(from Advaita Musings)
Direct Post Processing Induction. That is an intriguing geeky term. The kind of expression you could hear from Jeff Dean. What it could it possibly mean? It comes down to the brain, yours truly, how it works, and how by considering alternative views of its workings, We, or I, come to an entirely different view of how reality, and the way We function within it.
Let us begin with our world view, the Newtonian world view which most of us understand and take to be true. Of course We know it is not true as quantum theory tells us otherwise, but as most of us know nothing of quantum theory (I don't), let us stick to the Newtonian world for the sake of this discussion. Of course we actually can't tell how quantum effects lead to consciousness, in which arises images of the brain, the brain within which arises images which lead us to perceptions we describe as quantum mechanics, and narratives describing how quantum mechanics works.
Let us consider this theory in relation to vision being that sight counts as one of the senses where there is usually consensus about what we see(Are you sure, Ed). In the physical three dimensional world there are objects and light sources, which in the daytime is usually the Sun. So as the theory goes rays from the Sun strike objects and are reflected. Some of the reflected light enters our eyes through our pupils and strike our retinas, which are stimulated to generate electrical signals which are carried by the optic nerves in some centres of the brain whose states gives rise to images in our consciousness.
In the final analysis vision is the arising of specific configurations of the states of synapses and neurons of the brain, in the belief that different images are associated with different states, and sequences of those states. We know this because we dream, because in dreams the same configurations arise in some way unknown to us just as they do in the waking state, and in those dreams the sense of perceiving through our physical sense organs arise although those senses are dormant. When these states arise we form descriptions of them, labels of them as Indians describe it nama rupa and from these names and forms we go on to build our models and theories of reality.
We need to maintain a distinction between the raw images perceived and the subjective notions or opinions we form of them, such as good/evil, tall/short, light/dark and all the descriptions, abstractions and theories we derive from them, i.e. our narrative of the nature of reality. Let us take physical world conditions and the sensory perceptions which lead us to form narratives (i.e. theories) about the nature of our world. Direct Post Processing Induction, (DPPI) for short, means that if we were to eliminate the physical world altogether with the exception of the brain, and induce the necessary states for given images directly in the relevant parts of the brain, the very narratives about the nature of reality which arise from the existence of the real physical world and its interplay with our physical senses would arise (within the DPPI). This means that if we eliminated the whole physical world i.e. the 3D World of physics, brain excepted, and within Einstein's brain induced with DPPI the same images as exist in the physical world, Einstein would have his theories of relativity arise within his brain (or mind).
Let us take this further. We could remove all the organs of the five senses, remove all the circuitry relating to the visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile and oral systems and the transmission of their signals to the areas of the brain where their sensations are generated. In the areas where the sensations arise we would place some implants and stimulate them by sending radio signals to them. We could also induce all the sensations relating to the existence of the physical body (e.g. phantom limb syndrome), and even the very sensations of the presence of the physical sense organs, such as the eyes and the ears.We could take this even further. Instead of implants which are stimulated by radio transmissions, these implants are fully powered, fully programmed computers (they could even be powered by the brains own heat) packed with enough processing power and knowledge to induce the necessary images of the so called real world in that brain, thus inducing the narrative that the real world would induce.
Could We or I possibly be in such a condition? I say I rather than We, because if it is just me, then the multiplicity of beings I see around me could be an illusion in my brain induced by the implants, and I, the sense of me could also be one of the illusions in my consciousness.
Is this possible?
If this I or Me, my sense of uniqueness, my sense of individuality is a sensation capable of being induced by the DPPI, then what is the true being, the true space, the backdrop, the canvas, on which this individual sense of Me arises, or is painted?