What is CTD?

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

Re: What is CTD?

Postby neuro on February 22nd, 2018, 3:11 pm 

RJG » February 20th, 2018, 1:29 pm wrote:I've given my best (and maybe over-winded) attempt to explain a difficult truth.

Difficult?
Do you really think it is difficult?
Everything you record in your consciousness is recorded after a delay.
Is this difficult?

It actually is not. And it is a truth that is not even worth telling.
Then you turn to consciousness, and you say it is useless.
It would be, if it were merely recording reality.
But it performs computations and interpretations on reality, in order to perform logicaly oriented acts.
And such acts happen to meet reality at the right time. With no delay.
So, the guy who looks at the movie played by consciousness (see Descartes) is always delayed in perceiving what happens.
But consciousness, which is not a guy but a process, wonderfully lets you act in synchrony with what happens outside there, although your neurons perceive stimuli with a delay and need to elaborate actions in advance.

If you keep considering consciousness as the spectator of what happens in the brain, you are in pretty good company, because I believe Descartes was anything but stupid.

If you accept to look at consciousness as a process, then you are in a much worse company: you find yourself among us, normal third millennium humans.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on February 22nd, 2018, 3:55 pm 

neuro wrote:But it performs computations and interpretations on reality, in order to perform logicaly oriented acts. And such acts happen to meet reality at the right time. With no delay.

1. Does "consciousness" actually perform these computations/interpretations on reality? ...or does the (non-conscious) brain perform these?

2. If it takes 'time' to compute and interpret reality, then how can there be "no delay"? ...or does all this processing happen 'instantaneously' with "no delay"?


neuro wrote:But consciousness, which is not a guy but a process, wonderfully lets you act in synchrony with what happens outside there, although your neurons perceive stimuli with a delay and need to elaborate actions in advance.

Consciousness cannot do the impossible. Any synchronistic "elaborating of actions" can only be hallucinatory at best, and not an actual reflection of reality. We must first wait for the body to experience reality before we can consciously experience it. We can't consciously experience that which has yet to happen.


neuro wrote:If you accept to look at consciousness as a process, then you are in a much worse company: you find yourself among us, normal third millennium humans.

Again, "processes" consume time. That which we are conscious of is old news; past events. We are never conscious of real-time itself, for 'everything' (that we are conscious of) is a delayed view/experience. Therefore we can never (consciously) catch up to, and affect reality. It is as futile as chasing one's own shadow.

Consciously "acting" or "doing" anything is logically impossible.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on February 22nd, 2018, 4:04 pm 

RJG I have followed your argument and fully understand the minute time lapse that must occur between perception of a fact and our conscious awareness of it. The next thing to consider must be exactly what process is the causal effect for ideas, imaginings and inspirations that do not have an external cause.

I have a question: When some random cause spikes an awareness in our consciousness, is it not possible that said awareness might 'bounce back' an impetus to memory that determines the next thought in the causal chain? This, I propose, is the mutual causal effect of the kind of thinking that produces new knowledge, creative writing, original theories, etc.

Thus, without both unconscious causal effect and conscious focusing effect, original serial ideas could not happen and no progress in knowledge could be made except on a very fundamental, instinctual level.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on February 22nd, 2018, 5:14 pm 

sponge wrote:I have a question: When some random cause spikes an awareness in our consciousness, is it not possible that said awareness might 'bounce back' an impetus to memory that determines the next thought in the causal chain?

By the time we are conscious of the event in the brain (that caused the "spike"), its causal effect has already happened. By the time we are conscious of this "bounce back" effect, it is long gone down the causal trail. Consciousness is forever chasing reality. It can never "catch-up". It can never 'cause' anything.


sponge wrote:This, I propose, is the mutual causal effect of the kind of thinking that produces new knowledge, creative writing, original theories, etc.

Again, there is NOTHING that we can be conscious of, that hasn't already happened. ...or can you name something?

In other words, it is not logically possible to be conscious-of-something without there first being 'something' to be conscious of. Consciousness always 'lags' that which it is conscious of. There are no exceptions!!

We can't consciously "think" (or "produce") anything. We can only be 'conscious of our thoughts'. I know I sound like a broken record, but it is logically impossible to "think" (create/produce) the very thoughts that we then become conscious of.


sponge wrote:Thus, without both unconscious causal effect and conscious focusing effect…

Which is more accurate: a) you "consciously focus", or b) you are "conscious of focusing"?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on February 22nd, 2018, 8:01 pm 

Hi sponge,

Happy that you resurfaced.

I never did understand how 'random' could be. It might go away, but the price is the block universe and retrocausality:

'New Scientist' 21 Feb 2018

Quantum time machine: How the future can change what happens now

The idea that the future can influence the past may finally explain the inherent randomness of quantum theory and bring it in line with Einstein's space-time

RetrocausalityMAINChristoph Hetzmannseder/Keystone-France/REB Images/Getty
By Adam Becker

IF YOU were to break your arm tomorrow afternoon, would you suddenly find it hanging useless in a sling this morning? Of course not – the question makes no sense. Cause always precedes effect. But maybe life isn’t quite so straightforward for a photon. In the subatomic realm, where the laws of quantum physics make seemingly impossible feats routine, the one thing that we always considered beyond the pale might just be true.

This idea that the future can influence the present, and that the present can influence the past, is known as retrocausality. It has been around for a while without ever catching on – and for good reason, because we never see effects happen before their causes in everyday life. But now, a fresh twist on a deep tension in the foundations of quantum theory suggests that we may have no choice but to think again.

