Testimony of Freedom — Body and Mind of Freedom

A moment of experience: it happens now.

My brain produces my experiences as my future changes into my past.

In my future are possible events and my possible deeds.

In my past are actual events and my actual deeds.

I experience my possible deeds changing into my actual deeds. During some changes — changes called choices — I exercise freedom. Examples: choosing a meal from a menu; choosing how to hit a ping-pong ball approaching in flight during a game; choosing words to express a feeling. If I choose badly and end up with a mess, it is usually my own responsibility.

The Quad Net Model of brains is a new approach to questions about how brains work and how bodies and minds work together. The Quad Net Model shows how a brain can change possible deeds into actual deeds. According to the Quad Net Model, such changes generate a person's experience. Choices are the point of origin and the central focus of the Quad Net Model. The Quad Net Model shows how body and mind are united during choices, while a person is exercising freedom.

How possible patterns turn into an actual pattern in the field of a Quad Net device part

repertoire: 4 patterns —
viewed during a selection cycle
— span = 4.00






during a selection cycle,
the span is like an age and span=4.00 is young —
young patterns operate as "possibilities"

co-existing possibilities —
an instantaneous "snapshot"
of a seething Quad Net field
— the "younger" span = 4.00

an actual wave
is taking occupation of
the Quad Net field
— the "older" span = 16.00


a "cooling wave" plus influences —
selecting from the possibilities —
leading to an actual pattern —
e.g., the adjacent pattern —
plus a flicker of experience
— that accompanies the selection


In the Quad Net Model, a deed is produced through the combined selection and production of an object and an act. These occur as coordinated selections in two or more Quad Net device parts. A Quad Net object is produced during selection of a pattern in a Quad Net device part and is, I suggest, similar to a person's perception of a sensory object. A Quad Net act is a produced in another Quad Net device part and is, I suggest, similar to a pattern that generates a muscular movement. Simple Quad Net deeds resemble simple deeds of persons. A simple deed can often be described by a simple declarative sentence, e.g., "I press the car accelerator when the traffic light turns green."

Suppose I make choices suggested in the previous section. I tell the restaurant service representative: "I'll have the grilled tofuburger with the special sauce and a sesame seed bun." I slice at the ping-pong ball, intending to give it a lot of spin. I say, "I preferred it the way it was before." Each actual deed is selected from many possible deeds. Similarly, operations in the Quad Net Model make Quad Net choices and generate Quad Net deeds.

In the Quad Net Model, more complex deeds can be extensions of simple deeds. E.g., "I turn on the lamp and see the room." Structures of deeds are built with combinations and sequences. Each keystroke on a laptop is a deed and keystrokes are combined and sequenced to build a structure of deeds. Similarly, a piantist combines deeds while producing a chord, and sequences of chords make up a melody. It is even possible to perform multiple activities at the same time, weaving the strands together, e.g., singing while keystroking. There are situations where complex deeds are performed on a continuing and ongoing basis. Such performances can incorporate complex exercises of freedom, like performances of living creatures.

In the Quad Net Model, development of devices tracks that of deeds and devices are designed to generate deeds. A detailed construction path leads from the simplest "timing devices" to an exemplary "engineered organism," called Dancer, a proposed six-legged device system that uses a repertoire (skill set) of ambulatory coordination patterns — gaits — to traverse a hazardous terrain, that switches quickly and easily among gaits as needed and that can, if design goals are achieved, perform new moves in situations with changing hazards. An ultimate design goal is an organism that both invents new moves and also learns from its mistakes.

Quad Net Principles are Adapted From Principles Developed for Other Systems

The Quad Net Model is a physical system. Realization of the Quad Net Model will require manufacture of devices and assembly of devices according to technical principles set forth on other pages. This page presents the principles through discussion of systems that resemble the Quad Net Model and that have been studied by researchers in the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Physical System No. 1 -- Snowflakes.

Under the influence of a cooling wave, a cloud of water vapor changes into a flurry of snowflakes. I suggest that something similar goes on in our brains.
Water vapor has no shape; in contrast, each snowflake is a unique particle of crystalline ice. Likewise: possible deeds go off in all directions and every which way; in contrast, each actual deed is a tightly-organized and purposefully-directed arrangement of muscular motions and sensory perceptions.

Both the snowflake system and the Quad Net Model involve changes. Although snowflakes and deeds are very different, the two kinds of changes share important features and are described by shared principles. Such changes are called phase changes. Phase changes of water are familiar examples. Ice melts into liquid water and liquid water boils into steam (water vapor). Ice sublimates into water vapor. Water vapor condenses into liquid water or into ice. Liquid water freezes into ice. We use the same words to describe similar changes in various kinds of material bodies, such as dry ice (carbon dioxide), lead solder or alcohol in a distillery. The words are also used, sometimes metaphorically, to describe other kinds of changes of conditions, such as freezing or melting of a relationship between persons.

Phase changes occur "all over the body" and often occur quickly. When red-hot steel is quenched in freezing briny water, nuclei in metal crystals suddenly — and noisily — snap from one spatial arrangement to another spatial arrangement as a "cooling wave" sweeps over the body of the material, a phase change called a martensitic reaction. Liquid crystals in electronic devices go through phase changes to signal changing information. Phase changes occur throughout the body of material, but more slowly, while foods are cooked and and while clay pots are fired. Quad Net device models resemble cooks' ovens, metallurgists' furnaces and potters' kilns rather than computers. I am suggesting that we cook up our experiences, rather than calculating them as supposed by computational neuroscience. More precisely, I am suggesting that we condense possible deeds into actual deeds by means of "cooling waves" in our brains.

All phase changes share similar features. Something substantial is conserved throughout each change. Most strikingly, especially in systems examined here, the beginning form and the final form of the material do not fit together under a single set of principles; and the transformation between forms seems mysterious.

Some mysteries can be investigated with useful results but without a solution. The mystery of snowflakes is affirmed by physical scientists who have obtained substantial knowledge about them. (More on snowflakes.) The mystery of deeds is known to everyone who has declared: "How could I have been so stupid when I made that decision!" Or how could I have been so impatient, prideful or distracted that I "missed" the right choice — and a wrong possible deed became my actual deed. The mystery of deeds is also known through the "world-knot" puzzle of the "mind-body problem."

The Quad Net Model explores the mysteries with device constructions rather than with verbal formulations or mathematical constructions. I have not found words or mathematics that adequately describe the operations of the Quad Net Model. As a practical (or technical) matter, the Model is described by stating operations of its parts, developed from the engineering definition of "elemental device" (Quad Net presentation, § 4) or from similar but simpler Timing Device presentations.

On this page, the Quad Net Model is described by Images and by discussion of general principles, especially "Critical Point" principles.

Physical System No. 2 -- Iron Magnets

The Quad Net Model draws on research into "Critical Point" phenomena and extends such phenomena in a new and powerful direction. Critical Point phenomena are seen in many different systems including water/steam, metal alloys and liquid crystals. Especially important are Critical Point changes in the strength of iron magnets that are caused by changes in temperature.

Viewed as an idealized system, magnetic iron has an internal character that allows for two, equal and opposed particular directions, which we call "the North pole" and "the South pole" for historical reasons. A magnetic "pole" is part of the character of a magnet and moves with it. In other words, a natural iron magnet has an inherent magnetic strength that "points" in one direction. The strength is measured by the capacity of the magnet to hold weight against the force of gravity, e.g., a number of paper clips touching the magnet and hanging down. Perhaps there is a particular magnet that holds 12 paper clips, but no more, and that points toward where the sun rises, or "the East." A magnetic direction is defined with respect to a "standard magnetic direction," namely, the North Pole of the Earth.

The adjacent images track idealized Critical Point processes. (Similar Critical Point processes are used in the magneto-optical disk system of computer memory devices.)

If a magnet is heated, its inherent magnetic strength disappears . A weak secondary kind of magnetism is all that remains — which I call "unmagnetized" for purposes here. If the idealized magnet is then cooled, however, the natural strength re-appears.

More precisely, there is a "critical temperature" or "Critical Point" -- Tc -- also called the Curie temperature or Curie point after a pioneer investigator, Pierre Curie. For iron, the Critical Point is 768°C or 1414°F. The Critical Point marks an operating point where a transformational change occurs.

During a Critical Point process, the temperature of the magnet is raised above the critical temperature and the inherent magnetism disappears. As the magnet is cooled, however, inherent magnetism re-appears — but the direction of the re-newed magnetism does not depend on the history of the magnet. A cooling magnet can, equivalently, become a "North" magnet or a "South" magnet. A nearby influence can trigger which pole is established in the cooling magnet. Once the magnet has cooled, the strength and direction are fixed.

A change in the magnet system from "unmagnetized" to "magnetized in a particular direction" shares principles and features with the snowflake system. When the magnetic system cools through the critical temperature, an "unmagnetized" condition changes to a particular magnetized condition, selected from two possible magnetized conditions. When water cools through the freezing temperature, a liquid condition changes to a particular configuration of ice crystals selected from many possible configuratuions. In both systems, there is a "critical moment" during a cooling process when more than final one condition or configuration becomes possible; then, as the process proceeds, one particular condition or configuration is realized and others become impossible.

"Critical point principles" studied by scientists describe the tranformation from an initial "unmagnetized" condition to a particular magnetized condition defined by a pole. The direction is indeterminate as the system passes through the Critical Point. I suggest that if Critical Point principles are realized in a Quad Net system, such indeterminacy will correspond to the "critical moment" in a process during which two or more possible deeds change into a single actual deed.

Important Critical Point principles apply to a system only at the Critical Point. For example, Critical Point principles do not appy to snowflakes. Critical Point principles apply to very hot water and steam at a temperature of 705.40°F (374.15°C) and a pressure 221.2 times that of the atmosphere; and these are the only conditions under which Critical Point principles apply to water.

Important Critical Point principles are:
Very different systems are described by a single set of Critical Point principles.

Collective Action
A system undergoing a Critical Point transformation does so as a whole.

Sharp Switching
The Critical Point transition is very sharp - a tiny change in temperature causes a complete transformation between "unmagnetized" and "magnetized" conditions. By cycling up and down, it is possible to switch quickly and easily between particular magnetized directions, e.g., from "North" to "South."

System No. 3 -- The Ising Model

The Ising Model uses mathematics to model Critical Point phenomena in iron magnets. The Model is made up of an array of tiny magnetic elements arranged in a square quadratic pattern. Each magnet can be oriented up or down, North or South. Each magnet interacts only with its four nearest-neighbors on adjacent rows in columns.
At low temperatures, flips are few and far-between. Because there are few flips, the solid matrix dominates. A bloc of elements is stable internally because any delinquent will be highly likely to return to the environmental polarity.

When temperatures are high, flips occur frequently and no bloc of elements lasts for long. Rather, there is constant random turnover, as illustrated in the adjacent image, which shown a momentary condition of the Model at high temperature. The shift between "solid blocs" and "no solid blocs" occurs at the Critical Point, at the critical temperature Tc, which is calculated from the strengths of the interactions and other parameters of the elements.

As temperature increases, flips become more frequent. What changes at the critical temperature is that the power of the magnets to "hold together" is no longer enough to withstand the erosive forces of thermal activity and the "organized magnetic field" falls apart. The disappearance of the organized magnetic field is sudden and complete.

The Ising Model is a mathematical construction that is made up of an array of tiny magnetic elements. The elements tend to align but heat tends to disrupt an alignment. Alignment power and temperature are key terms in the equations. When the temperature is high, disruption controls the system and no alignment can be sustained. When the temperature is low, alignment dominates the field and nearly all elements point in a single direction, with the deviants ever-changing. The cross-over region is very narrow and the cross-over is abrupt, at the "critical temperature."

The image - from (link)- shows clustering of North and South units (white and black) in an Ising Model at the critical point. The image is an instantaneous "snapshot" of seething activity In an activated system, clusters are continually forming, swelling up, dissolving and breaking into pieces.

to be continued...

Linked pages:

Contents of the Testimony
Opening Page: A Witness for Freedom
Formal Outline of Proposed Constructions

The Quad Net Family of websites:

Shimmering Silences in Beautiful Music -- presentation and development of timing device models through applications to auditory experience
Timing Devices:   the original presentation of the timing devices model. The message is that brains are not computers.
Quad Nets:  general designs for brain-like devices; timing devices are a special class of devices within the more general class.
Embodiment of Freedom:  integrated models - based on Quad Nets - of brains and experience, physics and psychology.
Testimony of Freedom: re-states prior models and extends the inquiry into social and spiritual matters.

Copyright © 2009 Robert Kovsky