THINKING: AN ESSAY
Edward E. Rochon
Edward E. Rochon on Shakespir
Thinking: An Essay
Copyright © 2016 by Edward E. Rochon
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Some Other Works by the Author
[Axioms & Theorems: An Essay
Brain Damage: An Essay
Clitwits & G-Spots: An Essay
Cubics: A Numbers Essay]
[EMF Banding Model
Global Warming: An Essay
Holographic TV: An Essay
The JU Engine
Pest Control: An Essay
Pollution Solution: An Essay
Pollution Soup Cook: An Essay
Seven Month Pregnancy: An Essay
Super Intelligence: An Essay
Unified Field Theory: An Essay
Table of Contents
The underlying foundation of this essay is my often noted assertion that there is no such things as a mathematical continuum, that being impossible to reconcile with logic. We throw out irrational numbers, transcendental numbers, Georg Cantor and Aleph null, infinitesimals and the rest. I also note that the infinite and finite, the eternal and transitory are coexistent states, joined only by the oneness of existence. I mean there is no part of infinity in the finite. An apple is not a part of the infinite but coexistent with it. Infinite time is not eternity. There is no such thing as infinite time. Time goes on and cannot be eternal, that ‘at infinity’ an impossibility. On the other hand, the point in time exists though without extension, as does the passage of time in any incremental portion you care to mention, providing it is definite and incremental, exists as surely as the points in time. If a point in time can be said to begin at A and end at B, then A and B are the same thing. This would be for the sake of argument, just as an angle of zero degrees is simply a straight line, and zero is not a quantity at all, and an ellipse collapsed to the extreme would be a straight line, and not an ellipse. But we have our conventions.
So in understanding this, we uphold the objections of Parmenides and Zeno of Elea to the erroneous assumptions of Aristotle, Newton, Democritus and others that see material energy as dynamic within matter itself. This cannot be. On the other hand, we reject the assertion that motion is an illusion. This is meaningless. Even illusions are real and must be particular to be valid. It is not motion that I object to but the explanation of it offered by Aristotle, Democritus and the like, any of the various assertions based on continuums in mathematics and absolute yet arbitrary limits on the immutability of particles. I am absolutely right in my objections to these. They distort and corrupt scientific investigation to this very day.
Here I delve into to how these truths must affect how men perceive. I open up the triad of perception, and question how we can actually see reality as it is by the assumptions of Hume and Descartes. Things are indeed what they are, but the thing we see is composed of projections from the past fused into imagination of the future into any present moment. I explain why this must be so according to common perception and human behavior.
Chapter 1: Basics
: A moment, to be a true moment, must be a point on the timeline. A point has no extension or transition from beginning to end, so it is not a transitive property but a moment in eternity. The human mind exists in time and is a process taking place over time. Nevertheless, the eternal clearly coexists with the temporal, just as the point exists on the timeline.
: The thinking process cannot exist as a moment, since a process must go from beginning to end of any particular psychic event. The moment is one point. To speak of beginning to end for a moment is to make the beginning the same point as the endpoint. This is not a process. No conscious event can occur between two such points (the same point.) Yet, we cannot say that the moment does not exist. To think, we must look back at each and every moment in time at one point or another. We must hold these moments as snapshots of the moment in our memory for however short or long is required for our brain and consciousness to process the moment to some arbitrary standard of satisfaction. This means that we look back in time at each point of time from a future point in time that is actually the present moment during the thought process. ( Time A is before time B (future), but we look back at time A from B, and B is actually the present moment when doing so.) This gives us an increment of time on the timeline that can allow a process to take place for each subdivision of the ongoing thought of the psyche. We might suppose there is some minimum extension of time beyond which our mind cannot fix a thought in the mind. We call this the unit thought time.
: This unit requires that we be constantly looking back to a snapshot of a moment in time that has already passed. Just as the astronomer looks at past events occurring long distances from his observatory in the present, we see the past occurring before us from a much nearer point to that past point that we behold. The thought unit goes from point A to B. The smaller the distance between points A and B, the closer the mind is to what was actually occurring at start point A. There is some advantage in keeping the increment short. The greater the discrepancy between what is actually happening now at point B and what was happening at point A, the more likely our thoughts will be in error as to what is going on at endpoint B. When things happen too fast to process, our senses blur and our ability to react to events diminishes. We see the blades of the fan distinctly when at rest, but they blur into a semi-transparent disc when the blades move rapidly. The mind takes many samplings of images over time. We note that a drug such as LSD can create prolongation of images simultaneously in the field of vision. The speed of a ping-pong ball tossed across a room is normally seen without blurring. Under LSD it could look like slow motion photography and the ball seen as multiple images following its arc. This type of prolonged imagery gives the mind a better view of the curve of the ball against a fixed backdrop of a room, but would otherwise be a nuisance in a world with a great deal of activity. As the terminal point of the unit thought time approaches the limit of the starting point A, the closer the perception is to actual reality in time and most likely in actual circumstances. But we have a discrepancy error factor to take into account.
: In addition to the time delay potential to create error, the whole process provides the mind with opportunity and danger of adding past experience modeling into the perception. This past experience modeling may help us overcome experienced errors in dealing with the time delay between points A and B. The mind guesses what the state of affairs will be at point B and adds perception altering information. This could help or hinder the accuracy of the perception. This leads to the method by which the mind might be able to compensate for the discrepancy error factor, resulting from looking at a past point in time as if it were the present moment. Again, the mind has no choice in the matter as a moment can only be perceived as a snapshot in memory. There is no time to analyze it at the moment, the moment being an eternal state that has no time extension. We do note that a room without many or any moving objects stays about the same over a long period of time. The sun through the window may change, and that very slowly to the normal speed that the mind processes information using the unit thought time.
: Due to the thought discrepancy time delay, we may be naturally inclined to test the reality of the present moment by doing the opposite as a counterbalance. We project the present moment into the future to some unspecified moment in the future. This opens up another potential error but also a test against the opposite error. We are at the present moment thinking of a moment recently past that appears to be the present moment by the senses holding that moment in the mind’s eye. While doing this, we project the past observation into the future based upon past experience. Ultimately, we will arrive at the future moment that then becomes the present moment. While doing this, if we note any discrepancy between the projected future and the actual moment that is already a past moment being looked at in memory from a future moment, we may be jarred into recognition of our cognitive perception error, allowing for corrections. Certainly, we do not generally note these two timeline increments operating separately. They are overlaid into one image just as the two eyes combine into one image the separate visions, and as do the binoculars. when properly aligned, become one orb of vision instead of two.
: This leads to the conclusion that our senses actually see three overlapping images through our senses, though we generally treat this triad as a unity, the trinity of perception. We must at least qualify the assumption of David Hume and Descartes that we are looking at exactly what is there when we look at the material world, and only our minds perceiving what is not there. If the mind reflexively overlays past and future imaging onto the sensory world view, but in a manner that makes us see this triad of perception as one, we cannot say that we are actually looking at the present moment (maybe ever) due to the overlapping of memory and imagination, done so well as to be imperceptible to the consciousness, as the lines between the frames are imperceptible to the eye when the movie projector runs at the correct speed. To be sure, the sensory image is what it is, the mnemonic image is what it is, the imagined future is what it is, and the overlapping union of the three is what it is, just as three gel colors before the light projector produce the perceived color. But we only see the combined effect of the three gels. So we cannot say that we are seeing a pure state of nature undistorted by our brain. This is not deliberate or unnecessary distortion. It is the only way the brain can handle the material world perceived by the senses. You cannot perceive a moment of time in a transient world, according to conclusions of logical deduction on the matter. The mathematics will not back it up, and there is no way to get the mathematics out of the picture by claiming mathematics is mystical as the Boob of Baltimore, H. L. Mencken suggested that mathematics is.
: We see the triad of things noted by Aristotle here. This triad is certainly linked to one of the most notable triads of nature: past, present and future. But with triads, we all but invariably note the fourth state in the background that is the backdrop. The substance of physics is: matter, space and motion. The backdrop of these is that invisible backdrop of time. Time is crucial to so many of our equations in analyzing motion through space by material substance. In the triad of time we have: past, present and future. But eternity is in the background and crops up as the present moment, the point on the timeline without extension geometrically or transition chronologically. Yet it does exist as a timeless state in some mystical union with eternity in sum (pure total existence), a sum that simply cannot be analyzed by mathematics. Why? Because mathematics is incremental, not mystical as the Boob of Baltimore suggested. He did not like the nonsense of Einstein, so he attacks mathematics instead of the man, or at any rate attacks Einstein by attacking mathematics and mathematicians. Mencken is the ultimate empiricist unable to discern that empiricism itself completely makes absurd the notion that truth of any sort, and so wisdom, can rest on a foundation of empiricism. In our triad of imaging, the fourth state is thinking in the more formal sense, standing back and analyzing with words in the head, or images or both. The brain is a machine and hardwired to do what it does. Logically, it must do what it does to achieve the effect that our consciousness sees. It is not conscious manipulation of sensory input, because it is hardwired and mandatory to the human condition. We see that the brain remembers while consciousness merely perceives and manipulates through brain memory and the organism of the body. The abstracts of thought such as aesthetics, justice, theological speculations are immanent and immediate to the mind. They are the eternal backdrop of the human condition and need no memorization. Only the linguistics of discussion (the words, the terms) of these indefinables are remembered in the brain. We also note that an omnipresent, omniscient transcendent being, God, needs no memory. He is constantly aware of all things in an eternal state. Why would he need memory? We are not such a being and find memory useful to meet our bodily needs and to effectively use our sequential thought processes.
Chapter 2: Determinations
Place a subject in a dark room. Using projected images, acquire time of perception data for the subject. First set the light exposure for the least time possible that the strobe can be set for. Set it to the minimum amount of light required for the subject to discern the image projected before him. He is in a dark room and should not be blinded or discomfited by excessive light strobing on and off. Images should then project before him. He has four buttons, one for each thumb and one for each index finger. The left and right sides are tested for reaction time to stimuli. The buttons can be used for yes/no responses and time of perception responses. There will be some delay in responding to stimuli according to the state of the nervous system of the subject on top of the actual time that the brain discerns the required information on the projection screen.
For example, we note that flashed images are quite often not seen on a moving image projection such as TV or cinema. But in our case, the only image shown will be isolated and coming out of a dark, sensory deprived environment. The subject will also expect the image. Find the minimum time that each subject requires to register a simple image. Start with letters and numbers in the form of: A = A, 1 = 1, A = B, 1 = 2, etc. These are simple images. If the subject detects the image, he confirms by pushing buttons on both sides of his body. If the image is an Identity: A = A, he pushes the thumb buttons. This confirms he sees the image in the allotted time and notes what type. If it is not an identity: 1 = 2, he pushes the index finger buttons. If he sees a flash but no image, he pushes all four buttons at once. This confirms that he saw the flash but no image was up long enough in his eye to discern. This is probably unlikely under a single image in a dark room setting but possible. By these tests, we get basic response times and any differences between sides of body and brain, between positive and negative states of data, that is, if the data is accurate, true, or if inaccurate, false.
Next we do a double flash experiment. We note the time delay needed to distinguish between two flashed images, if this is a problem. Then we verify if the two flashed images are perceived accurately. For example, we flash the letter A twice. The subject pushes one thumb button if one image is seen, two thumb buttons on both sides if two different images are seen. If both images are identical, he pushes the left index button, if not he pushes the right index button. Since dyslexic effects may be operant here, we isolate that potential problem. After each flash the subject is verbally cued to verify he pushed the correct button through a phone headset or intercom system in the room.
Next, we repeat the above experiments using verbal response to optical cues. We want to note the time between stimulus and response through the verbal response method. This is important to humans, and humans often think in words as with speech. This tests intercommunication between two major sense organs, the most important long range senses, arguably, to humans. Touch and taste are the two short range senses with smell as more of an intermediate sense.
After this, we go into triad experiments. We are looking into how the senses place past moments and future moments into the present moment. We flash A twice and a third image has a Y for yes, if it is a match or N if it is not. If we flash A then B then N, the subject confirms this through the buttons and/or verbally. Humans generally have little trouble remembering and holding three things in the mind, or immediately counting three things instantly before them. As you exceed four and five, they start to count sequentially. After these easier triad flashes, we try another sequence.
The first flash shows a fill in the blank of simple common noun one syllable words. We might have: CA_. We are looking to fill in the blank with valid common nouns (no names or abbreviations accepted) by a flashed fill in letter. Here: A, B, C, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, O, S, U, V, W, X, Z, would not be true. The other letters form common nouns. The subject sees CA_ followed by a T. The third image has Y or Yes, and N or No. The subject determines the validity of the sequence using buttons and/or verbal cues.
We then attempt more complex images but still single distinct images. We show two or three images in sequence of some complexity. We might show two types of dogs followed by Yes/No cues to see if the dogs are the same dog. We might show three dogs with the buttons used to confirm whether the three dogs are the same. Start with clear distinctions. Go to subtle distinctions, then mix the two together. Look for signs in individuals having an easier time distinguishing between objects. Faces may be easier than tattoos or geometric objects, for example. Animals may be easier than people, for another.
When this data is collected, you can use the commonly used psychological tests for emotional reaction to data. This would be images that arouse emotions: sexual, repulsive, violent, pretty, ugly. Here, you want to see if these sentiments influence time delays and accuracy of tests that follow the same patterns as above, but with emotionally charged sequences. You could also show movies beforehand that might put subjects in a type of emotional state before testing basic reaction times.
Then, you do short tests and long tests to check for fatigue on neurotransmitters in the brain and fatigue of the nervous system. Then you check for morning, noon and night responses. Check for waking from sleep response. Check for fasting, snack and large dinner responses. Check before and after exercising. Check without exercise. You could check with coffee, chocolate, alcohol consumption.
You would then give the subjects tests that are known to fool common perception: color, perspective, sequences of images, find the pickpocket, find the tiger in the bush. Build up response time and accuracy curves.
Finally subjects could be tested with MRI’s and EKG during tests. Many of these tests, or all of them, have been done for decades or centuries by psychologists. Rummaging through this past data can add to a base that will provide a reservoir of information to come to some conclusions about the triad imaging modes of operation.
The overall aim is to improve the accuracy of human perception, curing dyslexia and perhaps autism, improving educational instruction to improve the learning curve.
After these tests, we need to determine how human social interaction affects the mind. To what extent does the power of suggestion, intimidation, temptation, friendliness and hostility, affect the mind. We have good evidence from the study of hypnosis, mass hysteria and common sense that these are factors in perception. This gets complicated. We must run our tests with multiple subjects involved. But this is important. Honestly, we want to find ways to warn people about how their perceptions may be adversely influenced by such means, and how to take remedial measures. Ultimately, a just society is founded upon truth and honest perception of truth the foundation of wisdom. Wisdom is the goal of science. Doubtless, the psychologist has a reservoir of data from the past to draw on here as well.
Chapter 3: Eternal Fixation
Men crave the eternal standards of life as sailors looked for the pole stars at sea in the past, the horizon when vomiting from seasickness. The fluctuations of mortal existence can often be frightening as well as dramatic and to some extent entertaining by their ebb and flow. Empiricism is a sea of sine waves interacting to distort the controlled experiments used to discern causes and effects. How many waves are interacting to cause and to effect? It is difficult or even impossible to say with any certainty. How many unknown factors are influencing results? If these factors disappear, weaken or strengthen, your data will vary unexpectedly in the future, though you may have acquired a considerable degree of precision and accuracy of results in the past. Man will seek, nay crave, immutable laws of nature, of behavior. This desire opens the dangerous chasm of self-deception in pursuit of this certainty. Both the brain as an automaton and the mind looking objectively/subjectively at the brain could be open to this. In the case of the brain, it is a computer of limited potential that must round off results, make unproven assumptions to function. It is not infallible and cannot be so. We cannot blame it but take precautions. We must say that these results are rounded and so not exactly true. This rounding may distort perception when too many rounded results are used in complicated equations. The brain is largely analog. Its breakdown of images into synaptic fragmentation may be off to a degree that is potentially dangerous under some or many circumstances.
Now faith is not proven. The sceptic says, “What does faith prove? Nothing.” The believer says, “Oh, what does doubt prove? Nothing.” What we know is not doubted, but known. In the case of the Bible, King David placed no trust in men, but only in God. Jesus rebuked his disciples, did not trust the motives of men, nor encouraged men to trust them. We were conjoined to trust God. Now, if we are told that we cannot trust that, what difference would it make? We suppose a transcendent God. We cannot escape his will. In either case, if we trust God we must seek truth. If we do not trust him, our only hope, such as it is, is to seek the truth that might ameliorate the perverseness of an evil God. Faith opens up possibilities while scepticism excludes them, and without proof. Atheism is a belief system without any concrete evidence to back it up. Only a fool chooses scepticism over faith. Faith opens up possibilities that cannot be disproven. Scepticism closes possibilities without proof. What is the point? Do not tempt fate by proving faith by jumping off a roof. What needs to be proved cannot be based on faith. You are likely to fail. But do not exclude exceeding limits of normal behavior when desperate circumstances demand the extraordinary. You limit your possibilities without good reason. In the end, men will always return to faith, and atheism is a religion founded on belief, idolatry written large as pantheism. So spare me the unrighteous contempt of these evil men. We must accept the will toward belief and see if we cannot shed some light on it from the point of brain functioning and how the immaterial mind influences brain function. By the way there is not a shred of evidence that mind is anything other than immaterial.
Men do not believe in the supernatural so much as to deal with death but with life. All evidence points to thoughts, ideas and indefinables such as ethics as immaterial reality. Men have always used religion to deal with living matters more than with death. Men sacrificed to make the here and now of life better. They seek prophecy to help the here and now of life better. They pray for the same reason. It is true that the afterlife cannot help but be a great concern. Since the evidence is that consciousness is immaterial, the evidence supports that consciousness can be independent of matter, of the dead body. Men note that ideas pop into the mind without prompting. Where do they come from? The random juxtaposition of particles and disparate waves does not provide a reasonable answer. But the atheist needs a mocking explanation for religious belief and settle on death angst. In spite of all the factors showing that the primary matter of religion is the here and now, we have this pushed on us. Even death propels us to behave in the here and now as a way to be happy after death. Death is another realm and will be dealt with in the future.
It is plain that superstition can be divorced from faith. If faith is not subject to reason, superstition is subject to it. We as scientific enquirers must take note of the great need to fix eternal standards on behavior as a matter of immediate survival, not just future matters in the land of the dead. So we must see how the brain and psychic tendencies of the mind work here, to at least enlighten believers and sceptics on the how of this tendency, and to eliminate superstition for both believer and sceptic. We must look deeply into hypnotism and suggestion to enlighten the beguiled. We should study the tricks of the brain that come by manipulation. We need to know the limitations and potential for the carnal brain in these matters. We must find algorithms of validation to eliminate error in perception. I think that studying the triad of perception is a major factor here.
Projecting into the future may seem less pressing than viewing data from the immediate past in forming thoughts and actions. Perhaps it is not necessary or even advisable? But bear in mind, that the intention to do anything supposes prediction. If we decide to leave the living room to check the refrigerator, some plan, even if not formally thought out as a matter of steps, must be in the offing. We take past data, the current status, and project an outcome. And lots of science supports that we project our thoughts in short term behavior into the future. It has the ring of truth to it. Prophecy often fails and like statistics, and more so, does not have the validation of certainty that the core values of mathematics possesses. Nevertheless, we find it useful. And if we predict correctly, do not say that prophecy is impossible. The proof is in the pudding. Saying it was only a guess is of no import. A guess that comes true is a prophecy for all that. A guess that fails is a false prophecy. Falseness, error, does not invalidate truth.
Other Works by the Author
Collected Poems I
Collected Poems II
Elements of Physics: Matter
Elements of Physics: Space
Elements of Physics: Time
Unified Field Theory: An Essay
Space as Infinity II
Golden Age Essays
Golden Age Essays II
Golden Age Essays III
Golden Age Essays IV
Golden Age Essays V
My current biography and contact links are posted at . My writings include essays, poetry and dramatic work. Though I write poetry, my main interest is essays about the panoply of human experience and knowledge. This includes philosophy, science and the liberal arts. Comments, reviews and critiques of my work are welcome. Thank you for reading my book.
A preface states the purpose of the essay. It links the essay to my assertion that a mathematical continuum is impossible and this affects perception. Chapter 1 shows that a moment cannot be analyzed by transient thought, requiring past analysis of any moments of the past from some point in a future present moment. This opens up error between the difference between that past point and the present point. The brain must project into the future to determine any behavior however simple and short term. We see the brain counteracts the error problem by projecting into the future. The two counteracting states help judge each other to minimize error. This is triad imaging and hardwired into the brain, so men do not actually see the present moment, only the triad fusion before the senses. Chapter 2 discusses ways to get at what is going on here by suggesting many perception tests already done by psychologists but from the perspective of the triad specifically. We use visual and auditory tests, judge how suggestion and emotions affect the subject, and see how the formation of standards (supposed fixed and eternal) might be used by the brain (hardwired) and the consciousness in general. The brain is a machine and consciousness immaterial. I show how this is supported by evidence and conforms to reason over materialism of mind and matter being one thing. Chapter 3 deals with eternal fixation specifically. I note that faith is more reasonable than scepticism. We delve into why men need standards, and the need to discriminate between superstition and faith.