What is CTD?

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What is CTD?

Postby RJG on October 14th, 2017, 11:00 am 

What is CTD?

CTD is Conscious Time Delay. It is the delay in time between that which happens in reality (in ‘real-time’) and that which happens in the conscious mind of the observer (in ‘conscious-time’).

We feel that we experience reality ‘as’ it is happening. We feel that our ‘present’ conscious experiences are in sync with the present happenings of reality. But, this is not the case. Because of CTD, everything that we are ‘presently’ conscious of, are of ‘past’ events. When we see a car traveling (at 40 mph) down the street, we fully assume this car to be where we see it, when in actuality, it is at least 9’ (3 meters) in front of where our eyes tell us.

Although we view ‘reality’ through ‘consciousness’ (our conscious experiences), our conscious view is ‘skewed’; it is a ‘time delayed’ view of reality. This means that ‘everything’ that we are conscious of has already happened PRIOR to our conscious awareness/experience of it.

There are at least 3 factors involved in our CTD; transmission, translation, and recognition. Using the above example, 1) the transmission delay is the time it takes for light waves to bounce off the object (car) and enter into our eyes, 2) the translation delay is the time it takes for the conversion of these light waves into the electrical signals that the brain can then understand, and finally, the most significant is 3) the recognition delay is the time it takes to match these signals/patterns to corresponding memory patterns so as to “know” what one experiences. Current science tells us that the average human takes 150-200 milliseconds to “recognize”.

Note: It is not necessarily the ‘amount’ of the time delay that really matters here. It is the ‘realization’ of the ‘time delay’ itself, and its effect on our understanding of “now”; i.e. on our present conscious moment/experiences.

To help better understand -- Imagine watching a “live-broadcasted” sporting event on TV. We believe that what we see (on the tv) is actually happening in ‘real-time’, but due to “network transmission delays” of up to 7 seconds, our ‘present’ view actually consists of ‘past’ events. While we may see the batter on TV going through his warm-up swings, but back at Fenway Park, in so-called ‘real-time’, he has already hit a home run, ...we just don’t know it yet!

We view live sporting events through the ‘time-delayed’ view of our TV. And likewise, we view reality through the ‘time-delayed’ window of consciousness. ...this being our ‘only’ view of reality.

The logic goes like this:

    P1. “Instantaneous” detection/sensing is not logically (nor scientifically) possible. This includes human conscious experiences (sensing/detecting). A ‘time delay’ is an unavoidable fact.

    P2. None of our conscious processes are ‘exempt’ from this ‘time delay’, as ALL processes consume time.

    C. Therefore, our ‘present’ conscious experience(s) are of ‘past’ events, and our ‘future’ (next) conscious experiences have already happened, (...we just don’t ‘know’ it yet).

We are, in effect, being ‘fed’ our conscious experiences. That which happens, ‘necessarily’ happens. This conclusion is a bit ‘chilling’, as it destroys any viability of conscious control (aka “free-will”, mental causation, conscious causation) or any form or notion of “consciously doing” anything.

So, contrary to popular belief, we don’t actually “consciously do” anything, ...we are only “conscious” of what we’ve “done”.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on October 14th, 2017, 2:44 pm 

And what we've "done" came from us being us, of which our becoming though nature and environment did from whatever, as we're never self made people, obviating any self doing at all. This and CTD brings down a heck of a lot of folk wisdom.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on October 14th, 2017, 6:23 pm 

We are, in effect, being ‘fed’ our conscious experiences. That which happens, ‘necessarily’ happens. This conclusion is a bit ‘chilling’, as it destroys any viability of conscious control (aka “free-will”, mental causation, conscious causation) or any form or notion of “consciously doing” anything.

So, contrary to popular belief, we don’t actually “consciously do” anything, ...we are only “conscious” of what we’ve “done”.


This is a typical Xeno-like nonsense argument. The CTD means nothing of the kind. These straws are as flimsy as those grasped at by creationists. By the same absurd logic you would claim that computers cannot make decisions because it takes time for electrons to move, or that computer control is impossible! How silly can you get?

We are not, "in effect, being ‘fed’ our conscious experiences." Nothing of the kind follows from CTD. Nor does it "destroy the viability of conscious control." All it means is that consciousness is a process which is extended in time. We get data and make decisions upon the data acquired then seeing these decisions played out is another step in the process just as our awareness of our own decisions is another step in the process so be aware of our own role in the world and make decisions about that as well. Sure all of this takes time on the order of a tenth of a second but there is no logical reason to take this as having any impact on the question of free will whatsoever.

I have little doubt that what it does mean is that some assumptions and visualizations of the more naive magically minded scientifically ignorant are going to be altered. Good! It is about time! Nor is it news that the ideologically minded are ready to appropriate any excuse for a bunch of pseudo-scientific babble in support of their nonsensical dogmas.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Braininvat on October 14th, 2017, 6:52 pm 

Just because we experience the external world in a "virtual" space and time frame, doesn't mean we can't make conscious choices also in that virtual frame. We don't need to be precisely synched to an external clock or respond instantaneously to have a causal role. Take with a grain of salt the OP's assertion that it definitively proves determinism and epiphenomenalism.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby bangstrom on October 15th, 2017, 4:13 am 

mitchellmckain » October 14th, 2017, 5:23 pm wrote:
We are, in effect, being ‘fed’ our conscious experiences. That which happens, ‘necessarily’ happens. This conclusion is a bit ‘chilling’, as it destroys any viability of conscious control (aka “free-will”, mental causation, conscious causation) or any form or notion of “consciously doing” anything.

