What is "Mind?"

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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Aug 20, 2014 - 11:50am PT
he is defining life as a physical process...

Yes.

When it's not a beach... rock climbing... or birding.

he is defining life as a physical process...

Yes, which is "just" the basis of all modern biology!!

he is defining life as a physical process...

Thanks for the laughs, Ed.



It's clear now, no wonder we quibbled (iow, distracted ourselves) over "Ohm's Law."
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Aug 20, 2014 - 11:52am PT
Scrub jays demonstrate awareness. They will alter their caching behavior when they become aware that a potential competitor is watching them. They will make false caches, effectively 'lying' to those observers, then when out of sight they will make the real cache elsewhere.

DMT

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 20, 2014 - 11:53am PT
""I may also have saved a life. I convinced a guy on the summit not to lower himself off on parachute cord""

so much for free will?

Why'd you do that?
Why'd he listen?"

That's actually an interesting question that probably has a lot to do with basic evolved needs.

My guess is that the guy had the need to be seen as an 'adventurer' - prepared (in a Walmart kinda way) for anything, willing to 'wing it' without much prior research. Status, autonomy, fun - all these basic needs probably played into his being there as well as his rope ladder idea. He claimed that he'd done a lot of Sierra backcountry travel but the Cascades were new to him - but I'm guessing his experience down south wasn't as deep or extensive as he, himself, believed. A bit of narcissism there, perhaps.

Why did he listen? I looked him straight in the eye, and asked him to please consider not doing that with as much gravity as I could muster. I informed him of the dangers involved, and suggested that he consider downclimbing - since he'd already climbed up unroped. I didn't attempt to challenge his apparent self image of being an experienced 'adventurer' or whatever went into such a terrible descent plan. I didn't want him to retreat to his original plan out of defensiveness, ego, or information bias. I did inform him that I was leading a group of climbers up the peak so he could better assess my level of credibility. He saw me set up an anchor and fixed line, so there was at least a little data to support that.

Aside from not wanting a human being to die needlessly, with all the terrible ripple effects, I also didn't want to expose our teenage students to a horrific accident, nor did I want to put our group at risk by becoming involved in a rescue. I don't know what drives empathy or altruism towards strangers, but the latter two were just protection of the young and survival need calls.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Aug 20, 2014 - 12:14pm PT
E.O. Wilson on "free will" - the latest...

http://harpers.org/archive/2014/09/on-free-will/

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/e-o-wilson-on-free-will/

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580394,00.html

in general, the article adds little to the debate about free will, which to me seems largely semantic... -Coyne

Hm, "semantic"? Sounds familiar, lol!

The real issue—the one that could substantially affect society—is that of determinism, which most philosophers and scientists agree on (i.e., we can’t make choices outside of those already determined by the laws of physics). -Coyne

Has he talked to EdH? :)
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 20, 2014 - 12:38pm PT
Pretty broad brush. Such assessments don't really say much about the fundamental nature of free will.

The question is at what point in the neural hierarchy does a conscious decision become a database query or weighted scoring equation? At what point does free will, at the macro level, become a bio machine function at the micro? How, exactly, does that happen? How much does chaos or randomness play into this? What brain structures and neural pathways are involved? How do we arrive at whatever mechanisms we use to compare and select such decisions?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2014 - 03:36pm PT
I'm buried with work right now but the "threshold" questions raised by Tvash run through the entire subject of reality and are most evident in the case of before and after the big bang, compression and expansion, inorganic material becoming life, DNA becomeing self-replicating, bio life becoming sentient, mechanical brain processes becoming meta functions no longer beholden to the lower level stirrings - or however you may view it.

These thresholds are places where mechanical reductionism seems to "gap" out, while fundamentalist reductionists insist we need more data.

The fact is I am not at all convinced that a standard linear causal view can ever solve these threshold questions, especially when it is assumed that prior conditions created, in whole or in part, the later person, place, thingn or phenomenon - or that "God" is the only other option.

JL
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 20, 2014 - 03:49pm PT
Or perhaps we're so advanced that we're now down to some of the really tough problems. Many of the problems we're talking about - the origin of life, the workings of the brain, the big bang, are so complex they require massive computational power to study. We're just getting started there, really.

What we can know has limits - we probably can't see beyond our light horizon. That reality doesn't require the addition of secret sauce, however.

That we project who we are to our external world - God, whatev, is normal. From ventriloquist dummies to dogs, we've evolved to do that.

That the universe really IS like what we intuit it to be seems less likely.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Aug 20, 2014 - 06:35pm PT
The fact is I am not at all convinced that a standard linear causal view can ever solve these threshold questions (JL)


I agree. It would have to be non-linear.
MH2

climber
Aug 20, 2014 - 06:43pm PT
As often is the case, it may be good to look before you leap. When I Google for standard linear causality, it does not seem to rule out threshold effects. When you jump off a cliff there may be only one cause leading to the effect, but you could cross a threshold.

http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/smg/Website/UCP/pdfs/SixCausalPatterns.pdf
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2014 - 06:50pm PT
When I Google for standard linear causality, it does not seem to rule out threshold effects.
-


Nor does it tell you how they may be achieved via any of the listed causal modalities - cyclical, domino, etc.

My sense of it is that linear causality, while it is certainly a given in material reality, says as much about the nature of our discursive, conditioned minds as it does about things "out there."

JL
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
Aug 20, 2014 - 07:01pm PT
And what are the costs of consequence with linear causality Vs. the "out there", when you mix in some gravity ?
MH2

climber
Aug 20, 2014 - 07:02pm PT
I have stoned two birds with one kill. What kind of causality is that?
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 20, 2014 - 07:06pm PT
Damn you, Descartes!
MisterE

climber
Aug 20, 2014 - 07:21pm PT
I see you Tvash - long time...
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 20, 2014 - 07:24pm PT
We can equate linear causality to vegetation life.

Animals and humans in a big degree have linear causality instilled, but with our emotions we can put a halt to it at anytime.

i can raise or stop my heartbeat right now depending how i feel..
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 20, 2014 - 08:13pm PT
I am the Pope of Discursive Linearity!
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 20, 2014 - 08:18pm PT
I need to get invited to join the PubMed commons so I can read about neural murmurations. I was thinking about birds while running today and wondered if some of the same principles might apply to building enough signal strength to cross our attention threshold and other neural processes.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 21, 2014 - 08:09am PT
At what threshold does the inexplicable magic emerge?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2014 - 08:38am PT
At what threshold does the inexplicable magic emerge?



"Emerge" and "created" are two very different concepts. The later implies that some person, place, thing or phenomenon was the product of "A," for example. Another view is that there are inherent qualities that need only the right environment and they naturally show up. Someone should research Boehm's Implicate Order. I saw his talk at our school but that was long ago and I have largely forgotten the drift.

JL
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 21, 2014 - 08:53am PT
Naturally show up?

From where?

Isn't that the definition of emergence?

I'm confused.
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