• ernestm
    1k
    Before I had thought quantum consciousness a pseudoscience, until I was revisiting Dostoevsky's 'Notes from the Underground,' where at one point he asks what people would actually do if science were capable of completely exact predictions of human behavior, and someone were told what they would do next. Dostoevsky stated the result is unknowable, but for himself believed human beings would stop doing anything at all, out of spite at the presumption. What struck me is that this situation is the same as the quantum observer effect, where particles move unpredictably upon being observed. But I can't find anything specifically on the consciousness observer effect, most of it is muddled with quantum mysticism. I did have opportunity to think about it more during the horribly bloody HBO series Westworld, when an android of Delos is reincarnated without its own knowledge almost a hundred times in an attempt to mimic him perfectly. On some number of iterations, the android just breaks down when it's told it's not really a human being. (the episode is 'Riddle of the Sphinx).' I'm thinking of writing some more about it, as its rather surprising no one has yet apparently, so if you have any thoughts Id be glad to hear them.
  • SophistiCat
    2k
    what people would actually do if science were capable of completely exact predictions of human behavior, and someone were told what they would do nexternestm

    What struck me is that this situation is the same as the quantum observer effect, where particles move unpredictably upon being observed.ernestm

    What people would do if their behavior was accurately predicted is - that's right, they would behave exactly as predicted. Because that's just what you are assuming. The more contentious question is whether the hypothetical situation is at all possible. This question has been debated by philosophers after Dostoyevsky, but it's interesting that Dostoyevsky already wrote about it. I wonder whether he got the idea from someone else or came up with it himself?

    As for quantum measurements, they are definitely possible, and some of them are somewhat unpredictable, so that's nothing like that thought experiment.
  • ernestm
    1k
    I wonder whether he got the idea from someone else or came up with it himself?SophistiCat

    No lol, it was definitely his own idea.

    "Ha! ha! ha! But you know there is no such thing as choice in reality, say what you like," you will interpose with a chuckle. "Science has succeeded in so far analysing man that we know already that choice and what is called freedom of will is nothing else than--"

    Stay, gentlemen, I meant to begin with that myself I confess, I was rather frightened. I was just going to say that the devil only knows what choice depends on, and that perhaps that was a very good thing, but I remembered the teaching of science ... and pulled myself up. And here you have begun upon it. Indeed, if there really is some day discovered a formula for all our desires and caprices--that is, an explanation of what they depend upon, by what laws they arise, how they develop, what they are aiming at in one case and in another and so on, that is a real mathematical formula--then, most likely, man will at once cease to feel desire, indeed, he will be certain to. For who would want to choose by rule?
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