Sunday, December 8, 2013

Keep On Top

As I noted in the sister blog to this -- -- I found two sets of handwritten notebooks in a box of material left in a remote storage facility I had rented.  This is the second set, and you might want to look at first to give you the background of this blog. 

The earliest post here more or less matches the July 26 post in -- so start at the bottom of this blog here with the July 26 entry which is the date I typed it and posted it here.  The notebook pages themselves lack dates.

ED. NOTE ...

Only look at this note if you started the story in the original blog here.


As of this point, the first set of notebooks pick up the story here is a link to the post in the original blog which carries the story forward...

If you are keeping track overall, the structure is:

- earliest entry, which started this story, in the first blog here,

- then this blog starts here and the first blog continues here, both in tandem for two entries,

- then this blog only continues the story here,

- and now the story reverts back to the first blog here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23

It is early in the morning.  The last time we met was a couple days ago when every one was burned out.  Now everyone looked better, sharper.   Except Theo, who was looking at us all affably though his large screen presence, just about the same way he was the other day.  He hadn’t been burned out like us though.

“Good morning all, and I am glad to see everyone looks more rested than they did only a few days ago.”

Murmurs of agreement.

“I have a few thoughts on this matter, I began, but before I get there, I want to open the floor up to everyone in the event we should change our way of thinking about the issue.”

“I have something Mark,” said Terence Moore,  a microbiologist who was probably the third or fourth smartest person in the room, “I was thinking through the procedure and I kept getting stuck on one point, which to my mind seems fatal to the entanglement analysis – with all due respect to you and Theo”  and Terence turned his chair and bowed his upper body slightly to Theo in respect; Theo nodding at the gesture.  “From what I heard about entanglement the other day, and the little research I could do on it, and it is NOT my area, isn’t entanglement between two particles?  How could there be entanglement here  There was three way copying – between original Mark – sorry Mark – the mold – and Nano mark – sorry Mark again.” 

I hadn’t thought about that.  I went through everything in mind.  Could Terence be right? 

Theo picked up the conversation immediately.  “well, that is very very good thought.  And although very basic, it is right --- from what we have seen entanglement won’t work in threes but in twos and possibly n multiples of two, four, eight, etc.  And it is something I went through myself yesterday and almost called you all then to bring it to your attention.” 

And he paused.  Shit I thought.  Could I really have missed something that simple? 

“But,” he said, and I realized as soon as he said it that Terence’s assumption was in error because the copying process wasn’t that simple.  Theo went there too…

“The copying process isn’t that simple; there isn’t a one-for one correspondence between the mold and the original, or the mold and the copy.  Think of a scaffolding, which Mark explained to me the other day is really the mold – more than one piece of scaffolding may be used to surround a building – four straight places for example maybe used to surround a single thing like a chimney – assuming for the moment a chimney s a single thing.  There is no one to one correspondence.

Similarly, a number of nano may surround a single nerve cell, or deeper a single nerve axon, or even deeper a single molecule of neurotransmitter contained within the axon, or even deeper a single proton contained within the single molecule, etc. etc.  There is no link formed there.  Where the link is formed is in the transmission to the next piece, because, believe it or not, entanglement can occur in an indirect fashion – through other arts, known as entanglement swapping.  And I am willing to get into that in detail including the projective measurement I Think that occurs ….”

“No no no,” I said quickly, “I am not sure that is necessary.  In other words, Terence has a real question, you considered it, but you think it isn’t really a problem, although it is a reasonable question.”

Theo nodded.  “Yes, that is right, and” turning to Terence, “the answer to the problem you raise was only discovered very recently so congratulations…did you say you are not a particle physicist?”

And Terence turned slightly red, and smiled weakly while the rest of the room laughed.  Despite his obvious intelligence, Terence’s math ability was pretty limited – legendarily so in an incident involving his interpretation of certain test results a few months ago.  But I saw no reason to go there now.

“No Theo he isn’t, but he is very very smart.”  Looking around.  “Does anyone have anything else on this?  Any other questions?”


“Okay, then here are some thoughts I have. “

 The room quieted.

“After we left the other day I was thinking about options.  And some of them you will read about in my diary entries, because even though Mark isn’t here to keep a comparative one it is still helpful for your review.  And I thought about making a mold of me, and making another me out is mark’s mold, and other things but each of those have potential problems and could add more variables – not to mention more people --  and we seem to have enough of both right now.  So then I lay down for a few minutes, cause I am still not sleeping but I do find the need for some rest.”  I saw Karen nodding out of the corner of my eye. “You probably caught a spike in mark’s brain activity right about then?  And she nodded.  “Yes, that would make sense, said Theo.

I saw a few puzzled looks.  :that is because Mark and I are opposites remember and if I am resting he will be active…but unfortunately I can’t sleep totally – it goes the other way too.  In any event,” I went on not concerned right now with explaining that, “as I lay there thinking about not much, except how odd it was that I was observing myself though my diary, and of course how observation is very important o the quantum method…”

I stopped, and Theo said “of course!”

“Umm what?”  this time it was Jim doing the asking.

“The only reason particles collapse, like those here, is because we are all looking at them.  It doesn’t matter if we are looking at ourselves…”

Everyone was looking blankly at me.  Expect Theo, who was lost in contemplation, “yes, yes” he was saying.  “It might just work.”

“Mark, I am sorry I really don’t know what you are talking about,” Jim said.

“Meow,” I said.

“excuse me?” 


Jim just stared.

Have you even heard of Schrodinger’s cat?

And Jim quieted down now.

I turned to the rest of the room.  “Schroedinger was a particle physicist, like Theo up there, who helped establish the now standard model of particle physics.  Particle Physics is weird –- another scientist Richard Feynman said if you understand it you don’t understand it (or some such; Theo correct?)  One of the aspects tight is weirdest is a thought experiment called Schrodinger’s cat: 

The most commonly held interpretation of quantum mechanics is the Copenhagen interpretation.[5] In the Copenhagen interpretation, a system stops being a superposition of states and becomes either one or the other when an observation takes place. This experiment makes apparent the fact that the nature of measurement, or observation, is not well-defined in this interpretation. The experiment can be interpreted to mean that while the box is closed, the system simultaneously exists in a superposition of the states "decayed nucleus/dead cat" and "undecayed nucleus/living cat," and that only when the box is opened and an observation performed does the wave function collapse into one of the two states.”

[note from me: since some of this material is even more technical but true her are some links]

“Now, the entire reason we are having issues now is because the particles in my brain are the opposite of those in Mark’s brain – the entanglement we talked about the other day.  Well, entanglement comes about in the first instance because the entire range of positions subatomic particles can be in – or superposition – are collapsed by the link – or something like that, and Theo I know I am simplifying but that is okay for right now.” 

Theo who was leaning forward about to interrupt me, nodded and sat back.

 “Now, the solution to our problem is this.  Put Mark and me in Schrodinger’s boxes, where we can’t be observed, we can’t communicate, we are totally and completely isolated.  That state, where no one can perceive us, will allow to superposition to reform,  and Mark to regain consciousness – lifting the positions imposed by observation.  Total, Complete. Isolation.”

“But wait,” Jim objected, and then fell silent.  Theo was nodding rapidly now, following me, so rapidly that his glasses almost feel off.

“Ok, Theo, your turn,” and I sat down. 

“This, this, is quite remarkable,” he stammered.  “I don’t think Schrodinger’s box has even been proposed as a method of breaking the effects of entanglement.  And it really couldn’t be,” he said faster now, warming to the topic, “because there was no way of determining what was going on inside a Schrodinger box  We could put someone in a box sure but since they weren’t entangled it really didn’t matter.  In other words, the non entangled consciousness state really is the norm.  And with a cat, of course, we had no idea what happened.  And of course we couldn’t try the same experiment on a person – to determine if he or she is dead or alive.  Since this sis the first entanglement of consciousness we are aware of, it is really quite a ground breaking proposal – and solution.”

“I knew you’d like it,” I said.

The rest of the meeting was devoted to planning the isolation boxes. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21 - Tear Out Page

--tear out page –

I wouldn’t usually give away the fact I knew something like the why – the problem we were having and an answer --  what I called the only answer but it really wasn’t -- in the “public” pages I just wrote because it probably would give me an advantage at some point but on this one I think it will be obvious to others pretty soon– after all Theo is a Nobel Prize prospect  --- once they start thinking this through, so it might actually help me now to provide the answer to everyone, and to get a jump start on a final solution.

So I am going to spend the next few hours and tomorrow if I have to confirming what I think, and what to do about it.   Because the first issue for me now is what to do about it once they implement the solution, since the solution as I figure it will effectively block me off from others, from life, for an indeterminate period.  How can I make sure I survive?

It’s ironic isn’t it?  I – as “original” Mark -- have created me –- nano Mark -- yet I and me can’t both exist as consciousness’s.  And I see “original” Mark as different enough from me, as another person, that I want to survive, and if original Mark doesn’t cie la vie…as long as it is not me.  The instinct to survive truly is unique to the organism.  The unique organism.

