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DoctorDick
2003-Aug-24, 06:17 PM
This forum has apparently gained some inquisitive, intelligent and decently educated people :D . I have been attempting to find someone on the web intelligent and educated enough to follow my thoughts who would be interested in doing so. So far, that effort has been pretty much of a waste of time ](*,) . Most of the "against the mainstream" issues posted on this forum in the past have been rather thoughtless comedic presentations. I hope that has changed a bit. As an introduction to my perspective, I would like someone to go through the following logical progression and point out where they believe I have made a mistake in my logic :-? .

1) Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses 8-[ .

2.) Our senses are preprocessed by our subconscious so as to yield the mental image of reality perceived by our conscious awareness :( .

As an example of what I am referring to here, I point out that, while I am typing this, I see before me the screen of a monitor at about arms reach displaying the words you are reading :o . Now, according to the modern scientific explanation of how this comes about, the lens of my eye focus an image of that screen on the retina of my eye where nerves (excited by photons) transmit a message to my brain \:D/ . Somehow, my brain then creates an illusion of that screen before me :-k .

Certainly this transformation is performed by my subconscious as I have utterly no conscious awareness of the activities required to produce that result 8-[ . Try as I might, I cannot "perceive" this as an image on the retina of my eye nor as electrically firing nerves in my brain #-o ; I can only "perceive" it as a real object about two feet in front of me :o . It seems to me to be undeniable that my perceptions of reality are all illusions created by my subconscious [-( . That is to say, I sense the illusions my subconscious mind puts before my conscious awareness and that these illusions include the fundamental meanings of those senses themselves :roll: .

Please note that I do not regard this as evidence that reality is an illusion! There are a lot of people out there who stop at this point with the belief that they have demonstrated reality must be an illusion 8) . I think that step is a bit premature. There is another possibility here.

3) Reality exists :) and there is a serious conundrum here as to how our subconscious has managed to perform this feat #-o .

Our mental image of the universe is constructed from data received through mechanisms (our senses) which are also part of that image. I believe that any scientist worth his salt would hold it as obvious that one could not possibly model the universe until after some information about that universe were obtained. The problem with that position is that we cannot possibly model our senses (the fundamental source of that information) until after we have modeled the universe.

This implies that our subconscious has constructed a mental image of the universe given totally undefined information transcribed by a totally undefined process. What is important here is that the problem is solvable; it has to be solvable as our subconscious mind has solved it.

Everyone in the scientific community to whom I have raised this issue has dismissed it as meaningless trivia and utterly refused to even discuss the issue with me. Now I would accept it being dismissed as being a problem beyond our capabilities as that would be a very rational contention, but it seems to me that to simply refuse to admit its existence is irrational. To set any aspect of reality above examination is to scuttle rational science.

I believe I have discovered a solution to that very problem and that the solution implies some rather astounding conclusions. Either I am right or I am wrong! All I ask is a little help in determining that issue :P !

dgruss23
2003-Aug-24, 06:55 PM
Just to be clear - Is this intended to be a different discussion than what might have ensued from your interesting :D article on the Whitehead thread?

AgoraBasta
2003-Aug-24, 07:06 PM
Just to be clear - Is this intended to be a different discussion than what might have ensued from your interesting :D article on the Whitehead thread?Hardly so... But what if he says 'yes'? #-o

Beaver
2003-Aug-24, 07:47 PM
This implies that our subconscious has constructed a mental image of the universe given totally undefined information transcribed by a totally undefined process. What is important here is that the problem is solvable; it has to be solvable as our subconscious mind has solved it.


Humans have no reason to believe are subconscious's are giving us a false sense of reality, we have the ability to interpret the reality correctly people just choose not to.




http://www.vix.com/objectivism/images/rand3.gif

wedgebert
2003-Aug-24, 08:31 PM
Maybe it's just my caffine-deprived brain, but maybe the reason no one can follow your thoughts is the plethora of emotions scattered liberally though your post.

Donnie B.
2003-Aug-24, 08:44 PM
I'm not exactly sure what this great insight of yours is supposed to be. That our senses have developed ways to model external reality in our minds? This is not exactly news! Generations of philosophers have been pondering it.

Are you shocked, shocked I tell you, that our nervous systems have this ability? How could they not? We have to live in the real world, after all. We have to find water, food, shelter, and mates, avoid predators and hazardous environments, and generally get along. Evolution has been fine-tuning those senses for a billion years. Any organisms that did a poor job of "remote sensing" left no descendants.

Pinemarten
2003-Aug-24, 08:50 PM
Philosophy was one of the very first scientific studies, and has a basis in all following schools of thought.
Philosophy is the science that 'proves' what we conceive as being true.
Most scientists learn some philosophy during their education. They use this science regularly when doing research.

kilopi
2003-Aug-24, 09:51 PM
This forum has apparently gained some inquisitive, intelligent and decently educated people
I know you're not talking about me.

:D . I have been attempting to find someone on the web intelligent and educated enough to follow my thoughts who would be interested in doing so. So far, that effort has been pretty much of a waste of time ](*,) . Most of the "against the mainstream" issues posted on this forum in the past have been rather thoughtless comedic presentations.
You probably missed a few. Nobody can read everything though.

Everyone in the scientific community to whom I have raised this issue has dismissed it as meaningless trivia and utterly refused to even discuss the issue with me. Now I would accept it being dismissed as being a problem beyond our capabilities as that would be a very rational contention, but it seems to me that to simply refuse to admit its existence is irrational. To set any aspect of reality above examination is to scuttle rational science.
Are you familiar with Crick's Astonishing Hypothesis (http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/System/8870/books/crick.html)?


I believe I have discovered a solution to that very problem and that the solution implies some rather astounding conclusions.
What is it?

RickNZ
2003-Aug-24, 10:13 PM
Maybe hes refering to. For example. An average persons inability to grasp the standard model?

We like to see electrons as orderly, smooth round planet like particles and certainly cannot grasp fuzy logic and photons being particles and waves depending on the instrument you use to interact with.

DoctorDick
2003-Aug-24, 10:25 PM
Well, the response was quite more volume than I expected, but quite below the intellectual level I had hoped for.


Just to be clear - Is this intended to be a different discussion than what might have ensued from your interesting article on the Whitehead thread?

Yes and No! I had hoped we might start from scratch! What I posted in the Whitehead thread is no more than a rather trivial observation which arises from the main work; however, I will respond to any comments you have with regard to that post.

Hardly so... But what if he says 'yes'?

I thought you were going to help me out! No comments on my post? What am I to think? Is your intention to dismiss it as meaningless trivia and refuse to discuss the issue with me or do you have an interest in what I have to say?

Humans have no reason to believe are subconscious's are giving us a false sense of reality, we have the ability to interpret the reality correctly people just choose not to.

As I said, "to set any aspect of reality above examination is to scuttle rational science." Be my guest; you certainly have plenty of company!


Maybe it's just my caffine-deprived brain, but maybe the reason no one can follow your thoughts is the plethora of emotions scattered liberally though your post.

Sorry I confused you! I just threw those in to keep it from being too serious. I will try to be less flamboyant for your sake. :D

I'm not exactly sure what this great insight of yours is supposed to be. That our senses have developed ways to model external reality in our minds? This is not exactly news! Generations of philosophers have been pondering it.

Are you shocked, shocked I tell you, that our nervous systems have this ability? How could they not? We have to live in the real world, after all. We have to find water, food, shelter, and mates, avoid predators and hazardous environments, and generally get along. Evolution has been fine-tuning those senses for a billion years. Any organisms that did a poor job of "remote sensing" left no descendants.

I think you just missed the entire issue! Come back when you figure it out. Hint: If you read the last paragraph, you will see that I wish to discuss a particular solution!

Philosophy was one of the very first scientific studies, and has a basis in all following schools of thought.
Philosophy is the science that 'proves' what we conceive as being true.
Most scientists learn some philosophy during their education. They use this science regularly when doing research.

From the Devil's Dictionary: "Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."

Are you familiar with Crick's Astonishing Hypothesis?
I am now and it has nothing to do with my work!

No one has appeared to even try to criticize my three opening statements (at least I found no rational criticism here). I will take it that most of you (the intelligent ones at least) admit there is a real problem here which deserves to be examined.

Since he asked for a solution, kilopi apparently agrees there is a real problem worth looking at here. Before I go on to my solution, is there anyone here who thinks they have a solution? That is, a detailed step by step procedure which will develop a valid model of an undefined source of undefined information transcribed by an totally undefined transformation which they can prove yields exactly what we observe.

Please notice that I said "a" solution and not "the" solution. There is a significant difference. I am of the opinion that the fact that I have a solution is somewhat better than nothing!

Musashi
2003-Aug-24, 10:47 PM
I have looked at your thread and I am thinking about how to phrase my answer. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you toned down your hostility. Also, just because someone answers you, or in the event that peope don't answer you, neither of those facts make your theory any more or less credible. I will be back when I have some more time.

wedgebert
2003-Aug-24, 10:49 PM
Well, the response was quite more volume than I expected, but quite below the intellectual level I had hoped for.

That's okay, your posts haven't reached a very high intellectual level either. I'll give you a piece of advice: Being condensending your posts does not make you seem more intelligent, it just makes your choice of names more obvious.



I'm not exactly sure what this great insight of yours is supposed to be. That our senses have developed ways to model external reality in our minds? This is not exactly news! Generations of philosophers have been pondering it.

Are you shocked, shocked I tell you, that our nervous systems have this ability? How could they not? We have to live in the real world, after all. We have to find water, food, shelter, and mates, avoid predators and hazardous environments, and generally get along. Evolution has been fine-tuning those senses for a billion years. Any organisms that did a poor job of "remote sensing" left no descendants.

I think you just missed the entire issue! Come back when you figure it out. Hint: If you read the last paragraph, you will see that I wish to discuss a particular solution!

You never raised an issue. You pointed out something that people have been wondering for ages, and then you said you have a solution. You made a statement and that's it. For it to be an issue you would have had to make an assertion of some sort, for instance telling us what your solution is.



3) Reality exists and there is a serious conundrum here as to how our subconscious has managed to perform this feat .

Our mental image of the universe is constructed from data received through mechanisms (our senses) which are also part of that image. I believe that any scientist worth his salt would hold it as obvious that one could not possibly model the universe until after some information about that universe were obtained. The problem with that position is that we cannot possibly model our senses (the fundamental source of that information) until after we have modeled the universe.

This implies that our subconscious has constructed a mental image of the universe given totally undefined information transcribed by a totally undefined process. What is important here is that the problem is solvable; it has to be solvable as our subconscious mind has solved it.


What's the problem? Just because you cannot see objects as images on your retina instead of as a phyiscal object you determine it to be an illusion?

We are a product of reality, reality is not a product of us.

Sammy
2003-Aug-24, 11:00 PM
Dear Dr Dick

I'm really sorry the intellectual level of the responses to your posting did not meet your expectations. We all hope you can find a place more suited to your unique needs.

Bye!

kilopi
2003-Aug-24, 11:12 PM
Well, the response was quite more volume than I expected, but quite below the intellectual level I had hoped for.
Well, at least it wasn't FOAD.


Are you familiar with Crick's Astonishing Hypothesis?
I am now and it has nothing to do with my work!

You mean, you've gotten familiar with it, since I brought it up? I'm impressed.


No one has appeared to even try to criticize my three opening statements (at least I found no rational criticism here).
Let me paraphrase:
1. We observe with our senses
2. The senses are interpreted by our subconsciousness
3. Reality exists. And we don't know how our subconsciousness works.

Hardly surprising that no one would criticize those. The definition of "sense" seems to include observation, and the definition of "reality" depends upon existence. How does subconsciousness work? I'd like to see an answer to that. Crick has been working on that question as well. Whether his work has anything to do with your work is to be determined--I'm sure you're not that familiar with his work, and we apparently haven't seen yours.


Since he asked for a solution, kilopi apparently agrees there is a real problem worth looking at here. Before I go on to my solution, is there anyone here who thinks they have a solution?
Very funny.

But do go on.

mike alexander
2003-Aug-24, 11:17 PM
OK, DD, I'll take it on. But try not to be so snootty to my friends here. As John Sourwine noted, a fine aesthetic does not preclude a wide range (Just because we wear clown suits does not make us necessarily clowns).

Your points, condensed (as I read them):

1) Conscious understanding of the external world must derive from sensory input.

2) All sensory input must be preprocessed by subconscious mechanisms to present a consistent model to the conscious.

3)Without preexisting understanding, the subconscious cannot construct a consistent model to present to the conscious. Hence the conundrum.

Am I on the right track?

IF the assumption of 3) is correct, then the preexisting pattern in the subconscious must be supplied from extranatural processes. For example, God. Therefore, if all the assumptions are correct, the logical outcome is that God exists (God = whatever extranatural process you are thinking of).

If I am still going in the right direction, a few observations.

a) conscious and unconscious are not rigorously defined. You yourself cannot 'find' your unconscious. Therefore, it may not exist. Possible counterexample? A lens can make an image of a scene and project it onto film for examination. The image is developed blindly with no preknowledge of what it contains.

b) If I see two marbles and later see two more, I can visualize four marbles together without actually seeing them that way. A general description of a scientific experiment. I have derived a conscious understanding of a part of the universe without sensory input, by assembling pieces into a new whole internally.

If a) and b) are valid counterexamples of 1) and 2), then 3) evaporates as a conundrum.

Beaver
2003-Aug-24, 11:22 PM
DICK
Beaver wrote:
Humans have no reason to believe are subconscious's are giving us a false sense of reality, we have the ability to interpret the reality correctly people just choose not to.


As I said, "to set any aspect of reality above examination is to scuttle rational science." Be my guest; you certainly have plenty of company

Nice try but your post is still nonesense, do you even know what scuttle means?

pixelator
2003-Aug-24, 11:40 PM
DoctorDick,

Not sure where you want to go with this perception of reality thing. You should really just spell out what you think and see how others react to it, rather than hinting around and confusing everyone. That said...

I was reading a little of the paper on your site on a theory of conciousness (havent finished it yet)

http://home.jam.rr.com/dicksfiles/Marion/science.htm

I was intrigued by the example of the woman who was brought up in a black and white room and your comment that she would probably not experience color at all if she was exposed to it.

1. her body has color, so she would have experience of color.
2. Ever press against your eyeballs? colored lights will appear :)

But even so I understand the idea of the analogy. If this is the type of thing you are wanting to speak about (how we percieve reality) what you should do is find some research on people who have been blind since birth and gained their eyesight later as an adult. Find out how they experience color, space, shape and reality. Or people who were deaf from birth and gained hearing.

some stuff I found:
http://www.nvrc.org/Signal%20Processing%20and%20Learning.htm
http://www.richardgregory.org/papers/
http://www.richardgregory.org/papers/recovery_blind/3-observations_p1.htm

Pinemarten
2003-Aug-25, 12:07 AM
Philosophy was one of the very first scientific studies, and has a basis in all following schools of thought.
Philosophy is the science that 'proves' what we conceive as being true.
Most scientists learn some philosophy during their education. They use this science regularly when doing research.

This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.

kilopi
2003-Aug-25, 12:14 AM
This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.
Wait a minute, number one was "Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses"

Are you refuting that?? Seems sorta tautalogical to me.

Pinemarten
2003-Aug-25, 12:20 AM
Our view is based on it, but not our understanding. Do ducks that view the heavens understand them?

Beaver
2003-Aug-25, 12:32 AM
DICK
By the way, objective investigation of our subconscious is an oxymoron. Every publication of any investigation of subconscious phenomena is based on the assumption that every perception (not proved to be an illusion) is a valid representation of reality. That is sort of like trusting someone who we know has lied on dozens of occasions to tell the absolute truth about everything else. What kind of gullible idiot would make that assumption?

http://www.astronomy.net/forums/god/messages/26853.shtml?show=top

Now I am realy waiting for your solution.

Chip
2003-Aug-25, 12:56 AM
This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.
Wait a minute, number one was "Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses"
Are you refuting that?? Seems sorta tautalogical to me.

Hi,

This thread is slipping easily off the topic of bad astronomy, but I was confused by the point about "understanding...the universe...through our senses."
Does that mean we had to see black holes in space before we understood of the physics that lead us to conclude that they had to exist?
Or does it simply mean we "saw" the math via our senses of the theory that preceded the first pictures of where real black holes lurk?

Also, silly me but I'm suspicious of theories of consciousness that don't at least mention the work of Julian Jaynes. Maybe I missed it.

Pinemarten
2003-Aug-25, 01:02 AM
This statement is closer.


Or does it simply mean we "saw" the math via our senses of the theory that preceded the first pictures of were real black holes lurk?


We conceived the math, calculated it; and then we pointed our 'eyes' in that direction.

Cougar
2003-Aug-25, 05:06 PM
1) Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses 8-[ .

This may not be as straightforward as you imply. Isaac sees an apple fall from a tree. This is a direct sensory input. But his "understanding of the universe" is derived not only from that input, but also from his own... we'll call it "cogitation." His thoughts that are very much necessary to derive the universal law of gravitation are not any of the five senses. Of course, his thoughts are built up from previous sensory inputs. But I think it's possible to put together such previous inputs in new and novel ways - to transcend the previous inputs, as Isaac apparently did. Humans are not myna birds.


2.) Our senses are preprocessed by our subconscious so as to yield the mental image of reality perceived by our conscious awareness :( ..... It seems to me to be undeniable that my perceptions of reality are all illusions created by my subconscious [-( .

I think use of the word "illusion" carries too much baggage and is therefore misleading. Better would be "Our perceptions are representations." I am reminded of the painting of a pipe, with the text painted below the pipe saying "This is not a pipe." No, it's not. It's a representation.


3) Reality exists :) and there is a serious conundrum here as to how our subconscious has managed to perform this feat #-o .

Yes, I think reality exists regardless of how (or whether) we perceive it. We perceive a representation of it, which isn't perfect but apparently good enough for survival....


Our mental image of the universe is constructed from data received through mechanisms (our senses) which are also part of that image.

I'm not sure I'm following you here. Certainly the nature of our sight is determined (or at least affected) by the configuration of the rods and cones of our retinas. Our mental image of the universe is affected by our senses. So, OK, we should remember that when constructing such images.


....we cannot possibly model our senses (the fundamental source of that information) until after we have modeled the universe.... This implies that our subconscious has constructed a mental image of the universe given totally undefined information transcribed by a totally undefined process. What is important here is that the problem is solvable; it has to be solvable as our subconscious mind has solved it.

I believe I have discovered a solution to that very problem and that the solution implies some rather astounding conclusions. Either I am right or I am wrong! All I ask is a little help in determining that issue :P !

Hope this helps! :P

snowcelt
2003-Aug-25, 05:38 PM
---undefined source of undefined information What the hay is that? Sounds like something Kant would come up with. Kant would at least state that this would be a intuitive type on 'knowledge'.
If something is undefined it is not knowledge. If the source is undefined then it is not a premiss. By definition there is not knowledge. If something is not knowledge it is but an ejaculation. Nothing but a grunt.

Beaver
2003-Aug-25, 05:56 PM
I think this is Dicks solution
http://home.jam.rr.com/dicksfiles/

russ_watters
2003-Aug-25, 07:04 PM
This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.
Wait a minute, number one was "Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses"

Are you refuting that?? Seems sorta tautalogical to me. If he doesn't clearly refute it, I will: Our understanding of the universe is most decidedly *NOT* based on information gained through ("collected by" would be a better phrase) our senses.

Information is collected by *INSTRUMENTS* which then translate the information into a form that can be sent to our brains via our senses (usualy sight). Thus the data itself cannot be biased by anything our subconscious might try to do to decieve us.

This is an extremely important and oft overlooked concept by people (not saying its you, kilopi) who wish to prove existence is a construct of our minds and not the other way around.

Cougar
2003-Aug-25, 07:42 PM
Information is collected by *INSTRUMENTS* which then translate the information into a form that can be sent to our brains via our senses (usualy sight).

Right. I was sort of assuming that in my response, as I imagine others were.


Thus the data itself cannot be biased by anything our subconscious might try to do to decieve us.

But this just moves the question back one level. Well constructed instruments should yield unambiguous data which leaves little room for "interpretation," but this isn't always the case. Certainly you've seen the Rodney King video?

http://www.xmission.com/~dcc/tvcloud.gif

Pinemarten
2003-Aug-25, 09:50 PM
Thanx Russ. You did a better job of explaining it than I.

mike alexander
2003-Aug-25, 10:56 PM
DD wrote:

I rest my case! Any machine capable of organizing information will, when it achieves the ability to present the gist of it's information, will claim to be consciously aware of what is going on. Now there is a full fledged theory of consciousness!
(Thanks for the pointer, Beaver)

Actually, that's not bad. I've missed the earthshaking implications, but not bad at all. "Write, in your own words, what you think Hemingway was talking about in his story, 'A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.'"

Although I'm not seeing the difference between that and a more classical Turing test:
Computer! Let's talk Sports!

Working....How about those Yankees!

Ummm... but to whom does the machine present it? Doesn't this presuppose a consciousness capable of understanding both the original and 'gisted' data? A Teacher, if you will (no theological overtones intended) who can check the essay? So a theory of consciousness needs at least two separate consciousnesses (is that a proper word?) to work, and one must be able to evaluate the consciousness of the other.

Another question: the machine will 'claim' to be aware. How is the claim tested? As opposed to, say, a well-written 'expert system'?

CaptGlenn
2003-Aug-25, 11:05 PM
I'm not quite sure what he is referring to exactely - here is an example I found in an old book of mine - The Universe and Dr. Einstein.Just as our visual sense tells us that a golf ball is white, so vision abetted by our sense of touch tells us that it is also round, smooth, and small - qualities that have no more reality, independant of our senses, than the quality which we define by convention as white.""Thus gradually philosophers and scientists arrived at the startling conclusion that since every object is simply the sum of its qualities, and since qualities exist only in the mind, the whole objective universe of matter and energy, atoms and stars, does not exist except as a construction of the consciousness, an edifice of conventional symbols shaped by the senses of man."
"Sweet and bitter, cold and warm as well as all the colors, all these things exist but in opinion and not in reality; what really exists are unchangeable particles, atoms, and their motions in empty space."[list:079035c5be][list:079035c5be][list:079035c5be][list:079035c5be][list:079035c5be][list:079035c5be][list:079035c5be][list:079035c5be][list:079035c5be]Democritus[/list:u:079035c5be][/list:u:079035c5be][/list:u:079035c5be][/list:u:079035c5be][/list:u:079035c5be][/list:u:079035c5be][/list:u:079035c5be][/list:u:079035c5be][/list:u:079035c5be]

That's where I think DoctorDick is coming from. I may be wrong but that's my take.

Glenn

wedgebert
2003-Aug-26, 02:51 AM
Another question: the machine will 'claim' to be aware. How is the claim tested? As opposed to, say, a well-written 'expert system'?

Simple, we'll point the machine to www.zetatalk.com

It if claims to understand anything there, it's a well-written 'expert-system'.

If after a few minutes of reading it suddenly reformats itself and shutsdown, it was senetient.

kilopi
2003-Aug-26, 07:28 AM
This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.
Wait a minute, number one was "Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses"

Are you refuting that?? Seems sorta tautalogical to me. If he doesn't clearly refute it, I will: Our understanding of the universe is most decidedly *NOT* based on information gained through ("collected by" would be a better phrase) our senses.

Information is collected by *INSTRUMENTS* which then translate the information into a form that can be sent to our brains via our senses (usualy sight). Thus the data itself cannot be biased by anything our subconscious might try to do to decieve us.

This is an extremely important and oft overlooked concept by people (not saying its you, kilopi) who wish to prove existence is a construct of our minds and not the other way around.
I'm not trying to prove that existence is a construct of our minds, but I am going to disagree with you.

I can think of many many counterexamples. Where clear and unambiguous data has been misinterpreted by folks, because of their personal bias. I'm even wondering if you actually meant to say " Thus the data itself cannot be biased by anything our subconscious might try to do to decieve us." Do you mean, that the data itself doesn't change--it just exists?

Still, our understanding of the universe is indeed based on information gained through our senses. Thought and processing of that sensory information does occur, and the synthesis may result in a woldview not connected to reality--but they still can be said to be "based" on the info.

DoctorDick
2003-Aug-27, 06:15 AM
Well, that sure brought the squirrels down out of the trees! I thought I would wait until the ruckus settled down.


I have looked at your thread and I am thinking about how to phrase my answer. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you toned down your hostility. Also, just because someone answers you, or in the event that peope don't answer you, neither of those facts make your theory any more or less credible. I will be back when I have some more time.


Sorry, but in my head, I haven't been anywhere near as hostile as some of the other people here!



Well, the response was quite more volume than I expected, but quite below the intellectual level I had hoped for.

That's okay, your posts haven't reached a very high intellectual level either. I'll give you a piece of advice: Being condensending your posts does not make you seem more intelligent, it just makes your choice of names more obvious.


Thanks for the encourgement!


What's the problem? Just because you cannot see objects as images on your retina instead of as a phyiscal object you determine it to be an illusion?

We are a product of reality, reality is not a product of us.


Well, I am glad you have a handle on that. Understanding is a wonderful thing!


Dear Dr Dick

I'm really sorry the intellectual level of the responses to your posting did not meet your expectations. We all hope you can find a place more suited to your unique needs.

Bye!


Bye Bye!



Well, the response was quite more volume than I expected, but quite below the intellectual level I had hoped for.
Well, at least it wasn't FOAD.


FOAD????


Hardly surprising that no one would criticize those. The definition of "sense" seems to include observation, and the definition of "reality" depends upon existence. How does subconsciousness work? I'd like to see an answer to that. Crick has been working on that question as well. Whether his work has anything to do with your work is to be determined--I'm sure you're not that familiar with his work, and we apparently haven't seen yours.


Now that is an intelligent response! I also would like to know how the subconsciousness works but that is not the issue of my work. Neither do I expect it to be solved in the near future. What I am concerned with is how can such a result be accomplished, a slightly different question.


But do go on.


Thank you, I will but, to be polite, I should respond to these other posters first.


OK, DD, I'll take it on. But try not to be so snootty to my friends here. As John Sourwine noted, a fine aesthetic does not preclude a wide range (Just because we wear clown suits does not make us necessarily clowns).

Your points, condensed (as I read them):

1) Conscious understanding of the external world must derive from sensory input.

2) All sensory input must be preprocessed by subconscious mechanisms to present a consistent model to the conscious.

3)Without preexisting understanding, the subconscious cannot construct a consistent model to present to the conscious. Hence the conundrum.

Am I on the right track?


Pretty close. The only complaint I would pose is your phrase, "without preexisting understanding, the subconscious cannot construct a consistent model to present to the conscious". Clearly all the presumption of "preexisting understanding" does is move the problem to an earlier event. The only real conclusion is that it must be possible without a preexisting understanding.

You have otherwise made a jump to an alternate question which has nothing to do with the one I am asking and, likewise, the remainder of your comments have no bearing on what I am talking about: i.e., you are not "going in the right direction".


Nice try but your post is still nonesense, do you even know what scuttle means?


scuttle: verb transitive, 1. to cut a hole in the hull of a ship below the water line. 2. to sink a ship by this means. I thought most people would have understood my intent in the use! Sorry if it went over your head.


DoctorDick,

Not sure where you want to go with this perception of reality thing. You should really just spell out what you think and see how others react to it, rather than hinting around and confusing everyone. That said...

I was reading a little of the paper on your site on a theory of conciousness (havent finished it yet)

http://home.jam.rr.com/dicksfiles/Marion/science.htm


Sorry about that. I created that file in order to reference my comments to Marion in an e-mail. I had forgotten that it was there. I will remove it as there is nothing serious there.



I was intrigued by the example of the woman who was brought up in a black and white room and your comment that she would probably not experience color at all if she was exposed to it.

1. her body has color, so she would have experience of color.
2. Ever press against your eyeballs? colored lights will appear


The real issue was the proposition that she had no experience of color.

I am sorry but it really is not the type of thing I am interested in. It just came up in another conversation. I have read a little on the subject and I am convinced that people cannot experience things as an adult that they have not been trained (by experience) to recognize when they are in their formative years. But I am certainly not an expert on the issues.



Philosophy was one of the very first scientific studies, and has a basis in all following schools of thought.
Philosophy is the science that 'proves' what we conceive as being true.
Most scientists learn some philosophy during their education. They use this science regularly when doing research.

This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.


Well, that is certainly deep logic if I have ever seen it!



This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.

Wait a minute, number one was "Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses"

Are you refuting that?? Seems sorta tautalogical to me.


Now I don't want to give you a swelled head, but it seems to me that you have a questioning personality. I think that's good. I will definitely get back to you.


Our view is based on it, but not our understanding. Do ducks that view the heavens understand them?


Sorry, but that is just too deep for me! You will have to talk to your friends about that.


Now I am realy waiting for your solution.


You know where it is, all you need to do is understand the question. Many problems in life are solved by asking the right question. This problem is exactly one of those types of problems. Once you understand exactly what that question is, the solution is next to trivial.

Reality as seen through an unexaminable pipeline must be modeled. The key is that there are two free things which can be used to create that model: the pipeline itself and any arbitrary data you want to add to the output of the pipeline which makes it easier to construct your model.

When you achieve a solution, the solution must explain reality and the pipeline by implication. Now that leaves the problem quite open. If you can follow chapter 1, any competent mathematician could work out the rest.





This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.

Wait a minute, number one was "Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses"
Are you refuting that?? Seems sorta tautalogical to me.


Hi,

This thread is slipping easily off the topic of bad astronomy, but I was confused by the point about "understanding...the universe...through our senses."
Does that mean we had to see black holes in space before we understood of the physics that lead us to conclude that they had to exist?
Or does it simply mean we "saw" the math via our senses of the theory that preceded the first pictures of where real black holes lurk?

Also, silly me but I'm suspicious of theories of consciousness that don't at least mention the work of Julian Jaynes. Maybe I missed it.


No, it means that everything we are aware of is processed by our brain before we are aware of it. And, if relativity and black holes have to do with astronomy then this thread has to do with astronomy.


We conceived the math, calculated it; and then we pointed our 'eyes' in that direction.


I am afraid the depth of your intellect is beyond my comprehension.


Of course, his thoughts are built up from previous sensory inputs.


That is all I am claiming. I never meant to imply anyone here was a "myna bird".


Yes, I think reality exists regardless of how (or whether) we perceive it. We perceive a representation of it, which isn't perfect but apparently good enough for survival....


You miss the central issue. We have a mental image (and I agree that it's pretty good). That means it is possible to construct one "in the total absence of definition of anything". That is the problem I find interesting.


I'm not sure I'm following you here. Certainly the nature of our sight is determined (or at least affected) by the configuration of the rods and cones of our retinas. Our mental image of the universe is affected by our senses. So, OK, we should remember that when constructing such images.


You are talking about your mental image, not how to construct one. "Rods and cones" are entities defined in your mental image of reality.


If something is undefined it is not knowledge. If the source is undefined then it is not a premiss. By definition there is not knowledge. If something is not knowledge it is but an ejaculation. Nothing but a grunt.


I am afraid a "grunt" is a defined concept. If you cannot comprehend the abstract concept of starting with nothing defined, then the problem I have posed is beyond your comprehension.


I think this is Dicks solution
http://home.jam.rr.com/dicksfiles/


You are absolutely correct. But I doubt there are many people here who are ready to follow it. I thought I would prepare the way a little first but good luck to anyone who wants to read it now.




This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.

Wait a minute, number one was "Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses"

Are you refuting that?? Seems sorta tautalogical to me.

If he doesn't clearly refute it, I will: Our understanding of the universe is most decidedly *NOT* based on information gained through ("collected by" would be a better phrase) our senses.


My god! How do you get your information? By telepathy?


Information is collected by *INSTRUMENTS* which then translate the information into a form that can be sent to our brains via our senses (usualy sight). Thus the data itself cannot be biased by anything our subconscious might try to do to decieve us.


Boy, I am glad your senses cannot deceive you. I sure would like to see the definitive proof of that!


But this just moves the question back one level. Well constructed instruments should yield unambiguous data which leaves little room for "interpretation," but this isn't always the case. Certainly you've seen the Rodney King video?


No, it doesn't just move the question back one level. It completely ignores the fundamental question: how do you know there are no errors in you mental image of reality?

Pinemarten,
I won't even bother to answer you. Sorry about that.


Another question: the machine will 'claim' to be aware. How is the claim tested? As opposed to, say, a well-written 'expert system'?


You are also referring to that paper I forgot existed. I should probably delete it but, since people have referred to, it I will leave it there for a while. But, now that you have asked the question, I ask how do I check the claim that you are aware?


"Thus gradually philosophers and scientists arrived at the startling conclusion that since every object is simply the sum of its qualities, and since qualities exist only in the mind, the whole objective universe of matter and energy, atoms and stars, does not exist except as a construction of the consciousness, an edifice of conventional symbols shaped by the senses of man."


Very well said! That is indeed the conclusion of many (if not all) competent scientists. However, I think that conclusion "does not exist" is a bit of a leap of faith without adequate defense. If you think about it for a while you should see that they arrive at that conclusion because they cannot comprehend any way to prove its contradiction. That makes it a leap of faith. If you follow my work, you will see that it is possible that reality can exist. Oh, it could be just a figment of our imagination but, as I say, I don't think you can prove it.


"Sweet and bitter, cold and warm as well as all the colors, all these things exist but in opinion and not in reality; what really exists are unchangeable particles, atoms, and their motions in empty space."
Democritus

I would say, what really exists are "things" we try to explain! To come up with that explanation, we create other things which exist only in opinion and not in reality. The names we give to these things are references which are only meaningful in terms of our "explanation".

Sorry wedgebert, but I think I will just ignore your post. Just for your information, www.zetatalk.com is a joke. Nancy is pulling your leg.

Kilopi,

Well, since I said I would get back to you when I finished responding to the rest of the squirrels, it was very nice of you to be the final poster in this list. I appreciate that. Of all the people here, you seem to be the closest to comprehending what I am talking about (excepting perhaps CaptGlenn, he gives every indication of being quite thoughtful). I hope I didn't insult anyone here as I am subject to error!

To reiterate the situation, the solution is the construction of a model and, in that construction, certain freedoms exist in the model. Those freedoms being that the transformation (the pipeline between "reality" and our conscious perception of reality) is completely unexaminable and further, that we are free to add anything our imagination deems worthwhile to the output of that pipeline.

It should be clear that "reality", the pipeline itself and the added things are only examinable by implication from the finished solution: i.e., they are part of the solution and must be left open until we have found a solution to work with. When we have that solution, "reality"; the pipeline and the added things all become explicable in terms of that solution.

Fundamentally, the problem is to come up with universally useable definitions. My first definition is "reality" is a set of numbers (if you want to get more specific with that, think of those numbers as numerical labels of the things that exist what ever they might be). Now everybody barfs all over that one. Nevertheless, it's my model and I can construct it anyway I choose. If you are to complain about it, you must point out a concept of reality which does not consist of things which can be referred to.

The pipeline (which is to represent that "unconscious" processing which we cannot examine) will take some subset of reality and transform it into another set of numbers which are the actual numbers we get to consciously examine. The set we get to consciously examine consists of two very different sets which I will label as "knowable" (they are merely members of the set taken from "reality" and I have no intention of implying that it is possible to know them in the common sense) and "unknowable" (numbers added to the "knowable" set to obtain the examinable set).

My attack is quite different from the ordinary scientific approach to a problem as the common approach is to limit the perspective of the problem to its simplest aspects and then build upon those solutions. My attack is to make every effort not to limit the model in any way. The model I construct must serve any possible circumstance. I bring this out because I want to make it clear that there are only a very few number of complaints about my model which I will accept as valid criticisms. If you understand what I am doing, you will agree that these are the only criticisms of importance. Anything which cannot be placed in one of these categories I will regard as cavils of no significance.

The first possible error I can make is an error in the construction of the model. With regard to this issue, since I am building the model, I am free to do anything I wish without defense. The only possible error is the existence of a "reality" (a set of numbers) which cannot be represented in my model. I may give reasons for my moves but, in the final analysis, those reasons are beside the point. The model is the model.

The second possible error (and this one is very real) is that I have made an error in the deduction of what the model implies. Here, it is important to understand the model as without understanding the model one certainly cannot discuss what is or is not a valid deduction.

Finally, we arrive at the usefulness of the model. Unless one understands the model and the deductions which can be obtained from the model, the model is most definitely useless. I hold it is very useful; however, the real answer to that question is an opinion and not a fact. For that reason, I refuse to even discuss it with anyone who does not understand it.

The final issue is how do we determine the validity of a model, how do we know when we have found a valid solution? What purpose is this model to serve? The answer to this question is primary and leads to my fourth and fifth definitions. If we define the "past" to be the information available to us to construct our model and the "future" to be the information we do not have (the present being a boundary which divides the two different subsets of reality), then a valid model is one which will yield the best subjective probability of the future. Since we may move the boundary in a hypothetical analysis of our solution, the "best" merely means that it must fit the actual circumstances expressed in the past for any given conceivable "present".

Essentially, I will present to you a series of defined concepts, defined in terms of an arbitrary set of numbers and then make use of those definitions to deduce some rather surprising results. If this plan makes sense to you we can discuss the model itself.

Beaver has specified the web site which contains the paper on this subject which I wrote some twenty years ago. If you understand what I have said above, you can skip everything up to Part IV of Chapter 1.

http://home.jam.rr.com/dicksfiles/reality/CHAP_I.htm

Have fun -- Dick

Musashi
2003-Aug-27, 06:40 AM
Sorry, but in my head, I haven't been anywhere near as hostile as some of the other people here!

Certainly, however, that does not lessen your hostility. It does not serve as an excuse for you to treat us the way you have. On the whole, though, your last post has shown that you are not here to troll or bait us. You actually have some ideas that you have put forth and are actively defending. That scores you a lot of points in my book. Again, when I get a bit of time together, I would like to make some thoughtful comments. Hopefully they will be germane.

Beaver
2003-Aug-27, 02:25 PM
Whats the point of this debate anyways you said

By the way, objective investigation of our subconscious is an oxymoron. Every publication of any investigation of subconscious phenomena is based on the assumption that every perception (not proved to be an illusion) is a valid representation of reality. That is sort of like trusting someone who we know has lied on dozens of occasions to tell the absolute truth about everything else. What kind of gullible idiot would make that assumption?


http://www.astronomy.net/forums/god/messages/26853.shtml?show=top

So were going to have a subjective investigation Dick?

Chip
2003-Aug-28, 01:46 AM
So if I understand it in the context of this paper, consciousness is perhaps defined as the human mindís interpretation of an observed ordering of matter and energy, and interpreted via our language, which is rich in metaphor. The invisible exterior cosmos we observe is filtered (via the authorís ďpipelineĒ) into symbols and these in turn give shapes to our interpretation.

Sound is of course silent until our eardrums hear it. (The actual vibrations propagate but until a membrane reacts, the phenomenon exists in a silent form.) Likewise, light propagates as un-visualized electromagnetic waves, until it falls on oneís retina or on an instrument. Some might say it doesnít exist at all.

There is another notion to consider. We become aware of our sense of consciousness when we consider it. This can lead to the almost unconscious assumption that this self-awareness is in fact what consciousness is. But it need not be. Is consciousness necessary for interpreting the cosmos? Is it necessary for learning?
:wink:

Pinemarten
2003-Aug-31, 03:59 AM
Philosophy was one of the very first scientific studies, and has a basis in all following schools of thought.
Philosophy is the science that 'proves' what we conceive as being true.
Most scientists learn some philosophy during their education. They use this science regularly when doing research.
This undeniably refutes all three of your statements. Well, that is certainly deep logic if I have ever seen it!


Our view is based on it, but not our understanding. Do ducks that view the heavens understand them?
Sorry, but that is just too deep for me! You will have to talk to your friends about that.


We conceived the math, calculated it; and then we pointed our 'eyes' in that direction.I am afraid the depth of your intellect is beyond my comprehension.
I assume your definition of deep/depth is extracted from a dictionary that varies from mine. If you have definition I am not aware of , please let me know. Or is this too deep for your depth?


I am afraid a "grunt" is a defined concept. If you cannot comprehend the abstract concept of starting with nothing defined, then the problem I have posed is beyond your comprehension.
I am trying to understand as to which orifice in your torso this statement starts its endless cycle; which direction it is going; how often it has been 'refined' on its way; and where it started picking up a familiar smell.

Kebsis
2003-Sep-06, 01:39 AM
Heh, sounds like the Matrix. Everything is just an electrical signal interpreted by your brain :o .

beskeptical
2003-Sep-06, 04:15 AM
Sorry, but in my head, I haven't been anywhere near as hostile as some of the other people here!

I'd say your perception of the posts here is clearly distorted if you can't tell how awful you sound. Allow me to elaborate and then I do have a comment on your topic, at the end.

Here are examples in your own words:


Most of the "against the mainstream" issues posted on this forum in the past have been rather thoughtless comedic presentations.

the response was quite more volume than I expected, but quite below the intellectual level I had hoped for.

No one has appeared to even try to criticize my three opening statements (at least I found no rational criticism here). I will take it that most of you (the intelligent ones at least) admit there is a real problem here which deserves to be examined

Well, that sure brought the squirrels down out of the trees!

I thought most people would have understood my intent in the use! Sorry if it went over your head.
Why are you talking in this condescending and insulting way to people you don't even know? I'm not convinced of your intelligence yet, so should I tell you that?



If you cannot comprehend the abstract concept of starting with nothing defined, then the problem I have posed is beyond your comprehension.
Communication takes a sender, a receiver, and a medium. You are apparently assuming communication was successful and therefore concluding comprehension was the barrier. But if your assumption isn't valid, neither is your conclusion.





Another question: the machine will 'claim' to be aware. How is the claim tested? As opposed to, say, a well-written 'expert system'?

Simple, we'll point the machine to www.zetatalk.com

It if claims to understand anything there, it's a well-written 'expert-system'.

If after a few minutes of reading it suddenly reformats itself and shutsdown, it was senetient.



Sorry wedgebert, but I think I will just ignore your post. Just for your information, www.zetatalk.com is a joke. Nancy is pulling your leg.
You should ignore it, he wasn't even talking to you. Wedgebert was talking to Mike about the AI test for intelligence.

Starting a thread doesn't mean you are the sole communicator on it.

And, IMHO, zetatalk is the result of mental illness. Nancy's reality is eactly the 'all in your mind' reality you are discussing.



I have read a little on the subject and I am convinced that people cannot experience things as an adult that they have not been trained (by experience) to recognize when they are in their formative years. But I am certainly not an expert on the issues.
This is an oversimplification of brain development. There are critical periods where certain things such as language acquisition must occur. It appears, and we don't really have enough examples to be certain, that if a person has no communication stimulus for the first 10+ or - years, they will be unable to acquire language. But a deaf person who's hearing is restored as an adult, can learn language. So what you are attributing to sensory input, sound, is not the critical brain feature in this problem. It is the intellectual skill of communication. In other words, language, written, spoken, signed, what ever that must be built in the brain by a certain developmental stage or the structures needed will not be able to form.

If I don't experience any color sensory input, I don't expect the color receptors in the eye to deteriorate. Whether or not I have to build a brain structure to perceive that color, and whether or not there is a time limit are possibilities.



It completely ignores the fundamental question: how do you know there are no errors in you mental image of reality?
Well, here's the statement I actually wish to comment on. Of course there are errors in one's mental image of reality!!!!!!! Biologists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Neurologists, Healthcare Professionals, and just about anyone with a little education on how the brain functions knows that.

I did not find your model to be of any practical use. It doesn't add anything to my conceptualization of the Universe. And, I think brain research has already started to break down exactly what and how brain mechanisms and structure affect and interact with incoming stimuli to create individual realities.

It is my opinion that you are trying to make a model of reality based on human perceptions of the reality. Well, the reality was there long before the human mind was so I don't think your line of reasoning is useful. And, research into brain structure and function will yield a lot more useful information about our individual constructions of reality.

Chip
2003-Sep-06, 07:33 AM
...It is my opinion that you are trying to make a model of reality based on human perceptions of the reality. Well, the reality was there long before the human mind was so I don't think your line of reasoning is useful. And, research into brain structure and function will yield a lot more useful information about our individual constructions of reality.

Thanks for your insightful post beskeptical. "Dr. Dick" during the course of his posts became to impolite and strangely troll-like for me to want to communicate with. But I'm sure he'll probably be back periodically.

As for my little contribution to this thread, I'll answer my own inquiry. (I may be wrong, but at least there is symmetry in that. :wink: )
Is consciousness necessary for interpreting the cosmos? Is it necessary for learning? - No. (Though I'm glad we have it.)

Pinemarten
2003-Sep-06, 10:03 AM
Chip, are you sure you mean consciousness, and not sentience?

kilopi
2003-Sep-06, 02:52 PM
Chip, are you sure you mean consciousness, and not sentience?
Yeah, what do you learn while you're unconscious--watch out for speeding trucks? :)

Chip
2003-Sep-06, 05:15 PM
Hi,
Sentience, Consciousness, Yes. "Unconscious" is not the same as "no consciousness." This can take us a bit off topic so Iíll just recommend a book I found interesting. Look over the mini reviews here:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0618057072/qid=1062868214/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/002-0872869-9216025

:wink:

Cougar
2003-Sep-06, 09:24 PM
http://www.xmission.com/~dcc/gears.gif

Switching gears and moving back to....


Ummm... but to whom does the machine present it? Doesn't this presuppose a consciousness capable of understanding both the original and 'gisted' data? A Teacher, if you will (no theological overtones intended) who can check the essay? So a theory of consciousness needs at least two separate consciousnesses (is that a proper word?) to work, and one must be able to evaluate the consciousness of the other.

This is right up Keith Devlin's alley (Goodbye, Descartes)....


"Speaking and understanding a language... requires not only an implicit knowledge of the grammar of that language... but also an implicit knowledge of the relevant culture."

So much understanding depends on the context of the communication, not just on the cultural level, but on the individual level as well. As all writers or presenters should determine, "Who is the audience?" In any communication, there is this variable "background" of common understandings.

Devlin and colleagues at Stanford University's Center for the Study of Language and Communication have been researching how to properly account for this context. They've come up with Situation Theory.


"In many respects, situation theory is an extension of classical logic [in the analysis of communication via language] that takes account of context."

Here's an interesting little analogy....


"One way to think of the background to a conversation is by comparing a conversation to two people building a wall. The building skills and experience the two individuals bring to the task are part of the background. So too is the supply company that delivers the bricks, sand, and cement. All of these contribute to the building of the wall, and some of them are essential to the task. But none are part of the actual building work. The one part of the background that can be regarded as part of the actual building process is the preparation of the foundations for the wall, since the foundations are, in a sense, part of the wall. The construction of the wall then proceeds in a step-by-step fashion, as the two persons add one brick after another in a coordinated and cooperative fashion... each new brick builds upon those that have been laid previously. The attention of the two people building the wall is focused entirely on the wall and its foundations, not on anything in the background."

kilopi
2003-Sep-06, 09:48 PM
Hi,
Sentience, Consciousness, Yes. "Unconscious" is not the same as "no consciousness."

That's for sure. :)

This can take us a bit off topic so Iíll just recommend a book I found interesting. Look over the mini reviews here:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0618057072/qid=1062868214/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/002-0872869-9216025
:
That's the book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, which was published over thirty years ago I think. It's been a while since I read the book. Are you using "unconscious" in the same fashion as in those mini reviews?

Chip
2003-Sep-06, 10:42 PM
That's the book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, which was published over thirty years ago I think. It's been a while since I read the book. Are you using "unconscious" in the same fashion as in those mini reviews?

Yes. But let's stay with astronomy here and discuss in email if you like.

However, I have occasionally alluded to that book here with regards to other threads containing speculations about "alien intelligence." I wanted to open people's ideas up beyond just applying our modern way of thinking to an unknown "intelligent" lifeform. :D

kilopi
2003-Sep-06, 10:52 PM
Yes. But let's stay with astronomy here and discuss in email if you like.
OK, but that's going to be tough to do, considering the OT.

I'm pretty sure that Julian Jaynes idea has fallen by the wayside--except maybe for those people who still hear voices. :)

beskeptical
2003-Sep-06, 11:13 PM
Well, the response was quite more volume than I expected, but quite below the intellectual level I had hoped for.
Well, at least it wasn't FOAD.


FOAD????

Acronym Definition @Amazon.com
FOAD Formation Ouverte ņ Distance (French: e-learning)
FOAD Freak Off And Die (polite form)

Chip
2003-Sep-07, 05:22 AM
I'm pretty sure that Julian Jaynes idea has fallen by the wayside--except maybe for those people who still hear voices. :)

Cute. Though its doubtful that Jaynes' central thesis will ever be proven, a lot of his insights and peripheral studies have been assimilated into psychology, at least as far as I gather from articles that pop up from time to time for years, and from a friend who is head administrator for the psychiatric division of Indiana's hospital system. Jaynes' insights into how music works in the brain, as well as some forms of mental illness and hallucinations are still relevant. In short, not to be fully dismissed. Worth an occasional re-read. Also, he was a fine writer, even poetic at times. (And the origin of poetry is also relevant to his theories.) :wink:

beskeptical
2003-Sep-08, 03:25 PM
Do you think we scared Dr Dick away?

Celestial Mechanic
2003-Sep-08, 05:44 PM
Do you think we scared Dr Dick away?
I hope not. He was here about a year ago, maybe he'll be back again. On the other hand, I fear I have brought Gary Redmond out of lurking. What have I done? :o

Betenoire
2003-Sep-09, 03:01 PM
On a similar note, I've figured out how to fly without any mechanical assistance. It's very easy to do and I can do it quite well. What do you think of my technique? Or are you all too stupid to understand my explanation of it?

PS Buy my book

SeanF
2003-Sep-09, 04:09 PM
On a similar note, I've figured out how to fly without any mechanical assistance. It's very easy to do and I can do it quite well.

Well, that's easy! You just have to fall and miss the ground!

(credit to Douglas Adams...)

Betenoire
2003-Sep-09, 05:16 PM
:D

beskeptical
2003-Sep-13, 09:30 PM
Apparently Dr Dick was not happy with the less than supportive responses he got. I'll try one bump to see if he will respond to the challenges or run away and dismiss us as not worthy of his intellect. 8)

DoctorDick
2003-Sep-13, 10:48 PM
Apparently Dr Dick was not happy with the less than supportive responses he got. I'll try one bump to see if he will respond to the challenges or run away and dismiss us as not worthy of his intellect. 8)

Supportive is not the issue and I don't judge other's worthiness. I just haven't seen a response which indicates anyone here understands or is interested in understanding what I said.

Ignorance is its own reward.-- Have fun, I wouldn't want to disturb the party!

Donnie B.
2003-Sep-13, 11:33 PM
Must be nice to be so much smarter than everybody else.

DoctorDick
2003-Sep-14, 12:45 AM
It must be fun to be dumb, it sure is popular!

Betenoire
2003-Sep-14, 04:45 AM
Supportive is not the issue and I don't judge other's worthiness. I just haven't seen a response which indicates anyone here understands or is interested in understanding what I said.


I read through this entire topic before posting. At least three posts were made saying "Interesting, please explain your assertions more so we can have a conversation on your points." You persisted in making vague comments lacking any assertion, point, or support. Such things are not really open for discussion, ergo there has been no discussion of your actual 'idea' whatever it may be.
Instead, there has been a discussion of your behavior, as that's all you've left us with.
Why not give us something else to talk about?

wedgebert
2003-Sep-14, 04:50 AM
Apparently Dr Dick was not happy with the less than supportive responses he got. I'll try one bump to see if he will respond to the challenges or run away and dismiss us as not worthy of his intellect. 8)

Supportive is not the issue and I don't judge other's worthiness. I just haven't seen a response which indicates anyone here understands or is interested in understanding what I said.

Ignorance is its own reward.-- Have fun, I wouldn't want to disturb the party!

So if I understand you correctly, you're going to leave us to our party while you sit at home and bask in your reward?

DoctorDick
2003-Sep-14, 03:37 PM
Supportive is not the issue and I don't judge other's worthiness. I just haven't seen a response which indicates anyone here understands or is interested in understanding what I said.

I read through this entire topic before posting. At least three posts were made saying "Interesting, please explain your assertions more so we can have a conversation on your points." You persisted in making vague comments lacking any assertion, point, or support. Such things are not really open for discussion, ergo there has been no discussion of your actual 'idea' whatever it may be.
Instead, there has been a discussion of your behavior, as that's all you've left us with.
Why not give us something else to talk about?

Did you miss the first post at the top of page two? Beaver was essentially on the money! Go read

http://home.jam.rr.com/dicksfiles/reality/CHAP_I.htm

I suggest you either ignore it or read it carefully. If you just scan it, you won't understand it and, if it dosen't interest you enough to read carefully it, isn't worth your time to look at it. I am not worried about the issue at all as, at the moment, I doubt there is anybody on this forum who has the education necessary to follow it. That is not intended to be an insult, it is just a statement of my impressions. If I am wrong, someone here ought to be able to talk about it rationally.


So if I understand you correctly, you're going to leave us to our party while you sit at home and bask in your reward?

And what great reward would you be referring to here? You couldn't possibly be trying to deflect that "ignorance is bliss" reference back on me now would you \:D/

kilopi
2003-Sep-14, 03:43 PM
And what great reward would you be referring to here? You couldn't possibly be trying to deflect that "ignorance is bliss" reference back on me now would you \:D/
Just ignore him.

russ_watters
2003-Sep-15, 04:20 AM
This undeniably refutes all three of your statements.

Wait a minute, number one was "Our understanding of the universe is based on information gained through our senses"

Are you refuting that?? Seems sorta tautalogical to me.

If he doesn't clearly refute it, I will: Our understanding of the universe is most decidedly *NOT* based on information gained through ("collected by" would be a better phrase) our senses.


My god! How do you get your information? By telepathy?


Information is collected by *INSTRUMENTS* which then translate the information into a form that can be sent to our brains via our senses (usualy sight). Thus the data itself cannot be biased by anything our subconscious might try to do to decieve us.


Boy, I am glad your senses cannot deceive you. I sure would like to see the definitive proof of that! Well first you must have misread because I don't know where the telepaty thing came from. I was pretty explicit about how data gets into our brains.

In your second quote, data is provided to us in a way that if our senses are decieving us, its easy enough to tell. If for example the data is the weight of an object, you get it by reading it off the scale (digital). This data is so unambiguous that the only way to read it wrong upon close inspection (barring plain old errors) would be to halucinate. And the proof is easy enough - have a large number of people read the scale and if someone reads it differently they must be wrong. Unless of course you are saying we are all victims of identical mass halucinations or delusions, ie The Matrix.

Chip
2003-Sep-15, 09:22 AM
My two cents worthÖ :wink:

I found the central gist of the paper to be an expose (in the eyes of the author) of Einstein's theories (which, if I read correctly,) he ultimately sees later in his paper as invalid. He sees Einstein's concept of time as fundamentally flawed. To support the contention of these flaws, the author employs a series of mathematical arguments wherein a presented flow of equations serve to illustrate how misplaced perception is interpreted as actual phenomenon. (At least as I recon from what I understood, and Iím leaving out a lot.)

These equations are also used to support the position that mainstream physics and science today, while accepting relativity theory, is similarly blind to a more (common sense) reality. The author attempts to show that "Ögravitational red shift is not a valid test of Einstein's general theory." He states that gravity has "analogous relationships" to the "classical pseudo force" known as centrifugal force. (I wasn't sure if he found this as a problem of general relativity or not, it's a long paper and I read it quickly.) He describes Einsteinís use of Minkowski's space-time geometry as "foolish" in support of special relativity though concedes that it is strongly supported in general relativity. He does not see the "perhelic" shift of Mercury as a valid test of "Einstein's theory." (Einstein seems to be the central target here.) The author claims that his math shows that the bending of starlight by our sun (the eclipse test) is invalid, because "the radial motion of the photon is only comparable to the angular motion for large r."
The author also feels that the paper demonstrates that Minkowski's mathematical concept of spacetime does not validate the Lorentz transformations and cannot test general relativity.

Therefore, to me, this is one of quite a few "anti-relativity" sites found on the Internet these days. Some are not really "anti-Einstein" but rather "anti-relativity," offering alternate ideas. Some are really "anti-Einstein," and some are completely loony. Many are totally unscientific, and some have absolutely no reference to actual equations that Einstein or other scientists used. This one, in my opinion, is surely the most intellectual Iíve seen. His main gist (as I saw it) returns to the opening concept of perceptions in that our instruments have "rigid components" but, as he puts it "Einstein's refusal to allow us to even define rigid objects throws a wrench into the whole field of physics."

Though Einstein is not infallible, I see no reason to vilify him or call him names. (Iíll clearly state my pro-Einstein bias here that the evidence offered by Dr. Dick is unconvincing to me. No doubt facing insult, Iíll state right up front that I appreciate the achievements of Einstein and have not yet seen contradictions to relativity theory that give me pause. But if I did, my opinion of Einstein would remain very high.) If people have objections to relativity, bring them out but let the memory of this great mind and humanitarian remain above the fray. The fact that Einstein and his theories are the target along with all modern physics should give one pause that something is way off kilter with this paper. Also, the beginning chapter on perception and consciousness might benefit from some of the insights of Julian Jaynes. Finally, the authorís overall rudeness in this BABB thread precludes much discussion, but if there is a core value to the paper (in my opinion,) it would best codify in an essay on perceptions, and questioning values embedded in the methods of science rather than criticism of people or contradiction of proven theories. It seems an extreme intellectual-mathematical version of the argument that nature must follow "common sense." Nature is not always obligated to do that. Good luck.

beskeptical
2003-Sep-15, 09:17 PM
Well, Dick, you never responded to my post. I am still waiting for your response.



I have read a little on the subject and I am convinced that people cannot experience things as an adult that they have not been trained (by experience) to recognize when they are in their formative years. But I am certainly not an expert on the issues.
(emphasis mine)

You are clearly not an expert but when I offered you the following bit of expertise to correct your error, you ignored it. So I'll post it again and see if you care to either agree you did not understand the human brain or cite some evidence that you do.

This is an oversimplification of brain development. There are critical periods where certain things such as language acquisition must occur. It appears, and we don't really have enough examples to be certain, that if a person has no communication stimulus for the first 10+ or - years, they will be unable to acquire language. But a deaf person who's hearing is restored as an adult, can learn language. So what you are attributing to sensory input, sound, is not the critical brain feature in this problem. It is the intellectual skill of communication. In other words, language, written, spoken, signed, what ever that must be built in the brain by a certain developmental stage or the structures needed will not be able to form.

If I don't experience any color sensory input, I don't expect the color receptors in the eye to deteriorate. Whether or not I have to build a brain structure to perceive that color, and whether or not there is a time limit are possibilities.

And,


It completely ignores the fundamental question: how do you know there are no errors in you mental image of reality?

Of course there are errors in one's mental image of reality!!!!!!! Biologists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Neurologists, Healthcare Professionals, and just about anyone with a little education on how the brain functions knows that.

DoctorDick
2003-Sep-19, 09:45 PM
Well, Dick, you never responded to my post. I am still waiting for your response.

Hi,

I have noticed that you have not commented on my response. If it was your intention not to respond to my answer, I apologize for bothering you; however, it just occurred to me that you might be depending on the notification system and not generally perusing the forum. If that is the case, you may very well have missed my response as I started a new thread. If you are still interested, you can check out

http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=8107

On rereading that post, I realized that it was entirely possible that you took my final comment to you on that post as an insult. Believe me, no insult was intended. I was merely letting you off the hook if you wanted off.

Again, sorry if I have upset you. -- Dick :(

beskeptical
2003-Sep-21, 07:32 AM
I did see your new thread. I didn't get the impression I needed to respond. I understand what you are getting at in your discussion, but I have nothing to add to it. I don't view the Universe from such a perspective. From my perspective, everything is an illusion our minds construct. But we construct that illusion around neuro input. The structure of our brains and how we compose that illusion is a very concrete process.

The difference here is I am in the field of biology. I have learned a great deal about how the brain functions. From my point of view, the brain can be dissected and understood. All of the neuro-input is filtered through previous experience. Our brain function alters the input, assigns value, arranges it, mixes it up on occasion, and so on.

As individuals, I fail to see how you can connect that brain function which can be seen evolving from single celled organisms all the way to all 'brains' on the planet today, to the basis of the reality itself, rather than as a mere player in the reality surrounding us. We just aren't that important to the Universe's existence.