No one is saying time travel is anything other than fantasy. But if the theorists going back to the future with retrocausality can make it stick, the implications would be almost as mind-boggling. They could not only explain the randomness seemingly inherent to the quantum world, but even remake it in a way that finally brings it into line with Einstein’s ideas of space and time – an achievement that has eluded physicists for decades. “If you allow retrocausality, it is possible to have a theory of reality that’s more compatible with lots of things that we think should be true,” says Matthew Leifer at Chapman University in Orange, California.

To get to grips with this particular brand of time warp, we need to rewind to the 1930s, when the outlandish physics of quantum mechanics was threatening to overturn centuries of conventional wisdom. The theory seemed to imply that subatomic particles exist in a vague cloud of probabilities until they are measured, at which point they snap into a definite state. But Einstein, for one, wasn’t having it. “God doesn’t play dice with the universe,” he insisted.

Yet despite his distaste for randomness, it was a different feature of the quantum world that Einstein found truly unbelievable. In a thought experiment, he pointed out that if the probabilistic description of the quantum world were the true state of things, then measuring one subatomic particle could instantly influence the state of another, regardless of the distance between them – a strange phenomenon that became known as entanglement.

“The idea that the present influences the past seems absurd at first glance”
Imagine that two particles collide and fly off in opposite directions. Under quantum rules, these particles are now entangled. Their velocities are unknown. But if you measure the velocity of one of them, you’ll immediately get the velocity of the other, even though there was no way to know this in advance. So you have a choice: either the particles can instantaneously affect each other when measured, or they had definite velocities all along, even though quantum physics was incapable of determining them.

Einstein’s money was on the second option. Instantaneous connections between distant particles were impossible according to his theory of special relativity, which enforced a strict speed limit for how fast signals can pass between objects – the speed of light. In fact, he was adamant that all theories must uphold this ban on instantaneous signals, a principle known as locality. Hence he damned entanglement as “spooky action at a distance”, suggesting it would turn out to be a mirage once a more fundamental theory came to light.

But entanglement never did vanish. Instead, it made its presence felt in the laboratory. In the 1960s, Northern Irish physicist John Bell came up with a brilliant way to put spooky action to the test, and it has since passed with flying colours every time. The examination culminated in 2015 with a “loophole-free” Bell test hailed as the nail in the coffin for locality. Like it or not, spooky action at a distance – or non-locality – is a thing.

Or is it? Retrocausality could save us from non-locality. The trouble is that it seems absurd at first glance. It jars with everyday experience, in which time flows forward and effect follows cause. But backward causation is no harder to swallow than entanglement – and it might just solve two of the greatest conundrums in physics.

“Certainly, John Bell himself thought his work revealed a deep tension with special relativity,” says Huw Price, a philosopher of physics at the University of Cambridge. “The appeal of retrocausality is that it removes that tension.” By restoring a kind of locality, retrocausality gives us the chance to rebuild quantum mechanics in a way that works with Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which shows how gravity results from the warping of space-time by matter and energy.

“Most people have tried to recast gravity in quantum terms, but maybe it is the other way around,” says Ken Wharton, a theorist at San Jose State University in California. “Maybe what we need to do is recast quantum theory in space and time. Retrocausality looks like one way to do that.”

The notion that the present might influence the past in the quantum realm can be traced back to Paris in the late 1940s, when a young physicist called Olivier Costa de Beauregard spotted a way to explain pairs of entangled particles without invoking non-locality. Perhaps, he suggested, measuring one particle sent a signal back in time to the point in the past when the pair collided. The signal could then turn around and travel forwards in time with the other particle, ensuring its velocity was exactly in accordance with the measurement of the first one.

If a signal took this path, you could preserve locality without requiring the two entangled particles to have determined their velocities at the point of their collision. No instant communication, no violations of relativity.

At that point, no one had shown that non-locality was real. Only when Bell came along was there any reason to take de Beauregard’s proposal seriously. But even then, with all manner of clever interpretations springing up to explain the perplexing results of the Bell experiments, retrocausality never really caught on.

It wasn’t until 2010 that Price attempted to resuscitate the idea. His case revolved around a principle called time-reversal symmetry. This states that, mathematically speaking, the fundamental laws of physics work the same going backwards in time as they do going forwards. Of course, that doesn’t tally with our everyday experience: you can’t unscramble an egg, say, or unshatter a glass. (Physicists suspect that has something to do with the second law of thermodynamics, which says that entropy – the amount of disorder – always increases over time when large numbers of particles are involved.) But the fact is that fundamental physics is almost entirely indifferent to the direction of time. Nearly all physicists agree that most of the basic laws of physics obey time-reversal and they would be loath to give it up.

“Now is an illusion: past, present and future form a single, ever-existing block”
With that in mind, Price pointed out that if the laws of quantum physics obey time-reversal symmetry, as they seem to, then retrocausality is inevitable. Yet there was a loophole in his argument. Price had assumed that the quantum description of a particle, known as the quantum state, corresponded to a real thing in the world, as opposed to being a mathematical tool for handling our own ignorance of said particle. For many, this was reason enough to ignore Price because the true status of the quantum state remains debatable.

But retrocausality is becoming harder to avoid. In 2017, Leifer and Matthew Pusey, now at the University of Oxford, found a way to close the loophole in Price’s argument. By merging Price’s ideas with Bell’s, Leifer and Pusey managed to show that retrocausality is necessary to save time-reversal symmetry regardless of whether the quantum state is real. This leaves another tricky choice: abandon time-reversal symmetry or embrace the idea that in the fuzzy quantum realm, the future really can influence the past.

Leifer is among those attempting to make good on the second option. The key might be a feature of relativity called the block universe.

