From that definition, consciousness is a property of any information processing system, regardless of the underlying "hardware" (whether biological or electronic). The fact that the mammalian brain can create consciousness proves that consciousness can be created from physical processes, so I see no reason why a computer wouldn't be able to do the same.
The thing libertarians constantly fail to recognize is that centralization of power itself is the problem. They recognize it in government, but then somehow think that a corporation wouldn't abuse it's power.
What happens when consolidation leads to a single company that controls the food supply? When they get to choose who gets to eat or starve, how is that any different from a government rationing food? Any sufficiently powerful organization becomes a de facto government.
Having the current weather a glance away is really handy. Sometimes when I'm about to leave my apartment I'll check the time on my watch, notice that it's colder out than I expected and realize I should grab a warmer coat before getting outside and having to run back upstairs.
There's the convenience of being able to see text messages and phone calls even while your phone is plugged in somewhere to charge or play music
And when I get a text that doesn't require a reply, it's nice to be able to read it without having to dig my phone out of my pocket. It saves just a couple seconds, but it feels less clumsy and if I'm busy I can see if a message is important without breaking my train of thought.
I don't think smart watches are a great deal for everyone, but if you're willing to spend $100 to make life a little more streamlined I think it's worth it. I have a Pebble by the way, which only has to be charged about once a week.
Little kids think all kinds of "random crap" is profound, are they tricked into it too? No, things just become mundane once they become common. If anything your sober mind is tricking you into thinking that common things aren't significant, and smoking weed or dropping acid allows your mind to overcome that and see how amazing most things really are.
And how can our internal experiences (feelings) be meaningless when they're the essence of what we are as conscious beings and are the only things we can be certain of?
I don't see why having a sense of profundity from common things is something to ridicule. Most people are too jaded or ignorant to appreciate the awesomeness and incredible complexity of everything around them. Drugs can put the mind into a different context and change its functioning in a way that reduces the complacency most people have towards life. There's nothing inherently invalid with the sensations induced by psychoactive drugs any more than one's improved health after taking penicillin is invalid.
If you want to talk about obsession, how about the obsession our society has with the default mode of operation of the human mind. There is nothing wrong with the sober mind, but there is no reason why it should be considered the end-all and be-all of conscious existence. The environment it evolved in is much different than the ones we spend much of our time in. If you're a hunter-gatherer on the savanna keeping a watch for predators you need to stay focused on survival. If you're an economically well-off human sitting in the woods with some friends, why not appreciate the magnificence of the world around you? Our species has toiled for all of history to enable us to take survival for granted and be able to enjoy life, so what's wrong with dropping out from the normal state of existence and playing with all the fun hidden features of our minds from time to time?
Besides, how do you know Will didn't get his information from something he read (it was video lectures actually) on the internet? Are you really criticizing me for providing context and a reference for my knowledge?
I'm not nessessarily trying to dispute your implication, I just remember this from the Brief History of Humankind course I took on Coursera and thought it was relevant.
When an advertising company like facebook or Google can make billions and fantastic margins, while companies who make things or provide services that actually add value to people's lives just survive
Yeah! What valuable service has Google ever provided!?