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Dancing David
26th August 2004, 03:24 PM
I will argue that it doesn't exist. It is a rubric under which many other things are attributed.

Eleatic Stranger
26th August 2004, 04:03 PM
Awareness of

Dancing David
26th August 2004, 04:10 PM
Ah, theres the rub, in using language to describe the process underlying awareness. There are many kinds of awareness,

Awareness of body=sensation.
Awareness of cognition=thought.

So I ask, Awareness of what?

Bikewer
26th August 2004, 06:21 PM
Self, according to most.

Rob Lister
26th August 2004, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by Dancing David
I will argue that it doesn't exist. It is a rubric under which many other things are attributed.

Here's the ironic response

DD: Define Consiousness

RL: No.

If you don't get it, have a beer.

Eleatic Stranger
26th August 2004, 06:56 PM
Either, of course - since one can be both aware of and conscious of both sensations and thoughts.

Jeff Corey
27th August 2004, 06:22 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
Ah, theres the rub, in using language to describe the process underlying awareness. There are many kinds of awareness,

Awareness of body=sensation.
Awareness of cognition=thought.

So I ask, Awareness of what?
The textbook definition includes:
Your awareness of external events, internal sensations, your
self as observer and your thoughts about these experiences.
Then the author will typically go on about how difficult all these are to study scientifically because of the subjectivity of it all, how the behaviorists dumped "the study of consciousness" as the definition of psychology almost a century ago because of that problem.
Then the rest of that chapter will deal with sleep, dreams, hypnosis, meditation and drug effects.
Defining "awareness" is usually based upon self-report. Was Koko aware of her toothache? Well, she reported it in ASL and the tooth she pointed to was infected and treated.
Is Koko conscious?
Are you?

Dancing David
27th August 2004, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by Bikewer
Self, according to most.

I am politely maintaining that that awareness is actualy many different processes which we define as 'awareness' but i feel there is no transubstantial self to be 'aware'. We might choose to label many different things as 'awareness' but they are still just a myriad of seperate things.

And again awareness of self would be what?

The visual perception of yourself in a mirror?
The cognitive recognition that that reflection is similar to the last time you looked in a mirror?

Dancing David
27th August 2004, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by Jeff Corey

Defining "awareness" is usually based upon self-report. Was Koko aware of her toothache? Well, she reported it in ASL and the tooth she pointed to was infected and treated.
Is Koko conscious?
Are you?


Koko exhibited behaviors that would indicate she was aware of pain in her tooth.
I am following up on a previous thread, just as consiousness can only be defined behavioraly from the observational stand point. Leading to the famous p-zombie, which is a creature that exhibits all the behaviors of consiousness but is not. I once postulated, in response to the erudire Mecrutio, that there are in fact creatures that behave as though they have 'mind's but in fact they don't, the m-zombie.

The same can be done for awareness, it can exist as an abstract entity, it is always related to an underlying event that can be correctly labeled as something else. It is a materialist reductio ad absurdum.

prustage
27th August 2004, 06:30 PM
This is easy.

Consiousness is the same as consciousness only spelled wrongly.

Dancing David
27th August 2004, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by prustage
This is easy.

Consiousness is the same as consciousness only spelled wrongly.

I lei slane at ewer feat!

I am notorius for mispeeling!

Atlas
27th August 2004, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by Dancing David
... consiousness can only be defined behavioraly from the observational stand point. That sounds like you are saying it can only be defined behaviorally.

If someone is totally paralyzed but is still conscious you might not be able to notice any behavioral change. Months may go by while the individual is fed intravenously. Then someone figures out a way to communicate, maybe by the guy causing his heart to flutter, I don't know - some way. Yah, that then becomes behavioral recognition of consciousness but is the implication that there was no consciousness during the intervening months?

A wider definition is called for. Something that involves imagination and memory at least. I'll call it IDEA for now and hear your argument.

Dancing David
28th August 2004, 09:31 AM
Perhaps my definiton of behavioral is a broader one than evisaged, in the case of the eprson who is totaly paralyzed, say by the administartion of curarae, then we can hook the elctrodes to thier head and determine that the brain cells are behaving as though they are alive. Now wether we can deduce consciousness from that would be another issue. But it shows the broarder definition of behavior.

And certainly awareness of cognition and awareness of memory or awareness of the reconstructive process of memory are things generaly attributed to consciousness.

While we are defining consiousness what i am trying to do is reduce it to other processes, I could be wrong for doing so, but I am trying to add consciousness to the list of things like the self. Human conception solely.

Atlas
28th August 2004, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
... And certainly awareness of cognition and awareness of memory or awareness of the reconstructive process of memory are things generaly attributed to consciousness.

While we are defining consiousness what i am trying to do is reduce it to other processes, I could be wrong for doing so, but I am trying to add consciousness to the list of things like the self. Human conception solely. I'm having a similar discussion in another thread with BillyJoe. As a materialist, he is defining a human POV = self = pattern of neural firings in the brain.

But to me the brain pattern of neural firings is akin to the piece of glass that is a holograph. A laser passing through the holograph yields the corresponding projected hologram.

Over there I am wondering if life is the laser force that transforms the brain's neuronal activity. But to me that projection is real and different in quality from the piece of glass that is the physical construct holding the infromation from which the hologram is able to be reconstructed.

We absolutely need words for the various concepts of brain function and consciousness is a large concept - perhaps it is made of of lower level functions. But it may be that we are talking forms - like ice and vapor for water.

Perhaps I'm just used to the idea but I'm not going to like it if I suddenly find out I'm not conscious.

Interesting Ian
29th August 2004, 06:22 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
I will argue that it doesn't exist. It is a rubric under which many other things are attributed.

It cannot be defined. Certainly it is not a physical process.

Darat
29th August 2004, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
...snip...

Leading to the famous p-zombie, which is a creature that exhibits all the behaviors of consiousness but is not. I once postulated, in response to the erudire Mecrutio, that there are in fact creatures that behave as though they have 'mind's but in fact they don't, the m-zombie.

...snip...

I've posted it a couple of times before but I seem to have a different sense of myself then some people post here. So much so that at times I would describe myself as a "p-zombie".

Many times the "I" that enables me to type this post is not "here", it is a transient experience. For instance I will do some gardening later on today and there will be times when my awareness of being anything will just fade away yet I will continue to weed, then there will periods were my” internal monologue me” is reactivated to deal with a stimulus e.g. I will consider something like "should I move this plant", then it will fade again as I go about "moving" the plant.

But throughout this process it is still me that is there doing it, just that one of the “sub routines” isn’t always running. I would still at a later date refer to the fact that “I was doing some gardening earlier on”, despite the “I” that creates the post wasn’t “there” for all of it.

So for me my definition of consciousness is that it is just one of the many processes that happen when a certain group of chemicals mix together with a bit of energy thrown in. Intrinsically no more remarkable or special then photosynthesis.

(Edited for words.)

Atlas
29th August 2004, 07:48 AM
Originally posted by Darat
Many times the "I" that enables me to type this post is not "here", it is a transient experience. For instance I will do some gardening later on today and there will be times when my awareness of being anything will just fade away yet I will continue to weed, then there will periods were my” internal monologue me” is reactivated to deal with a stimulus e.g. I will consider something like "should I move this plant", then it will fade again as I go about "moving" the plant.
[/SIZE] I know the phenomonon well. I think it is something to be developed, kinda like perfect meditation. That is, just be... or more new agey - be the garden,man.

I've heard it also in reference to individuals who have lost some reasoning capacity, even as an accident of birth. Give them a task, like move this sandpile from here to there, and they will work all day tirelessly absorbed in the duty.

I've also wondered about it in reference to old cowboy movies where a guy runs his horse to death. That always seemed impossible to me. Like it would have to get tired and stop first. I've always hated running myself and can't imagine the marathon but surely long distance runners must have that same experience, eventually coming back aware after a few miles have past.

Anders
31st August 2004, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
It cannot be defined. Certainly it is not a physical process.
The problem is that you totally disregard all natural sciences. When I say that the brain and the neurons govern the consciousness, you say that I don’t understand. When I propose that all functions in the brain are electro chemical reactions carried out by proteins and ribozymes, you say that consciousness is supernatural. When I say that consciousness is comprehensible and explainable, you still say that consciousness is supernatural. You totally dismiss all the advances biochemistry researchers has done the last 100 years or so.

It has been show so many times that feelings are the product of proteins and signal substances.
You sometimes you say that consciousness and feelings are not the same thing. But you fail so explain how personality change after brain damage or the intakes of poisons like alcohol or narcotic substances.

Now you probably are going to call me a moron and say that I don’t understand. Well, I don’t. I have no way of grasping your theories about a supernatural consciousness, it is implied, supernatural is non explainable. So you are safe, home free, no one can explain a supernatural consciousness because if any one could if would be a science, which you argue it is not.

It becomes kind if a circle argumentation, you argue for a supernatural consciousness, but if we try to explain it, you say that it is supernatural, thus unexplainable, and hence we can’t explain it. Still, you win, and there is no why anyone can argue that.

But, the supernatural consciousness is an idea, just as the flat earth idea, nice idea but proven wrong. Consciousness is physical: take away the physical brain and you have no consciousness.

Dymanic
31st August 2004, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian

It cannot be defined. Certainly it is not a physical process.I agree. It's like... beauty.

Jeff Corey
31st August 2004, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
It cannot be defined. Certainly it is not a physical process.
Certainly you are wrong, as ever. It occurs in me and it is not a paranormal process, only a complete dullard would say that.
Good thing you have your job as a telephone desanitizer to keep you on the net, by the way, your website is still unintellible. Which I think is a good thing.

BillHoyt
1st September 2004, 04:37 AM
Originally posted by Atlas
Perhaps I'm just used to the idea but I'm not going to like it if I suddenly find out I'm not conscious.

How would anyone tell you?

H'ethetheth
1st September 2004, 05:04 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
It is a rubric under which many other things are attributed.


I am politely maintaining that that awareness is actualy many different processes which we define as 'awareness' but i feel there is no transubstantial self to be 'aware'. We might choose to label many different things as 'awareness' but they are still just a myriad of seperate things.

Isn't this a definition?
The self may be an illusion but an illusion is also something that exists, something that is 'real' in a way, which you then name 'self'. Does it matter whether or not it's "different processes"?

Yay, my first post!

Darat
1st September 2004, 05:13 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Isn't this a definition?
The self may be an illusion but an illusion is also something that exists, something that is 'real' in a way, which you then name 'self'. Does it matter whether or not it's "different processes"?

Yay, my first post!

Even if you are an unreal/not real/real/illusion, welcome to the board. :)

H'ethetheth
1st September 2004, 05:17 AM
Thanks. I'll try to keep it real.

Dymanic
1st September 2004, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth

The self may be an illusion but an illusion is also something that exists, something that is 'real' in a way, which you then name 'self'.
So... a thing can be considered to have consciousness if it is percieved as having consciousness. I've heard this idea before; it was called: 'the Turing test'. We needn't worry about the possibility of that perception being illusory, because even an illusion is real in a way.

Right?

We may be on to something here. Once such a consciousness (real or illusory, no meaningful distinction) came into existence, it could continue to exist as long as it percieved itself as existing (even if it was wrong). I've also heard this idea before: "I think, therefore I am", made even nicer (I think) by this slight modification: "I think I am, therefore I am... I think". The process could then be self-sustaining -- independent of physical reality since it didn't have to be 'real' in the first place. Reminiscent of the way electromagnetic energy propagates through empty space; a wave which can travel where there is no ocean, by becoming its own ocean as it goes.

This 'Midas touch' regarding self must come accompanied by an awesome responsibility; we may be unknowingly creating eternally conscious (though illusory) selves simply by percieving them as existing. Wow.

H'ethetheth
1st September 2004, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by Dymanic
So... a thing can be considered to have consciousness if it is percieved as having consciousness. I've heard this idea before; it was called: 'the Turing test'. We needn't worry about the possibility of that perception being illusory, because even an illusion is real in a way.

Right?

We may be on to something here. Once such a consciousness (real or illusory, no meaningful distinction) came into existence, it could continue to exist as long as it percieved itself as existing (even if it was wrong). I've also heard this idea before: "I think, therefore I am", made even nicer (I think) by this slight modification: "I think I am, therefore I am... I think". The process could then be self-sustaining -- independent of physical reality since it didn't have to be 'real' in the first place. Reminiscent of the way electromagnetic energy propagates through empty space; a wave which can travel where there is no ocean, by becoming its own ocean as it goes.

This 'Midas touch' regarding self must come accompanied by an awesome responsibility; we may be unknowingly creating eternally conscious (though illusory) selves simply by percieving them as existing. Wow.

hmmm, I'm not quite sure I understand this, in fact I'm not even sure if this post may be completely ironic, being new and all.

What I meant to say is, that when something is self-aware, it doesn't matter to this something wheter it's perception of itself is an illusion, resulting from an amount of processes, or some real perception of an inexplicable eternal soul that floats from party to party in the afterlife, or becomes an elderberry bush in another life.
So consciousness does not need a definition, it just needs to be explained.

Dancing David
1st September 2004, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Isn't this a definition?
The self may be an illusion but an illusion is also something that exists, something that is 'real' in a way, which you then name 'self'. Does it matter whether or not it's "different processes"?

Yay, my first post!

Welcome H'ethethheth.

In one sense no and in another sense yes.

If we recognise that there are a group of things that we call the slef, and understand that it is a heap of things, then okay, if we refer to a bunch of other things and call them consciousness and understand that they are really a bunch of different things , cool.
Just as we may refer to wind and air as the agregate action of atmosheric molecules.

Caveat: The self does not really exist from the evidence at hand, there is the body, the emotions, the thoughts, the perceptions and the habits and the memories. But I feel that there is no seer behind the sight, we have a sensation which becomes perception, we can then have thoughts and feelings and memories about the perception. But the self is really just all those things in a lump, there is no seer, thinker or feeler, there are the process but no self.

Same for the consciousness, many people want to ascribe it some mystical undefinable properties when it is a set of concrete processes.

H'ethetheth
1st September 2004, 11:06 AM
But is not the self then defined by the result of these processes? I see this merely as a problem of definition. I mean there is that which you call 'you', right?
This self-perceived self is then by definition the seer. Illusionary or not. So it seems convenient to speak of a seer in normal life because everybody has this perception af a self.

Dymanic
1st September 2004, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth

I'm not even sure if this post may be completely ironic, being new and all.
It's not always easy to tell about that around here, even after you've been here a while. It's a good idea to keep one eye on the irony meter at all times.
What I meant to say is, that when something is self-aware, it doesn't matter to this something wheter it's perception of itself is an illusion, resulting from an amount of processes, or some real perception of an inexplicable eternal soul that floats from party to party in the afterlife, or becomes an elderberry bush in another life.To some of those somethings, it appears to matter a lot (though probably more when they are here than when they are busy working, or doing laundry or whatever). I don't think it would feel any different, if that's what you mean.
So consciousness does not need a definition, it just needs to be explained.I was serious when I suggested a similarity between the concept 'consciousness' and the concept 'beauty'. As a concept it has utility; defining it is as simple as noting that it is completely subjective; explaining it is a fool's errand.

H'ethetheth
1st September 2004, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Dymanic

To some of those somethings, it appears to matter a lot (though probably more when they are here than when they are busy working, or doing laundry or whatever). I don't think it would feel any different, if that's what you mean.

I have noticed this on these boards. Come to think of it, this whole topic is probably a bait for this Ian I've been reading so much about. Alas he's already decided on the subject.

Anyway, my point is that it doesn't matter for the definition of consciousness. I just thought there was a lot of unnecessary side-tracking going on.

Originally posted by Dymanic
I was serious when I suggested a similarity between the concept 'consciousness' and the concept 'beauty'. As a concept it has utility; defining it is as simple as noting that it is completely subjective; explaining it is a fool's errand.

I agree completely.

So we can say that consciousness is that which allows something to perceive and contemplate itself and its surroundings to a certain extent.

And I think we can also safely say that we receive very little clarity from this definition, since even Interesting Ian, who adheres to undefinable consciousness, might agree with this definition. :D

Edited for punctuation & spelling

Dymanic
2nd September 2004, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth

And I think we can also safely say that we receive very little clarity from this definition, since even Interesting Ian, who adheres to undefinable consciousness, might agree with this definition
Odd, isn't it? We do seem to recieve more clarity from disagreeing. Seldom by virtue of anyone actually changing his position, though. You might expect that when two people with opposing viewpoints argue long enough and hard enough, one would eventually win the other over. Or perhaps they would reach a common middle ground. But this almost never happens. What happens instead is that they each become more deeply entrenched.

I sometimes worry that devoting too much time to this 'consciousness' business may cause my StarCraft skills to slip.

Dancing David
2nd September 2004, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
But is not the self then defined by the result of these processes? I see this merely as a problem of definition. I mean there is that which you call 'you', right?
This self-perceived self is then by definition the seer. Illusionary or not. So it seems convenient to speak of a seer in normal life because everybody has this perception af a self.

Absolutely I agree with that, we have the comonents of a self and the components of a consiousness.

Yet I feel that the distiction is still valid, there is a sight but no seer, unless you want to count the part of the frontal cortex that creates the visual image.

I am aimimng this mainly at the baggage associated with the idea of 'consciousness', such things as
-mysterious
-undefinable
-transcendant
-eternal
-immaterial

H'ethetheth
2nd September 2004, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Dancing David
Absolutely I agree with that, we have the comonents of a self and the components of a consiousness.

Yet I feel that the distiction is still valid, there is a sight but no seer, unless you want to count the part of the frontal cortex that creates the visual image.

I am aimimng this mainly at the baggage associated with the idea of 'consciousness', such things as
-mysterious
-undefinable
-transcendant
-eternal
-immaterial
I see what you mean, but my opinion is that this baggage is not all unscientific or religious.
I think that when you find out how all these processes work, the work is done (yay!), and the seer remains a working convention for that which results from the processes.
This seer would then hardly be mysterious, certainly not undefinable or eternal, but nevertheless immaterial.
(Okay, so it's mostly unscientific and religious)

Originally posted by Dymanic
I sometimes worry that devoting too much time to this 'consciousness' business may cause my StarCraft skills to slip.
I feel your pain.

Mr. E
4th September 2004, 11:09 AM
Hi. I realize I'm coming in late to this discussion. Here's my take on the matter of Consciousness.

To meaningfully say whether something exists, we should know what "exists" means. But I'd like to focus on another aspect of the issue.

There is a lot of vague talk about consciousness, and people tend to borrow it to talk about many things which are mysterious to them. Others use the term as a foil for prattling on in fun or distraction. But let's look at a serious angle here, an attempt to formalize such discussions a bit.

My starting point is to offer a definition which is

Clear,
Compact, and
Complex,

and which collects the essence of the term from common usage while perhaps avoiding the vague abuses which some attempt.

Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of sensation with awareness.

If you know vector math you might consider the cross-product, for a beginners analogy. If you know the common usage and muddled dictionary definitions which attempt to reflect and guide such usages, you will see some truth in this definition relative to those vague and ambiguous standards.

The definition says that without sensation, there is no consciousness even if there is awareness. And vice versa. Sure we could conflate awareness with consciousness in the special case of Zero Consciousness, but isn't that trivially silly? The different words are supposed to *mean* something, to help guide the mind to meaningful distinctions. The synonym trap should be obvious, and deftly avoided.

Let me add some meat to the spare bones here. After all, having unpacked 'consciousness' we need to give meaning to the terms used in its definition in order that it have more meaning. The first two key terms are 'sensation' and 'awareness'.

Let's consider these in a particular instantiation, or mode, of consciousness, the information theory aspect. In this view,

Sensation = becoming informed
Awareness = being informed

Neither of these definitive equations is a radical departure from common usage. For example: It is via knowing what we sense that we become informed of the world of sense perception.

So the information theory notion of consciousness can be restated as: Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of becoming with being.

Now we might be ready to examine the OP question of existence.

Any questions or comments first?


ME

Dymanic
4th September 2004, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E

I realize I'm coming in late to this discussionIf you make the first page, I don't think it really counts as late anyway -- unless you are referring to the ongoing discussion that takes place here in various threads. Hey, you get here when you get here. One of those threads set a forum record at 52 pages, and left some of us a little numb for a while, but it seems to be wearing off. But never mind about that. Welcome to the forum!

Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of sensation with awareness.
I hope you will forgive my saying so, but that really doesn't seem to shine much light.
If you know vector math you might consider the cross-product, for a beginners analogy.Yeah, you definitely want to stick with the beginners analogy wherever possible. Some of us are just as dumb as dirt when it comes to this stuff.
Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of becoming with being.
Can you clarify that a little? I don't see how it follows from what you said above (probably no big surprise, since I don't have a clue what it means).

Mr. E
4th September 2004, 02:39 PM
Hi. Glad to know my post was noted. I was hoping for serious engagement of my ideas and their expressions. I'm not clear on how this quoting function works, so bear with me if the format is a bit rocky.

Originally posted by Dymanic
"Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of sensation with awareness."
I hope you will forgive my saying so, but that really doesn't seem to shine much light.

Well, before I spew out more dim text strings, it would help to know if you find it dim because it seems to go over your head or under your knees. That is, I don't know what your standards are, and don't have time to research your posting history. Someone might find it dim because they are relatively blind, another might have already been there and therefore finds it almost trivial. How I proceed might well be rather different for the two cases, don't you agree? If you find it without any merit, I apologize for wasting your time.


Yeah, you definitely want to stick with the beginners analogy wherever possible. Some of us are just as dumb as dirt when it comes to this stuff.

I don't know whether that's sarcasm or something else. Some people are more hip to math than others, so I don't want to make complex numbers the starting point here. Could you please show your understanding of the analogy so I could figure out how to try to shine more light your way? Thanks.

"[in the context of information theory] Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of becoming with being."


Can you clarify that a little? I don't see how it follows from what you said above (probably no big surprise, since I don't have a clue what it means).

How it follows:

General case: C = S x A

Particular case (Information):

S = I(becoming), A = I(being)

Therefore Ci = I(becoming) x I(being), or since the context is known explicity, simplifying to C = becoming x being.


It means that we have a complex, compact, clear definition of one aspect of the state of being conscious - being concious is a matter of both being and becoming! It's hardly the end in itself, merely a stepping stone.


ME

H'ethetheth
4th September 2004, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
[...]My starting point is to offer a definition which is

Clear,
Compact, and
Complex,

and which collects the essence of the term from common usage while perhaps avoiding the vague abuses which some attempt. [...]

Yeah, I have a comment on the vagueness issue. This to me is the first post in the thread I almost completely didn't understand.
I guess I'm stuck with about the same questions as Dymanic though, so I'll stick with those.

H'ethetheth
4th September 2004, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
...]How it follows:

General case: C = S x A

Particular case (Information):

S = I(becoming), A = I(being)

Therefore Ci = I(becoming) x I(being), or since the context is known explicity, simplifying to C = becoming x being.


It means that we have a complex, compact, clear definition of one aspect of the state of being conscious - being concious is a matter of both being and becoming! It's hardly the end in itself, merely a stepping stone.


ME

Did you just premultiply the vector product of two analogies with the inverse of information, and draw a conclusion pertaining to the real world?
Sir, I accuse you of being ironic.

Mr. E
4th September 2004, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Did you just premultiply the vector product of two analogies with the inverse of information, and draw a conclusion pertaining to the real world?
Sir, I accuse you of being ironic.

If said accusation is offered inclusively, I'll take that as a friendly welcome of some obscure sort. There is room for playful irony in my notions, but if you don't mind, can we err on the side of being serious here about the topic? Also, I note that irony seen is often in the eye of the beholder... and thus more illusory than "real".

As for the overt question, since we are both following Dynamic's lead here (you per your other recent post), would you mind showing us how your questioning inference followed from what you quoted? While I might have some clues about what it means to you, the obvious terminlogical differences cry out for justification. I thought I had taken a particular aspect of a general matter and elaborated the semi-formal structure of the linguistic transformations I had previously presented.



Thanks!


ME

BillHoyt
4th September 2004, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Hi. Glad to know my post was noted. I was hoping for serious engagement of my ideas and their expressions. I'm not clear on how this quoting function works, so bear with me if the format is a bit rocky.



Well, before I spew out more dim text strings, it would help to know if you find it dim because it seems to go over your head or under your knees. That is, I don't know what your standards are, and don't have time to research your posting history. Someone might find it dim because they are relatively blind, another might have already been there and therefore finds it almost trivial. How I proceed might well be rather different for the two cases, don't you agree? If you find it without any merit, I apologize for wasting your time.



I don't know whether that's sarcasm or something else. Some people are more hip to math than others, so I don't want to make complex numbers the starting point here. Could you please show your understanding of the analogy so I could figure out how to try to shine more light your way? Thanks.

"[in the context of information theory] Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of becoming with being."



How it follows:

General case: C = S x A

Particular case (Information):

S = I(becoming), A = I(being)

Therefore Ci = I(becoming) x I(being), or since the context is known explicity, simplifying to C = becoming x being.


It means that we have a complex, compact, clear definition of one aspect of the state of being conscious - being concious is a matter of both being and becoming! It's hardly the end in itself, merely a stepping stone.


ME

Okay, I'll be the first one to call it. "Mystery," go play games elsewhere and don't waste our time with pure bullsh.

Dymanic
4th September 2004, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E

Someone might find it dim because they are relatively blind, another might have already been there and therefore finds it ["Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of sensation with awareness"] almost trivial.Since I can't seem to find the actual content of the statement, I can't evaluate it one way or the other.
If you find it without any merit, I apologize for wasting your time.Don't worry about it, really. That horse was out of the barn the moment I first chose to click on the thread, I'm afraid. I don't know why I do it.
I don't want to make complex numbers the starting point hereI'm with you there. I think you've put your finger right on the problem: finding a good starting point. This obviously isn't the first time you've given this subject any thought, and I feel like I got dumped right into the middle somewhere. Tortured discussions have led some of us here to conclude (as suggested several places above) that this question is unresolvable, but not worth resolving anyway. Fresh approaches really are welcomed here, even if some of us could maybe work on how we do that. If you really do have a fresh approach (and so far, that at least looks promising) maybe you should start somewhere closer to your axioms.

Just thinking
4th September 2004, 10:20 PM
OK, I'm a bit late in coming on board, but I'll take a stab at it.

As mamals, we have the ability to perceive things very acutely. We can study movement, shape, and a host of other properties. But we, unlike any other animal that I can think of, have the ability to perceive that we are perceiving. This gives us a third person's point-of-view towards ourselves. This ability gives rise (in my opinion) to what we define as consciousness; nothing more that a higher level of brain activity of something we (and other animals) already posess. In reflecting this perception back on ourselves we not only see a house as being a house (such as an animal may look upon it as its home, and head towards it) but we understand that we are looking at a house. We perceive that we are perceiving it.

I know, it gets very clumsy with the wording, but I think it's nothing new to anyone that the brain has different levels of awareness. On the totally subconscious level the brain is processing information it perceives via the body so that it can properly control the heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature, etc. We are certainly not always aware of these perceptions. On some higher level of perception, the brain processes visual and aural information, but this would make only minimal sense to us without the highest level of perception. The ability to realize (or perceive) that we are processing this information; the ability to not just recognize sounds or images when we again see them, but to realize that we are hearing/seeing them, and then use them as symbols for speach, music and language.

This may be all consciousness is, the ability to perceive ourselves.

H'ethetheth
5th September 2004, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
If said accusation is offered inclusively, I'll take that as a friendly welcome of some obscure sort. There is room for playful irony in my notions, but if you don't mind, can we err on the side of being serious here about the topic? Also, I note that irony seen is often in the eye of the beholder... and thus more illusory than "real".

As for the overt question, since we are both following Dynamic's lead here (you per your other recent post), would you mind showing us how your questioning inference followed from what you quoted? While I might have some clues about what it means to you, the obvious terminlogical differences cry out for justification. I thought I had taken a particular aspect of a general matter and elaborated the semi-formal structure of the linguistic transformations I had previously presented.



Thanks!


ME

Okay, here goes. It was getting late last night so I didn't quite see what you did there but it is to my amazament even stranger than I thought, and apparently not ironical.

Anyway, as I see now, you've got that first equation which says consciousness is the vector product of sensation and awareness.
This already is an analogy that does not clarify anything to me, but you might persuade me.
Then you go on using some information operator on the whole equation, stating that the information-transformed of consciousness (Ci) equals the vector product of being informed and becoming informed, which clarifies even less for me.
Then with some mystery transformation, that I mislabeled multiplication, you end up with condsciousness again. This would mean that you have just back-transformed it to the initial equation, but in stead it now equals the vector product of becoming and being. But of course, this is allowed, since "the context is known explicitly".

You might ask: "Where is this going, dear H'ethetheth?" to which I'd say:"Nowhere, that's where."

The point is, you can use an analogy from math, or physics or whatever, as long as it clarifies your statement a great deal. An you certainly can not calculate things from an analogy.

regards,

H'ethetheth

Edited to correct spelling

Mr. E
5th September 2004, 02:26 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Okay, I'll be the first one to call it. "Mystery," go play games elsewhere and don't waste our time with pure bullsh.

Hi Bill. Was that necessary? Perhaps my reply which caught your attention was overly wordy, but I'm aiming for formality for at least two reasons.


ME

Mr. E
5th September 2004, 03:03 AM
Originally posted by Dymanic
Since I can't seem to find the actual content of the statement, I can't evaluate it one way or the other.
[...] I feel like I got dumped right into the middle somewhere. Tortured discussions have led some of us here to conclude (as suggested several places above) that this question is unresolvable, but not worth resolving anyway. Fresh approaches really are welcomed here, even if some of us could maybe work on how we do that. If you really do have a fresh approach (and so far, that at least looks promising) maybe you should start somewhere closer to your axioms.

I'm not sure about 'actual content' as you use it but formal structures often seem to lack content at first glance. The actuality of consciousness seems to me to be found in both the Becoming aspect and the synthesis aspect. How consciousness relates to will is something I can't yet express well (so I'm putting it off for the time being). Besides that, my first post attempted to give some measure of meaning to the definition, so taking one sentence out of context might be part of what leaves it lacking in content. You said that it didn't have much "light", so I asked how much it did have for you. While I recognize 'light' jokes in the context of consciousness, I tried to take your question seriously, too.

I'm quite open to the possibility that this is a total waste of time ("not worth resolving anyway") but I don't start with that preference nor that assumption. At the very least it's exercise of the mind (and typing practice!) for me and maybe others.

As for axioms, I don't have a specific formal axiomatic system worked out. I start with language, common usage, and attempt to refine my vocabulary so that I can become confident of what the heck I'm saying whether or not other people immediately get it. I find that vocabulary refinement has a corollary effect on concepts too. That definition (re 'consciousness') is one result of my practice which I thought to share here.

I was asked to explain how I got from Sensation x Awareness to Being x Becoming. Did my symbolic attempt help at all, or maybe... the request was a red herring?

Maybe my "axioms" would be something like:

Reality is synthetic.
Being and Becoming are handy basis elements to start with.
Clarity is valuable.
The world is complex.

ME

Mr. E
5th September 2004, 03:13 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
You might ask: "Where is this going, dear H'ethetheth?" to which I'd say:"Nowhere, that's where."

The point is, you can use an analogy from math, or physics or whatever, as long as it clarifies your statement a great deal. An you certainly can not calculate things from an analogy.


Well, this seems to be getting a bit off topic, but... Can one calculate things to an analogy? Can one make "hyper-calculations" from/on an analogy? Why/not? Did you mean cannot?

I'll take your comments as feedback that the analogy didn't work for you. But I don't know whether to infer that the statement was pretty darn clear by itself (it is at least modestly clear to me but that's not the point) [and thus the analogy was not needed], or by contrast whether the whole notion of Synthetic Consciousness is practically opaque as presented [and thus the analogy is not nearly enough].


ME

Jeff Corey
5th September 2004, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
...Maybe my "axioms" would be something like:

Reality is synthetic.
Being and Becoming are handy basis elements to start with.
Clarity is valuable.
The world is complex.

ME
That sure didn't clarify things for me.
Why is reality synthetic? Sounds like an oxymoron.
What is "Becoming" and why is it capitalized?
Clarity would be valuable, if it were.

H'ethetheth
5th September 2004, 06:09 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Well, this seems to be getting a bit off topic, but... Can one calculate things to an analogy? Can one make "hyper-calculations" from/on an analogy? Why/not? Did you mean cannot?

I'll take your comments as feedback that the analogy didn't work for you. But I don't know whether to infer that the statement was pretty darn clear by itself (it is at least modestly clear to me but that's not the point) [and thus the analogy was not needed], or by contrast whether the whole notion of Synthetic Consciousness is practically opaque as presented [and thus the analogy is not nearly enough].


ME

You've taken my comments the right way then. =)

What I'm driving at about the analogy business is twofold.
First of all an analogy should be simpler to grasp than the original issue. Something to the effect of: "consciousness is like anuses, everybody's got one"
I.e. something that appeals to a wider range of people and of experience. So from the world of language, which is widely shared, you take the problem to the world of vector calculus, which appeals to a very much narrower public.
Secondly you calculate, and conclude something by this analogy, and assume that language or psychology works like vector calculus. Which would be in my previous analogy: Activities of the anus generally concern things that pass through it, therefore consciousness generally concerns things that pass through it. The outcome may be true, but the argument is complete bunk.

So try to find an analogy that doesn't concern math, but appeals to me in a direct way, and I will try to understand.

BillHoyt
5th September 2004, 06:20 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Hi Bill. Was that necessary? Perhaps my reply which caught your attention was overly wordy, but I'm aiming for formality for at least two reasons.


ME

Yeah, it was, "Mystery." You're spouting crank oil, here. Let's first disabuse you of your "false erudition" notion that you've got anything that can be called "formal" in this pap. How arrogant, you sot. I'll help you spell out the two reasons for your "formality" in an equally "formal" and equally "mathematical" fashion.

U = IQ( Roasted Peanut)

You do the "math."

Either grow up or go away, netcompoop.

BillHoyt
5th September 2004, 06:34 AM
Do tell us, Mystery, all about the vector terms in your cross product:

o What is the meaning of length for these particular vectors?

o What is the meaning of direction for these particular vectors?

o If consciousness is the cross product, then what is the dot product?

o Why?

o What is the basis set here?

o Is it an orthogonal basis set? Why or why not?

o Is it a linearly independent basis set?

o If not, what is the meaning on the non-independence for this basis set?

o Please show us the basis set and how it can be Gramm-Schmidt orthogonalized.

BillHoyt
5th September 2004, 06:37 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
"hyper-calculations"

I just go orgasmic when you whisper that pseudocrankjargon in my ear. "Hypercalculation." Oooo, that tickles. Tee hee hee.

H'ethetheth
5th September 2004, 06:44 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
I just go orgasmic when you whisper that pseudocrankjargon in my ear. "Hypercalculation." Oooo, that tickles. Tee hee hee.

Now now, let's hear him out on either an analogy involving obscene bodily functions or vector calculus, and then burn him. ;)

BillHoyt
5th September 2004, 06:57 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Now now, let's hear him out on either an analogy involving obscene bodily functions or vector calculus, and then burn him. ;)

How about obscenely bodacious abuse of vector math? (By the way, this netwit has not gone into vector calculus yet. It would be intriguing to watch the contorted effort that would surely result.)

Mr. E
5th September 2004, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Either grow up or go away, netcompoop.


Hi Bill. Thanks for making your preference for vulgar humor crystal clear to me quickly. It's trivially easy to make fun of ones own (mis)conceptions, but I frankly don't see the serious aspect of your posts in this subthread on the topic nor do I see quality critical thinking evident in your replies to me. For instance, I offered an optional math-based analogy. Hey dude, it's an analogy, don't go nuts treating it as anything else! I said I was aiming for formality, and you get a big laugh by ignoring the "aiming for" part. And so on. Whatever. Have a fun day!

Maybe it's my lack that I can't see the serious side of your posts here, so don't take it personally please. They only look like trivial distractions to me, but I didn't want to rudely ignore them from the outset.


ME

Mr. E
5th September 2004, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
You've taken my comments the right way then. =)
[...] So try to find an analogy that doesn't concern math, but appeals to me in a direct way, and I will try to understand.

I'll keep that in mind, thanks.

As for "garbage in, garbage out" and the like I don't have a problem with that notion in general but offer in response, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", something I already suggested.

As for analogies, I'd rather stick with the core idea that 'consciousness' be understood synthetically at this time, and to continue with the notion that sensation and awareness be taken not as relatively synonymous as they often seem to be, but to be taken as relatively complementary.


ME

H'ethetheth
5th September 2004, 01:26 PM
Well, on with the synthesis then.

What does systhesis of consciousness imply?

How is your final definition of consciousness any different from the several definitions already proposed? In fact, what is your definition in plain English? Keep in mind that I'm not a native speaker, so keep it simple.

e.g. my own (cough) proposal was : [...]consciousness is that which allows something to perceive and contemplate itself and its surroundings to a certain extent.

When you say: "synthesis of being and becoming" do you mean being and becoming in the general sense?
If so, or not so: What does that mean, and why did you choose to use it that way?

I don't think I ever thought of awareness and sensation as synonyms, why do you think many people do? quote if you have to.

These are just some of the questions I have when I try to understand your argument. So I guess you know at what level of confusion I find myself.
And let's keep away from analogies for a while, just to be on the safe side.
And finally: I in fact agree with most things BillyHoyt has said, but being new to these boards I still have a lot of patience, which, I could imagine, would wear off after a certain amount of bunk.
Then again, you might not want to spend too much time on these forums either, due to the decline of Starcraft skills mentioned elsewhere.

Mr. E
5th September 2004, 01:38 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reality is synthetic.
Being and Becoming are handy basis elements to start with.
Clarity is valuable.
The world is complex.

ME
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Jeff Corey
That sure didn't clarify things for me.
Why is reality synthetic? Sounds like an oxymoron.
What is "Becoming" and why is it capitalized?
Clarity would be valuable, if it were.

Hi Jeff.

Reality is synthetic because that's the way it works for me. Apparent oxymorons might be resolvable paradoxes in disguise. What is your concept of reality which suggests the notion is oxymoronic?

Becoming is a handy basis element; 'Becoming' is a noun in my vocabulary. It's complementary to Being. I didn't have much luck with my previous attempt at analogy, but let me offer a notion of the world as a double helix, with Being and Becoming wrapping around each other as time passes. The analogy isn't meant formally as a definition, only as something to think about in context. Things are and things change.

It's one of the "axioms" that Clarity is valuable. You may take it or leave it at that - if you don't accept it your thinking contributes as that of an outsider.

The point here is to try to get at a definition of consciousness which addresses the question of whether (and perhaps how) consciousness exists, per the Original Post. While I'm not against divulging more of my related thinking, I'd prefer not to go far off on tangents in that process.


ME

H'ethetheth
5th September 2004, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
[...] Becoming is a handy basis element; 'Becoming' is a noun in my vocabulary. It's complementary to Being. I didn't have much luck with my previous attempt at analogy, but let me offer a notion of the world [...]

I'd prefer not to go far off on tangents in that process.


Hmmm, can't help it, but every time you say something that appears to convey some of your thoughts I find myself not having a clue to what it is you want to argue.
However, superficially I'd say that being and becoming need 'having been' as a complement for the world, regardless of what they have to do with consciousness. But that's all beside the point.

And this new analogy is as informative to me as the last one. So please, explain it to me like you would explain it to a three year old with an extraordinary interest in philosophy.

Mr. E
5th September 2004, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Well, on with the synthesis then.

What does systhesis of consciousness imply?

How is your final definition of consciousness any different from the several definitions already proposed? In fact, what is your definition in plain English? Keep in mind that I'm not a native speaker, so keep it simple.

e.g. my own (cough) proposal was : [...]consciousness is that which allows something to perceive and contemplate itself and its surroundings to a certain extent.

When you say: "synthesis of being and becoming" do you mean being and becoming in the general sense?
If so, or not so: What does that mean, and why did you choose to use it that way?

I don't think I ever thought of awareness and sensation as synonyms, why do you think many people do? quote if you have to.

You mean Starcraft the game? I don't work for Starcraft. Is this an "in joke" of some kind?

re RFQ: I recall reading in this thread something like

"sensation = awareness of body"

and I've seen similar constructions elsewhere. That could be taken to make sensation a particular subset of awareness in general. But then you simply end up with a pointless recursive understanding, a sort of Ouroborous swallowing its own tail...

re Being x Becoming: I meant that Awareness is a matter of being informed (traditional usage) and Sensation is a matter of becoming informed, as I thought I stated. It is via the senses that we might learn of the world, become informed of it. So while that isn't quite a traditional usage, I find it works well. I'm aiming for clear distinctions which border on but do not cross into the line of failed dichotomies. I also allow for other meanings of those two terms, but let's not muddy the waters here just yet.

re your own proposal: I don't see any important and necessary contradiction between yours and mine, but I value mine more! :-) I find yours vague, informal, and indirect, no offense intended. How do you think your definition helps deal with the OP topic? (I may have missed your initial post here in my enthusiasm to post my own ideas. Got link?)

What is your native language? You use of English seems flawless to me.

re "different": I value clarity and compact complex definitions, that's one thing my notion might offer which I don't find immediately in other proposals. It's also manifestly different as a definition just by examing the terms!

re "sy[n]sthesis of consciousness": I don't quite know what you are asking. Synthesis of consciousness with what? Which synthesis within consciousness? My definition implies that consciousness is synthetic, that the "existence" of consciousness in the world relies on bringing together two complementary factors. It implies that consciousness is not something which has an independent and real "existence" of it's own, as tho' it were some undefinable necessity of the Universe. But it does not rule out the possibility that consciousness does exist.

What follows for you, from your definition, in this context?


ME

H'ethetheth
5th September 2004, 02:45 PM
I'm going to sleep on this for a night. See if I understand it tomorrow.

Don't worry about the starcraft thing. It was something Dymanic mentioned somewhere up in this thread.
By the way, I'm dutch.

Dymanic
5th September 2004, 03:55 PM
Suppose a child is born deviod of all senses; he has no sight, no hearing, no touch, no smell, no taste -- nothing. There's no way whatsoever for him to recieve any sensations from the outside world. And suppose this child is fed intravenously and otherwise attended to and kept alive for eighteen years in this state of existence.

Does he have thoughts? Is he conscious?

Mr. E
5th September 2004, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Dymanic
Suppose a child is born deviod of all senses; he has no sight, no hearing, no touch, no smell, no taste -- nothing. There's no way whatsoever for him to recieve any sensations from the outside world. And suppose this child is fed intravenously and otherwise attended to and kept alive for eighteen years in this state of existence.

Does he have thoughts? Is he conscious?


By my definition: If this unhuman creature has a conscience, then it could be minimally sensate tho' it wouldn't likely have any objects of consciousness to stimulate its conscience. If there is such a thing as genetic memory, that is that people are born with minimal memories which are implanted genetically, perhaps like a kernel (in contrast to the "tabula rasa" notion), then there might be at least minimal grounds for awareness, tho' again not objects of consciousness in the usual sense/terms.

But I have no way of establishing that there is any meaningful synthesis of the two going on, so I'd be inclined to say it is not conscious.


Why the 18 year limit? 14 or so is a traditional "moral agent" deadline in many cases.


ME

Jeff Corey
5th September 2004, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
quote:Becoming is a handy basis element; 'Becoming' is a noun in my vocabulary. It's complementary to Being. IME
Oh no, now "being" is capitalized. I hate when that happens, because someone usually is trying to reify the unreifiable.
You still haven't defined "Becoming".
Please define these terms or I will have to larsen you. Either that or the comfy chair.

Dymanic
5th September 2004, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E

If this unhuman creature has a conscience, then it could be minimally sensate tho' it wouldn't likely have any objects of consciousness to stimulate its conscience.
I'm sorry. Was that a "Yes" or a "No"?
If there is such a thing as genetic memory, [...] then there might be at least minimal grounds for awareness, tho' again not objects of consciousness in the usual sense/terms.
That answer also seems somewhat... tangential. I think how you answer this is important. It's a tricky question, but it's not a trick question.

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by Dymanic
I'm sorry. Was that a "Yes" or a "No"?

That answer also seems somewhat... tangential. I think how you answer this is important. It's a tricky question, but it's not a trick question.

That question seems rather ... obtuse. I have no idea what importance it or a black vs. white answer has for you, based on its placement.

It looks as if you didn't read the whole post, and maybe are misreading what you did quote but it's late here and I don't see the value in rambling further without more clues from you. Here's a part of my post you seem to have missed entirely:

"But I have no way of establishing that there is any meaningful synthesis of the two going on, so I'd be inclined to say it is not conscious."

I look forward to your entertaining and enlightening discussion of the important question and it's possible answers!


ME

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 01:07 AM
Originally posted by Jeff Corey
Oh no, now "being" is capitalized. I hate when that happens, because someone usually is trying to reify the unreifiable.
You still haven't defined "Becoming".
Please define these terms or I will have to larsen you. Either that or the comfy chair.
Why hate it here? Maybe it's emphasis, more than hocus pocus. Please explain your fears in some detail. And cut out the threats, they aren't coming across funny.

Checking my handy dictionary, I don't find anything notably problematic about any of the entries, nor at odds with a reasonable reading of my posts:

"to become: to grow or come to be"
"becoming: To pass from one state to another; to enter into some state or condition, by a change from another state, or by assuming or receiving new properties or qualities, additional matter, or a new character."

Is this fun for you? It seems tedious to me.


ME

Eleatic Stranger
6th September 2004, 04:09 AM
Mr E -

Those definitions are fairly standard, and are clearly defining "Become" as a verb, yet you said you took it as a noun. What sense can you make of "becoming" as a noun? Is it a transitive noun?

BillHoyt
6th September 2004, 04:25 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Hi Bill. Thanks for making your preference for vulgar humor crystal clear to me quickly. It's trivially easy to make fun of ones own (mis)conceptions, but I frankly don't see the serious aspect of your posts in this subthread on the topic nor do I see quality critical thinking evident in your replies to me. For instance, I offered an optional math-based analogy. Hey dude, it's an analogy, don't go nuts treating it as anything else! I said I was aiming for formality, and you get a big laugh by ignoring the "aiming for" part. And so on. Whatever. Have a fun day!

Maybe it's my lack that I can't see the serious side of your posts here, so don't take it personally please. They only look like trivial distractions to me, but I didn't want to rudely ignore them from the outset.


ME

Really, mystery? Ah, but you see, I just tested your mettle. You failed. Here is how it worked. I posted several posts, one of which with important questions that penetrated your total lack of understanding, the others being opportunities for you to evade the questions. You chose to evade the questions. Quel surprise!

So now I'll repeat the post you ignored. But now that you failed the test, I want answers:

"Do tell us, Mystery, all about the vector terms in your cross product:

o What is the meaning of length for these particular vectors?

o What is the meaning of direction for these particular vectors?

o If consciousness is the cross product, then what is the dot product?

o Why?

o What is the basis set here?

o Is it an orthogonal basis set? Why or why not?

o Is it a linearly independent basis set?

o If not, what is the meaning on the non-independence for this basis set?

o Please show us the basis set and how it can be Gramm-Schmidt orthogonalized."

H'ethetheth
6th September 2004, 05:02 AM
Mr. E,

I think I sort of understand what you're saying, but I might still be wrong so feel free to correct me on your standpoints. (of course in simple wording like below)

Are you saying that consciousness is the product (no I don't mean mathematically) of information that has been stored and information that is coming in?
If this is what you're saying, you could have done without that great ball of crap you wrapped it in ;)
If not, then please make forth with the explaining business.

And this definition doesn't seem to adress any kind of self-perception.

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by Eleatic Stranger
Mr E -

Those definitions are fairly standard, and are clearly defining "Become" as a verb, yet you said you took it as a noun. What sense can you make of "becoming" as a noun? Is it a transitive noun?
I don't recall refering to "Become" explicitly as a noun, --"yet you said you took it as a noun"? "Becoming" is generally considerd a gerund form of 'to become'... But I could have said simply 'term' at that point, as your post points out. Sorry for any confusion and thanks for the chance to clarify.

As an aside: There is a perhaps metaphorical sense of movement to becoming, at least in my intuition, but it might better be called "transformative" than merely "transitive". When one becomes informed, any what we might call "knowledge structures" or perhaps simply "knowledge" evolve(s) in response - ie., memory is modified. While human memory may be medically and practically distinguishable at least into short and long term memory (interesting film - Memento), the general principle seems correct.


ME

Dymanic
6th September 2004, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E

Here's a part of my post you seem to have missed entirely:

"But I have no way of establishing that there is any meaningful synthesis of the two going on, so I'd be inclined to say it is not conscious."

You seemed to be kind of working things through there. Your answer(s) appear cautious; deliberately vague; as though you were afraid of answering incorrectly. It's not hard to see why you might be feeling a bit defensive at this point. The chances of this discussion being of any value were slim to begin with, and they seem to be getting worse rather than better. Maybe you'd like to ponder this privately, and we can get back together on it some other time. It looks like you're going to have your hands full addressing Bill's challenge anyway.

I have no idea what importance it or a black vs. white answer has for you, based on its placement.That sensation and awareness may be regarded as two serarate things appears to be axiomatic for you. I'm suggesting that you examine that more closely.

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
...Are you saying that consciousness is the product (no I don't mean mathematically) of information that has been stored and information that is coming in?
If this is what you're saying, you could have done without that great ball of crap you wrapped it in ;)
If not, then please make forth with the explaining business.

And this definition doesn't seem to adress any kind of self-perception.

2nd item first: Not all consciousness is self-consciousness. What kind of addressing do you think is warranted which hasn't been mentioned explicitly in my posts? In my experience there is a pathology called "self-consciousness" and in my notion there is room for "self-awareness". Is that enough?

1st item: No I am not saying that, tho' that is a casual approximation which might fly for a bit. In terms of information theory, your interpretation is plausible. What is "product", that is, how do you mean it since your reject the math analogy? Consciousness isn't just about information, imnsho. :-) Also, for me, 'information' doesn't "come in" except in a casual if widely used sense - we might say, in my view, that information is the act of being becoming informed but that might be tricky to parse correctly.

0th item: Like I said before, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". If it looks like crap, that doesn't make it crap except if one has crap for brains or crap in mind (looking too hard for vulgarity?)! :-)


ME

PS - Did you post more about your notion somewhere else - I'm interested in reading about how your definition resolves the challenge of existence. And is Dutch your native language?

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by Dymanic
You seemed to be kind of working things through there. Your answer(s) appear cautious; deliberately vague; as though you were afraid of answering incorrectly. It's not hard to see why you might be feeling a bit defensive at this point. The chances of this discussion being of any value were slim to begin with, and they seem to be getting worse rather than better. Maybe you'd like to ponder this privately, and we can get back together on it some other time. It looks like you're going to have your hands full addressing Bill's challenge anyway.

That sensation and awareness may be regarded as two serarate things appears to be axiomatic for you. I'm suggesting that you examine that more closely.

1st things first: LOL! I'm not interested in Bill's offensive vulgarity. Was there some other pertinent "challenge" it offered?

Why do you want to make this about me, personally? Would you rather that I be more offensive at this point? Are you projecting defensiveness of your own onto me? I ask this because you still have avoided dealing directly with my challenge to your early comment about my notion being "dim" (lacking in light).

I proposed a definition. If you want to call my replies to posts about my definition a "defense", well... it seems pointless but, whatever. If nuance = deliberately vague, fine, whatever, that reply to you WAS nuanced and I'd ask you to read it again as such.

2nd item: Uh, perhaps you are kind to be thinking of my welfare, but really, I don't get it. My definition calls for *you* (everyone here) to consider them as two "serarate things". Empty denial/rejection is neither evidence of critical thinking nor productive to discussion on topic. May I in return respectfully suggest that you follow the flip side of your own advice, privately or publicly?

Does a coin have two "serarate" sides?


ME

Dancing David
6th September 2004, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E

As for analogies, I'd rather stick with the core idea that 'consciousness' be understood synthetically at this time, and to continue with the notion that sensation and awareness be taken not as relatively synonymous as they often seem to be, but to be taken as relatively complementary.


ME

The point i am trying to make is that there is no awareness, there are a bunch of other things that we call awareness.

I see a red apple,
-the sensation of the colors and form.
-the perception of the apple
-thoughts about the apple
-memories about apples
-memories about colors and forms and perceptions

But no where is there a little me that is 'aware' of the apple, just a series of discrete events.

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Really, mystery? Ah, but you see, I just tested your mettle. You failed.

Okay, in your estimation "I failed" some test you cooked up in secret for yourself, if it makes you feel good. I can live with that in this context. BTW - do you think it's funny to keep writing "mystery" in such contexts? There ARE higher forms of humor availabe... and this is not a quiz show last I checked, rather a discussion forum.

It seems you are interested in emulations of human internal behavior (eg., modern computers running pixel processing software and the like) rather than trying to talk about consciousness itself. Synthetic Consciousness won't run on any extant computer I know of except in weak emulation mode. While Supposition Fields might be required for Synthetic Consciousness, it seems a bit arcane to just jump into that aspect here even if you are not just interested in emulations.

Maybe you have some hardware advances to share with us which will help with topic of this thread, the existence of consciousness?


ME

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
The point i am trying to make is that there is no awareness, there are a bunch of other things that we call awareness.

I see a red apple,
-the sensation of the colors and form.
-the perception of the apple
-thoughts about the apple
-memories about apples
-memories about colors and forms and perceptions

But no where is there a little me that is 'aware' of the apple, just a series of discrete events.

Good to hear from you.

Your post as I read it seems to confuse awareness with consciousness, the latter being the original topic.

You admit activated memories, but deny awareness. What is awarness if it isn't largely a matter of being informed, having memories, whether active or latent?

Discrete? What fills the gaps between "them"?

I think what you are getting at is the rejection of the notion of a little person inside the person, a "homunculus". If so, I'm pretty much okay with that (but not 100.00000%). I'm not arguing against that point. But I don't get that those things are entirely separable from each other in practice. You make it sound as if the items you list are pieces in a jigsaw puzzle each of which exists independently, discretely, of the others. Is that how you meant "discrete"?


ME

H'ethetheth
6th September 2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
2nd item first: Not all consciousness is self-consciousness. What kind of addressing do you think is warranted which hasn't been mentioned explicitly in my posts? In my experience there is a pathology called "self-consciousness" and in my notion there is room for "self-awareness". Is that enough?

1st item: No I am not saying that, tho' that is a casual approximation which might fly for a bit. In terms of information theory, your interpretation is plausible. What is "product", that is, how do you mean it since your reject the math analogy? Consciousness isn't just about information, imnsho. :-) Also, for me, 'information' doesn't "come in" except in a casual if widely used sense - we might say, in my view, that information is the act of being becoming informed but that might be tricky to parse correctly.

0th item: Like I said before, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". If it looks like crap, that doesn't make it crap except if one has crap for brains or crap in mind (looking too hard for vulgarity?)! :-)


ME

PS - Did you post more about your notion somewhere else - I'm interested in reading about how your definition resolves the challenge of existence. And is Dutch your native language?

I personally am allways looking for vulgarity, it is to me as sweet as the scent of roses. Which brings me to the following point.
You speak somewhat derisively about informal use of language in this case. But in my opinion, complicated language does not increase the authority or clarity of that which is said, if anything, it clouds the facts and provides a lot of food for discussion about unimportant matter that is far beside the argument.
For me, and the three year old, it's better if you first formulate your thoughts as "a casual approximation which might fly for a bit." and then, when people start poking holes in it, you go on to fortify your theory with smart arguments.
Yet this is not what I observe in this discussion, and I know I am not the only one here who was confused. Take BillyHoyt, he's still wrestling with your first analogy, he hasn't even started on the double helix nonsense.
But luckily I also see that with the help of your last few posts, I'm getting there, which is nice.

On the P.S.-es: I can't answer that question yet as I don't know what you mean by the "challenge of existence". The existence of what?
And my native language is indeed Dutch.

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
I personally am allways looking for vulgarity, it is to me as sweet as the scent of roses. Which brings me to the following point.
You speak somewhat derisively about informal use of language in this case. But in my opinion, complicated language does not increase the authority or clarity of that which is said, if anything, it clouds the facts and provides a lot of food for discussion about unimportant matter that is far beside the argument.
For me, and the three year old, it's better if you first formulate your thoughts as "a casual approximation which might fly for a bit." and then, when people start poking holes in it, you go on to fortify your theory with smart arguments.
Yet this is not what I observe in this discussion, and I know I am not the only one here who was confused. Take BillyHoyt, he's still wrestling with your first analogy, he hasn't even started on the double helix nonsense.
But luckily I also see that with the help of your last few posts, I'm getting there, which is nice.

On the P.S.-es: I can't answer that question yet as I don't know what you mean by the "challenge of existence". The existence of what?
And my native language is indeed Dutch.


Heh.

re vulgarity: I see that your post has many flowers of distraction, and little if any seeds of the topic. Frankly, I'm not under any particularly restrictive real-time constraints here, so I don't mind if we explore a few side alleys along the way.

"challenge of existence" of Consciousness, as posed by the OP here! The OP asked for a definition and took a position that it doesn't exist, yes? I aimed to bring my perhaps idiosyncraticly twisted thinking to the thread in a clear straightforward manner by first offering a definition, waiting for comments, and then at some appropriate point considering what "exists" means, so at to perhaps resolve the issue. Okay? You say you posted a definition, and I asked how/where that enlightened the thread. I'm still hoping you will share your further insights.

re "complicated language": There is a big difference between 'complicated' and 'complex', for me. Since, in my view, consciousness is complex, a good definition should reflect that. What is unduly complicated about the language of

"Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of sensation with awareness."

?

Sorry if it's not my nature to pander to three-year-old mentalities. It's been quite a while since I was around kids of that age.


ME

PS -". What is "product", that is, how do you mean it since your reject the math analogy? "

Dymanic
6th September 2004, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E

Why do you want to make this about me, personally?I think this is about all of us, personally.
Are you projecting defensiveness of your own onto me?
To that I plead guilty, but with an excuse: it is the only possible basis I have for understanding others. I am in fact convinced that, as an evolved organ, the human brain's single most important function is to serve as a platform on which this type of 'simulation' can be run.
I ask this because you still have avoided dealing directly with my challenge to your early comment about my notion being "dim" (lacking in light).
Directness seems to be largely a matter of personal taste. I used to have a girlfriend who had the most delightful way of being able to gently insult me in some subtle way, so that it wouldn't hit me until sometimes much later. I've always enjoyed that sort of thing, but I suppose I'm not very good at it myself.

I thought it was actually rather obvious that I found "Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of sensation with awareness" devoid of content because, as you said yourself: "Neither of these definitive equations [Sensation = becoming informed] [Awareness = being informed] is a radical departure from common usage". My hypothetical scenario was just an attempt at clarification. If there is still any hope for constructive discourse here I think it lies along those lines, though I'm afraid it may end up in an all too familiar quagmire -- what's funny is that at this point that's the optimistic scenario!

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 01:31 PM
bold partsOriginally posted by Dymanic
I think this is about all of us, personally.

I think it's good to have focus (short of dogmatic blindness). When we pay attention to the poster rather than the post, we risk the ad hominem fallacy in one form or another. I try to post with self-attention and topical-attention foremost, whether playfully or seriously, with marginal other-attention.

To that I plead guilty, but with an excuse: it is the only possible basis I have for understanding others.

Psychological projection is more a pathology of consciousness than a path to self-enlightenment.

I am in fact convinced that, as an evolved organ, the human brain's single most important function is to serve as a platform on which this type of 'simulation' can be run.

An empathy organ?

I thought it was actually rather obvious that I found "Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of sensation with awareness" devoid of content because, as you said yourself: "Neither of these definitive equations [Sensation = becoming informed] [Awareness = being informed] is a radical departure from common usage".

I'm still waiting for your standards please.

My hypothetical scenario was just an attempt at clarification. If there is still any hope for constructive discourse here I think it lies along those lines, though I'm afraid it may end up in an all too familiar quagmire -- what's funny is that at this point that's the optimistic scenario!

You definitely present a funny pessimistic attitude, if ironicly so. Please define "constructive discourse" - what would you build in this thread? If we don't both have the same goal in mind, we may end up getting in each other's way(s) or worse.

What if anything remains unclear about the definition, after my recent reply to your test case?

ME

H'ethetheth
6th September 2004, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Heh.

re vulgarity: I see that your post has many flowers of distraction, and little if any seeds of the topic.

True, but I still think there is a lesson to be learned.

On topic. Dancing David proposed that the "seer behind the sight" is illusory and that there is nothing but the processes that create this illusion (correct me if I'm wrong David).
My view on that is basically that it is irrelevant whether there is a real seer behind the sight. An illusory seer, in this case the 'self' is just as well defined, even though it is an illusion. (or as some believe an eternal, seperate entity)
So my answer to the original question was:
Consciousness is whatever it is that enables beings to perceive and contemplate themselves and their surroundings. Then I added "to a certain extent" because no being can preceive or contemplate itself or its surroundings completely.

Originally posted by Mr. E
PS -". What is "product", that is, how do you mean it since your reject the math analogy? "

The product I mean is the one you can look up in a dictionary. My dusty old Websters 'new' collegiate dictionary from 1961 says
1. anything produced, as by generation, growth, labor, or thought.
2. The amount, quantity, or total produced
etc. ...something from chemistry
...something from math

I mean number 1.

Originally posted by Mr. E
re "complicated language": There is a big difference between 'complicated' and 'complex', for me. Since, in my view, consciousness is complex, a good definition should reflect that.


I agree that complicated matters do sometimes require detailed and clear definitions that are otherwise unnecessary. However you seem to have gone out of your way to supply us with confusing analogies, tangents, answers to questions nobody asked and the like.
So I stand by my statement that starting out with a somewhat simplified statement is better than starting by getting people to think about what vector calculus has to do with consciousness.

Originally posted by Mr. E
What is unduly complicated about the language of
"Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of sensation with awareness."?


What's complicated is that from normal language there is no way to know how to synthesise awareness and sensation. I cannot relate this statement to anything I know in my world.
You could have started out with stored information and information on its way to become stored or something to that effect.


Originally posted by Mr. E
Sorry if it's not my nature to pander to three-year-old mentalities. It's been quite a while since I was around kids of that age.

For me too, but I find way to imagine myself in the position, and I suggest you try this. I think you'll find it works on old people too.

Dymanic
6th September 2004, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E

Psychological projection is more a pathology of consciousness than a path to self-enlightenment.
Whatever it is, I still say it's all we've got. Since it runs on automatic, I'm not sure it's meaningful to refer to it as a 'path', exactly. Any motives it has are evolution's motives. Self-enlightenment, if it occurs at all, is a by-product. The primary purpose is a working approximation another person's internal processes. Toward this end, it is necessary to be sensitive to errors, and to make adjustments where necessary. Inability or refusal to do this is what is pathological (which for me ultimately means behaviorally non-functional within a specific context). Performing this important reconfiguration often involves making distinctions between information supplied through observation and information supplied by intuition. The latter type has a way of creeping unnoticed into our calculations, coming under scrutiny only when we have been forced by an unacceptably high rate of observable error to be thorough in our search for unexamined assumptions. The nature of this process is introspective, and therefore these discoveries are, as you put it, self-enlightening.
An empathy organ?Precisely.
I'm still waiting for your standards please.

