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Computation as Anti-Holos

July 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Here is a technical sketch of how all of nature could arise from a foundation which is ‘aesthetic’ rather than physical or informational. I conceive of the key difference between the aesthetic and the physical or informational (both anesthetic) is that an aesthetic phenomenon is intrinsically and irreducibly experiential. This is a semi-neologistic use of the term aesthetic, used only to designate the presence of phenomena which is not only detected but is identical to detection. A dream is uncontroversially aesthetic in this sense, however, because our waking experience is also predicated entirely upon sensory, perceptual, and cognitive conditioning, we can never personally encounter any phenomenon which is not aesthetic. Aesthetics here is being used in a universal way and should not be conflated with the common usage of the term in philosophy or art, since that usage is specific to human psychology and relates primarily to beauty. There is a connection between the special case of human aesthetic sense and the general sense of aesthetic used here, but that’s a topic for another time. For now, back to the notion of the ground of being as a universal phenomenon which is aesthetic rather than anesthetic-mechanical (physics or computation).

I have described this aesthetic foundation with various names including Primordial Identity Pansensitivity or Pansense. Some conceive of something like it called Nondual Fundamental Awareness. For this post I’ll call it HolosThe absolute totality of all sensation, perception, awareness, and consciousness in which even distinctions such as object and subject are transcended.

I propose that our universe is a product of a method by which Holos (which is sense beneath the emergent dichotomy of sensor-sensed) is perpetually modulating its own sensitivity into novel and contrasting aspects. In this way Holos can be understood as a universal spectrum of perceivability which nests or masks itself into sub-spectra, such as visibility, audibility, tangibility, emotion, cogitation, etc, as well into quantifiable metrics of magnitude.

The masking effect of sense modulation is, in this hypothesis the underlying phenomenon which has been measured as entropy. Thermodynamic entropy and information entropy alike are not possible without a sensory capacity for discernment between qualities of order/certainty/completeness (reflecting holos/wholeness) and the absence of those qualities (reflecting the masking of holos). Entropy can be understood as the masking of perceptual completeness within any given instance of perception (including measurement perceptions). Because entropy is the masking of the completeness of holos, it is a division which masks division. Think of how the borders of our visual field present an evanescent, invisible or contrast-less boundary to visibility of visual boundaries and contrasts. Because holos unites sense, entropy divides sense, including the sense of division, resulting in the stereotypical features of entropy – equilibrium or near equilibrium of insignificant fluctuations, uncertainty, morphological decay to generic forms and recursive functions, etc. Entropy can be understood as the universal sense of insensitivity. The idea of nothingness refers to an impossible state of permanent unperceivability, however just as absolute darkness is not the same as invisibility, even descriptors of perceptual absence such stillness, silence, vacuum are contingent upon a comparison with their opposites. Nothingness is still a concept within consciousness rather than a thing which can actually exist on its own.

Taking this idea further, it is proposed that the division of sense via entropy-insensitivity has a kind of dual effect. Where holos is suppressed, a black-hole like event-horizon of hyper-perceivability is also present. There is a conservation principle by which entropic masking must also residuate a hypertrophied entity-hood of sense experience: A sign, or semaphore, aka unit of information/negentropy.

In dialectic terms, Holos/sense is the universal, absolute thesis of unity, which contains its own antithesis of entropy-negentropy. The absolute essence of the negentropy-entropy dialectic would be expressed in aesthetic duals such as particle-void, foreground-background, signal-noise. The aesthetic-anesthetic dual amplifies the object-like qualities of the foregrounded sensation such that it is supersaturated with temporary super-completeness, making it a potential ‘signal’ or ‘sign’…a surface of condensed-but-collapsed semantics or ‘phoria’ into ‘semaphoria’, aka, syntactic elements. I call the progressive formalizing of unified holos toward graphic units ‘diffractivity’. The result of diffractivity is that the holos implements a graphic-morphic appearance protocol within itself, which we call space-time, and which is used to anchor and guide the interaction of the entropic, exterior of experience. The interior of complex experiences are guided by the opposite, transformal sense of hierarchy-by-significance’. Significance is another common term which I am partially hijacking for use in a more specific way as the saturation of aesthetic qualities, and the persistence of any given experience within a multitude of other experiences.

