Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 2843
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Greta » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:35 am

Atla wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:18 pm
Greta wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:56 pm
I think I did break it down:

Neurons and pistons fire

Brains process information and cars move

We have a sense of being and cars do not. So it's that which cars do not have, that we do. "Being", as far as I can tell, seems to feel like multitudes of tiny vibrations quivering away when it comes down to the bottom line of what if feels like to be alive :)
Ah ok so the second one, that's just the self-awareness, most humans seem to have it. Other species that seem to have it are whales, dolphins, great apes, elephants and maybe some more.
(Actually I have the impression that elephants and whales might even have a stronger natural self-awareness than humans.)

The organism start to get the strangest sensation, that it exists, that it's alive, that it's there.

It seems to happen somewhere on the order of 10 billion neurons and is probably not tied to any brain region, it seems to happen because of sheer quantity. Which is why in deep meditation you can get rid of anything except this one.

There are also humans without self-awareness though, talking to "them" freaks me out.. there's like no one there..

(I just asked for clarification because the hard problem of consciousness is about the other "sensation" of being.)
You asked because the hard problem of consciousness is indeed hard :)

I expect that all life shares a sensation of being alive that is simpler than self awareness, the letter being memory reliant (which may relate to your neuron count). Whether we value the sensation of being alive if we lack the memory and self-conception is another matter. It's hard to value one's life in the womb and infancy, aside from knowing they were necessary phases of growth.

I spoke with a pretty informed fellow on another forum who reckoned that consciousness began with neurons, so he considered simple nematode worms, with neurons counted in the hundreds, to be the first (minimally) conscious beings. The line I draw is more inclusive still because I figure that any life form that goes into regular dormant phases to regenerate is necessarily conscious when awake/active, or at least is logically more conscious than in the dormant or sleep state.

As for people with poor self awareness, they will tend to lack the usual self discipline and controls. Out of control behaviour can be unnerving enough in small animals let alone in large post-apes!

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:52 am

Greta wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:35 am
You asked because the hard problem of consciousness is indeed hard :)

I expect that all life shares a sensation of being alive that is simpler than self awareness, the letter being memory reliant (which may relate to your neuron count). Whether we value the sensation of being alive if we lack the memory and self-conception is another matter. It's hard to value one's life in the womb and infancy, aside from knowing they were necessary phases of growth.

I spoke with a pretty informed fellow on another forum who reckoned that consciousness began with neurons, so he considered simple nematode worms, with neurons counted in the hundreds, to be the first (minimally) conscious beings. The line I draw is more inclusive still because I figure that any life form that goes into regular dormant phases to regenerate is necessarily conscious when awake/active, or at least is logically more conscious than in the dormant or sleep state.

As for people with poor self awareness, they will tend to lack the usual self discipline and controls. Out of control behaviour can be unnerving enough in small animals let alone in large post-apes!
Life doesn't share a sensation of being alive that is simpler than self awareness, that's today's standard delusion. "Alive" is just a magical category we make up.

Self-awareness begins when tens of billions of neurons spontaniously start to fire in a new, synchronized way.

Experience itself however is universal, as I have said again again, rocks have that too. That's what the West doesn't know since thousands of years.

A worm with a few hundred neurons may already be able to react to the environment, but is little more than a non-self-aware machine. This definition of consciousness is yet another one.

The sense of self-awareness itself has nothing to do with discipline or controls.

Londoner
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Londoner » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:50 am

Atla wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:17 pm

Me: But the question I asked was what is the equivalent of those units of measurement when we want to measure a quantity of 'will'?

Your question is a categorical mistake and makes no sense.
If "will" is a part of the head, you can measure it with the tools of science. I don't know what kind of machine you want to install into your head to be also be able to do it from the inside, and measure your random personal opinion, which by definition can't be measured objectively because it's your random personal opinion. There are weak and strong willed people, there.
Absolutely it is a category mistake, but it isn't mine. You are the one saying that 'will', what you call a 'part of the head' is measurable by science. I don't think it is. (From what you write above, you seem to accept this, but later on you revert to your original idea.)

But going from what you write above, now there are two things that are 'part of the head'; things like 'will' which cannot be measured by science, and things like brains that can. That is the dualism.
You say: There is a tree. You see it and you also have a concept of it. But neither of those two is the tree itself, therefore dualism. This the most nonsensical argument in this thread.
That is right. There is the tree that can be measured, that is an object of science, but also my internal concept of a tree which can't. The tree that can be measured is fixed in time and space, it has particular attributes. But my concept of a tree is of no particular tree in no particular place. Those seem different, at least to me.
Me: I do not understand your use of the word 'simulation'. What is being simulated? Their experience is simply their experience; if we ask how closely it 'simulates' something that is not their experience, we have again reintroduced dualism. Now there is both experience and the cause of that experience.
Computer simulation, but I'm pretty sure you don't know how those work. And again the tree argument.
Computer simulation of what? This computer is simulating an experience, which not my experience, which I am supposed to compare to my experience...? I cannot make sense of it.
Me: You would have to build very big brains. If each sensation I have depends on their already existing a tiny bit of brain that corresponds to that experience, then when I am born I must already be equipped with a brain which contains every possible experience I might have. For example, unless I happen to already have a brain with bits already dedicated to 'seeing' the images that will appear in next week's TV programs I will not be conscious of them.

Wait what? You want to simulate every possibility ever? Yeah you'll need an inifitely large brain or simulation for that. I haven't encountered humans with infinitely large heads yet though.
Not me. This is your idea. Remember, you think that every possible experience we have corresponds to a physical part of our brains. So if I take a sip of coffee, there must be a tiny bit of brain that (in some way) corresponds to that individual sensation. The next sip, slightly different, requires a different tiny bit of brain, ready and waiting. You are stuck with this idea because you need to argue that every single internal experience must correspond to something finite and material, a bit of brain, that it is measurable by science.

As I say, not my idea.
Me: What I find confusing is your recourse to science, when your philosophy undermines the basis of science. For example, science assumes the observer and the observed.

No, observer-independent reality was refuted 100 years ago. We've been through that too. You are undermining science.
Well, leaving aside your ideas of the progress of science, your own ideas of locating bits of brain and measuring them sound like the old fashioned mechanistic version of science.
Me: To put it another way, what you might consider scientific knowledge would not be knowledge about anything, since you argue our ideas are identical to an existing physical state of the brain.
I don't know what you are saying. Scientific knowledge is "about" the world, but also a part of that world. Why would that mean that nothing exists.
No matter how you phrase it, it is either self-contradictory or recreates the dualism you deny. Think about 'knowledge'. 'Knowledge' is not an object within science, it is not a finite material substance that we can measure. So 'scientific knowledge' is not an object within science. It is a description of a relationship, 'scientific' knowledge is a subject's knowledge about science.

Science measures phenomena. It posits an objective world, outside the observer. But it does not do metaphysics, the nature of that objective world, what it might be 'in itself' is beyond science. Despite your use of scientific language, that is what you are doing.

These tiny pieces of brain that correspond to 'will' etc. are two things at once. They are phenomena, but also the origin of phenomena. They are observable, but also 'observation'. They are some sort of mystical connector that unites subject and object yet preserves the difference.

I think your ideas are a variation on the Pineal Gland idea, an organ that was thought to have the function of combining the physical brain and immaterial thought: "the principal seat of the soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed."

Belinda
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Belinda » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:53 am

When good thinkers such as Atla lack the jargon of academic philosophy especially ontology it is very difficult to discuss with them. I don't know what is to be done. We cannot discuss anything unless we share the same lexicon.

I'll try. Example: the university. The university is

1. buildings and people who work for the university and so on.(Physical)

2. ideas that constitute something that can be called by a name, in this case the name 'university'.(Mental)

I understand that Atla would deny that 1. and 2. are separate or separable. 1. and 2. are not separate at this point in time ***because they are aspects of the same thing. But they are separable when we think of them as either 1. or as 2.

*** The Conservative government in the UK is trying to separate buildings and people from the search for truth, beauty, and goodness which is traditionally what university is for.

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 2843
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Greta » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:55 pm

Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:52 am
Greta wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:35 am
You asked because the hard problem of consciousness is indeed hard :)

I expect that all life shares a sensation of being alive that is simpler than self awareness, the letter being memory reliant (which may relate to your neuron count). Whether we value the sensation of being alive if we lack the memory and self-conception is another matter. It's hard to value one's life in the womb and infancy, aside from knowing they were necessary phases of growth.

