[time 360] Re: [time 358] memes

Matti Pitkanen (matpitka@pcu.helsinki.fi)
Thu, 27 May 1999 20:28:46 +0300 (EET DST)

Libet's experiments are crucial for consciousness theorizing.
The straightforward interpretation is that materialists are right.
Our volition is illusion.

In TGD framework the situation is however different. Quantum jumps
occur between quantum *histories*. Old quantum history is replaced
with a new one. Most importantly, also the *past* of quantum history
is changed. Libet's experiments seem to suggest that the
time interval in which past changes considerably is of
order one second.
There are several experiments, which are difficult to explain in
the conventional picture about time. Korhuber's and Libet's experiments
about passive and active aspects of consciousness and Radin-Bierman
experiments. I have myself suggested also new kind of experiment ('Tribar
effect') testing quantum jump between quantum histories concept.

See chapters 'Matter, Mind, Quantum' and 'The problem of
psychological time' at


There is also rather recent posting in qmind archives about
possible tests of TGD inspired theory of consciousness.

I agree with the idea that self as continuous stream of
consciousness is basically illusion since there are only moments of
consciousness (in my approach). The sequence of passive quantum jumps
following state function reduction would come closest to the continuous
stream of consciousness idea since subsystem would participate in
subsequence quantum jumps.

Cognitive spacetime sheets could be memes, metalife: replicating and
competing for lebensraum (hopefully not killing each other, however(;-)).

On Thu, 27 May 1999, Ken Fisher wrote:

> Stephen said:
> > Have you ever heard of "memes"?
> > http://www.ed.cqu.edu.au/~bigumc/Meme/meme_definition.html,
> > http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/hypertext/landow/cpace/infotech/cook/memedef.html
> On the subject of memes, check out
> http://www.newscientist.com/ns/19990313/mememyself.html
> I'll just copy the start of it:
> What will do absolutely anything to
> survive, even trick you into
> believing you exist? Susan
> Blackmore outlines the
> controversial ideas that inspired her
> latest book
> Hold out your arm in front of you. Whenever you
> feel like it, of your own free will, flex
> your wrist. Repeat this a few times, making
> sure you do it as consciously as you can.
> You'll probably experience some kind of
> decision process, in which you hold back from
> doing anything and then decide to act. Now
> ask yourself, what began the process that led
> to the action? Was it you?
> Neuroscientist Benjamin Libet of the
> University of California in San Francisco
> asked volunteers to do exactly that. A clock
> allowed the subjects to note exactly when
> they decided to act, and by fitting
> electrodes to their wrists, Libet could time
> the start of the action. More electrodes on
> their scalps recorded a particular brain wave
> pattern called the readiness potential, which
> occurs just before any complex action and is
> associated with the brain planning its next
> move.
> Libet's controversial finding was that the
> decision to act came after the readiness
> potential. It looks as though there is no
> conscious "self" jumping into the synapses
> and starting things off.
> This and other research has led me to believe
> that the idea of "self" is an illusion. You
> are nothing more than a creation of genes and
> memes in a unique environment. Memes are
> ideas, skills, habits, stories, songs or
> inventions that are passed from person to
> person by imitation. They have shaped our
> minds, leading to the evo-lution of big
> brains and language because these served to
> spread the memes. But the memes with the
> cleverest trick are those that persuade us
> that our "selves" really exist. We all live
> our lives as a lie. The memes have made us do
> it--because giving us the illusion of "self"
> helps them to survive and spread.
> What's everyone's thoughts about that???
> Ken

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