• Mapping the Medium
    114
    I doubt that anyone can deny that humans, and some animals, have a self-image. As demonstrated by Descartes, my reasoning Self is the only thing I know for sure. But, is it a will'o'wisp of fleeting imagination, or something more durable that can survive death? Is the Soul a gift of God, or of Evolution? Is it a spark of divinity, or merely a tool for genetic survival? These are some of the Essential questions that I was looking for insight on.Gnomon

    Science has found through studies of brain development that the prenatal brain develops as a combination of decoding genetic and epigenetic information plus the cognitive mapping of the current environment. Some things old, some things new. Synapses in the brain, although connected, are not actually attached. There is a gap between each one, where information is exchanged via chemical and electrical 'signals' (people are not attached, but they exchange information via signals). Cognitive mapping continues after birth and for the rest of life. Once the child reaches about six years old, and the head growth slows, the brain connections least useful to the child in its daily environment are pruned back. The child's brain has developed to be best suited for the environment, under whatever circumstances those may be. And, the child's sense of 'self' is developed via recognizing and differentiating that which is 'not' self. Example: "My eyes are blue because they are not like my father's, which someone told me are brown."

    If our 'self', through brain development, is a combination of 'some things old, some things new', mentally and physically, and consciousness is not a material aspect of that, it seems logical that the immaterial portion of the contributions (that which is 'experienced' through interaction with otherness) would revert to being immaterial when the 'material' is sloughed off.
  • Enrique
    203


    As demonstrated by Descartes, my reasoning Self is the only thing I know for sure. But, is it a will'o'wisp of fleeting imagination, or something more durable that can survive death? Is the Soul a gift of God, or of Evolution? Is it a spark of divinity, or merely a tool for genetic survival? — Gnomon

    I think the issue of human essence reduces to the nature of mind as the intersection of material environment/anatomy with immaterial experience linked to soul. The concept of matter was initially a product of thought experiments, enriched by technology into a detailed, powerful mechanistic understanding of substance as it presents to the sense organs. Our sense-perceptions, extremely well-suited for many practical needs to begin with, were potently enhanced, giving us a far-reaching ability to observe from a sort of abbreviatingly efficient perspective, but lacking the capacity to explain all kinds of phenomena, including the immaterial aspects of experience. The blending of chemistry and neuroscience with quantum physics will probably make qualia more explicable and revolutionize spatiotemporal theories of matter, presenting a whole new vista of possible theory and technology. In my view, many intuitions about soul will most likely have some kind of scientifically derived validity, or else where would the pervasiveness of these ideas have come from in the first place?

    So basically, I think we create the apparent world by cognition, but this is a simultaneous mess of inadequate reifications that are constantly being used to inhibit unity. Theory is ulterior motive as much as explanation, and we don't have much control of our motives, though ideals are easy enough to articulate. We've had satisfying ideals for millennia! The spirit of the European Enlightenment isn't really that different in essence from Plato's basic outlook, or that of the Buddha, or what lastingly influential prophets everywhere have always been saying when they get the unlikely chance.
  • Gnomon
    612
    If our 'self', through brain development, is a combination of 'some things old, some things new', mentally and physically, and consciousness is not a material aspect of that, it seems logical that the immaterial portion of the contributions (that which is 'experienced' through interaction with otherness) would revert to being immaterial when the 'material' is sloughed off.Mapping the Medium
    Thoughts, presented in Enformationism terms, inspired by your comments :

    That reasoning is how ancient people constructed the notion of an immortal Soul, as distinct from the mortal body. But, although Consciousness is essential to the Soul/Self, it is not a thing but a process. It's not made of matter or stuff. Instead, Consciousness is a product of Information Processing. Mind is what the brain does.

    Although Information can occur in both physical and metaphysical (mental) forms, it is not a material object, but the power to cause change. We are most familiar with that aspect of Information in the form of Energy. In humans, information-processing extracts self-relevant meaning from various changes in the environment. That influx of meaning (significance) is what we call "consciousness". And Self-consciousness is the essence of human nature : your persona.

    Since Consciousness is a process, it can start and stop. When Consciousness stops, the Self/Soul dis-organizes, and the body dies. But the energy (EnFormAction) is always conserved. It continues to flow through the world. So, you could say that the Information that formed the Self/Soul re-enters the main stream of EnFormAction (G*D-Mind in action). Like a drop in the ocean, it is no longer a distinct object.

    The Form of your Self/Soul is equivalent to the meaningful data in a computer. It's mathematical or personal relationships, not physical stuff. So, just as the geometrical relationship of three dots continues to exist (in potential) after the dots are erased, your personal Form-data may remain in G*D-Mind after its incarnation is deceased. But it lacks the space-time instance that made it a self-referencing Subject in the first place.


    After-thoughts : Unfortunately, while the concept of an immaterial Soul is reasonable, most people still think of it in material terms. For example, ghosts are imagined as a person whose body is now transparent ectoplasm instead of red meat. Dead loved-ones are imagined as-if they are still living in another space-time location (heaven or parallel world). Mediums talk to the dead via mental telegraphy instead of sound waves. But such mind-mind communication of information is notoriously imperfect. Although no wires are involved, and distance should not be a problem, mind-readers and mediums seem to struggle with a lot of noise & static & entropy. Which is why Claude Shannon developed his theory of Information. You would think that by eliminating the physical constraints of communication, we wouldn't have to say, "can you hear me now?" So, I remain skeptical about our ability to communicate directly from Consciousness to Consciousness, without a physical substrate to act on the material world.


    Information : http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page11.html

    G*D-Mind : refers to some sort of universal meta-physical source (mind-field) of Information/Energy/Meaning that we know only by reasoning from our experience with the physical world. Not a localized persona, but a general Cause of all change, including the difference-that-makes-a-difference known as "Information".
  • Mapping the Medium
    114
    Since Consciousness is a process, it can start and stop. When Consciousness stops, the Self/Soul dis-organizes, and the body dies. But the energy (EnFormAction) is always conserved. It continues to flow through the world. So, you could say that the Information that formed the Self/Soul re-enters the main stream of EnFormAction (G*D-Mind in action). Like a drop in the ocean, it is no longer a distinct object.Gnomon

    Agreed.
  • Gnomon
    612
    In my view, many intuitions about soul will most likely have some kind of scientifically derived validity, or else where would the pervasiveness of these ideas have come from in the first place?Enrique
    See my response to Mapping the Medium.

    We've had satisfying ideals for millennia!Enrique
    Yes. In the infancy of humanity, the concept of an immaterial Soul was a serious philosophical explanation for both Animation and for Action-at-a-Distance. But the task for modern philosophy is to reconcile those ancient rationalizations with the empirical evidence uncovered by Science. Which is exactly why I have developed the Enformationism thesis.

    For example the notion of invisible causal Spirit/Chi/Prana is what we now know as Energy. But some of the imaginary effects of spirit/energy --- such as martial arts masters "throwing" Chi --- are now seen as adolescent fantasies : super-hero powers. It works like magic in stories, but when's the last time you actually saw someone in your presence knocked-down without touching?

    throw%20chi%203.jpg
  • Enrique
    203


    It works like magic in stories, but when's the last time you actually saw someone in your presence knocked-down without touching? — Gnomon

    Um...no comment lol
  • Siti
    72
    Don't overthink it. The intended goal may be general, but the final outcome will be specific.Gnomon

    I understand that...but even a 'wise fool' (according to the well known Irish joke) knows that if you want to get to Dublin you shouldn't start from here...! If the 'world' began in primordial chaos, how did it know there even was to be an outcome, a destination, a path (no matter how diffuse and indistinct) to be followed - let alone anything about its "general" parameters? Learning processes often do lead to unexpected destinations, but they usually start with at the very least a question - even if it is an open-ended one. They don't usually start from "no idea at all" as far as I can tell...although they might, like threads on philosophy forums, end up there!

    That example misses the point of "aboutness".Gnomon

    OK - but we're getting confusing definitions now - I was going on from Terrence Deacon's usage...which not about perceptions...in any case - even if 'elephant-aboutness' is in the eye of the beholder, the question still pertains - what is an elephant with no 'elephant-aboutness'?

    Entention (aim, purpose, motivation) must come before Completion (conclusion, resolution, realization). If intent and goal coexist, then there's no need to move toward the target.Gnomon

    I don't believe I said anything about intent and goal coexisting, what I said was that 'ententionality' (aims, purposes, motivations, functionalities, directionalities...) must emerge with the emerging reality - their 'goals' may be future and may remain unrealized, but the 'ententionalities' are (I am suggesting) the 'mental poles' of the emerging realities - inseparable from and necessarily coexistent with the 'physical pole' substrates on which they (ententionalities) 'supervene' (perhaps) driving the evolution of the reality forward...but with no particular destination in mind - at least most of the time.
  • Gnomon
    612
    'wise fool' . . . They don't usually start from "no idea at all" as far as I can tellSiti
    I assume you are referring to the programmers of mundane Evolutionary Programming, But, did I say anything about “no idea at all”? In my analogy between Intelligent Evolution and Genetic Design, I indicated that the designer (human or deity) used the heuristic search process, specifically because there was no viable path directly to the goal. In the “evolved antenna” design, the barrier was computing power. So, they established parameters to be met, and let their artificial intelligence computers “stumble” upon the optimum solution by a process of trial & error. Our Programmer was a wise-wizard, in that he started before the beginning. It's called a "program" : a plan of action.

    In the Intelligent Evolution theory, I postulate that the Programmer had no entention of creating dumb creatures like Adam & Eve, but merely had the “idea” of creating semi-autonomous intelligent creatures --- little avatars for entertainment. So, S/he simply designed a process that would “stumble” upon an optimum solution --- within the constraints of space & time, and natural laws --- by learning from its own mistakes. The design criteria & parameters are assumed to be working via Natural Selection. So the final goal was specified only in terms of a problem description. And the zig-zag path to that goal was what Hegel called “The Dialectic Process”, as contrasted with the “Didactic Process” of Intelligent Design. The Process is the Product. Playing the game is the point, not the final score. "The play's the thing". ___Shakespeare, Hamlet

    Dialectic : a back & forth philosophical argument between Good & Evil. Bottom-up design.
    Didactic : an autocratic method of instruction by commandment. Top-down design

    what is an elephant with no 'elephant-aboutness'?Siti
    An elephant who doesn't recognize himself in a mirror? :razz:

    Actually, Aboutness is a property of the observing subject, not the observed object. “Aboutness “is a mental arrow pointing to an object. “Aboutness” is conception, not perception. It's a mental image of something that is not present in space & time. Its essence -- to get back on topic -- is Information in the form of an immaterial Concept --- a not-yet-realized idea, design, or purpose.

    Of course, Daniel Dennett redefined "Aboutness" as the “Intentional Stance”, in which the subject imputes goals & beliefs to the object. So, maybe you are confusing my “Ententional Evolution” notion with Dennett's strategy for understanding another agent. In my concept of Intelligent Evolution, the designer did indeed have a “mental image of something not present” and an “entention” to realize it --- make it real : Teleology. I admit to attributing these ideas and ententions to an unreal agent. It's my strategy for understanding an otherwise absurd world --- whether that of Religion or of Science.

    but the 'ententionalities' are (I am suggesting) the 'mental poles' of the emerging realities - inseparable from and necessarily coexistent with the 'physical pole' substrates on which they (ententionalities) 'supervene'Siti
    This is where we typically part ways. You assume that all “events” occur in space & time : the existing evolving reality. But, if intent & goal (cause & effect) occupy the same space & time, what's the point? They may of course occupy the same time-line, which may be what you have in mind. But my Ententional Agent is supposed to be outside space-time; which I know does not compute for you. Yet, Eternity and Infinity are common concepts in human discourse, and they are assumed to be non-real, like the so-called Imaginary Numbers & Zero & Infinity of mathematics . Which is true, because they exist only in what I call Ideality : the Mind of G*D. In the MoG, there are no “mental poles” or “physical poles”, because G*D is unitary, holistic, non-dual. But those are just qualities that I attribute to "something that is not present in space-time", due to my Intentional Stance. It's a hypothesis, not a belief system. Did I mention that my G*D is a mathematician and a metaphysician? :smile:


    Mathematical Metaphysics : Platonism about mathematics (or mathematical platonism) is the metaphysical view that there are abstract mathematical objects whose existence is independent of us and our language, thought, and practices.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/platonism-mathematics/
  • Siti
    72
    did I say anything about “no idea at all”?Gnomon

    No you didn't, I did. I suggested that the "primordial" IDEA - i.e. the starting point of the "process of creation" - if it were truly unlimited (as in an unlimited 'pool of potentiality') - would be exactly equivalent to "no idea at all".

    In the Intelligent Evolution theory, I postulate that the Programmer had no entention of creating dumb creatures like Adam & Eve, but merely had the “idea” of creating semi-autonomous intelligent creatures --- little avatars for entertainment. So, S/he simply designed a process that would “stumble” upon an optimum solution --- within the constraints of space & time, and natural laws --- by learning from its own mistakes. The design criteria & parameters are assumed to be working via Natural Selection. So the final goal was specified only in terms of a problem description. And the zig-zag path to that goal was what Hegel called “The Dialectic Process”, as contrasted with the “Didactic Process” of Intelligent Design. The Process is the Product. Playing the game is the point, not the final score. "The play's the thing".Gnomon
    But this is what I don't get - how could it have been known that it was even possible to "stumble upon" any solution - let alone an optimum one - how could it have been known that semi-autonomous intelligent avatars were even a possibility? As soon as the question is asked, the possibilities are limited - and if God already knew that such an outcome was possible, he presumably had no need to experiment. How could God entertain himself by thinking thoughts he had already thought - because in your scheme, I can't see how there can possibly be any thoughts that are not God's thoughts? If the point of "the play" is that the outcome cannot be known in advance, then God did not know - indeed God would seem to be profoundly ignorant - completely unaware that the process could possibly have progressed beyond the level of bacteria - or even beyond inanimate matter for that matter. And if he did know that, then at least a significant part of the story was pre-written before the "heuristic" playwright set pen to paper - wasn't it?

    I don't want to go any further about aboutness - I take your point about the subjective angle aboutness is about.

    You assume that all “events” occur in space & timeGnomon

    They don't?

    if intent & goal (cause & effect) occupy the same space & time, what's the point?Gnomon

    Well of course they don't exist simultaneously - but the intent is part of reality now - for example, I want to build a new utility room and workshop extension on our farm house...that goal is part of my reality right now - even though it may never be completed as a physical reality. But once it is built, there will be an unbroken process of space-time events connecting the initial idea to the realized goal. None of it happens outside of space and time. Is there any compelling reason to assume that any other cause-effect processes are any different?
  • Gnomon
    612
    No you didn't, I did. I suggested that the "primordial" IDEA - i.e. the starting point of the "process of creation" - if it were truly unlimited (as in an unlimited 'pool of potentiality') - would be exactly equivalent to "no idea at all".Siti
    Since I don't have any experience with infinity (no beginning, no end), I can only guess what the possibilities are, but by definition they would be unlimited. For example, the Number Line of mathematics is presumed to have no beginning and no end. So, I figured that we had a practical real-world hint about*1 unlimited potential of the values that the human mind has a limited grasp of. Hence, to paraphrase your question, is the Number Line "no number at all", or all possible values? In Philosophy, "Value" is not just sequential position, but significance to a mind. And Mind is the ultimate Ontological problem.

    According to many other ontological guesses over the centuries about*1 Infinity, if temporal Mind is possible, Infinite Mind should add-up to Omniscience. Since Materialistic concepts of Reality reach a dead-end at the Big Bang, I decided to explore beyond that scientific bottle-neck to see if I could imagine some plausible explanation for the existence of anything in general, and of our world in particular. Cosmologist's Multiverse theories are attempts to address the Ontological problem of Physics : "How did Matter and Energy get started? They didn't, but have existed forever". In other words, they are "self-existent", just like G*D, and must be taken on faith, as Axioms for theorizing.

    However, my thesis attempted to focus on the Ontological problem of Metaphysics : "How did Mind and Qualia come to be?" Materialism simply assumes, without evidence, that there is a missing link between Matter and Mind, which would explain how such non-physical properties could emerge from physical processes. So, my thesis has given a name to that missing link : Information. Which is currently assumed by some cutting-edge credentialed scientists to be the essence of Reality. Claude Shannon's Information Theory applied that ancient metaphysical (mental) term to physics, initiating the Information Age, and opening the door to Artificial Intelligence (assuming they can fill the gap between Matter & Mind). Unfortunately, Natural Intelligence has yet to be explained in physical terms. So, I hope you'll forgive my non-scientific philosophical foray into what I call Meta-Physics.

    Information is more fundamental than Energy : https://bigthink.com/philip-perry/the-basis-of-the-universe-may-not-be-energy-or-matter-but-information

    Information : http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page11.html

    Meta-Physics : http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page14.html


    But this is what I don't get - how could it have been known that it was even possible to "stumble upon" any solution - let alone an optimum oneSiti
    I feel your puzzlement. :smile:

    All I can say is that Omniscience and Omnipotence would have a much better chance of Knowing the future than my little space-time mind. If you can entertain the notion of an infinite regression of Multiverses, it shouldn't be too hard to imagine that everything possible has been tried, at least in principle. So that is a deep pool of "statistical significance" to draw upon. But to make it more plausible for my thesis, I assume that a combination of the mental trait of Information (to know) and the physical power of Energy (to enform) is even more likely to predict the outcome of a chain of changes, than zillions of mindless atoms bouncing around like un-aimed billiard balls.

    Besides, I have concluded that, by choosing such a heuristic path into the physical future, the Prime Programmer must have a good reason for not going directly from A to Z, by-passing all the trials and errors. In Theodicy, that reason is given as The Freewill Argument.

    Freewill Argument : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_free_will
    (I have my own deistic version of the FWA)

    None of it happens outside of space and time. Is there any compelling reason to assume that any other cause-effect processes are any different?Siti
    How do you know that no cause & effect events happen outside of space-time? Is that an unfounded assumption, or is it based on evidence? Don't you assume that the Big Bang was caused by some event prior to the emergence of our little pocket of space-time?

    The Singularity of the Big Bang was defined mathematically as a point at which a given mathematical object is not defined or not "well-behaved", for example infinite or not differentiable (indistinguishable). But scientists were not deterred from speculating about that infinite or holistic state, by imagining that what's out-there is more of the same as what's in-here. The only difference with my speculative undefined state is that it's based on 21st century Information and Quantum Theories, instead of ancient Atomistic and Materialistic assumptions.

    Emergent SpaceTime : http://guava.physics.uiuc.edu/~nigel/courses/569/Essays_Spring2018/Files/gupta.pdf

    What is SpaceTime? : https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24332470-500-what-is-space-time-the-true-origins-of-the-fabric-of-reality/
    (in my thesis, Quantum Entanglement is what happens when particles become holistic in eternity-infinity.)

    Illusion of Space-Time : for Einstein, space-time is not a thing, but an idea. And for Donald Hoffman, space-time is an "evolutionary illusion".
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24332472-900-bye-bye-space-time-is-it-time-to-free-physics-from-einsteins-legacy/


    *1 About : sorry about the use of that taboo term. :nerd:

    PS___Think of my little G*D theory as science-fiction, instead of pseudo-science religion, and it may sound a little more palatable. I don't claim it's true in any ultimate sense, merely useful for inquiring into Ontology.
  • Siti
    72
    If you can entertain the notion of an infinite regression of Multiverses, it shouldn't be too hard to imagine that everything possible has been tried, at least in principle. So that is a deep pool of "statistical significance" to draw upon. But to make it more plausible for my thesis, I assume that a combination of the mental trait of Information (to know) and the physical power of Energy (to enform) is even more likely to predict the outcome of a chain of changes, than zillions of mindless atoms bouncing around like un-aimed billiard balls.Gnomon
    If you can entertain the notion of an infinite regression of multiverses, zillions of mindless atoms bouncing around like un-aimed billiard balls will inevitably give rise to intelligent life - infinitely many times...and that's kind of my point - if you are invoking infinity, eternity or unlimited potentiality (or whatever) - there is absolutely no need for an intelligent creator - if you are invoking an intelligent creator, there is no need for infinity, eternity or unlimited potentiality (or whatever). To have both is introduce infinite redundancy.

    How do you know that no cause & effect events happen outside of space-time? Is that an unfounded assumption, or is it based on evidence? Don't you assume that the Big Bang was caused by some event prior to the emergence of space-time?Gnomon
    No I don't - personally, I think it is the height of absurdity to suggest that the most significant event could possibly have happened "outside of time" - no time, no change, no change, no ... anything ... tick, tock, tick tock - nothing happens in no time - how could it?
  • Gnomon
    612
    if you are invoking infinity, eternity or unlimited potentiality (or whatever) - there is absolutely no need for an intelligent creator - if you are invoking an intelligent creator, there is no need for infinity, eternity or unlimited potentiality (or whatever). To have both is introduce infinite redundancy.Siti
    Actually, the notions of G*D and Multiverse are both infinitely redundant. But if you accept the physicists' Multiverse theory, you still have no explanation for the Metaphysical Ontological problem : how did Mind arise from Matter? What is it about Matter that causes Ideas, Imagination, and Love? If you don't care about such immaterial ideas, there is no need for a theory of an Infinite Enformer. But I know you love me. :cool:


    No I don't - personally, I think it is the height of absurdity to suggest that the most significant event could possibly have happened "outside of time" - no time, no change, no change, no ... anything ... tick, tock, tick tock - nothing happens outside of time - how could it?Siti
    Are you talking about Clock Time or Block Time? The latter is Everything Forever. Can you wrap your mind around that? Your incredulity about Eternity is because it is counter-intuitive. But then, Quantum Theory is counter-intuitive. So, what?

