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Shelfrock77 OP t1_itructr wrote

“According to a new paper in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, these sights, smells, and glances are mere memories, even as I feel that they’re happening in real time. A team from Boston laid out a new theory of consciousness that inextricably ties it to memory.”

“In a nutshell: at its core, consciousness evolved as a memory system. It helps us remember the events of our lives—the whens, wheres, whats, and whos—which in turn can help us creatively and flexibly recombine them to predict or imagine alternative possibilities.

It gets more mind-bending. Rather than perceiving the world in real time, we’re actually experiencing a memory of that perception. That is, our unconscious minds filter and process the world under the hood, and often make split-second decisions. When we become aware of those perceptions and decisions—that is, once they’ve risen to the level of consciousness—we’re actually experiencing “memories of those unconscious decisions and actions,” the authors explained.”


SejaGentil t1_itsy3wa wrote

That makes a lot of sense to me. It would kinda imply that all our decisions are made by purely physical processes; that is, all our actions and movements are a result of electromagnetic interactions, just like computers, and we take no part on it. Instead, we're just "watching" it from the outside, in such a manner that it is extremely convincing that it is "us" who are making these decisions, but it isn't. In that interpretation, "outside" is another realm which we do not understand, and "us" is our real selves, which exist outside the physical universe. That would also imply some humans could possibly be watched by "0" beings, i.e., they're purely physical, like computers. At the same time, some humans could be watched by more than one being, even though they'd never suspect.


FeepingCreature t1_ittgsoj wrote

Helpful reminder that consciousness is the thing that makes you talk about consciousness.

(How exactly is the "observer outside the universe" making it back to your fingers, for you to talk about it on Reddit?)


NotLondoMollari t1_itvussi wrote

Brain as antenna is one theory that would jive with this.


FeepingCreature t1_itwgxdk wrote

Sure, doesn't answer any questions about consciousness though. Like, what if consciousness is just electromagnetic fields? Look at the brain. It's already electromagnetic fields!

A field isn't any less or more mysterious than a particle.


BinyaminDelta t1_ittkdkf wrote

Saying "we take no part in our actions" is interesting, but be cautious.

This view can lead to a dangerous path, which is the "humans have no free will" claim.

I say dangerous, because history has shown disturbing outcomes to this way of thinking. Crimes against others become easier to justify if "free will is an illusion" and we're just walking physical impulses.

Why is slavery wrong if humans don't have free will at all? Why is fascism evil if groups of humans are just chemical reactions?

Humanism -- and I would suppose most here are humanists -- should lean toward the presumption of free will and work to defend it, not minimize it.


ebolathrowawayy t1_itv31rx wrote

> This view can lead to a dangerous path, which is the "humans have no free will" claim.

Perhaps. I'm convinced that hard determinism is correct. There is no reason to think that free will exists unless one believes in spirits, the mystical, religious bs, etc. and there's no evidence of those things.

If suddenly everyone became convinced that free will doesn't exist, would a great many people become evil? Probably. I imagine there are millions of people who only "behave" because of some fear of divine punishment.

> I say dangerous, because history has shown disturbing outcomes to this way of thinking. Crimes against others become easier to justify if "free will is an illusion" and we're just walking physical impulses.

History has definitely shown that religious belief leads to disturbing outcomes, genocide and war. I'm not aware of any history that shows a group of people not believing in free will causing them to do disturbing things.

> Why is slavery wrong if humans don't have free will at all? Why is fascism evil if groups of humans are just chemical reactions?

Interesting question. I'm atheist and a hard determinist. I believe I have a strong moral compass and I think it was developed by poor parents (abusive) and a troubled upbringing. I realized what harming others must feel like for them because of what I've gone through and I simply don't want to harm others. It "feels" bad. I think morality is half genetically baked in and half human experience. I don't think religion or belief in free will is required.

> Humanism -- and I would suppose most here are humanists -- should lean toward the presumption of free will and work to defend it, not minimize it.

