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Consciousness


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5-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Hameroff, Newberg, Woolf, Bierman, Ramachandran
  • Directors: Gregory Alsbury
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, Director's Cut, Full length, Full Screen, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Alsbury Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 540 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009RM9KI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,247 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Sorry, but you ask for it.
Amazon Customer
I have until now found compelling the well known argument that there is no way to test for machine intelligence, let alone consciousness, beyond the Turing test.
Keith Mirenberg
Most of the people in the series are top professors at major universities, and this is the topic that consumes them most, so it's very much worth viewing.
Jennifer Olsen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Olsen on August 30, 2005
The ramifications of the theories explored in this series are intense! Basically, the idea is that biology might have found a way to detect quantum signals, similar to the way it optimized neurons to detect photons in our eyes, which are made of neurons and are extensions of our brain. If neurons figured out how to interpret light, then perhaps they are developing to interpret quantum particles, which are simply particles even smaller than photons. If the brain can do this, then the feelings of being connected are real, and would explain why some people have these feelings more strongly than others. Imagine the first life-forms that could interpret light, how strange it must have been, and unbelievable to those life-forms that couldn't. It also means we would be connected in real time to other similarly-built life-forms across the universe. Of course, at this point, our quantum abilities are probably so rudimentary that we only detect these tiny particles/frequencies the way a bat senses light, with little accuracy or definition.

This series not only explores these theories, but also entertains most other major current ideas of the small but growing league of scientists brave enough to tackle this exciting new field. Most of the people in the series are top professors at major universities, and this is the topic that consumes them most, so it's very much worth viewing. And, it might well be that some of these people and their theories go down in the history books as revolutions in science, the way Einstein and Bohr and Heisenberg and their original theories of quantum physics are now acknowledged as revolutionary. And, at $39.95, this is a steal. Most series of academic quality like this cost several hundred dollars. The company behind it is obviously more interested in dispersing knowledge than in making a buck, which is a refreshing attitude. This new 5 DVD version should be a part of everyone's permanent collection.
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This box set is a must have for anyone who finds themselves constantly thinking about the bigger questions in life, unwilling to accept the stock answers inherited from our past. This title was made around the same time as "What The Bleep Do We Know" and has some of the same scientists, as well as quite a few others who will probably go down in history as the forefathers of the scientific pursuit of consciousness.

Many of the biggest names in the field (Hameroff, Radin, Newberg, Woolf, Tuszynski, LaBerge, Ramachandran) are allowed to fully elaborate on their research, theories, thoughts, and feelings, without their words being edited out of context to fit some filmmaker's silly theory, which is what other titles are often critiqued for. If you like your science served raw, straight from the source, with no middleman spin, this series is for you.

Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, spent the final third of his life trying to solve the great mystery of consciousness, so it is no easy task. Nonetheless, the 20 scientists in this series have essentially dedicated their lives to the quest.

The great thing about this series is that it was not created with an agenda, which is the flaw in many titles, and which is antithetical to science itself. Some of the scientists argue persuasively that our brains can achieve a quantum state, and that this state would allow us to become entangled, or essentially become one with, each other, which would explain a lot of the feelings of connectedness we have.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John F. on March 12, 2007
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Overall I enjoyed watching the DVD. I ended up viewing it over the course of a week, watching one disc per night. I found some of the topics much more interesting than others, but there is a good amount of variety amongst the thinkers in this film.

If you are looking for fancy animations or backgrounds you won't find them in this set. The person simply sits in front of a blue background and speaks on their field. I'm not quite sure if it's entirely worth the $40, that's the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. It's incredibly interesting, but I think it should be more like $25 or $30.

If you have watched What the bleep or have read any other books on meditation, spirituality or the brain, this DVD set will provide a more in-depth look giving many different viewpoints & opinions. If you're into this sort of thing, you should definitely get it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Keith Mirenberg on March 27, 2008
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This excellent DVD box set documented interesting presentations on several theories of consciousness. The presenting researchers included MD's and other individuals with world class credentials in: brain research, molecular biology, neurobiology, organic chemistry, computers and electronics, test engineering, math and statistics, theoretical and experimental physics, philosopy and even some part time poets. Although this box set was a bit pricey it was a high quality DVD production hosted by a talented and intelligent interviewer and very well edited. As far as presentation it is a discussion of each of the speakers findings and does not include any screen graphics or other visual materials. Excellent editing does a good job of making up for this omission.

One speaker indicated that consciousness may exist in the universe and is something that we are able to "tap into" biologically in order to acquire awareness of self. Furthermore, it is partially explainable on a quantum level using the Schrödinger equation. A good case for this theory has been made to the satisfaction of a significant portion of the growing consciousness community. High speed quantum computers are currently at a prototype level and only beginning their technological evolution.

I am excited by this idea because it opens up the possibility that a sufficiently complex machine can acquire some form of consciousness without necessarily taking a biological path. Although we all "experience" consciousness, there is no way we can really convince another of our own "awareness" on philosophical grounds. I do have to admit that as a practical matter, I am convinced of my own consciousness as well as yours.
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