    Eternalism : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternalism_(philosophy_of_time)
  • Siti
    72
    Actually, the notions of G*D and Multiverse are both infinitely redundant. But if you accept the physicists' Multiverse theory, you still have no explanation for the Metaphysical Ontological problem : how did Mind arise from Matter? What is it about Matter that causes Ideas, Imagination, and Love?Gnomon
    Well if I knew that, I wouldn't be wasting my time in The Philosophy Forum, I'd be on my way to Stockholm to collect my Nobel Prize...but I prefer to think of mind (or better mind-ing) as what matter does - at least when its not just bouncing around like zillions of un-aimed billiard balls - which is not what matter does anyway - at least not when it is clumped together into something as complex as - well - a mindless molecule...let alone a hairless ape. As to exactly how it works - I have no idea at all (which kind of takes us back to where we started). Actually, I do have an idea - I think "mind" is essentially the relational part of the "process-relational" way the universe seems (to me) to work...you have stuff - and it "minds"...i.e. it relates to other bits of stuff - and the stuff, and its "mind(-ing)" vary in complexity from the relatively simple and isolated (like molecules of gas in interstellar space) to the incredibly complex and interconnected (like the immense colony of living cells that form a human being). That "relating" I prefer to call "experience" and the fact that it goes down to the deepest, most fundamental levels of physical reality - e.g. when three quarks encounter each other they 'know' exactly what to do - form a proton - how so if they are truly "mindless" - i.e. how does a world characterized at the fundamental level by random mindlessness produce order? The answer (according to my imagination) is that each bit of stuff 'experiences' (relates to) the world in ways that correspond to the way that very similar bits of stuff 'experience' the world. These regularities of 'experience' (relating) become the 'order' of the universe (which we characterize as "laws of nature" or "laws of physics"). When you get increasingly complex networks of bits of stuff - like human beings - then you get lots of regularities, and lots of unique combos of "experiential realities" (relatings) which make each one of us unmistakably and essentially human and yet as distinguishable from one another as chalk and cheese. Very few of us would be able to distinguish one bacterium from another - even to identify at species level requires special training and expertise. Its a complexity thing - and if one thinks of "mind" as an aspect of reality that is present at the most fundamental levels, it is much easier to imagine how it gets to be so complex at higher levels of reality. I prefer to call this idea by David Griffin's term "pan-experientialism" - some call it "pan-psychism" but I don't like that term because its too easily associated with new-age nonsense and it kind of implies that things like electrons have a "psyche" or are somehow "conscious" - I don't think that, but I am pretty sure they do relate to and experience (at a very rudimentary and fundamental level) the world around them - and that, in a much more complicated way, is what the human "mind" does - relates to and experiences the world - is it not?

    Are you talking about Clock Time or Block Time? The latter is Everything Forever. Can you wrap your mind around that?Gnomon
    I think so - Block Time is a result of treating time as a fourth dimension - effectively, a sequence of geometric points in time in which everything that will ever "happen" has in fact already "happened", and the events that are yet future, well, we just haven't reached "there" yet. A bit too Calvinistic for my liking - I prefer to think that what we do actually makes a difference - however small. I have no idea how time might have worked "before" the Big Bang, but I'm pretty convinced that cause still preceded effect. If not, then there is no hope of us making any sense of anything prior to or beyond the universe as we (barely) know it.
  • Gnomon
    612
    Actually, I do have an idea - I think "mind" is essentially the relational part of the "process-relational" way the universe seems (to me) to work...you have stuff - and it "minds"...i.e. it relates to other bits of stuffSiti
    Yes. That is why Enformationism attempts to explain why Matter (noun) has the ability to Live (verb) and to Mind (adverb), not in the technical details of "How", but in the philosophical sense of "Why". Information is all about Relationships, including geometrical and meaningful. My broad definition of Mind is that it's what the Brain does, its function. Yet Function is both a mathematical relationship, and a meaningful correlation. And Information is the common denominator, both abstract and personal. But materialistic science has no answer to the how mathematics and thermodynamics in nature give rise to consciousness and meaning in Culture. So, like many others in recent years, I have looked into the ancient notion of Panpsychism, to see if the dual nature of Information can help to explain how and why Darwinian winnowing of random mutations can produce creatures of both directed Energy (life) and purposeful Entention (mind).

    Adverb : a word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb or a word group, expressing a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, degree, etc.

    I prefer to call this idea by David Griffin's term "pan-experientialism" - some call it "pan-psychism" but I don't like that term because its too easily associated with new-age nonsenseSiti
    I agree. That New Age nonsense, such as the psychic-power of crystals, was also a motivation for my using the term "Information" as opposed to "consciousness" to describe those "occasions of experience". But I also avoid the term "experience" for the same reason : it implies that atoms have a personal perspective. Instead, Information functions more like un-intentional Energy at the lower levels of reality. Only in more highly-evolved forms does Energy become Animation, then Entention & Experience. Information is simply abstract mathematical ratios and relationships, that also function as physical Hot or Cold (density of energy), and have evolved into metaphysical feelings of Hotness or Coldness (occasions of experience).

    I have no idea how time might have worked "before" the Big Bang, but I'm pretty convinced that cause still preceded effect.Siti
    I understand why you find the notion of Timelessness and Spacelessness absurd. That's because it's counter-intuitive. We humans live immersed in a sea of time and space, so, like the proverbial fish in the water, we take our environment for granted. But science is continually, opening our eyes to features of reality that were once unimaginable.

    For example, in the Bronze Age, people assumed that the stars were simply decorations on the ceiling of the sky , just a short distance above the mountaintops of a flat Earth. So, in the Renaissance, you can understand why the church found Gallileo's notions about planets many earth-diameters away patently absurd. Now, we are told by astronomers that the universe is not just the Earth & Sky, but a an inconceivable cosmos of almost infinite magnitude. Likewise, the ancient notion of finite Atoms clustering into all the various forms of the world, is passe. Quantum Theorists now ask us to believe that the micro-cosmos is also almost infinitely endless in the opposite direction from outer space. But, some people accept those absurd beliefs, not because they are intuitive, but because they are the doctrines handed-down by our high-priests of Science. Others reject them because they clash with the dogma of desert-dwelling Bronze Age priests, who spent a lot of time looking at the sky-ceiling just beyond the reach of human hands.

    However, some of us now accept those formerly ridiculous notions, because the preponderance of evidence adds together into a cohesive worldview. And recent developments in science --- from Information Theory to Quantum Theory --- are suggesting that the world may be even bigger than the finite limits of Big Bang Theory, and local Physics. Which is why materialists look beyond the former "beginning of finite space-time" to imagine an infinite regression of little bubbles of space-time. But they can only justify that fantasy by assuming as an unprovable axiom, that space-time and matter-energy are eternal. Yet the only scientific evidence we have points to a finite Physics, within a mysterious realm of non-local Metaphysics. So, I have found philosophical evidence that our world is indeed embedded within a greater Reality of Pure Information (the power to enform).

    If not, then there is no hope of us making any sense of anything prior to or beyond the universe as we (barely) know it.Siti
    Don't give-up hope. Science is propelled by human Reason, which can imagine things-not-seen, and tie disparate facts into convergent concepts. Just as materialists place their hope for a Theory of Everything on an imaginary random Multiverse or Omniverse. I have staked my hope for a consistent worldview upon an imaginary ententional Enformer. In both cases, it's just a hypothesis, but only the latter directly addresses the human concerns for Meaning and Life and Love. Not Mind from Matter, but Mind from Mind, as cause & effect. :nerd:
  • Enrique
    203
    Since we're talking about how organic matter produces mind and plugging our blogs, I've been giving consideration to exactly this subject, and you guys should read my essay The Origins and Evolution of Perception in Organic Matter. I think it could be a good supplement to the discussion.
  • Siti
    72
    I also avoid the term "experience" for the same reason : it implies that atoms have a personal perspective.Gnomon

    I just want to clarify why I DO choose to use the experience despite the obvious disadvantage you have correctly pointed out. For me, experience is just about the most fundamental undeniable fact of our existence - by experience I mean the fact (not the content) of experience - that we experience the world is undeniable - even if we and the world are figments of some deity's diseased imagination and purely illusory, we are still experiencing the illusion...the fact of experience cannot be denied - experientia ergo sum (perhaps).

