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#14271 - 03/28/06 09:26 PM I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375

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#14272 - 03/29/06 02:44 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
Are you saying that what we may label as our soul is really only the expression of completely organic, biological occurances (qualia)?
You could be right. I think studies in consciousness are leading in that direction.
_________________________
~Justine~

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#14273 - 03/29/06 03:42 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375
Justine,

I go a bit further than that. If the brain were simulated on a computer then that computer would have the same soul. Just think what would happen to you if you replaced your nerve cells by artificial ones such that brain function is not affected at all.

I see the soul as a computer program. It now runs on a brain. If you simulate that brain using a computer, then that computer will run the same program.

The point I was making in that blog posting is that the qualia, i.e. the things we experience, are in a certain sense fundamental things, even though they can be defined in terms of brain processes.

Suppose you run a program that simulates the solar system. Then you can think of the planets being at certain positions relative to each other as fundamental things on the level of the algorithm that is running. The algorithm is implemented by the hardware and ultimately everything can be reduced to the state of transistors.

If we compare the brain to the computer simulating the solar system, then I would say that the neurological processes have to be compared to the processes at the level of the transistors in the computer. The qualia are abstract objects that exist in the virtual world that the computer is calculating, in this case the solar system.

Similating the brain to copy the soul on a computer is similar to running the solar system program on another program, not by compiling the same software on the other machine, but by simulating on the other computer how first works, down to level of the transistors, when it is running the program. That would, in principle, work but it is just a cumbersome way to implement the same program.

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#14274 - 03/29/06 07:07 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
Do you mean awareness or consciousness is like one program run on millions of different computers (brains)

It's one consciousness run on all the different people and animals or solar systems.

One program. One awareness that experiences the qualia.

Is that what you're saying?
_________________________
~Justine~

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#14275 - 03/29/06 07:53 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375
Quote:
Originally posted by Justine:
Do you mean awareness or consciousness is like one program run on millions of different computers (brains)

It's one consciousness run on all the different people and animals or solar systems.

One program. One awareness that experiences the qualia.

Is that what you're saying?
Basically yes, but you only need one computer or brain to run the program. And you could even speculate that what we call physical existence is just mathematical existence. What I mean is that there exists a mathematical description of our universe. This description implicitely also contains a description of you. Perhaps that is all that really exists of you and the universe.

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#14276 - 03/30/06 01:54 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Rusty Rockets Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175
Quote:
Originally posted by Count Iblis II:
What I mean is that there exists a mathematical description of our universe. This description implicitely also contains a description of you. Perhaps that is all that really exists of you and the universe.
I may be missing what it is that you are trying to convey, but mathematics is actually there to explain or model a thing (you and the universe, in this case), so maths in itself can't be all that exists.

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#14277 - 03/30/06 02:10 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Rusty Rockets Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175
I'm not sure I totally agree with this either: "Argument: If the brain were simulated on some computer, it would have the same consciousness"

The only way that a computer could 'simulate' the brain is if it developed in the same way as a human brain, which would have to include all sense data from a point of origin analogous to birth or earlier. I agree that the brain is a model-making machine, yes, but where do these models come from and what are they modelling if it is not our physical experiences throughout life. A brain without sense data fed into it via an autonomous physical presence over time is not going to have a sense of self or consciousness and would therefore neither experience pain, anger or fear. In other words, I don't think that programming a computer to merely behave like a brain will produce qualia similar to that experienced by humans.

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#14278 - 03/30/06 04:10 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
I agree with Rusty here in the impossibility of identically replicating an adult human brain.
My sense of self is tied to my moment to moment experience of organic doses of personal body chemistry, tossed with memory and the result of my personal influence on the interpretation of my environment that has effected the network of synapses and has created roadways for my personal thought processes ever since my birth. I think it's just too juicy and random for a computer replication.
But, suppose...
God willing, if there were some way to make an exact replica of myself... Imagine a replicator, I step in..two of me step out... At that moment I think we would have the same mental experience of qualia as you describe, Count Ib. There's a cartoon strip of Calvin and Hobbs portraying this situation smile
_________________________
~Justine~

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#14279 - 03/30/06 09:40 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Rockets:
I'm not sure I totally agree with this either: "Argument: If the brain were simulated on some computer, it would have the same consciousness"

The only way that a computer could 'simulate' the brain is if it developed in the same way as a human brain, which would have to include all sense data from a point of origin analogous to birth or earlier. I agree that the brain is a model-making machine, yes, but where do these models come from and what are they modelling if it is not our physical experiences throughout life. A brain without sense data fed into it via an autonomous physical presence over time is not going to have a sense of self or consciousness and would therefore neither experience pain, anger or fear. In other words, I don't think that programming a computer to merely behave like a brain will produce qualia similar to that experienced by humans.
You could skip the history of development and just take as input the way the neurons are connected to each other at some time in a real person. Let's say for argument's sake that you just simulate a few persons, their entire bodies down to the level of cells, living in a prison (the prisoner can only be in a limited place so that's easier to simulate). Then, I don't see why these virtual persons won't experience real qualia.

Using virtual reality you could visit the prisoners. And you could let a prisoner visit our world by letting him control a robot.

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#14280 - 03/30/06 09:56 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Rockets:
Quote:
Originally posted by Count Iblis II:
What I mean is that there exists a mathematical description of our universe. This description implicitely also contains a description of you. Perhaps that is all that really exists of you and the universe.
I may be missing what it is that you are trying to convey, but mathematics is actually there to explain or model a thing (you and the universe, in this case), so maths in itself can't be all that exists.
Why not? it could be that the ''real thing'' we are modeling is precisely that mathematical model itself. This has been postulated by Tegmark.

The reason I like this idea is because if there is more to the physical world than just mathematics, then you can't ever have a complete description of the physical world. If, say, superstring theory is correct, then you will have strings that are the fundamental objects. But you can never ask what the strings really are. They just exist.

Also, our universe exists physically, but most other possible universe don't. You can never know what blows life into our universe.

If we just forget about the idea that there is such a thing as physical existence apart from mathematical existence (or alternatively, postulate that physical existence = mathematical existence), then these problems go away.

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#14281 - 03/30/06 09:57 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375
Quote:
Originally posted by Justine:
I agree with Rusty here in the impossibility of identically replicating an adult human brain.
My sense of self is tied to my moment to moment experience of organic doses of personal body chemistry, tossed with memory and the result of my personal influence on the interpretation of my environment that has effected the network of synapses and has created roadways for my personal thought processes ever since my birth. I think it's just too juicy and random for a computer replication.
But, suppose...
God willing, if there were some way to make an exact replica of myself... Imagine a replicator, I step in..two of me step out... At that moment I think we would have the same mental experience of qualia as you describe, Count Ib. There's a cartoon strip of Calvin and Hobbs portraying this situation smile
I'll try to find that cartoon smile

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#14282 - 04/03/06 03:49 AM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
jjw Offline
Superstar

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 636
Loc: USA
Hi Count i have always been impressed by your knowledge, especially in physics, where I am weak.

I went to your link and all the comment. I guess i am not up to the task, I am a universe unto me?
As a spiritual thing that is acceptable, only as.
If you think this is a breakthrough I will make a point of getting your point.
jjw

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#14283 - 04/04/06 01:27 AM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Pragmatist Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 84
Loc: N.W. U.S.
Originally posted by Count Iblis II:
"What I mean is that there exists a mathematical description of our universe."

This is patently impossible. - On what would you
record or compute it containing, as it must, more
characters in any notation you care to choose than
there are particles in the universe it describes.

Pragmatist
"There are only 10 kinds of people in the world;
those who understand binary, and those who don't."

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#14284 - 04/04/06 02:50 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375
Quote:
Originally posted by Pragmatist:
Originally posted by Count Iblis II:
"What I mean is that there exists a mathematical description of our universe."

