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    Your first explanation is circular. You’ve been arguing that the pain-pleasure spectrum is the impetus for behaviour, and yet here you’re saying that our behaviour determines the position of such an experience on the spectrum. So which is it?Possibility

    Hi. I'm arguing that the combination of pleasure and pain may be a pleasure to some, and not to others.
    And then there is the stoic thing where you hate that which you desire in equal proportion, in order to annihilate them both. The PPS is personally malleable, if not entirely controllable.

    What you’re referring to is a linear structure, with positive values on one side, negative values on the other, and an infinite value (zero) in the centre. But that ignores the complexity of the relation between pain and pleasure, doesn’t it?Possibility

    I was thinking more of a 2D structure rather then linear, such that similar degrees of pain could be differentiated laterally. It is a gradient, but I don't know its structure absolutely.

    Most humans would agree with the logic of your theory, but it has no practical value. You can’t apply it to improve your interactions with reality.Possibility

    The idea of pain / pleasure was well established by Jeremy Bentham, some 200 years ago. Barrett also had a theory along similar lines which she later abandoned - I don't know why. The difference with mine is that I'm saying the emotions belong to the cellular consciousness, and this is the way the whole body articulates as all mind. I have mentioned you in another part of the forum to answer a question related to this.

    Knowledge of a pain pleasure spectrum allows one to manipulate it to some extent. this sounds crazy in the west, but in the east it is a common practice of meditation, and yogic logic. I have had some success with it, although I am not a meditator in the usual sense. It allows for a very simple understanding of consciousness - simple but valid, I believe. And an awful lot can be done with this.

    My difficulty with you using the term ‘emotion’ is that it generally refers to a particular feeling, whereas the term ‘affect’ refers to feeling in general, whether or not it is apperceived as ‘emotion’. We don’t always identify affect as emotion, but emotion is always identified from affect, whether in self-reflection, or in rationalising behaviourPossibility

    Yeah, that is funny - I would have said the opposite. Perhaps it is cultural. I will have to take more care with my expression next draft. Thank you, the entire paragraph is valuable and valid information.

    This becomes our best approximation of reality. Am I close?Possibility

    Yes that paragraph is largely true, but not the emotion - information bit. However yes, I clumsily cut to the chase leaving out all the important detail which you find wanting, understandably.

    But it’s because the information we receive is limited and skewed by the structure of the information system that receives and processes it, not because something different exists in reality.Possibility

    Yes I agree entirely, I would have said we color reality with our belief system.

    The base consistency of reality is in its relational structure: All living systems consist of a four-dimensional integrated system of information, and evolve according to the sustainability of their self-organisation process to transform information/energy in order to transform themselves from their current emotional state to a more pleasurable one. :razz: .Possibility

    I hope you don't take offense with my altering the last part of your paragraph, it was meant in jest. No disrespect intended, I just thought it would be funny to skew it to my understanding.

    Are you suggesting that we have an infinite capacity for both pleasure and pain? Or that consciousness exists beyond pleasure? You’ve said before that nothing dies in the universe, it just falls to a lower level of consciousness - I imagine that’s what you believe occurs when pain is unavoidably maximised? So, would that mean maximal pleasure may lead to a higher level of consciousness?Possibility

    Consciousness has no boundary. It is endlessly variable and open ended, so what you suggest is not theoretically impossible, in my opinion. It was not what I was referring to. I was referring to your suggestion that it could be contained and described like a forest. We could catalogue and take account of it theoretically up until today, but tomorrow it will be something different. It will have grown beyond our conception of it. We can characterize it, as I have done with the PPS, but upon doing that, it then has the opportunity of transcending that, whether it will, and how, I don't know. This is all highly speculative stuff, and I love to speculate, but I am no Guru. I have a theory that I call a sketch, but I have so much more to learn.

    I would be interested to hear your understanding of consciousness?
  • Possibility
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    Hi. I'm arguing that the combination of pleasure and pain may be a pleasure to some, and not to others.Pop

    My point is that ‘pleasure or pain’ is insufficient, because pain is something else.

    [quote="Pop;459244"And then there is the stoic thing where you hate that which you desire in equal proportion, in order to annihilate them both. The PPS is personally malleable, if not entirely controllable.[/quote]

    Stoicism is misunderstood in the modern understanding of the adjective ‘stoic’. This is certainly not a Stoicist strategy to free oneself of desire and hatred. The aim is not to control it, but to understand it, and in so doing, determine and initiate more informative and less erroneous predictions and subsequent actions. Pain, hate and desire are not annihilated - they’re simply less prominent in the bigger picture.

    I was thinking more of a 2D structure rather then linear, such that similar degrees of pain could be differentiated laterally. It is a gradient, but I don't know its structure absolutely.Pop

    Differentiated how? Would the 2D structure of affect - as valence (pleasant-unpleasant) and arousal (high-low) - suffice?

    I maintain that pain is something else, but it is still part of the interoceptive network. Pain is usually a located, urgent demand for effort and/or attention somewhere in the body - each instance has an intensity and particular spatial quality, and can appear, disappear or change over time. It is pure interoceptive feed forward, though. It has no reference to the outside world, and no clue what else is going on in the body.

    Affect, on the other hand, refers to an overall state of the system. It is a two-dimensional relation that consists of valence and arousal, and is ongoing: it monitors the system even when you’re asleep or unconscious, to keep the brain updated on energy (effort and attention) requirements and availability.

    Affect is tasked to ensure sufficient energy resources are available when required, in a timely fashion. Rather than obtain enough sensory information first (which would result in a delay), the system generates a ‘wavefunction’ of effort and attention from an ongoing 4D construction of the system (from the interoceptive network) interoception in relation to an ongoing 4D construction of conceptual reality. This particular wavefunction is all that Barrett focuses on - but in my view the entire amorphous, 5D relational structure is consciousness: the perceivable potentiality of our existence. The wavefunction enables the system to continually adjust and refine its future effort and attention requirements, and instruct the brain when it needs to pump the blood faster or breath quicker, etc. to prepare for greater demands of energy, when it needs to use available energy to avoid situations that may make dangerous demands on the energy budget, or when it needs to use energy to initiate situations that are likely to balance or supplement the energy budget overall.

    So pain tells us when our prediction is particularly inaccurate: when conceptual reality doesn’t match sensory information in a spatial location, that discrepancy often comes back to the interoceptive network as a located demand for effort and/or attention. Sometimes that pain demands that we take notice and make changes to the system itself: repair and extend muscle capacity, repair skin, strengthen lungs, etc. Sometimes it demands that we take notice of what is different in the world from our previous expectations. Sometimes it’s a bit of both. But that demand always needs to be weighed against the other upcoming energy demands of the overall system.

    The base consistency of reality is in its relational structure: All living systems consist of a four-dimensional integrated system of information, and evolve according to the sustainability of their self-organisation process to transform information/energy [in order to transform themselves from their current emotional state to a more pleasurable one. :razz:] .
    — Possibility

    I hope you don't take offense with my altering the last part of your paragraph, it was meant in jest. No disrespect intended, I just thought it would be funny to skew it to my understanding.
    Pop

    Well, I’d prefer if you made use of the square brackets to show that you’ve altered my quote, but it’s a useful approach. The reason I describe it this way is because this is a general description that applies to all living systems - most are unaware of a ‘current emotional state’, and so have no intention to ‘transform’ it. They are aware only of ongoing attention and effort requirements and availability.

    The difference is self-consciousness, which requires a more complex relational structure. All conscious systems consist of a five-dimensional integrated system of information, and evolve according to the capacity of their self-organisation process to transform potential information from their accumulative experience of the world and ongoing affective state into an accurate prediction of effort and attention allocation. It isn’t just about pursuing a more pleasant affective state, but one that makes efficient use of available energy. Because pleasant experiences that demand high levels of attention (like sex) can consume vast amounts of energy, which may compromise the system long term. And pleasant experiences of low arousal (like drug use) compromise the capacity of the system to seek and acquire the energy needed to sustain itself.

    Consciousness has no boundary. It is endlessly variable and open ended, so what you suggest is not theoretically impossible, in my opinion. It was not what I was referring to. I was referring to your suggestion that it could be contained and described like a forest. We could catalogue and take account of it theoretically up until today, but tomorrow it will be something different. It will have grown beyond our conception of it. We can characterize it, as I have done with the PPS, but upon doing that, it then has the opportunity of transcending that, whether it will, and how, I don't know. This is all highly speculative stuff, and I love to speculate, but I am no Guru. I have a theory that I call a sketch, but I have so much more to learn.Pop

    Here’s the interesting thing: I never suggested that a forest could be contained or described - but that it can be understood as an ever-changing whole. By the time we have catalogued its contents, we would need to go back through and catalogue the changes, and so on. You can characterise the physical boundary of a forest or its trees, animals, etc, but once that’s done, it will almost instantly be inaccurate.

    This reminds me of Kant’s aesthetics. It is the capacity for an aesthetic experience to transcend any attempt to subsume it under ‘object’ or ‘concept’ that renders it aesthetically pleasing. In pursuing pure beauty, our awareness must transcend any concept or thought of ‘pleasure’, and instead to delight in the possibilities, engaging our faculties of imagination and understanding without being constrained by judgement. The sublime can have a similar effect, regardless of valence. A maximally unpleasant experience would hypothetically transcend any known concept (terror, horror, etc), but interestingly has nothing to do with pain.

    But I digress. To understand is not to constrain, define or describe within a concept, but to relate to its possibilities as a particular and variable conceptual system ourselves. To learn not just how I relate to the forest now, but how that is likely to change over time, how different conceptual systems may relate to the forest differently to me, and how both the forest and any conceptual system may be altered by each observation, measurement or other interactive experience, whether or not either is consciously aware. This is how we develop more integrated relational structures with reality, minimising overall prediction error (pain, humility, loss and lack) and aiming for pure, confident interrelation.

    We understand the weather not by constraining, defining or describing it or its individual elements, but by formulating, testing and refining probabilistic relations between events. The idea is not to aim for certainty.

    I’m certainly no Guru myself. I’ve found that there are many ways to approach the same meaning from a limited and flawed perspective. I think discussions such as these help both of us reach a broader understanding, even if we never see eye to eye.
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    I’m certainly no Guru myself. I’ve found that there are many ways to approach the same meaning from a limited and flawed perspective. I think discussions such as these help both of us reach a broader understanding, even if we never see eye to eye.Possibility

    Yes, and consciousness unlike simpler topics , like free will, is complicated and multifactorial. You and me, are like trees, we agree largely on the fundamentals - the trunk, but we branch out in different ways. This is not a flaw, as there isn't one solution, and ultimately any solution is viable so long as the tree survives.

    When I first seriously started studying consciousness, I started with microbial life. It seemed DNA information created an amoeba, and an amoeba subsequently expressed this DNA information, by being alive and through its self organization, in relation to internal information and external information. Why would it bother was the immediate and overwhelming question - what a waste of energy! Of course it has no choice. It is not self aware and it is biased to continue to live. So it seems RNA and DNA insert this bias, into life, and hence when it comes to the question of to be or not to be, the answer is not rational, but biased to be.

    So I concluded life is biased to be, and a bias is not rational information, but emotional information - an aversion to death and an attraction to life. It is a fundamental force present in all living creatures, including the ones without brains. So emotion occurs fundamentally ( emotional - information ), it is the essential ingredient of self organization as it provides impetus to organize, and is present long before the ability to branch out and create complicated expressions of consciousness. However , being fundamental, it is present in all subsequent expressions of consciousness, as the force providing impetus to self organization.

    The base consistency of reality is in its relational structure: All living systems consist of a four-dimensional integrated system of information, and evolve according to the sustainability of their self-organization process to transform information/energy from their interaction with the world into a fulfilment of ongoing effort and attention requirements for the integrated system.Possibility

    What is missing from this, in my opinion, is the force providing impetus to the self organization. Why bother? To say survival is insufficient. Why should something want to survive? Particularly something that can not even consider the question? I again apologize for altering your original statement.

    It is easy to get tangled up in the higher order expressions of consciousness. I think if I tried I would be there long after the cows came home. It seems much simpler to call them expressions of self organization and lump them all together, and then get on with the task of WHY they occur. From my paradigm I can do that, but I imagine this would be an impossibility for other dualist / materialistic paradigms.

    You seem to have a good system of dealing with the complexity by dividing it up into different dimensions. I have always tried to understand things from first principles as far as is possible. I deal with the complex by simplifying it, resolving it in simple form, and then growing the solution in complexity. These are two different expressions of consciousness, one is not necessarily better then another, and together they are better then on their own.

    I was thinking more of a 2D structure rather then linear, such that similar degrees of pain could be differentiated laterally. It is a gradient, but I don't know its structure absolutely.
    — Pop

    Differentiated how? Would the 2D structure of affect - as valence (pleasant-unpleasant) and arousal (high-low) - suffice?
    Possibility

    The PPS is not set in stone as I have conceived it. Pain / pleasure as an emotional gradient would work for my consciousness, but for yours it may be constructed in a more complicated way. It is an emotional, or affective, gradient - If that better suits you. What is set in stone is that life chooses to live, and this suggests an emotional / affective gradient at play.

    Here’s the interesting thing: I never suggested that a forest could be contained or describedPossibility
    - my bad, sorry.
  • Possibility
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    When I first seriously started studying consciousness, I started with microbial life. It seemed DNA information created an amoeba, and an amoeba subsequently expressed this DNA information, by being alive and through its self organization, in relation to internal information and external information. Why would it bother was the immediate and overwhelming question - what a waste of energy! Of course it has no choice. It is not self aware and it is biased to continue to live. So it seems RNA and DNA insert this bias, into life, and hence when it comes to the question of to be or not to be, the answer is not rational, but biased to be.

    So I concluded life is biased to be, and a bias is not rational information, but emotional information - an aversion to death and an attraction to life. It is a fundamental force present in all living creatures, including the ones without brains. So emotion occurs fundamentally ( emotional - information ), it is the essential ingredient of self organization as it provides impetus to organize, and is present long before the ability to branch out and create complicated expressions of consciousness. However , being fundamental, it is present in all subsequent expressions of consciousness, as the force providing impetus to self organization.
    Pop

    The answer is only biased to be for those who are. The proportion of living to non-living matter in the universe is staggeringly small. Likewise, the proportion of matter to anti- or dark matter, the proportion of multi-cellular to single-celled life, etc. The impetus is present in all matter, but it is comparatively weak. You have to admit, by your own habits, that we are more inclined to consolidate than to collaborate, particularly if energy/information is perceived as limited, unattainable. But the impetus persists, nevertheless.

    An amoeba is aware of interaction: it can distinguish between a persistent, semi-stable state and the changes that are not this state. Initially, an animate cell will always prefer this persistent state over changes, and will self-organise to maintain or return to it from every change. But this impetus to consolidate barely counts as ‘life’. The process of natural selection quickly favours those whose ‘unwanted’ changes result in increased activity (dominance) or information diversity (reproduction) as much as stability. So, is this “attraction to life” an impetus to consolidate - to ignore, isolate and exclude - or is it to increase awareness, connection and collaboration, despite the risks?
  • Possibility
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    You seem to have a good system of dealing with the complexity by dividing it up into different dimensions. I have always tried to understand things from first principles as far as is possible. I deal with the complex by simplifying it, resolving it in simple form, and then growing the solution in complexity. These are two different expressions of consciousness, one is not necessarily better then another, and together they are better then on their own.Pop

    When you do ‘grow the system in complexity’, you need to be conscious of the overwhelming urge to consolidate through ignoring, isolating or excluding information - it will always hold you back from being able to explain the complex diversity that exists. Plus, each advancement in capacity requires a surge in energy/information that transcends the current system’s processing capacity, rendering it insufficient.
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    So, is this “attraction to life” an impetus to consolidate - to ignore, isolate and exclude - or is it to increase awareness, connection and collaboration, despite the risks?Possibility

    The bias to be, is the fundamental information that creates consciousness.Without it there could not be consciousness or life. It is the essential element that creates a self interested process of self organisation. It remains central to consciousness / self organisation, and is present in every instance of self organization as the primal consideration relative to all other information. What are the consequences of this information to me? How do I self organize in relation to this information? These are the fundamentals of consciousness. In this setting a response is formed. These responses are all expressions of consciousness, and can be lumped together and considered singularly as such. They are endlessly variable and open ended. They all work so long as the organism survives. They are the branches of the trees, or they are the cultural differences, or different philosophical beliefs. You have characterized these expressions as - " awareness, connection and collaboration, despite the risks" - these are valid expressions of consciousness, but equally valid is the response to ignore, isolate, and exclude. It just depends on the organism and the information surrounding it, and the resources the organism has for dealing with the situation.

    We can divide consciousness into two components. The fundamental component is a self preserving ( biased ) process of self organization relative to external and internal information. And then it's expression. Which are ideas and action. Expressions of consciousness are not the same as consciousness itself. They give some insight into the consciousness that created them, but only if you understand the self interested process underlying them. Fundamentally the task of brain consciousness is very simple - firstly provide a solution that allows me to survive, secondly make it as pleasant as possible.

    Philosophical Zombies lack the bias to be, so they can not be conscious or alive. They are indifferent to the effect of the information surrounding them. They are not Affected. It is all the same to them whether they live or die, or experience pain or pleasure. But nothing is all the same to living creatures because everything has an Affect on them. Thus Affected they are spurned to thought and action. The base all thought bounces off is the emotional gradient I call the PPS, but you would better understand it as an Affected mental state. I would call it an emotional whole body state.

    All of life is informed by RNA and DNA, and this bias to be, being a fundamental necessity of consciousness and life, would be fundamental code shared by all of life. So all of life, including brainless life, would posses a bias to be as an emotional body state. This creates consciousness and life. There would be no need to self organize without a bias to be. There would be no emotional impetus to do so.

    The evidence for this is not conclusive, but the evidence against is non existent.
  • Possibility
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    The bias to be, is the fundamental information that creates consciousness.Without it there could not be consciousness or life. It is the essential element that creates a self interested process of self organisation. It remains central to consciousness / self organisation, and is present in every instance of self organization as the primal consideration relative to all other information. What are the consequences of this information to me? How do I self organize in relation to this information? These are the fundamentals of consciousness. In this setting a response is formed. These responses are all expressions of consciousness, and can be lumped together and considered singularly as such. They are endlessly variable and open ended. They all work so long as the organism survives.Pop

    Self-interest is NOT central to consciousness. This is a misunderstanding of consciousness - from a limited perspective of self-consciousness, reduced to a ‘survival’ binary, and assumed as the ‘immovable centre’. It is inaccurate to claim its presence as the primal consideration in every instance of self-organisation. If this were the case, then heroic self-sacrifice in war, seppuku, self-immolation and other ritualistic or altruistic suicide acts would not have become an aspect of any culture, for example. Neither would any of the many and diverse mating behaviours have developed to prioritise diversification and only partial reproduction of genetic information over self-survival. No amount of neo-Darwinian apologetics can show that any of these instances of self-organisation have ‘self-interest’ as their primal consideration.

    I understand that you have deliberately narrowed your focus between life and human-level consciousness, but we couldn’t hope to have developed an accurate understanding of Earth in relation to the Solar System simply from our perspective looking up from Earth, I see no reason to expect an accurate understanding of consciousness in relation to life, let alone to the universe, from our conscious perspective. Copernicus had to first imagine that the Earth was moveable, and second that it was not the centre.

    Kant proposed a ‘Copernican Turn’ was necessary to more clearly understand our phenomenal position in reality - in my view, at the time he wrote it, he required at least two: first, the variability and de-centring of humanity from theories of life and the unfolding universe; and second, the moveability and de-centring of human experience from theories of consciousness and existence. Darwin set the first in motion, but we can’t seem to get our heads around the second...yet.

    The scientific method in making sense of the world is to imagine the possibilities, calculate the most probable explanations, and then test them against empirical evidence, adjusting it for accuracy and refining our final explanation to account for anomalies in each instance of results. The problem with this method is that it assumes our bias only comes into play when we interpret the results. But quantum physics shows that our bias affects every step, and is most significant in how we select and test probable explanations from imaginable possibilities. Reductionism has always attempted to remove this bias by consolidating to a common denominator, but all this does is limit the process from the start. We need to imagine a perspective beyond the bias, just as Copernicus and Darwin did, and even Max Planck.

    We can divide consciousness into two components. The fundamental component is a self preserving ( biased ) process of self organization relative to external and internal information. And then it's expression. Which are ideas and action. Expressions of consciousness are not the same as consciousness itself. They give some insight into the consciousness that created them, but only if you understand the self interested process underlying them. Fundamentally the task of brain consciousness is very simple - firstly provide a solution that allows me to survive, secondly make it as pleasant as possible.Pop

    This is another misunderstanding from within. The pursuit of pleasure has the capacity to override a self-preserving bias - ask anyone who’s suffered from intense addiction. So your last sentence cannot possibly explain the task of brain consciousness. Expressions of consciousness are not secondary - any bias to consolidate (to ignore, isolate or exclude) is contingent upon awareness, connection and collaboration at the most fundamental levels of existence.

    Philosophical Zombies lack the bias to be, so they can not be conscious or alive. They are indifferent to the effect of the information surrounding them. They are not Affected. It is all the same to them whether they live or die, or experience pain or pleasure. But nothing is all the same to living creatures because everything has an Affect on them. Thus Affected they are spurned to thought and action. The base all thought bounces off is the emotional gradient I call the PPS, but you would better understand it as an Affected mental state. I would call it an emotional whole body state.Pop

    P-zombies are a thought experiment - they’re ‘not alive’ only because you say they’re not. But a p-zombie gives all the necessary indications that it IS alive - that’s the point. Using your own description of p-zombies as evidence to support your own argument is circular.

    And you misunderstand me entirely if you think I’ve been referring to affect as a purely mental state. Interoception is self-organisation at the dimensional level up from DNA. Affect is information about the state of the entire organism. I don’t make a Cartesian distinction at this level between ‘mind’ and ‘body’, because I don’t think it helps our understanding. We are monists - ‘mental states’ needn’t feature in this discussion.

    All of life is informed by RNA and DNA, and this bias to be, being a fundamental necessity of consciousness and life, would be fundamental code shared by all of life. So all of life, including brainless life, would posses a bias to be as an emotional body state. This creates consciousness and life. There would be no need to self organize without a bias to be. There would be no emotional impetus to do so.Pop

    Consciousness is informed by interoception , in the same way that life is informed by DNA. Affect is irreducible, continually updated ‘bias-to-be’ information within that self-organisation. Interoception interrelates on an ongoing basis with our conceptual reality to manifest the future conscious subject based on the sum of the system’s experience, rendered as conceptual reality. DNA is a 3D rendering of the system’s 4D information, and interrelates with a different DNA structure to manifest a future life that more accurately expresses its ongoing and variable relation to the fundamental existence/non-existence binary: its ‘bias to be’.

    Your ‘bias to be’ seems biased to prioritise consolidation, reductionism. You should recognise this as a tendency to ignore, isolate and exclude information that doesn’t suit your theory. I have tried to show that what you refer to as a ‘bias to be’ is a dynamic, unresolvable relation at the base binary of all existence: to exist or not exist. All matter (living or non-living) draws an arbitrary line to consolidate its minimum existence, but must continually express a capacity beyond that: to strive for awareness, connection and collaboration. This minimum existence can never be reached - instead the system will reach zero point energy, before which the question to exist or not exist must be answered anew, requiring that last surge of energy in its expression either way.

    For an integrated system, the expression to not exist is not simply dropping to a lower level of consciousness, because most elements of the system have sacrificed their lower-level consolidation. A blood cell, for instance, maintains its 3D relational structure only as long as it is part of a living (4D) system. We can artificially manage the appearance of a system from the perspective of the blood cell, but its 3D structure will cease to exist as such in isolation from a suitable system. So a blood cell is committed to the minimum existence of a suitable 4D system, regardless of integration.

