The assertion that it is the pattern that is conscious, and not the brain, is radical, to say the least. This blog is about how I reached that conclusion.
Before I start, I should mention progress on making a hardcopy version available. This is my first time through this routine, and I've been astonished at how many passes it has taken to get to the point where I am ready to order a physical proof. I just did that this morning, and it is scheduled to arrive on 16th May. Patience, friends. In the meantime, if anyone would like the pdf file, please just ask. You can have one if you promise to read it, and if it's intriguing, share it with your friends under the same caveat. Maybe we can go viral.
So why the pattern?
There has been a philosophical knot almost from the beginning, about how something intangible, like an idea, can affect something tangible like one's body,. This is the famous "mind-body problem". It would be quite something to have solved it, and maybe my thinking is flawed. But let's at least give the idea a look.
There needs to be something linking the two.
The thing linking the two has to have aspects of each.
Think of a pattern on the water. Is the pattern itself a physical thing? The waves that make it up are, but the pattern itself is something that is perceived by a mind. The pattern moves, and it's the motion that we mean by the pattern.
Now patterns on water have a completely physical cause. They result in more than just a direct sense-impression, like one would get from putting one's hand in the water or tasting it. They may, assuming someone cares to observe them, result in the impression of an idea, a changing form, which is the shape and motion of the pattern itself.
So we have
The symmetry of our problem suggests trying putting "patterns in mind" on the other side.
And this leads us to explore pattern-based computing, and the realization that this could do the job, as explained in the book.