Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Possible vs Plausible vs Probable - THE PYRAMID OF TRUTH


The purpose of this presentation is to differentiate the various degrees of truth in the meaning of the words Possible, Plausible, and Probable, when used in a Scientific context.  In the common use of these words, in laymen terms, these words are used interchangeably, however, in the scientific context, each of these words have a distinct meaning and implication when it comes to determining truth and accuracy.  Being able to distinguish the difference between Possible, Plausible, and Probable empowers one to be able to identify weak arguments containing lesser degrees of truth, and also empowers one to be able to construct stronger arguments with higher degrees of truth. This presentation builds on concepts presented in one of my earlier videos entitled “9 Types of Reason” which serves as a prerequisite.

Above is the pyramid of truth.  The gold capstone on the top of the pyramid represents “The Truth” – that is information that is confirmed, factual, accurate, and 100% certain.  Ideally, this is what we want to obtain.  On the way to the truth at the top of the Pyramid however, we have to pass through the three layers in respective order of, Possible, Plausible, and Probable.  In short, Possible is what can be true or has the potential of being true.  Plausible is truth determined by way of valid logic and reason, and Probable is what is most likely to be true.

But, before we discuss the first of three layers, we have to discuss what the sand represents.  The sand represents what is impossible.  That is, information that is false, fallacious, phony, and not true.  The sand represents information or material that we cannot build with.  We use Deductive reasoning, with the capability condition, to separate what is Possible from what is impossible in order to build and construction the first layer of the Pyramid.  

Possible:
The first layer of the pyramid, colored in red, represents information, premises, ideas, or concepts that are Possible.  That is, information that has:
  • potential to be true,
  • it may or may not be true, (various degrees of certainty)
  • it obeys the laws of physics
  • it exists in the “Realm of Possibility”, within the limits of ability or reality
  • there must not be any contradictory proven facts
  • there is no guarantee that it is true
  • Can be true, capable of being true 
It is important to note that just because something is possible, i.e. can happen, doesn’t mean it will happen.  Just because something is possible to be true, or can be true, does not mean that it is true.  When someone is arguing for the mere possibility of something, you will hear them saying things like this CAN happen, or that CAN happen, or this CAN be true, or that CAN be true.  Possibility arguments are the weakest of arguments.  Possibility arguments are only one step above impossibility or falsehood.  There are almost an infinite number of Possibilities that can be imagined for any given subject.  As humans, we have neither the time nor energy to weigh and consider every single thing that has the mere “Possibility” to be true, it is indeed overwhelming, thus we move to the next layer which is Plausibility.

Plausible:
The second layer of the pyramid, colored in black, represents information, premises, ideas, or concepts that are Plausible.  The word “Plausible” in the context of scientific terminology means, logical and reasonable.  From the infinite number of Possibilities, we use logic and reason to determine which piece of information, idea, concept, or premise is Plausible – that is, most reasonable.  Different forms of Reason are used to determine Plausibility, including:
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Abductive Reasoning
  • Causal Reasoning
  • Practical Reasoning
Plausibility means you can demonstrate without any logical fallacies that there is valid reason that something is true.  Everything determined as Plausible is also Possible, but not everything Possible is Plausible.  Plausibility can be determined by way of reason before (a priori) specific data and evidence is collected. This is related to the old aphorism; “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.  It is true that the absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence; that is to say, just because there is no empirical proof of something, does not mean that empirical proof does not exist.  However, until information that is proven by reason has empirical evidence, then Plausibility is the best qualification that can be given in the “absence of evidence”.  Ideally, you want evidence, facts, and data to support your Plausible argument, and when unbiasedly collecting evidence and data, in most cases, you will find evidence in support of, and refuting your idea.  Which brings us to the next layer which is Probability.

Probable:
The third layer of the pyramid colored with the green to yellow gradient, on our way to the truth, represents information, premises, ideas, or concepts that are Probable.  After collecting evidence and data (a posteriori) for your Plausible ideas, you will come across information that supports your idea, and you will come across information which refutes your idea.  It is important to note, that Pseudoscience is the process of collecting only the information that supports your idea and ignoring the information that refutes your idea.  When Scientists collect data, there will be some information that supports their plausible ideas, and some information that refutes their plausible ideas.  Everything Probable must also be Plausible, but not everything that is Plausible is also Probable.  Probability is determined by way of Statistical Reasoning when weighing the supporting evidence versus the refuting evidence.  The word “Probable” in the context of scientific terminology means something that is most likely, a strong chance, or statistically significant.  When the evidence supporting an idea is greater than the evidence refuting an idea, in a ratio of greater than 50%, then it is fair to say that the argument is Probable, i.e. most likely to be true.  However, within Probability, there are varying degrees of strength from greater than 50% to 99.9%.  You have to admit that something that is 75% likely to be true is better than something that is only 51% likely to be true, and something 85% likely to be true is better than something that is 75% likely to be true, and so on.  When you get to the level of 90%, 95%, and 99% probable, then you are in the range of what is called Statistically Significant, where there may be some refuting evidence, but it is highly likely that the argument is true.  When people try to debate with information that is true by way of Probability, i.e. highly likely or most Probable, they attempt to find the small amount of information in the minority that refutes the concept and ignore the overwhelming majority of information that supports the concept.  And again we reiterate, choosing to accept the minority of evidence for a Probably argument and ignoring the majority of evidence for a probable argument is the methodology of Pseudoscience and not Science.  For the overwhelming majority of ideas and concepts, there is information confirming and refuting the idea, and being able to say something is most likely, most probable, or statistically significant is the best qualification that can be given to the majority of information. 

For a few concepts, ideas, or information that are deemed 100% probable, i.e. 100% certain and confirmed, with no refuting evidence, then these are the ideas, concepts, and points of information that make it to the gold capstone of our pyramid and can be deemed “THE TRUTH”!

In summary:
  1. Possible = can be true, potential of being true
  2. Plausible = true determined by valid logic and reason
  3. Probable = most likely to be true
These are the 3 steps on the road to truth, which separate Truth from Falsehood

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

All-Girls Robotic Team From Ghana Wins World Robofest Championship

Source: https://www.ebony.com/news/race-culture/girls-robotic-team-ghana-wins-world-robofest-championship/
https://face2faceafrica.com/article/all-girls-robotics-team-from-ghana-wins-world-robofest-championship-in-the-u-s

ACROBOT, an all-girls robotics team from Ghana, won the 2019 World Robofest Championship, “a festival of competitions with autonomous robots,” according to its website. The contest took place at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in Southfield, Michigan, from May 16 to 18 2019.

According to the pan-African media company Face 2 Face Africa, the team is comprised of nine girls from the Methodist Girls’ High School in the eastern region of the West African country.

ACROBOT beat out teams from Mexico, the United States, Egypt, South Korea, South Africa, and dozens of others in all 10 categories.  The categories include the Game (Complete robotic missions), Exhibition (Show off projects), Vision Centric Challenge (Develop robots to solve problems using cameras), Unknown Mission Challenge (Surprise missions), RoboArts (Robotics music, dance and arts competition), BottleSumo (Pushing bottle or opponents off a table), RoboParade (Parade of robots), Camps, Carnival and WISER, a conference on STEM education through robotics.  ACROBOT also successfully built a robot and used the binary number given during the competition to have it organize boxes.

The U.S. Embassy of Ghana congratulated the girls for winning in a tweet posted on May 21. “Congratulations to Team ACROBOT. . .We are proud to partner with the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation to promote STEM education,” it wrote under a photo of the team.

The girls’ team was not the only competitors from Ghana; there was also a boys’ collective called Team Cosmic Intellect that was a participant of the contest’s junior division. The boys’ team came in sixth place among the 52 teams competing in Robofest.





The two teams qualified from the national championship level called the Robotics Inspired Science Education (RISE) competition organized by the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation in January. They beat several teams before qualifying for the World Robofest Championship.

 

The Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation was founded by Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, the Ghanaian robotics engineer at NASA and the chief engineer and technical group leader for the mobility and manipulation group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is one of the lead engineers behind NASA’s Mars Rover and InSight projects.

Robofest has been organized since 1999 to offer students the opportunity to master principles of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) as well as Computer Science (CS), communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and problem solving skills while designing, constructing, and programming robots.

Since Robofest started, over 25,000 students have competed from 14 U.S. States, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, England, France, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Lebanon, Macau, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea. The teams compete in the junior, senior and college divisions.

All registered participants received medals and personalized certificates while winners of qualifying and championship rounds received trophies.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

This 26-year-old Nigerian is now the highest paid robotics engineer in the world


Source: https://face2faceafrica.com/article/this-26-year-old-nigerian-is-now-the-highest-paid-robotics-engineer-in-the-world

A 26-year-old Nigerian, credited for building the world’s first gaming robot, has just become the highest paid in the field of Robotic engineering.  Silas Adekunle achieved this feat after signing a new deal with the world’s reputable software manufacturers, Apple Inc.  The robotics engineer was also named as “Someone to Watch in 2018” by the Black Hedge Fund Group, according to reports by thebossnewspapers.com.

Adekunle is currently the founder and CEO of Reach Robotics, a company developing the world’s first gaming robots.  He also recently graduated with a 1st class degree and has four years’ background in robotics.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Adekunle studied in Nigeria before relocating to the UK as a teenager.
After completing his secondary school education, he proceeded to the University of the West of England where he graduated with a first class graduate in Robotics.

In 2013, he founded Reach Robotics and developed a lot of experience on robotics within a space of four years.  Adekunle was also a team leader of Robotics In Schools program, a program which encourages and pays attention to students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The program encouraged him to develop robotics to make education more entertaining for STEM students.  In 2017, MekaMon, he released the world’s first gaming robot, with the special ability to customize the gaming bot to perform personalized functions.

The initial launch of Mekamon sold 500 bots, generating $7.5 million, according to The Guardian.
Following this feat, Adekunle received support from various organizations including London Venture Partners ($10 million) and in the same year, his company, Reach Robotics signed a deal with Apple securing exclusive sales in Apple stores.

“Impressed by the quality of his robots and their ability to show emotion with subtly-calibrated movements, Apple priced his four-legged “battle-bots” at $300 and has put them in nearly all of its stores in the United States and Britain.

“Early customers skew towards male techies but a growing number of parents are buying the robots for their children to get them interested in STEM, Adekunle told Forbes in an interview this year.
The young entrepreneur who once indicated that the secrets to his success are “balance, shared ideas, time management and being oneself”, was recently listed in the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe: Technology.

Adekunle, who has taken over the world with his inventiveness, is currently located at the Bristol Robotics Lab which is said to be the best robotics research center in the UK.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

256 Odù Ifá in Binary



There are sixteen major books in Odu Ifá literary corpus. When combined there are total of 256 Odu (a collection of sixteen, each of which has sixteen alternatives) believed to reference all situations, circumstances, actions and consequences in life based on the uncountable ese (poetic tutorials) relative to the 256 Odu coding.  The 256 Odu Ifá are:

1. Ogbe Ogbe
2. Oyeku Oyeku
3. Iwori Iwori
4. Odio Odio
5. Irosun Irosun
6. Owonrin Owonrin
7. Obara Obara
8. Okanran Okanran
9. Ogunda Ogunda
10. Osa Osa
11. Ika Ika
12. Oturuopon Oturuopon
13. Otura Otura
14. Irete Irete
15. Ose Ose
16. Ofun Ofun
17. Ogbe Oyeku
18. Ogbe Iwori
19. Ogbe Odio
20. Ogbe Irosun
21. Ogbe Owonrin
22. Ogbe Obara
23. Ogbe Okanran
24. Ogbe Ogunda
25. Ogbe Osa
26. Ogbe Ika
27. Ogbe Oturuopon
28. Ogbe Otura
29. Ogbe Irete
30. Ogbe Ose
31. Ogbe Ofun
32. Oyeku Ogbe
33. Oyeku Iwori
34. Oyeku Odio
35. Oyeku Irosun
36. Oyeku Owonrin
37. Oyeku Obara
38. Oyeku Okanran
39. Oyeku Ogunda
40. Oyeku Osa
41. Oyeku Ika
42. Oyeku Oturuopon
43. Oyeku Otura
44. Oyeku Irete
45. Oyeku Ose
46. Oyeku Ofun
47. Iwori Ogbe
48. Iwori Oyeku
49. Iwori Odio
50. Iwori Irosun
51. Iwori Owonrin
52. Iwori Obara
53. Iwori Okanran
54. Iwori Ogunda
55. Iwori Osa
56. Iwori Ika
57. Iwori Oturuopon
58. Iwori Otura
59. Iwori Irete
60. Iwori Ose
61. Iwori Ofun
62. Odio Ogbe
63. Odio Oyeku
64. Odio Iwori
65. Odio Irosun
66. Odio Owonrin
67. Odio Obara
68. Odio Okanran
69. Odio Ogunda
70. Odio Osa
71. Odio Ika
72. Odio Oturuopon
73. Odio Otura
74. Odio Irete
75. Odio Ose
76. Odio Ofun
77. Irosun Ogbe
78. Irosun Oyeku
79. Irosun Iwori
80. Irosun Odio
81. Irosun Owonrin
82. Irosun Obara
83. Irosun Okanran
84. Irosun Ogunda
85. Irosun Osa
86. Irosun Ika
87. Irosun Oturuopon
88. Irosun Otura
89. Irosun Irete
90. Irosun Ose
91. Irosun Ofun
92. Owonrin Ogbe
93. Owonrin Oyeku
94. Owonrin Iwori
95. Owonrin Odio
96. Owonrin Irosun
97. Owonrin Obara
98. Owonrin Okanran
99. Owonrin Ogunda
100. Owonrin Osa
101. Owonrin Ika
102. Owonrin Oturuopon
103. Owonrin Otura
104. Owonrin Irete
105. Owonrin Ose
106. Owonrin Ofun
107. Obara Ogbe
108. Obara Oyeku
109. Obara Iwori
110. Obara Odio
111. Obara Irosun
112. Obara Owonrin
113. Obara Okanran
114. Obara Ogunda
115. Obara Osa
116. Obara Ika
117. Obara Oturuopon
118. Obara Otura
119. Obara Irete
120. Obara Ose
121. Obara Ofun
122. Okanran Ogbe
123. Okanran Oyeku
124. Okanran Iwori
125. Okanran Odio
126. Okanran Irosun
127. Okanran Owonrin
128. Okanran Obara
129. Okanran Ogunda
130. Okanran Osa
131. Okanran Ika
132. Okanran Oturuopon
133. Okanran Otura
134. Okanran Irete
135. Okanran Ose
136. Okanran Ofun
137. Ogunda Ogbe
138. Ogunda Oyeku
139. Ogunda Iwori
140. Ogunda Odio
141. Ogunda Irosun
142. Ogunda Owonrin
143. Ogunda Obara
144. Ogunda Okanran
145. Ogunda Osa
146. Ogunda Ika
147. Ogunda Oturuopon
148. Ogunda Otura
149. Ogunda Irete
150. Ogunda Ose
151. Ogunda Ofun
152. Osa Ogbe
153. Osa Oyeku
154. Osa Iwori
155. Osa Odio
156. Osa Irosun
157. Osa Owonrin
158. Osa Obara
159. Osa Okanran
160. Osa Ogunda
161. Osa Ika
162. Osa Oturuopon
163. Osa Otura
164. Osa Irete
165. Osa Ose
166. Osa Ofun
167. Ika Ogbe
168. Ika Oyeku
169. Ika Iwori
170. Ika Odio
171. Ika Irosun
172. Ika Owonrin
173. Ika Obara
174. Ika Okanran
175. Ika Ogunda
176. Ika Osa
177. Ika Oturuopon
178. Ika Otura
179. Ika Irete
180. Ika Ose
181. Ika Ofun
182. Oturuopon Ogbe
183. Oturuopon Oyeku
184. Oturuopon Iwori
185. Oturuopon Odio
186. Oturuopon Irosun
187. Oturuopon Owonrin
188. Oturuopon Obara
189. Oturuopon Okanran
190. Oturuopon Ogunda
191. Oturuopon Osa
192. Oturuopon Ika
193. Oturuopon Otura
194. Oturuopon Irete
195. Oturuopon Ose
196. Oturuopon Ofun
197. Otura Ogbe
198. Otura Oyeku
199. Otura Iwori
200. Otura Odio
201. Otura Irosun
202. Otura Owonrin
203. Otura Obara
204. Otura Okanran
205. Otura Ogunda
206. Otura Osa
207. Otura Ika
208. Otura Oturuopon
209. Otura Irete
210. Otura Ose
211. Otura Ofun
212. Irete Ogbe
213. Irete Oyeku
214. Irete Iwori
215. Irete Odio
216. Irete Irosun
217. Irete Owonrin
218. Irete Obara
219. Irete Okanran
220. Irete Ogunda
221. Irete Osa
222. Irete Ika
223. Irete Oturuopon
224. Irete Otura
225. Irete Ose
226. Irete Ofun
227. Ose Ogbe
228. Ose Oyeku
229. Ose Iwori
230. Ose Odio
231. Ose Irosun
232. Ose Owonrin
233. Ose Obara
234. Ose Okanran
235. Ose Ogunda
236. Ose Osa
237. Ose Ika
238. Ose Oturuopon
239. Ose Otura
240. Ose Irete
241. Ose Ofun
242. Ofun Ogbe
243. Ofun Oyeku
244. Ofun Iwori
245. Ofun Odio
246. Ofun Irosun
247. Ofun Owonrin
248. Ofun Obara
249. Ofun Okanran
250. Ofun Ogunda
251. Ofun Osa
252. Ofun Ika
253. Ofun Oturuopon
254. Ofun Otura
255. Ofun Irete
256. Ofun Ose

Monday, September 4, 2017

Seshat, the African Math Goddess, and the Stretching the Cord Ritual


Seshat is the ancient African Egyptian goddess of knowledge, wisdom, and writing.  She is the matron deity over seven scientific professions including mathematics, accounting, architecture, astronomy, building, surveying, and time keeping.

The name Seshat means “she who is the scribe”, and she held many titles in antiquity including:
The Mistress of the Library
The Mistress of the House of Books
The Head of the Mansion of Records
Mistress of the House of Architects
Lady of the Builders
Foremost of the Builders
Sefekhet-Abuy, She who wears the 7 horns
She who reckons life-time
The Lady of Years
The Lady of Fate
The Original One, Who Originated Writing at the Beginning
She who opens the doors of heaven

Seshat is depicted as a woman wearing a leopard skin dress, which is believed to represent the starry sky.  In some astronomical ceilings, Seshat is present as the personification of the star Sirius. Seshat’s headdress, which also was the hieroglyph for her name, was a seven-pointed emblem beneath an arch.  There are many speculations and interpretations about what Seshat’s symbol actually is.  Some believe it is a magic wand.  Some believe it is flower or plant with seven leaves, beneath a pair of inverted bull’s horns.  And. Some believe it is a seven-pointed star beneath an inverted crescent moon.  While all of these interpretations view Seshat’s symbol as a mere ornamental fetish, there is one interpretation of Seshat’s symbol which views it as a scientific instrument which was used in one of Seshat’s most important and practical functions, the “stretching of the cord” foundation ritual.

The Stretching of the cord foundation ceremony was performed prior to the construction of any building, temple, or pyramid in Ancient Kemet.  The cord that was stretched was the mason’s line, which was used to measure out the dimensions of the building and align the building with stars and points of the compass.  The stretching of the cord ceremony is mentioned on the Palermo Stone to have been performed as early as the 1st Dynasty by the Pharaoh Den, and Seshat has been depicted as part of the ceremony as early as the 2nd Dynasty, with the Pharaoh Khasekhemwy, father of the Pharaoh Djoser.  Since then, Seshat has been depicted as part of the stretching of the cord ceremony for many Pharaohs through the thousands of years of the long storied history of Ancient Egypt.  Although Seshat had no temple of her own, she was honored and revered at the creation of every temple, pyramid, and building in Ancient Egypt.

One interpretation of Seshat’s symbol is that it was used as a surveying tool during the stretching of the cord ceremony to mark the position of the axis and four corners of the future temple.  The reigning pharaoh and a priestess personifying Seshat, would proceed to the future building site, each with a golden mallet and a stake connected by a cord to another stake. Seshat would drive her stake home at the previously prepared spot, and the Pharoah directed his gaze to the constellation of Ursa Major "Great Bear". After aligning the stars as seen through the visor formed by Seshat's headdress, he would raise his mallet and drove the stake into the ground, thus marking the position of the axis of the future temple.  Once the observation of the stars had been made, the instrument would directly give the “four corners” of the temple

This is attested to by similar passages like the following, which have accompanied images of the pharaoh and Sheshat on many temple walls:
"I hold the stake. I grasp the handle of the hammer.  I grip the measuring cord with Seshat. I turn my eyes to the movements of the stars. I fix my sight on Meskhet(yu) [the Bull´s thigh, the Great Bear, the Big Dipper]. I count off time, I watch the clock, I establish the four corners of your temple"

When people admire the incredible accuracy that the Ancient Egyptians displayed in laying the foundations and orienting their buildings, it must be emphasized that the Ancient Egyptians accredited the math goddess Seshat for this accuracy.

http://www.iac.es/proyecto/arqueoastronomia/media/Belmonte_Shaltout_Chapter_7.pdf 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

African Pygmy Gods



One fascinating, yet little known fact, about the history of humanity, is that our origin, inception, progression, and proliferation, was dependent on the African Pygmy.

Millenniums ago, Before the first Dynasty of Ancient Kemet, Before the construction of the Great Pyramids and Sphinx, In a time reaching back to the Pre-dynastic period, and even earlier, going back countless ages into the Neolithic era, the stone age, and even further back to the very dawn of Humanity, the African Pygmy tribes were appointed by Nature to reign as vicegerents over the Planet Earth.

Scientific genetic studies have shown that the African Pygmy tribes have the oldest living DNA on planet earth. Namely, the San, Twa, Mbuti, Aka, and Bayaka tribes of Southern and Central Africa.  Moreover, as it is discussed in the book “The Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man” by Albert Churchward, the Africoid Pyrmies travelled all over the planet.  The pygmy tribes called “Negrito”, namely the Ati, Andamanese, Seman, Maniq, Aeta, and Koro-pok-guru, were the progenitors of the people in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, India, and Japan.  The Africoid Pygmy tribes were also sailors and navigators who traveled to the islands of New Guinea and Australia as the predecessors of people in that region.  Back on the African continent, the Dogon tribe of Mali tell stories of small red-skinned pygmies called Tellem, who were the first to live and settle in the area.  The Tellem pygmy tribe built their dwellings high up on the sides of cliffs and on the tops of mountains, and the remains can still be seen to this day.  It is believed by the Dogon tribe that the Tellem must have been “aero-pygmies” gifted with the ability to fly in order to reach their dwellings built high up on the cliffs and mountains.

What we can surmise about the philosophy of the African Pygmies is that it was a philosophy which held a deep and profound respect for Nature.  As a means to ensure their survival, the African Pygmies would have to observe nature in order to gain knowledge of nature, understand nature, and then make practical use of the nature knowledge for their survival and well-being.  Based on this process, the Nature philosophy of the African Pygmy could be considered a spiritual Science.  The African Pygmies had the ability to craft and create any tool or technology they needed for their survival and well-being.

Oral tradition amongst the Pygmy tribes of the Congo says that in Ancient Times, the Pygmies became so Highly Technologically advanced that they almost destroyed the entire forest, but the Pygmies realized they needed the forest to survive, so they decided that the highest form of technology, the highest form of wisdom, would be to learn how to live in tune with nature and the forest, and thus, they have lived what modern people see as a primitive life in the forest by choice ever since.  They say “Our society will die if the forest dies”.

When the Anthropology of Religious Evolution and Development is studied, we find that Animism was the first and earliest spiritual system in the world.  In many Animist traditions, the Ancestors are honored and revered, and as Animism gave way to Polytheism, the Ancestors also became deified.  And thus, the progression from African Pygmy Ancestors, to African Pygmy Gods.

African Pygmies were present in Kemet, or Ancient Egypt, since the very beginning of the First Dynasty as can be seen on Narmer’s palette.  In the Ancient Egyptian Language Medu Neter, the word for Pygmy or Dwarf was Deneg.  African Pygmies, or Deneg, were also noblemen, craftsmen, and entertainers in Ancient Kemetic culture as is evident from the statues of Khnumhotep from the 5th Dynasty, and Seneb, a court official who lived during the 6th Dynasty.  There were also several Ancient Kemetic deities or Neter who were Deneg, Pygmy Dwarves.  The Ancient Egyptian deity Bes was also a Nubian deity, and was seen as a protector of households, mothers, and children.  The Ancient Egyptian Neter Ptah was a deity of creation, craftsmen, and technology.  There was also the Ancient Egyptian deity Patake, who was seen as a younger form of Ptah, and also as the synthesis of the deities Ptah, Sokar, and Ausar, symbolic of Creation, Stability, and Death.  There were also the 7 Dwarves, Pygmy sons of Ptah called the seven Khnemu.  

Pygmy Dwarfs also show up in African culture and mythology as both helper and tricksters throughout the continent.  In the book “Of Water and Spirit” by Malidoma Patrice Somé, he speaks of magical dwarfs known as Kontomble to the Dagara people of Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Ghana in West Africa.  The Kontomble are said to live in the forest, have the ability to appear and disappear, and have immense healing abilities.  The Akan people of Ghana also tell stories of similar magical dwarfs who they refer to as Mmortia (Mmoatia).  The Bwa people of Burkina Faso also tell stories of an ancient dwarf ancestor named Luruya who lived in the wilderness and had the ability to speak with the animals.  In the Congo, they tell stories of dwarfs that they call Ogriwabibikwa (Obrigwabibikwa) who have the ability to shape shift into reptiles.

Perhaps over time, the stories of the craftsmanship, technology, and command and control over nature that the African Pygmy Dwarves had in antiquity, have turned into folklore tales about magical goblins, fairies, pixies, sprites, hobbits, leprechauns, and elves which have spread to the four corners of the earth.  Who knew that such small people would have such a big impact on humanity?

Deneg, Bes, Ptah, Pataeke, Pataikos, Khnemu, 7 pygmy sons of Ptah, Tellem, Kontomble, Mmortia, Mmoatia, Luruya, Ogriwabibikwa, Obrigwabibikwa, Khnumhotep, Seneb, Perniankhu, San, Khoisan, Twa, Batwa, Mbuti, Aka, Bayaka, Negrito, Ati, Andamanese, Seman, Maniq, Aeta, Koro-pok-guru, Duende



Friday, July 7, 2017

Ifá Mathematics and Quantum Computing



The Ifá Divination system, which originated in West Africa, utilizes a system of binary Mathematics to retrieve answers to life’s questions and solutions to life’s problems, from a book of knowledge called the Odús of Ifá.  There are 16 major Odùs of Ifá, or “Books of Knowledge”, and within each book is contained 16 chapters, for a total of 256 chapters believed to reference all situations, circumstances, actions and consequences in life.  Orunmila, the Orisha of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, is the Orisha associated with Ifa divination system, and is identified as the Grand Priest of Ifá.  Performing Ifa divination is done by a "Priest"/Mathematician called a Babalawo.  The system of binary mathematics used by the Babalawo to select one of the Odús of Ifá occurs in this fashion.  The Babalawo may uses a divining chain called an Opele, on which there are 8 cowry shells.  The 8 cowry shells on the Opele chain are used as an 8-bit random number generator.  In Computer science, 8 Bits, or Binary Digits, is called a Byte.  The open side of a cowry shell on the Opele chain corresponds to binary digit of 1, and the closed side of a cowry shell on the Opele chain corresponds to a binary digit of 0.  In binary mathematics and computer science, there are 2^8 = 256 different possible values that can be represented by 8 bits or 1 Byte.  To randomly select one of the 256 values, the Babalawo throws the Opele chain in the air, allowing the 8 cowry shells are able to spin freely on the Opele chain.  When the Opele chain lands on the ground, each cowry shell on the Opele chain would have landed with either the open side facing up, indicating a binary 1, or the closed side facing up, indicating a binary 0.  The Babalawo then writes the 8 Bit binary number indicated on the Opele chain, in 2 4-bit columns on a wooden divination tray called Opon Ifá, and proceeds to read from the corresponding book.

Understanding how bits, or binary digits, are generated in the Ifá Divination system also provides us with an analogy to understand how Qubits, or Quantum Binary Digits, operate in Quantum computing.  First we must understand that the word Quantum refers to the smallest quantity of something.  In Quantum Physics, Quantum Particles are the subatomic particles, the smallest particles in nature: Quarks, Electrons, and Photons.  Whereas classical computers use the flow of electrons, or electricity, in states of High and Low voltage to electronically create digital binary digits, Quantum Computers are able to use the quantum mechanical properties of the electron itself.  As an electron spins, it creates a North and South dipole.  The direction that an electron spins will determine which direction the electron’s north dipole is pointing.  Let us use a single cowry shell on the Opele chain as an analogy for an electron, and let’s have the open side of a cowry shell represent the north dipole of an electron.  As you can see, in three dimensional space, the north dipole of our cowry shell electron can have an infinite number of positions.  Just as we previously defined before, the open side the cowry shell pointing up corresponds to a value of 1, and the closed side of the cowry shell pointing down corresponds to a value of 0.  But as our cowry shell electron spins, it can also have an infinite number of statistical probability values that when it lands it will have a value of 0 or 1.  While our cowry shell electron is spinning in the air, we can think of it as being in a quantum superposition state of both 0 and 1 at the same time, and we will not know its final value until it is measure, i.e. lands on the ground.  Although it is somewhat paradoxical and counter-intuitive, this is the way Quantum Binary Digits, or Qubits work.  Just like classical computer use Logic gates to create digital circuits which use Binary Digits, Quantum computers use Quantum gates to create Quantum circuits which use Qubits.  Quantum computers utilize the infinite number of superposition states of an electron to perform parallel or simultaneous computing operations exponentially faster than classical computers, which improves the efficiency of processing and managing big data.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Woke vs Conscious



Most people think that wakefulness and consciousness are synonyms.  That is to say, we think that to be awake, is also to be conscious.  While it is most common for consciousness and wakefulness to occur simultaneously, in cognitive science however, these two terms have important distinctive definitions.

Consciousness is the state of being awake and aware, able to perceive, receive, and process stimuli and information from one’s environment.  When you go to sleep, this is an altered state of consciousness, with limited, to no ability, to perceive, receive, and process stimuli and information from one’s environment.  When Neuroscientists study the EEG brain waves of a sleeping person, they find that during a night’s sleep, a portion of the time is spent in the waking state, even though the person is not fully conscious.  Parasomnia disorders such as “sleep walking” or “sleep talking” are examples of instances where a person is in a waking state, but not fully conscious.  Daydreaming is another example of a mental state where a person is awake, but not conscious of their immediate surroundings.  Conversely, Sleep paralysis is a condition where the mind is awake and conscious, but the body is not awake and unable to become active.  What we can take away from all this is that
1. Consciousness and wakefulness commonly occur seemingly simultaneously
2. Consciousness also requires one to be awake
3. It is possible to be awake but not conscious
4. It is possible to be conscious and mentally awake but not physically awake and active

The preceding deliberation served as a primer for our discussion on the terms “Woke” vs “Conscious” as it relates to African American English Vernacular.

The term “Consciousness” in the Black community has a long and storied history throughout Africa and the African diaspora, stemming back to the early 1900s, and has to do with an awareness of one’s black identity, and nonconformity to mainstream social, political, economic, religious, and spiritual constructs.  The UNIA, Moorish Science Temple, Nation of Islam, 5 Percenters, Hebrew Israelites, Ausar Auset Society, Black Panther Party, SCLC, and BLM, are all examples of black conscious movements in America.

The term, “Woke,” is an idiom that has surfaced in recent years, essentially referring to the same concepts, precepts, and principles as “conscious”, but with more of a focus on social, political, and economic awareness.  In recent years, the term “conscious” has become associated more with a focus on historical, cultural, religious and spiritual awareness.  The Activism of someone “Woke,” tends to be of a social, political, and economic nature, whereas, the activism of someone “Conscious,” tends to be of a historical, cultural, religious or spiritual nature.  If we were to retrospectively apply the new definitions and connotations that the terms “Woke” and “Conscious” have taken on in recent years, to the aforementioned groups, then we could classify the UNIA, Black Panther Party, SCLC, and BLM as “Woke,” and the Nation of Islam, 5 Percenters, Hebrew Israelites, and Ausar Auset Society as “conscious”.

After a multitude of scandals erupting in the Black Conscious Community in recent years, and many Black people feeling critical of, or unserved, underserved, or unrepresented by the modern Black Conscious Community, in some regard, “Woke,” seems like a re-branding of “Conscious”.  In 2017, the difference in the socio-economic disposition of Black People willing to label themselves as “Woke” versus “Conscious” can also be observed.

But if “Woke” has become used to refer to more social, political, and economic awareness, and “Conscious” has become used to refer to more historical, cultural, religious and spiritual awareness, then just like in cognitive science, it is most common to be simultaneously “woke” and “conscious”, that is to say, having simultaneous affiliation and interest in organizations concerned with both social, political, and economic issues as well as historical, cultural, religious and spiritual issues.

Also, just like the concept of Sleep walking and Sleep Talking in cognitive science, it is possible to be “Woke” but not “Conscious”, that is to say, have affiliation with, and interest in, organizations primarily concerned with social, political, and economic issues, and having no affiliation with, or interest in, organizations concerned with historical, cultural, religious and spiritual issues.  These individuals are aware of the social injustices in the world, but have no knowledge of their historical past or traditional systems of spirituality.

And lastly, just like the concept of Sleep Paralysis in Cognitive Science, it is possible to be “Conscious” but not totally “woke”, that is to say, having interest in historical, cultural, religious, and spiritual issues, and having no interest in social, political, and economic issues.  These individuals are fully aware of their historical past, have “knowledge of self”, and practice some form of traditional spirituality, but have no concern or activism in regards to the social, political, or economic injustices in the world.

Who knows what new terms will emerge in future vernacular, or what new areas of awareness may come to the forefront.  In the foreseeable future, “Scientific Awareness” may become a movement of its own.  Essentially, “Woke” and “Conscious” are mental states, and the ultimate goal is to become Active, with an expression of one’s awareness demonstrated through practical application.