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Posts posted by tar

  1. 7 hours ago, mikeco said:



    Perhaps there was a misunderstanding. I know why you were filled with “pride.” That's obvious, because of your love for your daughter, a love which would be there regardless of what she accomplished. But what I meant was, why would you think you were filled with pride rather than being filled with love? A thousand years ago, under the same circumstances, a parent would have said they were filled with love or respect or admiration for their daughter...but not pride, because back then, pride was evil.

    So, I was curious as to why you referred to it as pride rather than love because it rather seems as if the distinction between the two has become blurred, and that doesn't seem to have always been the case. From my perspective, if we blur the meaning of pride, as we have done over the years, and use it in place of love, respect, or admiration, then we lose the ability to see just how evil pride is. And if pride isn't so evil anymore, then things like humility are no longer so important. And I think our society is reflecting that.

    We also lose the opportunity to tell our children that we are filled with love for them and respect and admiration. For me to tell my children that they have made me proud and they have filled me with pride, puts the focus on me and the burden on them to do that which will make me proud of them. But for me to tell my children that I am filled with love because of them, and admiration and respect, puts the focus on them and who they are as individuals, and they are set free from any burden that they may feel to “make me proud.”

    I would agree that we all have a need or desire to be thought of in a good light and be respected. However, to me that is far different than the desire to COMMAND respect. Sometimes, respect must be commanded, but it shouldn't be because someone desires to. But I understand your different perspective of it.

    Regards, Mikeco




    I don't know where or when pride went from being a deadly sin, to being "alright" to have.  But "proud parent" is now, in my mind a good thing to be, not an over indulgent type of behavior or one that signifies improper non humble behavior.  

    It is one of the deadly sins.  Wrath, greed, Sloth, pride, lust envy, and gluttony were certainly things my upbringing warned against, in favor of the four cardinal virtues Prudence, Justice Temperance, and Courage, combined with the three Theological virtues of faith, hope and charity (love).  The ideas are deep in our literature, and constitution, and I was brought up with the Protestant work ethic and taught to be humble and caring and such.  So religion I think is still deep in our character, whether we are believers or not.   But the rules have been somewhat rewritten over time, and some of religion I think was meant to help us get along with each other, and selfishness was and probably still is, an antisocial type of character flaw.  

    Pride I suppose can go the way you say and be an attempt to command respect, but this is not a flaw for a marine or a football player.   Testosterone plays a big role in how I, as a male behave, and interact with the world.  Other males might "feel" me, more than females who don't in general have testosterone to live with.  Certain "rules" of behavior, might be useful to bring teammates down a notch, and allow the leader to command.  As a worker bee, it is good to be humble, and carry the food back for the hive and not consume it.  I am thinking the seven deadly sins were suggested so people would reel themselves in a bit, to put the hive before the self.

    But as we are saying, some of these rules of behavior are a little outdated, like temperance was a bit more on the tip of the tongue around the time of prohibition, and being a wall flower was once virtuous, where asserting yourself, especially if you are a female, is currently considered a virtue.

    But behind it all, is our need to please others, to do it right, to win, to be victorious...as a team, so who is on your team, and what rules you are going by, and who you want to please, is crucial in understanding individual behavior.   To this, I long ago came up with that definition of love, to define who or what you are aligned with.  I thought it central to affection and positive feelings toward something, that you internalize, that entity, and consider it as important and central to your doings, as your self is.    When you love someone, or something, the concern and care and attention is automatic, like scratching an itch or rubbing a sore muscle.  You have that thing or person within your bubble of protection.  The other entity is an extension of you.  There is not a dividing line where you stop and the other entity starts.

    So that is the love, I am attempting to define, and find the opposite, of, and that would be something like considering there be a line between you and the other entity.  A separation, a distinction,  something that makes the other entity wrong, and a loser, and  an outcast from your love. Shunned and discarded.


    Regards, TAR

  2. 10 hours ago, mikeco said:



    What aspect of pride would cause you to think that you were filled with pride? Because you had a deep and profound emotional respect and admiration for your daughter? From my view, that would be love, rather than pride. Historically pride was always evil and from what I understand, it still is. But I have not always thought that way. Like you, there were times when I thought I was filled with pride. My view has changed, as I've come to realize that pride was not what I was filled with, unless I happened to be filled with the desire to command respect, which has been the case more often than I care to recall. In some cases I was filled with deep respect and sometimes love. But I viewed it as pride.

    In short, I believe we have gradually mis-defined the word over the last few hundred years. In this case, the old is better than the new. After watching a video of what people thought pride was, I realized that the evil connotation of pride is being replaced by what I see as a false positive connotation. And that is why the world seems to be rapidly filling with pride...it's very difficult to identify. I could never see it in myself because although I'm sure I have my moments, most people would not refer to me as prideful. But when God gave me his definition, my pride which was of a very subtle nature, became crystal clear.

    Your view of pride as possibly being a good thing, precludes you from seeing it as the opposite of love. That's understandable. But many people believe indifference or hate is the opposite of love. Since you probably don't see them as good things, can you accept one of them as being love's opposite? And if you can, then the thing that I might would mention, is that indifference and hate are attitudes that develop out of pride, out of the desire to command respect. And therefore pride would ultimately be the opposite of love.But of course, if one views pride as a feeling of deep respect, satisfaction, or admiration, then it might very well be impossible to view it as the opposite of love. And in that case, it's back to the drawing board.

    Regards, Mikeco



    You and everybody else here knows why I was filled  with pride.

    I operate, in my thinking and musing under the assumption that everybody, that is human, has a similar setup to me, in terms of our body/brain/heart/group.   Some are bigger or smaller, stronger or weaker, faster or slower,  more allergic or more immune,  smarter or dumber, better remembers or worse, more "loving" or less, but the basic template of a human is very similar across the species in terms of how our brain is arranged, how the arm bone is connected to the wrist bone.  how we each have an eye on either side of our nose, and so forth. 

    Male and female, stoned or sober, angry or content, there are different hormones and pheromones, needs and desires, emotions and so forth that go on, but it is all dishes cooked under different recipes but in the same kitchen with the same set of ingredients.  And there are definitely personality differences that cause some to be introverted and others extroverted, leaders or followers,  sloppy or neat,  brave or cowardly,  sharing or miserly...but personality tests are not scored on a zero to 100 basis,  and there is no pass or fail, good or bad, when it comes to love.

    So for a definition of love, to make sense to me, it has to take all of the above, into account.  Some of what we do, like eating for instance is done both because we need the energy, and because we are hungry, or perhaps because we just lost our significant other, and need some pleasure to make us feel right.

    My definition "love is when you include another in your feeling of self" takes all  iof the above into account, and makes no judgements.

    The need to command respect, that you align with pride, and find dangerous or unsavory or bad, is, in my worldview the need to be validated by others.  This is not a bad thing, but the glue that holds society together.   When we please others, we feel good, the dopamine flows.  I think it is more that we like to be right, that causes road rage, then any evil characterization.   To me it is simple to parse a human need, emotion or action in terms of looking at our motivation/pleasure/reward system and imagining the norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine flowing the same in me as it does in you.

    So the need to command respect, is, to me, the need to be thought of in a good light, by an unseen other or group of unseen others, who you would like to please.

    And I have, for the last 10 years, been looking for a way to make a contribution to humanity, figuring I was well over 50 and if I was going to make a contribution, I better start working on it.

    Perhaps my daughter was my contribution.  It makes me proud to see her doing real stuff that gives others nanomaterials for biomedical applications.

    Regards, TAR


  3. 1 hour ago, mikeco said:

    But assuming affection is present in all forms of love, the reason I mention pride, is because I suspect it may lead us to an exact definition of love. There appears to be different kinds of pride just as there are different kinds of love. And if pride is the opposite of love, then some of what is true about pride may also be true about love. Black and white are opposite colors but they are both colors...I think. East and west are opposite directions but they are both directions...I think...anyway, hopefully you get the idea.


    but you can't start saying pride is the opposite of love, to arrive at the definition of love being the opposite of pride

    When my daughter's second author paper was published in a world wide chemistry periodical, with a picture of her research on the front cover, I was so proud, I cried.

    None of your logic works for me, to frame pride as the opposite of love.

    Regards, TAR

  4. 2 hours ago, mikeco said:

    So what is consistently present across all definitions?

    The answer to that question is the key to love. The Greeks apparently didn't know, or I suspect they would have stated it. They defined different kinds, or forms of love but they didn't define love. There are different kinds of pride but only God knew the exact definition, (pride is the desire to command respect), the thing that is present across all the different kinds. Because he was the one who created the word. The same is true with love.

    The Hebrews seem to have come a bit closer. The Hebrew word for love is “ahava” and the root of this means “to give.” So is giving, the thing that is present across all forms of love? It certainly sounds good. But the Bible points out that giving can be done without love, even to the point of giving one's body to be burned. So love is not defined merely by the concept of giving, but by a certain aspect of giving. Identify the aspect, and you will define love.


    I was thinking that love or affection was the thing that was across all four usages of the word.  God's love, sexual love, brotherly love, and love of your children or country or football team.

    The Greek usages of the different strengths and recipients of "love" never really defined the word, but the word "love" was in all four usages.  Like if the Alaskan natives have a word for snow that is drifting, or a word for snow that is falling, they are still talking about crystalized water that originates in the sky.

    So what definition of love should we use to answer the OP?  Does "love is when you include another entity in your feeling of self" work for you, or are you stuck on the pride thing? 

    Can we keep a literal God that talked to you out of this for now?  If you want me to take your thought as an insight or a suggestion or an idea, I will, but I do not think Moses was talked to by a literal God, I do not think Jesus is the literal son of God, and I don't think Mohammed was talked to by the Angel Gabriel in a cave, so the chances of me,  thinking you,  have received a direct pronouncement from God are pretty slim.

    Can you back up the pride thing with obvious things that everybody does, and everybody knows about, and everybody has access to?

    Regards, TAR

  5. 6 hours ago, DrP said:

    ... but not any emotional response is love. (I suppose it depends how you define it). There are a range of emotions - not all of them love.  'Love' covers a wide range of things by our definition, more accurately broken down by the Greeks (even the 3 Greek loves overlap - you would usually have a different mix of Erotic, Philia and Agape love for spouse for example as oppose to more purely Agape/Philia for a child; more Phillia with some Agape for a sibling; just Agape and Eros for a stranger etc)..  they are different emotional responses, thus they were given different names.  If you hate someone, this isn't love but is an emotional response  -  of course it is different. 


    But not all concern is love and there are different levels of it - see above regarding any emotional response.


    Regarding the OP - imo the question can't be answered without proper defining of what they mean by love.  Is it even relevant to talk about opposites of emotions? I am sure someone said something similar earlier in the thread and I kind of agree, but I do not know - which is why I haven't gotten involved in the thread up until now. I would still argue that the Greek loves are different to each other though....   they are a better or more precise definition for the one word we have for it which we use in different situations to mean different things. 



    I agree with your thinking.  That is why I forwarded a definition of love early on so we could negate it, or oppose it, and come up with an answer to the thread question.  What is the opposite?  

    If my definition is workable then one can understand each type of love in terms of how strongly one loves something, what that something is, whether the motivation is rational or emotional, whether the love is reciprocated or misplaced, or good or bad for the particular individuals or groups involved.   I often in various threads, talk about the idea of teams, and people through and throughh, identify with various groups to inform their decisions and their feelings.  It matters greatly to people whether the entities they identify with are right, successful, and happy (or safe from harm).   And familial love is somewhat automatic or instinctual or controlled by physical bonding due to presence and utility.  These people in your family are the closest other entities, to being you, that exist.  That is, when it comes to who or what you consider part of your feeling of self, your parents and children and spouse, along with your home and your favorite chair, are entities that  EVERYBODY includes in their feeling of self.  

    Regards, TAR



    No, I don't think selfishness is the root of all evil.  I think the opposite, it is the basis of consciousness to be aware of your self, to protect it, and see that it survives, even past your death, in the form of children or your works, or the memory of you in others.  Evil I think comes when good men do nothing.  And there is also a problem of people trying to get the world to match their internal model of it, rather than trying to get their model of the world to match the world.

    People tend to frame the exact same thing as good when it is voiced in the first person, neutral when framed in the second person and bad when framed in the third person.   Once you identify some entity as evil you put it in the third person, as far from the self as possible.  Then everything that person does is bad.  

    So, I would say the opposite of what you are implying. I would say the world would be a better place, if everybody considered everybody else as part of their feeling of self, and everybody used first person pronouns to talk about others.  

    We would do better if we did not demonize each other.

    Regards, TAR

  6. 3 minutes ago, Tub said:

    All the negative qualities mentioned in the thread - hate, arrogance, anger etc. - are all attributes of selfishness but real Love is totally selfless so , as darkness is the privation of light, i think we could add that selfishness is the privation of Love.

    Except you are claiming hate, arrogance, anger etc. are attributes of selfishness and therefore claiming selfishness is a negative emotion.   I do not think that is correct.

    Perhaps we are taught certain humility and subservience to the king, is useful to society, but the jury is still out on this, as socialist countries and capitalist countries both work.  The chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and it takes a rich person to give to the poor, and you put on your own oxygen mask before you help your loved ones get their's on, etc.

    Selfishness is not automatically a bad thing.  In fact, in my worldview it is the central motivating factor for all life. Only religion, and idealistic notions like being a humanist, claim that selfishness is evil.

    So I did not "get" the parable before of the devil and the sly guy or whatever it was.  It seems contrived to make it good to trick the devil or something...I did not follow the allegories, as they seemed to be teaching a religious message, not directly addressing love or the lack of it, or dealing with the human condition, emotions and motivations, that I have been musing about and investigating.

    Regards, TAR

  7.  DrP,

    I perhaps did not fully state what I meant by "being the same thing".     Let's take concern for wellbeing rather than including in one's feeling of self, then.  In either case, one's attention and focus is on the other entity, as if it matters how that other entity fares.  Whether this concern is driven by hormones or pheromones or rational, or whether it is directed toward a football team, a country or a philosophy, or a planet, the concern is present.  The concern is the love.

    Regards, TAR

  8. DrP,

    Granted the emotions are different when considering your garden or your lover or ideas or your brother.  Different things, certainly.  Each of the Greek words have different definitions because they refer to different levels of emotion, and different recipients, but they all are about love.  So what, is consistently present, across all definitions?

    Regards, TAR

  9. Thread,

    The four Greek types of love, all refer to the same "thing" they just differ in who or what is the recipient or focus of the thing.  Whether it is had by God toward his children, or a parent toward her children or a  significant other toward a significant other, or a friend toward a friend,  or a brother toward a brother, or  even outside the four Greek types, when it is had by a person toward themselves, it is, in my estimation the same thing.   Earlier in the thread I suggested that "love is when you include another entity in your feeling of self".   I am still thinking this is a good starting place from which to define all types of love, in all it various usages.

    However, some of the recent posts decry pride and self loving, and this does not follow from my definition.   I don't think my definition is wrong.  I think it is wrong to equate humility to self denial because it defeats my thesis.  It is important, if my definition is to work, to consider the self the main driver of the situation.  That is, you love your garden, because you consider it part of you.  The bugs eating it, is a direct assault on you and what you are including in your feeling of self. 

    Following this idea, the opposite of including something in your feeling of self, would be not including something in your feeling of self, which could be indifference or simply ignorance.

    Or it could be actively excluding something from your feeling of self, which could be hate, or enmity, or disgust, or shunning, or repulsion.

    Regards, TAR

  10. seems the answer to the OP question  of how long it would take is "a stupid large number of years

    And being that we don't have a stupidly large number of years to play with, it seems the literal answer is "they won't"

    Infinity is a device, not a number, so it can not be considered in the calculation.   Neither can infinite universes or the consideration of an infinite amount of attempts or an infinite amount of monkeys.   I think as soon as you put infinity in the equation your answer is by definition undefined.  Like dividing by zero.   Infinity is not a number, and can not take part in the literal calculation.

  11. what is with the ad hominem arguments misrepresentations and insults


    anybody interested in talking about consciousness and evolution?

