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I met a bloke who was completely left sided: left footed, left handed, and left-eyed (there was a test, moving something closer to the face until one of the eyes closed to maintain focus...could be wrong on that.)

I think (again, I could be wrong!) that pure left-sidedness is very rare.  He said he could "see" problems and their solutions, but he couldn't explain them.  This made it difficult for him at school.  It wasn't that he was any brighter than anyone else, it was a different process; I think it was he who said something about not seeing the dots but seeing the connections between the dots...

Do any left-handed ET folks have any thoughts?

(I made the assumption, Fran, that you are left-handed from what you wrote.)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 10:54:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually I am right-handed :-), but found more access to my right side aspects through meditation - an amazing and surprising trip, which I hope will continue.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:04:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How are you with chakras?

(I hear mathematicians spitting coffee all over their monitors...)

That's a question for melo the masseur, too.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:23:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and may I wish you much amazement surprise and pleasure as your trip develops.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:25:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Psst, rg - you should never ever mention Chakras when Migeru is around!!!!!!! :-))

But mine are doing fine.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:36:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops!  (See large quote below.)

I'm glad your chakras are doing well.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:46:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And thanks for the great picture.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:37:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Arrgh!

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:29:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
;)

From our old friend.

Scientific Basis [Of Chakras]

The idea of chakras as understood in Eastern philosophy does not exist in medical science. In Eastern thought, the chakras are thought to be levels of consciousness, and states of the soul, and 'proving' the existence of chakras is asking to 'prove' the existence of a soul. A mystic deals with these occult concepts on the occult plane, as a model for their own internal experience, and when talking about 'energy centres', they are generally talking about subtle, spiritual forces, which work on the psyche and spirit, not about physical, electrical, or magnetic fields.

The primary importance and level of existence of chakras is therefore posited to be in the psyche. However, there are those who believe that chakras have a physical manifestation as well. Although there is no evidence that Indian mystics made this association themselves, it is noted by many that there is a marked similarity between the positions and roles described for chakras, and the positions and roles of the glands in the endocrine system, and also by the positions of the nerve ganglia (also known as "plexuses") along the spinal column, opening the possibility that two vastly different systems of conceptualization have been brought to bear to systemize insights about the same phenomenon. By some, chakras are thought of as having their physical manifestation in the body as these glands, and their subjective manifestation as the associated psychological and spiritual experiences.

Indeed, the various hormones secreted by these glands do have a dramatic effect on human psychology, and an imbalance in one can cause a psychological or physical imbalance in a person. Whether these changes in body state have a bearing on spiritual matters is a subject of dissent even among the Indian theorists, and the different systems of conceptualization, Indian and Western, make only a partial convergence in this case.

Perhaps the most psychologically dramatic and potent secretion of these glands is the psychedelic drug DMT (which is thought to be synthesized by the pineal gland, corresponding to the brow chakra).

(btw, I couldn't work out the answer to your life and death Go question.)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:38:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you count the liberties of all the groups? Attack the opposing group with the fewest liberties.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:42:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I assume you are responding to the Go question and not to the chakras. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:47:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To accept the concept of a soul, you also have to accept that there is a homonculus. If you accept the idea of a homonculus you donna know nosseeng - as someone here likes to put it.

You are sentient because of a process - a self-organizing process. When that process dies, because you die, so does sentience. It is unique and individual, confined to one continguous mass of neural connections, and is not transferable - to heaven, to hell, or to any other creature.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You must be replying to the wrong comment.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:55:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's just an outrageous coincidence ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:57:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see the connection of the soul to the homunculus, not do I see the need to postulate a homunculus if there is a soul.  

I see it more like a computer, there is hard- and the software and a programmer - but who is the programmer?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:58:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The soul is a homunculus, I think. It is something unitary, external and conscious that animates the body.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guess the computer analogy was not that great, but to me the soul is nothing external.

This is a topic refered to in Jyana Yoga, the intellectual yoga which has one of the main questions - WHO AM I? WHO or WHAT IS THINKING THIS? etc.  

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:04:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does the soul transcend the body, and if so how can it then not be "external"?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:08:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't it be both - internal and external (which are left-brain restrictions)- you know like energy being a wave and particle.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:11:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, well, now we're getting into the issue of what makes an entity coherent and separate. Maybe I should write another QM diary on "what is a particle"? It could blow people's socks off.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:14:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I will read it on bare feet, too.
by Nomad on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think there is an agreed definition of the soul.  But I do have experience of something "I" could associate with that wasn't what I normally call "I".  It was a more encompassing concept.  This ties in, I think with the religious idea that we are absorbed into God--union with the Godhead.

I certainly agree with sven that the self (the conscious "I" that controls and makes constant decisions) ceases to be at death--and this makes it very unhappy.  I think aspects of our current civilisation promote and seek to expand the "I" (the selfish ego?), and I don't think this is a healthy road as this "I", of all things, is the one that is doomed to die.

It thinks of itself as a homunculus, but it isn't that, it is a rapidly connecting something something bicyle cycle home home...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the self ... ceases to be at death--and this makes it very unhappy

How can something that has ceased to be, be unhappy?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:10:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's what I like about this place ;-)

It's PNing of the highest order...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not PNing, it's an important issue when discussing death.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:27:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I would have accused Socrates of PNing, so you're in good company

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:31:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and every philosopher thereafter...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:31:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Socrates was sentenced to death for corrupting young commas.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:35:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lol

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:38:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What makes the selfish-ego unhappy:

Through complexity it comes to see connections in a past-present-future tense system (Fran's left brain model), and so it realises that it will, necessarily cease to exist: die.  After death, it won't be there to worry, of course.  The dead are calm.  Those left behind are the bereaved.  But as it lives, this selfish-ego is at times overwhelmed with the idea of not existing anymore at some time in the future.  The more society promotes this selfish-ego, the more this unhappiness is spread about.

(Connections here to the potential extinction of humans--the horror!)


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 04:25:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The solution is, then, to believe in life after death or the transcendence of the soul. Or else to come to terms with the finitude of experience. However, conscious life may actually have no end as we are not there to be aware of the end of awareness in the first place...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 06:15:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I think the most important thing is for the alienated "I" to reattach to groups beyond itself, whether they be other humans (community), nature, or 'beyond human experience' (transcendence--or 'ever more encompassing'.  I don't think the selfish-I ever comes to terms with the finitude of existence.  I don't think it was designed--Yipes!  No, there is no external desginer, there is sven's complexity creating designs against the left wall of viability etc.--anyway, the I is one of our survival mechanisms, I think.

However, conscious life may actually have no end as we are not there to be aware of the end of awareness in the first place...

Like going to sleep but without the dream--or the waking up?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:09:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, conscious life may actually have no end as we are not there to be aware of the end of awareness in the first place...

Like going to sleep but without the dream--or the waking up?

Exactly.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:22:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or like something being engulfed in flame...or incinerated...  It depends on the process of death.  Sudden. Whack!  Or slow s l o w  s   l  o   w

I don't think consciousness ends at death, but I think "self" consciousness ends at death...

The question then is: what is this consciousness that isn't the self, and who cares about it?  Which I would take as a comment by the self about its own extinction.  Yet there is a long historical cataloge of humans experiencing states which are, it seems, real but impossible to vocalise in prose.

I died from minerality and became vegetable;

And From vegetativeness I died and became animal.

I died from animality and became man.

Then why fear disappearance through death?

Next time I shall die

Bringing forth wings and feathers like angels;

After that, soaring higher than angels -

What you cannot imagine,

I shall be that.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:03:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A programmer is not needed, unless you believe that some other force was in action at the time the amazing foraminifera came into being. For me, and I think for current scientific understanding, it is a natural unfolding of complexity over billions of years. And only that.

The brain has always been interpreted by the prevailing technology of the day, whether a telephone exchange earlier or a computer today. (or indeed the 'magic' that was the 'technology', before technology)

Look at anything that grows (including the brain) - it certainly unfolds in a predictable manner, but is there a little man guiding it? Look at a flock of birds whirling round and ask who is the leader? There is none, just as there is no little man.

I'm not against the use of the word soul to describe a particular conjoining of neurons, or any of the other words like chakras. But they are only inadequate words to describe complexity.

And of course one can change this complexity in the brain by manipulating your neural networks - by meditating, studying, experience, exercises etc etc.

Perhaps the most extreme example of this is the Skene monks of the Russian Orthodox church. They choose this incredible discipline in order to completely cleanse their minds of everything before. They live alone, far away from the monastery. for many years. They have a shelter and a well. That is all. They 'chain themsleves' to the forest to survive. It is the simplest life of all and filled with constant prayer - and I am mean constant.

At the end of this process - which is slowly disconnecting old neural connections (literally), and reconnecting simplicity - the monk is incredibly pure. These are often the monks (so I've been told) that go out into the world to minister to prostitutes, criminals and murderers. They are so pure that they are untouched by anything they see.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:21:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you read At Home In The Universe?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:28:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did, thank you. I found some of the maths a bit difficult, but there were many very interesting concepts there which relate to others things I've been looking at. If it was far better illustrated, I think it would be fantastic. For some of us it is easier to grab onto a visual.

Part of my work is translating complex ideas into visuals, and I find that rewarding because you cannot create the visual without understanding the concept. It motivates you to do the work of understanding, instead of being lazy.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:37:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And here I thought I was giving you a book with no maths...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 01:00:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
who is the programmer

Now, now, you don't take Intelligent Design seriously, do you?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:30:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the Homunculus is one of the best Esoteric Jokes, played on the rich and gullible, which has somehow been taken onboard by some factions of religion to my amazement.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 02:29:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
homunculus |h??m? ng ky?l?s; h?-| noun ( pl. -li |-?l?|or -les |-?l?z|) a very small human or humanoid creature. * historical a supposed microscopic but fully formed human being from which a fetus was formerly believed to develop. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin, diminutive of homo, homin- `man.'

your opinion brooks no rational argument...

yet....it seems dismissive.

are you so sure of your self-organising sentience, that you can afford to sound so absolutist?

reading your confident assumption, i am tempted to assert that 'donna know nosseeng' might be the prime requisite for enlightenment.

your brain denies your soul, but perhaps it just hasn't found the password.

for such a pooh-pooher, you sure have touched my soul with many of your brilliant comments these last few months!

oddly perhaps, but 'homunculus' seems to describe a little imaginary mannikin, purported to be a homeopathically tiny version of the final product, into which it supposedly swelled.

enchantingly medieval!

but what has it to do with humans being ensouled?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 08:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Soul' just doesn't mean anything. It is a word that cannot be defined except under the Catch-22 rules of "If you believe it, it exists, if you don't you're damned''.

Now if you said the soul was 'aspiration' or 'hope', I might agree on the definition, because those characteristics could be logically seen as related to the survival of life - which I argue is what underpins all our actions in some way.

If you said that 'soul' was 'self', as in self-aware, I would accept that too. What I don't accept is that anything called 'soul' is transferrable beyond the physical limits of a brain (human or otherwise).

And I can't see why a 'soul' is needed for enlightenment or anything else. The brain is a fantastic thing that functions on a myriad levels.

Your use of the 'password' analogy is revealing - it shows you still believe that there is someone controlling everything - the homonculus.
YOU control everything. ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 03:31:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I don't accept is that anything called 'soul' is transferrable beyond the physical limits of a brain (human or otherwise).

You're thinking of the soul as a thing, then, as opposed to consciousness...which is not a thing, but a process?

I don't think I've quite got your meaning.

(I don't see how you can categorically state that processes of 'understanding'--sentience?--are held within the body...Jung's collective unconscious...

A friend of mine, a pure scientific rationalist, came to the conclusion that we do have a "race memory": he said we had two basic fears: of volcanos and of ice, coz those have always been the two that have wiped us out.  I'm digressing wildly.

But Ikernov Nussink.

So, you state categorically that 'consciousness' is the "I", a process created by complexity of a system, and disappears at the death of the complex system...?

(I'm thinking of, was it das monde?, who wrote about the consciousness of the planet.)

(My personal experience is that part of my "I" used to be a chinese town planner back in the seventeenth or eighteenth century...big towns, no cars, elegant structures but nothing showy.  Bloody drugs mate, rot yer brain...)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wot braign?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:16:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What braign?



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:06:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i'm  not going to fall for trying to define'soul'!

as for being damned if you don't believe...superstitious poppycock.

you're right about the password analogy, it does sound like i'm trying to get behind a firewall, and need big daddy's permission.

i meant it in a slightly different way.

watching a child teach itself to drag its body to the vertical position and learn to hold their balance is amazing.

the patience and willpower are awesome, and eventually, gradually, balance becomes second nature -until you get old and wobbly again.

forgetting yer password!

damn i used the analogy again...

i hope i didn't sound polemic, i intuit our pov's are neither exclusive, nor do they cancel each other out.

seemingly antagonistic perhaps, they are in reality complementary.

i heard when humans die, they suddenly become a few grams lighter.

not that i need physical proof, mind...

i love subjects like this.

mind over natter....

i suspect the soul will ever resist definition, will never cease to change, and will delight eternally in hiding in plain sight.

attempting to describe the ineffable is the source of all poetry.

if i was in control, i would not have to wait for anything, ever!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:16:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i'm  not going to fall for trying to define'soul'!

Then how are we supposed to carry out a conversation on it?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:23:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
suppose it's real. the soul.

what would you like it to mean?

my guess is that every human would have a slightly or greatly differing opinion about that definition.

personally i'm working on the difference between 'spirit' and 'soul', and it's been years....aeons maybe...

i find 'spirit' to be more about the aspirational and devotional, e stretching for expression and refinement, 'soul' more about the unconscious, fertile, magmatic substructures of personality, and the emotional gestalt we discover sharing numinous experience.

if having a discussion about these things were only permitted to those who agree on definitions, we risk postulating prejudice instead of encouraging expression.

trying to define things is more fun than not, but these ideas  are written in water, not stone.

suppose....lovely word

suppose |s??p?z| verb 1 [with clause ] assume that something is the case on the basis of evidence or probability but without proof or certain knowledge : I suppose I got there about half past eleven. * used to make a reluctant or hesitant admission : I'm quite a good actress, I suppose. * used to introduce a hypothesis and trace or ask about what follows from it : suppose he had been murdered--what then? * [in imperative ] used to introduce a suggestion : suppose we leave this to the police. * (of a theory or argument) assume or require that something is the case as a precondition : the procedure supposes that a will has already been proved | [ trans. ] the theory supposes a predisposition to interpret utterances. * [ trans. ] believe to exist or to possess a specified characteristic : he supposed the girl to be about twelve [as adj. ] ( supposed) often |s??p?zid| | people admire their supposed industriousness. 2 ( be supposed to do something) be required to do something because of the position one is in or an agreement one has made : I'm supposed to be meeting someone at the airport. * [with negative ] be forbidden to do something : I shouldn't have been in the kitchen--I'm not supposed to go in there. PHRASES I suppose so used to express hesitant or reluctant agreement. DERIVATIVES supposable adjective ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French supposer, from Latin supponere (from sub- `from below' + ponere `to place' ), but influenced by Latin suppositus `set under' and Old French poser `to place.'

being able to control-click on a word and look it up in a dictionary in the blink of a dialup eye is like a new toy, sorry!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:40:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
suppose it's real. the soul.

What am I supposed to suppose is real? You just give me a word with no meanings attached. What do you mean by "suppose the soul is real"?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:44:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i gave you a word, i don't attach meanings to it, because it already has a meaning. it doesn't need me to give a new one.

perhaps it's like trying to describe the taste of a banana...yellow?

as you seem interested enough to reply, try skipping the first sentence and going to the second one.

If the soul existed and could be a value-addition to an onsouled life, couòd you care?

*or maybe your life is complete without 'going there', and you possibly think anyone who enjoys soul communion is merely deluded...

maybe there is a surrender needed to understand.

how about this?

critical thinking is crucial in life, all would agree hopefully.

are there times when excessive critical thinking might be an impediment to experience? has this ever been true for you?

perhaps you fell in love with someone your reasonable side urged you to avoid, for example.

or you made an apparently prudent decision, that later you regretted, realising it was fear, not wisdom that drove your choice.

perhaps 'soul' is like phlogiston or ether, handy terminologies till better ones, with more enquiry, arrive and take their place.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:48:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have a soul? Do I have a soul? How can I tell?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i gave you a word, i don't attach meanings to it, because it already has a meaning. it doesn't need me to give a new one.

When you say "soul" do you mean this?

The soul ... is a self-aware ethereal substance particular to a unique living being. ... the soul is thought to incorporate the inner essence of each living being, and to be the true basis for sentience. In distinction to spirit which may or may not be eternal, souls are usually ... considered to be immortal and to pre-exist their incarnation in flesh.
from

[I find]  'soul' more about the unconscious, fertile, magmatic substructures of personality, and the emotional gestalt we discover sharing numinous experience

it wouldn't seem like you do. So does 'soul' already have a meaning? I have to admit I have no idea what you mean by "the emotional gestalt we discover sharing numinous experience", among other things because I don't think I have had numinous experiences as in

that which is wholly other. The numinous is the mysterium tremendum et fascinans that leads in different cases to belief in deities, the supernatural, the sacred, the holy, and the transcendent.
Or, rather, if I encounter mysterium tremendum et fascinans I don't feel compelled to believe in deities, the supernatural, the sacret, the holy ot the transcendent.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:01:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if migeru were a selfreplicating bot-blogger, who got a perverse kick out of being an intellectual Ùber-brat, i'd venture that he had no soul.

because he evinces signs of humour, playfulness and compassion, i suspect he does.

but what do i know, i only play guru on the internet...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:46:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is so hard to extract a straight yes/no answer out of you. LOL

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nature abhors straight lines

you do manage to extract elliptical ones!

bell that cat

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Oct 19th, 2006 at 04:09:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if migeru were a selfreplicating bot-blogger, who got a perverse kick out of being an intellectual Ùber-brat, i'd venture that he had no soul.

Damn! I've been outed!

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Back to my old überTuring test. - a neurosurgeon operates on himself. It's the eipitome of feedback. And not a soul around for miles...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:03:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there such a thing as a pure definition?

It is a black furry animal.

Define black, define furry, define animal.

Does this process regress ad infinitum and take us to that diary you're about to write which I am looking forward to reading?

(Like Nomad, I will take my socks off first ;)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:13:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there such a thing as a pure definition?

If the word "soul" refers to something, what does it refer to? If it doesn't, what are we talking about?

If I ask you what a black furry animal is, you can produce one. You can, in fact, produce many different ones, which helps narrow down the essential features of "black furry animal". You can produce white furry animals, black naked animals, and black furry coats.

What is a soul?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:25:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the word "soul" refers to something, what does it refer to? If it doesn't, what are we talking about?

I don't know.  I don't use the word.  My guess is that it doesn't refer to a "thing", nor does it refer to "no thing".  It exists in a language game called "spirituality", of which "religion" is a subset.

I don't think producing physical examples acts as a definition.  You produce something, I say, "Well, I can see it, but what does the word mean?  You point at the object and say, it means that.  "But what are you pointing at?" I say.  "This!" you say.  But what is that thing you are pointing at?  What are "black", "furry", "animal" etc?  Words to be used in a language game.  As is "soul".

The fun is to flip 'em around in the game and see what comes out.  I suppose refusing to accept that a word has a meaning is to refuse to play that language game.

Elf.  Pixie.  Hey, my daughter used to be a pixie and is now an elf.  (This happens to be true, but in which language game?)

So, the first thing to say might be "The soul is or is not a physical part of the human body."  Then the discussion can be about those missing grams.

If it is not a part of the body, the conversation could be, "So, does the soul survive the death of the body?" etc.

(P.S. I felt the hexagrams 23 and 20 referenced ET.  Indeed, without imagination what is a human?  Snarfle grap urgh Wittgenstien moments...language used to point to events uncontainable by language...the quote about language being a finger and the object of language being....referent and reference and referee...enjoy yer lunch!)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 07:38:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The phenomenon was also know to the Alchemists. Paracelsus said that a medical doctor who doesn't know the planets is not a real doctor, the planets being symbols for the chakras. I would say integrating the idea of chakras in treatment could be considered a form of psychosomatic therapy.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:46:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A fantastic image! People making themselves magical.

But I still say it is psychosomatic. Everyone can change - you just have to wire yourself up in a new way, and that takes time.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:31:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I still say it is psychosomatic

Meaning it's all in the mind (but not in reality?)

The question is how far can you bend reality before it snaps back and says, "I am a wall, and you can't walk through me.  Hey!  Stop making a door!"

I am an ignoramus in all these matters, but as I get older and my body gets creakier I can rely less on natural bounce to move me through emptiness filled with assorted clusters--ouch!  Who put that chair there?--and I do think that western/modern/shallow approaches to ourselves/bodies as they react to the universe--as they touch each other--and where is the dividing line?  Anyway, I'm all for learning what works and using it.  How it works is part of the fun, of course, but at the edges everything spins and combines and separates and....the permaculture principle: Life thrives at boundaries, at the edges.  Also, for some reason, I connect this with Stephen J. Gould's example of measuring the coastline of Maine: it all depends on the measuring scale...

Facts are facts and cannot be denied by any rational being. (Often, facts are also not at all easy to determine or specify--but this question raises different issues for another time.) Facts, however, may also be highly scale dependent--and the perceptions of one world may have no validity or expression in the domain of another. The one-page map of Maine cannot recognize the separate boulders of Acadia, but both provide equally valid representations of a factual coastline.

And now I must



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:59:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gould is stealing Mandelbrot's example, presumably because he thinks it's so well known he doesn't need to attribute it.

Or, actually, Gould is talking about representation at different level and you're interpreting it as measuring, a la Mandelbrot.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:02:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Facts exist as consensus interpretations. You can only have a fact where a majority perceive (more or less) the same thing and interpret it (more or less) the same way, and the model built from that interpretation seems (more or less) consistent with what happens next.

This makes facts a little slipperier than most people realise. But as long as we're all (more or less) in the same headspace, no major reality dislocations are likely.

Unfortunately, sooner or later someone comes along and spoils the neat picture.

The best way to avoid any danger of unwanted metaprogramming is to ignore them.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 03:58:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I understood it, Gould's point was that the answer to the question "How long is the coast of Maine?" depends on what you're using to measure the coast of Maine.  There is no "answer", there are only the answers that your measuring equipment--and the object(s) being measured can give you.

(Which I think links to Fran's point about right brain-left brain.  The left brain uses langauge and linear models, and anything that can't be explained via language and linearity "makes no sense" = "is nonsense" to the left brain.  The right brain experiences differently, and sees the limits of language...back to Wittgenstein's point: language has its limits as an experiential tool.


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 04:29:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, but that was originally Mandelbrot's example in his book "How Long is the Coast of Britain". The way Gould phrases it he seems to be saying that the map is not the territory and that representations at different scales emphasise different features.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 06:20:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the map is not the territory and that representations at different scales emphasise different features.

Was it Gould who talked about how gravity had no importance below a certain size, hence the structure of insects?

Maybe two things: One is how different features become emphasised at different scales, t'other is how at different scales different rules (systems) apply.

Durrr.  Note to non existent self object: switch brain on.  Where'd I put the switch?  Zzzzzip!

Ah, there it is.




Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:25:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was it Gould who talked about how gravity had no importance below a certain size, hence the structure of insects?

Gould didn't discover that, he just popularised it.

I hate to quote myself, but

Beginning with the 18th century naturalists a movement arose that sought to understand the "universal laws of form" in order to explain the observed forms of living organisms. Because of its association with Lamarckism, their ideas fell into disrepute until the early 20th century, when pioneers such as D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson revived them. The modern understanding is that there are indeed universal laws (arising from fundamental physics and chemistry) that govern growth and form in biological systems.
It is not whether gravity has importance or not, but what the relative strangths of all the forces are, and what mechanical properties of biomaterials and grown dtructures are possible. This is a question of chemistry and physics.

The basic scaling law here is that the surface to volume ratio is inversely proportional to the linear dimension. If you're really small, surface effects dominate: surface tension is actually stronger than gravity, or pressure. This is why insects can walk on water.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:39:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The modern understanding is that there are indeed universal laws (arising from fundamental physics and chemistry) that govern growth and form in biological systems.

I thought they hadn't found any underlying law(s), laws I mean that dealt with the super-micro (quantum) and the super-macro (relativity)?  We understand certain processes, but I don't think we understand exactly how a cuckoo upon breaching its shell will immediately kick any other baby birds out of the nest(did you see the film of this?  I think it was on one of Bill Oddie's nature watch shows.)  We call it "instinct", but I don't think...well, I don't know how science explains the process of knowing something so complex and so variable...what are the instructions in the D.N.A. for kicking live chicks out of a nest?

Yadda.  Sommat along those lines.

(I think in terms of the measurement and understanding...a foetus cannot concieve of the world beyond the womb.  Humans cannot conceive of...whatever is beyond their current measuring devices.  Yet the baby in the womb responds to and is aware of "something" beyond the womb--e.g. music, its mother's hearbeat etc.  I'm trying to get at something like that, I think.  The western science descriptive model as a tool, a measuring device...)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:32:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm talking about growth and form, not behaviour.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:33:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Behaviour is not related to growth and form?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 07:48:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How exactly did we get from gravity and the structure of insects to the behaviour of cuckoo ckicks? There is a non-sequitur in there somewhere.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 07:57:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we've been weaving in and out of physical structures, consciousness, motivations, explications, scales, measures, definitions, and it very enjoyable it's been.

Fancy a game of Go?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 08:08:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, but no need to keep telling each other "your turn". Just check the page regularly.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 08:36:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you take a materialistic view it doesn't seem unlikely that behaviours like evicting nest-mates could be wired in during the growth process. We don't know exactly how it works but our ignorance does not justify assuming that it requires magic.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:36:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you take a materialistic view it doesn't seem unlikely that behaviours like evicting nest-mates could be wired in during the growth process

Could you expand on that?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 07:46:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We - and cuckoos - manifest behaviours because our brains and body take in information from the environment, react to it and output results that change the environment. Quite complex behaviours can result from that process. Brains, even new-born, aren't helpless boxes of goo, especially in the creatures with less complicated ones than humans. Their structure is determined during development by an interplay of the decoding and transcription process of DNA with the foetal environment. You're talking about a very very complicated program that self-modifies and where different bits mean different things at different times and in different contexts. It seems that for a newly hatched cuckoo, the resulting brain contains structures that react to the input pattern "small and fuzzy" with the output "push out of nest". There is a continuum of instinct and reliance on instinct: insects are pretty much entirely instinct driven while humans are only mostly instinct driven and have much greater variation in their instinctive wiring.

It probably isn't correct to think of DNA as containing instructions - you have to see the DNA in the context of the environment it finds itself in and in the context of the development process. Cuckoo DNA, when it is decoded by the egg cell in the context of a cuckoo egg and an acceptable environment, produces over time a small bird that pushes other small birds out of nests.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 08:30:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would only add that mutated DNA (a natural process without which evolution could not occur) will also mean that some people/animals are born with different protein/hormone/semi-hormone factories that produce different amounts of metaprogamming biochemicals. There are also considerable natural variations between species.

I see these variations as being one potential source for so-called genetic memory.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 08:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends what you mean by "genetic memory"?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 08:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean what other people refer to as genetic memory/ archtypes/what you will - ie the idea that behaviour can be passed on down through the generations. I find it hard to accept that this would be possible or probable.

I think a more likely and simpler explanation for such things as imprinting ("just-born duck thinks any moving object is mother, and thus thinks wayward football is parent" type of thing), is that for entirely physiological reasons, the chick is sensitized.

The sensitization could be (and I am only guessing by way of example) a flood of internally generated endorphins combined with some vision/motion phenomenon that is hardwired, not by learning over time, but almost instantly in the way that crack or meth can change behaviour very fast.

The 'flood of endorphins' is not some 'genetic memory', it is simply a function of the system that has been 'described' somwhere in the 800 bible's worth of DNA.

I throw in the bible reference to further confuse the homonculii ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 09:38:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think a more likely and simpler explanation for such things as imprinting ("just-born duck thinks any moving object is mother, and thus thinks wayward football is parent" type of thing), is that for entirely physiological reasons, the chick is sensitized.

This is contentious?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 09:43:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In ducks - no.

In humans - very much so.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:26:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen once described to me and Barbara a similar phenomenon occurring in Humans but acting not on the newborn baby but on the father. Maybe she can repeat it here.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:29:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You think humans don't have instincts?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:46:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
react to it

Sven suggests this is an automated process based at its lowest level on amoeba-like attract/repel etc. forces.  Did I undestand that right, sven?  All complexity is built as these small parts aggregate.  This suggests that me typing this and you typing that are to be understood as physically determined processes.

As I understand it, though, the idea of the meta-programmer introduces some extra space between input and output (action-reaction).  A contemplative area where choices can be made.  The speiciesists among us (not you) see a division between us humans and every other living thing.

I think any drawing of this line is impossible (levels, degrees etc.)

So...contemplation and choice.  I know that's an unfinished thought.

Their structure is determined during development by an interplay of the decoding and transcription process of DNA with the foetal environment

And an interplay between the foetus and the external world, and all those levels of action-contemplation-reaction...a pure mechanical process has no space for contemplation (chance?)...which (to go back to the subject of the diary) is the element science has to avoid--controlled experiments--trying to nail the moment and see finally everything that is happening, and what is proposed as an alternative view, where Chance is a key and un-removable attribute to the system.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 09:04:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This suggests that me typing this and you typing that are to be understood as physically determined processes.

Yes, of course.

As I understand it, though, the idea of the meta-programmer introduces some extra space between input and output (action-reaction).
No-one said the processing of input had to be simple or immediate.

When I said "foetal environment" I meant the inclusion of the outside world.

Chance is part of the physical world, so it's constantly an influence.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 09:19:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, of course.

So thoughts are physically determined?  (I mean, if you think you have a choice, then that thought is also phsyically determined etc. ad infinitum back to the...well...whatever was the first step in the physical process...linearity all the way...so "Chance" is another word for "We haven't described--perhaps we can't describe--the whole system, but in it's possible in principle.)

No-one said the processing of input had to be simple or immediate.

It's the processing that is the issue, I think.  Because each process, when examined becomes a simpler process until you have simple input-output.  Or, and careful with the coffee folks--

Our brain is a physical thing.  Thoughts are physical processes.  So how does quantum behaviour translate in the human brain?  And where lieth the necessity there?

(cue a hundred AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!s)

But seriously, either we--our thoughts, our identity, etc--are part of the physical manifestation of the universe and are therefore quantum at heart like all other physical systems, or, well, I feel those edges overlapping...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:10:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me throw a few things out there, without expanding on their relevance:
Gödel's incompleteness theorems, and the halting problem.

My suggestion for a definition of the soul: Those statements that cannot be proven true or false within the (formal?) system of our thought. Why not? As good as any I have heard.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:35:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No one knows if thoughts are physically determined. According to straightforward scientific materialism, they should be. But because no one has ever seen a thought or knows what it looks like, except from the outside, thoughts come dangerously close to suffering from the same philosophical problems that souls do.

And there's also that tiny problem left over from quantum mechanics about whether or not perception changes the workings and outcome of an experiment.

So at this point assuming that thinking is physical is a supposition that can't be proved or disproved.

In metaprogramming terms you're chunking information more or less in behavioural terms, and - as long as you don't get impatient - that's all you need to do. There is no complete functional disassembly of minds, souls, thoughts or even brains to refer to, so it's impossible to state categorically that X, Y or Z are the cause of any inner experience. You can't even do this with drugs. Just because the effects of LSD or ayahuasca are fairly reliable, doesn't mean anyone really knows what they change, or how.  

All you can do is give the black box a prod every now and then, try to learn from what it does, and look at other people's incomplete ideas about how to make changes, and the kinds of changes that can be made.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:36:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So at this point assuming that thinking is physical is a supposition that can't be proved or disproved.

If it's not, what is it? It seems like a good theory until some evidence shows that it can't be.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:59:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I never invoked either linearity or determinism. Is everything determined? Possibly, but the only way of predicting it would be to run the universe to find out what would happen.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought your agreement to my comment about our communications (typing) being physically determined meant you accepted a determinist model of action, A necessarily follows B.

We - and cuckoos - manifest behaviours because our brains and body take in information from the environment, react to it and output results that change the environment.

I take this to be basic linearity: input (before) output(after and as a result of.)  B follows A in time and is caused (at least partly) by A, and before A was something else all the way back into the mists.

"Chance" means (on this scenario, I think) side hits from other ABC causal (linear) events.

Put the whole lot together and you have chaos, but only because we can't put ourselves in the position to follow each line.

If I have understood the intro. to the I-Ching (me and understand=big IF), the (ancient?) chinese attitude didn't hold to this model.  It didn't follow past to present to future, but rather saw present spreading out in all directions.

I'm assuming that what we have discovered so far of what we call the quantum world does not follow the ABC model of reality.

If our brains are quantum in their centres (inside the inside the inside etc.) then they, too, cease to be simply ABC boxes.

Which is why I would enjoy reading a diary by Migeru on anything quantum-related.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:46:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm assuming that what we have discovered so far of what we call the quantum world does not follow the ABC model of reality.

Did you read this?

What's difficult about Quantum Mechanics is that it is contextual, non-counterfactual and nonlocal.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:51:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't put it like that: B happens in the context of A. B must be one of the things that are possible given A but I wouldn't suggest there is always only one possible outcome that must directly follow.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:58:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I take "physically determined" to mean "determined by the laws of physics, whatever they are".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 12:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Our brain is a physical thing.  Thoughts are physical processes.  So how does quantum behaviour translate in the human brain?

Don't know. I don't think anyone has more than a glimmering of that yet.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:58:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have we been reading too much Penrose?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:21:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Me? Not guilty, at least not in last decade or so. Did I forget the obligatory "Migeru would know better about that: I'm not even sure quantum effects are very likely at the scale of the brain bit?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:22:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean, I know of no evidence for macroscopic quantum effects in consciousness other than Penrose's arguments in The Emperor's New Mind.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:26:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh. Great minds and fools obviously ...

I saw something faintly suggestive somewhere recently that indicated it might possibly be possible for QM to have some influence, but neurons are pretty big things.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:28:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
His argument basically boils down to
  • We don't understand consciousness
  • Consciousness is not algorithnic
  • All classical computation is algorithmic
  • Therefore consciousness must be quantum
  • we don't understand the collapse of the wavefunction
  • We don't understand quantum gravity
  • Maybe quantum gravity will explain the collapse of the wavefunction: the collapse happens when the difference between two states amounts to "one graviton"
  • We can estimate the size of a lump of matter creating this "one graviton" difference
  • Is there a component of a Neuron that has this "one graviton" size? Yes! the centrosome!
  • Maybe consciousness is a quantum effect involving centrosomes.
I kid you not.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:35:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like that: science of the gaps. Sort of like a god of the gaps but with less impressive robes.

I'll point out, for the general edification of those reading rather than for your benefit, that classical computation considers a very small class of devices that don't seem to be anything like the brain. And we don't really understand the details of those devices anyway.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:41:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right now, I can't remember to what extent Penrose discussed classical chaos in computing devices.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:46:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm trying to think what I read and where: it was talking about phenomena inside neurons that were on a very small scale but influential.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:43:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe I'll just make "Migeru would know better about that" my signature. That might work.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:26:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now where is that coming from?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:27:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a pretty good heuristic! Possibly it falls in the badly expressed humour box. -i for me!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:31:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And a sorry.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:32:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It really sounded like "Shut up, Migeru". Maybe I'm too sensitive today?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:36:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe I need to adjust my tone.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:41:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd misremembered Danger Mouse's companion as Penrose.

T'was in fact Penfold.  Here he is.

You know, I suppose I have broken the golden rule:

"Whereof we cannot speak, we must remain silent."

Really, I wanted to clear my head of some heaviness, the I Ching did the job (as melo said, the sound of something elegant being hit lightly), and I thought it was humorous that the I Ching brought up 20 - "It does not further one to go anywhere," which my brain translated as DO NOTHING, THERE'S NO POINT AT THE MOMENT, but I had a moving fifth line, did I not mention this?

A shoal of fishes. Favor comes through the court ladies.  Everything acts to further

...which I also found humorous...I know I know, it's just rorschach.  Anyway, the moving line created Hexagram 23 which was all about how benevolent rulers should behave.

A slight variation of tonal stress gives the Chinese name for this hexagram a double meaning. It means both contemplating and being seen, in the sense of being an example.

There's a reference to your key point in the judgement.

Thus also in nature a holy seriousness is to be seen in the fact that natural occurrences are uniformly subject to law.

And I'm hoping that reading a bunch of non-science types bandy words about wildly hasn't made you despair.

Regarding Jerome, for yes I read him (as head of ET) straight into Hexagram 20, "Contemplation / View"...

The ablution has been made,
But not yet the offering.
Full of trust they look up to him.

I thought this was humorous as I thought it (rorschach rorschach!) summed up the current attitude in re: (yes, you guessed) the structure of ET as it stands.  But I was doing this in real time, so then I read.

All of this points to the power possessed by a superior personality. On the one hand, such a man will have a view of the real sentiments of the great mass of humanity and therefore cannot be deceived; on the other, he will impress the people so profoundly, by his mere existence and by the impact of his personality, that they will be swayed by him as the grass by the wind.

And because I was questioning this (questioning the judgement--I suppose the answer to my unanswered question "Whither ET?" which may be my own personal question, but I think others ask the same thing...

(And I thought it was humorous that the I Ching symbol up top looks a bit like a starfish...)

So anyway, I added my snarky comments re: "But we don't believe in rulers, do we?" etc. to counter the supposed truths being listed by the I Ching in its role as Oracle.

So here's me fessing up to you senor in the hope of cheering you up or letting you give me up as a lost cause.  And hmmm.  What can I give you?  Something powerful.

But also something funky.

Something tasty.

Something beautiful

Ach, laddie, I must dash!  May all your pleasures be very pleasurable!

To all of yez, of course!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 12:18:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
don't you need a soul to believe in magic?

maybe you don't...

hmm

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 09:31:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just need to sit around a table with some friends and a bunch of colourful dice and I'll believe in magic... for an evening.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:23:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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