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Subject: "Talk is cheap."

That depends on who is talking and what is being said.

On Sep 20, 2010, at 10:10 PM, JACK SARFATTI wrote:

PPS - there is no hard problem once one recognizes, as a postulate, that the quantum information field is intrinsically "thoughtlike" (Stapp's term). This obeys Chalmers's criterion. This is analogous to Einstein postulating that the speed of light in vacuum is invariant for all timelike geodesic observers.

On Sep 20, 2010, at 10:06 PM, JACK SARFATTI wrote:

PS A case in point was the way Henry Stapp was treated in Physics Today et-al when he published a paper on retro-PK in Phys Rev A.

On Sep 20, 2010, at 10:04 PM, JACK SARFATTI wrote:

There is no pathetic lack of data. I gave you the references on Libet, Radin, Bierman, PEAR, Global Consciousness Project - all done on a shoestring. Of course, more effort is needed and much of what you suggest below is good. If all the $ wasted on the salaries of string theorists in major universities were put into consciousness research, then, perhaps there would be more progress? ;-)

Also, remember Einstein did General Relativity by pure reasoning. In a similar way, that signal nonlocality is needed to understand consciousness is quite obvious - to my mind at least, if not to yours. However, I am quite happy that you do not agree with Josephson and me on this. History will decide.

Follow the $ Nick. How much has been spent on consciousness research compared to other areas in mainstream science? Also consider the fact, that physicists who dare to come out of the closet on this are smeared as lunatics and crackpots even if they have a Nobel Prize in physics.
While you are at it Nick, where are your NINE TESTS for string theory? ;-)

On Sep 20, 2010, at 9:50 PM, nick herbert wrote:


(inspired by a recent paper on consciousness and quantum physics by Yu Shan & Danko Nikolic)

"Physicists must crawl before they can walk."--Jack Sarfatti, excusing the pathetic lack of experimental tests of vague quantum consciousness hypotheses proposed by him and a few others.

Two choices are involved in every quantum measurement--the Heisenberg choice and the Dirac choice. The Heisenberg choice is the PHYSICAL choice (made by man or nature) to deploy a macroscopic object in a particular way. It is called the Heisenberg choice because deploying an object in a particular way (to select out which path info) completely precludes deploying it in a complementary way (to select out which interference sub-class info). The Dirac choice is the irreversible quantum jump that occurs somewhere in the apparatus and brings the experiment to a close. This choice is considered by most physicists to be utterly random--an act of God--and since Dirac was the closest thing to diety on this planet, his name is attached to this choice.--Nick Herbert

The motto of the Royal Society of London, "Nullius in Verba". loosely translated means "Talk is Cheap," Theorists are honored not for their colorful phrases, personalities or press releases but for their successful predictions of natural phenomena, such as Einstein's bold prediction of the three classic consequences of General Relativity. The field of quantum consciousness is still awaiting a Big Mind imaginative enough to tackle the Hard Problem of consciousness and deliver big results. Despite much recent attention to the problem of consciousness by physicists, in my opinion we are not even at the crawling stage of consciousness research, let alone walking upright or preparing to ascend some difficult peaks. By the tough standards we have learned to expect from conventional physics, consciousness physicists are still on their knees, praying for inspiration for the right direction to crawl. The biggest breakthrough in consciousness in the past century was not an idea but the invention of LSD which permits not only monks and meditators a glimpse of the uncharted realms of inner space, but ordinary people as well. In the words of Terence McKenna, now that even bad people can see God, what does this gift impel us to do?

As a big problem, consciousness calls for correspondingly big standards for success. I know not what might satisfy others but, off the top of my head, I propose Nick's Nine Tests for a Real Theory of Consciousness. These tests do not explain already existing phenomena but call for brand-new experiences that might be expected to follow upon a successful (presumably quantum) explanation of the origin and nature of subjective experience.

1. A Heisenberg choice (actual deployment of well-specified physical matter that selects which quantum possibilities are viable) that permits Nick Herbert and his friends to experience a brand-new color.

2. A Heisenberg choice that mimics the effects of LSD. Physics is a more fundamental science than chemistry and should be able to prove it by fundamentally altering human experience in direct ways that don't involve chemistry.

3. A Heisenberg choice that reliably magnifies the power of Puthoff & Targ's Remote Viewing by orders of magnitude in the tradition of physics-based microscopes and telescopes which immensely increased the powers of our physical vision.

4. A Heisenberg choice that magnifies the power of the Radin Effect (also known as Autonomic Presentiment) by orders of magnitude--a development  that would expand human perception (for short distances) backwards in time.

5. A Heisenberg choice that would produce a purely quantum anesthesia. If consciousness is really a quantum effect, we should be able to quench it by  purely quantum-physical means. Professor Hameroff--set your phaser to stun.

6. A Heisenberg choice that would directly link two human minds, verifying James T. Culbertson's Conjecture that the separation that human minds ordinarily experience is a mere biological accident.

7. A Heisenberg choice that would link human minds to the many minds in nature, realizing the Quantum Tantra dream of a radically new and more intimate kind of Quantum Measurement.

8. A Heisenberg choice that puts human minds in touch with the Mind of God--in one dramatic stroke physics could drive all churches out of business, plus all the atheists as well.

9. Show me something brand new. A real theory of consciousness will necessarily be full of surprises.

The reason it's called the Hard Problem of Consciousness is the same reason that the North Face (of the Eiger) is called a difficult ascent. If your theory  can rise above "Talk is cheap"  and manages to pass even one of Nick's Nine Tests, you will be honored forever as one of this world's intellectual giants.