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Sascha VongehrRSS Feed of this column.

Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙], physicist and philosopher, studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory) at Sussex University... Read More »


“Yesterday night I was in my office in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge packing my stuff, resolved to not go back to research again …”

This sad story is another warning to all those enthusiastic about getting into science. One more outtake:

After arguing against ‘higher consciousness’ or freedom evolving, let us go on to discuss consciousness inside computers. This is, maybe surprisingly so for some readers, closely connected with the non-existence of gods and in fact quantum theory.

Ironically (given what I wrote the last time), cyberspace and its breakneck speed evolution is still the big hope for some ill-defined freedom. Since cyberspace is all about information technology, should there not be higher consciousness after all? Maybe a ‘god2.0’ develops and grants us salvation in virtual reality, in a simulated matrix?

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Many of those involved with transhumanism desire to accelerate the development of some sort of ‘higher consciousness’. Although the topic is mostly approached with the most serious input of the persons’ specific fields, for example cutting edge fascinating neuroscience, it is nevertheless too often handled philosophically naïve.

Thinking more rationally, bigger memory, adding ultraviolet light receptors for a four dimensional color space, enabling global workspace to contain more than about 7 items, … All this are nice enhancements, but none of these seem to be what people lust after when it comes to the mystic 'higher consciousness'.

Einstein’s relativity theory and quantum physics, in theory as well as experiment, are extremely concerned with light. This comes directly from the fact that light does not exist as an independent entity – it is plain interaction.

I explained already how relativity makes light’s non-existence obvious. Today, I will tell you why that odd seeming fact only confirms what is known from entirely unrelated quantum mechanics: non-quantum relativity and non-relativistic quantum physics both agree on that light itself does not exist for entirely different reasons!

Did you ever wonder why both, Einstein’s relativity theory and quantum physics, in theory as well as experiment, seem obsessed with the nature of light? The velocity of light, light clocks, entangled photons, and so on – why is it always light? This preoccupation is no coincidence. It comes directly from the fact that light does not actually exist. Think I am nuts yet?

Cognitive enhancement is not about future generations playing video games via neural implants and thought interfaces. Presently, it is about a large fraction of the worlds scientist shortening their lives (speak about lifespan enhancement) via caffeine, nicotine, and sugar intake that leads to diabetes and cardio vascular illnesses via hypertension with high blood pressure and heart troubles, teeth grinding, frequent urination, and so on. Coffee is a must at all conferences. No brew, no chance of surviving afternoon talks in a fully conscious state.