Tag Archives: knowledge

MAN AS A MACHINE

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EVERY LIVING BEING

From an article published in the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, February 21, 1915,  By Mr. Nikola Tesla

“EVERY living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surroundings, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance. There In no constellation or nebula, no sun or planet, in all the depths of limitless space, no passing wanderer of the starry heavens, that does not exercise some control over its destiny. Not in the vague and delusive sense of astrology, but in the rigid and positive meaning of physical science.

More than this can be said. There is no thing endowed with life — from man, who is enslaving the element to the humblest creature in all this world — that does not sway it in turn. Whenever action is born from force, though it be infinitesimal, the cosmic balance is upset and universal motion results.”

MAN AS A MACHINE

Great strides have since been made in the art of anatomy, physiology and all branches of science, and the workings of the man-machine are now perfectly clear. Yet the very fewest among us are able to trace their actions to primary external causes. It is indispensable to the arguments I shall advance to keep In mind the main facts which I have myself established in years of close reasoning and observation and which may be summed up as follows:

1. The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea.

2. There is no memory or retentive faculty based on lasting impression. What we designate as memory is but increased responsiveness to repeated stimuli.

3. It is not true, as Descartes taught, that the brain is an accumulator. There is no permanent record in the brain, there Is no stored sponge to disturbances directly received on the knowledge. Knowledge Is something akin to an echo that needs a disturbance to be called into being.”

THE CORE

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TESLA BRAIN

Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 – January 7, 1943) was a physicist, inventor, mechanical and electrical engineer of unusual intellectual brilliance and practical achievement. He was an important contributor to the birth of commercial electricity, and is best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tesla’s patents and theoretical work formed the basis of modern alternating current (AC) electric power systems, including the polyphase system of electrical distribution and the AC motor. This work helped usher in the Second Industrial Revolution.

Tesla is most famous for conceiving the rotating magnetic field principle (1882) and then using it to invent the induction motor together with the accompanying alternating current long-distance electrical transmission system (1888). His patents and theoretical work still form the basis for modern alternating current electric power systems. He also developed numerous other electrical and mechanical devices including the fundamental principles and machinery of wireless technology, including the high frequency alternator, the Tesla coil, the blameless turbine, the spark plug, and numerous other inventions.

In addition to his work on electromagnetism and electromechanical engineering, Tesla contributed in varying degrees to the establishment of robotics, remote control, radar, and computer science, and to the expansion of ballistics, nuclear physics, and theoretical physics.

He pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. In the United States during this time, Tesla’s fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture. Tesla demonstrated wireless energy transfer to power electronic devices as early as 1893, and aspired to intercontinental wireless transmission of industrial power in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project (1901-1917) also known as the Tesla Tower, located in Long Island, New York.

Tesla was fluent in eight languages – Serbian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Latin.

CULT OF IGNORANCE

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“(January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) Isaac Asimov was a Russian American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His works have been published in all ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System Asimov’s career can be divided into several time periods. His early career, dominated by science fiction, began with short stories in 1939 and novels in 1950. This lasted until about 1958, all but ending after publication of The Naked Sun. He began publishing nonfiction in 1952, co-authoring a college-level textbook called Biochemistry and Human Metabolism. Following the brief orbit of the first man-made satellite Sputnik I by the USSR in 1957, his production of nonfiction, particularly popular science books, greatly increased, with a consequent drop in his science fiction output. Over the next quarter century, he wrote only four science fiction novels. Starting in 1982, the second half of his science fiction career began with the publication of Foundation’s Edge. From then until his death, Asimov published several more sequels and prequels to his existing novels, tying them together in a way he had not originally anticipated, making a unified series. There are, however, many inconsistencies in this unification, especially in his earlier stories.

Asimov believed that his most enduring contributions would be his “Three Laws of Robotics” and the Foundation Series (see Yours, Isaac Asimov, p. 329). Furthermore, the Oxford English Dictionary credits his science fiction for introducing the words positronic (an entirely fictional technology), psychohistory (which is also used for a different study on historical motivations) and robotics into the English language. Asimov coined the term robotics without suspecting that it might be an original word; at the time, he believed it was simply the natural analogue of words such as mechanics and hydraulics, but for robots. Unlike his word psychohistory, the word robotics continues in mainstream technical use with Asimov’s original definition. Star Trek: The Next Generation featured androids with “positronic brains” giving Asimov full credit for “inventing” this fictional technology.”  (Wikipedia.org)

INFORMATION VS KNOWLEDGE

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A person can have access to unlimited quantities and varieties of information (data), yet have no real knowledge, i.e. cognizance or comprehension.  Data is only as valuable as it facilitates understanding.

knowledgeDefinition of knowledge

  1. 2 a (1) :  the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association (2) :  acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique b (1) :  the fact or condition of being aware of something  (2) the circumstance or condition of apprehending truth or fact through reasoning :  cognition

ANAMNESIS

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ANAMNESIS

Anamnesis (/ˌænæmˈnsɪs/) is a concept in Plato‘s epistemological and psychological theory that he develops in his dialogues Meno and Phaedo, and alludes to in his Phaedrus.

It is the idea that humans possess knowledge from past incarnations and that learning consists of rediscovering that knowledge within us.

Socrates suggests that the soul is immortal, and repeatedly incarnated; knowledge is actually in the soul from eternity, but each time the soul is incarnated its knowledge is forgotten in the shock of birth. What one perceives to be learning, then, is actually the recovery of what one has forgotten. (Once it has been brought back it is true belief, to be turned into genuine knowledge by understanding.) And thus Socrates (and Plato) sees himself, not as a teacher, but as a midwife, aiding with the birth of knowledge that was already there in the student.

Plato develops his Theory of Anamnesis, in part by combining it with his theory of Forms. First, he elaborates how anamnesis can be achieved: whereas in Meno nothing more than Socrates’ method of questioning is offered, in Phaedo Plato presents a way of living that would enable one to overcome the misleading nature of the body through katharsis (Greek: κάθαρσις; “cleansing” (from guilt or defilement), “purification”). The body and its senses are the source of error; knowledge can only be regained through the use of our reason, contemplating things with the soul (noesis). Secondly, he makes clear that genuine knowledge, as opposed to mere true belief (doxa), is distinguished by its content. One can only know eternal truths, for they are the only truths that can have been in the soul from eternity.

For the later interpreters of Plato, anamnesis was less an epistemic assertion than an ontological one. Plotinus himself did not posit recollection in the strict sense of the term, because all knowledge of universally important ideas (logos) came from a source outside of time (Dyad or the divine nous), and was accessible, by means of contemplation, to the soul as part of noesis. They were more objects of experience, of inner knowledge or insight, than of recollection.

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Socrates — (c. 469 BC – 399 BC) was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes.

Plato —  (428/427 BC– 348/347 BC) was a philosopher in Classical Greece. He was also a mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

— Reference Source: Wikipedia.org