Re: psi as a boundary breaking possibility

From: CYMM (
Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 05:02:04 MDT

Hi extropians,

In connexion with this thread.

Five things:

FIRST, if very complex adaptive systems can be shown to be locked in a
strong coupling with an emergent, systemwide quantum potential; then
decoherence or, equivalently, "collapse" would occur where the system point
deepens, progressively, and in a runaway fashion - via positive feedback
between QWF & potential - a local system potential well when the point
appears in a reasonable neighbourhood of that well.

The SECOND thing is that we could posit that the state vectors are
themselves representative of qualia - and a quale is "experienced" or
"accessed" by the system on decoherence or collapse onto a state vector. So
the decoherence/collapse is the fundamental "conscious event".

Thus, like Chalmers and the Hindus, it is economical to say that the raw
thread of consciousness is native to all the physical Universe.

Weaving it into a fabric of consciousness is a different matter.

Our linear, time-serial consciousness - very useful ( a Darwinian
sense...) as a top-down integrator of the disparate, often contending set of
processes that we call mentality - might appear as a time-periodic
decoherence of the emergent QWF of the thalamocortical computational

THIRDLY, we don't have to fiddle with micro things like Bose-Einstein
condensates etc, to explain why a macroscopic emergent QWF of a complex
computational system might be coherent.

Such a a QWF, because it represents emergent phenomena, can be effectively
insulated from the molecular thermodynamics of the physical systems that are
subsumed in order to effect the macro computational system.

Its effective thermodynamics is that of a system near absolute zero because
it's causally uncoupled from small-scale phenomena. To decohere we need only
add some classical energy and stir.

So hang the femtomachines & the microtubules & the quantum gravity.

FOURTHLY, we may wish to inquire about the nature of the set of ALL qualia.
The hyperuniverse, if you will. Surely this vastly supersets all physical
existence. Because I can experience, in my imagination, qualia of physically
nonexistent & physically forbidden entities.

Then there is the crushingly huge set of qualia that I can't experience -
because of the paucity of my mentatlity.

So how big is this set of ALL qualia? So large, I think, that it is
equivalent to NOTHING. This is uncannily like the Hindu Brahman. The
quintessence of thoughtless consciousness that underlies maya: the universe
of physics & all mentality.

This "everything is nothing" kills the paradoxes that might be wont to rear
their ugly heads.

FIFTH, what does this do for the singularity, SETI etc? Well, I'm sorry to
say that intelligent life doesn't exist on earth. Or what we conclude is
intellligence is extremely fragile and ephemeral in the grand scheme of

The vast majority of techincally adept sentients quickly evolve to a state
where their non-Born QWFs give them release from this universe... they've
disappeared from our physical cosmos and are now part of that amorphous
Brahman, the hyperuniverse.

Can we with our limited pattern-detection disembed them from thence?

Sic transit gloria mundi, Extropians!

-----Original Message-----
From: Darin Sunley <>
To: <>
Date: Friday, July 14, 2000 2:38 AM
Subject: Re: psi as a boundary breaking possibility

>Scerir's post involving the use of quantum random number generators, etc...
>in conjunction with "psi" phenomena caused a bunch of things I've been
>reading to crystallize into a fairly complicated question.
>First, some background.
>I've just finished reading Chalmer's "The Conscious Mind." Towards the end
>of that book Chalmers has a chapter in which he discusses several
>interpretations of quantum mechanics and their relationship towards his
>theory of consciousness. As I understand his theory, consciousness is one
>the postulated fundamental "things" in the universe, along with space/time
>and mass/energy, but it is invariably associated with certain patterns of
>matter/energy. Sort of straddling the fence between matieralism and
>I thought. At least knowing where he was going made slogging through all
>epistimelogy easier :) He spends a significant part of this chapter on the
>Everett Interpretation, which, as I understood it, says that, in lieu of
>there being some mechanism associated with consciousness that causes spread
>out probability waves to "collapse" into discrete conventional histories,
>our minds are in the same superposition, and thus only perceive a small
>of the massive wave function that is reality.
>I've also just recently re-read Greg Egan's Diaspora, in which (no
>femtomachines, the nuclear particle equivalent of molecular nanotechnology,
>play a prominent role.
>Molecular nanotechnonological devices are orders of magnitude too large to
>experience quantum effects, but there seems to be no fundamental
>issues (that an SI couldn't resolve :)) preventing femtomachines being
>small enough to enter into quantum superpositions with other femtomachines,
>or other particles of similar size.
>Accordingly, postulate the existence of a femto-robot. A device
>approxiamately the size of a large particle that can manipulate other
>particles it's size and smaller, but be small enough to be swallowed in a
>quantum superpsoition with other particles, like the particles that form
>bits in the register of a quantum computer.
>What would be the effect on the robot's functioning, if any, if it is
>into superposition with a series of particles, with preprogrammed
>instructions to perform some manipulation of those particles within the
>superposed state? What if the robot was placed in superpsotiion with
>robot with different programming? Of course I realize that the particles in
>superposition must remain completely separated form the outside environment
>for the duration of the superposition, but the examples I've seen (quite
>reasonably) did not mention the possibility of particles with behavior
>orders of magnitude more complex then the behavior of a normal electron :)
>And what relation does any of this blue-sky speculation have to
>non-locality, superposition, wave function collapse, and/or other quantum
>phenomenon generally regarded as the most plausible physical causes of
>whatever "psi" phenomenon may exist?
>If anyone has any idea, or if anyone knows whether the whole mental model
>that spawned this question is fundamentally broken :), by all means, let me
>We learn by asking questions...
>Darin Sunley
> From: scerir <>
> Well, a clean source of random numbers is, perhaps, also this one
> In the far future you could also use quantum analyzers, and you
> could also perform psi experiments by means of ... quantum robots!
> An interesting argument is the Reichenbach's common cause principle
> which is often called into question when they perform experiments about
> (quantum) nonlocality
> Classical (non quantum) nonlocality was sometimes theoretically showed
> (superluminal solutions of Maxwell field, etc.) i:e.
> A quantum-informational methodology (about cognitive,
> psychological, social ans anomalous! phenomena) was
> sometimes sketched, i.e.
> but I think that the s.c. *structural instability* criterion
> is more useful, if we want to build a consistent theory
> of psi phenomena.
> The Geneva quantum optics group is working
> very hard on nonlocality, *cosmic* frame, special relativity,
> a review article is:
> A very strange *ghost* nonlocality was also shown recently

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