The Human Mind as Models and Moments | Herb Mertz

The Human Mind as Models and Moments

Herb Mertz

To expand the boundaries of science, we must call into question the completeness of the basic methodology used today in scientific research. The current methodology largely accounts for only one of the two fundamental classes of natural phenomena. It currently addresses equilibrium states of nature and trends toward these equilibrium states. This approach allows for the development of reliable mechanisms and technologies stemming from physical phenomena. But it largely fails to address is the individual actions of complex systems that move away from equilibrium, such as Prigogine’s dissipative structures (like hurricanes and Benard cells) and much biological activity including the time-evolution of brain states and mind states.

These two classes of phenomena—movements toward equilibrium and movements away from it—can be given the respective names, models and moments. Models describe of average values in nature that represent reproducible and reliable phenomena. It is what we mean when we say that science creates models. Moments on the other hand are individual events that must be looked at individually in both time and space. Moments never occur or reproduce in exactly the same way, and their trend values are uncertain and outcomes probabilistic. The reticence of science to embrace the class of phenomena is because their behaviors are inherently unpredictable (by definition), and thus not amenable to normal modeling. Human minds, however, can be shown to exhibit both model and moment behavior, and unless we examine both we cannot fully understand human activity. Further, and most important here, this framework allows us to begin understanding the nature and character of anomalous events produced by the human mind.

In this presentation, I show how the structure of mind can be set in the above framework so as to explain results seen in random event generator (REG) studies. In my own long-term use of the REG, I have been able to watch my own mind as it engages in real-time experience, and develop a model of the structure of these activities. That is, rather than model the nature of moment events directly—which cannot be done as their outcomes are inherently uncertain—this process models the structure that underlies their activity.

Bio: Herb Mertz is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was a long-time associate of the PEAR lab in Princeton, and co-founder of Psyleron, Inc., a company that make REG-based devices for research and personal exploration of the PK effect.

Recorded at the Society for Scientific Exploration conference at Yale University, 2017

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Published on December 18, 2018