Saturday, January 19, 2019


John Horgan’s Mind-Body Problems

John Horgan’s Mind-Body Problems is an anthology of interviews with nine very different people about the common themes of free will, consciousness, morality, and self. Is there free will and an uncertain universe, Horgan asks...over and over and over again or is free will an illusion of a determinate universe? A neuroscientist, a cognitive solid-state physicist, a bisexual child psychologist, a telepathic quantum conscious biologist, a schizophrenia afflicted lawyer, a brain-tumor survivor philosopher, a philosopher novelist, an evolutionary biologist, a transgender woman economist, and, of course, a science writer with a lot of questions about consciousness.

Horgan's mind-body problems are all of the questions that ask how the neural precursors of subjective experiences of the mind become outcomes in the objective reality of the body, which includes the brain's neural precursors. Therefore, consciousness is a recursion whose outcome is neural resonances in the brain that are also precursors to the mind. Are animals and insects conscious? Is an atom conscious? We bond to other people as well as other neural sentiates by sharing the neural resonances of consciousness. The bonding of neural resonances is then what defines consciousness and resolves Horgan's mind-body problems. Thus since there are no neural resonances in grains of sand or atoms, there is no consciousness to share in grains of sand or atoms. However, since we can also share consciousness with our self in a recursion that gives us the feeling of self awareness, that feeling of self does include atoms and maybe even grains of sand.

Ironically, two people can either agree or disagree about the nature of consciousness and yet it is that discourse itself that defines consciousness. Our morality emerges as outcomes of the unconscious archetype precursors from the stories that we learn and retell as children and as rational adults during consciousness bonding with others. Free will and free choice are outcomes of neural matter-action precursors of consciousness sharing that we cannot ever know with certainty because of quantum phase. The universe is largely but not completely determinate at the macroscale, but there is much more uncertainty at the microscale of atoms and even of neural synapses. Horgan's nine stories show the bonding between people that then show the consciousness bonds that resolve his mind-body problems...but people will continue to fundamentally disagree with the nature of consciousness resolution even though it is that discourse that is what consciousness is...

There are many very smart people including these nine who fundamentally agree and disagree about the natures of free will and consciousness and these nine stories well represent that spectrum of agreement and disagreement. But Horgan did not first ask about the each person's axioms or beliefs and only the stories themselves reveal just some of each person's beliefs. Therefore, the reasons for some of their choices were not always completely clear and were often just inferred in the story. For example, if someone believes in a determinate universe, then all choice is set by knowable precursors even if we do not yet know those precursors. Since the quantum universe actually has no completely determinate outcomes, just outcomes that are more likely, there are precursors that are not knowable even though those precursors do exist.

Just like these nine stories, the many grand narratives of civilization are also stories of shared consciousness that both determine and then reflect the archetypes of belief that then make up each person’s consciousness. The grand narratives of civilization define consciousness as the recursion of precursors and outcomes of shared consciousness, which is the force that bonds people together. But each person is unique and different narratives resonate more or less strongly and their archetypes are therefore different and as a result, they feel and bond differently with some precursors than others. Given increased knowledge of the narratives and development of a person’s archetypes of belief, one can better understand the feelings that determine their choices, but it is really the bonding that defines consciousness.

There are grand narratives that promote the chaos of individual freedom and then there are other grand narratives that promote adherence to the order of group authority thereby reducing the chaos of individual freedom. There are grand narratives about flawed heroes overcoming adversity as well as grand narratives about death and rebirth, adventures that experience chaos, envy, and revenge. Everlasting life and eternal justice are also very common narratives that repeatedly show up in religion and other supernaturalist narratives.

Horgan does not always ask about the grand narratives that affect these nine life stories. Of course, Horgan does believe that there is free will but often seems discouraged given a very determinate science’s rejection of free will and has disparaged the limitations of science for a number of years as a result. Horgan is a science writer who writes and teaches writing about science and yet feels that some sciences have reached a limit and are therefore failing to make progress. The particle science of physics has seemingly made very little progress over the last 30 years or there has not been any progress on the unification of charge and gravity forces either. In addition, there are endless arguments about the nature of consciousness and free will and whether science has any role at all in consciousness.

Horgan asks each of these people how they feel about consciousness and each of his nine stories address many of the key feelings of consciousness, but do not directly mention the many underlying narratives that anchor each of their own consciousness. The mind-body problem is a famous one that dates back to Descartes and Aristotle, among many others, but even the ancients did not address the underlying narratives that anchor consciousness.

Horgan does not address existence directly. Why do we exist? Why do we exist right here right now and not some other time? Why is it us and not someone else who exists right here right now? These are my questions, not Horgan’s questions, but those questions lay the groundwork for consciousness.

Of course, without consciousness, there would be no one to ask about existence since there would be no one to question existence at all. Other conscious animals and indeed most people simply accept their fates as predetermined without any questions about consciousness, right?

Horgan has written a great deal about free will and all of his interviews invariably address free will as well. “Is free will an illusion?”, Horgan repeatedly asks, “or do we have the ability to freely choose among many possible outcomes?” If we can freely choose an outcome, then it follows that that outcome was not predictable with certainty from its precursors, which means that there are precursors of an outcome that are not possible to know. In fact, in our quantum causal universe, even though every outcome is a result of a set of precursors, for some outcomes there are precursors that are simply not knowable with certainty even though they do exist.

The tools of science provide many useful measurements of matter, action, and phase. These measurements allow the stories of science to predict outcomes from precursors with sometimes great precision and certainty. Science therefore predicts the relativistic gravity orbit of the earth around the sun as well as the quantum orbit of an electron around a proton. Science can also predict how well two people might bond or conflict given sufficient knowledge of each personality and beliefs, but only ever with some uncertainty. Consciousness exchange is how people bond or conflict, but science cannot predict with certainty the outcomes of free choices that people make as a result of their feelings.

The orbit of the earth around the sun is a result of knowable gravity precursors and there are determinate paths for the earth and sun, but the matter and action of those paths are still both limited by quantum uncertainty. The orbit of an electron around a proton is a series of outcomes that have probabilistic and not certain precursors and so the mass and action of the electron are also limited by quantum uncertainty. Unlike relativistic gravity, there are no absolutely certain quantum paths in space and time and so time and space do not emerge from simple quantum action.

Science can measure emotions like compassion and anxiety with facial expression, behavior, and neurochemicals, and EEG and science therefore measures agreeable and conscientious people that tend to bond well with others. The neurochemical oxytocin is highly correlated with human bonding, but bonding predictions are never completely certain and science often finds that people can make choices that do not seem to make any sense at all.

Despite the uncertainty of behavior and therefore of choice, classical determinists argue that all choices still come from knowable and very certain precursors even if a person does not immediately know those precursors. This is simply a restatement of classical determinist cause and effect and is simply a belief. In fact, quantum free will argues instead that although many precursors of outcomes are knowable, there are some precursors that are not knowable with certainty even though they do exist. This is simply a restatement of the quantum uncertainty principle, which means that we do choose some outcomes for reasons that we cannot ever fully know or understand and we call these precursors free choices.

A classical and causal reality presumes that we can know all precursors for outcomes even though we might not immediately know those precursors. However since we actually live in a world with quantum uncertainty, this means that there are precursors for some outcomes that we cannot know even though those precursors,such as free will and choice, do exist.

For example, we cannot ever know the exact precursor of either free choice or the path of a single photon even though we can know how we feel about a choice and we can measure the photon energy and action within some limiting uncertainty of phase. Consciousness is a recursion or phase that bonds people together by exchange of consciousness. We see how other people act and then we act like we see other people act and then tell a story about that bond or conflict. Language is a similar recursion of matter as nouns, action as verbs, and phase as modifiers and, as a result, we learn to bond with people by consciousness exchange just like we learn language by exchanging stories.

