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  • Philosophy of Sampling

    I was going to comment on some of those interesting points of DM33 from the other thread and thought about this thread idea - what is sampling all about?  What is its ultimate goal? 

    About the Toyota robot - that brings up Brainstorm.  A rather underrated but very good film by the great genius of cinema and filmmaking Douglas Trumbull who did 2001's FX and is totally unknown but better than anyone making sci-fi films now.  (He also did Silent Running another great little known film as well as creating a system for using 65mm film running at 60 frames per second for the most perfect reproduction of moving images ever created.)  The idea of being able to tap into consciousness itself.  When will that be possible? Right now, in neurology as well as robotic engineering, there is not the slightest concept of how the physical electrochemical activity of the brain creates consciouness. Will that ever be known?  And what will be the effect?  Perhaps conscious machines like HAL 9000. 

    But the old-fashioned concepts of music as mentioned - melody, counterpoint, form, etc. -  are still the things which create the quality in a piece of music and cannot be programmed.  So no matter how easy it is to create music, it will all be worthless sludge - efficiently created and realized but still sludge - without the old-fashioned, difficult creative prcoesses of composers ever since the Middle Ages (and probably before though they are lost - as in the case of ancient Greek music which is as bad a loss as the loss of Sophocles other 100+  plays besides the paltry few surviving that include Oedipus Rex).  


  • Good post William!

    Hang on to your seat...

    It brings a few books I've read lately to mind and the connection between the author, the books, and this subject is very deep. The author is Raymond Kurzweil, he basically invented sampling with the K250 sampling synthesizer. But few people know that he is an inventor and what is called a futurist or someone who predicts the future. MANY of his predictions have come true. His predictions are mainly based on technology. He is a very interesting person and maybe of some interest to you to read about.

    Two books of his I recently read are "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and "The Singularity is Near". Both books deal with the evolution of technology, especially with regards to how its linked to Moore's Law which governs the increase of speed in Transistors.

    In a nut shell Transistor speeds double every 18 months and each time it doubles it changes our lives because of the new found technology that arises with having faster CPU's. Each of these changes are called "Paradigms" in the books. The interesting thing is that the time between doubling is getting shorter and shorter so our modes of life, Paradigms, change much faster.

    For instance, look at years 1800-1899, there was some technological evolution but compare that to years 1900-1999, especially 1950-1999 where advancements skyrocketed because of computers. Kurzweil states that from 1900-1999 humankind evolved the equivalent to 1,000 years of evolution based on its previous evolutionary process. Basically technological evolution was "flat" with few big advancements every few decades or centuries but in the past 100 years we've had advancements every few years and these advancements are linked to technology.

    Right now if you go to Best Buy or your local computer store and buy a $1,000 computer that computer will barely have the processing power of one mouse but because of exponential growth (the doubling of transistors speeds over shorter and short periods) by the year 2020 (approx) a $1,000 computer will have the processing power of 1 human being. But by by 2029 he predicts that $1,000 computer will have the processing power of 1,000 humans. By 2049 $1,000 computer has the processing power of all humans combined. So, in the time span of 50 years computers went from the processing power of 1 mouse to all humans combined!!!

    This is the point he calls the Singularity. At this point a human will not be able to know when they are speaking/dealing with a computer or another human. Computer/robots will be indistinguishable from humans and because of Artificial Intelligence these robots can think and have emotions and even be creative.

    He gets into many more interesting concepts as well like nanotechnology and virtual environments a la Matrix. Basically, in the next 100 years there will 20,000 years of evolution.

    He also deals with all the problems that will arise from this sort of evolution but he is "optimistic" about the final outcome which is basically a cyborg machine with human sensibilities and consciousness. All of our information will be digitized and this information can be shared at the speed of light from one person to another anywhere in the universe. Even our brains will be digitized and when the body dies they will be able to take all the information in our brain and put it in a new and improved digital brain and body and we can keep living. Of course by then he predicts we'll be so smart that we'll figure out many scientific and environmental problems and overcome poverty and hunger for the whole world, be able to create almost-the-speed-of-light space ships and travel to nearby moons, planets, and galaxies with ease thus spreading consciousness thru out the universe. With these cyborg bodies we will be able to withstand the atmosphere of these new moons and planets and thus live anywhere we choose.