    Anyway, the question then arises as to whether this (fact of) experience - the capacity to experience (relate to) the rest of the world - is fundamental to the underlying reality that seems to underpin our existence or some kind of radical emergence or addition that arises (somehow - magically, mysteriously, supernaturally???) only at certain levels of complexity. I don't like the second option (although I freely admit I can never prove that it isn't so), so I go with the idea that experience (the capacity to relate to the rest of the world in some way) is fundamental...and that idea has far-reaching consequences...

    First, it does indeed mean that, in a sense, atoms do have a 'personal' (not really personal but individual) perspective - they (each) exist in time as well as space and what just happened is part of their reality now - i.e. they have some kind of 'memory' that is not simply a geometric spatial relationship at a 'point' in time, but a temporal process that carries its own individual information along with its material reality.

    This is absolutely key because it temporalizes all of reality at the most fundamental level and it has to if experience is to be fundamental because experiences cannot happen in no time (i.e. at points in time). Atoms do not exist at points in time, they, like everything else, exist during intervals of time (no matter how small) and that does indeed mean that there is "something that it is like" to be an atom (more precisely, to be this or that atom) just as Thomas Nagel famously argued that there was "something that it is like" to be a bat...no matter how different and inaccessible to us it might be, that "something-that-it-is-like"-ness, is, in a very real sense, WHAT the atom IS.

    Right - OK - I've gone a long way off topic (it seems)...here's the upshot (leaving some considerable gaps to filled in by the unwary reader's own imagination)...

    The essential nature of atoms, consists of the spatial, geometric regularities that distinguish atoms from other stuff - like electrons and elephants...

    The individual nature of THIS or THAT atom consists of the spatio-temporal relationships that this or that atom 'experiences' (and has 'experienced') with the other stuff around it.

    Ditto human beings - our essential nature is unmistakably human (regularities that distinguish us from electrons and elephants etc.), our individual nature is a function of how we relate to and experience (and have experienced) the world.

    And the mind-body interaction problem disappears - minding is just what bodies do - and its "just one of those things you put down to experience! Ooh wah wah, ooh wah wah, ooh!"
  • Gnomon
    612
    Since we're talking about how organic matter produces mind and plugging our blogs, I've been giving consideration to exactly this subject, and you guys should read my essay The Origins and Evolution of Perception in Organic Matter. I think it could be a good supplement to the discussion.Enrique
    Thanks, I've downloaded a copy of the Medium.com article, and will check it out.

    Siti and I seem to have drifted off-topic, as we often do. We've just gone deeper than mere Human Nature to the essence of all Nature. As Siti says, "The essential nature of atoms, consists of the spatial, geometric regularities that distinguish atoms from other stuff - like electrons and elephants..."

    For me, that essence is called "Information" (the creative power to enform), and for him it's "experience", which I assume, for an atom, is referring to what-it's-like-to-be enformed as a cog in the inanimate cosmic mechanism . For inorganic matter though, we have no way to empathize with their "spatial, geometric" experience, so it would be totally abstract for us, perhaps expressible only in numbers. At least for organic Bats, we have some basis for imagining what-it-feels-like to experience their world, even if it's still only via human-biased metaphors.
  • Gnomon
    612
    The individual nature of THIS or THAT atom consists of the spatio-temporal relationships that this or that atom 'experiences' (and has 'experienced') with the other stuff around it.Siti
    Again, to use "experience" for spatio-temporal relationships seems to be referring to an unqualified [no qualia] event, with numerical instead of meaningful values. But the term "experience" can denote simply "an inscrutable cause-effect event", or it can refer to the "conscious knowledge of that event".

    The mechanical (cause-effect) occurrence is what Materialism considers fundamental, while most humans feel that the significance (cause-effect-meaning) of the event is more essential. Traditionally, that conscious experience was the purview of Spiritualism, and is associated with ghosts. Which is why I prefer to call it Enformationism, which is explanatory for the natural world, but remains neutral toward supernatural explanations, with one exception : EnFormAction is causation, and must either have an eternal First Cause, or an infinite mechanism of causation.

    Since we don't normally associate consciousness with cog & wheel mechanisms, a Mind of some kind seems to be a better metaphor. I think of it as a more humanistic worldview.
  • Siti
    72
    Again, to use "experience" for spatio-temporal relationships seems to be referring to an unqualified [no qualia] event, with numerical instead of meaningful values. But the term "experience" can denote simply "an inscrutable cause-effect event", or it can refer to the "conscious knowledge of that event".

    The mechanical (cause-effect) occurrence is what Materialism considers fundamental, while most humans feel that the significance (cause-effect-meaning) of the event is more essential...
    Gnomon
    Well I did say there considerable gaps to be filled in - qualia clearly arise at somewhat higher levels of complexity - but fundamentally, are they not still relational aspects of our experience of the world? Is that flower "red" because a human mind has unilaterally determined that it is red? Or is it "red" because that is how we relate (and have related) to other apparently "red" things? The 'meaning' arises at least partly from the essential nature of the thing observed (i.e. the kind of atoms and molecules it is made of and the frequencies of radiation they absorb) and partly from the conventional (relational) categorizations we have learned in the relational process of life. Its "red-ness" is neither uniquely our own idea nor a disembodied one that attaches to the object on observation. It is a process-relational aspect of the intersection of the mental and physical poles of the realities of the flower and the observer. The flower (presumably) has no conception of its own 'redness' but its material reality, in part at least, confers redness upon it (in the eye of the beholder) by virtue of its (internal and external) spatio-temporal (chemical and electromagnetic) relationships to the world. And the observer 'conceives' of its redness, in part at least, by virtue of the spatio-temporal relationships within and between the sensory apparatus and the material reality being observed.

    Traditionally, that conscious experience was the purview of Spiritualism, and is associated with ghosts. Which is why I prefer to call it Enformationism, which is explanatory for the natural world, but remains neutral toward supernatural explanations, with one exception : EnFormAction is causation, and must either have an eternal First Cause, or an infinite mechanism of causation.Gnomon
    Right - there are only two options - eternal First Cause or infinite regress. Infinite regress is hard to get the head around, but an eternal first cause that is (at least before the start of 'causation') timeless and changeless. I find that notion utterly absurd - how can something changeless be a reasonable explanation for the most momentous change imaginable? So I'm left with infinite regress - time and change, cause and effect - unbeginning and unending - or at least if it ever did end (and become timeless and changeless) what could possibly set it going again? But it could not have begun - a beginning to change is impossible.

