The world is in the brain

56 views
Skip to first unread message

Evgenii Rudnyi

unread,
Apr 6, 2013, 1:45:12 PM4/6/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
Fingelkurts, A., Fingelkurts, A., and Neves, C. (2010). “Natural World
Physical, Brain Operational, and Mind Phenomenal Space-Time”. *Physics
of Life Reviews* 7(2): 195-249.

http://scireprints.lu.lv/141/1/Fingelkurts_Space-time_in_Physics_brain_and_mind.pdf

“We would like to discuss the hypothesis that via the brain operational
space-time the mind subjective space-time is connected to otherwise
distant physical space-time reality.”

See Fig 11 where the phenomenal world is in the brain.

Evgenii

Craig Weinberg

unread,
Apr 6, 2013, 4:33:00 PM4/6/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
I like that diagram, and I think its a step in the right direction...

but...

it does not explain why phenomenal consciousness should be considered to resemble space-time. It really doesn't. To the contrary, spatiotemporal memories merge seamlessly with imaginary places and times, or non-places and non-times. When we are sequestered from public interactions, we lose spatial and temporal continuity as daydream dissolves into dream and realism dissipates. If they took the diagram and twisted the top hemisphere 90 degrees... hmm. maybe I will give that a try...

Thanks,
Craig

meekerdb

unread,
Apr 6, 2013, 6:46:37 PM4/6/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 4/6/2013 10:45 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
> Fingelkurts, A., Fingelkurts, A., and Neves, C. (2010). �Natural World Physical, Brain
> Operational, and Mind Phenomenal Space-Time�. *Physics of Life Reviews* 7(2): 195-249.
>
> http://scireprints.lu.lv/141/1/Fingelkurts_Space-time_in_Physics_brain_and_mind.pdf
>
> �We would like to discuss the hypothesis that via the brain operational
> space-time the mind subjective space-time is connected to otherwise distant physical
> space-time reality.�

Which just says that you can think about things that are far way.

>
> See Fig 11 where the phenomenal world is in the brain.

I don't see anything in this paper to support Craig's "top down" magic. They write:



According to
OA framework, the phenomenological
architecture of consciousne
ss and the brain�s operational
architectonics correspond with one
another; and they may also sh
are ontological iden
tity. If this
holds true, then we can make another claim that
by reproducing one architect
ure we can observe the
self-emergence of the other. Then, the problem
of producing man-made �machine� consciousness is
the problem of duplicating the whol
e level of operational architect
ure (with its inherent governing
laws and mechanisms) found in the electromagne
tic brain field, which di
rectly constitutes the
phenomenal level of brain organization.


which, except for the assumption that only the electromagnetic field is relevant, sounds
just like Bruno's explication of "comp".

Brent

Craig Weinberg

unread,
Apr 6, 2013, 7:29:27 PM4/6/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com


On Saturday, April 6, 2013 6:46:37 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
On 4/6/2013 10:45 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
> Fingelkurts, A., Fingelkurts, A., and Neves, C. (2010). �Natural World Physical, Brain
> Operational, and Mind Phenomenal Space-Time�. *Physics of Life Reviews* 7(2): 195-249.
>
> http://scireprints.lu.lv/141/1/Fingelkurts_Space-time_in_Physics_brain_and_mind.pdf
>
> �We would like to discuss the hypothesis that via the brain operational
> space-time the mind subjective space-time is connected to otherwise distant physical
> space-time reality.�

Which just says that you can think about things that are far way.

>
> See Fig 11 where the phenomenal world is in the brain.

I don't see anything in this paper to support Craig's "top down" magic.

(...and by "top down" magic you mean 'the ordinary capacities with which we participate in this very conversation.)

Craig

 

Craig Weinberg

unread,
Apr 6, 2013, 8:40:03 PM4/6/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
Ok, here's my modified version of Fig 11

http://multisenserealism.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/33ost_diagram.jpg


Craig

On Saturday, April 6, 2013 1:45:12 PM UTC-4, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

Evgenii Rudnyi

unread,
Apr 7, 2013, 2:54:08 AM4/7/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 07.04.2013 02:40 Craig Weinberg said the following:
> Ok, here's my modified version of Fig 11
>
> http://multisenserealism.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/33ost_diagram.jpg
>

I believe that you have understood the paper wrong. The authors
literally believe that the observed 3D world is geometrically speaking
in the brain.

See for example

Section 3. Space and time in mind, 3.1. Phenomenal space

�As it was pointed Smythies [333] this phenomenal space may be identical
with some aspect of brain space but not with any aspect of external
physical space. The same idea was explicitly formulated by Searle [334]:
�The brain creates a body image, and pains, like all bodily sensations,
are parts of the body image. The pain-in-the-foot is literally in the
physical space of the brain.��

This immediately leads to Max Velmans paradox {"The real skull (as
opposed to the phenomenal skull) is beyond the perceived horizon and
dome of the sky."}, see

http://blog.rudnyi.ru/2012/05/brain-and-world.html

and to some further possible speculations like

'Another researcher, Kuhlenbeck [335] made an even stronger claim,
suggesting that "... physical events and mental events occur in
different space-time systems which have no dimensions in common."

Evgenii

>
> On Saturday, April 6, 2013 1:45:12 PM UTC-4, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
>>
>> Fingelkurts, A., Fingelkurts, A., and Neves, C. (2010). �Natural
>> World Physical, Brain Operational, and Mind Phenomenal Space-Time�.
>> *Physics of Life Reviews* 7(2): 195-249.
>>
>>
>> http://scireprints.lu.lv/141/1/Fingelkurts_Space-time_in_Physics_brain_and_mind.pdf
>>
>>
>>
�We would like to discuss the hypothesis that via the brain operational
>> space-time the mind subjective space-time is connected to
>> otherwise distant physical space-time reality.�

meekerdb

unread,
Apr 7, 2013, 1:12:02 PM4/7/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 4/6/2013 11:54 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
> On 07.04.2013 02:40 Craig Weinberg said the following:
>> Ok, here's my modified version of Fig 11
>>
>> http://multisenserealism.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/33ost_diagram.jpg
>>
>
> I believe that you have understood the paper wrong. The authors literally believe that
> the observed 3D world is geometrically speaking in the brain.

Yes our 3d model of the world is in our minds (not our brains). It's not "there"
geometrically speaking. Geometry and "there" are part of the model. Dog bites man.

Brent

Evgenii Rudnyi

unread,
Apr 7, 2013, 1:20:07 PM4/7/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 07.04.2013 19:12 meekerdb said the following:
Well, if you look into the paper, you see that authors take it literally
as in neuroscience mind means brain. Mind belongs to philosophy.

Evgenii


Craig Weinberg

unread,
Apr 7, 2013, 9:48:25 PM4/7/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com


On Sunday, April 7, 2013 2:54:08 AM UTC-4, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 07.04.2013 02:40 Craig Weinberg said the following:
> Ok, here's my modified version of Fig 11
>
> http://multisenserealism.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/33ost_diagram.jpg
>

I believe that you have understood the paper wrong. The authors
literally believe that the observed 3D world is geometrically speaking
in the brain.

I didn't read the paper yet, I just thought the diagram was a good basis for a MR diagram.
 

See for example

Section 3. Space and time in mind, 3.1. Phenomenal space

�As it was pointed Smythies [333] this phenomenal space may be identical
with some aspect of brain space but not with any aspect of external
physical space. The same idea was explicitly formulated by Searle [334]:
�The brain creates a body image, and pains, like all bodily sensations,
are parts of the body image.  The pain-in-the-foot is literally in the
physical space of the brain.��

This immediately leads to Max Velmans paradox {"The real skull (as
opposed to the phenomenal skull) is beyond the perceived horizon and
dome of the sky."}, see

http://blog.rudnyi.ru/2012/05/brain-and-world.html

and to some further possible speculations like

'Another researcher, Kuhlenbeck [335] made an even stronger claim,
suggesting that "... physical events and mental events occur in
different space-time systems which have no dimensions in common."

Eh, I don't think it makes sense or explains anything to map consciousness to a matrix of positions. What does a flavor or a smell have to do with a location or shape? To me its pretty obviously our own species' visual bias which compels us to conceive of reality in visual terms. In comparing visual phenomena to sensory experience in general, I can understand visual shapes and tangible objects as categories of experience but experiences such as taste or emotion cannot be configurations of objects. I don't think that there is any way possible of getting around that, as it seems as self evident as the impossibility of a square circle. Objects can be dreamed of subjectively or imagined, but subjects cannot appear out of the interactions of gears, regardless of how many gears there are.

Craig

 

Bruno Marchal

unread,
Apr 8, 2013, 5:38:44 AM4/8/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
But mind is different from brain. And mind is part of both cognitive
science and theoretical computer science. To identify mind and brain
is possible in some strong non computationalist theories, but such
theories don't yet exist, and are only speculated about. To confuse
mind and brain, is like confusing literature and ink.
Neurophilophers are usually computationalist and weakly materialist,
and so are basically inconsistent.

Bruno



>
> Evgenii
>
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "Everything List" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it,
> send an email to everything-li...@googlegroups.com.
> To post to this group, send email to everyth...@googlegroups.com.
> Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
> .
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.
>
>

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



Craig Weinberg

unread,
Apr 9, 2013, 2:48:00 PM4/9/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com


On Monday, April 8, 2013 5:38:44 AM UTC-4, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 07 Apr 2013, at 19:20, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

> On 07.04.2013 19:12 meekerdb said the following:
>> On 4/6/2013 11:54 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
>>> On 07.04.2013 02:40 Craig Weinberg said the following:
>>>> Ok, here's my modified version of Fig 11
>>>>
>>>> http://multisenserealism.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/33ost_diagram.jpg
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> I believe that you have understood the paper wrong. The authors
>>> literally believe that the observed 3D world is geometrically
>>> speaking in the brain.
>>
>> Yes our 3d model of the world is in our minds (not our brains). It's
>> not "there" geometrically speaking.  Geometry and "there" are part of
>> the model.  Dog bites man.
>
> Well, if you look into the paper, you see that authors take it  
> literally as in neuroscience mind means brain. Mind belongs to  
> philosophy.


But mind is different from brain. And mind is part of both cognitive  
science and theoretical computer science. To identify mind and brain  
is possible in some strong non computationalist theories, but such  
theories don't yet exist, and are only speculated about. To confuse  
mind and brain, is like confusing literature and ink.
Neurophilophers are usually computationalist and weakly materialist,  
and so are basically inconsistent.

If we used a logic automata type of scheme, then mind and brain would be the same thing. Each bit would be an atomic configuration, and programs would be atomic assemblies. Maybe this makes it easier to see why forms and functions are not the same as sensory experiences, as no pile of logic automata would inspire feelings, flavors, thoughts, etc. but would output behaviors consistent with our expectations for those experiences.

Craig

Evgenii Rudnyi

unread,
Apr 9, 2013, 3:19:12 PM4/9/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 08.04.2013 11:38 Bruno Marchal said the following:
>
> On 07 Apr 2013, at 19:20, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
>
>> On 07.04.2013 19:12 meekerdb said the following:
>>> On 4/6/2013 11:54 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
>>>> On 07.04.2013 02:40 Craig Weinberg said the following:
>>>>> Ok, here's my modified version of Fig 11
>>>>>
>>>>> http://multisenserealism.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/33ost_diagram.jpg
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
I believe that you have understood the paper wrong. The authors
>>>> literally believe that the observed 3D world is geometrically
>>>> speaking in the brain.
>>>
>>> Yes our 3d model of the world is in our minds (not our brains).
>>> It's not "there" geometrically speaking. Geometry and "there"
>>> are part of the model. Dog bites man.
>>
>> Well, if you look into the paper, you see that authors take it
>> literally as in neuroscience mind means brain. Mind belongs to
>> philosophy.
>
>
> But mind is different from brain. And mind is part of both cognitive
> science and theoretical computer science. To identify mind and brain
> is possible in some strong non computationalist theories, but such
> theories don't yet exist, and are only speculated about. To confuse
> mind and brain, is like confusing literature and ink. Neurophilophers
> are usually computationalist and weakly materialist, and so are
> basically inconsistent.

I guess, this is a way how science develops. Neuroscientists study brain
and they just take a priori from the materialist and reductionism
paradigm that mind must be in the brain. After that, they write papers
to bring this idea to the logical conclusion. To this end, they seem to
have two options. Either they should say that the 3D visual world is
illusion (I guess, Dennett goes this way) or put phenomenological
consciousness into the brain. Let us see what happens along this way.

The paper in a way is well written. The only flaw (that actually is
irrelevant to the content of the paper) that I have seen in it, is THE
ENTROPY. Biologists like the entropy so much that they use it in any
occasion. For example from the paper:

�Thus, changes in entropy provide an important window into
self-organization: a sudden increase of entropy just before the
emergence of a new structure, followed by brief period of negative
entropy (or negentropy).�

I have seen that this could be traced to Schr�dinger�s What is Life?,
reread his chapter on Order, Disorder and Entropy and made my comments

http://blog.rudnyi.ru/2013/04/schrodinger-disorder-and-entropy.html

Evgenii

meekerdb

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 1:16:48 AM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
The materialist view is just that the mind is a process in the brain, like a computation
is the process of running a program in a computer. As processes they may be abstracted
from their physical instantiation and are not anywhere, except maybe in Platonia.

> After that, they write papers to bring this idea to the logical conclusion. To this end,
> they seem to have two options. Either they should say that the 3D visual world is
> illusion (I guess, Dennett goes this way)

I think "illusion" has too strong a connotation of fallacious. I think "model" is more
accurate. So long as we realize the world we conceptualize is a model then we are not
guilty of a fallacy.

> or put phenomenological consciousness into the brain.

I don't know what this means. That phenomenological consciousness depends on the brain is
empirically well established. But to "put it into" the brain implies making a spatial
placement of an abstract concept.



> Let us see what happens along this way.
>
> The paper in a way is well written. The only flaw (that actually is irrelevant to the
> content of the paper) that I have seen in it, is THE ENTROPY. Biologists like the
> entropy so much that they use it in any occasion. For example from the paper:
>
> “Thus, changes in entropy provide an important window into self-organization: a sudden
> increase of entropy just before the emergence of a new structure, followed by brief
> period of negative entropy (or negentropy).”
>
> I have seen that this could be traced to Schrödinger’s What is Life?,
> reread his chapter on Order, Disorder and Entropy and made my comments
>
> http://blog.rudnyi.ru/2013/04/schrodinger-disorder-and-entropy.html


Still tilting at that windmill?

"A) From thermodynamic tables, the mole entropy of silver at standard conditions S(Ag, cr)
= 42.55 J K-1 mol-1 is bigger than that of aluminum S(Al, cr) = 28.30 J K-1 mol-1. Does it
mean that there is more disorder in silver as in aluminium?"

Yes, there is more disorder in the sense that raising the temperature of a mole of Ag 1deg
increases the number of accessible conduction electron states available more than does
raising the temperature of a mole of Al does.

I agree that disorder is not necessarily a good metaphor for entropy. But dispersal of
energy isn't always intuitively equal to entropy either. Consider dissolving ammonium
nitrate in water. The process is endothermic, so the temperature drops and energy is
absorbed, but the process goes spontaneously because the entropy increases; the are a lot
more microstates accessible in the solution even at the lower temperature.

Your quote of Arnheim makes me suspect that *he* is one who has confounded our language.
Receiving information reduces uncertainty; it doesn't necessarily increase order. Chaos
and unpredictability and information do not "carry a maximum of information". What they do
is allow for a maximum increase of information when they are resolved. Disorder doesn't
provide information - it provides the opportunity for using information, just as ignorance
of what a message will be is a measure of how much information the message will contain
when it removes the ignorance.

Brent

Bruno Marchal

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 9:15:09 AM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
?


Each bit would be an atomic configuration, and programs would be atomic assemblies.

Two apples is not the number two.



Maybe this makes it easier to see why forms and functions are not the same as sensory experiences, as no pile of logic automata would inspire feelings, flavors, thoughts, etc.

That is what we ask you to justify, or to assume explicitly, not to take for granted.

Bruno




but would output behaviors consistent with our expectations for those experiences.








Craig


Bruno



>
> Evgenii
>
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google  
> Groups "Everything List" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it,  
> send an email to everything-li...@googlegroups.com.
> To post to this group, send email to everyth...@googlegroups.com.
> Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
> .
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.
>
>

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-li...@googlegroups.com.
To post to this group, send email to everyth...@googlegroups.com.
Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.
 
 

Craig Weinberg

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 9:21:56 AM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com

Models have no presence. The same model can be expressed in any sense modality, so that our ability to conceptualize models is not the same phenomenon as our ability to perceive and participate in the world. Modeling is based on equivalence, and equivalence is part of pattern recognition, so that in order to even conceive of a model, there first would have to be direct perception and participation in a real world. Caring about the world gives you a reason to care about modeling it. If your world is invisible, intangible, and unconscious, then no models are needed and all participation is better served by automatic algorithms.
 

