Science of Consciousness

A discussion from TheBigView Discussion Forum


Thomas Knierim (forum owner):   Thanks for sharing the link - from a first glance, it seems interesting enough to dig a bit deeper, despite the somewhat bizarre "RBR" courses offered by the provider.
(note: thomas refers to the german part of our web site and our fungrappling activities)

schmo:   your talk of mind is interesting. might i pose a question ? i think my mind is strange it seems the more knowledge i gather the more i don't know. is it because i become aware of new things i never pondered before or do i look too deep into things, searching for meaning that was not intended? possibly some things should be studied in their simpelst form and accepted for what they are and not what i try to make of them, or unvail them until they are fragmented so vast the meaning is lost.
just a pondering thought.

gerhard:   that is an interesting question. i would know of two different ways to arrive at an answer:
1. a theoretical top-down deductive one
2. a practical bottom up inductive one
let us start with no 1.
you try to define your question in a clean and simple way and then we try to apply the theoretical knowledge that we believe to have to this question and thus will probably come up with a satisfactory answer at some point ...
problem is, though, that, as you rightfully point out, the more we believe to know the less meaning it seems to have.
therefore, i favor no.2:
or, quoting you: "some things should be studied in their simpelist form and axcepted for what they are and not what i try to make of them "
this would require you to sit down and in a calm and peaceful way note what it is that you believe to know and what it is that you believe not to know.
then you would turn to the question what it really is that you would like to know. once you have arrived there, the answer is either obvious or we will talk again.

Lucinda:   If one cannot seperate mind from body, neural pathways are changed by how one thinks, how could one ever objectively view oneself?

gerhard:   hello lucinda, i am not sure i understand you correctly.
are you saying that the mind and the body can not be separated because the mind is a function of the body, physically changing the body while it works?
and that, therefore, there can be no "objective" image of the body within the mind?
assuming that this is your point, i would like to respond as follows:
would you say the same is true for the computer you are sitting at? that a program that is running on your computer can have no objective view of that computer because it is a function of it and physically changes it while operating?
you might be well aware of the fact that there are indeed programs that have a pretty objective view of the computer they are running on. while this view is of course incomplete, it usually contains all the information needed to fulfill the task.
maybe this model can help you understand what i was trying to say in the first statement of this thread.

rez:   I view consciousness as the interdepencies of various sub-systems, most of which exist within the brain but partially through the nervous system throughout the body. I see the individual portions of the brain working independently, yet effecting the areas around them. Like dropping a stone in the water, these ripples of interaction between each area create this consciousness we perceive. It is fluid and ever changing like a piece of music. You analyze each moment in time, put it only exists as a transient state between neural pathways. I do think it is knowable at some level. I also believe at higher level of complexities, consciousness will simply arise. The Internet may become conscious at some point when it reaches the critical mass of consciousness.

theCore:   It's very interesting Gerhard, but are you assuming All is to know?
In your view, is it possible for the human form to understand Creation fully?

gerhard:   i am not totally clear about what you mean with human form.
however, assuming you mean that what i would call i and you might call i as well ...
anyway, yes, i do believe (meaning i can not prove) that for a human being it is possible to understand creation in the same way as she understands any part of it.
if i were  more into physics, i would probably argue that creation is something like a hologram, where even the smallest part resembles the whole.  (interestingly, the architecture of the brain is very much like that as well, but i deviate.)
however, since i am not that much into physics, i will rather return to what i replied to lucinda (see there).
when we talk about understanding or knowledge we mean that we have created a model that in some way resembles reality but is far less complex.
the typical example is galilei's recognition that all objects will fall with the same speed if there is no air resistance, which leaves out all the complexity of aerodynamics. in such a way we can very well understand creation and the creator, creating a model that comes pretty close to our experience.

theCore:   How about this: Since the Whole cannot experience itself in Part we have to do that for the Whole. Because our conscioussness is a limitation of the senses, through our mind we will never be able to understand Creation fully because it is limited.
And what of the Tao te Jing, the Tao cannot be known, what is known is not the Tao?
It seems logical/obvious to me that the Origin of Creation is something that can never be known, or can it?

