Author Topic: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light  (Read 10358 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6698
  • Darwins +533/-19
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #58 on: July 24, 2010, 08:46:23 PM »
I feel sure that he will provide a worked mathematical proof within the hour...
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Noman Peopled

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1904
  • Darwins +24/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • [insert wittycism]
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #59 on: July 25, 2010, 05:47:47 AM »
If physical processes have both a subjective interior and an objective exterior, and that physical qualities are spread from physical form to physical form, then there is a precedent for cooperation, group intelligence, novelty, memory, creativity, etc. It's no longer just a flat, automatic, robotic universe of consequences, it is that, but it's also a Cosmos of living experiences which can achieve fantastic depth of richness and coherence.
See, this isn't "exactly". It's a nice narrative with no evidence that its neatness translates in any way to a description of reality.

You can't just say that you base consciousness in matter itself and call it a solution. It's not more exact than "basing it in electrochemical processes". Yeah, that's the conclusion, so how was it arrived at and how can it be checked?
What we can reach with X has no bearing on its veracity, now does it?



Quote
Sense is the evidence. The very need to look for evidence is an aspect of trying to make sense. It's the only kind of evidence there is. When people agree on sense, then it becomes part of our collectively accepted sense. To deny our own experience as evidence doesn't cut it in any way, shape, or form either.
Sense is the evidence of sense, not much else.
Denying our own experiences doesn't cut it? First, that statement is utterly independent of my own statement that "making sense doesn't cut it". It still stands. Second, if I see red trees due to sleep deprivation, what does that tell me about anything except me? If I regularly converse with aliens during sleep paralysis? Of course I don't just ignore what I perceive, but there has to be a way to make sure that what I perceive is accurate in some way.


You seem to be of the opinion that what's perceived and what perceives is somehow directly interlinked; again, where are the studies? You can't just "map" your own consciousness and draw conclusions about the universe in its entirety. Of course you can arrive at ideas in this way, but without actually chacking them they're not worth much (except, naturally, to you personally).
Everything about sensory input and consciousness that we can consciously perceive has gone through so many instances of filtering and processing that the perceived and the perceiver become inextricable.



What observations did you make, anyway? What part of consciousness makes you think that no carrier particle is needed to transfer energy/information/whatever?
Especially since we can actually observe those particles. Or entities, if you prefer.

To sum up, what I think of your idea is that it's a bunch of assertions claiming to be mathematically equivalent to current theories despite adding new information, new terms, and which refuses to put up any predictions or testability - in other words, means to substantiate it.
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
-xphobe

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #60 on: July 25, 2010, 09:02:35 AM »
What does that have to do with anything?  Your theory does not work and
you either don't understand why or you willfully ignore it.
The points that I have seen you make so far have nothing to do with my theory. They are misunderstandings of my ideas which contribute mainly hostility and impatience. All you have to do is provide one commonsense example which suggests that my idea cannot work (claiming that you've already done that and I'm ignoring it doesn't work for me).
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #61 on: July 25, 2010, 09:12:01 AM »
I feel sure that he will provide a worked mathematical proof within the hour...

Mathematical proofs only address half of the Cosmos. My ideas connect that half with the other.

Like my tagline says: "All aspects of awareness are beyond computation".
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Noman Peopled

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1904
  • Darwins +24/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • [insert wittycism]
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2010, 09:46:23 AM »
The points that I have seen you make so far have nothing to do with my theory. They are misunderstandings of my ideas which contribute mainly hostility and impatience. All you have to do is provide one commonsense example which suggests that my idea cannot work (claiming that you've already done that and I'm ignoring it doesn't work for me).
Burden of proof.

Mathematical proofs only address half of the Cosmos. My ideas connect that half with the other.
See above.

Quote
Like my tagline says: "All aspects of awareness are beyond computation".
That has already been proven mathematically decades ago.
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
-xphobe

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #63 on: July 25, 2010, 11:52:45 AM »
See, this isn't "exactly". It's a nice narrative with no evidence that its neatness translates in any way to a description of reality.
What you're talking about is the epistemology of science. When we talk about awareness, an entirely different way of knowing is opened up. The nature of subjectivity is such that it cannot be exteriorized as evidence. It can be shared and communicated but not described as an objective reality - it must be experienced first hand. My idea describes precisely why this would be the case. It's because awareness begins at the beginning of the Cosmos. It's not an accidental side effect of mechanical processes. It represents a fundamental cosmic underpinning on par with and in contradistinction to mechanical processes.

Quote
You can't just say that you base consciousness in matter itself and call it a solution. It's not more exact than "basing it in electrochemical processes". Yeah, that's the conclusion, so how was it arrived at and how can it be checked?
What we can reach with X has no bearing on its veracity, now does it?
I'm not calling it anything. It's just an idea. Philosophy of Physics. Whether or not the idea can be checked to a specific standard has no bearing on its veracity either. This particular idea requires a much broader framework of understanding than just mathematics. For studying the subjective, fields like Psychology, Linguistics and Anthropology are more relevant.

Quote
Sense is the evidence of sense, not much else.
What else is there? Every measurement, study, inquiry, experiment, theory, and conclusion begins and ends with sense, (in both senses), and is wholly concerned with sense at ever step in between. The idea of steps at all is sense.

Quote
if I see red trees due to sleep deprivation, what does that tell me about anything except me?
Of course. You're human, so it tells you something about the effects of sleep deprivation on human perception. If trees are the only thing that look different, then it could tell you about how tree-like images are processed differently from others. You might learn about red. Or the need for sleep.

Quote
If I regularly converse with aliens during sleep paralysis? Of course I don't just ignore what I perceive, but there has to be a way to make sure that what I perceive is accurate in some way.
Of course we do need empirical methods of determining objective truths, but not everything can or should be confined to those limitations. Delusions or hallucinations may not tell us about what they appear to be, but they can reveal quite a lot about how consciousness and the Self functions.

Quote
You seem to be of the opinion that what's perceived and what perceives is somehow directly interlinked; again, where are the studies?
If you alter the neurochemistry of the perceiver, you alter what they perceive. You've got the Observer Effect in QM which suggests that the Observer alters the experiment (I disagree, but I do agree that the effect positively links the observer with the observed).

I wouldn't say that they are directly interlinked, any more than you are directly interlinked with someone sitting next to you in a stadium when they do 'the wave'. You perceive the wave, you participate in the wave, the wave has no reality outside of the collective participation of the audience. This is roughly how I think light works. There's not an octillion tiny wavelet-particles being unloaded into the crowd which causes it to happen - the dynamic is shared enthusiasm; voluntary but inspired by example.

Quote
You can't just "map" your own consciousness and draw conclusions about the universe in its entirety. Of course you can arrive at ideas in this way, but without actually chacking them they're not worth much (except, naturally, to you personally).
I agree. So far the examples I've used to check them check out. I welcome anyone else's examples to check out also. That's all I can do. I can't make others value the ideas, they have to check them out for themselves.

Quote
Everything about sensory input and consciousness that we can consciously perceive has gone through so many instances of filtering and processing that the perceived and the perceiver become inextricable.
I agree. Yet there is a common basis for transduction through every filter and every process. It makes a different sense to us than it does to different perceivers, but perception of any sort can only process something which makes sense in the first place.

