Friday, 28 December 2012

Game Theory- The Rock-Paper-Scissors Algorithm

From the roll of a die and the shift of a pawn to the spin of a cue and the flip of a card, its principles come into action through the players, their strategies and their payoffs. A premise that entails the methodology, skill and technique behind even the most primitive forms of human leisure and makes something serious out of the business of games. One where equilibria are sought, risk and choice are evaluated and conflicting interests are observed in a manner of critique; a platform where competition and completeness are deduced and location, segregation and randomisation are considered. A formulation of not only the players but the games themselves in a means that quantifies the tricks and flicks to winning and the shortcomings to losing. Game theory is to games as calculus is to change, for games offer a wealth of profundity regarding the mechanics of human skill and strategy as well as the strategic basis to decision making; extending well into frontiers such as economics and evolutionary biology where the flux of mutation and competition play themselves out like a well choreographed game. Consider the prisoner's dilemma, where two suspects are apprehended on the suspicion of thievery, if a bargain is offered to each suspect with the promise of mitigated jail time in return for cooperation the end result will be unfold with defection by both parties due to the notion of strict dominance despite the seemingly logical outcome of cooperation by both parties. Furthermore, the classic battle of the sexes takes form in game theory whereby a man and woman desire boxing and ballet respectively however they simultaneously desire to be together. In order to go about such a game, one necessitates the utility of the Nash equilibrium in its mixed strategy form; an equilibrium in which there exists a set of strategies, one for the man and one for the woman such that no player has an incentive or advantage to change his or her strategy given what the other players are doing. Analogous to a law that no one would break despite the absence of law enforcement or capital punishment. A more familiar circumstance would be that of rock-paper-scissors, whereby Nash equilibrium may be reached via mixed strategy given the zero sum nature of the game. An overall nexus of balance and conformity driven towards the satisfaction of both parties and the achievement of a realistic and level headed outcome, comparable to an algorithm that plays the game over and over until scissors and paper fit hand in hand.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Chaos- The Butterfly Effect

A butterfly flutters its wings in Guatemala and triggers a tornado in Guantanamo. While such stands  as nothing short of a miracle, a perfect yet powerful expression of roll, pitch and yaw by a humble arachnid; it remains the metaphorical ideal for an entire dynamics bent on the eccentricities and capriciousness of nature. The bold and presumptuous notion that randomness is merely a mirage, that order and disorder are intimately linked and that small changes result in vast differences. The notion of chaos usually conjures the image of randomness and entropy whereas it is a manifestation of unpredictability and fluctuation played by the laws of nature. Everything from the emergent ethology of flocks of birds and the formation of the weather to the evolution of stock markets and economic crashes unveils a non-linear, irregular and unpredictable platform. One where the deterministic view collapses and makes room vacant for a chaotic framework of dynamically changing systems provoked by minute and seemingly trivial modifications. A double pendulum will assume a sporadic and capricious motion when released due to minuscule differences in the initial configuration, just as the weather varies due to fluctuations in atmospheric conditions such as convection as quantified by the Lorenz attractor. Chaos may be both observed and envisaged as a facet of nature; for mountains are not cones neither are clouds perfect spheres nor are trees flawless cylinders. It is the non-Euclidean geometry of the physical world that is addressed by the chaotic nature of fractals, essentially the byproducts of dynamically changing systems that convey a feedback loop of infinite regression, self-similarity and locally and globally oriented irregularity. Even simple contraptions such as a Poincare's three body astronomical system indicate that small errors in calculation result in chaotic subsequent outcomes, way out of proportion of the initial mathematical estimates and premises. Others such as the Belousov non-equilibrium thermodynamic reactions probe the chaos of chemical oscillation from a clear state to coloured to clear again; indicating a chemical basis of morphogenesis centred on the reaction-diffusion paradigm expounded by Turing. Chaos is kaleidoscopic; every small fluctuation, modification and variation constitute to the outcome and output. And however unpredictable, dubious and erratic that outcome may be, it is alway reducible to simplicity and lucidity regardless of whether its a Mandelbrot set or a Romanesco broccoli!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Calculus- The Integral Differentiation

Its incalculable complexity reduces arithmetic to child's play while its unsurpassed applicability belittles algebra with the rest of its regularity. A mathematical scheme bent on the diversity of change, the correlation of the input with its output and the continuity of functions. Since its inception via Newton and Leibniz, it has emerged as a union between the celestial and the terrestrial; a language of fluxions and fluents and the manifestation of the laws of nature. Calculus is a dimorphic synthesis of integration and differentiation linked via its fundamental theorem. The former of the two, seeks the area between the curve of a function f(x) while the latter pursues the way a function behaves as its input differs such as the of instantaneous rate of change. While the regularity, uniformity and discreteness of institutions such as algebra remain most apparent, calculus intervenes through the annihilation of such regularity and uniformity,assuming the curliness of slopes and curves. Calculus remains the gateway to realising the spread of vector and tensor fields permeating and changing through space and time, the medium towards the fathoming of continuums beyond that of the discrete. For instance, in realising limits for functions f(x), we may realise their behavior near certain values and extrapolate them for understanding the behavior of particle frequencies near magnetic fields, dummy variables and their jump discontinuity or even the interference pattern of photons via double slits. The elliptical orbit of the celestial bodies, the logarithmic spiral of a chambered nautilus shell and Zeno's paradox; whereby an infinite number of halves may be crossed in a finite amount of time, all share this common denomination of change and fluctuation as quantified by calculus. Trigonometric functions  included, as their differentiation reveals the rate of change of such variables relative to one another.  But the applicability of calculus exceeds that of the two dimensional, path integrals give rise to higher dimensions of application such as integration above curves while volume integrals consider the everyday reality of three dimensional spatial freedom. It is a ever encompassing framework, played by certain simple rules yet fulfilled by a nature's laws and governing dynamics; a formulation of maxima and minima, of input and output and of limit and continuity.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

String Theory- A Primer

A grand contender for a final theory of everything. One where the macrocosm and the microcosm unite in synchrony, humming to the tune of vibrating yet infinitesimal filaments of energy. Since the ancient Pythagoreans and their love affair with the octaves, thirds and fifths of the lyre; to the contemporary developments of modern physics, string theory has emerged as an controversial contender for the unification of the forces of nature. It is a presumptuous idea, that all phenomena, matter and energy are bound by the dynamic fluxes of vibrating strings in hyperspace.Such strings behave much like the strings of a cello or violin, except producing particles as opposed to musical notes; therefore quarks can be envisaged as strings vibrating in a single pattern such as an A-flat or even neutrinos as filaments oscillating in a C-sharp. Now down to the details. In 1968, Veneziano 'accidentally' discovered that the beta function of Euler mirrored some aspects of the strong force that acted upon hadrons. This lead to its physical interpretation involving vibrating one dimensional strings that modelled point-like particles. Unlike quantum field theory which experiences infinities as a result of viewing particles as dimensionless points and by consequence bringing those points close together to create infinitely strong forces, strings can avoid this anomaly. A string my be open with its ends fluttering or closed into a loop; originally, open strings were found to masquerade as a spin-1 bosons. But a string is not an object in space, it is literally a piece of space and unlike a violin, whose oscillation is deadened as it transfers it energy to the outer environment, a piece of string is isolated with its energy contained, thus its oscillation isn't deadened. And since there is an infinite degree of harmonics or resonant modes, such strings can imitate an infinite number of types of particles, endowing each with specific energy.

Moreover, because patterns of string vibration arise in pairs, varying by around half a unit of spin, it creates an internal supersymmetry (SUSY). SUSY allows one to merge bosons and fermions given that they return to their original states after 360 and 720 degree rotations respectively, if one can define such transformations as manifestations of a greater multidimensional geometry, each of the known particles can be related by heavier superpartners. The additional dimensions are for mathematical consistency and Kaluza was the first to realise that adding a fifth dimension to spacetime mirrored Maxwell's equations, the extra dimensions curled up like a cartesian plane passing via each point in space. But among the hallmarks of string theory included the ability to mimic spin-2 gravitons with closed strings, allowing the possilibity of describing gravity quantum mechanically but without invoking fields directly. The only free parameter in question is the tension of the string, which can be calibrated more precisely using the graviton to meet the strength of the strong force. As a result, the minimum energy of a string, the planck energy, can be multiplied many times over by the amount of wavelengths in each mode or oscillation to give a large resultant, such may be cancelled out by quantum fluctuations leading to a massless string. As for other particle properties, spin simply becomes the aspect of how a string vibrates, as these vibrations can extend over curled up dimensions it becomes relatively simply to imagine a fermion moving in a gyrating fashion in another dimension, thus gaining a 720 degree rotation in the 3D space to resume its original position. So if mass and spin can emerge from a multi-dimensional geometry, what about the other forces?

 By the 80's, the 5 string theories which all paired their bosons and fermions differently were united by Witten into M-theory into a context of an 11 dimensional Calabi-Yau space-time (10+1). It incorporates one dimensional strings in conjuction with branes (membranes), allowing gravity and the non-gravitational forces to unite at a single energy. This wasn't previously possible, given that the gravitational coupling constant refused to match the quantum forces except until an energy density that exceeded the unification energy; in M-theory it matched neatly. But we are talking ridulous scales on the order of 10^-35m, around 10^-20 the diameter of a proton; at such tiny scales gravity competes with the other forces so we need to unite quantum field theory with general relativity. Such a stark incompatility between the two arises because of the Uncertainty principle; in general relativity, perfectly flat space arises in the absence of a significant mass (such as the quantum vacuum) and thus the value of the gravitational field should be exactly zero. However, the Uncertainty principle needs only a mean value of zero and so the value of the gravitational field can fluctuate in a random 'foam'; therefore we get infinities (or ultraviolet divergences). These infinites come about because in quantum field theory, you deal with points that act as sources of fields, but with one dimensional strings infinities never occur because the energy of a vibrating string is dependant on its frequency as well as the amplitude at which it oscillates (closed strings and loops rely on circumference) and more frenzied modes of vibration produce more energy than placid ones. Much like a Feynman diagram, which capture the history of a particle, a 'worldsheet' capture snippets of a bunch of strings and recording their history as a static network of connecting tubes in spacetime; when the loops interact, two loops may merge and split into a different figuration. Such allows gauge bosons to be expressed as aspects of vibrating strings rather than the conventional view of seperate fields for each charge and particles as point-like bundles of energy osillating in those fields.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Infinity- The Sky's Not the Limit

The sky's the limit. Such is a cliche that dares to be challenged. From the very breadths of the natural numbers to the measure of human stupidity, the notion of infinity seems simultaneously intoxicating and hair-raising. With paradoxes, anomalies and incongruities lurking round every avenue and boulevard of its grandeur, it remains feared and revered, not as a stream of digits but as a reality in itself. Infinity denotes the antithesis of the finite, the extension of the boundary and the never ending twist to the tale; a metaphorical and mathematical playground most thinking people discover for themselves. Just imagine a hotel with an infinite number of rooms and an infinite number of guests, if an additional guest arrives, the existing guests must shift into the next room to accomodate him. Which represents one of the great paradoxes of the world of infinity, infinite sets are in fact proper subsets of themselves. But what if a second set of infinite guests arrived? The existing guests must shift into the room with double the value of theirs. And what if all of the guests but one left in the evening? It seems that infinity minus infinity can be anything you like. And when comparing two infinite sets, just like in the hotel allegory, they are both the same size even though one set appears to contain half as many numbers. Indeed this represents quite a mouthful for a reality that stretches minds beyond imaginable reach. Thinking diagonally about infinity, we arrive at an intriguing impasse; the infinity of the decimal numbers is bigger than that of the counting numbers. But beyond the puzzles and counter-intuitives, the realm of infinity seems under fire by the theory of a finite number scheme; one where the eccentricities of  infinity are dispelled by an ultra-finitism of a biggest number. Indeed, if there was a biggest number, the 'add one' doctrine would land you right where you begun, at zero. Such a seemingly natural, elegant and lucid idea is purely questionable, quite comparable to dividing by zero in elementary algebra. But regardless of the whether there are finite of infinite sets of googols, googlepexes or even googolplexians; there seems a natural necessity for an infinity. Despite the absence of a physical, tangible or natural expression of infinity in the grand scheme of things, such is a conceptual metaphorical and mathematical truth, rather than an illusionary mirage of the mind. Born via an innate human impulse to go above and beyond any frontier and bred by the loops and twirls of its bewilderment and perplexity. One, two skip a few; to infinity and beyond

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Chinese Philosophy- A Slice of the Orient

From the ancient temples of the Middle Kingdom to the epoch of the modern era, it has echoed the cry of nature and infused the spirit of its forefathers. Neither reducing nature nor augmenting it, rather assuming a synchronous synthesis of harmony and balance. A balance that flows with fluidity, akin to the water trickling down a stream; analogous to the bamboo rod that bends yet reverts. A grand scheme of things that pursues the metaphorical over the analytical and the relative over the absolute. It is the definitive unity of the macrocosm and the microcosm, a universal endeavour bound by a timeless and unparalleled cultural phenomenon. Chinese philosophy offers an incredibly poignant, intrinsic and soulful approach to the metaphysical and beyond; compounded with its lucidity and countless oriental flavours. Subsuming the cosmos into the five elements, Wu Xing, it pursues a cyclic order from rudimentary processes; for fire cools into the earth, which condenses into metal, which melts into liquid, which takes shape into wood, which kindles into fire. Chinese philosophy is a constant yearning for polarity, taking the Wu Xing and forming a partition between its Sheng and Ko, construction and control, dimensions. But the sheer genesis, the underlying reality remains the Dao, the revered yet unknown way of the universe; for the Dao creates the universe yet it is not separate and although one may name it, one has not found it. Such an inexplicable transcendence proves the answer to the occidental equivalent of metaphysics, as well as the very pathway by which the lifeblood of the cosmos circulates and permeates, Qi. The envisaging of Qi as energy focal point, the vibration and the trigger behind matter and energy, it is philosophical and mystical reality recognised not by what it is but rather by what it does.  Elaborating on the yearning for polarity, the Chinese tradition recognises a reality substantial to the world and lives and minds, the great tension between opposite forces, the mutual duality of Yin and Yang. Such a duality is one that is viewed as neither two nor one, is envisioned as both static and moving as well as the annihilation of the absolute. Such is contrasting face to the occidental view of the Yin and Yang as polarities of good and evil, rather one should observe the Yin becoming the Yang and vice versa. The Chinese philosophical tradition forms a unique junction between mind and matter, between thought and the somatic half of things. Outlining the various channels and meridians by which Qi is conveyed through, as dictated by the strive for balance of Yin and Yang, as governed by the elemental unity of the Wu Xing and directed by the will of the Dao. A grand philosophical tapestry, woven in it the fabric of sagacity and the appeal towards nature as the grand teacher and master; the avoidance of absoluteness and a thoroughgoing shift from the occidental tradition.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Logic- The Reason Pathway

