Sunday, November 29, 2015

proceedings fom 2/First cfp fom 3



http://www.cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/issue/current

Yes, new age as well as hard science.......

 ==============================
==================
(c) 2015 Seán ó Nualláin
The Foundations of Mind III Conference:
Science as if Being Mattered

================================================

FOM 3
Sproul Room, International House at UC Berkeley
================================================

This conference explores the issue of whether a “Being first!”
approach will not yield a better, more veridical science with the 
possibility of a dramatic reparse of nature.

================================================

Deadlines:

Feb 14, 2016      3,000 word summary of papers

Feb 29, 2016        500 word abstract for posters

Mar 1                  notification of acceptance

================================================

FOUNDATIONS OF MIND III 
Reparsing Nature:  Science as if Being Mattered

This conference explores the issue of whether a “Being first!” approach will not yield a better, more veridical science. It asks the attendees to consider whether there are not different types of causal explanation at each level of nature including occasionally none at the quantum level, teleology in biology, and that nexus we invoke to explain each other termed “folk psychology” at the intentional/intersubjective level. While we began our project with the insight that reduction of mind to current theories of psychology has always been what Frege dubbed “psychologism,” we now extend the argument.

 In particular, we argue that $ billions are being lost in inefficient, often unethical “science” research whose lack of attention to ontology makes it doomed to failure. The premature  application of this to human affairs, be it drugs that do not take account of the intricate interplay of genes and metabolism, meditation “techniques” that do not take account of 21st century Being-in-the-word, or simplistic accounts of how politics are processed in the brain, are engineered for failure. Conversely, appropriate use of robust dynamical systems techniques have already proven insightful and low-cost in neuroscience and elsewhere; constraining the search space by using syntax is already being used in genomics; homoiconic programming languages model DNA well; and so on

While its mythic poverty IS necessarily an ultimate constraint on science,as distinct from the equally valid exploration of reality in the arts,  much can be done to improve science education and research. As things stand, physicists search for a theory of everything that
makes other sciences redundant, Cognitivists implore us to couch our theories in the cognitive schemata they see as fundamental; neuroscientists up the ante on greedy reductionism by asserting the primacy of their findings - be they genetic, algorithmic or chaotic - over all other Sciences.

Several alternatives are also gaining traction. One, that of non-dualism, refuses to budge from the Inalienable fact of the primacy of conscious experience. Another, that of class warfare, surely due a comeback as the 2016 Democratic race shows, argues for the bourgeois nature of such speculation. Finally, an eschatological attempt to roll science, society, and culture into One Magisterium/Caliphate  now brutally occupies vast swathes of the Middle East.

This Conference is a search for alternatives. The premise underpinning this conference, a premise with which participants should feel free to disagree, is that once one has moved beyond solipsism/non-dualism,there now exists the possibility of a dramatic reparse of nature. Papers are invited which address these and other themes;

1.         Theories of everything (TOEs); in what sense would a set of equations comprehensible only to an extreme minority comprise a TOE to be taught as Hawking recommends to schoolchildren?

2.         Information; is the quantum information described by Bousso the same thing/process as Susskind’s “entropy”, information in Shannon, the deus ex machina that generates the universe of Seth Lloyd and the correlates in the biological work of Deacon and Tononi?

3.         Computation; in the 1990’s, Brian Smith argued that it was impossible to isolate a computational system to allow it perform algorithms and simultaneously to align it with the real world on which it was operating. In order to achieve “Computation in the wild”, he argued, it was necessary to identify computational systems as pure intentionality in the Brentano sense, precisely the position that the Chinese room thought-experiment rejects.  Can we rescue the concept in a way that does justice to all its manifestations from the quantum and classical Fourier transforms to using a spreadsheet?

4.         The psychological/intentional realm; Advaita Vedanta was brought into the West partly, if not largely, by George Harrison’s invocation of a transcendent reality “within you, without you.” Contrariwise, Gurdjieff’s fragment of a system, as expounded by Ouspensky, is full of clunky mechanical metaphors for the human psyche, the amoeba and indeed the Absolute. Can we do better than this in the face of the spectacular and burgeoning success of 21st century AI and robotics, and the dismal failure of psychology?

5          Science’s dark period: ”Dark energy” and “dark matter” are too well-known to be rehearsed here, and  are suggestive of a stage of crisis in science, but are mirrored in other areas. Examples are the fact that the “dark energy”/default network of the brain is currently suggested as absorbing metabolic process even when no cognition is taking place; linear models of the neuron are clearly too simple; the “dark nucleotides” result in non-coding rmas that actually code by any computing definition; and so on.

6.      Quantum mind;  Internal FOM private discussion has benefitted from the input of the great Henry Stapp. Publicly, Henry has recently stated that the Orch OR model would generate creatures that would become conscious with no memory and thus no cognition. Yet he considers the Gödel incompleteness argument sound, with the proviso that its is the unfolding of the cosmos that is implicated in humans’ ability to “see” the truth of the Gödel sentence. This is of course compatible with the pre-Hameroff Penrose, and may be the start of a fusion of computationalist cognitive science and physics in a suitably extended notion of observer status. That in turn through the frames of reference argument in SR would give us a route into a treatment of selfhood compatible with science. Can we follow the path blazed by this physicist and mathematician to a formal theory?

7.      Consciousness; there is a remarkable consensus that this has not yet been solved. Yet, in the rush to “solve’ the “hard problem’ with gazebos like Terahertx oscillations and a word salad of half-understood biology, many useful concepts have been lost and we welcome papers on them.  Examples are; the Locke/Leibniz debate on the relation between subjective state and neural event; Levine’s explanatory gap; Block’s a- and  p -;  Marxist class consciousness and its relation to emanationist systems; neural synchrony; Pribram’s Gabor transform; Global workspace theories; Crick’s comment that he came into the area 20 years too early for the neuroscience and his resulting idée fixee about a neural correlate in a specific location.

8.      Neuroscience; as predicted in FOM, the Markram/EC project has become a debacle. What are the technical and organizational desiderata to prevent a recurrence in the USA?

9.      Activism; In what increasingly looks like a fragile pause in hostilities, the neoconservative “shock doctrine” has given way to a neoliberalism that exploits distracters like gender or an African-American president. How long can this last in an era which has seen major terrorist attacks in the EU?

10.      The academy; we tend to forget that the academy is meant to produce truths to be acted on. Instead, just as the state rescued an extreme version of financialized capitalism post-2008, neglecting to pursue thousands of criminals, so the academy sees its role as providing drones for an ever more economized life. At the elite level, may post-docs find themselves 30, $100k + in debt, and with career prospects the same as if they had never gone to elementary school, let alone college. How long can this last in an are where all necessary research and educational resources are free on the web, and it is clear to the lab drones that most PI’s are hopelessly out of date?

11.       Science set free; famously, Rupert Sheldrake has invoked “morphic fields” to explain everything from crystallization to biological morphology. Can this be extended to  the human level to explain simultaneous discovery like non-Euclidean geometry in Lobachevski, Bolyai and  Gauss as well as the more famous Newton/Leibniz bother? What entities might carry these “Nuons” and what are the implications for ESP and indeed all conversation?

Poster presentation; 500 word abstract by Feb 29

Spoken presentation; 3,000 word summary by Feb 14. Notification of acceptance; Mar 1 2016
_____________________________________

ABOUT FOUNDATIONS OF MIND

We study Science as if Being mattered. Speakers at the “Mind” conferences in the past, initially run in Ireland and England  in the 1990’s,  have included two of America’s greatest neuroscientists, Walter Freeman and  the late Karl Pribram, who reject simplistic neural models for a dynamical systems approach to the brain. Incidentally, we produced the only software implementation of Pribram’s work. Quantum mechanics was graced by Henry Stapp, an ex-colleague both of Heisenberg and Pauli, who has proposed not only an intellectually defensible dualism, but a view in which individual mental acts can be viewed as instances of the self-expression of universal mind.

At this point, we have verged on the spiritual; and fortunately we have not only had the honor of hosting Fr. Robert Spitzer of EWTN, but the philosopher and author Jacob Needleman. Our scientific bar has been raised by the presence of several associates of the late, great Pat Suppes of Stanford. In 2014-15 we verged into biology, and were assisted by Terry Deacon, Fritjof Capra  and Stuart Kauffman in this endeavour. Our next conference will be our 7th and we will continue our emphases on human freedom, the notion that mind must be viewed in the context of a transcendent reality, and the necessity of attending to ontological divisions in nature even to do computation. In short, we promote a salutary reparse of nature, one that does not make any assumptions outside best practice in science.

_____________________________________

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Foundations of Mind II: A Dialogue Among World Views - current schedule

If there are images in this attachment, they will not be displayed.   Download the original attachment

Foundations of Mind II: A Dialogue

 Among World Views


https://cynthiasuelarson.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/reparsing-nature-at-foundations-of-mind-ii/

is a good review of the event
Conference August 13-15 3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley
(watch for announcement of larger venue)
Thursday August 13: Metaphysics


Living the Quantum Paradigm

Thursday, Aug 13 2015, 9:00-1:00 (Break 10:45 - 11:15)
Chair: Cynthia Sue Larson
Panelists/speakers include Wolganag Baer (Nascent), 
James
Johnson (LBL),and Swami Prasannatmananda (Vedanta society)

This is a humorous introduction to this section;

Henrt Stapp, colleague of Heisenberg, and cell-phone addiction


This session invites interdisciplinary dialogue and exercises addressing the underlying philosophy and logic of quantum physics, and approaches to living in accordance with quantum principles. Questions about the nature of reality require inclusion of quantum physics beyond the historical “shut up and calculate”
approach, which
has provided multiple interpretations of quantum physics without agreement on the philosophical quantum paradigm foundation. Whereas quantum physics challenges scientists to comprehend whether, how, or where a boundary between classical and quantum physics may exist, philosophy promotes critical thinking and clarity about arguments, terminology, and ideas. Scientific philosophy can lead the way toward development of new theoretical approaches and alternate interpretations, while finding conceptual weak points in theories and
arguments.

Experiential approaches to living in accordance with quantum principles provide unique opportunities for appreciating the feeling of levels of consciousness and the dream-like nature of reality. In Vedanta, the body is a synonym for sensations and the mind for thoughts; both are presented to consciousness, the fundamental eternal reality. Yet exercises are also proposed to maintain this insight, which otherwise does not persist.

10:00 Submitted papers


Shiva Meucci 
Judy B. Gardiner
Cynthia Sue Larson
Frank Heile
Leanne Whitney
Julia Bystrova
Jonathan W Schooler
Maria Syldona

Session on Ontology

Thursday, Aug 13 2015 1:00 - 3:30
Chair: Sean O'Nuallain
Panelists/speakers include Henry Stapp (LBL, Berkeley) , Jacob Needleman (SFSU)
(keynotes), Len Talmy ( U Buffalo) Kevin Padian (UC Berkeley)


It is our belief that much grief, and waste of taxpayers' money, could be avoided with an appropriate re-parse of nature that acknowledges there are rifts between the quantum and classical physical realities,
and further ontological discontinuities at the biological and intentional thresholds. It is further our belief that the relative failure of the HGP, and imminent debacle of both the Obama and “Blue brain
neuro initiatives, are due to precisely this unwillingness to cater to ontology. Moreover, even incessant crawling of the web has
failed to yield anything other than at best mediocre results in machine translation.

Finally, this tendency manifests itself in the social sciences with psychologism, the reduction of exigent social dynamics to cognitive and other psychological theories of how these forces are processed. This has led on the one hand to the non-engaged intellectual; on the other, to bewildering interpretations of postmodern thinkers geared mainly to giving instructors a free pass.

This session invites papers that address technical issues in science and the arts under this rubric. Consider the question of authentic political engagement. In particular, the latter category of papers may explore the fact that reality is related to consciousness and yet transcends it, As we act, we become aware of being objects in
a social space that yet can be magicked away in a classroom.
Submitted papers
Sean O Nuallain
Jonathan Schooler
In the absence of theory, return to Villa Serbelloni?

Thursday, Aug 13 2015 
3:45 to 5:30
Chair: Marcin Joachimiak (Physical Biosciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
Panel includes , Kevin Padin (Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley), Stuart Kauffman
(Systems Biology,Seattle), Howard Pattee (Binghamton University),
Beverly Rubik (FAIM)

Several decades before the HGP was initiated, a diverse group of scientists convened at Villa Serbelloni to tackle the troubling lack of theory in biology. The solutions they proposed were various, from
an untroubling emphasis on hierarchy to a reinstatement of Aristotelian material and final causality to a network-based approach to the interaction of metabolism and genetic code. It is fair to say
that the HGP to its cost –
and that of the public who paid for it – ignores these guidelines. Is it time for a fresh period of reflection?
Submitted papers
Madza Vierges (Ph.D candiate, Cal)
Beverly Rubik (Faim)
Friday, August 14: Science
Session on Probing subjectivity with neuroscience; non-invasive probes into subjectivity

Friday, Aug 14 2015 
9 am - 1 pm
Chair; Justin Riddle (Ph.D. candidate, UC Berkeley)
Panel includes Walter Freeman (UC Berkeley),
Jeffrey Martin, Chris Tyler, Saher Yousef

While a century ago dreams were regarded as revelatory of true psychic dynamics, a later generation took to drugs for that same purpose. A new ethos is stressing invasive methods that essentially involve
consent forms being signed by patients already stressed by imminent surgery.

While the results have been mixed, the fact remains that there already exists an array of tools that can shape experience without the risks of drugs or surgery. This session will investigate these tools, like TMS and EEG, and their results. It will feature discussion of synchronized gamma and whether it indeed is the signature of
consciousness that many claim it is.

9:00 Keynote: Walter Freeman

9:45 Chris Tyler

10:30 Q+A

10:45 break

11:00 Panel/papers

Papers
Juan Acosta-Urquidi
Justin Riddle

1:00 break
The Real Madrid Model for universities; superstar academics, free transfers

Friday, Aug 14 2015 
2 pm - 3 pm
Chair Brian Barsky (UC Berkeley)
Panellists/speakers include Ignacio Chapela (UC Berkeley)


A new model on the university is being developed in Europe and Russia; superstar academics are to be flown in as adjunct profs, if only for a few months a year, and tenure is to be excised along the lines
successfully implemented by Thatcher and Major. An executive is to be created that removes power from the academic community to centralize it into fewer and less accountable hands. While this model reached its nadir in Ireland in the aughts, other countries are now emulating
it. This panel attempts to dissect it and propose alternatives.

This is particularly relevant as the 50the anniversary of the free speech movement at Berkeley comes to a close. In keeping with the themes of this conference, Mario Savio was “interested in the
connection between quantum mechanics and free will”
(Cohen, 2009 P 275)

As a high school student on a summer programme at the NSF summer institute “One day I made an observation ….which convinced me –
and still does - that this essential connection between macrophysics and microphysics also precludes strict determinism… we have once again coupled a a sub microscopic event with macroscopic human behavior. The physical indeterminism of human behavior constitutes a necessary
condition for human freedom”
(Savio from Cohen, 2009, Pp 17-18)

Cohen, R (2009) Freedom’s Orator . NY: OUP

Submitted papers
Sebastian Benthall, (I-school UC Berkeley)




Quantum entanglement, negative probabilities and neural oscillations;
the sublime final achievement of the great American polymath Patrick
Suppes


