Born to do Math 5–1,001 and the Box (Part 3)
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When I think about the quantum tunneling mentioned before, by you, I think about when I worked with Dr. Thabet, Manahel, she worked with various people: Raymond Keene, the chess grandmaster, Tony Buzan, the Mind Maps guy, and Michael Gelb, the Leonardo da Vinci systems guy. One project that we worked on was quantum biology and the prospects for quantum computation in the brain.
In one theory brought by Anirban Bandyopadhyay, Roger Penrose — who is more respected and prominent of the triplet of these people, and an anesthesiologist named Stuart Hameroff. it had to do with microtubule calculations in synchrony. Does any of this stuff hold water to you?
Rick Rosner: I don’t buy quantum computation in the brain. One reason is — I don’t know who has said this — you need a lot of things for things to be quantum entangled. You need to set up initial conditions. There are instances of quantum entanglement all over the place. But to make the brain’s business run on quantum entanglement, you’d need less heat in the brain, much more precisely controlled conditions. I buy that argument.
I also buy the argument, which is that when you look at the grain of thought in the human brain. If we had quantum computing, thought would be much more HD, high-def, than it is. The level of computing or the graininess of our thoughts of the world seems to me consistent with a computer of a brain that 10¹⁰thor so neurons. Somebody said 85 billion.
S: 86 billion is the standard metric now. 8.6*10¹⁰?
R: Yea, yea, that with a bazillion dendrites with the dendrites constantly reaching out and pulling back to more efficiently wire the brain and its processing. Our thoughts seem consistent with that minus quantum computing. If we had a little quantum computer in each of our neurons, that would multiply the computational and information processing of our brains, I dunno, a million-fold or a billion-fold. Our brains are just not that powerful.
S: I have heard critics.
S: I remain agnostic, remaining strongly towards the mainstream, because the full research has not come in. Although, I agree the arguments that you’re stating are fair.
R: I’ve given two fair arguments. Let me make an unfair argument.
S: I was just about to.
R: Okay, you do yours. Then I’ll do mine.
S: Okay, two. One is argument from authority. One famous researcher disagrees with the findings or disagrees with the theory. Therefore, the theory or the findings are invalid. I have heard this argument. Another, if I may, is simple ad hominem, which is to discount the person through a series of resorts to personal attack. And you?
R: Let me give my unfair argument. To me, the whole idea that there’s quantum computing happening is like “woo-hoo” one mysterious thing kinda equals another mysterious thing. And quantum computing is powerful and mysterious and has intricate math, and consciousness is complicated, non-characterizable by current means for the most part and powerful and, therefore, consciousness must equal the other mysterious powerful thing of quantum computing.
Let’s mush two things together, that are powerful and mysterious and say one is involved with the other. That’s unfair.
S: That’s unfair, and I can see good reason for it. It’s mysticism or spiritualism injected into explanation for a theory. Those labelled and dismissed as spiritualists will label and dismiss the others are fundamentalist materialists. Both aren’t helpful, and don’t really do much, except tar-and-feather.
R: I’ve got one fair argument against. So in my opinion, consciousness is distributive, it is a trans-brain phenomenon. It is like Minsky’s Society of Mind. It is chatter and gossip and information shared among the brain’s various expert subsystems in real-time.
S: Do you mean module-to-module and neuron-to-neuron?
R: Module-to-module instead of neuron-to-neuron. It’s your brain’s vision centers. The various processing centers involved in vision to give a conscious feeling to vision, and those interacting with lexical centers to apply words, and emotions. Everything is — consciousness is shipping stuff on a grand scale among the various expert systems in your brain. I don’t like the word holistic, but it is a whole brain kinda thing.
As opposed to trying to find consciousness in particular microtubules with each glowing consciousness seems to be counter to the way thinking actually works, it is not like tubules in their quantumness are somehow — now if you did have quantum computers in your brain, it could make the processing done by each of the expert subsystems much more high-def, and the high-def communication would make a much more high-def consciousness.
But you don’t need the high-defness of the microtubules being quantum computers to get consciousness. They would rev it up, but would not be these emanators with this green glow of consciousness.
Originally published at borntodomath.blogspot.com on April 24, 2018.