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Let's assume that the next evolution of QM begins to decode, or even decodes, consciousness.  We may even find action at a distance being the binding agent of consciousness, as speculated for over three decades now by the wild crew from the Physics Consciousness Research Group begun at Esalen in the mid-70's.  btw, Nick Herbert, Fred Wolf, Gary Zukav, Fritjof Capra, Saul Paul Sirag and Jack Sarfatti (the gluon), now leaders in the exposition of the physics of consciousness, were all together there, and having survived decades of internecine warfare, are still more or less together (with a glaring exception, or two.)  At the same time, physicists as diverse as David Bohm and Brian Josephson were, and remain, in constant contact with the group, as it continues to this day informally.

back to Mig's question.  since environmental destruction is caused by a civilization which doesn't know itself, nor its relationship to its surounding; then a healthy dose of conscious evolution would enable the "New Deal/Apollo" program of renewable energy to be not supported, but demanded by the general population.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:02:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dude, Sarfatti believes that he received a phone call from a sentient computer orbiting the earth on a spacecraft from the future and that he got all his insights from it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:10:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dude, that doesn't make his equations any less precise, nor his insights less valid.   He doesn't say he got his insights from the sentient computer, only that it began his path.  He even admits the phone calls, which his mother also heard, could have come from some strange intelligence plot cooked up by an agency here or there.

But there's a whole 'nother side to him and his work.  Some of his insights he got while doing the grunt work for Abdus Salaam's Nobel.  That Sarfatti worked for Salaam doesn't invalidate his Nobel.  Brian Josephson remains in constant contact with him, despite sarfatti's sentient computer.  That doesn't invalidate the Josephson Junction.  and for what it's worth, Sarfatti is a center of the physics consciousness world.

Full disclosure.  I can't argue physics, because i'm not, nor ever will be one in this lifetime.  Sarfatti is a close friend of mine for nearly 30 years.  I stayed at his house in November, so i'm prejudiced.  I have seen him at his most brilliant, and i have seen him at his most manic.  But as Jack himself often says, it doesn't matter if he's crazy, it matters if the equations check out.

And i do have personal knowledge of how much equation checking is being done at high levels around the world.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we should not engage in a war by proxy between your friend and my PhD advisor, which is what this would devolve into.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:33:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though it would never be a war with you anyway.  Preconceived ideas are always the hardest to give up.  But i bet we could have a very interesting evening together.

The real point was not about Sarfatti, but about the physical roots of consciousness, and the possible effect of the now common "paradigm shift" in human thinking.  And how that shift would affect every aspect of civilization.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:49:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Preconceived ideas are always the hardest to give up.

Now, what is that meant to mean?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like imprinting, Migeru's understanding of the reality swirling around the wave function of Sarfatti's life is informed by the PhD advisor's view, just as mine is informed by hanging out with the entire crew of psychotic boddhisatvas.

People in general do not change views easily, as there's always some extra attachment.  "No, we have to take Little Round Top, said Lt. General Pickett."  or perhaps, "No, Pope, the sun does not move around the earth."

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 01:39:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarfatti believes that he received a phone call from a sentient computer  

I don't worry about where my insights come from, only whether they're any good.  

Sadly, I'm sure people would rather believe a sentient computer than Sarfatti himself.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 04:30:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We might want to start with understanding the brain at the cellular level.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 02:31:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a lot of talking about the consequences of QM when we don't really understands most of what happen in scales between molecules and the whole organism. Apparently, a recent discovery was how water reacts in the presence of an electron...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 02:35:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're going to have a far easier time examining the brain at the cellular level first. If that doesn't explain it to a satisfactory extent, we can dig further.

I'm immediately skeptical of Crazy Horse on this: his comment has dualism written all over it, with the material/immaterial mapping to the microscopic/macroscopic world of physics. That would be neat if true, but I'd rather reject more likely candidates first.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:58:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My continuing point exactly...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 02:41:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not that simple.

The Mind reconfigures neural pathways.  Among those so configured are the pathways to/from the diencephalon where the Thalamus and Hypothalamus major control areas for the endocrine system are.  

Thus, what you think may become what you are.

Also, the Thalamus is the 'ante room' to the two cerebral hemispheres where higher cognitive functions are located.  As the body does its 'thing' messages are passed to the Thalamus through the Central Nervous System and the biochemical signals of the endocrine system.  Together these 'inform' the Thalamus which then transmits messages to the cerebral hemispheres.

Thus, what you are may become what you think.

Out of the googleplex of messages being transmitted eventually some of what you think will become what you are.  Out of the googleplex of messages being transmitted eventually some of what you are will become what you think.

On a simplistic level, the homeostasis system will generate signals to the Thalamus which send signals to the cerebral cortex which will result in the thought, "Let's go out for a pizza."

It works the other way as well.  That's how we can make the decision to hold our breath so we don't drown while swimming under water.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does this involve quantum mechanics?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 12:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At any level from chemical or electrical activity within brain cells to the unfolding and decay of galaxies, the basic building blocks are in action according to their QM or post-QM laws?

Newton's Gravity still affects brain components.  Why not other physical aspects?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 02:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quantum effects can be ignored in transistors down to a certain size, that is, above the feature size cutoff, starting from maxwell's equations we can predict the transistor's behavior mathematically among all the transistor's variables we are concerned with to the degree of precision we want. Below the cutoff, quantum effects have a non-negligible impact on a number of variables we do care about and Maxwell's equations are not good enough for our purposes.

Similarly we may or may not need quantum mechanics to describe consciousness to an extent we are satisfied with. If it turns out our brains store data in quantum states, for example (admittedly I know very little about QM), then sure, QM will have to be into incorporated into an adequate description of consciousness.

I'm not equating transistors or logic gates to neurons, by the way. I'm claiming that in a universe with no apparent absolutes, pinning down assumptions through approximate models is all we can do, that this is useful, and that less sophisticated models, even those that have been superseded by models that work in a broader range of cases, can be adequate for our purposes.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 03:49:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quantum effects can be ignored in transistors down to a certain size  

Not quite:  Transistors only work BECAUSE of quantum effects.  

Without quantum effects we would still be using vacuum tubes.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 02:14:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Comment specific to the "...understanding the brain at the cellular level."  You can't understand the brain at that level.  All you understand is the diffusion of neuro-transmitters across the synaptic cleft, the electo-chemical interactions along and across the myelin sheath, & so on.  It's like trying to understand an automobile by looking at the alloys used in the metal and the petrochemicals used in the plastic.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 03:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the deeper levels involved?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 03:57:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand your question.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 05:27:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we use QM, what else can we look at?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 01:23:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anything. Just enumerate a set of states and postulate a set of transition amplitudes.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 01:27:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
since environmental destruction is caused by a civilization which doesn't know itself, nor its relationship to its surounding  

I don't have anything to add; I just want to highlight it.  

Anything that can cut through the willful ignorance of this civilization is to the good.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:05:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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