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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Cristinel Stoica: on 6/4/20 at 8:04am UTC, wrote Dear Markus, Thank you very much for reading and for the reply, and...

Markus Mueller: on 6/3/20 at 19:56pm UTC, wrote Dear Cristi, congratulations to a wonderful essay! I’ve finally found...

Rajiv Singh: on 5/28/20 at 5:54am UTC, wrote Dear Cristi, I would appreciate to learn if you happened to read my last...

Cristinel Stoica: on 5/21/20 at 19:45pm UTC, wrote Dear Edwin, Thank you, and also thanks for the news, it was because of the...

Edwin Klingman: on 5/21/20 at 17:36pm UTC, wrote Christi, Congratulations on winning the community scoring. I gave you a...

Mihai Panoschi: on 5/18/20 at 22:12pm UTC, wrote Cristi, I seem to recall mentioning that the concept of mathematical...

Cristinel Stoica: on 5/18/20 at 21:20pm UTC, wrote Dear Jonathan, I appreciate your visit and comments! Take my detour...

Cristinel Stoica: on 5/18/20 at 21:16pm UTC, wrote Dear Yutaka, Thank you for reading my essay and for the interesting...


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September 25, 2020

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: Sentience, the ontology of experience by Cristinel Stoica [refresh]
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Author Cristinel Stoica wrote on Apr. 13, 2020 @ 11:23 GMT
Essay Abstract

Can consciousness be completely reduced to physical processes or computation? To answer this question, we'll have to critically review the domain of science, in particular physical processes and computation. A serious limitation is found: science only deals with relations, not with the nature of things. We are led to a formulation of the hard problem of consciousness, which I hope makes it clear for the more skeptical ones that there is a hard problem. Science can be used to approach this problem, but only in an indirect way. We will see that the hypothesis that there is something fundamental about consciousness makes testable predictions.

Author Bio

Theoretical/mathematical physicist, formerly computer programmer. Research interests: foundations of physics, gauge theory, foundations of quantum mechanics, singularities in general relativity. Interested especially in the geometric aspects of the physical laws. ArXiv: http://arxiv.org/a/stoica_o_1 Blog: http://www.unitaryflow.com/

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Author Cristinel Stoica wrote on Apr. 13, 2020 @ 11:36 GMT
I wrote more about this, and gave more technical details, here The negative way to sentience. However, there are some differences in the arguments.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Apr. 13, 2020 @ 15:00 GMT
Hi Cristi,

I am happy to see your essay on this Contest. I liked a lot your approach for this consciousness, its limitations and its computability, a very relevant analysis, general, I wish you all the best,

Friendly, regards

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 13, 2020 @ 18:32 GMT
Hi Steve,

Good to see you, thanks for reading it. I wish you all the best too!

Regards,

Cristi

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Apr. 13, 2020 @ 19:43 GMT
Dear Christi Stoica,

A very enjoyable and valuable essay. Yes, theory is about making structural hypotheses, and science deals with relations only, not with the nature of things. When we declare the nature, we make a metaphysical choice; we choose an ontology. My current essay Deciding on the nature of time and space is about deciding on this choice.

You say to go beyond relations...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 13, 2020 @ 20:42 GMT
Dear Edwin,

Thanks for the careful reading and the well thought comments.

> When we declare the nature, we make a metaphysical choice; we choose an ontology.

Exactly.

About Klaas' comment you mention, to incorporate intuitionistic math (idea that I think is shared by Flavio too), this is in the line with what I tried to say, more that it may seem at a first...

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 02:56 GMT
Dear Cristi,

I was very interested in your comment about having heard recently others mention gravity as a possible field for panpsychism. I have rewritten my essay to include information that became available the day after you wrote the above comment. I sincerely hope you will reread at least the last 4 pages of my essay. I think you’ll find it worthwhile.

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Jochen Szangolies wrote on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 05:07 GMT
Dear Christi,

I'm glad to see you enter this contest; your essays always bring an interesting point of view or novel argumentation to the table. This year's does not disappoint.

Intriguingly, there seems to be some degree of confluence of thought between your particular neutral monist stance, and the one I defended in a recent publication (https://doi.org/10.1007/s11023-020-09522-x)....

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 09:48 GMT
Dear Jochen,

Good to see you, and thank you for the careful reading of my essay.

> I think you may want to accept the first thesis---your S essentially being the intrinsic properties grounding the relational mathematical structure of P

By S I mean the "speakable" related to sentience, but not sentience itself. Sentience is the ontology of S. I find that the most natural solution is S=P.

> I think the resulting panpsychism or pan-experientialism faces some difficult challenges, such as the notorious combination problem.

I think the same. I think S=P is like pan-experientialism, but I don't think it faces the combination problem, because I don't think there are separate units of sentience, rather sentience is the ontology of both S and P (is this different from "grounding our models"?). I think fundamental sentience faces another problem, which I called "the climbing problem" in my extended essay The negative way to sentience. But, while this is a problem, it allows Hypothesis 1 to make empirical predictions and be falsifiable, which I think it's a good thing.

> if two people are led to similar views along independent routes, one just might hope that there's something worthwhile to find at that destination

Indeed, this qualifies as "intersubjective verification", which I mentioned in "The negative way to sentience". If you have comments, I look forward to hear them, no matter if you disagree, I have this on ResearchGate with the words "comments welcome" in the title, since I'm still collecting feedback. At the same time, I'm looking forward to read yours, and I expect, based on your previous ones, that I will love it.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Jochen Szangolies replied on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 14:37 GMT
Dear Christi,

thanks for your reply. I had misunderstood the precise meaning of your 'S'---it seems to me, you use it to refer to the relational structure of 'sentience'? If so, then I guess what you mean by 'ontology of sentience' is what I mean by 'structure-transcending properties'. I had thought you were using S to refer to this ontology itself, as sort of a set in want of a structure, with P being a structure of relations in want of relata, then using one to fill the other's gap.

As for the combination problem, I think I don't quite grasp what exactly you mean by the term 'ontology of sentience'. Do you mean it in the sense of a singular experiential reality? If so, then it's not obvious to me how (what appear like) individual minds emerge from this---something I think I've seen called the 'separation problem' instead. Perhaps you can take a suggestion from Bernardo Kastrup, who argues that we're all essentially schizophrenic 'alters' of the cosmic mind? (https://iai.tv/articles/why-materialism-is-a-dead-end-berna
rdo-kastrup-auid-1271)

I'm gonna go have a look at your longer treatment.

Cheers

Jochen

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 16:17 GMT
Dear Jochen,

Indeed, I think we can only talk about the relational structure of sentience. I tried to be more explicit in the longer article, where I discuss that we can only research "the crack". The purpose was to see what can be done by limiting, or rather by being limited to talk only about relations, not about ontology. Kastrup is the closest to how I see it from what I've read, but I...

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 07:10 GMT
Respected Prof Cristinel Stoica,

Thank you for presenting a wonderful essay on Human Consciousness.

In my opinion this inner Consciousness is a constant guidance force which guides all aspects of life..

for particles like electron, this may the charge. For astronomical bodies this the Universal Gravitational Force acting on that body at that instant of time and space (UGF). This UGF varies with time and space and configuration of Universe around it at that instant.

You have defined VERY NICELY what is NOT consciousness in general. Very good!!

Hope you can spend a little time on my essay to see how the above definitions in more detail.

I hope to have lively discussion with you on your thinking.

Best wishes for your essay!!!

=snp

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 09:50 GMT
Dear Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta,

Thank you for the careful consideration of my essay. Based on your comment, I think we both take the position that S=P and sentience underlies them.

> You have defined VERY NICELY what is NOT consciousness in general. Very good!!

I guess you noticed that I took a neti neti (नेति नेति) path, as the title of my longer essay, The negative way to sentience, suggests.

> Hope you can spend a little time on my essay to see how the above definitions in more detail.

I'd love to!

> I hope to have lively discussion with you on your thinking.

> Best wishes for your essay!!!

I wish the same to you too! Take care!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 12:59 GMT
Respected Prof Cristinel Stoica,

You got a wonderful interest in Indian Philosophy , and tried to add mathematics in that too! I just saw your paper negative Philosophy, I will study it little later ... Very Good!!!

I don't know How much deep you went into "neti neti (नेति नेति)" path.It is a difficult path. There is positive path also. It is called "observer becomes observed", do you know that??? Of course it is also a difficult path. There are 1000's of 'Rishi's each and every one had his own path!!!

Ultimately you have to find your own path to Nirvana............

Best wishes

=snp

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 14:08 GMT
Dear Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta,

Please call me Cristi. Thanks for your appreciation, it's reciprocal. Indeed, the "negative path" is normally used in the sense you mentioned, as a way to Nirvana. What I mean by negative way or neti neti in the context of my longer essay is mainly science as a negative way. Science allows hypotheses then rejects them. Most powerful results come as no-go theorems, which is also the theme of this contest. The body of science grows, which gives the impression that it's a "positive growth", an accumulation of knowledge. But positivism is no longer the way of science. In some sense the body of knowledge is growing, but the attachment to the accumulated knowledge is not in the spirit of science itself, which works by negation. All of the models and theories are to be seen as provisional hypotheses, always in search for contrary evidence. It's the way of skepticism, in the proper meaning of the word, which is the same as in negative mysticism, but applied to science. As for neti neti as a personal path, my ego probably wants a piece of Nirvana too :) I have no worries about this, my ego is just an ephemeral cloud on the blue sky. It's a form of experience, I take it as it is, with the goods and the bads. Nature built these neural networks as a form of life, and as neural networks, they are made out of biases. But a cloud can neither help nor do any harm to the unchanging blue sky, it's just a playful fluctuation of oblivion which gives too much importance to itself :)

Cheers,

Cristi

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Andrew Beckwith wrote on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 20:11 GMT
Hi Christi

I enjoyed your essay, but in terms of consciousness, there is demonstrably an AI analogue to this problem, which is in the interconnectivity of synapses in the human brain, i.e. in terms of the universe, the issue can be related to the density of neuronic pathways.

Finding a counter part to this issue of interconnectivity to bits, and logic processors as to the human brain may be the way to extend this sort of modality to cosmological structures. I.e. we may be looking at the wrong places for determining the minimum structure needed for self awareness

It is, in a sense directly related to the problem of what makes an entity self aware.

In animals, i.e. Cats and Dogs, it shows up if an animal can recognize its own image in a mirror reflection. To a degree some dogs can do this, whereas cats flunk the test and try to go behind a mirror to identify if there is another cat present. Whereas the great Apes definitely DO have a working ability to recognize themselves in a mirror.

So what is the threshold in terms of interconnectivity of some sort of cosmologically based "thinking " structure ?

I do not know and I doubt anyone has addressed that issue in terms of biophysics. But if they did find a way to quantify interconnectity of structure with self awareness, they then would be able to map the measurable biological markers of signal interconnetivi5ty of structure with a minimum threshold allowing consciousness.

That issue of a minimum level of interconnectivity of "thinking" or neuronic structure may be later, in some sense after we know more about what causes cognition and self awareness be mapped directly upon what we know about cosmological structures

This is my speculation. It is meant to be in tandem with your investigations

Andrew

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 15, 2020 @ 07:29 GMT
Hi Andrew,

Thank you for the interesting comments, which are complementary to the focus of my essay, in tandem, as you said.

> in terms of consciousness, there is demonstrably an AI analogue to this problem, which is in the interconnectivity of synapses in the human brain, i.e. in terms of the universe, the issue can be related to the density of neuronic pathways.

Certainly, there must be a structural side of the problem, the physical correlates of sentience. You propose a measure of this, the density of neural paths. Another one is the Phi proposed in Integrated Information Theory.

> It is, in a sense directly related to the problem of what makes an entity self aware.

Yes, self-awareness requires structure, to be able to include a self-representation. When I say "sentience" I mean the ontology of the structure, "what is like to be", whether self-aware or not.

I think the so called "easy problems", those related to structure, functionality, behavior, are not easy at all, not understood yet, but understandable in principle, and they are important.

Thanks again for considering my essay and for the comments! I'm looking forward to read yours.

Best regards,

Cristi

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Andrew Beckwith wrote on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 23:32 GMT
Hi Christi

I enjoyed your essay, but in terms of consciousness, there is demonstrably an AI analogue to this problem, which is in the interconnectivity of synapses in the human brain, i.e. in terms of the universe, the issue can be related to the density of neuronic pathways.

Finding a counter part to this issue of interconnectivity to bits, and logic processors as to the human brain may be the way to extend this sort of modality to cosmological structures. I.e. we may be looking at the wrong places for determining the minimum structure needed for self awareness

It is, in a sense directly related to the problem of what makes an entity self aware.

In animals, i.e. Cats and Dogs, it shows up if an animal can recognize its own image in a mirror reflection. To a degree some dogs can do this, whereas cats flunk the test and try to go behind a mirror to identify if there is another cat present. Whereas the great Apes definitely DO have a working ability to recognize themselves in a mirror.

So what is the threshold in terms of interconnectivity of some sort of cosmologically based "thinking " structure ?

I do not know and I doubt anyone has addressed that issue in terms of biophysics. But if they did find a way to quantify interconnectity of structure with self awareness, they then would be able to map the measurable biological markers of signal interconnetivi5ty of structure with a minimum threshold allowing consciousness.

That issue of a minimum level of interconnectivity of "thinking" or neuronic structure may be later, in some sense after we know more about what causes cognition and self awareness be mapped directly upon what we know about cosmological structures

This is my speculation. It is meant to be in tandem with your investigations

Andrew

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Flavio Del Santo wrote on Apr. 15, 2020 @ 00:19 GMT
Dear Cristi,

thank you for great essay, very well argued and clearly written. Although I was not particularly familiar with systematic developments on the hard problem of consciousness, I think you provided an excellent analysis and good food for thought.

I particularly appreciated your clean-dut discussion on how science is only about relations. And in particular your phrase: "We can compare nature with a book written in a language that we don't understand. Science is a way to decode the book. It proceeds by identifying various words in various contexts, and the result is a dictionary, along with some grammar rules. Each word in the dictionary is de fined in terms of other words, but there are no primary words whose meaning we understand."

Best of luck for the contest!

Flavio

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 15, 2020 @ 07:40 GMT
Dear Flavio,

I am happy to see you here again with an essay. Thank you for reading my essay and for the comments. Since you liked that passage, let me provide one from John von Neumann: you don't understand things. You just get used to them. It's a though I had independently, but I found out that he said it long before, referring to math. I think it applies much more widely. Perhaps most clearly it applies to the foundations of quantum mechanics :)

Thanks again, I am looking forward to read it! Good luck with the contest to you too!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Apr. 15, 2020 @ 18:12 GMT
Dear Cristi,

I am just repeating this post please....

Thanks for your appreciation also, your essay is wonderful !!.

You are correct about negativism in science. This happens and continues to happen in Physics. I got my personal experiences in my life for the last 40 years or so. Whatever the Ethical Values I kept, whatever the foundational principles were used, whatever the physical cosmological philosophies were used, whatever the predictions that came true, for Dynamic Universe Model an N-Body problem solution, whatever I got is kicks on the back, never any back patting. I am sorry about this bla bla bla…. Now I got everything positively. I did this work on Gods guidance, I will leave everything on him, I did this work for the development of science and betterment of humanity. My problem is over….

I am requesting to see a paper on a universe model proposed by Dynamic Universe Model

https://vaksdynamicuniversemodel.blogspot.com/2018/08/n


ew-paper-model-of-universe-as.html

Hope you will have a visit at my essay and leave a suitable comment….

Best Regards

=snp

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 15, 2020 @ 18:49 GMT
Dear Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta,

Thank you for the comment. Because we moved the discussion here, let me also bring the paragraph where I mention science as a negative way.

What I mean by negative way or neti neti in the context of my longer essay is mainly science as a negative way. Science allows hypotheses then rejects them. Most powerful results come as no-go...

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Apr. 16, 2020 @ 12:27 GMT
Dear Prof Cristi,

I just cant under valuate your knowledge by calling you just Cristi!

I am just replying your post above please.... Just because the reply posts are not visible directly. Thank you for replying me here.

You are correct, the negative way of science has both the meanings, mainstream which is powerful will reject the new ideas, as well as science has the inherent way of testing the new theories in the negative way to see that if the theory withstands or not, as you discussed in your essay.

Well supported theories may not be correct some times, as well as correct theories may not have the luck. You have well analyzed the present situation in a nut shell. Some people just dont have LUCK, like me!!

I appreciate your essay and your way of writing in a best manner!!

I want to see your well learned comments on my essay soon...

Best

snp

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Apr. 16, 2020 @ 22:07 GMT
Dear Cristinel Stoica,

Do you agree on that experience in its original meaning is exclusively based on memorized past processes, not on expected future ones?

Cheers,

Eckard Blumschein

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 17, 2020 @ 06:29 GMT
Dear Eckard Blumschein,

Maybe. My experience doesn't go back to those time. So for the original meaning I trust etymologists, and they say

"observation as the source of knowledge; actual observation; an event which has affected one," from Old French esperience "experiment, proof, experience" (13c.), from Latin experientia "a trial, proof, experiment; knowledge gained by repeated trials," from experientem (nominative experiens) "experienced, enterprising, active, industrious," present participle of experiri "to try, test," from ex- "out of" (see ex-) + peritus "experienced, tested," from PIE *per-yo-, suffixed form of root *per- (3) "to try, risk." Meaning "state of having done something and gotten handy at it" is from late 15c.

Words evolve. Take for example the word "calculate" from the title of your essay. Its etymology goes back to "calculus" = "pebble stones", but now it's used in a much wider sense than counting pebbles.

But I'll leave such debates to linguists. The way I use the word "experience" is closer to the way it's used here, and I don't tie it particularly to memories or expected future processes.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 17, 2020 @ 08:04 GMT
Dear Cristinel Stoica,

I very much appreciate your "maybe". You wrote elsewhere:

" As humans, very early in life we become aware that events that already happened cannot be changed, and that future events, although unpredictable, can be influenced by our present actions. This intuition is so deeply hardwired in our world view, that it seems unnatural to even question the idea that past and future do not exist, but only present does."

What a mistake! Sorry, I am almost never using such emphasis.

However, my concern is not linguistics, and I wrote "calculate" not as to consider the TND flawed as does Peter Jackson. As an engineer, I can only analyze a part of a growing "block" of more or less memorized data from past processes. The fuzzy notion present has no logical place between past and future.

Cheers,

Eckard

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 17, 2020 @ 12:33 GMT
Dear Eckard Blumschein,

> As an engineer, I can only analyze a part of a growing "block" of more or less memorized data from past processes. The fuzzy notion present has no logical place between past and future.

This makes sense. To connect it with my essay, the memories and the growth you mention happen at the coarse grained level.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Ernesto Vaca wrote on Apr. 17, 2020 @ 18:34 GMT
Dear Cristi,

I really enjoyed your essay. Thank you for submitting it. I really like your closing remark that the ontology of S could very well equal the ontology of P. It's surprisingly intuitive, though only after hearing your argument for it.

I had a couple questions. You say sentience is the ontology of system S. Are you claiming that science can not make any progress explaining an ontology? Can the hard problem ever be explained through science in your view, possibly indirectly? You say P is a mathematical structure in search of an ontology, do you think it will ever get there?

I try to avoid this type of soliciting, but if I may be so bold to ask, I would love your feedback on my essay. I am still a student, and you have experience thinking about the structure of reality as being mathematical in nature, which is a large part of my essay. If you have time of course.

All the best,

Ernesto

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 17, 2020 @ 22:22 GMT
Dear Ernesto,

Thank you for reading my essay and for the feedback.

> Are you claiming that science can not make any progress explaining an ontology?

Yes, but I think I do more than claim, I also explain why it's the case: because science can only deal with relations, and the nature of things is not the object of science. It's just not provable in the way we consider things proven in science. Now, people use the word "ontology" in different ways. So statements like "the wavefunction is ontic" as in the PBR theorem make sense, but there the word "ontic" should be understood as an impossibility to have QM without the wavefunction or something equivalent to it, for example to replace it with just a statistical device.

> Can the hard problem ever be explained through science in your view, possibly indirectly?

Not if science limits itself to objective evidence. Now, this is a necessary limitation, which is the cause for the progress in science. But I can imagine that a "subjective science", as opposed to the "objective science" we do, can make progress, but I doubt that if we limit to objective evidence we can explain it. As for how this could be done subjective, I explained in the longer essay cited in the first footnote in the first page of my essay, in §7.2 and §7.3 how I imagine this to work.

> You say P is a mathematical structure in search of an ontology, do you think it will ever get there?

A possibility is that P=S, so the ontology of P is the same as that of S, and that of S is just what I call sentience. But I can't prove it or disprove it objectively.

Thank you very much for the comment, and for mentioning your essay to me.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Ernesto Vaca replied on Apr. 17, 2020 @ 22:40 GMT
Cristi,

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I will take a look at your longer essay soon. That sounds very interesting.

Best regards,

Ernesto

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Apr. 18, 2020 @ 00:58 GMT
Dear Prof Cristi,

Thank you for your well analyzing comments on my essay. This I posted on mys essay yesterday...........

Basically i wrote point 6 , with a view that the results of the solution to the equations used should be tangible ones, If there is a meaningless result, or if the result is not understood by any person or even to the person who developed those set of equations, then what is the USE?

Then how some body will do the experimental verification? Without any experimental verification how the theory will help to the progress of humanity or science? Is it sheer madness? Is it not a wastage well educated manpower? Is it only for earning a a degree? So NO Experimental verification required, is that so? Just going on developing on something, with a thinking that may be correct, but going nowhare.........

I suddenly remembered OLD 'Two of Us'... Boney M. song

Two of us riding nowhere

Spending someones

Hard earned pay

You and me Sunday driving

Not arriving on our way back home

We're on our way home

We're on our way home

We're going home ....................

Are we really going home?

This is happening in science in general, not only quantum physics, but in Cosmology also. Complex equation resulting to results with infinities,and searching for infinities.....

I also started thinking of working on quantum physics with straight forward equations already. Hope you will help me on some concepts....

Thank you for giving me piece of mind!

Best Regards

=snp

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Boris Egorov wrote on Apr. 18, 2020 @ 08:48 GMT
Dear Cristinel,

Your essay is one of the most interesting. You have touched a lot of problems: limits of reductionism, materialism in science, consciousness etc. You are right that modern science is far from pure materialism but I think this eternal struggle between materialism and idealism, holism and reductionism, nevertheless, pushes it forward. Without reductionism and materialism we would not have modern physics. Ostwald considered matter as energy but denied atomism. He was right to some extent matter is energy. But if physics had taken this way then we wouldn’t have quantum physics and all its results. It happens sometimes that one of the opposite standpoints in science takes over but the correct solution remains somewhere in the middle.

I wish you good luck

Boris

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 18, 2020 @ 09:14 GMT
Dear Boris,

Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

Of course I fully agree with what you said about how these debates advanced science. Here's a reason to continue them, but these days such discussions are just cut by statements like "you can't prove it in the lab, you should not talk about it", "shut up and calculate" etc. :) Now, my essay doesn't try to show how limited science is, just to understand if there is a boundary and where it is. And I do this for the main purpose of formulating the hard problem of consciousness. Which is one of the things that, when one mentions, one gets a dismissive reaction like the ones I mentioned above. I want the debates back :)

Good luck to you too,

Cristi

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John David Crowell wrote on Apr. 18, 2020 @ 18:42 GMT
Cristinel. I enjoyed your essay and I agree with your final conclusion. I think I also have a bottom up answer to the “hypothesis that consciousness is not fully reducible to physical processes or computation.” As I try to explain in my essay there is one Successful Self Creation process that progressively creates/becomes all intelligence, the complete physical world and the SSC processing...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 19, 2020 @ 05:59 GMT
Hi John,

Thank you for the comment, in particular for explaining the bottom up answer to the “hypothesis that consciousness is not fully reducible to physical processes or computation.” It made me want to understand more about your "Successful Self Creation process". I look forward to find out more about intelligence and creativity in your essay.

Cheers,

Cristi

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John David Crowell wrote on Apr. 18, 2020 @ 20:34 GMT
Cristinel. I forgot to add In the previous post: the SSC processing produces a quantitative progressive formation of the geometric points, lines, surface areas, volumes spheres, vortexes, etc. of the forms and functioning of the universe. In that process it redefines the currently accepted definition of a point in universal processing. Instead of a singularity (infinitely dense/ infinitely small point as a beginning of the universe or as the “internal Content” of black holes, the points in SSC have a finite precise density and size. also the hyperinflation and expanding sphere of the Big Bang is replaced by a finite measurable universal expansion to a finite size. Getting rid of the infinitesimals, infinities and 0 simplifies the math tremendously. mohn

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Paul N Butler wrote on Apr. 19, 2020 @ 22:44 GMT
Dear Cristnel,

I read your paper and find it to be very interesting. It appears that you have the understanding that each thing has an internal structure or nature that gives rise to the types of interactions that it can have with other things and what the possible outcomes from those interactions can be. This internal structure is composed of two parts, which are the basic material(s) or...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 20, 2020 @ 10:00 GMT
Dear Paul,

Thank you very much for providing your interesting views about these important problems. The first 2/3 of your comment, it appears to me, you argue that we can know the nature of things, because things are made of other things. I call this "structure" and I consider it to be relations, not relata. And by nature of things I mean relata, ontology. You seem to mean structure. So you...

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Paul N Butler replied on Apr. 24, 2020 @ 18:21 GMT
Dear Cristinel,

After I sent my previous comment to you, I noticed that I didn’t get the second letter i entered in your name. Sorry about that.

It appears that we are using different definitions or different parts of the definition for the word nature. When I talk about the nature of something in the immediate primary sense, I am talking about what it is. If it is a thing like...

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Apr. 24, 2020 @ 16:08 GMT
Dear Cristi,

You, as before, presented a very interesting, deep essay with important ideas. You "dig" to the most remote semantic depths. But there are some points where I have differences in our views - this primarily concerns the assessment of history and the results of scientific research, starting with the “second Archimedean revolution”, as well as the problems of philosophical...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 15:57 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thank you for the careful reading and for the comment with the feedbacks. You quote that I said "In fact, the reason why science was so successful is precisely its ability to ignore the nature of things, and focus on their relations.", and you say "I believe that it was the cognitive attitudes that were laid down at the beginning of the scientific revolution of the New Time...

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 02:47 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Per your advice, I’ve read Petkov’s essay and it seems mostly to just repeat the following:

“Therefore the failure of all experiments to detect absolute motion (encapsulated in the principle of relativity – physical phenomena look the same in all inertial reference frames12) has indeed a profound physical meaning – all those experiments failed to detect...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 19:51 GMT
Dear Edwin,

I don't think it's a matter of interpretation or opinion here, but I don't mind you having a different opinion. Michelson-Gale experiment gives result as predicted by some aether theory. But the same result is predicted by special relativity, which I think you know but just can't believe. Other Sagnac type experiments are as well consistent with special relativity. Now, you seem...

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Apr. 26, 2020 @ 05:35 GMT
Dear Christi,

I don’t claim to ‘refute relativity’. I do claim to present alternative explanations to relativistic explanations. I am at fault in characterizing Einstein’s 4D worlds as ‘cartoon worlds’, which I now see can be interpreted as aggressive or condescending. This would reflect an antagonism that I do not feel. I meant it in the same sense one speaks of ‘toy model’, as a model which ignores gravity and rotational frameworks, in favor of a guaranteed transformation between geometric frames of interest.

In fact, when you say that “relativity may not survive”, you are saying that my statement of the same prediction is offensive, because I have phrased it badly. I do apologize. I have always admired your work and have felt very friendly towards you, and i would be stupid to exchange your friendship for any cheap exchange. There are legitimate questions that Thyssen mentions; the fact that the dimensionality is underdetermined by special relativity. If I have turned this into a pissing contest then I am to be blamed.

I did not challenge Petkov because a man who gets his paycheck from the Minkowski institute does not need to be attacked. I do not expect to change his mind. I only responded because you asked for a response to him.

Please accept my warmest appreciation,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 26, 2020 @ 07:53 GMT
Dear Edwin,

Actually, I found your "cartoon relativity" thing humorous. I think you're a guy with great sense of humor, I'd probably love to have a beer with you someday. When reading, sometimes I tend to imagine the author as giving a talk, which was also prompted to me in your essay by the Susskind video, so I imagined you could be a stand up comedian (I love those guys). So, while I know...

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Gemma De las Cuevas wrote on Apr. 27, 2020 @ 12:38 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Thanks a lot for writing this very interesting essay — I enjoyed it very much. I have some questions and comments. First the questions:

1) You say that all definitions in a dictionary are circular, and that physics is all about syntax. But there’s a sense in which the liar paradox (‘I am a liar’) can be seen as the emergence of semantics from syntax, since by...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 27, 2020 @ 15:51 GMT
Dear Gemma,

Thank you for reading and making interesting comments.

1) While dictionary is circular, this doesn't mean it doesn't say anything, just that it says only about the relations. Self-references are unavoidable in some cases, and they show something about the system, but not about anything else. I agree with you that Hofstadter makes excellent points in "Gödel, Escher,...

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Chidi Idika wrote on Apr. 27, 2020 @ 20:01 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Exciting to see your essay. I actually looked forward to it.

You write:

“What appears macroscopically to be a state, can be in many different ways at the microscopic level, since the macro state is a lower resolution version of the micro state. This allowed Boltzmann to understand entropy as the amount of information that is ignored when using a...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Apr. 28, 2020 @ 07:58 GMT
Dear Chidi,

You made some interesting proposals, thank you for reading my essay and for the comments. In my essay I don't try to figure out consciousness, just to argue that there is a hard problem and that it worth seeing if there is something fundamental about it, which I call "sentience". Even if this basis is beyond the relational description that can be explored scientifically, it makes some predictions that I believe are testable. On the other hand, you are interested in describing the mind, which I think is complementary to what I was doing. For this, you makes some creative and bold proposals, which are interesting. I don't know enough what they mean or imply to judge, but maybe I can understand more after I visit your forum.

Cheers,

Cristi

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H.H.J. Luediger wrote on May. 1, 2020 @ 12:32 GMT
Dear Christi,

I liked many ideas expressed in your essay, in particular that we are somehow caught in our private worlds. While this is necessary for us to be free, you don't show why this situation does not degenerate to solipsism. The reason may be that you think 'logically', i.e. affirmatively.

Further, isn't sentience a high level (reflective) idea over the immediate experiences of an observer? Can a reflection be foundational?

Heinz

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 1, 2020 @ 15:45 GMT
Dear Heinz,

Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

> you don't show why this situation [that we are somehow caught in our private worlds] does not degenerate to solipsism.

Well, we are somehow caught in our private worlds, but I didn't intend to address solipsism. I didn't consider it necessary, because I don't propose that only the subjective exists. I...

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Luca Valeri wrote on May. 2, 2020 @ 19:51 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Your essay is well argued and interesting. However while I completely agree with your Principle 1, I do only agree with principles 2 and 3 with some qualifications, that might not correspond the picture your wording suggests.

Let me try to qualify. The problem lies in the "physical world". Physical world suggests the the existence of one unique reality to which some dynamical mathematical model P is isomorphic. It is easy to mistake this physical world with the "nature of things" which principle 1 denies is accessible. This is what I call in my essay simplistic realism.

In my essay I probe another possibility as a consequence of principle 1: The objectively knowable relations are the invariants of some symmetry group, where the objects themselves are defined only as relational entites (as irreducible representation of the symmetry group) relative to some reference frame. Also the dynamical laws are constrained by the symmetry and maybe uniquely defined. The symmetry also defines, what a closed (sub) system is.

But – and this is the bold thesis of my essay I want to probe – the realization of the symmetry depends on the environment, which might change with time and allow the realizations of different symmetries, hence laws and objects, hence mathematical model P, which describe the physical world.

Having the possibility, of having different models P and its physical realizations at different times, changes everything. Some of it is discussed in my essay.

I hope this made you curious about my essay. Happy to discuss some features of it with you.

Luca

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 3, 2020 @ 05:34 GMT
Dear Luca,

Thank you for the comments and particularly for challenging and putting at test the statements in my essay. You wrote:

> However while I completely agree with your Principle 1, I do only agree with principles 2 and 3 with some qualifications, that might not correspond the picture your wording suggests.

I don't think principles 2 and 3 apply only "with some...

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Luca Valeri replied on May. 3, 2020 @ 11:53 GMT
Dear Cristi,

thanks for taking the time to reply. Let me clarify from my side. What I have in mind is crazier. First of all concerning the environment. I primarily think of closed or closable systems. This is needed in order to have well defined realizations of symmetries, which define the concepts, within which the model is formalized. If that is possible, we can also start to describe open system, but only then. In order to be able to realize separable closed systems, the interactions must be not to strong and the environment must be kind enough. For instance for the Poincaré symmetry to be realized (an so having the standard model as physical model), space must be almost empty

and gravitational forces not to strong.

Now imagine at a time 0 a model P0 is realized, such that principle 2 and 3 hold approximately within P0. And at a later time another P1 is realized, such that the two principles hold. However let us imagine that P1 is the richer system in the sense, that P0 is contained in P1. Than there are things that can happen in P1 (there are propositions in P1), that cannot be described in P0 just because of the lack of language. There are propositions in P1 that cannot be decided in P0 (principle 2) does not hold. Also there is no dynamical evolution from P0 to P1, because in P1 there are concepts/quantities that are new and did not in exist in P1. Reversely events of the past (P0) can be explained or even retrodicted from within P1.

On a fundamental cosmological level I imagine some crystallization process, that brings more and more complex structures to light.

But one may also think that in empty space Poincaré symmetry (with particles of the standard model) is realized and speculate that near black holes on the event horizon symmetries of a 2 dimensional space are realized. And in between? Well this is the million dollar question. But it is thinkable that no unified separable symmetry might be realizable.

Hope this makes sense for you.

Luca

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 4, 2020 @ 08:00 GMT
Dear Luca,

Thank you for the additional details. Your explanations about the Poincaré symmetry requiring that "space must be almost empty and gravitational forces not to strong" make sense to me. Then you say "Now imagine at a time 0 a model P0 is realized, such that principle 2 and 3 hold approximately within P0." I don't understand what it means for principle 2 to hold only approximately. You mean that P0 is not logically consistent? Because if "the collection of all true propositions about our physical world that apply at the time t0" is logically consistent, then it admits a mathematical model. Also, what you mean by P0, is the same what I call "P" but valid at the time t0? Because what I call "P" is a dynamical system, so principle 3 holds. Another thing you say makes me interested. You said "Reversely events of the past (P0) can be explained or even retrodicted from within P1" I tried to see what you mean by this. I checked your essay, and now I know what you mean, although I don't think it is as crazy as you said :). Nevertheless, as I explained, even if the theory changes in time, it can't break principles 1-3 unless it is not self-consistent. I like what you said, "on a fundamental cosmological level I imagine some crystallization process, that brings more and more complex structures to light", and I agree with this. Thanks again for the comments and good luck in the contest!

Cheers,

Cristi

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David Jewson wrote on May. 3, 2020 @ 09:41 GMT
Dear Cristi,

So, I agree it is a hard problem to explain consciousness from a starting point of unconscious physical objects. But do you think it might be possible to do the reverse: so, to start with consciousness and explain everything else? After all, when we come into this world, we only seem to have conscious perceptions to work with as a starting point for making any theory.

It is also interesting what you say about relations. So, is there anything that relates conventional physics and consciousness? I think it would be fair to say that quantity, direction and change are a part of conventional physics and they are also things that can be directly experienced, i.e. they are also part of consciousness.

So, if you can build a ‘Theory of Everything’ using just the concepts of quantity, direction and change, then you have built a conventional theory of physics out of directly experienced things, i.e. out of consciousness, and then the hard problem of consciousness disappears. (If you are interested, my essay tries to do exactly that: explain everything using quantity, direction and change).

All the best,

David

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 4, 2020 @ 05:35 GMT
Dear David,

Thank you for the comments! You ask an interesting question: do you think it might be possible to do the reverse: so, to start with consciousness and explain everything else? I agree that we only seem to have conscious perceptions to work with as a starting point for making any theory. And indeed, whatever we learn about the world, and whatever theories we make to explain it, this is based on consciousness. But if someone would ask a stronger question, that we can explain everything about the world just from consciousness, in the absence of any perceptions of the external world, this would likely not be enough. But from perceptions and consciousness, we can do a lot of things, and we know the results obtained so far are obtained like this.

