# Metaphysics hiding behind science - the formula for Conscious Agent

These past few weeks I’ve been trying to spend my snippets of free time focused on Donald Hoffman’s mind bending “The Case Against Reality : Why Evolution Hid The Truth From Our Eyes” since, to my sensibilities, it’s a perfect example of scientists getting lost within their mindscape and loosing sight of the independent nature of nature. This has led me to try and learn more about his formula of consciousness in action, or some such notion. Which took me to a paper by Chetan Prakash who’s worked with Hoffman.

I don’t pretend to grasp higher scientific math and I take my bafflement with a grain of salt when reading through science papers, but every once in a while something comes along that seems more like a practical joke than any serious science.

Hoffman's Conscious Realism[WIKI] Conscious Realism is described as a non-physicalist monism which holds that consciousness is the primary reality and the physical world emerges from that.

The objective world consists of conscious agents and their experiences that cannot be derived from physical particles and fields.

“What exists in the objective world, independent of my perceptions, is a world of conscious agents, not a world of unconscious particles and fields. Those particles and fields are icons in the MUIs of conscious agents, but are not themselves fundamental denizens of the objective world. Consciousness is fundamental.”[4]

The Case Against Reality : Why Evolution Hid The Truth From Our Eyes

Donald Hoffman

Definition for Conscious Agent,

C, is a seven tuple

C = (X,G,W,P,D,A,T), where X, G, and W are measurable spaces, P: W x X -> X, D: X x G -> G, and A: G x W -> W are Markovian kernels, and T is a totally ordered set.

The space X of a conscious agent represents its possible conscious experiences, G its possible actions, and W the world. The perception kernel P describes how the state of the world influences its state of perception; the decision kernel D describes how the state of its perception influence its choice of action; and the action kernel A describes how its action influences the state of the world. The counter T increments with each new decision of get conscious agent. The requirement that X, G, and W are measurable space is made to allow the use of probabilities and probabilistic predictions, which are essential to science. This requirement can be relaxed, without losing probabilistic prediction: ?-algerbras, which are closed under countable union, can be relaxed to finite additive classes, which are closed under finite disjoint union.

(and so on and so forth)

google “Markovian kernels” for more fun in the outer limits.

A PRIMER ON OBSERVER THEORY

Abstract. This article is a survey which presents the essential ideas of “Observer Theory”, a formal theory of perception, developed since the late 80’s by Bruce Bennett and Donald Hoffman (both at U.C. Irvine) and myself. First I present the structure of an observer and one type of a framework, within which interactions between observers may be studied. Then I discuss the kinds of dynamics that can arise from such a framework, and how the dynamics can give rise to higher-level or “specialized” observers.

# Finally I indicate briefly what this says about “true” perception (i. e., perception adapted to the “world” the observer framework is in) and some possible ramifications which could lead to a deeper understanding of the origin of quantum systems and measurement theory. The general reference for this work is Bennett, Hoffman and Prakash [1],

So, I’m curious anyone here with a bit of higher math under their belt? If so, I’d be curious to hear what the above seems like to your more adept mind. Is this an example of science in the name of career and paycheck - or is there something serious hiding in here that actually relates to physical reality?

Interestingly, in Hoffman’s Case Against Reality, he mentions “Objective Reality” some 135 times, yet never acknowledges that “Objectivity” is a product of our minds and not any state in or of nature.

The “Physical” world simply IS!

It’s some of us humans who strive to look at, and comprehend, the Physical World with a modicum of objectively.

Conscious Realism Conscious Realism is described as a non-physicalist monism which holds that consciousness is the primary reality and the physical world emerges from that. The objective world consists of conscious agents and their experiences that cannot be derived from physical particles and fields. "What exists in the objective world, independent of my perceptions, is a world of conscious agents, not a world of unconscious particles and fields. Those particles and fields are icons in the MUIs of conscious agents, but are not themselves fundamental denizens of the objective world. Consciousness is fundamental."[4]

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Definition.Anobserverisasix-tuple, ^(X,A),(Y,ÿ),E,S,7r,77),consistingof

a measurable space (X, X) called the configuration space (X denotes the measurable structure on X, and similarlyfor other spaces below),
a measurable space (Y, y ) called the premise space,
a measurable subspace (E,S) of (X,X) called the distinguished configu­

ration space,
a measurable subspace ( S , S ) o f (Y, ÿ ) called the distinguished premise

space,
a measurable surjective function n: X —>Y with 7r(E) = S; n is called

the perspective map,
aMarkovian kernel 77on S xS such that,for each s, r/(s, •) isaprobability

measure supported in 7r_1{s} fl E.

