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Hrvoje1

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About Hrvoje1

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  1. Or humor. That bloke is real Sacha Baron Cohen of scienceforums.net, he and Farid.
  2. This is also an interesting on-topic post: https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/119685-quantification-of-the-unconscious-mind-in-brain-function/?do=findComment&comment=1111600
  3. As I mentioned them in this discussion, I have studied these topics, just for fun and relaxation, and in order to know at least a little bit things I am talking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroimaging https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%80%93computer_interface Here I found out that there is a middle way, between resting in a complete unfamiliarity with the subject, and designing such a system from scratch in DIY manner (which would be impossible for me). That way is to buy some low-cost equipment and join the open source community, such as https://openbci.com , which is actually cool, although I am affraid I am not much of an engineer, not even for that. Anyway, that led me to the third topic, that I also mentioned indirectly: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-reading and that is the actual holy grail of the discussion about "life and consciousness", but there it unfortunately says: >>Experts are unsure of how far thought identification can expand, but Marcel Just believed in 2014 that in 3–5 years there will be a machine that is able to read complex thoughts such as 'I hate so-and-so'.<< If they manage to do it, that would be awesome. So, not just able to distinguish between such diverse states of mind as: "focused thinking", "listening to music", "furiously angry", "sleeping", "unconscious", "coma", ... or between less diverse mind states of focused thinking such as: "playing chess" , "working on math", "reading a technical documentation", ... but to the level of specific precision such as: "considering Qe5", "proving Thales theorem", "reading about OpenBCI Cyton Board" and being general at the same time, that is, not restricted to some narrow area of mind reading. I have a strange feeling that you were talking about these things, when you were mentioning "quantification of definition of consciousness, using a cogent basis relatable to human experience", you just couldn't say that in a plain and straightforward way as I just did, or you just chose to avoid saying it that way for some odd reason.
  4. Now, this sounds overly defensive, for two reasons. First one is that Wikipedia may be not a sacrosanct resource, but it mentions characterization of instinct similar to yours: >>Jean Henri Fabre (1823-1915), an entomologist, considered instinct to be any behavior which did not require cognition or consciousness to perform.<< Because: >>Cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses".<< So, although thought was not directly mentioned in relation to instinct, indirectly it was mentioned as a way of acquiring knowledge, that is learning, which is not required for instinctive behavior. And the other characterization you were fixed on is also mentioned: >>For example, people may be able to modify a stimulated fixed action pattern by consciously recognizing the point of its activation and simply stop doing it, whereas animals without a sufficiently strong volitional capacity may not be able to disengage from their fixed action patterns, once activated.<< The difference between behavior one engages without the appearance of a thought process, and behavior that is not learned, is that learned behavior can be automated due to a regular performance and can be performed without requiring much thinking and great focus and attention of our consciousness. For example, driving a car can be one such activity, depending on the road circumstances, that may allow us to think about things unrelated to driving, so that we almost forget about driving. However, if monotony is broken by a pedestrian jumping in front of our car, that would require instantaneous reaction we may be tempted to call instinctive, because of its speed, and because it doesn't require much thinking to find out what is one supposed to do in that situation. However, both unfocused driving and fast stopping the car are things we didn't know at the moment when we were born, we had to learn where are brakes in our car and how to use them, so even if it doesn't require much thinking now when one does it, it doesn't mean it didn't require thinking at the time it was learned. But, since you didn't strictly specify the timing of appearance of a thought process (not) required for instinctive behavior, you can claim it covers any time. Theorizing about patterns of mental activities and behaviors, by establishing its systematic characterization and classification should not be a main purpose of anyone's dealing with the subject. Being able to say if something counts as instinct or mentation behavior, or something third, looks like armchair philosophy, while ability to design a system that is able to monitor brain activity and find out and display accurately what the brain does, using some technic of neuroimaging, and machine learning, proves a whole different level of understanding and technical and practical usefulness. Application of such a system would be for a brain-computer interface, medical diagnostics, you name it... Actually, I started to grow a big interest in these things after a colleague of mine had a stroke, and never fully recovered from it, after five years he still cannot move one arm and leg. The other colleague had a large brain tumor removed, and recovered immediately fully from such a condition with no apparent consequences, although he had a problem finding a surgeon that was willing to accept the risk of operation, as the tumor was advanced. I don't know how much neuroplasticity was in question in each case, I guess more in the first case then in the other, because the tumor tissue was not functional anyway, I guess.