To recap, the conjecture is that all of nature arises by, through, for, and within an aesthetic foundation named ‘holos’. Through a redistribution of its own sensitivity, holos masks its unity property into self-masking/unmasking ‘units’ which we call ‘experiences’ or ‘events’. The ability recall multiple experiences and to imagine new experiences, and to understand the relation between them is what we call ‘time’.

Within more complex experiences, the entropic property which divides experience into temporal sections can reunite with other, parallel complex experiences in a ‘back to back’ topology. In this mode of tactile disconnection, the potential for re-connection of the disconnected ends of experiences is re-presented what we call ‘objects in space’ or ‘distance between points’, aka geometry. By marrying the graphed, geometric formality of entropy with the algebraic, re-collecting formality of sequence, we arrive at algorithm or computation. Computation is not a ‘real phenomenon’ but a projection of the sense of quantity (an aesthetic sense just like any other) onto a distanced ‘object’ of perception.

Physics in this view is understood to be the inverted reflection and echo of experience which has been ‘spaced and timed’. Computation is the inversion of physics – the anesthetic void as addressable container of anesthetic function-objects. Physics makes holos into a hologram, and computation inverts the natural relation into an artificial, ‘information theoretic’, hypergraphic anti-holos. In the anti-holos perspective, nature is uprooted and decomposed into dustless digital dust. Direct experience is seen as ‘simulation’ or ‘emergent’, non-essential properties which only ‘seem to exist’, while the invisible, intangible world of quantum-theoretical mechanisms and energy rich vacuums are elevated to the status of noumena.

Computationalists Repent! The apocalypse is nigh! 🙂

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A Quantum Analogy with Dice, Fans, and Basketball

September 10, 2016 Leave a comment
image

This is as much for my own edification as anything else, but I’m trying to get across my understanding of what is called the quantum wave function collapse. After that, it goes off into my usual attempt to say something absolutely particular about absolutely everything in general.

From what I have gathered the quantum wave function is a statistical mean which may or may not correspond to a physical phenomenon.

Now, in QM we try to predict the probability density for a particle’s position (or momentum, or energy, or whatever).  We could try to do this by writing an equation for how p(x) changes over time, but it turns out that doesn’t give us enough information; there are situations where particles start with identical p(x) but do different things as time goes on.

It’s found that we do get enough information to make predictions if we write an equation for a complex-valued function ψ(x), and derive the probability density from it as p(x)=ψ∗(x)ψ(x) The way the complex phase of ψ(x) varies from point to point encodes additional information about the particle’s momentum, which is necessary to predict its future behavior. It has units of the square root of a probability density, which is a bit weird but perfectly mathematically acceptable.  This is of course the wavefunction, and the equation that determines how it varies is the Schrödinger equation.-source

From another source:

An observable is “something we can observe”, and is it represented in quantum mechanics by an operator, that is, something that operates on a quantum state. A very simple example of an operator is the position operator. We usually write the position operator along the x axis as x^ (which is just x with a “hat” on top of it).

If the quantum state |Ψ⟩ represents a particle, that means that it contains all the information about that particle, including its position along the x axis. So we calculate the following:
⟨Ψ|x^|Ψ⟩
Note that the state |Ψ⟩ appears as both a bra and a ket, and the operator x^ in “sandwiched” in the middle.

This is called an expectation value. When we calculate this expression, we will get the value for the position of the particle that one would “expect” to find, according to the laws of probability. To be more accurate, this is a weighted average of all possible positions; so a position that is more probable would contribute more to the expectation value.

However, in many cases the expectation value is not even a value that the observable can get. For example, if the particle can be at position x=+1 with probability ½ or at position x=−1 with probability ½, then the expectation value would be x=0, whereas the particle could never actually be in that position. – source

In the terms of the dice analogy, the table above shows a bell curve function of probability density for the observables of the dice. To make this a metaphor for quantum observations I think it would look more this way:

image

The difference is that we can’t observe the wave function, we can only think of the set of possible observables for a given system and give it a name. This is important because in my view, quantum theory actually oversteps its mandate as a rational solution to a set of physical problems to become a faith-based solution to a set of metaphysical/mathematical problems.

