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Mind, body and ME

Discussion in 'Neurological/Cognitive: Brain Fog, Concentration' started by boolybooly, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's not the only problem.
    The cost is an issue, if they were 10p a packet, as opposed to nearly £2 for 6-9 small 'biscuits' that might be different.

    And are they even a biscuit? Or they a chocolate bar that contains a biscuit like layer, sort of twix like in concept if not implementation.

    I should point out I've only ever had the free packets that sainsbury's give away on occasion, and I'm not convinced they are worth the price of free, I prefer a biscuit, or a bar of chocolate, maybe even a chocolate digestive on rare occasions, but these things are neither one thing or the other.

    Far too confusing to be worth the bother IMO. Even for free.
     
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  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Tush, it is a pure Leibnizian biscuit. A monad of biscuit action (which gets boring if there is much more) reflected in a universe of dark chocolate. It lives up to the blurb in the packet 'more chocolate than a biscuit'. If they were any cheaper one would not appreciate how wonderful they are. But I would like more in the packet.
     
  3. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Have to confess I was very relieved by the digression onto biscuits with or without chocolate. My brain was not taking in any of the proper discussion :ill:
     
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  4. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    To me this sounds like belief in destiny. If, in the present, something has happened, then back in the past it was destined to happen anyway, even if nobody could have known it at the time.
     
  5. obeat

    obeat Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  6. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Leibniz made the interesting point that belief in destiny, as you put it, does not imply determinism. Almost everyone has confused the two. Determinism says that for any given physics state of a system there is only one possible setoff future states. Quantum theory shows that to be wrong and Leibniz showed why logically it must be wrong in a universe with symmetries, although he does not spell this out explicitly. If you have laws with symmetries and everything happens by discrete actions or jumps then you have to have a degree of randomness in what can follow from any starting state.

    But in the case of any actual starting state the future set of states can only ever be the set that was going to be.

    The trick is that an actual starting state is a token (instance) state that by definition only has one future. When we talk of the laws of physics allowing multiple possible futures from a starting state we are really referring to a type of starting state, of which there could be many instances or none. When faced with a starting state we have no way of knowing what futures belong to that particular instance of the type and can only predict that they will fall within the range of randomness that the laws require.
     
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  7. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Reading this gave rise to a thought experiment.

    If you imagine that you could take a snapshot of the universe (whatever "the universe" actually is), but with the utmost microscopic precision; the exact positions of every electron round every atom, every atom with respect to every other atom, every photon, etc, etc. 100% precise capture of the physical state of that universe. Then having captured and stored that state, you then observe the subsequent progress of that universe. If you could then recreate another universe, and seed it with that same snapshot, would it then follow exactly the same progression? To me it feels it would. In effect you would have instantiated an exact clone of the original universe, an identical instance.

    Whereas if you took a "loose snapshot", capturing the essence of that class of universe at that moment of its existence, but not all the microscopic precision, then you might imagine that if you then seeded a whole set of instances from that class of universe that you snapshot, then their futures might share much in common, but nonetheless differ.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  8. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As far as I remember, from 20 odd years ago, some theories say this is effectively what the universe does every 10 to the -37 seconds (sorry, no idea how to enter mathematical stuff in here). At least I think that was the number. The smallest theoretical unit time could be broken down into. Apparently it's not a continuous flowey type thingy, which is understandable given the nature of everything else. Bad language usage but maybe it's understandable.

    I can't see that a simple snapshot would result in a clone as it doesn't, and couldn't, capture all the information needed to do so. Prior state information would be needed for motion to be preserved, and everything moves at that scale, most stuff ceases to exist and then starts to exist somewhere, or somewhen, else.

    So, apart from anything else, I'm fairly sure the uncertainty principle would prevent a simple snapshot, no matter how detailed, from working. That's macroscopic type thinking. Or one of those other words that makes more sense ;)
     
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  9. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I would write that as 10^(-37), which is a common convention for writing powers where no superscripts are available.
    Maybe "snapshot" is the wrong word. My whole point was the notion of capturing a total, instantaneous record of a universe's state, in the most minute detail.
     
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  10. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The problem is that we know that this is not a valid way to think of the universe. There is no microscopic precision. That would require a microscope to interact with and perturb what was being studied and nothing has an 'exact position' anyway. Electrons are not particles, so they are never in a place. They are actions, known to us as shifts in patterns of field potentials.

    I realise this is counterintuitive but it is cast iron established fact. The only problem is trying to find a way to portray that fact when the key problem is that the dynamic elements of the universe are by definition unenvisageable. No portrayal will be right, but at least we can get away from billiard balls a bit. My fascination with Leibniz is because he understood the way quantum mechanics would be unenvisageable 300 years before the theory was created.

    My way of looking at it is to say that the dynamic elements, the Planck's quanta of action that ground all physics now, are like chess moves. The elements are the moves, not the pieces. There are no pieces, so it is a bit more like chess played on an electronic screen. A any point in time you are faced with a field of values, some places having pawn value and others queen and some nul. What happens next depends on this starting pattern and a set of rules about the probability of any particular move occurring. For most of those rules there is default spatial symmetry. So, like a single king on an empty board, there is an equal likelihood of moving back or forward or diagonal or whatever. Since only one move can occur and the chances are equal the result is random. There is no other way to make the rule work.

    A physics example is when a fluorescein molecule is excited by light and has absorbed a photon of energy which leads to there being an active electron orbital of a higher energy sort together with an 'empty' lower energy orbital sitting waiting to be filled. In this situation there is an equal chance of a photon being emitted in any direction from the high energy orbital, with a switch to filling the low energy one. All that is required of the photon is that it restores spin symmetry in the universe by carrying off a unit of spin to somewhere else. It is a bit like a king in check from a distant bishop. It has to move somewhere to save the universe but it does not matter where.

    So for any given scenario the rules for possible futures are always in part random.

    The analysis I have given is cheating because there isn't actually such a thing as a point in time scenario. But trying to explain that gets rather hairy.

    With regard to the tiny time step thing, I think this is a common misconception that a surprising number of physicists have got stuck on, including Carlo Rovelli. Because energy is quantised people have thought that time and space ought to be quantised - which might seem to mean that everything is made of tiny little four dimensional spacetime bricks.

    However, this makes no sense because there is nothing to define the edges of the bricks. This is where envisaging is so counterproductive. Moreover, energy is not made up of little energy bricks either. What quantum theory says is that all we have are units of action and each unit of action 'uses' a defined amount of a particular variable. So an s orbital in hydrogen uses so much energy. But for deuterium an s orbital uses a slightly different amount. You can cut energy up into whatever sized bits you like as long as they are the amount the rules say are 'used' by a particular action. The same works fine for space and time. There are no granules of time. It is just that time can only be used by actions in specified amounts. Some other action might be using the same time or space (another orbital in the same atom) but in different amounts. Time and space are 'quantised' exactly the same way energy and momentum are. In that respect things are very different from the chess board, which is why life is so messy, with everything overlapping.
     
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  11. roller*

    roller* Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    so energy (bricks) are needed for action to happen ?

    and if the right size energy brick size meets a fitting action, then an event may take place ?

    assuming, we create "actions".
    what would move energy bricks ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  12. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    No actions are not 'made' of energy. Energy is a mathematical concept that describes some measure of actions that is conserved when they follow on from each other. So energy might be like the height of a tree, but trees are not made of height.
    Actions are made of action - which is more like cause or disposition or tendency, than energy. You might call it force, as Leibniz did, but it is not the force of formal Newtonian mechanics. Leibniz's other word was 'entelechy' - which he says is like the state of a bent bow - disposed to act. Schrodinger's equation tells us that the action phi is described by its tendencies to change. You can extract an energy value but energy is a scalar quantity and tendency is much more complicated than that. And if cause seems out of date, which it might because Leibniz rejected it in 1690, then 'progression' might be better. Everything progresses in harmony because the chance o f occurrence of each action of progression reflects how the situation is at the time.
     
