Then you explain it!

  • Thread starter Mentat
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  • #1
Mentat
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I've been defending Dennett's philosophy of the mind for some time now, on many different threads. It occured to me recently, though (thanks to my good friend, Royce), that these debates have been somewhat one-sided. That is, I have been almost completely on the defensive, while everyone else was picking away at the idea, instead of coming back with their own idea of how consciousness might work.

Now, I challenge all of those who believe that Dennett's idea isn't good enough (for whatever reason), to present their alternative. Basically, I'm saying "Fine, then how do you explain it?"

Now, there is more than one facet to Dennett's idea, and you are free to accept some but not others if you want; or you can discard anything that even looks like his theory, and present something completely original.

I will, of course, be challenging these new ideas on consciousness (as you have all been challenging mine (which is based on Dennett's, mostly - along with a few other people, like Joseph LeDoux)), so I hope you bring something you are prepared to defend.

As always, all responses are appreciated. :smile:
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Njorl
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I was about to go into a lengthy description of what I believed conciousness to be. I thought I should check out the ideas of Dennett first, to have points to argue from. I find I agree almost totally with what I read, though it was only very superficial 2nd hand info.

I believe memory to be the imperfect imprinting on our neurological apparatus of sensory information. I believe thought to be the superpostioning of this information in various ways using different neurological apparatus. This new, processed information may also be stored in memory.

There are complicating subtleties. One such is feedback. Some thought processes may skew the interpretation of sensory input, thereby skewing memory, which, in turn, may skew further thought processes. Also, biological feedback seperate from the neurological system can affect the mind, which in turn can affect those biological systems.

In brief, I think I agree with you.

Njorl
 
  • #3
Mentat
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Originally posted by Njorl
I was about to go into a lengthy description of what I believed conciousness to be. I thought I should check out the ideas of Dennett first, to have points to argue from. I find I agree almost totally with what I read, though it was only very superficial 2nd hand info.

I believe memory to be the imperfect imprinting on our neurological apparatus of sensory information. I believe thought to be the superpostioning of this information in various ways using different neurological apparatus. This new, processed information may also be stored in memory.

There are complicating subtleties. One such is feedback. Some thought processes may skew the interpretation of sensory input, thereby skewing memory, which, in turn, may skew further thought processes. Also, biological feedback seperate from the neurological system can affect the mind, which in turn can affect those biological systems.

In brief, I think I agree with you.

Njorl

In most ways that is probably true (that we agree), but I have one slight problem with wording here:

I believe thought to be the superpostioning of this information in various ways using different neurological apparatus. This new, processed information may also be stored in memory.

What is this superpositioning? Do you mean the collections of different stimuli to the different parts of the brain, which we interpret as individual "thoughts"? In that case, I'd say we probably do agree. However, there are other ways that this statement could be taken.
 
  • #4
Njorl
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Superpositioning is usually used in discussions of wave mechanics. The most common usage is in fourier series. By taking various trigonometric functions, and multiplying them by different weights and summing them, you can make virtually any function.

By saying thoughts are the superpositioning of memories, I was trying to convey that our thoughts are assemblies of memories with varied emphasis, rearranged and edited. I would actually venture to say that perhaps our thought processes might push beyond this by tiny increments, but I can't really come up any justification. We can think of all sorts of things we have never experienced, but are they really original? I have never seen a three headed man, but I have seen men, and I have seen heads. It is just a matter of editing to put three of them on one man.

The accuracy of a fourier series is limited by how many sine and cosine terms you include. The details of your thoughts are limited by the memories you may draw upon to create them.

Njorl
 
  • #5
a little to the side here with question about your concept of memory.

I have often wondered where exactly do we keep all these memories. I mean if you think about it all the hard drives in the world would not be enough to store a memory of 24 hours of living....I would think, if i can remember where i put that file (memory)

The answer for me is on the ability to sence a memory which isn't stored any where in fact it just stays where you remember it in a time some where in the past. The brains ability to sence the past where the past is, is in fact how we remember.
 
  • #6
Mentat
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Originally posted by Njorl
Superpositioning is usually used in discussions of wave mechanics. The most common usage is in fourier series. By taking various trigonometric functions, and multiplying them by different weights and summing them, you can make virtually any function.

By saying thoughts are the superpositioning of memories, I was trying to convey that our thoughts are assemblies of memories with varied emphasis, rearranged and edited. I would actually venture to say that perhaps our thought processes might push beyond this by tiny increments, but I can't really come up any justification. We can think of all sorts of things we have never experienced, but are they really original? I have never seen a three headed man, but I have seen men, and I have seen heads. It is just a matter of editing to put three of them on one man.

The accuracy of a fourier series is limited by how many sine and cosine terms you include. The details of your thoughts are limited by the memories you may draw upon to create them.

Njorl

Very interesting insights.

BTW, if you want to conceive of our using our memory to produce things that we've never seen (like three-headed men and purple cows) just think of the fact that a PC can do this same thing (thus the production of movies like "Shrek"), by drawing on previously stored memory of varying things. The difference between the PC and ourselves (apart from complexity) is that someone has to order the PC to draw from whatever memories that someone choose. With humans, there is no one to make the order, and thus Dennett assumed that multi-tasking ability of neuronal processes (the question/answer game).
 
  • #7
Mentat
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Originally posted by scott_sieger
a little to the side here with question about your concept of memory.

I have often wondered where exactly do we keep all these memories. I mean if you think about it all the hard drives in the world would not be enough to store a memory of 24 hours of living....I would think, if i can remember where i put that file (memory)

The answer for me is on the ability to sence a memory which isn't stored any where in fact it just stays where you remember it in a time some where in the past. The brains ability to sence the past where the past is, is in fact how we remember.

Such a metaphysical (and much too psuedo-scientific - no offense) approach is not necessary when one remembers that the brain's processes are electrochemical, and that chemical "stains" can be left behind on neurons that have been previously stimulated.
 
