Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Techmology and Scientism => Topic started by: East Coast Hustle on December 01, 2016, 08:29:33 am

Title: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: East Coast Hustle on December 01, 2016, 08:29:33 am
If I read this correctly, this guy has essentially devised a mathematical model for consciousness that seems to completely by accident have also found God, though it doesn't appear as though he sees it that way.

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/the-illusion-of-reality/479559/

Quote
Gefter: The world is just other conscious agents?

Hoffman: I call it conscious realism: Objective reality is just conscious agents, just points of view. Interestingly, I can take two conscious agents and have them interact, and the mathematical structure of that interaction also satisfies the definition of a conscious agent. This mathematics is telling me something. I can take two minds, and they can generate a new, unified single mind. Here’s a concrete example. We have two hemispheres in our brain. But when you do a split-brain operation, a complete transection of the corpus callosum, you get clear evidence of two separate consciousnesses. Before that slicing happened, it seemed there was a single unified consciousness. So it’s not implausible that there is a single conscious agent. And yet it’s also the case that there are two conscious agents there, and you can see that when they’re split. I didn’t expect that, the mathematics forced me to recognize this. It suggests that I can take separate observers, put them together and create new observers, and keep doing this ad infinitum. It’s conscious agents all the way down.

The whole article is pretty fascinating and seems, upon first superficial glance, to not be complete mumbo-jumbo bullshit. I'm really curious to hear what some of the people here who are educated in relevant fields have to say about this.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 01, 2016, 10:17:04 am
Quote
The idea that what we’re doing is measuring publicly accessible objects, the idea that objectivity results from the fact that you and I can measure the same object in the exact same situation and get the same results — it’s very clear from quantum mechanics that that idea has to go. Physics tells us that there are no public physical objects.

A lot of what he's saying makes sense and, to be honest, there's really nothing new there but I'm getting a strong sense of barstool in places where he does what most of these guys do and extrapolates too far. They take cause out of cause and effect and expect shit to still work.

If every third word in a - there's no such thing as reality - article is "quantums" I grow dubious.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Sano on December 01, 2016, 12:20:47 pm
This is why physicists need to be exposed to a healthy dose of philosophy. I really mean it, as someone who is studying philosophy in a university.

I'm actually having trouble finishing the article, I'm just cringing too much. They referenced the hard problem of consciousness right at the beginning of the article without one mention of the guy who popularized the term, David Chalmers. Leaps of logic and half-baked metaphors abound. I don't think I can read it all

And then public figures like Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson say philosophy is obsolete and no one needs it  :horrormirth:
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Sano on December 01, 2016, 01:02:59 pm
I'm completely struck by this paragraph. Let me try to explain why I think it doesn't make sense at all.

Quote
Hoffman: Suppose in reality there’s a resource, like water, and you can quantify how much of it there is in an objective order—very little water, medium amount of water, a lot of water.

Ok, I'm still following so far.

Quote
Now suppose your fitness function is linear, so a little water gives you a little fitness, medium water gives you medium fitness, and lots of water gives you lots of fitness—in that case, the organism that sees the truth about the water in the world can win, but only because the fitness function happens to align with the true structure in reality.

In the first place, of course, it is entirely your supposition that the fitness function is linear - in fact, I think there's a very simple experiment to prove it isn't. Do all animals when confronted with a large body of water try to drink it all and end up drowning? Do animals simply charge at the ocean and die? They don't? Well then.

Also notice how he doesn't really define what is "the truth about the water". There are certainly a lot of truths about water - that it is H2O, that it is liquid at certain temperatures, that it dissolves some salts, etc. The closest thing I can interpret from the text (which is unclear) is that "the truth about the water" means, to some organism, something like "more of it will make me fitter" - which is of course a subjective statement. If he defines truth to be subjective like that, then what a surprise that he concludes that we can't really see the world as is!


Quote
Generically, in the real world, that will never be the case. Something much more natural is a bell curve—say, too little water you die of thirst, but too much water you drown, and only somewhere in between is good for survival.

Great. We're in the same page then.

Quote
Now the fitness function doesn’t match the structure in the real world. And that’s enough to send truth to extinction.

Come fucking on. The only thing you proved is that you supposition about the fitness function being linear is wrong. He's litterally saying, "oh, the first shit theory off the top of my head about the complex behavior of animals is wrong - I guess that means no one can access reality!"

And of course he's still unclear what does he mean by truth. If the "truth" means the subjective thought of some animal that more water will always make it more fit then sure, that's completely extinct. I still can't see how it has much to do about us being able to know that water is H2O, for example.

Quote
For example, an organism tuned to fitness might see small and large quantities of some resource as, say, red, to indicate low fitness, whereas they might see intermediate quantities as green, to indicate high fitness.

Your point being? First, let me point out how computer-model-centric this is. The only reason some organism might see water as "red" or "green" and not, you know, larger and smaller sizes of water is if that's the only damn thing it's ever tracking. Yeah, sure, that's how evolution works, there's not payout for coordinating different kinds of information, specially the relative sizes of objects, right?

Also, so what if it interprets what it sees in a particular way? You could say the same thing about how we se color - "oh, you're not really seeing blue, you are only interpreting a certain kind of wavelength in a certain way". I think we can all agree this kind of thought is in general useless.

Quote
Its perceptions will be tuned to fitness, but not to truth. It won’t see any distinction between small and large—it only sees red—even though such a distinction exists in reality.

