I'm not really sure why, but something has been troubling me quite a bit lately.
I was raised to be a good Catholic, so I have this huge store of meaningless mythology at the back of my head. The Catholics, stolen from the Jews, have a concept of the Guf - the Well of Souls from which all human souls are drawn. Certain septs of Kabbalah extend this in such a way that the Guf is not an actual place in this world or any other, but instead represents the original man before original sin - Adam Kadmon. Each of us, since the breaking of Eden, are but a shard of that soul.
Now, this is really uninteresting by itself, but it's been intersecting in my head a lot with another concept that's been bothering me - Orch OR.
Orch OR - or Orchestrated Objective Reduction - is a concept from quantum mechanics and to a slightly lesser extent, psychology. It's an attempt to explain why the human brain, arguably nothing more complex than an organic chemical pile of goo, is capable of instantly computing things that mathematics shows to be intractable and modern computing requires hours and hours of computer time to solve. See - the only way that physicists can figure out how to instantly come up with the solution to a search space problem like - is that a boy or a girl? - with all of the myriad of permutations that might come out of this, is to use a quantum computer. If the computer can simultaneously process every possible path and then through a process of Objective Reduction instantly _find_ an answer, then it will have achieved what we've all been capable of since the time we knew that there was difference between boys and girls. Now - we don't always get it right, but then, neither would a quantum computer, and our own brains are a bit fuzzy. Ever have too much wine?
How do these relate?
Well - suppose that Orch OR is correct. The human brain is an organic quantum computer that is capable of orchestrating objective reductions of a quantum matrix to align to some kind of goal. Consciousness becomes possible because there is a finite set of computations being performed within the matrix of the brain - some of these are pure computations, some of these are orchestrating actions, and some of these are short term storage loops. Memory is a whole different ball of wax.. maybe literally..
This means that it's possible, and perhaps necessary, to create consciousness in any system capable of orchestrating quantum objective reductions.
Scientists are getting closer and closer to solving the decoherence problem and creating a working quantum computer. At first, the orchestration for this will be human action, but in short order, we'll start programming the computers to program themselves, probably through a series of finite state automata. Once we do this, we will have created, at least in a rudimentary sense, consciousness. It's possible that it might not be very rudimentary at all.
So - the former Catholic/Gnostic/mystic in me asks - does the consciousness for this get imbued with the will of Adam?
I don't really believe that way anymore, but it troubles me that I thought of it at all.