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.

Old mathematics… Broken cosmos… Blurry image…

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By combining cutting-edge machine learning with 19th-century mathematics, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) mathematician worked to make NASA spacecraft lighter and more damage tolerant by developing methods to detect imperfections in carbon nanomaterials used to make composite rocket fuel tanks and other spacecraft structures.

Using machine learning, neural networks, and an old mathematical equation, Randy Paffenroth has developed an algorithm that will significantly enhance the resolution of density scanning systems that are used to detect flaws in carbon nanotube materials.

The algorithm was “trained” on thousands of sets of nanomaterial images and to make it more effective at making a high-resolution image out of a low-resolution image, he combined it with the Fourier Transform, a mathematical tool devised in the early 1800s that can be used to break down an image into its individual components.

“The Fourier Transform makes creating a high-resolution image a much easier problem by breaking down the data that makes up the image. Think of the Fourier Transform as a set of eyeglasses for the neural network. It makes blurry things clear to the algorithm. We’re taking computer vision and virtually putting glasses on it”, said Paffenroth. (1)

We like breaking the world into pieces.

We can see better that way.

But even the sharpest image of a tree.

Conveys nothing about the forest…

A forest that is there because of the trees.

Trees we know are there.

We remember those trees.

We once saw those trees.

Casting their shadows during the evening hours.

At a time when we used to stand within a forest.

But never really saw one…

Cause in the midst of the evening.

There was nothing else casting a shadow.

Nothing but our self!

Hallucinations…

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Hallucinations are spooky and, fortunately, fairly rare. But, a new study suggests, the real question isn’t so much why some people occasionally experience them. It’s why all of us aren’t hallucinating all the time.

In the study, Stanford University School of Medicine neuroscientists stimulated nerve cells in the visual cortex of mice to induce an illusory image in the animals’ minds. The scientists needed to stimulate a surprisingly small number of nerve cells, or neurons, in order to generate the perception, which caused the mice to behave in a particular way. (1)

Asking the right question.

But once more, giving the ring answer.

Because even before we start thinking, we have concluded on the answer we want.

Every day more and more evidence arise regarding how easily our perception of the cosmos might be distorted. And yet every day we still insist on us having the right and “correct” (true? What does this even mean?) perception of the cosmos. Because we do not want to accept the obvious. That was always our flaw.

Yes it is easy to hallucinate.

It is easy to fool the mind.

It is easy to see things which should not be seen.

It is not your fault. It is not the cosmos’ fault.

It is just that neither you or the cosmos should care about being here wandering if it’s your fault. Because you actually aren’t here. And there is no fault. That is how all problems start. By seeing a blank piece of paper and yet still wanting to fill it in with every single thought that you make.

Admire that empty piece of paper.

It holds more knowledge than you would ever be able to write down…

Passing through walls… Broken glass…

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Researchers have captured the most direct evidence to date of Klein tunneling, a quantum quirk that allows particles to tunnel through a barrier like it’s not even there. The result may enable engineers to design more uniform components for future quantum computers, quantum sensors and other devices. (1)

We constantly see things. We sense things. We are blocked by things.

Watch carefully and you will see.

That whenever you see something you stop seeing something else.

Our senses are not the window to see the cosmos.

They are our jail inside that cosmos.

A cosmos we ourselves create on our own.

And no, it is not just that our senses might be faulty thus making us sense things which are not there (see here for an article on how healthy people can sometimes mis-attribute touch to the wrong side of their body, or even to a completely wrong part of the body) It is the essence of the senses and what they mean to us which is inherently disassociated with what we call ‘reality’.

A tiny particle can pass through a wall. A human cannot.

You are made by particles. And yet they may never sense what you do.

Disconnected cosmos. Disconnected humans.

Disconnected perception. Disconnected reality.

Due to all the things we think connect us…

Let go of that glue. It is the only reason that you see a broken glass.

Look away.

And everything will disappear.

For there is nothing to see…

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Blind people seeing…

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Researchers presented 20 blind and 20 sighted adults with animal names and asked participants to: order animals by size and height; sort animals into groups based on shape, skin texture and color; pick which animal out of a group is unlike the others in shape, and choose from various texture options (“Does a hippo have feathers, fur, skin or scales?”).

Overall, blind and sighted participants organized animals in similar ways and agreed on which physical features were most likely to be observed within animal groups. Contrary to the idea that blind people learn about animal appearance from sighted people’s descriptions of what animals look like, blind and sighted participants disagreed most about the dimension that was easiest for sighted people to describe in words: animal color. Sighted participants created groups for white, pink, black, black and white, brown and grey animals, and they easily labeled these groups, but had a hard time verbally describing their shape groupings. Blind people created similar shape groups to the sighted but did not make consistent color groups.

The researchers found that to deduce what animals looked like, blind people relied on similar biological classifications, but such inference works less well for color because many very different animals are white (e.g., swans, polar bears and sheep).

The main conclusion is that blind people develop rich and accurate ideas about appearance based on inference. ”What the findings show is that linguistic communication can give us rich and accurate knowledge, even knowledge that at first glance seems ‘visual.'” says Marina Bedny, Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins and another author on the paper. (1)

What you think is what you see.

What you hear is what you think.

The same way that what you see is what you think.

Look too much at the cosmos and you will stop listening.

Listen carefully and you will stop seeing.

There is balance is the cosmos.

And this balance can only be sensed by those who have no balance.

There is chaos in the world.

And this chaos can only be seen by those who see no order anywhere.

On the edges of existence, people standing still.

In the center of being, blind people dancing…

White bears.

White swans.

White snow.

Don’t you see? Everything is black!

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