    Sorry Gees, for attracting the ire of these two guys.  I don't know why they need to treat me like a child, but I do not want to bring their insults down on you, by association with me.

    I am out.  Thanks for the good discussion.

  12. 23 minutes ago, iNow said:

    You're the only one suggesting there's anything wrong with it. 

    Nobody here, especially not me, claimed this. 

    So in what way am I being arrogant and ignorant, to claim the same consciousness we all claim.

    run out of arguments?

    not nice to get a neg rep for calling for a poster to stand and back up his argument

    There is an obvious difference of opinion here, concerning the fitness of human consciousness.

    Both Gees and I think the Dennett is not thinking this consciousness situation through.   iNow is in Dennet's corner and dimreepr thinks pattern matching is akin to confirmation bias, in its being somehow less than stellar behavior.

    The simple logic Gees and I are both using to arrive at our stance is that we are all humans, using human consciousness to have an understanding of human consciousness.  It MUST be working.  It must fit the place, or it would not have been selected for.

  13. you are saying I am arrogant to suggest I am not playing second fiddle to anyone or anything

    that implies I am down a rung from where I should be

    you are saying I am ignorant to suggest humans are at the top of the life on Earth heap, in terms of consciousness, as if you can point to a "better" plan

    my question back to you, would be better for whom

    the answer better not be better for the other life form because that would not do us a bit of good

  14. not at all correct

    I am saying that ALL we care about is within human consciousness.   

    There is no reason to think we are doing it wrong.  We are doing it right.

    We might evolve further.  We might run into a hidden race,  We might discover or be discovered by another race.  We might find ways to augment our consciousness as we already have and build in better senses and better memory.

    But the one thing I have that you have on a fairly equal footing as I have it, is a human consciousness.   Everything wonderful about the place is noticed through a human consciousness, everything bad about the place is noticed through a human consciousness.  Anything worth noticing and doing anything about is noticed by a human, and done for a human.   Our self is the primary point of focus we are aware of, and our self is the primary item we strive to maintain.   

    It is like Einstein's observers that he places all over the universe, in different frames of reference traveling at different velocities relative to each other.  They are all human observers.  And they are all imaginary.   The fact that Einstein put them out there does not make them actually be out there.  And the best and only reference point that we actually have, is the Earth.

    We are rather well insulated from the beginning of the universe and rather well insulated from the end, by tremendous amounts of space and time.

    If we were not separate from the place in the point of focus fashion that we are, then we would be something else.  God, or the force, or Mother Nature, or Allah or something.  But we are not. We are point of focus lifeforms on the Planet Earth, and everything we do, everything we think, everything we care about is done in relationship to being that self.  You cannot claim you have a way to step out of your body/brain/heart group and sense the place in any other manner than you do.

    Regards, TAR

  15. iNow,


    From what stance, are you making this claim that I should be humble?  

    Who or what is it I should bow down to, in your mind?

    You have nothing but guesses as to a higher life form.


    Even if you and dimreepr and Dennett can imagine a purer or more capable consciousness, that does not make such a consciousness exist.  Nor are there any better judges of the situation, than humans, to point to, to prove me wrong and you right.   We only have humans to ask.  Only have humans to care.  Only have humans to judge. 

    Even some wonderful computer program that simulated everything a human can do, and do everything faster and more error free than a human, would be written by....guess who...a human.


    Regards, TAR




  16. iNow,

    I suppose you are referring again to the non-existent super conscious races in other star systems, that we will never talk to, or the whales and octopi who have a different way of paying attention to and utilizing the environment?

    Who or what has more or better human consciousness than a human.   And the fact that I was just outside and saw a nice sky and beautiful trees and a wife, that were all actually there, sharp, in focus and coherent, I would say however I am doing it, is very very workable.   And since you do it in an approximate manner, and it works for you too, I would say that is absolute proof of its value and utility.   You have absolutely nothing better to offer in the way of consciousness, so there is no arrogance involved.  It is not the same as saying my race is better than another race, that would be arrogant.   But to say my species is the best is not arrogant, it is simple evident.  No animal is better at being a human than a human.  No machine is better at being a human than a human.

    You think, perhaps that consciousness can be created in a machine?   Are you arrogant enough to think you can create life, as well?

    I wish you would explain what it is you think I am ignoring, or ignorant of,  concerning human consciousness,

    and I wish you would explain exactly who you think I am putting down, to consider human consciousness excellent.

    Regards, TAR


  17. 5 hours ago, iNow said:

    You state this with such certainty, yet acknowledged yourself as being wholly unfamiliar with his work. The mind continues to boggle...

    Citation needed



    Am I characterizing his belief in AI and his reliance on computers ability to simulate completely what the human does, in the way of consciousness, incorrectly?

    I have not read all of Kant's works.  I have not even finished Critique of Pure Reason, but that does not make me unable to comment on what of his work I have read, and think about the implications of what he has said, that I have heard.

    Between saying I was not as familiar with Dennett as you were, you having seen him speak and having read some of his works, I watched a talk

    on the internet and got some idea of how he thinks, what he is trying to say, and how he goes about saying it.

    My impression, built around our argument about illusion, was that he thinks there is a better way to be conscious than the way we do it, as humans. Like perhaps we are being fooled, and there is a way to understand reality directly, without being thusly fooled.

    I am not asking here whether I understand Dennett's whole worldview.  What I am asking is do you agree with someone (maybe Dennett) that believes the human consciousness that we are talking about on this thread, is faulty.   Or do you believe as I do, that it is excellent?


    Regards, TAR



  18. Gees,

    Thank you for nicely correcting my wrong spelling of Dennett.  Others with confirmation bias would have pointed it out as an indicator of my idiocy.

    I am glad you operate under the joke advice I used to give people I was helping on a technical hotline I manned.  "Listen to what I mean, not what I say!"

    Also, thank you for that last post's ideas.  It made me think of a number of things on several levels that I want to comment on...but today the weather is nice and I am working on an outside project that requires painting and such and the times for this are numbered as we are getting into fall in NJ and I should go out, rather than be typing here.

    But on the analog, digital thing, just think of the old analog clock with a sweep second hand.  It did not "tick" and go from one second mark to the next, all at once.  The second hand existed in every spot between the two marks, in a smooth proportion fashion.   In a digital world it is either 12:00:59 or 12:01:00.  In an analog world there are an infinite amount of "times" between the two marks, not limited by the amount of digits you have to express the tininess of the increments.

    Regards, TAR

    (Dennett is interested in expressing the world in terms of ones and zeroes, on an off, so that we can make a conscious machine by breaking down a conscious human into a Turing machine, reproducing that machine with wires and silicon, and coming up with consciousness.)  Not likely, in my mind to work, in an analog world where all the times between the second marks are used.

  19. bimbo36, 

    Listen to Phi for All.  He helped me stop, along with others on this board, back 3 or 4 years ago.  And I am still not smoking.  Not a one, since I stopped.   It is like Phi says, board up that way of getting dopamine, and don't ever use it again.  You don't HAVE to have a cigarette to feel good.  There are many other ways to reward yourself, to feel good.   Kiss a significant other, hug a child, laugh with your friends, watch a pretty sunset, look a lovely pictures on TV, draw one,  make dinner for someone special...whatever.

    It is true, that nicotine receptors in the brain release dopamine, and this, along with other pleasure and contentment chemicals make you feel good, make you feel alive, make you feel like you are doing it right.  So, like Phi says,  just don't smoke any more.  There are other ways to live, and be happy, feel good and successful, that are not expensive, stinky, harmful and annoying to others.  Plenty of other ways.

    Not smoking does not mean you will never feel good again.  It just means you will not feel good using that method.  Just board up that way.  Make smoking not an option.

    It worked for me.  It might work for you. 

    But like Phi says, you have to want to stop.  If you have not decided to stop, and never smoke again, then you won't stop.


    Regards, TAR

    By the way, although vaping is less stinky and you ingest fewer harmful chemicals and tar, it is still expensive and still has nicotine.   I would suggest getting unhooked on nicotine.   If you taper off fine.   If you just stop fine.  It is a personal choice.  But like Phi says, you are in charge.   Take charge and do what you know is the best way to go for yourself and those around you.

    teach yourself to live without nicotine

    Then quitting is very easy.  Just don't smoke.

  20. Gee,

    I think the first level of thought, knowledge and memory, and the second level of awareness, feeling and emotion could be considered, in terms of evolution,  as evolving together.

    That is, for purposes of tying the ideas to Freud's,  and together with the actual physical neural correlates, I would say information, and where it is, would have to be traced and kept figuratively in mind, to see what aspects of each level have to coexist, and therefore probably emerge or evolve in some sort of lockstep or reciprocal fashion.  Specifically I use the analogy of inside and outside, in terms of where the information is.  When the form or pattern exists in the waking world in terms of being the moon or a tree or another human or a neural correlate that science can study, witness, record, test, measure and investigate  then this is outside, objective reality.   The thing we sense in the first place.

    Then, when it is internalized, through the senses,  and perceived, and stored in the pathways of the brain, it becomes an internal analogy, and has to be now the "illusion" that Bennett talks about, or the shadow that Plato refers to in the allegory of the cave.

    So the thoughts we have are of the objective world, but they themselves are shadows on the wall, so confusion comes when we talk of the tree, as to whether we are talking of the tree or we are talking about and saying something about the shadow.  Then the knowledge runs into the same literal/figurative identification issue when we talk of the stars.  Are we talking about what we see, or what we "know" must be there, out in space. "Is" the   star shining in our sky now or is it shining in a manner we will not see for 3 years or 10,000 years depending on its distance?  And the memory, is of, as you say, not only the thought, but the external object you sensed.    These things, in the first level I think are probably binary in the sense that we think in opposites, up and down, left and right, back and forward, and we increment our grain size in discrete lumps.   Like in powers of ten for instance.   We count in whole numbers.

    But to get to this binary first level, we need first the analogue input.  We might have a particular amount of pixels with which to work in terms of the cones at the back of our eye, but we can move our eye and use the analog level of chemical activation coming off a particular cone, in conjunction with that coming off a neighbor, together with the impression we get as our eyes scan, together with memories of, and expectation, and pattern completion and other activities in the brain, to form a coherent image of the world that corresponds to the input from all our senses, AND with our memory and knowledge and thoughts.   These things are all accomplished using the awareness, the emotion the feeling, that we are calling the second level.  This level could be considered the analog level, for two reasons.   One, the various chemicals involved in the motivation, activation, pleasure system causing our awareness of and interaction with the world,  cascade and operate in a nonbinary,  accumulating fashion, and two, what we internalize is an analog of the actual world, which is arguably smooth like a sinewave, and not made up of square waves.

    Regards, TAR

  21. Gees,

    Was reading a little on DNA.  I know you are not interested in the inner workings of the DNA process, but I think within the "magic" of DNA, there are some basic ideas or principles or universal wants, needs, proclivities, or possibilities, that when put together in the right order and orientation, can cause complex entities to emerge and persist.

    Particularly I am thinking of the copying process. The double helix gets unzipped by some chemical and this creates a replication site, like a Y where the phosphate-sugar backbone is split leaving open binding spots on each side of the now split ladder.  A binds with T and C binds with G  so everywhere a G is hanging out unbound a free G floating around jumps on board and vice versa, and when a A is open a T binds and when  a  T is open an A binds, the phosphate-sugar backbone seals along and you wind up, when the whole chain is unzipped and matched, with two of a pattern that before was only one.   The exact process we are talking about, in terms of maintaining and passing on one's pattern.

    It makes a certain amount of sense to further consider that if this arrangement, this particular order of pairs would result in being able to produce or copy certain proteins that would help the collection exist longer in the world, by means of somehow gathering or marshalling more building blocks...then that particular arrangement would survive and other arrangements might not.  Of course, since there is no plan, or foreknowledge of what arrangement is the best, it is always a matter of, if something about the arrangement allows it to continue, then the whole chain will be copied and survive, whether or not it has coding or non coding segments, or areas that don't on their own "work" with any purpose.   The thing itself is not conscious of its purpose, but the fact that it works, allows it to survive.  It fits, because its existence came about because it fits.    Seems like a non explanation and some sort of double talk, but I think it goes to what the self is, and it goes to what survival is, and it lays the ground work for self awareness to evolve.

