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Re: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm?

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  • eduardathome
    I doubt the factoid that the brain is what thinks has been around since Aristotle and Plato. Some Greeks may have given some mention to it, but the general
    Message 1 of 43 , Jan 12, 2013
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      I doubt the factoid that the brain is what thinks has been around since
      Aristotle and Plato. Some Greeks may have given some mention to it, but the
      general view was not to the detail we have today. For example, there was
      the idea that the eye put out rays and this was the means by which humans
      "saw" things. The idea was similar to that of touch. In brief the eye
      could send out rays that would feel an object to know its characteristics.
      The Greeks did not understand that it is the brain that "sees".

      Why should we assume that non-human nature [animals] do not use mental
      scripts?? There is no real difference between an animal brain and a human
      brain. Humans are animals. The difference is only a matter of degree. And
      we have some things like speech and writing that enhance the communication
      of our scripts. No. Correct that. Some animals can communicate through
      speech, although again the difference is a matter of degree.

      How does an idea residing in an object work together with the brain?? If I
      have an apple, there is the idea of an apple, but that idea resides in my
      brain, not in the apple. There is isn't something within the apple which
      reaches out and somehow amends my mental script to say eat the apple.

      The ideas are not present in what we observe. If the idea was in the apple
      and not in the brain, then we would never be mistaken in selecting a rotten
      apple instead of a fresh apple or even a wax apple. But then that example
      is moot. How can we even select an apple in the first place if the idea of
      "apple" was not in our brain?? We would go around selecting things without
      knowing why we are doing the selecting and it would only be when we happened
      to select an apple that we would know that we had done so.

      Recognizing that our brains are capable of re-scripting ... indeed, to even
      scripting ... is recent knowledge. Much of the advances in the science were
      from the 1930s. Particularly the work of Wilder Penfield at McGill
      University.

      Reasons are philosophical. However, "reasons" are the result of thinking.
      There is no "reason" floating out there on its own. "Reasons" reside in the
      brain. At least the brain of some philosopher who may write them down.

      The "mind" IS the brain. It is the brain which "observes" and has
      "notions".

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2013 12:10 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm?

      eduard,

      I think most modern peoples understand their brain is doing the thinking,
      and secular thought has been around since at least Aristotle and Plato. The
      ideas of re-scripting and neural plasticity are empowering. That these ideas
      will clash with others is obvious, so the problem is reducing conflict long
      enough to discover ways to formulate ethical and legal principles. On this
      collective scale, knowing how the brain works is not useful; we are merely
      telling one another to change scripts without giving them a reason why they
      should. The reasons are philosophical. Accepting that both idea and
      implementation are in themselves scripts does not advance any particular
      agenda.

      I mention nurture and cooperation in juxtaposition to competition in
      non-human nature, because all three exist without mental scripts. If we
      compare any or all of these with humans, we are employing an idea which is
      explicated through observation. The ideas themselves are present in _what_
      we observe, even though it is our brain thinking. So while you stress the
      brain as the instrument with all the power, I suggest there is the power of
      an idea residing in objects themselves which works together with the brain.
      Mind is a complex of objects, observer, brain, and notion; thought as a
      system includes all of these plus communication between thinkers.

      The idea of re-scripting our thought is the result of thousands of years of
      thinking, a feat which is the culmination of ideas. Regardless of whether
      neural activity was processing thought, it wasn't physiological evolution
      which caused this. The brain may haven taken millions of years to evolve,
      but recognizing that our brains are capable of re-scripting only took a
      couple thousand. And it may only take a few decades before brain washing
      citizens and subjects into completely happy robots into complete servitude.
      The fact or idea of re-scripting won't be the primary concern; a philosophy
      involving the how the idea is implemented is now. Re-scripting is also the
      tool of "Madison Avenue" and those whom "Wall Street" represents.

