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  #41  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:59 PM
athribiristan athribiristan is offline
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Originally Posted by UndercoverElephant
Right. And how do you define "awareness"?

That which is aware. That which perceives. That which receives input and processes that input in some way. A rock receives energy but does nothing with it. An awareness receives energy and makes use of that energy to record information in some way so that it can be compared to future input. That comparison then becomes the basis for thought.
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  #42  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:15 PM
Kepler Kepler is offline
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Originally Posted by athribiristan
Not at all. Energy is energy. and if you don't think EM waves interfere with ocean waves you'd better think again.
Of course "energy is energy" (just like cars are cars, dogs are dogs and "arbitrary noun" is an "arbitrary noun"). That doesn't mean that there aren't different kinds of energy. A water wave carries energy mechanically through the motion of water molecules. An EM wave carries energy in the oscillations of its electric and magnetic fields. Anyway, I'm thinking again, and I still can't figure out how a water wave interferes with an EM wave.


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Originally Posted by athribiristan
Mind you the interference would almost undetectable as the difference in wavelengths is huge.
Why? EM waves can have a wavelength spanning from, for example, miles to nanometers. Surely the wavelength of a water wave falls in that range.


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Originally Posted by athribiristan
Our thoughts are energy. Here's proof:

Our muscles move. This is caused by electrical impulses transmitted by the nervous system. This is caused by the firing of synapses in the brain. This is caused by thought.
How do you know it's not the other way around? How do you know that firing neurons don't cause thought?


Quote:
Originally Posted by athribiristan
An awareness receives energy and makes use of that energy to record information in some way so that it can be compared to future input. That comparison then becomes the basis for thought.
Is a computer aware?


Thanks for the good discussion, everyone.
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  #43  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:36 PM
whoguy423 whoguy423 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UndercoverElephant
There isn't one which is not entirely circular (e.g. "consciousness is subjective experience.") The word "consciousness" could only mean what we use to mean by being given a private ostensive definition i.e. we "internally point" to our own conscious experiences and associate them with the word "consciousness." We then assume other people experience something similar and call it the same thing.

Ludwig Wittgenstein famously claimed the above was impossible, although it's not quite as simple as that.



Whether or not animals (and which animals) are conscious does matter. Or at least it does if we care about the potential for animals to suffer.


Thank you for your reply and insight UndercoverElephant.

According to what we can observe, animals and perhaps plants have the ability to sense pain and suffering. I guess it all get's right down to the ability for the species to survive, so sensing pain is a way to alert the animal of danger and allow it to evolve on to the next generation.

I really do want to get to the crux of where conscious thought comes from. I know this is impossible to answer, so it is totally fine to let it lie here.

In reply to the discussion about waves of energy, this is exactly string theory or m-theory.

In this theory, all particles are modelled as infinitely small vibrating strings of energy. These strings can be a closed string (circle) or open string (length of string) and can even be a vibrating surface called a brane. Because these strings are not points of zero (old model of particles), therefore, mathematically, divide by zero does not occur, hence mathematical calculations and predictions can be made from these models. In the old model, if energy exists as a point zero, it will have infinite energy density, therefore makes no mathematical sense, hence useless.... something string theory overcomes.

As to whether these models are in fact real or just a model, that is for the CERN accelerator to find out.

My personal belief is that at the level of ultimate reality, the real reality, all things are just waves and vibrations of electrostatic, electromagnetic and gravitational energy. Because the universe has expanded and cooled since it's birth, it causes these energies to settle into particles, radiation and pretty much what we see today in the universe.

Quantum fluctuations in space are responsible for whether a particle appears here or there from the cooling of the universe.

Now, if your still with me.... Quantum fluctuations in any space just happen... Over time, they just happen. Is there an intelligence to it? Is it totally random?

Is this quantum fluctuation responsible for consciousness? Does the complex brain which is highly reliant on electromagnetic activity lend itself to connecting into this strange part of space? Are memories stored in this space?

I ask this, because I have an interest in AI, and to me, true AI will never ever be realized, simply because we have no idea where the origin of consciousness arises from.

Advocates of AI say if they can model the brain completely using a super super super powerful computer, then true AI will arise.... I think this is a complete fallacy because that computer would never ever think outside it's programming.... unlike our imagination which can create totally original works and solutions.

Last edited by whoguy423 : 02-04-2012 at 12:39 AM.
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  #44  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:59 AM
Kepler Kepler is offline
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Originally Posted by whoguy423
In reply to the discussion about waves of energy, this is exactly string theory or m-theory.

...

As to whether these models are in fact real or just a model, that is for the CERN accelerator to find out.
I've been waiting for someone to mention string theory.
But yeah, as you said, time will tell if it is correct.
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  #45  
Old 02-04-2012, 01:21 AM
athribiristan athribiristan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kepler
Of course "energy is energy" (just like cars are cars, dogs are dogs and "arbitrary noun" is an "arbitrary noun"). That doesn't mean that there aren't different kinds of energy. A water wave carries energy mechanically through the motion of water molecules. An EM wave carries energy in the oscillations of its electric and magnetic fields. Anyway, I'm thinking again, and I still can't figure out how a water wave interferes with an EM wave.



Why? EM waves can have a wavelength spanning from, for example, miles to nanometers. Surely the wavelength of a water wave falls in that range.





How do you know it's not the other way around? How do you know that firing neurons don't cause thought?

The same way I know most of this: A little bird told me. Actually I credit intuition, racial consciousness, and a good deal of research.

Is a computer aware?

