• Pop
    357
    Below is an extract from my theory of consciousness. The whole theory can be read here. It tackles the hard problem, so you might find it interesting. Any comments would be appreciated.

    An instance of consciousness:



    1: Senses input information

    2: Information is integrated to reason

    3: Reason is experienced

    4: Experience is translated to emotion

    5: Emotion is translated to a feeling

    6: A feeling is located as a  point on a pain / pleasure spectrum ( PPS)

    This cognizes the instance of consciousness -  the point on the pain / pleasure spectrum tells you what this instance of consciousness means for you.

    At this point, the reason is understood by the whole body;  whole body consciousness understands this language, whereas only your brain understands reason.

    Your next step is guided by the point on the pain / pleasure spectrum. - The whole body is in agreement now - this is reality.

    If it feels good – you continue

    If it feels bad – you think again, or initiate a plan of action to avert the potential pain.

    At the extreme end beyond pain is death ( zero point energy ), whilst pleasure is associated with life



    The PPS provides impetus to behaviour. It determines the next state of consciousness, this continues throughout the day in a causal chain, where the PPS is constantly being queried, and appeased. The PPS governs the emotional / rational mix of the response. If the point on the pain / pleasure spectrum,  is at an extreme end , the result is a more  emotional response, if it is neutral the result is a more reasoned response



    From the biological / cellular perspective, we simply feel pain or pleasure at the site, significantly what we feel is a gradient of pain or pleasure, and  this dominates consciousness, no reason is necessary, and this gets attended to reflexively as a priority.



    As consciousness evolved it had no choice but to self organise in terms of this primordial emotional gradient ( PPS ). It had to build on what already existed, as what existed was already a well developed system of self organisation ( consciousness ). Animal life arose about 1 billion years ago, some 2.8 billion years after microbial life. At no point could a reasonable consciousness simply pop into existence – initially it would have been a weakly reasonable system, so it had to evolve onto the existing non reasonable but highly effective system.



    I don’t mean to give the impression that consciousness is a simple linear process. It is capable of multi modality -  background awareness,  focus and multi focus, disassociation, integrity, fragmentation, fluctuation and errors .  Nothing  is absolutely impossible in the mind!. I also  expect, that if the variety of human consciousness could be graphed, it would be a bell shaped curve where most people would be in the middle, but the spread would be quite wide. Some people feel very little pain, whist others feel the slightest pain. The way a PPS is formed varies, but that one exists, I believe, doesn’t.



    The PPS was deduced through an exploration of consciousness as articulated by qualia -  I think it is quite enlightening:



    The qualia of life is consciousness

    The qualia of consciousness are experiences.

    The qualia of experiences are emotions.

    The qualia of emotions are feelings.

    The qualia of feelings are points on the PPS

    The qualia of  points on the PPS are death -  pain / pleasure -  life.

    The qualia of life is consciousness – this completes the consciousness loop.



    The qualia of death is unconsciousness

    The qualia of unconsciousness is death



    The hard problem:

    Reason must be experienced – it must be translated to an emotional language and felt as the language consciousness was originally founded on, thus located on the PPS, and felt as either a pain or pleasure. Reason has implications, and implications are painful, neutral, or pleasurable.


    The whole theory can be read here.

    Any comments would be appreciated.

  • Relativist
    1.5k
    I skimmed a bit of it, and my superficial reaction is that I don't buy such claims as, "Consciousness can be described as a process of self organisation " and "Consciousness and life arose together, as without consciousness there can be no life."

    I see no reason to believe such claims. Life is about survival. Survival entails appropriate reaction to the environment. At the most primitive level, it is stimulus-response. An amoeba reacts to primitive aspects of the environment: it senses the presence of nourishment and consumes it. This reflects biochemical reaction, not consciousness. More complex life-forms have more sophisticated sensory apparatus that enable more effective interaction with the environments. IMO, consciousness reflects a complex process for more optimal mediation between stimulus and response.
  • Pop
    357
    it senses the presence of nourishment and consumes iRelativist

    exactly - it senses the presence of something and reacts appropriately. How do you sense without consciousness?

    This reflects biochemical reaction,Relativist

    Of course there is biochemistry going on, just like in our own consciousness

    More complex life-forms have more sophisticated sensory apparatus that enable more effective interaction with the environmentsRelativist

    This is true but they all started with a simple consciousness, which evolved.Or are you saying consciousness is something that just pops into existence?

