分类存档: 未公开

该子类物品 & 杂文是那些提交给杂志,就有机会在文章.

勒德分子的思考

对于所有的自负, 法国美食是相当惊人的. 肯定, 我没有品尝鉴赏, 但法国真的知道如何吃得好. 这也就难怪了最好的餐馆在世界上大多是法国人. 法国菜的最关键的方面通常是其精致的酱, 随着裁员的选择, 和, 当然, 演讲的启发 (AKA巨大的板块和微乎其微份). 厨师, 在他们高大的白色帽子的艺术家, 炫耀自己的才华主要在酱油的微妙之处, 为此懂行的顾客高兴地交出这些场所巨款, 其中一半被称为 “巴黎咖啡馆” 或有字 “小” 在他们的名字.

严重地, 酱油是王道 (用行话宝莱坞) 在法国美食, 所以我发现它令人震惊,当我看到这对BBC说,越来越多的法国厨师被诉诸工厂生产的酱汁. 煮鸡蛋配菜其过高沙拉甚至切片来,在圆筒状包裹在塑料. 怎么会这样? 他们如何利用大规模生产的垃圾,假装被服务了最好的美食体验?

肯定, 我们可以看到企业和个人的贪婪驱动政策,偷工减料,使用廉价原料. 但有一个小的技术成功的故事在这里. 几年前,, 我读报纸,他们发现假鸡蛋在一些中国超市. 他们是 “新鲜” 鸡蛋, 贝壳, 蛋黄, 白人和一切. 你甚至可以让煎蛋与他们. 试想一下, — 一个真正的鸡蛋可能成本只有几毛钱,产生. 但有人可以建立一个生产过程,可以生产出假鸡蛋比更便宜. 你不得不佩服涉及的巧思 — 除非, 当然, 你必须吃那些鸡蛋.

与我们这个时代的麻烦在于,这令人不快的聪明才智是无孔不入. 这是常态, 而不是例外. 我们看到它在玩具上的油漆被污染, 有害垃圾加工成快餐 (甚至是高级餐厅, 显然), 毒药婴儿食品, 金融论文想象力的精细打印和 “最终用户许可协议”, 不合格的零部件伪劣做工关键机械 — 在我们的现代生活的方方面面. 在这样的背景下, 我们怎么知道, “有机” 生产, 虽然我们付出四倍吧, 任何不同于正常生产? 把一切归因于露脸企业的贪婪, 因为我们大多数人倾向于做, 有点简单化. 往前一步,看看我们自己的集体贪婪的企业行为 (我自豪地做了几次) 也可能是微不足道的. 什么是公司债券,这些天, 如果没有藏品的人喜欢你和我?

也有一些是更深入,更令人不安的这一切. 我有一些脱节的想法, 并会尝试写它在一个持续的系列. 我怀疑我的这些想法是要健全类似勒德那些未普及由臭名昭著的隐形炸弹. 他的想法是,我们正常的动物性的狩猎采集一种本能正在扼杀我们已经发展成为了现代社会. 和, 在他看来, 这种不受欢迎的变革以及随之而来的紧张和压力,只能由我们所谓的发展传播者的无政府主义破坏违 — 亦即, 大学和其他技术的发电机. 无辜的教授和这样的,因此轰炸.

明确地, 我不同意这种勒德分子的意识形态认同, 如果我这样做了, 我会先轰炸自己! 我护理思想的远不破坏性线. 我们的技术进步和他们意想不到的反冲力, 不断增加的频率和幅度, 提醒东西迷住我心中古怪我 — 结构之间的相变 (层) 不断理还乱 (汹涌) 在物理系统状态 (当流率越过了一定的阈值, 例如). 我们是否接近相变的这样一个门槛在我们的社会制度和社会结构? 在我的喜怒无常勒德分子瞬间, 我确信,我们是.

食品价格和可怕的选择

经济学家有太多的手. 一方面, 他们可能会宣布一些好. 另一方面, 他们可能会说, “好, 没有这么多。” 他们中的一些甚至有可能第三或第四手. 我的前老板, 经济学家自己, 曾经说过,他希望他能砍下其中的一些手.

在过去的几个星期, 我陷入右转入经济学家手中的海洋,因为我坐了下来做一个小的研究飞涨的食品价格的这种令人不安的现象.

