Wednesday, October 24, 2007




This evening, in one film I have heard a sentence maintaining that fish has only a memory of just few seconds. This information was so strange to me that I decided to have a look and HERE you can see what I have found.



How brain works

There is tremendous amount of knowledge in the internet, the only thing one must do is sit down and try to retrieve the knowledge one seeks. You can find what you need on different place in the internet, in blogs, in videos, but also just simply in news. I have just tried to find something new about brain, was surfing for about two hours and then I tried GOOGLE NEWS and one of the news about brain was that scientists are able to find out if you tell the truth or not, based on EEG waves, called Brain Waves That Distinguish False Memories From Real Ones Pinpointed.

This is extremely interesting reading as well as the other news on brain. Have fun and learn.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Dawkins and his replicators

Dawkins and his idea of replicators and vehicles that carry them about

After having read Dawkins’s book “The extended Phenotype” and some other of his works dealing with his main idea of genes being the only replicators and all organisms functioning as their vehicles I came to the conclusion that Dawkins is only partially right. Genes can be of course viewed as replicators, the absolute basic unit of selection, but only in a static or better to say semi-static model. In absolute dynamic model the question must come and how have genes developed?

So if we take genes as something that does not change, that always was here, then genes are replicators and all other organisms their transport vehicles. On the other side when we recognize that genes are itself only a product of informational environment then suddenly they can be only viewed upon as a very specific storage of information. To some extend this resembles the evolution of ideas about how and of what matter is compounded. Some two thousand years ago the idea of atoms came to being and lasted pretty long. Just recently scientists came up with the idea that atom consists of smaller particles, and they were right. Today we know that genes are not the smallest part in DNA and any way we deal with them as if they were. If we knew how genes came to being, we might better understand why they function as they function.

From our point of view that is restricted by the time we live and by the time we deal with genes, and these both kinds of times are too short compared with maybe one or two billion years that it took to produce genes, genes appear as the basic unit of evolutionary heredity. But because they also somehow had to come to being they cannot be the first one in the row, and therefore they must also evolve. It can be that the evolution of genes has stopped or at least it can appeared so because it is possible that genes came to their last possible stage and now they do not change at all only the way how and when and in cooperation with what other genes they work might be of importance, that means epigenetics, information stored in DNA aside of genes and to our best today knowledge guiding and regulating genes.

I prefer the idea of information being stored in a chemical way. It could be really helpful to make some research on this field to find out how information is stored in DNA using different chemicals. At present time I read a lot about mathylation, that means genes working differently if there is a methyl group present or not. This strongly resembles the computer system of processing information, 1 there is some current, 0 there is no current, this system has extremely evolved in maybe last hundred years. It could be that this methyl group functions the same or in a similar way.

It might be shocking to find out that it is not only methyl group storing information about the environment and about the inner state of organism. Then of course the total coding would be much more complex.

My basic idea at present time is that of coding. No matter in universe has direct contact with another matter. But they are in contact, only it is not a direct but indirect contact. Any indirect contact requires coding and storing of information; sometimes even some medium. Many fold repetition of a certain signal that means certain coded information may and really did result in necessity for storing such signal and information coded in it for convenience. It costs too much energy to “ponder” always about the same signal anew. It is more energy saving to produce storage for such information together with already manifold repeated response to it. And thus save time and energy for other signals that means for other information coded in a different way.

I do not know whether DNA code is based on bits and bytes system that means basically binomial system organized in clusters of 8. Actually, DNA might be much more complex coding and storing system it might consist of several binomial systems, organized in clusters of different length. So certain information might be coded by methyl group, some other kind of information might be coded by other chemicals, and there is no need for the same length of clusters like 8 bits in one byte. It could be 20 or 17 or 78. Actually even the length of cluster might be some information and it appears as if a certain shape might be a way of storing information.

I believe that this kind of dealing with information and comparing it with computers might once lead to pretty good theory of how information influenced

Monday, October 22, 2007


Hierarchy, evolution and extended human phenotype

Why some men stay at home with their child or children, and their women go to work?

This question asked me a friend of mine; she is psychologist, works as a teacher and also in charity. Well, she suggested that it is only an attempt of these men to be different on purpose. I said she was right, and compared this type of male behavior to juvenile individuals who nowadays use piercing in order to differentiate from the others.

But now I think I was partially wrong, it is not solely only pursuing the goal of being different as a man who is in the household and does not work outside. I think now that it is slightly different. Most probably it is a question of resources, most probably men who stayed at home have married women who are more after their own carrier, they have already most probably achieved relatively high status in their jobs, and they also are capable of making more money than their husbands. In such a case it is absolutely normal that the woman goes out to work and man stays at home, as the family is better off compared with the situation when the husband goes to work and earns only half of the money his wife could make. This, of course, puts extremely bad light on the capacities of such a man and he feels that as degrading. So his only defense against this “degrading” of his male status is to “sell” his new situation as something special, and that he is also capable of doing women’s work at home etc, and sort of show of with his position, by which he counter effects his degrading of staying at home and not working.

So again it seems to me that this is again a case for Hierarchy in human society; a case that is in itself evidence for the existence of this hierarchy, in this case the hierarchy between men and women, where men as males are considered higher than females. Men’s work is considered much more important than women’s work.

Men think of their work as more important and women are put down because their work is look upon as unimportant one. There are several psychological tests showing similar results. So in one test students of one American university participated in quite a difficult test before a jury, females as well as males, just only few days later they were allowed to take their respective partners along with them to the test. The results are shocking. Males had much lower blood pressure when their female partners were with them, and the tested female persons had remarkably higher blood pressure when they had their male partners with them. The reason for this might be as follows.

A test before a jury is a stressful event, for both the males and females, because they can be told to be too poor and their self-esteem might drop, that means their position in the hierarchy might be threatened. If a tested male person has his female partner next to him, he can always be sure that he might drop down when not passing the test before the jury but anyway he would be above his female partner; that means he would not be totally down, there would be still his female partner below him in the hierarchy.

On the other hand a tested female person if having her male partner with her and not passing the test in front of the jury would drop down and at the same time she would be below her male partner, therefore she would suffer a double fall in hierarchy, once she would be below the jury for not passing the test and second she is automatically below her male partner.

So taken the results from both sides it shows that there is something that we can call hierarchy, this hierarchy is viewed absolutely and relatively and it exists among nearly all humans and human groups, and one such grouping event is sex, and female sex is considered as if on lower position in the human hierarchy.


Vendramini, Dawkins and Evolution

Vendramini teems and the catch-phrase life/dinner race

Vendramini has written several papers to support his theory of teems, mainly he maintains that everything is an emotion. I strongly disagree with this idea, as I believe that emotion is something that must be “produced”. In order to make this easy to understand I have developed the term “informational environment”. It means that every organism lives in some kind of environment. This environment “broadcasts” signals. Some signals are relevant for the particular organism and some are not, they are neutral. In order to produce emotion some signal must repeat many times. There are many examples in real life that according to my understanding support this idea.

Consider car driving. When a person sits for the first time in a car, usually he drives pretty slowly. This is because the brain of the driver is tries to process all the information that is rushing against him, of course, seen relatively, as he is rushing against the objects in his environment. His brain is not skilled in processing information at higher speed than the speed of walking or maximally running, which is maximally some 36kmh. therefore new drivers will hardly exceed this speed as it is the maximum speed at which their brain is capable of processing information.

When our driver gets more practice in driving he even might drive on German autobahns at speeds over 200kmh. But it takes some time to learn this, brain must get used to this speed of environmental information coming to his eyes.

This can be at least partially explained when we realize that brain has part that are specialized at processing different information and also it stores responses to environmental signals. If a car driver would always use cognitive logic when coming to an intersection he would be a miserable driver and most probably he would cause plenty of accidents and he might himself not last too long. If on the other hand such driver can learn how to store his previous decisions at certain driving situations and just only use the prefabricated response to it, he would be pretty good driver.

It seems that this has already been prepared by evolution; it seems that human brain can do both tasks. It can solve hard logical problems using one part specialized at this process and if the same or really much similar situation occurs many times the response will be automatically restored in a different part of the brain where all or just some prefabricated algorithms of proper adaptive behavior are stored and can be easily used within several ms.

Emotions that means prefabricated reactions, responses to some signal from the informational environment of some organism and many repetitions of the same signal are needed to produce unified response.

We can see this principle anywhere where we learn some response that is normally not needed in normal human life. Basketball, ice-hockey, tennis, car driving, foreign languages, mother tongue are all examples of many repetitions producing automatic response, emotional response, that is started and carried out automatically without too much energy being spent on preparing the response. Actually there was a lot energy used for prefabricating this automatic response, but it is the logic of repletion. If some signal repeats many times then the organism reacts in such a way that it “recognizes” the necessity of automatic emotional response as more energy saving than always spend energy to solve the same problem anew.

This principle of saving energy can be traced all over the whole evolution as well as the notion of many repetitions being needed to produce prefabricated response to some environmental signal. Actually, Dawkins writes about it in his book “The extended phenotype”. He describes this case of saving energy in two examples. One is the famous life/dinner race between a fox and a rabbit, rabbit runs for his life, fox only for his dinner, so it is enough when rabbit is only a tiny bit faster or can run few seconds longer in the high speed and it is enough to escape because fox is not running for his life, only for his dinner it will give up when the energy needed for catching the rabbit is too high, so even the fox is saving energy.

I believe that this brings us to a point where predators might be always a bit slower than their prey. In such a case they would be able to catch only single pieces of their favorite prey species that are not capable of escaping, that means that are in a way sick. This would in turn mean that predators actually clean the genetic pool of their prey species. In some kind of organism that have developed certain level of altruism, of taking care of their weak colleagues, it can be dangerous, as the weak individual slows down also the strong and capable individuals and makes them so to possible prey for predators too. Most probably this happens from time to time.

I would like to finish this short paper with just only two remarks. One should try to show that Vendramini believes in his teem theory because he is a film director, he works with actors and they as well as he work with emotions. It appears to him that everything is emotion, but this is not correct, emotion is an automatic response to some triggering signal. But this algorithm must be first produced, and it is produced only by a certain number of repetitions of particular signal broadcasted from the environment and constantly the same reaction of the organism, and this happened so many times that there was a necessity to make this response automatic to save energy needed to “think” always about the correct response.

The second is aimed at Dawkins and all other biologists who always speak of time needed for an organism to adapt. I object to this wording, it is not time that is needed , it is the number of repetitions, which I turn of course consumes some time, but time is not the decisive factor, the number of repetitions is. Dawkins once uses the word frequency that might be interpreted as the number of repetitions in time, but he uses that extremely seldom and does not emphasize this factor. I believe that this is wrong; I think that not the time is important but the number of repetitions. Actually we may understand this when we observe the generations of different species. They are differently long some flies have a generation of one , two or three days only whereas human generation is about 25 years

This difference in generation time might be explained by the amount of signals one particular species can accept, process and how many signals are needed for survival. If only few a short life is ok, if too many a long life will be needed. This has just struck me right now so I am not sure whether it is right, though it appears correct.



Gossip as an evolutionary tool

Gossip as a tool for adjusting hierarchy

This paper has come to me just this morning by Google alerts It is for sure worth reading and my comments to it too as I think. The main idea of a gossip is that the social environment of a person is valued or not valued. Gossips can be destructive but also opposite they can help a person to get higher in the hierarchy of human society. So gossip is actually a means of hierarchy.

According to my personal experience hierarchy supported by gossip is always to be found in human groups that are relatively closed and “immobile”. That means e.g. a village, or a small town where people mostly know each other, or at least they know some “decisive “personalities” plus people from their own social environment. “Decisive” people are in such a case people who mean many other people, like policemen, hairdressers, teachers, local politicians, doctors, lawyers and others, people of some importance.

In a group of people where there is a huge migration, that means many new people are coming to that group while older members of that group are leaving the group, gossiping is modified. It is not the same as in relatively closed and stable community.

I have had the chance to experience both such groups, right now I live in a small village close to a small town, and some 20 years ago I worked as a contractor for US military stationed in Germany. Here the number of new Americans coming to the group and old leaving was remarkable and substantial. The village and small town I am living now in are from this point of view basically absolutely stable communities as the number of new people coming to this group is really small and so is the number of people who leave the group.

Gossip is actually only a way of passing information about one’s experiences to somebody else, but it can be misused by passing on made-up experiences, untrue experiences, which is heavily done especially in small human groups.

This approves a question why do people misuse gossip, passing of information, to speak badly about somebody? Most probably they do it because they use this way of passing information as a tool in the fight for hierarchy positions.

Sometimes I wondered how humans have found these ways, and I really do not believe that it is because of some kind of mutation. Mutation as a word is according to my understanding of evolution extremely often misused for explaining something we just cannot explain. It is like modern God. If I cannot explain something that I should explain in evolution I say it is due to some kind of mutation, exactly as most of the people explained their unexplainable experiences by God who did it.

This of course is only a misuse of the word. I see quite different way of humans and animals acquiring new type of behavior. Actually it is based on comparing situations. Just consider the following. There is a new male teacher in a school where there are 90% teachers females. The new male teacher visits the female teachers one by one and offers them his sexual service. Females do exchange their personal experiences with this new male teacher and see that he is only after his lust, he only wants to get another female to have sex with him regardless any other values, especially those that are highly valued by females. Of course, such male has basically no chance to be awarded sex by any of these hypothetical female teachers. But because he feels it as unpleasant that he could not come to his goal having sex with all of the female teachers or at least with only one of them he might use the same gossip about some other new male teacher, saying that he saw him one day with one female the next day with the other female etc. So giving him no chance for sex with theses female teachers, exactly as he had no chance.

There is one more beautiful example of gossip in German recent political history, where one politician in order to get rid of his political rival accused him of offering him homosexual contact. There is no defense against such gossip and therefore this bad guy won the political race.

So gossip can be useful to warn you about somebody who cheats, but also it can be a weapon in the hands of a cheater who wants to get rid of his fair rival. This is fully in accordance with evolution, any animal, any human being uses whatever weapons to get higher in the hierarchy and so ensure better living conditions for themselves and their offsprings. The only problem is that this weapon is not a fair one. Anybody who reaches for such an unfair weapon marks himself as a weak and cheating individual but this might be really difficult for unschooled and unprepared others to detect. Therefore gossips are believed and only few extra smart people can make them out as cheating.

The next question is why do some people use untrue gossip and some do not. If untrue gossiping would be such a perfect weapon for gaining higher position in human hierarchy everybody would make use of it. So why are there human individuals who do not make use of the untrue gossiping?

The answer seems quite easy, untrue gossiping is considered bad behavior if detected as untrue gossiping. Some people cannot make it out and so they believe it and some can make detect some gossiping as untrue and the author is discredited. Also untrue gossiping means you must keep track of your lies, you must remember what untrue information you have told to whom, and you must also know, at least at the level of probability, who might talk to whom, so that you do not say two different lies to two people who are in daily contacts with each other, as in such a case you would be extremely soon detected as a liar.

These keeping track of you lies consumes your energy, and some people just do not want to invest their resources into gossiping but they put it into real work, say scientific work. Those who cannot for whatever reason compete with these kind of people will employ gossips, after some time if their gossips work they feel awarded by their social environment for gossiping because they can get onto a higher level in the hierarchy of the particular human group.

This short paper should be considered as an attempt to explain what gossips are and how they come to existence and why some do use gossips and some do not. You may try to make your own thinking on this inte4resting topic.

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