Sunday, October 02, 2005

Life, Mind and Time

A corollary to this post: The concept of life is a manifestation of the force of probability. Life begins and ends based on probability. Is there any reason to distinguish the concept of life from that of probability? I cant think of any. In the above-linked post, I had mentioned that religion is a way of reinforcing our sense of superiority in the universe. Life - on the other hand - enhances the importance of all "living objects" relative to the "inanimate ones".

Human relationships are functions of our minds. Friendship, love or hate results out of our mind-driven responses. But I'm beginning to think that the mind could be just another application of probability. I think I would like to believe that this cant be true. The world would seem rather boring. Again, resorting to my filter - is there any aspect that distinguishes human mind from probability? No answers from my side. Thus the concept of mind is just a rehashed user-friendly version of the concept of probability.

While it seems feasible to explain away most concepts in terms of probability, it is probably not the mother of all concepts. I can think of at least one concept that cant be defined in terms of probability - Time.

Maybe Time and Probability are the two dimensions that define the state of the universe.

Note 1: In the previous sentence "maybe" and "state" are related to probability and time, and thus my conclusion turns out to be a hopelessly recursive statement. :)

Note 2: One might wonder: If probability explains so many concepts, what explains the values of the probabilities? i.e What theory explains why the value of a probability should be X and not Y? My Answer: Probability. p(p(x)=a)=b. Recursion yet again!!

9 Value-adds:

Blogger yhac said...

"Life begins and ends based on probability. Is there any reason to distinguish the concept of life from that of probability"

Could you explain how you jumped from the first statement to the second? I agree with the first statement but the second statement stumps me.


Since you've posted twice on the same topic, I'm assuming you think you aren't farting.

October 02, 2005 3:47 AM  
Blogger eV said...

How do you characterize/define life? I think its salient feature is the 'discontinuities' at its conception and at its end. Once life is infused into a being, the body is hard-coded to either keep pumping blood and stay alive or die. Its again a question of probability of which of these 2 events would happen. So life - its beginning, end and everything in between - can be explained by probability. And hence the second statement.

And no, I never think I fart on my blog. Of course, quite often Others dont agree with me on this. :)

October 02, 2005 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anupadmaja said...

Nice post (this and its father).

I had a similar theory in my mind.

I think that the supreme power that we refer to as god / the unknown power is what is probability. Life is just an outcome of it.

Just to be clear: Life is that timeline between the two activities that you mentioned - the conception and the death. "Who" ever the F(P(x)) be, decides "it" is in a mood for a conception(y) and thus y is born. He is given enough time (probably controlled by the same F(P(x)) or anybody else) and then occurs the death of y.

Hence my theory is that life is an outcome/accident out of the mere existence of probability (or its distribution).

But yeah ... this is just my theory and i am no god mathematician/.../god.

October 03, 2005 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anupadmaja said...

I meant ...
But yeah ... this is just my theory and i am no GOOD A mathematician/.../god.

October 03, 2005 7:56 AM  
Blogger eV said...

Anu, I dont agree with your funda of life being an outcome of probability. As I had mentioned in the post, I see life as a subset of probability - Life is like a specific instance of class Prob.

Also, I dont see why you would want to humanize probability. The one reason I like my theory is that it isnt human-centric.

October 03, 2005 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anupadmaja said...

I agree with your theory esp. the "probability is a superset of life" part. Infact thats why i have been following up on it.

My theory is a smaaaaaaaaaal subset of yours. The reason i quoted the following in my comment (/wrote the comment first of all) is to bring out a small point in your theory that explains mine:

"Hence my theory is that life is an outcome/accident out of the mere existence of probability (or its distribution)."

The only part i am trying to bring forward is that life is as unimportant/important as any other occurrence of any other event. The distribution exists and what we call probability plays its game and eventually what we call life "co-exists". Life in my opinion is an inevitable occurrence of the model and all other events are so too. The reason why i limited my comment to life is because we are talking only about it here.

I guess my comment is being called human centric because i referred to F(...) like i would refer to a person. There may be other reasons too. So i am not sure if i gave a human-centric explanation. So long as my point above is digested i am ok.

On that note, just another thought: "probability in itself is human centric right. Its one broken down piece of a big complexity of unknown dimensions. We have learnt to harness tangible success out of the approximations in probability to fit our imperfect world."

Disclaimers:

Me calling probability human-centric != tit-for-tat for the ridiculous review my comment got. Its just a thought.

Also, i am not demeaning the supremacy of probability here. Its much better to investigate probability than to call everything a miracle.

I am just saying that our (atleast my) discussions are limited to human-centric concepts. I look at probability as a human concept, not something beyond us.

If after all this, i am not able to communicate what i am saying, then lets just forget it and be friendly strangers :)

October 04, 2005 4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anupadmaja said...

Let me re-iterate, i am not questioning the reality in probability theory in my previous comment, i am just saying that what we understand is a small subset of it. And that subset is the tangible part ... and that makes it human.

October 04, 2005 4:39 AM  
Blogger eV said...

Anu,
>The only part i am trying to bring forward is that life is as unimportant/important as any other occurrence of any other event.
Agreed.

I didnt get the part about probability being human-centric. Could you elaborate?

>I guess my comment is being called human centric because i referred to F(...) like i would refer to a person.
Yes, that was the reason.

>Me calling probability human-centric != tit-for-tat for the ridiculous review my comment got

Hmm, You cant deny that the above is a review of my comment :) So why shdnt it be called a tit-for-tat? Not that I'd mind it if it was.

>If after all this, i am not able to communicate what i am saying...
For the most part you were - except for prob being human-centric in itself.

>lets just forget it and be friendly strangers
Now that we know each other (yes, R told me), can we switch back to stranger-mode? :)

Finally, my comment wasnt meant as a rebuke or anything. I love to pick holes in others' arguments, and thats what I was trying to do. Thanks for all the comments, and do continue.

Btw, maybe you should start a blog of your own. :)

October 04, 2005 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anupadmaja said...

Aiyo ... R ukku oru adi.

I thought i could enjoy the privilege of me knowing but u no knowing me! ummmm.


Hey as i mentioned, if my "main" point is taken, i do not have any comments about my comment being human centric. This is what happened. I wanted my comment to be easy to relate to. Hence i put an "it" and a "who" here and there! What we thought was god is now explained by ev as this. So i called this god. I guess that should clear things up.

"Btw, maybe you should start a blog of your own. :) "
Point well taken ... my comments will be short (yeah right!) in the future ;)


"Me calling probability human-centric != tit-for-tat for the ridiculous review my comment got"

What i tried to convey was: Do not think that i am saying things about probability because my theory was called so. It not a na-nana-na-na (kokku-kokku for tamil lovers) reply. I guess the word ridiculous was greatly misplaced :)

Anyway, great job! Keep it up!

R ... dho naan vandhundey irukkein.

October 04, 2005 8:45 AM  

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