Friday, Aug 14 2015 3:30 to close
Participants include members of the final Suppes group including
Acacio de Barros and Gary Oas. They will be joined by,
others with empirical results

Like his fellow-American Frank Lloyd Wright, Pat Suppes experienced a breathtaking burst of creativity in the ninth decade of his life. While Pat’s earlier work on economics, psychology and the philosophy of science achieved justified world renown, it is the sustained attack on problems of mind and world that occupied his later energies that we will celebrate in this panel. This work, which is being continued at Stanford, features the highly technical and competent researchers on this panel bringing a wide artillery of techniques to bear on issues of mind, brain, cognition, and epistemology. It is their work which will indicate whether what was being hinted at in Pat’s autumn years until his passing in late 2014 is an entirely new language for describing
humanity’s relationship to reality itself

4:30 Submitted papers
R. P Bajpai
Karla Gadamez (LBL)


Saturday, August 15: Ecological consciousness, environmental technology
9 am to 12-30
9 am

Stuart Kauffman: Conference Keynote "Humanity In A Creative Universe”
10-15
Miguel Altieri
Agroecology Scaling Up for Food Sovereignty
and Resiliency
11 am
Fritjof CapraThe Systems View of Life: A Unified Conception of Mind, Matter, and Life



1:30-2-30 session continues
Confirmed speakers include Glenn Aparicio Parry, Katja Pettinen, Tania Re


3:00 pm
Mindfulness : meditation, presence in daily life and high performance in sports and the arts

While the beneficial effects of meditation to health can perhaps most economically be explained in terms of its measured decrease in brain metabolism, the issue of how to elicit high performance perhaps needs to be re-opened in the context of modern neuroscience. Artists, meditators and athletes will talk about their experience of presence and flow

, Sperry Andrews,
Yoshio Nakamura, Melanie O'Reilly, Sean O Nuallain, Saher Yousef




Sunday, April 26, 2015

FOM 2 3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley Aug 13-15 2015



The Foundations of Mind II Conference: Dialogues between worldviews

First call for papers/panels
You're invited to attend and participate in 
this year's Foundations of Mind Conference, happening at 
UC Berkeley, August 13-15th, 2015

================================================


The Foundations of Mind II Conference

 This conference attempts to create interdisciplinary dialogue about Mind/Nous in a way that transcends a reduction of Mind to psychological process.
================================================


FOM 2 
3105 Tolman Hall 
UC Berkeley 
Aug 13-15,  2015

================================================

Confirmed plenary speakers/panelists include;

Stuart Kauffman (Systems Biology, Seattle)

Terrence W. Deacon (UC Berkeley)

Kevin Padian (UC Berkeley)

Walter Freeman  (UC Berkeley)

Henry Stapp (LBL, Berkeley)

Howard Pattee (Binghamton University')

Jacob Needleman (SFSU)

Menas Kafatos

Wolfgang Baer (Nascent)

Len Talmy ( U Buffalo)

Swami Prasannatmananda (Vedanta society)

Seán Ó Nualláin (UOI)

Beverly Stokes (Amazing babies moving)

Cynthia Sue Larson (Reality shifters)

More speakers will be added – we are also pleased to host members of
the Biohackers and consciousness hackers communities in the Bay area.

================================================

Deadlines; June 16 2015; 500 word abstract and/or panel suggestion to
president@universityofireland.com

June 28; notification of acceptance

June 30; Early bird payment of $200 at http://www.foundationsofmind.org/donate/

The fee thereafter is $300, with $50 for individual panel sessions. 
The conference is free for Cal students. 
================================================

SESSIONS: 

_________________________________________________
Living the Quantum Paradigm

3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley 
Thursday, Aug 13  2015  10 am to noon
Chair: Cynthia Sue Larson
Panel includes Menas Kafatos (Chapman University), Wolfgang Baer
(Nascent) and Swami Prasannatmananda (Vedanta society)

This session invites interdisciplinary dialogue and exercises
addressing the underlying philosophy and logic of quantum physics, and
approaches to living in accordance with quantum principles.
Questions about the nature of reality require inclusion of quantum
physics beyond the historical “shut up and calculate” approach, which
has provided multiple interpretations of quantum physics without
agreement on the philosophical quantum paradigm foundation. Whereas
quantum physics challenges scientists to comprehend whether, how, or
where a boundary between classical and quantum physics may exist,
philosophy promotes critical thinking and clarity about arguments,
terminology, and ideas. Scientific philosophy can lead the way toward
development of new theoretical approaches and alternate
interpretations, while finding conceptual weak points in theories and
arguments.

Experiential approaches to living in accordance with quantum
principles provide unique opportunities for appreciating the feeling
of levels of consciousness and the dream-like nature of reality. In
Vedanta, the body is a synonym for sensations and the mind for
thoughts; both are presented to consciousness, the fundamental eternal
reality. Yet exercises are also proposed to maintain this insight,
which otherwise does not persist.
_________________________________________________

Session on Ontology

3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley 
Thursday, Aug 13  2015   1pm to 3pm
Chair: Michael Ranney (TBC)
Panel includes Henry Stapp (LBL, Berkeley) , Jacob Needleman (SFSU)
(keynotes), Len Talmy ( U Buffalo), Stuart Kauffman (Systems Biology,
Seattle)

It is our belief that much grief, and waste of taxpayers' money, could
be avoided with an appropriate reparse of nature that acknowledges
there are rifts between the quantum and classical physical realities,
and further ontological discontinuities at the biological and
intentional thresholds. It is further our belief that the relative
failure of the HGP, and imminent debacle of both the Obama and “Blue
brain” neuro initiatives, are dues to precisely this unwillingness to
cater to ontology. Moreover, even incessant crawling of the web has
failed to yield anything other than at best mediocre results in
machine translation.

