The place of the psyche in QM

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Reiku, Dec 5, 2011.

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  1. Telemachus Rex Protesting Mod Stupidity Registered Senior Member

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    While I've heard that asserted, I am not certain it is true. When they were pups, each of my (two) dogs would "play" with his own reflection, indicating that each thought it was another dog.

    Now, as adults, my dogs are mostly indoor, big city apartment dwellers, they do not get to interact with other dogs as often as they'd like and they will in fact bark and howl at other dogs they see out the window or on TV (because they want to play with them). But they no longer react to their own reflections. They can clearly see their reflections, but they recognize that the reflection is not "some other dog".

    They certainly are not introspective about what it means to see their own reflection, and not vain in the way that humans can be when we see our reflection.

    As for Penrose and quantum mechanical structures in the brain, he asserted it as an hypothesis, but it's never been demonstrated that he is correct (and there are some who maintain outright that his particular theory of microtubules is wrong, and I'm sure you're aware in the case of people like Max Tegmark). Penrose/Hameroff's conjecture is interesting, but until there is evidence for it, the most one can say is that the conjecture is as of yet unproven and some calculations suggest it is wrong.
     
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  3. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Only half of infants at an age of 18 months recognize themselves according to the Rouge test, and in some populations this can be as low as 3%.

    This might not be the best tool for judging self-awareness (of course, by any test humans can not neccessarily be considered to be born self aware, but then, that's also part of the point).
     
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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Gilbert Ryle:

    ● By speaking of 'consciousness' we end up misleading ourselves by thinking that there is any sort of thing as consciousness separated from behavioral and linguistic understandings.

    ● The mind is a philosophical illusion hailing chiefly from Descartes and sustained by logical errors and 'category mistakes' which have become habitual.

    ● When the epistemologists' concept of consciousness first became popular, it seems to have been in part a transformed application of the Protestant notion of conscience. ... "Consciousness" was imported to play in the mental world the role played by light in the mechanical world.

    ● Sensations, thoughts, and feelings do not belong to a mental world distinct from the physical world. Knowledge, memory, imagination, and other abilities or dispositions do not reside "within" the mind as if the mind were a space in which these dispositions could be situated or located.



    also, Stuart Sutherland:

    ● Many fall into the trap of equating consciousness with self-consciousness—to be conscious it is only necessary to be aware of the external world.
     
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  7. Reiku Banned Banned

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    Thinking it is another dog, yet knowing it is thyself is completely different my friend. My cat often plays with the mirror thinking it is another cat, unaware of itself. This is the self-reflection principle.
     
  8. Reiku Banned Banned

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    Indeed. As I have stated before, there are many levels of consciousness, many levels of awareness. It should be noted that infants are still developing, hormones are still shaping their body.

    In this effect, when we speak of consciousness, we should think of a mature specimin.
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    If something passes the Turing test and we have no way of knowing whether it's natural or an artifact, does it have consciousness?
     
  10. Reiku Banned Banned

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    Your question is illogical, as it assumes we have a complete model of consciousness to test such a theory against.
     
  11. Reiku Banned Banned

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    Fraggle, I have seen you post more on physics lately. But you come out with some bizarre statements I cannot fathom. If it involves any fundamental particle then it is a question fundamentally of physics first. Not biology. Biology is the mechanical explanation of life in general, not the fundamental questions.
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    By that measure, the Turing test itself is illogical.
    Caltech will do that to ya.
    But everything that is not a pure abstraction ultimately involves fundamental particles. We ignore that when regarding the universe at the macro-mechanical level, and we do so safely.

    That's my point. To suggest that consciousness is a subject for the physicists is to assume that it must be studied at the micro-mechanical level in order to be understood. I don't think we need to go that deeply, so we can trust the biologists to figure it out.
     
  13. Reiku Banned Banned

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    By that measure, the Turing test itself is illogical.

    Indeed. Who can argue this?

    But everything that is not a pure abstraction ultimately involves fundamental particles.

    I see your point, but I don't agree. It is very true that physics is an abstraction, but it is also a science, which works remarkably well.

    I don't think we need to go that deeply, so we can trust the biologists to figure it out.