You make another interesting point here I think it would be fair to say that quantity, direction and change are a part of conventional physics and they are also things that can be directly experienced, i.e. they are also part of consciousness. I guess it's about what Kant calls "a priori" cognition, which exists before the experience, and we map to the "a posteriori" cognition that follows from experience associated to perceptions. This is an interesting idea. It may be difficult to prove in practice, but I think it worth being investigated seriously. Thanks for suggesting me your essay for more details.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Malcolm Riddoch wrote on May. 4, 2020 @ 11:49 GMT
Hi Cristi,

thank you for this essay on the hard problem of consciousness! I too have come through the philosophy of mind to wonder on the fundamentality of consciousness and its relation to physicalism and thus fundamental physics. This is a hard topic to broach given the many orthogonal viewpoints available. Here's my perhaps somewhat oblique take on your take.

“Principle...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 4, 2020 @ 22:15 GMT
Hi Malcolm,

Thank you for reading my essay and for the interesting comments you made. I hope my longer essay sections 6-7 explain more the possible relations between sentience and physical facts, and how these possibilities can be tested empirically. I like the title of your essay, "Je suis, nous sommes Wigner!", and I'm looking forward to read it!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Michael James Kewming wrote on May. 7, 2020 @ 21:14 GMT
Hi Cristi,

Thank you for a really interesting essay! The debate around consciousness is one I try to avoid, but you wrote a very useful and well argued piece on it. I wholeheartedly agree that the relations and not the things themselves are important, otherwise we are just stamp collecting. Your caption you write 'we select some data and ignore the rest of it' reminds me of a quote I heard about learning; something like 'you need to forget data to learn, otherwise its just memory'. You talked about open/closed Turing machines, but I was wondering if you though that the thermodynamics of a machine in a physical world are an essential component to sentience?

Your arguments regarding the thermodynamics of Turing machines and the brain considerably overlap with my essay ``noisy machines'' and you might find it an interesting read. While I don't delve into conscious, many of my arguments would carry across to the limitations of the brain if it were assumed to be a Turing machine.

Overall, really enjoyed the essay!

Thanks again,

Michael

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 8, 2020 @ 07:49 GMT
Hi Michael,

Thank you for reading, and for the very interesting comments.

> "I was wondering if you though that the thermodynamics of a machine in a physical world are an essential component to sentience?"

It is essential for the brain to work, so for consciousness too, at least for the "easy problems" of consciousness. You said it well "noisy machines", I look forward to read more about this.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Michael muteru wrote on May. 10, 2020 @ 20:51 GMT
Dear Stoica. Great work in your essay on consciousness... I think we are surely headed to the core of it all though gradually.i Learnt something on sentience,Thanks.i too have something on consciousness in my simple essay here-https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3525.Hope you kindly take your time to review. meanwhile, Wish you all the best in the essay contest.

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 11, 2020 @ 04:56 GMT
Dear Michael,

Thank you for reading and for the comments. And for the link to your essay. I wish you the best too!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Lachlan Cresswell wrote on May. 11, 2020 @ 09:16 GMT
Dear Cristi,

You wrote a fine philosophical essay that was very readable and enjoyable.

In your abstract you ask the question: “Can consciousness be completely reduced to physical processes or computation?”

I would argue that yes it can be reduced to physical processes, but that not all such processes are amenable to computation based on the fact that ideal Turing...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 12, 2020 @ 04:36 GMT
Dear Lockie,

Thank you for reading my essay, and for the intriguing and thought provoking comments. Also for mentioning to me your essay, which I hope to read soon. Interesting connections and parallels you made in your comments. Good luck with the essay!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Rajiv K Singh wrote on May. 12, 2020 @ 11:28 GMT
Dear Cristi,

You make a profound observation, "science deals with relations only, not with the nature of things", and yet you let that slip out of hand. Consciousness is indeed explainable only in terms of 'relations of things', not by the underlying nature of things. Relations are observable reality. Constancy of relations are the brute definite properties.

> "Theories are guess...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 13, 2020 @ 04:56 GMT
Dear Rajiv,

Thanks for the interesting comments, and for pointing out both ideas with which you agree and with which you disagree.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Rajiv K Singh replied on May. 13, 2020 @ 06:52 GMT
Dear Cristi,

What a pity, you declined to take the discussion forward. It appears, you have such strong logical rationality against my arguments that it is not worthy of further discussion at all. Your rationality must be mathematical for it to give such certainty of mind.

I can see that others too have noted the strength and clarity of arguments and simplicity of presentation, that most could follow with ease. This is what I call eloquence.

Have fun addressing the diverse comments from the readers.

Rajiv

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 13, 2020 @ 13:21 GMT
Dear Rajiv,

Thank you for returning. From my experience, people often think they can reduce consciousness to information, computation, processes, relations etc, but they usually talk about the easy problems. I realized that it is usually unhelpful to engage in such discussions, because they are about different things, and this leads to misunderstandings. I tried to give a...

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Christian Corda wrote on May. 12, 2020 @ 16:45 GMT
Hi Cristi,

Once again, you wrote a remarkable Essay. Congrats. Your statement of Principle 1 that "Science only deals with relations, not with the nature of things." is quite strong, but I find enlightening your discussion on it. Concerning your Principle 2 that "The collection of all true propositions about our physical world admits a mathematical model." I think that sometimes it works also for wrong propositions! In general, I think that physics goes ahead through a series of subsequent approximations, which will give us more and more accurate predictions over a wider and wider range of phenomena. This is more difficult concerning the approach to consciousness. In any case, I find very interesting your Essay and deserving a very high score. By the way, I send you my congrats also for your PRA paper on the wave function on the three-dimensional space. Another excellent work.

I wish you very good luck in the Contest.

Cheers, Ch.

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 13, 2020 @ 05:03 GMT
Dear Christian,

Thank you very much for the comments and for reading my essay.

>Concerning your Principle 2 that "The collection of all true propositions about our physical world admits a mathematical model." I think that sometimes it works also for wrong propositions! In general, I think that physics goes ahead through a series of subsequent approximations, which will give us more and more accurate predictions over a wider and wider range of phenomena.

Yes, I fully agree. We may never know the right mathematical structure, though we certainly both agree that General Relativity is very close to certain aspects of it. For the arguments I made here, I was interested in the existence only, not to effectively construct the solution of the problem "what mathematical structure corresponds to reality". For this much more ambitious project, we both are doing our parts.

>By the way, I send you my congrats also for your PRA paper on the wave function on the three-dimensional space. Another excellent work.

Thank you, this means a lot for me coming from you!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Mihai Panoschi Panoschi wrote on May. 12, 2020 @ 21:47 GMT
Dear Cristi, If science doesn’t strive to reach the heart of reality or to comprehend things in themselves and it’s simply a bunch of relations then what does?...Is it art, religion, philosophy?

You say, I quote “If you ever wondered why is math so effective in science, here’s the answer: because like science, math is about relations, and relations are math.

A mathematical structure is (1) a collection of sets (the nature of its elements is irrelevant), and (2) a collection of relations between those sets. Mathematically, relations are subsets of Carte- sian products of the sets.” quote closed.

In this statement you seem to reduce relations even further to sets, subsets or the set of subsets so relations in maths is no longer a primitive concept, and since I mentioned concepts I wonder why you left those out too from science since in my opinion without concepts you can’t have relations at all wouldn’t you say (i.e. what would GR be without the fundamental concept of manifold as defined by Riemann or the concept of force introduced by Newton or group by Lagrange, Galois or Lie etc?)

Logically speaking relations are between things, facts, acts, concepts, sets, classes etc.assumes the a prior existence of these objects as something more fundamental than the relations among them as such.

From a holistic (even Daoist)point of view however I can see your point if we are to agree that everything that exists is somehow inter-connected and therefore those connections, those structural relations become essential in undertaking the structure of reality and yes in that sense perhaps one can take this ultra reductionist view.

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 13, 2020 @ 05:24 GMT
Dear Mihai,

>If science doesn’t strive to reach the heart of reality or to comprehend things in themselves and it’s simply a bunch of relations then what does?...Is it art, religion, philosophy?

First, I didn't say "science doesn’t strive to reach the heart of reality", scientists definitely want this. What I said is it can only capture relations, not "the heart of...

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Mihai Panoschi Panoschi replied on May. 13, 2020 @ 14:57 GMT
Cristi, concepts are not simple representations or worse mere labels: they are much more than that and potentially they are and they’ve always been the key into deeper meanings of reality. It was the revision of the classical concepts of time and space that led Einstein to SR and GR and which ultimately even made the classic relation between them disappear into 4-dim Minkowski space-time and the 4-dim pseudo-Riemannuan manifold respectively. That simple concept revision hugely changed the paradigm in classical physics by pointing out the equivalence between mass and energy or the nature of gravity from being a force with Newton to being the curvature of space-time with Einstein, just to give one example of how gravity came to be understood deeper just by changing the conceptual framework, theory that was indeed confirmed through measurement and observation subsequently or as you say through relating data with the theory but only because we had a theory built on rigorous mathematical concepts, postulates, empirical evidence, philosophical and logical principles, relations and connections etc, in the first place so a whole mix of entities not just relations and mere syntactical labels.

I don’t dispute the fact that the way we understand nature of gravity now may not be the ultimate reality in itself due to quantum gravity problems but who is to say that one day someone will not come along and teach us that mind/ consciousness also plays a role in it and maybe we may even be able to bend objects at a distance just like in Matrix or levitate objects like in Stars War...

More example of the same nature you can find in my essay Logic, Formalism and Reality if you’ll be curious to read it as well as a more historically realistic view as to the role the mind/ consciousness through mathematics and logic plays in physics.

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 13, 2020 @ 15:54 GMT
Mihai,

Your examples of the role of concepts are true, and they are important for our understanding and the progress of science. But what I was refering to is what science is about, what can be proven objectively, not what is helpful pedagogically even for the progress of science. They are different things, and you brought the notion of concepts to oppose what I said, but it was not the...

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Member Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on May. 13, 2020 @ 03:30 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Your beautifully written and understandable essay made a lasting imression on me. I still need to dwell a little more on the last section, and the proposition P=S. [I readily aagree there is a hard problem of consciousness].

Some of my own earlier thoughts on this subject came to my mind while I was reading your essay. I make a distinction [and I think you do too] between mind (thoughts, emotions, ...] and the underlying substrate of self-awareness/consciousness. Perhaps consciousness is a full body experience, confined not just to the brain-mind system?

Also, I had imagined consciousness to be a timeless state...self-awareness without any thoughts-every moment identical with the next; devoid of mind, there is no flow of time, and hence no experience of time, or perhaps a reversible time experience, very different from how mind perceives time. Are we in disagreement on this aspect: can consciousness be treated as a dynamical system?

Earlier, I also had this idea that at the most fundamental level, there is no distinction between the physical world and the mathematics which describes it. The two become one and the same. And that consciousness is the state when physical aspect of self equals mathematical description of self. I don't know how to prove this, but were it to be true, it would be different from how we treat emergent physical systems [reductionism]. Is your proposal P=S in any way related to this idea, or something entirely different?

You have written a thought-rovoking and very enjoyable essay, and I hope it will do very well in the contest.

Tejinder

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 13, 2020 @ 06:57 GMT
Dear Tejinder,

Thank you very much for reading and commenting and for the visit!

>Your beautifully written and understandable essay made a lasting impression on me.

Thank you, this means a lot to me.

>I still need to dwell a little more on the last section, and the proposition P=S. [I readily agree there is a hard problem of consciousness].

I...

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attachments: 1_post-determined-block-universe.pdf

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Georgina Woodward wrote on May. 13, 2020 @ 22:11 GMT
Hi Cristinel, nice essay. Some thoughts spring to mind about brain and neuron function. 1.threshold of neurotransmitter input at junction needing to be met before firing of a neuron can happen. In many cases input will

not result in output. 2.Learning by new neural junctions forming. 3. Brain plasticity; 'Pruning' of unused neuronal connections related to forgetting the unimportant.'strengthening' of well used ones. 4. Brain derived neurotophic factor increased by exposure to novel situations, exercise and some dietary components/ supplements. Overall showing the brain not fixed in architecture like a machine but undergoing growth and /or decline. meaning there are far more potential states of the brain than its architecture at one time would suggest. Kind regards Georgina

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 14, 2020 @ 00:33 GMT
I forgot to mention, fasting also increases brain derived neurotropic factor. I've also been thinking that the experiences an individual will have are potentially extremely diverse, from what it chooses to learn, to what it more passively 'takes in' as it navigates through, and interacts with its environment and other beings; Affecting the fine structure of the brain. I don't think all of the conceivable, possible variations of experience, giving different permutations of brain 'wiring' and interconnections can be quantified.

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 14, 2020 @ 04:28 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Thank you very much for the very insightful comments about neurons. I fully agree with you, and I find these facts about brain and neurons both amazing and helpful in the brain development. Neuroplasticity of the human brain is amazing. The whole point of my essay was to show that consciousness is not reducible to computation. Now, it may appear to some that there is nothing there that can be modeled, and indeed, it is possible to make machines that change as they are exposed to new data, but my point is that even if we would do this, this is not enough. There's something about consciousness that can't be captured in computation. So, my central argument is that if it would be reducible to computation, then we would all be isomorphic to parts of the two-dimensional tapestry generated by a Rule 110 cellular automaton. So, if we disagree with the conclusion that we are part of that tapestry, then we must reject the hypothesis, that consciousness is reducible to computation. My argument was conceived like a "proof by reductio ad absurdum", targeted at the hard-core reductionism which seems to dominate currently in science. Thanks again for your comments on neurons and the brain, and I wish you good luck with the contest!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Vesselin Petkov wrote on May. 14, 2020 @ 02:08 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Thank you for the excellent and thought-provoking essay!

I have several questions but will formulate the most important, I think. I read carefully your essay (and similar arguments by other authors), but have always been totally unable to understand the explanations of why "science is only about the relations between things, not about the nature of things themselves."

With regard to "nothing of the nature of the things is accessible to measurement or observation," how would you explain the common view that physics does studies physical objects, not just their relations? E.g., we measure the locations of planets and the sun (even we see them directly or through telescopes!) I agree that we may never have absolute (full) knowledge about them, but physics does measure such objects (not only their relations) and in this way proves their existence. The word “planet” means to other people essentially the same thing (whether it is exactly the same or not, I think does not challenge the fact that we see and measure (all in perfect agreement) an object that we call a planet.

And, of course, my favourite example that physics does deal with the nature of things - Minkowski's explanation of length contraction demonstrates that length contraction would be impossible if the worldtube of a contracting rod were not a real four-dimensional OBJECT (length contraction showed that the name "3D rod" was incorrect and we have no choice to call it "a 3D rod", because the rod turned out to be a 4D object). I believe this is most evident from the more visualized version of Minkowski's explanation - the thought (which can be made a real) experiments - an image is given on my essay's page in my response to Harrison Crecraft and H.H.J. Luediger.

Best wishes and good luck,

Vesselin

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 14, 2020 @ 06:02 GMT
Dear Vesselin ,

Thank you very much for reading and commenting my essay! I enjoyed very much yours as well, and I am happy that you are visiting my page.

> why "science is only about the relations between things, not about the nature of things themselves."

The intention of scientists is of course to know the nature of things, not merely their relations. But their...

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Mihai Panoschi Panoschi replied on May. 14, 2020 @ 09:19 GMT
That was precisely my point too Vesselin! Sadly, that’s not the only fallacy in the essay, despite what I’d otherwise call an heroic attempt to bring consciousness ( whatever that means?)into the cold world of science. However, it never ceases to amaze me how human mind tries to build castles out of sand and then expect them to hold water!...Luckily we have people like a Minkowski and Einstein that come along every 100 years to wake us up from our hypnotic illusions or save us from the bankruptcy of common sense.

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 14, 2020 @ 13:39 GMT
Mihai, you still didn't give a single example of "nature of things" or "heart of reality" or "thing in itself" (as opposed to relations) that can be known scientifically or objectively, i.e. in an independently verifiable way. The only examples you gave are from mathematics, which was precisely my point in the essay.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on May. 15, 2020 @ 12:26 GMT
Hi Christinel,

I wrote the following on my blog area:

Thanks for the boost. Try to read Szangolies’ essay on a related development, and Palmer's on the fractal geometry.

Your paper works with the connection between Gödel theorem or self-reference and consciousness. I have thought that consciousness is a sort of epiphenomenology that is an illusion having an illusion of itself. I have not read it in its entirty, and I do see you connect with what look like fractals.

I have been slow. I have had Covid-19. It hit me at the 3rd week of March and lasted about 10 days. It relapsed in April and the fatigue part of this was serious. I still sleep more than I used to, but the most pernicious aspect of this has been dogging me. It is as if my brain has been rewired, or maybe hormone setpoint levels changed. I am not quite the same person I was; I feel as if I am an abruptly changed person. The worst part of this change is that I am more depressed and irritable than I was. It has been hard for me to participate much in this contest.

Cheers :LC

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 15, 2020 @ 18:25 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

Thanks for the visit. I am very sad that you got Covid-19, I hope it is the easiest form and you'll be well as soon as possible. Don't worry about my essay until you get well, but please get well, because I would love to hear some feedback from you, if possible about the longer version, even if it will be long after the contest ends.

> Your paper works with the connection between Gödel theorem or self-reference and consciousness. I have thought that consciousness is a sort of epiphenomenology that is an illusion having an illusion of itself. I have not read it in its entirty, and I do see you connect with what look like fractals.

I didn't appeal to self-reference or fractals, although I'd agree with you that they play a role. But it has strong relation with no-go theorems. As for consciousness, I am interested in the hypothesis that there is something irreducible about it (this irreducible I called "sentience"), and I try to see if this makes testable predictions. My claim is that it does. Indeed, for many who think consciousness is irreducible, the epiphenomenal position seems a good refuge, since it makes the hypothesis unfalsifiable. But I think we should be brave and don't avoid the fact that it does make predictions. So we can test it. We risk, those who deny it risk to see the predictions confirmed, but they can still continue to deny it, since the test of a prediction is not necessarily a proof of what led to the prediction. A rejection of the prediction is a rejection of what led to the prediction, so it is more risky for those who endorse the position that consciousness is not fully reducible. If we want to bring the hard problem into science, we have to take this risk.

I wish you to get back in shape soon!

Cristi

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James Arnold wrote on May. 15, 2020 @ 14:36 GMT
Cristi,

This is a stunning essay, beautifully written. I do have an issue with your regard for mathematics, relatively measured though it is. You write “theories in physics” to be mature need “to be logically consistent and mathematically well formulated.” I believe there is another requirement, often missing in quantum physics in particular, that they need to be natural. Just to...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 15, 2020 @ 18:28 GMT
Hi James,

> This is a stunning essay, beautifully written.

Thank you!

> I do have an issue with your regard for mathematics, relatively measured though it is. You write “theories in physics” to be mature need “to be logically consistent and mathematically well formulated.” I believe there is another requirement, often missing in quantum physics in...

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Alyssa Adams wrote on May. 15, 2020 @ 23:01 GMT
Hi Cristi!

Bravo, this is a fantastic essay! I really love how you talk about the hard problem of consciousness along with the idea of coarse-graining and reproducibility. The organization of ideas flows extremely well and the essay is very well-organized.

My questions for you are these: Why do you think nature, particularly biological processes, has some need to coarse grain states? Why at all do you think it occurs, and could it be some unexpected result of thermodynamics for example?

I think a state gets coarse-grained according to the physical abilities of an observer. Observers with vision have the ability to coarse-grain groups of atoms according to color in a painting, while observers that do not have vision would coarse-grain a painting in an entirely different way, based on other senses like touch. The whole process of reproducibility seems to rely so much on the ability of an observer.

Consciousness seems like it could be a special case of an observer coarse-graining itself. Observers are not entirely separate from their environment most of the time, and are embedded as a part of the environment in most cases in biology. I'd be curious to hear about your thoughts here!

Cheers!

Alyssa

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 16, 2020 @ 07:18 GMT
Hi Alyssa,

Thanks for the visit and for reading, and I'm happy that you enjoyed my essay!

You ask great questions:

> Why do you think nature, particularly biological processes, has some need to coarse grain states? Why at all do you think it occurs, and could it be some unexpected result of thermodynamics for example?

It is possible, I think, to imagine...

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Pavel Vadimovich Poluian wrote on May. 16, 2020 @ 16:48 GMT
Dear Cristi Stoica!

We reviewed your work. The text contains many important and original ideas. We share the initial assumptions made in the article. Yes, science is studying relationships. But there is an ontology - a philosophical theory of being. You correctly noted that there is Time - a strange entity. But in the world there is something called GENESIS - this is an expression of Time. Therefore, we believe that the very principles of mathematics need a deeper clarification. For example, Hegel tried to see the genesis in logic. We think it makes sense to look for the genesis in mathematical structures.



We wish you a successful scientific work!



Truly yours,

Pavel Poluian and Dmitry Lichargin,

Siberian Federal University.

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 17, 2020 @ 05:36 GMT
Dear Pavel and Dmitry,

Thank you for the review and the very interesting comments. I'll read your essay in time.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 17, 2020 @ 15:06 GMT
Cristi,

Glad I got to your essay. Well up to the expected standard. I agree about relationships of course, indeed I've long argued that also finding ways to explore the 'what is' will be the only way to escape our present poor understanding (the other 99 thousandths of 1%!). You seemed to agree, if in a diffuse way!

I also agreed much of your thinking on consciousness, very much in line with my own in my essay 2yrs ago, though I did actually describe a 'what is' ontological layered feedback mechanism which could replicate it. Speculative of course but its architecture is similar to the latest advanced AI.

Nicely written, but I was left wondering about the connection with the topic, which seemed to be rather obtuse. None the less good on all other scoring criteria and nothing I feel the need to take issue with.

I hope you may get to mine, very fundamental in allowing is 'what is' approach, identifying sound evidence for a simple physical mechanism for uncertainty at 'measurement' momentum exchange!

Very best

Peter

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 07:02 GMT
Peter,

Thanks for visiting my page and reading the essay and for leaving interesting comments.

> "I also agreed much of your thinking on consciousness, very much in line with my own in my essay 2yrs ago, though I did actually describe a 'what is' ontological layered feedback mechanism which could replicate it. Speculative of course but its architecture is similar to the latest advanced AI."

This sounds impressive.

> "Nicely written, but I was left wondering about the connection with the topic, which seemed to be rather obtuse. None the less good on all other scoring criteria and nothing I feel the need to take issue with."

The central starting point of my essay is that, since science can only deal with relations,

1. The nature of things is undecidable from within science, which is only about relations.

2. The nature of experience is undecidable from within science, which is only about objectively and independently verifiable.

So it's very topical I think.

Despite this undecidability, I take the hypothesis that sentience is fundamental and show that some of its variants make empirically falsifiable predictions.

> "I hope you may get to mine, very fundamental in allowing is 'what is' approach, identifying sound evidence for a simple physical mechanism for uncertainty at 'measurement' momentum exchange!"

This sounds very appealing!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga wrote on May. 17, 2020 @ 23:18 GMT
Christi,

at the end I had the chance to read your essay. Sorry to be late but this year everything is totally different.

Thanks for the wonderful essay which I gave my highest possibel vote.

I'm glad that we agree that relations are more important, also relations between relations (as often used to define a mathematical structure).

You wrote also about onsciousness and its reducability. I also analyzed onsciousness from a math point of view. Here, onsciousness is also purely relational and I'm not sure that the fact that it consists of matter is important.

See the paper

Best wishes Torsten

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 07:08 GMT
Dear Torsten,

Thank you for reading my essay and for the comments!

> "I'm glad that we agree that relations are more important, also relations between relations (as often used to define a mathematical structure)."

Yes, both what we can talk about and what can be made into a mathematical structure are relations of various arity and including between relations.

> "You wrote also about onsciousness and its reducability. I also analyzed onsciousness from a math point of view. Here, onsciousness is also purely relational and I'm not sure that the fact that it consists of matter is important."

If something is reducible to relations only, its material substrate shouldn't matter. My point is that, when it comes to consciousness, reducibility to relations corresponds to the "easy problems". Thank you for the link to your article!

Thanks again for the comments, and good luck in the contest!

Cheers,

Cristi

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John Joseph Vastola wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 02:08 GMT
Very nice essay! Clearly written and interestingly argued. Aesthetically the prettiest-looking essay I've seen. I like the use of blue for various headings/citations, and the figures you produced are all very beautiful and clear.

The point about Wolfram's Rule 110 cellular automaton was strikingly mind-boggling. I can't even object on the grounds that there is some infinity-related trick being used, because the set of all sequences of conscious thoughts (given finitely many brain states and finite human lifetimes) is finite...

I agree that science is all about relations. The idea of a particle's mass, for example, is only meaningful insofar as it helps us predict how a particle will behave when interacting with other particles. But on the other hand, this makes me worried when it comes to consciousness. I feel like the hard problem of consciousness is deliberately posed to exclude all scientific investigation (experimental, modeling, etc)---like you said, if you can measure it, it's not part of the 'hard' problem anymore.

Maybe I did not read carefully enough, but I am not sure I understand the consequences of your argument. How can the collection of all true propositions about the world, and the collection of facts about sentient experience, be equal? Does that mean the world may be one big collective dream?

John

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 07:39 GMT
Dear John,

Thank you for the comments and for reading my essay!

> "The point about Wolfram's Rule 110 cellular automaton was strikingly mind-boggling. I can't even object on the grounds that there is some infinity-related trick being used, because the set of all sequences of conscious thoughts (given finitely many brain states and finite human lifetimes) is...

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 04:34 GMT
Dear Cristinel,

Glad to read your work again.

I greatly appreciated your work and discussion. I am very glad that you are not thinking in abstract patterns.

"Interested especially in the geometric aspects of the physical laws".

It is necessary to understand that all elements of matter from the micro- to macroscales have a quantum and fractal structure of their geometry. This is given and experimentally confirmed in my work.

While the discussion lasted, I wrote an article: “Practical guidance on calculating resonant frequencies at four levels of diagnosis and inactivation of COVID-19 coronavirus”, due to the high relevance of this topic. The work is based on the practical solution of problems in quantum mechanics, presented in the essay FQXi 2019-2020 “Universal quantum laws of the universe to solve the problems of unsolvability, computability and unpredictability”.

I hope that my modest results of work will provide you with information for thought.

Warm Regards, `

Vladimir

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 07:47 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thank you for reading my essay and for the interesting observations.

> "I greatly appreciated your work and discussion. I am very glad that you are not thinking in abstract patterns.

I'm just a neural network, with all the inherent biases and training-dependency features, that work well in some setting but fail in other settings. At least from the point of view of P. So what may seem abstract or concrete in my thinking depends on the context and the interlocutor, of course.

> "It is necessary to understand that all elements of matter from the micro- to macroscales have a quantum and fractal structure of their geometry. This is given and experimentally confirmed in my work."

This seems very interesting to hear more about it.

> "While the discussion lasted, I wrote an article: “Practical guidance on calculating resonant frequencies at four levels of diagnosis and inactivation of COVID-19 coronavirus”, due to the high relevance of this topic. The work is based on the practical solution of problems in quantum mechanics, presented in the essay FQXi 2019-2020 “Universal quantum laws of the universe to solve the problems of unsolvability, computability and unpredictability”."

