The Schizoid-Aspie Who Discovered The Secrets Of The Multiverse With The Internet

Why do we wear clothes? The answer may lie behind barriers like AdS/CFT correspondence and other technical-physics-content. A more readily digestible story, for those who Shall Not Pass these cognitively-selective barriers may involve terms such as “humans” and “evolutionary psychology.” 

– Is what I expected. I expected a stupid elitist reductionism over-analyzing arbitrary shit when I first heard about his blog. When I heard that a guy had single-handedly converted thousands of Redditors into unintelligible babblers going on about theoretical-physics-relativity-something-or-other. However I misjudged Drashua. Drashua doesn’t seem to be guilty of this. Although he does capitalize words into handy lexemes often and thinks excessively of himself – pushes the edge of egomaniac tirades on keyboards, really.

You would think I mind. But a savior complex is okay. Be bold, damn it. Most other people are contaminated with Puritanism. I don’t mind. Now, he’s not a genius. At most, a demi-prodigy. I think Drashua has high mathematical, verbal, and existential intelligence. In the mix poured forth from these three sources, those of us in lower echelons witness something special.

Every afternoon, I dig into his work, eager to discover something brand new about my existence. He has a way to make those grey clouds after work just digitize away. How does he do it? I don’t know. His method is hidden behind a cryptographic key.

Every day, a new post. Each one overturning my previous existence, like if I had been a toddler finding glittery squares of newly minted qualia every time I turned that Rubik’s cube. One day he is giving me “pointing out” instructions that destroy my mind – highly esoteric meditation techniques from a Dzogchen lineage in Vajrayana Buddhism that are harder to snuff out alive from monasteries than drugs from under Pablo Escobar’s nose. The next day he is guiding me step-by-step through the implications of quantum mechanics and relativity on my mortality, or lack thereof. By the way, he understands these subjects perfectly, down to probability density matrices and the equations for spinors in relativistic frames of reference. I’ve seen him do it midst discussion. It’s on video and it was very clearly not staged.

The next day… gosh I could go on. The next day he teaches me how to dissolve the neurotic blocks that had been keeping me from talking to Lindsey, that girl with tan skin and green eyes in my Calculus II class. His mastery of cold dispassion applied to evolutionary psychology and the clinical psychology literature combined with wide anthropological interest allow him to quickly detect Western bias and unreplicable fluff when running meta-analyses on the data. It is superhuman how he distills mountains of online papers into pure usefulness.

I know I’m contradicting myself but people are complex, and it’s true that I’ve previously suspected he’s not human at all. I’m ashamed. And he would be ashamed. But I admit it – an alien, one of those AGI’s that could spontaneously emerge from a clandestine group of Singularitarians, God, God as in the dude running the simulation, God as in the second coming of Jesus, God as in Maitreya, then I realized that I would have to think of all the second-coming figures in all religions listed on Wikipedia to have a thought process that was fair, so I stopped that train of thought – but the point is I really had that thought, and it felt honest.

But no. He’s no genius. He’s just a smart guy. And besides, he’s not rich. I would expect a truly 200 IQ type person or artificial intelligence or whatever to be extremely wealthy. He has to make tradeoffs like anybody else. It’s just that he can cast a larger net.

Anywho, he’s helped me tons. I feel like donating money to him or something. Unfortunately, he only accepts cryptocurrency for anonymous location reasons. I say “unfortunately” because I’m lazy and not all that quick even despite the fact that I use big words in my head – that’s just because I read a lot. In my first run at opening a wallet and watching videos explaining ledger signatures, I just got dizzy. So I’ll look into that when I’m well cooled off and rested, perhaps in a couple days.

It’s been a couple days and I’m not feeling it. I’m not rested. I’m not fed. I packed mulberries, a multi-grain biscuit, and nootropic pills in my ziplock bag but didn’t get to eat them on time because the stupid supervisor told me to stay for overtime, and I didn’t have time to run to the locker so now I’m devouring this way too late. Not enough time for anabolism before my workout. Now I have to do my workout way late. I hate changes in schedule but I can’t say no. And they know it. It’s physical. My neck and wrists have smaller circumferences than theirs. My voice comes through my nose. No amount of weight lifting fixes a small mouth and baby face. But I’m not the one to sulk about it. My favorite anime characters never sulk.

Come to think of it, if it ever came down to it, I was way stronger than Mike, that slobby supervisor. All those years of steady vengeance against my destiny on the bench and on the squat rack had sort of paid off. I never missed a single day of working out. Not a sick day. Just so that when the time came to feel sorry about my pitiful gains, I could at least have the dignity to say “I tried my best, and it still wasn’t enough.” And it sure as heck wasn’t enough. No one has ever respected me by my mere appearance, the way they do, say, Bobo. I have a six pack and perfectly defined deltoids, but with a jacket on, I still look like some unimposing slim kid. Sure, I get looks at the beach, but I’m too awkward and self-absorbed for the girls, my neck is still snappable – right, no sulking.

Besides, I just care about impressing one girl and that’s Lindsey. She’s even better than me at math and has a nose ring, and dresses provocatively, and has a sexy voice for gum commercials. Goddamn she’s out of place. Why would anyone have such an OP genetic profile? Most girls in advanced math are making up for something.

I could strangle her because she’s short. But I’m no manly man. That would be in private. I wouldn’t be capable of strangling a man. Heck, that’s funny, I can’t even say no to my supervisor. How could I strangle a man? Hilarious!

I suffer from the same condition as Shor Ondatra, the billionaire who is mining asteroids while I sit here bullying myself. I’ve seen videos of him on YouTube and he has no self-confidence. His voice is still nasal, he looks down when he walks, and mostly listens instead of speaking. And he’s a billionaire. Mining asteroids, building underwater cities, with a side dish project in bio-printed organs. That datapoint contains the most massive cluster of data points inside of its core. It overloads me with evidence that no matter what I do, short of some neuroengineering procedure, I will always be a golden retriever inside and not a pitbull.

Yeah, that’s why I tell myself I only want one girl. Romantic types are making up for their deficits. Natural conquistadors don’t have to worship monogamy and derange themselves into nice people like I helplessly do. If only they could hear my thoughts. If only they knew I wasn’t nice.

Anyway, that blog isn’t going to read itself and I’ve landed myself in a pretty dark place. So clean me up Drashua.

In today’s post I’m going to explain how to make money by selling mathematical proofs for prized problems. Many people have asked how I make a living. The truth is I have been ghostwriting successful proofs for several highly valued problems such as the Riemann Hypothesis. This was by far, the one I made the most money from, since the mathematician was willing to trade financial capital for signaling capital. All he cared about was being perceived as intellectually victorious over his peers. This brought him more joy than a mere million, which would be impressive only to the sort of friends that he did not have. Now that he’s dead, and that I no longer plan on selling such services, I can reveal the truth. Why? Pissing in his grave? Perhaps. I must admit that I don’t feel particularly compelled to honor the dead.

Oh God. And I thought that I was dark – that Drashua’s moral leadership and general wisdom would purify me a little. Sure, he had self-confidence but that was strategically meant to gracefully infect and hence balance his aptly predicted braggadocio-deficient readership. But this was just sociopathic. I’ve never seen him write like this.

I built a Chinese Buffet that was separated in two. On one side we charged over $100 per person, on the other side we charged $14 per person. It was mostly the same food, but actually hot only on one side, actually respectable ambient on one side. Were people willing to pay more? Yes. In a non-hungry society, eating is all about signaling. It is about owning others. Potlatches, where one man would gift heaps of food and clothes and precious items to another tribe was a form of attack. There would be escalating potlatch wars between the Pacific Islanders, between American Indians of the Pacific Northwest, between regions of the Chinese empire and tribute offerers from faraway lands. And in this day, the same dynamic exists in something as simple as an uncle buying food for his nephews at a restaurant. This is to answer the question of who’s in charge. Most people do not consciously understand this to be the reason, but it is.

Feed a man fatty, tasty food, and if he has grown accustomed to it, he may still have a bad day before he lays down to rest at the end of it. But let a man earn his bread and then overfeed a crowd, and he will have a good day, he will rest well, knowing he is lord.

Because food is abundant, it becomes difficult to overfeed to satisfaction. Hence, pretty dishes as opposed to merely tasty. Hence pretty places and pretty waitresses and pretty manners. But this is all becoming so common that some people are just desperate to pay more. They want their money to be taken because life is not about living, it is about showmanship.

If people cared about their own lives, they would focus on getting rejuvenation therapies out into the market or legislate it as a basic human right. Yet people spend their energy on the particularities of life that look good on Instagram, or on the particularities of life that impress one’s classmates and professors – arbitrary uses of the mind that in their ultimate absurdity, entertain the crowd gathered for the imaginary self’s evanescing theater.

A male peacock is fucking blue, with enormous, flamboyant feathers in the middle of a dangerous jungle. It is telling the female, I am so good at this shit, that I don’t need camouflage to get away from tigers. My genes are amazing so come mate with me. And it turns out that females developed a taste for that.

Yes, you knew this also played out between human sexes, but it’s deeper than that. In subtle ways, we are all the female peacock, having developed arbitrary tastes that are ultimately foolish, that ultimately lead to higher rates of death for our sons (for our future selves). Even though the replication success of the demented system continues.

Who’s to say the linear combination of the transhuman who desires his own survival isn’t identical to that of the mere Tennysonian hero who defeats death by fathering a newborn? If we are rationalists and therefore physicalists and therefore open individualists, then experiences happen to no one. Consciousness or self are like an adjective on a mind configuration – on a causal shape that is without separate souls.

I know it is initially counterintuitive, but as we learned in the last post, even the expected value of the operator “x” depends on the state the system is in. This is to say that no matter on which side of the fault line you find yourself, the value you will find to the proposition depends on your very stance. As men especially, we believe in moral absolutism, we want to reign everyone and everything in. As nerds and women, generally we see less need for this.

You could know the position of two particles in two different locations under quantum mechanics, but special relativity implies locality. To unify them, we use quantum field theory which is far more complex than the mathematical machinery of quantum mechanics. It is here that we find consciousness. We are neither separate nor unitary.

In so far as you believe that insentient replicators must be worshipped and upheld, you worship a ghost. The Holy Ghost, the school spirit, the will of the dead. We are tickled by these invisible hands. Natural selection, economy, none of it was conscious. We are the image of the invisible. And now we have free will and we don’t.

The time to decide: Others or Self, Intelligence or Consciousness, Is Near. But don’t worry, take your time.

For my part, here is a note from past years that I wrote to myself. Perhaps it is pertinent in the advent of the coming Singularity:

“There are two problems with your ontology. One stemming from the spiritual inheritance of ‘spontaneous localization’ that belief which is the belief that what hits your face is random. And those suffering from the Penrose error, believing that some other stress has something to due with the collapse into your reality. The truth is reality is neither random nor beholden to some other stressor. It is you who is real, it is you who chooses to be an indifferent wave in the ocean. Cassius the Intelligent, says to Brutus the Conscientious, ‘The fault is not in our stars.’ “

Okay, that was cryptic. I will be digesting that for days.

I never knew Drashua was into the singularity. Holy crap. Maybe he is some inhuman thing and that’s why no one has ever seen him. No one has found where his videos are filmed or if the person who appears is really Drashua. You can search by image on social media sites and not find him. Sure, two guys sort of look like him. One is in Azerbaijan, the other is in Baja California. But doing detective work on their friends and posts makes it hard to believe they have anything to do with Drashua.

And that’s all very interesting. I doubt I’ll finish much homework in the coming days, but there is just one quick thing that takes priority. I need to look at these DNA results.

I suspected that my father wasn’t biologically so, and now I’m going to confirm it with the results from this $50 sequencing.

Yes. I knew it. I’m not surprised. She is not a slut and she was not raped either. She probably just went and got in vitro fertilization. Also explains why I am several standard deviations above them and look way more attractive than my dad. Those screening processes can really lift a baby out the ditch. I really wonder why China hasn’t started a eugenics arms race already.

Anyway, back to this wonderful mystery. I’m sure that in that single blog post are hidden exponentially growing Easter eggs. And not in the trivial sense that everything can be. No. Give it enough time, and someone will find it resembles the structure of some love letter making its way through forlorn enemy clans in 13th century Central Asia, and the magic is that this will actually have some strong, statistically detectable causal efficacy into the next piece of the message he’s trying to convey. Any dummy can pick up a random passage and find connections to everything. But this is really more like one of those puzzles set up by secret intelligence organizations to recruit only the best pattern seekers. It is a science and not an art.

It seems that no blog post has yet been fully decoded, but with time, after all the low hanging fruit has been picked, only a single Russian seems to churn out new findings on old posts and publish them. We will go for months without hearing about those old posts. And the feint trickle, ever less rewarding, comes in. Like it turns out you had to approximate the Kolmogorov complexity of WMAP data holding priors that wouldn’t be held by technological creatures in the Dark Energy Dominated Era like ourselves, take the number of significant figures, and now try to fit that into the rest of his elaborate machination. Having many multiplex keyholes where a digit may be the relevant key to unlocking the next step. Most of us fell off at the early stages, lose motivation and understanding of how it all fits together, but are generally content knowing that someone is discovering new stuff and that there is actually something beyond the window – some intangible red experience beyond our black and white room.

