Feelings, Forms and Freedom

new constructions in technology and psychology

This page was posted in 2013. It provides a preliminary view of constructions that, in 2016, are being developed as part of ( ... ) Integrity of Freedom:  Actual Selves in a Regime of Authority.

Summary.  New constructions in technology and psychology work together in proposed models that generate and use "imagery." In proposed technological constructions, device models of brain parts generate "imagery" during operations. Corresponding "imagery" in parallel psychological constructions refers to a person's conscious experiences.

Psychological images start from experiences referred to locations in and movements of a person's own body, e.g., itching & scratching and balancing, experiences called "bodily feelings." An additional layer of images refer to material bodies other than the person's own body, such as visual shapes and colors of things in a room; such images are called "sensations of objects." Bodily feelings and sensations of objects have separate origins and different characters. We change bodily feelings when we move but objects have presumptive "permanence" and "nature" that are independent of our movements. Bodily feelings and sensations of objects generally co-exist, while frequently overlapping and merging, e.g., when a person picks up and eats a bit of food or when a person uses a screwdriver. Distinct images identify "other persons" who presumptively have bodily feelings and sensations of objects much like one's own. More complex imagery comes in forms of music, drama and institutional procedures.

New constructions set forth descriptions of imagery in a psychological domain and parallel generations of imagery in a device domain. Parallel constructions suggest practical applications. Constructions are developed that juxtapose, combine, co-ordinate and organize images of various kinds. Technology and psychology develop together. An open class of matching operations includes operations that detect when two images are "the same," operations that detect which of two comparable images is larger and operations that detect shared characteristics and distinctions between images. "Actual imagery" of present bodily movements, feelings and sensations is compared with "control imagery" that defines goals, forms and laws. For example, suppose a racer is running towards the goal line during a competition. The racer's experiences (imagery) of the goal line and of other runners is used to control the racer's movements, feelings and sensations that are aimed at the goal line, seeking to merge momentarily with it. A feeling of freedom accompanies the effort and motivates the racer. New constructions propose models for such movements, feelings, sensations and motivations.

Constructions in this project have foundations in The Quad Nets Project, which is discussed in (...) links below. The new approach of the Quad Nets Project is summed up in an essay, (...) "How to Solve Free-Will Puzzles and Overcome Limitations of Platonic Science" (2016 version). a .pdf file (1.9 MB). The essay is outlined and discussed on a separate (...) web page. The essay describes an alternative to the modern scientific view and presents new technologies that model muscular movements of actual life. Designs for muscle-like modules and for "A Dogtail for Wagging" illustrate different kinds of movements and lead to the "Levels of Activation" of this project.

Project Contents
(...) A. Life Is Full of Feelings.
(...) B. Feelings of Freedom Are Grounded in a Person's Body, Personality and Conscious Imagery.
(...) C. An Outline of Bodily Feelings and Muscular Movements Is Based on Levels of Activation.
(...) D. The Virtual Energy Functional Is the Organizing Principle for Levels of Activation.
(...) E. Steady-Rate Virtual Energy Principles Guide Designs for Brain-like Devices, Bodily Feelings and Muscle-like Movements of an Engineered Organism.

A.  Life Is Full of Feelings.

As its core meaning, I use the word "feelings" to refer to a person's experience of his or her own body. Of foundational importance in this project are bodily feelings that are based on a person's muscular movements, e.g., the bodily feelings of a yoga practitioner or martial artist. Other kinds of feelings are added to the core. As a major addition, "feelings" are expanded to include "emotions" that are expressed during bodily and verbal exchanges with other persons who also express feelings. Bodily and emotional "feelings" are generally distinct from "sensations." The core meaning of "sensations" refers to a person's experience of material bodies other than one's own body; such other bodies are typically called "things" or "objects." A special class of "feeling bodies" is constructed for the bodies of other persons and animals. The classes of my feeling body, other feeling bodies and unfeeling bodies are used to organize my movements. Feelings and sensations are separate kinds of experience with independent sources but they often function together with respect to a particular activity, e.g., playing a videogame or eating dinner.

In other words, a chief distinction between bodily feelings and sensation of objects is that, in functional ways, bodily feelings depend on a person's muscular movements while objects have little or no such dependence. We are sensitive to changes in feelings but maintain a fixed image of an object. Persons can recreate feelings in their own bodies, e.g., through exercise routines at the gym. Feelings are also expressed through a person's words and behavior that are highly adjustable. In contrast, things generally have "factual invariance," a characteristic that is central in constructions of reality. Things that have factual invariance are presumed to be "the same" when experienced at different times, when experienced from different perspectives or when experienced by different persons. The sameness of a thing that has factual invariance does not depend on a person's repetition of muscular movements or other activity of the person.

Sameness (factual invariance) in things is the basis of scientific knowledge. Exemplars of factual invariance in science include the speed of light, the periodic table of elements (hydrogen, helium, lithium, etc.) and the phase diagram of water (the standard graph showing freezing at 0° C and boiling at 100° C). Feelings that are under a person's control do not possess such invariance because the person can change some feelings, avoid some feelings, stifle some feelings and cultivate some feelings.

Attempts to apply scientific methods to questions involving variable feelings have had little success. Mostly scientists redefine such feelings to mean something else, e.g., "sense perceptions" or "dispositions," and then talk about the something else. Fortunately, methods other than scientific methods can be more successfully applied. This project uses multiple methods in new constructions, including both scientific and non-scientific methods.

In contrast to scientific methods, non-scientific methods recognize the importance of feelings in the actual lives of persons. We can and do talk meaningfully about feelings. Sometimes, discussion with another person about feelings influences a course of action. Each feeling has its own character but a class of feelings can share characteristics. As exemplars, love, fear and anger can be enduring and powerful feelings. "Enduring" refers to the long life of feelings such as maternal love, fear of conflict and ethnic hatred. "Powerful" refers to capacities of such feelings to cause or influence actions of a person.

Love, fear and anger belong to a class of feelings called "primary emotions." In addition to potential enduring power, primary emotions can turn into and generate each other. Love for a person can turn to anger if the love is betrayed. Fear and anger are felt towards a stranger who threatens a loved one. Other feelings, called "moods," have less importance than emotions and more transient influence, e.g., feelings of adventure, boredom or impatience; feelings of pride or sorrow; feelings of involvement or detachment or disgust when attending the theater. People take action to change their mood, e.g., walking out of the theater during the performance.

Primary emotions and moods are often grounded in bodily feelings, especially when emotions are expressed through action and movements, such as a mother nursing her baby, a shy person escaping from a confrontation or a fight between gangs. I suggest that all kinds of feelings, thoughts and knowledge, including scientific knowledge, are based on feelings grounded in our bodies, especially feelings grounded in muscular movements. We have actual experience in connection with muscular movements that we adapt when constructing forms of sensory experience based on vision and hearing. I suggest that we further adapt actual experience and sensory forms to construct abstract or representative experience, such as forms of geometry and laws of science.

As an example, I suggest that mathematical laws that we use to describe "gravity" have origins in bodily feelings of weight, balancing and falling. As an intermediate step, we construct sensory imagery of falling and moving bodies that are different from our own bodies, e.g., Galileo's rolling wooden balls. We pursue the idea that all bodies follow the same laws. Accordingly, body-based feelings — e.g., feelings experienced during amusement park rides — provide physical content for laws stated mathematically that also apply to planets. Einstein's equivalency principle, a foundational concept in the General Theory of Relativity, is grounded in bodily feelings, e.g., comparisons of feelings experienced while riding in elevators and trains with feelings experienced in response to gravitational forces.

The large-scale construction plan of feelings outlined in part C starts with bodily feelings that have specific locations, such as pains. Several kinds of bodily feelings have specific locations like those of pains, e.g., itches, weight and pressure, heat and cold. Some bodily feelings with specific locations are calls to specific action, e.g., itches that call for scratches (a primal form of what William James called "ideo-motor action"), feelings of hunger and thirst and signals from the bladder and bowels. Sexual feelings are calls that are grounded in specific bodily locations and that are directed towards another person.

New constructions use a principle of layering. Independently adjustable layers co-exist and work together in various ways, depending on the situation. Layers are added "from the bottom up," like building a layer cake. The lowest layer is made up of feelings like itching, pain and heat that are referred to specific bodily locations. Higher levels in the layered construction have more regional or general extent that incorporates numerous locations. Images of muscular movements are layered on top of and combined with locational images to generate the next higher layers of feelings, including feelings of specific movements, feelings of rest and stability and feelings of balancing, losing one's balance and falling. In a third layer, a cyclical rhythm is introduced as muscular tension increases or relaxes. In cyclical motion, tensing movements rhythmically alternate with relaxing movements. Multiple rhythmic cycles can be coordinated and synchronized in more layers. In further layering, some muscular movements require effortful work, e.g., getting a heavy door into motion; other movements feel easy, e.g. bicycling down a slight grade; and effort and easiness become principles of selection.

Music generates feelings that absorb many persons; and music provides, in my view, attractive targets for brain models. Music just seems to bubble out of some brains. Music has developed over centuries in widely separated and distinct cultures for specific purposes of generation and control of feelings, e.g., in church, at family celebrations or on the march to war. The feelings can be highly varied and are often uniquely individual with the composer or performer. Classical forms of Indian and Western music have achieved richness and complexity of feelings in ways that can be analyzed and compared. There is no biological need for music: many persons are unmusical. Many more, however, would echo Nietzsche, who wrote: "Without music, life would be mistake."

A locational principle works for the lowest layers of models of both bodily feelings and musical tones. At higher levels, feelings based on musical movements resemble feelings based on muscular movements. Musical movements and muscular movements are co-ordinated in dance through "the beat." Musical movements also extend beyond those of dance and generate feelings of movement in persons sitting immobile in an audience. In Sound and Symbol: Music and the External World (1956), V. Zuckerkandl discusses feelings evoked at different points in the famous singing melody of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, where "the disturbed equilibrium, the tension and dissatisfaction" felt at one point in the melody is transformed by the end into an "impression of perfect equilibrium, of relaxation of tension and satisfaction, we might almost say of self-affirmation."

As the foregoing examples illustrate, descriptions of feelings in this project are based on forms of organization, such as kinds (e.g., primary emotions, moods), directed sequences (balancing, loss of balance and falling), cycles (tension alternating with relaxation), coordination and synchronization, shared and variable characteristics (power, endurance) and resemblances (musical feelings resemble muscular feelings). Through development of forms of organization in multiple constructions, a multitude of disparate and changeable feelings can be incorporated into models that combine such feelings with technological designs for generation of action in proposed devices.

B.  Feelings of Freedom Are Grounded in a Person's Body, Personality and Conscious Imagery.

Sometimes, a feeling of freedom accompanies and motivates a person's actions that are directed towards achievement of a specific purpose. Such a feeling may occur when achievement of the purpose is uncertain and dependent on choices that the person makes through action. If the purpose is achieved, the person feels success and satisfaction. Activities that can generate such feelings of freedom include sports and games, vacation travel and participating in musical performances. I suggest that persons often undertake such activities for the purpose of enjoying feelings of freedom. Feelings of freedom also accompany activities that have important consequences and that are undertaken for purposes other than enjoyment of freedom. Trials in court are exemplary for my projects. Other examples include projects in engineering, business and education.

In proposed device constructions, similar success and satisfaction are modeled through harmoniously synchronized entrainments within device systems - some devices are generating images of muscle-like movements and feelings ("actual images") while other devices are generating images of goals that are to be achieved through movements ("control imagery"). An "entrainment" is a momentary synchronization and merger of activity – and sometimes, imagery – that involves two or more distinct device assemblies.

Mergers of imagery may be whole or partial and may include "matchings." Matchings are an open collection of device operations that have diverse and sometimes-specialized kinds and variations. One kind of matching operation detects when images in two device assemblies are "the same," meaning, "about the same," using a test that is more tolerant than a test for "identical," with an adjustable tolerance. Other matching operation detect which of two comparable images is larger or which of two rates is faster. Development aims at matchings that would detect "characteristics" implicitly shared by different images. Such development might extend toward "metaphorical matchings" that find resemblances between two disparate kinds of imagery such as the shape of a tree and family relationships formed by marriages and births.

In psychological constructions, similar success and satisfaction are achieved when transient feelings, movements and sensations - "actual images" - aim for and merge with desires, goals and forms - "control images." Actual imagery is transient and variable; control imagery is sustained. Aiming means that, as a result of bodily and mental action, actual imagery changes to become closer to control imagery. Merger means that actual imagery matches control imagery, at least in some way. A feeling of freedom may include anticipation of their merger. Feelings of freedom can influence action and aiming.

In layered constructions, multiple kinds of activity co-exist in general and also participate in particular combinations of activities that can be varied and changeable. Co-existence is maintained by means of principles that apply to all layers. Activity can be concentrated in and around one layer or distributed among multiple layers in various ways. When the situation changes, multiple layers may condense into a single unified layer or a single unified layer may divide into multiple interactive layers. A layered construction supports a growing repertoire of possible activities.

The psychological construction builds a model for a personality of a person and for the person's conscious imagery experienced during activities – exercises of freedom – that aim for merger of actual imagery and control imagery. A relatively simple personality construction can have a large repertoire of activities. The basic construction developed here begins with a "pelvic personality" as the lowest layer and adds first a "manual personality" layer and then a "facial personality" layer. Each personality layer has two included layers. The relationship between the two layers within a personality layer is that, during activity of the organism, actual imagery of the lower layer "turns into" actual imagery of the higher layer. During purposeful activity, the "turning into" is under control of control imagery.

Layered Construction of Personality and Conscious Imagery   ( ... ) .pdf version

facial:   emotional relationships ↔ family, community     imitation, values
      language & demeanor ↔ culture, institutions     conformity, teaching
manual:   objects & constructions ↔ reality, designs     invariants, explanations
   sensations & symbols ↔ forms, laws     symmetry, fit
pelvic:   muscular movements ↔ goals, habits     force, training
   bodily feelings ↔ pains, desires     animal, innate
personality actual imagery     control imagery     bases of matching

Accordingly, I suggest that: during purposeful activity controlled by goals, habits and specific desires, bodily feelings "turn into" muscular movements. This is the kind of purposeful activity that makes up the actual life of mammals, reptiles and other verterbrates and that we experience through our "pelvic personality." As discussed in the free-will puzzle essay, the animal's brain performs the "turning into" according to temporal forms of action implicit in the control imagery. A popular description of the pelvic personality of animals refers to muscular movements in terms of "four f's," namely, feeding, fleeing, fighting and fertilization. In other words, feelings that are identified as "specific desires" called hunger, fear, rage and sex "turn into" specific classes of movements. Human beings have a richer repertoire of pelvic movements and feelings, e.g., those experienced during dance and sports.

When a manual personality is active, the person is typically working with his or her hands, e.g., cooking, building things or writing. In such activities, bodily feelings and muscular movements are active but subordinated to hand-eye activity that is operating under different principles that are suited to the objects being handled. Bodily feelings are projected into tools such as screwdrivers and pliers, which become subject to muscular movements. Movements, in turn, are subject to control imagery such as forms, laws, designs and reality. In my approach, laws and reality are viewed as psychological constructions. Through such activities, actual images involved in visual sensations, muscular movements and bodily feelings "turn into" material objects according to a design. Examples include a cook making dinner from a recipe and a motorist making a trip according to a map and directions.

A further course of development leads to the facial personality. Our original facial personality develops in childhood, with control imagery supplied by family, community, culture and institutions. Through social activity, our words and demeanor "turn into" personal relationships.

Activities of the facial personality typically involve multiple personality layers. In other words, activities of the pelvic personality and/or the manual personality are often concurrent with those of the facial personality. For example, a cook converses with a friend while making dinner. Purposes involved in social activities include pelvic desires for bodily comfort, adventure, sex and sensuality. Physical aggression in a pelvic personality may re-appear as creativity in a manual personality or contentiousness in a facial personality. We attempt to satisfy pelvic desires and constrain aggression through establishment of institutions and community resources that operate on principles of flexible facial personalities and that also have the factual invariance of material objects. Such attempts are sometimes partially successful, sufficient to get by most of the time, but the results are often far from fully satisfactory. The personalities co-exist but do not necessarily co-operate.

Divisions in the basic personality construction refer to bodily regions controlled by different vertebra: the pelvic personality is referred to lumbar and sacral vertebra, the manual personality to thoracic vertebra and the facial personality to cervical vertebra and cranial nerves. I suggest that certain "locational imagery" is generated by "gray matter" in respective vertebra. "Gray matter" refers to the microscopic appearance of some nervous tissues and contrasts with "white matter." In other words, some feelings are generated in nervous tissues in verterbra and thus have actual bodily locations distinct from the central brain. I further suggest that certain muscular activities (e.g., "holding") are generated within vertebral nervous tissues. In sum, foundational feelings and muscular activities of the pelvic personality have generators in vertebra close to the pelvis. Another group of vertebral generators operate the arms. In addition and more generally, I suggest that actual imagery is generated in "gray matter" distributed throughout "lower levels" of the brain. Multiple distinct "lower levels" contrast with the single integrated "higher level" of the brain which occupies the cerebrum, which I model as the chief generator of control imagery. In sum, as a guideline for relating psychological constructions to human brain anatomy, I locate control imagery in the cerebrum and actual imagery in non-cerebral gray matter, including gray matter in the vertebra.

Principles of construction are partially based on scientific investigations. See ( ... ) THE FROG'S NERVE-CENTRES in William James' The Principles of Psychology (1890), setting forth "a very simple conception of the functions of the various centres, involving the strongest possible contrast between the cerebral hemispheres and the lower lobes."

In dealing with ( ... ) "Nomenclature" for his investigations, James tried to find a "general term by which to designate all states of consciousness merely as such." Various single-word possibilities were inadequate and "we thus seem about to be forced back on some pair of terms like Hume's 'impression and idea,' or Hamilton's 'presentation and representation,' or the ordinary 'feeling and thought,' if we wish to cover the whole ground." James concluded: "My own partiality is for either FEELING or THOUGHT. I shall probably often use both words in a wider sense than usual."

Principles of construction are also partially based on teachings of yogis and other body-consciousness practitioners. A neurosurgeon and yogi wrote that "Feelings Precede Thought." "According to Samkhya Yoga, feeling is the most interesting side of our consciousness. ... Feeling is the function of the subcortex, ajna chakram ('the center of the head'); knowing is the work of the cortex. Without feeling, knowing and thinking would be impossible." (Yoga Sutras: The Textbook of Yoga Psychology (1963) at pages 54 and 513, by Rammurti S. Mishra, M.D., also known as Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati Udasina.)

Moshe Feldenkrais (1904–1984) was an engineer and physicist before he became a judo master; and he then combined his skills in developing a new physical therapy. In Awareness Through Movement: Health Exercises for Personal Growth (1972), Feldenkrais wrote that: "Our self-image consists of four components that are involved in every action: movement, sensation, feeling, and thought."

My constructions are suggestive rather than authoritative. The method uses a "kit of parts" that is highly adaptable. Diverse constructions can use modified principles. Additional developmental layers might include personality structures that have no vertebral reference, such as a "musical personality," an "empathic personality" or a "religious personality."

Music evokes feelings that resemble feelings of freedom. In classical Western and Hindu music, control imagery is grounded in a "tonic" tone that stands at the bottom of a scale of tones and also, typically, in a "dominant" tone that has a specific "perfect fifth" relationship with the tonic tone. Typically, control tones are sustained throughout the piece expressly, e.g., using the Hindu tambura drone instrument, or by implication in harmonies. Actual imagery is grounded in movement that is expressed through melodic utterances of solo singers and instrumental performers. In ( ... ) Shimmering Silences in Beautiful Music, I reported on investigations into musical topics using device models. I was led in my investigations by the beauty of the "suspended dissonance" that appears in the opening phrases of "Duo Seraphim," one piece in Claudio Monteverdi's larger work, Vespers of 1610. Monteverdi's suspended dissonance illustrates musical feelings that can be generated by the approach and merger of melodic movement with sustained controlling harmonies. An ( ... ) .mp3 file (1.3 MB; 1 minute, 20 seconds) contains a recorded performance.

C.  An Outline of Bodily Feelings and Muscular Movements Is Based on Levels of Activation.

... ) .pdf version

Outline of Feelings Based on Body Practices, Musical Elements and Device Designs
and Organized According to Levels of Activation

Feelings, Activations and Forms of Θ
Body Practices
Device Designs

     Quasi-static Activations   —  Organism is immobile  —  Vitality principle: prana


Θ = Θ0 (lowest) yoga nidra
(places in the body)

tones pulsers, Quad Nets
(Shimmering Sensitivity and generation of imagery)
Stretched: Θ = Θa, Θb, Θc,...
ζ} are fixed

asana yoga
(supported positions)
chords ear for Pythagorean harmonics,
pulsers, dogtail for wagging
Stressed: Θ = Θa, Θb, Θc,...
Θζ = Θζ0 + δΘζ

asana yoga
(progressive positions)
scales and keys ears for harmonic groups,
jaws for cracking nuts, dogtail

     Continuous Activations   —  Organism is "at home"  —  Vitality principle: qi

Moving: Θa < Θx < (Θa ± ξ)
ξ << Θa

prana yoga, qigong phrases eye for sharp contrast,
Repeating: Θ = Θa, Θb, Θc,...
ζ} are cyclic

prana yoga, qigong, taijiquan melodies birdsong detector, dogtail
Ranging: Θx traverses the interval [Θ0, Θ1]

qiqong, taijiquan, prana & vinyasa yogas songs eyes that look at objects, dogtail

     Saccadic Activations   —  Organism is mobile and active  —  Vitality principle: kiai

Stepping: Θ repeats short traversals

taijiquan, judo, karate, gongfu the beat vestibulo-optical reflex,
neck for upright standing

Working: ranging Θ adds forces: Θ±ΔΘ

body building, judo, gongfu, prana yoga

meter, tempo fishtail for propulsion, peristalsis
Striking: Θ jumps a full interval 0, Θ1]

karate, gongfu rhythms, dynamics fishtail, dogtail

     Shimmering Activations   —  Organism is under control  —  Vitality principle: Light

Stroking: Θ organizes variable cyclic movements

qigong, taijiquan, karate, prana yoga variations neck, eyes, Quad Nets (Phase Transfer Controller)

Θ tracks patterns held in memory

qigong, taijiquan, karate, vinyasa yoga forms, counterpoint neck, ears, Quad Nets (PTC)
Autonomous:    Θ generates and selects forms

gongfu, karate, judo, nataraja yoga improvisation Quad Nets (PTC)

D.  The Virtual Energy Functional Is the Organizing Principle for Levels of Activation.

The Virtual Energy functional was described in the original Quad Nets paper discussed ( ... ) below. See ( ... ) Images 45 through 48 on the Quad Nets website.

The analytic form is:  VES = V0 [1 + (R/D) (1 - exp(-D(t - t0)))]

E.  Steady-Rate Virtual Energy Principles Guide Designs for Brain-like Devices, Bodily Feelings and Muscle-like Movements of an Engineered Organism.

(constructions are being drafted)

links to related publications

How to Solve Free-Will Puzzles and Overcome Limitations of Platonic Science

(...) "How to Solve Free-Will Puzzles and Overcome Limitations of Platonic Science (2016 version)" a .pdf file (1.9 MB). The essay is discussed on a separate (...) web page that is part of the Quad Nets Project, discussed below. The essay is foundational for the "Feelings, Forms and Freedom" project, setting forth reasons for seeking alternatives to the modern scientific view and grounding new technologies in muscular movements of actual life. Device designs illustrate quasi-static, continuous and saccadic movements and lead to the organized activations of this project.

Summary.  "Free will" puzzles are failed attempts to make freedom fit into forms of science. The failures seem puzzling because of widespread beliefs that forms of science describe and control everything. Errors in such beliefs are shown by reconstruction of forms of "platonic science" that were invented in ancient Greece and that have developed into modern physics. Like Plato's Ideas, modern Laws of Physics are said to exercise hegemonic control through universal and eternal principles. Linear forms and rigid symmetries are abstracted from geometry and indifference. Processes tied to equilibrium require static surroundings and confine changes to continuous increments. Such forms, based on empty space, fail to describe actual material transformations that occur during the making of steel or the production of snowflakes. They also fail to describe muscular movements and related bodily feelings of persons and other animals that have actual life. Limitations of platonic science are overcome by means of new forms with the character of time, beginning with "beats" and saccadic, jumpy forms. Technologies of action and freedom generate and control such temporal forms in proposed device models of muscles and brains. New constructions lead to episodic balancing forms, which pass through critical moments of transformation, resembling those that occur when persons exercise freedom, e.g., during a moment of overtaking in a footrace or during a moment of decision by a courtroom jury.

Brain Models Built From Timing Devices (2007-2011)

The timing devices "kit of parts" resembles the system of "standard electronic components" that includes resistors, capacitors, signal generators, transistors and amplifiers. Conceptual parallels with standard electronic circuits help to organize a presentation for persons knowledgeable about electronics technology.

... ) Opening Page
... ) A Kit of Parts
... ) An Eye for Sharp Contrast
    ( ... ) Eyes That Look at Objects
... ) An Ear for Pythagorean Harmonics
    ( ... ) A Procrustean Group of Harmonies
... ) Fundamentals of Timing Devices
... ) Author & History

Quad Nets (2006)

Quad Nets are proposed physical materials that embody primal principles of new technologies. "Quad Net" is a proposed manufactured material that converts electricity into pulses that drive muscle-like movements of an engineered organism. Put into packages like electronics modules, the material functionally acts like a network of neurons that converts blood sugar into biological "action potentials." Electricity and blood sugar are equivalently treated as sources of "Virtual Energy." Designs show how Quad Net material is shaped into proposed devices and how devices convert Virtual Energy into pulses that can be used for various purposes. Some devices embody the principle of Shimmering Sensitivity, which can perform selecting or choosing functions. I suggest that Shimmering Sensitivity also generates imagery that resembles conscious imagery of persons. Proposed operations involving Shimmering Sensitivity are based on properties of actual physical materials that are maintained at the Critical Point, which identifies a class of "universal" phemomena seen in many different kinds of materials. Quad Net is an activated version of the mathematical Ising Model that is used to explore Critical Point phenomena in condensed matter physics.

... ) Quad Net web site separately organized.

... ) formal paper titled Quad Nets: Material Foundations for Thermal Device Models of Brains (2006) (.pdf format, 1.1 Mb).

... ) web page discussing the formal paper.

... ) informal discussion of "mechanical metaphors" for cyclical selection and Shimmering Sensitivity.

Philosophy of Science

... ) A Patchwork of Limits: Physics Viewed From an Indirect Approach (2000), is a formal paper available as a .pdf file (157 kB). A ( ... ) web page discusses the paper. The methods and conclusions of the paper provided guidance in developing Quad Nets and Timing Devices. The "alternative view of physics" developed in the paper contrasts Critical Point phenomena and theory (the basis for Shimmering Sensitivity) with the Ideal Gas, the point of origin of mechanical models of matter, chiefly Maxwell's and Boltzmann's versions of kinetic theory and Gibbs' statistical mechanics.

A separate ( ... ) web page, "Facts About Snowflakes," discusses the problem of accounting for the generation of snowflakes from gaseous water vapor. Snowflakes can be beautifully symmetrical. Physicists are unable to account for this phenomenon because the proposed atomic processes are independent of one another and separated by relatively huge distances. I argue that the attempt to explain the phenomenon by means of atomic processes is a failure. This failure is exemplary of the failures of physics to explain classes of phenomena called irreversible phase changes. I hold that important brain operations — above all, Shimmering Sensitivity — involve irreversible phase changes and are outside the reach of scientific methods. Scientific failure to account for the symmetries of snowflake generation is a focus in "How to Solve Free-Will Puzzles and Overcome Limitations of Platonic Science," discussed (...) above.

Please see the ( ... ) Quad Nets Site Map that includes additional links, including links to projects that explore other topics or that were preparatory, such as Testimony of Freedom, Embodiment of Freedom, Researches in Personal Freedom and Technology of Freedom.

project status

History of progress of project.

First materials were published in November of 2012, chiefly Part A, Introduction to Part B, Outline of Part C, VES analytic form of Part D. Revised pages were published in February 2013 and December 2013. Revisions carried out in January 2016 were minor, reflecting the 2016 version of the free-will puzzles essay and the commencement of Integrity of Freedom, which incorporates and supersedes this project.

I welcome your comments and correspondence. Email should be directed to the address shown in the adjacent image.

January 2016

Copyright © 2013, 2016 Robert Kovsky