On 10/21/2012 7:14 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 1:55 AM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:
If there is a top-down effect of the mind on the atoms then there we
would expect some scientific evidence of this. Evidence would
constitute, for example, neurons firing when measurements of
transmembrane potentials, ion concentrations etc. suggest that they
should not. You claim that such anomalous behaviour of neurons and
other cells due to consciousness is widespread, yet it has never been
experimentally observed. Why?
How would you set up the experiment? How do you control for an effect
that may well be ubiquitous? Did you somehow miss the point that
consciousness can only be observed in 1p? Why are you so insistent on a 3p
A top-down effect of consciousness on matter could be inferred if
miraculous events were observed in neurophysiology research. The
consciousness itself cannot be directly observed.
This would be true only if consciousness is separate from matter,
such as in Descartes failed theory of substance dualism. In the dual
aspect theory that I am arguing for, there would never be any "miracles"
that would contradict physical law. At most there would be statistical
deviations from classical predictions. Check out
http://boole.stanford.edu/pub/ratmech.pdf for details. My support for
this theory and not materialism follows from materialism demonstrated
inability to account for 1p. Dual aspect monism has 1p built in from
first principles. BTW, I don't use the term "dualism" any more as what I
am advocating seems to be too easily confused with the failed version.
I don't mean putting an extra module into the brain, I mean putting
the brain directly into the same configuration it is put into by
learning the language in the normal way.
How might we do that? Alter 1 neuron and you might not have the same
When you learn something, your brain physically changes. After a year
studying Chinese it goes from configuration SPK-E to configuration
SPK-E+C. If your brain were put directly into configuration SPK-E+C
then you would know Chinese and have a false memory of the year of
Ah, but is that change, from SPK-E to SPK-E+C, one that is
numerable strictly in terms of a number of neurons changed? No. I would
conjecture that it is a computational problem that is at least NP-hard.
My reasoning is that if the change where emulable by a computation X
*and* that X could also could be used to solve a P-hard problem, then
there should exist an algorithm that could easily translate any
statement in one language into another *and* finding that algorithm
should require only some polynomial quantity of resources (relative to
the number of possible algorithms). It should be easy to show that this
is not the case.
I strongly believe that computational complexity plays a huge role
in many aspects of the hard problem of consciousness and that the
Platonic approach to computer science is obscuring solutions as it is
blind to questions of resource availability and distribution.
In a thought experiment we can say that the imitation stimulates the
surrounding neurons in the same way as the original. We can even say
that it does this miraculously. Would such a device *necessarily*
replicate the consciousness along with the neural impulses, or could
the two be separated?
Is the brain strictly a classical system?
No, although the consensus appears to be that quantum effects are not
significant in its functioning. In any case, this does not invalidate
Well, I don't follow the crowd. I agree that functionalist is not
dependent on the type of physics of the system, but there is an issue of
functional closure that must be met in my conjecture; there has to be
some way for the system (that supports the conscious capacity) to be
closed under the transformation involved.
Of course. As I see it, there is no brain change without a mind
change and vice versa. The mind and brain are dual, as Boolean algebras
and topological spaces are dual, the relation is an isomorphism between
structures that have oppositely directed arrows of transformation. The
math is very straight forward... People just have a hard time
understanding the idea that all of "matter" is some form of topological
space and there is no known calculus of variations for Boolean algebras
(no one is looking for it, except for me, that I know of). Care to help
me? The idea of SPK-E -> SPK-E+C, that you mentioned, is an example of a
variation of Boolean algebra!
As I said, technical problems with computers are not relevant to the
argument. The implant is just a device that has the correct timing of
neural impulses. Would it necessarily preserve consciousness?
Let's see. If I ingest psychoactive substances, there is a 1p observable
effect.... Is this a circumstance that is different in kind from that
The psychoactive substances cause a physical change in your brain and
thereby also a psychological change.
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