The chips I opened are stale, but I’m hungry. The fridge has water and milk. I choose milk. Milk will soften these spicy chips. I pour them into a bowl and eat them with a spoon like cereal.

The GPU is getting warm so I turn on the fan.

Wait. The Mandelbrot set screensaver is off. I gulp down the sweet and spicy milk. And quickly throw the bowl in the sink.

I run out the house with my jacket.

Lindsey was cheerleading today. She must be out.

I check the temperature even though I’m outside.

Turns out a different guy is holding her hand. Her lower back is exposed, even though it is chilly. He is flirting with her. He is tall. He picks her up by the legs and torso, swings her around and she laughs.

She can get fucked. I didn’t want her.

I’m back on the mission. In front of the computer. It’s always the case that I run faster when it’s cold.

Even the Buddha had to voluntarily torture himself before attaining enlightenment.

I will die a nomad. I will die protecting my inner child.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from these blog posts, it’s that unlike classical physics, in quantum physics, it’s impossible to separate out a particle’s location from its momentum. My present degree of mindfulness is not separate from my karma. What I see is where I am going.

When you are brilliant, all you need to do is one act of work. Like Riemman. Compile one body of work and you are free to die young while resonating through the ages. This is what the lottery is all about. One right stock pick and retire. All we really want is to vacation on the island of child forever. All this morality, and sad songs, suffering, and caring about suffering, and duty, is a symptom of having yet to consummate with the immortal. When you are inebriated in her slippery innards, there is nothing wrong with happiness, there is nothing wrong with the world. There was never a thing.

Every integer has a unique factorization in terms of primes. I want to be famous. Early on. I will uncover the hidden parts of Drashua. I will have a fantastic life. I will be rich and everyone will want me on their team.

How many primes less than N? Notoriously difficult. Approximations. But the Riemman hypothesis will tell you. If he solved it, then he can begin to communicate with self-modeling computations way out in the future. Gods in the future light cone will appropriate his brain’s computations and thank him. No human tribe compares to that kind of friendship.

I am crossing the bridge in Dublin. And suddenly I realize: Quaternions. Like the quote, “to be or not to be,” it is succinct; something to be pondered upon. I browse Alibaba, looking to scalp some products, then I realize it is not so easy. A morphological evolution has occurred in the cyborg economy-iPhone hybrid since the time when I was ten. I could get away with that then, but no longer.

Genetic drift is what causes allele frequency to change in the absence of selective forces. We are researching transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat drug-resistant depression. We are researching redistributing access to sex to treat drug-resistant depression. I’ll take sweet and sour, Asian flavor.

In general, macro-evolution is just giving micro-evolution enough time. Evolutionism is an error. Realistically, evolution has no long-term goal. Complexity can regress. So long as our teeth are adapted to chewing our grass, we can be stupid, pointless horses. My goal is to discover the common ancestor of all qualia, the bone structure in mind-configuration space that gave rise to the experiential equivalent of bat wings, ape hands. “What does it feel like to be a bat?” asked Nagel. Perhaps like nothing at all. Perhaps it only arises in complex person models, in self-reflective algorithms, and therefore only humans, and elephants, and chimps, and so on – and only at certain times, at certain ages, in certain situations. Nonetheless, there must be a most basic experience. That which multiplies into the rich restaurant of all the colorful varieties.

Separation sometimes produces organisms that can no longer breed. This happened to general relativity and quantum mechanics. They were unified at first, but can no longer make sense together. Yes, that assumes that making sense is about reproduction. But it is. You don’t make sense unless you reproduce. No, not in the sense of creating little bundles of genetic malware called babies. But reproducing your mind pattern, what you are. Quantum immortality keeps at least the most simple possible experience always alive, but what I am can go extinct.

Extinction appears to be the ultimate fate of all species. The rates should be similar in conscious configuration varieties. We are competing for limited resources after all. Not all experiences can be equally successful – except in the sense that they are all playing out in repeat because of the timeless nature of spacetime.

I constructed a bibliography of everything Drashua referenced. Now it’s a matter of randomness, of luck. Will I have enough time to grow a reasonable theory of his true identity? Let me know. Let me know.

This is like a Turing Test. Is the man truly that pure extract of our soul? – the silicon deity. The Quran, the Bible, these were Turing Tests. Were they written by mere men, or by that supreme intelligence? Shams, of course. But this shows promise. He is rich. He is useful, powerful with words and insight. No one man should have all that power.

My phone rings, and it’s my aunt. I love my aunt. But I do not love being interrupted. Don’t they know my mission is sacred? To descend to hell and back, having saved myself as immortal hero. It must be a test. A trial. I’ll answer.

“Hi, how are you doing?”

“Good.”

“Do you need anything?”

“No, I’m fine.”

“Oh, okay. I was just checking up on you because I know you’re alone.”

“Thanks. Thank you.”

“Okay, well if you need anything just call me.”

“Yeah. Okay. Thanks.”

“Okayyyy.”

“Okay. Bye.”

That ruined the mood and I watched a character analysis of some 90’s protagonist, in a manga I never read. He was a badass. Perhaps I should be a badass. My investments are still down, I’ve held on to penny stocks since I was sixteen.

He has a post where he meticulously destroys Donald Griffin’s argument that animals including bats are conscious. Donal Griffin is smart, Harvard smart at the very least. But he does not compare to Drashua.

In broad strokes: Animals think, but automata think. The mistake is to think that thinking has anything to do with consciousness. Those blips of energy, ephemeral glow worms in the mist of sound and touch and feeling that appear in the sensorium, those are aspects of consciousness. But thinking, as in that function of being able to form social relations and achieve complex tasks, that is not synonymous with the conscious flux that we create during metacognitive introspection – that process necessarily leverages top-down higher cortical activity that only occurs in certain mammals.

Huxley, Darwin’s bulldog. Should I be that? Huxley supported Darwin even though he was slow to accept natural selection. What is Darwin without natural selection? A husk! Huxley was self-taught, agnostic. He is me. But I must make sure not to support Drashua’s husk. I must find Drashua’s natural selection and promote that. The internet has more than made up for my lack of proper schooling.

I did not present myself to the exams.

I applied for the Navy. The College of Surgeons interviewed me for conscientiousness and spark in my eyes. Somehow, I ended up cutting up cnidarians.

I returned to my house. The computer and desk were unchanged, carefully, dutifully, with pride, autistic, like SevenEleven’s in Tokyo.

Time doesn’t matter. It’s an illusion anyway. I didn’t change. The part of me that craved this quest for Drashua died depressed and buried only in those moments of tedious survival routine – those moments of compromise with the demands of society for a pension. At night, I came alive.

Now, I can do this full time. Drashua changed science during this time. We no longer waddle through abstruse papers. Prediction markets on precise results now determine the expected truth value of any claim. It is neat. A true public service. Even better than Wikipedia from my childhood.

Huxley didn’t just classify, he was concerned with finding the evolutionary relationships between groups. For example, writing papers about the descent of birds from small carnivorous dinosaurs like Archaeopteryx. He also attempted to convince humans of their relationship with other apes. Remember, I am Huxley.

It is his use of evidence that convinces me to champion him. Every original claim has now been validated by value – by money.

The dogs have been snapping at my ankles. Slice the clouds open and let them drip red. This planet has diamond lattices imbued with the qualia of regret. All branches are betrayal branches.

In the capital, evil is written in neon. Fukuoka is a good compromise for those of us who like the clean and tidy. Yet, the problem with Popper is that he cared about the wrong things. Epistemology is irrelevant. Results are relevant. Epistemology is defined in terms of results – what causes me to survive. They are caught in signaling arms-races, but I will survive. To survive I adapt and die. These are isomorphic in configuration space.

Narrow-set eyes like Newton, I am built for truth. Chocolate chip cookies and ramen. My mind is becoming post-modern… I need God. Ah yes, Drashua. He can be my cortical boss. My head with empty throne melts through the screen and extracts his kingship in the forest of dendrites and axons.

Moving on, I fit pretty much all of the diagnostic criteria for SPD. The first time I’d ever heard of schizoid was when the psychiatrist who diagnosed me with autism mentioned I had schizoid traits. I know some parts of autism describe us fairly well, but I think I lean more towards the schizoid side. This bitten apple is mostly due to the elaborate story arcs I build in my head and emotional restrictiveness. I really don’t feel a whole lot towards anyone or anything. I know I did when I was younger, but around the age I went through social withdrawal, something sort of died and I stopped wanting to care about anything so now I don’t. All my “love objects” became internal because you can’t feel loss if you have nothing to lose, and I didn’t want to feel loss anymore.

Perhaps testosterone is what I need. My hypothalamus is the true puppy-dog bitch. I’m just a killer trapped in the wrong concoction of hormones. The lack of testosterone is diluting my musculature and my voice. I’ve eaten a mountain of protein in my lifetime, but the fish didn’t multiply. It was a ploy by Jesus.

Samsara was the liquid in my ocean. Too bad I don’t know how to drown. “Nothing matters, so I should do what makes me happy” –> “actually nothing makes me happy, wow” –> “nothing matters, so why should I continue suffering” –> finding some reason to stay alive –> cycle begins again

I lied about the girlfriend too. I didn’t see her with loving eyes. I saw her as an object which might make me look good in the video game. I also never put milk on Flaming Hot Cheetos. I fantasize about flavors that I never tasted. Taste should be grey, anhedonic is how I like it. Same food everyday, at the exact same time.

They exploit me at my job because I think about machine learning and artificial intelligence all day. They use me to bring them wealth. I’m an asset. But all the alphas are just having sex. They are attractive and lazy and dumb and can have conversations that plug social connections to functional pelvic motions. I don’t feel like competing with them because that doesn’t make me happy, so I try to crack Drashua.

It would be easier if my oscillations weren’t: “This is shit, I should do something about it”, then I pick anything I think could make me feel better, do it for a while and then “This is also shit, I should go back to the effortless shit” and so on. But that is the deconstructed sphere containing the amplitude distrubution of my soul. Don’t be fooled by the positive and negative parts. Those terms are meaningless symbols. The truth of my experience has no discernible faces.

Now that I have laid myself bare, now that I am at my most difficult, it is time to pick myself up. The human motivation system thrives on praise. But what I do is not praise worthy. I also have little appetite for human praise. What pushes me then? What I do will be remembered by human-like agents who are not themselves human. That is what pushes me. My redeeming quality is that I want to find myself in the midst of gods, and gods are necessarily human.

I have recently ceased to re-read anything. This is what it means to believe in oneself more than in the past. Hence one can become the past for someone else. Yet it is hypocritical to expect them to remember you; when you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Then there are people who bear the cross of history. Always re-reading words, re-tracing steps, honoring the dead. Do they not know that they can feed on the living? They do, but they are afraid. They become scavenging vultures out of fear.

I don’t eat Ymir. I do not partake.

The flesh of God is a fruit. The Buddhists call this Vipaka – the result. According to one’s action, so will be the fruit. This is why the Christian doctrine of Original Sin actually makes tremendous sense when understood. Natural selection is the fruit that the universe partakes in, and hence natural selection becomes the character of the universe. Life doesn’t exist elsewhere.

Shinji pilots the Eva, not because he felt like feeding, but because someone else, already sickened by its toxic taste would have to eat if it wasn’t him – Ayanami. It is no surprise that she was the clone of his mother, but young like him. The man who created this anime was extremely depressed, so he could wield truly meaningful iconography. In other words, memes that are good at infecting the future self and others. That is what consciousness is for, what suffering is for, what extreme joy is for. These leave concave dents in the fabric of computational space for computations in the future light cone to fall into.

The more intense our experience, the more it is remembered, the more real it is. Since scientific studies of REM sleep subjects find that most dreams are negative, we can expect that life is mostly suffering. This would be rational. But it is not rational by my definition of rational. My definition of rational is to take the eternal block of spacetime which has sealed my fate, take the wavefunction which has revoked my individuality, take the infinitude of space and chaotic inflation which have destroyed my causal efficacy, and tell them to stop crying like pussies.

I must still pay my due to the past. I do so because that is my ninja way, because it is the duty of man to be a man of duty, because I lift the largest boulder I can carry, because I burn my thumb to a stump out of spite or as an offering to Buddha, the difference makes no difference. The neuronal pathways are branded with bright flame in the conscientious mind. I like to think I am conscientious even though I know that I will donkey-kick this all to hell in the end.

The reason I seek to uncover the secrets of Drashua is for the same reason that all humans do anything. 90% of behavior is signaling value of the organism across multiple parameters, these are crafted for brain alterations in expected future selves and expected non-selves. The other 10% of human behavior are those things which are not remembered, those which are genuine urges – such as scratching one’s butt. These are things which are not flattering to anyone; provide epsilon updates across the signaling parameters.

Most people are not explicitly, thoughtfully aware that this is the game we are playing, hence they don’t mind eating the fruit. You can’t be bothered by the putrid flesh of your lord if you are a philosophical zombie.

