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A Theory of Consciousness, Latency and VR

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Well, this has nothing to do with consciousness as much as about proprioception. Your brain readily accepts alternative proprioceptive channels since it is a predicted stimulus. The issue is, digital is slow and you can easily fall out of the the ego-syntonic signal threshold period. We need analog computations, that's all.
 

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...that latency plays a key role in consciousness...
But it doesn't. Latency is simply response time. Have you ever been inebriated where you feel like your brain is running half as fast as it should? Benadryl does that to me. Conscious processes are just slowed but they still complete.

...in the future, if we do get a light based processor, and fiber optics are the data to that photon light processor, it is possible that the reduced latency of say a future supercomputer (none right now or even 20 years from now, I understand this technology does not exist yet) could possibly become sentient, because a limiting factor is not only coding languages but the latency itself.
Silicon processors are already faster than organic at math. Making them faster does just that: makes them faster. This has no impact on "sentients" because just like an inebriated human brain, hardware capable of sentience will be sentience...just processing faster or slow.

Let me give you some pseudo code...

Typical processor today:
Code:
if (true) do this else do that
Example: if (robot fell off table) send panic message else do task

Deep learning:
Code:
if (similar to true) do this else do that
Example: if (I've been trained to interpret this object as a tree) it's a tree else go deeper

Sentient:
Code:
if (something new) write new code to understand it
Example: if (ab=c and I always know a) inject code to process query as b=c/a else do something else

Let me loop back to the robot that fell off a table. A sentient robot would act like an insect moving it's motorized bits around trying to upright itself. In this process it would discover some motions that affect its goal and note it. It would eventually focus on those motions to right itself noting that if it moves slowly in this specific way, it raises higher than it would otherwise. Then failing that, it notices that position its grabber in a wide stance stabilizes itself so it can lift even higher. A little more practice and updating its code to not repeat previous mistakes and it will lift itself back up using its arm. Because none of this code existed originally but it's ability to test and learn was present, this code it is now using can be referenced again in the future. It has learned how to right itself. Now imagine a human pushes it over again...it gets right up using that self-learned code instead of struggling.

Deep learning AIs do this but they're being trained by a trainer. As far as I know, there's no sentient AI that is a trainer (makes situational decisions/objectives) and trainee (improves itself to address these things).


The first is fundamentally different in operation than the last.

I'm not a physicist, so I'll leave in-depth explanations to someone who knows what they're talking about, but no, electricity and light are not the same, even if they are related forms of energy. Electricity and electromagnetism are not visible, even if visible light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Put very simply: there's no light inside of our brains, and in fact the chief job of some sensory organs (such as our eyes) is in fact transforming light into electrical signals. There's no visible difference between a live electrical wire and one that's not connected to anything. Unless the wire is so small it heats up and starts glowing, that is, but then you have a light bulb (or a fire).

I think it's a shame if you abandon this project, though - there's definitely a need for more scholarship on human-technology relations, and the field of post-phenomenology has plenty of highly interesting unanswered questions :)
Yes, lightning is only visible because it super heats the molecules in the air its passing through. You're seeing the affect of that super heating, not the actual electricity (flow of electrons).

Consider this: lightning can't exist in a vacuum because there's no path for the electrons to take.
 
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@Vayra86 Thank you for all of that, it is indeed food for thought. This entire thesis might collapse honestly, but just fyi, it doesn't actually have to prove anything my professor said, it just has to explore but be able to play around with some questions, not necessarily answer them... this is a philosophy major after all, the writing is a bit different compared to most Master's Thesis's

I am not trying to exactly prove latency right now in our current state is the key to it all, I am trying to argue (I think, this is still a work in progress), that latency plays a key role in consciousness, and that perhaps, in the future, if we do get a light based processor, and fiber optics are the data to that photon light processor, it is possible that the reduced latency of say a future supercomputer (none right now or even 20 years from now, I understand this technology does not exist yet) could possibly become sentient, because a limiting factor is not only coding languages but the latency itself. What if in order to even have the thoughts to type this to you now, there is a pre-requisite of no to little latency within my brain... otherwise I would not be able to come up with said thoughts? Even if it was increased by a millisecond or two with alcohol, I would not be as effective, because my latency would be reduced.

crap... my brain is hurting. alright I am taking a break from this and stepping away for a few days, it is the only way I am going to figure out how to articulate myself. apologies everyone.

perception and consciousness is at the core of what I am trying to understand as well Vayra. if you read Merleu-Ponty Phenomenology of Perception, there is a lot of work done on this in his book, it is highly respected among a lot of contemporary philosophers. I still have to read 3/4 of it, not very far in, but I definitely think there is some interesting stuff here. my professor thanks so too, though he is wanting me to stay away from conciousness, and mostly focus on how technology is scaling year over year, and immersion within gaming is increasing - so I need to focus on that, stay small and just kind of branch from there, but keep my focus on immersion.

one of my key arguments though does make sense to me - when I game Witcher 3 on console, or PC at 60hz, its fun sure, but not nearly as immersive as when I do it on say a high end 165hz 1440p monitor with a 1080 ti, etc. Ponty talks a lot about color calibration, optimal distance for viewing something, etc. this applies to modern day as well, and I am trying to apply it to gaming technology, and will it keep scaling like it has been... I am not saying right now latency is good, I am saying it keeps getting better, and as it does so too will immersion increase.
I think immersion is not tied to scaling in technology at all.

For that I only need to think about being younger and how I experienced games. It was more immersive than it is today while we played at much lower quality; latency was never a factor here. Age is key factor in immersion into anything, and our lifestyle as well. Why - because the older we get, the more our brain is filled with things to do and things to reference to. With less reference and less on our mind, immersion is easy because its easier 'to believe in it'.

I think the conclusion with VR is that its a tool to help immersion. And it may or may not work for each individual at each stage in life. Some people get motion sickness, I can guarantee you that despite low latency that won't help immersion one bit...
 
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I think immersion is not tied to scaling in technology at all.

For that I only need to think about being younger and how I experienced games. It was more immersive than it is today while we played at much lower quality; latency was never a factor here. Age is key factor in immersion into anything, and our lifestyle as well. Why - because the older we get, the more our brain is filled with things to do and things to reference to. With less reference and less on our mind, immersion is easy because its easier 'to believe in it'.

I think the conclusion with VR is that its a tool to help immersion. And it may or may not work for each individual at each stage in life. Some people get motion sickness, I can guarantee you that despite low latency that won't help immersion one bit...

this is true and sort of destroys my entire thesis you are right. I actually was remembering my playstation 2 days and how immersed I was... heh.

feel free to consider thread dead... looks like I am changing my thesis topic to stoicism instead. I figured this was a dead end but needed help exploring it, thanks everyone.
 
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Latency is inherent to humans and all animals. The electric signals in nerves are propagating via chemical reactions and those take a little bit to take place. Hence the latency.

You are seeing a continuous movement on your monitor jus because of that latency in your eye receptors. Once light gets removed, it takes a few ms for the chemicals to discharge, so you have that image retention.
If you would not have that, a CRT tube would look like a bright dot moving randomly on surface, an LCD screen would be a bunch of flashes with no cohesion in between...
You remember what happened in the last second just because chemicals are still lingering around the neurons that fired electric signals before.

Now, how that gets interpreted by the higher level ego... it's a different story.
 
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this is true and sort of destroys my entire thesis you are right. I actually was remembering my playstation 2 days and how immersed I was... heh.

feel free to consider thread dead... looks like I am changing my thesis topic to stoicism instead. I figured this was a dead end but needed help exploring it, thanks everyone.
Thanks for sharing your idea, its nice to think about such things.

Perhaps a nice thesis to chase after in the future is the 'influence of VR on our perception of reality. How do we make the distinction, etc. It kinda turns it around and makes not the technology but the human a center piece. In the end its all about our interaction and learning process with technology that determines what it means to us. Has great potential, it also touches on the overall influence of digital media on our lives, you can go on for days branching that out :D Its also interesting because its a process that is very much ongoing today, nobody has the definite answer yet.
 
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Latency is inherent to humans and all animals. The electric signals in nerves are propagating via chemical reactions and those take a little bit to take place. Hence the latency.

You are seeing a continuous movement on your monitor jus because of that latency in your eye receptors. Once light gets removed, it takes a few ms for the chemicals to discharge, so you have that image retention.
If you would not have that, a CRT tube would look like a bright dot moving randomly on surface, an LCD screen would be a bunch of flashes with no cohesion in between...
You remember what happened in the last second just because chemicals are still lingering around the neurons that fired electric signals before.

Now, how that gets interpreted by the higher level ego... it's a different story.
This is as wrong as can be. Not the nerve signals, but second messengers deplete first as a backup safe against excitatory overstimulation. There are multiple levels of signal downregulation. It does not take milliseconds to discharge, but to recharge. Discharge is instantaneous. Negative feedback plays dominant in all volitional stimuli. Someone has been slacking in physiology lectures.:)
 
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Discharge is instantaneous.
First one yes, like when you open your eye. How about the next one? There is a pause between two stimuli regardless what you think is first - egg or chicken. When an object moves, you can't un-see the last position, so the brain doesn't really know what are you seeing. Makes assumptions, of course, but that's not always right.
If the vision as a process was always instantaneous we would not have visual retention.

 
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First one yes, like when you open your eye. How about the next one? There is a pause between two stimuli regardless what you think is first - egg or chicken. When an object moves, you can't un-see the last position, so the brain doesn't really know what are you seeing. Makes assumptions, of course, but that's not always right.
If the vision as a process was always instantaneous we would not have visual retention.

That has to do with optical nerve compression latency which, if I recall correctly, is 0.5 seconds. Totally physiological, imo. Afterimage retention is very quick in comparison 0.5 milliseconds, so as a surprise to me as well, I think rhodopsin secondary transmission being quicker than neuronal transmission could mean two different interpretations;
  1. Either ganglionic cells are suppressed from rapid depolarisation; A) could be due to inhibitory neurons, or B) the more probable explanation for me that they have a low pass filter function by downsampling a wide domain rather than a local cluster and it takes up some time until light triggers all spatial domains simultaneously,
  2. Or, the simple explanation being depolarization latency.
 
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The Christmas tree is designed to minimize reaction time.
I guess you could say that. I'm not sure that it's true though. I would argue that it isn't. It still boils down to reacting at a very precise instant. Knowing that instant is coming soon doesn't really make it much(if any) easier. At any rate...all other things being equal, he/she with the fastest reaction time wins the drag race. Or, if their reaction times are also equal, there's a tie. End of story.
 

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The intervals the Christmas tree operates at are constant and the Wikipedia link I gave explains them. When you see a specific light flash and you can train muscle memory to respond the exact amount of time later, you can holeshot with a millisecond of green and do it reliably (just requires a fantastic grip on the passage of time). People are much, much slower when reacting to something that isn't a certainty (e.g. random timed color change) and even slower when they need to evaluating before reacting (e.g. random timed color change only when it is red).

And no, there's a crapload of variables going into who wins all the way down to tire temperature and track temperature. One can win or lose simply because their side of the track was in shadow most of the day while the other side wasn't. They switch sides for a reason. Even then, you're talking about machines. If all else is equal, one engine producing a little less power because fuel-air mixture isn't right because someone farted will mean a change in outcomes. Hell, even some spilled oil on the last engine rebuild can cause power to drop. So many variables...

The ironic thing is that there's very little the driver can actually control: that's holeshot, steering, shifts, and how much they cooked the tires. A missed holeshot or shift can translate to losing. A steering mistake can translate into a crash. Tires too cooked and they can burst; tires not cooked enough and they'll burn out instead of propelling the vehicle forward.
 
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I guess you could say that. I'm not sure that it's true though. I would argue that it isn't. It still boils down to reacting at a very precise instant. Knowing that instant is coming soon doesn't really make it much(if any) easier. At any rate...all other things being equal, he/she with the fastest reaction time wins the drag race. Or, if their reaction times are also equal, there's a tie. End of story.
Not at all, this is designed so you can train on it, the timing is fixed so its a tool that takes away the element of surprise and, thus, the latency is reduced. Knowing what's coming makes it easier to respond faster, you can prepare your response beforehand.

Something similar happens in pro-gaming where the maps of a shooter are memorized so well, players can train muscle memory for each little section, knowing what's behind the corner helps a lot in selecting the appropriate response beforehand, minimizing the number of possibilities to choose from. This also applies to things like bullet spread/patterns that are fixed in a game. Speedrunning also uses many of these tricks to eliminate the surprise elements and 'look superhuman'.
 
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Just fyi I have officially switched thesis topics to stoicism, but thanks everyone for your help here.
 
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I gave up on philosophy when I got married .... found out everything I learned in my elective philosophy classes was wrong. Besides car's in the shop, and I'm stuck home with nothing else to do :)

See, we discussed the time honored question of "If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound ? I learned there are two right answers .... To the scientist, of course it made a sound, just because no human was present, the laws of physics and sound propgation are not suspended. To the humanist, nothing matters if it is not experienced by a human being, from this point of view everything that happens in the universe is irrelevant because the humanist defines a sound as "something heard by a human".

Then I got married and was re-educated ... I was told to look at it this way: "If a man speaks in the forest and no woman hears him, is he still wrong ?" There is only 1 acceptable answer to this question and no arguments to the contrary will be heard. And the correct answer is not 'yes'. Apparently, yes is to vague ... one must answer "of course" or "absolutely" or bad things will happen.

With that out of the way ... I will address the technical part of the question ... "Now that we have 240hz 0.5ms monitors ..." Do we ? I know monitor manufacturers love to claim impressive numbers but these numbers almost never are confirmed in testing. This phenomenon is not explained by faulty test equipment, typos or other human errrors, it is a matter of translation. Most people speak using dictionary or accepted definitions (Washing DC excepted) ... people in marketing don't lie ... they just change the definition. Examples:

a) Computing is a base 2 thing ... when we buy a pair of 4 GB memory sticks, we expect each to contain 2^ 12 bytes of 4096 MBs. I the late 1990s, the marketing folks at a Hard Drive manufacturer had a meeting, I expect alcohol was involved, and decided that it was a good idea to redefine a GB as 1,000 MBs instead of 1024 MBs...and so on up and down. So now when we buy a 2000 GB drive, we only actually get 93% of that as storage. When it 1st happened the competition was a bit stirred up but after ranting for a while, they figured the difference between base 2 and base 10 was too difficult to explain to consumers and jumped on the cheater bandwagon. Not quite sure why RAM guys didn't follow suit.

b) Fans, pumps and pretty much anything that moves air or liquids in the internet age are also now advertised with redefined specs. A PC fan might be advertised at say

Cougar Vortex Fan
Max Airflow = 70.5CFM
Static Pressure = 2.2 mm H20

Gentle Typhoon
Max Airflow = 58CFM
Static Pressure = 2.03mm H20

In "marketing speak", that means that the fans will deliver 70.5 / 58 cfm at 0.0 mm Static Pressure and 0.0 cfm at 2.2 / 2.03 SP ... not quite what most folks expect. Which fan would you buy based upon thos especs ? ... the Cougar right ? More cfm and more SP, no ? ,,,, yes, the answer is no.

https://martinsliquidlab.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/why-static-pressure-max-flow-specs-are-poor-measures-of-fan-performance/

The Cougar actually delivers 32 cfm (46% of advertised) of flow and 0.40 inches of H2O (48%) of advertised
The Typh0on actually delivers 38 cfm (66% of advertised) of flow and 0.48 inches of H2O (60%) of advertised

And the Typhoon is actually the one that delivers more performance in the real world.

Look at the following:

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/lg_27gk750f.htm

Advertised Response Time = 2.0 ms
Measured Average Response Time = 4.7 ms

Those numbers are oft bettered by 120 / 144 / 165 Hz monitors.

So if we are going to talk about consciousness and what we perceive ... 1st we have to agree on the definitions and what we are told and what is real are two different things.
 

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a) Computing is a base 2 thing ... when we buy a pair of 4 GB memory sticks, we expect each to contain 2^ 12 bytes of 4096 MBs. I the late 1990s, the marketing folks at a Hard Drive manufacturer had a meeting, I expect alcohol was involved, and decided that it was a good idea to redefine a GB as 1,000 MBs instead of 1024 MBs...and so on up and down. So now when we buy a 2000 GB drive, we only actually get 93% of that as storage. When it 1st happened the competition was a bit stirred up but after ranting for a while, they figured the difference between base 2 and base 10 was too difficult to explain to consumers and jumped on the cheater bandwagon. Not quite sure why RAM guys didn't follow suit.
No....G = giga- = SI standard = 10^9 = 1,000,000,000...that is 100% of the time true. Any time where the symbol doesn't represent exactly that, it's mislabeled. Now look at what you just said. Who really lied? Memory manufacturers because they always neglected to mention their math was base 2, not base 10 (which SI standard explicitly is).

IEC later introduced the binary prefixes to compliment and differentiate base 2 versus base 10 systems. Sadly, Microsoft and JEDEC hasn't adapted it so they continue to lie to the public about the math they are using.

FYI, your math sucks in that first sentence:
4 GiB = 4 * 2^30 = 4,294,967,296 bytes
4 GB = 4 * 10^9 = 4,000,000,000 bytes

Gi- literally means 2^30
G- literally means 10^9

I checked a hard drive that was around 2 decades old (think it was manufactured in 1997) and it used base 10 math. I don't think a hard drive exists that ever used base 2 math.


As for fans and monitors, there's no standard for measuring performance so every manufacturer uses its own.
 
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I would like to eavesdrop on how the OP is doing. Stoicism is literally the Western take on Eastern Philosophy. You can tie it to all Eastern Religions, Muslimism included. The rite is literally the same one Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius pens in meditations except it is used for good fortune, not solace.
 
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I would like to eavesdrop on how the OP is doing. Stoicism is literally the Western take on Eastern Philosophy. You can tie it to all Eastern Religions, Muslimism included. The rite is literally the same one Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius pens in meditations except it is used for good fortune, not solace.
Doing good, I did end up doing my thesis on Stoicism.

If you are interested, I recommend you read a new book out last month called "How To Think Like A Roman Emperor" by Donald Robertson. It is quite good. Also, "The Inner Citadel" by Pierre Hadot, and "Therapy of Desire" by Nussbaum. Those are my 3 main texts I am using for my thesis, outside of the few primary sources.

Stoicism influenced Christianity a lot as well, keep in mind Stoicism started 100-300 B.C. range and it was a vast influence including many Emperors taking on stoic philosophers as advisers, Muslim/Muhammad was not until A.D. 600 if I am not mistaken.
 
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Doing good, I did end up doing my thesis on Stoicism.

If you are interested, I recommend you read a new book out last month called "How To Think Like A Roman Emperor" by Donald Robertson. It is quite good. Also, "The Inner Citadel" by Pierre Hadot, and "Therapy of Desire" by Nussbaum. Those are my 3 main texts I am using for my thesis, outside of the few primary sources.
Might do when I have the leisure.
Stoicism influenced Christianity a lot as well, keep in mind Stoicism started 100-300 B.C. range and it was a vast influence including many Emperors taking on stoic philosophers as advisers, Muslim/Muhammad was not until A.D. 600 if I am not mistaken.
Yes, but I'm after the spiritual lineage of succession. I think, "Turning the other cheek" is not the stoic way, stoics does not permit a third active party altogether, just merely an obstacle to one's own enlightenment. Muslimism revolves around that self-consciousness a lot. It is a solitary religion that marginalises externalities, quite the polar opposite towards accepting fate.
 
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Might do when I have the leisure.

Yes, but I'm after the spiritual lineage of succession. I think, "Turning the other cheek" is not the stoic way, stoics does not permit a third active party altogether, just merely an obstacle to one's own enlightenment. Muslimism revolves around that self-consciousness a lot. It is a solitary religion that marginalises externalities, quite the polar opposite towards accepting fate.
This is your opinion of stoicism, just as my view of stoicism is my opinion. We only have 3% or so stoic primary texts remaining to draw upon... so no one can really be 100% sure what stoicism was, but we can make educated guesses. Stoics were very much in being in control of your anger and not letting emotions play a role in your decision making, one could argue that is what "turning the other cheek means" as well.
 
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