In its marriage of space and time, Einstein’s great theory fatally undermines the concept of “now”. What is happening “now” in a particular location depends on where you are and how fast you’re moving, so two different observers may see different things at the same time in the exact same spot. This makes “now” an illusion. Time doesn’t really pass at all, and our perception that it does is due to our limited perspective on the world. In reality, past, present and future form a single, ever-existing block.

In a block universe, quantum retrocausality wouldn’t look so strange. If the past and the future coexist – if past events don’t fade away before future ones come into being – the future could easily influence the past.

What we need now, says Leifer, is a new version of quantum theory that incorporates the block universe to allow for retrocausality to emerge naturally. “The idea here is that you would formulate a theory of quantum physics over all of space-time, all at once,” he says, urging us to think of quantum cause and effect like a jigsaw puzzle. “When you do a jigsaw, you don’t do the bottom row first, and then the next. Each piece imposes constraints on the ones around it. So physics could be like that: each region of space-time could impose constraints on the neighbouring regions.”

But if the quantum world is a block universe shot through with retrocausality, why don’t we see retrocausality in our everyday lives? After all, we are all made of quantum stuff. The answer boils down to quantum uncertainty. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that it is impossible to know both the position and momentum of a particle at the same time. So there are features of the quantum world that are persistently hidden from us, and this is ultimately what allows for retrocausation without letting us send signals to the past. “If my choice a minute from now determines one of these things that I don’t know, then I can’t send a signal back to myself,” says Wharton. “And yet it’s still retrocausal.”

Wharton is among those who argue that when you really think about it, retrocausality is no crazier than entanglement. And besides, he says, it brings plenty of advantages – not least the opportunity it affords physicists to remake quantum theory in a way that works with space-time. By restoring a form of locality, retrocausality might even lead to the long-sought explanation of how gravity manifests at the quantum scale.

God plays sudoku
“A lot of avenues have been left unexplored because people have been taught to think in this Newtonian picture of states evolving forwards,” says theorist Emily Adlam at the University of Cambridge. “Retrocausality is going to open up many new possibilities that might hopefully get us out of the rut we’re in.”

“Retrocausality might even explain where quantum randomness comes from”
It might also help to explain where the randomness in quantum physics that never sat right with Einstein comes from. According to Adlam, retrocausality suggests a neat solution: quantum randomness is an illusion that appears because we’re only seeing part of the picture at any one time.

In that case, Einstein was right. “God doesn’t play dice, he plays sudoku,” says Adlam. If you were doing a sudoku and you started on the left and moved towards the right, it would look as if you were seeing random events, she says. “But if you look at the whole thing at once… you can see all the rules, you can see that there’s actually a unique deterministic solution from these global constraints to the whole grid.”

Similarly, in a retrocausal version of quantum physics, what happens here and now could have effects on the distant past of a far-flung galaxy, effects that only make sense in the context of the “all-at-once” picture of the block universe. This may seem like a drastic departure from the ordinary laws of physics as we think of them, but to Adlam, that’s not a problem. “It’s quite naive of us to suppose that the laws of nature would take the form that is most convenient for us,” she says. “To me, it’s not in fact extreme or weird at all to go to this retrocausal picture.”

Not everyone shares Adlam’s enthusiasm. While it is true that time-reversal symmetry is a cherished property of nearly all the fundamental laws of physics, the version Leifer and Pusey use isn’t the usual one. Rather than time-reversing the laws of physics themselves, they time-reversed the setup of their thought experiment, and showed that the results remained the same. This distinction gives sceptical physicists pause.

What’s more, retrocausality doesn’t answer every question facing quantum physics – at least not yet. “The next chapter in this story is just starting,” says Wharton. The hard work begins now, he adds, as researchers attempt to develop a complete retrocausal theory, one that reproduces all the usual results of the hugely successful standard quantum theory.

But if recent work by Sally Shrapnel and Fabio Costa at the University of Queensland in Australia is anything to go by, even a fully retrocausal quantum theory wouldn’t solve all the problems that niggle away at other interpretations of quantum physics. Although retrocausality handily accounts for the results of the Bell experiments, there is another issue, known as quantum contextuality, which may yet stop it in its tracks. Contextuality says that the outcomes of quantum experiments depend on what other experiments are conducted at the same time – a strange idea that physicists would prefer to be rid of. Now, Shrapnel and Costa have shown that retrocausality cannot easily dismiss it.

Although Shrapnel agrees with Leifer that retrocausality is worth investigating, she sounds a word of warning. “The retrocausal interpretation is not the free lunch that perhaps you might think it is,” she says. “It’s not going to be as simple as postulating backwards-in-time causal influences. We’re going to need something even more exotic than that, and I think that’s kind of cool.”
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby doogles on February 23rd, 2018, 3:42 am 

Neuro, I've given you a thumbs up for your second last post. So far, you are the only poster who has supported my statement to RJG -- "Our ‘disconnect’ in this is that you ASSUME that our minds do not perform an automatic computation and adjustment during the transmission and translation stages of ‘transmission, translation and finally RECOGNITION’ of moving objects. I have produced partial evidence relating to race finishes that we do."

You said virtually the same as I did -- "I believe this kind of comparative computation is fascinating: whatever I see has already happened. Whatever I actually do NOW must have been programmed by my brain in advance.
Still, I manage in hitting the ball.
Because my CONSCIOUSNESS is a wonderful process that is capable of prediciting where the ball ACTUALLY IS NOW based on the knowledge (the only knowledge I possess now) of where IT WAS up to some hundred ms ago, and is capable of having initiated a movement in advance so that the bat in my hand ACTUALLY IS NOW where the ball is.

So, neurologically consciousness is a wonderful synchronizing machine capable of generating the impression of NOW as an encounter between what must be occurring NOW (based on what I know has occurred up to some moments ago) and what I am presumably doing NOW (based on what my brain decided to do some moments ago, so that I could actually be doing it NOW)."


Our joint problem is that we do not have experimental evidence to support our statements. There is some common sense involved, but otherwise we are just spouting dogma, the same as RJG. He and I finished up agreeing to disagree on this dogma.

Are you able to identify any experimental evidence? I thought the study on the manual timing of footraces was useful, but it didn't convince RJG or anyone else for that matter.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby neuro on February 23rd, 2018, 5:31 am 

Well, doogles, there are fNMR or EEG studies about simulating the baseball batter problem.
You instruct a subject to press a button when a red light flashes, unless a blue light also flashes.
Then you flash the two lights with various delays:
When the red light flashes, you see a NMR or EEG response in the premotor cortex, which indicates that an action, driven by an external cue, is being programmed, and slightly later you see activation of the motor cortex.
This is a sequence of events that does not need any conscious monitoring (although you might well be conscious that you performed an external-cue-driven action, such as rebuffing a mosquito, after you did it).
If no blue light flashes, the activation of the motor cortex grows and the motor response occurs: the subject presses the button (GO response).
If the blue light flashes soon enough after the red one, you detect an activation in the supplementary motor area (SMA, which responds to the ventromedial regions of the prefrontal cortex, i.e. areas where conscious action programming and judgment occur) which inhibits and weakens the response in the motor cortex, which aborts without the subject pressing the button (STOP response).
If the blue light flashes a moment too late, you see the same response in the SMA, but the response in the premotor area will have risen to much and the SMA will not be able to depress it, so that the response in the motor cortex occurs and the subject presses the button.
So, one may say that the dorsolateral path of motor control, which drives responses to external cues, is activated well before consciousness comes about, and we may only realize we reacted to something after we did.
BUT the SMA (which is under control of regions of the brain involved in what we call conscious thought and behavioral planning, i.e. of consciousness as a process) must be activated soon enough before we manage in stopping an act which is elicited by an external cue, showing that a process must be going on in our brain that manages in anticipating our movements before we do them, i.e. of synchronizing our movement control (which must follow cerebral activity) with external events (which precede perception and cerebral activity).
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on February 23rd, 2018, 12:28 pm 

RJG I meant 'we consciously focus' in order to influence the unconscious production of ideas that suit our current need.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on February 23rd, 2018, 1:11 pm 

neuro wrote:Well, doogles, there are fNMR or EEG studies…

ALL STUDIES show that consciousness FOLLOWS (is 'after'!) that which it is conscious of. The consciousness-of-X is always AFTER X.

We can't be conscious of 'something', without 'something' to be conscious of.


Sponge wrote:RJG I meant 'we consciously focus' in order to influence the unconscious production of ideas that suit our current need.

Can YOU actually "consciously focus"?? ...or are you just 'conscious of the focusing'?

Consciousness can never 'precede' that which it is conscious of. If it can't precede it, then it can't 'cause' it. - Therefore, 'conscious causation' is a myth!
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on February 23rd, 2018, 3:08 pm 

I believe it is possible to consciously focus. Once an idea has presented in the mind, it is possible to perfect a technique to enter a passively receptive state and wait for more ideas to arrive. Some do this by concentrating on the 'seed' idea or problem immediately before sleep. Answers will present into the conscious mind upon waking.

I don't have laboratory-condiions-proof of this - only personal experience and anecdotal evidence. Maybe you could do some research on this yourself by seeing if it works for you.

It seems to me that creative, original and ground-breaking thought has to come from somewhere, and consciousness feels like a better suspect for directing a chain of thought than random chance or some unknown force that is organising the subconscious processes.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 23rd, 2018, 11:54 pm 

RJG -

But your position is pointless because YOU don't have a position - that is the YOU that is supposedly consciously acting out and writing here on this forum.

It is meaningless. It is pure nihilism.

For an equivalent position we could imagine that there is a box that may or may not have a bomb in it that is about to explode. From your position you'd do nothing about it, from my position I'd presume the worst and move away from the box. You do nothing.

Morally there is literally no question of what we should think here. You opt for a nihilistic view, a view that denies responsibility. If I was to use the word "evil" you're embodying it by saying this kind of nonsense. Not even a child would take you seriously only the bitter minded fool would attach themselves to such a vicious and self-reductive line of thinking in order to sit idle and watch travesties committed with complete apathy.

You even make the claim that it is a "hard truth", but there is no TRUTH for the non-conscious being. You refute your own words over and over every time you make any claim - which YOU don't make by your own terms.

If your position is absurdism I can take that on board well enough. What I will continue to protest against is nihilism and pure evil - which is how I view your position - a position that has a hold of you simply due to a refusal to take responsibility or make any reasonable effort to counter the "validity" (which again makes no sense if you have no agency) of your position (which conveniently isn't YOUR position.) It is the most immature and damning position possible and likely the one that leads to mass murder and genocide; it is the "there is no meaning" therefore what I do means nothing so I therefore have the freedom to do as I please.

It is a pure corruption of thought, it is "evil" and I will continue to say so until present anything other than nihilism as the basis of your apparent "being."

This is a moral question, it is a question of being human or fighting against your own humanity. There is no blame. There is no life. There is nothing for you. It is not a question of whether or not "YOU" are correct, it is a question of "What if you are wrong?" There in lies the evil seed in your heart if you cannot live with responsibility of your own thoughts and actions.