    At what point can you say something becomes conscious? Where can you draw the line? I don't think you can - life and consciousness evolved together. The philosophical zombie argument tells us so - without conscientiousness it could not be alive. If this is true for a philosophical zombie - then it is also true for an amoeba.
  • debd
    42
    exactly - it senses the presence of something and reacts appropriately. How do you sense without consciousness?Pop

    Let's say you go on to donate blood. Your blood is then packed with appropriate preservatives and stored until needed or till the cells degenerate. The RBCs and WBCs present in the pack of the blood sense their immediate environment and reacts to maintain their internal homeostasis as long as they can (about a month for RBCs). Will you consider this pack of blood to be conscious?
  • Kenosha Kid
    1.3k
    :up:

    How do you sense without consciousness?Pop

    How does a computer sense when I hit the space bar?
  • Relativist
    1.5k
    exactly - it senses the presence of something and reacts appropriately. How do you sense without consciousness?Pop
    Chemical stimuli.
    This is true but they all started with a simple consciousness, which evolved.Or are you saying consciousness is something that just pops into existence?Pop
    Consciousness is a vague term, aside from the fact that it reflects an aspect of human existence. It surely didn't "pop" into existence. Brains process input from sensory organs and through the nervous system, much of it autonomically. Consider a human body in a persistent vegitative state ("brain-dead") - incapable of consciousness. At least some autonomic brain function continues - and this function entails integrating input from the nervous system and reacting to it. Similarly, consciousness entails the integration of input - input from senses (e.g. the visual cortext processing visual input; auditory complex processing auditory input), plus memories - and integrating these. The brains of all complex animals engage in this integrative function. I think it's a stretch to call it "consciousness" at every step of the way - but at any rate, you'd need define exactly what you mean my the term - specify specific functionality.
  • Pop
    357
    Let's say you go on to donate blood. Your blood is then packed with appropriate preservatives and stored until needed or till the cells degenerate. The RBCs and WBCs present in the pack of the blood sense their immediate environment and reacts to maintain their internal homeostasis as long as they can (about a month for RBCs). Will you consider this pack of blood to be conscious?debd

    Red blood cells are the only human cells that lack DNA, so not conscious . White blood cells however are a whole different story. They act independently in the body chasing down pathogens via a process of gradient tracking, as per this video:

    Please note the multiple stages of information processing and action.

  • Pop
    357
    How does a computer sense when I hit the space bar?Kenosha Kid

    In this instance it is you who are hitting the space bar, and initiating a programmed mechanistic process.
    Conscious creatures process information independently, and choose when to press their own buttons.
    In order to do this there must exist an information processing system, no matter how primitive it may be.

    It is thought AI will become conscious via programs that are self learning and programming.
    All living creatures are self learning and programming - this is the issue that needs to be addressed!
  • Pop
    357
    exactly - it senses the presence of something and reacts appropriately. How do you sense without consciousness?
    — Pop
    Chemical stimuli.
    Relativist

    This is the typical nonsensical cliched response - kindly articulate how chemical stimuli processes information?

    There is information processing going on.
    Consciousness is a process of self organisation relative to sense mediated information.
    This is true for an amoeba, as well as a human being. The only thing that varies is the complexity of information sensed and processed, and the mechanism doing it ( consciousness ).

    The brains of all complex animals engage in this integrative function. I think it's a stretch to call it "consciousness" at every step of the way - but at any rate, you'd need define exactly what you mean my the term - specify specific functionality.Relativist

    As is stated in the theory that you skimmed: Consciousness is an evolving process of self organisation that has at its root a bias to resist the zero point energy state In humanity this is the fear of death, and I believe this evolved into the pain pleasure spectrum that I posit. Consciousness is endlessly variable and open ended - this is evident in it's expression - life and all of life's activities being its expression.

    All living creatures are self learning and programming - all living creatures are involved in a process of self organisation - always! For this to occur there must be an information processing system to facilitates this, and It must have always been present - otherwise how could they self learn, program, and self organise in the first place?

    We are getting into abiogenisis now, and of the many theories posited,all ( except god), agree that self organisation led to life. This is where I get my definition of consciousness from. This and the observation that life is biased to resist zero point energy. I have tested this definition against all moments of life, for all creatures, that I can think of and concluded it works. All moments of life are a process of self organisation. In humanity these moments are described in the instance of consciousness in the OP.

    Reason could not exist at the beginning of life, reason requires a brain, but emotional gradients could exist and may be the foundation of self organisation. By emotional, I do not mean emotional as we know it - I'm referring to a simple bias to be one way as apposed to another.


    You previously mentioned an amoeba. A white blood cell is a very similar organism featured in the video above.It uses a gradient to track down pathogens. The process is described here

    .
  • debd
    42
    Red blood cells are the only human cells that lack DNA, so not conscious . White blood cells however are a whole different story. They act independently in the body chasing down pathogens via a process of gradient tracking, as per this video:Pop

    RBCs can sense their environment and respond accordingly, DNA does not play much role in it.
    WBCs have to follow the gradient, it cannot choose whether or not to follow the gradient.

    Again does this make the pack of blood conscious?
  • Pop
    357
    it cannot choose whether or not to follow the gradient.debd

    This is true, but there is a system of information processing going on that is independent to some extent. We also are constrained in our ability to choose - do we have complete free will?

    The issue is not whether I think a pack of blood is conscious - The issue is what provides impetus to life?
  • debd
    42
    Apparently we can choose not to follow a gradient.
  • Francis
    32
    What are the predictions of your theory?
  • Pop
    357
    Apparently we can choose not to follow a gradient.debd

    Sorry i had something to attend to. I believe that is true - once we become aware of it, all the more so. Reason is still evolving and it may be more evolved in some people then others. In the case of the white blood cell, reason is not a possibility. Emotion may be a possibility as the impetus to behavior.

    We are only aware of reason and emotion, as languages of consciousness. This dose not exclude other languages,in other organisms, but we do notice a response to painful stimuli even in the simplest of microbes.
  • Pop
    357
    What are the predictions of your theory?Francis

    I've tried to put things together so as to explain how emotion provides impetus to behavior.
    The theory would seem to predict that we can have greater control of our emotions, and to some extent this would seem to collapse the theory, but we cannot override emotions totally, we would then become P.zombies, and fall to zero point energy. Whether we are already at an optimal mix of emotion and reason I don't know.

    In eastern philosophy ( yogic logic ), happiness and joy is not dependent entirely on external events.
    Having a knowledge of a pain / pleasure spectrum that may be malleable if not entirely controllable, could be a benefit to many, in many different ways.
  • Coben
    1.6k
    How do you sense without consciousness?
    — Pop

    How does a computer sense when I hit the space bar?
    Kenosha Kid
    It that 'sensing'? Do you think there is an experiencer in the computer? At what point does cause and effect become sensing on the effected substance/object/thing/life form? Rocks when hit by other rocks. IOW there are chains of causes and effects, sometimes very simple, sometimes complicated. Do all of these involve sensing?

    When we talk about humans we tend to include experiencing....
    1.perceive by a sense or senses.

    then with machines we may means something like below

    2.(of a machine or similar device) detect.

    But these two are quite different in most people's estimation. The former, with perception, includes this idea of experiencing, the latter, a bit anthropomorphized, actually means something like affected by a stimulus as intended by the user/inventor.
  • Philosophim
    400


    Very nice! I did a quick skim over the theory and think this has a very sound basis. Consciousness is basically the part of us that manages other parts of the brain, and puts it all together. Its kind of like a gas pedal, break, and a steering wheel that sometimes likes to do its own thing.

    Just a quick alternative look at emotions, I've always believed emotions are a digest, or quick summary of the mind's state that alerts the consciousness. Rationality is a tool that lets us take time to break down emotions into more cogent parts when we have time. As is often said, we are not rational creatures, we are rationalizing creatures.

    Definitely look into neuroscience. Philosophies time in the sun on matters of mind is outdated and quickly becoming obsolete as we learn more.
  • Pop
    357


    Thanks for taking an interest, I think neuroscience is dong a great job of mapping the brain so I steered clear of computational aspects of consciousness, and concentrated on the hard problem.

    What impressed me was that there are two languages of consciousness - emotion and reason, but only one consciousness. Why would a system of self organisation have two languages? The languages are non- miscible. One language cannot describe the other. I concluded that there are two systems at play.
    The cellular / biological system, and the neural / computational system - both systems of self organisation, one internal, and the other external. An emotional gradient seems to link them.


    When I think of reality - it is such a variable construct, but it seems to occur when emotion agrees with reason, and that would agree with my model, and this is the aspect of the theory that is most interesting to me.
    I've always believed emotions are a digest, or quick summary of the mind's state that alerts the consciousness.Philosophim

    I agree absolutely, and have concluded that it would be impossible to orient oneself in one's reality with reason alone. With reason alone, every moment would require a theory of the moment, but with emotion one can cut right through this and arrive at a self interested emotional position that is real every time! :smile: And this is an absolutely essential ability to posses. :sad:

    Research into gradients is still pretty edgy, but there have been some gradients identified in the cerebral cortex, and other ares of the brain, so If they turn out to be emotionally driven, this would validate my theory.

    Emotions have evolved into a complicated thing. I imagine that If one could devolve emotion, to their original state one would find a simple bias - to be one way, and not another. At their simplest, they seem like something reminiscent of a magnetic force, and this seems to be an essential component in the making of biological machine.
  • Philosophim
    400


    Thank you again for contributing your thoughts! They are clear, concise, and seem sound.
  • Pop
    357
    Philosophies time in the sun on matters of mind is outdated and quickly becoming obsolete as we learn more.Philosophim

    I think it is philosophy's role to explore and introduce new ideas. I think it is easy to forget that the philosophers we quote and reference today were radicals in their time - with what must have seemed like crazy ideas, that upset the establishment. Thanks again
  • Pop
    357
    I found your website - very nice. There is a typo in point 4, consciousness, evolution, and four ideas. You are an enemy dualist, but I come in peace in the hope of some information. :victory: :smile:

    Dualism relies on emergence, but I can't see how a system can emerge and displace the already existing system of self organization. The way I have interpreted it is that the emergent system sits on top of the existing system, with an emotional gradient connecting them. You must have considered something like this? If so, what were your reasons for dismissing it?
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    I like where you’re going with emotion-information, but I think your reliance on an essentialist view of emotions in relation to reason could be oversimplifying your process in some areas, and over-complicating it in others.

    I would recommend reading some of Lisa Feldman Barrett’s work on emotions in neuroscience/psychology. Her book ‘How Emotions Are Made’ is written as pop-science, but she’s also published academically - her theory of constructed emotion and the ‘concept cascade’, as well as her extensive meta-research from a neuroscience/psychology perspective may be informative for your own work here.
  • Francis
    32


    My website is very imperfect and is a constant 'work in progress' so to speak but thanks for reading it.

    I should start by saying that I believe the absolute split of Monism and Dualism is dated, and I'm not at all alone in that. The terms go back to Descartes and there have been hundreds of years of query about consciousness since then, not to mention discoveries by neuroscience. Many different ontological positions have been shoved under these two umbrellas.

    The reality is there are an array of different possible ontological positions on consciousness that could have something going for them in one way or another, some of these seem to crossover between or even shed all together the labels of Monism and Dualism.

    The work on my website, and also in a paper I have written, primary focuses on the relationship between the mind and the behavior of matter in the brain. Specifically the implications of changes in behavior of brain matter due to the mind.

    The primary reason I label myself a dualist is because I believe under the current list of ontological positions on the mind, the position property-dualist interactionism, where the mind and its features (such as Qualia) are causally relevant non-physical properties of the matter in the brain. provides I believe a useful way to model how things like Qualia exist in relation to brain matter, especially from an evolutionary perspective where a lot of my focus is.

    I believe that when it comes to describing the ontological relationship between the mind and brain matter, we might always be doomed to finding the best model.
    Models can be flawed but still useful, as has been shown in science quite often. I also believe that many implications drawn about consciousness using one model can be useful for people who subscribe to different models so long as some things are held in common.

    "but I can't see how a system can emerge and displace the already existing system of self organization" — pop
    Its happens one tiny small change at a time, similar to how evolution in general works. It does not simply leap from one system to another. After a large number of small changes, that build onto one another, big changes start to emerge.

    Changes in the system of consciousness get carried over to future generations the same way other features of an organism do. If they provide survival benefit, the genes that correlated with them get passed on. If they hinder the organism, the genes get selected against.

    Each evolutionary change in the conscious system must add some beneficial change in behavior to the system (in terms of its usefulness to the organisms survival), so it provides evolutionary advantage and the organism who posses it carries on its genes (and so on and so forth).

    This is how we developed our conscious systems compared to the more primitive ones of our ancestors 50 million years ago. And you can scale this all the way back to the beginning of organisms.

    Pain/Pleasure
    Pain and Pleasure are extremely prominent features of the mind, especially as it relates to what is called will. There is certainly an important pain/pleasure gradient evolutionarily, as in how much pain/pleasure an organism were to experience for a certain stimuli will govern how it reacts to that stimuli. So is very relevant in terms of survival.
    That being said, I don't believe all of consciousness can be reduced to variations and developments of a system of pain and pleasure.

    What's interesting is that it is easy to theoretically develop an organism that has a system built into its brain where it will move away from things which damage it, and move towards things which advantage it (lets say give it energy, such as food.) You do not need phenomenal experiences of pain and pleasure to perform this task at all. For some reason, evolution found it better to do it with phenomenal experiences within humans and other mammals. I have my own theory as to why this is but I have written enough for now.
  • Pop
    357

    Thanks for taking a look.
    My greatest frustration is articulating the ideas, and finding a balance between sufficient explanation and wide accessibility, which I don't feel i've achieved. I have condensed 90 pages into 9, and lost a lot of detail in the process which must make it sound a little glib and simple.

    I will take another look at Lisa Fieldman Barrett, as you suggest, and see if I can interpret her understanding from my model. Thanks again.
  • Pop
    357


    Thanks for getting back to me.
    Are you using WIX? If so we are probably using the same template. :smile:

    I realized very early on, that a theory of consciousness was a bit of a losers game. New knowledge on the periphery of consciousness can be adjusted to in time, but new knowledge of consciousness itself is very challenging indeed. It occurred to me that a smart cookie would leave consciousness alone and pursue something else . But by the time I understood this, I was already hooked and determined to reach some sort of understanding - at least for myself.

    You seem to have taken a more sensible approach, by spreading the risk, and understandably avoiding hard and fast conclusions. I have stuck my head out as I have confidence in the pain / pleasure spectrum ( and I have nothing to loose ), as being something reason bounces off all the time.
    It occurred to me that this was a necessary aspect of reality orientation, and thus something consciousness was involved in all the time.

    There is no way to evaluate two unrelated experiences other then as values on a common measure for qualitative information. Qualitative information is essential for reality orientation. Each experience is self contained, experienced only once, so unique and unrelated, To ascertain its quality we must compare it to other experiences, and the only way to do this is by assigning the experience a value on the PPS. Once the experience has a value, we can compare the experience to other experiences. From this process we orient ourselves in reality, via an emotional gradient.
    A PPS value grounds us in reality by telling us whether the experience is ordinary or extraordinary, painful or pleasurable. Reason alone cannot do this – every moment would require a theory of the moment to resolve - can you imagine comparing every moment to every other moment in life reasonably? I don't think we would have the computational power to do so even once, let alone all the time.

    ( by reality, I mean the personally constructed kind, that includes values, meaning, god, etc not physical reality. )

    Having faith in this construction, I realized that the qualia of a moment could not be stored in memory. We cannot recall an emotion any more then we can describe an emotion. We must recall the memory that gave rise to the emotion, and experience it on the PPS afresh every time. Which is interesting - as this way the memory and associated emotion would likely be different, as present circumstances add their qualia to the moment of recollection. When I introspect and recall my first heartbreak and this time smile, this would seem to be true. :smile:

    I would be very interested in your opinion on this and other matters if you are likewise inclined.

    What's interesting is that it is easy to theoretically develop an organism that has a system built into its brain where it will move away from things which damage it, and move towards things which advantage it (lets say give it energy, such as food.) You do not need phenomenal experiences of pain and pleasure to perform this task at all.Francis

    We can build a mouse trap that something sets off, but what resets the mouse trap? As I devolve emotion, in my imagination, it becomes a simple bias akin to magnetism - a will to be one way rather then its opposite. Like the will to resist zero point energy - at this stage just a force, that later evolved in complexity to become an emotion.

    For some reason, evolution found it better to do it with phenomenal experiences within humans and other mammals. I have my own theoryFrancis

    We share DNA with bacteria, microbes react to painful stimuli. All life is one?
    Why choose mammals?
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    My greatest frustration is articulating the ideas, and finding a balance between sufficient explanation and wide accessibility, which I don't feel i've achieved. I have condensed 90 pages into 9, and lost a lot of detail in the process which must make it sound a little glib and simple.Pop

    I can relate to your frustration - I think you explain your ideas clearly, though, and while I can see that it’s condensed, I’m not left wondering what you’re on about.

    I would question the accuracy of implying ‘pleasure’ and ‘pain’ as two extreme points of a spectrum, though. There’s a certain ambiguity to this description that enables a reduction of its complex relation to a binary structure. Value spectrums such as affect (pleasure/pain), morality (right/wrong) or light (black/white) described in these binaries create false dichotomies that suggest little more than a linear complexity to the relation. The variable position of the subject-object relation across multiple dimensions is ignored, and we assume that everyone is in the same ‘super-positioned’ state of mind. We’re not, of course - but we don’t yet have a sufficiently accurate relational structure that enables us to align our positions according to these value/potential spectrums, like we do with global time-zones (within a broader four-dimensional spacetime). The electromagnetic waves spectrum, for example, is much more complex, and broader, than our limited human perspective of ‘light’ suggests. My suspicion is that our understanding of both affect and morality may go a similar way.

    I will take another look at Lisa Fieldman Barrett, as you suggest, and see if I can interpret her understanding from my model. Thanks again.Pop

    See if you can challenge your model with her understanding. Your confidence in this ‘pleasure-pain spectrum’ might be shaken - just be open to the spectrum being more complex and broader than the binary suggests...
  • Pop
    357
    Value spectrums such as affect (pleasure/pain), morality (right/wrong) or light (black/white) described in these binaries create false dichotomies that suggest little more than a linear complexity to the relation.Possibility

    Hi, thanks for your valuable input.
    Consider this:
    Inanimate matter falls to zero point energy, whilst life resists zero point energy. In death we fall to zero point energy. This resistance to zero point energy is uniform amongst living creatures. Given genetic information leads to life, it means DNA contains this common bit of information. The information is to resist zero point energy - live and do not die. This seems to be the first bit of information in DNA. Compare this to the Death Pain / pleasure Life spectrum.
    I see it as something fundamental, not something relating to belief systems, or sanity only. However it also orients us in our personally constructed reality, belief system or sanity. It may be as you say:a sufficiently accurate relational structure that enables us to align our positions according to these value/potential spectrums, like we do with global time-zone

    There is no way to evaluate two unrelated experiences other then as values on a common measure for qualitative information. Qualitative information is essential for reality orientation. Each experience is self contained, experienced only once, so unique and unrelated, To ascertain its quality we must compare it to other experiences, and the only way to do this is by assigning the experience a value on the PPS. Once the experience has a value, we can compare the experience to other experiences. From this process we orient ourselves in reality, via an emotional gradient.
    A PPS value grounds us in reality by telling us whether the experience is ordinary or extraordinary, painful or pleasurable. Reason alone cannot do this – every moment would require a theory of the moment to resolve - can you imagine comparing every moment to every other moment in life reasonably? I don't think we would have the computational power to do so even once, let alone all the time.

    also : Having faith in this construction, I realized that the qualia of a moment could not be stored in memory. We cannot recall an emotion any more then we can describe an emotion. We must recall the memory that gave rise to the emotion, and experience the emotion on the PPS afresh every time. Which is interesting - as this way the memory and associated emotion would likely be different, as present circumstances add their qualia to the moment of recollection. When I introspect and recall my first heartbreak and this time smile, this would seem to be true.

    This view prejudiced my willingness to explore what Lisa Fieldman Barrett had to offer as she speaks of emotions being made by brains. I will check her out, but if you agree with the above statements, then you will understand that brains are not handling emotions - the emotions are being felt body wide via values resolved to a death / pain / pleasure / life spectrum - an emotional gradient.

    Of course the PPS may well reside in the brain, but note how there are two languages of consciousness - Reason and emotion, they are not miscible. They are not languages that belong to one system. A computer could not work with two different languages unless there was something in between to translate the languages
    Why would one system have two languages? It doesn't make sense. It makes sense that there are two systems each with their own language. A brain based extracellular consciousness using reason and a biological intracellular consciousness using emotion. With a PPS translating in between - this makes sense, to me at least. :lol:

    Your input and scrutiny are really appreciated. But please understand you are dealing with a really stubborn sort of person. :smile: I'll look forward to your reply. Its beer o'clock here.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    Inanimate matter falls to zero point energy, whilst life resists zero point energy. In death we fall to zero point energy. This resistance to zero point energy is uniform amongst living creatures. Given genetic information leads to life, it means DNA contains this common bit of information. The information is to resist zero point energy - live and do not die. This seems to be the first bit of information in DNA. Compare this to the Death Pain / pleasure Life spectrum.Pop

    If you are saying here that all inanimate matter falls to zero point energy without resistance, then we may struggle to reach an understanding. In my view, all matter seeks to resist zero point energy to a certain extent - this impetus of possibility doesn’t just drive the evolution of life, but the evolution of matter itself. The way I see it, your death pain / pleasure life spectrum is just a small part of this - much like the visible colour spectrum is just a small part of the range of electromagnetic waves. Placing it in this broader context enables us to recognise what we refer to as ‘pleasure’ and ‘pain’ for what they are objectively, in much the same way as we now recognise ‘white light’ and ‘blackness’ for what they are: the limitations of our sensory awareness.

    There is no way to evaluate two unrelated experiences other then as values on a common measure for qualitative information. Qualitative information is essential for reality orientation. Each experience is self contained, experienced only once, so unique and unrelated, To ascertain its quality we must compare it to other experiences, and the only way to do this is by assigning the experience a value on the PPS. Once the experience has a value, we can compare the experience to other experiences. From this process we orient ourselves in reality, via an emotional gradient.
    A PPS value grounds us in reality by telling us whether the experience is ordinary or extraordinary, painful or pleasurable. Reason alone cannot do this – every moment would require a theory of the moment to resolve - can you imagine comparing every moment to every other moment in life reasonably? I don't think we would have the computational power to do so even once, let alone all the time.
    Pop

    I agree that each experience is unique, but NOT that each is unrelated nor self-contained. It is only possible to isolate an experience as a conceptual structure in the mind. Each experience also consists of far more information than the system can process in the moment. The interoceptive network has developed to streamline this with conceptual systems constructed from past experiences based on affect - an ongoing prediction of valence (positive/negative) and arousal (high/low) in the overall system - which informs a predictive energy distribution of attention and effort across the body in relation to its environment, as an ongoing four-dimensional event. Affect directs our focus in an experience towards relevant information in each moment - only ‘the difference that makes a difference’ to our conceptual systems or predictions. Similar to sampling in computing, this is the most efficient ongoing streaming of such detailed information.

    also : Having faith in this construction, I realized that the qualia of a moment could not be stored in memory. We cannot recall an emotion any more then we can describe an emotion. We must recall the memory that gave rise to the emotion, and experience the emotion on the PPS afresh every time. Which is interesting - as this way the memory and associated emotion would likely be different, as present circumstances add their qualia to the moment of recollection. When I introspect and recall my first heartbreak and this time smile, this would seem to be true.

    This view prejudiced my willingness to explore what Lisa Fieldman Barrett had to offer as she speaks of emotions being made by brains. I will check her out, but if you agree with the above statements, then you will understand that brains are not handling emotions - the emotions are being felt body wide via values resolved to a death / pain / pleasure / life spectrum - an emotional gradient.
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    Barrett’s theory of emotions might surprise you. The body feels not emotion but affect - the brain processes this affect through the conceptual systems as an emotion concept by recognising interoceptive patterns from previous experiences: not just when my body was in this situation, but in this affected state. The brain doesn’t store the memory in one location and the emotion in another - rather the memory experience is stored as a pattern of affect - this is the ‘language’ of the system.

    With regards to recalling your first heartbreak with a smile, this demonstrates the complexity of conceptual systems, and the effect of adjustments on the entire structure. It’s not just present circumstances that have altered your recollection - it’s likely also the relativity of that particular pattern of affect to subsequent experiences. In relation to both current and previous experience - summarised efficiently in the interoceptive network - this past heartbreak has a comparatively positive valence to it.

    Of course the PPS may well reside in the brain, but note how there are two languages of consciousness - Reason and emotion, they are not miscible. They are not languages that belong to one system. A computer could not work with two different languages unless there was something in between to translate the languages
    Why would one system have two languages? It doesn't make sense. It makes sense that there are two systems each with their own language. A brain based extracellular consciousness using reason and a biological intracellular consciousness using emotion. With a PPS translating in between - this makes sense, to me at least. :lol:
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    There are not two languages - the language of consciousness is affect: valence-attention and arousal-effort. The interoceptive network converts sensory input into valence/arousal, which aligns easily with an output of attention/effort. All experiential information is also stored and retrieved in this format. The complication is that reason employs a quantitative logic and seeks certainty through reductionist methods that ignore, isolate or exclude qualitative information.
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    If you are saying here that all inanimate matter falls to zero point energy without resistance, then we may struggle to reach an understanding.Possibility

    Yes, I will have to rephrase this. I was really referring to a low energy state - the boundary of life and death. Classical mechanics has no such theory. Ground state is inadequate. Zero point energy is good, but then people focus on quantum rather then classical matter - which is understandable.

    The way I see it, your death pain / pleasure life spectrum is just a small part of thisPossibility
    Yes - I am only interested in the matter that jumps to life.

    I agree that each experience is unique, but NOT that each is unrelated nor self-contained. It is only possible to isolate an experience as a conceptual structure in the mind.Possibility

    Possibly I've overstated this, but you seem to agree with the general picture. The rest of your paragraph dose not disagree with me, however you characterize it idiomatically, very different to my own style, but I like it. I've steered clear of the computational aspects of consciousness as I believe they have been described quite well - as per your own description.

    Barrett’s theory of emotions might surprise you. The body feels not emotion but affect - the brain processes this affect through the conceptual systems as an emotion concept by recognising interoceptive patterns from previous experiencesPossibility
    summarised efficiently in the interoceptive networkPossibility

    The problem that reason has with emotion is that it can not describe it. If the interoceptive network processes emotions then emotions would be describable by reason - they can not be. they must be experienced and their affect felt. - body wide. The other problem is that the end construction must be self interested - ie pleasurable. The interoceptive network is primed to construct self interested constructions because in the end they resolve to a pain / pleasure spectrum - in my view.

    What gets forgotten here is that it is cellular complexity that has created all this stuff. It doesn't seem to use a reasonable means of self organistion - it had no brain. Through evolution it created a brain to facilitate the triangulation and mechanics necessary for hearing and eyesight, etc and subsequently reason grew. But the whole extracellular / brain system has to slot into the underlying biological system somehow, and inform the underlying system in terms it understands. What I postulate creates a model that dose this.

    From the perspectives that you have characterized, the hard problem of consciousness can not be solved. For this reason the paradigm is likely false.

    You would need to describe a self loading mouse trap - I think I have somewhat done that. It is far more energy efficient then what Barrett is describing ( but I'll continue my research ).

    The beauty of my theory is that it is easily provable, or negated by the end user. In the OP is an instance of consciousness. I am postulating this is the state of consciousness roughly at all times - sometimes the information source is memory rather then external. There are many other things going on of course, and the mechanics of it are exceedingly complex, and as you point out, but essentially this is what is happening. The related qualia articulation, I take to be a sort of logic. I think everybody has the ability to introspect and reflect on this. Thus prove or negate the theory.

    I don't expect many converts of course - it is a monism, and we are talking consciousness. But it is a viable contender, currently rough around the edges, but difficult to reasonably dismiss. Very easy to dismiss off hand as most people will, and as it predicts.

    I like to make unassailable logical loops that describe real world situations, and one funny one is that it will be consciousness that decides what consciousness is :smile: If you can see the humor in this - regardless of the theory it will be the end user who decides.

    FYI: much of this is still speculative, but interesting.
  • Possibility
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    Yes, I will have to rephrase this. I was really referring to a low energy state - the boundary of life and death. Classical mechanics has no such theory. Ground state is inadequate. Zero point energy is good, but then people focus on quantum rather then classical matter - which is understandable.

    The way I see it, your death pain / pleasure life spectrum is just a small part of this
    — Possibility
    Yes - I am only interested in the matter that jumps to life.
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    With all due respect, this is the main problem I have with your theory - by excluding what transcends this ‘boundary of life and death’, your understanding of reality is limited. It’s similar to the geocentric model prior to Copernicus - the planets each had their own complicated movement pattern, and there was no way to predict this pattern until it was observed in action. When we recognise, firstly, that our position itself is variable, and secondly, that our variable perspective is not the central but rather one of many possible perspectives, we can account for this relativity in our understanding, enabling us to determine a less complicated and more accurately predictable model by imagining a transcendent perspective - a critical point of reference outside of the model.

    Your theory has no such reference point. The extent to which one’s description of the event horizon deviates from your own is not a challenge to your theory, because in most cases there’s enough wiggle room in the meaning of words (ie. apologetics) so that their view appears to align with your model. This method historically guards against any paradigm shift that may render the existing model obsolete.

    The problem that reason has with emotion is that it can not describe it. If the interoceptive network processes emotions then emotions would be describable by reason - they can not be. they must be experienced and their effect felt. - body wide. The other problem is that the end construction must be self interested - ie pleasurable. The interoceptive network is primed to construct self interested constructions because in the end they resolve to a pain / pleasure spectrum - in my view.Pop

    The interoceptive network does not require emotion to be describable by reason in order to make use of it. Rather, it requires both reason and bodily feeling to be describable by affect. Reason - having no interaction with reality outside of the brain - recognises bodily feeling only as ‘emotion’ concepts, which it translates from affect through the interoceptive network. This is why we think of emotions as inherent in our physical existence, even though they’re constructed by the interoceptive network from internal sensory information into predictive patterns of affect, and available to the brain as pre-qualified, value-laden concepts.

    What gets forgotten here is that it is cellular complexity that has created all this stuff. It doesn't seem to use a reasonable means of self organistion - it had no brain. Through evolution it created a brain to facilitate the triangulation and mechanics necessary for hearing and eyesight, etc and subsequently reason grew. But the whole extracellular / brain system has to slot into the underlying biological system somehow, and inform the underlying system in terms it understands. What I postulate creates a model that dose this.Pop

    Not quite - cellular complexity allowed for external relational structures, but it was cellular diversity and the capacity for complex cells to transcend their cell boundaries and de-centre certain interactions that created organisms with a brain. We have this idea that individual survival, dominance and proliferation is at the heart of all living systems, but the impetus of every evolutionary leap (including abiogenesis, multi-cellular life, community and self-reflection) is closer to self-sacrifice for a broader perspective, increasing awareness, connection and collaboration. Your description here sounds like the extracellular/brain system formed separately from the biological system. But that cannot have been the case. The brain system must have developed as required by the biological system in relation to its environment. The classical perception of a primitive, underlying ‘emotional brain’ with which the ‘logical brain’ wrestles for control is outdated.

    From the perspectives that you have characterized, the hard problem of consciousness can not be solved. For this reason the paradigm is likely false.Pop

    That’s a rapid jump to a dismissive conclusion. There’s much more to my position than what I’ve outlined here in response to your theory. The hard problem of consciousness assumes that inanimate matter is unable to ‘experience’. But reason assumes that ‘experience’ is only what we cannot quantify, what’s left once it has reduced everything else to logical objects in space and time. Experience is not an ‘extra’ dimension - in my view it encompasses what reason understands conceptually as ‘objects’, ‘space’ and ‘time’ - PLUS whatever reason isolates as qualia/phenomena or dismisses as feeling/imagination.

    Carlo Rovelli’s book ‘The Order of Time’ de-centres our classical conceptual notion of reality as objects in space and time by dismantling ‘time’ as we understand it, and presents a four-dimensional, quantum conceptual reality consisting of interrelated events, not ‘objects’. It’s worth a read. His process is backed by quantum field theory as an external position, but I can see its further application in positing a five-dimensional reality consisting of interrelated potentiality - by de-centring conceptual reality and dismantling what we refer to in our limited perspective as ‘experience’.

    The beauty of my theory is that it is easily provable, or negated by the end user. In the OP is an instance of consciousness. I am postulating this is the state of consciousness roughly at all times - sometimes the information source is memory rather then external. There are many other things going on of course, and the mechanics of it are exceedingly complex, and as you point out, but essentially this is what is happening. The related qualia articulation, I take to be a sort of logic. I think everybody has the ability to introspect and reflect on this. Thus prove or negate the theory.

    I don't expect many converts of course - it is a monism, and we are talking consciousness. But it is a viable contender, currently rough around the edges, but difficult to reasonably dismiss. Very easy to dismiss off hand as most people will, and as it predicts.
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    I dispute this, for reasons I believe I’ve explained to some extent above. What you may think is a process of either proving or negating the theory - based on introspection - is merely a subjective evaluation in relation to the structure of their own conceptual reality. As you go on to describe, you will either have ‘converts’, or it will be ‘dismissed off hand’.

    I tend towards monism myself, and I can relate to your line of thinking. But I can also see some limitations, which you seem resigned to, or perhaps a little too dependent on, I’m not sure. Your theory is a credible, if anthropocentric, perspective of what’s happening, and aims to legitimise the significance of qualitative information, which I wholeheartedly support. But at this stage I find the theory itself insufficient as an explanation of consciousness, because it cannot posit a perspective outside of consciousness itself.
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