• TheQuestion
    58
    Provided superposition is common in the brain and elsewhere, the quantity of possible mechanisms available to perception is staggering. This could probably be a new scientific "field". What do you think?Enrique

    Do you have references or materials you can provide to support this theory?
  • Enrique
    657


    Intriguing that the homunculus is placed where the cerebellum is located, which contains half the brain's neurons and has the most diversely intricate and compact structure of any brain region, implicated in mental imagery, language, attention and additional roles, not merely coordination. Fish and sharks don't even have a cerebrum; their entire higher consciousness is generated by an enlarged cerebellum that includes further types of neurons not found in mammals or birds. The cerebellum's anatomy has been researched in depth, but its modes of functioning are still not well understood. It will be fascinating to discover how much of our higher consciousness resides outside the neocortex.

    Interesting how Einstein likened the substrate of general relativity to aether. Goes to show how much of a realist he was, always looking for the structural substance underlying statistical mechanics and quantum probability, including what he intuited must be varieties of direct causal linkage. I'm of course not familiar with the nuts and bolts math of general relativity, but he must have envisioned fluctuating distributions of conventional mass and energy, the sizes and forces of which are proportional to morphology of a saturating, aetherlike medium they cohere with. Imagine a grid and the curvatures within it delineating the bounds and relationships of forces, wavicles, aetherlike substances etc. as a heterogeneous patchwork.

    Quantum mechanics is still extremely statistical and ambiguous as a model, not even having approached the stage where it can be integrated into a general relativistic framework, though I think the concept of decoherence, a return to more realist interpretation of the wave function concept (Schrodinger was one of Einstein's main allies by the way), along with improved instrumentation and experimental designs might accomplish it. Einstein was ahead of even our time.

    On the issue of Cartesian theater vs. Dennettism, I think my opinion is somewhere in between.

    As I've described in this thread, I suspect the mind, including qualia and intentional will, is largely composed of neural networking, electromagnetic forces, quantum superpositions, biochemistry in general such that consciousness can be entirely explained in terms of matter. If a so-called metaphysical influence exists, which seems intuitively true, this is simply a nonelectromagnetic field that is infused into the brain and environment, interacting with conventional matter via similar superposition mechanisms and to this point unknown physical forces.

    I don't regard mind and meaning as a fundamentally separate domain from consciousness' constituent substances, but as Bertrand Russell explained, a gap between knowledge by acquaintance (subjectivity) and knowledge by description (objectivity) currently obtains, so psychology/phenomenology and neuroscience/physics are separate disciplines, each with idiosyncratic and important contributions to make, though as theories of consciousness in matter and the neuroscience of motivation progress, subjectivity and objectivity will increasingly blend.

    fMRI reveals conscious states as reported by subjects to be correlated with such widely distributed activation in the brain that I doubt anything like a homunculus actually exists, though of course various aspects of physical reality are mapped onto many brain regions in highly patterned ways. Consciousness emerges from the entire brain, probably in addition to nonelectromagnetic fields that roughly correspond with the traditional idea of aether, a gap in our theorizing that we know must eventually be filled by something.

    Admit that I don't yet understand why reifying information has become the standard. Seems strange that the concept of information is so liberally applied to physical structures which are not organized such that they have the capacity to interpret it. "It from bit" makes no sense to me except from the perspective of a mathematical modeling that is specific to humanlike minds, but I'll have to check out the books you've recommended and then perhaps I will comprehend better. I don't think we should be unrestrainedly attempting to create our environment in the image of intelligent computation or humanity will get destroyed by our own technology, The Matrix, Terminator etc.. Information should be our tool, not our religion. I subscribe to humanism rather than transhumanism, mostly because women are so fine lol
  • Enrique
    657
    Do you have references or materials you can provide to support this theory?TheQuestion

    Anything written about CEMI field theory and quantum biology by Johnjoe McFadden is excellent. Searching around for the researchers and theories that get associated with him will yield insight.
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    Interesting how Einstein likened the substrate of general relativity to aether. Goes to show how much of a realist he was,Enrique
    Yes. Einstein initiated the new paradigm of Quantum Theory, but as a realist, he resisted its idealist implications for years. He also resisted the new paradigm of cosmology that we call the Big Bang, because he believed the universe was revolving in place, hence eternal. However, I think he was open-minded enough that, if he was alive today, he would accept the preponderance of evidence supporting both of those new worldviews.

