Monday, June 09, 2008

About the arrow of psychological time and the notion of self

Quantum classical correspondence predicts that the arrow of subjective time is somehow mapped to that for the geometric time. The detailed mechanism for how the arrow of psychological time emerges has however remained open and I have discussed a handful of alternative explanations. Zero energy ontology and the identification of the space-time correlate of self as causal diamond of imbedding space rather than space-time sheet leads however to a resolution of the problem and precise quantitative predictions.

Also the notion of self has been problematic: the original view identified self as a subsystem able to remain unentangled. It was assumed that the sequence of quantum jumps experienced by self integrates to a stream of consciousness in this kind of situation: self would be for quantum jump what atom is for elementary particles. A more ambitious idea inspired by dark matter hierarchy was that the notion of self hierarchy reduces to a fractal hierarchy of quantum jumps within quantum jumps. It indeed seems that this reduction is consistent with the original definition of self. In the following I shall discuss the new view briefly.

1. About the arrow of psychological time

The explanation for the arrow of psychological time based on zero energy ontology is favored by Occam's razor since it uses only the assumption that space-time sheets are replaced by more evolved ones in each quantum jump. Also the model of topological quantum computation favors it.

  1. In standard picture the attention would gradually shift towards geometric future and space-time in 4-D sense would remain fixed. Now however the fact that quantum state is quantum superposition of space-time surfaces allows to assume that the attention of the conscious observer is directed to a fixed volume of 8-D imbedding space. Quantum classical correspondence is achieved if the evolution in a reasonable approximation means shifting of the space-time sheets and corresponding field patterns backwards backwards in geometric time by some amount per quantum jump so that the perceiver finds the geometric future in 4-D sense to enter to the perceptive field. This makes sense since the shift with respect to M4 time coordinate is an exact symmetry of extremals of Kähler action. It is also an excellent approximate symmetry for the preferred extremals of Kähler action and thus for maxima of Kähler function spoiled only by the presence of light-cone boundaries. This shift occurs for both the space-time sheet that perceiver identifies itself and perceived space-time sheet representing external world: both perceiver and percept change.

  2. Both the landscape and observer space-time sheet remain in the same position in imbedding space but both are modified by this shift in each quantum jump. The perceiver experiences this as a motion in 4-D landscape. Perceiver (Mohammed) would not drift to the geometric future (the mountain) but geometric future (the mountain) would effectively come to the perceiver (Mohammed)!

  3. There is an obvious analogy with Turing machine: what is however new is that the tape effectively comes from the geometric future and Turing machine can modify the entire incoming tape by intentional action. This analogy might be more than accidental and could provide a model for quantum Turing machine operating in TGD Universe. This Turing machine would be able to change its own program as a whole by using the outcomes of the computation already performed.

  4. The concentration of the sensory input and the effects of conscious motor action to a narrow interval of time (.1 seconds typically, secondary p-adic time scale associated with the largest Mersenne M127 defining p-adic length scale which is not completely super-astronomical) can be understood as a concentration of sensory/motor attention to an interval with this duration: the space-time sheet representing sensory "me" would have this temporal length and "me" definitely corresponds to a zero energy state.

  5. The fractal view about topological quantum computation strongly suggests an ensemble of almost copies of sensory "me" scattered along my entire life cycle and each of them experiencing my life as a separate almost copy. My childhood is still sensorily lived but has moved about 57 years backwards in geometric time and would live the year 1897 but enjoy all techno conveniences of the year 1950!

  6. The model of geometric and subjective memories would not be modified in an essential manner: memories would result when "me" is connected with my almost copy in the geometric past by braid strands or massless extremals (MEs) or their combinations (ME parallel to magnetic flux tube is the analog of Alfwen wave in TGD).

This argument leaves many questions open. What is the precise definition for the volume of attention? Is the attention of self doomed to be directed to a fixed volume or can quantum jumps change the volume of attention? What distinguishes between geometric future and past as far as contents of conscious experience are considered? How this picture relates to p-adic and dark matter hierarchies? Does this framework allow to formulate more precisely the notion of self? Zero energy ontology allows to give tentative answers to these questions.

2. About the notion of self

I have considered two different notions of "self" and it is interesting to see whether the new view about time might allow to choose between them or to show that they are actually equivalent.

  1. In the original variant of the theory "self" corresponds to a sequence of quantum jumps. "Self" would result through a binding of quantum jumps to single "selftring" in close analogy and actually in a concrete correspondence with the formation of bound states. Each quantum jump has a fractal structure: unitary process is followed by a sequence of state function reductions and preparations proceeding from long to short scales. Selves can have sub-selves and one has self hierarchy. The questionable assumption is that self remains conscious only as long as it is able to avoid entanglement with environment.

    Even slightest entanglement would destroy self unless on introduces the notion of finite measurement resolution applying also to entanglement. This notion is indeed central for entire quantum TGD also leads to the notion of sharing of mental images: selves unentangled in the given measurement resolution can experience shared mental images resulting as fusion of sub-selves by entanglement not visible in the resolution used.

  2. According to the newer variant of theory, quantum jump has a fractal structure so that there are quantum jumps within quantum jumps: this hierarchy of quantum jumps within quantum jumps would correspond to the hierarchy of dark matters labeled by the values of Planck constant. Each fractal structure of this kind would have highest level (largest Planck constant) and this level would corresponds to the self. What might be called irreducible self would corresponds to a quantum jump without any sub-quantum jumps (no mental images). The quantum jump sequence for lower levels of dark matter hierarchy would create the experience of flow of subjective time.

It would be nice to reduce the original notion of self hierarchy to the hierarchy defined by quantum jumps. There are some objections against this idea. One can argue that fractality is a purely geometric notion and since subjective experience does not reduce to the geometry it might be that the notion of fractal quantum jump does not make sense. It is also not quite clear whether the reasonable looking idea about the role of entanglement as destroyer of self can be kept in the fractal picture.

These objections fail if one can construct a well-defined mathematical scheme allowing to understand what fractality of quantum jump at the level of space-time correlates means and showing that the two views about self are equivalent. The following argument represents such a proposal. Let us start from the causal diamond model as a lowest approximation for a model of zero energy states and for the space-time region defining the contents of sensory experience.

Let us make the following assumptions.

  1. Assume the hierarchy of causal diamonds within causal diamonds in a sense to be specified more precisely below. Causal diamonds would represent the volumes of attention. Assume that the highest level in this hierarchy defines the quantum jump containing sequences of lower level quantum jumps in some sense to be specified. Assume that these quantum jumps integrate to single continuous stream of consciousness as long as the sub...-sub-self in question remains unentangled and that entangling means loss of consciousness or at least that it is not possible to remember anything about contents of consciousness during entangled state.

  2. Assume that the contents of conscious experience come from the interior of the causal diamond. A stronger condition would be that the contents come from the boundaries of the two light-cones involved since physical states are defined at these in the simplest picture. In this case one could identify the lower light-cone boundary as giving rise to memory.

  3. The time span characterizing the contents of conscious experience associated with a given quantum jump would correspond to the temporal distance T between the tips of the causal diamond. T would also characterize the average and approximate shift of the superposition of space-time surfaces backwards in geometric time in single quantum jump at a given level of hierarchy. This time scale naturally scales as Tn=2nTCP2 so that p-adic length scale hypothesis follows as a consequence. T would be essentially the secondary p-adic time scale T2,p=ÖpTp for p @ 2k. This assumption - absolutely essential for the hierarchy of quantum jumps within quantum jumps - would differentiate the model from the model in which T corresponds to either CP2 time scale or p-adic time scale Tp. One would have hierarchy of quantum jumps with increasingly longer time span for memory and with increasing duration of geometric chronon at the highest level of fractal quantum jump. Without additional restrictions, the quantum jump at nth level would contain 2n quantum jumps at the lowest level of hierarchy. Note that in the case of sub-self - and without further assumptions which will be discussed next - one would have just two quantum jumps: mental image appears, disappears or exists all the time. At the level of sub-sub-selves 4 quantum jumps and so on. Maybe this kind of simple predictions might be testable.

  4. We know that that the contents of sensory experience comes from a rather narrow time interval of duration about .1 seconds, which corresponds to the time scale T127 associated with electron. We also know that there is asymmetry between positive and negative energy parts of zero energy states both physically and at the level of conscious experience. This asymmetry must have some space-time correlate. The simplest correlate for the asymmetry between positive and negative energy states would be that the upper light-like boundaries in the structure formed by light-cones within light-cones intersect along light-like radial geodesic. No condition of this kind would be posed on lower light-cone boundaries. The scaling invariance of this condition makes it attractive mathematically and would mean that arbitrarily long time scales Tn can be present in the fractal hierarchy of light cones. At all levels of the hierarchy all contribution from upper boundary of the causal diamond to the conscious experience would come from boundary of same past directed light-cone so that the conscious experience would be sharply localized in time in the manner as we know it to be. The new element would be that content of conscious experience would come from arbitrarily large region of Universe and seing Milky Way would mean direct sensory contact with it.

  5. These assumptions relate the hierarchy of quantum jumps to p-adic hierarchy. One can also include also dark matter hierarchy into the picture. For dark matter hierarchy the time scale hierarchy {Tn} is scaled by the factor r=hbar/hbar0 which can be also rational number. For r=2k the hierarchy of causal diamonds generalizes without difficulty and there is a kind of resonance involved which might relate to the fact that the model of EEG favors the values of k=11n, where k=11 also corresponds in good approximation to proton-electron mass ratio. For more general values of r the generalization is possible assuming that the position of the upper tip of causal diamond is chosen in such a manner that their positions are always the same whereas the position of the lower light-cone boundary would correspond to {rTn} for given value of Planck constant. Geometrically this picture generalizes the original idea about fractal hierarchy of quantum jumps so that it contains both p-adic hierarchy and hierarchy of Planck constants.

The contributions from lower the boundaries identifiable in terms of memories would correspond to different time scales and for a given value of time scale T the net contribution to conscious experience would be much weaker than the sensory input in general. The asymmetry between geometric now and geometric past would be present for all contributions to conscious experience, not only sensory ones. What is nice that the contents of conscious experience would rather literally come from the boundary of the past directed light-cone along which the classical signals arrive. Hence the mystic feeling about telepathic connection with a distant object at distance of billions of light years expressed by an astrophysicist, whose name I have unfortunately forgotten, would not be romantic self deception.

This framework explains also the sharp distinction between geometric future and past (not surprisingly since energy and time are dual): this distinction has also been a long standing problem of TGD inspired theory of consciousness. Precognition is not possible unless one assumes that communications and sharing of mental images between selves inside disjoint causal diamonds is possible. Physically there seems to be no good reason to exclude the interaction between zero energy states associated with disjoint causal diamonds.

3. Feedback to Quantum TGD

The mathematical formulation of this intuition is however a non-trivial challenge and can be used to articulate more precisely the views about what configuration space and configurations space spinor fields actually are mathematically.

  1. Suppose that the causal diamonds with tips at different points of H=M4×CP2 and characterized by distance between tips T define sectors CHi of the full configuration space CH ("world of classical worlds"). Precognition would represent an interaction between zero energy states associated with different sectors CHi in this scheme and tensor factor description is required.

  2. Inside given sector CHi it is not possible to speak about second quantization since every quantum state correspond to a single mode of a classical spinor field defined in that sector.

  3. The question is thus whether the Clifford algebras and zero energy states associated with different sectors CHi combine to form a tensor product so that these zero energy states can interact. Tensor product is required by the vision about zero energy insertions assignable to CHi which correspond to causal diamonds inside causal diamonds. Also the assumption that zero energy states form an ensemble in 4-D sense - crucial for the deduction of scattering rates from M-matrix - requires tensor product.

  4. The argument unifying the two definitions of self requires that the tensor product is restricted when CHi correspond to causal diamonds inside each other. The tensor factors in shorter time scales are restricted to the causal diamonds hanging from a light-like radial ray at the upper end of the common past directed light-cone. If the causal diamonds are disjoint there is no obvious restriction to be posed, and this would mean the possibility of also precognition and sharing of mental images.

This scenario allows also to answers the questions related to a more precise definition of volume of attention. Causal diamond - or rather - the associated light-like boundaries containing positive and negative energy states define the primitive volume of attention. The obvious question whether the attention of a given self is doomed to be fixed to a fixed volume can be also answered. This is not the case. Selves can delocalize in the sense that there is a wave function associated with the position of the causal diamond and quantum jumps changing this position are possible. Also many-particle states assignable to a union of several causal diamonds are possible. Note that the identification of magnetic flux tubes as space-time correlates of directed attention in TGD inspired quantum biology makes sense if these flux tubes connect different causal diamonds. The directedness of attention in this sense should be also understood: it could be induced from the ordering of p-adic primes and Planck constant: directed attention would be always from longer to shorter scale. For a more background see for instance, the chapter Matter,Mind, Quantum of "TGD Inspired Theory of Consciousness".


At 9:49 PM, Anonymous John G said...

I like your quantum jumps and that you jump to differently sliced up universes. Probabilities seem like a rather complicated thing based on the future being inputs to your Turing machine but I think the probabilities would give you self learning algorithms for your turing machine. Not sure how free will works with quantum probabilities? Quantum jumps seem especially necessary for a massless conscious entity and via a Tony Smith idea, I think the massless conscious entity could sense their complete worldline at once. I came across this prime number paper, is it something new or something generally known already?

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear matti

i recommend you to study some ancient mysticism called (( secret doctrine )) written by madame (( blavatsky )) at about 1880 . there you would find some mystical ideas about self hierarchies and many other interesting ideas that could inspire you for finding new matematical explanations for ancient mysticism .

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Matti Pitkanen said...

Dear John,

sorry for slow reply.

Lightlike 3-D surfaces are the basic dynamical entities of quantum TGD so that in metaphoral sense everything is light in TGD Universe ("massless").

I do not see probabilistic description of quantum jump as reduction of free will to randomness. In fact, intentional action is assigned with unitary U-matrix, not M-matrix which characterize time like entanglement of zero energy state and correspond to S-matrix measured in laboratory. U matrix describes quantum jumps between zero energy states: genuine creative act rather than passive measurement. Active and passive aspects of consciousness would naturally correspond to U and M matrices.

I looked for the paper: I do not believe that it represents anything new.

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Matti Pitkanen said...

Dear Anonymous,

sorry for a slow response. TGD worldview as strong resemblances with mystic world views.

What is amazing, that we might be quite near to "prove" this world view experimentally! In my blog posting about fluctuations of cosmic microwave background I consider half-seriously the possibility that the weird correlations between galactic and solar geometry and fluctuations at the sphere of last scattering (at that time Universe was about 10^6 years old) might be due to state function reduction operating in cosmic time scales. If so, we could be more or less like Gods, being able to affect cosmos in cosmic scales by selecting fluctuations at dark matter levels in turn determining visible matter structures.

If these correlations do not turn out to be due to a wrong treatment of galactic foreground, one must either say that the correlations are purely accidental or take mystic vision seriously.

And what about if more similar correlations between very distant (also temporally) astrophysical objects will be discovered in future.


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