Cephalophile (feat. Alice Andrews)

from by Baba Brinkman

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    Consciousness mass-manufactured in a colourful matte card CD case

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Overview:
This song uses the “Integrated Information Theory” of consciousness to look at the possible consciousness of an octopus, refracted through the lens of a psychedelic mushroom trip. Some drugs including LSD and psilocybin have been shown to increase the “temporal signal diversity” of our brains, producing a wider range of patterns of activation. So if octopuses have consciousness, it might take a moment of “expanded consciousness” to imagine what their experiences are like.

lyrics

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

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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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