  • #8
Royce
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Originally posted by Mentat

Now, I challenge all of those who believe that Dennett's idea isn't good enough (for whatever reason), to present their alternative. Basically, I'm saying "Fine, then how do you explain it?"
 
  • #9
Royce
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Originally posted by Mentat

Now, I challenge all of those who believe that Dennett's idea isn't good enough (for whatever reason), to present their alternative. Basically, I'm saying "Fine, then how do you explain it?"

Fist a disclaimer. These are my thoughts and opinions only. They have been developed by long and hard thinking, meditation and observation. I have no material proof nor support for these thoughts.

The prime ultimate reality is the One. The one God, creator, mind, consciousness and or awareness that is all and the cause of all.

The universe is created and caused by and is part of this ultimate consciousness. We as individuals are created and caused by and are part of the One. All is One. One is All.

Consciousness/Awareness is prime and ulitmate and so to us at this time unexplainable. It is. It is real. It is reality.

The part of the One that is us individually is our soul. It is part of and inseperable from the One or if you prefer God or conscious universe
The portal or means by which our soul interacts with the physical material world is the mind. The mind is pure energy partly made up of thought which is also energy. It is pressumed that the brain generates thoughts and thus the mind by the electrochemical activity within the neurons and axons. I think that it is the mind that directs the brain probably at the quantum level to think and store thoughts.
It is the electrochemical processes that control our bodies and keep it alive, whatever that means, and thus effects the material world within and about us.

Thus there is the ultimate reality which is the conscious aware mind of God, the metaphysical or spiritual reality.

Next is the the subjective reality of the mind and thought through which the metaphysical effects the physical.

Finally there is the illusion, the physical, material, which we sense and perceive as physical reality.

In short the cause - the media - the effect, the metaphysical - the subjective - the material. Not the other way around with the cart before the horse.
 
  • #10
hypnagogue
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Pointing out potential flaws in the reasoning of a hypothesis does not require the critic to come back with his own fully fleshed out hypothesis. How exactly does consciousness work? I'm not sure, get back to me once we've done a lot more research on brain activity and correlated conscious experiences. What I do know is that Dennett's hypothesis is just that; a hypothesis. It must be empirically verified before we go around stating it as a rock solid theory or even a fact.

By the way, I've been away for a while, but I do plan to continue our discussions in the philosophy forums when time permits. I don't mean for this to branch off into another critique, at length, of Dennett's ideas; that's better left to the other threads. I just want to establish that there is nothing wrong with saying "I'm not sure." Oftentimes it's helpful to flesh out what should not be accepted before we commit to what should be.
 
  • #11
Mentat
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Originally posted by Royce
Fist a disclaimer. These are my thoughts and opinions only. They have been developed by long and hard thinking, meditation and observation. I have no material proof nor support for these thoughts.

The prime ultimate reality is the One. The one God, creator, mind, consciousness and or awareness that is all and the cause of all.

The universe is created and caused by and is part of this ultimate consciousness. We as individuals are created and caused by and are part of the One. All is One. One is All.

Consciousness/Awareness is prime and ulitmate and so to us at this time unexplainable. It is. It is real. It is reality.

The part of the One that is us individually is our soul. It is part of and inseperable from the One or if you prefer God or conscious universe
The portal or means by which our soul interacts with the physical material world is the mind. The mind is pure energy partly made up of thought which is also energy. It is pressumed that the brain generates thoughts and thus the mind by the electrochemical activity within the neurons and axons. I think that it is the mind that directs the brain probably at the quantum level to think and store thoughts.
It is the electrochemical processes that control our bodies and keep it alive, whatever that means, and thus effects the material world within and about us.

Thus there is the ultimate reality which is the conscious aware mind of God, the metaphysical or spiritual reality.

Next is the the subjective reality of the mind and thought through which the metaphysical effects the physical.

Finally there is the illusion, the physical, material, which we sense and perceive as physical reality.

In short the cause - the media - the effect, the metaphysical - the subjective - the material. Not the other way around with the cart before the horse.

You sound like Lifegazer to me. I had a long, somewhat drawn-out, debate with Lifegazer over this "all is One" issue, and in the end he just refused to accept the truth: This view is Solipsism, which doesn't logically allow for the existence of seperate minds.

You can still hold to this view, of course, but it can never be reconciled with science.
 
  • #12
Mentat
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Originally posted by hypnagogue
Pointing out potential flaws in the reasoning of a hypothesis does not require the critic to come back with his own fully fleshed out hypothesis. How exactly does consciousness work? I'm not sure, get back to me once we've done a lot more research on brain activity and correlated conscious experiences. What I do know is that Dennett's hypothesis is just that; a hypothesis. It must be empirically verified before we go around stating it as a rock solid theory or even a fact.

By the way, I've been away for a while, but I do plan to continue our discussions in the philosophy forums when time permits. I don't mean for this to branch off into another critique, at length, of Dennett's ideas; that's better left to the other threads. I just want to establish that there is nothing wrong with saying "I'm not sure." Oftentimes it's helpful to flesh out what should not be accepted before we commit to what should be.

I never said that Dennett's theory was proven. It's the best I've ever heard - and, in fact, the only one (with the exception of theories that look just like his after some examination) that has explained consciousness at all, in my experience. I need to know what all of these people who believe there must be "more to it" believe the "more" is.

Glad you're back though. :smile:
 
  • #13
I side with Dennett but, as Richard Rorty has pointed out (who also sides with Dennett), his fundamental assumptions (or, rather, lack there of) are too different from his critics (Searle, Nagel, Chalmers). If one believes that the mind must have instrinsic features, phenomenological data, then one will regect Dennett's stance. Meh... That is why I have take little interests in the debate - the real battle ground is on the meta-level.
 