There can never be any observation of quantum, there can only be qualitative observations from which we can infer quantitative ideas of relation*.

*note that ‘relation’ is itself an aesthetic quality which is dependent upon a preferred sense of grouping. This preference, so far as we can ever know, only occurs within a sensed experience in which aesthetic phenomena are presented as sharing a common quality. Physics in and of itself can have no relations, as general relation qualities cannot be decomposed into fundamental physical forces. No physical mechanism can make quantitative ‘relations’ happen.

What the quotes above are trying to say, in my view, is that

the wave function itself is an imaginary square root of the inferred probability density of the mentally counted sets of actually observed phenomena.

We want to think that quantum particles are the observed dice rolls: a pair of upturned faces of cubes containing a finite number of dots or ‘pips’, and that the wave function is the set of numbers 1 to 6 corresponding to each possible set of dots, but in reality there may not be two dice at all. The observable reality is that when we look at one die, the other one disappears, and we can only see both dice if we don’t look at the dots.

Two more analogies illustrating the reducibility of quantum ‘particles’ to qualitative sense:

1. Looking at a ceiling fan in motion, we can either see a circular blur, or if we follow the blur with our eyes at the same frequency as the fan, we can see the fan blades (or a standing-wave of averaged images of fan blades) but not really the circular blur.

2. I’m in my house and hear noises coming from outside. One sounds like a loud motor, and one sounds like a frequent thumping. I know from experience that the neighbors do like to play basketball in their driveway when the weather is nice. I also know that the neighbors across the street are having their roof replaced which may or may not involve some kind of compressor noise. Finally, I know that Saturday morning is a time when there are a lot of neighbors mowing their lawn.

The point of this example is to illustrate the common/superficial understanding of the wavefunction collapse would be analogous to me going outside and looking around. By observing, I find out whether there are roofers running some kind of noisy machine and pounding on shingles, or whether there is one neighbor mowing their lawn and another pounding on their fence or something, or whether there’s some combination of things going on which may include a basketball game. By ‘finding out’ what’s going on, I am collapsing the wave function of possibilities because I now know what the noises I heard inside my house refer to outside.

This is not correct as an analogy though either. It cannot be applied to quantum observables. The delayed choice quantum eraser and other experiments show surreal phenomena such as entanglement, contextuality, and the mutual exclusivity of entanglement and contextuality. It would be like me like going outside and seeing that the hammering is definitely coming from the roofers across the street, but then going outside again later and seeing that the there is a dude playing basketball instead and there were never any roofers.

Entanglement/Contextuality would be like if I went out and played basketball with the neighbors then as long as I was playing, suddenly no neighbor could have their roof repaired. In terms of the fan, it would be like if I had two fans in two separate rooms controlled by the same light switch, putting my hand in the way of one fan not only stops the other, but you can tell by filling the rooms with feathers that stopping one fan makes it so no feathers had ever blown around in the other room.

Entanglement and contextuality are opposite orientations of the same thing. The entanglement view focuses on the synchronization of what has been connected experimentally while the contextuality view focuses on the strange contradiction to our expectations about causality extending from the past to the present.

Anyhow, this too is not correct in my view. What is being overlooked is that we are taking for granted that the quality of finality in our experience is identical to the property of factuality. We want to say that because we have actually seen the blades of the fan, they are the physical objects which exist and the circular blur is an optical illusion – true enough in the case of a fan. We want to say that seeing a roofer pounding nails into a shingle is evidence that roofing is what is actually going on and the idea that the sound we heard inside could have been a basketball bouncing was a misperception. This is not what physics is telling us, however. Instead, it is telling us, in my view, that there is no fan or basketball or roofer, nor is there any mistake of misperception, there are only sensory experiences, some of which acquire a higher aesthetic density of ‘realism’ than others. We say ‘seeing is believing’ because visual sense presents such an unambiguous seeming experience most of the time but we know from optical illusions and from comparing binocular differences that even seeing should not be believed.

