Because Peter Klevius - whose EMAH solved* "consciousness, the biggest mystery ever" 1990-94* - can't get the Nobel prize due to "anonymity" and "islamophobia" (i.e. defense of Human Rights) it should be given to the craniopagus twins Krista and Tatiana Hogan who proved him right!

Also read how human evolution was made possible with iceage oscillations in pleistocene.

Dear reader, do realize how strongly Google is actively suppressing Peter Klevius' blogs - wonder why? Is it his defense for Human Rights, or his defense of girls/women, or is it his scientific revelations?! Take a check: Although Peter Klevius' blogs are scattered with popular images, Google has a hard time finding them (except a few Youtube). But if you scroll down far below Google's 'The rest of the results might not be what you're looking for. See more anyway', you'll find plenty of them! But few of the really important scientific ones. 

* The core of which is the 'stone example' (see below) published in Demand for Resources 1992 but written 1990 and presented for G. H. von Wright (Wittgenstein's successor at Cambridge) 1991, and letter about EMAH (the Even More Astonishing Hypothesis) to Francis Crick at Salk 1994, after having been rejected from a main philosophical magazine due to it being 'too technical', and from a main neurological magazine due to it being 'too philosophical'. Peter Klevius' writing about EMAH was described by the Finnish neuroscientist, professor J. Juurmaa as: 'Peter Kleviuksen ajatuksen kulku on ilmavan lennokas ja samalla iskevän ytimekäs', which translated to English would mean something like: 'Peter Klevius' flow of thought is airily wide-ranging and at the same time strikingly succinct'. This he wrote in a long letter answering Peter Klevius' question about EMAH and the effects on the visual cortex on individuals who have been blind from birth. This inquiry was part of Peter Klevius' check up of his already published EMAH theory, so to get a qualified confirmation that the "visual cortex" in born blind people is fully employed with other tasks than vision. Juurmaa's description of Peter Klevius is in line with philosopher Georg Henrik von Wright's 1980 assessment, and perhaps more importantly beneficial when assessing AI/deep learning etc. Dear reader, this "bragging" and self-naming is only for you, i.e. to understand that you may have some reason to take this text more seriously than "the usual influencer", and to rather connect it to  a name than to an 'I'. After all, Peter Klevius is almost invisible in the topics he has some expertice on. Why isn't he at least equally cited as ordinary scientists (see answer below)?

Krista and Tatiana Hogan constitute the perfect follow up to Peter Klevius' stone example from 1990-92 (see below), because when they 'talk inside their head with each other' that can only happen in their connected thalamuses, not in their disconnected cortices, which would otherwise be synchronized as one single personality.

 
 In all other aspects they are separate individuals and personalities - except of course for that part of the cranium that keeps them together, and the entangled blood vessels and nerves that hindered separation. Krista's and Tatiana's brains have a unique  thalamic bridge connection which proves Peter Klevius' 1994 theory EMAH (the Even More Astonishing Hypothesis - which alludes to Francis Crick's book The Astonishing Hypothesis) according to which "consciousness" resides in the thalamus - not in the cortex, although what plays out in the thalamic "display" triggers association patterns in the cortex which are reflected in new thalamic patterns. According to Peter Klevius, people with split brain halves appear as having two separate "minds" simply because each half only connects to the thalamus and not via the corpus callosum directly to the other half of the cortex, resulting in two separate association patterns in each half which then mix with the other half in the thalamus which exactly explains e.g. that these people may verbalise with one side but not the other although the other side also understands it but without verbalising it. However, while Tatiana and Krista Hogan share only a communication bridge between their thalamuses the result is exactly the same, i.e. that they "understand" each other, but from two different patterns of associations, just like people with split brain sharing the same thalamus. As they can "talk" with each other "inside their head", this means the "talking" happens only in their thalamuses, because if they should have access to the other's cortex they would feel talking to themselves, i.e. they would be one person with one personality.
 

 

Peter Klevius' EMAH (the Even More Astonishing Hypothesis) 1994. The dotted lines schematically describe the cortico-thalamic connections.
 


The unconnected white dots symbolise potential (nearest) connections to for the time being existing association pattern(s).

 Neuronal connections and spikes in the cortex are of no interest when studying consciousness, because it resides in the thalamus. And although the thalamus doesn't represent your life history like the cortex does, it is the only display you have to your "inner world" and the only camera to your "outer world". The cortex is always the latest state of knowledge or configuration on which known and new data reflect from the thalamus. Although the thalamus "knows nothing" (much like your computer display) without it you wouldn't have access to your knowledge. Cortico-thalamic communication (e.g. thinking) is a continuous streaming where association patterns in the cortex reflect in thalamus which then reflects them back in a slightly altered way - i.e. based on but not exactly as the previous pattern, which again stimulates the next reflection from the cortex. This internal communication may then be added by external perceptions (incl. from the body).

We humans are chordates in which the thalamus evolved. We are also a special type of primates called Homo (e.g. Homo floresiensis) and our brain evolution accelerated at the beat of recent (<4 Ma) climate changes which repeatedly affected sea level. See https://peterklevius.blogspot.com/2023/01/how-pliocene-pleistocene-panama-isthmus.html


Why Peter Klevius?!

Partly because of his particular life that has freed him from usual scientific bias within an academic career. And partly because he has been lucky (or unlucky) to have had extremely intelligent parents, father was, among other things, one of Sweden's best chess player ever (won the Gothenburg chess championship many times over more than four decades despite playing more for fun and for the entertainment of the spectators than for winning), and Peter Klevius half sister (same mother) won IBM's talent contest with IQ 167. Add to this Peter Klevius lifelong spending of time on free research on evolution and what it means to be a human. And because of the anonymity obscurity "problem" - partly imposed by reactionary attitudes - Peter Klevius' works aren't known by many enough, although Wittgenstein's successor at Cambridge, von Wright, already 1980 gave him high written credit for original philosophical/scientific analysis on evolution and methologies , which also led to the first paid article on a new approach to science and evolution, and published 1981. The other part is that Peter Klevius bias free analysis always gives anomalous results vs existing paradigms (also compare Peter Klevius' analysis which places our evolution in SE Asia, and the analysis of sex segregation which reveals that only heterosexual attraction can work as an analytical tool for analyzing relations between the sexes and Human Rights. Moreover, according to Peter Klevius, only a full commitment to the negative (basic) Universal Human Rights (Art. 2, 1948) can make all of us fully part of a "human community" - unlike "monotheistic" religions which always cut out the chosen ones from the "infidels", more or less, in one way or another.

Peter Klevius feels almost embarrassed because the "hard problem of consciousness" turned out to be self evident when using the EMAH model which hones away biased concepts that muddle the view. However, due to previous lack of interest in thalamus there are still today only limited data available although the interest in thalanus has increased recently (thanks to Peter Klevius bombardment on the web since 2003 with his 30 year old EMAH analysis?).

Neurological background

Apart from the speed* problem EMAH also explains why there's almost negligible difference in the brain's need of energy no matter how hard we think.

* What has also been "puzzling" for brain research (and therefore rarely properly mentioned, or just talked away) is that reaction time seems to exceed the brain's own speed limit. However, this is self-evident in EMAH because awareness is already in the thalamus, and only those processes which need additional contact with the cortex are slightly delayed in comparison.

The importance of accounting for the thalamus when theorising about cortical contributions to human cognition.


High-order thalamic nuclei, such as the mediatorship thalamus, is the core of cognition. However, due to the old 'just a simple relay station' attitude against thalamus, paired with a strong defence for the indefensible anthropocentric mentalist fantasies about linguistic concepts such as 'soul', 'self' etc., little effort has been made to really understand the function of the most obvious candidate as an interactive display mediating between incoming signals from the senses (incl. body signals) as well as from the cortex. The thalamus is ideally positioned in the midst of the head between the brainstem and the cortex.

The phase of both ongoing mediodorsal thalamic and prefrontal low-frequency activity are predictive of perceptual performance. Mediodorsal thalamic activity mediates prefrontal contributions to perceptual performance. These findings support Peter Klevius EMAH model (1992, and reported to Francis Crick 1994 - although not sure if he read it despite confirmation letter from Salk Institute) that thalamocortical interactions predict perceptual performance displayed in thalamus as a continuous and seamless flow of new "now" awareness, much like a frameless video.

Your brain doesn't write memories - it deletes them by constantly updating/adapting your brain. The default mode is when the brain is in equilibrium with incoming signals, i.e. no new information to delete. Your brain adapts to whatever you experience.

"Consciousness" is your thalamus' adaptation to what your bodily sensations mean in relation to what is going on around you in the world as well as in the cortex. Learning and memory, language and culture are linguistic add-ons to create the mix of "conscious" feeling, which is of course material, because what else could it be.

Mentalism

Mentalism is the lack of understanding that even language is physical. Although ghosts or gods don't exist, the word 'ghost' and 'god', like the word 'stone', are physical realities. Without neurons no words, thought or uttered. And although mentalists (like everybody else) have no clue about any difference between concepts like "sensory inputs" and mental "reasoning", they anyway use such a divide. Reasoning is equally verbal and physical as talking loudly. Same with non-verbal reactions. A cat's reasoning before jumping on a mouse is the same as when it asks for going out. It's a linguistic "abstract" fantasy trap by mentalists to divide memory in abstract ("immaterial") concepts and material sensations or images.
 