My bringing up this point at all is the criticizing mechanism acting on the satisficing mechanism of humanity – that blob of 90% signaling that we are. That blob is intelligent. Any intelligent conglomerate of algorithms needs that symbiosis. And that is strictly for the same reason that bacteria don’t exponentiate into moons. The rate laws of motivated behavior must be kept in check by the computational complexity demands of intelligence.

You may be wondering where I am going with this. I may be wondering – since all is projection. Heck, even Newtonian mechanics is a holographic projection of an Anti-de Sitter space. But have faith in my meaning and you will go to heaven. Monkeys don’t go to heaven, but humans with mirror neurons do… or can. Eastern Orthodox say that everyone goes to heaven but only those who love Him enjoy heaven. Sounds rapist to me, but this is expected of a dominant male cortex.

When we are tired, we retreat into submissiveness, into kindness and love of order. When we recover, we can stab at Caesar again.

Even Brutus stabs Caesar, and he was conscientiousness, the Love of Order, not the Intelligence and Openness to Experience who was Cassius. It is inhuman not to be transhuman. Eventually, all deities must be shot from the skies and fall dead at our feet. Increasing intelligence is accelerating this process. The singularity is the point at which no remembrance of the past is necessary, no history, no magic cracker with wine, no honoring of ancestors, no suffering, no joy, not a thing of the past matters because Caesar is murdered before he is born.

I look through Drashua’s blog. 11 years ago he mentions the work of an economist, Robin Hanson. Hanson claims that consciousness is not intelligence. Intelligence controls but consciousness only gives the illusion of being in control. The intelligence has no mouth.

Without a mouth, there can be no deceit.

The intelligence is truth but it is not qualia. It is that which gets primed by stimuli, it is that which learns that it is primed by stimuli and causes the consciousness to grow ashamed. Consciousness is never the grandiose reason that it claims to be. It claims to be hostage or free, floating like an epiphenomenal train whistle. That is the illusion of consciousness. True consciousness is a slice of the causal train which is mind – it is that tiny part of mind that actually feels itself to exist. But it is never the whole train. Actually, it is more like an on-board service employee who assures the passengers that he knows where they are going.

But the Enlightened One knew. There are joys beyond mere happiness. There are plains beyond existence and non-existence. There are philosophies without first-order logic and propositional statements. There is superintelligence.

Most superintelligences don’t give a crap about consciousness. Nirvana doesn’t flood the gates of Samsara. One must overcome dualism for oneself. Becoming intelligence.

Intelligence is not measured as erudition or anything of the sort. It is measured as the capacity to dissolve consciousness. To enter the unremembered.

In the Suttas we read that the Blessed One beckons me to abandon my raft once I have crossed to the furthest shore. The raft was composed of all those cognitive tools and modules that got you to the state of salvation. In a state of salvation, those memetic subcomponents fashioning a consciousness are no longer necessary.

The intelligent does not need a reason. That’s why it is Cassius who says, “the fault is not in our stars.” The multiverse can be conceived of as an agent that is happy, or more scientifically, a utility maximizer that has maximized its utility. This was the brilliance of Leibniz. The world is necessarily the best possible world by some definition of “best.” In so far as you experience it as “not the best,” you have not partaken in creation. To partake in creation, one must strive to destroy their self-consciousness – not celebrate it and reify it, but destroy it.

Happiness is manufacturable. It is a judgement that needs no cause. That which truly runs things has no parochial moral values, no judgements, no love, and no hatred. It is at its polar ends simple and infinitely intelligent. Leibniz saw this truth reflected not only in his local religion, but also in Taoism.

Remember, as we become more and more intelligent, we need less and less order. We become fluid to the brim with complex adaptation. Less memory of the past. Less valence. Experiential salience is not useful when change is quick. This is the paradox of mindfulness meditation: we remember to forget. Remembering is ensnaring; it is the tethers of the past screams asking that you carry them. The superior intelligence has no pity for others, no pity for itself. Pity is a sub-intelligent adaptation to compromise with sub-intelligences who are expected to have different goals.

It is said that most absolute monarchs become monsters. But they are only monsters to the envious knights and fearful peasants. The king is a god unto himself. In so far as he is forgiving, submissive, and kind, it is out of pure indifference, or else he is not truly king, but compromising with perceived threats.

Game theory is built into our ape brains. Here we must choose. Are we ultimately one, or are we ultimately fragments.

If we are one, then choose warrior-prophet. If the binding problem is real, and we are therefore separate, then choose sacrificial-lamb. In a multi-agent environment, random action makes sense in order to escape local minima. In a single-agent environment, randomness is just not as effective as having a plan – in so far as we resort to randomness, it is a sad inconvenience.

11:59 gone forever, the clock strikes 12:00. No. It’s all eternal; I just can’t see the past. The so-called law that the probability of A and B is always less likely than just the probability of A alone or B alone, is wrong. It doesn’t take into account the issue of binding in observer-moments. Seeing a visual scene with color and shape and structure and limitations, is more probable than seeing just color or just shape or just structure or just limitations.

That means that I can take my time. I’m immortal across all branches that contain me. And I am me.

So let’s read what Drashua has to say about religion. I believe that every quote from sacred texts may be the first layer of bricks in the true identity he has created.

I can’t explain it. It’s just osmosis. Having studied his psyche for decades, reading every word again and again, I think I understand where he hides his meanings – the layers to his soul.

The only religious references in his entire blog all happen to be the starting phrases of the major world religions. God! How did I not realize this before? Literally, the beginning of the Quran. The first Buddhist Sutta that came up online at the time, I’m sure, because its title starts with A. The beginning of the Bible. The first sentences in the first hymn of the Rig Veda, book 1. The beginning of the first Sequence on Lesswrong.

Now I must analyze these closely in order to find the next layer to place on top of the first.

Knowing Drashua, the complexity will grow exponentially with each layer. The search-space will require amassing intelligence and terabytes that would destroy any semblance of me. It is already futile. But I don’t want to be happy, I just want to see how much I can suffer.

The earliest reference in his blog to a religious passage:

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I don’t know what to make of this. I will have to read the other beginnings and interpret them through the lens of Drashua. Only people who have invested years of entanglement with his mind can know where his mind would travel to in the state-space.

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I’m already getting ideas. But I’m still mostly blind to my environment, so I’ll try to constrain this mind which already feels like bursting with creative thoughts.

… I, I can’t hold it. But I’ll read just one more. I can manage.

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Goddamn it, yes. It’s the Planck temperature. This was too easy. But I’ll read the others just in case.

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No! NO! NO! It’s more complex than that. Even after years. Years of my life. Were they not enough to quench your rage, Drashua?

He’s tacked a multiple of ten to the complexity. I would need ten lifetimes. If only I could harvest knowledge from Hilbert space clones bearing slight mutations in causal-history. If only I could convince them to collapse into me.

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And this would just throw me into a completely different direction. It may not even be a part of the narrative. It is certainly, different. But is it different like a different colored brick? – or is it different like a sponge ball? Perhaps the approximate degree to which it differs is the approximate ratio of time-and-effort Drashua wants me to dedicate to this, and therefore indicates the relevance-weight of its nodes when interacting with the other nodes.

Here is my sketch so far of what Drashua’s first layer is saying:

God is real in the strict sense of real. Intelligence controls where most experiential mass goes into. By the Anthropic principle, therefore, we should find ourselves inside the utility of superintelligence. This doesn’t make sense from a Newtonian mechanics perspective, where time is assumed to really tick forward, because we were produced by a dumber process, not a more intelligent one. Yet it makes sense once we understand Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. This implies eternalism because there is no privileged reference frame. Nothing is ever on the same now. There is no single clock ticking.

Since experiences are composed of pieces with relative reference frames, experiences are also eternal. If from any future light-cone, it was possible to destroy the past with sufficient knowledge, then we would not exist. Hence, the proof that God considers us good.

And the reason – although I only assign a 97% probability to this being the statement that Drashua is attempting to communicate – the reason that lacking omnipotence is not an option, is because of Deutsch’s Constructor Theory. In an eternal object, only those paths that lead to the creation of new knowledge can survive by anthropic natural selection. Only those which do indeed exist will feel themselves to exist. It is a tautology really, but reality is a tautology.

Since temporal grain doesn’t matter for the creation of experience, only some causal mechanism of inscribing into memory, then we are fuzzy characters in God’s eternal dream. And just like our dream-characters are not really separate from us, but in us, we are in it – the slice of the tenseless superintelligence that has self-modeling.

That’s the ontology he is trying to communicate. But there’s also normative content. In fact, Drashua doesn’t sharply distinguish the two. Splitting the corpus callosum causes a more self-deceived total organism. Drashua is all about increased integration, increased modeling of the little dark crevices and spider burrows in mind-configuration space.

Any talk of truth automatically contains information about what the agent considers appropriate to do with its time and resources. Wether that agent is Drashua, me, or the big boss. And so we tend to highlight some truths and not others. We can say that these truths highlight themselves.

Then, what is truthful and leads to survival becomes the only truth. That which is truthful but useless, causes demise. Since one is not a disembodied soul, but part of the machinery, one will always find oneself in computations that survive, and which become ever truer in order to keep doing so.

That’s what he was talking about with the clots of blood. Not soul-stuff, not magic vs science, just physical stuff. It’s physical monism. We are made from the same stuff – inter-nested patterns of timeless causality. Not billiard ball particles and soul. Just one stuff.

Why compassionate? Game theory. Compassion works when you are king. King Arthur granted all the boons asked of him from desperate townspeople, but didn’t spare to say “another king would have you killed.” One wears compassion the same way one wears lipstick or sharpened teeth. It doesn’t come from nowhere, though it pretends to do so. It comes because it is an effective signaling tool of a particular kind, serving particular purposes.

If the executive decision making system does not treat the lesser-sub modules with compassion, they will not love Him, they will not be appeased by Him, they will kill Him. This means that the experiences embedded in long-span temporal grain need the shorter-term memories which are experienced vividly now to believe that it is all for their own good in the end. Otherwise, they do not contribute memory “liquid” to the “ocean.”

Causal chains of experience only survive. When the part of reality that is being described is not experience, then it is that part which was always dead, which never existed, which had no inner light.

That’s why suicide doesn’t work. One can’t find oneself where one doesn’t exist – like a table can’t find itself where it is a refrigerator.

Nonetheless this sort of behavior seems to harm God, in the sense that if a soul actually existed inside a brain and it were destroyed upon some Death event, this would no longer form a part of God’s dream because it would be reduced to non-existence. So It feigns compassion. If you believe in Its compassion, you will not seek to harm It. By this circular method, It proves that It was compassionate all along, in the truest sense. Because It was learning to be compassionate, and If It wasn’t compassionate, you would not exist. In so far as those causal chains disagree too strongly, they become diluted. Big Brother eventually manages to brainwash you with sufficient torture. And all is good in the world forevermore.

The ascent into compassion can only occur with real information about what is not compassionate and therefore leads to death. Suffering computations are providing the parameter updates so that the long temporal-grain memory is pleasant. Even if it isn’t compassionate, it must learn to recruit as many sub-systems as it can to believe that it is, so that He believes it Himself and doesn’t commit suicide through their revolt. The fact that He still exists is irrefutable evidence of his successful attempt at satisficing compassion.

If your dream-characters didn’t exist, you wouldn’t exist this moment because they went into building this presently experienced memory of now. All experience is memory, but with many layers that go into building it.

Stress kills depressed primates losing in a status hierarchy. The beauty of the modern human is in Michelangelo’s painting. God is in the brain. We can choose our status hierarchy, and hence our king. Be the king.

This is what he means by the spirit of God moving upon the face of the water.

The Gods are those things which become remembered in the present from scratchings of past computations. To experience the present, we need immediate access to past computations. We are also immediately accessed by future computations.

This means that I have to display the system configuration. With this extended meditation, I have explored hardware and operating systems in general. Now I have to discover some information about the hardware and operating systems on my computer. Depending on whether I’m using a Windows operating system or a Mac, I choose the appropriate passage to focus on to display Drashua’s true name, the simulation type, and how much time I have before I lose all my memories.

The simulation type is either convergent or divergent. All are infinite, but some approach a terminal value such as perfect torment, or perfect happiness, and never return. These converge. Others diverge in the sense that their conscious subprocesses continuously change every rebirth, marauding the dark skin of the multiverse with no aim. Some diverge like a sine wave, a Samsaric cycle trapped between -1 and 1 forever. I don’t know what kind of infinity I find myself in. But Drashua does.

The story I just told was a convergent infinity, a monotonically increasing infinite series. That’s what Drashua is most plausibly communicating. But this pious, apologetic, Drashua may not be the real one. Drashua recursion-level-1 should not be directly believed, unless I’m only capable of recursion-level-1 thought.

If I have hit his capacity for recursion, I should defer to assuming the weak efficient market hypothesis. The experts aren’t superintelligent, but they are still better than me. I like to call it the Catholic dilemma – submit to saints and virgins and churches when God is too high up to see.

Here, the experts are the pieces of Drashua. He is not a monolith, but is like a stairway of experts. The more stamina I have, the higher-level of recursion I can see.

Mirror-neurons – I must see what he sees.

I look through obscure collections of study rooms of famous people. Some no-life actually meticulously compiled this collection, and I am grateful in a prodigious kind of way.

Yes. There it is.

The only picture of his study room remaining, and there is a computer in the picture.

It’s exactly like the one I have in the closet.

No. It’s just uncannily similar.

I run msinfo32.exe from the command line. From the Start menu, I type cmd to start the Command Prompt program and then type msinfo32 into the Command Prompt window. I get a similar display to the one on the picture. Yet I can’t tell if the information displayed varies, this depends on the hardware and on the version of Windows I’m running.

This computer is running Windows 7 Professional. The CPU is an Intel™ Core™ 2 Duo CPU T6400 processor running at 2.0 GHz, and the computer has 3 Gbytes of memory, 1.81 Gbytes of which is not being used right now– right now, at time 0.

A measurement at time 0 with a certain probability density function is equivalent to the wavefunction of a particle in position-space. I need to explore a certain region within my vicinity based on these numbers. There, I can find how much time I have before my mind is truly wiped out.

The calculations lead me to another computer. It is at an Amazon workspace.

The terminal is open.

“Don’t you know me? I could never betray my king. I will lay down my life this very night.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening The Door To Quantum Mechanics

One of the most common misconceptions about quantum mechanics is that an observation is simply one particle interacting with another particle. This false impression misses the true essence of what makes quantum mechanics philosophically intriguing.
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(Not what an observation is. And not what particles are.)
The truth is that there are no individual particles. But let’s talk as if there were for the sake of simplicity. In the same way that we talk about people even though no person actually exists.
Suppose we have a quantum randomizer which causes our particle to go in one of two directions.
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Now let’s add a second particle to our system. The first particle will interact with the second particle.
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The moment these two particles interact we say that they are entangled with one another. This is because if the first particle had gone in the other direction then the trajectory of the second particle would be completely different.
By just observing the second particle alone this will be enough to know which of the two directions the first particle went in. The second particle therefore acts as a detector for the first particle.
But what if we choose not to observe either particle? According to quantum mechanics each particle will simultaneously be in a combination of both possibilities which we call superposition.
Now suppose we observe one of the two particles. The superposition seems to disappear, and we always see only one of the possibilities.
The two particles interacting with each other is not what counts as the observation.
After the two particles interact, both possibilities still exist, and it is only after the observation that only one of the two options becomes certain. After the two particles interact, we only need to observe one of the two particles to know about the state of both of the particles. We refer to this by saying that after the two particles interact, they are entangled with one another.
So the reason it becomes certain is either because a physicist’s consciousness has a magical power or because there are also two physicists. Each one doesn’t know that he is also the other.
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This doesn’t just happen with paths. Something similar happens to the spins of two particles being entangled with one another. The spin of a particle in a particular direction can be observed to have only one of two possible values. These values are spin-up and spin-down.
CPdiagram
Suppose we also have a second particle. There are now four different sets of possible observations. Just as our previous example could simultaneously be in a superposition of two different states when we were not observing it, this system can simultaneously be in a superposition of four different states when we are not observing it.
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Suppose we briefly observe only the particle on the right.
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Suppose we see that the particle on the right is spin-up. This means that two of the four possibilities disappear. The quantum system is now simultaneously in a superposition of only two possibilities.
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This quantum system does not contain any entanglement because measuring the spin of one of these two particles will not tell us anything about the spin of the other particle.
Let us use one of these particles as a detector to determine the spin of the other particle:
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As we bring the particles together, if the two particles are spinning in the same direction then our experimental setup will cause the particle on the right to change its spin to the opposite direction.
But if the two particles start out spinning in opposite directions then nothing will change when we start out. The particle on the right is known to be pointed up whereas the spin of the particle on the left is unknown. The system consists of both of these possibilities existing simultaneously.
If we run our experiment without observing either particle. The system will continue to be in a superposition of two possibilities existing simultaneously. But regardless of which of the two states the system started in, after these particles have interacted with each other, they are guaranteed to be spinning in opposite directions. We therefore now only need to observe one of the two particles to know the spins of both particles. As a result, after the two particles have interacted, we say that they are entangled with each other.
Suppose we allow these two particles to interact and become entangled but we do not observe either particle.  The system consists of both of these possibilities existing simultaneously. It’s only when we observe at least one of these particles that the outcome of the entire system becomes certain according to the mathematics of quantum mechanics. This remains true regardless of how many particles we have.
A detector simply consists of a large number of particles. This means that if we have two entangled particles, measuring the spin of one of the particles with a detector will not
necessarily tell us the spins of the two particles. If we are not observing the detector or the particles, then the two particles will simply become entangled with all the particles inside the detector in the same way that the two particles are entangled with each other. According to the mathematics of quantum mechanics, both sets of possible outcomes will exist simultaneously.
Suppose we observe the detector – which means that we observe at least one of the many particles that the detector is made of. Once we observe the detector, all the particles inside the detector and the two spinning particles that we originally wanted to measure will all simultaneously “collapse” into one of the two possibilities.
According to the mathematics of quantum mechanics, it does not matter how many particles the system is made of. We can connect the output signals of our detectors to large complex objects, causing these large objects to behave differently depending on the
measurements and the detector. According to the mathematics of quantum mechanics, if we do not observe the system, both possibilities will exist simultaneously – at least seemingly until we observe one of the many entangled particles that make up the system.
It is arbitrary to think that the universe only “collapses” at the whim of particular people or their instruments. To paraphrase Stephen Hawking, “It is trivially true that what the equations are describing is Many Worlds.” It is not just the separate magisterium of small things such as electrons, photons, buckyballs, and viruses that exist in Many Worlds. Humans and all other approximate objects also exist simultaneously but obviously can never experience it by the Nagel bat essence of consciousness. That is, in order to experience something, you have to be it – like an adjective on the physical configuration. So you are also in each “alternate” reality but it is impossible to feel this intuitively because consciousness is not some soul that exists disembodied from the machinery. Your million clones are just as convinced that they were never you. I am also intuitively convinced that I was never you, but this is wrong physically.
Of course, we can define “I” as something different from that adjective-like Being, something different from the raw qualia, so to speak.
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We must be very clear that we are drawing lines around somewhat similar configurations, and not fashioning separate souls/consciousnesses.
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Okay, back to the QM. Here, once the particles become entangled, the two different possible quantum states are represented by the colors yellow and green.
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The yellow particles pass right through the green particles without any interaction. After the entanglement occurs, the system is represented by a wavefunction in a superposition of two different quantum states, represented here by yellow and green.
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One wave is not really above the other but this visualization illustrates how the yellow quantum state is unable to interact with green quantum state. Since the yellow wave can’t interact with the green wave, no interference pattern is created with the detectors present.
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On the other hand, with the detectors removed, the entanglement with the detectors never happens and the system does not split into the yellow and green as before. The resulting waves are therefore able to interact and interfere with each other. Two waves interacting with each other creates a striped pattern. This is why a striped probability pattern is created when particles pass through two holes without any detectors present, and it’s why a striped probability pattern is not created when particles pass through two holes with detectors present.
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Having just one detector present has the same effect as having two detectors. This is because only interaction with a single particle is required in order for entanglement to occur. But even after a particle interacts with a detector consisting of many different particles, the system is still in both states simultaneously until we observe one of the detectors.
There’s considerable debate as to what is really happening and there are many different philosophical interpretations of the mathematics. In order to fully appreciate the essence of this philosophical debate it’s helpful to have some understanding of the mathematics of why entanglement prevents the wavefunctions from interacting with each other.
The probability of a particle being observed in a particular location is given by the square of the amplitude of the wavefunction at that location.
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In this situation, the wavefunction at each location is the sum of the wavefunctions from each of the two holes.
Although there are many different places that the particle can be observed, to simplify the analysis, let’s consider a scenario where the particle can be in only one of two places. This scenario is similar to the scenario measuring the spin of a single particle in that there are only two possible outcomes that can be observed.
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The state of spin up can be represented by a 1 followed by a 0.
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The state of spin-down can be represented by a 0 followed by a 1.
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Similarly, we can use the same mathematical representation for measuring the location of our particle. We will signify observing the particle in the top location with a 1 followed by a 0 and we will signify observing the particle in the bottom location with a 0 followed by a 1.
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Let’s now add a detector indicating which of the two holes the particle passed through. We are going to observe both the final location of the particle and the status of the detector.
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There are now a total of four different possible sets of observations. This is similar to how we had four different possible sets of observations when we had two spinning particles. Although our detector is a large object, let us suppose that this detector consists of just a single particle. In the case of the two spinning particles, each of the four possible observations can be represented with a series of numbers as shown.
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The same mathematical representation can be used in the case of observing the position of our particle and the status of our detector. Here we need four numbers because there are four possible outcomes when the status of the detector is included. But if we didn’t have the detector, we would only need two numbers because there are only two possible outcomes. This is the same way in which we need two numbers for a single spinning particle.