What we are seeing when we look at something like the double slit experiment is a context in which perception itself is revealed to be

  1. more fundamental than the ‘object’ which is sensed and
  2. a revealing of (sense experience) itself as both a self-revealer and a self-concealer.

In the phenomenon of seeing visible light we have a metaphor about the relation between metaphor and non-metaphor which is expressed non-metaphorically. It is a context in which the contextualization of contextuality is presented as an uncontextualized/absolute text. (sense = the sole abtext?)

Philosophically, we should see that it is necessary to reverse the priority assigned by Galileo and Locke to tangible/physical qualities being primary and phenomenal qualities being secondary. Physics should be considered a set of phenomenal qualities which have been reduced by the subtraction of intangible modes of sensitivity. It is only in the intangible modes which nature can be fully appreciated as the self-revealing, self-concealing meta-phenomenon that it is.

Finally, here’s another serendipitous experiment with light. On a polished granite surface I see the reflection of a single overhead light as two separate reflections. With one eye open, I can see the image of the light is on the edge of the surface, while with the other eye open instead, the image of the light is in the center of the surface. Try it next time you see a floor or counter like this and can play with closing one eye or the other. Notice how you can choose between two separate but entangled images of the light which move as your head moves or, you can focus your sight so that there is only a single image of the light.

In the former case, the details of the surface are clear – you can see the patterns of granite and can tell exactly which colored spots seem to be illuminated by the overhead light. In the latter case, you have to look ‘through’ or passed the grain of the stone and focus your visual attention on the image which is reflected from the polished surface. To make the former view real is the materialist orientation. To make the latter view real is the information-theoretic orientation. Both orientations entail the disorientation/de-realization of the other. The materialist says the floor is the real thing being illuminated, while the computationalist says that the floor and light are only generic vehicles for the underlying reality of mathematical laws of relation.

What is left out of both of these views is the connection to the eye and the experience of seeing. The eye’s location is what is telling my experience of where the image of the light’s reflection appears to be. Indeed, that appearance *is* the actual location of the lights reflection as seen through one eye. When seen through the other eye, there is a different actual location. When seen through both eyes, there are either two semi-actual locations or there is one actual light reflection against a single blurred semi-actual location.

I cannot emphasize this enough: Quantum theory is about perceiving perception. It tells us not that the reality of nature is inconceivably weird and unfamiliar, but that nature is more than ‘reality’. The different concepts of wave function, probablility density, and observables map to quantum contextuality, quantum entanglement, and classical (collapsed) realism respectively. QM is about how appearances acquire density of realism by consensus of accumulated limits. For a quantum phenomenon (which is totally abstract) to begin to seem concretely ‘real’, the sense of contextuality or entanglement must in one frame of reference seem to be shared as an isomorphic sense in every other frame of reference, without contradiction. Thus there is no mysterious ‘classical limit’ at which quantum decoherence occurs, and no magical ‘emergent properties’ which appear out of nowhere to turn intangible figments of math into concrete objects – there is only a dynamic aesthetic phenomena (sense experiences or qualia) which merge and diffract as aesthetic meta-phenomena (veridical perceptions or ‘shared reality’). There is no ‘finding out’ what really happened, there is only an adding of dimensions of realism by sacrificing qualities that extend beyond realism.

This goes for our own consensus of sense modalities as well as a consensus among peer-reviewed scientific papers. The sense of realism arises from the multiplicity of limited perspectives, which then divides the total entropy of doubt/uncertainty. With only one slit or sense or scientific mind, any given phenomenon is presented as-is – an observed effect only. With multiple senses or slits or peers, we observe a different effect which enables a cross-reference that goes beyond the observation itself to an observation of the observation process. This opens the door not only to theories which connect the particular observations but which can apply to many other kinds of observations, as well as to theories of observation in general. In this way, the general/rational/contextual/illuminating and the particular/empirical/textual-entangled/illuminated can be reconciled as opposite ends of a single spectrum of sense/aesthetic/ab-textual/visibility.

