The Rap Guide to Consciousness

by Baba Brinkman

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about

Beats, rhymes, and brain science combine in Baba Brinkman's latest "peer reviewed rap" project exploring the material basis of consciousness. How do you get a thinking, feeling, experiencing person from an assembly of physical parts? Baba himself is made of trillions of cells, and none of them knows who he is or cares, but somehow those cells combine to produce some of the world's most thought-provoking rap music. Listen and find out how.

Scientific consultation by Anil Seth and Heather Berlin.

Bibliography:
Daniel C Dennett, From Bacteria to Bach and Back Again
Stanislas Dehaene, Consciousness and the Brain
Anil Seith, 30 Second Brain
Christof Koch, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist
Sean Carroll, The Big Picture
Susan Blackmore, Consciousness, An Introduction

Digital download comes with lyric sheet pdf

credits

released October 13, 2017

Album Produced by Tom Caruana and Soulful Spider
Executive Produced by Baba Brinkman
Musical Direction by Simon Kendall at Hammond Ave Studios
Mixed by Tom Caruana at Tea Sea Records
Mastered by Morgan Sizer at Mozu Mastering.

1. Real Recognize Real (feat. Aaron Nazrul)
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana, S. Kendall, A. Ross)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall
Additional Vocals by Alice Andrews
Guitar by John Ellis
Cuts by Mr. Simmonds

Further reading:
www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness
neurobanter.com/2016/02/04/tracing-the-edges-of-consciousness/
aeon.co/essays/the-hard-problem-of-consciousness-is-a-distraction-from-the-real-one

2. Good Bayesian (feat. MC Lars and Mega Ran)
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana, R. Jarbo, A. Nielsen)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall

Further reading:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_probability
www.edge.org/response-detail/27098
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqmJhPQYRc8

3. Zombie
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall

Further reading:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie
pp.kpnet.fi/seirioa/cdenn/unzombie.htm

4. Dylan
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall
Cuts by Mr. Simmonds

Further reading:
www.pnas.org/content/106/Supplement_1/10061.full
www.ted.com/talks/alison_gopnik_what_do_babies_think#t-1089915
www.newscientist.com/article/dn23401-emerging-consciousness-glimpsed-in-babies/

5. Forget Me Not (feat. Aaron Nazrul)
(D. Brinkman, D. Moross, A. Ross)
Produced by Soulful Spider
Additional Production and Mix by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall
Guitar by John Ellis

Further reading:
www.uni-trier.de/fileadmin/fb1/PHI/Hoffmann_-_Dokumente/Dennett_-_Are_we_explaining_consciousness_yet.pdf
www.edge.org/conversation/stanislas_dehaene-signatures-of-consciousness
www.nature.com/news/2005/050620/full/news050620-7.html

6. Mary
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall

Further reading:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_argument
ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/dennett/papers/RoboMaryfinal.htm
www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdKEy6vcCMw

7. Cephalophile (feat. Alice Andrews)
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana, A. Andrews)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall

Further reading:
ideas.ted.com/want-to-know-what-aliens-will-be-like-just-look-at-an-octopus/
www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-consciousness-universal/
neurobanter.com/2017/04/19/evidence-for-a-higher-state-of-consciousness-sort-of/

8. Wizard of Odds (feat. Aaron Nazrul)
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana, S. Kindall, A. Ross)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall
Guitar by John Ellis

Further reading:
www.ted.com/talks/anil_seth_how_your_brain_hallucinates_your_conscious_reality
www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/~karl/Whatever%20next.pdf

9. Room
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall

Further reading:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room
ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/dennett/papers/searle.htm

10. Ready for Implants
(D. Brinkman, D. Moross, S. Kendall, A. Ross)
Produced by Soulful Spider
Additional Production and Mix by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall
Additional Vocals by Aaron Nazrul

Further reading:
www.theguardian.com/science/2010/feb/03/vegetative-state-patient-communication
waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html

11. Can't Stop
(D. Brinkman, D. Moross)
Produced by Soulful Spider
Additional Production and Mix by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall
Guitar by John Ellis
Cuts by Mr. Simmonds

Further reading:
www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-marionettes-lament
soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/free-will-revisited-a-conversation-with-daniel-dennett
www.theguardian.com/science/2013/may/22/daniel-dennett-aristotle-flaming-idiot

12. Memes Up
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall
Guitar by Tom Caruana and John Ellis

Further reading:
www.susanblackmore.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/JCS03.pdf
ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/dennett/papers/MEMEMYTH.FIN.htm
bigthink.com/videos/daniel-dennett-memes-101

13. Still Here (feat. Tymisha Harris)
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana, T. Harris)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall

Further reading:
www.brainpickings.org/2016/05/31/sean-carroll-the-big-picture/
www.preposterousuniverse.com/poetic-naturalism/

Keyboards, organ, piano, guitar, and Aaron Nazrul vocals on all songs recorded by Simon Kendall at Hammond Ave Studios.

Album Mastered by Morgan Sizer at Mozu Mastering

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Baba Brinkman New York, New York

Canadian hip-hop with an intellectual bent, nothing but sexy beats and sumptuous brain food.

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Track Name: Real Recognize Real (feat. Aaron Nazrul)
Lyrics

Are we dreamin’ baby?
Or is this real?
(Real recognize real)
I’m tryin’ to find a sign
But I can’t tell
(Recognize real)
I can feel you
Inhale your smell
(Real recognize real)
Oh baby, let’s look
Behind the veil
(Recognize real)


I’m comin’ at you from a brain in a vat
A brain trapped in the skull of someone sayin’ a rap
You couldn’t see from my perspective if your brain was attached
To my optic nerve, ‘cause if your brain was intact
It wouldn’t work, you’d just end up bringin’ your mind along
So a better way to connect is via this dialogue
I have a thought, I find a beat to recite it on
And if it lands, you have a similar kind of thought
Igniting a spark in dark places
The fact that we can even share thoughts is amazing
What’s a thought made of, if not information
That’s contagious? I guess I caught the plague from
Black Thought, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest
They infected me with the memes to rhyme complex
Conscious hip-hop, what a fine concept
But I’m tryin’ to discover how I’m conscious
How I can say a line with a line on deck
Memorize rhymes and improvise content
How can I invent? Practice makes perfect
Okay, but what’s poppin’ up in the brain circuits?

Are we dreamin’ baby?
Or is this real?
(Real recognize real)
I’m tryin’ to find a sign
But I can’t tell
(Recognize real)
I can feel you
Inhale your smell
(Real recognize real)
Oh baby, let’s look
Behind the veil
(Recognize real)

The brain is a pattern finder
How much design work can you find in a rhyme verse?
To make a rhyme, first you need a rhymer
An organism with no intelligent designer
From Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas
People thought if you wanted design, you need a mind first
But it’s kinda the reverse, a mind is a product
Of a mindless process that builds it from the bottom up
Physical stuff pushing physical stuff
A perspective from a quintessence of dust
It was a blind watchmaker that perfected us
It took a billion years to make a brain and connect it up
Eighty billions neurons in a network
Each with seven thousand synaptic connectors
A minimum of fifty trillion intersections
Such a pretty materialistic picture

Daniel Dennett:
Yes we have a soul
But it’s made of lots of tiny robots
Not a single one of the cells that compose you
Knows who you are or cares

At the moment I recite these lyrics I'm conscious
Savouring experiential nuances
Forget objectives, it's all about the process
Of deriving subjectivity from objects
Tiny objects, with action potentials
Axons with potassium ion differentials
Thinkin’ people tend to think that thinkin’ is mental
But thinkin’ is physical too, it’s the blinkin’ of signals
So enter the present moment, and really notice it
How hot or cold is it? The details are so vivid
It’s encoded in your cells in a coalition
That's what your soul’s composed of if it's no fiction
Pay attention for a second or more
That’s enlightenment, like opening refrigerator doors
Check and check and check again in there, it’s like it’s never dark
But when you ain’t checkin’ tell me who’s really in charge?
Forget the mysticism, look for the mechanism
That differentiates oblivion from recognition
Either stay trapped in subjective intuitions
Or take the escape hatch: the scientific method

Are we dreamin’ baby?
Or is this real?
(Real recognize real)
I’m tryin’ to find a sign
But I can’t tell
(Recognize real)
I can feel you
Inhale your smell
(Real recognize real)
Oh baby, let’s look
Behind the veil
(Recognize real)

Daniel Dennett:
Each trillion robot team is gathered together
In a breathtakingly efficient regime that has no dictator
But manages to keep itself organized to repel outsiders
And serve as the headquarters of one conscious self
One mind
Track Name: Good Bayesian (feat. MC Lars and Mega Ran)
Lyrics

Anil Seth:
We don’t just passively perceive the world
We actively generate it
So perception, figuring out what’s there
Has to be a process of informed guesswork
In which the brain combines sensory signals
With its prior expectations or beliefs about the way the world is
The world we experience comes as much from the inside out
As from the outside in

Let me show you how to be a good Bayesian
Change your predictions after takin’ information in
And if you’re thinkin’ I’ll be less than amazin’
Let’s adjust those expectations

What’s a Bayesian? It’s someone who cares about evidence
And doesn’t jump to assumptions based on intuitions and prejudice
A Bayesian makes prediction on the best available info
And adjusts the probability, ‘cause every belief is provisional
And when I kick a flow, mostly I’m watchin’ eyes widen
Maybe ‘cause my likeness lowers expectations of tight rhymin’
How would I know, unless I’m rhymin’ in front of a bunch of blind men?
Droppin’ placebo-controlled science like I’m Richard Feynman
Is it because of my looks? Or the fact that I talk like I’m mad for books?
Either way, in the ecosystem of rap, I’m the platypus
So my patron saint on stage is Reverend Bayes
Just watch me update the equations in everyone’s brains
Teachin’ a crowd about probabilistical statistical science
For instance, if the president’s a degenerate liar
Remember your priors and be skeptical whenever he’s testifyin’
Is it always inaccurate? No, but you discount outliers
Especially when he's testifyin' about non-citizens
Muslims, African Americans, and other victims of dog whistlin’
Bigoted unconscious bias, unreliable information
The antidote is to learn how to think like a Bayesian

So let me show you how to be a good Bayesian
Change your predictions after takin’ information in
And if you’re thinkin’ I’ll be less than amazin’
Let’s adjust those expectations

Let me show you how to be a good Bayesian
Change calculations after takin’ fresh data in
Those predictions that your brain is makin’?
Let’s get them on a solid foundation

MC Lars:
It was 2009 and I was opening for Nas
Predicted they would love us, hypothesis was wrong
Crowd presented evidence, booing while I rhymed
They’d rather hear “The Message”, or “New York State of Mind”
Was it my flow? No, I hardly lacked ability
Rapping with agility, check the probability
Not likely to give up under fierce choleric scrutiny
Refused to stop the show, though their peer review was news to me
Confusing me, like the anti-science right
I was drippin’ like the ice caps, guess it was not my night
But I kept it Bayesian, ‘cause the lane I’m in is solid
Anticipate results with my a priori knowledge
So never let a hater shower you with data
That tells you you should quit, drop the mic and be like “later”
Two more songs, then like OJ, I was out
Saw Nas backstage and thanked him, grabbed my bag and then I bounced

Let me show you how to be a good Bayesian
Change your predictions after takin’ information in
And if you’re thinkin’ I’ll be less than amazin’
Let’s adjust those expectations

Let me show you how to be a good Bayesian
Change calculations after takin’ fresh data in
Those predictions that your brain is makin’?
Let’s get them on a solid foundation

Mega Ran:
Felt like I was still a baby when I first learned to be a Bayesian
I would find myself within a constant state of frustration before the day begins 
On Facebook, my sample consisted of people I called my friends
Whose self-aggrandizing posts constantly aligned with the latest trends 
Using inconclusive evidence, to assess the probability 
That people will never examine what is true, and accept a lie willingly
From my observation came a question: Are people really so naive?
Or is there a correlation between make believe and what is on the screen?
Cause it seems, that we have forgotten this, that truth and politics are opposites 
Humans are intelligent, and that’s the lay up of the hypothesis
So I would conduct an experiment by layin’ down a simple rap
And wondering, would every one of the people who heard each line call it fact?
Even if it were verifiable, supportable, sustainable
Considering the source, would anyone ask how their info was attainable?
So I analyzed my data, the context in which I framed it in
50 percent would agree with me, takin’ the info I gave to them 
Maybe if I was the platinum pop star rockin’ football stadiums
And not a little known rap artist, whose status strictly subterranean 
I can conclude they would place a higher value on the power of my cranium
But minds I'm forever changin’ them, and that my friends is Bayesian

Let me show you how to be a good Bayesian
Change your predictions after takin’ information in
And if you’re thinkin’ I’ll be less than amazin’
Let’s adjust those expectations

Let me show you how to be a good Bayesian
Change calculations after takin’ fresh data in
Those predictions that your brain is makin’?
Let’s get them on a solid foundation
Track Name: Zombie
Lyrics

Picture a zombie version of a hip-hop head
Not a flesh-eating zombie from The Walking Dead
This zombie listens to Nas and Dead Prez
He's kind of old school, like Busta Rhymes with dreads
He’s not the kind of zombie eating brains for a meal
But he’s way more gruesome and way harder to kill
‘Cause people always take him for a regular guy 
He can pass any physical test you devise
You want to question this zombie on the relative merits
Of Biggie and Tupac? He knows all of the lyrics
And when they died he cried, and poured liquor on concrete
This hip-hop zombie is kind of a big softie
So what exactly gives him “zombieness"?
Oh, did I forget to mention? He lacks consciousness
He’s indistinguishable from a human being
Except it's not “like anything” to be him
At rap shows, he goes wild when they hype the crowd
But there's nothing goin’ on inside – his lights are out
You could even take a scanner and examine his brain
You’d find every single part of it exactly the same
And if you asked him, he’d say “Hell yeah, I’m conscious
I’m conscious of the fly ladies with the tight haunches!”
He's not socially awkward, he's not unkind
He’s just a hip-hop zombie with an unconscious mind
Unconsciously quoting rap songs with bravado
“‘Cause you only live once, YOLO, that’s the motto!”
Could you imagine that? If so a conscious mind 
Might be more than the sum of physical stuff inside
Or maybe he’s no more imaginable
Than four corners on a triangular “O”
And if you think you can imagine this zombie
Try to imagine a way to prove that it’s not me

Anil Seth:
Now at one time, people thought the property of being alive
Could not be explained by physics and chemistry
That life had to be more than just mechanism
But people no longer think that
As biologists got on with the job
Of explaining the properties of living systems
The basic mystery of “what life is” started to fade away
And people didn’t propose any more magical solutions
Like a “force of life” or an “elan vital”
So, as with life, so with consciousness
Once we start explaining its properties
In terms of things happening inside brains and bodies
The apparently insoluble mystery of “what consciousness is”
Should start to fade away
Track Name: Dylan
Lyrics

You know the feelin’ when you’re chillin’ like a villain
Dealin’ with no stress, like a room with no ceilin’
Just open, and you like the rhyme “–illin’”
So much, you name your first son Dylan?
That’s the feelin’ I had November 12th
When I first held Dylan and fell under his spell
It was three days after the election from hell
When the Trump cartel captured Winterfell
Remember that feelin’? Just ill and disgusted
With political drivel on Twitter from Trumpkins
Tellin’ us the civic discussion is critically busted
You know that feelin’? Well Dylan doesn’t
What’s it like to be a human baby?
Just a “blooming buzzing confusion” maybe?
I look in his eyes and try to read his thoughts and
Find myself wondering whether he’s got them
Or just sensations, chaotic and messy
I wanna relate, should I take some LSD?
So I can stop thinkin’ and just exist
I mean, look at the kid! Ignorance is bliss…

You know the feelin’ when you find the right words
To express your thoughts, connect and get heard?
Y’all know that feelin’? Yo, I know the feelin’
Animals don’t though, and neither does Dylan
You know the feelin’ of bladder control
When you don’t even go when you have to go?
Y’all know that feelin’? Yo, I know the feelin’
Even dogs know that feelin’, but not Dylan

Dylan doesn’t know the feelin’ of regret
Or anticipation of future stress
Is he conscious? Yes… or maybe not just yet
There could be several different levels of consciousness
Does he have a subjective perspective? I guess so
But is it like a fish, or like a gecko?
The kid started out as a single cell
About a year ago, but don’t call it a “miracle”
Call it a triumph of modern medicine
Dylan was an excellent IVF specimen
I know ‘cause he spent a month in a freezer
So we could check his genes first and do research
Sometimes evolution needs a boost
And it worked too: Aww, he’s so cute
But when does he begin to be a mental self?
I’ve seen a picture of him at a hundred cells
And I wondered: when does consciousness emerge?
At the paramecium level, or nematode worm?
I was still a proud dad though
When the kid had a tail and gills like a tadpole

You know the feelin’ when you comprehend
And solve a problem that was tryin’ to box you in?
You know that feelin’? Yo, I know the feelin’
Animals don’t though, and neither does Dylan
You know the feelin’ when you wanna to suck a boob
So bad that nothin’ but a nipple’s gonna do?
Who knows the feelin’? Yo, I know the feelin’
Hetero men, lesbians, and Dylan

Baby mammals, they’re so beguiling
Dylan’s got skills, eating, smiling
Babbling a little bit of call and response
Communicating all of his needs and wants
But that doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing
Planning, considering, executing
Yeah, Dylan’s got reasons to do stuff
But are they his reasons, or evolution’s?
A cuckoo chick doesn’t laugh or cry
It focusses on host chick infanticide
And if Dylan was a Barbary macaque
He’d be clingin’ instinctively to mama’s back
It’s easy to anthropomorphize the mind
Of an animal, but evolution is blind
And thinkin’ is costly; a baby bird
Doesn’t need it to get its mama to feed it
And Dylan doesn’t need to reflect on his cuteness
To recruit parental contributions
All he needs to do is “goo goo” and ooh child
Resistance is futile

You know the feelin’ when you make a whole plan
In your mind, strategize and revise and adapt?
Y’all know that feelin’? Yo, I know the feelin’
Animals don’t though, and neither does Dylan
You know the feelin’ when you’re lost in a memory
Daydreamin’ off in a thoughtful revery
Y’all know that feelin’? Yo, I know the feelin’
You and me see eye to eye, but not Dylan
Track Name: Forget Me Not (feat. Aaron Nazrul)
Lyrics

Forget me not, love
When I’m gone
You are the platform
I want to be trending on

Listen as I remedy my limited status and recognition
Situation with scientifical rappin'
I got a lotta competition to get your attention
From other rappers to the fittest Kardashian
I’m kinda shameless with the fame-seekin’
My aim is ekin’ out a piece of real estate when I’m speakin’
Infiltrating a niche in your mental ecosystem
Flippin’ a switch and initiating a sequence
The scanner captures a pattern of activation
A cascade of chain reactions and avalanches
That’s “Fame in your Brain” – know what I’m sayin’?
If the answer’s “yes”, then I guess I have access
I’m trending… but only locally
Vocally, in your cortical workspace platinum
Globally I’m not exactly getting broadcasted
But if your brain is active then I got what I’m after

Forget me not, love
When I’m gone
You are the platform
I want to be trending on
Forget me not, love
Let me not fade
Just let our song play
Again and again and again
No fifteen minutes of fame

Consciousness is nothin’ but fame in the brain
And if enough brains remember your name you get fame
And if you get too much of it you can't step into public places
Without gazes and cameras aimin' your way
And I'm no fan of binoculars so I rock a verse
Always sayin' something unpopular to chase 'em away
Like "You ain't nothin’ but ignitions in coalitions
Of neurons activating and fading away"
Your subconscious is messy, unconscious circuits are always
Processing everything, cross-talking and guessing
Like “What’s he talkin’ ‘bout? It sounds complicated
I’m hungry. What’s for dinner? I wonder what’s on television?”
Until a signal gets amplified, and enters into
Circulation in your cortical connections
And that's when you can flexibly convert it into action
Like: “Wait a second, who is this rapper? He's excellent…”

Forget me not, love
When I’m gone
You are the platform
I want to be trending on
Forget me not, love
Let me not fade
Just let our song play
Again and again and again
No fifteen minutes of fame

All the thoughts and feelings you’re always dealin' with
The brilliant visuals and perceptual vividness
It's either an incredible waste, or an adaptation
Enhancing your basic Darwinian fitness
So bear witness to inner mental richness
And communicate it with linguistics
Food for thought, maybe we only savour flavours
Just to be able to tell people that “it’s delicious”
I know it doesn’t feel like that. From the inside
Experience feels like it’s intrinsic
But why would natural selection give us the talent
To reflect, if not to share reflections with some listeners?
So can you savour the flavour of my lyrics?
If not, you’ll probably tell people “it’s best to skip this”
But if so, if you think the info-rich flow is dope
Tell everyone that it’s delicious!

Forget me not, love
When I’m gone
You are the platform
I want to be trending on
Forget me not, love
Let me not fade
Just let our song play
Again and again and again
No fifteen minutes of fame
Track Name: Mary
Lyrics

Mary was a walkin’ talkin’ lab experiment
She studied rap music without ever hearin' it
She was born deaf, congenitally
So she had no way to check check out the melody
She became a scientist and studied the brain
She could watch it change while you listen to Lil Wayne
She could strap a subject into a scanner
And play them Julez Montana, Eminem and David Banner
She could see the spreading waves of alpha beta gamma 
When Desiigner would say "panda panda panda panda"
She wanted to know whether the physical facts
Could ever match the experience of listenin' to rap
So she gathered every physical fact in the universe
Relevant to this music that she had never heard
Indulge me, it’s a thought experiment
Every physical fact that exists, she was aware of it
And once her brain was suitably enhanced
The last step was a set of cochlear implants
She cues up a song on the boom box 
Something old school from Illmatic by Nas…


The thief’s theme, play me at night they won’t act right
The fiend of hip-hop has got me stuck like a crack pipe

Whoah, that flow is so menacing
But the question is, does Mary learn anything?
Remember, she already knew everything
And not just everything you know, every single
Physical cause and effect that exists
Are you picturing this total omniscience?
No cheating! She’s not just really smart
Mary comprehends every single part
Of the physical brain, right down the atom
Every neuron, every synapse, every pattern
So was it beyond anything even she could imagine?
Or was she like: “Meh, that’s what I thought would happen!”