Note: Markovian Kernels and Regular Conditional Probability Distributions. Let (X, X), (Y,y) be measurable spaces. A kernel on X relative to Y or a kernelonYxX isamappingN: Y x4^M U {00},suchthat

i) for every y in Y, the mapping A —»N(y, A) is a measure on X, denoted by N ( y r );

ii) for every A in X, the mapping y —»N (y, A) is a measurable function on

Y, denoted by N(-,A).

N is called positive if its range is in [0, oo] and Markovian if it is positive and, for all y GY, N(y, X) = 1. If X = Y we simply say that N is a kernel onX. IfN isakernelonY xX andM isakernelonX xW,thenthe product N M (y, A) = fx N (y, dx)M(x,A) is also a kernel. This algebra of kernels comes in handy when attempting to describe true perception later on. It is evident that Markovian kernels are a natural device for the description of probabilistic conclusions (about subsets of the configuration space) made as inferences from punctual stimuli (i. e., points of the premise space).

Remark: The Interpretation Kernel as a Regular Conditional Probability Dis­ tribution. Let (X,X) and (Y,ÿ) are measurable spaces. Letp: X —>Y be a measurable function and p a positive measure on (X, X). A regular condi­ tional probability distribution (abbreviated rcpd) of p with respect to p is a kernel m£ : Y x X [0,1] satisfying the following conditions:

i) m£ is Markovian;
ii) m^(y7•) is supported on p~1{y} for p*p-almost all y e Y ;

iü) If9GLx{X,p), thenJxgdp=fY(p*h)(dy)f^1{y}m£(y:dx)g{x).

It is a theorem that if (X, X) and (Y,y) are standard Borel spaces then an rcpd rnf exists for any probability measure p [6]. In general there will be many choices for ra£, any two of which will agree a.e. p*p on Y (that is, for almost all values of the first argument). If p: X —>Y is a continuous map of topological spaces which are also given their corresponding standard Borel structures one can show that there is a canonical choice of mb defined everywhere.

Conversely, we can build an appropriate p as follows: suppose we are given a p.m. A on S and an interpretation kernel 77 on S x £ which is concentrated on the fibers 1(.s) of tt. Then the interpretation kernel is a canonical choice of the regular conditional probability distribution of the measure Ar/( de) = f3A(ds)rj(s, de) on E, with respect to the map tt. Also, Ais the distribution 7r*(A?7) of A77 under the map n.

Suppose the state of affairs in the world is such that the configurations are subject to a probabilistic law p, i. e., the probability of a stimulus arising from a measurable set A of E is p{A). Then we could identify a “truly” perceiving interpretation kernel 77 as the rcpd of p with respect to 7r. A careful study of how the measure p comes about does indeed allow us to do that, will be discussed further on.

Hoffman goes on to explain:

Perhaps the universe itself is a massive social network of conscious agents that experiment, decide, and act. If so, consciousness does not arise from matter; this is a big claim that we will explore in detail (mind you, detail is in the eye of the beholder. I saw handwaving where he sees detail.). Instead, matter and spacetime arise from consciousness - as a perceptual interface.

This book offers you the red pill.
It certainly does.

If our sensory abilities were different than they are, our understanding of “reality” would be different.

I think that what we call metaphysical, may be an artifact of compensation for our limited sensory abilities, rather than something that is beyond the natural physical world.

Drop a Valium, run a mile - the basis of consciousness is unconsciousness. Consciousness rests on the sea of unconsciousness - some survived50 days of ventillator drugged unconsciousness in Covid 19. What the jerk are you talking about?

Consciousness is achieved by doing cognitive behaviors that comprise consciousness. Unconsciousness is simply the state in which one is not doing any of those cognitive consciousness behaviors.

But the assertion that “matter and spacetime arise from consciousness – as a perceptual interface.” is quite incomprehensible to me.

It also seems to be rather circular logic. If matter and spacetime are a product of consciousness, then what the duck is consciousness and where does it come from? Did it just magically come in to existence in some mathematician’s quantum butt?

This is just one of those pseudo-philosophical ideas. Consciousness is the progression of a thought over time. Without time the thought cannot progress and there can be no consciousness. And all consciousness we are aware of requires matter arranged in very specific ways to form a brain, which requires space. This is just one of those pointless “what if” thoughts that has no basis in reality as we know it. There is no reality-based reason to even consider this, much less believe it.

Take a look at the Double Slit Experiment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment