Tuesday, July 15, 2008

microtubules and intelligence

beginning with a personal aside, i love microtubules. remember in elementary school when we learned how to draw a little ovoid bubble with various organelles scattered haphazardly inside? my teacher pulled me aside to ask why in the world my bubble's organelles were surrounded and overwhelmed with what looked to her like chicken scribbles. and i said, those are the microtubules. she looked at me as if i were retarded, but i knew i was accurate enough in my depiction and she just didn't know what to make of it. i knew they were important... i just didn't bother to explore how important they were until neurochemistry class last year. you don't notice at the time when you're taught about basic cell structure and mitosis that microtubules, which compose the cytoskeleton and radiate from the centrioles, are really performing the most exquisite of tasks. this is my mental escapade into microtubules as they might pertain to that most elusive phenomenon, intelligence.


microtubules (MT) are constructed of thousands of tubulin proteins, which are dimeric proteins which orient into helical tubes held together at the seems by MT-associated proteins (MAPs). the MT of any system - amoeba or neuron - make up a network which is generally acknowledged as being the skeleton of the cell, and is, in my opinion, extraordinarily underrated in that role.

in the 1980's, Stuart Hameroff proposed that MT also compute. this was based on both the predisposition of MT to self-assemble and disassemble via the aid of MAPs, and collective network oscillation based solely on nearest neighbor interactions (these being the swapping of a free electron between alpha and beta subunits of the tubulin dimers). Hameroff's theory is primarily dependent on nearest neighbor interaction. to be brief, this interaction refers to the electric dipole created between the alpha and beta monomers of each tubulin protein: this is created by the 18 calcium ions bound to the beta subunit, creating a slightly negative orientation toward the alpha monomer. namely, as an energetic wave passes through a given MT region it would excite the free electron on the beta subunit and shift it toward the alpha, thereby changing the molecular conformation of the dimer. this change in conformation would subsequently excite all its neighbor tubulins to exercise the same behavior, resulting in an electric wave being propagated down the length of the MT. and they did some badass computational modeling of this theory which showed that by said rules, MT could indeed be stable, signal-perpetuating structures...

one of the immediate problems with the Hameroff model is that it was designed at a temperature of zero... such that signal propagation was an artifact of design, and not explicitly reminiscent of those rules governing biological signals. [to note, this actually doesn't seem problematic to me because it just implies even a the level of the zero point field this mechanism is probable, but...] because physiological conditions are what they are, and due to the patterns governing tubulin subunit interaction as well as the helical nature of the MT themselves, a new theory of signal propagation potential was proposed by Jack Tuszynski (Canada gets a brownie for that one). the stipulation was that MT could be electromechanical signal transmitters only helically about their circumference... in the manner of a spin glass.

the spin glass behavior, put simply means that because of its geometrical orientation a system can't minimize interaction energies across its area simultaneously (a.k.a. magnetic frustration). so for MT, that means propagating a signal in somewhat of a spiral manner along its length which yields a similarly patterned signal transmission between neighboring MT. because they are hexagonal sheets rolled into tubes, MT have a seam - this is where magnetic frustration occurs as the propagating signal tries to navigate the tubule circumference. despite this obstacle, the tubule length allows for propagation. the equations for this type of system are exceedingly complex and just glancing at them makes my heart sink in defeat... but i trust Dmitri Nanopoulos (who is my superhero of the day) and the modeling enough to be profoundly inspired by the idea that my poor neglected, favorite organelle might have such a role in intelligence (i'll get there...)...

so what does this model mean to the microtubule network as a transmitter of signals?

this is bitchin - hang onto your pants. the spin glass model allows MT networks the capacity to adapt to the demands of neuronal signaling.

if MT are in and of themselves an adaptive network, as suggested by Nanopoulos' and the nature of spin glass perpetuation, that potentially translates to every individual neuron being an adaptive network. during the process of neuronal plasticity, such as learning and memory, this is a conceivable explanation of how particular proteins are recruited to synapses to strengthen them after a particular pattern of neurotransmitter activity (an otherwise mechanistically elusive characteristic of long term potentiation).

let's take a step back and see if i can do this anywhere near coherently... i know i'm verbose as hell, bear with me.

i think... that when Daniel Dennet and David Chalmers look for physical structures on which consciousness and intelligence might supervene, they are not looking small enough. namely, the structures they are looking for (as well as Francis Crick with the claustrum and everyone else with the pineal gland) are neural pathways and specific brain regions. it makes little to no sense to me to suspect that such a comprehensive force as consciousness would supervene on a single structure or originate from a single neural circuit. i like the notion that said phenomena arise from the translation of electromagnetic wave collapse by microtubules... which are everywhere.

in addition to all the computer modeling and quantum computational theory, there are the correlational studies. colchicine, a tubulin binding inhibitor, causes retrograde amnesia in goldfish. tubulin production skyrockets as soon as baby rats first open their eyes to EM radiation, and correlates with peak learning and memory in chicks. on the human level, there is Alzheimer's disease, in which the most prominent biochemical and physiological markers are amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles - the latter being comprised of MT stripped of MAPs and left to aggregate into useless clumps. so here we have examples of the effects of dysfunctional MT on multiple levels of evolutionary development and cognitive function.

this organelle, to my thinking, is the most beautiful candidate for housing intelligence. it is the beginning and the end of life, from mitosis to decay - defining nucleation of a cell by aligning and separating chromosomes, propagating EM signals, responding to IR light and dissociating upon cell death. they are intrinsic and critical to the very existence of every cell.

okay. if you've made it this far, prepare to be rewarded by my coming around to making a fucking point.

take, for instance, a paramecium - a single cell with no nervous system, only MT networks. a paramecium, if sucked into a capillary tube, will find an escape route... and when sucked up again, will find its way out quicker and quicker with each subsequent trial. this study, lead by Joseph Huber in the 1970's describes a mechanism for learning and memory in this single cell system with no neurons. intelligence without a brain [or... the brain of single cell systems is represented by the centrosome! but we won't go there yet...]

if learning can be achieved in a paramecium, what sense is there in attributing intelligence in more complex organisms to solely the strengthening of synapses?

what is to say that intelligence doesn't supervene on MT networks and that consciousness is a separate beast emerging from the larger complication of neural networks?

[on which note, this is why i don't think computers will achieve consciousness in the near future - or i hope not, rather - because neurons are so very much more complex than on-and-off switches, or binary decoders, or all-or-noners as implied by the direction of A.I. research]

to wrap this up... and in the interest of circulating back to not only intelligence and possibly consciousness but the evolution of these phenomena (as well as others), i think of this: microtubules bind to DNA - regardless of chromatin and histone orientation, which has profound implications for the quantum processes of epigenetics - through MT associated proteins, and affects its synthesis by facilitation or inhibition.


through MT perpetuation of EM signaling, or whatever the hell wave collapse results in, DNA may have an intelligence of its own. screw morphogenetic fields... evolutionary process may very well be directed by the very biophysical matter that also genetically codes for it all. what if it's really all in the DNA?

it's entirely conceivable to me that DNA contains the code and the energetic blueprint - that its interaction with microtubules allows it to translate this into initial interaction with the explicate world - that this explicate interaction subsequently feeds back through the nervous system into MT networks which then propagate new signals from which intelligence and consciousness emerge.

i love microtubules.

Friday, July 11, 2008


this is a drug synthesized by the pineal gland during REM stages of sleep. it's said to have something to do with the vivid and sometimes euphoric contents of dreams, which also occur during REM. due to its otherwise elusive function in the brain/body and association with the oddball region (pineal) it has, therefore, been postulated as the chemical substance of consciousness.

"Hallucinogenic effects were seen after 0.2 and 0.4 mg/kg of dimethyltryptamine fumarate, and included a rapidly moving, brightly colored visual display of images. Auditory effects were less common. "Loss of control," associated with a brief, but overwhelming "rush," led to a dissociated state, where euphoria alternated or coexisted with anxiety. These effects completely replaced subjects' previously ongoing mental experience and were more vivid and compelling than dreams or waking awareness." (Strassman et al. 2003)

Strassman, a psychopharmacologist at U. New Mexico is one of the first to postulate that DMT is in fact synthesized in the pineal gland. although it seems to be produced in other regions of the body as well, as it has been found in urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid (Jacob and Presti 2004), although thought to be an insignificant metabolic byproduct. i guess because DMT is synthesized from a serotonin intermediate it followed, for Strassman, that this particular tryptamine could be produced by and secreted from the pineal gland. but nobody really knows where endogenous DMT comes from, suffice if to say, the body uses a pretty wide array of tryptamines (these are primarily monoamine neurotransmitters and hallucinogens), including the melatonin and serotonin produced in the pineal.

serotonin is supposedly converted into DMT by the pineal during REM sleep, playing a role in dream activation (Callaway 1988). Strassman thinks that when these levels get too high persons experience "mystical/spiritual consciousness." he thinks - and as of yet he has no chromatographic/spectrophotometric data to suggest this - that DMT over-synthesis occurs during birth, before death, near-death experiences and deep meditation. in the 1970's, it was speculated that DMT levels might have something to do with Schizophrenia... but the results of these studies were inconclusive (Angrist et al. 1975, and others which escape me...). what i would like to see is a correlational study comparing systemic and cerebrospinal DMT in healthy control subjects to those exercising deep meditation.

in the Strassman study cited above (2003), it becomes suggested that endogenous DMT may function as did trace amounts of DMT; namely, the chemical would be a non-hallucinogenic. returning to the Calloway proposal that DMT participates in dream activation, it would seem like the job of endogenous DMT would be to do activate hallucination, not suppress it. but that's only if you're of the opinion that dreams are hallucinations...

okay, so we have an idea of how DMT acts in the brain... sort of. both DMT and it's precursor, tryptamine act through a recently identified trace amine receptor (TA, localization unidentified but interacting with the dopamine reward pathway). but since i'm mostly curious about it's production in the brain as relevant to the pineal gland and consciousness, we're going to move in that direction instead...

as noted in the Schizophrenic studies, DMT can also be found in the peripheral nervous system and systemically. this would imply that it can be synthesized outside of the brain, and this idea is supported by the systemic localization of indolethylamine-N-transferase (IMNT). IMNT is the enzyme that tryptophan to make methyltryptamine, which is methylated again to yield dimethyltryptamine. this implies two things:

DMT can be synthesized in peripheral tissue, and subsequently cross the blood brain barrier... which is uncharacteristic of most neurotransmitters.
2) since during the stress response the body produces excessive amounts of tryptophan, DMT has implications as a non-hallucinogenic, as proposed by Calloway...

so why does Strassman insist that endogenous DMT is produced in the pineal gland, and is a propagator of the hallucinations that deem it worth of sustaining the weight of consciousness? let's explore...

well... so aside from IMNT being part of the peripheral system, the pineal gland is home to quite a few other methyltransferases.

...that's it.

there's also the theory that DMT must be produced in the pineal because it has something to do with calcification of the gland, but that is not Strassman's theory, and even if DMT does play a role in calcification, that isn't sufficient to conclude that the tryptamine is produced there.

so you've got your aging pathology studies that note pineal calcification in response to abnormal secretion of melatonin (Sandyk and Awerbuch 1992), and your pineal calcification in response to excessive calcium influx and significantly decreased metabolic activity that would otherwise regulate calcium levels - characteristic of aging and essentially all aging pathologies (Krstic 1986).

link between calcification and melatonin? fine, i'll take it. link to dimethyltryptamine.................... come on, really? there's nothing? there gots to be something...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


what is encoded within DNA is the same for every cell in your body; every cell is encoded to have the same molecular and biochemical capacity. and yet, cells differentiate to express this coding in particular ways. dopamine cells express different segments of the genetic code than do spleen cells, for instance. chemically, these different cells are very similar, but from them emerge larger cytological shapes (organs) with entirely different gross function.