    We can sustain this appearance of a living system, but not the appearance of consciousness. Consciousness develops from a living system that is aware, connected and collaborating with its developing offspring enough to continue re-structuring this future life into infancy. From there, the more plasticity built into the DNA, the more adaptable the future life becomes to circumstances its parents didn’t anticipate prior to birth. Eventually, the living system develops an internal, dual-integrated interoceptive network - similar to the double-helix structure of DNA, only at a higher level of complexity: half generated from the information the system has about itself, and the other half rendered from the information that system has about another system, with which it interacts. Reproduction aligns two halves of different DNA instructions to form a whole 3D structure of effort and attention instructions that would hypothetically develop a more accurate and efficient life in a 4D system. The interoceptive network continually re-aligns two different 4D predictions of valence-arousal to form a whole 4D structure of effort and attention instructions that would hypothetically develop a more accurate and efficient consciousness (in a 5D system).

    Effort and attention instruction is energy/information, and however much of it is quantifiable, there is always some aspect of it that is purely relational (and vice versa), in accordance with the uncertainty principle. An accurate description of consciousness cannot be reduced to emotion-information, anymore than we can make an accurate calculation of quantum reality: only where, when and how much to direct our effort and attention.
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    Firstly, I just wanted to thank you for your engagement, valuable suggestions, the pointing out of flaws, and alternative perspective. Whilst I don't always comment on everything you state I do make notes and plan on implementing some of your suggestions. "We are monists - ‘mental states’ needn’t feature in this discussion." - my bad - slip of the tongue.

    We incur pain for our children, and groups we identify with.

    "Self-interest is NOT central to consciousness." disagrees with "The problem with this method is that it assumes our bias only comes into play when we interpret the results. But quantum physics shows that our bias affects every step, and is most significant in how we select and test probable explanations from imaginable possibilities".

    I strongly agree with the second point. Living things share common DNA, and they also have a bias to be. The Bias to be, would be the first bit of DNA information shared by all life, as without a bias to be there would be no need to be. This bias is the central thing preserved in all DNA. It is immortal, and life is it's vehicle. My bias to be has existed, in my lineage, since the beginning of life, and it is the deepest most reason for all my decisions. The bias to be, being a bias, is emotional information, and emotion is what drives us. A bias to be is the central consideration in all instances of self organization relative to internal and external information. Instances of consciousness vary. One instance of consciousness effects the bias to be strongly, whilst another instance effects the bias to be weakly.
    Where the bias to be is effected strongly, might the Affect be a pleasure? And where it is effected weakly, might the Affect be a neutral or moderate feeling? If so, can you see how a spectrum might form? In considering this you may notice Affect can be further resolved.

    To explore this requires the ability to introspect, and I have noticed you posses this ability in regards to your comments on pain, but what is central to consciousness might be different. It took me a long time to get in, but I posses this do or die dogged stubbornness. For two months I tried without success, it was like gnawing away at a billiard ball, and then finally I managed to get a purchase and have been inching away ever since. At its core is a simple self interested algorithm, but you need to discover this for yourself - to prove it for yourself. Eventually I will develop the theory along these lines, once I learn a bit more and test some of my expectations.

    The way you have put it together is a good description that is not entirely in conflict with how I see it. From my perspective, you say the introspective network is the base and can not be resolved any further, so you can not make any further connections and leave it at that. I say the network resolves to feelings which resolve further to points on an emotional gradient. I further link this gradient to the first information in DNA, and note it is biased, or emotional information. It being fundamental information, I make the connection that all subsequent information is emotional.
    The way I see it:
    Biased / emotional information in DNA informs life, which possesses consciousness, and only expresses and propagates consciousness, in the form of emotional information - through DNA ( offspring ) and expressions of consciousness. Expressions of consciousness are all formed in an emotionally charged setting, as they preserve the bias to be, so are emotional information. All incoming information is emotional information ( information and qualia ), which is processed by a reasonable brain system, but in an emotional setting of a biased consciousness. Hence have consequences that are either painful, neutral, or pleasurable. The output is a self preserving response, hence emotional information. As you say, it is arbitrary to separated emotion from information.

    May the best interpretation win :smile:
  • Possibility
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    "Self-interest is NOT central to consciousness." disagrees with "The problem with this method is that it assumes our bias only comes into play when we interpret the results. But quantum physics shows that our bias affects every step, and is most significant in how we select and test probable explanations from imaginable possibilities".Pop

    It only appears to disagree because you assume the bias has a linear structure at the level of life, and a binary structure at the level of DNA, but this is not the case. Quantum physics shows that the bias is present as a binary structure at the level of matter/anti-matter. At the level of consciousness, this same bias is irreducibly four-dimensional. But you believe this bias is fixed on ‘to be’, in opposition to ‘not to be’ - whereas I recognise it as an unresolvable relation that is always present as ‘the question’, like Shakespeare says: “whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them.”

    To explore this requires the ability to introspect, and I have noticed you posses this ability in regards to your comments on pain, but what is central to consciousness might be different. It took me a long time to get in, but I posses this do or die dogged stubbornness. For two months I tried without success, it was like gnawing away at a billiard ball, and then finally I managed to get a purchase and have been inching away ever since. At its core is a simple self interested algorithm, but you need to discover this for yourself - to prove it for yourself. Eventually I will develop the theory along these lines, once I learn a bit more and test some of my expectations.Pop

    What is central to consciousness is the question of life, and consciousness is the expression of an attempted answer, in all its diversity of awareness/ignorance, connection/isolation and collaboration/exclusion over many interactions - not from a singular bias to be, but from the irreducible diversity of life. DNA has never instructed just one way to be, even it is simplest form.

    The way you have put it together is a good description that is not entirely in conflict with how I see it. From my perspective, you say the introspective network is the base and can not be resolved any further, so you can not make any further connections and leave it at that. I say the network resolves to feelings which resolve further to points on an emotional gradient. I further link this gradient to the first information in DNA, and note it is biased, or emotional information. It being fundamental information, I make the connection that all subsequent information is emotional.Pop

    What it seems you’re resolving here is ‘emotion’, not affect and not an introspected construction of the network. Emotion is a conceptual construction of phenomenal ‘feeling’: what remains when all rational concepts have been accounted for intellectually. It is a purely idealistic notion, with no reference to external reality, let alone to DNA. Emotion is a predictive pattern of experience that relates as ‘feelings’ to other conceptual structures such as ‘objects’, ‘thoughts’ and ‘memories’. We can resolve it however we want to in theory - but in practice, it must always be translated back into affect. The network then converts affect into ongoing action of the organism: a distribution of energy as effort and attention, no further reduction required.

    I’ll admit that your interpretation sounds plausible from a purely intellectual perspective - most idealist arguments do. But its application to what exists beyond mind fails to account for a host of anomalies and contradictions in human experience alone. Until you can do that, it’s no more credible than apologetics from creationists.

    The way I see it:
    Biased / emotional information in DNA informs life, which possesses consciousness, and only expresses and propagates consciousness, in the form of emotional information - through DNA ( offspring ) and expressions of consciousness. Expressions of consciousness are all formed in an emotionally charged setting, as they preserve the bias to be, so are emotional information. All incoming information is emotional information ( information and qualia ), which is processed by a reasonable brain system, but in an emotional setting of a biased consciousness. Hence have consequences that are either painful, neutral, or pleasurable. The output is a self preserving response, hence emotional information. As you say, it is arbitrary to separated emotion from information.
    Pop

    Your need to add a ‘neutral’ position indicates a complexity that is unaccounted for: an instance that is neither painful nor pleasurable is beyond the perspective of the value structure - its quality is infinite, unmeasurable. If, as you say, the output depends entirely on this emotion-information, then a neutral consequence results in NO response. But this is inconsistent with empirical observation. I would also argue that the brain system as a whole is anything but ‘reasonable’ - watch your dualistic notions here, particularly in distinguishing between ‘information and qualia’. If all is information, then you’ll have to explain why you need to make such a distinction.

    May the best interpretation win :smile:Pop

    I’m not trying to win - I’m just trying to refine my own theory in relation to different perspectives, and to offer challenges and suggestions to help you refine yours. Mine is a long way from perfect - I know that because there are a number of members here with whom I struggle to formulate much in the way of coherent discussion points, whether I agree with them or not. They challenge my thinking, and provide plenty of topics for me to look up, though.
  • Pop
    351

    I have never liked the term affect. It is ambiguous in common usage and it is conflated, it seems, in scientific usage with different interpretations by different groups. Emotion is much simpler and unambiguous.
    Wikipedia: "Affect, in psychology, refers to the underlying experience of feeling, emotion or mood."
    This is the way I understand it. In the time I worked in Drug and alcohol rehab, we referred to clients as having an affect, that referred to their demeanor as a result of underlying emotions or feelings, but sometimes it was a contrived affect, and in this case it was a communication.
    The way you and Barrett understand it is atypical in my neck of the woods, so I am happy to stay away from it.

    I don’t know why you choose Barrett, a relatively minor materialist academic, over other monistic theories of emotion. Of course, some of the other researchers are older and they don't promote themselves all over the place, but you know, we are no closer to understanding emotions in science today then we were in their day. I have not provided citations in my theory, but of course I have them. Very little of it is actual original thought, it is mostly an integration of the work of others. I rely on Derek Denton's interpretation that emotion is the underlying force that gives impetus to instinctual behavior. I go one step further , I say emotion is inseparable from information - this is a testable construction - It can be negated by providing one instance of information that is unemotional in some way. I cannot find such an instance.

    I distinguish information and qualia to highlight that they are both present in information, not as you have interpreted it.

    You do understand, don't you, that if emotion is present in DNA code then emotion is present fundamentally in all of life as the force providing impetus to it? DNA is emotional-information - it provides the instruction set of how to construct an emotional gradient that is analogue, not binary as you assume. Binary would be meaningless.

    Gradients in the brain, and in biology in general, have been well documented. Some are minor, but others are major. If they turn out to be emotional my theory would be validated.

    I present a complete theory, which is in parts testable, and it fits - both in the big picture, and in explaining why we have consciousness, so it explains the hard problem. As we come to understand molecular biology better, we are seeing enormous complexity. My theory accounts for this. How does Barrett and yourself account for the below? It is at this level that you have to construct a picture, because the story of this will be the story of us.

  • Possibility
    1.6k
    I don’t know why you choose Barrett, a relatively minor materialist academic, over other monistic theories of emotion. Of course, some of the other researchers are older and they don't promote themselves all over the place, but you know, we are no closer to understanding emotions in science today then we were in their day. I have not provided citations in my theory, but of course I have them. Very little of it is actual original thought, it is mostly an integration of the work of others. I rely on Derek Denton's interpretation that emotion is the underlying force that gives impetus to instinctual behavior. I go one step further , I say emotion is inseparable from information - this is a testable construction - It can be negated by providing one instance of information that is unemotional in some way. I cannot find such an instance.Pop

    Barrett’s theory is constructionist - she successfully refutes essentialist assumptions made in classical emotion theory, which claim from intuitive and unconscious relational behaviour and historically misappropriated information that all ‘emotions’ must therefore be instinctual, and that each ‘emotion’, from pain to happiness, comes from an essence or fingerprint that is universal and identifiable across all human experience. Yet no such fingerprint can be found. Her use of the term ‘affect’ makes a distinction between these psychological emotion concepts and the more general, unprocessed bodily feeling you refer to as ‘emotion-information’ because her research straddles both psychology and neuroscience. You claim we are no closer to understanding emotions, yet Barrett’s research and constructionist theories are providing new insight into anxiety disorders and autism, among other areas.

