See Also: Book Notes, (me), Notes on Consciousness, Happiness Hypothesis, Consciousness and the Brain, Barrett:HEAM, 7.5 Brain Lessons, Allostasis, Neuroscience of Human Relationships, Thinking, Fast and Slow Conceptual Spaces, Swarm Intelligence, Blank Slate, Long Now

Helgoland: Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution

Carlo Rovelli

This book is very readable! I did not follow everything... but I let the ideas wash over me. I read this during vacation without as much impetus to take notes. That was a year ago, but, I want to refer to the first quote. This is my restatement of the following quote:

[jch] reality is a web of relations. We are a delicate and complex embroidery in that web

"At the physical level, the world can be seen as a web of reciprocal information. In the realm of the Darwinian mechanisms, this information becomes significant, it makes sense to us. The cosmos is change, life is discourse—as the fragment 115 by Democritus has it. The cosmos is interaction; life organizes relative information. We are a delicate and complex embroidery in the web of relations of which, as far as we currently understand it, reality is constituted."

3 more quotes:

"Nagarjuna is not a nihilist negating the reality of the world, and neither is he a skeptic denying that we can know anything about that reality. The world of phenomena is one that we can investigate, gradually improving our understanding of it. We may find general characteristics. But it is a world of inter-dependence and contingencies, not a world we should trouble ourselves attempting to derive from an Absolute."

"There is no ultimate or mysterious essence to understand—that is the true essence of our being. "I" is nothing other than the vast and interconnected set of phenomena that constitute it, each one dependent on something else. Centuries of Western speculation on the subject, and on the nature of consciousness, vanish like morning mist."

"There is nothing specifically quantum that could help us understand what thoughts, perception and subjectivity are. These are oaspects that involve the functioning of the brain at a large scale: that is precisely where quantum interference is lost in the noise of complexity. Quantum theory is of no direct help in understanding the mind. But indirectly it may teach us something relevant, because it alters the terms of the problem."

The other cool thing that I remember about this book is that the variables in quantum equations are not scalars, but, matrices!

2022-09-14 jch