Graziano's consciousness
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Michael Graziano's consciousness

Summary
In Gray Matter Michael Graziano asks Are we Really Conscious?  He argues that we build inaccurate models of reality and then develop intuitions based on these problematic models.  He concludes we can't use intuitions to understand consciousness.  Instead he promotes 'brain science' as more accurate and argues it suggests we are not conscious.  In this page we summarize his article and then use complex adaptive system (
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
) theory to review his arguments.  Constrained by CAS theory and mechanisms of emergence we see a requirement for consciousness. 
Introduction
The psychologist Michael Graziano argues in Are We Really Conscious? that we must shift our view of consciousness from credulous and egocentric to a skeptical and slightly discriminating one with respect to intuition.  He is exploring the relationship between our minds and the physical world.  He asserts that we don't actually have inner feelings in the way most of us think we do. 

He notes that the brain builds models about items in the world and that the models are often not very accurate.  This is a significant facet of Patricia Churchland and Daniel Dennett's philosophy of consciousness and with the conclusions of Graziano's research suggests the brain doesn't become subjectively aware of the real world information even though it thinks it does! 

Graziano proposes an attention schema theory of consciousness.  In this:

Graziano argues the brain is not subjectively aware of information because:
  1. Historically we concluded there was high level subjectivity based on introspection.  But introspection is accessing internal mental models and the models are flawed. 
  2. There is just a data processing device which leaves no room for subjective impression. 
  3. While it might seem unlikely a brain without the property of subjective impression would waste energy computing models of subjective awareness and attribute that property to itself Graziano says that is so.  Graziano's research framed by the attention schema of consciousness identifies an alternative explanation for the value of subjective models. 
  4. He asserts:
    1. The brain needs an approximate model of attention to be able to control the item of attention efficiently. 
    2. To predict the behavior of other creatures, the brain needs to model their brain states including their attention. 
  5. Attention schema theory pulls together evidence from social neuroscience, attention research, control theory and elsewhere.  Almost all other theories of consciousness are rooted in our intuitions about awareness which depend on the brain's models which are caricatures of reality.  
Graziano concludes attention really exists and awareness is just a distorted accounting of it. 

When using
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
complex adaptive system (CAS) theory
to analyze Graziano's article it appears:
    1. Feedback on the appropriateness of current environmental model assessments allowing for lower level modelers to perform recording of more situational signals so that the brain can adapt to its proximate environment. 
    2. Responding to the stream of internal models that reflect awareness prioritization of incoming environmental signals, and where possible resolution of lower level assessment conflicts. 
    3. Responses to the significance of the high level state, with only internal models to support it.  These changes to the high level state must be broadcast out to the rest of the high level agents and lower level agents that model signals based on the current proximate state. 
    4. Provide long term integration of the multiple strategies that make up the current very
      This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
      • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
      • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
      • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
      • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

      As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

      Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
      Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
      These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
      high level plan of action
      .  
    5. Adjust the priorities of strategies within the plan, or adopt an alternative plan when the situation in the proximate environment changes significantly.  
We hope that our CAS based comments help support the continued scientific evaluations of our body's architecture and operation. 


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This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
Strategy
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This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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