In order to function properly in the future society, will humans of this asuumably "fast paced" civilization be committed to habitually augmenting themselves past what the chances of sexual reproduction have to offer the progeny of such people? It is not so hard to imagine that in the future, society will regularly get itself outfited with the latest cyborg accessories, just like getting the latest skins for our phones, or our programs in general. It is already possible to go into the virtual world of Second Life and buy your avatar a body that has been predesigned by an artist. I can not think of a greater example of literally buying your idenity than that. So much of the body is deeply related to notions of identity. It 'forms the nature of how we interact with our peers and our environments. I when thinking about a definition of consciousness, it may prove useful to consider setting a restriction on the definition that consciousness has to be bounded somehow, that it can only be located within some well like a brain, or the entire body itself excluding no organs. Concsousness as in how we think of ourselves as having consciousness, does not nessicarily have the same properties of what more loosely bounded systems of complexity like a marsh or a rain forest, or the entire universe itself have. Perhaps it's not even enough to say that complexity causes consciousness, and eventually you can produce from this sentience; but one must move ahead and hypothesize that total complexity is not so much the important thing which ultimately derterimines intelligence, but complexity density.
Imagine the most empty regions of the universe where only the background radiation is occuring. These areas are so desolate that this is the only thing in them that exist. No dust, no atoms, no electrons, no other particles. It's hard to imagine what space could possibly be once all matter and energy just ceased to exist inside of it if that could even ever happen (including vacuum fluxuations). Disallow all forms of existence, remove all that we know to be real from the universe, and what could our equations describe? Nothing. Even though we would still have the space, nothing in the space exists. Since there is no matter or energy, that means there can be no particles that carry charges as well. No charges, no electric and magnetic fields. No fields, no EM radiation, no speed of light that restricts the space to a lorenzt invariant space. Right now this "clean slate" state of the universe we are free to place down any rules we wish. It is eseentially like multiplying all and everything by zero and reinserting by hand the numbers you wish. But more importantly you should realize the point that I was really going after. Empty space is with almost no complexity to it, we generally think of not being very conscious at all. Perhpas it is the least form of consciousness there is. (But then, does empty space also have the most potential to be anything)? There is only so much that can go on in a closed system that has had no mass or particle flux enter it since time = -infinty, practically nothing. This must be an expression defining the lowest form of conscousness due to the zero complexity of absolute empty space. From there it might be possible to move upwards and start defining the exact meaning of complexity density as a function of overlapping physical processies per unit volume.