Kirno’s Preface: Dear readers, the objective of this handy preface is not my suffix that Consciousness is a “State of Matter” as the eminent cosmologist Max Tegmark explained recently in his extract which he submitted in Cornell University’s academic sphere. Consciousness is not new in the context of human intellectualism. The advancement of modern science again presented the very old philosophical (also theological and spiritual in many extents) problems in light of the latest information which it has achieved through scientific experiment and theories. I have not any expertise on that vast and complicated discourse. Nevertheless, Consciousness itself carried the quality which encouraged a man to partake the discussion.
The discussion has now gone over the globe, especially it appeared phenomenal to the science community in greater extent. Philosophers and Spiritual Masters have discussed it since the very beginning and today it appeared bit tiresome to them. Their comments and hypothetical words on Consciousness has already reached the borderline thereafter they have no necessity of discussing the topic over-and-again. Consciousness has not been clearly proven yet as the essence of Matters, neither anybody has able to prove it as the non-material essence of creation.
… Tegmark’s mathematical hypothesis on Consciousness as a Matter can consider in a different context that, —Consciousness and Awareness probably the two different things despite their entangled oneness in the whole creation.
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It’s hard for philosophy and the spiritual science presenting a solid proof to justify their claim, because, the seeking and inference pattern of this two disciplines are completely different. The two disciplines are not Determinant in nature, but they tried to mark what is going behind the veil. Science has contained the Determinant nature due to its process of inference, experiment or hypothetical design. The abstract dialogue on consciousness was happening from the very ancient time of human civilization and science was a silent player in those days; because science cannot work except the authentic observable information and it was not enough at that time; and now the silent player has landed on the stage where the discussion seriously matters for its further advancement. We can say Consciousness really matters if science wants to move forward of solving the reality-problem in quantum level.
Curiosity is an everlasting fact for science; perhaps for that reason, today’s scientific advancement has inquisitive to discuss Consciousness Fact to solve the reality-puzzle. I am not sure the discussion is necessary or not but it’s true science needed this for its own interest. My mind sometimes insisted me to ask, does a discussion on consciousness seriously compulsory to understand the reality-factors? Does it seriously matter to think that how everything has appeared in the reality? What does go on if anybody likened me kicked out his mind to the jigsaw puzzle that, —Consciousness doesn’t matter if you do not consciously quest the Consciousness; and it does matter when you injected your mind to the question that what is Consciousness or what it should be?
… eminent physicist Max Tegmark extracted his Consciousness Mapping by the hypothesis that Consciousness as a ‘State of Matter’. It appeared distinctive to the Material Fact (like solids, liquids, gasses and so on) due to the perception (he mentioned it with quote ‘perceptronium’) of a human mind that, —Consciousness having something different materials which mind cannot explain.
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I think life is a puzzling game of puzzles. Nothing is certain despite the orderly state and everything is certainly certain despite the disordered tendency of things in the giant landscape of universe. Who is the plotter of this universal reality is yet a dodgy question for the man who himself is created? Who achieved intelligence for throwing the question over-and-again? What purpose has he served by this? Does this question solve the daily burden that soaked him in subservience of carrying the most miserable life? Does the knowing of Consciousness help a man to stay in peace with a peaceful mind? Does it help him to realize, —nothing has existed to the rest but everything is appeared and reappeared to remind that, —life is unbearably hard to carry, because, we have not able to denoted why we existed and for what purpose.
Today’s thought-map and the Mappers hardly tried to quest the fact for the solace that man needed to know his creation-root…so he can objectify himself for the mission that he has something to do for achieving harmony in life. I am not sure the mapping of Consciousness does assist us or not, to reach the mindful state that the game of existence has happened by a plotter or maybe none is there who can make the plot.
… Today’s thought-map and the mappers hardly tried to quest the fact for the solace that man needed to know his creation-root… so he can objectify himself for the mission that he has something to do for achieving harmony in life. I am not sure the mapping of Consciousness does assist us or not, to reach the mindful state that the game of existence has happened by a plotter or maybe none is there who can make the plot.
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Anyway, eminent physicist Max Tegmark extracted his Consciousness Mapping by the hypothesis that Consciousness as a ‘State of Matter’. It appeared distinctive to the Material Fact (like solids, liquids, gasses and so on) due to the perception (he mentioned it with quote ‘perceptronium’) of a human mind that, —Consciousness having something different materials which mind cannot explain.