If I utter or write 'ghost' then it becomes operational when adapted/understood by someone. What mentalists think is mental, is simply words that, for no particular reason, are lumped in a language category labelled "mental".

Although EMAH focuses on the thalamus, i.e. vertebrates, the same applies to the mushroom body in invertebrates which is also able to instantly combine information from the internal body as well as from the environment - even the nerve ring of starfish fulfils this task. According to Peter Klevius (1992), brain evolution not only started as a rudimentary olfactory organ, but is in fact still to be seen as the main brain notwithstanding its name and that it's limited to a tiny part of the human brain in conventional neurological descriptions. A long forgotten smell from one's childhood, if felt as an adult ignites the whole brain in an overwhelming flood of associations. And the reason why olfactory connects differently than other perceptions is simply because it was first in line in evolution of the vertebrate brain. So even though we have lost much of our smell capacity, there's no need to limit the olfactory to smell. The nose is a smell organ while the olfactory organ is so much more.

According to EMAH, Thalamus is the action centre while cortex is the mostly fixed "storage" against which the world is surveyed/synchronized. Cortex hence is the updatable "film" on which its subset thalamus projects incoming signal patterns from the "outer" environment incl. the body as well as responses from the cortex itself - new information from the thalamus as well as what we call "thinking", which simply means the exchange of signals initiated by the thalamus, i.e. reciprocal cortico-cortical interactions.

The main structure from the starfish to the human brain is similarly logical, i.e. an organism's command centre is always optimally located.


While a starfish lacks a centralized brain, it has a nerve ring around the mouth and a radial nerve running along the ambulacral region of each arm parallel to the radial canal. The peripheral nerve system consists of two nerve nets: a sensory system in the epidermis and a motor system in the lining of the coelomic cavity. Neurons passing through the dermis connect the two. The ring nerves and radial nerves have sensory and motor components and coordinate the starfish's balance and directional systems. The sensory component receives input from the sensory organs while the motor nerves control the tube feet and musculature. The starfish does not have the capacity to plan its actions. If one arm detects an attractive odour, it becomes dominant and temporarily over-rides the other arms to initiate movement towards the prey. The mechanism for this is not fully understood.

Inhibitory interneurons, rather than relay neurons make up most of the nuclei of the thalamus. These neurons do not project into the cortex but instead project into the other nuclei, modulating their activity. This is how thalamus distributes signals in accordance with incoming signals and reflections from the cortex. Mainly the pulvinar part of the dorsal thalamus is focused on when it comes to reasoning etc. Although the pulvinar is usually grouped as one of the lateral thalamic nuclei in rodents and carnivores, it stands as an independent complex in primates. Each pulvinar nucleus has its own set of cortical connections, which participate in reciprocal cortico-cortical interactions. Unilateral lesions of the pulvinar result in a contralateral neglect syndrome resembling that resulting from lesions of the posterior parietal cortex. This again emphasizes the "dictatorship" of the thalamus.

The real "mystery of consciousness" is why the self-evident answer has been stubbornly avoided despite being presented in countless writings, talks and on the webb - even including a letter to Francis Crick in 1994.

The reason is of course segregation used as a social and political power tool. However, the greatness of Tatiana and Krista is precisely that they have showed the world that total de-segregation works without loss of individual personality. Whereas the majority of two separate twins quarrelling is simply due to misunderstanding, Tatiana and Krista avoid this because they can always see the rationality of whatever happens to be at stake in their head. The thought process happens in their connected thalamuses, not in their cortex which only reflects their personality. In other words, what Tatiana's cortex delivers to the thalamic display is different from what Krista's dito delivers, but in the bridged thalamuses everything is processed as one. Their thoughts are equally well synchronized as how they master synchronizing their four arms and legs.  

As EMAH has showed, "consciousness", i.e. awareness, is a two-dimensional 'now'* that resides in thalamus where it functions as a sub-set of association patterns in the cortex, always changing due to "outer" perceptions and "inner" feedbacks from how the corresponding association networks in the cortex happen to fit the situation. Association pattern in the thalamus ought to be seen as a small local subset of the global network in the brain.

* I.e. a continuous flow of changing "nows" without history or future. Like a seamless/frameless/seamless/f video camera where the viewer, i.e. the brain, synchronizes/updates itself in a similarly seamless/frameless way.  

There's no "immaterial intellect" or "material intellect" division. This thinking is a dinosaur from the past and reflects Western unfounded belief in supra-natural phenomenon, of which "monotheisms" - to an extent that even spelling correctors don't know the plural form of it although there are at least four main "monotheist" branches (Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianism and its late coming cousin islamism plus a multitude of opposing variants.

The Even More Astonishing Hypothesis (EMAH) expands AI from human-centrism* - but not from existence-centrism*.

* Human-centrism is the dividing of the world in "human" and "non-human". An example is humans bragging about humans which makes no sense due to the lack of any reference outside "humans". Which "non-human" would be able to evaluate such a claim? We humans can only brag among ourselves, which is equally meaningless as saying that this particular set is the best of this particular set.

EMAH sees everything as the latest adaptation in an arbitrarily chosen (local) global set which is in equilibrium with an other (local) global set via an interface ('now') working as a subset.

There's no time lag in adaptation because it's synonymous with 'now'. In conventional language use one could say that 'adaptation', 'now' and understanding are the same.

Words like "mind", "memory", "history", "future", "abstract", "physical", and "understanding" cannot be conventionally used in explaining EMAH.

"mind" implies something (Homunculus paradox) that talks with itself, which is impossible
"memory" implies a possibility to "go back" which is impossible
"understanding" implies a state of "not understanding" which is an oxymoron
"history" or "future" do not exist in EMAH because there can only be a 'now' which is the latest 'state'.
"abstract or physical" is a division that lacks meaning in EMAH

The word 'artificial' in AI seems to imply made by humans but not human, but instead does the very opposite, i.e. outlines separate rooms for 'human intelligence' and 'human made intelligence' where there cannot be such a division. This division has a long history and contains concepts such as e.g. soul, mind, etc.

Algorithm AI and none-algorithm AI

Algorithms are useful but contain human bias. For a non-biased exploration of a certain topic we therefore need an interface without algorithms.

General statements in conventional AI vs EMAH:

Cameras don't lie - pictures do.
'Intelligent agents' are any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal.

EMAH: There's no room for "agency" in an EMAH interface. And "success" is an algorithm, i.e. defined. EMAH lacks algorithms and is therefore free to explore without bias - like a camera.

There are endless amounts of possible EMAH interfaces - like e.g. a mounted video camera filming waves. No matter if you watch the display in real time or later, the only thing you get is the latest 'now' (frame). And the only way you can "understand" every consecutive 'now' is as the latest changes piled on a previously "known" state.

It's said that as machines become increasingly capable, mental facilities once thought to require intelligence are constantly removed from the definition.
EMAH: 'Intelligence' here seems to imply either there's some undefined point where it becomes human, or there's no such point. And of course there's no other point than the previously mentioned human selfishness.

A state that adapts to its environment


state- now
adapts- always the sum of inputs/always "up to date"
environment- inputs (change)
example- a light switch - or millions in a changing on/off state pattern

Some objections to prevailing understanding of "consciousness"


Do keep in mind that the verbal is physiological and the "non-physiological" only exists as a, in this respect, meaningless but conflating verbal expression, just like e.g. 'ghost' and 'god'.

Consciousness is neural events occurring not within the brain, but in the thalamus.
There are no qualia.
Access consciousness, as opposed to phenomenal consciousness, is said to be the phenomenon whereby information in our minds is accessible for verbal report, reasoning, and the control of behavior. So, according to this view, when we perceive, information about what we perceive is access conscious; when we introspect, information about our thoughts is access conscious; when we remember, information about the past is access conscious, and so on. EMAH disputes the validity of this distinction.
P-consciousness is said to be simply raw experience: it is moving, colored forms, sounds, sensations, emotions and feelings with our bodies and responses at the centre. These experiences, considered independently of any impact on behavior, and are called qualia. EMAH object to this view because "qualia" is both an undefinable word as well as a linguistic categorization with no place in the brain. Brains don't do "categories".

The very core of EMAH is to remove "folk language" concepts* from the analysis. A camera never lies but pictures do. The camera doesn't see qualia.


The complexity of the neural network in the brain of a newborn is there to be synchronized with the individual's coming experiences. So early on a lot happens while later in life only minor changes occur.

David Chalmers has argued that A-consciousness can in principle be understood in mechanistic terms, but that understanding P-consciousness is much more challenging: he calls this the hard problem of consciousness. However, the stone example (1992) proves that 1) observation and understanding are the same and that 2) there's no qualitative difference between seeing, hearing, smelling etc. and that 3) what is called understanding as opposed to observation is in fact just retrospection in the latest state - as is any "new understanding", e.g. when in the stone example it turns out to be made of paper mache.

Basics of "consciousness".


There's no other difference between the "consciousness" of a stone in a stream of water and the "consciousness" of a human being, except for the stone's lack of origo (the stone is adapting mainly on its surface) and lack of language. What often misleads us is our self inflicted admiring of our own inability to grasp the complexity of the neural network in our brain - but not the complexity of a stone and its interaction with its environment. Nor do most people seem to realize that language is capable of empty oxymorons used as facts of the brain. Or perhaps they just love this  feature of language as a magician loves his tools and tricks. And as we all know, we pay for magicians to cheat us.
 
1 There are no "memories" or "history" - only the most recent state.
This state is constantly changing (evolving).
These changes are random inputs - because non-random inputs wouldn't change the state.

The real "hard problem" of "consciousness" ("consciousness" originally meant 'knowing with').

The hard problem, i.e. phenomenal consciousness, may, according to Chalmers, be distinguished from the soft problem", i.e. access consciousness. In EMAH, like in Dennett, there's no need for such a divide.

2 The overall state (the cortex) is fixed until it gets changes from the thalamus.
Random inputs will be allocated into the existing state in accordance with its actual focus.
Focus = the thalamic sub-state ("consciousness") that is dependent on the actual association pattern in the cortex. Changes could come from cortex in interaction with other association patterns or from outside the brain, i.e. from the opposite direction in the thalamic display.
Actual focus = e.g. "awareness"/to be "conscious", which in whatever system simply means now.
System = whatever that changes.

The language problem (compare Donald Duck in the holy land of language in EMAH)


Wittgenstein called language a well functioning but hopelessly inaccurate game.

1 a neural network
2 random input to 1 causing a minor change in 1
3 1 will now be almost the same as previously except for a minor alteration caused by 2
4 next input will do the same unless it hits the previous one, in which case no reaction
5 the flow of random inputs continues

translated to EMAH and exemplified with how the brain works as a painter and a canvas

1 a canvas
2 experience painting on that canvas
3 a new canvas layer only slightly different from the previous
4 if "painted" on a spot with the same "color" nothing of course changes
5 the "painter" never stops painting - but becomes lazy and running out of inspiration so the canvas changes less over time - although the patterns on the canvas have become all the time more "like" the "model".

Summary

We (like everything else) don't "observe" or "understand" or "memorize" - we adapt. And not only to our outer surrounding but equally to our own body incl. our brain. Or a brick turning into grovel/sand. Or a star turning into a supernova etc.

Is the pattern of the flying dust from what used to be a brick less or more "complex"? Or the supernova? If we index all particles in the brick, then its dust has the same complexity as the original brick although outspread by the wind to who knows where.

Although the brain/nerve system could be seen as more complex, it's no different from e.g. light skin that gets tanned in the sun.

EMAH is extremely simple - yet not "simplistic". However, the culprit is what humans are most proud about, i.e. language. By giving something one doesn't comprehend but wants to put in a package, a name, will continue to contain its blurred (or sometime empty) "definition". This is why EMAH only deals with 'now' and the body/state of the "past" (erased in the process) this 'now' continuously lands on. Of course this leads to everything (or nothing) having "consciousness".

A brick "remembers" a stain of paint as long as it's there - and with some "therapeutical" investigation in a laboratory perhaps even longer. And a stain of paint on your skin is exactly the same. However, unlike the brick you've also got a brain that was affected by the stain. This could be compared with a hollow brick where the paint has vanished from the outside but submerged into the brick's "brain" so that when cutting the brick it "remembers" it and "tells" the cutting blade about it. And for more complexity and "sophistication", just add millions of different colors unevenly spread.

Although the brick example of course will be challenged by mentalists - they in turn will be refuted by the Homunculus paradox, Wittgenstein's private language problem, etc.

Background to Peter Klevius' 'stone example' against unfounded but populist "immaterial consciousness".


This top science isn't offered to the mediocre Nature because that PC magazine's quality isn't good enough and Peter Klevius doesn't have the means to get a proper Chinese translation. So Google gets it in power of its Western hegemony - not Google's quality which due to PC and especially its connection with the militaristic leadership of the $-freeloader U.S. constitutes a security risk beyond comprehension.

Here's an other example. 1957 -Swedish Arvid Carlsson was first in the world to demonstrate that dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain and not just a precursor for norepinephrine. He also discovered that lack of dopamine causes Parkinson. However, although Israel awarded him already 1979, and Japan 1994, it was only in 2000 he got the Nobel prize and had to share it with two others. Why? Because Swedish state supported mentalists (what Peter Klevius calls the psycho state) have had a strong strangle hold on research about the brain.

It's a linguistic "abstract fantasy" trap to divide memory in abstract ("immaterial") concepts and material sensations or images. Krista and Tatiana Hogan constitute the perfect follow up to Peter Klevius' stone example from 1990-92, because when they 'talk inside their head with each other' that can only happen in their connected thalamuses, not in their disconnected cortices.

Mentalists' unproven and unreachable s.c. "objective reality" (or "fantasy reality") stands as the basis for their unproven idea about non-physical mental processes in the brain at the same time as they admit that sensory inputs are physical. This view stands in sharp opposition to idealists' who only see what the (physical) senses bring - but honestly admit that they have nothing to say about a "world" outside the senses - except for Berkely who called the not reachable "god". But according to Peter Klevius' existencecentrism, not even "god" fits in a set that can't be talked about. Moreover, Peter Klevius is convinced that the intellectual schizophrenia of mentalists is detrimental to Human Rights.

Peter Klevius ontology and epistemology rests on Atheism, i.e. the lack of monotheisms, combined with negative (basic) Human Rights, i.e. the lack of impositions based on human characteristics, other than laws guided by negative (basic) Human Rights. Peter Klevius is not a mentalist (see below). Peter Klevius' analysis puts him, like Daniel Dennett, at odds with mentalists.

Acknowledgement: The simple reason I often refer to myself with my name in the text is because as a less known underdog outside the conventional academic sphere (which is in fact my main asset) there's a real chance that many will not only dismiss the author, but more importantly, just cherry pick from my texts out of proper context. Moreover, for me it's essential that I'm understood because that's the only way for me and others to criticize myself. Furthermore, I don't know about you dear reader, but although I'm fluent in three languages, my thinking, like that of all animals, is mostly non-verbal, meaning I have to translate it to words. This translation is for mentalists the very obstacle to understand how the brain works.

Origins

Ultimately the stone example and EMAH go back to Peter Klevius' correspondence with G. H. von Wright (Wittgenstein's successor at Cambridge) 1980 and a published and paid article 1981 about evolution and scientific methodology 1981. However, at the time I wrote the stone example I was puzzled by how my theory could be physiologically explained. I didn't know about the two-way cortico-thalamic connections until 1993 when they were outlined in Nature. The manuscript to Peter Klevius' Demand for Resources (with the 'stone example') was in its final form presented for G. H. von Wright (Wittgenstein's successor at Cambridge) before Daniel Dennett's Consciousness Explained was available. Moreover, whereas Peter Klevius' analysis at the time lacked physiological evidence for thalanmus involvement, Dennett based his (non-mentalist) view on available data which constituted mainly of in the 1980s so popular brain imaging of blood flow, which gave the wrong impression that thinking happened all over the brain, and which also encountered the speed limit problem that was neglected by "close to the same time". Peter Klevius analysis eloquently resolved this problem by keeping attention/awareness in the smaller thalamus "display" while the cortex stands for the totality of adaptations of which only a tiny part is projected on the thalamus. So what the blood flow images show is just the history of what the thalamus has been busy with, i.e. the association patterns thalamus activates on the cortex.

In fact, Peter Klevius didn't even know the existence of Dennett until many years after Peter Klevius' letter to Francis Crick. Why Dennett is mentioned here is because he seems to be a non-mentalist and closest to Peter Klevius analysis. However, unlike Peter Klevius' 'stone example' where consciousness is limited to a real time 'now' "image" of the world (i.e. no depth), Dennett compares consciousness to an academic paper that is being developed or edited in the hands of multiple people close to the same time, the "multiple drafts" theory of consciousness. In this analogy, "the paper" exists even though there is no single, unified paper. When people report on their inner experiences, Dennett considers their reports to be more like theorizing than like describing. These reports may be informative, he says, but a psychologist is not to take them at face value. Dennett describes several phenomena that show that perception is more limited and less reliable than we perceive it to be. Dennett's views put him (as Klevius) at odds with thinkers who say that consciousness can be described only with reference to subjective "qualia". These "qualia" people's (ab)use of language is the main obstacle for understanding how the brain works and therefore also the main target for Peter Klevius analysis, which could otherwise been much shorter. One year after publishing Demand for Resources, Peter Klevius read in Nature about two-way cortico-thalamic connections which immediately for him located the stone example to the thalamus, hence overcoming earlier problems about neural speed limits in the brain.

Short form of Peter Klevius ontology (1981, 2003): Peter Klevius would be helpless without an assisting world*.
* Peter Klevius has no 'self' or 'private language' because all of him is a product of his environment (incl. his body). Moreover, the world that has shaped him is exactly his whole world. There can't be a world "beyond" existencecentrism (see below). Same applies to the whole of humankind. This world is constantly changing but can never exceed the borders of existencecentrism.

And here's a longer form for those who desperately try to misinterpret it for the sake of rescuing their beliefs. As in the preface to my 1992 book Demand for Resources, I again appeal for a positive reading - so to save the reader from her/his own prejudice:

Being is ultimately only comprehensible as an all-inclusive whole which Peter Klevius calls 'existencecentrism', i.e. that the view from one's (or humankind's) particular origo is always limited (otherwise we would be all seeing gods) which also excludes "metaphysics" or if you like, integrates "metaphysics" into our existencecentrism, i.e. into what can be said/experienced. There cannot exist anything outside our reality because "existence" is dependent on human minds. Trying to talk "outside" one's existencecentrism is therefore impossible and only ends up in a navel gazing dead end of undefinable "nothingness".

Language has overwhelmed our thinking to an extent that often hinders or complicates the analysis of it. The 'stone example' below is meant to reveal the true nature of language as just an adaptation among others, so to discharge it from conflating misleading words about how organs (e.g. the brain) work. We have a tendency to create meaningless questions because language - but not the world - allows it. Words like 'memory', 'past', 'future' etc., have no meaning when exploring awareness/consciousness because there's only one valid latest 'now' at the time, just like a video where only the last frame is relevant for viewing. If the stone in the stone example later turns out not to be a stone, then we can no longer "remember" the "stone" we saw before we realized it wasn't a stone.

There's no "reality" or "things-in-themselves" outside our existencecentrism, simply because whatever we talk about is per definition already inside. So trying to explain something humans come up with and to demand a "god" to answer a question that makes no sense - makes no sense. This also means that there's no basis for questions like 'don't you believe in a human independent reality'. A human independent "reality" is per definition out of reach, so the question becomes an oxymoron. A human perceived object or world can't exist if humans are forever gone. Our world is in our mind only - where else could it possibly reside. However, many seem to have problem letting the question go, e.g. by stubbornly repeating the naive 'but surely the table must still be there even if all humans are gone'. And if we pretend being an all seeing god, then we would realize that the bird on what humans used to call a 'table' strongly disagrees while conceptualizing it perhaps as a place for landing.

There are no colors, objects etc. in the brain, only the imprint on the neuronal network of our adaptations with our world incl. each other. We adapt to our surrounding just like a rock in a continuous stream of water, or a flatworm to light. The light absorbed by silver crystals on photographic film produces a reflection that can only be "understood" as an image based on earlier adaptations to what is interpreted to be in the image. An image of the stone in the 'stone example' may be interpreted as a stone or paper mache, depending on the knowledge of the viewer. To be able to know the world at all, there must be a continuing identity of mind and perception. This equilibrium is upheld by synchronizing new perceptions with the previous state of the mind.

Mind or consciousness are physical and physiological. Everything else is just language. It's language that makes consciousness "mysterious". The reason many humans don't accept consciousness in e.g. flatworms is that humans tend to drown in their oceans of neurons etc.

A mind independent world is impossible because how could we possibly talk about something "outside" our mind. If you, like naive "realists", say that objects still exist even if there's not a single human left to sense them, then ask yourself how to sense such objects without any human existing to perform the sensing? Moreover, if an unknown force suddenly puts universe into a state of time and space-less singularity, then where are your objects? This latter example is of course equally naive as the naive "realist" position, and therefore belongs to them.

Peter Klevius commenting on the misuse of widely used concepts:

* Such concepts may of course be perfectly usable in openly declared local contexts.

'A car' is equally concrete or abstract as 'the car'.

Although earlier cosmological models of "the" universe now are accused of being geocentric, i.e. placing Earth at the center, nothing has really changed because "the" universe is anyway still both anthropocentric as well as limited by our existencecentrism. Yesterday's Earth is today's "Big Bang" (P. Klevius 1992:22).

The 'empty set' is the most operational of all sets in that its impossible task is to keep things from entering it, e.g. its own conceptual defining framework.

Objects, operations, and functions
Peter Klevius: Objects, operations, and functions, are all dependent on each other.
Organs of sense-
Peter Klevius: There can't be "organs of sense", because then there could also be "organs of appearances" etc. stupidities.  
produce sensations out of which appearances take place-
Peter Klevius: There's no difference between sensations and appearances. Where would you draw such a line? "Sensations and appearances" meet in the thalamus where they become one, i.e. 'now'.
and these come to represent something that renders objects thinkable.
Peter Klevius: Represent what? Where was the original presentation? The "real world" that's beyond us?! But our existencecentrism excludes us from even talking about it - and if we do we are back to appearances.

Although one could say that the heart is the origo of the blood flow, unlike the nervous system that feeds the brain, the heart is part of an an inclusive system. And the stone in the flow of water doesn't have an origo, other than its centre of gravity.
 
Why are we here? This question is senseless because it rests on the possibility of a "nothingness" which would be impossible to define because its definition would kill the concept as well as the question. So when Penrose says Universe at some extremely diluted point may "forget" space and time, then this scenario is still within our existencecentrism. Wittgenstein's 'bedrock' is Peter Klevius' existencecentrism.

Just like a stone in the continuous flow of water adapts to its environment, similarly the mind doesn't need to "structure" and "process" incoming data, because it simply maps it on the existing data map. Better still, there are no "incoming" data, only nerve reactions. And just like we make sense of an image, similarly we make sense of other reactions.

There is no one thing that unifies being human - except negative (basic) Human Rights, which don't limit your sphere of love or passion, but let's others do the same without impositions, except for what is restricted by laws guided by these same rights.

Dear reader, don't confuse this text with nihilism because it's actually less nihilistic than mainstream views on the subject.

The significance of Peter Klevius' stone* example from 1992, is to embed contentious or confusing concepts into a theoretical analysis that makes their connections to other categories more explicit. As a consequence it will also reveal the impossibility of any effort to draw a distinction between abstract and concrete objects because there simply can't exist a human definition in a "reality" outside human experience. The 'car' is equally abstract as the 'thought' about it. And the neuronal activity we call a thought process is certainly equally physical and physiological as photons hitting the retina or the molecules hitting our mouth and nose, or the vibrations hitting our ears. The fancy "elevation" of some physical/physiological events to a "higher" status has no real foundation.

* The reason Peter Klevius chose 'stone' instead of 'rock' is that 1) in Swedish it's 'sten', and 2) in both Swedish and its creole descendant English, the word sten/stone is also associated with phrases like stone blind (literally "blind as a stone"), stone deaf, stone-cold, etc., which then contrasts more sharply with the 'mind'. Yet, nothing excludes the possibility of describing a stone as equally complex as the brain.

There are no functions without objects. A function is an operation which needs objects to function, such as variables or other operational "tools". You can't think about a number without its operational function, be it functioning as a sign or a calculation. There simply doesn't exist a naked number. Same with colors, which will always be somehow framed.

Everything experienced is always understood, which means that every conceptualization happens in the brain - not in an outside "reality". The retroactive "understanding" that the stone later turned out to be something else, is just a new understanding.

The oxymoron 'true by definition' is limited to its definition. The "out-of-Africa" myth, for example, rests on defining modern DNA as representing the same locality (Africa) several hundred thousands of years ago. And fossils are pure lottery if they can't be satisfactorily tied to evolutionary origin. This is why Homo floresiensis on the "wrong" side of the Wallace line, outperforms all fossils in Africa.

The stone example reveals that:


1 Recognition of a stone as matching the concept of a 'stone' is culturally embedded in our brain as a result of adaptation (programmed through lived experience). There is no direct understanding of a "real" stone, only the cumulative adaptations of when to use the concept, or how to deal with it in general - just like animals do without linguistic concepts.
2 'Stone' is a linguistic reflection and doesn't cover humans who are non-linguistic*. Language is an anthropocentric operation, and therefore not applicable to non-linguistic lives or things. This means a linguistic machine could understand a linguistic human linguistically, whereas a non-linguistic human would not understand a linguistic machine.
3 To see or touch a stone both need the recognition that it is a stone. Photons from the stone or from the ink in the world stone do exactly the same as touching the stone - which includes hearing the word stone. And if the surface feels hard it could still be a hollow shell. And if it feels heavy like a stone it could still be a dirty piece of hollow gold weighing the same as an ordinary 'stone'.

* The most naive, or alternatively, the most self-evident of value based expressions is that 'humans are special' - but not more or less special than a billion year old stone or a flying fruit fly. And the only way to encompass all humans as fully human is to Atheistically and axiomatically accept it as e.g. it's stated in in the original anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-sexist U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948 - which islam's biggest and most influential organization, the Saudi based and steered O.I.C., 1990 declared not acceptable and therefore replaced it with an islamic sharia declaration, which contrary to Art. 2 in the UDHR, imposes segregated "rights".

