“Jesus, Siri. People aren’t rational. You aren’t rational. We’re not thinking machines, we’re– we’re feeling machines that happen to think.” (231-232).
Reading Young Park’s blogpost (which can be read here: http://samplereality.com/gmu/451/author/youngpark/) about consciousness being “costly and inefficient” brought my mind back to this quote, a quote that stuck out to me during my reading. I think both parallels and challenges his argument, while bringing up other ideas about what sets humans apart from other forms of life, both realistically and in Peter Watts’ imagined, frustratingly confusing, and alien world.
Consciousness and self-awareness are what make humans so utterly human, the things that set humans apart from many other life forms. As Young points out, these concepts are entangled with the idea of higher-order intelligence as we know it, a connection accepted as gospel today and one that is arguably difficult to…well, argue. After all, don’t we have to be self-aware to argue our own self-awareness? However, one reason I selected the quote that I did is because the idea presented by Robert Paglino to Siri says that while yes, humans do in fact think, we are driven less by the intelligent aspect of our being and more by the b side of our being, that of emotion and reaction. So, does this thinking, the distinct human way of thinking that is so tied to concepts of self-awareness, in fact get in the way of humans being “feeling machines,” or does it enhance that aspect? This quote disassociates feeling and thinking, while I tend to consider self-awareness and consciousness tied to both; is it not consciousness and awareness that tell us we are what we are (as Ke$ha says) and that we are connected to others in ways that make us feel empathy and love?
I have worked my brain into confusion simply writing this post, but what I ultimately mean to say is that humans will never overcome the simple fact that they do live their lives based on feeling and not thinking, no matter how much intelligence one might achieve.