Our neural consciousness is made of recursions of precursors and outcomes that affect ultimate outcomes, and the recursion and bonding of consciousness to itself is what we call self. A set of precursors stimulate a set of corresponding emotions that result in a singular feeling and it is by that singular feeling that we make a choice to bond or conflict with other people. We cannot know all of the precursors for an outcome and that includes the precursor that we call free choice. Determinists argue that even though it is not really practically realizable to know all of the precursors of a choice, all of those precursors are nevertheless classically knowable and therefore determinate. However, the fact that we are also beings with both quantum phase and amplitude limits our knowledge of quantum precursors by the uncertainty principle. This means that we do have free will after all since free choice is not ever entirely certain or predictable without all completely knowable precursors.

Currently there is no well-accepted model of the mind and yet for describing consciousness, it is important to have some kind of even rough model of consciousness and therefore free will. That model should be consistent with the known measurements of action potentials of neural synapses, the connectome as how neurons connect, the model should include emotions along with associated neurochemicals, along with the primitive brain, the cerebral brain, feeling, and the EEG resonances of neural action.

A mind model must also show how childhood development imprints the unconscious archetypes of morality, meaning, and purpose and the roles of sleep and dreams for making long term memories and refreshing the mind each day during sleep. Finally, the mind model should also be consistent with the bonding of people with others into the group hierarchies of cooperative civilization. The mind model should differentiate the relative roles between individual freedom versus adherence to the authorities of group hierarchies.

A complete model of consciousness must include childhood development of unconscious archetypes by the stories we learn and tell, some kind of a set of emotions from those archetypes like pleasure and anxiety that generate a singular feeling from sensory precursors, and therefore the precursor of free choice of an outcome of meaning a purpose for existence by means of that feeling.

Action potentials at neural synapses are what stimulate or inhibit choice and so some kind of a model of the mind helps better define the bond of consciousness exchange. Consciousness exchange is how people bond or conflict just as the periodic exchange of neural action potentials bonds two synapses into a bilateral aware matter atom and these bilateral synapse bonds make up the fundamental EEG delta mode resonance of the mind. Delta resonances are the neural atoms of aware matter that bond into the aware matter packets of the higher resonances of each moment of thought. Moments of thought show higher frequency EEG alpha, beta, gamma, and theta resonances with characteristic mode widths that also show the decoherence or dephasing times of thought. Every day, sensations accumulate into moments of experience as delta modes bond into higher frequency neural layers of aware matter. These neural layers are the spectral outcomes of our bilateral neural aware matter packets.

With this model, the mind only has capacity for about 40,000 neural packets or moments of thought for each day’s worth experience. During sleep our brains then processes the important information from those neural packets of each day’s experience into long term memory and then resets and cleanses the cerebral neuron aware matter for the next day’s neural packets of thought. Although this is only a rather rough model for consciousness, it is useful to have some kind of a model of how the mind works that is consistent with measurements.

These nine stories reveal not only specific beliefs in free will, consciousness, morality, and self but also tell many additional embedded stories about these very different people's lives. We learn a set of unconscious archetypes as we grow up by learning and telling stories and continually update and refine our archetypes as we live our lives. These unconscious archetypes are the very important axioms in which we must simply believe as a basis for consciousness.

Mainstream science has not been able to define consciousness very well given the lonely empty void of continuous space and time in which science believes. Science believes that spacetime is an empty vessel for the conjugates of matter, action, and phase, and yet those beliefs in space and time are not completely consistent with the universe as a quantum causal set of discrete precursors and outcomes. Science's further determinate and classical belief is that we can in principle know all precursors for all outcomes even though we might not immediately know those precursors. This determinate universe of science is one that follows from relativistic gravity, for example, but our quantum causal set universe is instead inherently uncertain and therefore not completely determinate after all.

In a quantum causal set, there are precursors to outcomes that we simply cannot ever know even though they did exist. The quantum universe is still one that adheres to the determinate space and time of relativistic gravity, but now a seemingly determinate and continuous space and time both emerge from discrete quantum matter, action, and phase of discrete precursors and outcomes. The uncertainty of quantum phase has no meaning in a determinist gravity relativity and yet quantum phase is an integral part of the conjugates of matter and action.

Our macroscopic reality is therefore one where quantum phase and uncertainty do not affect spacetime gravity paths. The light that fills our world is a manifestation of quantum phase and the interference, coherence, and exchange of light leads to many quantum properties, in particular bonding and uncertainty. Light exchange, as it turns out, is the basic glue that bonds charge as well as gravity and so light exchange is a unifying theme for the quantum causal set universe.

The exchange of neural action potentials bonds people to each other as well as into group hierarchies. An exchange of feelings and consciousness is a neural resonance that bonds people just like light exchange bonds matter. An EEG spectrum, certain neurochemicals, and changes in behavior are all objective measures of an objective bonding of feeling along with the subjective feelings of each person. Thus, a fundamental definition of consciousness is the neural resonances that bond or conflict people with each other.

Now each person chooses outcomes and the question is whether any choice was a knowable determinate choice or an unknowable free choice. Each of the stories related many different life choices and so one question is whether those choices were determinate or free? Each story formed a bond by exchange of consciousness and so were these discourses and bonds the result of determinate or free choices?

The EEG spectra of two people in discourse measures their states of consciousness but EEG spectra are not always easy to understand. An EEG spectrum shows the various neural resonant outcomes that occur during consciousness, but science cannot yet completely interpret neural resonances as precursors of thought or feeling. There were undoubtedly changes in neurochemicals and other brain activity during these discourses and those changes likely also reflect the feelings between the two. Science also cannot yet completely interpret neurochemicals as feeling, but science has correlated many neurochemicals and other brain changes with various emotions. Finally, there were very likely tells in the behaviors of the two people as they discoursed and bonded with each other.

There are therefore many objective measurements of the consciousness exchange that bonds people together, and yet each person would likely still argue about the meaning of consciousness and self. To what extent were each person’s choices determinate or free? What measure of consciousness differentiates between the fate of determinate choice and the uncertainty of quantum choice?

Most choices in life are really determined by fairly knowable precursors and not by the uncertainty among many equivalent outcomes. For example, circumstance and not choice determines when you need to eat since hunger is a knowable precursor of the unconscious primitive mind, but what you decide to eat can be a free choice among many equivalent options with the unknowable precursors of the conscious cerebral mind. Each of these stories described various precursors that led to many life changing outcomes and each life change was then a precursor to a free choice among many possible outcomes. Some of these people stated their choices were not free choices but were rather determined by knowable precursors of development. However, it was not always clear that there always were knowable precursors and unknowable precursors are what define free choice and free will.

It is clear that there are many unknown precursors to the outcomes chosen by these people and many of them acted as if they made a free choice even when they actually believed all their choices were determinate. In our quantum universe, the superposition of equivalent outcomes means that all of the precursors of any choice are not always completely knowable even though a precursor does exist as a cause for every outcome.

The points of these nine stories about subjective feelings and beliefs reveal the most about the tenth narrative, the author. Horgan shares consciousness and bonds with each of nine people and in so doing, reveals much more about the nature of his own consciousness. In a classical causal universe, every outcome has a knowable set of precursors, which is simply a restatement of classical cause and effect. Science can and does measure consciousness with any number of objective tools. The action potentials of neural synapses, the connectome, emotions, neurochemicals, the primitive brain, the cerebral brain, feeling, and the EEG resonances of neural action all objectively measure the outcome of consciousness.

Since every outcome of consciousness has a set of precursors, it is natural to presume that it is possible to know all of the precursors of choice, morality, and self. Since science can objectively measure and know every outcome in a causal universe, determinists argue that science can likewise objectively know every precursor as well. However, in a quantum causal universe, even though every outcome has precursors, there are quantum precursors that we simply cannot ever know for certain.

These nine stories all relate choices of outcomes from among a set of many possible outcomes and then attempt to describe the precursors for those choices. Yet many times, the precursors were simply statements like, “I don’t know why I chose what I chose.” When asked if a choice was an example of free choice and free will, there were determinate people who believe that that they can in principle know all precursors even when they might not immediately know a particular precursor and there were free will people. A determinist believes that since each outcome has knowable causal precursors, it is then possible to know all precursors. Determinists argue that free choice is just an illusion born out of the chaos of classical noise, not the order of quantum phase noise.

However, free will and free choice are precursors of a quantum causal set universe and there are quantum precursors that we cannot ever know even though they do exist. Of course, a belief in unknowable precursors is equivalent to a belief in the outcomes of free will, morality, and self. The people that believe in free will simply accept the fact that there are unknowable precursors and the outcomes of morality and self are likewise beliefs in some unknowable precursors. However, free will is then consistent with not only the chaos of classical noise, but also the order of quantum phase noise.

Determinists believe that the mind is a classical machine and like any classical machine, mind outcomes are then all due to completely knowable precursors, albeit with some chaos. This is a determinate belief in free will as an illusion. However, the mind is actually a quantum machine and like any quantum machine, it is simply not possible to know with certainty all of the precursors of the outcomes of a quantum machine due to quantum phase. This is a belief in quantum free will.

Each of the nine stories show the objective existence of consciousness exchange since readers can all agree that all ten people were conscious and that bonds formed. Likewise, each of the nine stories showed many outcomes of choice, morality, and self without actually showing very many of their precursors. The determinist assumes that people can in principle know all of the precursors to choice, morality, and self, only limited by complexity and chaos. Quantum uncertainty means that people actually cannot know all of the precursors to the outcomes of quantum choice, morality, and self. In other words, although we can know many of the precursors that make us who we are, there are some precursors in which we all must simply believe for consciousness in a quantum causal universe.

There is a great deal of information embedded in the many layers of Horgan’s stream-of-consciousness style of writing...about consciousness. A recurring theme in each of the nine plus one stories reveals the precursors of morality, free will, and self for the consciousness exchanges of each of ten people; nine interviewees and the author.

The ten stories represent a spectrum of consciousness showing the range of five personality complements or factors: nonconformer versus conformer, conscientious versus feckless, agreeable versus obnoxious, extravert versus introvert, and empathic versus callous. Likewise each spectrum of consciousness also shows the five emotion complements: compassionate versus selfish, joyful versus miserable, serene versus angry, pleasure versus anxiety, and pride versus shame. These people are all well-published, intelligent, and creative and so do not represent either conformers or thoughtless and feckless personalities very well, but they do represent all the other personality factors and emotions fairly well.

We actually live in a quantum causal set universe where it is simply not possible to know all of the precursors to the outcomes of choice, morality, and self. Even though we know these precursors do exist in a quantum causal set, we simply cannot know all of the precursors for the choices that we make, even though we can often know many of the precursors of our choices. Since we cannot know all of the precursors for emotions, for example, those outcomes are free choice and free will.

Determinists believe that we can know all of the precursors of choice, morality, and self but quantum uncertainty means that it is simply not possible to know with certainty all of the precursors of choice. Even given the chaos and complexity of classical noise, we simply do not live in a determinate classical causal universe. However, most of the macroscopic universe does seem determinate and simply subject to the complexity and complexity of chaos. Thus, even very smart people often do not accept the fact of free will and often argue vociferously for the illusion of free will.

These stories all describe emotion precursors to a singular feeling and how those singular feelings of consciousness are the precursors to choice, morality, and self. In particular, each story involves a free choice to do the story, but it is not possible to know all of the precursors to any emotion even though we can know those precursors do exist. For example, we feel the need to accept a limited group authority (i.e. a government or a job) despite losing some individual freedom and often enhance our lives as a result of accepting that group authority and hierarchy. This outcome is a balance driven by a feeling from a set of emotions and, once again, it is not possible to know all of the precursors to emotion precursors.

We simply feel that it is right to give up some individual freedom to a group authority, but then argue endlessly about how much freedom we feel is right to give up. Each story shows that the precursors of emotions from the unconscious archetypes that we cannot ever really know. The stories further show that a set of emotions are the precursors to a singular feeling of consciousness and it is by such singular feelings of consciousness that we make choices, have morals, and know our self. In particular, the free choice to do the story.

Only one of the ten does not accept group authority very well but all seem to live otherwise pleasant lives. Some have experienced significant physical and or mental problems and learned how to be successful despite their problems.

It is also not possible to know all of the precursors to the outcomes of either wealth or poverty even though it is possible to know many of those precursors. Free market capitalism is one of the precursors to increasing productivity and wealth and increasing wealth is one of precursors for reducing poverty as well. Free market capitalism increases productivity with the incentives of individual freedom and accumulating personal wealth, among other outcomes. Capitalism in the U.S. distributes 49% wealth to just 15% of population and only 6% wealth to 15% of population. The remaining 45% of wealth is then more than sufficient for the middle 65% of the population to live well in the U.S. and so most people accept the tradeoffs of capitalism despite the inequality.

People nevertheless feel it is still important for the government to redistribute some fraction of wealth to the 15% or so of the population that live below the poverty line with only 6% of U.S. wealth and also to provide equal opportunity to everyone as well. However, the outcome of wealth redistribution does mean some loss of individual freedom precursors. A collective feeling or morality is a precursor to wealth redistribution and emotions like compassion and pride are precursors to the collective feeling that chooses wealth redistribution, but selfishness limits that choice and it is still not possible to know for certain all of the precursors for those emotions.

Free speech is a precursor whose outcome is not always possible to predict since free speech depends on how other people feel about what is said. Feeling is subject to quantum uncertainty because of the nature of neural aware matter spectra. An EEG spectrum is a superposition of many possible neural precursors and outcomes and it is only possible to know each precursor within some limited quantum uncertainty of matter, action, and phase. The uncertainty of an EEG spectrum is defined by the line widths of its resonances, which are the dephasing or decoherence times of moments of thought.

It is not always possible to know all of the reasons or precursors for why a person chooses to tell the stories that they choose to tell and therefore to bond with the people that they do. Correspondingly, it is not always possible to measure all the sources of the decoherence times of thought. The stories that do resonate result in EEG resonances as moments of thought and the stories are an important part of free speech. Stories that resonate bond people together into group hierarchies with acceptance of group authority. Likewise, EEG resonances are the result of the bonding of aware matter into moments of thought. The more people are free to choose their own groups, the more individual freedom they have and the more adaptable the resultant civilization is to outside changes. Acceptance of group authority decreases individual freedom and the order of the group resists change and makes civilization less adaptable to outside changes.

Each moment of our life is a superposition of precursors and outcomes that determine feeling and how we choose a single outcome. The emotion precursors that determine feeling outcomes therefore depend on both precursors and outcomes and include the outcomes that we choose as well as outcomes that we do not choose.

Horgan wrap-ups his book still feeling incomplete since none of his stories result in objective and testable definitions of consciousness, free will, morality, or self. But all of the nine stories do result in human bonds and those bonds reveal many subjective feelings about consciousness, free will, morality, and self. As a result of the subjective feelings, all of the nine stories reveal the human bonds that result from these elaborate exchanges of consciousness, free will, morality, and self. The discussion comments are then further stories that also bond Horgan and others.

Therefore, the one objective and measurable definition of consciousness is then as the neural resonances that bond people together and that addresses and resolves Horgan’s mind-body problems. Consciousness exchange is what bonds people together just like gravity bonds people and the earth together and charge bonds electrons and protons together as atoms and molecules and people and consciousness. The nine stories represent a spectrum of the neural resonances that bond people together and that bonding outcome is what consciousness is.

It is possible to understand consciousness as a neural exchange that bonds people and self and to understand that these nine stories and all stories are examples of such human bonds or conflicts. The theory of gravity relativity predicts outcomes from many macroscopic precursors, the theory of quantum action predicts outcomes from many microscopic precursors, but these two theories are fundamentally incompatible in mainstream science due to quantum phase. A successful theory of consciousness will then predict the outcomes of human bonding from the precursors of people and self.

Chopra comments that these nine stories are not useful precursors for predicting consciousness since Horgan values all of the stories equally and Chopra does not. However, all any theory of consciousness needs to do is just be able to predict outcomes from neural precursors. Since consciousness bonds humans with neural resonant precursors, the precursors of consciousness are very good predictors of the outcomes of bonding and self. These nine stories are then quantitative and objective measures of various consciousness bonds between people since most people can agree with and repeat the results with their own interviews of the same nine people.

Relativistic gravity bonds are the outcomes of the macroscopic precursors of quantum matter action and phase and charge bonds are the outcomes of the microscopic precursors of quantum matter action and phase. So the bond of consciousness is simply the outcome of exchange of neural aware matter resonance as a neural manifestation of the quantum matter-action bond.

Consciousness exchange bonds people together with phase entanglement and coherence just like gravity bonds neutral objects with biphoton exchange and charge binds atoms and molecules with single photon exchanges. Each quantum bond has complementary light emission with phase entanglement and coherence and those emitted photons make up what we call gravity as well as consciousness. The entangled phase correlates of light emission make up the photon bubbles that surround each of us and those photon bubbles define the nature of gravity as well as that of consciousness.
There are many quantum matter actions that are all together what bond people to each other with exchanges of consciousness. The discourse of language and stories are some of the many quantum matter actions of consciousness that entangle and correlate our respective photon bubbles and so quantum matter actions are then an objective definition of consciousness. Language reflects matter as nouns, action as verbs, and phase as modifiers of quantum matter action.

The couplings of neural action potentials result in certain neural phase resonances that are moments of thought and feeling. Those neural resonances are what bond people into self, pairs, and groups and we call those bonds sharing consciousness. Conflict is a result of a lack of neural resonance between people and it is by the unconscious archetypes of emotion and feeling that people either bond or conflict.

When consciousness bonds with itself that therefore defines self in the same way that electron self energy ends up defining itself as well. Relativistic gravity, though, does not show any self energy in space and time, but there is a quantum matter action self energy. However, an electron without a proton is like a person without other people and ultimately, quantum bonds are what define aether, atoms, molecules, people, earth, sun, stars, galaxies, superclusters, universe, and, most of all, consciousness.

Our unconscious archetypes give us feeling through emotions and feeling gives us morality as well as many other mimes and so unconscious archetypes are necessary precursors for the neural aware matter resonances of consciousness outcomes. How we feel is an outcome of the unconscious archetype precursors of consciousness and how we feel is free will. Since it is not possible to know all of the precursors for feeling, free will is the outcome of choices that are not possible to predict with absolute certainty.

In other words, even though each free will outcome has precursors, it is not always possible to know all of the precursors of a free will outcome in a quantum causal set universe. Chopra commented that the nine stories represented a spectrum of consciousness, morality, free will, and self but without any judgments, the stories do not help his understanding of consciousness. Chopra would have included judgments about the each story’s value as truth in order to better guide readers into his understanding of consciousness.

Chopra claims to understand consciousness simply by answering the key question, “How did something come out of nothing?” Chopra’s answer is that the universe was created by the precreated state, which is making the something of the universe out of nothing of precreation. But of course making something out of nothing will answer any question and is also a classic self-contradiction and paradox since now nothing is something after all. Therefore making something out of nothing is circular and not very useful for objectively answering any question, including consciousness.

The fact is that there are certain questions that simply have no answers other than belief. What is the precursor to the universe? What is the outcome of the universe? Why is the universe the way that it is? These questions all have any number of answers and therefore no useful answers for predicting outcomes from precursors within the universe. Why are we here? Why are we right here right now? Why is it us and not someone else who is right here right now?

People can and do ask many such unanswerable questions and then very smart people argue endlessly about the many different answers since any answer will do. Useful questions are about how the universe works, not why it is the way it is. What is matter? What is action? What is quantum phase? These three axioms do allow prediction of outcomes from precursors, but we simply must believe in each of matter, action, and phase as precursors of the way the universe is before we can predict outcomes.

The fundamental definition of the precursors of consciousness is in the outcome of neural exchange that bonds people together. The one very predictable outcome of the precursor of consciousness is the outcomes of bonding or conflict among people. Stories are consequently an important representation of consciousness and it is the something of stories that bonds people together, not the making of nothing into the something of precreation.

Chopra says consciousness is the bedrock of reality as experienced by human beings. This is simply saying that consciousness is consciousness, which is an identity and is certainly true, but hardly useful for predicting outcomes from precursors. Chopra further says that consciousness can understand consciousness, which is self, but not actually completely true. Although there are precursors for all outcomes like consciousness, it is not possible to know all of the precursors for any outcome much less that of consciousness itself. So, even though it is possible to know many of the precursors, it is actually not possible to ever completely know all of the precursors with certainty for the outcome of consciousness. Therefore it is not possible to completely understand the outcome of consciousness with the precursor of consciousness and therefore not possible to completely understand self.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Wittgenstein and Religion

There is a very nice presentation of Wittgenstein’s later religious views by Stephen Law in Aeon. Clearly Wittgenstein’s religious upbringing had a big impact on his philosophy as well as his morality. I have always liked Wittgenstein’s muse although he clearly espoused many contradictory views over the years. But what I like best is this:

At the core of all well-founded belief, lies belief that is unfounded. — Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1951.

In fact, religion is more than a few statements of belief and the stories of the bible from which these statements arise are part of the grand narratives of civilization. Do not atheists also believe in the mystery of being just like religions? Without the unfounded beliefs of unconscious archetypes, there would be no consciousness and it is the unconscious archetypes of unfounded belief from which emotion, feeling, and free choice all emerge.

Our morality after all is fundamentally based on unfounded beliefs and the grand narratives, which include Wittgenstein as well as the bible along with a lot more, are stories or word games that show both the ideal of a desirable purpose as well as the potential malevolence of the human spirit, which is perfectly possible with reason. Reason and the tools of science, Wittgenstein rightly concludes, cannot provide all of precursors for outcomes and so there are some outcomes with precursors in which we must simply believe…

Reply from:
Stephen Law
13 hours ago
Perhaps it’s true that we all have some unfounded core beliefs, and atheists and theists differ with respect to them. The fact that we all have unfounded core beliefs doesn’t necessarily put atheism and theism on an equal footing rationality-wise, however. Some theists insist atheism’s core assumptions are self refuting (‘Naturalism is self-defeating, while theism is not! (Plantinga)’).

However, the inverse is probably true. For example, if the atheist’s core belief is their senses are trustworthy, while the theists core belief is that God exists, and this in turn allows them to trust their senses (cos God is no deceiver). Theists then run into the problem that human behavior reveals ample evidence that their God cannot be all good since there is much evil in the world, while the atheist does not have that problem. In addition, belief in God is also less economical than no belief in God and so, arguably, Occam’s Razor favours atheism.

My reply...
Given that both atheists and theists have unfounded but different core beliefs, the next question is about whose morality is superior, i.e., which morality improves survival and reduces suffering and evil. Do atheists have a better morality from their pure reason by using the tools of science as opposed to the religious morality from the grand narratives of civilization and religion?

Since atheists derive their morality from the same grand narratives as religion, they cannot claim atheist morality is any better than religious, merely equivalent. Atheists often simply claim that they distill the best morality and wisdom with reason from the grand narratives and then reject all of the mysticism, social structures, literature, art, and music as your Occam's razor statement that favors atheism.

The tools of science are not very useful for morality and, atheism and secularity, have has not yet shown any semblance institutions to replace or supplant the institutions of religion. In fact, secularism seems rather dull compared to literature, art, and music of religion and does not seem to prepare people for the inevitable suffering and misery that are often a part of life.

The atheist's core belief cannot be only in that sensation is trustworthy because there are so many sensory illusions and many sensations that consciousness simply invents or ignores. The basic unconscious archetypes of atheists and religion are both in place by the age of about 5 or 6 as the foundation of consciousness and memory. It is only much later in life that people use reason to choose atheism or religion and then accept or deny what already exists as their morality.

History repeatedly demonstrates that reason can subvert one morality when there is strong purpose with another morality. Hitler's Holocaust, Stalin's famine, Mao's famine, Pol Pot's Killing Fields, Ataturk's Armenian genocide, and so on were all evil outcomes done for moral purposes. It is here where atheism fails and religion succeeds. There are many great narratives with highly resonant messages that also have very deep flaws, like the class warfare of Marx's Das Kapital or the antisemitic racism of Hitler's Mein Kampf. However, the malevolence of these grand narratives is not always readily apparent except in the outcomes of misery and suffering.

