Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 08:25am PT
I have had many experiences. I'm always up to something.

The best experiences of all tend to happen quickly, over a couple of minutes or so, max.

A really intense experience is cool. An example, but not the only one is from jumping off something big, like El Cap or Halfdome. There are different types of BASE jumps, and the majority of them are pretty short. If you have ever seen a video of somebody jumping and tossing their pilot chute 1 second after exit, well, those jumps are kind of lame in my mind. The best ones by far are the ten second or more freefall jumps.

A description: I am all geared up and we are ready to go. Usually I am with friends, but I rampaged Yosemite mostly by myself for most of a year.

Before the jump, even if it is pretty routine and safe, like El Cap (assuming that you know what you are doing), I would get all nervous and hyped up. Sometimes I would be terrified during my first twenty or so jumps.

Anyway, when your foot kicks off of the edge, a flood of experience flows over you. You don't think, you just do. Time dilates, and the whole freefall seems to last much longer than it really is. The feeling comes so fast that I liken it to an orgasm, although they are quite different.

You become hyper-aware. You don't think in terms of words in your mind. The experience envelops you, and it is pretty wild.

I've had similar experiences. I was charged by a very angry grizzly bear once, who had been laying on a caribou kill. I dropped my pack and brought up my shotgun but didn't shoot as it stopped about twenty feet away and then circled me. Then he smelled me, let out a big woof! and went up the hill and sat down. I walked over and saw the caribou and realized that that was no bluff charge. It was for real.

I didn't move one inch. I stood there rock steady through the whole thing. Running or freaking out will get you mauled.

I guess that the best description is that these are moments of total clarity. Total clarity, once you have felt it, can suck you in.

Other friends would tend to shut down and go stupid. We see this with jump students at drop zones. I would take people for tandems and they wouldn't remember a damn thing.

Those experiences are right there at the front in my memory. I can remember everything.

Sure, these are contrived experiences, but the result is the same. What sucks about jumping is that after a while it isn't too scary and becomes almost routine. I would still get the clarity on high jumps. 1600 foot antennas at night are pretty wild, and can be quite safe if the wind is in your favor.

If I could bottle that up and sell it, I would rule the world.
WBraun

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 08:34am PT
You blew it big time, Base.

When you met "Dog, the Bounty hunter" in the elevator you should sized him up real good with eyeballs and then said:

"Hey there's a dog in the elevator off his leash"
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 08:49am PT
We used to have a saying:

"If you think, you stink."

What that meant was that the act of thinking slowed your response down way too much and you would be meat some day. You had to know every possible bad thing that could happen, and react properly without thinking on jumps.

I can't count the number of jumps that I didn't do. If the wind wasn't right or for some other reason. You do your due diligence before you jump.

On the other end of the expression you have big walls, which can be scary, but are much slower. The experience is more like going to war seems like. Long and drawn out.

I could feel the clarity when soloing sometimes. You know what I'm talking about if you get on a string of routes that you know like the back of your hand. Sometimes we would do this with strings of buddies, soloing route after route after route. I never got into trouble when soloing.

That is the thing about rock climbing. Relatively speaking, it isn't all that dangerous. Even on some hugely run out route, you know what you are getting into unless it is an FA. I did few FA's. I did do some first solo ascents.

You know how you can get all caught up in the movement. I assume it is what people call "flow." Experience really starts when you stop thinking.

If you think, you stink.
Psilocyborg

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 08:49am PT
"oh great, someone didn't clean up after their dog!"
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 08:54am PT
No lie. The elevator opened and he took off walking through the lobby at top speed.

I would have preferred it to be Al Franken, but you can't decide these things.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:57am PT
The brain may be more like a television set than a hard-drive recorder.

Wonderful metaphor.

rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
Apr 12, 2013 - 10:31am PT
"thinking can get you more stinking than drinking" A friend who was a sufi told me that once.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 12, 2013 - 10:46am PT
More than a century of intensive, well-funded research has failed to pin down memory traces in brains. There may be a simple reason for this: the hypothetical traces do not exist. However long or hard researchers look for them they may never find them. Instead, memories may depend on resonance from an organism's own past. The brain may be more like a television set than a hard-drive recorder. What you see on TV depends on the resonant tuning of the set to invisible fields. No one can find out today what programs you watched yesterday by analyzing the wires and transistors in your TV set for traces of yesterday's programs.

-


Maybe it's that hunting for "memories," as though they were themselves molecular structures, or bio filing cabinets full of data, is like searching for a tune inside a guitar. I don't know about "invisible fields," whatever that means, but my wild guess is that the real stumbling block might be a bottom up causal model, however you choose to describe it, where more fundamental and less complex atomic structures somehow give rise to meta functions like memories. This is the "broadcast," or "telecast" model, where the brain creates and telecasts the program (memory) to itself. One can only wonder what else might be involved that people have been missing for the last century. Chances are if they keep looking for some discrete thing, they'll keep getting the same results. Nada.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:21am PT
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:27am PT
(Jed Mckenna?)
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:22pm PT
More than a century of intensive, well-funded research has failed to pin down memory traces in brains.

Not entirely true.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015151155.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/search/index.php?type=news&keyword=memories§ion=all&period=365&sort=relevance&total=174&page=2

In a related vein here's an article on memory just released today

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130412132428.htm


BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
so memory is just magical?

It certainly isn't very accurate. Somehow we live life through filters, presumably to keep from being overwhelmed.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
Somehow we live life through filters,

Researchers are beginning to find out the significant role that sleep plays in memory formation and consolidation.
The April. 12 article I cited above points out the central significance of rehearsal of memories during sleep .
Sometimes if an individual is experiencing poor memory it could simply be a matter of sleep patterns and habits that are not conducive to memory formation.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 12, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
One can only wonder what else might be involved that people have been missing for the last century.

so memory is just magical?


We've been over this before - how if a standard, bottom-up physicalist model doesn't explain it, the only other option in "magic." That's an all-or-nothing approach to the problem. Are you willing to imagine other options, besides magic (what IS magic, exactly??)?

And the examples given for memory creation have to do with objective processing, spacial signaling in particular, not memories per se - unless we are back to insisting that said signaling ARE memories themselves.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
And the examples given for memory creation have to do with objective processing, spacial signaling in particular, not memories per se - unless we are back to insisting that said signaling ARE memories themselves.

The brain's signaling , or dendritic activity in general, when changed , or as in the case of Alzheimer's , are destroyed through the accumulation of beta amyloid plaques- memory is demonstrably affected.
When memory is profoundly altered- in the case of Alzheimer's - by an interruption in signalling- the stricken individual seems to lose all sense of self; the subjective state is progressively eradicated ,along with a purely objective grasp of the external.
Alzheimer's patients, when in the advanced stages of the disorder, are not going to be doing any science experiments , or meditation anytime soon.


Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 12, 2013 - 02:47pm PT
memory is essentially a non-linear process, it is rooted in something physical in the brain, for instance brain injury can eliminate memories... and altering brain function (e.g. anesthetics, other drugs, etc which are not injurious) does not.


I think the airy fairy description about the brain being more like a TV set then a hard drive recorder might have suggested that memory cannot be fully explained or understood by the hardware that seemingly transmits it. For instance, if I unhook ("injure") the speaker in a transistor radio, it will no longer transmit the radio station. I believe the physicalist is saying that the brain transmits the signal ENTIRELY itself, cognates the memory via the same hardware, responds, and all the rest. In other words, one need not go beyond the brain itself to explain all of consciousness. Where else would we go, right?

We'll just see how this plays out in the meantime. I'll bet it won't be like what any of us currently believe in, and i hold out virtually no hop[e for a bottom up, fully self-contained model to go anywhere past objective functioning.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
In other words, one need not go beyond the brain itself to explain all of consciousness. Where else would we go, right?

"All" consciousness is another matter.
At this moment it is a leap of faith and an ideological position( i am currently not prepared to fully take) for me personally to assume that all human consciousness can be thoroughly explained by science. Science cannot at this moment. Perhaps never.
As you said : " we'll just see..."

Going to the park to shoot some hoops.
Later.
WBraun

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
Science cannot at this moment. Perhaps never.

Definitely not modern science with their rigid sterile minds locked in their mechanical machines and gross materialism.

They are the gatekeepers of sterile-ism.

They think of themselves as open minded critical thinkers of which everything they come in contact with their senses can be explained logically, and in conformity with their bias.

Intellectually proud they are.

But so foolishly they balk that there could be unseen forces guiding the whole entire cosmic manifestations.

Their tools they use are the wrong tools for studying the mind and consciousness .....
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 12, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Definitely not modern science with their rigid sterile minds locked in their mechanical machines and gross materialism

Mad Scientist by Roberto Campus
Mad Scientist by Roberto Campus
Credit: jogill





;>)
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 12, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
Werner's ^^^^^ There's a lot of good one's in that one! HeHeHe...

But so foolishly they balk that there could be unseen forces guiding the whole entire cosmic manifestations.


Yea! They are predestined to be sterilestic so let's be nice to them and maybe they won't blow up the world.
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