第一 “手” 指出,对食物的需求 (和一般的商品) 由于已经在亚洲新兴巨人飙升至增加的人口和不断变化的消费模式. 众所周知的需求与供给的范例说明了价格飙升, 它似乎. 它是那样简单?

另一方面, 越来越多的粮食作物被转移到生物燃料生产. 是生物燃料的需求的根本原因? 生物燃料是因为天价原油价格诱人, 这带动了一切的价格. 是近期OPEC暴利推动价格上涨? 那么在富裕国家粮食补贴扭曲了市场对他们有利?

还有一个经济学的手放责任归咎于供应方. 它指向一个坚定的手指在恶劣的天气在粮食生产国, 并实施对供应链的恐慌措施, 如出口禁令和规模较小囤积, 这哄抬价格.

我不是经济学家, 我想单手, 一种意见认为, 我可以依靠. 在我这个外行观点, 我怀疑,在大宗商品市场上的投机行为可能会推动价格上涨. 我觉得平反,我怀疑,当我读了最近美国参议院的证词,其中一个著名的对冲基金经理, 迈克尔·马斯特斯, 揭示期货交易和法律漏洞的金融迷宫,通过它巨大的利润是在商品投机产生的光.

背后的粮食危机的真正原因很可能是所有这些因素的组合. 但危机本身是一个无声的海啸席卷全球, 作为联合国世界粮食计划署所说的那样.

加大对食品价格, 虽然不愉快, 是不是这样的一个大问题,进行了大量的新加坡人. 我们的第一个世界收入, 我们大多数人花费约 20% 我们对食物的工资. 如果它变得 30% 作为一个结果 50% 提高价格, 我们肯定不会喜欢它, 但我们不会受到太大. 我们可能不得不削减出租车乘坐, 或高级餐厅, 但它不是我们的世界的尽头.

如果我们在上面 10% 的家庭, 我们可能没有注意到的增加. 对我们的生活方式的高粮价的影响将是微乎其微 — 说, 一家四星级的度假,而不是一个五星级1.

它是底部附近的不同的故事. 如果我们赚不到 $1000 一个月, 我们不得不花 $750 而不是 $500 对食品, 这可能意味着一个地铁车程,裹腿它之间的选择. 在这一水平, 在食品价格上涨确实伤害了我们,我们的严峻选择变得有限.

但有些人在这个世界上谁面临着更加严峻现实,价格直线上升,在看不到尽头. 他们的选择往往是可怕的是苏菲的选择. 这孩子进入睡眠状态,今晚饿? 中医为病人一个或食品休息?

我们对市场力量的主宰创造了粮食危机都无能为力. 虽然我们不能切实改变这种无声的海啸的过程中, 让我们至少尽量不要通过废物雪上加霜. 只买你会用什么, 只有你所需要使用. 即使我们不能帮助那些谁都会挨饿, 让我们不要被扔掉他们会死的向往侮辱他们. 饥饿是一件可怕的事情. 如果你不相信我, 尝试禁食一天. 好, 试试吧,即使你做的 — 它可以帮助某人在某处.

轻旅行时间效应和宇宙学特点

This unpublished article is a sequel to my earlier paper (also posted here as “为无线电源和伽玛射线暴管腔围油栏?“). This blog version contains the abstract, introduction and conclusions. The full version of the article is available as a PDF file.

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Abstract

Light travel time effects (LTT) are an optical manifestation of the finite speed of light. They can also be considered perceptual constraints to the cognitive picture of space and time. Based on this interpretation of LTT effects, we recently presented a new hypothetical model for the temporal and spatial variation of the spectrum of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) and radio sources. In this article, we take the analysis further and show that LTT effects can provide a good framework to describe such cosmological features as the redshift observation of an expanding universe, and the cosmic microwave background radiation. The unification of these seemingly distinct phenomena at vastly different length and time scales, along with its conceptual simplicity, can be regarded as indicators of the curious usefulness of this framework, if not its validity.

Introduction

The finite speed of light plays an important part in how we perceive distance and speed. This fact should hardly come as a surprise because we do know that things are not as we see them. The sun that we see, 例如, is already eight minutes old by the time we see it. This delay is trivial; 如果我们想知道现在是怎么回事太阳, 所有我们需要做的就是等待八分钟. We, nonetheless, have to “正确” for this distortion in our perception due to the finite speed of light before we can trust what we see.

令人惊讶 (而很少强调) 是当涉及到​​敏感的议案, 我们不能后台计算看不到太阳,我们采取了拖延的方式相同. 如果我们看到一个天体运动以罢课高速, 我们无法弄清楚它是如何快速和方向 “真” 移动未做进一步的假设,. One way of handling this difficulty is to ascribe the distortions in our perception of motion to the fundamental properties of the arena of physics — 空间和时间. 另一个途径是接受我们的感知和底层之间的断线 “现实” 并处理它以某种方式.

Exploring the second option, we assume an underlying reality that gives rise to our perceived picture. We further model this underlying reality as obeying classical mechanics, and work out our perceived picture through the apparatus of perception. 换句话说, we do not attribute the manifestations of the finite speed of light to the properties of the underlying reality. 相反,, we work out our perceived picture that this model predicts and verify whether the properties we do observe can originate from this perceptual constraint.

空间, the objects in it, and their motion are, 大体上, the product of optical perception. One tends to take it for granted that perception arises from reality as one perceives it. In this article, we take the position that what we perceive is an incomplete or distorted picture of an underlying reality. Further, we are trying out classical mechanics for the the underlying reality (for which we use terms like absolute, noumenal or physical reality) that does cause our perception to see if it fits with our perceived picture (which we may refer to as sensed or phenomenal reality).

Note that we are not implying that the manifestations of perception are mere delusions. They are not; they are indeed part of our sensed reality because reality is an end result of perception. This insight may be behind Goethe’s famous statement, “错觉是光的真理。”

We applied this line of thinking to a physics problem recently. We looked at the spectral evolution of a GRB and found it to be remarkably similar to that in a sonic boom. Using this fact, we presented a model for GRB as our perception of a “luminal” boom, with the understanding that it is our perceived picture of reality that obeys Lorentz invariance and our model for the underlying reality (causing the perceived picture) may violate relativistic physics. The striking agreement between the model and the observed features, 然而,, extended beyond GRBs to symmetric radio sources, which can also be regarded as perceptual effects of hypothetical luminal booms.

In this article, we look at other implications of the model. We start with the similarities between the light travel time (LTT) effects and the coordinate transformation in Special Relativity (SR). These similarities are hardly surprising because SR is derived partly based on LTT effects. We then propose an interpretation of SR as a formalization of LTT effects and study a few observed cosmological phenomena in the light of this interpretation.

Similarities between Light Travel Time Effects and SR

Special relativity seeks a linear coordinate transformation between coordinate systems in motion with respect to each other. We can trace the origin of linearity to a hidden assumption on the nature of space and time built into SR, as stated by Einstein: “In the first place it is clear that the equations must be linear on account of the properties of homogeneity which we attribute to space and time.” Because of this assumption of linearity, the original derivation of the transformation equations ignores the asymmetry between approaching and receding objects. Both approaching and receding objects can be described by two coordinate systems that are always receding from each other. 例如, if a system K is moving with respect to another system k along the positive X axis of k, then an object at rest in K at a positive x is receding while another object at a negative x is approaching an observer at the origin of k.

The coordinate transformation in Einstein’s original paper is derived, in part, a manifestation of the light travel time (LTT) effects and the consequence of imposing the constancy of light speed in all inertial frames. This is most obvious in the first thought experiment, where observers moving with a rod find their clocks not synchronized due to the difference in light travel times along the length of the rod. 然而, in the current interpretation of SR, the coordinate transformation is considered a basic property of space and time.

One difficulty that arises from this interpretation of SR is that the definition of the relative velocity between the two inertial frames becomes ambiguous. If it is the velocity of the moving frame as measured by the observer, then the observed superluminal motion in radio jets starting from the core region becomes a violation of SR. If it is a velocity that we have to deduce by considering LT effects, then we have to employ the extra ad-hoc assumption that superluminality is forbidden. These difficulties suggest that it may be better to disentangle the light travel time effects from the rest of SR.

In this section, we will consider space and time as a part of the cognitive model created by the brain, and argue that special relativity applies to the cognitive model. The absolute reality (of which the SR-like space-time is our perception) does not have to obey the restrictions of SR. 特别是, objects are not restricted to subluminal speeds, but they may appear to us as though they are restricted to subluminal speeds in our perception of space and time. If we disentangle LTT effects from the rest of SR, we can understand a wide array of phenomena, as we shall see in this article.

Unlike SR, considerations based on LTT effects result in intrinsically different set of transformation laws for objects approaching an observer and those receding from him. More generally, the transformation depends on the angle between the velocity of the object and the observer’s line of sight. Since the transformation equations based on LTT effects treat approaching and receding objects asymmetrically, they provide a natural solution to the twin paradox, 例如.

Conclusions

Because space and time are a part of a reality created out of light inputs to our eyes, some of their properties are manifestations of LTT effects, especially on our perception of motion. The absolute, physical reality presumably generating the light inputs does not have to obey the properties we ascribe to our perceived space and time.

We showed that LTT effects are qualitatively identical to those of SR, noting that SR only considers frames of reference receding from each other. This similarity is not surprising because the coordinate transformation in SR is derived based partly on LTT effects, and partly on the assumption that light travels at the same speed with respect to all inertial frames. In treating it as a manifestation of LTT, we did not address the primary motivation of SR, which is a covariant formulation of Maxwell’s equations. It may be possible to disentangle the covariance of electrodynamics from the coordinate transformation, although it is not attempted in this article.

Unlike SR, LTT effects are asymmetric. This asymmetry provides a resolution to the twin paradox and an interpretation of the assumed causality violations associated with superluminality. 此外, the perception of superluminality is modulated by LTT effects, and explains gamma ray bursts and symmetric jets. As we showed in the article, perception of superluminal motion also holds an explanation for cosmological phenomena like the expansion of the universe and cosmic microwave background radiation. LTT effects should be considered as a fundamental constraint in our perception, and consequently in physics, rather than as a convenient explanation for isolated phenomena.

Given that our perception is filtered through LTT effects, we have to deconvolute them from our perceived reality in order to understand the nature of the absolute, physical reality. This deconvolution, 然而,, results in multiple solutions. 因此,, 绝对, physical reality is beyond our grasp, and any assumed properties of the absolute reality can only be validated through how well the resultant perceived reality agrees with our observations. In this article, we assumed that the underlying reality obeys our intuitively obvious classical mechanics and asked the question how such a reality would be perceived when filtered through light travel time effects. We demonstrated that this particular treatment could explain certain astrophysical and cosmological phenomena that we observe.

The coordinate transformation in SR can be viewed as a redefinition of space and time (或, more generally, 现实) in order to accommodate the distortions in our perception of motion due to light travel time effects. One may be tempted to argue that SR applies to the “实” 空间和时间, not our perception. This line of argument begs the question, what is real? Reality is only a cognitive model created in our brain starting from our sensory inputs, visual inputs being the most significant. Space itself is a part of this cognitive model. The properties of space are a mapping of the constraints of our perception.

The choice of accepting our perception as a true image of reality and redefining space and time as described in special relativity indeed amounts to a philosophical choice. The alternative presented in the article is inspired by the view in modern neuroscience that reality is a cognitive model in the brain based on our sensory inputs. Adopting this alternative reduces us to guessing the nature of the absolute reality and comparing its predicted projection to our real perception. It may simplify and elucidate some theories in physics and explain some puzzling phenomena in our universe. 然而, this option is yet another philosophical stance against the unknowable absolute reality.

虚幻宇宙 — Seeing Light in Science and Spirituality

我们知道,我们的宇宙是一个有点不真实. 星星,我们在夜空中看到, 例如, 是不是真的有. 他们可能已移动,甚至通过我们能看到他们的死亡时间. 这种延迟是由于需要为光从遥远的恒星和星系的时间到达我们. 我们知道这种延迟.

The same delay in seeing has a lesser known manifestation in the way we perceive moving objects. It distorts our perception such that something coming towards us would look as though it is coming in faster. Strange as it may sound, this effect has been observed in astrophysical studies. Some of the heavenly bodies do look as though they are moving several times the speed of light, while their “实” speed is probably a lot lower.

现在, 这种效应引发了一个有趣的问题–是什么 “实” speed? 如果眼见为实, the speed we see should be the real speed. 然后再, 我们知道光出行时间效应. So we should correct the speed we see before believing it. 那么是什么呢 “看” 意思? 当我们说我们看到的东西, 什么我们真正的意思?

Light in Physics

眼看涉及光, 显然. The finite speed of light influences and distorts the way we see things. This fact should hardly come as a surprise because we do know that things are not as we see them. The sun that we see is already eight minutes old by the time we see it. 这种延迟并不是什么大不了的事; 如果我们想知道现在是怎么回事太阳, 所有我们需要做的就是等待八分钟. We, nonetheless, have to “正确” 对于因光线的有限速度的扭曲,我们的看法,我们才可以相信我们所看到的.

令人惊讶 (而很少强调) 是当涉及到​​敏感的议案, 我们不能后台计算看不到太阳,我们采取了拖延的方式相同. 如果我们看到一个天体运动以罢课高速, 我们无法弄清楚它是如何快速和方向 “真” 移动未做进一步的假设,. 处理这种困难的一种方法是归于我们感知的扭曲物理学竞技场的基本性质 — 空间和时间. 另一个途径是接受我们的感知和底层之间的断线 “现实” 并处理它以某种方式.

Einstein chose the first route. In his groundbreaking paper over a hundred years ago, he introduced the special theory of relativity, in which he attributed the manifestations of the finite speed of light to the fundamental properties of space and time. One core idea in special relativity (SR) is that the notion of simultaneity needs to be redefined because it takes some time for light from an event at a distant place to reach us, and we become aware of the event. The concept of “现在” doesn’t make much sense, as we saw, when we speak of an event happening in the sun, 例如. 同时性是相对的.

Einstein defined simultaneity using the instants in time we detect the event. 检测, 他将其定义, involves a round-trip travel of light similar to Radar detection. We send out light, and look at the reflection. If the reflected light from two events reaches us at the same instant, they are simultaneous.
Another way of defining simultaneity is using sensing — we can call two events simultaneous if the light from them reaches us at the same instant. 换句话说, we can use the light generated by the objects under observation rather than sending light to them and looking at the reflection.

这种差异可能听起来像一个吹毛求疵的技术性, but it does make an enormous difference in the predictions we can make. 爱因斯坦的选择,导致有许多理想特性的数学图片, thereby making further development elegant.

The other possibility has an advantage when it comes to describing objects in motion because it corresponds better with how we measure them. We don’t use Radar to see the stars in motion; 我们仅仅感测的光 (或其他辐射) 他们来了. But this choice of using a sensory paradigm, rather than Radar-like detection, to describe the universe results in a slightly uglier mathematical picture.

在数学上的差异派生不同的哲学立场, 这反过来渗透到现实我们的物理图像的理解. 作为例证的, let us look at an example from astrophysics. Suppose we observe (通过射电望远镜, 例如) 在天空中的两个对象, roughly of the same shape and properties. The only thing we know for sure is that the radio waves from two different points in the sky reach the radio telescope at the same instant in time. We can guess that the waves started their journey quite a while ago.

For symmetric objects, if we assume (因为我们经常做的) 该波开始的旅程大致在同一时刻, we end up with a picture of two “实” 对称的叶片或多或少的方式看到它们.

But there is different possibility that the waves originated from the same object (这是在运动) 在两个时间不同的时刻, 在同一时刻到达望远镜. This possibility explains some spectral and temporal properties of such symmetric radio sources, which is what I mathematically described in a recent physics article. 现在, which of these two pictures should we take as real? 两个对称的物体,因为我们看到他们或一个物体以这样的方式移动,就好像给我们的印象? Does it really matter which one is “实”? Does “实” 意味着在这方面的任何?

The philosophical stance in implied in special relativity answers this question unequivocally. There is an unambiguous physical reality from which we get the two symmetric radio sources, although it takes a bit of mathematical work to get to it. 数学排除了移动以这样的方式单一对象的可能性,以模拟的两个对象. 从本质, 我们看到的是什么就在那里.

另一方面, if we define simultaneity using concurrent arrival of light, we will be forced to admit the exact opposite. What we see is pretty far from what is out there. We will confess that we cannot unambiguously decouple the distortions due to the constraints in perception (the finite speed of light being the constraint of interest here) from what we see. There are multiple physical realities that can result in the same perceptual picture. The only philosophical stance that makes sense is the one that disconnects the sensed reality and the causes behind what is being sensed.

这种脱节的情况并不少见思想的哲学流派. 现象学, 例如, 认为,空间和时间是不客观的现实. 他们只是我们的感知中. 所有这一切发生在时间和空间的现象仅仅是捆绑了我们的看法. 换句话说, 空间和时间是从知觉所产生的认知结构. 因此,, 所有我们所归诸于空间和时间的物理特性只适用于以惊人的现实 (当我们感觉到它的现实). 本体的现实 (持有我们的感知的物理原因), 相比之下, 仍超出了我们的认知范围.

The ramifications of the two different philosophical stances described above are tremendous. Since modern physics seems to embrace a non-phenomenalistic view of space and time, 它发现自己不符合哲学的一个分支,. 哲学和物理学之间的鸿沟已经发展到这种程度,诺贝尔得奖物理学家, 史蒂芬温伯格, 想知道 (在他的书 “终极理论之梦”) 为什么从哲学到物理学的贡献一直这么小得惊人. 这也提示哲学家做出类似声明, “无论是“本体的现实导致惊人的现实’ 还是“本体的现实是独立于我们的感知它’ 还是“我们感觉到现实的本体,’ 问题仍然是本体现实的概念,是一个完全冗余的概念,科学的分析。”

一, 几乎是偶然, 很难重新定义为光的空间和时间属性的有限速度的影响是,我们明白任何影响被迅速转移到光幻想的境界. 例如, 在看到太阳的八分钟的延迟, because we readily understand it and disassociate from our perception using simple arithmetic, 被认为是单纯的错觉. 然而, 在我们的观念中快速移动的物体扭曲, 尽管源自同一源被认为是空间和时间的属性,因为它们是更复杂.

We have to come to terms with the fact that when it comes to seeing the universe, 有没有这样的事,作为一个错觉, 这也许正是歌德指出,当他说, “错觉是光的真理。”

的区别 (或缺乏) 光学幻觉和真实之间,在哲学最古老的话题之一. 毕竟, 它是关于知识与现实之间的区别. 知识被认为是我们认为对的东西,, 在现实中, 是 “其实并非如此。” 换句话说, 知识是一种体现, 或外部的东西精神的形象, 如下面的图中.
Commonsense view of reality
在这张照片, 黑色箭头表示创造知识的过程, 其中包括感知, 认知活动, 并实行纯粹理性. 这是图片物理学已经接受.
Alternate view of reality
虽然承认了我们的看法可能是不完美的, 物理学假设,我们可以打通越来越精细的实验密切的外部现实, 和, 更重要的是, 通过更好的理论化. 相对论的特殊和一般的理论是这一观点的现实的辉煌应用例子,简单的物理原理是使用纯粹理性强大的机器的逻辑必然的结论,不懈地追求.

但还有另一种, 知识与现实的另一种观点认为已经存在了很长一段时间. 这是关于感知的现实,我们的感官输入的内部认知表示看法, 如下图所示.

在此视图中, 知识和感知的现实是内部认知结构, 虽然我们都来把它们作为单独的. 什么是外部并不现实,因为我们认为它, 但一个不可知的实体后面感觉输入的物理原因引起. 在图示的例子, 第一个箭头表示的感测的过程, 和第二箭头表示认知和逻辑推理步骤. 为了应用这一观点的现实和知识, 大家纷纷猜测绝对现实的本质, 不可知的,因为它是. 一个可能的候选人绝对现实是牛顿力学, 这给出了一个合理的预测为我们感知的现实.

总结, 当我们试图处理由于认知的扭曲, 我们有两个选择, 两个可能的哲学立场. 一种是接受的失真作为我们的空间和时间的一部分, as SR does. The other option is to assume that there is a “更高” 实际上从我们检测到的现实截然不同, 其属性,我们只能猜想. 换句话说, 一种选择是住在一起的失真, 而另一种是提出​​的猜测为更高的现实. Neither of these options is particularly attractive. 但猜测路径是相似的接受现象论的观点. 这也导致自然如何现实认知神经科学观察, 它研究的认知背后的生物学机制.

In my view, the two options are not inherently distinct. The philosophical stance of SR can be thought of as coming from a deep understanding that space is merely a phenomenal construct. If the sense modality introduces distortions in the phenomenal picture, we may argue that one sensible way of handling it is to redefine the properties of the phenomenal reality.

Role of Light in Our Reality

从认知神经科学的角度, 我们看到的一切, 感, 感受和思考,是我们大脑中的神经元相互联系和微小的电信号在他们的结果. 这种观点一定是正确的. 还有什么? 我们所有的思念与牵挂, 知识和信仰, 自我与现实, 生死 — 一切都在一个仅仅纹状体神经元半公斤糊糊, 我们称我们的大脑的灰色物质. 有没有别的. 无!

事实上, 这种观点实际上在神经科学的现象主义的确切回音, 它认为一切都感觉或心理构造的包. 空间和时间也认知结构在我们的大脑, 和其他事物一样. 他们是精神的图片我们的大脑编造出来的,我们的感官接收感觉输入. 从我们的感官知觉产生,我们的认知过程制造, 时空连续体是物理学的舞台. 我们所有的感官, 眼前是目前占主导地位. 感官输入映入眼帘的是光. 在由大脑创造出来的光落在我们的视网膜空间 (或在哈勃望远镜的光传感器), 这是一个惊喜,没有什么能比光速?

这个哲学立场是我的书的基础, 虚幻宇宙, 它探讨了共同的线索结合物理学和哲学. 这样的哲学沉思通常会得到来自美国物理学家一个坏名声. 物理学家, 哲学是一个完全不同的领域, 知识的另一种筒仓. 我们需要改变这个信念,欣赏不同的知识孤岛之间的重叠. It is in this overlap that we can expect to find breakthroughs in human thought.

This philosophical grand-standing may sound presumptuous and the veiled self-admonition of physicists understandably unwelcome; but I am holding a trump card. Based on this philosophical stance, I have come up with a radically new model for two astrophysical phenomena, and published it in an article titled, “为无线电源和伽玛射线暴管腔围油栏?” in the well-known International Journal of Modern Physics D in June 2007. This article, which soon became one of the top accessed articles of the journal by Jan 2008, is a direct application of the view that the finite speed of light distorts the way we perceive motion. Because of these distortions, the way we see things is a far cry from the way they are.

We may be tempted to think that we can escape such perceptual constraints by using technological extensions to our senses such as radio telescopes, electron microscopes or spectroscopic speed measurements. 毕竟, these instruments do not have “感悟” per se and should be immune to the human weaknesses we suffer from. But these soulless instruments also measure our universe using information carriers limited to the speed of light. We, 因此, cannot escape the basic constraints of our perception even when we use modern instruments. 换句话说, the Hubble telescope may see a billion light years farther than our naked eyes, but what it sees is still a billion years older than what our eyes see.

Our reality, whether technologically enhanced or built upon direct sensory inputs, is the end result of our perceptual process. To the extent that our long range perception is based on light (and is therefore limited to its speed), we get only a distorted picture of the universe.

Light in Philosophy and Spirituality

扭曲光线和现实的故事是,我们似乎已经知道这一切很长一段时间. Classical philosophical schools seem to have thought along lines very similar to Einstein’s thought experiment.

Once we appreciate the special place accorded to light in modern science, we have to ask ourselves how different our universe would have been in the absence of light. 当然, light is only a label we attach to a sensory experience. 因此,, to be more accurate, we have to ask a different question: if we did not have any senses that responded to what we call light, would that affect the form of the universe?

The immediate answer from any normal (就是说, non-philosophical) person is that it is obvious. If everybody is blind, everybody is blind. But the existence of the universe is independent of whether we can see it or not. Is it though? What does it mean to say the universe exists if we cannot sense it? Ah… the age-old conundrum of the falling tree in a deserted forest. Remember, the universe is a cognitive construct or a mental representation of the light input to our eyes. It is not “out there,” but in the neurons of our brain, as everything else is. In the absence of light in our eyes, there is no input to be represented, ergo no universe.

If we had sensed the universe using modalities that operated at other speeds (echolocation, 例如), it is those speeds that would have figured in the fundamental properties of space and time. This is the inescapable conclusion from phenomenalism.

光在创造我们的现实,还是宇宙中的角色是西方宗教思想的心脏. 宇宙缺乏光线的不只是您已经关掉了灯的世界. 这的确是一个宇宙缺乏自身, 一个不存在的宇宙. 正是在这种背景下,我们必须明白的声明背后的智慧 “该地是, 和无效的” 直到神使光线是, 说 “要有光。”

可兰经也说, “真主是天地之光,” 这是反映在古印度的著作之一: “从黑暗走向光明带领我, 从虚幻到真实带领我。” 光从虚幻的虚空把我们的角色 (虚无) 以现实确实理解了很长, 很久. 难道古代的圣人和先知知道的事情,我们现在才开始发现我们所有的知识应该进步?

我知道我可能会急于在天使不敢涉足, 对于重新诠释经文是一个危险的游戏. Such foreign interpretations are seldom welcome in the theological circles. 不过,我投靠的是,我要找同意灵性哲学的形而上学的观点, without diminishing their mystical or theological value.

The parallels between the noumenal-phenomenal distinction in phenomenalism and the Brahman-Maya distinction in Advaita are hard to ignore. This time-tested wisdom on the nature of reality from the repertoire of spirituality is now reinvented in modern neuroscience, 它把现实,由大脑产生一种认知表征. 大脑使用感觉输入, 内存, 意识, 甚至语言成分在炮制我们的​​现实感. 这种观点的现实, 然而,, 是物理的东西是没有来的条款. 但是在某种程度上,它的舞台 (空间和时间) 是现实的一部分, 物理学是不能幸免的哲学.

由于我们的知识的界限推向越走越, 我们开始发现人类努力的不同分支之间迄今没有料​​到,常常令人惊讶的互连. 在最后的分析, 怎么能对我们知识的不同领域是相互独立的,当我们所有的知识存在于我们的大脑? 知识是我们的经验认知表征. 但随后, 这样的现实; 这是我们的感官投入认知表征. 这是一个谬论认为知识是一个外部的现实我们的内部表示, 因此,与此不同的. 知识和现实是内部认知结构, 虽然我们都来把它们作为单独的.

Recognizing and making use of the interconnections among the different domains of human endeavour may be the catalyst for the next breakthrough in our collective wisdom that we have been waiting for.

Sony World Band Radio

I recently bought a Sony World Band Radio receiver. It is a beautiful machine with some twenty frequency bands and all kinds of locks and tricks to latch on to distant radio stations. I bought it for my father, who is fond of listening to his radio late into the night.

Two days after I bought the radio, my father suffered a severe heart failure. A congestive heart failure (CHF) is not to be confused with a heart attack. The symptoms of a CHF are deceptively similar to an asthma attack, which can be doubly treacherous if the patient already has respiratory troubles because the early care may get directed to the lungs while the troubled heart may be ignored. So I thought I would discuss the symptoms here in the hope that it will help those with aging family members who may otherwise misidentify a potential CHF. Much more information is available on the Internet; try Googling “congestive heart failure.”

For asthma patients, a danger sign of a heart failure is persistent breathing difficulty despite inhalation medication. Watch out for breathing trouble that increases when they lie down, and subsides when they sit up. They may have consequent sleeplessness. If they show the symptoms of water retention (swelling in lower limps or neck, unexpected sudden weight gain etc.), and if they have other risk factors (hypertension, irregular heart beat), please do not wait, rush to the hospital.

The prognosis for CHF is not good. It is a chronic condition, progressive and terminal. 换句话说, it is not something we catch like the flu and get better soon. Depending on the stage the patient is, we have to worry about the quality of life, palliative care or even end of life care. Once a heart has started failing, it is difficult to reverse the progression of the onslaught. There are no easy solutions, no silver bullets. What we can concentrate on, 真, is the quality of their life. And the grace and dignity with which they leave it. For most of them, it is their last act. Let’s make it a good one.

By my father’s bedside now, listening to the Sony, with all these sad thoughts in my head, I remember my first taste of real winter in the fall of 1987 in Syracuse. I was listening to the weatherman of the local radio station (was it WSYR?). While lamenting the temperatures going south, he observed, rather philosophically, “C’mon, we all know there’s only one way the temperatures can go.” 是的, we know that there is only one way things can go from here. But we still mourn the passing of a summer full of sunshine and blue skies.

The Sony radio plays on, impervious to these doleful musings, with young happy voices dishing out songs and jokes for the benefit of a new generation of yuppie commuters full of gusto and eagerness to conquer a world. Little do they know — it was all conquered many times over during the summers of yester years with the same gusto and passion. The old vanguards step aside willingly and make room for the children of new summers.

The new generation has different tastes. They hum to different iTunes on their iPods. This beautiful radio receiver, with most of it seventeen odd short wave bands now silent, is probably the last of its kind. The music and jokes of the next generation have changed. Their hair-do and styles have changed. But the new campaigners charge in with the same dreams of glory as the ones before them. Theirs is the same gusto. Same passion.

Perhaps nothing and nobody really passes on. We all leave behind a little bit of ourselves, tiny echoes of our conquests, memories in those dear to us, and miniscule additions to the mythos that will live on. Like teardrops in the rain.