Sunday, January 6, 2019


This video addresses two age old problems of free will: the problem of the determinist and the problem of a person knowing everything means knowing what will happen and that person can then change their mind anytime in spite of knowing what will happen. These two arguments are very similar to the equally old religious teachings of the Swiss determinist John Calvin and the Dutch free willer Jacobus Arminius.


On the one hand, the video argues that determinist physical laws would mean that everything is predetermined and there is no free will, which is Calvinist. We simply believe in the illusion of free will. The video terms this metaphysical as the figure shows.

On the other hand, the video further argues that with complete knowledge, outcomes would be published in a book of life and a person can then just look up to see what will happen to themselves. But then the video further argues that since someone can look up what will happen to themselves, like a light bulb turned on, they can still then choose to do something different from what was in the book and turn the light bulb off. The video terms this epistemological and argues that a determinate outcome is not possible since the book of life is always subject to choice, the Arminiaist.

However, we actually live in an uncertain quantum causal set and not in a determinist universe of space and time. There is no book of life that tells us with certainty what will happen. Quantum uncertainty means that the observer of a light bulb necessarily does affect whether the observed person turns the light bulb on or off. Moreover, unlike the particular determinist precursor in the video of the outcome of the light bulb state, there is no way to know for certain the corresponding quantum precursor for the same outcome of the light bulb state.

Science has known about the surreality of quantum uncertainty for many decades and yet both philosophers and scientists continue to argue about what this quantum uncertainty means for our seemingly classical and causal world. This is because our macroscopic reality of relativistic spacetime gravity does not seem to involve the microscopic uncertainty of quantum phase even though quantum uncertainty is most certainly there. Quantum phase is after all just the problem of there being an unknowable precursor for the outcome of who switches their light bulb on first...John Calvin or Jacobus Arminius.

These arguments about determinism versus free will all come down to given a choice between good and evil, some people still choose evil inspite of any all-good ideal. In a determinate world, the choice of evil is not their fault but merely reflects the precursors of their particular life. Given free will, however, it is always possible to choose evil despite an otherwise all-good ideal and so there cannot be a perfectly all-good ideal after all.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Science Precursors and Outcomes

John Horgan recently wrote about the twilight of science's high priests, two of whom are Stephen Hawking and Martin Rees. Horgan is a longtime predictor of the end of science and often decries the lack of any progress in particle physics as a key example. Horgan likes to pick on particle physics since like many other writers, Horgan presumes that particle physics is representative of all science.

However, particle physics has mainly to do with the nature of matter and action and since matter and actions are finite and limited, particle physics is therefore also finite and limited. For example, once science identified all of the elements, that science was done even though science continues to synthesize more and more exotic and unstable elements with shorter and shorter lifetimes. However, science has been making compounds with the stable elements and Mother Nature has been making all kinds of life with those elements. Science has a never-ending task in taking apart the never-ending molecules of the chemistry of life.

Nuclear matter, just like the elements, is also finite and largely exists as just electrons, protons, and neutrons at the very low energies of life on earth. Physics creates never ending new particles and forms of matter with both very large and very small energies and once science measures the simplest particles, that science is done even though science continues to synthesize never-ending and more exotic particles and forms of matter.

aware matter as a new state of matter

My second read of Mind-Body Problems was even more rewarding than was my first read. This is because there is a great deal of information embedded in the many layers of Horgan’s stream-of-consciousness style of writing. A recurring theme in each of the nine plus one narratives reveals the precursors of free will, morality, and self for the consciousness of each of ten people; nine interviewees plus the author.

The ten narratives represent a spectrum of consciousness showing the range of five personality complements or factors (the five factors model): nonconformer versus conformer, conscientious versus careless, agreeable versus obnoxious, extrovert versus introvert, and empathic versus callous. Likewise the spectrum of consciousness also shows the five emotion complements: compassionate versus selfish, joyful versus miserable, serene versus angry, pleasure versus anxiety, and pride versus shame. These people are all well-published with high IQ’s and so do not represent either conformers or careless personalities, but do represent all the other personality factors and emotions fairly well.

Since we actually live in a quantum causal set universe, it is simply not possible to know all of the precursors to the outcomes of choice, morality, and self, even though we know those precursors do exist in a causal universe. We simply cannot know all of the precursors for the choices that we make, even though we can often know many of the precursors of our choices. Since we cannot know all of the precursors for emotions, these outcome are free choice and free will. 

The one sore point in particle physics, though, is that gravity and charge are still not compatible with each other. While relativistic gravity provides determinate outcomes and a certain directional time, quantum relativity provides probabilistic outcomes and reversible time uncertainty. So gravity and charge could not be any more incompatible than they are, but, since they are 1e39 different in magnitude, this incompatibility makes little practical difference in measurement science.

Fundamentally, relativistic gravity affects space and time and so there is no gravity self energy and sufficient gravity can capture and bind light. Charge does not affect space and time and charge does have a self energy and light exchange and emission is what binds charges together.

Science is finally reaching a measurement precision that will likely reveal many mysteries about reality. Atomic clocks show a precision and dephasing rate that is amazing and gravity wave detection is now commonplace on earth and will soon be in space as well. Future measurements in space outside of earth's gravity will further show the very small mysteries of physical reality.

The platinum-iridium bar that now serves as science's kilogram standard is the last physical standard based on an artifact. The IPK has inexplicably lost 0.51 ppb/yr mass relative to its frequently cleaned sisters over the last 100 years in just three measurements.  Mainstream science does not yet understand this mass loss and certainly does not believe that atomic mass really decays over time. Therefore, the revolutionary watt balance will replace the IPK as our mass standard and finally show that the atomic mass is actually in decay.

There do seem to be any number of measurements that show the very slow decay of mass as well as the growth of force as a very slow increase in the speed of light. These effects are about two or three orders of magnitude beyond the precision of current science. Another example is in the measured shift of muonic hydrogen resonance from that expected from quantum theory. As the figure below shows, the muon decay adds a small shift that then agrees with quantum expectations. Matter decay leads to an energy shift just as matter decay is the source of all force.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Agency, Free Will, and Consciousness

Agency, Free Will, and Consciousness

The precursors in space and time for the outcomes of free will, agency, and consciousness all of course simply exist in a quantum causal set. In a quantum causal set, however, there are many outcomes that have unknowable precursors even though those precursors do also exist in the causal set. The unknowable quantum precursors make quantum outcomes fundamentally uncertain and therefore subject to free choice as the free will of the conscious agents of our quantum reality. However, the collapse of quantum phase coherence means that some outcomes are still much more likely than other outcomes and that is the basis of the largely determinate classical reality of complexity and chaos.

The term quantum spacetime is somewhat of a misnomer since the gravity outcomes of determinate spacetime relativity are fundamentally inconsistent with the uncertain outcomes of quantum relativity. While a unidirectional and entropic time and space are objective determinate outcomes in spacetime, quantum time is reversible and quantum space allows for both superposition of simultaneous outcomes in one place as well as entanglement of simultaneous outcomes across the universe for all time.

Free will is just one of the many unconscious archetypes that are necessary precursors for the outcome of consciousness. Unconscious archetypes are unknowable precursors but are still part of universe and therefore also lead to outcomes such as consciousness. People tell all kinds of stories about the subjective precursors of the objective outcomes of unconscious archetypes, but there is no way to objectively measure unconscious archetypes, despite their being precursors to the outcome of consciousness. The universe is very complex and our limited and finite minds cannot ever hope to know all of the complexity of even knowable determinate precursors. Therefore many very smart people will continue to argue that complexity and chaos alone are what explain free will in a determinate universe and there is no quantum uncertainty involved.

However, uncertain quantum outcomes mean that the universe is not really determinate after all and so given quantum uncertainty, even beyond complexity and chaos there are still fundamentally uncertain outcomes with unknowable precursors. The key difference between the outcomes of the determinate relativity of gravity and the uncertainty of quantum outcomes is quantum phase. It is then the collapse of precursor quantum phase coherence that defines quantum outcomes. It is only incoherent light and matter action that make up the determinate outcomes of gravity relativity while quantum light can remain indefinitely entangled with its matter action outcomes.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Five Life Goals

It is truly ironic that the U.S. life expectancy has declined for the first three years of universal healthcare and yet people specifically tout universal health care to raise life expectancy. The drop in life expectancy is due to an increase in certain death rates and follows many decades of rising life expectancy. Two notable contributions to the recent declines are increases in drug overdoses along with increases in the suicide rates, especially for the 16-39 age group. These statistics suggest an increase in anxiety and a lack of meaning and purpose for many people. Someone without meaning and purpose will not choose life goals that have desirable outcomes with meaning and purpose.

There are five life goal complements that each define a spectrum of desirable outcomes from which we choose a particular outcome. Each life goal consists of many trade-off precursors of delayed gratifications and sacrifices that altogether mean that life is not necessarily made up of straightforward choices. In fact, we often do not even know why we make some of the choices that we do make since feeling derives from the unconscious archetypes of consciousness. The particular choice of individual freedom versus group authority represents a classic choice between more or less acceptance of group authority and hierarchy versus less or more individual freedom.
Five Life Goal Complements:

Favoring more knowledge versus accepting some ignorance
Choosing individual freedom versus accepting group authority
Wealth versus poverty
Healthy austerity versus indulgent prosperity
More a leader or a follower

Each life goal may also focus on one or all of family, community, religion, individual success, or curiosity as well.

It is by our feeling that we choose action or inhibition and feeling is a superposition of a spectrum of five emotion complements. Each person's emotion complements make up their personality archetype by how they respond to others. The emotions of pleasure and anxiety, for example, are particularly important for survival while compassion and selfishness are very important for the bonding of people into groups or communities.

Five Emotion Complements:
Compassion versus selfishness
Pride versus shame
Joy versus misery
Pleasure versus anxiety
Serenity versus anger

A superposition of five personality factor complements makes up each personality with emotion complements that determine how people bond or conflict with others. These five personality complements reflect the unconscious archetypes of consciousness that we first learn as children and then also as adults. The consciousness that we share with others depends on feeling and the meaning and purpose of life is in how well people interact with each other as well as on how well people survive. Personality factor complements represent how we interact with others in that if we are sensitive to others feelings, they will be more likely to share their consciousness with us as stories.

Five Personality Factor Complements:
Creative, curious, and nonconformist rebel versus conformist
Conscientious versus feckless
Empathic and vulnerable versus oblivious and callous
Agreeable versus obnoxious
Extrovert versus introvert

Although it may seem like polar opinions necessarily result in divisive politics, people rarely really agreed on much and divisive politics seem to be rather inherent in human nature and not just a result of polar opinions. There have been even more polar electorates than today and when it comes right down to it, there are polar opposite arguments and feelings for every political issue. Legislation, after all, is the bonding of polar opposites into some kind of compromise and the laws that bind civilization with exchanges of ideas are analogous to exchange of light that bonds matter’s polar opposites, electrons and protons, into neutral atoms.

It goes without saying that each side in an argument has some claim to virtue and superior morality but for either side to deny the virtue of the other side does not usually facilitate civil discourse. Each of us has a set of unconsciousness archetypes that are the basis of our feeling and consciousness and personality. These unconscious archetypes define how we feel about things that happen to us and it is by feeling that we choose outcomes from precursors.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Progenitor Creation

Every hydrogen atom in the universe is the progeny of the action of progenitor electrons and protons that also created a photon progeny with entangled quantum phase. The creation of every hydrogen atom and photon was nearly but not completely reversible and that photon progeny has some probability therefore to annihilate an atom by ionization as well. In this case, entangled electrons and protons would then also be the progeny of an atom and a photon and yet the first light of creation is primal and axiomatic.

The universe is finite and made up of the progeny of the first light of creation and there are even simpler progenitors to electrons and protons. A proton, for example, is the progeny of three quark pairs and those quark pairs as well as electrons were then the progeny of an even simpler aether.

The simple aether, action, and phase of the CMB creation are the primal progenitors or dimensions of the universe and space and time both emerge from the progenitor actions and of matter and phase progeny. Space emerges from the average action radius of an atom, rB, which comes from the atom mass, m= m+ m+ mR, and the Schrödinger equation that relates that mass to an action. Time emerges from the action of the electron and proton, s=2 rtB, as the orbital period, tB. Direction in space emerges from the relative phase between different matter actions and in a similar manner, the mass and action of aether, mae and sae, make up all matter. There is also a fundamental phase 90ᣞ relationship between the matter and action of every progenitor that is the uncertainty principle for charge, [mae,sae] = -i, for exchange of the spin = 1 photon between spin = ½ electron and proton. The uncertainty principle for gravity then becomes mae2,sae2= -1 for gravity exchange of the spin = 2 biphoton between spin = 0 para hydrogens.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Quantum Causal Set of Matter, Action, and Phase

Mainstream physics presumes that the universe of space and time expands, but all matter and force remain constant over time. Except for a very short time during creation as the cosmic wave background matter and force supposedly have not varied. However, in the quantum causal set universe of discrete aether, matter shrinks and force grows and this is the reality of collapsing aether in a causal universe. The collapse of aether along with the expansion of force then agrees with the ever red-shifted galaxies and as a result, represents charge and gravity as one force.

It is matter and action that make up the universe of quantum matter and each successor particle evolved from progenitor matter in a story with very many actions that precede one another entangling each particle with the primal action of creation. That set of progenitor actions and the successor matter of the universe are the two basic axioms of quantum relativity with discrete quantum aether. The action of measurement, for example, observes the universe and is just one of the many successor actions that make up all matter. This means that observation actually becomes a part of the fundamental nature of action and therefore observation is the bridge between an objective reality and the subjective reality of consciousness.

Matter particles and their actions sprinkle onto the torus of matter action that represents the present moment. However, there is another dimension besides matter and action that represents the state of realityquantum phase.

In relativistic gravity, quantum phase has no meaning and both space and time are continuous and infinitely divisible. Quantum gravity, however, includes both quantum phase as well as a discrete matter and action. Quantum gravity actually replaces continuous space and time with a causal set of discrete aether and action and as a result, quantum gravity conforms to Lorentz variance and also conforms to quantum mechanics as the following shows.

In classical quantum mechanics, the standard Schrödinger equation is a differential of wave function with with continuous time proportional to the wave function as
which is valid over a very large range of scales, from 1e-39 to 1e39. At very small or very large scales, it it necessary to use different dimensions than space and time. The nature of the dimensionless wavefunction has, for example, always been somewhat mysterious since particle masses are actually matter wavefunctions that have the properties of waves with quantum phase, entanglement, and superposition and so particles are not just the round balls of gravity matter. It is the mass of phaseless Oppenheimer dust that makes up black holes in general relativity.

Thus far, there has not been a need for gravity wavefunctions at small scales since charge overwhelms the gravity of very small scales to the 1e-39 power of hydrogen mass. However, gravity also involves very large scales to the 1e39 power of the mass versus hydrogen, which are black holes and neutron stars and galaxies. Restating the Schrödinger equation in matter and action now includes both the large and small gravity scales in addition to charge. Since the notions of both space and time fail at both very large and very small scales, a quantum gravity consistent with charge force is not possible with the limited notions of continuous space and time since gravity affects both space and time at very large and at very small scales.

A quantum gravity of aether particles Cortez and Smolin 2011 does bridge the gap from the very small to the very large and it is from the actions of aether that both space and time emerge Surya 2018. However, these approaches restate the Schrödinger equation with energy and momentum and have not been quite complete while the approach below with matter, action, and quantum phase is complete for both gravity and charge.

The universal quantum aether equation with respect to changes in aether now includes aether decay as
with the intrinsic decay of aether based on charge force as

In this approach, it is now mass defects instead of energy defects that define the Hamiltonian of quantum mechanics, Md

This means that there are not just one but actually two different time dimensions that emerge from matter action: a very fast atomic time and a very slow universe time. The universe does not exist first of all as matter and action in time and space, but rather first of all in pure matter and action. Time emerges from the successor relationships of aether with progenitors and that relationship represents both gravity and charge, but at very different scales.

Charge a result of the very fast phase oscillation time of the speed of light, but charge evolves as a result of the very slow phase oscillation of the universe, i.e., one phase per universe cycle. The quantum Hamilton-Jacobi operator is then

which is zero for a bound action and tB is the orbital period. The relativistic gravity Hamilton-Jacobi is then just the norm of the quantum version.

Space and time both emerge from quantum the phase actions of aether matter that give the hydrogen orbit radius as space and the orbital period action as time. The universe then comprises both matter and action along with phase from which emerges both time and space from the matter and action of a causal set of quantum aether. This means that both space and time are a part of matter action and so the quantum aether Hamiltonian incorporates both gravity and charge into a single universal equation of motion.

This restates charge and gravity constants as
The very large number of aether particles that make up the aether universe are the successors of progenitor causal set as the figure shows and now include quantum phase. It is aether action that makes up space and time and it is from the action of aether that time and space emerge. Aether action also makes up all ordinary matter and the decay or decoherence of aether is then what determines both charge and gravity forces in the causal set of aether that makes up the universe.

The figure below shows observers and objects with the dimensions of matter and action and how those dimensions map onto the Cartesian universe of space and time. The overarching role of quantum phase in the discrete aether and action entangles the the quantum phase of the universe with that of atoms.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Knowable Classical Truth and the Unknowable Truths of Unconscious Archetypes

Truth represents a state of affairs about the world outcomes outside of our minds and when other people agree, that truth then becomes objective truth. If two or more people cannot agree about the truth of a state of affairs, that disagreement casts doubt on the objectivity of that truth. There are many objective truths that come from the narratives of science, but the truths of science all lie within the larger truths of morality, intuition, and feeling.

The grand narratives of literature, art, music, religion, and science all represent knowable classical truths for many people. There are both knowable conscious truths from the reason of consciousness as well as the unknowable and unconscious truths of how people feel but cannot always understand or express. Unconscious truths make up the unconscious archetypes that are the meaning and purpose of all that we do. Consciousness involves both conscious reason by which we can tell others why we act like we act as well as unconscious feelings that actually are how we choose action. This means that while we can understand much about the reasons for the ways that we feel, we cannot ever understand all of the reasons for the ways that we feel.

The knowable classical objective truths form the core of civilization from the conscious narratives of literature, art, music, religion, and science. However, there are certain unknowable truths in the greater universe that affect our intuition and form our unconscious archetypes that determine meaning and purpose. The objective narratives of science have a limited role for our unknowable quantum truth and we must depend on subjective feeling and intuition to guide our purpose and meaning.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Seven Biggest Questions of Physics

A 2017aug17 Mach article 7-biggest unanswered questions of physics listed the seven biggest questions of physics. Here are paraphrases of these 7 questions along with the additional question about the nature of consciousness, which Mach did not include. Note that questions 2) and 6) both really reduce to relating gravity and charge, but are still kept separate here. Question 5) is paraphrased into one of the transformation from chaos to order is really an undercurrent in all of the other questions as opposed to a unique question all by itself.

1) What is matter made of?

2) Why is gravity so different from charge?

3) Why does time seem to flow in only one direction?

4) Where did all the antimatter go?

5) How does the chaos of fluid things result in the order of solid things?

6) What relates gravity and charge?

7) How did life evolve from lifeless matter?

8) What is the nature of consciousness?

There are any number of different lists of the great issues of science. For example, this list of 5 great issues of science includes all of the above questions.

Great Issues of Science:
1)      … Nature of Matter;
2)      … Nature of Force;
3)      … Nature of Intelligence;
4)      … Origin of the Universe;
5)      … Molecular Basis of Life.

These 5 issues pretty much encompass the above 8 questions although the Mach list has several specific things that fall under one or more of the 5 great issues as already mentioned above.

A more recent 2018jun02 Mach article wonders more generally about the apparent lack of progress for physics over the last 48 or so years, but Mach seems to neglect the other sciences besides physics theories. Although there have been many successful measurements that have confirmed theories from before 1970, there have been no new predictions from new physics theories for 48 years.

In fact, many of the scientists interviewed in this article noted that physics seems to be in a quandry today. While physics publishes more papers than ever and runs ever greater missions of collective science, there do seem to be fewer new theories along with a massive amount of new data. One thing missing from this analysis is that there are in fact a large number of physics theories and yet there are no measurements to distinguish among these theories...or so it would seem.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Steven Pinker Enlightenment Now versus Jeremy Lent Patterning Instincts

Critique of Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now

by Jeremy Lent (Patterning Instincts, fatal flaws)

Pinker's Enlightenment Now is optimistic about the overwhelming success of western civilization, where reason, science, and a secular morality derived from grand narratives have all resulted in global prosperity and peace. Lent pessimistically criticizes the successes of Pinker's enlightenment with the failures of eight progressive issues. Lent argues that the failures of his eight issues below counter the progress of Pinker's enlightenment:

 1) there is still lots of pollution of air, drinking water, and ocean;
 2) there are still species going extinct;
 3) there are still inequalities of incarceration rates;
 4) there is still a great inequality of wealth;
 5) increase in GDP does not measure true progress;
 6) increase in life span same as increase in education, not due to increase in per capita GPD;
 7) Pinker's view of capitalism's good versus Marxism's evil is wrong and Manicean;
 8) The decrease in ethnic humor noted by Pinker as a success of enlightenment is a result of progressive thought, not of enlightenment.

Pinker states that the enlightenment brought reason, science, and a secular morality all derived from enlightenment's many grand narratives. This has resulted in an unprecedented global prosperity and peace in our post modern times. Despite these undeniable truths, of course, a pessimist like Lent will invariably emphasize instead the equally undeniable shortcomings of our current prosperity and peace, but Lent's complete denial of enlightenment's many successes seems Manicean and simplistic.

Lent claims the moral high ground on Pinker by suggesting Pinker's enlightenment has resulted in a destructive global economic system at the price of prosperity and peace and Lent instead advocates...

"...replacing a destructive global economic system with one that offers potential for greater fairness, sustainability, and human flourishing."

Lent argues that Pinker's selfish capitalism of enlightenment is instead a

"...Manichean landscape of capitalist good versus communist evil..."

Lent evidently believes in the neo-Marxist dogma that there is a tyranny of the selfish rich over the resentful poor and the best way to reduce this selfish tyranny is to impose a much more compassionate Marxist tyranny of state versus individual. This compassionate Marxist tyranny will transfer wealth from the selfish rich to the resentful poor as well as reduce a myriad of other selfish tyrannies.

Lent does not seem to believe that all of the people who died as a result of Marxist state tyrannies in the 20th century show the abject failure of Marxist compassion in reducing tyranny. Instead, Lent seems to propose a neo-Marxist state tyranny that will replace all of the existing tyrannies and finally solve all inequality and offer greater compassion, fairness, sustainability, and human flourishing.

By denying the historical fact of the suffering and misery of Marxist compassion, Lent fantasizes about a neo-Maxist compassion of fairness despite the overwhelming demonstrative failures of Marxism to reduce tyranny. In contrast to the suffering and misery of Marxism, individual freedom and capitalism offer a much more successful albeit still imperfect world economic order despite its many flaws. Thus, Lent appears ready to replace success of enlightenment with yet another neo-Marxist experiment in state tyranny over individual freedom, this time in the guise of fairness, sustainability, and human flourishing.

It is ironic that Lent appears fundamentally pessimistic about Pinker's optimism about the world order even while Lent is decidedly optimistic about the fairness and compassion of some other tyranny that might replace what Lent sees as an unfair and destructive global economic system. Lent seems overly optimistic and Manicean in believing that humans are naturally good and therefore not prone to the same malevolence of current tyrannies. Therefore Lent believes that humans will flourish when the kinder and gentler tyranny of a neo-Marxism state compassion replaces the destructive global economic selfishness of enlightenment...yeah, right...