I spoke with a pretty informed fellow on another forum who reckoned that consciousness began with neurons, so he considered simple nematode worms, with neurons counted in the hundreds, to be the first (minimally) conscious beings. The line I draw is more inclusive still because I figure that any life form that goes into regular dormant phases to regenerate is necessarily conscious when awake/active, or at least is logically more conscious than in the dormant or sleep state.

As for people with poor self awareness, they will tend to lack the usual self discipline and controls. Out of control behaviour can be unnerving enough in small animals let alone in large post-apes!
Life doesn't share a sensation of being alive that is simpler than self awareness, that's today's standard delusion. "Alive" is just a magical category we make up.

Self-awareness begins when tens of billions of neurons spontaniously start to fire in a new, synchronized way.

Experience itself however is universal, as I have said again again, rocks have that too. That's what the West doesn't know since thousands of years.

A worm with a few hundred neurons may already be able to react to the environment, but is little more than a non-self-aware machine. This definition of consciousness is yet another one.

The sense of self-awareness itself has nothing to do with discipline or controls.
"Life" is neither magical, nor invented, but a phenomenon. If life was an imaginary state we certainly seem to be hard wired to work tireless to avoid losing that imaginary state.

As noted earlier, if an organism can go into a dormant state that necessarily means it must move into an active state.

I am actually a great fan of rocks and think them terribly underestimated in their importance in nature, their beauty and inspirational qualities. Besides, we are basically part of a huge rock that certainly seems to be alive, at least in that particular way that worlds seem to live. Do rocks experience (sans self awareness)? I suppose so, if you consider "experience" to be synonymous with interactiveness with the environment. They do interact somewhat on the surface as they erode.

Still such experience will be dwarfed by that of worms - "non-self-aware machines". Perhaps machines are underestimated too? I'm personally looking forward to geology (with the advent of AI) putting upstart biology back in its place :)

Re: discipline and controls, I was responding to your comment about non self aware humans being frightening, and I basically agreed. Did you misunderstand my reply or are you disagreeing with my agreement with you?

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:36 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:50 am
Atla wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:17 pm

Me: But the question I asked was what is the equivalent of those units of measurement when we want to measure a quantity of 'will'?

Your question is a categorical mistake and makes no sense.
If "will" is a part of the head, you can measure it with the tools of science. I don't know what kind of machine you want to install into your head to be also be able to do it from the inside, and measure your random personal opinion, which by definition can't be measured objectively because it's your random personal opinion. There are weak and strong willed people, there.
Absolutely it is a category mistake, but it isn't mine. You are the one saying that 'will', what you call a 'part of the head' is measurable by science. I don't think it is. (From what you write above, you seem to accept this, but later on you revert to your original idea.)

But going from what you write above, now there are two things that are 'part of the head'; things like 'will' which cannot be measured by science, and things like brains that can. That is the dualism.
You say: There is a tree. You see it and you also have a concept of it. But neither of those two is the tree itself, therefore dualism. This the most nonsensical argument in this thread.
That is right. There is the tree that can be measured, that is an object of science, but also my internal concept of a tree which can't. The tree that can be measured is fixed in time and space, it has particular attributes. But my concept of a tree is of no particular tree in no particular place. Those seem different, at least to me.
Me: I do not understand your use of the word 'simulation'. What is being simulated? Their experience is simply their experience; if we ask how closely it 'simulates' something that is not their experience, we have again reintroduced dualism. Now there is both experience and the cause of that experience.
Computer simulation, but I'm pretty sure you don't know how those work. And again the tree argument.
Computer simulation of what? This computer is simulating an experience, which not my experience, which I am supposed to compare to my experience...? I cannot make sense of it.
Me: You would have to build very big brains. If each sensation I have depends on their already existing a tiny bit of brain that corresponds to that experience, then when I am born I must already be equipped with a brain which contains every possible experience I might have. For example, unless I happen to already have a brain with bits already dedicated to 'seeing' the images that will appear in next week's TV programs I will not be conscious of them.

