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Does Randomness Really Exist?

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I’ve always been fascinated by games of “chance,” which may explain why I moved to Las Vegas; and maybe that is also why I should not be living there.

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But great writers have also been consumed with the idea of luck, from Dostoevsky and Jorge Luis Borges, author of the Lottery of Babylon, to Hermann Hesse, author of The Bead Game.

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Besides the obvious motivation of greed there is the seductive aspect of getting a glimpse of a higher reality, where what seems like chance is actually decided by a greater mind. (And if we could just “understand”… everything would be known).

Or alternatively, what if chance is really just that, and there is NO order out of which things come and everything is chaotic — or “random?”

In the nondual teaching, for example, there is the notion that there is ONLY consciousness and things happen but there is no direct prior cause to any effect. This has been gristle for philosophical debate probably since early human history. The ultimate variable (in computer terms) that has always been used to describe such “causes” was God. Now we try to rely on science.

So it was that with my life in Vegas I began to think about how the electronic versions of gaming function; without a human dealer who shuffles the cards or rolls the ball or tosses the dice. Unless it is rigged, “the universe decides.” So I began to wonder how we use computers to accurately simulate (or actually encounter) “chance.”

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Here is what I gleaned from an online site dedicated to Videopoker.com:

“There is no ‘pattern’ and no strategy for how it works—it just constantly cycles random card combinations around until you hit ‘draw’ and ‘deal.’ It is one of the keys to legalized gambling: It assures the regulatory bodies that casinos are offering fair games and assures you that you are playing a ‘legit’ game.”

How Randomness Works

So how is this done?

“The key to understanding how legitimate, traditional Class III* video poker games work is understanding the role and function of an RNG. This refers to games like IGT’s Game King (www.igt.com) and Triple-Play Poker (www.actiongaming.com).

The RNG is the hardest working device known, and it ensures a fair game every time. Its sole responsibility is to constantly shuffle the deck of 52 cards (or 53 in Joker Poker). This manic activity goes on and on UNTIL you hit the ‘deal’ button.”

Okay so somehow programmers have devised an “algorithm” (buzzword for program) to simulate randomness.  But clearly this needed to be “programmed” (designed intelligently), which would suggest that somewhere among the zeroes and ones of the program there is a way this happens (order) that can be discerned.

And then presumably if one understood the program completely, the results could be predicted — no longer random.

Of course they would appear random to the person pulling the lever who is far removed from the program, and for her the results would actually be, for better or worse, random.

But this is sort of a cheat in terms of the reality of randomness. Let me explain….

I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas R. Hofstadter is a wonderful book, a follow-up to a Pulitzer prize winning best-seller called Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid that seeks to demonstrate the unique qualities of a mind that expresses itself in language, along with the inevitable gaps and paradoxes that result in believing too much in the logic of our spoken and written descriptions of “what is real.”

As a mathematician, neuroscientist, and philosopher, Hofstadter begins with the primacy of number because regardless of whatever symbols you use to represent “number,” certain truths persist.

If I understand Hofstadter’s key point, it is that the idea of such a sequence of numbers is primary and causal, and can be described in a different set of symbols, namely the English language, as a sequence of numbers, such that each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two — the well-known Fibonacci sequence.

What Hofstadter points out, however, is the discovery of mathematician Kurt Gödel, that when one goes from the primary set of symbols (numbers) to our “understanding” of them represented by language, very weird anomalies of logic come up that result in “strange loops” — infinite progressions without resolutions or perhaps paradoxes.

Here is a “prime” example of another such a paradox or anomaly:

The sentence “This sentence has ten words” has ten words (I am a Strange Loop, p. 140).

What this illustrates dramatically is that our idealistic or linguistic ability to describe things does not adequately define or explain reality.

In the blog post I originally wrote about this I also pointed out that verbally we can always posit something like, there must always be a greater prime number.  Earlier this year, the largest known prime number was “discovered” (BBC) through the use of a supercomputer.prime

Rationally we know numbers are “infinite,” but just as the word infinite is merely a description of something we cannot comprehend, so too is the notion of “random.”

But returning to the RNG, random number generator, perhaps that will give us a clue as to whether randomness can “really” exist.

A web search reveals that there are innumerable examples: This one generates a random number between any two numbers.

random

But how does it do this?  I remember from my bit of programming that there is a random function in programming but that sort of begs the question, how does something programmed in any way actually generate chance? And if in fact Consciousness is All, is there such a thing as randomness?

In Microsoft Excel such a function is built in:

“Rand

The RAND function generates a random decimal number between 0 and 1.

  1. Select cell A1.
  2. Type RAND() and press Enter. The RAND function takes no arguments.”

So by typing that “function” and pressing Enter, the program generates a random number within a cell. But how is it random? It was generated by a program.

excel

It is hilarious to consider that the “RAND function takes no arguments” in programming “arguments” means parameters that influence the outcome of the function. Funny word to use here.

And keep in mind that within this example the result is still mathematically programmed. But the question remains: can chance exist within mathematics?

It would seem that even irrational numbers (22/7 or Pi) can be calculated mathematically and rationally via the mind.

For most of human history, so much that was unknown appeared to be random and was attributed to “God.”  But the question is, with all that we have discovered in science, as we “explain” more and more phenomena, will randomness ultimately be eliminated because we know EVERYTHING, or is there an aspect of chaos inherent within reality?

Of course this entire paradox points us to quantum physics and the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle, which places randomness squarely into reality because of the presence of an observer, and results in the determination that nothing can be known for sure in space/time but only predicted in terms of probability.

And this brings us back to gaming. If you consider craps it is easy to understand with two dice that are thrown that there are more combinations that result in 7 than in, let’s say, 4, so the casino pays more if a 4 comes up than if 7 appears.

Similarly it seems more likely for any given roll that there will be a 7, but is that true or counterintuitive?

Just as Heisenberg’s theory does not predict possible outcomes but only is determinative in an actual event (with a conscious observer), doesn’t the same apply when you roll the dice one time?

Don’t you have as good a ‘chance’ as any of winning the lottery?  Of course that is the psychology that leads to gambling addiction — rooted in narcissism and delusion. Or is it?

I love the idea that “geometry was not invented — it was discovered,” because the primacy of number becomes more and more obvious as one examines experience and reality.

Indeed more and more physicists and other scientists are coming to the conclusion that “everything is (ultimately) information.”

But our only real access to the more extreme truths regarding number comes through an abstraction — our language — which is forced to use terms that are woefully inadequate, like infinite or random.

Or indeed where all of science is heading through this maddening paradox —the word Consciousness — without which none of this can really be discussed sincerely.

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Scientists Propose That We Can Travel Faster Than The Speed of Light

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new paper suggest travel faster than the speed of light might be possible given the creation of a new way of looking at propelling a vehicle.

  • Reflect On:

    When considering the advancement of life changing technology, does our current economic model speed up or suppress the collaboration, creation and advancement of ideas?

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In Star Trek Gene Roddenberry imagined it possible to set a ship into ‘warp drive’ and travel at speeds 6000+ times the speed of light, moving from one galaxy to a distant one very quickly. Imagine having that type of technology here on earth?! It has been said before that if we can think it, we can create it. Well, maybe that’s sometimes true.

What Happened:

The question of whether travel faster than the speed of light is possible was again approached in a new research paper written by an American physicist Erik Lentz. In the paper Lentz proposed a new theory for how faster-than-light travel could be possible. Given their models, Lentz and his team feel that travel to distant stars and planets could be possible in the near future, perhaps with proper research and development they could have something working in as little as 10 years.

The question of whether this is possible does not challenge our current understanding of physics that Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity sets forth that it is not possible to travel faster than light.

Instead of focusing on our current understanding of matter, Lentz’s new paper puts greater importance on a possible engineering solution as opposed to the theoretical physics. The new paper was published in Classical and Quantum Gravity.

The paper proposes a plan to travel faster than light by creating a series of ‘solitons’ to provide the basis for propulsion. A soliton is a compact wave that keeps its speed and shape while moving with little loss of energy.

Interestingly, this technology would allow travel at ANY speed. This brings me back to an article I wrote yesterday discussing the incoming reality within collective consciousness that UFOs and Extraterrestrials are real. In that article I state that the question of ‘how are they getting here’ is of importance as it could give humanity access to technology that would completely change the way we live on this planet.

 [The method] “uses the very structure of space and time arranged in a soliton to provide a solution to faster-than-light travel,” From the press release.

Imagine this, the nearest star beyond our solar system is called Proxima Centauri. We know it to be about 4.25 light years away. (A light year is the distance it takes light to travel in one year.)

Lentz stated that using our current rocket fuel methods fo travel, it would take about 50,000 to 70,000 years to reach Proxima Centauri. If we were to upgrade to nuclear propulsion technology, it would take about 100 years. But if we employed a light speed warp drive, it would take only four years and three months.

This would mean that the average person would be able to travel to distant interstellar planets and complete the trip in a current human lifetime. Think of the vacations!

According to Lentz there are some barriers to making this all work, but they aren’t impossible to surpass. For the tech to work, it would require lowering the energy needed down to the level of modern nuclear power reactors. That is if we don’t take into consideration energy technologies that are currently suppressed. Lentz also stated that what would be needed is a  way to develop and speed up the solitons (waves.)

“This work has moved the problem of faster-than-light travel one step away from theoretical research in fundamental physics and closer to engineering,”

Why Its Matters:

Humans are curious beings who seem to gain a great deal from expanding our curiosity beyond everyday plights of a system and way of life that doesn’t necessarily inspire the deepest use of our creativity. Perhaps a knowing that we can indeed go elsewhere without primitive technology would shift the way we see our role on this earth and how we choose to fight over what we believe are limited resources.

Then again, perhaps if humans carry their current story of separation and competition to other worlds, we’ll produce the same mess there. I guess the question is, would the possibility of being able to leave this earth and go almost anywhere change the underlying nature of how we choose to set up our cultural beliefs and narratives of what it means to be human?

It’s my feeling that humanity does not lack the solutions to live in a thriving world, we lack the worldview and state of being. Both of which we could change with a little effort.

The Takeaway:

When I hear research like this I am fascinated. Then again I also sometimes wonder if all scientists around the world saw the technology I have seen first hand, that completely changes the way we perceive energy generation today, would the way we look at creating technology that requires energy change entirely? Yes, of course it would.

In my mind and heart I see a world of true collaboration and curiosity. One where we aren’t competing to see who’s the greatest scientist with the best copy written tech, but a world where we transparently share what is out there to advance the entire human race. No powerful interests suppressing technology because it’s too threatening to an economy, but instead true open advancement where we can solve problems incredibly fast.

Can you imagine this world?

Dive Deeper

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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What Causes Déjà Vu? The Neuroscience Behind The Memory Illusion

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Current explanations from the field of neuroscience suggest that déjà vu occurs when the brain is slightly fatigued and working to 'fact check' a memory. We experience this as being odd because we become aware of the process.

  • Reflect On:

    Might we explore a different explanation for déjà vu if we were looking at it from the standpoint of time being non linear and perhaps opening up to the idea of a collective consciousness?

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

They say about 60% of people experience déjà vu during their life, right off the bat that hit me as something I didn’t expect as I feel like almost everyone I know has had it at one time or another. Déjà vu, (‘already seen’ to the French) is the feeling that you are re-living something that has happened before. In the movie The Matrix, where déjà vu is perhaps most thought of in pop culture, Neo experiences a cat going by a doorway twice in a matter of seconds. Same cat, same moves, same everything.

In the film, this moment is presented as a ‘glitch in the matrix,’ however, in real life, déjà vu doesn’t often happen like what is seen in The Matrix, it instead feels as though you can’t recall when the ‘other memory’ happened, more so that what you are experiencing right now has already happened at some time.

Let’s dive into what some believe neuroscience is offering as an explanation.

What Happened:

According to experts like Dr Akira O’Connor, who is a senior psychology lecturer at the University of St Andrews, déjà vu is not only a feeling of familiarity, but also the metacognitive recognition that these feelings are misplaced. In simple terms:

“Déjà vu is basically a conflict between the sensation of familiarity and the awareness that the familiarity is incorrect. And it’s the awareness that you’re being tricked that makes déjà vu so unique compared to other memory events.”

Neuroscientists have determined that this memory illusion occurs when the frontal regions of the brain are attempting to correct an inaccurate memory.

“For the vast majority of people, experiencing déjà vu is probably a good thing. It’s a sign that the fact-checking brain regions are working well, preventing you from misremembering events. In a healthy person, such misremembering is going to happen every day. This is to be expected because your memory involves millions and billions of neurones. It’s very messy.”

While there isn’t a completely agreed upon explanation for what happens in the brain when déjà vu occurs, most models suggest that déjà vu occurs when areas of the brain (such as the temporal lobe) feed the mind’s frontal regions signals that a past experience is repeating itself. The frontal decision making parts of the brain then checks to see if the memory is actually true or possible, perhaps saying something to the effect “have I been here before?”

“If you have actually been in that place before, you may try harder to retrieve more memories. If not, a déjà vu realization can occur.”

It’s typically believed that we are more susceptible to déjà vu when the mind is a bit more fatigued and not as quick to discern that validity of our current moment.

Why It Matters:

What fascinated me about this in particular is two things: I’ve long felt that it’s quite possible that memories may actually be non local, i.e. they exist outside the brain not in the brain, and that perhaps the brain tunes into those memories that are somewhere around us. Or maybe we could say that some memory may exist in the brain, while others are part of some sort of collective field.

The second fascinating part for me is that I wonder if déjà vu has something to do with emerging science that tells us time is not linear. Perhaps when we take a classic scientific model that states all time is linear and all experience is linear, we limit our explanation of what déjà vu might be to something that fits that paradigm. What if the brain is tuning into something relating to quantum potentials that always exist, and that perhaps something different is happening with déjà vu? I’m not sure yet, however this is where déjà vu intrigues me the most.

Of course, the end result of exploring a question like this invites us to shift our worldview around the nature of reality, time and experience. Something that might be uncomfortable for some but I feel post material science is inviting us to do.

The Takeaway:

As with anything that is happening in our lives right now it seems, we are culturally in a time where a long avoided shift in our scientific paradigm is creating a lack of meaningful explanations for many things that happen in life. Is déjà vu one of those things that doesn’t have a good explanation in our current scientific paradigm? The jury might still be out on that, but for me, the current explanation presented in this piece did not quite ‘do it for me’ and my inquisitive mind and gut feeling pushes me to explore these questions through the emerging paradigm of non material science.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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These Anti-Solar Panels Don’t Require Daylight To Generate Power

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new approach to solar panels attempts to generate energy during the night, when there is no sunlight to turn into energy. This new invention could make solar a more efficient and reliable option for energy generation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we being made aware of all energy technologies that truly exist out there? Are our ideas of what energy technologies we could create and bring to market limited on the belief that they must fit inside our existing economic structures?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Energy is one of the most important elements to any functioning society, and since our modern era of living uses so much power, the industry is always looking to evolve towards newer and more efficient solutions. Furthermore, given the environmental damage that often comes with many of our modern energy generation practices, people have been thinking outside the box to come up with ideas that are harmonious with mother nature.

Solar panel technology has been around for decades, but there are a few main issues with it. First off, you often need sunlight for it to produce enough on demand and stored energy for daily life. There are many areas in the world where that can be an issue in certain seasons. Secondly, during the night energy can’t be gathered so you’re always dealing with a limited time period where you can generate power for the moment or future use. This prompted inventors to imagine a new “anti-solar panel” that is designed to work both during the day and at night.

Typical solar panels work by gathering visible light from the sun and converting it to usable electricity. This energy can be used as it’s created, or it can be stored into battery cells to be used at a later time. That is to say, it might be a sunny day, you and your family are at work so little power is needed at home. When you return home and you need power,  batteries hooked up to your solar panel had been storing the energy collected from the sun during the day, so it’s ready for you to use once you need it even if the sun isn’t out.

No sun for a couple days while your family is at home for the weekend? Well, you can start to see the issues with solar, you might run out of power if you aren’t connected to a standard city power grid as backup.

But now a team at UC Davis is hoping to develop a new strategy relying on having panels that can also generate electricity at night from heat emitted by a device in the infrared spectrum that is used to generate power.

Jeremy Munday, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and who leads the research team:

“In order to produce electrical power after the sun has set, we consider an alternative photovoltaic concept that uses the earth as a heat source and the night sky as a heat sink, resulting in a “nighttime photovoltaic cell” that employs thermoradiative photovoltaics and concepts from the advancing field of radiative cooling.”

They also explain in another report:

We were thinking, what if we took one of these (thermoradiative) devices and put it in a warm area and pointed it at the sky? A regular solar cell generates power by absorbing sunlight, which causes a voltage to appear across the device and for current to flow, (but) in these new devices, light is instead emitted and the current and voltage go in the opposite direction, but you still generate power. You have to use different materials, but the physics is the same.”

It’s not yet known how much power this technology might produce, but at this time the UC Davis team estimates perhaps as much as 50W during the night. This is about one quarter of the amount a typical solar panel might produce during the day. While this isn’t a huge amount, one could argue it’s worth it.

But what happens if we think outside the box a little further?

Breakthrough Energy

At Collective Evolution we have been exploring new energy technologies for many years, and have had a few close relationships with several investors who have truly been thinking outside the box. This has provided us with an inside look at what technologies are out there beyond what most people commonly speak about in the realm of renewables.

I’m talking about technologies that would deeply disrupt our current energy economy and that could provide energy to anyone, at anytime and in a completely clean manner.

Many believe these types of “breakthrough” technologies are nothing more than unicorns – they aren’t real. They believe them to be elaborate hoaxes that only show up online and in YouTube videos. And this is fair to say. There have been may hoaxes, including inventors who didn’t quite have what they had claimed, however, some of these technologies are real and work exactly as claimed.

“I started to examine the breakthrough solutions, and much to my surprise, these concepts have been proven in hundreds of laboratories throughout the world, and yet they have not really seen the light of day. If the new energy technologies were to be set free worldwide, the change be profound, it would affect everybody, it would be applicable everywhere. These technologies are absolutely the most important thing that’s happened in the history of the world.”  – Dr Brian O’Leary, Former NASA Astronaut and Princeton Physics Professor

In our research we came across a device local to us here in Toronto and had the opportunity to see it functioning first hand. We were there alongside a group of third party investors and engineers who were eager to see the technology in action and understand how it functions. Unfortunately for this piece, the NDA we had signed stops me from saying too much more about the specifics, however you can decide whether or not you believe my word that, yes, this technology was very real, worked to produce multiple kilowatts of power, and had the potential to change the way you view energy generation entirely.

We have also explored technologies our friends and colleagues have vetted as well. One of our latest ones from a man in Zimbabwe who invented a power generation system that charges itself via radio frequencies around the device. A truly remarkable idea, one you have to see to believe.

Another friend and colleague of ours, Susan Manewich, has been working to bring these technologies to market for years. Her and her team have travelled around the world vetting various technologies and working with inventors to find viable ways of making their technologies available for mass use. In her travels she has seen that only a small percentage of claims and devices are real and viable, perhaps only 5%. As low at that sounds, it still shows us that there are in fact devices that would completely revolutionize the way we produce and use energy today and yet these devices are not known about and in many cases hidden purposefully from the public.

We talk about this with Susan in great detail during an interview with we did with her as she shares her insight and experience having worked in the ‘new energy’ industry for many years. Dive into this important conversation on CETV here.

The Takeaway

Imagine what a society would look like if we had ‘freed’ up the secrecy behind the existence of these breakthrough energy technologies. Do you see humanity thriving? Do you see energy being free of charge for people? If not, do you feel humanity’s existing worldview i.e. competition, separation, etc, might be a barrier to these technologies being used to liberate the way we live?

Finally, if it is humanity’s worldview and belief that we must all compete with one another that gets in the way, does it suggest we might need to go about re-examining our worldview’s in order to live in a more peaceful and harmonious society? It appears as though the solutions are already all here, but the way we think of ourselves and one another deeply holds back a thriving world.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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