Foundations of Mind III
Reparsing Nature: Science As If Being Mattered
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Sean Ó Nualláin
Introduction to Foundations of Mind: Homage to Walter Freeman III.
Computational social science is an emerging field at the intersection of statistics, computer science, and the social sciences. This paper addresses the philosophical foundations of this new field. Kant and Peirce provide an understanding of scientific objectivity as intersubjective validity. Modern mathematics, and especially the mathematics of algorithms and statistics, get their objectivity from the intersubjective validity of formal proof. Algorithms implementing statistical inference, or scientific algorithms, are what distinguish computational social science epistemically from other social sciences. This gives computational social science an objective validity that other social sciences do not have. Objections to the scientific realism of this philosophy from the positions of anti-instrumentalism, postmodern interpretivism, and situated epistemology are considered and either incorporated into this philosophy of computational social science or refuted. Speculative predictions for the field of computational social science are offered in conclusion: computational social science will bring about an end of narrative in the social sciences, contract the field of social scientific knowledge into a narrower, more hierarchical field of expertise, and create a democratic crisis that will only be resolved through universal education in computational statistics.
William C. Bushell
This paper presents developments in a published yet still little known model of how intensively trained individuals - adepts or virtuosi of special meditational techniques - appear to be potentially capable of radically enhancing their sensory perceptual capacities to the point of, for example, directly perceiving light at the scale of single photons, at the quantum mechanical limit of its detectability. This is a working model which is based also on little-known work of leading physicists and biophysicists from Princeton, Stanford, Berkeley and other institutions.
One of the problems of identifying consciousness is defining it in ways that allow for universal application and exploration. Popular and anthropocentric definitions are problematic due to their inherent bias toward exclusively biological events in a field of study that does not require and is even hindered by this limitation. A preliminary definition is needed that would encompass known biological consciousness as well as theoretical macro, micro, and intrinsic levels of consciousness. This paper proposes that the following are a preliminary set of factors for openly exploring what can be considered conscious with no biological or cultural biases.
Communication: Consciousness requires discrete parts of the system to be able to influence one another in a holistic manner. Whether this is by synaptic firing or gravitic relationships is irrelevant.
Adaptation: Consciousness requires adaptation to its environment. Note the avoidance of the popular term "awareness," which is an untestable factor on many levels. Static systems cannot be conscious. Dynamic systems can be, but are not necessarily conscious.
Complexity: In order to be differentiated from purely physical or chemical dynamic systems, conscious systems must display a sufficient complexity in energy rate density. This paper proposes a ɸm (erg/second/gram) of a minimum of 103 for any given system to be considered complex enough to display consciousness. This is equivalent to the simplest lifeforms considered conscious.
The first two requirements are easily understood. The requirement of complexity is the least conventional and requires explication. Physical complexity is often used as a basic threshold for organization, but this seems to be due to convenience more than logical applicability, especially when informational systems are weighed on their quantitative value. It does not follow that a greater number of components translates to a higher threshold of complexity, any more than saying a bucket of sand is more physically complex than an iPad because it has more particulates.
As Eric Chaisson posits, energy rate density is a more universal and reliable means of organizing complexity. Energy rate density (ERD) measures the energy flow in ergs per gram per second within a given system. This qualitative assessment of energy efficiency is more insightful than listing non-adaptive arrangements such as physical interactions or even systems theory. The dramatic spike in ERD for all known conscious systems makes this an ideal metric for exploring radically different systems about which little else is known.
A father explores the nature of consciousness in dialogue with his daughter.
Portions of Arthur M. Young's Theory of Process and G. Spencer-Brown's Laws of Form (LoF) are presented as deep (ultimate) ontic and epistemic ways, respectively, to parse the Universe and our experience into parts of wholes: both systems include the observer/experiencer/agent as an integral part of the Universe, with a partial unity of knower and known.
In Young's theory, the Universe is generated by dividing Wholeness: into three, creating substance; and into four, creating form; and their combination, giving the formed substance of molecular matter. (Then from matter, Life acquires powers, in stages.) Reversing the sequence of generation gives an ontic parsing into Wholeness and its divisions.
