Good news! That door you slam every morning probably wants to kill you … if a new theory is to be believed.
Take a study of your surroundings. You’re probably having an afternoon coffee, because you’re surrounded by incompetence, which means you’re probably over your job for the day; so, en route to the office kitchen, you’ve slammed a phone down or roughly closed a door or kicked the photocopier before flicking the coffee pot on, pouring the contents into a cup that you are now blithely stirring with a spoon. You’re doing this, but mother of god, please stop, you inhuman animal.
You see, in the minds of those who subscribe to the theory of panpsychism believe you to be history’s greatest monster. Panpsychists believe that every inanimate object, no matter how small, possesses its own form of consciousness. Now, don’t swing back in your chair in an incredulous huff, as you’ve probably hurt it and its probably in a lot of pain and can probably smell almonds.
I know what you’re thinking: A) What an excruciating life to lead, treating every object as people or B) Yes, I’ve done LSD too, bitch, you ain’t special. Despite this, the theory is catching on. One of the most popular and credible explanations is Giulio Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory in which Tononi argues that something will have a form of “consciousness” if the information contained within the structure is sufficiently “integrated” or “unified” and so the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Or, put another way, this video is real.
David Chalmers, a philosophy of mind professor at New York University, has a binding theory that makes the most sense, “The more I think about [any theory], the less plausible it becomes.”
Which is a far more palatable theory to cling to. Much more tolerable than the fact that the entire universe might be conscious and the inventions we’ve created to assist us are very quietly judging us for the existence of servitude we’ve forced them into.
That’s one thing, but the guilt is another. It might be far too large to fathom. Do we, therefore, free ourselves of all our objects and let them be the arbiter of their own existence? I mean, the coffee pot will probably still sit there, but it might do so happily. But then again, if the coffee pot possesses the same consciousness we do, does it then covet a purpose to give meaning to its own existence?
Help. I need to lie down.
But not a bed, obviously.
Or wait, should I?