---end tear out page --

Friday, September 20, 2013

September 21

The possibility that we overlooked something like complementariness “spooky action at a distance” as Einstein called it, was troubling to the future of the technology and it troubled me.  One thing I’m wondering about would be the effect of cloning me, to see how far the effects might go – would a clone of me become instantly catatonic?  Would I become catatonic?  If I did, would non-nano Mark recover?  Would a clone of me be just like non nano Mark?  Probably not to the latter question because that clone wouldn’t be a identical non nano Mark because events had occurred and time had passed to make me different enough so that my clone would be different enough from non nano mark so that those two couldn’t be the same – couldn’t both be identical complimentary copies of me. 

What about reusing the original mold – to make another clone of non nano mark – a duplicate of me as of the moment I came out?  But the problem with that might be seemed to be that such a second nano copy of Mark would provide a second pairing of complimentary particles.   Mark to me, and then Mark to the new guy.  That might mess up Mark’s and my pairing, I don’t think a three way pairing is even possible.  So I really didn’t want to go there – who knew what might happen if we tried.  Three subatomic particles joined together as complimentary…it would be too risky.

This was getting to be a little too much.  Send in the clones. Ha.  I had to lay down and close my eyes for a few. 

And I opened them because I suddenly realized the why, the why of both the problem we were having and the only possible answer to the problem.  Time to get to work.  I had the rest of today and tomorrow to conform before the team met again.

September 20

We were reconvened. 

“Good morning all.  First I want to confirm there has been no change in Mark.  Right?” 

Karen Romanofski, in charge of monitoring him, said “For the most part yes.  We had a stirring of what we thought was REM at one point last night, but it settled down.  Also, some of the basal markers seemed to show a less deep sleep but that too was pretty short lived.”

“Thank you.  And I also want to introduce, up on the screen Theodore Aristes, a particle physicist.  He is here to hopefully help us sort this thing out.”  Theodore nodded and a few people nodded back at the screen.

“Now yesterday when we met I gave you some initial thoughts I had but they weren’t all that well formed.  So let me just follow up on those for a minute or two.”

“The results in my experiment are different than the Jekyll and Hyde results.  And mice are different than us, as we know, but they have been used in experiments for a long time because of the many metabolic similarities between mice and us, and the ability to control the purity of many mouse characteristics.  But, inadvertently, we may have ignored one of the greatest differences and in the process made significant progress towards answering one of the greatest questions in science: What is human consciousness?   Unfortunately, though, the progress we’ve made involves a question that’s equally big:  entanglement.“

I saw light dawning on a couple of faces and total incomprehension on most of others.

“Now this isn’t really my area, and so I asked Theo to give us background and his analysis.  For those who don’t know him, which may be all of you, Theo is one of the most eminent scientists in the dark arts of quantum mechanics, and is an old friend of mine too.  He has very little background with our material specifically, but last  We have engaged him on an urgent basis to look at this situation and give us his point of view from a quantum viewpoint.  Which could lead to a Schroedinger joke here but won’t.”  I smile but thinly, because this situation was worrisome. 


 “I don’t have enough information to reach a conclusion, and I certainty can’t draw a conclusion regarding the consciousness issue, but as a first step let’s discuss how a possible entanglement problem might exist.  I’ve looked at the material from these experiments that I received late last night, and Mark and I talked this morning about some details.  Initially therefore, I’d like to state a brief précis of the facts as I understand them, so we all have the same context.”  He looked at me from the screen and I nodded.  He nodded too and turned back to the crowd in front of him. 

“Finally, since my review of this material has been very cursory because of time demands I may have missed some salient points.  If I have, and that becomes apparent, please let me know. “  We nodded and he nodded back and he began. 

“This is quite an intriguing problem because you have an example of a working prototype – the mouse – which to all intents and purposes has been successfully copied so that there is no entanglement issue – so that the copying of the particles has not led to any sort of opposites in the functioning organisms, the original and the copied.   That is correct right?” 

We all nodded.  He nodded.

“But with regard to the next experiment, a person, the results were not so successful.  While you have a functioning copy,” he nodded at me, and for a brief moment the words threw me, I didn’t nod back, I am a person dammit, “the original has been affected so that there is no apparent higher level cognitive functioning, however, basal functions continue.  In other words, the original is in a comatose like state, but with no need for breathing assistance.”  Nod.  Nod.

“Now, there are a number of things to consider.  The first are the differences between the organisms in the two experiments.  The mouse is no doubt a lower level cognitive organism.  And in fact, the shared basal functions – in the second experiment, the homo sapiens as I noted still possesses them, are functioning identically in both.  Therefore the experiment has successfully copied the attributes necessary for that level of functioning.   And that is in accord I think with entanglement, for reasons I will explain.”

