What is "Mind?"

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WBraun

climber
Dec 4, 2018 - 10:37am PT
And as a software engineer, I'd say sentient machines aren't going to be happening anywhere
or anytime as well so that really doesn't leave much besides god magic.

You are a sentient machine, to begin with.

So your whole mental speculations are just that again ..... clueless guessing as usual.

Just as an automobile is a very crude example of a gross materialist attempt to create a sentient machine.

It is sentient as long as the driver is operating the vehicle.

Because the gross materialists ultimately have no real clue to what a sentient living entity ultimately is they are always in poor fund of knowledge masquerading themselves as knowledgeable .....

WBraun

climber
Dec 4, 2018 - 10:49am PT
I did and I would say just the opposite, that gods are all about very imaginative magic.


You are the one who imagines everything and is ultimately clueless to reality itself as a software engineer.

You're insane also, thinking as a software engineer you know what life itself is ......
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 4, 2018 - 11:00am PT
I'm running a couple of algorithms against your posts and so far they're coming back with an assessment you're a 1937 carnival automaton made in Budapest by a mad Roma genius.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 5, 2018 - 07:22am PT
Not interested in talking about QM with another physicist with you as the intermediary, Largo.

You correctly used the word “posit” when referring to Chalmers’ ideas on “the hard problem”.

Because some people think the current scientific approaches aren’t going to work their opinions cannot be construed as a proof that these approaches cannot work. You nor they, have offered any demonstration. Everyone gets to work on what they think is important, that choice doesn’t convey any authority to their ideas, real work, in the scientific sense, provides that authority.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2018 - 11:52am PT
Because some people think the current scientific approaches aren’t going to work their opinions cannot be construed as a proof that these approaches cannot work. You nor they, have offered any demonstration. Everyone gets to work on what they think is important, that choice doesn’t convey any authority to their ideas, real work, in the scientific sense, provides that authority.
-


Work for what? I think you are misguided here, Ed. Who do you know in physics who is working on consciousness? How, as many have pointed out, is a mode of inquiry that by design attempts to exclude consciousness, supposed to "explain" consciousness. When you say Chalmers and others haven't demonstrated how a linear-causal/physical model will not be useful in the adventure, you imply that it has, as of now, made some progress in demonstrating or even imagining a purely physical model for consciousness. Not even. Not remotely so. There have been fantastic strides made in what Chalmers calls the "soft problems," but all that good work pertains to objective functioning, NOT how a physical brain creates experience. And the biggest howlers in systematic logic are the hare-brained efforts to try and posit experience itself as an objective phenomenon.

Long story short, the very reason that Information Theory, Biocentrism, and all the other flavors have emerged is the seeming futility of chasing a chimerical physical "explanation" for experience. And again, at least some of the people pursuing those paths are renown scientists who perfectly understand a type A physicalist platform, so it's not as though the science or the math is lost on them.

And none, so far as I can tell, are about to suddenly quite doing their quantifications. That's also a misconception. My sense of it you are ready to do most anything to cling to your belief in an independent, stand alone, objective world "out there," and it really is as simple as that. Imagine telling people like Penrose and Lanza that they are not engaged in "real work." Your scientism is show there, Ed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edvdzh9Pggg

Great vid on what's happening at CERN (and a fine overview as well). Harry Cliff must be one of the best popular science lecturers out there.
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Dec 5, 2018 - 01:14pm PT
Cool vid, Largo. Good to see particle physicists aren't resting on their laurels.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 5, 2018 - 01:22pm PT
Largo: Long story short, the very reason that Information Theory, Biocentrism, and all the other flavors have emerged is the seeming futility of chasing a chimerical physical "explanation" for experience.

Giving up and dabbling in magic and metaphysics is certainly always an option. Good thing science somehow missed the message it's at an impasse.

https://www.newswise.com/articles/the-science-of-consciousness-2019-co...
https://www.newswise.com/articles/the-science-of-consciousness-2019-conferencejune-25-28,-2019interlaken---switzerland
Credit: healyje
WBraun

climber
Dec 5, 2018 - 01:31pm PT
Ed. Who do you know in physics who is working on consciousness?

The western American physicist Robert G. Jahn founder of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab for one.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Dec 5, 2018 - 08:53pm PT
the biggest howlers in systematic logic are the hare-brained efforts to try and posit experience itself as an objective phenomenon.


What is the logical error in the premise that your experience arises because of activity in your neurons?

Many people have had deep brain stimulators implanted. This electrical stimulation can produce a variety of sensations. Couldn't those sensations be called "experience?"
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 5, 2018 - 09:24pm PT
Who do you know in physics who is working on consciousness?

you know these people?
WBraun

climber
Dec 5, 2018 - 09:42pm PT
Another one would be Ed Hartouni who is working on consciousness.

He'll get it in one of his lifetimes eventually ....
Jim Clipper

climber
Dec 5, 2018 - 10:09pm PT



I'm not hating. Thanks for the taco. Where else will you see a physics PhD (from Columbia right?), take some lumps from American climbing luminaries, (aka dirtbags), maybe trying to explain a common experience to eachother. I thought there was a detente somewhere around Thanksgiving... best!
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Dec 6, 2018 - 08:24am PT
Duck: He'll [Ed] get it in one of his lifetimes eventually ....

:-D


Anesthetics, psychedelics, evolution of consciousness, plant cognition, quantum approaches to consciousness, brains as connectors, placebo research, dual-aspect monism, first-person experiences, phantom limbs, consciousness in religious studies, bistable perception, embodiment, time and consciousness, etc. are all conceptualizations.
WBraun

climber
Dec 6, 2018 - 09:13am PT
time and consciousness, etc. are all conceptualizations.

Time is very real and without consciousness itself, you wouldn't ever be able to see your own self nor even understand conceptualization .......
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Dec 6, 2018 - 10:19am PT
all conceptualizations


And therefore...?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 6, 2018 - 05:32pm PT
Science of all kinds happens...

https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3249

Credit: healyje
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Dec 6, 2018 - 06:06pm PT
Ed H a few pages back:
when you're up against something difficult, it is easy to persuade yourself that something radically different is necessary to resolve it.

...Chalmers talks about 3 crazy ideas:

1) there is no conscious experience - Dennett - he doesn't pursue this one... obviously... but he also didn't refute it

2) consciousness is fundamental
"if you can't explain it in terms of existing fundamentals, then it's logical to propose that it is fundamental"

I actually don't see the logic in this at all, though it is a way to proceed and see where it takes you. It immediately runs into the problem that humans are not found in most of the universe for much of the time. It might be odd to expand a human characteristic to being something "fundamental" when the rest of the universe seems to go on quite nicely without humans being around.

Your observation that humans seem to be at best an anomaly seems accurate. If we extend this to other organisms though, the anomaly recedes a bit. Life on the earth is billions of years old and found in many often marginal environments. Hasn't science often made progress when we recognize the universal in what appears to be an anomaly. Galileo observed (with his early telescope) that points of light near Jupiter were in different positions on subsequent nights. This yielded the idea of objects orbiting something other than the earth and eventually yielded our current heliocentric view of the solar system. The strange result of the Michelson Morley experiment that the speed of light seemed constant gave us special relativity. You can probably think up better examples.

Here's an idea I would like to claim, but it is actually from Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard was a jesuit and a paleontologist. He suggested that consciousness is a universal phenomenon, a fundamental property of matter like mass and charge, but very weak, and manifesting itself only with very complex structures, of which our brains are a kind of culmination. That it is weak enough to have allowed a very successful completely physical description of most matter. In this view, evolution is the process of ever higher consciousnesses, or in the Buddhist view, of the universe becoming aware of itself.

This may be a scientific (testable) proposition. If this view is correct, life will be common in the universe. We will find fossils on Mars, protozoa in the ocean of Europa. Teilhard elaborated on this in his book, The Phenomenon of Man. Teilhard insisted that this be read as a scientific treatise.

If there is one aspect which bothers me a little here, it is that our sensation of self is a seamless unity. How do all the little conscious bits come together to generate this?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 6, 2018 - 06:46pm PT
If there is one aspect which bothers me a little here, it is that our sensation of self is a seamless unity. How do all the little conscious bits come together to generate this?

I think Dennett had a good example of this in the fact that our eyes have a blind spot on the retina, but our perception of the visual field is "a seamless unity."

When I was taught about this in 7th grade, my teacher said it was because the brain fills in the blind spot, but modern technology is able to measure brain activity, and that hypothesis can be tested, and it is found that the brain does nothing of the sort. Filling in would involve brain activity, and there is no such activity associated with the filling in.

Dennett proposed that the brain simply ignores that blind spot, the perception of the visual field is one of "seamless unity" but things happening in the blind spot are inferred.

When you go to the optometrist you are tested for the extent of your blind spot, you look at a visual field that is perceived to be a "seamless unity" but for the quick changes you may or may not notice that induces you to click (or not) your indication that you saw the change.

So we perceive a "seamless unity" where one does not exist... there are many other examples of this, and it is not a stretch to think that our perceived "seamless unity" of the stream of consciousness is exactly that, a perception, and not the "reality."

The Phenomenon of Man... Teilhard insisted that this be read as a scientific treatise.

I haven't read it since high school, but it might be an interesting exercise to honor de Chardin's request. When I first read it, I did it from the view point that it was a religious/philosophy treatise.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
Dec 6, 2018 - 06:49pm PT
I think our seamless sense of self only exists so long as we don't challenge it. The minute we do, the more fragmented it becomes. Psychedelic drugs do this powerfully, living in another culture with very different social mores, language and body language will do it as well. Being around someone who is mentally ill or developing various forms of dementia will cause us to question it. Meditation also does so. Just the process of growing older and remembering how differently we thought when we were young will also challenge our sense of a seamless self.

In spite of this, we retain our sense of self. I believe we do so as the Buddhist teach, because of our ego, our desire to be unique, something which very few completely overcome. Probably this sense of self is an evolutionary survival mechanism which can only be overcome in very special circumstances. So far it would seem that the desire for survival is a stronger evolutionary force than the weak force of universal consciousness ?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Dec 6, 2018 - 07:01pm PT
Conceptualizations are all well and good but there is no replacement for what you think when the lights go out.

(as in the truth)

But then, you are now dead to the world presently spinning and have nothing provable to offer from the other side no matter how presumptuous you were while breathing a mix of nitrogen and oxygen.

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