Quantum Consciousness, Whitehead and Pirsig

Mark Germine posted a link on MoQ-Discuss to his paper “The Holographic Principle Theory of Mind” on the Dynamical Psychology philosophy journal site edited by Ben Goertzel. (I have Ben linked in my side-bar blogroll). Mark’s summary is

The Holographic Principle holds the information in any region of space and time exists on the surface of that region.  Layers of the holographic, universal “now” go from the inception of the universe to the present.  Universal Consciousness is the timeless source of actuality and mentality. Information is experience, and the expansion of the “now” leads to higher and higher orders of experience in the Universe, with various levels of consciousness emerging from experience.  The brain consists of a nested hierarchy of surfaces which range from the most elementary field through the neuron, neural group, and the whole brain.  Evidence from the evolution and structure of the brain shows that optimal surface areas in a variety of structures are conserved with respect to underlying surfaces.  Microgenesis, the becoming of the mental state through a process of recapitulation of development and evolution, is in full accord with the Holographic Principle. Evidence from a wide variety of contexts indicates the capacity of the mind for total recall of past life events and for access to universal information, indicating connection with the holographic surfaces of prior “nows” and with the Universal holographic boundary.  In summation, the Holographic Principle can help us explain the unity and mechanisms of perception, experience, memory, and consciousness.

KEYWORDS: Holographic Principle, consciousness, evolution, time, mind, brain, memory, microgenesis, quantum physics, conceptual synthesis.)

This is just a holding post to collect all the linkage.

The paper itself, and Mark’s post on MoQ-Discuss, link this quantum view to Whitehead’s “Process” metaphysics, and suggests the parallel with Pirsig, discussed by Sneddon (on Ant’s site).

David Morey previously pointed out the parallels between the Whitehead process metaphysics and quantum theory, as discussed by Shimon Malin’s “Nature Loves to Hide”. (Which I read and enjoyed, posted thoughts on MoQ-Discuss – but it seems I didn’t blog about Malin, or Whitehead for that matter, who I’ve also read since reading Malin ?)

The holographic principle (holochory) is a fundamental aspect of quantum information theory, being posited by the BCS Cybernetics group as a the most fundamental view of the whole of reality, including consciousness.

Mark cites Stapp, and it was Stapp and Josephson that first gave me that link between fundamental physics and eastern (Zen) philosophy, after I had passed over Talbot’s “Mysticism and the New Physics” as merely metaphorical.

Ben Goertzel also runs the “Artificial General Intelligence” research institute wiki, and is a member of the organising committee for the AGI-08 conference, where Cliff Joslyn and Doug Lenat are also on the programme committee. Ben is the editor of “Dynamical Psychology”, Mark Germine is an associate editor, and Fred (Bluberry Brain) Abraham is on the editorial board.

3 thoughts on “Quantum Consciousness, Whitehead and Pirsig”

  1. Ian and others,

    One of the problems with the Holographic Principle is the fact that it makes no testable predictions. If the “Holographic Principle Theory of Mind” is correct, then there is the possibility that it can be applied to cybernetics and/or computational science, and in this way found to have predictive value as well as practical value. Basically, the trick would be to harness the entropy of a system on the boundary of that system. Then we would have a reduction of the dimensions of the system, without losing information, expressed on the boundary in holographic form. Then one would need some way of retrieving information from the holographic boundary.

    Any ideas?

  2. Hi Mark,

    Any ideas as to how to set up such a system and retrieve the information ? Beyond my areas of expertise I’m afraid.

    Of the people I linked to in the post Peter Marcer at the BCS …


    … is probably going to be closest to understanding what you need, or who else may be able to help.

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