Friday, 21 June 2013

Is the butterfly dreaming me?

- waking up at 3:29 ahead the of alarm going off - a quick wash-up and heading out of home - to the mountains - taking a new path, one that hasn't been tried by any one else (at least no foot-tracks) - getting lost - feeling scared, hungry, thirsty, worn out - drinking water from a suspicious source - getting nauseous - sitting - watching the sun set - feeling empty yet peaceful - heading down following the water down - a group of people - fire - drinking an odd-taste drink - cooking and eating a sort of meat - me doing the same things - getting high - HigH - HIGH - waking up in my bed - What happened?! - a dream? - or an aftereffect?



Tuesday, 28 May 2013

unanswered (P)rayers, unanswered (Q)uestions


...
Haven't you ever wanted to take a chance?
What if we never went beyond the limits of the known?
Have you never wished to see beyond the clouds and the stars?
Or to know what makes trees grow? and changes shadows to light?
But speak like this and they call you a madman.
Yet, if I could answer just one of these questions..what eternity is, for example.. I wouldn't care if they called me mad.
...

Sunday, 5 May 2013

uneXplored paradYgmZ


Philosophers apply analogies and metaphors to make an argument, to clarify, to propose and to make a point;  Scientists too.

During 17th century, Leibniz uses the analogy of the 2 clocks  to suggest that mind and body only appear to interact: in reality there is no relation between the 2 substances, rather God has pre-established a harmony so that our minds and bodies do not fall out of sync (Parallelism).

In psychoanalysis, Freud used an analogy based on the laws of thermodynamics. These laws indicated that energy neither can be gained nor destroyed in a system, though it can be transformed from one type to another. By analogy, Freud considered that psychic energy should follow the same rules as physical energy.

Hilary Putnam proposed the "Computational Theory of Mind", a view that the human mind and/or human brain is an information processing system and that thinking is a form of computing. Despite being largely repudiated in analytic philosophy(due to work by Putnam himself, John Searle, and others), the view is common in modern cognitive psychology and is presumed by many theorists of evolutionary psychology.

Philip Lieberman, in his book "Human Language and Our Reptilian Brain" notes that mechanical-biological analogies are not limited to neuro-physiology. He explains,

"Physicians bled feverish patients in the early 19th century because of a false analogy between blood temperature and steam engines. Early steam engines frequently exploded as pressure increased at high operating temperatures.  Safety valves then were invented that released super-heated pressure. Hence, it followed that bleeding would reduce temperature. As a result of this false analogy, the chances of survival of soldiers wounded were greater if they hadn't been treated by surgeons immediately after the battle. In its own way the analogy between biological brains and digital computers is as fatal for understanding neural bases of human language."

Thursday, 11 April 2013

I'mpolite

Saying greetings, I believe, is a thoughtless,wasteful and redundant social habit. While we could start our conversations afresh each time, we stick to the same old routine without it meaning much. Despite their seemingly harmless characteristic as conventions, greetings are the embodiment of traditionalism. The dominance of rules over men for what purpose? persistence of order? of obedience? 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Me me me vs ...

I see many people who like to be the topic of talks all the time, to be the center of attention. In one word, to be popular. 
I also know few people who, on the contrary to the first group, do not need to be the center of attention. Instead, they seclude themselves from social life. In a subtle way, they see themselves better than the rest, but do not make a show of that.
The first group usually call themselves, in a humorous way, narcissists.
Although they might seem so in the first glance, they are usually somewhere close to the opposite. If Narcissism is characterized by self-love, egotism, and selfishness, I can see it in the second group and more clearly. A person who loves him-self, doesn't need to prove it to someone else, nor needs others' approvals or love (self-love makes him self-sufficient). An egotist doesn't care about people's opinions and a selfish person usually puts himself on a pedestal instead of becoming the subject of talks. He knows better that these sorts of talks in praise of someone, are nothing but absurd.

It might be linked to the difference of introversion/extroversion too. I don't know about extroversion, but one can be introvert by choice. By definition, Narcissism very much suits the second group (mentioned above), and introversion comes with the package.


Monday, 4 March 2013

Phil, Sophy and (Johnny) Dep(p)*

Early in my teenage years, I started thinking about and questioning life, its meaning and its purpose. As a results of obsessing about those questions, now I am dealing with depression. Sometimes it comes to the surface and disrupts my life completely, but generally, it is chronic and hides under the subconscious. 
My life, it's not dark all the time, actually most of times I feel okay. Only lately that I have started practicing meditation I experience the same old feelings which triggered the whole thing, the closest description of which would be "looking right into the eyes of life and seeing its emptiness". It didn't use to be so frightening, but as I digested the concept through time, it turned to a recurring nightmare.
The good thing is, I could deal with it meta-cognitively, by looking at my situation from above and outside, analyzing it and not taking it too seriously. I now believe that there is hope for recovery too, not through psychology, because psychologists cannot answer the questions I pose, I can easily wind them up with a few simple questions and either they are smart enough to understand there cannot be a right answer, or they aren't, neither of which would help me; drugs might help, I think, but my depression emerged out of philosophical despair and even though there might be no answers to mitigate that, I believe a step-by-step intellectual change could get me back to the state of "non-depression", through changing my focus to simpler things for example (instead of drugs, which I, nevertheless deem effective, but would like to keep as the last resort).
I will probably write about it more, as I both hope it could be of help to someone else, and the mere act of translating the emotions I experience to language helps the process.


*

Monday, 25 February 2013

The curse of consciousness?

Prespeech mind lacks reflective awareness (or what is known as consciousness). With speech there came a dark side, an Achilles' heel if you will: while the positive side of acquiring speech was the ability to get hold of, remember and use experience, the negative side was the anxiety and limbic overinvolvement in acquiring the concepts like death, danger, threat, pain, fear, hunger loss and etc.
Since it was anxiety overload that had to be compensated for, it is easy to identify two distinctly mind-created and mind enhanced danger schemata:
  1. Invisible forces or gods, that is, agencies that lend causal coherence to incomprehensible phenomena.
  2. Humans, or more precisely alien groups of humans, with their imagined group of intentions as constituting the source of danger.

Simply put: the down side of being equipped with language was an anxiety resulted from the negative emergent concepts that the pre-speech species didn't experience. Gods or concepts as such were created in order to explain the inconsistencies in the scenarios that found meaning through language.

With some adaptations, from The Crucible of Consciousness

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Élan vital*

(This post is randomly generated by a text-generating software, character by character)
"Imagine At the border between England and Wales you pass a small town called Abergele. Its railway station has a beautifully kept garden in which, sprawling across the lawn, you are faced with the inscription, set out in small white pebbles: ‘Welcome to Wales by British Railways.’ No one will fail to recognize this as an orderly pattern, deliberately contrived by a thoughtful station-master. And we could refute anyone who doubted this by computing as follows the odds against the arrangement of the pebbles having come about by mere chance. Suppose that the pebbles had originally all belonged to the garden and would, if left to chance, be found in any part of this area with equal probability; we could compare the large number of arrangements open to the pebbles, if distributed at random all over the garden, with the incomparably smaller number of arrangements in which they would spell out the inscription ‘Welcome to Wales by British Railways’. The ratio of the latter small number over the former very large number would represent the fantastically small chance of the pebbles having arranged themselves in the form of the inscription merely by accident; and this would crushingly refute any supposition of this having been the case."**
According to Polanyi, the significance of this type of occurance is because of the quality of orderliness. That's because the probability of some events, if happened randomly, is infinitesimal. It seems improbable that such order be a result of mere accident. He then applies this to the theory of evolution:
"This bears on the theory that the different living species have come into existence by accidental mutations. This can be affirmed only if, first you accredit the distinctive pattern of living beings as exhibiting a peculiar orderliness which you trust yourself to appraise, and second you accept at the same time the belief that evolution has taken place by a vastly
improbable coincidence of random events combining to an orderly shape of a highly distinctive character. However, if we are to identify—as I am about to suggest—the presence of significant order with the operation of an ordering principle, no highly significant order can ever be said to be solely due to an accidental collocation of atoms, and we must conclude therefore that the assumption of an accidental formation of the living species is a logical muddle. It appears to be a piece of equivocation, unconsciously prompted by the urge to avoid facing the problem set to us by the fact that the universe has given birth to these curious beings, including people like ourselves. To say that this result was achieved by natural selection is entirely beside the point. Natural selection tells us only
why the unfit failed to survive and not why any living beings, either fit or unfit, ever came into existence. As a solution for our problem it is logically on a par with the method of catching a lion by catching two and letting one escape."**
On the origin of life there are several hypotheses, from the Primordial Soup (more of a theory than a thesis) to the Electric Spark to RNA world.. . Almost all are based on this small probabilities. Some say the time that it took for life to emerge was so long that makes it less improbable after all. But in the previous example, it still seems improbable that the pebbles write themselves into a "meaningful" sentence after a billion year and the magnitude of order in a sentence is not even comparable to the order in a single cell organism.

*
** The book is about not the origin of life, but personal knowlege.

Written by Pinocchio