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Customer Review

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of its depth, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality (Hardcover)
The first part of this book is a readable guide to understanding physics and cosmology. Where it goes wrong is that the author gets out of his depth in trying to extend to non-consensual areas such as time, reality and consciousness. The discussion here starts well enough in saying that the brain constructs a model of reality, which is consciousness, helped by the integrative brain hub system identified by neuroscientists such as Giulio Tononi. No additional Catersian-type observer or system is needed to view the consciousness of the brain hubs. Beyond this things get difficult. Consciousness is argued to be a 'self-aware substructure' (SAS). This rests on a mathematical substructure, which is argued to be reality. However, it is not made clear why mathematics, normally seen as a function of brain reasoning or processing, can also be identified as an underlying reality.

At one point, it is suggested that it will be discovered that consciousness is a special 'phase of matter'. However, in a publication at the beginning of this century, the author effectively cut himself off from discussing consciousness as a fundamental feature of physics. This is mentioned in this book, although not the fact that biological research since 2007 has tended to refute his earlier position. The argument of the book rather peters out amongst quasi science fiction talk of friendly aliens with SAS busters.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 May 2014 20:07:58 BDT
pleiades 7 says:
Still think, I'll read it. Sounds a fun read.

Posted on 11 Nov 2014 11:03:38 GMT
Walter Braun says:
"mathematics, normally seen as a function of brain reasoning or processing"
Really?
So when we turn off all human brains the fundamental maths of the universe ... disappears?
Sloppy thinking. And I do not care how many third-rate scientists think in a similar fashion: mathematical truths are necessary truths, quite independent of human flesh (that can only discover them - not invent them).

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2014 13:25:18 GMT
That just leads to a more difficult question of where the fundamental maths or indeed the physical law comes from. Maybe the maths is a human device to help comprehend some of the physicsal, although that doesn't solve the problem of the physicsl law.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jul 2015 22:07:22 BDT
Fitzrovia says:
Mathematics is an expression of how the brain is wired.. you may say maths comprises of absolute truths but how do we know they are absolute? Because the way the universe behaves? How do we know that what we see is not engineered to see in a deceptive way? We cannot know because consciously we did not design or create our genes nor our brain! I don't know why humans seem to be so certain of their ability to master the physical world. They certainly have not mastered death. Some of the greatest scientists have simply said: the more I learn the less I know.
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