Quote
What observations did you make, anyway? What part of consciousness makes you think that no carrier particle is needed to transfer energy/information/whatever?
How the human eye works = stimulation originates at the retina, then passes to the optic nerve, then visual cortex. No particles exterior to the cornea are necessary. Our sense is that we see and look at things or into things rather than any kind of physical substance hitting our eyes. Why don't the bazillion photons traveling as fast as possible at all times hit each other and cause distortion routinely?

How a microwave works = Since our eyes aren't tuned to respond to the microwave frequency, we get a more objective perspective of what electromagnetism is. No heat to feel, no light to see, just food being stimulated to cook itself. If there were photon particles which are so small as to be invisible, then surely they would pass through the holes in the radiation mask on the door. (I understand the concept of larger wavelengths being stopped by the screen, but it makes a lot more sense to look at the technology without imaginary waves being propagated through space).

How a beam of light works = You don't see a beam of light in a vacuum. Only if there are particles in the path of the light source will you see illuminated particles. Any matter can be illuminated, but non-matter cannot. Why do the light particles only show up in the presence of particles of matter?

How images work = The simplest things can reflect or project a complex image. The surface of a liquid or a polished metal, a piece of transparent material. The idea of the material of our retina and visual nervous system changing to conform to the shared conditions it senses makes a lot more sense to me than a world inundated with flying pieces of dumb light which are somehow assembled into coherent images through our eyes, then our nerves, then our brains, then our minds. With my way, all matter shares the language of electromagnetic coherence, and what we see is a reasonable facsimile of what we get (at the scale that our awareness operates on).

The language of light = Terms like enlightenment, illumination, brilliance, bright, seeing the light, insight, clarity, lucidity, transparency all reveal a natural intuitive association between light and awareness, intelligence, understanding, communication.

Lighting = When you turn on a light or open a door or window to the daytime sunlight, how does it look? Do you see senseless bits of images flooding your eyeballs to be constructed into images? Or are you instead able to see a lot of understandable details in the physical objects in the room around you - each object matter-of-factly exposed for what it is in response to the illumination which your eyes are part of?

Lightning = Why doesn't the effect of the sun in the atmosphere behave more like lightning? With photons as particles, shouldn't turning on a flashlight look like a chaotic branching explosion of light rather than an undisturbed geometry of effect?

Photon = No mass, no charge, somehow both wavelike and particle like (which are ontologically mutually exclusive, like square circles...unimaginable), propagates even through a vacuum but cannot be observed directly, observation of any kind evokes weird otherworldly uncertainties and observer effects. Why does the photon have no independent existence? Where are the photon clusters and residues?

Quote
Especially since we can actually observe those particles. Or entities, if you prefer.
You've observed a photon?

Quote
To sum up, what I think of your idea is that it's a bunch of assertions claiming to be mathematically equivalent to current theories despite adding new information, new terms, and which refuses to put up any predictions or testability - in other words, means to substantiate it.
I've never claimed anything, let alone some kind of mathematical equivalent to anything. There's no math in my ideas at all - it's all about qualitative experience. I try to avoid making any assertions at all, I only present ideas for other people's consideration.

As for testability, I think that if same laboratory experiments which led to interpretations such as non-locality, entanglement, identity, uncertainty, and the Observer Effect were to be re-interpreted with a model based on awareness and behaviors of atoms rather than strange/dumb projectiles released between them, then these apparent paradoxes might be resolved.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #64 on: July 25, 2010, 12:03:23 PM »
Burden of proof.
I'm not trying to prove something though. I've already proved it to myself to my satisfaction (and to several others who have no particular objection). What I'm being challenged on here is not the specifics of my idea, but the possibility that ideas outside of the mainstream can be considered at all.

Quote
That has already been proven mathematically decades ago.
Which is why I say that awareness doesn't need to be mathematically proved.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline MockTurtle

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 798
  • Darwins +4/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • The power of reason compels you!
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #65 on: July 25, 2010, 12:10:06 PM »
You've observed a photon?
Yes.  That is what our eyes detect.

Quote
I've never claimed anything,

How is this next quote not a claim?  Because you say "might"? 

Quote
As for testability, I think that if same laboratory experiments which led to interpretations such as non-locality, entanglement, identity, uncertainty, and the Observer Effect were to be re-interpreted with a model based on awareness and behaviors of atoms rather than strange/dumb projectiles released between them, then these apparent paradoxes might be resolved.

If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #66 on: July 25, 2010, 12:29:55 PM »
Yes.  That is what our eyes detect.
I don't think that they do. I think that our eyes detect objects which are visibly illuminated.

Even if you could somehow prove that our eyes did actually detect 'light particles', those particles end their journey in our retina - they don't ride our optic nerve into the brain - so still, I think that nobody has ever seen a photon.

Quote
How is this next quote not a claim?  Because you say "might"? 

Quote
As for testability, I think that if same laboratory experiments which led to interpretations such as non-locality, entanglement, identity, uncertainty, and the Observer Effect were to be re-interpreted with a model based on awareness and behaviors of atoms rather than strange/dumb projectiles released between them, then these apparent paradoxes might be resolved.

Yes. Those kinds of qualifiers above are there specifically to prevent pseudoskeptical argumentative derailments. I've been over this territory already before on here. I don't subscribe to the assertion that ideas are claims. If you want to disprove what someone else suggests might be true, you 'claim' that their suggestion is a claim, putting them in a defensive position while somehow protecting your own claim about their claim behind an imaginary semantic curtain. I don't intentionally make claims here, I just explain my ideas.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Jim

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2462
  • Darwins +11/-1
  • Born Again Atheist
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #67 on: July 25, 2010, 12:47:29 PM »
So, when are you going to get the funding for lab and equipment to test your theory?  When you do some experiments and find results -- supporting or unsupporting of your theory -- let us know.

Oh wait...I see that experiments may never satisfy you...

I feel sure that he will provide a worked mathematical proof within the hour...
Mathematical proofs only address half of the Cosmos. My ideas connect that half with the other.
Like my tagline says: "All aspects of awareness are beyond computation".

I see.  So, you believe that mathematical proofs don't cover the other half of the cosmos?  Really?  Why?  Is it some magical place that cannot be skried except with supernatural eyes?  I think you're wrong, and that mathematical calculations and science that work in "this half" of the universe work in the other half as well.

"All aspects of awareness are beyond computation" is obviously wrong.  Just because it was said by a famous thinker, does not mean that the statement withstands the test of time and knowledge gained. 

From these statements of yours, I can discern that you wish to hold onto fantastical thinking, and need to make sure that your world is filled with some mysteries that cannot be solved...instead of having a need to be able to solve mysteries.
Survey results coming soon!

Offline MockTurtle

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 798
  • Darwins +4/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • The power of reason compels you!
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #68 on: July 25, 2010, 02:16:11 PM »
I don't think that they do.


Quote
Even if you could somehow prove that our eyes did actually detect 'light particles', those particles end their journey in our retina - they don't ride our optic nerve into the brain - so still, I think that nobody has ever seen a photon.
By that logic, no one has ever seen anything.  Rather than adopt a pointless definition to save your argument, why not
face the facts that the photon has been detected countless trillions of times.

Quote
Yes. Those kinds of qualifiers above are there specifically to prevent pseudoskeptical argumentative derailments.
Why do cranks always use the term pseudo-skeptic? 

Quote
If you want to disprove what someone else suggests might be true, you 'claim' that their suggestion is a claim, putting them in a defensive position while ...
Another classic crank evasion.  Whether you call it a claim or not, your "idea" does not work.  Since you don't
have any idea on how to fix it, you try and shift the burden of proof onto others.  That "defensive position" you
speak of is exactly the same position that any scientist is in when proposing a new idea.  Somehow cranks always
assume there ideas are special and should get a pass.
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #69 on: July 25, 2010, 06:12:27 PM »
So, when are you going to get the funding for lab and equipment to test your theory?
I would like to do that if I had the time and money.

Quote
I see.  So, you believe that mathematical proofs don't cover the other half of the cosmos?  Really?  Why?
 
Because qualities aren't mathematical. The yellowness of yellow doesn't predict the blueness of blue. No formula can be devised to invent new primary colors. Mathematics is a quantitative language designed specifically to strip out all traces of subjectivity and quality - which is fine when you are working with the exterior side of phenomena but not when you are trying to understand the interior, subjective side. There is no A+B = pain.

Quote
Is it some magical place that cannot be skried except with supernatural eyes?
The supernatural eyes you speak of are the lenses of mathematics. To imagine that the universe cannot be skried truly except through the narrow band of hypertrophied logic made popular through the European Enlightenment is no less an overreaching fantasy than any form of religious fanaticism. It's not the same thing as religion, but it equals religious orthodoxy in it's prejudice and parochial devotion to it's epistemological tautologies.

Quote
I think you're wrong, and that mathematical calculations and science that work in "this half" of the universe work in the other half as well.
You're free to think that. It's a very popular view at the moment.

Quote
"All aspects of awareness are beyond computation" is obviously wrong.  Just because it was said by a famous thinker, does not mean that the statement withstands the test of time and knowledge gained. 
Saying something is obviously wrong doesn't mean much to me. How do you think awareness can be computed? Can you give me an example of how this could even be theoretically accomplished. If you were to come up with an equation which describes awareness, could we produce a cartoon based on this equation which becomes aware of itself?

Quote
From these statements of yours, I can discern that you wish to hold onto fantastical thinking, and need to make sure that your world is filled with some mysteries that cannot be solved...instead of having a need to be able to solve mysteries.
Again, people's opinions of me are none of my business or interest. Please refer to the disclaimer.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2010, 06:27:43 PM »
By that logic, no one has ever seen anything.
That's not what I said. I said we don't see photons. Since you believe in photons, the indisputable fact that we don't see photons sounds to you like I'm suggesting that we don't see. This is exactly why my idea makes more sense. Photons have no capacity whatsoever to carry information. If your illuminated eye, however, is reproducing the qualities and characteristics of it's total illumination, those qualities can be experienced directly by the matter of the brain. WE vibrate in harmony with the illumination, and this is what we see - not countless flying nano-sparks flung at our eyeballs.

Quote
Rather than adopt a pointless definition to save your argument, why not face the facts that the photon has been detected countless trillions of times.
Detected by what? Matter. Matter is what detects 'photons' because light is a behavior of matter and not a separate particle. I can't say that I know that for a fact, but the utter lack of a single example to the contrary is increasingly persuasive to me.

Quote
Why do cranks always use the term pseudo-skeptic? 
Loaded question fallacy.

Quote
Whether you call it a claim or not, your "idea" does not work.
What do you base this opinion on? Why do you feel that your opinions are objective facts but that other people's ideas are subjective fictions?

Quote
Since you don't have any idea on how to fix it, you try and shift the burden of proof onto others. 
There's nothing to fix. You keep talking about some problem with the idea but never mention what it is. What is your example that exposes the flaw of my idea?

Quote
That "defensive position" you speak of is exactly the same position that any scientist is in when proposing a new idea.  Somehow cranks always assume there ideas are special and should get a pass.
I'm not a scientist though. I'm not proposing a formal theory to a peer review. I'm just presenting ideas informally on a public forum in case anyone is interested. A crank insists that their ideas are true despite any evidence to the contrary. I don't know whether my ideas are true at all, and I welcome any evidence to the contrary.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Jim

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2462
  • Darwins +11/-1
  • Born Again Atheist
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2010, 07:07:09 PM »
Quote
I see.  So, you believe that mathematical proofs don't cover the other half of the cosmos?  Really?  Why?
 
Because qualities aren't mathematical. The yellowness of yellow doesn't predict the blueness of blue. No formula can be devised to invent new primary colors. Mathematics is a quantitative language designed specifically to strip out all traces of subjectivity and quality - which is fine when you are working with the exterior side of phenomena but not when you are trying to understand the interior, subjective side. There is no A+B = pain.

Quote
Is it some magical place that cannot be skried except with supernatural eyes?
The supernatural eyes you speak of are the lenses of mathematics. To imagine that the universe cannot be skried truly except through the narrow band of hypertrophied logic made popular through the European Enlightenment is no less an overreaching fantasy than any form of religious fanaticism. It's not the same thing as religion, but it equals religious orthodoxy in it's prejudice and parochial devotion to it's epistemological tautologies.
....
Quote
"All aspects of awareness are beyond computation" is obviously wrong.  Just because it was said by a famous thinker, does not mean that the statement withstands the test of time and knowledge gained. 
Saying something is obviously wrong doesn't mean much to me. How do you think awareness can be computed? Can you give me an example of how this could even be theoretically accomplished. If you were to come up with an equation which describes awareness, could we produce a cartoon based on this equation which becomes aware of itself?

Science and math can reach to every corner of human understanding, even emotion.  The math or science may not presently be known, that is true, and so certain subjects or fields may appear opaque.  But, I think you overestimate the difficulty of understanding the human mind: it is nothing but neurons and meat, period.  Given the right accumulated knowledge, and the appropriate apparatus, a thorough mathematical understanding of the human mind can be had.  In the end, it is nothing but homeostatic functions and chemical production.  The same could be said for the functions of a liver or patch of skin.  To your complaint: after enough of a sample of population is taken, one could certainly put a scale on the perceived value of "yellow", and its relation to "blue" in humans.  One would even be able to map this to the genome, or to other known cell functions.

Yes, once a proper tool has been devised for measuring the transactions of the neurons in the human mind, a "cartoon" can be created -- mathematically computed, and artificial computer analogies produced.  To assume otherwise is foolishness.  (How soon such a tool could be devised, or how it would be made is more of a matter of technology and fabrication... I don't know when or how it could be made, or indeed how much it might cost.) 

You make the same mistake as many others, in comparing the sciences to religion.  Science produces something new, all of the time, and causes new questions to be asked -- questions that once upon a time could not even be imagined.  There are countless examples of it happening every day.  Religion produces nothing but requirements for followers to fulfill, and empty promises.  If being able to send robots to the surface of Mars represents an "overreaching fantasy" to you, then you have your head buried deeply in the sand of your own ignorance.  Science and religion are nothing like each other.

My fantasy beats yours any day of the week.  That's my opinion.
Survey results coming soon!

Offline MockTurtle

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 798
  • Darwins +4/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • The power of reason compels you!
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #72 on: July 25, 2010, 09:09:14 PM »
By that logic, no one has ever seen anything.
That's not what I said. I said we don't see photons.
No, you said...
Quote
Even if you could somehow prove that our eyes did actually detect 'light particles', those particles end their journey in our retina - they don't ride our optic nerve into the brain - so still, I think that nobody has ever seen a photon.
What sorts of things do we actually see directly with our brains without use of the retina and optic nerve? 

Quote
Since you believe in photons, the indisputable fact that we don't see photons sounds to you like I'm suggesting that we don't see.
Notice that that claim was specifically disputed.  Does calling it "indisputable" make you think more of your idea?  I guess if you can make up a theory with no basis whatsoever, redefining reality isn't much of a problem either.

Quote
Photons have no capacity whatsoever to carry information.
Is this another one of those claims that we are not allowed to call a claim?  Whatever it is, it is certainly not true.

Quote
...WE vibrate in harmony with the illumination, and this is what we see - not countless flying nano-sparks flung at our eyeballs.
Is this another one of those claims that we are not allowed to call a claim? It is certainly not compatible with the existing evidence.

Quote
Matter is what detects 'photons' because light is a behavior of matter and not a separate particle.
Is this another non-claim? Again, there is no evidence this is true.

Quote
...the utter lack of a single example to the contrary is increasingly persuasive to me.
Argument from ignorance fallacy.


Quote
Why do you feel that your opinions are objective facts but that other people's ideas are subjective fictions?
I don't think all my opinions are objective facts, but I know the difference between having evidence and not.

Quote
There's nothing to fix. You keep talking about some problem with the idea but never mention what it is. What is your example that exposes the flaw of my idea?
scroll up in this thread.


Quote
I welcome any evidence to the contrary.
I think you mean "ignore" instead of "welcome"... that must have been a typo.
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #73 on: July 25, 2010, 10:09:13 PM »
Science and math can reach to every corner of human understanding, even emotion.
Without a human subject to report and describe a subjective experience of emotion, or any quality of experience, science is completely at a loss to even approach the phenomenon of human consciousness. We can map and correlate reports to each other and to physiological measurements, but the rest must be inferred. There is no mathematical access to qualia. You can't generate an equation which can make a loaf of bread have a headache.

Quote
The math or science may not presently be known, that is true, and so certain subjects or fields may appear opaque.  But, I think you overestimate the difficulty of understanding the human mind: it is nothing but neurons and meat, period.
I think that you underestimate the difficulty of understanding neurons and meat from the outside. It's like saying 'the internet is nothing but computers and routers'. You are completely missing the inside. What goes on inside neurons and living tissue, and what passes through physical microelectronic media is not at all the same thing as what the behavior of the container. Neither the brain or the internet is anything more than garbage and junk without a living end user and their understanding of how to navigate the inner reality of the system.

You can cut open a brain all you want, but you're not going to find a person in there. You can open up any server or router in any datacenter in the world and you won't find any websites. You can't reverse engineer it that way. You can learn a lot, undoubtedly, but only because you yourself are a sentient being and can project your own sentience into abstract patterns.

Quote
Given the right accumulated knowledge, and the appropriate apparatus, a thorough mathematical understanding of the human mind can be had.  In the end, it is nothing but homeostatic functions and chemical production.
The internet is nothing but electronic modulation. It has nothing to do with being able to address the nature of the creativity or communications available through it.

The human mind exists in the context of neurochemistry, but it is not the same thing. You could duplicate any chemical product of the brain or any homeostatic function in a lab and there won't be any human consciousness associated with that product. A dead human brain, like a computer switched off, is nearly physically identical to one that is alive or powered on. Same chemicals and materials. They weigh about the same. If a brain were as simple as meat, one would only have to sprinkle some preservatives on it, fire up a few volts on a battery, and voila - resurrection on tap.

Quote
The same could be said for the functions of a liver or patch of skin.
I think that the difference between liver tissue or skin and nervous tissue is that nervous tissue is specialized to aggregate the conditions of the various tissues of the body in a central location where the body as a whole can be interpreted and controlled. All cells are conscious, but the nervous system is a metaconscious political organization of internal organic conditions.

Quote
To your complaint: after enough of a sample of population is taken, one could certainly put a scale on the perceived value of "yellow", and its relation to "blue" in humans. 
I'm not sure what you mean by that, I'm not talking at all about a quantitative scale, I'm talking about a mathematical formula which would predict the color blue had we no ability to detect it. Like X-Rays. What color would those be if our eyes could see them? How would you feel about being in a room painted in that color?

Quote
One would even be able to map this to the genome, or to other known cell functions.
The genome and other cell functions can operate quite well without any need of an experience of color. I guess you aren't familiar with 'the hard problem of consciousness'.

Quote
Yes, once a proper tool has been devised for measuring the transactions of the neurons in the human mind, a "cartoon" can be created -- mathematically computed, and artificial computer analogies produced.  To assume otherwise is foolishness.  (How soon such a tool could be devised, or how it would be made is more of a matter of technology and fabrication... I don't know when or how it could be made, or indeed how much it might cost.) 
I'm not talking about AI, I'm talking about plotting the math itself in a visual form such that the form would come to life. That's what you're talking about when you say that awareness can be computed. Inanimate mathematical functions becoming dynamically self aware. Not performing robotic functions well enough to pass the Turing test, but actually feeling, wanting to survive, etc. This is the inner criteria of life - it has to want to stay alive. Can you write a mathematical proof that wants to stay alive?

Quote
You make the same mistake as many others, in comparing the sciences to religion.
To me, failing to compare sciences to religion is unscientific. Science shouldn't need to be defended with sentiment. It's virtues should, like any good scientific experiment, stand on it's own merits.

Quote
Science produces something new, all of the time, and causes new questions to be asked -- questions that once upon a time could not even be imagined.  There are countless examples of it happening every day.
I like science too, and I'm not a fan of religion by any means. I think if you look at how science originated, you'll find that it is both an extension of and a reaction against religion, which is the innate form of knowledge that comes hardwired into our nervous system. When a culture is first booted up, it starts with religion. When a child is born, their imagination is highly influential to them.

Science takes the homocentric worldview of religion and turns it inside out, questioning dogma and perfecting it's inverse-homocentric worldview with objective methodologies. When science itself becomes dogmatic however, it's self-policing mechanisms are no more effective than Wall Street's at challenging it's own tautologies. It's epistemological fascism becomes a hindrance to the evolution of civilization, producing illth as well as wealth.

Quote
Science and religion are nothing like each other.

My fantasy beats yours any day of the week.  That's my opinion.

