A Couple of Scientific Conversations

April 17, 2015 Leave a comment
Quantum and the Bell

EM Imagine I set up Schroedinger’s cat and a machine that will open the box after 10 seconds and ring a bell if the cat is alive. I set it up, and wait 10 seconds, and don’t hear a bell. What’s happened to the wavefunction?

CM What happened is that a person, you, have made an observation based on an expectation that you have of a particular experiment.

EM But I didn’t interact with the apparatus. No signal was transferred between me and it.

CW If you didn’t interact with the apparatus then how do you know the bell didn’t ring?

EW Because I’ve noticed 10 seconds passing and not registering a bell ringing in that time?

CW Why would you expect to hear a bell ringing unless you know that you can hear that bell and that bell is part of the apparatus?

EM I wouldn’t do, but are you trying to say that being aware of that counts as interacting with the apparatus?

CW Of course. Does RAM exist if it’s just filled with 0s?

EM Sure, but the idea of RAM in my head isn’t RAM in reality.

CW Being able to hear a bell isn’t in your head either. Being able to hear a bell and infer a meaning to the apparatus from that sensory experience (or your unfulfilled expectation thereof) is what your interaction consists of.

EM Yes, and neither unfufilled expectation or potential ability to hear a bell are real interactions with the real apparatus.

CW They are if you can really hear a bell (which is part of the apparatus) and if you can really understand that hearing the bell constitutes a result of your experiment.

If a dead person doesn’t hear the bell is it still a valid observation?

EM As far as the mathematics was concerned, it was “observed” (decohered) by the time the bell rang. But “being able to hear the bell” is not an interaction. *Actually* hearing the bell is, but that doesn’t happen.

CW Your view takes sense for granted to the point that it denies a difference between a living observer and no observer.

As far as the mathematics was concerned”
Which proves my point. Mathematics truncates consciousness.

EM Your point is… what? Believing in single observers and WF collapse is more rational then just interpreting the mathematics that explains your results in the first place?

CW The mathematics don’t explain the results, they only diagram a skeleton of one measurement of the results. The actual experiment and results take place outside of mathematics.

Are molecules conscious?

Does polymerase have any sense when it transcribes DNA into RNA? Do ribosomes have any sense when they translate RNA into amino acids?

What we can say is that DNA, ribosomes, etc are all expressions of consciousness on a certain scale (microbio-chemo) as seen through another scale of consciousness (anthro),

There is a story, an experience going on that is represented to us as a ribosome, a molecule, etc, and we are seeing its body through our body. A facade that is filtered by another filtering facade. I call this Eigenmorphism. Form itself, like matter and energy, is relativistic. Whether a given phenomenon is a feeling or a structure depends on the distance across the frames of reference involved. Nothing is an object in its own frame of reference, including the universe. Our mistake since the Enlightenment is in Over-Copernicanising physics and dismissing the native frame of reference (sense) as an epiphenomenon or emergent property of the distant frame (physics)

Light Speed, Space and Time

April 11, 2015 Leave a comment

I think that the speed of light is constant not because that is the nature of light, but because that is the nature of velocity itself. Velocity isn’t a simple, open ended quantity, it is a range between stillness and c…between absolute spacetime locality and absolute non-locality.

Light is nowhere and everywhere until it hits something…wavefunctions are in non-local ‘superposition’ until they ‘collapse’.

My view is that this is almost true, but inside out. Light is within awareness which reflects awareness. Light is the event horizon between the public and the private aesthetics. Light is only ‘here’ and ‘there’, never in between…never moving in space.

We don’t know anything about space, because we can’t use space to measure itself. All measurements are done with instruments made of matter. All measurements occur within conscious awareness, and all measurements of space occur by the extension of conscious awareness through matter. Space is the absence of matter(as detected by consciousness of matter). The math doesn’t change, only the interpretation gets post-Copernicanized.

“The body is to space what consciousness is to time. The world is to the body what the unconscious is to consciousness.“ – JS

Space = geometry, time = algebra…but then space/geometry is to time/algebra what measurement (quanta) is to the trans-measurable (qualia).