Do you understand this or are you simply going to continue to troll along like some deranged robot put here to hasten its own destruction by espousing the pointlessness of life and all that it is to be human? WHat is your point ... sorry, I forgot! "YOU" don't have a point, "YOU" is nill, "YOU" are nought.

I guess your purpose is to serve as a sad reminder of how little our lives could mean if we were to adopt your non-position and adhere to a life of bland denial and laziness of thought. For that you are bearly worthy of praise for given as you've shown not even an ounce of humility. The "anti-hero" is a contrary nonsense, you're just nothing and that is your own claim (even though it isn't YOUR claim ... keep hiding or show some spine friend before it's too late.)

Note: This is not a "personal" attack because RJG has not agency. I merely attacking a statue, and hope to animate it through vitriol because it doesn't seem to understand common parse or logic.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby doogles on February 24th, 2018, 6:30 am 

BadgerJelly, I'm chuckling as I'm typing this, but I think that you are being as dogmattic as I and everyone else has been in this thread. RJG can keep saying whatever he likes unless you and I can produce convincing evidence that suggests he could be wrong. We just have a 'gut feeling' that he is incorrect, and that is not good enough. He has had good support from a couple of other posters. We need evidence. I thought that my 'manual-timing-of-a-footrace-reference' was good enough, but nobody supported it.

Sponge, you claimed - "I believe it is possible to consciously focus." I called this 'concentration' in a previous post as evidence of conscious thought, but nobody supported it. We need better evidence.

Neuro -- "Well, doogles, there are fNMR or EEG studies about simulating the baseball batter problem.
You instruct a subject to press a button when a red light flashes, unless a blue light also flashes ... "


This is the stuff I'm hoping to evaluate for myself. Are you able to furnish some websites of fNMR as it applies to the computation and adjustment processes in baseball-hitting studies.

I see you as the 'white hope' (apologies to the WSs and PC) neuro, if you can supply suitable citations. I will read them.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 24th, 2018, 1:21 pm 

doogles -

Nope, sorry. It's been 5, maybe 6, years of the same old same old. Dogmatic would mean I never changed my mind or never picked up a book and read it, never studied anything etc. (basically that is the situation with RJG.)

If he presented a epiphenomenal position with more that "because I say so" follow by "I don't say so I have no consciousness", I may be more hospitable.

When you know his response before you post you know there is no progress being made. He reverts to the same old phrases over and over, with little no attempt to come at things from a different angle.

It is mainly just word play and a basic lack of understanding of philosophical terminology. This is because he doesn't read anything (and has admitted so before.)
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on February 25th, 2018, 6:29 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:But your position is pointless because YOU don't have a position - that is the YOU that is supposedly consciously acting out and writing here on this forum.

The 'physical' ME is the one that is auto-reactively "acting out and writing here on this forum", ...not the 'conscious' ME. The 'conscious' ME is just an illusion (a bodily reaction/experience in of itself).


BadgerJelly wrote:It is meaningless. It is pure nihilism.

Not so. It is not "meaningless". It's just not the 'meaning' that any of us want (desire) to accept.


BadgerJelly wrote:For an equivalent position we could imagine that there is a box that may or may not have a bomb in it that is about to explode. From your position you'd do nothing about it, from my position I'd presume the worst and move away from the box. You do nothing.

Not so. The 'physical' ME (body) does what it does. And in most cases, wants to survive and will auto-react to preserve itself. The 'conscious' ME has no say-so in the actions of the body. The 'conscious' ME, can only 'experience' (recognize) the actions/reactions of the body.


doogles wrote:I thought that my 'manual-timing-of-a-footrace-reference' was good enough, but nobody supported it.

You fail to see that your conscious view of the stopwatch, and your conscious view of the footrace are ONLY 'conscious' views. You cannot peek around the (un-removeable) window of consciousness to see (and measure) reality for itself.


Sponge wrote:Some do this by concentrating on the 'seed' idea…

doogles wrote:I called this 'concentration' in a previous post…

Can YOU actually 'consciously concentrate'? ...or are you really just 'conscious-of-concentrating'?


Sponge wrote:Maybe you could do some research on this yourself by seeing if it works for you.

I've tried, ...and have yet to be conscious of something 'before' I am conscious of it.


doogles wrote:I see you [neuro] as the 'white hope' (apologies to the WSs and PC) neuro, if you can supply suitable citations.

BadgerJelly wrote:It is mainly just word play and a basic lack of understanding of philosophical terminology. This is because he [RJG] doesn't read anything (and has admitted so before.)

Logical impossibilities cannot be overturned by fantasy (desires), nor even 'science' for that matter. The continual reading of (mostly) philosophical fantasy, in "hopes" of justifying the possibility of overturning a logical impossibility, is futile. The inability to accept a logical impossibility as a 'truth', reveals the fraudulence of one's so-called 'search for truth'.

True truths are dictated by 'logic', not by "hopes" (and desires).
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 25th, 2018, 6:44 am 

Logic?

It is mindboggling to me that you say such a thing yet take the stance that you have no say in anything?

You talk about us not "wanting" how is it we can "want" if we are not making the decision to "want"? What does "want" mean to you if you are not you?

Logical? I beg to differ in your "logical" approach useless you begin to regard "logic" as being something quite fluid and not inhibited by personal bias or experience - of which you emptily consume by your way of "thinking."

The conscious YOU has no physical say in the bodily action? Okay, so the conscious YOU does not exist, and consciousness does not exist because it is non-physical? Where is the logic here? Are you declaring that the unconscious bodily functioning believes in dualism?

