[extropy-chat] Physchogenic Fields (was Role of MWI and Time Travel)

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 1 05:03:13 UTC 2006

--- A B <austriaaugust at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi Stuart,
>   I would not be extremely surprised to later learn
> that *consciousness*, as distinguished from other
> levels of human information processing, is entirely
> dependent on simultaneous quantum computing of some
> form.

That is entirely plausible although I am not certain
that would necessarily make consciousness easier to

 Although, I'm not quite convinced that
> Penrose's microtubule-QC quite floats the boat (but
> it may). If you haven't already, check out his book:
> "The Emperor's New Mind".

I am rather skeptical of the "microtubule hypothesis"
as well. Perhaps it is because of my biology
background but microtubules strikes me as a rather
arbitrary substrate for such a robust and varied
phenomenon as consciousness.

I have far more objections to the use of microtubules
to mediate consciousness than I do the idea of a
quantum mechanism of consciousness in general. I think
in this regard Hammeroff is more to blame than
Penrose. For one thing, there does not seem to be
enough variation in microtubule structure or
composition from cell to cell or organism to organism
to account for all the subtle shades of consciousness
one can experience. For another thing, why would a
defined system of known function of giving structural
integrity to cells (the cytoskeleton) serve double
duty as a mechanism for "intelligent behavior"? While
such efficiency is admirable it is highly improbable.

It would be as unexpected as finding out that your
bones were responsible for digestion or your eyes
responsible for mating. I mean they might play some
minor role but talk about moonlighting. ;)

That being said, the paper posted earlier in a
different thread that criticized the use of
microtubules as quantum computational units based on
the high relative temperature of living cells wasn't
all that impressive either. Living cells are
exceptions to such arguments because they have such
low entropy for their temperature. Most organized
(extropic) matter is solid, crystaline, and cold.
Cells and organisms on the other hand are liquid,
crystaline, and WARM. Furthermore they experimentally
demonstrate quantum coherence up to the scale of
hundreds of micrometers. Please see Mae-Wan Ho's "The
Rainbow and the Worm" for details.


Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does." - Richard Feynman on QM

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