How Causation is Rooted in Remembered-Thinking (Permenance Review #11)

This post presents a 3-Part Video Series that shows how Causation is Rooted in Remembered Thinking:

The video series mixes footage from a presentation given to Ajeenkya D Y Patil University and my video-essay, and ultimately leads to the concluding statement, “Perfectly repeatable and connectable remembered-thoughts establish the means for perceiving causal relationships, more so than any remembered-external-event, and therefore causation most likely roots in remembered-thinking.”

Call for Contributing-and-Lead-Authors (submissions and nominations):

So that my core assertions may be taken from non-academic realms to the realms of academia, I’ve created this call for a lead-author and contributing-authors for a scientific paper that is described by the following hypothetical abstract (please consider submitting yourself as an author, or nominating someone else, by commenting or letting me know in any available way):

Title: How Causation Roots in Remembered-Thinking (an abstract created as an example for a call for contributing-authors: submissions and nominations)

The following hypothesis was made in the 2022 presentation, “Thinking, Remembering-Thinking, Thinking about a Memory of Thinking, and how that Messes with Time”,  to Ajeenkya D Y Patil University:

Perfectly repeatable and connectable remembered-thoughts establish the means for perceiving causal relationships, more so than any remembered-external-event, and therefore causation most likely roots in remembered-thinking. 

The hypothesis breaks down as follows: perfect repeatability and connectability is established through a comparison of remembered-thinking-events and remembered-external-events with the following outcomes: memories of external events have fuzzy boundaries, imperfect repetitions, and are connected through inferred relationships that are vulnerable to disproof by other event-participants and future evidence; remembered-thinking-events have perfect boundaries, perfect repeatability, and are invulnerable to disproof. Because unresolvable-uncertainty about remembered thoughts is what allows for perfect boundaries and repeatability, and because uncertainty increases for two-thoughts-ago, three-thoughts-ago, and so on, infinite repetitions are easy to conceive, and neurological evolution is likely to respond to this mental capability. Furthermore, since the roots of causation are in a mentally created past, this point gives strength to the hypothesis that causation does not exist in the external universe at all.

The presentation was made by Andrew Malcolm, who was presenting the core assertions made in his 2022 non-academic, epistemological essay, “The Pressure of Light: how consciousness creates permanence in a universe of infinite-heterogeneity”. Unlike in the essay, the presentation put the hypothesis in the context of David Hume’s system for understanding consciousness, and his own assertions about causal relationships. The outcome was a strengthening of Malcolm’s hypothesis about remembered-thinking. 

The outcome breaks downs as follows: David Hume deduces that causal relationships are not observable in the external universe, and only inferrable in the conscious space. He also asserts that causal relationships are only inferrable after objects-of-cause and objects-of-effect are witnessed in contiguity in space and time, and remembered, over multiple iterations. If remembered thinking allows for far greater ease in observing perfect iterations than the external universe, and if Hume is correct, then it’s likely causation roots in remembered-thinking. 

For this paper, a number of academics from the fields of neurology, physics, psychology and philosophy were invited to consider Malcolm’s hypothesis in the context of a theoretical framework they were familiar with, and which concerned either causation or consciousness, or both, much as Malcolm did with Hume. The results present a tally of which considerations strengthened the hypothesis and which weakened it. The discussion considers the value of the hypothesis, and the possibilities for verification and falsification through experimentation.

And now to continue The Permanence Review’s walk backwards through my essay, here is section 1:

The Crystallization of Thought-o-Biographies

What happens in my mind happens in the universe. I am, after all, just another physical body spinning through the galaxy, riding the expanding wave of the big-bang, comfortably seated on the arrow-of-time. The imagination has a place, and every imagination moves at least a few thousand kilometers a second in this fast spinning Galaxy. My imagination, where I’ve time-warped across the universe, flown kilometers above the earth, and played carelessly with my past and future, is much easier to see as something quite separate from the body that spins around the galaxy for real. It’s as if what I imagine appears in a bubble that pops off my head, a piece of consciousness attached, and drifts away guided by nothing but its own laws of physics. This is perfectly fine to believe, it won’t threaten the true nature of time and space in the universe, because those time and space distorted bubbles are nothing but the very expected outcomes of human-imaginations. What’s far more interesting to the universe about conscious-minds is the evolved structure that patterns the development of knowledge in the brain, the part that’s spinning through the galaxy for real, carrying forth that knowledge-accumulation, crossing paths with other bodies, sometimes colliding and bursting into pieces that form their own little worlds.

In 2020, I thought a lot about thinking. For the first half of the year I ran through a forested trail for an hour every morning, intending the run to be a meditation where, against the backdrop of repetition, I would explore more deeply the act of reflecting on my memories-of-thinking, feeling, and experiences-of-awareness. The typically calming effect of my run instead started fueling a hyperspeed looping through memories-of-remembered-thinking and memories-of-remembered-feelings as they all jumped, erratically, as I flashed, randomly, people and events from life to entice reactions in my mind to analyze. As my cardio-strength increased and allowed for faster charges up and down steep dirt trails, mercifully beneath the shade of old-growth hard-woods, it started to feel like I was turning my internal world into a particle accelerator for neurological activity. 

During this exercise I let up a bit on my life-long-pursuit to create stillness in my verbal thinking and associated physical habits. Instead, I allowed the verbage to run, and in the wake of these events I investigated more closely the hypothesis that a verbal thought inevitably has a non-verbal predecessor. I expanded the practice beyond verbal thinking, smashing my memories of all types of thought against each other so that I could attempt a hard, deep look at that wall of nothing just one notch in time past my thoughts. Unlike in CERN, the raw, objective-as-possible images I returned with always came out black and featureless.

I would frequently follow up these runs with some fast typing into my info-diary, my name for a living document where I brainstorm ideas, experiment with creative writing, write about what I’m reading, and write actual diary entries. On one such occasion I surprised myself with the realization that I couldn’t answer a fairly simple question: how do I really know that I experienced the thinking event that I remember having? Might the brain simply write in the memory of the thinking event without bothering with the thinking in the first place? In a system that is forever concerned with efficiency, sometimes decommissioning evolved abilities for efficiency’s sake, why not? What would be lost? Even if this seems unlikely, what about my memory of how long the thought occurred for, when it happened, and in what order compared to other internal-information-processing-events I can remember? Most importantly, if I can’t confirm the timing or even existence of the thinking-events I remember, who can? 

These questions are what led me to write this essay. They’re all questions I could ask about my memory of real life events as well, but my memories of life-external would not lead me to question the nature of my mind’s place in time. Human minds have the benefit of knowing, through collective agreement, that real life events do happen somewhere on the measurable and unidirectional arrow-of-time. In the external world, we believe in the arrow-of-time, that march along the path. Sometimes that path does muddy the mind’s perception of the steady walk forward with events that contextually connect to other events, or events that repeat in a series scattered over normal-time’s continuous journey, but in all moments the mind can still feel anchored to the arrow-of-time because in all moments normal-time retains some recognizable level of unpredictability. 

No matter how much is learned about life in this universe, the path forward through time is still recognizably heterogeneous. If anyone has ever felt the universe has imprisoned them in a time loop, or distorted their normally steady walk forward, if they ever felt that time is not what they thought but more like a house of mirrors, all they had to do was discuss event distribution along the arrow-of-time with others, and so far the strength of truth that comes from mutual agreement has been enough to set the arrow-of-time straight. But while mutual agreement is epistemologically important to knowledge, the knowledge-sets that accumulate in human minds do not come solely from multi-mind-development. Understanding knowledge in the human mind means understanding how the mind in part develops knowledge in the brain all on its own.

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