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Re: What power to charm or harm?

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  • Mary
    I mean that the instruments which measure brain activity and which inform us about how and what our brains are doing are themselves products of our thinking.
    Message 1 of 43 , Jan 6, 2013
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      I mean that the instruments which measure brain activity and which inform us about how and what our brains are doing are themselves products of our thinking. So how can we be objective about what our brains tell us about our brains if we depend on our brains to explain themselves. Our brains are the object but what is the subject?

      Where is the mainframe for all our thinking located?

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
      >
      > I would take it that the "mainframe" is everything other than the brain. It
      > is the stuff to which we are connected. Like the computer in your car is
      > connected to things like the oil pressure sensor. Of course, in this
      > instance, the car computer does not make a decision to fix the problem, but
      > provides you with an lighted alarm which tells you to take the car in for a
      > checkup. Actually, that is somewhat similar to your own sensors. If you
      > have a cold, the body reacts by producing more mucus which is a kind of
      > alarm [amongst others] that tells you to go see the doctor or buy some
      > remedy stuff from the pharmacy.
      >
      > So I would agree that in total the brain is a system with many inputs and
      > interconnections.
      >
      > However, I don't understand your point .... "The question of subjectivity,
      > of one or more brains being able to recognize that the machines with which
      > they measure are also products of the brain itself".
      >
      > What machines?? If you mean for example the eye, I don't think that the eye
      > is a product of the brain, albeit one could say that it is an "extension" of
      > the brain. The design is basically the same as that of the brain, except
      > the cortex [the retina] is inverted and enclosed within the eyeball. The
      > neurons in the retina [the light sensors ... rods and cones] are the wrong
      > way around if you really wanted a highly efficient functioning sensor. In
      > the brain, the neurons are at the bottom of the cortex which is probably
      > good for protection. But in the eye, the neurons are at the bottom of the
      > retina, so the light has to first pass through a lot of junk [albeit
      > important junk] before the light can be sensed. It is inefficient because
      > that is the way the eye evolved. Which sort of illustrates that if the eye
      > is a miracle created by God; he didn't do a very good job. But then I am
      > getting carried away.
      >
      > My point is that the sensors are not a product of the brain. Perhaps you
      > can identify what you mean by "machine" and how it is produced by the brain.
      >
      > eduardathome
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2013 6:47 PM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm?
      >
      > The mainframe into which each brain is connected is the brain itself? Can
      > you clarify, since it seems you are not describing the mainframe into which
      > all brains are connected. And, who is the we or I that is connecting? When I
      > mention all the functions the brain performs, including complex biochemical
      > algorithms which are below the level of thinking, I mean to suggest they all
      > affect one another. Thinking occurs 'in' the brain, but it is a process
      > dependent on many inputs and interconnections. The question of subjectivity,
      > of one or more brains being able to recognize that the machines with which
      > they measure are also products of the brain itself. We must trust it but
      > also be skeptical in this regard. The 'machine' is building and measuring
      > itself with machines it has designed.
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
      >
      > >
      > > We are plugging into a mainframe which contains all sorts of complex
      > > sensors
      > > and yes the mainframe may have algorithms that produce automatic
      > > reactions.
      > > But ultimately it has to be recognized that it is the brain that "thinks".
      > > A kidney doesn't think and neither does a hand which drops a hot pan.
      > > They
      > > certainly affect our thinking, but they do not of themselves do any
      > > thinking.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
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    • eduardathome
      My only point is that the idea of the apple does not reside within the apple, as you suggested. eduard ... From: Mary Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:07
      Message 43 of 43 , Jan 15, 2013
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        My only point is that the idea of the apple does not "reside" within the
        apple, as you suggested.

        eduard

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Mary
        Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:07 AM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm?

        eduard,

        When referring to anatomical differences of receptors, I forgot to specify
        sense organs which are variously configured and influence perception. My
        point is that anatomical variations determine how and what we perceive, yet
        despite these differences some of us are able to grasp the notion an object
        represents and further develop the truth about it.

