Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Mutually exclusive!!!!

Threads that sparked these thoughts

- Using emergence to elucidate emergence. Thoughts emerging or thoughts about emergence.
- What powers the rise of emergent properties?

Incompatible tendencies, that each in itself exerts its influence on an object, a common object, to opposite directions, unreconciled? Yet, despite their incompatibility, they are reconciled (they are forced to?) and their net effect on the object combined. Potential for emergence and emergent states chaotically derived. A dynamic structure, a precarious one, is established. The combined state, fragile as is, possess properties that neither of the pre-existing states has, a direct consequence of the incompatibility intrinsic within. However, the newly emergent state is as stable as the conditions in the surrounding environment permit and it will remain as such as long as these conditions are at force.

If for any reason these conditions cease to be, then the antagonistic alliance ceases too, bringing about the collapse ... Collapse? Is there anything here apart from a tentative connection, an outcome out of the different meanings implied by the use of the word collapse? The word collapse connected with the wavefunction collapse of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics? Whereas in that particular case I refer to the collapse of the precarious combination of incompatible, mutually exclusive states? The collapse of the emergent state? Leave for later.

The incompatibility angle is evident in fundamental issues in nature. What comes out of Jonathan CW Edwards mention of

"Moreover, in an ontological analysis the wave and position must play quite different roles, an issue beyond the scope of this paper."

In an ontological approach, the wave and position, the quite different roles they play, point towards wave and position being incompatible, mutually exclusive providing the grounds for an understanding of the uncertainty principle?

What the uncertainty principle is all about? As it is mentioned in Wikipedia

"... the Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that locating a particle in a small region of space makes the momentum of the particle uncertain; and conversely, that measuring the momentum of a particle precisely makes the position uncertain."

Momentum and position incompatible? The dynamic combination of these two mutually exclusive quantities create a force field, and the focus, their combined actions instantiate, constantly shifting? Lying on chaotically developing trajectories? Eludes detection, measurement? Therefore the ensuing uncertainty?


"In quantum mechanics, the particle is described by a wave. The position is where the wave is concentrated and the momentum, a measure of the velocity, is the wavelength. Neither the position nor the velocity is precisely defined; the position is uncertain to the degree that the wave is spread out, and the momentum is uncertain to the degree that the wavelength is ill-defined."

A dynamically developing relationship which makes it impossible to precisely define position and momentum, even more it makes it a useless pursuit. The dynamic relationship renders it useless, more precisely a redundant concept, baggage carried by the collective human thought from a society dominated by the classical physics tenets, and as it entered the quantum era should be discarded.

Incompatibility is implied and in this extract by Natika Newton about the concept of person, in the Emergence of consciousness book. As I read in page 54,

"Note that the emergent experiential concept of a person as having both objective and subjective aspects is not itself objectively unifiable: objective and subjective (outer and inner) perspectives on the same entity are mutually exclusive, at least within our common perceptual framework. Nevertheless, we do experience 'personhood' in a unified way, at least when we do not try to analyse the experience."

The objective and subjective facets, the incompatible states interwoven chaotically and the conditions stipulation, under which such a combination instantiates 'personhood', inherent in the common conceptual framework? The conceptual framework responsible for the rise of our identity? The concepts we amass through our lives constantly influence our 'personhood'? Acquiring new concepts, discarding fallacious concepts, delving deeper into each and every concept in the 'common conceptual framework', directly affects the image we hold for ourselves?

Monday, 22 September 2008

Neural processes beat rational thinking.

".. we couldn’t afford to have a debate."

"We didn’t have time to establish a hierarchy with a leader. So we pretty much had to “yes, and…” everything that people threw out. We had to drop our individual egos and allow the group intelligence to emerge. Within a few short minutes, we had a basic structure down. We had an opening scene. And we had a protagonist. Minutes later we were already rehearsing. When our time was up, somehow — miraculously — we were good to go."

