On Sep 7, 2:25 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 12:11 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> Many discoveries have of course been made in neuroscience in the past
> >> hundred years, eg. mapping brain function and working out its
> >> neuropharmacology, but all these discoveries are consistent with
> >> old-fashioned chemistry. This is in contrast to advances in astronomy,
> >> for example. It isn't possible to explain how the sun shines without
> >> nuclear physics.
> > Since we haven't found the nuclear physics equivalent of explaining
> > consciousness through physics or 'old fashioned chemistry', every
> > discovery in biology, genetics, neuroscience, information science,
> > theoretical physics, psychology, pharmacology, etc potentially
> > redefines our understanding of the 'physics underlying the brain'.
> None of the discoveries in neuroscience have suggested a novel
> mechanism for consciousness.

That's what I mean by 'we haven't found the nuclear physics equivalent
of explaining consciousness through physics or 'old fashioned

>When neuroscientists consider
> consciousness at all they consider the so-called neural correlates of
> consciousness: processes A, B, C, D in the brain are associated with
> experiences E, F, G, H. Processes A, B, C, D never involve anything
> more than basic chemistry. Maybe there is stuff that hasn't been
> discovered yet, but that is the current state of science.

My position is that there in fact my not be stuff there that hasn't
been discovered yet (or none that leads to a breakthrough in
identifying consciousness anyways). All that needs to be changed is
our understanding that in fact A, B, C, D, processes in the brain are
{EFGH} experiences, and that both owe their nature to a common
relation to A,B,C,D(ɥ,ƃ,ɟ,ǝ-pɔqɐ)EFGH sense.

> >> A true theory
> >> of consciousness will, if consciousness affects behaviour, describe
> >> how it will cause ion channels to open where chemistry predicts they
> >> will remain closed.
> > Mine does that. Sensorimotive phenomena within the psyche is the same
> > thing as electromagnetic induction, only seen from the 'inside' or
> > 'throughside'. Since ion channels can be either open or closed,
> > chemistry can't have an opinion on local causes, let alone massively
> > synchronized general causes that we see in the nervous system. Ion
> > channels opening and closing are just the physical shadow of the
> > sensorimotive processes which they host (and vice versa, our
> > consciousness is the psychic shadow of neurochemistry - they are the
> > same thing essentially but opposite things existentially).
> It's difficult to continue this discussion if I've understood
> correctly and you really think that ion channels open and close all by
> themselves.

It works like a wave in a crowd at a stadium, except perhaps each
individual ion channel has maybe 100 billionth of the awareness we
have as far as being able to exert any kind of individuality. They can
sense when it's their turn to open or close and they are motivated to
open or close based on that sense. Like ourselves on a much more
primitive scale, their awareness is the interior of the
electromagnetic order that characterizes their immediate electrolytic
agenda as well as containing essences of higher and lower octaves of
the other levels or frames of relativity which they participate in.
They open and close when they 'feel' that they must. Not feel like an
animal feels, or like a semiconductor 'feels', but like an ion channel
in a cell 'feels' = detects/responds.

If you posit that something makes ion channels open and close, then
you have another mechanism which needs something to make it make the
ion channels open and close, etc and so you get recursion. At some
point something somewhere has do something by itself, or else you are
left with an omnipotent initial condition. Such a condition would
inexplicably result in a deterministic cosmos that is determined to
pretend to itself that it is not deterministic through the experience
of one particular species of primate. The sense that makes can only be
to fulfill a faulty premise, and not to understand the reality of what
the cosmos actually is.

> > Consciousness is not understandable as a physical mechanism, it can
> > only be described as first hand experience (which by definition cannot
> > be 'physical', or else you get homunculus recursion). It can cause
> > events in the brain which have physical, mechanistic patterns, just as
> > software logic can 'cause' consequences in semiconductors, but there
> > is no theory of semiconductor engineering which identifies how logic
> > itself could force transistors to open or close. The logic of software
> > and psyche *is* the activity of the hardware, only seen from 1-p
> > instead of 3-p.
> But software cannot have any effect on hardware. Software is just a
> method of organising hardware so that it will behave in a particular
> way.

