On Oct 20, 1:51 am, Terren Suydam <terren.suy...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey Craig,
> Sorry for not answering sooner. I am very busy at the moment and
> realistically I cannot participate to the degree I'd like to. So this
> may be my last reply... I will try to keep it short.

No problem, I understand.

> > Emergent properties of electromagnetism are also electromagnetic, are
> > they not? Electromagnetism is intentionality on every level, it's just
> > that low level intentionality might be almost unrecognizably primitive
> > to us (or not - maybe it's as familiar as the feeling of holding and
> > releasing). Emergence is a bottom up concept that I think takes for
> > granted high level pattern recognition. It's useful instrumentally but
> > I think ultimately fails at explaining anything on a cosmological
> > level. Emerges from where? Why? It ignores perceptual frame of
> > reference entirely and models the universe as an object with
> > spontaneous magical properties.
> Emergence is pretty weird.

Yes. That's why it fails. It doesn't make sense.

>I don't really have an answer for you, but
> it seems pretty clear to me that you get these discrete levels of
> emergence which function as ontologies. Chemistry is a level above
> physics and, for example, diffusion and the arrow of time emerge from
> the physics account, in which the dynamics are time-reversible. It is
> mysterious to me, and fascinating. I wish I had an explanation for
> you.  But given that the ontologies we can describe at the level of
> physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy, psychology, and sociology, are
> all 3p describable, the perceptual frame of reference is shared by all
> of us to the extent that we agree on the formal descriptions.

Sure human frames of reference are shared by all of us, we're all
human. We're all about the same general size and have the same
perceptual refresh rate.

> We
> choose to model the universe with these levels and ontologies in mind,
> because it is the most profitable way to make sense of the world. But
> nobody is claiming that these things have magical properties, even if
> it is a bit mysterious as to how these levels arise. Maybe somebody
> better versed in the concept of emergence can make more sense of it
> than me.

Maybe the concept of emergence is a just-so story.

> > > But I can't make sense of your account. How
> > > can something be low level and high level at the same time?
> > How can it not? Level is in the eye of the beholder. What does the
> > universe care for our idea of 'level'?
> But we're talking theories - ways of modeling the universe. The
> universe doesn't care about any of our models or theories. The point
> is, I don't find it coherent to talk of the same phenomenon existing
> at multiple levels, when in every case I've seen, the dynamics from
> one level to the next are completely independent.

Completely independent? Like what? Cells that are immune to chemical
changes? Languages that emerge without psychology? I can't think of
anything that is independent from one level to the next. All parts of
the cosmos are interdependent on some level.

> > > The
> > > different levels of reality that emerge at increasing orders of scale
> > > are characterized by completely independent dynamics.
> > Characterized independently to us. Only to our perceptual frame of
> > reference, our observations as creatures of a specific size and
> > velocity. Frame of reference is everything. A nuclear bomb treats
> > human beings and granite buildings alike, as matter. It doesn't
> > resolve subtle levels of emergence, it addresses the whole protocol
> > stack at the physical level. Booom.
> I'm talking about science which is an intersubjective endeavor in
> which we all agree to a reference frame called "objective reality"
> which we then fill with our shared constructions like objects and
> laws.

We are at the point that we can no longer define reality as objective.
Objective is just a compass point within the phenomenological

> > > What do you mean by "going both ways"?  Causality really does not
> > > cross levels. All we can say is that higher levels emerge
> > > from/supervene on lower levels.
> > Say that I decide to paint a picture of a creature that I have
> > imagined. Like Cthulhu's more evil twin or something. How are the
> > lower levels of neurological activity which govern my fine muscle
> > movements, holding the paint brush, dipping the paint, etc not
> > supervening on my higher level preferences? I and my fictional vision
> > are driving the bus. Causality routinely crosses levels. That's what
> > this conversation is - a personal, voluntary, high level semantic
> > enterprise which pushes low level fingertips, keystrokes, internet
> > switches, computer screen pixels, retina cells and neurons on the
> > remote end. You have to look at the big picture from a more objective
> > perspective. Your view is blindered by conventional wisdom of the 20th
> > century.
> I think I incorrectly used the word 'epiphenomenal' to refer to my
> understanding of consciousness and will. Two things I generally assume
> to be true are: the world is deterministic (above the quantum), and
> that consciousness is real. I'm not in the business of explaining away
> consciousness. I want to understand how it emerges. I have my own pet
> theories which I assure you go beyond the conventional wisdom of the
> 20th century. I'll get a little bit into that below.
> I think I will also retract my statement about causality not crossing
> levels, but only to agree with exactly how Bruno characterized it.
> That high-level 'programs' can be emulated on a deterministic low-
> level universal machine in a way that crosses levels. The 'program'
> that genetic/cultural evolution has instilled in us is a bit different
> from how we normally conceive of software, but the principles are the
> same - that there is an essence a simulation going on, one that
> supervenes on a deterministic substrate.

I won't call them programs because I don't think that is what is going
on. A program is an a-signifying script which manipulates a process
from the outside. That is not what we are. As a high level awareness
of a human life, our low level neurology supervenes upon our choices.
Our decisions actually are those low level processes, only the first
person view of them.

There is no simulation going on. We are present in our own native
perceptual niche of the universe. To believe in simulation is to
mistake extra-perceptual niche frames of reference for supervening
realities when in fact they only appear as such because that is how
frames of perceptual reference work - interior is fluid; experience
through time, exterior is static; substance across space. All
determinism and indeterminism are interdependent.

> > >If that gives you problems in seeing
> > > how we could have a phenomenological experience of will, then that is
> > > a failure of imagination on your part.
> > It's not my problem, it's everybody's problem. I'm being rhetorical.
> > Why and how do you imagine that a phenomenological experience of will
> > exists if it is utterly superfluous?
> It's not superfluous. Believing that you have a will reflects a
> functional self-model which is useful in social relations.

That's a just-so story. Would it help a network router to have an
experience of will?

> > >Unless, you can come up with a
> > > principled argument as to why, for one, "there could be no reason or
> > > mechanism for us to care about anything,"
> > There can be no reason because it would not be necessary if our
> > actions were all actually (secretly) involuntary. Why would a wind up
> > toy need to care about anything? How would it help the gears spin? I
> > don't see that it needs much argument, the proposition of will is a
> > direct ontological contradiction of determinism.
> There is some subtlety in the argument, but the idea is that there is
> real agency - meaning voluntary action - it's just that any given
> organism may be composed of many agents vying to express the global
> (to the organism) actions that would satisfy some need.

If there is real agency, then those agents have will.

>The illusory
> aspect of will is that it springs from a single integrated source.
> Basically we have many wills,

Yes, I agree. That's not what I'm arguing against. Of course we have
many internal influences, but that doesn't mean that whichever ones
come out on top don't count collectively as a single will. The many
wills also have many sub wills. That's not a deterministic substrate

> but evolution selected us to believe in
> only one, because apparently there is an advantage to doing so.

I don't think evolution does that, since all organisms act with
presumed psychic integration most of the time. It's just the nature of
motive phenomenology - it is subtractive and de-cides; kills off
unselected options and ambiguity. It isn't selected because it's
advantage, it is selection itself. Evolution and motive are the
objective and subjective views of the same thing - teleonomy in third
person, teleology in first person. Motive does not evolve as an
advantage, motive is evolution, it is advantage.

> We can
> speculate on that advantage but it is almost certainly related to
> social competence.

Evolutionary biology is the great religion of the early 21st century.
I'm not saying that it's not a good way of understanding a great deal
about what we are, but it is pathological to compulsively tie every
human experience back to survival and reproduction. Of all organisms,
human beings are a blatant counterexample to that kind of simplistic
thinking. Almost nothing that people care about in the 21st century
relates directly to survival or evolutionary fitness - it's almost
entirely symbolic and abstract. Soon we will be editing our genomes to
suit our personal preferences.

> Each 'will' or agent *might* be modeled psychologically as some aspect
> of the organism that needs to meet a need, where need can be defined
> biologically (oxygen, water, food, sex), or culturally (status,
> fellowship). Each of those might be related physically to some
> emergent neural circuit that could be identified in principle in the
> brain. The reality is probably absurdly more complicated than that,
> and maybe I'm way off. But it's a start for understanding how
> psychology could emerge from the brain.

Why a one to one correspondence between will and need? Why wouldn't
each aspect of the self, each with many potential needs at different
times be represented by a different area of the brain? When one of
those aspects wants something then we feel it. If it makes sense to
the rest of us to satisfy that need first, then we do that.

> > There can be no mechanism for us to care about anything because care
> > has no physical ingredients. How do patterns which are purely physical
> > arithmetic logic come to care about their foregone conclusions?
> > Equations don't care.
> See above.

I don't see anything that you've said that addresses this.

> > >and for another, how
> > > causality can "go both ways".  Rhetoric won't do. I need detailed
> > > arguments.
> > (Explained above) You have to start by grounding yourself in the
> > reality that causality does indeed go both ways, and that it is the
> > ordinary condition and circumstance in which you find yourself in. It
> > is only because you are part of this moment in the history of Western
> > culture that you are willing to allow the theoretical logic of the
> > microcosmic models we have established to contradict the living
> > reality of your own experience. It is you who needs to supply me with
> > detailed arguments. What is it that is right not reading this? What
> > are it's opinions made of? How do you account for those things as an
> > emergent property of cells?
> Well, again, I have a story for how psychology could emerge from the
> brain, even if it is very rough.

Your story has no explanatory power. You only speculate that there
could be 'emergent neural circuits', which we already know. My
question is how do those circuits come to have experiences and
opinions? Where is this taking place and what is it made of? I already
know the answer, I just want you to see that your view has no answers.

> > > But that is a correct description from the level of single-neuron
> > > dynamics. It is utterly deterministic. If you disagree, then you must
> > > show how, without hand-wavy arguments about will and electromagnetism.
> > A single neuron is like looking at a single pixel on a screen. I will
> > go along with you that it is utterly deterministic - I don't know if
> > that is an absolute distinction or a relative one; it's certainly more
> > deterministic than we are, but sure, let's say they are deterministic.
> It's an absolute distinction. Anything less than 100% determinism more
> or less demands an explanation of why it's not 100%. This is really
> important to understanding your argument.

