Plato’s Lifeforce –> Energy

universe-age

 

The Ancient Greek philosopher Plato, theorized that there was a life force in all matter on this planet.  However, people knew through working with stone and rock, there were no living parts or systems of these materials.  Since there was nothing to be observed for this theory, there was obviously scrutiny.  Understandably, people wanted observable evidence to this theory than to accept it – which is understandable considering human nature.  Even to this day, physicists and mathematicians create theories without possibility of acquiring evidence, or in other words to test the theory.  The prime example of this is string theory.  It is a mathematical marvel, however physicists are starting to shift to other areas of thought, simply because they want to work towards something that is testable.

Is it possible that we are thinking about this in the wrong way?  After all, all matter was created from energy.  The energy that drives this planet, to make the planet’s systems sustainable, comes from the sun.  The sun is pure energy.  As we learned in elementary school, foliage consumes sunlight, which is then in turn consumed by other animals.  Either by sucking in oxygen, or by consuming the plants themselves, or by consuming other animals that consumed those plants or other animals.  Thus, the food pyramid.  The food pyramid is one of the mechanisms by which the sun’s energy is transferred.

My contention that everything has some sort of energy, and thus is the lifeforce that Plato was talking about.

What about rocks?  They act as transferring heat from itself to what is around it.  In fact, it has been theorized that when energy is transferred through the rock, and it is in a pool of hydro carbons (like pools by volcanoes), eventually the atomic structure of the rock would change.  Why?  Because the rock is becoming more efficient at transferring its flow.  (The Constructal Law)  Look at water.  The movement of water, either by potential energy or by direct energy through the sun, brings about movement to fuel the life on this planet.  Each organism consumes this energy in some way, and is used to create energy for that organism, while its waste is used as energy for other organisms.  It’s a complete cycle.  If one were to consider that the transfer of energy, that substance or organism “has” energy, then there is energy in all things.  There is a lifeforce to this universe, which means Plato was right.

But what other aspects of this lifeforce are there?  I think energy can be expressed in a wave, with a frequency and amplitude.  These different frequencies make things like heat, light, and compounds.  In fact, one could argue that matter is a certain frequency of energy.  With that said, I think anything living, are in tune to these frequencies that energy produces in them and other things.  A common example of this would be dogs.  Cesar Millan, the gentleman behind The Dog Whisperer, has a theory based upon the “energy” of the dog.  Meaning, how does it feel to be around the dog?  The reason why these dogs exert these energies, is because different states of mind metabolize its fuel differently, and changes the physiology of the dog.  The energy of the owner, or in this case Cesar Millan, interacts with one another like two waves coming into contact, creating a resultant.  This “resultant” wave, is the wave that is perceived, and thus is responded to.  In essence, the dog communicates how he or she feels to Cesar, or any owner that is in tune with their dog.  This is possible because the energy is transferred through the air, literally affecting the air molecules.

I would argue the same happens with plants.  If I were to walk in a state or national park, I would feel at ease assuming I didn’t run into predators.  That is because the energy of water, the wind, and trees and plants, provides a sense of relaxation that is not felt anywhere else but nature.  Simply because our physiology evolved from nature.  I suppose if natural selection is true, some time down the line humans would start to evolve to the conditions of the city, rather than nature herself.  I don’t think we would live to see the day.

Therefore, not only is energy in all things, as fuel, but as a means of communication and ultimately influences the perception of living things.  When you go about your day, and you are in the presence of friends and family, pay attention to what you feel like when you encounter them.  It is true, that a bad day may influence these feelings, so I suppose pay attention over time.  Each person feels different, because they metabolize energy differently, resulting in different waves, which against changes the resultant wave.

One might be able to consider that energy can act like a neural network.  It flows through all living and nonliving things, and provides a very subtle way to communicate to everything on this planet.

This is why I do not discredit Plato.  I actually think he was right, and were thousands of years ahead of his time.  It is astounding, to think at the very beginning of our universe, during the big bang, pure energy would shape, provide fuel, as well as a means of communication for the universe entirely.

Thanks for reading!  Feel free to submit questions and comments.  And thanks for sticking with me, I haven’t wrote on this blog for a long time.  I do hope to change that.

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What Possibly Happened Before the Big Bang

Afshordi, Niayesh, Robert B Mann, and Razzieh Pourhasan. “The Black Hole at the Beginning of Time.”Scientific American  Aug. 2014: 38-43. Print.

This idea made me marvel at the possibilities that are out there, possibilities that may or may not be true in explaining the universe around us.  They built this theory around the concept on the volatility of singularities.  What I am trying to say, is our universe is very uniform and flat, which makes no sense considering the accepted theory of the big bang.  Singularities have no laws of physics, and there is no future or past – there is no time.  Out of all the possible ways the singularity exploded, the singularity exploded in such a way that eventually harbored life.  To them there has to be a logical explanation rather than a spiritual one.  So they came up with this idea, to provide conditions for the singularity to explode in a much more uniform manner.

According to their mathematics, it very well could be possible that the big bang happened on the event horizon of a black hole in four-dimensional space.  This basically means the black hole is a part of a universe in higher dimensions.  The event horizon would be three-dimensional, the very conditions that our universe exists.  The core reason why they are scheming this is because they need the event horizon.  And I quote:

Cloaked by an event horizon, the singularity is rendered impotent.  Its disturbing effects cannot escape, making it possible for the laws of physics to describe and predict all that we observe…

…We would like to have a way to shield ourselves from the big bang’s singularity and its catastrophic unpredictability, perhaps with something akin to an event horizon.

The point to all of this is a way to explain why the singularity of the big bang exploded the way it did.  They saw that if the singularity was in an event horizon, then it would work out.  This theory is testable which I like, and it is tested by analyzing the background radiation.

So what do they say about the universe that exists in higher dimensions than our own?

Well since it would of been in existence much longer than our current universe, it would have time to equalize its temperature.  This would provide the favorable conditions on the event horizon which would allow our universe to explode in such a way that the temperature is consistent enough, and the shape flat enough to eventually harbor life.  But they of course have no good explanations on how that universe was created, or the laws of that universe for that matter.

In conclusion, it is a forced hunch.  They are designing a situation knowing what we know currently which would explain why the big bang exploded the way it did.  What about the universe in higher dimensions?  Why did that singularity explode the way it did?  It is my forced hunch, that physicists do not completely understand singularities themselves and how they behave.  I think it very well could be possible that the birth of our universe is from an implosion, and that implosion had the natural conditions to eventually harbor life.  Scientists just struggle with the implications of this.  Inflationary theory was derived because scientists didn’t like how precise the amount of matter was in the universe.  If it was much higher or much lower, life as we know it would not be able to exist.  I don’t understand it completely, but the fact that if the universe expanded on an order of 78 in fractions of a second, eliminates the need of what I term “The God Ratio.”  It’s the ratio of actual matter and theoretical matter required to make the universe flat.  It had to have been equal to 1.00000000000000.  With that precision.  If it was off, our universe would not be flat and we wouldn’t exist.  Scientists didn’t like that idea, because it points to a Creator.  So they derived inflationary theory.

It makes sense, that if the singularity of the big bang was created, it was understood it would harbor life.  Scientists don’t like this philosophy or way of thinking, and will derive complete theories to get around it.  Not only inflationary theory, but this theory as well.  This bothers me.

I understand what happened during The Enlightenment, and I can see why people have a beef with spirituality.  But spirituality cannot be divided into certain factions.  The bottom line is nobody knows, and we all can theorize on the spiritual realm.  Just as I cannot provide hard proof that God exists, we cannot provide hard proof that he does not exist.  Therefore, we should conduct ourselves open to the possibility that our universe was created.

Finally, I believe that if we continue to think everything was not created from a creator, we will deal with an infinite paradigm.  Here is what I mean:

At the end, the tadpole looking thing is going into a world that is completely infinite.  What I am trying to say, is if we do not wrestle with the fact that something had to come from nothing, we are going to explain different universes infinitely.  There will always be a universe that created the other, but how did the original become created?  Believing in creation ends this conundrum, and it very well could be that the existence He created is infinite.  It would be within His power, or wouldn’t it?

At least this idea is testable.  String theory is losing popularity because the ideas aren’t testable, it is just a mathematical marvel.

I mean the other month, I read about a theory that states universes are in the singularity of black holes, which means our universe is a singularity of a black hole.  What made that black hole?  A universe, which is the singularity of a black hole.

Am I making sense here?  This theory is infinite.

So I take theoretical physics with a grain of salt.  It is a lot of creative math, but no data to support its claims.  I hope scientists get the data they deserve, so we can have an absolute picture of our universe.  I also hope more scientists would be open to the idea that there is a Creator.

A Physics Theory of Life and The Constructal Law

A Physics Theory of Life

The Constructal Law

The first link provided is an article about a MIT physicists who has recently provided the mathematics, or formula, to describe how possibly life began in general.  The second link is to a previous post of mine related to The Constructal Law – a new law of physics describing the structure in nature.

Both of these concepts stem from the thermodynamic laws.  As I recall from chemistry class, the first law of thermodynamics states that energy goes to a lower state of enthalpy.  (Meaning, that energy tends to be released)  The second law of thermodynamics state that matter goes to a state of higher entropy, or randomness.  For there to be orderly reactions, energy has to be put into the system.  So for example, a plant takes energy from the sun to construct sugars for nutrients with the help of water, and according to the article, plants emit infrared radiation.  There is always a spread of energy, as is described by the laws of thermodynamics.  What the constructal law accomplished was an overall framework on how the structure of our universe operates.  Put simply, the universe consists of various flow systems (including energy itself), and these systems will create structure to further facilitate its flow.  So a river delta is formed simply because more water can be moved with the least amount of energy.  Urban spread follows the constructal law.  Large volume segways are then met with smaller thoroughfares, which in turn get smaller.  It is exactly how nature herself operates.  Look at the circulatory system.  Huge arteries by the heart transfer blood to smaller veins which transports the blood to the designated site.  These are termed volume to point, or point to volume flow systems.  Neurons share the structure of lightning, while trees show the same structure as the respiratory system.  Structure is maintained by being more efficient in transferring whatever the system is transferring (flow systems).  This is why the inanimate looks the same throughout our universe.

Where these two law and theory come together, is the explanation of life.  In fact, I think the MIT physicists must of known of the constructual law.  The premise of his theory was predicted by the authors of the book I read, however the mathematics haven’t been derived.  Now it has been.  Of course, there is going to be scrutiny among the scientific community as it should, but I think this idea coincides with what is found in the constructal law.

Using the laws of thermodynamics, the physicist thought up of a very viable system.  Carbon atoms in a pool of something, something that carbon could radiate its heat off to.  Finally, this system is being bombarded with energy by the sun.  Through his mathematics, he is able to deduce that eventually the structure of the system would change by following the laws of thermodynamics.  The system will gravitate towards needing to expel more energy.  Why?  Because if we were to take this system as a flow system, the structure of the system will change to further facilitate its flow, or in this case, energy.  This is crucial.  Because if light is shined on the surface of the Earth for billions of years, eventually structures would evolve and eventually primitive life could form.  And, when there is primitive life and eventually RNA and DNA, Darwinian concepts take hold.  But life itself is a further facilitate of energy.  More energy can be transferred per unit of energy used.  This is the true driving force of evolution.  Mutations that work exist because they can transfer energy more efficiently.  And each layer of organisms can be used as a source of energy for others.

I honestly think if the mathematics of this all checks out, it could be a candidate for the Nobel Prize.  Of course they are already coming up with ideas to test his theory in the lab, which is crucial in the whole scientific process.  However, it must be noted, that computer models show his mathematics at work.  So I think that will boost his idea in the various labs across the world to try to verify or disprove his idea.  To think that the inanimate is the very creator of life is very chilling.  To see it work from the very beginning, the big bang, the formation of stars and planets, and those stars if under the right conditions create “life” or formations that can facilitate further the flow of energy.

Wouldn’t it be perfect?  Wouldn’t it be perfect to create a system that is literally self-evolving and self-sustaining, that has no need to be tampered with?  The imperfections are weeded out, and are necessary in order to make the system itself sustainable.  So for example, if there was no friction, there wouldn’t be sustainable movement of various things.  Interest rates are necessary to constrict the flow of money, otherwise there would be hyperinflation.  If energy would be purely transferred, there would be no energy absorbed, which would not allow for orderly reactions, therefore actually restricting the amount of energy that could be transferred.  The imperfections are necessary in order to keep the system sustainable.  This strengthens my belief in a God.  But I believe God created this system that we call The Universe and let itself create its destiny.  His gift is life itself, it is ours to do what we will.

Quantum Computing and Innovation

Ceder, Gerbrand, and Kristin Persson. "The Stuff of Dreams." Scientific American.  12 2013: 36-40. Print.

This article was truly a captivating and exciting article.  The power that this technology holds on not only the material sciences, but of other fields, could essentially invoke a revolution.  Scientists have created quantum computers – super computers that operate with the language of quantum mechanics.  Quantum mechanics is another breed of mathematics that help describe the atomic level.  I know very little about quantum mechanics myself, except for the general statements that a person can not wrap their head around the behaviors of the quantum world.  Classical logic does not work.  Also, quantum mechanics uses probabilities to describe where certain particles are more likely to be at, rather than continual certainty.  Also, a quantum computer uses the fundamental essence of information called a qbit.  In classical computers the bit either represented a one or a zero.  A qbit can represent a one, zero, or any superposition of those two.  With the qbit itself able to represent more than two states, this shows the creative potential of a quantum computer.

The application of a quantum computer in the material sciences could not be more fitting.  These scientists are able to construct theoretical compounds and materials, while also being able to do calculations on those theoretical compositions.  They can calculate theoretical conductivity, opaqueness, brittleness or strength, to even weight.  These computers are able to predict the compatibility of these various atoms by doing quantum calculations on the theoretical atoms the computer is constructing.  In the past, much of the material sciences was trial and error.  One tried a certain composition and if it “stuck” so to speak, then tests had to be performed to learn about the characteristics of that material.  It could very well be possible that after all of that testing, it could not be favorable to be used in a real world setting.  Therefore, this method of quantum computing saves lots of time and money (albeit it was not cheap building and programming the computer itself) with the process of materials design.  Materialists are able to give the computer parameters to do its work by.  So if a designer wants a material with a certain conductivity, density, and strength, the computer will be able to narrow down to hundreds of possible theoretical materials.  Then, the operator would be able to run a series of tests on these theoretical compositions to help narrow down the candidacy even further.  To make things better, organizations around the world are pooling their data into one database.  This way, there is time saved by just having to look up materials that have already been tested.   Maybe one day if it isn’t done so already, the public database will be streamlined into the super computer systems.  Updating its systems on theoretical compositions, the computer will know which materials that don’t need to be tested.  That system will update the public database of new findings, to the point, that the entire theoretical universe of materials design will be recorded.  That is the holy grail of material sciences.  They would have a great place to start in determining what new material to pursue, in caparison to doing trial and error in finding the right material.

This innovation, the quantum computer, is not just an innovation for materials design, but is a innovation for all of humanity.  One of the prerequisites to Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having the foundation of a quantum computer.  Programming something that is self-aware and able to learn, that is another stepping stone, and it is one that is going to be pursued.  But what is intriguing, is we will be using these quantum computers to innovate for us.  A TED talk that I watched talked about how innovations in general have kept humanity from mass casualties due to over population.  The Earth naturally puts conditions in place for a species that becomes over populated, and our innovations have battled against Earth.  One of the impactful moments of his presentation, was the fact that the rate of innovation has steadily been increasing over the years.  Therefore it is concluded, that humanity won’t be able to keep up with the rate of innovation, and eventually Earth will start to eradicate large segments of humanity.  However, there is hope.

Humanity will probably try and beat mother nature, rather than identifying and dealing with a population problem.  Quantum computers will be more streamlined, and will be used to innovate in various fields.  An AI with access to a database of all known knowledge, would easily be able to provide innovations that humanity requires.  (A team is already working on creating a database of all known knowledge)  I am willing to suspect there will be ideas that we will not be willing to do.  If we as humanity would create a system to quickly streamline the innovation process, no matter what it would be, humanity’s population would reach for the stars, probably quite literally too.  But we would let the super computers innovate for us engineering designs, materials, and production methods.  If we could automate that process, with advanced robotics, we would be able to flush out solutions to various problems and ensure the survival of humanity, while keeping the paradigm that we are in.

Honestly, I would rather change how we think in order to be more stable.  I have stated the specifics of that throughout this blog.  But I think people don’t want to change our way of life, and if they do, they feel like they couldn’t do it.  People for the most part consume products and services and don’t really think.  Regardless, quantum computing provides an answer assuming we have the resources to sustain it.  We could innovate at a much faster speed, keeping up with Mother Earth.  But I still think eventually, if all else works out, there will be a shortage of resources, and Gaia will have the last laugh.

This was a very enjoyable read.  I think we are on the brink of an AI revolution.  We have all the prerequisites in place:  a quantum computer.  How researchers go about coding a brain is beyond me, but will surely be pursued if it hasn’t been already.  I think with the advancement of technology we are going to have to greatly reconsider our model of economics.  But that is for another discussion entirely.

Thanks for reading.

Determinism Vs. Free Will Part 2

neuralpathways

The above picture is taken from neuroscientists tracking the different pathways in the brain.   It is fairly obvious that most of them head to the brainstem, but as you can see, towards the edges you have these flaps that connect with other areas of the brain.  Plus there could be some pathways touching others on their way to the brainstem.  This goes all around the brain.  I thought this picture was really cool and really enlightening as to the physical routes that these neural pathways travel.

And finally, comes my second post on this subject because I finished my book.  Determinists believe that the neural pathways that you see at the top of the post, can all be described by a set of algorithms.  That literally, since a brain is composed of biochemical processes and that they follow the laws of physics, that eventually neuroscientists with added knowledge will be able to describe different brains with different mathematics.  The implication of this, is that your thoughts, including your conscious thoughts, are just part of a system.  The conscious is just an illusion created by the brain.  The author does not go into why determinists think we have a conscious in the first place.  If conscious thought is too influenced by subconscious thought, then why do we have the experience of being us?  The best answer that I can give you, has to be one of survival.  With this view, I think subconscious and conscious thought to be part of a two core processor.  And it allows us to multitask within our thinking.  We could be sharpening an arrow head, but be thinking about what needs to be done next at the same time.  The sharpening of the arrow head would be in the subconscious networks, but the person wouldn’t really be thinking about it that hard and yet they are doing it.  The deliberation on what to do next is purely on the conscious networks.  And the conscious networks is able to probe so many different areas of the brain, that it helps ensure the most logical decision for what is known.  A different example would be having to bring livestock in when it is getting really stormy.  You are consciously trying to tie out the knots as fast as possible, but your subconscious is telling you to hurry up, forcing your conscious thoughts to center around untieing knots as quickly as you can and to do it as calmly as you can.   There is no doubt that after reading this book I have a much more appreciation for the subconscious.  It has much more influence on our decisions than we think.  And I think this influence, is enough to influence our free will that we should be truthful to ourselves and recognize that our decisions have both a conscious and unconscious component.  That our free will is not as much as pure as we would like to think.  I think right now with the experiments that were cited in this book, this is an okay assumption.

One experiment that I thought was very strong, was done with non-precise methods, so there is some intrinsic error.  However, I believe that there have been newer attempts at this methodology with better technology.  There just has to be, given the importance of this discovery.  And if it hasn’t been done already, trust me, it is going to be done.  I will show you why.

The scientist hooked up subjects to an EKG, which basically record electrical signals on the scalp, a way to record brain activity.  Then he asked his subjects to flick their wrist.  The EKG showed there was considerable amount of brain activity just before the flicking of the wrist.  So, he took the experiment a little further and had the subjects say when they were consciously flicking the wrist and he would record the time when they said it.  He found that there was heightened brain activity before the subject consciously made the decision.  Therefore, the subconscious made the decision.

The author said the experiment had a lot of intrinsic error.  It did on the precise times, but it was very clear that the subconscious was first and the conscious was second.  He then stated that we don’t know what that subconscious activity really was, that it could be anything else.  To me this is desperation at trying to discredit a pivotal experiment.  The EKG also records baseline activity, and when a certain task was presented, the activity went up followed by the conscious activity.  It is very safe to say that the subconscious activity was activity tailored towards the flicking of the wrist.  Considering the implications of this experiment, I would not be surprised if a group of scientists updated the methodology and redid the experiment.  I understand that the recording of times was not done in a very precise way.  But the scientist was able to clearly distinct the beginning of electrical impulses following by the conscious decision to flick the wrist.  To me that is good enough evidence.

And this book was a broken record.  He would come up with fictional story after fictional story to describe the moral deliberations that some of us have to make.  To show us that no algorithm can describe a “boundless” problem; therefore, we have free will.  It is true that these experiments (there are two more but they aren’t worth mentioning in my opinion) only have to do with very basic decisions.  So going to the grocery store and picking ham or bacon is probably a subconscious decision.  Or going holiday shopping and picking a dress for your daughter is subconscious as well.  But the author focused on moral problems because if you guys don’t remember, the first post on this is that if there is no free will, we have no moral responsibility.  But I think the author missed the mark on how scientists would create a algorithmic system of the brain.  He thought they would have to literally create each an every moral rule.  Killing trumps stealing, and etc.  So I guess you could make a very simple moral rule and it would be something like:  K > S .  And there would be hundreds upon hundreds of conditions, that would only deal with morality.  Computers are powerful.  But if you were to set up these “algorithms” for the entire brain, that is a lot of power a computer has to have.  Which is why I think there is a more efficient way to go about it.  And it has everything to do with the picture I showed you at the beginning of this post.

The first step would be to mathematically map the brain.  What I mean by that, is to describe neural networks in 3D space.  And, certain regions of the brain would be excited by the resultant of certain networks, which could therefore be calculated.  Eventually, scientists would be able to have the fundamental networks, or mathematical map, of the brain.  And through the mathematical interaction of these networks, they could calculate the resulting network that would be stimulated.  Therefore, from those fundamental equations, you could run them to get every possible segment if you really wanted to.  They would have a complete map of the brain.  They would have algorithms (the author said that some of the brain works algorithmically) describing the entire brain.  So I think technically determinism is true.  But that is half the battle.  How would we derive meaning or thoughts from those mathematics?  If you had a subject look at a picture of a sunset, and you saw and were able to predict the brain activity, what exactly was the subject thinking?  Ultimately I do not think it wold be possible for us to go that far.  I think that is a limit to where this science can go.  Do I think the brain can be mathematically mapped?  Yes.  Does that mean the brain works deterministically?  Yes.  Will we ever be able to predict with supreme accuracy what someone is thinking or doing?  No.  It just isn’t possible.

If you take these moral situations that this author wrote out, it became apparent to me that there is a common strategy.  First, think of all possible alternatives.  And, once the deterministic brain looks for all the possible alternatives, it makes the most logical choice given all the information.  He was looking at how the brain would be mathematically described in a completely wrong view in my opinion.  The computer power needed would be tedious and asinine.  If scientists were able to describe the pathways with equations, that would be much easier to compute than hundreds upon hundreds of rules just for morality.

The brain is influenced by genetics, environment, and past experiences.  Environment, can even change the expression of genes.  Meaning the gene stays the same, but the protein that comes out of it is different.  And past experiences the brain is able to learn from.  I firmly believe our brains follow the laws of nature, and that even our conscious is determined.  Our trail of thinking can be recorded mathematically and later predicted, but a scientist would never be able to predict a conscious deliberation, but that does not mean that determinism is not true.  I believe the conscious and subconscious are ways to multitask.  For example, thinking while walking, or thinking while doing anything.  Our subconscious is like our firmware, deeply programmed and is able to influence conscious thought.  Does that mean conscious thought can influence subconscious thought?  I am not sure because we are talking about he subconscious, but I will infer that yes it does.  But this is how perfect our system is.  Humans evolved with these huge brains that have both subconscious and conscious thoughts among other powerful things.  The separate consciousness naturally help us survive.  Of course homo-sapiens had to fend off many species of human, and I don’t know exactly how.  But still, I think it is a beautiful thing.  That a few rearrangement of genes provides the building blocks of something so complex as the human mind.  

In short, I am a determinist.  I think we all do things for a reason, and our brain works like a machine, and works by what it was designed to do.  But skeptics are going to want more and more proof, and over time there will be more and more studies and experiments.  I think in order for these experiments to have any more merit, they have to record brain activity doing more complex decisions.  The advancement of technology is there, but essentially they would have to wear functional MRI magnets on a portable apparatus that can be fit around the head.  The results have to be sent wirelessly.  Only then, will we get the definite data that the skeptics will require.  And you never know, I could very well be wrong here, and they prove that there is a free will.

Only time will tell, but free will is losing.

The Advancements of Neuroscience Part 1

 

Sternberg, Eliezer J. My Brain Made me do It. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2010. 9-43. Print.

I can’t believe what I am reading.  I have read a forward, introduction, and three chapters, and I have to start writing about this book.  This book is going to be one of the greats that I have read, simply because the implications of what this book is saying is so profound.

The first thing I remember reading, was about a criminal that was executed back in 2005.  He basically robs a pizza joint at gunpoint, and demands all the cash from the register.  The employee follows the direction, while the manager was trying to be as quiet as possible in the back crying.  The criminal demanded to see the manager, whereby he eventually kills the manager execution style.  When asked about the crime, the criminal showed no remorse.  I will say this before proceeding, that he was eventually sentenced to death.  Now with the interesting argument that the defense put forth.

First understand that the defense did a complete physical and psychological look up.  The works.  And everything seemed normal, except that he had a deficiency of monoamine oxidase A.  I will let the lawyers themselves tell you their defense:

Stagnant MOMA activity among affected males resulted in the excretion of abnormally high amounts of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and epinephrine.  When these neurotransmitters accumulate in abnormal amounts due to a defect in the MOMA gene, affected individuals will have trouble handling stressful situations, causing them to respond excessively, and at times violently.   (page 22)

In other words, the biology of his brain explains the outburst of violence that day.  This statement, is the epiphany of determinism.  Essentially determinism can be broken down into one sentence:

The brain controls the mind.

Let me share with you an experiment that I heard about on a television program.  Subjects were put into a brain imaging machine, and where given a very simple task.  This task, invoked a decision on the subject.  The brain was essentially monitored at every step of the way.

What the neuroscientists were learning was that the regions of the brain responsible for the subconscious, would light up first followed by regions of the brain responsible for conscious thought.  Finally, the motor cortex was excited because of the actual pressing of the button.  The implications of this, is that your subconscious s active before your conscious for every decision that you make.  And, because these are brain circuits, there is no doubt that your subconscious has an effect on your decision.  So, was the decision really free?  Or was it determined?  Was the decision determined by the biological make up of your brain, which is affected by genes, environment, and previous experiences?

Think of it as another way.  Your brain is a factory.  The input is sensory stimulation, and the output is resulting behaviors.  Theoretically, because neurotransmitters not only work on the biological, but the physical level as well, neuroscientists think they will one day be able to create a system of algorithms to describe mathematically an individual brain, and would therefore be able to predict what your actions would become given the environment and experiences.  Your brain is in such control, and grand biochemical system, that can be completely understood because it is deterministic.

There are two huge implications to this:

  1. There is no free will.
  2. There is no moral responsibility.

And let me tell ya, I have been reading this book slowly.  It is very well written, and everything makes sense, but it is hard for me to swallow.  It is changing the fabric of reality in front of me, like good books do.  And it is essentially saying we are not in control, our brains are.  Our brains are the determining factor on why people behave; not their free will.

If there is no free will, then the interpretation of Genesis is completely wrong.  But I already went there.

If there is no moral responsibility, then we should look at methods to recondition the minds of the violent criminals.  Their brains made them do it, due to their environment,  genes, and experiences (poverty is the subject of my next book I think) so instead of using the resources to protect ourselves for prolonged periods of time, (I agree we have to protect ourselves nonetheless) we should work for a streamline of processes to recondition the mind that hopefully would one day cost less than sustaining the criminal.  We have to rework their brains with a descent circuitry so they can function safely in society.  I’m not quite sure how we would do that, and I know part of that would be gene therapy, which is still being worked on.

But determinism is the huge landslide that is hitting neuroscience.  Some philosophers have come up with a view of free will called compaitblism.  I am not going to explain it fully, but simply this effort of making free will and determinism compatible is just a way to escape the painful implications of determinism, free will, and moral responsibility.

This is sort of like the kind of idea that will be resisted amongst the populace.  Because it is hard to accept the fact that your brain is in complete control, and the evolution of your brain dictated the behaviors of yourself, and influenced the informational input of others.

In a sense, we are like robots I think, assuming determinism is true.  We aren’t experiencing, our brain is controlling.  And so it is with that that I leave you.  Notice at the title it says Part 1.  That is because this is probably going to be a book I write about multiple times.  It is that good.

I hope you enjoyed yourselves!

Railgun Systems

I have thought over an idea I have had for some years now.  I first was able to come up with the general concept of a rail gun.  From that I have been thinking about the different uses of this technology.  The obvious application would be to use this technology as a weapon, both as a gun to large satellite delivery systems.  Finally, I think railguns could be use as propulsion systems for entire aircraft, bringing us even closer to the desired speed of light.  So, what is this railgun idea that I am speaking of?  It is quite simple actually.

There are two elongated and parallel electromagnets (the rail).  They are configured so the electromagnets have opposing magnetic fields.  There is a large capacitor system under the magnets that can be refilled with charge and provide the fuel to power these magnets.  Finally there is a projectile.  When the system is powered on, current from the capacitors would be pumped through the electromagnets.  When the projectile is introduced to these magnets and their magnetic fields, this will cause a current to flow through the projectile thus creating a magnetic field on the projectile itself.  The magnetic field on the projectile becomes on of the two magnetic fields being produced by the electromagnets.  This creates two things.  First, the repulsion and attraction between these two magnetic fields causes the projectile to spin.  Finally, with inertia from the initial introduction of the projectile and the repulsion of one of the electromagnetic fields shoots the projectile through the rail at insane speeds.  Four factors come to mind when influencing the speed of the projectile.  The first and obvious one would be the initial velocity of the projectile, the second the mass of the projectile, the third would be the length of the rails themselves, and the fourth would be the strength of the magnetic currents.

The obvious application of this would be to use this with handheld weapons.  Have a magazine of bullets hammered into the rail, which is powered by a capacitor system.  When the capacitors run low, design the gun so the capacitors could easily be replaced by another set.  Whenever the trigger is pulled, the bullet speeds through the rail with automatic riffling because of how the system works.  It would be insanely accurate and insanely powerful.  The capacitor systems could be recharged directly by the sun or indirectly by the sun through the grid.

A more powerful version is what makes me truly scared of this idea.  By creating a satellite that is a large rail.  People in power could fire projectiles of various masses at various targets around the globe.  Solar panels would charge the capacitors whereby once fired would unload charge into the rail.  Different masses of the projectile followed by different current flow from the capacitor systems would alter the energy output of the projectile.  People in power would be able to take out individual targets like tanks, to whole buildings, to whole blocks, to a certain square area, to an entire city.  The customization would be endless.  This system would have access to the entire globe.  And this is why I haven’t really talked about this idea openly with anybody.  There is no doubt in my mind that rail systems would be used as a weapon to kill people.

But while looking at history itself, I cannot help but look at nuclear technology.  We can make devastating weapons that threaten the very existence of the planet itself.  At the same time, it has been able to provide somewhat clean power to millions across the globe.  There is even uses of nuclear propulsion systems in space.  Which is where my true hope of this technology lies.

Imagine a very large railgun in space.  A insane capacitor system is designed to produce an insane amount of current through those electromagnets.  With power of the sun, this capacitor system could be recharged in a certain period of time.  The projectile:  a spaceship.  The spaceship would have to be spherical in shape.  The spin and current induced by the electromagnets accomplishes two important things.  First the spin could be used to simulate gravity in the space ship.  Second, the current created by these rails could not only help sustain the spacecraft but would also create an electromagnetic field.  This field sustained could be used to protect the ship from debris, which is extremely important when dealing with really high speeds.  Finally, if by examining this technology we can predict the behavior of the system, by building large enough rails, large enough capacitor systems, and a spacecraft that can withstand the stresses of launch through the railgun as well as entering the railgun at high speeds, I am inclined to think that maybe the speed of light is possible.  Unfortunately I don’t know enough math right now to crunch the numbers.  But if in my life time I can crunch them, I maybe able to predict or theorize if this method can take us to the speed of light or not.  That is the first step.  The second step, would be working out how to brake the projectile from those speeds.  Traveling the speed of light indefinitely is not sustainable.

So why did I share this idea of mine?

History has shown us that it is how humanity uses the technology and not the technology itself that is responsible for the slaughter of millions.

It is true that I do not want this technology to be developed to kill people.  There is so much power from the sun; this is just another manifestation of it.  But I feel that one day this would be discovered if it already hasn’t been.  And just as I have dread and hesitations about the weaponization of railgun technology, I have high hopes about the space exploration implications.  There is no doubt that humanity has to one day venture outside of our solar system.  With current technologies we might be able to leave or solar system, but the vastness of space would eventually kill any people remaining.  If we could harness technology from the sun to power our propulsion to other realms of space, and stop at targeted locations, we could colonize other planets and start our expedition of the stars.  With the ideas of a resource based economy, resources would be divided to all aspects of survivability and sustainability, including space exploration.  Humanity could have a fresh start.  Humanity could strive for a period where conflict is greatly minimized, and atrocities extinguished.

I guess I am a futurist.  After all, it is one of the few things I have to continue on.  I want an existence for fellow humans to be better than mine.  Better yet, I want the essence of what I have gone through to not ever be experienced again; to not even be possible.  Through innovations of human psychology, philosophy, and technology we could create a human domain that flourished both throughout the universe as well as emotionally and spiritually.  I read a summary of a study; it stated that people that generally witness nature are more empathetic, and are more prone to love and happiness compared to counterparts that live in cities.  The closer we put ourselves in concordance to the universe, the closer we will reach The Essence of Man, the essence of who we are.  If we alienate ourselves from that quest we are essentially removing ourselves from the quest of who we are, thus decreasing our quality of life.

I pray that one day humanity wouldn’t need to weaponize railgun delivery systems.  But I think it is an inevitable step as history has shown in introducing this technology for space exploration.  The true purpose of this concept:  to explore the cosmos beyond of what we dreamed.  By harnesses the power of the stars and therefore the universe, we guarantee the sustainability of the human race for eons to come.

The Constructal Law

Bejan, Adrian, and Zane Peter.  Design in Nature.  First.  New York:  Doubleday, 2012.  Print.

This book is one of those books that will completely change and add to the perceivement of our world and universe at large.  Books like these reinforces the motivation for me to expand my knowledge and read, as the enlightenment that it can bring not only comforts me with the less uncertainties of life, but allows me to be more prepared to tackle large issues of our time.  It is one of those books that makes me feel somewhat more intuned with the world around me compared to the majority of people that have not read this book.  It makes me feel empowered; it puts me in awe with the world around me.

The book talk about a new law of physics that was recently discovered by the primary author of the book.  It is termed The Constructal Law.  The law itself is very simple to understand, but the implications of this law is very profound.  The evidence of this law is all around us because it is a law of reality.  Mathematical details of this law was discussed as well as different observations of flow systems themselves — the primary instance of The Constructal Law.

Put simply, The Constructal Law states that the universe consists of various flow systems.  These systems will evolve structure and design to further facilitate its flow.  Facilitates means that the efficiency of the flow systems and speed will increase due to the designs that naturally are implemented.  “Flow” is another term for the general concept of energy.  Movement of energy will continually evolve to further facilitate the flow of energy.  Therefore, flow systems can be about the flow of electricity, light, money, knowledge, education, ideas, water, air, food, and basically anything that you can think of that flows through the world around us.  And, you will find out that that can encompass almost anything, because the inanimate and animate world is a vast collection of flow systems.

The architecture of these flow systems distribute flow from a point to volume or volume to point configuration.  So let us examine a tree for example.  The root system takes moisture from the volume of the soil, and absorbed it to the point of the trunk.  The roots construct themselves so the flow of water is further facilitated, or in other words, the flow system becomes more efficient as the design is created.  Everything in nature evolves to move the most mass of their flow with the smallest unit of energy.  Then, the the leaves of the tree is responsible for absorbing carbon dioxide and photons in order to create nutrients for the tree which results in the discharge of oxygen and water because water is a catalyst for the reaction.  To take light from the volume of space around the tree to create nutrients that is pumped throughout the tree (sustaining the root system that provides water that is possible for photosynthesis to occur) another volume to point flow system is created to distribute the nutrients throughout the tree.  Also, an overall flow system of volume to point to volume is established to distribute water from the ground to the dry air.  (Energy goes from high to low due to the first law of thermodynamics)  The tree is a flow system of water and nutrients, and this configuration of vasculerization (volume to point or point to volume) is found everywhere in nature to maximize efficiency of flow systems.  Look at the structure of lightning, the structure of arteries and veins, the design of our respiratory system, rivers, cities and their streets, neurons, electricity, to the trajectory of air planes flying across the planet.  This weblike design is the result of further facilitating flow; which means more flow moves with the least amount of energy.

The implications of this is so profound.  The book first talks about how this affects the notion of intelligent design.  Many scholars and scientists observed that nature seemed to have a common design with a whole plathora of structures.  Many assumed this was evidence of some divine creator — the result of his divine engineering project of our universe.  But this law of physics shows that the overall design is due to a tendency of nature itself, which means that the divine did not have to design each system individually.  However, I must note that it does not disprove that existence of a creator.  It is very possible, that the creator enacted a reality that followed laws which had huge implications to the overall system.  In essence it is very possible that this universe was created, flipping the on switch so to speak.  The system evolved itself.  All the creator has to do is sit back and watch — influencing the system directly is a whole other debate.

In my view this reinforces the Platonian view of reality, or his metaphysical statements.  Plato believed that everything shared a life force, ranging to humans to rocks.  Of course this was questioned later in history.  Rocks don’t have organs, they don’t breathe and have blood.  So how could they be living?  But the constructal law shows that the different forms of energy flow from the big bang, to stars, to the earth, to the wind and rain, to lava flows, everything else.  Because of the laws of thermodynamics, high energy will always tend to transfer to systems of lower energy, equalizing the overall energy.  Energy tends to be released into a state of more disorder.  Eventually the energy of the big bang will cease to move; it will equalize and everything will cool.  There is an inevitable end to everything however long it maybe.  Life is movement.  The world around us is filled with various interlacing flow systems that produce The Earth around us.  This flow of energy is in everything, it is the life force that Plato was talking about.  Without the flow of the inanimate world, the flow of the animate world would decrease, meaning less energy would be moved; there would be lots of death.  Therefore, life is apart of nature as nature is a part of life.  They are not mutually exclusive.  (This is concept is strengthened by The Gaia Hypothesis which I will be reading next)  We have to respect nature, or else the flow of life will have increased resistance.  The slower flow of life will eventually evolve in a patter that will further facilitate the movement of energy — or life.  This will result in the overall movement of inanimate systems to increase.  Things would restabilize, however lots of living things would die initially.

Therefore, it is not in humanities best interest to disregard Earth.  Not only is that a obvious statement without knowing this law, but through understanding this LAW of physics, it can easily be predicted that hindering the flow of energy would affect the flow of energy in other places.

It is in my view that God created energy at the start.  Laws were put into place.  From this pure energy matter and anti matter were created.  The matter and anti-matter annihilated creating more energy, which was a feedback process.  This matter eventually created stars, which eventually created more elements.  This changed matter eventually forms planet and solar systems.  Stars created galaxies.  Elements from super novae would react with themselves forming compounds.  This matter would collect into planets having various chemical compositions.  Asteroids, or smaller collection of matter, would ram into these planets bringing various resources, most notably water.  When a planet ends up in a circular orbit inside a habitable zone liquid water is created.  “Life” is the further facilimate of energy.  It is eventually created because this further transfers energy.  More organisms evolve because mutations allow for the further movement of mass with the least amount of energy.  Humans are eventually created.  Through further facilitating movement and energy, knowledge and technology are developed.  The agricultural revolution mixed with the domestication of mammals led to the conditions to produce city states, a more efficient means to transfer energy or various forms.  Technology and knowledge advance.  And eventually we end up to our world today.

As the suns pours down more energy to Earth, this energy will drive life and the movement of the Earth’s systems.  But there is a catch.  Resistances, or imperfections are a requirement for this law to be true.  Otherwise flow segments would flow so quickly it would hinder the flow of other components, making the overall flow structure less efficient.  Therefore, resistances to energy actually make the flow of energy more efficient.  There is a limit to how much energy can be transferred at one time, especially if the initial energy pumped into the system is constant.  I am not saying evolution is done.  I am not saying that everything is the most efficient that it can be.  However, I am saying that there is a limit.  There is a limit to how efficient these flow systems can become because that is the very nature of flow systems themselves.

Using this law, designs of engineering can become vastly more efficient that the author mentions airports and transportation systems to name a few.  He goes into great detail of the mathematics of it all, to show the characteristics of these flow systems and their predictability.  This concept can be applied to the overall flow of money.  If more and more money is being removed from the flow of the system, eventually the system will change in a way to improve efficiency.  Either people will revolt or regulations would be put into place.  I will note, that people would make more money if the flow system would increase in the rate at which money is circulated as well as the amount.  If more and more rich people are hording money, this is a resistance to the flow structure of money.  Of course, there is always resistance.  But using this law, it can be predicted that if this money is circulated through the flow of the economy, improving on the transfer of flow to everyone, more money would be returned back to the people hording money.  If this is taken to an extreme, people that have no money, or too much resistance to the flow structure, will do actions to increase flow.  Am I making sense?  How we go about increasing that flow is a whole other debate.  It could be higher taxes, to higher incentives to spend money.  I would rather go with the latter.

As you can see, this is a read that has changed my life.  It was a very spiritual experience.  So much so, I am going to go to a park and pray for the first time in months.  Reality is beautiful and elegant, and quite simple.  From this simplicity, a plathora of complexity is created to facilitate flow.  Humanity has been studying the complexity, but refuse to step back and see the macro relationships to it all.  Until now.  I can not wait to read The Gaia Hypothesis because I am going to use this concept in my reading to see Truth.  It is a feeling that I can not describe, but one I will use to motivate me to learn more.  This is why I love reading.  And it is apparent to me that we have so much to learn.