Monday, July 23, 2007

Happenstance

Time to lighten up (like the tobacco smoke blue dawn that's at the window right now). Time to make an observation.

Here's a thing that made me laugh (and at the same time cut me quick, because future opportunities for this are running out): quantum mechanics as applied to consciousness.

There's this thing that's been going around for a while now in science circles (which are conic sections): consciousness lags behind action.

There's been experiments that show that intent to do follows after the done thing. Experiments involving dots on screens and stuff (no citation here).

Anyway, the upshot is we're creatures of habit, no free will (and not in a Calvinist pre-determined way), we're clockwork toys; neurological and philosophic automata.

And then you've got Roger Penrose theorising that there are structures deep in our neurones (mitochondria probably) that are so small that quantum effects come into play. He goes on to speculate that these quantum effects are the seat of consciousness, which is a step up from the pineal gland.

So, I got to thinking (obviously a few nanoseconds afterwards), and someone said, the following:

  1. Quantum events reify when they are observed: unwatched, they live in a quantum superposition of potential outcomes until an observer observes; and then the cloud of possibilities coalesce to one bright point of reality - the thing that is, the thing that happens.
  2. Things don't happen until they are observed
  3. Things have to happen to be observed
  4. The paradox between the points 2 and 3 is resolved only at the quantum level (ask a poisoned cat)
  5. Neurones have deep structures that are small enough to be affected by quantum events
  6. Consciousness is therefore the neurone's observation of a quantum event - the choice of one of the many possibilities whirling in a cloud of superposed potential outcomes, i.e. actions
  7. There's your free will - the choice to observe one particular action from the many available, all of which happened in many other worlds.
  8. And that's an explanation why intent follows action, (conscious) cause follows event

In another world, this made sense

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