The explanation is that we have no access to absolute realities. How
would we know if it's appearance of determinism to us is noumenal?

> > In order for them to produce any sort of emergent property, that means
> > that they must have the potential for that property to emerge within
> > them to begin with. You can't make a benzene ring out of six marbles,
> > the atoms themselves have to be Carbon atoms. So right away the atom
> > is not what it seems to be to us when taken out of context as an
> > individual entity.
> > What I am able to understand is that the atom, the pixel, and the
> > neuron are not only a thing in themselves, but they are also the
> > granular 'non-things' of a greater thing as well. That greater thing
> > has greater properties, dynamics, and potentials than the sum of it's
> > parts, and those properties make a completely different kind of sense
> > in their own frame of reference - their world. It is the relation of
> > the greater and the lesser, the high and the low that defines both
> > entities and both worlds. The relation. The sense that is made between
> > all of it. That is reality. No one set of microcosmic laws or cosmic
> > divinities causes it all. It's an autopoietic ontology which can
> > potentially support phenomena of any level of literal realism or
> > spiritual-mysterious experience that we care to investigate.
> ok.
> > > If single-neuron dynamics are not deterministic, then there must be a
> > > random or probabilistic dynamic at play. Roger Penrose thinks so, as
> > > he says consciousness is rooted in quantum effects. So, are
> > > single-neuron dynamics 100% deterministic?
> > It depends what you mean. Are the dynamics of the 452x101 pixel of
> > your monitor 100% deterministic? Doesn't it depend upon what image you
> > choose to put on your screen to determine the behavior of that pixel?
> > Are you talking only about determination as far as how each pixel is
> > illuminated?
> Well, yeah, pixels are 100% deterministic. That's pretty obvious. In a
> cathode-ray tube the pixel glows if it gets hit with a beam of
> electrons. Otherwise it doesn't. But now you're confusing levels by
> talking about what's aiming the beam.

Why is it confusing levels? If you know nothing about how the pixel
works, then you cannot predict when it will illuminate without knowing
where the beam is going to be aimed. It's the same with the brain. We
don't know where the subject's attention is going to aim the
neurological activity.

> > >If not, why not? What is
> > > the *specific* mechanism that makes them non-deterministic?  You
> > > cannot answer "will" as that would be level confusion once again.
> > The specific mechanism is that they are part of a greater system which
> > seems to us subjectively to be not completely deterministic. That
> > mechanism is not manifested directly from the high-level experience to
> > low-level biological behavior - the high level experience corresponds
> > to the greater pattern of brain activity as a whole, the low-level
> > behavior only corresponds to the subjective pixels of that experience.
> > What we call 'charge', 'voltage', 'polarization', 'ionization', etc
> > are all our inferences of what are in fact micro-subjective
> > experiences. Those experiences are what we are made of, and we are
> > what they are made of. It's really that simple. The one is the many.
> I'm sorry, but that just isn't coherent to me. I don't think
> subjective experience can be reduced to huge numbers of micro-
> subjective experiences, such as the ones that the atoms in my body are
> having.

Why not? You agree that our sense of will is actually many wills. All
you have to do is apply that principle to physical matter in general.

> I don't understand how you arrive at that, beyond hand-wavy
> assertions that "Those experiences are what we are made of, and we are
> what they are made of. It's really that simple. The one is the many."
> What is it about subjective experience that leads you to believe that
> it could be reduced to the electromagnetic impulses experienced by
> atoms? That is more or less a rhetorical question.

The evidence is that MRI and TMS correlate directly to human
consciousness. These are technologies which push and pull from
electromagnetic activity. It's not really something to deliberate -
factually consciousness is electromagnetic impulses in the brain. The
thing that I'm saying that is new is that electromagnetic impulses are
not a phenomenon which exists independently of matter - they are just
the subjective experiences of matter on every level. Energy is

I arrive at this through common sense reasoning. The weirdness of
light and heat, of image and awareness. I thought about the speed of
light and how c can be understood as the opposite of stillness. I
thought about how particles that are waves don't really make any sense
and how light does not act like any kind of substance at all...just
like consciousness. From there it's just a lot of looking at the
symmetries between fundamental universals - time v space, energy v
matter, teleology v teleonomy, perception v relativity,
electromagnetic v sensorimotive. Once you focus on the sense the
pattern, it all falls into place more and more. It's simple really,
it's just too shockingly obvious; it's the elephant in every room.

> As a counterpoint to that, it seems to me that subjective experience
> is fairly clearly correlated with the firings of neurons. Electrodes
> that stimulate the visual cortex for example lead subjects to declare
> that they hallucinated some kind of visual phenomenon. Ditto for the
> auditory cortex.


> But you're saying that it goes all the way down to the level of atoms.
> I just don't see it.

You are seeing it right now. Light. That's you seeing through your
visual cortex seeing through your retina cells, whose molecules are
remotely feeling the experiences of distant illuminating substances.
Optics is an accurate representation as far as prediction goes, but
the fundamental assumption of light as a substance traveling through
space I believe is incorrect. Light is a sensorimotive relation
between atoms.

> > Isn't chemistry just electromagnetism scaled up to the next frame of
> > reference? You may be very close to understanding my ideas if you want
> > to: Think of how different and how much richer chemistry and biology
> > are compared to physics. My understanding is that qualitative scaling
> > up which we see on the 'outside' of cells, molecules, and atoms,
> > correlates to a scaling up on the 'inside' which is completely
> > different topologically.
> sure.
> > Instead of just getting larger and slower, the flip side is utterly
> > flipped ontologically. It is not some other dimension of stuff in
> > space, it is experience through time. It has no substance at all. It
> > scales up through experience, aggregating significance amongst atoms
> > to make molecules, molecules to make cells, cells to make organisms.
> > Cells are an experience of molecules. There is nothing that makes a
> > group of molecules part of a cell except that they participate in the
> > cellular function.
> ok, this is a nice story, but I'm starting to wonder like Brent Meeker
> at what point to we cross the line into falsifiability.  How could we
> ever test that a cell's experience is an aggregate of its molecules'
> experience. Your ideas can explain anything you want them to, without
> risking ever being wrong.

I'm just here pointing to the new hemisphere of the world. It's for
others to explore the continents and islands. I would imagine that
just as we developed scopes for the external microcosm and macrocosm,
we will develop experiential scopes for the internal micro and
macrocosm. It may involve implanting a USB port in someone's brain
eventually, but that kind of thing is already going on.

> > You will know if you are getting this when you realize that it's right
> > in front of your face. I'm not talking about any weird non-physical
> > thing, this is all ordinary. It just seems unfamiliar because our
> > whole perceptual frame of reference is designed to insulate the psyche
> > from these other levels of experience - as it should. We are a
> > specific thing, and our view of the universe is specific to that
> > thing.
> My question for you is, what's the prize for subscribing to your
> ideas? I mean, what does it get you?  A way of seeing the world that
> feels right?

I have reconciled mind and matter, established a unified cosmology
which includes consciousness, discovered the sensorimotive principle,
married perception with relativity, redefined electromagnetism and
gravity, time and space. If I am right, I would have made a
significant contribution toward solving every sticky question that has
puzzled philosophers, scientists, and theologians for centuries. Isn't
that enough. Are you telling me it's worth nothing unless I can make a
buck out of it selling a new kind of treatment for bad breath?

> Is there anything you can predict?

Consciousness, order, life, qualia, subjective participation.

> A technology that
> follows from your ideas? Is there anything here except angels dancing
> on pins?

Sure, you could have all kinds of possible technologies. Full sensory
movies. Shared identities. Sensory enhancements verging on time travel
and virtual omniscience. That's not my area though. I'm not Willy
Wonka, I'm just the guy in the crow's nest on the Santa Maria. I see

> > > But for one, now you are committing to a metaphysics of your own
> > > (something you seem to be averse to for whatever reason), and for
> > > another the burden is on you to explain how the phenomenological
> > > realities we experience as humans are somehow made up of the 10^40
> > > (just a guess) subjective experiences of the atoms in our bodies. What
> > > mechanism have you identified that integrates all these
> > > micro-experiences? And again we run into the boundary problems, see
> > > below.
> > Tell me if this is separate from what I've already answered. The
> > mechanism is General Relativity. Just as the flip side of
> > electromagnetism is sensorimotive charge, the flip side of Relativity
> > is Perception. They are the same thing - the tendency of stuff to
> > clump together and fall apart as matter across space, and the tendency
> > of feelings to combine and separate as experience through time. It's
> > stupid simple really, it's just hard to explain. The obstacle is the
> > simplicity - it's just too absurd to consider that (experience * time)
> > is just (matter รท space) turned around, and that makes all the
> > difference. I think it's true though.
> I don't understand the math. Are the units (experience * time)
> equivalent to (matter / space)?

They correlate. I would not say they are equivalent because they
diverge sharply away from that overlap. There isn't a one to one
equivalence between them because each side defines and contains the
other. They are more perpendicular and intersecting than parallel and

> Matter over space is, say, mass/
> distance which is I guess a measure of density. But what is a unit of
> experience?

Experience * time = Significance

>To make the left side units equivalent to the right side
> experience would have to be mass/distance*time. I can't make sense of
> that.  I guess you are trying to say perceptions are held together by
> gravity?

Perceptions are held together by Significance (the opposite of entropy/
gravity). Gravity is just the effect of density on electromagnetic
potency. They are roughly inversely proportionate. Gravity can be seen
from 3-p as a 'force' which makes increases density and entropy
(crushing the life/heat/light out of everything) or it can be seen
from 1-p as a kind of energy drain. Like Kryptonite on an atomic,
molecular, cellular, somatic, geological, astrophysical level.

