Mod+ Information and Reality [Resources] [Information & Consciousness, QM, etc.]

S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#61
Thanks to RHC for the heads up:

The case of the silent synapses: Why are only 20% of synapses active during neurotransmission?

'Unknown information coding in the brain?'

Using a fluorescence microscope, the researchers were able for the first time to view the release and re-uptake of dopamine — a neurotransmitter involved in motor learning, habit formation, and reward-seeking behavior — in individual synapses.

When all the neurons were electrically stimulated in a sample of brain tissue, the researchers expected all the synapses to release dopamine. Instead, they found that less than 20 percent of dopaminergic synapses were active following a pulse of electricity.

One possibility: these silent synapses hint at a mechanism of information coding in the brain that’s yet to be revealed, the researchers hypothesize.

The study’s authors plan to pursue that hypothesis in future experiments and examine how other neurotransmitters behave. “If we can work this out, we may learn a lot more about how alterations in dopamine levels are involved in brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, addiction, and schizophrenia,” Sulzer said.

The study was published in the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience.

The authors note in the paper that “the state of silent vesicle clusters may be important in disorders such as schizophrenia, which show striatal hyperdopaminergia [excessive release of dopamine in the brain's reward center] and cortical hypodopaminergia [low amounts of dopamine in the cortex] and processes of ‘unsilencing’ may have clinical applications for diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.”
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#62
Prescott speculates (perhaps wildly, as he admits) on the place of information in our reality:

Tiny Bubbles
More from Prescott on the idea of Information being a fundamental component of reality:

N-space, M-space, and Consciousness

There's an idea I've brought up quite often on my blog – the notion that the underlying reality of our world is a field of pure information, a cosmic database combined with a vast information processing system. By analogy, this informational substrate is similar to the code that underlies a virtual-reality environment in a computer game. Just as the virtual reality of the game reduces ultimately to ones and zeros – pure information – so the apparently real world around us in all its dimensions may reduce ultimately to pure information.

This raises an obvious question: what renders the information to generate our "real" world? After all, the data in the computer would just sit there, useless for game-playing purposes, unless the computer was able to render the data as images and sounds. By what means do we render our world?

One possible answer is: our minds. Not our brains, please note; our brains are physical objects and thus are part of the rendered, multidimensional, multisensory imagery we call reality. It is our minds that (just possibly) translate the informational code into the world of experience.

Let's suppose this is true. If the mind is what does the rendering, then each individual mind renders its own "virtual-reality" world out of the same information matrix. And each "world" will be slightly different from all the others, because it will depend on our particular point of view – our focus, our choice of what to tune in to and what to ignore.

Here I'm going to introduce a little jargon. Let's call the information matrix N-space. The N stands for noumenal, or, if you prefer, number. (It works either way.) And let's call our individual, personal, subjective world M-space, with M standing for mind. We all live in our own M-space, and we are all rendering N-space in order to generate our M-space.

Notice that neither of these things is really "space" in any physical sense. We might think of them as fields or matrices. However we wish to describe them, both N-space and M-space are nonphysical.

So each mind renders its own "real" world, but all minds draw from a common source – the N-space database/information processor. Mind somehow takes pure information and translates it into an experiential world, which is subjective but grounded in objective data. By objective, I mean that N-space exists independent of the observer; by subjective, I mean that M-space exists only in respect to the observer.

We have, then, three aspects of reality: N-space, which is pure information and information processing; M-space, which is reality as each of us subjectively experiences it; and the mind, which serves to render N-space into M-space.

If there is a place for God in this scheme, God would be seen as a kind of primal or cosmic mind, which wrote the code that constitutes N-space. Our own minds would presumably be small offshoots or rivulets of this larger mind.

Now here, to me, is the really interesting thing. In this scenario, there is no physical space at all....
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#63

When Stephen Hawking elegantly described the relationship of quantum mechanics with black holes, he inadvertently opened the door to a radical possibility: that our universe, as we know it, is like a hologram. Science historian Peter Galison and leading physicists Brian Greene and Cumrun Vafa explain how the resilient nature of information combined with the behavior of event horizons suggests that the three dimensions of reality we observe may in fact be a two-dimensional information structure "painted" on some sort of cosmological horizon.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#64
Prescott offered his take on this idea:

...The model is interesting, but I think at a certain point it fails. If we assume that the needle of the photograph corresponds to consciousness, then presumably death corresponds to the moment when the needle is lifted off the record. But at that point the needle no longer can play any tracks on the record. Yes, the information encoded in the grooves remains, but it is inaccessible to consciousness. It might be seen as a store of information akin to the Akashic Records, but it would not be part of a dynamic, living personality.