 

Abstruse Ideas about Qualia and Feedback

April 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Here’s a problem I’ve been stewing over for several hours now inspired by Raymond Tallis.

Say you have a device called an autoencephelograph. This device will project whatever you are subjectively experiencing onto a display of some kind– TV screen, projector screen etc.

Now lets say you look at the display with the autoencephelograph nearby within view. Will this display be your subjective experiences, objectively out there in the public arena? Or will the autoencephelograph and the display itself still be within your own subjective experience, creating a sort of fractal, nested self- similar experience? Or both-and?

I think that it can be modeled this way:

c = d (Q – Q’)

I’m setting the variable c (which I’m not-unintentionally using to reference the speed of light, but that’s a whole other sidebar) to be the distance or difference between the raw qualia Q and the projected qualia Q prime.

fc = ‘ ^2

fc is the Feedback (or function) of c, and I’m saying that it is the square of the primeness, that is, the inauthenticity of the projection is squared. The inauthenticity here is the degree to which the projection is an imperfect imitation of the original. This might also be called simulacra translation, which is different from mere signal degradation, because each copy is not only losing fidelity with the original and thus becoming more generic, but it is also gaining the qualities of M (the medium).

In the case of visual Q, the Q’ is optical if it is seen through our eyes (rather than if the autoencephalograph is projecting into our brain directly), and it is technological relative to whatever devices are being used to collect and project the brain measurements. So the in addition to the simulacra translation fc = ‘^2, you add +M, as the quality of the medium (say optics + video) increases its presence in Q’.

– extra credit:

fc = ‘ ^2 +M

This +M is part of what I call disimmediation.

“If we pay attention to the aesthetic particulars of the glitch – the scratches on the record, the pixelation of a digitally compressed video, we can see that they contain clues as to the mechanisms behind the media. Disimmediation is a window into other Perceptual Inertial Frames (PIF), to optics or computation, analog or digital recording, screenwriting and theatrical production, etc.”

This +M qualia can be modeled as well, but this gets even more esoteric. The medium’s qualia is being seen from the public facing side, so it’s compressing the whole history of that medium and its context as a kind of fisheye lens from eternity. It’s the hole in the cookie dough of eternity, rather than the cookie…which makes it a different kind of simulacra…an impersonal kind which is not only noise but truth-telling, and therefore orienting in a scientific-artistic way (metatheoretical and metaphenomenal).

Think of it this way: The color orange intrinsically references red and yellow, which intrinsically references the warm end of the visual spectrum, then color in general, then seeing in general, and in our frame of reference optics, lenses, prisms, etc. Seeing references sense modalities, which references sense itself, and through that nesting, implicit coherence is preserved from outside of spacetime.

About Naive Realism and the Limitation of Models

April 7, 2015 Leave a comment

Nature is not what it naively seems to us to be only to the extent that we are a limited part of nature. Nature as a whole is exactly what it seems, and also, in its most essential sense, nature is seeming, or sense itself.

In the process of enlightening civilization, the scientific worldview has had some casualties, one of which is the authority of our naive sense of reality. Many people feel entirely justified in thinking that all human intuition and instinct is grounded only in evolved fictions that must be overcome in order to understand the truth of anything. This now extends to understanding phenomena such as consciousness and free will, so that even the Cartesian cogito is to be taken with a grain of salt. “I think therefore I am.” no longer is persuasive to the modern cybernetic intellect, which might instead say “You’re programmed to think that you think and that you are, but really there is only organic chemistry playing itself out in your brain.”

Part of what Multisense Realism is about is to reclaim the validity of introspection and understanding, so as to avoid the extremism of either the pre-scientific worldview of anthropomorphic solipsism, or the current reductionist worldview of mechanemorphic nilipsism*. The MSR view is that our naive perspective is not an illusion, it is that our variation on reality exists within a much larger context of interacting variations on reality. The weight of the aggregate of all of these other perspectives are honored within our own sanity as a sense of realism. The depth of scientific knowledge serves to disillusion our naive worldview, but what I propose is that this disillusionment is not an indication of an objective reality of nature, only a hint that the expectation of objectivity is quality of relationship within subjectivity. Realism is a kind of perceptual gravity, anchoring and orienting as well as crushing possibilities into dust. It is a filter on consciousness, and the more public or universal an experience is to be, the more constrained it is to the accumulated history of public facing experience.

Altered states of consciousness can show us that like Neanderthals and other extinct branches of our evolutionary tree, our contemporary state of mind is only one of many which have achieved some stability over time. Ken Wilber’s spectrum of consciousness gets into the different modes of human awareness, linking individual development stages to the stages of anthropological development. Leary’s 8-Circuit Model and the many models of Eastern mysticism echo this idea of stable chakras or umwelt levels within an accelerating gyre of consciousness improving itself. We may be able to achieve spectacular results individually or in small groups, but find that the resistance of the outside world is overwhelming. In the cold light of day, the most moving insights flatten out into goofy platitudes.

Speaking of flattening things out, it is interesting to note that when we try to flatten a sphere, such as when we want a map the Earth onto a page, we have to use projections that approximate the relations on the sphere. There are clever ways of doing it which minimize the distortion, but it occurs to me that traveling around the surface of the world in a complete circle remains the best way I can think of retaining both the flatness and the roundness of the world. Our first person perspective remains the most elegant way of harmonizing opposing perspectives. Flying or sailing around the world gives us an apprehension of that harmony that doesn’t carry over to a model. The scale of the Earth, likewise, is presented in a more impressive, realistic way than any model could also.

The physical model which we have inherited contributes to the nilipsistic worldview mentioned above. If I’m being uncharitable, I might characterize this contemporary phase of cosmology as ‘vacuum worship’. I’m referring to quantum mechanical models through which we infer “A Universe From Nothing”, where “nothing” is a superposition of quantum wavefunctions…statistical tendencies to oscillate into existence for longer than no time at all. Here I suggest a cure for this useful, but fundamentally inverted worldview: Put the vacuum into the vacuum. Get rid of the idea of ‘nothing’ altogether.

Instead of a universe of particles or potential particles in a void, I propose turning it inside out, so that spacetime is an illusion of separation. Quantum events are not grounded in non-locality so much as they are semaphores – signs which define the sense of locality itself. Entanglement should be thought of as ‘pinging locality’ rather than a non-local connection between two real ‘particles’.

*neologisms

Cone Cosmogony

March 31, 2015 1 comment

headless

cone3

The first image is from https://www.facebook.com/headexchange. The second has been modified to include the Multisense Realism model.

Specifically, “Me” has been removed from the center of the mandala and turned into part of the z axis. The center of the wheel is now Form-Function, and Now, indicating that consciousness is at its most pointillistic and fragmented. This would be the sharpest, most systematizing-autistic quality of consciousness, quantitative and reductionistic.*

The diameter of the circles corresponds to space or distance (really wavelength ratio/scale), so that the wheel represents a flat cross section of eternity. Time is the diagonal axis which is can be thought of as the z axis ‘deferred’. If our experience (feeling, thought, etc) extends from eternity to now as a qualitative spectrum (as symbolized by the chakra graphic), then ‘time’ is the interference pattern between eternal experience and fully public, discrete events.

The top of the cone is labeled eternity, although it is eternity in the sense of the eternal moment rather than a linear history of time. Eternity can also be called the Absolute, or God, Tao, Consciousness, Aesthetic Foundation, and many other names. Identifying with the Absolute while still in our body is the opposte end of the consciousness spectrum – the most colorful, florid, artistic-empathic-psychotic range of awareness.

* See previous posts on Imprinted Brain Theory and the Autistic-Psychotic spectrum.

Notes on Philosophical Incorrigibility

March 25, 2015 Leave a comment

No, this is not about philosophers behaving like unruly children (although at times, they can). Incorrigibility is a term that refers to “a property of a philosophical proposition, which implies that it is necessarily true simply by virtue of being believed. A common example of such a proposition is René Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum” (“I think, therefore I am).“

Symbolic reference cannot ‘break the fourth wall’ – meaning that whatever words or gestures that we use to communicate about something can only refer to things figuratively. This sentence, for example, can’t address you the reader in a literal sense. I can write “Hey you! Yes, you! Stand still laddie!” but it is not really possible for these words to address anyone literally. The same words could come out of a random letter generator, or they could have been written by someone who died before the reader was born. The entire premise that language is meaningful depends on an audience who is able to derive meaning from interpreting messages from that language.

Doxastic logic is a type of modal logic which uses the terms ‘belief’ and ‘proposition’ to formalize, and really digitize the possible relations of belief and truth, including beliefs about beliefs, possible beliefs about possible truths, etc.

Accurate reasoner: An accurate reasoner never believes any false proposition.

Bp→p

Normal reasoner: A normal reasoner is one who, while believing p, also believes he or she believes p.

Bp→BBp

My beef with modal logic is that while it gives us an informative language to talk about mental states, it cannot access the quality of the state itself, and therefore is misguided when applied to the deeper conditions of consciousness itself. There is no modal symbol for ‘wakes up’ or ‘loses consciousness’ because those conditions affect the entire phenomenon from which reason can arise rather than a function of reasoning.

When viewed from an ontological perspective, I think that we would have to consider a proposition to be a kind of belief, even if it is a belief that is assumed to be shared by everyone or every thing. The proposition that “Fire is relatively hot” is itself only a message which is communicated through language. Before we can agree that “p = fire is relatively hot“, we must first agree that

p is literally a sensation: p is seen as a group of adjacent graphic squiggles, or heard as a phonic utterance. p is actually s(’p’), since acoustic vibrations or optical contrasts can’t literally be propositions about fire.

s(’p’) is subconsciously identified as a message (rather than, say decorative art) within our cognitive sense. We think that our sense of ‘p’ means something that we can understand. p is promoted to i(s(’p’)).

i(s(’p’)) is consciously understood as a particular message with a particular meaning. This promotion of i(s(’p’)) to the executive level of sense, where we personally evaluate and act on the contents of messages would be the third nesting of sense u(i(s(’p’))). It is not only cognitive, but articulated on the personal level of cognition.

It should be noted that deconstructing the foundation of classical logic this way is intentional. Logic begins with a philosophical assumption of semantic realism. This is ironic really, especially in doxastic logic when we are concerned with the consistency of reasoning, to being with the assumption of a reasonable universe as a given. p is simply p. A proposition is given, and in that presentation of the proposition, truth is considered (wait for it…) incorrigible. If we want to say that p is false, we would just say ‘not p’. Truth and proposition are equivalent because we are assuming an unquestionable solidity to this fundamental logical unit – a unit which represents facts as they simply are, unconditioned, present without any dependence on ontology. Logic of this sort can be used to diagram systems which remind us of physics or of thinking and communicating, but they begin with the fact of coherence and sense already in place.

By inverting this previously unexamined axiom, I hope to reveal the myth of the logical ‘given’ and replace it with the more skeptical, honest view that logic is derived from sense. Just as a child depends on developing sensorimotor skills prior to developing abstract reasoning skills, all logic derives from deeper levels of sensory experience. Even computer logic relies on the sense of a physical mechanism…the capacity for some substance to detect and project some tangible role in a tangible chain reaction. Abstract logic is always an intangible map that is projected psychologically onto such a tangibly experienced territory. It is this tangibility, this concretely participatory aesthetic spectacle which is doing the work and which can appreciate the benefits of having accomplished it.