    The classical theory of emotion is based on a neo-Darwinian assumption that all intuitive behaviour must be survival-related in essence. Barrett’s theory is based on research that shows complex intuitive behaviour patterns are constructed from much simpler instructions, which she then claims are survival-related. This doesn’t conflict with Denton’s interpretation, that I can see, except that what he refers to as a ‘force’ is, in Barrett’s theory, inseparable from information, as you say.

    I distinguish information and qualia to highlight that they are both present in information, not as you have interpreted it.Pop

    So, ‘information’ is present in information, and qualia is present in information? Do you see the confusion? You are referring to a concept as a component of itself. Either everything is information (in which case qualia IS information), or there is information and then there is qualia (a dualist notion). You can’t have it both ways.

    You do understand, don't you, that if emotion is present in DNA code then emotion is present fundamentally in all of life as the force providing impetus to it? DNA is emotional-information - it provides the instruction set of how to construct an emotional gradient that is analogue, not binary as you assume. Binary would be meaningless.Pop

    An ‘emotion gradient’ is two-dimensional: you’re suggesting that those two dimensions are pain-pleasure in relation to a degree of strength (?), but you’re not clear on the structure at the complexity level of human emotional experience. And you’ve based this on a 200-year old model that pre-dates neuroscience. I have suggested that these dimensions are a pleasant-unpleasant valence in relation to arousal value: a two-dimensional structure of relational reductionism that is well-documented and backed by neuroscience in relation to psychology. But you reject the neuroscience, seemingly because the overall interpretation appears biased towards a materialist argument, and challenges the essentialist assumptions of psychology in relation to classical emotion theories and idealism.

    The binary I’m referring to, by the way, is your ‘bias to be’. You’re suggesting it is fundamentally a bias (towards one bit of information rather than another), which suddenly and without explanation becomes a set of instructions in DNA to construct an emotion gradient within a four-dimensional system. I have suggested an elegant structure of evolution in complexity from quantum physics to consciousness that enables this, but it seems you won’t consider it either because it, too, appears biased towards a materialist argument, and challenges idealist assumptions.

    Let me assure you that my arguments are designed to challenge the assumptions of BOTH materialism AND idealism - your bias to consolidate your own position is colouring your perspective here. According to ontic structural realism (SEP), ‘it’s relations all the way down’, relational structure is ontologically subsistent, and individual ‘objects’ are merely heuristic devices used by agents to orient themselves in regions of spacetime, and to construct approximate representations of the world.

    I present a complete theory, which is in parts testable, and it fits - both in the big picture, and in explaining why we have consciousness, so it explains the hard problem. As we come to understand molecular biology better, we are seeing enormous complexity. My theory accounts for this. How does Barrett and yourself account for the below? It is at this level that you have to construct a picture, because the story of this will be the story of us.Pop

    Your theory is incomplete - you’ve said so yourself. It explains nothing except how consciousness appears to a conscious subject. Other conscious subjects are likely to agree - that only shows the extent to which their experience relates. But your ‘theory’ is a shared expression of consciousness, not an explanation of it. You cannot explain the hard problem with an expression that is bound by it.

    Lastly, the video tells me nothing that I haven’t accounted for: you will need to elaborate. I will admit that my understanding of molecular biology is limited, but I’m certainly not denying its complexity, nor the influence of qualitative relations at that level. So I’m unsure what this video challenges.
  • Pop
    351
    This doesn’t conflict with Denton’s interpretation, that I can see, except that what he refers to as a ‘force’ is, in Barrett’s theory, inseparable from information, as you say.Possibility

    She states that emotions are created in the brain. This would be incompatible with Denton's view and your statement : " I’m certainly not denying its complexity, nor the influence of qualitative relations at that level".
    Cellular complexity reveals a very sophisticated process of self organization ( consciousness ). I would reckon it rivals, and in some respects exceeds, extracellular brain consciousness, particularly in relation to protein synthesis. Acknowledging this and acknowledging that emotions play a role, I believe, is key to understanding consciousness

    Either everything is information (in which case qualia IS information),Possibility

    Yes, that is how I understand it. Information has qualitative and quantitative aspects packaged into one unit. It is created in an emotionally charged setting, or a biased setting, both for animate and inanimate matter, and so reflects this charge, but the charge and information is not miscible, rather it exists as an emulsion, and we can unentangle some of the charge rationally, but only in an emotionally charged setting of our own mind / belief system / sanity. So this process can unentangle some of the charge, but also adds extra charge to the information. So it is always biased or affected information. It is an exceedingly difficult process to articulate and account for all the complexity - it almost requires its own theory.
    In the end you get this emotional-information construction which can be negatable, by providing an instance of organic unemotional information - which I believe is logically impossible, since everything is in a process of self interested self organization, so any information it creates will reflect this.
    I then applied this to the big bang theory and, as previously explained, concluded emotional - information causes the universe to collapse in on itself and self organize, and all of its components likewise are self organizing, and we are the most self organized. So, according to my model, self organization = consciousness, and emotional-information creates it. The P.Zombie argument would supports this, but I have other logical arguments.
    Expressions of consciousness may be able to indirectly create unemotional information - I'm undecided, and still working on this.

    The binary I’m referring to, by the way, is your ‘bias to be’. You’re suggesting it is fundamentally a bias (towards one bit of information rather than another), which suddenly and without explanation becomes a set of instructions in DNA to construct an emotion gradient within a four-dimensional system. I have suggested an elegant structure of evolution in complexity from quantum physics to consciousness that enables this, but it seems you won’t consider it either because it, too, appears biased towards a materialist argument, and challenges idealist assumptions.Possibility

    A bias to be is not binary. A bias is an aversion to something and an attraction to its opposite. It has two extreme points and then all the points in between. It is analogue. We share 50% of our DNA with a banana. All life shares common DNA, and the bias to be must be among this genetic information. When I have an attraction or an aversion to someone - a bias - I'm feeling an emotion. No reason is necessary other then they have attractive or repulsive qualities, relative to my self organization. This provides impetus to behavior, and all behavior must have impetus, whether it be on cellular or human scale. Emotion is the force that creates any process of self organization or consciousness, so emotion must be present in cellular organization. If a cell has a bias to be, then it has emotion. This is the logic of it. How it actually manifests itself physically I don't know, If that is what you are asking. I imagine it is not a singular thing but belongs to all the component parts in some way.

    When I affirm my theory I do not necessarily dismiss yours. I also suspect there is quantum complexity contributing to all this, however I'm trying to put the logic together from things that we already know.

    ‘it’s relations all the way down’, relational structure is ontologically subsistent, and individual ‘objects’ are merely heuristic devices used by agents to orient themselves in regions of spacetime, and to construct approximate representations of the world.Possibility

    I don't entirely disagree with this. As an idealist though, ultimately there are systems of self organization that experience reality through those systems of self organization. It seems, you try to build a relational big picture of reality that everybody and everything is subsumed by. Whilst I say there is no reality other then personal interpretations of reality, which we must communicate in order to agree on, as we do now, but I agree with your relational interpretation of it.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    She states that emotions are created in the brain. This would be incompatible with Denton's view and your statement : " I’m certainly not denying its complexity, nor the influence of qualitative relations at that level".Pop

    I disagree - If you read what I wrote, I mentioned that Barrett uses the term ‘affect’ to distinguish between ‘emotions’ of everyday language, as concepts constructed in the brain, and your idea of ‘emotion-information’ - what Denton confusingly refers to as ‘emotion’ (not to be confused with ‘emotions’) - as a relational structure consisting of qualitative information at a bio-chemical level.

    Cellular complexity reveals a very sophisticated process of self organization ( consciousness ). I would reckon it rivals, and in some respects exceeds, extracellular brain consciousness, particularly in relation to protein synthesis. Acknowledging this and acknowledging that emotions play a role, I believe, is key to understanding consciousnessPop

    I see this as a misunderstanding from the dualist assumption that ‘extracellular brain consciousness’ is something different to (or even isolated from) this complex cellular self-organisation to which you’re referring. Simpler organisms demonstrate complex self-organisation at a cellular level, while more complex organisms also self-organise within integrated, multi-cellular systems. You’re effectively trying to isolate some arbitrary concept of ‘brain consciousness’ not only from any relation to cellular structures, but also from our integrated multi-cellular system, and then claiming it isn’t as complex as cellular-level consciousness. It’s a whole other level of complexity.

    I do agree that ‘emotion-information’ (quantitative information) plays a role. ‘Emotions’, however, are constructed in the brain. Understanding the difference, I believe, is key to understanding consciousness.

    Either everything is information (in which case qualia IS information),
    — Possibility

    Yes, that is how I understand it. Information has qualitative and quantitative aspects packaged into one unit. It is created in an emotionally charged setting, or a biased setting, both for animate and inanimate matter, and so reflects this charge, but the charge and information is not miscible, rather it exists as an emulsion, and we can unentangle some of the charge rationally, but only in an emotionally charged setting of our own mind / belief system / sanity. So this process can unentangle some of the charge, but also adds extra charge to the information. So it is always biased or affected information. It is an exceedingly difficult process to articulate and account for all the complexity - it almost requires its own theory.
    Pop

    I think what you refer to as ‘an emotionally charged setting’ IS that qualitative information: the relational structure of reality. Qualitative information manifests as this relational structure (matter); quantitative information manifests as energy. Not charge AND information (again with the dualism?). It isn’t just a matter of unentangling - it’s about understanding how all information interrelates. To ‘unentangle’ is to ignore, isolate or exclude the relations that give the information its structure, tipping the bias. The more ‘unentangled’ the information appears, the more biased/affected.

    In the end you get this emotional-information construction which can be negatable, by providing an instance of organic unemotional information - which I believe is logically impossible, since everything is in a process of self interested self organization, so any information it creates will reflect this.
    I then applied this to the big bang theory and, as previously explained, concluded emotional - information causes the universe to collapse in on itself and self organize, and all of its components likewise are self organizing, and we are the most self organized. So, according to my model, self organization = consciousness, and emotional-information creates it. The P.Zombie argument would supports this, but I have other logical arguments.
    Expressions of consciousness may be able to indirectly create unemotional information - I'm undecided, and still working on this.
    Pop

    Well, I dispute that all self-organisation is self-interested, and I’ve already given examples that refute this. The way I see it, any integrated system of matter is either self-interested (consolidating) OR self-organising (increasing awareness, connection and collaboration), but never both simultaneously. Interaction with unattributed qualitative information poses the basic question: self-interest or self-organise? The answer is expressed in consciousness.

    I don’t believe emotion-information is limited by logical possibility. This is where quantum physics challenges the way we structure logical reality. Kant’s aesthetics suggest that ‘emotion-information’ structures our imagination and understanding. But I will try to make more sense with this section when I’ve had some sleep...
  • Jack Cummins
    216

    I don't really consider myself a real academic but find your discussion of quantum physics as a challenge to logical possibilities as an extremely interesting one. I have read David Bohm's 'Wholeness and the Implicate Order' and think that this points to dimensions of existence underlying the physical universe and perhaps these are what Jung spoke about as the collective unconscious.


    I also read some of Stephen Hawking's ideas, although I do not understand the maths and I have sympathy with the ideas of the physicist Fritjof Capra. The important element, I believe , is the way in which these thinkers embrace the unknown.

    All of this leads a way open to the fullest view of multidimensional reality, including the views of the mystics. It points to a fuller view of reality than the one adhered to by most scientists and it is an important area for philosophy because most of the prevailing paradigms are limited.

    In a way, I have spent time on new age fringes where there is so much way out speculation. But there are interesting areas including the idea of junk DNA and parallel dimensions. I do believe that this can be an interesting area of exploration for philosophy, touched upon by transpersonal thinkers, including Ken Wilber.
  • Pop
    351
    I disagree - If you read what I wrote, I mentioned that Barrett uses the term ‘affect’ to distinguish between ‘emotions’ of everyday language, as concepts constructed in the brain, and your idea of ‘emotion-information’ - what Denton confusingly refers to as ‘emotion’ (not to be confused with ‘emotions’) - as a relational structure consisting of qualitative information at a bio-chemical level.Possibility

    I think the strongest insight of my theory is that emotions orient us in our personally constructed reality relative to the information surrounding us - as per the instance of consciousness in the OP. Do you agree with this, and how dose it square with Barrett's view?

    You’re effectively trying to isolate some arbitrary concept of ‘brain consciousness’ not only from any relation to cellular structures, but also from our integrated multi-cellular system, and then claiming it isn’t as complex as cellular-level consciousness. It’s a whole other level of complexity.Possibility

    My thoughts have very little control of my biology. I am not involved in that aspect of self organization at all. Extracellular consciousness is distinct and separate but linked to the whole via the PPS, in my view. Each of our organs are specialized, but linked to the whole via consciousness - each performing a specialist role. I think if we could visualize human self organization it would not be a perfect sphere, but a lumpy whole similar to a protein - unified in a best effort evolutionary manner. I think you have overstated my claims. However, simulating the basic pancreatic trypsin inhibitor over the course of a millisecond took a supercomputer about 100 days. This sort of complexity was already in existence a billion years ago when animal life first arose. An evolving brain, initially a weak system, would have to evolve on top of this superior underlying system of self organization.

    I think what you refer to as ‘an emotionally charged setting’ IS that qualitative information: the relational structure of reality. Qualitative information manifests as this relational structure (matter); quantitative information manifests as energy. Not charge AND information (again with the dualism?). It isn’t just a matter of unentangling - it’s about understanding how all information interrelates. To ‘unentangle’ is to ignore, isolate or exclude the relations that give the information its structure, tipping the bias. The more ‘unentangled’ the information appears, the more biased/affected.Possibility

    Have you mixed up your qualitative and quantitative here? The way I see it, incoming information has two aspects to it , the quantitative ( reasonable / facts ) and qualitative ( emotional ) aspects to it. Reason can distinguish between the two to some extent, but can in no way dissect and reasonably interact with the emotional aspect - you can not describe red. You must feel it! The emotional aspect of consciousness belongs to the cellular consciousness, I believe.

    To unentangle is to analyze, not ignore or exclude.

    I don’t believe emotion-information is limited by logical possibility.Possibility

    Neither do I. This is the fascinating thing about cellular consciousness - that such complexity evolved without a reasonable brain.

    Well, I dispute that all self-organisation is self-interestedPossibility

    Self organization is, by definition, self interested. It is organization relative to self. This dose not exclude collaboration, awareness and connection, nor self sacrifice for the greater good. We self organize relative to external information, through a belief system, that exists and has evolved in a collective system of self organization,
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    I think the strongest insight of my theory is that emotions orient us in our personally constructed reality relative to the information surrounding us - as per the instance of consciousness in the OP. Do you agree with this, and how dose it square with Barrett's view?Pop

    Emotions are part of our ‘constructed conceptual reality’. Within an amorphous system of information in the brain, concepts and objects make sense of everything in relation to the ‘conceptual self’, and emotion concepts in particular make sense of this conceptual self in relation to everything else. From this construction, an ongoing prediction event (instruction for effort and attention) is manufactured for the organism, open to refinement and adjustment relative to ‘actual’ reality through the interoceptive network.

    Affect, on the other hand, is part of our ongoing ‘actual’ reality. Within this system of interrelated biochemical events, it is affect that continually orients the organism relative to the changing state of internal and external sensory information of the moment, aligning with the brain’s ongoing prediction of effort and attention its own ongoing assessment of arousal and valence. It is a continual dialogue between this biochemically constructed state and the brain’s conceptually constructed prediction that results in instructional changes to the system’s four-dimensional self-organisation in relation to the world, as well as structural changes to our five-dimensional conceptual reality (including emotion concepts).

    We are aware of instructional changes (through the interoceptive network), but most of us are only vaguely aware of our conceptual system as such - we notice changes to this in relation to ‘other’ conceptual systems, and so the process of orienting the system (as a five-dimensional structure within a six-dimensional reality) continues at a broader level of awareness...

    My thoughts have very little control of my biology. I am not involved in that aspect of self organization at all. Extracellular consciousness is distinct and separate but linked to the whole via the PPS, in my view. Each of our organs are specialized, but linked to the whole via consciousness - each performing a specialist role. I think if we could visualize human self organization it would not be a perfect sphere, but a lumpy whole similar to a protein - unified in a best effort evolutionary manner. I think you have overstated my claims. However, simulating the basic pancreatic trypsin inhibitor over the course of a millisecond took a supercomputer about 100 days. This sort of complexity was already in existence a billion years ago when animal life first arose. An evolving brain, initially a weak system, would have to evolve on top of this superior underlying system of self organization.Pop

    Well, we’re in disagreement there. Your thoughts have a greater impact on your biochemical state than you realise. It doesn’t take much effort to call to mind a memory that can raise your stress levels, or to pretend you’re laying calmly on a quiet sandy beach and allow this thought to change your affective state. It’s about collaboration, not control. Consciousness is a whole-system, integrated level of self-organisation, not a mechanical structure with distinct and separate parts that operate in isolation, and battle for supremacy. Specialised does not mean isolated. A brain does not evolve ‘on top of’ biochemical self-organisation, but in full collaboration with it - a give-and-take process that a supercomputer (or other purely logical system) is unable to grasp.

    Have you mixed up your qualitative and quantitative here? The way I see it, incoming information has two aspects to it , the quantitative ( reasonable / facts ) and qualitative ( emotional ) aspects to it. Reason can distinguish between the two to some extent, but can in no way dissect and reasonably interact with the emotional aspect - you can not describe red. You must feel it! The emotional aspect of consciousness belongs to the cellular consciousness, I believe.Pop

    Not at all. Reason can only distinguish between quantitative and qualitative information by quantifying as much information as it can, building predictable structures out of these quanta with probabilistic qualitative relations, and then attempting to isolate or ignore the rest as external to logic. So the qualitative aspects you’re referring to as ‘emotional’ are simply what the brain tries to make sense of outside of logic. You can ‘feel’ warmth on your skin, but you can also quantify temperature, just as you can quantify and construct a probabilistic experience of ‘red’. Qualitative (relational) information is employed as much in reason as quantitative (analytical) information - it just isn’t referred to as ‘emotional’.

    To unentangle is to analyze, not ignore or exclude.Pop

    To analyse is to parse - to break something down into identifiable component parts (quanta). Reconstruction is optional in analysis, and so the relational structure (qualitative information) that enables that something to operate as it does is irrelevant - ignored or excluded - until one discovers something that consists of the same components, yet is not the same in operation. Only then does qualitative relation become relevant - but only to the extent that we can predictably differentiate between their operations, forming two conceptual structures. Barrett uses an example of muffins and cupcakes in her book that seems relevant here. How do we get from the same set of ingredients to two different results? And how would you determine this organisational distinction without any instructions? I’ll give you a tip: the answer isn’t to focus on the lowest common denominator.

    Well, I dispute that all self-organisation is self-interested
    — Possibility

    Self organization is, by definition, self interested. It is organization relative to self. This dose not exclude collaboration, awareness and connection, nor self sacrifice for the greater good. We self organize relative to external information, through a belief system, that exists and has evolved in a collective system of self organization,
    Pop

    But you’re talking about self-organisation in systems that have no awareness of ‘self’, so how can this be ‘interest in self’? These systems only organise what we refer to as ‘self’ because nothing else exists for them to organise. ‘Self’ for them is the universe: everything they’re aware of. Nothing else exists for the system in which they can be disinterested. This is a common misconception of self-organisation, which runs us into trouble when we use the term in relation to consciousness. We observe other animals and their interest only in what is relevant to their living system, and call it ‘self-interest’ because we identify a ‘self’ component within a conceptual system of which we are aware. But most animals are not. Yet we presume this to be a preference or bias towards the ‘self’, even though it’s a bias simply towards ‘something’ existing rather than nothing.

    So, as humans we justify our own self-interest as ‘primal’ - the common denominator we share with animals. But it’s just an excuse to ignore our self-conscious capacity to be interested in all matter, living and non-living, and to ‘self-organise’ as a global ecosystem, at least.
  • Pop
    351
    Barrett’s theory is constructionist - she successfully refutes essentialist assumptions made in classical emotion theory, which claim from intuitive and unconscious relational behaviour and historically misappropriated information that all ‘emotions’ must therefore be instinctual, and that each ‘emotion’, from pain to happiness, comes from an essence or fingerprint that is universal and identifiable across all human experience. Yet no such fingerprint can be found.Possibility

    If you believe DNA is biased to be, then this would be the fingerprint to refute Barrett's argument.
    A bias is emotional information. If DNA is biased, then all life is biased. Emotion is the essential element that all thought bounces off to create self organization. Without it there is no impetus to self organize, as per a P.Zombie. This argument applies to all life.

    Pain is an emotion, slightly different for everybody, there are gradations of pain, the absence of pain has a quality different to pain. It is an emotional gradient. Some people hardly feel it, others feel it intensely and choose death in preference to a life of pain.

    Well, we’re in disagreement there. Your thoughts have a greater impact on your biochemical state than you realisePossibility

    Come on, you know what I'm talking about - what role do you play in protein synthesis, or immune response, or all the other biological processes which we are not even aware of? Extracellular consciousness is all about extracellular self organization, whilst intracellular consciousness takes care of intracellular self organisation. They agree on the PPS.

    just as you can quantify and construct a probabilistic experience of ‘red’.Possibility

    Please quantify and construct a probabilistic experience of red for me. I think you will find it is impossible with reason alone.

    I have read over our long and interesting conversation, and I think it really boils down to whether or not you accept DNA is biased to be. I think it is logical to say that it is, and from this understanding I construct an algorithm for consciousness / self organization that works like a self loading mouse trap.
    This unifies extracellular, and intracellular consciousness. I don't think this is a possibility from brain centric conceptions of consciousness, and ideas that emotions are created in the brain. Of course brain function integrates information and translates it to emotion, it is multifunctional, but emotions themselves are something fundamental, and exist in some form in all of life, including brainless life. This is the logic of it, and it is an impossible assertion to make for a materialistic academic, as it is so problematic for the western lifestyle in so many different ways. But, I believe, If you are not entirely self interested then it is something worth considering, as it instills a respect and responsibility for all other life that is not generally found in the materialistic paradigm.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    If you believe DNA is biased to be, then this would be the fingerprint to refute Barrett's argument.
    A bias is emotional information. If DNA is biased, then all life is biased. Emotion is the essential element that all thought bounces off to create self organization. Without it there is no impetus to self organize, as per a P.Zombie. This argument applies to all life.
    Pop

    I’m thinking perhaps you misunderstand what I mean by a ‘fingerprint’ here. The classical claim is that each instance of emotion is identifiable as a particular type of emotion (say, anger) rather than another by certain biochemical or behavioural markers, because ‘anger’, for instance, apparently has an essence. A ‘bias to be’ refers to the presence of qualitative information, in the biochemical structure of RNA/DNA, that constructs a living, temporally-structured existence only from its relation to another biochemical structure of DNA - at the expense of its own consolidation. DNA is biased ‘to be’ inasmuch as all of existence strikes a tentative structural balance between consolidating and relating.

    Nothing exists that is biased to NOT be. Everything expresses a bias simply by existing, which is contingent upon a binary relation to non-existence. The essential element for any kind of organising is relation - without it, there is no qualitative information, no structure - this argument applies to all existence.

    A ‘bias to be’ could be observed in a living organism as consolidation (living by maintenance) OR as relation (living by adaptability) - but it’s really BOTH. One without the other results in the non-existence of life, either way. In a conscious organism, consolidation/maintenance isn’t about survival/life as a base, but about experience - being adaptable is now the lower limit of this bias, encoded in their DNA, and the relational aspect is experiencing by variability. A living organism is defined by a bias to ‘be’, a conscious organism by a bias to ‘become’ - striking a variable balance between consolidating and relating.

    Pain is an emotion, slightly different for everybody, there are gradations of pain, the absence of pain has a quality different to pain. It is an emotional gradient. Some people hardly feel it, others feel it intensely and choose death in preference to a life of pain.Pop

    Pain is an interoception that consists of qualitative relations, but I think it’s more than an emotional gradient. Pain has an unpleasant quality and a variable intensity that contributes to affect, but it also has spatio-temporal qualities that enable it to be described as sharp or dull, sudden or gradual, localised or moving, etc. This is more complex than a gradient. An absence of pain can be experienced as unpleasant and arousing, and even intense pain can be described as calming or pleasant (although these are often dismissed as pathological). Pain has no quantitative information, and cannot be described, measured or observed objectively - only as a relational structure. In other words, it isn’t possible to consolidate pain. It reduces to the bias that defines one’s existence, but that’s not what pain is, objectively speaking. At its absolute base existence, pain is a system’s awareness of entropy: missing information.

    Well, we’re in disagreement there. Your thoughts have a greater impact on your biochemical state than you realise
    — Possibility

    Come on, you know what I'm talking about - what role do you play in protein synthesis, or immune response, or all the other biological processes which we are not even aware of? Extracellular consciousness is all about extracellular self organization, whilst intracellular consciousness takes care of intracellular self organisation. They agree on the PPS.
    Pop

    Apparently I don’t. Are you saying that protein synthesis and immune response are examples of self-organisation at an intracellular level - with no connection to the multicellular system structures except through pain-pleasure?

    just as you can quantify and construct a probabilistic experience of ‘red’.
    — Possibility

    Please quantify and construct a probabilistic experience of red for me. I think you will find it is impossible with reason alone.
    Pop

    There - did you just experience red in the shape of your name? That probabilistic experience is quantified and constructed by the website’s code. It’s just a hashtag and six number/letter combination.

    I have read over our long and interesting conversation, and I think it really boils down to whether or not you accept DNA is biased to be. I think it is logical to say that it is, and from this understanding I construct an algorithm for consciousness / self organization that works like a self loading mouse trap.
    This unifies extracellular, and intracellular consciousness.
    Pop

    Again with the logic. Bias at the level of consciousness is a complex, five-dimensional algorithm within a six-dimensional structure of relation. This is the ‘logic’ of it. We consolidate those relations as structures of information/matter at each dimensional level - defining particles, atoms, molecules, reactions, cells, organisms, persons, etc. This enables us to make sense of relational structure one or two dimensions at a time, by ‘ignoring’ the complexity of the underlying consolidated structure. A cell cannot exist without a relation between biochemical reactions that challenges the necessity of consolidated molecular structure; a molecule cannot exist without a relation between atoms that challenges their consolidated atomic structure; an atom cannot exist without a relation between electrons and the protons within its nucleus; and a particle cannot exist without a relation to anti-matter. So, a bias at any level is essentially a relation to non-existence, regardless of consolidation. This not only unifies intra/extra-cellular consciousness, it unifies the structure of existence.

    I don't think this is a possibility from brain centric conceptions of consciousness, and ideas that emotions are created in the brain. Of course brain function integrates information and translates it to emotion, it is multifunctional, but emotions themselves are something fundamental, and exist in some form in all of life, including brainless life. This is the logic of it, and it is an impossible assertion to make for a materialistic academic, as it is so problematic for the western lifestyle in so many different ways. But, I believe, If you are not entirely self interested then it is something worth considering, as it instills a respect and responsibility for all other life that is not generally found in the materialistic paradigm.Pop

    It seems like you keep referring to my position as a ‘brain-centric’ conception of consciousness, but this is not the case at all. Emotions are constructed in the brain from qualitative information that it cannot consolidate, but all the information that it has consolidated (to which this emotion must relate) is essentially qualitative, too. Think of it as a particle-wave duality at every level of existence: all information is BOTH quantitative and qualitative in nature. It comes down to whether the system is consolidating (quantitative) or relating (qualitative) to this information. What is fundamental is not the ‘emotions’ themselves, but the qualitative information from which they are constructed, which exists in some form in all of life, and is fundamental to existence.

    I can tell you that I am neither a materialist nor an idealist, as such. I think you have a bias to consolidate your position as an idealist, which manifests as a prejudice against materialist arguments. In my view (and this is deliberately simplistic) materialists struggle with relativity and idealists struggle with entropy. But I think a six-dimensional structure of information, with qualitative-quantitative duality, accounts for both in a surprisingly elegant way.
  • Pop
    351
    Nothing exists that is biased to NOT be. Everything expresses a bias simply by existing, which is contingent upon a binary relation to non-existence. The essential element for any kind of organising is relation - without it, there is no qualitative information, no structure - this argument applies to all existence.Possibility

    DNA is alive however, Is it indifferent or is it biased?

    If it is biased then you have to admit emotions are fundamental and essential.


    A ‘bias to be’ could be observed in a living organism as consolidation (living by maintenance) OR as relation (living by adaptability) - but it’s really BOTH.Possibility

    Yes it is both. A bias to be is what the self organization revolves aground, and how this self organization expresses itself is endlessly variable and open ended - quite possibly infinite :starstruck: - If we apply Gödel's incompleteness theorem to an axiomatic consciousness, there is always information outside the system that things within the system rely on for their explanation. So this suggests infinite consciousness growth.

    Regarding your broader argument that "Nothing exists that is biased to NOT be". I would agree with this, my theory is panpsychist and it relies on not just information to be fundamental, but emotional -information. As previously explained indifferent or reasonable information would not form a universe, so it would not become a process of self organization, and neither would its component parts. You Barrett and myself agree that emotional - information exists, not purely objective information, and we arrive at this through different paradigms and different reasoning, so this is important. That everything that exists is biased to be so is profound as it affirms emotional-information. But I would speculate further in this direction, and a little off topic, in regard to where great insights and ideas come from. Minds like Einstein and others say they come from a love of the subject, but what is love? - some emotion that arises due to the pleasure of engagement with somebody or something. It gives rise to extraordinary energy and engagement, and extraordinary things happen. :smile: How this phenomenon relates to emotional-information is worthy of a theory in itself.

    Apparently I don’t. Are you saying that protein synthesis and immune response are examples of self-organisation at an intracellular level - with no connection to the [extracellular ]system structures except through pain-pleasure?Possibility

    Yes, that is how it seems. The PPS is an emotional gradient that they both agree on.

    There - did you just experience red in the shape of your name? That probabilistic experience is quantified and constructed by the website’s code. It’s just a hashtag and six number/letter combination.Possibility

    That is cheating and you know it. :smile:

    Again with the logic. Bias at the level of consciousness is a complex, five-dimensional algorithm within a six-dimensional structure of relation. This is the ‘logic’ of it.Possibility

    I love your dimensionality, I think it is really clever. I also agree on your vertical explanation of the complexity of life. What I would add is that the macro organism requires emotion to be conscious and alive, and hence all of its component parts also are experiencing emotion, and all of its component parts all the way down are thus capable of experiencing emotion, hence this must be the case, even when they are not part of the whole organism. So emotion is essential. It may be the singular concept that all the component parts can agree on.

    But I think a six-dimensional structure of information, with qualitative-quantitative duality, accounts for both in a surprisingly elegant way.Possibility

    It is a very elegant conception, but I believe it would be even better if you integrated it with my conception. :cool: - not that I'm biased or anything.

    The way I see it: Barrett's conception ( highly simplified ) is that information is integrated and thus emotion is created that affects a person. I would say how about accounting for experience. Barrett would say that is part of the subconscious. I would say hay - not any more: experience is an emotion, that is a feeling, that is either painful or pleasurable, that is something both consciousnesses agree on, that is something understood all the way down, that is something that unifies and animates the entire system.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    DNA is alive however, Is it indifferent or is it biased?Pop

    DNA is not alive. It is a molecular structure, organised in such a way that the potential of the information it contains renders a living system. Its informational structure has a qualitative aspect that manifests only in relation to another DNA structure, under certain conditions within a system that will supply the required resources.

    If it is biased then you have to admit emotions are fundamental and essential.Pop

    No I don’t. You isolate this qualitative aspect as ‘bias’ or ‘emotion’ only because you cannot consolidate it, but it only exists as such in relation to the consolidated or ‘logical’ system from which you exclude it. DNA does not consist of information plus emotion, rather its information is qualitatively four-dimensional, but you can only consolidate it in a three-dimensional quantitative structure, plus ‘emotion’ as an unconsolidated relational aspect.

    Yes, everything that exists has a relational aspect that we exclude from its consolidated definition. I don’t refer to it as ‘emotion’ because I disagree with the exclusion. This relational aspect cannot be understood separate from the relational structure that forms the DNA itself, nor from the relational structure that forms each of its atomic and particular components and brings them together in this way. And so ‘emotion’ is an arbitrary distinction that limits understanding of qualitative information as a whole-system structure.

    A bias to be is what the self organization revolves aground, and how this self organization expresses itself is endlessly variable and open ended - quite possibly infinite :starstruck: - If we apply Gödel's incompleteness theorem to an axiomatic consciousness, there is always information outside the system that things within the system rely on for their explanation. So this suggests infinite consciousness growth.Pop

    It seems endless, but each system still has it limitations. Carlo Rovelli describes the two main postulates of quantum mechanics in terms of information this way:

    1. The relevant information in any physical system is finite.
    2. You can always obtain new information on a physical system.

    Here, relevant information is the information that we have about a given system as a consequence of our past interactions with it: information allowing us to predict what will be the result for us of future interactions with this system. The first postulate characterises the granularity of quantum mechanics: the fact that a finite number of possibilities exists. The second characterises its indeterminacy: the fact that there is always something unpredictable which allows us to obtain new information. When we acquire new information about a system, the total relevant information cannot grow indefinitely (because of the first postulate), and part of the previous information becomes irrelevant, that is to say, it no longer has any effect upon predictions of the future. In quantum mechanics when we interact with a system, we don’t only learn something, we also ‘cancel’ a part of the relevant information about the system.
    — Carlo Rovelli, ‘Reality Is Not What It Seems’

    It is only when we recognise these limitations that we realise the importance of our interconnectedness, and that being able to navigate the entire relational structure of existence is what will enable us to more efficiently consolidate complex information structures.

    Regarding your broader argument that "Nothing exists that is biased to NOT be". I would agree with this, my theory is panpsychist and it relies on not just information to be fundamental, but emotional -information. As previously explained indifferent or reasonable information would not form a universe, so it would not become a process of self organization, and neither would its component parts. You Barrett and myself agree that emotional - information exists, not purely objective information, and we arrive at this through different paradigms and different reasoning, so this is important. That everything that exists is biased to be so is profound as it affirms emotional-information. But I would speculate further in this direction, and a little off topic, in regard to where great insights and ideas come from. Minds like Einstein and others say they come from a love of the subject, but what is love? - some emotion that arises due to the pleasure of engagement with somebody or something. It gives rise to extraordinary energy and engagement, and extraordinary things happen. :smile: How this phenomenon relates to emotional-information is worthy of a theory in itself.Pop

    Love is what rounds out this six-dimensional structure of existence in terms of qualitative relations: pure relational possibility. This is the part that I find reductionists struggle with the most, where everything dissolves into its negation. Because when everything matters regardless of value, then nothing matters; and ‘all information is meaningful’ becomes meaningless. The six-dimensional structure of existence is equal to non-existence. It messes with your head, but without this final dimension then nothing exists. But that’s another topic...

    It’s worth exploring Kant’s aesthetics to recognise how this develops from the pleasure of engagement to a non-conceptual, disinterested delight, allowing ‘free play’ between our faculties of imagination, understanding and judgement. It’s a challenge for reductionists, though, who struggle to resist judgement, consolidating away objects and concepts until only ideas remain, leaving very little substance to play with in the end.

    Apparently I don’t. Are you saying that protein synthesis and immune response are examples of self-organisation at an intracellular level - with no connection to the [extracellular ]system structures except through pain-pleasure?
    — Possibility

    Yes, that is how it seems. The PPS is an emotional gradient that they both agree on.
    Pop

    But how do you determine that protein synthesis agrees with this emotional gradient? And are you simply organising extra-cellular system structures so that they do agree?

