Monday, September 4, 2017

The particle-like and quantum character of cognition



My book, 'The Science of Consciousness' has been published in 2015 with little fanfare from the scientific community. Since that time, the ideas laid out in the book are becoming scientifically accepted. On one hand, scientific articles have challenged the status quo about black holes for example. The latest analysis of the Cosmic Background Radiation contradicts the Big Bang theory, the traditional, main steam theory about the creation of the universe. The discrepancy between data and theory is so great, that alternative ideas to the Big Bang are being proposed and discussed. In consciousness research, new methods can investigate brain activities in vivo. These innovative techniques show that the brain is a self-organized, and coherent physical system. These works greatly support my original ideas about consciousness, but do not go far enough. My latest work, published in Cognitive Neurodynamics proposes the particle-like and quantum character of consciousness for the first time, in a scientific publication. Cognitive Neurodynamics is an international, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal, focusing on the overlapping fields of cognitive science and nonlinear dynamics, and published by Springer. My coauthors are Arturo Tozzi from the University of Manitoba and James Peters from the University of North Texas. A short summary of the manuscript, 'Relationships between short and fast brain timescales' can be found below:

Brain electric activity exhibits two important features: oscillations with different timescales, characterized by diverse functional and psychological outcomes, and a temporal power law distribution. We show that, based on topological findings, nervous activities occurring in micro-levels are projected to single activities at meso- and macro-levels. This means that brain functions assessed at the higher scale of the whole brain necessarily display a counterpart in the lower ones, and vice versa. Our topological approach makes it possible to assess brain functions both based on entropy, and in the general terms of particle trajectories taking place on donut-like manifolds. Condensed brain activities might give rise to ideas and concepts by combination of different functional and anatomical levels. Furthermore, cognitive phenomena, as well as social activity can be described by the laws of quantum mechanics; memories and decisions exhibit holographic organization. In physics, the term duality refers to a case where two seemingly different systems turn out to be equivalent. This topological duality holds for all the types of spatio-temporal brain activities, independent of their inter- and intra-level relationships, strength, magnitude and boundaries, allowing us to connect the physiological manifestations of consciousness to the electric activities of the brain.

Read the whole article in Cognitive NeurodynamicsAcademia or ResearchGate.

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Einstein's blunder: understanding gravity



                                                                           video 



Newton's law of universal gravitation is still used today as the basis of calculating the attraction of masses. Newton could predict the falling of an apple. Einstein's general theory of relativity describes gravity not as a force, but as a consequence of the curvature of spacetime, a four dimensional unified field on which every change would occur. Although Einstein's theory is mathematically elegant, the difficulty of his field equations and the theory's failure of application over the large scales of the universe makes it insufficient and with limited utility. The subordination of time as a minor, fourth dimension to space might have distorted the essential differences between time and space. For example, space can be navigated at will, whereas time is largely irreversible. It requires energy to move in space, but time carries an irresistible flow of change even if we are standing still. These and other differences make time and space incompatible quantities and turns spacetime a faulty concept in physics.

The Standard Model, the most widely accepted theory in physics, neither explains dark energy and dark matter, nor does it incorporate gravity. In the above video time is considered to be a field with equal importance to gravity or space. The spatial geometry give rise a pressure, which is felt as gravity. Therefore gravity is the consequence of spatial tightness, rather than attraction. 

The Science of Consciousness, which summarizes a coherent physical world view, gives detailed explanation about gravity and related problems. Find it on Amazon.
                                            

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Monday, August 14, 2017

The role of women in the techworld



Google employee, James Damore wrote a memo that discusses the role of women in the tech world. He was fired. The firestorm that followed might give an opportunity to take stock about the changing role of women and men in society. The memo evaluated the biological differences between the sexes. Males have bigger brain size in proportion to their body, yet no sex difference can be found in working memory capacity and female subjects regularly perform better on verbal abilities. Males do better on tests that measure visual-spatial abilities, such as spatial perception and mental rotation. Looking for the origin of this sex difference it is good to go back to biology. Predators can catch their prey, because larger brains helps them to better maneuver in space. However, the enlargement of male brain probably has more to do to reproduction and sex, than catching dinner. The early history of romance probably was not a Cinderella story, but the ability to prevail in fist-fight against other suitors, cunning temperament toward raiding and kidnapping, which favored men with superior orientation in space. Does spatial orientation is an advantage in programming and the tech world? Not likely.

Do superior orientation in space give men greater success in the board room? Sensation-seeking, which is the willingness to engage in novel or intense activities, is more characteristic of men, which might be an advantage in the intense competition for leadership. Especially in traditional settings, cutthroat competition requires ruthlessness, aggression and daring, which is often accompanied by the willingness to bend the rules. Until very recently, women could rarely not set foot in the mail dominated, intimidating environment. Even in orchestras, women were not welcomed until the 1970s. The introduction of blind auditions, in which the identity of candidates is concealed from the jury by a screen, have increased the chances of advancement of women by 50 percent. The percent of female musicians in the five highest-ranked orchestras in the nation have increased from 6 percent in 1970 to 21 percent in 1993 and 35 percent overall. Similar 'blind' hiring probably would advance women's professional opportunities elsewhere, also.

The above changes have been possible because of social transformations in the twentieth century. For example, the nearly full participation of women in society (women entering the workplace and the sexual revolution) have created a more cooperative social climate for both men and women. Old-boy networks, bullying are becoming old fashioned methods in business, because new laws against discrimination, fraud, and instituting special protection for whistle-blowers. These reformulated social dynamics mutes conflicts and ushers in more democratic and flexible social environment. A more accepting society nurtures trust, which is conducive to social and technological progress. Emotional intelligence in personal and professional situations is increasingly valued. This feminization leads to openness, trust, opportunities and wider professional participation for both men and women. 

James Damore should not have been fired. His memo might be simplistic in some of its analysis and certainly in its conclusions, but it reflects an honest attempt to start a discussion. His departure weakened Google, mostly because it generated a climate for self-censorship, which might lead to a work environment, in which people are hesitant to express their views freely.

Quotas rarely create change societies, people do. Programming is no more mysterious, than driving a car. In twenty years, the number of female programmers might equal or surpass of that of males.


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Shopaholic: a silent addiction of our time






A hundred year ago or so the middle class in most parts of the world has lived in dire circumstances. Conveniences, which we take for granted, such as electricity, running water and indoor toilet were lacking, appliances, such as refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, lawn mower were non-existent. If you are reading my blog, then your life is very different from the above description. In our modern world we rely on our increasingly sophisticated environment for support. We gaze into the screen of our cell phones, like Aladdin into the treasure cave. This gadget is constant companion for communication with friends, family, weather forecast, news, appointment reminder, and for self-adulation. Cars are ubiquitous signs of material success, but in certain parts of the world such as in the US, cars are almost obligatory part of adult life. The home is the great cultural indicator of personal, professional status, which holds utilitarian objects, personal mementos and decorations that personalize the dwelling. Our reliance on our belongings, from the bed that provide comfortable night rest, to the nourishing morning meal, ensures a stable, reliable lifestyle. Technologically advanced tools provide the backbone of modern existence, but conveniences also increasingly include visiting restaurants for a midday meal or picking up a coffee at Star Bucks. Advertisements and credit make it easy and almost unavoidable to roll out the bucks for new kitchen counter gizmo, or the jersey of your favorite player, the latest phone, or a goofy Halloween display.

However, the new gadget, appliance or technical gizmo is only interesting for a short while; it might be delegated to the closet corner, collecting dust and occupying valuable space before all its capabilities are figured out. So you paid good money to artificially reduce the size of your house. Goods, which supposed to support your lifestyle, now dangerously encroach on it as the things you enthusiastically bought a few months or years ago take up closet space. Rather than supporting your life, these goods handicap it, because it is impossible to keep track of their existence. The stuff might be out of conscious perception, but it is uncertain what is lurking in the closet, attic or basement. Instead of serving your needs, these objects hinder your life. Like quick sand, they pull you down, hurting you when we least expects it: when you are in a hurry or managing an emergency.  

It can be shown that advertisements work by interfering with already existing intentions, desires. So buying goods in excess is a sign of your own mental hesitation. Goals serve as motivation toward the future. The inability to focus on a goal, without guidance, you tend to invest hope in every sweet promise, which is brilliantly supplied by advertisers. A shopaholic might feel an arousal of a treasure hunter, which grows into a strong urge to shop and buy the item. But buying gives only a temporary feelings of relief. Because all addictions stem from seeking power at the wrong places, remorse, feeling of guilt, which is necessarily followed, only aggravates the problem.

The lack of inner progress against the relentless progression of time translates into a loss of control and insecurity. Addictions serve the immediate, although painfully transient, gain of control, in order to catch up to others, to society, to time itself. To produce accomplishments quickly, without investing time and work, is only possible by cutting corners, by getting a good deal or feeling high. However, the problem only gets bigger at each repeated offence, after each shopping spree, because the aftereffect of these shortcuts is always the realization of loss and failure, which actually exacerbates the addiction. Is there hope for a change? 

Just like any other addiction, it takes long disciplined work to get your shopping addiction under control. Two ways to change: (1) Start a motivating activity that reins in your wayward attention. When you take part in an activity than produces positive change, you spur an inner movement toward the future. (2) Give away your excess belongings. When you share with others, you make world a better place and liberates you from guilt. The price of industrial products are coming down and probably will in the future. When you practice a thoughtfulness about your buying habits, you force yourself to focus on the future, which will turn into a habit. Focusing on the future is a goal oriented living, whether you are saving money for a new house, car or retirement. Be patient! Success does not happen overnight. When you take your first step toward the future, toward a better life, it will generate a sense of movement. When you are moving forward, your restlessness and uncertainty will subside. Your better life is the greatest reward.

More detailed explanation for some of these and other questions about the mind can be found in the book, The Science of Consciousness.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

New, non-invasive treatment for brain diseases





The best current treatment for Parkinson's disease is deep brain stimulation, achieved by implanted electrodes deep within brain tissue. Brain stimulation was summarized in my earlier blog. The risk of operation makes this procedure a last resort in most cases. In addition, because the target site is so difficult to find, the complex medical procedure is not always successful.

For this reason, a new method, which applies high frequency brain stimulation without noticeable effect, has been introduced. When two, slightly different and overlapping high frequencies were administered at the anatomical target site, the two frequencies produced a net frequency that is equal to their difference. This new method can be easily applied without surgery, thus eliminating the risk associated with operation. Furthermore, site of the stimulation can be also easily modified in order to achieve optimal effect. The new method might be useful for other brain conditions also. 

Drawback? You cannot ask your doctor for the procedure yet, because so far it has only been applied in animals. Furthermore, the treatment is not available as a small device either. As of now, you cannot take your 'treatment cap' on the road just yet. Read the whole article.

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Why do we need a new physical world view


Fresco of young woman

Our world is defined by technological progress and fast paced social change, increasing the complexity of our everyday life. The scientific achievements of the twentieth century have been spectacular in technology, physics, and medicine and led to the sense that we can master nature and understand existence. The increasing amount of detail and the pace of change necessitated greater specialization that elevated the social appreciation of the sciences and made formal education increasingly important. Yet, existing theories in physics fail to explain a long list of unsolved problems, such as the arrow of time, the cosmological constant problem, the interpretation of quantum mechanics and its unification with general relativity, the nature of gravity, dark energy and dark matter, the microwave background horizon problem, problems with the big bang, Mach’s principle, negative mass, physical information or the theory of everything. The unintuitive and even illogical nature of some areas in physics strains education, making it difficult to attract a new cadre of bright and original thinkers into research. However, the above long list might be related and can be solved by reconsidering some the most basic questions in physics, such as time, gravity or entropy. A new physical world view, which includes consciousness, was introduced in my book, 'The Science of Consciousness.' If the book's premise is right, then it will cause a revolution in the sciences, similar to the change forced by Copernicus heliocentric idea or the introduction of general relativity. 

Investigating entropic changes based on the energy/information exchange during interaction takes physics back to its basic understanding, but it leads to an encompassing, and coherent, sorely needed clear world view, which might instigate a giant leap in physics. This new physical world view might make quantum mechanics an intuitive science, explain the origin of mass, show operational principle of gravity, throw light on the nature black holes, and the large scale structure of space. The new physical world view would turn physics into an intuitive, comprehensible science, which, by attracting a new generation of scientists into academic research would revitalize technological progress. Demystifying physics would be good for all areas of the sciences, because it would boost morale, inspire ideas, and increase public engagement and enthusiasm for funding of scientific and technological research. This new physical world view also includes consciousness, which would prompt innovative tools for the cure of neural and mental diseases. The hypothesis shows that the mind is the inextricable part of the universe. The knowledge of being inalienable part of something bigger will give a sense of ownership, belonging and responsibility: Atman and Brahman are one. 


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Sunday, May 28, 2017

The structure of the Cosmos


 


The above video introduces a new physical world view, which points a way toward the unification of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Dividing the universe by an information blocking horizon is congruent with the holographic principle, proposed by Leonard Susskind (1995). Rethinking the basic structure of space might solve not only above mentioned contradictions in physics, but it obeys Mach's principle, explains gravity, and turns quantum mechanics into comprehensible and intuitive science. It also exposes the vacuum energy problem, which is one of the greatest unsolved problems in quantum mechanics. The long list of unsolved problems in physics indicates that the Standard Model might need mending or outright replaced. The above video highlights two problems with Einstein's relativity: 1, space in vacuum is flat and 2, objects curve spacetime. 

Heisenberg uncertainty principle: 
As remembered from the video, the particle wave function and the spatial curvature changes in parallel. Increasing speed correspond to greater frequencies and positive field curvature (space contrasts). This way location is more certain, but the speed is uncertain. In contrast, lower frequencies correspond to smaller speed, but the negative curvature of space (which expands) leads to an uncertainty of location. This uncertainty reaches it climax in the poles.

Vacuum energy
Quantum mechanics tells us that vacuum if full of energy. In fact, vacuum energy is one of the great unsolved problems in physics. Watch the above video to learn why vacuum actually expands the universe by curving space into the fourth dimension.

General relativity  
Einstein's general relativity tells us that the fabric of spacetime is curved within and around large gravitational objects, but it is flat in vacuum (see image below). The Michelson–Morley experiment to find the presence and properties of ether in 1887 proved that there was no such substance, therefore no directional asymmetry in the universe. Because of this finding cosmos is considered isotropic. However, conventional Michelson–Morley type experiments could never detect dimensional anisotropy. Instead, dimensional anisotropy would form exponentially increasing energy need of acceleration and the gravitational differences depending on the curvature of space.
Thus, the universe is infinite (due to the dimension increase of white holes), but it has finite boundaries (due to the dimension decrease of black holes). Moving with constant speed corresponds to a movement along constant latitude, therefore it would bring one back to the starting point.


Massive object (such as a planet) curves spacetime according to general relativity 


Mach's principle:
Dark energy (the universe expansion) is explained by the zero point energy (the ground state energy of the quantum system). However, the expansion is far smaller than the calculations would suggest. However, four dimensional white holes would expand the universe at a rate dependent on the field strength of the black holes. Dimensional anisotropy also satisfies Mach's principle. Read the whole article or view it on Academia  The above proposed structure also leads to a cosmological evolution via interaction that engenders consciousness. So we are organic, inalienable part of the universe.

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