Naked Science Forum

On the Lighter Side => New Theories => Topic started by: nilak on 04/12/2020 18:56:11

Title: Consciousness/identity
Post by: nilak on 04/12/2020 18:56:11
Some people claim that after you are gone, it may be possible by chance to be reborn again if for example multiple universes exist or there is a series of Big Bangs and collapses. In fact the reactivation of an old identity  may happen more often than we thought. But that doesnít mean the old identity lives again. It may be dead.
This idea reminds me of the 5 minute hypothesis  which of course itís not true, that says the Universe began 5minutes ago within a simulation and you have all the memories of the past in it.  If a new identity or consciousness is born with all the memories, you donít actually realize you,  as a conscious mind, were just born maybe a few minutes or days ago.


Here is a post about this:
[Link to seemingly personal page removed]
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Halc on 04/12/2020 20:14:52
Link to your minutes-old post on quora removed.
If you have an argument to make, do it here. The purpose of this site is not to draw traffic to one's personal blog.

Some people claim that after you are gone, it may be possible by chance to be reborn again if for example multiple universes exist or there is a series of Big Bangs and collapses.
This statement is too vague to be meaningful. What exactly is 'reborn'?  How is some other life the same identity as the one you have now?  It is indeed a question of identity.  Suppose you now are a 'reactivation' (as you put it) of 'Bob', 300 years ago, Earth. How is that meaningfully different than you and Bob not being the same person?

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This idea reminds me of the 5 minute hypothesis  which of course it’s not true
Also known as Last-Tuesdayism.  It seem to have nothing to do with reincarnation.

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says the Universe began 5minutes ago within a simulation and you have all the memories of the past in it.
It says the universe has all these memories. Memory is a physical thing. Information (physical) cannot be destroyed, so if the universe is young, all the current state that comprises its memory must be put into place.

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If a new identity or consciousness is born with all the memories, you don’t actually realize you,  as a conscious mind, were just born maybe a few minutes or days ago.
Even if it was, it doesn't seem to be a reactivation of some prior identity, which is why I don't think the 5-minute thing is relevant to the question initially asked.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: nilak on 04/12/2020 20:58:28

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If a new identity or consciousness is born with all the memories, you donít actually realize you,  as a conscious mind, were just born maybe a few minutes or days ago.
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>>Even if it was, it doesn't seem to be a reactivation of some prior identity, which is why I don't think the 5-minute thing is relevant to the question initially asked.
But thatís  what my hypothesis says, itís not a reactivation of the prior identity. The fact that the body and the brain are physically almost identical doesnít mean itís the same.
The main idea is even in a case of  loss of consciousness (trauma, perhaps deep sleep or anaesthesia) the old identity dies and a new one is born with all the memories existing physically in the brain then the new ďselfĒ doesnít notice anything, it continues as nothing happened.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: nilak on 04/12/2020 21:02:45
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ďAlso known as Last-Tuesdayism.  It seem to have nothing to do with reincarnation.Ē
when I said ďthe ideaĒ  I was referring to my hypothesis not reincarnation
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Virtual State on 04/12/2020 21:31:04
Is there something to a brain being a physical scalar volume with a conscious in it? It couldn't have something to do with the observer effect, could it?
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Halc on 04/12/2020 23:49:58
But that’s  what my hypothesis says, it’s not a reactivation of the prior identity.
Perhaps a more clear statement of what your hypothesis is then is in order. I cannot figure it out. I presumed it was positing some kind of reincarnation of something (unidentified).  The post also talked about a suggestion that the world 'began' some short finite time ago (5 minutes, last Tuesday, 6000 years, whatever), but it was paired with a comment that:
which of course it’s not true
so I didn't think that was the hypothesis.  So I'm left not knowing exactly what you're suggesting. FYI, you provided no evidence that the finite-time thingy was false, so I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that it must not be true.

I agree, it is implausible, but there's plenty of people believing in less plausible things than that.

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The fact that the body and the brain are physically almost identical doesn’t mean it’s the same.
They're not nearly identical. One is part of the other, and the one masses about 50 times the other for starters. A brain seems a pretty critical component of me, but I don't think it is what I am, just a brain which happens to carry around a life support system. Brains don't seem to find a new life support system upon the functional cessation of the old one. They instead seem to rot along with the rest of the system.

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The main idea is even in a case of  loss of consciousness (trauma, perhaps deep sleep or anaesthesia) the old identity dies and a new one is born with all the memories existing physically in the brain then the new “self” doesn’t notice anything, it continues as nothing happened.
This was not mentioned in the OP.  Is this the hypothesis? That a consciousness process (medical term) ceases on sleep? It doesn't actually, it just fades down to a lower level. If it's gone, nothing will wake you. Anesthesia arguably brings it down to near zero, but some have memories of that time even if they're incapable of reacting to it at the time.

Anyway, if you want to assign a unique identity to each wakefulness period, sure, that lasts until you sleep or whatever, and tomorrow is a new different wakefulness period. That's not so profound. Since the new wakefulness period is a process running on hardware with memory of prior wakefulness periods, it is the hardware, not the wakefulness process that retains the memories.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Bored chemist on 05/12/2020 01:22:00
Some people claim that after you are gone, it may be possible by chance to be reborn
Define "gone".
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: nilak on 05/12/2020 06:41:41
Some people claim that after you are gone, it may be possible by chance to be reborn
Define "gone".

After the brain is irreversibly destroyed
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: nilak on 05/12/2020 07:05:26
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The fact that the body and the brain are physically almost identical doesnít mean itís the same.
They're not nearly identical. One is
I meant to say identical to the former body and brain.

You say that after a loss of consciousness (anesthesia or dreamless sleep) the person experiences a new state of wakefulness but then what if someone dies after say 1000years its body and brain are completely rebuilt by some process? Is it going to be equivalent to not doing anything to the original person?
I think it may be equivalent to waking from loss of consciousness and even equivalent to not doing anything to the initial person, but not because its identity is restored because what happens if you make two clones? So the idea is the old identity vanishes and new ones are reborn. And it could be that this would go even weirder in the sense that every moment of time, within the brain,  a new identity is born and the old vanishes as a continuous process and the new one always feels it has lived since a long time. This explains the multiple clone problem.
By identity I mean what makes you feel ďyouĒ, the subjective experience.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: puppypower on 05/12/2020 12:05:38
The second law states that the entropy of the universe has to increase. While, an increase in entropy will lower free energy; entropy absorbs energy to lower free energy. The implication of the increasing entropy of the universe is that the universe is losing useable energy into entropy. If we assume energy conservation is still in affect,  that energy will be conserved, but it would end up in a form, that is not net reusable to the inertial universe, since entropy has to increase. I call this conserved but not reusable energy, dead pool energy.

Entropy is a state variable, meaning that any given state of matter will has a fixed measurable amount of entropy. Dead pool energy, if conserved, but not net reusable to the inertial universe, would be something like the lingering memories of entropic states from the past.

Life and the brain work with entropy all the time. The living state is one of the largest generators of continuous entropy. Neural memory is based on using energy to lower entropy by segregating cations; ion pumping and exchange. The brain then allows the second law to increase entropy into  new states of higher complicity; adding to the dead pool. It follows that our memory is recorded by the universe within the dead pool; energy conservation.

The past states of entropy have an impact on the present and future states. It sets the trajectory and vector for the arrow of time. For example, the universe expands today based on a trajectory from the past, that traces back to the BB. The universe no longer has that same amount of useable energy, since the past, has past. But energy conservation implies that these memories linger, implicit of the trajectory of the present, set into motion, long ago. Theories like reincarnation, heaven and hell, try to explain these other dimensional energy balance observations, connected to entropy state conservation.

The problem is physics has yet to include dead pool energy into its energy balances. If this is not included in any theory, it becomes half baked.There is a lot of work to be done so you need to get started. The stone which the modern builders of science rejected, becomes the chief corner stone.   

Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Bored chemist on 05/12/2020 12:23:07
The problem is physics has yet to include dead pool energy into its energy balances.
Just not true.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: nilak on 05/12/2020 12:49:37
So you are saying there is a usable energy for further increasing the entropy and that seems ok. At some point when every particle will be far away from each other as the universe expands the entropy will not be able to increase and the usable energy may tend to zero, then like R. Pennrose hypothesizes it will loose the sense of size and a new different universe will ďbeginĒ as if from a very dense state.
The universe may record everything but if the information is not integrated by a brain with a special structure,   itís not going to produce consciousness
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Halc on 05/12/2020 23:44:33
This is pretty much a straight philosophy discussion, but I will try to stick to the science contribution to it. It is difficult since science has little to say about identity.

Quote from: nilak
The fact that the body and the brain are physically almost identical doesn’t mean it’s the same.
I meant to say identical to the former body and brain.
Allright. My body and brain bear little resemblance to the body and brain of an infant, and yet most consider that infant and myself to be the same person. On the other hand, there could be a clone of me that is a far better copy of my body and brain, and yet it isn't me. So I agree.  I am perhaps the same person as the baby (not very identical), and seemingly not the same as say my twin. But exactly what ties me more to that baby then?

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You say that after a loss of consciousness (anesthesia or dreamless sleep)
Dreamless sleep is not a loss of consciousness, only a reduction of it.  Anesthesia reduces it much further, but still not completely. You're treating a analog value as a binary one, which might lead to incoherent conclusions.

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what if someone dies after say 1000years its body and brain are completely rebuilt by some process?
How is that a rebuild of a body/brain and not just an instance of the creation of a new one? Again, how would one be meaningfully different than the other?

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Is it going to be equivalent to not doing anything to the original person?
The new person will find himself in the year 3020, (just like Futurama), so that experience won't exactly be equivalent. It would be a funny place to find oneself if he has memories corresponding to 2020. I think you need to work out what makes you the same person as the one that posted yesterday before worrying about the identity of this manufactured person in 3020. He certainly did not grow up at that time, else he'd not be identical.

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I think it may be equivalent to waking from loss of consciousness and even equivalent to not doing anything to the initial person, but not because its identity is restored because what happens if you make two clones?
OK, you've thought about that. Yes, the person in 3020 would experience just suddenly being (waking if he is manufactured in the sleeping state) in the wrong century.
As for the clones, it happens all the time, just not to humans in later life. Twins are clones, and it doesn't bother them.  But if there was a machine that produced a perfect copy, and you walked in one middle door and two people walked out the side doors, there would be no test to determine which of the two is the original. That would bother them.  Who gets the wallet that was left on the table? Amoebas do this all the time, and it doesn't bother them, but humans would have to get used to it quick if such a machine were ever to be built.

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So the idea is the old identity vanishes and new ones are reborn. And it could be that this would go even weirder in the sense that every moment of time, within the brain,  a new identity is born and the old vanishes as a continuous process and the new one always feels it has lived since a long time. This explains the multiple clone problem.
Preaching to the choir today. My personal beliefs are not far from that description. While I use a continued trail of legal identity to function in life, from a physics standpoint I don't think anything has an identity beyond a single event, at least not one that doesn't violate the law of identity.

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By identity I mean what makes you feel “you”, the subjective experience.
OK, I don't mean that at all.  My coffee mug has an identity which is what makes the same mug functionally mine from day to day. It doesn't feel like itself, so its identity (and mine) has nothing to do with those feelings. I'm firmly anti-athropomophistic. I do not think that humans or anything with subjective experience is special.

The mug isn't very unique. I'm sure they made a bunch of them somewhere, many of which still exist. So if mine were to be swapped with one of the others, history of the universe would know, but neither I nor the mug would notice. This isn't always the case. Two electrons might meet and interact, and nothing can say which is which after they part in their separate ways.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: nilak on 06/12/2020 21:11:08
Identity may mean many things it depends on the context but I used it here in the sense of what identifies your conscious experience not your body as a complex machinery or whatever it is.
About the clone example (or even twins) I think everybody agrees that there is not about a single mind that is able to experience the information received (vision, hearing...) from both bodies at the same time. The clone  may be physically identical at instance of time it is created but there will be two conscious minds and the if you donít know who the clone is it will be impossible to find out by asking them questions for example. So the two conscious minds are distinct even at the moment they clone is created where we can imagine they have exactly the same memories.
You  could  take the clone and the original in principle  an put them separately into identical environments and there will be still two separate conscious minds. My concept about consciousness is that every instance of time a new conscious mind is born and the previous disappears.
I can use another example. Letís suppose that we can find a way to stop the brain activity completely. Then you make a clone.  Letís suppose  you can administer a drug and everything can  come back to normal. Whether you wake up the clone or the original itís the same thing because they will both be distinct conscious minds but will feel the same person as before. I have extended this idea with the concept that says every moment of time  a new mind is born because I couldnít  find a way around  to solve the clone problem
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I don't think anything has an identity beyond a single event, at least not one that doesn't violate the law of identity.

Yes, but we feel like all events our lives, every conscious thought belongs to the same mind that was born many years ago.



I do not think that humans or anything with subjective experience is special.

[/quote] why not? We are made of the same stuff that works the same, I donít think we have free will so every interaction of particles we are made of is normal stuff happening, nothing special but the fact we are complex machines is something extraordinary and being conscious and self aware is also unbelievable

Thank you
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Halc on 07/12/2020 21:00:46
I think everybody agrees that there is not about a single mind that is able to experience the information received (vision, hearing...) from both bodies at the same time.
Never say never. There are those that would disagree with even that.
You should define ‘mind’ here, since it varies wildly depending on certain views.  I consider it to be a process (like combustion), not an object (like a flame), but that’s just me.

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My concept about consciousness is that every instance of time a new conscious mind is born and the previous disappears.
Better define consciousness as well then, since you seem to rely heavily on it. How is it distinct from ‘mind’? OK, you seem to initially use ‘consciousness’ as something like ‘period of alertness’, persisting for perhaps a day, which is quite different than the way the word is typically used in philosophy. You then (in the prior post) redefine consciousness as some kind of momentary state, not sharing identity with another state in subsequent moments.

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I can use another example. Let’s suppose that we can find a way to stop the brain activity completely. Then you make a clone.  Let’s suppose  you can administer a drug and everything can  come back to normal. Whether you wake up the clone or the original it’s the same thing because they will both be distinct conscious minds but will feel the same person as before.
Why bother with stopping brain activity? It can be done completely on the fly.  I’m walking, and a copy of me walking is made elsewhere, and it is also walking. If put in a similar environment, neither will  experience any discontinuity at all. You said each instance of time is a different consciousness, in which case neither is the original. That’s more symmetrical.

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I have extended this idea with the concept that says every moment of time  a new mind is born because I couldn’t  find a way around  to solve the clone problem
So did I, for the same reason, except it has nothing to do with consciousness since in principle anything can be cloned. If a rock is cloned, neither is more original than the other. The fact that it is conscious or not doesn’t come into play.

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we feel like all events our lives, every conscious thought belongs to the same mind that was born many years ago.
Then that feeling would be a lie, but a lie that makes you fit. Everything that would be more fit by being able to anticipate the future is probably better able to do so with that lie programmed in at the most fundamental level.

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I don’t think we have free will
Again, depends how you define free will. I think I partially have it, but the sort of supernatural arrangement presented by the religious types is actually an assertion of a lack of free will. But of course I define free will differently than they do. Mine is something like: the ability to do what you want. I choose the moment that I cross the street by my own free will, and thus reduce the chance of harm in the process compared to allowing some external entity make the choice for me. On the other hand, I will myself to fly, and that doesn’t work, so my will is not completely free.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: nilak on 08/12/2020 09:09:20
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Then that feeling would be a lie, but a lie that makes you fit. Everything that would be more fit by being able to anticipate the future is probably better able to do so with that lie programmed in at the most fundamental level.

Yes,thatís what I wrote in one of the first posts that surviving of the fittest doesnít exclude this principle where the brain generates a series of conscious states and each state feels like a continuation of the previous but they may be separate states and only the physical memories retrieved  by these states makes each state fell like a continuum. They feel like a continuous (even after sleep) process of being the same consciousness when in fact each state may be unique. So in the example with the clone both the original and the clone experience distinct  conscious states different from previous of the original so they would both act like clones.  These can even be quantifiable since neurons generate impulses at a certain frequency.
A conscious state when you feel pain for example is felt by that single instance then it means some conscious states have the luck to experience happiness others are created and disappear in pain. Each state has the survival instinct but what survives(during the lifetime of the brain)  its  the physical brain to create more conscious states.
Iíve seen many times people having problems to express what they mean when talking about consciousness, I think you now understand what I wanted to say.
Here is another way to explain it.
Some person may  ask itself   why it is conscious as a human and not as a bird for example. But the conscious state that asks may only exist for an instance then vanish forever and all other states before it asked the question were like different people. But you remember how they experience life and think it was your instance that did it. I donít have the answer to the question it simply happened that you were a conscious flash of a human and not of a bird.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: puppypower on 27/12/2020 15:22:45

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If a new identity or consciousness is born with all the memories, you donít actually realize you,  as a conscious mind, were just born maybe a few minutes or days ago.
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>>Even if it was, it doesn't seem to be a reactivation of some prior identity, which is why I don't think the 5-minute thing is relevant to the question initially asked.
But thatís  what my hypothesis says, itís not a reactivation of the prior identity. The fact that the body and the brain are physically almost identical doesnít mean itís the same.
The main idea is even in a case of  loss of consciousness (trauma, perhaps deep sleep or anaesthesia) the old identity dies and a new one is born with all the memories existing physically in the brain then the new ďselfĒ doesnít notice anything, it continues as nothing happened.


We have two centers of consciousness, the inner self and ego. The inner self is the center of the unconscious mind, while the ego is the center of the conscious mind. The inner self uses 90% of the brain, while the ego can use up to 10%. Between these two centers are many layers of personally firmware with some shared resources.

Since the inner self is faster and more wired, its actions and reactions will happen first, and some of the signals will bounce off shared resources; sensory nerves, to create feedback for a sense of  ego self. What Philosophers ponder in terms of consciousness; I think therefore I am, is based on feedback from a faster secondary source, onto shared sensory resources.

If the ego had amnesia, the inner self would still operate the same with the same shared resources. The new ego would feel feedback on the same shared resources, and sense a similar self presence and awareness. Only memory would be different for the ego. If you walked into a room and someone jumped from behind a door to scare you, the inner self would react first, and the feedback would feel familiar, but not yet attached to previous memory. 
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Bored chemist on 27/12/2020 17:03:38
We have two centers of consciousness, the inner self and ego.
Says who?
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: puppypower on 28/12/2020 12:08:25
We have two centers of consciousness, the inner self and ego.
Says who?

The best way to prove this is by collecting your own data from your own brain. Before that you should try to read psychologists like Freud and Jung and see how they explain it. This makes data collection easier to observe.

One home experiment is to have someone scare you, when you are not ready. If this works as planned, the inner self will react to the threat before the ego. The ego will often become embarrassed since it was not in control. This type of experiment helps the ego sense its limits in terms of the psychological ego self.

One problem you will encounter in your experiments is there are many layers of firmware between the ego and inner self .Often the inner self becomes conscious through intermediate firmware that is closer to ego consciousness; a mask of the inner self.

The masks of the inner self are similar to the persona of the ego or the mask of the ego. The persona is the mask we; ego, wears usually in social situations among strangers. It often combines fashion, slang, attitude and a premeditated rap. The masks of the inner self are connected to the needs of situational types. Sometimes the two sets of masks; ego and inner self, can overlap, with a slight time delay that makes us appear more human and spontaneous.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Bored chemist on 28/12/2020 12:41:17
One home experiment is to have someone scare you, when you are not ready. If this works as planned, the inner self will react to the threat before the ego.
That shows that reflexes are faster than conscious thought.
So what?
It is not evidence that
We have two centers of consciousness, the inner self and ego.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: puppypower on 30/12/2020 14:34:26
One home experiment is to have someone scare you, when you are not ready. If this works as planned, the inner self will react to the threat before the ego.
That shows that reflexes are faster than conscious thought.
So what?
It is not evidence that
We have two centers of consciousness, the inner self and ego.


The purpose of the experiment was to show that ego consciousness is not first in line. There is an unconscious support system ahead and behind the ego.

Another interesting experiment is to walk willfully, by concentrating on each muscle being used, as you walk. Willful walking is in contrast to walking, unconsciously, with inner self support. The goal is to separate the two layers; ego command line and inner self processing, by having the ego also do the processing steps. This willful walk will become awkward and robotic and still require a lot of concentration to visualize each muscle working. The inner self supported walk, on the other hand, is very organized, smooth, and can adjust itself in real time even to tiny changes, all while the ego in lost in thought and unaware of its surroundings.

One of the problems with exploring the inner self is there is a wall of fear, designed to keep the ego from going too deep and then unintentionally make changes that can add bugs. A neurosis is an example of this. In many ways, it is better not to think too deep about this. However, since this is a natural phenomena at the frontiers of knowledge, science needs to explore and try to figure out  how it comes together to create consciousness.
Title: Re: Consciousness/identity
Post by: Bored chemist on 30/12/2020 16:32:56
The purpose of the experiment was to show that ego consciousness is not first in line.
Did anyone think it was?

Willful walking is in contrast to walking, unconsciously, with inner self support
Congratulations! you have found the difference between the two biggest regions of the brain: Cerebrum And Cerebellum.

Why are you trying to identify either of them with the mystical ego?