EPISODE RELEASED 15th JULY 2023
WHAT DOES SYMMETRY AND SELF-SIMILARITY BETWEEN LIFE AND INTELLIGENCE IN NATURE MEAN FOR THE NATURE OF REALITY? HOW ARE NEURONES LIKE GENES?
In this episode we have the extraordinary Fractal Brain Theory to discuss. After episode #38 about the World as a Neural Network, with Russian physicist and computer scientist Vitaly Vanchurin, i’ve become more open to a unified theory of universe that reconciles quantum mechanics with general relativity, as Vanchurin’s equations seem to offer. So when I was recommended today’s guest’s Fractal Brain Theory by one of the wonderful listeners, I was curious if a little sceptical given all the psychedelic hype about fractal geometry. So a symmetrical theory of repeating self-similar, self-modifying behaviour in the universe is not so far from the vision of the universe as a thriving, adaptable neural network. And according to today’s guest the symmetry directly connects the often divorced worlds of neurones, brains and intelligence with the world of genes, evolution and life.
He is multi-disciplinary researcher, computer scientist, musician and author Wai H Tsang. A self-taught thinker in the world of neurology, evolutionary biology, consciousness and philosophy of mind, Tsang is in the unique position of combining these traditions into a single theory of brain, that promises to solve even the hard problem of consciousness. Trained in computer science at Imperial college, he wrote the first version of his Fractal Brain Theory in 2016, in his book of the same name, and it was picked up by quantum consciousness theorist Stuart Hameroff, who invited him to the Science of Consciousness Conference, alongside heavy weights in the field like David Chalmers, Roger Penrose, Sue Blackmore, Donald Hoffman - many who’ve been on this show already. This recognition catapulted his theory into the field, so it’s with great pleasure that I include it on the show for us to compare alongside the theories of many of the giants.
What we discuss:
07:10 Symmetry explained: Variance and non-variance; change and resistance to change
11:00 Genomes work like tiny fractal brains
12:30 The symmetry between intelligence and life, neurones and genes
13:00 Junk DNA, neurones and boolean algebra
17:45 Dendritic structure, processing and artificial intelligence
19:00 Self-similarity and recursively nested symmetry
21:30 Evolution and ontogenesis algorithm: differentiate, select, amplify
22:15 Fractal Mathematics and Benoit Mandelbrot: Approximate self-similarity
25:45 Binary trees generating life and intelligence
29:00 Mitosis and progenator fields
30:00 Allocentric and egocentric mapping (Nobel prize)
34:40 Goodwin and cell division VS epigenetic mutation/adaptation
36:00 Recursive modification IS intelligence; evolving evolvability
40:15 A new calculus: analytic geometry
47:00 The soft and hard problem of consciousness
51:00 Time symmetric quantum mechanics and problems with causal chains
58:00 David Chalmers: Identity cosmo-psychism critique
01:11:00 Is self-reflective conscious Ai possible?
01:19:30 Penrose: Quantum mechanics is incomplete until we understand the collapse of the wave function
01:21:00 The ethical debate about the future of Ai
‘The Fractal Brain Theory’ Wai Tsang
Wai Tsang You Tube Channel
Wai Tsang Core Live shows
David Chalmers, ‘The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis’ paper
David Chalmers, 'Idealism and the mind body problem' paper