  • #14
Royce
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Originally posted by Mentat
You sound like Lifegazer to me. I had a long, somewhat drawn-out, debate with Lifegazer over this "all is One" issue, and in the end he just refused to accept the truth: This view is Solipsism, which doesn't logically allow for the existence of seperate minds.

I first encountered the philosopy that all is One while reading about Buddhism. It is hardly original with me nor is it Solipsism. During meditation at various times I have experienced the One and being a part of it and seeing that everyone else, including you my friend, are a part of the One. We are all individuals and have our own minds but are all connected and part of the One.

It is of the ultimate reality that I keep referring to. Your materialistic truth has nothing to do with the truth of the the metaphysical reality of spirit, soul or One. It is not of the material world. If you have never experienced it then there is nothing that I can say that will convince you or anyone else that it is real, more real than the objective material world.
 
  • #15
Iacchus32
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Is Dennett a materialist? If so, how can he begin to explain something that he doesn't understand? I'll just leave it at that ...
 
  • #16
pelastration
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Originally posted by Royce
I first encountered the philosopy that all is One while reading about Buddhism. ... We are all individuals and have our own minds but are all connected and part of the One.
... Your materialistic truth has nothing to do with the truth of the the metaphysical reality of spirit, soul or One. It is not of the material world. If you have never experienced it then there is nothing that I can say that will convince you or anyone else that it is real, more real than the objective material world.
Question: can we say that 'reality' has two sides: a material side and an energy side?. Are we trapped in duality? I propose we go the Hegel analysis. On one side (thesis) you have matter (Einstein said it was spacetime with ripples) and on the other side (antithesis) you have Energy (from which Einstein said it was spacetime with ripples). So the synthesis is: Both are spacetime with ripples (but the quality or combination is different).
Since Mentat said: As always, all responses are appreciated, I go further.

If we see Spacetime (but in pure gravity perspective) as the "only" force from which everything is generated ... then this spacetime must be have coupled locally in 'discrete zones' and these 'discrete zones' have coupled again with other zones ... building up systems of more complex order. Remember these zones are just restructured spacetime.
Einstein talked about ripples ... so oscillations. Now since everything (all these zones of lower and higher levels) come from the same basic spacetime ... they are all influencing each other (we call that gravity) but they are also sensitive for oscillations of other zones. Many layers give more density and rigidity: mass.

Now to come to sub-consciousness, consciousness and memory. Lets call this level 1, 2 and 3.
One of our human (and animal) historical spacetime restructuring is DNA.
Our body is builded after that DNA model and thus our brain too. They are locally unique.

In our brain we see Electromagnetic activities.
EM is created by friction of multi-layers of local spacetime. (BTW that's how spacetime [gravity] creates EM, Weak and strong forces: by friction of different types of local spacetime).

So inside the brain new information adapts the locally stored old information. That's level 3: memory. This is a direct transfer of information (cfr. MNR scans). Microtubulines play a role here. Let's call this the kitchen.

But since the DNA is everywhere in our body there is a higher resonance (oscillations) on level 2. The body acts as a whole. The DNA spacetime zones are much deeper layered than the cells which make our body. But they also are influencing each other. That's what we could call consciousness: a overhaul communication. Let's call this our house.

But in DNA you have the genes in which again there are a much deeper oscillations ... and also historical layering. This is level 1. Here we get deep hidden information which Jung would call the collective unconsciousness. Let's call this Internet.

Now since they all are made by spacetime there is a constant interference of those layers upon each other. Dynamic interaction and constant communication (local but also non-local). ESP is an example of such Non-local communication.

As you see I try to go to the basic level of spacetime. Starting from there ... no duality.

Because - in the layering process - each locality (zone) has an history: our universe is non-commutative.
 
  • #17
Mentat
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
Is Dennett a materialist? If so, how can he begin to explain something that he doesn't understand? I'll just leave it at that ...

What the heck are you talking about? Yes, Dennett is a materialist, but what right do you have to say he doesn't understand his own chosen field, in which he has become quite an authority, and which I believe he has mastered better than all of his predecessors?
 
  • #18
Royce
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pelastration, I like it. I don't know about the physics but the concept I like. There is only one reality and no real duelism. It is merely two different aspects of the one reality. How it all interacts and how it is all tied together I don't know but your idea has a certain elegance about it that I like.
 
  • #19
Mentat
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Originally posted by pelastration
Question: can we say that 'reality' has two sides: a material side and an energy side?. Are we trapped in duality?

To postulate that would be against Occam's Razor wouldn't it?

I propose we go the Hegel analysis. On one side (thesis) you have matter (Einstein said it was spacetime with ripples) and on the other side (antithesis) you have Energy (from which Einstein said it was spacetime with ripples). So the synthesis is: Both are spacetime with ripples (but the quality or combination is different).
Since Mentat said: As always, all responses are appreciated, I go further.

Please do, but remember that Einstein showed through his most famous equation that matter and energy are interchangeable (in fact, matter is just one form of energy).

If we see Spacetime (but in pure gravity perspective) as the "only" force from which everything is generated ... then this spacetime must be have coupled locally in 'discrete zones' and these 'discrete zones' have coupled again with other zones ... building up systems of more complex order. Remember these zones are just restructured spacetime.

This is only partially correct, and that's because of a generic approach to GR on your part. Einstein didn't really say that everything is just ripples in spacetime, he said that energy produced ripples in spacetime, and that spacetime itself doesn't even exist seperate from some reference body.

Einstein talked about ripples ... so oscillations. Now since everything (all these zones of lower and higher levels) come from the same basic spacetime ... they are all influencing each other (we call that gravity) but they are also sensitive for oscillations of other zones. Many layers give more density and rigidity: mass.

I suppose this is correct enough, except that mass is not really a collection of layers of spacetime; mass is what influences spacetime to "ripple" or "warp" in the first place.

Now to come to sub-consciousness, consciousness and memory. Lets call this level 1, 2 and 3.
One of our human (and animal) historical spacetime restructuring is DNA.
Our body is builded after that DNA model and thus our brain too. They are locally unique.

In our brain we see Electromagnetic activities.
EM is created by friction of multi-layers of local spacetime. (BTW that's how spacetime [gravity] creates EM, Weak and strong forces: by friction of different types of local spacetime).

I'm sorry, but now you are really leaving what is known in science for pure speculation. Remember energy is not really ripples in spacetime, but produces ripples in spacetime, and it thus makes no sense to say that everything material and energetic is just "discrete zones of spacetime". Thus, if we cannot make that postulate in the first place, then it is quantum LEAP beyond what is currently known or believed, to say that the electroweak and the strong forces were produced (and are continuing to be manufactured (as EM, weak, and strong forces)) by friction between different types of local spacetime.

So inside the brain new information adapts the locally stored old information. That's level 3: memory. This is a direct transfer of information (cfr. MNR scans). Microtubulines play a role here. Let's call this the kitchen.

But since the DNA is everywhere in our body there is a higher resonance (oscillations) on level 2. The body acts as a whole. The DNA spacetime zones are much deeper layered than the cells which make our body. But they also are influencing each other. That's what we could call consciousness: a overhaul communication. Let's call this our house.

I'm sorry, but you've now completely lost me. Suffice it to say that you've made much too many unfounded assumptions for me to continue reading one. Perhaps you could clear up these little problems I've pointed out, and then I can continue to try and understand your idea.
 
  • #20
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by Mentat
What the heck are you talking about? Yes, Dennett is a materialist, but what right do you have to say he doesn't understand his own chosen field, in which he has become quite an authority, and which I believe he has mastered better than all of his predecessors?
What right does he have to say that this is not a spiritual phenomenon -- or, at least allude to it by virtue of its omission -- when in fact in all actuality, it is.

Are you trying to tell me that this three dimensional universe, which some of us call "reality," is totally bereft of motive or meaning? If so, then there would be no "purpose" in discussing it now would there?
 
  • #21
pelastration
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Thanks Mentat,

Originally posted by Mentat
To postulate that would be against Occam's Razor wouldn't it?

You can find the summary of my theory on https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=90438#post90438 and more on my website: http://www.mu6.com.
You will find out that there is not simpler description of reality then my approach. There is in fact only one postulate and no uncertainty, no magic gluing, no separation ... all is smooth and start from unity. This is almost pure Occam razor.

If you have seen the second NOVA or the streaming you will remember that jumping layer of quantum peaks. Now what I add to that is that that layer is unbreakable, and when one of those peaks 'penetrates' another peak you get a new 'local' zone that is double layered. Since the total spacetime is in constant movement you will get in that local new zone higher density and friction.
Do you understand that basic concept?

Please do, but remember that Einstein showed through his most famous equation that matter and energy are interchangeable (in fact, matter is just one form of energy).

Yes, no problem.

This is only partially correct, and that's because of a generic approach to GR on your part. Einstein didn't really say that everything is just ripples in spacetime, he said that energy produced ripples in spacetime, and that spacetime itself doesn't even exist seperate from some reference body.

Maybe that's why Einstein didn't get further. In my approach all matter and energy is restructured but oscillating spacetime.

I suppose this is correct enough, except that mass is not really a collection of layers of spacetime; mass is what influences spacetime to "ripple" or "warp" in the first place.

1. except that mass is not really a collection of layers of spacetime: How do you know?
2. mass is what influences spacetime to "ripple" or "warp" in the first place: No that's a simplistic view. There is double interaction: basic spacetime <-> restructured spacetime. Why should it be one-directional?

I'm sorry, but now you are really leaving what is known in science for pure speculation. Remember energy is not really ripples in spacetime, but produces ripples in spacetime, and it thus makes no sense to say that everything material and energetic is just "discrete zones of spacetime". Thus, if we cannot make that postulate in the first place, then it is quantum LEAP beyond what is currently known or believed, to say that the electroweak and the strong forces were produced (and are continuing to be manufactured (as EM, weak, and strong forces)) by friction between different types of local spacetime.

In my approach there is only one postulate. From that you can build up all you see 3D and even explain - very logically - effects like consciousness. What I see fe. in string as a logic problem that everything is still SEPARATED (open-end string, close strings). So there is NO unification but still separation. Then you have to glue again! I hate that magic glue trick. ;-) because then you have to explain where that glue comes from.

Hope you understand my view now better.
 
  • #22
Mentat
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
What right does he have to say that this is not a spiritual phenomenon -- or, at least allude to it by virtue of its omission -- when in fact in all actuality, it is.

What right do you have to say this with such certainty. Yes, he posits an "amoral" Universe (a non-conscious Universe, with a few conscious species in it), but it's not like this is a new idea. Ever heard of Charles Darwin or Stephen Gould?

Are you trying to tell me that this three dimensional universe, which some of us call "reality," is totally bereft of motive or meaning?

Except for what we conscious beings assign to it, yes.

If so, then there would be no "purpose" in discussing it now would there?

There is a "purpose" in discussing it, because we (conscious, sentient, beings) have assigned that purpose. Who would have assigned the purpose to the Universe (which has existed much longer than humanity)?
 
  • #23
Mentat
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Originally posted by pelastration
You can find the summary of my theory on https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=90438#post90438 and more on my website: http://www.mu6.com.
You will find out that there is not simpler description of reality then my approach. There is in fact only one postulate and no uncertainty, no magic gluing, no separation ... all is smooth and start from unity. This is almost pure Occam razor.

So, you've already done what SMT and LQG (and many others) have been attempting for so long? Why haven't you won the Nobel Prize yet?

If you have seen the second NOVA or the streaming you will remember that jumping layer of quantum peaks. Now what I add to that is that that layer is unbreakable, and when one of those peaks 'penetrates' another peak you get a new 'local' zone that is double layered. Since the total spacetime is in constant movement you will get in that local new zone higher density and friction.
Do you understand that basic concept?

First off, to add that the layer is unbreakable is against Occam's Razor, since it's a postulate that the String theorists have not taken for granted.

Secondly, can you really speak of the "fabric" of spacetime so literally? I thought it was an analogy to give a "mental picture" of how the dynamics of spacetime really work.

Maybe that's why Einstein didn't get further. In my approach all matter and energy is restructured but oscillating spacetime.

But to deny the basic postulate of Relativity (that spacetime doesn't really exist, apart from frames of reference) would be a big mistake, wouldn't it? After all, there's lots of experimental and theoretical evidence that GR is correct.

1. except that mass is not really a collection of layers of spacetime: How do you know?

I meant in the theory of Relativity. In Relativity, mass is not a collection of layers of spacetime. It may be that it really is, but you spoke as though you were taking the next step beyond GR, when in fact you are denying it and replacing it with a somewhat similar theory.

2. mass is what influences spacetime to "ripple" or "warp" in the first place: No that's a simplistic view. There is double interaction: basic spacetime <-> restructured spacetime. Why should it be one-directional?

Because, how can you explain what causes the spacetime to "ripple" or "restructure" if there is nothing but spacetime there to interact with? IOW, how can you explain the very first ripple in spacetime, if there was no mass to cause that ripple?

In my approach there is only one postulate. From that you can build up all you see 3D and even explain - very logically - effects like consciousness. What I see fe. in string as a logic problem that everything is still SEPARATED (open-end string, close strings). So there is NO unification but still separation. Then you have to glue again! I hate that magic glue trick. ;-) because then you have to explain where that glue comes from.

Not really "glue", but more of a revelation that all the different string theories were really just different ways at looking at the same, grander, theory.

Hope you understand my view now better.

Yes, you have clarified well, but I still have objections, as you can see.
 
  • #24
pelastration
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Thanks Mentat. I will try to explain more about the basic logic behind my approach.
Originally posted by Mentat
So, you've already done what SMT and LQG (and many others) have been attempting for so long? Why haven't you won the Nobel Prize yet?
As I said: You will find out that there is not simpler description of reality then my approach. There is in fact only one postulate and no uncertainty, no magic gluing, no separation ... all is smooth and start from unity. Have you ever questioned what a 'field' is. What's a field? There is interaction that we can measure but what it's mechanism?
Maybe you know I am an inventor. So I want to build in reality. Inventing is having a fundamental 'conceptual idea', that's prime. Your goal (for example: a coke bottle with a flashing logo inside). Once you have your goal you try to find the elements, means and processes which might help to create the goal in reality. Inventing happens not by starting to measure a number of parameters. Measuring and mathematics are secondary ... but of course these are essential in the making. The question is then: Can my new concept be build, how and with what materials?
Building correctly is managing and controlling the interactions of the parameters.

Lets give an example: a Mercedes.
String theory and QM are describing the outside of a Mercedes, like stating:
the color is red,
it's weight is 1,500 kg,
4 wheels which rotate but also can change direction,
it's height is ... and the length is ...,
the maximum speed is ...,
the number of doors,
the tint of windows ...
but they are not understanding the 'real powering': the engine.
It's a secret and the answer might be on the level of: the wind, an animal inside, pedals, singing a song, a fly, a ghost Higgs boson ... or even God.

Now we can say ... hé that Mercedes was yesterday here on 5th Avenue and it's speed was 50 miles/hours and he was going downtown. We can write 5,000 books and publish papers on ArXiv about the trajectory the Mercedes follows. We can describe where he stopped, when he went left, even when he stopped at a gasoline stations, etc. But that doesn't it gives us information on the engineering system inside.

I like to build a Mercedes. The frame I can rebuild without problems but how is that Mercedes engined? What's the power source? And of course the power source must be causal connected with the rotating wheels. Interactions inside the power source must be logically connected with what we have observed of the outside frame, and confirm what we have measured about it's behavior.
So when we build we can not 'believe' in uncertainty in the concept! Uncertainty may be in the measuring but not in the concept.

Now some may say that the frame is separate from the engine but we know that is not correct. Also we can be trapped inside our approach of 'reality'. The Mercedes as a whole is the 3D-dimensions we "see" and "measure". But we know that the inside engine - as a whole - is also a separate 3D sub-dimension that we can not observe from the outside. But it's there. And it is 'connected' with the outside Mercedes frame. The engine itself has although also a number of 3D-sub dimensions, like the injection pump, the cooling system, the combustion chambers, etc. These engine sub dimensions are interconnected to make the engine. And the engine is powered by gasoline or another source that is stored in another place.

Going back to the cosmic engineering system. Where do we stand?
The Standard Model has given us a very sophisticated idea what building blocs might be used. A lot of what SM gave us is based on experiments. (ig. measuring the speed of Mercedes) and a number of parameters are just added by hand.
Quantum Mechanics says that there must be discrete packages (which is correct) but their behavior is uncertain (ig. some times the Mercedes doesn't move). Uncertainty is promoted to a conceptual property. This like saying: the injection pump works some moments and other moments it doesn't. We know however that if there is no more gasoline the engine will not work. So there is a causal reason. Uncertainty is just the proof that you don't understand what's happening.
String Theory uses vibrational strings which are not connected to each other. There is not concept behind. It claims unification but uses separating concepts. We know that in 'reality' gravity is something that connects everything with everything and string theory come up now with gravitons as closed strings which are going of the brane, thus separating from the rest! Very magic. It's contra-unification. I assure you that a Mercedes with an engine not coupled to the gasoline tank will not move, or a engine not geared/connected with the wheels, or an injection pump not connected with the rest of the engine.

So what's the alternative? Try to make a cosmological concept in which all parameters are logically connected. So the essence is the mechanism of the connection. By pure logic I deducted that such a connection mechanism is a mechanical manifold._ At the start you have an unbreakable membrane that can infold and the sub-divisions are hold by a type of 'Pressure valves'. When the membrane penetrate itself = it creates an extra layering. (adding a dimension).
That's 100% logic (within the only postulate: unbreakable very stretchable membrane).
More layers give: accumulation of density (leading to Matter). AS LONG as the manifold holds (pressure valve) as long the coupling of two layers exists, and the discrete zone exists. Layers are locally coupled. Consequence: these local layers will interact with each other and so the discrete package will have a unique vibration-motion in the system (resonance).

Now about consciousness. When you are inside your Mercedes (like we are in our body) you will react on the traffic situation (slow down your speed, turn right, etc.). That is the out-side information. But there is more! Without even understanding how the engine works you can get information about his functioning because you have on your dashboard a speedometer, you can read the oil-pressure and temperature, read how much gasoline is left, etc. So you have inside your Mercedes a number of information systems providing data by wired or wireless connections with the hidden sides of the car. That is the in-side information. Since they all are made by spacetime there is a constant interference of those layers upon each other.

First off, to add that the layer is unbreakable is against Occam's Razor, since it's a postulate that the String theorists have not taken for granted.
Why should I look to what Witten, Greene, etc. say? They confirm that they have no real idea about what String Theory 'IS'!


Secondly, can you really speak of the "fabric" of spacetime so literally? I thought it was an analogy to give a "mental picture" of how the dynamics of spacetime really work.
Why not? If it gives a logic framework that explains everything. How much postulates the 'normal' theories have ... and do they provide a consistent answer?

But to deny the basic postulate of Relativity (that spacetime doesn't really exist, apart from frames of reference) would be a big mistake, wouldn't it? After all, there's lots of experimental and theoretical evidence that GR is correct.
Why would it be a big mistake? Maybe the real power of GR was not understood by Einstein himself. Why was he searching for years and years for unification? Indeed lots of experimental and theoretical evidence shows that GR is correct. Yes, but my approach confirms that too. You can interpret GR in the way I do.

I meant in the theory of Relativity. In Relativity, mass is not a collection of layers of spacetime. It may be that it really is, but you spoke as though you were taking the next step beyond GR, when in fact you are denying it and replacing it with a somewhat similar theory.
I believe I just add the new way to use GR. What I add is a general mechanism by which restructured spacetime creates both (1) large galactic (hyper)spaces, and (2) particles.
As an example: let's say that a 'green' galaxy is created by two hyperspaces (a yellow and a blue). On the two brane sides of yellow hyperspace and on the two brane sides of blue hyperspace we get NEW local spacetime restructurings which we can call - as a distant observer - the family of 'green' particles.

Because, how can you explain what causes the spacetime to "ripple" or "restructure" if there is nothing but spacetime there to interact with? IOW, how can you explain the very first ripple in spacetime, if there was no mass to cause that ripple?
There is a universal movement in the basic spacetime brane. I have no idea how to explain that for the moment. But what we see as reality shows that there is movement. Vacuum can play a role here, but everything happens on the brane.

Not really "glue", but more of a revelation that all the different string theories were really just different ways at looking at the same, grander, theory.
Revelation is a strange word. ;-). So what's that grander theory in your opinion?

I have put two extra pages on https://www.physicsforums.com/showth...90438#post90438 [Broken] . There you will find more critics on lack of a concept in String theory. My aim however is not to give critics but to provide an alternative.
 
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  • #25
Iacchus32
2,312
1
Originally posted by Mentat
What right do you have to say this with such certainty. Yes, he posits an "amoral" Universe (a non-conscious Universe, with a few conscious species in it), but it's not like this is a new idea. Ever heard of Charles Darwin or Stephen Gould?
What right do you have to question what I'm saying with such certainty? -- or, state the opposite?

Ever hear of Jesus Christ? Or the Buddha?


Except for what we conscious beings assign to it, yes.
This is totally illogical. If there is nothing there in the first place, except what we "assign to it" in the second place, then there is still nothing there, because you can't create something out of nothing. So either the Universe had a predisposition towards intelligence before we came along or it didn't, and if it did, then where did that intelligence come from?


There is a "purpose" in discussing it, because we (conscious, sentient, beings) have assigned that purpose. Who would have assigned the purpose to the Universe (which has existed much longer than humanity)?
There is no purpose in assigning purpose to no purpose ... unless of course the purpose is to serve our "inflated egos."

Yes, the question is, "Who" would have assigned purpose to the Universe -- which surely does exist -- before us puny little human folk came along?
 
  • #26
FZ+
1,588
3
What right do you have to question what I'm saying with such certainty?

Er... please point out the implied certainty. If you are making a claim, you have to justify each of your assertions - especially when an alternative is raise. Else, you are just trying to preach, so there is no point for anyone to reply.

Ever hear of Jesus Christ? Or the Buddha?
Ever heard that they said that whatever the other guy said was total gibberish?

This is totally illogical. If there is nothing there in the first place, except what we "assign to it" in the second place, then there is still nothing there, because you can't create something out of nothing.
This is totally illogical as well. I don't see what the lack of objective existence is in any way significant. And emergent properties do exist, as we have observed again and again and again...

There is no purpose in assigning purpose to no purpose ... unless of course the purpose is to serve our "inflated egos."
Yes there is. Why wouldn't there be? Assigning purpose from nothing, beginning with ourselves, is what self-awareness really is. Unless you want to deny that you do that? (In which case we are arguing moot points, since purpose would logically not exist)
 
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  • #27
Iacchus32
2,312
1
Originally posted by FZ+
Er... please point out the implied certainty. If you are making a claim, you have to justify each of your assertions - especially when an alternative is raise. Else, you are just trying to preach, so there is no point for anyone to reply.
Are you saying that this Daniel Dennett guy is not preaching amorality by the certainty of what he professes? How can "he" be so sure? How can anybody be so sure, especially when an alternative view already exists, and has existed for eons? Just because somebody is considered an authority on something, does not by any means establish their credibility. It only goes to show that people will believe what they're "predisposed" to believe (through preconditioning).


