Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sensory perception and motor action as time reversals of each other: a royal road to the understanding of other minds?

The notion of mirror neuron is extremely attractive because it could allow the understanding of the observed goal directed behaviors of living systems by inducing corresponding imagined or even real actions. The sensory input about behavior would automatically induce the neural activity representing intention about the behavior or imagined behavior. Mirror neuron hypothesis was derived originally for monkeys but has been considerably generalized. For instance, in the case of humans mirro neurons could allow an almost automatic understanding of intentions and emotions of other people.

In TGD framework the objections against mirror neuron hypothesis motivate its replacement with what I call time mirror hypothesis inspired by zero energy ontology, and stating that motor action and sensory perception are in a well-defined sense time reversals of each other. This hypothesis could explain the time anomalies assignable to mirror neurons if they are indeed involved (reactions tend assigned to mirror neurons tend to be "too fast") and also Libet's findings. This inspires the notion of quantum monadology: parts of brain would be continually time mirroring each other. Also magnetic body would be involved. The time mirror relationship could correspond to directed attention having as space-time correlates magnetic flux tubes carrying dark photon signals in both time directions. Time mirror hypothesis is applied to the entrainment of the speech motor regions with auditory areas at the opposite side of brain occurring at resonance frequency 4.5 Hz as discovered by Poeppel and Assaneo.

See the article Sensory perception and motor action as time reversals of each other: a royal road to the understanding of other minds? or the chapter of "TGD and EEG" having the same title.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Still about quark gluon plasma and M89 physics

QCD predicts that quark gluon plasma (QGP) is is created in p-p, p-A, and A-A high energy collisions. Here p denotes proton and A heavy nucleus. In the first approximation the nuclei are expected to go through each other but for high enough collision the kinetic energy of the incoming beams is expected to materialize to quarks and gluons giving rise to QGP. Various signatures of QGP such as high density, strangeness production, and the failure of quark jets to propagate have been observed.

Also unexpected phenomena such as very small shear viscosity to entropy ratio η/s meaning that QGP behaves like ideal liquid and double ridge structure detected first in p-Pb collisions implying long range correlations suggesting emission of particles in opposite directions from a linear string like object. Also the predicted suppression of charmonium production seems to be absent for heavy nuclei.

I have already earlier proposed explanation in terms of a creation of dark pions (and possibly also heavier mesons) of M89 hadron physics with Planck constant heff=512× h. M89 pions would be flux tube like structures having mass 512 times that of ordinary pion but having the same Compton length as ordinary pion and being of the same size as heavy nuclei. The unexpected features of QGP, in particular long range correlations, would reflect quantum criticality. Double ridge structure would reflect the decay of dark mesons to ordinary hadrons. In this article this proposal is discussed in more detail.

See the article Still about quark gluon plasma and M89 physics or the chapter New Physics predicted by TGD: part I.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Cosmological constant in TGD and in superstring models

Cosmological constant Λ is one of the biggest problems of modern physics.

  1. Einstein proposed non-vanishing value of Λ in Einstein action as a volume term at his time in order to get what could be regarded as a static Universe. It turned out that Universe expanded and Einstein concluded that this proposal was the greatest blunder of his life. For two decades ago it was observed that the expansion of the Universe acclerates and the cosmological constant emerged again. Λ must be extremely small and have correct sign in order to give accelerating rather decelerating expansion in Robertson-Walker cooordinate. Here one must however notice that the time slicing used by Einstein was different and fr this slicing the Universe looked static.

  2. Λ can be however understood in an alternative sense as characterizing the dynamics in the matter sector. Λ could characterize the vacuum energy density of some scalar field, call it quintessense, proportional to 3- volume in quintessence scenario. This Λ would have sign opposite to that in the first scenario since it would appear at opposite side of Einstein's equations.

Remark: This is an updated version of an earlier posting, which represented a slightly wrong view about the interpretation and evolution of cosmological constant in TGD framework. This was due to my laziness to check the details of the earlier version, which is quite near to the version represented here.

Cosmological constant in string models and in TGD

It has turned out that Λ could be the final nail to the coffin of superstring theory.

  1. The most natural prediction of M-theory and superstring models is Λ in Einsteinian sense but with wrong sign and huge value: for instance, in AdS/CFT correspondence this would be the case. There has been however a complex argument suggesting that one could have a cosmological constant with a correct sign and even small enough size.

    This option however predicts landscape and a loss of predictivity, which has led to a total turn of the philosophical coat: the original joy about discovering the unique theory of everything has changed to that for the discovery that there are no laws of physics. Cynic would say that this is a lottery win for theoreticians since theory building reduces to mere artistic activity.

  2. Now however Cumrun Vafa - one of the leading superstring theorists - has proposed that the landscape actually does not exist at all (see this). Λ would have wrong sign in Einsteinian sense but the hope is that quintessence scenario might save the day. Λ should also decrease with time, which as such is not a catastrophe in quintessence scenario.

  3. Theorist D. Wrase et al has in turn published an article (see this) claiming that also the Vafa's quintessential scenario fails. It would not be consistent with Higgs Higgs mechanism. The conclusion suggesting itself is that according to the no-laws-of-physics vision something catastrophic has happened: string theory has made a prediction! Even worse, it is wrong.

    Remark: In TGD framework Higgs is present as a particle but p-adic thermodynamics rather than Higgs mechanism describes at least fermion massivation. The couplings of Higgs to fermions are naturally proportional their masses and fermionic part of Higgs mechanism is seen only as a manner to reproduce the masses at QFT limit.

  4. This has led to a new kind of string war: now inside superstring hegemony and dividing it into two camps. Optimistic outsider dares to hope that this leads to a kind of auto-biopsy and the gloomy period of superstring hegemony in theoretical physics lasted now for 34 years would be finally over.

String era need not be over even now! One could propose that both variants of Λ are present, are large, and compensate each other almost totally! First I took this as a mere nasty joke but I realized that TGD indeed suggests something analogous to this!

The picture in which Λeff parametrizes the total action as dimensionally reduced 6-D twistor lift of Kähler action could be indeed interpreted formally as sum of genuine cosmological term identified as volume action and Kähler action identified as an analog of quintessence. This picture is summarized below.

The picture emerging from the twistor lift of TGD

Consider first the picture emerging from the twistor lift of TGD.

  1. Twistor lift of TGD leads via the analog of dimensional reduction necessary for the induction of 8-D generalization of twistor structure in M4× CP2 to a 4-D action determining space-time surfaces as its preferred extremals. Space-time surface as a preferred extremal defines a unique section of the induced twistor bundle. The dimensionally reduced Kähler action is sum of two terms. Kähler action proportional to the inverse of Kähler coupling strength and volume term proportional to the cosmological constant Λ.

    Remark: The sign of the volume action is negative as the analog of the magnetic part of Maxwell action and opposite to the sign of the area action in string models.

    Kähler and volume actions should have opposite signs. At M4 limit Kähler action is proportional to E2-B2 In Minkowskian regions and to -E2-B2 in Euclidian regions.

  2. Twistor lift forces the introduction of also M4 Kähler form so that the twistor lift of Kähler action contains M4 contribution and gives in dimensional reduction rise to M4 contributions to 4-D Kähler action and volume term.

    It is of crucial importance that the Cartesian decomposition H=M4× CP2 allows the scale of M4 contribution to 6-D Kähler action to be different from CP2 contribution. The size of M4 contribution as compared to CP2 contribution must be very small from the smallness of CP breaking (see this and this.

    For canonically imbedded M4 the action density vanishes. For string like objects the electric part of this action dominates and corresponding contribution to 4-D Kähler action of flux tube extremals is positive unlike the standard contribution so that an almost cancellation of the action is in principle possible.

  3. What about energy? One must consider both Minkowskian and Euclidian space-time regions and be very careful with the signs. Assume that Minkowskian and Eucidian regions have same time orientation.

    1. Since a dimensionally reduced 6-D Kähler action is in question, the sign of energy density is positive Minkowskian space-time regions and of form (E2+B2)/2. Volume energy density proportional to Λ is positive.

    2. In Euclidian regions the sign of g00 is negative and energy density is of form (E2-B2)/2 and is negative when magnetic field dominates. For string like objects the M4 contribution to Kähler action however gives a contribution in which the electric part of Kähler action dominates so that M4 and CP2 contributions to energy have opposite signs. One can even consider the possibility that energies cancel in a good approximation and that the total energy is parameterized by effective cosmological constant Λeff.

The identification of the observed value of cosmological constant is not straightforward and I have considered several options without making explicit their differences even to myself. For Einsteinian option cosmological constant could correspond to the coefficient Λ of the volume term in analogy with Einstein's action. For what I call quintessense option cosmological constant Λeff would approximately parameterize the total action density or energy density.

  1. Cosmological constant - irrespective of whether it is identified as Λ or Λeff - is extremely small in the recent cosmology. The natural looking assumption would be that as a coupling parameter Λ or Λeff depends on p-adic length scale like 1/Lp2 and therefore decreases in average sense as 1/a2, where a is cosmic time identified as light-cone proper time assignable to either tip of CD. This suggests the following rough vision.

    The increase of the thickness of magnetic flux tubes carrying monopole flux liberates energy and this energy can make possible increase of the volume so that one obtains cosmic expansion. As the space-time surface expands, its cosmological constant is eventually reduced in a phase transition changing the p-adic length scale. This phase transition liberates volume energy and leads to an accelerated expansion. The space-time surface would expand by jerks in stepwise manner. This process is analogous to breathing. This process would replace continuous cosmic expansion of GRT. One application is TGD variant of Expanding Earth model explaining Cambrian Explosion, which is really weird event (see this).

    One can however raise a serious objection: since the volume term is part of 6-D Kähler action, the length scale evolution of Λ should be dictated by that for 1/αK and be very slow: therefore cosmological constant identified as Einsteinian Λ seems to be excluded.

  2. This leaves only Λeff option. Λeff would parameterize the value of the total action or energy of the space-time surface. Λeff would be analogous to the sum of Einsteinian and quintessential cosmological constants.

    The gradual reduction of Λeff could be interpreted in terms of the reduction of the total action or energy or both. The reduction of the total action would be by the cancellation of M4 and CP2 parts of Kähler action for string like objects. The reduction of the total energy would be by the cancellation of the contribution of Minkowskian and Euclidian regions. The p-adic length scale evolution of Λ would be slow and induced by that of αK.

This picture still leaves the question whether one should assign Λeff to action or energy or both in which case the assignments should be equivalent and action and energy should be proportional to each other. This identification is however the most detailed one developed hitherto.

Second manner to increase 3-volume

Besides the increase of 3-volume of M4 projection, there is also a second manner to increase volume energy: many-sheetedness. The negative sign of Λ could in fact force many-sheetedness.

  1. Superconductors of type II see this) provide a helpful analogy. In superconductors of type II Meissner effect is not complete unlike for those of type. Below critical value Hc,1 external magnetic field penetrates as flux quanta, which can be cylindrical flux tube and also form complex effectively 2-D thin 3-surfaces maximizing their area near critical field Hc,1 for which magnetic field penetrates the entire superconductor. The reason is that the surface energy for the boundary of non-super-conducting and super-conducting phase is negative for superconductors of type II so that the area in question is maximized. Note that near criticality also volume energy is minimized.

  2. In TGD the negative volume energy associated with Λ is analogous to the surface energy in superconductors of type II. The thin 3-surfaces in superconductors could have similar 3-surface analogs in TGD since their volume is proportional to surface area - note that TGD Universe can be said to be quantum critical.

    This is not the only possibility. The sheets of many-sheeted space-time having overlapping M4 projections provide second mechanism. The emergence of many-sheetedness could also be caused by the increase of n=heff/h0 as a number of sheets of Galois covering.

  3. Could the 3-volume increase during deterministic classical time evolution? If the minimal surface property assumed for the preferred extremals as a realization of quantum criticality is true everywhere, the conservation of volume energy prevents the increase of the volume. Minimal surface property is however assumed to fail at discrete set of points due to the transfer of conserved charged between Kähler and volume degrees of freedom. Could this make possible the increase of volume during classical time evolution so that volume and Kähler energy could increase?

  4. ZEO allows the increase of average 3-volume by quantum jumps. There is no reason why each "big" state function reduction changing the roles of the light-like boundaries of CD could not decrease the average volume energy of space-time surface for the time evolutions in the superposition. This can occur in all scales, and could be achieved also by the increase of heff/h0=n.

  5. The geometry of CD suggests strongly an analogy with Big Bang followed by Big Crunch. The increase of the volume as increase of the volume of M4 projection does not however seem to be consistent with Big Crunch. One must be very cautious here. The point is that the size of CD itself increases during the sequence of small state function reductions leaving the members of state pairs at passive boundary of CD unaffected. The size of 3-surface at the active boundary of CD therefore increases as also its 3-volume.

    The increase of the volume during the Big Crunch period could be also due to the emergence of the many-sheetedness, in particular due to the increase of the value of n for space-time sheets for sub-CDs. In this case, this period could be seen as a transition to quantum criticality accompanied by an emergence of complexity.

  6. In type II superconductivity magnetic energy and negative surface energy for flux quanta compete. Now one has Kähler magnetic energy and negative volume energy. By energy conservation they compete. Could this analog be helpful in TGD? Could the penetration of Kähler magnetic flux tubes to a system give rise to generation of space-time sheets and perhaps increase of n in order to reduce total energy?

See the article TGD View about Coupling Constant Evolution or the chapter with the same title.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Brief summary of TGD

Topological Geometrodynamics (TGD) is an attempt to unify fundamental interactions by assuming that physical space-times can be regarded as sub-manifolds of certain 8-dimensional space H, which is product H= M4× CP2 of Minkowski space and 4-dimensional complex projective space CP2. One could end up with TGD as a generalization of string model obtained by replacing 1-dimensional strings with 3-dimensional light-like surfaces, or as an attempt to construct Poincare invariant theory of gravitation (Poincare group acts in imbedding space rather than on space-time surface). One outcome is the notion of many-sheeted space-time involving notions like topological field quantization and field body. The huge conformal symmetries of the theory are essentially due to the light-likeness of 3-surfaces. The empirically motivated generalization of quantum theory by introducing hierarchy of Planck constants forces a generalization of imbedding space to a book like structure and different pages of the book corresponds to macroscopic quantum phases which behave relative to each other like dark matter.

Quantum TGD realies on two parallel approaches.

  1. The first approach starts from a generalization of Einstein's program proposing geometrization of classical physics so that entire quantum physics is geometrized in terms of the Kähler geometry of "World of Classical Worlds" (WCW) consisting of space-time surfaces which are preferred extremals of the action principle involved. Classical physics becomes exact part of quantum theory. The Kähler geometry of infinite-D WCW and thus physics is unique from its mere existence (this was shown for loop spaces by Dan Freed).

    Generalization of 4-D twistor approach to its 8-D variant based on on lift of Kähler action exists only for H=M4× CP2 forced also by standard model symmetries so that TGD become completely unique.

  2. Second approach is number theoretic. The starting point was the amazing success of p-adic mass calculations. The interpretation is that p-adic number fields and p-adic physics provide the physical (in generalized sense) correlates of cognition and imagination. This leads to what I call adelic physics fusing real number based "ordinary" physics for matter and various p-adic physics for cognition to single coherent whole. Extensions of rationals induce an infinite hierarchy of extensions of p-adic number fields and therefore of also adeles.

    This hierarchy can be seen as evolutionary hierarchy for cognition. The higher the dimension of extension, the higher the complexity and the higher the "IQ". Cognitive representation is the basic notion. At space-time level it consists of points common to real space-time surfaces and various p-adic space-time surfaces: common points have preferred imbedding space coordinates in the extension of rationals so that they make sense in all number fields. This extensions generalizes to the level of WCW: the discrete set of points serves as coordinates of WCW point.

    This also leads to a hierarchy of cognitive representations of scattering amplitudes. Cognitive representation serves as an approximation of the actual scatting amplitude and there is hierarchy of improving approximation. One concrete prediction is hierarchy heff/h0=n of effective values of Planck constant assumed to label phases of ordinary matter behaving like dark matter. The number theoretic interpretation of n is as the dimension of extension of rationals.

    Also quaternions and octonions play a key role in TGD. So called M8-H duality mapping algebraic associative surfaces in complexified octonionic M8 to space-time surfaces in H appearing as preferred extremals of the action principle. The identification of preferred extremals as minimal surfaces apart from discrete set of points is very promising since minimal surface property extremizes also Kähler action and the dynamics involves no couplings as quantum criticality requires. This would reduce TGD to octonionic algebraic geometry at the level of M8 allowing to understand the hierarchy of Planck constants geometrically.

TGD forces to give up the naive length scale reductionism characterizing competing theories, in particular string models, and to replace it with fractality: this has far reach implications such as predicted existence of scaled variants of electroweak and hadronic physics. The notion of many-sheeeted space-time, p-adic length scale hypothesis, and the identification of dark matter as heff=n× h phases of ordinary matter are corner stones of this picture.

TGD inspired theory of consciousness and quantum biology are also essential parts of TGD.

  1. Around 1995 I started to work with what I call TGD inspired theory of consciousness. It can be seen as a generalization of quantum measurement theory so that the observer become part of physical system rather than remaining an outsider as in the usual approaches.

    A generalization of the standard ontology to what I call zero energy ontology (ZEO) solves the basic problem of quantum measurement theory due to the conflict between determinism of unitary evolution and non-determinism of state function reduction, and leads to a new view about the relationship between subjective time and geometric time: there are two causalities, the causality of free will and that of field equations and they are consistent with each other in ZEO.

  2. Also quantum biology as seen from TGD perspective became application of TGD. An essential role is played by the the notions of many-sheeted space-time and the notion of field body emerging naturally from the identification of space-time as 4-surface. The effects due to many-sheetedness are not seen at QFT limit but play a pivotal role in living matter. One can assign to any system field identity - field body, in particular magnetic body. This completes the pair bio-system--environment to a triplet field-body--bio-system--environment. Magnetic body can be said to act as intentional agent using biological body as a sensory receptor and motor instrument. For instance, EEG would serve this purpose.

Material about TGD

The articles at following address give summary about basic ideas of TGD and TGD inspired theory of consciousness and quantum biology.

  • "Why TGD and What TGD is?": see this.

  • "Can one apply Occam’s razor as a general purpose debunking argument to TGD?": see this.

  • "Getting philosophical: some comments about the problems of physics, neuroscience, and biology": see this.

  • "TGD": see this.

There are several sources about TGD.

  • Besides thesis there are three published books about TGD: see this, this, and this.

  • Homepage contains both online books (17) and articles related to TGD: see this..

  • I have published most of the articles as versions in the journals published by Huping Hu. See this., this, and this.

    The links up-to-date versions of articles can be found at my homepage : see this.

  • TGD can be found also in Research Gate: see this.

  • "TGD diary" is a blog telling about progress in TGD: see this. For a list of blog postings arranged according to topic see "The latest progress in TGD": see this.

  • My FB timeline contains (mostly) links to a progress in TGD: see this.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Anomalously strong 21-cm absorption line of hydrogen in cosmology as indication for TGD based view about dark matter

The called 21-cm anomaly meaning that there is unexpected absorption of this line could be due to the transfer of energy from gas to dark matter leading to a cooling of the gas. This requires em interaction of the ordinary matter with dark matter but the allowed value of electric charge must be must much smaller than elementary particle charges. In TGD Universe the interaction would be mediated by an ordinary photon transforming to dark photon having effective value heff/h0=n larger than standard value h implying that em charge of dark matter particle is effectively reduced. Interaction vertices would involve only particles with the same value of heff/h0=n.

In this article a simple model for the mixing of ordinary photon and its dark variants is proposed. Due to the transformations between different values of heff/h0=n during propagation, mass squared eigenstates are mixtures of photons with various values of n. An the analog of CKM matrix describing the mixing is proposed. Also the model for neutrino oscillations is generalized so that it applies - not only to photons - but to all elementary particles. The condition that "ordinary" photon is essentially massless during propagation forces to assume that during propagation photon is mixture of ordinary and dark photons, which would be both massive in absence of mixing. A reduction to ordinary photon would take place in the interaction vertices and therefore also in the absorption. The mixing provides a new contribution to particle mass besides that coming from p-adic thermodynamics and from the Kähler magnetic fields assignable to the string like object associated with the particle.

See the article The analogs of CKM mixing and neutrino oscillations for particle and its dark variants or the chapter
Quantum criticality and dark matter.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Increase of the dimension of extension of rationals as the emergence of a reflective level of consciousness

In TGD framework the hierarchy of extensions of rationals defines a hierarchy of adeles and evolutionary hierarchy.
What could the interpretation for the events in which the dimension of the extension of rationals increases? Galois extension is extensions of an extension with relative Galois group Gal(rel)= Gal(new)/Gal(old). Here Gal(old) is a normal subgroup of Gal(new). A highly attractive possibility is that evolutionary sequences quite generally (not only in biology) correspond to this kind of sequences of Galois extensions. The relative Galois groups in the sequence would be analogous to conserved genes, and genes could indeed correspond to Galois groups (see this). To my best understanding this corresponds to a situation in which the new polynomial Pm+n defining the new extension is a polynomial Pm having as argument the old polynomial Pn(x): Pm+n(x)=Pm(Pn(x)).

What about the interpretation at the level of conscious experience? A possible interpretation is that the quantum jump leading to an extension of an extension corresponds to an emergence of a reflective level of consciousness giving rise to a conscious experience about experience. The abstraction level of the system becomes higher as is natural since number theoretic evolution as an increase of algebraic complexity is in question.

This picture could have a counterpart also in terms of the hierarchy of inclusions of hyperfinite factors of type II1 (HFFs). The included factor M and including factor N would correspond to extensions of rationals labelled by Galois groups Gal(M) and Gal(N) having Gal(M)⊂ Gal(M) as normal subgroup so that the factor group Gal(N)/Gal(M) would be the relative Galois group for the larger extension as extension of the smaller extension. I have indeed proposed (see this) that the inclusions for which included and including factor consist of operators which are invariant under discrete subgroup of SU(2) generalizes so that all Galois groups are possible. One would have Galois confinement analogous to color confinement: the operators generating physical states could have Galois quantum numbers but the physical states would be Galois singlets.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

See the article Re-examination of the basic notions of TGD inspired theory of consciousness or the article Does M8-H duality reduce classical TGD to octonionic algebraic geometry?.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Learning by conditioning and learning by discovery

I had an "entertaining" discussion with two fellows - l call them A and B -, which taught a lot, I hope also for A and B -, and actually gave a good example of two kinds of learning. Learning by conditioning and learning by discovery. It also led to a possible understanding about what goes wrong in what I would call ultra-skeptic cognitive syndrome.

[This discussion by the way gave me good laughs. A and B - first summarized his academic background by "studied strings" and second was Bachelor in computer science but pretending to be M-theorist. They tried to demonstrate that I am a crackpot. They carried out an "investigation" following the principles of investigations made for witch candidates at middle ages. The victim had two options: she drowns or not in which case she is burned at stake.]

The highly emotional discussion was initiated by a totally non-sense hype about transferring consciousness of C Elegance to computer program (see this). I told that the news was hype and this raised the rage of A and B. The following considerations have very little to do with this article. Note however that I have done some work AI in general and even with with the basic ideas of deep learning. For instance, we had two years ago a collaboration about AI, IIT approach to consciousness, and about a possible connection with remote mental interactions together with Lian Sidorov and Ben Goertzel, who is behind Sophia robot. There two chapters related to this (see this and this). I think that the latter chapter is published in a book by Goertzel. There is also a critical article inspired by Sophia robot about which Ben Goertzel wrote an enthusiastic article and sent to Lian Sidorov and me (this).

1. Learning by conditioning

Returning to learning. The first kind of learning is learning by conditioning, which deep learning algorithms try to mechanize. Second kind of learning is learning by discovery. The latter is impossible for computers because they obey deterministic algorithm and are unable to do anything creative.

Emotions play a strong role in the learning by conditioning in the case of living systems and in the simplest form it is learning of X-good and X-bad type associations helping C elegance to survive in the cruel world. In case of humans this kind of associations can be extremely dangerous as for instance the course of events in USA has shown.

Very large part of our learning is just forming of associations: this is what Pavlov's dogs did. In school we learn to associate to "2×3=" symbol "6". In our youth we learned also algorithms for sum, division, multiplication and division, and even for finding the roots second order polynomial. Often this is called learning of mathematics. Later some mathematically gifted ones however discovered that this is just simple conditioning of an algorithm, and has very little to do with genuine mathematical thinking. The discovery of the algorithm itself would be mathematical thinking. The skill to code for algorithm - usually given - is also an algorithm and it can be also coded in AI.

If we are good enough in getting conditioned we get a studentship in University and learn science. This involves also learning of simple conditionings of type X-good and X-bad. In this learning social feedback from others reinforces learning: who would not like to earn the respect of the others!

For X-bad conditionings X can be homeopathy, water memory, cold fusion, telepathy, remote viewing, non-reductionistic/non-physicalistic world view, quantum theories of consciousness, TOEs other than M-theory, etc... For X-good conditionings X can be physicalism, reductionism, strong AI, superstrings, Witten, etc...

The student learns also to utter simple sentences demonstrating that he has learned the desired conditionings. This is important for career. Proud parents who hear the baby say their first word encourage the child. In the same manner environment reinforces the learning of "correct" opinions by a positive feedback. The discussion with A and B ga a quite a collection of these simple sentences. "I guessed that he is a crank" from A is a good example intended to express the long he life experience and wisdom of the youngster.

These conditionings make it also easy "recognize" whether someone is a crank/crackpot/etc... and even to carry out personal investigations - analogous with witchcraft investigations at middle ages - whether some-one is a crank or not. This is what A and B in their young and foolish arrogance indeed decided to carry out.

2. Learning by Eureka experience

There is also second kind of learning. Learning by discovery. Computers are not able to do this. I mentioned in the discussion what happens when you look certain kind of image consisting of mere random looking spots in plane. After enough staring suddenly a beautiful 3-D patterns emerges. This is a miracle like phenomenon, Eureka experience. Quantum consciousness based explanation is the emergence of quantum coherence in the scale of the neuronal cognitive representation in visual cortex at least. New 3-D mental image emerges from purely 2-D one. One goes outside of the context.

The increase of dimension might provide an important hint about what happens more generally: and this would indeed occur for the dimension of extension of rationals in Eureka quantum jump in TGD based model of what could occur. Physically this would correspond to the increase of the effective Planck constant heff= n×h0, h=6×h0 assignable to the mental image created by the image. n is indeed the dimension of extension of rationals and would increase and also scale of quantum coherence would increase from that of single spot to that for the entire pictures.

This kind of learning by Eureka is probably very common for children: they are said to be genii. Later the increasing dominance on the learning by conditioning often eliminates this mode of learning and the worst outcome is a mainstream scientist who is hard-nosed skeptic. Solving genuine problems is the manner to gain these learning experiences but they come only now and then. Some of them are really big: during my professional career there have been - I would guess about 10 really big experiences of this kind involving discovery of a new principle or totally new physical idea.

3. How to understand what is wrong with vulgar skeptics?

The discussion was very interesting since it led me to ponder why it is so hopeless to explain something extremely simple for skeptics. There is a beautiful connection with a learning based on Eureka experience. Physically this corresponds in TGD to a phase transition increasing scale of quantum coherence and algebraic complexity: more technically effective Planck constant heff increases at some levels. More intelligent mental images become possible and Eureka experience happens as in the situation when chaotic 2-D set of points becomes beautiful 3-D object.

Biological evolution at the level of species is based on this: we humans are more intelligent than banana flies. This evolution occurs at all levels - also at the level of individuals but it is not politically correct to say this aloud. Some of us are in their intellectual evolution at higher level than others, either congenitally or by our own efforts or both. This creates of cause bitter feelings. Intellectual superiority irritates and induces hatred. This is why so many intellectuals spend most of their life in jail.

Take seeing as an example. If person has become blind at adult age, he understands that he is blind and also what it feels to see. Also congenitally blind person believes that he is blind: this because most people in his environment tell that it is possible to see and that he is blind. He does not however feel what it is to see. Suppose now that most of us are blind and then comes some-one and tells that he sees. How many would believe him? They cannot feel what it to see. Very probably they conclude that this fellow is a miserable crank.

Suppose now that certain person - call him MP - has used 4 decades to develop a TOE based on generalization of superstring model made 5 years before the first superstring evolution and explaining also consciousness. MP tries his best to explain his TOE to a couple of skeptics but finds it hopeless. They even arrange "investigation" following the best traditions of witch hunt to demonstrate his crackpotness. And indeed, they conclude that they were correct: all that this person writes is totally incoherent non-sense just as this 2-D set of random points.

These two young fellows are simply intellectually blind since their personal hierarchy of Planck constants does not contain the required higher values. A Eureka experience would be required. MP could of course cheat and tell that he believes in superstrings and give a hint that the is a good friend of Witten. This would help but would only lead to pretended understanding. The fellows would take MP seriously only because MP agrees with Witten and claims to be a friend of Witten but still they would not have a slightest idea what TGD is. They cannot feel what it is to understand TGD.

The only hope is personal intellectual evolution increasing the needed Planck constants in the personal hierarchy. This is possible only if these fellows admit that they are intellectually blind in some respects but if they are young arrogant skeptics they furiously deny this and therefore also the possibility of personal intellectual evolution.

See the article Two manners to learn and what goes wrong with vulgar skeptics?.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

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