Search FQXi


If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest


Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.

Previous Contests

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discusswinners

How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
read/discusswinners

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
read/discusswinners

Forum Home
Introduction
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help
RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

peter cameron: on 3/19/17 at 14:43pm UTC, wrote Joe, Much enjoyed your essay - clear, short, and to the point. Practical....

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 3/19/17 at 10:32am UTC, wrote Dear Joseph, ………………… I want you to ask you to please...

Héctor Gianni: on 3/12/17 at 0:14am UTC, wrote Dear Joseph Bisognano I invite you and every physicist to read my work...

Alan Kadin: on 3/10/17 at 19:37pm UTC, wrote Dear Prof. Bisognano, I enjoyed reading your clear and well-argued short...

Joseph Bisognano: on 3/2/17 at 16:19pm UTC, wrote Dear Alexey, Thanks for your comments. I took a quick scan of your essay...

Anonymous: on 3/2/17 at 6:20am UTC, wrote Dear Joe, It is a nice surprise to see you in this contest! I enjoyed...

Natesh Ganesh: on 2/21/17 at 19:48pm UTC, wrote Dear Professor Bigognano, I enjoyed your essay and completely agree with...

Peter Jackson: on 2/15/17 at 14:37pm UTC, wrote Joseph, An excellent essay, also proving the value of brevity. (I prefer...


RECENT FORUM POSTS

Ken Seto: "I endorse the idea of Newton’s “absolute time”. However, we have no..." in Real-Time Physics

kurt stocklmeir: "if space is expanding and if this makes positive energy particles have a..." in Alternative Models of...

nimit theeraleekul: "Dear friends, In my early post, I said that we could see detail of..." in Weinberg: Why quantum...

nimit theeraleekul: "Dear Administrator, I have tried to make several posts with an attachment,..." in Weinberg: Why quantum...

Gary Simpson: "Pentcho, I did not need the postulates of SR to propose the mechanism. In..." in Alternative Models of...

Pentcho Valev: "Gary, "I can propose a physical mechanism for length contraction" You..." in Alternative Models of...

Robert Martin: "Theories of everything, he contends, can be depicted as those which draw on..." in Theories of Everything,...

Gary Simpson: "Pentcho, I'm not asking for you to comment upon my essay. I am asking you..." in We Are All Connected


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

Bohemian Reality: Searching for a Quantum Connection to Consciousness
Is there are sweet spot where artificial intelligence systems could have the maximum amount of consciousness while retaining powerful quantum properties?

Quantum Replicants: Should future androids dream of quantum sheep?
To build the ultimate artificial mimics of real life systems, we may need to use quantum memory.

Painting a QBist Picture of Reality
A radical interpretation of physics makes quantum theory more personal.

The Spacetime Revolutionary
Carlo Rovelli describes how black holes may transition to "white holes," according to loop quantum gravity, a radical rewrite of fundamental physics.

Riding the Rogue Quantum Waves
Could giant sea swells help explain how the macroscopic world emerges from the quantum microworld? (Image credit: MIT News)


FQXi FORUM
May 25, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Purpose from Equations by Joseph Bisognano [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Joseph Bisognano wrote on Feb. 7, 2017 @ 21:43 GMT
Essay Abstract

Day to day goal orientation could easily be a trait that was selected by evolution over the eons. Goals don’t imply consciousness and intentionality, just an end point for behavior to converge. Having a goal simply provides an evolutionary advantage that can proceed from natural selection. What remains hard to explain is consciousness. It is possible that when a system becomes more complex, it might key into some entirely new physics; for example, a “consciousness field.” The challenge is to find a test to determine whether an entity is conscious. Then a "phase transition" from unaware to aware might be observed as one moves to relatively more complex systems--whether computers or living creatures.

Author Bio

Joseph Bisognano is Professor Emeritus of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin. He is an accelerator physicist specializing in FELs and collective phenomena in particle beams and in the design and commissioning of large accelerators complexes such as the DOE superconducting facility at Jefferson Lab. Earlier in his career he pursued rigorous results in fundamental quantum field theory.

Download Essay PDF File




Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 9, 2017 @ 16:31 GMT
Dear Professor Bigognano,

Please excuse me for I do not wish to be too critical of your fine essay and I do hope that it fairs well in the competition.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

One real visible Universe must have only one reality. Simple natural reality has nothing to do with any abstract complex musings about an imaginary invisible “consciousness field.”

The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

A more detailed explanation of natural reality can be found in my essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY. I do hope that you will read my essay and comment on its merit.

Joe Fisher, Realist

report post as inappropriate


Jack Hamilton James wrote on Feb. 10, 2017 @ 22:20 GMT
Dear Joseph,

I enjoyed your essay thanks for posting. I also wonder about what an appropriate test for consciousness is. In my entry I examined possible routes to this, focusing instead on what we call non-conscious life (single-celled organisms). Here I looked for intention (intention being a most basic property differentiating life from non-life). I considered that there must be a test or a way of illustrating this basic difference, and reflected also on whether such information described, could describe what via evolution consciousness as we know it is. Anyway not to dwell on my entry, i just viewed your entry as a more direct consideration of the more complex route to consciousness - consciousness itself, which was interesting indeed.

Best,

Jack

report post as inappropriate

Author Joseph Bisognano replied on Feb. 11, 2017 @ 16:56 GMT
Thanks for reading.

I guess my points are very simple:

1) A system showing goals and purpose doesn't necessarily need to be conscious or self aware. And evolution could create such systems

2) Our experience of consciousness, on the other hand, is undeniable and hard to

imagine coming from current physics equations. I use the word intention as

closely related to this self awareness, not just heading to a goal.

3) So there should be a new interaction coupled to complex systems,either big

brains or big computers. Analogous to E&M coupled to electric charge, gravity to mass, strong interaction to color charge. --Consciousness field coupled to

complexity. I haven't been able to come up with a good test of whether a system is self aware. Hope to have a discussion of possibilities.




Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 14, 2017 @ 00:24 GMT
Dear Joseph J. Bisognano ,

Your observations in page 1 ... " Isn’t an animal’s goal orientation just another trait that improves its chance of survival, and natural selection would tend to home in on this trait? "

In page 2..." Alternatively, when a system becomes more complex, it might key into something new; for example, a “consciousness field.” Since a brain is no less physical than a computer, possibly when a brain or computer gets complex enough, it will become coupled to this consciousness field. "

Are really excellent… Best wishes…

report post as inappropriate


Author Joseph Bisognano wrote on Feb. 14, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT
Thanks. Those sentences really sum up everything I'm saying. I should have written a three sentence paper!



Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Mar. 19, 2017 @ 10:32 GMT
Dear Joseph,

………………… I want you to ask you to please have a look at my essay

……………and where reproduction of Galaxies in the Universe is described. Dynamic Universe Model is another mathematical model for Universe. Its mathematics show that the movement of masses will be having a purpose or goal, Different Galaxies will be born and die (quench) etc…just...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 15, 2017 @ 14:37 GMT
Joseph,

An excellent essay, also proving the value of brevity. (I prefer 'concise' - English should include concicity or conciseness). I don't think less length should mean less marks, though perhaps three sentences wouldn't be an 'essay'!

As an essay it has all attributes and is also bang on topic. However I warm to the content most, I suppose I would as it agrees with mine pretty well to the letter (though I do go much further into mechanism).

I don't know of a convincing consciousness test. In trying to imagine one I rather concluded that it should ultimately derive from self awareness which follows naturally from environmental awareness. Maybe we just like to think we're 'ultra special' in some non explainable way? But I also have little doubt there is a continuum or condensate state below current observability scale, and if so could we say it wouldn't play some part?

Great essay, right to 'the heart of the matter' (a working title I had for my own for a while).

Very best of luck in the contest.

Peter

report post as inappropriate


Natesh Ganesh wrote on Feb. 21, 2017 @ 19:48 GMT
Dear Professor Bigognano,

I enjoyed your essay and completely agree with your idea that we should be able to view consciousness arise as a phase transition. If you have the time, please check out my entry 'Intention is Physical', where I attack the problem at hand using physical information theory and make connections to the brain being a self-organized system in a critical Griffith's region exhibiting multiple continuous phase transitions. Any and all feedback is welcome. Thanks.

Natesh

report post as inappropriate


Anonymous wrote on Mar. 2, 2017 @ 06:20 GMT
Dear Joe,

It is a nice surprise to see you in this contest! I enjoyed your essay, showing your independence from the mainstream dogmas. In particular, I liked "Our experience of consciousness, on the other hand, is undeniable and hard to imagine coming from current physics equations. " I would say that the model of consciousness you are suggesting belongs to the pan-psychism family, unless the higher level of transcendental mind is also assumed. For the pan-psychism, I have a counter-argument expressed in the essay of my son Lev and myself. I'm giving you a high score. I would also be more than happy to see your comments on my page.

Alexey Burov, your colleague in the field of accelerators and beams.

report post as inappropriate

Author Joseph Bisognano replied on Mar. 2, 2017 @ 16:19 GMT
Dear Alexey,

Thanks for your comments. I took a quick scan of your essay and read a little about pan-psychism. My perspective is more positing a new fundamental interaction as a starting point. That is, there would be electroweak, strong, gravity, and consciousness interactions. (Of course, at some point there might be the "grand unification".) For the consciousness field, the coupling would be to "oomplexity" rather than to electric charge, color, or mass. Maybe the question of whether it's "pan" has to do with the range and propagation speed of the force. If there is a finite propagation speed and a roll off, the force is localizable and there is some individuality to consciousness. On the other hand, if the propagation speed is infinite or the force doesn't roll off, we have this pan-psychism as a limit.

Anyway,first thoughts. Now I'll do a close read of your note and look into pan-pschism more deeply.

Joe




Alan M. Kadin wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 19:37 GMT
Dear Prof. Bisognano,

I enjoyed reading your clear and well-argued short essay.

I address some similar issues in my own essay, “No Ghost in the Machine”, which you might be interested in reading.

One aspect in which we differ somewhat is my treatment of consciousness, which I argue is not an emergent property separate from the rest of nature. Rather, consciousness may reflect a specific evolved brain structure based on an adaptive neural network which creates a simplified dynamical model that recognizes self and other agents in a causal world. Our internal perceptions of consciousness are largely an illusion. Further, analogous electronic networks may be developed to create true artificial intelligence.

Alan Kadin

report post as inappropriate


Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 00:14 GMT
Dear Joseph Bisognano

I invite you and every physicist to read my work “TIME ORIGIN,DEFINITION AND EMPIRICAL MEANING FOR PHYSICISTS, Héctor Daniel Gianni ,I’m not a physicist.

How people interested in “Time” could feel about related things to the subject.

1) Intellectuals interested in Time issues usually have a nice and creative wander for the unknown.

2) They usually enjoy this wander of their searches around it.

3) For millenniums this wander has been shared by a lot of creative people around the world.

4) What if suddenly, something considered quasi impossible to be found or discovered such as “Time” definition and experimental meaning confronts them?

5) Their reaction would be like, something unbelievable,… a kind of disappointment, probably interpreted as a loss of wander…..

6) ….worst than that, if we say that what was found or discovered wasn’t a viable theory, but a proved fact.

7) Then it would become offensive to be part of the millenary problem solution, instead of being a reason for happiness and satisfaction.

8) The reader approach to the news would be paradoxically adverse.

9) Instead, I think it should be a nice welcome to discovery, to be received with opened arms and considered to be read with full attention.

11)Time “existence” is exclusive as a “measuring system”, its physical existence can’t be proved by science, as the “time system” is. Experimentally “time” is “movement”, we can prove that, showing that with clocks we measure “constant and uniform” movement and not “the so called Time”.

12)The original “time manuscript” has 23 pages, my manuscript in this contest has only 9 pages.

I share this brief with people interested in “time” and with physicists who have been in sore need of this issue for the last 50 or 60 years.

Héctor

report post as inappropriate


peter cameron wrote on Mar. 19, 2017 @ 14:43 GMT
Joe,

Much enjoyed your essay - clear, short, and to the point. Practical. While we don't yet know what sentience is, I like your choice to describe it as a 'phase' transition of some sort. One of the things that defines the boundary of a quantum system, of entanglement, is phase coherence in the more limited sense of oscillators and mode structures. If sentience implies the existence of...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.