Saltar para: Posts , Pesquisa e Arquivos 
"OH WATERS, TEEM WITH MEDICINE TO KEEP MY BODY SAFE FROM HARM, SO THAT I MAY LONG SEE THE SUN." - Rig Veda
The man who survived a derailed train,
His compartment lunged into the basement
Garage of a housing complex, did not think
Of death. Death does not come as a thought
Preceding itself. The texture of death is felt
Only in the affectations that surround it.
The man tells his story of survival on television
Because feeling fortunate, he is already
Far away from the real thing. Me quarantined
In my room with blisters all over my body.
And a gentle waft of incense smoke, my grandmother
Fills the room with, to invoke the seven goddesses
Out of me. Feeling the seven sores on the insides
Of my mouth when I swallow my soup. Death is abrupt.
The soul still dreams of dying even after the death
Because the body teaches it so. We think death is
Aberration. Thousand automobiles out to run you
Down every morning. The precision of the machinery
Outside us. The survival of the everyday is a constant
Accident from which we will recover in death.
Although it has been notoriously difficult to pin down precisely what it is that makes life so distinctive and remarkable, there is general agreement that its informational aspect is one key property, perhaps the key property. The unique informational narrative of living systems suggests that life may be characterized by context-dependent causal influences, and in particular, that top-down (or downward) causation -- where higher-levels influence and constrain the dynamics of lower-levels in organizational hierarchies -- may be a major contributor to the hierarchal structure of living systems. Here we propose that the origin of life may correspond to a physical transition associated with a shift in causal structure, where information gains direct, and context-dependent causal efficacy over the matter it is instantiated in. Such a transition may be akin to more traditional physical transitions (e.g. thermodynamic phase transitions), with the crucial distinction that determining which phase (non-life or life) a given system is in requires dynamical information and therefore can only be inferred by identifying causal architecture. We discuss some potential novel research directions based on this hypothesis, including potential measures of such a transition that may be amenable to laboratory study, and how the proposed mechanism corresponds to the onset of the unique mode of (algorithmic) information processing characteristic of living systems.