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After feudalism, socialism, capitalism there is a new trend: Cybernism the philosophy and art of cyber modernism. Great book title or monetization. Here is a hint:
The mind is yet another postulate whose possession is supposed to distinguish man from other animals. Held to be of a spiritual or non-material nature, its interaction with the crude world of matter is clearly very puzzling, at least for those who insist on maintaining a dualism of this sort.
To explain this apparent paradox, philosophers have worked out various theories, the best known of which are the theory of psycho-physical parallelism, where the twin domains run side by side without actually interfering with each other; the theory of interaction, whereby there is constant interaction between them, as the name implies; and, thirdly, that of identity, whereby we assume that both refer to a third and ultimate reality.
The concept of “mind” is of use in a scientific context to the extent that it can serve as a variable of an objective model. We have seen that behaviour is explicable in terms of the inter-relationship between a cybernism and its environment.
If the term “mind” is to be made use of as a variable of a scientific model of behaviour, it can, I think, best be identified with a cybernism. Seen in this way, it refers to an organization of information providing an individual with a model of his relationship with his environment, i.e. the larger system of which he is part.
It is therefore nothing more than a particular type of control mechanism, which to be understood must be seen in the light of control mechanisms in general, such as the nucleus that mediates the behaviour of a cell, or the genes that control the ontogenetic process. As soon as we use the term ‘mind’ in this way, the dichotomy between mind and matter automatically disappears. To begin with, the environment, which is in interaction with the cybernism, itself contains a hierarchical organisation of sub-cybernisms. More specifically, the body is made up of units such as cells, molecules, atoms, each of which has its own little “mind” in which information is also organised, from which instructions are also transmitted, and which also provides a model of its specific environment.
Perhaps the relationship between the mind and the body can be regarded as a form of transduction. Information expressed in the medium of the cybernism is transducted into the medium of the behavioural system. This is very much the same as saying that the environment is organised in accordance with instructions transmitted by and contained in the cybernism. Regarding it in this way also emphasises the essential fact that information is organised in the cybernism in that way which will most favour the mediation of the optimum behaviour pattern.
This point is perhaps best illustrated by the process of protein synthesis, involving the transduction of the information expressed in the medium of the genes into those enzymes that will determine the growth of the system during ontogeny.
The process was first described by Quick, Griffiths, and Orgel. An enzyme is a very large protein molecule. It consists of hundreds of amino-acid units, arranged in a chain in a very specific order. This does not occur haphazardly, but must be determined by a corresponding set of instructions. The latter are transmitted by the genes. Beadle, experimenting with a very simple form of life—neuro-spora—showed that proteins were in fact synthesised by the genes.
How this in fact was accomplished was eventually shown by Crick and Watson. It was revealed that the medium or language in terms of which information is organised in a gene made use of an “alphabet” of four different nucleotids. Information organised in the protein molecules, on the other hand, makes use of an “alphabet” having twenty basic classifications. Crick showed how information is transmitted from one medium to the other. The four basic nucleotids could in fact be arranged in triplets, which would thereby produce twenty combinations corresponding to the twenty classifications used by the protein. Crick went further, and showed how this transduction was in fact achieved. RNA was synthesised in the nucleus. The amino-acids that were destined to become linked together in order to form proteins first attached themselves to the RNA nucleotids synthesised in the cytoplasm, and known as transfer RNA. In this way, each amino-acid molecule is given an identity that makes it recognisable to the RNA templates or models in the ribosomes. The transfer RNA fits perfectly onto the template RNA. In this way, transfer RNA links each amino-acid to its own specific triplet, and the enzyme has been manufactured.
The relationship between a gene and the protein that it synthesises must be functionally that existing between any cybernism and the behavioural process that it mediates. In each case, information organised in a cybernismic medium is transducted into that of a behavioural one. In other words, instructions are translated into action. If the “mind” is taken to refer to a “cybernism”, the problem of the relationship between the “mind” and the body automatically disappears. If such an identification is not accepted, then the “mind”, being indefinable in terms of the teleonomic variables of a scientific model, must have but a very low information value—and its postulation can serve no purpose in the understanding of behavioural processes.
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Curtesy of Edward Goldsmith the mind.