> or put phenomenological consciousness into the brain.

I don't know what this means. That phenomenological consciousness depends on the brain is
empirically well established.

That human consciousness is influenced by the brain is empirically well established. There is enough data from things like hydrocephalus, the recent psilocybin study, and NDEs to cast some doubt even on human-brain dependence in theory. Those exotic possibilities are not necessary however to see that there are a great variety of brainless species who nonetheless participate in the world in ways which seem more conscious than non-biological structures.

Think of it this way. If our brain produced phenomenal awareness, then the tissues of the brain would have to be responsible for that - the phenomenal consciousness of the brain would be dependent on the proto-phenomenal consicousness of neuronal sub-brains...otherwise consciousness appears out of nothing, for no particular reason, to live nowhere.

Craig
 

Bruno Marchal

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 9:22:21 AM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
Which is close to nonsense. Of course it is also very fuzzy. If you
look in the brain, you see neuron, you don't see mind. Leibniz already
knew this, and the pre-christian mechanist too.



> After that, they write papers to bring this idea to the logical
> conclusion. To this end, they seem to have two options. Either they
> should say that the 3D visual world is illusion (I guess, Dennett
> goes this way)

This is unclear. You might give a reference. Dennett seems to take
physicalism for granted.

The problem of many is that they just seem unaware that the mind-body
problem is quite severe in the weak materialist framework.





> or put phenomenological consciousness into the brain. Let us see
> what happens along this way.
>
> The paper in a way is well written. The only flaw (that actually is
> irrelevant to the content of the paper) that I have seen in it, is
> THE ENTROPY. Biologists like the entropy so much that they use it in
> any occasion. For example from the paper:
>
> “Thus, changes in entropy provide an important window into self-
> organization: a sudden increase of entropy just before the
> emergence of a new structure, followed by brief period of negative
> entropy (or negentropy).”
>
> I have seen that this could be traced to Schrödinger’s What is
> Life?, reread his chapter on Order, Disorder and Entropy and made my
> comments
>
> http://blog.rudnyi.ru/2013/04/schrodinger-disorder-and-entropy.html

Not too much problem with this, but Schroedinger's book is also at the
origin of molecular biology, and is full of interesting insight. His
philosophy of mind is inspired by Hinduism, and in my opinion, it is
less wrong than material reductionism.

Craig Weinberg

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 9:32:46 AM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDCwrbqHfTM

The Future of Computing -- Reuniting Bits and Atoms

Neil Gershenfeld talking about using digital fabrication to replace digital computation.


Each bit would be an atomic configuration, and programs would be atomic assemblies.

Two apples is not the number two.

With logic automata, the number two would not be necessary....matter would embody its own programs.
 



Maybe this makes it easier to see why forms and functions are not the same as sensory experiences, as no pile of logic automata would inspire feelings, flavors, thoughts, etc.

That is what we ask you to justify, or to assume explicitly, not to take for granted.

The fact that logic automata unites form and function as a single process should show that there is no implicit aesthetic preference. A program is a functional shape whose relation with other functional shapes is defined entirely by position. There is no room for, nor plausible emergence of any kind of aesthetic differences between functions we would assume are associated with sight or sound, thought or feeling. Logic automata proves that none of these differences are meaningful in a functionalist universe.

Craig
 

Evgenii Rudnyi

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 4:18:58 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 10.04.2013 07:16 meekerdb said the following:
> On 4/9/2013 12:19 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

...

>> I have seen that this could be traced to Schr�dinger�s What is
>> Life?, reread his chapter on Order, Disorder and Entropy and made
>> my comments
>>
>> http://blog.rudnyi.ru/2013/04/schrodinger-disorder-and-entropy.html
>
>>
>
> Still tilting at that windmill?
>
> "A) From thermodynamic tables, the mole entropy of silver at standard
> conditions S(Ag, cr) = 42.55 J K-1 mol-1 is bigger than that of
> aluminum S(Al, cr) = 28.30 J K-1 mol-1. Does it mean that there is
> more disorder in silver as in aluminium?"
>
> Yes, there is more disorder in the sense that raising the temperature
> of a mole of Ag 1deg increases the number of accessible conduction
> electron states available more than does raising the temperature of a
> mole of Al does.
>
> I agree that disorder is not necessarily a good metaphor for entropy.
> But dispersal of energy isn't always intuitively equal to entropy
> either. Consider dissolving ammonium nitrate in water. The process is
> endothermic, so the temperature drops and energy is absorbed, but
> the process goes spontaneously because the entropy increases; the are
> a lot more microstates accessible in the solution even at the lower
> temperature.
>

You'd better look at what biologist say. For example:

http://www.icr.org/article/270/

�and that the idea of their improving rather than harming organisms is
contrary to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which tells us that matter
and energy naturally tend toward greater randomness rather than greater
order and complexity.�

Do you like it?

