Cybernetics, Consciousness and Metasystem Transition
Let’s declare war against Man and all forms of Humanism.
- A. N. Whitehead
- Teilhard de Chardin
- Wolfhart Pannenberg, Karl Loewith
- Valentin Turchin
- Gaia Hypothesis
- Eric Voegelin, Mircea Eliade, Julian Jaynes
- History of consciousness, cognitive archaeology
- Emergence, entropy, information; Bayesian inference
- Semantic anti-realism
- Scientific anti-realism (Bas van Fraassen)
- Animal consciousness, ontic pancomputationalism
Quotes from To Our Friends,
At the apex of his insanity, Man has even proclaimed himself a “geological force,” going so far as to give the name of his species to a phase of the life of the planet: he’s taken to speaking of an “anthropocene.” For the last time, he assigns himself the main role, even if it’s to accuse himself of having trashed everything-the seas and the skies, the ground and what’s underground-even if it’s to confess his guilt for the unprecedented extinction of plant and animal species. But what’s remarkable is that he continues relating in the same disastrous manner to the disaster produced by his own disastrous relationship with the world. He calculates the rate at which the ice pack is disappearing. He measures the extermination of the non-human forms of life. As to climate change, he doesn’t talk about it based on his sensible experience-a bird that doesn’t return in the same period of the year, an insect whose sounds aren’t heard anymore, a plant that no longer flowers at the same time as some other one. He talks about it scientifically with numbers and averages. He thinks he’s saying something when he establishes that the temperature will rise so many degrees and the precipitation will decrease by so many inches or millimeters. He even speaks of “biodiversity.” He observes the rarefaction of life on earth from space. He has the hubris to claim, paternally, to be “protecting the environment,” which certainly never asked for anything of the sort. All this has the look of a last bold move in a game that can’t be won.
- Computer architectures always come with a fixed instruction set. Sequential models of computation, e.g. Turing machine, push-down automata, are all given a fixed instruction set, while lambda calculus doesn’t seem to possess one. Problem: why disassociating memory from intellect? This practice seems to be shaped by a general, essentially modern or early-modern trend in the Western theory of mind which in St. Augustine’s time wasn’t the case (See Augustine’s On Trinity).
- It is frequently stated that the ability of language representation, i.e. encoding and decoding, is decoupled from that of meaning and grammar processing (syntactical and semantical abilities), but, at least for computational models, representation of input and output matters. See the stackexchange question and Andrej Bauer’s post, “It is meaningless to discuss representations of a set by a datatype without also considering operations that we want to perform on the set.” What’s happending in Brother John’s case?
- What is information? It directs and gives forms to the “external” world, but for it to be able to direct, it needs to be given a form. There should not be information without someone to decode and encode it. Same with orderliness, etc.
- Grand Cosmic and Natural History. The track given by Teilhard de Chardin.
- Against Realism. What are the effects of the second cosmogony - the emergence of consciousness - on cosmic history?
- Erik Davis - TechGnosis. Introduction to general history and background
- Merlin Donald - Origins of the Modern Mind
- Julian Jaynes - The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
- John Maynard Smith & Eors Szathmary - The Major Transitions in Evolution
- Eva Jablonka & Marion Lamb - Inheritance Systems and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis
- Eva Jablonka & Marion Lamb - Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life
- N. J. Enfield & Jack Sidnell - Consequences of Language, From Primary to Enhanced Intersubjectivity
Some interesting books on music origin
- Joseph Jordania - Why do People Sing? Music in Human Evolution.
- The Origins of Music (2001)
Origin Of Life
- Niesert, U., Harnasch, D. & Bresch, C. Origin of life between scylla and charybdis. J Mol Evol 17, 348–353 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01734356
- About possible catastrophes in the RNA world abiogenesis. A criticism of any theory of the origin of life that assumes a cooperative organization of a large population of molecules without providing explicit safeguards against short-circuiting of metabolic pathways.
- R. Landauer, “Irreversibility and Heat Generation in the Computing Process,” in IBM Journal of Research and Development, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 183-191, July 1961, https://doi.org/10.1147/rd.53.0183
- Landauer’s principle. A physical principle pertaining to the lower theoretical limit of energy consumption of computation - is it possible that this to be formulated purely logically in a intuitionistic variant of logic?
- To put it in another way, is there a purely logical description/interpretation of entropy, that doesn’t take the detour through the notion of manipulation of information via some physical process?
- A note https://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0210005
- Very informative post on Landauer’s principle by Euan McLean https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/9zKKweu5826vSigu3/deconfusing-landauer-s-principle#The_second_law_for_any_Shannon_entropy
Mind and consciousness
- Lecours, A. Linguistic and other psychological aspects of paroxysmal aphasia*1. Brain and Language, 10(1), 1–23 (1980). doi:10.1016/0093-934x(80)90034-6 (https://doi.org/10.1016/0093-934x(80)90034-6)
- The case of Brother John. Aphasia, language loss and higher cognition, including intelligence.