Friday, December 07, 2012

The economy and big idea #17 Consciousness

Now on Tuesday I heard(on Newsnight where else??) that whatever he said  in his economic statement the UK Chancellor (finance minister)  George Osborne was toast.
So what happened on Wednesday? George now seems to have got away with it and Ed Balls is the one having a hard time.
In truth external factors have meant that much of the blame for the continuing lack of growth in the UK economy are as much to blame as George's fiscal incompetence but had he been luckier I'm sure he'd be taking the credit for his savoir- faire.
And what is the outlook? seems it's doom and gloom for people who might vote Labour (if they could be bothered/realised it was in their interest or accepted that it's the right thing to do as things stand.

And now on to Number 17 Consciousness

We're above other animals in our development (some would say) because we are conscious of external factors as well as what happens within our own minds.
The Jury is out (one might say) on how much of this is down to 'quantum events' within the brain.
If it can be observed then predetermination can not be far behind - i.e. if our subsequent behaviour is a clear result of preceding events then all is lost in terms of free will and we are little more than biologically created(?) processors.
If we look back at  Consciousness in the canon of philosophy key figures include:

Locke, (nice bit here on the locked room)
it's a hot topic and religious people (believers)  will have a different take which sees a connection between an external (higher life?) form that might guide us but this does little (for me) to overcome the fear of a deterministic world/universe.
There might be some hope in that physicists (probably of the sub atomic genré) might find at such levels as they work that there is some randomness but this (as you'd expect) will probably raise more questions than answers.