How might static (or a low amplitude signal) take part in the formation of our consciousness?
When we read, we concentrate on the words, rarely the spaces between them. But it is the spaces that allow us to consider each discrete series of letters (the information we need to transfer and receive).
What happens in these spaces that helps to group words into their discrete meanings?
What happens in the spaces between the mind’s images and its thoughts?
If we don’t consider the importance of spaces, how can we discover the meaning of nothingness, if there is a nothingness at all? And how can we examine nothingness if it is truly nonexistent?
When information is sent and received, there are spans of words and blanks. If the blanks appear to exist as static, what part in information transfer or reception could that static (or low amp signal) play in what we call consciousness?
In the droplet experiment, the two dimensional expanding droplet (2-D expanding universe) destabilizes into growing protuberances (wave crests) that are separated by troughs (wave troughs). The troughs are part of the boundary, and like the spaces between words, help us focus on what happens in between them.
Which phase of droplet/universal expansion is analogous to human consciousness?
Remember, in this analog, you are the boundary (or, at least, part of it).
At first, the surface tension on the expanding bubble universe is so great that very small pressure drops across its expanding front can’t change it (steady and stable state). That’s not us. If nothing else we’re systems of interactions (information transfer).
Next, our two-dimensional expanding universe goes unstable (it buckles in space to form waves on its boundary), and it goes unsteady (it oscillates in time back and forth across the point from which it expands, the point that used to be its center). In this process the boundary changes in time. The deformation of the boundary (or the physical information incident there) grows or amplifies—then damps or contracts with the oscillation to practically nothing (very low amplitude).
The above behavior models a universe that goes through a phase of expansion, then one of contraction, only to expand back into the higher amplitude waves that previously existed on the universal boundary. This could be us in an oscillating universe—or what would seem to us as a discontinuous universe—where blank spaces of static (at contraction or small amplitude) exist between moments of awareness.
The next stage in the expansion of the droplet in our experiment occurs when the large scale contraction and expansion ceases. Since, at this stage of behavior, all the individual waves (or buckles on the boundary) establish themselves permanently—so, we have a cessation of the oscillatory motion in time and mostly steady flow around the troughs and into the crests or fingers.
The above behavioral stage is not a complete steady, nonchanging flow, because the flattened tips of the crests destabilize as physical information/energy flows across them—undergoing, as before, a sequential amplification them damping of what perturbs them. This state is called quasi-steady. In this state, not only are the number of elongated crests (fingers) unchanging, but so are the locations where the troughs of the waves form.
Just like spaces between words, the troughs form spaces between individual crests (individual awareness?). So in an analog, we can think of these relatively immovable troughs as massive ground states (gravity wells) that separate the individual crests (expanding space (zero-point energy vacuum?)) and possibly the functioning boundaries of brains).
All of the above occurs on the boundary of the expanding droplet when the boundary is in an unstable and quasi-steady state. The finger/crest tips in this state definitely have an opportunity of being us, the state of our conscious minds. Still, just like the whole universe at an oscillatory unstable and unsteady state, the individual wave crests (individuals?) undergo their own unsteady and unstable state that oscillates between weak static and strong information flow. Again, we might ask why we can’t see this in the pulsations of our awareness. Perhaps our minds are configured in such a way as to model a continuous world for us in the light of this apparent discontinuity.
The last state of the expanding boundary is what we might call steady and stable. The troughs are always high curvature (stable) and steady (because it is easier for fluid to flow around them) and the crest tips gain super-high curvature because of the flow into them. In this state nothing can happen, no information has strength enough to cross the boundary.
Analogous to entropy death and the fizzling away of the troughs and crests of high curvature and a natural reduction of surface tension:
For the universe, Stephen Hawking suggests a kind of evaporation of gravity wells. In our model there is a dissipation of the boundary as well. The dissipation is expected because the two fluids (the less viscous fluid in the droplet and the more viscous fluid in its environment) are immiscible (don’t mix). But in reality, all two-fluid combinations are immiscible for a while (a specified duration) and eventually the boundary goes through its own entropy death by becoming miscible and dissipating. When this happens, no more information can be transferred, because the boundary ceases to exist.
Why should anyone take the above speculation seriously? Because the expanding droplet experiment employs terms in the scientifically accepted energy equation that represents the mechanics of our general and local universe.
How might this experiment not directly model human consciousness? Diffusion (what looks like disassociations of the boundary) is required in the bioelectric chemistry of brain neurons. Cells, tissues, and neural structures have developed molecular languages of their own, requiring processes of diffusion. (This problem may be handled under the idea that the universe exists in a superposition of all energy equation states/all terms/all languages.)
A big unsolved problem—because there exist more-complex systems and subsystems within each human, does reality have a limit?—when something or some process becomes virtual? (J. Krishnamurti, theosophists, and many spiritualists believe that what we think of as virtual thought is as powerful as physical action).
In our next post, we’ll talk about the idea of this discontinuous universe and how it might shed light on the birth of conscious thought, or the death of it.