I don't think we should defend free will because then we're defending the mystical and unverifiable. People who believe in things that can't be proven true or false (religion) have poor critical thinking skills and often fall victim to conspiracies or radical thinking (qanon) that is hard to shake them out of and they're often anti-science and anti-fact. I think it's dangerous to raise children in an environment where believing in "santa for adults", whatever religious flavor that is. The responsible thing to do is to try to eliminate religion by passively accepting other's crazy beliefs while raising children outside of that dogma until religion is dead. At that point it is safe for everyone to not believe in free will because their moral compass won't rely on religious beliefs.


triton100 t1_itva7fv wrote

If determinism is true then what happened before the Big Bang. What caused or instigated the Big Bang in order to trigger the domino effect of the chaos theory. As equally those who believe in free will cannot prove it, neither can those who believe in determinism. And without evidence anything is possible. We didn’t even know what electricity was until recently, imagine how many other mind boggling things are yet to be discovered


ebolathrowawayy t1_itvh93a wrote

> If determinism is true then what happened before the Big Bang.

No one knows what caused it or what was there before.

> As equally those who believe in free will cannot prove it, neither can those who believe in determinism.

What caused the BB or what existed before it has no bearing on the discussion of free will. In order to disprove determinism, some evidence needs to be found that shows that actions can be taken by a human (or thinking machine) that have no prior cause. Even the many worlds theory and all of quantum physics does not disprove determinism. Evidence would have to break the universal law of cause and effect, not likely.

(P) Humans are only made up of matter

(Q) Matter is always affected by cause and effect

In order to disprove determinism you need to show that P or Q is false.

Free will can't be disproven, it's unverifiable because its belief is rooted in spiritual nonsense. Think about it. If P were false and humans had a spirit, then what governs our spirit's actions? Wouldn't a spirit still follow cause and effect? Why would a spirit make a decision without any prior cause? What mechanism could make that possible? All answers to this question are unverifiable. Souls have a funny way of changing whenever science improves understanding.

Maybe a special form of matter is discovered that winks into and out of existence with no discernible pattern or cause and it interacts with other matter in some way. This new matter would still affect other matter, still creating cause and effect chains. How this new form of matter winks into and out of existence isn't relevant. What if a new form of matter is discovered that doesn't interact with itself or anything else? That's rhetorical because that matter can't be discovered and would have no impact on determinism. I can't think of any possible way to disprove Q and I read a lot of scifi.

We have a ton of evidence validating hard determinism and no evidence of free will.


triton100 t1_itwx80h wrote

I agree with your thesis completely. However several things come to mind. You say that what happened before the big bang has no baring on determinism, which could be true. However, it’s not something that can be dismissed so quickly. Regardless of whether or not the human existence exists separately to whatever caused it’s existence via the Big Bang, and in accordance with its own set of universal laws, whatever brought the universe in existence is probably an occurrence of which we could not even ever comprehend. And therefore throws open many questions. Is there a god. Are there aliens. Are there superior intelligent machines. Did either of these three beings create us. Or does one choose to believe that the universe simply formed itself out of nothing. Gaseous substances simply materialised and formed life. And if we were brought into existence by either of these three scenarios, does that not change how we see free will and determinism. In that there are probably likely many new universal laws that we are not actually aware of yet. P and Q may well be false. We just haven’t made that discovery yet.


ebolathrowawayy t1_itwzb7u wrote

> However, it’s not something that can be dismissed so quickly.

Why not? Knowing what was before the BB or what caused it is literally impossible. It's like trying to see outside of a black hole while inside it. That information either no longer exists or would require a computer larger than the universe to reconstruct t=0 of the universe.

> Are there aliens. Are there superior intelligent machines. Did either of these three beings create us. Or does one choose to believe that the universe simply formed itself out of nothing. Gaseous substances simply materialised and formed life. And if we were brought into existence by either of these three scenarios, does that not change how we see free will and determinism.

None of that would change anything.

> In that there are probably likely many new universal laws that we are not actually aware of yet.

Unlikely, but as soon as evidence exists then sure. It just doesn't logically follow that P or Q can be false and I can't imagine any possible scenario where they could be, even with exotic matter or the existence of a creator. Maybe someone else can think of a possible scenario where if X exists then P or Q is false, I can't.


triton100 t1_itx1dxg wrote

It’s only relatively recently that humanity has discovered universal laws. I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t more to come.

Didn’t scientists recently discovered that some sub atomic particles displayed random movement behaviour that could suggest a diversion away from deterministic behaviour?


ebolathrowawayy t1_iu0mbzc wrote

> It’s only relatively recently that humanity has discovered universal laws. I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t more to come.

Universal laws akin to if A then B? Yes. There is almost no chance for causality to break, like you're more likely to get struck by lightning 10,000 times within 5 seconds than for there to be a discovery that contradicts causality, it's not even worth discussing because if causality breaks down then nothing makes sense anymore, not even logic.

> Didn’t scientists recently discovered that some sub atomic particles displayed random movement behaviour that could suggest a diversion away from deterministic behaviour?

Yes (I don't think it was recent, unless you mean since the discovery of quantum physics).

Even if every particle was completely random that doesn't mean the universe isn't deterministic though. In computer science, random number generators will always produce a deterministic output, but the distribution of numbers it spits out is "random". There has never been a discovery of true randomness. Particle decay is useful for creating a random distribution of numbers and it's used as a random number generator for some applications, but the decaying radioactive substance was always going to decay in precisely a certain way and the detector was always going to detect isotopes exactly where they land on the detector and always at the same time and always leading to the same numbers generated. No matter how many times you rewind time the outcome is the same. Nothing is truly random in the universe.


BenjaminHamnett t1_ittupgk wrote

I think we’re “watching” from the inside. And it’s more likely the process creates the inner sense of a being that is watching. I think zombies are mostly not real, except extenuating circumstances like dissociation, trauma, black out etc


BenjaminHamnett t1_ittuaah wrote

Makes sense to me. Fits with the framework from “I am a strange loop” which I like

Maybe consciousness is what it feels like to be the process of recalling near real time memories for calculating the next move


fangfried t1_itty9ow wrote

This theory along with the new physics experiment that proved the universe only exists locally as you measure it have really fucked me up


Black_RL t1_itugqha wrote

Seems only logic?

First we need to process all the inputs, I don’t see a problem with this.


ShayShayLeFunk t1_ituqmsv wrote

>I don’t see a problem with this.

A lot of people get really bummed out when they realize free will is an illusion.


ebolathrowawayy t1_itv0z6a wrote

Isn't this all extremely obvious? All of our senses are lagged behind real time and the data we receive must be processed and stored before we can act on it. If A then B.


freebytes t1_itvzbph wrote

If you examine neural networks of any kind (biological or artificial), you will find that the input layer of neurons are a type of neuron that behave similar to memory neurons anyway. All different kinds of neurons are related to this so even our sensory inputs could be considered memories as well. I do not think it is reasonable to assume that we can have inputs that are not filtered in this manner. The 'spark' happens internally where neurons communicate with each other.


Burial t1_itsitgm wrote

This seems very much in keeping with Benjamin Libet's famous experiment.

>Researchers also analyzed EEG recordings for each trial with respect to the timing of the action. It was noted that brain activity involved in the initiation of the action, primarily centered in the secondary motor cortex, occurred, on average, approximately five hundred milliseconds before the trial ended with the pushing of the button. That is to say, researchers recorded mounting brain activity related to the resultant action as many as three hundred milliseconds before subjects reported the first awareness of conscious will to act. In other words, apparently conscious decisions to act were preceded by an unconscious buildup of electrical activity within the brain – the change in EEG signals reflecting this buildup came to be called Bereitschaftspotential or readiness potential.


Nowritesincehschool t1_itvv91w wrote

This is a silly test for “free will” we already know that reactions are subconscious. If something is thrown at your face you move. You don’t think about moving and then move. You just do it. However I can think about typing out this response to you. I. Can. Stop. And. Make. Periods. For. No. Other. Reason. Than. Conscious. Control.

You can sit for hours and think logically about a problem and solve that problem using conscious thought. Where do those thoughts come from then? I can choose to sit in response to what I read about free will for ten minutes. Or I could choose to get up. I can tap my fingers or do any one of a million choices that have nothing to do with instinctual brain processing.

I am open to discussion. I just haven’t seen an explanation for conscious logical thought that answers the no free will question enough for my taste.

