Friday, 25 January 2013
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
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.