Wait what? You want to simulate every possibility ever? Yeah you'll need an inifitely large brain or simulation for that. I haven't encountered humans with infinitely large heads yet though.
Not me. This is your idea. Remember, you think that every possible experience we have corresponds to a physical part of our brains. So if I take a sip of coffee, there must be a tiny bit of brain that (in some way) corresponds to that individual sensation. The next sip, slightly different, requires a different tiny bit of brain, ready and waiting. You are stuck with this idea because you need to argue that every single internal experience must correspond to something finite and material, a bit of brain, that it is measurable by science.

As I say, not my idea.
Me: What I find confusing is your recourse to science, when your philosophy undermines the basis of science. For example, science assumes the observer and the observed.

No, observer-independent reality was refuted 100 years ago. We've been through that too. You are undermining science.
Well, leaving aside your ideas of the progress of science, your own ideas of locating bits of brain and measuring them sound like the old fashioned mechanistic version of science.
Me: To put it another way, what you might consider scientific knowledge would not be knowledge about anything, since you argue our ideas are identical to an existing physical state of the brain.
I don't know what you are saying. Scientific knowledge is "about" the world, but also a part of that world. Why would that mean that nothing exists.
No matter how you phrase it, it is either self-contradictory or recreates the dualism you deny. Think about 'knowledge'. 'Knowledge' is not an object within science, it is not a finite material substance that we can measure. So 'scientific knowledge' is not an object within science. It is a description of a relationship, 'scientific' knowledge is a subject's knowledge about science.

Science measures phenomena. It posits an objective world, outside the observer. But it does not do metaphysics, the nature of that objective world, what it might be 'in itself' is beyond science. Despite your use of scientific language, that is what you are doing.

These tiny pieces of brain that correspond to 'will' etc. are two things at once. They are phenomena, but also the origin of phenomena. They are observable, but also 'observation'. They are some sort of mystical connector that unites subject and object yet preserves the difference.

I think your ideas are a variation on the Pineal Gland idea, an organ that was thought to have the function of combining the physical brain and immaterial thought: "the principal seat of the soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed."
AH! It finally hit me what you are saying. You think that the "content" of your thoughts has some kind of magical power, magical reality. You take your inner experiences completely literally. In that case you don't have a connection to the real world.

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:52 pm

Belinda wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:53 am
When good thinkers such as Atla lack the jargon of academic philosophy especially ontology it is very difficult to discuss with them. I don't know what is to be done. We cannot discuss anything unless we share the same lexicon.

I'll try. Example: the university. The university is

1. buildings and people who work for the university and so on.(Physical)

2. ideas that constitute something that can be called by a name, in this case the name 'university'.(Mental)

I understand that Atla would deny that 1. and 2. are separate or separable. 1. and 2. are not separate at this point in time ***because they are aspects of the same thing. But they are separable when we think of them as either 1. or as 2.

*** The Conservative government in the UK is trying to separate buildings and people from the search for truth, beauty, and goodness which is traditionally what university is for.
Yeah it's true I lack the jargon, I'm sorry, that's half the problem. The other half is that I'm saying that the jargon itself is wrong and helps generate the very problem it's trying to solve. However nondualism can't really be expressed in language, as language is inherently dualistic, so I'm having trouble conveying it.

Things don't have aspects, but we make up aspects to be able to talk about them. So far so good.
The problem starts when we then start to think that the two aspects are literally two different things. And the entire Western philosophy is based on this type of thinking error.

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:23 pm

Greta wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:55 pm
"Life" is neither magical, nor invented, but a phenomenon. If life was an imaginary state we certainly seem to be hard wired to work tireless to avoid losing that imaginary state.
I mean we can't really divide the world into alive and not-alive, where do we draw the line anyway? These are just two made-up categories that we have agreed on. Let's say parts of the world that seem to be self-replicating and natural are alive.

It's not a special state though, we are just hard wired to work tireless to avoid losing this "state".
As noted earlier, if an organism can go into a dormant state that necessarily means it must move into an active state.
Not sure what you are trying to say with this
Do rocks experience (sans self awareness)? I suppose so, if you consider "experience" to be synonymous with interactiveness with the environment. They do interact somewhat on the surface as they erode.