What if anything remains unclear about the definition, after my recent reply to your test case?
Is all knowledge derived entirely from the senses, or does this 'being informed' allow for the possibility of a priori knowledge?
If we don't both have the same goal in mind, we may end up getting in each other's way(s) or worse.I'm not even sure we both have a 'goal' in the same sense. I have so often found that I ended up somewhere other than where I thought I was going that I usually just figure I won't know where I'm going till I get there. I'm lucky if I can remember where I've been.

Mr. E
6th September 2004, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by Dancing David
I am politely maintaining that that awareness is actualy many different processes which we define as 'awareness' but i feel there is no transubstantial self to be 'aware'. We might choose to label many different things as 'awareness' but they are still just a myriad of seperate things.

And again awareness of self would be what?

The visual perception of yourself in a mirror?
The cognitive recognition that that reflection is similar to the last time you looked in a mirror?

If conscious people are equipped with a built-in monitor by which they might know what they believe, how would this function not qualify in some part as the basis for building an "awareness of self"? We don't have to equate self = beliefs, only recognize some proximal relationship.

It's traditional to use 'conscience' in the context of moral issues, but isn't it more than that?

How do you know what you believe? I postulate that all such knowledge has an emotional component.

The "mirror" here is nothing like what hangs on the wall.

ME

PS - As I've indicated elsewhere, awareness and consciousness are distinguishable in principle.

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 12:41 AM
Originally posted by Dymanic
Whatever it is, I still say it's all we've got. Since it runs on automatic, I'm not sure it's meaningful to refer to it as a 'path', exactly.

Deterministic systems are not said to follow paths? Evolution might not be strictly meaningful (as tho' the universe had meaning in everything), but other than that I don't see your point.

Any motives it has are evolution's motives. Self-enlightenment, if it occurs at all, is a by-product. The primary purpose is a working approximation another person's internal processes. Toward this end, it is necessary to be sensitive to errors, and to make adjustments where necessary. Inability or refusal to do this is what is pathological (which for me ultimately means behaviorally non-functional within a specific context).

Fair enough. The other aspect of the pathology is more conversational.

The nature of this process is introspective, and therefore these discoveries are, as you put it, self-enlightening.
Trial and error isn't strictly introspective, especially re behavior of other people.


Is all knowledge derived entirely from the senses, or does this 'being informed' allow for the possibility of a priori knowledge?
Since we haven't got an agreed upon definition of 'knowledge' and I'm not clear on how you are using 'a priori', I'm not sure. If you mean it in the sense of 'innate' then I think my reply to your hypothetical answered Yes to the latter. Empirical knowledge would seem to be a product of the senses in combination with prior awareness. As mature individuals we might backtrack conceptually, in effect trying to subtract out a posteriori effects, towards a grasp of the a priori which we might then postulate as a necessary basis.


I'm not even sure we both have a 'goal' in the same sense. I have so often found that I ended up somewhere other than where I thought I was going that I usually just figure I won't know where I'm going till I get there. I'm lucky if I can remember where I've been.
purpose = goal in mind

If your contributions to this thread are purposeless, I think we are done. Thanks for the exercise.


ME

Dymanic
7th September 2004, 04:11 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E

Deterministic systems are not said to follow paths? Wait, wait. Who said anything about deterministic? One can of worms at a time, please.
Evolution might not be strictly meaningful (as tho' the universe had meaning in everything), but other than that I don't see your point.That was my point.Trial and error isn't strictly introspective, especially re behavior of other people.I say that all our attempts to understand others are extrapolations from our own qualities, whether we have examined those or not. If we have not, they are used implicitly (whether this qualifies as 'strictly introspective' is a point I am willing to concede).Since we haven't got an agreed upon definition of 'knowledge'I was thinking we could maybe use 'knowledge' and 'information' more or less interchangeably. Of course, we haven't got an agreed upon definition of 'information' either.and I'm not clear on how you are using 'a priori', I'm not sure.I mean synthetic (as opposed to analytic) a priori knowledge; that which preceeds experience.If you mean it in the sense of 'innate' then I think my reply to your hypothetical answered Yes to the latter.Let's review your answer:

"If there is such a thing as genetic memory, that is that people are born with minimal memories which are implanted genetically, perhaps like a kernel (in contrast to the "tabula rasa" notion), then there might be at least minimal grounds for awareness, tho' again not objects of consciousness in the usual sense/terms."

Is that what you're calling a 'yes'?
Empirical knowledge would seem to be a product of the senses in combination with prior awareness.Uh... no. 'Empirical' refers to that which is known through use of the senses, in contrast to that which is known a priori.
As mature individuals we might backtrack conceptually, in effect trying to subtract out a posteriori effects, towards a grasp of the a priori which we might then postulate as a necessary basis.That may be the most interesting thing you've said so far.purpose = goal in mindThat is an extremely limited view. I think of it as an exploration of unknown territory.

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 04:21 AM
Mystery,

Stop evading questions. You put forth your "formal" math definition using vector cross products. So answer the questions if you can:

o What is the meaning of length for these particular vectors?

o What is the meaning of direction for these particular vectors?

o If consciousness is the cross product, then what is the dot product?

o Why?

o What is the basis set here?

o Is it an orthogonal basis set? Why or why not?

o Is it a linearly independent basis set?

o If not, what is the meaning on the non-independence for this basis set?

o Please show us the basis set and how it can be Gramm-Schmidt orthogonalized.

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 04:43 AM
Crank Oil Countdown : 2 Days

On 4 September, at 2:09pm, this crank oil was spilled on the JREF forum:

Consciousness is a matter of the synthesis of sensation with awareness.

If you know vector math you might consider the cross-product, for a beginners analogy. If you know the common usage and muddled dictionary definitions which attempt to reflect and guide such usages, you will see some truth in this definition relative to those vague and ambiguous standards.

On 5 September, at 9:34am, I challenged the false erudition in the crank's use of vector cross products. In my post above, I have repeated the questions for, now, the third time. They have been evaded each and every time.

Dancing David
7th September 2004, 06:27 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Good to hear from you.

Your post as I read it seems to confuse awareness with consciousness, the latter being the original topic.

You admit activated memories, but deny awareness. What is awarness if it isn't largely a matter of being informed, having memories, whether active or latent?

Discrete? What fills the gaps between "them"?

I think what you are getting at is the rejection of the notion of a little person inside the person, a "homunculus". If so, I'm pretty much okay with that (but not 100.00000%). I'm not arguing against that point. But I don't get that those things are entirely separable from each other in practice. You make it sound as if the items you list are pieces in a jigsaw puzzle each of which exists independently, discretely, of the others. Is that how you meant "discrete"?


ME

I will ask you what I have asked others, give me an example of awareness or consciousness and it can most likely be reduced to seperate events.

I agree that the neural network is interdependant upon itself, and that it can be synergistic.

However, I will continue to maintain that there is no special event that is awareness, there is no special event that is consciousness.

Activated memories are awareness how? They are memories and they are reverie and they are partly made up 'consciously' and mostly made up 'unconsiously'. They are an experience of the brain (I believe), we can cogitate about them and describe them, but they are not on the plane that immaterialists would like to ascribe to the vacuos 'consciousness'.

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 07:29 AM
Becoming is a handy basis element; 'Becoming' is a noun in my vocabulary. It's complementary to Being. I didn't have much luck with my previous attempt at analogy, but let me offer a notion of the world as a double helix, with Being and Becoming wrapping around each other as time passes. The analogy isn't meant formally as a definition, only as something to think about in context. Things are and things change.
"Think about" what? The only property you've analogized here is the intertwining. But what else do you want to suggest with the choice of a double helix? Surely you don't mean that being and becoming are perfectly complementary. Are you unaware that complementarity in the double-helix means that one strand is a kind of mirror image of the other?

Dymanic
7th September 2004, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E

How do you know what you believe?
So far, I like some of your questions better than most of your answers. This one I overlooked earlier.

How do I know what I believe? My first response is: I don't. I can't. That is, unless I have some special reason to look for it, I am not likely to notice what I believe; my implicit inference engines work their magic with complete transparency, and (usually) I act on their results without realizing I have done so. I can try to deconstruct their results, searching for clues as to their axioms, methods, etc -- but any such search is itself tainted from the start; subject to the very same limitation that inspired it to begin with: the parameters of any search I perform come predetermined by what I already believe! The things my implicit inference engines consider least important are not handed up labeled: "unimportant"; they aren't handed up at all! This is WICKEDLY recursive. Time constraints alone will prevent me from selecting for examination more that a pitiful few of these intuitive insights for closer examination, and the process of selecting those important enough to warrant that will be performed by... the implicit inference engines themselves, of course. Which are subject to, if anything, even tighter time constraints. Which means they would need inference engines of their own...

"Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into, Ollie."*






*Celebrity voice impersonated

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by Dymanic
Wait, wait. Who said anything about deterministic? One can of worms at a time, please. You disputed "path" on account of something being automatic. I raised the stakes to see if you had meant anything. Apparently you didn't. That said, I am sympathetic to the notion of limiting the scope of our inquiry for the time being as you will see below. That was my point.I say that all our attempts to understand others are extrapolations from our own qualities, whether we have examined those or not. Interpolations, too, if I get "extrapolation". We come to understand "other" and others via observation, experiment, and introspection - reflecting on our own values for instance. I was thinking we could maybe use 'knowledge' and 'information' more or less interchangeably. Some people think we can use 'conscious' and 'aware' more or less interchangeably, too, when they mean something else entirely. We can have pillow fights in which fluff is batted around, or we can have fencing matches wherein the knife of distinction is wielded artfully, with an eye to engaging in critical thinking. Both can be paths to clarity. My personal process is more a matter of formalizing the informal. Of course, we haven't got an agreed upon definition of 'information' either. To quote an eminent authority: "Precisely." How many unknowns do we need to juggle (postulate) here at once in order to coherently explore the relatively unknown (that IS your purpose here?)? Does the added term muddle or clarify? I don't yet see the serious light it offers here. Occam's razor, please.
I mean synthetic (as opposed to analytic) a priori knowledge; that which preceeds experience.
That's odd. As I pointed out there are two "preceeds" here. And you seem to be equating 'propositions' with 'knowledge', too.
Let's review your answer: "If there is such a thing as genetic memory, that is that people are born with minimal memories which are implanted genetically, perhaps like a kernel (in contrast to the "tabula rasa" notion), then there might be at least minimal grounds for awareness, tho' again not objects of consciousness in the usual sense/terms."

Is that what you're calling a 'yes'? I believe that is a/the possibility you asked about, yes. Uh... no. 'Empirical' refers to that which is known through use of the senses, in contrast to that which is known a priori. Why do you say 'no' when you seem to be restating what I meant as I meant it? Did you mean "preceeds" in the sense of 'innate' (eg., chronologically) or in the other way?
That may be the most interesting thing you've said so far. Besides a pathetic pat on the back (thanks, I guess), I don't see you showing any interest in it at all here. What interested you about it, what can you make of it that you can share publicly?
[re: definition of 'purpose' as 'goal in mind'] That is an extremely limited view. I think of it as an exploration of unknown territory. "That" was simply a definition of a term to help clarify a point. Without purpose, meaning is weak. Is there clarity without focus? Accidents might be how evolution proceeds, but is that the best we have here?

ME

PS - I hope this isn't what you meant by "the usual quagmire" -- I realize that our replies are becoming a bit choppy...

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 09:55 AM
Stop evading questions, Mystery Oil. The list is growing:


o What is the meaning of length for these particular vectors?

o What is the meaning of direction for these particular vectors?

o If consciousness is the cross product, then what is the dot product?

o Why?

o What is the basis set here?

o Is it an orthogonal basis set? Why or why not?

o Is it a linearly independent basis set?

o If not, what is the meaning on the non-independence for this basis set?

o Please show us the basis set and how it can be Gramm-Schmidt orthogonalized.

o Are these vectors complementary in the same way the strands of the double-helix are complementary?

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 09:59 AM
Caught you looking, Mystery. Now how about answering?

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 10:07 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Dymanic
So far, I like some of your questions better than most of your answers. This one [ME: How does one know what one believes?] I overlooked earlier. [...]

"Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into, Ollie."*

Yes, relying solely on inference engines as currently conceived could well be overly limiting. And yes, the mechanism tends to be self-guiding in its effects, witness the power of prejudice and the like. But many agents working on a problem can change the practical matter of time constraints (and I think this goes beyond mere empathy as the role of the brain). And I believe that many people do indeed overcome the narrowing effects of conscience, for better (as well as for worse).

My introspection, guided by feedback from others, as led me to ask the question of whether the self does have a core basis in physiological parameters -- one might say an NCC for the self. Not the *notion* 'self', but something which exists materially as part of a brain which functions as conscience. If there is such, then then answer to "does the self exist as more than an illusion" is clearly, Yes.

While this thread is nominally about 'consciousness' and its putative existence, it's now clear to me from more careful reading of the OP's replies that the OP is challenging the existence of the self.

I argue, Yes, it exists (tho' I don't have physiological data to prove it, so it's speculation and is introspective).


ME

H'ethetheth
7th September 2004, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Stop evading questions, Mystery Oil. The list is growing:


o What is the meaning of length for these particular vectors?

o What is the meaning of direction for these particular vectors?

o If consciousness is the cross product, then what is the dot product?

o Why?

o What is the basis set here?

o Is it an orthogonal basis set? Why or why not?

o Is it a linearly independent basis set?

o If not, what is the meaning on the non-independence for this basis set?

o Please show us the basis set and how it can be Gramm-Schmidt orthogonalized.

o Are these vectors complementary in the same way the strands of the double-helix are complementary?

If I recall correctly, the vector product is only possible in three dimensions. You might ask him why three dimensions.

That is, if you insist on having him admit that he hadn't quite considered the details surrounding this analogy.

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
I will ask you what I have asked others, give me an example of awareness or consciousness and it can most likely be reduced to seperate events. First: Do you believe anything? How do you know that you believe it? However, I will continue to maintain that there is no special event that is awareness, there is no special event that is consciousness. Irrelevant and immaterial, but there is an undeniable (except pathologically) core. Let's read your responses to the above questions before proceeding here. Activated memories are awareness how? They are memories and they are reverie and they are partly made up 'consciously' and mostly made up 'unconsiously'. They are an experience of the brain (I believe), we can cogitate about them and describe them, but they are not on the plane that immaterialists would like to ascribe to the vacuos 'consciousness'.
Awareness is a matter of being informed, don't try to make it into what it isn't. Memories are *formed*. They may be latent (inactive) or active (engaged). I have no idea what an "experience of the brain" is supposed to mean, unless you mean it in the sense that an electron accelerates when it *experiences* an external force. Please draw the line clearly between material and immaterial if you are going to attack one side or the other.

ME

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 10:41 AM
Stop evading questions, Mystery Oil. The list is growing:


o What is the meaning of length for these particular vectors?

o What is the meaning of direction for these particular vectors?

o If consciousness is the cross product, then what is the dot product?

o Why?

o What is the basis set here?

o Is it an orthogonal basis set? Why or why not?

o Is it a linearly independent basis set?

o If not, what is the meaning on the non-independence for this basis set?

o Please show us the basis set and how it can be Gramm-Schmidt orthogonalized.

o Are these vectors complementary in the same way the strands of the double-helix are complementary?

Dymanic
7th September 2004, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E

I mean synthetic (as opposed to analytic) a priori knowledge; that which preceeds experience.
------------------------------------------

That's oddActually, it's pretty standard philosophical jargon.

Why do you say 'no' when you seem to be restating what I meant as I meant it?
I guess my mistake was in addressing what you said, rather than what you meant. Must be a glitch in my DWIM module.I realize that our replies are becoming a bit choppyI've seen worse. We do seem to be finding some common ground.
many agents working on a problem can change the practical matter of time constraints
But that I can't agree with at all, I'm afraid. When regarding any phenomenon, there are an inifinite number of possible 'facts' which might be observed (or ignored).
I hope this isn't what you meant by "the usual quagmire"
No. This is just sort of a pre-quagmire quagmire. We won't be in the main quagmire until we start talking about Qualia (I was tempted to use asterisks when typing the word). Which I'm not even sure I'm up for. If we do end up there, and I decide to extricate myself, you are welcome to keep my boots as trophies, should you care to pry them out of the mud.
Do you believe anything? How do you know that you believe it?My answer would be: the same way I know someone else believes something; by observing my behavior.

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Caught you looking, Mystery. Now how about answering?

Hi Mr. Crank Oil. How's it hanging? What, directly pertinent to the topic and my original contribution to the thread, is causing your tired old engine to have apoplectic posting fits? Perhaps you misread something I posted, or my words confused you. My apologies for any such contribution to your difficulties. Since you are a major contributor to these forums, I would have thought you might like to show some critical thinking skills. Sadly, I don't see much evidence from you of such abilities.

Following the suggestion of another poster here: How may I dumb it down for you? As I recall you jumped in part way through a discussion to laugh at your ability to leave out "aiming for". Maybe you also misunderstood "formality" in one context as applying in the same way in another context? YOU're the one to answer such things, not ME. And more recently maybe you missed the post re Supposition Fields and the difference between an emulation and the real thing?

In the meantime, might I suggest you disengage the "cr*p" filter, or at least open up an additional subroutine?

Best regards,

ME

PS - "mirroring" is a symmetry operation, so sure, why not? Not the same mirror, as I believe I already posted in this thread somewhere in the past couple of days. I'm not equating DNA to reality nor to consciousness.

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Hi Mr. Crank Oil. How's it hanging? What, directly pertinent to the topic and my original contribution to the thread, is causing your tired old engine to have apoplectic posting fits? Perhaps you misread something I posted, or my words confused you. My apologies for any such contribution to your difficulties. Since you are a major contributor to these forums, I would have thought you might like to show some critical thinking skills. Sadly, I don't see much evidence from you of such abilities.

Following the suggestion of another poster here: How may I dumb it down for you? As I recall you jumped in part way through a discussion to laugh at your ability to leave out "aiming for". Maybe you also misunderstood "formality" in one context as applying in the same way in another context? YOU're the one to answer such things, not ME. And more recently maybe you missed the post re Supposition Fields and the difference between an emulation and the real thing?

In the meantime, might I suggest you disengage the "cr*p" filter, or at least open up an additional subroutine?

Best regards,

ME

PS - "mirroring" is a symmetry operation, so sure, why not? Not the same mirror, as I believe I already posted in this thread somewhere in the past couple of days. I'm not equating DNA to reality nor to consciousness.

Yep. You can't answer the questions. How shocking. So, the summation for you here is you just keep tossing out crap as an exercize in false erudition. You inject mathematical and scientific-sounding analogies as candy for unsophisticated minds.

You can't back up the vector cross-product nonsense. You can't back up the double helix nonsense. Ah, but now, you stub your toe again on "mirroring." The double helix is not a mirror in this sense.

Why do you insist on tossing out nonsense that you can't even back up for more than a post or two? Nonsense so patent you can't defend it past the first question?

Newsflash, bozo. Part of critical thinking is the ability to defend assertions, not this lame game of backing away from every question. What a moroon.

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth re BillHoyt
If I recall correctly, the vector product is only possible in three dimensions. You might ask him why three dimensions.

That is, if you insist on having him admit that he hadn't quite considered the details surrounding this analogy.

My relative silence re Bill's silliness should not be construed as tacit admission of any topical point.

Thanks.

ME

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
My relative silence re Bill's silliness should not be construed as tacit admission of any topical point.

Thanks.

ME
Sure it is, mystery. You can't answer the questions. That is obvious. You simply keep running the false erudition game and running away from salient questions.

If you really had vector math in mind with that analogy you would have answers to the questions I posed. If you really had the double-helix in mind with the other analogy, you would have answers to the question I posed about that. You haven't any answers because you haven't actually thought about the topic at all. This is the epitome of false erudition.

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Yep. You can't answer the questions. How shocking. So, the summation for you here is you just keep tossing out crap as an exercize in false erudition. You inject mathematical and scientific-sounding analogies as candy for unsophisticated minds.

You can't back up the vector cross-product nonsense. You can't back up the double helix nonsense. Ah, but now, you stub your toe again on "mirroring." The double helix is not a mirror in this sense.

Newsflash, bozo. Part of critical thinking is the ability to defend assertions, not this lame game of backing away from every question. What a moroon.

Wow! At least I seem to have found the candy you like!! But I'm not sure I want to feed your bad habit any more. BTW, namecalling might feel good to you, but I don't see how it engages critical thinking faculties - looks more like prejudice to me.

If you've been following my posts to this thread you will see I have not backed away from topical questions relevant to the thread, and have been engaging other posters questions and issues. Maybe this is more about you? Take a second scan, please.

Have you looked in the mirror lately? You wanted a mirror, I allowed as how you could have one. Now you splutter about how it's not a mirror that you wanted. [Shrug] Symmetry operations are an important factor, whether you like it or not, as is symmetry breaking.

As if you care: How is the vector notion relevant to the thread at this point? What I see is that it is relevant to an ego issue, an aspect of consciousness a bit removed, and rather immaterial, from the thrust of the OP. Are you arguing that the self is immaterial?

How do you know what you believe, BillHoyt? Do you have a conscience or just a jumble of over-excitable pattern-recognition filters set to "CR*P" with an 'A' for effort?


ME

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Wow! At least I seem to have found the candy you like!! But I'm not sure I want to feed your bad habit any more. BTW, namecalling might feel good to you, but I don't see how it engages critical thinking faculties - looks more like prejudice to me.

If you've been following my posts to this thread you will see I have not backed away from topical questions relevant to the thread, and have been engaging other posters questions and issues. Maybe this is more about you? Take a second scan, please.

Have you looked in the mirror lately? You wanted a mirror, I allowed as how you could have one. Now you splutter about how it's not a mirror that you wanted. [Shrug] Symmetry operations are an important factor, whether you like it or not, as is symmetry breaking.

As if you care: How is the vector notion relevant to the thread at this point? What I see is that it is relevant to an ego issue, an aspect of consciousness a bit removed, and rather immaterial, from the thrust of the OP. Are you arguing that the self is immaterial?

How do you know what you believe, BillHoyt? Do you have a conscience or just a jumble of over-excitable pattern-recognition filters set to "CR*P" with an 'A' for effort?


ME

You don't have a clue what you're talking about. If you did, you would have answered the questions. So, let's deal with your continuing gaffe about DNA.

The DNA double-helix has one strand running from the 3' end to the 5', and the other strand running from the 5' end to the 3'. Unravel the strands and you can recreate the A strand from the B or the B strand from the A.

The A strand, however, is composed of an entirely different sequence of nucleotides from the B. There is no "mirror symmetry" here.

Pathetic.

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 11:28 AM
Now, mystery, about those questions.

What is the meaning of length for these particular vectors?

o What is the meaning of direction for these particular vectors?

o If consciousness is the cross product, then what is the dot product?

o Why?

o What is the basis set here?

o Is it an orthogonal basis set? Why or why not?

o Is it a linearly independent basis set?

o If not, what is the meaning on the non-independence for this basis set?

o Please show us the basis set and how it can be Gramm-Schmidt orthogonalized.

o Are these vectors complementary in the same way the strands of the double-helix are complementary?

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
The A strand, however, is composed of an entirely different sequence of nucleotides from the B. There is no "mirror symmetry" here.

Pathetic.

Yes. My post to which you replied pointed out that both symmetry operations and symmetry breaking are important, and I had previously disclaimed an equation between DNA and the real topics here, as well as denying the usual sense of "mirror symmetry".

Now that we are caught up in this pathetic endeavor, do you have something topical to offer?

ME

BillHoyt
7th September 2004, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Yes. My post to which you replied pointed out that both symmetry operations and symmetry breaking are important, and I had previously disclaimed an equation between DNA and the real topics here, as well as denying the usual sense of "mirror symmetry".

Now that we are caught up in this pathetic endeavor, do you have something topical to offer?

ME

Apparently you missed the fact that this DNA symmetry has nothing to do with the mathematical symmetry you clearly struggle to grasp. There are no "symmetry operations" here. Neither is there any "symmetry breaking" here.

What about those other questions, mystery? How long are you going to deny they have any bearing on your lame analogies?

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 11:59 AM
Ouch! Some browser glitch just killed my first attempt at a reply at 98% completeion -- so much for the reliability of the real world these days.

Originally posted by Dymanic
Actually, it's pretty standard philosophical jargon. Actually, it was your (mis)use which struck me as odd.
I guess my mistake was in addressing what you said, rather than what you meant. Must be a glitch in my DWIM module.Oh? Tell me about this module. And next time, read what I wrote please. I didn't write "with a priori awareness", I wrote "with prior awareness". What I wrote seems quite consistent with your similar statement, yet you said "no". If it wasn't a misreading error, it must be pointless distraction. Can you show otherwise?

We do seem to be finding some common ground.Yay!

But that I can't agree with at all, I'm afraid. When regarding any phenomenon, there are an inifinite number of possible 'facts' which might be observed (or ignored).As a practical matter the human species seems to have managed many advances despite your unduly pessimistic notion. While the infinite manifold of infinitely many possibilities might never be grasped in its entirety by any person, that doesn't mean we can't make progress in this thread.

QualiaI'm not looking for trophies, but I appreciate your willingness to stick with the discussion. Are the over-discussed issues of qualia all that relevant - in principle - to the main point of this thread, the question of the existence of the self? That is, do you declare that the question cannot begin to be answered without dealing fully with how it is that qualia in general seem to exist in the world? If not, why bring it up here?

My answer would be: the same way I know someone else believes something; by observing my behavior. You can't observe another person's conscience in the same way you feel yours, if you have one, no matter how much empathy you may practically have (unless you are claiming hocus pocus ESP abilities). Tell me something you know you believe, whether you believe it absolutely or not.

ME

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
On 5 September, at 9:34am, I challenged the false erudition in the crank's use of vector cross products. In my post above, I have repeated the questions for, now, the third time. They have been evaded each and every time. [/B]

Look, Bill spilled more oil. :(

Look Bill, there wasn't any false erudition to challenge, except maybe your own. That's part of why your posting fits come off as silly to me.

In the future, please distinguish "beginners analogy" from "formal analogy" and from "exact ***omorphism".

If you think a beginners analogy is offered as evidence of erudition, good luck spamming the forum.

ME

PS - This is not to disclaim the correctness of the analogy.

Mr. E
7th September 2004, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Apparently you missed the fact that this DNA symmetry has nothing to do with the mathematical symmetry you clearly struggle to grasp. There are no "symmetry operations" here. Neither is there any "symmetry breaking" here.

Sorry Don Quixote Hoyt, but it does; it's just not been shown to be relevant in this thread unless asinine humor is relevant here. Since I've asked you to make it relevant and gotten cr*p in return I'm no longer going to humor your pathetic and pretend "erudite" misreadings of my posts.

Since you don't know what you're talking about, and I might know what I'm talking about, let's try something else.

Do you believe anything? If so, how do you know you believe it? This approach might being us around to the backdoor you like so much, faster than harping on the silly ad nauseum's you have been posting.

Even a confirmed skeptic should be able to address this point clearly and in a relatively straighforward manner. I look forward to your perhaps skeptical collaboration.

Regards,

ME

(Maybe you could study some physics, physicists seem to think that SO and SB are here to stay).

Dymanic
7th September 2004, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E

Ouch! Some browser glitch just killed my first attempt at a reply at 98% completeion
That's happened to me so many times that I now make a habit of composing in NotePad and saving before I hit the reply button.
Actually, it was your (mis)use which struck me as oddThat's what I thought. I'm always looking to fine-tune my use of jargon, and I appreciate any help you can offer. I think I made clear my understanding of how these terms are used. Correct away.
Tell me about this moduleThe DWIM function, in programmer jargon, is an acronym: Do What I Mean. Interesting (and not entirely off topic) is the phenomenal capacity the human brain has to make corrections on the fly (using our implicit inference engines) and the degree to which the way we normally communicate depends on this. It isn't foolproof (obviously) but it's still pretty good.
I didn't write "with a priori awareness", I wrote "with prior awareness". What I wrote seems quite consistent with your similar statement, yet you said "no". If it wasn't a misreading error, it must be pointless distraction. Can you show otherwise?I think the difficulty originates with your use of the term 'Empirical'. If by that you simply meant knowledge aquired through the senses added to knowledge previously aquired through the senses, then we're ok -- my mistake. But a priori in this context has a specific meaning: something not aquired through the senses. I think your use of the word 'prior' in the same sentence (with 'Empirical') but with a different meaning (than 'a priori') is what threw me. My apologies.
do you declare that the question cannot begin to be answered without dealing fully with how it is that qualia in general seem to exist in the world?Mu.
Tell me something you know you believe, whether you believe it absolutely or not.Observing my behavior, I'd say that my implicit inference engines conclude that continuing this discussion is a potentially worthwhile activity. As usual, I have only the vaguest idea how they reached this conslusion.

Mr. E
11th September 2004, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by Dymanic
That's happened to me so many times that I now make a habit of composing in NotePad and saving before I hit the reply button.

For what it's worth, a disk crash at the Forum server has wiped out the old page 4 of this thread at a very innopportune and almost paranormal moment. Many fine posts are gone. RIP If anyone has post-sized fragments from page 4, I for one would welcome a repost of what you have.

This post is a further probe.

Observing my behavior, I'd say that my implicit inference engines conclude that continuing this discussion is a potentially worthwhile activity. As usual, I have only the vaguest idea how they reached this conslusion.

There are [at least] two kinds of implicit inference engines in the matter of consciousness.

Anyone else still "here"?

ME

Dancing David
11th September 2004, 06:03 PM
The collective memory failed. oh well,what I wrote was not that great.

Mr. E., Thanks for carrying on the conversation. Very difficult with the Troll bane making his usual remarks.

How do I know what I believe?

Through the process of interactive cognition and selective memory reconstruction. I am not saying that there are not processes that we conflate and equate with 'consciousness', I am just saying that the mystic proportions assigned to the term 'consciousness' may be misleading.

There is the cognitive process of recall, there then are a myriad of processes which I label as 'judgement', through the application of judgement to memory I can think about what I know. Then there are the memories and thoughts and emotions associated with the more direct perception.

It is similar to the assignment of a personality to a car. Bogart was a tough old Toyota Carolla that would go through any weather. But did the car really have a personality?

H'ethetheth
11th September 2004, 08:51 PM
Yes, annoying business, this crash. Anyway, I believe my last post was something like this:

From what I understand, Mr. E, thinks of awareness as the place where the self would be at, because sensation just provides information. So awareness is the place where complicated stuff happens, but in my opinion the "being informed" doesn't address any complicated things like self-perception and such.
It seems to me the problem has just been shifted inward, so to speak. So to give a satisfactorry answer to the original question, I'd want Mr. E to give a definition of awareness.

Now it may be that I still haven't understood Mr.E's standpoint, so feel to correct and inform me, in a concise and understandable way of course.

Dymanic
11th September 2004, 11:34 PM
Looks like I picked a good time to take a break. And no, I don't save the posts permanently as a general rule. I'm not really back yet, this is just a hit-and-run. But I'll be popping in to have a look from time to time. This caught my eye:

Originally posted by Mr. E

There are [at least] two kinds of implicit inference engines in the matter of consciousness.
Two kinds?


Originally posted by Dancing David

But did the car really have a personality?In other words, is 'consciousness' an actual fact about something in the world, or simply an artifact of the way we categorize things? Right?

To what extent are these two possibilities mutually exclusive? If we conclude that consciousness is not actually a unique type of activity or event in the brain, are we forced to then conclude that nothing at all occurs in the brain to which we might reasonably refer as 'consciousness'?

Mr. E
12th September 2004, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
How do I know what I believe?

Through the process of interactive cognition and selective memory reconstruction. I am not saying that there are not processes that we conflate and equate with 'consciousness', I am just saying that the mystic proportions assigned to the term 'consciousness' may be misleading.

Well, that puts a different perspective on it for me. I agree that there are many oddball and misleading notions which could be formulated. Perhaps what I presented might prove eventually to fit that vague criterion somewhat. My reading of posts in this thread showed a shifting focus, from 'consciousness' to 'awareness' to 'self'... If you intended to demo conflation, I get it.

