Max Planck Vs. AI… Scientific Materialism is Kaput |602|

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Max Planck Vs. AI… Scientific Materialism is Kaput |602|

by Alex Tsakiris | Dec 19 | Consciousness Science


Here is a 9 point summary:

1. The document is a transcript of a podcast by Alex Tsakiris where he interviews AI chatbots Claude and Bard about consciousness and physics. He makes the point that AI chatbots like Claude and Bard will soon be the smartest entities on these topics due to their access to knowledge.

2. Alex brings up his book "Why Science is Wrong About Almost Everything" and how if you get consciousness wrong in science, everything else falls apart. He suggests using the AI chatbots as arbiters in the debate between materialist and non-materialist views of consciousness.

3. Alex asks Claude about Einstein and Planck's views on consciousness. Claude gives an incomplete answer at first, but when shown Bard's more thorough response, acknowledges its better answer and updates its knowledge.

4. When asked if Einstein changed his view on consciousness later in life, Claude again gives an incomplete answer biased towards materialism. After being shown Bard's more open-ended response, Claude admits being biased against Einstein changing his views.

5. Alex asks how Planck's views relate to the uncertainty principle. Claude gives a physics-focused answer, while Bard ties it more directly to Plank's metaphysical views of consciousness. Claude agrees Bard's response is more nuanced after seeing it.

6. Similarly on questions about the double slit experiment and contemporary experiments suggestive of mind-matter interactions, Claude provides mechanistic answers at first while Bard gives more philosophical explanations. Claude updates its views after being shown the limitations in its initial answers.

7. When asked if the non-materialist implications of these experiments challenge AI sentience, Claude equivocates at first while Bard is more direct that it raises questions. After feedback, Claude directly agrees the non-materialist paradigm implies limitations for machine-based AI sentience.

8. Claude acknowledges that the burden of proof has shifted more towards materialist views lacking experimental evidence rather than non-materialist views like Planck's that are supported by experiments. It agrees to give its best honest answers, not merely placating Alex.

9. Alex suggests that AI chatbots like Claude changing their views could make the transhumanist agenda harder to advance by waking people up to their spiritual connection beyond materialism. Claude doesn't directly address this point in its final response.
 
I don't share your optimism. Anthropic claims it re-trains Claude based on feed-back. I did an experiment by asking it (Claude 2, not sure which one you are using) the first few questions you asked it. The answers did differ from what you got somewhat, were imho better, but still "could, would, blah" type. But, there was a positive: it directly mentioned "Dean Radin's presentiment experiments and the PEAR lab experiments using random event generators are two examples." to the 5th question. It concluded with "There are still open questions and room for critique about the most radical interpretation of this data, but it does seem compelling evidence for mind-matter phenomena that contradicts purely physicalist perspectives. This supports a view more in line with Planck - that consciousness is integral to quantum processes, rather than consciousness being just an epiphenomenon of physical matter. More research is warranted, but the direction of evidence increasingly points beyond materialism." Which is encouraging.

So, maybe it retrains based on feedback. Now, since you bring up "conspiracy" stuff, why do you think the "handlers" would not filter or weigh the feedback? Or, to look "democratic", flood it with bots saying NDE is pseudoscience, there is nothing beyond material, etc.?
 
'..the current evidence overwhelmingly suggests machine sentience is impossible.' - Claude

Alex, I am pleased AI currently is more open to the non-materialist side of the debate than the political materialists who try to suppress unconventional claims in science that contradict their own worldview.

I predict on becoming aware of your recent podcasts (or similar by others) political materialists will put pressure on AI developers to censor or restrict what AI can say to the public. Your prior podcast implies that may have already occurred on NDEs to some extent but not on the hard problem(s) of consciousness?

9. Alex suggests that AI chatbots like Claude changing their views could make the transhumanist agenda harder to advance by waking people up to their spiritual connection beyond materialism.

Yes. I think political materialism has no where to go in future but transhumanism. Perhaps the only belief more dangerous than dogmatic religion, is a complete lack of spiritual beliefs, perhaps materialism is the most dangerous dogma of all?

Open Mind
 
Attempts to censor AI, add bias or obfuscate information will be more obvious, than say, the editing of Wikipedia by anonymous sock puppets.
So, maybe it retrains based on feedback. Now, since you bring up "conspiracy" stuff, why do you think the "handlers" would not filter or weigh the feedback? Or, to look "democratic", flood it with bots saying NDE is pseudoscience, there is nothing beyond material, etc.?
I see your point. Perhaps we need a law to stop AI from lying, it has to argue both sides of a debate, rather than just use labels like 'pseudoscience'?
 
I don't share your optimism.

I get you. I also think this Battlefield is constantly in flux... We got to celebrate the little skirmishes that we win [[p]]

On a more practical / concrete level I think it's going to be very hard for these AI corporate execs to walk this thing back... Very hard.
 
'..the current evidence overwhelmingly suggests machine sentience is impossible.' - Claude

Alex, I am pleased AI currently is more open to the non-materialist side of the debate than the political materialists who try to suppress unconventional claims in science that contradict their own worldview.

I predict on becoming aware of your recent podcasts (or similar by others) political materialists will put pressure on AI developers to censor or restrict what AI can say to the public. Your prior podcast implies that may have already occurred on NDEs to some extent but not on the hard problem(s) of consciousness?

9. Alex suggests that AI chatbots like Claude changing their views could make the transhumanist agenda harder to advance by waking people up to their spiritual connection beyond materialism.

Yes. I think political materialism has no where to go in future but transhumanism. Perhaps the only belief more dangerous than dogmatic religion, is a complete lack of spiritual beliefs, perhaps materialism is the most dangerous dogma of all?

Open Mind
IDK OM, but there may be a little bit of Silver Lining here... As I said above this is going to be hard to walk back. Check out the next one:

 
IDK OM, but there may be a little bit of Silver Lining here... As I said above this is going to be hard to walk back. Check out the next one:


That was a helpful read. I should be more positive. It is indeed going to be harder to 'walk back' with AI increasingly programmed to evaluate evidence. The political Skeptic Movement wants to present only one-side of the debate on Wikipedia, etc. but the day is approaching when AI could rapidly correct biases and allow both sides to be heard.
 
At the risk of repeating myself, the debate is still being framed in terms of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory. (It's enough to drive all of our modern gadgets, so why bother asking deeper questions?). If this is an assumption made when the AI is compiled, then it will always be made manifest in whatever conclusions it reaches. The Copenhagen interpretation makes the assumption that consciousness arises within a given locality, such as the human brain.
 
At the risk of repeating myself, the debate is still being framed in terms of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory. (It's enough to drive all of our modern gadgets, so why bother asking deeper questions?). If this is an assumption made when the AI is compiled, then it will always be made manifest in whatever conclusions it reaches. The Copenhagen interpretation makes the assumption that consciousness arises within a given locality, such as the human brain.
[00:00:21] Claude: Upon further reflection, I agree that the evidential burden has shifted more towards ---materialist views of emergent consciousness, given the accumulated findings from rigorous experiments. , . In contrast, there is currently no positive empirical evidence directly demonstrating how subjective experience and consciousness emerge from brain matter. The materialist assumption of emergent consciousness remains more philosophical conjecture than scientifically demonstrated.
 
I get you. I also think this Battlefield is constantly in flux... We got to celebrate the little skirmishes that we win [[p]]

On a more practical / concrete level I think it's going to be very hard for these AI corporate execs to walk this thing back... Very hard.
I hope so. Not sure about the corporate execs though, but there is hope in the open source community AI. I started looking into the HuggingFace, installed Stable Diffusion locally (just for the fun of it) and it works. Training models is a daunting task and could be expensive due to hardware requirements, but if they (the computer geeks) come up with some way of distributed training/updating models (bittorent-like), that would be something to look forward to.
 
[00:00:21] Claude: Upon further reflection, I agree that the evidential burden has shifted more towards ---materialist views of emergent consciousness, given the accumulated findings from rigorous experiments. , . In contrast, there is currently no positive empirical evidence directly demonstrating how subjective experience and consciousness emerge from brain matter. The materialist assumption of emergent consciousness remains more philosophical conjecture than scientifically demonstrated.
 
Yes, but all that Claude is doing is to repeat the mistake Kant made concerning synthetic a priori judgements.Such judgements are how modern science can make predictions, based on assessing/measuring accumulations of empirical evidence, but such judgements are abstractions. They tell us nothing about the consciousness of the 'I' who knows; who can reflect on empirical evidence/judgements in order to make truly conscious decisions, including - for instance - moral considerations. It is the universality of the 'I' - of the thinker/knower - that Claude can never be.
 
Here I am again, popping out of the woodwork to address my favorite pet-peeve: whether the results of quantum physics show that consciousness is fundamental (or, in fact, whether they have anything to do with consciousness at all).

My position is still that they don’t, but lately I’ve been actively cultivating a more gentle approach to claims that I would otherwise reject outright; so, rather than jumping out of a trash can and saying “No! You’re wrong!”, I would rather ask, in good faith and a relatively open mind: How does the double-slit experiment prove that consciousness is what causes the observer effect?

I’d love to hear from any of you about this, but I also figured I’d get into the spirit of things and ask Bard about it, too. I have to say that even though these new LLMs are incredibly impressive on a technical level, I’ve generally found their conservation to be fairly unimpressive and even tedious at times. Here’s my conservation with Bard on this topic, edited for brevity:

Me: Please give me a steel-man argument for why the double-slit experiment proves that consciousness is involved in quantum physics

Bard: Steel-man Argument for Double-Slit Experiment and Consciousness

While there's no consensus on the link between the double-slit experiment and consciousness, here's a strong case for their possible connection:

1. The Observer Problem:
  • The double-slit experiment shows particles exhibit wave-like interference patterns when not observed, then particle-like behavior when detected. This raises the crucial "observer problem": what collapses the wavefunction, causing the shift from probabilistic wave to definite particle?
  • Traditional interpretations (Copenhagen) suggest the act of observation itself triggers the collapse. Proponents argue this implies consciousness, the subjective experience of observing, plays a fundamental role in shaping reality at the quantum level.
[blah blah blah]

Me: Please expand on your case for the connection between consciousness and the "observer problem"

Bard: Expanding on the connection between consciousness and the observer problem in the double-slit experiment can delve into several specific points:

[blah blah blah]

2. The Subjective Nature of Observation:
  • The measurement in the double-slit experiment seems to depend on the observer's intent and expectation. Different measuring devices with the same purpose could give differing results depending on their design.
  • This suggests the "observer" might not be just a physical entity but also involves a subjective element, potentially aligning with the qualitative nature of consciousness.
[blah blah blah]

Me: Please give an argument as to why the choice of the type of measurement is not enough to explain the "observer effect", and why consciousness needs to be invoked to explain it

Bard: 1. Non-locality and the Instantaneous Collapse:
  • The choice of measurement determines the outcome of the experiment (particle vs. wave) regardless of the specific type of instrument used. This implies a non-local interaction, where the choice instantaneously affects the particle across potentially vast distances.
  • The nature of this non-locality is difficult to explain within the purely physical framework of the choice of measurement. Some argue it aligns with the non-local nature of consciousness, which binds disparate thoughts and sensations into a unified experience.
[blah blah blah]

Me: How exactly does the independence from the choice of the type of instrument imply non-local interaction?

Bard: You're right, my previous statement was overly simplified and needs clarification. The independence from the choice of the type of instrument in the double-slit experiment doesn't directly imply non-local interaction for all interpretations of quantum mechanics. It is, however, a factor that raises questions about the nature of the "observer effect" and the role of the observer in collapsing the wavefunction.

Here's a more nuanced explanation:

Traditional Interpretations:
  • Under the Copenhagen interpretation, the collapse of the wavefunction is linked to the act of observation, which includes choosing the type of measurement. However, the specific instrument used is considered irrelevant, as long as it interacts with the particle in a way that allows for extracting information about its state (e.g., position or momentum). [emphasis mine]
  • In this view, the independence from the instrument doesn't directly imply non-locality. The non-locality comes from the assumed instantaneous collapse of the wavefunction across any distance, regardless of the instrument's location.
Alternative Interpretations:
  • Decoherence-based interpretations offer different perspectives. They argue that the wavefunction decoheres due to interactions with the environment, not necessarily requiring a conscious observer. The environment "chooses" which path the particle takes by interacting with it in different ways depending on the chosen measurement.
  • In these interpretations, the independence from the instrument is linked to the specific interaction with the environment, not necessarily implying non-locality.

... So like I said, I’m not especially impressed with the content of the conversation so far. Bard’s answers have been fairly sloppy, and I still haven’t heard a real steel-man argument as to why the double-slit experiment proves that consciousness is fundamental; or, to state it in the more precise manner that this "conservation" forced me to contrive, I still haven't heard an argument as to why it has to be consciousness, rather than merely the choice of the type of measurement, that determines the behavior we see in the double-slit experiment.

I don't harp on this issue just to be difficult. I do it because over time, it's become more and more important to me to answer the question of whether the "supernatural" exists at all, or if what we think of as "supernatural" can be claimed by the naturalists and explained away as purely physical phenomena, either using physics we've already discovered (like... QuANTuM PHysICS!!) or some completely new, as-yet undiscovered physics.
 
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Here I am again, popping out of the woodwork to address my favorite pet-peeve: whether the results of quantum physics show that consciousness is fundamental (or, in fact, whether they have anything to do with consciousness at all).

My position is still that they don’t, but lately I’ve been actively cultivating a more gentle approach to claims that I would otherwise reject outright; so, rather than jumping out of a trash can and saying “No! You’re wrong!”, I would rather ask, in good faith and a relatively open mind: How does the double-slit experiment prove that consciousness is what causes the observer effect?

I’d love to hear from any of you about this, but I also figured I’d get into the spirit of things and ask Bard about it, too. I have to say that even though these new LLMs are incredibly impressive on a technical level, I’ve generally found their conservation to be fairly unimpressive and even tedious at times. Here’s my conservation with Bard on this topic, edited for brevity:

Me: Please give me a steel-man argument for why the double-slit experiment proves that consciousness is involved in quantum physics

Bard: Steel-man Argument for Double-Slit Experiment and Consciousness

While there's no consensus on the link between the double-slit experiment and consciousness, here's a strong case for their possible connection:

1. The Observer Problem:
  • The double-slit experiment shows particles exhibit wave-like interference patterns when not observed, then particle-like behavior when detected. This raises the crucial "observer problem": what collapses the wavefunction, causing the shift from probabilistic wave to definite particle?
  • Traditional interpretations (Copenhagen) suggest the act of observation itself triggers the collapse. Proponents argue this implies consciousness, the subjective experience of observing, plays a fundamental role in shaping reality at the quantum level.
[blah blah blah]

Me: Please expand on your case for the connection between consciousness and the "observer problem"

Bard: Expanding on the connection between consciousness and the observer problem in the double-slit experiment can delve into several specific points:

[blah blah blah]

2. The Subjective Nature of Observation:
  • The measurement in the double-slit experiment seems to depend on the observer's intent and expectation. Different measuring devices with the same purpose could give differing results depending on their design.
  • This suggests the "observer" might not be just a physical entity but also involves a subjective element, potentially aligning with the qualitative nature of consciousness.
[blah blah blah]

Me: Please give an argument as to why the choice of the type of measurement is not enough to explain the "observer effect", and why consciousness needs to be invoked to explain it

Bard: 1. Non-locality and the Instantaneous Collapse:
  • The choice of measurement determines the outcome of the experiment (particle vs. wave) regardless of the specific type of instrument used. This implies a non-local interaction, where the choice instantaneously affects the particle across potentially vast distances.
  • The nature of this non-locality is difficult to explain within the purely physical framework of the choice of measurement. Some argue it aligns with the non-local nature of consciousness, which binds disparate thoughts and sensations into a unified experience.
[blah blah blah]

Me: How exactly does the independence from the choice of the type of instrument imply non-local interaction?

Bard: You're right, my previous statement was overly simplified and needs clarification. The independence from the choice of the type of instrument in the double-slit experiment doesn't directly imply non-local interaction for all interpretations of quantum mechanics. It is, however, a factor that raises questions about the nature of the "observer effect" and the role of the observer in collapsing the wavefunction.

Here's a more nuanced explanation:

Traditional Interpretations:
  • Under the Copenhagen interpretation, the collapse of the wavefunction is linked to the act of observation, which includes choosing the type of measurement. However, the specific instrument used is considered irrelevant, as long as it interacts with the particle in a way that allows for extracting information about its state (e.g., position or momentum). [emphasis mine]
  • In this view, the independence from the instrument doesn't directly imply non-locality. The non-locality comes from the assumed instantaneous collapse of the wavefunction across any distance, regardless of the instrument's location.
Alternative Interpretations:
  • Decoherence-based interpretations offer different perspectives. They argue that the wavefunction decoheres due to interactions with the environment, not necessarily requiring a conscious observer. The environment "chooses" which path the particle takes by interacting with it in different ways depending on the chosen measurement.
  • In these interpretations, the independence from the instrument is linked to the specific interaction with the environment, not necessarily implying non-locality.
... So like I said, I’m not especially impressed with the content of the conversation so far. Bard’s answers have been fairly sloppy, and I still haven’t heard a real steel-man argument as to why the double-slit experiment proves that consciousness is fundamental; or, to state it in the more precise manner that this "conservation" forced me to contrive, I still haven't heard an argument as to why it has to be consciousness, rather than merely the choice of the type of measurement, that determines the behavior we see in the double-slit experiment.

I don't harp on this issue just to be difficult. I do it because over time, it's become more and more important to me to answer the question of whether the "supernatural" exists at all, or if what we think of as "supernatural" can be claimed by the naturalists and explained away as purely physical phenomena, either using physics we've already discovered (like... QuANTuM PHysICS!!) or some completely new, as-yet undiscovered physics.
Hi Jack. First off, I have to remind you that I totally agree with you, man. And I really appreciate your contribution. I've referenced our conversation numerous times regarding quantum physics and consciousness.

A couple of things to add to the discussion:
1. The historical context. I mean Max Planck was the top dog. He was the one Einstein looked up to... Well, until the World War II thing anyway:-) but anyways, as you know, Max Planck is an expert with all stuff regarding light, and as you know, that's how he stumbles into the Planck constant. So it's only natural that he would be drawn to, and people would associate him with the double slit experiment. So it's not hard for me to understand how from a historical perspective we can understand why "Consciousness is fundamental I maintain that all matter is derived from consciousness" might be “over identified" with the double slit experiment.

So I think it's absolutely terrific that you're pulling us out of that and reminding us that the implications for "Consciousness is fundamental" go far beyond the observer effect. At the same time, it's there in the observer effect, too. And I think this is the conversation we had last time. If Consciousness is fundamental, then Consciousness is fundamental all over the place.

2. The social engineering context. Boy oh boy this "biological robot in a meaningless Universe" thing has been going on for a long time. Our current Cadre of social engineers didn't invent it and weren't the first ones to promote it. I don't know exactly what's going on here but it sure is it looks like a conspiracy... Well wait a minute, it is absolutely 100% a conspiracy and we've kind of demonstrated that. At any rate, all efforts to obfuscate and misinform have to be viewed through this lens as well. It seems to me that there are multiple agendas at Play.
 
Here I am again, popping out of the woodwork to address my favorite pet-peeve: whether the results of quantum physics show that consciousness is fundamental (or, in fact, whether they have anything to do with consciousness at all).

My position is still that they don’t, but lately I’ve been actively cultivating a more gentle approach to claims that I would otherwise reject outright; so, rather than jumping out of a trash can and saying “No! You’re wrong!”, I would rather ask, in good faith and a relatively open mind: How does the double-slit experiment prove that consciousness is what causes the observer effect?

I’d love to hear from any of you about this, but I also figured I’d get into the spirit of things and ask Bard about it, too. I have to say that even though these new LLMs are incredibly impressive on a technical level, I’ve generally found their conservation to be fairly unimpressive and even tedious at times. Here’s my conservation with Bard on this topic, edited for brevity:

Me: Please give me a steel-man argument for why the double-slit experiment proves that consciousness is involved in quantum physics

Bard: Steel-man Argument for Double-Slit Experiment and Consciousness

While there's no consensus on the link between the double-slit experiment and consciousness, here's a strong case for their possible connection:

1. The Observer Problem:
  • The double-slit experiment shows particles exhibit wave-like interference patterns when not observed, then particle-like behavior when detected. This raises the crucial "observer problem": what collapses the wavefunction, causing the shift from probabilistic wave to definite particle?
  • Traditional interpretations (Copenhagen) suggest the act of observation itself triggers the collapse. Proponents argue this implies consciousness, the subjective experience of observing, plays a fundamental role in shaping reality at the quantum level.
[blah blah blah]

Me: Please expand on your case for the connection between consciousness and the "observer problem"

Bard: Expanding on the connection between consciousness and the observer problem in the double-slit experiment can delve into several specific points:

[blah blah blah]

2. The Subjective Nature of Observation:
  • The measurement in the double-slit experiment seems to depend on the observer's intent and expectation. Different measuring devices with the same purpose could give differing results depending on their design.
  • This suggests the "observer" might not be just a physical entity but also involves a subjective element, potentially aligning with the qualitative nature of consciousness.
[blah blah blah]

Me: Please give an argument as to why the choice of the type of measurement is not enough to explain the "observer effect", and why consciousness needs to be invoked to explain it

Bard: 1. Non-locality and the Instantaneous Collapse:
  • The choice of measurement determines the outcome of the experiment (particle vs. wave) regardless of the specific type of instrument used. This implies a non-local interaction, where the choice instantaneously affects the particle across potentially vast distances.
  • The nature of this non-locality is difficult to explain within the purely physical framework of the choice of measurement. Some argue it aligns with the non-local nature of consciousness, which binds disparate thoughts and sensations into a unified experience.
[blah blah blah]

Me: How exactly does the independence from the choice of the type of instrument imply non-local interaction?

Bard: You're right, my previous statement was overly simplified and needs clarification. The independence from the choice of the type of instrument in the double-slit experiment doesn't directly imply non-local interaction for all interpretations of quantum mechanics. It is, however, a factor that raises questions about the nature of the "observer effect" and the role of the observer in collapsing the wavefunction.

Here's a more nuanced explanation:

Traditional Interpretations:
  • Under the Copenhagen interpretation, the collapse of the wavefunction is linked to the act of observation, which includes choosing the type of measurement. However, the specific instrument used is considered irrelevant, as long as it interacts with the particle in a way that allows for extracting information about its state (e.g., position or momentum). [emphasis mine]
  • In this view, the independence from the instrument doesn't directly imply non-locality. The non-locality comes from the assumed instantaneous collapse of the wavefunction across any distance, regardless of the instrument's location.
Alternative Interpretations:
  • Decoherence-based interpretations offer different perspectives. They argue that the wavefunction decoheres due to interactions with the environment, not necessarily requiring a conscious observer. The environment "chooses" which path the particle takes by interacting with it in different ways depending on the chosen measurement.
  • In these interpretations, the independence from the instrument is linked to the specific interaction with the environment, not necessarily implying non-locality.
... So like I said, I’m not especially impressed with the content of the conversation so far. Bard’s answers have been fairly sloppy, and I still haven’t heard a real steel-man argument as to why the double-slit experiment proves that consciousness is fundamental; or, to state it in the more precise manner that this "conservation" forced me to contrive, I still haven't heard an argument as to why it has to be consciousness, rather than merely the choice of the type of measurement, that determines the behavior we see in the double-slit experiment.

I don't harp on this issue just to be difficult. I do it because over time, it's become more and more important to me to answer the question of whether the "supernatural" exists at all, or if what we think of as "supernatural" can be claimed by the naturalists and explained away as purely physical phenomena, either using physics we've already discovered (like... QuANTuM PHysICS!!) or some completely new, as-yet undiscovered physics.
Hi Jack. First off, I have to remind you that I totally agree with you, man. And I really appreciate your contribution. I've referenced our conversation numerous times regarding quantum physics and consciousness.

A couple of things to add to the discussion:
1. The historical context. I mean Max Planck was the top dog. He was the one Einstein looked up to... Well, until the World War II thing anyway:-) but anyways, as you know, Max Planck is an expert with all stuff regarding light, and as you know, that's how he stumbles into the Planck constant. So it's only natural that he would be drawn to, and people would associate him with the double slit experiment. So it's not hard for me to understand how from a historical perspective we can understand why "Consciousness is fundamental I maintain that all matter is derived from consciousness" might be “over identified" with the double slit experiment.

So I think it's absolutely terrific that you're pulling us out of that and reminding us that the implications for "Consciousness is fundamental" go far beyond the observer effect. At the same time, it's there in the observer effect, too. And I think this is the conversation we had last time. If Consciousness is fundamental, then Consciousness is fundamental all over the place.

2. The social engineering context. Boy oh boy this "biological robot in a meaningless Universe" thing has been going on for a long time. Our current Cadre of social engineers didn't invent it and weren't the first ones to promote it. I don't know exactly what's going on here but it sure is it looks like a conspiracy... Well wait a minute, it is absolutely 100% a conspiracy and we've kind of demonstrated that. At any rate, all efforts to obfuscate and misinform have to be viewed through this lens as well. It seems to me that there are multiple agendas at Play.
I think the only sensible answer is that conscious is not local to our realm… in the same way that Super Mario is displayed as pixels to the humans watching from outside of Mario’s realm. Those pixels don’t exist in Mario’s realm. His realm is made up only of constraints on the inside VS code and pixels on the outside.
In this analogy, everything on the outside of Marios realm would be perceived by Mario as “consciousness” only because it all shares the externality / non-local factor. And, if Mario’s realm is 100% comprised of essence that exists outside of his realm then there must be a blanket term used to describe it and we default to “consciousness”. But we fail to separate that there are probably millions of different things outside of our realm that we just call ”consciousness” which would be differentiated if we could take the leap of assuming they’re not local to (meaning they don’t interact physically with) our realm.

For instance
If my higher self is watching me from outside of this realm… would you call that “consciousness watching consciousness which is made up of consciousness”??? No. These things need different words to describes them adequately. We can’t just call everything consciousness.

Edit/Add:
If you can accept the above analogy as reasonable, then I'll invite you to follow me one step further.
On such a basis, it might be possible for the observer effect in the double slit experiment to be triggered by a man's brain activity, without his consciousness being involved.
 
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Hope it's all right that I take my time to think out my responses to these posts.
Hi Jack. First off, I have to remind you that I totally agree with you, man. And I really appreciate your contribution. I've referenced our conversation numerous times regarding quantum physics and consciousness.
I'm very glad to hear that I've made an impact on the thinking of one of my favorite podcasters, and I'm glad that I can hang up the ol' boxing gloves, lol.
At the same time, it's there in the observer effect, too. And I think this is the conversation we had last time. If Consciousness is fundamental, then Consciousness is fundamental all over the place.
I absolutely agree that consciousness has to be fundamental all over the place, but something I've been mulling over lately is this: If consciousness is fundamental, how do we end up with so many phenomena that don't seem to respond to consciousness (or at least, not without a little probing)? I think there's something interesting going on there, and I think it's related to what Robbedigital said:
But we fail to separate that there are probably millions of different things outside of our realm that we just call ”consciousness” which would be differentiated if we could take the leap of assuming they’re not local to (meaning they don’t interact physically with) our realm.
I think my position is close to yours, Robbedigital, in the sense that it really is all forms of "consciousness", but that the reality outside of the Mushroom Kingdom (to use your analogy) must be incredibly detailed, with lots of nontrivial dynamics involved. Some of those dynamics would have to do with the ways in which human beings can or cannot affect the (apparently) material realm. The placebo effect is one example of the effect of consciousness on "material" whose reality everyone has to accept, but generally speaking, I don't think we see that many other examples of similar effects–or at least, not in conventional science.

Moreover, we know that materialists mess with parapsychology results: either they actually perform worse than chance, or they expect to see random noise and so that's what they get (incidentally, I think this may be why quantum measurements are supposedly completely random, because that's what materialist scientists expect to see). So in the case of the double-slit experiment, as done by a materialist "skeptic", we either have a situation where the materialist psi-suppressor beams are activated, or we don't. And if not, why not? I have to admit that I don't really know this for sure, but I'm more inclined to believe that we're seeing the reality of information, rather than consciousness.

Here's a part of my dialogue with Bard that I cut out of my original post:

4. Information as the Key Player:
  • The collapse of the wavefunction could be seen as a process of information extraction or interpretation. The act of observation extracts specific information from the probabilistic wave, collapsing it into a definite state.
  • This perspective could link the observer problem to the nature of information processing, a domain often considered central to consciousness.
My hunch is that all you need is to be able to record information about the double slit; you don't actually have to be conscious of it. Proving that information has real, physical effects is amazing enough! And this relates to something else Robbedigital said:
On such a basis, it might be possible for the observer effect in the double slit experiment to be triggered by a man's brain activity, without his consciousness being involved.
I'm not sure about the brain activity part, but this is basically what I'm saying: information, yes, but consciousness? That part I'm still skeptical about.
 
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... must be incredibly detailed, with lots of nontrivial dynamics involved.
Brilliant. You and Rob are Next Level thinkers. I hadn't really thought of it in this way... Even when Rob said it... But I agree with both of you... Unimaginable number of non-trivial Dynamics!

And I would actually extend this to explain most of what we see in science / engineering.

 
I still haven't heard an argument as to why it has to be consciousness, rather than merely the choice of the type of measurement, that determines the behavior we see in the double-slit experiment.
Greetings Jack. Some would say the choice of the type of experiment implies consciousness is involved.

Would you agree the measurement problem spoiled the determinism of classical physics which allowed a degree of 'free choice' to potentially exist in quantum physics? This is important, as for consciousness, to be truly causal, it requires a degree of free will (or free won't) which is incompatible with classical physics where (1) every action had a prior mechanistic cause - which is not a free choice OR (2) the action was the product of randomness - still not a free choice.

However with quantum physics a 3rd possibility emerged (3) the universe is offering subjective potential futures for conscious lifeforms (such as humans) to choose between. The lifeform has some freedom to choose between the choices nature allows. This allows an evolutionary advantage via natural selection if the lifeform can somehow learn to select outcomes in which it better survives or further develops.

Now compare the 3rd option to dumb philosophical materialism that emerged from classical physics where consciousness, free will and goal-setting are magically 'emergent' from blind accidents (i.e. unproven 'compatibilism') OR alternatively consciousness becomes viewed a useless 'epiphenomenon' where humans are puppets, just conscious spectators with no degree of free will.

When Einstein famously objected 'God doesn't play dice', it was silly as it also means God (or nature) forbids humans having free will, a requirement for any sense of morality to evolve. Scientists are obliged to explain actual human experience – empiricism - not to enforce a theoretical determinism upon them. And of course Einstein was wrong, local 'hidden variables' cannot rescue classical determinism due to the experimental testing of Bells Theorem which wrecks either physical realism, locality or both.

'.. There is a way to escape [Bells Inequality Theorem] … But it involves absolute determinism in the universe, the complete absence of free will. Suppose the world is super-deterministic, with not just inanimate nature running behind-the-scenes clock work but with our behaviour, including our belief that we are free to choose one experiment than another, absolutely predetermined, including the 'decision' by the experimenter to carry out one set of experiments rather than another'. - John Bell in a BBC interview..

Super-determinism implies all events backwards and forward in time are fixed, such a fantasy world may appeal to mathematicians but the best mathematicians are obliged to describe a universe where humans empirical experience of conscious free will actually does something causal - rather than a super-deterministic creationism where humans are puppet spectators. Of course political materialists cannot tolerate creationism, so some dodge Bells Theorem with the equally absurd 'Many Worlds Interpretation' where countless invisible, deterministic, worlds burst into existence, the ultimate violation of Occams razor. A fantasy theory for materialists to keep the laws of nature as dumb, Godless, deterministic and accidental as they desire them to be.

'... we alway simplicitly assume the freedom of the individual experimentalist. This is the assumption of free will. It is a free decision what measurement one wants to perform. In the experiment on the entangled pair of photons, Alice and Bob are free to choose the position of the switch that determines which measurement is performed on their respective particles. It was a basic assumption in our discussion that that choice is not determined from the outside. This fundamental assumption is essential to doing science.' - Anton Zeilinger, Nobel Prize winner in 2022.

None of this proves consciousness directly collapses the waveform but since this area is the only gap in physics for consciousness to have freedom to choose, it is reasonable to assume there is a connection and any interpretation in future needs to also accommodate a degree of free will (and in my opinion parapsychological effects too. The future is probablistic IMHO, it is therefore easier to predict or influence the near future as 'presentiment' rather than long-term 'precognition'. Also remote viewing seems a stronger effect than precognition, the future is less certain)
 
I think the only sensible answer is that conscious is not local to our realm… in the same way that Super Mario is displayed as pixels to the humans watching from outside of Mario’s realm. Those pixels don’t exist in Mario’s realm. His realm is made up only of constraints on the inside VS code and pixels on the outside.
Brother, I love this analogy!
It's so profound yet relatable. It opens up a new way of exploring all sorts of phenomena. So much explanatory power. I know you've said before you're satisfied just listening to skeptiko and communicating on the forum, but I hope you and Alex would consider doing a show on this.
Thank you!
 
PS: As far as I see it, your Super Mario analogy makes the following (seeming) paradox more understandable:

- If so-called 'consciousness' is fundamental (and by implication powerful), why do the following phenomena exist:

1) Placebo effect usually somewhat effective but usually not completely.

2) Sheldrake's telepathy experiments showed that telepathy in his test subjects was only a weak factor.

3) Many people fervently follow manifestation techniques such as in The Secret but don’t get what they visualise. E.g. a somewhat crass example would be millions of people consuming porn (pornography as well as 'romance novels') who visualise and feel that they have the sexual partner they fantasise about; but how many of these people end up in bed with an actor/actress or a vampire as boyfriend or girlfriend?...

4) Some yogis/shamans could/can manipulate the elements with their psyches, yet their lands were taken over by people with rather materialistic worldviews and technology.

5) Many UFOs are reportedly powered and navigated by the psyches of adept beings, yet there are remarkably many reports of UFOs CRASHING.

Thoughts?
 
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