Sunday, December 17, 2017

The simulation argument: Does it reflect a frustration in physics?



In physics and evolution, existing theories are challenged by a list of recently observed phenomena and experimental results. For example, the observed gravitational complexities in the universe could not have been produced by the existing matter content; time, horizon, inflation, cosmological constant, and unification present unsolved and overwhelming problems. These pressing, irreconcilable conflicts and questions in contemporary physics can easily lead to a mentally powerless position, which inspires just-so answers. Just so answers short-circuit epistemological study and might have led to the simulation hypothesis that considers existence just a computer simulation. How can science, the field built on experiments and solid understanding consider such far-fetched and untestable idea? 

In science, new ideas need to be tested or thoroughly argued before publication, therefore scientific understanding progresses on a slow, but stable footing and conceptual leaps are rare. When newly developed techniques accumulate conflicting data with existing theories, daring and even bizarre solutions are proposed in an attempt to keep the current paradigm. For example, in the nineteenth century, aether was invented to explain the spread of gravity. Thus, great schisms in the sciences necessitate radical ideas that change the existing vision of the field. Accepted theories, such as general relativity became a magnet for scientists; countless applications explore and develop the theory’s potential, the evolving rules reduce its flexibility. Any emerging contradictions are patched up by increasingly fantastical explanations, and today this might have inspired the simulation hypothesis.

In string theory, the principle of static time shows that entanglement formulates a cosmic evolution which gives rise to polar singularities, called black and white holes. Nevertheless, the high entropy poles maintain low entropy regions, which great complexity and evolutionary potential, between them. Other recent hypotheses, such as the principle of static time, or the black hole firewall hypothesis are well-proven, yet remain unutilized in mainstream science. We can consider the universe as a self-regulating, coherent system that engenders its own evolution toward increasing biological complexity. In biological systems, Maxwell’s Demon utilizes the second law of thermodynamics to maintain low entropy and produce sophistication, organization, and intellect. This way the mind emerged as part of a global, self-regulating universe. Applying Landauer’s Principle for the brain shows how energy/information exchange increases synaptic complexity via comprehension, memory, movement and other reactions. The universe’s three energy levels, the elementary particles, the mind, and the whole cosmos, form a fractal system. Therefore, the universe’s evolution and complexity can be explained within a physicalist framework, which satisfies Occam's Razor.

Read the whole article  on Academia

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Depression: Prevention via Understanding



Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders and the second leading cause of disability in the world. More than 350 million people suffer from depression globally, afflicting an estimated 4% of the world's population. A temporary feeling of low and despair can happen to anyone. However, true depression is emotional isolation characterized by profound sadness, fatigue, and a feeling of worthlessness and guilt. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the condition is defined as a period of two weeks or longer, during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure, and at least four other symptoms are present that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-image. Depression does not affect people when their sphere of influence is increasing but rather when their sense of confidence is challenged. 

In normal condition, mental stability cannot be easily disturbed. However, depressed people have the opposite problem, they are too weak to mount a response. Depression is an energy weak mental state; characterized by lack of confidence, trust, and will. Emotional rigidity, negativity, increased sensitivity and pronounced inward focus isolate depressed people. Because depression inhibits the capacity for interaction, it prevents mental progress and can even be considered a mental death in a fully functioning body. Due to the degradation of volition, one is unable to be emotionally moved by life events. The perception of time slows, and thoughts ruminate over the past. A slow mindset leads to slowness in action and cognitive functions, including inhibition of the course of thought decision, act, and even movements. Intuition about the future evaporates. Depressed patients not only experience the slowing down of the flow of time, but they are also preoccupied with past events and less focused on the future or the present. Delusions about past mistakes fill a guilt-ridden mind and lead to painful detachment from family and friends. Although guilt-ridden people tend to show excess generosity, overcompensation of insecurity and guilt by is not true altruism. Insecurity also increases the sensitivity for shame, which is the perceived loss of mental power. People with a history of depression show a greater propensity for shame. The aberrant expectation in abusive relationships can lead to depression. Due to the lack of social hierarchy, sustenance societies generate identification with a common experience, which makes depression unlikely.

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