Heather Berlin:
The basic unit of the nervous system is the neuron
It’s a fairly complex cell, but its basic job
Is simply to transmit electrical and chemical signals
And the human brain has 86 to 100 billion neurons
There’s more connections in the human brain
Than there are stars in the milky way, think about that
So we have a whole inner cosmos inside of our head
The brain is basically like an information-processing machine
Everything that you experience, from the moment you wake up
From a deep, dreamless sleep, until you go back to sleep again
Or into a coma, or death – everything you experience
Your thought, your emotions, your sensations
They are all being encoded in these neurons firing
In this information-processing machine
But, what’s really interesting is that much of what’s happening
In your brain is actually happening outside of awareness
And it’s a myth that we only ten percent of our brain
We actually use all of our brain, none of it is redundant
But we’re only conscious of a very little bit of it
Much of what’s happening that’s affecting your decisions
You’re making, your behaviour, it’s happening because of
Processes that are occurring unconsciously
Track Name: Cephalophile (feat. Alice Andrews)
Lyrics

I had a conversation with a cephalopod
Sippin’ on psilocybin
We integrated information
A skeptic would call it “anthropomorphizin’”
Just a bloody reductivist
Bustin’ the bubble of a pan-psychic
But I swear to god that octopus was conscious, y’all
We was vibin’

Damn, look at those eyes, look at those legs! 
Baby, tell me, what is you thinkin'?
People call me Baba Brinkman, and I’m trippin’
From this mushroom tea I’m sippin’
Who am I? Just another Homo sapien
We’re the last in a long line of hominids
And it’s been a long time since one of us
Had a common ancestor with an octopus

Look at you – you’re a living alien!
I’m like Amy Adams in Arrival
Not as attractive, but just as passionate
About the planet's survival
And I wanna know, how can you be so good at
Problem solvin’ and camouflagin’
When your brain is small, but your semi-autonomous arms
Have two thirds of all your neurons in them?

It’s like that theory of consciousness
Called “Integrated Information”
That says any system is conscious
If it's connected up and differentiated
It’s got that mathematical figure called "Phi"
That's quantifiably calculated 
As a measure of how much the whole is greater
Than the sum of the parts when they’re isolated

You probably couldn’t calculate it yourself
I mean, you’ve only got eight legs
But it’s kind of a measurement of redundancy
Like the compression that makes JPEGs
And you understand compression don’t you?
Yeah, you can fit through soda bottle heads!
No bones about it, just viscous organs
Tentacles, and a little bit of cartilage!

In your eyes I’m drowning
I’m stuck on you
Wrap your arms around me
I’m a sucker for you
I like your Phi, baby
There’s not much time left
Be my cephalophile
While I’m still conscious

The thing is, if this theory is right
And I can't say if it’s right cause I'm trippin’ hard
But if it's right, there might be “something it's like”
To be an octopus' arm
Some kind of subjective tentacle perspective
A mind that you would have nine of
And when you swim in a straight line I guess those minds
Would line up and you would combine them?

You must think I’m a serious hippy
But it’s not me, this theory is trippy
It’s got multidimensional crystals
Distilling experiences mysteriously
And Phi is uncalculatable
I mean incalculable – unrelatable
Even a worm has a Phi of ten to the power
Of four hundred and sixty eight or so

So what kind of Phi do you and I get?
This whole theory is pan-psychic
Is the universe really conscious
Or is it just the psilocybin that I did?
I’m tryin’ stay open minded
Consciousness is unified and can’t be divided
But when I’m high, the temporal signal diversity
Gets elevated inside it

Check out the magnetoencephalographic
Charts my signal is off
My uncompressible thoughts got me trippin’
And talkin’ to cephalopods
I had to go home and sleep it off
Later I came back to see my eight-legged friend
And the aquarium staff told me
That she already laid eggs and was dead

But I still had a conversation
With a cephalopod, sippin’ on psilocybin
We integrated information
A skeptic would call it “anthropomorphizin’”
Just a bloody reductivist
Bustin’ the bubble of a pan-psychic
But I swear to god even its frickin’ arms were conscious y’all
We was vibin’

In your eyes I’m drowning
I’m stuck on you
Wrap your arms around me
I’m a sucker for you
I like your Phi, baby
There’s not much time left
Be my cephalophile
While I’m still conscious
Track Name: Wizard of Odds (feat. Aaron Nazrul)
Lyrics

Anil Seth:
Imagine being a brain
You’re locked inside a bony skull
Trying to figure what’s out there in the world
There’s no light inside the skull
There’s no sound either
All you’ve got to go on are
Streams of electrical impulses
Which are only indirectly related
To things in the world
Whatever they may be

While you’re dancin’, I’ll be calculating
Chances in your thoughts
Here to guide you
From inside you…

Look around and see faces, places
You really think you’re takin' in this information
From the outside? No, it’s generated
From within, a controlled hallucination
Cascades comin’ from the top down
Interpreting ambiguity all around
The brain doesn’t “see sights” or “hear sounds”
It takes in signals that it’s gotta figure out
“Bam Bam Bam” go the axons firing
Action potentials comin’ up the wiring
What is it? A friend or a predator hiding?
Threats to survival are so exciting
Make a prediction, compare it to the signal
Calculate the difference, what’s the residual?
Let that info update your best guesses
In a cascade of predictive processes

You see colours, I see numbers
You hear music, I hear code
You see lovers under covers
I’m in darkness on my own
While you’re dancin’, I’ll be calculating
Chances in your thoughts
Here to guide you from inside you
I’m the Wizard of Odds

“Bam Bam Bam” go the axon signals
And somehow the brain converts those to visuals?
Even fast asleep with eyes closed
When there’s no feedback from the outside world

To revise the code, to give it relevance
Interpreting all the predictable elements
In the images, the brain does it superbly
Only novel information is newsworthy
And it’s not just perception only
It’s action and cognition, predictive coding
Has to figure out whether a signal’s phoney
So take steps, get your fingers probing
Take what you can from points of contact
The Bayesian Brain makes bets on dog tracks
Or wolf tracks, or whatever's up next
That’s relevant to survival prospects
Or reproduction, let’s not forget
The brain calculates the odds of hot sex
Every few minutes, or seconds, or less
Depending on the present context…

You see colours, I see numbers
You hear music, I hear code
You see lovers under covers
I’m in darkness on my own
While you’re dancin’, I’ll be calculating
Chances in your thoughts
Here to guide you from inside you
I’m the Wizard of Odds

Expectations of expectations
Governing internal bodily sensations
Maintaining a sense of homeostasis
As the brain sits in a lonely oasis
Just an organ, a tool that’s evolved
To do a job, to compute the odds
Of the causes of its own moods and thoughts
And the contours of what a body moves across
Even emotions are just predictions
Of internal and external influences
I get pissed off! And that’s just my senses
Signalling a preference for something different
That’s how my ancestors got selected
Okay stop, cool off, pay attention
To my sense of self and… god damn
I predict myself therefore I am!

You see colours, I see numbers
You hear music, I hear code
You see lovers under covers
I’m in darkness on my own
While you’re dancin’, I’ll be calculating
Chances in your thoughts
Here to guide you from inside you
I’m the Wizard of Odds

Deepak Chopra:
Just tell me: how does electrochemistry
Produce a thought, an idea
And you get the million dollars
I will live up to this
But it has to be a valid scientific explanation
For the biological basis of an idea
One thought, any thought…
One thought, one million dollars
Track Name: Room
Lyrics

Picture an old man in a room with a drum machine
A book of rhymes, and a long instruction sheet
With the details of how to spit raps
An encyclopedia of hip-hop syntax
The old man doesn't know how to rap
But somehow he still sounds dope on a track
He can even kick it with syncopated delivery
Lyrically sketchin' pictures so vividly
That outside the room, people never imagine 
The old man is less than a wizard at rappin'
‘Cause they can't see it happen, it's a black box
In goes a concept, out comes a rap that's hot
Some people think it's Jay-Z in the room
Eminem or Kanye that’s makin' the tunes
But really it's just an old man who’s not a rapper
And his non rap skills are a non-factor
‘Cause this old man has a set of instructions
For kickin’ raps with such impeccable functions
That it’s not even readable, it’s computer code
A digital cypher, totally inscrutable
So, the old man is nothing but a cog
In a machine designed to produce hip-hop
He adds nothing, no skills, no comprehension
No linguistic invention
It’s the code that’s intelligent, the code understands
What the old man doesn’t: how to bust raps
And that's just “functionalism” in a nutshell
Dope rap is what dope rap does well
So what does it take to make a record?
Just a few billion computations every second
And why would you assume that I'm human instead
Of a machine with a man in a room in my head?
Track Name: Ready for Implants
Lyrics

I woke up from a coma, unable to communicate
They called it a “persistent vegetative state”
Nobody home, Terri Schiavo
But I was in there, trapped inside my dome
I couldn’t even blink eyelashes
But I could still control my synapses
Routine fMRI might find action
So I stayed mentally dynamic
And never let my mind panic
And that’s when a surprise happened
Doctors tried scanning me
They saw my brain patterns reacting
Jaws drop, like Oh my god, can it be?
I just wanted to dance and scream
Yes I’m in here! I’m tryin’ to communicate!
But I still couldn’t move or blink
Just think, how can I get a message out?
They told me different things to think about
Imagine walkin’ through your house
Or playing in a tennis match!
Forget that I want

Implants, forget a digital wristband
I wanna be cognitively enhanced
With implants, like Angelina
I’ll pass a test from a cancer screener
With implants, a nanobot’ll beat it
Robotic bodies for quadriplegics
Implants, oh you wanna debate?
Okay, just lemme get my implants, wait…

Let me get the implants hooked up
Ray Kurzweil, hey, give me the good stuff
I want a boost from computer hackers
Surgically implanted google glasses
Prosthetics are often injurious
Don’t try to get it from Oscar Pistorius
First they go to the disabled
Then everyone else gets the payload

Okay so, now we’ve got a channel open
So much imaging, the scanner’s smokin’
They can ask me questions
And I can answer with mental images
Imagine playing tennis for “yes”
That activates my motor cortex
Inside my head in total darkness
And for “no”, picture your apartment
And imagine walkin’ inside it
That lights up my parahippocampal gyrus
Now they can ask my name and age
We communicate; we’re on the same page
We think you’re conscious, can you confirm that?
Oh yeah, playin’ in a tennis match
Is Donald Trump a better president
Than the previous White House resident?
What? That rodeo clown?
I’m walkin’ through every room in my house right now!
My mood has improved though
But this blood flow stuff is too slow

