Date:         Thu, 16 Jul 1998 10:31:41 -0700
Reply-To:     Quantum Approaches to Consciousness
              <[email protected]>
Sender:       Quantum Approaches to Consciousness
              <[email protected]>
From:         Stuart Hameroff <[email protected]>
Subject:      Qualia invariance - Dimiter Chakalov
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On Thu, 16 Jul 1998 00:03:06 -0700, Q-Mind 15 Jul 98, Jan Verhey wrote: 

> I can observe my brain, the physical (=experienced) world, but I won't
> find my experience among all the observables I find there.

Also, Stuart Hameroff wrote: 

> Stuart: Spin networks have a huge capacity for information and
> variability. Based on spin networks there are 10^104 Planck scale
> volumes per average brain. In Orch OR, 10^88 Planck scale volumes
> reconfigure with each conscious (Whitehead) event (e.g. at 40 Hz).
> Spacetime configuration can be muti-categorical. The spacetime
> configuration for Pavorotti is a lot closer to that for Placido Dominguez
> than it is to that for garlic.

Regarding the hard problem raised by Jan Verhey, let's examine a very simple case for qualia invariance in the human brain. What we get at the "output" is a very dependable and reliable mechanism called "cognition"; please see

Consider, for example, the quale of President Clinton's face: it is known to billions of people. If we try to examine the possible set of transformations in their brains under which this quale remains INVARIANT, and will remain unchanged through the rest of their life (same holds for the quale for "garlic"), I believe it is painfully clear that any computational mechanism, be it normal or quantum, cannot fit the bill. Please note that I assume some sort of isomorphism between the neurophysiological correlate of Clinton's face and its subjective image, much like, say, the source of a web page and its actual view with a web browser. So much about materialism.

Alternatively, if we drop this materialistic (epiphenomenalism) assumption and switch to some dualistic interactionism, the quale invariance may be saved theoretically, but for the expense of a drastic violation of Occam's razor: we would be forced to assume some immaterial spirit "playing with the piano". It is not a big help if this "piano" includes 100 billion neurons plus 10^88 Planck scale volumes reconfigure with each conscious event. It will be much more difficult *for us* to explain how the spirit is playing with the brain; that's all the difference, IMHO.

I believe the hard problem is much harder that it may seem at first glance, and perhaps we should examine some new ideas about mind-matter relations. Here comes a question about panpsychism, and a tentative idea to compete with both materialism and dualism: we have to include everything valuable from materialism and dualism, hence suggesting an entirely new approach.

1. Do we have some genuine new approach with the quantum panpsychism? If we have Platonic ideas and the whole World III (Popper), why is the need to *duplicate* their presentation with computations?

2. The oldest proposition about matter-psyche relations (advocated by Pauli since 1948), which can be traced back to Eastern mystical traditions, is that of ONE entity (Universal Mind, as in Schroedinger and Margenau), which is explicated through two entangled emanations. Any change in one of the "projections" causes instantaneous, EPR-like change in the other. Note that here we're dealing with three entities: psyche, matter, and their common source, the Universal Mind. To explain this, I shall make use of an imaginary example.

Let us imagine an Eskimo who has never seen and will never see an elephant in his life, but who can nevertheless make observations on an elephant's trunk by means of two complemental devices: "nose" and "arm". In the course of these observations the Eskimo will find out that the elephant's trunk is something pretty similar to both "nose" and "arm", but he would never fully comprehend the notion of "trunk" due to what Wolfgang Pauli called (explaining the notion of "spin") klassisch nicht beschreibbare Zweideutigkeit. In our case, when we change our "arm" (psyche), we change the "trunk", and instantaneously the "nose" (our brain/body/outer physical world) is changed due to its entanglement with the "arm" via the "trunk" (the Universal Mind). If the "nose" changes, the "arm" does in the same way, via their common source.

Note that this is just a very sketchy outline. The hard problem in this presentation is much more complicated, for we have to bear in mind some other "very simple" cases to be explained, like the movement of a centipede and fire-walking. But it's a nice starting point, isn't it?:-)

Best regards,


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