 Finally, this tendency manifests itself in the social sciences with
psychologism, the reduction of exigent social dynamics to cognitive
and other psychological theories of how these forces are processed.
This has led on the one hand to the non-engaged intellectual; on the
other, to bewildering interpretations of postmodern thinkers geared
mainly to giving instructors a free pass.

This session invites papers that address technical issues in science
and the arts  under this rubric and/or consider the question of
authentic political engagement. In particular, the latter category of
papers may explore the fact that reality is relative to consciousness
and yet transcends it, As we act, we become aware of being objects in
a social space that yet can be magicked away in a classroom...........
_________________________________________________

In the absence of theory; return to Villa Serbelloni?

3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley 
Thursday, Aug 13  2015    3-30 to 5-30
Chair:  Seán Ó Nualláin
Panel includes Terrence W. DEACON (anthropology, UC Berkeley (, Kevin Padian (Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley) .Marcin Joachimiak (Physical Biosciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Stuart Kauffman (Systems Biology,Seattle), Howard Pattee (Binghamton University)

Several decades before the HGP was initiated, a diverse group of
scientists convened at Villa Serbelloni to tackle the troubling lack
of theory in biology. The solutions they proposed were various, from
an untroubling emphasis on hierarchy to a reinstatement of
Aristotelian material and final causality to a network-based approach
to the interaction of metabolism and genetic code. It is fair to say
that the HGP to its cost – and that of the public who paid for it –
ignores these guidelines. Is it time for a fresh period of reflection?
_________________________________________________

Session on Hacking consciousness; non-invasive probes into subjectivity

3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley 
Friday, Aug 14 2015    9 am to 1pm
Chair; Justin Riddle (Ph.D. candidate, UC Berkeley)
Panel includes Walter Freeman  (UC Berkeley), Seán Ó Nualláin and others TBC

While a century ago dreams were regarded as revelatory of true psychic
dynamics, a later generation took to drugs for that same purpose. A
new ethos is stressing invasive methods that essentially involve
consent forms being signed by patients already stressed by imminent
surgery.

While the results of this has been mixed, the fact remains that there
already exists an array of tools that can shape experience without the
risks of drugs or surgery. This session will investigate these  tools,
 like TMS and EEG, and their results. It will feature discussion of
synchronized gamma and whether it indeed is the signature of
consciousness that many claim it is.

9 am Keynote: Walter Freeman

_________________________________________________



The Real Madrid Model for universities; superstar academics, free transfers

3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley 
Friday, Aug 14 2015    1pm  - 3pm
Chair Brian Barsky (UC Berkeley)

A new model on the university is being developed in Europe and Russia;
superstar academics are to be flown in as adjunct profs, if only for a
few months a year, and tenure is to be excised along the lines
successfully implemented by Thatcher and Major. An executive is to be
created that removes power from the academic community to centralize
it into fewer and less accountable hands. While this  model reached
its nadir in Ireland in the aughts, other countries are now emulating
it. This panel attempts to dissect it and propose alternatives

This is particularly relevant as the 50the anniversary of the free
speech movement at Berkeley comes to a close.  In keeping with the
themes of this conference, Mario Savio was “interested in the
connection between quantum mechanics and free will” (Cohen, 2009 P
275)

As a  high school student on a summer programme at the NSF summer
institute “One day I made an observation ….which convinced me – and
still does  - that this essential connection between macrophysics and
microphysics also precludes strict determinism…  we have once again
coupled a a sub microscopic event with macroscopic human behaviour.
The physical indeterminism of human behavior constitutes a necessary
condition for human freedom” (Savio from Cohen, 2009, Pp 17-18)

Cohen, R  (2009) Freedom’s Orator . NY: OUP
_________________________________________________Submitted papers

3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley 
Friday, Aug 14 2015    4pm – close 



Quantum entanglement, negative probabilities and neural oscillations;  the sublime final achievement  of the great American polymath Patrick Suppes

Participants include members of the final Suppes group including Acacio de Barros and Gary Oas

Like his fellow-American Frank Lloyd Wright, Pat Suppes  experienced a breathtaking burst of creativity in the ninth decade of his life. While Pat’s earlier work on economics, psychology and the philosophy of science achieved justified world renown, it is the sustained attack on problems of mind and world that occupied his later energies that we will celebrate in this panel. This work, which is being continued at Stanford, features the highly technical competent researchers on this panel bringing a wide artillery of techniques to bear on issues of mind, brain, cognition, and epistemology. It is their work which will indicate whether what was being hinted at in Pat’s autumn years until his passing in late 2014 is an entirely new language for describing humanity’s relationship to reality itself

_________________________________________________
Saturday, Aug 15  2015  10 am to noon

 Conference Keynote ; Stuart Kauffman



"Humanity In A Creative Universe:

Saturday, Aug 15  2015  1 pm to 3pm


Ecological consciousness, environmental technology
Confirmed speakers include Mary Thompson, Sperry Andrews

_________________________________________________

Submitted papers

Saturday, Aug 15  2015   3-30pm  - close 

================================================

The following is intended as a non-coercive guideline for themes for paper submissions ie other themes are welcome;


Title; "One Magisterium; a new science-religion dialogue"

Themes


A Magisterium is an area of teaching authority. As we celebrate the 450th anniversary of Galileo's birth, it seems clear that science has prevailed over superstition. The “new atheists" claim that there is indeed one Magisterium, that of science.

