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Do you believe in Simulation Theory?
Yes - I think we are RPG (we control the character, from outside the simulation.) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Yes - I think we are all Artificial Intelligences, who only think we exist as nature creatures. 9%  9%  [ 1 ]
No - I think we exist is base reality. 91%  91%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 11

Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 1 Mar 2021
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Posts: 86
Location: Knoxville, TN

18 Jun 2021, 1:03 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
@ sitko

Out of curiosity, have I been able to unpack my thoughts a bit better than my first post in my last few comments?

Yes, I do the same thing sometimes. Start explaining stuff, and just assuming that everyone can follow my train of thought...even if it derails at times...

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I think what this comes down to for me is order of operation:

First concern, what grounding would I give consciousness?

I'm not firmly decided on any of these because they all seem to have their merit but they simultaneously seem like special cases of each other: absolute idealism, neutral monism, dual-action monism (Spinoza). There's a particular kind of functionalism that assumes what's called multiple realizability, I debate whether network effects and such things as egregores in the occult sense can be tied together but it seems like - if there were an explanatory model for it to tie through (eg. the China Brain analogy), it would be via that route.

Maybe put a glossary at the end of each of your posts for words/concepts that some people might not understand. For instance from this email, concepts and words I don't know: "absolute idealism", "neutral monism", dual-action monism, monism, Spinoza, functionalism, egregores, China Brain Analogy, ... Sometimes, when I'm writing a complex explaination, put footnotes, with definitions. The way my autism works in my brain, is I often think of 20 things at once, and when I'm writing stuff, I tend to go on lots of tangents chasing those other thoughts, before I've finished my first thought. Looking down your thoughts, other words to define: panpsychism, atomistic, mid brain, "hardness or fastness of certain rules", reductive materialism. But, other than all that, your thoughts are clear as a bell. Of course, if I was motivated, I could look all this stuff up...but really, if you're trying to discuss stuff with people, ideally you bring it down to the lowest common denominator.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
While I'm not necessarily against panpsychism in the atomistic sense there are a few questions that don't resolve for me - such as how particles themselves could have conscious properties if spacetime isn't fundamental or why it is that certain parts of our brains and nervous system seem to hold consciousness while others don't (I think Mark Solms has made a pretty good case that it's in the mid brain).

After considering the question of how consciousness arises or at least organizes itself into larger scale and more complex agents the next step is metaphors.

I look at simulation as a metaphor because even if we were in the cheesiest Thirteenth Floor or ancestor simulation scenario you still have the question of how a simulation becomes consciousness, which still takes you right back to the nuts and bolts of questions like absolute idealism, neutral monism, dual-action monism, panpsychism, etc.. It could be a set and setting for the hardness or fastness of certain rules, it seems like an intuitive plug perhaps for how one could have a universe that's ultimately mental or information-based but which is so rigid as to believably suggest reductive materialism to many people. This is where I'm actually starting to see people repurpose the term 'physicalism' not to mean reductive materialism necessarily but almost more like a claim that you should be able to trace all existing relevant things through various points of contact, and if you can't then that's when you have to second-guess whether something is as it immediately appears.

When you say: "trace all existing relevant things though various points of contact", are you talking about particles interacting on the quantum scale, or just people I bump into at the store kinds of contacts?

Last edited by sitko on 18 Jun 2021, 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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18 Jun 2021, 1:24 pm

sitko wrote:
"absolute idealism", "neutral monism", dual-action monism, monism, Spinoza, functionalism, egregores, China Brain Analogy

Neutral Monism

Neutral monism is a monistic metaphysics. It holds that ultimate reality is all of one kind. To this extent neutral monism is in agreement with the more familiar versions of monism: idealism and materialism. What distinguishes neutral monism from its monistic rivals is the claim that the intrinsic nature of ultimate reality is neither mental nor physical. This negative claim also captures the idea of neutrality: being intrinsically neither mental nor physical in nature ultimate reality is said to be neutral between the two.

double-aspect theory

(Philosophy) philosophy a monistic theory that holds that mind and body are not distinct substances but merely different aspects of a single substance

Baruch Spinoza

Bento (in Hebrew, Baruch; in Latin, Benedictus) Spinoza is one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period. His thought combines a commitment to a number of Cartesian metaphysical and epistemological principles with elements from ancient Stoicism, Hobbes, and medieval Jewish rationalism into a nonetheless highly original system. His extremely naturalistic views on God, the world, the human being and knowledge serve to ground a moral philosophy centered on the control of the passions leading to virtue and happiness. They also lay the foundations for a strongly democratic political thought and a deep critique of the pretensions of Scripture and sectarian religion. Of all the philosophers of the seventeenth century, Spinoza is among the most relevant today.


Functionalism in the philosophy of mind is the doctrine that what makes something a mental state of a particular type does not depend on its internal constitution, but rather on the way it functions, or the role it plays, in the system of which it is a part. This doctrine is rooted in Aristotle's conception of the soul, and has antecedents in Hobbes's conception of the mind as a “calculating machine”, but it has become fully articulated (and popularly endorsed) only in the last third of the 20th century. Though the term ‘functionalism’ is used to designate a variety of positions in a variety of other disciplines, including psychology, sociology, economics, and architecture, this entry focuses exclusively on functionalism as a philosophical thesis about the nature of mental states.

egregore ... f%20people.

Egregore (also spelled egregor; from French égrégore, from Ancient Greek egrḗgoros 'wakeful') is an occult concept representing a distinct non-physical entity that arises from a collective group of people.

China Brain

In the philosophy of mind, the China brain thought experiment (also known as the Chinese Nation or Chinese Gym) considers what would happen if each member of the Chinese nation were asked to simulate the action of one neuron in the brain, using telephones or walkie-talkies to simulate the axons and dendrites that connect neurons. Would this arrangement have a mind or consciousness in the same way that brains do?

other words to define: panpsychism, atomistic, mid brain, "hardness or fastness of certain rules", reductive materialism


Panpsychism is the view that mentality is fundamental and ubiquitous in the natural world. The view has a long and venerable history in philosophical traditions of both East and West, and has recently enjoyed a revival in analytic philosophy. For its proponents panpsychism offers an attractive middle way between physicalism on the one hand and dualism on the other. The worry with dualism—the view that mind and matter are fundamentally different kinds of thing—is that it leaves us with a radically disunified picture of nature, and the deep difficulty of understanding how mind and brain interact. And whilst physicalism offers a simple and unified vision of the world, this is arguably at the cost of being unable to give a satisfactory account of the emergence of human and animal consciousness. Panpsychism, strange as it may sound on first hearing, promises a satisfying account of the human mind within a unified conception of nature.


Atomism (from Greek ἄτομον, atomon, i.e. "uncuttable, indivisible")[1][2][3] is a natural philosophy proposing that the physical world is composed of fundamental indivisible components known as atoms.

References to the concept of atomism and its atoms appeared in both ancient Greek and ancient Indian philosophical traditions. The ancient Greek atomists theorized that nature consists of two fundamental principles: atom and void. Clusters of different shapes, arrangements, and positions give rise to the various macroscopic substances in the world.[4][5]

mid brain

The midbrain or mesencephalon is the forward-most portion of the brainstem and is associated with vision, hearing, motor control, sleep and wakefulness, arousal (alertness), and temperature regulation.[2] The name comes from the Greek mesos, "middle", and enkephalos, "brain".[3]

"hardness or fastness of certain rules"

If I jump off of a 10 story building I'm dead - no matter what I believe. My body will fall at speeds based on fixed laws that are not adjusted by beliefs but rather equations laid out by Newton. Similarly the speed of sound is fixed, the speed of light for all intents and purposes is fixed. If a set of calculations couldn't be relied on to send a probe to Mars or even the Moon we'd have no space program.


Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
When you say: "trace all existing relevant things though various points of contact", are you talking about particles interacting on the quantum scale, or just people I bump into at the store kinds of contacts?

Are the people you bump into at the store made of particles? If so I'd figure yes for both.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling