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Antonin Tuynman: From Information Theory to a Theory of Everything

December 7, 2018 1 comment

An excellent presentation from Antonin Tuynman. I think that this view is on the right track. Here are my comments, including a proposition for a new interpretation of physical theory.

Can anything exist without informational content?

Yes, I think that it can and does. When an infant sees colors, for example, there need not be any informative message that is made available by color. The color itself is presented directly, and only after psychological association does it acquire externally informative content. Blue must be presented as a visible ‘sight’ before it can be used as a label to inform us about something else.  We could try to say that color informs us of the wavelength of relevant electromagnetic states of our environment, but such data could be more plausibly attributed to (colorless) changes in the physiology of the nervous system.

If we say that something contains information, we are assuming a default capacity for receiving and processing information, and then conflating that with a default capacity for things to project information. This may not be how it works. Information, messages, codes, etc may not be entities at the ontological level, they may just be formalized instances of communication between conscious participants. Our consciousness can be informed by anything, but that doesn’t mean that any such thing as information exists independently of the change in conscious experience. In the same way, I suggest below that perhaps matter can be ‘illuminated’ without any purely physical photons radiating across empty space.

At some point, the video discusses information as relying on features that ‘stand out’. In my view,  if we want to completely understand information, we should be careful to acknowledge the role that perception plays in rendering what does and does not appear to stand out. Standing out is a function of how aesthetic presentations appear. To a trained musician hearing a song being covered by an artist, a ‘wrong chord’ might stand out, but to everyone else, they may notice nothing consciously. We should not assume any such thing as standing out without some modality to detect and care about detecting. I think that before difference can exist, sensitivity, or what I call “afference” must exist. For information to exist, there must be some phenomenal state that is ‘informed’…an experience that changes itself, and includes a capacity to notice those changes and then to lear from it. We shouldn’t assume aesthetic qualities like ‘homogeneous’ as objective properties unless we know that the degree and mode of sensitivity employed does not play a s central role in defining such qualities. It may not be possible to know that, and further, it may be that the only “is” or “being” is sense or seeming.

23:12 – Discussion about all subatomic particles having wavelengths, amplitude etc.. making them actually numerical/informational entities.

To this, I say, not necessarily. It may be that numerical appearances of physical structures are presented to our instruments because those instruments only extend those senses that relate to the body, particularly touch. It may not be nature that is quantifying physics, but the sense of tangibility being relied on with our technology and analysis which limits discovery to quantifiable appearances. Our way of experimenting and interpreting quantum may be like counting colors of a rainbow on our fingers, and then projecting the finger’s tangible properties as revealing of the deep nature of rainbows, when in fact the rainbow is not limited by those properties.

I like the Ouroboros example and mention of panpsychism very much. The part about self-awareness as being like the snake biting its tail rings true, however, like the finger and the rainbow, it may lead us to some assumptions that we don’t have to make. In my view, rather than self-awareness being a loop that is positively constructed against a background of nothingness, I suggest the opposite. If the default state of ‘existence’ is awareness, then the circuit of self-awareness does not begin with a circuit turned on, but instead begins with a kind of ‘dark current‘ circuit of snake-hood turning off. Loops only become necessary *after* a dissociation/division occurs.

In other words, information is only ever a local re-connection with a more complete, less-local experience. Information is not added on to a vacuum to make consciousness, rather consciousness is divided by degrees of relative unconscious or vacuum-like appearances. These disconnections or divisions in experience would be the initial cause of all formations, which then can be re-membered on another level of sense-making experience as ‘information’. This view might be considered to go beyond panpsychism or cosmopsychism in that the universe is not a ‘thing-that-is-conscious’, but a conscious experience that is ‘thinging’ by dividing and re-unifying parts of itself. Thingness/objectivity and sensor-hood/subjectivty become emergent (really divergent) artifacts of diffraction of experience. It’s not that particles sense they are being looked at, rather there are no particles ‘out there’, only a particularizing method of perception and interpretation that we are employing. Information arises from a juxtaposition of conscious experiences that reconnect some aspect of experiences with each other. Matter is like ‘information squared’ experience that has been divided and re-connected in two opposite ways – as a hyper-connected (subjectivized, contextualized, temporalized, intangible) presentation, and as a hyper-disconnected (objectified, disentangled, spatialized, tangible) presentation (matter).

Extra credit: Re-interpreting subatomic physics

Very early on, at 3:19, the question of what fundamentally exists is brought up. It is mentioned that currently, we suppose that there are forms of existence which are more subtle than matter, such as electromagnetism. I agree that is the consensus, but I have a crazy conjecture that all physical phenomena that seem to be more subtle than matter may be better explained as dynamic sensory-motive modifications to matter’s definition. Instead of of a quantum mechanical reality beneath matter, I propose an aesthetic-participatory context, in which realism is qualified and quantified into different appearances. QM is only half of the story.

Even very efficient nuclear fusion is only thought to convert less than one half of one percent of its matter to energy. Over 99.5% of a nuclear explosion is just the energy released from changing the particular spatial configuration in which the atom’s nuclear particles happen to be bound. What is released mostly ‘binding energy’, but what would that realistically mean? How would moving particles away from each other result in an enormous appearance of ‘energy’?

E=mc² is a fact, however in this view, energy, mass, light, and spacetime may not be entities that are independent from matter. I think it is possible that they are behaviors of matter, or more specifically, they are the symptoms of how sense experiences spatiotemporalize themselves into objectified appearances of tangible, geometric structures, aka ‘matter’. The spatiotemporalizing (or disentangling-contextualizing) I suggest, would accomplished by modulation of aesthetically creative sensory-motive qualities which are cosmologically primitive and absolute.

In the view that I propose, nuclear particles can be thought of as analogous to groups of dancing musicians. When a group comes together or breaks apart, those musicians play very loud and fast music, which causes other groups of musicians to increase the volume and tempo of their own dancing and playing, which then sets up the nuclear chain reaction. Notice how the model of the atom has progressed from mechanical objects to a more ephemeral cloud. It doesn’t necessarily make sense just because we can get valid predictions out of it. The reality of atoms may be a more complicated story of pseudo-corpusculization via aesthetic modulation in the sense modality of tangibility. We may be counting rainbow colors on our fingers again.The-History-of-the-Atom-–-Theories-and-Models

To use another analogy, when we see a flag flapping in the wind, we understand that the flag is being passively pushed around by the wind that surrounds it. In a vacuum, gravity or acceleration would also passively cause changes in the shape of the flag. With electromagnetism though, there is no material medium…no wind moving anything around. Electromagnetic theory has developed into a way of believing a sort of intangible ‘wind’ that is made of probability. What I propose is completely different: It’s the flag itself that is acting and reacting to other flags directly. I think that recent scientific insights about perception may be leading in that direction. Our experience may not a ‘simulation’ in the brain, rather, physics is perception on the astrophysical scale.

Could our entire concept of electromagnetism as force-fields in physical space be misguided? Are we presuming a pseudo-material forcefield that pushes passive particles around, when the truth may be that the appearances of ‘particles’ or ‘waves’ are themselves reflections of the instruments and methods we are using to perceive?

My proposal is that EM radiation can be reduced conceptually to certain kinds of fundamental perceptual interactions. Under this theory, there would be no literal waves or particles of EM radiation in a vacuum – no photons or electrons traveling across the empty-ish space between atoms. Instead, it would be the atoms themselves which become more and less sensitive to each other’s states, or even better, the experiences behind the appearance of atoms which expand and contract in a kind of ‘stimulation space’ that is aesthetic/qualitative and concretely non-spatial.

I suspect that it is possible that we’ve gotten Quantum interpretation all wrong. Wheeler-Feynman absorber theory is one of the few interpretations that I think may have been on the right track. I would extend it by suggesting that the subatomic particle-waves may not literally be ’emitted’ or ‘absorbed’ across space, but rather they are more like sensations which rise to a contagious level of activity and then pass into a dormant phase. Certain changes in an atom’s properties can be shared directly, and those can become a channel for other re-connections to larger experiences to be shared also. Another way of saying it is that I am proposing that instead of defining the speed of light in terms of vacuum permeability and permittivity of magnetic and electric fields, light itself becomes the permeability and permittivity, or shareability of phenomenal stimulation. Just as sight allows us to touch something from a distance, so too might all light, sound, smell, emotion, etc represent a partial re-connection of phenomenal experiences which have been spatially disentangled and temporally contextualized to appear separate to each other.

 

Even Wilder-Ass Sh*t

June 19, 2017 Leave a comment

I’m only about 20 minutes in to the video, but I wanted to post some comments before I forget them.

Topic 1. Non-Foundational sets
Take the idea of non-foundational sets and infinite probability distributions of infinite probability distributions but invert it. Literally, invert the language and then conceptualize the result. If I do this and apply it as a hypothesis, the foundation of consciousness and nature in general would be Absolutely foundational setless-ness. Consciousness now no longer needs to be positively asserted as an agent which instantiates itself recursively, rather it is the appearance of unconsciousness which is a negative assertion which is temporarily instantiated by manipulating relative degrees of sensitivity. Think here of how the color black or white are colors which stand in for colorlessness. Desaturating an image is analogous to how conscious experience is truncated into forms and functions which are quantifiable.

Consciousness now no longer needs to be positively asserted as an agent which instantiates itself recursively, rather it is the appearance of unconsciousness within consciousness which is a negative assertion which is temporarily instantiated by manipulating relative degrees of sensitivity. Think here of how black or white are colors which stand in for colorlessness. Desaturating an image is analogous to how conscious experience is truncated into quantifiable, finite forms and functions.*

To continue then: Instead of infinite probability distributions, I propose the inverse: Finite, but absolutely pervasive improbability. If we trace back any consideration of first cause we run into a something that we have to admit is being considered beyond causality and existed ‘just because’. Instead of banishing this miraculous-seeming appearance of ‘existence’ from nothing or vacuum potential or God, I see that all phenomena have some degree of uniqueness, and that uniqueness is by definition idiopathic (aka ‘strongly emergent’). Blue comes out of nothing but itself, and ultimately the uniqueness of any given moment does the same thing. By grounding our view of nature in infinite improbability, we can re-frame our own interest in probability as a function of our subjective desire to defy incompleteness rather than an impartial assessment of nature as a phenomenon.

