Sunday, February 19, 2017

4am Musings on Consciousness & Trying to Lose It

The Strange Link Between the Human Mind and Quantum Physics

I logged onto Facebook to say happy birthday to a friend and instead got sidetracked by the article above, which a different friend and fellow super-nerd posted on his page. The article talks about the link between consciousness and quantum mechanics (if you have a basic understanding of physics and quantum mechanics, no need to read the first part - scroll/skip down to where they start talking about Roger Penrose - he's on the Fibonacci spiral staircase). Just some light reading before bed to try to fall asleep - HAHA. This kind of thing has the opposite effect of shutting off my brain, but I knew if I didn't read it right now, chances are I would forget to read it tomorrow, and since I've spent the day thinking about energy and consciousness and such, off I went down the rabbit hole for some more. I mean really, what's a couple more hours when I already know I will have to sleep away half the day to catch up with myself? Stupid clocks.

I am proud (and a little surprised) to say that as soon as they started talking about the quantum superpositions of molecules involved in neural signaling, I was *instantly* at entanglement as a solution - which they outlined further down the article. :) (All Tom Swifties/puns intended.) In fact, I was just talking about entanglement and resistance today to a different friend, and even used plants as an analogy, so it's a bit quantumly freaky that this article pops up and mentions the same things tonight, although why am I surprised given the subject?

The problem I see with the direction Matthew Fisher is going with measuring phosphorus spin in Posner molecules is that he will loop back around on himself and find out that you can't determine a measurement on anything that we are creating ourselves - as described in the double-slit experiment, we (our consciousness) change the outcome based on our observation no matter how you try to measure it.

(And I seriously don't know why they think the idea or study of quantum consciousness is anything new... people have been discussing magick for eons. They've just slapped a different label on it lately.)

There is no perspective available from outside our own brains, which are making this up as we go along (and they already said in the article that they're considering solipsism, so duh). In order to create a definition, you have to have something to oppose what you are defining. In other words, you cannot say what is without saying what isn't (at least not in this realm). Consciousness and quantum mechanics both seem to deal with the space between - they are neither what is or what isn't, it always comes down to the cloud of possibilities, which is infinite and always affected by our choices.

One thing I disagree with in the article is:

"With the exception of people with visual impairments, we all know what red is like, but we have no way to communicate the sensation"

Wrong. In the movie Mask back in 1985 starring Cher (the one about Rocky Dennis, who had craniodiaphyseal dysplasia), there was a brilliant scene where Rocky helps his blind girlfriend understand visual concepts such as "red" and "billowy clouds" by using a warm rock and cotton balls (respectively) to stimulate the senses she has access to in order to create a definition of qualia previously unavailable to her brain. (In fact, it's the only thing I took away from that movie.)

However, I will give them this: proving that the mind affects the outcome of measurements (which we've already done) does not mean we can prove what's "real" (which is subjective anyway), but could give credence to the theory that we create our own realities. But again, that will loop back around on us because if we are creating everything as it happens, and it's only a product of our own minds (individual or collective), then consciousness and quantum mechanics is the same because there is no way for our brains to form an opposing definition of either one. It is, and we are, all one.

And now I really must sleep for pete's sake. The sun will come around the corner any minute. You know what would be really useful? Sleep mode in our quantum brains that you can select from a menu and click...

Oh shit. And I have to go back and say happy birthday to my friend!