What does this bring into my mind? Unconscious, I would call thinking but it sounds more like a misnomer than a proper word to describe what I have in mind, but nevertheless just leave it as such. It is mostly to do with what we choose to do when a situation demands our action. What path to follow? What branch in a given bifurcation to take. I maintained that the best way to go about is to leave rationality aside. Abandon thoughts of conscious planning, step by step reasoning and give our conscious or subconscious full reign.

What it struck me most in this innovative activity described in in his report of the raw spirit festival, that the same holds not only for single individuals but even for groups of individuals. By referring to time limits imposed by the demands of the activity engaged, not having enough time to debate on what is to be done, to develop a structure in the group, the hallmarks of rational planning or conscious thinking but instead to rely upon .... Upon what? The raw power of neural processes ever ready to furnish up solutions to problems? Dealing out a plethora of versions of solutions to choose from, where any involvement of conscious thinking or rational planning will stall for ever?

What is mentioned as taking place when consciousness is under way by Natika Newton in Anthony Freeman's 'The Emergence of Consciousness' book, in the 'Emergence and the Uniqueness of Consciousness' chapter page 54;

"The newly conscious state, in turn, allows the organism more degrees of freedom to select future actions, since its own responses can now be represented as explicit goals subject to rational planning, rather than remaining behind-the-scene-approach/avoidance motivators."

that an individual's responses to demands its self is placed upon, it should not be left or it is better not to be subjected to rational thinking but the behind-the-scene-approach/avoidance motivators?

The raw power of neural processes hinted in Gordon Globus article of 'Quantum Consciousness is Cybernetic';

"The Umezawa/Yasue (U/Y) approach, in which consciousness offers superposed possibilities to the match with sensory input, is based in the first physical principles of quantum field theory."

The superposed possibilities, the versions of solutions for the problems we face, in a superposition of states, quantum superposition, simultaneity at large and instantaneous solutions to problems, that no rational thinking could ever match, comparing abacus calculations with the latest number-crunching IBM or other machine?

Friday, 19 September 2008

Consciousness a byproduct of brain functions? Or even so a waste product?

I read in Jonathan CW Edwards, 'Is Consciousness Only a Property of Individual Cells?' paper

"However, as Seager (1995) has pointed out, a brain has many different functions at different structural levels and it is not clear why one or other should be endowed with consciousness."

What it struck me here, is the phrase 'endowed with consciousness'. Brain functions endowed with consciousness and brain functions that don't? Referring to consciousness as an attribute or property that a function, a brain function at least, could have or not? Is it not consciousness a function in itself? What is a function? A dynamically evolved association between objects or states. Or as it is described here

"The mathematical concept of a function expresses dependence between two quantities, one of which is given (the independent variable, argument of the function, or its "input") and the other produced (the dependent variable, value of the function, or "output"). A function associates a single output to each input element drawn from a fixed set, such as the real numbers."

Its mathematical definition, the groundwork of function, a dependence relationship between what it is 'input' with and what represents the result, its output. A function, brain function again, that while it is underway, it produces, beyond its expected output, (since it is endowed with consciousness, a sort of privilege) consciousness as well. It is not the brain function's primary goal, what spawn it or responsible for, in the first place but nevertheless, consciousness comes out too. So what is consciousness then? A byproduct of some brain functions? Or even, as in several cases, a waste product?

Is it not consciousness, a function in itself then? With its own input, as well as output, in a dependence relationship between some objects or quantities involved? This line of thought approaches some other thoughts I expressed before, consciousness looked, as even as, an extra baggage carried along, piggy-backed by more crucial brain functions that goes along, as far as I can tell, with epiphenomenalism, mere mention sufficing, focusing on the substance of the problem and not the procedure.

May this be how consciousness arises but the crucial issue is, its usage. How do we use that gift given to us.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Economics, the people and the planet.

This is an extract from nef (new economics foundation) in a Google search for monetisation that struck me curious, to say the least,

"nef is an independent 'think and do' tank. We believe in economics as if people and the planet mattered."

Economics, as if people and the planet mattered? As if? As if, as, who cares? Is that a problem with the language? Language structure, infrastructure as such, that is incapable to express, accurately or not, the thoughts of people? 'If' it matters. Do the people and the planet matter? It is not clear.

Is it an intrinsic weakness in the economics terminology body that makes it impossible to consider the needs of individuals and the planet or for the discipline of economics, as such, people and the planet do not matter? Do not matter at all? Or, the sensitivities of the nef inventors, for whatever reason, did not allow them to spell it out clearly that their think tank is about economics that people and the planet matter, for the people and the planet and not if the people and the planet matter.

Learning and exploring consciousness raises consciousness to new levels

In a version of the paper 'Is consciousness only a property of individual cells?', published in the April/May issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, by Jonathan CW Edwards, I read about his thesis on the 'bound conscious experience is a property of an individual cell, not a group of cells' that

"It probably does not alter the way we should expect to experience the world, but may help to explain the ways we seem to differ from digital computers and some of the paradoxes seen in mental illness."

I disagree. Studies of such nature and the new ideas brought forth, do affect the way we experience the world as it does alter the perspective from which we derive the experience. It shifts our focus to elements so far overlooked, it alters our very own subjectivity. Things are not the same, experience differs as it takes into account what has not being accounted before.

And these new perspectives are all the more important as we live in societies that constantly warp and distort individuals' consciousness, sway the focus of our attention to mundane shallow superficial furtive trivial pursuits away form a true calling, leading lives empty of content, driving people into comfort zones, draining them of everything that is of value, tumbling into, as called, midlife crisis, retire feeling used as they have been rendered empty vessels, empty of what it makes them feel whole. That they worth more than they got bargained for.

And as Jonathan CW Edwards, an individual of his caliber and stature resorts into ungrounded assumptions and a scientific journal accepts the paper for publication without a rigorous scrutiny, shows one thing. What the field requires is as many wild ideas as can be possible, a multiplicity in perspective, a matter that is not only amenable to learned, by the rule, approaches, as it is hinted in the exposition of David J. Chalmers, 'Thoughts on emergence' paper

"Emergence as "inexplicable" and "magical". This would cover high-level properties of a system that are simply not deducible from its low-level properties, no matter how sophisticated the deduction. This view leads easily into mysticism, and there is not the slightest evidence for it (except, perhaps, in the difficult case of consciousness, but let's leave that aside for now)."

Consciousness, a special case of emergence where the notions of "inexplicable" and "magical", are constant and inseparable companions, if mysticism is what it takes to elucidate consciousness then by all means, it should be employed, though one thing should be clear. Mysticism without reverence, no cults or sacred rituals, in total and free approach, exploring every angle, no stone unturned. No dogmas and prescriptions.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Past, present and future concurring? Nonlinear time?

Mind-boggling ideas. Nonlinear time? Playing havoc with your mind. The musings I found in Chris Opperman's CD Baby website were far far interesting. That beats any bed time conversation by far

"Non-linear time is the theory that states that time doesn't REALLY occur in a linear fashion, but instead is more of a constant. However, we as human beings can only perceive time in chronological order. Some scientists theorize that the reality of time is that the past, present, and future have already occurred," said Linda."

I just liked this initial fervour and before I check this out further I want to put it into my mind and see what will bring out. Some scientists theorize that the reality of time is that past, ..... What reality is that? What realm past, present and future events are, or more precisely took place? And are taking place? Unfold? Since they are events they involve objects, objects that take up space. Time needs space. Space and time go together. Incompatibles? Anyway, leave that.

If the passage of time, the arrow of time can be imagined as vertical, now we have to think that the arrow of time is horizontal, extends horizontally? Bubbles? Bubbles of space? Time creates space and space creates time? The expansion of the universe looked at as the composite effect of time and space? Chaotic composition(?), spawning emergence as a result of time and space being incompatible (again), and by being incompatible means that they are not loosing their identity or integrity at any time but they continue to interact and by this continual interaction bring about the creation of ..., the world, universe, reality, the physical realm itself.

Time will create space? Create space where there is no space? A bubble of space? But space on its own accord can create time. Freshly-made space creates time? A bubble of time? Bubbles within bubbles? Co-existing? Concurring? Events within a bubble unfold in a linear fashion? Corresponded time and space, in each bubble a whole universe, and all the bubbles a multiverse? Space-driven universe and time-driven universe?

Past, present and future happening at the same time? Concurrently unfolding? How can this justify the nonlinear time notion? As a whole, as a multiverse time progresses as spikes, fragments of arrows? Broken into pieces? Constant? As regards, if looked as an aggregate quantity? Of the multiverse? That it could not surpass a defined pre-determined value? Which means that the values in each component universe fluctuate? Universes that exist in the future compensate against universes that exist in the past? Bringing up a multiverse overall aggregate value for time that remains constant? Be that zero? The present?

Or is it not time that is constant, but instead an aggregate value for time and space. Spacetime? A critical value(?), which if it is exceeded the bubble bursts?
The universe bursts? A way to eliminate universes that do not abide with the rule(?)? The rule being that overall, for the multiverse, time or spacetime is constant? To bring along the idea of the parallel universes in countless millions? Each time a decision is made and the world bifurcates? Chaotic bifurcations?

And to bring forth the anthropic principle and account for premonition as Linda mentions

"Well, that would explain why some people experience psychic phenomena or have premonitions, wouldn't it?" continued Linda. "The only way that someone could see into the future would be if the future has already happened."

any human individual or other living thing that acts as an observer or an agent, instantiates(?) a universe, becomes its centre, its very own parallel world, co-existing parallel worlds, mixtures of worlds as we come across each other? Or, our world and all others as objects within it. Explaining ego? How would that account for premonition? May be not. But premonition could only be imagined if we were somehow responsible for the splitting into parallel worlds. Which, by virtue of the decisions we make, we are. Decisions that have to do with

"It's your own life you make, based on your choices and the risks you take."


"Our future will always be based on our choices and the risks we take, since we can only perceive the future on a linear basis anyhow."

the choices and risks we take, and the critical value, coming out of time or spacetime being constant determines whether newly formed bubble, cum universe, cum parallel world would burst or not? Premonition being built out of our feel for time and space intrinsic in our consciousness by being the agents responsible for its creation?

Thursday, 11 September 2008

What powers the rise of emergent properties?

I read in page 53, 'The emergence of consciousness' book, by Anthony Freeman

" ... as a result of the potential activation of two incompatible states, a mechanism produces in the subject an experience associated with a state that is qualitatively distinct and unpredictable from what would be produced by either of the incompatible parts."

Incompatible states? States as defined by their own specific conditions. Under the influence of variables defining, determining their status. Variables that their values fluctuate along their unique ranges. Values acquired as they are driven by forces. Incompatible states, a result of forces that contravene one another. Do not cancel one another, instead are pulling or pushing, attract or repel to that or the other configuration or arrangement of the incumbent state. Chaotic attractors?

Could this be a clue of what is responsible for emergent properties to come into existence? A quality that marks all cases of emergence, a universal property? Following up the thought about emergence being universal, ubiquitous and the incompatibility case a common attribute that applies for all cases emergence arises.

Anthony Freeman continues in the same page,

"The above examples share this feature: two states (logical constructions or biological processes) that are in important ways incompatible are maintained in juxtaposition. If they occurred only serially, the emergent solution would be unnecessary. We can alternate between the perceptions of two incompatible perspectives, as in the Necker cube. The emergent property requires forced simultaneous processing of two incompatible states or representations, long enough for the organism to register the incompatibility and attempt to resolve it; the emergent property is the result."

and giving an example

"Depth perception is an obvious one. Binocular vision presents two visual fields, isomorphic but slightly displaced. The result is not a blur or a confusing double image, but visual depth. It is not deducible from binocular processing alone that visual depth would occur; we can imagine instead the experience of Necker cube-like aspect shifts."

Is this how emergent properties come into existence? Incompatibility generates emergence? Is that element of incompatibility significant? Forces? How new properties emerge? Opposing forces? That none of them releases its hold? Stubborn? Dynamical?

The continual interplay of opposing or incompatible forces, which by exerting their influence instantiate, bring into existence the emergent property or properties? But when any of the incompatible forces ceases to be, for reasons of its own, the emergent property ceases to be as well.

Consciousness as an emergent phenomenon, ceases to be, as being dynamical, at any time any of the incompatible forces responsible for its rise, is no more. All of the properties that constitute consciousness, constantly relying on the existence of the opposing incompatible forces that are responsible for their rise in the first place.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Using emergence to elucidate emergence. Thoughts emerging or thoughts about emergence.

The page is 221, the chapter is titled 'Closing', the book is 'emergence', John H. Holland.

Despite having that book for a year and more, I can not recall visiting that page before, since as usual my mind gets stuck amidst its paragraphs, hooks, each sentence a potential hook that drags along via imperceptible tags thoughts and ideas, already stored in my brain.

Talking about mathematics and mathematicians, abound by rigor, as what is needed to organise a purposeful assault in elucidating emergence, and as it is mentioned

"This recapitulation extracts its points from the context that supplies much of their. Meaning is less dependent on contextual remarks when there is an overarching theory, but our exploration has not yet progressed that far."

to generalize from the contextual points and provide the laws that are applicable in each and every case that emergence appears.

Each paragraph, the whole page, the whole book as such, is rigor itself. A prime example of rigor giving the concept of mathematics another dimension. Unseen laws, no different in substance from the axioms and theorems of a mathematical body of knowledge, used to construct meaningful approaches towards understanding emergence.

Which signifies the importance in providing clear-cut definitions for a firm or a firmer grasp of reality. Precision engineered, skillfully forged surgical tools for lucid concepts so other individuals usefully to employ and enhance their understanding of emergence, individually and collectively.

As John H. Holland admits

"... but I'd have to employ a more intricate formal apparatus to express them."

He, himself skillfully applying rigor in his approach, makes certain that the message he wants to pass on is clear and unambiguous.

I am not rigorous myself, I do not have that quality, my mind flies from nest to nest and in its way it gathers up bits and pieces here and there, leaving or letting or allowing emergence itself to do its bit. What I mean is, to assemble all these thoughts into my mind into a coherent structure, to associate all these disparate notions into something meaningful.

In my lack of rigor, I see emergence as being universal in its application, ubiquitous, everywhere, in every realm imagined. A trait passed on by its parent, chaos itself, chaos that spawn emergence.

In page 231 John H. Holland hints

"It is possible, at this point, to discern some of the obstacles between our present position and a better understanding of emergence, and I will describe them here. There is one larger issue, however, that I will avoid. It may be that the parts of the universe that we can understand in a scientific sense-the parts of the universe that we describe via laws (axioms, equations)-constitute a small fragment of the whole."


"If that is so, then there may aspects of emergence we cannot understand scientifically."

The question arises. If we can not understand them scientifically what other way is left? Can we understand a phenomenon in any other way but by science?

Without going into the many interpretations such a line of thought might lead to, as it is not necessary to fathom in and get lost in procedure and miss the goal, what it comes out of that, what is needed is, multiplicity of perspective.

Multiplicity of perspective amply provided by the multitude of individuals around us, each one a unit, and I emphasize that. One of the units that inhabit this earth, with its own unique hallmark as any unit possess. Providing a unique perspective, its very own angle of observation of the states the world presents itself to each and every one of us.

Armed with the tools that John H. Holland and all other individuals rigorously involved in this search produce, then each and every individual to offer its unique perspective in attacking the issue and enhancing our understanding for something that affects all aspects of our lives.

Enriching its armory of concepts and ideas, the tools to employ to enhance its understanding of the going-ons in the world.