  5. With regard to that, interesting is both the ability to accumulate knowledge by learning during the lifespan of a single organism, as well as over generations. And one might say that this ability is negligible in majority of species in comparison to human ability, but still not zero. As I was intrigued, I did another check, and that is how many times the string "instinct" appears here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought (twice), as well as how many times string "thought" appears here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instinct (once). Not that I esteem very much the current state of exactness of these subjects as presented by mainstream science, but still, can't ignore that completely. The number of the meanings of the word "thought" given there is really impressive, and at least it is honestly admitted that there is still no consensus as to how it is adequately defined or understood.
  6. During this discussion, I wondered all the time will my fellow participant and opponent at some moment consult the freely available sources of information on the current state of affairs in science regarding these topic, such as wikipedia, to at least check if there is a potential discrepancy between his definitions and the official ones. I knew I would, and I knew I deliberately didn't so far, because of my disappointment with what I learned about it in school, a few decades ago, but for the sake of completeness it should be done: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instinct So, here it says that basic definition is: "Instinct or innate behavior is the inherent inclination of a living organism towards a particular complex behavior." As dictionary says that "innate" and "inborn" are more or less synonims, it is not strange to find that: "Any behavior is instinctive if it is performed without being based upon prior experience (that is, in the absence of learning)." Elaboration continues, giving futher characterization: "The simplest example of an instinctive behavior is a fixed action pattern (FAP), in which a very short to medium length sequence of actions, without variation, are carried out in response to a corresponding clearly defined stimulus." There is also a chapter on physiological difference between a reflex and instinct: "The stimulus in a reflex may not require brain activity but instead may travel to the spinal cord as a message that is then transmitted back through the body, tracing a path called the reflex arc. Reflexes are similar to fixed action patterns in that most reflexes meet the criteria of a FAP. However, a fixed action pattern can be processed in the brain as well;" So basically, emphasis is not that much on the ability of control (or choice) of engaging in such behavior, as much as on the origin of that behavior, and (in)ability to change such behavior: "Though an instinct is defined by its invariant innate characteristics, details of its performance can be changed by experience; for example, a dog can improve its fighting skills by practice." So yeah, the devil is always in details, that show that the official definitions are also not clear cut precision. Summary: purely instinctive species would be, according to these definitions, those that are incapable of learning, and improving their behavior. Which is IMHO, not existing in nature. Not all have the same strength of that capability (obviously), but saying that there are some who cannot change their behaviour at all, is similar as claiming that there are some that cannot evolve genetically. And those who can rapidly change their behavior, less depend on the need to change their genetics as a response to environmental pressure. I guess.
  7. I understand you much better than you give me credit for, or even realize. True, English is not my native language, but you didn’t make an effort to learn mine, and that is what makes difference between you and me from the start. You have no response to my questions and arguments, forget about my definitions, I had no ambitions to give any, because I know it is extremely hard to come up with sufficiently precise ones, regarding that matter you are talking about. Smart withdrawal from discussion, as you realize that too.
  8. I defined that? So this doesn't count as your definitions any more? How did you define thought? I'm glad that you admit that your definitions are poor, and not very scientific, regardless of the fact that you assign them to me now. You seem to be programmed not to stick that much to your own words and thoughts, except for constant repeating that people make conclusions using their own brain and experience, and not that of horse. What a great insight. OK, so now this does not have anything to do with human abilities, it is about that that some species are "purely automatic" beings, and others "can control their behavior", basically because "they can think". And main purpose of your definitions is to distinguish between them, am I right now? If you can envisage something else they can be useful for, please just add it to the list. OK then, so where is that dividing line exactly in the evolution tree? Second question, those that can think, if they think because they are genetically programmed to think, why you consider that non automatic activity? I mean, programs are executed automatically once they are started, and their genetic program started to run from the moment their genetic code was created. Third question, those that cannot control their behavior, can they control anything else in their life, or are they totally controlled by their program, how do they make choices in your opinion?
  9. You should understand that sensible and useful abstract notions, such as numbers for example, are not human specific, in a sense that they are understandable by other species too, and that instinctive behavior defined as animal like behavior, contrasted with mentation process defined as neural activity that enables human like behavior, are not sensible and useful abstract notions, simply because their definitions are poor.