the architectural differences between organisms are not in the building materials, nor the energy involved in their design, but in the underlying blueprint. geneticists and embryologists once called these morphogenic fields: a cluster of cells able to respond to local biochemical signals so as to differentiate as a group. this original morphogenetic field hypothesis of Alexander Gurwitsch's means that a region of cells could be directed to become partiular tissues, organs and forms, and it explained how an embryo could be cut in half, and still the whole final form would develop. the modern appreciation of morphogenetic fields, though, has been modified by botanist Rupert Sheldrake, who has redefined the morphogenetic field to encompass an energy field surrounding these cellular clusters. Sheldrake's fields, then, contain virtual future forms which attract the developing organism toward them.


the principle of superposition states that the world can exist in any of many possible configurations of wave-particles and fields. what David Bohm, then, calls the explicate world is the result of the observer "choosing" between various patterns of constructive and destructive wave interference. from this "choice" emerges an individual field from the many possible fields contained in the implicate world. when an observation is made the wave function derived from Schrodinger's equation, which represents one of the possibilities, collapses and then corresponds to one said possible outcome.

superposition is also the basis for Fourier's laws suggesting infinite complexity in th universe. this infinite complexity is complementary to the implicate order in that it defines it as infinite potential from which the finite explicate order is derived.

this infinite complexity provided by superposition of wave-particles gives substance to the idea of an ever-expanding universe, as, with time, more and more of the infinite possibilities are "chosen" to emerge as explicate fields. said expansion, in turn, supports evolution as more potential complexity is incorporated from implicate to explicate. it also supports regression of some complexities as explicate forms both feed back and revert to implicate forms. and the notion of the implicate order fits in quite nicely here, i think, because it is at the plane where possibility crosses over into actuality that quantum mechanics fails, and it does so because quantum physical equations don't describe anything actual, but merely probability of the collapse distinguished by the observer... "chooser."

[my opinion for the moment is that the observer does indeed have complete control over the actuality of things on a quantum level. however, i don't believe that observation of more gross physicalities (animate and inanimate) has an effect on their overall condition. put more clearly, i don't believe in the power of modern humans to harness telekinesis, or change the final form of rocks with their eyes... i merely acknowledge that the activity of individual or clusters of smaller particles (electrons, fluid behavior, chemical interaction) may be subject to manipulation. and i think Sheldrake is a little obtuse in his rationale of morphogenetic fields explaining telepathy.]

so who is this "chooser?" whose observation directs evolution at the level of the wave-particle by collapsing infinite possibility into finite actuality? is it in the hands of the mind, or the zpf?

i'm intrigued by the idea of answering addressing these thoughts using the morphogenetic field hypothesis... as a combination of Gurwitsch and Sheldrake's notions (because Sheldrake takes the abstraction a bit too far and Gurwitsch not far enough). Gurwitsch goes no further than explaining that a whole embryo, when cut in half, continues to generate as a whole due to communication between cell clusters (biological MF's). why? because as in the case of magnets, the whole field is contained in every part such that if you chop a magnet in half, each chunk still has a full magnetic field with north and south poles complete with field lines. it is this phenomenon through which Sheldrake later jumps to evolution of the universe being directed by morphogenetic fields as magnetic fields as opposed to clusters of cells responding in like to biochemical signals. Sheldrake's MF's (physical MF's), then, would be the directors of those biochemical signals.

where i am skeptical is concerning the point at which DNA and G-S morphogenetic fields would interact. certainly it's possible that transcription and translation of DNA into differentiated final forms could be guided by an electromagnetic field; if a field is holographic and can differentiate potential complexities into finite actualities, why not, right? but what is it that would make this interaction a necessary explanation of evolution?

[to clarify, Sheldrake is somewhat of a leech hippie who is overstepping the smaller inconsistencies of morphogenetic fields in order to explain telepathy. what he's suggesting is cool; the idea that the mere existence of a form is sufficiently helpful to allow the same form to come into existence somewhere else. and yes, evolution could be based on an idea like this. HOWEVER. Gurwitsch's morphogenetic fields were proposed in the 1930's, long before Rupert the fagele...]


genes. genes code for proteins. but they don't explain the final destination of cells, tissues, etc.; they're necessary but not sufficient for the final form of an organism, as such. so morphogenetic fields would supposedly direct the hierarchical organization, and the evolution of genes and the products of their encoding.

neat. how?

they have memory, says hippie Sheldrake. morphic resonance. that's right. morphic resonance refers to the communiction between individual morphogenetic fields. MF's which contain only information - no energy or architectural materials - hold memory of forms which they have directed in the past. which actually reminds me of Jaques Benveniste's studies that demonstrated water retaining memory of IgE antibodies that weren't actually in solution any longer (via antigen immunoreactivity). the MF explanation of his findings would be that water retained memory of the antibody because the morphogenetic resonance of fields in the liquid retained the memory. but this was years and years ago and i'm getting off track...

...morphogenetic fields. evolution. memory contained within morphic resonance. and while i approach this theory with scalpel in hand, i will remind, too, that there was a time at which DNA was no less abstract and metaphysical an idea than morphogenetic fields are currently. okay, back...

Sheldrake suggests that the blueprint memory in morphic resonance is supervened on the inference patterns of waveform activity. lovely. how does this resonance among MF's direct alterations in gene expression so as to dictate evolution? it ends up being very similar to the idea of acquired characteristics... a phrase which makes biologists cringe. grossly, acquired characteristics refers to Lamarck's principle that adaptations of individual organisms could be passed to the next generation. based on Mendelian genetics and observations of inheritance, Lamarck's theory was abandoned. now, with morphogenetic resonance, it is somewhat resurfacing, if only at a quantum level. a change in the environment of a population of an organismic species can supposedly trigger a tuning-in to new ranges of the possible outcomes described by superposition, resulting in a new sequence of genetic changes. which is to say, the MF would respond to changes in the environment, morphic resonance would retain memory of said MF adaptation, and the field would then alter transcription of DNA within the cluster of cells under dictation of that particular MF.

while this is a badass theory and a neato explanation of evolution as controlled by magnetism... it gets a little too magical for me here. i like the idea of electromagnetic fields creating condensed and localized fields from which matter and mind emerge, but i'm also hugely skeptical of the degree of realism that... seems to be missing. the realism, then, returns to my original question: as "choosers" of actuality from infinite possibility, how would morphogenetic fields interact with DNA to direct trascription?

it is because there is no algorithmic explanation for why genes are translated in the manner that they are that morphic resonance and morphogenic fields are so appealing. they allow for responsibility to be supervened on a substance (or physical force, as it were), which is more attractive than responsibility arising out of nowhere. however, without algorithmic definition or non-circular logic, MFs also seem to arise out of nowhere...

it seems like the cluster of cells under the dictation of a given morphogenetic field would be aggregated by said field. then again, it's a question of who came first, the chicken or the egg.


were it the case that morphogenetic fields arose... out of some essence described by a combination of quantum mechanics and relativity... that they could effectively gather un-programmed cells, and direct the biochemical pathways which determine the genetic sequences that are transcribed for that particular group. magic.

then again, there's the issue of the role of consciousness as the observer. how can these collapses of genetic possibility into actuality occur when a meaningful combination of genes already exists to be translated? does the collapse occur before the genes are in place? but this gets into concepts of spontaneous DNA formation which i'm not ready to flush out.

my brain has no idea where to go from here.


when think about evolution, i do so in the context of evolution of the universe... none of this "earthly organisms evolve but the universe is quintessential and eternal" crap.

the big bang... from the percept of morphogenetic fields... would go something like... the emergence of form being made possible by a progressive cooling process that began with the sun spitting out electrons at 2500 degrees C, which cooled enough to coagulate into atoms which cooled enough to aggregate into molecules, etc. and this progression occurred as novelty with endurance such that persistent novelty didn't result in complete chaos. i like it. i'll develop it later...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

meat machines

"we are automata entirely controlled by the forces of the medium, being tossed about like corks on the surface of the water, but mistaking the resultant of the impulses from the outside for free will" - Nikola Tesla

i'm about to disagree with my hero - my high school english teacher would shit himself in exaltation right now.

i agree that we are - because we are meat machines built of subatomic wave-particles - automata in the mechanical sense, our medium being the zero point field, i will also agree that we are tossed around on it like corks. however. i will firmly stand that this does not eradicate free will.

so here's why this works. and it only works under the pretenses of a monist world - one in which there is only one substance that makes up reality, which is to say, mind substance and matter substance are really both one energy substance [and yes, in terms of being corks, monism requires Bohm's gnosis: in order to bobble on the surface of the implicate zero point field, our meat machines need be explicate... elsewise, gamush] . this eliminates the fragmented and confused amalgam of the Western worldview. which is fine with me, because on the quantum level the monist view is the only one that really makes sense anyway. matter is wavelike; it is waves of possibility which can be in two or more places at once as it emerges from the superposition of quantum possibilities.

quantum objects, then, exist as the superposition of these possibilities until our observation collapses them into an actuality, or a single localized event. this is to say that observation alone transforms existent possibility into an actual event - causation. this is how the mind exercises free will.

Newtonianly speaking (muddled laugh...), the theory of causation is an upward theory: causal interaction moves from the micro-level quantum particles up to the macro-level brain and consciousness. this ordains causal power to none other than interaction between quantum waves. the problem here [keeping in mind the monist idea that matter and consciousness are both comprised of wavelike possibilities] is that if there were only upward causation in the world, our persons, as nothing more than material possibility, would not feasibly be able to cause the collapse of other waves of possibility into actuality.

ergo, downward causation gives consciousness the power to choose between material waves of possibility provided by quantum objects.

there is, of course, a paradox here. downward causation is discontinuous... mostly in the sense that it is circular: the observer is essential for the collapse of possibility into actuality, however, the observer in itself is merely a possibility before the collapse has taken place. so... there's something that needs to be algorithmically defined in the distinction of a monist world...

nonetheless, monism is how i've rationalized free will. sorry Tesla.

we are all of he same electromagnetic field energy (which arises from zero point). it is the fuel on which everything physical - animate and inanimate - runs. in the body, the field moves through subatomic processes, molecular reactivity, tissue function and organ cooperation. as it moves... as it interacts with the meat machine, two things occur (obviously more than two things occur, but for the sake of coherency...). first, the matter itself is altered with each interaction - this is upward causation. as in the brain, when you learn something new the biochemical feedback cascade mechanisms in the synapses at work are changed such that the next time the learned issue is encountered, the brain responds with increased sensitivity, or biochemical familiarity. second, as the field moves through the meat machine, the wavelengths produced in the zero point field interact with each other to produce interference patterns which (along with Gibbs free energy which i haven't fully reasoned yet but have insisted is involved) produce consciousness. mind is, then, a byproduct.

this is why free will still works. if mind is an emergent property, then we can all be explicately run by the same electromagnetic field, but as it interacts differently over space/time with our differently sensitive meat machines, different minds are produced. and because mind then has some control over the guiding of subsequent energy through the machine - downward causation - there develops a level of free control over the ultimate behavior.

i'm still working this out... it's entirely fractured thought at this point.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


“Relation-R, unlike identity, is a relation we can bear to more than one person. If this is what is important, what matters to me in my survival is not whether “I” survive, but whether someone who is sufficiently R-related to me does. …Although others will not directly remember events because they happened to me, they may certainly know of events because they happened to me. To the extent that such connectedness, and not identity, is what matters to us in our survival, the second kind of connection may be nearly as good as the first.” – C. Korsgaard

Onely, relation-R is the Parfitian term for psychological connectedness and continuity... which is to say, cross-person connectedness of memory and character. Twoly, Korsgaard is suggesting that if the psychological continuity and connectedness between persons is what constitutes survival, then one person’s mere knowledge of an event happening to another person is enough to conclude that the second person is surviving within the first. When I wrote a paper on this a few years ago, my stance was to disagree with this notion of sharing relation-R in parallel because I decided that it was the nature of survival to occur in a chronological fashion. I argued that relation-R could not be shared in parallel because continuity between a person’s psychological state at one instant could only be continuous if it is shared with another person at a later instant.

My thought process at the time was this: my neighbor may know a great deal about me, but it cannot be said that I survive within my neighbor simply because they know a great deal about the nature of my present perceptions and decisions. There is no descendant association between us, therefore there is no continuity. If there is no continuity, then relation-R cannot be said to be shared between us because relation-R is dependent on both connectedness and continuity. Therefore, I cannot be said to survive in my neighbor because we cannot be sufficiently R-related. In this way, contrary to Korsgaard’s statement, knowing of the events that happen to someone is not sufficient to conclude the survival of the first person within the second; two persons must be both psychologically connected and continuous.

For example, something along the lines of... my neighbor may know a great deal about me, but it cannot be said that I survive within my neighbor simply because they know a great deal about my present perceptions and decisions. There is no descendant association between us, therefore there is no continuity of person because the nature of my person must be passed directly from my body to another through replication of the meat machine. Following then, that if there is no continuity relation-R cannot be said to be shared between us because relation-R is dependent on both connectedness and continuity. Therefore, I cannot be said to survive in my neighbor because we cannot be sufficiently R-related. In this way, contrary to Korsgaard’s statement, knowing of the events that happen to someone is not sufficient to conclude the survival of the first person within the second; two persons must be both psychologically connected and continuous.

Why I was convinced that psychological survival was a chronological endeavor... I don't remember. It's entirely possible that it was pulled straight out of the ass crack of neverland. Because of late, I'm almost convinced that any person can survive within any other. Perhaps the biologist in me... sees survival implicitly containing the notion of passing on pieces in the manner of replication. Survival is all about the nature of the replicator. Survival of a person seemed like it would have the same type of rule... but if all persons emerge from the filtering of energy through differently sensitive meat machines, that rule disappears. If our persons - our minds - are superimposed on zero point energy, this novel form of energy spread out over the entire concept of space/time then overlaps with the energy fields of all other persons.

This overlap would seem to have some level of implication for continuity in the Parfitian sense...

Parfit describes survival based on the continuity between being A and beings B1 and B2 (the products of, for example, the fission of being A's brain... or asexual reproduction if you prefer so think of persons as amoebas). That is to say, when being A splits into beings B1 and B2, being A ceases to exist because even though being A survives in both B1 and B2, it does not survive in whole and thus cannot maintain an identity. And if all persons are connected on the level of the zero point field, and the nature of the universe is to function under the laws of the holomovement (or something like it) it stands to reason that survival of being A within both B1 and B2 would be conceivable. If every element and waveform carries within it information about every other element and waveform, then the transfer of these from one omega 6 machine (yes, i have given the brain a term of endearment...) to another, if only in halves, seems as though it would carry enough information from one to the other to constitute a complete continuity between beings A, B1 and B2.

So even in the Korsgaardian profile, the implication is that even though identity probably isn't retained, the continuity that is there is sufficient to constitute survival: "although others will not directly remember events because they happened to me, they may certainly know of events because they happened to me."

Alright Rambler McGee, point of order.

So. I'm airing on the side of relation-R being sufficiently shared such that it is possible for any person to survive in any other. In what capacity, I'm not yet decided (surprise!?). However, it does begin to hold implications for the nature of recurring or past life experiences. Do our persons survive through fission (death) and fusion (reproduction) to retain continuity across lines of space/time? In denial of the Cartesian Order, probably. But do persons survive through parallel continuity to other people in the immediate space/time schema? I'm still not convinced. I still have some grounding in the energy being passed through the meat machine in a more chronological fashion. My neighbor's person isn't necessarily a shared part of my person just because we know some things about each other's physical lives. On the other hand, I do fancy the notion of parallel connectedness in terms of influencing energy flow, or "sending good vibes," or what have you... just not in terms of survival of character identity.