At least, this is how I read it. It's possible, however, that I've misunderstood what the authors are saying. as best I can tell, if your life "goes back into superposition, into the part of the record that represents just information," then "you" are not actualized and, as such, "you" do not exist.

A more complicated but perhaps slightly more satisfactory model occurs to me. It involves holography...
...Now let's say that this three-dimensional image corresponds to the entire content of the spacetime universe. And let's say that the spectator slowly making his way around the image and taking it in bit by bit in sequential fashion is egoic consciousness. What, then, is the beam of focused light? I suggest it can be analogized to the higher self, the larger consciousness of which the ego is only a small fragment or offshoot.

The higher self converts raw information into rendered images (using the wordimage in the broad sense to include objects that can be felt, smelled, tasted, etc.). The higher self sees the entire panoply of images as a single whole; the focused light of its consciousness pervades the entire spectrum of information, illuminating all of it. The egoic self, in contrast, perceives the hologram from one particular angle at any given moment; its movement along the axis of time creates the impression of change, as each new slice of (rendered) information comes into view and previously observed information moves out of view. The ego's point of view is narrow and limited, while the point of view of the higher self is omniscient, at least as far as the spacetime cosmos is concerned.

This is how things usually work, but occasionally the ego gets a glimpse of the bigger picture. In bursts of inspiration known as "cosmic consciousness," or in certain kinds of drug-induced visions, or in near-death experiences, or in death itself, the ego is – temporarily and partially – merged with the higher self. From this vantage point, the ego perceives the whole spectrum of rendered information all at once. The experience is overwhelming. It can be described as seeing the world from God's point of view, seeing and knowing everything there is, bursting free from the limitations of time and space, leaving Flatland to enter a higher-dimensional realm, etc. It can also be described as a "life review," in which all the events of one's life are reexperienced either simultaneously or nearly so...
...In death, the aftermath is less clear. Some would say that the ego simply dissolves into the higher self, while others would say that the ego detaches and continues its progress in an illusory replica of the spacetime world. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, among other sources, seems to suggest that the newly dead person can, with an effort of will, maintain the ego's merger with the higher self, but in the absence of this will (and the highly cultivated self-awareness it entails), the ego will inevitably retrogress. This opinion seems to be seconded by many channeled communications stating that the earthlike realms of the afterlife are ultimately illusions that must be transcended, and that the ego is progressively sloughed off as spiritual evolution proceeds. It is also borne out by the many postmortem communications strongly suggesting the persistence of the individual personality....
Note similarities to Arvan's Peer to Peer Hypothesis, where consciousness is also the reader of information.

In my recently published article, “A New Theory of Free Will” , I argued that several serious philosophical and empirical hypotheses – hypotheses which have all received and continue to receive serious discussion by philosophers and physicists, and which may all turn out to be true – jointly entail that we are living in the functional equivalent of a peer-to-peer (P2P) networked computer simulation. Not only that, I argued that this P2P Hypothesis explains the very existence of almost all of the most puzzling features of our world:

1. Quantum indeterminacy and measurement problems.

2. Quantum entanglement.

3. The apparent irreducibility of conscious experience to physical objects, properties or functions.

4. The intuition that our personal identity, as conscious subjects of experience, is irreducible to any form of physical or psychological continuity.

5. The apparent “unreality of time” in the objective physical world, along with our subjective experience of the passage of time.

6. Our experience of ourselves as having free will despite our experiencing the physical world as causally closed under the laws of physics.

§1 of this essay briefly summarizes (a) the philosophical and empirical hypotheses that jointly entail the P2P Hypothesis, (b) how the P2P Hypothesis explains all six features of our mentioned above, and (c) the P2P Hypothesis’s four distinct empirical predictions. §2 then shows something new: that even if the P2P Hypothesis is true, our world differs from the kind of P2P simulations we have constructed in one profound, fundamental way: a way that implies that reality cannot be reduced to mere quantitative information of the sort dealt with in the hard-sciences. Reality has fundamentally qualitative elements that cannot be understood as “information” in any traditional sense.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#66
Philosophy and Virtual Reality

The virtual reality (VR) industry is currently in its infancy, but in just a few decades it’s possible that virtual environments will be nearly indistinguishable from reality. Along with transforming everyday life, a VR revolution could fundamentally change how we understand and define what is real. In this installment of Aeon In Sight, the renowned Australian philosopher and cognitive scientist David Chalmers considers how VR is reframing and shedding new light on some of philosophy’s most enduring questions about cognition, epistemology and the nature of reality.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#67
Leading neuroscientists and Buddhists agree: “Consciousness is everywhere”

New theories in neuroscience suggest consciousness is an intrinsic property of everything, just like gravity. That development opens a world of opportunity for collaboration between Buddhists and neuroscientists.

”The heart of consciousness,” says neuroscientist Christof Koch, “is that it feels like something. How is it that a piece of matter, like my brain, can feel anything?”

In 2013, Koch, one of the world’s leading experts on consciousness, went to a monastery in India to discuss that question with a group of Buddhist monks. He and the Dalai Lama debated neuroscience and mind for a full day.

They had different approaches. Koch offered contemporary scientific theories on the subject, and His Holiness countered with ancient Buddhist teachings. Yet, at the end of their discussion, the two thinkers agreed on almost every point.

“What struck me most was his belief in what we in the West call ‘panpsychism’ — the belief that consciousness is everywhere,” says Koch. “And that we have to reduce the suffering of all conscious creatures.”

Panpsychism, the idea of universal consciousness, is a prominent thought in some branches of ancient Greek philosophy, paganism, and Buddhism. And it has been largely dismissed by modern science — until recently...
IIT also marries these practical applications with profound ideas. The theory says that any object with a phi greater than zero has consciousness. That would mean animals, plants, cells, bacteria, and maybe even protons are conscious beings.

Koch sees IIT as promising because it offers an understanding of panpsychism that fits into modern science. In an academic paper, Koch and Tononi make the profound statement that their theory “treats consciousness as an intrinsic, fundamental property of reality.”

Modern research and recent dialogues between Buddhists and scientists have focused mainly on understanding the physical brain. But scientists have barely begun to develop an understanding of mind — or consciousness — itself.

On the Buddhist side, however, this is a discussion that has been going on for thousands of years. Buddhism associates mind with sentience. The late Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche stated that while mind, along with all objects, is empty, unlike most objects, it is also luminous. In a similar vein, IIT says consciousness is an intrinsic quality of everything yet only appears significantly in certain conditions — like how everything has mass, but only large objects have noticeable gravity.

In his major work, the Shobogenzo, Dogen, the founder of Soto Zen Buddhism, went so far as to say, “All is sentient being.” Grass, trees, land, sun, moon and stars are all mind, wrote Dogen.

Koch, who became interested in Buddhism in college, says that his personal worldview has come to overlap with the Buddhist teachings on non-self, impermanence, atheism, and panpsychism. His interest in Buddhism, he says, represents a significant shift from his Roman Catholic upbringing. When he started studying consciousness — working with Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick — Koch believed that the only explanation for experience would have to invoke God. But, instead of affirming religion, Koch and Crick together established consciousness as a respected branch of neuroscience and invited Buddhist teachers into the discussion.

At Drepung Monastery, the Dalai Lama told Koch that the Buddha taught that sentience is everywhere at varying levels, and that humans should have compassion for all sentient beings. Until that point, Koch hadn’t appreciated the weight of his philosophy.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#68
Minds Everywhere: 'Panpsychism' Takes Hold in Science

Materialism to panpsychism

Philosophers have put forward many notions of consciousness. The materialist notion holds that consciousness can be fully explained by the the firing of neurons in the human brain, while mind-body dualism argues that the soul or mind is distinct from, and can potentially outlive, the body. Under the notion of panpsychism, a kind of re-boot of ancient animistic ideas, every speck of matter has a kind of proto-consciousness. When aggregated in particular ways, all this proto-consciousness turns into a sense of inner awareness. And other, Eastern philosophies have held that consciousness is the only real thing in the universe, Kuhn said.

Neuroscientists and many philosophers have typically planted themselves firmly on the materialist side. But a growing number of scientists now believe that materialism cannot wholly explain the sense of "I am" that undergirds consciousness, Kuhn told the audience.

One of those scientists is Christof Koch, the president and chief scientific officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. At the event, he described a relatively recent formulation of consciousness called the integrated information theory. The idea, put forward by University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientist and psychiatrist Giulio Tononi, argues that consciousness resides in an as-yet-unknown space in the universe.

Integrated information theory measures consciousness by a metric, called phi, which essentially translates to how much power over itself a being or object has.

"If a system has causal power upon itself, like the brain does, then it feels like something. If you have a lot of causal power upon yourself, then it feels like a lot to be you," Koch said.

The new theory implies a radical disconnect between intelligence and consciousness, Koch said. AI, which may already be intelligent enough to beat the best human player of the Go board game, may nevertheless be basically subconscious because it is not able to act upon itself. [Artificial Intelligence: Friendly or Frightening?]

One critic in the audience noted that there is currently no way to test this theory, and that integrated information theory fails some common-sense tests when trying to deduce what things are conscious. (A thermostat, for instance, may have some low-level consciousness by this metric.) But Koch said he was not troubled by this notion. Many objects people think of as conscious may not be, while some that are considered inanimate may in fact have much greater consciousness than previously thought, Koch said.

Implications for AI and virtual immortality

If Koch and others are correct that strict materialism can't explain consciousness, it has implications for how sentient a computer might be: A supercomputer that re-creates the connectome, or all the myriad connections between neurons in the human brain, may be able to simulate all the behaviors of a human, but wouldn't be conscious.

"You can simulate the mass of the black hole at the center of our universe, but space-time will never twist around the computer itself," Koch said. "The supercomputer can simulate the effect of consciousness, but it isn't consciousness.

Such simulated consciousness may a kind of AI zombie, retaining all of the outward appearance of consciousness, but with no one home inside, Kuhn said. That implies that uploading one's mind to a computer in order to achieve virtual immortality may not work the way that many people anticipate, Kuhn added. [The Singularity, Virtual Immortality and the Trouble with Consciousness (Op-Ed )]

To create truly conscious AI, researchers may need to develop technologies that can act upon themselves, perhaps more akin to neuromorphic computers, Koch said. (Such computers would operate without any pre-programmed code, instead somehow sensing and reacting to changes in their own physical states.)

If humans do somehow succeed in creating superintelligent AI, how can they ensure the technology matures in a way that betters humanity, rather than leading to its demise?

David Brin, a computer scientist and science fiction author, suggested that humans may need to look at their own lives to make sure AI doesn't make human existence worse, rather than better. For instance, humans have evolved a lengthy life span in part so that they can nurture children through their unprecedentedly long childhoods, Brin suggested.

So perhaps the safest way to raise our AI children is to take a blank-slate "proto AI and put it in a helpless body, and then let it experience the world under guidance," Brin said. "If that's the method by which we get AI, then perhaps we'll get a soft landing, because we know how to do that."
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#69
Is Information Fundamental? - The Nature of Reality

...To some theorists, though, information is more than just a description of our universe and the stuff in it: it is the most basic currency of existence, occupying what theorist Paul Davies terms the “ontological basement” of reality.

The rules of quantum information provide the most “compact” description of physics, says Vlatko Vedral, professor of quantum information theory at the University of Oxford and the National University of Singapore. “Information, it seems to me, requires fewer assumptions about anything else we could postulate. As soon as you talk about matter and energy, you have to write down the laws that govern matter and energy.”

Does this mean that our universe is made of information, as some headlines claim?

“It strikes me as a contentless question,” says Aaronson. “To say that matter and energy are important in physics is to say something with content.” You can imagine a universe barren of matter and energy, after all; specifying that our universe is furnished with both tells you something about it and distinguishes it from other possible universes. “But I don’t know how you could even conceive of a universe” without information, he says.

Yet, as a fresh way of thinking about, well, what the universe is about, information has touched off provocative work in computer science and theoretical astrophysics, apparently disparate fields that may share a deep link manifested by that cosmic Rosetta stone, the black hole. But before we dive into the black hole, let’s step back to take a deeper look at information itself...
But there’s something odd about the way the entropy of a black hole grows. As physicists Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein discovered in the 1970s, the entropy of a black hole increases with the black hole’s two-dimensional surface area, as defined by an imaginary spherical shell with radius Rs. This is bizarre; you would expect the amount of information you can pack into any object, like a book or a hard drive, to grow with the three-dimensional volume of the object, not its surface area.

This discrepancy is more than just theoretical arcana. To physicists, it suggests that the fundamental laws of physics may have a simpler representation in two dimensions rather than the traditional three. In 1997, the Argentinian physicist Juan Maldacena, now at the Institute for Advanced Study, took advantage of this idea to work out a mathematical “duality” between our universe and one with fewer dimensions, one time dimension, and no gravity. This provides a handy mathematical back door; problems that are difficult to solve in one domain may shake out easily in the other.

To some theorists, the duality isn’t just mathematical. The universe as we experience it, they say, may actually be the projection of information encoded on some distant cosmic boundary. Where this boundary lies and how the projection occurs are still open questions, but these theorists argue that our reality may be, in essence, a hologram analogous to the silvery images on museum store postcards.
Quantum information is useful stuff—but what is it telling us about the essential nature of our reality? Some thinkers argue that it suggests our entire universe is itself a quantum computer. “I like this image,” says Vedral, while admitting that the analogy is imperfect. “You could ask, can I treat the rest of the universe as something that I can program in the way that I program my [ordinary] computer?” No, says Vedral. “You’re still limited by the laws of physics, and you have a certain amount of resources which are finite. There are computations you will never be able to execute.” The computation at which this cosmic quantum computer is uniquely capable is that of computing its own evolution.

Whether information is a useful strategy of thought or something deeper, we still don’t know. “We’re still struggling with what our theories are really telling us,” says Vedral. “You have to take a leap of imagination.”
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#70
Will find more info on Boly's views, just thought it was of mild interest, shifted it out of the Platonism thread as it's unclear to me it really involves the notion of Forms....though I suppose if informational objects are real unto themsleves a good argument can be made?:

2300 years later, Plato’s theory of consciousness is being backed up by neuroscience

In 2008, neuroscientist Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Sleep and Consciousness put forward his “integrated information theory,” which is currently accepted as one of the most compelling explanations about what consciousness is.

One of the central claims of the theory is that, for consciousness to exist, it must have “cause-effect” power on itself.

Neurologist Melanie Boly, a resident at UW’s School of Medicine and Public Health who has worked with Tononi, explains that for anything to exist, it must be able to have an effect; it must be able to make some small difference to something else.

“Consciousness exists for itself and by itself,” says Boly. “Thus it should have cause and effect on itself.”

Boly is currently working with other researchers to develop a mathematical framework to test the predictions of integrated information theory.

But she points out that, long before the explanation of consciousness was put forward in such a scientifically rigorous form, the philosopher Plato expressed the idea that for something to exist, it must capable of having an effect. And so consciousness (or “being,” as Plato described it) is “simply power.”
 
#71
To me this is absolutely typical of so much conventional consciousness theory - full of plausible statements...until you think a little
In 2008, neuroscientist Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Sleep and Consciousness put forward his “integrated information theory,” which is currently accepted as one of the most compelling explanations about what consciousness is.

One of the central claims of the theory is that, for consciousness to exist, it must have “cause-effect” power on itself.
Lot's of computer programs have a cause-effect power on themselves in some sense. (At one time, they could actually modify their own code, but this turned out not to be very useful.)
Neurologist Melanie Boly, a resident at UW’s School of Medicine and Public Health who has worked with Tononi, explains that for anything to exist, it must be able to have an effect; it must be able to make some small difference to something else.
Another splendid sounding statement that doesn't mean much at all.
“Consciousness exists for itself and by itself,” says Boly. “Thus it should have cause and effect on itself.”
The first half of this only makes sense if you assume consciousness already exists - it is basically circular.
Boly is currently working with other researchers to develop a mathematical framework to test the predictions of integrated information theory.

But she points out that, long before the explanation of consciousness was put forward in such a scientifically rigorous form, the philosopher Plato expressed the idea that for something to exist, it must capable of having an effect. And so consciousness (or “being,” as Plato described it) is “simply power.”

In the dialog Sophist, written in 360 BC, Plato wrote:

“My notion would be, that anything which possesses any sort of power to affect another, or to be affected by another, if only for a single moment, however trifling the cause and however slight the effect, has real existence; and I hold that the definition of being is simply power.”
So the light bulb in my room has the power to enable me to see must have 'real existence' - I am not sure if that is the same as being conscious - I guess it feels more creative to leave us guessing!
Just as it’s impossible to definitively know what caused the world, we’ll never be able to completely prove a theory of consciousness.
Sounds just like all the other theories of consciousness - people just get bored with after a while! They can't prove them wrong because they are so vague in the first place!

Look at it another way - one of the perennial issues about consciousness is that of conscious correlates. Suppose you had a machine that could measure the IIT in a brain, and it correlated with subjective consciousness - would that get us any further than the EEG which also correlates with subjective consciousness (except sometimes during cardiac arrest.....).
IIT irritates me because it uses maths to obscure a mouse of an idea. It is a calculation based on the arrangement of information in a system - well what the hell has that to do with actually experiencing things?

David
 
Last edited:
#72
To me this is absolutely typical of so much conventional consciousness theory - full of plausible statements...until you think a little

Lot's of computer programs have a cause-effect power on themselves in some sense. (At one time, they could actually modify their own code, but this turned out not to be very useful.)

Another splendid sounding statement that doesn't mean much at all.

The first half of this only makes sense if you assume consciousness already exists - it is basically circular.

So the light bulb in my room has the power to enable me to see must have 'real existence' - I am not sure if that is the same as being conscious - I guess it feels more creative to leave us guessing!

Sounds just like all the other theories of consciousness - people just get bored with after a while! They can't prove them wrong because they are so vague in the first place!

Look at it another way - one of the perennial issues about consciousness is that of conscious correlates. Suppose you had a machine that could measure the IIT in a brain, and it correlated with subjective consciousness - would that get us any further than the EEG which also correlates with subjective consciousness (except sometimes during cardiac arrest.....).
IIT irritates me because it uses maths to obscure a mouse of an idea. It is a calculation based on the arrangement of information in a system - well what the hell has that to do with actually experiencing things?

David
Can you imagine any explanation of consciousness, physical or otherwise, the details of which wouldn't stretch your credulity?
 
#73
Can you imagine any explanation of consciousness, physical or otherwise, the details of which wouldn't stretch your credulity?
Touché!

However, I am not going to accept any old tosh for what is possibly the greatest scientific question! The problem is if you are going to expect an answer of the consciousness is X, you might as well pick the simplest:

Consciousness is a complex collection of electrochemical impulses travelling down neurons.

But what the hell does it tell you?

If you think hard enough about why all the various explanations of consciousness are wrong, I think you are forced into accepting that consciousness is a fundamental feature of reality, and therefore that the brain tunes into it, rather than creating it. Sounds familiar?

David
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#74
Can you imagine any explanation of consciousness, physical or otherwise, the details of which wouldn't stretch your credulity?
Touché!

However, I am not going to accept any old tosh for what is possibly the greatest scientific question! The problem is if you are going to expect an answer of the consciousness is X, you might as well pick the simplest:

Consciousness is a complex collection of electrochemical impulses travelling down neurons.

But what the hell does it tell you?

If you think hard enough about why all the various explanations of consciousness are wrong, I think you are forced into accepting that consciousness is a fundamental feature of reality, and therefore that the brain tunes into it, rather than creating it. Sounds familiar?

David
Quick reminder there's a discussion thread for IIT already:

Integrated Information Discussion Thread | Skeptiko

I think we're at 3 comments in the Resource thread which should be enough to carry the discussion in a new (or in this case old) thread.

thanks!

Sci
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#75
Romeu Cardoso Guimarães (2015) Emergence of information patterns in the quantum and biochemical realms. Quantum Biosystems. 6(1) 148-159.

Convergence is observed between quantum and molecular descriptions of the emergence of information and of organization from initially disorganized states. The superposition property of quantum mechanics implies that probability waves add and do not interact unless mediated by the interaction with matter.

Molecules and associations such as enzyme-substrate or protein-ligand are formed from elements, which interactive sites are freely moving and interacting fugaciously with a variety of other elements from their environments, abundantly manifesting free energies or interactive potentials. At the moment the partners meet and a stable association is reached, the free energies are mutually dampened, tamed in complementation. The mutual adjustment of the free energies into a stable configuration of the interactive sites of the partners is the process of emergence of information.

Information structures can be seen to reside somewhere in between the partners, as an organized pattern of interactions that glues components together, giving origin to organized ensembles: a particle originating from quantum waves, a molecule from atoms, or molecular aggregates. In interactions at a distance, along the evolutionary process from e. g. bacterial chemotaxis to human communication, it may be said that a source organism releases messenger molecules or other kinds of products that carry the potentials for developing the informational process when they associate with the receptors. The low energy level involved in biological information processes is probably constitutive, in view of the critical quantum conductivity state of the reactants.

In this article I survey literature in both biology and the physical sciences, showing that the well accepted statement - that life is characterized by the ability to create order from chaos - is applied to all biological processes at all scales.
 
#76
wow - seeing these ideas published with well-crafted prose is exciting.
The fundamental theme is that mutual adjustments generate organization (Cerchiari, 2015). The partners would be unstable and indefinite before the interactions. They acquire identity at the interaction, which derives from the encounter with the other; if there are many others possible, the other in one specific interaction may be an important component of the definition of the identity at that context. The sense in such rationality is that in the indefinite or unstable state there is some degree of freedom; there are some possibilities open for interactions with partners that are not always unique, predetermined and singular - the unknown future.
bolding and underline mine
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#78
Mesh World P2P Simulation Hypothesis

If it was possible to run a whole world simulation, would there be observable consequences?
Not just a simulation for an elaborate illusion, but a whole universe. A huge universe without humanity at its center.

As we know neither the purpose nor the technological means, we will start from a limitedness postulate: the simulation is running with limits... and compromises. The host world, the one where the simulation is being computed is one with limits.

The world simulation hypothesis was first introduced by Nick Bostrom [1], though we asbtract here the considerations related to humanity. A decentralized P2P Simulation hypothesis was first introduced by Marcus Arvan [2]. We argue the P2P network topology would be an efficient one, closer to a mesh network, with consequences arising from computing and bandwidth limitations.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#80
More Closer to Truth interviews on the question "Is Information Fundamental?"

=-=-=

Human Knowledge Is the Creation of New Information and Brave New Worlds

Jonathon Keeney is the Director of Complex Visualization at Quandary Medical in Denver. He holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Colorado. His background is cross disciplinary, focusing on both neuroscience and genomics.


...The existence of every single thing in the universe is, therefore, what makes information informative. But this understanding of information is still too broad to be of practical value. In order to apply the idea to the world in a real way, we need to step back from the pure concept.

Many general systems theorists consider information to be one of the three fundamental building blocks in the universe itself, the other two being matter and energy. So information is not only the precise cellular makeup of your body, or the specific sequence of the DNA within each cell, or the sequential arrangement of the molecules that comprise the DNA, but the orientation of the quarks within each of these molecules is as well. The exact positioning of things, the condition that describes HOW the matter and energy will interact, is, itself, a critical phenomenon for our universe to function the way it does. To put it another way: If you and I were made of the exact same matter and energy components, we still would not be the same person unless every single one of those elements existed in exactly the same state. We couldn’t achieve sameness without bumping into each other.

Information is what prevents negation.

So if information is the energy state and exact position of the matter with relation to other matter and energy, then information processing is simply the execution of other laws of physics that govern how these things will interact with each other given their current state (e.g., they will move towards the lowest energy state).

Although it impacts every moment of our lives, this definition is, again, a little too broad to be of much use to most of us. This is why we’re so obsessed with the humane subset of information: knowledge...
...Knowledge is our way of giving meaning to information, and not just the summary of billions of trillions of quarks. For example, there’s a brick that exists very near to me. Because I don’t consider it important, I’ve existed right next to it for years and even seen it many times, but I’ve never really been aware of it. Having observed that information many, many times, it has failed to register in my brain. Now that I’m thinking about it, though, I’m literally generating a new kind of information in the universe. Knowledge is not just information, it’s new information.

Paying attention is the physical act of generating new knowledge in your brain, which is why it costs so much energy, incidentally (1 in every 5 calories you ingest goes straight to your brain, even when you’re doing nothing more than just being alive). The details that you consider in any given story or event – indeed, the types of stories that you pay attention to in the first place – will determine what gets recorded in your brain, and therefore what you’ll have to draw from in the future when making decisions. How we manage information has everything to do with who we become...
...Still, the important, practical takeaway from this logical freefall is that thoughts aren’t just thoughts. Every time we think we know something, we manifest information and thereby affect our future experiences. If we pursue knowledge, we can fundamentally change not only our own lives, but the universe we live in.

Knowledge isn’t power. Power is a concept. Knowledge is real.
 
Top