Evgenii

meekerdb

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 4:34:46 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
You're referring me to an article on biological evolution by a guy with a Masters of Art
on a Creationist website??

Do YOU like it?

Brent

Terren Suydam

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 4:36:47 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
This is close to an idea I have been mulling over for some time... that the source of the phenomenological feeling of pleasure is in some way identified with decreases in entropy, and pain is in some way identified with increases in entropy. It is a way to map the subjective experience of pain and pleasure to a 3p description of, say, a nervous system.  Damage to the body (associated with pain) can usually (always?) be characterized in terms of a sudden increase in entropy of the body. Perhaps this is also true in the mental domain, so that emotional loss (or e.g. embarrassment) can also be characterized as an increase in entropy of one's mental models, but this is pure speculation. The case is even harder to make with pleasure. It would be weird if it were true, but so far it is the only way I know of to map pleasure and pain onto anything objective at all.

Terren


On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 4:18 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:
On 10.04.2013 07:16 meekerdb said the following:
On 4/9/2013 12:19 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

...

I have seen that this could be traced to Schrödinger’s What is

Life?, reread his chapter on Order, Disorder and Entropy and made
my comments

http://blog.rudnyi.ru/2013/04/schrodinger-disorder-and-entropy.html



Still tilting at that windmill?

"A) From thermodynamic tables, the mole entropy of silver at standard
 conditions S(Ag, cr) = 42.55 J K-1 mol-1 is bigger than that of
aluminum S(Al, cr) = 28.30 J K-1 mol-1. Does it mean that there is
more disorder in silver as in aluminium?"

Yes, there is more disorder in the sense that raising the temperature
of a mole of Ag 1deg increases the number of accessible conduction
electron states available more than does raising the temperature of a
mole of Al does.

I agree that disorder is not necessarily a good metaphor for entropy.
 But dispersal of energy isn't always intuitively equal to entropy
either. Consider dissolving ammonium nitrate in water. The process is
 endothermic, so the temperature drops and energy is absorbed, but
the process goes spontaneously because the entropy increases; the are
a lot more microstates accessible in the solution even at the lower
temperature.


You'd better look at what biologist say. For example:

http://www.icr.org/article/270/

“and that the idea of their improving rather than harming organisms is contrary to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which tells us that matter and energy naturally tend toward greater randomness rather than greater order and complexity.”

Do you like it?

Evgenii

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.

Evgenii Rudnyi

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 4:38:53 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 10.04.2013 22:34 meekerdb said the following:
You will find a similar sentence also on an evolutionary website. Such a
statement will be the same. Look for example at

Annila, A. & S.N. Salthe (2010) Physical foundations of evolutionary
theory. Journal of Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics 35: 301-321,
http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jnetdy.2010.019

Evgenii

Evgenii Rudnyi

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 4:40:30 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 10.04.2013 22:36 Terren Suydam said the following:
> This is close to an idea I have been mulling over for some time...
> that the source of the phenomenological feeling of pleasure is in
> some way identified with decreases in entropy, and pain is in some
> way identified with increases in entropy. It is a way to map the
> subjective experience of pain and pleasure to a 3p description of,
> say, a nervous system. Damage to the body (associated with pain) can
> usually (always?) be characterized in terms of a sudden increase in
> entropy of the body. Perhaps this is also true in the mental domain,
> so that emotional loss (or e.g. embarrassment) can also be
> characterized as an increase in entropy of one's mental models, but
> this is pure speculation. The case is even harder to make with
> pleasure. It would be weird if it were true, but so far it is the
> only way I know of to map pleasure and pain onto anything objective
> at all.
>

This was my point. The entropy in your statement has nothing to do with
the thermodynamic entropy and the Second Law.

