[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Forward one pageLast Page


Post 40

Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 10:59pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Dayaamm!

Adam - I am glad you stated that information exists inside the brain. Now all we have to do is start defining "information" in neurological terms. You state a concept qua concept is a relationship. Well that is part of it. Relationship is a defining attribute of concept - still a concept is an individual mental unit that exists in and of itself (probably in a very volatile energetic-chemical form - but I am merely speculating).

Brendan - I will answer this. To start with the same concept is never in two different brains - just like the same perception of an entity never is. What is inside the brain of a person is his/hers alone. Sort of like what is in his/her stomach. Two people can eat apples, but it would still be still two different apples.

On the film thing, I should have said conscious perception, not subliminal perception. Obviously perception existed, otherwise the experiment would not have worked. Your opinion about whether it worked or not, though, is irrelevant. This was documented - but I have not had the time to look it up. Do a google search if you are interested. I'm sure you will find it.

Michael




Post 41

Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 11:05pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
That's it, Michael! You are going to be on the receiving end of a "Super-Duper Biggie issue" problem! Maybe even a Super-Duper, Ultra-Mega Biggie issue problem! Hmph!

More on this later ...
Ed



Post 42

Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 11:22pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Michael: “To start with the same concept is never in two different brains - just like the same perception of an entity never is.”

Here’s a concept: chair. Are you saying that the concept “chair” can never be in two brains? If so, how can its meaning be transmitted from brain to brain in a way that a perception cannot?

“Your opinion about whether it worked or not, though, is irrelevant….Do a google search if you are interested.”

Done the google. Found the urban legend. Achieved relevance.

Brendan 




Post 43

Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 11:43pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Brendan,

It is really hard to talk to someone who is not even trying to listen. Sorry. I don't want to waste my time.

Michael




Post 44

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 12:02amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
MSK writes to Ed:
>If that works for you, go for it. Meanwhile the bad guys are doing their thing.

If you mean me as a 'bad guy' because I'm criticising your theory, well I'm sorry. It seemed to me you are making what is generally regarded as a basic error, a hypostasisation. That is you are treating something - an abstraction - as if it was something it was not - a physical object. If I'm wrong, could you explain why hypostasisation is ok, or how your theory avoids it.

Perhaps Ed thinks I'm a bad guy too because I, among others, criticised *his* particular theory on another thread, showing that his veridicality theory was not only a misunderstanding of the modus tollens, but also narrowed down pi only to *infinite possibilities*...not much of an improvement on the current situation. Perhaps he does, but I hope not. There is no shame in having a wrong theory, only in refusing to accept it.

MSK, is this what you think 'bad guys' do? That 'bad guys' are people who point out rather obvious problems? Who concern themselves with trying to work out if a someone's proposed theory is *logical* or *illogical*, *testable* or *untestable*, *true* or *false*? Whether it is based on evidence, or flies in the face of it, like a trumped up case? Whether they should take it seriously or not? I dunno, perhaps 'good guys' don't do that sort of thing. Perhaps 'good guys' are more interested in jolly banter and logrolling pet theories, and not spending 25 hours doing something as dull, dull, dull as reading some actual research on the subject.

If that's the case, gotta ask: who'd want to be a 'good guy'?

- Daniel






Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 45

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 12:20amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Daniel,

(sigh)

No, I was not talking about you or anyone in the Objectivist world being the bad guys. btw - I believe the term is hypostatization, if you are talking about symbolizing an abstract with a concrete.

These are some of the bad guys. Not the real bad guys in themselves yet, just the ones who are helping the real bad guys do their thing.

Meanwhile we talk over here about whether what is inside our heads exists or not.

I started looking at the initial stages of concept formation thread that you started. I have an initial comment. You really mix up the perceiver and the perceived when you talk about the law of identity - bouncing from one to the other to form your initial paradox. If you did that constantly throughout the thread, I can see where it would be hard to draw any real conclusions - except, of course, the constant "Rand was wrong" theme.

Bad guy? Nah. Young (I presume) and full of piss and vinegar? That's more like it. You have a sharp mind, though.

Michael




Post 46

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 1:15amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
MSK
>I started looking at the initial stages of concept formation thread that you started. I have an initial comment. You really mix up the perceiver and the perceived when you talk about the law of identity - bouncing from one to the other to form your initial paradox.

Y'reckon? See you over there then and we'll sort it out...;-)

- Daniel




Post 47

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 1:23amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
MSK>I believe the term is hypostatization,

Yes, it's rather like 'banana', easy to spell, hard to know when to stop...;-) I obviously can't stop today.

Anyway:

>I believe the term is hypostatization, if you are talking about symbolizing an abstract with a concrete.

But it seemed you weren't merely *symbolising* an abstract concept, like with a physical word. It seemed you were treating a concept as if it was a physical object ie:

MSK "...the thorny problem of whether a concept is a physical entity in its own right or not, regardless of what it stands for. I postulate that it is..."

if that is what you postulate, you have *hypostasised* it, not just symbolised it. And this is generally an error.

- Daniel
(Edited by Daniel Barnes
on 7/11, 1:32am)




Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 48

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 1:43amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
>MSK: Bad guy? Nah. Young (I presume) and full of piss and vinegar? That's more like it. You have a sharp mind, though.

Kind of you to say. If only it were true (sigh). In fact, I am old enough to know far better. In reality I make Reginald Firehammer look like Mary Kate Olsen.

- Daniel



Post 49

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 4:59amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Michael: “It is really hard to talk to someone who is not even trying to listen. Sorry. I don't want to waste my time.”

Well, I obviously listened well enough to act on your suggestion to google your claim about the success of subliminal advertising. I was able to confirm that the experiment failed, and that the story has since become an urban legend. I suppose it’s galling to realise that you’ve been taken in by a myth, but don’t blame me, blame the researcher.

Brendan




Post 50

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 6:35amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Daneil,

I think the crux of the argument here is that anything relating to or used by the brain must have a physical basis. A concept must a physical thing inasmuch as a memory must be a physical thing. Otherwise you're bordering on Cartesian dualism, which just ain't right.

Sarah



Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 51

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 6:41amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Brendan,

The concept of 'chair' cannot be "transmitted from brain to brain." Each person must form his own concept of chair. Otherwise we could take a person with a severe learning disability and implant concepts in their head to save them the trouble of having to generalize the knowledge themselves. A person blind from birth cannot know the concept of 'red'.

Sarah



Post 52

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 11:56amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Sarah:
>I think the crux of the argument here is that anything relating to or used by the brain must have a physical basis.

Yes. Thing is, of course, that this leads to strict determinism. If our brains are just elaborate clocks, our thoughts simply the movement of the cogs, a series of chemical and electrical reactions, then all our thoughts are in principle predictable by the laws of physics. And then there is *no free will* - it is at best an illusion, as in 'identity theory'. And indeed, this is where the great tradition of materialism tends to end up (for example, in Marx, or on the other hand in 'behaviourism').

Now of course I find this a credible argument. But the evidence is still not strong enough to make me abandon my belief in something like free will, and the evidence for that. So I remain with what they call an *interactionist* model, where consciousness is non-physical but interacts with and is dependent on the physical structure and activity of the brain. This is too spooky for most scientific people I confess - I believe in the 'ghost in the machine'! - but it is preferable to giving up volition. And of course quantum physics cannot explain it, as volition is not a question of probability, of flipping a coin.

There are various arguments that try to make volition compatible with physical determinism, roughly called compatibilism,and plenty of smart people accept them. Trouble is, I have tried, and cannot quite understand 'compatibilism'. It seems to shoot for something that isn't really there. But maybe the fault is mine.

- Daniel





Post 53

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 12:47pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Luke!!! Look at what you started ... [aagh!]

;-)

Ed




Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 54

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 1:17pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Daniel,

ahem...

Instead of so many "isms" and foregone conclusions, why not consider volition as a attribute of a certain type of physical thing that exists, or even combination of physical things?

Life itself is like that, you know, and that is much more complicated to define and understand than volition. I don't see the need to complicate all this by adding a form of ectoplasm to the mix.

btw - Have you ever lost a loved one you don't want to give up? (Sorry, just speculating...)

Michael




Post 55

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 1:50pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ed:
>Luke!!! Look at what you started ... [aagh!]...;-)

What, the mind/body debate is over and nobody told me?...;-)

- Daniel





Post 56

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 2:13pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I'm not sure what New Age and other touchy feely types were, uh, measured. It sounds like the author meant anyone that isn't an Objectivist or close to it. Or, maybe they simply should have said theists. In any event, I have heard this said, too, and my response has always been "uh, alrighty then" (mild expression of "now what" on my face). This isn't good empirical group study, but I can say that I hang around quite a few theological and varied spiritual types on a regular basis, and I never hear them work this one over. I think that even if they were convinced that the generalization were true, it would lack purpose. The last time I saw it used was when I was about 9, stuck once again in $#%# Methodist Sunday School. They did the thing where they lit a candle, and then lit another candle off of it. See, love is that way, see? The first candle didn't go out, see? And even then, in what was my first confrontation, I was still thinking "alrighty, then..."  I just figured they had lost their lesson plan, and/or were working on a budget...




Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 57

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 2:26pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
MSK:
>Instead of so many "isms" and foregone conclusions, why not consider volition as a attribute of a certain type of physical thing that exists, or even combination of physical things?

Hi MSK,

I generally avoid 'isms' unless absolutely necessary. However in this case there are specific schools of thought not invented by me that go under those headings, so I need to respect that when discussing them. Otherwise people won't really know where I'm coming from. It's rather like if you want to discuss geology you talk about Jurassic, Triassic, Cretaceous periods etc. You don't say, hey, why bother with all those silly terms, let's just talk about *time*...;-) But of course, you should try and keep technical terms to a minimum, which is generally what I do.

"...why not consider volition as a attribute of a certain type of physical thing that exists, or even combination of physical things?"

Why not? Welll, the problem I have with this sort of statement is that it is very vague. It sort of says everything and nothing.

An "...attribute of a certain physical type of thing..." is, say, size. Are you saying consciousness is like size?

A "..combination of physical things..." is, say, soup. Are you saying consciousness is like soup?

See what I mean? What are you *really saying* with this? It's a kind of position which is compatible with almost anything. That is why it's a good idea to avoid this kind of thing in debates. And why scientists don't tend to talk in this kind of language.

Whereas if I say 'consciousness is reducible to electrical and chemical reactions in the brain' it's clear that I, prima facie at least, cannot also be a supporter of free will, as electrical and chemical reactions have not demonstrated anything like free will, no matter how complex we've made them. I always say that if consciousness is physical, *it must obey the laws of physics*. If it obeys the laws of physics (and chemistry) it is *not obeying your will*, any more than a rock 'wills' to roll down a hill or a clock 'wills' to strike on the hour. Therefore your 'self' is an illusion. This is a consistent position for the physicalist, and it is stated clearly.

>btw - Have you ever lost a loved one you don't want to give up? (Sorry, just speculating...)

Yes. Haven't we all? Where are you going with this 'speculating'?

- Daniel






(Edited by Daniel Barnes
on 7/11, 2:29pm)




Post 58

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 2:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
What, the mind/body debate is over and nobody told me?

Scientifically speaking, yeah, it's over. It has been for a while.

There is an argument in neuroscience about the causal efficacy of consciousness. I'd have to look it up but it took the zombie "clone" (i.e. a hypothetical clone identical in every way to person A, but without this thing we call consciousness) and came out with the conclusion that the zombie clone would not necessarily make the same decisions as person A. Michael gets a bonk for coming up with that idea without having read the piece (I'm assuming).

Sarah



Post 59

Monday, July 11, 2005 - 2:53pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Brendan,

Ya caught me with my pants down, dude. You are absolutely correct about the experiment and I was completely wrong. I stand corrected and apologize.

The only excuse I have is that I read about this in college (at beginning of the 70's) and have since not been interested enough to go back to it. I just now looked at several sites, but Snopes in particular was illuminating.

James Vicary's 1957 experiment on Coca-Cola and popcorn actually did exist, but it was very preliminary and had the purpose of filing for a patent. This was reported on the coat tails of a a best-selling 1957 book, The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard (where the word "subliminal" was not mentioned, but the concept was described).

Vicary actually falsified his findings, got caught up in the public furor and grandstanded and finally confessed in 1962 to a limited circulation magazine. The Snopes article mentions that scant publicity was given to Vicary's confession (which is the reason I was unaware of it when I originally read it) until the 1974 FCC prohibition against subliminal advertising, which was a response to a 1973 best-seller by Dr. Wilson Key called Subliminal Seduction.

Although subliminal induction has had a very poor success rate in studies, take a look at some of what the bad guys are now interested in. Here you will find a report based on a tremendous amount of documentation about:
1. Microwave hearing for inducing intracranial voices;
2. Ultrasound voice transmission for inducing intracranial voices;
3. Target tracking (to be able to zap the correct people); and
4. Brain wave analysis word recognition for mechanical thought reading capacity.

One particularly interesting technology is called fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which, according to studies, can identify several noun categories, truthful from deceptive responses (but this is not the standard lie-detector type technology) and even the state of romantic love towards an individual.

A good deal of the microwave and ultrasound intracranial voice induction studies and inventions (making people hear voices without there being any actual sound, thus no direction for it to come from) were for the purpose of disrupting the thinking of enemies in wartime.

Also there is some description (I have read other accounts also) of electrode implants in brains for the purpose of moving robot members by thought alone.

Most of the extensive documentation given for all of this is in the form of patents and licenses, and government and military studies and papers.

All this points to the start of the physical measuring of concepts I harp on, and by extension, implies a physical form of concepts through energy and chemical processes. I find all of this fascinating and wish I had more time for it.

About my other remark to you (not listening), Sarah caught precisely what I meant by that. Please see her "chair - red" post.

Michael




Post to this threadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Forward one pageLast Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


User ID Password or create a free account.