A wave of reason cast by a gale of coherence. The rationale of argumentation and the sheer thrust behind thought and endeavour, it remains the epitome of systems; the envy of all rational systems. It is the magic of logic in both its precursory and prevenient flavours that has expounded and conveyed a means  beyond just another methodology. It deploys a pathway compelled towards coherence, sense and soundness; one laced with consistency and the strive for completeness. For we are in constant pursuit of both formal and informal schemes of reason that lack contradiction, promote logic truth, envisage theorems and propositions and make sense. The principles of induction, deduction and abduction remain the cornerstones, the mainstay of such a logic pathway. In the inductive sphere, logic is envisioned as the derivation of not only statements but propositions from certain examples, quite a dichotomy may be observed, for the deductive sphere constructs examples on the basis of propositions. Taking it a step further with the abductive sphere, where hypotheses are evaluated and composed, logic entails a miscellany of frontiers, namely the mathematical. In the mathematical sense, logic is a business of the contrasting faces of completeness and incompleteness; confined to the bounds of predicate or formal systems. There is no axiomatic construct capable of proving its own consistency and completeness in mathematics, thus such systems lack simultaneous completeness and consistency. But logic is beyond the arbitration founded in philosophical circles, much more than the symbolism employed by numbers and exponents; greater than the scope of formal systems. From rationalism to logicism, the superficial pursuit was to extrapolate reason beyond mere experience; yet the transcendent goal and ground of all being was to architect and harness a universality. A universality that underpinned a universal pathway, one that would separate the fallacious from the logically sound. Such a pursuit  sounds rather presumptuous, to create or to envisage a system that detects those crooked and circular modes of reason and simultaneously be conducive to those that make sense. Analogous to a mechanism that executes sound instructions and rejects or even destroys ill-formed and irrational means of reasoning. But since the Aristotelian view of logic grounded on both major and minor premises that generate so called syllogisms, there is a rejection of the usual pathways by which logic is applied and attained; the premise that logic does not correspond to anything in the material and physical world. Wherever the cards fall in such a light, logic as a pathway, a methodology and a deduction will progress as a cosmopolitan exultation of reason, comparable to a colony of worker ants tunneling through the rough terrain...

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Relativity- Through Einstein's Eyes

The universe is a kaleidoscope. Bursting with dynamic processes that enthral and miraculous happenings that evoke wonder, it’s a playground for theory and speculation. Yet when we observe the most fundamental of laws and principles; the classical mechanics of physics, there seems a radical breakdown. A breakdown that underlies the entirety of space and time, the continuum that is at the heart of reality and the crux of Einstein’s vision of the known universe. For when we encounter the most cosmological of speed limits, the constancy of light, we encounter happenings that Newton himself failed to address. Lengths begin to contract; the slowing of time soon follows and mass has the potential to be converted to energy. And as bizarre as such may sound, it would be quite familiar in an inertial frame of reference; travelling at the speed of light of course! Einstein viewed the universe from a lens of uncanny proportions, envisaging the concept of gravity as curvature as opposed to a mere force of attraction. It is the theory of relativity in both its special and general forms that provides an entirely unprecedented world-view, the picture of the universe that quantum physics is still attempting to sympathise with. From the inception of the big bang to the centre of a black hole, Einstein's equations unveil a counter-intuitive world; consider the linear and undeviating Newtonian arrow of time as opposed to a relativistic river of time. Such a river may be bent, split and manipulated in contrast to the arrow that remains constant in its path.The notion of time travel seems one of the more evident consequences of relativity particularly the warping that creates hypothetical wormholes allowing the individual movement through time much like through space. But apart from the prospects of a relativistic time machine, we realise the grand integration of space and time in the four dimensional Minkowski space as intimately related phenomena akin to the intimacy that gives rise to the quantum duality of particles and waves. Einstein further challenged the notion of simultaneity, elucidating the contingency upon the reference frame; thus a set of events that seem simultaneous to one observer may appear asynchronous to another observer in another reference frame. Counter-intuitive as it may further seem, relativity postulates an increase in speed causes an increase in relativistic mass in respect to the forces involved; in contrast to the rest mass measured when object is stationary in a reference frame. But beyond the postulates and radical propositions, we diverge into a quantum leap where the very small behaves much different than the very large. A presumptuous idea that the governing dynamics of the universe are steeped in uncertainty and probability as opposed to a deterministic Newtonian realm. And while Einstein remained contentious as to the feasibility and viability of this idea, we remain mesmerised by the grandeur and splendor that is the coalition of space and time into a package of cosmic wonder and elegance.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Scientia- A Philosophy of Science

Science is a verb. A tour de force at the forefront of discovery and curiosity, a culmination of reason and inquiry bent on the search for truth and a perennial and universal exultation of the evidences and the hypotheses that make it a reality beyond the bounds of a noun. And at the nucleus of its sum and substance is a philosophy bridging the gaps of human understanding. It is the philosophy of science that has redefined the approach to modern thought, posing as a systematic means of deduction. From the very definition of a science and its distinction from pseudoscience to the laws of nature that govern the oscillation of the universe; the philosophy of science goes well beyond a lore of axioms and maxims, it is a tapestry woven with the physical, chemical and biological. When dissecting such a primordial yet newfangled tradition, we ponder the world of the senses in which we perceive; the tradition of empiricism has an applicable scientific relevance, coupled with reductionism; explanations and models that give the impression of a Russian doll regress. Science has a philosophical uniqueness, apart from the world of the senses it fosters a passion to assert the laws of nature, the antithesis being the so called habits of nature, challenging the constance of such fixed laws. Arguably the great philosophical challenge to all of scientific practice and premise seems the induction fallacy, just because an event occurs and occurs often guarantees not its occurrence in the future ergo not only can the senses be fooled but our entire perception of conclusions from experimentation. Further parallels may be drawn along mathematics, the Bayesian theorem and its repercussions for probability presents science and philosophy the array of subjective and objective probabilities in accepting the new evidence for a theoretical idea.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Memes- The Mimic Machines

Spreading from culture to culture, they mimic the viruses that spread from host to host, the gossip that fulfills casual conversation or even the dispersion of peanut butter onto bread. They are the ever emerging counterparts, the inorganic analogs to genes centred on an almost evolutionary yet epidemiological paradigm. From the lore of traditions that brings to fruition the identities of a people, to the rumours and heresay that sensationalise everyday chitchat, memes are to a grand extent mimic machines that do far more than xeroxing and filing. Memes are ideas and attitudes that permeate circles of thought, memes are fashions and styles conforming to the vogue of the zeitgeist, memes are the attitudes and the behaviours that define the sheer ethology of a society. But what captures a grander scope, a vivider vista, remains the analogy of the biological to the cultural; of the replicating, mutating and selective gene to the proliferating meme, the birth of memetics on the governing dynamics of genetics. One may draw further parallels regarding such a view of human nature, the added pressures of variation and competition, driving memes into their own states of either extinction or survival. As rational as this may sound, memes have stumbled upon an unsuspecting Pandora's box, the very essence of their form and function compromised by the lack of an empirical base, the absence of a coded sequence or even the promotion of a reductionist outlook. Memes are almost the antithesis of genes, besides their inadequacy for script, they present a rather philosophical idea in contrast to that of the scientific. They are entities devoid of a triadic nature when examined in terms of semiotics, a meme is merely a sign, a functionally degenerate thing confined to an infinite loop of copying, a regressive phase of mimicking bound by materialist ideals. Rummaging through the meme pool, we realise a certain implicitness as to the destiny of memes as not solely products of a conjecture but as entities. We realise a certain metaphorical 'selfishness', not as a result of drives influenced by motivation or will but by the prioritisation for replication. The serving of the sentient interests of the meme ipsilateral of the hosts and replicators is more or less a 'selfishness', one that copies away at the mind like a mimic machine does at a clone. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Bertrand Russell- Politics and Celestial Teapots

He remains synonymous with the spirit of modern thought. An archetypal thinker, who perforated virtually every node of philosophical inquiry, deployed a seminal ground for intellectual endeavour and defined the rudiments of logic and reason. His permeation of not solely the philosophical but rather the political and the mathematical further paints the portrait of an eloquent twentieth century guru, directed by the pithiness of pure logic. Bertrand Russell remains to western analytic philosophy what Chaucer remains to the English language, a passionate and time-honoured sage, perpetuated by the rigor and vigor that equates his legacy. For when we examine Russell, we neither work up from the canons of metaphysics nor work down from the echoes of empiricism to distill his wisdom; rather we seek the intermediary scientific channel, the preponderance of its method and practice. Russell's admiration for the sciences alongside his odyssey in reducing mathematics to logical grounds, is foreseeable in its attempt to produce a coherent system of the world. But it was far more than the principles of logicism that drove him, it was the purity of proof and reason encapsulated throughout mathematics. Russell's substitution theory alongside his repertoire of set theory and axioms captured such a reverence of mathematics in his magnum opus Principia Mathematica. In addition, the sheer critique of the Kantian methodology, the opposition to Godel's theorems of incompleteness further vested the abstractions of such a iconoclastic yet mindful mind. Russell's aptitude on the frontier of metaphysics presents a skeptic stance, the absolute antithesis of faith as divested in his famed teapot analogy, proposing that the presence of a celestial or cosmic teapot is just as lacking as the evidence for it. Such is the course of Russell's kaleidoscopic worldview.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

4D- The Fourth Dimension

We reside upon a reality of dimensions. From the very objects we maneuver and manipulate to the curvature of space and time we extrapolate, the realm of dimensions seems the definitive platform of existence. And while limited to a discrete degree of three of such dimensions we begin to reflect on the feasibility of the fourth as a platform of existence. An abstract and abstruse concept compounded with the axioms and the theorems, the vectors and the coordinates. A fourth dimension truly breaks physical bounds of space and time, pushes the envelope on our profundity regarding the topological, geometric or even metaphysical nature of the known universe. A fourth dimension may well and truly express itself in the discipline of mathematics as a series of vectors, augmenting the degree of spatial liberty in a manifold; in physics, this comes as a grand unification of space and time via the Minkowski continuum of special relativity. But the central premise remains a fourth poled realm of space, where the minimum prerequisites central to the definition of a point are four. Envision a one dimensional terrain, a single coordinate is the prerequisite for the definition of a point, a two dimensional terrain requiring two coordinates, our three dimensional world requiring three and the four dimensional requiring four. But in terms of spatial freedom, a one dimensional world would restrict motion to right and left movements; a two dimensional reality limiting movement to right-left, forward-backward motions; a three dimensional world allowing right-left, forward-backward, up-down and around motions. The spatial freedom of a four dimensional world seems best represented by a tesseract cube, a four dimensional analog of its proportion, allowing the freedom of a three dimensional reality in conjunction with 'inside' movements. And while the verbosity of spatial movements and coordinates aims to tackle the abstract nature of a four dimensional world, we are only beginning to cut the Gordian Knot of its perplexity and mystery.  We are only beginning to unearth and unveil the range of ramifications such an array of dimensions poses, only beginning to fathom the sheer extents and heights such an order of spatial freedom may reach as both an abstract and a temporal reality. For we are not merely entities of three spasmodic dimensions, rather we are beings of a higher purpose...

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Freud- A Portrait

Why is Freud so venerated? Is it his outlandish, flamboyant and provocative conception of the mind or his morose, convoluted appearance? His theories of psychoanalytic drive and propulsion compounded with his schema of a subconscious self has undeniably deployed a seminal frontier for modern thought. His exploits as a experimenter, a measurer and an erudite revamped the clinical approach to the mind, employing listening as the hallmark of its repertoire. His attempt at pinpointing the sheer focal point of human sexuality, the machinery of interpretation and the subtle connotations of dreams fulfils a legacy, paints a portrait of a kaleidoscopic endeavour. When pondering Freud, we conceive a deep and eloquent expedition of the mind, deep into the oasis of the unconscious, far and out into the dawn of our cognition as rational and intelligent beings. From his early encounters with hysteria, Freud dispelled somatic disorder, subsuming a paradigm of listening as a foundation of diagnosis, stretching deep into the childhoods and infancies of his patients. In addition, Freud expounded the personality as a contraption of the Id; the early, gratifying and satisfying self; the ego; an intermediate, considerate and realistic transformation of the psyche and the superego; the moral engine of ethical virtue and conscience. According to Freud, thoughts are of the unconscious; conflicting energies and disguised desires become apparent with as much as the slip of a tongue or even a daydream. It was this foundation of human drive, instinct, thought and individuality on the grounding the unconscious mind that fulfilled a kaleidoscopic and dynamic Freudian standpoint. The oedipus complex plays a similar role in this regard, the early and innate sexual lust of the child for its mother and the annihilation of the father. What we may observe is the array, the panoply of bizarre and uncanny propositions that are at the nucleus of Freud's psychoanalytic credence, by latter-day standards, Freud may lack relevance and basis yet the elements of influence and clinical insightfulness seem the archetypal powers of his intellectual legacy. Ruminating further on the supergo, it remains the module of narcissism, the engine of the ego ideal that Freud regarded as the interplay between the conscious and the unconscious self, the images and desires of whom the self yearns to become. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Tabula Rasa- Debunking the Blank Slate

Analogous to a canvas devoid of paints and dyes, a blackboard destitute of scribbles and doodles or even a papyrus missing the touches of the ancient past. It remains a figment of philosophical inquiry, a blunder of the intellectual process, the very distortion of the scope of the mind. From its arrest of innateness to its propagation of an empiricist and a posteriori paradigms; it presents an unparalleled instance of proof by contradiction and a demeaning conception of nature and nurture. The blank slate proves to be conjecture worthy of both a critique and a debunking, the conception of an initially vacuous, empty and 'blank' self and a subsequently experiencing, feeling and sensing mind paints the portrait of a promising epistemic theory. Having a preference for the nurture end of the spectrum of the nature-nurture conflict and an exclusive inclusion of experience as the sole source of both erudition and enlightenment, its proponents from the likes of Aristotle to Locke to Howe and others remain compromised as the contemporary developments rule out a tabula rasa as a viable philosophical let alone psychological model. For we are not merely blank slates, rather hardwired in almost every facet of our cognitive, linguistic and behavioural tendencies. Such a 'schema' of the mind's predispositions leads to theories regarding this so called hard-wiring, the endowment that granted such an inbred and instinctive mind in contrast to a blank and vacuous slate. Among such theories remain the likes of evolutionary psychology, proposing the protocol of natural selection as a means to expound this cognitive, behavioural and linguistic instinct. And alongside such a premise is the panoply of implications indicated by the blank slate, for if the blank slate were truly the paradigm by which the mind is centred upon, it becomes quite conspicuous the ability to craft and model a flawless psyche; the ability to merely scrape the slate and generate perfection. Moreover, the emergence of a highly troublesome and flawed mind becomes the guilt of the environment and guardianship that it was exposed to. It remains this psychological foundation that gives both leverage and basis to the hard-wired mind stance, one where the theory of a blank slate holds ramifications that are anything but conducive to it. But what about the capacity, the dexterity and the prowess for language; the notion of a blank slate comes under the guillotine in regards to this linguistic instinct, one where the reality of spoken language is not subject to rigorous training or indoctrination and is instead reliant on the interplay between the hard-wired mind and the flux of the environment. The blank slate further indicates a series of rather non sequitur anxieties, dismay and distress as to the prospect of nihilism and the inequities of society. And so in turn, it becomes rather obvious the sheer irrelevancies the blank slate presents the modern intellect, a continuum of undesirable ramifications and unsound postulations with respect to the human mind that debunks it! 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Hormones- Messengers of Fight and Flight

