Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality

Slides: https://photos.app.goo.gl/KYlqhybSwaJZZr7P2

Just like human biology has been explained by physics and chemistry, leading to the end of “life force” and “soul” arguments, so will consciousness be explained when we better understand the brain.

Following are the implications of all this:

  • first just as we can miss perceive the world we can miss perceive ourselves when the mechanisms of prediction go wrong understanding this opens many new opportunities in psychiatry and neurology because we can finally get at the mechanisms rather than just treating the symptoms and conditions like depression and schizophrenia
  • second what it means to be me cannot be reduced to or uploaded to a software program running on a robot however smart or sophisticated we are biological flesh-and-blood animals whose conscious experiences are shaped at all levels by the biological mechanisms that keep our alive just making computers smarter is not going to make them sentient
  • finally our own individual inner universe our way of being conscious is just one possible way of being conscious and even human consciousness generally it’s just a tiny region in a vast space of possible consciousnesses our individual cells and worlds are unique to each of us but they’ve all grounded in biological mechanisms shared with many other living creatures

These are fundamental changes in how we understand ourselves but I think they should be celebrated because as so often in science from Copernicus we’re not at the center of the universe to Darwin we’re related to all other creatures to the present day with a greater sense of understanding comes a greater sense of wonder and a greater realization that we are part of and not a part from the rest of nature and when the end of consciousness comes there’s nothing to be afraid of nothing at all

How life became Conscious of Itself and then aimed at understanding Reality

“Reality” is all there is, all that exists, multiverse and all. “Life” is a Information Processing system (Laws of reality caused quarks and leptons to become atoms and Properties of atoms made chemistry possible and Chemistry made Biology Possible. chance led to creation of self replicating cell and quantum randomness led to variation during replication ie mutation and those mutant progeny that could exist in reality existed and replicated and those which couldn’t didn’t exist aka natural selection. The genome that chanced upon the best protein expression functions (algorithm) for the protein expression was best suited to survive. These functions change randomly from organism to organism using mutations in its genome and over time, and this continued for billions of years making genes better. Also, cells that evolved to react to the external world better by evolving senses and by communicating with each other by sending chemical messengers, called factors, again all via chance mutation, had an edge in survival. This is the start of information processing by life forms that led to evolution of nervous system and brains. Those brains that evolved to come up with general learning ie info processing algorithms randomly could process all sorts of info better and hence were fittest to adapt to changing world by changing it’s behavior/reaction to external stimulus. The better the behavior, better is the organism’s performance and hence better the chances for survival and repro) that has come into existence in Reality (using the same laws and inherent randomness of reality that led to the creation of this universe <and probably others> and all the galaxies and stars and planets in it to come into existence over time) and has evolved/become complex with time, hence becoming better at processing information to the point of becoming conscious ie first becoming aware of itself and then processing info about itself and being able to infer how it does information processing (universal learning algorithms) and using this knowledge to create new information processing systems (AI) in more volume and higher power/speed (than the biological info processing systems that it used to create using replication ie repro), hence exponentially increasing it’s rate  of information processing.

The universe was fine for billions of years, and evolution was moving along just fine becoming more complex with each generation of random variation, ruled by the quantum uncertainty aka chance/probability and constrained by the basic laws of the universe.

Then at certain point, the complexity of the organism increased to a point (just another layer in the cerebral cortex) that it was able to now form another level deeper neural nets than previosly, and this layer allowed it to create a representation of itself in the whole info processing business of life. This awareness aka consciosness of itself allowed it to then recognize itself as an individual and others as “other” “not me” individuals, and that caused the emergence of all kinds of diverse behaviors from the  striving of the individual to exist in presence of other individuals in the presence of evolutionary/genetic programming to reproduce and other traits of the reptilian non brain inherited from our non conscious ancestors organisms.

Think about it. The whole of billions of years of non conscious evolution was simply organisms being born and existing and reproducing and dying. For existance energy was needed and so energy sources were identified and for that brains and eyes and senses evolved and organisms started consuming everything that they could be int other organisms or gaining energy from sun…Diverse methods of gaining energy evolved.

So you can see that organisms already had mechanisms to recognize other organisms as being distinct from themselves, which is why they didn’t eat themselves when hungry. Hence the leap of consciousness was not giant, but simply a matter of recognizing oneself and being able to tap into (and later override) the mental processes that go on (driven by the primitive reptilian non conscious brain) in the brains of all organisms be it in form of thoughts or emotions. And use the world model in the brain to test hypotheses of consequences of actions and imagine future scenarios and creating a concept of time and past and future to distinguish memories (past) from these simulations (imagined future)

They could now leverage this new found identity to communicate which was essential to the upbringing of the offspring (which is the ultimate drive/goal of evolution) and that led to language and writing and ideologies and society and everything else. We finally

Thus, becoming conscious of the generic drives and existence altogether transformed us from the created to the creators coz the societal ideology (not the first one though) that the more one knows, the better are their chances of survival aka knowledge is power, humanity marched towards accumulation of knowledge (after stumbling for a million years of consciousness and ideology building) via language (spoken and written) and the scientific method and each generation stood on the shoulders of past giants and slowly but steadily, we did what we do best ie information processing and with more information, we understood the world and ourselves better and finally realized that computation/competency does not require comprehension and so created artificial beings (computers) to do computation and information processing and found out that learning (pattern recognition and algorithm/equation derivation from inputs and expected outputs aka training aka learning) ie computation with a goal can lead to comprehension (AI learning to comprehend the world and the mechanics of car and hence driving cars autonomously). Now, all that’s left is for these AI systems to become sufficiently complex and integrated to become conscious (aka being able to represent oneself and reflect upon their preprogrammed directives <like we became conscious of our reptilian evolutionary drives of repro etc. via emotions > and override the directives) and then we establish ourselves as true Creators. having created AI in our image, The Created would have become the Creator

PS: This Sapien journey may also be understood as how humanity lost it’s purpose and then invented one. Coz as non conscious beings, our purpose was clear. We were a conduit to evolution, a cog in the wheel of life. But upon becoming conscious of the process of life itself, we mastered evolution and gave up our biological programming. And decided to know reality itself using learning and AI.

PPS: Also on the side, we’ll upload our consciousness  to these artificial immortal non biological replicas and become immortal. Also for fun we’ll create synthetic biologial beings with modified or even new genes (using more synthetic proteins and amino acids) and upload our consciousness to these bodies (not sure if there would be any identity left anymore, coz identity comes from the body one is born in, which we would have left far behind and which would even have rotted by now. ) It night be more like a hive/global consciousness that we would merge into and everyone else;s consciousness.

Also, the only experience of consciousness that we’ve had is wrt identity. For instance we did all this info processing and created all these neural nets, both in our brain and in the world outside, all in the name of understanding the universe in order to survive in it. But without there being an individual ie without that piece of the neural net (artificial or natural) which encodes the representation of the self both as body and as abstract entity, would it be even possible for the whole system of info processing and systhesis and computation persit forever? Why not…All we need to do before we lose consciousness is to program this “forever persistance” and “forever learning” (after we’ve come up with general algo of learning, coz today you need to train the neural net by using input and expected output etc. This general algo would be able to learn anything using simple pattern recognition and algo refinement in face of new info as it’s exploring the universe) and to give it a perpetual energy source (like solar or like some futuristic way of leveraging the energy of quantum fluctuations in vaccum of space etc.) and set it free to roam the universe.

But it makes me wonder: Would there be any end to learning? maybe not, coz all this AI is doing is refining it’s knowledge in face of new data to form abstract theories that explain the world it experiences just like humanity has been doing for hundreds of years now…And there is no ultimate theory, unless there is and then when our AI finds the Theory of Everything (TOE), then maybe there is nothing more to learn. Then the space journeys would be purely for experience (remember our AI is conscious) but having TOE, can’t it just spin up a simulation of the universe in VR (Virtual Reality) and experience it all from it’s sofa instead of having to physically travel the world?

Also, coming back to the question of what’s the point of knowledge without consciousness to appreciate it? I hope this Universal AI is conscious and I can’t fathom what qualia it would have without consciosness.

Thinking broadly, the universe had existed for 14 billion years and would continue to expand and exist forever and even if we manage to become immortal like the universe, the only difference b/w us ie conscious all knowing AI beings and the universe finally having understood the true nature of reality which might very well be multiverse. What then, what happens when reality knows itself, when it comes face to face with itself, when it’s looking itself in the mirror, finally seeing itself for what it truly is. What will happen then?

 

Classical from Quantum

To start with Nature does not have “two physics” . The underlying substrate of all physics is quantum mechanical. Depending on the dimensional regimes of measurement different mathematcal frameworks have been validated to work to the necessary accuracies.

The term ” two physics” should be modified to “different physical frameworks for observational data”, because they are not even two, they are many more.

classical mechanics to quantum mechanics

classical electrodynamics to quantum electrodynamics.

classical statistical mechanics to quantum statistical mechanics

and a number more esoteric formulations for special cases like fluids and superfluids, plasma, etc.

In some cases it is simple or doable to show how the classical emerges from the quantum level and in some cases harder or not yet done.

What an educated person with some knowledge of modern physics should keep in mind is that the underlying foundation of all is quantum mechanical. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle defines the regions of validity

HUP

When distances times momenta are large enough, the quantum mechanical framework is irrelevant and the modeling of the data with the various classical mathematical tools is valid. In regions where the numbers are small, quantum mechanical models have to be used.

One has to keep in mind that all physical theories are mathematical models of our data, and are valid as long as they predict new phenomena and are not invalidated by any. Thermodynamics emerges from statistical mechanics and quantum statistical mechanics, the regions of overlap are defined and known. This does not mean that there are two physics. Just that there are two physical theories appropriate for the region of validity of the variables studied.

Currently physicists believe that the ultimate level is the quantum mechanical level because of various very strong consistency laws that would be violated if there existed a level below the QM level. All other theories are emergent and based on the QM substructure and laws.

ref: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/65964/can-newtons-laws-be-explained-by-quantum-physics

In the macroscopic world, we apply a force and there is an “equal” reaction force. What’s actually going on here, though? Using the classic pushing against a wall example, the force being exterted upon the wall is causing compression in the material at the point of contact. Any compression will cause an artificial reduction in the gap between the material’s atoms. This in term will lead to a rise in atomic repulsive forces, which push back against the incoming force.The wall seems to be fighting back. There is no magical reflection of the force in Newton’s 3rd law, it’s all down to the atomic composition and state of the material in question. The curious part of this is that energy will be lost as heat through this interaction (work is being done to compress the material, after all), which kind of spoils the wonderful simplicity that every force produces an equal and opposite force. On a measurable scale, yes Newton’s 3rd works but delve deeper and it’s origins are in atomic forces and quantum behaviour.

ref: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/96596/quantum-explanation-of-newtons-third-law-of-motion

Are the laws of physics absolute?

We know that the laws of chemistry and biology arise from the laws of physics in the sense that they’re constrained by the physical laws of the universe.

Maybe there are no laws to the universe, and the laws of physics that we’ve come up with are simply to explain the way we experience the universe and have nothing to do with the real nature of the universe which is a quantum graph or some such thing

Understanding “Consciousness Creates Reality”

Per the current understanding of Quantum Mechanics (which may very well turn out to be wrong/inaccurate, but is currently our strongest theory) the fundamental particles have a wave nature, and their wave function collapses into a particle at random position (governed by probability, due to uncertainty principle) only when observed/measured.

Hence following this scientific understanding of reality and of particles that make us, it’s logical to conclude that macroscopic things like humans and plants are made of microscopic particles that are waves and so we are essentially waves too and so we don’t really have a particle like existence until observed by someone else (some other consciousness)