Pawel Pachniewski


Originally, I had in mind an approach to first publish a paper, then one or more blog posts about it, and in some cases a piece of fiction. At the time of writing (winter ’22), I find that I have been unable to find the time and energy to publish formal papers as the first step, so I’ve opted to write blog posts first, papers and formal literature later.

Generally the work listed here is meant to eventually be published through multiple channels and contexts for outreach purposes. You can find my research statement here.


The hard problem of metaphysics

From a complete description of the universe we seem to be able to exhaustively derive a totality of all facts about the universe, save for one key phenomenon: consciousness. I argue that if consciousness is only knowable through the unique metaphysical relation we bear to it, then it necessarily follows that other significant phenomena may exist in our universe we don’t know about without the necessary metaphysical relation(s). I explore ways of framing this idea and investigating it conceptually. I discuss finding hints in our universe to discover other potentially obscured phenomena.  I then discuss basic objections and offer replies. Finally, I discuss possible implications and avenues of exploring this idea that are beyond the scope of the initial introduction of this argument.

[Blog post], [Paper], [Fiction]


Phantom Cognit

I introduce the notion of the phantom cognit, a missing dependency in any cognitive apparatus that leaves traces or broken connections in the remainder of the cognitive units. I present empirical examples of this problem in biological brains and that the phantom cognit can be considered a generalization of the phantom limb. I then sketch out how phantom cognits will be a growing issue for increasingly extended minds with neuro-implants, cognitive augmentations and exocortices. I conclude suggesting several directions for further research.

[Blog post], [Paper], [Fiction]


The intersubjectvity Collapse

The intersubjectivity collapse refers to the collapse of the network of unspoken rules that holds civilization together based on the subjectivity of minds that have created it. It is likely to collapse due to a Cambrian-esque explosion of new types of minds, unable to easily coexist or communicate with each other due to their vastly different qualia and senses. The more homogenous civilization, the more brittle this network is. I argue that an intersubjectivity collapse may be inevitable for any civilization that starts to radically self-modify, present several possible scenarios and consider it as potential great filter candidate. I sketch out some of the catastrophic and far-reaching consequences, including necessary balkanization of civilization. I discuss its relation to currently known challenges and discussion, particularly as alignment of AGI. Finally, I discuss future required research and list recommendations as well as sketch out directions for mitigation and solutions.

[Blog post], [Paper], [Fiction]


In computational complexity theory NP-Complete and NP-hard are formally known as famous hard problems. By analogy, Fanya Montalvo coined the term AI-Complete, a designation of the hardest problems in AI, whose solution would presuppose solving AGI. In the same vein, I propose the term Mind-Complete for the set of the most difficult problems in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. I briefly look at the usefulness of AI-Complete and in extension the usefulness of Mind-Complete as a new term for the hardest of problems pertaining to mind.

[Blog post], [Paper], [Fiction]