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Messages - Jorge

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General Earwa / Re: Re: TSA related art and stuff.
« on: October 18, 2013, 09:33:18 pm »
Great stuff. I really like 'Gnosis' and Kellhus and Cnaiur.

When you get the chance here are some other vivid scenes:

- Titirga arriving at Shae÷nanra's abode with the Diurnal.
- Akka vs. the Demon
- Cleric impaled by a cant of concussion
- Esmenet possesed by Aurang
- Leweth is abandoned by Kellhus
- Kelmomas killing Samarmas, or watching the beetle crawling on the floor
- The assassination of Maithanet by an agent of fate
- Seswatha and Nau-Cayuti at Golgoterrath
- Achamian and Mimara in Ishual

Those last two might look a bit similar. Purely coincidence. ;)

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General Misc. / Was replaying an old game when...
« on: July 23, 2013, 07:41:39 pm »
OK, I'm totally not claiming this *means* anything, I'm just pointing out some amusing parallels I thought of when replaying through FF7:

Ancients/Nonmen (old race destroyed by virus from alien threat)

Jenova/Inchoroi (alien threat in fantasy world)

Cloud-Zack/Drusas-Seswatha (protagonist with hidden personality)

Sephiroth/Kellhus (villain is engineered super powerful warrior/mage that goes insane)

Meteor Summoning / Revival of the No-God (world-ending threat brought about by villain)


How about it!

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General Misc. / Re: Oratory
« on: July 23, 2013, 07:33:39 pm »
I've always felt that the key to delivering a good speech is to have a good speech to give in the first place. What I mean is: the writing is important.

In the show The West Wing Toby Ziegler and Josh Lyman obsess over every word and turn of phrase, not just because of political implications but because wordcraft is a little like mind-control: if you say the right things with the right timing, you can actually yoke the listener's brain into a particular emotional state.

Some of the best orators in contemporary times are comedians. A lot of George Carlin's later stuff was just political rhetoric dressed up with some humorous asides. He was a master of repetition, timing and cadence.

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General Misc. / Re: Explaining Bakker
« on: April 24, 2013, 04:12:02 pm »
Quote
I should have asked her whether she holds the view that humans are fundamentally biomechanical,

Absolutely. Not every scientist accepts this premise, because people are monkeys full of "believies" to use a Louis CK term. Isn't it just warm and fuzzy to think your mind is exempt from the law of causality that seem to dictate the rest of the universe?

OK, I'll stop beating this very dead horse now.

Quote
Are you consciously aware of every word that makes up your lexicon, right now?

This is potentially a very illustrative approach. Just yesterday I used the phrase "acrid smoke" and found myself wondering where the hell 'acrid' had come from since I hardly ever use that particular adjective.

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General Misc. / Re: Explaining Bakker
« on: April 24, 2013, 06:08:02 am »
Quote from: bakker_user
Bakker has no evidence, apparently.

You should not be trying to convince any scientists of BBT, because at this stage it is backed up only by circumstantial evidence and has not been properly experimentally falsified. Your friend is correct to take a skeptical stance.

You do not need to use analogies to explain it.

Ask your neurolinguistic friend if she has heard of anosognosia. If not, you can refer her to Prigatano's "The Study of Anosognosia" which is a technical and respectable volume on the subject. Very briefly: when people suffer strokes they can lose the capacity to see or move their limbs, and yet they are unable to detect the limitation.

The brain confabulates explanations to account for the lack of information.

This can be interpreted in many ways, but one way of looking at it is that "consciousness" (which you should define to her as the private, subjective, first-person experiences which go away when we enter dreamless sleep or coma state... you can refer her to Chalmers for more on the subject)  is actually caused by gaps in information that must be 'filled in', just like the anosognosia patient does. Just as we cannot 'see' where our thoughts come from but accept their provenance as normal, and just as we concoct a magical ability called "Free Will" to explain movements that originate from our brain, the very ground of our phenomenal experiences may be illusory. This in turn explains why we have a philosophical problem in the first place.

Semi-formally:
1. Everything seems amenable to naturalistic/materialistic (ie scientific explanation): gravity, explosions, bacteria, human biology.
2. Our own subjective experiences ('my experience of red' vs. 'your experience of red') do not seem amenable to materialistic reduction.
3. Science can find correlates to conscious states, and different conscious states.
C1: Given 3 our intuition about 2 is wrong. But it doesn't seem wrong, no matter how hard you think about it.
C2: Something our 'wiring' prevents us from 'seeing' the truth of 3.
C3: We are 'blind' brains, who are mainly blind to themselves.

BBT could be partially or fully falsified by the following experiments:

1. Fine-grain neural mapping shows that networks involved in consciousness do not neglect or ignore any information.
2. Experiments using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) find that under certain circumstances the patient can detect what part of his cognition is being manipulated (BBT has already partially passed this test, in my opinion, since under many circumstances where tDCS is used to cause a patient to move a limb, the patient will confabulate an explanation for their movement other than the current).
3. Neural mapping finds that neural correlates of consciousness are not distributed and instead map specifically to a single brain region. (This would falsify BBT because then you can say there's a single part of the brain that's doing the "seeing" of the rest of the activity in the brain. This would also be contra Giulio Tononi's integrated information theory)

I have a few other (very) speculative ideas how you could go about finding confirmatory evidence for BBT, but they remain outside technical capacity for the time being.

I hope this helps.


PS: I highly recommend reading several books before speaking to scientists on this subject. At the very least acquaint yourself with-

"The Tell-Tale Brain" or "A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness" by VS Ramachandran
"The Conscious Mind" by David Chalmers
"The Mind's I" edited by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett
"The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" by Oliver Sacks
"The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge

Further reading:
"Wider than the Sky" by Gerald Edelman (1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine)
"Phi" by Giulio Tononi

Advanced:
Original papers on computability (Turing, Church, etc.), information theory (Shannon, Kolmogorov, etc.), neuroscience (Kandel, Bliss, LeDoux, Eliasmith, ect etc etc etc etc etc etc) and philosophy of mind (Searle, Nagel, Churchland, McGinnis, Dennet, Chalmers, Schwitzgebel, etc etc etc etc)

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General Misc. / Re: Explaining Bakker
« on: April 23, 2013, 08:40:35 pm »
From an article published in the highly prestigious journal Science last week:

Quote
It is important to acknowledge that our research does not provide a direct proof of subjective experience. Indeed, it is a genuine philosophical problem whether such a proof can ever be obtained from purely objective neurophysiological data. Rather, we show that neural markers of consciousness found in adults can be generalized to infant populations. Such objective measures have proven useful to probe consciousness in patients in a vegetative state and in minimally conscious patients and might help pediatricians confront issues of infant consciousness in relation to anesthesia, pain, and pathologies.

See? Science is starting to rub up against this very ugly problem. Dual-classed philosopher/scientists like Giulio Tononi and the Churchlands are at least bringing this issue to the forefront.

In the above paper, the authors are essentially claiming they have narrowed the search to Francis Crick's famous 'neural correlates of consciousness'. The next step will be figuring out what is special (if anything) about the circuitry that is involved in this.

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General Misc. / Re: Explaining Bakker
« on: April 23, 2013, 06:58:05 pm »
Let's get a few things straight:

1. I am a scientist. I just got my PhD in biology. I am not a neuroscientist, but I understand the subject (up to a point, I'm not an expert on electrophysiology or neuroanatomy). I understand what Bakker is claiming.

2. Bakker's work is primarily in philosophy of mind, not science. One of his claims is that the "blind brain theory" can be falsified by experiment. This is problematic for a few reasons.

a) Very few scientists understand the explanatory gap and the hard problem of consciousness. This is because it has traditionally been considered a philosophical problem, not a scientific one... indeed THE PROBLEM ITSELF is that the raw 'stuff of mind' seems inaccessible to science.

b) We do not currently have the technology to falsify BBT. Nonetheless, preexisting studies (such as those on anosognosia) support its core hypothesis (namely: that consciousness turns on information LACKED rather than information HAD).

c) Not everything Bakker talks about is science. His posts on continental philosophy ARE extremely dense and philosophy-jargon heavy.

3. The "Semantic Apocalypse" is not a scientific hypothesis. It is socio-cultural speculation about the ramifications of a neuroscience that validates BBT. You must remember that BBT may be FALSIFIED by neuroscience, so the Semantic Apocalypse might not have any empirical basis whatsoever.

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News/Announcements / Re: Welcome to the Second Apocalypse
« on: April 18, 2013, 03:00:16 pm »
Hello again. It's weird that teh old board couldn'tbe fixed, but no worries. I've been part of online forums that have migrated no less than 5 times, so... meh.

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