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mcompengr

What am I?

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Something happened in my brain.  6'0", 126 lbs., a "black" fast for 8 days.  Also, near total sleep deprivation maintained with tiny, infrequent doses of cannabis.  Motivation: blah, blah, blah, and thus performed a "forbidden experiment" upon myself.

The result was like a mental breakdown, rather than any sort of physical one.  Not a breakdown as such, but gradual loss of reality with complete insanity near the end.  Direct knowledge, subjective data was obtained about a most hideous and frightening state of mind.  (must needs in first-person, narrative follows)

Somehow, throughout the whole ordeal I remained the exact same "me" that I am right now and have always been.  My consciousness was intact and unchanged even after words lost all of their meaning.  Although terrified, I was still curious and observant.  There was no "out of body" sensation whatsoever.  With useless sensory input and meaningless memory, self awareness was pretty much all that was left. 

And yet, it was 100% of the cognitive me that I am, with nothing missing or distorted.  No doubt, had I interacted with another human at that time I could have been rightly described as being totally out of my mind.  But within that small, empty, full consciousness, my mental state was OK.  It wasn't that my little mental engine (me) was broken, it was bad data.   I was a thought processor with nothing to process except:  "What is all this stuff (available info)?" and "What am I?" 

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8 hours ago, mcompengr said:

Something happened in my brain.  6'0", 126 lbs., a "black" fast for 8 days.  Also, near total sleep deprivation

What do you mean by a black fast?  I had to look it up and it sounds catholic. The longest I ever fasted for was 3 days with no food except water.  I once did 7 days with only fruit. The longest without sleep was 3 days. I never enjoyed the food fasts, they were horrible. The 3 days without sleep was kinda fun though...  although I can relate to the feeling of insanity, lol. I was on a good positive buzz though. 

 

8 hours ago, mcompengr said:

 "What am I?" 

 Totally human.

 

Can I ask your reasons for fasting?  My fasts were years ago and were religious. I won't be doing anything like that again willingly. 

 

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10 hours ago, mcompengr said:

Something happened in my brain.  6'0", 126 lbs., a "black" fast for 8 days.  Also, near total sleep deprivation maintained with tiny, infrequent doses of cannabis.  Motivation: blah, blah, blah, and thus performed a "forbidden experiment" upon myself.

The result was like a mental breakdown, rather than any sort of physical one.  Not a breakdown as such, but gradual loss of reality with complete insanity near the end.  Direct knowledge, subjective data was obtained about a most hideous and frightening state of mind.  (must needs in first-person, narrative follows)

Somehow, throughout the whole ordeal I remained the exact same "me" that I am right now and have always been.  My consciousness was intact and unchanged even after words lost all of their meaning.  Although terrified, I was still curious and observant.  There was no "out of body" sensation whatsoever.  With useless sensory input and meaningless memory, self awareness was pretty much all that was left. 

And yet, it was 100% of the cognitive me that I am, with nothing missing or distorted.  No doubt, had I interacted with another human at that time I could have been rightly described as being totally out of my mind.  But within that small, empty, full consciousness, my mental state was OK.  It wasn't that my little mental engine (me) was broken, it was bad data.   I was a thought processor with nothing to process except:  "What is all this stuff (available info)?" and "What am I?" 

Sounds like you have shown it was a bloody stupid idea.

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12 hours ago, mcompengr said:

"What am I?" 

 

Confused, either because you're doing a pointless and dangerous experiment, or because you believed an idiot who told you it was a good idea.

Edited by dimreepr

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On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 3:16 AM, DrP said:

What do you mean by a black fast?  I had to look it up and it sounds catholic. The longest I ever fasted for was 3 days with no food except water.  I once did 7 days with only fruit. The longest without sleep was 3 days. I never enjoyed the food fasts, they were horrible. The 3 days without sleep was kinda fun though...  although I can relate to the feeling of insanity, lol. I was on a good positive buzz though. 

 

 Totally human.

 

Can I ask your reasons for fasting?  My fasts were years ago and were religious. I won't be doing anything like that again willingly. 

