Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Matter of the Soul

A note to myself.
So as I am not in the mood to finish writing my Term-paper at the moment I thought I'll use the time to write myself a short note. It's my take on what a Soul is and how it functions. Inspired by a book called 'Pandora's Brain' by Calum Chace. I've come to the conclusion that the Soul does not exist as an independent entity. (To some a shock, to others a given)
So the question arised, if this statement were true, what makes us who we are? The answer is it is all in the brain (the most complex organ in the body, for a reason) how we are is decided by our brain, our personalities, reactions, impulses, likes and dislikes...everything. It's all determined by how the neurons in our brain are connected to each other. So if they were to be connected differently we would no longer be us but someone else.

So in short, what does that mean?
It means that these neurons are activated when we're alive and functioning. The moment our organs no longer cooperate, we lose the connection and get deactivated. The electric waves in our brain...the neurons get deactivated too... resulting in our deaths (non-existance)

The bad news is... there is no soul left behind floating... however the good news is... if the connection of the neurons in our brains and the construction of our brain could be copied into a different body...we could be brought back to life. Ofcourse all this is explained in simple terms... it's far more complex than that but I believe I got the gist of it.

Till my next note...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Love/Life Coach (Matthew Hussey)

   Literally, the most learned, logical and intelligent guru I've come across, which is the reason he's successful I believe. This is not a post to promote Matthew Hussey, it's a post to project my thoughts on his views and what I learnt from him (which by the way I still only partly apply where I can in real life... shame on me, because I am momentarily in a learning process and in the wrong situation)

 The reason I am able to relate to Matthew is because I faced very similar situations to him, as a child, in the way I thought. The difference is, he managed to make something out of the lessons he learned and I got stuck in a loop not being able to get out of it because I had to get over many obstacles in my life first (not an excuse, it's what Arab girls have to go through, though I must admit, in comparison to many I consider myself privileged).
   One of the similar stages I went through was when I started writing my own novel. In one of his Youtube videos, Matthew mentioned wanting to be original and therefore not polluting his own originality by reading other books. I had the exact same thoughts when writing my fantasy novel 'The Exes', and I was 16 at the time. I was afraid to use other ideas because I was worried I would be accused of plagiarizing. Moreover, I wanted my story to be exclusive. I do not regret it, I mention this because I was literally surprised at Matthew's comments, that he was thinking the same way.

   Another thought is him analyzing the teenage mentality, that teenagers at some stage worry so much about what others think that they try to fit into the perceived ideals in school. It wasn't as bad as that in my school but it was still noticeable. If I went back to school (with the adult mind I have now), I do not think I would have been popular either way, because I would not be dealing with mature adults to begin with. Matt might have a different opinion but I feel the environment you live in has a way of slightly forcing you to adapt in order to avoid conflict. That was one of my problems. I resent unnecessary conflict, especially those concerned with my own personal life and me constantly having to justify what I'm doing or why I do what I do, especially in the Arab world. There is a slight difference in culture here, since this may not be an issue in the west. People do whatever they feel like doing and when they misbehave they are given genuine reasons why it is not ok to act in a certain way (e.g. because it hurts people, because it's not polite, because it's counter-productive, because you won't grow from it...etc.) I consider all those good reasons not to do something. The moment one says, (because people will say this about you,  because you have to remain low-profile, because the culture looks down on such things, because you are the soul person responsible for your family's reputation), that is when you shut down. It gives no way to opinion, you may have an opinion but you are not allowed to act on it.

   I know I think independently, and this sort of resentment builds up in someone who constantly has to play pretend, But that is not what this post is about. It's about the psychological effect this creates when one is forced within a long period of time. You get scared internally so that even when you are no longer in that environment, you are psychologically programmed to still believe that other people's opinions hold high value. You become your own prison. This happened to me.... me... the person I thought thinks independently. At least I thought I did. I realized I was pulled into a situation I did not want to and most importantly (did not need to) be in, simply because I was scared of conflict and what someone else may think. Now I am momentarily stuck and the resentment is building up in me again.
   I wanted this to be an eye-opener to anyone stuck in a loop. Do not believe that holding low profile until the time is right would not affect you in the long run. It is important to be aware of that, because it's something the west cannot relate to. It is the environment Arabs live in due to the rules in their culture. You are a still developing country, you are 100 years back in some respects whether you wish to admit it or not. And it is not just women who are forced to adapt but men too.

   Matt is sadly hard to reach from a distance but his rules of achieving core confidence is something I still have to learn.
I  just felt like writing this personal note to myself.

Good day to you all.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

This is the second post regarding this topic. Whatever I write here has more to do with getting my thoughts straight than actually holding any arguments for or against.
Let's just say writing it down helps me keep track of my thoughts.

 I remember complaining about people who believed in robots that would be able to do as humans do and perhaps overrule them one day. I believed the speculation to be ridiculous. Reasons for that were basically the fact that they needed to be programmed by humans in the first place. Programming is basically a set of calculated formulas or codes that give out orders for the machine to carry out. I find the word calculated to be crucial here. To me humans have too much of a free will to be calculated. That is not how we seemed to function to me until my brother mentioned that maybe we (humans) are programmed as well. In the beginning my reaction was 'what in the blazes are you saying we're programmed?' I'm trying to lead a reasonable conversation here. Then it dawned on me.... genetic coding? Are we genetically programmed to act the way we do?
And if that is true, does that mean that our free will (decisions and choices) is limited? Is there only so much we can wish for? Or is our free will infinite? Or we ourselves biological robots?
I could wish for anything that could randomly pop up in my head right now. But perhaps the only things that would pop up are memories already registered. I could wish to jump like a frog, or be burried underground deep under the ocean, or wriggle like a scubbledubble (whatever that is). Or I could try wishing for something no human wished for before by being creative..skwiggle like a skiddlefiddle.  Just for the heck of it... just because I can. Or were those wishes programmed into me as well? Let's say my choices are finite and I would then not be able to wish for something I know nothing of... what I mentioned here were just word games and bringing letters together to form an unknown word. Again, nothing special. 

We apparently don't get born with a blank page waiting to be filled with experience but rather as a negative waiting to be produced to bring out the picture. To me that does make more sense...What if that means that all the choices we make or don't make are all a set of probabilities? What happens in me when I say to myself "My mind tells me to do this but my heart tells me otherwise"..Is it a mystery or simply a complicated thought process all stimulated by the mind? Why do I sometimes feel sad and not know how or where it's coming from? Does that mean I can actually control who I love? Or am I genetically programmed to love only certain types of people who meet my genetically preferred criteria? Or would anyone else manage to make me love them if they find out what the genetic formula built in me is? Perhaps love is not unpredictable as people think. 
Does a variety in choices and personalities necessarily negate this phenomenon? Or does it simply mean that the genetic coding in their bloodline developed differently from mine?
Does everything I do and say have a historical ancestory background? (Which means I would not be able to pull off anything my ancestors haven't pulled off before because it is not a part of my genetic code. And that the only evolution and progress I make becomes more apparent and developed due to the intermingling of different races (thus genetics)..which create new formulas, which render humans either more developed by time, but not in the meantime. Therefore we are a complex embodiment of codes.... codes that developed throughout millions of years. Civilisations lived and died to come to our point today. 
If our codings and choices truly are finite.... then I find it not at all impossible to create a digital equivalent. only instead of using food for fuel it would be using electricity. And maybe... just maybe. Once a formula could be thought of that understands the concept of our free will (that is) probability... a robot might be given estimations of its own. Which is only theoretically possible if it undergoes growing up and learning in time...just like we do. Am I beginning to understand the concept? ... Are robots beginning to sound more human?

Suddenly I'm thinking it's possible. Though the fact of our very being, our existence, our individuality. If that could truly be preserved by uploading our minds as Calum Chace imaginatively describes. If my sense of existence only comes to life if my individual neurons remain actively intact the way they always were. ... then perhaps I could be digitally reborn. Perhaps my brain neurons are as unique to me as my fingerprints. 
Perhaps there could be two of me.... this thought still needs to be processed in my head. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Independent Artificial Intelligence

  Yes, I do believe Robots and the machine would be developed to assist Mankind to a certain degree (Or harm depending on how the machines are used), but for the last time and for the love of Pete my fellow humans, they will not develop their own sense of judgement or feelings. It is technically impossible, because the command: go out in the world and learn. Is too vague a command to give a machine. It is not the way the formulas work. Programmers can pitch in here as they like and explain the process if I failed to. 
  If you wish to give a robot the command to go out and learn (so that it would develop as a human), you'll also have to define the command 'learn'. What does learning entail? How will it be programmed to learn? If you program the machine to pick the right choice, there will have to be a set of rules it would have to be programmed on in order to make its decision. These rules are calculated, not blindly (randomly) picked through intuition (because that sort of thing cannot be instilled in a machine)(unless the commmand was pick randomly, but even then there is certain to be a probability formula involved)... not only because machines are technical material.. but because we humans ourselves do not know what feelings are or where they come from. 
I believe feelings come from the brain...and that the brain is a complex organ that still needs to be studied. But until the complexity of feelings is cracked, robots will not feel. End of story. 
Robots will calculate and be programmed to possess human-like qualities. But these qualities will be programmed qualities instilled into them by humans. Of course one would like to believe otherwise... humans never sieze to dream but well... try to be logical about it.

I just rolled my eyes enough in the past few weeks. I had to express my annoyance here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Question of the Soul

Before a few months I've had to undergo some sort of X-ray to check out whether I had any infections in the stomach and so on. That was the first time I've been put under anesthesia. The first time I experienced....nothing. Literally nothing, other than perhaps a few hints of what had been done to me by the time I woke up.
All I remember was hearing the Doctor say, 'and now...sweet dreams to you... 1...2...3..' and I was still there...or was I? I asked her... yes??? 1...2...3 what? (they were just standing there, so I asked)...what's supposed to happen?
I don't know whether the question baffled them, but they didn't answer until I asked: 'When's the X-ray going to begin?'
The nurse said: 'We're already done with the X-ray' And I go like...'what?? but I was awake the whole time.' After which she says: 'No you've been under anesthesia'

I understood the magnificence of this discovery of surgical anesthetics in 1846. Before, surgeries used to be performed without, which is a scenario I don't even want to imagine. So humour me for a moment when I start putting 1 and 1 together. Why is it that I felt nothing? Did I experience non-existence?
It was definitely not sleeping. It was a mock death. Not only because of the biological procedures that were being undertaken, but because the very aspect of time is negated. I did not feel myself go to sleep and wake up. I felt as if that very portion of time they used to X-ray me, was almost non-existent. Does that mean that time only exists when we do? And being dead would then mean, that time no longer is....

I ask you to humour me because it made me wonder. Just for the sake of argument lest any religious lunatic read this blog. It's always been a question whether the soul existed and was a seperate entity from the biological body. When they 'anesthetized' me, why did I not feel my existence, had I had a soul? The anesthesia is supposed to work biologically... not spiritually. So not being able to feel myself's existence at all..
Is it a hint that perhaps the soul does not exist?
Or would the religious argue that it did affect my soul?
Or would you say souls disappear with your consciousness?

I know no one can answer this philosophical search for the meaning of life. But I feel a part of the answer lies within the anesthetics. 

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Red Viper Vs The Mountain (Spoiler!!)

   If anyone here watches The Game of Thrones, do share your thoughts. I was desperate yesterday for another opinion, only not many here watch it. It is by all means no series for the weak-hearted. But I must admit that the last scene was far from what I expected. I never expected Oberyn Martell to ever lose... but I guess that was the whole point, wasn't it? To cleverly mislead us. Although I did think in the end that anyone with that sort of confidence in real life wouldn't achieve good results, no matter how good he is.

Well yes he was good, far better than The Mountain as a fighter. But rather careless wasn't he? And so close to ending the injustices too... Didn't that just make you slam something?

No movie or series ever shocked me this much. I literally sat there after the end of the last scene... just silently trying to comprehend what I just thought happened. I sincerely kept thinking, there must have been a mistake. But the author truly wants to show us a world full of unfairness and misery. This scene didn't only shock me because of the horrific effects they displayed in it (brilliant by the way!!! Very real!!).... but because I thought in these pagan days such things really did happen. Though fiction, this story has immense tastes of reality. So yes, I sat there for what felt like 10 minutes perhaps. I liked Martell, so that was a complete disappointment.
What did you think? 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The New Sherlock Holmes

One of my favourite childhood stories and an intimidating detective. Of course nothing beats the books, and I am usually a fan of the old times, but here BBC broadcasts another amazing version of Sherlock. And funny enough it's a version I grew fond of, despite it being set in the 21st century.

I started wondering if this was a work of fiction or if the "science of deduction" really does work. Did Doyle research the procedures? Was he a genius himself? Insanely enough, the theories, if one thinks about it, according to the chain of "small" evidences, really do make sense. It makes me wonder sometimes, did actual detectives think of setting themselves to Doyle's way of thinking? Or would you say these are just the lunatic dreams of a fan, and things in the real world work differently?
Well my impression is, that though a lot of events in his stories don't usually happen in real life, the deductions and hints of where someone should look for clues in a crime scene (the little things being what matters) are real to me.

Did anyone ever try measuring a person's height from the length of his/her stride?

Well, I've never really given it much thought before but it is food for thought.

I also find it curious that this blog is being read by the most unlikely readers. It kind of motivated me to get back on track. So I guess I'm back :)

Till the next post.