Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I know that I know, but don't remember it now!

Haven't we all been in this state?

The questions that are of interest here are:
1. How is this state possible in our mind? and
2. How sure can we be of this intuition that we know? i.e. Do we really know, what we think we do?

But as is the case with all philosophical quests, we have to begin with what is it to know? So in the first part let us try and answer this question.

Does to know mean to have a prior knowledge of?
Then again it becomes recursive..so obviously we are mixing words here.When we say prior knowledge of we mean prior information to the characteristics of the object and also of how we reacted to the subject, that what we felt when we encountered it/him/her/them etc. in past.
So knowledge is a set of information which we created, based on the past experience, of that object, and stored it in our memory.
Here the note reads: when i say "we created" ,i mean created by our processor (brain) based on the analogies derived from its database (the past experience (or now we can call it knowledge) of other similar objects).

Best time to give an example - Suppose a person, who has only seen one cat in his/her life before, sees another. His/her finding it fat or thin, depends not only on the cat he/she is seeing now ,but also on the one he/she saw before.

So knowledge is a set of information which we created, based on our past experience, and stored it in our memory.
In fact what are we but our knowledge!
I will write another post on this one
Now knowledge is ...............
Assuming our brain stores all our memory (why assuming ? isn't this a fact? wait for my next article.) and that there is a mechanism of writing into the memory and reading from the memory. Note that i haven't mentioned erasing from the memory. I think, in fact that there is no mechanism to erase. I think in this system, somehow, when we read from the memory, the data we have read more is more prominently stored and to erase all you have to do is not to read the data for a certain time and whoof! it is gone.(in fact not whoof, whoof sounds discrete, it is gone, slowly fading out.)

Now coming back to the question, how is such a state possible in our brain? First lets elaborate on the state. The state is like the one when you are in the following situations.
  • you are chatting to a friend and suddenly you are discussing b'days and then you realize that you cannot tell his/her(lets stick with her to make it interesting and real) birthday if asked now. Somehow you know though that you have known her b'day once. you don't have anything to prove that but still you know that you know the b'day.then suddenly you end up asking her the b'day and with an hour long chat on how inconsiderate.....you get hung up (if that is possible on a chat!) but now you have her b'day. and whn you see this date there are 2 possible situations
    • either you say oooooooooo (you already knew!)
    • or you say umm huh..(you never knew!)

  • you are doing some work on a computer and suddenly just to break the monotonicity you say to yourself now i will not touch the mouse, do everything by keyboard (they say it is possible and in fact faster if you know how to.) . that is why they call them shortcuts. but suddenly you realize when you open the internet explorer and you have to go to the title bar ... you keep on pressing tab but you never reach there. now you reember that once you used to work with shortcuts and you new how to get to the url field directly with some shortcut. you remember it was a function key, single key , somewhere near to the middle, you say lets remmber it and hit it in one go...you try hard but you can't remember ..was it f5 or f6 or f7 or f8. then your brain goes to "f5 is for showing presentations in powerpoint", "f8 is for entereing setup during startup ...or is it f12...or f10 ...ahhh! forget it lets concentrate on url " then you end up hitting f7 something to do with caret browsing then f8 -does nothing (why it should do something) and finally f6 because by now you have remembered that f5 is for refresh. and something inside you is at rest.
ok so much for the idea of what state i am talking about.
next, lets go to the theme "how is such a state possible?". if we model our brain's storage part as something with digitized storage spaces , it is impossible for this phenomenon to occur. for example if we model our brain like the registers used in computers, or just like a big 3d storage grid with different data stored in different independent cell then, it is impossible.
it can happen only if there is some mechanism in which the data, when leaves, leaves behind a footprint. thinking in terms of waves , say some information is stored in the form of waves with amplitude highest when it is being stored and it increases every time we revisit it (depending on the
concentration of revisit) .so the wave is damping and once it reaches a value that is below a threshold our brain is unsure whether the information is there or not.
now a thought on how a memory is stored in reference to others. it is often talked about that our brain forms linkages when it stores .the image we generally get is that of a hook being placed on a hook which is dangling freely in our head. i would try and create a better image of the same phenomenon. say our storage system is like a flat rubber film which can oscillate when given an impulse. now say it is somehow divided into very small shapes say square ones for convenience by virtue of how the rubber sheet is folded (i.e not folded in a handkerchief way but folded in a protein way ). for simplicity we don't fold the sheet but keep it flat and instead draw a fine-grid with dotted lines (dotted lines to signify that though divided, nothing in nature is discrete. it is true that each minuscule square is a position to store individual memory in the form of oscillating wave, it can still interact a bit with the information stored in the adjacent square ). so now i have an image of how things are stored. stating all of the above in points
  • brain's storage - a large rubber film - divided into small squares - physically made because of the way the film is folded
  • individual memory unit - a wave - amplitude slowly decreasing- considered erased if amplitude reaches a value below a threshold
  • can interact with adjacent unit- resulting in links.
  • how do we remember?- we go to all the links which we find accessible and then try and reach the exact info we want by hopping on all the intermediate links, magnifying them in the way.
  • to ponder --how do we get hold of the first relevant info we think will help us reach the result??
now i think the above 2 situations can be explained.
when we think that we know actually we have reached a position in our remembering process i.e hopping through the links, to a position where it seems very obvious that the next piece of information has to be the one we desire but what actually happened is either it was stored and not read for a long time so it went below the threshold or it was never stored (whatever is present in the next cubicle is only the leakage of the adjacent cubicle and not a memory. this leakage generally occurs to an information which is at the edge with no or very few links to get hold of.) in both the cases our optimistic mind tries to amplify whatever is present in the cubicle to come above the threshold by mere concentrating ..sometimes it is successful..sometimes it fails because there is nothing to amplify...but most of the time it loses patience and stops amplifying and does not concentrate enough to amplify the signal enough!!
(i have to rewrite this article, to make it understandable. this is something which is written while i am thinking.)it still has so much to add to.

- one more idea what if our brain is like a modem in a vast network (it does not store the information at all .it just stores the frequency. it is like a key to access data from a server(which is more of a bank of data)). this frequency may be different kind of frequency .i. e in some other dimension.elaboration needed!!

- how is information stored in the cubicle (it is not enough to say in the form of waves. there has to an alphabet)here, i need to perform an experiment- take a square sheet of metal . spray some dust on it (more if you want) then hold the square from the sides and then hit the square with an impulse in a particular location.intuition says that there will be a pattern formed(may be a letter from the alphabet we are searching for)we can generate the other letters by holding the squares from different positions and also by hitting the square at different locations.this makes sense.position of hitting the square signifies the info we want to store and position of fixing the square on the edges signifies the contribution made by the adjacent squares on this information storage.another thread of thought- is that why the way the information is stored depends on what we know before. is it all that is to prejudices and we thought they were not programmable. we don't need to program the prejudices if we have this kind of formation in our memory structure.(uff! too much thought for one day..will continue later)

edit (31st august 2009): the pattern i am talking about is chladni's pattern

To Balance...

consider the pattern-





and so on...

now think of it as ...
two boys A and B...
A standing to left and B standing to right..
as the first arrow is L to R, it implies first i give a fruit to A and then to B.

now B says "this is not fair and so now perform a second event i.e. a second arrow from me(B) to A" .. now we think that it is balanced but B doesn't think so .. he says the first arrow was L to R and the second one was R to L. but now i want the first arrow to be from R to L and the second from L to R...ok done!

but now B again says the pattern of first 4 arrows somehow favours A because it still starts with L to R.....so a pattern of 8 results...but still B is complaining and so a pattern of 16 then 32
and so on results...
i agree ab tak to faltoooo tha ,but the main thing about the pattern is what are the various points i jotted down..
they are...
  1. the patterns can be of only two types either A to B or B to A (if we don't consider a third boy C , otherwise it becomes very complex)
  2. so if we change the first arrow all arrows need to be changed the second pattern being the exact mirror image of the first...
  3. introducing any arrow in between the pattern spoils the pattern..
  4. considering this demanding nature of B 'B will only be satisfied at infinity'..
  5. it is like by marking the first arrow we give A an advantage of '1' .then if we move to a two arrow system we give B an advantage of '1/2' ,which is still less than 1 and he asks for more so we move to a 2 raised to the power nth system and give B an advantage of '1/2 raised to the power n'. now summing all the advantages of B, if finite steps are taken it is still less than 1., but in infinite steps it becomes = 1 . so in a L to R system A always has an advantage..
  6. in which arrow will this system end?? a 2 raised to the power nth system ends in # L to R arrow if n is even # R to L arrow if n is odd. so now we can ask is infinity even or odd (think of infinity in other way as the arrow at which B is satisfied, otherwise 5th point becomes senseless with a mere statement " B is never satisfied " and the world continues forever!!!).
  7. then we can say that once on this earth an imbalance is created , itis an infinite step process to bring back a balance, each step though reduces our ability to tell or say measure the imbalance
  8. one more thing I noticed that this pattern is nothing but a fractal .
  9. now regarding time travel.. I myself believe that traveling to past is not possible because if we could do it ..even if any one of us then by now we would have seen someone from the future but if there is some loop hole in this reasoning and if at all it is possible to move to the past …..then, and if it is somehow related to this pattern then we can move from one time to a particular or say a set of particular times and time intervals only.. why ? lets consider the pattern as a road on which we are walking ..or say we are taught to walk on by our experience , with other people andnature around..this road is the measure of our learning level which changes not only with time but also according to our learning level..thus every individual walks on a different road…pattern…now we are able to go to only that time in the past where the road is accordingly made or on which we can walk (i.e. we can live comfortably, of course not literally.).now in my pattern what I see is that it repeats itself at irregular intervals by irregular steps..so if we can know where and how much does the pattern repeat we can know our accessibility in past .. of course it will never be 100 %...
  10. concerning human human interaction …each human by his /her experience assigns (unknowingly) a +ve value to one of the two patterns. And the other one is of course –ve…when two people meet each one is carrying his own pattern and each one observes the pattern of the other and judges his nature on its basis….more resonance more friendly.. also the probability which pattern is assigned a +ve value must be half.. now if this is not what actually happens in humans can we create artificial intelligence using this???
  11. rate of change of pattern for an individual is directly proportional to the rate at which he works i.e. the rate of hisactions and amount of his actions and rate of his gathering experience and rate of his being affected by others NOT the rate at which he affects them …so the more we work( in the above sense) the closer we reach to balance which in its sense may be the final goal of human kind …here things like "karmanye vadhikarasye…" fit superbly don't they ? so act more to achieve maximum balance….