When you understand that your brain is a big cybernetic system that guzzles down information (meaning), and when you realize that your cognition and
perception are always being constructed in terms of what you "know" - from the simplicities of 'knowing' how to walk, see, move your body, to the more
subtler "knowing" how to be with other people in certain situations, to the more complex knowledges that we use in language. All of this is knowing.
All of it is implicit relative to the things were actually thinking or saying - that is, the conceptual objects of our living are at the top of a
ontogenetic hierarchy that has the abovementioned categories carried within them. Think a russian doll.
How many ontological layers could we count in the way and manner our minds develop? The layers go deep - the history of the self, of which we are its
most intellectual expression, began as a mere chemical loop - a lopp between an 'autogen' (early cell) and a nutrient. The autogen self-"regularizes"
thermodynamic emergent properties, and the properties, which occur in an 'autocatalytic' loop, a loop where a catalyst produces a product that
eventually yields material to regenerate the catalyst. This loop is paired with a semi-crystal - or the "polymer' - the self-replicating unit which
makes life and intelligence possible. Back and forth, the semi-crystal forms something called a 'capsid' - a container - which contains the catalysts;
the catalysts catalyze the container; the container closes; the container is bumbed, its properties fly apart; material flows into the autogen; the
container preferentially produces produces that yield material for autocatalysis, which in turn produces polymers to close the container.
This is a synergistic coupling of 'constraints' - and they're called constraints because thermodynamics is responsible for the repetitive 'path of
least resistance' regularity of the molecular dynamics - that is, instead of maximum irregularity (what the 2nd law says) the emergent behavior we
call molecules is really the regularization of a stable pathway of heat-loss (entropy) which, when interacting with other like molecules, can form
even less likely (it would seem) synchronized pathways that regularly close (for protection) and open (for self regeneration) the proto-cell.
The view I'm describing here is Terrence Deacon's theory as processed by Jeremy Sherman in his "Neither Ghost Nor Machine: The emergence and Nature of
Selves". It's a very interesting read and I highly recommend it to thinking people. Since the book is about how selves emerge and their nature, it
necessarily goes back to the idea of the first cell, which is also the first self. Thermodynamics in a spatiotemporal environment regularly produces
symmetrical structures which, due to the force of gravity, compels individual molecules to pursue paths that, at the emergent level, is symmetrical.
These units are also synchronized at an electromagnetic level, implying some sort of quantum superposition (which is not incompatible with
thermodynamics constraining behavior) between the electrons which flow through the larger system.
Indeed - widen your gaze, and think for a minute like an ancient Chinese mystic. The universe is Yin Yang. Your mind is Yin Yang: your observer
awareness is a point, and the object, a counterpoint. Your mind is a pole; and the object you contemplate, the counterpole.
At the beginning of life, the autogen is a pole, and the nutrient is a counterpole. The nutrient "knocks" the protein out of its place, enabling the
nutrient to flow into the cell. The membrane is studded with proteins which respond to this nutrient-molecule. When its present, there are so many of
them studded into the membrane of the cell, that the entire cell becomes negatively polarized vis-a-vis the external nutrient. The movement that we
see is thus a function of electromagnetic forces: nutrient (counterpoint) and autogen (point). A negative energy builds in the latter, vis-a-vis the
former; its flagella/cilia spontaneously orient to 'move' the cell through the structured water which mediates the superposition to 'make up the
difference' i.e. to return to equalization (thermodynamic equilibrium). Water is the medium in aqueous environments; air is the medium in land
Anyways, you can see that when you contemplate the first cell, you reduce the complexities of what you have to explain to the bare chemical minimum.
Yet, amazingly, you can get a profound insight into the cybernetic and complementary dynamics at the root of things: the autogen is a syneristic
coupling of autocatalysis and semi-crystal formation which mutually enforces one anothers existence. Point-Counterpoint.
Yet the autogen is dependent on the external nutrient; the autogen, point, and the nutrient is its counterpoint.
It is not too hard to imaginitively reconstruct the evolutionary attainments at more complex phases of growth. I'm not a biochemist, or a biologist,
so I cannot speak with much specificity as to the biophysical and morphological transformations that led to an increase in organismic complexity. But
I am fairly deep with regards to the mind, and I feel I can give a fairly comprehensive account of the beginnings of the process (in birth, etc) the
evolutionary history of the process (archeology, anthropology, history) and above all, the transactions between the environment, and the individual,
and how traits emerge as a function of developmental circumstances, and how 'traits' - a broad term needing clarity - exist as a very high level
'constraint' within the system of constraints that Sherman and Deacon rightly recognize to be profound things, because instead of anything happening
as thermodynamics predicts, the chemical dynamics of the body are deeply restricted to certain pathways, so taht everything about the living process
is deeply improbable, or rather, perhaps, incredibly probable, since the situations that teh dynamics appear within support it as a necessary reality.
Just think of what we are - and how "necessary reality", when speaking of a chemical cell, somehow becomes, 4 billion years later, a walking, talking
assemblage of 100 trillion or so cells, developing from a chemical level, into an emergent perceiving, cognizing and feeling level. Its fantastic
stuff - way more mystifying than anything hollywood can come up with.
edit on 14-8-2018 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)