So I recently read Ligotti's Conspiracy Against the Human Race... it was pretty interesting, pretty bleak too I guess if you aren't ready for it.
I ended up reading it due to a recent kick I've been on delving into consciousness, the nature of being and all that philosophical shit.
I read some Sartre too and boned up on existentialism in general.
I like thinking about metaphysics but I also consider it to be basically "legit bullshit" if you know what I mean.
Most philosophy is imo, but that doesn't mean it's not fun to think about.
But Liggoti struck a nerve with me, the concept of "to exist is to suffer" is hardly new of course (ask Buddha) and the idea that self is just a rather convincing simulation makes a lot of people skecthy.
But I think it's true, we're just very polished simulations of self and how can a simulation really grasp the fact that it's a simulation.
Lemme change the beat... there was an episode of star trek where some dude wouldn't ever use the transporter because he believed it actually killed you and just spat out a perfect copy on the other side.
I think that when you enter deep sleep, that deep oblivion where your consciousness shuts down and "you" are no longer running, you are (in a self context) ceasing to exist.
Then when your body and brain kick back in to pre-awakening REM sleep (and you begin to dream) your brain is assembling your self from all the stored memories and established neural patterns.
The pre "deep sleep" REM cycle (after you fall asleep) is your brain backing all this shit up... that's all dreams are... a backup and reboot.
The "you" that went to sleep is not the same "you" that wakes up because "you" are just a simulation of a self running in the organic computer that is your brain.
Maybe that's why they call sleep the Little Death eh?
It's pretty much the foundation of my criticism of singularity fans and the Great Mind Upload idea, where we can upload our minds into a computer and go surfing in cyberspace as immortal digital gods.
I don't think so... I think the best you can do is copy the memories and patterns that constitute your "mind" and create a program that "thinks" and acts like you... that will swear it IS you, but it won't be the same you that plugged in to the system to upload...
It's also why we'll never create AI that is really conscious... because there is no such thing as "really conscious", we will probably be able to create a program that simulates a mind with a sense of self but that's as far as we'll get because that's all WE are.
You might recoil at these ideas (mostly because of my horrible lack of articulation in communicating them), you might deny them... you cite your own awareness of yourself as proof of their fallacy but that's rather the point.
The simulation doesn't know, can't know that it's a simulation from mere self inspection... the puppet cannot detect it's own strings.
Your so called consciousness is DESIGNED to fool itself, otherwise we'd all go mad at the horror of our own mortality... but that's a whole other basket of rotten eggs.
Cheer up though, at least we have many fine and varied distractions to engage the mind and prevent it from devouring itself, play some games, watch some TV, let the bread and circuses smother such bleak thoughts... evolution did not intend for the puppet to see it's own strings, for if it does see them... it may be tempted to try and cut them and that would be really fucking stupid.