Thesis: Quantum Waves themselves are what information is (partly) made of. Consciousness being Quantum, shows up as information. Reciprocally, information gets Quantum translated, and then builds the brain, then the mind, thus consciousness. So the brain is a machine debating with the Quantum. Let me explain a bit, while expounding on the way the theory of General Relativity of Ontological Effectiveness, “GROE”:


What is the relationship between the brain and consciousness? Some will point out we have to define our terms: what is the brain, what is consciousness? We can roll out an effective definition of the brain (it’s where most neurons are). But consciousness eludes definition.

Still, that does not mean we cannot say more. And, from saying more, we will define more.

Relationships between definitions, axioms, logic and knowledge are a matter of theory:

Take Euclid: he starts with points. What is a point? Euclid does not say, he does not know, he has to start somewhere. However where that where exactly is may be itself full of untoward consequences (in the 1960s, mathematicians working in Algebraic Geometry found points caused problems; they have caused problems in Set Theory too; vast efforts were directed at, and around points). Effectiveness defines. Consider this:

Effective Ontology: I Compute, Therefore That's What I Am

Effective Ontology: I Compute, Therefore That’s What I Am

Schematic of a nanoparticle network (about 200 nanometres in diameter). By applying electrical signals at the electrodes (yellow), and using artificial evolution, this disordered network can be configured into useful electronic circuits.

Read more at:

All right, more on my General Relativity of Ontological Effectiveness:

Modern physics talks of the electron. What is it? Well, we don’t know, strictly speaking. But fuzzy thinking, we do have a theory of the electron, and it’s so precise, it can be put in equations. So it’s the theory of the electron which defines the electron. As the former could, and did vary, so did the latter (at some point physicist Wheeler and his student Feynman suggested the entire universe what peopled by just one electron going back and forth in time.

Hence the important notion: concepts are defined by EFFECTIVE THEORIES OF THEIR INTERACTION with other concepts (General Relativity of Ontological Effectiveness: GROE).


NATURALLY Occurring Patterns Of Matter Can Recognize Patterns, Make Logic:

Random assemblies of gold nanoparticles can perform sophisticated calculations. Thus Nature can start computing, all by itself. There is no need for the carefully arranged patterns of silicon.

Classical computers rely on ordered circuits where electric charges follow preprogrammed rules, but this strategy limits how efficient they can be. Plans have to be made, in advance, but the possibilities become vast in numbers at such a pace that the human brain is unable to envision all the possibilities. The alternative is to do as evolution itself creates intelligence: by a selection of the fittest. In this case, a selection of the fittest electronic circuits.

(Selection of the fittest was well-known to the Ancient Greeks, 25 centuries ago, 10 centuries before the Christian superstition. The Ancient Greeks, used artificial and natural selection explicitly to create new breeds of domestic animals. However, Anglo-Saxons prefer to name things after themselves, so they can feel they exist; thus selection of the fittest is known by Anglo-Saxons as “Darwinian”. Hence soon we will hear about “Darwinian electronics”, for sure!)

“The best microprocessors you can buy in a store now can do 10 to the power 11 (10^11; one hundred billions) operations per second and use a few hundred watts,” says Wilfred van der Wiel of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, a leader of the gold circuitry effort. “The human brain can do orders of magnitude more and uses only 10 to 20 watts.  That’s a huge gap in efficiency.”

To close the gap, one goes back to basics. The first electronic computers, in the 1940s, tried to mimic what were thought at the time to be brain operations. So the European Union and the USA are trying more of the same, to develop “brain-like” computers that do computations naturally without their innards having been specifically laid out for the purpose. For a few years, the candidate  material that can reliably perform real calculations has been found to be gold.

Van der Wiel and colleagues have observed that clumps of gold grains handle bits of information (=electric charge) in the same way that existing microprocessors do.

Clump of grains computing operate as a unit, in parallel, much as it seems neurons do in the brain. This should improve pattern recognition. A pattern, after all, is characterized by dimension higher than one, and so is a clump operating together. A mask to recognize a mask.

Patterns are everywhere, logics itself are patterns.



So what am I saying, philosophically? I am proposing a (new) foundation for ontology which makes explicit what scientists and prehistoric men have been doing all along. 

The theory of the nature of being is ontology, the “Logic of Being”. Many philosophers, or pseudo-philosophers have wrapped themselves up in knots about what “Being”. (For example, Heidegger, trained as a Catholic seminarian, who later blossomed as a fanatical professional Nazi, wrote a famous book called “Zein und Zeit”, Being and Time. Heidegger tries at some point to obscurely mumble feelings not far removed from some explicit notions in the present essay.)

Things are defined by what they do. And they do what they do in relation with other things.

Where does it stop? Well, it does not. What we have done is define being by effectiveness. This is what mathematicians have been doing all along. Defining things by how they work produce things, and theories, which work. The obvious example is mathematics: it maybe a castle in the sky, but this castle is bristling with guns, and its canon balls are exquisitely precise, thanks to the science of ballistics, a mathematical creation.

Things are what they do. Fundamental things do few things, sophisticated things do many things, and thus have many ways of being.

Some will say: ‘all right, you have presented an offering to the gods of wisdom, so now can we get back to the practical, such as the problems Europe faces?’

Be reassured, creatures of little faith: Effective Ontology is very practical. First of all, that’s what all of physics and mathematics, and actually all of science rest (and it defines them beyond Karl Popper’s feeble attempt).

Moreover, watch Europe. Some, including learned, yet nearly hysterical commenters who have graced this site, are desperately yelling to be spared from a “Federal Europe“, the dreaded “European Superstate“. The theory of Effective Ontology focuses on the essence of Europe. According to Effective Ontology, Europe is what it does.

And  what does Europe do? Treaties. A treaty, in Latin, is “foedus. Its genitive is foederis, and it gives foederatus, hence the French fédéral and from there, 150 years later in the USA, “federal”. Europe makes treaties (with the Swiss (Con)federation alone, the Europe Union has more than 600 treaties). Thus Europe IS a Federal State.

Effective Ontology has been the driver of Relativity, Quantum Physics, and Quantum Field Theory. And this is precisely why those theories have made so many uncomfortable.

Patrice Ayme’


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11 Responses to “BEING FROM DOING: EFFECTIVE ONTOLOGY, Brain & Consciousness”

  1. Alexi Says:

    I enjoyed this article. What do you think about the following developments?

  2. Gmax Says:

    I am no philosopher, just an amateur, but I am impressed. That’ s what confusing about modern physics. Was not there a fight between Heisenberg and Einstein, just about that, ‘observables’? Einstein told the young man he did not know what he was talking about, and Heisenberg told Albert all he did was to repeat what Einstein taught him

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks, and you are right on all counts. Einstein, Heisenberg, etc. were doing Effective Ontology. They were actually following Poincare’, who was very explicit on the subject about the speed of light (1904).

  3. Paul Handover Says:

    Wow! I know you work very hard to protect your identity, and I respect that. But here’s a New Year’s wish from me. That we could meet over a nice cup of English tea and share a few conversations. My roundabout way of saying what a most excellent essay.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thank you Paul, I treasure your appreciation.
      I know you would appreciate meeting in person, and talking. However, my essays are close to talking, I am certainly interacting, for example with you. Protecting my identity is not just a question of life and death (I was attacked several times, sometimes with lethal force). It’s also a question of mental interdiction zone. As it is I am both deep in the cave, as philosophers, the real ones, have to, and outside (through the Internet).
      I actually limit my interactions to very few (and often intimidate the rest). As you can see in the comments, I can be rough (it’s worse in person, and I max out people very quickly, not just because I can’t prevent it, but because I experiment; recently, as I was talking to a top banker, I literally saw his jaw drop, and he was squirming… I had said something extremely non-PC; I also talked a Muslim family a few weeks ago, warning them that they may all die if they went where they were planning to go, to see family: war operations are already in full swing there; that was not PC to say, especially in front of the children…)

      So let’s stick to the Internet, I have time for little else. I have the NYT which followed my lead on taxes, and I accompany this with a 3,500 words essay, out pretty soon… English tea, while my favorite, will have to wait behind a quart of strong coffee…

  4. Glenn Andrews Says:

    ‘Effective Ontology is very practical. First of all, that’s what all of physics and mathematics, and actually all of science rest.’

    Glenn Andrews: Please more on this, especially since some prominent scientists are proclaiming philosophy dead.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      You are right, up to last year, or so. Au contraire, the very latest saw a sudden interest in philosophy. There was a big time conference. A friend of mine, a prominent philosopher went there. I was going to report, got distracted.
      Mostly some of the stuff I have balked to the most is getting under scrutiny.

      BTW, Effective Ontology addresses the question of infinity, to which I will return soon.

  5. Chris Snuggs Says:

    “News to anti-European hysterics: Europe IS a Federal State. Thus shows Effective Ontology.”

    Chris Snuggs: I am pro-Europe but anti-EU. Does that make me hysterical?

    EU pawns simply cannot grasp the fact that EUphobes can be Europhiles – ASK THE SWISS.

    It is true that Eurosheep braying their usual mantra have to function with smaller brains than those of us who loathe the EU mafia.

  6. I am what I learn! | Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] Patrice Ayme: (from an essay on Brain & Consciousness) “The best microprocessors you can buy in a store now can do 10 to the power 11 (10^11; one hundred billions) operations per second and use a few hundred watts,” says Wilfred van der Wiel of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, a leader of the gold circuitry effort. “The human brain can do orders of magnitude more and uses only 10 to 20 watts.  That’s a huge gap in efficiency.” […]

  7. No Point To Multiverses | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] reasonings we know as “philosophy”. For example, the rise of Quantum Field Theory required massive Effective Ontology: define things by their effects. The reigning philosophy of physics became “shut-up and […]

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