Abstract thoughts…

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Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have leveraged machine learning to interpret human brain scans, allowing the team to uncover the regions of the brain behind how abstract concepts, like justice, ethics and consciousness, form.

In this study, Just and his team scanned the brains of nine participants using a functional MRI. The team sifted through the data using machine learning tools to identify patterns for each of the 28 abstract concepts. They applied the machine learning algorithm to correctly identified each concept (with a mean rank accuracy of 0.82, where chance level is 0.50).

Just said these abstract concepts are constructed by three dimensions of meaning in the brain. The first dimension corresponds to regions associated with language. For example, the concept of ethics might be linked to other words like rules and morals. A person must first understand the words to construct the additional meaning of ethics. The second dimension defines abstract concepts in terms of reference, either to self or an external source. For example, spirituality refers to self, while causality is external to the self. The final dimension is rooted in social constructs. There is an inherent social component to the concepts of pride and gossip.

“It’s flashy to call this work mind reading,” Just said. “For me, it is proof that we have identified some of the elements of the brain’s indexing system — verbal representation, externality/internality and the social dimension — that our brains use to code concepts that have no physical manifestation in the world.” (1)

Trying to make sense of thoughts not based on sensual input is hard. But yet again, it may be so that the true source of these thought are the senses but in ways we cannot yet realize. The duality of the cosmos in the material and the non-material cosmos is an axiom taken for granted by both materialists and non-materialists alike. And yet, this axiom could be the source of all the issues we face.

Why should an abstract thought be irrelevant to the senses?

Why would the senses be only relevant to ‘objective’ things?

What is objective?

What is abstract?

In a world which is One, these opposites have the opposite meaning! Could there be anything more abstract than tables and abstract chairs? Close your eyes and they will go away. Could there be anything more tangible than ethics and morality? Close your eyes and you will still feel guilty.

In the world of One, there is no way to find anything objective but the subjective…

In the world of senses, there is no way to find anything subjective but the objective…

Look carefully.

And you will see nothing…

Until you stop looking.

Understanding morality.

Moral judgment is a tricky subject. For example, most people would agree that lying is immoral. However, most people would also agree that lying to Nazis about the location of Jewish families would be moral. New research sheds light on how people decide whether behavior is moral or immoral. The findings could serve as a framework for informing the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies.

Scientists proposed a model of moral judgment, called the Agent Deed Consequence (ADC) model – and now we have the first experimental results that offer a strong empirical corroboration of the ADC model in both mundane and dramatic realistic situations. The ADC model posits that people take three things into account when making a moral judgment: the Agent, which is the character or intent of the person who is doing something; the Deed, or what is being done; and the Consequence, or the outcome that resulted from the deed.

“This approach allows us to explain not only the variability in the moral status of lying, but also the flip side: that telling the truth can be immoral if it is done maliciously and causes harm,” Dubljević says.  (1)

Difficult to see the morality behind an action.

Because we always tend to see the tree and not the forest.

What is here now will someday no longer be.

What is today important will soon be insignificant.

What is now ridiculous will soon be essential.

What is true will eventually not be at all.

A dirty man talking to God.

People laughing at him.

Asking him for the truth.

Requesting him to abide by the facts.

But they do not know the facts.

He does not answer.

For He doesn’t need to.

There is no agent.

Nor deed.

Nor consequence.

For the truth is not something to reach.

But a veil we need to break through.

Look at that immoral man.

He is the One defining morality…

MAGNIFY! (Do you trust your eyes?) [against senses… again]

Extremely distant galaxies are usually too faint to be seen, even by the largest telescopes. But nature has a solution: gravitational lensing, predicted by Albert Einstein and observed many times by astronomers. However recently, an international team of astronomers, led by Harald Ebeling of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, discovered one of the most extreme instances of magnification by gravitational lensing.

Using the Hubble Space Telescope to survey a sample of huge clusters of galaxies, the team found a distant galaxy, eMACSJ1341-QG-1, that is magnified 30 times thanks to the distortion of space-time created by the massive galaxy cluster dubbed eMACSJ1341.9-2441. (1)

Everything we see is distorted in one or the other way.

Light passing through fields, light passing through matter or dark matter, through water or air, through lenses, through your very… eyes! No, you can never be certain that what you see is real. Look without prejudice and you will see, that the only thing you can be certain of is that you cannot see!

Look at that coffee cup.

There is no coffee.

Only molecules of coffee.

But you are smelling coffee.

Wishing coffee.

Because you have a hard time waking up.

And you have to go to work even though you don’t want to.

It is your life that you are experiencing.

Not just a cup of coffee.

But sure.

You can just say “I see coffee”.

Time standing still…

Quickly glance at an analog clock. You might find that the second hand seems stuck at first. But if the precise machinery ensures every second is the same, why the pause?

Amelia Hunt, a neuroscientist with the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, says the standstill (nicknamed the stopped-clock illusion) occurs because our brains anticipate what we will see before we actually view it. When we move our eyes, everything shifts position on the retina. If we couldn’t sense those adjustments coming, we’d be incredibly disoriented. So our brains figured a way to cope: As we navigate the world, our visual cortex creates and updates an interactive map of what’s around us. The brain uses it to ­predict what we’ll see to prevent discombobulation.

So, when you look up at a clock, your mapmaking brain has foreseen what it will look like. And when your gaze does reach it, you are a step ahead of time. In a 2009 study, Hunt’s team found that, on average, clock gazers set the time as 39 milliseconds earlier than what actually landed on the clock.

For a fleeting second, time might seem to stop. Too bad it won’t help you catch up if you’re running late. (1)

Yes, time can be an illusion.

Every time you think of you, as a child. Every time you sense love, for someone long gone. Each time you rip through the fabric of the universe, seeking kindness into the touch of your grandma.

It is then that time seems just a shadow in our mind.

But time can be very real as well.

When you are running late to see the birth of your child. Every time you miss her birthday because you were overseas. Each time you lose your opportunity to say that you love her before it’s too late…

It is then that you know that time exists.

And the shadow disappears.

Look at that clock.

Yes, it does move.

And yet…

It doesn’t…

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