    I recommend "The Age of Spiritual Machines" as your first read into this very intense and real subject. Interestingly enough he has updated his predictions and moved many advancements forward in time, meaning they will happen sooner then what he wrote in the book.

    I can go on about this stuff for pages but I'll stop here.

    The future of sampling is the complete oneness between the composer, creativity, and realization. Ultimately we will be able to think music into existence.

    DM33


  • I've seen both those books at the library and they looked very interesting.  He  is using the Turing concept about not knowing whether you are speaking to a computer or a human.  It is true that what has developed in technology is a process of innovation for the sake of innovation, rather than for the sake of doing a specific task better.  And that is resulting in an exponential effect of increasing technological change.  It is amazing how in the Middle Ages for example, technology did not change for centuries. No one built a better plow for ages.  That would today be like having a Windows 95 computer that you passed down to your children and their grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Frightening thought. 

    The problem with Kurzweil's idea though is that it is an example of an engineer glossing over neurobiology and the structure of the brain as just a series of details that will all work themselves out eventually.  When you look at a human brain, you are looking at the product of about 400 million years of evolution.  This was done in the 1950s, when engineers who knew nothing about psychology or the brain or consciousness were predicting that there would be intelligent robots in twenty years. The estimated intelligence of robots now is - seriously - considered to be around that of a virus.  In other words, a creature that has no definable intelligence but does certain things by internal programming.  Recently a team of engineers attempted to reproduce a fly's behavior with a small helicopter.  They were stunned, when they observed in detail the fly's instantaneous flight motions and corrections and lightning-like starting and stopping with extreme accuracy that the commonplace little creature was capable of.  They realized they couldn't even begin to approach doing what it did.  Scientists and engineers straying out of their fields of expertise into the most mysterious field of all - human consciousness - often do not have the slightest idea of how immense the errors and assumptions they are making can be.   Kurzweil is far more knowledgeable than that, but his books are still based on the assumption that consciousness and intelligence can be reproduced by mechanisms.  Of course the brain itself is a "mechanism" of sorts, though it is completely unknown how a thought is actually CAUSED by the series of electrochemical transmissions within it.  There are plenty of CORRELATIONS between observed physical activity such as various scans of neural activity during emotional states,  but the causal connections are as unknown and mysterious as the thoughts of angels in heaven or demons in hell.  The ghost in the machine sums up all actual knowledge of what produces human intelligence.  So predicting that machinery will eventually take over human thought and consciousness is too speculative right now to be taken seriously.  Though it is always interesting to imagine. 


  • William,

    I agree with you 100% but if you haven't read the books I think you should because he explains why he feels this is all possible in the very near future and his arguments are pretty convincing.

    You are right, biology is much to complex to easily emulate. The example of the motion of the fly is more of a physical complexity with aspects of natural instinct and in some ways maybe much more complex than thinking because we don't have a way to make hardware respond that fast yet. The fly poses a 2 fold problem, thinking and moving. But, since thinking can be broken down to computation it might be possible to have thinking machines before we have machines that can move like a fly.

    Then if you network thousands of "thinking" machines together, each with the thinking capacity of a human, you can have the equivalent of thousands of humans working to solve a problem all at the same time. Then, if we can program at least a little bit, even a very tiny amount, of "intelligence" per a database of rules the computations can then themselves evolve and by itself add or modify the rules...this can be considered in some sense as intelligence.

