Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Model Mind

Earth I touch though it be too large to feel all.
Sun I see but dare not look lest lose my sight.
Air I hear and only your voice has my attention.
Water I taste with just dissoluble flavor.
I do not know these elements as they are.
I only know my sense of them,
The world is the other, the outside, my imagined.

Each hair is linked with the nervous system. When energy affects a cell, a chain reaction falls up a column of cell dominoes, connecting in bundles, threading inside a spinal bone shield, terminating at the base of our brains where a switchboard prioritizes and directs signals to banks of memory cells.

This path from skin to mind is our sense of the world. Heat, motion, or electrical energy cause different chemical signals flowing from our finger to our head. The more intense the energy, the stronger the signal, the more intense our experience.

Sense Detectors

Each of our senses has many and diverse detectors. Touch has inputs for pressure, temperature, and damage.

Hearing uses 20,000 hairs bending to vibrations, triggering other pathways to our memory.

Sight has 120,000,000 rods to detecting batches of light photons; along with 6,000,000 cones that detect their vibrations in hues of yellow, red, or blue.

The patterns of light which bounced off the strangers face, the high energy heat from the stove top, the vibrations from your own footsteps are all detected and sent to your pattern holding brain.

These millions upon millions of detectors are always in operation, sending an onslaught of new information which we process and store.

Our detectors lay patterns into the very structure of our brains. Large interconnected groups of cells that form webs act as storage spaces for the signals the body's sensors have received. 

Pattern Forms

Over and over and over again signals are sent to the brain until patterns begin to slowly form. The individual cells in our brain connect and reconnect as signals are reinforced or fade away. The very structure of these cells become a metaphor for the reality our sensors sensed.

We call this pattern forming of senses to the brain “learning”. The brain has about 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) individual memory cells handling these inputs and holding on to patterns of information expressed within them.

Each memory cell is connected with thousands of other memory cells. These connections between cells shift and change as memories form and fade. Some memories cause many connections, others only a few.  Some memories create more connections and we remember while others lose connections and we forget.

Bio Start-up

The entire system from sensor to memory starts to develop at about twenty-five days after conception. The first signals start laying patterns almost immediately and continue under heavy, constant change for many years.

 Initially memory cells join and break connections quickly; gradually slowing until we die. More and more memory cells are produced during our body's entire life, although the majority of them appear when young.

In this whole system of body and brain that forms our sense and memory, we do not experience the world directly. Rather we have detected the energy on the surface of our bodies and translated it into patterns of memory within our brains.  These memory patterns are what we know the world to be.

Model Mind

Thinking that the world we know is only a metaphor or model of the world as it actually is can be a strange thing to understand at first.

We have built a model of the world in our brains that reliably allows us to estimate what is there, to predict what will happen next.

We think we know the earth, the sun, the air, and the water; but we do not. We sense energy and model it into a memory world within us.

Distant Mother

When we see our mother's face, we actually have light vibrations in our eye that are only the reflections from our mother.

When we feel her cuddle us tight, we felt the pressure of her touch, but not actually her cells.

Our ears feel the vibration in the air from her lips, but do not hear her.

Only when we suckle do we take in a part of her into us, but even that part of her we do not sense directly as it quickly becomes a part of us instead.

Sensible Beauty

It is beautiful and strange that the world we know is sensed and imagined, but never known directly. We have, perhaps, a mutual shared model of the world that is outside us. Practically, we must use our internal model of the world as if it were real. Accepting our model as the world allows us to interact with it, act in response to it, and impose our will upon it.

We live in a self-built artificial bubble of reality called mind. A beautiful model of what we believe is.

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