Friday, 25 January 2013

Quantum Brain- Inside the Bits and Bytes of Consciousness

Enter a world where the game is played by breaking the rules. One where uncertainty and entanglement reign while coherence and complementarity occupy the ultimate domain. A duality of particle and wave coupled with the non-locality that seeks the proposition of superposition. An unchartered and probabilistic scheme of jiggling things to which its laws humbly sing. And enter a realm at the epitome of the self, an enchanted loom of biochemical symphony and cellular synchrony. Convoluted with furrows and grooves it is custodian to the interconnections that define the sum of what it means to be human. Quantum mechanics and the brain share parallels rather than a diverging dichotomy; on the one hand we are confronted with probabilistic wave-functions and on the other with a 300º Kelvin mass of protoplasm at the cutting edge of consciousness. But is it feasible to assume a model of quantum computation in the framework of the brain? Are the both mutually exclusive or two points on the same Möbius strip? To approach such compendious questions we may assume a purely computational framework of quantum bits and bytes, so called qubits and run them via a linear yet reversible probabilistic mapping sequence towards controllable logic gates and into a concluding state with a final outcome, secured by the tendency of entanglement to converge on the most desired of those outcomes. On the neurobiological level, such phenomena may translate as the flux of electrons in the hydrophobic pockets of cytoskeletal microtubles; superposition may manifest itself via its constituent helical tubulin and tunnelling may even exchange quantum states via gap junctions between neurons producing the gamma oscillations consistent with consciousness. And overcoming the decoherence that the wet and tepid remainder of the brain poses. For unlike the generic architecture of a Von Neumann machine, the brain amalgamates elements of memory in the form of alterable connections within the parenchyma of the neuronal membrane, the processing substrate. In addition, to further comprehend the problem of consciousness and the collapse of the wave function; imagine a person staring at a superimposed succesion of faces and a Schrödinger's cat system, the faces are readily apparent but however the fate of the cat remains unverified until it surrender's its superposition and settles into an eigenstate. And if consciousness was needed to be aware of such a state, the fate of the feline subject would still remain undecided until such time interval; contending the notion that a discrete quantum scheme is needed to explain conscious perception and awareness. But whatever the configuration or architecture, the realities of quantum mechanics and the brain remain spokes of the same wheel; the wheel of perception and cognition that turns with every passing moment and waning second.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Economics- A Keynesian Interpretation

The invisible hand confronts the unlimited wants while reconciling the limited resources. It progresses via supply and demand, through elasticity and productivity and via the monopolies and oligopolies of the market. Its palm makes contact with fiscal policy, all while tackling inflation and recession with its thrifty fingers and priming the pump of the money supply. If economics were comparable to an invisible hand, such an allegory would fit pristinely; but in reality many rather visible hands premise the headway and direction of the economy. It is the emergence of Keynesian thinking, policy and schools of thought that has produced a fervent and deep-seated impression upon the mechanics and behaviours of macroeconomic affairs; one that remains superficial in its stimulation of such affairs and fallacious in its overall approach. Looking at economics through the Keynesian lens, we realise that productive activity is determined by aggregate demand in the short run and that its correlation with aggregate supply does not imply causation, such that aggregate demand does not influence aggregate supply. It is the interaction between the public and private sectors and the interplay between government stimulation and control that maintains the crucial cyclic and circular flow of currency, thereby encouraging spending and consumption to drive economic stimulus that is at its crux. Quite distinct from the laissez-faire paradigm, which champions the exclusion of the public sector; rather conflicting with the Austrian school which advocates a free market and conflicting with the classical doctrine of a vertical aggregate supply curve which responds to demand with increased prices rather than production. The Keynesian spending cycle is one that reveals further instances of economic  rinsing and repeating, superficial and transient stimulus; by which new legislation is passed for government spending, resulting in liquidation of tax dollars and commissioning of central bank to produce additional currency, adding to public debt and the money supply; thus decreasing value of currency and increasing gross domestic product based on the inflated money supply allowing the government to continue spending more. Such quantitative easing is conducive to the image of the gross domestic product yet damaging to the the value of currency as well as the players in the economic game. One where the factors shaping employment, production and inflation are affected by those factors that fashion productive activity  and the rigidity of wages coupled with the stickiness of prices stands as one of the defining factors of the paradigm arising from the Keynesian interpretation of economics. An interpretation that seemed applicable during the epoch of the Depression yet one that was magnified and embellished to illogical and sophistic extents. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Multiverse- A Universe of Universes

Is our universe the only universe? Or are we merely one of many expanding soap bubbles we call the multiverse? Are we the only game in town? Or one of many embedded in a cosmic block of Swiss cheese? And while cheese and dairy may not deploy the verdict, we remain in awe at the unfathomable mystique of the known cosmos. From the big bang to the centres of black holes, the solution may rest with the notion of infinitely many realms oscillating in hyperspace. A reality where mother and baby macrocosms; connected and tangled via cosmic umbilical cords, sprout, fission and bud via nucleation to give rise to others and even one where different decohered branches of the wave-function reign. A collection and aggregation of universes that may constitute to different Hubble volumes, post-inflationary regions and physical constants, one that redefines the definition of 'all that exists'. If our universe was one among many, we could envisage the entirety of reality as a cyclic model; one where the universe follows infinitely many self-sustaining cycles of creation and destruction. We are probably the interior of a black-hole, existing as one of several inside a larger universe, a grander of scheme of things as part of an ultimate cosmological ensemble. One where every probabilistic outcome fissions into universes, as indicated by the many-worlds-interpretation, and the wave-function refuses to collapse; with every possibility, choice and decision playing out in a parallel world adjacent to ours in infinite dimensional Hilbert space. Another formulation of a multiverse would interestingly enough incorporate the democratic principle: whereby any universe that is mathematically probable has an equal probability of actually existing, therefore such an ensemble would incorporate unique physical laws and constants. And the ultimate curiosity remains how one would go about to travel 'interuniversally', as a cosmic tourst, a macrocosmic backpacker or even a multiversal hitchhiker; the finite probability of quantum tunnelling in which particles may cross an otherwise forbidden barrier such as an energy state may seem the ideal means of transportation from one parallel reality to the next. But as far as evidence is concerned, the multiverse remains a hypothetical feat with complications such as the probability problem; whereby an individual attempts to quantify the existence of their clone doppelgänger in a parallel universe, remains a loophole across many parameters. However, it is the amount of observable space-time dimensions and strength of the forces of nature that were set in stone by the early universe that may hint the existence of a multiverse, one where the failure of a vacuum to decay to its ground state gives rise to an ultimate ensemble. A synthesis of elegance beyond the parameters of our existence and above and beyond the depth of our perception; not the most presumptuous idea in the universe but in the multiverse...