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Practical Applications

Practical Applications

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Published by gib65
This paper explores how MM-Theory can be applied in a practical context. Read more at http://www.mm-theory.com.
This paper explores how MM-Theory can be applied in a practical context. Read more at http://www.mm-theory.com.

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Published by: gib65 on Apr 03, 2010
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Introduction Hoppers
TheLogistics ofHopping
The Utility ofMentalTechnologies
What CanBe Done?A NewPsychotherapyHow ToDo It
Functionalismand ThePhilosopher'sFunction
FunctionalismThePhilosopher'sFunction
Truth andHealthSuggestionsFor a HealthySocietyEmotionsand Value
The Migrationof Value
History andEvolution
Neurology andThe Child'sMindA NewEvolutionaryPath
ScientificIssuesConclusion
Practical Applications
ABSTRACT: The question this paper addresses is that of howreadily the principles of MM-Theory can be applied in apractical sense. We introduce the concept of "mentaltechnologies" - the control of experiences and the invention of new ones - and speculate on what life might be like in asociety that thrives on such technology, taking the most extremecases to begin with. We also explore the principles that wouldunderlie the practice of "hopping" - that is, the deliberatemigration from one reality to another. We then explore theutility of mental technologies for the modern day world andwhich, if any, are within our reach. Having touched on theneurology of mental technologies, we take a functionalistperspective and, treating the brain as a computer, consider thepotentials of "programming" individuals with ideologies andthought systems as well as self-programming. We argue thathealth ought to come before truth, and that, although truth andhealth usually go hand-in-hand, a society that subscribes tohealthy ideas is better off than one that subscribes to true ideas.We then go through a brief list of suggested healthy ideas forsociety to invest in. Having covered cognitive technologies,we then move onto emotional technologies. We explore a setof techniques for controlling one's emotions and fosteringflexibility in one's values. We then step back and take a muchbroader view, looking at history and evolution as MM-Theorywould have it. We propose the possibility of guiding thedirection of our evolution such that a genetic line of humanbeings emerges better suited to a globalized world like that of today. Specifically, we propose that we could see the adventof human beings naturally predisposed, vis-à-vis their neuralwiring, to seek peaceful and healthy means by which toconduct social and political interactions on the global stage.Before concluding the paper, we address the scientific issuesthat would come with the inquiry into experiences and themental technologies that would grow out of it. We show thatalthough a science of experiences would, like the socialscience, not be as efficient as the natural sciences, this is adifference in degree, not quality, and as that stands, a scienceof experiences is certainly possible and beneficial.
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Introduction
 MeaningThe Essence of  Realness
It is difficult to see how an idea like MM-Theory, which is radically abstract and metaphysical, could everbe applied in a practical hands-on manner to any facet of life in the mundane world. The theory was designedto account for the enigmas of consciousness and mental life, and the approach it takes is to describe theexperiences therein in as concise and accurate a manner as possible. Such descriptions yielded the threeprimary aspects of all experiences - their qualitative essence, the
essence of realness
, and their inherent
meaning
. Other implications were drawn out of these aspects, and a full theory resolving the mind/matterproblem was derived. These implications went even further, leading us to build an entire cosmology, onethat, asThe Universe and "God"makes clear, could almost pass as a religion. Metaphysical and religioustheories have a bad track record for yielding too few practical results that can beused towards improvinghuman life. For the most part, they are unfalsifiable, and therefore no practical consequences are to beexpected should the theory be true. So how is our theory any different? Our theory is unlike othermetaphysical theories in that it is more than a grand unfalsifiable statement aboutthe ontological way of things in the universe, more than an account of "how things are"; it is a paradigm by which it can beunderstood how one can change reality by the shear power of his/her own mind. If the essence of realness isreally there in our experiences, in our own minds, and if we have any control over our minds, we shouldhave some power, even if only marginally, over what's real and what isn't.
 Human Experiences David Hume
Our theory straddles the border between classical metaphysics and the modern scientific view of the world.It is metaphysical in the sense that its primary subject matter is experience, which, with the exception of sensations, we take to be non-physical. However, unlike the subject matter of classical metaphysics (abstracttruths and ideations), experiences can be directly verified - they can, and necessarily are, felt. EverythingMM-Theory asserts about experiences is drawn from our (or my) familiarity with experiences and how theyfeel. It is true that we extrapolate these assertions beyond the bounds of the set of familiar
humanexperiences
, but this leap of induction is something even the physical sciences are guilty of (as
David Hume
teaches us). We at least base these extrapolations on a readily accessible sample of experiences - thosebelonging to the human mind. As it concerns the physical sciences, the only difference between them and ourtheory is that the verifiability of our claims can only be demonstrated on the level of the subject's privateexperiences, whereas the claims of science can be verified on a public level. We will see later in this paper,however, that, given the perspective MM-Theory offers, this distinction is fuzzy atbest, and if articulatedcarefully, can actually be described away.What this paper aims to show is how this "middle ground" upon which MM-Theory stands - with its quasi-metaphysical yet privately verifiable claims - is enough for it to be applied in a practical sense. We willnote right now, however, that the most effective arena of application is on such a lofty level that it wouldrequire perhaps centuries of dedicated work and the committed cooperation of thinkers the world over -thinkers such as philosophers, psychologists, politicians, and the like - before its effects can be seen. Suchlofty aspirations may seem hopelessly beyond our reach in a world where cooperationamong its manypeople - philosophers, politicians, and the common citizen alike - seems dismal, and the most pressingconcerns seem focused on more material and economic solutions. It is doubtful that anyone in a position of power - and such positions would be vital to the applications of MM-Theory proposedhere - has time toeducate people on the potential each one of us has to alter our reality (by whatever small measure we can),nor does it seem likely they would
want 
to - it doesn't even seem likely the common citizen would care tolisten. That is why the proposals in this paper ought not to be taken as an agenda intended for immediateapplication (although, as we will see, the state of our world seems in desperate need of the sorts of psychological and philosophical solutions outlined here - but being hasty is more likely than not to backfire);rather, the proposals in this paper are meant to stimulate discussion. It is in thespirit of open discussionamongst readers that this paper is presented. That is the best platform from which to begin the move fromabstract speculation to practice. It is the same platform from which numerous intellectual movements in thepast had begun, movements that sometimes took centuries before their practical applications were sanctionedby the state and thus institutionalized. The scientific movement is one example, the democratic reforms thateventually swept across Europe is another. All these movements trace their roots tointellectual discussionamongst philosophers and other thinkers of similar persuasions, and there is no reason the ideas present inthis paper cannot make similar strides. I am not claiming that MM-Theory is
bound 
to wipe out all of man'swoes - I'm not even claiming it would have any significant effect in this manner - but we will never knowunless its potential to do so is pondered over seriously, with care, and over a lengthy period of time - andultimately implemented.
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We insinuated, inThe Universe and "God", what life would be like for us if MM-Theory could be applied asa sort of "mental technology". This was in the section
 Immaterial Beings
, and although the more overtmessage there was what life might be like for such beings (if they indeed exist), we did mention briefly thatif they do not exist, they at least might be held up as a model, or perhaps a target, for what we as a speciescould be headed for as we progress along our social, maybe even biological, evolution. Most historiansagree that this seems to be what motivated the Greeks to embark on the path of improvement, and thehumanists of the Renaissance to resume the path. In both cases, the inspiration wasthe idea that man couldimprove his lot, that progress was possible. In the ancient world of the Greeks, itwas the idea that mancould
be
like the gods if he exercised his virtues (similar to what was implied in our discussion of immaterial beings), and during the Renaissance, it was the idea that man's will waspowerful enough to bringabout changes in the world. I maintain that there are many changes yet to be seen, and such changes beginwhen man understands his potential to actualize them. The aim of this paper is to establish such anunderstanding.
 Newton's Lawsof Mechanics
We have seen, in only the short span of three hundred years or thereabouts, how a civilization can go fromthe use of simple tools, the workings of which even a child could comprehend, to ones so complex andpowerful, they raise us up to a level of prowess matched only by the gods in ancient myths and fairy tales.Indeed, should a typical simpleton from three hundred years ago be brought to the present time and beholdthe wonders of modern day technology, he/she would undoubtedly mistake us for having achieved godhood.And why not? What we have achieved in the twentieth century is what all cultures inall times before wouldonly fathom as the workings of gods. It is certainly the caliber of power the Greeks dreamt of achieving whenthey looked up to their gods and wondered if they could ever be like them. It is also the caliber of powerachieved by the immaterial beings described inThe Universe and "God", except in that case the technologyis mental in nature and it is we who look up to them. But my claim, the one underlying the theme of thispaper, is that the achievement of such a form of technology, such an awesome level of power, is within ourreach. It is achievable just like our physical technology many centuries ago. And like the average citizen of those bygone times, many of us today may not understand how such achievements are even possible. It isdifficult to fathom such possibilities when the principles upon which they rest arenot fully grasped. In thecase of our physical technologies, progress in this direction could not be foreseenuntil Newton outlined his
three principles of mechanics
. Only then could the principles upon which a physical technology like whatwe have today be understood and foreseen. The three aspects of all experiences outlined in theBasic Theoryserve the same purpose - they are the principles by which the mental technology proposed in this paper is tobe achieved. Without understanding such principles, whether in the case of physicaltechnology or mental,the possible seems impossible.
The Essence of  RealnessProjection Real ThingsQualitivity
Out of the three principles underlying MM-Theory, the second - namely, that all experiences contain the
essence of realness
and thereby
project
themselves as
real things
- is foremost the one on which the vastarray of possible mental technologies is grounded. The old slogan "reality is what you make it" can be takenquite literally with the second principle, and that is precisely what makes mental technologies possible. Of course, one can't make reality anything unless he/she has some degree of control over his/her experiences.We will be getting into the deliberate manipulation of our own neural networks through the shear power of thought, arranging the connections therein into whatever configurations we want, later in this paper. Certainimplications follow, according to MM-Theory, from our ability to do this - namely, that we can control ourexperiences and mold them into a variety of different qualities. This is drawn out of the formal correlationbetween mind and matter given foremost by the Basic Theory, but also by the Advanced Theory. Thus, thiscorrelation coupled with the second principle of experiences serves as the foundation upon which the wholegamut of mental technologies is possible. The first principle - that experiences are the essence of 
qualitivity
- and the third principle - that all experiences are meaningful - also have some applications, but not nearly asimpressive as the second principle. The first principle can, for example, be followed to induce alternateexperiences, the likes of which no human being has ever experienced - but only by the second principle canthese experiences be taken as real. The third principle can be followed to instill a sense of spiritualitygrounded on the fact that the universe is truly meaningful, its very existence rooted in a fundamental universalmeaning. As needed as a deep sense of spiritual connection is for our society in these secular andmaterialistic times, this hardly passes as a technological innovation. Even the exploration of alternateexperiences - an application stemming from the first principle - is hard pressed todemonstrate somepractical utility (although we will argue a case for such utility later). But the creation of novel things, evenwhole worlds, by the direct manipulation of one's own mind is an astonishing feat indeed, and so the secondprinciple of MM-Theory is a powerful springboard from which to build a whole slew of potent mentaltechnologies.However, it is not as though we haven't already made great strides in the evolutionof mental technology.Great things had been achieved in physical technology even before the industrial revolution, even before theage of science. The catapult is a prime example. So is the chariot. What kind of mental technology have weachieved in the twentieth century? We have learnt the power of positive thinking toimprove one's mood and
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