Saturday, December 17, 2016

Dogmatism, ego, and elite of mental images

I have had many very useful discussions in Facebook with people who represent scientific establishment. This establishment defines itself by a collection of shared basic beliefs. In natural sciences the most important pillars of dogmatism shared by various schools are following.

  1. Physicalism and naive length scale reductionism are key dogmas. Particle physicist would say that the only interesting things to learn about physics are below LHC length scale. Biology and neuroscience and even less condensed matter physics, chemistry, or nuclear physics involve nothing, which could not be understood in terms of recent physics. Saying "just complex" or "dirty" is the convenient manner to get rid of the unpleasant feeling that maybe there might be still something to be discovered.

  2. Consciousness is some totally uninteresting tiny effect possibly interesting for a cognitive scientist but not for a person with wider interests. Consciousness has no causal powers and there is no free will. Some dogmatists even deny the existence of consciousness. I must say that this leaves me speechless.

  3. Quantum mechanics is complete. In particular, there are absolutely no problems involved with quantum measurement theory. Furthermore, the world is in some miraculous manner completely classical above some scale and quantum theory has nothing to say about living matter and brain.

  4. Locality is one of the basic beliefs. Despite the fact that these scientists themselves are concrete examples about coherent biochemistry in macroscopic scales, the belief is that non-locality is impossible.

  5. Modern science is just applications of algorithms ("shut-up and calculate"): all important discoveries have been made.

It is somewhat surprising and disappointing that so many young people who still should have the potential to learn something new are already engulfed by this belief system.

My intuitive view is that this cognitive rigidity of people identifying themselves as members of establishment relates to the notion of ego, and I have become keenly interested on why ego preservation is so central for consciousness and can create so extreme rigidity that no new idea can get through. Tragically, often just those persons, who would have the tools to develop new ideas further, are the most rigid ones. These intellectually rigid persons rarely have or bother to explain any ideas of their own. They just defend their basic dogmas by attacking anyone with something new using arguments, which are mixtures of personal insults and shallow text book statements.

Fortunately, this is not a completely general phenomenon: certain people often regarded as "weird" by so called "normal" individuals, creative person - artists and sometimes even academic scientists - are able to learn new things and get enthusiastic about new ideas. Unfortunately, most academic people however freeze after they have learned the basic algorithms defining their research profile and allowing to produce personal curriculum vitae.

The frozen ones isolate themselves from "revolutionaries" like me so that it is difficult to find "research material" to test this view, so to say. Web and in particular FB, has however changed the situation. I have had many discussions with patients suffering this cognitive paralysis. For instance, I have learned to know theoretical physicists who quite literally continue live the era of of some fad dead long time ago: GUTs, superstrings, or M-theory. Interestingly, there exists even a brain disorder in which time literally stops: the patient can have exactly the same contents of consciousness for decades. The worst - and really tragic - example about intellectual paralysis was a person just repeating "You are a crackpot" as a reaction to any comment of mine.

I naturally want to understand this mental freezing phenomenon using the notions of TGD inspired theory of consciousness. This freezing has been of course observed also by others during millenia and ego is the popular notion used to explain it. Ego wants to stay as it is and defends itself vigorously against anything new. But what is this ego and why this defensive attitude?

TGD inspired proposal is that ego is a collection of highly stabilized mental images defining the personal belief system - kind of elite of mental images, the upper class. Mental images are sub-selves, living creatures, and need metabolic energy. The problem is that also the new mental images want it! The elite fights desperately to preserve the status quo and simply kills the newcomers. The person attacking me using personal insults is actually defending his mental images against incomers, which quite literally threaten the life of the internal cognitive elite. In the case of religious fanaticism, even the person representing different beliefs might be killed.

At quantum criticality the situation changes. The system is in the middle of revolution and stable but often old and tired mental images (also mental images get old!) can suddenly lose their metabolic resources for the vital newcomers. Only people, who can tolerate continual quantum criticality meaning continual cognitive revolution, can avoid the mental paralysis.

Selves form a hierarchy and this applies both at all levels. Proteins define an excellent example: they are frozen to a folded state most of the time and only in presence of external energy feed unfold and re-self-organize (I have called this brief revolutionary period cellular summer). Same repeats itself at the level of entire society.

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

Articles and other material related to TGD.


James Rose said...

I like your concise notion about how levels of organization seem to exhibit "robustness" and resistance to change. But I have a few questions. How do you account for darwinian variations toward alternative option forms? Isn't that a 'seeking for difference'? You close your essay saying that this 'ego' or tendency to protect 'status quo' exists within all different, separate, distinct levels of organization. What model do you have for how this "process" functions - what this 'generally identified process' looks like, no matter what tier you find it in? I look forward to your useful discussion, Matti.

Matti Pitkänen said...

Sorry for a slow reaction.

Evolution would reduce to evolution of cognition. This requires p-adic physics as correlates of cognition and all boils down to what I call adelic physics.

Basic variational principle is negentropy maximization principle: the universe tends to increase its conscious information. NMP is more than a mere Darwinin survival of individual and forces generation of conscious entities of increasing size. NMP however relates to survival: if the system is not able to generate enough information, it dies.

Here I must be honest and tell that death is accompanied by generation of time reversed self- reincarnation. This is a predictions, which at the levels of mental images seems to be realized: let skeptics have fun.

NMP is very flexible and only "local" principle. NMP is like second law mathematically: the negentropy in question is *not* negative of thermodynamical entropy and the mere occurrence of state function reductions implies second law. NMP allows many evolutionary paths.

Ego is due to simple fact: selves do not want to die (they have not heard anything about re-incarnation:-)) and to achieve this they must get entropy. So they invent crime: they steal negentropy. The worst form is murder and we are doing this all them time. Even vegetarians;-).

There is however also another way. Negentropic entanglement - at least if it is in real sense maximal possible, can be cloned unlike general entanglement. NE is correlate for positive emotions like love. Love can be cloned! Very few seem to be able to realize this option.Maybe this happens all the time at DNA level a DNA replicates.

The concrete models lead to quantum biology involving as intentional agents magnetic bodies carrying dark matter in TGD sense. This is however too long a story to tell here.

James Rose said...

Thank you for your reply, Matti. (Thank you also for your patience that I am doing 2 conversation threads -- one here on your blog and another on your FB site. I am replying here first - before looking at FB)

You didn't specify the adelic physics, or specific qualities~relations of p-adic physics, that correlate with either a) consciousness, or b) complexity.

Simply stating that you propose a Negentropy Maximization Principle (in direct opposition with the well established science proposal of "Entropy Maximization Principle"), is pulling something from nothing. Yes, we now are a life form cognitively complex and reflexive enough to recognize that we are (hopefully) the most advanced stage of sentience and complexity on this planet. And as such, we can identify less complex (less negentropic) life forms and other precursive systems of lesser complexity, than ourselves. And yes, a natural linear deduction is that we seem to be the result of some sort of improving-complexity process that life forms actively progess under.

But the dynamic, the rule of behavior, we are all searching for - is the mechanism (or mechanisms (plural)), that accomplishes greater complexity and organization .. in opposition to standard thermodynamic disintegration and disorder enlargement (which is clearly identified both by Newton and by Boltzman; and Carnot et al.).

Do you have any equations or explicit behavior models that describe NMP?

Do molecules 'know' that they "do not want to" degrade or dis-assemble? Is there 'ego' self-sentience at such levels of organization? Does a jellyfish have 'ego'?
If no, why not? If yes, then where is it embodied in its architecture?

Physics specialists identify QM versus continuum relativity. They cannot find any way to correlate the two different (supposedly "incompatable") models of calculating behaviors observations.

I re-construct that disconnect in terms of simple mathematics. That physics disjointedness suggests that we really have no essential mathematical way of coordinating 'statistical mathematics' with 'non-statistical mathematics'. Even with the extraordinarily complex and developed ediface of mathematics as it currently stands ... in its current explorations of math relations. It seems to be missing overlooked, un-identified essential functions and algorythms. (That is my impression of the state of development of current mathematics.)

Do you have any thoughts about these notions I am remarking about? Do you have any mechanisms that correspond to your labeled dynamic NMP? Jamie

Matti Pitkänen said...

Thank you for the questions. I answer in pieces.


You didn't specify the adelic physics, or specific qualities~relations of p-adic physics, that correlate with either a) consciousness, or b) complexity.

*p-Adic physics and the fusion of real physics and various p-adic physics to single physics involves technical aspects. The basic idea is that number system is generalizec. Instead of reals one as sequences of reals and various p-adics taken in algebraic extens induced by that of rationals One can think that one starts from algebraic extension of rationals and completes them to reals and various p-adic number fields: this gives a book like structure. Cover is reals, and pages are extension of p-adic number fields labelled by prime p=2,3,5,7,.... Any extension of rational induces one possible adelic world and the complexity of the extension reflects itself in the complexity of classical and quantum physics.

*Negentropy is fundamental for cogntion and defines a measure for conscious information assignable to entanglement.

