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

June 28; notification of acceptance

June 30; Early bird payment of $200 at

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


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

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,

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

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

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"


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?