Note: this isn’t a discussion on religion or belief. It’s intended as a discussion on realms of perception. It is a thought experiment, aimed at providing a method to cover the evolving manner that people will perceive the Universe as they know and see more of that Universe within the lifetime of humanity. I prefer not to be involved in discussions of belief or political view, as they often end up in the emotional realm of absolutes. I believe everyone should have the freedom to choose what they believe and thereafter make that the vehicle for their eventual destination; no-one should expect or enforce anything else.
Statement: The concept of God as being perceivable is not possible in the realms of human perception. the infinite can’t be matched by many finites.
At the lowest level the human “God” is slightly out of our reach by way of hopes, emotions, beliefs and actions. Every step we make to understand what is around us and what our senses or instruments can record and filter is confounded further by the obvious history and future of knowing there is far more to know.
As such our perceptions are only as good as the data we have at hand. That data is often so extensive we have to focus on the parts we believe to be useful, relevant and have the possibility that we can act on or upon that data.
For every advance we make we need to gain new techniques to observe everything and yet filter out what is perceived to unimportant. This obviously means we are guided into sections of our lives only because we didn’t see the other data possibilities or given the correct approach to see the world in that perspective for us to make a better decision.
This isn’t the fault of the human entity. Since we are all separate water pods we will always gather relevant data around us with our own perspective to it. This leads to paths of experience through the masses of data. The collected data will be a subset of what is available from the entirety of the landscape. Further, what is filtered will include only what has been learned as useful and actionable. In the long run, this does mean we are likely missing a lot of aspects that can only be discovered with yet more perspectives and levels of macro, detailed or macrosopic retention and analysis.
Further, as we go through life we can and will follow a route that is based on the footprints of others… but not necessarily a rebuild of the path into a refined structure. Anything is possible given the write circumstances and willingness to see.
To this point we have talked about the concept of God. To some extent “God” has been used as a moniker for what we don’t understand or is beyond our perceptions. Essentially, in a number of years from now… once humans are on Mars and populating other parts of the solar system, we will once again have confirmed evidence through our sensors technologies that there are new things to consider in our belief networks. Take for example the discovery of life that is arms length from a Martian astronaut.
At this level we have gained a new perspective of how we relate to the Universe. From there we will attain new theories and perceptions of God. Our human spirit will be implanted in the soils of the solar system. The human “God” will therefore just out of reach from the Martian astronauts. To use set theory, we have gained another “glob” of perception we didn’t have before.
As time goes on we’ll realize human capacity for information retrieval and conclusion will need far better interfaces. HAL will become an inevitability, containing enormous of information that can be retrieved immediately and within context to the current situation. This will take some of the burden of memorizing and learning about our Universe. However, no machine will be able to process it to the needs of the human.
Essentially, we will be on an ever increasing intellectual arms war to match all that is known with all that can be processed. Conclusions, about our Universe will need even more work to help us understand it.
The break down of this is that paths of data are walked through that we are exposed to, information filtered out of the data, experience makes sense and helps conclude what our sensors have confirmed, expertise helps us apply the experiences into using tried and trusted approaches and insight helps extrapolate what is and can be from this information. There are further levels but only to the extent of how we can affect our environment without reaching for it in any physical manner.
Thus we have levels of perception:
Data: From the point of birth onward we automatically take data from our senses and try to make “sense” of it. Data itself is the raw unfiltered content of the environment around us. Always on and always around us.
Information: The filtered data that we can make sense of. That part of the data that our senses know as being useful and relevant for improved interaction with our environment.
Knowledge: Knowledge is a combination of what others have learned and shared and what your senses have observed and proved. Knowledge is at many levels in its own right. It can be what the arm remembers is possible in motion, through to what the brain remembers as the acceleration force of gravity. Each useful, but only contextually so.
Expertise: Expertise rides high on the belief that the knowledge is established and proven. It uses this knowledge with confidence and never questions what has already been learned. This aspect may cause fatalities that other human entities will need to evaluate as new data and therefore create new knowledge and expertise.
Insight: Insight is an extrapolation of the expertise. Observing new patterns from the large masses of evaluated and proven data. Those patterns helping to draw new ideas or theories that are able to help formulate better ways to understand our universe.
Now we have a theory of perception, there continues to be a problem with the finite nature of each human entity. Basically, the expansion of the current human spirit (for the want of a better term) is finite by its nature and its lifespan. God is perhaps always out of our reach and as such can be seen as infinite. The comparison of filling a finite into an infinite speaks for itself. As such we can never reach the extent of all that exists and all that can possibly be known. To address this we will need to find a way to approach infinity. The question is, what sort of machines can reach infinite capacity and still provide finitely contextually useful information?
At the current perception of machine capability those machines are as unlikely in occurring through human invention as the infinite human “spirit” can reach out to the corners of the “infinite” Universe.
You see there are only a finite number of living being at any given time thus its not possible to be exposed to all parts of space. Further, our scale can make us overlook important aspects of our current “environment”, that may be occurring at another level of resolution.
That is, levels of perception should be cross referenced against levels of data “resolution”. The atomic, cellular, tangible, gargantuan, earth scales, solar system scaled through to the galaxy scaled to the universal scaled. Every “scale” should be considered in drawing a perception map that can grow to full insight and perhaps (non physical) “spiritual” expression.
With this in mind, we return to the idea of the “Einstein Perception modelling”. Basically, we can only hope to “do the best we can, with what we have available”, which cannot ever be exhaustive for all scales, locations and perspectives.
However, we do have a structural representation that can help automate the concept of human “perception”.
Copyright Evan Fraser 2014.