A brief contemplation of Grace and Emergence

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06 May 2019, 5:19 am

Pepe wrote:
Are you saying the Wiki entry is false?
If so, I agree that one needs a pinch of salt when using it, but do you have evidence refuting what was posted?


Partly this sort of thing:
http://wikipediawehaveaproblem.com/the-battle-begins/

A July 2014 interview he had with John Horigan:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cr ... mysteries/

I wouldn't claim these are proof necessarily that the replacement for reductive materialism as a total view of the universe is morphic fields / morphic resonance.

There are two routes I'd take to why I take what he's saying seriously. On one hand, mentioning Nagel and Koch, they're example of what have been considered very serious and largely main-stream thinkers breaking away (particularly on the issue of consciousness) and offering, or recommending, similarly radical theories or departures from the canon going forward. The second, possibly less relatable from the materialist POV, he's really boiled down a lot of lot of what historical occult and esoteric experience has been into something that has much less to do with claims of deities and entities and more to do with a scaffolding in nature that puts these things in a context without requiring either wild mneumonic Platonist cosmologies to be true (really only edifying their effectiveness to practitioners by how many people have used such system), admits to a kind of plasticity in nature that practitioners have experienced for a long time, and while bringing it under a granular and naturalistic frame also avoids the knee-jerk of acting as if all evidence of psi public, private, peer reviewed, and otherwise is some sort of believer's conspiracy (which - to any outside onlooker - smacks of self-indulgence on the part of those claiming it).

On that last part it's fair to say that the subject of psi is ticklish, as a more recent Scientific American article on Sheldrake put it, replication attempts at psi research tend to have results that break down along the lines of what beliefs the researchers themselves hold on the issue. People are often tempted to suggest this as proof that proponents are all hacks or inept at science, I doubt there's any evidence for that and I remember there was a Duke psi experiment with positive results back in 2011 that had a lot of pull in making people aware of the current crisis in science, ironically from the standpoint that 'psi's not real' and that positive results on psi experiments are tantamount to evidence of where the process of controls breaks down. The one psi experiment that does seem to hold just about no matter who replicates it or how many times it's been replicated is the Ganzfeld experiment, where chance in the results should always average out to 25% and it seems like no matter whose doing it the floating average is still about five or six percent above that.

I wouldn't say Nagel, Koch, or any break-aways from strict reductive materialism necessarily edify Sheldrake's theories, they just edify the notion that there's reason for us to take reductive materialism as a useful vector of inquiry rather than a totalizing ontology. What Sheldrake has said about potential for consciousness in recursive self-organizing systems (ie. ecosystems rather than computers or chairs) fits in well with some of the observations this guy offers in the 5 minute Big Think below:



Where the above actually gets important rather than speculative - anyone whose not an eliminative materialist on the issue of consciousness has been arguing for some form of emergence (strong or weak) and I think Dan Siegel did a good job of describing the qualities of an emergent living system, then per something like Hillary Putnam's functionalism the question is opened as to whether this is transferable to all systems having these qualities. It goes back to the controversy that people such as Ray Kurzweil and the transhumanists evoke - ie. why can't a person upload their consciousness to a computer? If they can't, what's special about neurons?


All of that's a long way around, that tends to be required unfortunately when politics (like those present in your Wiki entry) muddy the waters.


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06 May 2019, 7:15 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Pepe wrote:
Are you saying the Wiki entry is false?
If so, I agree that one needs a pinch of salt when using it, but do you have evidence refuting what was posted?


Partly this sort of thing:
http://wikipediawehaveaproblem.com/the-battle-begins/


Very enlightening and in sympathy with my position regarding Wiki...


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06 May 2019, 9:49 pm

Normally Wiki's not too bad for general information, just that if you see the prose getting too floral on an entry there's usually a sales pitch of some type.


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07 May 2019, 10:06 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSxG05300Nc

Contemplating Grace and Emergence; Smiles, Humans are 'NoToRiouS' 'These Days' for THeir Multiple Choice Life;
Meanwhile, Reality is Largely Both Art and Poetry; Fill in the Blank, So much More Colorful In Dance and Song than
Just Sidewalks of life Preplanned With Directions From Someone Else Spoon-Fed Almost From Birth as is; Yuck.

There are Building Sandcastles with 'No Limits' of 'Oliver Wendell Holmes Chambers of Nautilus Creations' that
Last 300 Million Years or so in the Fossil Record of Left Overs; but yes, then there is Humanity and the Emergence
of the Potential of Much Greater Arts than the 'Same Old Boring Spiral' Seen all through Nature as "God's Foot Prints
And Finger Prints"; if you wanna Use that Metaphor for all of what we Materially Observe From the Inside Filtered Out.

All of Creation Colors "God's Eyes"; some 'Folks' only 'See' 'Black And White'.

Black And White Sight is Largely a Result of SideWalk Life;

Humans are basically Afraid of 'Sh88 Happens' off the 'Side Walks of Life';

So, We Created Diapers to Make 'Order' out of 'Sh88 Happens' to Hide it; and sure, just sit on it too.

Meanwhile, We Prevented Mass Amounts of Communicable Disease, Then We Over Populated the Earth With Our 'Diapers' And Take and Hoard so much more than we Give and Share; As in the Coming Decades out of 8 Million Animal and Plant Species, around 1 Million are 'Scheduled' to Go Extinct; as sure, we've already developed a Scientific Method to Measure the 'Mass Murder' that 'Holding Sh88 in' Will "Naturally" Bring Through the Virus of Our Cultural Tools. It's True; We've Almost Totally Redefined What 'Sh88 Happens' Even Means; 'Reapers' Are Tools of 'Diapers' We continue to Create Emerging Now.

Meanwhile, i Party (Dance and Sing) on Like 'i Am Groot' In the Midst of All 'This Mess'; True, give Nature 300 Million Or So Years once We Erase (Self-Destruct) the Virus of all our Culture and 'i am Groot' Will Still Exist the Same as any Tree of Life Will in Balance of Existence to be Now; one only Difference is that the Human Species will no longer Be An Emergent Seed
from the Overall Tree of Existence (God). It's Interesting that a Nautilus Shell Lasts as Long in the Fossil Record as a Record of what Humans Have Ever Have Done Will Ever Last, once the Living Parts of our Shells are all gone too;
Bones of Culture And Us Eternal Now one day gone as well....

i Suppose An only 'Real' 'Saving Grace' will be is if this is a Programmed Holographic Simulation of Life Beyond Distance Time and Space; where all is encoded in all as we are all Center Points of all Existence for The 'DNA' of 'all that is'; hehe as far we 'see' it anyway now. If the Simulation Programmer(s) came from Love and Understand Light comes From Dark For those who get the 'Proper Power'-Ups, Heaven is only as Close to the Answer of Loving it all Within Inside Outside Above so Below and All Around, 'Now'; but really 'All That Is' Just Poetry when there is No 'Real' Distance Space or Time.

'Original' Art/Poetry/Dance/Song Emerging Something Newer From Something Older...

Science Is a Prediction of Tomorrow Based on Yesterday from one small part of our Brain at Most.

Meh; i'll Dance And Sing for i enjoy the PLay oF LiFENoW;
i'll let 'The Programmers' 'Go Ahead' And Worry about all the Rest;
Oh! What a Gift! This Life is! for those who come to 'See' 'Who' We even Are;
Let's 'Face' 'IT' as far as Metaphors Go and the Art of the Current Science; Whether we like it or not we are part of 'God' as 'Face' and there is no Escape; might as well Grin And Bear it or Grin and Bear it; as the most Foolish Thing We will do is not enjoy 'Sh88 Happens' While it does; of course, only if We Can and Will; No one has proven 'the Programmer(s)' are 'Fair' Let's Hope
'they' are
nothing
like
'Trumps' but
they would have
to be as 'Trumps'
is part of the Program too..
It's Fun to Understand Reality IT
is More Fun Just to Enjoy What is is;
as far as that goes i know as much now as i did
before i could speak at 4; ha! go figure... Words
'the Real DisEase' as Overall Culture Continues
to Emerge as a New Natural Definition of 'SH88 Happens'..;)

If You Can/Will Make Reality Now (God) Emerge Into/As A 'Laugh' Just Do IT NoW;
If You Cannot/Will Not Dance Like That Do Not; That's A Way Life is For Now at Least With Or Without Dance, AFA i Don't Know at least.


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11 May 2019, 10:50 am

Dear people of this thread and WP.

After 8 years and spending time on many so-called "New Age" forums, I find myself returning to Wrong Planet with an identity crisis...knowing full well that relativism leads to solipsism via reductio ad absurdum until what is understood as being "non dual" cannot be understood at all and still remain "non dual".

For the purposes of labeling, yes, I am an Aspie with limited interest(s)...My interests being Vedic Hinduism, Sanskrit, Tantra, Vajrayana Buddhism, forbidden archaeology and sacred geometry.

There is much I have to share...much I still have to learn...but I DO understand that Grace happens through surrender...A surrender of Ego...A surrender of any personal will...so instead of Free Will, instead of "MY will be done" it becomes "THY will be done"...or "there, but for the Grace of God go I" so this "Free Will" thing is a myth anyway....A myth perpetuated by those who truly believe they get to control the outcomes of things which are beyond their scope of control.

I have returned because of emergence...because of ascendency...because I am an Aspie who has raised my Kundalini and lit up areas of my brain that are dormant in awakened neurotypicals...it is a weird but confusing scenario.

Hopefully and by/through Grace, I will find my way out of this "Dark Night of the Soul" where Self-acceptance means that I don't have to "love everyone" or "create my own reality" or agree with mountains of jargon from the likes of Ekhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Mooji, Louise Hay, Gregg Braden, or Sadguru to be a "spiritual person".



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11 May 2019, 3:41 pm

So Misunderstood wrote:
any so-called "New Age" forums, I find myself returning to Wrong Planet with an identity crisis...knowing full well that relativism leads to solipsism via reductio ad absurdum until what is understood as being "non dual" cannot be understood at all and still remain "non dual".

The reason I could never do new age is it has a really brutal aspect to it, particularly for someone whose even remotely intellectually-geared, thoughtful, or skeptical, and it's that you either go full Kamikaze, bump a line of meth, and fly it into that aircraft carrier - and either your beliefs about reality work or your completely shattered by the predictable consequences of what ensues (I'm thinking 95% of the time it's probably getting shattered) and even if it does work you don't get to learn anything useful about the universe.

This is why I went in the traditional western esoteric direction instead and got a lot more excited about Hermetic Golden Dawn and the various Rosicrucian and Martinist orders - ie. it's all incremental practice that you can examine and make good choices about as you move along through it. Somewhere in the past few years of course I had to temper it with a fair amount of existentialism and I may very well be stepping away from the Hermetic Qabalah for a while to do things that are a bit more freeform chaos, or shamanistic - mostly because, like any explorer worth their salt, I only want to spend so much time a day (away from other things) and using my reserves of discipline on exercises that take me toward something *real*, and there tends to either be a) a lot of theory for it's own sake or b) at least some of that theory might be for people way farther along than I am and there's no proof that I'm ready for it to connect but it's nested along side and within other things that are bunkum and I have no tools right now for differentiating between the two aside from maybe the quality of the presenter/scholar/practitioner, which even there that's iffy.