Tegmark thinks Consciousness has always tagged or labeled by the five distinctive principles ‘information, integration, independence, dynamics, and utility’, but the whole sequence indicates it (Consciousness) has an ability of processing and rectifying data likely the Computing machine (‘computronium’). However, ‘The Physics arXiv Blog‘ on Medium platform explained the whole matter with lucidity and indeed better than me. I included the Medium’s article in today’s post so that readers can understand the discussion with clarity.
… Does this question solve the daily burden that soaked him in subservience of carrying the most miserable life? Does the knowing of Consciousness help a man to stay in peace with a peaceful mind? Does it help him to realize, —nothing has existed to the rest but everything is appeared and reappeared to remind that, —life is unbearably hard to carry, because, we have not able to denoted why we existed and for what purpose.
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Tegmark’s mathematical hypothesis on Consciousness as a Matter can consider in a different context that, —Consciousness and Awareness probably the two different things despite their entangled oneness in the whole creation. Consciousness itself the processing unit of creation but the whole task has done sans any awareness that Consciousness has an ability to create something. Awareness is that which created in the mind-machine of Human Being when he appeared as an observer of the reality to solve the quandary that, is there has any Conscious State present or not. Max Tegmark’s ‘hierarchy of objects that are strongly integrated and relatively independent’ is the ‘perceptronium’ of man’s hypothetical, otherwise there is no awareness is present except the Consciousness.
… What does go on if anybody likened me kicked out his mind to the jigsaw puzzle that, —Consciousness doesn’t matter if you do not consciously quest the Consciousness; and it does matter when you injected your mind to the question that what is Consciousness or what it should be?
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Anyway, Consciousness is created or not, a matter of state or not, Awareness separated mind to the Unconscious Consciousness or not… all this are the prolonged debate and hypothesis to understand the fact that, —how reality is working and for what reason. Readers can quest it if they have any curiosity to know what Consciousness means to the end.
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Max Tegmark’s Extract:
We examine the hypothesis that consciousness can be understood as a state of matter, “perceptronium”, with distinctive information processing abilities. We explore five basic principles that may distinguish conscious matter from other physical systems such as solids, liquids and gases: the information, integration, independence, dynamics and utility principles. If such principles can identify conscious entities, then they can help solve the quantum factorization problem: why do conscious observers like us perceive the particular Hilbert space factorization corresponding to classical space (rather than Fourier space, say), and more generally, why do we perceive the world around us as a dynamic hierarchy of objects that are strongly integrated and relatively independent? Tensor factorization of matrices is found to play a central role, and our technical results include a theorem about Hamiltonian separability (defined using Hilbert-Schmidt superoperators) being maximized in the energy eigenbasis. Our approach generalizes Giulio Tononi’s integrated information framework for neural-network-based consciousness to arbitrary quantum systems, and we find interesting links to error-correcting codes, condensed matter criticality, and the Quantum Darwinism program, as well as an interesting connection between the emergence of consciousness and the emergence of time.
Original Source: Consciousness as a State of Matter By Max Tegmark, Cornell University Library
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The Physics arXiv Blog’s Article: Published in Medium Platform
Why Physicists Are Saying Consciousness Is A State Of Matter, Like a Solid, A Liquid Or A Gas by Editor of The Physics arXiv Blog
[A new way of thinking about consciousness is sweeping through science like wildfire. Now physicists are using it to formulate the problem of consciousness in concrete mathematical terms for the first time.]
There’s a quiet revolution underway in theoretical physics. For as long as the discipline has existed, physicists have been reluctant to discuss consciousness, considering it a topic for quacks and charlatans. Indeed, the mere mention of the ‘c’ word could ruin careers.
That’s finally beginning to change thanks to a fundamentally new way of thinking about consciousness that is spreading like wildfire through the theoretical physics community. And while the problem of consciousness is far from being solved, it is finally being formulated mathematically as a set of problems that researchers can understand, explore and discuss.
Today, Max Tegmark, a theoretical physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, sets out the fundamental problems that this new way of thinking raises. He shows how these problems can be formulated in terms of quantum mechanics and information theory. And he explains how thinking about consciousness in this way leads to precise questions about the nature of reality that the scientific process of experiment might help to tease apart.
