General Question

whitetigress's avatar

What is the measured constant that ties consciousness to energy and mass?

Asked by whitetigress (3129 points ) December 7th, 2011

Just as Energy (E) equals mass (m) times the speed of light© squared, what equals conscious thought? Perhaps it is a very long equation involving Energy (E) equals mass (m) times the speed of light© squared plus additional values.

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27 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I call it vizm. Vizm equals eq * consciousness squared.

nikipedia's avatar

Nothing. There is nothing that ties conscious thought to anything physical. Consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Language is the mechanism that bridges the gap between immaterial consciousness and material reality..

Proof in this thread.

You cannot see, touch, taste, smell, or hear my thoughts. Thoughts are non physical. But language represents my thoughts. Language is a physical tool. Without it, you would not only be unaware of my consciousness, but you wouldn’t even be conscious yourself.

roundsquare's avatar

Thoughts may be physical, i.e. completely defined by the state of a brain. If so, its not something we understand well enough to define that precisely.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@roundsquare Where are the thoughts represented by the words on your last comment?

Qingu's avatar

You can measure it in a similar way to software activity on a computer, I guess. Your brain, like your computer, consumes power when it is active (conscious in the case of your brain).

flutherother's avatar

Saying that consciousness is not tied to mass or energy comes close to saying we have a soul. We can measure brain weight and energy consumption and find figures for human consciousness and it would be interesting to look at the theoretical minimums required for consciousness. First we would need to define consciousness which will not be straightforward.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Mass and energy have nothing to do with measuring conscious thought.

A 4.7gb DVD doesn’t weigh any more or less than a 600mb CD. A 500mb hard drive doesn’t weigh any more than a Terabyte hard drive.

English doesn’t weigh any more or less than Binary and an Android Phone has 100x the processing power of a Mac Quadra from the early 1980’s that weights 100x more.

How much does an MP3 weigh?

PhiNotPi's avatar

If it were possible to calculate consciousness from the object’s mass and energy, then this means that you could extend to formula to inanimate objects and calculate the consciousness of cars and rocks and other things.

HungryGuy's avatar

Whoever can answer this question correctly will win the Nobel prize in quantum physics for the next 10 years in a row!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It won’t be in Physics. It will be in Information Theory.

But even then, the answer won’t be recognizable.

“Language is the mechanism that bridges the gap between immaterial consciousness and material reality”.

whitetigress's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I believe you’re talking about energy and mass in correlation to gravity. However, I’m not limiting energy to mass conversion only. I’m suggesting the equation might be in there, as well as additional constant numbers that suggests growth and exists in a non tangible world. What do you think? I’m not definite with these suggestions.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Energy doesn’t code for anything. It doesn’t predefine a physicality in advance of its manifestation.

Only code predefines an object from thought before the physical manifestation arises.

whitetigress's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Doesn’t it take energy to get code from point A to point B?

HungryGuy's avatar

No one can possibly answer this question until we determine what is the mechanism that causes consciousness / self-awareness. Just sayin’...

whitetigress's avatar

@HungryGuy Well, electricity for a start is what I’d say. Data is carried through the electrical currents.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@whitetigress Very interesting that you noted this.

If it’s directed energy, then we call it energy.

If it’s not directed energy, then we call it entropy.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@whitetigress “Data is carried through the electrical currents.”

Not… It could be drum beats, color codes, vibrations… electricity is not required to “carry” data.

whitetigress's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The way a human functions, electricity is absolutely necessary to carry messages to and fro from brain to muscles and etc is it not?

HungryGuy's avatar

Electricity is how our nerves carry messages from our senses to our brains, and from our brains to our muscles. It is also very probable how brain cells store memories. But we don’t know what is the mechanism that causes self-awareness. I ponder questions like this fairly often, as well :-)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@whitetigress @HungryGuy The entire notion of “carry“ing messages, data, information is flawed to begin with.

Thought is not like water to be carried in a bucket. There is no set amount of thought which is “carried” by a fixed container.

The medium is not the message. English, Chinese, French, PigLatin will all represent the same exact meaning with completely different bit requirements.

whitetigress's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Then what moves messaged around in the human body?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Heh… “move“ing messages is just not the way I think about it. My mind doesn’t grok messages as some type of physical objects that are “move“d, like a chair across the room.