If you ever wanted to talk about at least some of this stuff I'm open-minded but be warned - I'm still rather skeptical and iconoclastic and I tend to only respect traditions if I see that their core tenets have fair odds of being *more* accurate than the current public understanding of the world, ie. capturing what we know plus. I do think that's possible in mystic traditions but I also do have some concerns that we've shaken a lot of trees in the last few hundred years and for every few things most traditions get right they have a whole range of other things that are antiquated and misleading.

So Misunderstood wrote:
For the purposes of labeling, yes, I am an Aspie with limited interest(s)...My interests being Vedic Hinduism, Sanskrit, Tantra, Vajrayana Buddhism, forbidden archaeology and sacred geometry.

As mentioned I got to know the post-Golden Dawn Qabalah and tarot fusion pretty well. While I do find some of the pythagorean number concepts interesting I'm increasingly looking at it from an emergence perspective and asking what interactions between agents look like when it's one, two, three, etc. to ten. It seems like philosophy took a pretty fair shot at that but again, like Qabalah, some layers make a lot of sense and some layers - at least in my perhaps sophomoric state - still feel a bit slapped together.

So Misunderstood wrote:
There is much I have to share...much I still have to learn...but I DO understand that Grace happens through surrender...A surrender of Ego...A surrender of any personal will...so instead of Free Will, instead of "MY will be done" it becomes "THY will be done"...or "there, but for the Grace of God go I" so this "Free Will" thing is a myth anyway....A myth perpetuated by those who truly believe they get to control the outcomes of things which are beyond their scope of control.

I agree with you on free will, ie. I'm a big fan of Sam Harris and Robert Sapolsky's take on this. I did listen to a recently Youtube uploaded lecture from Jean Dubuis from 1994 where he talked about what I think is perhaps the best description of the type of determinism that I subscribe to, ie. Laplacian, I think his argument that being fully in Malkuth or the 10th sphere means you're fully committed to space-time, there's no room for free will because (edifying my observation) everything moves one way, past to future, and there's no way to hold more potentials for action in any given moment, or have more or less knowledge in that moment, than what you have - ie. you in time are 1:1, and suffice to say that might be false if the 'many worlds' version of the Copenhagen interpretation is true but - without evidence for it's tough to do anything with it aside from considering those as well distinct trees of deterministic causality. Dubuis argued that with the Tree of Life or the Martinist table tat as one ascends the spheres they're in a looser time-space coupling and have access to more laws they can use to their advantage, that may be true but I'm still not 100% sure that I grasp how that would change anything about determinism, ie. more options and more competence are just that.

As far as 'thy will be done though' - there are a few catches with that which trip me up. One is that if we have no free will we can't do anything other than what we were going to otherwise, ie. our entire lives are essentially on blu-ray if we live in a complete block universe. The other part - what if it's amoral? What if it's wedged you into a difficult life situation, one where something has to give for you to survive, and its offer to you is that it'll make life an adventure if you're willing to become a pedo, a drug dealer, a money-launderer, or any range of things that have bad outcomes for other people? At that point 'thy will be done' runs into some serious trouble.

So Misunderstood wrote:
I have returned because of emergence...because of ascendency...because I am an Aspie who has raised my Kundalini and lit up areas of my brain that are dormant in awakened neurotypicals...it is a weird but confusing scenario.

A primary goddess of antiquity paid me a few visits six years ago. I also had entities playing with me in my sleep and waking me up, injections of energy at night which woke me up as well that went from my head to my feet, all kinds of things that forced me to accept that whatever his actually is there's a lot more to it than just being 'in my head' but at the same time I've also found it to be less and less coherent, and part of why I tend to like ideas like Sheldrakes which border on a sort of conscious naturalism is that they explain both the existence of such plains of activity and the sorts of chaos and relative social incoherence and chaos (ie. lack of religious or spiritual 'truth' to be found) that trail down into the material world as we experience it.

So Misunderstood wrote:
Hopefully and by/through Grace, I will find my way out of this "Dark Night of the Soul" where Self-acceptance means that I don't have to "love everyone" or "create my own reality" or agree with mountains of jargon from the likes of Ekhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Mooji, Louise Hay, Gregg Braden, or Sadguru to be a "spiritual person".

That's another thing I hate about new age. How do you 'create your own reality' when you never chose what you like, dislike, want, or don't want? For the dark nights of the soul I think I have to go back and read John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila again, ie. they both described similar structures (and both fascinatingly akin to the Kabbalistic/Qabalistic tree of life - Teresa with her seven interior castles, John with his two dark nights of the soul which resemble the veils of Paroketh and Isis, and they both seem to describe something that both the Golden Dawn and Crowley's AA were onto which is the attainment of Adeptus Minor, ie. Knowledge and Conversation after crossing the first veil or 'dark night').

What I'd have to say is I have a lot yet to experience, a lot yet to do, and a lot that I still need to organically play with to collect my own data to catch my orientation again.

Closing thought on this - one of the scariest things I hear NDE'ers say when they're close to going out, especially if their NDE is triggered by a physical emergency like a plain crash or some other accident, is that when everything slows down they see absolute perfection in every detail as if not an atom is out of place in God's plan. If you really think about that one carefully, and have had a hard life, the urge is to alternate between projectile vomiting and crying your eyes out. On one level I have to hope that this is one of those things that's just a sort of neurochemical mania, something like someone whose testosterone plummets to zero sees everything as 'beautiful', but if it is true it puts us in a place where living in space time makes it just about impossible to comprehend and do anything with because it's decisively orthogonal to our interests. That leads of course to a pantheistic, panentheistic, deistic, or possibly even theistic form of nihilism.

So yeah, it's not easy stuff to wade through on either an intellectual or an emotional level. Makes me realize why most people, at the slightest inkling of this topic, want to clear the room.


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11 May 2019, 7:32 pm

I never got why free will is supposed to be an issue - after all, the brain is malleable, so deterrence makes sense, but if deterrence and general ethical education aren't enough, one is dealing with a brain that is not socially adjusted and needs therapy re-education (yeah, I know that sounds scary. but we are trying to keep a society running here, and as a society, we have already decidedto not allow individualism ro the point of what we consider criminal- while "crime" is up for redefinition throughout the history). As Sapolsky puts it: it's not a car's fault that its brakes are broken, but you wouldn't let it back on the streets with defective brakes either.

regarding choice: if things are physically (pre-)determined, but so numerous in factors that there's no way to predict things - it means, one didn't have a choice in hindsight, but is de facto free.
it feels like a purely theoretical problem in regards to the now and the future, and would only practically apply to the past.

I do think however that Yuval Harari has a good point when he warns us to get to know ourselves better, because machines will soon know our brains better than we do. What he means is we should observe our thoughts and desires and this way, allow us to apply our whole mental capacity to decision making, and not just go with the most immediate desire our brains come up with.

that said, the only pedophile I ever met (last time before his crimes were uncovered and he went to jail was at his daughter's wedding. she and I are friends) was a buddhist monk.
I guess trying to know yourself and controll your desires through meditation is not a panacea.
but Harari only expects you to be able to withstand rather shallow desires implanted into your brain through advertising and culture, not necessarily something bilogically deep seated like sexual orientation (which, obviously, culture can't change or eradicate either).


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11 May 2019, 8:03 pm

shlaifu wrote:
I never got why free will is supposed to be an issue - after all, the brain is malleable, so deterrence makes sense, but if deterrence and general ethical education aren't enough, one is dealing with a brain that is not socially adjusted and needs therapy re-education (yeah, I know that sounds scary. but we are trying to keep a society running here, and as a society, we have already decidedto not allow individualism ro the point of what we consider criminal- while "crime" is up for redefinition throughout the history). As Sapolsky puts it: it's not a car's fault that its brakes are broken, but you wouldn't let it back on the streets with defective brakes either.

Maybe because there are very few, if any, arguments for free will that aren't shallow like 'Oh yeah? Watch me drop this!' or related to religious dogma.

I think Harris and Sapolsky are right that where it matters is in our application of criminal justice and stigma. Practically speaking if we over-punish people for the wrong reasons, even worse getting into the kinds of things Gabor Mate and Johann Hari would suggest - that a lot of this is based in trauma, we make people worse rather than lightening the load of the problem. The challenge in that last space goes along the line of what Bret Weinstein often mentions about transfer frontiers, ie. people who break society's rules are people you can take things away from and thus its lucrative - so we'd have to discard the 'life as a zero sum game' outlook if we wanted to solve these problems the Harris, Sapolsky, Mate, or Hari way. The trouble is - do people have the will to stop? That's open for debate and quite often, especially the way almost everyone wants to be at least a little above average (which means 50% or more need to be placed below them) it sounds like a somewhat non-committal but still present no.

shlaifu wrote:
regarding choice: if things are physically (pre-)determined, but so numerous in factors that there's no way to predict things - it means, one didn't have a choice in hindsight, but is de facto free.
it feels like a purely theoretical problem in regards to the now and the future, and would only practically apply to the past.

Can you parse that out a bit more (ie. what it means that they'd be de facto free and how that differs from just them practicing their unfree agency to their own preference rather than someone else's)? This sounds like a compatabilist concern and I've never really understood it. My guess is that you may think the concern drives at something different than what I see it driving at (which it would help if you stated it explicitly).

Where I like the clarity of the Harris/Sapolsky model - it doesn't require doubling back with a 'but it feels like', they're stating it with objective clarity. It seems we live in a world where the majority of people haven't even though that far into it so it would be news to them that past events, their storehouse of knowledge, how rushed or pressured they are, whether or not they ate breakfast, etc. are all factors set in stone in how they react to something in the moment and set in stone because they're in the past.

shlaifu wrote:
that said, the only pedophile I ever met (last time before his crimes were uncovered and he went to jail was at his daughter's wedding. she and I are friends) was a buddhist monk.
I guess trying to know yourself and controll your desires through meditation is not a panacea.
but Harari only expects you to be able to withstand rather shallow desires implanted into your brain through advertising and culture, not necessarily something bilogically deep seated like sexual orientation (which, obviously, culture can't change or eradicate either).

I'd have to bifurcate this one two ways.

First split back to Harris, Sapolsky, and possibly Harari (if he's in their camp), that our view on human agency and determinism has a lot to do with how practical our measures at prevention are.

The second part of that split, ie. my response back to So Misunderstood on 'thy will be done', lets assume the possibility that we live in a conscious universe that loves novelty. It may not have anything like a human moral orientation. That's where I think 'thy will be done' falls down - ie. the agent receiving a summons of sort from the universe, in such a way that they feel potential future events pulling them forward and all kinds of green-lights popping up from everywhere within them and through synchronicities and like saying 'Go for it! Do it!' from a gleefully excited universe, or perhaps gleefully excited currents within that universe, has to ask - if they care about outcomes 1) is this pro-social? and 2) what are the results?. If they don't like the answers they're under no obligation to take what's offered and they have every right to say "f--- that" in response and try to substitute something healthy in its place. Saying 'thy will be done' seems to assume that we know what the 'thy' is when we don't, and assuming that sentient systems in nature can tell us their will they're not The One Thing telling us anything, they're fragments, so doing things on such leads may be akin to the Son of Sam listening to the neighbor's dog just that being something that's not physical a lot of people wouldn't have that frame of reference to go back to of 'Oh, that's something equivalent of an animal that wants me to do that' and disregarding it as something that isn't equipped for making moral choices for itself let alone guiding people on their paths in life.


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12 May 2019, 11:55 am

So Misunderstood wrote:
Dear people of this thread and WP.

After 8 years and spending time on many so-called "New Age" forums, I find myself returning to Wrong Planet with an identity crisis...knowing full well that relativism leads to solipsism via reductio ad absurdum until what is understood as being "non dual" cannot be understood at all and still remain "non dual".


Twelve years ago, I began searching for the experience that my father had in dying with Glioma. It led me to consider consciousness, together with its origin, purpose, and nature. I was just looking for truth; my only tool being my experience in life. I read a lot of books, papers, and articles and have been involved with a Yahoo group where matters of consciousness are discussed. It led me to a type of physical spirituality, which I found akin to what Mother Theresa of Calcutta described as her spirituality, in her letters, which were published post mortem. A spirituality which Theresa's spiritual advisors called "The Dark Night of the Soul", akin to John of the Cross. It is a spirituality devoid of any God, which attempts to find a spiritual meaning emerging from physical processes. It is really the same problem as that of consciousness. How do physical events come to have subjective meaning? So I did not read about this specific form of spirituality, but just cobbled together a bunch of beliefs which, to my experience, are true. Call it reductio ad absurdum if you like, but it is what a person with my subjective experience would come to believe.

1. Origin of life. It seems that DNA is an environmental sensing and adaption engine. From the time of conception, the DNA in each and every cell begins to sense its environment and to effect the synthesis of molecules which will allow the cell to thrive in that sensed environment. Early in development, the environment causes some cells to become muscle cells, neurons, kidney cells etc; all the differentiated cell types found in the bodies of living organisms. Later in development, the environment might cause changes in how the DNA is expressed (Epigenetics) or in modifications to the DNA itself. So who, if anybody, wrote the program of life in a molecule of DNA? I think DNA might have grown out of random actions in a chaotic space. Base pairs may have formed in various places, and come together over time. DNA had infinite time and infinite, but non-uniformly distributed matter, in space in which to form via deterministic chaos. In such a vision, a first mover is not necessary and the synthesis of proto-DNA is akin to a monkey typing the text of War and Peace. It seems silly to talk about unless you take the infinities into consideration; like what can be accomplished, given an infinite amount of time? So God does not seem to be necessary for the synthesis of DNA. DNAs are likely still being fused together via natural processes all the time. They ride around through space on objects like the recent 'Oumuamua asteroid, and splash down into all kinds of environments. Then the interaction with these environments differentiates the molecule synthesis, to develop a life form amenable to this new environment.

2. The process of adaption begins with detecting differences.

On one side, DNA knows itself. The atomic and chemical forces within the atoms making up DNA allow the DNA to physically know itself. If you separate the opposing poles of 2 magnets, they will tend to draw each other together again. The physical forces in DNA intermingle so that each atom is aware of the other atoms; perhaps not a mental knowing, but a physical knowing, like when positive and negative recognize each opther's presence and feel the physical pull of chemical bonds. Or like when bacteria stop multiplying when they sense a certain level of a chemical excreted into the environment as a result of their life processes.

On the other side of the comparison, DNA physically knows the environment. Take humans for example. We have millions of environmental detector cells; nerve cells. At all times these nerves are detecting different aspects of the environment; heat, cold, rough, smooth, loud, quiet, bright, dull, sweet, bitter, literally anything that we can know about the environment, given our 5 senses. When one of these characteristics is detected, an electrical impulse is sent down a nerve fiber to the cerebral cortex, where the pulses of electricity form a pattern. This pattern represents a physical experience. But now you have millions of electrical pulses each passing the electrical information received from a body sensor to other neurons which integrate the information at a very low level. For instance the impulse representing a visual from a given set of rods and cones in the retina may be combined with the impulse representing a sound detected by a set of hairs in the inner ear. The effect of all of this integrated information is for the DNA to recognize the environment via its physical characteristics, expressed in the language of electrical impulses, which are generated by sensors throughout the body. The rods and cones may indicate the color blue while the hairs indicate the call of a jay. The integrated signals might call up a memory of a blue jay and that memory keys us to have the subjective experience of seeing a blue jay. Memories are just snapshots of experiences kept in place via the molecular processes detailed by Eric Kandel.

3. Thought is the comparison of current subjective experience to past, remembered subjective experiences.

The comparison of current experience to past experience is done to extract internal subjective meaning from similarities and differences between current experience and remembered past experience. We form the mental by recognizing differences in the physical. The mental results from concentrating a great deal of physical information into a mental concept which allows us to recognize mental differences based on the physical differences detected. Thus, we have the mental concept 'dog' formed out of the memories of many physical observations of many animals. In reality, there is no creature 'dog' out in the world. There is this Beagle or that Poodle in the physical world, but there is no 'dog' in the physical world. "Dog" exists only in the mental world outside of time and space. When we say we have experienced a dog, a torrent of integrated information enters the mind of our conversation partner. We are stating a long list of 'must have' characteristics and a bunch of optional characteristics, along with the many things that we are not experiencing (not a fox, not a wolf). We are stating all of these physical differences by using the mental concept 'dog'. This is a category; a way of concentrating and integrating information, so that much can be communicated with the bare minimum of sensory input. I believe that this is the principle upon which Guilio Tonini's integrated information theory of consciousness rests i.e. when integrated information hits a certain level, consciousness results. Integrated information can only hit that level if we have the capacity to hold a vast amount of information in out head at the same time, and we can only do that by concentrating observations into categories.

4. Consciousness grows via analogy.

To make a long story short, each new experience is understood in terms of our previous experiences. We draw analogies between categories to delve more deeply into the mental world. Categories become embedded, so that you have a Beagle category within a 'dog' category, within an animal category, within a living creature category. Comparisons can be made at any level or between levels.

There are many corollaries that can be derived using this framework. There is no free will. Morals are relative. Individual culpability is impossible to ascertain. There is no 'self', and the illusion of 'self ' is the cause of all suffering. There is a manner of eternal life, a manner of re-incarnation, and a manner of meaning in life, that has nothing to do with the spiritual. But I see that my ideas are not easily to explain and I should just wait and see if what I've written here is meaningful to anyone before I get into the explanations for that stuff.

So as far as the "Dark Night of the Soul". My inquiries have left me with no way to incorporate a 'god' into my beliefs. Yet, I hunger for a higher power, with no physical basis upon which to muster the faith that that requires. Maybe humanity's desire for a benevolent god grows out of a desire to become that god. Will humanity ever grow into the benevolent god that it envisions? Or does the mere belief in god lay out a path of living which will ultimately lead humanity to eternal satisfaction? I'll always be on the lookout for god. Maybe that is some kinda faith.



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12 May 2019, 12:21 pm

^^
I'll have to come back to this and properly digest it when I feel equipped.

Jeff Mishlove had a recent interview with Bruce Damer which I thought asked and attempted to answer a lot of the types of questions you often ask and did so largely by exploiting mystical tools which it sounds like he had a fairly natural grasp on even from a young age:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEJx7zr83zs

His theory was interesting (ie. consciousness and biome being inextricably related) however I'm not sure that this is a totalizing level analysis. What I mean by that - you trail your model of conscious or consciousness-like proclivities down to the level of atoms. I think one of my favorite people on the topic of consciousness out of reduction these days is Michael Silberstein, he's a neutral monist as far as I can tell and his main qualm with consciousness being in matter (panpsychism) is that matter is still too fuzzy a category - to which I'd agree that with our lens on the world it 'feels' right but then at the subatomic level the solidity goes out the window and these components seem to be better described as vibrations in fields (something Neil DeGrasse Tyson talks about with respect to how the experimenters at CERN have been predicting and finding new particles and families of particle utilizing models to this effect).

On that note, ie. mentioning Silberstein, here's an On Air hangout he did with Richard Brown discussing his joint book with W.M. Stuckey and Timothy McDevitt called 'Beyond the Dynamical Universe'. It unfortunately gets bogged down in an impasse toward the middle (ie. reductive materialist impressions vs. non-materialist impressions) but most of what lead up to that at least was good and when the impasse comes up you can see just how genuinely difficult it is for people to speak across fundamental assumptions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWuBRbQ6kuo


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13 May 2019, 9:42 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:


shlaifu wrote:
regarding choice: if things are physically (pre-)determined, but so numerous in factors that there's no way to predict things - it means, one didn't have a choice in hindsight, but is de facto free.
it feels like a purely theoretical problem in regards to the now and the future, and would only practically apply to the past.

Can you parse that out a bit more (ie. what it means that they'd be de facto free and how that differs from just them practicing their unfree agency to their own preference rather than someone else's)? This sounds like a compatabilist concern and I've never really understood it. My guess is that you may think the concern drives at something different than what I see it driving at (which it would help if you stated it explicitly).

Where I like the clarity of the Harris/Sapolsky model - it doesn't require doubling back with a 'but it feels like', they're stating it with objective clarity. It seems we live in a world where the majority of people haven't even though that far into it so it would be news to them that past events, their storehouse of knowledge, how rushed or pressured they are, whether or not they ate breakfast, etc. are all factors set in stone in how they react to something in the moment and set in stone because they're in the past.


What I meant by 'de facto free' is that the sense in which we are predetermined is comparable to how the throw of a dice is predetermined - there's factors influencing it, leading to a certain outcome. Pure physics.
But you can't tell the outcome before throwing the dice. You will only ever know the outcome after the fact.
If one can't know the outcome of one's own decisionmaking, it is equivalent to free - yet, in hindsight, it will have been predetermined like a throw of the dice.

Or in other words: the lack of free will would only be an issue if it was possible to simulate EVERY factor and tell the outcome in advance.

Harari however is speaking of influencing some of the innumerable factors that shape the neuronal connections which in turn shape the decisionmaking process.

There's an important reason to think about this: as we experience ourselves as free, even though our neurons are shaped by, say, advertising, and are not aware of that, the question of technological mind control arises.
Zizek likes to bring up the example of a 'remote controlled mouse', which was created via brain implants.
How does the mouse experience its unfreedom?
If the Sapolsky/Harari view is correct, it means that a brain implant like that would be an influencing factor on the neuronal level, like neurotransmitters and bloodsugar levels and all that.
The neuronal level is however not part of our conscious experience, so what goes on there is secret to us. How would a consciousness then experience foreign interference? Probably, not at all. Whatever a remote control would do to us, we would probably experience it as our free decision - after all, for the consciousness, it would be indistinguishable from the normal functioning of the brain as an organ.

I keep thinking of "Brave new world", where almost everyone is bred and raised to be perfect for his or her position in the world.
They don't consider themselves unfree, and don't have issues with this order.
They love their servitude, as Huxley wrote it.
I personally love some certain soft drink. But I can't tell you if it's because my brain craves the sugar and flavouring, if it's the advertising, or some faint childhood memory.


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13 May 2019, 12:26 pm

shlaifu wrote:
What I meant by 'de facto free' is that the sense in which we are predetermined is comparable to how the throw of a dice is predetermined - there's factors influencing it, leading to a certain outcome. Pure physics.
But you can't tell the outcome before throwing the dice. You will only ever know the outcome after the fact.
If one can't know the outcome of one's own decisionmaking, it is equivalent to free - yet, in hindsight, it will have been predetermined like a throw of the dice.

Okay, I'd clarify - this isn't a knowledge claim, it's an actuality or 'boiler-plate reality' claim. What matters from that perspective isn't about knowing outcomes unknown at the time of an action is taken, it's about accurately understanding what lead to actions or whether a person actually had a choice - which by all intents and purposes they didn't.

shlaifu wrote:
Or in other words: the lack of free will would only be an issue if it was possible to simulate EVERY factor and tell the outcome in advance.

That's a bit like trying to hold someone accountable for a fluke of moral luck like being one of millions of people who texts and drives but being the person who happens to hit a pedestrian? I'm still not sure whose focused primarily on trying to assign special culpability for unknown outcomes unless it's people with a strong adherence to religious free will for fate doctrines.

shlaifu wrote:
Harari however is speaking of influencing some of the innumerable factors that shape the neuronal connections which in turn shape the decisionmaking process.

There's an important reason to think about this: as we experience ourselves as free, even though our neurons are shaped by, say, advertising, and are not aware of that, the question of technological mind control arises.
Zizek likes to bring up the example of a 'remote controlled mouse', which was created via brain implants.
How does the mouse experience its unfreedom?
If the Sapolsky/Harari view is correct, it means that a brain implant like that would be an influencing factor on the neuronal level, like neurotransmitters and bloodsugar levels and all that.
The neuronal level is however not part of our conscious experience, so what goes on there is secret to us. How would a consciousness then experience foreign interference? Probably, not at all. Whatever a remote control would do to us, we would probably experience it as our free decision - after all, for the consciousness, it would be indistinguishable from the normal functioning of the brain as an organ.

I'd agree to the extent that most of where our thoughts come from tends to be mysterious to us and an implant would likely be no less mysterious.

shlaifu wrote:
I keep thinking of "Brave new world", where almost everyone is bred and raised to be perfect for his or her position in the world.
They don't consider themselves unfree, and don't have issues with this order.
They love their servitude, as Huxley wrote it.
I personally love some certain soft drink. But I can't tell you if it's because my brain craves the sugar and flavouring, if it's the advertising, or some faint childhood memory.

I sometimes wonder if my thinking about this is shaped by living in America, ie. I don't know what the common stock public European view of this is, over here though in the US enough people believe in quite liberal, libertarian free will - ie. that if you say 'Oh yeah? Watch me stand up!' or 'Oh yeah? Watch me drop this!' - if they felt like doing it to them that's free will. This is tethered to the idea, really below the level of examination, that something spooky is happening where the laws of time and space apply to everything but us. Even if there were something comparatively spooky it still offers no mechanism for a person to make a choice that they didn't have the information to or capacity to make at a given time.


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13 May 2019, 3:12 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXjXKT98esw

Emerging as a Butterfly at Least as Metaphor out of
A Cocoon; You know the Superman Myth at Best
When the 'Four Eyed Nerd' Sprouts a Cape
And Flies Immediately after they Change in a 'Neo' Telephone Booth; You can Either
Write the Comic Book Story; or Be the Super Hero; or by God even do both, if you try enough.

Is it that Simple and Hyperbolic For Humans, no; Is It Possible; Most Definitely Yes now for sure as
i for one Prove; Yes, Prove With Empirical Evidence as Any 'Blue Turtle' (God) In Human Potential Now
And Epigenetic Potential In Advancing Challenges To Adaptation of Success Will Do in Human Potential of
Relative Free Will most any day of the Week; okay, one example, i was the Last Kid Picked in Sports Teams as
A Youth; couldn't Speak until Age 4 with this Autism Diagnosis that Came Much Later in Life; Never the Less that
Did Not Stop My Human Relative Free Will in Changing the Future me Emerging at the Opposite End of the Spectrum
of a Human Butterfly (Superman if ya wanna use that metaphor too) by the Day i almost Reached 59 Years of Age going
from Zero in Creative Reality of not even being able to do more than a list of 1, 2, and yes, 3; to Writing a Longest Long
Form Poem Free Verse Poem With Plenty of Stream of Creative Consciousness in Flow of Creativity to go along with
'Concrete Poetry Shapes', the Entire Way with no planning in Advance too as 'We' are now moving into Much
Higher Potentials of Human Creativity as Empirically Measured, in other Ways of Science, at 400 to 500
Percent Above 'the Norm', in Measure of What Science Now Names 'Transient Hypo-Frontality'; Just a
Fancy Way of Saying Flow as 'Dare Devil' Mountain Climbers without Safety Harnesses Prove doing too.