Actually Kryptonite gives us a clue I think - in that Superman's
powers are caused by the leverage gained moving from one perceptual-
relativistic intertial frame (PRIF) to another, so that the essential
substance representing his native frame of reference acts like
gravity. The superhero myth reflects the mirror image of our
subjective experience - in which we are superlative and omnipotent but
confronted with limitations of our objective experiences, ie it is the
externalization of the subjective territory through super-signifying
character and narrative. We are free inside, but bound by the world
outside. Superheroes are not bound by the outside world but have an
inner Achilles heel. Anyways, just a little sidebar there.

> > > But if will isn't confined to regions of the brain then you have no
> > > story for why some behaviors are voluntary and some are involuntary.
> > It's not that some behaviors are voluntary from an objective point of
> > view, it's that what we consciously are only includes some regions of
> > the brain. What we consider voluntary is what 'we' have direct access
> > to in our role as curator-caretaker of this human organism's life. If
> > we meditate for a long time, it appears that we can expand that scope
> > of voluntary control to a surprising extent if we want to. Maybe 'we'
> > have to earn the trust of the rest of the psyche?
> Suddenly you sound like me. But you are still just making assertions
> (hand waving). It does not follow from your identification of
> electromagnetism with sensorimotive experience that there should be
> any region of the brain that is not imbued with will. The fact that
> you are asserting that there are regions responsible for voluntary vs
> involuntary control again demands some kind of argument from your
> principles or axioms.

I don't know to what degree different regions of the brain are
willful. I think it depends on their role in the organism overall. Not
all parts of the brain need to have a voice in a way that we would be
conscious of. A lot of it is just balancing us while we walk or
deciding what is the foreground and what is the background in what we
see. The main thing is to realize that when we look at parts of the
brain, we are not looking at our native perceptual frame, so we aren't
going to be able to see whatever will may or may not be there. If even
the possibility exists, then we have a way to make sense out of the
relation of will and neurology in terms which honor both the physical
and experiential realities. Our will is holistic, significant
sensorimotive induction through time on global level in the brain
which is reflected in the microcosm as discrete, a-signifying
electromagnetic changes across space.
> > > If I'm superstitious, I might believe I caused the Red Sox to choke
> > > because I lost my hat. Is that will?
> > That gets into a whole different area. When you are looking at a frame
> > of reference greater than yourself and what you can control directly
> > with your body - you are like the neuron in your brain was when you
> > tell it to dip the paint brush in Cerulean blue. Your will is not
> > relevant to whether you caused the Red Sox to choke, but rather it is
> > relative to whether you choose to believe that is the case. If you do,
> > it won't have consequences for the Red Sox, but it may have
> > consequences for your own life - not just the mundane ones of stapling
> > your hat to your head next time, but the induction of superstition
> > into your psyche can open up sensitivities to larger patterns which
> > can be interesting and can also compromise your sanity. The 'rabbit
> > hole' isn't a real place, but that doesn't mean you can't go down it.
> > It's your will that determines how far down you want to go ordinarily,
> > but neurological conditions, substances introduced, etc, can override
> > our will as well (because it's bi-directional).
> that's fine.
> > > > Change
> > > > that you observe in something other than yourself which you cannot
> > > > infer as having intention boils down to electromagnetism.
> > > Isn't this statement as guilty of reductionism as you chastise Stathis 
> > > for?
> > No, I'm just trying to clarify how I think electromagnetism and
> > sensorimotive experience are related. I think they are the same thing,
> > but experienced from opposite perspectives. I'm not saying that
> > feelings must all be understandable in terms of electromagnetism. Just
> > the opposite, they can never be understood in each other's terms, only
> > correlated and synchronized spatio-temporally.
> ok
> > > OK, I'll bite. What are my metaphysics?
> > The idea of consciousness as an epiphenomenon adds an unexplained
> > layer of coherence on top of the physical layer. Where is potential
> > for consciousness located? What is it made of?
> Potential for consciousness is located in particular second-order
> cybernetic organizations, if you want my answer. Many here would
> probably disagree - in fact, the reason I am here is to try and square
> my ideas with Bruno's, which I find more compelling than my own, but
> they may be compatible. But to continue, consciousness is not made of
> anything. Consciousness is what it feels like to be a system that
> feeds-back its perceptual apparatus into a specific kind of recursive
> architecture, the nature of which allows for an autopoeitic model of
> the world to emerge as 1p experience.

That's what I say too. Consciousness is awareness of awareness. But
you are taking awareness itself for granted. 'Organizations'.. of
what? Cyberneticness? To say that it 'emerges' only gives a name to
ignorance. Why not just say that God sprinkles pixie dust on it? This
view of computation is mere incantation, conjuring organization and
feeling out of nowhere. The difference is that I don't say that
experience is nothing, and indeed, if we were not living organisms
participating in these lives, we may very well see the other side of
the tapestry. A universe filled with private experiences unbound by
time, as concrete and tangible as an aircraft carrier. If anything, it
would be the generic vehicles of matter which are ultimately
inconsequential props. It's not necessary to choose sides though. They
are both part of the same senses of reality and define them for each

> > > All I'm proposing is that
> > > will and consciousness emerge from a particular organization that we
> > > refer to as brains
> > Emerge from where though? If they physically exist why do they need to
> > 'emerge'?
> I'm not saying they physically exist. But they do supervene on our
> physical bodies,

I agree. They insist. I don't think that they 'emerge' from somewhere
else though. They're right here, where they've always been.