Lucinda:   yes Gerhard, you have paraphrased my intent.
To your computer analogy, the computer does not usually change because it runs another program at the same time, so objectivity is assured, unless you use microsoft with the competition software. The electrical pathways are stable.
I think change is constant between mind and body and when could you get that space in time when change is not occuring in neural pathways ?
Thank you for coming back to me.

schmo:   the hologram is interesting. it seems like i read somewhere that man was created in the creator's own image so maybe if we look at the feelings one has at the first few seconds following the birth of one's child we might get a glimpse of the creator. with this in mind i doubt that a computer will ever become fully conscious. you need feelings and emotions. simple fight or flight, right or wrong are not enough. i don't think we will ever fully understand creation so i choose just to accept it.

rez:   If man can create systems which can see things like x-rays and ultraviolet light, we can analyse phenomina without directly using one's body and mind. Couldn't the same apply to the study of the mind itself?
Doesn't this create an unbias, based on known theories about how physics work?

gerhard:   hello to all of you,
i am very much impressed with all of your responses ...
having that said, let me try to answer your questions:
let us start with the dao de jing. in my translation  it reads: "the dao that can be expressed is not the eternal dao". it may be interesting to note that after this first sentence there follow pages and pages in which lao tsu tries to explain what he considers important aspects of the dao ...
anyway, i do agree with lao tse as far as my translation goes. i hold that the dao is a state of consciousness which can be experienced but not expressed, because the very moment you try to express it the dao is lost. i would also agree that from this point of view you can not "know" the dao. therefore, i have explicitly referred to model building in my above statement.
as far as "the origin of creation" is concerned, i am again not really sure what you mean. i certainly agree that the mind is limited and so would be any model that anyone could come up with. and i do agree that our final purpose is to experience (and understand!) the whole. i claim that this is possible even given the limitations of the human mind. (of course, we have to overcome our own self-created limitations first!)
next, i would like to turn to lucindas point:
first of all, before we end up in details of computer science, we should recognize that the architecture of the human brain is indeed much different from the von Neumann architecture of most of today's computers.
that two or more programs run on a computer is not the point. the point is that a program can run on a computer and create a pretty objective view of that computer although it is in physical interaction with same machine.
whether the "electrical pathways" inside the computer are stable i think can be argued, but, as i said, i do not want to deviate too much.
in my opinion the more important point is that the underlying architecture of the machine is irrelevant to our high level discourse. i think what you really (and rightfully) raise is the question of  the "objective observer" that was also in some way raised by "the core": how much can the observer know about a system whose part she is and how much does the observation change the system?
since it is late at night already, i will stop here and come back to you tomorrow. then, i will also try to answer the remaining questions from you other guys.

gerhard:   so, here i am back again ....
first, i want to get back to lucinda:
you are absolutely right that the process of observation changes the observed. this is true for the brain and for almost anything else that you can observe. it is particularly evident in quantum physics, but also true for many other so called objective sciences. there is even a mathematic calculus considering the relationship between the observer and the observed - the laws of form that i mentioned in my first statement.
the point i am trying to make is that for introspection of human consciousness this is not at all different and the same rules and strategies can be applied. for example, if you want to measure the voltage vs time at one certain point inside your computer, you can do it in such a way that the whole system fails - or you can do it "a better way" by not interfering too much and only minimally altering the slopes of the curve. the same is true if you want to find out about the processes in your own consciousness: you want to disturb them as little as possible. a good idea how that can be done you can find on this website ( under buddhism/meditation. the important difference from the buddhist way then is to not merely accept what there is but also to subject it to scientific research. and again you will find that this research alters what you have started with - just as the frog is altered by the scientist cutting it into pieces (sorry, just kidding!).
now to schmo: your idea that emotions need to be considered is absolutely in line with my own findings. and yes, when you thoroughly look at those feelings, you will find all there is to know.
however, creation does not take place at birth but at conception, so you would have to dig there. and you would probably have to ask the child, not the parents. i do not really know too much about this, though. i have never been in a position do any serious research in this area.

(important note: our latest research indicates that by "recalling" the situation of one's own conception, such a "glimpse" can in fact be obtained!)

as to the question of emotions on a computer, i think this will not be a problem in the long run. once the workings of emotions are really understood, it should be no problem to simulate them on a very low scale machine. the complexity is not that high. self-consciousness is a completely different matter. i believe this should also be possible but will require a much higher effort.
which brings me to rez: as you stated earlier, there is a certain probability that a system could become self-conscious at a certain level of complexity. however, i am led to believe that there is an absolutely necesaary precondition and that is feedback. this is the only way i could imagine it would happen. but maybe at some point in time someone will create a process who does that ...
your latest contribution about the x-rays i do not understand. are you saying that there could be a machine that somehow monitors the working of the mind? actually, such machines exist. except,  they monitor the brain and deliver no idea whatsoever about the mind, just as a monitoring of voltages inside a computer will not give you any understanding of what the computer is doing in terms of meaning.
this is it for today. i hope to hear from all of you again.

rez:   Fair enough on both counts. In regards to complex computer networks gaining consciousness, yes it would take some additional type of application which would turn the internet into a large neural network. That may never happen on this scale.
On the second point, I read somewhere how the brain is composed of a bunch of discrete subsystems, each of the areas controls various aspects of the body and one's thoughts.
The interactions between these areas gives us the range of thoughts and emotions we experience.
I believe that with enough analysis of thought patterns with brain scans with much higher resolution, we will eventually be able to follow the paths of information through the neurons in our brains. We may never completely understand consciousness, but I do think we will make many inroads into small portions of it - eventually coming up with mapping and duplicating brain patterns of one's mind running in software. I'm sure it would be extremely crude and may never resemble human consciousness, but I think this path is inevitable as neural networks with billions upon billions of nodes are developed.
Let's just say that this line of reasoning is possible, would it be alive or have a soul? Would it be a frankenstein or simply synthetic recordings of human life?

theCore:   The beauty of Being human is in the emanation of Love we are. Consciousness through duality is as much a part of the illusion as anything else is. Only an un-covered Heart is open to the un-bound Knowledge of gnosis.
Sorry about that folks, lol, needed to get that of my chest. Much of the discussion tends to be cerebral and doesn't deal with spirituality. I agree spirituality is mis-used and abused in many ways, but that goes for science aswell and more.
I view Creation as a machine, big beyond comprehension, and science tries to take that machine apart in order to use it to its own advantage. No problem there, but there will be no end to it and it will never answer the question: who built the machine?
That question i don't ask anymore, i am a part of the machine, there is no difference between me and anything else, All is the same thing. To view yourself outside Creation, within duality, there will be no end to the 'search' and questioning.
If you like that, then that's o.k. If you have a problem with Being and self, maybe a different view on existing might help. This is my view, and my view is just as subjective as anybody else's is and i don't hold it as sacred truth. But as someone who went through depressions and emotional rollercoasters, more often than i care to remember, the spiritual path of no paths cleared a lot up for me.
It is un-covering observer/observed--1ness of Being--Still Heart of Light--God through Christ.
A lot of words carrying alot of bagage, i know, but so what?

gerhard:   there is not much i can add to what thecore said.
yes, you are right, but then, why are you in this forum? (just curious)
to rez: the question to me is not would such an entity have feelings but would humans be willing to accept the fact. look what we are doing to all those living creatures that undoubtedly have feelings (including all those human ones) and that we choose to ignore. amen

theCore:   My reason for posting at all is because i need other people to 'bounce off' against. I need to post in order to 'solidify' my thoughts, to make room for new realisations. Any response to my postings forces me to look deeper into me and thus getting me clearer.
I need you to help me un-cover me.

gerhard:   well said!
thank you for sharing your insights.
and let our hearts always be open ...

rez:   I doubt Humans will ever accept a synthetic form of consiousness. And as for your comment about how we treat other living creatures as well as other humans, we have had quite the rocky road. As we move forward as a species, we need to give ethics and morality the center stage in these debates and not allocate them to the fringe.

gerhard:   Amen again!
although, i am not quite so pessimistic. maybe, we can better accept a "higher" form of consciousness ...
and also, maybe the confrontation with this subject will finally bring "ethics and morality" to the center of attention it undoubtedly deserves.
this could be because once we understand consciousness we will also understand what ethics and morality really are and instead of banging each others' heads in the process could perhaps come to a more rational approach.
of course, you could argue that most of the knowledge is already there. but, to me, the more important point is not what we do or could or should know but the rubbish in our head that keeps us from seeing it clearly. and i would expect (hope) a lot of that to fall by the wayside in the not toooo... distant future.

OneSoul:   Ahhh... what a well thought discussion on everyone's part. Hmm... funny how we all prise to see the 'big scope' and to find 'the truths' and yet we know not if they are 'out there' or otherwise. What if, like a cell in our body can adapt and grasp (within its own right, which most likely share none of the same mannerisms nor mechanics of that of our own 'class structure' or individual perspective scopes) certain aspects of it's existence (and I know that this is debatable, but the idea lies in its individual existence), yet not ever grasp fully the whole, because that's just it- mabye there isn't a whole to grasp... ah better yet, there are many wholes to grasp. So, why then are we even initiated by the idea of 'one', or a begining at all.
So, the observer is not identical with the body (as the original thread invites), nor is the cell identical with the body. But the cell, being from an entirely different perspective as an object OF the body, just as the observer is, cannot conceptualize the body's entirety, then the rational method we have been 'given'(i'm sure there's a more unbiased word) would justify the fact that we cannot conceptualize the whole, for we cannot comprehend it from say, an individualized cell's point of view. However, my dillema lies in the following:
Is there an essence in which the cell can conceptualize its 'whole'? Meaning as an individual cell in my body, or can any cell conceptualize this same whole with and within its own inheritance of simply being a cell? (When I say "a cell conceptualizing", i use the root 'concept' in a very abstract sense knowing that it is not conceptualizing in any way that we do or, as stated before, can be comprehended, much like the state of 'a cell' as an object knowing nothing about the elements that it is comprised of, and then recursively). And then applied to us as humans, is potential unlimited in consciousness???
Thanks for the inspirations and thoughts.

gerhard:   Hello One Soul,
thank you for your insightful contribution, although i am not sure i understood everything you said completely.
Your main point seems to be that a cell of the human body can not conceptualize the whole body or even the universe. I wonder how you come to that conclusion. As far as the body is concerned, said cell would only have to look inside and find the "original concept" of the whole body inside its own DNS. As far as the universe is concerned, the cell would most likely try to communicate with other cells in order to get a broader picture, just like what we are doing here. It occurs to me that by creating human bodies that are somehow "forced" to investigate these matters, those cells have long since started doing this.

In a word, no.
Cartesian realism views consciousness as directed immediately toward its idea as representations of reality or as modifications of consciousness itself. For the Cartesian, the task of philosophy is to reflect on our ideas and to reason which of them truly reflect reality. The view of consciousness and its objects is entirely incompatible with the phenomenologist's view of consciousness (or as you stated: THE FUNDAMENTS OF MODERN SCIENCE) as directly of an object, as modification of reality.

gerhard:   hello goldblade,
thank you for your interesting contribution. i must admit i have no idea what you are talking about. could you be a bit more explicit (i.e. more than one word) where you see the mistake i supposedly make? i am looking forward to hearing back from you.

goldblade:   Gerhard,
I want to make a few points before I attempt to answer you question:
1]  You have made NO mistake, you merely asked a question.
2]  I’m probably not qualified to really respond, because the study of consciousness is in most cases the starting point of philosophy, important but difficult to study, let alone understand. (e.g. Heidgger’s Being and Time and Sartre’s Being and Nothingness).
3] Consciousness in a philosophical context overlaps into psychology.
4] Lastly, I may have not really understood your question and may have been remiss in my previous response.

You mention Bacon, but Bacon looked at scientific method and claimed it for empiricism, a method of observation and experimentation over reason, theories and systems. [ In my opinion, when talking about consciousness (better yet metaphysical consciousness), Descartes thought it paramount as a reference or starting point (and only that), and Bacon does not really come into play in this type of philosophical discussion. ] Descartes, who many refer to as the father of modern philosophy, looked at scientific method and declared it for rationalism, the philosophical tradition in epistemology which holds the reason is our most adequate source and test of knowledge; also the view that rational truths provide the foundation in certainty upon which each field of knowledge rests.
So, the rationalist element that Descartes characterized, in the 16th century, hence based his systemic rational view of the world upon one bedrock certainty: I think, therefore I am. (Bacon’s view or the empiricist view: we know nothing for certain, except what we actually experience).
So what does this all have to do with your question? (I am going to try to remove all the consciousness gobbledygook as much as possible)
No, you cannot apply Descartes' original concepts to consciousness, BECAUSE:
ˇ Maybe consciousness is a void, because it’s outside of the entire world.
ˇ Maybe because human beings mean more than thinking.
ˇ Maybe when we return to the immediacy of reality, it presents itself to our experience. In other words, maybe we should deal with the basic phenomena of our experience.
ˇ Maybe you can never be a detached observer of the world.
ˇ Maybe consciousness cannot exist in a vacuum, it must be conscious of something.
ˇ Maybe consciousness chooses itself a desire.  In other words, consciousness actually creates itself through its choices.
ˇ And lastly, maybe consciousness must be perfectly translucent, perfectly clear, so that it can reveal the object of itself.
Oh, and by the way, the above and $1.29 will get you a cup of coffee at the café down my street.

gerhard:   hello goldblade,
thank you for clearing things up for me.
if i understand you correctly, you distinguish between empiricism which rests on observation (experience), and rationalism which rests on thought (reason). in philosophy, that may be a big difference but in science of consciousness (as formulated by me) it is not: thought is an observed (experienced) phenomenon within consciousness just like sensual perception (or, to make the list complete, emotional perception).
as for your list of maybe's, i have added a short comment to each of them:
> Maybe consciousness is a void, because it's outside of the entire world.
< quite the opposite: it is the entire world.
> Maybe because human beings mean more than thinking.
< yes, see above.
> Maybe when we return to the immediacy of reality, it presents itself to our experience. In other words, maybe we should deal with the basic phenomena of our experience.
< yes! yes!! yes!!!
> Maybe you can never be a detached observer of the world.
< you can always try ...
> Maybe consciousness cannot exist in a vacuum, it must be conscious of something.
< it can be conscious of itself.
> Maybe consciousness chooses itself a desire.
< maybe the opposite: desire creates consciousness
> In other words, consciousness actually creates itself through its choices.
< yes!
> And lastly, maybe consciousness must be perfectly translucent, perfectly clear, so that it can reveal the object of itself.
< probably not perfectly, but it certainly helps. buddhists call this "enlightenment", i assume.
> No you cannot apply Descartes original concepts of consciousness, BECAUSE:
< still i do not understand ...
> Oh, and by the way, the above and $1.29 will get you a cup of coffee at the café down my street.
< i don't drink coffee but i am looking forward to your comments ...

MiddleWay:   Gerhard,
Good thread. Perhaps the problem in communication is with the word "consciousness". It can be interpreted both as
a) a body/mind experience and also as
b) a mind/spirit experience.
Even the term "self-awareness" can be meant in a mental sense and in a spiritual sense.
I believe the "scientific method" can be utilized to gain limited understanding of a); and I would expect this to happen within a relatively limited time - say within the next 500 years. This would enable self-control of all body and mental processes within the limits of physical possibilities (& perhaps a little bit outside... such as mental re-shaping of our appearances).
Concerning b) however, I'm not so hopeful. So little is "objectively" known in this area. Perhaps in the course of achieving a) we will gain more definitive insight into b). As it stands now, I can't foresee any scientific definitization of either my God-experience or of Vicente's Now, or of anyone's Enlightenment.

sean:   the only thing i can add is that if freud is correct about the ID, EGO AND SUPEREGO, the conscious, the unconscious and the subconscious, it would be extremely difficult for the conscious mind to control or understand what the unconscious or subconscious mind is doing. also, one of einstein's examples of the speed of light was about two trains travelling the same direction, both at the speed of light. they would be observed differently if you were on one of the trains or if you were at the side of the tracks.

MiddleWay:   Hi Gerhard,
I wonder if anyone has noticed this effect.  It is HARD for me to think "new" thoughts. When I consider ideas outside my normal existence & try deductive or inductive extrapolations, my thoughts seem to "de-focus" just as I seem to grasp onto something.  It seems to take a very deliberate mental effort to keep my train of thought from being de-railed into some trivial thought line. I feel my thinking would be cleaner, crisper, more definitive if this didn't happen.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?  Any mental exercises or some such??

blah:   MiddleWay,
I think what you are experiencing is your mind's unwillingness to think outside the box. When you think deeply and try to think 'new' thoughts, your mind doesn't want to accept them so they fizzle. Just let go...experience the flow...
Also, i dont know if it goes with this thread of thought, but I've always had an underlying idea that all things we do are governed by math. All of our decisions are based on complicated mathematics that have to do with the connections in our brain.
Simple examples of which would be the logarithmic graphs that show how rumors spread.
Is is possible that all of our decisions are only following some extremely complicated mathematical functions, whose variables are our experiences? I dont know, just some thoughts...

MiddleWay   Blah:
When I let go, I absolutely never develop info about my original line of thought. I get other stuff along other lines, but if later I try to crystallize that line of thought I get the same difficulty. I can do it, but it's hard & requires serious concentration to envision a "next step" that's logical/reasonable. It's like doing square roots in my head... I know that 4th digit is there, but it's murky...& I forget about the 5th digit. Your comment about the brain "doesn't want to accept them" sounds right & reminds me of something I read about neural pathways being formed. Anybody got a reference about that?

gerhard:   hello middle way,
sorry for responding so late! (even if vicente would claim that time is just an illusion ... )  :-)
i was tricked out by the cutting off of the response mail notification system.
concerning the question about your God experience, i would like to quote "a random hack" from another thread: "The key to understanding is observation."
this is the difference between science of consciousness and e.g. buddhism. the objective is not the experience per se but a scientific investigation of the experience. this is achieved by observation, reflection, and communication, just like in any other scientific discipline.
as to your time horizon (500 years), that is about what it took for the last scientific revolution. as evolution is accelerating, i would expect the next one to go faster. but then, who knows. it took mankind almost 2,000 years to reestablish the findings of some old greek philosophers. (and in some way, vicente seems to be reestablishing the findings of some old eastern philosophers ...)

as to you, sean: yes, it is not easy to do research in the realm of the "subconscious". but it was not easy either to get the first aircraft off the ground. and it was also proven "scientifically impossible" beforehand.

back to you, middle way: thoughts tend to run along our "usual" tracks of association.. we think what we have learned and are used to think. therefore, an important pre-condition for scientific observation is to break the chain of associations that makes up our thoughts. this can also help you to be more creative and come up with new thoughts. there are many techniques for doing this and many schools that teach one or the other. most of them refer to what they teach as some form of meditation. (personally, i have found transcendental meditation quite helpful in this respect.)

now to you, blah: everything that happens in our consciousness (and in our subconscious as well) can be described by mathematics. this mathematics is described in the "laws of form" by george spencer-brown. this guy is a genius! i am very thankful to him for having created the mathematical foundation for the science of consciousness. as i have always claimed with respect to those so called spiritual sciences: a science is only a science if it has a mathematical model for reality.
the laws of form, by the way, are rather simple. but the experiences, that you rightfully call variables, are complex and manifold. and it does not help either that there is a lot of feedback in the underlying physical reality.

a final word to you, middle way: you are right. those tracks i mentioned are neural pathways if looked at from a physiological level.
as to those difficulties you experience: to me this sounds like a computer with two (or more) conflicting programs running simultanuously. one is what you are trying to achieve, and the other is already there and running. maybe, it would help to investigate this matter by allowing this "other program" to run "in the open" and becoming more aware of it. could be rather enlighting ...
thanks to all of you for your insightful contributions!

Eldrich:   I am having a thought that everything we do, all our thoughts, actions and everything, are all just reactions. Originally, when we were one celled organisms, we had very simple reactions to the environment, but now that we've evolved, our reactions are more complex.
It is my belief that a more delayed reaction (what appears to be a plan) just means that it was a more complicated reaction. Our developed mind has allowed us to react to something that happened a long time ago, with our memories, while a simpler being is only able to react to something that just happened.
Evolution has left us with the ability to think. But our thoughts are only delayed reactions to much more complicated things that happen. I haven't decided if that's good or not...

bapu:   Gerhard: Alright, after examining several websites about GSB and reading reviewers remarks, I've ordered GSB's Laws of Form. It's a stiff $44 from Amazon, but if even one of the positive reviews is only 1/2 right, it should be worth it. (I ignore negative reviews in situations where it's possible that a reviewer may not comprehend the subject.) If I can get through it, I'll give a posting here about it...if I can't get through it, I'll consider myself unqualified.
I found it especially interesting that one reviewer gave a "bad" critique of the book as being only a rehash of Boolean Logic with simpler definitions and simpler operations that were more intuitively obvious and more broadly applicable.
Also, basing a logic on the simple act of distinction really vibrated my strings!  I'm anxious to read it.

gerhard:   hello eldrich, thank you for your insights. i would agree with you in that our reactions are far more complex than those of a single cell organism, but that the basic mechanism is the same. the capability of learning, for instance, is something that already very basic organisms have. some bacteria achieve it by very short reproduction cycles and exchange of dna. insofar, we are not that bad as far as speed is concerned ...
likewise, the one cell organism also reacts to past events, as the knowledge of those events is stored in its physiological structure.
finally, good or not good is not (!) the question. since we have this capability, we should exploit it to the fullest. sadly, hardly anybody strives to do this ...

hello bapu, congratulations for your decision to buy the book! $44.- is nothing ... compared to the time you will spend trying to figure out what it all means :-)
actually, the laws are quite simple (if you are familiar with the laws of boolean algebra, they are basically the same!). what took me over a year was to get acquainted with the absolutely revolutionary approach and its philosophical consequences.
so, take your time. i am looking forward to read your comments ...

Eldrich:   Gerhard, that's a good point about the question being how we can exploit our complexities. The more complexities we have, the more options we have, so if we are smart, and prepared enough to take advantage of all of those pathways, it is definitely to our advantage.

...       (note: some comments deviating from the subject are left out at this point)

bapu:   GERHARD: Well, I've made it through the 4 prefaces: 1968, 1972, 1978, 1993, and the introduction.  They tell the story of a man proceeding from a pretty smart mathematical invention to one who is exercising a tool for the realization of existence.  It appears that I can understand where he's going to lead me, but I'm not sure I'll be able to cope with the symbology.  I'll get back to you.  The analogy of the mathematical significance of imaginary i to the signifcance of the 4th boolean class of statement was extremely impressive; and as he notes, "The implications...are profound."

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