What we think of as reality is just shadows of shadows, internal reconstructions of sense data fed imperfectly into electrochemical processors within the brain and imperfectly rendered – “imperfectly” depending on your sense of perfection, of course. The point is more that it’s a rendering, and the rendering is no the thing rendered. And all the renderings and things rendered are impermanent – as the Buddhists say, “form is emptiness, emptiness is form.” Emptiness is another word for impermanent, and unreal in the vernacular sense of reality. I was thinking about this earlier today, and thinking how computer networks are more of the same – imperfect data imperfectly rendered, but feeling substantial and real despite its (their?) illusory nature. I can’t help you see any of this if you don’t already see it, but it’s rather exploded in my own thinking.
I’ve often wondered whether insects are more intelligent than we think. A Science Daily article suggests that “tiny insects could be as intelligent as much bigger animals, despite only having a brain the size of a pinhead.” The article goes on to say that brain size is not predictive of intelligent behavior, that “bigger animals may need bigger brains simply because there is more to control.” Lars Chittka, Professor of Sensory and Behavioural Ecology at Queen Mary’s Research Centre for Psychology, says “In bigger brains we often don’t find more complexity, just an endless repetition of the same neural circuits over and over. This might add detail to remembered images or sounds, but not add any degree of complexity. To use a computer analogy, bigger brains might in many cases be bigger hard drives, not necessarily better processors.”