>if you want to assume our physical bodies are real.
> But they could supervene on any functional replacement of our physical
> bodies, including computer simulations.

That's an assumption that I disagree with. Feeling cannot be
simulated. It is either felt, or it is not. Computers don't even
compute, they just let us compute through them. They are inert.
Computation is empty.

> > It's hard not to take perception for granted but to
> > understand my idea you would have to do that. You have to treat the
> > universe like a computer program - nothing can exist unless the
> > possibility for it's existence is specifically proscribed. The
> > universe needs to have some property of emerge-ness built into it
> > which is conjured by some organizations and not others.
> Now you sound like Bruno. Actually Bruno says the universe is not
> computable even with comp.
> > How can that be justified physically when we can put things together
> > in the same organizations without having the same effect (a pyramid of
> > donuts does not behave the same way as a pyramid of smoke rings.)
> > Organization is important, but what it is that is being organized
> > determines the range of possibilities for emergent properties as well.
> Well, sure. But if the dynamics of the lower level of system A are
> identical to the dynamics of the lower level of system B, then even if
> the objects are different (e.g. concrete vs. simulated) then the
> emergent levels of systems A and B are equivalent.

There is nothing that is objectively identical to anything else in the
universe. Even A and A are not equivalent. Similarity is a (useful)
figment of perceptual acuity. You have seen those close up photos of
sand? http://sandgrains.com/Sand-Grains-Gallery.html

> > > (and, btw, possibly from other kinds of
> > > organizations with certain properties that brains happen to embody).
> > > What am I sacrificing from science?  I'm not saying will and
> > > consciousness aren't real. I am saying they aren't magic.
> > I think that by saying they are epiphenomena, you are saying they must
> > be magic. It's just 'God did it' with different words. By saying they
> > are the same phenomena as electromagnetism but experienced
> > subjectively, we recover subjectivity without sacrificing science.
> > Your way does not recover subjectivity, it just explains it away so
> > that it can only be addressed in a separate universe. The assumption
> > of such an epiphenomenal universe sacrifices the ability for science
> > to achieve closure and unity in it's cosmology. Meaning and feeling
> > are sequestered in a never-never land, with no meaningful connection
> > to the unfeeling, meaningless universe that really 'matters'.
> Well as I said, I don't mean to say 'epiphenomena'. I do have an
> explanation for subjectivity, based in cybernetics.

But how do you explain cybernetics? Where does that come from?

> It is why I am
> sympathetic to the idea that objective processes have subjective flip
> sides.
> > Totally agree. I just don't like the term ego because it's too
> > discrete. I think the reality is more ephemeral and relativistic (as
> > subjects are).  If you think of the senses and motives associated with
> > the mid-range of our perceptual inertial frame, which for us as human
> > beings our mundane mid-range is social and political; i.e. our peer
> > level phenomenology, that is the world which applies to an ego
> > concept. It has no concrete existence on other levels, other than the
> > consequences of it's influences on behavior, personality, etc. The ego
> > isn't a thing, it's more like a turbulence pattern which manifests in
> > the social interference between motive agendas. Cells maybe have the
> > same thing. Maybe cancer feels like narcissism to other cells?
> > > You should check out
> > > Conway's Game of Life. Understanding how higher-order objects appear
> > > and interact with one another can be very instructive given that at
> > > base it is a cellular automata with just three rules.  In fact, some
> > > smarty pants even implemented a Turing Machine on it.
> > Thanks, yeah I know all about it. Not to be condescending, but just to
> > help explain why I'm not interested in these kinds of suggestions to
> > 'look into this or that' is that I've been down that road already. I'm
> > 43 years old. I played LIFE on an Ohio Scientific Challenger 2P in
> > 1978. I've spent most of my life believing exactly as you do now. I
> > don't claim to have even novice level facility with higher math,
> > computer science, or physics, but I am quite familiar with the general
> > principles. This discussion we are having here is only one of a long
> > line of such conversations I have had over the last several years.
> Well, ok, but then you seem to be missing the point of the Game of
> Life. The fact that a Turing Machine can be simulated on Life doesn't
> do anything for you?

Why would that be surprising? The Game of Life and a Turing machine
are two different representations of the same kind of computational

> > My purpose here is only to share my ideas and explain them to anyone
> > who might be interested. I am output only. The only input I even care
> > to consider is anything that would be a direct counterfactual to my
> > ideas. I know all about self-similarity and autopoiesis, abiogenesis,
> > cellular automata, etc. It is compelling, I know. I used to think that
> > too. I used to think that the cosmos was all "pattern", but that
> > doesn't explain enough.
> It's not just about pattern, it is about the impossibility of knowing
> whether we are in a simulation. It's what Bruno's UDA argument so
> beautifully expresses.

