Writing Aids Understanding

Many times we encounter knowledge that is alien to our brain, hence, difficult to understand. In this article, I shared how writing has helped me in understanding such alien knowledge.

Have you read an article or a book before and can’t seem to make sense of it because you couldn’t understand what the article or book was saying? Well I’ve a lot of times.

Recently, I read another one of such article “The Universe May Be Conscious, Says Prominent Scientist”. I’ve never given consciousness a thought before that day and neither did it cross my mind to think of the universe as a conscious entity. So I struggled with fully grasping the full picture of the article.

But since I am always interested in new things, and I’ve learned a couple of things about how to learn, I chose to experiment with something new, writing down my understanding of the article. Following is what I wrote about conciousness and the universe.

The article wass about quantum physics but of course it had to pick lessons from religion and neuroscience. I didn’t understand the article but I wondered how this is the mystery some people spend their life on to uncover.

Of course, some others have been preoccupied with such quest in the past as well, and the benefit of their quest is what became our world today.

God is a scientist and seeing Him from such prism has only helped me to appreciate what marvel He is more.

He wrapped up all the secret of the world under science and wants us to uncover them.

The glory of God is to hide things and our glory is to unhide them. Science alone has helped us over the Millennia to reveal our glory.

When I said science, I do not just mean Physics and Chemistry but all things in the human endeavour that lends itself to scientific process.

Including Sociology, Philosophy and many things that unhide mysteries.

Now, about the article I do not fully understand, conciousness was the central point of the article. And the subject of conciousness is important owing to the vast implication that it has.

To start with, there’s no single unifying theory yet that can explain where conciousness comes from. Prominent explanations come from Materialism, Mind-Body dualism and Panpsychism. They all offer explanations of the origin of consiousness with varying limitations.

But what is consciousness?

I think it’s best seen as awareness. In Buddhism for instance, consciousness is the only thing that exists.

Zen koan is famous for asking “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” One must come to the realization that everything we experience is filtered through and interpreted by our mind. Without it, the universe doesn’t exist at all or at least, not without some sort of consciousness observing it.

Will the universe exist if we are not aware of it? Did the tree make a sound if there’s no ear to hear the sound? It explains why Bhudism is of the opinion that conciousness is the only thing that exists. But where conciousness comes from, no one knows yet.

However, knowing it might get us closer to building an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Our computers today are brilliant than us but they are not concious of their existence. How they can become concious remains a puzzle.

Obviously, you need to separate intelligence from consiousness as the machine analogy stated above made clear. Robots are intelligent, and our programs are only getting ever more intelligent but they aren’t concious (yet).

When OpenAI released GPT-3 two months ago, it took the world by storm with its level of intelligence but no one could care about weather it’s awareness of its environment. Those are things outside of their current realm. But how can we crack this and what will it mean if indeed the universe is concious? Can we build conciousness out of materials?

After writing that as my understanding of the article, I must confess my understanding of the subject of discuss increased. The reason for that is not far fetched, the art of writing is the art of thinking, writing forces you to make connections out of the seemingly unconnected, it forces you to think about process and compels you to find answers to some questions you didn’t know you have but we’re revealed during the writing process.

Take for instance, when I was writing that summary, I got to the point where I asked myslef what exactly is conciousness? I defined it as awareness in my mind but unconvinced, I did a quick Google search and it was confirmed. Now I can confidently affirm my definitionof conciousness. The brsins learns that and it gives it room to create more connection between the familar and unfamiliar.

If I didn’t write down my understanding of the article, it can almost be guaranteed that I won’t remember anything about the article today. But writing it down probably means I won’t forget about it ever again.

There are a lot of advantages to writing and the above is just a tip of an iceberg. Next time when you confront something difficult to understand, read it well and d try to writedown your understanding of such a thing. You will notice that what you understand from it will be clear and what you don’t will spring up as questions which you can now further investigate.

Cheers to taking up that habit.

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