In my view, artificial intelligence has a problem, not because there is something special or magical about living creatures, or Homo sapiens, but because it seeks to impose an abstraction onto reality ‘feet first’ as it were. A computer program is a set of propositions which is further proposed to be imitated by a physical machine. Instead of an a sensation which is identified and understood u(i(s(’p’))), there is a ‘p’(’p’(u) (’p’(i) (’p’(s))… a mere proposition of a proposition of an understanding of a proposition of an identification of a proposition of a sensation. Those who have a grasp of why this is different from the natural u(i(s(’p’))) don’t really need an explanation. ‘The map is not the territory’, or ‘the menu is not the meal’ should be enough. Those who do not see the difference, or do not identify why the difference is so significant, or do not understand the specific meaning of the significance are probably approaching the entire question of consciousness from the classical logical orientation. For those people, if there is any possibility at all of their shifting to the new perspective that I am proposing, I think that they would have to begin from the incorrigibility of concrete sense rather than of abstract logic.

Introducing the Aumwelt

March 22, 2015 2 comments

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/david_eagleman_can_we_create_new_senses_for_humans.html

This is worth the 20 minutes IMO, as Eagleman lays out the contemporary view of sense. Where he leaves off is exactly where I want to pick up, and then to run in the opposite direction.

He begins by talking about the limitations of each species and how, for example, a tick lives in a world of temperature and butyric acid…a bat lives in a reality constructed out of air compression waves. This ‘slice of their ecosystem that they can pick up on’ is know as the umwelt.

Umwelt

The German word Umwelt means “environment” or “surroundings”. Lacan contrasts the term with Innenwelt– the inner world–to emphasize the interaction between the imaginary interior space that the “I” occupies and the physical world in which the living human subject is situated. The connection between Innenwelt and Umwelt is, for Lacan, always dialectical; in the mirror stage, the “I” only comes into being through an association with an image that is outside of and other than the infant.

So far so good. He then gets into the exciting directions that his research is going in, technologies to extend our sensory capabilities beyond the human umwelt, etc.

That’s great, and I have been looking forward to technologies like that all of my life. To be able to not only see in the infra-red range, but to be able to model information from any source – an Excel spreadsheet even, in a tangible, tactile way, is amazing.

What I suggest, however, is that the entire model of the umwelt being a slice of an ecosystem (the ecosystem being ‘real world’ or ‘welt’), while empirically sound *within a given umwelt* is actually reversible. The further we get from our own umwelt (which is only ever our umwelt’s view of other umwelts) the more it curls back in on itself.

It’s more like this:

The idea of a concrete reality which is completely outside of all experience is an unfalsifiable mirage generated by the umwelt as a boundary condition to the umwelt. What is beyond our experience is not the anti-experience of math and physics – not Platonic ‘information’ forms floating in a void, but simply more and more inclusive experience. Not a ‘welt’ but an Aumwelt:

In this view, the umwelt appears as a hazy cataract which masks the totality. The totality of all sense experience and capacity (which I see as ultimately the same thing) is what I am calling the Aumwelt. The haze is something like {the difference between the Innenwelt and (the difference between the Innenwelt and the Aumwelt)}. Each umwelt is not assembled autistically, but filtered or carved out of totality of sense (’artistically’ or aesthetically).  In this way, the aesthetic foundation (aumwelt) is divided into smaller dreams (innenwelt) with the remainder of that division serving as both diaphanous partition and reflective lens to the totality. The umwelt is like a semiconductor, half-silvered mirror or semi-permeable membrane; alternating between inner and outer, outer and absolute, and absolute and inner. This is what consciousness is about – not merely adapting to a body’s survival needs more effectively.

Why complicate things? Because if sensation were truly nothing other than “electrochemical signals coursing around in your brain”, then sensory substitution would not be necessary. Regardless of what frequencies and patterns occurred, they would all be formatted as those patterns – not as some fancy ‘feeling’ or ‘color’. Something like colorized film shows that computation is sufficient for deriving color information without seeing color. There is no computational reason to have to invent color simply to signal information about a wavelength of retinal activity or its isomorphism to exterior conditions. Occam’s razor does not allow us to take the leap from information to sensation. We can, however, use information to enhance and extend sensation.

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