(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
The computer scientist James Culbertson, a pioneer of research on robots, has even speculated that consciousness may be a relativistic feature of spacetime. In his opinion, too, consciousness permeates all of nature, so that every object has a degree of consciousness.
According to Relativity, our lives are world lines in spacetime. Spacetime does not happen, it always exists. It is our brain that shows us a movie of matter evolving in time.
All spacetime events are conscious: they are conscious of other spacetime events. The "experience" of a spacetime event is static, a frozen region of spacetime events. All the subjective features of the "psychospace" of an observer can be completely derived from the objective features of the region of spacetime that the observer is connected to. Special circuits in our brain create the impression of a time flow, of a time travel through the region of spacetime events connected to the brain.
Memory of an event is re-experiencing that spacetime event, which is fixed in spacetime. We don't store an event, we only keep a link to it. Conscious memory is not in the brain, is in spacetime.
The inner life of a system is its spacetime history. To clarify his view, Culbertson presents the case of two robots. First a robot is built and learns German, then another robot is built which is identical to the first one. Culbertson claims that the second robot does not speak German, even if it is identical to the one which speaks German. Their spacetime histories are different.
At the same time, Culbertson thinks that our consciousness is much more than an illusory travel through spacetime, and it can, in turn, influence reality. Quantum Thoery prescribes that reality be a sequence of random quantum jumps. Culbertson believes that they are not random but depend on the system's spacetime history, i.e. on its inner life.