    The Enformationism thesis is my amateur synopsis of another new paradigm : an "information theoretic" worldview. As one writer put it, this is another "Copernican Revolution" in perspective. But, we are still in the early stages of constructing a scientific model around the notion of Information as the fundamental basis of reality. Note that in the links below, it's still posed as a question, not a fact. However, I have adopted the universality & ubiquity of Generic Information as the core of my personal philosophical worldview. :nerd:


    Is Information Fundamental? :
    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/is-information-fundamental/

    Is information the only thing that exists? :
    Physics suggests information is more fundamental than matter, energy, space and time – the problems start when we try to work out what that means
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431191-500-inside-knowledge-is-information-the-only-thing-that-exists/

    Copernican Revolution, shift in the field of astronomy from a geocentric understanding of the universe, centred around Earth, to a heliocentric understanding, centred around the Sun, as articulated by the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus in the 16th century.

    Must admit that I don't yet understand why reifying information has become the standard. Seems strange that the concept of information is so liberally applied to physical structures which are not organized such that they have the capacity to interpret it."It from bit" makes no sense to me except from the perspective of a mathematical modeling that is specific to humanlike minds, but I'll have to check out the books you've recommended and then perhaps I will comprehend better.Enrique
    "It From Bit" is indeed a counter-intuitive concept. But when you assemble the scrambled pieces of the Quantum puzzle, including the "Observer Effect", the whole picture will begin to make sense. The books you referred to will help you to accept the reification of Information. But, if you don't have time to peruse them all, I have reviews of several of them on my blog.

    Although Enformationism posits that a First Cause is logically necessary, to light the fuse of the Big Bang, it does not imply any particular religious interpretation. That Creative Enformer remains beyond the reach of empirical science, because it is literally out-of-this-world. However, I am willing to label my worldview as Deistic, and specifically as PanEnDeistic. That's a philosophical position, not a religion. :cool:


    It From Bit :
    In 1990, Wheeler suggested that information is fundamental to the physics of the universe. According to this "it from bit" doctrine, all things physical are information-theoretic in origin:
    Wheeler: It from bit. Otherwise put, every it — every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself — derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely — even if in some contexts indirectly — from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Archibald_Wheeler


    The Anthropic Cosmological Principle :
    In the foreword, prominent physicist John Archibald Wheeler summarized the philosophical meaning of this scientific data : “It is not only that man is adapted to the universe . . .”, as implied by Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, but that, “the universe is adapted to man.”
    http://bothandblog7.enformationism.info/page10.html
  • Enrique
    657


    Somewhat of a tangent from the OP, but the psychology of information theory could come around and connect with consciousness again, so I think it's worth pursuing in this thread. Its Conscious Electromagnetic "Information" theory after all, so let's talk about information!

    The Enformationism thesis is my amateur synopsis of another new paradigm : an "information theoretic" worldview. As one writer put it, this is another "Copernican Revolution" in perspective. But, we are still in the early stages of constructing a scientific model around the notion of Information as the fundamental basis of reality. Note that in the links below, it's still posed as a question, not a fact.Gnomon

    Three overlapping concerns I see with information theory:

    a. Its existential impact
    b. Its effect on social dynamics
    c. Its implications for what can be intuitively modeled


    As for a., I think your quote from Wheeler clarifies the main idea nicely: this is a "participatory" universe, meaning that its form is determined by the properties of human interaction with it, amounting to technologies and theories generalizable as various mediums of information. So information underpins our modern image of the cosmos, the most philosophically profound factor amongst existence as we know it.

    But "it from bit", which he claims as reduction to a "yes and no" interrogation of existence seems manifestly superficial and even pernicious. The closest corrolary to a yes or no ethic in modern culture is reality tv elimination shows, which give not a thought to the real well-being of individual participants and viewers alike, let alone the long-term prospects of humankind. This is symptomatic of a general trend in which culture channels human agency, especially adult motivation, into a preset range of choices requiring barely any innovation, a virtual reality where almost all decisions are made for you, by organizers who are working at a frantic pace that allows for minimal reflection.

    A philosophy of information such as that of committed innovators such as yourself who include a personalized dimension is deep, thought provoking, socialized enough, but the ethic of information consumption evolving out of information science's vision and implementation is like a cage for the intellect, albeit adorned with marginally appealing bells and whistles which are of course only accessible to a limited range of demographics in extremely restricted ways. And this almost sugar coats it with generalization: the situation is dire, a society where citizens are forced into narrow participation brackets and then frequently forced to fail. Restricted participation is of course a constant throughout history, but modern society tries to bewitch with egalitarian ideals that most leadership has not intended to actualize in half a century while summarily flunking millions of citizens out of the economy, and it doesn't work, as all the growing discontents of society make quite obvious.

    It's as if academics tried to create a prison of information for the average citizen and unleashed a tide of disgruntlement that can't be held back by the harshest of first world authoritarianisms presently possible. But information theory helps actualize you specifically, so how did you make it damn near work where the majority fails miserably?


    As for b., these are excerpts from a discussion about the social effects of information that I had at this forum:

    @Enrique
    ...seems to me that the value form is transitioning from labor to information, as you in essence begin to suggest. A single individual (or fleet of robots?) can create huge economic value using minimal amounts of traditional labor via the programming of computer systems with information in various forms. How this will radically change the structure of society remains to be seen...

    ...The change in value form isn't towards computers as analogous to the technologies that humans operated like machinery prior to the Information Age, but rather consists in the data itself encoded as abstract meaning within software and interfaces. The significance is that physically instantiated work is effectively excised in various ways from its role as focal point of social and economic organization, replaced by information as the engine that drives culture. This has all kinds of ramifications:

    The economy can transform more rapidly, making job security vulnerable.
    Citizens place less value on employment, giving rise to so-called welfare states.
    Exploitative crimes by all classes are easier to commit, transitioning governments into police states with pockets of extremely antiestablishment community.
    Demographics can be barred from civic participation via restricting access to information sources.
    A majority of human jobs will be phased out by the next decade if automation increases uninhibited via legislation etc.
    Communities become more impersonal because every interaction is mediated by software that utilizes remote interfaces.
    Human psychology changes due to different forms of stimulation, primarily computer interfaces.
    Citizens who have large amounts of access to information become much smarter, while those with restricted access are much less intellectual (but not necessarily less influential).
    As computers become more sentient, social dynamics change in fundamental ways.
    The huge proliferation of data makes it more possible to objectively track changing social and environmental conditions, but also extremely complex.

    @kudos
    What we call information or facts are our subjective determinations and can easily sway one way or another to become mis-qualifications and mis-delineations. It makes little difference if information is retrieved by a person or a machine. Where work is characterized by a certain narrative that is partly a form of expressing a social contract through its form and content, information on the other hand is characterized by almost pure transparent content; once we start to doubt its underlying form it becomes unstable.

    @Enrique
    The lack of equivalency is exactly what I would focus on: information is a completely new core of culture that is displacing (not blending with) human work as the source of economic and social leverage.

    So like you say, the value form as information becomes characterized by skepticism about the social contract, instability, impersonality, subjectivity, basically the postmodern perspective. Rather than being of huge influence, perhaps the seminal postmodernists were way ahead of their time.

    This can be contrasted with labor as based around civic reasoning, self-interest, cooperation etc., the Enlightenment perspective which when synthesized with Hegelianism and evolutionary thinking gave rise to a theory of dialectical materialism...

    ...The nature of human relationships and thinking are changing dramatically. It might be a radical rupture with the past, of the type described by Foucault, that is unless media can sustain a strong cognizance of history.

    @kudos
    I do see how money can be made from machines, but they don’t generate value to us in and for themselves...It makes me wonder why there exists this impulse to destroy certain jobs. More often than not the rationale is that it is one job being traded off to create other jobs though usually there is no real measure of these created jobs at hand. It seems unreasonable for individuals seek to lose money by paying more workers when they already pay less, so these new jobs must come as a result of increased overall activity. However, with that activity comes less overall human physical work as more and more of this is automated; and that work is traditionally done by the working class.

    @Enrique
    It's not the machines utilized in making money that are changing society, it's how every transaction or social interaction is encoded as information in order to be processed, worked with, so that civilization revolves around the psychology of information that you aptly summarized. Perhaps it is a case where economic value loses some of its natural psychological value, so that business is divorced of meaning. Without the meaning that labor as value form attaches to economy, atrocious events can take place, such as rapidly driving the majority of jobs out of existence without reconstituting social organization so that citizens can live securely while lacking employment.

    Hypothetically, freeing a large segment of the population from coerced work could result in self-empowered actualization of the human race, but instead dialectical materialism runs its course absent much rational intervention by humans and the system changes as usual through arational upheavals, which are becoming more difficult (but perhaps not impossible) to navigate as even well-educated intellectual capabilities are stretched to the limit while we struggle to theorize these developments. Perhaps if we recognize and seek to understand it we can change it.

    How is a philosophy of information theory going to be integrated into cultural evolution as the predominant paradigm while meeting these challenges? Perhaps you can give this some informed thought.


    As for c., I find it conceivable that if every academic model must accord with a philosophy of information theory, the paradigm could become as problematic as physicalism and its discontents which are endlessly enumerated at this forum, with defunding of not only the humanities but every noncomputational approach to modeling in even the hard sciences. We will be inundated with huge amounts of data that only a computer is really capable of processing, and imaginative insights of a type of thinking like Einstein's, built from the periodic, cumulative ruminations of an entire lifetime, could become impossible.

    McFadden's CEMI theory was originally called CEM theory, first formulated in the early 2000's as he pondered physicist Penrose's initial attempts at a quantum theory of consciousness. CEMI theory has made minimal impact and he doesn't even work on it for a salary, probably because it can't be modeled yet using computation, but each new paper he comes out with makes it even more certain that these are THE first steps in explaining human will from a neuroscientific perspective and approaching the binding problem of consciousness.

    If scientists had've been performing gedanken experiments like Einstein's immediately when CEM came out, we would probably have deep brain EEG and related technologies at this stage, but no one cared because information theory has begun to make every scientific idea that doesn't involve a data set irrelevant. If all scientists are doing is programming and calculating, consciousness and many additional domains may never be conclusively theorized, and if no one has the existential or socially instilled compulsion to perform qualitative thought experiments, information theory might be the end of the line for radically new paradigms that aren't initiated by a sentient computer.


    What to do about all of this?
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    But "it from bit", which he claims as reduction to a "yes and no" interrogation of existence seems manifestly superficial and even pernicious.Enrique
    As I see it, the existential impact of 21st century Science is 1> to reopen the God-question, that was a closed book since the Enlightenment rejection of biblical authority, 2> to reassess the role of Consciousness in a world of thinking machines, and 3> to undermine the classical physics of Atomism & Materialism. First, the Big Bang theory slammed the door on assumptions of a self-existent world, with no role for a Creator. Then, Information theory called into question the role of humanity as the dominant thinkers of the world. And finally, the replacement of material particles with ethereal Quantum Fields, as the fundamental substance of Reality, pulls the rug from under the classical Physical paradigm of "what you see is all there is".

    I'm not sure what you mean by "it from bit" reduces existence to "yes or no". In my view, it expands the 21st century paradigm of science to include all-of-the-above. By that I mean, shape-shifting Information (Potential) is the essence of Matter & Mind & Energy. It's both Physical (Matter, Energy) and Meta-Physical (Mind). In what sense is the notion that real Matter (IT) is derived from essential Information (BIT), "superficial and pernicious"? It may be harmful to outdated scientific paradigms, but it should be beneficial for constructing new models of Reality. For many of us, nineteenth century Materialism is much more appealing to common-sense. But, philosophers & scientists need to go beyond common-knowledge. and learn to adapt their Darwinian ape-sense to fit the counter-intuitive "facts" of post-Quantum science. :smile:

    How is a philosophy of information theory going to be integrated into cultural evolution as the predominant paradigm while meeting these challenges? Perhaps you can give this some informed thought.Enrique
    I have given it some considerable thought. And my Enformationism website was a first step in the direction of constructing a new paradigm upon the ashes of the old. But I'm not the only one involved in this Copernican Revolution. The webpage and the blog have links to many books and organizations that are on the forefront of this emerging worldview. However, I don't expect my puny personal efforts to have much impact on cultural evolution. Only if & when these new ideas catch-on among philosophers and scientists though, will it have a chance for widespread effects around the world.

    Enformationism website :
    http://enformationism.info/enformationism.info/

    What to do about all of this?Enrique
    First educate yourself. Then spread the word. Then do what you can do. Unfortunately, at the moment, this is an abstruse intellectual worldview, and it will take time for it to trickle-down, so to speak, to the common folk. And I don't expect to live to see Materialsm and Spiritualism replaced by Enformationism. :cool: .


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  • Enrique
    657


    I was being unfair to Wheeler's approach in judging an individual paragraph, just giving you a provocative perspective with some grains of truth to analyze. I'm sure his views are subtle and well-developed, but it seems these ideas are not working because most citizens don't have access to them, they are intellectually difficult, and information theory's positivism has thus far gone in a dystopian direction. Perhaps it is as you suggest, the growing pains of a society trying to emerge from decadent materialism and craft a new, theoretically coherent worldview.

    That science has a role in addressing the significance for humanity of what we call God is an interesting proposal. I think advancing science can acquire the ability to address the traditional "life force populated by spiritual beings" concept from a theoretical angle, determining in a more systematic, explicit way what is and is not illusion. This will involve a reconstituted model of what matter is and does combined with a theory of how consciousness arises in conjunction with this matter. I agree with you that matter and mind arise from the same basic substance and knowledge in these domains is mutually reinforcing: they expand together. I am looking forward to consciousness being well understood academically, with humans educated into truly appreciating and actualizing the vast variety in possible forms of experience.
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    That science has a role in addressing the significance for humanity of what we call God is an interesting proposal.Enrique
    Here's a blog post to address the notion of "The God of Science", from the perspective of the Enformationism thesis. :smile:

    The G*D of Science :
    Eternal External Causal Agent
    http://bothandblog3.enformationism.info/page29.html

    Introduction to Enformationism :
    From Form to Energy to Matter to Mind to Self
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page80.html

    I agree with you that matter and mind arise from the same basic substance and knowledge in these domains is mutually reinforcing: they expand together.Enrique
    in my thesis that fundamental Substance is more like Energy than Matter. And it's equivalent to Aristotle's definition of abstract "substance" (Ousia), which is what we now call "Essence" or "Potential". For Kant, it was "ding an sich". Those were all logical conjectures, to explain the emergence of new forms from old fhings.

