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I think this is a classic example of emergent behavior. You will see the same thing in colonies of insects - order from disorder both in their behavior that seems synchronized to accomplish a given task and in the structures ultimately built for them. For instance - a flock of birds - each will fly randomly but when a certain number come together, emergent behavior appears. They will all dive at a moment, then swoop upwards within milliseconds. You see something similar with grasshoppers being brought together in ever increasing numbers.
Now synchronization of this sort - what are your expectations? I think it sounds like you are making a connection between a neuron which is physical and most would say without consciousness, but when a large number are brought together and properly organized, emergent properties such as consciousness may arise, with abilities being capable to recognize itself as being present, for example.
Are you making an analogy to the fireflies where a simple group brought together through mirroring behavior - conscious or not - also leads to emergent phenomena greater than the individual fireflies normally present qualities? How do you play with the idea of entropy? It is clearly increasing as far as this experiment through use of energy,thermal equalibria, etc. while ine one way - the ordered flashing of the fireflies - represents and shows one case of decreased entropy and increased order within the system.
Yes, you are very sharp there about the connection with the nuerons to emergent behavior. If neurons are able to generate miniature quantum fields, as some research suggests, that would make them random number / idea generators. Being a true random number generator (having free will as a quantum particle) and being unpredictable to Newtonian Mechanics also exempts them from any previous causality in some very important and systematic cases - this allows for order to be created within a system.
Also, you gave an exactly correct and perfect analysis and description of what I meant about the entropy. Even though the fireflies have to eat, if you slam a Big Mac between the crack on a rock, the rock will not suddenly start producing culture.
Although the commentators on N.P.R. mentioned they had no idea how order could come out of disorder,
Apparently, no one knows how order could come out of disorder according to the N.P.R. commentator, because it is against the laws of entropy.
However, life in general does not follow the laws of entropy
order coming from disorder.
Quantum computers could crack codes and run more complex simulations than current machines, but actually building one is hard to do. The bits that store this complex data don't last long, because they are made of single atoms that get knocked around by stray electrons and photons in the environment.
Enter a team of physicists at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. They found a way to get the bits to last long enough to do computations with, using the magnetic properties of a rare earth element called holmium and the symmetry of platinum. The experiment, detailed in tomorrow's (Nov. 14) issue of the journal Nature, is an important step in creating quantum computers and making quantum memory useful.
reply to post by tridentblue
That is interesting, I like it, it adds more diversity and landscape to the whole entropy argument. I'll look into this stuff more and hit up this thread again. I like criticism.