The Spirit of the Law

August 9, 2016 2 comments

The distinction between “The letter of the law” and “The spirit of the law” is a good way to understand the relation of consciousness to matter or to computation. Specifically, when we talk about the spirit of the law, we are speaking metaphorically. We don’t actually mean that there is a spiritual force radiating from paragraphs of text in legal documents which have a conscious intent. When we talk about the letter of the law, we are being much more literal (literally literal). The letter of the law refers to the actual written code that is recorded on paper, or stone tablets somewhere and copied from one physical medium to another.

To be literal about it, we would say the Spirit (or motive) behind the creation of the law. The law itself is inert. It is purely a medium to contain and transport a reference to the lawgiver’s motive, so that the motive can be actualized in the behaviors of those who follow the law. Laws don’t write themselves, and they don’t follow themselves. Their existence depends entirely on a world of agents and their efforts to influence each other.

The same is true of the relation between conscious experience, which is irreducibly sensory-motive, and external forms and functions which act as reflective mediums or vehicles for conscious experience. Like the letters of the law, physical forms or logical functions have no teleological motive. Those who mistake forms for having the potential to develop consciousness do so as a result of identifying too literally with their body and the experiences that they have through their body of its world of bodies and objects.

When we think too literally, we overlook the enormous gulf between the literal code of law (including the laws of physics or laws of mathematics) and the motive behind the giving and following of law. We begin to imagine that bodies or computer programs can become so complex that some spirit with sense and motive can ‘emerge’ from them. When someone argues that we will eventually discover the function of the brain which produces consciousness, or develop a program which will simulate consciousness, they are making an assumption about the relation between consciousness and the forms which it reflects back to itself. Translating this assumption into the context of law, it is an argument which says that there is no immaterial ‘spirit of the law’, so that therefore there must be a complicated set of legal codes which we mistake for such a ‘spirit’.  For many this assumption is in the blind spot of their intellect so that they are incapable of knowing that they are even making an assumption at all, let alone that it could be an oversight which is ‘emergent’ from their way of thinking about it.

The reason that forms and functions cannot create conscious experience has nothing to do with our current level of technological development, rather the reason is that the thesis that forms and functions can create consciousness is based on a reductive functionalism which breaks down when we carry the thesis out fully. Namely, our motive for reducing consciousness to physics or computation in the first place is based on principles of parsimony and sufficiency. Those same principles prohibit us from inflating physics or computation to consciousness. Consciousness cannot be justified, nor can any emergent properties which only appear within consciousness. If laws could create themselves and follow themselves, then there would be no need for any further experience of participating in either that creation or application. Like a computer program, the law would be generated automatically and a programmed chain reaction would follow. There would be no function for a sense of participation. The Hard Problem of Consciousness, translated into legal terms would ask why, if there is no spirit of the law, must lawyers ‘practice’ law instead of the law simply carrying itself out. Why would anyone argue over how a law should be ‘interpreted’?

The law ultimately is a communication between people as a way to try to maintain order in a civilization. It is not an alien life form whose body survives on ink and microfilm. Without a spirit or motivation to impart a sense of proper conduct onto other people, the law literally cannot exist as a law. In the same way, computer programs cannot exist without a motive of people to give and receive conscious experiences to each other. The letter of a program or of a physical structure cannot refer to anything by itself, and cannot act as a reference since there is no rational place for any such layer of intention. The laws of physics or mathematics don’t argue with each other. They don’t set up courts with juries to try to convince each other that one force should apply here and another should apply there. Why do we?

Theise & Kafatos Non-Dual Conscious Realism

July 24, 2016 Leave a comment

Thus “thingness”, the appearance of  materiality, even  of  living  things, is  dependent  on  the  scale  of observation. Note  that appearance implies  observation.  Therefore,  observation  at  all  levels  is  implied, it cannot  be  taken  out  of  the  picture  at any scale. Observation  itself  further  implies  sensory experience  or  qualia,  more  or  less  complex  depending  on  scale.

