Yearly Archives: 2012

8 posts

Time and Consciousness?

We live in a world where everything seems to speed up. Everybody is pressed for time; the pressures to perform, to consume, to “manage” time effectively, or to “have fun,” overwhelm our need for rest and contemplation. Will the future bring us even more acceleration? Are we going somewhere with all this change? And further: what is our relationship to time itself? Can we become more conscious of the flow of time and thereby separate ourselves from the addictive absorption in current affairs?

At the root of the last 500 years of scientific and intellectual history lie the abstractions of space and time. The progress we witnessed over the last centuries begins with our ability to represent space three-dimensionally. This historical progress began in the early 15th century.

Possibility and Reality in Robert Musil

One of the key passages in Musil’s novel “Man without Qualities” (1930) explains why Ulrich, the main character, has no qualities. He lives as much in the realm of possibilities as he lives grounded in a sense of reality. He, and the whole society around him, exists in a state of floating, suspended between reality and possibility, past and future. […]

Scales of the Universe: Small, Large, and Complex

It is difficult for us to fathom the scale of the universe. The differences between the smallest structures and the largest are so enormous that linear scales are useless. We need exponential scales, which make the numbers appear to be easy, even when the geometry is simply incomprehensible. A simple example can demonstrate these size differences – there are more atoms in a glass of water than there are glasses of water in all the oceans combined. (If you don’t believe it, here is the math.)

On an exponential scale in meters, humans are located at the midpoint between the nanometer scale (1×10−9 m) (a strand of DNA is 3 nanometers thick) and the scale of stars ( the sun is 1.4 ×109 m in diameter.) Reaching “down”, what we try to do in nanotechnology, is just as difficult as reaching “up,” exploring the solar system with our probes. But, the journey is only beginning.

Landscapes

The idea of landscape reaches to the core of human experience – we always require a space in order to imagine ourselves. Nature is our natural space. “My aim is to borrow from the (visible) world nothing but forces—not forms, but the means of making forms. Not history. Not décor. But the feeling of matter itself, rock, air, water, vegetable […]

Emergence

We are currently experiencing a paradigm shift in scientific thinking and explanation, away from reductionist and constructivist approaches. This shift is the result of the introduction of computers and the internet. Scientific researchers are now capable of collecting and processing much more information than ever before, and advanced modeling techniques allow them to develop and test scientific theories in ways […]

Mathematical Infinity

“There are two approaches to mathematical infinity. It can be seen as defining limiting cases that can never be realized or as existing in some philosophical sense. These mathematical approaches parallel approaches to meaning and value that I call absolutist and evolutionary. The absolutist sees ultimate meaning as something that exists most commonly in the form of an all powerful infinite God. The evolutionary sees life and all of a creation as an ever expanding journey with no ultimate or final goal. There is only the journey. There is no destination. This video argues for an evolutionary view in our sense of meaning and values and in our mathematical understanding. There is a deep connection between the two with profound implications for the evolution of consciousness and human destiny.” (Paul Budnik)

The History of this Website

January 2019 The modern version of “revolution” is “disruption,” and disruption becomes the default mode of operation in our global society. Everything is increasingly interconnected, but the direction of change is not easily discernible. Website Changes in 2018 The effects of this transformative flow of technology and communication can be seen on this website: it became almost obsolete, even though […]