    The real question to me is what is consciousness? Because even if we shut down thinking, if I close my eyes and not think of anything, not a thought, vision, or sound some information still bubbles up from the depths all by itself. If I practice not thinking via meditation and completely turn the mind off then what is left when there is no thinking or "bubbling from the depths"? and can a machine ever experience that? Is that the place where creativity comes from?

    A machine can stop computing but in that state it is nothing, it has no further experience or existence when the computing stops. But a human, I believe, still experiences something even after thinking has stopped, there is some sense of existence even when I am no longer thinking.

    I have experienced glimpses of this during periods of heavy meditation.

    I feel even if science achieves the goals Kurzweil writes about it can never create a machine that is 100% machine that also has conciseness. For this reason I think there will always be a need for some part of the machine to still be "analog" flesh and blood because I think consciousness is only in natural living things and can never be in a machine that is 100% robot.

    DM33


  •  yes, those books sound very worthwhile to read through.  On the example of the housefly, what struck me about it is here you have a tiny creature that is considered next to nothing by humans, and yet it is the product of millions of years of "Product Research and Development."  it is the combination of extreme sensory abilities (the way they know you are trying to swat them) with their agility and speed, all focused with perfect precision upon allowing the fly to survive.  And that is only a fly.  Think about a cheetah, an orangutan, an arctic fox, etc. etc. To compete with nature in the creation of living beings is something that very few people have any concept of the difficulty and complexity except for the people who actually study these things.  And at the top of it all are the brains of humans, dolphins, whales, some of the apes, all of them of a complexity that is even greater.   I often wonder, in view of the advancement of the huma brain over the ages of man's development, why the intelligence that can do nuclear physics or celstial mechanics or Beethoven symphonies was needed, just to allow a shambling caveman to avoid the foot of a mastodon.  But it seems that adaptibility as well as the development of intelligence for intellegince's sake became the modus operandi of human evolution, and this allowed humans to start doing things far beyond mere survival.  This is remarkably similar to what is now happening in technology.  It is no longer developing simply to solve a specific problem (like how to plow a field more quickly) but it is developing simply for the sake of developing.  Because that process may allow some new, unforeseen advantage. 

    That is interesting what you say about consciousness, and of course this is the most mysterious phenomenon of the brain.  You are right when you mention that deliberately stopping all thoughts still does not remove your sense of self, of the being underneath the thoughts.  William James the psychologist wrote what is still the most basic examination of what exactly consciousness seems to consist of, and yet he admitted that it is almost impossible to define.  The reason is that one has to step outside of or beneath oneself to "understand" it and cannot. 

    However, the idea that machines can never be conscious I am not sure of.  Because the human brain, which produces consciousness, is an organic mechanism of vast, unknown complexity.  But the number of potential parallel circuit processing can eventually be reproduced in computers though of course the programming is the difficulty.  If the brain is a physical mechanism (which it is) then eventually another physical mechanism could conceivably do the same thing.  It is quite possibly a matter of quantity, though far more quantity than people generally realize.  Think of the current rate of technological advancement over the next MILLION years.  What will result?  When you start talking about sufficiently large numbers, then Kurzweil's wild ideas become far more believable.  If there were a "mass mind" composed of millions of individual cybernetic brains psychically linked, it would be the equivalent of a god.  Perhaps the goal of the entire universe - assuming a progessive purpose to things -    is the creation of a mind such as that.


  • One thing you mention is the idea that consciousness is an illusion.

    I have heard that put forth by supposed "scientists."  The people who believe this are utterly misled by language, and do not realize it as they attempt to be "scientific."  Witgenstein discussed how the human mind is conditioned and often misled by language, which makes people think they have understood something when actually all they have really done is put it into different terms.  This is a classic example, as the entire concept of "illusion" is based upon the existence of consciousness. You cannot have an illusion without consciousness!   So for a supposedy hard-headed materialist scientist to state that consciousness is an "illusion" indicates a complete lack of understanding of what he is actually saying. 

    I agree it seems to be true that consciousness is a physical phenomena since it is generated by brains which are physical structures.  I have often speculated that if one form of physical structure can create consciousness, that indicates that another form could do the same.  This would seem to suggest that machinery could indeed become conscious.  Or in another wildly speculative context, that ghosts exist as a form of consciousness that is somehow existing upon the physical base of the space-time continuum itself, rather than the physical base of the brain.


  •  you people need to get laid :P

    LOL, sorry about that , i couldnt resist


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    @Another User said:

     Kurzweil states that from 1900-1999 humankind evolved the equivalent to 1,000 years of evolution based on its previous evolutionary process. 

    Actually, technology evolved not humankind. This is a rather crucial point even the most (supposedly) brilliant thinkers seem to fail to grasp time ad time again. It is this confusion between technological evolution and human evolution which is why we are in such a pickle today!

    .

    Technological evolution - initially aided and facilitated by humans, now increasingly aided and facilitated by technology itself as well.

    .

    Human evolution - initially aided and facilitated by the pressures of the natural environment, now in an increasingly technologically advanced and dominated environment becoming unnecessary and even a hinderance to technological evolution and so obsolete.

    .

    Basically, as technology evolves further human evolutionary gains become less necessary and even a hinderance to the evolution of technology. As humans rely less on their own evolutionary advances and rely more on technological evolutionary advances we become increasingly 'evolutionary unfit'. We even defer to technology for even the most basic skills today like our own sense of direction (a fitting example) and internal spacial awareness by using satnavs. The result of which is it forces us to rely yet more and more on technology's superior evolution, so we yet further align ourselves with technology, seek to advance it, live even more under it's 'protection' (some would say 'shadow') and crucially we even begin to define ourselves by the technology around us! This is the most dangerous delusion the human race can have and in an ideal world of good intentions could prove to be our undoing ..... in a realistic world where men seek to control other men and all technology is ultimately in the hands of the few who own it may yet prove to be a deathwish.

    .

    But most people seem to be stuck at the level of enjoying playing with gadgets and thinking naively that all technology is a game! Most people are seduced by the shiny face (facade) of technology and the way it flatters them, gives them 'power' when in fact it is really taking power away! Technology is like a man who gives his new girlfriend everything she wants.... she feels powerful and free and lucky at first - life is suddenly a dream! .... but he knows he is making her gradually utterly dependent on him. Eventually she realizes she is now a prisoner, a kept woman! Trapped in a gilded cage, and worthless, pennyless and hopeless if she were to ever leave it. This is bad enough but if the man turns out to be cruel as well as controlling then her dream will truly turn into a nightmare.

    .

    In a similar way technology (and our seduction by it) is making a everybody the same - a kept woman, a kept man! We prize our iGadgets like diamonds and fur coats! But none of it really belongs to us, it is not true wealth because we can never truly own any of this technological wealth .... only participate in it, and allow our lives be lead by it..  more flattered and more subservient with every step! 😉

    .

    The quote from Kurzweil which seems so innocuous is the perfect example of this. We believe (or we are told to believe) we are 'so advanced today' but the truth is it is technology which is so advanced today, not us. People, the human animal is (at least where technology is abundant) generally fat, poisoned, slow thinking, unfit, depressed, medicated, struggling with relationships, struggling with finances, either unimaginative or unfulfilled, stuck in self destructive habits, unskilled in even the most basic survival skills, ignorant of even the most basic health maintenance and sickness treatment skills, scared of and detached from society ... this is hardly evolution!  .. and we are so dependent on our ever evolving technology that should it fail (a power cut, an oil shortage, an economic crash) many of us could easily be literally starving to death within days. 

    This may seem rather extreme or even hysterical ....... I just call it the big picture. 😊


  • That is a brilliant post and very well written, I must say, and I agree with your extreme critique of the utterly naive faith in technology.  It has indeed poisoned the planet, destroyed nature everywhere, and  led to human misery.  Though it also allows certain good things such as VSL!  But you are right about people being seduced.  This is pathetically the case with so many things that are too numerous to mention. 

