Pansychism, Are Electrons Conscious?

Delta prime

Joined Nov 15, 2019
843
So I think the professor was a little late to the party
Fashionably late yes.Is it possible that our mind matters as much as matter?
Some of the world’s greatest scientists seem to think so.
This awareness is subjective and unique to you. If you can describe something you are experiencing in words, then it is part of your consciousness Changes to consciousness can also result in changes in perception, thinking, understanding, and interpretations of the world.
theory suggests that we have a memory bank from which the brain draws information to form the experience of conscious awareness.
While integrated information theory focuses more on identifying whether an organism is conscious, the global workspace theory offers a much broader approach to understanding
how consciousness works. So there!
& I'm sticking my tongue out at you right now. :p
 

xox

Joined Sep 8, 2017
544
I wholeheartedly disagree. It certainly has a name -- consciousness -- and, as we can each attest, it is an aspect of the universe, as real and tangible a phenomenon as gravity. It has no color or shape, but neither does gravity or electromagnetism or politics, but these things are worthy of study, yes? We have much to learn about consciousness.

It's not that there's no use at all in seeking knowledge in such things. It's just that most people won't gain much understanding that way. The mind is too easily obscured by its own mental orchestrations. Your spirit on the other hand is quite capable, and in fact perfectly designed for the task.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,149
The trouble is, in order to test for something you have to describe what it will be if you find it. That’s the root of the philoosophical problem. If you agree on the definition of what you are looking for, you can move forward—testing or not. But the arguments concerning definitions of consciousness are circular. They are just assertions of what it is, and in the negative space that creates, what it is not.

I’m sorry you inferred I was suggesting that people are “too dumb” to discuss anything. I certainly don’t think that at all. My point was that philosophy, executed professionally, is a technical activity with all sorts of mental tools, methods, and tradition the naive philosopher has no access to. Because of this, such discussions usually devolve into arguments over the words being used rather than the ideas they are meant to convey.

Ignorance is not stupidity, and I have not encountered anyone who regularly posts here who even hints are being unable to think about technical things they know.
Ok thanks for your input on this.
More reading in this area would be good for us all i guess.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,149
We all know the sensation of being alive. Isn't that "proof" enough of what it is? And trying to validate it with logical thought is fruitless - the mind itself springs forth from consciousness! That's why it's so difficult to describe in words. No concept could possibly contain it.
Well the way things are today nothing is definite. If we have a definition that is accepted and then find a better definition, it makes sense to accept that new definition. If we havent found a better definition yet that doesnt mean we wont find a better one in the future, we dont stop looking. To stop looking means there is no future for science because we know everything already.

It is interesting though if we accept, for now, the definition of 'self awareness". What is that really?
But let's assume that we know what it is. Isnt it interesting, at least a little, that we as humans are self aware, and yet we are aware that we are self aware, and we can be aware that we are aware that we are self aware, and we are aware that we are aware that we are aware that we are self aware. So it might be said that it is like looking into a mirror with another mirror behind us, we can adjust the mirror so that we see an infinite number of images that look just like our own image that just get smaller and smaller. Or a camera that captures a part of the computer screen and displays on the same screen, we see an image that repeats forever that just gets smaller and smaller.

But if everything was already known we would have no reason to look farther.
Next up, just how uncertain is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?
It's not as uncertain as it once was thought to be. That was from something like 1927 and things have changed exponentially since then.
That principle was based on *one* *single* measurement, standing *apart* from any other.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,149
It helps when your employer is a practicing physicist. Cuz we write the books so others may read.
Oh heck. It's was just my awkward way of joining this conversation. I also think a cute little monster like you could appreciate a sandbox.
One of the problems with the study of consciousness is the lack of a universally accepted operational definition. Descartes proposed the idea of cogito ergo sum ("I think, therefore I am"), suggested that the very act of thinking demonstrates the reality of one’s existence and consciousness. While today, consciousness is generally defined as an awareness of yourself and the world, there are still debates about the different aspects of this awareness.
Research on consciousness has focused on understanding the neuroscience behind our conscious experiences. Scientists have even utilized brain-scanning technology to seek out specific neurons that might be linked to different conscious events. Modern researchers have proposed two major theories of consciousness: integrated information theory and global workspace theory. It's part of my duties as a research engineer I must attend seminars conducted by prestigious scientists.
5 years ago researchers at Harvard Medical School started to pinpoint the physical origin of consciousness.
The researchers in the study looked at the brain scans of 36 people with brainstem lesions. Twelve of them were unconscious (in a coma) while 24 of them were still conscious. It turns out that 10 of the 12 unconscious patients had damage to the rostral dorsolateral pontine tegmentum. because of their research new treatment options are available for people with consciousness disorders, as well as a better understanding of consciousness itself.
Thanks for the clarifications and insight. So you are from New Jersey too then? Small world :)
Yes this is not a simple topic it is interesting to think about though especially since our scientific view of reality has changed over the years with quantum physics. One of the most interesting aspects of that is what i think is relatively new, quantum measurement techniques, which apply to both quantum systems and larger scale stuff like a bar of steel for example.
I am thinking maybe one day we will be able to measure voltages with much higher resolution than we do today with handheld instruments.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,149
It's not that there's no use at all in seeking knowledge in such things. It's just that most people won't gain much understanding that way. The mind is too easily obscured by its own mental orchestrations. Your spirit on the other hand is quite capable, and in fact perfectly designed for the task.
That is an interesting way to look at it. There is a trend however to keep the ancient idea that the two are separate in order to promote unity. But i have no idea how this works i only can say what my own beliefs are regarding God and Mind and Body and how they might be related.

I dont want to go too far on this point but if there is no God then we can also say that there is no intelligent life out there that is much more intelligent than we are. All we need to find is a higher life form that can manipulate universes and we found a reason to believe that there is such a thing as "God". But that's not really the point of this thread so i'll leave it there.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,149
It seems that consciousness is like memory and feedback. Feedback is based on a measurement. A system makes a measurement, then provides part of that measurement back to the input so it can modify the output which was what was measured in the first place. Could that be considered consciousness?
When we bend down to pick up a ball, we are constantly using feedback. That's even how we know how to bend down in the first place. We also have memory that helps us to know how to go about picking it up, and that came from previous experiences. As we touch the ball we note how hard we are grabbing it and adjust if needed. So we use memory and feedback.
An op amp in linear mode doesnt have memory like ours, but the output maintains a certain level before the inputs can detect a change so maybe it can be said that it has a memory of some lower level sort. In other words, can a charge on a capacitor be considered memory. Well, in dynamic memory it certainly does perform that function even right now as we read this there is memory that relies on capacitor charge to keep the information being viewed in a memory chip that relies explicitly on charges on capacitors (many of them) but even a charge on one capacitor is like a memory (a special kind of analog to digital converter relies one this to work).

Is the system self aware? I doubt it. I dont think it has the complexity to reason. But does something have to be able to reason in order to be conscious? I would tend to think so. The only way, at least for now, that i can see this as being conscious is if we need a way to describe all things as to their level of consciousness, and deeming them simple conscious or non conscious is not enough because the borderline between the two gets adjusted more and more as time goes on and more study results come to light.
 

bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
625
Is it possible that our mind matters as much as matter?
I'm not sure what exactly you mean by this, but it is practically self-evident that our brains -- and every thought therein -- are part of the universe. The flow of the universe is the flow of everything in it, including our thoughts.

Changes to consciousness can also result in changes in perception, thinking, understanding, and interpretations of the world.
What I am disputing is specifically the notion that consciousness exists "outside" of the universe yet can somehow interact with it. Consciousness arises from physical processes and is beholden to physical laws. Saying that consciousness changes with experience of the universe is as controversial as saying that the stone in the river changes as the water flows over it. The interactions between consciousness, stones, water, etc. are the universe.
 

bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
625
It's not that there's no use at all in seeking knowledge in such things. It's just that most people won't gain much understanding that way.
What do "most people" have to do with it? I suspect most people don't care what gravity is or how exactly it works.

The mind is too easily obscured by its own mental orchestrations.
I disagree, and cite modern mathematics, logic, and formal language theory as evidence to the contrary. Thanks to the awesome power of abstraction, humans are quite capable of mentally constructing complex hierarchies of self-referential structures. Consciousness itself seems to be such a thing! I very much doubt that we'd be able to form these complex abstractions in our brains without consciousness, and so -- in a fittingly self-referential way -- consciousness requires consciousness to describe.

I think the fact that we can hold in our thoughts and ponder logical paradoxes is a big clue that we're fully capable of understanding consciousness. When we consider a statement such as "This sentence is false", our brains have to work on multiple levels of abstraction at the same time. We study such things and work out a language and the rules necessary to characterize the various levels and how they interact, allowing us to think and speak coherently about them. It will be the same for consciousness.

Your spirit on the other hand is quite capable, and in fact perfectly designed for the task.
Is "spirit" a part of the physical universe? If so, where is it and what are its properties? If not, then I don't have one.
 

bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
625
Next up, just how uncertain is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?
It's not as uncertain as it once was thought to be. That was from something like 1927 and things have changed exponentially since then.
That principle was based on *one* *single* measurement, standing *apart* from any other.
Have a credible source for these claims? The uncertainty principle is more fundamental than any physical theory. We know this because it falls out of the mathematics (cf. Fourier duals). Furthermore, the uncertainty principle in QM is *not* based on a single measurement, it applies to any number of measurements in any order.
 

xox

Joined Sep 8, 2017
544
Accessing ones spirit must I die in order to do so?

There is one single "thing" within you that has remained unchanged since the very beginning. It shines like the sun and you have always felt it. This is your spirit.


It is interesting though if we accept, for now, the definition of 'self awareness". What is that really?

But let's assume that we know what it is. Isnt it interesting, at least a little, that we as humans are self aware, and yet we are aware that we are self aware, and we can be aware that we are aware that we are self aware, and we are aware that we are aware that we are aware that we are self aware. So it might be said that it is like looking into a mirror with another mirror behind us, we can adjust the mirror so that we see an infinite number of images that look just like our own image that just get smaller and smaller. Or a camera that captures a part of the computer screen and displays on the same screen, we see an image that repeats forever that just gets smaller and smaller.

Self-awareness is the ego ("I", "me", "self"...) and it arises from within the mind. It is consciousness bifurcated. When you die, it passes too. It even disappears (for the most part anyway) when you're asleep.


That is an interesting way to look at it. There is a trend however to keep the ancient idea that the two are separate in order to promote unity. But i have no idea how this works i only can say what my own beliefs are regarding God and Mind and Body and how they might be related.

I dont want to go too far on this point but if there is no God then we can also say that there is no intelligent life out there that is much more intelligent than we are. All we need to find is a higher life form that can manipulate universes and we found a reason to believe that there is such a thing as "God". But that's not really the point of this thread so i'll leave it there.

It's probably not so helpful to think of God as the "Great Manipulator of the Universe". Or even ascribing human qualities to God, for that matter. God is consciousness itself. We feel separate from God only when we try to ponder God's nature with our brains. Get rid of thinking and suddenly it all become clear. Religiosity has little to do with it.


It seems that consciousness is like memory and feedback. Feedback is based on a measurement. A system makes a measurement, then provides part of that measurement back to the input so it can modify the output which was what was measured in the first place. Could that be considered consciousness?

When we bend down to pick up a ball, we are constantly using feedback. That's even how we know how to bend down in the first place. We also have memory that helps us to know how to go about picking it up, and that came from previous experiences. As we touch the ball we note how hard we are grabbing it and adjust if needed. So we use memory and feedback.

An op amp in linear mode doesnt have memory like ours, but the output maintains a certain level before the inputs can detect a change so maybe it can be said that it has a memory of some lower level sort. In other words, can a charge on a capacitor be considered memory. Well, in dynamic memory it certainly does perform that function even right now as we read this there is memory that relies on capacitor charge to keep the information being viewed in a memory chip that relies explicitly on charges on capacitors (many of them) but even a charge on one capacitor is like a memory (a special kind of analog to digital converter relies one this to work).

Is the system self aware? I doubt it. I dont think it has the complexity to reason. But does something have to be able to reason in order to be conscious? I would tend to think so. The only way, at least for now, that i can see this as being conscious is if we need a way to describe all things as to their level of consciousness, and deeming them simple conscious or non conscious is not enough because the borderline between the two gets adjusted more and more as time goes on and more study results come to light.

What you are describing is called "thinking". And yes while it does require consciousness to work (otherwise you're body would be effectively dead!) they are really two very different things. The brain is a machine. It calculates and measures, analyzes and categorizes, etc. Unfortunately, it also has its dark side. People often become slaves to their thoughts. Which is precisely why we see so many spiritually devoid people in this world.
 

xox

Joined Sep 8, 2017
544
I disagree, and cite modern mathematics, logic, and formal language theory as evidence to the contrary. Thanks to the awesome power of abstraction, humans are quite capable of mentally constructing complex hierarchies of self-referential structures. Consciousness itself seems to be such a thing! I very much doubt that we'd be able to form these complex abstractions in our brains without consciousness, and so -- in a fittingly self-referential way -- consciousness requires consciousness to describe.


I think the fact that we can hold in our thoughts and ponder logical paradoxes is a big clue that we're fully capable of understanding consciousness. When we consider a statement such as "This sentence is false", our brains have to work on multiple levels of abstraction at the same time. We study such things and work out a language and the rules necessary to characterize the various levels and how they interact, allowing us to think and speak coherently about them. It will be the same for consciousness.

I once knew a very intelligent physicist. In his youth he had discovered many amazing things and wrote numerous papers on various aspects of the subject. However, eventually he grew old, developed Alzheimer's, and ultimately forgot everything he had studied. He couldn't so much as manage with a simple addition problem at that point!

Do you really think you can escape a similar fate? This is why I say stop relying on your mind to understand such things. Because once the mind is gone, the only thing that can help you is your spirit. And then it won't even matter whether or not the brain is functioning properly. You will be without any doubt, without the aid of a single thought. That's the power of the spirit.


Is "spirit" a part of the physical universe? If so, where is it and what are its properties? If not, then I don't have one.

So you're willing to reject your own spirit depending on whether or not it's part of the physical universe? That is precisely why logic should not be used for this line of study. It leads nowhere.
 

bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
625
Do you really think you can escape a similar fate? This is why I say stop relying on your mind to understand such things. Because once the mind is gone, the only thing that can help you is your spirit. And then it won't even matter whether or not the brain is functioning properly. You will be without any doubt, without the aid of a single thought. That's the power of the spirit.
What difference does it make if I suffer a similar fate or not? The universe continues regardless. My curiosity in this case is about the universe, not my personal fate. My curiosity is indeed part of this universe, and it can be focused inwards toward its source. Why should I censure the content of my curiosity? Why shouldn't I use all the tools at my disposal -- this gift of cognitive capacity, this wondrous ability to abstract and notice patterns -- to explore its very source? To spare myself potential frustration and pain? My mind is fleeting, but so is pain and frustration, and indeed everything else.

Without doubt there is no curiosity. I don't have any interest in such a lifestyle.

So you're willing to reject your own spirit depending on whether or not it's part of the physical universe? That is precisely why logic should not be used for this line of study. It leads nowhere.
You claim I have a spirit, but you don't tell me what it is. Why should I believe you?
 

xox

Joined Sep 8, 2017
544
Why should I censure the content of my curiosity? Why shouldn't I use all the tools at my disposal -- this gift of cognitive capacity, this wondrous ability to abstract and notice patterns -- to explore its very source? To spare myself potential frustration and pain? My mind is fleeting, but so is pain and frustration, and indeed everything else.


Without doubt there is no curiosity. I don't have any interest in such a lifestyle.
I encourage you to use whatever tools you can find, I just hope you do keep in mind all that analyzing of compartmentalized information does have its limits.

You claim I have a spirit, but you don't tell me what it is. Why should I believe you?
If you truly do want to understand the spirit, then just pay attention. It is right there in front of you after all.

What difference does it make if I suffer a similar fate or not? The universe continues regardless. My curiosity in this case is about the universe, not my personal fate. My curiosity is indeed part of this universe, and it can be focused inwards toward its source.
And that, my friend...is your spirit!
 
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