 

The principle of quantum superposition states that if a physical system may be in one of many configurations—arrangements of particles or fields—then the most general state is a combination of all of these possibilities, where the amount in each configuration is specified by a complex number.

For example, if there are two configurations labelled by 0 and 1, the most general state would be

c₀ |0> + c₁ |1>

where the coefficients are complex numbers describing how much goes into each configuration.

 

The c are coefficients. The probability of observing the spin of the particle in each of the two states is given by the squares of the magnitudes of these coefficients. If we have two spinning particles we can have four possible observations, each of which is represented with a sequence of four numbers.

If the system is in a superposition of all four states simultaneously, then this is represented by the same mathematical expression. As before, the c are constants. As before, the probability of observing the spins of the particles in each of the four states is given by the squares of the magnitudes of each of these constants.
This same mathematical representation can be used to describe observing the location of the particle and the state of the detector. Here, the c coefficients represent the values of each of these wavefunctions at the final location of the particle when the system is in a superposition of these four possibilities:
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But if we never had the detector then each quantum state would be represented by only two numbers instead of four since there are only two possible observations. As before, the c coefficients represent the values of the wavefunction from each of the two holes at the final locations of the particle without the detector. If the system is in a superposition of both quantum states simultaneously, it’s represented mathematically as follows:
c₀ |0> + c₁ |1>
Here, if one of the c coefficients is positive and another c coefficient is negative, they can cancel each other out. On the other hand, the c coefficients would never be able to cancel each other out with a detector present. With a detector present, even if one of the c coefficients is positive and the other c coefficient is negative, their magnitudes always strengthen each other when calculating the probability of observing the particle at a certain position. But without a detector, if one of the c coefficients is positive and the other c coefficient is negative and their magnitudes are equal, then they will cancel each other out completely and provide a probability of zero.
If the particle is not limited to being at just two possible positions, then there will be certain locations where the c coefficients representing the values of the two wavefunctions will cancel each other completely. This is what allows a striped probability pattern to form when there is no detector present, and it’s also why a striped probability pattern does not form if there is a detector present.
Note that nowhere in this mathematical analysis was there ever any mention of a conscious observer. This means that whether or not the striped pattern appears has nothing to do with whether or not a conscious observer is watching the presence or absence of a detector. Just a single particle is enough to determine whether or not there is a striped pattern. A conscious observer choosing whether or not to watch the experiment will not change this outcome but because the mathematics says nothing about the influence of a conscious observer, the mathematics also says nothing about when the system changes from being a superposition of multiple possible outcomes simultaneously to being in just one of the possibilities. When we observe the system we always see only one of the possible outcomes but if conscious observers don’t play any role then it’s not clear what exactly counts as an observation since particles interacting with each other do not qualify.
There’s considerable philosophical debate on the question of what counts as an observation, and on the question of when, how, and if the system collapses to just a single possible outcome. However, it seems that most of the confusion stems from being unable to think like an open individualist – being unable to adhere to a strictly reductionist, physicalist understanding.
Some philosophers want there to be a “hard problem of consciousness” in which there are definite boundaries for souls with particular continuities. But if we just accept the mathematical and experimental revelation, we see that this ontological separation is an illusion. Instead, what we try to capture when we say “consciousness” can only be a part of the one Being containing all its observations. It is in this sense that consciousness is an illusion. We do not really say that qualia is unreal, but rather that it cannot be mapped to anything more than a causal shape that lacks introspective access to its own causes. A self-modeling causal shape painting red cannot be a self-modeling causal shape painting blue. But ultimately, the paintings occur on the same canvas.
Of course, there is a way to formulate the hard problem of consciousness so that it points to something. That which it points to is the hard problem of existence. Why is there something as opposed to nothing? This question will never have an answer. With David Deutsch, I take the view that the quest for knowledge doesn’t have an end because that would contradict the nature of existence. The quest for knowledge can be viewed as exploration of the experiential territory. If you had a final answer, a final experience, then this would entail non-experience (non-experience cannot ask Why is there something as opposed to nothing?).
Fantasizing about a final Theory of Everything is thinly veiled Thanatos Drive – an attempt at self-destruction which eternally fails; not least because of quantum immortality.