“First, entanglement, for those who don’t know, is a subatomic phenomenon first identified by Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen in a 1935 paper.  It basically means that two particles paired at the quantum level and then separated, take on complimentary, that is opposite, characteristics.  And they do so just about instantaneously, even separated by thousands of miles.  If you change one, even when they are separated by thousands of miles, or we presume millions of miles or lights years, the other changes.  Faster than light.  Einstein called it ‘spooky action at a distance.’”

“Originally, the EPR paper postulated the existence of entanglement to show quantum mechanics was flawed.  As you may know Einstein was no fan of quantum mechanics, and the EPR paper was meant to show that quantum theory, when taken to conclusions that the math demanded, ran out of control, because it would violate the fundamental limit of c, the speed of light.” 

“But then a few years later, entanglement was shown to be a natural phenomenon, to actually exist in nature, in series of experiments by Alain Aspect(?).  And it’s been experimentally verified more than once, and by a number of scientists, so now it is accepted as an unexplained anomaly of quantum mechanics.”

“Entanglement, like most of quantum mechanics, has nothing to do with most of what happens into the world.  The fact that single, or small numbers of particles, act oppositely from each other, as is the case in an entanglement scenario, has nothing to do with the world in most instances because most of what happens in the world isn’t because of single particles, or small numbers of particles.  Rather, most of what happens in the world is because of numbers of particles, large numbers of particles.  After all, a human hair is about one million atoms wide – and each atom is comprised of many subatomic particles.  And so the interactions between all those particles average out.  And that is why the basal functions which are a result of many many particles still work, after copying, in the mouse and people.  They are averaged and entanglement cancels out because there are some many of them.”

There was a slight movement by one of the people in the room.  Carolyn Chen, a mathematician and one of the brightest in the room.  I nodded at her.

“So what you are saying,”  she said slowly, “is that you and Mark” and she looked at me a little uncertainly, cause I am Mark, “consist of paired, subatomic particles, that it isn’t an issue for autonomic particles, because otherwise we would have seen anomalous metabolic results, that otherwise in fact….” And she trailed off and I nodded to show her it was okay, “in fact,” she said, speaking less hesitantly now, “your systems would have failed and you never would have been biologically operative, nor Jekyll and Hyde, now the more primitive organisms, the planarian and the amoebas, etc. etc.  Because none of them have anomalies that we have observed.  Therefore, your cognitive processes, and one presumes, any human cognitive processes, that are affected here…” and she tapered off, lost in thought.

Theo nodded.  “Very good and that’s right.  Perhaps there is a quantum link to consciousness here, which is one of the big questions of life of course, and which has been explored by such as Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose.”

“In other words,” I got up and said, “Some of us may have, at times, wondered it we were anything more than a more complicated animal, that is our quote higher consciousness unquote is simply a function of having a bigger brain with more connections, etc. – a mechanical phenomenon.”

“Well, we may have, depending upon the outcome here, provided significant data to help resolve that issue.”

And I sat down but the impact of what I had said wasn’t lost on the team.  They sat thinking, some of them no doubt about there resume building that would result from this finding too.

“But before we get to the Nobel Prize for Physiology,” I called out from my seat, “we haven’t resolved the problem in front of us.” That helped some of them refocus, and on the screen Theo nodded.

“That’s right,” he said.  “And bringing this back to entanglement, as I mentioned a moment ago, these effect cancel out in the real world – things in the real world are just to big to be affected because quantum effects are so numerous, coming from so many small subatomic particles, that even something as dramatic as entanglement has no effect.”

“But that’s where human consciousness comes in.  To date, we have been unable to quantify consciousness – it is a non computable state.  In other words, and to simplify, we have no idea how to create my sensation of blue in your brain.  We can point to neurons that fire when blue is seen, but we have no idea how to get from there to blue.  Because it’s so far been seen as non-computable therefore, some theories have arisen, like the one from Hameroff and Penrose, that I mentioned before, which is that consciousness may occur through superposition of quantum coherent states until a specific threshold is reached, the states then collapse…”

I had looked around and noticed we were losing some people, even with the excitement in the room.  So I interrupted Theo.

“Theo, I appreciate the background, but I don’t think we can get too deeply into it right now.  Let’s assume for a moment, that whatever the mechanism, quantum effects occur in consciousness.  Could you give us a moment or two on entanglement?”

“Of course, of course.  Entanglement is a term for the situation where two of the same quantum particles are linked, as far as we can tell, permanently.  If you measure one of them, like a proton, you will fix its state.  That is fundamental quantum physics, based on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, because observations fixes qualities in the particle.   If you, at the same time as your measurement, look at the particle the measured particle is linked to, you will find out it is in the exact opposite state of the particle you have just measured.  Instantly.  Faster than the speed of light.

“Now, if entanglement has occurred here, and I cannot yet say it has, but it may have, because of the nature of the copying process, and consciousness itself is dependent upon a quantum process, then it would make sense that the conscious Mark’s quantum particles”  and he nodded at me, but I didn’t much feel like nodding back, “is determining the quantum state of the other Mark though entanglement, and so rendering unconscious Mark, well unconscious.” 

Theo sat back.

“How can you be so sure on such short notice?”  said Terence Moore,  a microbiologist who was almost as smart as Carolyn.  “You have hardly had any time to look at this.  And why is nano Mark” he didn’t bother looking at me, “the one who’s conscious?  And wouldn’t the averaging of quantum effects you spoke abut earlier mean that there wouldn’t be an effect on a big organism like a Mark’s brain?”

“Thank you,” I said, and there were a few chuckles, breaking the tension in the room a little.

“Of course, I can’t be sure at all,”  Theo said  Those are all good questions deserving of further study.”

I stood up.  “And that is a good place to end this,” I said.  “I want us to work on those questions and anything else that has occurred to us.  And I want to take a day or more to do that, and to nail down whether entanglement, and no offense Theo”  I nodded at him, he nodded back, “is truly at issue. “

I gave them a breakdown of assignment over the next two days, thanked Theo, who would be working with our team now too, and called the meeting over.  Everyone filed out, a little less tense it seemed than they were earlier. 

I turned to Jim, who had stayed behind.  “What do you think?” I asked.

He shook his head.  “I don’t know what to think. “

“Me neither,” I said, “but it’s a start.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17 - Tear Out Page

Tear out page

I need to know what is going on.  I think I do but I am getting a little scattered.   So I laid down and closed my eyes.  And I thought I was tired enough to get some sleep but as I lay in bed, I couldn’t sleep.   I forced my eyes to stay closed and tried to focus on the random blobs I saw floating in the dark behind my eyelids.  They were like the stuff of the old lava lamps, or the beginning of the old TV show The Prisoner,  solid white but changing their shapes, splitting off from each other and rejoining in a slowly moving symphony.  I watched, trying to empty my mind of thoughts, of thinking, just going downward.  But I was still conscious of being awake, still aware of my body lying in bed.  The blobs started to coalesce into shapes, less fluid, more rigid, that began to seem understandable but were just out of reach.  I thought I should know what they are but I didn’t.  One changed further, into a snake, eating its own tail, a circular thing, but it wasn’t alarming.  Later, when I woke I knew that was my clever little reference to Kekule and his discovery of the benzene ring – which happened for him as he slept.  But all the images started to become circular and I realized they weren’t snakes but were starting to look like snowflakes, all sizes big and small, floating down my field of vision, against a field of black. 

And like a holiday movie my field of vision pulled back, pulled back through a window into a room where the snow was falling outside, into a classroom with Father Blearly.

And so what do you think hell is he asked and looked at me at his face grew larger and larger until it was almost floating in front of me where I was sitting in my old spot back in my fourth grade’s classroom.  His face receded, “Dante said Hell is frozen.”  And he gestured outside.  “The center of Hell is a frozen place where Satan sits, trapped, without a voice without any power.  As Virgil said those in Hell have lost the good of intellect; the substance of evil, the loss of humanity, intelligence, good will, and the capacity to love.”

“They have no connection with another, no connectedness with anyone else,” the priest looked around.  “Have any of you experienced that feeling?  Have any of you felt that place?”  And I thought he looked at me “no one else there.  Certainly not love.  And not even hate.”  His voice dropped.   “No feeling at all.  Nothing to touch, no one to feel.”
And I sensed in the dream classroom rather than saw Maria’s face looking at me, and still the snow outside the window fell and fell and the florescent classroom lights cast an artificial pallor, an artificial green pallor within he room.

And the green grew stronger but it wasn’t a healthy green it was a sick artificial light green.  And the room got larger and larger about me, but the things in it got simpler and simpler and fewer and fewer, and the only people I actually knew as people, the others were just shadows, were Blearly and sort of Maria in the background radiating feelings of concern I could feel.

My breath got shorter and shorter and I had to get out because I had been in that place and was there now devoid of feeling, empty, hell felt so empty nothing, and now I felt nothing from anyone Maria’s sympathy gone no feeling.

I woke up.  I lay there still breathing hard and the images faded but not so quickly that I couldn’t remember them and I forced myself to get up and write them down here.

-- end tear out page --