Why Physicists are Saying Consciousness Is A State of Matter; Like a Solid, a Liquid, or a Gas

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posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 06:56 AM
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Hello Everyone,

I wanted to bring this to the attention of the ATS Community. If it has been shared already, Mods please remove.

This is a a lot to chew on!

“This leaves us with an integration paradox: why does the information content of our conscious experience appear to be vastly larger than 37 bits?” asks Tegmark.

That’s a question that many scientists might end up pondering in detail. For Tegmark, this paradox suggests that his mathematical formulation of consciousness is missing a vital ingredient. “This strongly implies that the integration principle must be supplemented by at least one additional principle,” he says. Suggestions please in the comments section!"

Source: medium.com...

Please comment and discuss this buzz in the scientific community!




posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 07:29 AM
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reply to post by Amarri
 


Interesting. I like it. The rules: a conscious system must be able to store information in a memory, retrieve it efficiently and process the information; and the system must contain error-correcting codes that allow any subset of information to be reconstructed from the rest.

Reminds me of fractals, and explains the origins of hypocrisy.


Tegmark’s approach is to think of consciousness as a state of matter, like a solid, a liquid or a gas. “I conjecture that consciousness can be understood as yet another state of matter. Just as there are many types of liquids, there are many types of consciousness,” he says.

He goes on to show how the particular properties of consciousness might arise from the physical laws that govern our universe. And he explains how these properties allow physicists to reason about the conditions under which consciousness arises and how we might exploit it to better understand why the world around us appears as it does.

Interestingly, the new approach to consciousness has come from outside the physics community, principally from neuroscientists such as Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.



In 2008, Tononi proposed that a system demonstrating consciousness must have two specific traits. First, the system must be able to store and process large amounts of information. In other words consciousness is essentially a phenomenon of information.

And second, this information must be integrated in a unified whole so that it is impossible to divide into independent parts. That reflects the experience that each instance of consciousness is a unified whole that cannot be decomposed into separate components.


Take for example, the idea that the information in a conscious system must be unified. That means the system must contain error-correcting codes that allow any subset of up to half the information to be reconstructed from the rest.

Tegmark points out that any information stored in a special network known as a Hopfield neural net automatically has this error-correcting facility. However, he calculates that a Hopfield net about the size of the human brain with 10^11 neurons, can only store 37 bits of integrated information.





PS. Sorry - lost ability to highlight (+ move text, delete etc.) - frustrating. Just happened - hopefully can fix later.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 07:41 AM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Thought is energy. Consciousness is the movement of that energy. Without energy, there is no thought or consciousness. So the question is, where is that energy?



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 07:47 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


You say thought is energy, the source article says thought is matter. I'm not here to argue.


Matter and Energy: A False Dichotomy
Matt Strassler [April 12, 2012]

It is common that, when reading about the universe or about particle physics, one will come across a phrase that somehow refers to “matter and energy”, as though they are opposites, or partners, or two sides of a coin, or the two classes out of which everything is made. This comes up in many contexts. Sometimes one sees poetic language describing the Big Bang as the creation of all the “matter and energy” in the universe. One reads of “matter and anti-matter annihilating into `pure’ energy.” And of course two of the great mysteries of astronomy are “dark matter” and “dark energy”.

As a scientist and science writer, this phraseology makes me cringe a bit, not because it is deeply wrong, but because such loose talk is misleading to non-scientists. It doesn’t matter much for physicists; these poetic phrases are just referring to something sharply defined in the math or in experiments, and the ambiguous wording is shorthand for longer, unambiguous phrases. But it’s dreadfully confusing for the non-expert, because in each of these contexts a different definition for `matter’ is being used, and a different meaning — in some cases an archaic or even incorrect meaning of `energy’ — is employed. And each of these ways of speaking implies that either things are matter or they are energy — which is false. In reality, matter and energy don’t even belong to the same categories; it is like referring to apples and orangutans, or to heaven and earthworms, or to birds and beach balls.




edit on 17/1/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 07:56 AM
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Title: "Why Physicists are Saying Consciousness Is A State of Matter; Like a Solid, a Liquid, or a Gas"



i have a contention with their high thinking...

as i see consciousness as Not being a State of Matter (in this physical Universe)

Consciousness along with Gravity actually permeates all the invisible Universes which are 'beside us'... therefore
consciousness nor gravity is not unique or a property or in a 'State' of this observable, physical, Universe of material things.


Gravity & Consciousness transcends our normal concept of being in a 'State' ...we can observe different 'States' of material stuff
that are specific to only this Universe we are in...imho


see the latest interesting article relating to multi-verse's/parallel worlds/other dimensional realities..