    Biologists can only figure out so much, to the sizes of cells. Maybe even molecular biology.
    But physics is a science on it's own, without the use of molecular biology or even cell analysis. Physics deals with the fundamental units of nature. Biology does not.
     
  14. Reiku Banned Banned

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    Also, we might, frag, have the ability to describe consciousness without physics, but the resulting theory would be classical.

    As much as the history of physics goes, classical theories where developed, worked ok with things, until a better model came along dressed as QM. The theory of consciousness might take a similar course.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Sorry, I was thinking of mathematical theories, which are pure abstractions that happen to correlate with the way the universe works.
     
  16. Reiku Banned Banned

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    Well, some might argue that physics is purely mathematical, which I agreed with you, it is certainly an abstraction.

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  17. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Surely almost all of which boils down to the activity of components and connections constituting whatever cognitive system. Activities devoted to memory, information processing, identification, evaluation, environmental mapping, etc -- eventually supplying input for decision-making (or just triggering habitual responses) for outward bodily behaviors.

    There's little left that's puzzling about "consciousness" other than the phenomenal presentations -- that is, the world being manifested in various perceptions and your own thoughts being exhibited as privately audible words/sounds and vague images. And that's usually only puzzling if one believes in a kind of materialism severed-off from Descartes' dualism, where matter throughout the universe is totally devoid of anything phenomenal, functioning in complete absence of itself as anything. Ergo, the brain -- which is composed of the same ordinary elements as constitutes the Earth, has an operating configuration as does the rest of the body and many other working things, has chemical and electromagnetic activity like many other things either natural or artificial ... "seems" to stand out as an anomaly in that respect, and in the context of that non-panprotoexperiential view.

    Which is to say, don't waste your time referring to that vast generic concept or umbrella of consciousness -- there's not much truly remarkable left under it other than phenomenal consciousness. The how of there being "something" manifested rather than not even nothing. Note the "how" rather than the ludicrous "why" often spouted by even David Chalmers, as if the universe could conjure any novelty imaginable if there was a functional or evolutionary need / reason for it, in defiance of whatever lawful restrictions and basic properties it has been saddled with according to this or that dogma. Half-baked example concocted on the spot as an illustration:

    Natural Order Central: "Cosmic evolution requires a god for yata, yata, yata useful reasons to watch over planet Cyril-234."

    Institute of Unlimited Emergent Properties and Entities: "No problem, once the multitude of small moons in orbit around it get synchronized into the following complex pattern of rotational oscillations, a god will arise and supervene over that gravitational system of moons. Do not be alarmed that it will not be perceived publicly, it only exists as more than the sum of the parts and relations, and is somehow physical though it can't be observed as anything other than that complex interaction of satellites."

    Natural Order Central: "But, but, but... how DOES that happen?! What sort of known principle, force, property, etc., are you appealing to that its manner of organization at a higher level brings this about?"

    Institute of Unlimited Emergent Properties and Entities: "Just happens. Just reliably happens when this complex pattern is achieved."

    Natural Order Central: "But, but, but..."

    Institute of Unlimited Emergent Properties and Entities: "It just reliably happens."

    Natural Order Central: "But aren't you curious at all as to how...."

    Institute of Unlimited Emergent Properties and Entities: "No we're not curious. It just reliably happens. That's explanation enough."

    Natural Order Central: "But..."

    Institute of Unlimited Emergent Properties and Entities: "Shut up."
     
  18. Pincho Paxton Banned Banned

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    Yeah, if only...
     
  19. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    You don't need QM to explain consciousness, only chemistry and two fundamental laws of physics. Consciousness is based on a quarternary relationship (four-fold interaction)between life structures and the physical universe. The universe moves in the direction of lower energy and higher entropy, while life's structures move in the direction of higher energy and lower entropy. Where these four meet is interactive life and consciousness.

    Life's structures moving toward higher energy can be seen with a basic observation. As a tree grows, the amount of wood will increase, which means increasing energy stored in the tree as it grows. As the baby grows, and it puts on the pounds, the amount of stored calories energy within in fat and muscle increase. The universe prefers lower energy but life goes the other way, at least until the potential with the universe gets too high. Death and sickness helps to lower this stored energy.

    The entropy of the universe increases with time. However, life will lower entropy over time. In engineering, entropy is assocaited with energy that is irretreviable lost due to inefficiencies. Life, as it evolves gets more and more efficient and therefore is lowering the original higher entropy; less wasted energy as entropy. Since the universe prefers higher entropy, the universe will impact life by adding entropy; mutations.

    Relative to the neurons, brain and consciousness, this same quarternary relationship is also in effect. The basic unit of the brain or neuron uses up to 90% of its ATP energy segregating cations and developing a membrane potential. This actions lowers cationic entropy, relative to a uniform solution of cations (retrieves waste energy that was in cationic entropy) and increases the membrane energy via the induced membrane potential. The universe pushes in the opposite direction and would like to lower energy and increase entropy. This occur via neuron firing; lowers membrane potential and creates waste energy within cationic entropy. The neuron and brain sets up a dual opposing dynamics with the universe, until the universe needs to act to reverse this; fire!

    As an analogy of this dynamics, say we had a mother who is a neat freak (life; low entropy and high house efficiency). She has a little son who is in his terrible two's who likes to mess up her house (universe; higher entropy). If the child is napping, mother can organize her house into an order that is highly efficient. A very different situation forms when her son is awake and starts to reorganize her house in the entropy of his whirlwind (he is full of universal entropy potential).

    Mother is now following behind him, trying to pick up and reorganize as fast as he messes up the house; neurons fire and recover. After a while, she gets tired of the same cyclic mess, so she starts to reorganize her most valuable and fragle things onto higher shelves, so there is less irretrevable damage; this is like long term memory. Mother knows he little son needs to play to be happy, so she leaves certain objects out for him (short term memory) which will take the brunt of his endless entropy potential. Consciousness is sort of a combination of mother and son doing this dynamic balancing act.

    Relative to our sensory systems, such as the eyes, their data signals will fire neurons within the brain. The sensory dynamics are connected to the universal potentials, since their impact on the brain is to lower the energy and increase the entropy of neurons. Our ability to see new details is also of the universe, since it adds entropy to memory.

    The human ability to think and memory recall is implicit of neuron firing and is also on the universal side of the potential; thinking helps the universe in terms of its energy and entropy budget. When we learn and memorize, we add structure to the mind. This action helps the dynamics of life.

    Consciousness lies within the quarternary flux, between four distinct potentials which can act separately or in conjunction. The brain creates a matrix for this flux, by opposing the universal potentials, while also giving them a means to act. Consciousness powered by the flux while also being uniquely defined by it.
     
  20. Reiku Banned Banned

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    Is that right.

    Could you perhaps site us to the discovery of when consciousness had a full-working theory?

    I hope you are aware of all the implications of such a theory as well, such as Benjamin Libets work? In his work, he has shown remarkable proof that there is such a thing as a backwards causality linked to consciousness. Fred Alan Wolf has attempted to explain this using the Transactional Interpretation which of course is quantum mechanical in nature.

    The brain is marvelously complicated and saying quantum mechanics has no place for it is lazy and presumptuous.
     
  21. Reiku Banned Banned

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    Plus, what fundamental laws did you have in mind? I assume electromagnetism is one of them, I mean, that is a must.
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    But the theories that comprise mathematics are derived from abstractions. The theories that comprise physics are derived from empirical observation of the natural universe. This makes physics a science. Mathematics is just one of the tools used by physics, as beakers and Bunsen burners are among the tools used by chemistry.
     
  23. Reiku Banned Banned

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    ''But the theories that comprise mathematics are derived from abstractions. The theories that comprise physics are derived from empirical observation''

    If a theory is comprised of mathematics (which is an abstraction, they are not derived from them) and if theories that comprise physics are just that, theories, then how can you seperate the two?

    It would seem that you can interchange mathematics and physics if both are theories and equally theoretical and thus one can call them both abstractions. Math is a tool, yet a theory. If physics is a theory, then it is also a tool to describe something. Niether of which are more real than the other, especially if in this day and age, we are to believe that physics is moot without math. Math doesn't need physics as it has other wordly applications.
     
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