What is "Mind?"

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cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jul 14, 2014 - 05:51pm PT
The higher you fly, the faster you fall.

jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 14, 2014 - 05:52pm PT
Jgill: What is will, anyway? (MikeL)


The purposeful aspect of I, as opposed to its reflective aspect.

(mumbo, jumbo, huh?)

I don't know if this is the usual relationship of math to science or not, but he does it often (Jan)

Mathematics, although cited as the "Queen of Science", is not a true science. "Theory" has a different meaning in math than it does in physics, for instance. In fact, mathematics may be closer to philosophy than it is to the physical sciences. Thus I may swing from the chandeliers in our discussions, free from attachment to either side!
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 14, 2014 - 06:07pm PT
ML said "What is will, anyway? Saying that you have something will be difficult to support unless you can say what it is that you have. "Will" is a pretty slippery thing, I'd say. It's unlikely to be any different than a thought, a feeling, or maybe even a sensation. But what are any of those? Can't say."

well said ML.

ZM Seung Sahn used to say it was important to not be attached to your opinion, your condition or your situation in order to see things clearly. Sounds like a scientist.
MH2

climber
Jul 14, 2014 - 07:31pm PT
I see most of this Eastern meditative life-coaching as common sense cast in pretty language.

I think that leaving the discussion to Ed and Largo is an excellent idea.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 07:40pm PT
I'll follow eeyonkee's last pronouncement on this:
Clearly, my suggestion is not likely to work and I rescind it.

and breath a sigh of relief...

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 14, 2014 - 07:42pm PT
re: romantic philosophy, etc.

The motion: Philosophy is dead.

Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, with Stephen Hawking as dessert, weigh in...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYmIKc2wdZs&feature=youtu.be

.....

I'm finishing up the Hawking Mlodinow "Grand Design" now, how coincidental is that! Good discussion, clear writing on determinism and free will, too. Progress is afoot, hallelujah!

Now with theology dead, "theist philosophy" can't be far behind.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 14, 2014 - 07:49pm PT

I see most of this Eastern meditative life-coaching as common sense cast in pretty language.

Yea, and if you throw in some yoga you get lots of pretty girls.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 08:17pm PT
Some scientists like to say things like, "there's a whole bunch of dark energy out there", then stand back and wait till someone finds it, then say, "see i told you so".

no, that's not what happened at all...

this is what happened:


these data show the universe is expanding more rapidly today, then it was in the past... and this result was already a part of cosmological thinking back to the modern cosmologies derived from General Relativity (which is 100 years old next year); then as the "cosmological constant" which was added by Einstein to explain the prevailing "steady state" universe ideas.

Hubble observed the universe expanding at a constant rate, 1926, only 11 years after General Relativity...

In 1998 a paper where some of the data in the plot above was published established the fact that the expansion is accelerating... a 2009 retrospective is given in this paper:
http://arxiv.org/pdf/0907.3526v1.pdf

There are currently 5 theories which propose different models of dark energy... and a very large set of projects to test those 5 theories...

...that's science.

Just sayin'
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 08:27pm PT
Wonderful, Jan. I'm so glad you show up when you do.

Wish we could all meet for a drink one sunny afternoon somewhere civilized. Not to talk philosophy, spiritualism, science, or rationality . . . just to share a drink (or two) . . . maybe a nice Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Bordeaux, Beaujolais, or something. Just to smile, listen to outrageous stories, and to enjoy each other's humanity. How nice to get along, if only for a few hours, on this thread.

Life is just too short to get very wise about much of it. In these moments of clarity such as now as I feel, everything "tastes" the same.

Today the movers delivered our household goods to our new apartment (condo in a high rise), and I'm as exhausted as a one-armed wallpaper hanger. How in the hell did we collect so much "stuff"? It's embarrassing to have become such an ostensible materialist.

DMT: Its a Tower of Babel is it?

Isn't it . . . and not only this thread. We can't help it. The more we talk, the more we miss each other. The less we talk, the more we know. My wife is 17 years younger, and I hear her talk about things incessantly. She's a smart woman, and has many things to say, but I see her getting herself in trouble often because she has so many things to say.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 14, 2014 - 08:34pm PT
. . . but I see her getting herself in trouble often because she has so many things to say

Oh oh. Dude, hope she doesn't read this!



;>\
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2014 - 09:54pm PT
Heqlyj: Pretty good, except nowhere have I once presented sentience or self-awareness being "best understood in terms of tasking, in terms of DOING something", but rather I was simply pointing out that "no-tasking" is easy to reproduce in any computer.

Heallj, what you are trying to do is impossible, and that is to understand "no tasking" without actually taking the time to experience what it is experintially. So you guess at it and flub it handsomely.

What you "simply pointed out" has nothing to do with no-tasking in terms of sentience, but rather you have tried to use a computer metaphor in which the computer is in idle mode. But of course that has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

Try and get your head around what sentience IS when it is not identified with any content or task or calculation. What is left?

You seem to think I am either guessing about this stuff, or or trying to twist stuff into "mysteries," meaning things you cannot frame in Newtonian terms. It apparently never occured to you that thoser terms are simplistic and don't actually cover the points discussed.

JL
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 14, 2014 - 10:15pm PT
Try and get your head around what sentience IS when it is not identified with any content or task or calculation. What is left? (JL)

What is left in the meditative experience when one attains unfocused awareness? Computers are designed to do things, not to be things. Why be concerned with attempting to generate self-awareness on a computer? And in the unlikely event that were to happen, then provide counseling for the poor fellow, psychotherapy for a frazzled hard drive, allowing it to exist in a more sublime condition, benign and purposed to help its fellow computers and not be riveted on its internal processor?


;>)
MH2

climber
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:07pm PT
Good example of stimulus and response, healyje and Largo.
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:28pm PT
Jgill: . . . provide counseling for the poor fellow, psychotherapy for a frazzled hard drive, allowing it to exist in a more sublime condition, benign and purposed to help its fellow computers and not be riveted on its internal processor?

Someone is taking the computer-metaphor-for-a-brain "a bit" too far beyond where it should be taken.

I think it can provide insight to make distinctions between doing and being. But quite honestly, I suspect you're hesitant to make the transition from one to the other. Like most of us, we've been weened on achievement, on doing, on being productive, on making a difference--to others. What would our value be if we did not do something? What would be our worth if we were not productive?

What is the value of art? Of watching a child enjoy themselves in a play park? Of viewing a sunset from the top of The Sentinel? Of being aware that you are still alive?

All this attention devoted to how things work (whirr, click, output) is nothing when compared to being, to simply being here and now.

Remember the last time you had a really close call in combat, on the highway, in the doctors office, on the operating table . . . those moments of tingly aftermath. You could almost hear the crackling of moments expressing themselves. (Maybe it was just tinnitus.) But you felt ALIVE.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:47pm PT
Try and get your head around what sentience IS when it is not identified with any content or task or calculation. What is left?

...meaning things you cannot frame in Newtonian terms. It apparently never occured to you that those terms are simplistic and don't actually cover the points discussed.



well it's not at all clear what sentience is, and while you can try to eliminate various approaches to it, you may be wrong. In some ways, understanding sentience from a scientific point of view would mean being able to produce it.

knowing that you produced it, you'd have to be able to test it.

if your contention is that sentience is not something definable, then there is no test, and there is no point in trying to build a scientific theory of it. This would be true even if sentience is "emergent" since you still have to define that state in order to see if you produced it.

once can easily appeal to the answer of the question: are animals sentient? animals being the closest model, and biologically related to humans. to answer that question you have to define sentience, otherwise you have no idea whether or not animals are sentient.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-animal/

there is no answer, of course, because of the things we wrestle with in this thread.



another issue for "consciousness" or "sentience" is the common experience that there is an earliest time that marks our own awareness of those states. we are not aware of being conscious while in the womb, or at birth, or anytime before 2 or 3 years of age...

where is "consciousness" then? where "sentience"? how does it come to be?

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:54pm PT
Ed: where is "consciousness" then? where "sentience"? how does it come to be?

Exactly. All you have to do is examine humans from fertilized egg to adult, or the span from viruses to humans to see consciousness / sentience is emergent. I.e. it isn't floating about in the ether waiting for the right time to 'attach' to an organism.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:58pm PT
Ed, Thanks for the link.
it helped me understand more about redshift.
But without knowing the meanings of some of those symbols, i couldn't figure out how they know the expansion is accelerating.
And i didn't see how they concluded to being dark energy.
Is it the fact the expansion is accelerating proves there is dark energy?

It doesn't seem right the universe expanding in all directions at the same speed. Wouldn't that mean there isn't a center? Or starting point?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 15, 2014 - 12:10am PT
Heallj, what you are trying to do is impossible, and that is to understand "no tasking" without actually taking the time to experience what it is experintially.
Hardly. As recounted earlier, I have no shortage of experience with meditation and sensory deprivation.

What you "simply pointed out" has nothing to do with no-tasking in terms of sentience, but rather you have tried to use a computer metaphor in which the computer is in idle mode. But of course that has nothing to do with what I was talking about. Try and get your head around what sentience IS when it is not identified with any content or task or calculation. What is left?
My previous point, exactly. In the absence of tasking, what is left? You've been unable to communicate it in thousands of posts so it's likely safe to assume your friends aren't going to be programming such 'no-it' anytime soon. A computer at idle is as close to sentience as they're ever going to get.

You seem to think I am either guessing about this stuff, or or trying to twist stuff into "mysteries," meaning things you cannot frame in Newtonian terms. It apparently never occurred to you that those terms are simplistic and don't actually cover the points discussed.

Yes and no, I think you are experiencing some things and inferring / guessing others (or possibly leaning heavily on 1500 years of others experiencing / inferring / guessing) - but personally, I think the correlation between the two and with reality and fact are, somewhat ironically, highly subjective to say the least. As for the framing, all along in this discussion you seem unable to convey your points with any specificity or depth in any terminological framework. And you'll have to pardon me if I find "what is left?" and "be here now" falling somewhat short of the mark complexity-wise.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jul 15, 2014 - 03:59am PT
Months Before Their First Words, Babies' Brains Rehearse Speech Mechanics:
http://www.technobahn.com/articles/2014071419260027.html
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 15, 2014 - 05:53am PT
WHy is it always 'smell the roses OR know how a rose works?'

It can be both - and knowing how the rose works does, in fact, enable one to smell it better.

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