To organize something is to have an effect. That's what we do to our
nervous systems, we organize it's activity so that it will behave in a
particular way. If we want to create a Turing machine that solders
it's own circuit boards and fabricates it's own microprocessors that
it then uses, we can do that. High level processes can completely
control and direct low level processes, and vice versa. We can unplug
the Turing machine before it rebuilds itself into a Giant Death Robot.

> A mountain is a mountain because of the movement of tectonic
> plates, not because the spirit of mountain-hood forces the rock into a
> conical shape.

A mountain is a mountain to us because of our own scale of perceptual
reference presents it to us as a complex of images, experiences, and
understandings. One category of understanding is through literal,
geological knowledge, but mountains play different roles in human life
- symbolic, historic, economic, political, etc. You can dream of a
mountain in exquisite detail without any tectonic movement whatsoever
- that mountain, even if a simulation or memory, actually does
literally come into being because the spirit of mountain-hood
constellates within your psyche, and therefore within your neurology.

As far as a literal mountain and it's geologic forces, well you could
say that it's the lighter density of the atmosphere that gives the
plates a vertical place to mountain into, or you could say that the
movement of tectonic plates is a thermal-kinetic energy on a titanic
geological scale which is in fact a spirit of mountain-hood (in our
sense context) an it does force the surface of the Earth to buckle
into a conical shape.

> >> And even short of actually discovering these laws,
> >> it should be obvious that ion channels are in fact opening contrary to
> >> the laws already known.
> > I don't know how many ways I can reassert that this whole notion of
> > consciousness violating any kind of 'laws of physics' is a red
> > herring. It's not what I'm saying. My explanation is much deeper than
> > that. I am saying that the laws of physics are a set complement to
> > subjective 'laws' - they are the opposite. Where physics is about
> > discrete, generic electromagnetic objects in public spaces interacting
> > through probabilistic entropy, consciousness is about compact
> > (cumulatively entangled), proprietary sensorimotive subjects in
> > private times interacting through teleological significance. That
> > symmetry is the important element. That is what sense is, and sense is
> > what the entire cosmos is.
> But does consciousness make the matter in the brain behave in ways
> that cannot be predicted by the laws of physics?

Aaaaaagh. It doesn't seem to matter that I've answered this the same
way half a dozen times I guess. No. I'm not looking at magic or even
anything remotely unconventional here. I'm explaining the relation of
the common, ordinary phenomena which we all agree upon - specifically
so this kind of question does not need to be asked. T

he laws of physics are like the laws of pixels on a monitor. Studying
pixels and their arrangements has very little to say about the content
of what is being seen through the group of pixels as a whole. I don't
need to make up a director colored pixel or a writer, or actor
category of pixels to explain how films are produced or watched. It's
completely orthogonal to the mechanism of presentation. Think of your
brain as a giant HD+++++ TV screen, except that it's inside out so
that the technology is on the outside and the experience is on the

> If so, we should have
> discovered this amazing fact by now. If not, then the brain's
> behaviour could be predicted without reference to consciousness and
> artificial brain components could be made that function the same as
> biological components.

There's this same dead horse false dichotomy again. Please get over
this. I apologize if I'm missing something as far as why it seems
incomprehensible or unacceptable to a lot of people, but to me it's a
fairly straightforward, if unfamiliar concept:

I cannot predict future TV programs by studying how a CRT or LCD panel
works. Not even a little bit. Not in a billion years of constant study
with supercomputers. When I watch TV programs, the physical
characteristics associated with the content (not the content as a
whole of course, just the electronic mapping which correlates to the
optical character of the content) of those programs determine how the
CRT or LCD works - it's an Infinite State Non-Machine (the set of all
possible human movies) that organizes a Finite State Machine (electron
gun, microprocessor, radio receiver, etc).

That FSM organizes the FSM of our retina (really the eyeball and face,
and head are involved too) which organizes the FSM of the optic nerve
and visual cortex, which organizes and informs the Infinite State Non-
Machine of the self which is the recipient of this visual sense. The
visual sense informs one area of the psyche (dealing with image) which
is intimately intertwined with other levels and modules of the psyche
that have other, non-visual sensorimotive experiences: meaning,
cognition, feeling, emotion, language, socialization, etc.

