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Re: brain training

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  • Mary
    What the causal chain shows is that ideas are transmitted by people, not their neurons. Thoughts travel from person to person regardless of how they are
    Message 1 of 70 , Jun 10, 2013
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      What the causal chain shows is that ideas are transmitted by people, not their neurons. Thoughts travel from person to person regardless of how they are stored. And didn't you once say that thought isn't stored in neurons, only chemical signals, not images or ideas?

      Your second paragraph makes my point that thought is a system which includes neurons not neurons which contain the system.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
      >
      > A particular idea may take thousands of years to be articulated, but that
      > has nothing to do with how the idea is run/stored in an individual brain.
      > Neither has it anything to do with the relationship between thinkers.
      >
      > Actually, I think this is the essence of philosophy. I would use the
      > dictionary definition that philosophy is the rational investigation of the
      > truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. All of this is
      > neural at their base. I should think that even freedom and responsibility
      > are neural. And certainly it relates to individualism vs. community. But
      > not all thoughts are our own domain and are self-created. Some thoughts are
      > adopted from others. I sometimes speak of the Big Slam as being an
      > alternative to the Big Bang, as the start of the universe, because I read it
      > somewhere. Perhaps only a few people really have self-created thoughts.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2013 3:06 PM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: brain training
      >
      > Yes, neurons apparently do an incalculable number of operations, and there
      > is an obvious connection between thinking and neurons. However, the
      > relationship between thinkers who exchange ideas (consciously or otherwise)
      > is just as difficult to sort. The causal chain of an idea could be thousands
      > of years involving millions of people. And although probably not exactly
      > alike in each mind who entertains them, ideas exist as interrelated
      > thoughts.
      >
      > This is, of course, watered down and barely philosophical. If thought is a
      > whole system into which we contribute and from which we receive ideas, there
      > are serious questions about what freedom and responsibility actually mean to
      > members of a society. In existentialism you find the two opposing strains
      > of radical individualism vs. community. If I think my thoughts are my own
      > domain and are self-created, or if I'm part of a whole, I will think and act
      > accordingly.
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, christopher arthur <chris.arthur1@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Although, Escher's creation isn't something impossible; it's just a
      > > drawing of something impossible. I suppose that I mean that just
      > > because something isn't obvious doesn't mean that there is no right
      > > answer. The relationship of thought and neurons should have a right
      > > answer also, unless there is some other factor that is missing. Perhaps
      > > it's worth reminding that neurons aren't just for thinking, right? I
      > > type this message without really thinking about where my fingers have to
      > > go because I already know. Neurons send messages to move my fingers,
      > > and my thoughts are in thinking what to say and not how to type it.
      > >
      > > Besides, computers could be said to think because they can solve
      > > problems about which men must think in order to solve, but that doesn't
      > > make computers conscious. Consciousness seems to involve perception and
      > > the other senses, whereas thought needn't operate on the external world.
      > >
      > > Chris
      > >
      > > On 6/8/2013 10:23 AM, Mary wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Yes, this clearly requires paradoxical thinking or the ability to
      > > > accept paradoxes. I really appreciate the hand-drawing-the-hand drawing.
      > > >
      > > > Mary
      > > >
      > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:existlist%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > > > hermit crab <hermitcrab65@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Definitely. It's a strange loop.
      > > > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strange_loop
      > > > >
      > > > > h.
      > > > >
      > > > > On Sat, Jun 8, 2013 at 10:06 AM, Mary <josephson45r@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > > We can also look at it this way. We have thoughts which trouble
      > > > us, so we
      > > > > > think about those thoughts and read or listen to others' thoughts.
      > > > Based on
      > > > > > further thought, we decide to change our thinking to change out or
      > > > replace
      > > > > > these thoughts with other thoughts. It was thinking which brought
      > > > about, or
      > > > > > hopes to bring about, the changed thoughts we think we may be able
      > > > > > to
      > > > > > think. But, did neurons alone in themselves conspire to convince
      > > > you? Did
      > > > > > others' neurons decide you needed to switch out your scripts? No,
      > > > thought
      > > > > > does that. Of course it is thought which trains the neurons and
      > > > not vice
      > > > > > versa. Others' thoughts and our own comprise a system of thoughts
      > > > not a
      > > > > > system of neurons. We can't separate when one thought ends and
      > > > > > another
      > > > > > begins. We can't prove perfect circularity or cause and effect, so
      > > > it isn't
      > > > > > a matter of thought wagging the neurons or the reverse. Hence,
      > > > thought is a
      > > > > > system.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Mary
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
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    • eduardathome
      Well we have two things here... mental states and the digital bit. As to mental states I can only go by what is in sources like Wikipedia Look up Being and
      Message 70 of 70 , Jun 13, 2013
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        Well we have two things here... mental states and the digital bit.

        As to mental states I can only go by what is in sources like Wikipedia

        Look up Being and Nothingness and you will find such as ....

        (1) The great human stream arises from a singular realization that nothingness is a state of mind in which we can become anything, in reference to our situation, that we desire.

        (2) Sartre's recipe for fulfillment is to escape all quests by completing them. This is accomplished by rigorously forcing order onto nothingness, employing the "spirit (or consciousness of mind) of seriousness" and describing the failure to do so in terms such as "bad faith" and "false consciousness".

        These are references to a state of mind

        But then one does not need to go to side references, all of Sartre bit about bad faith, the look, negation etc. are states of mind. It is the statement of mind that Sartre is speaking about. In the waiter he is speaking against the person acting out a role of waiter versus his existence as human. These are states of mind.

        With respect to photoreceptors they are in effect digital. The protein molecule in the receptor will react to a certain level of visual energy entering the receptor. At some point it will generate a signal to say that it has received the energy. This is the same as a switch. Granted it is not a clean as all that. You might be able to fool a blue receptor with red light if there is a sufficient quantity. The response of the receptor is like a probability curve centre on a particular wavelength. However, it is still digital.

        Digital systems do not have to be literally ones and zeros. They can be twos and threes, as long as there is a difference between one state that is defined as zero and the other which is higher or lower and defined as the one. Or it can be an electrochemical signal of so many microvolts versus a rest state that has a lesser value. Or perhaps more ions versus less ions.

        In any case, my main point is that the retina transmits to the occipital lobe on the basis of pixels. The photoreceptor is the pixel sampler. And because it is pixels, it has a certain resolution. That is, the ability of the human eye to resolve distance objects into two rather than to merge them. If a line is fine enough, what you see is a series of dots. It is the brain itself which concludes that these dots represent a line.

        I do not understand your last sentence. I am not talking about resolving differences, but only pointing out that we see pixels of information.

        eduard



        -----Original Message-----
        From: Mary
        Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 1:13 PM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [existlist] Re: retina

        Please provide a scientific or academic source for this assertion as well as a philosophical citation which supports your contention that existentialism concerns "mental states." You are grossly oversimplifying to fit your schema and preferring to reduce thought and perception to simple formulas. But it's not existentialism. Ones and zeros do not equate with the on-off complex biochemical transactions within photoreceptors. Measuring digitally doesn't mean that what you measure is inherently digital. The eye converts pixels but has no digital receptors. Cells transact biochemically not digitally. Almost without exception existentialist thinkers, were concerned with intersubjectivity not with understanding internal biochemical processes. Even with the ability to observe and comprehend every single biochemical transaction in our brains, we'd still be no closer to resolving differences which are in themselves nearly impossible to decipher causally.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
        >
        > The retina is composed of a matrix of rod and cone photoreceptors which react to the incoming image. The image itself may be continuous after it travels through the lens of the eye and is cast onto the surface of the retina, but only small pixel portions the image are actually “seen” by the retina. Say you have a 10 thousand cones in one square millimeter, that means 10 thousand pixels of information that are gathered from the image. The density is probably less per colour when you consider the individual cones are dedicated to short, medium or long frequencies. The neurons which are the cones have a switching mechanism. If the photon hitting the cone is sufficient, the neuron will switch from a zero to a one. Very digital. And this digital information is then sent to the occipital lobe in the back of your brain. You don’t have the image at the back of your head, only the signal information that has to be processed further from what occurs in the retina itself. Our eyes are limited by the amount of light that is needed by the cones and rods to make them react and the spacing of these elements. We have 3 types of cones. Some birds have 4 types and thus have a large range of colour evaluation. Some crustaceans have 10. But it’s all digital.
        >
        > Basically it is the same process as a digital camera which has a sensor chip composed of thousands/millions of light reacting elements.
        >
        > I am not saying that you need to know how the eye works in order to enjoy art. But if one is talking about how art is “seen” it becomes of some importance. It is the same as speaking about the neural processes in order to explain how we react for certain mental states. Existentialism is about mental states.
        >
        > eduard
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Mary
        > Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 4:21 PM
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [existlist] retina
        >
        > The retina does not require pixels anymore than it required a grid to view art before art which used a grid for composition came into use. I can't remember what century that began. Maybe Peter C. knows. We do not have digital brains, contrary to your robot fantasies. Digital art, whether reproduction or new creation, is for the convenience of compatibility with computers and now of course cameras. Wil's point is right on. We don't need to know how the eye works to enjoy art though it may be of interest.
        >
        > Mary
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
        >
        > you are seeing it as a mass of pixels which is the manner in which your retina works.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
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        > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining nothing!
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        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >




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