Worlds Without End

From Computer Generated Images … to Brain Generated Worlds … !!!

James Cameron’s “Avatar” created a complete new world to make a movie. It was the current [2009] state of the art in creating artificial images in a movie. It took years to make, with millions of dollars, thousands of computers plus many skilled actors and technicians.

But your brain can do this in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye -  just for fun, even while you sleep. It is called dreaming or if somewhat awake - daydreaming. 

Your brain is a very impressive supercomputer.

CGI - computer graphics images - in the movies are becoming more impressive
but still are nowhere near what our brains can do even while idling - dreaming or daydreaming.
Our brains create limitless numbers of worlds inside 
our heads
BUT, So far, we know of: only 1 (?) real world - although we speculate there may be more, 

And countless fantasy worlds created by our brains.
All those gods and goddesses, angels, fairies, etc. did not come out of the sky.
They came out of our heads. Out of our imagination. We image them.
This is one of our most powerful abilities but we must realize when we are doing it.

Quotes:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."  --  Albert Einstein

... the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man - Richard Feynman

So … It’s time to grow up and realize that gods and other fantasy beings are symbols made up by our brains. Although some of these symbols are quite meaningful to us, they are sometimes poorly connected to reality. 

Sooner or later we have to realize that our heads are not like a camera, faithfully capturing the outside real world. Most of what we think we see is made up by our brains from what it has seen before or what it expects. Only part is new information imported from our eyes.

Some of this was first made clear by investigations of the eyes of horseshoe crabs and squid, very ancient animals. In these animals, popular for study because of the large neurons and accessibility of their eyes and brains, it was found that the eyes themselves are wired to detect features in the incoming image - in particular, the eyes are sensitive to edges, corners and motions of objects. So the eye is not just a camera sending a TV raster of dots to the brain. It is an image processing brain itself!

Also, the movies don’t move! Every movie or TV scene you see is a series of still photos, shown in sequence. Your brain puts these together as if you were observing continuous action. I can’t emphaisize this enough. You brain manufactures all you think you see, whether connected to a real world or not.

So, we can create limitless worlds or add fantasies to the real world. And the same restrictions apply to our scientific endeavors to learn as well.

The laws of nature exist not in any legal sense,
but as shared experiences of observed regularities, verified by science

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An aside: 

Just because we make up gods in our heads doesn’t mean they are totally useless.
They are symbols. They mean something to us. The question is: what?

Don’t forget. Now matter how many fantasy worlds we make in our heads:
Our ideas want to be real and tangible. For example, one of the key themes in literature and media is the angels who want to come to the tangible world and be real like us, even at the price of death.

From our literature and films, our angels, real or imagined, want to be real like us and feel that death is a small price to pay for being tangible, living and loving. Herein lies a deep mystery. 

As Achilles says to Briseis in Homer’s Iliad as portrayed in the movie Troy:

"I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again."


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© Gareth Harris 2016       --------        Contact email: garethharris@mac.com        --------         see also: GarethHarris.com