# How many minds can exist within a 1000 cubic foot area?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by davidelkins, Jul 6, 2016.

1. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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A mind is the emergent property of a brain. A brain would interact with its environment through whatever senses it had.

Maybe it's just sitting in a vat, - no body - but has a microphone for input and a speaker for output.

Of course, the output would be tricky, since currently our output is by way of electrical signals to our mouth, tongue and vocal chords.

3. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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IMO, if there is a fundamental mathematical principle which guides ALL sequential processes, including thought, this principle can be described as "movement in the direction of greatest satisfaction". The word "satisfaction" is a metaphor for "path of least resistance". This is why we are able represent this process mathematically with the *Law of Conservation of Energy*, which Leibnitz metaphorically dubbed "vis viva".

5. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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11,771
From wiki,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy.

This fundamental principle (path of least resistance) can be seen in the meandering of a river and (the COE) in the elasticity of a tennis racket striking a tennis ball.

p.s. oddly, this principle also appears to be tangently related to Pi

In context of the OP this principle is expressed in our spherical skull.
For any given volume.

Last edited: Jul 12, 2016

7. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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1) The path of least resistance idea is not a principle of physics and is nothing remotely like the law of conservation of energy. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Path_of_least_resistance

The path of least resistance can be seen as a result of the tendency of systems to find their lowest energy state, but that is quite a different issue from the conservation law. It is really more closely related to the second law of TD, in that systems tend to dissipate energy (ultimately as irrecoverable heat).

2) The conservation of energy says nothing whatever about elasticity. If the racket were a sponge that caused the ball to drop straight down after hitting it, rather than rebounding, energy would still be conserved (and so would momentum).

3) Neither the path of least resistance idea, nor the law of conservation of energy, has anything whatever to do with the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is what pi is. Yes, minimising a surface in 3D leads to a sphere, and to a circle in 2D, and yes the relationship between the periphery and the diameter of these geometrical figures involves pi, but there is no principle that surfaces are always minimised in nature and it is certainly in no way implied by the conservation of energy .

8. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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I admit it was a leap, I always try to find common denominators. Perhaps my imagination ran away with me, but given the OP question, I attempted to approach the question of life-energy (life-force) from a different perspective. Obviously I did a poor job.

9. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Yes a leap too far, I think. Science and maths are full of mysteries and wonder enough as they are.

(If you like that sort of thing you might ponder the connection between pi, e, and the square root of -1, which I think has come up before on this forum. There is a deep connection between complex numbers and periodic behaviour - which pi most definitely is associated with.)

But actually, I did find it quite interesting to consider whether the idea of the "path of least resistance" owes something to the Second Law of TD. I had never thought about that before.

There are in fact some principles of "least" in physics: the principle of least action, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_least_action and, for light, Fermat's principle of least time. But least "resistance" is in this context a nebulous concept.

...but we digress.......

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10. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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@ exchemist,
Thanks again for those links. I am really encouraged by your constructive critiques and taking the time to help me research those fundamental concepts. I'm learning!