  10. Although it is important to strive towards objectivity, in a colloquial conversation not every statement is supposed to be objective. Obviously, my "confidence in apes intelligence" has to do with scientific rigor as much as your definitions. It is more a statement of admiration than anything else, and it was exactly because of comparison between chimps and humans, although, both memory speed and accuracy can be measured objectively, without reference to human memory speed and accuracy. Besides that, I don't know if you know what experiments I refer to, but these could not be performed to confirm intelligence of some species that has no visual sense, due to a nature of task they are supposed to perform. Just as much as mirror experiments are inadequate to establish consciousness of such species...
  11. It seems that nowadays these studies are performed on animals in which that condition was not artificially induced for experimental needs. Kudos to human race. I don't know what ideas a chimpanzee can explore during his or her life. I bet they can learn to recognize that word invented by humans, understand it perfectly, and demonstrate that somehow to people. I have great confidence in apes intelligence, after I saw how fast and accurate their memory is. It seems that detecting consciousness depends a lot on the interspecies communication barrier. The higher that barrier, the less we are inclined to acknowledge consciousness on the other side, and that can be said for intelligence too. Although, this is biased and irrational. However, if there is a proof that consciousness requires neural network to be implemented, I may stand corrected regarding plants. Although, maybe the same functions as in neural networks can be implemented in plants information network too.
  12. I meant to say that we don’t make choices only by thinking, but also based on emotions, that do not need to be instinctual. And even when we do, thinking can be logical or intuitive. So, classification of mental activities into only two categories: instinct and thought, is simplistic.
  13. I am not familiar with horses, I don't work with them on a daily basis, don't study them professionally, so probably I am not, with or without it. But if you ask such people does inner life of horse exist, I doubt they will say it does not, whatever sensible way you define it. I joined the discussion on page 3, and the string "prog" doesn't appear in it, from there until page 7, when you said: >>I agree; an organism simply has to demonstrate that it can engage behavioral responses independent of those we might consider instinctual or programmed responses. Non-instinctiveo/non-programmed behaviors suggest that an organism can engage a mentation process comparable to that which produces human behavioral responses. << We don't choose behaviors that we engage exclusively by thinking, and choosing not to think cannot lead to a very successful life. So, this is not that relevant, mostly people don't think when they sleep. The best way would be unbiased, although, that is not entirely possible. We can always drop it, if you think so, in a decent manner. Thank you for your time, etc... OK, do you decorticate animal brains professionally? How do they take it, well or not so well? I hope that helps to determine where do instincts come from, and where thoughts come from. Is there a clear cut between them, as there is a clear cut between that what has been removed, and what has been left?
  14. I think you should really try to be consistent, at least just a little bit. If you say that your thoughts on impossibility of knowing another species entirely are distraction, then you should not return constantly to comparisons between human and other species. You specifically talked about instinct as the only programmed behavior, identifying these two notions, until I told you that thinking is also genetically programmed behavior, and you agreed about that with respect to human, which I even didn't notice because that followed only after you disagreed about that with respect to other animals, and after you bundled that acknowledgment of your error with some convoluted logic, such as, that thinking enables us to override that what we are genetically programmed for, thinking in the first place. Which is impossible and logically inconsistent. How would thinking enable us not to think? Especially if we are programmed for it? Besides that, the fact that we can suspend temporarily our thoughts on any particular subject, certainly doesn't prove that animals cannot think, or that they cannot suspend their thoughts too. And you defined instinct as "those behaviors engaged without the appearance of a thought process", and thought as "that what enables humanity's ability to override it programming and rise above all other species and organism", in other words, as that what enables and precedes behavior that is not instinctual, ie animal. Circular, isn't it? I hope you have some outside criteria to break that circularity, that you didn't present so far, because this looks like vacuous anthropocentric philosophy, not science. And I think you didn't answer this question: Did you?
  15. Yes, sorry, you did write that, but what sense does it make? We are programmed to think, and thinking is what enables us to override what we are programmed for. I think we should make some pause between our posting, because it seems that right now we are posting at the same time. No, I don't think I can do that for a very long time. I can decide not to breathe too, but also not for a very long time. Both would be conscious, but not long term decisions. And I can foresee what is coming now, when I mentioned a decision not to breathe... another proof of human rising above other species, right? I don't think however that suicidal ability is something that affirmatively describes a human being to a great extent.
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