outline: chapter 3
the boy and girl show kurt their game idea. he is working on a nanocomputer or a quantum computer. kurt gets very excited and points out how easily their world could be simulated inside a computer, using lots of jargon.
with the quest comes what can go wrong, the preview of the rings, only the point of the rings is shown, the meaning hidden in plain sight. when is this, the third time gong thru the vision? chapter 3 w/kurt, or 4 designing or 6 creating? or 13 w/exkurt on cloud level at final testing?
the girl: she starts as in insecure codependent enabler. thinking/feeling/observing from liberal introvert pov. goes along with things.
the boy: he starts as an easy-going popular loser with talent. he goes along with girl and makes faces behind her back.
kurt: physical description: he’s 45. medium: 5’9” and his long ratty ponytail is graying on the top. his face is pudgy, he wears granny glasses, he shaves fitfully and incompletely, resulting in long gray stubble and strange bare patches. he smokes cigarettes, and there are many long burn marks on the carpet around his chair from his nodding off and dropping lit cigarettes. everyone urges him to switch to e-cigarettes, but they’re idiots. he looks apologetic, but he acts arrogant and dismissive. his health is atrocious – 50 lbs overweight, high blood pressure, diabetic, with early congestive heart trouble. he makes noises when he breathes. he snores loud enough to shake his van. he sweats easily and his hair becomes lanky and falls in his eyes, but the graceful toss of the head is a gesture unavailable to him, and he swipes his hair out of his eyes like a tangled mop with his pudgy hand. when he smokes, he starts coughing and can’t stop, getting red and swollen, and drooling as his tongue protrudes and his eyes pop. he only eats junkfood but usually just has an energy drink, and then looks fevered and acts distracted. when he’s not actively engaged in something, he stares into the distance and his mouth hangs open, his lower lip pouching out. kurt. 3. “Debbie Downers: These people can’t appreciate the positive in life. If you tell them that it is a beautiful day, they will tell you about the impending dreary forecast. If you tell them you aced a mid-term, they’ll tell you about how difficult the final is going to be. Complains about their life and dumping their frustrations on you . Why they are toxic: They take the joy out of everything. Your rosy outlook on life continues to get squashed with negativity. Before you know it, their negativity consumes you and you start looking at things with gray colored glasses yourself.” kurt is so smart it’s painful, and so he doesn’t talk to people very much, and mutters and uses jargon when he does. he’s not very sociable, not very neat, not very graceful, and he’s got issues with the amount of pharmaceuticals that he consumes regularly, some of which interact. kurt’s head is thinking/feeling/observing from autistic antisocial pov
programming computer time: “illusion of simultaneity – Everything happens one thing at a time. The code in every function goes from top to bottom, one instruction at a time. Even though it looks like dozens or hundreds of things are happening and moving at once, they’re each getting a turn. They appear to be moving at the same time since the updates are happening very quickly. The game moves and draws all objects by calling a main or draw function 20-60 times per second, top to bottom, instruction by instruction.”
theory / computer simulation. many worlds videogames. theory of universe inside the computer mwi.
theory / computer simulation: “The many-worlds interpretation could be one possible way to resolve the paradoxes that one would expect to arise if time travel turns out to be permitted by physics (permitting closed timelike curves and thus violating causality). Entering the past would itself be a quantum event causing branching, and therefore the timeline accessed by the time traveller simply would be another timeline of many. In that sense, it would make the Novikov self-consistency principle unnecessary. The two-step procedure of the Schrodinger equation and the Feynman system may be impossible to duplicate with physical systems, but for the computer it is trivial. Quantum mechanics involves “waves” which cannot be duplicated or even approximated physically; but which easily can be calculated by mathematical formula and stored in memory, creating in effect a static map of the wave shape. This quality of something having the appearance and effect of a wave, but not the nature of a wave, is pervasive in quantum mechanics, and so is fundamental to all things in our universe. It is also an example of how things which are inexplicable in physical terms turn out to be necessary or convenient qualities of computer operations. an electron does not change regardless of whether it is one of the two electrons associated with the helium atom, or one of the ninety-two electrons associated with the uranium atom. You could not, even in principle, tell one from another. The only way in this world to create such identical images is to use the same formula to produce the same image, over and over again whenever a display of the image is called for. In our experience, things move from one end to the other by going through the middle; they get from cold to hot by going through warm; they get from slow to fast by going through medium; and so on. Phenomena move from a lower state to a higher state in a ramp-like fashion — continuously increasing until they reach the higher state. Even if the transition is quick, it still goes through all of the intermediate states before reaching the new, higher state. In quantum mechanics, however, there is no transition at all. there is no presently conceived computer architecture that would allow anything but such a discrete, digitized time and space, controlled by the computer’s internal clock ticking one operation at a time. Accordingly, it seems that this lack of continuity, so bizarre and puzzling as a feature of our natural world, is an inherent characteristic of a computer simulation. the essence of non locality is unmediated action-at-a-distance. A non-local interaction jumps from body A to body B without touching anything in between. Voodoo injury is an example of a non-local interaction. When a voodoo practitioner sticks a pin in her doll, the distant target is (supposedly) instantly wounded, although nothing actually travels from doll to victim. Believers in voodoo claim that an action here causes an effect there. The non-locality which appears to be a basic feature of our world also finds an analogy in the same metaphor of a computer simulation. In terms of cosmology, the scientific question is, “How can two particles separated by half a universe be understood as connected such that they interact as though they were right on top of each other?” If we analogize to a computer simulation, the question would be, “How can two pictures at the far corners of the screen be understood as connected such that the distance between them is irrelevant?” In fact, the measured distance between any two pixels (dots) on the monitor’s display turns out to be entirely irrelevant, since both are merely the products of calculations carried out in the bowels of the computer as directed by the programming. The pixels may be as widely separated as you like, but the programming generating them is forever embedded in the computer’s memory in such a way that — again speaking quite literally — the very concept of separation in space and time of the pixels has no meaning whatsoever for the stored information. Even though the mathematical formulas were initially developed to describe the behavior of universe, these formulas turn out to govern the behavior of the universe with an exactitude that defies our concept of mathematics. As Nick Herbert puts it, “Whatever the math does on paper, the quantumstuff does in the outside world.” That is, if the math can be manipulated to produce some absurd result, it will always turn out that the matter and energy around us actually behave in exactly that absurd manner when we look closely enough. It is as though our universe is being produced by the mathematical formulas. The backwards logic implied by quantum mechanics, where the mathematical formalism seems to be more “real” than the things and objects of nature, is unavoidable. In any conceptual conflict between what a mathematical equation can obtain for a result, and what a real object actually could do, the quantum mechanical experimental results always will conform to the mathematical prediction. For many years, it has been assumed that the universe exists independently of human perception. Why would scientific minds now alter their perspective? The answer is based on a fundamental aspect of quantum mechanics, sheer observation affects the observed – its potentiality collapses. Therefore, if information is fundamental, exists in a duality of nature, and is affected by observation, there is strong evidence that observation itself may cause it to exist – and even if that is not correct, certainly that shared knowledge of existence affects the “probability of trueness”, and the emergence of an information element into what humans recognize as “reality” – a part of our universe. The similarity of processes which appear to underpin our perceived universe is apparent from microcosm to macrocosm. The pivotal concept here is how to manipulate the “probability of trueness” of any specific element of information. One factor that has been demonstrated to have an effect on the “position” of elements is sheer observation of those elements. It is conceivable that manipulating the frequency and intensity of “observation” is the variable required. One of the intriguing possibilities that springs to mind with regard to how this might occur is the advent of the internet. It has been theorized by a number of researchers that a “global brain” is under development through the evolving”
computer simulation: “Feynman’s insight was that simulations that inherently include quantum physics from the outset have the potential to tackle those otherwise impossible problems. Quantum simulations have, in the past year, really taken off. The ability to delicately manipulate and measure systems containing just a few atoms is a requirement of any attempt at quantum simulation and it is thanks to recent technical advances that this is now becoming possible. Most recently, in an article published in the journal Nature last week, physicists from the US, Australia and South Africa have teamed up to build a device capable of simulating a particular type of magnetism that is of interest to those who are studying high-temperature superconductivity. Their simulator is esoteric. It is a small pancake-like layer less than 1 millimetre across made from 300 beryllium atoms that is delicately disturbed using laser beams… and it paves the way for future studies into quantum magnetism that will be impossible using a classical computer. It is one thing to build a dedicated simulator, aimed at tackling one particular scientific problem, but we can be more ambitious and try to build a general purpose computer that exploits quantum physics to perform a variety of otherwise impossible tasks. Simulating physical systems would be just one task suited to such a computer. We can liken that to what is done in computing today – modern computers don’t just run simulations for scientists. The idea of a general-purpose quantum computer was first recognised in 1985 by Oxford physicist David Deutsch and today the race is on as groups around the world aim to figure out how best to build one. At its heart, a quantum computer works with switches that do not only exist in “on” and “off” states but also in states that are simultaneously “on” and “off”. They are known as qubits (pronounced “cubits”) and by accounting for the dual nature of a qubit it becomes possible for a quantum computer to perform many calculations in parallel. Put simply, if a classical computer gives one answer if a switch is “on” and another when the switch is “off” then one would need to perform the calculation twice, once for each possibility, to collect both possible answers. With a quantum computer, the calculations can be done at the same time. The real power of a quantum computer comes from manipulating several qubits at once. A computer operating on a mere 250 qubits (which could be encoded using 250 atoms) would require a classical computer built from all the atoms in the visible universe to encode the same information. This is a field of research where progress is very rapid – important developments are a weekly occurrence – and right now the challenge is to build systems that can manipulate a handful of qubits without destroying their essential quantum nature. It is probably too soon to speculate on when the first full-scale quantum computer will be built but recent progress indicates that there is every reason to be optimistic. “
Manipulating a bit in a conventional computer, by turning a 1 into a 0, is easily accomplished millions of times per second in laptops and smartphones using established technology in microchips. Manipulating qubits will be much trickier and (at least for now) subject to many hazards. One hazard is that the qubit itself will fly apart; that is, that parts of the quantum system constituting the qubit will no longer cohere. Another hazard is that in steering a qubit around the surface of a Bloch sphere it won’t end up quite where you want it to be.
they talk about quantum computing and technical aspects
theory: many worlds interpretation. “Some versions of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics proposed a process of “collapse” in which an indeterminate quantum system would probabilistically collapse down onto, or select, just one determinate outcome to “explain” this phenomenon of observation. Wavefunction collapse was widely regarded as artificial and ad-hoc, for a composite system – for example a subject (the “observer” or measuring apparatus) observing an object (the “observed” system, such as a particle) – the statement that either the observer or the observed has a well-defined state is meaningless; in modern parlance the observer and the observed have become entangled; we can only specify the state of one relative to the other, i.e., the state of the observer and the observed are correlated after the observation is made. This led Everett to derive from the unitary, deterministic dynamics alone (i.e., without assuming wavefunction collapse) the notion of a relativity of states. MWI removes the observer-dependent role in the quantum measurement process by replacing wavefunction collapse with quantum decoherence. Since the role of the observer lies at the heart of most if not all “quantum paradoxes,” this automatically resolves a number of problems; see for example Schrödinger’s cat thought-experiment, the EPR paradox, von Neumann‘s “boundary problem” and even wave-particle duality. Quantum cosmology also becomes intelligible, since there is no need anymore for an observer outside of the universe. MWI is realist, deterministic, local theory, akin to classical physics (including the theory of relativity), at the expense of losing counterfactual definiteness. MWI achieves this by removing wavefunction collapse, which is indeterministic and non-local, from the deterministic and local equations of quantum theory. MWI (or other, broader multiverse considerations) provides a context for the anthropic principle which may provide an explanation for the fine-tuned universe. MWI, being a decoherent formulation, is axiomatically more streamlined than the Copenhagen and other collapse interpretations; and thus favoured under certain interpretations of Occam’s razor. Of course there are other decoherent interpretations that also possess this advantage with respect to the collapse interpretations. “
quantum computer. an entangled kernel would use a minimum of space on any device, and would run in a browser or on a phone, hell it’d run on an electronic watch – every copy of the game being entangled with every other. algorithms can be written that take into account minute differences in finger pressure and the energy level of the player, even detecting patterns of thinking, and use that as player feedback.
quantum computer. “Typical personal computers calculate 64 bits of data at a time. A 64- qubit quantum computer would be about 18 billion billion times faster. Quantum computers could also take advantage of another quantum property, teleportation. Teleportation allows information about one particle to be transmitted to another particle some distance away. A quantum computer could use teleportation instead of wires to move bits around inside itself. The field of video gaming could also be transformed. By exploiting the multiple states of qubits, quantum video game consoles could generate a truly random aspect to gameplay, producing a more realistic experience. They could also generate new types of games that rely upon betting against which state the qubits will take.”
quantum theory: ..”in addition to these (gravitation, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force; quarks (mesons and baryons); leptons (electrons, muons, tau particles) and their nutrinos) – “altogether that makes 61 kinds of particles. that is the ‘standard model.’ “in addition to these, there is one more particle called a higgs bosun, a particule expected to be like the quanta (i.e., the chunks of energy) postulated to give the W+, W-, and Z0 particles their heavy masses. to say the least, as chris quigg put it in scientific american, ‘by the criterion of simplicity the standard model does not seem to represent progress over the ancient view of matter as made up by earth, air, fire and water, interacting through love and strife.'””
discussion of macro quantum devices move to spex chapter. “Current oscillators are silicon-based and use the charge of an electron to create microwaves. The UCLA-developed oscillators, however, utilize the spin of an electron, as in the case of magnetism, and carry several orders-of-magnitude advantages over the oscillators commonly in use today. UCLA’s electron spin-based oscillators grew out of research at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This research focused on STT-RAM, or spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory, which has great potential over other types of memory in terms of both speed and power efficiency. “We realized that the layered nanoscale structures that make STT-RAM such a great candidate for memory could also be developed for microwave oscillators for communications,” said principal investigator and research co-author Kang L. Wang, UCLA Engineering’s Raytheon Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN). The structures, called spin-transfer nano-oscillators, or STNOs, are composed of two distinct magnetic layers. One layer has a fixed magnetic polar direction, while the other layer’s magnetic direction can be manipulated to gyrate by passing an electric current through it. This allows the structure to produce very precise oscillating microwaves. “Previously, there had been no demonstration of a spin-transfer oscillator with sufficiently high output power and simultaneously good signal quality, which are the two main metrics of an oscillator — hence preventing practical applications,” said co-author Pedram Khalili, project manager for the UCLA-DARPA research programs in STT-RAM and non-volatile logic. “We have realized both these requirements in a single structure.” The SNTO was tested to show a record-high output power of close to 1 micro-watt, with a record narrow signal linewidth of 25 megahertz. Output power refers to the strength of the signal, and 1 micro-watt is the desired level for STNOs to be practical for applications. Also, a narrow signal linewidth corresponds to a higher quality signal at a given frequency. This means less noise and interference, for a cleaner voice and video signal. It also means more users can be accommodated onto a given frequency band. In addition, the new nanoscale system is about 10,000-times smaller than the silicon-based oscillators used today. The nano-oscillators can easily be incorporated into existing integrated circuits (computer chips), as they are compatible with current design and manufacturing standards in the computer and electronic device industries. And the oscillators can be used in both analog (voice) and digital (data) communications, which means smart phones could take full advantage of them. “For the past decade, we have been working to realize a new paradigm in nanoelectronics and nanoarchitectures,” said Wang, who is also a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. “This has led to tremendous progress in memory research. And along those same lines, we believe these new STNOs are excellent candidates to succeed today’s oscillators.””
coursera quantum class – quantum algorithms break most modern public-key cryptosystems (like rsa cryptosystems). “quantum computing exploits the most counter-intuitive aspects of quantum mechanics.” [like believing 7 impossible things before breakfast]. need to build new kind of intuition to understand quantum mechanics.
move to spex chapter. Mathew Maye, assistant professor of chemistry in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, and Rabeka Alam, a chemistry Ph.D. candidate, have discovered that the size and structure of custom, quantum nanorods could hold the key. In their paper “Designing Quantum Rods for Optimized Energy Transfer with Firefly Luciferase Enzymes”, which was published online in Nano Letters, they explain their plan to harness the chemical reaction between luciferin and its counterpart, the enzyme luciferase which causes fireflies to glow. The team attached the manipulated luciferase enzyme to the nanorod’s surface allowing it to act as a fuel. The energy that was released when the fuel and the enzyme interacted was then transferred to the nanorods, causing them to glow. The process is known as Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET). “Firefly light is one of nature’s best examples of bioluminescence,” Maye said a press statement. “The light is extremely bright and efficient. We’ve found a new way to harness biology for nonbiological applications by manipulating the interface between the biological and nonbiological components. The trick to increasing the efficiency of the system is to decrease the distance between the enzyme and the surface of the rod and to optimize the rod’s architecture,” Maye added. “We designed a way to chemically attach genetically manipulated luciferase enzymes directly to the surface of the nanorod.” The nanorods are composed of an outer shell of cadmium sulfide and an inner core of cadmium seleneide and by manipulating the size of the core, and the length of the rod, the team were able to alter the color of the produced light. While the technology is currently restricted to the laboratory, Maye and Alam believe it will be very simple to scale up the system and use glowing nanorods as substitutes for LED lights. “The nanorods are made of the same materials used in computer chips, solar panels and LED lights,” Maye added. “It’s conceivable that someday firefly-coated nanorods could be inserted into LED-type lights that you don’t have to plug in.”