Are you in doubt right now that you are not in a simulation? Just as
UM's don't know their own logic, the fact that we don't know the logic
of how we know the universe is not a simulation should not convince us
that we don't in fact know that is the case. To enact the consequences
of belief in impossibility of simulation knowledge is dissociative

> > Sense is more than pattern and patterns which
> > are physical or computational both supervene upon sense. Sense
> > separates the abstract from the concrete and joins the subject and
> > object while separating them at the same time. It's all about sense.
> > Sense in every sense. Cosmos means order and order is what sense
> > provides. No order can exist without it, no pattern can insist without
> > a capacity for pattern recognition.
> I agree sense is a primitive. But the rest of your ideas don't
> automatically follow from that.

You would have to give me an example.

> > > The point is that you think such a narrative is unnecessary, but this
> > > is surely due to your squeamishness about everything supervening on a
> > > completely deterministic level.
> > I'm just being rhetorical. I already know that narrative is part of
> > the cosmos. I'm challenging your view to justify it as physically
> > necessary because I know that it can't be done.
> It's psychologically necessary, for us humans anyway.

Why though?

> I don't even
> know what it would mean for the cosmos to have a narrative. Perhaps in
> the future it won't be necessary for humans to have a narrative.
> > > btw, what does "reflects the evolution of significance in the face of
> > > entropy" mean?
> > That's my theory of significance as the countervailing 'force' to
> > entropy. Just as sensorimotive is the opposite of electromagnetic, and
> > perception is the opposite of relativity, significance is the
> > negentropic quality which concentrates statistical rarities. I call it
> > cumulative entanglement too. Sheldrake is close with 'Morphic
> > resonance' and Bohm with Implicate Order. Significance gives uncommon
> > patterns a lasting impression (temporally), which makes them more
> > influential, which encourages their reproduction until they are either
> > no longer uncommon (and become generic) or until they evolve by
> > connecting with other significant pattens.
> > It's subtractive rather than additive. This might be hard for you
> > because you are grounded in bottom up, additive topology, but think of
> > how the visible spectrum cannot be understood from white, and white
> > cannot be guessed at by mathematically superimposing or mixing the
> > colors of the spectrum. The sense is in the relation. The spectrum and
> > the white and black make each other make sense. They are one thing.
> > Each hue brings out a different aspect - yellow reaches for white
> > naively, indigo-violet withdraws from it. Significance is like that -
> > it pulls us closer to a conclusion, like breadcrumbs on the trail.
> > Whether it's art or science, philosophy, business, etc. whatever
> > subject we consider is striving toward significance (or retreating
> > from it). It's not that life is significant, it's that the
> > accumulation of significance which we can relate to is what we call
> > life.
> > You know how liquid crystal displays change by twisting the polarity
> > (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TN-LCD-schematic-MS-208kB.png)?
> > Think of that relation underlying all of the opposites that I keep
> > bringing up. Existence is created through the twisting and untwisting
> > of the singularity. The twisting makes a pseudo-dualism which helps
> > define the monism in the first place. The monism is nothing but 'that
> > which pretends it's not the monism'.
> > The Big Diffraction is as much of a beginning as an ending, and it
> > pulls the significance out of entropy, collects it like a strange
> > attractor from 'the future' as well as the past. Like the spectrum
> > being diffracted from white light, it already knows where it's going
> > and what is has to do to get there, but in the Twisted Nematic phase
> > which we participate in (existence) we don't see that broad pull, and
> > indeed our own participation can perhaps defy and redefine it. Can we
> > go against 'nature' or is that part of nature too?
> All of that might as well be science fiction. It's a story. It lacks
> critical aspects of an actual theory. I don't understand your purpose
> here on this list. You tell stories and then defend them as if there
> is anything to defend. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but I can't
> fathom how anyone could tell the difference between knowing you are
> right vs. knowing you are wrong, beyond intuition.

Intuition is all that is necessary. My interpretations are no more
science fiction than MWI or other contemporary cosmologies.

> > > Highly evolved primates surely evolved this mechanism of "voluntary"
> > > control because singing and otherwise vocalizing required it.
> > Why would vocalizing, or any other behavior require it? We can talk in
> > our sleep. Birds sing. Why would primates grunts require any more
> > consciousness to generate than the sounds of crickets?
> Well if the higher primates aren't a clear-cut enough explanation for
> you, then let's just jump up to humans, around the time that language
> was emerging. Humans that could link their desires to speech in some
> primitive form probably had an advantage over those that couldn't. So
> voluntary control of the breath was selected for.

You're flipping it around now. You are saying that speech evolved to
accommodate consciousness, which I agree with. Before you were saying
that voluntary control itself emerged out of the requirements of
speech, which I think is obviously inverted.

> > > Far from it, it's an incredible and stimulating challenge to
> > > understand how agency arises from deterministic origins. Nobody here
> > > is running from that. In fact, I could easily turn the tables and say
> > > that those who deny determinism out of fear it denies agency are the
> > > ones who are afraid to consider the empirical facts.
> > Both of those things are true. I call those philosophical extremes
> > ACME and OMMM. "Anything Can Mean Everything" denies objective realism
> > and "Only Material Matter Matters" denies subjective realism - both
> > out of mutually exclusive and opposing fears. Fear of empirical facts
> > and fear of agency. What they both share is the fear of synthesis.
> > That both empirical facts and subjective agency can seamlessly
> > coexist. I don't have that fear. I understand that it is the ordinary
> > way that the universe works and must be accepted as *the* fundamental
> > underlying unity of the cosmos. Once you do that, everything else
> > falls into place and makes sense.
> I guess it's fairly obvious by now, but I don't think you've made your
> case that your philosophy "must be accepted as the fundamental
> underlying unity of the cosmos". That's a pretty extraordinary
> statement for what amounts to a philosophical claim about the nature
> of reality. You may want to hedge that a bit.

Nope. No hedging. It's not 'my philosophy', in the sense that it's
some palliative suggestion for how to think about life, it's an
observation/discovery about what the cosmos actually is. It doesn't
bother me that people don't think I've made my case. That is exactly
what my model predicts.

> > > As far as I can tell, the two biggest problems with your account are:
> > > 1. You conflate vastly different ontological levels by identifying
> > > will, a psychological phenomenon, with electromagnetism, a low-level
> > > physical one.
> > Electromagnetism is only low level if we use low level instruments to
> > detect them. Our ordinary experience, as we can see from MRIs and TMS,
> > is nothing other than electromagnetism in the brain. There is nobody
> > here but us neurons. I require no metaphysics to explain this, it is
> > just the case that we can't see the private side of electromagnetism
> > unless we are the thing that is having the experience. If will is not
> > electromagnetic, how it getting into my fingers to type this?
> See above.

Cybernetics get your fingers to type? The electromagnetism is
unnecessary then?

> > >The problem is not the duality between the objective and
> > > the subjective, but the scale at which these things manifest.
> > That's not my problem because I am clear that sensorimotive perception
> > scales up from low level to high level in the opposite way as
> > electromagnetism (feeling through time not substance across space). We
> > know what our high level experience looks like (flavors, images,
> > memories, etc), and we know what the high level electromagnetism looks
> > like (whole brain MRI),  and we even know what the low level
> > electromagnetism looks like (action potentials in cell membranes,
> > etc.) but we don't know what the sensormotive experience of the low
> > levels look like.
> > This is what nobody is seeing. The high level perception is composed
> > of low level perceptuons, not of low level electromagnetism. The back
> > end of perception is totally opposite. They scale up and down
> > differently. It's all meaning and association, sequence and
> > proportion. There are no absolute gears within gears like atoms are to
> > molecules are to cells. It's not literal. It's not objects nested
> > within each other - it's blended meanings, enriched qualities, unified
> > purposes.
> Perhaps nobody is seeing it because it's counter-intuitive and
> contradictory.

What is the contradiction? Counter-intuitive, sure. We aren't designed
to question what it is that is questioning. Any answer to that is
going to be counterintuitive. Do you think the idea that all you have
ever experienced is just an arithmetic inevitable is more intuitive?

> > > 2. You still haven't rejected determinism at the lowest levels, which
> > > means you actually believe comp is true.
> > Low levels seem to tend to be more deterministic than some high
> > levels. That could be just because they seem that way to us, since
> > subjectivity is going to define anything outside of itself as the
> > opposite of itself, and/or there could be an empirical sense of
> > determinism inherent in the microcosm owing to relative lack of
> > complexity. This seems weaker though since the quantum world has
> > turned out to be so crazy and probabilistic. That suggests to me that
> > either determinism and indeterminism have periodic oscillations in
> > their influence of different scales of the cosmos, or that quantum
> > phenomena are beyond the point where we begin tapping into our own
> > subjectivity 'behind our backs' so to speak.
> > Craig
> Whether a system is deterministic is an objective property of that
> system.

There is no such thing as a truly objective property of anything.

> Subjectivity has nothing to do with it.

For us, there is nothing which can be known independently of

>Since you stipulate
> that consciousness is somehow identified with electromagnetism, which
> is deterministic, then it follows from what you are saying that comp
> is true. Yet you claim comp is false.

Electromagnetism is deterministic in microcosmic and macrocosmic
frames of reference, because we aren't natives of those frames. In our
native frame, electromagnetism is feeling and choice on a human level.
It is not especially deterministic here. It may be the case that this
effect is a function of relation between frames only, or that the
relation of the frames is a function of a more absolute hierarchical
relation among frames. Either way it doesn't matter, for us, we see
atoms as small, galaxies as large, and life as a series of questions
for our participation as well as answers to be accepted.

> You stated that you are here because you are interested in getting
> your ideas out, and that you are only interested in input to the
> extent that it contradicts your ideas. So there you go. Do with it
> what you will.

The only contradiction that you have presented is the same as Bruno's,
which is arithmetic realism. My view is that AR is almost correct, but
that makes it perfectly incorrect. Computation helps us make sense of
the universe, the universe doesn't make sense because computation
somehow demands it's 'emergence'.


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