    Regards, TAR


  22. The TED talk got a little political and diverged from talking about DNA to talking about stem cell research and computer economies so it did not go where I thought it should have gone.  Still interesting in considering how our DNA is central to life and consciousness, and the thought is still related to the thread topic.

  23. Gee',

    Since we can rely neither on our own intelligence nor God's to "drive" or motivate evolution, there must be "something" about universal stuff, that promotes, or allows for patterns to repeat themselves, and workable patterns to stick around for a longer period of time, than unworkable patterns.

    That is planets "want" to go around the Sun, electrons "want" to fall to a lower energy level and release a photon, water wants to run downhill and gas molecules want as much space as they can get, and thusly fill their container.

    I am wondering what "wants" on a chemical, physical, basic electromagnetic level, result in life and consciousness.    How does a Redbud know to bloom in the spring?  Without God, without any human executive order, not accidentally, but purposefully, in the same manner, every spring, on every  Redbud tree, on most hillsides in certain areas of West Virginia.

    Evolution must be very complex and interrelated.   Layer built on layer.  One organism, conditioning the world for the next to do its thing.   

    Consciousness could not have evolved without utilizing the "wants" built into the place.  The temperature, the pressure, the chemicals present on the Earth, were requirements for whatever happened on Earth, to have happened.

    Regards, TAR

    The one common thread I see in all Earthbound life, is DNA.   So should we be looking at DNA to see some analogy to consciousness?   Something that DNA "wants" to do, seems to underpin the whole operation of life and consciousness.   And DNA is the primary unique species specific thing that either maintains itself or passes.  The pattern itself.

    Just found this.  Am watching a fascinating TED talk (25 minutes) at the end. http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/03/21/how-dna-consciousness-operate-according-to-law/

  24. Area54,

    I am sorry about your unhappy weeks,  but your lack of clarity as to what is being discussed is not automatically shared by all in the discussion.  We each have separate questions and problems with various aspects of the discussion and the complexity of the interaction of these ideas is exactly why I attend these threads.  To learn something, to share insights, to figure out what must be true and what can not be true.

    I would have to add, that my understanding of ideas includes a certain understanding of the MO that various posters come to the discussion exuding. (theory of mind) 

    There are other, unsettled issues that we each have, other needs we have to complete a thought, or further prove a pet idea, or share a favorite insight or ability or piece of knowledge.

    But, to my pet idea of dopamine being one of the mechanisms at the base of consciousness and evolution, it is important to a society, a collection of humans, a hive, a school of fish, or a giant Oak, to have some communication, and agreement between the parts.   That is, we like, as humans to get it right, to be in agreement on an idea, to hold workable, fitting ideas in our heads, of how the rest of the place is operating. That is, we feel good when we are right, correct, get the joke, solve the problem.

    So dopamine must be a part of our evolution, in the sense that we needed a "reason" to live, to maintain our body/brain/heart group on a day to day basis, and to "want" to have children and see them thrive.   We have to get some pleasure out of seeing other people live, be happy, succeed, so we can make the right moves to sustain their lives, along with our own.

    So mechanisms of societal consciousness, like you wanting to cut to the chase and harness the energy and ideas of the  group in a focused fashion, are mechanisms that evolved in us, and must have neural correlates.   That is, it makes you feel good, if I am a better writer and Gees gets to the point, and your summation is correct, because then we all have a workable, agreed on idea in our heads, and then can together take the next step toward understanding our world, and how to continue doing whatever it is we do, when we live as conscious humans.

    It follows that things like mirror neurons, and Saxe's junction, and iNow's  brain stem base, and my dopamine,  and Freud's ego, superego and id, each play a role, in the interconnected interplay between a conscious human and her society.

    We feel good when we have a good discussion

    Back to a point that I think we still have the need for further discussion on.  Gee, in her OP, and later, suggested that all people did not feel consciousness was a "thing" in and of itself, in the way that life is a thing.  

    These various positions one can take regarding consciousness, are not complexities to my mind, but rather the thread question.    

    For instance, did human consciousness exist before the first word was spoken and understood, or did the communication define the emergence of human consciousness?

    Regards, TAR

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