Spencer-Brown's neoPlatonic ontology has radiant Being at its ontic center, with existence at its periphery (or surface), and has at its epistemic center a knowing being. The epistemology of LoF deconstructs our knowledge of existence to successively-more-central fields: of truth, then of indications, then of The Form of some first distinction, and finally to a Void which can include a knowing being. This deconstruction has an analogy in ‘retracting ones psychological projection', resulting in liberating self-realization.
Judy B. Gardiner
Utilizing string and chaos theory as a template, dreaming-waking consciousness opens to the collective unconscious where dreams access universal information in a metaphorical black hole of the psyche. This experiential study of crossover theories, scientific disciplines, and unified consciousness illustrates how insights unconstrained by preconceptions are developed at the most basic levels of awareness. Physics overlaps with concepts of immortality and infinity. Insights emerge in a fluid, unconstrained dimension of consciousness.
An Alice in Wonderland allegory analogizes the process of discovering truths from other planes. Alice's curiosity impels her to decode scientific metaphors and clues, spinning and unfolding them into a quantum realm of branes and brains. As an investigative tool, vignettes illustrate Visual Associative Recognition Memory based on entangled quantum consciousness. In this dream-science narrative, logic and insight combine to pursue the proverbial "one loose end," while surface research produces applications that may help trigger insights relevant to theories of string and consciousness.
In the new physics and in the new field of cosmometry, it is the fundamental pattern that results in the motion (Bohm's holomovement) from which all is created. Everything starts with the point of infinite potential. The tetrahedron at the point gives birth to the cuboctahedron (Vector Equilibrium); its motion and structure result in the creation of the torus structure. The torus structure is self-referencing on a moment by moment basis since all must pass through the center. But isn't self-referencing the basis for consciousness? It is said that all of creation has awareness, but at different levels. We know plants are aware of threats and of death to other living creatures by the work of Cleve Backster. We know we influence random number generators from the PEAR studies at Princeton. We know baby chicks will influence the movement of robots programed to do a random walk from the work of Rene Peoc'h. Quantum physics has embraced geometry with the work in the equations which explain the Feynman diagrams where particles come in and out of existence; those equations form a structure called the Amplituhedron - which is a quarter of a star tetrahedron.
We also know that the tetrahedron can form the star tetrahedron and that each point of the star tetrahedron can form its own star tetrahedron, which can go on infinitely. That is, there is infinity in the finite. As in the fractal and holographic universe, each point or tetrahedron is connected to every other point. If each point has awareness due to formation of the torus, then Hermes teaching of "As above, as below" has meaning in the torus structure.
If the torus is the fundamental unit of self-reference, is that the fundamental unit from which consciousness arises? The torus or double torus appears to be fundamental to all of creation — from galaxies to planets to atoms to photons.
Shelli R. Joye
A holoflux theory of consciousness as modulated energy is hypothesized and shown to support both local and non-local properties. This thesis emerges from an integral evaluation of evidence drawn from: (1) the holonomic mind/brain theories of Karl Pribram, (2) the ontological interpretation of quantum theory by David Bohm. Applying an integral methodology to superimpose and correlate seemingly disparate concepts from among these sources and others, a composite theory emerges, a "holoflux" theory of consciousness, after the term favored by Karl Pribram to describe David Bohm's "holomovement" between an explicate order and an implicate order. This Pribram-Bohm composite holoflux theory is shown to be congruent with established principles of physics, mathematics, and electrical engineering.
Extending the panpsychist paradigm that consciousness is inherent in the structure of the universe, the thesis describes a dynamic energy process bridging the explicate space-time domain with a transcendent flux domain located at the spatial center, everywhere. This center is hypothesized to be synonymous with Karl Pribram's "flux domain" and David Bohm's "implicate order."
Extending the theories of Pribram and Bohm, the holoflux hypothesis maps reality as a nondual energy, cycling mathematically, lens-like, in a process of transformation manifesting in three modes: (1) electromagnetic energy in space-time, (2) holoflux energy in a transcendent order, and (3) vibrating isospheres at the boundary gap separating the implicate from the explicate orders.