Tegmark’s approach is to think of consciousness as a state of matter, like a solid, a liquid or a gas. “I conjecture that consciousness can be understood as yet another state of matter. Just as there are many types of liquids, there are many types of consciousness,” he says.
He goes on to show how the particular properties of consciousness might arise from the physical laws that govern our universe. And he explains how these properties allow physicists to reason about the conditions under which consciousness arises and how we might exploit it to better understand why the world around us appears as it does.
Interestingly, the new approach to consciousness has come from outside the physics community, principally from neuroscientists such as Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
In 2008, Tononi proposed that a system demonstrating consciousness must have two specific traits. First, the system must be able to store and process large amounts of information. In other words consciousness is essentially a phenomenon of information.
And second, this information must be integrated into a unified whole so that it is impossible to divide into independent parts. That reflects the experience that each instance of consciousness is a unified whole that cannot be decomposed into separate components.
Both of these traits can be specified mathematically allowing physicists like Tegmark to reason about them for the first time. He begins by outlining the basic properties that a conscious system must have.
Given that it is a phenomenon of information, a conscious system must be able to store in a memory and retrieve it efficiently.
It must also be able to process this data, like a computer but one that is much more flexible and powerful than the silicon-based devices we are familiar with.
Tegmark borrows the term computronium to describe matter that can do this and cites other work showing that today’s computers underperform the theoretical limits of computing by some 38 orders of magnitude.
Clearly, there is so much room for improvement that allows for the performance of conscious systems.
Next, Tegmark discusses perceptronium, defined as the most general substance that feels subjectively self-aware. This substance should not only be able to store and process information but in a way that forms a unified, indivisible whole. That also requires a certain amount of independence in which the information dynamics is determined from within rather than externally.
Finally, Tegmark uses this new way of thinking about consciousness as a lens through which to study one of the fundamental problems of quantum mechanics known as the quantum factorisation problem.
This arises because quantum mechanics describes the entire universe using three mathematical entities: an object known as a Hamiltonian that describes the total energy of the system; a density matrix that describes the relationship between all the quantum states in the system; and Schrodinger’s equation which describes how these things change with time.
The problem is that when the entire universe is described in these terms, there are an infinite number of mathematical solutions that include all possible quantum mechanical outcomes and many other even more exotic possibilities.
So the problem is why we perceive the universe as the semi-classical, three-dimensional world that is so familiar. When we look at a glass of iced water, we perceive the liquid and the solid ice cubes as independent things even though they are intimately linked as part of the same system. How does this happen? Out of all possible outcomes, why do we perceive this solution?
Tegmark does not have an answer. But what’s fascinating about his approach is that it is formulated using the language of quantum mechanics in a way that allows detailed scientific reasoning. And as a result it throws up all kinds of new problems that physicists will want to dissect in more detail.
Take for example, the idea that the information in a conscious system must be unified. That means the system must contain error-correcting codes that allow any subset of up to half the information to be reconstructed from the rest.
Tegmark points out that any information stored in a special network known as a Hopfield neural net automatically has this error-correcting facility. However, he calculates that a Hopfield net about the size of the human brain with 10^11 neurons, can only store 37 bits of integrated information.
“This leaves us with an integration paradox: why does the information content of our conscious experience appear to be vastly larger than 37 bits?” asks Tegmark.
That’s a question that many scientists might end up pondering in detail. For Tegmark, this paradox suggests that his mathematical formulation of consciousness is missing a vital ingredient. “This strongly implies that the integration principle must be supplemented by at least one additional principle,” he says. Suggestions please in the comments section!
And yet the power of this approach is in the assumption that consciousness does not lie beyond our ken; that there is no “secret sauce” without which it cannot be tamed.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a group of young physicists embarked on a quest to explain a few strange but seemingly small anomalies in our understanding of the universe. In deriving the new theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, they ended up changing the way we comprehend the cosmos. These physicists, at least some of them, are now household names.
Could it be that a similar revolution is currently underway at the beginning of the 21st century?
Original Source: Why Physicists Are Saying Consciousness Is A State Of Matter, Like a Solid, A Liquid Or A Gas By Editor of The Physics arXiv Blog at The physics arxiv blog
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… Consciousness has not been clearly proven yet as the essence of Matters, neither anybody has able to prove it as the non-material essence of creation….