications. I walked away from it having a profound appreciation for how my brain is constantly chewing on things without my awareness.
ELIZA never passed the Turing test.