    I was trying to get at that naive "faith" in science/technology in my post about the determinist rejection even of consciousness itself.  I have read that seriously put forth by extreme rationalist-skeptic-materialist-reductionist "thinkers" - that there is no such thing as consciousness!  In other words, they are so seduced by this "linear thought above all else" mind-set which you are talking about that they actually deny the existence of THE ONLY THING THAT ALLOWS THEM TO THINK!   It is so self-contradictory, and extreme an example of a mind fooling itself, that it would be laughable if it were not so pathetic. 

    But also, part of what you are talking about is commercially driven.  The people who are the masters of technology want the masses to be seduced, because then they will line up and file through the huge Wal-marts and buy, buy, buy like cattle lining up at the slaughterhouse to die, die, die.  None of that is doing them any good.  I have been thinking lately of how everyone thinks that Orwell's concept of Big Brother    has not happened, because it did not happen in the political sphere with a government controlling people's thoughts and lives.  But it is actually happening right now, in the commercial sphere, with vast global corporations controlling them the exact same way, but more cleverly - they don't even know they are being controlled. That is the most insidious control of all, and it has been accomplished already.


  • Marko says "I think our conscious mental states are physical states,"

    I disagree with this. Thinking is a physical state but to me, in my view,  consciousness is not thinking. I believe consciousness is always present but its still there when we stop thinking. The brain is just a tool of consciousness like a pen is the tool of a writer, 

    So, everything else you wrote falls apart in this view.

    All physical states compute constantly. Atoms are colliding, splitting apart, and changing all the time this is computation, does it lead to useful information all the time? No. But, physical states are always trying to get back to equilibrium (entropy). Entropy always increases, in order for this to occur there must be computation on every level of all physical states. This is the unbreakable (2nd) law of thermodynamics.

    So, its all computation, we are computing all the time, everything computes. If anyone of us stops computing it means one of 2 things, he has reached a state beyond computation (enlightenment?) or he is dead...but when dead the body continues to compute and move towards higher levels of entropy...dust to dust.

    DM33


  • DM33 wrote "Kurzweil states that from 1900-1999 humankind evolved the equivalent to 1,000 years of evolution based on its previous evolutionary process."

    MarkoftheStoat wrote  "Actually, technology evolved not humankind. This is a rather crucial point even the most (supposedly) brilliant thinkers seem to fail to grasp time ad time again. It is this confusion between technological evolution and human evolution which is why we are in such a pickle today!"

    Thanks for the correction. You are right I meant technology evolved but that it also moved mankind forward (instead of evolved) 1,000 years.

    "The quote from Kurzweil which seems so innocuous is the perfect example of this. We believe (or we are told to believe) we are 'so advanced today' but the truth is it is technology which is so advanced today, not us. People, the human animal is (at least where technology is abundant) generally fat, poisoned, slow thinking, unfit, depressed, medicated, struggling with relationships, struggling with finances, either unimaginative or unfulfilled, stuck in self destructive habits, unskilled in even the most basic survival skills, ignorant of even the most basic health maintenance and sickness treatment skills, scared of and detached from society ... this is hardly evolution!  .. and we are so dependent on our ever evolving technology that should it fail (a power cut, an oil shortage, an economic crash) many of us could easily be literally starving to death within days. "

    But technology and its creator, the human race, cannot be separated. Technology can not come from its self, it has to come from biology, we have to create it. Yes, there are many forms of technology in nature but none of them will lead to robots or cyborgs. This leap has to come from a sufficiently evolved organism like a human. Do we have faults? Yes. But the positive thing in the world is that it only takes a few "good" people to nullify all the bad crap everyone else is doing. 


    The general public will always be the same. You can go back 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 years and you will see that there were always the few that climbed out of the human muck and achieved greatness and thus changing modes of living and human destiny forever. The fat, poisonous slobs you speak of have always been here and will always be here. It may take another 1000+ years for humanity to "grow up" sufficiently so that the average person may be beyond the level of a glorified animal. It will take technology to do this.


    But, don't under estimate technology. What you and I see in everyday life is only a small percentage of what is really out there. Governments and scientists are working on projects and technologies RIGHT NOW that you might think are decades or centuries away. The exponential growth in speeds of a CPU will accelerate the speed of advancement we will be able to achieve.


    Right now a computer is basically a mouse computation wise, but in only one decade it might be a human. Once that achievement is quantified, meaning taking many computers with the CPU equivalent of a human brain and linking them together, the whole will be "smarter" than the part. Then, this computer network will be put to solving problems that face mankind ie global warming, pollution. These faster-than-human computers will be able to do extraordinary things in a very short time.


    Today, it takes years to map a genome of an organism. In 10-15 years it will take minutes and the information learned from such discoveries will be assimilated into our lives much faster. The time its taking for a society to assimilate a new technology is getting shorter and shorter. Think of the time it took to assimilate these into society: telephone, TV, microwave, internet, cellphone, ipod.


    How long did it take the US or Europe to have a telephone or TV in almost every house? Decades. How long did it take for a cellphone or ipod? Only a few years. The next big technological advancement will take hold even faster.


    Yes, humanity is, en mass, still in the dark ages but its the technology that can push us all up and forward and we only need a few people working on the right things to do this.


    Natural human evolution is much to slow. We can't sit around 1 million years waiting to adjust to an environmental problem or natural disaster. Yes, we are bypassing human evolution, this is a natural process. We are headed toward the age of the cyborg for sure and in this new age we will be fit enough for natural disasters or maybe even our own ie global warming. Also, earth is a ticking time bomb. At some point we have to figure out how to get off of it. 


    What is it all headed toward? 


    "Life" and living beings want to spread. We need to replicate and populate the earth, then moon, mars, Jupiter's moons, Pluto, and then the next closest system.  The only way to do this with out destroying the earth is thru technology. But, right now we are behind technologically. Our ability to ruin the ecology is farther advanced of our ability to fix it but technology can fix this. We have more disease than cures, we have to much pollution...only technology can fix these problems fast enough to save the planet.  We can't stop having children or spreading...that is a natural process. We have to advance in such a way that this spreading is done yet the impact is small. What else can do this but technology?


    It seems we are programmed for this spreading and advancement and the frail human body cannot meet the physical requirements for these sort of journeys (to outer space).

    There are many pitfalls in this process and we are not out of danger yet, we are actually heading into more dangerous territory but if we can overcome the ability to destroy ourselves we could find ourselves on the brink of the greatest, most amazing discoveries the human race has ever seen and we will happily assimilate this technology in order to achieve a new level of experience.

    But, to get back to the original issues regarding thinking, computation, and consciousness; to me thinking and computation are the same and robots and computers can easily achieve this and are doing so now. But, to me, consciousness is beyond thinking and thinking is a result of consciousness. A purely robotic or computerized object can not have consciousness, all its thinking is due to a CPU. We can say that it's consciousness is electricity, which is physical and still a computation in itself, so it can't really have consciousness.

    This will ultimately lead to dialogue about a god and whether one exists and how it is known...and who really did create VSL? LOL!

    DM33


  •  "Right now, in neurology as well as robotic engineering, there is not the slightest concept of how the physical electrochemical activity of the brain creates consciouness. Will that ever be known?" - William  

    "This presumes the physical electrochemical activity of brain does in fact create consciousness."  - Mark of the Stoat

    I did not presume any causation. It is inarguable that electrochemical activity is CORRELATED with consciousness. But I never stated it causes it.  I was stating in essence the same thing you did, that there is no scientific basic whatsoever for the actual substantive study of consciousness at the present time.  You may note I mentioned "ghost in the machine."  That is the current state of "scientific" knowledge concerning consciousness.


  • OK fair enough William, that was just the meaning I took from your sentence. ie I took it to mean:

    .

     "Right now, in neurology as well as robotic engineering, there is not the slightest concept of how the physical electrochemical activity of the brain DOES create consciouness. Will that ever be known?"

    .

    But maybe you meant it more as:

    "Right now, in neurology as well as robotic engineering, there is not the slightest concept of how the physical electrochemical activity of the brain MIGHT create consciouness. Will that ever be known?"

    .

    So yes I agree, there is certainly a correlation there ..... but I would go no further than that :)

    .

    And as the DM33 said thinking (let's call it also 'brain activity') and consciousness are not the same thing.

    I think one of the main functions of the brain is to filter, order, limit, reduce, manage the VAST amounts of perceptual data we take in from an ocean to a teacup's worth of information allowing us to hunt, gather firewood, invent and play with Vienna Instruments etc instead of just being forever enjoying being ecstatically part of the infinite cosmos and tripping our ********* off. The brain is therefore not so much the creator of consciousness but more like a tiny screen onto which we can project tiny fragments of the much larger consciousness out there.

    .

    So the human being is really more like a receiver (of raw energy perception), a lens (our senses), and a projection screen (our brain) capable of picking up any signal from the infinity which surrounds us. Most people are hopelessly trapped by thinking that screen is reality and that whatever tiny fraction of perception we might have projected onto it at any given moment = everything.


  • "And as the DM33 said thinking (let's call it also 'brain activity') and consciousness are not the same thing.

    I think one of the main functions of the brain is to filter, order, limit, reduce, manage the VAST amounts of perceptual data we take in from an ocean to a teacup's worth of information allowing us to hunt, gather firewood, invent and play with Vienna Instruments etc instead of just being forever enjoying being ecstatically part of the infinite cosmos and tripping our ********* off. The brain is therefore not so much the creator of consciousness but more like a tiny screen onto which we can project tiny fragments of the much larger consciousness out there.

    .

    So the human being is really more like a receiver (of raw energy perception), a lens (our senses), and a projection screen (our brain) capable of picking up any signal from the infinity which surrounds us. Most people are hopelessly trapped by thinking that screen is reality and that whatever tiny fraction of perception we might have projected onto it at any given moment = everything."

    This is very reminiscent of Alduos Huxley's "Doors of Perception"...Great book by the way. He mentions that the brain is basically a reducing valve filtering out all unnecessary information yet it know all things that are going on in the universe. 


    I see the human more like a switch instead of a receiver, same difference but the switch needs to be turned on in order for the human organism to the reality you speak of. How do we flip the switch? Well, Alduos used drugs but it can also be done via deep contemplation or meditation. The artificial way of flipping the switch usually leads to psychological damage.


    Also, Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" is pretty interesting regarding your screen/reality analogy.


    There is also the concept of the "Zero point field":


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_point_field


    Some scientists are saying some amazing things about this concept like that all information is stored in the filed and it can be tapped at any moment, same with energy.


    I wish we (us 3) could get together at a cafe and talk some more on these very interesting subjects.


    DM33


  •  "I think one of the main functions of the brain is to filter, order, limit, reduce, manage the VAST amounts of perceptual data we take in from an ocean to a teacup's worth of information allowing us to hunt, gather firewood, invent and play with Vienna Instruments"  - Mark of the Stoat

    This can be taken mystically or not, because recently some neurological research has allowed estimates of mental activity during consciousness vs. unconsciousness including unconscious memory.  The so-called "bandwidth" of consciousness is maybe 2% of the total contents of the unconscious mind, not in any debatable Freudian sense of Id or Jungian Collective Unconsciousness, but simply in stored memory/experience/knowledge.  And the conscious mind is essentially channeling and saying "no" or "yes" to a tiny fragment of the vast unconscious reservoir, more or less efficiently.  (Probably less.) 


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on