> > By focusing on a particular layer of the physical microcosm (ion
> > channels) and trying to shove the totality of the psyche into it, you
> > can never get any meaningful result. It's like trying to understand
> > the history of cinema by looking at the behavior of pixels on a
> > monitor when watching YouTubes. The information is not accessible at
> > that level.
> > Not only is it not accessible, but applying the information that is
> > accessible (recurring patterns of pixel color and intensity,
> > electronic behaviors of the technology which produces them, software
> > handlers of the Web Browser) would be catastrophically misleading and
> > would in fact become an insurmountable obstacle to ever understanding
> > what movies are, why they exist, what is worthwhile about them, how
> > they are written, directed, and produced, etc.
> Reproducing the pattern of pixels and just the pattern of pixels would
> reproduce the movie.

Yes, but it's an a-signifying reproduction of a text which can only be
decoded by a movie watcher. There is no understanding of the movie
that can be accessed without decoding the text properly.

>The movie would still be what it is even if
> no-one were around to understand it, just as three apples would still
> be three apples even if there were no-one around to count them.

No, not at all. This is one of the foundational axioms of my whole
hypothesis, so I probably don't make enough of an effort to introduce
this concept. An apple to an ant is a mountain. To a worm it's home.
To a camera it's a red circle. From some angles one apple may hide
behind another, so that in a row they may look like one apple. What
you are epistemelogically anchored in is a particular assessment of
the universe which I'm calling the 'Anthropomorphized Hypothetical
Omniscient Voyeur' paradigm. It's a very powerful and useful
perspective, but it's not very useful if you want to understand the
relation between the Self and the Cosmos.

There is no 'movie' to still be 'what it is'. Without human beings to
give it a context, a 'movie' is just a ribbon of colored celluloid or
an invisible pattern that would be on a hard drive platter if there
were anyone around to plug it in. The movie is human sense, it has no
independent existence of it's own, it is quite literally a shared

> >> It doesn't really explain consciousness to say it is fundamental to
> >> matter
> > Why not? Doesn't physics explain matter by saying it is fundamental to
> > the universe? Why would the ability for the universe to experience
> > it's own existence (or aspects of it) not be fundamental?
> >> or fundamental to function and I don't see why one should a
> >> priori be preferred over the other as an explanation.
> > Function and awareness are the same thing essentially, but viewed from
> > opposite vantage points existentially. This is the main idea of my
> > hypothesis, yet I'm not seeing any sign that you understand what that
> > means. It means that there isn't ever going to be a functional recipe
> > for human consciousness, just as a shadow of a fruit tree is never
> > going to actual fruit. The shadow is an aspect of what the tree is in
> > relation to visual perception and optics, not something that is being
> > actively produced within the tree and excreted in a particular shape
> > on the ground.
> You reject the idea that consciousness is fundamental to function, but
> you are OK about it being fundamental to matter. Why? On the face of
> it there are several reasons why attaching it to function seems
> better:
> 1. Matter/energy is a thing, function and consciousness are not things.
> 2. A dead or frozen brain has the same matter but is not conscious.
> The brain needs to function in the appropriate way to be conscious.
> 3. Consciousness seems to closely mirror function. I lift my arm, and
> I have the sensation of lifting my arm. I don't have the sensation of
> bones or neurotransmitters or the other things that go to make up my
> arm.
> These points are not proof that consciousness is fundamental to
> function (as the fading qualia argument purports to be), but they are
> suggestive.

I don't reject that humanlike consciousness is partly a function, but
it's not a purely abstract function of anything - it's a function of
specific substances. We can emulate a lot of these functions in
silicon machines, and in those we can typically make them much faster
and more efficient, but those are the functions which are actually the
least subjective experiences we have. They are where the self reaches
out to connect with and make sense of the objects of it's niche. As
you get more subjective and move closer in to the self, mechanistic
approaches have less explanatory power, and the description becomes
more figurative and colorful. The beam of white light splits into
bands of color that cannot be accounted for quantitatively.

You're right though, function is very important to consciousness, it's
just not the only important factor. It's necessary but not sufficient
to explain awareness.


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