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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beyond Metaphysics: The true human design

To all those people who consider humans to be a specifically equipped ‘Conscious’ SOUL bearing race. This post might pinch.
I’m going to tell the story of the human being (you, me) and bring about an analogy as we go along which will put forth my view on the human ability and its repercussions.
The Birth :
When you were born you were born clean, your mind ready to accept, understand facts and your memory ready to store experiences you would have. But in essence you were born clean just like an un-programmed computer system ready with a distinct hardware configuration but, yet to be programmed.
The Experience :
The significant and insignificant experiences you had since your birth were stored in your permanent memory as programs. Thus over the years your hard drive (memory) begun to store the various set of programs you had run in your mind (RAM) by the input you got from the outside world some consciously some sub consciously but every one of them had an affect invariably . At points your parents also told you how to react to certain stimulus and give the necessary output (or reaction) in case the response wasn’t innate, this was also stored into your sub conscious irrespective of your acknowledgement of it.
Now these programs ( or experiences ) would decide the kind of reaction you give to an input(stimulus) provided to you later in life. Like affinity towards a certain kind of music, food, certain preferences, or other choices associated with free will.  Since to every person, every significant or trivial experience is altered in many little ways, each human being reacts differently to the same stimuli.
The Response :

How many varied types of programs you run at a time or how well your processor runs is given by the 
hardware specification you received via the(coding of) genes at birth along with unchanging but degrading slightly over as you age.
Thus even though you can optimize your software programs (thought process) to reach a more suitable result the limit of optimization would be determined by the hardware that you were provided with.
But then you may always say I’m CREATIVE , I’ve EMOTION, but yet I would stick to “you’re a processor machine” . To understand WHY, the construction of the human mind is to be understood, which is far superior to computers hardware architecture. 

 Neuron Electrical Impulse Flow. 

The Physics Of operation :
In terms of processing speed the human brain is limited upto a megahertz (10^6 calculations per second).
The common processor has reached GIGAHERTZ (10^9 calculation per second) and higher, so we can’t essentially match a machine processor there in terms of calculations per second. But the superiority lies in the fact that there are over a 1000 more number of interconnections among each neurons (basic processing entity) in the brain than there are among the transistors (basic processing entity) on a processor chip.
Resulting to what we see here : If a processor were to run an algorithm. It has two paths in the transistors (say a YES=1 and a NO=0 , compared to a BIT) which can branch out from a single deciding comparison step. Where as in the neuron to simply say we have lot many more options to processes implying more paths, say a YES=1, NO=0, MAYBE= 0.50, MAYBE YES= 0.75, MAYBE NOT=0.25 and assigned values so on forth leading to an increase in the availability of BITS) so now any algorithm the brain runs through the neurons can branch out into the billions of numbers of more
Transistor Electron Flow Simulation 
Select Flow Pathways
interconnections as there are over 15 billion neurons.  The availability of numerous choices to choose a varied number of processing paths results to a superior processor. Therefore the neuron can provide a comparison step to a more refined level compared to a bi-path processor.


Innumerable interconnection(complex decision step)
Select possible interconnections.
The Creation :
When you find you have created something creative, the algorithm you’ve used has run one of the many available thousands of paths  among  the interconnections. Moreover since there are over 15 billion neurons in the brain the number of possible combinations are more than enough from getting exhausted. Moreover there seems to be no visible end of creativity as the program data in the neurons keeps updating itself and adapting every second. If I were to define emotion on the same pretext it would be in terms of a conflict in decision process, as one of the neurons generates a yes and the other a no, the minute conflicting comparison leading to a superposition of results. When this occurs you’ve what you term ‘emotion’. Emotion can never be completely pure as in a sure yes or pure no lot many factors affect any one of your emotions.

The Termination :

A machine processor now can be shut down very often, whenever you like by ceasing the electric supply to it. A persons minds is never completely shuts down until death unless otherwise DECLARED brain-dead . To clear/refresh the Ram you shut down the Processor,  but it eventually runs the stored program only once switched back on from the ROM. In analogy with human mind, you sleep temporarily  to refresh your ram, if it has saturated . Switching off the supply to the brain is something humans can never do consciously (fortunately). At maximum, If you fall into a coma you hibernate.

A highly trained (coded) response.
The Vanity Of the human Race :
Now every person’s experiences are different and hence every stored program is different from one person to another as mentioned before. Your distinct special experiences give you the illusion of being different or being distinct from a another human. From here arises the well layered illusion of

 ‘MY CONSCIOUS’ , ‘THE SELF’ . There is no ‘self’ no separate ‘consciousness’ as you are just a processor varying due to the sum of your experiences and stored memories which run your thought process differently,  for any given input as stimulus.
When the human finally shuts down the RAM is completely cleared like in a processor is and the data is simply erased. We all know digital data is a form of virtual data and can be erased as easily as it is written. There is no death and no physical loss when this data is erased. Similarly there is no ‘soul’ that can leave the body as the ‘soul’ is a virtual creation due to this illusion of ‘self’ and exists only till the program data persists in the storage medium i.e up until death.

And that in itself is the complete analogy behind the true human design.


  1. I used to think along similar lines, but not as clearly though. From this post what i could make out was that transistors are pulling us back from advancing in the field of artificial intelligence and neural networks. Even though they are the fundamental devices in digital circuits, they are mostly 2 way or three way switches. What we require in order to simulate artificial neural networks are multiway switches with multiple terminals for both input and output. That would mean a combination of both multiplexers and demultiplexers. A single MUX or DEMUX IC itself requires a lot of transistors for fabrication. So a single device serving the purpose may not be developed anytime in the near future.

  2. Nikhil : Clearly as you've put across, transistors are at fault because of the limitations on the number of different inputs the transistor can drive from its o/p and another thing would be the number of bits it can hold. To simulate neural networks as you've also pointed out we need multiway switches. One of the options we have is the quantum bit manipulation where, quantum electronic devices in which transistors are replaced by quantum information carriers(eg electron spin/photon polarization) can hold more bits than just 1/0, as a superposition of states is allowed for these entities governed by QM. I've pointed out in the post,This resembles the natural neural network to a great extent. this single device is already underway an 8 bit QM comp is developed. Getting the algorithm right for such a multi-bit processor is the tough task.

  3. Hmmm. Interesting, Pranay.

    My comments start from birth. We are not 'blank' at birth, as you suggest. In fact no living being on earth is a 'blank'. We may not be able to express ourselves in the 'language' and 'sound' that is understood by others, but we do have a language - crying for food, crying for illness, smiling for being happy, sucking the big toe. No input on these from outside. Just that these are genetically coded at the time of birth - and these are common across humans! Moreover, among all living beings, it is humans only who need to be 'taught' to move. For all other living beings it happens automatically. Quite different from any computer you can imagine.

    At death, if all else stops, why do you take it that there is no 'soul'? We have no intelligence as yet to recognize it or read any signals that it may be emitting. I am not saying that a Soul is there, but your logic that absence of life 'erases' everything is also without any sound logic. It is as if you are saying that since we cannot detect any signals of alien intelligent beings, there aren't any.

    Your argument, hence, suffers from a shortcoming of scientific thinking and deduction.

  4. 1.As you mentioned genetically coded is what I mention as being innate in the post, those innate qualities are understood.

    2.I mentioned clearly that I'm not ASSUMING these is no soul but from the post "Your distinct special experiences give you the illusion of being different or being distinct from a another human. From here arises the illusion of ‘MY CONSCIOUS’ , ‘THE SELF’" from this manifests what you would call the soul for your mind." If we were to come up with technology to prove otherwise I would gladly accept my falsity.

    3.To prove the logic behind my deduction I spent 3/4 of the post explaining how we are just 'advanced biological processors' with fine tuned hardware and introduced the presence of virtual data in a processor and its similarities with the data we process which are just electrical impulses chemically induced.

    4.the whole point behind the illusion of a 'soul' due to our individuality, is what I'm trying to put across here. I would request you to read the post again in that regard.

  5. As belonging to the Animal kingdom I would also like to think we were rather ALIENS ourselves on this planet."panspermia"
    The way we plunder the resources move to better areas. Like viruses. take Control, multiply, destroy, relocate.
    the plant kingdom on the other hand at harmony with nature its natural habitat co-existing in symbiotic manner.

  6. UniLong : the only reason I made the post was to get to know how to blow a hole in the analogy. So far I'm not convinced of its falsity, but if I were to read up on "Sankhya philosophy and the Sutras of Patanjali" and if I could see through the 'silliness', I would be happy to mention it here and thank you for enlightening me. Btw make a post yourself if you can , I'd be delighted to link it here.