Entanglement with algebraic entanglement probabilities can be negentropic in p-adic sense: for some p-adic primes.
For example, if entanglement probabilities are identical, p=1/N. The p-adic primes are factors of N. For rational entanglement probabilities real entanglement entropy is equal to sum of p-adic entanglement negentropies.
This says that cognitive information is accompanied by entropy: this conforms with the vision of England that entropy for some mysterious reason is correlate for information content.

For probabilities in algebraic extensions the p-adic entanglement negentropy is higher. I am still not sure about interpretation. Should one consider the difference of these to or not.

*p-Adic physics correlates with imagination. p-Adic differential equations allow non-determinism. Integration constants defined as functions with vanishing derivative are piecewise constant functions depending on finite number of pinary digits only.

p-Adic space-time sheets obey therefore non-deterministic classical physics and are excellent correlates for imagination.

Together with strong form of holography this leads to a concrete model for imagination in terms of p-adic space-time sheet. 2-D surfaces can be algebraically continued to p-adic surface but not always to real space-time surfaces. They are imaginable but not realizable.

Matti Pitkänen said...

Do you have any equations or explicit behavior models that describe NMP?

*Basic equations are the formulas for Shannon entropy in real and p-adic cases. They are are completely straightforward. In p-adic case one must only replace logarithms of probabilities with the logaritms of their p-adic norms. Everything reduces to these formulas.

*NMP tells than maximum gain of negentropy is achieved in state function reduction (there are two kinds of them: to the same boundary of causal diamond (CD) (making possible self as generalized Zeno effect) or opposite boundary in which case self "dies" and re-incarnates as self with opposite arrow of time). The rules are consistent with the standard rules for state function reduction. In long time scales second arrow of time dominates since the reductions to opposite boundary occur very rarely.

*There are variants of NMP depending on details and I am not fully satisfied with the situation. NMP has a God like role and the key question is whether NMP allows stupidities (sin;-)) or not. If not, we would be getting bored in the best possible world: this does not seem to be the case;-). The other variant allows also stupidities but about Trump I cannot be sure.

*Whether to use sum of p-adic negentropies or its sum with real negentropy as a measure for conscious information, is also an open question. In this case NMP says only that reduction to an eigenstate of density matrix occurs, just the same as in ordinary quantum measurement theory. For degenerate probalities sub-space can be the outcome.

*Whether to allow also non-algebraic entanglement probabities was an open question for a long time. My recent answer is "No". This is based on adelicity realized in terms of algebraic universality.


Matti Pitkänen said...

Do molecules 'know' that they "do not want to" degrade or dis-assemble? Is there 'ego' self-sentience at such levels of organization? Does a jellyfish have 'ego'? If no, why not? If yes, then where is it embodied in its architecture?

*The is complete scale democrary. Molecules are conscious entities as sequences of reductions at same boundary of
their personal CD and have the changing space-time surface as correlate. Also at this level experiences of volition, intention, choice, decision, goal are possible.

*At what level of evolution the model of self emerges is unclear. Do the p-adic space-time sheets assignable to the real space-time sheet provide a model of self from beginning? What was first: model for external world or self? One could argue that external world requires representation of the external world at the space-time sheets of self.

Matti Pitkänen said...

Physics specialists identify QM versus continuum relativity. They cannot find any way to correlate the two different (supposedly "incompatable") models of calculating behaviors observations.

Do you have any thoughts about these notions I am remarking about? Do you have any mechanisms that correspond to your labeled dynamic NMP?

*I am not sure what you mean with disconnect between QM versus continuum relativity. Particle picture - field picture? Here you should explain.

*If you mean by mechanism reduction of the dynamics of state function reductions to something deterministic (non only deterministic at statistical level), then the answe is 'No'. State function reduction is genuinely non-deterministic
and does not allo reduction to a mechanism or deterministic hidden variable dynamics.

*I think that the quantum statistical aspect is genuine. Probability amplitudes are there and QM does not reduce to classical probability theory. I do not see the basic aspects of probability amplitudes mystic. People have learned to accept the notion of electromagnetic field mathematically very analogous to Schrodinger amplitude. No-one asks how it is possible that the field is not concentrated on single point but can be distributed on several points.

The spinor fields of world of classical worlds (WCW) representing quantum states of the Universe are mathematically identifal with classical fields and there is nothing mysterious in that these fields are not concentrated in single point of WCW (3-D surface). This implies also the paradoxical look behavior of electrons in atoms. Also the quantum entanglement can be seen as purely classical phenomenon. Only state function reductions the genuinely non-classical aspect of QM.

*Born rule behind probability interpretation is just an assumption but there are good arguments that this is the only option and in infinite-D case there are no other options.