Still such experience will be dwarfed by that of worms - "non-self-aware machines".
No, I literally mean experience. For example flashes of light and dark, similarly to static noise, or whatever.

If the rock is bigger then I guess the rock's experience is bigger. It's just that it's like a mostly random, chaotic something. A worm's experience is more structured, serves an evolutionary purpose. And with a human you get this super-HD-Dolby surround-touchy-feely stuff or whatever. What an organism experiences was mostly shaped by evolution, it's good for survival purposes.
Re: discipline and controls, I was responding to your comment about non self aware humans being frightening, and I basically agreed. Did you misunderstand my reply or are you disagreeing with my agreement with you?
I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't talking about people with poor self awareness, I was talking about NO self-awareness. Self-awareness never spontaniously occured in ther head for some reason.

So.. well, there is literally "no one" there inside. For example I had one of these.. humans even tell me that it has no idea what it means for someone to be there, to exist. Such humans are forever on autopilot.

I don't want to call them P-zombies, because in nondualism, such zombies have experiences like everyone else, except there is no self-awareness.

seeds
Posts: 396
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:31 pm

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by seeds » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:35 pm

thought addict wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:37 pm
But under Many Worlds, how do you represent which world a self is currently in without invoking dualism? A conscious observer will trace a path through the worlds. They see wave function collapse as if they are in one particular world. Don't you need dualism to pick that one specific world out of the Many Worlds?
Atla wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 pm
The way I understand it, there are no worlds in the Many Worlds interpretation. So the name is extremely misleading, maybe it's better to just call it Everettian interpretation.
Atla, if you are going to reference it as being the “Everettian interpretation,” then perhaps you might want to consider the following:
Wiki wrote: The many-worlds interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts the objective reality of the universal wavefunction and denies the actuality of wavefunction collapse. Many-worlds implies that all possible alternate histories and futures are real, each representing an actual "world" (or "universe"). In layman's terms, the hypothesis states there is a very large—perhaps infinite—number of universes, and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but did not, has occurred in the past of some other universe or universes. The theory is also referred to as MWI, the relative state formulation, the Everett interpretation, the theory of the universal wavefunction, many-universes interpretation, or just many-worlds.
(Underlining/bolding mine)

Or even better yet, you should really pay attention to what Bryce DeWitt (the theoretical physicist who coined the term “many worlds”) had to say about it:
Bryce DeWitt wrote: I still recall vividly the shock I experienced on first encountering this multiworld concept. The idea of 10 to the 100+ slightly imperfect copies of oneself all constantly splitting into further copies, which ultimately become unrecognizable, is not easy to reconcile with common sense.
The point is that the way “you understand it” is not necessarily the way it was understood and promoted by DeWitt who was a key interpreter of the theory and one of Everett’s most ardent supporters.
Atla wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 pm
There is only one world, but it is "multiversal" in nature in contrast to our original concept of the universe. Think of it like.. umm.. our universe would extend "sideways" multiversally infinitely, and you see the sum of that one infinitely large thing. No actual separation in it anywhere.
It is not up to us to sort out your conjecture regarding a so-called “sideways” multiverse. It is up to you to provide us with a clear picture of exactly what a “sideways multiverse” would entail.

For example, are there multiple copies of us in this sideways multiverse, as is suggested in DeWitt’s interpretation?
Atla wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 pm
As far as I know, to get the concept of "multiversality" across, they originally popularized the MWI by saying that there are literally seperate universes that are created and split and the don't "interact" afterwards, and all that batshit crazy stuff. As far as I know all these were just intended as metaphors (well I hope so at least) but then this picture took on a life of its own.
No, it was not intended as “metaphors,” it (the MWI) was intended as a contrasting alternative to wavefunction collapse. It was intended to counter the nonsense implicit in the “cat-in-the-box” paradox. It was intended to suggest that all of the “possible outcomes” (for a particle) inherent in the wavefunction are literally real within the context of separate and inaccessible universes.

Stop twisting the original narrative to conform to your preferred interpretation.
Atla wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 pm
So you yourself are literally "stretched across" a multiversal world.
So then, you feel that the idea of universes splitting off of each other (due to infinitesimal quantum events – as per the MWI) and then no longer interacting afterwards is “crazy” (of which I totally agree with you, btw), but the idea of being “stretched across” a multiversal world sounds reasonable to you – as in not crazy?

Again, Atla, you need to clearly define what you mean by a “multiversal” world and how we are stretched across it in a “sideways” fashion.
_______
Last edited by seeds on Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Londoner
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Londoner » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:51 pm

Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:36 pm

AH! It finally hit me what you are saying. You think that the "content" of your thoughts has some kind of magical power, magical reality. You take your inner experiences completely literally. In that case you don't have a connection to the real world.
Alas, what I am saying has completely passed you by.

I am pointing out (repeatedly) that our inner experiences are of a different nature to the sort of phenomena measured by science, yet they are connected to the sort of things measured by science, like physical brains. The nature of that connection is the problem of consciousness.

For some reason you do not seem to be able to get your head around this.

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:54 pm

seeds wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:35 pm
thought addict wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:37 pm
But under Many Worlds, how do you represent which world a self is currently in without invoking dualism? A conscious observer will trace a path through the worlds. They see wave function collapse as if they are in one particular world. Don't you need dualism to pick that one specific world out of the Many Worlds?
Atla wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 pm
The way I understand it, there are no worlds in the Many Worlds interpretation. So the name is extremely misleading, maybe it's better to just call it Everettian interpretation.
Atla, if you are going to reference it as being the “Everettian interpretation,” then perhaps you might want to consider the following:
Wiki wrote: The many-worlds interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts the objective reality of the universal wavefunction and denies the actuality of wavefunction collapse. Many-worlds implies that all possible alternate histories and futures are real, each representing an actual "world" (or "universe"). In layman's terms, the hypothesis states there is a very large—perhaps infinite—number of universes, and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but did not, has occurred in the past of some other universe or universes. The theory is also referred to as MWI, the relative state formulation, the Everett interpretation, the theory of the universal wavefunction, many-universes interpretation, or just many-worlds.
(Underlining/bolding mine)

Or even better yet, you should really pay attention to what Bryce DeWitt (the theoretical physicist who coined the term “many worlds”) had to say about it:
Bryce DeWitt wrote: I still recall vividly the shock I experienced on first encountering this multiworld concept. The idea of 10 to the 100+ slightly imperfect copies of oneself all constantly splitting into further copies, which ultimately become unrecognizable, is not easy to reconcile with common sense.
The point is that the way “you understand it” is not necessarily the way it was understood and promoted by DeWitt who was a key interpreter of the theory and one of Everett’s most ardent supporters.
Atla wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 pm
There is only one world, but it is "multiversal" in nature in contrast to our original concept of the universe. Think of it like.. umm.. our universe would extend "sideways" multiversally infinitely, and you see the sum of that one infinitely large thing. No actual separation in it anywhere.
It is not up to us to sort out your conjecture regarding a so-called “sideways” multiverse. It is up to you to provide us with a clear picture of exactly what a “sideways multiverse” would entail.

For example, are there multiple copies of us in this sideways multiverse, as is suggested in DeWitt’s interpretation?
Atla wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 pm
As far as I know, to get the concept of "multiversality" across, they originally popularized the MWI by saying that there are literally seperate universes that are created and split and the don't "interact" afterwards, and all that batshit crazy stuff. As far as I know all these were just intended as metaphors (well I hope so at least) but then this picture took on a life of its own.
No, it was not intended as “metaphors,” it (the MWI) was intended as a contrasting alternative to wavefunction collapse. It was intended to counter the nonsense implicit in the “cat-in-the-box” paradox. It was intended to suggest that all of the “possible outcomes” (for a particle) inherent in the wavefunction are literally real within the context of separate and inaccessible universes.

Stop twisting the original narrative to conform to your preferred interpretation.
Atla wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 pm
So you yourself are literally "stretched across" a multiversal world.
So then, you feel that the idea of universes splitting off of each other (due to infinitesimal quantum events – as per the MWI) and then no longer interacting afterwards is “crazy” (of which I totally agree with you, btw), but the idea of being “stretched across” a multiversal world sounds reasonable to you – as in not crazy?

Again, Atla, you need to clearly define what you mean by a “mutiversal” world and how we are stretched across it in a “sideways” fashion.
_______
Yes you underlined the "layman's terms" part, now go back a little, it says universal wavefunction. That's ONE universal wavefunction.

Which has been interpreted in at least two ways. MWI has variatons, some physicists literally mean many universes, some mean one "multiversal" thing. I take the latter stance.

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:01 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:51 pm
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:36 pm

AH! It finally hit me what you are saying. You think that the "content" of your thoughts has some kind of magical power, magical reality. You take your inner experiences completely literally. In that case you don't have a connection to the real world.
Alas, what I am saying has completely passed you by.

I am pointing out (repeatedly) that our inner experiences are of a different nature to the sort of phenomena measured by science, yet they are connected to the sort of things measured by science, like physical brains. The nature of that connection is the problem of consciousness.

For some reason you do not seem to be able to get your head around this.
They don't have a different nature. If you take your inner experiences completely literally, at face value, then you have no connection to the real world.

seeds
Posts: 396
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:31 pm

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by seeds » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:25 pm

Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:54 pm
Yes you underlined the "layman's terms" part, now go back a little, it says universal wavefunction. That's ONE universal wavefunction.

Which has been interpreted in at least two ways. MWI has variatons, some physicists literally mean many universes, some mean one "multiversal" thing. I take the latter stance.
Again, Atla, you need to clearly define what you mean by a “multiversal” world.

And how, exactly, are we “stretched across” it in a “sideways” fashion?

And, again, are there multiple copies of us in your concept of a multiversal world?
_______

Londoner
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Londoner » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:33 pm

Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:01 pm
They don't have a different nature.
The different nature is between what is measurable and what isn't. My perception of a rock is that it has a spacial location, it has extension, it has mass etc., all of which can be measured, and my measurements can be compared to your measurements and we will agree. The same things cannot be said about my dream of dragons. Both the perception of the rock and the dream of dragons are experiences I had, but they are different in nature.
If you take your inner experiences completely literally, at face value, then you have no connection to the real world.
It would help if you tightened up your language. What do you mean 'take your inner experiences completely literally'? And what is 'the real world'?

I have experiences. My experiences are my experiences, they are not symbolic of some other experiences that I'm not having.

As to its connection with what you call 'the real world', they are all I am ever going to get. We cannot by-pass experience and 'connect' with any 'real world'. All we ever have are experiences.

Do I assume my experience is a direct experience of some 'real world'? Of course not. Once again, I have no access to this 'real world'. When we try to make sense of the world we inhabit, via science, we are only making sense of one particular kind of experience, what we call 'phenomena'.

Now I have no idea what you understand by the 'real world'. I know it contains things like the consciousness of rocks, but I do not know how you know this, or what you think consciousness is. This makes communication very difficult.

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:33 pm
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:01 pm
They don't have a different nature.
The different nature is between what is measurable and what isn't. My perception of a rock is that it has a spacial location, it has extension, it has mass etc., all of which can be measured, and my measurements can be compared to your measurements and we will agree. The same things cannot be said about my dream of dragons. Both the perception of the rock and the dream of dragons are experiences I had, but they are different in nature.
If you take your inner experiences completely literally, at face value, then you have no connection to the real world.
It would help if you tightened up your language. What do you mean 'take your inner experiences completely literally'? And what is 'the real world'?

I have experiences. My experiences are my experiences, they are not symbolic of some other experiences that I'm not having.

As to its connection with what you call 'the real world', they are all I am ever going to get. We cannot by-pass experience and 'connect' with any 'real world'. All we ever have are experiences.

Do I assume my experience is a direct experience of some 'real world'? Of course not. Once again, I have no access to this 'real world'. When we try to make sense of the world we inhabit, via science, we are only making sense of one particular kind of experience, what we call 'phenomena'.

Now I have no idea what you understand by the 'real world'. I know it contains things like the consciousness of rocks, but I do not know how you know this, or what you think consciousness is. This makes communication very difficult.
Your experiences do not have a magical reality of their own.
Your experiences do not have special power or meaning.
They are mostly representations, but also part of the world.
They are not always accurate.
They are not showing how things "really are".
Sometimes you experience things that aren't actually out there.
Dreams are not representations of the outside world.
...
Do you understand any of this?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests