Promo Video for Consciousness Science documentary-in-progress

#1

Dear all,

Above is my just-completed promo for my documentary-in-progress on the Science of Consciousness. It's a fun, wild ride into your inner experience.

I've interviewed over 40 top neuroscientists and philosophers, including Daniel Dennett, Bernard Baars, Thomas Metzinger and Susan Blackmore.

Feel free to leave me feedback below. If you enjoy the video, please share it with friends.

Thanks!

Matt Faw
Consciousness3D.net
 
#3
Hi Travis Montgomery.

What does this doc have to offer? For one thing, it presents the ideas as visual metaphors, so that a wider audience can gain access to the insights discussed. It is unique in that it puts the interviewed experts directly into the visual metaphor scenes. It has more of a sense of humor than most docs, and uses its playfulness to get at deep concepts without alienating the audience. It was shot in 3D, and will be presented as a 3D fun ride, to maximize the subjective views, add binocular rivalry studies, mess with the mind, etc.

And perhaps most importantly, the doc will attempt to actually answer the mysteries of consciousness. This I promise you has not been done. There is a new common sense and coherent explanation for Subjective Experience, first published in 2013, which this doc champions. That solution is too complex and lengthy to include in the above promo, so I haven't tried to do so. However, I have another explainer video and a 13,000 word paper explaining the full details about how the model this doc will illuminate. I can provide links to them both, if you'd like.

best,

Matt Faw
 
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#4
You can publish both, but the lack of balance is likely what's preventing people from paying attention to it here. At least from the trailer, it does not seem like it will attend the criticism of this model at all.
 
#5
Hi E. Flowers. The promo is a condensed proof-of-concept short, to introduce the project to an audience that may or may not be aware of current theories of consciousness. There isn't time in that format to create the nuts and bolts of the theory, but I think the bites that I used and the points I made are strongly indicative of the direction I'm going: a representationalist, informationalist theory with a "holodeck"-like simulator in the middle of it. All of that is novel, considering almost all media about consciousness still confuses the "command and control" Cartesian theory with the "awareness representation" Kantian view. I am taking a view strongly in line with Kant, Baars, Metzinger and Graziano (the latter three of whom I interviewed for the project).

The promo aims first and foremost to challenge people's presumptions and intuitions about consciousness. And to tease that there is a way to "solve the mysteries". But the solution, of course cannot be said in 5 minutes; I can't even give the problems in that time. That's why the doc needs to be ~100min. The promo is just a way of raising awareness about the doc, and connecting to an audience who will be interested in having a conversation with me about the topics.

best,

matt faw
 
#6
I hope this helps. I am attaching a link to the 6 minute explainer video I made about the solution I'm proposing. Plus a link to an accompanying 13,000 word paper, fully cited, currently being reviewed for publication at WIREs Cognitive Science.

I was hoping to re-cut the video primer, because everyone tells me that it moves too fast (and because there are a couple of small inaccuracies in it, about dreaming and flashbacks). But I think the idea is common sense, and relatively easy to understand.

best,

matt faw

The paper:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dzZdOMkINdl5SU3jCl7yRC-QhlK0CJBbzrJOpCO5R7I
 
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#7
I might as well give my caveats about the inaccuracies in the explainer video.

Dreams: in slow-wave sleep, episodic memory consolidation happens, and subjects awoken from slow-wave sleep often report episodic content in their dreams. We usually don't remember this part of dreaming, however. What we remember are REM dreams. During REM, neocortical consolidation happens, cementing procedural and semantic traces, and pruning unneeded connections. The hippocampus remains engaged during REM sleep to provide the sequence information for the consolidation, and as consequence, the hippocampus field CA1 receives the almost-random influx of neocortical activity, and confabulates an experience out of it.

Also, we are probably not paralyzed during sleep so that we don't act out our dreams, although that's how it was explained to me. The truth is probably that: in REM sleep, procedural consolidation is like mental rehearsal of physical tasks, and the body needs to be paralyzed so that the mental rehearsal (i.e. pre-motor and motor activity) doesn't turn into physical behavior. On the savanna, it was important not to knock the early hominid out of his tree, as he was dreaming (e.g. sleep-practicing the previous day's new hunting technique).

Flashbacks: the science there is a little fuzzy, because they have not experimentally scanned people's brains, as they were having a major life trauma. The hippocampus seems to go awry during the severe trauma (due to high cortisol levels), and that does lead to memory flashbacks, but the explanation I gave in the video is not yet supported well enough. I will be removing it soon.

Also, I used the word "prototypical" when I really meant "archetypical". These are the changes I want to make.

I'm hoping to have a replacement video up by next week. I hope this one will do for the moment, all things considered.

best,

matt faw
 
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#8
'Limitless' type 'hyper' documentary... Lol... for neuroscience?

I think you will find most regulars on this group have moved beyond this mass market, fast food stuff... or hearing tired old ideas from the same old media interviewees that get rolled out for every other documentary on this subject.

Would be nice to see a documentary digging a little deeper than the obvious...
 
