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Re: [ai-philosophy] Re: Free will (free-choice)

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  • Ray Gardener
    I suspect Mr. Tegmark may be right. I think the initial signal is at a scale much smaller than where we start to observe QM effects, and the first
    Message 1 of 92 , May 1, 2006
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      I suspect Mr. Tegmark may be right. I think the initial signal is at a
      scale much smaller than where we start to observe QM effects, and the
      first amplification stages occur below the atomic level. The structures
      necessary to do this were formed as part of the evolution of life prior
      to the formation of amino acids (i.e., life is a broader concept, and
      evolution goes all the way back to the Big Bang; the formation of
      particles themselves is part of it).

      The structure of strings, point particles, fundamental forces and the
      rest of the subatomic order constitute a proto-life ecology that
      implements the qualia/free will loop. This loop extends into larger
      scales as life combines more parts into larger assemblies, and the
      qualia and the expressions of will become correspondingly more
      sophisticated. Each layer is always built on the previous one, and
      utilizes its features. Self-replicating molecules were not successful
      until a configuration came together that expanded on the abilities that
      the earlier proto-life had evolved. At every stage, there is a promotion
      of mind.

      The question of "why" is interesting. I think Mind needs to evolve
      because while simple Mind may experience qualia/feelings, and may have
      free will, these things are severely underutilized. It is like a child
      who can see and talk, but until he consciously experiences a higher
      concept such as "thinking about thinking", his free will remains more of
      a potential. There must be intelligence, some way of letting Mind
      reflect more elaborately upon itself, and I think this is why the whole
      shooting match of physical reality and physical bodies, multiple
      observers, etc. comes about. It satisfies the requirements of Mind to
      fully be Mind. I don't think the universe had any choice at stopping at
      the Nothingness, or at the Big Bang or some point between then and now.
      It's only worthwhile option is to always evolve. This constant change is
      absolutely necessary in regards to Mind.


      Ivan wrote:
      > A friend of mine called it "the snowball effect", referring to
      > snowballs that manage to increase in size as it rolls off a
      > mountain. I have never seen snowballs do this in real life, only in
      > cartoons, but I thought it was a nice descriptive name.
      > My day-to-day life experience tells me that it does indeed happen,
      > this magnification from small (almost unnoticable) events to large
      > events. Like the sneezing of a dog causing a nuclear war. Is it
      > possible for a QM event inside a neuron to cascade into large firing
      > patterns and then finally an action signal?
      > Someone named Max Tegmark says otherwise. QM decoherence, his
      > computation shows, is _not_ relevant to macro brain processes.
      > abstract
      > http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9907009
      > pdf
      > http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/9907009
      > I was somewhat relieved after seeing this. A QM approach to
      > mind/consciousness/freewill would be too messy and chaotic to work
      > with, in contrast to the apparent stability of my own perceptive
      > reality. The neural network is already complex enough on its own. I
      > don't need another level of complexity within these neurons to add
      > to the mix. That's why I let go of Penrose and the QM approach. It's
      > too... ugly (sorry for the negative description). For me the only
      > sore thumb that sticks out are the results of the PEAR experiment,
      > and I don't have yet a clear idea how to reconcile that with my
      > abandoning the QM approach.
      > Ivan
      > --- In ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com, Ray Gardener <rayg@...> wrote:
      >> I think the causality between matter and mind must be real, if we
      >> symmetrify. Matter influences mind; this is the phenomenon of
      > qualia.
      >> Clearly there is some causal relationship, and if so, then
      > causality
      >> along the reverse channel is likely. Jupiter boosts Voyager, but
      > Jupiter
      >> is ever so slightly deflected also.
      >> If the brain had a structure analogous to scaled gravity boosts,
      > that
      >> would do it -- one uses a small mass to deflect a larger, which in
      > turn
      >> whips around a larger mass deflecting it, until an entire star is
      >> deflected. There was a recent sci-fi book describing it much
      > better,
      >> something about aliens making our sun overheat.
      >> It could be why the brain has a neural structure; not just for the
      >> relating of information but because this structure has the
      > necessary
      >> cascade architecture that can reliably amplify a tiny signal by
      > the
      >> numerous steps necessary without distortion. We need to look for
      >> causality patterns that increase or decrease in force along many
      > steps.
      >> In one direction, sensory charges are greatly (but carefully)
      > stepped
      >> down until qualia can be experienced. In the other, one's will is
      > made
      >> to affect the physical body.
      >> Ray
      >> kiev0007 wrote:
      >>> I've also heard of PEAR (Princeton Engineering Anomalies
      > Research).
      >>> Their results suggest that consciousness (whatever it is) can
      > affect
      >>> the outcome of quantum measurements.
      >>> http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/index.html
      >>> (just to give a general idea what it is about.)
      >>> I still don't know what to think of this. It sounds like a joke,
      > but
      >>> they're serious about it. IMO, the results seem to link again to
      >>> Penrose.
      >>> Nondeterminism was relevant for me because I was asking "why do
      > I seem
      >>> to be making a choice? Why do I feel that that choice is
      > _mine_?" I
      >>> thought, the "quantum choice" must become your choice. They are
      >>> identical. You are not choosing. You just become aware of what
      > QM
      >>> chose for you, as if you willed it.
      >>> If free will is the quantum choice, then one cannot distinguish
      >>> between "willing" the quantum outcome and "knowing" the quantum
      >>> outcome. To know it in your head is to make it real. Maybe
      > that's what
      >>> is happening in PEAR: Knowing=willing. Sort of like
      > Schrodinger's cat.
      >>> Open the box containing the cat (both dead and alive at the same
      > time?)
      >>> and reality inside is "created". I am now starting to sound like
      > Star
      >>> Wars/Matrix.
      >>> Now I'm not sure if QM really has a place in consciousness.
      > Although
      >>> PEAR still keeps me thinking.
      >>> --- In ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com, "Eray Ozkural" <erayo@>
      > wrote:
      >>>> I'm not sure if it's true that we're not in control of anything
      > else.
      >>>> We run these control routines, like when throwing a stone. I
      >>>> know that I threw many stones, I predicted and controlled things
      >>>> around me. Isn't that enough? I can't move them with just
      > looks :)
      >>>> Best,
      >>>> --
      >>>> Eray Ozkural (exa), PhD candidate. Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent
      >>> University, Ankara
      >>>> http://www.cs.bilkent.edu.tr/~erayo Malfunct:
      >>> http://www.malfunct.com
      >>>> ai-philosophy: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ai-philosophy
      >>>> Pardus: www.uludag.org.tr KDE Project: http://www.kde.org
      >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
    • ray scanlon
      There seems to be two poles from which consideration of Free Will emanates. One is religionist and starts by looking at the beauty of the soul (mind). Concepts
      Message 92 of 92 , May 5, 2006
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        There seems to be two poles from which consideration of Free Will emanates.

        One is religionist and starts by looking at the beauty of the soul (mind).
        Concepts appear...intelligent, rational, freedom, thinking, and such. The
        other is scientific and proceeds from the neuron. The scientist looks at the
        nervous system and ask, "The activity of which neurons could we experience
        as Decision?" (He is thinking of the Neural Correlate of Consciousness.) His
        attention passes to the thalamic reticular nucleus. When it is active, we
        could experience doubt and hesitation, When it is quieted, we could
        experience decision.

        This is not Hard Science, but it is NO FUN. Let us stick with the
        religionist approach. We know what it is to make a decision of our own Free
        Will. Let us stick with that.

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