I don't think it's reasonable to quibble about whether a Ford Taurus exists, and do it on the basis that you can take it apart into a thousand pieces which don't seem to be a car. I do think it's reasonable to challenge whether what you see in a showroom might only look like the car, and perhaps not have a motor in it. Consciousness may have many "parts" whether more as brain-based structures or as brain-based functions acting in/on those structures. It's not conflation to largely subsume this variety under one heading, is it?

Beyond that: The def. I proposed distinguishes awareness as part of that which makes consciousness possible. I also distinguish

- a self-like function which is a root of consciousness - conscience
- a synthetic self which depends on consciousness - a character
- illusions of/about each of those


"interactive cognition and selective memory reconstruction"

That's a mouthful! Cognition interacts with SMR, whatever SMR is/does (might be a part of activated awareness - memory "data" engaged with a sense data stream as an aspect of attending to sensory input). How does that interaction inform you that you believe something?

ME

Mr. E
12th September 2004, 02:35 AM
Mr. E had written: There are [at least] two kinds of implicit inference engines in the matter of consciousness.Originally posted by Dymanic
Two kinds?

Those which are emulations running in conscious mind (recall "modelling emulations and emulating models"), and those which function to make consciousness possible in the first place. Maybe I don't quite understand "implicit inference engine" as you used it?

BTW, brain as empathy organ... something played by dextrous con artists and also an organic basis for higher socialization. I'm not clear on how the intersubjective assumption fits in here but it seems related.


ME

Mr. E
12th September 2004, 03:05 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Yes, annoying business, this crash. Anyway, I believe my last post was something like this:

From what I understand, Mr. E, thinks of awareness as the place where the self would be at, because sensation just provides information. So awareness is the place where complicated stuff happens, but in my opinion the "being informed" doesn't address any complicated things like self-perception and such.
It seems to me the problem has just been shifted inward, so to speak. So to give a satisfactorry answer to the original question, I'd want Mr. E to give a definition of awareness.

What kind of definition? Awareness is only metaphorically a place, otherwise it's a state of being informed as stated before. It doesn't "do" anything. Will, intentional and/or reflexive, does stuff, makes things happen.

Sensation does not provide information, it provides sense data if we are to say it provides anything. Information occurs at what might historically have been called the body-mind boundary.

As to self-perception: There are [at least] two kinds of self-perception in the same general way as I just posted re Dymanic and David (sorry about the scattered nature of this reply - still not up to speed conceptually since the crash). Conscience bridges what we historically tended to call mind and body in the inverse "direction" from normal sense data flow. It's a feedback mechanism. The value systems embodied in its functioning generate sense via what might be part of what we historically tend to call emotion. This is a core of "self" - [possibly software-modifiable] hard/wetware. To the extent that this function works well, one might sense what one believes at/in any moment. That would form a basis for "real" self-perception.

I hope that transforms your post effectively. Fire away and I'll deal with the consequences of my wordy late night foray when I can, later.

ME

Mr. E
12th September 2004, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
The collective memory failed. oh well,what I wrote was not that great.

Mr. E., Thanks for carrying on the conversation. Very difficult with the Troll bane making his usual remarks.

I didn't know skeptics believed in Trolls. Please, do tell. "When" is something a Troll and when not? Is a Troll bane a "he" or an "it", properly speaking?

Pardon me if I seem overly interested in the supernatural and superstitions, but I believe my inquiry to be topical at a deep level.

Thanks in advance.

ME

Dancing David
13th September 2004, 06:17 AM
posted by Dynamic
In other words, is 'consciousness' an actual fact about something in the world, or simply an artifact of the way we categorize things? Right?

To what extent are these two possibilities mutually exclusive? If we conclude that consciousness is not actually a unique type of activity or event in the brain, are we forced to then conclude that nothing at all occurs in the brain to which we might reasonably refer as 'consciousness'?


I agree that there are behaviors/events that we refer to as consciousness, and that it can be convinient to do so. My argument is mainly against the mytical elevation of such things to a plane out side of the material realm.

There are reasons that the label consciousness is useful, but in discussion with Mercutio I have become to wonder if there really is this 'general awareness' or if there is just specific awareness.

Dancing David
13th September 2004, 06:26 AM
posted by Mister E.
Sensation does not provide information, it provides sense data if we are to say it provides anything. Information occurs at what might historically have been called the body-mind boundary.

As to self-perception: There are [at least] two kinds of self-perception in the same general way as I just posted re Dymanic and David (sorry about the scattered nature of this reply - still not up to speed conceptually since the crash). Conscience bridges what we historically tended to call mind and body in the inverse "direction" from normal sense data flow. It's a feedback mechanism. The value systems embodied in its functioning generate sense via what might be part of what we historically tend to call emotion. This is a core of "self" - [possibly software-modifiable] hard/wetware. To the extent that this function works well, one might sense what one believes at/in any moment. That would form a basis for "real" self-perception.


Trolls and the Troll Bane exist in the eye of the beholder.

Sensation does not provide information, it provides sense data if we are to say it provides anything. Information occurs at what might historically have been called the body-mind boundary.

That depends upon the nature of the slippery little bugger of 'information' does it not? In that sensation is the raw neurological data being sent by the sense organ to the rest of the brain, but it gets sent to many different areas for further processing, some like smell go to the lower and higher brain areas. But the point that I haven't made yet is that 'perception' requires a fair amount of processing by the brain itself. This is where things like the color red and shapes are contructed by our brain.

So I assume that when you use 'information' you mean cognitive labeling of the perceptions? I am not sure.


The value systems embodied in its functioning generate sense via what might be part of what we historically tend to call emotion.

What about the raw body sensations that comprise emotion, generaly the flow is from body to 'mind', in that we 'feel' an emotion and it usualy takes considerable time to then determine and understand the source of the emotion. I have found that humans are very poor at identifing emotions usualy they feel them and then need to process them.

Dymanic
13th September 2004, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E

Sensation does not provide information, it provides sense data if we are to say it provides anything. Information occurs at what might historically have been called the body-mind boundary.

Welcome to the main quagmire. If this is your first visit, you can get a preview of some of the delights in store for you here. (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25726&perpage=40&pagenumber=1)

A quick skim through Immanuel Kant's Critique Of Pure Reason will also help to make this a more enjoyable experience. A word of caution: there are many well-established paths through the quagmire, but be aware that some of them do lead to rather nasty pits.

Mr. E
13th September 2004, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
Trolls and the Troll Bane exist in the eye of the beholder. So, "he" should properly be "it", right? Just checking. The kind of "exist" and "eye" here suggests that consciousness does exist. Did you mean it that way? :) I'm inclined to think that you were referring to the junk aspects of what BillHoyt posted, when you wrote "Troll bane". I wonder what happened to him. He wasn't all bad, just evidently confused.

Sensation does not provide information, it provides sense data if we are to say it provides anything. Information occurs at what might historically have been called the body-mind boundary.

That depends upon the nature of the slippery little bugger of 'information' does it not? In that sensation is the raw neurological data being sent by the sense organ to the rest of the brain, but it gets sent to many different areas for further processing, some like smell go to the lower and higher brain areas. But the point that I haven't made yet is that 'perception' requires a fair amount of processing by the brain itself. This is where things like the color red and shapes are contructed by our brain.

Does it? I recognize your first comments there as distraction from the topic. As for processing by the brain, maybe you didn't read my post to BillHoyt about Supposition Fields? It would seem to have anticipated what you call the point you didn't make yet.

So I assume that when you use 'information' you mean cognitive labeling of the perceptions? I am not sure.I'm not sure how this goes to the various levels of the OP topic, either.


The value systems embodied in its functioning generate sense via what might be part of what we historically tend to call emotion.

What about the raw body sensations that comprise emotion, generaly the flow is from body to 'mind', in that we 'feel' an emotion and it usualy takes considerable time to then determine and understand the source of the emotion. I have found that humans are very poor at identifing emotions usualy they feel them and then need to process them.

I think you are agreeing with me here. There are forms or modes of sensation. I would like to distinguish emotions recognized via normal sense and those experienced more directly. I haven't thought much about it yet. I have found that I can label my own raw body sensations different things depending on my attitude.

From another post in re Dymanic, David wrote:
I agree that there are behaviors/events that we refer to as consciousness, and that it can be convinient to do so. My argument is mainly against the mytical elevation of such things to a plane out side of the material realm.

There are reasons that the label consciousness is useful, but in discussion with Mercutio I have become to wonder if there really is this 'general awareness' or if there is just specific awareness.

"mytical' -- I guess that's Found Art. 'mystical' or 'mythical'? I won't argue against Found Art!

Do you dispute existence outside of the material realm, or are you against Found Art?

There is awareness in general, and there are particular awarenesses. Beyond that, in general and in particular, when two specifics are linked, what do you call that?




ME

Mr. E
13th September 2004, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by Dymanic
Welcome to the main quagmire. If this is your first visit, you can get a preview of some of the delights in store for you here. (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25726&perpage=40&pagenumber=1) The quagmire I recognize in this context is a bunch of people yammering more or less unconsciously, to put it in vulgar terms. I'm trying to take this thread seriously.

A quick skim through Immanuel Kant's Critique Of Pure Reason will also help to make this a more enjoyable experience. A word of caution: there are many well-established paths through the quagmire, but be aware that some of them do lead to rather nasty pits. [/B] Heh. If a lack of awareness of conscience/self amounts to the sticky pits of questions of human existence and experience... then I'm your inside man! If you are talking about stupid fart jokes, I'd rather be outside the room thanks anyway.

There are many worlds possible. The objects of consciousness are both imaginary and real. We make associations, and are prone to habit. We also make associations of associations with associated associations, that is we understand stuff whether real or imaginary or complex.

This thread is getting rather complicated what with Found Art, conflation, confusions passing for erudition, evasions, and the like.
Are we out to muddle like pigs or what?


ME

Dymanic
13th September 2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E

The quagmire I recognize in this context is a bunch of people yammering more or less unconsciously, to put it in vulgar termsMaybe it just seems that way by comparison with the enlightening exchange of
carefully developed and concisely expressed ideas exemplified by this thread.
I'm trying to take this thread seriously.It boggles the mind to think what might result from you just fooling around.
There are many worlds possible. The objects of consciousness are both imaginary and real. We make associations, and are prone to habit. We also make associations of associations with associated associations, that is we understand stuff whether real or imaginary or complex.
What struck me on reading that was the resemblance to the sort of thing often produced by random text generators, such as the (most excellent) one found here:
http://www.elsewhere.org/cgi-bin/postmodern/
Are we out to muddle like pigs or what?
Don't know about you. I'm just out. Maybe some other time.

H'ethetheth
13th September 2004, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Dymanic
Maybe it just seems that way by comparison with the enlightening exchange of
carefully developed and concisely expressed ideas exemplified by this thread.

It boggles the mind to think what might result from you just fooling around.

Don't know about you. I'm just out. Maybe some other time.

I would use a smiley, but they don't seem to work in this serious forum.

Mr. E, I'm going to give this one more try.
My interpretation of your awareness/sensation story is this.

- Sensation provides raw information.

- Awareness processes and interprets this raw information.

- Together they constitute concsiousness. (In which case a '+' would have been a great analogy).

- Consciousness cannot exist without either.

Good, that I can understand.
Now the questions that persist on my mind about this:

What is awareness?

What does this imply for the definition of consciousness as requested in the original post?

I'm only interested in answers nearly as concise as these questions. And of course, if I still am mistaken about your theory, correct me in the same manner.
Take your time.

Mr. E
13th September 2004, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
I would use a smiley, but they don't seem to work in this [b]serious forum.

Yeah, when I went to look at that other thread, these little icons were "all over" the place!

Mr. E, I'm going to give this one more try. Promises, promises! :) My interpretation of your awareness/sensation story is this.

- Sensation provides raw information.

- Awareness processes and interprets this raw information.

- Together they constitute concsiousness. (In which case a '+' would have been a great analogy). Yay! but it's wrong. More righterly: Consciousness is a matter of the processes of information.

I've defined 'awareness' quite explicitly at least twice in this thread. In information theory: The state of being informed. Please don't ask me to repeat it.

Again: Sensation provides raw sense data, if it provides anything.

And no, a plus sign would strike me as misleading, but hey, this place isn't ENTIRELY serious, is it! Multiplication would be a relative improvement for some.

Pardon me if I presume: Are you trying to ask me how I account for *synthesis*??!

- Consciousness cannot exist without either.

It's a product not a simple sum. That's why I asked you how you meant "product" earlier. Zero times anything finite is still zero.

What is awareness?See above.

What does this imply for the definition of consciousness as requested in the original post? What does which "this" imply? I get the feeling this isn't the Critical Thinking forum after all. The OP mis-typed Consciousness, and implicitly called for a definition sufficient to determine whether it exists or not. The OP declared that the OP would argue one way or another. Subsequent discussion suggests that the OP is arguing against the possibility that consciousness exists in any meaningful way. Agreed?

One implication of having an agreed upon definition of terms would be to give focus to a discussion. It gives/lends/offers objectivity to an intersubjective venture. Then the discussants can quibble more meaningfully about the quagmire they are creating for themselves. Or they can use introspection and approach enlightenment without relying on mere vulgarity!


ME

Mr. E
13th September 2004, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by Dymanic
Maybe it just seems that way by comparison with the enlightening exchange of
carefully developed and concisely expressed ideas exemplified by this thread.
It boggles the mind to think what might result from you just fooling around.

What struck me on reading that was the resemblance to the sort of thing often produced by random text generators, such as the (most excellent) one found here:
http://www.elsewhere.org/cgi-bin/postmodern/
Don't know about you. I'm just out. Maybe some other time.

If you are reduced to ad hominem suggestions and pattern mis-recognition maybe you shouldn't post any more. Don't take that the wrong way, I appreciated your participation while it lasted and hope you change your *mind*.

ME

[edit - remove silly comma]

H'ethetheth
13th September 2004, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
I've defined 'awareness' quite explicitly at least twice in this thread. In information theory: The state of being informed. Please don't ask me to repeat it.

Sorry, I'll try to find it. But this "being informed" definition just doesn't seem to explain anything other than the information having been stored. However, a computer can do that too.

Again: Sensation provides raw sense data, if it provides anything.

data = information in my head. Please don't confuse me any further.

And no, a plus sign would strike me as misleading, but hey, this place isn't ENTIRELY serious, is it! Multiplication would be a relative improvement for some.

Not for a beginner like me it wouldn't, seriously.

Pardon me if I presume: Are you trying to ask me how I account for *synthesis*??!

Isn't that what your entire story is about? Of course I'm trying to ask you to account for synthesis. Among other things that is.

Zero times anything finite is still zero.

Yeah and something plus nothing is still nothing but something, which also works in this case.

What does which "this" imply? I get the feeling this isn't the Critical Thinking forum after all. The OP mis-typed Consciousness, and implicitly called for a definition sufficient to determine whether it exists or not. The OP declared that the OP would argue one way or another. Subsequent discussion suggests that the OP is arguing against the possibility that consciousness exists in any meaningful way. Agreed?

Agreed, now my second question was this. Awareness is defined by you in some way that I have yet to grasp. What does this definition imply for the definition of consciousness?
Because it seems to me that Dancing David would now ask: Is awareness real in a meaningfull way, or is it just processes in the brain etc.?
This is what I meant earlier by the problem having been shifted inward, and not 'solved'.

One implication of having an agreed upon definition of terms would be to give focus to a discussion.

I think that's why BillyHoyt asked you about vector calculus.

It gives/lends/offers objectivity to an intersubjective venture. Then the discussants can quibble more meaningfully about the quagmire they are creating for themselves. Or they can use introspection and approach enlightenment without relying on mere vulgarity!

I've seen no participants in this discussion relying merely on vulgarity.

H'ethetheth
13th September 2004, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
What kind of definition? Awareness is only metaphorically a place, otherwise it's a state of being informed as stated before. It doesn't "do" anything. Will, intentional and/or reflexive, does stuff, makes things happen.Aha, found it. And it's very much like my view on the self, in that awareness is not real in a material way, but very real in a conceptual way. This is exactly the point in my previous post. This definition has just shifted the question.
So my definition af awareness would become:

Awareness is that part of consciousness, which allows things to perceive and contemplate itself and its surroundings.

Do you see what I'm driving at here?

Mr. E
13th September 2004, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
But this "being informed" definition just doesn't seem to explain anything other than the information having been stored. However, a computer can do that too. So what? Definitions define, they don't necessarily explain. The more formal, often the less content there is to explain. data = information in my head. Please don't confuse me any further.I'm trying to be clear and find the "3 year old Scotch" level at the same time. Thanks for your patience. Of course I'm trying to ask you to account for synthesis. Among other things that is. Sorry, all your issues seemed to be aimed at "awareness" and other things, based on my reading of your posts. That said: I thought the "product" thing had been settled. The synthesis I have in mind/body is more like multiplication than it is like simple arithmetic addition. I'd say more but you seem to chide me for being too wordy.
Yeah and something plus nothing is still nothing but something, which also works in this case. You wrote, "Consciousness cannot exist without either." I would say instead, to match your construction: "Consciousness cannot exist without both." Okay?Agreed, now my second question was this. Awareness is defined by you in some way that I have yet to grasp. What does this definition imply for the definition of consciousness?I hear that you don't grasp the *way*, and thus infer that you do grasp the *what* of the definition. But I'm not using hocus pocus methods of definition here, so I don't see what's out of the ordinary about how I defined the term. Because it seems to me that Dancing David would now ask: Is awareness real in a meaningfull way, or is it just processes in the brain etc.?Looks like a false distinction. Awareness is both, if you are careful about "real".
This is what I meant earlier by the problem having been shifted inward, and not 'solved'.Fine. I didn't claim it had been solved. I claimed to have presented a useful tool for discussion, and so far my claim is holding up to the test. I don't know what you mean by "inward" in this context unless you are referring to the problems of other people - that the process of this thread is slowly and perhaps painfully excluding fart jokes and the like from the focus.[/quote]
I think that's why BillyHoyt asked you about vector calculus.I'd rather not debate your guesses on this matter. I've seen no participants in this discussion relying merely on vulgarity. Glad to hear it.

ME

[edit - adding reply to another post here just noticed]

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mr. E
What kind of definition? Awareness is only metaphorically a place, otherwise it's a state of being informed as stated before. It doesn't "do" anything. Will, intentional and/or reflexive, does stuff, makes things happen.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aha, found it. And it's very much like my view on the self, in that awareness is not real in a material way, but very real in a conceptual way. This is exactly the point in my previous post. This definition has just shifted the question.
So my definition af awareness would become:

Awareness is that part of consciousness, which allows things to perceive and contemplate itself and its surroundings.

Do you see what I'm driving at here?

:end quote

Well, if you like, Awareness is Ideal in a conceptual way. I don't see the shift you seem so clear about, but I suspect it's not that important. And no, you keep attributing more to awareness than warranted. Consciousness is nothing without sensation. And all I see is that you are distorting my words over and over again. Well, not literally "all" but that's the overall impression. Maybe you are trying to argue that your definition is the same as mine?

ME2

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Fine. I didn't claim it had been solved. I claimed to have presented a useful tool for discussion, and so far my claim is holding up to the test. I don't know what you mean by "inward" in this context unless you are referring to the problems of other people - that the process of this thread is slowly and perhaps painfully excluding fart jokes and the like from the focus.


And discuss we did. ;)
Look, I'm sorry if I seem like a bonehead to you, but I seriously have trouble reading most of your sentences, and I'm only now at a level where I can begin to consider the implications of what you argue.
About the false distinction. I just rephrased the original question, which made this distinction and in my opinion this was not completely justified. But that has been settled and I believe we agree on that.
However, I think the dissection of consciousness into its constituents in this way adds little clarity, because all the things that are unique to consciousness are still unaddressed in the same way, but are now attributed to awareness. This is what I mean by "shifted inward".
And other than that, I'm not even sure if I agree with the inclusion of sensation into consciousness. But maybe that's because I don't understand exactly what you mean by "becoming informed".
And I assure you: I don't mind you being a little wordy, as long as you don't bring up supposition fields and the like.

BillHoyt
14th September 2004, 05:31 AM
Mystery,

You appear to be unravelling before our eyes. That's sad, but the basic complaints you're hearing from several quarters are sound:

o you can't twist words to mean whatever you want them to mean,

o you certainly can't use private definitions and expect understanding,

o you can't present hollow, pseudoscientific analogies to bolster your "authority," particularly if you have absolutely nothing to back them up,

o you can't get away with this Interesting Ian nonsense of shifting to subjective definitions. This is a transparently dualist attempt to escape the weight of evidence.

Dude, you're on a skeptic's forum and need to remember the boy scout's motto.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Mystery, You appear to be unravelling before our eyes. If consciousness is becoming less mysterious to you, BillHoyt, that's the point here - demystifying consciousness. Good for you! It's a little odd to personify Mystery the way you do, but I can accept your expression of faith, even if it seems odd coming from a skeptic.

That's sad, What's sad about losing illusions, gaining better understanding of the topic, and the like? I thought that was one of the goals of skepticism, dispelling illusions. Not to make this personal, but ARE you a skeptic in these matters?

you can't twist words to mean whatever you want them to mean,Sez who? Why not? Are you claiming that that is Mr. E's MO or the MO of some Paranormalist Nuts you've encountered before? What is a scientific revolution if not the desires of the leaders of the revolution re-spinning the very grounds of science into a new orientation in the manifold of what is possible? Bill, you sure have/present an authoritarian attitude for a skeptic!?

you certainly can't use private definitions and expect understanding,LOL!! Of course one can. But in *dialog*, or *public* discourse your point is correct enough - if you mean *common* understanding. That's what learning and true communciation is about, right? That's why I started my participation here with a compact clear and complex definition of THE term ostensibly at issue, 'consciousness'. You guys, the forums at large, have a thread I see of 52 pages of "quagmire" -- maybe it's past time to put pastimes to bed and get serious about the truth. Then we can be skeptical from a new orientation. I mean, a skeptic CAN learn, right? Can you?

you can't present hollow, pseudoscientific analogies to bolster your "authority," particularly if you have absolutely nothing to back them up,What's this problem you have with authority, Bill? Still sore about misreading plain English? One may have assumed that was the purpose of the analogy, but that assumption is only good for "bullsh" from "moroons" and the like, speaking of abusive nonsense parading as meaningful private language.

you can't get away with this Interesting Ian nonsense of shifting to subjective definitions. This is a transparently dualist attempt to escape the weight of evidence.Can you resolve the liar's paradox? Can you deal effectively with cognitive dissonance?

Are you sure that Mr. E REALLY is Mystery? Where's the weight of evidence? And stop posting as tho' I am trying to "get away". I'm right here, in your virtual face, despite the cr*p you have previously posted.

There's a difference between nonsense and non-sense. Please show that you understand it.

Dude, you're on a skeptic's forum and need to remember the boy scout's motto. [/B] Dude, I hope you do better at heeding your advice in the future. Also, you might do well to learn the difference between prudent paranoia and being locked up in a padded cell or left out of the game entirely. Come to think of it, someone here referred to the relative age of posters here as 3 years old, so maybe you ARE a child prodigy in the Boy Scouts! [shrug]

To Review Where We Are: We are "on" Randi's website, an EDUCATIONAL Forum, in the CRITICAL THINKING Forum, in a thread on Consiousness(sic) and its definition. Got that?

So, are you prepared to accept the definition so we can move on? I don't want to rush you, in fact that's the last thing I want here.

ME

Irrelevant PS - That said, I am quite well prepared for another similar act of "Zeus" such as what occured last week or so in the collapse of the forum wavefunction in the form of a "disk failure".

Interesting Ian
14th September 2004, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Welcome to the main quagmire. If this is your first visit, you can get a preview of some of the delights in store for you here.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The quagmire I recognize in this context is a bunch of people yammering more or less unconsciously, to put it in vulgar terms. I'm trying to take this thread seriously.



What on earth makes you think the other thread wasn't serious? And I have no idea what you mean by talking "unconsciously". How can one talk unconsciously?



Heh. If a lack of awareness of conscience/self amounts to the sticky pits of questions of human existence and experience... then I'm your inside man! If you are talking about stupid fart jokes, I'd rather be outside the room thanks anyway.



No fart jokes were mentioned in that thread. Are you daft?

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 07:57 AM
Ooh Boy, I think I'm going to hide for a while, and view the spectacle from a little distance. X)

Interesting Ian
14th September 2004, 07:58 AM
Originally posted by Dymanic

Mr E
I'm trying to take this thread seriously.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dymanic
It boggles the mind to think what might result from you just fooling around.[/B]

LMAO

BillHoyt
14th September 2004, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
If consciousness is becoming less mysterious to you, BillHoyt, that's the point here - demystifying consciousness...

Illusions? You mean like the vector math illusion? Or the DNA one? You think your patter clarifies anything? Good, then prove it by:

o sticking with real definitions as opposed to privately concocted notions,

o justify your assertions about vectors and DNA and symmetry

I keep asking. You just get more shrill each time. No answers, just shrill blather.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 08:31 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
[B]Look, I'm sorry if I seem like a bonehead to you, but I seriously have trouble reading most of your sentences, and I'm only now at a level where I can begin to consider the implications of what you argue. No problem, as they say. Many of my sentences have more than one meaning-evocation possible, simple irony or not. But much of the problem you present seems to have rather been over the simplest constructions - "being informed" and the like, so your comment is rather odd here.

About the false distinction. I just rephrased the original question, which made this distinction and in my opinion this was not completely justified. But that has been settled and I believe we agree on that. That's a compound reference and thus evasive. It's primary mode reads to me as the equivalent of a confession on your part that you were not justified in rephrasing the OP's "question". So, please be clear on this. Which is it, your transformation or the OP's original challenge?

However, I think the dissection of consciousness into its constituents in this way adds little clarity, because all the things that are unique to consciousness are still unaddressed in the same way, but are now attributed to awareness. LOL! "now attributed to awareness" I think you must be reading some other thread. Where do you see that attribution in my posts? Haven't I been correcting you on that a number of times already?

This is what I mean by "shifted inward".That's a tired old game of dead people. My consciousness allows for in and out, inward and outward, and the like as simple failure modes of uninformed or confused thinking. Information occurs. Period. If it doesn't occur there can be no learning and arguably no knowledge worth speaking of.

And other than that, I'm not even sure if I agree with the inclusion of sensation into consciousness. But maybe that's because I don't understand exactly what you mean by "becoming informed". Sensation is not included into consciousness. Where did I say it was? Maybe you don't understand but let's stick with one thing at a time here to keep it relatively simple. Sensation is required for consciousness, not included into it. If you like, 'sensation' is included into the definition of 'consciousness'. Is that what you meant?

And I assure you: I don't mind you being a little wordy, as long as you don't bring up supposition fields and the like. Well, they will eventually have to be allowed for and probably discussed, as they are one of the key insights into the nature of consciousness, but we can leave them for later.

ME

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 08:36 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
LMAO Hi Ian!! I hear that you and I seem to have something in common. Welcome to the thread, either way.
Do you have a conscious position to share?

ME

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Do you have a conscious position to share?


Psst, he already did on page 1.

Originally posted by Interesting Ian
It cannot be defined. Certainly it is not a physical process.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Illusions? You mean like the vector math illusion? Or the DNA one? You think your patter clarifies anything? Good, then prove it by:

o sticking with real definitions as opposed to privately concocted notions,

o justify your assertions about vectors and DNA and symmetry

I keep asking. You just get more shrill each time. No answers, just shrill blather. No you don't. What answer does your nonsense require beside laughter? Don't mistake my generosity for anything other than humoring the readers of this thread with an eye to educating some of them.

You are chasing what have become red herrings as far as I can tell and petulantly demanding I waste my time doing your homework for you. Grow up, Mr. Boy Scout!

There's a definition on the table. It's for real. I'm sticking with it; whether I concocted it or not, it's now in the public domain. The OP allows me to post my definition. Get used to it, it's here to stay.

ME

PS - Again, I am not disclaiming the correctness of either analogy.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Psst, he already did on page 1.

Hey thanks!

Does not look like a conscious position to me, but then what do I know about such things! Terms are definable. When is a state a process? What is "it"?


What's the difference between a duck?

ME

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
It cannot be defined. Certainly it is not a physical process.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 09:19 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
What on earth makes you think the other thread wasn't serious? And I have no idea what you mean by talking "unconsciously". How can one talk unconsciously?

No fart jokes were mentioned in that thread. Are you daft?

Are you here to fart around or what? "Garbage in, Ian out." Or take the "contrapositive" of that if you like... Don't get me wrong, despite my occasional wordiness I *do* have a sense of humor, dry or wet.

What on earth are you talking about "the other thread"? Where did the quoted excerpt reference some other thread? What does this have to do with this thread?? But if I did, it would be my earthy imagination which would "make" me think something like that, I suppose.

No idea? Good demo of showing that you lack conscious awareness in one particular instance. Since I assume you are talking, you've just demoed talking more or less unconsciously. Thanks for answering your own question quickly, and yes, I'll take an assist on it. I suppose, again, that this has something to do with the topic here.

Back atcha: Are you daft or (mis)reading for humor?

There is a definition on the table. What next?

ME

hammegk
14th September 2004, 09:23 AM
My, my.

All this time & effort, and DD knows full well that in his worldview --- reality being a Turing machine -- Awareness=Input, Consciousness=Output. Dymanic, II, glad to see you're still around; we even have new blood.

To those re-contemplating the mind-body interface, good luck.

Quagmire, indeed!

BillHoyt
14th September 2004, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E

PS - Again, I am not disclaiming the correctness of either analogy.

Yet when asked to defend it, you back away. You're doing nothing but wasting the time of this thread's readers. You have three basic choices here:

o Defend your assertions
o Disclaim them
o State that you've no evidence with which to defend them

Right now you seem to be taking the McCarthy fourth choice, upholding your assertions, but refusing to deliver any details.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Right now you seem to be taking the McCarthy fourth choice, upholding your assertions, but refusing to deliver any details. And you seem to be laboring under a delusion that you are exhibiting conscious critical thinking skills, in the critical thinking forum no less, which go beyond childish demands and nonsense.

Read my lips: Then was yesterday. Now is today. The red herrings you are currently offering were presented correctly at the time for a specific purpose at the time. That purpose is no longer in play, seriously speaking. If one rereads the context, one can see what I mean.

What details of the definition warrant further exposition at this time, Bill, besides your red herrings? Are you accepting the definition or challenging it publicly?

ME

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
No problem, as they say. Many of my sentences have more than one meaning-evocation possible, simple irony or not. But much of the problem you present seems to have rather been over the simplest constructions - "being informed" and the like, so your comment is rather odd here.

Be they simple or not. Every time I think I understand what you mean when you say something like "being informed", I find out that it's not what you mean, so it can't be that simple then.

That's a compound reference and thus evasive. It's primary mode reads to me as the equivalent of a confession on your part that you were not justified in rephrasing the OP's "question". So, please be clear on this. Which is it, your transformation or the OP's original challenge?

I'm sorry, I should have re-read that before posting. I meant that the distinction was not completely justified. However implying that it is evasive is a bit quick on the trigger.

LOL! "now attributed to awareness" I think you must be reading some other thread. Where do you see that attribution in my posts? Haven't I been correcting you on that a number of times already?
Laugh all you want, but it doesn't help me to understand where the complicated part of consciousness takes place.

That's a tired old game of dead people. My consciousness allows for in and out, inward and outward, and [...]
Yes, that's what I mean by inward...

Let me say this: You split up consciousness into two parts. They are "inside" consciousness so to speak. The interesting things are not going on inside the raw sense data stream that is sensation. So the interesting things must be going on either within the awareness part or within the synthesis/multiplication part.
In the first case I can sort of imagine what your take on awareness is, in the second case I need to review my algebra books on how things interact when multiplied, and then conclude that I do not understand what you're saying.