I want implants, forget a digital wristband
I wanna be cognitively enhanced
With implants, like Angelina
I’ll pass a test from a cancer screener
With implants, a nanobot’ll beat it
Robotic bodies for quadriplegics
Implants, oh you wanna debate?
Okay, just let me get my implants, wait…

Oh yeah, I made a full recovery
Came out of the coma, the media was lovin’ me
But I can’t stop now that I’ve had a taste
Elon Musk, hook up the neural lace!
It’s like smokin’ opium
I confess, I’m a techno-utopian
As the cost of electrodes drops
I want injections of digital botox

Oh gosh, I’m so into the benefits
There’s no cost, no loss to contend with
I’m fittin’ to get myself a microchip in my fingerprint
Any citizen who isn’t into it’s uncompetitive
Thomas Edison, and Benjamin Franklin
Every innovator who ever invented a gadget
That’s evolution in action!
From swingin’ from branches to mental enhancements
I’m sick of whiners crying at new developments
I want robotics and artificial intelligence
I want a machine that can invent a machine
That can invent a better machine indefinitely
And at the pinnacle, we’ll have machines rappin’
Nah, on second thought, that’ll never happen
I got the last job that’ll go to computers
Peace to Amazon, Apple, Uber
I say the proof is in the pudding
Let’s have a debate: is improvement is a good thing?
I’ll take the technology option
You can be the human team and I’ll be Watson


With the implants, forget a digital wristband
I wanna be cognitively enhanced
With implants, like Angelina
I’ll pass a test from a cancer screener
With implants, a nanobot’ll beat it
Robotic bodies for quadriplegics
Implants, oh you wanna debate?
Okay, just let me get my implants, wait…
Track Name: Can't Stop
Lyrics

Daniel Dennett:
Many people think the implications of this are dreadful
We don’t really have “free will”, and nothing really matters

Listen to this lyric, it isn’t freestyle, it’s written
I wrote it of my own free will, it was my decision
Every intimate constituent part of it was deliberate
I considered how to script it and how to stand and deliver it
Forethought, but that doesn't mean nothin’ comes before thought
Take to look at the source of your thoughts, you might find the door's blocked
If every decision is made in a part of my brain that's invisible to me
That's “will”, but with a subliminal origin, I'm not thinkin' it's too “free”
But if not me, who was it that chose to bust the rhyme?
And if the clock was reset, I bet I could not have done otherwise
If every molecule and brain state was in the same place
The same thing would happen, so what sense does blame make?
Or praise make? I’m trainin’ to bring nothin’ but my game face
Even if the outcome of the race goes back to big bang days
In a deterministic universe that obeys the laws of physics
It takes a magic wand to make a truly uncaused decision
So there’s no such thing as absolute responsibility
And the more we discover, the more we degrade culpability
Every brain tumour found in someone who shoots up a playground
Tells us that we’re nothin’ but brain tumours all the way down

I can’t stop, I won’t stop livin’
Makin’ decisions as if I can pivot
I can’t stop, wont stop sellin’ mad “isms”
Natural, rational, and compatiblism
I can’t stop attraction and avoidance
Trapped with no choice but to make choices
I can’t stop, whatever happens
Free will, I’m determined to have it

Daniel Dennett:
People are surprisingly good
At distracting themselves
From ominous prospects
But don’t give up hope
Quantum physics to the rescue!

But wait, what if a random quantum fluctuation
Breaks up the universe’s basic deterministic nature
A swerve we can surf, a wave-particle duality
That puts a human agent back in the chain of causality
Don’t waste my time with that quantum tomfoolery
If a swerve is truly random, it’s got nothin’ to do with me!
I want free will that puts me back in the drivers seat
And makes me the author of the rhymes I recite on beats
I spent a lot of time trainin’ my brain to rhyme
At the drop of a dime; that’s a kind of freedom I can claim as mine
Freedom isn’t a metaphysical state at the level of atoms
It’s a collection of talents that each of us can develop and manage
Freedom evolves, evolution gave us the building blocks
Absolute freedom? Maybe not, but more than a digger wasp
And more than prefrontal cortex lesion patients living today
I’ll take the freedom I’ve got over the non-freedom of Phineas Gage
Freedom is having a brain that can reject options
Detect imposters and dodge sucker punches like boxers

Freedom is having a brain that can navigate obstacles

In a continuous exploration of the adjacent possible

A brain that’s free enough to identify goals and pursue them

And recognize the reasons why, even if it’s prone to illusions

Freedom, it’s what you have to skip a song or rewind it

And it’s yours to lose, if you lack the will to find it



I can’t stop, I won’t stop livin’

Makin’ decisions as if I can pivot
can’t stop, wont stop sellin’ mad “isms”

Natural, rational, and compatiblism

I can’t stop attraction and avoidance

Trapped with no choice but to make choices

I can’t stop, whatever happens

Free will, I’m determined to have it


Daniel Dennett:

Free will is like the air we breath

We count on it, but it is neither a 

Metaphysical background condition

Nor a fundamental physical condition

It evolved, and is still evolving
Track Name: Memes Up
Lyrics

I kick flows for ya, deliver info for ya
Obstacles to thought, get rid of those for ya
How can a protozoa develop into a lawyer
Without any supernatural magic? Just let me show ya
Evolution, it's blind and kind of ruthless
It finds designs by trying different types of mutants
Mindless movements, randomly finding uses
As if the only way to get a rhyme to fit the music
Was to write a billion versions of a verse with tiny variations 
And play them back, to see what difference each difference is makin'
Stepwise exploration of design spaces
With a lot fewer ways to love it than hate it
We got a special kind of brain as Homo sapiens
Genetic variation is such a slow way to change it
Now that we can get infected and enculturated 
With memes, the pace of evolution is getting crazy

So get your memes up, try to read stuff
If you don’t read get a book on speaker
If you want to be a truth-seeker
Get some memes up in your cerebrum

Get your memes up, try to see stuff
If you can’t travel, get on Wikipedia
Get it from a teacher, or social media
Get your memes up if you want freedom

Ever since the beginning of multicellularity
Evolution tended to favour one of two strategies
Either anchor your body in place like clams and trees
Or navigate actively like salmon and geese
Humans and fleas, navigators 
Need to have a brain to chase prey and evade danger
A brain is a control centre, action taker
But it never was a generator of thoughts, that came later
When a certain animal evolved a certain talent
Recursive language, abstract words and grammar
The ability to turn inwards and sample 
The inner channel, which in turn turned it cinematic
You've been collecting memes since you were just a kid
That's how you can speak and know the date and do arithmetic
That's what recognition is, if your consciousness is rich
It's a list of memes that your brain has been infected with

So get your memes up, try to read stuff
If you don’t read get a book on speaker
If you want to be a truth-seeker
Get some memes up in your cerebrum

Get your memes up, try to see stuff
If you can’t travel, get on Wikipedia
Get it from a teacher, or social media
Get your memes up if you want freedom

Freedom from automatic action by any means!
Memes will set you free, but not just any memes
Beautiful memes give us true beliefs 
False beliefs take away freedom like skinny jeans
That's what it means to “know what your doin’"
With a ready explanation for any questioning human
A reason that's not a reason discovered by evolution
A reason represented in a mind, that's a new one
My daughter's three years old, she's given limited freedom
Citizenship is restricted when you're deficient in reason
But she's got a brain that's voracious for takin' memes in
So she's getting more and more conscious with every season
You can't do much work with your bare hands, love 
And your bare brain isn't equipped to understand much 
You can either live in a state of incomprehension
Or actively get your memes jacked up 

So get your memes up, try to read stuff
If you don’t read get a book on speaker
If you want to be a truth-seeker
Get some memes up in your cerebrum

Get your memes up, try to see stuff
If you can’t travel, get on Wikipedia
Get it from a teacher, or social media
Get your memes up if you want freedom
Track Name: Still Here (feat. Tymisha Harris)
Lyrics

I never could sit still and just watch a show from my seat
I had to peak behind the scenes if I was intrigue
Stick my brain inside an fMRI machine
And see this piece of meat that’s somehow my ground of being
Three pounds of ground beef, every single experience
Originates somewhere in its various signal carriers
I met a scientist who could explain the brain areas
Satisfactorily, so I naturally married her
Now I got a baby mama ready with the quickest answers
She’s the opposite of sycophantic with the wicked banter
And if I ever take the kids out and forget the pampers
She flips out like “Use your frickin’ hippocampus!”
She’s got a doctorate in consciousness and taught me lots of it
I get my lyrics peer reviewed over sausages
She loves to break down my views and postulates
And her seal of approval is good for boosting my confidence
And when we get to finishing each other’s thoughts
I wonder where my consciousness starts and her’s stops
I think I must be running her perspective internally
Like a PC on a Mac virtual machine
Baby, maybe one day you’ll lose to me some kind of dementia
And I promise I’ll do my best to always try to remember
But when the connections are severed, what’s left of us?
Let’s make the best of this quick existence, love

We were nothing when this all began
And soon we’ll disappear
And be nothing once again
But until then, we’re still here
We’re stardust, we’re memories
Flesh and blood and self-aware
We’re dancin’ electricity
While we’re still here

So give me roses, give me oceans
Give me love and tears
Give me all the riches of my senses
Stimulation, while I’m still here

Newsflash! It might come as a huge shocker
But there’s no evidence for souls, or chakras
Every mathematician, every musician, author
Architect, smooth talker, nothin’ but clockwork
Awkward! What a terrible tragedy
Everybody hallucinating their own little fantasy
And when the details agree, we call it “reality”
We call it a “self” – it’s a centre of narrative gravity
Another set of cells that tell you how good it feels
Adding to an autobiographical magnetic field
Memories cling to it, and continue to build
Until a person emerges from within a set of skills
A person emerges from a physical brain
Matter in motion, but it can’t remain
There’s no reason to think consciousness continues
After the brain degrades, or moves to different venues
Unless you consider wishful thinkin’ a “reason”
In which case there’s a lot you should probably believe in
But there’s reason to believe in this
We can do things to improve the experience
Of all the other sentient beings sharing this
Sequence of sensational, celebratable moments
So take a deep breath
And see what you notice

We were nothing when this all began
And soon we’ll disappear
And be nothing once again
But until then, we’re still here
We’re stardust, we’re memories
Flesh and blood and self-aware
We’re dancin’ electricity
While we’re still here

So give me roses, give me oceans
Give me love and tears
Give me all the riches of my senses
Stimulation, while I’m still here

Anil Seth:
With a greater sense of understanding
Comes a greater sense of wonder
And a greater realization that we are part of
And not apart from the rest of nature
And, when the end of consciousness comes
There’s nothing to be afraid of
Nothing at all