So, contrary to popular belief, we don’t actually “consciously do” anything, ...we are only “conscious” of what we’ve “done”.


This is a typical Xeno-like nonsense argument. The CTD means nothing of the kind. These straws are as flimsy as those grasped at by creationists. By the same absurd logic you would claim that computers cannot make decisions because it takes time for electrons to move, or that computer control is impossible! How silly can you get?

I don't follow your objections to the OP's statement at all. The statement appears to be a repeat of long known and well understood observations about neurological delay. Somehow you appear to be reading some bizarre interpretations into the OP that are not found in the text itself and these interpretations are the basis of your complaints. Are we reading the same text?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on October 15th, 2017, 5:50 am 

bangstrom » October 15th, 2017, 3:13 am wrote:I don't follow your objections to the OP's statement at all. The statement appears to be a repeat of long known and well understood observations about neurological delay. Somehow you appear to be reading some bizarre interpretations into the OP that are not found in the text itself and these interpretations are the basis of your complaints. Are we reading the same text?


Since I actually quoted the parts I was objecting to I cannot fathom what in the world you are talking about. Are you reading the actual text which I wrote or are you substituting things from your imagination?

What is Xeno-like about this person's argument? The similarity is in the use of irrelevant objections. Xeno is basically saying that since adding up fractions each half the size of the previous one never adds up to the whole then this means an object cannot move a distance in space. Absurd argument. Well, the conscious time delay is just as irrelevant to the things the OP is making claims about. I shall list them again cutting them directly from his post and pasting them here.
1. We are, in effect, being ‘fed’ our conscious experiences.
2. destroys any viability of conscious control (aka “free-will”, mental causation, conscious causation) or any form or notion of “consciously doing” anything.
These simply do not follow from CTD any more than an impossibility of motion follows from the infinity of terms in a geometric sequence with a finite sum.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Braininvat on October 15th, 2017, 10:57 am 

I liked the analogy to Zeno because the CTD situation is amenable to similar resolutions. Thoughts are processes which are not instantaneous and do not exist as pivotal moments that can be pinpointed as instant. There is no "instant" of decision that we are always falling behind.

Peter Lynds, for example, argued that all of Zeno's motion paradoxes are resolved by the conclusion that instants in time and instantaneous magnitudes do not physically exist. Lynds argued that an object in relative motion cannot have an instantaneous or determined relative position (for if it did, it could not be in motion), and so cannot have its motion fractionally dissected as if it does, as is assumed by the paradoxes.

I am not saying there are not worthy arguments against downward causation in neuroscience, and there are sophisticated causal arguments against free will, but only that the OP is not one of them. It ignores phenomenology (the virtual space within us) at its own peril.
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Re: Quantum of Solace?

Postby Faradave on October 15th, 2017, 11:48 am 

In quantum computing, isolation of quantum states (e.g. superposition & entanglement) is analogous to insulation of electrical systems. It's necessary to avoid "shorting out" a process. Observation of any sort may collapse a wave function from an indeterminate condition to a discrete value.

It has recently been hypothesized that nature employs a quantum steps ("circuits") in photosynthesis and other biological systems. Eugene Wigner proposed that microtubules in neurons may provide sufficient isolation to preserve quantum states within. Two implications are that 1) at least some cognitive processes can be absolutely indeterminate and 2) some processes may be instantaneous, entailing separate but simultaneous updates of quantum states, such as in breaking entanglement. The "quantum mind" hypothesis proposes that classical mechanics alone is insufficient to explain consciousness and that nature, as usual, is far ahead of science in its computational capacities.

These are far from fully accepted but are being vigorously pursued for what they may add to understanding their respective sciences and for what may be contributed to nascent developments in quantum computing.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on October 15th, 2017, 12:03 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote:We get data and make decisions upon the data acquired then seeing these decisions played out is another step in the process just as our awareness of our own decisions is another step in the process so be aware of our own role in the world and make decisions about that as well.

Braininvat wrote:Just because we experience the external world in a "virtual" space and time frame, doesn't mean we can't make conscious choices also in that virtual frame.

From which (non-CTD) ‘conscious material’ does one make these “conscious choices” and “decisions”?

RJG wrote:P1. “Instantaneous” detection/sensing is not logically (nor scientifically) possible. This includes human conscious experiences (sensing/detecting). A ‘time delay’ is an unavoidable fact.

Braininvat wrote:Peter Lynds, for example, argued that all of Zeno's motion paradoxes are resolved by the conclusion that instants in time and instantaneous magnitudes do not physically exist.

Agreed, as does the OP.

Yes, those believing in “instantaneous” consciousness (i.e. Zeno tricks), are the ones that seemingly are tricked into believing in conscious causation (aka free-will).
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Dave_C on October 15th, 2017, 8:48 pm 

Hi RJG.
RJG » October 14th, 2017, 10:00 am wrote:What is CTD?

CTD is Conscious Time Delay. It is the delay in time between that which happens in reality (in ‘real-time’) and that which happens in the conscious mind of the observer (in ‘conscious-time’).