First of all, your last fucking sentences say the organism sees red AND green. That's a distinction. And of course it completely obviates actual, true biological complexity. For an organism to sense something, it needs to have a way to sense it - an eye for example. Now I know that in a computer you can just program it to sense something, but that doesn't make much sense in reality does it? And if an eye can't make distinctions it's an useless eye, probably not an eye at all. But if it can make distinctions - and the more corresponding to reality the better the organism's fitness - and on top of that the organism has the capability to reason and its species has a long tradition of industry to expand on the organism's natural capabilities of perception (e.g. building telescopes) and its societies have means of storing information and collecting data and comparing theories and... well, you get the point.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 01, 2016, 01:38:31 pm

I'm actually having trouble finishing the article, I'm just cringing too much. They referenced the hard problem of consciousness right at the beginning of the article without one mention of the guy who popularized the term, David Chalmers. Leaps of logic and half-baked metaphors abound. I don't think I can read it all


Maybe the hard problem is only hard because we're trying to solve it using consciousness. Like trying to measure a ruler using the ruler itself. Maybe there are finite limits to what a couple of pounds of meat is capable of understanding. Maybe consciousness is what happens when you have something really simple happening over and over, in parallel, at massive scale. We can just about grok what an individual neuron does with a signal or even a small group of them but, by the time your get to a couple of thousand, we're clueless. Millions? Billions? Forget it.

I'm not sure that's ever likely to change. Maybe scientific study of consciousness is impossible. Science can't even prove such a thing exists, never mind how it works. We'd almost certainly need a brand new language to describe it. Just grabbing a trendy branch of mathematics off the shelf doesn't look like it's going to get far.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Sano on December 01, 2016, 01:56:17 pm

I'm actually having trouble finishing the article, I'm just cringing too much. They referenced the hard problem of consciousness right at the beginning of the article without one mention of the guy who popularized the term, David Chalmers. Leaps of logic and half-baked metaphors abound. I don't think I can read it all


Maybe the hard problem is only hard because we're trying to solve it using consciousness. Like trying to measure a ruler using the ruler itself. Maybe there are finite limits to what a couple of pounds of meat is capable of understanding. Maybe consciousness is what happens when you have something really simple happening over and over, in parallel, at massive scale. We can just about grok what an individual neuron does with a signal or even a small group of them but, by the time your get to a couple of thousand, we're clueless. Millions? Billions? Forget it.

I'm not sure that's ever likely to change. Maybe scientific study of consciousness is impossible. Science can't even prove such a thing exists, never mind how it works. We'd almost certainly need a brand new language to describe it. Just grabbing a trendy branch of mathematics off the shelf doesn't look like it's going to get far.

Well yeah, sure, maybe we will never really understand it. Maybe there will be breakthroughs, but only in the next century or the one after that. We have no way of knowing that. Shouldn't stop us from trying, though. What I'm saying is the article is bad even by our early, rustic standards of "trying".
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 01, 2016, 02:36:47 pm
What you said about philosophy rings true with me. Philosophy seems to have a grammar and language suited to examining consciousness which science totally lacks. Science likes objectivity. Consciousness is an entirely subjective phenomenon. I think the article in the OP is what happens when objective science tries to understand the wellspring of subjectivity. Sure, we might figure it out eventually but until then I expect there will be many more lulzfests like this.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: MMIX on December 01, 2016, 07:01:08 pm
I think he's just another phlogiston salesman. I read his piece then looked at his TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/donald_hoffman_do_we_see_reality_as_it_is?share=1dfeab9462

"Brains and neurons have no causal powers [ . . . ] Brains and neurons are a species specific set of symbols; they are a hack" [c. 17:30]

Only one hack in this piece, and that would be Dr Hoffman.

Also, This thread needs more barstools


Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: East Coast Hustle on December 01, 2016, 07:24:12 pm
All very valid criticisms, but not really touching on the part of the article I found interesting, which was the bit about the math inferring that there is very likely a single-source origin for consciousness.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Cramulus on December 01, 2016, 07:59:33 pm
Related threads:

http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,37763.msg1392794.html#msg1392794 (discusses this exact article, actually)

http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,37764.msg1392797.html#msg1392797 (QGs shrapnel)
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Cramulus on December 01, 2016, 08:15:51 pm
All very valid criticisms, but not really touching on the part of the article I found interesting, which was the bit about the math inferring that there is very likely a single-source origin for consciousness.

this question lead me down a little rabbit hole of investigating the evolution of the Corpus Callosum (that little gray poop which connects your left and right hemispheres)

I found this paper (http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2003000400002), but it is mostly conjecture - sounds like its still a big guessing game.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 02, 2016, 01:32:52 am
This is right up my alley, but I don't have time at the moment to read it. I'll try to get to it tomorrow morning when I'm actually fresh and bushy-tailed and not fucking off on the internets while training an undergrad on the scope.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: East Coast Hustle on December 02, 2016, 08:33:36 am
This is right up my alley, but I don't have time at the moment to read it. I'll try to get to it tomorrow morning when I'm actually fresh and bushy-tailed and not fucking off on the internets while training an undergrad on the scope.

Awesome! I was really hoping to hear your take on this, I kinda figured it was in your wheelhouse.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 02, 2016, 04:18:58 pm
This is all actually pretty standard perception stuff; reality isn't what we perceive, what we perceive is simply our limited and subjective interface with reality. It's not quite accurate to say that he has devised a mathematical model of consciousness, although he is working on one. I am not sure where the "god" part is coming from, I didn't get that out of it.

I have two quarrels with Hoffman that are basically the same quarrels I have with every old-school cognitive psychologist I've ever met; he likes to talk about quantum physics, but doesn't have a quantum physics background and doesn't understand it well enough to grasp why scientists who DO have quantum physics backgrounds say that it doesn't apply at a macro level. He also, like many classically trained psychologists, has a distinct bent toward believing that philosophy without evidence is adequate to form theory.

It is worth noting that he works with the Chopra Foundation and is a crony of Rupert Sheldrake. http://www.choprafoundation.org/speakers/donald-hoffman/
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/intentchopra/2012/09/set-science-free-a-review-by-donald-d-hoffman.html

Basically, while what he says about the nature of perception being well removed from the nature of reality is accurate, I would take his other claims and any extrapolations from those claims with a generous pinch of salt. Notice that he decries pretty much all neuroscientists; that is a big tip-off that he is firmly rooted in woo. When you disagree with an entire field about the fundamental nature of the work they are doing, but don't actually have enough of a science background to understand the work they are doing, you are probably the one in error.

Setting all that aside, Michael Shermer has a salient criticism of Hoffman's hypothesis that our perceptual reality has no pressure to conform to actual reality: http://www.michaelshermer.com/2015/11/perception-deception/#more-4721

I think that he is not entirely off the rails, but that he is operating with insufficient understanding of the physical science he decries. He made a few references that seem to verge on an opponent network theory of consciousness, which is the right direction IMO, but I think that his insistence on latching onto a woo-tainted understanding of quantum mechanics is holding him back. Not that quantum mechanics has no relevance in neural processing; it very well might, but unraveling that is going to require neurophysiologists with strong backgrounds in physics, rather than psychologists with behavioral modeling backgrounds.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: East Coast Hustle on December 03, 2016, 07:23:14 am
Thanks for the excellent critique!
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 03, 2016, 03:46:55 pm
On a side note, Nigel, I'd be interested in your take on this N=2i-1 thing that has flashed across my radar three or four times in the last week or so. Google seems ignorant, the sources are somewhere in the middle of the credibility scale but it seems really interesting and maybe not totally nonsensical. What are proper neuroscientists saying about it? Is it even a thing?
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Junkenstein on December 03, 2016, 04:30:58 pm
Sano/Nigel, very interesting take. Awesome to see this being analyzed from two very different angles and hitting some similar points.

Sano, you're becoming on of my favorite posters. Keep it up. Seriously, you're pulling out some high quality shit lately. Kudos.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 03, 2016, 05:55:31 pm
Thanks for the excellent critique!

My pleasure!
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 03, 2016, 06:19:31 pm
On a side note, Nigel, I'd be interested in your take on this N=2i-1 thing that has flashed across my radar three or four times in the last week or so. Google seems ignorant, the sources are somewhere in the middle of the credibility scale but it seems really interesting and maybe not totally nonsensical. What are proper neuroscientists saying about it? Is it even a thing?

It's not ringing any bells for me at all. N=2i-1 is the degrees of freedom in many statistical analyses, but other than that I got nothing. Do you have a link or any context?
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 03, 2016, 06:24:19 pm
I'm completely struck by this paragraph. Let me try to explain why I think it doesn't make sense at all.

Quote
Hoffman: Suppose in reality there’s a resource, like water, and you can quantify how much of it there is in an objective order—very little water, medium amount of water, a lot of water.

Ok, I'm still following so far.

Quote
Now suppose your fitness function is linear, so a little water gives you a little fitness, medium water gives you medium fitness, and lots of water gives you lots of fitness—in that case, the organism that sees the truth about the water in the world can win, but only because the fitness function happens to align with the true structure in reality.

In the first place, of course, it is entirely your supposition that the fitness function is linear - in fact, I think there's a very simple experiment to prove it isn't. Do all animals when confronted with a large body of water try to drink it all and end up drowning? Do animals simply charge at the ocean and die? They don't? Well then.

Also notice how he doesn't really define what is "the truth about the water". There are certainly a lot of truths about water - that it is H2O, that it is liquid at certain temperatures, that it dissolves some salts, etc. The closest thing I can interpret from the text (which is unclear) is that "the truth about the water" means, to some organism, something like "more of it will make me fitter" - which is of course a subjective statement. If he defines truth to be subjective like that, then what a surprise that he concludes that we can't really see the world as is!


Quote
Generically, in the real world, that will never be the case. Something much more natural is a bell curve—say, too little water you die of thirst, but too much water you drown, and only somewhere in between is good for survival.

Great. We're in the same page then.

Quote
Now the fitness function doesn’t match the structure in the real world. And that’s enough to send truth to extinction.

Come fucking on. The only thing you proved is that you supposition about the fitness function being linear is wrong. He's litterally saying, "oh, the first shit theory off the top of my head about the complex behavior of animals is wrong - I guess that means no one can access reality!"

And of course he's still unclear what does he mean by truth. If the "truth" means the subjective thought of some animal that more water will always make it more fit then sure, that's completely extinct. I still can't see how it has much to do about us being able to know that water is H2O, for example.

Quote
For example, an organism tuned to fitness might see small and large quantities of some resource as, say, red, to indicate low fitness, whereas they might see intermediate quantities as green, to indicate high fitness.

Your point being? First, let me point out how computer-model-centric this is. The only reason some organism might see water as "red" or "green" and not, you know, larger and smaller sizes of water is if that's the only damn thing it's ever tracking. Yeah, sure, that's how evolution works, there's not payout for coordinating different kinds of information, specially the relative sizes of objects, right?

Also, so what if it interprets what it sees in a particular way? You could say the same thing about how we se color - "oh, you're not really seeing blue, you are only interpreting a certain kind of wavelength in a certain way". I think we can all agree this kind of thought is in general useless.

Quote
Its perceptions will be tuned to fitness, but not to truth. It won’t see any distinction between small and large—it only sees red—even though such a distinction exists in reality.

First of all, your last fucking sentences say the organism sees red AND green. That's a distinction. And of course it completely obviates actual, true biological complexity. For an organism to sense something, it needs to have a way to sense it - an eye for example. Now I know that in a computer you can just program it to sense something, but that doesn't make much sense in reality does it? And if an eye can't make distinctions it's an useless eye, probably not an eye at all. But if it can make distinctions - and the more corresponding to reality the better the organism's fitness - and on top of that the organism has the capability to reason and its species has a long tradition of industry to expand on the organism's natural capabilities of perception (e.g. building telescopes) and its societies have means of storing information and collecting data and comparing theories and... well, you get the point.

Yeah, I didn't even want to get into the weird way he created strawmen to demolish while completely disregarding established research. You do a good job of pointing out how fucking ridiculous his logic is.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 03, 2016, 06:35:11 pm
Most recent thing that showed up was today. Don't recognise the source (clickbait), came via google.

http://trendintech.com/2016/12/02/new-study-shows-how-human-intelligence-may-be-a-product-of-a-basic-algorithm/ (http://trendintech.com/2016/12/02/new-study-shows-how-human-intelligence-may-be-a-product-of-a-basic-algorithm/)

I've seen it posted on a couple of forums and FB places. Didn't want to waste time fact checking if you knew anything about it. Filing it as crap pending further info.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 03, 2016, 07:42:17 pm
Most recent thing that showed up was today. Don't recognise the source (clickbait), came via google.

http://trendintech.com/2016/12/02/new-study-shows-how-human-intelligence-may-be-a-product-of-a-basic-algorithm/ (http://trendintech.com/2016/12/02/new-study-shows-how-human-intelligence-may-be-a-product-of-a-basic-algorithm/)

I've seen it posted on a couple of forums and FB places. Didn't want to waste time fact checking if you knew anything about it. Filing it as crap pending further info.

Oh, gotcha. Here's the journal article it links to. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnsys.2016.00095/full

This is definitely legitimate neuroscience from a very respected team, and it's pretty interesting; I'd be interested in seeing whether anyone has tried modeling it with rich club networking. I'm strictly a biological neuroscientist with a focus on signaling molecules rather than on connectivity, but the systems neuroscience approach is critical to understanding how my signaling molecules actually accomplish anything so I'll be interested in seeing where this goes.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 03, 2016, 07:53:21 pm
This article isn't terrible at breaking it down: http://neurosciencenews.com/connectivity-theory-neuroscience-2917/
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 12, 2016, 12:12:18 am
Quote
a salient criticism of Hoffman's hypothesis that our perceptual reality has no pressure to conform to actual reality:

The faculty of perception is based upon recognition.  The "accuracy" or "fitness" thereof is provided by natural selection, both determining survivability of the organism at the macro level, and reinforcing connections reproduced at the micro/neuronal.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 12, 2016, 01:57:27 am
Quote
a salient criticism of Hoffman's hypothesis that our perceptual reality has no pressure to conform to actual reality:

The faculty of perception is based upon recognition.  The "accuracy" or "fitness" thereof is provided by natural selection, both determining survivability of the organism at the macro level, and reinforcing connections reproduced at the micro/neuronal.

Don't be fooled by the word "microbiology"; it is the study of microbial life, not the study of subatomic particles. Even a cellular level is macro when we are talking about particle behavior, which is the level at which quantum behavior manifests. So, nope.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 13, 2016, 05:04:52 am
Quote
a salient criticism of Hoffman's hypothesis that our perceptual reality has no pressure to conform to actual reality:

The faculty of perception is based upon recognition.  The "accuracy" or "fitness" thereof is provided by natural selection, both determining survivability of the organism at the macro level, and reinforcing connections reproduced at the micro/neuronal.

Don't be fooled by the word "microbiology"; it is the study of microbial life, not the study of subatomic particles. Even a cellular level is macro when we are talking about particle behavior, which is the level at which quantum behavior manifests. So, nope.

The above distinction between macro and micro indicates that the premise of recognition obtaining a benefit from accuracy operates at different levels or scales of spatio-temporal extension.  So, yeah, however a fool I do remain, always :lulz:
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 13, 2016, 08:50:32 pm
Quote
a salient criticism of Hoffman's hypothesis that our perceptual reality has no pressure to conform to actual reality:

The faculty of perception is based upon recognition.  The "accuracy" or "fitness" thereof is provided by natural selection, both determining survivability of the organism at the macro level, and reinforcing connections reproduced at the micro/neuronal.

Don't be fooled by the word "microbiology"; it is the study of microbial life, not the study of subatomic particles. Even a cellular level is macro when we are talking about particle behavior, which is the level at which quantum behavior manifests. So, nope.

