Welcome to Cogni-Vision!
Cogni-VisionTM is a way to perceive reality based on scientific knowledge. Go ahead, contemplate the essence of your existence after a mind-numbing day.
This website is an ongoing project that is constantly being refined and augmented. The science presented is an eclectic mix of basic and well-established facts selected from the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, and neurology. Other material is drawn from epistemology, philosophy, psychology, and even linguistics. Metaphysical questions are central, but there is little focus on theology.
Every topic revolves around the same theme: perception of reality. Content is separated into four foundational divisions: The first division deals with the physical world; specifically, space-time and energy-matter. The second addresses the interface between consciousness and the external world. The third tackles a few philosophical issues including the nature of thought. The fourth endeavors to synthesize a view of reality based on material presented in the first three divisions.
The fifth division – News – is just for fun. Anything could happen. Sinkholes can open. Groundhogs can talk.
Space-time and energy-matter
This division focuses on the physical world both as a snapshot and over time. Specifically, we paint a high-level picture of how to think about the cosmos – from the smallest scale of subatomic particles to the largest features of the universe as a whole.
Much of the material may stimulate vague recollections of high school and undergraduate science classes. The value added is that the content is selected to facilitate constructing a mental image of the entirety of the physical realm. As we go about our day-to-day lives, we often forget the larger context – that humans are suspended roughly halfway between micro particles and macro galactic structures. Awareness of this context forms a foundation for perceptive thinking.
|Cosmological space||Energy transformations|
|Quantum space||Energy and power|
|Inflation of space||Energy and the cosmos|
|Malleable space||Energy and mass|
|Particles and Forces||Time|
|Fermions and Bosons||Relative time|
|Fermions: Matter||Arrow of time|
|Bosons: Force carriers||Psychological time|
|Higgs Boson||Cosmological time|
|Big Bang||How small?|
|Cosmos before Earth||How big?|
|Earth before life||How long ago?|
|Earth with life||How many?|
|Era of primates|
|Hominids and humans|
|Future of the cosmos|
Life and consciousness
This division focuses on the physical description of life and the nature of the brain-consciousness interface. It also examines the role played by sensory perception in reconstructing a mental image of the physical world.
The evolution of life and self-consciousness remains an astounding event as awe-inspiring as the existence of the universe itself. Major events and timeframes are highlighted. Together they provide a basic framework for thinking about the source and current state of life. Possible sources of life are described. The concept of emergence is central to the mystery of how molecules could combine to create an experience of consciousness and self.
|DNA molecule||Reptile brain|
|Source of life|
|Electromagnetic spectrum||Split brain|
|Tricks of the eye||Reductionism and emergence|
|Sound and smell||Levels of consciousness|
|Taste and touch||Experience of consciousness|
Thought patterns and mathematics
This division switches focus from the physical world to the world of thought.
Daily living tends to fill our mind with minute-by-minute noise and clutter. However, for many people larger questions of philosophy and metaphysics lurk just below the surface. In solitary moments, the questions arise: “How do I know what I know? Is there an actual world ‘out there’, or only my internal experience of a world? Why do I exist? Why is there anything at all?”
Most of us find such questions disquieting. We reach for our iPhone™ or TV remote. We answer tritely: “Why waste time thinking about such things? Nobody knows the answer.” Or we seek out a guru with a quick-and-easy ideology or religion. Or we let the answers evolve as an unstructured byproduct of the haphazard events that befall us in our day-to-day life. A few of us even undertake a lifelong quest to answer the unanswerable.
|Symbols||Sources of knowledge|
|Logic||Theories of perception|
Perception of reality
This division is an attempt to synthesize information presented previously to form a coherent view of reality. From whatever view of reality we adopt naturally flows implications of meaning, ethics, and what is worthwhile to occupy our time.
Lurking in the back of our mind is the knowledge that some day we will die. This nagging issue leads to all kinds of curious visions: immortality, life after death, reincarnation, and so on. Wishful fantasy jimmied into the evidence of reality does not the truth make.
The human tragedy is that we must all live with greater or lesser degrees of uncertainty. Ultimately, we can only be sure that we are here – now. So we might as well try to make the best of it for both ourselves and for our fellow travellers.
|Essence of reality||Process of projection|
|Free will||Amplification and expansion|
|Ethics||Mechanisms of projection|
|Meaning||Facilitators of projection|
|Aging and death|
|Entanglement||Flow and bend|
|Quantum enigma||Objectify self|
|Uncertainty principle||Escape self-centricity|
|Dark energy and dark matter||Happiness|
Beaver Notch Examiner™
Deep contemplation of the nature of reality and the essence of existence is fraught with peril. It can precipitate too much stress. We need a stress break.
Time to read the news. Not just any news. That could exacerbate the existential angst of being. No, we need to read the Beaver Notch Examiner™ – the digital newspaper of the Now; the newspaper that evolves but never goes out of date; the newspaper that never ends up in the bottom of your birdcage; the newspaper that defies the illusion of time; the newspaper that exists in a parallel universe.
|Arts and entertainment||Classifieds|
|Critic's corner||Commercial services|
|Writer's realm||Local events|
|Health and Science|