Enformationism

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Mind / Consciousness Theory . . . . . . . . .

Brain scans of various kinds now reveal some of the functional layout and channels of the physical organ of thought. Those tools have allowed Neuroscience to emerge as a practical method for approaching the “hard” questions from the softer inner layers. At the same time, the rapid evolution of computer science has made it possible to run laboratory simulations of brain functions. At first it seemed that the creation of “Artificial Intelligence” was just beyond the next exponential speed increase of Moore’s Law. But the Mind turns out to be much harder to simulate than the brain. Some aspects of Consciousness seem to be related to paradoxical Quantum level activities, which requires the expertise of another set of specialists. [24] And the incredible number of neuronal interconnections has required the application of novel methods from the discipline of Chaos and Complexity theory. At the moment there seems to be no end in sight for the perennial quest to know the mind of Man.

Several brilliant minds have applied their talents to theoretical speculations on these topics. For example, Douglas Hofstadter, in I AM A STRANGE LOOP, points to feedback loops of information-flow as the key to human awareness of the environment and of the subjective observer [25]. Although he stopped short of the conclusion that generic information is the essential ingredient of the Self-concept, his analysis seems to be generally compatible with the hypothesis that ideas are more fundamental than matter/energy. The philosopher of mind, Daniel Dennett believes that consciousness is merely a normal function of physical brain processes, with no need for a non-physical “observer”  to view the images “projected” somehow upon a metaphorical theater screen in the head [26] . Therefore, he is forced to admit that humans are actually “zombies” in the philosophical sense–-physical brains with no metaphysical soul to  provide the necessary awareness of  mental processes. However, he still argues that human Freewill is an emergent quality of our highly-evolved brain/mind apparatus [27].  The soulless Enformationism theory is in complete agreement, except that what he calls “mind” and “awareness” and “will” are actually metaphysical by-products generated by the flow of ordinary information through the computer-like network patterns of the brain. Likewise, the metaphysical Mind (and Self-image) emerges in a normal, natural manner from the interactions of matter and energy. And it disappears just as normally when the power-flow is cut-off at death. Mind is not identical with Brain, but it is integral to it.

The conventional scientific definition of Mind is, “an epiphenomenon of the brain”. Which basically means that the mind is built upon, or an extension of, the brain. By contrast, the proposed Enformationism definition has the priority reversed. According to Plato’s theory of Forms, the essence of a thing must exist somehow prior to the particular instance of that thing. By that he meant, that the idealized design concept of a building must be created, formally, in a mind before the brick & mortar building can be constructed, physically, on the ground. Another way to look at the Real versus Ideal quandary is from the standpoint of Phenomenalism : all we know of the outside world is internal sensory Perceptions, which must be translated into mental Conceptions in order for you to become aware of them. Hence, what you “know” (cognize) is only an analogy (a model) of reality. Which means that the only thing you know directly is the information in your own mind. The material world you believe to be out there is presented to your consciousness as a virtual reality. Your physical senses interact with incoming information (such as light waves) and then interpret those abstract patterns as-if they are concrete objects. What you interpret as real, is actually a simulation. Thus, your abstract-pattern-seeking conscious mind is your only contact with the real world. ●

 

Memetics / Cultural Evolution :  

Memetics is a fruitful new way of looking at human cultural evolution, which has traditionally been the purview of soft sciences such as History and Sociology. Just as Genetics revolutionized biology by establishing the mechanism underlying Darwinian evolution, Memetics promises to give us an understanding of the “mechanism” behind cultural changes over time. The Meme is a hypothetical unit of cultural information, analogous to the Gene as a unit of biological information. Both forms of information are passed along from one generation to the next by means of replication and reproduction.

Memes are assumed to be mental packages of information, similar to bits, and bytes, and words. Actually, they are metaphysical ideas and concepts, so the comparison to physical genetic information is necessarily metaphorical. Yet, even in the genetic process, what is replicated and transmitted is not physical matter, but immaterial, geometric patterns of  material arrangement. The atoms that once constituted your great-grandfather have long-ago dissipated into the flux of matter and energy. But the formal arrangement of some segments of his DNA has been passed-on into your genes.  In any case, information in the form of memes follows basically the same logical rules as information in the form of genes (chemical DNA). That’s why ideas seem to evolve and replicate and mutate in a manner similar to viruses. Like many other metaphysical phenomena being studied by the 21st century sciences, memes are quickly becoming a standard feature of our scientific model of ultimate reality, which includes matter and energy and information. ●

 

–13–
Hypothesis
WORD OF GOD

I began by making the claim that science offers a surer path than religion in the search for God. It is my deep conviction that only by understanding the world in all its many aspects–-reductionist and holist, mathematical and poetical, through forces, fields, and particles as well as through good and evil–-that we will come to understand ourselves and the meaning behind this universe, our home.
—-Paul Davies
       God & The New Physics

MEME WORLD

 

Plato postulated a world of ideal Forms, which he admitted were impossible to know. Nevertheless he formulated a very specific description of that world, which did not match his metaphysical principles. Corresponding to the world of Forms is our world, that of the mimes, a corruption of the real one. This world was created by the Good according to the patterns of the Forms. Man's proper service to the Good is cooperation in the implementation of the ideal in the world of shadows; that is, in miming the Good.

—- Wikipedia

SWARM MIND

In most modern theories of mind, the aware observer and actor we call the “self” seems to emerge spontaneously from the unified inter-operation of billions of semi-independent neurons in a manner similar to the way a swarm of ants can function as-if it had a single leader considering options and making decisions. The Mind or Self is a whole made-up of many mindless and self-less parts.
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