Archive for the ‘free will’ Category

Logical Positivism and White Light

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

“Can you link? Perhaps quickly explain?”

Sure. This post relates most directly to transcending Logical Positivism,

Wittgenstein in Wonderland, Einstein under Glass

there are a lot of pages and posts on the site that refer back to how physical and metaphysical assumptions can both be transcended.

Briefly, what I suggest is that rather than assuming physical and mental isolation as objectively true, we should assume the opposite and see isolation as a localization of totality, in the same way that ‘green’ is a localization of white, and white is really transparency or visual sensitivity itself which is too bright for us to see through*.

The universe, consciousness, physics, mathematics, are all understandable as parts of the whole through triangulation of symmetric relations. Rather than spurning the thin air of the metaphysical or the mess of the anthropological, we should understand that their lack of sterile certainty reflects our own proximity to it, and that certainty itself is a function of distance – an illusion of monolithic realism to play against a reality of layered fiction. Physics is not realism, but the capacity to modulate realistic fiction against itself. Physics is participatory sense, and sense has understandable features which cut across all layers and scales of experience.

*This thought deserves to be developed in more depth. What is the color white? We know from basic science that white is a kind of jumble of all of the wavelengths of visible light. If we think about how we encounter white light in nature, however, it is often as a reflection in something transparent or shiny like water or glass. If you have ever tried to paint water, you know that it is about carefully placed contrasts of bright/white and dark paint.

Likewise, the brilliance of a white diamond is a reflection of its high refractive index – its just soo transparent from so many different angles than your eye can’t handle it. Given some level of ambient illumination, the visual sense is opened up beyond the human spec, and there’s too much to see through. It’s meta-transparent. As with all media, when the spec limit is exceeded, the guts of the medium itself begins to be exposed. What happens when there’s too much data on your internet connection? Freezing, pixelation. The digital substrate is exposed. Same thing with lens flares, records skipping, static on the radio, etc. The fabric which is carrying the message bleeds into the message. Light is the same way – too much potential clarity is blinding. Too much positivity and logic obscures the reality of the consciousness which creates it.

Annotated Tree

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment


Consciousness and The Interface Theory of Perception, Donald Hoffman

January 14, 2014 3 comments

A very good presentation with lot of overlap on my views. He proposes similar ideas about a sensory-motive primitive and the nature of the world as experience rather than “objective”. What is not factored in is the relation between local and remote experiences and how that relation actually defines the appearance of that relation. Instead of seeing agents as isolated mechanisms, I think they should be seen as more like breaches in the fabric of insensitivity.

It is a little misleading to say (near the end) that a spoon is no more public than a headache. In my view what makes a spoon different from a headache is precisely that the metal is more public than the private experience of a headache. If we make the mistake of assuming an Absolutely public perspective*, then yes, the spoon is not in it, because the spoon is different things depending on how small, large, fast, or slow you are. For the same reason, however, nothing can be said to be in such a perspective. There is no experience of the world which does not originate through the relativity of experience itself. Of course the spoon is more public than a headache, in our experience. To think otherwise as a literal truth would be psychotic or solipsistic. In the Absolute sense, sure, the spoon is a sensory phenomena and nothing else, it is not purely public (nothing is), but locally, is certainly is ‘more’ public.

Something that he mentioned in the presentation had to do with linear algebra and using a matrix of columns which add up to be one. To really jump off into a new level of understanding consciousness, I would think of the totality of experience as something like a matrix of columns which add up, not to 1, but to “=1”. Adding up to 1 is a good enough starting point, as it allows us to think of agents as holes which feel separate on one side and united on the other. Thinking of it as “=1” instead makes it into a portable unity that does something. Each hole recapitulates the totality as well as its own relation to that recapitulation: ‘just like’ unity. From there, the door is open to universal metaphor and local contrasts of degree and kind.

*mathematics invites to do this, because it inverts the naming function of language. Instead of describing a phenomenon in our experience through a common sense of language, math enumerates relationships between theories about experience. The difference is that language can either project itself publicly or integrate public-facing experiences privately, but math is a language which can only face itself. Through math, reflections of experience are fragmented and re-assembled into an ideal rationality – the ideal rationality which reflects the very ideal of rationality that it embodies.

Questioning the Sufficiency of Information

January 12, 2014 2 comments
Better Than The Chinese Room

Searle’s “Chinese Room” thought experiment tends to be despised by strong AI enthusiasts, who seem to take issue with Searle personally because of it. Accusing both the allegory and the author of being stupid, the Systems Reply is the one offered most often. The man in the room may not understand Chinese, but surely the whole system, including book of translation, must be considered to understand Chinese.

Here then is simpler and more familiar example of how computation can differ from natural understanding which is not susceptible to any mereological Systems argument.

If any of you have use passwords which are based on a pattern of keystrokes rather than the letters on the keys, you know that you can enter your password every day without ever knowing what it is you are typing (something with a #r5f^ in it…?).

I think this is a good analogy for machine intelligence. By storing and copying procedures, a pseudo-semantic analysis can be performed, but it is an instrumental logic that has no way to access the letters of the ‘human keyboard’. The universal machine’s keyboard is blank and consists only of theoretical x,y coordinates where keys would be. No matter how good or sophisticated the machine is, it will still have no way to understand what the particular keystrokes “mean” to a person, only how they fit in with whatever set of fixed possibilities has been defined.

Taking the analogy further, the human keyboard only applies to public communication. Privately, we have no keys to strike, and entire paragraphs or books can be represented by a single thought. Unlike computers, we do not have to build our ideas up from syntactic digits. Instead the public-facing computation follows from the experienced sense of what is to be communicated in general, from the top down, and the inside out.


The Scale of Digital

How large does a digital circle have to be before the circumference seems like a straight line?

Digital information has no scale or sense of relation. Code is code. Any rendering of that code into a visual experience of lines and curves is a question of graphic formatting and human optical interaction. With a universe that assumes information as fundamental, the proximity-dependent flatness or roundness of the Earth would have to be defined programmatically. Otherwise, it is simply “the case” that a person is standing on the round surface of the round Earth. Proximity is simply a value with no inherent geometric relevance.

When we resize a circle in Photoshop, for instance, the program is not transforming a real shape, it is erasing the old digital circle and creating a new, unrelated digital circle. Like a cartoon, the relation between the before and after, between one frame and the “next” is within our own interpretation, not within the information.

Square Spiral Diagram

January 7, 2014 Leave a comment


This square spiral logo is coming in handy, but my apologies if it is getting monotonous. This is an informal flow chart of what might be called cosmological metabolism. The interplay between H and Σ describe the catabolic and anabolic principles (Entropy and Significance). The idea here is that the primordial identity or principle behind everything is sense, and that through the alienation or diffraction of sense, followed by re-uniting, significance is gained.

Sense can be understood as accumulating from the bottom up, as complexity and sophistication of experience, and also as a splitting off from the Totality. Consciousness can be understood as a nesting of coincidence which accelerates itself. Time is a comparison of coincidences in which a logical distance is inferred, while space is presented as a logical context within which objects or forms coincide directly. Clock time, therefore is a spatialization of our inner experience – a masking of private, lifelong harmonics which are semantic and quasi-narrative. The gaps of time give structure to the autobiographical dream.

Sense bridges the gap between one time and another, across distance or separation, connecting public and private. Sense tears itself down so it can build improvement. Our public view of physics eradicates meaning inadvertently by hiding coincidence. Because sense is the primordial identity, coincidence can be thought of as the existential expression of what is essentially transformations of meaning and aesthetic quality. When we spread it out over space and time, it looks like coincidence, but if we keep spreading it out, it looks like unrelated incidents. The refinement of these unrelated incidents into generic, meaningless functions, is what is physics and math are about – however, because the nature of sense is  self-reflective and self-revealing, the blueprint of its grandest coincidences can be seen, even in their absence.

MSR: Perceptual Inertial Frames

January 3, 2014 Leave a comment


A Formula for Qualia

January 2, 2014 Leave a comment

To derive the formula for qualia or sensory affect, solve the Hard Problem of Consciousness, and bridge the Explanatory gap, I suggest that we try converting the mass-energy equivalence E=mc² from the public orientation and transpose it inward to the private orientation.

Energy (E) becomes which is “was and will be” (w = was or will be)
The Speed of light (c) becomes t = time = (still or never) = now or realism
Light* () becomes “still and never again” or “stereo realism of now”
Mass (M) becomes æ = qualia = “like it”

Qualia = “like it was and will be, still and never again” =

another wording

Qualia = “Eternally signifies its past and future now”

This is about what Milan Kundera called The Unbearable Lightness of Being. That our experience of the universe is either perpetually suspended above the paradox of an existence which is both perpetually vanishing forever in some sense and repeating forever in another. If c is the still ‘speed’ of here and now, then is the acceleration of here and now, the enrichment of the local now through the collective presence and absence of eternity

  • Motive effect or will:

To derive will or motive: 

If qualia is “like it”, then square root of æ is what joins and divides the ‘like’ and the ‘it’. It is the dipole charge of ‘liking’ and ‘it-ing’ which we call desire or preference. The greater the liking, the more significance is projected onto the object, which is the imagined realization of a goal in time. Intention projects into the future, builds, and guides qualia.

Will = “(Maybe, or maybe not)(now or never)” = w = √æ t

Turning the private translation outward to Public/Western psychology so that interiority is undersignified as emergent epiphenomena, we get:

= Experience is simply what may and may not be happening for some time.


= Choosing = Right or wrong this time

The public-facing view of privacy reduces it to information processing. To those who have a private-facing view this is a flat and inadequate characterization. The former view is optimized for realizing spatial intelligence while the latter is optimized for appreciating timeless wisdom.

  • Quality and Equality

Since qualia is about likeness and local equivalents, it can be said that qualia equals the differential between equality and all inequalities... æ = ‘d=’.

The kicker is that since equality is itself a quale (the spelling of e-quality is a clue), we can conceive of ‘=’ as quality which is externalized**, i.e. the differential is collapsed and the entire range of what it “is like” is interpreted as what “it actually is”. The Western-facing mind naturally prefers that which only tells it ‘like it is‘, so that public physics and information science will filter out as noise all that tries to tell ‘what it is like‘ (paging Ludwig Wittgenstein…). This commercialization of residential qualities has had many benefits, but it is a philosophy which has blinded itself, and intimidated many into ignoring the true nature of consciousness. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s how private physics works. It’s how sense is made.

*The speed of light is c, but , if taken literally, can be understood as light itself, reality, or making sense: producing stereo (solid) realism.

**Physically publicized, cropped, framed, stereotyped, commercialized, hardened to endure against the changing feelings that make up private time.

Breaking the Nth Wall

December 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Norman Rockwell

  • Eliminative Materialism: The picture is the only reality, so the artist is an illusion.
  • Idealism: The artist is real and the picture is an illusion.
  • Dual Aspect: The artist and the painting are two halves of the whole.
  • Monotheism: Norman Rockwell is omnipotent and immortal.
  • Computationalism: Norman Rockwell is an emergent property of jpeg compression. Any sufficiently complex compression becomes Norman Rockwell.
  • Multisense Realism: The picture, artist, audience, illusion, Norman Rockwell, and computation are all sensory experiences which make sense in different but sensibly related ways.

Free Will Isn’t a Predictive Statistical Model

December 25, 2013 12 comments

Free will is a program guessing what could happen if resources were spent executing code before having to execute it.

I suggest that Free Will is not merely the feeling of predicting effects, but is the power to dictate effects. It gets complicated because when we introspect on our own introspection, our personal awareness unravels into a hall of sub-personal mirrors. When we ask ourselves ‘why did I eat that pizza’, we can trace back a chain of ‘because…I wanted to. Because I was hungry…Because I saw a pizza on TV…’ and we are tempted to conclude that our own involvement was just to passively rubber stamp a course of multiple-choice actions that were already in motion.

If instead, we look at the entire ensemble of our responses to the influences, from TV image, to the body’s hunger, to the preference for pizza, etc as more of a kaleidoscope gestalt of ‘me’, then we can understand will on a personal level rather than a mechanical level. On the sub-personal level, where there is processing of information in the brain and competing drives in the mind, we, as individuals do not exist. This is the mistake of the neuroscientific experiments thus far. They assume a bottom-up production of consciousness from unconscious microphysical processes, rather than seeing a bi-directional relation between many levels of description and multiple kinds of relation between micro and macro, physical and phenomenal.

My big interest is in how intention causes action

I think that intention is already an action, and in a human being that action takes place on the neurochemical level if we look at it from the outside. For the motive effect of the brain to translate into the motor effect of the rest of the body involves the sub-personal imitation of the personal motive, or you could say the diffraction of the personal motive as it is made increasingly impersonal, slower, larger, and more public-facing (mechanical) process.

Free Will and the Unconscious

December 15, 2013 Leave a comment

The key oversight, in my opinion, in the approach taken by neuroscientific research into free will (Libet et al) is in the presumption that all that is not available to us personally is ‘unconscious’ rather than conscious sub-personally. When we read these words, we are not conscious of their translation from pixels to patches of contrasting optical conditions, to loops and lines, to letters and words. From the perspective of our personal awareness, the words are presented as a priori readable and meaningful. We are not reminded of learning to read in kindergarten and have no feeling for what the gibberish that we are decoding would look like to someone who could not read English. The presentation of our world is materially altered at the sub-personal, but not ‘unconscious’ level. If it were unconscious, then we would be shocked to find that words were made of lines and loops or pixels.

In the same way, a robotic task is quickly anticipated, even 10 seconds ahead of time, without our personality getting involved. This does not mean that it is not ‘us’ making the choice, only that there is no need for such an easy and insignificant choice to be recognized by another layer of ‘us’, and reported by a third layer of ‘us’ to the personal layer of us.

When we work on the sub-personal level of neurons, we are addressing a layer of reality in which we, as persons, do not exist. Because we have not yet factored in perceptual relativity as a defining existential influence, we are making the mistake of treating a human being as if they were made of generic Legos instead of a single unique and unrepeatable living cell which has intentionally reproduced itself a trillion times over – each carrying the potential for intention and self-modifying teleology.

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