The above distinction between macro and micro indicates that the premise of recognition obtaining a benefit from accuracy operates at different levels or scales of spatio-temporal extension.  So, yeah, however a fool I do remain, always :lulz:

It's fundamentally no different to think about than individual variations disappearing in the mean of a large group sample. Any kind of probability-based differences in outcome vanish into a probability curve when you have a large sample size. Any time you are looking at any biologically-sized molecule, you are looking at an object with a large enough population of subatomic particles that quantum behavior - that  is, probabilistic behavior - disappears into a probability curve, leaving the molecule as a whole with deterministic behavior rather than quantum (probability-based) behavior. For example, think about coin tosses: each individual coin toss has 50/50 probability, and the fewer coin tosses you make, the less well you can predict the distribution of heads and tails. If you toss the coin 5 times, it might come up heads all 5 times, just by chance. However, if you toss the coin 5000 times, the sum distribution of those tosses will be very very close to 50/50. That is what quantum particle behavior is like, and that's why it isn't applicable on a macro (biological) scale. There  may be some exceptions; it is actually possible that our sense of smell may involve some aspect of quantum detection. However, that is as yet undetermined.

I don't know if that's how a physicist would explain it, but I'm not a physicist.

Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 13, 2016, 09:00:38 pm
Not to mention that once you have an atom, you have particles interacting with other particles, which is why we can look at an atom and know what it is and how it will behave.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 14, 2016, 09:39:54 am
So, if we must relegate the designation of all things "micro" to the quantum level, this does /not/ mean that the probability of any such condition is causally independent of say, the determinite perceptions of a macro (biological) scale organism.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: LMNO on December 14, 2016, 01:21:41 pm
...this does /not/ mean that the probability of any such condition is causally independent of say, the determinite perceptions of a macro (biological) scale organism.

If I understand what you're proposing, I should point out that quantum behavior is not affected by perception.  I think I explained that a while back in some thread or other.  If you really want to know more, I can get into it; but most people don't like it when the universe becomes more interesting and less mysterious.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 14, 2016, 07:10:44 pm
So, if we must relegate the designation of all things "micro" to the quantum level, this does /not/ mean that the probability of any such condition is causally independent of say, the determinite perceptions of a macro (biological) scale organism.

Whatever this says, I was unable to parse it in a way that makes sense.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 14, 2016, 07:28:39 pm
All I can say is that "quantum" doesn't mean what most people seem to think it means, at all, and that a conversation about how quantum behavior can or cannot manifest really can't be had unless all participants first understand what quantum behavior IS.

In the interest of getting on the same page, here is a very simple, straightforward introduction to the basic concepts: http://www.livescience.com/33816-quantum-mechanics-explanation.html
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 15, 2016, 01:34:47 am
This is cool; not what I initially intended, but cool nonetheless :). Just to be clear, my use of the word "micro/neuronal" was not meant to include quantum mechanics.  It was meant to distinguish scales of magnitude.  The human body(s) as a whole was the macro, the neurons were the micro.

...this does /not/ mean that the probability of any such condition is causally independent of say, the determinite perceptions of a macro (biological) scale organism.

If I understand what you're proposing, I should point out that quantum behavior is not affected by perception.  I think I explained that a while back in some thread or other.  If you really want to know more, I can get into it; but most people don't like it when the universe becomes more interesting and less mysterious.

Challenges, good.  So I feel we could probably address this most directly by way of the double-slit experiment but my brain can't do multiplexing today.  Routing around, I was thinking Heissenberg.  Let's see, the measurement problem?  So, if I determine the quanta's probable position, I have absolutely precluded the possibility of determining it's momentum, and vice versa.  So, the perception does not causally determine the property, but it determines the kind of information about that which I will/not have access to.  In some sense, my perceptions determine the kind of information I can derive from quantum behaviour, not the bahaviour itself.  Perceptions determine possibilities over actualities. 

PS.  Fuck, it does still feel like dividing by zero though, I know that the information is not destroyed, however it feels like that...  Thar goes the multiverse.

All I can say is that "quantum" doesn't mean what most people seem to think it means, at all, and that a conversation about how quantum behavior can or cannot manifest really can't be had unless all participants first understand what quantum behavior IS.

In the interest of getting on the same page, here is a very simple, straightforward introduction to the basic concepts: http://www.livescience.com/33816-quantum-mechanics-explanation.html

Putting this in to read once my brain allows it - hopefully soon.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 15, 2016, 02:29:04 am
This is cool; not what I initially intended, but cool nonetheless :). Just to be clear, my use of the word "micro/neuronal" was not meant to include quantum mechanics.  It was meant to distinguish scales of magnitude.  The human body(s) as a whole was the macro, the neurons were the micro.

For scale, think more like solar system as macro and sesame seed as micro.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 15, 2016, 11:10:02 am
This is cool; not what I initially intended, but cool nonetheless :). Just to be clear, my use of the word "micro/neuronal" was not meant to include quantum mechanics.  It was meant to distinguish scales of magnitude.  The human body(s) as a whole was the macro, the neurons were the micro.

...this does /not/ mean that the probability of any such condition is causally independent of say, the determinite perceptions of a macro (biological) scale organism.

If I understand what you're proposing, I should point out that quantum behavior is not affected by perception.  I think I explained that a while back in some thread or other.  If you really want to know more, I can get into it; but most people don't like it when the universe becomes more interesting and less mysterious.

Challenges, good.  So I feel we could probably address this most directly by way of the double-slit experiment but my brain can't do multiplexing today.  Routing around, I was thinking Heissenberg.  Let's see, the measurement problem?  So, if I determine the quanta's probable position, I have absolutely precluded the possibility of determining it's momentum, and vice versa.  So, the perception does not causally determine the property, but it determines the kind of information about that which I will/not have access to.  In some sense, my perceptions determine the kind of information I can derive from quantum behaviour, not the bahaviour itself.  Perceptions determine possibilities over actualities. 

PS.  Fuck, it does still feel like dividing by zero though, I know that the information is not destroyed, however it feels like that...  Thar goes the multiverse.

All I can say is that "quantum" doesn't mean what most people seem to think it means, at all, and that a conversation about how quantum behavior can or cannot manifest really can't be had unless all participants first understand what quantum behavior IS.

In the interest of getting on the same page, here is a very simple, straightforward introduction to the basic concepts: http://www.livescience.com/33816-quantum-mechanics-explanation.html

Putting this in to read once my brain allows it - hopefully soon.

Imagine you're looking at an elephant and your curious nature wants to know two things -

1) What is inside elephant?

2) How fast does elephant run?

So you grab your trusty chainsaw and set about investigating the pachyderm's interior. Satisfied you have a pretty good handle on what is inside elephant, you turn your attention to question 2...

Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 15, 2016, 03:26:37 pm
I think this paragraph in particular from the above-linked article might be helpful:

Quote
Also in 1927, Heisenberg made another major contribution to quantum physics. He reasoned that since matter acts as waves, some properties, such as an electron's position and speed, are "complementary," meaning there's a limit (related to Planck's constant) to how well the precision of each property can be known. Under what would come to be called "Heisenberg's uncertainty principle," it was reasoned that the more precisely an electron's position is known, the less precisely its speed can be known, and vice versa. This uncertainty principle applies to everyday-size objects as well, but is not noticeable because the lack of precision is extraordinarily tiny. According to Dave Slaven of Morningside College (Sioux City, IA), if a baseball's speed is known to within a precision of 0.1 mph, the maximum precision to which it is possible to know the ball's position is 0.000000000000000000000000000008 millimeters.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: LMNO on December 15, 2016, 04:34:40 pm
To complement the above, the "paradox" mainly stems from the math.  The particle* has position, and has velocity.  That's not arbitrary.  We have to choose which one we measure; the math doesn't allow for both.

This doesn't mean the universe is weird -- it means our tools to understand it aren't always up to the task.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 15, 2016, 04:43:16 pm
To complement the above, the "paradox" mainly stems from the math.  The particle* has position, and has velocity.  That's not arbitrary.  We have to choose which one we measure; the math doesn't allow for both.

This doesn't mean the universe is weird -- it means our tools to understand it aren't always up to the task.

I mean, the universe is pretty fucking weird, to be fair.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: LMNO on December 15, 2016, 04:46:31 pm
OK, to be fair, it start playing by it's own rules once it gets really damn small.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 15, 2016, 05:09:40 pm
OK, to be fair, it start playing by it's own rules once it gets really damn small.

I think it might be fair to say that it always plays by its own rules, and it's just that we don't understand them at scales too small to directly observe, because our brains didn't evolve to make submicroscopic observations.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 15, 2016, 05:11:29 pm
It is pretty fucking cool, and a real testament to the versatility of the neuronal network system of processing data, that we are able to use math as an indirect tool by which to make these observations and come to a closer understanding.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: LMNO on December 15, 2016, 06:40:08 pm
As usual, you're about five steps ahead of me.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 17, 2016, 12:26:39 am
I think this paragraph in particular from the above-linked article might be helpful:

Quote
Also in 1927, Heisenberg made another major contribution to quantum physics. He reasoned that since matter acts as waves, some properties, such as an electron's position and speed, are "complementary," meaning there's a limit (related to Planck's constant) to how well the precision of each property can be known. Under what would come to be called "Heisenberg's uncertainty principle," it was reasoned that the more precisely an electron's position is known, the less precisely its speed can be known, and vice versa. This uncertainty principle applies to everyday-size objects as well, but is not noticeable because the lack of precision is extraordinarily tiny. According to Dave Slaven of Morningside College (Sioux City, IA), if a baseball's speed is known to within a precision of 0.1 mph, the maximum precision to which it is possible to know the ball's position is 0.000000000000000000000000000008 millimeters.
I really thought it was momentum, velocity at least.  :cheekydevil:
(only responding antagonistically to buy time, not poop-posting ;-)

Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 17, 2016, 12:54:04 am
To complement the above, the "paradox" mainly stems from the math.  The particle* has position, and has velocity.  That's not arbitrary.  We have to choose which one we measure; the math doesn't allow for both.

This doesn't mean the universe is weird -- it means our tools to understand it aren't always up to the task.

Wait, I didn't think it was a matter of tools (scientific equipment), I thought this was somehow the way information about quanta was fundementally organized.  That is, to the best of our understanding, the maths /always/ conceals one when the other is revealed.  Or, an increase in accuracy for one probability measurement MUST result in decreased accuracy of the other.  I even got a sense that we dont have reason to believe the maths is going to go about changing that - that it is fundamentally not up to task, that the universe /is/ weird.

I suppose this is where we reiterate "less mysterious more interesting"?
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: LMNO on December 17, 2016, 04:58:01 pm
Math is a tool.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: MMIX on December 17, 2016, 05:06:31 pm
Math is a tool.

Yeah, math doesn't like you much either
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 17, 2016, 07:22:13 pm
:rimshot:
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 17, 2016, 10:00:47 pm
Maths incompletes me.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 18, 2016, 11:41:31 pm
This is cool; not what I initially intended, but cool nonetheless :). Just to be clear, my use of the word "micro/neuronal" was not meant to include quantum mechanics.  It was meant to distinguish scales of magnitude.  The human body(s) as a whole was the macro, the neurons were the micro.