IF you are an "illusion" how can you know you're an "illusion"? By your terms it is not YOU that knows you are an "illusion" it is the prescription of some underlying bodily? (Unconscious?) YOU doing so ... ad infinitum?

Where is the logical boundary to "your" thinking? It is extremely convenient that you can sidestep every question by stating that it is not "YOU" avoiding the question of "self" - which you no doubt deny outright, because it is causal denial not chosen denial. It is fundamentally adherence to nihilism and disregard for a sense of responsibility and selfhood.

You deny your own humanity and I therefore say you're to be ridiculed and cast aside as intellectually defunct and morally deranged.

Again, if you, as before, take this as a "personal" attack on YOU then you're in denial of the main premise you're blindly vomiting at us without any seeming desire to integrate or look at other explanations.

You literally have nothing by your own account of "YOU." Just steam from the engine? So be it, just don't stand within striking distance of me or anyone else with such outright hollowness of being.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on February 25th, 2018, 10:35 am 

I have to say, this whole thread reminds me of that pseudo science thing about the 'proof' that bumble bees can't fly. Common sense was thrown out of the window in the face of this proof even though bumble bees were apparently happily oblivious of the impossibility of their aerial habits. The assertion was based on irrefutable maths and physics but could be easily disproved once all the extra elements were taken into account - things like the figure of eight wing action, vortexes etc.

In the same way, this argument has some basis in simple logic about time lapse from forming an idea to becoming aware of it but fails to consider any other elements of brain activity or the (as yet unknown) process of conscious awareness. The science around consciousness is only slowly being discovered and experimental proof is elusive, simply because of the nature of the beast.

The fact remains that when something doesn't fit the facts as we perceive them, it is a scientific requirement to at least take the time to look past the simple proof to see what else might be impacting on the conscious experience to make it feel like it is working in real time.

Meanwhile, RJG, maybe you could explain what sort of organised system is working at the unconscious level to provide our awareness with all these chains of intelligent thought that lead to breakthroughs in knowledge in every field?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on February 25th, 2018, 11:56 pm 

Sponge wrote:Meanwhile, RJG, maybe you could explain what sort of organised system is working at the unconscious level to provide our awareness with all these chains of intelligent thought that lead to breakthroughs in knowledge in every field?

I suspect 'evolution' has a hand in it.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on February 26th, 2018, 12:32 pm 

Evolution driven by intelligence?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on February 26th, 2018, 2:02 pm 

Sponge wrote:Meanwhile, RJG, maybe you could explain what sort of organised system is working at the unconscious level to provide our awareness with all these chains of intelligent thought that lead to breakthroughs in knowledge in every field?

RJG wrote:I suspect 'evolution' has a hand in it.

Sponge wrote:Evolution driven by intelligence?

I don't know what drives evolution.

But if were of some "intelligence", then it certainly could not be due to the 'consciousness'-of-this-intelligence. As the 'intelligence' itself would always 'precede' the consciousness of it.

Even God(s) cannot do the logically impossible, and 'knowingly' cause (consciously cause) anything. They cannot create a stone so large that they cannot lift, ...and nor can they know 'before' they know.

In other words, the knowledge itself (or whatever composes it) always 'precedes' the 'knowing'-of-this-knowledge. We can't know of knowledge without (the pre-existing) knowledge to know.

Everything that "consciousness" is conscious of, is of a 'past event', and therefore "consciousness" can never cause anything, as everything (that one is conscious of) has already been caused (already happened! ...and is too late to cause it!).

Consciousness is an 'after'-effect, ...not a causer. (...more like the "echo" of a sound, rather than the "causer" of the sound.)
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on February 26th, 2018, 3:18 pm 

A fundamental intelligence is influencing biological brains to create thoughts for the consciousness to become aware of?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby TheVat on February 26th, 2018, 4:21 pm 

He has been shown the zombie objection multiple times. If C is an epiphenomenon then we could just as well evolve without it since C has no causal efficacy. There would be no natural selection towards C. And since RJ is not consciously directing his thoughts on the subject, how could they have any merit or credibility? His mind could have passively witnessed the conclusion "cats psychokinetically control all automobile traffic on earth" and asserted that here.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on February 26th, 2018, 4:30 pm 

Sponge wrote:A fundamental intelligence is influencing biological brains to create thoughts for the consciousness to become aware of?

Again, I can only suspect. I suspect that evolution's goal is to produce a brain with better 'memory' capacity. And consciousness just seems to be the harmless (inert) side-effect of this memory enhancement, ...and not necessarily an 'intentional' design feature. (...much like the body's own appendix).

I further suspect (and stepping way out on the limb here) that the inefficiencies (EMF losses) of the brain's neural activity is responsible for that which we call consciousness. Much like in the semiconductor industry, and in high voltage systems, neural current flow creates an electromagnetic field which can influence surrounding circuitry (such as how transformers operate). The higher the current flow, the greater the EM field. [in this respect it is much like the "echo" example].

As is the goal of semiconductor memory devices, is to reduce the current flow while increasing the number of transistor (memory state) junctions, so as to have a more efficient (less EMF losses per memory capacity) device.

So, if the above is correct, we future humans will slowly lose our consciousness (i.e. our EMF losses) as the brain becomes more efficient at processing, due to less overall current requirement to perform a specific function.

Again, these are just my uncertain suspicions. All that I can really know with certainty is that consciousness cannot do anything. As it is still not possible to do the impossible.

