Monday, March 20, 2006

A universe of Qualia

In my previous posting I applied Tegmark's idea that every mathematical model is a universe, to humans. This leads to the conclusion that we can think of our minds as universes in their own right. If we think of the universe we live in, we usually think of the objects we see around us, their properties and how they behave.

In case of our mind considered as a universe, the laws of physics are contained in an exact description of the way our neurons in our brain interact with each other. This description is, of course, enormously complicated. Alternatively, we could think of the neurons in our brain as simulating ''emergent laws of physics'' that describe the qualia we experience.

Just like one can do organic chemistry without solving the Schrödinger equation for complex organic molecules, we can talk about how we feel, what we see etc. without referring to what exactly our neurons are doing in our brains. We can thus think of the qualia as ''events'' in our personal universe. These are described by ''effective laws of physics'', analogously to the imprecise laws of, say, organic chemistry or biology.

Since we experience the qualia and not the fundamental processes that give rise to the qualia (this follows from the Simulation Argument: If the brain were simulated on some computer, it would have the same consciousness), we should consider the qualia as fundamental objects of our personal universe. The universe on the level of the qualia is where the mind really resides. It is here that the notions of pain, anger, happiness, colors etc. exist.

4 Comments:

Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Hi Count seeing the universe with the eyes is relative, our eyes can and do deceive us. The same with thoughts we can like Quixote be fighting windmills.

But physical 'reality' ie a brick wall, no matter whether we have 20/20 vision, whether we are partially sighted, whether we are totally blind, or whether our minds are troubled or otherwise distracted, if we walk into a brick wall we shall know we have walked into one.

You'll be surprised how many people walk into lampposts, even among those with 20/20 vision, no not because they weren't looking in that direction (in front of them) but because they didn't see it (didn't even see it coming).

Not because of the 'blind' spot, but because their focus, or thoughts were on something other than wahat was in front of them.

Incidentally, have you ever pulled up at a roundabout, there is a car in front, you look (left) in EU (right) in uk, no traffic on roundabout, so you start to move forward, only to slam the brakes on when you realise the vehicle in front has not moved. You (brain) just assumed that because you could see it was ok to go the chap in front would see it too, and respond at the same speed as you.

Of course some people travel thru life seldom encountering a red light, or gettin caught in traffic, whilst others go from one red light to the next.

And some people drive accelerating braking accelerating braking in urban traffic, whilst taxi drivers have developed the skill of going with the 'flow' and often arriving at the destination in less time, with less stress and less wear on their selves and vehicles.

But I digress, what I meant is that if there is something solid there, there are no X-men that can walk through it, the wall is there whether you can see or whether you are blind. Ram raiders used to and do get over the problem of walls or reinforced glass by using 4x4's with bull bars. lol! Laters ... Q

Wed Jun 14, 06:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Faust said...

Hi Count,

I have just opened up my own blog; you may find it interesting.

Name: 'Space - Time - Matter'
URL: http://faustscorner.blogspot.com

p.s.: Are you a physics (grad) student? I want to get primarily physics and math students to my site.

Fri Oct 06, 07:03:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Count Iblis said...

Quasar9, I agree with your analyses. An interesting question is why is there a physical world and why can't be like the X-men you mention? I'll elaborate on that in a next posting.

Mon Oct 09, 06:56:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Count Iblis said...

Hi Faust, I'll visit your Blog. I've a Ph.D. in physics. On this blog I only explore metaphysical ideas that are not (yet) publishable :)

Mon Oct 09, 06:57:00 PM PDT  

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