This paper is a collection of analogies on wholeness and the implicate order drawn from the field of materials science and engineering. The study of the polycrystalline materials has many applicable analogies in terms of understanding of wholeness, the implicate and explicate orders in consciousness studies. The author presents an analogy that describes the notion of wholeness in the context of behavior of a polycrystal under a uniaxial compressive load. A second analogy describes the notions of implicate and explicate orders in the context of a single, compressed crystal of magnesium examined in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The theories, experimental techniques and computational methods associated with each analogy are presented in a non-technical framework. A number of implications for consciousness studies are presented. Through the development and presentation of analogies in a science and engineering field, the author attempts in providing certain immediate perceptual insights into what is meant by wholeness as well as implicate and explicate orders, as the new paradigm in consciousness studies.
Menas Kafatos, Ashok Narasimhan
If Awareness is fundamental in the universe, mathematical frameworks are better suited to reveal its fundamental aspects than physical models. Awareness operates through three fundamental laws which apply at all levels of reality and is characterized by three universal powers. We explore and summarize in general terms mathematical formalisms that may take us as close as possible to conscious awareness, beginning with the primary relationships between the observer with the observed, using a Hilbert space approach. We also examine insights from category theory, and the calculus of indications or laws of forms. Mathematical frameworks as fundamental languages of our interaction with the universe should be further developed with consciousness being the driving force.
Complexity science concepts of emergence, self-organization, and feedback suggest that descriptions of systems and events are subjective, incomplete, and impermanent-similar to what we observe in quantum phenomena. Complexity science evinces an increasingly compelling alternative to reductionism for describing physical phenomena, now that shared aspects of complexity science and quantum phenomena are being scientifically substantiated. Establishment of a clear connection between chaotic complexity and quantum entanglement in small quantum systems indicates the presence of common processes involved in thermalization in large and small-scale systems. Recent findings in the fields of quantum physics, quantum biology, and quantum cognition demonstrate evidence of the complexity science characteristics of sensitivity to initial conditions and emergence of self-organizing systems. Efficiencies in quantum superposition suggest a new paradigm in which our very notion of complexity depends on which information theory we choose to employ.
Michelle Kathryn McGee
As academics navigate the existential tangle between speculation and experimental fact, the prospect of synergy between complex emergent systems wisdom and useful aspects of physics has never been better. One way to stimulate a new phase is to look outside of academia. The complementarity and contributions of two underground theories, one cosmological and one metaphysical, are discussed herein, with a focus on conceptual barriers to their comprehensive assessment and adoption.
Ashok Narasimhan, Menas Kafatos
The majority of the focus on equations in physics has been on the mathematical and computational aspects. Here we focus on the qualitative content of what the relationships expressed in equations imply. In some sense, we are asking foundational questions about the ontology of equations.
Sean Ó Nualláin
The first argument in this article is that, absent what would truly be a paradigm change (for once that hackneyed term is meet) 21st century brain science is already set on a sterile and unethical course. An alternative, dynamical systems approach based on the work of Freeman, Hoffman and Pribam is outlined. Moreover, it is argued that this allots physicists in the area appropriate work to do, versus the current Herculean/Augean task left behind to them by neuro"scientists". The article continues with a radical reparse of the concepts in what has become the consciousness industry. Finally, a set of promising concepts is explored, starting with the holographic idea of memory. Above all, phase and amplitude modulation of a carrier wave are given a central role, as is the possibility of quantum effects in informational processing of the attentional stream.
Glenn Aparacio Parry
Mainstream psychology is limited by the a-priori assumption that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain; while the emergent discipline of ecopsychology posits the whole of Nature as the source of our consciousness. Ecopsychologists contend that we do not think independently from nature-that it is the living elements of Nature from which human consciousness co-arises. The formal academic discipline of psychology — formed in the late 19th century — attempted to isolate human consciousness from the rest of Nature. Mainstream psychology is not unique in this attempt; nearly all other academic disciplines, including economics, are based on a similar abstract separation from Nature in an attempt to maintain scientific objectivity. In the past century, quantum theory upended the conventional separation between observer and observed, but mainstream psychology failed to adapt. Ecopsychology, through reestablishing connection to Nature, is a movement in the right direction of dissolving the dichotomous split in consciousness. It must avoid the pitfalls of academe, however, and not become an abstract discipline.
Tania Re, J. Palma, J. E. Martins, M. Simões
New research on ayahuasca's potential applications in psychiatry have been undertaken in the last few years. It is relevant to start by pointing out that this south American brew has a very low potential for abuse, having no associated psychiatric or neuropsychological disorders. P.The most studied area in which ayahuasca may be applied is drug addiction. Interest for the understanding of ayahuasca's therapeutic potential in drug addiction is to determine by which mechanism the brew acts in order to promote behavioral and personality changes that allow freedom from addiction.