Oh, Back to The Weakest Fish as Observed by the other 'Children' in the Aquarium; sure, even confused
as a Girl by the McDonald's Cashier; really, just a matter of use it or lose it; Book Worm over Gym Rat then;
Life will be like that in use it Superman or Clark Kent don't use it too as Use it or Lose it applies to all Stuff Life.

To make a Longer Story Short; i decided to Use it and i gained my Human Potential Back that was never
Used; but Yes, very much gained for What the Science of Exercise Physiology and the Medical Text Books
don't usually say can and will Happen for a 53 Year-Old Autistic Dude to Change into a Dancing Legend
about a year from then by the words of the Local Metro Audience as i've Reached 11,244 Miles of Doing that
now since September of 2013, in Public Dance Everywhere i go and oh yeah; i used to have the Worst Case of
Severe Anxiety as assessed by an Air Force Psychiatrist who took care of Combat Veterans; ever Dance 10
Minutes Solo in Public; truly much harder for most folks to fathom than any Public Speaking over the course
of a Lifetime now; oh yeah; i used to be uncomfortable even walking into Walmart Alone without my Wife
to make me feel comfortable inside my own frigging skin walking by my side.

I Master my Body now;
My 'Body Masters' the Focus of my Mind';
Voila, i went from Leg Pressing 500 LBS to 1340 LBS, 18 Reps now as i
noted That 500 LBS in Around the 'Time Frame' of September of 2013, on this Very Same
Location of the 'Wrong Planet' then that i could/Will See no sky as the limit then after recovering
from the 'Dark Side of the Moon'; Yes, the Dark Night of the Soul for 66 Months assessed with the Worst Pain known
to Humankind; Type Two Trigminal Neuralgia like a Dentist Drill in my Right Eye and Ear, where no Pain Killer would
help as a Shut-in in my Bedroom For 66 Months from yes, Wake to Sleep; With this Pain Where the small bit of sleep
i could manage was the only Respite from that; and a Synergy of 18 other Life Threatening Disorders all put together
that the Attending Professionals Gave me Zero Chance for Recovery. You know, it would have helped a lot if i did not
hear so many Narrow Minded Material Reductionists on this Internet Site for those 33 Months or so i spent here
Recovering for any Hope of Recovery from anyone else who had come back from a Place like Hell.

I find it sad when folks say that life is Pre-Determined by what 'Science says' is only Possible now in Life.

i didn't Just Write a 6.9 Million Word Free Verse Longest Long Form Poem Bible in 69 Months Fully Illustrated;
over 170 Thousand Photos i took; and over 10 thousand YouTube Videos to Accompany my 'Bible' as i went
Just for Fun; True, i documented my Rise From 'Clark Kent' to 'Superman', The entire way every Step of the Way;
i literally lifted myself up out of Autism and yes even Bi-Polar where my only prescription from Doctors who do
say i have mitigated all the deleterious Symptoms by a Simple Literal Prescription For A Free Dance that Regulates
my Emotions and Integrates my Senses, where the Standard Issue of Mind over Body is a Bit Backwards for the Reality
of most of our Human Condition that is controlled by both Limbic System and Reptile Brain with the Neo-Cortex
as a Conductor of that in Relative Free Will of past Dreamed Experiences with Dreams Yet to come Fulfilled if
And when We Manage a Relative Free Will for Success in Life over Failure as Life Ain't Fair; but by my God
of Nature Your Life will never be like it was if you just Learn how to become a Butterfly instead
of Just a Cocoon of what your Human Potential is that you never Co-Created as Real before now.

What are the Benefits; Number one as most any another other Human Male; over 2000 Beautiful Smiling Photos
of Young Fertile Women For what the Core of most 'Male Mammals' Love To See by our Side the most. Sure, we can
Lie to ourselves and say this Shadow Doesn't exist that rules our Lives; or yet even better We Will Dance and Sing
A Poetry of Life That Makes the Smiles Broader and Last Longer than any Dance alone ever will or a Smile alone.

Oh yeah; my other 'Super Power' is Being Financially independent by age 47; Starting out with a Minimum Wage
Job after 3 College Degrees as the 'Autism' made it almost impossible to make the output of what i learned as
input possible then; just another Lose it or use it proposition; i aced all the Multiple Choice Tests that were the
Way of School Then; And Then i Just learned how to do it finally at age 53, what i was never taught to do.

My Sister is also Diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome so this is no Misdiagnosis.

However; my Labels are rather my Strengths now; as i just learned how to
'fly' instead of rotting in a Cocoon.

Talk is Cheap.

Dance Truly Speaks.

Just my Opinion of course;
But the Documentation of The Evidence DOES NOT LIE.

One only Gains as much Relative Free Will As one Co-Creates Cumulatively Now with the Rest of Nature.

Either one Dances
or Sits Sit Still as a Wall Flower of Life.

i did that for 53 Years, until i Finally woke-up and Escaped this Truly Insane way of A 'Cultural Cocoon' Away As
A Dance And Song that Flies Away Free Never Stagnating to Another Ground Hog Day AGHOGDAY Again, at least for me.

i wasn't Selfish; i left A Path intact that worked for me the whole Dam Trip Straight out of Hell to Heaven; Still Eternally Now Within and not so bad on the 'Outside' too.

Anyway, if a Person Does not Believe in Truly all Natural Miracles of Change that is surely a First And Only
Step Necessary in Failing to Achieve any more Human Potential that is most Definitely Possible With A Real Stab At It..:)

And if you Believe you Do Not Have Any Free Will; of course you Will Never Co-Create it And Fly Away from Any Shape, Fashion, or Form of A Personal Essence of Hell now.


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