At first glance, it seems that science will continue its march to victory over the epistemological claims of religion, eventually reducing them to the null set. More consequentially, it is increasingly accepted among religious “thinkers” as among scientific such that the magisterium, the teaching authority, of science trumps that of religion. The result is a consensus that state power, based as it should be on natural law, itself a reflection of the natural order of things, will increasingly base itself on science.

The evidence seems overwhelming; on the positive side there are physical theories accurate in their predictions to a part in a trillion, print-outs of one's genome for a few dollars, a steadfast adherence to the notion that the mind IS the brain and that the brain is being mapped. On the negative side there is in the epistemological domain the clear absurdities of the biblical account of creation and the notion of transubstantiation, let alone reincarnation, and in the social domain the horrors of religious terrorism and institutional child abuse.

Yet things are now not quite so simple. It would be a pity if citizenship was reduced to following the dictates of scientists we cannot understand; yet its mythic poverty is not the only limitation of science. For a start, “science” itself means knowledge and that gives little clue that science reflects a set of practices based on a set of logico-mathematical insights and related physical observations, from which it takes its impetus; most of its practitioners are not versed in the philosophy of science and are not aware of the controversial status of theory.

However, that type of brake put on the progress of “science” may only be the beginning. The Victorian universe was eternal; the modern one features creation from a single point, rough-hew this how we may. Indeed, the cosmos shows fine-tuning of physical constants in a manner that leads to complex conscious creatures driven to understand said cosmos, all the while debating furiously how these constants came to be just so. The Darwinian biosphere was atomistic chance and biological necessity; ours features far-from equilibrium conditions like the gaseous contents of the atmosphere that facilitate our existence. In fact, man is right back at the center of things in a way no-one dared to predict.

There are many other issues that beg explanation along these lines; in fact, it could be argued that we have gotten good enough t science to become aware of its limitations. For example, Goedel DID point out paradoxes about cognition in mathematical systems and the puzzling ontological status of infinite sets that indeed suggest access to processes that are outside the Turing/Church realm. It also is arguable that the observer is still enmeshed in state-vector reduction, with attempts to dispense with him still highly controversial

Indeed, the hitherto “subjective” notion of information is now immanent in third-person physics, as the idea of code is in biology. As we explore in mathematical physics, we find that concepts like symmetry, far from being psychological mechanisms, seem almost to have a deus ex machina status, guiding us to ever deeper insights into nature. Conversely, in areas like quantum field theory, we sometimes do “bad math”, with non-converging infinite series, where any number could be obtained, and yet it works. Both subtle and devious is the Lord.

This is not an attempt to re-introduce creationism; it is rather an attempt at broadening the debate. We can continue along the lines above. Folk psychology, rather than eliminative materialism, will prevail precisely because it is a more effective algorithmic compression for most people than eliminative materialism and it is attested in its strengths and weaknesses by tens of millennia of human societies. People striving for self-development will passionately, head and heart together, seek through the intellect the ground of Being, and/or attempt to eviscerate the self through compassionate action/observing it to death, and/or attempt to change the world, if necessary through artistic creation.

We can call such activities attempts at “ontological self-transformation”, in the manner that James Carroll characterizes his training for the priesthood as requiring that he “ontologically” transform himself. We can then speculate how this this notion of “ontological self-transformation” might map onto evolutionary as onto scholastic thought.


All these activities exist in the broader society outside the academy – indeed several of them, like the arts arguably work better outside it. This allows us to introduce a critical distinction between different movements in society, of which the academic is just one. In fact, as of the early 21st century, the academic sphere is mutating its role in society so quickly that it behooves us to attempt a prediction of its role; the academic sphere will fall to whoever can attract the brightest and most free-spirited young adults to spend 3-4 years under their discipline. The web means we no longer need a physical premises; the paralysis of science in controversies about the status of the “gene”, “dark matter and energy”, the “central dogma” and so on means that the truth-seeking passion of these kids can better be satisfied without state funding that turns them into idiot savants.

So much for the academic “magisterium”; it is in fact mainly an environment for the pedagogical process. According to thinkers like Drummond, there is but one magisterium in society; it unifies the movements misread as “science” and “religion”; it invokes as its highest value the further evolution of man singular, and humanity as a whole; it accepts the political and scientific progress made since the renaissance, and embraces scientific discovery; it does not accept greedy reductionism aka scientism. While its community, culture and ceremonies are yet to be formed, the notion that something must be considered as sacred, be it the organic psychological development of our kids or the integrity of the biosphere, is accepted. It is also clear that the corporate destruction of our higher nature requires a reply, and that the political space still exists for both an activist and a quietist response, with much of the tools still available free in western societies.


Papers are invited which
- address any of the themes suggested above, whether agreeing or disagreeing – even if strongly – with the implicit and explicit contentions
    address the issue of overlapping, singular, or no magisteria
    address the issue of reductionism, failed or successful;
    consider the issue of ontology;
    contrast approaches to the fine-tuning problem
    Address such controversies as the horizon problem
    comment of the appropriateness in science of biology's “central dogma”
    Propose mechanisms for macro-evolution, if necessary through code biology
    Propose appropriate types of reduction, for example from Biology to physics/chemistry and from psychology to neuroscience
    Consider the issue of truth, state power and authority in the space initially opened up by thinkers like Hobbes;
    Consider the ontology of Buddhism as expressed in the Pali canon vis a vis its psychology

-  Quantum fluctuations and God of the gaps for example what are  the implications of the quantum mind hypothesis if true?
-  Lost and esoteric Christianities - for example, does Exodus 17:7 refer to an experience transcending Yahweh?





Monday, February 23, 2015

FOM seminar; Beach room, 3105 Tolman Hall, UC Berkeley 23 March 2015


FOM seminar; Beach room, 3105 Tolman Hall, UC Berkeley 23 March 2015

Please note that Menas' talk is here

 
Schedule;

2pm Menas Kafatos with respondents Wolfgang Baer and Karla M. Galdamez, Ph.d

   Extending Quantum Reality: Potential Framework Utilizing Generalized Principles
Menas C. Kafatos, Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics, Chapman University, Orange, California, U.S.A.
Quantum theory opened the door to consciousness through observation, but it cannot account for consciousness. Specifically, the Orthodox quantum view as extended by von Neumann requires a fundamental role for conscious observation. However, this is still a dualistic approach, separating the observer from the response of the overall system to observational choices, the so-called “measurement problem”. Moreover, there is considerable disagreement on the meaning itself of “consciousness”.
We advocate an approach which is consistent with the findings of quantum mechanics and relativity but extends microphysics to mesoscale levels to include observers: Simply put, we cannot remove subjective experience from the practice of science and quantum mechanics in particular. Science presupposes sentient scientists. Ontological assumptions of a system of thought or the underlying metaphysics are always implicit but rarely discussed. 
Our ontological assumption is that universal Consciousness, which we term Awareness, is fundamental in the universe. Testing this assumption is not possible in any system that assumes the absolute division of subject and object, as current science is. We present arguments that philosophy or science cannot provide a comprehensive account of existence without accounting for the awareness that is creating that ontology.
In the proposed framework, one is not looking for the theory of consciousness or the Theory of Everything but how an Awareness-based ontology can assist to address observation and manifestation of physical existence. In extending quantum reality, we examine the applicability of three principles that apply at all levels. Quantum-like effects extend QM to mesoscale biological and neuronal levels and beyond. We discuss what goes into the proposed framework, beginning with the three fundamental principles, and how mathematics can assist to establish such a framework, particularly the subject-object relationships, which we hold as primary. To put it in another way, the qualia of object - subject relationships, which link science and philosophy through Awareness, are at the core of this framework.

Baer's abstract;

Title: Simplified Implementation of a Conscious Universe in the context of an Event Oriented World View
Abstract: If we assume the universe is fundamentally a self measurement and explanatory action cycle as suggested by H. James, Whitehead, and A. Wheeler, then we can define a process architecture in which we and the rest of the universe are described by action cycles that include subjective experiences. I will give a graphic presentation showing how the Whole can be divided into interacting action cycles. As an example I will describe a three person Whole consisting of You, I, and the rest of the Universe.  I will then indicate how quantum mechanics is a linear approximation to the theory of events that addresses macroscopic phenomena beyond the atomic and nuclear scales.



Response by Karla M. Galdamez, Ph.d.


In the present work, John von Neumann's idea of measurement and observation through the problem of the photon-eye interaction will be explored. The probability of wave function collapse as the photon enters the eye will be investigated via density matrix formalism and non-linear Schrodinger equations. Experimental assessment will consist of optical equipment currently built.
This optical equipment has been elaborated and tested for the production of 10-20 photon per 100 milli-second time window for the investigation of reaction time and corresponding visual evoked potential. Results will be further used for a theoretical analysis of the study of collapse, decoherence and absorption phenomena investigating the idea of von Neumann's 'cut'.
The experimental equipment consists of a silicon avalanche photodiode to detect near to single photon output, a high power light emitting diode (LED) source centered at 530 nm, a set of single and multi-mode fibers, and an attenuator. Attenuator is built as an optical lens device containing two convex lenses for improved efficiency of source-to-output via optical fibers, and appropriate density filter for variations of input current. The system is driven by a high power, 1-channel LED driver with pulse modulation device. The desired result is achieved with future investigation for exact single digit photon production and random generation pulse input.


4 pm

Cortical quantum processes in the age of big data

Seán Ó Nualláin Ph.D.
President, UoI


Some of the classic Penrose arguments for the necessity of consciousness (and quantum effects) in cognitive processing are now being falsified by progress in computing. Computers can now “read' emotions, convert sound waves to text, and interpret scenes. at levels close to humans/ Remarkably, this has largely been done by “big data” methods rather than the AI methods used in the 20th century. It would seem to be a natural conclusion that the brain is a deterministic system, and that there is no need to posit quantum effects.

It is, hoverer, a fact that the brain works by allocating resources preferentially to processes deemed important. The techniques assumed germane to this project are dynamic load balancing for allocation of processing resources, with adaptive resonance theory being used to model the neural network structure .In short, this too could be a deterministic process, and is termed “Exogenous attention”

What this paper explores is that the contrastive “endogenous” type of attention may be non-deterministic and invite a quantum explanation. In the 1990's there was consensus that the neurons in the nuclei reticularis thalami (nrt) “gated”' information in the corticothalamic loop. We have since found out that the nrt comprise a gap junction, capable of working at speeds far above that of chemical synapses and consequently hospitable to quantum effects.

The scenario proposed in this paper, therefore, is one in which a superposition of processes is maintained until the nrt select one to be the focus of attention. The process so selected is allowed “broadcast” its content to the whole cortex in a manner facilitated by gamma synchrony, and this is what we call “consciousness” Following Pribram, we are willing to concede that consciousness is describable in classical physics terms, and has as its “intentional” aspect a synchrony between dendritic processes and real world objects.

What is non-classical in our schema is the action of the nrt in choosing which question to ask of nature. It is further argued that the flip side of big data's recent successes is its abject failure in areas like machine translation. It is argued that the recent computational successes pertain to what Fodor called “vertical” cognitive modules, fast and mandatory mental computations not subject to voluntary action. What requires the action of will in “endogenous attention “ of “horizontal modules” produces a set of artifacts, like humans' real use of language, which permeates our society. While we indeed are classical machines a great deal of the time, the society we have constructed requires us to engage in quantum computation. That allows a realm for free, responsible human action

4-45 pm
Justin Riddle
"Fractal Trialism: Cognitive Science meets Quantum Mechanics"

I present a new model of consciousness called Fractal Trialism. This
model is a broad framework for connecting seemingly disparate fields
in Cognitive Science and Physics. Fractal Trialism presents a
tripartite view of the mind akin to Roger Penrose's Three World Model.
A Physical world which relates to the Measurement principle of QM and
digital computers. A Mental world of the Superposition principle and
quantum computers. Finally, a Platonic world of Entanglement / Unitary
evolution which finds its home in a new form of computation called
Frequency Fractal computing (FFC) currently coming out of MIT. The
theory is called "Fractal" Trialism because to best understand each of
the three worlds you must view an analogous tripartite description of
each world/computer. For digital computers we have Alan Turing's
Store, Executive unit and Control. For quantum computers we have
Quantum Zeno Effect, Bose-Einstein Condensates and Universal Quantum
Simulation. For FFC we have Guilio Tononi's Integrated Information
Theory, Anirban Bandyopadhyay's Frequency Fractal Computing and the
Quantum Gravity Research Group's use of the E8-lattice. All of these
terms will be defined simply and in relation to each other. Fractal
trialism unites biology and physics, mathematics and consciousness,
computation and freewill.

5pm Close

Another great success; photos thanks to Tim


                                       Menas Kafatos

                                         Seán Ó Nualláin
                                        Wolfgang Baer

Friday, February 6, 2015

FOM talk; 3pm Feb 13 2015 107 South hall UC Berkeley

Intellectual property and other information policies in a small country

Seán Ó Nualláin Ph.D.
 Lead IP adviser,
Reboot Ireland
3pm Feb 13 2015 107 South hall UC Berkeley


Even in the depths of the recent recession, smaller and economically challenged countries kept scientific research programs that attempt to replicate the NSF and NIH running. The current bloat in scientific journals allowed the system to be gamed to make this appear a reasonable step. The first part of this talk focuses on three burgeoning areas of research; cancer, computational semantics and immunology to show how this game is implemented. The conclusion is that, with the possible exception of the USA, these national programs are a waste of taxpayers' money.

The second part of the talk attempts to find gaps in knowledge that small, economically distressed countries could exploit, It is argued that limits to “big data” and other brute force statistics approaches have been found. This part of the talk looks at how the elision of syntax and semantics have caused an asymptote in performance both in genomics and natural language processing; controversies in mainstream biology with its “central dogma” and why neuroscientists urgently need to master physics techniques like the harmonic oscillator

Thirdly, we look at conventional issues of “orphan” IP like books and drugs. The talk then briefly segues into issues of personal privacy

In the last section, we look at the current state of universities. It is argued that their disciplinary structure mimics the departmental weights assigned by science funding research after WW2. This has led to anomalies whereby popular subjects like cognitive science are relegated to the “interdisciplinary” category; indeed, in this vein, computer science was not taught as a major at Caltech until the 1980's. This opens up opportunities for the creation of online universities that use the myriad excellent freshman and sophomore foundation courses freely available on the web to create low-price majors in subjects currently ignored in the science, arts and humanities. The talk concludes by envisaging a way to do world-class education and research at a fraction of their current cost both to the student and taxpayer.

 
PS

We had a really interesting audience and a discussion, which I recorded

The EU sent a representative;


The convenor was this guy;


This controversial and brilliant scientist had much to say;


finally, and perhaps best of all, one of the cog sci students now changing majors because of th absence of a dept there showed up, exemplifying one of the main themes