This is patently impossible. - On what would you
record or compute it containing, as it must, more
characters in any notation you care to choose than
there are particles in the universe it describes.

Pragmatist
"There are only 10 kinds of people in the world;
those who understand binary, and those who don't."
You don't need to record or compute anything. The description of the universe exists in a mathematical sense, just like a description of the number pi exists. It could be that the description of the universe is all that really exists of the universe.

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#14285 - 04/04/06 05:24 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
I've stayed out of here for awhile but Pragmatist is correct Count ... your propoal is patently impossible.

There is no mathematical description of our universe and if there is one is most certainly won't be discovered during your lifetime.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14286 - 04/04/06 08:24 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
I've stayed out of here for awhile but Pragmatist is correct Count ... your propoal is patently impossible.

There is no mathematical description of our universe and if there is one is most certainly won't be discovered during your lifetime.
I didn't make a proposal at all! There either exists a complete mathematical description of the universe or there doesn't exist one. Most physicists believe that such a description does exists, some believe we have already found it: superstring theory.

Now, whether or not we will ever find the correct description of the universe is a totally different question.

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#14287 - 04/05/06 08:09 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Pragmatist Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 84
Loc: N.W. U.S.
Count,
Your error is in that while superstring theory may describe the laws that govern the behavior of any given particle in the universe, it does not describe the universe itself.
It is elementary information theory that to completely describe a system, you need a bigger system, ergo to completely describe the universe,
you would need a bigger universe.
(And yes, I have heard of the multiple-universe
concept, but hold it unproven, and even if it were, the possibility of accessing one would require that your 'description` be expanded to include it.)
Pragmatist
"Things should be made as simple as possible,
but no simpler". - A. E.

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#14288 - 04/05/06 10:41 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375
Quote:
Originally posted by Pragmatist:
Count,
Your error is in that while superstring theory may describe the laws that govern the behavior of any given particle in the universe, it does not describe the universe itself.
It is elementary information theory that to completely describe a system, you need a bigger system, ergo to completely describe the universe,
you would need a bigger universe.
(And yes, I have heard of the multiple-universe
concept, but hold it unproven, and even if it were, the possibility of accessing one would require that your 'description` be expanded to include it.)
Pragmatist
"Things should be made as simple as possible,
but no simpler". - A. E.
First of all, even if the description would be so large that you could not write it down in the universe, the description still exists in a mathematical sense. Similarly, pi exists, but you can't write down all its digits because there are an infinite number of them.

Second of all, the description could be very short. This is explained by Tegmark here.

As you see from the article, including the parallel universes arising from the quantum superpositions reduces the information content. This is a generic effect. The larger the set of elements you want to describe, the shorter the description becomes.

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#14289 - 04/07/06 10:21 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Count Ibliss wrote:
"Second of all, the description could be very short. This is explained by Tegmark here."

Could be ... please read your own sentence.

You are introducing into the discussion things that are purely speculative such as parallel universes. Tegmark is at the outer fringe of physics. Nothing in this discussion can be tied back to experimental results.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14290 - 04/08/06 01:15 PM Re: I have solved the qualia problem
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Count Ibliss wrote:
"Second of all, the description could be very short. This is explained by Tegmark here."

Could be ... please read your own sentence.

You are introducing into the discussion things that are purely speculative such as parallel universes. Tegmark is at the outer fringe of physics. Nothing in this discussion can be tied back to experimental results.
Tegmark is not at all at the ''outer fringe of physics''. His main research topic is the early universe. And his speculative articles on the multiverse etc. are a bit controversial, but certainly not what you could call ''fringe''.

The idea of some sort of multiverse is well accepted within physics. Some time ago when the so-called ''string landscape'' was discovered (the fact that in string theory you have about 10^(500) different vacua, each representing a different universe), has made the idea of a multiverse much more acceptable.

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