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Messages - sciborg2

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Andrea Wasse, Ain't No Devil ->

[MV] Yoonmirae(윤미래), Tiger JK(타이거JK), Bizzy (MFBTY) _ Sweet Dream

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: April 29, 2020, 08:51:02 pm »
"Eventually, I believe, current attempts to understand the mind by analogy with man-made computers that can perform superbly some of the same external tasks as conscious beings will be recognized as a gigantic waste of time."
 -Thomas Nagel

 “If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.”
    -Douglas Adams

“He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: April 25, 2020, 07:57:50 pm »
"Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love."
 -Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

And do you understand why this is?

My guess would be the fear of being alone is often confused for love?

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: April 24, 2020, 09:23:57 pm »
‘Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Always our being is descending into us from we know not whence.’
 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“we are continually overflowing toward those who preceded us, toward our origin, and toward those who seemingly come after us. ... It is our task to imprint this temporary, perishable earth into ourselves so deeply, so painfully and passionately, that its essence can rise again “invisibly,” inside us. We are the bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the visible, to store it in the great golden hive of the invisible.”

―Rainer Maria Rilke

"Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love."
 -Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: April 17, 2020, 08:35:21 am »
‘Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Always our being is descending into us from we know not whence.’
 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“we are continually overflowing toward those who preceded us, toward our origin, and toward those who seemingly come after us. ... It is our task to imprint this temporary, perishable earth into ourselves so deeply, so painfully and passionately, that its essence can rise again “invisibly,” inside us. We are the bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the visible, to store it in the great golden hive of the invisible.”

―Rainer Maria Rilke

Does Time Really Flow? New Clues Come From a Century-Old Approach to Math

Natalie Wolchover

However, she said, “if somebody is called on to reflect a bit more deeply about what the block universe means, they start to question and waver on the implications.”

Physicists who think carefully about time point to troubles posed by quantum mechanics, the laws describing the probabilistic behavior of particles. At the quantum scale, irreversible changes occur that distinguish the past from the future: A particle maintains simultaneous quantum states until you measure it, at which point the particle adopts one of the states. Mysteriously, individual measurement outcomes are random and unpredictable, even as particle behavior collectively follows statistical patterns. This apparent inconsistency between the nature of time in quantum mechanics and the way it functions in
relativity has created uncertainty and confusion.

Over the past year, the Swiss physicist Nicolas Gisin has published four papers that attempt to dispel the fog surrounding time in physics. As Gisin sees it, the problem all along has been mathematical. Gisin argues that time in general and the time we call the present are easily expressed in a century-old mathematical language called intuitionist mathematics, which rejects the existence of numbers with infinitely many digits. When intuitionist math is used to describe the evolution of physical systems, it makes clear, according to Gisin, that “time really passes and new information is created.” Moreover, with this formalism, the strict determinism implied by Einstein’s equations gives way to a quantum-like unpredictability. If numbers are finite and limited in their precision, then nature itself is inherently imprecise, and thus unpredictable.

Philosophy & Science / The secret life of plants
« on: April 08, 2020, 09:20:16 pm »
The secret life of plants: how they memorise, communicate, problem solve and socialise

Amy Fleming

Mancuso and his colleagues have become experts in training plants, just like neuroscientists train lab rats. If you let a drop of water fall on a Mimosa pudica, its kneejerk response is to recoil its leaves, but, if you continue doing so, the plant will quickly cotton on that the water is harmless and stop reacting. The plants can hold on to this knowledge for weeks, even when their living conditions, such as lighting, are changed. “That was unexpected because we were thinking about very short memories, in the range of one or two days – the average memory of insects,” says Mancuso. “To find that plants were able to memorise for two months was a surprise.” Not least because they don’t have brains.

One of the most controversial aspects of Mancuso’s work is the idea of plant consciousness. As we learn more about animal and plant intelligence, not to mention human intelligence, the always-contentious term consciousness has become the subject of ever more heated scientific and philosophical debate. “Let’s use another term,” Mancuso suggests. “Consciousness is a little bit tricky in both our languages. Let’s talk about awareness. Plants are perfectly aware of themselves.” A simple example is when one plant overshadows another – the shaded plant will grow faster to reach the light. But when you look into the crown of a tree, all the shoots are heavily shaded. They do not grow fast because they know that they are shaded by part of themselves. “So they have a perfect image of themselves and of the outside,” says Mancuso.

Another misconception is that plants are the definition of a vegetative state – incommunicative and insensitive to what is around them. But Mancuso says plants are far more sensitive than animals. “And this is not an opinion. This is based on thousands of pieces of evidence. We know that a single root apex is able to detect at least 20 different chemical and physical parameters, many of which we are blind to.” There could be a tonne of cobalt or nickel under our feet, and we would have no idea, whereas “plants can sense a few milligrams in a huge amount of soil”, he says.

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: April 03, 2020, 09:42:20 am »
'There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite.'
 – Jorge Luis Borges

'Men ... think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.'
 – Charles Mackay

"...I just had the most awful, amazing dream. I was so far away, in the dark.
 Then I saw your grave.

 I...I read the inscription...and that's when I knew everything would be okay.

 That's when I woke up."
 -Lois to Clark, Superman Beyond: 3D

I find this fascinating and hard to comprehend in equal measure.
Consciousness infused throughout, or embedded within?, the universe beggars my belief and how my understanding of it works (limited admittedly).

Are they onto something or is this a case of 'we can't explain this any other way, so we're putting a big red X here to represent panpsychism' because there is no viable alternative?

I'd recommend checking out the other IAI essays, some of which I've posted here - really gives you the sense that nobody's got a handle on the "Why" of anything, or arguably even the "How".

It's like we're in a Matrix, utterly unable to talk about the computer architecture because it lies outside our sensory abilities.

"You've become lost in a game disguised as Everything - try to Remember"
  -Grant Morrison, Invisibles

Philosophy & Science / Re: Therapy that sticks
« on: April 01, 2020, 02:28:48 am »
If CBT is a challenge to free will, then wouldn't just about every learned habit-based action be? From training the mind to figure out proofs to training for sports so you act seemingly "in the zone" of semi-conscious action?

Philosophy & Science / Gravity: The Popper Problem
« on: March 30, 2020, 11:24:48 pm »
Gravity: The Popper Problem

David Merritt, Astrophysicist and professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology

The universe is expanding, and Einstein’s theory of gravity makes a definite prediction about how the expansion rate should change over time: it should decrease, since the gravitational attraction between all the matter in the universe continually opposes the expansion.

The first time this prediction was observationally tested, around 1998, it was found to be spectacularly in error. The expansion of the universe is accelerating, not decelerating, and the acceleration has been going on for about six billion years.

How did cosmologists respond to this anomaly? If they adhered to the ideas of philosopher Karl Popper, they would have said: “Our theory of gravity has been conclusively disproved by the observations; therefore we will throw our theory out and start afresh.” In fact, they did something very different: they postulated the existence of a new, universe-filling substance which they called “dark energy”, and endowed dark energy with whatever properties were needed to reconcile the conflicting data with Einstein’s theory.

Philosophers of science are very familiar with this sort of thing (as was Popper himself). Dark energy is an example of what philosophers call an “auxiliary hypothesis”: something that is added to a theory in order to reconcile it with falsifying data. “Dark matter” is also an auxiliary hypothesis, invoked in order to explain the puzzling behavior of galaxy rotation curves.

Philosophy & Science / Therapy that sticks
« on: March 29, 2020, 05:57:37 am »
Therapy that sticks

Linda Michaels

Juxtaposed with this mental health crisis, news media and headlines tout the benefits of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), explicitly recommended as ‘evidence-based’ and said to work rapidly, especially when combined with drugs such as antidepressants or mood stabilisers. Varieties of CBT apply to a host of different diagnoses: dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for personality disorder; cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); interpersonal therapy (IPT) for mood disorder. The list goes on: 50 per cent of therapists now define themselves as fitting in the cognitive-behavioural lane, compared with none 50 years ago. People seem to be absorbing these messages with more of us on medication than ever; antidepressant use alone went up 64 per cent from 1999 to 2014. The increase is so steep that an estimated 13 per cent of the US population now take the drugs.

What is wrong with this picture? Why do modern ‘evidence-based’ treatments fail to produce better outcomes? Indeed, why do things seem to be getting worse, with many forms of suffering, even suicide, on the rise?

My conclusion: the biomedical model (favoured by psychiatry) and the short-term, structured therapy model (favoured by psychology) don’t work as well as they should. These treatments seem easy to administer, but is a ‘quick fix’ really what’s called for when addressing complex problems in life? Is it possible that one type of therapy – CBT and its family of treatments – can work for nearly every person and every problem so successfully?

Why materialists are wrong and the Jedi right, and how panpsychism might revolutionize science.

In spite of all this, one of the great scientists of the twentieth century - Arthur Eddington - argued that a position remarkably similar to Jedi theology was not only perfectly consistent with modern science, but actually something we might have to reason to believe. Eddington is best known for being the first to offer observational confirmation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. In May 1919 he conducted a series of observations of a solar eclipse from the island of Principe off the West Coast of Africa. As the moon covered the sun, Eddington photographed stars visible around its covered edge. On the basis of this he was able to demonstrate that, precisely as Einstein’s theory had predicted, the light from these stars had been bent by the spacetime curvature caused by the mass of the sun.

A decade later, Eddington wrote a book in which, as well as explaining relativity and other developments in recent physics, he defended panpsychism: the view that all matter is infused with consciousness. Like the Jedi knights, Eddington was convinced that there was a spiritual force underlying the workings of the physical universe. In words we can imagine Luke – or Obi Wan before him – using in his Jedi training classes, Eddington put it as follows:

"…our minds are not apart from the world; and the feelings that we have of gladness and melancholy and our yet deeper feelings are not of ourselves alone, but are glimpses of a reality transcending the narrow limits of our particular consciousness…the harmony and beauty of the face of Nature is at root one with the gladness that transfigures the face of man…"

If physics does not tell us what the nature of physical properties is, then what else gives us this information? Eddington believed that physics is a tool for prediction. Even if we don’t know what “mass” and “force” really are, we are able to recognise them in the world. They show up as readings on our instruments, or otherwise impact on our senses. And by using the equations of physics, such as Newton’s law of gravity, we can predict what’s going to happen with great precision. It is this predictive capacity that has enabled us to manipulate the natural world in extraordinary ways, leading to the technological revolution that has transformed our planet. But it is simply not the job of physics to tell us what the stuff of the universe essentially is. As Stephen Hawking put it, physics doesn’t tell us what “breathes fire into the equations”.

Given that physics tell us nothing of the nature of physical reality, is there anything we do know about it? Are there any clues as to what is going on “under the bonnet” of the engine of the universe? Eddington argued that the only thing we really know about the nature of matter is that some of it has consciousness; we know this because we are directly aware of the consciousness of our own brains:

"We are acquainted with an external world because its fibres run into our own consciousness; it is only our own fibres that we actually know; from these ends we more or less successfully reconstruct the rest, as a palaeontologist reconstructs an extinct monster from its footprint."

We have no direct access to the nature of matter outside of brains. But the most reasonable speculation, according to Eddington, is that the nature of matter outside of brains is continuous with the nature of matter inside of brains. Given that we have no direct insight into the intrinsic nature of field and particles, it is rather “silly”, argued Eddington, to declare that they have a nature entirely removed from mentality and then to wonder where mentality comes from. On this basis, Eddington concluded that the most simple and parsimonious view consistent with our direct and observational knowledge is some form of panpsychism, according to which the underlying nature the stuff of the physical world is, as Eddington put it, mind stuff.

These ideas of Russell and Eddington from the 1920s have recently been rediscovered in academic philosophy and are causing a great deal of excitement. For decades philosophers and scientists have struggled to understand how physical matter produces consciousness: the subjective inner world of feelings, sensations and experiences. Many are now persuaded that, in broad brushstrokes, Russell and Eddington had the answer. In Eddington’s version, physical science describes matter “from the outside”, providing mathematical models that allow us to predict its behaviour, but in its underlying nature matter is constituted of consciousness. It is consciousness that breathes fire into the equations. The attraction of this view is its capacity to reconcile the reality of consciousness with our scientific understanding of the universe.

Philosophy & Science / The Illusion of Now: Is time static or fluid?
« on: March 27, 2020, 06:55:23 pm »
The Illusion of Now: Is time static or fluid?

Past and future are worlds we can never inhabit. We live of necessity in the present. But physicists and philosophers with very different outlooks, from Einstein to Derrida, claim that the present is an illusion. Is time not a river at all, but instead a static dimension? Are we deluded by experience into imagining the present is real? Or are Einstein's spacetime universe, and Derrida's attack on the metaphysics of presence, fundamental errors?

The Panel

Philosopher of science Tim Maudlin joins author of The End of Time Julian Barbour and philosopher and historian of science Emily Thomas to go in search of lost time. Joanna Kavenna hosts.

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: March 26, 2020, 08:15:29 pm »
"Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it." –Andrew Boyd

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