March 6, 2011
February 19, 2010
“In 1988, geneticist John Cairns published what has since become a revolutionary paper entitled On the Origin Of Mutants (Nature 335:142, 1988). Cairns recognized that gene mutations were not solely the result of random chemical events as is currently perceived. Cairns placed bacteria, possessing a defective gene for the enzyme lactase, in Petri dishes that contained only lactose as a food source. The mutant bacteria were not able to metabolize the substrate. After a short period, the stressed, non-replicating bacteria began to thrive and proliferate. Upon examination, it was found that the bacteria specifically mutated the unresponsive lactase gene and repaired its function. Cairn’s research revealed that, in response to environmental stresses, organisms can actively induce genetic mutations in selected genes in an effort to survive. These mutations would represent mechanical “adaptations” that are induced by the organism’s response to life experiences.”
The video is here:
Immediately, the bureaucracy of science went to work. Cairns called it, Directed Mutation. That terminology was unacceptable to his peers. A paper to put this new information in proper scientific context was soon published.
Copyright 1998 by the Genetics Society of America
Adaptive Mutation: Has the Unicorn Landed?
Patricia L. Foster
In the second paragraph…
“Early in the project, we established that the mutational process was not “directed” toward specific targets (i.e., there was no reverse information flow) (Foster and Cairns 1992), and we renamed the phenomenon “adaptive mutation” (Foster 1993). We then pursued the alternative hypothesis that during selection a random mutational process affecting the whole genome might occur; the process would be adaptive if the variants (or the cells bearing them) were transient unless or until a variant arose that allowed the cell to grow (Cairns et al. 1988; Stahl 1988; Boe 1990; Hall 1990). Although less efficient than a directed mechanism, “trial and error” would have equivalent implications. With such a mechanism, a population could increase its genetic variability under stress yet maintain its genes more or less intact.”
So, right from the start they had adopted Crick’s “Central Dogma”, as a given: “there was no reverse information flow”. The truth is, they never even looked at the flow of information. Just as in the laws of thermodynamics, where energy doesn’t come out of nowhere, neither does information. Information is the result of process, and follows pathways that ALWAYS loop back to their source.
Anyway, “We then pursued the alternative hypothesis…” This is how they do it in science. They fudge their results with the unlimited power of “jargonese”. But it is language that gives them away. Words like, selection and adaptation infer that choices are made. In fact, the details of these experiments show that information is being processed. Information processes(like choosing) are firmly in the domain of intelligence.
Mutations, changes in DNA sequences, follow the same pattern of information processing as would a team of scientists trying to solve the same problem. The inability to metabolize lactose would be met by several proposed solutions, with only the best one, selected. In it’s simplest form, analyzing a situation, proposing options and processing one to a successful outcome, is very intelligent action. To ignore that possibility because of preconceived bias, is not very smart.
Directed or adaptive, doesn’t make much difference; a mutation that successfully accomplished a targeted goal, certainly cannot be seen as a random process. There was no cell division, no opportunity for random errors to participate, no natural selection at play, only reorganization of process in order to adapt to an environmental situation. The attempt to “explain away” the implications with mountains of jargonese shows that they just don’t get it. They assume from the start that, “…there was no reverse information flow”, just as did Crick and Watson. This is where the information processing model exposes the blind spot of central dogma. There is no reverse flow of information, but it loops back through the system, where choices are made about what information completes the circuit. It walks and quacks like a very smart duck.
April 10, 2009
When observed from above, from the control room of higher order of environmental systems, it looks like human beings have waged an all out war on Nature. From the time that man initiated slash and burn technology, the ability of one person to destroy habitat and reduce productive systems to wasteland has increased many fold, as have his reasons to do so. Human ingenuity has found many ways to profit from the plunder. And the sheer number of them has also multiplied. Six billion of them chewing away at the biological infrastructure like termites. What are they thinking?
At War With the System
Our imaginary war with the System is exemplified by the way we treat diseases like cancer. We think of cancer as something that has attacked us that we have to fight. We fight by killing cells, hoping to kill all of the enemy cells. Those cells indeed threaten a healthy body, but they are not enemies from the outside; they are the bodies own cells.
The body produces cancerous cells from time to time and has an elaborate immune system, that normally takes care of them. When the immune system becomes damaged itself, or the information it needs to function is compromised, or it is overwhelmed by damaged cells, a tumor results.
To the Rescue
The ego likes to blame the outside for all of its problems and the concept of attack and defense fits right in. The medical profession likes the concept as well. It makes them the knights in shining armor that save the day, defending the helpless ego from evil doers. But in reality, the carcinogens are always out there and the cancerous cells are always being produced. It is not that cancer is attacking, but the immune system is unable to cope with the level abuse heaped upon it by our decadent lifestyles.
It is Captain Self’s job to avoid carcinogens in the environment and make decisions that maintain the integrity of the immune system.
When the good Captain is locked into battle with his own crew, nothing good can come of it. The Captain is not at war with the system, but a product of it. The cancerous cells are not at war with the body, but a product of it. Just like the Captain, the cancerous cells are simply misinformed. They are working under their own type of internal delusion. They both have forgotten that they belong to the system and have taken off on their own, following some internal dialog that takes them far from their intended path. In the efficient information processing system, we would expect these processes to be quickly terminated.
In this journey of discovery, we are always on the lookout for repeated patterns. Here we see that an entity can run amuck, endlessly repeating a process because some feedback loop malfunctions. Just as in a computer stuck in an endless loop, sucking resources while producing no meaningful work, cancer cells and human beings have lost contact with their parent system; they no longer have the information they need to stay on track.
Is That Bad?
Depends on your point of view. From the view of the individual and/or species, failure is bad, success good. From the systems viewpoint, although run-a-way processes pose a threat to local subsystems, they also can provide benefits. A run-a-way process puts stress on the local system, causing accelerated learning and adaptation. For example, our separation from our environment has led to a spike in creativity and technology that never would have happened if the human animal had stayed connected to its natural system. For the individual, a diagnosis of terminal cancer can certainly rearrange one’s priorities. The sense of mortality may lead to extra effort going into an unfinished masterpiece.
The System provides the necessary information for all entities, just as it supplies nutrients and carries away their waste. The System also is responsible for any breakdowns in the supply channels. The System is also responsible for successful adaptation. The System knows what it is doing.
The System experiments with agents. There is a competition going on here; not a war, but a contest to determine what improvements need to be made in future models. This unprecedented acceleration of learning and adaptation is oriented towards an intentional outcome. We have a mission. Our job is to learn what that entails and get on with it.
April 4, 2009
Emotion: an instinctive response to environmental situations, that is distinguishable from logic and reason.
Many folks feel that emotions are a throw back to our animal past and therefore, should be suppressed in favor of a logical state of mind. To those that see the human species as the pinnacle of evolution, emotions seem like a primitive mechanism that threatens to pull us down, impeding our progress. Our reptilian brain, favoring primitive behavior if survival is threatened, is a case in point.
Primitive or Fundamental?
Rather than looking at emotions as primitive, there are advantages to thinking of them as fundamental, performing valuable functions at all levels of biological systems. The emotional mechanism is just as important in our “advanced” civilization, as ever, it is the recorded behaviors and their settings that are primitive and need to be updated.
In the individual, emotions manage the state of readiness to meet environmental situations. The source of our emotions is definitely in our subconscious. Environmental situations, real or imagined, cause the release of a flood of chemical messengers, that reset the state of all subsystems, in preparation to react.
One way to look at emotion is that it is a part of the security system, that instantly alerts Captain Self and the rest of the crew to danger or any situational change. Emotions can switch the state of readiness of the entire organism in a flash. Emotions work in real time, but are also intimately involved with memory and recall. In memory, emotions continue their role as an alert mechanism.
Not only is the emotional state recorded in memory right along with events, it also measures and grades the experience. The type and intensity of the emotion becomes a flag that marks the experience, both for a gauge to its importance and for easier recall. We know that emotional state has a lot to do with how well we remember things. So, the flow of data that our memory processes is categorized, referenced and assigned degree of importance(prioritized) on the fly.
Systems Level Emotions
Besides looking at what emotions do for the individual, we want to understand what function emotions perform for the system. From this vantage point it is immediately apparent that, as well as managing the agent’s internal state of readiness, emotions affect the external world. Emotions are part of the communications network that manages social relationships.
In animals we see that emotions are communicated, between individuals and groups, by body language and other visual cues. It appears to be a separate channel of information from vocal exchanges. For example, the tails of dogs and cats project their emotional state to any observer. Barking guard dogs will often be wagging their tails while appearing to be vigorously defending their turf. One end of the dog is yelling, “I’m doing my job”, while the other end is saying, “Take me for a walk.”
For we humans, facial expressions and other body language communicate hidden feelings. No matter what the conscious mind is trying to convey, the subconscious is often projecting a different picture. To whom? The subconscious of other agents.
Throughout the animal kingdom, color is used to broadcast emotional state, especially in mating. From the red rumps of female baboons in heat to the colorful displays of cuttlefish, emotions play an important role in the reproductive process. Displays of fear serve to warn local residents of danger. Emotions serve a survival function for individuals and groups, but go even farther, providing realtime feedback to the higher levels of control, like species and ecosystems.
The Brine Shrimp Massacre
Remember the brine shrimp experiments in Cleve Backster’s lab? Death is a radical change of state for any organism. The traumatic termination of any living thing registers on all local agents, and beyond. The Primary Perception revealed by Backster’s experiments, is the core communicator of agent states to the nonlocal environment. This is fundamental emotion, highlighting, organizing and prioritizing the holographic feedback loops of all living things. How agents feel about what they are doing, is important to the system. The total of all agents states, generates the holoverse, the emotional state of System.
Our attempts to suppress our emotions has hampered our ability to communicate with our local environment as well as the System at large. Many folks recognize that the root cause of much of our troubles is our separation from the natural world. We have done it to ourselves.
March 31, 2009
How long does it take to learn mathematics? How long does it take to become proficient at chess or spelling or field hockey? These are all skills that are obviously possible for human beings to learn. Some folks are better equipped than others and will learn faster, while some will have a hard time mastering even the basics. None of these skills can be learned without practice. Practice will not take place unless the individual believes it is possible to learn the skill, in the first place, and actually attempts to master it.
The same is true of introspection, conscience and psychic abilities. You cannot master what you don’t practice. The human mind has the ability to calculate, compute and and communicate at extremely high levels of efficiency, but only when trained to do so. The typical scientific career path offers no instruction in introspective pursuits, in fact “trains” the student to deny the value of same. The results are just what one would expect.
However, if one is trained from an early age to receive, accept and act on information obtained from internal sources, it becomes obvious that the internal is connected to the external. There are simple experiments anyone can do that will confirm that the mind of the individual can access information beyond the confines of the brain case. The neuro-philosophers can deny it all they want, once you discover for yourself that your consciousness has access, scientific credibility takes a gigantic hit. Denial is not the same as disproving.
That’s like me saying that math is an illusion and that all solutions thus obtained are fraudulent. You would certainly think me a fool. Or i must have some ulterior motive to promote such an obvious lie. That is the way a great many world citizens view western scientific thought, “The people who have brought us modern technology couldn’t possibly be so stupid as not to know that the mind is larger than the brain, that future can be told and thoughts take wings. Therefore, they must be lying.”
Science goes to great lengths to point out that we are all mistaken, that it is self delusion that fools us. Meanwhile, they refuse to accept the findings of their own, when they prove us right. Whom is deluding whom?
March 30, 2009
About this time, someone will say, “It doesn’t matter what you call it, God, the Tao, LifeOS or the Great Spirit, they are all the same.” Well it does matter, they are not the same. There are certainly some similarities, but many differences between the concepts besides just their labels. One major difference is, that the concept of god is firmly established as an entity, whereas the latter three are processes. The distinction is critical to our discussion.
Back in Shared Myths, i wrote about science and religion sharing the illusion that the universe is structured like a pyramid, with either god or the human brain at the apex. This is the conceptual structure favored by western civilization. It is closely aligned with the materialist mind set that “sees” reality as a linear path to some sort of singularity or super entity. Religion and science make extensive use of this conceptual structure to describe the physical universe for us. This static model defines objects quite well, but ignores the dynamic flow of information that manages the processes involved. That flow follows the rules of networks growing in complex systems. These rules are highly sophisticated fractal “algorithms”, involving conditional response(making choices) to optimize dynamic network traffic. This is best described as intelligent action. This is what goes on in the spiritual realm.
This informational/intelligent/spiritual “virtual reality” is an intricate web of relationships that exceeds the level of complexity seen in the physical universe, by several degrees of magnitude. This is both the history of the universe, (the memory of the total process) and its potential for growth. This is not an area that can be reduced to a iconic label and minimized, although science has attempted to do so.
One God, One Source?
Monotheism and evolution are both products of the same masculine, linear, rational and logical world view. Although the religious view of the All Mighty has morphed away from the bearded old man in the clouds, it is still based on an entity that is fundamentally separate from the system we are discussing. In the evolutionary view, there is no god, but the human being is supreme, and also seen as separate from the system.
The System is not an entity, but a super, nonlinear process. The concept of an “eternal entity” is an illusion. There are only nested and overlapping subsystems that temporarily perform functions as if they were independent units, but flow on in waves, like the weather. The System is eternal; entities, even galaxies, are temporary.
You can’t talk to the System, only entities. The System is the communications network and medium, providing the system for all entities, but not in the business of user relations. Information comes from entities within the system, but not the System itself. It’s like trying to talk to the internet, you can talk to other entities using the system, not the system itself.
Monotheism was a political expedient. Combining all the religions within the Roman Empire into a One Supreme Being(a Trinity really) was political genius. A world that worshipped enumerable deities, demons, gods and angels, could be ruled by one supreme representative, that just happened to reside in the capital city. This effectively removed religion from the life of the individual and replaced it with a state sponsored dogma.
You can ask anyone from a culture that converses directly with their environment and they will tell you that there are many entities that communicate with human beings. It is like the airwaves, the internet and your cellphone, all rolled into one. The System is a communications network that manages all living interactions. All entities use the system. Any entity that claims to be the one and only is pulling your leg.
You and i are part of that grand network, and therefore have access. Your entry portal is through your subconscious.
Beware of Introspection?
Both science and religion are in the business of inserting themselves between the individual and the System, by blocking off the subconscious as forbidden territory, too dangerous for common folk to mess with. They say our behavior should be left to the experts who interpret the “laws” of god and nature for us. They both attempt to define reality for us, with the intent of managing our behavior for their benefit. The concepts of deity and/or human superiority are their most effective management tools.
The concept of a holistic information processing system puts the responsibility for behavior right where it belongs: on the shoulders of the individual. If you accept the “rules of behavior” given to you by your religion, your education and/or your government, you will, sooner or later, find yourself at odds with the Environmental System. Your culture has sold you out, using your behavior to increase the wealth and power those at the top of the cultural pyramid. The environment is a self-organizing, self-correcting system with a long history of success. It didn’t last this long by letting species run amuck. We will grasp our true relationship with that Environmental System, or perish.
March 25, 2009
Our primary vehicle for this journey has been our consciousness. The secondary vehicle has been the body that carries the first around. They both follow pathways to destinations, but in different landscapes. The body can only move in physical space, limited by physical laws. Consciousness can go anywhere, without regard to time and space. That’s the vehicle we want, one that is unfettered, free to discover new pathways or revive old ones.
They make a good team, the body and mind. Together they are capable of great feats of navigation and discovery. One of their great assets is the ability to be in two places at once. The body can be sitting in a chair, while the mind travels to distant lands. Or the mind can link up with other minds, so they can go someplace together, while their bodies remain in separate places around the globe. So, we have a “real” landscape that our body traverses and a virtual one, in which, our mind is free to roam.
When you and i travel together in our virtual world, we try to share landscapes, but they are never the same. We have each built our own virtual landscape on top of the one we inherited from our ancestors. Although we are using the same environmental input to create our own version of the landscape, we assign different values to objects and events according to our cultural and peer relationships.
One way we can compare our different landscapes is to look for the structural similarities. How have we built our virtual world? It is a world of pure information, existing only in imagination, but constructed as a model of the “real” thing. So, we set out on an imaginary journey, each exploring our own virtual world, looking for cycles and patterns that repeat, structural underpinnings and connections that enable the high level of information processing these vehicles possess. This is a road test for our imagination.
March 23, 2009
One major misconception fostered by mainstream science that really affects their credibility is that “mind” is confined to the brain. The scientific community is so sure of this model that they refuse to even consider other possibilities. Locked into their boxes of logic, reason and math, in complete denial of a spiritual component, they seem disconnected from reality. Yet, they insist on trying to bolster their philosophical position by condemning all other methods for understanding reality. These childish reactions are not lost on the world audience.
The concept of a purely physical universe is falling apart, (some might say shattered), by Quantum Mechanics. Even in the most respected bastions of logic and reason, the material approach to defining reality has uncovered its own limitations. However, they still want to keep the mind in a brain box, as if the evidence of totally interconnected, highly organized and communicating biological networks at lower(more primitive) levels, would not apply to the most advanced intelligence organ on the planet.
Let me put this another way. The most primitive single celled creatures, bacteria, worms, insects and neurons all learn and grow by exchanging information between individuals, species and environment. Information flows in waves of feedback through the environment, maintaining system integrity. To believe that the most sophisticated information processing organ around, the human brain, would be confined, separated or cut off from the environment and therefore denied use of this most fundamental of biological abilities, just doesn’t make any sense, logic or no logic. Unless you want to believe that the human brain was “dumbed down” from the rest of the system for a reason.
Restricting mind to the human brain would be an evolutionary step backwards.
Mind: nothing, but neurons and electrochemical reactions
It seems to be one of their primary assumptions that consciousness is a only a product of specific neural activity and therefore restricted to the brain. Electrical impulses, neurons and chemical reactions are thought to be the cause for consciousness, and therefore it is assumed that the mind cannot be active outside of a brain. Nonsense!
That’s like me trying to convince you that your cell phone can’t access outside information, because it doesn’t have a wire. You know better. You can call anybody you want and that proves me wrong. If you can’t make calls, (access outside information), with your cell phone, it is because you don’t have a contract, or you are out of range of a tower, or your battery is dead, or your phone is broken, right? Of course, if you don’t push the buttons, nothing happens.
The human brain is a far more sophisticated communications device than your cell phone. If you can’t access outside information with our brain, it is probably a user problem and not broken equipment. You don’t push the buttons, nothing happens. Precognition, telepathy, remote viewing, synchronicity and the rest are all features accessible with your brain. If you never take the time to master the skills necessary to use your built-in features, they certainly won’t work.
If the scientific community really wants to know why their credibility is so low,(about 80% choose superstition every time), they need look no farther than their absurd denial of “paranormal” activities.
What About You?
But how about you, personally? Do you believe that consciousness only exists inside the brain? If that is your belief, you are part of the minority.
That such concepts are nothing but superstition, is one of the things that education harps on continuously. By the time one has spent a career wearing that set of blinders, it seems to be true. However, the majority of world citizens believe that thoughts, emotions and prayers extend beyond the physical brain. It is no surprise to us that Cleve Backster’s plants responded to the death of the brine shrimp, or that people know they are being watched, or that prayers can aid in healing.
I have said that i don’t expect “science” to overcome the inertia of its materialist, reductionist(soul-less) past, and embrace a holistic reality, anytime soon. But i really don’t care whether “science” ever gets it or not. My reason for touching on the subject at all, is but a hope to convince the reader that consciousness is a personal matter; not to be defined for us by institutions.
It can be interesting, and sometimes helpful, to understand what leadership believes, or wants us to believe, about a subject, but don’t forget that grain of salt. Their reason for fostering their beliefs on us has nothing to do with a search for truth, but for the exercise of control.
This view comes from looking at “science” as a subsystem, closely linked with financial, political, military, bureaucratic, educational and other subsystems, that control human behavior. Within that group, science is the closest thing to a conscience to be found. Without a spiritual component, science fails in this function. For the most part, the behavior of these groups has proven to be focused on accumulating wealth and not to be in the public interest, nor the interest of a healthy environment.
Within this structure, there are individuals and groups that have formed subsystems, networks and associations that run counter to the overall reductionist, materialist belief system. It remains to be seen whether they will flourish within, and change “old science” into something new, or split off and form a new branch on their own. Either way, i see these groups as the foundation for the future of science. Until the current paradigm shifts to this new foundation, science will continue to misconstrue basic cognitive functions.
Your mind belongs to you, not the state. It is your responsibility to learn how to use it. It is too valuable a possession to let fall into the hands of the politicos, bureaucrats and money changers.
March 12, 2009
From the beginning of this project i’ve tried to keep my quotes and explanations as simple as possible. I’ve quoted mostly from encyclopedias, dictionaries and wikies, sticking to popular concepts. I have been reluctant to quote from scientific sources directly for several reasons. For one, experience has taught me that it isn’t a good idea to quote people out of context. Many time i have marked an exciting quote, only to find later in reading the author that my interpretation of the quote was based on my own world view. It made sense to me in ways not intended by the author.
Lately however, i’ve come across several folks within the scientific community that are clearly working from a similar context. I think i can quote some of them without stirring up argument about what they meant to say.
In the book, “Programming the Universe”, MIT physicist Seth Lloyd says,
“The universe is a quantum computer whose computations are the movements of information that define the world we experience.”
Seth is one of the leading experts on quantum computing, actually having built one. I had never heard of him until a couple of weeks ago, but some of his stuff sounds like we could have collaborated. Not so, i assure you.
I interpret the above statement to mean the rules of quantum mechanics move the information we experience as consciousness. I don’t think i am stretching Seth’s intent.
In this same time frame i have discovered Nick Herbert, whose book, “Elemental Mind”, also sounds familiar. His take is that “mind” is a fundamental natural process like light or electricity.
There again, i am pleasantly surprised that the conclusions reached by these experts in physics are so close to my own. Mind, conscious and unconscious, are fundamental functions of information processing that control and manage activity in biological systems.
All Knowing Universe
The System is intelligent. It isn’t just clever, but truly all knowing. The Universe is the memory of everything that has ever happened. It knows everything about itself, but still has to maintain homeostasis. Like any complex adaptive system, variables must be monitored, goals identified, strategies devised and implemented to maintain its level of success.
Living systems grow, reproduce and disperse into the environment in an experimental mode, (sandbox), constantly testing new configurations against the results of all other experiments. The system learns to adapt to its own adaptations.
Observation, Planning and Action
The physical Universe is the memory of the process of It monitoring Itself. The process is observation, planning and action.
Just like ants and bees, we build to the patterns in our heads. We build objects out of matter, adding our spiritual metaphors to Universal memory. These objects represent our contribution to what the System knows about itself. We human beings are experiments that devise and carry out experiments on our own.
As we repeat the cycle of observation, planning and action, we learn. LifeOS is always observing, planning and acting; growing, reproducing and dispersing; creating, testing and choosing; in short, learning. The obsessions that drive our science and industry are not unique to human beings, but expressions of the fundamental intent inherent in Life itself.
So we humans have been put to the test. We have been given experimental capabilities. We are operating in our own sandbox. We have been given all the resources we need to be successful. The worst we can do is fail. It is up to us.
March 11, 2009
There is another information processing concept that is used extensively in biological systems. It is a protected area called a sandbox.
Sandbox: A protected, limited environment where applications (e.g. Java programs downloaded from the Internet) are allowed to “play” without risking damage to the rest of the system.
This limited environment has available all of the important resources the untested code needs to function, but is confined to a virtual machine where it can’t interact with the “real” operating system. This isolation makes for a safe place to experiment with new code. Part of what makes it work is the relative innocence of such an area. The coded elements within the sandbox are “unaware” that they are part of a larger system and operate as if they were an isolated entity.
As you can see, software development depends on this concept at all levels. In this conceptual environment, code can be tested and refined, errors, viruses and misconceptions can be identified and corrected, bold new ideas can be entertained without risk to established procedures.
Natural systems, both biological and otherwise, make extensive use of this concept. The planet Earth is a good local example. Planets, solar systems and galaxies are isolated environments that certainly fit the conceptual model. Australia and the Galapagos Islands are also examples of protected and limited environments where new models can be tested.
From an evolutionary standpoint, a species serves the same function. Each individual agent the system produces operates in its own sandbox. An agent is furnished with its own operating system, its own algorithms and the ability to choose among them or make up new ones. Just as in its computer counterpart, the agent is unaware that it is part of the larger system and acts on its own, interacting with its own perceived environment. If this experimental agent is successful and survives to reproduce, the code passes the test and continues to contribute to the whole. If this version fails to reproduce, the code is rejected, and no damage is done to the system.
So, we can look at the universe as a system of nested sandboxes. In this view, every living thing can be seen as an experiment in sustainability. Natural selection verifies the success of the test, incorporating the tested code into a new configuration that also will be tested. Meanwhile, all experiments are monitored and compared through their holographic entanglement.