It depends how you look at it. If a culture based on science leads to this:


and a culture based on religion led to this:


I might be willing to forego the Martian robots.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline MockTurtle

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 798
  • Darwins +4/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • The power of reason compels you!
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #74 on: July 25, 2010, 10:15:07 PM »
^^^^
Way to go with the false dichotomy Immediacracy.
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #75 on: July 25, 2010, 10:32:42 PM »

Quote
That's not what I said. I said we don't see photons.
Quote
No, you said...
Quote
Even if you could somehow prove that our eyes did actually detect 'light particles', those particles end their journey in our retina - they don't ride our optic nerve into the brain - so still, I think that nobody has ever seen a photon.

Quote
What sorts of things do we actually see directly with our brains without use of the retina and optic nerve? 
Dreams. Visions. Hallucinations. Imagination. Abstract patterns. Almost no way to tell from what you see in a dream is coming from outside of your eyes or not. What we see is the activity of our visual cortex, whether or not the cortex is being informed by the retina or optic nerve.

Quote
Since you believe in photons, the indisputable fact that we don't see photons sounds to you like I'm suggesting that we don't see.
Quote
Notice that that claim was specifically disputed.
Huh? Where? Are you saying that photons from a light bulb penetrate your eyeballs and physically travel into the back of your brain (where visual processing takes place)?



Quote
Does calling it "indisputable" make you think more of your idea?  I guess if you can make up a theory with no basis whatsoever, redefining reality isn't much of a problem either.
If it can't be disputed, then it's indisputable. If you can tell me how photons from the outside world get into the back of your brain, then I'd be happy to retract my assertion/claim.

Quote
Is this another one of those claims that we are not allowed to call a claim?  Whatever it is, it is certainly not true.
Is this you disagreeing with me or you pronouncing a universal truth?

Quote
Is this another one of those claims that we are not allowed to call a claim? It is certainly not compatible with the existing evidence.
Tell me what the existing evidence is that photons exist as discrete particles in a vacuum independent of matter. How can you detect something without matter?

Quote
Is this another non-claim? Again, there is no evidence this is true.
I'm just explaining my idea. Light is a behavior of matter and not an independent phenomena. We detect light because we're made of matter, and it imitates the stimulation it encounters from other material sources.

Quote
Quote
...the utter lack of a single example to the contrary is increasingly persuasive to me.
Argument from ignorance fallacy.
It's not an argument, it's a fact. Not saying it should be increasingly persuasive to you or anyone else, just mentioning that all anyone seems to want to do around here is argue about my right to express any novel idea at all but has yet to mention a single example that pertains to the content of my idea.

Quote
I don't think all my opinions are objective facts, but I know the difference between having evidence and not.
How do you know that you know the difference? Why should I believe you? What is your evidence?

Quote
Quote
There's nothing to fix. You keep talking about some problem with the idea but never mention what it is. What is your example that exposes the flaw of my idea?
scroll up in this thread.
Nah, you'll just have to take my word for it. There's no example.

Quote
Quote
I welcome any evidence to the contrary.
I think you mean "ignore" instead of "welcome"... that must have been a typo.
That's just a vague accusation. If you want me to admit something, you have to spell out your criticism. What is your argument or evidence that invalidates my idea?

PLEASE LIST:
1.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #76 on: July 25, 2010, 10:34:40 PM »
^^^^
Way to go with the false dichotomy Immediacracy.

I'm just saying... 'science=good, religion=bad' is religion, not science.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline MockTurtle

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 798
  • Darwins +4/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • The power of reason compels you!
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #77 on: July 25, 2010, 11:20:33 PM »
Quote from: MockTurtle
What sorts of things do we actually see directly with our brains without use of the retina and optic nerve? 
Dreams. Visions. Hallucinations. Imagination. Abstract patterns. Almost no way to tell from what you see in a dream is coming from outside of your eyes or not. What we see is the activity of our visual cortex, whether or not the cortex is being informed by the retina or optic nerve.

So you admit "seeing" is, at least in part, the result of information traveling down the optic nerve to the brain.

Then why do you redefine "seeing" to require a photon to end up in your brain like you do here:

Quote
Huh? Where? Are you saying that photons from a light bulb penetrate your eyeballs and physically travel into the back of your brain (where visual processing takes place)?

And, why you persist in the same pointless definition here:

Quote
If you can tell me how photons from the outside world get into the back of your brain, then I'd be happy to retract my assertion/claim.

Quote
Tell me what the existing evidence is that photons exist as discrete particles in a vacuum independent of matter.

Start with these...

  • J.T. Mendonca, M. Marklund, P.K. Shukla, G. Brodin, Photon acceleration in vacuum, Physics Letters A, Volume 359, Issue 6, 11 December 2006, Pages 700-704
  • V V Dodonov,  Resonance photon generation in a vibrating cavity, 1998 J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 31 9835
  • A.V. Dodonov, E.V. Dodonov, V.V. Dodonov, Photon generation from vacuum in nondegenerate cavities with regular and random periodic displacements of boundaries, Physics Letters A, Volume 317, Issues 5-6, 27 October 2003, Pages 378-388,

Quote
How can you detect something without matter?
Since when is that a requirement?

Quote
It's not an argument, it's a fact. Not saying it should be increasingly persuasive to you or anyone else,
Keep it up. The argument from ignorance fallacy does get more convincing the more you repeat it.

Quote
.. has yet to mention a single example that pertains to the content of my idea.

Except this...
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=14281.msg334657#msg334657

If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline Jim

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2462
  • Darwins +11/-1
  • Born Again Atheist
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #78 on: July 26, 2010, 12:29:04 AM »
Science and math can reach to every corner of human understanding, even emotion.
Without a human subject to report and describe a subjective experience of emotion, or any quality of experience, science is completely at a loss to even approach the phenomenon of human consciousness. We can map and correlate reports to each other and to physiological measurements, but the rest must be inferred. There is no mathematical access to qualia. You can't generate an equation which can make a loaf of bread have a headache.
...

I think that the privateness of qualia (as defined by D Dennett in Wikipedia's entry) is subject to that privateness only for now.  I do not expect that it will forever remain private as long as neurological measurement technology progresses.  At a sufficient technological ability, one would be able to measure and store data about any neuro-cellular functions within the body.  At that point, it will be a matter of understanding and decoding the different states of the nervous system's parts.  It is not a far leap from stimulating another's nervous system to overlay the sensations or impulses as felt by another, or at least to trigger similar response.  Would this be exact?  No, admittedly.  But, it could probably be engineered to have a sufficiently high accuracy in fidelity.  (You might stimulate person A's amygdala to very closely imitate person B's amygdala's activity, for instance.)

A nerve is only a cell.  It fires, sending impulses.  The chemistry and physics behind this are completely understandable, and nervous systems are just another level of complexity.  You'd have to "read" all the nerves from a bodily system you were monitoring continually, it would be really complex.  (Using your terminology, it would not be just looking at the servers in a data center to try to determine the websites contained therein... it would be also reading every single hard drive and examining every single network transaction as they occurred in real-time, and then keeping and using a virtual model of all of that)  I doubt that I'd ever see this type of technology in my lifetime.  But, that does not mean that it is impossible, just that it isn't here.