We feel that we experience reality ‘as’ it is happening. We feel that our ‘present’ conscious experiences are in sync with the present happenings of reality. But, this is not the case. Because of CTD, everything that we are ‘presently’ conscious of, are of ‘past’ events. When we see a car traveling (at 40 mph) down the street, we fully assume this car to be where we see it, when in actuality, it is at least 9’ (3 meters) in front of where our eyes tell us.

Although we view ‘reality’ through ‘consciousness’ (our conscious experiences), our conscious view is ‘skewed’; it is a ‘time delayed’ view of reality. This means that ‘everything’ that we are conscious of has already happened PRIOR to our conscious awareness/experience of it.


I quoted the part I'd like to bring attention to. It sounds like you're suggesting that there is a significant delay between what we perceive and what is actually happening. If you Google "conscious time delay" you'll see they're referring to what's commonly known as Libet's delay, not a delay in what we perceive. I'm sure there's some tiny (a couple millisecond perhaps?) delay but clearly the delay is so small as to be imperceptible. For example, when we're driving and need to pull into traffic, we may see a car coming towards us but we are not anything like 350 ms off on our timing when we pull out behind or in front of such a vehicle. Our ability to see what's happening, when it's happening, is something necessary for survival. There are numerous examples of our ability to instinctually react to events as they happen. The delay being referred to is only the delay between when we believe we've made a conscious decision and the initiation of some brain events that foretell the actual 'decision'.

From Google:
The neural time factor in conscious and unconscious events. Author information: ... Our experimental finding that conscious intention to act appears only after a delay of about 350 ms from the onset of specific cerebral activity that precedes a voluntary act provided indirect evidence for the theory.

https://www.google.com/search?q=conscio ... 36&bih=694
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on October 15th, 2017, 9:39 pm 

RJG » October 15th, 2017, 11:03 am wrote:Yes, those believing in “instantaneous” consciousness (i.e. Zeno tricks), are the ones that seemingly are tricked into believing in conscious causation (aka free-will).

Those believing in the validity of Zeno style nonsense arguments are the ones that seemingly are tricked into believing in absolute determinism (aka no free-will).

Physical determinism is dead. The tests of this hypothesis by the scientific method rule against the idea of hidden variables determining events. Of course one is free to reach beyond the premises of the scientific worldview, even into fairyland if you want to, in order to cling to an ideology of determinism if that is what 'winds your clock' (he he).

Braininvat » October 15th, 2017, 9:57 am wrote:I am not saying there are not worthy arguments against downward causation in neuroscience, and there are sophisticated causal arguments against free will, but only that the OP is not one of them. It ignores phenomenology (the virtual space within us) at its own peril.

Agreed. The biggest difficulty with free will is defining it in a logically consistent manner. I believe that doing this requires going just as far outside the premises of the scientific worldview as does determinism, i.e. by discarding the presumption of time-ordered causality. Thus, either way this must be consigned to the realm of subjective judgement in which diversity of opinion is inherent. However, for those who do credit the idea, free will can be successfully defined as becoming the cause of ones free will choices. In the time-ordered causality view, this will look like the indeterminacy of random events -- which is not by any means to say that indeterminacy equals free will -- not hardly! BUT for those just as willing to step outside the scientific worldview as the determinists apparently are, that indeterminacy can be taken as representing instants of causality of a different kind which include free will.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 15th, 2017, 11:03 pm 

When I drop a ball it falls to the ground and bounces.

I understand this as an event of a ball being dropped and falling to the ground and bouncing. I do not understand this event as separate and parceled sequences of meaningless events, within events, within events, ...

Certain methodologies are of certain usage. They are all necessarily limited. What is incredibly easy to do is overextend a certain method beyond its immediate use. When this happens certain discrepancies and paradoxes present themselves, and the person partaking in this method may be completely blind to these discrepancies and not even see the paradoxes at all. Only study and attempts to argue against your own position, attempts to refute the obviousness you hold to, will lead to a broader and more complete set of methods that can both work for your problem and work against it.

Basically, if you think you've exhausted all other avenues you're only fooling yourself. If your not fooling yourself then you should be able to bring a very fresh and unique methodology to the table and present it to others.

You can travel far without moving, but you're only ever really going to understand your own position once you actually move away from it.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on October 16th, 2017, 12:56 am 

Dave_C wrote:I quoted the part I'd like to bring attention to. It sounds like you're suggesting that there is a significant delay between what we perceive and what is actually happening.

Hi Dave. The 9' (3 meters) number is based on 150 ms time delay.

Dave_C wrote:If you Google "conscious time delay" you'll see they're referring to what's commonly known as Libet's delay, not a delay in what we perceive.

Although similar, CTD is not Libet's Delay. Libet's delay is related to 'decision making'.

If we remove 'transmission' delay, then CTD is the time from a bodily experience to the consciousness (knowing/recognition) of said bodily experience. This recognition time is said to be ~150-200 ms for the average human.

For example, if you touch your finger to the table, your finger actually (in reality) contacted the table 150-200 ms BEFORE you were consciously aware of it.

Dave_C wrote:Our ability to see what's happening, when it's happening, is something necessary for survival.

Yes, certainly, but you seem to imply that consciousness is necessary for the body to "do" something.

Remember, EVERYTHING (and I mean 'everything') that we are conscious of has already happened; we can only be conscious of 'past' events. We can't be conscious-of-X, without X 'already' existing/happening.

We don't/can't consciously move our bodies about.
We can only be conscious of our bodies moving about.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Dave_C on October 16th, 2017, 8:30 am 

Could you please provide a reference for the 150 ms delay?

Thanks,
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on October 16th, 2017, 4:33 pm 

Dave_C wrote:Could you please provide a reference for the 150 ms delay?

Sure, below are some references regarding the 'time delay' of bodily experiences to the consciousness of said bodily experiences. Most seem to support 200 ms (as opposed to 150 ms). Also, don't forget that CTD also includes "transmission delays" (i.e. light waves to the eyes, sound waves to the ears, etc.) which then adds to the total CTD time delay.

But again, focusing on the ‘amount’ of the time delay has no real meaning/value. It is the logical consequence of the 'time-delay' itself; it is the "what comes before/after what" (i.e. the chronological relationship) that is important. It does not matter if the time delay is .000000000001 ms, or 150 ms, or 10 years. For ANY time delay whatsoever (greater than 0.0, i.e. “instantaneous”) makes “consciously doing” absolutely logically impossible.

When Perception becomes Conscious -- http://cogprints.org/838/1/BJP2web.html

Now you see it, now you know you see it -- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 131329.htm

The processing of information is not conscious, but its products often are -- https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals ... AA85C80339

Subjective referral of the timing for a conscious sensory experience: a functional role for the somatosensory specific projection system in man.
-- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/427530


**************

Also, further regarding the impossibility of consciously "doing" or consciously moving our bodies about -- A study by Masao Matsuhashi and Mark Hallett, published in 2008, conclude that a person's awareness cannot be the cause of movement, and may instead only notice the movement.

Matsuhashi and Hallett's study can be summarized thus. The researchers hypothesized that, if our conscious intentions are what causes movement genesis (i.e. the start of an action), then naturally, our conscious intentions should always occur before any movement has begun. Otherwise, if we ever become aware of a movement only after it has already been started, our awareness could not have been the cause of that particular movement. Simply put, conscious intention must precede action if it is its cause.

Matsuhashi and Hallet concluded that the feeling of the conscious intention to move does not cause movement genesis; both the feeling of intention and the movement itself are the result of unconscious processing.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 16th, 2017, 11:41 pm 

RJG » October 17th, 2017, 4:33 am wrote:
Dave_C wrote:Could you please provide a reference for the 150 ms delay?

Sure, below are some references regarding the 'time delay' of bodily experiences to the consciousness of said bodily experiences. Most seem to support 200 ms (as opposed to 150 ms). Also, don't forget that CTD also includes "transmission delays" (i.e. light waves to the eyes, sound waves to the ears, etc.) which then adds to the total CTD time delay.

But again, focusing on the ‘amount’ of the time delay has no real meaning/value. It is the logical consequence of the 'time-delay' itself; it is the "what comes before/after what" (i.e. the chronological relationship) that is important. It does not matter if the time delay is .000000000001 ms, or 150 ms, or 10 years. For ANY time delay whatsoever (greater than 0.0, i.e. “instantaneous”) makes “consciously doing” absolutely logically impossible.

When Perception becomes Conscious -- http://cogprints.org/838/1/BJP2web.html

Now you see it, now you know you see it -- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 131329.htm

The processing of information is not conscious, but its products often are -- https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals ... AA85C80339

Subjective referral of the timing for a conscious sensory experience: a functional role for the somatosensory specific projection system in man.
-- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/427530


**************

Also, further regarding the impossibility of consciously "doing" or consciously moving our bodies about -- A study by Masao Matsuhashi and Mark Hallett, published in 2008, conclude that a person's awareness cannot be the cause of movement, and may instead only notice the movement.

Matsuhashi and Hallett's study can be summarized thus. The researchers hypothesized that, if our conscious intentions are what causes movement genesis (i.e. the start of an action), then naturally, our conscious intentions should always occur before any movement has begun. Otherwise, if we ever become aware of a movement only after it has already been started, our awareness could not have been the cause of that particular movement. Simply put, conscious intention must precede action if it is its cause.

Matsuhashi and Hallet concluded that the feeling of the conscious intention to move does not cause movement genesis; both the feeling of intention and the movement itself are the result of unconscious processing.


Two of the links above are the same (and out of date). One is from 1979, and therefore even more out of date, and the only recent study does nothing to back up what you are saying because it is referring to the time delay between the biological mechanism and the delay in processing the information.

Note: Information can be processed unconsciously and felt consciously without any awareness of sense datum. Known as "blind sightedness".

Also, Velman doesn't say what you say.

The only thing of relevance seems to be this:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130131329.htm

but it's merely a news article and doesn't say anything about what you are proposing.

Did you read these or just google search so as to make it look like you know what you're talking about. I think we both know the answer to that question! ;)

Nice try though. Next time try READING something before you post it?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on October 17th, 2017, 1:11 am 

mitchellmckain » October 15th, 2017, 8:39 pm wrote:The biggest difficulty with free will is defining it in a logically consistent manner. I believe that doing this requires going just as far outside the premises of the scientific worldview as does determinism, i.e. by discarding the presumption of time-ordered causality. Thus, either way this must be consigned to the realm of subjective judgement in which diversity of opinion is inherent. However, for those who do credit the idea, free will can be successfully defined as becoming the cause of ones free will choices. In the time-ordered causality view, this will look like the indeterminacy of random events -- which is not by any means to say that indeterminacy equals free will -- not hardly! BUT for those just as willing to step outside the scientific worldview as the determinists apparently are, that indeterminacy can be taken as representing instants of causality of a different kind which include free will.


From this it would be fair to say that free will is on more shaky ground than determinism. At least in case of determinism there is no difficulty in explaining what this means. And to be sure, it is the more simple picture of the universe. But therein lies the source of my own considerable skepticism -- for I see very little in modern physics to equate simplicity with truth -- quite the opposite. Simplicity rather than reflecting the reality of the universe has far more to do with the way that people would LIKE things to be.

I have given the definition of free will as becoming the cause of our free will choices, which is certainly an idea of causality which defies the ordering of cause as preceding effect in time. There is no denying that the time-ordered version of causality is all we need to explain the majority of things we see in the world. So what do we see of the process in that perspective? I have always been focused on the fact that in our mental world, the cause for our choices are reasons which are themselves chosen every bit as much as the original issue. And this is what lead me to this idea of free will consisting of cause and effect coming into being simultaneously. Of course, the reality is usually much more complex, for most of the time we make choices first and come up with our reasons later the process of rationalization.

But let's take this step by step. The (incompatibilist) idea of free will claims the following...
1. We are the cause of at least some of the choices we make.
2. Some of these choices are free because they are not determined by pre-existing conditions -- at least, not in a causal chain that can be entirely traced to things outside of ourselves.

(Note that this acknowledges the possibility that we are not cause of some actions and that some actions may well be determined by conditions outside of ourselves. In other words, there are conditions in which people are not responsible for their actions.)

Frankly, the fact of quantum indeterminacy and the always likely impact of this indeterminacy in the operation of the brain (which scientists are now apparently finding evidence for, see post by Faradave), is already sufficient to establish these two claims. The cause of some choices cannot entirely be determined by outside events because random events in the brain contribute to the determination of these choices.

BUT, you may well question whether that should properly be equated with free will. It seems to me, this comes down to whether we take ownership of these random elements in the operation of our own brain or we pretend to stand outside ourselves as an objective observer. I frankly do not believe the latter is helpful in the living of our lives. But we can also think of it this way... sometimes when we do not know better we follow random inclinations, but when these lead to undesirable consequences we limit ourselves and do not let the random elements of our behavior rule us is similar circumstances in the future. Thus we call this taking responsibility for our mistakes and learning from them.

From this perspective, we can acknowledge that people often make mistakes when they do know any better and if they are to have the freedom to learn from mistakes, then we ought to equate responsibility not with never making any mistakes but equate responsibility with learning from our mistakes.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby bangstrom on October 17th, 2017, 7:18 am 

Dave_C » October 15th, 2017, 7:48 pm wrote: It sounds like you're suggesting that there is a significant delay between what we perceive and what is actually happening. If you Google "conscious time delay" you'll see they're referring to what's commonly known as Libet's delay, not a delay in what we perceive. I'm sure there's some tiny (a couple millisecond perhaps?) delay but clearly the delay is so small as to be imperceptible. For example, when we're driving and need to pull into traffic, we may see a car coming towards us but we are not anything like 350 ms off on our timing when we pull out behind or in front of such a vehicle. Our ability to see what's happening, when it's happening, is something necessary for survival. There are numerous examples of our ability to instinctually react to events as they happen. The delay being referred to is only the delay between when we believe we've made a conscious decision and the initiation of some brain events that foretell the actual 'decision'.


One part of the conscious time delay the sodium-potasium pump delay that limits the speed of neural conduction velocities. Electrical signals in neural connections are transmitted by a stadium-wave like exchange of sodium and potassium ions across a neural membrane which is a far slower signal speed than the transmission electrons in a wire. The normal conduction velocities for a human are in the range of 40-65 meters per second so the the signal speed varies with the length of the neural connection.

This speed is too slow when there is danger from a sudden injury, such as touching a hot stove, so some reactions are reflexive and controlled by the spinal cord rather than by the brain. If someone touches a hot stove, a shorter signal from the spinal cord tells them to withdraw their hand faster than possible for a reaction from the brain.

Here is an old demonstration of how our reaction times are slower than we think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaZ9Gdj93kg

There is also a trick to catching the bill. Most people dropping the bill will glance down just before they drop it so watch their eyes instead of the bill.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on October 17th, 2017, 8:36 am 

Mitch and Badger, I admire your passion to defend a long held belief, but the logic is just not there.

Either CTD (of 'any' amount) exists, or it does not.
If it does exist, then conscious causation does not.

If B>A is true, then B<A is not.

If we wish to move forward in truly understanding reality, then we may need to let go of some old beliefs.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 17th, 2017, 10:44 am 

What are you talking about?

The stuff I see is has already happened. So what? Most of my bodily functions go on without me having to do anything about them.

I am conscious. It doesn't matter if I am conscious of a few milliseconds ago or even next week. I am conscious "in the now". This is the ONLY "reality" I know of and the rest is inferred.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby bangstrom on October 17th, 2017, 2:36 pm 

RJG » October 17th, 2017, 7:36 am wrote:

Either CTD (of 'any' amount) exists, or it does not.
If it does exist, then conscious causation does not.

If B>A is true, then B<A is not.


I don’t see why we can’t have both. Our conscious reality runs a little behind our physical reality so we have CTD.

It has been said that we live about a half second behind our physical reality or that a person who jumps from a tall building dies when they are about six feet above the ground. They don’t live to consciously see themselves hit the ground.

B>A is a false equivalence. Instead we have CTD=A+TD> A where A is physical reality. Conscious causation is A+TD (in) + TD (out) + TD (in) back again. The latter is the slowest of all but there is no B separate from A since A is a part of the entire process.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on October 17th, 2017, 3:51 pm 

RJG wrote:Either CTD (of 'any' amount) exists, or it does not.
If it does exist, then conscious causation does not.
If B>A is true, then B<A is not.

bangstrom wrote:I don’t see why we can’t have both. Our conscious reality runs a little behind our physical reality so we have CTD.

We do have both (consciousness-of-physical-reality, and physical reality), ...one just ‘follows’ (is after) the other. -- see explanation below.

bangstrom wrote:It has been said that we live about a half second behind our physical reality or that a person who jumps from a tall building dies when they are about six feet above the ground. They don’t live to consciously see themselves hit the ground.

...very interesting observation, ...agreed!

bangstrom wrote:B>A is a false equivalence. Instead we have CTD=A+TD> A where A is physical reality. Conscious causation is A+TD (in) + TD (out) + TD (in) back again. The latter is the slowest of all but there is no B separate from A since A is a part of the entire process.

I think (?) we are saying the same thing, but differently. Here is my code sheet:

A = physical reality
B = consciousness-of-A (i.e. consciousness-of-physical-reality)
> = lags (i.e. “is after”)
< = leads (i.e. “is before”)

If B>A is true, then B<A is not. (i.e. if B is after A, then B cannot be before A). And if B<A is not true, then conscious causation cannot be true.

Note: Conscious causation is only possible if B leads A (B<A), ...but which of course is not possible without the pre-existence of A, which thereby defeats the possibility of B causing A. Conscious causation is therefore not logically possible.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on October 17th, 2017, 7:54 pm 

RJG wrote:Either CTD (of 'any' amount) exists, or it does not.
If it does exist, then conscious causation does not.
If B>A is true, then B<A is not.

bangstrom wrote:I don’t see why we can’t have both. Our conscious reality runs a little behind our physical reality so we have CTD.

In case I misinterpreted your question earlier, and so as to be clear, 'CTD' and ‘conscious causation’ are mutually exclusive (cannot co-exist). If 'CTD' exists, then 'conscious causation' cannot!

If B>A is true, then B<A is not.
If B follows A, then A cannot follow B.


bangstrom wrote:Instead we have CTD=A+TD> A where A is physical reality. Conscious causation is A+TD (in) + TD (out) + TD (in) back again. The latter is the slowest of all but there is no B separate from A since A is a part of the entire process.

Bang, I’m still trying to decipher your equation -- What is TD, TD (in), and TD (out)? And how does TD differ from CTD?

Shouldn't it be:
A = (a happening in) physical reality
B = A + CTD = the consciousness-of-A
CTD = .5 seconds


BadgerJelly wrote:The stuff I see is has already happened. So what?

Yes, everything that we are ‘presently’ conscious of has already happened. All this means is that since we can’t cause (or change) the ‘past’, we therefore have no say-so in our ‘present’ conscious experiences. That’s all.

Conscious causation (aka "free-will") is therefore non-sensical.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 17th, 2017, 9:40 pm 

RJG -

The above premise (which literally no one here would deny) has nothing to do with the conclusion.

Every time you post online you should just post what you said in your last post. That is literally all you have to say and all you've been able to say for 5 years.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 18th, 2017, 2:53 am 

It actually might be useful to add to this for the sake of others reading this (because I already understand you dismiss anything that questions what you hold so dearly to.)

So we generally speaking understand that we have goals and desires in life and act out according to these goals and desires. We have certain needs to keep in check in order to survive from one day to the next and innate drives. These would include thinigs we consciously experience as "hunger", "thirst", "sexual desires" (reproductive drive), "exploration", "play", ertc.,.

As these are generally speaking what drives us to possess consciousness, consciousness acts as a regulatory state. The drive to eat is presented and then we attend to the environment to acquire food. If certain obsticles are n our way other functional mental "circuits" are engaged. So as an organism we are constantly checking against our goals and how to attain them. Some goals will have greater influence depending on the current biological state. If we are starving to death then consciousness will be effectively dragged along by the older parts of the brain because it's primary function is to keep the organism fed. Once you're not starving to death anymore then consciousness is freed up to function as part of other functions.

The human body when finally having met it's desires, then takes on the role of "exploring". Here is primarily where consciousness seems to be most powerful in its function. It is a means of preparation to reach, or sustain, certain goals, and/or create new goals to work toward which only become apparent through "exploration".

The fact that a thought is initiated by some unconscious "spark" is irrelevant in terms of the influence of consciousness. We have a set up tha twhen exposed acts as a plastic cybernetic system where consciousness can be looked upon as holding some imaginary line of distinction between the biological systema and the environment. note that within both of these so called "systems" there are infinite micro and macro delineations.

I don't see anything to suggest that consciousness is merely the "steam from an engine", merely an inert product of an unknown system. If, as RJG seems to be saying, consciousness is the inert product of a complex system then how is it that such an inert system can come to regard the complex system and yet remain utterly severed from it?

When plane crashes into a forest it needn't be regarded as "a plane" by the flora and fauna to be put to some use. In this regard I would say that what consciousness does for theh unconscious, and what the unconscious does for consciousness, are somewhat equilivalent to this analogy.

It would perhaps be an interesting thought to explore the idea of "consciousness" as an "echo" of memory storage, or the "shadow" on a wall. Both of these effects have their own influence on the environment in some fashion.

To me I don't even have to consider whether or not consciousness does anything. For me the question is simply "how much does it do?" My most honest evaluation at the moment would be to say I have no idea, but I can at least say it play a role in the process of refining "exploration" (of the biological organism and environment, by functioning as a delineation between the two interlocked systems and therefore more easily freeing up the brain to carry out it's goals and to alter them as consciousness flailing tries to filter out meaningfully useful information to create more efficient models.)

I cannot condition a ball not to bounce, yet I can condition an organism to react to certain stimuli in certain ways, and I can also reverse such processes too. Some organisms may be more prone to my conditioning than others, and I see consciousness as sharing a similar role with deeper unconscious processes. When I am starving I will act in a certain way. Given the degree to which I am starving I may be able to consciously shift to other less immediate problems and refine focus. Cognitive mapping and imagination is likely the area in which something akin to "conscious control" would be most obvious, in reference to when expected outcomes in the progression toward a set goal are directly blocked. Here is where the more automated bodily reactions fall short and where further, more disassociated, investigation is needed through the use of imagination and creation of a new paradigm - even here though I would expect an admixture of conscious and unconscious processes messily dealing with the situation.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on October 18th, 2017, 8:22 am 

RJG wrote:Either CTD (of 'any' amount) exists, or it does not.
If it does exist, then conscious causation does not.

RJG wrote:Conscious causation (aka "free-will") is therefore non-sensical.

BadgerJelly wrote:The above premise (which literally no one here would deny) has nothing to do with the conclusion.

Badger, first of all, I'm glad you accept the premise that “CTD exists”. Secondly, I realize that, although the conclusion “conscious causation does not exist” is very obvious to me, it may not be so for you (and maybe others?).

So let me try to show the "obvious" from our own conscious perspective. For example, if CTD is 5 full seconds, then this means that the next 5 seconds of our life has already been determined; it has already happened (in reality; real-time), it just hasn't (consciously) 'played out' yet.

Everything that we are going to experience, (including our doing, saying, feeling, thinking, sensing) in the next (and continuing) 5 seconds, has already been set in motion, and has already 'played out' in reality. We can't "consciously do" or experience anything other than what our bodies have already done.

The ‘amount’ of CTD does not matter. Whether CTD is 5, 0.5, or 0.000005 seconds, it does not change the impossibility of “consciously doing”.

Conclusion: If CTD exists, then “conscious causation” does not.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 18th, 2017, 10:07 am 

You're glad I've accepted it?? Are you kidding?? I found it astounding that you think ANYONE is denying this in the first place??

People here dispute the leap to the conclusion that consciousness is completely inert. You've quite literally presented nothing that draws a line between the two.

I was referring to this:

Yes, everything that we are ‘presently’ conscious of has already happened. All this means is that since we can’t cause (or change) the ‘past’, we therefore have no say-so in our ‘present’ conscious experiences. That’s all.


NO ONE has a problem with the first sentence in regard to the sensible world. You've presented NOTHING to make a leap from there to the idea of consciousness as merely steam from an engine venting into the void.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on October 18th, 2017, 12:15 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:You're glad I've accepted it?? Are you kidding??

No, I’m not kidding. It makes my heart smile when you agree with me :-) …as it has been many years since this last happened!

RJG wrote:Yes, everything that we are ‘presently’ conscious of has already happened. All this means is that since we can’t cause (or change) the ‘past’, we therefore have no say-so in our ‘present’ conscious experiences. That’s all.

BadgerJelly wrote:NO ONE has a problem with the first sentence in regard to the sensible world. You've presented NOTHING to make a leap from there to the idea of consciousness as merely steam from an engine venting into the void.

Well, I don’t know about the “steam venting into the void”. I am merely logically asserting that two contradictory items cannot co-exist. “Conscious causation” is not possible if "CTD exists" (and vice versa). These are mutually exclusive.

In other words, we can’t ‘cause’ something that has already been caused. ...we are a day late and a dollar short!
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on October 18th, 2017, 2:05 pm 

RJG » October 18th, 2017, 11:15 am wrote:In other words, we can’t ‘cause’ something that has already been caused. ...we are a day late and a dollar short!

That we cannot cause something that has already been caused does not establish that we are not the cause of that which has already been caused. All it establishes is that our decision process takes time and thus we cannot second guess ourselves in the tenth of a second between choice and action (or between choice and awareness of choice complete) even if it were possible to be consciously aware of such a time in-between.

It is a strawman argument which suggests any opposition to determinism means cause never proceeds to effect in a deterministic manner. It has been stipulated constantly on this forum that the vast majority of processes are deterministic. The opposition to determinism has always been a claim that not everything is determined 100%, for science has established there are events for which there are no hidden variable determining the result beyond giving a probability distribution for a set of possible outcomes.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Dave_C on October 18th, 2017, 9:47 pm 

Hi RJG. Thanks for the links. I don't believe they support the definition of CTD that you're using. Rather, they're referring to conscious awareness as opposed to phenomenal conscious experiences. Regardless, I don't disagree that there is a time delay between the information meeting your eyes, ears, tactile sensations, etc... and the time at which they MIGHT become conscious in the sense the authors mean.

Short story: I do a lot of hiking and running on trails. One day I was walking along and suddenly stopped without any apparent reason. A fraction of a second later I realized there was a snake on the ground in front of me, but at the time I stopped, I was not aware of the snake.

Sorry, one more short story: On another trail, I was running along when I suddenly jumped up in the air and found myself screaming at the top of my lungs. Again, I wasn't aware of the rattler just inches under my feet until a fraction of a second later.

These are the kinds of events I believe the links provided are referencing. Example:
There is a tiny period of time between the registration of a visual stimulus by the unconscious mind and our conscious recognition of it -- between the time we see an apple and the time we recognize it as an apple.


Libet, Wright, Feinstein & Pearl (1979), for example, found that direct microelectrode stimulation of the somatosensory cortex required a pulse train of at least 200 msec duration before any conscious awareness of the stimulus was reported (pulse trains 10% shorter than this were not subjectively experienced).

When these events become recognized 'consciously' I believe they are suggesting that we become aware of them.

That is not to say that the phenomenal experiences such as watching a ball as we wait to catch it, are delayed by 200 ms. I understand the references to mean that hidden, unexpected events are delayed. Things such as being consciously aware that we are about to step on is a snake is delayed. Such events are unexpected as opposed to being part of the expected chain of events that we are experiencing.

The distinction I'd like to suggest is that we can have a phenomenal experience of the normal course of events that is only delayed by such things as (bangstrom)
the conscious time delay the sodium-potasium pump delay that limits the speed of neural conduction velocities. Electrical signals in neural connections are transmitted by a stadium-wave like exchange of sodium and potassium ions across a neural membrane which is a far slower signal speed than the transmission electrons in a wire. The normal conduction velocities for a human are in the range of 40-65 meters per second so the the signal speed varies with the length of the neural connection.

This speed is too slow when there is danger from a sudden injury, such as touching a hot stove, so some reactions are reflexive and controlled by the spinal cord rather than by the brain. If someone touches a hot stove, a shorter signal from the spinal cord tells them to withdraw their hand faster than possible for a reaction from the brain.


Yes, we have a delay in our ability to react to events, just as banstrom points out regarding the bill that falls. I totally agree. And I'd acknowledge there's a much smaller delay (fraction of 200 ms) that's due to physical restrictions due to the propagation of causal events.

To get to your point,
The ‘amount’ of CTD does not matter. Whether CTD is 5, 0.5, or 0.000005 seconds, it does not change the impossibility of “consciously doing”.

Conclusion: If CTD exists, then “conscious causation” does not.

I disagree the conclusion follows the observation.

Epiphenomenalism is a problem (logical dilemma) we have to address.
Stanford U of Phil calls this "self-stultification". The key here is the concept that epiphenomenalism requires the phenomena in question to be acausal.
The most powerful reason for rejecting epiphenomenalism is the view that it is incompatible with knowledge of our own minds — and thus, incompatible with knowing that epiphenomenalism is true.

... (i) knowledge of one's mental events requires that these events cause one's knowledge, but (ii) epiphenomenalism denies physical effects of mental events. So, either we cannot know our own mental events, or our knowledge of them cannot be what is causing the plainly physical event of our saying something about our mental events. Thus, suppose S is an epiphenomenalist, and that S utters “I am in terrible pain.” S is committed to the view that the pain does not cause the utterance. But then, it seems, S would be making the same utterance whether or not a pain were occurring. If this is so, then S's testimonies about S's own pains are worthless — both to us and to S. They cannot be taken to represent any knowledge about pains on S's part (if S's epiphenomenalist view is true). In fact, on an epiphenomenalist view, all the arguments for epiphenomenalism and rebuttals to counterarguments we have reviewed might be given even if we were all zombies — i.e., even if we were all possessed of physical causes of our utterances and completely devoid of any mental life whatsoever.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epip ... sm/#SelStu

Others have also written about this issue in different ways including Chalmers, Rosenberg, Shoemaker and others. The concept is fairly simple though. If our conscious experience of the world really doesn't cause anything to happen, then any claims we have about that experience are not about the experience itself because clearly, that experience didn't cause anything to happen, including our mention of it.

We know that things such as pain (burning ourselves) may not be phenomenal events that we become aware of until a few hundred ms have passed, but we react to them anyway (ie: without having a phenomenal experience of being aware of the pain) because the body has already 'programed' itself to react prior to our awareness of it. This doesn't mean phenomenal consciousness is epiphenomenal.

One way phenomenal consciousness might be causative is for it to 'program' our neurons to react in a certain way. There's a lot of support for this type of reasoning. There are other options. Regardless, suggesting phenomenal consciousness is not causative because CTD prevents phenomenal consciousness from intervening in the causal chain presents logical dilemmas that haven't been resolved yet and are not likely to be.

Best regards,
Dave.
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