Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: To know or not to know

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Question To know or not to know

    We do not know if before the beginning there was knowledge at all, but since we think we
    have knowledge now, we think that there would be knowledge to come, at least at some
    point after the beginning. Before the beginning we do not know if it, if anything, was
    similar or different from what we think we know now. We can only imagine what was, if
    anything. If so, if different, it can not be described unless in terms of the known.

    If we say 'I don't know', at least we know that we don't know something, if anything. Not
    knowing what you don’t know makes it impossible to even be aware of what is beyond your
    present knowledge, or even to imagine that there would be anything.

    Nor can we imagine what is impossible to know because we have no means of sensing it. All
    we can hope for is to improve our techniques of sensing information, our ability to
    select what’s relevant and rely on our brain to put it all together in a coherent way,
    which will allow us to gain insight in how it all works: that is, if it would be
    different from what we think it is. For what if we think what it is, is no more than our
    senses make of it?

    If it is what it is because we think it is that way, reality would be no different from
    what we think it is. If some of us think the same way about what it is, it might seem
    that reality is not much different from what we think it is, because we all came to the
    same conclusion. We might think that a reality exists independent of what we think of
    what it is, and the best way to know about it is to have some sort of consensus about
    what it might be. But what if reality exists only in our thinking? What if we exist only
    in our thinking? What if our thinking only exists in our thinking, would our thinking
    exist at all? And if everything we perceive exists somehow or another independent of our
    thinking, how much is our thinking capable to change things, or do they only change in
    our perception? And if not through our thinking as such, is our interaction between our
    perception of what we think things are and what they really are, of any influence on
    changing what things really are?

    A scientific theory is our best guess at some point in time of what we perceive. We do
    not know if our perception has any relationship with something different from us. Any
    representation of the world outside, if any, is produced by the (conscious) brain in
    cognitive terms of spaces, shapes, geometrical forms, symbols (language, mathematics,
    images), etc.

    Just a few centuries ago mankind wasn't aware (didn't think) of how far time and space
    stretched into the past and outside, nor do we yet know now how long it will last and how
    far it will go.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Default Emergent gravity

    New theory of gravity might explain dark matter

    8 November 2016
    A new theory of gravity might explain the curious motions of stars in galaxies. Emergent gravity, as the new theory is called, predicts the exact same deviation of motions that is usually explained by inserting dark matter in the theory. Prof. Erik Verlinde, renowned expert in string theory at the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics, just published a new research paper in which he expands his groundbreaking views on the nature of gravity.

    In 2010, Erik Verlinde surprised the world with a completely new theory of gravity. According to Verlinde, gravity is not a fundamental force of nature, but an emergent phenomenon. In the same way that temperature arises from the movement of microscopic particles, gravity emerges from the changes of fundamental bits of information, stored in the very structure of spacetime.

    Newton's law from information

    In his 2010 article, Verlinde showed how Newton’s famous second law, which describes how apples fall from trees and satellites stay in orbit, can be derived from these underlying microscopic building blocks. Extending his previous work and work done by others, Verlinde now shows how to understand the curious behaviour of stars in galaxies without adding the puzzling dark matter.

    Puzzling star velocities

    The outer regions of galaxies, like our own Milky Way, rotate much faster around the centre than can be accounted for by the quantity of ordinary matter like stars, planets and interstellar gasses. Something else has to produce the required amount of gravitational force, and so dark matter entered the scene. Dark matter seems to dominate our universe: more than 80% of all matter must have a dark nature. Hitherto, the alleged dark matter particles have never been observed, despite many efforts to detect them.

    No need for dark matter

    According to Erik Verlinde, there is no need to add a mysterious dark matter particle to the theory. In a new paper, which appeared today on, Verlinde shows how his theory of gravity accurately predicts the velocities by which the stars rotate around the center of the Milky Way, as well as the motion of stars inside other galaxies. 'We have evidence that this new view of gravity actually agrees with the observations,' says Verlinde. 'At large scales, it seems, gravity just doesn’t behave the way Einstein’s theory predicts.'
    At first glance, Verlinde’s theory has features similar to modified theories of gravity like MOND (modified Newtonian Dynamics, Mordehai Milgrom (1983)). However, where MOND tunes the theory to match the observations, Verlinde’s theory starts from first principles. “A totally different starting point,” according to Verlinde.

    Adapting the holographic principle

    One of the ingredients in Verlinde’s theory is an adaptation of the holographic principle, introduced by his tutor Gerard ’t Hooft (Nobel Prize 1999, Utrecht University) and Leonard Susskind (Stanford University). According to the holographic principle, all the information in the entire universe can be described on a giant imaginary sphere around it. Verlinde now shows that this idea is not quite correct: part of the information in our universe is contained in space itself.

    Information in the bulk

    This extra information is required to describe that other dark component of the universe: the dark energy, which is held responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe. Investigating the effects of this additional information on ordinary matter, Verlinde comes to a stunning conclusion. Whereas ordinary gravity can be encoded using the information on the imaginary sphere around the universe only - as he showed in his 2010 work - the result of the additional information in the bulk of space is a force that nicely matches the one so far attributed to dark matter.

    On the brink of a scientific revolution

    Gravity is in dire need of new approaches like the one by Verlinde, since it doesn’t combine well with quantum physics. Both theories, the crown jewels of 20th century physics, cannot be true at the same time. The problems arise in extreme conditions: near black holes, or during the Big Bang. Verlinde: 'Many theoretical physicists like me are working on a revision of the theory, and some major advancements have been made. We might be standing on the brink of a new scientific revolution that will radically change our views on the very nature of space, time and gravity'.

    Article reference

    Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe, E. P. Verlinde, 2016 Nov 8
    Published by UvA Persvoorlichting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    "But what if reality exists only in our thinking? What if we exist only in our thinking? What if our thinking only exists in our thinking, would our thinking exist at all?

    "For movement -- including speech and other actions -- a kinesthetic copy informed by proprioceptive feedback from the body is stored in the right suprerior parietal lobe. [...] a copy of the motor command that is relayed to the CNS [Central Nervous System] might be what we actually experience as movement or motor imagery and that it involves activation of the same brain areas as the actual physical movement of the body, which is time-delayed. For a split second, we live in the 'Matrix'. [...] The premotor cortex generates an intended movement and the posterior parietal cortex codes the intended movement even if it is not executed. The primary motor cortices [...] then capture the neural representation of the motor command, that is, the efferent copy. The posterior parietal cortex compares these real or imagined motor behaviors to the efference copy as well as to sensory input from multiple sensory modalities (vision, touch and audition) and relates it to your unfolding motor plan, that is, your ongoing movement, action or activity."

    "[...] human thought, intelligence, emotion, motivation and behavior [...] are part of [...] an indissoluble unit in reaction to some alteration in the outside world (even more so, given that it is acturally derived from that very world.) It looks for new information in the outside world and discrepancies and where there is none, that is a discrepancy.

    [...] isolated brean tissue [...] does not -- in [itself] -- have causative powers that give rise to human thoughts, consciousness, feelings, self-agency, dormant memories or sensory qualia. These are emergent properties of the body. So, other than that,'The Matrix' is a fiction."

    (Jay Seitz: Mind Embodied, 2019)
    Last edited by Corrie van Wijk; 05 October 2020 at 11:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Default Emergent Living

    "[…] human thought, intelligence, emotion, motivation and behavior […] look for new information and discrepancies in the outside world and react to some alteration." (Jay Seitz: Mind Embodied 2019)

    Our body mostly takes care of itself. As soon as we become aware of some need, it has already made the decision that you are required to so something: regulate your body temperature, take a drink or whatever.

    So why bother thinking about it at all?

    Why not trust it and just obey?

    What are the cues to stop and analyze what is going on?

    When do you question the healthiness of your experience?

  5. #5


    Hi Corrie - in this very quiet corner of the Internet, I logged in again today after many months, if not over a year, and discovered that you also have ventured into this space...

    Your message resonates. Are we living on multiple levels? and often mixing these up, not recognising that the body does have demands and requirements, but we consider them to be spiritual or of a higher nature (consciousness whatever)?

    So yes we need to eat, sleep, have sex, defecate, etc - but these functions, these bodily requirements are at a different level/context than intelligence, emotion, motivation, behaviour - accepting the body's drives for it's ongoing survival, and also the driving force behind that and one's own drives which may be in alignment or not with the body!

    Very interesting!

    I trust you are well - in love and light


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    Hi Matthew,

    Thank you for visiting me in this quiet corner of the forum and this almost empty university library, you must have sensed me!

    I'm afraid that it would be too simple to distinguish 'levels' between needs and thoughts etc., they are all evolutionary intertwined and aiming for survival.

    The question is, as soon as something reaches our consciousness, how do we inhibit our natural responses, in order to make better choices?



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts