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March 12, 2017

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What a theory

Thanks for the link to Dr. Hoffman's article. I find the details of his model very interesting though I am quite familiar with similar types of models - mondadological models in which the fundamental building blocks are observers, subjects or minds and "objective reality" is resolved into a mere expression of the structure of the relationships between them. The papers of Goro Kato

http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/math_fac/46/

(his principles are: the universe is an ocean of consciousness and time is multilinear), Struppa and

T. Nakagomi

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12648849

might be worth looking into.

However I find the details of Dr. Hoffman's paper ( such as the Schopenhauerian and Buddhist flavor of his subtle twist on natural selection) and in particular his definition of conscious agents - based on stochastic cellular automata - is intriguing.

I am myself working on a model which might be explained thus:

First there is the naive objective spatial-temporal level in which each agent or "cell" can only interact with its immediate neighbors or else send out a remote signal. An example is the current model of cells in the human body.

Secondly there is the higher stage of Dr. Hoffman's model in which each agent is no longer longer located or bound by the laws of space; each agent can be plugged into every other (cf. neural networks, the internet etc); the world is simply the set of all other agents. However this model is still mechanistic in that it attempts to build the whole from a diagram (pseudograph) of interacting parts (cf. the problems of microphysicalism).

Thirdly and finally there is the stage of the models of quantum computation inspired by quantum field theory. Here we see that the diagrams of interacting agents are themselves illusory, convenient fictions that are in strict analogy to the Feynmann diagrams which can be abstracted from excitations and waves of the fundamental field of reality, the mind itself.

Hoffman: The formal theory of conscious agents I’ve been developing is computationally universal—in that sense, it’s a machine theory. And it’s because the theory is computationally universal that I can get all of cognitive science and neural networks back out of it. Nevertheless, for now I don’t think we are machines—in part because I distinguish between the mathematical representation and the thing being represented. As a conscious realist, I am postulating conscious experiences as ontological primitives, the most basic ingredients of the world. I’m claiming that experiences are the real coin of the realm. The experiences of everyday life—my real feeling of a headache, my real taste of chocolate—that really is the ultimate nature of reality.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/the-illusion-of-reality/479559/.

mathesis: I am over halfway through Dr. Bruce Lipton's book. I stopped reading it because I found exciting studies done on water memory; that consciousness can imprint water which for me may affect the cell membrane. But the real Lankavatara dude is probably the neuroscientist Dr. Donald Hoffman (there are a number of good vids with him on Youtube). Here is one paper I am currently reading http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00577/full. There are others. When you see me using the term "conscious agents" I am shamelessly using one of his terms. :)

I would like to point out some references that complement this very interesting post.
For biological research that confirms the radio and interface model of the relationship between mind and body the work of Bruce Lipton is quite interesting (there is much of this on youtube - see also "epigenetics").
For an example of a contemporary strong philosophical defense of idealism there is the work of Bernardo Kastrup.
Finally for a very enlightening explanation of the true nature of quantum mechanics and so-called "particle physics" see (you can ignore his anti-Chopra remarks etc):

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.4616.pdf

This article points out to the general reader that modern physics in fact lends strong support to ultimate reality being but excitations of a fundamental field and any model of localized matter must be pure illusion and fundamentally inconsistent.
I think if we combine all these three points then we arrive at the metaphysics of the lankavatara-sutra.

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