#9
'Limitless' type 'hyper' documentary... Lol... for neuroscience?

I think you will find most regulars on this group have moved beyond this mass market, fast food stuff... or hearing tired old ideas from the same old media interviewees that get rolled out for every other documentary on this subject.

Would be nice to see a documentary digging a little deeper than the obvious...
Did not want to be so blunt... But this is pretty much it. We are familiar with these people and their argument, so we can easily tell that it is *heavily* promoting a particular idea. Regardless of Alex's increasing hard stance, I think that a good portion of the users here dislike sources that come from a "definitive" stance, or at least the ones that linger in the "Critical discussion" section. Another user gave a similar, albeit Christian, work some promotion a few months ago and got the same reaction.
 
#10
Also note that neither Travis nor Max are the hardcore, spiritualist proponent type (AFAIK neither one of them believes in an afterlife, or at least they have not acknowledged it since I arrived). So this is not really a matter of belonging to a certain camp, but of targeting a difficult public.
 
#11
Hi, thank you, Max_B for contributing.

I hope you understand that as a filmmaker, I had to create a promo that would not alienate the mass-but-interested population. I could not use jargon, statistics, pathologies or paradoxes. All of these are too complex to be explained within a 5 minute hook. What I could do was create a promo which nagged at some of the subjective experience questions we've all had, so that the promo is aiming at all people interested in their own consciousness, not just people who are genuinely fascinated by the small scientific field. I am aiming at casting a wide net now, so that I can invite more people into a concept of consciousness that is demystified, shredded from magical thinking. That is not easily done without starting with a sense of showmanship. I am trying to play fun, because I want this venture to succeed, not because I am trying to fool anyone.

I have been living this solitary mission for the last four years, trying my best to interview, research, explore, synthesize, interpret, and create. I have relied upon no one, except for these interviewees (and my everyman actor Nick), who have been kind enough to grant me an hour. I have done thousands of hours of neuroscience research (seriously), thousands of hours of CGI research, thousands of hours of trying to get it right.

I just want to reach people who do find the promo compelling. That's all. I don't know where else to look. I don't want to offend your forum's view on how things should be posted. I just want to meet people who might actually think this project is worth paying attention to. I'm not selling anything, other than the idea of the film. There's no money involved; which is why I'm so damn poor right now. I've just worked my heart out to finish this promo, and I want smart people to see it.

Thank you,

matt faw
 
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#12
All of your guests come from a position of authority with no discernible opposition. Their, (admittedly variable) philosophies still converge behind a general concept, and this lack of foil makes it seem more like a lecture than a debate.
 
#13
Hi, E. Flowers. Indeed, I am not aiming to create a documentary about a controversy within the consciousness community. That has been done.

Instead, I intend to give an explanation for consciousness. That has not (adequately) been done. It is, of course, controversial, but it's a worthwhile pursuit. What if I'm right?
 
#14
Oh, I am not trying to criticize your approach. Only explaining why it's bound to get the cold shoulder here. You will most likely see a different reception from the general public.
 
#15
If you are "right" then you are "right", there is no fault in trying, just be sure to avoid the pitfalls of your guests. I do not know the entire list of 40 guests, but can tell you that several have been discussed here.

I don't think that you can "solve" the problem if you only rely on one side of the philosophical debate, but wish you luck nonetheless.
 
#16
Hi, E. Flowers. Indeed, I am not aiming to create a documentary about a controversy within the consciousness community. That has been done.

Instead, I intend to give an explanation for consciousness. That has not (adequately) been done. It is, of course, controversial, but it's a worthwhile pursuit. What if I'm right?
Unfortunately you won't be providing an explanation for consciousness, and certainly not from a current neuroscience perspective, because as many of us already know on here, we don't currently understand consciousness. There are already far too many anomalous subjective experiences, and odd unexplained observations from scientific studies for current neuroscience theories to be anywhere close to the mark.
 
#17
Also note that neither Travis nor Max are the hardcore, spiritualist proponent type (AFAIK neither one of them believes in an afterlife, or at least they have not acknowledged it since I arrived). So this is not really a matter of belonging to a certain camp, but of targeting a difficult public.
There might be something else after I die... indeed I hope there is. So it's not that I don't believe, it's just that I don't think that the experiences which are often used to support the popularised idea of an 'afterlife', say as much about an 'afterlife', as they do about my life now.
 
#18
Yes, I have a very certain point of view (as summarized in the paper above). B
Unfortunately you won't be providing an explanation for consciousness, and certainly not from a current neuroscience perspective, because as many of us already know on here, we don't currently understand consciousness. There are already far too many anomalous subjective experiences, and odd unexplained observations from scientific studies for current neuroscience theories to be anywhere close to the mark.
Actually, I am claiming to understand it. I think the theory I propose above does cover the full range of subjective experience and the pathologies thereof.
 
#19
Yes, I have a very certain point of view (as summarized in the paper above). B

Actually, I am claiming to understand it. I think the theory I propose above does cover the full range of subjective experience and the pathologies thereof.
Yes, I responded to your claim in my previous reply to you.
 
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