about quantum mind,
quantum computer / consciousness: “deutsch’s interpretation says: it’s possible to construct a quantum computer that operates without any collapse effects of observation. if one does not make any attempt to look into its operation, the quantum computer will perform as if it were in parallel universes rather than in a single universe. ultimately, when an observer looks in for a result, one can then treat the effect of this observation as if it were a collapse. the observer simply enters into as many universes as there are possible outcomes form the quantum computer. since he doesn’t care about he other ‘ghost’ quantum computers, the outcome to him appears as if a collapse had occurred. in effect, the collapse can be put in the hands of the user. “certainly changing the physical situation as indicated above can change a possibility-wave, for, after all, the possibility-wave represents the physical situation. in the remainder of this chapter, we will explore another way in which such a change can occur. we will see how a possibility-wave can change as a result of making different choices in the ways we go about observation. i call this simply changing awareness. simple, yes, but such a change is profound in its implication. “if we can learn to alter our awareness in a certain way – that is, learn to become mind yogis, we can change possibilities, alter outcomes, and even enable outcomes to ‘flow’ as new possibility-waves that eventually emerge as new physical events.” “
quantum computer / brain: “Davies concludes that if Penrose and Hameroff are right, and there are microtubules in the brain that allow quantum coherence to be maintained through many cycles of information processing in a hot environment (the brain), “then that is exactly what the quantum computing people would need to make a functioning quantum computer, and that would be a revolution as great as the invention of the computer in the first place. “
consciousness / internet metaphor: ““consider that the question, what is the field? may be the wrong question. it limits us to old world view thinking of a fixed ‘way that it is.’ if reality is multi-dimensional, then the field itself manifests all of these aspects, and probably some we haven’t discovered yet. “we can learn a lot from the internet. it is nonlinear. it is infinite. it is non-locatable. it’s a both/and world – the nonpareil of individuality and interconnected unity at the same time. it equalized people and companies in spirit, large and small. it is a 24/7 operation functioning in real time and it’s timeless. it out-pictures humanity and reflects us back to ourselves: from the vile to the sublime, from mediocrity to ingenuity,from the inane to the brilliant. the internet isn’t a ‘thing,’ it’s a field.” “
“however real the world of ‘solid’ objects and ‘fixed’ circumstances may seem to our ordinary five senses, the fact is we are living in a multidimensional universe that has been spoken about for thousands of years in the perennial wisdom of our spiritual traditions, and is now being verified by modern science. ours is a universe comprised not of solid physical objects, but of energy continuously in flux, vibrating frequencies, always moving and changing. we live in a world comprised not of dead or inert matter, but of intelligent living systems, whole systems – a world not restricted by old concepts of time and space, but a world at its source beyond space-time.”
time / connected universe: ““the autonomy principle. it says that we can do experiments in our local neighborhood without reference to or concern for the rest of the universe…said differently, i can assume that the actions of distant stars and planets need not be taken into account when i boil water for tea or decide to take the dog for a walk. if this principle wasn’t true, any action i take would evoke all kinds of consequences for the rest of the world or even the universe at large. “magical belief systems base their logic on just such notions: that we are not autonomous, that everything is connected. “together, the autonomy principle and the grandfather and creativity paradoxes constitute an unstated assumption called the chronology tenet that concludes simply: you cannot move backward through time. if the chronology tenet is not actually a part of physics, why do we believe in it? the reason has more to do with our commonsense view of causality than with physics. we believe that if something happens, there must have been a prior cause plus a means by which the cause leads to the effect. travel into the future does not violate this commonsense view, but travel to the past, even for the briefest of times, apparently does. “let’s examine this conclusion more clearly. we have seen how the general theory and the special theories of relativity introduce new ideas about time. specifically, through the time dilation effect, which briefly says that when in motion time slows down, the special theory of relativity allows us to travel to the distant future while aging minimally. here no causality paradoxes are encountered, even though such travel would certainly be weird.” “
theory / consciousness intent / either/or: “the very nature of our universe is infinite possibility. the quantum view tells us that every moment contains an infinite number of possible outcomes, one of which manifests according to the intent of the observer. to the finite aspect of our minds, to envision something infinite is unimaginable. yet, quantumthink demands of us that we imagine the unimaginable. to our ordinary minds something either exists or it doesn’t, because from the classical world view existence refers to what is physical. we don’t think of the world of possibility as existing. we hold what isn’t there as nothing, as having no existence. there is either something or nothing. this is thinking shaped by a classical world view – the world of an either/or reality of one dimension, the dimension of physical matter, that which we can glean with our ordinary senses. in a classical either/or world, something either exists or it doesn’t, because ‘existence’ in that world view means the physical material world. “yet, one of the most eye-opening insights we’ve learned from physicists of the new science is that the total universe consists of both the actual physical world whose existence is obvious to us, and it also consists of the possible world whose existence is unseen. the possible world has existence. “in the new world view we move beyond the limits of an either/or reality to the world of both/and. both the possible and the actual worlds exist, and they exist at the same time.”
intent: “in a quantum world view our perspective is entirely different. if everything always exists, then generosity exists for everyone, including you. it exists in the possible world. now the question is – does your generosity exist in the other aspect of the world, the actual world said another way, is your generosity manifesting? “from a new world view we don’t end up classifying people as one way or another; as honest or dishonest, selfish or giving, stingy or generous. we can see everyone as the possibility of any human quality or attribute. which specific trait or quality actualizes what becomes manifest, is contingent upon the intent of the observer. this is really, really important; you can literally bring someone else’s generosity into actuality by virtue of your intent to see them that way. intent is the dynamic of creation, the activation of the life force. intent activates possibility that originates in this quantum vacuum, the realm of infinite possibility. there is so absolute truth about the way a person is. there is only what you the observer actualize by virtue of your intent. what you bring is what you get. in contrast to infinite possibility as the limitless source of all creation, a least-action pathway is the route of the mechanical, the automatic, the non-thinking. you could think of our habits arising as a result of our least-action pathways. no new action has to be taken. the energy, thought or action will automatically go in the direction established by the past.”
brain / consciousness / drugs: “Many users of psychedelics report the experience as a consciousness-expanding one, and conventional wisdom suggests that such drugs should increase brain activity and blood flow to the brain.. Instead, the research in PNAS showed that psilocybin decreased blood flow to specific regions of the brain that act as “connector hubs”, where information converges and from where it is disseminated. In the paper, we suggest that these hubs normally facilitate efficient communication between brain regions by filtering out the majority of input in order to avoid over-stimulation and confusion. But the hubs also constrain brain activity by forcing traffic to use a limited number of well-worn routes. Psilocybin appears to lift some of these constraints, allowing a freer and more fluid state of consciousness. In the second study, subjects were given cues to recall positive events in their lives. With psilocybin, their memories were extremely vivid, almost as if they were reliving the events rather than just imagining them. The findings suggest potential uses for psilocybin in the treatment of depression, a condition characterised by rigidly pessimistic thinking patterns. These fixated patterns are associated with overactivity in the medial prefrontal cortex – one of the same connector hubs deactivated by psilocybin. Psilocybin may also be a useful adjunct to psychotherapy, helping patients who are stuck in negative thought patterns to access distant memories and work through them.”
neurons / drugs / emotions: “The speed of signal transfer between nerve cells (synapses) is reduced with long-term use, as a consequence of the loss of neurons (nerve cells) and components of nerve cells. Poor memory, learning difficulties, and a general apathy are the results of prolonged, frequent use of cannabinoids. experiencing strong emotions synchronizes brain activity across individuals. Human emotions are highly contagious. Seeing others’ emotional expressions such as smiles triggers often the corresponding emotional response in the observer. Such synchronization of emotional states across individuals may support social interaction: When all group members share a common emotional state, their brains and bodies process the environment in a similar fashion. Researchers at Aalto University and Turku PET Centre have now found that feeling strong emotions makes different individuals’ brain activity literally synchronous. The results revealed that especially feeling strong unpleasant emotions synchronized brain’s emotion processing networks in the frontal and midline regions. On the contrary, experiencing highly arousing events synchronized activity in the networks supporting vision, attention and sense of touch. Sharing others’ emotional states provides the observers a somatosensory and neural framework that facilitates understanding others’ intentions and actions and allows to ‘tune in’ or ‘sync’ with them. Such automatic tuning facilitates social interaction and group processes, says Adjunct Professor Lauri Nummenmaa from the Aalto University. – The results have major implications for current neural models of human emotions and group behaviour, but also deepen our understanding of mental disorders involving abnormal socioemotional processing, Nummenmaa says”
consciousness: “first and most important is the fact that consciousness is an onset phenomenon. by this i mean that consciousness springs into being where certain conditions of brain functioning are met (such as when we awaken). consciousness does not come into being only when the brain begins to think. even when we are asleep and not dreaming, our brain is usually very active. thoughts – that is to say, thinking and data processing – are present, and yet consciousness is absent or, at most, is maintained at an extremely low level. if awakened from a sound sleep and asked what we were just thinking, we may indeed be able to relate that our brains were active with thought but this data processing was not associated with any conscious awareness. these thoughts existed merely as ripples of neural activity ready to rush to the surface of consciousness from an ever active brain when awakened. consciousness happens when some new process comes into play as our awakening brain becomes somewhat more active. “from neurological studies, we know that the brain, the seat of consciousness, is not inactive when consciousness is absent, even during deep, nondreaming sleep. in fact, from brain wave data and from direct electrical probes placed in brains, we know that the level of activity of the brain changes only by a factor of about 2 between the awakened state and the sleep state. but something very dramatic happens when we awaken. everything changes. the colors of the sky, the sounds of breezes, the odor of the fresh air of the woods – these did not exist the moment before. consciousness came into being and gave sentience to existence.“in that moment marking the transition from unconscious existence of the body to conscious existence, as the level of brain activity changed from an idling engine of thought to a vehicle that has lurched into motion, something new has come into being – something that gives rise to this freshly awakened consciousness. whatever it is that has happened in the brain, consciousness has made a discrete change. it has turned on..“what has happened in the brain is that it has changed in its level of activity. and there must be an associable or correlate number, some quantity that tells us just what level of brain activity had to be reached in order to bring about the onset of consciousness. the consciousness came into being in that moment of increased brain activity. consciousness is an onset phenomenon and, as such, can be associated with numbers characterizing the physical correlates of the occurrence of consciousness. this fact will serve to dramatically narrow our search for the mechanism of consciousness.”
memory / reality: “given a set of incomplete information, we’re overwhelmingly likely to use our own experiences to speculate about the missing details rather than admit we don’t know. No doubt you’ve participated in some type of gossip involving the bizarre actions of a friend or relative. Lacking an explanation from the source, everyone, including you, had a theory that was “more right” than everyone else’s. Our brains don’t cope well with missing information. We can’t accept incomplete stories, so in place of confusion we create our own connections, regardless of their accuracy. This means that a memory can literally change over time and, even more shockingly, that the simple act of remembering may be what causes a memory to warp and change. The more you remember something, the more the memory changes and the further it gets from objective reality. You may literally be changing your history each time you think about it. The only hypothesis that can be drawn from the results is that each person, with their own unique set of previous experiences—distorted as they may be—heavily influences what types of things are remembered in the future. Of course, if this is true, then the doors are open for biased memories and memories based on prior experiences and expectations. You may remember only what you subconsciously want to, whether it’s accurate or not. Your memory is highly susceptible to contamination. The memories you create of the events in your life are suspect, highly susceptible to contamination, and there’s no way to predict with any regularity what, in fact, you’ll actually remember. It’s a grim outlook, but all hope is not lost for memory. Despite its unreliability, there is one way that you can carefully and accurately control your mind: intentional memory. When you set out to learn something, learn it, and then remember it, you’re creating what we’ll refer to as an intentional memory. The forgetting curve rules your memory, and it’s a harsh dictator, indeed. In fact, more than 50% of the information you learn at any given time is gone in less than 20 minutes. 80% after just 24-48 hours But the forgetting curve has a loophole. When Ebbinghaus discovered the curve, he also discovered a way to beat it—by perfectly timing the reminders your brain needs to retain the information it’s going to forget. “although we know that our common-sense understanding of the world is merely fiction, the illusions stay with us. science has entirely overturned what we know about the structure of the world. but rather than revising our picture of what reality is, we cling to a collage of incongruent shards. we preserve a false assemblage of images, one pasted upon another, so that we can keep unchanged the mental portrait of ourselves and of the world to which we are accustomed. we go about our business despite the fact that the world on which we base our lives is so much in question, so much a mystery.”
observer bias / internet: “on a personal level, we would see each other as separate, our determinations as black or white, our options as limited to what we ourselves had jurisdiction over and could control. so this idea that our results and what we think we are capable of is shaped and limited by our world view is not a dry theory; you can see this present and alive all around you. our technology and our artifacts and inventions, our extensions of ourselves, the offspring of our current culture and state of evolution, are thrown out into the world so we can see who we have become. we invented the internet. it is an extension of our nonlocal consciousness. now the internet reflects back to us, and we learn that the nature of reality is spaceless and timeless, chaotic and self-organizing webs and networks, continuously in flux, and requires the use of all the dimensions of our being, including our intuition and logic combined, to effectively deal with it. the internet shows us that we live in a universe of infinite possibility, continuously expanding. it teaches us that the accumulation of information in our ‘local’ mind is no longer feasible nor is it necessary.”
consciousness / intent: “thought may not be energy yet it activates it. thought may not be matter yet it shapes it. thought may not ‘be’ resonance yet it generates it. thought may not be energy or matter but simply a connection, a direction, a force of its own unique brand. perhaps thought simply tunes us in to one set of coordinates or another. what we are doing here is expanding our thinking another octave to see thought and intent as generating patterns that are not linear; rather the patterns are geometric. our most focused intents take form.”
training / habit: “how does a least-action pathway show up in your life? in your automatic habits. what we mean by a habit is one that is automatic, mechanical, without thinking, one over which we have no mastery because we lack awareness of it; it’s a reaction to circumstances. our least-action pathways do not allow for any new possibilities. a least-action pathway does not even have any conscious awareness to it; it just happens automatically, unconsciously. “this automatic functioning is actually one of the most marvelous functions of the classical world. the electro-chemical processes of our body work this way. when we perform certain repetitive functions, this automatic functioning is operating; when we are driving a car, or when we learn a language or when we learn to type or play an instrument. we don’t have to have our attention on which letter on the keyboard to press, because of this mechanical functioning that doesn’t require our full conscious awareness. this requires catching ourselves in the automatic habit of looking for ‘what’s wrong’ and why this can’t work. with conscious awareness and conscious intent, we can shift the focus to what’s possible and how can we have this work. this is the discipline of mastery. it takes having vigilance over your own automatic ways of thinking and being, over your automatic habits. a least-action pathway is one lacking in spirit or life force or conscious awareness. notice if you find yourself in a ‘habit’ of reacting resulting in one of these states: agitation, complaining, worrying, criticizing, irritation, pressured, stressed, angry. if you find it difficult to admit these to yourself, it is probably because you have ascribed some undesirable meaning to it. (probably a result of another least-action pathway) when you realize these mechanistic ways of being are simply an outcome of a stage of evolution we can now transcend, you note them and move on with ease. two – just once today, when you catch yourself in a least-action pathway, shift it by thinking from infinite possibility and generating a new intent.”
3 training: neurons / brain / consciousness: “when we have done brain scans of people who are presented with this situation and reject the offer, we find that the areas of their brain related to emotion are activated. other subjects, however, decide that a penny is better than nothing and accept the offer; these people show greater activity in their prefrontal cortex. what are the timing characteristics of human attention? measured in the laboratory and using normal subjects, it is commonly found that a percept needs 50 to 100 milliseconds of stability to command attention. yet discussions with our buddhist colleagues suggest that a highly trained mind may be able to attend to one event per millisecond, which represents a much more compressed time scale. we scientists tend to think of attention as effortful and to believe that it is difficult to maintain a selective or enduring focus of attention over a long period of time. in buddhist practice it appears that, at least after initial training, focusing attention is an effortless and almost relaxing process. Many nuclei with distinct chemical signatures in the thalamus, midbrain and pons must function for a subject to be in a sufficient state of brain arousal to experience anything at all. These nuclei therefore belong to the enabling factors for consciousness. Conversely it is likely that the specific content of any particular conscious sensation is mediated by particular neurons in cortex and their associated satellite structures, including the amygdala, thalamus, claustrum and the basal ganglia. Conversely, conscious perception is believed to require more sustained, reverberatory neural activity, most likely via global feedback from frontal regions of neocortex back to sensory cortical areas that builds up over time until it exceeds a critical threshold. At this point, the sustained neural activity rapidly propagates to parietal, prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortical regions, thalamus, claustrum and related structures that support short-term memory, multi-modality integration, planning, speech, and other processes intimately related to consciousness. Competition prevents more than one or a very small number of percepts to be simultaneously and actively represented. This is the core hypothesis of the global workspace theory of consciousness.”
3 training / c3ll3r!: “buddhist meditative cultivation of the mind. such attention training has specific goals, of which the first is relaxation. one proceeds in this practice with a sense of ease; it must not be intensely, ambitiously bound up with hopes and desires. one can certainly exert too much effort. on the basis of relaxation. one cultivates stability, involving coherence and continuity of attention to one’s chosen object. but it is not enough for attention to be merely stable. it must also be imbued with a sense of clarity, vividness, and high resolution. if you are attending to something mindfully, how do you know whether your mind has unconsciously ‘exploded’ out into sensory distractions or wandering thoughts, or ‘imploded’ into laxity, dullness, or sleepiness? to recognize such attentional imbalances as soon as they arise, you must develop and apply a kind of meta-attention (samprajanya), which has the function of monitoring the quality of attention. so mindfulness and meta-attention are the two faculties to be developed int he cultivation of attentional stability and vividness. five mental factors of ascertainment, which include aspiration, confidence or trust, mindfulness, single-pointedness, and intelligence…if there were little or no single-pointed stability in our normal cognitive experience, then we would never be able to apply intelligence. one of the five omnipresent mental factors is known as sempa, which could be translated as ‘will.’ this is different from aspiration in our system. we are talking here about two different classes of mental factors: five omnipresent factors and five factors of ascertainment. aspiration is an omnipresent factor; will (sempa) is the other type. but how do you define will, or sempa, as opposed to attention? attention skills might be developed thru repetitious activity and fine-tuning of focus in a task such as playing video games, which may be why they increase skills in certain academic areas. but the element of habituation has another side. the way films are made, the average clip is very, very brief. just a few seconds long. what that means is one gets bored more easily. if you need a high level of rapidly changing stimuli to keep your attention, then as soon as things drop below that level, you are bored. you want to do something new, something different. so there are two contrasting elements involved in that habituation. teenagers, or even adults, might be harmed by repetitious, high-intensity activity if it leads to a need for so much stimulus coming in just to avoid feeling depressed or restless. one purpose of learning to develop attention with uninteresting objects like the breath is to establish that quality of attention and ease with the present moment with an absolute minimum of stimuli, so that you can feel at home in yourself with very little going on. teenagers need to be playing a video game and listening to the stereo and checking their e-mail simultaneously, and then they feel good! that takes a lot of hardware to feel at home in life.”
habit: “The brain goes through two main steps when it’s focused on a task. It’s thought that selective focus is controlled by the top-down attention system. This system is under your control and asks a simple question, “What do you want to focus on?” When you decide to focus on something, the brain goes through two steps to sort and understand the information. Visually, you take in all information in a scene and start processing the information to find what you need to pay attention to. Picture the process like a blurry photo that slowly starts to come into focus. The second part involves focusing on one single aspect. As that same photo comes into focus, the attention starts to zoom in on the one aspect you want to pay attention to. This is the same essential process for voluntary and involuntary focus. When you’re focused your perception of the world around you changes and you have a heightened ability to ignore things around you. This is being in “the zone,” or “the flow.” It’s when you’re focused and don’t notice events around you unless something initiates your bottom-up attention system (which we’ll get to in the next section). The root of breaking focus is an evolutionary system meant to keep us safe. Where selective focusing is reliant on top-down attention, breaking focus comes from the involuntary bottom-up attention. You cannot control this because bottom-up attention is hard-wired into your brain as a passive process. Bottom-up attention asks, “What is happening that needs your attention?” Two outside events cause us to break focus: bright colors or lights, and loud noises. Your focus is drawn to things that might be dangerous or rewarding, like the growl of an animal or the sound and lights of a police siren. Once the top-down focus is broken it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to a project. Each time it’s broken, you restart the process and use up your brain’s resources. Essentially you’re slowly growing exhausted by distractions. To inhibit distractions, you need to be aware of your internal mental process and catch the wrong impulses before they take hold. It turns out that, like the old saying goes, timing is everything. Once you take an action, an energetic loop commences that makes it harder to stop that action. Many activities have built-in rewards, in the form of increased arousal that holds your attention. Once you open your email program and see the messages from people you know, it’s so much harder to stop yourself from reading them. Most motor or mental acts also generate their own momentum. Decide to get out of your chair and the relevant brain regions, as well as dozens of muscles, are all activated. Blood starts pumping and energy moves around. To stop getting out of your chair once you start will take more focus and effort than to decide not to get up when you first have the urge. To avoid distractions it’s helpful to get into the habit of stopping the wrong behaviors early, quickly, and often, well before they take over. meditation can build brain tissue around areas of the brain associated with attention. Although the study looked at long term effects, the most interesting part is that the brain is malleable and trainable. In this case, meditation is used to train your brain to focus better. putting the brakes on wandering thoughts is one of the key ways to keep yourself focused. The very first step of meditation teaches you how to do this. It’s a trick that applies at nearly any moment and is worth training yourself to do, even if you don’t follow through with the entire meditation ideal. You can use any type of entertainment you like, but the key point Dr. Perry points out is that it’s challenging and you’re doing it actively. Television doesn’t work so well because ads break focus, but books, movies, and games are all ways to utilize your escapism as a means to calibrate your brain to focusing. The key is that you actively pay attention and absorb what you’re consuming. “
brain: “children were strategic about when they blinked. While watching a recorded scene, the toddlers seemed to inhibit their blinking during the moments that sucked them in. “The timing of when we don’t blink seems to relate to how engaged we are with what we’re looking at,” Jones says. differences in the blinking patterns of autistic and developmentally normal children. Both groups watched a video that included moments of human emotion and sudden action. Developmentally normal children inhibited their blinking before emotional climaxes, as though they were following the narrative and predicting an outcome. Autistic children blinked right through those moments, suggesting they were not following the emotional arc of the story, but they responded sharply when an object suddenly moved.”
neurons / habit: “NMDA receptors on dopamine neurons in the brain’s basal ganglia are essential to habit formation. These receptors function like gateways to the brain cells, letting in electrically charged ions to increase the activity and communication of neurons. Their pivotal role reminds neuroscientist Dr. Lei Phillip Wang of a computer’s central processing unit. “The NMDA receptor is a commander, which is why it’s called a master switch for brain cell connectivity,” Dopamine neurons regulate circuits all over the brain but they need to be regulated too,” Tsien said. “The questions become how and whether regulation of dopamine neurons is important. Our study shows it’s important and it’s through the NMDA receptors.” Part of that regulation includes proper sequencing: so a habit plays out the same way every time, Tsien noted, much like standard lettering on a keyboard enables typing rather than confusion. Dopamine is a chemical that helps brain cells communication. Glutamate, another neurotransmitter, brings information to the dopamine neurons to enable learning and memory but the neurons must travel through the gateway NMDA receptors to get properly categorized”
consciousness / habits / classical: “crucial throughout your development was your instinctive concern with survival – your ability to move your body and care for and protect it. hence you have come to believe you have no choice in the matter: you are what your body tells you it is through the feedback loops in the nervous system. the spiritual traditions of the world tell us that we are more than merely what our bodies tell us we are. and many of us – mystics and nonmystics alike – may catch glimpses of what they’re talking about from time to time. but these insights also tend to be explained in physical terms. the conviction that material objects are more real is so convincing that it becomes our default assumption. it takes a lot of teaching and practice – a steady practice of mind yoga – to convince us otherwise. this habitual notion – that the physical world is more real – continues to make its presence felt in science, even though quantum physics tells us repeatedly that the basis of this notion is flawed. that basis is the conviction that the world we experience is the world of classical, newtonian physics, and it is fixed in our minds through powerful logic and buttressed with mathematical argument. if this view of things were true, it would mean that consciousness must arise out of the interactions of material objects. but in none of our neurological or biological studies of these interactions do we see anything like consciousness emerge. it is important to note that when we observe consciousness in others, we are objectifying it, seeing it in terms of what our sense organs tell us. but when we observe consciousness within ourselves, this process of objectification totally, and necessarily, fails. this faulty assumption is first of all the belief, based on our observations, that others we see around us are physical beings who ‘have’ consciousness; and secondly, that the connection between material processes and the consciousness we think we’re seeing applies to our own inner experiences in the same way. hence we believe that, whatever mind is, it has grown out of matter in some causal manner. “let me go through the evidence for believing that mind arises out of matter. it its strongly based on the theory of evolution. “we see that intelligent entities like animals and people exhibit varying degrees of complexity. we appear to be more complex than single-celled animals, for example, so we take it for granted that our sophisticated minds arose from this complexity. in brief, amoebae don’t think because they are too simple; we thing because we are sufficiently complex. …we see evidence that through random events affecting genetic material of simple animals exposed to environmental changes over many life spans, these life forms adapt. they learn to make changes that fit the changes occurring in their environment… we understand survival in terms of the law of cause and effect. how a creature adapts itself depends on cuases affecting its life span handed down to it from its ancestors… these observations – and i am sure more could be added – would certainly be true, provided the ground on which they are based was solid itself. but even though these arguments are scientifically based, they still rely on the commonsense view that space, time, and matter are fundamental. hence, anything that doesn’t fit into a matrix built up from these three elements, must not and cannot be real or have any effect on reality. but quantum physics tells us relentlessly that there is something prior to space, time, an matter. i call it a sub-spacetime. others have called it the imaginal realm, and in present quantum theory it is posited to be an infinitely dimensional space. quantum processes are vital in this realm, and what we call consciousness appears to play a fundamental role at the level of even the most primary matter, consisting of atoms and subatomic particles. with the presence of consciousness at that level and with principles of quantum physics factored in, modern science necessarily changes the belief expressed above that consciousness or mind arose from matter, as the theory of evolution would have it.”
classical philosophy: “theirs was a science based upon absolutes, certainty, and prediction: a linear, logical, rational world of solid objects reducible to their constituent parts, fixed objects that moved only when an outside force was exerted on them. there was always a ’cause and effect’ behind every action – the world as a perfect clockwork machine. if we could analyze the parts and figure out how they worked together, we could predict and control everything. also during the 17th century the french philosopher, rene descartes, best known for his famous conclusion, ‘i think, therefore i am’ strengthened the idea of separation and parts by declaring mind and body as separate, that each of us are isolated egos inside our bodies. why should we care? because a world of fixed and solid objects renders us powerless victims in the face of fixed circumstances. in that view we are destined to be the effects of whatever unchangeable forces happen to come our way. (translation = your wife, your boss, your partner, are not going to change and there is nothing you can do about it. we should care because an either/or world of predictable outcomes drastically limits the possibilities. (translation = infinite possibility has been downsized.) we should care because a one-dimensional view of reality has no soul. if the classical world view saw the universe as a giant machine, the quantum world view sees it as a giant mind. in the quantum view, there is no static or absolute reality. (translation = we are no longer stuck with the way things ‘are’,) everything exists as infinite possibility (with certain probabilities). exactly which possibility manifests is dependent on the observer. (translation = dependent on you.) objects are not solid as we perceive them to be with our ordinary five senses, but mostly empty space; fluttering with fluctuations of energy. (translation = reality is malleable.) matter can exist as a wave or a particle. (translation = ‘opposites’ are both true, and at the same time.) particles are not particles, but are more like tiny vibrating strings. (translation = your ‘vibe’ reverberates out to the world whether you realize it or not.) chaos is self-organizing. (translation = you don’t have to work so hard to get things ‘right,’) energy moves backward and forward through time. (tip: throw out your old concepts of time.) energy does not flow smoothly in a straight line path, but ‘leaps’ in bursts from orbit to orbit with no pathway in between.”
consciousness: “there is a vigorous debate within physics over this very issue. Lots of researchers do think that human free will has something to do with the deep laws of nature. Within quantum mechanics, there are three basic arguments for such a connection:
1. Quantum mechanics is indeterministic, in that the outcomes of measurements are chosen at random from the slate of possibilities. So, if quantum effects help to shape our conscious choices, they sever the connection between us and the initial conditions of the universe.
2. When we conduct experiments on quantum particles, we exercise our free will—for example, we make choices about what precisely to ask of the particles. Or at least we think we exercise our free will. How those particles respond can depend on whether we really do.
3. Quantum physics is time-symmetric, so we are as justified in saying that our choices set the cosmic initial conditions as the other way round. Like much else in quantum physics, the connection to free will hinges on the phenomenon of entanglement. Does the coordinated behavior of quantum particles reflect a nonlocal connection between them or some built-in cheat sheet that allows them to arrange their answers in advance? If we lack free will, the coordinated outcomes can be explained without any nonlocal connection. The reason is that the setup of the experiment assumes the outcomes are independent of the measurement settings. If the two are somehow synchronized, that might produce the illusion of nonlocality. “
“Superdeterminism is extremely troubling, because if true it would pull the rug out from under empirical science. If measurement outcomes depended on our experimental choices, we could never conduct a controlled experiment. All the laws of physics would be illusions. [blockworld]”
neurons: “the same part of the brain we use in seeing is also used in imagining that we are seeing, in remembering seeing, in dreaming that we are seeing, and in understanding language about seeing. the same is true of moving. the same parts of the brain used in really moving are used in imagining that we are moving, remembering moving, dreaming about moving, and in understanding language about moving. mental ‘simulation’ is the technical term for using brain areas for moving or perceiving, imagining, remembering, dreaming, or understanding language. it is mental stimulation that links imaginative stories to lived narratives. but what links your lived narratives to those of someone else? our most plausible hypothesis at present is ‘mirror neuron circuitry, which integrates action and perception.’ we apparently have ‘mirror neuron circuits’ in the premotor cortex that fire when we either perform a given action or see someone else perform the same action. this is not magic. mirror neuron circuits are connected via two-way pathways to other brain areas: 1. to the primary motor cortex, which connects to motor neurons in the muscles of the body and directly controls muscle movement; 2. to the parietal cortex, which integrates sensory information arising in the visual, auditory, and somatosensory regions; 3. via the insula to the positive and negative emotional pathways; 4. to the posteromedial cortex, which must be active in the experience of empathy, say, in compassion and admiration; and 5. to the so-called super-mirror neurons in the prefrontal cortex, which modulate the activation of the mirror neurons, apparently to either enhance or limit their capacity for empathy. mirror neuron circuits are apparently used in so-called mind reading, when we guess from seeing part of a familiar action what the rest of the action will be.”
neurons: “Before the introduction of real time brain scans, it was believed that a process of cell division creates brain cells, called neurogenesis, which begins to slow down in early life and stops when we reach adolescence. The result, according to scientists, is that as we get older we simply base or behaviors on the way we were taught to think in early childhood to the point that our brains become hardwired based on early life sense impressions. However, the discovery of neuroplasticity changes all this thinking to a much more hopeful view of life. We are creating new brain cells and creating new neural connections all the time. “
neurons: “All thosepeople were wrong. If we did use only 10 percent of our brains we’d be close to dead, Damaged brains may have been where this myth originated. During the first half of the last century, a pioneering neuroscientist named Karl Lashley experimented on rodents by excising portions of their brains to see what happened. When he put these rodents in mazes they’d been trained to navigate, he found that animals with missing bits of brain often successfully navigated the mazes. This wound up being transmuted into the idea humans must be wasting vast brain potential. With the rise of the human potential movement in the 1960s, some preached that all sorts of powers, including bending spoons and psychic abilities, were laying dormant in our heads and that all we had to do was get off our duffs and activate them. The brain, Chudler said, isn’t like a disc drive with some set amount of capacity. It’s a dynamic maze of wiring where new connections can be created in response to new stimuli, or lost with disuse. And much of it is constantly occupied not with intellectual thinking, but running our systems.“That’s why the brain is such an expensive organ,” he explained. “It requires 20 percent of our blood supply, and it’s a real energy hog.””
neurons: “the reality simulation principle, which is based on the idea that so much neural real estate is shared by imagery and perception. it says that most effects that can occur by interacting with an object in the world can be mimicked by interacting with objects and mental images.”
observer / consciousness: “quantum mechanics requires that we take into account the fact that conscious observers exist as unique entities, as a part of the total reality of the world….bell’s theorem was an effort to escape this obvious conclusion about quantum mechanics, and that effort failed. it failed because it was an attempt to design a universe that would leave out consciousness. the way out of our difficulty, the path we must take now, is to try to understand what was previously rejected. we must recognize that objective reality is a flawed concept, that state vector collapse does arise from some interaction with the observer, and that indeed consciousness is a negotiable instrument of reality. others, including einstein and bell, tried to show quantum mechanics (or at least the copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics ) to be wrong, and this attempt led to the tests of bell’s theorem. those tests showed instead that any effort to picture the physical world in terms of local and objective reality (independently existing objects ) would yield results that are inconsistent with the known behavior of atomic phenomena.”
“The human mind has no specific department for religion. Instead, religions appear to be a by-product of various cognitive systems that evolved for unrelated reasons. Research on the cognitive foundations of religious thought has spawned insights about religion itself, as well as providing a fresh perspective on the long-standing project of comparing religion and science. From an early age humans confront numerous fundamental problems that must be solved in order for them to function in the world. These include distinguishing between inanimate objects and “agents” that can act on their surroundings, recognising faces, avoiding contaminants, parsing speech and reading other people’s intentions. By the time children are 6 or 7 years old, their cognitive systems for solving these problems are mostly up and running (see “The God issue: We are all born believers”). Such cognitive systems are “maturationally natural”; they emerge without effort and virtually define normal cognitive development. Although culture infiltrates them – for example, determining the language a child learns – acquiring them does not depend upon instruction or education. Maturationally natural systems are also what Nobel prizewinning psychologist Daniel Kahneman calls “fast” – they operate automatically and effortlessly. Because of this, they are highly susceptible to false positives. For example, our hair-trigger system for detecting human forms leads us to see faces in the clouds, and our “agency detection device” leads us to talk to our computers and cars. These rapid and automatic systems also make people receptive to religions. Humans are ready to leap at, swallow and digest religious stories like a hungry frog will leap at, swallow and (attempt to) digest a ball bearing that flies within reach. Successful religions are adept at engaging these dispositions. Supernatural beings trigger our natural beliefs about agents, and our theory of mind. Sacred spaces and objects cue our involuntary precautions against contaminants; it is no coincidence that so many religious rituals involve cleansing and purification. Similar elements have recurred in religious systems throughout human history all over the world. New religions pop up all the time but the ones that last mostly stir in the same old ingredients. These recurrent themes – myth, ritual, sacred spaces, belief in supernatural agents and so on – are the elements of what I call popular religion. None of this, however, bars the application of Kahneman’s “slow” forms of thought to religion. Deliberate, conscious reflection about the meaning and truth of religious claims is called theology. Theologians try to make intellectual sense of the enigmatic claims of popular religion. They reflect, debate and sometimes generate abstract formulations that religious and political authorities decide to label as doctrines. Not all religions have theology but many do, especially the proselytising Abrahamic ones. Unlike popular religion, theology routinely makes abstract and radically counter-intuitive statements that are conceptually complex and difficult to understand: God is three persons in one, for example, or a disembodied person who is present everywhere at once. In addition, theological proposals are not at all memorable compared with, say, a story about Jesus’s virgin birth. This is why religious people must often make an effort to memorise them and why religious leaders adopt a variety of measures to indoctrinate and police “theological correctness”. These include everything from religious education and catechisms to inquisitions. Maintaining theological correctness is difficult, however, as the mental systems that underpin popular religion consistently intrude. The consequence is that theological incorrectness is inevitable: the religions that the vast majority of people actually practise are not the same as the doctrines they learn and recite. Theological incorrectness is seen across cultures and religious systems. When asked in experiments to talk or think about gods’ thoughts and actions in stories, religious people immediately and completely abandon theologically correct doctrines in favour of popular religion – even if they have just affirmed and recited those doctrines. The way they think and talk reveals that they see God as more like Superman than the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent ruler of the universe in whom they say they believe. This view of popular religion offers a new perspective on the project of comparing religion and science. It suggests that science poses no threat whatsoever to the persistence of religion. The fears and trepidation of so many believers – and the jubilant anticipation of so many critics of religion – that science will eventually displace religion are wrong-headed on many counts. First, they underestimate the power and pervasiveness of maturationally natural cognition. Not everyone is religious, but religious ideas and actions spontaneously and inevitably arise in human populations. Second, they underestimate the creativity and imaginativeness of theology, and so its ability to accommodate any change in our understanding of the universe that science produces. Theologians eventually accommodated our displacement from the centre of things by Copernicus, Galileo and Darwin. It took some time because of the size of the challenge, but it happened. The third point is that believers and critics alike underestimate how hard it is to do science. Science is far more complicated than theology. Its esoteric interests, radically counter-intuitive claims and sophisticated forms of inference are difficult to invent, learn and communicate. Science depends on extensive and elaborate social arrangements which are complex and expensive. Its continued existence, at least in the long run, is therefore fragile, certainly in comparison to the continued existence of religion. Finally, the difference between popular religion and theology suggests that standard comparisons of religion and science are often ill-conceived. Cognitively, science has more in common with theology than it does with religion; both rely on slow, deliberate, reflective thought. Popular religion, on the other hand, is more like a common-sense explanation of the natural world. Those who would criticise either religion or science need to be sure what it is they are attacking.”
“Take the Eurasian systems. They’re quite literal: one finger equals one count, and the brain immediately perceives this concept. But Chinese finger counting uses symbolic gestures to represent any number higher than five, and people from Papua New Guinea utilise much of the upper body to represent number. Such symbolic gestures need to be learned, and then retrieved as needed from our working memory. That requires more cognitive effort, but symbolic systems do allow for more sophisticated arithmetic. These questions of diversity lead us into the peculiar world of embodied cognition – the somewhat controversial theory that body parts other than the brain can play a role in cognition. Proponents of embodied cognition argue that we reduce the cognitive load on the brain by outsourcing tasks to other parts of our body, and in the related case of distributed cognition, even to external objects.”
The areas they pinpointed as the seat of meta-consciousness belong to a network in the outer layer (cortical) of the brain that includes the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the frontopolar regions and the precuneus.
Some people can have episodes of self-awareness while they sleep and dream. These “lucid dreamers” are aware that they are dreaming, and are also able to control their dreams. During lucid dreaming episodes they can access their memories, perform actions and are aware of themselves, even though they are unmistakeably in a dream state and not awake.
First author Martin Dresler, from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, explains:
“In a normal dream, we have a very basal consciousness, we experience perceptions and emotions but we are not aware that we are only dreaming. It’s only in a lucid dream that the dreamer gets a meta-insight into his or her state.“
“During lucid dreaming the bilateral precuneus, cuneus, parietal lobules, and prefrontal and occipito-temporal cortices activated strongly as compared with non-lucid REM sleep.”
“The general basic activity of the brain is similar in a normal dream and in a lucid dream.”
“In a lucid state, however, the activity in certain areas of the cerebral cortex increases markedly within seconds. The involved areas of the cerebral cortex are the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, to which commonly the function of self-assessment is attributed, and the frontopolar regions, which are responsible for evaluating our own thoughts and feelings. The precuneus is also especially active, a part of the brain that has long been linked with self-perception.”
“Three components are necessary for a rainbow. there must be sun, there must be raindrops, and there must be a conscious eye (or its surrogate, film) at the correct geometric location. if your eyes look directly opposite the sun (that is, at the antisolar point, which is always marked by the shadow of your head), the sunlit water droplets will produce a rainbow that surrounds that precise spot at a distance of forty-two degrees. but your eyes must be located at that spot where the refracted light from the sunlit droplets converges to complete the required geometry. a person next to you will complete his or her own geometry, and will be at the apex of a cone for an entirely different set of droplets, and will therefore see a separate rainbow. their rainbow is very likely to look like yours, but it needn’t be so. the droplets their eyes intercept may be of a different size, and larger droplets make for a more vivid rainbow while at the same time robbing it of blue. then, too, if the sunlit droplets are very nearby, as from a lawn sprinkler, the person nearby may not see a rainbow at all. your rainbow is yours alone. but now we get to our point: what if no one’s there? answer: no rainbow.” p22-3
“in the absence of anyone or any animal, it is easy to see that no rainbow is present. or, if you prefer, there are countless trillions of potential bows, each one blurrily offset from the next by the minutest margin.” p23
“The visual image of that butter, that is, the butter itself, actually exists only inside your brain. that is its location. it is the only place visual images are perceived and cognized. some may imagine that there are two worlds, one ‘out there’ and a separate one being cognized inside the skull. but the ‘two worlds’ model is a myth. nothing is perceived except the perceptions themselves, and nothing exists outside of consciousness. only one visual reality is extant, and there it is. right there. the ‘outside world’ is, therefore, located within the brain or mind. of course, this is so astounding for many people, even if it is obvious to those who study the brain, that it becomes possible to over-think the issue and come up with attempted refutations. ‘yeah, but what about someone born blind?’ ‘and what about touch; if things aren’t out there, how can we feel them?’ none of that changes the reality: touch, too, occurs only within consciousness or the mind.” p36
“”more recent experiments by libet, announced in 2008, analyzing separate, higher-order brain functions, have allowed his research team to predict up to ten seconds in advance which hand a subject is about to decide to raise. ten seconds is nearly an eternity when it comes to cognitive decisions, and yet a person’s eventual decision could be seen on brain scans that long before the subject was even remotely aware of having made any decision. this and other experiments prove that the brain makes its own decisions on a subconscious level, and people only later feel that ‘they’ have performed a conscious decision. it means that we go through life thinking that, unlike the blessedly autonomous operations of the heart and kidneys, a lever-pulling ‘me’ is in charge of hte brain’s workings. libet concluded that the sense of personal free will arises solely from a habitual retrospective perspective of the ongoing flow of brain events. what, then, do we make of all this? first, that we are truly free to enjoy the unfolding of life, including our own lives, unencumbered by the acquired, often guilt-ridden sense of control, and the obsessive need to avoid messing up. we can relax, because we’ll automatically perform anyway.” p39
“as more sophisticated experiments were devised, it became obvious that mere knowledge in the experimenter’s mind is sufficient to cause the wave-function to collapse.” p51
“before bell, it was still considered possible (though increasingly iffy) that local realism – an objective independent universe – could be the truth. before bell, many still clung to the millennia-old assumption that physical states exist before they are measured.” p53
constants: atomic mass unit, avogadro’s number, bohr magneton, bohr radius, boltzmann’s constant, compton wavelength, deuteron mass, electric constant, electron mass, electron-volt, elementary charge, faraday constant, fine structure constant, hartree energy, hydrogen ground state, josephson constant, magnetic constant, molar gas constant, natural unit of action, newtonian constant of gravitation, neutron mass, nuclear magneton, planck constant, planck length, planck mass, planck time, proton mass, rydberg constant, stefan boltzmann constant, speed of light in vacuum, thompson cross section, wien displacement law constant. p85-6
“you either have an astonishingly improbably coincidence revolving around the indisputable fact that the cosmos could have any properties but happens to have exactly the right ones for life or else you have exactly what must be seen if indeed the cosmos is biocentric. either way, the notion of a random billiard-ball cosmos that could have had any forces that boast any range of values, but instead has the weirdly specific ones needed for life, looks impossible enough to seem downright silly.” p91
“it is not solely atoms and proteins that hold the answer to the problem of consciousness. when we consider the nerve impulses entering the brain, we realize that they are not woven together automatically, any more than the information is inside a computer. our thoughts and perceptions have an order, not of themselves, but because the mind generates the spatio-temporal relationships involved in every experience. even taking cognition to the next step by fabricating a sense of meaning to things necessitates the creation of spatio-temporal relationships, the inner and outer forms of our sensuous intuition.” p175.
deeper discussion of quantum disciplines and teachings, the angel’s quest, and relevant disciplines and teachings that could be incorporated into such a game.
programming game time: the passage of time differs from level to level and from world to world on the horizontal level of parallel universes, as does most everything else. the time the player spends away from the game will pass in the game at a quantum-determined rate that depends partly on weather conditions and the positions of the planets, and partly on the wishes and karma of the player, as well as other factors.
develop 7 level game structure.
develop 7 level game structure.
|discipline||mind||body||quantum head||subtle body||esp||flying||manifesting|
|lesson||all one way||all knowable||all relative||all possible||all alive||all together||all one|
|midway game||coaster||tiltawhirl||bumper cars||arcade||hall of mirrors||tunnel of love||???|
|classical physics||momentum||angular||?||2nd law||optics||???||???|
|carneytown job||service||game master||miner||builder||accounts||personnel||cop|
|relativity||time dilation||distortion of light||gravity wave||curvature||big bang||black hole||???|
|cloud powers / physics||action at a distance||teleportation||clairvoyance||time travel||manifestation||multiple universes||entanglement|
|ring skill||create||name||nurture||guide||share||preserve||pass on|
|ring religion||animism||goddess||early xian||buddhism||fundamentalist||black pope||god consciousness|
supporters discuss antiauthoritarian personality. detractors (snake).
shit happens: ???
media: illustrate dominant culture ???
authoritarian culture: illustrate dominant culture “An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), Kinnaman called the problem of young dropouts from church “particularly urgent” since many churches are used to “traditional” young adults who leave home, get educated, find a job and start a family before age 30. “Churches are not prepared to handle the ‘new normal,”‘ said Kinnaman. “However, the world for young adults is changing in significant ways, such as their remarkable access to the world and worldviews via technology, their alienation from various institutions, and their skepticism toward external sources of authority, including Christianity and the Bible.”
resistance: criticism of traditions, espousing new normal
Meanwhile, in another part of town…
random: goes back to india and researches and volunteers and keeps in touch w/developers (fairy?). learns about business side of videogames. cousin who sells videogames. indie developers (later indian mods to the game). “According to a report by In-Stat/MDR, a market research firm, the market for mobile gaming in India was expected to be around US$26 million by end of 2004.The market was expected to reach US$336 million by 2009. The penetration of cell phones in India was higher when compared to personal computers; hence more people were likely to get their first gaming experience on a cell phone. Moreover, a large proportion of youth were keen to try out new games. Cellular service providers such as Hutch and Reliance had capitalized on the popularity of mobile gaming in order to attract more subscribers by offering games for download through their websites. The online gaming sector in India is being driven by the increasing number of Internet users, increase in disposable incomes, and propensity to spend among the youth. The growth of Internet cafes such as Sify i-way and Reliance WebWorld, who have installed online games to attract more consumers, has also contributed to the rise in online gaming in India. The PC gaming segment in India mainly consists of youth and college students. The growth in this market is being propelled by the growth in the personal computer market. PC sales in India have increased on account of the decrease in prices due to decrease in import duties on hardware components and increased competition. Microsoft Game Studios, the gaming division of Microsoft Corporation, had conducted the “Halo” (in 2003) and “War of a Million'(in 2005) PC gaming championships in India. The positive response received by these championships highlighted the growing popularity of PC gaming in India. However, piracy and price competition among the distributors were seen as the key challenges for this segment. Console gaming is still at a nascent stage in India. Individual consumers, schools and IT/ITES are the target market for console gaming. india also has great potential to become an attractive destination for outsourcing of gaming development activities. India can capitalize on its strong reputation for outsourcing of IT/ITES services in this regard. But in the outsourcing sector India will have to compete with South Korea and Taiwan whose talent pool is greater than that of India with regard to game development. India needs to establish special training institutes to develop quality professionals. In addition to outsourcing, Indian companies can team up with their foreign counterparts to co-produce games. In 2006, Indian gaming companies and Indian subsidiaries of foreign gaming companies established the Indian Games Industry and Trade Association (iGITA). iGITA would help Indian gaming companies to secure a strong foothold in the global gaming development market. Indian gaming companies are in the process of developing products that are targeted at both domestic and international markets. Despite the growth and opportunities for development, the Indian gaming industry has to deal with challenges such as scarcity of skilled professionals and high prevalence of piracy.” 38. think as you like but behave like others. if you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think you only want attention and that you look down upon them. they will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. it is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness. random india
c3ll3r!: nathan studies some aspect of quantum programming or consciousness, something that goes along at a tangent. dad criticizes. makes deal with mom over grades and dragoncon. “11. learn to keep people dependent on you. to maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. the more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. never teach them enough so that they can do without you.” c3ll3r! w/dad (ch 4 nathan gets a job)
traits: conventional and uninquisitive. Preference for conventional institutions.
work: new process at work, has to document department’s functions.
abuse: Treating your partner like a servant. Using Male Privilege.
mom and girl don’t get along, she prefers son
sis cops call 3 am, not arrested sorry face dad, vicious to mom.
armchair authoritarian: ???