Ever heard that they said that whatever the other guy said was total gibberish?
Was just wondering if Mentat wasn't trying to start some sort of name-dropping club? Which really has nothing to do with philosophy. Albeit it does have something to do with one's predisposed beliefs.


This is totally illogical as well. I don't see what the lack of objective existence is in any way significant.
Well, then are you saying objective reality doesn't exist? If so, then where does that leave science? ... Certainly with no business trying to establish its own credibility? Or else what criteria would it use?

Or, perhaps what you're saying is there's no point in trying to argue with you because you're too confused? And, that perhaps I should leave you alone to your own delusions? ... Now wouldn't that be something?


And emergent properties do exist, as we have observed again and again and again...
Just as all chickens hatch from eggs now don't they? You see it's all part of the "master plan" of being a chicken.


Yes there is. Why wouldn't there be? Assigning purpose from nothing, beginning with ourselves, is what self-awareness really is. Unless you want to deny that you do that? (In which case we are arguing moot points, since purpose would logically not exist)
Yes, but where is the master plan behind this thing called self awareness? Is it just a fluke, just as everything else in this universe is to be considered a fluke?

Whereas the fact that we're here, and can even begin to makes sense out of it is totally arbitrary, right?
 
  • #28
phoenixthoth
1,605
2
You sound like Lifegazer to me. I had a long, somewhat drawn-out, debate with Lifegazer over this "all is One" issue, and in the end he just refused to accept the truth: This view is Solipsism, which doesn't logically allow for the existence of seperate minds.

You can still hold to this view, of course, but it can never be reconciled with science.
"This view is Solipsism, which doesn't logically allow for the existence of seperate minds." so? just out of curiousity, can you prove that separate minds exist? it's a no brainer that separate minds appear to exist but do they?

"You can still hold to this view, of course, but it can never be reconciled with science."
(1) that matters how, exactly? does the belief that concept X cannot be reconciled with a set of theories Y prove that concept X is not real in general or only for X=nonduality and Y=science? love cannot be reconciled with math as far as i know. does that prove love does not exist? alternatively, love does reconcile with the theory of psychology. does that prove love exists? i don't think science will ever prove any statement stronger than concept X has been observed (or not yet observed). it won't be able to prove if it really exists, that the observation is not illusory. that, in itself, of course, doesn't prove that it is illusory either. you do realize that equating observation with existence opens a can of worms, right?

(2) what's the justification for "never?"
 
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  • #29
FZ+
1,588
3
Are you saying that this Daniel Dennett guy is not preaching amorality by the certainty of what he professes? How can "he" be so sure? How can anybody be so sure, especially when an alternative view already exists, and has existed for eons? Just because somebody is considered an authority on something, does not by any means establish their credibility. It only goes to show that people will believe what they're "predisposed" to believe (through preconditioning).
As far as I am aware, Dennett has never stated that what he says is the result of some divine revelation, and that the rest of the population are somehow foolish fish for not understanding, and coming to the same understanding as he has. He has never said that the truth of his statements are self-evident, and so there is no purpose for questioning. Much the opposite - by presenting his theory of mind, he presents one apparently most self-consistent alternative, a possibility that can be studied, and evidence found to support or deny. In general, scientific authority is a measure of credit from what he has done - of course, it is still meaningless, but you still haven't shown Mentats position to have a neccessary sense of zealotry or false absolutism.

Was just wondering if Mentat wasn't trying to start some sort of name-dropping club? Which really has nothing to do with philosophy. Albeit it does have something to do with one's predisposed beliefs.
The perfect solution of which is to answer in the same way, and provide two mutually contradictory viewpoints? Really...

Well, then are you saying objective reality doesn't exist? If so, then where does that leave science? ... Certainly with no business trying to establish its own credibility? Or else what criteria would it use?
Don't twist my words. It is plain enough that I refered to intelligence not existing as an objective, real concept, but rather as a metaphorical value with individual subjective meaning. Your objection to that has no basis in logic, and every basis in predisposition.

Just as all chickens hatch from eggs now don't they? You see it's all part of the "master plan" of being a chicken.
Quite. Chickens are pretty intelligent. Rocks and eggs are not. Yet eggs turn into chickens. Hence chicken's intelligence is an emergent property. If you insist that intelligence exist prior to that in the rocks, then intelligence loses meaning because we will not have any valid reference to differentiate what is intelligent and what is not. A subjective intelligence solves this. An objective intelligence/purpose needs many compromises.

Whereas the fact that we're here, and can even begin to makes sense out of it is totally arbitrary, right?
Yep.
 
  • #30
Iacchus32
2,312
1
Originally posted by FZ+
As far as I am aware, Dennett has never stated that what he says is the result of some divine revelation, and that the rest of the population are somehow foolish fish for not understanding, and coming to the same understanding as he has. He has never said that the truth of his statements are self-evident, and so there is no purpose for questioning.
Unless of course his statements have been adopted by the status quo ...


Much the opposite - by presenting his theory of mind, he presents one apparently most self-consistent alternative, a possibility that can be studied, and evidence found to support or deny. In general, scientific authority is a measure of credit from what he has done - of course, it is still meaningless, but you still haven't shown Mentats position to have a neccessary sense of zealotry or false absolutism.
Yes, Dennett would seem to be well adapted to a system which is predisposed for cultivating a specific "empirical view" ... Namely, that it is possible for a mechanical Universe to come about entirely bereft of motive or will. You see, it's not possible for things to pop up arbitrarily, not with a design or intent. This is also the "hidden dimension" that Mentat won't allude to.


The perfect solution of which is to answer in the same way, and provide two mutually contradictory viewpoints? Really...
But it does get my point across now doesn't it? Besides, why is it that both sets of names seem to be mutually exclusive? Indeed, it only helps illustrate that there is an alternative view, much as I have stated.


Don't twist my words. It is plain enough that I refered to intelligence not existing as an objective, real concept, but rather as a metaphorical value with individual subjective meaning. Your objection to that has no basis in logic, and every basis in predisposition.
How can you recoginize the intelligence of anything, except by looking at it in an objective sense? And what does that have to do with twisting your words around?


Quite. Chickens are pretty intelligent. Rocks and eggs are not. Yet eggs turn into chickens. Hence chicken's intelligence is an emergent property. If you insist that intelligence exist prior to that in the rocks, then intelligence loses meaning because we will not have any valid reference to differentiate what is intelligent and what is not. A subjective intelligence solves this. An objective intelligence/purpose needs many compromises.
But eggs don't arbibtrarily turn into chickens, not without a design or intent ... lest there would be no need to differentiate between eggs and rocks.


Yep.
Nope. There's a Universal code which exists in everything. The only question is ... How did it get there?
 
  • #31
phoenixthoth
1,605
2
How did it get there?
must have been God.
 
  • #32
Mentat
3,890
3
Originally posted by pelastration
String Theory uses vibrational strings which are not connected to each other. There is not concept behind. It claims unification but uses separating concepts. We know that in 'reality' gravity is something that connects everything with everything and string theory come up now with gravitons as closed strings which are going of the brane, thus separating from the rest! Very magic. It's contra-unification. I assure you that a Mercedes with an engine not coupled to the gasoline tank will not move, or a engine not geared/connected with the wheels, or an injection pump not connected with the rest of the engine.

I will not be able to respond to everything said, but I do have a problem with this particular point.

You, of course, realize that the "coupling" between the engine and the gasoline is actually composed of many particles, each of which are seperated by space, and thus there is no absolute "coupling", right?

So what's the alternative? Try to make a cosmological concept in which all parameters are logically connected. So the essence is the mechanism of the connection. By pure logic I deducted that such a connection mechanism is a mechanical manifold._ At the start you have an unbreakable membrane that can infold and the sub-divisions are hold by a type of 'Pressure valves'. When the membrane penetrate itself = it creates an extra layering. (adding a dimension).
That's 100% logic (within the only postulate: unbreakable very stretchable membrane).

But you haven't said what the membrane is made of. You have postulated a frame, but no engine.

Now about consciousness. When you are inside your Mercedes (like we are in our body) you will react on the traffic situation (slow down your speed, turn right, etc.).

But I'm not "inside [my] body", I am my body.

That is the out-side information. But there is more! Without even understanding how the engine works you can get information about his functioning because you have on your dashboard a speedometer, you can read the oil-pressure and temperature, read how much gasoline is left, etc. So you have inside your Mercedes a number of information systems providing data by wired or wireless connections with the hidden sides of the car. That is the in-side information. Since they all are made by spacetime there is a constant interference of those layers upon each other.

But how can you "layer" information, when "layering" is itself a process...requiring it's own information to describe it?

Why should I look to what Witten, Greene, etc. say? They confirm that they have no real idea about what String Theory 'IS'!

If anyone knows what string theory is, it's them. How can you say that the people, who are actively involved in furthering the theory, don't know what it is?

Why not? If it gives a logic framework that explains everything. How much postulates the 'normal' theories have ... and do they provide a consistent answer?

But you've fallen into the same trap that you accused QM of, you are telling of the processes (the "frame") but not the engine. What is spacetime made of?

I believe I just add the new way to use GR. What I add is a general mechanism by which restructured spacetime creates both (1) large galactic (hyper)spaces, and (2) particles.

Isn't that an added assumption?

Revelation is a strange word. ;-). So what's that grander theory in your opinion?

"Revelation" means "revealing". "There was a revelation that they were all different ways of approaching the grander theory" = "it was revealed that they..."

The grander theory, in this instance, was M-Theory.
 
  • #33
Mentat
3,890
3
Originally posted by Iacchus32
What right do you have to question what I'm saying with such certainty? -- or, state the opposite?

I have absolute right, since I am the other side of the debate.

Ever hear of Jesus Christ? Or the Buddha?

I don't know much of Buddha's teachings, but what does Jesus have to do with it?

This is totally illogical. If there is nothing there in the first place, except what we "assign to it" in the second place, then there is still nothing there, because you can't create something out of nothing. So either the Universe had a predisposition towards intelligence before we came along or it didn't, and if it did, then where did that intelligence come from?

I didn't say there was nothing there, I said there was no purpose there.

There is no purpose in assigning purpose to no purpose ... unless of course the purpose is to serve our "inflated egos."

Fine, maybe that's it. So what? Your constant need to assign purpose gave way to the above (quoted) sentence, which contradicts the validity of that which caused it...very paradoxical.

Yes, the question is, "Who" would have assigned purpose to the Universe -- which surely does exist -- before us puny little human folk came along?

But your being a puny human makes you think that there actually was a purpose before we came along.

Note: There may have been, and I'm not so much saying that this isn't so, as that you haven't proven it.
 
  • #34
Mentat
3,890
3
Originally posted by phoenixthoth
So? just out of curiousity, can you prove that separate minds exist? it's a no brainer that separate minds appear to exist but do they?

If they do not, then who are you talking to? Seriously, Solipsism cannot be proven or disproven, and is thus a "bad" theory, logically and scientifically.

(1) that matters how, exactly?

It only matters if you care about Science, obviously.

(2) what's the justification for "never?"

Deductive and Inductive reasoning...

Deductive:
Solipsism postulates something.
The thing that Solipsism postulates precludes outside testing.
Therefore, Solipsism can never be tested/proven.

Inductive:
Well, basically, nobody's done it before.
 
  • #35
Mentat
3,890
3
Originally posted by phoenixthoth
must have been God.

Which god?
 

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