    There - did you just experience red in the shape of your name? That probabilistic experience is quantified and constructed by the website’s code. It’s just a hashtag and six number/letter combination.
    — Possibility

    That is cheating and you know it. :smile:
    Pop

    Maybe a little - but it demonstrates my point. Everything that we quantify, we also experience qualitatively. And what we experience qualitatively cannot always be fully quantified, but the most accurately I can construct a qualitative experience for you is by structuring the information I have within the most complex logical system that we share, so that you relate to it in a predictable way. The simpler the logical system I use, and the more unqualified assumptions I make, the more variable your relation to the experience might turn out to be.
  • FrancisRay
    74
    In the OP you're speaking about intellect, not consciousness. This is a very common approach in the West but it gets us nowhere. It is this sort of thinking that reduces consciousness to information processing, which is the claim that all the mystics of all time were deluded and fraudulent. Well, maybe, but it's a massive speculative leap that seems entirely ad hoc. . .
  • Pop
    351
    In the OP you're speaking about intellect, not consciousness. This is a very common approach in the West but it gets us nowhere. It is this sort of thinking that reduces consciousness to information processing, which is the claim that all the mystics of all time were deluded and fraudulent. Well, maybe, but it's a massive speculative leap that seems entirely ad hoc. . .FrancisRay

    In the OP I describe an instance of consciousness where information is integrated with emotion. This being the state that creates an experience, which we take to be reality. The information is processed by the intellect / extracellular consciousness, but the emotion belongs to the whole system, hence when information and emotion is unified the whole system agrees. But you would really have to read the whole theory.

    As a monistic idealist, information is the fundamental stuff, but I do sympathize with a lot of yogic logic, although I keep my rationale and language firmly embedded in logic and a materialistic language and style.
  • Pop
    351
    DNA is not alive. It is a molecular structure, organised in such a way that the potential of the information it contains renders a living system. Its informational structure has a qualitative aspect that manifests only in relation to another DNA structure, under certain conditions within a system that will supply the required resources.Possibility

    DNA is not only alive, it is immortal. Life is its vehicle. It is living information, and ultimately, if information is fundamental, this is what life is - living information. You cant say DNA is not alive! It exists in every one of your 10 trillion odd cells.

    1. The relevant information in any physical system is finite.
    2. You can always obtain new information on a physical system.
    — Carlo Rovelli, ‘Reality Is Not What It Seems’

    So which postulate do we accept? Because one contradicts the other! If a system is finite, how can you always obtain new information?

    It’s worth exploring Kant’s aesthetics to recognise how this develops from the pleasure of engagement to a non-conceptual, disinterested delight, allowing ‘free play’ between our faculties of imagination, understanding and judgement.Possibility

    This statement dose not disagree with my view entirely. Kant is experiencing qualia, whilst suspending intellectual content. Of course, it is doubtful such a situation can exist, and it makes no sense to say that in such a setting you can have understanding or judgement, as those would be intellectual content. This gets back to why you cannot describe red with reason alone, it is something that can only be experienced, and is a slightly different experience for everybody regardless of how you might describe it.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    DNA is not only alive, it is immortal. Life is its vehicle. It is living information, and ultimately, if information is fundamental, this is what life is - living information. You cant say DNA is not alive! It exists in every one of your 10 trillion odd cells.Pop

    No, DNA is information for living. There’s a difference. DNA by itself is a biochemical molecular structure - its capacity for life is purely relational, in the same way that energy’s material capacity is purely relational. Saying that DNA is alive is like saying that energy is directly observable - you’re referring to the capacity of a relational process as if it is the result.

    Our language is structured to conflate the process of potential with its result, particularly with nouns ending in ‘-ation’. I have a feeling we will continue to talk past each other in a number of areas because of your focus on reduction, and mine on relation. The concept ‘information’, for instance, can refer to the process (relation) as well as the result (consolidation). But if ‘information is fundamental’, then which of these are we referring to? And which of these is ‘emotion’?

    1. The relevant information in any physical system is finite.
    2. You can always obtain new information on a physical system.
    — Carlo Rovelli, ‘Reality Is Not What It Seems’

    So which postulate do we accept? Because one contradicts the other! If a system is finite, how can you always obtain new information?
    Pop

    That’s the thing: they don’t contradict each other at all. It only seems like they do because we conflate the process of potential with its result. Information in quantum mechanics refers only to its relational process, because the results can be consolidated only in relation to an observer. Think of it this way: how is it that computer capacity keeps growing, while the physical size gets smaller? In a finite system, it is how we structure the potential for information that increases its capacity, and the physical size of an information system is limited ultimately by its energy consumption.

    This statement dose not disagree with my view entirely. Kant is experiencing qualia, whilst suspending intellectual content. Of course, it is doubtful such a situation can exist, and it makes no sense to say that in such a setting you can have understanding or judgement, as those would be intellectual content.Pop

    It wasn’t supposed to disagree with your view. But Kant is not suspending intellectual content - what would be consolidated into objects and concepts, he’s retaining as relational information.
  • Pop
    351
    No, DNA is information for living. There’s a difference. DNA by itself is a biochemical molecular structure - its capacity for life is purely relational, in the same way that energy’s material capacity is purely relational. Saying that DNA is alive is like saying that energy is directly observable - you’re referring to the capacity of a relational process as if it is the result.Possibility

    Come on, is your arm alive? Is your heart alive? Are you alive? Because according to your argument you are not. This is a surprise argument from you. What dose not depend on relation for its existence?

    DNA is indeed alive as part of a whole living system, just as you are alive as part of the biosphere and information that surrounds you. DNA is alive and indeed immortal, or at least the basic instruction set shared by all of life is immortal. The Bias to be is a fundamental necessity that self organisation / consciousness forms around. It creates a self that is biased to be, hence self organisation can occur. It could not occur around an indifference to be / a non self.The selfish gene creates consciousness. A non selfish gene would be a P.zombie gene, so indifferent or not selfish, so not conscious or alive.

    So DNA is biased to be, whether self determined, or externally determined. Hence emotional-information is fundamental. It is the fundamental necessity for consciousness and life. Unemotional information would not cause self organization as there would be no self to organize around. Emotional information causes a central bias that is the self, and this is what self organization / consciousness forms around and preserves.

    Of course, my postulates challenge your self organization, and visa versa. This is why I am not hopeful of a resolution any time soon. :rage:

    1. The relevant information in any physical system is finite.
    2. You can always obtain new information on a physical system.
    Pop

    Postulate one contradicts Gödel's incompleteness theorem, and lets not forget these postulates are mathematically based. This is why I try not to stray too far from personal experience - the further from this the murkier the waters become.

    It’s worth exploring Kant’s aesthetics to recognize how this develops from the pleasure of engagement to a non-conceptual, disinterested delight, allowing ‘free play’ between our faculties of imagination, understanding and judgement.Possibility

    What Kant is describing is an experience. But in his time he dose not have the conceptual framework with which to understand it. He lacks the P.zombie argument principally, so he strays into impossible assertions which simply don't make sense.

    Consciousness can be divided into information integration, and then experience, and then affect.
    The experience, I postulate, is resolved to an emotion, which is a feeling, which resolves to a point on the PPS. This creates Affect. I think, you, Kant and Barrett see the experience component as the subconscious, and so you make mistakes. It is possible to some extent to suspend thought, and feel the qualia of an experience, but to then suggest imagination, understanding , and judgement can come into play is a contradiction, as then intellect comes into play and that effects the feeling being felt. I can see a beautiful women and enjoy seeing her beauty non judgmentally, but then I learn something about her that I don't like, and so her beauty in my eyes is diminished.

    It is possible to reach a state of consciousness in meditation that is ineffable. It is a state where the intellectual consciousness is turned off, so nothing can be said about this state. It is not something many can do reliably, but many will experience such moments in meditation, and still others can use such mind control in everyday life. Kant is referring to this ability without quite grasping it. Having knowledge of this ability shines a alight on experience, in my opinion.
  • Pop
    351
    The concept ‘information’, for instance, can refer to the process (relation) as well as the result (consolidation). But if ‘information is fundamental’, then which of these are we referring to? And which of these is ‘emotion’?Possibility

    Fundamentally everything is information. If we strip the energy and matter from the universe , it is just information interacting with information, but the information differentiates through consolidation, and for that to happen there has to be a bias / self interest around which self organization can take place. So central to the zones of self organization there is emotion, in the form of a biased self - in animate and inanimate matter. So emotion is the central element of self organization, as best I understand it. Consolidation could not occur without a central bias to form around. It would not form around an indifference, and a self disinterest would be a repulsive force, whilst a bias to be is an attractive, gravity like force.

    This dose not exclude relation. Zones of consolidation still have to relate to the information surrounding them, and at the same time consolidate in order to have a self, so its a balancing act. To be a self there has to be differentiation, or selfishness, but I agree with you entirely that this would be meaningless without relating to the surrounding information. Zones of consolidation occur, but they themselves are part of a greater whole, which they form from, and which may indeed create them, and certainly which they cannot exist without.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    Come on, is your arm alive? Is your heart alive? Are you alive? Because according to your argument you are not. This is a surprise argument from you. What dose not depend on relation for its existence?

    DNA is indeed alive as part of a whole living system, just as you are alive as part of the biosphere and information that surrounds you. DNA is alive and indeed immortal, or at least the basic instruction set shared by all of life is immortal.
    Pop

    I think I’m starting get a picture of how you’re viewing this. It’s similar to the 3+1 dimensional perspective of the physical universe: consolidation plus emotion/relation. You’re starting with a defined object - the DNA molecule - and then attempting to attribute the extra relational information (which at this level is information for ‘life’) without losing the original consolidated structure. So consolidated-DNA plus emotion = ‘alive’. It’s the ‘plus emotion equals’ that I’m concerned with, because the relational process is not that simple.

    Using ‘plus emotion equals’ works as long as you’re only talking about a relation to one consolidation level. Once you move from there to consciousness, you can either talk about consolidated DNA+emotion=life, OR you can talk about consolidated life+emotion=consciousness. But to talk about both, you need to understand the relational structure is not just ‘plus emotion equals’, because you’re talking about two different dimensional aspects. In mathematics, it would be like talking about an x-axis variable and a y-axis variable as if they were both y. Also, keep in mind that consolidated molecules+relation=DNA; consolidated atoms+relation=molecular; consolidated (probabilistic) particles+relation=atomic; and that particles are pure relational structure. Each of these equations shows an emotion/relation variable as a dimensional extension from the consolidated object. The ‘+relation=’ is a placeholder for some relational structure, and its complexity is exponential.

    So in the end, it’s pointless arguing about whether or not DNA is ‘alive’ in a discussion about consciousness, because the +relation= in the equation DNA+relation=life needs to be expanded out if you hope to relate consolidated DNA to the equation: life+emotion=consciousness.

    An overall six-dimensional structure helps me to keep these relations all in perspective, so that I can’t confuse one relational aspect with another, as I shift from atom to molecule to DNA to living system to conscious subject and back again. I may not know the exact structural relation, but I do know that the relational information between a living system and consciousness is not the same as the relational information between DNA and a living system, because that information is consolidated uniquely in each living system. So, it’s all relational information, but it’s not the same information.

    I can say with confidence that your hope to consolidate the ‘basic instruction set shared by all life’ is as pointless as a religious hope to consolidate the ‘basic instruction set’ for all human morality. Both will lead you either to a false and exclusive binary, or to the fundamental and arbitrary relation between matter and non-existence.

    The Bias to be is a fundamental necessity that self organisation / consciousness forms around. It creates a self that is biased to be, hence self organisation can occur. It could not occur around an indifference to be / a non self.The selfish gene creates consciousness. A non selfish gene would be a P.zombie gene, so indifferent or not selfish, so not conscious or alive.Pop

    There is no such thing as a p-zombie gene - this is an example of a false binary.