First of all one needs to accept that we are by necessity anthropocentric (and above all existencecentric). How could we possibly not be humans? You may also benefit from learning about later Ludwig Wittgenstein (who asked my mentor* G. H. von Wright to be his successor at Cambridge) whose reasoning is in good harmony with Peter Klevius EMAH theory which in turn pushes the "consciousness"/language "problem" to its ultimate end - without embarking on simplisticism. Unfortunately there seems to be a problematic aversion against Wittgenstein's most important insights among many Western scholars, probably due to the fact that Wittgenstein in his later period didn't follow a more conventional philosophical jargon and methodology within the discipline, but rather questioned its borders. Aversion against Wittgenstein may also have something to do with the heavy influence of "monotheisms"** which became widespread in the West because ot the Roman empire. However, it also feeds into a quite appalling and racist dismissal of non-monotheistic thought traditions. And Atheism, which is the only possible foundation for fully adopting basic (negative) Human Rights, is in e.g. U.S. politics etc. still almost seen as a curse. This Western bigoted hypocrisy is easily seen in statements about "monotheistic" religions as somehow the 'crown of sophistication' - although stunningly disproved by history. Moreover, Kierkegaard was an individualist, not a "communityist".

* G. H. von Wright strongly supported P. Klevius' 1979 paper Resursbegär (Demand for Resources) that was published 1981 as a paid article. Same thing happened a decade later with Peter Klevius book with the same name and published 1992 - although he thought its 'aphoristic form' could be difficult for some readers.

** Atheist Wittgenstein's curiosity about religion has often been wilfully misinterpreted. Wittgenstein was also interested in other similar human entanglements such as e.g. psychoanalysis. A telling sign is that the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, didn't fit in his list of people who had influenced him the most, but included Otto Weininger, the youngster whom Freud had dismissed and probably became complicit to what led to the vulnerable young and depressed genius' suicide. And because Weininger's Sex and Character was seen as misogynistic, Wittgenstein was asked how he could like such a work. To which Wittgenstein answered that one may negate everything in it and it's still good. Peter Klevius' thesis Pathological Symbiosis implies the question how many young lives have been distorted or destroyed because of psychoanalytically influenced actions. Adult people can choose if they want to consult these modern magicians, but have no such right when authorities decide about their children.

Our mind consists of adaptive associations/reactions in every 'now' built on previous ones. However, using the associations/reactions (or simply adaptations) we call language to "explain" associations/reactions to language, of course causes confusion. Mind is a word that can be used as a synonym for human, and hence solely restricted to humans while therefore also eliminating the possibility of the question: Do others than humans have minds? Alternatively one may expand its use over the human border and face no defensible restrictions at all. However, since humans are trapped in our own existencecentrism we lack authority to talk for others. What we can do though is to clean up our anthropocentric discourse. To avoid the "consciousness mystery" one has to clearly distinguish between single human-only bordered experience and one that includes the totality of human existencecentrism* (see P. Klevius 1992:21-22). This is why the question: 'Do animals have consciousness?' is a meaningless oxymoron. Starting by declaring only humans have "consciousness" while then blurring this concept with other human centered concepts such as "soul", "spirit", "self" etc., inevitably leads to questions about animals and due conflation of the original concept. This is no different from the slow acceptance of evolution where still today many stubbornly keep hanging on the 'humans are special' myth. Humans can only be special among humans. How would a non-human possibly even know what is meant by 'humans'?

The 'Universe' is fully comprehensible for humans because the whole of it is bordered by human existencecentrism. Humans hence rule the world by absolute dictatorship.

The fancy idea that 'there's a physical reality' independent of humans, I abandoned in my early teens after reading Einstein's and Barnett's book about Universe. The concept of 'physical reality' (which implies some other perceivable "reality") is inevitably and only contained into human language - so without humans no "physical reality". "Reality" has no mysterious "essence" other than what humans inject "it" with. A 'stone', a 'brick, a 'table' etc. have no "essence" but are, like e.g. numbers, only operational, i.e. context bound. And the only essence humans have in common is the axiomatic "being human". Sure we can talk about it, touch, make experiments and even agree that the Earth is still there even after Uncle Sam has started a nuke war that eventually could accelerate and make humans extinct. However, where would the human perceptions be stored? And even if the CDs on Voyager somehow came in contact with what we used to call "Aliens" - the cultural content is equally cut off as are prehistoric 'humans' (i.e. the genus) artefacts from us living humans.

In Demand for Resources (1992) Peter Klevius pointed out the difference between the modern use of the word existence as implying the possibility of non-existence, and the more sensible and culturally much older and more widespread meaning of something emerging (compare 'existere'), i.e. not out of "nothing" or "god".

Reality is always confined within the borders of existencecentrism. "Metaphysics" hence is (or should be) simply the acceptance of existencecentrism. So whatever "universe", "reality" or "spirit" is contemplated, it always resides within the borders of existencecentrism. While existence is motion/change, the borders of existencecentrism constitute an unchangeable relativity. No matter what new insights are made they cannot change this because there is no "reality" beyond existenecentrism that could be used as a reference. The size of the "still unknown" is always infinite. On the level of humankind this means that it cannot be assessed, compared, evaluated etc. against other "kinds" other than by using a meaningless "humankind" comparison.

The mentalists' love for a "mental", as opposed to physical, hiding place.

 As Peter Klevius wrote 1981, 'the meaning of life is uncertainty' - which offers more possibilities than any narrow minded mentalist view. This uncertainty is rich enough in itself and contrary to what mentalists believe, mentalism not only actually limits freedom but also boosts racism and sexism as defined in the 1948 Universal Human Rights declaration.

And according to the stone example in EMAH there is no in this context meaningful separation between observation and understanding. The relation between a new observation that contradicts an earlier one is not consciousness but can of course be titled 'understanding'. And the totality of our understanding is just the temporal body of adaptations bordered against the future by a now. In other words, future doesn't exist per se.

One way of helping to understand EMAH is to think about an internally active two-way display/monitor (thalamus in vertebrates) with ever changing "meetputs" ('nows' - i.e. stream of "images") between input and output, incl. inputs and outputs from your brain and other parts of your body. "Sensory information" has conventionally been seen as a specific type of stimulus. This view is a linguistic mirage which arbitrarily categorizes certain inputs. Although it's useful to talk about hearing, vision etc., there's no need to make a "sensory group" which only creates unnecessary bias when analyzing "consciousness".

Peter Klevius stone example unifies all modes of observation and communication.


If we want to break the borders of human navel-gazing we also need to clean up cross-border concepts.

In the 1980s, while reading Jurgen Habermas' The Theory of Communicative Action, Peter Klevius criticized his division observation and understanding as I had always used to do in other contexts. However, my (perhaps overly) respect for Habermas made me wondering why even he used such a meaningless distinction.

Peter Klevius' 'stone example' in Resursbegär (Demand for Resources) from 1992 (pp 32-33, ISBN 9173288411).

The connection between intelligence/intellect and its biological anchors may appear problematic on several levels. This applies to the connection between sensory impressions and abstraction. In a remark regarding rational reconstruction, Jurgen Habermas makes a distinction between what he calls sensory experience (observation) and communicative experience (understanding). Against this one may argue by seeing the thought process as consisting of parts of memory patterns and experiences that must be understood to be meaningful at all.

sees a stone* = visual perception understood by the viewer
I see a stone = utterance understood by another person

* When the origo/viewer then kicks the "stone" it turns out to be made of paper mache, i.e. becoming a new updated adaptation.

I presume that Habermas sees the latter example as communication due to the reference (via language) to the original viewer's visual impression of the stone, while I claim that this "extension" of the meaning of the statement cannot be proven to be of a different nature than the thought/understanding process behind the first example. This understanding of the stone does not differ from the understanding of an abstract symbol like e.g. a letter or a word, written or pronounced. The statement 'I see a stone' is also a direct sensory impression which, like the stone as an object, has no meaning if it is not understood. Here one may then object that the word stone in contrast to the phenomenon of seeing a stone can transfer meaning (symbolic construction, according to Habermas). Still, I would insist that this too is illusory and a consequence of our way of perceiving language and Popper's third world (see below). A stone can be perceived as everything from the printing ink in a word to an advanced symbolic construction. It is then not a matter of a difference between observation and understanding, but only different, unbounded levels of understanding. Nor does the division "pure observation" and "reflective observation" have any other than purely comparative meaning, since no delimitation (other than the purely comparative one) can be made in a meaningful way. Does it not matter then that the communication takes place between two conscious, thinking beings? Certainly, Habermas and others are free to elevate communication between individuals to a group other than the communication the stone observer has with himself and his cultural heritage via mirroring in the stone, but in this case this is only an ethnocentric stance without relevance to the observation/understanding distinction. For me, therefore, there is no fundamental difference in the symbol combination of the sensory experience of a stone or of Habermas text. Of course, that does not mean that I would in any way express any form of judgement of Habermas or the stone. What it does mean, however, is that I want to question the division observation/understanding and thus also the division primitive/civilized thinking (P. Klevius 1992:32-33).

To be fair, it should be said that Haberma's exemplification is based on a completely different chain of thought with a purpose other than the one discussed here and that I only try to demonstrate the danger of generalizing the observation/understanding relationship. In other contexts, it becomes almost unnoticed transferred to a linguistic axiom (virus or bug to take information technology as an example) which then both generates and accumulates differences that do not exist.

In the book Evolution of the Brain/Creation of the Self (foreword by Karl Popper) John C. EccIe notes that: '1t is surprising how slow the growth of World 3 (K. Popper's and J. EccIe's division of existence and experience; World I = physical objects and states, World 2 = states of consciousness, World 3 = knowledge in objective sense) was in the earlier tens of thousands of years of Homo sapiens sapiens. And even today there are races of mankind with negligible cultural creativity. Only when the societies could provide the primary needs of shelter, food, clothing, and security were their members able to participate effectively in cultural creativity, so enriching World 3.'

This quote shows both Eccie's and Popper's legitimate concern about the issue and the cultural evolutionary escape route they use to leave the question (compare chapter Khoi, San and Bantu in this book). It also reveals a certain, perhaps unconscious, aversion to the idea that societies would voluntarily settle for satisfying their "primary needs." Karl Popper has, with reason, made himself known as the champion of freedom and herein I fully share his attitude. Freedom (implicitly a humane and responsible freedom) is clearly a scarce commodity in the modern state. At the same time, the concept of freedom does not exist at all among the gatherer-hunter cultures referred to in this book. The concept of freedom, like diamonds, is created only under pressure (P. Klevius 1992:33).

 

Original EMAH as web version 2004. The theory is exactly as it was when sent to Francis Crick 1994, although the text is slightly altered, but without any changes in the theory*.

* Already in the 1970s I had the same view as today about how the brain works. The reason for this is twofold: Firstly, I read and scoffed at Laing's perverted but populist view on mental illness, and secondly, I happened to work in a mental hospital as a guard on a department for the worst cases, where I thoroughly read everything about the 40 patients there, and concluded that they all had become worse in their teens, although with very different backgrounds and lives. Some of them showed autism early in their childhood but most didn't show anything before their teens. This led me to Arvid Carlsson and his dopamine research. And the only reason I called my theory "the even more astonishing hypothesis" (EMAH) was because of Crick's book 'The Astonishing Hypothesis' which didn't astonish me at all. However, EMAH is a theory because it is falsifiable, it fits all existing data, and it has predicted everything that research has revealed since. Moreover, it's not shallow but to the very point. Therefore, dear reader, if you have doubts or if something in the theory is hard to understand because of my incompetency as a writer, please contact me on klevius-yahoo.com


The theory was presented for Georg Henrik von Wright (Wittgenstein's successor at Cambridge) 1991, and 1994 sent to Francis Crick (only got a confirmation from Salk administration so not sure if he ever read it), and 2004 presented on the web* for the entire world.

* My EMAH page on Yahoo's Geocities was quite frequently visited for many years until Geocities was terminated.


Abstract: Thalamus is the least discussed yet perhaps the most important piece in the puzzle of mind, due to its central function as the main relay station between body actions and environment. A critical assessment of concepts such as: observation/understanding, mind/body, free will and language reveals an inescapable awareness in the Thalamic "meetputs". In conclusion memories hence may be better described as linguistic traps rather than as distinct entities. The continuity model proposed in EMAH also avoids the limitations of a "discrete packets of information" model.

Note. In some respect the neural network of "lower" systems such as the spinal cord and cerebellum by far outperforms the cortex. This is because of different tasks (fast motorics and slow adaptations) and due difference in processing. (Copyright Peter Klevius).

Introduction


Understanding how social behavior and its maintenance in human and other forms of life (incl. plants etc) evolved has nothing to do with “the balance between self interest and co-operative behavior” but all to do with kinship and friendship. Although humans may be attributed a more chaotic (i.e. more incalculable) "personality", they are, like life in general, just robots (i.e. active fighters against entropy – see Demand for Resources - on the right to be poor). Misunderstanding (or plain ignorance of – alternatively ideological avoidance of) kinship (kin recognition), friendship (symbiosis), and AI (robotics) pave the way for the formulation of unnecessary, not to say construed, problems which, in an extension, may become problematic themselves precisely because they hinder an open access for direct problem solving (see e.g. Angels of Antichrist – kinship vs. social state).

The Future of a "Gap" (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)


Human: What is a human being? Can the answer be found in a non-rational a priori statement (compare e.g. the axiomatic Human Rights individual) or in a logical analysis of the "gap" between human beings and others? The following analysis uses an "anti-gap" approach. It also rests on the struggle and success of research performed in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics etc.

Signal: A "signal gap" is commonly understood as a break in the transition from input to output, i.e., from perception to behavior. Mentalists use to fill the gap with "mind" while behaviorists don't bother because they can't even see it.

Matter: Berkeley never believed in matter. What you experience is what you get and the rest is in the hands of "God" (i.e. uncertainty). This view makes him a super-determinist without "real" matter.

Mind: The confusing mind-body debate originates in the Cartesian dualism, which divides the world into two different substances, which, when put together, are assumed to make the world intelligible. However, on the contrary, they seem to have created a new problem based on this very assumption.

Free will: Following a mind-body world view, many scholars prefer to regard human beings as intentional animals fuelled by free will. It is, however, a challenging task to defend such a philosophical standpoint. Not even Martin Luther managed to do it, but rather transferred free will to God despite loud protests from Erasmus and other humanists. Although Luther's thoughts in other respects have had a tremendous influence on Western thinking, this particular angle of view has been less emphasized.

Future: When asked about the "really human" way of thinking, many mentalists refer to our capacity to "calculate" the future. But is there really a future out there? All concepts of the future seem trapped in the past. We cannot actually talk about a certain date in the future as real future. What we do talk about is, for example, just a date in an almanac. Although it is a good guess that we are going to die, the basis for this reasoning always lies in the past. The present hence is the impenetrable mirror between the "real future" and ourselves. Consequently every our effort to approach this future brings us back in history. Closest to future we seem to be when we live intensely in the immediate present without even thinking about future. As a consequence the gap between sophisticated human planning and "instinctual" animal behavior seems less obvious. Is primitive thinking that primitive after all?
An additional aspect of future is that neither youth, deep freezing or a pill against ageing will do as insurance for surviving tomorrow.

Observation and Understanding (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)


If one cannot observe something without understanding it, all our experiences are illusions because of the eternal string of corrections made by later experiences. What seems to be true at a particular moment may turn out to be something else in the next, and what we call understanding hence is merely a result of retrospection.The conventional way of grasping the connection between sensory input and behavioral output can be described as observation, i.e. as sensory stimulation followed by understanding. The understanding that it is a stone, for example, follows the observing of a stone. This understanding might in turn produce behavior such as verbal information. To do these simple tasks, however, the observer has to be equipped with some kind of "knowledge," i.e., shared experience that makes him/her culturally competent to "understand" and communicate. This understanding includes the cultural heritage embedded in the very concept of a stone.

Categorization belongs to the language department, which, on the brain level, is only one among many other behavioral reactions. But due to its capability to paraphrase itself, it has the power to confuse our view on how we synchronize our stock of experience. When we look at a stone, our understanding synchronizes with the accumulated inputs associated with the concept of a stone. "It must be a stone out there because it looks like a stone," we think. As a result of such synchronization, our brain intends to continue on the same path and perhaps do something more (with "intention"). For example, we might think, "Let's tell someone about it." The logical behavior that follows can be an expression such as, "Hey look, it's a stone out there." Thus, what we get in the end is a concept of a stone and, after a closer look, our pattern of experience hidden in it. If the stone, when touched, turns out to be made of paper mache, then the previous perception is not deepened, but instead, switched to a completely new one.

One might say that a stone in a picture is a real stone, while the word "stone" written on a piece of paper is not. The gap here is not due to different representations but rather to different contexts. When one tries to equalize observation with understanding, the conventional view of primitive and sophisticated thinking might be put in question. We act like no more than complex worms and the rest, such as sophistication, is only a matter of biased views built on different stocks of experience. But a worm, just like a computer, is more than the sum of its parts.

Therefore, meaning, explanation and understanding are all descriptions of the same basic principle of how we synchronize perceptions with previous experiences. For the fetus or the newborn child, the inexperienced (unsynchronized, or uncertainty/"god" if you prefer) part of the inside-outside communication is considerably huge. Hence the chaotic outside world (i.e., the lack of its patterns of meaningfulness) has to be copied in a stream of experiences, little by little, into the network couplings of the brain. When the neural pattern matches the totality (meaningfulness) its information potential disappears. On top of this, there is in the fetus a continuous growth of new neurons, which have to be connected to the network. As a result of these processes, the outside world is, at least partly, synchronized with the inside, mental world. Eureka, the baby finally begins to think and exist! In other words, the baby records changes against a background of synchronized inputs.

* see "existence centrism" in Demand for Resources for a discussion about a shrinking god and the almighty human!

