Thanks for starting this thread up again. This is perfect timing since I've recently finally had time to implement a draft of a 'mind experts' canonizer algorithm based on this topic.
Unfortunately, some time ago, Michael removed all his contributed content, removed all his support, and communicated to me that he was no longer interested in participating in any way.
Of course, the web site running at http://canonizer.com is the main released and working version we are using. But there is another mirror backup or development version running on http://test.canonizer.com. You can now go to this test version and check out the new system implementing the new expert algorithm based on what has been canonized on this topic to date. (If the main system is ever down or overloaded, there is a chance this backup version may be up, but be careful since the test system is not as stable since it is where development and testing is done.)
On that test system, the new algorithm is currently named the "consciousness experts" algorithm, and you can select it to quantitatively measure scientific consensus so we can rigorously measure and track this going forward. Unless there are any objections, I'll probably change the name from consciousness expert to 'mind expert' to match the name of this topic. If anyone has feelings one way or another, please bring such up here as soon as possible.
The first draft of this algorithm currently uses two passes. First it does a one person one vote to get things seeded, then it makes a second pass to measure what these general population determined experts think by themselves relative to each other. When you select this expert algorithm on this mind experts topic here, it necessarily works different than all other topics, since it is reflecting on itself in a recursive way. On this topic only, the scores given to each supporter of a camp are determined by the first pass / one person one vote canonization. Then these are added up for all experts in each camp for a total camp score for each expert. This resulting second pass total score is the score that each expert gets for all other camps supported in other topics when this expert canonizer algorithm is selected. So in other words, '''when you canonize this topic with this algorithm selected on the side bar, the points listed for each expert camp is the number of 'votes' each mind expert will get on all other 'camps' they support in any of the other topics.'''
There is also currently a significant penalty being added to the first pass for people that only 'vote' for or support themselves. In other words, if you vote for more than one person, your top vote has more value than if you only vote for yourself. Currently many experts are only voting for themselves, so this is to add motivation to voting for more than just one's self. In other words, if you are only voting for yourself, you will get much more bang for your vote if you vote for more than one person, and we encourage everyone to do this. (When you 'join' a second camp, it takes you to an ordering page where you can specify your desired order and each successive choice has half as much of your vote.)
Of course, as always, we'd love any feedback or ideas on ways to do things better and / or help with anything in any way. We'll be renaming stuff, documenting how all this works in the appropriate topics, installing it on the live system, and so on, over the next few weeks.
Thanks again for all your continued support!
(This is a long delayed posting written in December, 2008)
The most reasonable response I can make to Michael's assertions, is to point out that while he has a perfect right to propose a new way of considering different dimensions of consciousness -- his use of scientific and other analogies to denigrate experts of mind is quite false.
For example, there is no relationship of a theory of mind with a theory of "phlogiston" that could discredit the word expert in relation to studies of conscious mind, or deny (as Michael has done) that there is such a thing as a mind, or a thinker that enables one to study and consider the nature of all things... Since phlogiston, as an obsolete theory of physics proposing a new element that was totally disproved, and thus, cannot have any "experts", it cannot be compared to modern scientific theories of mind -- considered as a medium of information (whether an emergent aspect of or separate from the brain's neurology) between phenomenal consciousness and memory, brain, body, senses, etc.
Also, the rhetorical comparing of Einstein's "ether" (as the "total space" and source of all metric spacetime fields) conflated with the earlier (pre-relativity) "aether theory" claiming that it was the medium of light -- in order to discredit theories of mind -- is entirely specious and fallacious. It is also not correct to imply that the ether was disproved -- since the failed MM experiment only proved that the ether was NOT the medium of light, but did not disprove its existence, according to Einstein, as the primal source of all phenomenal spacetime, as well as light. Thus, Einstein never disowned the ether -- which can easily be verified by studying his 1920 Leyden Lecture. Therefore, the ether is NOT the medium of light, but IS the light itself that moves through metric spacetime. And, relativity not only disproved many elements of classical theory, but completely superseded it as an entirely new paradigmatic theory of space, time, gravity, mass-energy, relative motion, etc.
As for the possibility of other dimensions of consciousness, there is no denial... But to assume that there is only two or three such dimensions, such as "observing consciousness," "self reflected consciousness", and (as I've heard Michael say before) "psychotic consciousness" -- all based solely on creationist theories of genesis and revelation in the Biblical scriptures, or on interpretations of religious philosophers such as Krishnamurti or DeCartes -- is totally unsatisfactory, from a scientific or philosophical POV ... And, which appears to to be an obvious attempt to give credence to creationist theories of the origin of consciousness -- without any empirical proof or logical argument concerning the possible spatial or physical origin of consciousness.
Nor, is there any rationale offered in these assumptions for the examination of the possible natural basis for the existence of consciousness, as well as its function on multiple dimensions equivalent to the altered states of consciousness observed by Western and Eastern scientists and philosophers. Even dream consciousness would have to be thoroughly explained in any valid "science of consciousness" -- which would also have to cover the actual mechanisms of consciousness to be considered as any sort of expertise.
However, there wouldn't be a problem in considering Michael as an expert in this topic, if such a supernatural consciousness theory had a separate "observer consciousness" topic of its own, or a position statement in whatever camp under whatever topic Michael chooses to expound his ideas in. But I would warn all scientific or philosophical "thinkers" to be aware of the unverifiable creationist underpinning of these beliefs.
However, such a multidimensional concept of consciousness, while having no rational or scientific basis, may still have an application in studies in transpersonal or cognitive psychology. So, there is no reason for it not to appear under any topic specifically applicable to those subjects. Nevertheless, I do not think Michael's creationist theories of consciousness belong under any scientifically or philosophically oriented topic that primarily is concerned with the study of both access and phenomenal consciousness and their interrelationship with mind, memory, brain-body, neuromuscular system, sensory system, etc. Therefore, since Michael's consciousness theory doesn't fall under any of those areas of expertise, perhaps it should have its own topic heading or a camp under any general topic concerned with different theories of consciousness -- whether scientific or otherwise.
As it stands, however there cannot be any "expert" on consciousness based on creationist or revelatory principles, not can there be a "science of consciousness" without the possibility of empirical proof, falsification or verifiable prediction, or even rational explanation of origin and mechanism Although there should be no objection to the term "philosophy of consciousness" to describe such creation based theories of consciousness.
In conclusion, from my personal point of view, I don't think that Michael can justifiably call his theory a "science of consciousness" -- since there is nothing in it that can scientifically, or even logically or rationally explain the origin cause and nature of consciousness -- as pure subjectivity, or as self reflected phenomena that is somehow genetically or dependently interconnected with the overall total space and its material forms. Nor can it explain the actual informational and physical mechanisms of informational transformation and transmission that function between phenomenal consciousness (awareness, will, experiencing qualia, perceiving, discerning, discriminating, differentiating, integrating, thinking, ideating, intuiting, recollecting, remembering, reasoning, selecting, choosing, deciding, intending, creating, composing, acting, etc., etc.) and the media of mind-memory and brain between the body, senses, and the outer 3-dimensional world.
So, in context of Michael's creationist theory of consciousness, that admittedly challenges the "scientific method" as well as the "thinker" (neither of which, incidentally, makes any claim to be "the source of *all* truth") -- the phase "science of consciousness" would appear, in this case, to be an oxymoron.
On Nov 15, 2008, at 11/15/087:00 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Michael has sent this message to all the supporters of the Agreement camp on the topic: Mind Experts.
Rather than reply to this e-mail (which only goes to firstname.lastname@example.org) please post all replies to the camp forum thread page this message was sent from here:
In response to Lenny, I guess I would have to say "How can there be any
Which I would consider to be approximately equivalent to the question
"How can there be any phlogiston expert"?
The assertion that "To be an expert about anything, one has to think
about how that thing works" is, of course, traceable to self-reflection
and the thought of the 'thinker' as the source of the scientific method
and *all* truth. This is the paradigm that I am challenging; but not as
a *replacement* paradigm (as occurred from the Ptolemaic system to the
Copernican); but, rather, as a "range of applicability" paradigm (as
occurred from classical physics to relativity). (I suggest, for
example, that poets and song-writers do not really 'think' about
things, the words of songs typically not consisting of logical
arguments, but observations which are not from the consciousness of the
'thinker' at all.)
What I am suggesting is that there are other dimensions of
consciousness and 'truth' conveyed by both the 'unconscious' and the
The assertion that "thinking requires a medium of thought -- which is
the mind that carries the information of consciousness" is no different
than the assertion of classical physics that there must be an "ether"
which is the medium to carry light waves. Of course, I deny both the
existence of the 'thinker' and "to think" as a verb. In accordance with
Occam's Razor, there are thoughts as one particular dimension of
consciousness; one of those thoughts being the thought of the
Similarly, the assertion that I am suggesting that all researchers of
the 'classical' consciousness or the consciousness of the 'thinker'
simply be eliminated is categorically untrue; for the same reason that
relativity theory was not a *replacement* for classical physics but was
merely a 'range of applicability' paradigm change.
That is, all that currently occurs within the rubric of research on
cognitive psychology, neurology, etc. etc. etc. could very well be
considered to be under to topic of "mind" experts (if that's what you
want to call it, it's no skin off my back) or the 'classical'
consciousness or whatever else you would like to term it.
I am NOT suggesting that all of this research and this perspective be
eliminated *at all*; only that a category be established which
acknowledges that there are, in fact, *3* rather than only one (the
'thinker' or the 'mind') dimension of consciousness. (And, if the
consciousness of the 'thinker' wants to deny the reality of both the
'unconscious' and the "observing consciousness"; that, too, is fine by
me; just so long as another category is established in which all of
these dimensions of consciousness *can* be acknowledged.)
Using Lenny's rationale, I suppose the Michelson-Morley experiment and
Einstein's relativity as well should be either "expelled" from any
discussion on physics or "ignored" because they challenge the existence
of the "ether".
It seems that such comments demonstrate just how close this society is
coming to the official institution of "thought police".
Please report any abuse to email@example.com.
I have started a new camp entitled "Theories of Mind and Consciousness", the purpose of which is merely to *list* all current theories by descriptive terms (rather than personal names) in order to diminish conflict and clarify these issues.
Then the "Mind Experts" camp can convey the amount of support that each of these camps has by listing, by name, the people who subscribe to each of these theories.
Does this sound reasonable?
The purpose of this 'Mind Experts' topic is clearly stated in the agreement statement here:
It is only about people's reputations. Anyone who is not interested in such information need not participate or consult this topic or use the 'canonizer' we will eventually develop using the data to differentiate between what the general public believes (including all the spam and scam that comes along with it) from what real reputable experts in the field believe. If you have a better way of filtering out all the spam and scam that will surely start being ever more of as this becomes more popular, I'd love to here about how to do it.
It looks like you and John agree that there should be a topic not just about the 'Hard Problem' and this is probably a good idea and I'm sure many more people would agree with you. Anyone is free to start such a topic (see the 'Create new topic' link on the side bar). I started the 'Hard Problem' topic because I am interested specifically in this and think it is THE most critical issue around consciousness and where there is about to be a huge breakthrough in understanding (as in the greatest scientific discovery ever). I also think there is a reason it has become the most supported topic at canonizer.com.
This answer appears to have raised more questions for me than it has answered, confusing the issue still more.
What I see under this topic is the title "The Hard Problem"; thus, it appears that this page is for *specifically* addressing that *one* issue rather than describing the theories themselves.
From my perspective, for example, the 'hard problem' is really not a problem at all, but merely a symptom of the fundamental problem with the metaphysical duality, which is when the implications of this problem become quite complicated. But, as such, I find myself agreeing with different statements of *many* of the camps currently listed; while, nevertheless, having to start my own camp to answer a question which has a relatively minuscule role in my own theory. (For example, I don't know what the word "supernatural" means when it says that the 'hard problem' has nothing to do with it.)
It would seem to me that, if you want a page for the explanation of different theories of mind or consciousness, it would be identified as such by a *title* rather than by a title which focuses on only *one* question about consciousness.
By the way, I do not assume that canonizer is a determiner of what the truth is; but merely a way of listing or categorizing all current theories of mind or consciousness and how many people agree with each of those theories.
As to the whole issue of "reputation", that is really of no concern to me whatsoever inasmuch as maybe this issue will not even be resolved until all of us are dead. Maybe these issues will not even be resolved until another generation emerges with a completely different perspective and openness to new information--information which has not even been imagined by those currently involved in this research.
Hmmm, Perhaps I don't understand, but this kind of thinking seems to me to be based on a common misconception about what canonizer.com is.
canonizer.com is not a determiner of truth. It is simply a rigorous measure of consensus. Before Einstein published his first paper, he had no reputation (other than that of a patent clerk). At that time there was near unanimous consensus amongst experts that F = M * A. Then, with his new paper, he basically announced a new minority camp, that this relationship between F, M and A was not universally correct.
Because of his initial reputation, or lack there of, people were right to be skeptical of his claims. You can't give lots of time to the millions of kooks that are incorrectly proposing revolutions of various kinds. But of course, everyone quickly converted to Einstein's new camp soon after his paper was published - especially once the scientific data proved and demonstrated his theory correct.
Canonizer.com is simply meant to be a more rigorous way to quantitatively measure such migration of consensus as things move forward.
Knowing who were the first ones to be in the right camp, before everyone else, is also critical reputation information. Once Einstein had such a well deserved great reputation, everyone deservedly gave anything he said much more heed. Again, canonizer.com is intended to rigorously and quantitatively measure and track such reputation information about such things as who is in the right camp and how much sooner than everyone else. It is easy for everyone to know about the reputation of the one top person, and the big theories, but what about the billions of other people and all the theories with less consensus? We also need to know concisely and quantitatively their reputation and amount of consensus also. The deserving ones (first in the right camps) are all the people we want to trust more, the next time around to lead us forward at ever faster and in more efficient ways.
So, there are two independent critical parts here at canonizer.com. Fist, there is the theories themselves. Such belongs in topics like this one:
which is meant to concisely capture all theories, including the kooky ones. The big problem today is there are so many obviously kooky theories about the mind, and such an extreme amount of time and mental effort to fully understand each one, we desperately need to have some way of using collaboration so each and every person need not spend the extreme amount of effort required to determine which theories are the kooky ones, which ones nobody else should waste time on, and which ones do indeed deserve more consideration by more people.
As I see it, the biggest problem today in the field of study of the mind, is there are way to many kooks and their kooky theories making all this noise. People spend so much time arguing about quibbles surrounding the good theories, that you can't tell them from the poor ones. Sure, a few experts that spend all day every day studying them, can expend the required time to fully comprehend all of them and know why the kooky ones are indeed kooky. But what about the rest of us? Not everybody can spend the huge amount of investment required to fully understand all theories of mind being proposed by everyone.
So, in addition to the theories themselves, we need as much reputation as possible, so we can both know who are the kooks, AND which are the kooky theories - all so the good signal that is surely there, can more easily and efficiently stand out from all the noise that is destroying this field of study.
Additionally, as with most controversial or 'religious' issues, there is a big part of values and desires that must be factored in to any theories or beliefs or effort to measure such. And for each individual, what one likes is usually very unique. So, again, for such it is critical to know who is in what camp, when they convert to another camp, why, and so on.
I suggest that emphasizing the personalities involved here rather than the theories themselves demonstrates a fundamental, paradigm-dependent misdirection and loss of focus; which is why my name does not appear as the title of a camp in the first place.
That is, the terms "experts", "authorities" (and any other such terms) depend upon the presumed (but never proven and not provable) existence of a 'thinker'.
In other words, the *least* important aspect of the Special Theory of Relativity is that it was discovered by someone by the name of Einstein; which is almost as important as the day of the week on which the theory achieved its final formulation.
Thus, I would suggest "Theories of Consciousness", "Theories of Mind", or some combination of the two.
Surely, everyone on this group should be able to devise a word or phrase to describe their point of view; from "representational model", to "ABC Theory", to the theory I have proposed.
Quoting John Locke:
Yes, since the Self can exist wherever perceptive consciousness is experienced, it could, as the Buddha said, change its location into a higher dimension of space... Such as what he calls Nirvana, and I call the "Supreme Spirit", or the initial highest order realm of cosmic consciousness... (Which is quite a bit higher than the corresponding spiritual hyperspace on our lowest order physical world, as shown in my fractal field model of cosmogenesis.) See: http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/23/13
This state can only be reached in the deepest meditation, after rising trough at least six lower levels of consciousness. Of course, to fully understand the change in nature of those realms, this can only be experienced subjectively by each individual Self.
As for the location of the self "inside the head of the body image," I cannot entirely buy that -- since there is no reason for it to be there except when it is absorbed in seeing and hearing -- which focus at a single point of experience in the center of the physical head, due to the 3-D spherical geometry of their radiation and the position of the eyes and ears. Therefore our perceptive awareness is located wherever our attention or focus of concentration places it.
According to the fractal field model of spatial reality, when in Nirvana, the Self could be centered at the top of the head outside the body itself. But, then, one would have to go there themselves to find out for sure. ;-)
See the diagram at: http://tinyurl.com/623pdz
reply to Lenny,
Yes, I agree the Self (Lenny's "perceiver") is not spatial in the sense that it has no spatial extension â€” but it is spatial in the sense that it has a location (inside the head (of the body image)) and in front of the visual field. The Self exists and has temporal extension. But it usually exists as a complex with what it experiences. However, in "deep" states of consciousness it can exist by itself in a timeless nirvana, or so the Buddhists tell us.