    But now we have empirical evidence for the transformation of Energy into Matter and vice-versa. However, Energy is typically labeled "physical" because it can be measured in terms of its effects on matter. Yet, scientists still can't say exactly what Energy IS, essentially. What is energy made of?

    So my definition places Energy under the heading of Meta-Physics. because we can never directly know the ding an sich. And even Energy is categorized under the General label of EnFormAction -- the power to Enform, to Cause, to Create. They all "expand" (evolve) together as a single monistic Substance. :nerd:
  • theRiddler
    126
    I mean I get the claim that activating neurons creates consciousness... We know we're conscious and we surmise the brain is made of active neurons...

    A sufficient explanation? No. Essentially just pointing at things, not to be rude.
  • Enrique
    657


    I don't get that jazzed about theological topics beyond their role in leading me to question what I know. If God created the universe, then that universe was something, and if God was the only something that existed before the universe, then the universe was created out of him, and if God was not the only thing that existed but he created the universe, both God and the raw material of the universe were SOMETHING lol Ex nihilo is an incoherent concept in my opinion. I know some get into the "rich" symbolic undertones of religion, but I'm pragmatic and not much mystical (though like most I do get inspired), so not what I think about.

    I know spiritual beings exist and are all a part of our universe at least by some kind of association. When I think about the spiritually transcendent facet of substance, I want to know its composition, the nature of beings that embody it, and its practical relevance for my life. I instinctually gravitate towards the concept of God I was brought up with, and that's how I relate to the spiritual absent theoretical knowledge, but I think science can reveal a vast spiritual ecosystem residing beyond sense-perception, and in no more than a century or so consciousness research will have expanded past brain and physiology to encompass spiritual substance in the environment generally, God willing. Can humanity avoid the destruction of progressive civilization and get to that point? I'll let the agencies, politicians and their fans figure it out, I just want to understand consciousness.
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    I know some get into the "rich" symbolic undertones of religion, but I'm pragmatic and not much mystical (though like most I do get inspired), so not what I think about.Enrique
    Me too. When I first started investigating the ubiquitous role of Information in the world, I tried to avoid using the "G" word to describe the logically necessary Enformer behind the Big Bang beginning. But, eventually I gave in to the fact that most cultures are generally agreed on a few essential properties of their "god" models, even as they diverge on specifics : primarily creation of the world, or Ground of Being. And philosophical deities -- such as Brahma, Tao, and Great Spirit -- are more like intellectual Principles than humanoid supermen.

    So, I chose to spell the word "G*D" to indicate that it means something different to me, than to most religious believers. The primary distinction is that we no longer need to posit an intervening (meddling) deity to explain most mysteries of Reality. Modern science has provided more likely explanations of cause & effect. However, the First Cause remains unresolved by any of the natural forces in the universe.

    On the other hand, what the ancients called "Nature Spirits", causing things to move and change, is better understood as the work of invisible Energy. But, the Enformationism thesis notes that the combination of Quantum and Information theories have concluded that Matter is a tangible form of Energy, and Energy is a causal form of Information. Or as I spell it : EnFormAction --- the power to cause change in form.

    Another remaining unresolved question is how to explain the apparent direction of Evolution, from simple things to complex organisms, and from dumb rocks to smart-*ss humans. Where some scientists emphasize the role of Randomness in natural changes, I see that Natural Selection plays the role of preset Criteria (conditions ; values) in a program. So, I can't deny the inference of Intention that was imparted to the space-time world in the Initial Conditions. That's why I conclude that the Enformer was equivalent to a Programmer, who creates a plan with built-in Logic, and an ultimate goal or problem to solve.

    Since I have no way of knowing the Mind of G*D, I don't presume to understand the Whys of Creation, or the Final Cause of evolution. Consequently, I have no reason to fear or worship that Ultimate Principle, as-if it was an emotionally volatile human personality. Besides, the creeds and rituals of most Religions are addressed primarily to human Passions (Desires & Fears), not to their evidence-based Reason. That's why Enformationism is not a religious theology, but a philosophical worldview. :smile:
  • Enrique
    657
    what the ancients called "Nature Spirits", causing things to move and change, is better understood as the work of invisible Energy. But, the Enformationism thesis notes that the combination of Quantum and Information theories have concluded that Matter is a tangible form of Energy, and Energy is a causal form of Information.Gnomon

    I'll run an unusual idea by you and find out what you think.

    What if a being exists that doesn't have a material body like humans, but can be anywhere and, from our perspective, manipulate anything within its perceptual field at any moment with effective simultaneity, essentially experiencing everything as inside of it, so that it has no need for a technical concept of time, only concentration, form, feeling, perhaps some kind of pressure, via an interaction as intuitively effortless as the way nervous systems move our extremities. Because it is omnipresently aware, it has no need to learn in a way comparable to humanity's and certainly no need to write.

