Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Matrix I came to know about

The movie has been an all-time favorite of my family.  Trying to comprehend the science behind was interesting one to many.  To me, it is more about drawing parallel's to the mind and its working.

It all started when the question popped up in my mind - "Why do I get a thought, any thought and where does it go?"

A thought is usually triggered by a sensory event. For example, we see a red sign, an association happens in the brain between red and danger.  Then thoughts take over - is it the Sensex/NASDAQ/Nikki dipping sign? is the market down today? What happened to my savings? With these questions, the thoughts would linger for a few minutes.  To summarize, a thought is triggered by a sensory event, but is allowed to run given the set of facts that our brain has stored as association.  Thought survives on the past facts and is about the future.  For some strange reason, the thought doesn't survive the present.  Let's equate a thought to an execution of a software - say playing a song or execution of a program.

But sometimes, there is no need for a sensory trigger.  A thought just like that comes to you.  How do we explain this?  I would equate our brain to a radio or a computer that receives signals.  Like a tuned radio, our brain receives only "some" signals.  This is because of a set of physiological condition of the brain and some psychological conditions.  I would equate it to hardware and firmware.  So, our brain is more like a computer than a radio.

If a signal is received, the brain does some processing - strengthen it, invert it, modify it and transmits again.  The thought signal floats around to be caught by another individual.  The thought is not owned by the individuals but is survived by individuals who power it, modify it and create opposing ones.  If people stop reacting to a thought, it would have died down.

This is the reason, why a tribal like thought doesn't survive the cities, where people do not respond to it.  Thoughts about ghosts were prevalent a few centuries ago.  Popular literature around the world mentioned them often, but not anymore, for people just stopped responding to them.

What is the lifetime of a thought?  How is it born and how does it die?  Does it even die like a weak signal?What is it made of?  More on this in the next one.


Kavitha said...

The life of a thought is more dependent on how long you would like to keep it alive in your mind and not related to how long you want the world around you to keep alive in your mind. You may never share some thoughts with the world outside because they will simply not get the intensity with which you consider it to be so worthwhile.

This is my understanding.... I keep a thought alive by constantly dwelling on it. I may have several questions on it and I may do enough research to grow that thought, but books have their limits and beyond a point, all that accumulated knowledge changes the nature of the thought to a deep emotion rather than leaving it as pure information. At some stage I start to live the thought, its so real that it pops up in my head irrespective of the age or changing times around me, because i made it a point to keep it alive.

The thought may have been triggered by my reaction to the environment around me, or if am independent off it [mentally] it could well be triggered by my own imagination. Where does that come from... is a good question... i dont know.

But do I have control on keeping it alive - yes i do.

Sridhar said...

Agreed - you do keep it lingering, but I'd like people to let thoughts go and be happy about it.

Living the thoughts and thoughts leaving an emotion are the ones the let the thoughts live forever. I will write about a scenario where thoughts can be weakened to an extent that you can be free of it. I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in being free of thoughts. Like you, most people know how the keep the thoughts, but I think that's a problem.