Awareness is when information is processed in the DOS that is, or becomes available by recalling existing information (and processing it if required) or processing new information, attention to which is drawn…
- by raw sensory data or
- by perception or
- by external source(s) of information or
- by contextual awareness or
- a combination of the above or
The information being processed in the DOS can also be in the form of knowledge or form into knowledge after such processing.
A large portion of day-to-day human awareness is drawn by perception and/or contextual awareness (explained below).
As mentioned under title Contextual Extraction, to optimize an interaction being processed (while processing objects, people, situations, sensory data, etc.), VP and LB recall similar earlier interactions to retrieve, based on what was stored on earlier occasions, their associated memories, locations, subjective experiences, etc. to see it in different contexts. Such recall is helpful to navigate DOS processing (i.e. draw attention) to its related topics, if and when need arises.
It can become cumbersome if such related information takes time to retrieve from the memory, which can be due to enormous amount of data stored in the brain. Contextual awareness is based on a mechanism designed by the evolutionary process to ease access of such information.
How the mechanism of contextual awareness works: On processing an interaction, LB and VP search for information related to it stored in the past and build a memory buffer I call the "Awareness Buffer", which contains links to them (which are analogous to hyperlinks on a website), so that if need arises to retrieve such information while processing the interaction, VP or LB can find it from a limited amount of information linked to the buffer instead of searching the entire memory, making its access drastically faster (such related information is also used by VP for future projections when needed).
The information available through links in the awareness buffer is what one is aware of.
Usage: When I say "are you aware that you have spent more money than what is allotted to you?", it translates to "is the knowledge that you have spent more money than what is allotted to you already processed by your DOS and available to you through your awareness buffer?".
A person is contextually aware of something when information about it is, or becomes available by navigating links in his awareness buffer, may it be by the virtue of information which was received in the past or is currently being received through sensory data, perception, intramural communication, external source(s) of information, or a combination of such
While switching between information linked to the awareness buffer, it seems that all such related information is available simultaneously. The reason for the same is that switching of information happens without any delay (thanks to ease of access provided by the links in the awareness buffer), offering the effect of what is known as "refrigerator light phenomenon". The refrigerator light phenomenon is the feeling of refrigerator light being always on, even when its door is closed, which is when a limit switch turns it off. The effect it produces is like when communicating with a group of people, you switch from one person to the other, while all of them are available for communication as and when needed, giving the effect of simultaneity.
E.g. when you are sitting on a chair and talking to someone on the phone. Information related to the subject of your conversation, nature of the person on the other side, his intentions, etc. and the pressure of your body weight against the chair, its balance, weight of the handset, etc. is linked to the awareness buffer, so your attention can drift between them easily as and when required (more under title Attention Mechanism).
Note: Awareness is also used in plural, e.g. public awareness is about the availability of certain information in a group of people by navigating links in their awareness buffer.
Intuition, Hunch, etc.
Contextual awareness is based on VP’s processing (with or without dialoguing with LB) or based on the information passed on to VP by LB.
Whether through contextual awareness or not, whenever LB passes information to VP (more under title LB Summary), as LB cannot assign consciousness, its origin and reasoning is not known, and thus is branded as intuition, gut feeling, hunch, sixth sense, etc.
Confusing the Already Confused: While explaining consciousness, philosopher Ned Block proposes a distinction between two types of consciousness which he calls phenomenal consciousness (P-consciousness) and access consciousness (A-consciousness), which is explained in the example below.
Example: You are talking to someone and suddenly you notice a constant noise that has been occurring throughout the entire conversation, e.g., ticking of a clock. The sound was always there but you were not consciously aware of it. According to Block, before you became consciously aware of it, you were P-Conscious of the sound, but as it was not poised for the direct rational control of action, you were not A-Conscious of it.
The above happens because VP can consider only one task at a time for VP-LB or VP-VP communication (more under title Attentional Limit), which limits attention to only one task at a time. It is only when VP switches attention to ticking of the clock that its information is processed in the IPS, and thus the person becomes aware of it.
Calling the ubiquitous phenomenon of awareness as a-consciousness adds confusion to the already confused world of consciousness studies.
Accessibility or Possession of Information (or Knowledge): Many use awareness for possession or accessibility of information, e.g., "Are you aware tomorrow is Monday?" or "Test your awareness of first-aid procedures".
The following example demonstrates why awareness is not merely possession of knowledge, but involves IPS processing:
"I have studied the new law, but was not aware that it can affect me this way". In such usage, you were possessing knowledge about contents of the new law, but it was not processed in your IPS to the effect that would provide you with the knowledge how it would affect you.
Simplified explanation of awareness - AwarenessExplained.com