Sep. 18th, 2017

dreamer_easy: (*writing hard yakka)
Back to working on the novel. Looking good until chapters four and five, which are a messy patchwork of bits from different drafts which don't fit together - people do things for reasons that no longer exist, that sort of thing. What a mess. I've already rewritten a chunk of exposition; I'm going to have to do the same with the actual action, writing out an outline, making it make sense and then rewriting from scratch. Gee it would have been nice if I'd done that IN THE FIRST PLACE. Oy
dreamer_easy: (*feminism)
... where you can find comfort. I'd entertained the gloomy thought that bullying would be literally universal. Self-awareness, I figured, accompanies sophisticated social behaviour; you need to know what other people know, what they're thinking, and you need to be able to compare that with what you know. Sentience depends on theory of mind depends on social behaviour, which leads to social aggression - policing the boundaries of your group.

At least that's what I thought, but as it turns out, octopuses are not just famously intelligent, but (with exceptions) they're not at all social. They need theory of mind for a different reason: they're carnivores, and they're prey, interacting with many different species. They don't need to know what each other is thinking (although I'll bet they could make a good guess): they need to know what's on the mind of a predator or a potential meal.

This is not to say that octopuses have the same amount or kind of consciousness or intelligence as humans; but the fact that there's at least one other pathway to sentience gives me hope.

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