    Such a being would be atechnological, having no functions comparable to our incremental and mathematical conception with its inanimately modular components. It would be almost pure awareness, and this awareness might not be analogous to humanity's in many ways, a mode of experiencing that is not information-theoretic. Seems to me that the possibility of such a being, including in my experience real evidence it exists, reduces the expectation of an information theory and consciousness theory synthesis. And this being would be extremely powerful, so that as consciousness theory advances we might have to increasingly come to terms with a dimension of existence residing beyond the purview of information.

    Perhaps materialism, especially its incarnation as consumerist capitalism, has already resulted in a distortion of the human relationship to such an experiential dimension, and a lack of respect for transcendent will of this type along with the implications for our orientation to nature and fellow human beings is causing many of civilization's recent problems: unnecessary war, destruction of the environment, degeneration of mental health, injustice, arrogance, recklessness, etc.

    How is an infocentric, technocultural paradigm going to approach this in the advent that it proves vital to constructing an accurate model of the world and perhaps humanity's prospects?
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    Because it is omnipresently aware, it has no need to learn in a way comparable to humanity's and certainly no need to write. . . . . so that as consciousness theory advances we might have to increasingly come to terms with a dimension of existence residing beyond the purview of information.Enrique
    In general, that sounds like a description of an ineffable god : immaterial, eternal, infinite, omniscient, etc. And such reasoning is how I came to conclude that a non-dimensional (un-measurable) Cosmic Enformer is necessary to explain why & how our 3D universe suddenly emerged from nowhere. That Creative Principle is indeed beyond the purview of our physical Science, but not inaccessible to philosophical reasoning. As a Meta-Physical (outside the contingent universe) entity, the Creator can only be understood in terms of Generic Information. :nerd:

    Generic Information :
    Information is Generic in the sense of generating all real things from a formless pool of possibility : the Ideal Platonic Forms.
    http://bothandblog2.enformationism.info/page29.html

    G*D :
    An ambiguous spelling of the common name for a supernatural deity. The Enformationism thesis is based upon an unprovable axiom that our world is an idea in the mind of G*D. This eternal deity is not imagined in a physical human body, but in a meta-physical mathematical form, equivalent to Logos. Other names : ALL, BEING, Creator, Enformer, MIND, Nature, Reason, Source, Programmer. The eternal Whole of which all temporal things are a part is not to be feared or worshipped, but appreciated like Nature.

    I refer to the logically necessary and philosophically essential First & Final Cause as G*D, rather than merely "X" the Unknown, partly out of respect. That’s because the ancients were not stupid, to infer purposeful agencies, but merely shooting in the dark. We now understand the "How" of Nature much better, but not the "Why". That inscrutable agent of Entention is what I mean by G*D.

    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page13.html

    How is an infocentric, technocultural paradigm going to approach this in the advent that it proves vital to constructing an accurate model of the world and perhaps humanity's prospects?Enrique
    I suppose the next few generations will use the Information Paradigm in the same way humans have always incorporated a novel technical worldview : by making a Religion out of it. It seems to be human nature to worship or fear whatever is beyond common understanding. So, I'm not making any prophecies or promises. :smile:
  • Enrique
    657
    I suppose the next few generations will use the Information Paradigm in the same way humans have always incorporated a novel technical worldview : by making a Religion out of it. It seems to be human nature to worship or fear whatever is beyond common understanding. So, I'm not making any prophecies or promises.Gnomon

    I'm not much of a propheteer either lol I'll just say I think specialized AI, algorithms programmed for specific analytical tasks, are an invaluable tool, but I'm quite frankly afraid of generalized AI, virtual organisms capable of making our networks crash and sabotaging online identities, who we have to constantly negotiate with and perhaps eventually wage war against. Once that Pandora's box is opened, who knows what could happen. Hopefully our programming ethics are up to the challenge, or information theory will be a Biblical paradigm of weeping and gnashing of teeth, trying in vain to throw computers out the window. Might have to punish writing some generalized AI programs with 20 years in prison, similar to Australia's invasive species laws.
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    CEMI (Conscious Electromagnetic Information) theory claims that synchronous neuron firing generates strong electromagnetic fields which build up such that even further neurons are activated via an amplifying feedback loop. Upon reaching a sufficiently robust level within relatively large regions of the brain, EM fields can graduate to CEMI fields, integrating brain matter into the substance of fully conscious awareness. . . .
    The following is my similar "coherence field" theory:
    Enrique
    I had read Johnjoe McFadden's book, Quantum Information, several years ago. So, I was vaguely aware of CEMI before I came across this thread. However, I just found a PDF of an article by JJMcF, that I had set-aside on my PC desktop a few years ago. So, now I am better able to comment on his "CEMI theory", and on your "Coherence Field" concept. Both seem to be correlates of Tononi's "IIT theory", and assume that an essential feature of Consciousness is "coherence", unity, integration, feedback loops, interconnection, synchronicity, wholeness, and Monism. (i.e. single-mindedness).