The actual cause and purpose of an apparently "useless" consciousness is anyone's guess at this time.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on February 26th, 2018, 4:34 pm 

Braininvat » February 26th, 2018, 3:21 pm wrote: His mind could have passively witnessed the conclusion "cats psychokinetically control all automobile traffic on earth" and asserted that here.


lol... I thought that was just me. Beats me how so many of them manage to get run over. ;)
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on February 26th, 2018, 4:41 pm 

RJG » February 26th, 2018, 3:30 pm wrote:
Sponge wrote:A fundamental intelligence is influencing biological brains to create thoughts for the consciousness to become aware of?

Again, I can only suspect. I suspect that evolution's goal is to produce a brain with better 'memory' capacity. And consciousness just seems to be the harmless (inert) side-effect of this memory enhancement, ...and not necessarily an 'intentional' design feature. (...much like the body's own appendix).

I further suspect (and stepping way out on the limb here) that the inefficiencies (EMF losses) of the brain's neural activity is responsible for that which we call consciousness. Much like in the semiconductor industry, and in high voltage systems, neural current flow creates an electromagnetic field which can influence surrounding circuitry (such as how transformers operate). The higher the current flow, the greater the EM field. [in this respect it is much like the "echo" example].

As is the goal of semiconductor memory devices, is to reduce the current flow while increasing the number of transistor (memory state) junctions, so as to have a more efficient (less EMF losses per memory capacity) device.

So, if the above is correct, we future humans will slowly lose our consciousness (i.e. our EMF losses) as the brain becomes more efficient at processing, due to less overall current requirement to perform a specific function.

Again, these are just my uncertain suspicions. All that I can really know with certainty is that consciousness cannot do anything. As it is still not possible to do the impossible.

The actual cause and purpose of an apparently "useless" consciousness is anyone's guess at this time.


Thanks for showing your thinking around all this, RJG.

I have another question, what good is a memory without consciousness?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on February 26th, 2018, 4:49 pm 

Sponge wrote:...what good is a memory without consciousness?

The brain needs 'memory' to operate, ...NOT 'consciousness'.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on February 26th, 2018, 8:17 pm 

Braininvat » February 26th, 2018, 3:21 pm wrote:He has been shown the zombie objection multiple times. If C is an epiphenomenon then we could just as well evolve without it since C has no causal efficacy. There would be no natural selection towards C. And since RJ is not consciously directing his thoughts on the subject, how could they have any merit or credibility? His mind could have passively witnessed the conclusion "cats psychokinetically control all automobile traffic on earth" and asserted that here.


According to Edelman, zombies are not possible:

Our previous account suggested that conscious processes arise from the enormous numbers of reentrant interactions between value-category memory systems that are largely present in the more anterior parts of the thalamocortical system and the more posterior systems that carry out perceptual categorization. Through the complex shifting states of the dynamic core, these interactions underlie the unitary property of conscious states, as well as the shifting diversity of these states over time. Because the earliest interactions involve bodily inputs from centers of the brain concerned with value systems, motor areas, and regions involved in emotional re- sponses, the core processes are always centered around a self that serves as a reference for memory. In primary consciousness, this self exists in a remembered present, reflecting the integration of a scene around a small inter- val of time present. While an animal having this primary consciousness has a long-term memory of past events, it has no extensive ability to deal explicitly with the concept of a past or a future. Nevertheless, it can carry out a vast number of conscious discriminations, discriminations that are experienced as qualia. Only with the evolution of higher-order consciousness based on semantic capabilities do explicit concepts of self, of past, and of future emerge.

This account implies that the fundamental neural activity of the reentrant dynamic core converts the signals from the world and the brain into a “phenomenal transform”—into what it is like to be that conscious
consciousness and causation animal, to have its qualia. The existence of such a transform (our experience of qualia) reflects the ability to make high-order distinctions or discriminations that would not be possible without the neural activity of the core. Our thesis has been that the phenomenal transform, the set of discriminations, is entailed by that neural activity. It is not caused by that activity but it is, rather, a simultaneous property of that activity.

This brings us directly to the second question. Is the phenomenal transform itself causal? This question is pivotal, not only in considering how conscious acts occur but also in addressing whether consciousness arose in evo- lution as an efficacious or adaptive process. To explore this issue in a direct fashion, let us call the phenomenal transform and its processes C. Call the underlying neural core processes C′. Both C and C′ could be indexed ( C 0′ , C 0 ; C ′ 1 , C 1 ; C ′ 2 , C 2 ; C ′ 3 , C 3 ; a n d s o f o r t h ) t o i n d i c a t e their successive states in time, but for now let us consider them without addressing the temporal issue. We have pointed out that C is a process, not a thing, that it reflects higher-order discriminations, and that it does not occur in the absence of C′. But, given the laws of physics, C itself cannot be causal; it reflects a relationship and cannot exert a physical force either directly or through field properties. It is entailed by C′, however, and the detailed discriminatory activity of C′ is causal.

That is, although C accompanies C′, it is C′ that is causal of other neural events and certain bodily actions. The world is causally closed—no spooks or spirits consciousness and causation 78

Figure 10. Causal chains in the world, body, and brain affect the reentrant dynamic core. Core activities (C′) in turn affect further neural events and actions. Core processes confer the ability to make high-order distinctions. The entailed phenomenal transform (C) with its qualia consists of those distinctions.
are present—and occurrences in the world can only respond to the neural events constituting C′ (Figure 10).

Consciousness C as a property of C′ is a reflection of the capacity to make refined discriminations in a mul- tidimensional qualia space. This phenomenal transform, reflecting events in that space, is a reliable indicator of the underlying causal C′ events. The consequence of this line of reasoning is that evolution selected C′ (underlain by the neural activities of the dynamic core) for the efficacy in planning conferred by its activity. At the same time, however, such C′ activity entailed corresponding C consciousness and causation states. Indeed, there is no other way for an individual animal to directly experience the effects of C′. The phenomenal transform provides an integrated scene that reflects discriminations made possible by C′ activity and thus provides a coherent and reliable indicator to the individual of the causal states underlying his consciousness.

