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The Mystery of Consciousness - Not so mysterious?
Posted: 30 October 2011 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]  
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eucaryote - 30 October 2011 05:23 PM
Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 07:53 AM
eucaryote - 29 October 2011 03:56 PM
Dreadlocks - 29 October 2011 07:08 AM

srrr is not saying it is magical. That is your strawman. I believe his position is that experience is fundamental and intrinsic.

You’ve introduced some new terms that I don’t understand in this context. By invoking irrevocable mystery, (Sam’s word), you end the conversation. It’s no explanation, and represents no understanding. You are referring to some “thing” here that you claim to be fundamental yet it cannot be demonstrated. “Consciousness” is just a made up word, like god, that covers our ignorance and allows us to indulge in our intuition.

Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 07:53 AM

God cries out for an explanation because God is complex. God thinks, loves and hates. His experiencs are rich in content.

Hmmm. You do understand that there is no god.

I am an atheist. You compared experiences to God implying that the two are comparable. The concepts are not. God is supposed to be intelligent and therefore complex. Any one arguing that a god like YHWH exists needs to explain his complexity.

eucaryote - 30 October 2011 05:23 PM
Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 07:53 AM

Because you equate cognition with experience, you believe all experiences are rich in content and complex.

So you are saying that not all experience is “conscious” experience?

The word consciousness has many usages. If you mean by “consciousness” experiences rich in content, then clearly I do not believe that the two are synonomous. If you mean by consciousness any experience, they are.

eucaryote - 30 October 2011 05:23 PM
Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 07:53 AM

We have no reason to believe that all experiences are like that. If electrons experience the electric field around them, I would not expect them to pocess concepts, love, or hate. I would not expect it to have experiences rich in content. That is not to say it could not have very intense experiences. The fact that it experiences may simply be that that is what it is like to be an electron in an electric field.

Again, I’m pretty clear on the idea that rocks, or electrons, demonstrate no evidence of cognition.

I never said they exhibit cognition. You mistake cognition for experience. Not me.

eucaryote - 30 October 2011 05:23 PM
Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 07:53 AM

As far as not being demonstarable, you have got to be joking. You are having experiences as you read this and you damn well know it.

Experience is entirely dependent on cognition, yet experience is not equal to cognition, rather experience is the result of cognition.

Experience is the instantaneous refection of the outside world to the organism, as filtered by the cognitive processes and as selected for in relative importance to the organism. Experience is the feedback to the organism regarding the state of the organism in outside world.*

Is that so. What scientific journals back up this claim?  You are trying to pass off your metaphysics as science. This is a pretense.

eucaryote - 29 October 2011 03:56 PM

Read above, I didn’t say that. I’m trying to understand without resorting to the idea that the truth is either intractable or inexplicable.  What you are calling experience is not objectively demonstrable. Subjective experience is very much subject to objective analysis. To call something “the hard problem” is to deliberate avoid objective analysis because we like believing in the extra-ordinary. We’re avoiding the truth because the truth is we are not so much unlike a slime mold. Psuedo-plasmodiums with eye-spots, (I spots) wink

I believe that a great deal will be explained by the right theory. Just as string theory does not have a reductive explanation of strings, but uses strings to explain other phenomina, a fundamental theory of experience would not reductively explain experience, but would explain more complex phenomina. Things such as why we experience some brain processes and not others. Which brings up a good point: YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN WHY SOME COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS ARE EXPERIENCED AND OTHERS NOT.

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Posted: 30 October 2011 04:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]  
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eucaryote - 30 October 2011 06:06 PM

Look at the attached spirals.

You think you see blue and green spirals, don’t you? Just as you are sure that you will always see red when you look at red.

Click on this link and see that you are wrong. Both spirals are green.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/06/24/the-blue-and-the-green/

For pedantry sake, the RGB colors in both spirals are 0, 255, 150. So they are mostly green with a solid splash of blue

This is a circumstance crafted to reveal how our experience of “qualia” is not objective. We are all programmed the same way from deep time so our brains all make the same mistake of perception.

There is no red that is red that is red. There are no qualia.

This is indicative of nothing. The brain processes information, sometimes incorrectly. Nobody believes our experiences are unmoderated.

