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LH Merlo

About life and consciousness.

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1 hour ago, Strange said:

Of course. What about the hallucination example cited by Eise. Or the voices heard by schizophrenics (and others)? They don't have any objective reality but seem completely real to the sufferer. What about optical illusions where we see two things as being different colour when they are the same, or see lines as curved when they are not, and on and on.

You remind me of a conversation I had with a friend at work, very talented kid.  He has an uncle who is schizophenics, experiences hallunications of the wall telling him things about his wife, the turn out to be true.  I do look at schizophenics as people who probably have certain sensitives open, and they pick up "information" .

 

11 minutes ago, Eise said:

It doesn't have to. But as Strange already notices a lot of people like to understand their world and themselves. I belong to these kind of people.

Besides the intense scientific growth, I am fascinated by, and love to listen to, people who are developing skills related to Astral projection, lucid dreaming, and those skills.  The experiences themselves are very rich and beautiful to hear about.  Evidence is also nice when it does happen.

 

16 minutes ago, Eise said:

It is very comforting 'to know' there is a fire ladder when the building burns. Except that objectively there does not exist one, it was just your gut-feeling. When the fire breaks out, it would have been good for you to know you shouldn't have gone that way to escape the fire.

I've never been comforted by fire ladders.  :)

21 minutes ago, Eise said:

Me neither, but in a different way you do. Physical reality is able to produce such beautiful things like galaxies, paintings, music and humans. The problem is that some of these (except maybe galaxies), cannot be understood from their basic building blocks. Even the essence of certain things is independent from the exact way it is implemented in the physical world. A house is a house, but it can built it with concrete or wood. Being human, however I agree that our essence is not that we are built up of matter: it lies in the ways processes take place in this matter. And to know these, both from the inside (studying my own mind) as from the outside (science) might be the best way to live a balanced life: accept what just is so, change what can be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish between the two (paraphrasing I think an Irish prayer).

 

25 minutes ago, Eise said:

Yes, you are afraid to leave your comfort zone. And the closed mind is yours, and is exactly what I named it here: your comfort zone. But be sure, nobody got enlightened by staying in their comfort zone. It is, to use another dangerous word, not very spiritual not to accept ideas because you do not like them. 

You think I live in a comfort zone?  I wish I did.  Truth be told, I live in an uncomfort zone.  It is just not my lot in life to be comfortable.  The result is that I will say things and do things that I hope will have an impact, even if that means locking horns with others, even if saying what needs to be said makes me unpopular.  You can tell by my score that I am unpopular.  I have really irritated some people on this forum because what I had to say was important.  But you think I live in a comfort zone.  I would love to live in one.  :)

29 minutes ago, Eise said:

Physical reality is the ocean. And the truth at the bottom of the mind might be emptiness. As practicing Zen Buddhist, I think that would be the last truth (not experienced myself, therefore 'I think' and not 'I know'). Which you of course you do not like, and therefore you refuse to accept reality. 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

You remind me of a conversation I had with a friend at work, very talented kid.  He has an uncle who is schizophenics, experiences hallunications of the wall telling him things about his wife, the turn out to be true.  I do look at schizophenics as people who probably have certain sensitives open, and they pick up "information" .

Quote

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Clarke's First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. - Arthur C Clark.

 

2 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

You think I live in a comfort zone?  I wish I did.  Truth be told, I live in an uncomfort zone.  It is just not my lot in life to be comfortable.  The result is that I will say things and do things that I hope will have an impact

No, I think he thinks you want to live in a comfort zone, but instead feel pressured (uncomfortable) to be correct; relax, you and I can't be, so be comfortable in that knowledge...

 

I know what I feel like to stub my toe, but I can't know what you feel like when you stub yours. 

Edited by dimreepr

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This video talks about how neurosurgeons can stimulate parts of the body to move, but states that there is no way to effect the will or to cause the patient to make a decision, just by activating circuits within the brain.  The video suggests that consciousness is not created by the brain.  

 

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7 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

This video talks about how neurosurgeons can stimulate parts of the body to move, but states that there is no way to effect the will or to cause the patient to make a decision, just by activating circuits within the brain

Wow. Consciousness is more complex than making a muscle twitch. Who knew. 

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5 minutes ago, Strange said:

Wow. Consciousness is more complex than making a muscle twitch. Who knew. 

Complex in what way?

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2 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

Complex in what way?

In the way you describe. There is (nearly) a one-to-one connection between small groups of neurons in the brain and muscles. Consciousness involves large parts of or possibly the entire brain. 

Not that I believe the claim, anyway. 

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2 minutes ago, Strange said:

n the way you describe. There is (nearly) a one-to-one connection between small groups of neurons in the brain and muscles. Consciousness involves large parts of or possibly the entire brain. 

At 13:05, he talks about the visual binding problem where colors stimulate one part of the brain, and shapes stimulate another part, but they're never combined.  It seems to suggest that consciousness is a non local phenomena.  Where have I heard the words "non locality" before?

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12 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

At 13:05, he talks about the visual binding problem where colors stimulate one part of the brain, and shapes stimulate another part, but they're never combined. 

They obviously are, even if cannot yet see how.

12 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

It seems to suggest that consciousness is a non local phenomena. 

Distributed, rather than non-local. (Non-local means outside the range limited by the speed of light, and we know that the speed of communication is much slower than the speed of light.)

12 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

Where have I heard the words "non locality" before?

Ah yes, the old "consciousness is weird and incomprehensible and so is quantum theory, therefore they must be connected" fallacy.

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3 minutes ago, Strange said:

Ah yes, the old "consciousness is weird and incomprehensible and so is quantum theory, therefore they must be connected" fallacy. 

Well, technically everything is part of a quantum field, whether it's weird or not.  So your comment that it's a fallacy,...is a fallacy.

5 minutes ago, Strange said:

Distributed, rather than non-local. (Non-local means outside the range limited by the speed of light, and we know that the speed of communication is much slower than the speed of light.) 

What do you mean by "distributed"?  Like a newspaper?

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43 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

What do you mean by "distributed"?  Like a newspaper?

No, more like the journalists of a paper: scattered all over the world, sharing data and building up enough information to create the news stories.

Except there is no central control in the brain equivalent to the newspaper.

So maybe the Internet is a better analogy: no central control; all the information for routing messages is distributed across servers. Some have all the information, some have parts of it, but they can cooperate to get messages to the right destination.

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18 hours ago, dimreepr said:
19 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

You think I live in a comfort zone?  I wish I did.  Truth be told, I live in an uncomfort zone.  It is just not my lot in life to be comfortable.  The result is that I will say things and do things that I hope will have an impact

No, I think he thinks you want to live in a comfort zone, but instead feel pressured (uncomfortable) to be correct; relax, you and I can't be, so be comfortable in that knowledge...

 

I think you are on the right track: Wulphstein has created a comfort zone of knowing things better than others, even better as specialists, such as physicists and academic philosophers. This helps him for his self esteem.

20 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

Besides the intense scientific growth, I am fascinated by, and love to listen to, people who are developing skills related to Astral projection, lucid dreaming, and those skills.

This is on the limit of fringe science: on one side, I am also sure that OBEs exist. But the same as for NDEs: experiencing something is one thing, to correctly interpret them another. You seem to take every experience as proof of the subject-independent existence of what is experienced. For lucid dreaming it is obvious that it needs no additional metaphysical categories. Everybody dreams, the only difference is that in lucid dreaming one can act consciously. (a friend of mine (with btw a very similar world view as I have) once had the same disturbing dream again and again. A psychotherapist learned him lucid dreaming, and by consciously acting differently in his dream, he got rid of this dream). So why should we draw any metaphysical conclusions from this?

22 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

I think the the spirit can start to break out of the biological limitations of the body, and see the ultimate reality for what it is.  At least that is what I believe and what experiencers corroborate with their experiences.

In my student time, I have done a regression session under hypnosis. I returned to a previous life, and told the therapist many details of my last moments in that life. (Of course, a violent death. But not some famous or important historical person.) How impressive the experience was for me, I am sure this previous life was constructed by my brain, based on feelings and real memories from this life. I can trace them back to these, so there is no reason for me to believe that I really remembered a previous life.

Never accept experience 'as is'. Always take your biases in account. Or just enjoy your experiences, without drawing any metaphysical conclusions from them. At least I enjoyed the moment I was stoned and could see sound.

21 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

I've never been comforted by fire ladders. 

Don't you understand my example, or are you just avoiding to react?

22 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

I am not going to get into the argument of having to prove mathematically what my instincts tell me, but when I went beyond "spacetime/speed of light is invariant" as scientific dogma, in pursuit of a mechanism, I got smacked down.

Instincts are in no way proofs. Instinct might be a source of hypotheses, but without the capability to put these hypotheses in a working theory with testable predictions they are worth next to nothing. So your 'smacking down' was methodologically justified. And to add, these instincts (or what I prefer, intuitions) can be developed by intense training. Scientists who are well trained in their disciplines have more intuitions that might prove useful. But still, the proof of the pudding is in the eating... Science amateurs, who have no intensive training in some discipline, overestimate the worth of their intuitions by many factors. Then one gets postings of the kind 'I have a theory, but I need somebody to do the math'. Or 'I have a theory, but I am not quite ready with the math', followed up by a terrible misuse of the mathematical concepts of a not-understood theory.

And last but not least: QM and relativity are very none-intuitive for the layman, so how could his intuitions ever lead to useful ideas?

22 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

Advancing technology will always make people uncertain and uncomfortable.  But in my personal belief, technology and spirit will always be in balance; if they're not in balance, a civilization will suffer.

I agree with your first sentence. Pity enough, I do not agree with the second: civilisation is not balanced, and we suffer. Our wisdom lags far behind our technical capabilities.

Quote

Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem–in my opinion–to characterize our age. If we desire sincerely and passionately for the safety, the welfare, and the free development of the talents of all men, we shall not be in want of the means to approach such a state. Even if only a small part of mankind strives for such goals, their superiority will prove itself in the long run.

Einstein...

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15 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

Well, technically everything is part of a quantum field, whether it's weird or not.  So your comment that it's a fallacy,...is a fallacy.

Obviously, the brain functions through chemistry; chemistry happens because of interactions between electrons so is described by quantum theory.

However, your "clever hint" about non-local behaviour in the brain suggested that there must be something more than just chemistry going on. That is the fallacy. 

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Posted (edited)

In 500 years, physicists will probably be more comfortable with metaphysics. 

It has been argued that every event that occurs creates a spherical wavefront made of quantum states and space-time geometry, that transmits its causality at the speed of light to update the rest of the universe.  Even something as small as an ant wiggling it butt would generate a causal wavefront.  The little things are not expected to effect curvature of spacetime.  But a distinctive signal could still persist as a field that hangs around for a while.  A particularly distinctive thought is an event sufficient enough to emit a spherical wavefront.  A thought could make a difference, existing as a field.

Edited by Wulphstein

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23 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

In 500 years, physicists will probably be more comfortable with metaphysics. 

What you call metaphysics will be physics by then. Or refuted by it...

23 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

It has been argued that every event that occurs creates a spherical wavefront made of quantum states and space-time geometry, that transmits its causality at the speed of light to update the rest of the universe.

Argued by whom? You? 

Instead of just venting some ideas, nearly not related to this thread, would you mind to continue the discussion? Or do you prefer to close your eyes and keep sticked in your comfort zone of ideas?

 

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24 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

In 500 years, physicists will probably be more comfortable with metaphysics. 

It has been argued that every event that occurs creates a spherical wavefront made of quantum states and space-time geometry, that transmits its causality at the speed of light to update the rest of the universe.  Even something as small as an ant wiggling it butt would generate a causal wavefront.  The little things are not expected to effect curvature of spacetime.  But a distinctive signal could still persist as a field that hangs around for a while.  A particularly distinctive thought is an event sufficient enough to emit a spherical wavefront.  A thought could make a difference, existing as a field.

That's the thing about causality, we don't know what it will lead to. 

Which means, it doesn't matter how profound you think your thought was, you might as well be pissing into the wind, if you don't understand the weather forecast.

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1 hour ago, Eise said:

What you call metaphysics will be physics by then. Or refuted by it...

There's no reason to assume that... 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, dimreepr said:

That's the thing about causality, we don't know what it will lead to. 

Which means, it doesn't matter how profound you think your thought was, you might as well be pissing into the wind, if you don't understand the weather forecast.

Do people piss in the wind?

10 hours ago, Eise said:

What you call metaphysics will be physics by then. Or refuted by it...

met·a·phys·ics

/ˌmedəˈfiziks/

plural

  • 1. the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space: "they would regard the question of the initial conditions for the universe as belonging to the realm of metaphysics or religion"

 

You think physics will refute first principles of things including substance, cause, time and space?   I think in 500 years, people like Eise will have to grudgingly live with metaphysics as being highly integrated into technology. 

Edited by Wulphstein

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Which means, it doesn't matter how profound you think your thought was, you might as well be pissing into the wind, if you don't understand the weather forecast.

Certainly the purpose of life is to experience how profound the world is.  It would be a better life if we could have a profound thought without someone disparaging it for fun.

Edited by Wulphstein

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7 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

Certainly the purpose of life is to experience how profound the world is. 

We already have a thread on that subject.

 

7 hours ago, Wulphstein said:

It would be a better life if we could have a profound thought without someone disparaging it for fun.

The profundity of your thoughts are not for you to decide. 

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

The profundity of your thoughts are not for you to decide. 

What do you mean?

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15 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

What do you mean?

It's for your peers to decide.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

It's for your peers to decide.

Your communication is a little fuzzy.  I can't quite make it out.  It sounds like you're claiming the right to disparage someone's profound experience to satisfy....  Can you please clarify.  Why would you want to?

Edited by Wulphstein

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27 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

Your communication is a little fuzzy.  I can't quite make it out.  It sounds like you're claiming the right to disparage someone's profound experience to satisfy....  Can you please clarify.  

2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

The profundity of your thoughts are not for you to decide. 

And what you write about them; although I'm a little fuzzy about whats unclear about that sentence.

You can experience anything you like and it's entirely for you to do decide how profound you think it is; but when you post those thoughts on a public forum, I'm entitled to reply (within the rules of the site).

BTW 4 negs in a row for no reason is bad form, so lets put this behind us and get back to the topic. :-)

 

 

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4 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

And what you write about them; although I'm a little fuzzy about whats unclear about that sentence.

You can experience anything you like and it's entirely for you to do decide how profound you think it is; but when you post those thoughts on a public forum, I'm entitled to reply (within the rules of the site).

BTW 4 negs in a row for no reason is bad form, so lets put this behind us and get back to the topic. :-)

The topic is about:  life and consciousness (what is consciousness).  What are we allowed to say about consciousness that is within the rules of this forum?

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51 minutes ago, Wulphstein said:

What are we allowed to say about consciousness that is within the rules of this forum?

Perhaps you should read the thread, other members have.

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