Theise Kafatos: Fundamental Awareness PDF

Have a look at the above video and paper published in 2016. I think that it can help answer some of the criticisms that people have of quantum interpretations which include consciousness.

The Fundamental Awareness model of Theise and Kafatos is easily the model that comes closest to my own Multisense Realism view. In particular, they lay out the case for multiple levels of description so that ‘thingness’ is not taken for granted. What looks like a body at one scale of perception is billions of cells on another, trillions of molecules on another, and so on. They also do a great job of synthesizing the work of others, such as Whitehead and other philosophers or mystics, so that their main points can be translated into modern complexity theory terms.

To get to Multisense Realism from where they are, take the idea of holarchy and self-organization and apply a Lorentzian type relation. Rather than saying that the universe is self-organizing, I see the universe as an expression of organization itself, which is the antithesis of fundamental awareness. The universe only looks like structures organizing themselves when viewed through the outward-facing sensitivities of a compatible structure. I think that the more ‘fundamental’ context of the universe is trans-structural. No structure experiences itself as a self-organizing object in its own native frame of reference. We experience our ‘selves’ as both a current set of feelings, sensations, and thoughts, as well as a boundaryless ocean of memories and imagination which has neither a relevant geometry nor a holarchic kind of nesting. Our interiority doesn’t become more scale nested like molecules>cells>bodies, it remains a single fugue of experience. Only the aesthetic richness of the experience deepens. Sensations, perceptions, emotions, thoughts, and worlds all develop more significant qualities as they feed back on each other.

To sum up, I think that Kafatos and Theise are on the right track and ahead of the rest at this point. The way forward is to more fully integrate the revelations of non-dual conscious realism within the theory which defines it. There are a lot of legacy assumptions that need to be cleared away. It’s like going from geocentric astronomy to heliocentric astronomy. Everything that was presumed to be a static ontological fact should be substituted with a Lorentz-like continuum of framingness which dynamically defines thingness. This is what I’ve tried to do with Diffractivity and Eigenmorphism – supply a hypothesis for a universe which is a totality of sense experience rather than structures. The universe of consciousness is not based on mindless re-issuing of organization-optimization formulas, or on equally mindless mutations from randomness. Instead, I propose that the true agenda of all of nature is as a conscious experience which expresses itself in novel ways for the purpose of enriching experience. Organization and disorganization are only symptoms of the masking of the totality – an appearance through tactile and visual sense modalities to provide distance and duality. We are not all agents having experiences, we are experiences of agency within larger experiences which transcend it.

 

 

Does consciousness emerge from the brain?

March 18, 2016 11 comments
My response to this answer on Quora:
An excellent answer which sums up the current neuroscientific perspective, and which I intend to demolish 🙂
What if we set consciousness aside for a moment and use some other examples?
A conventional camera exposes film to visible light, yet the image is not visible. The visibility of the image depends on a process of chemical development, however that process is not changing the image-related information that is constituted by the microphysical states of the photographic emulsion. We can see therefore, that the image is not emergent from film. The film is perfectly capable of recording optical information without providing any visible image. This is a huge problem of eliminativism, computationalism, functionalism, and physicalism.
A similar example: Binary math vs geometry. For instance:
pcoae9gri
This image does not exist within your computer’s RAM or CPU. There is nothing shaped like a triangle or a face that is present in the physical hardware or its logical function which has color, shape, or faces. What is present is nothing but generic microelectronic switches which are capable of receiving and sending each other’s state. This arrangement handles all of our information processing needs, but it does not get us any closer to the image that you see above. For that we need a video screen, eyes, a sense of optical conditions, and a visual presentation. The computer of course needs none of these things to compute every detail of the .png file. It does not need to see anything, nor does it need to have any familiarity with geometry. The binary math works just as well with or without visibility or tangiblity. Logic does not need geometry.
By connecting the dots, I can easily see why emergence is false, and why when we use the term ’emergence’ we are actually referring to nothing more than appearances within consciousness, such that it can never apply to physics or logic in any way. Nothing can ’emerge’ within physicalism because physics can have no preferred frame or reference. The existence of a frame of reference in the absence of perception should also be understood to be a fairly obvious violation of parsimony, i.e., Occam’s Razor would shave off the possibility of sense perception if unsensed frames of reference were already performing every physical function in the brain. In theory, there is no reason why a brain could not perform every operation of our conscious mind unconsciously, just as we assume that a single zygote unconsciously performs every function of dividing into a living brain.
What is harder to understand is why some people, especially those in the hard sciences, completely fail to see this. After several years of consideration, however, I have arrived at what I think is a viable hypothesis: The skill set which tends toward expertise in physical systems and logical functions tends to be incompatible with the opposite skill set which is required to develop a robust theory of mind. Neuroscience is mind blind, so it (along with Dennett, Blackmore, etc) promotes a view of the mind without having the correct lens to gain objectivity on their own objectivity. Nobody is to blame, it’s just part of how the Continuum of Sense works. Color and flavor has no more business being undetectable in the brain than specific gravity or temperature are. Emergence is a post hoc contrivance to cover for the (huge, and critically important) blind spot of the brain-minded mind.

Continuum of Sense

March 18, 2016 1 comment

I have been writing for a long time now about what I call the Multisense Continuum, or the ACME-OMMM duality. In the course of developing this hypothesis, I have learned about other such efforts, detailed below, including a recent paper:

Rigidity-chaos semantic continuum

image

Drawing on network models, this is a promising approach, however the irony was apparent to me in the choice of terms. To see the opposite of psychological rigidity as chaos may be trivially true, however, it may also be that the chaos is a projection of the rigid, systemizing approach.

The model that I propose sees chaos as only one aspect, and not the most important aspect of the opposite of rigidity. This continuum is so universal, that I think it extends beyond ‘reality’ to embrace all of nature.

image

Here are some other variations:

Tough-Minded vs. Tender-Minded (William James)

interpreted the European divide between empiricists/positivists on the
one hand and German idealists/rationalist on the other hand in a
psychological way. He talked of the “tender-minded” and the
“tough-minded.” The tender-minded are the German idealists and
rationalists. (this linked source is gone, see new link for James’ original work)

The Divided Brain (Iain McGilchrist)

Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist describes the real differences between the
left and right halves of the human brain. It’s not simply “emotion on
the right, reason on the left,” but something far more complex and
interesting.

Autistic-Psychotic Spectrum     (PDF)

image

‘Thin-boundares” and “Thick-boundaries”

Significantly thinner boundaries compared to control groups have been
found in art students (Beal, 1989, Hartmann, 1991), music students, and
mixed groups of creative persons (Beal, 1989), frequent dream recallers
(Hartmann, 1991, Hartmann Elkin, & Garg 1991), adults with
nightmares (Hartmann, 1991, Levin, Galin, & Zywiak 1991; Galvin,
1993), adolescents with nightmares (Cowen and Levin, 1995), “lucid
dreamers” (Galvin, 1993), male as well as female fashion models (Ryan
2000), persons with unusual mystical experiences (Krippner,,
Wickramasekera, Wickramasekera, & Winstead, 1998), and persons with a
diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality
Disorder or Schizotypal Personality Disorder (Hartmann, 1991).
Interestingly, although art students have much thinner boundaries than
average, this is not true of established artists, who have boundary
scores in the normal range (Beal, 1989).

Groups that score significantly “thicker” than average
on the BQ include naval officers, salespersons, lawyers, patients with a
diagnosis of Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder, persons
suffering from “Alexythymia” (Hartmann, 1991), and patients (from two
different sleep disorders centers) with a diagnosis of Sleep Apnea
(Hartmann, 1992).

Empathizing-Systemizing Continuum

Empathizing and systemizing traits were independent in women, but
largely dependent in men. In men, level of systemizing skill required by
field of study was directly related to social interactive and
mindreading deficits; men’s social impairments correlated with prolonged
go/no-go response times, and men tended to apply systemizing strategies
to solve problems of empathizing or global processing: rapid perceptual
disembedding predicted heightened sensitivity to facial emotion. In
women, level of systemizing in field was related to male-typical digit
ratios and autistic superiorities in detail orientation, but not to
autistic social and communicative impairments; and perceptual
disembedding was related to social interactive skills but independent of
facial emotion and visual motion perception.

…and my own bloggings:

Zooming in on Reductionism and Extremely Gendered Brains

War of the Worldviews

Multisense Continuum

Ironically, but unsurprisingly, the idea of the continuum of sense itself may only be coherent when approached from the ‘East side’ of the spectrum. This has to do with what is known as Theory of Mind.

Lucid Thinking Video Notes

December 20, 2015 2 comments

 

I like this video from Lucid Thinking, “What is Consciousness?” and I think that he mostly gets it right. The video does a great job of illustrating how we get to the Explanatory Gap and Hard Problem by examining the absence of experiences in material forms and logical functions.

Here are some suggestions to go farther and deeper in explaining consciousness, and/or for a more complete explanation:

  1. A minor note about the storage of information in computer systems as binary code (“a long number consisting of the digits 0 and 1”). If we are being completely literal about it, and I think that we must be, there are no numbers inside a computer either. “Codes” are also not objective phenomena but rather ordinary positions of off/on or stop/go switches. The enumeration of those switches is our semantic projection on them, and the decoding of codes is a communication between one who intends to send an encoded message and one who intends to receive it.
  2. There is a point made that ‘experience requires an experiencer’. I would challenge that. Even though human experience typically includes the sense of being an experiencer, it is not clear that all types of experience require this kind of bifurcated relation. An experiencer is after all, like a body or a number, only another experience…maybe only a key part of zoological kinds of experience.
  3. There is a point made that consciousness cannot see itself in the sense that we cannot see our own eyes. I suggest that this is an intellectual perspective which may conflate two very different levels of experience. Just as we can see our own eyes in a mirror, we may be able to see our own seeing, and we call that mirroring of visual sense “light” or “brightness”. The eye is only a conduit for our visual sense to localize itself in public facing optical conditions, not necessarily the only source of sight. It’s true that human seeing must be initialized by seeing through eyes (unless we consider NDEs where congenitally blind people report seeing), however that may also be a prejudiced expectation of animal life rather than awareness itself.
  4. “Consciousness is nothing that can become everything” is proposed as a way to understand what consciousness is. I propose the opposite. Consciousness need not be assumed to manifest as a phenomenon in isolation which transforms itself – not a blank, empty void upon which non-voids are projected. Instead I would say that consciousness is everything that can become almost nothing. Consciousness may look like nothing from our perspective, but that may be due to the nature of the typical range of consciousness within a human lifetime. Our waking consciousness is constrained to an ‘almost nothing’ scope, so that scope’s idea of consciousness is approximated by the intellect as ‘nothing’. In fact, I think that self-transparency is a necessary property of consciousness, as is self-opacity, and the capacity to oscillate between those extremes. Think of it like a meta-semiconductor…modulating or permitting permeability between more and less ranges of permeability. In this way, human consciousness is not only constructed from meaningless biochemical codes, but subtracted from a totality of experience beyond personal subjectivities. This is the transpersonal range of archetypal or ‘mytho-poetic’ awareness referred to by Jung as the collective unconscious, and it is experienced by ‘time’ itself rather than an individual subject. Time in this sense is not a dimension of timing on clocks, or a memory of the past combined with an anticipation of the future, but rather the collection of all experiences. Terms like the Absolute, totality, Akashic Records, and Morphic Resonance may be helpful in conceptualizing this.
  5. The point is made that we don’t directly experience other people’s thoughts, and that our experience is limited to our own inner world. Again I think that seems true under ordinary conditions of human consciousness, but there is no need to jump to the conclusion that it is always true in all experience. Indeed there are many experiments in remote viewing and telepathy, as well as ordinary empathy (twins complete each others’ thoughts and brain conjoined twins may share some thinking). We should assume that our true ‘body’ is a human lifetime rather than physical structures and functions, and we share our experience with all other experiences to the extent that our lifetime overlaps with them.

 

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