“When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother what will I be? Will I be handsome? Will I be rich? Here’s what she said to me? Que Sera Sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see, Que Sera Sera.” ~ Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
When I was a very young child, my Grampy (Grandfather) used to sing this beautiful, upbeat and whimsical song to us, and for some reason, it stayed with me throughout my life. Now and again, it pops up in my mind.
The song goes through a cycle with a girl and her mother, then her sweetheart and children when she becomes a mother, creating and developing new minds, and the cycle continues.
I wonder now if my Grampy used to sing it because we asked so many questions as kids and had so many worries. I once asked my mother (since I can no longer ask him), “why did Grampy sing this to us?” She said he believed in the words wholeheartedly that “what will be will be,” a philosophy many of us today struggle to understand or have faith in. Perhaps those born and raised in WWII understand to a greater extent what faith is.
I found myself referring back to this song as I recently read the book, “How to Create a Mind” by Ray Kurzweil. Why I am not sure. But for some reason the two concepts created a link in my brain, two very obscure ideas fused together. How they were linked and why my brain chose to put them together, I don’t know — only my brain does. And the product of those two ideas colliding resulted in this blog.
In the book, Kurzweil talks about running experiments on the brain and recognizing the need to do experiments on different types of brains, from people who have suffered immense trauma, for instance, to better understand how they work.
I believe a better understanding of different types of brains may hold the key to the unknown, to the things we do not know about and to the gaps between the known and unknown in understanding this magnificent organ.
I also believe there are emerging differences in the millennial brain that could be interesting to investigate. And what about people who are experts in more than one area, particularly Technology and Music? Is there something we can learn from their makeup that can help us understand and fill in the gaps of human consciousness?
The current methodologies described in the book by Kurzweil work from the bottom-up to understand the human brain and artificial intelligence. But what if we investigated it in another manner, and researched from those with a high-functioning perspective, those who have a high level of emotional awareness (albeit perhaps a short attention span)? Or investigate those who have a lot of ideas, not all necessarily good?
In the book Kurzweil describes the way the brain works as hierarchical. I believe that our brains work in more than one manner. Hierarchical, yes, but I also think they are more than capable of stepping across boundaries, thinking differently and thinking thoughts at multiple levels, all at once.
Why do I think this? Because I have seen this happen in the real world, when dealing with extremely complex problems and ideas. I have seen geniuses, in my opinion, in many fields make diverse connections. I’ve watched their faces light up when they joined up the dots across multiple concepts, and seen how fear crosses their brow when they think about how to explain it to the rest of the team.
None of us has just one train of thought happening at any one point in time. Many of us are capable of more than one, and many people juggle 20 or so concepts and deliver on all of them successfully, joining up ideas at many different levels. Sometimes the process happens over an hour, sometimes over weeks. Sometimes, for those who are extremely disruptive, connections happen in seconds, crossing many levels of hierarchical understanding and concepts.
The great conceptual thinkers who come up with new technologies are amazing to watch. Their energy, when they really get going, can captivate the whole room.
So as a result of what I have seen from the rare few in this world, my thoughts on the hierarchical structure of the brain do not necessarily agree with the findings from Kurzweil. Of course, I have no scientific evidence to support this — only observations — and perhaps I shall look into it further someday. I do not know the answers, but what will be will be.
In our world, where there is structure and order, there is also a need for disruption and chaos. Great thinkers excel in this area; they disrupt because they think differently, and they are often not aware of the disruption they can cause. Remember though that disruption is not necessarily a bad thing.
My thoughts led me to think, well what is this other thing that scientists know little about, this thing called “neuroplasticity?” In the book, Kurzweil talks about the color red and describes it to someone who is blind to the colour. The idea that red only exists for some people and, in the infrared spectrum, doesn’t even exist led me to wonder if neuroplasticity is perhaps only available at very small levels for some people if they become conscious and aware of it.
I began thinking of something similar to dark matter. Could the phenomenon such as that explain some of the spooky scenarios that can happen to us, instances when we know what someone else is thinking before they do, or when we ring each other at the same time? Can this help to explain EQ and ESP? Is this what we have been looking for?
How do people “know” things without a physical connection? (or at least one which we can see) How do we become intuitive? Could dark matter or something similar which we know litlle about explain why people are sensitive to emotions, to sounds, why after pregnancy I can no longer listen to base music, as my perception has been altered? My emotional senses seem to be heightened, and the ability to understand mindfulness, EQ and ESP is at a whole new level.
The ability to think about what we are thinking about grows with wisdom and age, when we open our minds to the idea that anything is possible. I believe that neuroplasticity grows as we are open to more and more ideas and ways of doing things — when we no longer think about what is wrong and right, but as we think about, well, what will be will be.
And that leads us to Artificial Intelligence (AI). Kurzweil talks about two forms of AI in the future. The first is when a super intelligent version of ourselves, say Sarah2.0, is created. We then have the ability to switch ourselves off at any point, so Sarah1.0 is no longer required. This to me is an extremely scary option, and Kurzweil agrees that most people will find this scary.
The other option is the slow upgrade, where Sarah1.0 is upgraded a little bit at a time with the Super Intelligent version so that we end up with Sarah2.0. Kurzweil says that Sarah2.0 versions are the same with either approach.
I would disagree and say that the second version, which has been upgraded over a year, has a story, has the wisdom and the experience of knowing what happened. This version has gone through the changes, felt the differences and is conscious of life before and after the upgrade. They can tell a story about becoming super intelligent.
This is understanding, this is cognition.
The words “Que Sera Sera” came from a movie called “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” But can you ever know too much? Does the world become scarier when we know too much?
Maybe we should go with the flow and let whatever will be, be. “Now I have children of my own, they ask their mother what will I be, will I be handsome, will I be rich. I tell them tenderly, Que Sera Sera!”