Why we don’t have a science of consciousness yet

Neurons were first extensively illustrated by Cajal in ~1890. When he looked at a tissue of the brain, here’s what he painted:


At that point in time, we didn’t know that galaxies other than the Milky Way existed. We didn’t even know that atoms consisted of electrons and protons.

Fast forward to today. We now know that our galaxy is simply one of the 100 billion galaxies out there. We have not only discovered protons but now know that they aren’t even fundamental particles, quarks are. We’ve imaged black holes, detected gravitational waves. We have an accurate account of the universe’s origin starting from the very first moments. In short, we’ve pretty much nailed our understanding of the physical universe since the time Cajal first looked at the brain. ...  Read the entire post โ†’

Notes from the book ‘First Three Minutes’ by Steven Weinberg

It’s mind-blowing that we humans are able to talk about what happened in the first 3 minutes of The Big Bang. This book was written in 1976 which was quite a while back but it’s interesting to note that while there have been extensions in the ideas presented, I’m not aware of any idea being rejected or overturned yet. This should perhaps be unsurprising because most scientific ideas that are accepted as truth are consilient, i.e. they’re supported by multiple lines of evidence. ...  Read the entire post โ†’

How much can science tell us about reality?

1/ Reading and re-reading The Brief History of Time when I was young, I grew up into adolescence with an unshakeable faith in science to reveal truths about reality. At school, we were taught scientific laws as if they’re the gospel of reality, never to be changed and never to be questioned. Once you understood magnetism, for example, you could seal that part of reality forever as being understood and then move onto the next thing.

2/ Except that’s not how things happen. Our scientific understanding gets revised all the time. Once the western civilization believed that Earth was created 4000 years ago. Today, most know that it can’t be true.  ...  Read the entire post โ†’

Are You Guilty of Not Solving World’s Problems?

I am. Having read this article intensified my guilt. Aren’t there enough web mashups already? Do you really need to create yet another social network? Web entrepreneurs today are so hallucinated by their own culture that they have forgotten that there is a whole range of important problems to be solved for which the internet is not necessarily the panacea.

I am not suggesting that what they are doing is wrong. In fact, they are making best use of what they know. They are making cool virtual pets simulations, social networks for cats, amazing google maps mashups and a ton of amazing applications which really have potential to revolutionize the world. Imagine, how the world would be transformed if all the cats in the world could actually communicate over the internet. But – here comes the reality – apart from a (very) few cases (read Facebook, Youtube, etc.) the potential for these web apps never seems to be realized. Millions of such useless apps hopelessly float around the web, waiting for someone to discover and use them.

All these web programmers, on the other hand, could devote their time to what world really wants. The world does not want their trivial apps. The world wants its problems of hunger, poverty, thirst, freedom and happiness to be solved. The world wants to prevent millions of children who die everyday due to preventable causes. The world wants to break the vicious cycle of poor nations. The world wants to get better.

Having realized that I have wasted so much making futile web apps that nobody really cares about, I really want to change the world. It might sound naive but that’s where the fun lies. Only the true naive can innovate and invent new business models that solves world’s pressing problems.

So, world, here I come!

Is Universe = Mathematics?

Stumbled across an excellent article in which a scientist shares his thought on whether universe is actually made up of mathematics. My personal view (as if it actually matters) is that it is a very intriguing possibility. Imagine if all mathematical objects are actually their own universes. This way, we would have infinite universes and the grand question of why our universe is special would be solved. Our universe is not special in any way. It is just one of the infinite mathematical objects. The numerals 1, 2, etc. would be making their own dull universe. Our universe could be a very, very complex mathematical object. Wow! This is thing is pretty cool.