    So, we all seem to be on the same track for discovering, not just correlates-of-consciousness, but the essence-of-awareness (EOA). McFadden goes one step beyond neuronal rhythms to the EM field generated by the symphony of synapses. Tononi postulated that some kind of measuring device, a PHI meter, could verify the presence of awareness in a brain. And McFadden implies that something like a hospital EEG machine would detect Consciousness, if we knew how to interpret the signals. Likewise, Rupert Sheldrake theorized that Biological Life is characterized by a Morphogenetic (form creating) Field. Some quantum theorists assume that the Quantum Field is the fundamental Reality. Other researchers believe that all of those unifying physical fields are ultimately expressions of a universal meta-physical Mathematical Field. And that is getting closer to my personal postulation of an immaterial "Information Field", that I call Enformy or EnFormAction.

    Unfortunately, a mental field is (currently) only detectable by a conscious Mind, not by a machine. So, Consciousness may never be as simple to verify as running an EEG or an MRI. I don't doubt that we can gain a deeper understanding of the mental feedback loop we call "Consciousness" by focusing on the Correlates our instruments reveal. Which may be one reason why direct Mind-Reading has been a Holy Grail for millennia. Yet, in the article linked below, JJMcF answers the question : Can the cemi theory account for telepathy? with "No, I’m afraid not. The em field outside the head is far too weak and it is highly unlikley that any other brain could detect it", :nerd:

    The Conscious Electromagnetic Information (cemi) Field Theory :
    "However, all electrical circuits – and that’s basically all neurones -- generate an associated
    energy field, known as an electromagnetic field or em field. This field contains precisely the
    same information as the circuitry that generated it."
    "our brain is both the transmitter and the receiver of its own electromagnetic signals in a feedback loop"
    "time: we can only have one idea in our head at a time."
    "a single unified idea, or gestalt,"
    "My hypothesis is that consciousness is the experience of information, from the inside."
    "we are aware because we then have the power to change our actions. Consciousness endows us with free will."

    https://johnjoemcfadden.co.uk/popular-science/consciousness/

    Physical Fields as mental constructs :
    https://www.quora.com/How-can-one-treat-electric-field-in-that-case-any-field-as-a-physical-entity-rather-than-a-mathematical-construct
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/193281/does-a-field-have-any-physical-meaning-or-significance
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-mystery-at-the-heart-of-physics-that-only-math-can-solve-20210610/

    The EnFormAction Hypothesis :
    http://bothandblog3.enformationism.info/page23.html
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    I'm not much of a propheteer either lol I'll just say I think specialized AI, algorithms programmed for specific analytical tasks, are an invaluable tool, but I'm quite frankly afraid of generalized AI,Enrique
    In the article noted in my previous post, McFadden says : "Consciousness is a product of evolution and, as such, it has a role to play in our survival. What is that role? The most obvious answer may be the right one – we are aware because we then have the power to change our actions. Consciousness endows us with free will". Since human C evolved by the trial & error process of Evolution, perhaps Evolutionary Algorithms are our best bet for cultivating Awareness in artificial Minds.

    But, if our AI/Robots someday become sentient, we'll be forced to treat them as equals, instead of slaves. And we'll have just as much reason to fear them, as we now fear our human peers. Hopefully, they will not be as omnipotent as apocalyptic movies portray. Maybe they will be just as conflicted & uncertain as their freewill-faking flesh & phlegm forebears. :joke:


    Evolutionary Programming :
    Special computer algorithms inspired by biological Natural Selection. It is similar to Genetic Programming in that it relies on internal competition between random alternative solutions to weed-out inferior results, and to pass-on superior answers to the next generation of algorithms. By means of such optimizing feedback loops, evolution is able to make progress toward the best possible solution – limited only by local restraints – to the original programmer’s goal or purpose. In Enformationism theory the Prime Programmer is portrayed as a creative deity, who uses bottom-up mechanisms, rather than top-down miracles, to produce a world with both freedom & determinism, order & meaning.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page13.html
  • Enrique
    657
    "However, all electrical circuits – and that’s basically all neurones -- generate an associated
    energy field, known as an electromagnetic field or em field. This field contains precisely the
    same information as the circuitry that generated it."
    - Johnjoe McFadden
    Gnomon

    Electron distribution amongst a specific atom or atoms and the consequent EM field can be an effectively unified domain of integrated causality from the perspective of consciousness, what he must mean by saying a particularate "circuit" and its field contain the same information.

    McFadden suggests that EM fields located throughout the brain, which are generated by the electric charges of highly concentrated ion flow, cause phase locking between neurons via some still unknown mechanism of sensitivity that the molecular structures of voltage gated ion channels mediate. Labs have demonstrated phase locking with neurons in vitro, and the tiniest neurons contain thousands of ion channels, making this mechanism universal within the brain. EM fields appear capable of evoking a measurable response in even individual channels, modulating action potential synchronicity by minutely organized perturbations.

    What McFadden talks about most is a hypothetical case where EM field/ion channel phase locking saturates throughout the domain of relatively large neural networks. This is a phenomenon he postulates as responsible for the binding effect characteristic of fully aware consciousness and resulting in intentional acts. He calls these saturating, large-scale EM fields "CEMI" fields, and claims that they are willed agency.

    This probably accounts for the basic substrate of intentional consciousness, and I've been thinking some about how and where these CEMI fields might be instantiated anatomically. It still doesn't explain the "what it is like to be" aspect of experience, why this willing looks, feels, is sensed as a seemingly intangible percept or thought.

    Research suggests that ions travel through the membrane channels of neurons as a wave, presumably via a mechanism of quantum tunneling which enables this process to match rapid rates such as those of enzyme catalysis and photosynthetic reaction centers, where quantum mechanisms have been proven to obtain. So I'm fairly certain ion channels must have substantial quantum properties involved in phase locking with fields.

    If it is assumed in general that field/molecular binding occurs via quantum properties, this leads to concepts like entanglement, coherence and superposition. So far entanglement has only been shown to occur within small molecules and between no more than a few molecules, though this might change somewhat as research progresses. Anyways, entanglement between molecules isn't a good candidate at this point for the mechanism that binds matter into percepts.

    By contrast, EM radiation, the photonic waves traveling at 300 million meters per second, effectively instantaneous within the brain, can likely entangle with relatively large quantities of atoms as a possible binding agent. Not only this, but wavelengths of EM radiation easily superposition, for instance as the visible spectrum. My hypothesis is that waves of EM radiation in the brain (centered at relatively low frequency as induced by charged currents) not only superposition with themselves but also with molecular arrays such as biochemical pathways, and this could be the source of subjective color/feel/resonance, a complex blending of atoms and radiation that is the "what it is like to be" of experience.

    Unlike EM field/ion channel binding that is amplified by neuronal synchronicity, the intensity of EM radiation spreading from its source atoms in the brain diminishes quickly, so percepts (qualia) don't in and of themselves form a large-scale perceptual field. But the radiative binding mechanism of superposition amongst entanglement may still manage to influence thousands upon thousands of atoms or molecules as an individual unit, and this is enough to produce percepts. These percepts could then be orchestrated by the hypersynchronized neurons and neural networks that McFadden has proposed to manifest as stable, seemingly unified (but also particularized) "what it is like to be" fields of sight, sound, scent, thought, etc.

    Presumably the subtle impression that percepts are located at places remote from the brain must be related to quantum or quantumlike mechanisms.

    What I've discussed so far seems to be based on electromagnetism. My hypothesis is that nonelectromagnetic fields exist which are closer in structure to radiation than atoms, still invisible to our scientific instruments, more nonlocal while synchronizing, entangling and superpositioning into the brain and body by similar mechanisms. These complexes of known and unknown matter/energy, electromagnetic and nonelectromagnetic fields, ranging from the extremely local to the most nonlocal, I call "coherence fields", named after quantum coherence or large-scale entanglement/synchronicity.

    Consciousness explained?


    By the way, I gave that book by Deacon a look, seems epic! My first impression is that his concept of absentia simply refers to the predictive capabilities in different arrays of matter and won't provide a unified framework of formal/final causality, but he could have evidence that disproves my intuitions. No doubt an awesome read!
  • Enrique
    657
    Interestingly, an electromagnetic will explains the observations of clinical psychology quite well: a steady state, holistic consciousness that varies in alertness of motivational impetus depending on how large and/or saturated the phase locking of neurons and functional neural networks within EM field domains. So as noted during psychotherapy, a continuum exists between the unconscious, consisting in small-scale or less saturated EM field phase locking, and full awareness, which is what McFadden generally classifies as CEMI.

    Low arousal, unconscious EM fields throughout the brain can draw or be absorbed into full attention while high arousal, CEMI field activation roves and alternates between all kinds of stimuli, sensations, memories, behaviors, etc. Repression is simply the encoding of experiences into low arousal phase locked domains, more likely to impact high arousal during specific kinds of stimulation such as free association, prolonged self-expression and mind wandering, or when an individual is shocked into ultra-attentiveness by widely distributed unconscious activation as in flashbacks.

    I'm unable to think of any textbook psychology that can't be accounted for by this model. It explains radical integration of the psyche's modularity, how it can fracture or maintain low arousal while sustaining a baseline of broadly inclusive awareness.
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