"Parallel Worlds Exist And Will Soon Be Testable, Expert Says"
The Mind Unleashed
on 16 January, 2014 at 03:13
themindunleashed.org...


interesting stuff



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 08:13 AM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Yes, and matter is energy. Ergo, consciousness is energy. Do I need to include a few links to demonstrate the nature of matter? Given that the computer I am typing on right now is composed of empty space, more or less. The actual matter I am interacting with is the result of tightly packed pieces of energy.

Here, have a link I found in approximately 45 seconds by using the lauded Google:

www.nobelprize.org...

I would go on to add that since our thoughts have been proven to affect our bodily functions, this implies a certain wait to the process of cognition. According to Newton's law, nothing can touch without being touch. Therefore, if an effect is being enacted on the human body merely by the process of cognition, this implies that an exchange took place, which requires substance of some sort on both ends - cause and effect. This furthermore suggests that regardless of your comprehension regarding said substance, it exists in some capacity at some level. The next trick is to forget everything you think you know and rely purely on an extensive web of hypothesis, experimentation, analysis, conclusion, reformulated hypothesis, additional experimentation, etc. Because that's how science works.
edit on 17-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 08:24 AM
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AfterInfinity
reply to post by soficrow
 


Yes, and matter is energy. Ergo, consciousness is energy.


Oh, so you presume consciousness is a state, or condition, of matter? I thought materialism had long ago been discredited. Evidently, still a few diehard believers survive apart from physicists like Tegmark for whom it is a form of religious dogma. No wonder their speculations never explain what consciousness is.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by Amarri
 


Thanks for sharing! I think they might have it backwards, though. It might be closer to the truth to say matter is a condensed state of consciousness. Consciousness is primary, matter is secondary.

“If anyone asks you to say who you are, say without hesitation, soul within soul within soul... Everything is soul and flowering.” -Rumi

edit on 17-1-2014 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 08:49 AM
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micpsi

AfterInfinity
reply to post by soficrow
 


Yes, and matter is energy. Ergo, consciousness is energy.


Oh, so you presume consciousness is a state, or condition, of matter? I thought materialism had long ago been discredited. Evidently, still a few diehard believers survive apart from physicists like Tegmark for whom it is a form of religious dogma. No wonder their speculations never explain what consciousness is.


A 'thought' can be measured by an electroencephalograph (EEG). The question I would be asking is does an electron have mass? If so then it is the equivalent of energy which would make 'thought' energy.
It really depends on what you are prepared to accept or believe I suppose.
Is consciousness a state or condition of matter? I do not know however I have experienced many different lenses I have perceived reality through that I would attribute to the label "consciousness"



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by micpsi
 


Or you could explain your own conclusions instead of talking to me like I'm an idiot for having an opinion. I mean, I don't know if you intended it to sound that way, but consciousness possibly being a state of matter IS kind of the topic for this thread, so forgive me for actually considering the possibility. Not to mention that matter is still a very real and very relevant element of the world we live in, so unless you feel like disproving the whole materialism concept by starving yourself to death and coming back as a noncorporeal consciousness to be interviewed by the scientists in the OP, I'm not inclined to just disregard materialism in a favor of imagination. Just THINKING of the airplane didn't make it real, you know. They had to build it too. Same for every other modern miracle in the world.

In short, I feel your remark was a little unnecessary given the nature of the subject, so perhaps you could take a step back and contemplate a more open and friendly approach to the discussion. Thanks.
edit on 17-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 09:50 AM
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"Appear to be" is subjective, relative.
Change perspectives, look at '37' as a lot and think of how much can actually be accomplished with so little.

It can appear to be whichever way you want.

Cups half full or half empty?



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 10:29 AM
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I did a little bit more digging, and got this from a well respected Scientist, David Saintloth. He seems to have quite a bit to say about the subject:

Integrated Information does not equate to consciousness on its own;

Source: sent2null.blogspot.com...

Excerpt from supporting Source:


sent2null.blogspot.com...

"Note the pragmatic line I am taking as opposed to what others are "theorizing" I have a state diagram I can code to, ready to go. Not an abstract meta physical attempt to define consciousness. I don't really see the need of that. What we need is to efficiently enable its emergence and do so to various states of awareness and without pathology. So the engineers approach.

We call that continuous loop of continuous salience evaluation, consciousness, we call the dance between options evaluated between internal salience and external sensation "I", "me", "you". Recent results in neuroscience confirm this idea in the identification of the internal connection states that define conscious versus unconscious states.

It's that simple.

I am pretty much certain of it...and when I get time will start coding to that state diagram to see if I can emerge simple forms of consciousness but I've got a lot of work to do with launching WorkNetz first."
edit on 17-1-2014 by Amarri because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 



... I think they might have it backwards, though. It might be closer to the truth to say matter is a condensed state of consciousness. Consciousness is primary, matter is secondary.

“If anyone asks you to say who you are, say without hesitation, soul within soul within soul... Everything is soul and flowering.” -Rumi


Myohmy. Agreed. And I do so love Rumi. ...except I think these guys are working towards an AI tweak.











edit on 17/1/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 12:17 PM
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reply to post by Amarri
 


So according to this article or exposition, where does the mind reside, and where does it originate?



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 01:03 PM
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I have to give you a S&F for this thread! I have been pondering these concepts for some time, waiting for science to validate what sages have known since the beginning of time.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 02:02 PM
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AfterInfinity
reply to post by soficrow
 


Yes, and matter is energy. Ergo, consciousness is energy. Do I need to include a few links to demonstrate the nature of matter? Given that the computer I am typing on right now is composed of empty space, more or less. The actual matter I am interacting with is the result of tightly packed pieces of energy.

Here, have a link I found in approximately 45 seconds by using the lauded Google:

www.nobelprize.org...

I would go on to add that since our thoughts have been proven to affect our bodily functions, this implies a certain wait to the process of cognition. According to Newton's law, nothing can touch without being touch. Therefore, if an effect is being enacted on the human body merely by the process of cognition, this implies that an exchange took place, which requires substance of some sort on both ends - cause and effect. This furthermore suggests that regardless of your comprehension regarding said substance, it exists in some capacity at some level. The next trick is to forget everything you think you know and rely purely on an extensive web of hypothesis, experimentation, analysis, conclusion, reformulated hypothesis, additional experimentation, etc. Because that's how science works.
edit on 17-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)


Did you read the link that the Crow shared with you, when they stated they weren't here to argue?
Might clear up the context a little bit.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 02:37 PM
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bigfatfurrytexan

AfterInfinity
reply to post by soficrow
 


Yes, and matter is energy. Ergo, consciousness is energy. Do I need to include a few links to demonstrate the nature of matter? Given that the computer I am typing on right now is composed of empty space, more or less. The actual matter I am interacting with is the result of tightly packed pieces of energy.

Here, have a link I found in approximately 45 seconds by using the lauded Google:

www.nobelprize.org...

I would go on to add that since our thoughts have been proven to affect our bodily functions, this implies a certain wait to the process of cognition. According to Newton's law, nothing can touch without being touch. Therefore, if an effect is being enacted on the human body merely by the process of cognition, this implies that an exchange took place, which requires substance of some sort on both ends - cause and effect. This furthermore suggests that regardless of your comprehension regarding said substance, it exists in some capacity at some level. The next trick is to forget everything you think you know and rely purely on an extensive web of hypothesis, experimentation, analysis, conclusion, reformulated hypothesis, additional experimentation, etc. Because that's how science works.
edit on 17-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)


Did you read the link that the Crow shared with you, when they stated they weren't here to argue?
Might clear up the context a little bit.


Who said I was arguing? Arguing is tantrums and name-calling and throwing accusations around. This was a clean-cut solidly built defense constructed in response to a small misunderstanding. I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that I cast not a single aspersion on the member to whom I was responding in that post, nor did I call their character into question.

But now we're getting dreadfully close to being off-topic here, so if you don't mind, I'd like to get over this wrinkle in our exchange.
edit on 17-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


i think it may be important, however, as we are getting into a realm where we may find that what we define as concepts such as matter and energy are debatable. I am not certain that they are "the same thing". Related, yes. But a caterpillar is not a butterfly.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 02:53 PM
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Interesting. I like it. The rules: a conscious system must be able to store information in a memory, retrieve it efficiently and process the information; and the system must contain error-correcting codes that allow any subset of information to be reconstructed from the rest.


1 word: hologram. If you cut a hologram in half, you can still see the piece missing, the only difference is the resolution of the image has decreased from the original. But you are still able to recognize what you are seeing.




posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 02:55 PM
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bigfatfurrytexan
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


i think it may be important, however, as we are getting into a realm where we may find that what we define as concepts such as matter and energy are debatable. I am not certain that they are "the same thing". Related, yes. But a caterpillar is not a butterfly.


I've already explained how I made the connection. If it makes the picture any clearer, let's put it this way: while existence does not guarantee cognitive function, nonexistence guarantees a LACK of cognitive function. In short, we can definitely say that some form of substantial presence is required for cognitive function to be observed. What does this imply about consciousness? That it requires matter in order to exist. But if consciousness isn't matter, then why would this be the case? Have you recorded a consciousness which appeared without a vessel or medium?

I hope I've made myself clear. There's only so many ways I can explain this.





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