Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Big Bang... from explosive energy distribution to particle formation. Thoughts.

Every explosion has an overall energy release, and that release can be graphed in both the energy level of individual particle reactions vs. the volume of said particles. I suppose the energy release would be amplified by density, that is to say it would be higher towards the more 'compact' centre of the explosion (particle reactions against similar particle reactions).

I think the big bang was the same way. Most of the energy release into our universe was around the same level, but lessened towards the outer reaches of the 'explosion', meaning that the energy/quantity release (on the above chart model) would (also) look something like... one half of a bell curve.

I'm persuaded that this energy release resulted in an immediate particle formation, something almost exactly like a fermion-pair generation what we are able to observe today, but its epicentre was at much higher 'quark' energy levels. So, if a majority of individual energy releases were around the same level, their volume would drop off to either side of this 'energy centre'. I imagine that energies higher than this 'explosion level' would be much 'rarer', yet lower-energy releases much more 'common' and decreasing in strength with distance from the centre of the explosion... the graph would look more like a ladder leaned against an olympic ski jump ramp, wouldn't it? I don't see how it could have been any other way, as, if the energy release were all at the same uniform level, the fermion pairs would simply annihilate each other perfectly.

So, continuing this thought in this vein, what we would want to concentrate on is the highest volume of energy release: on one side, a sharp drop-off in higher-energy releases, and to the other, a more gradual decline (resembling one half of a bell curve). Now, imagine the very tip of this volume/energy curve. The energy release, even though it was simultaneous, would be in many different energy levels that are more and more mixed away from the explosion centre.

When we observe an isolated fermion pair formation, the particles annihilate each other almost immediately after their formation (as they are perfectly matched and the closest thing to each other)... but what would happen if there were (insert unimaginable amount) of simultaneous different-energy level fermion-pair formation around a single point? It is totally imaginable that the product of different fermion-pair formations could be closer to each other than their own 'genesis twin'. These 'closer' fermions, if opposing in charge, would try to annihilate each other instead of their respective twins.

So take this model, and apply it to a 'varied-energy' explosion... what if the two closest fermions weren't matched? They would still try desperately to annihilate each other, but since they aren't matched... I'm not so sure of the exact dynamics of this, but what seems most to make sense is that two opposing fermions within a certain energy bracket will partially annihilate each other, yet if it tries to annihilate another fermion outside a given bracket, it won't succeed, and be 'bound' to it in an eternal struggle (until later events disturb it).

Now, let's just concentrate on the dominant energy level release, and the one just down form its 'annihilable bracket'. What would happen just after the energy release (massive fermion pair formation) is that a given number of those fermions would annihilate each other, but another part would 'cross-bind' in the way described in the previous paragraph.

Now, we get into the dynamics of 'why matter?', because these leftover 'mismatched' fermion pairs would equal each other and be divided in respective charge - a negative higher-energy bound to a positive lower-energy, and this would have an opposite twin - thus these could annihilate each other, too, but that's not what happened.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Why of Laughter.

I was listening to a podcast earlier ("Very Bad Wizards" - always a pleasure, excellent work guys, thanks ; ) about humour in general... the types of humour, what's funny or not, when things are funny. It was an enlightening and fun experience, so if you want to listen for yourself, you can find it here.

But this is something that I'd been thinking about since decades. Black humour, nonsensical humour, slapstick humour, what do all these have in common?

I do know that when the brain is tracking 'movement', depending on the 'anticipation level', our subconscious will be trying to 'predict' what will happen next. I think this is the 'link' between humour types: most all types of humour 'break' from the pattern that we'd normally expect.

Whether it is humour or not would (I guess) depend on the circumstances, but I think it comes down to our relation with the source of the humour: in most cases I can think of, it is a relaxed state of trust. It could be another person, a television... and add to this the idea (IMHO) that our decision-making consciousness is almost a persona in itself (that can be trusted/mistrusted by our subconscious). So, from a position of trust, our senses get a description or circumstance that breaks from 'the predicted', yet, if the result is inoffensive in nature, we may even see sense in it. A sort of "I wasn't expecting that, but it fits." The "ha ha ha (how wrong I was to think that way)" may be just... sociological conditioning, an expression of a... "you got me"?

Going on to the part about "humour we don't find humorous at all", we may simply just be switching off the 'prediction/anticipation' brain function because we simply aren't interested in knowing what happens next, and that would also cancel any further reaction.

Just my two cents on a (still) mysterious subject.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Beyond the Village... again?

Correction: Before Critical Thinking, 'Value Judgements'

I'd like to revise my earlier position on critical thinking: thought is a two-level process, and critical thinking is an 'activated' second level above the base 'weighing and comparing options' function that governs most of our decision making. I had made it sound earlier as though critical thinking was our entire thought process.

I like to call this emotion-led 'weighing and comparing options' process 'value judgements'. As I noted earlier, every memory we store is associated with an emotional response neurone; this is how we determine the 'value' of that memory (otherwise any object or experience, a loved one or apple, would have the same 'weight' in our minds). When confronted with a situation, the mind a) recalls similar situations (and attributing elements) then b) 'weighs' each memory recalled by the strength/resonance of their respective signal against each other; the most 'positive match' and 'appropriate' response will win out, which will lead the brain to send the signals/chemical responses needed for the decided course of action.

This is not critical thinking; it is a 'comparative memory' process. It includes even 'new' situations, as data from sensory input becomes a comparable memory as soon as it is stored, even temporarily.


Critical Thinking from an Evolutionary Point of View

I keep referring to the hunter-gatherer period in which we spent most of our evolution. Much of our time then was spent foraging and hunting, and our clan camps a place to keep and protect our young in larger groups (against nature); without the latter, there would be no point in even having a village. So, most of our time was spent outside of its protection, one-on-one with nature (and at war with other clans).

The latter situation was where critical thinking was most important and most-used: it was a survival tool more than a key to inventiveness. It allowed us, instead of following the same patterns again and again (like 'dumb' animals), to create that 'other option' that would allow us to break our predictability and 'trick' our opponent (that is stuck in their 'known behaviour' thought-process, unable to read our minds)... and this is the main reason we survived as a species through the ages, the ability to break a predictable pattern.

This tool is practically useless in a village (clan camp) environment. Only the results of it could be brought back there in the form of stories that could be remembered and later imitated by other clan members. People then did not share or pass on information for the simple ideal of posterity, but in the aim of survival, and the techniques passed to others were probably dictated by the evolving environment and survival needs therein; it is possible that many techniques faded to oblivion when no longer required by nature or war, which meant that human life was an e'er-evolving, often repeating, state of constant adaptation. 


Agriculture to the Cities

This basic evolution still more or less holds true, but our invention of agriculture changed everything. Critical thinking was reserved for that (and even then, it evolved very little; choosing the best grains from each crop is not a process of invention) and the defence of a growing village (and methods of attacking others). Once needed for everyone who affronted nature, critical thinking was practiced by a very few, and these either became the village/city leaders or were allied with them, and the 'common villagers' were left to imitate and 'value judgement' reason within the educative limits defined by the leadership.

Even this holds true today. The only change was, probably after centuries of this follower-imitating-leadership behaviour, an idle group of ambitious yet idle observers discovered that a human could be dependant on leadership for even value judgements; like critical thinking, these also were survival tools for an individual against nature, but in a protective village environment, even these became optional. In short, the former 'protect and educate' village environment that, in hunter-gatherer times, was only applicable in early life (before an adult was obliged leave and fend for itself against nature), became a lifelong process for those who gave up, or were prevented from, making value judgements for themselves. All religions and totalitarianist regimes have their root in this.


The Enlightenment through Today

The invention of writing, and widespread literacy, changed everything yet again. No longer was authority and education the responsibility of a select few (who could only pass it on orally), but people could share information amongst themselves, and judge it for themselves; still, the prevalent authoritarian system, and societal pressure, prevented people from doing this, although these roadblocks to personal, individual enlightenment has eroded slowly over the years. The few critical thinkers practicing science and critical thought in general could record its experimentations for posterity (and validation by anyone able to think for themselves from later generations)... this too was a game-changer, which is why so many libraries went up in totalitarian/religion-lit flames throughout history.

The invention of the internet, though, changes everything yet yet again. We are in the age of information, but this time, an information that can only with difficulty be banned or burned. For the first time in human history, absolutely everyone has not only access to this information, but the invitation to assess and test it for themselves: doing so requires not only the will to make value judgements for oneself, but also critical thinking. With access to this information, a growing human will develop these abilities naturally; this explains the recent surge of activity in those seeking to make young humans disbelieve, and even fear, the possibility of thinking for oneself. 

We are at a crossroads of two extremities today: Either fundamentalist 'uni(non)thought' wins out and the distribution of information is controlled or banned, or, for the first time in human history, humans will be using their 'outside the village' abilities, once again as individuals, to judge their own actions, and each others', for themselves, within the village confines.

If the latter were to happen, we will be becoming a real, less leadership-'thought'-dependant, post-modern society. As we once did against nature, once again we will decide rationally (not through peer-pressure imitation), but this time as both individuals and a group, what's best for ourselves.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Super-Gamma EMW to Fermion process (or vice versa)







(Interlude music)
I think I've got how the most basic fermions combine initially, but I'm still fighting with my brain over the the 'load balancing' part once they're combined... the two same-charge fermions somehow transfer their differences between themselves... and the combinations would be of opposing charge (thus would annihilate themselves anyway). There's something utterly mathematically simplistic about this, but it is just beyond me... 




Saturday, 10 January 2015

Discussion is essential to clarity - 'everything' in a nutshell.

Just putting this here for posterity... I've never been able to express it so succinctly before.

"Something's holding that quark-energy in place, otherwise it would just dissipate. There's a force resulting from the 'finding balance' struggle between the two (that something and the energy it's binding), and gravity is its residue.

IMHO, of course."


"I had an idea that the centre of every quark was a rip in the spacetime continuum... a gateway to 'absolute nothing', and a quark is energy that is bound by its trying to get 'back' to that zero state. Kind of like... (scratching head) Flushing pasta down the toilet? LOL - but the strands would become interlocked, forming a ring that would keep the whole from being flushed down... I -have- to think of a better analogy ; P

But if I were to go further down the rabbit hole, that 'zero point' would have to be something in itself, but it would make even more sense (complete sense, IMHO) if 'our side' matter was matched by something on 'the other side', and that force was -across- that zero point... like a fermion pair trying to annihilate each other. And that force would be gravity."


"My idea goes like this: energy (EMW) levels above a certain level (super-gamma, probably) make a spacetime rip, making its path change from a straight one to a 'swirl' around the rip. Only EMW's of a certain frequency can have any stability (think a wobbling, rotating top - 'wrong' frequencies would rip themselves apart (and be sucked in)), but 'right' frequencies, stable, form matter. And the different 'right' frequency levels determine the size of the resulting fermion."

"I have absolutely -no- education in this domain, but I've always been processing ideas to see how things 'fit'... and I like 'seeing' patterns, too. Today I see everything as a 'zero point' and a parabolic energy curve away from it... well, two parabolic curves opposing each other, one energy and the other, the 'pull' towards that zero point.

It even makes sense to me that the 'strong force' and the 'nuclear force' are just variations of gravity... if you follow even Newtonian physics all the way to quantum level, the 'pull' close to that fermion-level 'zero point' must be ENORMOUS... and so must be the energy. We already know that the 'binding energy' of atoms is enormous (A-bomb, etc), but take that up one level to quarks... wow.

And taking that even -further- to the 'fermion pair annihilation'... Tyson spoke of 'event horizons' where one of the pair would escape, but what of energy behaviour in a quantum soup: what if one half of a pair 'bound' to another (different-frequency) fermion before it could annihilate itself against its same-frequency opposite?"

(comment indicating equivilence principle)

I can see how the math works out for the equivilence principle, but I have a problem with its application, especially in questions of time dilation... time does vary with the strength of a gravitational field, but although the math says that that time variation also applies to an object in accelleration (because equivalence principle), but don't see sense in that - I'm of the persuasion that time dilation (and gravity) can only be calculated relative to a mass itself.

The math works out because of the -difference between the two objects-. A mass on its own might as well be standing completely still, its mass (and gravitational pull and time dilation at its surface) constant and unvaried -until it encounters another-. Only -then-, upon collision, do the different velocities/masses count - I think it is an error to put all of that 'inertia' into an object if there is no other to compare it to, and even more of an error to say that time affects that object because of that (hypothetically) increased 'gravity'.

But that's just my humble opinion.

Friday, 2 January 2015

The Beauty of Being Wrong

Just a short entry today after witnessing one-too-many pointless 'saving face' back-and-forths: this for me really defines intellectual honesty, and shows whether one is really using their critical thinking abilities or just putting on a show of doing so.

We all shape our communication from the knowledge we have managed to accumulate until that point in the conversation where we have to use it. We all have varying degrees of trust in different points in knowledge: some may be empirical, some may be hearsay, but we don't really think much about this distinction when we are tapping it. A conversation should be a great occasion to test that knowledge, yet more often than not I see it used as an occasion to 'show' knowledge as a badge of stature, and any questioning of it is seen as an offense.

This is a sure sign that the person speaking has created an 'illusion' of themselves that they are presenting just as much to themselves as the person they are speaking to... almost a third person, some sort of mystical 'authority' that should be revered and defended without question. And this creation is also a result of wanting to cater to whatever (we think) another person 'wants' or 'needs'.

Yet we can't see into other minds, nor can we 'know' anything with absolute certainty. All we have to operate on is 'to the best of our knowledge', and if a conversation is to have any intellectual honesty, the knowledge of both/all parties should be open to (and even begging) questioning and testing. I guess this is what we'd call 'constructive conversation'.

If I am unsure about an element of knowledge I am using to make a point, this should show in my emotional display, and should be an invitation for someone other to provide a better solution if they have one. If a better solution is provided, it is not an offense - au contraire! If their point is valid and, better still, tested, they have actually increased my wealth of knowledge through their experience, making me a better person... what a gift!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Memory/Emotion/Critical Thought in the Human Brain


The brain is amazing. Seemingly complicated, but amazingly simple in its function: input, recognition; test, accept, reject; and finally... combine and create.

Above is an fMRI scan of the axon paths through the human brain. Axons are neurone connectors: to reiterate earlier explanations, every neurone has many receptors (dendrites), but only one output (axon) to carry the neurone charge to another neurone... if it fires. Whether it fires or not (and to what degree) is the result of the sum of input it receives from other neurones.

The network of neurones behind a single memory is a complicated thing... not only are there the neurones forming the memory itself, but its connection to 'inhibitor' and 'accelerator' neurones that will affect their relation to other neurones, namely in the later 'conclusion' part of the thinking process. To make things simpler, I've eliminated all those secondary (yet capital) connections in my illustrations, to show just the process result.
The above is the simplest of memories: empirical memory. First off, your brain will decide for you whether an event is even worth remembering, and if it is, it will be linked with the emotion that made it seem 'important', a link that will be traded off to the neurone used to permanently store the memory (if the brain deems it important enough). These emotion connections can be trained by further 'matching' input from empirical... or 'trusted' sources.

These 'test types' are capital to the human brain. Even before we became rational creatures, we were mimicking ones: whereas 'lower' creatures had to rely on empirical testing for memory 'validation', our ancestors learned to copy the behaviour of 'similars' who had already tried and tested the concerned techniques and circumstances. Unless trained, the brain tends to ignore (and even reject) any information not coming from anyone in the 'similar', or 'trusted' category.

Yet we only 'recognise' or 'match' things already in our memory. If we've had experience with a red ball, and the brain deems it important enough, it will be one of the things our (supposed) subconscious 'watches out for' in our environment. If it is detected, the 'recognition' trigger will be accompanied by the memory's associated emotion (playing with the ball, for example, as opposed to being hit on the head with it) will be triggered too. If at first the emotional 'importance' of each memory may seem quite stark and distinct, this will become 'muted' with repetition ('lesser importance') and other associated/more important events.
Now enter critical thinking, the 'extra level' that makes us human. It's that region of constantly 'slow firing' neurone region of the brain that, when activated, will 'test' existing memories against each other to create a third 'possibility' that can become a 'memory' of its own: if a) a rock is heavy and b) a muddy slope is slippery, therefore c) a heavy rock on a muddy slope will slide. Untested, the new idea will generate but a vague 'warning, watch out for this' emotion attachment, but if someone having that thought later sees that rock slide (and avoids it to survive), that thought becomes an empirically confirmed fact that can be related to others (with that 'warning' emotion) until they can empirically test it themselves.

Yet consider the experiment: if a) All Terriers are dogs, and b) all dogs are animals, then c) all Terriers are animals. This is an exercise concerning only the mind (and communication with other minds) and categorisation - it cannot be tested empirically, and can only be 'confirmed' by the emotional reaction (understanding, approval or not) of the person receiving the idea. Yet it uses the same survival-tool technique as the first example.

I mentioned earlier that emotions can be trained. In the empirical world, this is a clear-cut affair (with, say, an initial fear reaction to fire dulled by an education in its uses, and experience with them), but when it comes to ideas, it all depends on where the ideas come from. Without critical thinking, the origin of an idea is just as, if not more, important than the idea itself. If a trusted source says that circumstance a A will result in A, and you repeat their lesson and get a positive response, then the same tells you that circumstance A will result in B, you will attribute that same emotional 'reward' to both lessons, even if they are contradictory. 

Yet to the critical thinker mulling over circumstance A, they may weigh it against other circumstance/criteria/memories to conclude that, in fact, circumstance B because of A doesn't make any sense. The very act of this consideration removes the 'confirmation' emotion dependance on the teacher, and if the result of the reflection is tested empirically to a conclusive result, it may dampen, negate or even convert to 'warning' all former emotional connections to the source of the information. But the concrete conclusion of this exercise is that the emotional reward becomes a personal one. 

It seems that once one experiences this personal conclusion/reward for the first time, it seems to 'validate' for the brain the utility of the critical thinking technique as a whole. I guess this is the 'switch' I was trying to locate in my earlier posts on this subject.