Well, they will eventually have to be allowed for and probably discussed, as they are one of the key insights into the nature of consciousness, but we can leave them for later.
Alas, you'll have to deal with that without me then, because I don't really like to debate subjects I don't know anything about.

BillHoyt
14th September 2004, 09:41 AM
PS - Again, I am not disclaiming the correctness of either analogy.

Were these not your words, Mystery? If so, you put the assertions back in play, netwit.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by hammegk
Quagmire, indeed! Hi!

What quagmire, besides 52 pages of blather in search of meaning in some other thread?

Mind/body can be obfuscated or clarified. What's your poison in this context?


ME

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Were these not your words, Mystery? If so, you put the assertions back in play, netwit.

They were Mr. E's words in a PS, Dirtbag. You're evidently been stuffed full of trash, so full you don't know the difference between making a claim and denying that one is disclaiming something.

Thanks for tacitly admitting my claim that the analogies are not relevant. Meanwhile, there has been a definition in play, tho' "people" seem to want to diddle themselves with other toys... :(

Have a dirty day, and do get back to us about the definition itself as presented when you are ready to do so.


ME

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 10:04 AM
Mr. E

About accepting the definition: I cannot accept it before I understand it. Clearly I do not.
So I would like you to explain it to me in a way that I do understand, because I want to understand.
You might illustrate it with a story that begins with something like: Bill sees a flower, the sense data travels to his brain where... etc

edit: If supposition fields come into play somewhere here, could you fill me in on them first?

BillHoyt
14th September 2004, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
They were Mr. E's words in a PS, Dirtbag. You're evidently been stuffed full of trash, so full you don't know the difference between making a claim and denying that one is disclaiming something.

Thanks for tacitly admitting my claim that the analogies are not relevant. Meanwhile, there has been a definition in play, tho' "people" seem to want to diddle themselves with other toys... :(

Have a dirty day, and do get back to us about the definition itself as presented when you are ready to do so.


ME

You're a waste of time.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Be they simple or not. Every time I think I understand what you mean when you say something like "being informed", I find out that it's not what you mean, so it can't be that simple then. Nah, did I deny that there is a sense in which computers can be said to be informed? You brought it up, so I figured it meant something to you. It's not the last word, but if you want to start with it, fine. My pet topic is of course Synthetic Consciousness, human or otherwise.

I'm sorry, I should have re-read that before posting. I meant that the distinction was not completely justified. However implying that it is evasive is a bit quick on the trigger.Well, if you mean something DD posted, let's let DD argue it.

Laugh all you want, but it doesn't help me to understand where the complicated part of consciousness takes place. What complicated part?

Let me say this: You split up consciousness into two parts. Three. Remember your good point about three dimensions?

They are "inside" consciousness so to speak.No. Consciousness exists/occurs because of them, one might try that construction instead. btw, didn't you just agree that "inward" is the talk of dead people? Questions about the contents of consciousness might become relevant at some point. However, at that point they might also become irrelevant.

The interesting things are not going on inside the raw sense data stream that is sensation. So the interesting things must be going on either within the awareness part or within the synthesis/multiplication part.All three are interesting to me.

In the first case I can sort of imagine what your take on awareness is, in the second case I need to review my algebra books on how things interact when multiplied, and then conclude that I do not understand what you're saying.Which first case?


Alas, you'll have to deal with that without me then, because I don't really like to debate subjects I don't know anything about. [/B] That's what learning is for. If you've never taken an ordinary high school math class, "suppose" might seem unreal to you. Let's deal with that later.

ME

BillHoyt
14th September 2004, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Three. Remember your good point about three dimensions?

...

That's what learning is for. If you've never taken an ordinary high school math class, "suppose" might seem unreal to you. Let's deal with that later.

ME

Oh, my, mystery, you're back on the math thing again. Oh, my, mystery, you fail to recognize the relevance of my basis set questions, and the tie-in to the dimensions question here.

You raised it again, mystery. Now how about answering? Or do you need me to define the relevance for you?

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
You're a waste of time. I've been waiting for you to "say" that again ever since your first rude post in re my posts in this thread.

Now that you got over that, how about a nice cup of tea while we talk about the definition of interest here so as to set the ground to test whether it exists or not, the ostensible point of the thread. If you think Define Consiousness is a waste of time, enjoy your waste of time.

And you've completely ignored the post about emulations and supposition fields, while YOU were the one who brought up those topics if implicitly. That's what I get for trying to take your posts seriously, huh!


ME

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Oh, my, mystery, you're back on the math thing again Didn't you just state something about a waste of time??

ME

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Nah, did I deny that there is a sense in which computers can be said to be informed? You brought it up, so I figured it meant something to you. It's not the last word, but if you want to start with it, fine. My pet topic is of course Synthetic Consciousness, human or otherwise.

Anything I bring up is in the hope of finding some common ground. And it just doesn't seem to happen.

Three. Remember your good point about three dimensions? No no no! We're not going back to vector math again!

(1)awareness
(2)sensation

That makes two.
btw, didn't you just agree that "inward" is the talk of dead people?

No I didn't, I was too dumbfounded by that particular piece of proza. I couldn't even imagine what you thought I mean by shifting the question inward, but enough of that now, let's leave that behind, because it's confusing you so it's not helping me either.
Questions about the contents of consciousness might become relevant at some point. However, at that point they might also become irrelevant.

err...yes? no? ...maybe? ...please don't hurt me if I'm wrong.

Which first case?
The 'either' case of either and or

Now please tell me about Bill from my previous post, please.

Interesting Ian
14th September 2004, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
[B]Are you here to fart around or what?



No, I was asking you a couple of questions. I'm certainly not here to "fart around". Nor have I any idea why you should think I am.



"Garbage in, Ian out."



What are you referring to??





Or take the "contrapositive" of that if you like...



I have no idea what you are talking about.



Don't get me wrong, despite my occasional wordiness I *do* have a sense of humor, dry or wet.



I have no interest whether you have or not.





What on earth are you talking about "the other thread"? Where did the quoted excerpt reference some other thread?



It is difficult to know what you are talking about, but since immediately preceding that you were referring to that thread that Dymanic linked to - a thread which refers to farts, and then you talk about not liking fart jokes, it seems reasonable for me to infer that this was what you were referring to.



What does this have to do with this thread?? But if I did, it would be my earthy imagination which would "make" me think something like that, I suppose.



This conveys nothing to me. It is nonsensical (as the majority of your posts appear to be).



No idea? Good demo of showing that you lack conscious awareness in one particular instance.



If I lack conscious awareness I wouldn't be able to type on this keyboard. However, if this is your way of saying I'm stupid then please save your insults. If you have any problems with any arguments I have provided eg that other thread you disparaged, then please specify what they might be.




Since I assume you are talking, you've just demoed talking more or less unconsciously.



It seems that you fail to understand what the word unconscious means, and, by implication, fail to understand what consciousness means. Which rather makes your contributions to this thread a total waste of time.


Thanks for answering your own question quickly, and yes, I'll take an assist on it. I suppose, again, that this has something to do with the topic here.

Back atcha: Are you daft or (mis)reading for humor?

There is a definition on the table. What next?


Try to communicate in English; then I might be able to respond.

BillHoyt
14th September 2004, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Didn't you just state something about a waste of time??

ME

Answer the questions you can no longer pretend to be irrelevant since you raised them again.

BillHoyt
14th September 2004, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Now please tell me about Bill from my previous post, please.

That one's easy: it ain't flowers Bill's smelling here...

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
That one's easy: it ain't flowers Bill's smelling here...

Wait! don't tell me. It's....









FART JOKES!!!!!!!

Is it?

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
About accepting the definition: I cannot accept it before I understand it. Oh? Isn't that the way learning works? I'm not saying you have to bow down and pray to it, not that kind/degree of "accept". But if you don't accept it as a working tool, you must challenge it, ridicule it, or stay out of the conversation, yes? Are there other choices?

Clearly I do not.
So I would like you to explain it to me in a way that I do understand, because I want to understand.
You might illustrate it with a story that begins with something like: Bill sees a flower, the sense data travels to his brain where... etcI might not. The following might look like an aside, and might be one, but humor the notion that it might prove to be informative, please.

You raise two good points, maybe three:

Desire (want)
The way of understanding
The what of understanding

The desire helps. Otherwise understanding tends to be accidental at best. The way depends on the one who desires to grasp the what. In other words, just declaring "I don't understand" is hardly helpful to a teacher in finding a way for the student. The best serious approach is always for the student to show what s/he sincerely misunderstands, not for the teacher to tell flowery tales, vulgar or otherwise. Accepting flowery tales is more indoctrination than the development of critical thinking skills and deeper understanding. So, please, show me what you sincerely don't understand about the topic. Keep it simple, at a 3 year old level, one step at a time.

edit: If supposition fields come into play somewhere here, could you fill me in on them first? [/B]

Are you sure? You've explicitly told me not to invoke them here. But it strikes me that you have already, yourself, in this post if implicitly!!

ME

Interesting Ian
14th September 2004, 11:09 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
It cannot be defined. Certainly it is not a physical process.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Does not look like a conscious position to me, but then what do I know about such things!



Not much it would seem.




Terms are definable.



Can you demonstrate this to be so? Consciousness sure can't be defined. Yet we all know perfectly what it is.

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Oh? Isn't that the way learning works? I'm not saying you have to bow down and pray to it, not that kind/degree of "accept". But if you don't accept it as a working tool, you must challenge it, ridicule it, or stay out of the conversation, yes? Are there other choices?

No it isn't the way learning works. If I get a definition of a circle that I don't understand, I cannot use it as a tool. Maybe It should be presented to me in such a way that it appeals to me, and makes me accept it and use it as a tool.

Yes there are other choices: I don't understand your definition as a working tool.

Per your request:

I don't understand how to synthesise awareness and sensation.
I do not know how to multiply words, states or processes , this is not something I've been taught at school.
I do not understand what awareness constitutes in your model.
I do therefore not understand what consciousness is in your model.

So explain to me:

Bill sees a flower, and his raw sense data is synthesised such and such...

Atlas
14th September 2004, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
What's the difference between a duck?

ME
More questions are raised here than I can keep up with but since no one else tackled this one....

It at first reminded me of my brother's favorite stupid joke.
Question: What is the difference between an Orange?
Answer: A motorcycle, because a telephone pole has no doors.

Maybe I need to get out more but this is the first time having it presented with the duck twist, which is obviously much more interesting to ponder. I googled around for a definitive answer.

One "correct" answer was given as - 'Both legs went to separate schools together'
But the best I saw was: 'One goes quack'

Also I found a link to a short discussion on the topic. (http://www.stupidquestions.org/viewtopic.php?topic=135&forum=1&16)

Interesting Ian
14th September 2004, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Atlas
Originally posted by Mr. E
What's the difference between a duck?

ME
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


More questions are raised here than I can keep up with but since no one else tackled this one....



I didn't answer it because the question has no meaning. Between a duck and what?

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
I didn't answer it because the question has no meaning. Between a duck and what?

hehehehehehehe, that's funny.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Can you demonstrate this to be so?To whom? See the Randi Challenge Form if you don't get the drift here. See my post to H'ethetheth about understanding if you're seriously in doubt.Consciousness sure can't be defined.Looks like empty denial, again. Can you give your statement some meaning here? Yet we all know perfectly what it is.Aren't you assuming the conclusion?

ME

hammegk
14th September 2004, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
.... Aren't you assuming the conclusion?

ME

No, he's stating that he *is* conscious, and that all else is assumption.

Re mind/body interface: my take is "what a load of illogical bs".

Atlas
14th September 2004, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
I didn't answer it because the question has no meaning. Between a duck and what? Your appreciation of the absurd is stunted my friend. You are too Idealistic and need to be a pure subjectivist to explore your own question for an illogical answer. Be careful, we like to tease the English about their lack of a sense of humor. Take 3 episodes of Monty Python and call me in the morning.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
[B]No it isn't the way learning works.Oh, how does learning work for you?
If I get a definition of a circle that I don't understand, I cannot use it as a tool.Sorry to hear that. Other persons might. Ever hear of "experiment"? Not all definitions are petards, and thus understandably avoidable. You're just dogding here.

Maybe It should be presented to me in such a way that it appeals to me, and makes me accept it and use it as a tool.Wouldn't that be nice, to have the world on a silver platter! How would that "make" you accept it anyway? Wouldn't a skeptic be able to deny even his or her own "appeals"?

Yes there are other choices: I don't understand your definition as a working tool.Oh. I recall seeing a "Yes!" or some such from you in this regard some posts back. Maybe I misread an obvious sign of agreement?

I don't understand how to synthesise awareness and sensation.I hear ya. We're getting to that, sooner or later. But do you agree that you are doing it already even if you don't yet understand how you are doing it?

I do not know how to multiply words, states or processes , this is not something I've been taught at school.Maybe you just don't recognize that you do know how, or that the "know how" is latent in your brain etc. if not highly activated. Do you know how to add words etc? You suggested a '+' sign at one point. Didn't you mean it?

I do not understand what awareness constitutes in your model.If it's a model, awareness is what is synthesized with sensation. I realize that's not adding much, but it is adding something. See the fairy tale below for more.

I do therefore not understand what consciousness is in your model.It's your "model", kind sir, but we might share it. Let's see... as a model, consciousness is that which is being modelled, and that which is becoming modelled in this very thread. It's a matter of the synthesis of sensastion with awareness, as we've already noted too often.

So explain to me:

Bill sees a flower, and his raw sense data is synthesised such and such... Well, given the above disclaimer about fairy tales and understanding, okay but don't blame me if you don't like it:

There are two important things necessary for consciousness as humans "have" it. In order to see the classically real flower, our friendly Troll must open his eyes so that photons might strike his retina and so on. Casually speaking, sense data in the form or nerual impulses propogate up his optic nerve, whether he understands this or not. Meanwhile various processes in the brain are excited including what we call memory. An image forms up "in" Bill's subjective visual field based on a synthesis of the sense stream being processed semi-automatically by sub and non conscious processes in coordination with what we call memory (eg, perceptual prejudice); if Bill is informed as to flowers what forms up is different than if he is clueless. But Bill still doesn't recognize the flower, to him its just a vague disturbance at this point. Meanwhile, whether because of or alongside of the image, construction, processes are engaged to further match the pattern initiated partly by sense data. These processes in effect scan memory to see if it contains anything which conforms to the sense stream. To the extent that a fit is found, Bill might cognize what he's looking at, as say, a daisy or a turd. But he's still short of full consciousness at this point, and it's arguable whether he has recognized it or is still simply experiencing more or less raw stuff.

How's that so far? I've pointed out a role for sensation and awareness, and outlined how they "work" together. Is this helping?

ME

>>>edit note: Found Art alert re "dogding". Serious readers might want to treat that as a typo of a dyslexia sort. My proofreading skills aren't perfect.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by hammegk
No, he's stating that he *is* conscious, and that all else is assumption. No, put his words next to yours in very close proximity, and get back to us with how the text strings are manifestly not different even to a word processor. Or are you his attorney here, speaking for him??

Re mind/body interface: my take is "what a load of illogical bs". Hmmm, well, humor has its better and worse sides. But if you are a serious student of consciousness, please see the fairy tale in my recent reply to H'ethetheth, for maybe it will at least tease your humor into an utterance, if not all that excited a one!

ME

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by Atlas
Your appreciation of the absurd is stunted my friend. You are too Idealistic and need to be a pure subjectivist to explore your own question for an illogical answer. Be careful, we like to tease the English about their lack of a sense of humor. Take 3 episodes of Monty Python and call me in the morning. Hi. I don't believe we've met yet.

Your point may be well taken, but this is not to deny meaning to the placement of that text string in that context.

Thanks for joining in! Or re-joining, since I don't claim to be all knowing here in the usually fallacious manner!!

ME

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 01:32 PM
ooops, try again.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
I didn't answer it because the question has no meaning. Between a duck and what? Pop quiz:

What is the meaning of that which the symbol 0 is commonly taken to refer to?

ME

PS - Still waiting on that other post...

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Oh. I recall seeing a "Yes!" or some such from you in this regard some posts back. Maybe I misread an obvious sign of agreement?
Like I said, everytime I think I understand, you tell me I'm wrong.

I hear ya. We're getting to that, sooner or later. But do you agree that you are doing it already even if you don't yet understand how you are doing it?
Maybe you just don't recognize that you do know how, or that the "know how" is latent in your brain etc. if not highly activated. Do you know how to add words etc? You suggested a '+' sign at one point. Didn't you mean it?
Yes, Incidentally I'm also copying my DNA on a regular basis, yet I've no idea how. That has nothing to do with this definition, since it's meant a construct to make me understand something. I don't just want to synthesise awareness and sensation all my life without understanding how. You claim to understand, and I'm curious.
And about the adding business. Let me give you an analogy. I have an apple and a pear. I add them, and the result I dub for some reason: a 'set'. What is the definition af a 'set'? apple+pear.
Hmmmmm, fruity.

Now I shall try to multiply them, what do I get?
And I shall synthesise them, what do I get?
Some sort of fruity anomaly I imagine, but that's where my intuition stops.
I could ask myself how to synthesise them.
Literally? As the greek would. Just put them somewhere together?
Maybe.
Put them both in a vice and squish them, and then sculpt a cube out of the result?
Maybe.

If it's a model, awareness is what is synthesized with sensation. I realize that's not adding much, but it is adding something. See the fairy tale below for more.
Hmm, no. Circular reasoning adds nothing, but hurray for fairy tales.

There are [...] An image forms up "in" Bill's subjective visual field based on a synthesis of the sense stream being processed semi-automatically by sub and non conscious processes in coordination with what we call memory (eg, perceptual prejudice); if Bill is informed as to flowers what forms up is different than if he is clueless. But Bill still doesn't recognize the flower, to him its just a vague disturbance at this point. Meanwhile, whether because of or alongside of the image, construction, processes are engaged to further match the pattern initiated partly by sense data.[...]

How's that so far? I've pointed out a role for sensation and awareness, and outlined how they "work" together. Is this helping?

Yes, I think it is. If I read this right, awareness is essentially the unconscious (automatic) processing of the sense data. But I don't understand why you say at the end that Bill is "still short of full consciousness"?
But again, yes. Thank you, this is helping. And I might add: Finally. ;)

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
That one's easy: it ain't flowers Bill's smelling here... Ah.. that Advanced Degree in CR*Pology might be lurking yet behind the facade. Hmmm... could be vermin I guess. As one of your pals said, Speak English, and please use complete sentences. And make it clearly topical if you want a serious reply.

The Management Thanks You!

ME

Atlas
14th September 2004, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Pop quiz:

What is the meaning of that which the symbol 0 is commonly taken to refer to?

ME Hello Mr E, I tried my own thoughts out on this subject earlier and didn't get much traction. Then I got distracted in the Politics forum.

For me, the symbol 0 refers to a number of units. It is shaped like an empty corral. It signifies something like No Goats. Some believe it signifies "nothing". But it is a number and numbers refer to units.

I think we thank the Arabs for it. The Romans didn't have it. I've always marvelled at the thought of great architecture happening without a mathematics that included the number 0. But thankfully, a lot of the concepts of geometry are not dependent on it.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
[B]Like I said, everytime I think I understand, you tell me I'm wrong. How rude we must seem to work in the gutter of consciousness. Just keeping working at it. I recommend you let logic be your guide, but don't get dogmatically entrenched in it.

Yes, Incidentally I'm also copying my DNA on a regular basis, yet I've no idea how. That has nothing to do with this definition, since it's meant a construct to make me understand something.Oh, is it? But, okay, being conscious of the unconscious is definitely a weird notion, huh! That's one reason I prefer focus, we could end up rambling for years without it.

I don't just want to synthesise awareness and sensation all my life without understanding how. You claim to understand, and I'm curious.Something like that.

And about the adding business. Let me give you an analogy. I have an apple and a pear. I add them, and the result I dub for some reason: a 'set'. What is the definition af a 'set'? apple+pear. Hmmmmm, fruity.Are you asking for a quick primer in set theory ala ME? I'd be happy to post a tiresome essay I wrote about it some years ago. Well, maybe not all that tedious a read... Seriously, it's quite topical and probably at your professed reading level. Defines "set" and other goodies. It ain't short... but then it's not as long as this thread seems to be at this point. Let me know definitively.

Now I shall try to multiply them, what do I get?
And I shall synthesise them, what do I get?
Some sort of fruity anomaly I imagine, but that's where my intuition stops.
I could ask myself how to synthesise them.
Literally? As the greek would. Just put them somewhere together?
Maybe.
Put them both in a vice and squish them, and then sculpt a cube out of the result?
Maybe.Excellent beginning. Yay for you, Duuude! Your text strings suggest that you have a basic grasp of the scientific method, and are able to put it into casual words. Yes, trial and error IS part of the SM and also part of human experience in general. Hmm, no. Circular reasoning adds nothing, but hurray for fairy tales.Reasoning? Let me guess. You "know" you do it, but you don't quite know "how" you do it all.Yes, I think it is. If I read this right, awareness is essentially the unconscious (automatic) processing of the sense data. Sigh... like in horseshoes, does sorta close count? The synthesis is the processing, or vice versa. And it's "semi-automatic"and not entirely unconscious, please. Awareness is simply the state of being informed, as it was in the beginning.

But I don't understand why you say at the end that Bill is "still short of full consciousness"?
But again, yes. Thank you, this is helping. And I might add: Finally. ;) Well, let's clear up things to this point before I launch into Chapter 2 of How The Friendly Troll Became Self-Conscious.

First, there are a number of perhaps minor points above. Please respond effectively.

Second, you had denied something about learning. I asked. You didn't respond. It's not irrelevant here.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
[B]No it isn't the way learning works.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh, how does learning work for you?

:endquote

How does learning work for you?

ME

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Atlas
For me, the symbol 0 refers to a number of units. It is shaped like an empty corral. It signifies something like No Goats. Some believe it signifies "nothing". But it is a number and numbers refer to units.The quiz was directed at Ian, the poster who expressed doubts (perhaps denial) about the meaning of that question, but thanks for sharing. So it has meaning for you, Atlas? I am not clear on how numbers signify units like millimeters. The number doesn't signify that, *we* "connect" units to some numbers, often for keeping track of the quantity of whatever in electromagnetic impulses, or goats, pigs, or..... ducks. What units are Pi ducks? No, I think there is some explaining to be done here.

I think we thank the Arabs for it. The Romans didn't have it. I've always marvelled at the thought of great architecture happening without a mathematics that included the number 0. But thankfully, a lot of the concepts of geometry are not dependent on it. Well, analytic geometry could be what you are indirectly referring to, but I agree that Descartes didn't build Rome, Alexandria, or any other ancient civilization in a day, in any usual sense of the words.

~~

ME

Interesting Ian
14th September 2004, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
[B]Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Can you demonstrate this to be so?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To whom? See the Randi Challenge Form if you don't get the drift here. See my post to H'ethetheth about understanding if you're seriously in doubt.



Huh?? What has Randi's challenge got to do with your unsubstantiated assertion that all terms can be defined??





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consciousness sure can't be defined.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Looks like empty denial, again. Can you give your statement some meaning here?


I mean what I say. I'm not sure how many differing ways it could be said. Not many though.

Now if you want to deny this then go ahead and give it shot. And cut the nonsensical drivel.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yet we all know perfectly what it is.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aren't you assuming the conclusion?


What conclusion?

Interesting Ian
14th September 2004, 04:03 PM
Mr. E,

When is it going to get through to that concrete head of yours that the utterance "What's the difference between a duck"? is not a question. It is wholly without any meaning. A lot of your utterances are likewise. Get it through your thick skull that I cannot answer a question which is devoid of any meaning.

I will not be responding to you again unless you have anything of remote intelligence to say.

H'ethetheth
14th September 2004, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Are you asking for a quick primer in set theory ala ME? I'd be happy to post a tiresome essay [...] No, you missed the point of this part. I'm not asking you to pump me full of set theory. Read that part again but substitute the word "set" by "Gehoigefizzer". And don't give me stories about the essay you wrote on Gehoigefizzer theory.
Incidentally, do you see, that the "Gehoigefizzer" does not exist without either apple or pear?

Excellent beginning. Yay for you, Duuude! Your text strings suggest that you have a basic grasp of the scientific method, and are able to put it into casual words. Yes, trial and error IS part of the SM and also part of human experience in general. Reasoning? Let me guess. You "know" you do it, but you don't quite know "how" you do it all.
Yay for me(!)
Seriously, what's with the paternal attitude all of a sudden?

Sigh... like in horseshoes, does sorta close count? The synthesis is the processing, or vice versa. And it's "semi-automatic"and not entirely unconscious, please. Awareness is simply the state of being informed, as it was in the beginning.
It is also still as unclear as it was in the beginning. And if awareness is not entirely unconscious, is consciousness then partially the product of itself? (This time the word product can be taken any way you like.) Doesn't that make for a very unpractical definition?

How does learning work for me. Let's see.
I have a set of axioms, I don't know all of them explicitly, but they all sort of agree with my experiences to date.
Then someone I'd like to believe, and who seems knowledgable on a subject I want to know more about, tells me about this subject.
I will then try to relate it to my experiences, and try to detect conflicts with my axioms. If I cannot relate it to my experiences I will be skeptical, and ask questions, and more questions if need be.
If I see a conflict my axioms, I will try to reconsider my axioms and when I've reconsidered them and found them inconsistent I will change my axioms.
If I don't see conflict with my (new) axioms and can relate it to my experience I hold it true.

In this discussion, I'm still trying to relate what you're saying to my experience. I have not succeeded quite yet, nor do I see the relevance of this, but here you go.

Effective enough?

P.S. This is not an invitation for a tangent on axioms.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 04:39 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mr. E
[B]Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Can you demonstrate this to be so?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To whom? See the Randi Challenge Form if you don't get the drift here. See my post to H'ethetheth about understanding if you're seriously in doubt.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Huh?? What has Randi's challenge got to do with your unsubstantiated assertion that all terms can be defined??Evidently you have reading and/or thinking and/or imaginary difficulties the likes of which only you can deal with effectively. Good luck to you. I mean that.

The prior post stands otherwise unmarred by your reply.

I repeat: To whom? ...

ME

Dancing David
14th September 2004, 04:39 PM
Posted by Mr. E
Does it? I recognize your first comments there as distraction from the topic. As for processing by the brain, maybe you didn't read my post to BillHoyt about Supposition Fields? It would seem to have anticipated what you call the point you didn't make yet.

I am not sure what Supposition Fields would be, there are a lot of studies about the areas of the brain which take sensation and create perception. I am concrete so I tend to be mechanistic.


I think you are agreeing with me here. There are forms or modes of sensation. I would like to distinguish emotions recognized via normal sense and those experienced more directly. I haven't thought much about it yet. I have found that I can label my own raw body sensations different things depending on my attitude.


I would say there are no emotions that are not just cognitive labels applied to physical states of arousal. The contextual nature of emotions leads me to suppose that they are plastic labels applied cognitively after the fact.


"mytical' -- I guess that's Found Art. 'mystical' or 'mythical'? I won't argue against Found Art!

Do you dispute existence outside of the material realm, or are you against Found Art?



I meant mythical but mytical will do!

I haven’t seen any evidence to support existence outside the material realm.



also posted by Mr. E.

The synthesis I have in mind/body is more like multiplication than it is like simple arithmetic addition.


What if I suggest that here is no mind either, there is only body?

Dancing David
14th September 2004, 04:41 PM
Posted by H’ethetheth

Awareness processes and interprets this raw information.




It is my belief that most of this is done in the neurological networks, and that the raw data is already very interpreted by the brain, but if what you mean is meaning, then that is still something other than what most people label as awareness.


also posted by H’ethetheth

Awareness is that part of consciousness, which allows things to perceive and contemplate itself and its surroundings.


Now there is a sentence that can be chewed on by a reduction:
That which allows us to perceive is the brain and in fact it makes the constructions of perception.
Contemplation sounds like memory and cognition.

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
No, you missed the point of this part. I'm not asking you to pump me full of set theoryOf course, but that's my point, and your charcertization is ludicrous, plus the essay is topical. But I won't insist. Yay for me(!) Seriously, what's with the paternal attitude all of a sudden?Are you imagining things?? But I agree with y/our point that attitude is an important player in the unfolding drama of consciousness. It is also still as unclear as it was in the beginning. And if awareness is not entirely unconscious, is consciousness then partially the product of itself? (This time the word product can be taken any way you like.) Doesn't that make for a very unpractical definition?A good definition has to allow for a wide range of "things", practical or not.

The first question has a good part. My definition is a partial solution to the dilemma I guess you reference. It proposes a "solid" ground for limited consciousness on "top" of which other more challenging consciousness aspects might occur/exist (and be modelled too). Thus the fairy tale stopped after Chapter 1, for us to clear up things like this. Since you like stories, let me offer some examples of conscious control of perception which may make the notion more concrete for you.

You close your eyes in fright. Trivial?
You look at an old hag and see a young lady;
You look at the same picture, and can switch back and forth from one "view" to the other;
Whether consciousness "exists" or not, many people are capable of doing these *experiments*.

Did that little story help concretize it?


How does learning work for me. Let's see.Yeah I get that, but how does it *work* *for* you, beneath all that vague post facto rationalization? Do you have a theory about how all that axiom stuff is possible in the first place, which theory proves your claim that "No it isn't the way learning works."? That's what I'm asking you for. How do you know that the learning I pointed at isn't in fact at the base of what we might call "your" learning (as described).



ME

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Mr. E,

When is it going to get through to that concrete head of yours that the utterance "What's the difference between a duck"? is not a question. It is wholly without any meaning. Nice typo, but totally bogus as usual. Even so, your very reply here shows the prior post with the true text string in it had meaning. It had purpose, intention, and consequence. If you had not replied it would have had at most weak meaning, being apparently inconsequential between us (tho Atlas also gave it meaning). Maybe you had some now dead definition of 'meaning' to which you might give meaning in/via text form here?

I will not be responding to you again unless you have anything of remote intelligence to say. LOL! Remote control, Ian.

[Hey, BillHoyt, are you catching any symmetry breaking here?]

ME

Mr. E
14th September 2004, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by Dancing David
[B]I am not sure what Supposition Fields would be, there are a lot of studies about the areas of the brain which take sensation and create perception. I am concrete so I tend to be mechanistic.Can you handle abstraction concretely, and abstract from the concrete?

Supposition fields are created by making the mind ready. I am prepared to discuss this more elsewhere but it seems perhap not the right time, except to give a hint: In math, "Let X...." is one incantation. Effective desire and prejudice are two other aspects. The null set is another.

I would say there are no emotions that are not just cognitive labels applied to physical states of arousal. The contextual nature of emotions leads me to suppose that they are plastic labels applied cognitively after the fact.Emotions are not labels. We might apply labels to stuff, and label some stuff "anger-feeling" etc. But the general existence of emotion as a body-thing/process is undeniable to most human beings, as you admit. And since people recognize physical states with some if plastic consistency, we must accept those states as at least vague and indefinite candidates as objects of consciousness.

I meant mythical but mytical will do!Non-sense is what it is, but that's no reason to wallow in it.

I haven’t seen any evidence to support existence outside the material realm.Well, looks like you're headed to the question of the definition of "exist". When you close your eyes and picture something, say a shiny copper penny, is your imaging of it material? Or do you lack imagination sufficient to that test? If you see it even vaguely then it exists if only vaguely, else you lack imagination. Mind you, I'm not quibbling about whether brain function is responsible for the image.

What if I suggest that here is no mind either, there is only body? I would say you were being silly, sneaky, or careless. Old story: What if someone suggests that there is no body either, there is only mind? Anyway, I'm voting for carelessness here.

