Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 16261 - 16280 of total 23242 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 24, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
Psp, nice description. But on this thread, either everyone has already tried "all that," they are terrified of losing their minds, or they can't be bothered.

And Marlow wrote: I have been outside searching for the "Zen center just down the road from your (my) house". I didn't find it. But I found a lot of apartments, children playing ouside, I found two restaurants, three shops, a bar and a bank. Maybe I just didn't get it - can the bar have been a Zen center in disguise? An old man was sitting outside, undrunk, and an old woman was just passing by. Or have I missed something inbetween?

Norge, how do you possibly ever hold down a job? That little thing at the top of the post was a web address for the very place in question, given to you so you wouldn't have to look. Are you "undrunk?" (known as "sober" in the English). I even offered to pay for your first instruction. Do I have to go over here and walk you to the joint. Or are you adverse in receiving instruction, believing there are no experts in the subjective adventures. That's what many guess is the case here, or that teachers are cult leaders and gurus for weak kneed Nancy boys.

Now come on, kamerat. Get the lead out and get down there. It can't be more than five kicks from your crib (hus).

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 24, 2013 - 06:42pm PT
Watch it Marla: if you go to this "guru" joint surely madness and mental infirmity will follow you all the days of your life...all because Larga gets a free coupon for every " customer" he refers.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Sep 24, 2013 - 07:06pm PT

The symptom of the soul ("I" the ego) is that it is active eternally by its true nature ..... (Duck)


I can attest to the primacy of the "I-consciousness" from my experiences in the Art of Dreaming years ago. So the Duck & I agree on this issue.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 24, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
Sorry about the interruption
Credit: Dr. F.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 24, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
Credit: Largo
MH2

climber
Sep 24, 2013 - 09:47pm PT
"Oh, Mike, we'll understand what consciousness is one day."

We've not made a single dent materially that I've seen or read.



When anyone shows interest in understanding consciousness, it is a sign that they lack the mental scope and acuity that such a project almost certainly requires.

So you should not listen to me. However, good thinkers have turned their attention to the problem as a diversion after their more productive years or perhaps once senility impaired their judgment. Sir Francis Crick did not take the field very far.

Neuroscientist Rodolfo Llinás spent most of his prolific career studying the behavior of neurons and their connections, mostly in the cerebellum. In later years he gave in to the temptation to try to put it all together:

Llinás, R. I of the Vortex: From Neurons to Self (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 2001)

Llinás highlights the role of the nervous system in organizing movement. In order to move around in search of food, to find a mate, and to escape predation, animals not only build mental models of their environment, they must also build and maintain internal representations of how their own bodies move. The basics may be handed down genetically, but the details of exactly what happens when nerve causes muscle to contract are too complicated and situation-dependent for all the information to be coded in genes.

Knowing where you are in your surroundings and what is going to happen when your arm is intended to reach out and pick something up is a kind of self-awareness. The neuronal circuitry needed to accomplish this kind of task may have, over evolutionary time, developed into what we perceive as consciousness.

Consider also that humans are vastly more capable than other animals at acquiring new motor skills, from tooth-brushing to soccer to piano etc. etc.


The video of the quad-copter development group shows machines with good motor skills, although they need a different way to locate themselves than we use. For now. Thanks, BASE104.
pa

climber
Sep 24, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
Who is the lion?
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Sep 24, 2013 - 11:16pm PT
Who is the Lion?
Looks like
Bellerophon killing the Chimera
the Chimera is the Lion... the Chimera usually represents the notion of a confusing, purposely disingenuous falsehood (if that's not redundant). Something that can only exist in the imagination.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 24, 2013 - 11:41pm PT
The neuronal circuitry needed to accomplish this kind of task may have, over evolutionary time, developed into what we perceive as consciousness.

Sure. Tasks are one thing, and I would say that folks have reasonable mechanical explanation for those kinds of things. A leads to B, and B leads to C. I can see and accept most of that, because those explanations make sense conventionally. I got taught some of that research at the U of I, in Champaign-Urbana. I took to it like a bee to flowers.

Here's my little problem, however. One must know what A or B or C is. MH2, you have to say what consciousness IS. You don't have to do it all at once, but you have to start somewhere. You have to come up with some definable characteristics.

I don't think that "seeing," "hearing," "feeling," "tasting," etc. are good enough, though. I think you have to describe each or one of those. What ARE those?

We all know what seeing is, because we experience it. It's obvious. But putting it into terms, labels, categories, etc. that are definitive . . . that's what I haven't ever seen done, and for the moment, I can't see how that can be done. Not only do you have a transduction problem (translating one qualitative system into another qualitatively different system), but you have an ontology problem: WHAT IS IT?

What, for example, IS seeing, anyway? You'll probably tell me how it works, but what is IT?

All experience seems to be various forms of energy flows, but beyond that, no can seem to say. Each categorical sensation seems to be be a quality all unto itself, incomparable.

To a person who has never tasted sweet, how would you describe the taste of sugar? indeed, how would you describe anything at all?

This problem / concern is nothing new in our conversation. We seem to be returning, again and again, to the same issue. What is IT? How do you describe experience--any experience at all? Every experience seems to be completely indescribable, yet we all have them, and we all KNOW them. (How strange is that?)

It is this (seemingly) simple unavoidable fact that should suggest to us something that goes way beyond anything we conceive: i.e., Reality. Reality is happening right now to everyone everywhere. No one can stop it, amend it, define it, contextualize it, grasp it, set it into a broader context, say what its limits are, or say what it is made of.

So, . . . consciousness. It's so obvious, but it's nothing that we can seem to do anything with, except to experience it. What a joke! It's a cosmic joke of galactic proportions, made by <something> with a bizarre sense of humor.


MH2, you and your colleagues in neuroscience have a heck of a bridge to assemble to get from "mechanisms," to what we know as consciousness--not to mention to those with "expanded" consciousnesses.

Cheers.
WBraun

climber
Sep 25, 2013 - 12:20am PT
Duck Koan ....


Offer them a solid gold brick and they immediately become suspicious and their mind will go in every direction.

Hand them a plate of dog sh!t and they will immediately recognize
MH2

climber
Sep 25, 2013 - 12:20am PT
but what is IT?

It is mechanisms, friend. That does not feel right to you? It does not shine with the right light?

That's OK. You see things differently. What you see and what IS may be different.

We do what we can.


Sing, dance, glorious notes
   
Let them out of your glorious throats
   
It won't matter years from now if you once sang off-key
   
Dance, sing, glorious steps
   
Show the world that you won't forget
   
It may matter years from now that you once believed in dreams.


Anne Dodson
Priggish Tom and Piddily Pie
from The February Tapes
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 25, 2013 - 01:20am PT
That was a really good one MikeL!

How about. Have you ever been to a Major League Baseball game?
Where there's 60,000 people Routing for one of two teams. Where the positive voice is always louder than the negative. Can't we conceive, from the batters perspective. The 30,000 people
willing him to get a hit is a conscious effort? Or even if there's just one person cheering you on in a race. Doesn't the knowledge of that support elevate you spiritually, and help you perform better than when your by yourself? The combinedness of emotional and mental thought towards one eventful goal. Is this a form of social consciousness?
Kinda like ducks flying in a "V" pattern. That looks like consciousness.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 25, 2013 - 11:40am PT
Largo.

I followed your scientific address management instruction... I was there today, and - this is strange - I didn't see nothing...

... And then it struck me - the Wall Mart buddha may have been right all along and I have been wrong: Everything is ... eh... really... nothing...

... I'll go tell my mule... ;o)

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 25, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
Marlow, whatever you're drinking, you better put it down because it's making you crazy. Verily, the Norg master at that Zendo said you never showed up.

But honestly, what exactly would it take to make you go there and sit down for ONE HOUR. It's in your very home town, after all. And a fellow Norge is the leader. No guru or nut.

At some time everyone needs to do something besides talk about this, lest it's just a kind of blue-wind club.

And don't we just love the statement - "consciousness IS mechanics." That is, self awareness itself IS electro-chemical circuitry.

This argument was debunked ages ago when many neuro scientists pointed out that "mechanics" and electro-chemical activity goes on in countless instances and never IS consciousness.

So no cigar on calling your uncle your aunt, or that heads are in fact, tales. This is as silly as insisting that consciousness is a post-modernist construct tied to language.

Who is witnessing what you are describing?

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 25, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
I like the Duck Koan. More please.


BB: Doesn't the knowledge of that support elevate you spiritually, and help you perform better than when your by yourself?

(I'd say for our purposes here, forget "performance." Being oriented to achievement is an error.)

Sure. It seems there are things we feel or sense when others are pulling for us, or when they wish us ill will. I think Jan might tell us about Buddhists in the Far East who contribute to monasteries to ward off evil spirits or ill intentions. I hear folks use "black magic" on other families or competitors. Buddhism in the Far East is not exactly as it appears here in the U.S.

I'm interested in energy flows among people when they come together. I walk down the hall at school, and a person says hello, or perhaps we stop to talk. I hear my own words, and I hear the other person's words. If I am honest with myself, I'll admit that there are many other thoughts and feelings going through me than the ones I'm expressing or explicitly showing. My emotional tone or psyche and state of mind often shift when I come in contact with others. Recently I'm suspecting that there are invisible or under-the-surface energy flows transpiring that I have no knowledge about; and in turn they are giving rise to those emotional, mood, or state of mind shifts within me.

Why would I say that? Because when I look closely in me (and I have some practice at that), I don't know where those shifts are coming from or why. They just show up. Of course, if they are not related to any event, then they are causeless--which would present an even more confounding situation.

I need a much broader bandwidth. There appear to be things (physical, emotional, psychic, spiritual, and ???? ) going on that I am barely aware of, like the tips of icebergs.

I often get to see my students after the course has been completed, or maybe a year or 5 at an alumni get-together. I repeatedly hear that what I thought I was doing or saying is different than what they heard or learned. It's obvious we aren't talking about the same experience. Yet, it is the experience (whatever it was) that is the basis for learning, development, and change.

I'm somnambulating. I'm just not awake.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Sep 25, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
re: neurobiology and visual studies

David Hubel died.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/science/david-hubel-nobel-winning-scientist-dies-at-87.html?hpw&_r=0

One of my teachers was a postdoc and research colleague of Hubel.

.....

Yeah, times are changing...

US Congressional staff briefing by Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker, sponsored by Secular Coalition of America.

http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=9241bef44976519ab9f9dff94&id=2f998ead6c&e=c6483b4a5f

This was unheard of just one generation ago.
MH2

climber
Sep 25, 2013 - 01:16pm PT
This argument was debunked ages ago when many neuro scientists pointed out that "mechanics" and electro-chemical activity goes on in countless instances and never IS consciousness.


Your awareness is incomplete or selective.


From I of the Vortex, R. Llinás, 2001:


Those who reject the reduction of qualia to the electrical activity and geometry of neuronal circuits perhaps do so because they lack any understanding of functional geometries; qualia are not some mysterious events that, "residing between," manage miraculously to change the nature of electrical activity into "feeling." After all, we must remember that, as stated above, qualia are soluble in local anesthetics. Here the ghost in the machine is responsive to surgery or even a whack on the head. Since when are transcendent properties so fragile and close to the biological process? Parsimony and serious science clearly indicate that "the bridge," "the mysterious transformation" of electrochemical events into sensations is an empty set. It does not exist: neuronal activity and sensation are one and the same event.

chapter 10, p. 218


We may, and I think we must come to understand qualia as a sort of master organ, one that allows for the individual senses to operate or co-mingle in an ensemble fashion. Qualia make simplifying, momentary judgements about this ensemble activity, allowing these judgements to be re-entered into the system for the predictive needs of the organism (self). Qualia represent judgements or assessments at the circuit level of the information carried by sensory pathways, or sensations. And these sensations, the integration product of the activation of internal sensory fixed action patterns, represent the ultimate predictive vectors that recycle/re-enter into the internal landscape of the self. They are the "ghost" in the machine and represent the critically important space between input and output, for they are neither, yet are a product of one and the drive for the other. And all the while they are simplified constructs on the part of the intrinsic properties of the neuronal circuits of our brains.

chapter 10, pp 221-22






Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 25, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
Parsimony and serious science clearly indicate that "the bridge," "the mysterious transformation" of electrochemical events into sensations is an empty set. It does not exist: neuronal activity and sensation are one and the same event.



I have to work today and can't fiddle with this much but when Lineas dumbed down the conversation to only qualia, or content, he left out self awarenss, which is the key to it all. Seeking to cling to a strictly mechanistic model, where neural activity "creates" consciousness, he is left with the same impossible situation facing the old physicists who tried to prove that a landslide, for example, creates gravity. Neither the landslide nor gravity have independente existences, but nothing does. FYI, and empty set simply means void of physicality.

More later. This is my wheel house.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Sep 25, 2013 - 02:45pm PT




MH2

climber
Sep 25, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
Yes, telling Rodolfo that his Aunt is not his Uncle will get him to reconsider his thinking.



It is the difference in the electrical properties and connectivity of neurons that allows networks to internalize the external world images into our brain and to transform such images into motor behavior. Such networks also generate the rapidly moving electrical storms that represent, internally, the fast and ever-changing external reality. These dissipative electrical events of the brain, rich enough to represent all that we can observe or imagine, constitute the mind. These electrical events in our networks constitute "us."

Chapter 4, p. 70

I of the Vortex, R. Llinás
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