Were it a chair, the movement is apparently the result of cause/effect… which involves energy. But this is not always the case.

Cause/Effect may be the mechanism that moves a chair across the room.
earthquake, wind, gravity

Thought/Affect may be the reason that moves a chair across the room.
desire, love, fear
_________

We don’t even realize how inappropriately loose tongued we are when describing things. It sounds perfectly legitimate to claim “Wind is the reason the chair moved”. But wind can’t reason. Wind has no mind or consciousness to reason with.

As humans, we have a mistaken propensity for Personifying Objects just as much as we Objectify Persons. For there to be a reason that the chair moved, there must first be a conscious mind to reason with. Without it, we are left with simple mechanisms.

There is a vast chasm between Cause/Effect and Thought/Affect.

There is a vast chasm between Cause/Reaction and Thought/Action.

Mechanism requires energy.

Intentions require thought.

We determine the difference upon the discovery of a code.
_________

But even with organic life, there are often times that Cause/Reaction trumps Thought/Action. My movement could be a simple reaction to external stimuli. A mosquito stings my arm, and my body reacts accordingly… just like mercury rising, without thought.

In these cases, the reasoning comes afterwards, as always, with code, as I describe (codify) my thoughts about the event, and deduct that pain (and not the mosquito) was the cause which prompted energy to react accordingly. Pain is the cause, but also the effect… of the mosquito’s sting. Sting is the cause of Pain, but also the effect of the mosquito’s hunger.

But only Thought can Affect a Change Upon the natural course of Cause/Effect. Only Thought can initiate Action beyond Reaction to shape physical reality into another form (as all energy can be shaped into another form). For upon my codified reasoning which describes the chain of cause/effect, Thinking manifests. And with Conscious Thinking, I reach for the bug spray, and bend physical reality to suit my personal intentions… Just like I’m bending physical reality right now by typing on a keyboard to form these sentences with photon firing on a monitor screen. None of it would be possible without conscious thought. It’s like magic.

roundsquare's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I guess the question is: why do you think that thought is not just something physical? Sorry if you answered this already, but it seems like you are assuming there something beyond the physical “out there” and I’m trying to see (1) if I’m right and (2) where that assumption comes from.

whitetigress's avatar

@roundsquare Oh but there is great theory that suggests even the 4th dimension is incomprehensible things like black holes and dark matter are not seen in the physicalness yet we know they exist. Furthermore @RealEyesRealizeRealLies Messages are moved from one point to another, it is a fact. Even if its a wave it can be measured, much like radio waves or light waves and etc. Thought is absolutely measurable, I’m not referring to virtues.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Messages are not moved @whitetigress. What do you mean “it is a fact”?

Messages are represented. My message to you, has not moved from my computer monitor to yours, and to @roundsquare‘s too. My message is non physical. It cannot be moved. But it can be represented in three or more places at the same time. The words on your monitor, @roundsquare‘s monitor, and my monitor all represent the same message that none of us can detect physically.

Thought is not measurable. But the codified representation of it is.

“The quick brown fox jumped over the hen house.”
“La volpe marrone rapida ha saltato sopra la casa di gallina.”

You can clearly see that Italian uses more bits than English to represent the exact same message. THE MEDIUM IS NOT THE MESSAGE… never ever.

The medium can be a wave, a color code, a sound, a smoke signal, a drum beat, electrical taps on a telegraph, a stick in the sand, ink on paper… it doesn’t matter. All of these mediums can be measured. But the message they represent, the exact same message is immeasurable because it has no physicality to be measured.

@roundsquare “I guess the question is: why do you think that thought is not just something physical?”

Why would I think such a thing when no one has ever uncovered a physical thought? They don’t spill onto the floor during brain surgery. And they exist far beyond the death of a physical body. The thoughts represented on this thread will be just as valid tomorrow regardless if I’m alive or not. The thoughts that Abe Lincoln chose to represent during his lifetime are just as potent today as they were over a century ago.
________

“Information is information. Not energy and not matter. Any materialism that does not allow for this cannot survive in the present”.
Norbert Weiner, Cybernetics p147

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