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Posted: 30 October 2011 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]  
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Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 06:08 PM

YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN WHY SOME COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS ARE EXPERIENCED AND OTHERS NOT.

Take it easy there Dread. This is how people behave when they are backed into a cognitive corner.

About the above. So what. That doesn’t make it unexplainable. I’ve heard Kristof Koch note that directed attention seems to be a separate phenomenon.

You may not be be paying much attention right now to the feedback from your big toe. But if I bash it with a hammer, the feedback will enter your consciousness soon enough.

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Posted: 30 October 2011 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]  
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Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 08:06 PM
eucaryote - 30 October 2011 06:06 PM

Look at the attached spirals.

You think you see blue and green spirals, don’t you? Just as you are sure that you will always see red when you look at red.

Click on this link and see that you are wrong. Both spirals are green.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/06/24/the-blue-and-the-green/

For pedantry sake, the RGB colors in both spirals are 0, 255, 150. So they are mostly green with a solid splash of blue

This is a circumstance crafted to reveal how our experience of “qualia” is not objective. We are all programmed the same way from deep time so our brains all make the same mistake of perception.

There is no red that is red that is red. There are no qualia.

This is indicative of nothing. The brain processes information, sometimes incorrectly. Nobody believes our experiences are unmoderated.

Hee, Hee.  Well, I shouldn’t expect you to change your thinking just because I rubbed your nose in the evidence. Usually, just the opposite occurs.

This simple experiment demonstrates a couple of things.

One is that so called “subjective” experience is open to objective inquiry.
The other is that the idea of qualia is made up. We like to think that we experience the world as it is. But of course that is not true.

Though the definition of the concept of “qualia” changes as rapidly as concept is challenged, it is generally thought that quales are intrinsic properties of the world and that it takes a “conscious mind” to experience a “quale”, (blueness or greenness in this example). Like it or not, you cannot escape the perception that the image is made up of green and blue spirals. This perception is so strong that you would have bet your life on it , had I not shown you the truth. This is an objective, “peek behind the curtain” of “consciousness”. This betrays some faulty programming on the part of evolution, the illusion is shattered.

[ Edited: 30 October 2011 07:11 PM by eucaryote]
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Posted: 30 October 2011 10:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]  
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eucaryote - 29 October 2011 08:43 PM

I’ve said I don’t understand or agree with the idea of emergence. I’ve also said that I think that what you are calling consciousness is reducible to explicable facts. I don’t see how that is incompatible with science.

Just a quick reply:

Maybe you are not aware of it, but the idea that consciousness is reducible is a variation of the “consciousness is an illusion” theme. When you say C is reducible you say that “when we understand C, we will see it is just nonconscious physical ingredients”. This means that C is the result of our misunderstanding, of us being fooled, tricked, etc. Thats what reductionism entails. Reductionism only “reduces” our misconceptions. Consciousness cannot merely be a misconception, since one must be conscious to misconceive in the first place. Well actually it is possible that C is a misconception, but thats not in any way a materialist statement, just like “consciousness is a dream” isnt either.

[ Edited: 30 October 2011 10:57 PM by srrr]
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Posted: 31 October 2011 02:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]  
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eucaryote - 30 October 2011 09:47 PM
Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 06:08 PM

YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN WHY SOME COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS ARE EXPERIENCED AND OTHERS NOT.

Take it easy there Dread. This is how people behave when they are backed into a cognitive corner.

About the above. So what. That doesn’t make it unexplainable. I’ve heard Kristof Koch note that directed attention seems to be a separate phenomenon.

You may not be be paying much attention right now to the feedback from your big toe. But if I bash it with a hammer, the feedback will enter your consciousness soon enough.

I am laughing right now because you still don’t get it. You can’t save your experience is cognition nonsense without making arbitrary distinctions between which cognotive functions are expereinced and which are not. This is your theory’s death knell.

[ Edited: 31 October 2011 02:47 AM by Dreadlocks]
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Posted: 31 October 2011 02:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]  
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eucaryote - 30 October 2011 11:08 PM
Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 08:06 PM
eucaryote - 30 October 2011 06:06 PM

Look at the attached spirals.

You think you see blue and green spirals, don’t you? Just as you are sure that you will always see red when you look at red.

Click on this link and see that you are wrong. Both spirals are green.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/06/24/the-blue-and-the-green/

For pedantry sake, the RGB colors in both spirals are 0, 255, 150. So they are mostly green with a solid splash of blue

This is a circumstance crafted to reveal how our experience of “qualia” is not objective. We are all programmed the same way from deep time so our brains all make the same mistake of perception.

There is no red that is red that is red. There are no qualia.

This is indicative of nothing. The brain processes information, sometimes incorrectly. Nobody believes our experiences are unmoderated.

Hee, Hee.  Well, I shouldn’t expect you to change your thinking just because I rubbed your nose in the evidence. Usually, just the opposite occurs.

This simple experiment demonstrates a couple of things.

One is that so called “subjective” experience is open to objective inquiry.
The other is that the idea of qualia is made up. We like to think that we experience the world as it is. But of course that is not true.

Though the definition of the concept of “qualia” changes as rapidly as concept is challenged, it is generally thought that quales are intrinsic properties of the world and that it takes a “conscious mind” to experience a “quale”, (blueness or greenness in this example). Like it or not, you cannot escape the perception that the image is made up of green and blue spirals. This perception is so strong that you would have bet your life on it , had I not shown you the truth. This is an objective, “peek behind the curtain” of “consciousness”. This betrays some faulty programming on the part of evolution, the illusion is shattered.

This is irrelevant and I have already said why.

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Posted: 31 October 2011 03:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]  
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Dreadlocks - 31 October 2011 06:41 AM
eucaryote - 30 October 2011 09:47 PM
Dreadlocks - 30 October 2011 06:08 PM

YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN WHY SOME COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS ARE EXPERIENCED AND OTHERS NOT.

Take it easy there Dread. This is how people behave when they are backed into a cognitive corner.

About the above. So what. That doesn’t make it unexplainable. I’ve heard Kristof Koch note that directed attention seems to be a separate phenomenon.

You may not be be paying much attention right now to the feedback from your big toe. But if I bash it with a hammer, the feedback will enter your consciousness soon enough.

I am laughing right now because you still don’t get it. You can’t save your experience is cognition nonsense without making arbitrary distinctions between which cognotive functions are expereinced and which are not. This is your theory’s death knell.

I was going to leave it at that, but this is a golden opportunity to point out the intellectual backruptsy of your position. You do not openly acknowledge experience as a real thing separate from the act of cognition, but you implicitly acknowledge it when you concede the fact that not all cognitive functions are experienced. Your method does not lead to a prediction without ad hoc claims afterwards. You say “cognition = experience”. I say not all cognitive functions are experienced. In fact, a great deal is subconscious. Interesting word subconscious. Cognitive, but not experienced. Let’s face it, your method is just to catalog any thing that is experienced and say “x,y,and z = experience”. When it is pointed out that not all x’s are experienced you amend your position to x1, x2, but not x3. If some one points out that “w” is experienced you just add it to the list. There is no enlightment here. There is no predictive power. I will leave you to lick your wounds.

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Posted: 31 October 2011 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]  
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Dreadlocks - 31 October 2011 07:47 AM

You say “cognition = experience”.

No I didn’t say that. I said that I think that experience is the result of cognition. I said that experience represent feedback to the organism regarding the state of the world with respect to the organism. That shouldn’t be so controversial.

I think that there are obvious evolutionary reasons why an organism would cognize the outside world to begin with, why it would prove useful and adaptive. Again, it’s useful to know friend from foe and detritus from lunch. A lot of avoidance algorithms.

An organism is a group of cells that identify as a group but without specialized cognitive processes, is otherwise blind to the environment. I think it’s also obvious why an organism would select and prioritize input for response. That response is milliseconds to full seconds behind the input. Most of the input is lost, too “unimportant” to be acted on, flagged by no algorithms.

Clearly it’s not practical to respond to all inputs all of the time. High priority is to select for threats to the organism from the outside. This alone is sufficient selection pressure to favor cognitive development.

Dreadlocks - 31 October 2011 07:47 AM

I will leave you to lick your wounds.

What does this tell us about the emotional content of Dread’s “consciousness”.