Thank you for sharing this here!

Best luck with your essay and with fighting the pandemics!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 12:09 GMT
Dear Professor Cristinel Stoica,

I found your line of reasoning demonstrating the hard problem of consciousness in fact exists, and its centrality to our conception of reality using arguments grounded in mathematics both ingenious and beautiful.

I will keep a copy of your work for further reading, and references ( if any circumstances arise).

What also pleases me is that I sense in between your work and ours ( link: https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3563) we share mutual ground, and we conclude indeed limitations of mathematics are equivalent to limitations of natural science along very similar lines of reasoning; something which you nicely summarize as:

"But even if we would know with what mathematical structure our world is isomorphic, it

wouldn’t mean we would know everything, because our knowledge can only be expressed in a finite

number of axioms, and our proofs can only have finite length. Our knowledge will always be limited

by G¨odel incompleteness (G¨odel, 1931) and Turing’s noncomputability result (Turing, 1937)."

Indeed we share a similar stance to what you have said, "Science

is a way to decode the book. It proceeds by identifying various words in various contexts, and

the result is a dictionary, along with some grammar rules. Each word in the dictionary is defined

in terms of other words, but there are no primary words whose meaning we understand. All the

definitions in the dictionary are eventually circular. And the grammar rules, which correspond in

this metaphor to the laws and principles we propose to describe the world, are purely syntactical.", and propose a grand lexicographic project for constructing a complete dictionary for Nature.

We hope you have time to read our work!

And thank you for your marvelous entry and the joy and insight we found in your work is reflected in our rating!

Kind Regards,

Raiyan Reza, and Rastin Reza

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Mihai Panoschi Panoschi replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 16:10 GMT
Rayan, Rastin,

I couldn’t disagree with you more as I’ve openly disagreed with Cristi also.

First, if you analyse carefully this his statement you quoted : “But even if we would know with what mathematical structure our world is isomorphic, it wouldn’t mean we would know everything, because our knowledge can only be expressed in a finite number of axioms, and our proofs can only have finite length. Our knowledge will always be limited by G ̈odel incompleteness (G ̈odel, 1931) and Turing’s noncomputability result (Turing, 1937) you could right away notice many anomalies:

1. It’s not even grammatically correct ( “But even if we knew everything...it wouldn’t mean... “ is the correct syntax in English but Cristi is grammatically thinking in his mother tongue so I can understand and overlook the root of his error.

2. It’s logically inconsistent since Gödel’s results express exactly the opposite, namely, the even in mathematics there can never be a complete and self-sufficient system of knowledge grounded on a finite set of axioms, therefore mathematics is inexhaustible in itself. Chaitin, for instance, went even further to assert that mathematics as such, after Gödel, is ruled by uncertainty and randomness just like the one discovered in QM. He could be right in the sense that whenever and wherever actual infinity pops up(especially since Cantor open the way in set theory)so does uncertainty and randomness, so in a way, the so-called hidden order that science strives to discover in the Universe, seems paradoxically to be both opposed to randomness/chaos/disorder and necessary to it!...

3. Finally, it’s semantically meaningless because it’s a speculative and arbitrary hypothesis about an isomorphism of ‘nothing concrete’ with something abstract, that is, a clearly defined concept of a mathematical structure such as a topological or metric space for instance that are not only rigorously defined axiomatically.

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Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 16:54 GMT
Dear Mihai Panoschi Panoschi,

Thank you for your response!

Since you disagree with Professor Cristinel Stocia, you should direct your disagreements to them.

Grammar errors and such are something I can look over. I am also failing to see how the statement goes against Godel's Incompleteness Theorems and its computational analogue, Turing Machine.

To quote you, "It’s...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 17:23 GMT
Dear Raiyan and Rastin,

Please call me Cristi.

>I found your line of reasoning demonstrating the hard problem of consciousness in fact exists, and its centrality to our conception of reality using arguments grounded in mathematics both ingenious and beautiful.

Thank you very much for reading my essay and for your insightful remarks.

>I will keep a copy of your work for further reading, and references ( if any circumstances arise).

I would recommend the longer one, The negative way to sentience, in case you are interested.

>What also pleases me is that I sense in between your work and ours [...] We hope you have time to read our work!

You definitely made me interested to hear more about your essay!

Thanks again for the visit, and I wish you good luck in the contest!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Member Kevin H Knuth wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 18:33 GMT
Dear Cristi,

I am very glad to see that your essay is doing well.

I really enjoyed it!

The consciousness question is both difficult and fascinating. And I think that the fact that we have so much of ourselves invested in the solution does not help us to attain an honest understanding.

I have long thought that consciousness arises from the brain modeling (describing )...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 21:14 GMT
Dear Kevin,

Thank you for visiting and reading my essay, and for the excellent question.

> "In that work (Influence Theory), we make it clear that the only properties that one can know about are those properties that affect how an object influences others. Despite the validity or invalidity of Influence Theory as a foundational theory, I still believe that this idea is correct....

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Yutaka Shikano wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 19:18 GMT
Dear Cristi,

I really enjoyed reading your essay to cover several academic fields.

In Section 5, you discussed the relationship between thermodynamic context and information theory or computational viewpoint. In the past essay contest, I wrote the specific part of this fundamental question as seen in my past essay. Your point is reductionism. Is this related to the operationalism?

Best wishes,

Yutaka

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 21:16 GMT
Dear Yutaka,

Thank you for reading my essay and for the interesting comments. You mention a past essay of yours, I read it at that time and commented. I look forward to read your current one.

> "Your point is reductionism. Is this related to the operationalism?"

I am not sure that my point is reductionism per se. I am fully for trying to push reductionism to its natural limits as much as possible. I discussed these limits in a previous essay. As for the relations with operationalism, there must definitely be such relations. And I take here the position that science cleaned of all of its assumptions is about relations only, which is close to operationalism. I am not an adept of operationalism in my work though. And particularly when talking about sentience, I think sentience (stripped of all form and relations) is what's beyond relations.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 20:07 GMT
This paper was fun to read Cristi...

I'm grinning right now like someone who looked in the back of the book in the section called 'solutions to problems.' Or maybe I've just been actively exploring the other side of the coin from what you set out. If Science is only in the realm of relations and theory arises only in the form you describe; what I have been doing is not Science nor...

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 21:20 GMT
Dear Jonathan,

I appreciate your visit and comments!

Take my detour through "science as the study of relations but not relata" as a way to remove assumptions from science. Because without this purification, people would project, due to their mirror neurons, sentient-like properties on whatever models they make for consciousness, when in fact they are about the "easy problems" only. To see the naked truth that "consciousness is primal, or essential", as you well say, within the framework of science, one needs first to go through this process of austerization of science.

>"I think the evolution of consciousness is possible to express mathematically, however"

Evolution of consciousness probably corresponds to what I call the system S. If this is the case, it is possible to express mathematically. Octonions may play a role here, I have to look in your essay to see what you mean, and I look forward to do this.

I like very much your remarks in the second part of your comment, and you made me curious. I was going to read your essay, but time ran too quickly. But I will read it in time.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Mihai Panoschi Panoschi wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 22:12 GMT
Cristi, I seem to recall mentioning that the concept of mathematical structure came out of the set theoretical approach only in modern times, especially with Bourbaki in the 50s. What I’ve said earlier was that if a certain concept or structure is rigorously axiomatised, like the example you picked with the set of natural numbers N, then the additional structure you wish to add to it, e.g....

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on May. 21, 2020 @ 17:36 GMT
Christi,

Congratulations on winning the community scoring. I gave you a ten on the last day to help put you there, but I see that fqxi has knocked you below someone with only two scores. I was the winner of the community scoring last year, but fqxi then changed the scoring so that I ended up number two.

These contests are valuable for presentation and exchange of ideas, but once fqxi enters the picture, the fix appears to be in for conformity with the academy. Congratulations again on your winning the other authors’ approval.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 21, 2020 @ 19:45 GMT
Dear Edwin,

Thank you, and also thanks for the news, it was because of the notification about your comment that I know the result. This edition was again a great opportunity to exchange ideas, a lot of interesting essays here. Also the chosen theme was good.

Cheers,

Cristi

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Member Markus P Mueller wrote on Jun. 3, 2020 @ 19:56 GMT
Dear Cristi,

congratulations to a wonderful essay! I’ve finally found the time to read it, and I enjoyed it a lot.

I agree with many of your arguments. This I found great: “For example, call the nature of things `matter´. Once we get used to the words, we can have the illusion of understanding, and forget that we know so little”. And you make a very good point for the “hard problem”.

I’m not sure I fully agree with the way quantum theory enters at the end of the essay, because I believe that we could be part of a fully “classical” word, be conscious, and wonder about the very same questions. But this would be a topic for a longer discussion I guess. :)

All the best,

Markus

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Author Cristinel Stoica replied on Jun. 4, 2020 @ 08:04 GMT
Dear Markus,

Thank you very much for reading and for the reply, and congratulations for your essay too!

> "I believe that we could be part of a fully “classical” word, be conscious, and wonder about the very same questions."

I believe this too, we have various relations between S and P, which are possible in both quantum and classical worlds. There are two...

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