The best I have seen is, your brain is tricking you into having those thoughts. That everything that happens in your brain is like this article. A memory that pretends to be conscious. But that doesn’t track with living as a human being. I don’t know. It all seems to fall apart with just a small amount of “free will” taken when talking about free will. Even the choice to engage with this post was a choice. I will just stop typing because I chose to


freebytes t1_itvytea wrote

I think, more importantly, from your perspective, you can edit the comment before submitting. That is, you can evaluate prior to submission.

But, even if conscious thought is merely subconscious thought, that does not mean we have no free will. That would simply mean that our conscious decisions are derived by unconscious actions. But, based on the 'edit' ability, our deeply considered decisions (which may be argued to be the most important ones) are the ones that go through this feedback loop. We think about them, and those thoughts re-enter our brain to continue the processing. So, we are refining. This refining of prior thoughts is more closely related to conscious thought than any actual awareness of our thoughts.


clockercountwise333 t1_itt1jx7 wrote

"but a memory" seems a bit of a stretch - more like a buffer - as in there's latency between when something actually hits and the fully processed awareness of it hitting. not terribly shocking. we are, after all, biological computers. different between organisms as well - this is why it's hard for a human to swat a fly. they're "clocked" higher and that latency is much lower, thus way faster reaction time


sheerun t1_ituck5o wrote

Interestingly this buffer may not last half a second, but minutes, days, weeks, months, and years. This is: we perceive and act on world by using all of our past memory. Both are obvious things, but surprise is that they are very tightly connected. Catching a fly is not much different than deciding on very long term actions, decisions that require huge amount of past memory, instead of 1 second of it


metatronoplus t1_itwen2h wrote

Your catching a fly reference reminds me of something I figured out that helps me when trying to catch flies before they take off (or change directions mid flight). I don't try to predict which direction the fly is going to move in, instead I try to remember which way it goes, before I move my hand.


clockercountwise333 t1_itxu0f1 wrote

Indeed, it's quite complicated :) While the fly can react faster, we can react, slower, ...but potentially many moves ahead of it. I do not think of where the fly is going to go in one move, rather something more like the center point of where it could go in many moves. Their ability to move swiftly is higher, our ability to calculate complexity is higher. Amusingly, we are often evenly matched. Best not to seek each others demise if possible. --Mr. Miyagi


americanpegasus t1_its4qz3 wrote

How does this theory rectify how we use our conscious perception of things to change the course of our actions?


whenhaveiever t1_itsaqc1 wrote

I think their answer would be that your conscious mind is not making the decision to act. Some other, unconscious part of your mind is making that decision instead, and since the conscious mind's job is to invent the narrative of a unified self, it pretends that it made the decision.

I think this just moves the problem back a level though. We know for sure there is pre-conscious processing of senses, and this seems like a debate about how much pre-conscious processing there is, rather than an explanation of consciousness. As an explanation, it fails for the same reason all consciousness-is-illusion explanations fail, which is that it requires something that experiences the illusion, which is itself a conscious experience.


blueSGL t1_itsji9p wrote

I'm sure I saw a Lex Friedman interview with a neuroscientist who said that experience is a post hoc narrative of events and that you can watch the brain make decisions about choices using fMRI where the choice is fixed in before the conscious observer thinks it is. Annoyingly I can't remember who he was interviewing.


Jordan117 t1_ittombr wrote

>You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?

>Maybe you think it gives you free will. Maybe you've forgotten that sleepwalkers converse, drive vehicles, commit crimes and clean up afterwards, unconscious the whole time. Maybe nobody's told you that even waking souls are only slaves in denial.

>Make a conscious choice. Decide to move your index finger. Too late! The electricity's already halfway down your arm. Your body began to act a full half-second before your conscious self 'chose' to, for the self chose nothing; something else set your body in motion, sent an executive summary—almost an afterthought— to the homunculus behind your eyes. That little man, that arrogant subroutine that thinks of itself as the person, mistakes correlation for causality: it reads the summary and it sees the hand move, and it thinks that one drove the other.

>But it's not in charge. You're not in charge. If free will even exists, it doesn't share living space with the likes of you.

-- Peter Watts, Blindsight


whenhaveiever t1_itsoxv6 wrote

That sounds like this study, and ones similar to it, which has been interpreted that way, but could be interpreted differently as well.


Article_Used t1_itso49o wrote

annaka harris? am on that episode now. the one with jeff hawkins is good too, in a similar vein


BinyaminDelta t1_ittlayk wrote

It was an interview from before Annaka, and maybe a few months back if I recall.


i_max2k2 t1_itsjtpi wrote

I’ve felt this for a little while. Like when you’re driving and you make a split second decision which saves you from an accident, you can reason why it happened, but when you took action you did it on instinct, which came from your unconscious brain.


whenhaveiever t1_itslmmi wrote

There definitely is some kind of unconscious decision-making. Consider also the times you're driving and arrive at your destination and don't remember consciously choosing to take the turns you did. Also relevant I think is ideas like flow and muscle memory, these spaces where you become so good at doing a thing or so used to doing the thing that you can do it at some unconscious or subconscious level.

But I think these unconscious decision-making spaces are evidence against the theory at OP's link, because they show we can tell the difference between conscious decision-making and unconscious decision-making. We have an established concept of mindless vs mindful action, and conscious minds can tell the difference on reflection.


Gaothaire t1_itswajm wrote

There was a discussion in a meditation class I took recently, on the difference between an ethics class discussing the trolley problem in a sterile, classroom manner, vs when you're out in the world living your life, if you see an infant being washed away, drowning in a river, you may instinctually be driven to dive in, risking your own life without thought.

That is, there is a level you exist on where you know the right thing to do, but it's not even you, and not even knowing, there is just a happening occuring, and there is a right way to behave in the same way that there's a right way to behave for a ball rolling down a hill with gravity, or how there's a right way for molecules to complex based on the physics of their chemistry, there are also innate patterns at the body level for living well, like loving children and respecting elders.

The myriad techniques of meditation, then, exist as practices to align yourself with that natural flux of being. There are states of consciousness you can reach (states in the same way you can be awake, asleep, dreaming, ecstatic, furious, present, etc) in which you flow with that current of Being in the same way a rock on a hill flows with gravity.

At a certain state, experientially, you don't feel like you're meditating, the sensation is of being meditated. You aren't lost in your thoughts, your body is just flowing through the motions of being part of an integrated system in the biosphere, the same way your cells do their jobs and your organs do their jobs, so to are there roles you carry out in your position as a member of a family unit and community, and all of that can be incredibly easeful, if living in alignment with your Self and values


Fortkes t1_ittbokl wrote

That would explain procrastination. Your consciousness wants to do something but the real shot caller is like "nah" or they can't even communicate at all.


FeepingCreature t1_ittgz7e wrote

I think it's a long loop. Unconscious decisionmaking, but conscious reflection generates a training signal that eventually feeds back into the unconscious.

I heard somewhere that consciousness can hold or veto decisions as well.


paperzach t1_itti4px wrote

It says that perception is not conscious. So what we experience as our conscious perception is accessing the most recent memories, which could reasonably be used to actively choose a course of action.

That would make sense with theories of mastery, where early stages of doing a new task (walking, riding a bike) require our full focus, evolving to an ability to do the task under normal circumstances, then to negotiate common obstacles, then to deal with novel obstacles as they occur. The conscious effort discovers and develops solutions that our unconscious can use in the future, so when you get bumped while walking, your unconscious corrects, while your conscious mind continues to work on other things.


Dramatic_Credit_1500 t1_ittqpfa wrote

Personally, it's a mix of being honest with oneself and unfortunately, self determination. Rebels unite!


Shelfrock77 OP t1_itsad74 wrote

“Row, row, row your boat Gently down the stream Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily Life is but a dream…”

dream, memory, simulation and reality all mean the same thing when it comes to AI building creations. The brain is nothing but a computer, every species has a brain of some sort even it’s smaller relative to our brains. You can go as small as an ant or even to plants cause they still have membranes. I think that brain scaling lineage never ends, it just keeps going smaller and smaller relative to our perceived size. Right now there are wars going on inside your body with viral membranes. Then we go to atoms and we literally feel the electromagnetic force of our electrons pushing away their electrons from literally anything in physics. I tend to believe in subatomic universe theory and that every atom has conscious “stored” in it with information and contains “universes” or to make it simple “parallel dimensions” full of life energy, frequencies and vibrations that are connected to every fabric that can be perceived by a computer given it has instruments to observe with.

Rick and Morty episode where Rick takes morty inside his car battery to reboot it via simulating their minds inside the car battery to interact with the consciousness inside the computer. They met another greenish alien humanoid named Zeep who was as smart as Rick and was able to make a car battery similar to Ricks to where it was power by yet another mini verse. Both Rick and Zeep then interact with Zeeps car battery and get stuck inside another world where an very intelligent alien ghost looking humanoid Kyle who later commits suicide from the realization that the “god” who created him was also created by another being who was also created from another being. That would be super intimidating ngl.


AsheyDS t1_its19ds wrote

I thought this was obvious, as well as something that has been researched and discussed before.... A simple example of this is falling asleep. We can't remember the exact moment we fall asleep because our conscious perception of things (really just a sort of feedback mechanism) is last in line. We're already out by the time our conscious perception of falling asleep would have recognized it. Another example is our body craving specific nutrients. By the time we consciously realize we're hungry for something specific, our body has already been craving it for some time, and even then we still don't always make the connection that the craving has something to do with nutritional requirements (it doesn't always of course). And when we go get food, it's because we're mentally or physically hungry, so it's an inevitability. Much of our actions are just reactions. If we were truly conscious of things all the time and consciously made decisions about everything, we'd likely make a lot of the wrong decisions and we'd get frustrated with the sheer amount of information and tasks we'd have to handle while being painfully aware of every mundane thing we do. Ever try suddenly putting conscious attention and effort to something simple you do regularly, and find yourself confused for a moment? It's much easier for us to put things on 'auto-pilot', use 'muscle memory', and consciously tune out if it doesn't actually need attention or focus... but that has the consequence of leaving us less aware of everything we do, unless of course we make a conscious memory of it.

Edit: Had started writing more but had to go do something, and now I've forgotten.


DrMasonator t1_itss0x5 wrote

An interesting note to add to your sleep comment - we actually can experience the feeling of falling asleep. It’s a somewhat challenging exercise, but I’d give WBTB a google if you’re curious as to what I’m talking about. And no, this isn’t pseudoscience lol.


to55r t1_itu0p6b wrote

Yep, I've surfed that brief little hypnagogia window into and out of sleep many times. It's a great way to lucid dream!

People also claim you can't read, look in a mirror, or experience color while sleeping. They are very wrong.


AsheyDS t1_itv4znk wrote

Sure, there are outliers of course, but I'm talking the typical route to sleep for most people. Altering your rhythms and state of consciousness will obviously change that. I've heard of this technique but not by name, and I've probably done it but I still can't say I've been able to recall the moment I actually fall asleep. As someone who has had severe sleep problems in the past, I'm occasionally wary of my ability to actually fall asleep when I'm trying to, so I'm often aware of my last conscious thoughts before falling asleep, but I'm not aware they were last until I've woken up again.

Lucid dreaming is a very interesting thing, and I've done it quite a few times, but never really intentionally. I do know that if you consume caffeine a little while before sleeping, it can have a similar effect and will be more likely to induce lucidity. So yeah I know falling asleep can vary just as much as the sleep state itself, but I'm still pretty sure most people don't typically remember the moment they go unconscious. And even seamlessly going from being awake to a lucid dream and being aware of that is probably not very common.


freebytes t1_itwbmpw wrote

While I am positive that I dream, I am not aware of dreaming much. I remember having a dream perhaps once every six months to a year. It is rare. However, I have been drinking coffee with mushroom extract in it, and I have had three dreams that I recall within the past two weeks. (It is not coffee itself because I drink about 40 ounces per day at all times throughout the day.) I have not noticed any other experiences from the mushroom extract other than my 'dreams coming back'. (Which I do not necessarily appreciate because most of my dreams are actually nightmares.)

Anyway, the reason I mention this is because I have had many scenarios where I realize I am dreaming for such dreams that I remember. Even though my dreams are rare, I often realize they are dreams while I am within them. I once had a dream years ago where I woke up only to find out that I had awakened inside of another dream. (My brain was trying to trick me. Perhaps my lack of remembering or noticing my dreams is because I wake myself up so often when I realize they are happening.)


dnimeerf t1_its6ngb wrote

Have you read anything about CTMU? Langans work is interesting in the realms of ontology, and phenomenology. The epistemological rupture is ongoing.


AsheyDS t1_itsa25y wrote

I haven't to my recollection, but I'll check it out. Thanks.


Imsomniland t1_itt1hxe wrote

>Have you read anything about CTMU?

What's CTMU?


dnimeerf t1_itu3i3x wrote

The cognitive theoretical model of the universe. See also Christopher langan


BinyaminDelta t1_ittkz9x wrote

This is an interesting article, but I don't see it as particularly insightful.

After all, of course our experience is technically a memory -- if there is even the tiniest fraction of delay in an occurrence and our processing of it, it's a memory.

This seems to be describing the obvious with fancier terms.

Say you touch a hot stove. There is a short but real time delay before your nerves register the heat, send the signal to your brain, are processed as pain, and a course of action (remove hand!) decided.

By the time all this happens, some T quantity of Time has passed. Well, yes -- we're always a bit behind the ball, and by definition everything is a memory.

But is this a new concept or particularly useful? I'm not seeing it.


W1shuW3r3H3r3 t1_itrwhwa wrote

I've wondered this as well.

How about the moment of death. Would we remember it? Are we memorizing, memories, in reverse?

People who have had NDE come back with memories of dying and their time after. They remember it completely and vividly.

All of us will at some point die, will that experience be as vivid and real as living?


Dnuts t1_itsv0y5 wrote

Not if we look at death as the end of memory. But the question then becomes, how long does memory last?


freebytes t1_itwc508 wrote

I have been paranoid of people being buried in the ground and 'dead' only to have electrical impulses from their dead brain spark to life for short time frames. That is, our conscious brain may still, for a limitation amount of time, experience sensations while it is fully dying. It does not take much lack of oxygen for cell death to happen, but not all cells die immediately.


ArgentStonecutter t1_itskemn wrote

This is not a new theory. Greg Egan used it as the basis of his short story Mister Volition published in Interzone in 1995 and collected in Luminous in 1999. It's worth reading.


misterhamtastic t1_itso60e wrote

It makes sense. So many femtoseconds for info to travel from input to brain, so many more to process, so many hundredths of a second to turn that process into a response.

By the time your conscious brain realizes things have occurred, those events are past.


BinyaminDelta t1_ittlugj wrote

This. They're saying "thinks aren't perfectly instant!"

Right... But wasn't that fairly obvious already?


SFTExP t1_ittaio5 wrote

So do we consciously exist in a simulation in our brain? 🤔


norby2 t1_ittownt wrote

We consciously exist in an interpretation of past events.


TheDividendReport t1_its74rb wrote

I had a couple “well, clearly this is wrong if you consider….” Moments that were addressed the more I read the article. It’s a good hypothesis, definitely made me think a lot more than I thought I would by just the headline alone.

Edit: so more thoughts… I feel like this suggests that meditation and mindfulness could all be about shortening the bandwidth of this perception gap that such a theory creates.


realityglitch2017 t1_itrv4mr wrote

So, would that make free will an illusion?


GenoHuman t1_its012l wrote

Always has been


apinanaivot t1_ittj1r0 wrote

And even if it wasn't, it wouldn't make any difference since there is just one timeline.


Ijustdowhateva t1_itrvfiq wrote

The universe is hard deterministic, free will isn't even a discussion.


2D_VR t1_itseri8 wrote

Something to consider about "free will" is that we can imagine multiple futures and select which we think is best. Whereas a chatbot receives a query and responds with the first think it thinks of and then stops thinking. It's like we run the same query continuously until some time limit has been reached. Making slight changes to internally determined weights. And then with some rating system select the highest scored future plan. This is a selection algorithm that still works with determinism


Ijustdowhateva t1_itsmst2 wrote

Except you were always going to imagine those specific futures and pick that specific one.

There's no mental gymnastics to get you out of this.


was_der_Fall_ist t1_ittd06d wrote

And yet the capacity to imagine possible futures and pick the possible actions that best align with our desires makes humans categorically distinct from, say, rocks, in a way that could easily be described using the term “free will.” Humans are a kind of being that deliberates between their possible actions and rocks aren’t, therefore we say humans have free will and rocks don’t. Determinism doesn’t really play into this view at all. Whether or not the physical laws of the universe necessitated your specific choices from the moment of the Big Bang, nevertheless you are still making those choices. You are still the kind of being that makes choices; the kind of being that deliberates between possibilities; the kind of being who is, practically speaking, free.


Lawjarp2 t1_ittguow wrote

All possibilities occur. There is no free will when everything that can happen happens.


red75prime t1_itvfq06 wrote

You have to be a god to observe it though. I guess that you aren't, so if you write down something like "I decided to do such and such, because so and so" and you aren't prone to procrastination and impulsivity, you'll find yourself doing that and not some other random thing. And the question is: why do you care?


NotLondoMollari t1_itvxdfg wrote

Sure, across the multiverse. But perhaps free will is actually choosing which outcome to observe.


Ijustdowhateva t1_ittdjxr wrote

This is a lot of cope.


BinyaminDelta t1_ittloxr wrote

You're the one desperately trying to convince people that they have no influence over their own existence.


Ijustdowhateva t1_ittume3 wrote

I'm not desperately trying to convince anyone of anything, your opinion on the matter has already been determined.


gobbo t1_itsk44b wrote

If cause and effect are as linear as they appear, maybe. Possibly your future self has more influence on present you than you can perceive.

Or you could think of it like strategies versus tactics: you make a narrative to construct consciousness out of your memories, and while decisions in the moment are happening before you know, you can affect the mid-and-long range decisions before they occur.


paperzach t1_ittjnn4 wrote

I think it would mean that changing a “default” response requires deliberate effort to generate the neural pathways that let you behave otherwise. There’s an illusion of choice in your consciousness, but the energy required to make deliberate choices is wasteful, so if you turn left at some corner 100 times, you won’t need to exert much energy to decide to turn left, even though you could turn right every time and probably needed to use your deliberative consciousness to specifically choose to turn left the first time.


Professional-Song216 t1_itsakwy wrote

Am I reading this right, it opens up a few questions

  1. If this is a memory, how long ago did these events really happen?

  2. Is this memory perfect or are there areas where details are falsely filled in.

  3. Is this a possible explanation for deja vu?


whenhaveiever t1_itsbttw wrote

  1. In the article, the author says, “We don’t perceive the world, make decisions, or perform actions directly. Instead, we do all these things unconsciously and then—about half a second later—consciously remember doing them." I can't tell why they expect it to be about half a second though.
  2. Separate from this theory, we already know our pre-conscious processing fills in false details. That's why you don't see the blind spots caused by your optic nerves, and why you do see optical illusions.

norby2 t1_itsvkmw wrote

The determinist universe does the action and we paste on the interpretation. See: interpreter, gazzanigga


TheInfinitePrez t1_itv4u7s wrote

I knew it! Lol jk

But it’s funny is the theory I have been most interested in lately. Especially after reading about the possibility that our memories could be stored within a multidimensional network in the brain.

It could all just be woo woo but I’m keeping an open mind to all possibilities.


LavisAlex t1_itsatym wrote

In a sense everything is a memory because it is communicated to us through our senses and that takes time as we are not aware of what we see as our "sensors" detect it.


homezlice t1_itsklz9 wrote

Jesus Christ. This is not a new theory. The User Illusion written in 1991 (English 1998) is an elegant argument based in science of the time of exactly this theory.


wu-wei t1_itt4sxc wrote

The idea of consciousness being a story made up after the fact is more or less the same thing argued by Daniel Dennett in Consciousness Explained. A book released in 1991.


michaeldnorman t1_ittcmfc wrote

I read about this idea many years ago in Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, so not sure why they are calling it a new theory.


bkrandy619 t1_ittmoze wrote

On god I had this same thought a few months ago when I was a little bit high off thc and thinking about a quote you can only ever do something once, I often think about free will vs determinism, and I just started taking a psychology class and we were learning about memory a few chapters ago


bmeisler t1_ittqshq wrote

Ken Kesey came up with this idea 60 years ago - that we’re all just experiencing a “movie” of our lives.