“ "If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the present.” ”—Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher, mathematician, logician, who held the professorship in philosophy at the University of Cambridge (1889-1951), Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus 5.4311, Cosimo, Inc., 2007, p. 106.
“ "Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it." ”—Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher, mathematician, logician, who held the professorship in philosophy at the University of Cambridge (1889-1951) See also: Jorinde Voigt’s illustrations
“ "There are only two ways we know of to make extremely complicated things, one is by engineering, and the other is evolution. And of the two, evolution will make the more complex.” ”—Danny Hillis, American inventor, entrepreneur, and author. He co-founded Thinking Machines Corporation, a company that developed the Connection Machine, a parallel supercomputer designed by Hillis at MIT, cited in Kevin Kelly, Out of Control The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World, (2004), Illustrated Edition 2008, p. 251.
“Gretel Ehrlich writes in her lyrical book Montana Spaces: “Wildness has no conditions, no sure routes, no peaks or goals, no source that is not instantly becoming something more than itself, then letting go of that, always becoming. It cannot be stripped to its complexity by cat scan or telescope. Rather, it is a many-pointed truth, almost a bluntness, a sudden essence like the wild strawberries strung along the ground on scarlet runners under my feet. Wildness is source and fruition at once, as if every river circled round, the mouth eating the tail—and the tail, the source…”
There is no purpose, other than itself, to wildness. It is both “source and fruition,” the mingling of cause and effect in circular logic. What Ehrlich calls wildness, call a network of vital life, an outpouring of a nearly mechanic force that seeks only to enlarge itself, and that pushes its disequilibrium into all matter, erupting in creatures and machines alike.
Wildness/life is always becoming, Ehrlich says. Becoming what? Becoming becoming.
Life is on its way to further complications, further deepness and mystery, further processes
of becoming and change. Life is circle of becoming, an autocatalytic set, inflaming itself with its own sparks, breeding upon itself more life and more wildness and more “becomingness.” Life has no conditions, no moments that are not instantly becoming something more than life itself.
“ "The old computing is about what computers can do, the new computing is about what people can do." ”—Ben Shneiderman, American computer scientist, and professor for Computer Science at the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland
“Freeman Dyson: ‘It appears to me that the tendency of mind to infiltrate and control matter is a law of nature’
“It appears to me that the tendency of mind to infiltrate and control matter is a law of nature. (…) The infiltration of mind into the universe will not be permanently halted by any catastrophe or by any barrier that can imagine. If our species does not choose to lead the way, others will do so, or may have already done so. If our species is extinguished, others will be wiser or luckier. Mind is patient. Mind has waited for 3 billion years on this planet before composing its first string quartet. It may have to wait for another 3 billion years before it spreads all over the galaxy. I do not expect that it will have to wait so long. But if necessary, it will wait. The universe is like a fertile soil spread out all around us, ready for the seeds of mind to sprout and grow. Ultimately, late or soon, mind will come into its heritage. What will mind choose to do when it informs and controls the universe? That is a question which we cannot hope to answer.” ”—Freeman Dyson, British-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum field theory, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering, Infinite in All Directions, cited in Kevin Kelly, Out of Control The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World, (2004), Illustrated Edition 2008, p. 96-97.
“ "It is very likely that intelligence, at bottom, is a probabilistic or statistical phenomenon—on par with the law of averages. The distributed mass of ricocheting impulses which form the foundation of intelligence forbid deterministic results for a given starting point. Instead of repeatable results, outcomes are merely probabilistic. Arriving at a particular thought, then, entails a bit of luck.” ”—Kevin Kelly, writer, the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog, Out of Control The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World, (2004), Illustrated Edition 2008, p. 43.
“Daniel Dennett: ‘The thing about brains is that when you look in them, you discover that there’s nobody home.’
“According to Daniel Dennett, there is no place that controls behavior, no place that creates “walking,” no place where the soul of being resides. Dennett: “The thing about brains is that when you look in them, you discover that there’s nobody home.” Dennett is slowly persuading many psychologists that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon arising from the distributed network of many feeble, unconscious circuits. (…)
“ “I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy." ”—Max Born, German-born physicist and mathematician who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics, Nobel Prize laureate in Physics (1882-1970) cited in Pim Van Lommel, Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience, (tnx johnsparker)
The Neurobiology of “We”. Relationship is the flow of energy and information between people
"Relationship [is] “the flow of energy and information between people.” Mind is “an embodied and relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information, consciousness included. Mind is shared between people. It isn’t something you own; we are profoundly interconnected. We need to make maps of we because we is what me is!” (…) The mechanism is the brain; subjective impressions and consciousness are mind. The regulation of energy and information flow is a function of mind as an emergent process emanating from both relationships and brain. Relationships are the way we share this flow. (…) “Everything we experience, memory or emotion or thought, is part of a process, not a place in the brain! Energy is the capacity to do stuff. (…)
Information is literally a swirl of energy in a certain pattern that has a symbolic meaning; it stands for something other than itself. Information should be a verb; mind, too—as in minding or informationing. And the mind is an embodied and relational emergent process that regulates the flow of energy and information.” (…)
[Mirror neurons] dissolve the border between you and others. These mirror neurons are a hardwired system designed for us to see the mind-state of another person. (…) They automatically and spontaneously pick up information about the intentions and feelings of those around us, creating emotional resonance and behavioral imitation as they connect our internal state with those around us, even without the participation of our conscious mind.” (…)
Right hemisphere signals (are those) the mirror neuron system uses to simulate the other within ourselves and to construct a neural map of our interdependent sense of a ‘self.’ It’s how we can be both an ‘I’ and part of an ‘us.’” (…)
“You can take an adult brain in whatever state it’s in and change a person’s life by creating new pathways,” (…) “Since the cortex is extremely adaptable and many parts of the brain are plastic, we can unmask dormant pathways we don’t much use and develop them. A neural stem cell is a blob, an undifferentiated cell in the brain that divides into two every twenty-four hours. In eight–ten weeks, it will become established as a specialized neural cell and exist as a part of an interconnected network. How we learn has everything to do with linking wide areas of the brain with each other.” (…)
The brain is exquisitely social, and emotions are its fundamental language. Through them we become integrated and develop an emergent resonance with the internal state of the other.” (…) “Relationship is key,” (…) “When we work with relationship, we work with brain structure. Relationship stimulates us and is essential in our development.”
”—Patty de Llosa, author, ☞ The Neurobiology of “We”, Parabola Magazine, 2011, Daniel Siegel, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.
“Kevin Kelly: ‘We are moving from the culture of the book to the culture of booking’
"Imagine a future where instead of lending someone a book, you lend them your bookmarks. Where your notes, annotations and references are synchronized across platforms and applications. Where your bookmarks belong to you, and a record of every book you read is saved and stored securely, no matter how or where you read it."
“Viewing a book as a process rather than artifact. (…)
We are moving from the culture of the book to the culture of booking. Our focus is no longer on the book, the noun, but on booking, the verb — on that continuous process of thinking, writing, editing, writing, sharing, editing, screening, writing, screening, sharing, thinking, writing — and so on that incidentally throws off books. Books, even ebooks, are by-products of the booking process. (…)
Booking produces relationships. Booking is a process that connects readers, authors, characters, ideas, and stories into complex webs. There will be a million ways to weave these relationships.”
”—Kevin Kelly, writer, the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog, Post-Artifact Booking, The Technium, 19 June 2011
“Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was denounced as fraud and folly. The entire web of culture and ‘progress,’ everything on earth that is man-made and not given to us by nature, is the concrete manifestation of some man’s refusal to bow to Authority.
We would own no more, know no more, and be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent. As Oscar Wilde truly said, ‘Disobedience was man’s Original Virtue.’ ”—Robert Anton Wilson, American author and polymath who became at various times a novelist, philosopher, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, futurist, civil libertarian (1932-2007)
“In even the simplest foraging societies, people depend on a vast array of tools, detailed bodies of local knowledge, and complex social arrangements and often do not understand why these tools, beliefs, and behaviors are adaptive. We owe our success to our uniquely developed ability to learn from others. This capacity enables humans to gradually accumulate information across generations and develop well-adapted tools, beliefs, and practices that are too complex for any single individual to invent during their lifetime.”
"As humans we always take for granted an enormous store of cultural knowledge, which we absorb both implicitly and explicitly. We are adapted to be cultural creatures. This is why the authors posit the “cultural niche” rather than “cognitive niche” hypothesis in terms of the transmission of sets of ideas. The cognitive niche hypothesis emphasizes the individual competencies of humans. We have relatively advanced general intelligence aptitudes, and we are master imitators. Therefore, once an innovation occurs, instead of reinventing the wheel, humans replicate. This is far cheaper than the act of invention. A sequential and synergistic set of imitations can then lead to a ratchet effect of cultural evolution, as beneficial memes sweep through populations. (…) Collective cultural memory plays a critical role in passing down “best practices.””
“ "The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic." ”—Peter Drucker, writer, management consultant, and self-described “social ecologist.” (1909-2005)
'We are information experiencing information. Human are anti-entropic phenomenon'
Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired Magazine, referring to technological evolution as following the momentum begun at the big bang - he has stated:
"The story and game begin at the beginning. As the undifferentiated energy at the big bang is cooled by the expanding space of the universe, it coalesces into measurable entities, and, over time, the particles condense into atoms. Further expansion and cooling allows complex molecules to form, which self-assemble into self-reproducing entities. With each tick of the clock, increasing complexity is added to these embryonic organisms, increasing the speed at which they change. As evolution evolves, it keeps piling on different ways to adapt and learn until eventually the minds of animals are caught in self-awareness. This self-awareness thinks up more minds, and together a universe of minds transcends all previous limits. The destiny of this collective mind is to expand imagination in all directions until it is no longer solitary but reflects the infinite.”
William Deresiewicz: ‘We live at a time when friendship has become both all and nothing at all’
"Facebook isn’t the whole of contemporary friendship, but it sure looks a lot like its future. (…) [In ancient times] Friendship was a high calling, demanding extraordinary qualities of character—rooted in virtue, for Aristotle and Cicero, and dedicated to the pursuit of goodness and truth. (…)
Inevitably, the classical ideal has faded. The image of the one true friend, a soul mate rare to find but dearly beloved, has completely disappeared from our culture. We have our better or lesser friends, even our best friends, but no one in a very long time has talked about friendship the way Montaigne and Tennyson did. (…)
Friendship is devolving, in other words, from a relationship to a feeling—from something people share to something each of us hugs privately to ourselves in the loneliness of our electronic caves, rearranging the tokens of connection like a lonely child playing with dolls. (…)
Until a few years ago, you could share your thoughts with only one friend at a time (on the phone, say), or maybe with a small group, later, in person. And when you did, you were talking to specific people, and you tailored what you said, and how you said it, to who they were—their interests, their personalities, most of all, your degree of mutual intimacy. “Reach out and touch someone” meant someone in particular, someone you were actually thinking about. It meant having a conversation.
Now we’re just broadcasting our stream of consciousness, live from Central Park, to all 500 of our friends at once, hoping that someone, anyone, will confirm our existence by answering back. We haven’t just stopped talking to our friends as individuals, at such moments, we have stopped thinking of them as individuals. We have turned them into an indiscriminate mass, a kind of audience or faceless public. We address ourselves not to a circle, but to a cloud. (…)
Friendship (like activism) has been smoothly integrated into our new electronic lifestyles. We’re too busy to spare our friends more time than it takes to send a text. We’re too busy, sending texts. And what happens when we do find the time to get together? (…) The more people we know, the lonelier we get.
[‘About me’ section]: Identity is reducible to information (…) So information replaces experience, as it has throughout our culture. But when I think about my friends, what makes them who they are, and why I love them, it is not the names of their siblings that come to mind, or their fear of spiders. It is their qualities of character. This one’s emotional generosity, that one’s moral seriousness, the dark humor of a third. (…) Character, revealed through action: the two eternal elements of narrative. In order to know people, you have to listen to their stories. (…)
Posting information is like pornography, a slick, impersonal exhibition. Exchanging stories is like making love: probing, questing, questioning, caressing. It is mutual. It is intimate. It takes patience, devotion, sensitivity, subtlety, skill—and it teaches them all, too. (…)
Now, in the age of the entrepreneurial self, even our closest relationships are being pressed onto this template. (…) “There do not seem to be any singletons—disconsolately lurking at the margins—nor do dyads appear, except fleetingly.”
“ "Physics is a form of insight, and as such, it’s a form of art." ”—David Bohm, American-born British quantum physicist who made contributions in the fields of theoretical physics, philosophy and neuropsychology, and to the Manhattan Project (1917-1992) cited in Image and Insight:The Integration of Art and Physics
“For man loves knowledge, and the beams of Truth
More welcome touch his understanding’s eye,
Than all the blandishments of sound his ear,
Than all of taste his tongue. Nor ever yet
The melting rainbow’s vernal-tinctur’d hues
To me have shone so pleasing, as when first
The hand of Science pointed out the path
In which the sun-beams gleaming from the west
Fall on the watery cloud, whose darksome veil
Involves the orient; and that trickling shower
Piercing through every crystalline convex
Of clustering dew-drops to their flight oppos’d,
Recoil at length where concave all behind
The internal surface on each glassy orb
Repeals their forward passage into air;
That thence direct they seek the radiant goal
From which their course began; and, as they strike
In different lines the gazer’s obvious eye,
Assume a different lustre, through the brede
Of colours changing from the splendid rose
To the pale violet’s dejected hue.”—Mark Akenside, English poet and physician (1720-1771), The Pleasures of the Imagination(1744) (excerpt) cited in The Poems Of Mark Akenside, London: W. Bowyer and J. Nichols, 1772. Reprint Chadwyck-Healey English Poetry Full-Text Database: Cambridge, 1992, Bk. II, ll. 97-120, p. 50-1.
“ “Has it ever struck you… that life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going? It’s really all memory… except for each passing moment.” ”—Tennessee Williams, American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater (1911-1983), The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymorecited in Michael Chorost, World Wide Mind (tnx johnsparker)
“We have been seeking evidence of how, for you as a conscious creature, phenomenal consciousness changes your worldview, so as to change the direction of your life. We have seen first how it makes you care about pure being and promotes your will to live, and next how it makes you attribute value and meaning to things in the external world. I would say these effects, between them, are quite sufficient to explain why natural selection would have redesigned sensation to give it phenomenal qualities, probably quite early on in evolution, and at any rate long before our ancestors became human. (…)
Indeed, what a strange state of affairs. Nothing else in the world is private in the same way that conscious experience is. Everything else in the world joins up in the four-dimensional space-time manifold that basic physics says is sufficient to describe the universe. But consciousness, it seems, is essentially different. Each individual’s consciousness is as much a world apart, on its own plane of existence, as is each separate universe in the “multiverse” that cosmologists sometimes fantasize about. Forget the open doors between one conscious self and another; it seems there is not even the possibility of tunneling through a wormhole.” ”—Nicholas Humphrey, English psychologist, former professor at the London School of Economics, Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness , Princeton University Press, 2011 (tnx johnsparker)
“Vlatko Vedral on Information, Universe and natural laws
“Everything in our reality is made up of information. (…) Information is the language Nature uses to convey its messages and this information comes in discrete units. We use these units to construct our reality. (…)
We compress the spontaneous, yet consistent information in the Universe, into a set of natural laws that continuously evolve as we test and discard the erroneous ones. Just as man evolved through a compression of biological information (a series of optimizations for the changing environment), our understanding of the Universe (our reality) has also evolved as we better synthesize and compress the information that we are presented with into more and more accurate laws of Nature. This is how the laws of Nature emerge, and these are the physical, biological, and social principles that our knowledge is based on. (…)
Once we have the laws of Nature, we explore their meaning in order to define our reality, in terms of what is and isn’t possible within it. It is a necessary truth that whatever our reality, it is based exclusively on our understanding of these laws. (…) Scientific knowledge proceeds via a dialogue with Nature. We ask ‘yes-no’ questions through our observations of various phenomena.
Information in this way is created out of no information. (…)
We compress information to generate our laws of Nature, and then use these laws of Nature to generate more information, which then gets compressed back into upgraded laws of Nature.
The dynamics of the two arrows is driven by our desire to understand the Universe. (…)
Outside of our reality there is no additional description of the Universe that we can understand, there is just emptiness. This means that there is no scope for the ultimate law or supernatural being – given that both of these would exist outside of our reality and in the darkness. Within our reality everything exists through an interconnected web of relationships and the building blocks of this web are bits of information. We process, synthesize, and observe this information in order to construct the reality around us. As information spontaneously emerges from the emptiness we take this into account to update our view of reality. The laws of Nature are information about information. (…) This is the gateway to understanding reality.” ”—Vlatko Vedral, Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, ☞ Vlatko Vedral: Decoding Reality: the universe as quantum information, Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 23, 211-218.
“ "It was the greatest sensation of existence: not to trust but to know." ”—Ayn Rand, Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter (1905-1982), Atlas Shrugged, Random House, 1957
“Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live—that productive work is the process by which man’s consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one’s purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one’s values—that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others.
That your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human—that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind’s full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay—that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live—that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road.
That the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up—that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction. (…)
If you hold the irrational as your standard of value and the impossible as your concept of the good, if you long for rewards you have not earned, for a fortune, or a love you don’t deserve, for a loophole in the law of causality, for an A that becomes non-A at your whim, if you desire the opposite of existence-you will reach it. Do not cry, when you reach it, that life is frustration and that happiness is impossible to man; check your fuel: it brought you where you wanted to go.” ”—Ayn Rand, Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter (1905-1982), Atlas Shrugged, Random House, 1957
“ "Rationality is the recognition of the fact that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it. (…)
Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” ”—Ayn Rand, Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter (1905-1982), Atlas Shrugged, Random House, 1957
“Vincent Dethier on the natural curiosity of humans
“One of the characteristics that sets man apart from all the other animals (and animal he indubitably is) is a need for knowledge for its own sake. Many animals are curious, but in them curiosity is a facet of adaptation. Man has a hunger to know. And to many a man, being endowed with the capacity to know, he has a duty to know. All knowledge, however small, however irrelevant to progress and well-being, is a part of the whole. It is of this the scientist partakes. To know the fly is to share a bit in the sublimity of Knowledge. That is the challenge and the joy of science.” ”—Vincent Dethier, American physiologist and entomologist (1915-1993), To Know a Fly, San Francisco: Holden-Day, 1962, p. 118-119 cited in Michael Shermer, Why People Believe Weird Things, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2002, p.23.
“ “Individuals find a real name for themselves, rather, only through the harshest exercise in depersonalization, by opening themselves up to the multiplicities everywhere within them, to the intensities running through them.” ”—Gilles Deleuze, French philosopher (1925-1995), Letter to a Harsh Critic, p. 6, cited in WildCat, Some will be Gangsters of Poetry, Some will be Pan-Symbolists, Polytopia, May 30, 2011.
“ "Brains only detect nerve impulses. And they don’t perceive even those as what they really are, namely electrical crackles. So we perceive nothing as what it really is.
Our connection to reality is never just perception. It’s always, as Karl Popper put it, theory-laden. Scientific knowledge isn’t derived from anything. It’s like all knowledge. It’s conjectural, guesswork, tested by observation, not derived from it.” ”—David Deutsch, Israeli-British physicist at the University of Oxford, David Deutsch: A new way to explain explanation, TED.com
“ "The deep, strategic rewards will come from making tools and machines that we can use to make better tools and machines." ”—K. Eric Drexler, American engineer best known for popularizing the potential of molecular nanotechnology (MNT), PhD at MIT, The Technology Tree, 18 Dec 2008