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...