Integrated Information Theory is one of the leading models of consciousness. It aims to describe both the quality and quantity of the conscious experience of a physical system, such as the brain, in a particular state. In this contribution, we propound the mathematical structure of the theory, separating the essentials from auxiliary formal tools.
In this post we present a high level introduction to evolution and to how we can use mathematical tools such as dynamical systems and Markov chains to model it. Questions about evolution then translate to questions about dynamical systems and Markov chains – some are easy to answer while others point to gaping holes in current techniques in algorithms and optimization.
Several philosophical problems arising from the physics of consciousness, including identity, duplication, teleportation, simulation, self-location, and the Boltzmann Brain problem, hinge on one of the most deeply held but unnecessary convictions of physicalism: the assumption that brain states and their corresponding conscious states can in principle be copied. In this paper I will argue against this assumption by attempting to prove the Unique History Theorem, which states, essentially, that conscious correlations to underlying quantum mechanical measurement events must increase with time and that every conscious state uniquely determines its history from an earlier conscious state.
The idea of the multiverse — or the theoretical possibility of infinite parallel universes–straddles a strange world between science fiction and a plausible hypothesis.
Attempts to exempt speculative theories of the Universe from experimental verification undermine science, argue George Ellis and Joe Silk.
Within Internet forums, members of certain (online) communities discuss matters of concern to the respective groups, with comparatively few social restraints. For radical, extremist, and other ideologically “sensitive” groups and organizations in particular, Internet forums are a very efficient and widely used tool to connect members, inform others about the group’s agenda, and attract new members. Whereas members of such groups may be reluctant to express their opinions in interviews or surveys, we argue that Internet forums can yield an abundance of useful “natural” discursive data for social scientific research. Based on two exemplary studies, we present a practical guide Read More