Sunday, October 23, 2005

Death

Our cat is dying.

She is a dear little soul, curious, undemanding and independent, but in the last week she seemed to be tired and melancholy, while growing fat in a weird way without eating. Too much liquid inside, said the veterinarian, she soon will be inwardly crushed.

She looks at me with patience – she feels the hardship, sometimes she meows silently and piteously, calls for my help, because i’m human, i’m part of the divine race which she never understood, regardless how often she had tried to. But she had learnt that we feed her and protect her and so she asks for help. Didn’t we do so many things she never could do? We open doors, we make light, we tame the big growling animals on round legs and mostly act weird, without sense, but seem to be doing it with purpose – our ways are too difficult, too complex for her simple mind, but that was always ok for her.

She’ll never know how much she had taught me. Her curious eyes, so often following my actions without prejudices, made me aware of the mechanism of learning: gathering information, connecting dots, on and on and on.

To perceive things is the germ of intelligence. – Laotse

She taught me to understand religion, simply because i realized that she can’t comprehend me despite the fact, that she tried hard, very hard by observing me, but she couldn’t see into my head, her little brain was not sophisticated enough to accept the full amount of information my brain can do - so she never could reproduce the model of the world which i used to decide all those odd things i did.

I understood that the more difference between the abilities of intelligence exists, the more unforeseeability exists, the more chaotically the higher intelligence seems to act for the lower intelligence: “God’s plan is too complex for us mere mortals to understand”. And because brains work in active processing mode, abilities are not only the competences, but also the stored datas, the stored “gathered information and connected dots” – i understood that even higher intelligences can’t understand lower ones, if they aren’t able to use the same memory data.

And now...

she teaches me that active processing information systems not only create gods and souls, but death, too.

Because active processing works with metadatas, it works by learning individually and that simply means, that each individual is perfectly unique in the whole universe – and if it dies, all it’s memories will be lost, fade away in eternity.

Passive processing is much more “durable”. It does not learn as individual, it learns as type, as race. Why? Because its memory handles just one kind of problem with just one pattern, so all the methods to detect information have to know how to detect just this one pattern, all the methods to store information have to know to store just this one pattern and all the methods to retrieve information...

however, don’t underestimate the complexity of a single case!

Look at a relational database. Just one file, but so many different records, look at our DNA, just one race, the humans, but so many different persons, so don’t think, that there is no intelligence needed to handle that one single pattern. Far from that, ask any programmer how complicated systems based on relational databases can become. And ask any programmer how the intelligence of the programs will grow: by adding methods to connect the records and/or by adding fields and files to the database. Crucial is, that the system learns in toto, for all records, not just for a single one, learning works for all or for none – as does the evolution of the races.

Active processing system on the other hand can handle much more than one kind of problem or one single pattern - because it is able to detect patterns. For that reason it reduces observation/input to basic signals which are most probably part of any interesting pattern, so it just needs receivers for any type of those basic signals.

That’s the first step to detect information. While passive processing systems work something like “analog” and have to know the different pecularities they handle, active information processing systems can manage everything, at least within the scope of its receivers.

However, whereas the passive information system knows what it gets, active information processing systems do not – they just get signals. Our eyes retrieve colors, our ears retrieve sounds. Alas, there is not much information in “green”, “red”, “white”, “loud” or “shrill”, so active processing systems have to connect the dots to create the patterns, which each passive information processing system knows from the beginning. Active processing systems have to work for something, the passive information processing can simply use. And while the passive information stores its whole knowledge in its own “body” – the sequence of the DNA or the structure of the relational database – the knowledge of active processing systems has to be stored in special “memory spaces”, able to protect not only the signals, but also the patterns, they create.

But how do active processing systems find the patterns? By using the basic nature of information to be identifiable, repeatable process meaning that something happens not just once and twice, but many times and that it can be identified, can be recognized – by its different states. So the active information processing system measures states by the signals its receivers listen to and it measures process by the sequence of the states, stored in its memory.

But identifiability means more than having states, it means that something has to be stable and unique, because it has to be recognized sometimes later. So the next step after gathering signals and storing them is to compare them to create a pattern of objects by a simple hypothesis (Gleichartigkeitshypothese): if adjacent signals are equal they are thought to be part of the same object, if they are not equal, they are thought to be a borderline between different objects. To satisfy the dynamic part of information, the signals are compared by its position in the chronological sequence of states (Gleichzeitigkeitshypothese): if the signals happen at the same time, they are thought to be initialized by the same origin, to have the “same reason”.

Cause and effect.

Out of chaotic signals the comparison in kind and sequence creates a pattern of objects and behavior, of particles and interaction – with one big disadvantage: it’s just hypothetical: based on real events (the arrival of the signals), but regarding the connections just hypothetical. Therefore it has to be used with care and everytime there is a contradiction, the hypothesis of objects and their behavior, the pattern which derives from the input and the comparisons, has to be corrected.

The older an active processing system is the more it knows reliably.

But all it knows is dependent on its own history, dependent on the environment and time it has walked through.

And that’s the reason why my little cat could teach me so much...

and why death destroys so much. All the memory, all the conclusions in her little head creating that friendly soul of her will vanish away and no cloning of her DNA could ever reconstruct it.

Death.

Death ends processing, ends the cycles of breath and heartbeat, ends life, ends knowledge, ends soul.

What’s true for my little cat is much more true for humans. All what we know, all what we are, will be lost at the moment we die – except...

except the ideas we talk and write about.

Farewell, my wise little cat.

9 Comments:

Blogger Miss Cellania said...

I am sorry. The way you wrote about your cat makes me love her, too.

6:23 PM, October 23, 2005  
Blogger Again said...

thank you very much, miss cellania

it's much harder as i feared, because i knew she is old and the day must come

it's hard to see her silent suffering - with so much dignity

11:39 PM, October 23, 2005  
Anonymous Barnita said...

Loosing a pet is like loosing a family member- the silent and all observing member of the family whom everyone turns to when they need comforting. And your cat sound so very special.

My condolences to you.

1:08 AM, October 27, 2005  
Blogger Again said...

thank you, barnita - yes, it is loosing a family member

and it's even harder to blog about - shouldn't have done that

it is as if the words have broken some locks of the heart

so a tip for any blogger: if you feel sad, don't write about - you're feeling worse if you know exactly why you're sad

4:47 AM, October 29, 2005  
Anonymous B said...

I'm so sorry to read about your cat. I had 2 cats when I lived in America. One didn't come home one day and I never saw him again and it broke my heart. The other I had to leave with my son, who let her run away. I think of them both all the time.

We communicated. I created a cat language they understood and I've yet to meet a cat I can't talk with. They're more intelligent that most realize.

I wish sometimes I could buy the god bit, but I can't. I used to believe when I was a kid but I believed in Santa Claus, too.

I could go on and on about this but this isn't the place.

I feel for you right now. And for your cat.

Sorry I haven't been around -- health issues keep me away from the computer unless it's to write something to keep from going nuts.

9:32 AM, November 11, 2005  
Blogger Again said...

b:
I created a cat language they understood and I've yet to meet a cat I can't talk with.

i envy you - she often looked at me, softly meowing, but i couldn't understand her

yes, cats are more intelligent as we believe - the ancient Egypts were right to honor them by statues like the bronze cat

she often reminded me of that egyptian states when she sat motionless in the garden watching the life around her

2:23 AM, November 13, 2005  
Anonymous b said...

Egypt. My cat was a temple cat, or so she acted. Her name was Leah Patra.

I hope there's been a miracle regarding your cat. Barnita is right in that it's like losing a family member.

sheeka malou, balakaseen

7:06 AM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger Again said...

b:
I hope there's been a miracle regarding your cat.

so did i - sure, i knew, there was no hope, but hope dies last, was so hard to let her go

we buried her under the gently whispering cottonwoods

8:58 AM, November 26, 2005  
Blogger Mysterious said...

yo philospher,
nice thoughts .. such an amazing thing, the mind.

well, check out my blog if interested.

id like you to .. find the faults of my .. mind. be philosophetic.

6:36 AM, April 14, 2006  

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