      Mary
      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
      >
      > The importance is the realisation that it's the brain which thinks. It is
      > very difficult to get that point across.
      >
      > One might say that Philosophy is the science of thought which examines
      > those
      > principles, but in reality it is the brain that does the examining not the
      > philosophy itself. Thus the neurons which we cannot monitor.
      >
      > I am not advocating radical individualism. There are shared ideas and
      > also
      > ideas which may differ between individuals and for which there may be
      > disagreement. In a civilized society we try to deal with our
      > disagreements.
      > And that's another script.
      >
      > If you mean by "mechanistic science", my saying that it is the brain that
      > thinks and it is done through scripts, I would suggest that mechanistic
      > science has not improved life for reason that it has not been sufficiently
      > recognized to do any improvement. Cooperation and nurture are also mental
      > scripts. They are shared within a society, but it is the individual who
      > runs the script to cooperate or nurture. Or not. Perhaps the reason why
      > things are not working well for everyone, is because other learned scripts
      > get in the way. It would of interest to identify the scripts in Mitt
      > Romney's brain that caused him to say the things he said.
      >
      > I often wonder what dark scripts are running in the brains of males in
      > Afghanistan. Like the script of the husband who followed the instruction
      > of
      > the Taliban judge to cut off the nose and ears of his run-away wife. I
      > think if you looked at Islam and how the religious practices therein are
      > done in absolute unison, you will see that this is where the dark scripts
      > are reinforced. It used to be the case for Christianity [to an extent
      > still
      > occurs] where the congregation was told how to react to whatever perceived
      > slight from others. Much of the abuses against the Jews were the result
      > of
      > religious conditioning [the creation and strengthening of scripts]. At
      > each church meeting the congregation were repeatedly told how the Jews
      > killed Jesus. And it is not to be questioned, since it is written right
      > there in the Bible in black and white.
      >
      > It is often said that the holocaust was due to Hitler and his coming to
      > power in 1933. But in reality the German people were conditioned to have
      > abusive scripts for centuries. When serious abuse came out under Hitler,
      > no
      > one [with exception of a few] noticed. And in Canada and the US the
      > prevailing scripts justified our turning back Jews trying to escape
      > Germany.
      >
      > If we were to recognize that it is our own brain that thinks, perhaps we
      > might pause a moment and ask ourselves whether we are running a script
      > that
      > is beneficial to ourselves and others.
      >
      > I think that a reason why a secular society is for the common good, is
      > because individuals have an opportunity to reflect upon the worth of their
      > scripts. But then some secular societies are moving towards regimentation
      > which does not bode well for reflection.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Friday, January 11, 2013 4:33 PM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm?
      >
      > Ideas and information may be stored in individual brains but they also
      > exist
      > as shared, however that process occurs. Interrelatedness, connection, etc.
      > does not mean every single person in the world has the exact same thought.
      > It simply indicates that very many people can experience an ideas and
      > information via a communication system. It doesn't imply agreement. Indeed
      > difference is what gives identity, and we might say that thought itself
      > lies
      > between or across oppositions, not necessarily as a synthesis but a gap in
      > being.
      >
      > So what then? The brain, mind, and communication all exist. Big deal,
      > right?
      > This is where philosophy has importance as groups of ideas, concepts or
      > notions which cohere Philosophy is the science of thought which examines
      > these principles, not the neurons which we don't experience. Minds observe
      > and analyze which concepts affect society adversely, not only for an
      > individual psychological self-improvement quest, but on a larger
      > historical
      > scale.
      >
      > Radical individualism and mechanistic science as outlooks have not
      > improved
      > life. Cooperation and nurture, which are found in nature as much or more
      > than competition, should be part of any philosophical system. If this is
      > strictly a woman's perspective, I don't really care, because what has been
      > a
      > male dominated political and economic system isn't working very well for
      > everyone, especially children.
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
      > >
      > > But we do that already.
      > >
      > > Consider all the people who were given lobotomies with the assumption
      > > that
      > > it could affect their thinking. And then there is the use of drugs such
      > > as
      > > selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which affect the
      > > movement
      > > of
      > > signals across synapses.
      > >
      > > And of course if we are to consider tinkering with brains of those we
      > > deem
      > > unfit, you only have to look at the way we are feeding children drugs
      > > such
      > > as Retalin to address their behaviour. And it is the parents who are
      > > most
      > > inclined to have there children drugged.
      > >
      > > I totally agree that my perspective ... that it's the brain that does
      > > the
      > > thinking ... may lead [does lead] to unethical tinkering. But if this
      > > is
      > > a
      > > problem it won't be helped or resolved by using a term like "mind" to
      > > avoid
      > > the concept in the first place.
      > >
      > > I would suggest that more harm has been done [is done] by fantasies such
      > > as
      > > religion which are derived from a mis-idea that our thinking comes from
      > > elsewhere.
      > >
      > > eduard
      > >
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Mary
      > > Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2013 12:34 PM
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm?
      > >
      > > eduard,
      > >
      > > But your perspective may lead to unethical tinkering with the brains of
      > > others we deem unfit. It is a psychological and cybernetic approach, not
      > > at
      > > all holistic, and leads one to think we can 'adjust' one part of the
      > > human
      > > 'machine' and not adversely affect the whole. This is the kind of
      > > mechanistic and reductionist thinking which has led to an impersonal
      > > devastation of peoples and their environment.
      > >
      > > Mary
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Mary,
      > > >
      > > > I would have difficulty with the use of mind. It leads to the idea
      > > > that
      > > > thinking is happening somewhere else. And if it happens somewhere
      > > > else
      > > > then
      > > > you might add all sorts of other characteristics which tends into the
      > > > magical.
      > > >
      > > > I prefer to use the single term "brain". If a surgeon opens up your
      > > > skull,
      > > > he/she doesn't find therein something other than the brain. There is
      > > > still
      > > > this reluctance to accept that it is our brain which thinks. There is
      > > > no
      > > > need to distinguish thinking from biochemical activity. Our thinking
      > > > IS
      > > > biochemical. Your comment begs the question of, if the other stuff is
      > > > biochemical, then what is the media by which the mind thinks about
      > > > thoughts?
      > > >
      > > > eduard
      > > >
      > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > From: Mary
      > > > Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2013 2:54 PM
      > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm? (mainframe
      > > > question)
      > > >
      > > > eduard,
      > > >
      > > > Yes, analogies only go so far. Part of my point is that we don't need
      > > > to
      > > > observe neural activity in order to observe and think about our
      > > > thoughts.
      > > > I
      > > > think we should use the word mind for this activity so as to
      > > > distinguish
      > > > it
      > > > from biochemical activity. Phenomenological study concerns mind, the
      > > > whole
      > > > system, not just neural connections.
      > > >
      > > > Mary
      > > >
      > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Mary,
      > > > >
      > > > > My depiction is computureze, in that the matrix of neurons operates
      > > > > on
      > > > > the
      > > > > basis of inputs and outputs. And in the Noosphere which is the
      > > > > complex
      > > > > of
      > > > > individual brains, thoughts are distributed and exchanged. For
      > > > > example,
      > > > > we
      > > > > are doing that by the media of the these emails. I just would not
      > > > > go
      > > > > so
      > > > > far
      > > > > as to say that the Noosphere is like a mainframe. Thoughts are not
      > > > > stored
      > > > > within some kind of mainframe and accessed when we want them. The
      > > > > best
      > > > > one
      > > > > could say is that there is a commonality of thought as a result of
      > > > > the
      > > > > exchange and our common humanity. If I lose a loved one; I am sad.
      > > > > Some
      > > > > others have the same experience and therefore the same thought. The
      > > > > thought
      > > > > of sadness is not a thing of itself which is stored in some location
      > > > > separate from humans.
      > > > >
      > > > > I think that one can only go so far with analogies.
      > > > >
      > > > > eduard
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > > From: Mary
      > > > > Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2013 10:24 AM
      > > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: What power to charm or harm? (mainframe
      > > > > question)
      > > > >
      > > > > eduard,
      > > > >
      > > > > Perhaps client-server or network is a better analogy for a thought
      > > > > system.
      > > > > Apparently dummy terminals connect to a mainframe, but exchange
      > > > > occurs
      > > > > with
      > > > > a computing server network. I'm staying with this comparison for the
      > > > > time
      > > > > being only because your depiction of the brain seems like
      > > > > computereze.
      > > > > In
      > > > > our thought system we can't separate which thought is exclusively
      > > > > ours.
      > > > > I
      > > > > don't dispute that thinking occurs separately in each brain but
      > > > > still
      > > > > maintain that thoughts are distributed and exchanged over an entire
      > > > > thought
      > > > > system.
      > > > >
      > > > > Another analogy might be electronic music wherein every mix is
      > > > > itself
      > > > > a
      > > > > remix.
      > > > >
      > > > > Mary
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I would have some difficulty with saying the "mainframe" is the
      > > > > > Noosphere,
      > > > > > albeit I can understand your point. To me, a "mainframe" in
      > > > > > computereze
      > > > > > is
      > > > > > the location of programs and storage of information which is
      > > > > > accessed
      > > > > > by
      > > > > > means of terminals. I don't see the Noosphere as a location of
      > > > > > storage.
      > > > > > It
      > > > > > is more like the location in which information is exchanged. Like
      > > > > > the
      > > > > > market place in a village is the location of exchange of
      > > > > > vegetables
      > > > > > and
      > > > > > money. The information itself is in the individuals. I suppose
      > > > > > that
      > > > > > one
      > > > > > could say that information is stored in public libraries and the
      > > > > > internet,
      > > > > > but this information is not of use until it enters the mind of the
      > > > > > individual. It is the exchange of information within the
      > > > > > Noosphere
      > > > > > which
      > > > > > is
      > > > > > of importance. The Noosphere facilitates the creation and spread
      > > > > > of
      > > > > > memes.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
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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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