Some authors consider that the benefits provided by ayahuasca may arise from a symbiotic action between pharmacology and altered consciousness state, with some volunteers reporting an understanding of how some life happenings may have contributed to their depression and an achievement of a blissful state, which continued throughout time.
Classic holography involves a reference beam and an object beam (which bounces off an object) which interact and form a holographic interference pattern on a holographic plate (grating). This method has been used for numerous applications and theoretical models. Holographic information storage is often utilized in the field of opto-electronics. The goal of this research is to understand how to transmit/receive, code/decode, modulate and focus optical signals.
The purpose of the great stone pyramids of ancient civilizations remains a mystery. Although pyramids are sometimes reputed to have certain powers or energies associated with them, documented evidence is scarce, and scientific theory is lacking. This paper explores a few key questions: (1) Is there an energy field associated with pyramidal structures that can perform work? If so, what is the nature of this energy field? Are there effects of pyramidal structures on humans, other organisms, and inanimate objects? (2) Does consciousness interact with pyramidal structures to produce or modify any effects? Do belief and intention matter? Evidence is shown that pyramidal structures collect or allow what may be a novel form of energy--cosmic energy or bioenergy--to flow in an unusual manner, producing a variety of unanticipated effects unexplainable by conventional science. The restoration of razor blades to sharpness; rapid drying and preservation of foods; accelerated healing of human injuries and sick animals; and increased growth of plants with larger biomass are some of these effects. In a controlled study on seed germination and growth, we observed an interaction of consciousness, whereby distant intent to facilitate faster plant growth together with placing plants under a pyramidal structure led to positive synergistic effects on plant growth, greater than intent alone or pyramid alone. Alignment with geomagnetic north is important to obtaining these effects. The collective evidence suggests that pyramidal structures may be psychotronic generators that work together with consciousness and a form of energy to produce advantageous effects on matter.
Fred Alan Wolf
I speculate that the mind/soul may be an information field as perhaps envisioned by Plato-what I call the Platonic/Akashic/Tachyonic/Holographic quantum field (PATH-QF)-possibly what the ancients called the Akashic record, interacting with "real" matter fields. Though no material objects manifesting from appropriate quantum fields (those that generate real finite rest masses > 0) can travel at or faster than the speed of light, I speculate that the putative mind/soul exists as a PATH that interacts/creates with such slower-than-light-speed "real" matter through the intermediary of imaginal imaginary-mass objects-tachyons. It is the interaction between the PATH and matter fields that leads to the physical world and to the subjective experience we know as mind/life force.
Sean O Nuallain
Science deals with "knowing that", third person knowledge which can be presented to the individual consciousness and verified.. It is argued here that science becomes more veridical once it reflects ontology — differences in levels of being — in its methodology. Skills learning deals with "knowing how", and often we practice to make skilled movements unconscious. The arts follow science in the schema here in what is fundamentally an attempt for Being to know itself through us, but the means are more various and less precise. Above all, the scheme here eschews the facile reductionism inherent in subjectivism and aesthetic, moral, and epistemological relativism
There is also a third category of experience, relating to social processes in which we are objects as well as subjects and a fourth i.e. biological processes that secure our continued existence, and both of these are exigent in that they demand we consider ourselves as objects. It is argued here that treatment of these categories of experience should be part of the true content of religion considered as the exaltation of humanity by immersion in the sacred.
No attempt is made to supersede the sacraments like confirmation/bar mitzvah that introduce the neophyte to a new level of participation in the community. These are steeped in useful algorithmic compressions of folk psychology applied to a particular culture. It is argued that a new chapter in humanity's dialogue with the cosmos can be opened with this reconstrued science, arts, and religion.
To summarize in two sentences: It is argued that our experience oscillates between "alienated" and "centered" movements and that we should try and live in the "centered" process. This distinction is explored at the levels of sensorimotor experience, mentation, emotion, conviviality, power, and spirituality.
Eric Stanley Reiter
It is argued on both experimental and theoretical grounds that quantum entanglement, which has been taken to explain consciousness, is an illusion.