    1. DNA + emotion (bias to be) = life
    2. life + emotion (bias to become) = consciousness
    3. emotion (bias to be) = emotion (bias to become)
    4. Therefore consciousness — emotion = p.zombie gene

    My problem is with 3, for reasons I have tried to explain above.

    1. The relevant information in any physical system is finite.
    2. You can always obtain new information on a physical system.
    — Pop

    Postulate one contradicts Gödel's incompleteness theorem, and lets not forget these postulates are mathematically based. This is why I try not to stray too far from personal experience - the further from this the murkier the waters become.
    Pop

    These postulates are based on quantum mechanics, so they take into account the variability of personal experience in applying mathematics to physics, and do not refer to an axiomatic system. You’re making a false assumption that ‘relevant information’ is all possible information, which would contradict Godel’s theorem, but Rovelli explains quite clearly that this is not the case. I suggest you read it again.

    Consciousness can be divided into information integration, and then experience, and then affect.
    The experience, I postulate, is resolved to an emotion, which is a feeling, which resolves to a point on the PPS. This creates Affect. I think, you, Kant and Barrett see the experience component as the subconscious, and so you make mistakes. It is possible to some extent to suspend thought, and feel the qualia of an experience, but to then suggest imagination, understanding , and judgement can come into play is a contradiction, as then intellect comes into play and that effects the feeling being felt. I can see a beautiful women and enjoy seeing her beauty non judgmentally, but then I learn something about her that I don't like, and so her beauty in my eyes is diminished.
    Pop

    You’re consolidating experience from information before any interaction occurs. Information is resolved to affect by the interoceptive network and aligned with conceptualised experience (which has also been resolved to predictions of affect for the purpose of relation). The potential for adjustments to prediction and/or interoception is evaluated for the system’s current and predicted availability, requirement and allocation of energy (effort and attention), and the most efficient resolution is determined as an overall instruction for the system - to be continually revised in the same way at every subsequent moment. This ongoing resolution forms the basis of our allocation of attention: our consciousness, most of which is working on conceptualised experience. With practise, we can learn to allocate more attention only to interoception (ie. through meditation), OR to the process of evaluation itself: the interplay of imagination, understanding and judgement. This is introspection. If you learn something about a beautiful woman that you don’t like and allow it to affect how you perceive her beauty, then you’ve given rein to judgement. The challenge is to understand that her ‘beauty’ is not yours to bestow through judgement. Then you can still appreciate this beauty, without ignoring what you’ve learned about her. To suspend judgement is not to dismiss information, but to imagine the feeling without that effect, and in doing so understand how information affects your faculty of judgement, which shines a light on experience.

    It is possible to reach a state of consciousness in meditation that is ineffable. It is a state where the intellectual consciousness is turned off, so nothing can be said about this state. It is not something many can do reliably, but many will experience such moments in meditation, and still others can use such mind control in everyday life. Kant is referring to this ability without quite grasping it. Having knowledge of this ability shines a alight on experience, in my opinion.Pop

    Kant is not referring to ‘turning off’ intellectual consciousness, but examining it. This is a common misconception of Kant’s aesthetic experience - it comes from a compulsion to consolidate objects and concepts in the intellectual process. Interestingly, it’s a compulsion that Kant shares. This is why he refers to aesthetic experience - because there exists an awareness of beauty and delight in our experience of nature that commonly transcends object, concept, purpose and even necessity, despite all efforts to consolidate.
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    I think I’m starting get a picture of how you’re viewing this.Possibility

    No I'm afraid we are miles apart.

    So in the end, it’s pointless arguing about whether or not DNA is ‘alive’ in a discussion about consciousness, because the +relation= in the equation DNA+relation=life needs to be expanded out if you hope to relate consolidated DNA to the equation: life+emotion=consciousness.Possibility

    The issue with whether DNA is alive or not revolves around whether it is biased to be. The below video shows DNA in action. It is indeed alive and wiggling, and doing its stuff, much like a queen bee in the center of a hive, with RNAs tending to it, and epigenetics coordinating the whole show. It is alive and biased to be, you have admitted previously that a bias to be is central to life. DNA is central to life also. As per Richard Dawkins's Selfish gene, and my argument that a bias exists centrally to consciousness / self organization, and a bias, and selfishness are emotions, thus emotion is shown to be fundamental.



    There is no such thing as a p-zombie gene - this is an example of a false binary.Possibility

    Exactly! I was using it as an expression of something that that could not create consciousness. As apposed to a selfish / biased gene, which is essential in establishing a self around which self organization can take place. Thus consciousness and life arose together. But for consciousness to exist emotion has to be present, and in DNA it is present as a bias to be, or a selfishness that creates the self, as the nucleus of self organization.

    DNA has the following options:
    1. Biased to be
    2. indifferent to be.
    3. Random about being
    4 biased to not be.

    Which of these options do you think it is? Which option would natural selection favour? Whether this is a choice DNA makes, or is something shaped by external forces, is of no consequence. This is the fundamental information shared by all of life that we are talking about. Look at the world around you, every niche is filled with life. Please engage with and answer this question before we go further. It is an easy question to answer, in my opinion. I simply ask myself - to be or not to be, and I know the answer. I don't need to rationalize anything or build a theory around it, I don't need to think about it at all. It is a bias that exists within me, and my DNA.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    The issue with whether DNA is alive or not revolves around whether it is biased to be. The below video shows DNA in action. It is indeed alive and wiggling, and doing its stuff, much like a queen bee in the center of a hive, with RNAs tending to it, and epigenetics coordinating the whole show. It is alive and biased to be, you have admitted previously that a bias to be is central to life. DNA is central to life also. As per Richard Dawkins's Selfish gene, and my argument that a bias exists centrally to consciousness / self organization, and a bias, and selfishness are emotions, thus emotion is shown to be fundamental.Pop

    The DNA ‘in action’ is part of the relational structure in a living system. Without this relation, the process would not occur, and the DNA would meet none of the requirements for life. The DNA seems like it is alive because it is always perceived as part of an existing living system. The video is a computer-generated consolidation of relational processes, allowing you to visually isolate and identify certain ‘objects’. But the objects don’t exist, only the relational processes do. This ‘show’ is just one aspect of relational processes, which together structure each of the players, as well as the living system, of which it is an integrated and integral part.

    The fundamental ‘bias’ and ‘selfishness’ refer to these relational processes, interpreted as properties and attributed to ‘objects’ as ‘+emotion’ via consolidation - ie. by ignoring the relational processes that structure what you consider to be fundamental, and excluding the relational processes that transcend the system you consider to be universal. If I was so ignorant as to assume life as the be-all-and-end-all of existence, then I might agree that ‘emotion is fundamental’. I do agree that whatever constitutes your concept of ‘+emotion=’ underlies the very structure of life and also enables consciousness, but I disagree with how you constitute this concept only from what is unreasonable within a system. This prevents you from understanding the concept as it pertains to all of existence.

    I was using it as an expression of something that that could not create consciousness. As apposed to a selfish / biased gene, which is essential in establishing a self around which self organization can take place. Thus consciousness and life arose together. But for consciousness to exist emotion has to be present, and in DNA it is present as a bias to be, or a selfishness that creates the self, or the nucleus of self organization.Pop

    Life arose with the potential for consciousness, just as atoms arose with the potential for molecules. But for molecules to exist, it is not ‘emotion’ that has to be present, but an underlying relational structure through which ‘molecular potential’ is established, enabling this ‘self’-organisation of atoms only through correlation. This ‘molecular potential’ consists of an energy prediction of effort (distance) and attention (direction) in the atom that aligns with another. And once a molecule exists, it, too, has an underlying relational structure (more complex than the atom) with a certain potential for material substance, also consisting of effort (energy) and attention (structure). But most molecules don’t form material substances, just as most atoms don’t form molecules, most molecular structures don’t form living organisms and most living organisms don’t form a ‘self’. Those that do are not so much biased to be as interactively ‘lucky’ in the scheme of existence (or unlucky, depending on your view).

    You can refer to the potential for consciousness as ‘emotion’ in your narrow perspective, but it will confuse the issue if you then explore the potential of the conscious self for introspection: ie. to form ‘emotions’, thoughts and other abstract concepts, that enable the ‘no-longer-self’-organisation of consciousness into differentiated conceptual systems within a broader relational structure of intersubjective meaning. But more than likely you also exclude this aspect of reality from your theory. I understand your preference for keeping it simple, but either this is a theory of consciousness, or you admit it’s an expression of limited intersubjective experience of consciousness.

    DNA has the following options:
    1. Biased to be
    2. indifferent to be.
    3. Random about being
    4 biased to not be.

    Which of these options do you think it is? Which option would natural selection favour? Whether this is a choice DNA makes, or is something shaped by external forces, is of no consequence. This is the fundamental information shared by all of life that we are talking about. Look at the world around you, every niche is filled with life. Please engage with and answer this question before we go further. It is an easy question to answer, in my opinion. I simply ask myself - to be or not to be, and I know the answer. I don't need to rationalize anything or build a theory around it, I don't need to think about it at all. It is a bias that exists within me, and my DNA.
    Pop

    DNA as a molecular structure is biased to be ONLY in relation to a living system. Otherwise, it is biased to NOT BE. Your answer is ‘to be’ because you only relate to the question as a living system. But objectively speaking, DNA as a conceptually isolated molecular structure is indifferent, and at the most fundamental level of existence, any answer to the question of ‘to be or not to be?’ is random.
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    The DNA ‘in action’ is part of the relational structure in a living system. Without this relation, the process would not occur, and the DNA would meet none of the requirements for lifePossibility

    I totally agree with you in regard to the relational aspect of everything. My philosophy was weak in this area, and this conversation has helped to strengthen my understanding, so thank you.
    Yes DNA is alive as part of a system. It is probably not the dominant brain of the system, it is capable of creating messenger RNA, and they, in their many guises, are seeming to be the epigenetics of the system. They can transcribe from DNA, but also reverse transcribe, to alter DNA.

    I do agree that whatever constitutes your concept of ‘+emotion=’ underlies the very structure of life and also enables consciousness, but I disagree with how you constitute this concept only from what is unreasonable within a systemPossibility

    I concentrate on the fundamentals of a system to try and unentangle the qualitative ( emotional ) and quantitative information. There are only tiny little straws on offer to do this with. Thus far microbes respond to painful stimuli, the selfish gene, the bias to be, and gradient tracking - all suggest emotions at the fundamental level. We know information, energy and matter are present at this level, we know there is life, but for consciousness we need emotion to be present at this level, and I think there is a strong case. I am convinced , at least.

    Life arose with the potential for consciousnessPossibility

    Relational aspects of life are well established. Once emotion at the fundamental level is established, then we start to get an understanding of how consolidation or a nucleus to relational self organization forms. That qualia cause self organization is a good bet. Dose qualia = emotion? If so, and this is my understanding, then it is consciousness that emerges as self organization, not life. Life is a concept that obscures this understanding, and I wish I could erase it from common usage, as it is redundant and makes my case difficult to explain. Consciousness arises as a system of self organization - this is what you are seeing in those cellular animations. An extremely sophisticated system of self organization. This system of self organization is common to all of life, and as we come to understand it better, we must attribute its spectacular complexity, to either god, or a consciousness.


    most molecular structures don’t form living organisms and most living organisms don’t form a ‘self’.Possibility

    The way I understand it is - all living organisms form a self. Forming a self is fundamental to self organization.

    DNA as a molecular structure is biased to be ONLY in relation to a living system. Otherwise, it is biased to NOT BE. Your answer is ‘to be’ because you only relate to the question as a living system. But objectively speaking, DNA as a conceptually isolated molecular structure is indifferent, and at the most fundamental level of existence, any answer to the question of ‘to be or not to be?’ is random.Possibility

    Yes, DNA can only exist in a living system, and is biased to be. Fundamentally it is biased to be, as the universe is biased to be, so all of the component parts of the universe in turn are biased to be. So it would seem emotion is fundamental as well as information. This is how I understand Panpsychism.
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