What is "Mind?"

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Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 18, 2018 - 02:40pm PT
Everyone is crazy. If you know you are crazy then you are sane. Paradox or good drugs?

Crazy makes a great vacation.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 18, 2018 - 02:50pm PT

Jodel-time


WBraun

climber
Mar 18, 2018 - 02:53pm PT
If reality is perceived through mind,

Reality is always perceived thru the heart ......
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 18, 2018 - 02:58pm PT
Reality is obfuscated through the mind. That's why we need windshield wipers.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 18, 2018 - 04:18pm PT
One very common misunderstanding is that the meditation experience is some created state..



This is so ingrained that most all contemplatives go through a long stage of trying to find or learn or generate some magical state, believing that this is the Higher Ground where you will find out all the marvelous stuff not disclosed to us through thinking etc. This is especially true in the manner we look for or witness with the expectation of discovering something suave and fantastic. When folks start practicing on stuff like the Formless Jhanas, there is no thing to look for and the mind (at least my mind did) spins like a top till it doesn't, when you become aware of all that efforting and waiting for the punch line.
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 18, 2018 - 04:57pm PT
Or you finally find the switch for those damned windshield wipers.
zBrown

Ice climber
Mar 18, 2018 - 07:22pm PT


Moreover, an artistic career was tempting. In the end, however, it was a problem of theoretical knowledge which induced me to study chemistry, which was a great surprise to all who knew me. Mystical experiences in childhood, in which Nature was altered in magical ways, had provoked questions concerning the essence of the external, material world, and chemistry was the scientific field which might afford insights into this.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 18, 2018 - 07:48pm PT
https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality-20160421/

This guy stirs most every pot...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 18, 2018 - 07:53pm PT
^^^MikeL had us consider this research many posts upthread

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1593650&msg=2660973#msg2660973
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00577/full

about a year and a half ago
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 18, 2018 - 08:01pm PT
It must be illegal.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 18, 2018 - 08:48pm PT
Hoffman talks a lot about mathematics and quantum physics, appropriating the mysteries of the latter and injecting them into the macro world. I'm suspicious of these generalities, and we've seen this sort of thing on and off this entire thread. JL has written of a particular interpretation of quantum physics as if it were a universally accepted perspective. And of course the mathematics bandied about from the beginning pages is nothing more than shallow musings.

Remember Tononi's Phi function from information theory? He simply postulates consciousness and presents a mathematical model that is largely unworkable.
WBraun

climber
Mar 18, 2018 - 09:06pm PT
He simply postulates consciousness and presents a mathematical model that is largely unworkable.

Like I've been saying all along all the time "consciousness cannot be understood by material means".

As we see again and again it proves the gross materialists are fool mental speculators using only their defective senses.

Consciousness is always beyond the reach of the gross materialists independent attempts.

Otherwise, they would never suffer the dissolution of their material bodies ......
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 19, 2018 - 01:35am PT
I once had a young, talented friend who stepped off a curb completely oblivious to traffic. He was hit and killed instantly by a car he never observed in any way whatsoever. It wasn't an internal symbolic representation that killed him, it was a car that existed independent of any observers.

John G. has it right: Hoffman overthinks and oversells the proposition when he extrapolates into the macro world and in doing so undercuts his credibility in ways which are both unfortunate and unnecessary.

Bottom line is all observers could be wiped off the face of the earth tomorrow and El Cap would still be there in as an objective, physical reality that very much matches the internal maps of those who have climbed it.
QITNL

climber
Mar 19, 2018 - 01:57am PT
That's a sad story.

I was feeling the same way. I went to my doctor, told him I was feeling a little out of step.

He said to me, "Well, maybe I should check your shoes."

Problem solved! POSITIVE RESOLES!

zBrown

Ice climber
Mar 19, 2018 - 08:07am PT
Not Hoffman, Hofmann



Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 19, 2018 - 08:16am PT
Interesting takes on that article. It would be interesting to hear, specifically and in detail, how people take issue with what was said. And what do folks believe about the observer and measuring.

Note the desperate clinging to a stand-alone world "out there" that supposedly exists just or nearly as we see and experience and measure it.

But what, specifically, are people taking issue with? Consider the following statement from Hoffman:


"On the other side are quantum physicists, marveling at the strange fact that quantum systems don’t seem to be definite objects localized in space until we come along to observe them — whether we are conscious humans or inanimate measuring devices. Experiment after experiment has shown — defying common sense — that if we assume that the particles that make up ordinary objects have an objective, observer-independent existence, we get the wrong answers. The central lesson of quantum physics is clear: There are no public objects sitting out there in some preexisting space. As the physicist John Wheeler put it, “Useful as it is under ordinary circumstances to say that the world exists ‘out there’ independent of us, that view can no longer be upheld.”

It's not like Wheeler was some fringe scientist, proposing wonky takes on QM.

"Wheeler won numerous prizes and awards, including the Enrico Fermi Award in 1968, the Franklin Medal in 1969, the Einstein Prize in 1969, the National Medal of Science in 1971, the Niels Bohr International Gold Medal in 1982, the Oersted Medal in 1983, the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize in 1984 and the Wolf Foundation Prize in 1997.[69] He was a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Royal Academy, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and the Century Association."

Seems pretty main stream to me. Again, where, specifically, do people take issue with Wheeler in this regards? Do you believe he "didn't understand or misrepresented the data," and if so, how?

More here on the on-going debate:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/physics/2015/05/quantum-word-real-world-thing/
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Mar 19, 2018 - 08:25am PT
JL:

Note the desperate clinging to a stand-alone world "out there" that supposedly exists just or nearly as we see and experience and measure it.


MikeL:

one can try to become fully aware of whatever the hell it is. I mean, it’s all you really got.



It would be inconsiderate to try to settle these issues for a solipsist. However, if I noticed a mountain lion close behind one of these guys, I would feel it necessary to give them a shout.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Mar 19, 2018 - 09:35am PT
healyje: . . . Hoffman overthinks and oversells the proposition when he extrapolates into the macro world . . . .

I think we’ve seen and heard this complaint for a long time here: what applies to the macro world does not apply to the micro / quantum world, and vice versa. I’m wondering why or how that is, other than “because that’s not what we’ve found.” (Just because you’ve not found something doesn’t mean it or something or another doesn’t exist.)

In my view, I see the same problem as it is found *between* different disciplines (ala, the “incommensurability problem”). The terms, variables, constructs, metrics, and theories from one field (let’s say anthropology) are not the same as are found in other disciplines. Perhaps physicists or mathematicians will claim that at reality’s foundations are quantum phenomena and mathematical expressions. Unfortunately, we don’t find that when we reads the journals from all fields, nor do we talk those ways about what appears to be our experiences.

What law, principle, axiom, or even theory is being appealed to when people say that the micro or quantum world descriptions cannot be applied to the macro world?

(Ed may have an answer for me.)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 19, 2018 - 10:21am PT
What law, principle, axiom, or even theory is being appealed to when people say that the micro or quantum world descriptions cannot be applied to the macro world?


What's more, if "reality" is the whole damn shooting match, what is the view of all worlds coexisting in reality?

Also, consider Solipsism (/ˈsɒlɪpsɪzəm/ ( listen); from Latin solus, meaning 'alone', and ipse, meaning 'self') is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist.

I don't hear anyone tooting that horn here, though there are some who believe in the opposite, in some form of "what really exists is (fill in the blank). You only think you are conscious."
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 19, 2018 - 12:21pm PT
You guys deny, time and again, that you are NOT looking for truth, but this direction takes us down that path again.

I interpret your question as effectively asking: "what is the 'true' reality?"
and then get diverted into these endless debates about quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, and all that.

My view is operational, (or instrumental, or instrumentalist, whatever) that is, what science DOES is make predictions about physical systems.

It's really just that simple, nothing more, nothing less.

To make those predictions you have to have both a language to express the prediction, including the a description of the steps that lead to the prediction, and a quantitative answer (with estimates on the precision of that answer) so that the prediction can be compared with a measurement, also quantitative and including estimates as to the precision and accuracy of the measurements.

These two things go together, basically there is a "rational" part which takes the current theory and applies it to various phenomenon, and an "empirical" part which not only tests the predictions of the theory but also observers new phenomenon.

Quantum mechanics is calculated in a space which has NO physical existence, the complex linear space (Hilbert space) in which we calculate the amplitude of the wave functions as they are operated on by the various physical transformations that describe them.

We take those amplitudes and turn them into probabilities, which are real numbers and correspond to experimental observables.

This is a fundamentally different picture to that of classical mechanics, where the linear space describing the phenomenon can be made to correspond to "physical" things. Though this approach is not unique, and the picture is one of many.

How we view these things as "reality" is quite another matter, however. From a science point of view, if we can make predictions we have understanding, we can manipulate the physical systems and perhaps generate new technologies from that understanding.

Physicists are quite able to deal with paradoxical "pictures of reality," a long standing one being the self-energy of the electron. As far as our measurements are concerned, the electron is a particle with no extent, a "point particle." But it also has an electric field associated with its electric charge. The problem is that the field energy must become infinite as we move towards that point. This contradicts the measurement of the electron mass, which is finite.

Feynman was unhappy with the solution to this problem, which devised a calculational work around to defeat the infinity. But he felt that there was something more fundamental going on that our current, highly successful theory, side stepped.

This "paradox" has been around a very long time, and is yet to be resolved. Many people have ideas on how to resolve it, but measurements so far resist.

Is the electron real? they're bouncing in front of your eyes right now, exactly as we would predict them to do.
Are they quantum mechanical?
are they classical?
are they something else?

are they?

why would it matter to you?
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