December 11, 2017

Brain is only halfway along in evolution

My idea is very simple. The organisms do not exchange information -- they exchange physical signals. A physical signal carries nothing but itself. It is the function of consciousness to process these physical signals (converted into electric impulses by sense organs) and to transform them into information for the bearer of consciousness. 
In so doing, for there to be new information, consciousness does not only process the new physical (sensory) signals, but also re-processes the formerly memorized elements of experience. In result, every new element of experience (every new information) consists of what we see (hear, etc.) plus what we expect to see (to hear, etc.). 
If we want to convey information, our consciousness performs the reversed act*, namely, it transforms some mental pattern (a thought or idea) into physical signals -- the electrical impulses sent to the muscles. In result, we have various activities like "typing on a keyboard", or "raising hand", or "producing air vibrations using larynx", etc. So, we produce the physical signals which exist in the form of e-m radiation, air vibrations, etc. In case the other person's consciousness is able to transform the produced by us physical signals into new information for that person, it means that communication between us has taken place. 
*Note: we have to apply a very complex system of models to formalize the mechanisms of matter-mind and mind-matter transformations.
[Whit Blauvelt] wrote: In this sense, saying "information is consciousness" is as wrong as saying "meat is life." The living part is precisely what's not there in mere meat, or mere "information."
[S.P.] I do not say that "information is consciousness". I say that information is a product of consciousness. I say that if there is "information", it is always subject-dependent. I say that what is informative for me may not be informative for others, which indicates that information does not exist objectively or "embedded" out there. 
I say that for there to be life, the complex system{organism} must be able not only to consume food and to take part in energetic interactions, but also to construct a metal representation of the outer world it lives in. These three are the possible ways in which the entropy of the complex system{organism} can be kept on a sufficiently low level by the very organism -- this is what I mean by "self-organization".
I do not understand your "meat-hunting" analogy (or metaphor). Why "The animal, alive, is seen as "meat."" ? What this has to do with making a difference between information and physical signal?
Serge Patlavskiy

"Sadhu-Sanga Under the holy association of Spd. B.M. Puri Maharaja, Ph.D." group. To view this discussion on the web visit

Picture a fetus pondering what the sex life of its parents might be like. In actuality, the fetus does have a solid mammal brain after a certain stage, a brain which is sometimes very active mentally -- sometimes usefully, sometimes spinning wheels in a useless way. But probably the design is solid enough that it would not waste SO much time and energy.... and the fetus brain does seem to learn things like hidden nodes which help it recognize phonemes in the language spoken near it. But our present brains are clearly not so well-designed in regards to not wasting time on debates full of conviction about stuff less than 0.1 femtometers or more than 10 billion years or light years; that's what happens when a brain is only halfway along in evolution between one quantum level of consciousness and the next. (NOT about "quantum theory" here...)

As for "physical"... it is curious how folks may intensely say they do not believe in the physical, or the material, or the mechanistic, or the natural, while somehow making it clear that they believe those words actually mean something very definite, definite and agreed enough to be worthy of very hard and crisp opinions. 

Does "physical" mean "stuff like what physicists study?" Well, back when Maxwell's Laws caught on, the folk wisdom was ever so upset about how physical they WEREN'T. More and more, we understand that they were just a set of differential equations, operating over "fields" which were just functions of space-time. People complained "but what do these functions REPRESENT? What is the physical MEDIUM which these waves are moving through?" Answer: no such thing. Even if the electromagnetic field WERE to be represented in a new ultimate theory of physics (say, a lattice model), that model itself would be just another mathematical model, no more "physical" than the first. Our understanding is INHERENTLY a kind of infinite regress, and we need to get used to that. Getting used to that is a part of sanity or zhengqi, the next stage for the vast bulk of us in any authentic mental development, mundane OR esoteric. Overuse of words like "material (as an adjective)", or "physical" tends to be just a red flag that one is in the pre-Maxwell era of thinking. As for "natural"... you don't hear Dean Radin saying he is exploring the supernatural! For excellent reason!

My problem with the sentence you quote above is, above all, extreme ambiguity. Taken one way, it can be made to be true. Taken another way, it contradicts not only Einstein but the monist traditions of East and West, and in a practical sense sanity itself. We all fall into a bit of ambiguity from time to time, especially in informal discussions with people we trust, but it is a waste of energy to debate over what is so completely ill-defined. 

Paul Werbos 

Dear Vinod ji and Roman,

I agree with no “explanatory gap” (e-gap) as a third criterion; other two are subjective and objective evidence. However, how do we decide it is a real e-gap if the author of the framework claims there is none, but an opponent maintains that the e-gap remains?

(Boyer, 2018).Ch.5 and others propose 3 types of information:

1. Physical Shannon type information such as “the quantum information field that generates relativistic spacetime”,

2. Biological “‘shaping information,’ referring to how biophysical structures and functions are guided, by DNA for example” and

3. Psychological information, which “includes purpose and intention in terms of the exchange of semantic meaning between conscious senders and receivers—as for example in language.” (Boyer, 2018).

In the eDAM, a state of the information in an entity has dual-aspect and both aspects (mental and physical) have the same information, except its form may be different and it appears different depending on the perspective of viewing it. Therefore, the ontology of both aspects is the ontology of this common information.

The mental aspect of a state of the information in an inert entity appears “latent” to us (as a 3rd person) because it, like us, is also made of related elementary particles. A dual-aspect panpsychist may argue that the mental aspect from the point of view (1pp) of the inert entity may be known to the inert entity but it is unknown to us. The opponents will clearly reject it. It should be noted that it is also a manifestation of the primal entity (Brahman) and certainly has a specific function that may be useful to us and hence we should respect it and do not look at it in a degraded manner. 
Kind regards, Rām

Vimal: The dual-aspect monism framework is close to an ancient views: (a) Kashmir Shaivism (860–925 AD) with Shiva as mental aspect and Shakti as physical aspect and (b) cit-acit Viśiṣṭādvaita (Ramānujāchārya: 1017-1137 AD: cit as mental and acit as physical aspect (i.e., adjectives/aspects of Brahman), see (Vimal, 2012c) and (Radhakrishnan, 1960)). The latter is close to Āstika Dvi-Pakṣa Advaita (theist version of the eDAM), which has been verified by an expert Padmabhushan Jagadguru Rambhadracharya (PhD, DLitt) of Chitrakut (India) (personal meeting on 23rd Dec 2011 night in Chitrakoot Ashram); for detail see Section 4.4.2 of (Vimal, 2012c).  There are empirical evidences for conscious state that are unable to reject eDAM. For a critical test, experiments are proposed in Section 3.2 of (Vimal, 2015f) to reject it. The eDAM is based on the bottom-up approach: from the unmanifested UF (Brahman) of transcendent/subtlest level to the manifested causal and astral bodies of subtle level to the manifested physical bodies of gross level to the manifested Samādhi state where we acquire godly virtues such as compassion, humility, and love for all, and experience bliss and paranormal phenomena. However, further research is needed, especially the eDAM in non-living systems. The eDAM is the least problematic if you can understand it from its own point of view. Therefore, it is worth pursuing it and commenting it to make it better.

Vimal: In the eDAM, the physical aspect of a state of the information in a non-living entity (physical body) is manifested, but its inseparable mental aspect is latent in the gross level. The condensation/congealing process used in idealism and/or Sāṅkhya is unclear how that can be possible. In the eDAM, the processes are the inter-dependently co-origination and co-evolution of both aspects. 
Kind regards, Rām
Rām Lakhan Pāndey Vimal, Ph.D.

The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo
No insecurity at all; you are free to express yourself. India's Rebirth, a compilation, has misguided many Indians about Sri Aurobindo's views.

Marketime (since 2005): Feminism is a proper academic subject @sanjukta #Auroville #SriAurobindo #FiveDreams

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