Evgenii

Telmo Menezes

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 4:52:07 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 10:36 PM, Terren Suydam <terren...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This is close to an idea I have been mulling over for some time... that the
> source of the phenomenological feeling of pleasure is in some way identified
> with decreases in entropy, and pain is in some way identified with increases
> in entropy. It is a way to map the subjective experience of pain and
> pleasure to a 3p description of, say, a nervous system. Damage to the body
> (associated with pain) can usually (always?) be characterized in terms of a
> sudden increase in entropy of the body. Perhaps this is also true in the
> mental domain, so that emotional loss (or e.g. embarrassment) can also be
> characterized as an increase in entropy of one's mental models, but this is
> pure speculation. The case is even harder to make with pleasure. It would be
> weird if it were true, but so far it is the only way I know of to map
> pleasure and pain onto anything objective at all.

Hi Terren,

Interesting idea, but I can think of a number of counter examples:
cold/freezing, boredom, the rush of taking risks, masochism (for some
people), the general preference for freedom as opposed to being under
control, booze, ....

I suspect life is just meaningless from the outside. I'd say that pain
and pleasure are fine-tunned by evolution to maximise the
survivability of species in an environment that is largely also
generated by evolution. It's a strange loop.
>> email to everything-li...@googlegroups.com.
>> To post to this group, send email to everyth...@googlegroups.com.
>> Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.
>> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.
>>
>>
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Everything List" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
> email to everything-li...@googlegroups.com.
> To post to this group, send email to everyth...@googlegroups.com.

Evgenii Rudnyi

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 4:55:19 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 10.04.2013 22:52 Telmo Menezes said the following:

...

> I suspect life is just meaningless from the outside. I'd say that
> pain and pleasure are fine-tunned by evolution to maximise the
> survivability of species in an environment that is largely also
> generated by evolution. It's a strange loop.
>

What difference do you see when one changes evolution in your sentence
by god?

Evgenii

meekerdb

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 4:58:43 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
That wasn't the question. The question was do you like it, do you believe it, can you
support it with your own arguments?

> Such a statement will be the same. Look for example at
>
> Annila, A. & S.N. Salthe (2010) Physical foundations of evolutionary theory. Journal of
> Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics 35: 301-321, http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jnetdy.2010.019

Which is behind a paywall ($224), and says nothing like that in the abstract.

To say that mutations improving organisms is contrary to the 2nd law is wrong in so many
ways I hardly know where to start. First, the 2nd law is an approximate law that
expresses a statistical regularity. It doesn't forbid improbable events, even ones that
decrease entropy. Second, there is no teleological measure of "improving" in evolution;
there is only greater or lesser reproduction. And greater reproduction means more living
tissue which increases entropy of the whole Sun/Earth/biota system faster - and so is
consistent with the 2nd law. The 2nd laws says nothing about randomness vs order or
complexity (ever hear of Benard convection?).

Brent

>
> Evgenii
>

Terren Suydam

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 5:08:20 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
Hi Telmo,

Yes, those are good counter examples.

But I think to say "pain and pleasure are fine-tuned by evolution..." is a sleight of hand. Pain and pleasure are phenomenological primitives. If evolution created those primitives, how did it do that? By what mechanism?  

Another way to think of this is to acknowledge that pain signals are mediated by special nerves in the nervous system. But what makes those nerves any different from a nerve that carries information about gentle pressure?  You may be able to point to different neuroreceptors used, but then that shifts the question to why different neuroreceptors should result in different characters of experience.

One way out of this to posit that phenomenological primitives are never "created" but are identified somehow with a particular characterization of an objective state of affairs, the challenge being to characterize the mapping between the objective and the phenomenological. That is my aim with my flawed idea above. 

Terren

Telmo Menezes

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 5:21:27 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
A loss in explanatory power.

Craig Weinberg

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 5:26:25 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com


On Wednesday, April 10, 2013 4:36:47 PM UTC-4, Terren Suydam wrote:
This is close to an idea I have been mulling over for some time... that the source of the phenomenological feeling of pleasure is in some way identified with decreases in entropy, and pain is in some way identified with increases in entropy. It is a way to map the subjective experience of pain and pleasure to a 3p description of, say, a nervous system.  Damage to the body (associated with pain) can usually (always?) be characterized in terms of a sudden increase in entropy of the body. Perhaps this is also true in the mental domain, so that emotional loss (or e.g. embarrassment) can also be characterized as an increase in entropy of one's mental models, but this is pure speculation. The case is even harder to make with pleasure. It would be weird if it were true, but so far it is the only way I know of to map pleasure and pain onto anything objective at all.

There's no sensation of pain in associated with increasing entropy in the brain itself though. Also analgesia and anesthesia would be impossible if pain were automatically associated with entropy.

Craig
 

Terren


To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-li...@googlegroups.com.
To post to this group, send email to everyth...@googlegroups.com.

Telmo Menezes

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 5:28:46 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 11:08 PM, Terren Suydam <terren...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Telmo,
>
> Yes, those are good counter examples.
>
> But I think to say "pain and pleasure are fine-tuned by evolution..." is a
> sleight of hand. Pain and pleasure are phenomenological primitives. If
> evolution created those primitives, how did it do that? By what mechanism?

Completely agree. I mean pain and pleasure as things that you can
observe with an fMRI machine. As for the 1p experience of pain and
pleasure... wish I knew. I don't think evolution created these
primitives in this latter sense.

> Another way to think of this is to acknowledge that pain signals are
> mediated by special nerves in the nervous system. But what makes those
> nerves any different from a nerve that carries information about gentle
> pressure? You may be able to point to different neuroreceptors used, but
> then that shifts the question to why different neuroreceptors should result
> in different characters of experience.

Yes, I've always been puzzled by that.

> One way out of this to posit that phenomenological primitives are never
> "created" but are identified somehow with a particular characterization of
> an objective state of affairs,

I suspect the same.

> the challenge being to characterize the
> mapping between the objective and the phenomenological. That is my aim with
> my flawed idea above.

Cool. Sorry for not getting what you were saying at first. You still
have to deal with my counter-examples though, I'd say... (forgetting
the evolutionary rant)

Telmo.

meekerdb

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 5:57:36 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 4/10/2013 1:36 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
> This is close to an idea I have been mulling over for some time... that the source of
> the phenomenological feeling of pleasure is in some way identified with decreases in
> entropy, and pain is in some way identified with increases in entropy. It is a way to
> map the subjective experience of pain and pleasure to a 3p description of, say, a
> nervous system.

You will just further muddle the meaning of entropy.


> Damage to the body (associated with pain) can usually (always?) be characterized in
> terms of a sudden increase in entropy of the body.

Consider dribbling some liquid nitrogen on your skin. Hurts doesn't it. But the entropy
of your body is (locally) reduced. The pain comes from neurons sending signals to your
brain. They use a tiny amount of free energy to do this which increases the entropy of
your body also. Your brain receives a few bits of information about the pain which
represent an infinitesimal decrease in entropy if your brain was in a state uncertainty
about whether your body hurt.

> Perhaps this is also true in the mental domain, so that emotional loss (or e.g.
> embarrassment) can also be characterized as an increase in entropy of one's mental
> models, but this is pure speculation.

It hardly even rises to speculation unless you have some idea of how to quantify and test it.

> The case is even harder to make with pleasure. It would be weird if it were true, but so
> far it is the only way I know of to map pleasure and pain onto anything objective at all.

Damasio proposes that pleasure and pain map into levels of various hormones as well as
neural activity.

Brent

meekerdb

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 5:59:54 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
Do you see no difference? Are the operation of both equally mysterious to you?

Brent

meekerdb

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 6:08:31 PM4/10/13
to everyth...@googlegroups.com
On 4/10/2013 2:08 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
Hi Telmo,

Yes, those are good counter examples.

But I think to say "pain and pleasure are fine-tuned by evolution..." is a sleight of hand. Pain and pleasure are phenomenological primitives. If evolution created those primitives, how did it do that? By what mechanism? �

Another way to think of this is to acknowledge that pain signals are mediated by special nerves in the nervous system. But what makes those nerves any different from a nerve that carries information about gentle pressure? �You may be able to point to different neuroreceptors used, but then that shifts the question to why different neuroreceptors should result in different characters of experience.

You have to ground the interpretation in behavior and its relation to evolutionary advantage. People who put their hand in the fire withdraw it quickly and exclaim to warn others.� People that don't suffer reproductive disadvantage.

Brent

John Mikes

unread,
Apr 10, 2013, 6:17:27 PM4/10/13