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Greetings, 

I have often been laughed out of science forums or philosophy forums for the ideas I have. There seems, in me, to be a distinction between true physics and fantasy physics; that is that latter is the topic I seem most interested in bringing to the table, and that interest keeps me going, and keeps me steeped in circles where I'm called a "quack" or some such other thing like it. I know I should concentrate on mainstream physics, which is where the money is. But some scientists are schizophrenics, and when they do science, the reach up for the less-low-bearing fruit that people are apt to avoid. I am such a scientist, and my goals are to consider those ideas which are less likely to be understood, but which can deal with the sub-topics of science which mainstream science considers "done-with". That is, for example, where does the wavefunction collapse take place? Will we ever be able to appropriate consciousness with computers? What is space? What are thoughts? Indeed, what is consciousness? These are questions which my mind is open to try to tackle. 

So, I would like to outline perhaps one or two of these ideas that have occurred to me through my career as a student of physics. The first is about time. 

Time, as we understand it, is simply a coordinate. It does not move, nor does it flow, but merely it is a conduit through which physical objects can move. But the claim is that time is a relative concept. In answer to the question of what time is relative to, we say: relative to the frame of the observer. 

But nothing in physics is measured in terms of consciousness; that is, there is no 'unit' of consciousness, and we cannot quantify it. So, then, what is time relative to, if the frame of the observer has nothing to do with consciousness? 

Firstly, I am given to suspect that we are wrong about our understanding of consciousness in this way. That is, if time is relative to the frame of the observer, then time is relative to consciousness. I can see no other way out of this. 

That said, if time cannot be relative to consciousness, that what can it be relative to? 

Imagine a train moving down a line. If you are on the platform, then it is clear to you that the train is the thing that is moving, and the platform that is stationary. Yet, if you are inside the train, then by relativity, you might feel that the train is the stationary thing, and that the outside world is the moving thing. This is a common view. 

And I feel time has a similarity. That is, in the world in which time 'flows' - and only in that world - time therefore must be expanding, or at least going forward according to the arrow which governs it conceptually. Then we might be in a position to ask, "what is time expanding into?" 

In this view, we might imagine that the present moment sits on an imaginary surface, the latter which expands in a direction toward the future. The situation is like that of an air bubble in water - although that doesn't necessarily expand, it just merely feels the compulsion to rise to the surface. The bubble is reaching out, and the surface is reaching into something of a recessive entity. Whereas the train is moving relative to the platform, the bubble of time is expanding relative to this recessive entity. What is this recessive entity? 

Perhaps it is the reciprocal of time, that is, perhaps it might have units of s super negative one , where the unit of time is s . Such a unit of the reciprocal of time, s super negative one , is the same as that of frequency, hertz - strangely, that unit which some web sources claim is a measurement of consciousness. 

This really is the end of my idea about time. Make of it what you will, but be wary it is not mainstream physics; there is nothing in modern physics which has claimed this. 

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I include a second theory of the universe. Again it is not mainstream physics. 

This idea pertains to the multiverse, which is considered in such branches of physics as quantum mechanics and string theory. 

Some physicists sniff at the idea of a multiverse, claiming it is not testable physics, and therefore not science. Sabine Hossenfelder, for example, says something like since we don't have access to these other universes, we have no right to call this science. 

But Sabine Hossenfelder is taking a view that is somewhat solipsistic. Let me explain. In her view, the multiverse is a facet of branching universes which come about at each decision. That is, in her view, the multiverse is an entirety of universes in which there is one human being acting out all the different versions of themself, in other dimensions. 

That certainly is untestable. But consider this. At the beginning of time there was a singularity. The evolution of said singularity was an event in which one lone entity divided into a many-entity entity. And in the origins of life on Earth, at one point there was a single organism which divided, and divided further, and divided further. 

But we are all connected to this organism, whether we like it or not. So, in some respect, we are the outcome of this branched event, and there are billions upon billions of conscious beings which have branched, up until this present moment. 

Considering that the origins of this primordial evolutionary organism which has branched over time were  singular, could we not also consider that we as conscious beings represent the branched into multiverse which is, in Hossenfelder's view, so unscientific? Why ask for a multiversal counterpart in another dimension, when we have our neighbours and colleagues next door to us? The question still remains, can we be sure that are conscious entities? 

The questions we have found to be asked are these: Are other humans conscious? Is consciousness quantifiable? Will consciousness ever be quantifiable? What is time relative to? How long is a second? 

This question - Will consciousness ever be quantifiable? - is a lot like the question how long is a second. I daresay that were I to ask the former question on such a website as Physics Stack Exchange, the question would be closed. But I would like to know if there are any studies into this question, whether there are any papers that might be worth looking at, or if any research whatsoever is being carried out on this question. I would like to know what progress we are making towards conscious AI. 

I would also like to know, if time, as goes the claim, is simply a coordinate, does it have any physical form at all? If time does not flow and it is static, then could we imagine it to be like a massive object? Or is it possibly a geometric shape? If it is a geometric shape, then which one? A circle or sphere? A triangle? Something much more convoluted? 

I will leave it here. But now, I am going to think of ways to put the consciousness question to Stack Exchange. 

Best
Daniel

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Just woke up (half an hour ago) at five thirty am, from a night's dreaming of various showers, and then, slowly drifting into conscious life, I opened my eyes and looked into the morning darkness and saw a type of lensing effect within the shapes upon the objects in my room. 

I wondered if, for all our studies into the deep universe, i.e. into space, using astronomy and cosmology, whether the laws of physics - as we know them - could be translated into a space that little bit more close to home. 

That is, could our investigations into deep space and time be scaled down to account for the more immediate experience of human consciousness? 

For example, perhaps the lensing effect familiar in the phenomenon of black holes, or other lensing bodies, may be scaled down to account for the immediate vicinity of conscious experience. I imagine this would require an investigation into optical physics. But what, in this scheme, would be lensed, and what would do the lensing? 

Light can bend in a gravitational field, and this happens at large distances. But perhaps light also bends according to a quantum scheme, along vanishingly small distances. Perhaps the idea of consciousness has something to do with this. 

Then I came to realise, that in so many ways, whereas the Schwarzschild metric is a solution to Einstein's field equations, and said metric contains however many singularities, that there must be in effect a solution to Einstein's field equations or a solution within the metric that solves for what might be known as a singularity of consciousness. We have a singularity at r equals zero comma and a singularity at r equals cap r sub cap s comma but is there another singularity that takes into account the observer themselves? 

When we deal with physics of potential, in terms of the Earth, including gravity, we take the zero of gravity to be either at h equals zero or h equals normal infinity comma in order that we take into account the concept of a "test-particle". 

So it follows that, within all our equations in physics, that we have neglected to include a term that takes into account the observer himself. 

That is the long and short of my conjecture, and I shall deign to investigate further. 

Daniel

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Daniel Frederick Best, Saturday, 26 Nov 2022, 22:12)
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A few things on my mind.

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Now, this year's little summer rest has proved such a good break. And I found that leaving the modules behind for the year left me so much appreciating of the time off, that I thought I'd quite like to leave study altogether after the degree is done. And I found myself entertaining thoughts of working through a plasterers course, so I could get my construction tickets, and go back to work. The situation has largely crossed my mind and I've half made plans to actually put this into action. I mean, I may well do! 

Every time I've entertained such a plan it's been because of the dire situation I find myself in regarding my results. It's true, I've enjoyed the course, enjoyed learning about the nature of the universe and nature itself. But I've never achieved amazing results. In the end I'll have worked so hard - and I do work hard here - and I'll only get myself a third-class degree out of it. Will it have been worth it? 

The other day, however, I was recipient to an enticing suggestion via the form of an email, that was from the university, that mind you was only a generated email - something sent by proxy now that I'm reaching the final year of my degree - but nevertheless, it led me to a thoughtful state of mind, and made me wonder about the future. It was from the mathematics department, and suggested that I perhaps try to enter on the mathematics masters. 

Last year I spent a great deal of time going through my options regarding the new physics masters at the OU. The discussions I had with the student services had failed to come to anything certain. But the gist of it was, that should I wish to switch to M06, then I would have to work through another year of extra courses. You know, I don't mind that. And I plan to pursue further communications with student services, when I pick up the course again next term. 

But a mathematics master? The thought is very intriguing. Their requirements are that I get a 2:1 for the degree that I'm on (or a 2:2 for a maths heavy degree - something I'm not doing), or failing that, that I take a test. Well, we'll see how it goes, I imagine. 

Now, there's under two weeks for this resit I'm doing. I feel very prepared - almost as if, were I to have to sit the thing tomorrow, that I'd be prepared. It feels as if the longer it takes, the more I will forget! But I'm not prepared - not fully. I need to brush up on Fourier Transforms. I need to make sure I can answer the first several questions. I need to make sure I understand the diffusion equation, separation of variables and the boundary conditions. I feel like I'm up to scratch with the Lagrangian questions, and I feel confident I can make up the extra two points that I missed out on last time because I was so lazy, complacent and the fact that I rushed through it. 

I'm half-confident. But I'm still nervous. 

So, in a nutshell: Perhaps I'll pursue study after next year, perhaps I'll become a builder. The resit is coming, and I must make sure I pass. 

Thanks all!!
Daniel

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On a possible physics of consciousness.

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Hello, and without thinking, how are you?

I'm jumping straight in to talk about consciousness, it being something that science aspires to understand, yet has not made much headway, and I think that, being someone who possesses consciousness, I think that I can talk about it. 

I spend a great deal of time thinking about consciousness, and my favourite times are those when I am on the cusp of dropping off to sleep, when the physical world as we naively know it begins to subside into dissipation, and we enter a world of pure internalisation.

It seems we desire a theory of consciousness. I think that, in order to attain such a theory, we need to assess just what attributes the phenomenon possesses that we can all agree upon, largely in the same fashion as science has in terms of the physical world. Newton, for example, was able to conceive of laws, such as the laws of motion, to which all macroscopic objects adhere. I am sometimes astounded that we have not as yet found any laws outside of pure metaphysics that come close to describing consciousness. However, I think that this is because many of us have not tried. 

Hegel has come close to ascertaining some degree of consistency in his discussion of the internal workings of the mind (I have yet to complete a reading of his "Philosophy of Mind"). He talks about the apparent structures of the entity, and I must admit, he does a wonderful job in his introductory explanations. For example, he claims the properties of mind contain, for one thing, that of being "in" something, and in that sense, it is a private entity; that is, nobody else has access to its contents. Hegel talks about thinking in terms of an entity that is experienced as a type of string of points separated by time, and I admit, although a naively realistic assessment, it is not far from the mark. 

As an introduction to consciousness I feel it would be wise to avoid the esoteric curtailments of its description, however, I feel the following attempt in part avoids a complete reduction to such a restriction. One of consciousness's properties is that it is one. As I mention, not so esoteric, I believe, when one considers the glaring fact of its empirical evidence; that is, and from a personal perspective, consciousness can only be one in the sense in which only one person experiences it at any one time. In that sense it is true, but also on a more esoteric note, it must follow that consciousness is one in the universal sense; that is, there is nothing that I am given to experience that is solely within the confines of my own experience; that is, to reiterate, there is nothing it is like to be me that cannot be known by anyone else. It is a hard concept to grasp, but it is perfectly natural. Nagel asks: Is there anything it is like to be a bat? And I believe that, if we can mine our cognitive talents enough, we can understand that what it is like to be a bat is the same in many respects as what it is like to be ourselves, given the similarities in evolutionary survival struggles, and other such respects. Perhaps I am not being entirely clear, however, this point is a fleeting nod to the impressions left by the physical presence and worldly effects that others (in the naively traditional sense) have on us. (Am I justified in talking about an 'us'?) 

But Hegel's appropriation to the aspects of mind may give us a fruitful leg up in the approach to a definition of consciousness, that is, in the sense in which we must find common properties to it. I think that "consciousness is one" is a good approximation to such an introduction, in the flavour of what I intend to purport. 

But without messing around too much with particularities, I wish to define a second approach to something akin to an appraisal of a property of consciousness, and this relies on a cursory understanding of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. In short, it is a physical theory, and perhaps relies, to its detriment, on an understanding of mind as a structural composition of thought. That is, thought itself is not consciousness (yet it does have connections), rather, thought is a structural component, the likes of which may or may not be similar in form to those which are common to each and every one of us. That is, it is consciousness which separates us (again, justified use of the word 'us'?), although having said that, how could I know? I am not telepathic. Yet these structures of thought, which are underpinned by consciousness, can be ascertained by experience and with skill, and skill that is a common undertaking to those with the disposition. So, momentarily, a discussion of thought. First however, I wish to illustrate a conceptual and intuitive definition of consciousness. That is - consciousness is a self-luminant observable entity. 

Consciousness is a self-luminant observable entity. Such a concept is self evident, and also it is self evident that such a self-luminant entity is an innate, that is, inner conceptual entity. To deepen the discussion, it may be necessary to state some obvious observations about this concept. 

Again, a self-luminant observable entity is innate. However, questions arise about the nature of 'inside' and 'outside', and it can be proven that a distinction can be blurred, and even switched upon its head, and also that, in light of relativistic concerns. Perhaps 'inside' and 'outside' are emergent properties? And perhaps consciousness itself is the mooting example of such a relativistic consideration. This is akin to considerations of relative size, mass, position, possession, quality, quantity, relation, place, activity, passivity and time and substance. 

A self-luminant observable entity is only attainable by the one. That is, it may only be accessed by he whom observes it, namely, it is private. In esoteric terms (forgive me!), it may be that the self-luminant observable entity (SLOE) is produced according to differences in the 'micro-evolution' of the human states of being. (Micro-evolution is merely changes to the constitution of being, which has numerable connotations, one of which I heretofore point out to be an effect of continual rejuvenation, brought about by the continuum of transference, in terms of the perceived coming to being, and dying away of external entities. A SLOE is self-luminant; it illuminates itself, and the structure of thought is the mechanism by which this occurs. 

That is why we must continue the discussion in the frame of 'thought', which appears to me to be a mechanistic structure, and can easily be defined. We may naively consider that, which we take to be thought, to be that which is an emergent property of the mind, brought about by the brain and its connections. I admit, I do not know enough about neuroscience to be sure of these following claims, but I have for many years sought to investigate the workings of thought, by introspection, and am most enamoured by science. That is, in short, the structure of thought is as geometric and logical as we can take it. One may imagine a fractal, or a network, indeed, a neural network, that is engineered to be experienced as a micro-evolution, and takes on different levels at different times of life. 

These innate neural networks can be seen to be structural by inspection. One is reminded of the physical mechanics of semiconductors, which employ the use of doping mechanisms by which lattices of configured atoms are electrically enhanced by the addition of 'holes' (doping), and these promote the flow of electrons from one part of the material to another. That is the long and short of it. Yet in terms of the structure of thinking, that is, the structure of thought, we can find a counterpart similarity. Yet here we have a subject that has not been much considered, at least in my line. 

Take a thought, and take it to be in the form of such a SLOE as we have been discussing, and call it a positive entity. This puts it in the same line as like a positive particle. In fact, electrons are the negative particles, and protons the positive, so hence we should put thought (SLOE) in the same species as a proton - yet, to be true to the physics, it is the electron which carries the charge, hence we should say that a SLOE is a negative entity. Nevertheless we experience it as a positive entity, in its self-luminant capacity. But such a SLOE is in pursuit of something which is definitely a 'missing' attribute. That is, the electron is fluid in the presence of a hole (a hole being a positive entity). Such a hole, in the manner of doping, can take the place of something akin to that which we seek to know, that is, the promise of knowledge; the gap in our knowledge; the unknowledge, or the innocence or ignorance. Yet we could not call it ignorance, nevertheless these things we seek to know are things of which we are ignorant. These entities, akin to doping holes, are really yet to be discovered. However, they act in the capacity of driving the negative entities to become a SLOE, and thus complete the mechanism. 

Hence we have innate neural networks. The properties of such a network are glaring and glaringly vast, yet as with anything, I believe they can be brought into crystallisation, and, furthermore, are common to all species of being, male or female, and so on. 

I will come to an end shortly, on this discussion of consciousness, but I leave you with the thoughts that follow. 

Consciousness, if introspection and investigation through self-examination have anything to do with it, is finely grained. That is what is so fascinating about it. That is what is so mysterious about it. The experience of the physical world, in waking life, for me personally, is a matter of light and touch, and the other senses. Yet it seems the human brain (for those who are aware of their own possession of such) is capable of storing light to be saved for such experiences as dreams, and lucid dreams, and imagination. The innate light that we possess can illuminate our unconscious experiences and, as I say, it is finely grained. That is, our dreams seem to possess such fine graining in the quality of our innate experiences, that it becomes harder and harder to appreciate that the physical world (which may be extended to synaptic and neural experiences) is quantum at all, or in other words, particulate. There remain to be had discussions of time, and space, and light, and all manner of other entities of which we may attribute the tag a limit.

For what is not a limit? 

I wish to say one last thing in this blog post. I believe that, whether or not you take into account the admittedly abstruse or inscrutable things I have said here, the goal of a true understanding of consciousness is to attain a state of universal access to a common innate entity. Perhaps our common origin (in that of the big bang) may go some way to afford this task, and perhaps the real wonder is why we have not already reached this achievement. But I would encourage people to make it a common endeavour to think deeply about the ways in which we can finally, through all our failed attempts, make a good go at finding a physics of consciousness. 

Thanks very much, 

Daniel Frederick Best, Cert He (Open).

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