  13. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'll (attempt to) digest this later ...
     
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  14. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It took me the best part of a decade!
     
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  15. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Aah! ... ... :)
     
  16. roller*

    roller* Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    alone the words are difficult to understand. probably easier, when reading the books and following their train of thought.

    would it be possible to make for the universe/consciousness a simplified "real world" example, and point out what is what?
    (action, event, material, molecule, energy brick or whatever else important)

    perhaps something like
    "action": passenger plane taking off

    outcomes:
    - (most likely) arrives as planned
    - (very unlikely) doesnt arrive (pilot error, malfunction, explosion ...)

    (if there was anything, that may objectively hinder the wanted outcome, the flight would be canceled).

    airport
    passengers
    pilot control
    plane
    sky environment (weather)
    destination
     
  17. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The problem is that this sort of envisageable analogy is what we want to avoid. An action is not any 'thing' acting, it is just an action. Actions are the substratum. Things are woven out of actions. Interestingly, this was a well understood way of looking at things in the seventeenth century. If you had asked Leibniz in 1680, and a lot of other people in the field, what an iron bar was made of, they are likely to have said 'lot's of little vortices' (vortex-actions). In the thirty years after Descartes's death it was realised that what is inside a 'thing' is 'forces'. Hence Hooke's Law of elasticity of springs. They were pretty much right. Unfortunately around 1910 everyone forgot the reasons why the substratum has to be force and started talking about 'solar system atoms' - the physicists of the Enlightenment would have had a good chuckle.
     
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  18. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Simply because things were 'understood' in the past doesn't make that understanding valid.

    They were still burning witches until 1727 in the UK, presumably because someone thought they understood something.

    Beliefs and the way things are understood change, that doesn't mean that the old approach was a more valid way of looking at things.

    I'm not sure if I can agree with your semi magical philosophical worldview as presented. It is an appealing viewpoint but it was superseded for a reason and much progress has been made since it was. It is however debatable whether the progress made was worthwhile, if people wouldn't be happier, shorter lived but happier, believing in what is essentially philosophy rather than science.
     
  19. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My point is that this is the absolutely up to date physics view. And in the seventeenth century at least some of the people who started physics could see the need for it because they understood the contradictions in 'solar system atoms'. Nothing has superseded that understanding. It just got lost for a decade or so in the early twentieth century. Unfortunately that was the time when education was becoming universal and schoolteachers were taught the billiard ball or solar system view. By 1927 billiard balls and solar systems had been trashed by Bohr but the school books did not admit that, even in the 1960s and probably even today.

    There is nothing magical about my view. It is hard science. It is what condensed matter physicists use to build our computers. And it is only philosophical to the extent that natural philosophy, or science, requires some grounding in what we really mean by 'things' and suchlike. Interestingly, neuropsychology and physics have converged on exactly the same conclusions about the illusory nature of the idea of 'physical objects'. But again, Locke and Leibniz understood why they would do.

    What I have missed out is that things are even weirder than I have said. So actions are not even electron orbitals, they are something like 'transferrable data'. (Several physicists have called this 'information' but information is a much more complicated thing that involves relations of 'reference' and other complicated things that semantics deals with.) A friend of mine, who is a member of a notable physicist family (his father has been rated as the 6th greatest living physicist - ahead of Higgs until they found his boson) made his name out of showing that an electron mode has three separable bits of data in it that are in a sense the real 'dynamic units'. And it gets worse, but every time it gets worse it actually gets more elegant and closer to the simple truths that Leibniz deduced.
     
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  20. roller*

    roller* Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    what is death?

    is it when all our electrons with their 3 separable dynamic data units shut down ?
    they cant be "dependend" (driven) by the heart ?

    can they shut down ?
    or is heart-death independent from an electron shut down ?
    or do they cease with the brain death? then our brain would power that electrons ?

    perhaps we are immortal ?
    would actually mean, there must be a "soul" ?

    electrons cant "decay" ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019

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