This entailment of C by C′ also provides a cogent means for communication of C′ states to other individuals. Even that communication has C′ as its causal vehicle. The relationship of entailment between C and C′ implies that the so-called zombie argument of philosophers is logically impossible. That argument asserts that a zombie (an individual having C′ but without a phenomenal transform C) could carry out operations identical to those of an individual with C. So, for example, without feelings, qualia, emotions, or a scene, a zombie art critic could, according to the argument, make identical judgments about the superiority of one painting over another to those made by a human art critic putting forth the same judgments while experiencing C. The argument we are making here implies, however, that if C′ did not entail C, it could not have identical effects. The zombie would not know what it is like to be a conscious human and could not carry out the necessary discriminations in a fashion identical to a human. Moreover, being nonconscious, it could not be conscious of being conscious. To have C′ as a result of core activities is to have C as a reliable property.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on February 26th, 2018, 8:43 pm 

sponge » February 26th, 2018, 2:18 pm wrote:A fundamental intelligence is influencing biological brains to create thoughts for the consciousness to become aware of?


What's fundamental can't be composite, for its parts would ever have to be ever more so/toward fundamental than the system/composite itself. This is another type of CTD-like time thing of having no carts before the parts.

It's a bad day for Meaning, and poor old indeterminism only hangs out its hopes by the fraying thread of 'random', while conscious agency chases its tail/tale to look for some magic machinery as being the basis of that agency as other than from the brain but matching and correlating wholly to that brain.

The automated human mammals ever strive to become more and more automated, through apps and robots, and still by old style learning of tasks to be better done by hand by C', this involving C intensely in the nearly all consuming focus on the successive C qualia indicating how the predictions and adjustments are matching up with the delayed reality, as best C' can do, but often going just fine. The C' neural activity can orchestrate thoughts and actions quite well, plus what else is there as the basis to do the figuring, anyway.


So, we can expect local meaning to be so, and there is some, and people doing as they have to do, with so many crazy heads about. It's business as usual. No fame credit; no blame discredit.

Hello to you fellow automated [for survival purposes] mammals out there.

And sponge, how is your friend, Patrick, doing, in your underwater world?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby TheVat on February 26th, 2018, 10:30 pm 

So, if the above is correct, we future humans will slowly lose our consciousness (i.e. our EMF losses) as the brain becomes more efficient at processing, due to less overall current requirement to perform a specific function.


Is that what happened to you?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby TheVat on February 26th, 2018, 10:34 pm 

According to Edelman, zombies are not possible:


DF, thanks. That makes my point. No zombies, no epiphenomenal mind. C is causally efficacious. Otherwise, we wouldn't need it.

Cheers.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on February 27th, 2018, 4:33 am 

RJG » February 26th, 2018, 1:02 pm wrote:
Sponge wrote:Meanwhile, RJG, maybe you could explain what sort of organised system is working at the unconscious level to provide our awareness with all these chains of intelligent thought that lead to breakthroughs in knowledge in every field?

RJG wrote:I suspect 'evolution' has a hand in it.

Sponge wrote:Evolution driven by intelligence?

I don't know what drives evolution.

The driving force of evolution is variation. Life and inheritance are prerequisites, of course. Natural selection is often mistaken for the driving force but this is incorrect -- derived from a mistaken belief that evolution is defined by some kind of progress towards something. Natural selection is the selective or limiting element of the process rather than the driving force. Without it, you still get a branching tree, which means the process still produces. But without variation, you get nothing new. Natural selection can prune branch after branch of the tree but without variation it can only terminate not create.

But natural selection does provide direction in the sense of selecting for survivability. To be sure it provides the reasoning for why many things develop, but not everything. Sometimes variation is the only reason.

RJG » February 26th, 2018, 1:02 pm wrote:They cannot create a stone so large that they cannot lift, ...and nor can they know 'before' they know.

This is a common error of theologians obsessed with power and control, who therefore cannot imagine a god who might value something else more than these things. Thus they imagine a god who has no power over himself, but the consequence is that the god they have created is thereby in thrall to the theologian and his definitions. Perhaps, they might say that a god who chooses life, love, and freedom over power and control must cease to be a god, but that is only because it ceases to serve the purpose of the theologian and his obsession.

RJG » February 26th, 2018, 1:02 pm wrote:In other words, the knowledge itself (or whatever composes it) always 'precedes' the 'knowing'-of-this-knowledge. We can't know of knowledge without (the pre-existing) knowledge to know.

But this is manifestly incorrect and suggests that the author of this does not experience the creative process. I do not deny that there are authors like this. But in my case, the knowledge of what the characters in my novels do certainly does not exist until after I write it which only happens sometime after I know what I will write.

RJG » February 26th, 2018, 1:02 pm wrote:Everything that "consciousness" is conscious of, is of a 'past event', and therefore "consciousness" can never cause anything, as everything (that one is conscious of) has already been caused (already happened! ...and is too late to cause it!).

The flaw in this argument has been explained repeatedly. Consciousness is not a singular event but a continuing process. All that is shown is that the consciousness at a particular time is not the cause of what it is conscious of at that particular time. But this does not mean that the consciousness at this time is not the cause of what one is conscious of at a later time.

It is like saying you the reader cannot have any causal effect upon me the writer because clearly I must have written it before you can read it. This obstinately ignores the fact that the writer himself may have read what the reader wrote earlier.
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