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Monday, April 5, 2010

Part II of Consciousness... Scale Free Networks

Per Dr. John, Part II of my consciousness posts explaining why I think B-E condensates explains consciousness will continue...

... And just like the last post, the issue of where to begin this discussion is not entirely clear.

Yet we have to start somewhere, so I will take an additional detour into netork theory, and to a particular kind of network known as scale free networks, a classic example of which might be the world wide web.

As there are many types of networks (the above diagram is a simple example), and any discussion on networks is rabbit hole in itself; still I will gloss over this line of discussion in the interest of brevity.

... But I would like to comment that scale free networks are unique as they follow power law distributions. And power laws are laws- or relationships- which follow powers of an original template no matter a template's size or shape- e.g. power laws are self similar or fractal (no matter how much they fracture, the still look the same). A classic example is the formula for the area of a circle: the formula for the area of a circle is the same no matter how large or small the circle is (Πrˆ2 is always true).

PS- If you notice a certain similarity to self similar and self-referential, I would suggest you hold on to your hat as others have noticed this similarity too. I should be obvious that self referential similarly holds true no matter how large or small an individual is. ;-)

Anyway, any discussion of networks and scale free might occupy many posts, and as we need to move on, lets do so with the understanding that I will answer whatever questions I can in comments.

It has been along day so I will stop here but I will add that if you have trouble following this, let me know in comments.

Be well

PS- this is a very good Scientific American article for those unfamiliar with scale free networks (it is a .pdf and therefore takes a little while to download with online viewing)


Thai said...

For comments

Debra said...

This theory is a TRANSLATION of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory which identifies two major forces at work in the way language plays out in us.
Metaphor, which I mentioned in the last post, and metonymy.
Metonymy is the particular process at work in the world wide web.
One thing leads to another which leads to another, which leads to another.
What Freud discovered when he asked his patients to freely associate in the psychanalytic session.
One "word" leads to another, which leads to another, and at a particular point you notice..
That it comes together around certain... HUBS as you call them which MIGHT be translated as "metaphors", or complexes.
The Freudian concept of complex COULD be interpreted as a form of "hub".
The problem with all this, Thai is that I think that... given the structure of our LANGUAGE, it seems EVIDENT to me that WHATEVER we discover is going to bear the imprint of the structure of our language.
And probably, at a certain point we are going to get to questions of belief.
YOU will believe that our language is subject to certain natural physical laws, and i will believe that the physical "laws" we SEE are.. reformulations of the WAY our language ALLOWS US to see.
Two very different viewpoints, or beliefs, if you like.

Dr John said...

As almost all of this is new I will take a bit of time to read and digest the links and get back. Thai, thanks for helping me move my education in a new direction. John

Dink said...

"This theory is a TRANSLATION of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory"

Just so I understand this statement correctly,.... no, I'll stop here for both our sakes.

"Thai, thanks for helping me move my education in a new direction."

Its mind-blowing fun! It leads to that "OMFG" feeling when you see things in a whole new light. Like when I read The Selfish Gene and all emotion suddenly seemed a lot less noble and a lot more calculated ;)

This seemed a nice summary (a link from Thai's link)

One intriguing issue with fractal systems is that if you can "break the code" on one level, you can assume it will apply to the next level too since their self-similar. "Grand unifying theory" and all that.

I was going to go on about each hub being where system stability was reached which allows a new layer a complexity to iterate, but time is my enemy again. Negative feedback loops creating homeostasis or stable system boundaries.

But one last thing: Thai, please feel free to toss Quicksilver; I don't want it to cause displeasure. Its extremely long and meanders mercilessly. The author clearly writes for his own amusement which happens to work for me, but I can understand is not everyone's cup of tea. Maybe I'll go through and find my favorite scenes and give you the approximate page numbers someday.

Fingerpost is different in that the author is very focused and has a clear plan on how things are going to "hit" the reader. And they hit hard ;) i.e. D'oh! Don't spit in a pidgeon quill to clear before a tranfusion with an unknown bloodtype... oh well.

Dink said...

Correction: since they're self-similar. Geebus!

Debra said...

Geez, dink, THOSE BB SHOTS coming from someone who was calling for a truce not so long ago, they look really strange..
I think that translations are interesting.
How else are we going to have any idea that we really understand something UNLESS we try translating it for someone else ??
Thanks, Thai for making a real effort.
I appreciate, as always.

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