 

An opportunity presented itself.   Being so thin, I figured I had a leg up on the likes of Bobby Sands (R.I.P).  Something physical was expected.  When something other happened it seemed like a much bigger opportunity.  (The "stupid bloody" bits.)  I even concocted a (useless, duh!) escape plan, but I would have gone in anyway.  Early on, I was brilliantly solving world historic problems, and it went downhill from there. 

(I thought black fast meant: water only)

On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 7:14 AM, dimreepr said:

Confused, either because you're doing a pointless and dangerous experiment, or because you believed an idiot who told you it was a good idea.

Maybe not pointless.  Consciousness and mental illness are kind of interesting.

On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 5:51 AM, Lord Antares said:

You sounds like you're still going through insanity.

Except for back in the world, folks still knew me as I always was.  And also, how do you know you're awake?  It was like that.

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What is the nature of consciousness?  The machinery was fine, but absolutely nothing made any sense or had any meaning.  Unbidden, words would be swimming before my mind's eye.  I had no clue even as to what they were, but some came and went with concomitant sensations.  The phrase "united states" seemed somehow important and special.  (No sentence ever appeared.)  Seeing the word "love" would cause the fear to abate.  (These actually facilitated my return.) 
 

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4 minutes ago, mcompengr said:

What is the nature of consciousness?

 

If that's your question why post it here?

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23 hours ago, mcompengr said:

What is the nature of consciousness?  The machinery was fine, but absolutely nothing made any sense or had any meaning.  Unbidden, words would be swimming before my mind's eye.  I had no clue even as to what they were, but some came and went with concomitant sensations.  The phrase "united states" seemed somehow important and special.  (No sentence ever appeared.)  Seeing the word "love" would cause the fear to abate.  (These actually facilitated my return.) 
 

Yea - I wouldn't do that anymore... 

 

23 hours ago, mcompengr said:

 The machinery was fine, but absolutely nothing made any sense or had any meaning...

Maybe the machinery wasn't so fine as you thought -  it needs sustenance and maintenance and downtime for a reason. ;-)

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On ‎11‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 7:35 AM, DrP said:

Yea - I wouldn't do that anymore... 

 

Maybe the machinery wasn't so fine as you thought -  it needs sustenance and maintenance and downtime for a reason. ;-)

[It may be that sleep deprivation is kind of indistinguishable from schizophrenia in the lab.  So there is that, too.]  But, the machinery referred to is just that tiny speck of a thought processor.  My brain was hosed but not me.  Something physical was done to it and consciousness is physical, right?  The next time you're blue for no good reason, remember it's not you, it's just bad data being presented to your processor.   You are the thinker, not the thought.  

Edited by mcompengr
Add last sentence.

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On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 5:22 AM, John Cuthber said:

Sounds like you have shown it was a bloody stupid idea.

I felt deep and profound shame for about two weeks after.  It gets better, if y'all would be so kind, but more blood too.  This is the end.  Fully conscious throughout.  (Fundamentals of consciousness?  Brain physiology and neuroscience, OK?)

Next was sunlight and zero fear, but still the same bizarro world.  (sigh) Except, now there seemed a small (beautiful and logical) area of reality on the left and forward.  Mentally stepping through, all was normal again except for a small (ugly and mad) area of bizarro world on the right and behind.  There to gather data, I went back in and out three times.  Each time it was the same, with both worlds seen clearly, right next to each other, from the alternating perspectives.  On the third time:  thoughts of getting stuck, exited and never looked back.  (The fast then ended with a pint of half & half milk.)  Two days later, good to go. 

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On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 8:26 AM, dimreepr said:

If that's your question why post it here?

 

On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 8:26 AM, dimreepr said:
  On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 8:20 AM, mcompengr said:

What is the nature of consciousness?

It was hoped that a neuroscientist was writing here, more social media than forum.

Intellectual masturbation should not be admonished.

 

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The next time I'm in an FQXi contest, I'm sure it will be the first time.
They seem all hepped up about consciousness being fundamental.  Some go too close to "new physics" for me, like meta-physics made palatable.  At best, doing that seems to me to be like using renormalization for good purposes, but it can't be good long term.
 

Edited by mcompengr
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Okay, here's a thesisThat tiny thought-processor is the mind, and everything else is the "Extended Mind", including the Library of Congress.

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