...this does /not/ mean that the probability of any such condition is causally independent of say, the determinite perceptions of a macro (biological) scale organism.

If I understand what you're proposing, I should point out that quantum behavior is not affected by perception.  I think I explained that a while back in some thread or other.  If you really want to know more, I can get into it; but most people don't like it when the universe becomes more interesting and less mysterious.

Challenges, good.  So I feel we could probably address this most directly by way of the double-slit experiment but my brain can't do multiplexing today.  Routing around, I was thinking Heissenberg.  Let's see, the measurement problem?  So, if I determine the quanta's probable position, I have absolutely precluded the possibility of determining it's momentum, and vice versa.  So, the perception does not causally determine the property, but it determines the kind of information about that which I will/not have access to.  In some sense, my perceptions determine the kind of information I can derive from quantum behaviour, not the bahaviour itself.  Perceptions determine possibilities over actualities. 

PS.  Fuck, it does still feel like dividing by zero though, I know that the information is not destroyed, however it feels like that...  Thar goes the multiverse.

All I can say is that "quantum" doesn't mean what most people seem to think it means, at all, and that a conversation about how quantum behavior can or cannot manifest really can't be had unless all participants first understand what quantum behavior IS.

In the interest of getting on the same page, here is a very simple, straightforward introduction to the basic concepts: http://www.livescience.com/33816-quantum-mechanics-explanation.html

Putting this in to read once my brain allows it - hopefully soon.

Imagine you're looking at an elephant and your curious nature wants to know two things -

1) What is inside elephant?

2) How fast does elephant run?

So you grab your trusty chainsaw and set about investigating the pachyderm's interior. Satisfied you have a pretty good handle on what is inside elephant, you turn your attention to question 2...

This seems to imply the information was destroyed, not occluded.  I think of it as all quanta being Janus-like, or two faced.  If you chose to look at one face, you are doing so from a particular POV, say the front, so then of course the other side is hidden.  I otherwise don't complain about not being able to see the back of someone's head when looking at them in the face?
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 18, 2016, 11:46:37 pm
I think this paragraph in particular from the above-linked article might be helpful:

Quote
Also in 1927, Heisenberg made another major contribution to quantum physics. He reasoned that since matter acts as waves, some properties, such as an electron's position and speed, are "complementary," meaning there's a limit (related to Planck's constant) to how well the precision of each property can be known. Under what would come to be called "Heisenberg's uncertainty principle," it was reasoned that the more precisely an electron's position is known, the less precisely its speed can be known, and vice versa. This uncertainty principle applies to everyday-size objects as well, but is not noticeable because the lack of precision is extraordinarily tiny. According to Dave Slaven of Morningside College (Sioux City, IA), if a baseball's speed is known to within a precision of 0.1 mph, the maximum precision to which it is possible to know the ball's position is 0.000000000000000000000000000008 millimeters.

I take it is not that the sum of quanta that amounts to this uncertainty, but rather an effect that occurs as a boundary condition "at the edge" of the ball?
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on December 19, 2016, 12:08:17 am
http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/the-talk-4

On the subject of people misunderstanding Quantum. The author is usually good on science, but if there's something off it's better to tell me now than after I've made an ass of myself.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 19, 2016, 07:19:51 am
This seems to imply the information was destroyed, not occluded.  I think of it as all quanta being Janus-like, or two faced.  If you chose to look at one face, you are doing so from a particular POV, say the front, so then of course the other side is hidden.  I otherwise don't complain about not being able to see the back of someone's head when looking at them in the face?

No analogy is perfect. I just wanted to post something about chainsawing open elephants, tbh.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: LMNO on December 19, 2016, 01:32:41 pm
This seems to imply the information was destroyed, not occluded.  I think of it as all quanta being Janus-like, or two faced.  If you chose to look at one face, you are doing so from a particular POV, say the front, so then of course the other side is hidden.  I otherwise don't complain about not being able to see the back of someone's head when looking at them in the face?

No analogy is perfect. I just wanted to post something about chainsawing open elephants, tbh.

Yeah.  Metaphors are fluttering balls of fragrant screaming pus -- they only work for specific situations, in specific contexts, and if you don't understand the underlying analogy, fairly meaningless.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: LMNO on December 19, 2016, 01:40:57 pm
http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/the-talk-4

On the subject of people misunderstanding Quantum. The author is usually good on science, but if there's something off it's better to tell me now than after I've made an ass of myself.

That's pretty damn good.

There's a reason my dad's book made every attempt to avoid metaphors.  Honestly, it makes sense when you abandon classical mechanics, and start from the ground up (or, historically, top down, larger --> smaller).
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 19, 2016, 05:01:19 pm
http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/the-talk-4

On the subject of people misunderstanding Quantum. The author is usually good on science, but if there's something off it's better to tell me now than after I've made an ass of myself.

That's pretty damn good.

There's a reason my dad's book made every attempt to avoid metaphors.  Honestly, it makes sense when you abandon classical mechanics, and start from the ground up (or, historically, top down, larger --> smaller).

Yeah, the metaphors generally seem to just fuck everything up.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 19, 2016, 05:07:31 pm
To complement the above, the "paradox" mainly stems from the math.  The particle* has position, and has velocity.  That's not arbitrary.  We have to choose which one we measure; the math doesn't allow for both.

This doesn't mean the universe is weird -- it means our tools to understand it aren't always up to the task.

