Monday, 13 October 2008

Knowing the limits consciousness offers to self.


Knowing the limits consciousness offers to self or attempt to comprehend the range available for consciousness to operate, will give an insight about the significance of consciousness and the role it plays in the life of the organism. As the emergence of self as a survival prerequisite ....

(the emergence of self a survival prerequisite? The human individual identifies self as a separate entity, realises the dangers lurking in its environment, which will jeopardize its integrity, its existence. The rise of self, before or after or along with consciousness),

... a part of consciousness and at the same time the part to which consciousness is attributed to, and arises from, in a loop-like fashion, should be regarded as that ingredient of the machine, we call organism, which gives rise to consciousness.

If we regard the organism as a machine, which performs certain tasks as a single unit of the whole that is the world, the nature of the tasks would be such, that facilitates the assimilation of the unit into the whole. The whole as such undergoes in its own tasks, brought about by the computations dictated by the laws of nature, woven by repeated cycles of organisation and emergence, down from the quantum world up to the macroscopic world, which we, ourselves, experience.

We are part of the world and we are the product of a cycle of organisation and emergence, as all other parts of the world are. The cycle of organisation and emergence down from the quantum level, has given rise to self and consciousness. We attribute with consciousness, those other parts of the world which are similar to us, (namely other individuals?). But if our consciousness arises as a result of the computations undergoing, to sustain our cycle of organisation and emergence, why would it not arise in other parts of the world which by themselves undergo computations to sustain their own level of organisation and emergence. Why our computations give rise to consciousness and theirs don't? Does that line of reasoning help in order to define what consciousness is? Is consciousness a knowledge of self, its placement in the whole? Is consciousness necessary for the sustainability of our cycle of organisation and emergence? No, it is not. There are other mechanisms responsible for that. Our body can sustain itself without the contribution of consciousness. Most of the mechanisms responsible for the sustainability of our body are unconscious and consciousness's involvement is indirect.

Though consciousness is attributed with free will, for free will as such, sustainability is a redundant option. It is only an illusion that by the means of free will, we achieve sustainability. The options available to free will have already been worked out by unconscious processes and the apparent freedom of choice is a matter of whims. Consciousness role has an observer status. It is the recipient of knowledge, the agent of knowledge, the observer and the carrier of our feelings.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The paradigm shifts in our minds

The line of thoughts that follow, were triggered by reading Brian Greene's book 'The elegant universe'. However, I did not grab the idea coming from the original spark, while it was developing, and I lost it. The inspiration dwindled and gone. But the hot ashes were still there, nurturing the flicker. A subject that while was constantly there, was persistently ignored, overlooked. I did not pay the appropriate attention but now I see it with a different eye, looked from a different perspective, within another context.

So, it was not long before my attention's antennae picked another example, and a much stronger one that depicts the underlying substrate of my developing thought. The haphazard wondering in the internet about Pandora's box, brought me in LuboŇ° Motl blog, the reference frame, which its stated aim,

"The most important events in our and your superstringy Universe as seen from a conservative physicist's viewpoint"

intrigued me. It drew my attention.

My original quest for Pandora's box, a blog I write to, forgotten, took second place, and in a Markov inspired act, in a manner I described before I followed a title that looked promising. Namely, the blog entry titled 'Observables in quantum gravity'

The first paragraph looked promising.

"The goal of every quantum-mechanical theory is to predict the probabilities that particular physical quantities - "observables" - will take one value or another value after some evolution of the system, assuming certain initial conditions."

The last line, 'assuming certain initial conditions', the connotations, as were brought into my mind, with chaos initial conditions and its sensitive dependence, as chaos being there in such a fundamental level, gained my attention and my resolve to dig deeper into LuboŇ° Motl exposition of 'observables'. The name of the original author, Moshe Rozali, propped up and the emanating post, titled likewise as 'Observables in quantum gravity', was right in front of me.

I read the first paragraph

"In quantum mechanics a state is described by a ray in a Hilbert space, and an observable by an Hermitian operator acting on that Hilbert space. After measurement, the state collapses to an eigenstate of the operator representing the measurements. The probability of any outcome is given by the Born rule."

Quantum mechanical states, implicated into my mind with states, trajectories developing in a chaotic fashion and the idea of attractors lurking beneath, and I might find a clue in what these quantum mechanical states are included in, the Hilbert space.

I felt I had to explore what is behind this mysterious Hilbert space, which, I came across, before. The first search result, at WolframMathworld did not offer much, riddled with notations and meaningless names, killing intuition relentlessly. The second in Wikipedia, though along the same lines, offered me a working ground, fodder for future thoughts.

What donned to me is, that I can not grasp the essence in Hilbert spaces, as I do not have the conceptual structures to deal with it. Something along Julian Jaynes structions, the sort of instructions given to my nervous system so that once the materials, the aforementioned descriptions, are given to work on, it will result in the answer automatically, without any conscious thinking or reasoning. And this phenomenon, as Julian Jaynes proclaims, applies to most of our activities, from such simplicities as judging weights to solving problems to scientific and philosophical activity. Consciousness studies a problem and prepares it as a struction, a process which may result in a sudden appearance of the solution as if out of nowhere. Without them I am not able to grasp the meaning Brian Greene, tries to convey or what Hilbert space is.

I have not created the reverberated cell assemblies to deal with that problem, the reverberated cell assemblies, representing the concepts with their constituent properties, to provide a lucid framework for meaning to come out. Reverberated cell assemblies ever ready, their indefinite nature proclaim, to make understanding possible and therefore I am unable to understand what is going on.

Further on in page 111 of Brian Greene's book, I read

"At this point your classical upbringing is balking."

it stops short and refuse to go on. We are what the concepts we carry within, allows us to be, our limits, self-imposed (in almost everything, as I could think about it now), are determined by their amount, their accuracy, whether adequate or inadequate, correct or incorrect. All that it matters to us, comes out of the concepts we have amassed and continue to (the smart thing to do), through our lives.

If we do not continuously brush off the content of our concepts, in girth and in depth, then stalemate. All sorts of problems follow, which basically is translated in, that we get trapped, caged, the concepts we carry our very own prison guards, our jailers, self-imposed limits, bringing forth anxiety, helplessness, boredom. We are in desperate need of paradigm shifts, our very own personal paradigm shifts, remodeling our worldviews and our ways of living.

It is what is mentioned in this website

"The new paradigm would replace old assumptions, values, goals, beliefs, expectations, theories, and the like with its own."

or even more drastically, in an even more powerful way, as it is mentioned in the same website, attributed to Thomas Kuhn,

"a new theory or model is proposed which requires understanding traditional scientific concepts in new ways, and which rejects old assumptions and replaces them with new ones."

our goal is constantly to rejuvenate, in every way possible,

The paradigm shifts of our minds, our own individual paradigm shifts which as the concept defines, once achieved, we will never look back.