They are the molecular messengers at the pivot of arousal and activity. Entities posing as physiologic signalling, fulfilled by the receptors that summon and bind to them. Regulators that police the internal milieu of the body, modulating the levels and the concentrations while facilitating a response of fight or flight. Whether endocrine, paracrine or autocrine; hormones remain the biochemical masters of signalling, the molecular marvels at the core of an efficient molecular logistics en route to their target receptor. From their synthesis away from their site of interest, to their odyssey via the havens of the bloodstream to their capacity to evoke activity and arousal is only at the tip of the endocrinologic iceberg. The dexterity of modulating the flux of behavior and personality
adds further to their psychological worth, their capacity for priming the mind to a biological degree. But perhaps most revered and renowned remains their mantle as the pivots of the fight-or-flight response, a complex of secretion by glands such as the adrenal, notable for its epinephrine output. Such a response to acute stress, followed by the production of dopaminergic molecule subsequently enhancing vigor and suppressing pain, giving rise to the 'adrenaline rush'. Moreover, one may observe the dynamic processes of hormones as a direct facet of a cohesive functional unit, neuroendocrine units such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis or even the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis function in unison in maintaining homeostatic, enteric, immunologic and other regulatory processes. It remains conspicuous the sheer cohesion and interdependence that fulfills the molecular realm of hormones, their enthralling action and intriguing reception, further kindled by their capacity to evoke and to stimulate. And as we converge deeper than ever conceived, further than ever; from the oasis of the posterior pituitary to the extremities of a lymphatic gland we realise an internal labyrinth of not solely symphony and synchrony but action upon reaction. Down to their genesis and synthesis, hormones have an uncanny resemblance of enzymes during their initial composition and inhibition, their subsequent activation and reception. There is an added resemblance of specificity, in the case of enzymes; stereo-specificity to the substrate and target cells guided by functional receptors for their hormonal counterparts. Anything but unkempt.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Molecular Biology- Symphony in the Gene

A haven of order and complexity, playing to the symphonic rhythm of nature. The synchrony of cell and molecule in a cascade of biological marvel that ever confounds, gripping the secrecy of life. Standing as an endeavour rather than a mere attempt at expounding the interplay of genes and biochemical catalysis; it remains ever universal in both its form and direction. From the pithiness of its central dogma to its implications for modern genomics, molecular biology has fulfilled the embodiment of a grander scope of life. One readily laced with intricacy and elaborateness yet doused with the elegance of lucidity and intrigue. And while genes remain the powerhouse blueprints for powerhouse macromolecules, it is their stupendous odyssey from a humble polymer of nucleotides, to a polypeptide chain of amino acids and beyond that broadens the biological horizons of the cell and accounts for its elusive processes. From the copycat phase of replication that gives rise to twins from a parental strand of DNA; to the methodic phase of transcription that takes the stuff of genes to the stuff of RNA; to the interpretation of a residue by residue sequence by means of translation. Molecular biology seems the starting point at the terminating point of biochemistry, ever pushing the envelope of understanding further than ever. In addition, the dynamics of gene expression remain deeply encapsulated in the cellular preference for one gene over the other; hinting a biological symphony devoid of sound and note yet superfluous in authority and governance. Ruminating even further, we realise the exactitude at the heart of the gene, the initiating prelude of the promoter's bond to RNA polymerase, its elongation as DNA is copied into RNA and the finishing touches indicated by the omission of introns ans the expression of exons. Rather superfluous in terms of jargon, yet the most efficient and industrious of biological contraptions on the planet. A contraption bent on more than merely a central dogma, rather myriad indications and implications for cutting-edge science. For when a neoplastic mutation results in a malignant growth of cellular entities, the interplay between oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes grounds a molecular basis to understanding the pathophysiology of disease and disorder. Telomeres and telomerases included, their roles  catalyzing such molecular mayhem and unrest. Molecular biology is at the coalface of disseminating  the nature and causes of such mutations, but apart from cancer or oncologic phenomena, an ever emerging movement to dissecting the induced mutations caused by mutagens and the flaws the polymerases of replication spontaneously evoke. A realm of utility, viability and feasibility is deeply and intimately woven throughout the fabric of molecular biology, not solely for its groundbreaking and paradigm-shifting efforts in the genetic world but also for the spirit of discovery and lucidity it kindles and arouses...

Monday, 30 July 2012

Richard Feynman- The Quantum Mechanic

A bongo-playing iconoclast whose rigour and energy revolutionsed the realm of theoretical physics. The theorist who conjectured where no mind would reflect, the mechanic that sought to decode the perplexities of quantum reality; a mundane scientist that pondered the fundamental answers to the fundamental questions. And while Einstein retained the first-half of the century, he deployed the second in a manner of panache and flamboyance. Richard Feynman remains deeply-seated throughout the pandemonium that fulfilled twentieth century physics, his signature skepticism and inherent touch of lucidity refined the image of the physicist and unveiled an ever sprawling yet dynamic constance of nature. Feynman entails a legacy that surpasses merely scientific proportions, rather one that echoes and reverberates throughout the whole of intellectual history. Theoretical physics has remained in constant pursuit of grand unifying laws that reinforce the understanding of the parenchyma of the cosmos; Feynman's role in that endeavor is woven intimately and methodically in his both his visionary foresight and eye for mathematical prowess. His theories of electrodynamics rethought the correlations of matter and light, depicting them in schema that resemble the careless scribbles of a child's sketch yet possess the inherent complexity of an exotic language. Much may be remarked regarding a practitioner of science, yet Feynman's legacy as both an iconoclastic public figure and revered physicist remain ever perennial. His capacity to doubt and to approach with a probing degree of skepticism while maintaining a measure of uncertainty remains a unparalleled world-view, a prodigious paradigm of intellect. It was the added account of particle physics and the mechanics of fluid helium that deciphered some of more renowned properties of zero viscosity. The sheer enormity of Feynman's bestowals is nothing short of incalculable, the augmentation of the canons of modern physics, the extrapolation of their classic and quantum indications and the freeing of the spirit of inquiry. A theoretical trailblazer, forever voyaging through the annals and spirit of science akin to a wayfarer voyaging through the vast oasis of the desert...

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Paranormal- Beyond the Bounds of Reality

Lurking figures of ectoplasm, reigning over the night; haunting and spooking in a manner of delight. The conveyance of thought seamlessly from mind to mind, telepathically converging on the psychic experience. The bending of cutlery and utensils via the power of will, telekinesis and its mystical fields of force. While such phenomena sound rather familiar to the exoteric mind, their incidence and documentation as figments of the paranormal remain far-fetched. Phenomena that breaks the ever known boundary of 'reality', is dismissed by skeptics and postulated by rigorous individuals of the scientific fraternity. And while paranormal happenings grip the mind with ever increasing anticipation and awe, a great challenge to the empirical basis to the scientific method is readily indicated. Paranormal events ranging from the magic of telepathy and clairvoyance to the mystic near-death and apparitional experiences exhibit such a challenge to conventional wisdom in a manner that enforces the spirit of inquiry. Latter-day parapsychology has yielded the finer rudiments of such happenings; from the extrasensory perception indicated by sensory deprivation to the telekinetic phenomenon as indicated by the manipulation of random number generation; the movement for an applicable and practical evidence-base seems to transcend the parameters of scientific methodology. But it remains the extrapolation of the scientific means of inquiry, to revamp its tenets and to redefine the nature of reality that is at the nucleus of such an intellectual saga. Above all, parapsychological research seems to unveil a coexisting reality alongside reality, indeed the term 'paranormal' serves an inconvenience, given some parapsychological experiences remain inherently ordinary. Such a controversial stance may be substantiated with the notion of the poodle that knows when its owner arrives home or the telepathy that is evident among callers of a phone conversation; the realm of ubiquity is unparalleled. The paranormal may remain a conception, an abstraction per se; the parapsychological movement for its objectivity and a sensation of consensus regarding not solely its plausibility but also rationality is paramount. For if such phenomena prove difficult to adapt into our current system of the universe, the implicit fallacy that such phenomena are fictitious is readily indicated. So in turn, the realm of the paranormal is indicative of the great challenges to scientific methodology and a primer to the incorporeal, the immaterial, the universal...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Linguistics- From Conjunctions to Chomsky

A cascade of lines, dots and dashes in a river of context, form and meaning. Not a vessel to be filled, but rather a fire to be kindled. A semantic entity that gives rise to a scope of meaning, a phonetic tone that plays with the dynamics of acoustics, a syntactic structure that gives the impression of order and complexity while its incalculable value forms the sheer fabric of humanity. Language remains a cosmopolitan feat, the means of transference, of conveyance and the exultation of ourselves as rational and intelligible beings. But beyond the indispensable mantle that language assumes as a facet of the humanities, is an intellectual challenge in describing its impetus and momentum. The faculty of linguistics comes as a challenge to traditional school grammar, a prescriptive and rather liberal approach to language alongside its scientific orientation. Linguistics is an exploration of the vast oasis of language and its advent has foreseen paradigm-shifting implications upon the zeitgeist of academia. From advent of structuralism; language as a systematic series of linked nodes, to functionalism; language as fulfilled by its workings, linguistics has maintained a rather transformational approach to a universal phenomenon.  It was the added stances of semiotics and pragmatics that defined a discipline and an intellectual endeavor. Nevertheless, a panoply of queries remain unanswered, the great challenges to conventional wisdom in regards the origin, genesis and acquisition of language continue to direct the course of linguistics into its contemporary saga. The ascent of linguistic insight into the nature of syntactic structures, namely the ground-breaking postulations of Noam Chomsky drove language into a generative model of grammar; triggered by the instance of rules that promote well-formed sentence structure and the omission of ill-formed sentence structure via principles of competence and creativity. Such a generative grammatical model further pushed the envelope on linguistic inquisition , yet much may be speculated, given the prospect that languages of every colour and proportion share common properties. The presence of words, the modification of words, promotion of abstraction, liberation of stimulus and open-endedness remain some of the myriad common denominators of all languages. Did all languages arise as a result of common ancestry? Linguistics maintains a degree of historicism in tracing the roots and shoots of language. Much reference to the nature-nurture debate may be found among the rudiments of linguistic research, is language acquired or innate? Chomsky's

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Immanuel Kant- Messenger of the Enlightenment

'The starry heavens above me and the moral law within me'. Such is a pithy maxim of an inquiring mind, the trailblazer at the heart of the zeitgeist of the enlightenment. A revered and esteemed authority, driven by a transcendent ground of reason and intuition while revamping with vigor and passion the very foundations of philosophical thought. His tenets of universality rewrote the approach to ethics and morality while his marriage of rationalism with empiricism turned the tables on epistemic endeavor. Immanuel Kant remains an illustrious specimen of the colourful intellectual saga of the enlightenment, and while the 'starry heavens and the moral law' capture the spirit of such a legacy; the panoply of critical hypotheses and ideas captures its very essence. Most apparent of such an essence is the bipolarity of morality and epistemology, the pole of ethics and pole of knowledge that formed the greater crux of Kant's intellectual repertoire. Kant sought to transcend and revamp and to renovate via The Critique of Pure Reason but poor reception proved adverse to his odyssey of enlightenment. It was the added hurdles of rationalism and empiricism, two standpoint schools of epistemology, and the fiery debates regarding ethics that necessitated a radically new phase to the enlightenment. Kant intervened but his approach was one that refused to reduce humanity to a mechanism of reduction like Hume or Hobbes and one that declined to reduce humanity to an alleged intuition of rationality like Descartes. Kant sought his categorical imperative of maxims as a leverage towards his deontological stance on ethics; the universality of acts, the perception of others as ends rather than means and the assumption of the moral guidance of the universe as a means of equating the ethics and morality. But beside the predominance of ethics and epistemology, the aesthetic pleasure was a preponderant feature of Kant's intellectual repertoire, The Critique of Judgement laid the cornerstone for the aesthetic dimension of reality with Kant arguing the faculty of judgement as the means to experiencing such a reality with sense and purpose, purpose hinting the teleological nature of beauty. It remains conspicuous the multifaceted and cross-disciplinary foresight and insight of Kant, not solely as a result of his philosophical pursuits nor the array of intellectual works under his belt, but rather as a direct outcome of the genius at the nucleus of his dexterity and aptitude that may be ranked considerably among the trailblazers of the enlightenment. And as we continually ponder, with ever new admiration and awe the repercussions of his legacy we realise a simple premise, for as long as 'starry heavens and the moral law' remain intact and erect; what becomes of the 'earthy soil below me'? Kant may have not bequeathed a clarification but it remains the universality and rationality of his postulations that transfigured the philosophical frontier from every approachable angle...

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Islamic Philosophy- Crucible of Faith and Thought

A scholastic development of the distant past, persisting in a perennial and cosmopolitan endeavor. Driven in both form and velocity by the preponderance of the Arab element in a cohesive and seamless fashion while manifesting the finer rudiments of faith and thought in a crucible of diversity. Forged by the successive stances of the theologians, grammarians, metaphysicians and a panoply of intellectual trailblazers of every colour and aptitude, it has pushed the philosophical envelope further than ever. Commended for its radically insightful and inquisitive paradigm and critiqued as a respected body of thought, it has proved to be a matrix of wisdom and the embodiment of a grand world-view. Islamic philosophy is nothing short of rich and archetypal, the cascade of unparalleled intellectual progress as manifested by the Arab civilisation and governed by the immutable law of the Quranic scripture. Early developments foresaw the ascent of Kalam or scholastic theology that exhibited a strong association with Hellenic philosophical canons. But it was the added innovation in the faculties of Tasfir or exegesis, Fiq or Jurisprudence and much judicial decree that ordained an Islamic tradition of thought, its scripture as its pivot and its thinkers as its timeless vicegerents. Adding to this explosion of enlightenment, this 'philosophical renaissance', was the advent of metaphysics and the mystical yearning for truth and a connectivity with the divine. What is most conspicuous is both a successive and eclectic body of tradition, centered on an ever sprawling scholastic and intellectual theme. Inherently, Islamic philosophy exhibits the paradigm of a crucible; but unlike the quintessential unity of heterogeneous concepts, the crucible of Islamic philosophy proves the unity of homogeneous ideas. A melting pot where faith and thought are amalgamated and are contemplative to one another; where faith is conducive to thought and thought is conducive to faith. And at the nucleus of such a universal endeavour, were the thinkers that weaved a fine tapestry of philosophical inquisition, strung upon treatise after treatise the spirit of rationality and the nature of thought itself. It was the incubation of insight by Al-Kindi that revived the epistemic nature of knowledge and the philosophical basis to rationality and wisdom, the probing works of Al-Farabi that unveiled the teleological first cause and the neoplatonic stance of theology, the mystic exploits of Rumi that founded the ever transcendent school of mysticism, the sheer refinement of occasionalism by Al-Ghazali that revamped the conception of cause and effect. What is inherent remains the culmination of this intellectual crucible of faith and thought, the thinkers and logicians that sought the crux of knowing via the first intellect and furnished the philosophical realm with prowess and mastery. Islamic philosophy surpasses that of the blind and destitute of light, deploying a clear thinking oasis and ordaining the purity of reason and the stature of the intellect. It remains the unparalleled universal and cosmopolitan vision that defines and signifies the Islamic civilisation, people and its noble ethos...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Optics-Physics at the Speed of Light

A luminary ray of mystique and romance. One that persists to confound and to astound, to gleam and shower all with its radiant luminosity. This familiar phenomena, bequeathed by nature and synthesised by that of man continues on a persistent basis to stagger and bewilder, not as a direct result of its refractory or reflective dynamics but rather its indispensable mantle. Light is ever ubiquitous and elementary yet the optic principles that deploy the image of a dynamic and versatile phenomenon prove paradigm-shifting. The inception of modern physics has foreseen myriad indications for optics; from the classical canons of refraction and reflection to the quantum constancy of photons to the boundless utility of lasers and optical fibre. Optics seeks the laws and axioms that drive and facilitate light; the 'bending' of a straw in a glass is a simple happening, but the mathematically sound, physically oriented and thermally dynamic explanation proposed by optics unveils a mechanism of infinite complexity and diversity. The laws of nature seem to articulate in synchrony, playing unanimously to a symphony; light remains the culmination of such a symphony, the crux of illumination and the subject of inquiry for optics. Understanding light was confined to the parameters of Newtonian particle theory until the advent of relativity and the elucidation of photons entered the scientific repertoire. It is the successive stances of optics that has redefined the approach to light and illumination, while bound by the universal laws of physics. Light is nothing short of dynamic and sprawling, it is our reduction of its form and function that has bequeathed the spectrum of electro-magnetism and forged new frontiers as to its velocity and insurmountable versatility. A preeminent instance of this versatility would be the oculi, commonly recognised as the eyes, centered on the concept of diffraction via a lens of biological tissue that warps light into a curvature prior to its conversion to nervous impulses. While the eyes may remain an inherently biological conception of light, the physics at the heart of the optic moment is both paramount and uncompromising. The advent of the lens as a sprawling optic application has reinforced the prospect of utility. Lenses, whether concave or convex, focus parallels of light rays upon a focal point in a fashion of diffraction. It remains synergy of light and the laws of physics that has surmounted gaps in understanding such dynamic phenomena and deployed a methodical means of first-hand investigation. And above all descriptors of physics and dynamics is an aesthetic pleasure that enriches the conception of light, divisible into its inherent spectrum of shades and hues; an elegant and alluring entity, abundant in beauty and charm. For all of natures laws lay hid in night, until optics was and all was light!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Engineering- A Tour de Force

The very exultation of our practical genius. Furnishing the world over with wonder and synergy, synthesising things never before conceived and extrapolating the profundity of our imagination. A discipline doused liberally with the know-how and time-honoured innovation decreed by its forefathers and perpetuated by a spirit that yearns to push the envelope of design and technology further than ever. Making the systems and the contraptions at the core of modern life more robust, more efficient and more awesome while simultaneously embarking on a revolutionary tour de force to conquer the pragmatic nature of being. Engineering is a modality that has undeniably fostered a boundless realm of utility; the definitive fusion of principles and practice into an evident measure of equilibrium. One may reflect on the universality of engineering by observing the meticulous functions of an engine; pistons primed in linear motion, compelled towards combustion,driving stroke upon stroke; the kinetics of a chemical reaction, giving rise to novel substances and solutions; the aviation of an plane, maintaining velocity and opposing drag or even the irreducible complexity of a circuit, harboring resistance and conductivity. Engineering has transfigured both the tangibility of the material world and the intangibility of the imagination, extrapolating its depth and profundity. The synergetic integration of technological advance with that of the status quo is at the heart of the engineering spirit, the intellectual challenge of solving perplexing technical problems by means of an interdisciplinary approach is at its coalface. For it remains not solely the goal of making mechanisms more efficient and more robust but also more intimate and alluring in their simplicity that forms the tapestry of such an indispensable art.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ethics- At the Edge of Morality

Judging between good and bad is nothing short of imperative. The thread that weaves a fabric of moral being and evident conscience is an ever binding tapestry of personal and collective proportion. A culmination of philosophical and theological inquiry, the brain-child of the sage and the immemorial principles at the nucleus of 'the greater good' forms the crux of this universal institution. One that through myriad conjectures and hypotheses, rapidly established a profound instalment to the intellectual repertoire and the age of reason. Enlightening and probing, provocative and stimulating; ethics is a modality of, by and for humanity; an analytical insight into the means and the ends, the codifying of acts into a methodic algorithm of reason and seeking the finer rudiments of their colour and nature. Traditionally, the cradle of ethics has remained confined to the philosophical territory of the dual schools of consequentialism and deontology in conjunction with the groundbreaking postulations submitted by logicians such as Kant and Confucius. Consequentialism remains synonymous with the justification of the means with the end, the premise that the outcome of the action or acts justifies their degree of morality and ethical virtue. On the other hand, deontology asserts that outcomes are unimportant and that the individual's intentions are paramount, justifying their degree of morality and ethical virtue. What we may deduce is a classic instance of rivalling schools and opposing, often controversial outcomes. Let's envision a thief in search of a key to a vault, in Kantian deontology, one would ethically be inclined to serve as a service to his fellow man and assist the thief in finding the key. But the thief stealing the loot of the vault as a result of your assistance has no ethical wrongdoing as the freewill of a fellow man is not your responsibility. However, consequentialism assaults this conception of ethics and asserts that your acts assisted the thief in the theft and holds the ends as a justification of the means. Ethics is both theoretical and pragmatic, the most abstract of philosophical abstractions and the practical approach to life forms the crux of this algorithm of reason, the discernment between that of the good and that of the bad. But beyond the dual schools of consequentialism and deontology, there is the intrinsic essence of ethics and morality that remains the defining definition of humanity. A common denominator, a common moral infrastructure that is the transcendence of all ethics and all morality. The humble yet binding conscience. For as long as men can breathe of eyes may see, conscience remains the immanent hub of all ethics, one that neither Kant nor the remainder of the enlightenment have conquered to the fullest of play and a tenet of being that teases the most scholarly of figures and prodigious of minds. Ethics may well and truly prove to be the next final frontier, a philosophical odyssey bound by a methodic algorithm of reason, inquiry and inquisition..

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Nanotechnology- Size Does Matter

Machines that laboriously execute the most confounding of functions. Contraptions that work in synergy, a cooperative interaction of components and mechanics driven to full throttle and absolute efficiency. The very coalface of cutting-edge technology, the final frontier of modern practical genius. While this may sound much like the dream machine for which the minds of engineering, design and technology yearn for, it remains a figment of our imagination attempting to manifest itself in reality. The advent of spellbinding molecular machinery, robust nano systems and paradigm-shifting scientific advance is ever immanent and closer than ever conceived. Nanotechnology has proved a token of promise for our futuristic worldview, pushing the envelope of what may be done on the atomic and molecular levels and challenging the concept of intangibility . Our perception of the material world has been limited to the parameters of what may be manipulated topographically or even microscopically but the attempt at manipulating matter by a factor of a few inconceivable nanometres is rather far-fetched for the average mind but the repercussions are boundless. Nanotechnology fosters a realm of utility lacking any foreseeable restrictions; molecular machines that work in unison with immunity to fend off diseases, more and more durable synthetic materials that withstand the harshest of elements and even quantum computation that dumps the bits for qubits. Phenomena such as the blood-brain barrier, a capillary network of the least permeability, remains a physiologic checkpoint that makes the delivery of certain drugs and pharmaceuticals insurmountable. The implications indicated by nanotechnology make this  feat surmountable and establishes a pristine standard of clinical practice. In regards to synthesis, the advent of fullerenes and related molecular counterparts are indicative of the possibilities immanent in such a meticulous discipline. Materials that exceed ordinary limitation are inevitable and their synthesis remains the subject of inquiry as to maintain the greatest degree of durability and efficiency. Nanotechnology may be a subject of futuristic conversation, but the realisation of its potency as an industrial, engineering and scientific movement and a junction between mechanisms of every colour, shape and proportion proves the key to the next final frontier. It's signature applications are indicated across every dimension of the sphere.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Cortex- Fifty Shades of Grey Matter

Cover image expansionConvoluted with furrows and grooves, it's akin to cauliflower. A dynamic apparatus, from which the finer rudiments of thought, feeling and intellect stem. The very mantle that sheaths the most nervous of tissue and executes the most meticulous of commandments. A tangible representation of cognition, an abstract exultation of elegance and the premise of form and function. It remains nothing short of miraculous and spellbinding; thin, gray tissue harboring the secrecy of consciousness and above all, life. The zenith of gray matter and the biological basis for reason, abstraction and love. The cortex remains a powerhouse executive suite, armed with the potency of billions upon billions of neuronal entities, its hallmark lies with its deceptive resemblance of vegetable contrasted with its role as the ultimate reduction of the self. Thin and convoluted gray matter is merely the explicit statement, while the lurking station of biochemical symphony and cellular synchrony convey the greater connotation, the profound potential. The intellectual challenge that lies with pushing the envelope of understanding further is  deepened with the prospect of fatty tissue, dominating perception, conception and the capacity to reason. For the brain remains no homogeneous pudding, it is a fabrication of various cogs and gears that consolidate memory, process sensory input and facilitate motor output. The cortex forms a bulk of neurological function, in contrast to the sub-cortical white matter, responsible for the facilitation of channels and pathways, commissures and radiations. But cracking the ultimate conundrum remains the driving, thrusting force that transcends space and time, matter and energy; the essence of the sheath of cognition and its untapped, coded potential. The cortex remains the subject of much speculation as well as seminal scientific work that hints novel developments for localisation and lateralisation of function, the pathological investigation of disorder and the mystic elements entailed in its being. With the stimulation of the cortex via an electrode for instance, an uncannily map-like representation of the body is unveiled. Such a mechanism fosters structure over that of substance and harbors a boundless cognitive potential along a thin sheet of neural tissue. But it is the holistic rather than the modular approach that captures the spirit of cognition, for it remains a phenomenon surpassing the parameters of mere tissue and entailing the dynamics of a transcendent order.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Evolution- A Theory in Crisis

A premise reigning over the conception of life. The conviction of a common ancestor, that through a methodic means of change, proved the causation for the plethora of species, diversity and biological wonder that ventures the realm of nature. A materialistic conception, perpetuated by consensus and held firm throughout the annals of science via an 'evidence-based' approach. The culmination of conjecture and hypothesis neither for its rationality nor its logic, but rather its potency to consume and to entice, to persuade and to absorb. Evolution remains a revered and venerated documentation, one that has conquered the roots of the biological sciences and flourished through its approaches of natural selection and myriad mechanisms of variation. But such a conviction is just as worthy of a critique, that elucidates the loopholes, fallacies and contradictions. A critique that places evolutionary theory, its tenets and finer rudiments under a line of inquiry and provides an intimate outlook that discerns between that of the fictitious and the factual. Life is a reality that is often conveyed along the parameters of biological matter, cellular formations, reproduction and metabolism; evolution is merely an attempt to dissect to nature of diversity and not an explanation of the genesis of life. For when the tables are turned the question of biological genesis, evolution fails to respond to the critical premise of life's origins. At the core of evolutionary theory is a materialistic paradigm, one that is predominantly associated with the fossil record and the variation that may be deduced through the analysis of prehistoric biological matter, evolutionary theory claims a blind and undirected process of change that allowed characteristics on on end of the biological spectrum to survive on the other end. Essentially, fossils and other preserved biological matter are evidence of an evolutionary process. Nothing would be further than the truth with the lack of transitional forms, exhibiting the evolution from one species to the next in transitional fashion. In addition, the abundant repository of genetic information found in the genome remains a phenomena the Darwinian theory was developed in complete disregard of. When one pores over the sciences as an interconnected nexus of disciplines, one may apply a multidisciplinary approach to a critique. Thermodynamics builds a bridge to that of the biological sciences through its principle of entropy, the conviction that if no rational agent is in control of a reaction, chaos is the inevitable outcome. In reference to evolutionary theory, a blind and undirected materialistic mechanism of change is demanding of a chaotic outcome, disorder and dysfunction; a blind and undirected mechanism contradicts the thermodynamic principle of entropy substantiates a rational, conscious agent is responsible not solely for the biological diversity manifest in nature but for the genesis of life, the inception of organisms great and small. Evolutionary theory assumes profound stances regarding that of biology, but it remains the critique that highlights the finer rudiments of a theory in crisis...

Friday, 25 May 2012

Gandhi- Pilgrim of Peace

A figure of immense renown and reverence. Revered not solely for his stances of political liberation, but rather of his movement for serenity and composure. The revolutionary that stood ground at the advent of turmoil and oppression, the culmination of leadership and the zenith of personal transformation. He bequeathed a paradigm, a mentality and an unparalleled world-view that foresaw the birth of a nation and the making of a people, a universal and immemorial canon of peace. An irreducible psyche, the historic germination of a seed of hope and reform. Superficially transfiguring the political and social frontiers, his tale remains an odyssey of personal proportions with repercussions that penetrate that of the heart and ponder the sagacity. Mahatma Gandhi remains a preeminent personality that crossed borders and barriers in a constant yearning for emancipation and liberty. The culmination of the Indian independence movement  is encapsulated throughout his mild mannered, calm and tranquil temperate. One may gather from his humble beginnings and personal experimentation with truth a rather revolutionary spirit that freed his people from the shackles of tyranny and injustice. Gandhi foresaw the world from every approachable angle via a lens that transcended ordinary perception. In addition, one is able to deduce a persistence coupled with a lively and fiery spirit of personal transformation, a practical paradigm. More probing is his engagement in the Salt Marches that waged a civil disobedience upon the colonialism that governed the Indian state and established a perennial impression of a revolutionary. Gandhi possessed neither the physical nor the material means of shunning colonial rule, it was the concept of civil disobedience in conjunction with a signature weapon of peace that granted India its independence and the challenging of colonialism. A leader is the immediate conception with a revolutionary of his caliber and stature, Gandhi gathered disciples with a common denomination that formed the fabric of a movement of composure and spirit. And above all descriptors of serenity and regard, Gandhi maintained a universal message that crossed borders and foresaw a paradigm shift in the conception and perception of a nation, the making of a people.