Wait, I didn't think it was a matter of tools (scientific equipment), I thought this was somehow the way information about quanta was fundementally organized.  That is, to the best of our understanding, the maths /always/ conceals one when the other is revealed.  Or, an increase in accuracy for one probability measurement MUST result in decreased accuracy of the other.  I even got a sense that we dont have reason to believe the maths is going to go about changing that - that it is fundamentally not up to task, that the universe /is/ weird.

I suppose this is where we reiterate "less mysterious more interesting"?

Not all tools are equipment. Language is a tool for describing things. Math is a language for describing physical behavior.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 19, 2016, 05:07:53 pm
http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/the-talk-4

On the subject of people misunderstanding Quantum. The author is usually good on science, but if there's something off it's better to tell me now than after I've made an ass of myself.

I liked this a lot.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 19, 2016, 07:35:01 pm
http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/the-talk-4

On the subject of people misunderstanding Quantum. The author is usually good on science, but if there's something off it's better to tell me now than after I've made an ass of myself.

Tried to load it - can't - my equipment won't allow it.  I'm guessing that's kinda quantum :lulz:
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 19, 2016, 07:40:52 pm
To complement the above, the "paradox" mainly stems from the math.  The particle* has position, and has velocity.  That's not arbitrary.  We have to choose which one we measure; the math doesn't allow for both.

This doesn't mean the universe is weird -- it means our tools to understand it aren't always up to the task.

Wait, I didn't think it was a matter of tools (scientific equipment), I thought this was somehow the way information about quanta was fundementally organized.  That is, to the best of our understanding, the maths /always/ conceals one when the other is revealed.  Or, an increase in accuracy for one probability measurement MUST result in decreased accuracy of the other.  I even got a sense that we dont have reason to believe the maths is going to go about changing that - that it is fundamentally not up to task, that the universe /is/ weird.

I suppose this is where we reiterate "less mysterious more interesting"?

Not all tools are equipment. Language is a tool for describing things. Math is a language for describing physical behavior.
Not all math is for describing physical behaviour, right?  "Pure" maths is about entirely abstract/ideal concepts.  Still working on the difference between tools and equipment (maybe a similar distinction?)
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 19, 2016, 07:46:53 pm
This seems to imply the information was destroyed, not occluded.  I think of it as all quanta being Janus-like, or two faced.  If you chose to look at one face, you are doing so from a particular POV, say the front, so then of course the other side is hidden.  I otherwise don't complain about not being able to see the back of someone's head when looking at them in the face?

No analogy is perfect. I just wanted to post something about chainsawing open elephants, tbh.

Yeah.  Metaphors are fluttering balls of fragrant screaming pus -- they only work for specific situations, in specific contexts, and if you don't understand the underlying analogy, fairly meaningless.

The underlying (nice one) analogy I got from it was that bit about the 3 blind monks trying to identify an elephant together.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 20, 2016, 03:24:25 am
To complement the above, the "paradox" mainly stems from the math.  The particle* has position, and has velocity.  That's not arbitrary.  We have to choose which one we measure; the math doesn't allow for both.

This doesn't mean the universe is weird -- it means our tools to understand it aren't always up to the task.

Wait, I didn't think it was a matter of tools (scientific equipment), I thought this was somehow the way information about quanta was fundementally organized.  That is, to the best of our understanding, the maths /always/ conceals one when the other is revealed.  Or, an increase in accuracy for one probability measurement MUST result in decreased accuracy of the other.  I even got a sense that we dont have reason to believe the maths is going to go about changing that - that it is fundamentally not up to task, that the universe /is/ weird.

I suppose this is where we reiterate "less mysterious more interesting"?

Not all tools are equipment. Language is a tool for describing things. Math is a language for describing physical behavior.
Not all math is for describing physical behaviour, right?  "Pure" maths is about entirely abstract/ideal concepts.  Still working on the difference between tools and equipment (maybe a similar distinction?)

Equipment is physical, language is conceptual. All equipment is a tool, not all tools are equipment.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: minuspace on December 20, 2016, 08:17:55 am
Cool.  Then equipment reminded me of the French "equi-page", which at least phonetically made me think "same-page".  :lulz:
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Brotep on February 17, 2017, 05:51:50 am
The quantum bullshit (and other bullshit) in the piece aside, I do find it neat how contemporary neuropsychology and cognitive science is faced with similar problems to medieval metaphysics.

Universals were a hot-button issue back in the day: what makes stuff that is good, good? We think there's this monolithic thing, The Good. Do things that are good contain a piece of it? Or are they molded by it, as wax is displaced by a seal ring into a likeness? What is the relationship between the universal and the individual?

Nowadays we have questions like, what is the relationship between qualia (our experiences of the world) and unmediated reality?

Calling barstool here is spot on, though: if qualia did not relate to unmediated reality closely enough, we would not be able to survive.

This is not to say the experience of wetness has anything to do with what water actually is, only that the consistency of that experience in relation to the unmediated reality of what we recognize as water allows us to create an understanding of it, weave it into our frameworks of associations and meanings. Likewise, a fact need not capture the essence of what it describes--it is a useful relation.
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on March 28, 2019, 08:18:19 pm
Most of the article appears to be equivocations and empty platitudes wrapped up in a sham of the profound
Title: Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
Post by: hoopla on March 28, 2019, 08:50:19 pm
Most of the article appears to be equivocations and empty platitudes wrapped up in a sham of the profound

(https://i.ibb.co/WsM8cxm/E6810-E8-C-EB91-494-D-8-E28-74-B44-A361-D2-C.jpg) (https://ibb.co/yVZv8fH)