This post is long...you'd better get a cup of tea first.
Following my recent dialog with Jonathon on dual aspect.. the book
"Mindful Universe" by Henry Stapp reached the top of my reading pile. I
confess to having just had a major fume-out. Chapter 2 did it. It added
to my mood of exasperation recently fueled by frustration that a paper
of mine has been in review for 2 years and counting ... a paper
involving exactly the issues of dual aspect.
My fume out was because Henry Stapp's book is beautifully depictive and
totally explanatory of the insane state of science that I hold
accountable for troubles in the scientific study of consciousness,.
It's OK! I had a rest and calmed down. The smoke has cleared.
It's just that I am so fed up with what I see as *the* major blockage in
science preventing a science _predictive_ and explanatory of
consciousness. Not '/a/' major blockage but '/THE/' blockage. This is
the big one.
For I find that I am inadvertently in a cult. A cult whose clerics are
physicists. I didn't know I was in it. I was enrolled in it before birth
and it has been around me, like poor Truman in the movie 'The Truman
Show', the whole time. The young trainee physicist pups around me here
chant the dogma.... The cult? Its directive says those who do science
behave like ....'this' .... It's a cult where to do science is to do a
certain dance, where the dance controls your mind. The golden rule?
"Thou shalt only make utterances of the following kind and that
is....<enter kind here>". Before I describe <kind> I'd like to add
empirical evidence collected by my own ears from an utterance made by my
physics supervisor, which had me reeling in disbelief. Henry Stapp's
book just completed the picture and caused my head to explode. BTW I met
Henry at Quantum Mind 2003 in Tucson... This is not a personal thing at
all. Henry is great. I hope he's in this forum, but doubt it. In 2003 I
had no idea I'd be still thrashing away at this issue.. enough.
Anyway...I had just outlined to my supervisor, a very competent quantum
mechanic, the basics of a full dual aspect science. <aspect 1> = etc1.
<aspect 2> = etc2. My supervisor looked up at me and said, in respect of
"/But that is forbidden/".
I couldn't believe my ears. Since when? Says who? Why? Things in science
can be 'unwisely adopted', 'critically weak', 'arguably irrelevant',
'refuted', 'subject to constraints', 'inappropriate in context' and so
forth. But '/forbidden/' ??!!???...as in 'locked behind a closed door
marked Do Not Enter?' (or "beware of the leopard", if you are Douglas
Adams). What fantasy science cult is this? /Not the one I signed up for/.
I said I had a paper in review at Foundations of Science for _2 years_.
No rejections, not a shred of critical entanglement with the details of
the work -- again the topic: dual aspect science analytically unplugged.
In my most recent communications the editor seemed as puzzled as I was.
It seems that the subject material involved some kind of taboo!
Yes, a /taboo/. That's where 'what ever it is' is not wrong or bad or
anything else... but we merely 'don't do that' because, well, we
don't.... (i.e. critical argument has left the building).
And now, in Henry Stapp's book I find the taboo laid out in plain view
for all to see. It's dressed up as the 'Copenhagen Interpretation' and
it's been adopted as a cult, which I will now outline by quotation: (see
"Let there be no doubt about this point. The original form of quantum
theory is subjective, in the sense that it is forthrightly about
relationships amongst conscious human experiences, and it expressly
recommends to scientists /that they resist the temptation to try to
understand the reality responsible for the correlations between our
experiences that the theory correctly describes/.
Italicised portion by me. This 'reality' is PRECISELY the <aspect 1> I
described above! Having already made major progress with <aspect 1>, I
'understand the reality responsible', at least to some extent....
....Can you believe the audacity of such a statement? "In worship of the
mathematics rapture, shou shalt not try to even UNDERSTAND the reality
responsible....." In what way is this distinguishable from an utterance
of the Church to Gallileo?
What the hell is going on?
Here's more... it looks slightly different but it's actually the same
cultish dogma at work... Gary Lisi
Lisi, G. (2007) "An exceptionally simple theory of everything."
"We exist in a universe described by mathematics. But which math?
Although it is interesting to consider that the universe may be the
physical instantiation of all mathematics, there is a classic principle
for restricting the possibilities: The mathematics of the universe
should be beautiful. A successful description of nature should be a
concise, elegant, unified mathematical structure consistent with
OK not withstanding all the blather about the literality of maths, of
beauty and the general dominance by mathematics goggles... the key words
"... ... ... consistent with experience"
This 'theory' which purports to explain 'everything' implicitly fails to
explain 'subjective experience'. It merely requires that it be
'consistent with' (contents of) experience, not 'explanatory' or
'predictive' of experience ITSELF. It seems that 'everything', to a
physicist, is defined to be not the 'everything' that you and I think of
as the ambit of science. They want to be 100% mathematical experts of
half of a knowledge base. It's not that knowledge of an underlying
reality is unattainable or unknowable in some way, maybe imperfectly or
incompletely.. but they literally choose /not to know/ or even to try to
know. Nowhere is it apparent to any sane being that such knowledge is
not approachable in some way. This is a */convention/*.... And I hold it
and only it, to be the real culprit behind the entire failure of science
to explain consciousness.
This exact same attitude can be seen in Stapp's book: Read Chapters 1
and 2. It's all over it. There is an egregious misunderstanding. It
confuses/conflates the mere explicit recognition of 'situatedness'
(recognising the observer is inside the system, like a voltmeter is
inside the measured circuit ') with some sort of explanation of
consciousness! The result is that all physicists enrolled in this system
have accepted a metabelief that the mathematics are LITERALLY REAL. "To
explore the natural world is to explore mathematics". Unlike Lisi's
statement, the natural world is NOT described by mathematics, nor is it
made of abstract mathematics, it is described by SCIENTISTS and
everything about description is justified only from that perspective.
OK, enough. The dual aspect science (DAS) reality we inhabit:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
<aspect 1> A separate set of descriptions of underlying reality. (Eg an
electron is 3456 instances of process A acting with any number of
combinations of processes B, C, D adding up to 4567) so that the energy
in a rest frame is Blah Joules. You get the idea.
<aspect 2> is a description derived as an abstraction based on the
appearances revealed within our consciousness. (Eg see any physics book
on electrons -- standard empirical models galore).
<aspect 1> describes the underlying reality, which is responsible for
consciousness! It is actually the only thing 'reified'. We scientists
are made of it, not literal 'appearances'.
<aspect 1> has been declared merely verboten!?!
<aspect 2> is all the usual empirical laws. This _includes_ quantum
<aspect 2> and <aspect 1> must be 100% mutually consistent. This makes
<aspect 1> quite knowable.
<aspect 1> and <aspect 2> are both 'about' the natural world. Neither
are 'literally' the natural world. They are statements of abstract
generalizations in respect of the natural world. Neither has precedence.
BOTH have EQUAL right to empirical evidence (delivered into the
consciousness of scientists)
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Upon what crazy notion are we so fearful of <aspect 1>? I really don't
get it. If anyone can construct anything like a plausible story that
renders <aspect 1> invalid. Tell me... for you'd be able to outright
reject my Foundations of Science paper...something nobody else has been
able to do. I could put myself out of my misery! :-)
I cannot stress how seriously flawed I see the situation is. I see it
as the end game in a 350 year old story where QM is an interim delusion
just as incomplete as the classical view QM is portrayed (see Stapp) as
I refuse to contribute implicitly or explicitly or otherwise be involved
in a science that is actually ultimately a cult. If my PhD can't present
a well informed critical argument of DAS for no other reason that that
of a taboo... then that PhD, to me, is a club membership certificate in
a bankrupt and deluded system. If I am expected to declare dual aspect
science wrong then somebody needs to tell me exactly why -- with real
critical arguments and logic, not the dogma of taboo.
The evidence for this situation is everywhere....Is there anyone else
out there who sees this situation as weird? Why should any of us have to
put up with it?
I'd love to workshop this at TSC2009 in Hong Kong....Jonathon? Would
that be something of interest? That might help. How would it hurt?
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