Why hypocrisy may be your best choice!

April 11th, 2011

This one was stuck in the pipeline for a long time!

More than 10 years ago, I had a very good friend originally from Iran. One day he looked at me and smiled. He said that in Persian language (Farsi) the name Doru means Two Faces (do = two and ru = face) which in common language also means “hypocrite”.

And for a long time I thought about this: Why people are sometimes hypocrites, and why they do not easily accept the idea that they are? 

In several of the previous postings I stated that human behavior is controlled by complex sets of programs and patterns mainly determined within our ideas, beliefs, principles, awareness, perception etc. 

What happen when conflict arises within your behavior? Like when you find yourself behaving one way in public and a different way in your privacy at home?

Can these conflicting drivers of your behavior come to an agreement?

Well, how about when instead of taking sides to one or the other, you carefully negotiate a deal for both sides? Let’s say that you accept the idea that you behave one way in private according to you biological drives, and another way in public according to your spiritual and ideological drives.

See? Being hypocritical can work in your favor. I know this because I grew up in a communist country where people were praising the collective system in public but have very nasty opinions about it in private.

Just don’t turn into a total moron!

Respect and understand the collective behaviors as well as the conflicting behaviors in privacy.

Systems of Neuromorphic-Adaptive Plastic-Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE)

April 15th, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, but today I found something that is worth mentioning. It’s the kind of stuff that maybe in 20 years from now will be so big and important in human lives it’s like telling you about computers 60 years ago.

In many of my previous blogs, one of my critiques was that Artificial Intelligence community is wasting an important amount of resources and money going into a path that doesn’t reach anywhere.

In other words, the classical view of computers and computing is a dead end for making intelligent machines that one day would challenge humans.

Don’t get me wrong, super computers like IBM’s “Blue Matter” can simulate very complex neuronal networks that will perform and emulate many of the brain functions.  But to do it correctly, most of the computation power goes towards emulating the analog memory elements called synapses.

Have I mentioned that a normal human brain has in excess of 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one thousand trillions – bigger even than US National Debt) of these “computer incompatible” little structures?

So what are we going to do about that?

Well, there is one little electronic circuit that seems to be very promising in taking care of the problem.

It’s called memristor.

Neural networks can learn patterns that are very difficult for engineers to craft as specific algorithms, and that is mainly because they depend on analog memory elements called synapses. Learning occurs when simultaneous voltage spikes are generated from feature detectors in the senses, like edge detectors in the eye. When the simultaneous spikes come in, say from the edge detectors in both eyes, the receiving synapse in the brain responds by increasing its value – a digit used for supercomputer simulations.

Instead, memristors change its resistance value. 

Memristors respond to these simultaneous voltage pulses in a manner nearly identical to that of brain synapses, making them a viable alternative to supercomputer simulations. Massive crossbar networks of memristors, could create a more accurate and much faster executing emulation of brain functions than supercomputer simulations.

It doesn’t matter how many zillions of operations per second a computer can execute, it will never be able to become intelligent and not require human derived algorithms that both describe and process information from their environment.

Automatic and autonomous learning of relevant and probabilistically stable features and associations is the challenge that computation will never be able to break through. Computation is a linear process, logic is combinatorial.

Combinatorial complexity of analog logic is infinite.

Welcome to the “Real World”!

If any of this doesn’t make any sense to you right now, just remember this:

One day, nanometer size electronic synaptic circuits (memristor like) capable of adapting the connection strength between two neurons in a manner similar with biological systems, will make the terminator increasingly difficult to distinguish from his human counterparts.

Until then, check these pages once in a while for updates on the subject.

Experiencing Self versus Remembering Self

March 2nd, 2010


Happiness is a big deal these days.


Just count how many books talk about this subject and you will realize what I am talking about. Not to forget “Happiness Coaching” in the blogosphere, count those blogs teaching you how to be happy and you definitely will have a magnitude measure of the phenomena.


But the “Happiness business” comes with couple of traps:


Everybody talking about it exhibits some reluctance to admit the complexity of the subject.


The confusion and inability to distinguish between two types of happiness:



Experiencing happiness, or being happy in your life.


Remembering happiness, or being happy about your life.



The focusing illusion, or the inability to see well being circumstances without distorting its importance.


Now, there is no secret that I follow regularly the talks on TED.com. Great materials there and you actually can get the videos and evangelize by your own.


So here are some more of the extractions I made from Daniel Kahneman:   


There is a clear distinction of two selves of our selves:


The experiencing self, who lives in the present and knows the present, is capable of re-living the past, but basically it has only the present. It’s the experiencing self that the doctor approaches — you know, when the doctor asks, “Does it hurt now when I touch you here?”


The remembering self is the one that keeps score, and maintains the story of our life, and it’s the one that the doctor approaches in asking the question, “How have you been feeling lately?”  The remembering self is a storyteller. And that really starts with a basic response of our memories. We don’t only tell stories when we set out to tell stories. Our memory tells us stories, that is, what we get to keep from our experiences is a story.


What define a story are changes, significant moments and endings. Endings are very important in a story to be unforgettable.


Now, the experiencing self lives its life continuously. It has moments of experience, one after the other. And you ask: What happens to these moments? And the answer is really straightforward.


They are lost forever.


The remembering self does more than remember and tell stories it is actually the one that makes decisions.

The experiencing self has no voice in making a choice. We actually don’t choose between experiences. we choose between memories of experiences. And, even when we think about the future, we don’t think of our future normally as experiences. We think of our future as anticipated memories.


The remembering self is a tyrant. You can think of the remembering self sort of dragging the experiencing self through experiences that the experiencing self doesn’t need.


We go on vacations, to a very large extent, in the service of our remembering self. Think about it, it’s a little bit hard to justify why we prefer the memory of the experience more than experience itself.


There is actually Gallup study that puts a money threshold between the two types of happiness: 60,000$/year.


Everything above that goes towards the experience self, so the happiness level is a complete flat line. Everything under that takes away from the remembering self, the poorer you get bellow 60k/year the unhappier you become.


In other words, lots of money cannot buy you happiness, but the lack of money will buy you misery.


I got to remember this last one! 

The greatest invention of all times

February 18th, 2010


Last night we watched a radically different kind of comedy:


 “The invention of Lying”


Even though the acting plays somewhere in the average domain, I thought that there is an underlying message that is worth mentioning.


Imagine a world that is relentlessly logical and where everybody always tells the truth.


Truth without any concern about consequences!


What can be wrong with that?


The main character, Mark, is a screen writer for o movie producing company. Of course, in a truthful world, there is no fiction because that would require lying. All they can produce is drama/humor less historical facts, and of course the “Black Plague” of 13th century fails to produce a great movie hit.


Consequences are following in a strict logical order. Mark’s girlfriend doesn’t want to see him again because he is a looser, his mother is waiting to die, he gets fired for his lousy job, and his landlord gives him one day eviction notice. What can be more depressing in a world of truth?


But somehow he undergoes an astonishing revelation. He knows his bank balance is $300. The camera zooms into his brain to show mental lightning bolts, and he tells the teller he has $800. She hands him the money and apologizes for the bank’s computer showing the over draft.


He can lie!


His world lacks even a word for this. Nor does it have the word truth. Something is either “so,” or “not so.” With his new power Mark is able to tell his mother that death does not lead to oblivion, but to a wonderful afterlife. Of course she, and everyone else, believes him. The word races around the world, and people beg for more details.


Then “The man in the sky” is presented.

That implies some powerful and profound philosophical implications:


Religion is only possible in a world that has the ability to lie.


Lying is about the ability to “think of” and “tell of” “what is not”.


In the end, this ability has a very important outcome for Mark.


He gets the women he wanted, and the ability gets transferred to their children.


Enough spoiling details here. Go out and rent the thing.


January 31st, 2010


There is no secret that I’ve got large number of shares of Positive Identification Corporation (PSID). They hold several patents in developing glucose sensing micro chips that can be implanted under the skin so diabetics won’t have to prick their fingers to measure their glucose level. It also didn’t came as a surprise that Microsoft has just filled an application to patent the idea of superimposing physical characteristics on virtual avatars linked live through this kind of implanted micro chips.

Animal life is fueled on sugar, and I guess they figure out that tapping into the sugar control mechanism of people, would cause a significant shift in how to gain control of societal dynamics.

“””””””””””””””””””””United States Patent Application 20090309891

Kind Code A1

Karkanias; Chris Demetrios ; et al. December 17, 2009


An avatar generator for a virtual environment reflects a physiological characteristic of the user, injecting a degree of reality into the capabilities or appearance. Thereby, many of the incentives of the real world are replicated in a virtual environment. Physiological data that reflect a degree of health of the real person can be linked to rewards of capabilities of a gaming avatar, an amount of time budgeted to play, or a visible indication. Thereby, people are encouraged to exercise. Physiological data that reflect the health and perhaps also mood also improve social interaction in virtual environments. People seeking to meet and become acquainted with particular types of people are not thwarted by the artificiality of avatars. The physiological data can be gleaned from a third party health data collection repository, a healthcare smart card, a real-time physiological sensor (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, peak flow, pedometer, etc.)

Assignee Name and Address: MICROSOFT CORPORATION


Also, in order to attract some readers here I added my blog to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see this blog in their sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at http://mojoey.blogspot.com/ for more information.

Free your own mind! Take over the other minds!

January 23rd, 2010


In the movie “Gamer” Gerard Butler plays this character (Kable) of a remote controlled game avatar. With the help of nanotechnology, humans can broadcast a brain signal that allows them to have control over the minds of death row inmates.


This movie lacks any substance, but there was a little scene that actually made me reflect a little.


So here it is:


This villain technology magnate (played by Michael C. Hall) is controlling  Kable’s mind trying to make him harm himself and his family but somehow he breaks out of control and responds back with something like this:


“Look at this knife! Imagine me sticking it in your gut! Make it real!”


So here it goes the twist, the Mind Controlling God actually cannot stop having that thought and therefore he commanded Kable to stub him to death.


Did you get the point?


Controlling other people’s minds is not in your favor, because you cannot control your own mind that is reflected in the mind that you try to control.


Sound complicated isn’t it?


I would venture a little further and claim that the only minds that you may be able to control are the minds of other people.


Do not illusion yourself that you are in control of your own mind!


It doesn’t work!


Let it run its course!


It also goes to the previous posting.


Minds get transferred horizontally automatically.


Be careful with what you broadcast!


Think of the impact you have on other minds and how you can influence others!


It sounds evil, but you can actually do it in a good way.


Think of what is actually that you would like to have happen to you and focus on how to make that happen on other people!


If you want more money, think of how you can make your co-workers make more money!


If you want more excitement in your life think a way of how you can bring excitement in the people around you!


What else? Love? Fame? Success?


Think hard!


Make it real!


Now you know what to do!

Decentralizing of the MIND

January 10th, 2010


In the previous posting I introduced to you Rama, one of the most fascinating neuroscientists I was able to find. He is the one that gave me a very interesting perspective about: the existence and the function of the mirror neurons.


So the main idea goes something like this:

It is well known that a large number of neurons in the frontal part of the brain are in charged with the motor function of our bodies. You reach out to grab something and a firing is associated and detected in your head. But here comes the twist. Recently it has been discovered that some 20% of those neurons will also fire when you see somebody else reaching out to grab an object, or engage in any other physical activity.






Let me tell you something!


This is truly a sacred secret and you should guard it very carefully!




I learned this a long time ago from my NLP idol, Richard Bandler. Rama is the one that made it real. Thank you both!


So what happened? How all this became about?


Well, I already told you the story of Adam.




8000 years ago?




In the history of evolution, something amazing happened. To use some metaphorical language, the good old neurons, once living forever and in harmony in a well guarded “Garden of Eden”, found themselves one day with an intruder among them. They found out that one of the neurons planted by God in the middle of the garden was not part of the garden. It was in the garden, but not part of it. Its fruits had the knowledge about the outside.


And we know what happened!


 Adam takes the “sinful bait” and becomes conscious.


He gets thrown out of paradise, or should I say, “he gets out of his head”.


He gets the girl (and probably some good “head” that comes with it). Unfortunately he will have to work very hard for the rest of the history to buy her cloths and some nice shoes that she didn’t have before. And then not to forget the payment for her to take them off,,,,


Now, let’s go back to Rama, don’t take the Adam story to seriously!


These “mirror neurons” are able to adopt the “outside world” point of view.


They perform a “virtual reality simulation” of the environment.


They imitate and emulate.


To have it all in one big word, these mirror neurons make us LEARN!


They can use tools, start a fire, and find shelter. They can communicate through language and enable us to read other minds. They are responsible for Culture and Civilization.


It took the polar bear millions of years and countless number of generations to grow a fur to protect them from the most extreme cold whether on Earth. With the help of the mirror neurons, humans could learn almost instantly that they could kill the bear and take its fur to protect them from the same cold.


A child can watch his father do something useful, and the technology is transferred automatically.


With this comes a price.


It is called empathy.


You see or imagine somebody hurting, you hurt too!


You watch somebody dying, you will pretty much die with that person.


At least a part of you. And unless you seen so many deaths in movies, you become numb to it.




Being conscious is about dying.


And is about sacrifice.


That last one I got it from Jesus.


By sacrificing the rest of the 80% of your neurons and making them all mirrors into the other people, you become eternal.


Your identity becomes 100% distributed.


Your mind is 100% decentralized


You will automatically be transferred from generation to generation.


Easier said than done!


Your centralized 80% of the brain is still in control.


They will not let you do it, in other words:




Especially if you are reading here.


There will be more interesting postings on that, rest assured!


To come to some type of conclusion, all these speculations lead to an old principle of the eastern philosophy:


Your observation of the world is dependent on the observation of other people.


And what people observed in the world since the beginning, 8000 years ago.


Kant was wrong.


Dead wrong.


There is no real independent self separate from the world, observing it.


This is not mumbo jumbo philosophy, as Rama puts it. The consciousness is non local and universal. It rises from connection between all the minds and paradoxically is all in your head. That’s why it is a hard problem.


You cannot explain it selfishly in your own head; you have to explain it in other people’s head as well.


Damn, how did I come up with that one?


Maybe one day I will pay people on my blog to discuss these things with me, so I can program myself into their minds and become eternal!


Actually, I am thinking of doing an experiment. If you have a donation page at your site or other method like paypal and you will make a coherent comment here, I will send 10$ to your account. There is a limit of ten payments so hurry.


Cialis offerings will not get paid.

Phantom Limb, Rubber Hand, Pinocchio Illusion.

December 6th, 2009



Even though it became common knowledge these days, nothing is amassing me more than the idea that all the richness of our thinking, all of our feelings, our emotions, our ambitions, our loves, our most personal beliefs, even what we call “our own self” is encapsulated in the activity of several ounces of this “jelly like matter” called human brain.


So it came naturally to me to admire the work of one of the most recognized neuroscientist, Vilayanur Ramachandran. Shortly said: Rama.


His clinical experiments and findings suggest that we need to revise the serial/hierarchical/modular view of the brain and replace it with a new dynamic view of the brain. Instead of thinking of brain modular instances as hardwired and autonomous, we have to adopt a new view and think about the brain as being in a state of dynamic equilibrium with each other and with the environment including the body. By dynamic equilibrium I mean that new connections are being constantly re-made in response to environment changes.


Initially I thought that I am going to do a lot of “value extraction” from his materials. Five or six postings with some hard core conclusions, EASY!


But, you do this job if you are interested. Tons of goodies out there. 

You can start with this more recent interview with Charlie Rose:


Then, make sure you check out the “mirror neurons stuff” as well.


It seems to me that through these mirror neurons, we are able to get out of our heads, we can learn things about the “outside world”, we can anticipate what is going to happen, and we can even read other minds. In other words, is how we became increasingly efficient in outsmarting our environment and dynamically adapt to it.


I love these Indian guys!


P.S. I forgot to tell you about something interesting related to the subject.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought the Guitar Hero game for my son. The way it works, you have a plastic guitar with some buttons instead of the cords and during the playing of the music you get to see the notes you suppose to hit as a sequence of the color buttons on the TV screen. I am sure you’ve seen it.

Well this what happened. My wife decided she would like to play, and guess what? She got hooked on it and played almost the whole weekend.

Then just a half hour ago, as we speak, we went out to do some shopping and when I turned on the radio, during one of the rock songs that she also was playing on the Xbox video game, she said that “SHE WAS SEEING THE COLOR BUTTONS CORESPONDING WITH THE TUNES SCROLLING DOWN HER EYES”.


Isn’t that “Ramachandran grade” synesthesia experience, or what?

Knowledge Argument

November 26th, 2009




Today is Thanksgiving Day and other then same delicious turkey cooked to perfection by my super-culinary-skilled wife, I am very grateful for Nothing!


And for a special day, we are going to have a special posting. This time we are going to have an hypothetical experiment. It will be something easy to imagine.


Mary is one of the smartest neuro-scientists that ever lived, but it happened that she is also color blind. She is confined into a black and white world and because of that, she dedicated her life to study human perception of color. Over the years, she got to know every thing that there is to be known about the physical phenomena of seeing color. In other words, she knows all the experimental facts underlying the conscious experience of seeing different colors.


But she never had a “color seeing” experience.


She has interviewed countless numbers of people and read a large number of scientific studies, but she never experience herself what is like to see different colors.


One day, the advances in ophthalmology allow her to have the color sensations in her retina established.


For the first time she can see the blueness of the sky, the greenness of the grass, the redness of an apple.


And the question that rises from this imaginary tale is this:


Did Marry learn anything new once she experienced “seeing color” by herself?


I guess that most of the people would think that the answer would be “Yes”.


Most of you would think that what she knew from other people talking about their “seeing color” experience cannot give Marry the knowledge that she would get by herself from experiencing “seeing color”.


But this presumption will lead to a hole in the logic that cannot be filled.


Let’s go over these presumptions one more time:


Before leaving her monochromatic world, Mary knows everything that can be known physically or neuroscientifically about the conscious color vision of human beings.


When first viewing a color object she acquires new knowledge.


This new knowledge is factual knowledge.


Therefore before having her first conscious color experience, Mary did not know all the facts one can know with regard to color experience.


Therefore, there are non-physical facts about her color vision that can only be grasped by phenomenal knowledge (first person knowledge).


Therefore, physicalism is false.


By “phisicalism” I mean the idea that consciousness rises from the physical activity of the brain.


After reflecting very carefully into this hypothetical experiment, I must admit that I am not too much of a buyer into that conclusion.


Doing a little bit of research, I found out that most likely, after having her color vision restored, the first time Mary saw something colored, she didn’t perceived that much of a difference of what she was used to see!


After a while, she described it as something weird that she never felt before, but she did not learn any new facts about the experience itself. It took her several months until she was consistently able to discriminate between different colors. She learned fast because she already knew what was going on.


What I am selling here is this:


There is no such a thing called” the experience of seeing color”.


You can thing of it as a process.


Or you may call it an illusion, just be careful; it is an ilusion that is no one’s ilusion.


Machine Salvation!

November 21st, 2009


Last night we watched the last movie from the Terminator series, “The Salvation”.

And besides Christian Bale’s irritating low tone voice (that he also rehearsed in the Batman role), there were a few good points that I thought will blend pretty good with the current them and context of this blog.

One of them was derived right from the title:


Can machines saves us?


Save us from what?


Save us from being terminated!


Well, let’s back up a little!


We saw previously, that in order to properly function in the world, we have the choice to see the world through two fundamentally different points of view.


Dualism is inherited in our nature.


We have two complementing brains doing the same thing but from two opposite angles.


And one important distinction is between the world seen as a mechanism, and the world seen as manifestation.


Machine Control versus Human Manifestation

Binary Logic versus Feelings

Truth versus Opinion

Standard versus Context

Absolute versus Relative

Linear versus Curvaceous

One versus Infinity


The list can go on for ever!


Now, let’s go back to the movie a little bit!


The main idea of the movie is that at one point of the technological evolution, the computers will become aware of their own existence, and they will start surviving by themselves and become self sustained. The main problem of their survival; their own creators: The Humans. Somehow the computers want the humans to be “dead”.

Of course, the technology is developed by the “For Ever Evil Empire, Government Controlled Military”. The Ego needs to survive and is plotting the most sophisticated strategy ever invented. For thousands of years it has been relaying only on these evolved biological entities, the humans. While it become increasingly successfully in controlling them, the Ego still has a very big problem:



Other than just a handful of these humans that miraculously become eternal and turned into some sort of gods, all humans share the same fate:


They all get old and die!


Something had to be done!


Something like a machine, or a computer, that can be repaired, rebuild, reconstructed, restarted, rebooted, remanufactured, refined, reinvented, redesigned and reprogrammed. All of these in a very reproducible manner, fast, without errors, without defects, without mistakes.


The human kind has accomplished its purpose. The next level in evolution is about to make its arrival on the planet, an old era is closing its chapter, a new one is about to begin. The moment when the transition happens is called:


The Judgment Day.


However, there is a twist.


There are some stubborn humans that are surviving the God’s wrath. Their Ego is more superior. The mechanical ego has underestimated their superiority.


And the story is well known. Skynet makes a disparate move sending a Terminator in the past to kill Sarah Connor. The machine made an assumption that changing the past will change the future. That unfortunately doesn’t work. John Connor also sends back in time his younger buddy Kyle Reese on a booty call on his mom that would ensure it’s own birth.  An improved second Terminator fails too. And a third one also. Arnold Schwarzenegger is laughing all the way to the bank and Sacramento. In the forth attempt he is actually a completely computer created Terminator. All buffed like it was 1979 and butt naked. I wonder if he got any royalties for that one too?


Ok, so what is the solution to get out of this mess?


Strangely enough, the last Terminator series was paradoxical by being the first one in the time line. All the suspense was terminated because I already knew all the answers for the central questions:


Skynet wins the battle.

The resistance goes on.

John Connor doesn’t die.

John finds Kyle Reese.


What I found a little interesting, was the introduction of a new character:


Marcus Wright.


Marcus was a “death row” convict who donated his body to science. He wakes up in the future with no recent memories and a shiny metal skeleton.


The two worlds are colliding into this unique character.


He is the Interface.


The Machine with a Human heart.


Not to forget his human neuro-cortex.


He is the only character with a clean existential purpose. The rest is just hypothetical context created with time travel, rubish paradoxes. In the movie, they imply that Marcus was programmed by Skynet to plot the killing of John Connor. 


Well, they picked to wrong guy.


It was the moment when John and Marcus locked their eyes together in the little clip above that made me reflect. Marcus’s existence has a much deeper meaning.


It wasn’t at all about who is going to win the fight “Man versus Machine” or about who is going to save what?


It wasn’t about a robot trying to be human.

It was about a human doing what a machine cannot do:


Save its soul through the ultimate sacrifice.


Sacrifice his ethernal machine life for something much greater.


“Sacrifice” as the only way to save humanity.


It was about what it really means to be human.


It was about redemption.


Judged on our behavior, we are all machines.


Judged on our belief, we are the same as God.




PS. I cannot forget the terminator that was guarding the humans prisoners. It had a scarf on his skull like a pirate. Did he put it himself to look cool? Was he really impressing the Terminator ladies?