What is "Mind?"

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 27, 2019 - 05:04pm PT
eeyonkee - you have a blind spot, and you're missing it. What do you suppose it is?

Hint - that the brain and consciousness are the same thing, or put differently, the brain "creates" consciousness.

What some are suggesting is way more radical than what you are imagining, but flubbing, IMO.

All of those first assumptions are already in place before you put your thinking cap on. Kant got that much centuries ago.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Mar 27, 2019 - 05:22pm PT
Seems to me that you STILL haven't answered my question. It's fundamental.
WBraun

climber
Mar 27, 2019 - 06:14pm PT
is the secret sauce

lol

Clueless as ever .....
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 27, 2019 - 06:30pm PT
It's nuts, amigo, if your first assumptions are true. There's no question that at the level of organization you are working from, physicalism works. We all use it all day every day. The problems arise when you dig into the imagined parts and find they are not "there" in any classical sense. But seeing past the classical take on the world that our minds create for us is no simple task.

Take biocentrism. That standalone, independent, objective brain you talk about is, in this view, not even there in the sense you think it is. Space, dimension, time, location, movement, matter - all of these are virtual phenomenon provided by consciousness in order for life to have experience.

The challenge, in psychological terms, is that our working ego and psyche favors homeostasis above all else, and that includes preserving our belief in a classical observer independent objective world "out there." Void and impermanence of all forms/objects - the touchstones of all schools of introspection - feel like death to the ego, and are defended against like crazy.

"Getting this" is not a case of believing in an implausible idea about stuff, but rather seeing that the stuff you believe is "out there," ain't. It's all postulated by consciousness. It's hard to imagine a more radical notion, especially when our psyche says, Bollocks!

Donald Winnicott was a genius who saw that being was the Golden Fleece, but try and settle into that and see what happens. And don't think for a second people like Winnicott and all the others didn't ask themselves the same questions you are asking. They just never left off asking and wondering.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 27, 2019 - 07:22pm PT
well, you're still peddling Lanza's biocentrism despite the fact its complete nonsense from a guy speculating way, way outside of his areas of expertise. And now psychoanalysts who are, as a class, also entirely speculating. Maybe try molecular psychiatrists for a fresh new, fact-based perspective...

The Journal of Molecular Psychiatry
Uncovering the complex genetics of human character

Igor Zwir, Javier Arnedo, […]C. Robert Cloninger
Published: 03 October 2018

We were able to characterize and replicate the complexity of the genotypic–phenotypic risk architecture of self-regulatory character traits in three large samples. Our findings demonstrate that data-driven analysis of the architecture of genotypic–phenotypic relationships enables investigators to overcome the hidden heritability problem (i.e., the consistent inability to account for most of the heritability of complex traits when only the average effects of genes are considered). We conclude that self-regulatory personality traits are strongly influenced by organized interactions among more than 700 genes, despite variable cultures and environments. We recommend studies that dissect detailed phenomic and genomic data, including brain images and physiological measurements, and integrate these in a multi-faceted view of each person. We also recommend an extended replicability analysis, in which a marker can be replicated at different multi-omic levels, such as genes, family of proteins, or pathways. The precision of our person-centered approach now allows such in-depth analysis and replication, even for complex traits in moderate-sized samples.

or maybe behavioralists...

The Journal of Adaptive Behavior
The biology of consciousness from the bottom up

Claude MJ Braun, Shaun Lovejoy
Published April 2, 2018

This essay aims to outline a scientific approach to the investigation of consciousness emphasizing achievements and promise of hardcore bottom-up biology. We propose to contemplate what would be the minimal requirements of consciousness in the simplest of life forms. We show that, starting from the molecular nuts and bolts of such life forms, it is the extreme multitudinousness of the moving material components forming consciousness, and their organized swarming, that appears outstanding. This is in stark contrast with the impression obtained from introspection that consciousness is a single, unconstrained, immaterial stream.

And what about that pesky subconscious and where are all those on-demand beliefs stored? Inquiring minds and all...
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Mar 27, 2019 - 07:43pm PT
Why would I have any reason to believe a crazy man than a non-crazy man? They both have subjective experiences.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 27, 2019 - 08:25pm PT
From Largo's link:

"Avoid that temptation, and you'll never fall for the greatest myth about quantum physics: that it needs an interpretation at all."


So, no more quantum mysticism, please. Including biocentrism.


Just do the calculations, like Feynman suggested.
WBraun

climber
Mar 27, 2019 - 09:13pm PT
You, gross materialists, should get some sleep.

There's another big day ahead of measuring to do to fill your data banks.

Then you can calculate how much you're off again as usual ......
zBrown

Ice climber
Mar 27, 2019 - 09:54pm PT

The process will continue albeit unconsciously :)

Carl Jung said that

I'll let ya be in my dream
If I can be in your dream

MLK said that
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 28, 2019 - 08:25am PT
Crazy people, sure, they subjectively experience, but how would the brain affect what their consciousness subjectively experiences? Clearly an altogether crazy notion...

Crime scene schizophrenia—30 genes under suspicion
The research group led by Prof. Alex Schier, director of the University of Basel's Biozentrum, has identified 30 genes associated with schizophrenia. The team was able to show which pathological changes in the brain and behavioral abnormalities are triggered by these genes. The results of the study have now been published in Cell.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2019 - 10:05am PT
well, you're still peddling Lanza's biocentrism despite the fact its complete nonsense from a guy speculating way, way outside of his areas of expertise.


You might want to read a bit more about Lanza's background and the many people who helped shape his views. His original books were coauthored by an astronomer, and his mentor was a physicist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rnrHvN8n1c

I'm not pitching Lanza, just using him as am example to illustrate how ingrained is our classical understanding of reality. Look at the violent reactions when others views are expressed, each claiming that the "facts" are on their side, or to forget the whole thing and just keep calculating. Or hilariously, that a top end scientist is working "way outside of his areas of expertise," this without offering any commentary on what, specifically, you take issue with, and what arguments you have that you believe were somehow lost on Lanza, Berman, et al.

It's also interesting to look at this whole discussion in terms of attachment theory, which goes far in explaining how some of us cling to our beliefs, citing "facts."

MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Mar 28, 2019 - 10:30am PT
healyje: . . . you're still peddling Lanza's biocentrism despite the fact its complete nonsense from a guy speculating way, way outside of his areas of expertise.


A fine idea. Which person or discipline could claim expertise in consciousness? On the one hand, we're all speculating when we attempt to say what consciousness is definitively. On the other hand, it's right in front of everyone. I'd call that a conundrum. How does one resolve a conundrum? In this instance, I'd say that one must get outside of every box--that is, to see that every attempt employs a box. (No boxes!)

This essay aims to outline a scientific approach to the investigation of consciousness emphasizing achievements and promise of hardcore bottom-up biology.


As an academic, I must ask: Where's the hell *is* the bottom?

. . . how would the brain affect what their consciousness subjectively experiences? Clearly an altogether crazy notion...

. . . created by a number of highly respected sociologists and psychologists. Contemporarily, you could begin with Marx, but the list is quite long. For every person who has ever argued that some group or person was duped, there is illusion. There is much more than a brain involved, I'd say.

How is it that you, Largo, me, Werner, Ed, eeyonkee could ever have a substantive disagreement about what we see? Is reality unyielding and incontrovertible? Or is reality fluid, undefinable, essentially undescribable? Do we have the same brains or not? Do they work the same ways or not? Do we share consciousness or not? At best, I'd say we share notions about content, but that's about as far as I think that anyone can go. Unfortunately, it gets us little to unearth what consciousness *is* or how it *works.*
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 28, 2019 - 12:35pm PT

"The white blooms of flowering yuccas moved in the wind and in the night bats came from some nether part of the world to stand on leather wings like dark satanic hummingbirds to feed at the mouths of these flowers."
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 28, 2019 - 01:30pm PT
"A man's at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with.'

Blood Meridian
Old hermit to the kid, Chapter 2, Page 19.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 28, 2019 - 02:26pm PT
"Look at the violent reactions when others views are expressed, each claiming that the "facts" are on their side, or to forget the whole thing and just keep calculating."



Your take on "violence" seems unhinged. Calm down.


Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 28, 2019 - 04:15pm PT
Space, dimension, time, location, movement, matter - all of these are virtual phenomenon provided by consciousness in order for life to have experience.

That's matrix talk. The mission statement above is the general way in which a video game designer would proceed in creating a world for his characters; all for the sake and the benefit of the experience. In this view the physical world is merely something to be rendered--and quantum probability more in the way of a sort of an optimization code.

In the end such a condition would be about as romantic as the metrics used to construct it.
Nothing would change, in essence. There would still be all the mysteries and fundamental questions left intact. Nothing new or foundational would be ascertained, certainly not the overriding mystery that could be at the core of being--nor the ultimate meaning or nature of the universe.

But then again I am guessing, as Verner says. As I would be doing if I suggested that nothing less than plodding and measuring empiricism would eventually get us to a discovery of the big truth. What if a God could be discovered and then explained like any other physical principle , like gravitation or magnetism? Sounds like more fun than the game-coding approach?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 28, 2019 - 06:00pm PT
Space, dimension, time, location, movement, matter - all of these are virtual phenomenon provided by consciousness in order for life to have experience.

put this way, every phenomenon is "virtual," existing only in our experience, which may be real to us (as expressed through our conscious thought and behavior) but is inaccessible to anyone and anything else... the experience is virtual also, it is realized only through our behavioral reaction to it.



WBraun

climber
Mar 28, 2019 - 06:25pm PT
The higher ones developed consciousness the more that is revealed.

Consciousness is always the king and supreme over all ....
zBrown

Ice climber
Mar 28, 2019 - 10:24pm PT
So without us thinking up a tree
We cannot even consider the question
Of it making noise when it falls down
Eh?



healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 29, 2019 - 01:02am PT
MikeL wrote: Which person or discipline could claim expertise in consciousness?

Lanza is definitely in the 'no boxes' zone with his extrapolatory biocentrism - he basically blows right past "If a tree falls In the woods and no one is around, did it make a sound?" and jams directly on to "Is there a tree In the woods if no one is around to make it exist?"

But I get it, some people just can't abide by the idea of a random universe, existing unaided by a panpsychic observer. It's basically a mashup of Intelligent Design and the Anthropic Principle. But before there were stars, whose observation allowed the formation of atoms? This isn't about expertise in consciousness, this is about those people who refuse to acknowledge randomness - who need for there to be conscious interventions (divine or otherwise).

On the one hand, we're all speculating when we attempt to say what consciousness is definitively.

No doubt. To me, defining what consciousness "is" is a matter or context and perspective, but there is at least some evidence for consciousness (whatever it "is") being an emergent property of brains versus no evidence for panpsychic and other fundamental consciousness explanations.

How does one resolve a conundrum? In this instance, I'd say that one must get outside of every box--that is, to see that every attempt employs a box. (No boxes!)

Or one works to map and match perception, behavior, and experience with organic and genomic functions to better understand the relationship between consciousness and the brain. Again, the subconscious is the elephant in the room in that respect. How does your brain/subconscious form and contextualize images and sounds without a conscious observer subjectively experiencing their formation?

As an academic, I must ask: Where's the hell *is* the bottom?

Well, last time I checked, looking for the bottom is a big part of what science is all about - in science people dig for the bottom and take what they find, however confounding, rather than make things up because what they found was unacceptable to them.

There is much more than a brain involved, I'd say.

Such as...?

How is it that you, Largo, me, Werner...

Hey! Don't lump me in with Werner; I for one don't have it all figured out like he does.

Is reality unyielding and incontrovertible? Or is reality fluid, undefinable, essentially undescribable?

Clearly there's two realities: external and the real-time hallucination in our heads. Lanza would have you believe they are opposite sides of the same coin and a two-way street. I think not.

Do we have the same brains or not?

Well, having lived and/or worked with both newborns and people afflicted with mental illness I'd say what almost passes for a miracle is the fact we can perceive, communicate, and interact with each other at all. That our individual consciousnesses, perceptions, and mental state are even in remotely the same ballpark is simply astounding. That opinion is really reinforced when working with mental illness where you realize we are all basically walking a tightwire of 'normal' without realizing how fine that wire is and how easily one can lose their grip on it. Working with a lot of newborns you can see the roots of common behaviors emerging and honing in on that tightwire of 'normal'.

Do we share consciousness or not?

Not from what I've seen in newborns, 'normal' people, and the mentally ill. We share similar but individual tightwires suspending across a common plane formed by the fact we perceive and process our environment, and each other within a very tight set of boundaries, constraints, and parameters. If we didn't, we'd simply pass each other like ships in the night barely aware of each other's existence, unable to communicate or interact with one another. I personally believe those boundaries, constraints, and parameters are genomically encode attributes of human brains; clearly, others posit it must be a matter of a shared consciousness as they, like Lanza, can't accept that carbon could ever simply become [alive and ] conscious on its own through random processes.
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