[time 111] Re: [time 99] Spacetime& consciousness

ca314159 (ca314159@bestweb.net)
Sun, 21 Mar 1999 00:03:26 -0800

Dear Hitoshi and Time folk,

Hitoshi Kitada wrote:
> Dear Ben,
> I have read GOERTZEL.html It is most impressive paper that I have read
> recently. I agree with your usage of the word "randomness," which I understand
> as the randomness seen from the side of the observer/recognitioner, who cannot
> know which choice it would do right now nor its probability unlike the people
> who are at the position of forming a theory, looking things from the outside.
> If one sees things from the outside, it would even be possible to explain
> "measurement procedure" including Wheeler's delayed recognition by "quantum
> eraser." (This might be a good exercise for mathematicians. :) ) But if one
> is constructing/searching his recognition, it is impossible to explain what he
> is doing: You explain this situation using Goedel's Incompleteness result.
> I understand why you showed interest in my formulation: wholes vs. parts, when
> seeing the part:
> > Now neuropsychologists have shown that the role of consciousness
> > in perception and cognition is precisely that of grouping, of forming
> wholes.
> in section 3. I understand that grouping is important in your formulation as a
> procedure of recognition.
> Although I might disagree with Julian Jaynes' view that "(consciousness
> evolved suddenly rather than rapidly, and that) this sudden evolution occurred
> in the very recent past," I agree with your understanding of unconscious
> awareness, which you describe by quoting Nietzsche and (somewhat contrastly)
> Huang Po. I personally think they are experiencing the same thing. Just
> Nietzsche found it in his philosophical thoughts/life, and Huang Po in the
> things in daily life (Zen is a recognition or finding in usual life, so it can
> be a common practice for general people who are not specialists).
> I expect your article will be helps and a guideline for the people who are
> trying to understand the procedure of recognition and want to go further.

    I agree with the idea that "consciousness is simple" and that
    randomness is a part of it. But the association of "consciousness"
    with quantum measurement is not a complete use of the word
    "consciousness", which can to many be synonymous with self-awareness,
    and sentience and more transcendent states of mind and so be misleading.

    In the usuage of the word "consciousness" as a physical quantum measurement,
    one cannot equate it with "randomness" because the measurement is
    deterministic in terms of the outcome of the measurement. The randomness
    exists only prior to measurement and as I hopefully pointed out clearly
    in my reply to Matti, this "prior to measurement" stage is wholely
    subjective and open to lies in the extream. Even when we lie, the
    wavefunction components will interfere, because that non-physical
    interference cannot be measured without the total or partial collapse
    of the wavefunction evidenced in the photon tagging experiments
    (quantum eraser).
    The quantum eraser is not as mysterious as the text makes it sound.
    The "machine record" is not a blind paper record that when looked at
    or not, changes the image on the photographic plate; for then one could
    look at the plate see one thing, then look at the paper record,
    and then look back at the plate and see something else. This doesn't
    happen as vaguish discription in the text seems to imply but quantum theory
    abounds with such grandiose statements of what are really simple and
    rational results when analyzed with more scrutiny. The recent reports
    of FTL travel by Chaio and of quantum teleportation by Zeilinger et al
    are evidently hyped up for mass consumption.

    The mathematics for the quantum eraser is best reviewed in Born and Wolf
    where in the simplest and clearest form of the experiement, over each slit
    a polarizer is placed. The angle between the two polarizers controls the
    the degree of distinguishability of individual photons (photon tagging)
    and so then the degree of interference. Here's the math as simple as
    I can make it:
    If you run this program it allows you to plot any "interference" pattern
    from the M-B classical distribution to the full B-E interference pattern
    *continuously* as parametrized by the angle between the polarizers and
    not binarily as Ben writes "forces it to make a choice between one of the
    two alternatives".

    The Buddhist term "mentation" more closely describes this effect of increasing
    the degree of distinguishability than the word "consciousness" and so having
    has less synonyms than "consciousness" is a better word for what is
    described by Ben as "consciousness". "Mentation" has less overlap
    (non-orthogonality) than "consciousness" with other meanings given
    in usage.

    In this sense names themselves, which we give to things and
    concepts, are particulate to the degree we refine their usage.
    The more narrowly we refine and constrain a word's usage, the more
    it becomes a part of a particulate machine language with a specific
    functional meaning to it. Such a machine language existing within
    manifold of many words with more broad ranging semantics is reminiscent
    of Hitoshi's Local Systems embedded in the more semantically fluid
    space of GR.



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