"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Cochlea as a Model of Metastatic Shockwave

The elegant breakthrough recently announced that the helical function of the cochlea determines the range of pitch of hearing has breathtaking and far ranging implications.

This directly bears upon my theme here in these postings from their beginnings. It is of no small import that it was Riemann who both identified the shockwave as the form of negative curvature (the "Mach cone" seen over time) induced when the pressure wave exceeds the capacity of the medium to transport it AND further carried out research into the fundamental design of the human hearing apparatus as consistent with his view of the positive and negative curvature in his "Hypothesis" dissertation. In fact, it is the point of departure with which he closed that thesis, i.e. that the forms of curvature among n dimensional manifolds are not merely mathematical relics, but are in reality physically causal.

What we have in the case of the cochlea is precisely such physical causality. Firstly, this is an instance of what Riemann and collaborators referred to as "retarded potential." The ever present helical chiral form across all levels of the biological domain is what Leibniz would have characterized as sufficient reason of a living monad. The fact that sound can "bunch up" because of the number of turnings of the helix is indeed the equivalent of the principle of a shock-front of retarded potential of the electromagnetic spectrum as a metastasis. This is further the embedded principle that inheres in DNA and the chirality of all living things. It is the so called autowave or pacemaker wave form and the energetic mechanics of ATPases.

Furthermore, the development of a succession of biotic speciation occurs precisely as the biophysical domain is no longer able to "carry" or sustain the energy of the system with the lower species up to that point. The physical continuum (as opposed to the merely numerical) "heals" the rift caused by creation of new life forms of a higher ordering. (This is the idea of higher "power" in the sense of Cantor's transfinites.)

When the human mind "creates" via technological innovation it is precisely as a sort of micro-cosmical recapitulation (in Cusa's sense)of this macro-cosmical potential. That is, the previous technological domain had to be superseded by the introduction of new resource in order for the continuous sustaining of society. Thus we see not only this model of metastatic shockwave as invariant across all biophysical levels of organization, but as the underlying motive of the living and thinking domains, or what Vernadsky called the noospere.

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