Sunday, 21 October 2007

Physics of insanity

My regular search through arXiv has brought a small pearl of pseudoscience, a paper called `Continuum of consciousness: Mind uploading and
resurrection of human consciousness. Is there a place
for physics, neuroscience and computers?
' by Vadim Astakhov.

The paper is an incredible mixture of two languages. On one side we find:
resurrection, mind uploading, time tunneling and teleportation.
On the other we find a lot of equations (I doubt very strongly as to their applicability) and even longer list of physical concepts deemed to be applicable to the topic:
Riemannian metric, Ricci tensor, Euler-Lagrange equations, Lia-algebra (sic!), generator of infinitesimal transformation, Renormalization group, Holographic representation, etc. etc.
as well as relatively new notions:
Stoichiometric matrix, auto poetic functionality, geometric networks, information geometry, causality circuit.

Perhaps I am wrong, but the first attempt to read the paper did lead me to a conclusion that this is a complete mumbo-jumbo. Perhaps some Reader of this blog would explain why and how the metric for the network system should be Riemannian (Section 2), so that the theory "resembles" General Relativity. And how would this be related to Section 7, when the system is described in quantum way, strangely resembling the one used for Bell theorem. Or why `total Fidelity-information is conserved. This is something like Energy Conservation Law for information systems'.
I'd like to apply this law, because I am constantly forgetting things.

However, the misuses seen by me in this particular paper are of secondary nature. This is a free world, especially when it comes to WEB publications. This blog is a perfect proof of the freedom.

But the arXiv publication has a note that the work has been submitted to conference Toward a Science of Consciousness 2008. I've looked up the conference site, and as the organizers (Arizona University) claim, it is to be a place to present `intense, far-ranging and rigorous discussions on all approaches to the the fundamental issue of how the brain produces conscious experience'.

I shall try to keep an eye on the list of accepted papers. And if Astakhov makes it, then I would have to redefine my notion of the word rigorous. Or of the word science?

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