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Me? Not guilty, at least not in last decade or so. Did I forget the obligatory "Migeru would know better about that: I'm not even sure quantum effects are very likely at the scale of the brain bit?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:22:56 AM EST
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I mean, I know of no evidence for macroscopic quantum effects in consciousness other than Penrose's arguments in The Emperor's New Mind.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:26:20 AM EST
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Huh. Great minds and fools obviously ...

I saw something faintly suggestive somewhere recently that indicated it might possibly be possible for QM to have some influence, but neurons are pretty big things.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:28:50 AM EST
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His argument basically boils down to
  • We don't understand consciousness
  • Consciousness is not algorithnic
  • All classical computation is algorithmic
  • Therefore consciousness must be quantum
  • we don't understand the collapse of the wavefunction
  • We don't understand quantum gravity
  • Maybe quantum gravity will explain the collapse of the wavefunction: the collapse happens when the difference between two states amounts to "one graviton"
  • We can estimate the size of a lump of matter creating this "one graviton" difference
  • Is there a component of a Neuron that has this "one graviton" size? Yes! the centrosome!
  • Maybe consciousness is a quantum effect involving centrosomes.
I kid you not.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:35:18 AM EST
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I like that: science of the gaps. Sort of like a god of the gaps but with less impressive robes.

I'll point out, for the general edification of those reading rather than for your benefit, that classical computation considers a very small class of devices that don't seem to be anything like the brain. And we don't really understand the details of those devices anyway.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:41:10 AM EST
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Right now, I can't remember to what extent Penrose discussed classical chaos in computing devices.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:46:12 AM EST
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I'm trying to think what I read and where: it was talking about phenomena inside neurons that were on a very small scale but influential.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:43:28 AM EST
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Maybe I'll just make "Migeru would know better about that" my signature. That might work.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:26:50 AM EST
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Now where is that coming from?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:27:59 AM EST
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It's a pretty good heuristic! Possibly it falls in the badly expressed humour box. -i for me!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:31:04 AM EST
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And a sorry.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:32:27 AM EST
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It really sounded like "Shut up, Migeru". Maybe I'm too sensitive today?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:36:14 AM EST
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Maybe I need to adjust my tone.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:41:58 AM EST
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