# Reality combines information on itself, making it perceptually unified and objective

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Spellbound, Jul 15, 2015.

1. ### SpellboundBannedValued Senior Member

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Take any two inference devices such as persons or gods A and B. According to David Wolpert, there are limits to the amount of information each can know about the other regarding the state of a system such as the universe simultaneously. This is due to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which "slams the door" on scientific determinism. For the article I read see link.

3. ### SpellboundBannedValued Senior Member

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In order for Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle to work, there must be information that is excluded from reality at one moment in time and then "collapses" the next, transforming the unreal into the real. However, this is speaking colloquially, since reality is more than the sum of its perceptions and the information gained or yielded by them. Each inference device, such as humans, gods, or intelligent observational machines, moving forward each moment in time, must actually be conscious of the information contained in the others' mind in order to predict what that conscious entity will do. So information plays a fundamental role in determining reality or the state of the universe. Wheeler understood this and posited an "observer-participant universe".

5. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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You're wrong.

7. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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Is there another kind of determinism?

8. ### SpellboundBannedValued Senior Member

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That assumes reality becomes a kind of assumption or probability outside of perceiving entities, so no.

9. ### SpellboundBannedValued Senior Member

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Due to the finite speed of light, information takes time to travel towards one's eye, so we must ask, what constitutes an "objective reality?"

10. ### C CConsular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy"Valued Senior Member

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One model (potentially more mathematically rigorous ) trying to debunk an earlier famous hypothesis. Arguably it's an unnecessary duel in science. Since no research team can examine every micro- and macro- area of the universe throughout all time to verify that the cosmos is indeed totally free of anomalous or statistically relevant unregulated events that could disrupt the development of a cosmos putatively determined by an algorithmic or formulaic process. IOW, both quasi-philosophical views currently or perpetually depend upon reason to make their case rather than collision with a possible empirical true/false status giver.

Regarding the significance of Wolpert's work, he has received a $50,000 grant. So the only thing interested spectators could do is wait and see if anything practical further develops from it, and if those studies and any potential experiments suggested by the model can lend eventual credence to whatever ideas and consequences seem to fall out of it. Similar to the situation Christof Koch is in (below), where he apparently vows to solve the Hard Problem of consciousness via the help of 60 million dollars. Again, interested spectators can only sit back and wait rather than prematurely declare some degree of substance or victory to what seems an enterprise ultimately reliant upon pan-protopsychism conflated with information, as the missing key (if going by some of his own elaborations to the public in other articles, as well as responses from critics like John Searle). James McWilliams: [...] Christof Koch is the chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, in Seattle. In the world of neurobiology, he’s a big deal. If [Thomas] Nagel led the effort to popularize the Hard Problem of consciousness, Koch leads the effort to solve it. In April 2014, President Obama introduced the US Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. With$60 million a year going to the Allen Institute, Koch is poised to play a pivotal role in the scientific effort to locate the mind in neurobiological space."

[...] Koch first explored the mind-body problem while doing a postdoctorate at MIT in the early 1980s. It was a time in his life, he explained, “when I was young and brash and naive and didn’t like the idea that something can’t be solved.” When he moved to the California Institute of Technology in 1986, he developed a lifelong intellectual and personal friendship with the biologist Francis Crick (of DNA double-helix fame), a man whom he came to admire as “a reductionist writ large.” Koch came under Crick’s wing and thrived.

The two men worked closely together on the Hard Problem, postulating what they called “neural correlates of consciousness.” They defined these as “the minimal neural mechanisms jointly sufficient for any one specific conscious percept.” When Crick died in 2004, Koch carried the torch down the path of hard empiricism, more confident than ever that “the weird explanatory gap between physics and consciousness” could be closed to produce to “a complete elucidation of consciousness."

Koch’s current working hypothesis is elegant. A précis of it might go something like this: Consciousness begins and ends with neural information. The mind is inextricably bound up with verifiable information zipping through the brain in the form of synaptic liaisons among skittering dendrites. The integration of that information lays the foundation of consciousness. Through an integrated information theory, pioneered by the University of Wisconsin’s Guilio Tononi, one can viably posit a unified consciousness from the seemingly endless causal interactions within the relevant parts of the brain. Because one can theoretically calculate the extent of this integration, one can feasibly identify consciousness. More so: One can also measure it.
--On The Value of Not Knowing Everything; The Hedgehog Review: Vol. 17 No. 2 (Summer 2015)

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11. ### SpellboundBannedValued Senior Member

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Are you considering the possibility of a Hidden Variable universe in which determinism is the more sensible case? What then do you suppose is the origin of every deterministic micro and macro world?

12. ### SpellboundBannedValued Senior Member

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CC,

It's interesting that you mention proto-panpsychism or reality as all-mind. Do you think this idea support the theory that reality creates or configures itself through self-theorization or self-explanation and is therefore self-created through these operations?

13. ### C CConsular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy"Valued Senior Member

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The variety of QM interpretations that try to tame their namesake remain somewhat impotent speculations about how the abstract description can be variably realized, until those competing rivals can be culled out somehow. Laplace's original thought-experiment didn't have QM around to take into account or face. There was just the errant idea that Newtonian physics could be applied to that era's classical conception of atoms. Whether the lawfulness of nature was mediated by invisible material agencies or just brutely followed were both possibilities of the times.

But even many today would regard (either rightly or wrongly) the randomness introduced at quantum scales as being irrelevant. As far as the latter derailing everyday and more broader mechanistic affairs that Laplace's super-computing Demon might still predict about the cosmos when minus the older beliefs about elementary matter having predictable motions.

Bob Doyle: We are happy to agree with scientists and philosophers who feel that quantum effects are for the most part negligible in the macroscopic world. [...] However, quantum mechanics is not negligible in some important cases. We know that quantum indeterminacy exists in the world. Sometimes microsopic indeterminism is amplified to produce unpredictable and uncaused events that show up in the macroscopic world to break the causal chains we normally see in adequate or statistical determinism. [...] There is actually no strict determinism at any "level" of the physical world. Determinism is an abstract theoretical ideal that simplifies physical systems to allow the use of logical and mathematical methods [...] The macroscopic statistical "determinism" we see is the consequence of averaging over extremely large numbers of microscopic particles.

But again, even before the 20th century, the FQXi article's reference to Laplace's instantiation of scientific determinism (as it seems popularly labeled) was more a philosophical stance than a testable hypothesis. Among other things, there was the unavailability of a spatially and temporally omnipresent research team of deity-like humans which could empirically verify or discard such cognitive orientations about nature. (I.e., belief in the cosmos utterly lacking random or unregulated events at all locations and levels throughout its past and future, thus enabling it to be completely predictable at least in theory [with the help of demons] if not in human practice.)

So why should Wolpert bother to even invent a model whose consequences "slam the door on SD", as Philippe Binder put it, if it had already been slammed as just speculative metaphysics? Of course, the answer to that is that Wolpert's work supposedly offers or promises other delights and side-effects. But currently at this stage it is itself (like Laplace's concept) another product of and an appeal to reasoning (albeit much heavier on the quantitative side). But its status still has the opportunity to move up.

14. ### C CConsular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy"Valued Senior Member

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Only the "building-blocks" of mind being global at best. The whole point of adding "proto-" to panpsychism is to eliminate the notion of a fully complex and functional mind being found anywhere other than brains, computers, etc.

David Chalmers considers the hard problem to be about experience, or the manifestations that arise in the perceptual faculties of the brain (as opposed to the nothingness of non-consciousness or conventional organizations of matter). So in the end, whatever Koch means by "consciousness" being measurable to at least a tiny degree in any information pattern, structure, activity, etc... Must at least refer to the idea of primitive proto-phenomenal events which are subsumed under "panprotopsychism". But whether or not he also includes the rest of the capacities of the mind as having elemental precursors globally distributed across the universe is another matter. A wire coat hanger has the "memory" ability to retain a shape it is twisted into, but that general / basic trait is a far cry from the complexity of the brain's memory.

Piero Scaruffi: http://www.scaruffi.com/nature/qc17.html

15. ### originTrump is the best argument against a democracy.Valued Senior Member

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Why the hell is this in physics & math, or the science section for that matter, it should be in philosophy or free thoughts.

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16. ### sweetpeaRegistered Senior Member

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17. ### originTrump is the best argument against a democracy.Valued Senior Member

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I got it! Reality as depth...

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18. ### sideshowbobSorry, wrong number.Valued Senior Member

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It has less to do with the information reaching our eyes and more to do with the processing of that information into a mental picture of "reality". Objective reality is a composite picture made by comparing our own perception with everybody else's.

19. ### Dr_ToadIt's green!Valued Senior Member

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Why is this bullshit in Physics & Math?

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20. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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This appears to be a thread about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle - a topic in Physics. Correct?

21. ### SpellboundBannedValued Senior Member

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That is correct James. As well as Wolpert's use of the analogy of inference devices to explain it.

22. ### YazataValued Senior Member

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That might be right if we are thinking in terms of a complete classical description of the state of every particle in A and B. That kind of information might not exist to be known or communicated. All that might exist in some cases, prior to making the particles interact with measurement apparatus, are probabilities of particular states existing. One might still argue that all of the information that exists to be known can be known and that it's unrealistic to expect more than that.

So one problem with comments like Spellbound's paraphrase of Wolpert is that they are dependent on how the formalism of quantum mechanics is physically interpreted. The OP seems to be getting out in front of what is currently known about that.

Another difficulty is that when persons talk about knowing each other, they are rarely if ever talking about the quantum states of the particles of their bodies. They are talking about very different things. So one would have to introduce even more theory explaining how the kind of things that people are interested in knowing about each other ride atop a neurophysiological 'machine-language' layer where quantum mechanics might conceivably be relevant.

The probabilities in quantum mechanics do evolve deterministically.

What does any of this have to do with the subject line: Reality combines information on itself, making it perceptually unified and objective (whatever that means)?

23. ### SarkusHippomonstrosesquippedalo phobeValued Senior Member

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Care to expand on this, please?