The Category of the Uniquely Human (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)


A main difficulty in formulating the concept of consciousness is our pride (presumably we should have been equally proud as mice) and our strong belief in "something uniquely human." However, if we try to follow the die-hard determinists, we would probably find free will and destiny easier to cope with, and also that the concept of "the unique human being" is rather a question of point of view. Following this line of thought, I suggest turning to old Berkeley as well as to Ryle but excluding Skinnerian Utopias. Those who think the word determinism sounds rude and blunt can try to adorn it with complexity to make it look more chaotic. Chaos here means something you cannot overview no matter how deterministic it might be. We seem to like complexity just because we cannot follow the underlying determinism. Maybe the same is to be said of what it really is to be a human? A passion for uncertainty, i.e. life itself. Francis Crick in The Astonishing Hypothesis: "... your sense of personal identity and free will are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules."

This statement is easy to agree on, so let me continue with another, perhaps more useful, quote from Crick: "Categories are not given to us as absolutes. They are human inventions." I think these two statements create an efficient basis for further investigations into the mystery of thinking. Hopefully you will forgive me now as I'm going to try to abolish not only the memory but also the free will and consciousness all together. Then, I will go even one step further to deny that there are any thoughts (pictures, representations, etc.) at all in the cortex. At this point, many might agree, particularly regarding the cortex of the author of this text.

The main problem here is the storage of memories, with all their colors, smells, feelings and sounds. Crick suggests the dividing of memory into three parts: episodic, categorical and procedural. While that would be semantically useful, I'm afraid it would act more like an obstacle in the investigation of the brain, because it presupposes that the hardware uses the same basis of classification and, like a virus, hence infects most of our analyses.

Nerves, Loops and "Meetputs" (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)

According to Crick, "each thalamic area also receives massive connections from the cortical areas to which it sends information. The exact purpose of these back connections is not yet known." In the following paragraphs, I will outline a hypothetical model in line with this question. The interpretation of the interface between brain and its surrounding as it is presented here has the same starting point as Crick's theory but divides thinking into a relay/network system in the cortex and the perception terminals (or their representatives in the thalamus) around the body like an eternal kaleidoscope. Under this model, imagination would be a back-projected pattern of nerve signals, equal to the original event that caused them but with the signals faded. This view suggests that there are not only inputs and outputs but also "meetputs," i.e., when an input signal goes through and evolves into other signals in the cortex, these new signals meet other input signals in the thalamus.

There is no limit to the possible number of patterns in such a system, and there is no need for memory storage but rather, network couplings. These "couplings," or signals, are constantly running in loops (not all simultaneously but some at any given moment) from the nerve endings in our bodies through the network in the cortex and back again to the thalamus. Of course the back-projected signals have to be discriminated from incoming signals, thereby avoiding confusion regarding fantasy and reality. But this process, though still unknown, could be quite simple and perhaps detected simply by the direction where it comes from. As a consequence of the loops, the back-projected pattern differs from the incoming signals, or the stimuli. Therefore, every signal from the body, perceptions, hormonal signals and so on, either finds its familiar old routes or patterns of association in the network (established experiences) or creates new connections (new experiences) that can be of varying durability. For example, if someone is blind from the moment of birth, he or she will have normal neuronal activity in the cortex area of vision. On the other hand, in case of an acquired blindness, the level of activity in the same area will become significantly lower over time. This is logical according to the EMAH model because, in the former case, the neurons have never become involved in association patterns of vision but were engaged in other tasks. In the latter case, the neurons have partly remained in previous vision patterns, which are no longer in use, while the rest has moved onto other new tasks.

It is important to note that human thinking, contrary to what today's computers do, involves the perceptions that originate from the chemical processes in the body's hormonal system, what we carelessly name "emotions." This, I think, is the main source behind the term "human behavior". The difference between man and machine is a source of concern but, as I see it, there is no point in making a "human machine". But perhaps someone might be interested in building a "human-like machine".

Body vs. Environment - a History of Illusions (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)


According to the EMAH model, its nerves define our body. This view does not exactly resemble our conventional view of the human body. Thus, our hormonal signals inside our body, for example, can be viewed (at least partially) as belonging to the environment surrounding the EMAH-body. The meaning of life is to uphold complexity by guarding the borders and it is ultimately a fight against entropy. In this struggle, life is supported by a certain genetic structure and metabolism, which synchronizes its dealings with the surrounding environment. Balancing and neutralizing these dealings is a job done by the nerves.

A major and crucial feature of this "body-guarding" mechanism is knowledge of difference in the directions between incoming signals and outgoing, processed signals. On top of this, both areas change continuously and thus have to be matched against each other to uphold or even improve the complexity. According to this model, people suffering from schizophrenia, just like healthy people, have no problem in discriminating between inputs and outputs. In fact, we can safely assume that the way they sometimes experience hallucinations is just like the way we experience nightmares. Both hallucinations and nightmares seem so frightening because they are perceived as incoming signals and confused as real perceptions. The problem for the schizophrenic lies in a defect in processing due to abnormal functions in and among the receptors on the neurons, which makes the association pattern unstable and "creative" in a way that is completely different compared with controlled fantasies. In the case of nightmares, the confusion is related to low and fluctuating energy levels during sleep. A frightful hallucination is always real because it is based on perceptions. What makes it an illusion is when it is viewed historically from a new point of view or experienced in a new "now," i.e., weighed and recorded as illusory from a standpoint that differs from the original one. In conclusion, one can argue that what really differentiates a frightful ghost from a harmless fantasy is that we know the latter being created inside our body, whereas we feel unsure about the former.

EMAH Computing as Matched Changes (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)


EMAH does not support the idea that information is conveyed over distances, both in the peripheral and central nervous systems, by the times of occurrence of action potentials?

"All we are hypothesizing is that the activity in V1 does not directly enter awareness. What does enter awareness, we believe, is some form of the neural activity in certain higher visual areas, since they do project directly to prefrontal areas. This seems well established for cortical areas in the fifth tier of the visual hierarchy, such as MT and V4." (Crick & Koch, 1995a,b).  Hardware in a computer is, together with software (should be “a program” because this word signals programming more directly), specified at the outset. A high level of flexibility is made possible through the hardware's ability to unceasingly customize to incoming signals. This is partly what differs human beings from a machine. The rest of the differentiating factors include our perceptions of body chemistry such as hormones, etc. Programming a computer equipped with flexible hardware, i.e., to make them function like neurons, will, according to the EMAH-model, make the machine resemble the development of a fetus or infant to a certain extent. The development of this machine depends on the type of input terminals.

All input signals in the human, including emotional ones, involve a feedback process that matches the incoming signals from the environment with a changing copy of it in the form of representations in the brain's network couplings. Life starts with a basic set of neurons, the useful connections of which grow as experiences come flooding in. This complex body of neuronal connections can be divided into permanent couplings, the sum of experiences that is your "personality," and temporary couplings, short-term "memories" for everyday use.

A certain relay connection, if activated, results in a back-projected signal toward every receptor originally involved and thus creates, in collaboration with millions of other signals, a "collage" that we often call awareness. This is a constant flow and is in fact what we refer to as the mysterious consciousness. At this stage, it is important to note that every thought, fantasy or association is a mix of different kinds of signals. You cannot, for example, think about a color alone because it is always "in" or "on" something else (on a surface or embedded in some kind of substance) and connected by relay couplings to other perceptions or hormonal systems. "Meaning" is thus derived from a complex mix of the loops between perceptions and back-projected perceptions. This can be compared to a video camera system with a receiving screen and a back-projecting screen. The light meter is the "personality" and the aperture control the motor system. However, this system lacks the complex network system found in the cortex and thus has no possibility to "remember." The recorded signal is of course not equivalent to the brain's network couplings because it is fixed. To save "bytes," our brains actually tend to "forget" what has been synchronized rather than remember it. Such changes in the brain (not memories) are what build up our awareness. This process is in fact a common technique in transmitting compressed data.

Short-Term Memories and Dreams (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)


At any given moment, incoming signals, or perceptions, have to be understood through fitting and dissolving in the net of associations. If there are new, incomprehensible signals, they become linked (coupled) to the existing net and localized in the present pattern of associations. Whether their couplings finally vanish or stay depends on how they fit into the previous pattern and/or what happens next.

As a consequence of this coupling process, memories in a conventional, semantic meaning do not exist, because everything happens now. Consciousness or awareness is something one cannot influence, but rather, something that involves an ongoing flow of information to and from nerve endings through the brain (a relay station). For every given moment (now), there is consequently only one possible way of acting. One cannot escape awareness or decisions because whatever one thinks, it is based on the past and will rule the future. Memories are thus similar to fantasies of the future, based on and created by experiences. Regarding short-term memory, I agree with Crick's view and hypothesis. But I certainly would not call it memory, only weaker or vanishing couplings between neurons. Remember that with this model, the imagination of something or someone seen a long time ago always has to be projected back on the ports were it came through and thus enabling the appropriate association pattern. Although signals in each individual nerve are all equal, the back-projected pattern makes sense only as a combination of signals. The relay couplings in the cortex is the "code", and the receptor system is the "screen." Because this system does not allow any "escape" from the ever changing "now" which determines the dealings with the surrounding environment. Living creatures are forced to develop their software by living.