You are concerned in this discussion that one person could never know exactly what another person knows and feels, that other person's experiences.  OK, you cannot record "anger".  But, you can record the states of all of the nerves involved in triggering the emotion, and in theory you could transmit that to another person's emotional centers, or cause that other person's emotions to trigger in a highly similar manner.

True, you have your own complex nervous system, and it would not exactly be able to interpret someone else's.  I will concede that, in all probability, one could never know exactly what another experiences.  But, more probably, one could produce a simulation that had a high level of confidence.  It is a matter of making you feel a simulacrum of the other person as captured from their nervous system and reproducing that as closely as possible.  For instance, when another person perceives the color blue, you can compare it to your experiences, by stimulating your optic areas with an "overlay" of another person's optic area activity.  (Perhaps their blue might seem yellowish to you.)  You could feel their experience of pain in a similar manner.

The states and actions of the cells, the composition of the cells, is what together generate activity that allow a mind's computation of a model of the world, a model of the being's physical state, memory, and various perceptions.  The details of neurons, the brain, and the mind are only a mystery for now, not forever.  The physical states of the cells and systems can be read and mapped to produce similar stimulation to another person, there is no physical law that prevents this, just engineering limitations. 

(If we wanted to, we could probably start doing it now with simpler nerve systems.  We could probably fairly easily develop the technology to "hook up" one person's heartbeat to synch to another's, for instance....)

But, if you want to focus instead on the poetry of a cathedral, you can still have that, too.
Survey results coming soon!

Offline Noman Peopled

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1904
  • Darwins +24/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • [insert wittycism]
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #79 on: July 26, 2010, 04:56:56 AM »
Burden of proof.
What I'm being challenged on here is not the specifics of my idea, but the possibility that ideas outside of the mainstream can be considered at all.
No, what's in question is by what standards ideas outside the mainstream can be considered.

Quote
Which is why I say that awareness doesn't need to be mathematically proved.
Indeed it doesn't. But what follows from that and how do we check if our conclusions are correct?
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
-xphobe

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #80 on: July 26, 2010, 07:35:37 AM »
So you admit "seeing" is, at least in part, the result of information traveling down the optic nerve to the brain.
Seeing through your eyes involves your optic nerve. Seeing the same thing in a dream does not involve your optic nerve. When you talk about 'information' traveling, what do you really mean? Are you saying that photons are units of information? How do you think that works?

My way is that since we are the living insides of the eye, the retina, the optic nerve, and the visual cortex, our visual awareness is composed entirely of the changes in those tissues, cells, molecules, and atoms. There is no conversion of photons to 'information', there is only the effect of illumination upon various organizations of matter. That is the information. We are that information.

Quote
Then why do you redefine "seeing" to require a photon to end up in your brain like you do here:
And, why you persist in the same pointless definition here:
You are the one who asserts that we see photons. I'm just trying to show how unlikely that would be.
Quote

  • J.T. Mendonca, M. Marklund, P.K. Shukla, G. Brodin, Photon acceleration in vacuum, Physics Letters A, Volume 359, Issue 6, 11 December 2006, Pages 700-704
  • V V Dodonov,  Resonance photon generation in a vibrating cavity, 1998 J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 31 9835
  • A.V. Dodonov, E.V. Dodonov, V.V. Dodonov, Photon generation from vacuum in nondegenerate cavities with regular and random periodic displacements of boundaries, Physics Letters A, Volume 317, Issues 5-6, 27 October 2003, Pages 378-388,

These types of experiments don't prove the existence of a photon particle (well, only one of the ones you list is free to read, so I chose that one), they presume the existence of a photon particle to begin with and then apply that mathematically to the behavior observed in the semiconductors and reflective materials being used. A Fabry-Perot Resonator/Interferometer/Optical cavity is an assembly of physical materials. The external behaviors of those materials under various conditions can be understood through mathematics, but that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm not saying the math is wrong, and I'm not expecting that anyone would be publishing a study without presuming the existence of the photon, just as I would expect pre-Copernican astronomers to publish astronomy which presumes epicycles. For more than 1500 years the Ptolemaic epicycle was considered scientific fact:
It even looks a little like a bubble chamber.

The Standard Model has not even been around for 40 years. It isn't a timeless infallibility, it's a work in progress and it's famous for invoking some puzzling logic to resolve the apparent paradoxes in it's findings. I think that subatomic particles could very well be the 21st century version of 'adding epicycles'.

Quote
Since when is that a requirement?
Since our bodies require instruments made of matter to manipulate with our hands and observe with our eyes.

Quote
Keep it up. The argument from ignorance fallacy does get more convincing the more you repeat it.
It sounds like it's working on you.

Quote
Except this...
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=14281.msg334657#msg334657
I think that I answered that already, here, but I'll repeat. No traveling communication or energy is required between particles if the particles are essentially part of the same thing, just as no communication or energy is required for 79 protons to know how to act like gold. We are looking at the underpinnings of ourselves and our cosmos here, it's what we're made of - how our thoughts and experiences as well as body and environment function. The Billiard Ball theory is a thing of the past. Relativity, the unconscious, indeterminacy, the Observer Effect, Incompleteness have forever shattered the fantasy of an observerless cosmos of pristine objects.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #81 on: July 26, 2010, 09:23:20 AM »
I think that the privateness of qualia (as defined by D Dennett in Wikipedia's entry) is subject to that privateness only for now.
I agree, and your points here are valid, but the territory you're covering is more conventional and familiar than what I'm looking at. You're only looking at 'the easy problem of consciousness'. It's not the privateness of qualia that makes it unquantifiable. As you say, it's just a matter of time before we can connect brains through a human SCSI. That's a completely different thing from being able to quantify and calculate qualia...to be able to create new primary colors or design entirely novel forms and channels of perception.

From that link, here's how David Chalmers describes the difference between the easy and the hard problems of consciousness:
Quote
The easy problems and the hard problem

There is not just one problem of consciousness. "Consciousness" is an ambiguous term, referring to many different phenomena. Each of these phenomena needs to be explained, but some are easier to explain than others. At the start, it is useful to divide the associated problems of consciousness into "hard" and "easy" problems. The easy problems of consciousness are those that seem directly susceptible to the standard methods of cognitive science, whereby a phenomenon is explained in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. The hard problems are those that seem to resist those methods.

The easy problems of consciousness include those of explaining the following phenomena:

    * the ability to discriminate, categorize, and react to
      environmental stimuli;
    * the integration of information by a cognitive system;
    * the reportability of mental states;
    * the ability of a system to access its own internal states;
    * the focus of attention;
    * the deliberate control of behavior;
    * the difference between wakefulness and sleep.

All of these phenomena are associated with the notion of consciousness. For example, one sometimes says that a mental state is conscious when it is verbally reportable, or when it is internally accessible. Sometimes a system is said to be conscious of some information when it has the ability to react on the basis of that information, or, more strongly, when it attends to that information, or when it can integrate that information and exploit it in the sophisticated control of behavior. We sometimes say that an action is conscious precisely when it is deliberate. Often, we say that an organism is conscious as another way of saying that it is awake.

There is no real issue about whether these phenomena can be explained scientifically. All of them are straightforwardly vulnerable to explanation in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. To explain access and reportability, for example, we need only specify the mechanism by which information about internal states is retrieved and made available for verbal report. To explain the integration of information, we need only exhibit mechanisms by which information is brought together and exploited by later processes. For an account of sleep and wakefulness, an appropriate neurophysiological account of the processes responsible for organisms' contrasting behavior in those states will suffice. In each case, an appropriate cognitive or neurophysiological model can clearly do the explanatory work.

If these phenomena were all there was to consciousness, then consciousness would not be much of a problem. Although we do not yet have anything close to a complete explanation of these phenomena, we have a clear idea of how we might go about explaining them. This is why I call these problems the easy problems. Of course, "easy" is a relative term. Getting the details right will probably take a century or two of difficult empirical work. Still, there is every reason to believe that the methods of cognitive science and neuroscience will succeed.

The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect. As Nagel (1974) has put it, there is something it is like to be a conscious organism. This subjective aspect is experience. When we see, for example, we experience visual sensations: the felt quality of redness, the experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field. Other experiences go along with perception in different modalities: the sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothballs. Then there are bodily sensations, from pains to orgasms; mental images that are conjured up internally; the felt quality of emotion, and the experience of a stream of conscious thought. What unites all of these states is that there is something it is like to be in them. All of them are states of experience.

It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory experience: the quality of deep blue, the sensation of middle C? How can we explain why there is something it is like to entertain a mental image, or to experience an emotion? It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does.

If any problem qualifies as the problem of consciousness, it is this one. In this central sense of "consciousness", an organism is conscious if there is something it is like to be that organism, and a mental state is conscious if there is something it is like to be in that state. Sometimes terms such as "phenomenal consciousness" and "qualia" are also used here, but I find it more natural to speak of "conscious experience" or simply "experience". Another useful way to avoid confusion (used by e.g. Newell 1990, Chalmers 1995) is to reserve the term "consciousness" for the phenomena of experience, using the less loaded term "awareness" for the more straightforward phenomena described earlier. If such a convention were widely adopted, communication would be much easier; as things stand, those who talk about "consciousness" are frequently talking past each other.


This is exactly what he's talking about. We're talking past each other because we're referring to different aspects of consciousness entirely. I'm not talking about the objective mechanics of consciousness, I'm talking about the subjective experience of consciousness. One can be modeled mathematically, and one cannot. To model experience is to reduce it to something else. You can communicate aspects of experiences and you can share experiences to some extent, but you cannot express an isolated experience purely through mathematics. You need an experiencer to have an experience.

Quote
A nerve is only a cell.  It fires, sending impulses. The chemistry and physics behind this are completely understandable, and nervous systems are just another level of complexity...

You'd have to "read" all the nerves from a bodily system you were monitoring continually, it would be really complex.  (Using your terminology, it would not be just looking at the servers in a data center to try to determine the websites contained therein... it would be also reading every single hard drive and examining every single network transaction as they occurred in real-time, and then keeping and using a virtual model of all of that)  I doubt that I'd ever see this type of technology in my lifetime.  But, that does not mean that it is impossible, just that it isn't here.

You are looking only at the exterior of the system. The routers and hard drives only contain microelectronics, not the internet that we experience. The internet without any users or without any screens or i/o devices for them to access and create the content with is just an intercontinental maze of warm wires and flickering diodes. Facebook is not just 'another level of complexity' of those wires and storage mechanisms. It's not mathematically understandable and predictable through reverse engineering the behavior of microprocessors.

Without an experience of a human being using Facebook to compare it with, to understand the purpose for it's users, there is not likely any possibility of describing the phenomena observed on a router or hard drive in a meaningful way beyond the fifth layer (Session layer). Presentation and Application layers require the presence of an end user to be discovered and understood. The same is true of consciousness. Not because it's private, but because it's the experience of the inside of matter and not the observation of the outside of matter.

Quote
You are concerned in this discussion that one person could never know exactly what another person knows and feels, that other person's experiences. 

No, not at all. I'm saying that we actually do know more or less how other people feel. We see their faces, we hear their words - that's our own consciousness imitating their expression. Our electromagnetic state shares their electromagnetic state to some extent. This is what a human relationship consists of. All of our sense and senses are imitations of the world within and without. My blue is probably more or less your blue. It's the blue that these guys show us (which are in turn, amplifications of their molecular subjectivity, which draws from their shared atomic order):

"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline MockTurtle

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 798
  • Darwins +4/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • The power of reason compels you!
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #82 on: July 26, 2010, 11:55:21 AM »
No traveling communication or energy is required between particles if the particles are essentially part of the same thing.

Clearly you didn't understand any of my post, but just in case, can you explain how energy is conserved in Compton scattering in a way consistent with observation?

Quote
, just as no communication or energy is required for 79 protons to know how to act like gold
Are you suggesting that there is something latent in protons that "knows" that when 79 of them
(plus a number of neutrons) are combined that they they should behave a certain way independent
of the electromagnetic force interacting (that is "communicating") with electrons in the various shells?  Also, if no energy is required, are you discounting the strong and weak forces as well? 

If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline Jim

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2462
  • Darwins +11/-1
  • Born Again Atheist
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #83 on: July 26, 2010, 01:43:10 PM »
@Immediocracy: the "hard" problems you discuss above have a quality that makes them resolvable.  It all comes down to the fact that the brain (the source of what we call "mind") is a physical thing which has physical processes that could be interprete.  If a physical thing can create and store information, no matter in what manner or what type, that information can theoretically be read, captured, and used.  That's the root of my position here.

------------

I could come up with a "cartoon" for memory/experience right now: certain cells trigger a cascade of firings in other connected cells, in a certain sequence.  And when the pattern of those firings arrives at "reflective" cells the memory or experience is revealed internally.  This would work whether it is the internal experience of the "color blue" which starts at the retina, or whether this is the internal experience(s) of a long-dead aunt which starts at some "memory root cell". 

Now, things do get muddy at a certain point.  Even if we were to hook up a person's every neuron to accurately read their workings, we would not know what the memory of the long-dead aunt was.  We could know what it was like (the emotional centers are changed like so, physiological systems change in another way, introspective vision surfaces do such-and-such, etc.)  After study, we may know all of the qualities of the memory.  We could transmit that set of information/signals to another person, B, and they could feel as you feel.  But as that person B's detailed neural architecture is different from the source (you have a distinct, incompatible set of memories and individual nerve arrangements from other people) and the details of memory might remain opaque.

A couple of interesting exceptions, here.
- It is possible that memories (or experiences-being-relived ) are patterns of nerve firings that "end" on internally-refective clusters.  There is quite a bit of evidence that prioperception, vision and hearing memories operate in this fashion (sorry, I have no sources to list, but I have read articles covering this regarding dreaming -- dreams, which are triggered internally, activate those areas in absence of external stimuli). 

Maybe all other experiences are similar to the "easier" experiences like vision...there might be a time-experience-cluster, emotion clusters, hormone-triggering clusters, etc, all just need to be fired in the right pattern to relive the experience.  Person B might not ever know the details of A's memory of Aunt Ida, but they may be able to experience the very same senses of "happy times many years ago", "running as a child", "personal warmth", "feeling loved", "hugs", "fright at impending death", "profound sadness and emptiness".  Perhaps one might be able to transmit person A's memory of Aunt Ida's face and smell.  Details?  Maybe not, but maybe the transmitted memories would have all of the important qualities, nonetheless, producing very good fidelity (which is acceptable in many other arenas of information exchange between humans). 

One might find out that this is all memories are made of.

- As part of an experiment, you "hook up" two people over a very long period of time.  I'd predict that individual subjectivity would crumble even more.  One person's thoughts and feelings would actually form another's, and verse visa.  The dividing point between one and another would be very blurry.  While the person B would not have the same "sharpness" of the memory of person A's aunt Ida, for instance, person B would have the cumulative effects of the growing memories of person A's aunt Ida in their own mind, affecting their own development.  One person's experiences directly create another person's daydreams, so to speak.

------------

This is just all fun speculation until I come out with Jim's Amazing Neural Recording and Transmission Apparatus™.  I will be sure to include plenty of brass knobs and tube amplifiers in its design.

But, the speculation provides a logical backdrop to illustrate that for any set of information, even if it resides in the human brain, one just needs to figure out how to read and use the information.  The brain just happens to present a monstrous parallel processing structure and a mountain of data to sift.  While I might be inclined to agree that some qualia are "hard", they are just collections of information in a particular system, revealed in a certain way with a measurable amount of error or fuzziness.  I am not inclined to think that they will never yield to detailed analysis.  To assume that math or science can never be applied to information produced from a particular kind of physical system is erroneous.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2010, 01:46:48 PM by Jim »
Survey results coming soon!

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #84 on: July 26, 2010, 01:43:29 PM »
Clearly you didn't understand any of my post, but just in case, can you explain how energy is conserved in Compton scattering in a way consistent with observation?
The observation is the same whether explained by Standard Model QED or my QCD+QED model. All that is observed is nature of electronically stimulated substances - of an X-Ray tube, a calcite crystal, an ionization chamber and a conscious, trained human observer. The experiments neither confirm nor deny the existence of a particle, they just show that if you treat them like a particle intellectually, it works. I'm not denying that, but we know that through the double slit experiment, it also works when you don't treat them like a particle.

I would explain how 'energy' (behavior and quality of matter) is 'conserved' (balanced) in Compton experiments by suggesting that materials can and do cooperate with each other in a highly ordered and reliable manner. Events occur simultaneously on many levels of reality such that A = B can become A- = B+ without there being a physical agent in between forcing their balance mechanically. It's an A+-B-+ system. When they are grouped together by an observer, the observation is that they behave as a group.

You don't need particles to balance your checkbook, and perhaps material events in timespace at the atomic level holographically reflect the integrity of the whole event, including observation, rather than just a transfer of energy through space. Excitement at the atomic level is shared or inspired - and it occurs according to these mathematical descriptions not because they tell us about reality, but because they tell us about our observation.

Quote
Are you suggesting that there is something latent in protons that "knows" that when 79 of them
(plus a number of neutrons) are combined that they they should behave a certain way independent
of the electromagnetic force interacting (that is "communicating") with electrons in the various shells?  Also, if no energy is required, are you discounting the strong and weak forces as well? 
I'm suggesting that there is something latent in the Cosmos that defines 79 protons (and neutrons) as behaving together as gold. Proton-ness itself includes the behavior of 79 = Au. It requires no communications or energy to accomplish this memory/identity/communication.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Immediacracy

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #85 on: July 26, 2010, 02:27:01 PM »
@Immediocracy: the "hard" problems you discuss above have a quality that makes them resolvable.  It all comes down to the fact that the brain (the source of what we call "mind") is a physical thing which has physical processes that could be interprete.  If a physical thing can create and store information, no matter in what manner or what type, that information can theoretically be read, captured, and used.  That's the root of my position here.
I understand that, I'm just saying that awareness is different from information. Information is the contents of awareness and not the other way around. The brain matter doesn't change much between being dead, asleep, or alive. The brain doesn't care much if you run over it with a truck. The living process inside the brain would care a lot though. There is a great difference between being dead and alive for the resident of that brain.

Quote
I could come up with a "cartoon" for memory/experience right now: certain cells trigger a cascade of firings in other connected cells, in a certain sequence.  And when the pattern of those firings arrives at "reflective" cells the memory or experience is revealed internally.
Revealed to who? Internally where? How do you get from electrochemical spasms and secretions that don't know anything about anything to a sentient being who knows he wants blueberry pancakes? How do you make automatic material processes know or care about their own existence?

Being able to map the functionality of memory or share experience between people isn't the same as understanding what experience or memory is.

Quote
But, the speculation provides a logical backdrop to illustrate that for any set of information, even if it resides in the human brain, one just needs to figure out how to read and use the information.

We already know how to read and use the information - that's what consciousness is. What you're talking about is being confident that we can export consciousness into data that doesn't need to be experienced to be understood. I think that is unlikely to be possible. Your scenarios involve transmitting experience from brain to brain, which is the easy problem, and is technologically inevitable. What I'm talking about is 'what it's like to be something'.

Quote
To assume that math or science can never be applied to information produced from a particular kind of physical system is erroneous.
That's your opinion. My opinion is that you still are not looking at the hard problem at all, but just calling the easy problem hard.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline MockTurtle

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 798
  • Darwins +4/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • The power of reason compels you!
Re: More Of My Pointless Background Noise On Light
« Reply #86 on: July 26, 2010, 03:06:13 PM »
... but we know that through the double slit experiment, it also works when you don't treat them like a particle.
No.  The double slit experiment shows both wave and particle nature.  The interference pattern you see is caused by the wave nature, but the actual energy transfer to the screen always occurs in discrete quanta as would be expected from particles.

Quote
Events occur simultaneously on many levels of reality such that A = B can become A- = B+ without there being a physical agent in between forcing their balance mechanically.
Assume A and B are one light-second apart. Assume C is one light-second from A in the opposite direction. we measure A becoming A-. Why are B and C never inspired to show effects from the same event? Clearly they can't communicate across a two light-second gap in one second.  You say that
they don't communicate, but they just "know".  That doesn't fix the problem.  How do they "know" faster than the speed of light?

Lets assume for a second that all particles  know about events effecting every other particle and there is no speed limit to this knowledge. Why do we need to wait a full second for shared or inspired events to cause an  effect at either B or C?  Why is the speed of this knowledge sometimes limited to light speed and other times practically unlimited?  What in nature shows these effects?


Quote
I'm suggesting that there is something latent in the Cosmos that defines 79 protons (and neutrons) as behaving together as gold. Proton-ness itself includes the behavior of 79 = Au. It requires no communications or energy to accomplish this memory/identity/communication.
If properties are not dependent on the electron structure, why does the Schrödinger equation only predict the Hydrogen spectral series when the electron structure is considered?  Can your model  predict that without electromagnetism?  I'd love to see the math on that one.

If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac