Why consciousness must be electric

Nested hierarchies have been discussed adequately, one should think. So here is an alternative matter.

I would propose that consciousness must be electrical in nature, due to two crucial facts:

1. The information that becomes conscious is some of the information being carried by the action-potentials of the nerve cells. It is not any other kind of information, such as quantum states of molecules, it is simply the information that nerve cells are known to carry via action-potentials.

2. Electric fields are the only physical phenomenon in the brain that have both the ability to extend in space significantly beyond nerve conduction itself and to be able to change and interact exceedingly swiftly, just as we experience conscious changes occurring “instantly.”

There are many other issues involved, of course, however, the fact remains that the physical phenomena underlying consciousness must be able to account for how consciousness appears to have the kind of extension and interactivity that creates consciousness, as electric fields would seem to be able to do. And that physical phenomenon must be tied to the information being carried as nerve impulses, as the electric fields of the nervous system ineluctibly are.

There does not seem to be a realistic option of a different sort of phenomenon that can unify that information encoded in the nerves into a conscious whole, and to do so exceedingly swiftly and surely. Certainly quantum physics offers nothing beyond electric fields interacting that could magically account for consciousness, no matter how much hocus-pocus people try to coax out of quantum phenomena. In the end it can’t be strange loops or the “illusion of consciousness” either, as one has to explain the difference between the consciousness and the unconscious (I would propose that the amount of, and type of, interaction of electric fields is what is crucial).

A great many issues could be discussed, however it seems to me that beginning with the basics is appropriate. There really is only one good candidate for consciousness in the physics of the brain at all, which is the electric fields that are unquestionably a necessary part of nerve conduction in the first place. If consciousness simply is what it is to be like a highly structured and unified (always becoming unified) electric field from the inside, so to speak, then it is the one phenomenon that we know not just abstractly, but as reality itself.

323 thoughts on “Why consciousness must be electric

  1. keiths:

    Next is where things become truly Steineresque:

    And thus he is back again at his starting point. How does matter come to think about its own nature? Why is it not simply satisfied with itself and content just to exist?

    As if matter had to decide that it wanted to be conscious, or to take up space, or to reflect light, and so on. Steiner has really gone off the rails here, personifying matter. It reminds me of his tomato rant.

    CharlieM:

    You are missing his point here. Why does matter not merely exist?

    I’m grasping his point and addressing it directly. Steiner is making a dumb mistake. Matter doesn’t have to become “dissatisfied” and decide to start thinking, any more than it has to become “dissatisfied” and decide to start reflecting light, or taking up space, or exerting a gravitational pull on other matter.

    You could also put it this way: To say that matter exists is to say that it instantiates its properties. Once it exists, those properties are in play. Matter doesn’t come into existence and then decide to exert a gravitational force. Likewise, it doesn’t come into existence and then decide to think. It just exists, and existence means that its properties are instantiated.

    Isn’t this obvious? Steiner is deeply confused about the implications of physicalism. He simply can’t keep it separate from his own goofy ideas.

    You’ve blown decades of your life on this crackpot, Charlie. Isn’t it time to cut your losses, sever the umbilical, learn to think for yourself, and make better use of the time you have left?

  2. Entropy: Sure, and the patient waited, patiently, for more than an hour.

    Why does this surprise you? You have never had a surgery? Most people wait hours for their surgeries as it is unpredictable how long each surgery can take…Sometimes there are complications even with routine surgeries like laparoscopic appendectomy…

    Hameroff most likely had a long gap in his day schedule… It happens all the time…since his schedule depends on the availability of surgeons and not the other way around… Since he is a very busy man, he probably figured it would be the best way to fill his day schedule without changing his scrubs… It’s pointless to argue with someone who is clueless even about the basic realities of professional life…

  3. J-Mac: Hameroff most likely had a long gap in his day schedule… It happens all the time…since his schedule depends on the availability of surgeons and not the other way around… Since he is a very busy man, he probably figured it would be the best way to fill his day schedule without changing his scrubs

    Fair points. Though I’m left wondering why Professor Hameroff doesn’t wear his hair net over his beard rather than his (bald) head.

  4. keiths: However, you haven’t actually presented an argument for that view. You’ve just asserted it.
    You assert that consciousness is pattern, independent of medium, and you assert that the lead-pipe computer would be conscious.
    Do you have an argument for either of those claims?

    It is just an assertion but I’d say that at this point pretty much anything one could say about consciousness would be an assertion barely connected to hard evidence.
    The only argument I can see that could be made now would be to assume that consciousness is not pattern but medium and show that this leads to problems and absurdities in contradiction to our observations. Its always just seemed obvious me to that consciousness must be an emergent property of the working of the nervous system ie. a pattern, but I haven’t tried to make a rigorous argument.
    Of course one day down the line we might be able to show how consciousness arises from a particular wiring pattern of the brain along with activity and ultimately create a conscious mind from a computer…but of course I know all the philosophical problems with that.

  5. I think it’s reasonable to think that not any medium could support consciousness.

    It is not just an emergent property; it is an evolved property. Computation can emulate some of the features of evolution, but no one has demonstrated that computation can do everything that biological evolution does.

    That’s not really an argument, but it is a reason to withhold celebration.

    The OP headline, however, reminds me of Penrose’s declaration that consciousness is quantum.

  6. petrushka:
    I think it’s reasonable to think that not any medium could support consciousness.

    The set-up would have to emulate neurones interacting and so on but why would it not in principle be achievable symbolically, electronically?

    It is not just an emergent property; it is an evolved property. Computation can emulate some of the features of evolution, but no one has demonstrated that computation can do everything that biological evolution does.

    Insert a “yet” and I’ll agree with you.

    That’s not really an argument, but it is a reason to withhold celebration.

    I can see you are a glass-half-empty guy! 🙂

    The OP headline, however, reminds me of Penrose’s declaration that consciousness is quantum.

    Started me off mistakenly thinking Glen was suggesting electric dualism.

  7. RodW: Its always just seemed obvious me to that consciousness must be an emergent property of the working of the nervous system ie. a pattern, but I haven’t tried to make a rigorous argument.

    And what are the alternatives? Anyone?


  8. keiths
    :

    Steiner: The materialist has turned his attention away from the definite subject, his own I, and has arrived at an image of something quite vague and indefinite.

    As if the soul were something definite and concrete, and matter just an amorphous and wispy figment of someone’s imagination. Um, Rudolf, it’s the other way around.

    He does not say here that the soul is thought of as definite and concrete. He says that the act of knowing must begin with the only thing that we can say we have intimate awareness of, our own thinking mind.

    You are saying that we should begin with something that you consider to be definite and concrete, which you consider matter to be. But in an earlier post you intimated that solid matter is an illusion, in actual fact nothing is solid, what is present in reality is electrical forces between unseen “particles”.

    In a search for knowledge you think we should begin with matter and not our minds that study matter, why?

  9. CharlieM: He does not say here that the soul is thought of as definite and concrete.

    But Steiner said that material processes are vague and indefinite. So it’s only natural, for keiths and for me, to wonder what could the idiot be thinking? That souls or spirits are concrete and definite?

    Did you read Steiner’s crap, or did you just post it mindlessly?

  10. keiths to Eric:

    Steiner:He [the physicalist] ascribes the power of thinking to matter instead of to himself.

    That sentence assumes the falsehood of physicalism, because it takes for granted that the self is something separate from matter.

    No, you are wrong. Steiner is saying that in the beginning of a search for knowledge we must start from something which we cannot deny, which is thinking. We know thinking from intimate experience. Only in thinking does the percept (sense experience) and the concept (idea) arrive in our consciousness as a unity. In any other activity we add the concept to the percept. To begin with we must not assume anything about this self. We must not think about it as either matter or spirit because in doing this we need to have already formed these concepts and so are in danger of making premature judgements.

    Whether the self is or is not separate from matter must be left undecided to begin with.

  11. Entropy:

    Nope. the physicalist would start with the phenomena at hand

    If you are to have any sort of world view you must start with the process of thinking. Without this the phenomena will be just a disconnected jumble of sensations. To even know that there are such things as phenomena you must have used thinking.

  12. Alan Fox: Fair points. Though I’m left wondering why Professor Hameroff doesn’t wear his hair net over his beard rather than his (bald) head.

    Because he wears a face musk and a face shield when the patient is rolled in….

  13. CharlieM: If you are to have any sort of world view you must start with the process of thinking. Without this the phenomena will be just a disconnected jumble of sensations. To even know that there are such things as phenomena you must have used thinking.

    When did I say I would not be thinking? I said I’d focus on whatever I want to be able to explain. Do you understand the difference between saying that I would focus on the phenomena and saying that I wouldn’t be thinking? I did the former, not the latter.

    The first mistake Steiner makes is that of imagining that if we think of phenomena we start by thinking of “matter,” quite an idiotic claim. I don’t need to remember that the phenomena is physical, so I can focus on the phenomena, rather than think that it’s “matter.” Then that when we do so we’re confronted by “two sets of facts” the matter and the thinking about matter (which is also idiotic, since, as I said, I’d focus on the phenomena, because there’s no reason to jump to thinking about thinking). Etc.

  14. Entropy:

    When a physicalist examines a phenomenon, the physicalist focuses on the phenomenon, not on how the thoughts about it come to be.

    You do realise that the ‘phenomena’ that are being examined are already suffused with thought?

    To know what a grain of sand, a cloud or a star is we first need to have formed concepts of these objects. And we arrive at concepts through thinking.

  15. CharlieM: You do realise that the ‘phenomena’ that are being examined are already suffused with thought?

    Sorry, but that’s bullshit.

    CharlieM: To know what a grain of sand, a cloud or a star is we first need to have formed concepts of these objects. And we arrive at concepts through thinking.

    No kidding! What makes you think I didn’t know that? You’re missing the point. here it goes again:

    When a physicalist examines a phenomenon, the physicalist focuses on the phenomenon, not on how the thoughts about it come to be.

    When studying a phenomenon, we have no obligation to shift to thinking about how thoughts work. Do you understand what the word “focus” means?

  16. Entropy:

    What the hell does this even mean? The physicalists doesn’t have to remember that thoughts are physical phenomena (physical-chemical). That’s a given.

    And with this you show that you have made a judgement without giving it any serious thought. I was going to continue answering the rest of your comments in this post but on second thoughts I think I’ll move on.

  17. CharlieM: He does not say here that the soul is thought of as definite and concrete. He says that the act of knowing must begin with the only thing that we can say we have intimate awareness of, our own thinking mind.

    That’s perfectly fine and good, in terms of how epistemology is grounded in phenomenology.

    The problem is that Steiner doesn’t seem aware of the possibility that we might, as a consequence of inquiry, arrive at the realization that the thinking self is the brain (or more precisely, the embodied-brain-in-an-environment).

    Our awareness of sense-perceptible things certainly begins with our awareness of them as having intrinsic and definite properties like precise location, solidity, weight, and so on. Yet in the course of a few millennia of physics, we’ve learned that physical things have these properties as a result of all sorts of phenomena that can’t be observed with the naked eye: that things are “solid” as a result of how orbitals don’t allow reactions, for example — or that weight is explained in terms of the interaction between different masses that distort space-time.

    In physics, we have learned how to explain the properties of sense-perceptible things in terms of properties that are not immediately perceived but which are understood as a result of theories and experiments.

    What grounds could one have for thinking that there’s no parallel with regard to the mind? That how the mind appears to itself must be what the mind really is?

    As I see it, Steiner is conflating what we must begin with (in clarifying our epistemological presuppositions) with what we might end with (in constructing a metaphysics informed by science).

    (All this is just tangential to the question as to what a scientific metaphysics actually would commit us — as I’ve suggested on various occasions, scientific metaphysics these days is urging us pretty clearly towards a process ontology rather than one in which the ultimate constituents of reality are tiny little billiard balls.)

  18. CharlieM: And with this you show that you have made a judgement without giving it any serious thought.

    I think you lack of reading comprehension. I hadn’t made the judgement. I was talking about the physicalist. For a physicalist, remembering that the phenomenon is physical is not necessary. It’s a given.

    Of course, I do side with the physicalist (for reasons I haven’t explained, since my issue there was just that Steiner was just making rhetorical points). What kind of serious thought do you think I failed to make before arriving at my conclusion? What makes you think I didn’t give the issue any serious thought? Do you really think this is the first time I thought about whether there’s anything else but the physical?

    CharlieM: I was going to continue answering the rest of your comments in this post but on second thoughts I think I’ll move on.

    I think that if you made the effort to reading the whole thing I wrote for comprehension (and what Steiner actually said, instead of making stuff up about what you imagine that he said), we’d be more successful at communicating with each other.

  19. Kantian Naturalist:
    There’s nothing wrong with drawing a categorical distinction between our awareness of our thoughts and our awareness of sense-perceptible things, but it’s just sheer confusion to think that this distinction has any bearing on the truth or falsity of “materialism”, whatever that means.

    Steiner was not considering the truth or falsity of materialism here. He was trying to get across the questions materialists or spiritualists must confront if they are to explain consciousness from their perspective.

  20. CharlieM: Steiner was not considering the truth or falsity of materialism here. He was trying to get across the questions materialists or spiritualists must confront if they are to explain consciousness from their perspective.

    But failed at understanding those perspective by “suffusing” the whole thing with his (Steiner’s) unwarranted assumptions.

  21. Entropy to eric: I suspect you didn’t read what Steiner wrote for comprehension either.

    And I suspect you didn’t read the rest of the chapter that the Steiner quote was taken from.

  22. CharlieM: And I suspect you didn’t read the rest of the chapter that the Steiner quote was taken from.

    You quoted that part, remember? That means that you imagined that Steiner made some point within it. Yet, he failed to make a valid point about materialism. Given that, I don’t see why I should read more of his nonsense.

  23. Alan Fox: Well, so he should! Dualism needs to explain two things more than eliminative materialism: how the immaterial mind is informed about the physical world and how it influences the physical world.

    Well I think we should leave that for the dualists to answer, not Steiner.

  24. J-Mac,

    Because he wears a face musk and a face shield when the patient is rolled in….

    He wears a face musk? Why? Because he wants to smell good to the patient?

  25. keiths:

    That sentence [of Steiner’s] assumes the falsehood of physicalism, because it takes for granted that the self is something separate from matter.

    CharlieM:

    No, you are wrong. Steiner is saying that in the beginning of a search for knowledge we must start from something which we cannot deny, which is thinking. We know thinking from intimate experience…

    Charlie,

    You are making shit up in an attempt to distract from Steiner’s shoddy thinking. It won’t work. The truth remains the truth, even if it is painful to you.

    These are Steiner’s actual (translated) words:

    He [the physicalist] ascribes the power of thinking to matter instead of to himself.

    You are the one who quoted them. Are you now denying that they come from Steiner? If not, then why not accept their actual meaning?

    They confirm what I am telling you:

    That sentence [of Steiner’s] assumes the falsehood of physicalism, because it takes for granted that the self is something separate from matter.

    It’s simple logic.

  26. GlenDavidson: I don’t know about “materialists” in the first place, but of course the “materialists” don’t make thoughts “intelligible” by regarding them as “purely material processes.” That’s just a placeholder for ignorance. Thought processes are rather observed to be occurring via specific nerve actions (notably the action-potentials).

    What you directly experience are not nerve actions, you directly experience your thoughts. You arrive at the fact that brain activity accompanies thoughts through your thinking. It is through thinking that you can form the concepts brain, neurons, synapses, cause, effect, matter and so on.

  27. keiths: It’s simple logic, Charlie. Steiner writes:

    He [the physicalist] ascribes the power of thinking to matter instead of to himself.

    That sentence assumes that the self is distinct from matter. In other words, it assumes that physicalism is false.

    No, he is saying that he knows himself directly. He can say with justification, ‘I think’ If the materialist believes that the thinking ‘I’ is material, then what he is saying is that ‘I think’ equates to ‘matter thinks’. The ‘I’ may or may not be material but it cannot just be assumed either way, it needs evidential support. The ‘I’ and ‘matter’ are not synonyms, they are separate concepts. We cannot just go ahead and make the claim, ‘matter thinks’ without further consideration.

  28. Charlie,

    You keep making the same fundamental error of logic.

    When a physicalist ascribes the power of thinking to matter, he is also ascribing the power of thinking to himself. Why? Because the physicalist regards himself as a material being, of course. Self and matter go together. To ascribe the power of thinking to oneself is to ascribe the power of thinking to matter.

    To Steiner, they don’t go together. It has to be one or the other. Hence the words “instead of” in his quote:

    He [the physicalist] ascribes the power of thinking to matter instead of to himself.

    Steiner is making a stupid error. That you are trying to cover it up is actually a good sign — it means that you recognize the error and are embarrassed by it. The problem is that you are trying to whitewash it away, so that you can continue to pretend that the Dear Leader got it right. Don’t do that, Charlie. It’s dishonest and it will only hurt you in the long run.

    You’ve already wasted enough time on this charlatan. Don’t waste any more.

  29. To put it succinctly:

    1. The physicalist ascribes the power of thinking to himself.
    2. The physicalist regards himself as a material being.
    3. Thus, when he ascribes the power of thinking to himself, he is also ascribing the power of thinking to matter.

    4. Steiner assumes that the physicalist cannot ascribe the power of thinking both to himself and to matter.
    5. Thus, Steiner is assuming that physicalism is false.

    He messed up pretty badly, Charlie. It’s embarrassing.

  30. Charlie,

    Have you had a chance to watch the series of videos I linked to?

    Not yet. How long are they, in aggregate?

  31. keiths:
    J-Mac,

    He wears a face musk?Why?Because he wants to smell good to the patient?

    Another moron that has never been to the operating room… and probably to a hospital during the flu season but claims to be omniscient otherwise…
    Silent sigh…

  32. Musk is kind of heavy-handed and out of place in the operating room. I would suggest a lighter cologne instead.

  33. GlenDavidson: Well, appa

    Whoosh, anyway.
    Glen Davidson

    Morons; (Keiths) I have a windows surface tablet that self-corrects the spelling… no matter what I do it never let’s me spell some words or names correctly, like harsh man is always Hirschman and mask is often musk and crocks are often crooks or cooks… if I have time to check it and edit, I can sometimes do it and sometimes it will still self-correct and won’t let me change…
    You two obviously have too much time on your hands so that you can spend the entire day and night proving everyone wrong even in the smallest detail… it must be a bliss to be you… I envy your very rich and fulfilling existence… or nonexistence….

  34. Alan Fox: The set-up would have to emulate neurones interacting and so on but why would it not in principle be achievable symbolically, electronically?
    Insert a “yet” and I’ll agree with you.
    I can see you are a glass-half-empty guy! 🙂
    Started me off mistakenly thinking Glen was suggesting electric dualism.

    I have no “in principle” reason to rule out symbolic intelligence, but my gut feeling is that chemistry is faster than emulations of chemistry, and will remain so. For the purposes of this thread, I would substitute chemical rather than electrical. Although chemistry is the exchange of electrons.

    My understanding is that intelligence is an evolved behavior. I can’t think of any reason why a symbolic machine couldn’t evolve intelligence or consciousness, but I would bet that constraints of time and energy would make living brains a better bet.

    It depends on what you want. if you want rationality, machines are already better than humans. If you want a general purpose solution evolver, humans still win.

  35. Discovery of Quantum Vibrations in “Microtubules” Inside Brain Neurons Corroborates Controversial 20-Year-Old Theory of Consciousness

    “…After 20 years of skeptical criticism, “the evidence now clearly supports Orch OR,” continue Hameroff and Penrose. “Our new paper updates the evidence, clarifies Orch OR quantum bits, or “qubits,” as helical pathways in microtubule lattices, rebuts critics, and reviews 20 testable predictions of Orch OR published in 1998 – of these, six are confirmed and none refuted….”

    “…An important new facet of the theory is introduced. Microtubule quantum vibrations (e.g. in megahertz) appear to interfere and produce much slower EEG “beat frequencies.” Despite a century of clinical use, the underlying origins of EEG rhythms have remained a mystery. Clinical trials of brief brain stimulation aimed at microtubule resonances with megahertz mechanical vibrations using transcranial ultrasound have shown reported improvements in mood, and may prove useful against Alzheimer’s disease and brain injury in the future…”

    https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/discovery-of-quantum-vibrations-in-microtubules-inside-brain-neurons-corroborates-controversial-20-year-old-theory-of-consciousness

    Too bad the electric consciousness remains just as speculative as Joe’s fitness thingy. .. with the unknown type of “information” becoming conscious…
    Maybe Glen is making a case for an “electric soul”? 😉

  36. J-Mac: Discovery of Quantum Vibrations in “Microtubules” Inside Brain Neurons Corroborates Controversial 20-Year-Old Theory of Consciousness

    Who knew that Elsevier were publishing humor?

  37. petrushka: I have no “in principle” reason to rule out symbolic intelligence, but my gut feeling is that chemistry is faster than emulations of chemistry, and will remain so. For the purposes of this thread, I would substitute chemical rather than electrical. Although chemistry is the exchange of electrons.

    Indeed – “electrochemical”, perhaps?

    My understanding is that intelligence is an evolved behavior.

    Sure.

    I can’t think of any reason why a symbolic machine couldn’t evolve intelligence or consciousness, but I would bet that constraints of time and energy would make living brains a better bet.

    I was only thinking in terms of modelling as a way of furthering understanding of how the brain works and thinks.

    It depends on what you want.

    I have a list!

    …if you want rationality, machines are already better than humans. If you want a general purpose solution evolver, humans still win.

    For now, and I hope for a while as the economic impact of replacing human jobs with machines seems to get greater by the day.

  38. petrushka,

    I have no “in principle” reason to rule out symbolic intelligence, but my gut feeling is that chemistry is faster than emulations of chemistry, and will remain so.

    Why assume that “symbolic intelligence” would in any way depend on emulating chemistry?

  39. J-Mac,

    Morons; (Keiths) I have a windows surface tablet that self-corrects the spelling… no matter what I do it never let’s me spell some words or names correctly, like harsh man is always Hirschman and mask is often musk and crocks are often crooks or cooks… if I have time to check it and edit, I can sometimes do it and sometimes it will still self-correct and won’t let me change…

    In other words, you haven’t figured out how to operate your tablet correctly. Now, what was that you were saying about morons?

  40. Steiner:

    The materialist has turned his attention away from the definite subject, his own I, and has arrived at an image of something quite vague and indefinite.

    keiths:

    As if the soul were something definite and concrete, and matter just an amorphous and wispy figment of someone’s imagination. Um, Rudolf, it’s the other way around.

    CharlieM:

    You are saying that we should begin with something that you consider to be definite and concrete, which you consider matter to be.

    No. I’m simply criticizing Steiner’s notion of the soul as a “definite subject”, with matter relegated to the status of something “vague and indefinite”.

    But in an earlier post you intimated that solid matter is an illusion, in actual fact nothing is solid, what is present in reality is electrical forces between unseen “particles”.

    Sure, but that hardly means that the notion of matter is vague and indefinite. You’re making a category error. It’s like saying “The concept of a vacuum is useless and insubstantial; after all, vacua are nothing but empty space.”

  41. Besides, Steiner claims to be familiar with Buddhist thought. Doesn’t he know how problematic the notion of the self is?

  42. In order to highlight the mistake you are making, I’d like to revisit one of your first responses to a Steiner quote I copied.

    keiths:

    Steiner: And thus he is back again at his starting point. How does matter come to think about its own nature? Why is it not simply satisfied with itself and content just to exist?

    As if matter had to decide that it wanted to be conscious, or to take up space, or to reflect light, and so on. Steiner has really gone off the rails here, personifying matter. It reminds me of his tomato rant

    So right from the start you are misreading Steiner. Steiner is claiming that the materialist ‘believes that thinking takes place in the brain, much in the same way that digestion takes place in the animal organs’. And, as the brain is material, then, in order to be consistent, materialists must conclude that in the human, matter thinks about its own nature. So from this perspective matter does not decide to take up space or to reflect light, but it does decide to think about its own existence

    Eric did also point out your mistake but you dismissed his argument with an irrelevant statement and an insult.

    Here is an example of the materialist view that Steiner was talking about. Alan moves from ‘I think’ to ‘the brain thinks’ The former is his direct experience, the latter needs to be justified not just assumed:

    Alan Fox

    I was only thinking in terms of modelling as a way of furthering understanding of how the brain works and thinks.

    The brain thinks therefore I am. The belief that a lump of grey and white matter can think leads to ‘quite vague and indefinite’ speculations. Speculations such as if we can built a complex enough system using lead piping it will suddenly be able to contemplate its own existence. Or electrical activity in some unspecified way allows matter to contemplate itself.

  43. CharlieM: Alan moves from ‘I think’ to ‘the brain thinks’ The former is his direct experience, the latter needs to be justified not just assumed:

    Hey!

    I was the one pointing out the madness of reflecting on one’s (heh) cognitive powers and expecting that to get somewhere. Bottom-up won’t work on its own; top-down won’t work on its own, modelling won’t work on its own. But a shared approach, using all the tools available, may make progress. Of course that doesn’t apply to the immaterial. God only knows how that works. 🙂

Leave a Reply