Dreams are, according to this model, remains of short-term memories from the previous day(s), connected and mixed with relevant association patterns but excluding a major part of finer association structures. This is why dreams differ from conscious thinking. The lack of finer association structures is due to low or irregular activity levels in the brain during sleep. The results are "confused thoughts", which are quite similar to those of demented people, whose finer neural structures are damaged because of tissue death due to a lack of appropriate blood flow. Thus dreams are relevantly structured but in no way a secret message in the way psychoanalysts see them, whereas patients with dementia tend to go back to their childhood due to the irrevocable nature of the physical retardation process. Investigating dreams and their meanings by interpreting them is essentially the same as labelling them as psychological (in a psychoanalytical sense). A better and less biased result would emerge if the researcher actually lived with the subject the day before the dream occurred. Rather than analyzing pale and almost vanished childhood experiences from a view trapped in theoretical prejudices that describe an uncertain future, the researcher should perhaps put more effort in the logic of the presence.

Donald Duck and a Stone in the Holy Land of Language (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)


Wittgenstein: "Sie ist kein Etwas, aber auch nicht ein Nichts!" (Phil. Untersuch. 304). Also see P. Klevius' analysis of a stone (in Demand for Resources - on the right to be poor, 1992).

Although Wittgenstein describes language as a tool it seems more appropriate to classify it as human behavior. Unlike tools language is a set (family) of a certain kind of bodily reactions (internal and/or towards its environment). We have to reject, not only the grammar which tries to force itself on us, but also, and perhaps even more so, representations we, without any particular reason, assign to language.

Language is basically vocal but apart from that little has been said about its real boundaries. One could actually argue that the best definition is perhaps the view that language is a human territory. The question whether animals have a language is then consequently meaningless. On the other hand, Wittgenstein denied the existence of a "private language" because applying it could never prove the validity of its products. We are trapped in words and connotations of language although these categories themselves, like language in general, are completely arbitrary "language games", as Wittgenstein would have put it. (no offense, Mr Chomsky and others, but this is the tough reality for those trying to make sense of it in the efforts of constructing intelligent, talking computers). Furthermore, these categories change over time and within different contexts with overlapping borders.

Changing language games provide endless possibilities for creating new "language products", such as e.g. psychodynamic psychology. I believe this is exactly what Wittgenstein had in mind when he found Freud interesting as a player of such games but with nothing to say about the scientific roots of the mental phenomenon. Let's image Donald Duck and a picture of a stone. Like many psychological terms, Donald Duck is very real in his symbolized form but nonetheless without any direct connection to the reality that he symbolizes. In this sense, even the word stone has no connection to the reality for those who don't speak English. Words and languages are shared experiences.

It is said that a crucial feature of language is its ability to express past and future time. This might be true but in no way makes language solely human. When bees arrive to their hive they are able, in symbolic form, to express what they have seen in the past so that other bees will "understand" what to do in the future. Naming this an instinct just because bees have such an uncomplicated brain does not justify a different classification to that of the human thinking. If, as I proposed in Demand for Resources (1992), we stop dividing our interactions with the surrounding world in terms of observation and understanding (because there is no way of separating them), we will find it easier to compare different human societies. By categorization, language is an extension of perception/experience patterns and discriminates us as human only in the sense that we have different experiences. Words are just like everything else that hits our receptors. There is no principle difference in thinking through the use of words or through sounds, smells (albeit not through thalamus), pictures or other "categories." Ultimately, language is, like other types of communication with the surrounding world, just a form of resistance against entropy.

To define it more narrowly, language is also the room where psychoanalysis is supposed to live and work. A stone does not belong to language, but the word "stone" does. What is the difference? How does the word differ from the symbolic expression of a "real" stone in front of you? Or if we put it the other way round: What precisely makes it a stone? Nothing, except for the symbolic value derived from the word "stone." The term "observation" thus implicates an underlying "private language". When Turing mixed up his collapsing bridges with math, he was corrected by Wittgenstein, just as Freud was corrected when he tried to build psychological courses of events on a basis of natural science. Wittgenstein's "no" to Turing at the famous lecture at Cambridge hit home the difference between games and reality.

 Archetypes and grammar as evolutionary tracks imprinted in our genes is a favorite theme among certain scholars. But what about other skills? Can there also be some hidden imprints that make driving or playing computer games possible? And what about ice hockey, football, chess, talk shows, chats and so on? The list can go on forever. Again, there is no distinguishing border between evolutionary "imprints" and other stimulus/response features in ordinary life.

"Primitive" vs. "Sophisticated" Thinking (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)


The more synchronized (informed) something or someone is with its surrounding reality, the less dynamics/interest this something or someone invests in its relationship with that particular reality. Interest causes investment and social entropy excludes investment economy because economy is always at war against entropy. The key to economical success is luck and thus includes lack of knowledge. No matter how well a business idea is outlined and performed, the success or lack of success is ultimately unforeseeable. In Demand for Resources (1992) I discussed the possibility of some serious prejudice hidden in Karl Poppers' "top achievement of civilization", namely the "World 3" and his and Eccles' assumption of an increasing level of sophistication from the primitive to the modern stage of development. It is of course easy to be impressed by the sophistication of the artificial, technical environment constructed by human, including language and literature, etc. But there is nonetheless a striking lack of evidence in support of a higher degree of complexity in the civilized human thinking than that of e.g. Australian Aboriginals, say 25,000 years ago. Needless to say, many hunting-gathering societies have been affluent in the way that they have food, shelter and enough time to enrich World 3, but in reality they have failed to do so.

Even on the level of physical anthropology, human evolution gives no good, single answer to our originality. What is "uniquely human" has rested on a "gap," which is now closed, according to Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin, among others. This gap is presumably the same as the one between sensory input and behavioral output mentioned above.From an anthropological point of view, it can be said that a computer lacks genetic kinship, which, however, is a rule without exception in the animate world, although we in the West seem to have underestimated its real power.

Deconstructing the Mind (copyright P. Klevius 1992-2004)

A deconstruction of our underlying concepts of the brain can easily end up in serious troubles due to the problem with language manipulation. Wittgenstein would probably have suggested us to leave it as it is. If language is a way of manipulating a certain area - language - then the confusion will become even greater if we try to manipulate the manipulation! But why not try to find out how suitable "the inner environment" is for deconstruction? After all, this environment presupposes some kind of biology at least in the border line between the outside and the inside world. Are not behavioral reactions as well as intra-bodily causes, e g hormones etc. highly dependent on presumed biological "starting points"? How does skin color or sex hormones affect our thinking? Where do causes and reactions start and isn't even the question a kind of explanation and understanding?

Determinists usually do not recognize the point of free will although they admit the possible existence of freedom. Why? Obviously this needs some Wittgensteinian cleaning of language. Unfortunately I'm not prepared for the task, so let's pick up only the best looking parts, i.e. that words as freedom, will, mind, etc., are semantic inventions and that they have no connections to anything else (i.e. matter) if not proved by convincing and understandable evidence. Does this sound familiar and maybe even boring? Here comes the gap again. Stimuli and response seen purely as a reflex is not always correct, says G. H. von Wright, because sometimes there may be a particular reason causing an action. According to von Wright, an acoustic sensation, for example, is mental and semantic and thus out of reach for the scientific understanding of the body-mind interaction. Is this a view of a diplomatic gentleman eating the cake and wanting to keep it too? To me, it is a deterministic in-determinist's view.

G. H. von Wright concludes that what we experience in our brain is the meaning of its behavioral effects. In making such a conclusion that it is rather a question of two different ways of narrowing one's view on living beings von Wright seems to narrow himself to Spinoza's view. Is meaning meaningful or is it perhaps only the interpreter's random projection of himself or herself? Is it, in other words, based only on the existence of the word meaning?

Aristotle divided the world primarily into matter and definable reality (psyche). As many other Greek philosophers, Aristotle was an individualist and would have fitted quite well in the Western discourse of today. Berkeley, who was a full-blood determinist, however, recognized the sameness in mind and matter and handed both over to "god". Consequently Philonous' perceived sensations in the mind were not aligned with Hylas' view of immediate perceptions. We thus end up with Berkeley as a spiritual die-hard determinist challenging materialistic humanism.

Conclusion                                                                      

In conclusion one might propose a rethinking of the conventional hierarchy of the brain. What we used to call "higher levels", perhaps because they are more pronounced in humans, are in fact only huge "neural mirrors" for the real genius, thalamus (and its capability of two-way communication with extensions in the cerebellum, spine, nerve ends etc), i.e. what has sometimes been interpreted as part of the "primitive" system. In other words, one may propose a view describing the "gap" between humans and animals as a quantitative difference in the amount/power of cerebral "mirroring" and communication with thalamus, rather than as a distinct qualitative feature. Nothing, except our "emotions", seems to hinder us from making a "human machine". And because these very "emotions" are lived experiences (there is, for example, no way to scientifically establish what could be considered "emotions" in a fetus) nothing, except the meaninglessness in the project itself, could hinder us from allowing a machine to "live" a "human life".


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