[ExI] Destructive uploading.

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 12 13:53:19 UTC 2011

From: john clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net>
>To: The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com>; ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
>Sent: Sunday, September 11, 2011 9:45 AM
>Subject: Re: [ExI] Destructive uploading.
>On Sat, 9/10/11, The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>"Again this is another assumption. The quantum information in a wave function i.e. the true states of a quantum system, are hidden and unknowable by theory."
>That is incorrect. I'll be dammed if I can see what it has to do with identity but the quantum wave function of a particle IS knowable and it's entirely deterministic too; but the wave function does not contain as much information as Newton would like, if you square the function you get the probability the particle will be in a certain spot with a given momentum. You can know all about the quantum wave function associated with a particle, but that's not enough to know exactly where the particle is and how its moving.  

Knowing and experiencing something are different things. You can know all about the wavefunction but only by statistically "feeling it out". You can't actually observe it directly. Therefore it itself is hidden in the sense that you can't actually observe it.
>>"Unless you have proof that the mind is a classical physical system then it is an assumption that the mind can be represented by classical information"
>Unless you have proof that the tooth fairy does not exist then its just an assumption that she does not. There is not one shred of evidence that mind has anything to do with quantum mechanics, not one. The "reasoning" seems to be that we don't know much about mind and we don't know much about quantum mechanics so they must be related. I don't find that sort of deduction impressive.

Great now you are assuming my reasoning. I hereby dub you "Assumption Man". ;-) And actually there is evidence having nothing to do with the mysteriousness of it all. But the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. In fact there are several different lines of evidence, but they all point to the same thing.
1. Wave-like nature:
Both electrons and the mind have wavelike properties. For example alpha waves, beta waves, delta waves, and brain waves as measured by ECG etc.
2. Quantum Components:
Many biological processes utilize the quantum behavior of biological chemicals to maximize efficiency especially those involving electron transfer. For example, you are able to process oxygen efficiently because cytochrome c and other molecules are able to delocalize electrons in your mitochondria on the scale of of 10s of nanometers. Quantum processes are also involved with photosynthesis and Krebs cycle, enymatic actions, ion transport across membranes. More generally at the scale of molecules of biological importance, QM embodied as the Casimir effect becomes the strongest attractive force on the molecules. Indeed geckos use the Casimir Effect to cling to glass and other surfaces. So there is no doubt that evolution has adapted organisms to exploit quantum mechanical effects for their survival and sometimes these effects can be macroscopic.. 
3. Delocalization:
Quantum particles like electrons are smeared out over space in orbitals. Similarly the mind is delocalized around the brain and to a more limited extent around the body. You are conscious of your toes and your stomach when you need to be. Plus patients suffering brain lesions or stroke survivors do not completely change personality or become mindless.
4. Superposition and Choice:
Both QM and mind share a property similar to superposition. When a mind is superpositioned between two or more possible outcomes, it is indecisive or sitting on the fence. For example what did you drink when last at a restaurant? Cofee, Tea, Bloody Mary, or whatever? Before you decided, your mind was like your future self where all the possible outcomes were superpositioned on top of one another and weighted by preference. Also, just as you choose what to drink when the waiter comes back around, so too the electron decides to become spin up or spin down when you measure it but before that it is both spin up and spin down unless you previously measured it along that vector basis.
5. Uncertainty:

In the quantum vacuum due to the Energy-Time Uncertainty Principle, particles can pop into and out of existence on "borrowed energy". This has parallels in the mind as well: Thoughts. Thoughts can pop into existence out of nowhere and fleetingly vanish unless written down. This of course requires more energy than simply thinking. 

6. Statistical Imperative:
Both QM "observables" and mind, even in controlled circumstances, cannot be deterministically predicted in any way. Both phenomena can only be modelled statistically after analyzing a substantial number of trials. In our restaurant example I might notice you almost always drink coffee but that doesn't mean you cant surprise me by ordering something else. Just like occassionally electrons will tunnel into regions where they would be totally unexpected.
7. Ground State:
In QM there is a lowest possible energy for any system. There also seems to be a minimum amount of activity for a brain to have in order to be conscious. For example sleep and dreams. Your consciousness seems to require information so much that even when you are trying to shut off your mind you are shaping perceptual experiences out of the random white noise of your brain.   
There's probably more evidence out there that I can't immediately recall. 

>>"You are not just information; you are information in context, in runtime, constantly interacting with everything around you."
>You change over time so the information that defined you ten seconds ago is different than the information that defines you now. So what?

The information that makes up you is being created in an open-ended fashion as you interact with the world around you. The information content in you is dependent on constant interaction with an environment that is more complex and information-rich than you are and that environment arises at the QM level.
>"Our emails are pretty fungible but some information like missile launch codes or Spike's uber-primes are not."I don't have a thousand tons of gold but it's fungible, I don't have the missile launch codes but that's fungible too, one Email listing them is as good as another.
> "I am suggesting that if the mind is simply classical information, it would have likely been adequately explained by now by the likes of Euler, Boltzman, Turing, or Shannon.
>Expecting to see a teeshirt with the equation of the General Theory of Mind on it is as unrealistic as expecting a General Theory of Weather. At the lowest most fundamental level Newton adequately explained the weather, but we want it explained at a higher level and that's vastly more difficult. There probably isn't one huge new idea that will explain intelligence, but a billion or two little hacks and tricks and algorithms and rules of thumb.

Perhaps you are right about this, but I think I have made a pretty good case that at least some of those "billion little hacks" operating in the biological version of you are quantum mechanical in nature.  
>"But the parts themselves are ultimately atoms and electrons."Yes, and atoms and electrons are the ultimate in fungibility, electrons have no scratches on them to tell them apart, if you've seen one electron you've seen them all.  
>"Why would you assume you yourself are not some superpositioned quantum superstate of a mindboggling but finite number of entangled quantum systems?"
> OK fine, I'm a mind boggling but finite number of entangled quantum systems; but in spite of all of that when I woke up this morning I felt like I was the same person that went to bed last night. Quantum mechanics or no quantum mechanics, why would you expect a duplicate or an upload to feel any different?And if he didn't feel like you who would he feel like?
Because you don't know how many dimensions mind has. If not every dimension is accounted for, then it is not really a duplicate. I am not certain I would trust it to "feel" at all. Especially since more often than not, how we feel involves hormones from glands at various locations throughout the body. A simulation of a brain without simulated gonads would probably feel quite different than the original brain did.
>"Classical physics had every opportunity to explain mind. It has failed to date." Failed? It has not finished the job but it has made enormous progress, just look at Watson. 

How has Watson made a dent in the hard problem of consciousness?

>>"What makes you so certain that mind is not itself a separate special case of Quantum Mechanics distinct from Classical Physics." 
>1) There is no evidence for it being true, none zero zilch nada.
Above, I list 7 seperate lines of evidence that QM is involved in counsciousness.. 
>2) There is no theoretical explanation on how it could possibly be. Quantum entanglement is hard enough to achieve at one ten thousandth of a degree above absolute zero, nobody can explain how such a extraordinarily delicate state could survive in the rough and tumble environment of the brain at its standard operating temperature, a scorchingly hot 310 degrees Kelvin.
Entanglement might be a rarer mental phenomenon than simple indecision/superposition. I am not suggesting entanglement per se is a mechanism of consciousness simply that QM in general might be involved mechanistically. Other QM phenomena might be more robust temperature-wise as evidenced by the gecko mentioned earlier. 
>3) If the human mind operates on quantum mechanical principles its odd that mind finds quantum mechanics to be odd, and very nonintuitive.
Not really. If mind understands everything that does not understand itself, then what understands mind? Can you be certain that you are not the time-evolution of crazy complex wavefunction? Perhaps the wavefunction of your entire body? Perhaps you are the Unobserved Observer, the Collapser of Wavefunctions, including yourself.  
>4) If the human mind operates on quantum mechanical principles its odd that standard classical computers are better at calculating the probable future state of a quantum system than human beings are. The best thing about quantum computers is that they're good at simulating quantum systems, but people aren't.
There's a ton of quantum mechanics going on in semiconductors therefore it is not surprising that they are good at such serial calculations. But that is different than the QM going on in your head that is being done in parallel which makes you better at deciding which quantum future you experience than any such computer.    
>>"What if you are not bits but qubits? Qubits are both zero *and* one at the same time until you back them into a corner by measuring them, then they become zero or one."
>I don't want to imply that quantum computing is not important because it may be, if a practical quantum computer can ever be made it could bring about the Singularity as swiftly as full blown Nanotechnology, but I see no reason to think it has anything to do with the human brain, or rather what that brain does, mind.
Mind is manifold. The things going on below your conscious threshhold generate the things you percieve, but do so below the level of your perception. The universe gets spoon fed to your mind by your brain. Your brain decides what it parses out of the flood of incoming information to generate your reality. You are thus in a sense your own self-contained approximation of reality. John is the symbol for your body and you are John.  I am not certain where brain ends or mind begins, but I am inclined to think that mind is an abstraction of brain manifest as a hefty wavefunction in some bizarre "quantum-platonic" realm. 
> "Perhaps if uploaded to a quantum computer."
>In the unlikely event that quantum computations  are occurring in the hothouse of the human brain then they can certainly be achieved in a machine. 

Electrons in your body and brain are changing state all the time. You have photoreceptor proteins expressed deep inside your brain tissue. Why would the benefit of expressing such proteins in such locations outweigh the evolutionary costs if photons are not somehow involved in the function of the brain? Photons do QM at all temperatures. Just food for thought.  
Stuart LaForge

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things bought and sold are legislators." - P. J. O'Rourke

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