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Posted: 31 October 2011 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]  
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srrr - 31 October 2011 02:54 AM

Consciousness cannot merely be a misconception, since one must be conscious to misconceive in the first place.

No. That’s solipsism, not science.

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Posted: 31 October 2011 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]  
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eucaryote - 31 October 2011 03:05 PM

No. That’s solipsism, not science.

Solipsism is the idea that only your own mind exists.

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Posted: 31 October 2011 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]  
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srrr - 31 October 2011 03:59 PM
eucaryote - 31 October 2011 03:05 PM

No. That’s solipsism, not science.

Solipsism is the idea that only your own mind exists.

More or less.  If I read you correctly you are saying that you identify entirely with your consciousness and that existence, (the outside world), is only knowable through that self, through that “consciousness”. It’s sounds like you are saying that all experience is subjective experience and that there is no such thing as objective experience? I don’t understand how science can work with out objective experience.

solipsism |?sälip?siz?m|
noun
the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.
DERIVATIVES
solipsist noun
solipsistic |?sälip?sistik| adjective
solipsistically |?sälip?sistik(?)l?| adverb
ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Latin solus ‘alone’ + ipse ‘self’ + -ism .

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Posted: 31 October 2011 10:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]  
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eucaryote - 31 October 2011 05:09 PM
srrr - 31 October 2011 03:59 PM
eucaryote - 31 October 2011 03:05 PM

No. That’s solipsism, not science.

Solipsism is the idea that only your own mind exists.

More or less.  If I read you correctly you are saying that you identify entirely with your consciousness and that existence, (the outside world), is only knowable through that self, through that “consciousness”. It’s sounds like you are saying that all experience is subjective experience and that there is no such thing as objective experience? I don’t understand how science can work with out objective experience.

I dont care if experience is subjective or objective. When two people both look at an object and see the same thing, its called “intersubjective verification”. It is still subjective experience. When two people both look at the same object, it doesnt mean that object is nonconscious. The object could be a human for instance. It also doesnt mean the two people who are looking are nonconscious, or else they wouldnt be looking and there would be no intersubjective verification in the first place.

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Posted: 01 November 2011 12:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]  
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eucaryote - 16 October 2011 10:49 PM

By the same reasoning, at one time, a chess playing machine was thought impossible. It turns out that what was once thought to be intensely conscious mental activity can be reduced to evolved algorithms. Algorithms that exist in design space, waiting to be expressed.
...
there is no “subjective self” that experiences the world second hand. That’s the trick.
...
Very difficult to demonstrate any true “free will”. At best the so called consciousness, inaccurate and blind in so many ways, plays catch up to events that have already transpired.

Eukaryote,
I’d like us to think about what makes us different as a species.
We are volitional beings – but so are all other animals.  We are rational beings; our computational ability is high – but even our computers are better at this than we are in many ways, so this cognitive ability is not so special.  We have big memory areas in our brains, enabling us to build bigger maps of reality – but these are coloured by inaccurate perceptions, instinctive biases and consciousness’s silly mind games; so again, computers are often better at tracking, representing, storing and recalling reality than we are. 

We also apply subjective values (or moral measures) to all our extrospections and introspections.  That is, we are moral beings.  This is something computers lack totally.  Other life forms display implicit values in their behaviours but only life forms close to ours display anything like our morality (e.g. chimpanzees) or our ability to make our values explicit.  It is perhaps in this one area that we are markedly different to computers and other life forms. It is what gives us purpose.
But to a hard determinist like you, even this characteristic is not ours: It is fully programmed by cause and effect.  If this is the case, then what is our gain from evolution’s achievement of human consciousness/self-awareness/sentience?  What is our species’ glory?  What becomes of our purposes, our moral evolution or our moral responsibility?
What do you think is our essential difference as a species?

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Posted: 01 November 2011 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]  
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eucaryote - 31 October 2011 02:58 PM
Dreadlocks - 31 October 2011 07:47 AM

You say “cognition = experience”.

No I didn’t say that. I said that I think that experience is the result of cognition. I said that experience represent feedback to the organism regarding the state of the world with respect to the organism. That shouldn’t be so controversial.

 

You haven’t said anything about what experience is. You have made a claim about what produces it without saying what is produced and you have made another claim about what it represents without saying what the medium is for that representation.

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