        An apple is not just an apple; it represents an agricultural and commercial
        history, cultural mythology and symbolism, scientific, nutritional and sense
        properties, relationship with the environment, etc. Furthermore it
        represents how an immediate appearance is mediated as an object for the
        observer and developed into a complex truth.

        The brain is as essential to thought as the objects of thought, including
        itself.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
        >
        > Mary,
        >
        > The receptors do not project anything. That is why they are called
        > "receptors". I used the example of the Greeks to show how off the mark
        > people were in ages past. The reason is indeed holistic for reason that
        > one
        > tends to use mechanisms that are used in other processes. Since "seeing"
        > is
        > not understood, one can envision [to use the term] how this might be
        > similar
        > to the sense of touch.
        >
        > The receptors have a molecule which changes shape when impacted by a
        > photon
        > of light. The change causes a electrochemical signal that is sent to the
        > brain. Different molecules react to different frequencies of light. The
        > short frequencies are seen as blue, the long frequencies as red and the
        > median frequencies as green. But the eye doesn't actually "see" in
        > specific
        > frequencies. It sees with a certain efficiency so it is up the brain to
        > work out which colour is really out there.
        >
        > Where the "anatomically" difference comes into play is where people have a
        > lack of a certain receptor which may make them say green-red colour
        > confusers. Or perhaps blue-yellow confusers. If they lack colour
        > receptors
        > [the cones] entirely, they will see the world in monotone greys, using
        > only
        > the brightness receptors [the rods]. There are other factors which can
        > effect vision ... we have 3 colour receptors whereas birds have 4 and some
        > fish up to 10 ... but generally most people have the same appropriate
        > equipment and therefore as humans we can establish a colour coding for
        > lights and paints for which there is a general consensus.
        >
        > "How is this different from saying our idea about what we're perceiving
        > shapes what we see but doesn't prevent us from developing new ideas about
        > it?"
        >
        > I am not sure of the meaning of your question. My response was to your
        > previous email in which you said, "I suggest there is the power of an idea
        > residing in objects themselves which works together with the brain." I
        > disagree that the idea of an apple resides in the apple. The idea of the
        > apple resides entirely in the brain. And to go to part of your question,
        > we
        > can develop new ideas about the apple. We can do so, because the idea
        > resides in the brain, not in the apple. My idea of an good eating apple
        > is
        > that of a Pink Lady with the Gala apple coming second. I could not do so
        > if
        > the idea was in the apple itself. Sometimes we apply an idea and end up
        > munching into a wax apple.
        >
        > The other argument against the idea residing in the apple [the object] is
        > because the apple changes over time from an unfertilized flower, to a bud,
        > to a rip fruit and then falling to the ground to rot. I don't believe
        > there
        > is any mechanism or means by which the apple can change its idea even if
        > we
        > were to accept that it has its own idea.
        >
        > eduard
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Mary
        > Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2013 6:39 PM
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm?
        >
        > You misread me, eduard. I didn't say knowledge that the brain thinks has
        > been around since antiquity; secular thought has. I don't know if
        > philosophy
        > has ever been a large part of the general view as you call it. And yes,
        > neural plasticity and brain re-scripting are new.
        >
        > For me a mental script involves thinking, but a neural program does not.
        > These however are both ideas. I reduce thinking to ideas; you reduce it to
        > neurons. Where we differ doesn't seem all that significant to me, so I'll
        > leave it for now. I don't feel pressed to make you agree with or
        > understand
        > what I think.
        >
        > In any case, several of our scripts intersect where it comes to agreeing
        > the
        > world of humans requires some changes. I don't think either of us has
        > articulated a compelling enough reason to change our scripts, or our ideas
        > about observer and observed.
        >
        > In some strange way, the notion that rays were the cause of vision is
        > interesting. There was some intuition about light and connection between
        > observer and observed happening back there. It was more holistic. Also,
        > the
        > reason sense perceptions differ from person to person is because the
        > receptors which 'project' the rays anatomically differ. It says the brain
        > receives from what it projects. How is this different from saying our idea
        > about what we're perceiving shapes what we see but doesn't prevent us from
        > developing new ideas about it?
        >
        > Mary
        >




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