    Since we don't normally associate consciousness with cog & wheel mechanisms, a Mind of some kind seems to be a better metaphor. I think of it as a more humanistic worldview.Gnomon
    Are you sure its humanistic - or unjustifiably anthropocentric?
  • Enrique
    203
    This is absolutely key because it temporalizes all of reality at the most fundamental level and it has to if experience is to be fundamental because experiences cannot happen in no time (i.e. at points in time). Atoms do not exist at points in time, they, like everything else, exist during intervals of time (no matter how small) and that does indeed mean that there is "something that it is like" to be an atom (more precisely, to be this or that atom) just as Thomas Nagel famously argued that there was "something that it is like" to be a bat...no matter how different and inaccessible to us it might be, that "something-that-it-is-like"-ness, is, in a very real sense, WHAT the atom IS. — Siti

    To expand this, spatio-temporality isn't a universal substrate, as if all existing matter is defined in relation to a single, absolute container. The heterogeneities and discontinuities of which space and time are a relatively specific form may be radical enough to regard many phenomena of substance as completely indescribable with any structural concept we've applied or maybe even invented. We must then continue to investigate what the range of non-trivially "aware" occurrences is, perhaps entirely unanalogizable to what we have so far theorized or conceived.

    At this stage of scientific knowledge, we can be somewhat confident of how human agency's linkage to sense-perceptual matter emerges from the organic, namely in association with substances relatively near the scale of the human body, electromagnetic fields as brain waves, and quantum mechanisms within the functional molecules of cells, but we cannot yet model what qualia are. Feelings and many additional qualia will probably turn out as also connected with quantum effects, but these phenomena must be located partially beyond the orbit of rational agency in currently unknown ways, maybe even beyond the body. We don't have a theoretical model of experience that transcends traditional behavior-oriented biochemistry, at least not in Western culture as far as I've learned. The phenomena we experience may no longer be atomic or even spatio-temporally local by the time we deeply understand even human qualia.

    What it is like to be a wildebeest or even a human may completely reconstitute what everything (except common sense morality) is like, possibly not even thinkable at this stage. I'm sure there are some extremely improbable moral dilemmas that could throw a wrench in multi-millennial common sense, but it seems to me that our behavioral ideals are basically rock solid because like human rational agency, they are also fundamentally tied to the nature of human-like bodies that change in extremely gradual ways relative to our practical decision-making's frame of reference.
  • Gnomon
    612
    Well I did say there considerable gaps to be filled in - qualia clearly arise at somewhat higher levels of complexity - but fundamentally, are they not still relational aspects of our experience of the world?Siti
    Yes. Qualia are relational aspects of reality, but not in an abstract geometric sense. Feelings are relational to a unique being, who experiences energy inputs and outputs just like any material object. But unlike most of the material world, some lumps of matter have a self-image, and an imperative for self-preservation, that causes them to evaluate energy inputs personally, rather than neutrally. As I see it, the common denominator between an atoms's "experience" and a man's feelings is generic Information : the power to enform --- to cause change. An atom's internal change, due to energy input, involves shifting electron orbits. but a man's internal change, due to information input, involves a memory of the event (experience), and an evaluation of the significance of the event for the person's future well-being (meaning).

    Generic Information is plentipotent in that it can cause different effects in different contexts. The "higher levels of complexity" are what I call "phase changes", which seem to be inherent in the
    "program" of EnFormAction. EFA doesn't just hit & run, it makes a meaningful difference.

    Infinite regress is hard to get the head around, but an eternal first cause that is (at least before the start of 'causation') timeless and changeless. I find that notion utterly absurd - how can something changeless be a reasonable explanation for the most momentous change imaginable?Siti
    I resolved that no-place-to-turn-around-in-infinity problem, by making a distinction between physical change, and meta-physical change. Physical events clearly occur in space & time. But where do meta-physical events occur? When you change your mind, is it in four dimensions? Donald Hoffman has offered a useful metaphor for this dilemma, but it is a brain-twister. You might even call it "utterly absurd". He makes an analogy between space-time as "appearances", and Ideality as the ultimate eternal reality. IOW, Common Sense reality is an illusion, that evolved to enhance fitness for brainy creatures. Can you wrap your head around that non-sense? Can you grok Kant's Transcendental Idealism?

    The Reality Interface : Reality is not what you see. Space-Time is a mental construct
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page21.html

    Are you sure its humanistic - or unjustifiably anthropocentric?Siti
    It's both. My thesis is humanistic in that it gives preference to the human perspective over the presumably omniscient and impersonal view of Materialism. And it's anthro-centric relative to the non-human majority of Nature. Whether that's justifiable depends on where you place humans in the hierarchy of Natural Evolution --- at the top, in the center, at the bottom, irrelevant? Personally, I place people at the pinnacle (temporarily). But the king of the mountain can always be toppled by the next challenger. Are Dolphins plotting a take-over? :wink:

    Ideally, Science is supposed to be an objective search for truth. But so is Philosophy. And in Reality, both disciplines are practiced by opinionated human beings. This forum is an example of how debatable most of those "truths" are. Only G*D, as an outside disinterested observer could be absolutely objective about this world. So it seems that, for now, we have to rely on anthropically-biased humans for knowledge of truth about space-time. Until, of course, a superior race of aliens comes along to save us from ourselves. :nerd:

    Is Science 100% Objective? : https://www.quora.com/Is-science-100-objective

    PS___Postmodernists were correct that Science is inherently subjective, but their every-man-for-himself alternative was a reaction in the wrong direction.
  • Gnomon
    612
    Since we're talking about how organic matter produces mind and plugging our blogs, I've been giving consideration to exactly this subject, and you guys should read my essay The Origins and Evolution of Perception in Organic Matter. I think it could be a good supplement to the discussion.Enrique
    I have read your article on the Evolution of Perception, and it seems to be heading in the same general direction as my own musings on the Emergence of Consciousness. Apparently, you are much better informed on the technical details of Quantum Physics. My blog post on The EnFormAction Hypothesis has a similar underlying assumption, but makes no attempt to get into technicalities that are way above my pay grade.

    The first assertion that caught my eye was "Phenomena of non-locality seem to have causal primacy over three-dimensional forms". This may be referring to what I might call the "transition from holistic unitary Ideality to multi-dimensional Reality". For example, I assume that a Virtual Particle has no detectable location or velocity, because it is no longer an independent part of a multi-part system, but has merged into the Oneness of Ideality : like a drop of water into the ocean. In this analogy, my Ocean is their Vacuum : nothing real, but infinite potential.

    Quantum theorists imagine that Virtual particles are constantly & randomly popping into & out of Actual existence in the form of Vacuum Energy. So, when a particle emerges from Virtuality into Actuality, it causes changes to the local system. In that sense, non-locality is more fundamental than locality, because it's the source of all change (EnFormAction) in the dimensional world. IOW, EFA enters Reality from Ideality and causes a succession of changes that scientists attribute to Energy.

    Unfortunately, "oneness of ideality" sounds more like New Age guru-jargon than scientific terminology. So, I haven't attempted to develop that notion beyond the stratified phase layers of the blog post. I simply imagine that the local-to-non-local transition is a metaphorical membrane that divides the dimensional Real world from the holistic Ideal world. And only EnFormAction can penetrate that barrier in order to cause physical changes in the world. A quantum scientist would find this notion to be "utterly absurd", so I won't try to make a formal case for my own personal fantasy.


    The EnFormAction Hypothesis : http://bothandblog3.enformationism.info/page23.html
    Step 0 is the membrane between Reality and Ideality.

    Ideality : http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page11.html

    Virtual Vacuum is Fundamental : https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16095-its-confirmed-matter-is-merely-vacuum-fluctuations/
  • Enrique
    203
    The first assertion that caught my eye was "Phenomena of non-locality seem to have causal primacy over three-dimensional forms". — Gnomon

    I like the webpage design of your blog, easy to read. An interesting insight I got from a chemistry chat, though of course the psychologically oriented viewpoint was mine, is that the appearance of solids, liquids and gases is essentially an emergent property of the relative degree to which material substance produces a perceptual state, not an absolute outcome of atomic behavior or some such fundamentality as traditionally construed. In earth conditions, whenever matter as bulk mass is in motion, having a kinetic energy and temperature, it is to a degree in all phase states simultaneously, but our sense-perceptual minds convert physical matter into relatively uniform substance, a process which is functional in circumstances of the ordinary such as those prevailing prehistorically, like an optical illusion. Then our scientific conceiving generalizes the sense-perceptions into categories of phase, and how that affects what we notice phenomenologically I'm not entirely sure. A mathematically non-negligible disjunct between phases and energies exists of course, but the impression of "solid", "liquid" or "gas" is a construction of consciousness.

    So it seems to me that matter is fundamentally closer to superposition than spatio-temporal particularity, and an argument could be made for entanglement, coherence and tunneling also, with our cognition performing the act of resolving these non-local phenomena into the locality of organic bodies and atomic theory, essentially behavior-derived instinct and a conceptual thought experiment. Spatio-temporality is a theoretical interpretation of human-scaled, sense-perceptual mass, not intrinsic to matter. From this perspective, the idea that matter violates laws of classical physics and thermodynamic chemistry in diverse ways is almost intuitive.

    I don't identify the substance of relatively non-local matter with ideations such as Platonic forms beyond agreeing that our structure conceiving is infinitely adaptable to any possible perception if we employ mathematics.

    I think we're both on track, but the cosmos is somewhat bigger than either of us lol
  • Gnomon
    612
    A mathematically non-negligible disjunct between phases and energies exists of course, but the impression of "solid", "liquid" or "gas" is a construction of consciousness.Enrique
    I'll have to take your word for the first phrase, but the second part about phase transitions being a construction of consciousness is what I'm referring to in the blog post. I think of Phase Transitions in terms of Emergence, which I personally define in terms of the limitations of human perception, rather than magical appearances from nothing.

    So it seems to me that matter is fundamentally closer to superposition than spatio-temporal particularity, and an argument could be made for entanglement, coherence and tunneling also, with our cognition performing the act of resolving these non-local phenomena into the locality of organic bodies and atomic theory,Enrique
    Again, the first part is above my pay grade, but the second part about "entanglement" etc, is right down my alley.

    Entanglement in Cosmic Mind : The American philosopher Jonathan Schaffer argues that the phenomenon of quantum entanglement is good evidence for holism. Entangled particles behave as a whole, even if they are separated by such large distances that it is impossible for any kind of signal to travel between them." So, the holistic notion of Panpsychism can explain how two or more entangled particles can behave as-if somehow connected across space into a single entity. That “spooky action at a distance” is possible because the particles themselves are not isolated things, but more like the simple ideas that make-up a complex concept. Ideas are not bound by the limitations of space & time.
    http://bothandblog.enformationism.info/page52.html


    I don't identify the substance of relatively non-local matter with ideations such as Platonic forms beyond agreeing that our structure conceiving is infinitely adaptable to any possible perception if we employ mathematics.Enrique
    The association of Virtual Particles with crossing over into an ideal Platonic realm stems from my original insight : that Information is both Mind & Matter. That notion was developed into the concept of EnFormAction (energy that transforms into matter & mind) in the Enformationism thesis.

    Without an understanding of that Cosmological thesis for a foundation, most of my later interpretations of Information will seem absurd to most scientists. Siti is a Chemist, and finds the notion of "crossing over" from Real to Ideal to be unscientific. But, Enformationism is not intended to be a scientific theory. It's merely a novel approach to the perennial philosophical paradoxes of Ontology. You can take all that Ideal stuff as metaphors, which they are by necessity. But I take them seriously as philosophical ways of thinking about the cosmos.

    FWIW, here's another quote from the same blog post ---
    Virtual is Ideal :A "virtual" particle is defined as " . . . not a particle at all. It refers precisely to a disturbance in a field that is not a particle." And a quantum field is a place that is not in space, but merely a mathematical description of the probability for real particles to appear from nowhere. This sounds a lot like Plato's ideal Forms, that under the right conditions can become real Things. So a virtual particle is essentially the idea of a real particle. Which sounds like a mental concept. But in whose mind?
    http://www.bothandblog.enformationism.info/page52.html
  • Enrique
    203
    So, the holistic notion of Panpsychism can explain how two or more entangled particles can behave as-if somehow connected across space into a single entity. That “spooky action at a distance” is possible because the particles themselves are not isolated things, but more like the simple ideas that make-up a complex concept. Ideas are not bound by the limitations of space & time. — Gnomon

    The comparision between entanglement and idea conception is interesting. Maybe qualia of perception and thought could be understood as the additive properties of diffuse, superimposed (superpositioned?) entanglement/coherence states that are each associated with a specific spectra of brain wave, like electromagnetic wavelengths synthesize to produce a different color. This explains why qualitative experiences can be strongly correlated with but never isolated to particular brain regions, and how brain wave scans such as EEGs display a fundamental lack of repetition. Each qualitative state could be at least partially the additive influence of not every time-lagged, functional grouping of cells and their supposed constituent "particles" in the brain, but rather every emergent coherence field, many orders of magnitude greater in variability of hybridization. And the causality of these coherence fields may exist beyond spatio-temporality.

    This could be why qualia are more holistic than the theoretically localized chemistry of neural networks and how any two arbitrarily introspected experiences are typically connected in a more or less fluid continuity while never being exactly the same: at all moments (except if you smoke a whole lot of pot, or so I'm told), a complex superimposition is in effect. Maybe a sort of clock mechanism exists in the brain for making coherence fields more synchronized, analogous to a CPU, but how that might be embodied in tissue and how to characterize it in experiential terms I have not a clue. Maybe the presence of a "clock mechanism" correlates with self-awareness?
  • Gnomon
    612
    The comparision between entanglement and idea conception is interesting.Enrique
    The notion that physical entanglement implies a metaphysical holistic state appeals to me. But the technical details of how that might work are beyond my limited understanding. And a relationship between the entangled state and human perception of Qualia, sounds possible, but working out the details is not in my job description.

    Maybe a sort of clock mechanism exists in the brain for making coherence fields more synchronized, analogous to a CPUEnrique
    There's definitely a biological clock in the brain that coordinates inner activity with the environment. And it may also serve as CPU timer to keep neural pulses from stepping on each other. But how that might relate to "coherence fields" is beyond me. What is a "coherence field"?

    Biological Clock : https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-drive-and-your-body-clock

    Maybe the presence of a "clock mechanism" correlates with self-awareness?Enrique
    Interesting idea. Any thoughts on how that temporal correlation might produce self-awareness? Maybe by synchronizing information-processing feedback-loops?
  • Enrique
    203
    By "coherence field" I'm thinking of a bulk entanglement structure, similar to what researchers are finding in photosynthetic reaction centers but larger scale, much more complex and hybridized. The additive properties of these wavicle systems then produce qualitative experience. Qualia could be not a representation of electromagnetic color by the brain, but actually, physically an intricate form of additive (perhaps "superpositioned") electromagnetic matter amongst the body's cells, kind of a photoelectric facet of aggregate mass perhaps. The basic idea is that qualia are colors!

    I suppose the clock mechanism idea is that awareness and self-awareness exist as a product of structures that meta-organize these additive photoelectromagnetic coherence fields, synchronizing diverse qualia into a holistic qualitative "experiencing". Maybe much if not all matter inherently has a qualia aspect or can at least be induced into a qualia-like state when its wavelengths adopt additive forms. Bacteria could have qualia without self-awareness, and computers capable of self-awareness without qualia depending on how their components are meta-organized.
  • Siti
    72
    ...much more complex and hybridized.Enrique
    Well - I wrote a long response to your earlier post only to find that my internet connection had mysteriously disentangled itself - my attempt to fix that crashed my browser and I had no choice but to reboot and I lost the whole lot...anyways, this phrase of yours pretty well sums up what I think about the recent exchanges between you and my old friend @Gnomon - reality is just much more complex and hybridized than our scientific models can cope with. We really cannot predict the ten commandments (for example) from the standard model of particle physics - no matter how much information we might have about the original "state" of the universe - because the ten commandments are (an encoding of) an exceedingly complex and hybridized "pattern" of (acceptable) moral behaviour that has emerged (quite naturally but entirely unpredictably) from the evolution of the human species and its collective, holistic "culture". It is all about how "we" relate - to one another, to our group and to reality as "a whole". This is an example of chaos - the butterfly effect and all that - no laws of physics were broken or suspended and yet out of (and wholly within) 'nature' an entirely unpredictable reality emerged. There is - in my opinion - no need to invoke some kind of supernatural agency, this stuff happens all the time - conglomerations of water molecules that appear - on the fundamental face of things - to be almost identical to one another, fuse together into featureless drops that fall from the sky and perturb the even bigger conglomerations of water molecules causing ripples that continue to spread across the breadth of an ocean long after the culprit molecules have slipped anonymously into the crowd where they betray absolutely no evidence of having made any difference to anything at all - and yet there are the ripples - undeniable realities which could not have been predicted no matter how detailed and precise any measurements of any particular water molecule(s) could have been.

    "Pay no attention to that water molecule behind the curtain..."

    "You're a very bad water molecule"

    "No my dear - I'm a very good water molecule, I'm just a very bad ripple-maker"

    Beyond the veil of observable physical reality, is there really a qualitatively different realm of disembodied "wizardry" that gives rise to the illusion of materiality? Or is it rather pretty much more of the same - another side of the same coin - just more difficult to see - and 'grasp'? Is the "idea" of an electron (for example) something that resides beyond the physical reality of the electron - or does the electron carry it around with it wherever it goes? Physicality and mentality inextricably entwined.
  • Gnomon
    612
    There is - in my opinion - no need to invoke some kind of supernatural agency,Siti
    Why then, did cosmologists feel the need to invoke a "supernatural agency" to explain the logically "prior" cause of the Big Bang? Scientists are now producing arguments in favor of the Multiverse Theory that resemble ancient theological arguments for the existence of God. My G*D theory is just an alternative speculation based on the duality/unity of Information, rather than the dogma of atomic Materialism.

    Here's a brief selection of related topics from Google :
    5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse
    10 Reasons the Multiverse is a Real Possibility
    This Is Why The Multiverse Must Exist
    Scientific Theory And The Multiverse Madness
    The Multiverse Idea Is Rotting Culture
    Why the Multiverse Isn't Just Madness


    Beyond the veil of observable physical reality, is there really a qualitatively different realm of disembodied "wizardry" that gives rise to the illusion of materiality? . . . . Physicality and mentality inextricably entwined.Siti
    Yes. But, the realm of Ideality, "beyond the veil", is actually made of the same essential stuff as Reality : mundane Information. The difference is that Ideality is unrealized Potential, while Reality is actualized. It's a statistical difference : an immaterial Possible state and a physical Actual state.

    Yet, there is a continuity between the stuff on the inside of the physical world, and the stuff outside. However, the "outside" is not a different place in space & time, but merely the difference between the idea of a thing (coffee cup) and the actuality of the cup. There is one general definition of a cup, a container for liquids, but many different instances, "greatest Dad ever" cup; tin cup, cupped hands. G*D is the definer of Reality.

    The difference between the inside (reality) and outside (ideality) is indeed qualitative, not quantitative; theoretical, not actual; ideal, not real, possible, not actual. When you begin to mold clay into a cup, you convert a "disembodied" mental image into an embodied physical object. Is that "wizardry"? Or, is it statistics : the distinction between Possible (0%) and Actual (100%)?

    Information :
    Claude Shannon quantified Information not as useful ideas, but as a mathematical ratio between meaningful order (1) and meaningless disorder (0); between knowledge (1) and ignorance (0). So, that meaningful mind-stuff exists in the limbo-land of statistics, producing effects on reality while having no sensory physical properties. We know it exists ideally, only by detecting its effects in the real world.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page11.html


    Opposing the Multiverse :
    The very nature of the scientific enterprise is at stake in the multiverse debate. Its advocates propose weakening the nature of scientific proof in order to claim that the multiverse hypothesis provides a scientific explanation. This is a dangerous tactic. . . . . Despite this, many articles and books dogmatically proclaim that the multiverse is an established scientific fact.
    https://academic.oup.com/astrogeo/article/49/2/2.33/246813

    As long as it's just a hypothesis, serving to guide our search for understanding, there's no harm in imagining an unseen world beyond the veil of our local space-time. But, when G*D or Multiverse become dogma, they transcend the realm of Science, and enter the realm of Religion.
  • Siti
    72
    Why then, did cosmologists feel the need to invoke a "supernatural agency" to explain the logically "prior" cause of the Big Bang?Gnomon
    I suppose for the same reason that ancient cartographers used to write "here be dragons" at the edges of their maps.

    As long as it's just a hypothesis, serving to guide our search for understanding, there's no harm in imagining an unseen world beyond the veil of our local space-time.Gnomon
    There's no harm, but how does it help? Equating "unseen" with "unrealized" is more or less the definition of the kind of idealism that I believe is counter-productive in terms of constructing a worldview consistent with genuine scientific knowledge...that seems to be the danger that the article you quoted from is referring to (https://academic.oup.com/astrogeo/article/49/2/2.33/246813) - the danger, as you correctly pointed out, of dogmatism...

    ...but as the article pointed out, it is even more pernicious in that these kind of ideas (multiverse) substitute explanatory power for scientific testability. I would go even further than the author and suggest that this substitution moves physics progressively further and further into the realms of speculative metaphysics where only explanatory power (and not actual observation or measurement) determines the appropriateness of the model to the question at hand. To me, that's a retrograde step...hypotheses are fine, but scientific hypotheses must offer at least a potential means of actually being tested by observation - multiverse(s) are, by definition, untestable hypotheses and therefore unscientific.

    I prefer to base my own metaphysical speculations on tested science rather than someone else's untested speculative metaphysics...better the devil you know!

    I can see with my own eyes that everything changes - all the time...so 'evolution' - in the broadest sense - is the bedrock of my speculations...

    And I sense that sensing (experiencing - in the most rudimentary sense - i.e. 'responses' to 'physical stimuli') seems to be at the root of how bits of the world relate to one another - avoid bumping into one another...etc.

    So I've got time, change and experience as fundamentals...that seems to me to be how the world works and tracking deeper into space and time I see no compelling reason to abandon these at any arbitrary point...so I end up with a panexperiential, evolutionary (now this, now that) relational process of physical reality...all the way down.
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