ME

H'ethetheth
15th September 2004, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by Dancing David
It is my belief that most of this is done in the neurological networks, and that the raw data is already very interpreted by the brain, but if what you mean is meaning, then that is still something other than what most people label as awareness.


Now there is a sentence that can be chewed on by a reduction:
That which allows us to perceive is the brain and in fact it makes the constructions of perception.
Contemplation sounds like memory and cognition.

I agree with you completely, I already did at the beginning of the thread. I have a feeling even Mr. E agrees with you there.
But I just want to find out exactly what Mr. E thinks about this, and to find out, I want to relate his nomenclature to my experience and then be able to say something useful about it.
Unfortunately without much succes.

H'ethetheth
15th September 2004, 02:11 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Of course, but that's my point, and your charcertization is ludicrous, plus the essay is topical. But I won't insist.
My characterisation is not nearly as ludicrous as your vector analogy, not by a long shot.

The first question has a good part. My definition is a partial solution to the dilemma I guess you reference. It proposes a "solid" ground for limited consciousness on "top" of which other more challenging consciousness aspects might occur/exist (and be modelled too).

[...]

Did that little story help concretize it?

I get a feeling your definition wil solve anything you want it to solve, even global warming.

By "conscious control of perception". Do you mean control of sensation? If not, then this story concretises nothing. Otherwise little.

Yeah I get that, but how does it *work* *for* you, beneath all that vague post facto rationalization?[...]

Isn't that what we're doing here al the time? post facto rationalising?

Okay , you said. I can...
- accept definitions as tools
- challenge them
- ridicule them
- do nothing.

Bottom line is: I need to learn and understand the definition completely before I can do any of these things except "do nothing"

A good definition has to allow for a wide range of "things", practical or not.

And this, my friend, is the silliest thing you've said since you brought up vector calculus.
A good definition must exclude everything that is not the thing it defines, and above all it needs to be practical as a tool, for the reason above. (the bottom line:...)
A definition that allows anything you might come up with later in this discussion is not useful. It's bogus.

I'm out of this thread for while, I've had it. Maybe BillyHoyt has some soothing words for me.

Interesting Ian
15th September 2004, 02:48 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Originally posted by Mr. E
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Can you demonstrate this to be so?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To whom? See the Randi Challenge Form if you don't get the drift here. See my post to H'ethetheth about understanding if you're seriously in doubt.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Huh?? What has Randi's challenge got to do with your unsubstantiated assertion that all terms can be defined??
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Evidently you have reading and/or thinking and/or imaginary difficulties the likes of which only you can deal with effectively. Good luck to you. I mean that.

The prior post stands otherwise unmarred by your reply.

I repeat: To whom? ...



WTF?? I cannot make head or tail of what you are saying. To whom what? What the f*ck are you talking about you complete tit?? Could you please answer my question?? I repeat:


What has Randi's challenge got to do with your unsubstantiated assertion that all terms can be defined??

Interesting Ian
15th September 2004, 03:03 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Mr. E,

When is it going to get through to that concrete head of yours that the utterance "What's the difference between a duck"? is not a question. It is wholly without any meaning.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nice typo, but totally bogus as usual.



I'm afraid not tithead.




Even so, your very reply here shows the prior post with the true text string in it had meaning.



"Text string"?? You mean your meaningless string of words. When the f*ck are you going to start talking in English??And how could it conceivably be deemed that this string of words has meaning due to the fact I am enquiring as to what it might mean??

What an unbelievable stupid tithead you are.




It had purpose, intention, and consequence.



No it didn't. A meaningless string of words only tells me that you're a moron. It serves no purpose whatsoever.



If you had not replied it would have had at most weak meaning, being apparently inconsequential between us (tho Atlas also gave it meaning).



I cannot recall him giving it a meaning.


Maybe you had some now dead definition of 'meaning' to which you might give meaning in/via text form here?


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I will not be responding to you again unless you have anything of remote intelligence to say.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LOL! Remote control, Ian.



Remote control?? What the hell are you talking about?? I'm sorry, I'm basically understanding zero of your utterances. You're using English words, but they are strung together in a meaningless fashion which convey zero meaning.

Does anyone out there have any more clue than me??




[Hey, BillHoyt, are you catching any symmetry breaking here?]

ME [/B]

BillHoyt has a tendency to lump people together whom he dislikes. Let me assure you that we have nothing remotely in common. At least he might afford us the courtesy of disliking us both for differing reasons.

I'm pleased though that I've actually understood something you've said (or at least I think I have).

Upchurch
15th September 2004, 06:38 AM
Interesting Ian has been suspended for incivility. (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45466)

Atlas
15th September 2004, 09:49 AM
Pardon my intrusion. I cannot keep up and have not read all the recent posts but I keep coming back trying to come to my own definition of consciousness. I write a bit and then my computer crashes and I lose it all. It makes me wonder if hanging around this board I have started to develop the Randiesque capability of causing failure in the presence of woo thinking.

Anyway, I'm of the opinion that thought, though caused by the brain meets a loose definition of beyond physical (ie. metaphysical. ) I don't generally think about it those terms though because it is a naturally experienced phenomenon.

This "thought" comes in many flavors. The conscious and unconscious being two of the distinctions. I think a jungle cat is conscious, I think a spider is too but in more of a behavioral, that is, observed way.

I analyze the thought functions something like this. The conscious and unconscious brain pumps awareness past instinct and volition. That needs some expansion.

The actions driven by volition and instinct, our behavior, relate to the output side of consciousness and unconsciousness respectively. Awareness is the input side. It enters the unconscious and passes through the a priori filters of survival, pleasure, pain, and memory and condenses into consciousness (based on a subjective standard of situational importance) where choice and volition can override any instinctual motor control. In the consciousness language and again memory also come to bear in a complex feedback that incorporates old concepts and new sensational awarenesses that collide in apprehension and comprehension.

To me this analytical breakdown robs the concept of consciousness of it's synthetic existence. It is clearly to my mind more than the sum of it's parts. It is not dependent on the language of man and these many words are merely shorthand for the force of nature that consciousness is.

Meaning is also a related word. Without language there is a clear implication that can be drawn that there would be no Meaning. These are in a sense foolish word games. The brain is responsible for a rainbow of processes. We can argue about whether it can be talked about as a single phenomenon, or as a makeup of many colors, or in terms of of a manifestation of the mind and the electromagnetic spectrum that is more perceived than real. Unless there is agreement on the level of synthesis of the subject all parties will continue to talk past each other.

What I'm saying is, in it's analysis consciousness can be viewed as many underlying processes. But it is also valid to discuss it in terms of it's synthesis which enables man to construct skyscrapers and symphonies, as well as ponder itself and the universe. I may analyze it and synthesize it differently than you all but I cannot escape the notion that it is one of those things that is larger than the sum of it's parts.

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by Upchurch
Interesting Ian has been suspended for incivility. (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45466) I'd just like to say, for what little it might mean, that while Ian's style can clearly be labelled "aggressive" it is not entirely without merit, imho. There might be a method behind the madness more than just mindless game playing. The visible result(s) of the practice of denial as an art form or as a method of inquiry is/are highly subject to misunderstanding. But mere denial is clearly insufficient as a method in this context, something more must be present, in mind or not.

I am not arguing for or against your action, or future counteraction, in this post.

ME

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Atlas
[B]Pardon my intrusion. No.

Ahem, that is, I for one welcome your post, intrusion or not!

Your eloquence falls nicely on my ears. Do you offer it as a target for critical analysis despite your declamation about how analysis fails to correctly account for Synthetic (or other) Consciousness?

I would maintain that awareness is not best considered an "input side", while I also agree that most discussions of consciousness I've seen fail to discuss openly and properly the role of Will. Perhaps that's my limited background more than an effective critique of the discourse on/in consciousness at large. I don't pretend to be well-read, only to offer a definition and discussion towards the topic of the thread. Let's assume for the sake of discussion that your notion, as I vaguely grasp it, of "sides" applies (I don't think it will hold up in any final analysis, but it's a common notion).

I think we must agree that if there are sides to consciousness at all like you propose, that sensation is on the input team and volition is on the output team. Please agree or disagree explicitly, and if disagree, say why, including correcting my terminology to "correct" standards.

That leaves awareness and something else.

Under my "axioms" (as hinted or stated earlier) we have a 2x2 matrix of sorts:

being informed which I have called awareness
becoming informed which I called sensation
being expressed
becoming expressed

Care to fill in the blanks?

ME

PS - I'd like to further discuss Atlas' post, but currently have real-time constraints in addition to my extant discussions already in progress here.

BillHoyt
15th September 2004, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Under my "axioms" (as hinted or stated earlier) we have a 2x2 matrix of sorts:

being informed which I have called awareness
becoming informed which I called sensation
being expressed
becoming expressed

Care to fill in the blanks?



First blank, of course, is the disconnect between R<sup>2</sup> and the vector cross-product. Which, of course, was the thrust of some of my original and still unanswered questions.

You've now made abundantly clear your analogy is bunk. The cross-product demands R<sup>3</sup> So how do you resolve this "small" problem?

[Edited to add: Grrrr. They still have HTML off in this area.]

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
I'm afraid not tithead. I'm not afraid of you or your distractions, but as I said re Bill earlier, don't take this as anything more than possibly misplaced generosity on my part. And get some new manners to go with your vulgar probes, please. Thz.
"Text string"?? You mean your meaningless string of words. That would be Ian's meaningless strings of words, to you, if you had a self to call "you". But let's not talk more about you directly here, for several reasons.

When the f*ck are you going to start talking in English??Is that a complaint that you were not able to parse some text string of mine? For a student you sure seem arrogant. May I recommend a dash of 'humility', in case you can read that much with meaning? As a teacher you are worse than abrasive, just FYI, no personal attack intended.

And how could it conceivably be deemed that this string of words has meaning due to the fact I am enquiring as to what it might mean?? Maybe you didn't read my response carefully. Care in reading can have something to do with deriving meaning from a mere text string. After all, this whole discussion might pivot on the very question of how non-sense comes to be taken to make sense, right? Well, at least from one point of view I think that's a serious side of it.

What an unbelievable stupid tithead you are.Maybe I was wrong about their being a method in the apparent madness here. That's something I could live with, too.

No it didn't. A meaningless string of words only tells me that you're a moron. It serves no purpose whatsoever. Stop denying the evidence which you yourself are generating into what is supposed to be a Critical Thinking Discussion Forum, Grasshopper. You are fixated on the past, we are creating the future, if the future can be said to be creatable (I have theories on this, but not for here).

I cannot recall him giving it a meaning.Possible. Maybe you don't recall what you, or he, did in public. That happens to most human beings from time to time if not all the time. Or maybe you just aren't following the flow of meaning developing in this thread very closely. It's up to you.
Remote control?? What the hell are you talking about?? You said, "remote intelligence". What in heav*n's name were you talking about??

I'm sorry, I'm basically understanding zero of your utterances. You're using English words, but they are strung together in a meaningless fashion which convey zero meaning.Sorry to hear that. It's amazing you can write what look like English phrases, and even clauses, rude or otherwise, considering you seem to have so little in the way of reading comprehension skills.

Does anyone out there have any more clue than me??Seems I do. Would you like to become my student?

BillHoyt has a tendency to lump people together whom he dislikes. Let me assure you that we have nothing remotely in common.Based on prior usage on your part, it's reasonable to infer from "nothing remotely" that you are intimate with Bill, possibly even running a simlar operating system with a slight twist to the subroutines. Based on the forum evidence I have scanned (not much beyond parts of two threads, I confess) and rules, either you are apparently breaking the rules in the fashion of "sock puppets" or you just about never mean what you seem to say.
At least he might afford us the courtesy of disliking us both for differing reasons.Was that a conversational aside?

I'm pleased though that I've actually understood something you've said (or at least I think I have). [/B]Why don't you cite exactly what part was understandable to you, and show what you take to be your understanding of it so that I might learn whether you misunderstood in your sincere attempts to find meaning in what I post.

Have a nice suspension!


ME

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
WTF?? I cannot make head or tail of what you are saying. To whom what? What the f*ck are you talking about you complete tit?? Could you please answer my question?? I repeat:


What has Randi's challenge got to do with your unsubstantiated assertion that all terms can be defined?? Try re-reading what I posted, please. Your text string seems to show evidence of creative writing abilities.

Don't make head or tail of it. There's too much of such excesses around anyway, imho. Just respond to it or admit you've caught yourself where you don't want to be, and can't find any other way out. That's logic for you, huh!

Anyway my question supercedes your "red faced" question on sufficient grounds for me to restate it:

"To whom?..." I believe the Search function here might lead a sincere student to the original text quite easily. Then if you still don't get it, show your work and someone might help you out of where you say you are stuck!

Have a nice vacation, too!

ME

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
First blank, of course, is the disconnect between R<sup>2</sup> and the vector cross-product. Which, of course, was the thrust of some of my original and still unanswered questions.

You've now made abundantly clear your analogy is bunk. The cross-product demands R<sup>3</sup> So how do you resolve this "small" problem?

[Edited to add: Grrrr. They still have HTML off in this area.] Yeah, life isn't perfect yet, even if Ian says so, huh! (don't answer that please)

What is R2 or R-squared to you here? If it's shorthand for something I wrote or necessarily implied, how about connecting them explicitly for us? Like maybe

R2 is Bill's shortand for [blahblahblah]

if you get what I mean.

Funny how you take so much interest in bunk, Bill. BTW, smell any more rats recently? Can't you please stop whining, and state some kind of coherent argument please? Otherwise people might get the impression that the definition is rock solid as well as more fluid than most might care to suppose.


ME

PS - I'm going to take a wild guess here that Bill is denying that the cross product produces a vector orthogonal to the plane of the unconscious. Close?

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
But I just want to find out exactly what Mr. E thinks about this, and to find out, I want to relate his nomenclature to my experience and then be able to say something useful about it.
Unfortunately without much succes. So, rate of success can be slow, or not - depends where you're coming from and going to, usually. Sometimes insight hits in a "blinding flash" sometimes it's taken for granted.

I didn't quite catch which "this" demands your "exact" attention, speaking of "exactly". Is it important to you?

BTW, did I miss your response to my "humor me" section of a prior post? It's neither funny nor an indication of learning to ignore such stuff. While you might be training me in how to be a better teacher in a narrow field, my understanding was that you were studying my definition. Almost *nothing* I say to you in response to what I take to be a serious question is irrelevant to that process. Sometimes its too wordy, and thanks for pointing that out earlier.

Do we have any meaningful understanding in common at all, as you understand things? If not, we should establish some or give up and admit that the intersubjective assumption fails for us.

ME

Atlas
15th September 2004, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
I for one welcome your post, intrusion or not!

Your eloquence falls nicely on my ears. Do you offer it as a target for critical analysis... Always. Though I consider myself a slow thinker. That is, it may take me sometime to respond, as other poster's input festers in my brain like poisons infecting a great boil on the butt of God's own creative orifice. I never know what'll pop out or when. (Dang it. Sometimes when I push eloquence it goes right over the cliff.)

Still, feel free to press me for clarification. Perhaps an intellijent burst will strike you.
Originally posted by Mr. E
I would maintain that awareness is not best considered an "input side", while I also agree that most discussions of consciousness I've seen fail to discuss openly and properly the role of Will. Perhaps that's my limited background more than an effective critique of the discourse on/in consciousness at large. I don't pretend to be well-read, only to offer a definition and discussion towards the topic of the thread. Let's assume for the sake of discussion that your notion, as I vaguely grasp it, of "sides" applies (I don't think it will hold up in any final analysis, but it's a common notion).

I think we must agree that if there are sides to consciousness at all like you propose, that sensation is on the input team and volition is on the output team. Please agree or disagree explicitly, and if disagree, say why, including correcting my terminology to "correct" standards. I Agree.

Originally posted by Mr. E
That leaves awareness and something else.

Under my "axioms" (as hinted or stated earlier) we have a 2x2 matrix of sorts:

being informed which I have called awareness
becoming informed which I called sensation
being expressed
becoming expressed

Care to fill in the blanks?
How did you put it earlier, oh yah... NO. You are thinking square. You are inviting me to be the box. You are using math.

I'm a computer programmer. We triangulate. Input -> Process -> Output. (It's hard for me to depict triangulation linearly - Ponder it comprehensively against the number 3.)
I would combine your two "becoming" legs and equate it to my "Process". By example I submit the Eureka experience. Here there is a Process of intuition that occurs around a simultaneity of becoming informed and expressing it. More viscerally expressed, Culpepper back to pass, The ball is in the air, (wait for it - becoming, becoming), Moss in the Endzone... TOUCHDOWN! YAY!!

We input the TV images. There is a lot of processing, we may move to the edge of our seat. Then we hit the conscious realization stage and celebrate. Interestingly, we do a lot of processing unconsciously. We are being flooded with emotions during the feedback stage where the fan hits onslaught of images of the unfolding play. I think much of consciousness involves the feedback of information against emotions. Perhaps that's already been talked about. But as I move to the edge of my seat, the "input/process/output", "sensation/anticipation/hifivin" whirls in a vortex of feedback.

You use the word awareness as having a being informed meaning. I don't often quote Charles Manson but I will here... Fear is when you are most aware. OK, it's a poorly constructed thought but he was probably high. Still, in the documentary's leadup in which I heard the thought expressed, I took it as profound. A state of awareness is a readiness state... antenna up. We are steeping in the sensations of the surrounding environment. Fear is an amplifying elixir. But the sensations are not necessarily informative. In your math we are aware without being informed. Then a twig snaps behind us. We hear it. We jump. Very little becoming. Very little process. Big input. Big Output.

I'm sizing it up more like this, I guess...

Input: Awareness of sensation (Mentalizing the Physical)

Process: Apprehension, Intuition, Comprehension, etc. (Pure Mentalizing)

Output: Volition, Instinct, Action, Behavior. (Physicalizing the Mental)

hammegk
15th September 2004, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
No, put his words next to yours in very close proximity, and get back to us with how the text strings are manifestly not different even to a word processor.
Manifestly not different text strings? You do go on don't you?



Hmmm, well, humor has its better and worse sides. But if you are a serious student of consciousness, please see the fairy tale in my recent reply to H'ethetheth, for maybe it will at least tease your humor into an utterance, if not all that excited a one!

ME Does this mean you have an affinity for some form of dualism?

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
My characterisation is not nearly as ludicrous as your vector analogy, not by a long shot.My analogy may seem farfetched to some but your characterization of what you seem to admit you don't understand, that's gotta be ludicrous if taken seriously. I get a feeling your definition wil solve anything you want it to solve, even global warming.Why does it seem I must remind you of the context of this discussion? So far, my definition, and that which stands behind it, hinted at or explicity, "solves" quite a lot. Else why would Bill be still calling it names like "bunk" instead of simply debunking it! See?

Whatever 'consciousness' might "hold" or mean for a reasonable human being, that should not be excluded by my definition. Is that a fair or better starting point, to be formal about it?

By "conscious control of perception". Do you mean control of sensation? If not, then this story concretises nothing. Otherwise little.Whatever. Let me know when you decide to get serious again, please.

Isn't that what we're doing here al the time? post facto rationalising?Similar, but evidently not what you presented. Similarity has many traps, or "stinky pits" to borrow a term from this board. Only the right similarities are right, d'oh!

Okay , you said. I can...
- accept definitions as tools
- challenge them
- ridicule them
- do nothing.Something like that, only I recall asking what I asked. I'm seeing an increase of apparently trivial linguistic malfunctions in your post here, like commas and periods and such out of place, in addition to what might be fair enough or might be in error. Just FYI.

Bottom line is: I need to learn and understand the definition completely before I can do any of these things except "do nothing"As I asked before, How do you learn? As I said somewhere before "...trial and error..." What makes you think humans are born into a world fully conscious, not having to make mistakes and learn empirically?? How do you learn that which lets you talk about learning things via so-called "axioms" in the first place? Bottom line, so to speak, in response to you, No. Prior completeness is obviously not necessary to learning. Sigh... but thanks for the typing exercise, and maybe somebody else has been getting more than that out of reading this thread.

And this, my friend, is the silliest thing you've said since you brought up vector calculus.I'm taking that as high praise. Did you want to get back on topic, or explore your pathetic sense of humor further? Please remember my bias in this thread!! (just remember it to yourself, not out loud)

A good definition must exclude everything that is not the thing it defines, and above all it needs to be practical as a tool, for the reason above. (the bottom line:...) Depends.
A definition that allows anything you might come up with later in this discussion is not useful. It's bogus.Curious. The most powerful definitions are the most inclusive, right? Math, for instance. What's the point? It's a matter of supposition fields, in part, as I've been saying for awhile now. What is required is discrimination, not blanket denial or exclusion as you seem to propose. Are you confusing the inside with the outside here??

I'm out of this thread for while, I've had it. Maybe BillyHoyt has some soothing words for me. [/B] Whatever.

ME

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by hammegk
Manifestly not different text strings? You do go on don't you?Does this mean you are admitting you are a fool? No offense, your response strikes me as foolish and/or arrogant [edit - Found Art possible insult corrected]. Are you still maintaining that his text string was exactly identical to your interpretation of it?? Does this mean you have an affinity for some form of dualism? Does this mean you did not read much of anything some of us have been discussing? Like my first post in this thread, that might be a good place to start...

Post the two text strings of interest, side by side vertically speaking, and then if examination shows they are literally the same I shall admit I had a major brain fart. If you can then concisely show how they must necessarily "state" the same thing other than what "nothing" states then I shall be in a position to admit I am the bigger fool than you in this matter.

Here's what you said, apparently acting as his mouthpiece:
"No, he's stating that he *is* conscious, and that all else is assumption. "

I leave it as an exercise in foolishness for anyone who cares to check up on what Ian posted.


ME

hammegk
15th September 2004, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
... If you can then concisely show how they must necessarily "state" the same thing other than what "nothing" states then I shall be in a position to admit I am the bigger fool than you in this matter.
ME

Irrelevant crap I have no interest in pursuing. I would like to discover if you consider yourself a dualist. If so, do have any rational argument for why you are?

If not, and if you are a "materialist", welcome to Hume's problem(paraphrased): If it's deterministic, why am I responsible? If it's random, why am I responsible?

Dancing David
15th September 2004, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by hammegk
My, my.

All this time & effort, and DD knows full well that in his worldview --- reality being a Turing machine -- Awareness=Input, Consciousness=Output. Dymanic, II, glad to see you're still around; we even have new blood.

To those re-contemplating the mind-body interface, good luck.

Quagmire, indeed!

Hiya HammeGK!

And a pithy analysis no less, this thread is very blessed.

I don't recall saying that reality was a Turing machine, I have said that I felt a Turing machine would produce consciousnessif constructed correctly.

Awareness is much more than input, I would say that it is in fact a self referencing perception, of many different channels.
Consiousness as out put, well from the strict behavioral viewpoint, out pout would be bahviors that demostrate consciousness.

The mind body interface is un-needed unedr either monism, the mind is the body, consciousness is brain events, possibly.

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by hammegk
Irrelevant crap I have no interest in pursuing. I would like to discover if you consider yourself a dualist. If so, do have any rational argument for why you are?Okay. We will politely pretend it didn't happen in public, even though evidence proves otherwise. Very skeptical of you, Monsieur! May I sell you a bridge, or introduce you to God in my own pathetic way?

How does your personal consideration of my consideration of myself bear on the topic, for you? I'm a "Mystery" according to BillHoyt's posts. On this board one might think I am a *duelist*, tho' unlike Aaron Burr, but then "doing the list over" is a weak, pun, eh? As I said, I'm trying to take this topic seriously. If you have personal inquires, direct them to email etc. That I love Found Art should be taken only as an aside for most readers.

If not, and if you are a "materialist", welcome to Hume's problem(paraphrased): If it's deterministic, why am I responsible? If it's random, why am I responsible? [/B] Old hat. Why should I put myself willy-nilly into a category which belongs to the dead and dying?? My interest is Synthetic Consciousness, not how people misread Hume. Please respect that.

Thanks.

ME

Dancing David
15th September 2004, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Can you demonstrate this to be so? Consciousness sure can't be defined. Yet we all know perfectly what it is.

This is the kind of assertive definition that I find confusing. It would appear that all parts of consiousness are learned events and behaviors, why then should it be beyond definition? Even you Ian did not know what anger or love was when you first experieneced it, and in fact many emotions are very dependant upon the contextual label applied. So no, it is not clear what consciousness is.

I feel that you fail to answer because you wish to avoid the logic of the reduction. The things that are called consciousness are all discrete events that can be labeled.

While there meay be an immaterial component, evidence is lacking.

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Dancing David
And a pithy analysis no less, this thread is very blessed.Maybe.I don't recall saying that reality was a Turing machine, I have said that I felt a Turing machine would produce consciousnessif constructed correctly.While I support Synthetic Consciousness including the possibility of running it on a platform other than your average primate etc. brain, and have for about 7 years, and a Turing-like machine might well play a role in the development of human understanding of consciousness (like sparring classes), it seems you think any old emulation running on say a Macintosh would count as the real thing. Consiousness as out put, well from the strict behavioral viewpoint, out pout would be bahviors that demostrate consciousness.I DO love Found Art!!! Children do pout, a very important insight into the fundamental nature of consciousness!! BTW, "Consiousness" has been corrected already, hasn't it? I recall something about typos... The mind body interface is un-needed unedr either monism, the mind is the body, consciousness is brain events, possibly. Watch those typos, you might accidentally say something true.

ME

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by Dancing David re the recalcitrant Ian
While there meay be an immaterial component, evidence is lacking.

David,

Have you answered my penny ante test yet? If you won't take the test, you can't pass meaningful judgment on matters depending on it.

Sincerely,

ME

Mr. E
15th September 2004, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by Atlas
Always. Though I consider myself a slow thinker. Met too. That is why online is great for me. How did you put it earlier, oh yah... NO. You are thinking square. You are inviting me to be the box. You are using math.This is not a trap. Did you mean math is using me?

I'm a computer programmer. Ah. Bad if comfy habits die hard. I've done embedded progamming myself on 8-bit processors and human brain. The former had almost nothing to do with this current thread. You seem to be the one stuck in the box, not realizing that what I have to offer might offer a way out.

I would combine your two "becoming" legs and equate it to my "Process". Whatever. Are you claiming an exact morphism or just fooling around with vague notions?

By example I submit the Eureka experience. Here there is a Process of intuition that occurs around a simultaneity of becoming informed and expressing it. Can you say more? The "aha!" experience is indeed an important aspect of Synthetic Conscious, and I'm not talking vacuum fluctuations in the ordinary material sense.

We input the TV images. What?? TV is known to rot brains.

I think much of consciousness involves the feedback of information against emotions. Perhaps that's already been talked about. But as I move to the edge of my seat, the "input/process/output", "sensation/anticipation/hifivin" whirls in a vortex of feedback.Nice! The metaphor of Spin has been my ally for about 10 years. Synthetic Consciousness allows for this, too. And yes, we've touched briefly in this thread on emotions and feedback from mind into body, to use outdated terms for a moment.

You use the word awareness as having a being informed meaning. I don't often quote Charles Manson but I will here... Fear is when you are most aware. OK, it's a poorly constructed thought but he was probably high. Still, in the documentary's leadup in which I heard the thought expressed, I took it as profound. A state of awareness is a readiness state... antenna up. Some states of awareness are readiness states. That's been stated explicitly in the thread via active/latent, plus "ready mind" and "supposition fields". So we're relatively close here, it seems.

We are steeping in the sensations of the surrounding environment. Fear is an amplifying elixir.Uh... that's a bit poetic here. Can you restate in plain terms?

But the sensations are not necessarily informative. In your math we are aware without being informed.I am not clear how you figure that. Be careful about introducing your own model's notions into your understanding of my notion's model.

Then a twig snaps behind us. We hear it. We jump. Very little becoming. Very little process. Big input. Big Output.Startle reflex etc. So what? We might jump before we recognize it for what it is. Small input, but surprising. Output depends on attitude and other things.

Input: Awareness of sensation (Mentalizing the Physical)

Process: Apprehension, Intuition, Comprehension, etc. (Pure Mentalizing)

Output: Volition, Instinct, Action, Behavior. (Physicalizing the Mental)

So... why can't you take a stab at putting names onto what might be my somewhat similar structures? Is it because you don't really know what you are talking about re Output? Most people don't, they learn to do by imitation. "Watch me, and try to do what I do..."

Thanks for taking this thread seriously!

ME

Atlas
15th September 2004, 09:28 PM
Mr E you wrote: I've done embedded progamming myself on 8-bit processors and human brain. The former had almost nothing to do with this current thread. You seem to be the one stuck in the box, not realizing that what I have to offer might offer a way out.

Well this is what I get for coming to the party late. My Dad would've claimed he'd done embedded programming on the human brain, although he probably would've called it scolding or whippin. I still can't escape some of what he put in me. Is that what you're talking about? Would I know if I was stuck in this box you offer escape from? I've been in Plato's cave and I've seen the sun. Could be a bigger different kind of cave I suppose. Or a large box. Right now I'm doing ok. You tell me if I'm stuck, I'll listen and judge.

Let's go on... When I combine your two "becoming" legs to "Process" you ask... Are you claiming an exact morphism or just fooling around with vague notions? While I might take issue with the phrase "fooling around" I readily admit to vague notions. So yah, I expect to get the same treatment from other posters as you with the notions I present. As far as exact morphism, no. I was shooting for reasonable equivalence.

Next you ask for more comments on the aha! experience. It is an amazing phenomonon. I think I first became aware of it and developed my own vague notion of it from Buddhism. Christianity teaches a prayerful meditation. Keep a quiet monologue or chant going. But the emptied, quieted mind delivers to consciousness answers and insights. I'm of the opinion that all problem solving occurs by this method. Behaviorially we become perplexed and stare at the problem with a quizzical expression perhaps and after a moment a strategy or answer appears to consciousness and we get back to acting on our problem. Where the idea or answer or strategy comes from we call the unconscious. In fact the phenomonon is so readily apparent it seems natural to name the abyss from which these ideas spring as the unconscious because it is clearly a different kind of thought process than the articulated logic of the conscious mind.

After this we had some agreement but you wanted me to expand on this comment: We are steeping in the sensations of the surrounding environment. Fear is an amplifying elixir.

Nothing much really. Emotions amplify some sensation and the opposite happens too. Adrenaline experiences can mask sensation, like being shot in battle and not even know it until the adrenaline wears off.

Next I jumped the gun a little and you called me on it. I said: But the sensations are not necessarily informative. In your math we are aware without being informed.

The first sentence I'll say now relates to the gun shot on andrenaline, though that wasn't the original context. I was trying in the second sentence to relate my thought in opposition to your model. If we are in battle and have been shot it is my belief that we sensed it and are aware of it at some level but not consciously. The consciousness receives the next important thought from the unconscious. If fighting back is more important in the survival situation than suffering the wound we will not suffer. That is, we are aware but not informed.

Finally you ask: So... why can't you take a stab at putting names onto what might be my somewhat similar structures? Is it because you don't really know what you are talking about re Output? Most people don't, they learn to do by imitation. "Watch me, and try to do what I do..." This was a strange set of questions for me. Vortexwise I was spinning toward a definition of consciousness. You had presented a model, I thought it was square. In keeping with what I perceived as your flawed analogy of the shape of consciousness I chose a triangle. A much more succint and stable shape I might add. But it was pretty much the same thing. I said INput, you said being INformed. You said "becoming", I said "process". And what you called being EXpressed I called OUTput. I thought I was establishing a fair equivalence with my own preferred model. I thought your model was as unweildy as it was unfamiliar. I wasn't trying to dodge. This began as DD's thread. I was trying to define consciousness/unconsciousness in my own terms of mental activities and relating it to sensation and behavior. My model did not explicitly name the conscious and unconscious in the Input, Process and Output sections, partly because of my expressed dislike to leave the thing analyzed when, whatever consciousness/unconsciousness is, it is for me a synthesis greater than the sum of it's parts.

Your question asking if I "don't really know what I am talking about re Output?" seemed to be followed by a confusing non sequitor. I agree than in learning we often follow models and imitate. But I didn't see how that related. I certainly know what I am talking about regarding Output. I'm probably the only one who does. These are my thoughts and I'm the one presenting them. Are they representative of the truth of the reality. Well yes. To me, Yes. I was offering that unconscious Instinct and conscious Will were drivers of our voluntary movements. (I am leaving breathing and heartbeat out of the discussion for now.) Clarify what you were asking here if I was way off base. Or feel free to explain where I am off base - Again, sorry that I haven't read the whole thread and missed that part of the discussion.

BillHoyt
16th September 2004, 04:14 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
PS - I'm going to take a wild guess here that Bill is denying that the cross product produces a vector orthogonal to the plane of the unconscious. Close?

Try again. Apparently you don't even know the basics about which you blather. R2 (sorry, we can't do superscripts here) versus R3. One of the issues I raised in my original set of questions. Stop dancing and start answering.

H'ethetheth
16th September 2004, 06:26 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Whatever. Let me know when you decide to get serious again, please.
[...]
Did you want to get back on topic, or explore your pathetic sense of humor further?

Yes, I intend to get serious again, and explore my "pathetic sense of humor", as well as yours.

Excuse me for my last unfriendly post. I had run out of patience. I'm okay again though.

About bunk:

My analogy may seem farfetched to some but your characterization of what you seem to admit you don't understand, that's gotta be ludicrous if taken seriously.
Indeed, this vector analogy may seem far fetched to some, but to me it seems ill-conceived.
I came up with the 'apples and pears addition story' to make clear to you how unintuitive your multiplication analogy really is. It was in fact an illustration of why I don't understand your notion of synhtesis.

Apparently you didn't notice, but BillyHoyt is debunking your theory. You just don't answer his questions.
In fact if you answer his questions satisfactorily(is that a word?) he'll probably be willing to inquire further ito your notions on consciousness.
To fill you in on his latest post:
R3 stands for a three dimensional space. That is, any vector in such a space is described by three perpendicular components.
The vector product requires this three-dimensional space R3. In two-dimensional space, as in any space other than R3, the vector product is meaningless.
So a 2 x 2 matrix equasion can have nothing to do with vector products.
If you did not know this, you shouldn't have used an analogy from vector calculus, because it could easily be construed as false erudition, which places you in a disadvantage in intelligent conversation.

As a side note to other readers; I've heard no-one but Mr. E use the term "supposition field", so can anyone explain to me what that is? (Google comes up with a story about UFOs and some .pdf that includes "...supposition: field...")

About definitions:

Math as a broad definition is not very powerful as a discussion tool. That's why there are different specific fields of specific types of math, so everyone knows what is talked about.
Definitions may not contain vague or ambiguous terms - like synthetic in this case - because this will result in only bickering over the defintions of the vague terms themselves.
And that's the whole point. If you check back in the thread, responses tou your posts reveil that people on this board have trouble understanding what you say. They ask you: what is being informed? What is awareness? What do you mean by ... ? etc.
Maybe this is because you use definitions that are not clear enough, but this too can be construed as false erudition, or as obfuscating the fact that there is not much revolutionary to what you say.
This, needless to say, places you in a disadvantage in an intelligent discussion.

Agreed?

Edited for puctuation...and again for the spelling of punctuation.

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Try again. Apparently you don't even know the basics about which you blather. R2 (sorry, we can't do superscripts here) versus R3. One of the issues I raised in my original set of questions. Stop dancing and start answering. Apparently you have a reading disability or just don't want to take this topic seriously. Define your terms in simple terms suited to the 3 year old mentality mentioned before, please.

And, again, did you miss my reply(ies) which touched on your analogy fixation? I've pointed to it(them) several times now. Don't be rude and then go asking me for favors.


ME

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Yes, I intend to get serious again, and explore my "pathetic sense of humor", as well as yours.Well, as long as we have a common bias, I'm confident we will get along fine! :) Thing is of course, that critical thinking kinda demands that we test our biases, if not to the ultimate breaking point in each moment, at least in regards the immediate context of a discussion.

Excuse me for my last unfriendly post. I had run out of patience. I'm okay again though.Patience is a good thing to run out of sometimes. Frustration is a good thing to work through. Both are aspects of a discussion of consciousness worth at least noting if not practicing in a terminal fashion! Your "unfriendly post" was not without merit, in my "eyes".

About bunk: Indeed, this vector analogy may seem far fetched to some, but to me it seems ill-conceived.
I came up with the 'apples and pears addition story' to make clear to you how unintuitive your multiplication analogy really is. It was in fact an illustration of why I don't understand your notion of synhtesis.That's not big news to me. I'm still waiting for a serious reply to the "humor me" thing so that I can assist you further along in this thread.

Apparently you didn't notice, but BillyHoyt is debunking your theory. You just don't answer his questions.BillHoyt seems to be out of order most of the time. Points of order trump alleged points of debate, in my world, even if the alleged point of debate has merit (but sometimes I'm generous despite that, perhaps a failing on my only human part). Points of information might have value, but not absolute value (except in a math pun sense). Bill seems, no offense, to be fixated on something I can't see in this online venue. As far as I can tell, if Bill is debunking something it must be in his imagination if it is anywhere at all. My apologies if that's too wordy, but you seem seriously interested in just about nothing.

The vector product requires this three-dimensional space R3. In two-dimensional space, as in any space other than R3, the vector product is meaningless.
So a 2 x 2 matrix equa[t]ion can have nothing to do with vector products. Uh, I see problems with your analysis. Where did I equa[t]e the matrix to the vector analogy? Further, if you were a Flatlander (you know the storybook, Flatland?) the vector product might seem/be meaningless to you for all intents and purposes. So I don't see any meaningful challange to the "beginners analogy" here, sorry. BTW, subspaces of RN might support vector cross-products, just FYI, so don't limit your thinking to only R3 (but don't fixate on it either, please). Also, you may note that Bill has recently disclaimed denial of the analogy, so you and he are still barking up the wrong, uh, tree, it seems. Perhaps you guys can get even more serious at take a bite out of crime or sumthin.

If you did not know this, you shouldn't have used an analogy from vector calculus, because it could easily be construed as false erudition, which places you in a disadvantage in intelligent conversation.Let's not assume I'm entirely ignorant about what I present, okay?

As a side note to other readers; I've heard no-one but Mr. E use the term "supposition field", so can anyone explain to me what that is? I read this as you not asking me to explain this further, and shall therefore await the no doubt delightful attempts of others to explain a matter of something of no content in mind to someone who doesn't seem to understand understanding itself!

This, needless to say, places you in a disadvantage in an intelligent discussion. I'm hardly perfect, and this isn't strictly a formal intelligent discussion, it's also a demo, and it's some jokers posting more or less seriously in a forum on the internet... People might ask in strange ways which look like something else from time to time. While it's cute to be clever, is it taking the topic seriously to doge it mindlessly? If I deem, from my "insider" point of view that a definition is warranted when asked directly to offer one, I will generally comply. If I don't comply, it's generally because the challenge or request seems out of order. Use logic on that. Is more chaos what you want here, or can we show some discrimination and attention to detail and propriety? Agreed?As qualified above, okay. I believe we have ruled out mere black/white dichotomies (inside-outside and the like) in favor of discriminating distinctions, a form of intelligence suitable to higher consciousness. Agreed? We have clarified that the more powerfully broad a definition, the more carefully it must be agreeably defined in order to put chaos in its proper place and thus allow progress on the topic. Agreed?
Edited for puctuation...and again for the spelling of punctuation. [/B] LOL! Cute. Nice Consciousness joke!

Did I miss anything important from/in your post?

ME

PS - There is at least one Found Art instance of note in this post, for any art collectors out there.

Atlas
16th September 2004, 11:34 AM
I have wanted to come out of this with a reasonable definition of consciousness but my thoughts on the subject fold and overlap in on themselves. I don't really think that I should leave the body out of the definition but for now I will. First though I will just put down random thoughts relating to relationship of the unconscious and the consciousness to the brain, which for no particular reason other than to reveal how I am thinking about the brain, I call the brainmeat pump/valve.

Brainmeat pump/valve: Controller of organs. The unconscious. Valve controller directing different organ's chemicals to be released or withheld from the organism's systems. Is the manager of breathing, heartrate and other involuntary systems.

Brainmeat pump/valve: Thought and idea preparer. The unconscious. The searcharea and the automatic search mechanism that accesses and retrieves related storages converting and elevating them as idea and thought.

Brainmeat pump/valve: Idea and thought callout evaluator. This is the consciousness or part of it. Here, what is commonly referred to as idea appears. This is a real world association mechanism, the symbol manipulator. Here images and words appear that compare or contrast with the familiar external environment (physical objects, language and math constructs used and taught etc.). It seems as though each idea is tagged with desire or some other emotion and in feedback to the unconscious draws up the next subjectively assigned important word, idea, or association. Symbol manipulation is not limited to those learned, many are invented, from monster images to new words to new maths.)

Brainmeat pump/valve: Body mover, behavior driver. This consciousness/unconsciousness aspect is seamlessly integrated with the thought callout evaluator. Even a fleeting idea of thirst directs the body to rise and get a drink. Volition has both a conscious and an unconscious component. We stare into the fridge and decide whether to choose water, OJ, or soda pop - but the directive causing us to reach is more of a thoughtless phenomonon. It seems automatic and driven by whim expression. An odd experience is when a limb "falls asleep" and we coax volition with articulated thought... "must... grab... TV clicker".

Personal definition of consciousness: That function of the brain that requests, evaluates, and chooses among it's own symbols and associations and drives the body to action for the organism's survival, comfort and satisfaction.

(Edit: As I reread my consciousness definition it could almost stand for my unconsciousness definition. The consciousness has a different valuation scheme though. And included in that is it's ability to be self-referential. Valuewise, the unconscious seems able to make any association unless an association has been consciously suppressed. Consciousness values according to subjective factors offered by the senses, likes and dislikes, goods and bads.)

BillHoyt
16th September 2004, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
BillHoyt seems to be out of order most of the time. Points of order trump alleged points of debate, in my world, even if the alleged point of debate has merit (but sometimes I'm generous despite that, perhaps a failing on my only human part). Points of information might have value, but not absolute value (except in a math pun sense). Bill seems, no offense, to be fixated on something I can't see in this online venue. As far as I can tell, if Bill is debunking something it must be in his imagination if it is anywhere at all. My apologies if that's too wordy, but you seem seriously interested in just about nothing.

Points of truth trump all, mystery. You are taking the oft-heard credophile stance of refusing to address issues because of the mean skeptic posing the questions. Balderdash. You've got nothing but flummery here, and you know it.

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by Atlas
Mr E you wrote: [b]I've done embedded progamming myself on 8-bit processors and human brain. The former had almost nothing to do with this current thread. You seem to be the one stuck in the box, not realizing that what I have to offer might offer a way out.

Well this is what I get for coming to the party late. No problem, that's what the party is for, at least from my perspective.

That was quite a lot of words you generated! I don't think I can do it all justice, but will try to follow your example and pick several fixed points, but in my own preferred style.

Is that what you're talking about? Sorta. The school of hard knocks, though not child abuse in the usual sense as one might mistake from your words. As for 'embedded': I here [try to] demo the way of Synthetic Conscious embedded in me, embedded by circumstances somewhat beyond my control working more or less in concert with my subconscious and semi-conscious desires - while and by engaging in discourse on the topic. Does that address your issue well? BTW, if we aren't "stuck", is the conversation moot?

Next you ask for more comments on the aha! experience. It is an amazing phenomonon.I think there is more awe than amazement to the point, but the two can be pretty close except that 'awe' more stongly suggests the possibility of fear, something I will get back to below.

I'm of the opinion that all problem solving occurs by this method.That would be nonconscious problem solving? That is, there are rote methods of problem solving such as searching for an almost-known text-string such as a word on the tip of one's tongue. The iteration through the alphabet seems to rely on conscious if private behavior (computers can implement something *like* this via human conscious direction). But I would agree that human problem solving is probably based in something like what you describe with *focus* somehow engaging less than obvious processes in a state of apparently unfocussed behavior - asking a spiritual guide for an answer, for instance... sometimes suddenly you *believe you know* what to do! I trust this reads agreeably to you.

Fear is an amplifying elixir.Okay, it's like a drug-based temporary shortcut to higher consciousness? I've experienced that at times in the development of Synthetic Consciousness. Facing one's fears with logic and patience (aka perseverance) is sometimes hard to do, but often quite valuable, in my experience. The problem is that when the "drug" wears off, depression might follow. Also, it's not yet clear to me how the "drug" interacts in the brain processes - what does stimulate awareness into heightened activity, and is the fear-as-chemical more an epi-phenomenon or more causal? That said, fear allows/creates reduced awareness in other areas, in my experience. One gets "tunnelvision" mentally speaking and can't attend to other potentials as well as that which is at the *focus* of the subject-object relation which involves/creates the fear conditions in the first place. Synthetic Consciousnes, practically speaking, must not rely only on drug-based experiences as this, even as it currently might rely on fear-drug based experiences in another larger sense.

Sorry if that was convoluted, I haven't written/thought much about this angle before and appreciate to critically work through the jungle of synthesis here.

Speaking of jumping the gun:If we are in battle and have been shot it is my belief that we sensed it and are aware of it at some level but not consciously. The consciousness receives the next important thought from the unconscious. If fighting back is more important in the survival situation than suffering the wound we will not suffer. That is, we are aware but not informed.Sorta not. I distinguish 'conscious awareness' from 'awareness'. I get the picture but not the conclusion as stated. Would you accept: "Soldier has/experiences nagging vague 'interrupt' but ignores it and thus doesn't recognize it as pain due to attention focussed elsewhere"? The soldier is not fully informed as to the circumstances. The soldier *became* informed in your story, and engaged in denial for awhile. No experience of suffering until maybe later there is more nagging "helpmehelpme" which the soldier then *associates* with some part of his somatic structures and then does experiments to become more fully informed as to the "real world" facts - looks at the area of interest and notes blood etc. Does that clarify? It's an ongoing evolving process, in process terms.

In keeping with what I perceived as your flawed analogy of the shape of consciousness I chose a triangle.Perhaps we are talking different forms. The "square" is not my analogy, sorry, but it might work.

A much more succint and stable shape I might add. But it was pretty much the same thing. I said INput, you said being INformed. You said "becoming", I said "process". And what you called being EXpressed I called OUTput.If the triangle works, fine. I think it might beg something important. Time will tell. But let's be clear about these relations -- to me, input into the larger system is a matter of *becoming* informed, not of being informed - this is an important "orthogonality" to respect when becoming clear about the definition and any "model" you might try to create via your own understanding(s). Without becoming informed (sensation) we can never learn, no matter how much prior information we have, that is, no matter the degree/intensity/activity of being informed (awareness). The Synthesis, while perhaps running on brain processes, and arguably understandable as a process itself, is to be distinguished clearly until there are no other options. Conflation is a shortcut to ignorance, if I may be allowed a pithy remark.


Your question asking if I "don't really know what I am talking about re Output?"My apologies, that was poorly phrased on my part. What I was aiming for was much simpler and yet perhaps much harder to state without seeming silly: "How do you do?" with the implicit connected question thus - can you tell me how you know your doing? Obviously we do *experiments* and that feedback loop is fairly obvious in general to most everyone, but how well do we each know what we each are doing at any moment, if say, we are without sensory feedback? Most people are, for instance, highly oriented towards action into the world so as to achieve space-time oriented goals, such as putting the dried glass onto the shelf after washing it. But action into the world occurs, at the behavioral level, not in those terms of space-time, but in terms of action in the moment -- our muscles effect from nerve impulses *forces* in/into the world which accelerate inertial masses and so on. We *learn* via trial and error to match space-time based information streams (call it knowledge if casually) with [fill in the blanks in the matrix], some other possible duality of nature having to do with volition and the like. If knowledge is said to be founded in space-time, what's the other part of the picture and why should we not think of it as a duality as well, when we try to think what cannot be merely be thought or sensed but only done?

How's that? Probably been said before by someone in some terms or another. It's a Dual Duality "in" which many suffer, if we suffer. Synthetic Consciousness is, in part, an attempt to refine the vocabulary of the debate.

So, got fill-in-the-blanks now?


ME

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Points of truth trump all, mystery. You are taking the oft-heard credophile stance of refusing to address issues because of the mean skeptic posing the questions. Balderdash. You've got nothing but flummery here, and you know it. Garbage in, garbage out, Dirtbag. You've had more than enough of my attention in this thread. Go read a stone cold post (as previously directed) and see if you can breathe some life into your non-sense.

Oh, and now it's your turn to go read the Randi Challenge and get back to us with your critical essay on how it's entirely irrelevant here.

Pointedly yours,

ME

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by Atlas
(Edit: As I reread my consciousness definition it could almost stand for my unconsciousness definition. The consciousness has a different valuation scheme though. And included in that is it's ability to be self-referential. Valuewise, the unconscious seems able to make any association unless an association has been consciously suppressed. Consciousness values according to subjective factors offered by the senses, likes and dislikes, goods and bads.) Not to devalue nor demean the body of your essay by only responding at this time to this postscript of yours...

Nicely stated point. In my terms: Symmetry breaking is indeed a critical factor, both as tool and as the work in process. The distinction at issue clearly is a very fine point, if we can even begin to define it here (at this moment). I don't think I'd use Consciousness as the subject of a transitive verb at this point, but casually I'd agree. It tends to, well, overly subjectify the object of discussion!

I believe it is possible to draw reasonably sharp lines between what I take to be your unconscious values and suppose you might mean by 'your conscious values'. And so it's questionable whether "conscious[ness] values according to subjective sense data" itself is coherent (makes sense). Conscious values, if we are to make a distinction of meaning are values of mind, not of body, whether they are "nestled" on top of subconscious or nonconscious values, or not. We can suppose much which we cannot sense by ordinary sense perception. Surely the virtues which supposition fields might support might be rather different from sense-data dominated values. It's necessity vs. possibility here.

Agreed?

ME

drkitten
16th September 2004, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E



Uh, I see problems with your analysis. Where did I equa[t]e the matrix to the vector analogy?

I'm not sure. But you're the one who brought the notion of "cross product" into the discussion, and discussed the idea of consciousness being a cross product of becoming and being....


How it follows:

General case: C = S x A

Particular case (Information):

S = I(becoming), A = I(being)

Therefore Ci = I(becoming) x I(being), or since the context is known explicity, simplifying to C = becoming x being.



To be fair : you may not have known that "vector product" and "cross product" are synonyms -- and it was possibly unfair of H'ethetheth to swith terms on you (bad H'ethetheth! no notation biscuit!). But his central point stands -- if you're going to start flinging around mathematical analogies, you better understand the math underneath them.

In particular, the 2x2 matrix to which you wish to apply the "cross product" doesn't permit it. There is no "cross-product" operation defined for matrices of such size; it can only be applied to 3x3 matrices (or alternatively, it can only be applied in three dimensional space (R^3). To someone who actually understood the mathematics, the idea of a "cross product" in a two-dimensional space is as ludicrous -- and as uninformative -- as talking about "the third wheel of a bicycle." Bicycles don't have three wheels, by definition, and two-dimensional spaces don't have cross products.

Similarly, your statement




Further, if you were a Flatlander (you know the storybook, Flatland?) the vector product might seem/be meaningless to you for all intents and purposes. So I don't see any meaningful challange to the "beginners analogy" here, sorry. BTW, subspaces of RN might support vector cross-products, just FYI, so don't limit your thinking to only R3 (but don't fixate on it either, please).

... is simply wrong; two-dimensional subspaces of RN will not support vector cross-products, no matter how "unlimited" your thinking is. This isn't a limitation of the thinking, but of the mathematics, and more importantly of the meaning underlying the mathematics. If you want to talk about a three-wheeled bicycle, there's a word you should use instead.

So as a "beginner's analogy," it's either meaningless, wrong, or misleading through abuse of terminology. In any case, you need to find a better way of expressing yourself if you expect either to communicate your ideas or even to be taken seriously.



Let's not assume I'm entirely ignorant about what I present, okay?


Where is the line drawn between assuming that you're entirely ignorant, and concluding it on the basis of what you've written?

H'ethetheth
16th September 2004, 02:07 PM
A few things before I can continue on topic
Originally posted by Mr. E
That's not big news to me. I'm still waiting for a serious reply to the "humor me" thing so that I can assist you further along in this thread.

This comment I'm supposed to reply to, is something I vaguely remember not understanding. I looked it up and I still don't understand it. It might be a language thing.

[...] My apologies if that's too wordy, but you seem seriously interested in just about nothing.
That I take as an insult.
But as long as we're insulting: As I said earlier, pompous language bears no authority, it just clouds, annoys and distracts from the topic.

Uh, I see problems with your analysis. Where did I equa[t]e the matrix to the vector analogy?
Sorry, indeed you did not. However I can see the next set of questions rising about the elements of this matrix, their meaning, invertibility etc.
Be careful with math, in fact stay out of math concerning this subject, since the subject has nothing to do with math.

Let's not assume I'm entirely ignorant about what I present, okay?I'm sorry but the following exchange made me suspect otherwise.

Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Let me say this: You split up consciousness into two parts.
To which you replied:

Three. Remember your good point about three dimensions?

My point about three dimensions had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of parts you split consciousness up in. In fact it was the same point as made in my previos post (on R3). You completely missed the boat, so forgive me if I jumped to conclusions here, but that reply does not hint towards expertise on vector math.

I read this as you not asking me to explain this further, and shall therefore await the no doubt delightful attempts of others to explain a matter of something of no content in mind to someone who doesn't seem to understand understanding itself!

Yes, because you are obviously the only one with content in mind on these forums. I bet you're mighty contented up there at the top of the intellectual ladder.
I asked this not because I don't want you to explain it to me. I'm just curious if anyone knows, and subsequently wheter it's meaningful for you to use it in the discussion, what with nobody understanding and all.

I'm hardly perfect, and this isn't strictly a formal intelligent discussion, it's also a demo, and it's some jokers posting more or less seriously in a forum on the internet...It may not be completely serious, but it is mostly intelligent conversation.

As qualified above, okay. I believe we have ruled out mere black/white dichotomies (inside-outside and the like) in favor of discriminating distinctions, a form of intelligence suitable to higher consciousness. Agreed?

I'm not sure. I don't quite see how this helps. I would like to see you come up with a definition without vague or ambiguous terms, or definine the terms that have proven vague and ambiguous in this discussion.
Now, I think I understand that in your view consciousness cannot be cleanly cut into its constituents, so I will not ask you to again, but I still want to know what you're on about, so either you ignore me or find a way to explain your view untill I understand.
We have clarified that the more powerfully broad a definition, the more carefully it must be agreeably defined in order to put chaos in its proper place and thus allow progress on the topic. Now this I agree to completely.
Your definition awaits clarefaction. ;)

H'ethetheth
16th September 2004, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by new drkitten
bad H'ethetheth! no notation biscuit!

Awww!

What happened to 'old' drkitten?

H'ethetheth
16th September 2004, 02:32 PM
Oh, and before I forget, Mr. E:

You'll have to forgive my lack of expertise on subjects concerning consciousness and supposition fields.
For your information, my background is that of aerospace engineering a.k.a. 'rocket science'. Which means I don't deal with biology or supposition fields, not much with philosophy and not with 'new' or complicated mathematics. But I do deal with critical and analytical thinking (and a lot of vector math).

So I'm once again sorry if I seem like a bonehead to you, but don't mistake me for one just because I lack knowledge on certain subjects.
Furthermore, I see no shame in lacking knowledge so I do not mind anyone being ignorant of vector math to any extent, just don't pretend.

regards,

H'ethetheth

drkitten
16th September 2004, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth


What happened to 'old' drkitten?

I wish I knew. The backroom boys at JREF are working on it now, I gather.

H'ethetheth
16th September 2004, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by new drkitten
I wish I knew. The backroom boys at JREF are working on it now, I gather.

Lost in the great crash of ought four was he?

Dancing David
16th September 2004, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
David,

Have you answered my penny ante test yet? If you won't take the test, you can't pass meaningful judgment on matters depending on it.

Sincerely,

ME

Could you point me to it or quote it again, I am not sure which of the many posts you are referring to?

Thanks!

(You have posted a lot and I have responded to some but I am still eading page four trying to understand much of it.)

Dancing David
16th September 2004, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Can you handle abstraction concretely, and abstract from the concrete?

Most certainly , it is just the way my brain organises things, very mechanistic. So absraction exists, I just admit the bias in my conceptual network, I can more easily express the mechanistic in clear terms than I can the intuitive.

I can make intuitive statements, but then I examine them for contextual validity.

Supposition fields are created by making the mind ready. I am prepared to discuss this more elsewhere but it seems perhap not the right time, except to give a hint: In math, "Let X...." is one incantation. Effective desire and prejudice are two other aspects. The null set is another.

That is probably worthy of another thread but seems to be the main thrust of your conception. There would be many things which would influence such objects,
the biological structure of sensation and perception
the organizational structure of association (deliberate and preconsious)
the cultural set of expectations
the social set of expectations
personal belief

basicaly I think I understand your use.

But where does this lead to consciousness? I am aware of the filter effect but I consider the brain to use biological reverberation as the method of organization.

Emotions are not labels.

that is a rather strong assertion, if there is such a strong self identify-ing component to emeotions, then I ask why is there such a lack of clarity in the expression of emotion.
As a social worker i spend much of the day helping people to thats elf definition.
We might apply labels to stuff, and label some stuff "anger-feeling" etc. But the general existence of emotion as a body-thing/process is undeniable to most human beings, as you admit.

Ah. I would not deny that the body states that we label as emotions are not body states, just that there is a great deal of 'non-clarity' in the interpretation of those body states.

And since people recognize physical states with some if plastic consistency, we must accept those states as at least vague and indefinite candidates as objects of consciousness.

Yes but a very vauge objects with the lack of clear referential status.


Non-sense is what it is, but that's no reason to wallow in it.

Well, looks like you're headed to the question of the definition of "exist". When you close your eyes and picture something, say a shiny copper penny, is your imaging of it material?

My guess would be that the state which produces the image of the penyy is a physical state of arousal, memeory and constructive reverie.

Or do you lack imagination sufficient to that test?

Or do you lack the social skills to avoid baiting?

If you see it even vaguely then it exists if only vaguely, else you lack imagination. Mind you, I'm not quibbling about whether brain function is responsible for the image.

Different people have different capacities for recontructive and creative visualization, it appears to be unrelated to imagination, some people can imagine single objects more easily than others. I tend to imagine in 'scenes'.

As to the external validity of those scenes, ?


I would say you were being silly, sneaky, or careless. Old story: What if someone suggests that there is no body either, there is only mind? Anyway, I'm voting for carelessness here.

ME

I would say that it is a moot point, as discussed frequently with hammeGk, in mant a thread. I find there to be no difference between the monist and the scientist. The monist and the materialist have untestable hypothesis that are not readily discovered.

I state that it would appear there is a physical realm and that the brain is the vehicle of the mind. Or in an analogy

:looks both ways for Troll Bane:

The mind is the wake of the brain. The brain is the boat and the mind is the wake in the material realm.

:looks around again:

Is that Metaphor Monster still lurking?

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by new drkitten
I'm not sure. But you're the one who brought the notion of "cross product" into the discussion, and discussed the idea of consciousness being a cross product of becoming and being.... Fair enough, only, and btw, thanks for joining the thread here. I caught a bit of what I recall to be your jousting with BillHoyt at the end of a "quagmire" of a thread. Did Bill put you on ignore back then?

That said, this reply is almost totally off-topic, but what the hey!

To be fair : you may not have known that "vector product" and "cross product" are synonymsTo be fair, it doesn't matter unless you make a big stink over nothing important, like overdigested boot-strapping. Chasing red herrings used to be something I fancied until I got tired of the taste. Some evidently like that kind of poison. Bleah. But his central point stands -- if you're going to start flinging around mathematical analogies, you better understand the math underneath them.Was that a topical point at issue? BTW, I do, well enough. H' is evidently intent on improving my didactic skills, and I appreciate the rare moments of correction, have said so.

In particular, the 2x2 matrix to which you wish to apply the "cross product" doesn't permit it.Sez who!?
To someone who actually understood the mathematics, the idea of a "cross product" in a two-dimensional space is as ludicrous...The result might be in 3-space? Whose "point" is that, Flatlander? Aren't you a bit fixated on this "point"? Must be a slow day at the office.. Anyway stop limiting your thinking to R2, I'm working in something like RN with N>2 as any sensible reader would have understood if the reader had a clue at reading for meaning with your apparent education in the formalities of math. The R2 think (sic) is a figment of Bill's rudimentary imagination *in this context*, and that's allowing for a bit, not something I made topically necessary.

If you want to talk about a three-wheeled bicycle, there's a word you should use instead.If you read the rest of the thread I think you might grasp what is going on here. If you want wheels, try an automobile with an engine. So as a "beginner's analogy," it's either meaningless, wrong, or misleading through abuse of terminology. In any case, you need to find a better way of expressing yourself if you expect either to communicate your ideas or even to be taken seriously.Thanks for the feedback, it was stated casually before I realized how silly posters here could get. BTW1, When quoting, please use exact quotes. Thanks for getting through the kindergarten level of Synthetic Consciousness. BTW2, I don't accept your three part categorization, but it's moot either way. Where is the line drawn between assuming that you're entirely ignorant, and concluding it on the basis of what you've written? In common decency, at the "If...". If you (anyone) don't understand something, open your mind and "see" what happens. Denial is not sufficient as a learning tool. Nit-picking typos is silly in a casual context.


ME

H'ethetheth
16th September 2004, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by Dancing David
I state that it would appear there is a physical realm and that the brain is the vehicle of the mind. Or in an analogy

:looks both ways for Troll Bane:

The mind is the wake of the brain. The brain is the boat and the mind is the wake in the material realm.

:looks around again:

Is that Metaphor Monster still lurking?

Am I "that Metaphor Monster"? If so, yes, I lurk still, and will continue to do so for some time and eat your face if I don't like your analogies or metaphors.
However, even though you failed to include any obscene bodily functions in this analogy, I find this one very easy to relate to. I know what a boat is, I know what a wake is.
I will not eat your face.

Also, I object to the title Metaphor Monster.

Atlas
16th September 2004, 04:42 PM
Mr E,
These exchanges do get long addressing every point so I'll choose the more interesting areas of agreement and disagreement. Regarding the Eureka or aha experience, I wrote that in my opinion all problem solving occurs by this method. Perhaps it was an overstatement but I need better examples as to where problem solving occurs differently. The phenomenon is, as we agree I think, often available to a focused worker who suddenly draws a blank. There are multiple strategies that can be employed but in a moment of quiet blank expectation an answer or strategy presents itself to consciousness.

These insights come from somewhere in the dark recesses of our mind. They are exceptionally powerful perhaps because of the emotion that accompanies them. I think that is the case. It's my philosophical posture. When the child learns that 3+4=7 and demonstrates his knowledge by pronouncing the answer after several seconds of blank thought and then is lavished with praise, the child is not only learning his sums but the positive feeling of being correct. I believe that emotional rush is secondarily associated with the delivering up the correct answer experience. That is, "Eureka" comes to produce the positive feeling of correctness all on its own. It may not happen as I describe but it does produce the feeling.

Likewise, the Bible devotee can read some troubling things in his good book, but in quiet meditation on the questions raised, answers come - often in the form of insight. This is accompanied by that feeling of correctness he'd call, a blessing. To me this speaks to the power of the expectant wait that delivers up the insight and the feeling. We have a tendency to latch onto our own insights because of the accompanying feeling. And as I remarked philosophically in another thread: Regardless of truth, feelings are their own proof. (This to me is an axiom of the mind.)

I'm drifting a bit here because I'm trying to set up for the other question you ask about knowing and doing as well as how the chemicals of our emotions shape our understanding of truth and consciousness. But before I do that I want to say that this expectant wait ALWAYS delivers an answer or strategy. We are never left in vacant stare brainlock for long. Of course, sometimes the strategy is, "I'll have to come back to this later - I'll work on this other thing now and maybe the answer will come to me."

When a child learns his numbers or ABCs, he invariably gets it wrong... ABCGTVDWXYZ or something. If he does start right ABC and end right XYZ, he knows he's done. The middle might not be correct but for him things went pretty well. When the child gets it all down rote, I still think the Eureka concept is in play. It's just so much faster. The search for associations is all together. It may seem like a conscious behavior but for me the conscious behavior is the application of desire or wish or whim or whatever you want to call it to the current symbol in consciousness and requesting the unconscious search mechanism to deliver up the next character. The wait time merely tends toward zero. That's why we can say it stupidly as I did at the beginning of this paragraph. I desire to deliver up the ABCs as a child and wha'd'yaknow, I can. I merely make a request for a desirable association not with correctness but with a child. It's a "correct" version to for what I want. I think the Bible reader gets a "correct" version of the answer he wants and the skeptic for what he wants. (What we do with those answers is a separate discussion.) My point is that the Eureka phenomenon may in fact be the way we solve all problems with speed of retrieval being the factor that makes us believe it's a totally conscious experience without reference to the retrieval that obviously must be going on. Even this long paragraph has words following words that must have been retrieved to communicate the point.

Ok, as usual I'm going long. I won't discuss my gunshot soldier and I'm dropping my triangle model discussion because I incorrectly had put you and your model into a box. I'll finish up with your knowing/doing deprived of senses question. First I'll say, that I'm not sure I'm following and we could explore this more. But if you're saying that a blindfolded person cannot write on the lines as well as a sighted person, I agree. But not all of our knowledge is in space-time. I know if I'm going to vomit. It's an internal experience that I can't be deprived of sensorally. It may come on faster than I can run, but I'm at least on the way. I'm sure I'm missing the point so expand on it for me. You said: If knowledge is said to be founded in space-time, what's the other part of the picture and why should we not think of it as a duality as well, when we try to think what cannot be merely be thought or sensed but only done?

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Now this I agree to completely.
Your definition awaits clarefaction. ;) Phew! btw, 'clarification'? Let's see what fun we can have with the preceding part of your post:

Re: The "humor me" stuff about criteria for understanding -
This comment I'm supposed to reply to, is something I vaguely remember not understanding. I looked it up and I still don't understand it. It might be a language thing.Could be. If you don't say, "Hey pal, I still don't understand [whatever]" you can see I might have to only imagine we are on the same page. David now seems to have clue about supposition fields. Does that suffice for that term? As for "to understand", let me know explicitly if you ever get the odd feeling (or more) that you require further definition from me so as to correctly understand stuff I post here in my idiosyncratic style.
That I take as an insult. If it's not offered as an insult to you? Does that clarify? (The point is a fine point, you could take 'just about' as a pat on the back in that context just as well as an insult, imo -- seems to be a style I've seen around here.) I can understand that my dual style of posting, sometimes crypticly short, sometimes apparently too wordy, might make it hard to "get on my wavelenth" but I don't want you to only believe you are on the correct wavelength, and then fall into a new trance (no offense) where you might take the wrong things for granted and the right things wrong(ly). As I said earlier, pompous language bears no authority, it just clouds, annoys and distracts from the topic.Method in madness? I hope my explanation above removes this obstacle to our future harmony! I happen to believe that I know what I am talking about pretty well tho' not completely, in this very narrow context. Y'all are in effect helping me test that belief.Sorry, indeed you did not. However I can see the next set of questions rising about the elements of this matrix, their meaning, invertibility etc.Glad that got cleared up, not all matrices are necessarily mathematical objects at that level. But then I must offer a red herring alert. This is a critical thinkiing forum, right? If it comes down to bizarre nit-picking on the first round (yes we are still on the first round a I see it) I can see Dymanic's point too well. May I suggest that you and I at least remain above the fray whenever possible?
Be careful with math, in fact stay out of math concerning this subject, since the subject has nothing to do with math.Maybe. If that counts as a working approach for you, fine. As I pointed out to Bill a verrrry long time ago, this is not about emulations in the ordinary sense (as noted at the time, and since to someone else). I think Dymanic might understand this, too.

I'm sorry but the following exchange made me suspect otherwise.Yeah, I got it. Critical thinking alert:
[b]Three. Remember your good point about three dimensions?

My point about three dimensions had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of parts you split consciousness up in. "good part of that point"? Tell me how it has absolutely nothing to do with this please - that is, since you don't fully understand yet, maybe there IS some connection. ?? Could be a trivial issue, and if so, we could just move on for now and if it catches up with us later, deal with it then.
Yes, because you are obviously the only one with content in mind on these forums. I bet you're mighty contented up there at the top of the intellectual ladder.??? Care to explain, irony or not, sarcasm or not?

I asked this not because I don't want you to explain it to me. I'm just curious if anyone knows, and subsequently wheter it's meaningful for you to use it in the discussion, what with nobody understanding and all.How long shall we wait before you choose a different way of moving the conversation forward on this point?

I'm not sure. I don't quite see how this helps. I would like to see you come up with a definition without vague or ambiguous terms, or definine the terms that have proven vague and ambiguous in this discussion.Can we agree on criteria for success in this matter, in advance? Isn't the criterion here that of the definition being sufficiently clear to address the OP challenge?

Hey, my fingers and head are tired already today!!

ME
[I didn't proofread as well as usual... ]

Atlas
16th September 2004, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
... Symmetry breaking is indeed a critical factor, both as tool and as the work in process. The distinction at issue clearly is a very fine point, if we can even begin to define it here (at this moment). I don't think I'd use Consciousness as the subject of a transitive verb at this point, but casually I'd agree. It tends to, well, overly subjectify the object of discussion!

I believe it is possible to draw reasonably sharp lines between what I take to be your unconscious values and suppose you might mean by 'your conscious values'. And so it's questionable whether "conscious[ness] values according to subjective sense data" itself is coherent (makes sense). Conscious values, if we are to make a distinction of meaning are values of mind, not of body, whether they are "nestled" on top of subconscious or nonconscious values, or not. We can suppose much which we cannot sense by ordinary sense perception. Surely the virtues which supposition fields might support might be rather different from sense-data dominated values. It's necessity vs. possibility here.

Agreed? We might be close here. You're talking above me so I can't be sure. But if we are - we should probably stop that right away. ;) (Hey what happened to my smileys?)

And toward that end I offer my updated definition of consciousness and a little more for target practice.

My definition of consciousness: That function of the brain that requests, evaluates, and chooses among it's own symbols and associations and drives the body to action for the organism's survival, comfort and satisfaction and appreciates it's abilities.

I have added the final conjunctive phrase "and appreciates it's abilities" to my definition to incorporate the self-referential aspect of consciousness and to differentiate it fully from a definition of unconsciousness and confirm it's distinct type of value system.

My definition of "self" would be a terse: A construct of the consciousness that differentiates it's host from the rest of the world.

My definition of "soul" would be similar: That construct of consciousness within the construct of "self" that appreciates the world and itself.

(Edit: Oh Yah, by "the world" I really mean that old cliche - God, the Universe and Everything.)

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
[B]Oh, and before I forget, Mr. E:

You'll have to forgive my lack of expertise on subjects concerning consciousness and supposition fields.Before I sign off for the "day", I basically assume no prior academic knowledge of the topic on your part and am happy to answer/address/respond-to your explicit questions and requests for definitions in context. I thought this chat would have been unnecessary, but hey, live and learn!
For your information, my background is that of aerospace engineering a.k.a. 'rocket science'. Which means I don't deal with biology or supposition fields, not much with philosophy and not with 'new' or complicated mathematics. But I do deal with critical and analytical thinking (and a lot of vector math).For your information, my most relevant background is a lowly degree in Physics, with 8 undergrad semesters of math, followed later in life with dabbling in robotics, electronics, philosophy(consciousness studies for one, d'oh!), spirituality, procrastination (I had a six month apprenticeship once which lasted many years!), the school of hard knocks and introspection, becoming un-tongue-tied, and many other possibly marginally relevant studies. I enjoy wordplay and many of my sentences have two streams of meaning both of which relate to the ostensible topic. I deal a lot with uncritical thinking myself, but you'd do well to read that carefully and then ignore it. I first proposed Synthetic Consciousness about 7 years ago, then dropped it for awhile until I got a pointer to this forum and my interest perked up again when I saw this thread, then at under one full page. The thread seems to have revived an overdose of passion on my part for the subject (and object of course)!

So I'm once again sorry if I seem like a bonehead to you, but don't mistake me for one just because I lack knowledge on certain subjects.Okay! Sorry if I project to you the impression that I make such judgments about you. [okay already!? After you Alphonse....]

Furthermore, I see no shame in lacking knowledge so I do not mind anyone being ignorant of vector math to any extent, just don't pretend. Ummm... good spirit and attitude. I will try to install and use a working assumption that if you don't ask explicitly, you have thought critically, analyzed completely and don't need a "lecture". I suspect my assumption won't last, on general princples not because you are who you are.


Plain Unironical*,

ME

*to within the uncertainty principle uncertainty or so

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by Atlas
[B]We might be close here. You're talking above me so I can't be sure. But if we are - we should probably stop that right away. ;) (Hey what happened to my smileys?)Okay. What? Why? :) (dunno) .. in that order. Is there something in particular you think might "equalize" things, regarding what you cited? I seem to dance between being too obvious and too obscure here. Mebbe that was just a joke about my text being there "above" yours on the page... dunno.

My definition of "self" would be a terse: A construct of the consciousness that differentiates it's host from the rest of the world. My comment even more terse: Distinguish conscious self from subconscious self. "construct" is ambiguous to me since I don't know more about where you are 'coming from'. The two "selfs" are, in my thinking, not necessarily identical, tho' for most people they are likely not obviously highly antagonistic to each other (that is, relative harmony for the most part). I've stated some of my thinking before, but could summarize a bit more inre any constructive reply you might post if you ask for it.

'bout done for the day,

ME

Atlas
16th September 2004, 05:56 PM
H'ethetheth: my background is that of aerospace engineering a.k.a. 'rocket science'

Mr. E: my most relevant background is a lowly degree in Physics, with 8 undergrad semesters of math, followed later in life with dabbling in robotics, electronics, philosophy(consciousness studies for one, d'oh!), spirituality...

Atlas: Hi school grad - In college I met a girl who took me to parties with smart people. So yah... I'm just fakin it. But I have done as the thread asked and defined consciousness. And until DD catches up, I got it all over on you guys.

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by Dancing David
The monist and the materialist have untestable hypothesis that are not readily discovered.Is that remarkable in that those of others are readily discovered? How does this impinge on whether consciousness or a definition of it exists?

I state that it would appear there is a physical realm and that the brain is the vehicle of the mind.What about the "internal" realm of imagination, which it seems you agree exists at least for you, albeit with objects (imagined copper penny) which are more vague/dim/etc as compared to some other senses? You wrote: "As to the external validity of those scenes, ?" and this doesn't begin to make sense to me. If you see something, you see something whether vague or not. So, since when you close your eyes, and can still recognize a visual object which doesn't have an obvious material referent, are you stuck with two realms? Imagination, while perhaps not material, surely is not immaterial to human existence. So I'm challening the notion of existence per the OP. Maybe I misunderstood something earlier, about materialism. Could you clarify/explain this for me?

The mind is the wake of the brain. The brain is the boat and the mind is the wake in the material realm.My myth supports that both might be the "wake" of "something" else. But I'm less interested in vague metaphors and metaphysical myths here than in coming to understand how you think and are conscious, by your reports.

I'm still not clear on what your OP point really is to be primarily about -- self, awareness, consciousness, some definition, the apparenty unity of conscious experience in a moment,... It seems all of these have been offered up at one point or another.

Which way are you arguing the existence of consciousness, for or against? At first I suspected "against" but as I read more, I'm more skeptical.

ME

Atlas
16th September 2004, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Okay. What? Why? :) (dunno) .. in that order. Is there something in particular you think might "equalize" things, regarding what you cited? I seem to dance between being too obvious and too obscure here. Mebbe that was just a joke about my text being there "above" yours on the page... dunno. Sorry. When I read your stuff I kinda feel like I understand but I'm never sure. Like this...I don't think I'd use Consciousness as the subject of a transitive verb at this point, but casually I'd agree. It tends to, well, overly subjectify the object of discussion!My definition implied that Consciousness was a function of the brain. Intransitive so far. But functions do things - transitively. Anyway it's a noun so I've got my choice subject or object. I'm so tied up in my own thinking, I suddenly realize that you are thinking of consciousness, as you've described, as a manifestation of the cross-product you mentioned earlier. We're in opposition there. That discussion was totally beyond me and seemed to draw the ire of several posters who understood it better than I.

Another thing in your post: Conscious values, if we are to make a distinction of meaning are values of mind, not of body, whether they are "nestled" on top of subconscious or nonconscious values, or not. We can suppose much which we cannot sense by ordinary sense perception. Surely the virtues which supposition fields might support might be rather different from sense-data dominated values. It's necessity vs. possibility here. Again, I was running in another direction and was caught confused. For me, the values of the unconscious are associative, not appreciative. It wants to store something so that it can be retrieved by meaning, by rhyme, by age and every which way. It's not concerned with virtues or goodness just storage and retrieval. That's probably an oversimplification but that's where I was going. But your comment about virtues I translated as: a consciousness with a spiritual paradigm will conceptualize virtues differently than one with a purely hedonistic paradigm - and I had no disagreement with that.

OK, enough about that... feel free to set me straight. Originally posted by Mr. E
My comment even more terse: Distinguish conscious self from subconscious self. "construct" is ambiguous to me since I don't know more about where you are 'coming from'. The two "selfs" are, in my thinking, not necessarily identical, tho' for most people they are likely not obviously highly antagonistic to each other (that is, relative harmony for the most part). I've stated some of my thinking before, but could summarize a bit more inre any constructive reply you might post if you ask for it. This is a rather interesting challenge. Again I wasn't thinking about it when I wrote my definition. It first struck me that subconscious and unconscious were pretty synonomous to my way of thinking. But as I thought about it I wasn't getting close to good definitions. This is how I'll build on my definitions - I really don't know where this is going to take me and I invite you to throw your definitions up in opposition.

Definitions by Atlas
Consciousness: That function of the brain that requests, evaluates, and chooses among it's own symbols and associations and drives the body to action for the organism's survival, comfort and satisfaction and appreciates it's abilities.

Self: A construct of the consciousness that differentiates it's host from the rest of the world.

Soul: That construct of consciousness within the construct of "self" that appreciates the world and itself.

Construct: A conceptual assembly of symbols and associations.

Concept: An abstract or general idea of a class of entity (from dictionary)

Conscious Self: That "Self" which is called "I" and accepts as fact that it is an awake, logical, feeling human being.

Subconscious Self: A term the "Conscious Self" uses to describe that part of "Self" shrouded in mystery... (A term for the dreamer or producer of any woo, strange, weird, poetic or unexplained ideas or powers.)
I do not think my definitions are large or clear enough to include the consciousness of animals. In one of my earlier posts I believe I assumed that big cats and their prey were in a sense conscious. I still think that way but I'll leave these definitions up to define how I view what's happening in the human animal.

Mr. E
16th September 2004, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by Atlas
Sorry. When I read your stuff I kinda feel like I understand but I'm never sure.Sounds excellent to me at this point! Thanks for the mutual engagement.

Like this...My definition implied that Consciousness was a function of the brain. Intransitive so far. But functions do things - transitively.Different grammar I guess, or level of metaphor maybe. For me, there are only transformations, not "actors" because changing form is all there is to deal with fundamentally, everything else is perception or phenomena, illusion or not. So I can think of brain function in general or particular terms, but still have not got it being an object or a subject-like entity except 1) for casual convenience or 2)metaconversationally (talk about talk), and quite deliberately so, because it seems if I choose either one up front, I am stuck with the subject-object problem immediately rather than later when it might be irrelevant. If that's obscure, sorry. So for me it is currently both or neither, which is part of why I'd be careful about saying it "does" anything or has anything done to "it", as tho' it's already been established to "exist" in this thread. (don't want to assume the desired conclusion!!)

Consciousness is (can be considered as) both a state and a process, and by common convention in language I start out with is as the former - the state of being conscious (which doesn't tell us much at all by itself). That's where my definition kicks in, to transform old vocabulary... not sure just how 'function' fits in here besides in terms of basic metabolism at the cellular level, some place I've never been!

We're in opposition there. Maybe. Maybe loyal opposition and this isn't up for a vote, so may the best one "win"! Heh. BTW, lot's of bickering parades as informed debate when it isn't. But you and I definitely have different starting points, the question is whether our paths will merge, orbit, parallel, diverge, or destruct, or... transform each other. I need to conserve right now, so I may not do justice to your ideas (my loss) but will try to post minute offerings for your generous consideration.

But your comment about virtues I translated as: a consciousness with a spiritual paradigm will conceptualize virtues differently than one with a purely hedonistic paradigm - and I had no disagreement with that. Could be, but maybe almost all virtues could be very similar or even have some identity across the apparent gap between those two. For instance, I suspect I can be very "scientific", a critical skeptic, or very spiritual affirming belief. Yet I value honesty with others, humor, integrity, and so on, apparently the same either way. so there seems to be some kind of broken symmetry between the two states. Is this making sense, or am I talking about something completely different from what you have "in mind" here? As for hedonism, it too might be embraced spiritually or vice versa to a large extent, if perhaps with not such a clearcut distinction. So I think we are together pretty much on this.

My comments inserted obviously as labelled:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Definitions by Atlas
Consciousness: That function of the brain that requests, evaluates, and chooses among it's own symbols and associations and drives the body to action for the organism's survival, comfort and satisfaction and appreciates it's abilities.

ME: You know my initial objections to making it an actor. Also, looks like everything but the kitchen sink is in there. :)

Self: A construct of the consciousness that differentiates it[]s host from the rest of the world.

ME: Lots of terms, "host" = "brain" ="God" =? 'differentiates tells me that the construct does something, again as an actor. Yes?

Soul: That construct of consciousness within the construct of "self" that appreciates the world and itself.

ME: No comment.

Construct: A conceptual assembly of symbols and associations.

ME: I sorta get it, except that I take symbols as being associations already. Please clarify or modify. What distinguishes a construct from any other such assembly? "An" assembly...

Concept: An abstract or general idea of a class of entity (from dictionary)

ME: Hmmmm.... for me perhaps too simply "mind-like object". But I like the "general" part! And don't go for the 'abstract' part unless we are careful since we speak of concrete concepts too.

Conscious Self: That "Self" which is called "I" and accepts as fact that it is an awake, logical, feeling human being.

ME: LOL! Dunno what to say about that construction! To me, the conscious part of the self is simply a made up character, a construct perhaps. Some people let the world tell them what role to play, others take more of a hand in actively chosing their character(S!).

Subconscious Self: A term the "Conscious Self" uses to describe that part of "Self" shrouded in mystery... (A term for the dreamer or producer of any woo, strange, weird or unexplained ideas or powers.)

ME: In a word, conscience, that by which you might know what *you* believe (or, a feedback mechanism from mind into body which is sensible directly or by inference which acts like a sense organ which detecs general assent of mind). That is, as eyes translate photons into pulse trains in nerves, so this "function" translates mind-non-sense into sense.


Voila, more than I thought I had in me. Most productive. I hope you find value in your read of my response to my read of your write!

Thanks for the inspiration! We may not think alike, but it seems as if we both have great minds in mind! :)

~~

ME

H'ethetheth
17th September 2004, 03:38 AM
Originally posted by Atlas But I have done as the thread asked and defined consciousness. And until DD catches up, I got it all over on you guys.

Heh, sez you. ;) I've done my part as well, only it's very long ago in the thread, and it may not be a great definition, but it's a definition.
To quote Eric Cartman: ne-ne-ne-ne-nehh-neh, ha-ha-ha-ha-haah-ha.

H'ethetheth
17th September 2004, 04:19 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Phew! btw, 'clarification'?

I know, I just like to mess up words like that a little. Because English allows for a lot of ways to end words from latin like consciousness.
Why for instance is it not called consciosity? I could come up with more nonsense like this, and no doubt I will, but not now.
Re: The "humor me" stuff about criteria for understanding -
Could be. If you don't say, "Hey pal, I still don't understand [whatever]" you can see I might have to only imagine we are on the same page. David now seems to have clue about supposition fields. Does that suffice for that term? As for "to understand", let me know explicitly if you ever get the odd feeling (or more) that you require further definition [be specific] from me so as to correctly understand stuff I post here in my idiosyncratic style.
I will in the future immediately say when I don't understand something, and try to explain why.
If it's not offered as an insult to you? Does that clarify? (The point is a fine point, you could take 'just about' as a pat on the back in that context just as well as an insult, imo -- seems to be a style I've seen around here.) I can understand that my dual style of posting, sometimes crypticly short, sometimes apparently too wordy, might make it hard to "get on my wavelenth" but I don't want you to only believe you are on the correct wavelength, and then fall into a new trance (no offense) where you might take the wrong things for granted and the right things wrong(ly).This pat on the back thing is not clear to me. How is being interested in almost nothing a compliment?
But, fair enough, I agree with the second part.

I happen to believe that I know what I am talking about pretty well tho' not completely, in this very narrow context. Y'all are in effect helping me test that belief.
Glad I can help.

Glad that got cleared up, not all matrices are necessarily mathematical objects at that level. But then I must offer a red herring alert. This is a critical thinkiing forum, right? If it comes down to bizarre nit-picking on the first round (yes we are still on the first round a I see it) I can see Dymanic's point too well. May I suggest that you and I at least remain above the fray whenever possible?
Yes, however since a matrix has more than one meaning, it is ambiguous, and therefore must be defined or avoided. But I shall nit-pick no longer, unless you provide too much pickings for nit-picking. Remaining above the fray sounds good.

Maybe. If that counts as a working approach for you, fine. As I pointed out to Bill a verrrry long time ago, this is not about emulations in the ordinary sense (as noted at the time, and since to someone else). I think Dymanic might understand this, too. Yes, so you noted. But if you emulate in an extraordinary sense, you might want to provide reasons and explanation to your sense of emulation. Misunderstanding might otherwise occur (cough).
"good part of that point"? Tell me how it has absolutely nothing to do with this please - that is, since you don't fully understand yet, maybe there IS some connection. ?? Could be a trivial issue, and if so, we could just move on for now and if it catches up with us later, deal with it then.
Okay, this is pickings for nit-pickers: If you propose consciousness to be split up into a vector product, regardless of how many vectors, they must be three dimensional. This has nothing to do with what I do or do not understand about the underlying meaning of the equation (Yes I misspelled that last time, d'oh!).
??? Care to explain, irony or not, sarcasm or not? I'd say both. I thought it was fairly presumptuous of you to say that there are only people without content in mind here who would try to explain supposition fields to me (not to say arrogant).

How long shall we wait before you choose a different way of moving the conversation forward on this point?
Moving on.

Can we agree on criteria for success in this matter, in advance? Isn't the criterion here that of the definition being sufficiently clear to address the OP challenge?
Yes, but since I'm interested in this topic too, it would be nice if it would be sufficiently clear to everyone, including me.

Atlas
17th September 2004, 06:09 AM
Originally posted by H'ethetheth
Heh, sez you. ;) I've done my part as well, only it's very long ago in the thread, and it may not be a great definition, but it's a definition.
To quote Eric Cartman: ne-ne-ne-ne-nehh-neh, ha-ha-ha-ha-haah-ha. To quote Homer Simpson: D'oh ;)

Atlas
17th September 2004, 07:48 AM
Mr E,

I applaud your response. You've completely come over to greet me where I'm at. Plenty of food for thought and some good horse sense thrown in. I almost started my response: Mr. Ed. ;)

You began with the discomfort inherent in the subject/object/state/process/function word play around the common and specific usage of the term consciousness. Good points. Later against my definition of Consciousness you will throw the "kitchen sink" at me. All of that is fair and I enjoy thinking about these things. I don't adhere to the principle that we know everything and discover it in the dialectic but that's how I approach topics like this. I engage in the discussion more to discover what I think I know than to convince someone that I do know.

Anyway I had unconsciously (pun not intended) structured my definition in agreement to what you make explicit. That consciousness is fluid or flux in a dynamic exchange process as subject/object (requestor/receiver) with the hidden symmetrical side of a wholeness of mind I called the unconscious. DD wants to leave this consciousness analyzed into constituent processes. I see no value there but I have to veer off and take the long way round to explain why.

I've posted 4 or 5 times in different threads my take on the question of whether there is a God. I have found a middle way in my thinking that confirms and denies this existence. For me, no supernatural being overlords us, but every culture down through time has one. So, of course the concept exists, but it is more. People feel God. They feel what they know is the touch of God in every daily blessing. As I've stated in this thread, feelings are their own proof. God is a feeling.

The concept of God is useful then (although hopelessly contaminated.) It can be a key to other elevating feelings that we possibly throw away when we dismiss and destroy God.

Consciousness is to me a similar invention. An apparently real phenomenon and a concept that we can talk about when we use that shorthand term. It's fascinating to me to explore the terms we all know for what agreement we have, only to find that in doing so we have more disagreement than we realize. What's more, in casual conversation it makes absolutely no difference. That to me is the power of concept. We all have the concept of God, Consciousness, Self and Soul yet no two of us have exactly the same concept.

Does Consciousness really exist? I would answer: As much as God. That is, Consciousness is a useful concept. It exists until a better concept comes along to replace it. It is apparently real, but c'mon it's just a word - it describes something going on and seems very much linked to the brain. If someone shows me that my version is flat and can bring me the spherical of it I will change concepts.

Anyway, you made several additional points that I thought were well said and for the first time I felt very much in tune with the meanings. I may have more to say later but I'm already going long and I want to add comments of my own on your thoughts of my definition.

Consciousness. I've addressed this kitchen sink approach I've taken above and will hold fast to it because of the multifaceted nature of that which we call consciousness.

Self: A construct of the consciousness that differentiates it[]s host from the rest of the world.

ME: Lots of terms, "host" = "brain" ="God" =? 'differentiates tells me that the construct does something, again as an actor. Yes?

Construct: A conceptual assembly of symbols and associations.

ME: I sorta get it, except that I take symbols as being associations already. Please clarify or modify. What distinguishes a construct from any other such assembly? "An" assembly... By host I meant the living matter, the walking meatbag, the human with the brain producing the consciousness. Symbols are associations but they grow through association as well. When we are 3 we have a concept of the world and man and God. The words are symbols and stand for the same concepts until we die. But the world gets a lot bigger as we grow. All of our concepts do. We assemble ever larger constructs of lower concepts and the construct becomes a lower level concept in some larger construct. The differentiation is a recognition by consciousness of distinguishing attributes of symbols within a communication. Thus the following thoughts can be uttered by a single individual without internal falsity. "I am a distinct being in the world. God is everything. I am God." It is of course, the reason we seek definitions and clarifications from one another when the use of terms conflicts with our own concepts behind those terms.
Conscious Self: That "Self" which is called "I" and accepts as fact that it is an awake, logical, feeling human being.

ME: LOL! Dunno what to say about that construction! To me, the conscious part of the self is simply a made up character, a construct perhaps. Some people let the world tell them what role to play, others take more of a hand in actively chosing their character(S!).

Subconscious Self: A term the "Conscious Self" uses to describe that part of "Self" shrouded in mystery... (A term for the dreamer or producer of any woo, strange, weird or unexplained ideas or powers.)

ME: In a word, conscience, that by which you might know what *you* believe (or, a feedback mechanism from mind into body which is sensible directly or by inference which acts like a sense organ which detecs general assent of mind). That is, as eyes translate photons into pulse trains in nerves, so this "function" translates mind-non-sense into sense.I had a chuckle writing these definitions. Indeed, Conscious Self is a construct,. It referenced the Self defined previously.

As far as subconscious self, I like the word conscience but I'm not sure that I'd go so far as to equate the terms. Perhaps if dreams were a product of conscience. I wouldn't say that but I would say dreams are a product of the subconscious self.

Whew! That's all for now. Sorry to take the long way round but I am coming from a less than mainstream perspective. About 30 years ago I was fascinated by Buddhism and I think it still influences me to find a middle way.

BillHoyt
17th September 2004, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by Mr. E
Garbage in, garbage out, Dirtbag. You've had more than enough of my attention in this thread. Go read a stone cold post (as previously directed) and see if you can breathe some life into your non-sense.

Oh, and now it's your turn to go read the Randi Challenge and get back to us with your critical essay on how it's entirely irrelevant here.

Pointedly yours,

ME

Now we three people very pointedly and very clearly informing you that your vector analogy was delivered already broken. You wish to portray this as the result of manhandling by me, the evil skeptic. It is, however, your problem. You raised the cross product point, have refused to defend it and refused to disclaim it. Now you've raised the issue again by mangling the details. Your 2x2 "matrix" claims R2. Cross product demands R3.

In a similar fashion, you raised the DNA double-helix as an analogy, and have thus far resisted attempts at skeptical inquiry. Your few responses to questions took a diversionary path down to making assertions about the DNA double-helix and symmetry operations. When asked to defend that, you sputtered and stammered once more.

This has the hallmarks of mystical crank nonsense. Puff shallow ideas up with pseudoscientific wrapping paper and try to palm it off on the naive. This is the wrong audience, mystery. Defend your points with explanations and evidence and logic. Or take it to a woo forum.

Mr. E
17th September 2004, 08:23 AM
Originally posted by BillHoyt
Now we three people very pointedly and very clearly informing you that your vector analogy was delivered already broken. You wish to portray this as the result of manhandling by me, the evil skeptic. It is, however, your problem. You raised the cross product point, have refused to defend it and refused to disclaim it. Now you've raised the issue again by mangling the details. Your 2x2 "matrix" claims R2. Cross product demands R3.

In a similar fashion, you raised the DNA double-helix as an analogy, and have thus far resisted attempts at skeptical inquiry. Your few responses to questions took a diversionary path down to making assertions about the DNA double-helix and symmetry operations. When asked to defend that, you sputtered and stammered once more.

This has the hallmarks of mystical crank nonsense. Puff shallow ideas up with pseudoscientific wrapping paper and try to palm it off on the naive. This is the wrong audience, mystery. Defend your points with explanations and evidence and logic. Or take it to a woo forum.

"Points of truth trump all."

I want my money. No excuses please. You know what I mean.

ME

PS - Thanks for being civil in an obvious way for once.

davidsmith73
17th September 2004, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by Darat

So for me my definition of consciousness is that it is just one of the many processes that happen when a certain group of chemicals mix together with a bit of energy thrown in. Intrinsically no more remarkable or special then photosynthesis.

(Edited for words.)


I am jumping into this debate without having read most of the dialogue between Mr. E, Atlas, H'ethetheth, BillHoyt and co.

I want to use the above statement as a starting point for an argument against the views of some of the posters here. Darat says that consciousness can be defined by a physical process, whatever the details of that process may turn out to be, and that this physical process is or results in consciousness (I hope I have fairly represented your view). Is consciousness no more special than other physical processes such as photosynthesis? I think not. The major difference between your explanation given to consciousness and photosynthesis is that photosynthesis is entirely defined by its physical description. There is no debate about the "photosynthesis soul" or indeed any conceivable notion as to any other phenomenon that needs to be explained outside of the physical description to which the term "photosynthesis" is defined by. Consciousness is different. If we were to describe the neurochemical pathways that are attributed to consciousness in as much detail as that for photosynthesis, we would be left with two things - the physical description and the associated experience. With physical descriptions of all other phenomena that we know of aside from conscious experience, there is no such duality.