Only to the extent that the programmer understands awareness


Thanks for the good discussion, everyone.

I have also enjoyed this thread....thanks everyone.
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  #46  
Old 04-04-2012, 02:56 PM
athribiristan athribiristan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kepler
Of course "energy is energy" (just like cars are cars, dogs are dogs and "arbitrary noun" is an "arbitrary noun"). That doesn't mean that there aren't different kinds of energy. A water wave carries energy mechanically through the motion of water molecules. An EM wave carries energy in the oscillations of its electric and magnetic fields. Anyway, I'm thinking again, and I still can't figure out how a water wave interferes with an EM wave.

Ok, sorry it took so long to get back about this. I had to think for a while about how best to explain it. We'll use the visible light spectrum for this example because we have all had this experience, or at least most of us. Imagine you are under water looking up at the surface. You can easily see that the water diffuses the light waves coming from above. Now imagine a wave moving across the surface of the water. You would see that the light is diffused/refracted differently depending on where it strikes the water, or where the two waves intersect.....interference.

Why? EM waves can have a wavelength spanning from, for example, miles to nanometers. Surely the wavelength of a water wave falls in that range.



How do you know it's not the other way around? How do you know that firing neurons don't cause thought?



Is a computer aware?


Thanks for the good discussion, everyone.

hope that helps
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  #47  
Old 04-04-2012, 05:31 PM
Kepler Kepler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athribiristan
Ok, sorry it took so long to get back about this. I had to think for a while about how best to explain it. We'll use the visible light spectrum for this example because we have all had this experience, or at least most of us. Imagine you are under water looking up at the surface. You can easily see that the water diffuses the light waves coming from above. Now imagine a wave moving across the surface of the water. You would see that the light is diffused/refracted differently depending on where it strikes the water, or where the two waves intersect.....interference.
Thanks for the response! I appreciate it.

Your example is not an example of interference. Your example demonstrates how changing the incident angle of light changes the light wave's angle of refraction.

Wave interference results when two (or more) waves are superimposed, resulting in a single wave with a new amplitude (depending on how the two original waves were added).
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  #48  
Old 05-04-2012, 09:07 AM
whoguy423 whoguy423 is offline
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Hey Kepler,

The double slit experiment is the perfect example of destructive and constructive interference of waves and particles, which demonstrate perfectly the wave/particle duality of something such as light.

I just want to posit a thought.... if all particles vibrate, hence atoms vibrate, molecules vibrate.... all things vibrate.... then according to Einstein's fabric of space, wouldn't ALL things cause the fabric of space to vibrate and hence cause constructive and destructive interference patterns on each and everything?
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  #49  
Old 05-04-2012, 03:13 PM
StephenK StephenK is offline
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Originally Posted by whoguy423
I really do want to get to the crux of where conscious thought comes from.

Where it comes from is perhaps less relevant than what it takes to access it. Our lives are mostly lived in an unconscious mode. We learn to do
things...then we do them unconsciously, our feelings about things is driven in a very similar way.... much of our lives are lived via rehearsed tapes and a
lot of programing that was embedded within our unconscious before our brains awakened to "conscious" mode around the age of 6 years. (before
the age of 2 and in utero we were essentially in a hypnotized state... after two we were split between hypnotized and physically conscious) this
means that the core of our childhood was spent "absorbing" our environment without a conscious ability to question and prioritize.

Roughly 95% of our lives are lived via these recordings... our conscious self is buried in there as a guest participant.

If you want to access your conscious self you need to learn to become "mindfully present". We each have free will, but it's only accessible during
"present" decision making... if our thoughts are on the past and the potential future then, during this time, free will is effectively subjugated.
Our unconscious is like a 40 million bits a second processor, while our conscious mind works at meager 40 bits per second... it's instantly
overwhelmed/dominated by our tapes when we allow it to run our thinking-about-things.....

With the conscious mind in the fore we can help bring about conscious change, personal/global, with our unconscious in charge then we get what
those recordings provide...

Now there's little wrong with the unconscious in general terms..it allows us to walk without thinking about each step... but when it continually tells us
what to think and feel based on poorly designed assumptions... well that then needs to be addressed... :^)
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  #50  
Old 07-04-2012, 12:10 AM
Kepler Kepler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoguy423
The double slit experiment is the perfect example of destructive and constructive interference of waves and particles, which demonstrate perfectly the wave/particle duality of something such as light.
Yeah, definitely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoguy423
I just want to posit a thought.... if all particles vibrate, hence atoms vibrate, molecules vibrate.... all things vibrate.... then according to Einstein's fabric of space, wouldn't ALL things cause the fabric of space to vibrate and hence cause constructive and destructive interference patterns on each and everything?
What exactly do you mean by "according to Einstein's fabric of space"?

But anyway, because something is virbating does not make it a wave. (Something that is vibrating in some sort of periodic fashion can be described mathematically as having a wave like motion, but that does not make the thing that is vibrating a wave.)

However, there is a "wave-particle duality" to nature, as you mentioned. This is a fundamental property of nature and doesn't have anything to do with if something is vibrating or not. The wavelength of an object is called its de Broglie wavelength and is determined simply by the object's momentum. You can calculate your own wavelength if you'd like - its equal to h/p, where p is your momentum and h is Planck's constant. You will see that for macroscopic objects (like yourself), the wavelength is so tiny that any associated wave properties are basically negligible (otherwise, if you walked at the right speed, you could diffract when passing through a doorway ).

But, this doesn't get us very far in terms of the water wave - light wave interference example because we're talking about two different sorts of waves that can't be simply added algebraically.
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