Topic 2: Hypercomputation
I like this line of thinking. I would suggest thinking first of ‘transcomputation’ rather than hypercomputation, that is, instead of conditions which are inaccessible to computation simply because they exceed quantitative limits of finite-ness, think of finite-ness itself as only the monochrome edges which bound a deeper and dynamically expanding spectrum of universal phenomenology. Because this spectrum is pervasive, communication is a matter of triggering each entity’s unmasking of their own separation from the totality rather than generating a new understanding which is copied from one entity to another.

To communicate is to subtract a seperation between two minds, and the separation between minds and the totality of cognitive truth, and between that totality of truth and the universal phenomenal spectrum. To communicate is to dissolve some of the masking of underlying unity across all phenomena.

Topic 3: Morphic Resonance
Morphe = form, shape. I like Rupert Sheldrake’s famous idea of MR, but again I would invert it. The name ‘Morphic Resonance’ draws us to the exteriors of tangible and visible objects. It implies that forms hold meaning which propagates to other forms. Turning that inside out, I find the resonance to be ‘phoric’ rather than morphic. This neologistic use of the Greek root ‘phor’ (pherein, to carry, bear) is intended to inspire associations with terms like ‘metaphor’, ‘euphoria/dysphoria’ and even ‘semaphore’. Between these three terms, we might glimpse a sign of three ‘primary colors’ of human consciousness: The the personal, the sub-personal or impersonal, and the transpersonal. I am a holon of experiences (‘phoria’), my body is a holon of biochemical code (‘semaphoria’), and my lifetime is a leaf on a branching ‘zeitgeist tree’ of mytho-poetic themes propagating from the top down (‘metaphoria’ or anthro-metaphoria for us humans).

In all cases where we talk about ‘patterns’ (morphe) we should substute ‘sense’ (phor), i.e. instead of an ontological, existential phenomenon, we should think of a phenomenon which expresses itself to itself by self-masking, unmasking, and residuating novelty (in a similar way to the residuation of color from the diffracting of visible light which is ‘white’, i.e. colorless, clear, and representative of visibility itself).

*sidebar: If we have color, we can use it to point to the potential for colorlessness. This pointing can’t be accomplished mechanically because there can’t literally be a color which implies colorlessness, but because of the aesthetic quality of black and white in relation to the other colors, we can pick up on a metaphor. By being able to access the difference between monochrome and color vision, and compare them, we ‘break the fourth wall’ which separates the content of visible phenomena from the modality of our visual sense, and we can carry that metaphorical wall breaking to the larger context of the wall between our personal experience and the totality of all possible experience. We can see that visibility is possible with only one dimension of hue, but only if we have more hues that we can compare it with. If there were no color vision, there would be no way to conceive of more than one type of hue (luminosity).

Where Is This Video?

April 16, 2014 40 comments

The reducibility of our body to elementary functions and forms does not necessarily have to reduce us to forgeries. There is another possibility, which is that there is something to be forged that is precisely the opposite of a copy. As hinted at in the video, each experienced moment is a kind of unrepeatable performance. Instead of focusing on the absence of a concrete physical object, we can look at the aesthetic content of the experience itself as the concrete phenomenon – not a simulacrum (pronounced sim-you-lah-crum) but a localized fragment of authenticity itself. Is color basically a bad copy of white light? Is the universe basically a bad copy of nothingness?

Humans are not bad copies of anything, but the degree to which we are unique snowflakes is relative to the proximity of our scope of consideration. Within our own frame of reference, we are absolutely unique. Within a social frame of reference, we are stereotyped culturally. Moving out from the human context, an individual human becomes more and more generic – a mammal, an animal, a biological organism, a chemical reaction, etc. This variance is, in my view, what the universe is ‘made of’, so that no one context of description is the final ‘real’ description.

In other words, this commentary is literally “here”, and that video is actually “there”, and that is what relativity ultimately means…perception itself – awareness, is the ultimate frame of reference, and without perception, there is nothing to frame.

m-zombie: A Challenge to Computationalism

March 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Have a look at this quick video, or get the idea from this gif:

Since the VCR can get video feedback of itself, is there any computational reason why this doesn’t count as a degree of self awareness?

Turning the Systems Reply to the Chinese Room on its head, I submit that if we consider the Chinese room to be an intelligent *system*, then we must also consider the system of VCR+camera pointed at itself to be a viable AGI as well.

The correlation of corrupted video feed with the actual physical attacks on the system must be construed as awareness, especially since the video effects are unique and specifically correlated so as to present a complex vocabulary of responses. If functionalism rejects the evidence of this correlation as being experienced qualitatively, then it must posit the existence of an m-zombie (machine zombie), in which the system unintentionally mimics the responses expected from sentient computations from a sub-computational level.

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