Power Over The Known Universe
“Physics is the study of the structure of consciousness. The “stuff” of the world is mindstuff.” – Physicist Sir Arthur Eddington
I agree. Where I disagree with computationalism is that I see the stuff of the mind as not just numberstuff, but sense. Not only no stuff at all, but the antithesis of stuff. Not emptiness (the lack of stuff), but the insoluble solvent of stuffness itself. Where arithmetic is represented as methodical encoding, sense guesses and makes it up as it goes along.
It seems enigmatic and mysterious because it is a thesis which is blind to itself except through its reflected antithesis, which is not mysterious or enigmatic but public and declarative. This does not mean that we can’t understand what it is and communicate effectively about that understanding.
We can use the symmetry as a mirror to reflect light into the dark of our blind thesis. Both comp and materialism ignore the symmetry and assume that subjectivity is part of a material or an arithmetic thesis, which leads to the Explanatory Gap, Hard Problem, and Symbol Grounding problem. Instead, if we focus on the symmetry itself we can infer the qualities of the Hard Solution, which is of course, inference and symmetry themselves. This is what sense is all about. Connecting the dots. Taking a leap of faith. Bridging the gap. It is not a wild ass guess, but a puzzle to be solved, an itch to be scratched, a need to be filled.
How I think it works is through a multisense realism. Inferences accumulate a figurative history which is retained in the now. What we learn is stored literally in our ongoing perception. These living histories or channels of sense are woven together as worlds or perceptual inertial frames. The trick is that weaving such a world elevates the subjective perception above what they have woven, so that they can see through the motives of worlds beneath them while the subject becomes invisible or opaque (also glamorous, magnificent) to the less significant subjects. What it looks like to the elevated subject is determinism. Knowledge and power.
By seizing or appropriating this power over lesser worlds, the subject disenchants her antithesis and amplifies her own – in the form of increasingly effective motive force. The power to see through things brings a power to see things through. Decisiveness, strategic foresight, intelligence. Transparency informs the eye, the aye, and the I to progress its own preferences and willfulness. It takes the reigns and questions what used to be a simple public fact (‘man cannot fly’) and turns it into private ideas (‘seems like maybe man can fly with a propeller and wings’) until eventually one of those ideas lead to other ideas that ultimately transform a private history of thought into new public fact. Using knowledge for power is what technology is.
The idea of betting on something important is a simple way of remembering what sense and motive is all about. Having something of value to bet is the first requirement. You have to be able to care about the difference between winning and losing. There needs to be a sense of meaning or significance. Being able to exercise some causally efficacious participation in the world is the other requirement. To make a leap of faith, to guess. Qualia and free will. Signs and designs. When viewed from a distance however, we mechanemorphize it electromagnetically as current and power. Physically as mass and acceleration or matter and energy (which I think means that ‘light’ is really acceleration, btw). Mass is significance made literal, as perceived indirectly from an elevated frame. If perceived directly instead, weightiness and power are figurative qualities of experienced intensity.