Pinker appears fundamentally optimistic about what he sees as a highly successful global economic system of individual freedom and capitalism imbued with many inequalities of outcome and certainly not perfect. Pinker further supposes that humans are equally capable of either compassionate good or selfish malevolence and in fact, evolution guarantees that, given the right circumstances, human malevolence can and will emerge from anybody's tyranny and lead to suffering and misery.

Therefore, Pinker argues that the grand narratives of the enlightenment have indeed been highly successful in spite of an ever present human malevolence. Pinker touts a secular morality that derives from the grand narratives and ancient wisdom of literature, art, music, and religion but Pinker pointedly excludes any role for religion in civilization's future. Pinker argues that the enlightenment is much better off without the fiction and mysticism of religious narratives and indeed, the post-modernist doctrine likewise denies the intrinsic value of any of the grand narratives of individual freedom and capitalism, including those of religion.

Lent uses a fascist epithet for Pinker and so ruins his otherwise civil discourse by saying that Pinker uses "...Nazi-like comparisons of human beings to vermin..."

Lent uses an Manicean “no shades of gray” epithet to smear Pinker as naive. Lent is a Marxist apologist who believes that capitalism and individual freedom are part of a destructive global economic order that must be replaced. Ironically, it is Lent who seems to follows a Manicean black and white paradigm with his compassion versus Pinker's selfishness.

For postmodernists, there are no absolute truths from the grand narratives of Western civilization and only interpretations of their value. As a result, nothing really matters and people can just make up whatever they want to believe is good and moral. Since what a compassionate person believes is necessarily good and moral, that person then has the right to impose their beliefs on anyone who disagrees with them since there are no grand narratives to rank beliefs, just feelings.

Lent and Pinker are a discourse in polar opposites engaged in a civil discourse that bonds an  optimistic narrative of enlightened capitalism and individual freedom with the pessimistic narrative of a neo-Marxist state tyranny that is necessary for a fair and constructive global economic system. The polar opposites of civil discourse result in both the bonding of compassion and serenity as well as the selfishness of conflict and anger. While compassion bonds polar opposites, selfishness results in conflict and as long as there is a civil discourse, results in the bonds of civilization and the free exchange of ideas.

Jordan Peterson, just like Pinker, also believes in the grand narratives of literature, art, music, and religion but Peterson also believes that there is a role for religion and mysticism in civilization's future. Peterson argues that there are and will always be limits to what the facts of science can reveal about the world and the grand narratives provide a necessary transcendence that consciousness needs to fill in the missing blanks and therefore make sense out of reality. Grand narratives provide people with a necessary causal set of unconscious archetypes (a la Carl Jung) and these unconscious archetypes are what give people meaning and purpose from emotion and feeling. Peterson believes that there are things about consciousness that people will never understand and one of those things is the role of unconscious archetypes in how we all choose desirable futures.

Successful archetypes are those that reduce suffering and misery, since suffering and misery can otherwise make people angry and resentful over inequalities of outcome among competencies. Unsuccessful archetypes are those that increase suffering and misery and it is a profound mystery exactly how civilization seems to have found the successful archetypes of Pinker's enlightenment. Since people do not really understand the deep mysteries of consciousness and free choice, people need to be very, very careful about changing what Lent regards as a destructive global economic system. After all, those changes may actually increase and not decrease misery and suffering.

While equality of opportunity is always a desirable result of individual freedom, inequality of outcome is a fundamental and also an unfair part of human nature. There will always be hierarchies of human competency because some people are simply better than others within every human competency. Neo-Marxist compassion uses the guise of the benevolence of a mother grizzly bear protecting her cubs to impose a compassionate state tyranny to correct selfish injustice. In neo-Marxism, even inequality of outcomes needs the imposition of a state tyranny to correct, for example for wealth.

There is no fairness in any human competency since some people are more competent than others and so the very few people who are very very successful will invariably rise to the top of each hierarchy of competence. People need to judge whether the success of these hierarchies of competence makes them desirable and people should judge success when there is a reduction in suffering and misery. Human nature is, after all, inherently unfair since some people are more talented and wealthy and motivated as writers, musicians, artists, engineers, nurses, etc., than others. Human nature also is inherently malevolent and so the inequalities of these hierarchies can also result in tyrannies.

Therefore people should only tolerate some limited tyranny and inequality of outcome so that there is as much individual freedom and equality of opportunity as possible. Equality of outcome, however, should not be a large part of any state tyranny without much civil discourse and this means that we will always live with certain inequalities of outcome in group competencies, in wealth, for example. It is simply an immutable fact that 2% of the population are responsible for 80% of the growth of wealth in the U.S., but U.S. wealth also means that people who live at the U.S. poverty level have more wealth than 95% of those in a Marxist state like Cuba.

In China's nascent capitalism, only 0.5% of the population are responsible for 80% of China’s growth of wealth. Thus, China has a much greater wealth inequality than even in the U.S. or other Western nations, but the evolution of China’s capitalism will eventually result in more wealthy people and a more equitable wealth distribution like those of the West...unless there is another revolution of tyranny….

Sustainability is certainly a necessary part of survival, but as long as global population keeps increasing, population growth will continue to degrade earth’s resources and preclude true sustainability. Somehow Lent does not address overpopulation in his pessimism and completely ignores how overpopulation today results in the illegal immigration that strains resources of many nations.

Human flourishing is of course exactly what Pinker's Enlightenment Now shows so well, but the optimism of Pinker's flourishing global economic order does not seem to impress the pessimism of Lent's destructive global economic order. Lent has a blind spot with overpopulation and the resultant immigrant crises and these crises do not seem important to Lent...of course, leftist politics might have something to do with Lent's blind spot.

Granted. There is still plenty of room for improvement within the grand narratives of individual freedom and capitalism of the flourishing global economic order of the enlightenment but for goodness sake, let's recognize and support enlightenment's successes for what they are...successes. The global economic system still, after all, still has its flaws and people must work to correct those flaws, but every alternative order tried so far has even worse flaws that have invariably led to more suffering and misery. So It seems really silly and petty for Lent's eight evils of a destructive global economic system to trump Pinker's countless goods of the individual freedom of capitalism.

This is especially since Lent's epithets simply smear Pinker as essentially being selfish and unfair and promoting inequality and injustice. The polarized discourse of unfettered compassion often uses these invectives against the selfishness of individual freedom. Lent, after all, claims that he knows how to replace the selfish global economic system with Marxist compassion for humans to flourish in a sustainable and fair global economic system of unfettered compassion without the selfishness of Steven Pinker and Bill Gates.

Lent has written much about the evil of selfish growth and and the inevitable collapse of unfettered progress and Lent seems to deny that economic growth is even progress at all. It is true that global population cannot increase indefinitely, but he does not seem to talk about how to limit population growth and the wars and crisis of illegal immigration that necessarily result from overpopulation. Lent also seems oblivious to the dangerous tyrannies of unfettered compassion.

Fortunately, it does appear that Mother nature is slowing population growth and so global population will likely stabilize by 2050 at about nine to ten billion or so.

Can we feed that ten billion people? Certainly, but there will be inequality in the kinds of food available. However, there is a large environmental price to pay with agriculture in decreased habitat, extensive irrigation, fertilizers, and pesticides.

Of course, housing, transportation, and health care will all be unequal and that wrong? Is the level of inequality in the U.S. fundamentally wrong? Or is inequality of outcome a fundamental part of the dominance hierarchies of all competencies and each group must simply manage their inequalities with a limited amount of tyranny.

How about the other competencies?

Knowledge:  Seems like education and literacy can be equality of opportunity. However, no matter how equal is educational opportunity, there will always be outcomes with both high and low IQ people. Since high IQ people tend to be more successful in many different different competencies, high IQ will therefore invariably result in inequality of outcome despite equality of opportunity.

Tools, leisure, and environment are all desirable competencies, but the environment is how we intersect with greater world. Since there is an environmental impact for every species, it is never really clear when the growth of successful species is bad for the environment.

Security, risk, administration, energy, money, and communication are all very necessary competencies that people generally wish to spend less wealth on. The money competency is not wealth per se, but the banks, credit cards, paypals, and so on, by which people exchange wealth for matter and action.