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Panpsychism
Posted: 12 February 2008 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]  
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Nhoj Morley - 12 February 2008 01:05 PM

You are creating numerous orbiting sub-atomic flies. You’re going to exhaust us with all the swatting.

Still, swatters run deep. It is to Mr. Teeth-Goatee’s credit that he has attracted a bevy of the forum’s most discerning members to paddle the air with their discernment. The woo-woo orchestra is in full swing, and we are the tune. Listen to the whistling in the dark.

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Posted: 12 February 2008 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]  
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Leave it to old Creeky to give things an unnecessary religious overtone. Who can hear whistling over the din of the carnival dunk tank? I’m sure any of us bevyites will send you a PM the moment we’re no longer standing on the same ground that you are. We come for the floor show just like you do so shut up and drink your latte. Or have a throw….

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Posted: 12 February 2008 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]  
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Nhoj Morley - 12 February 2008 02:01 PM

We come for the floor show just like you do so shut up and drink your latte. Or have a throw….

I did. And I did. I also used the word “we”, after all. Weeeeeeeeee. It’s like being at a water park. But not in Royal Oak in February.

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Posted: 12 February 2008 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]  
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That’s the ticket. Weeeeeeeeeee!

Actually, we get a 40-50 degree water park every Tuesday which freezes like a photograph by Wednesday morning and plunges to 0 in time for the weekend snowstorm. Watching us live here makes a good case for that human extinction argument.

I gotta quit. My right eye is gone.
I’ve been meaning to ask Sander if he has developed a taste for Great Lakes snow.

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Posted: 12 February 2008 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]  
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In an ideal cyber-world, both of the forum contributors who’ve referred to having published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies would pick apart each other’s words on the subject of consciousness. I’d actually pay to see it, especially if I’d be allowed to enter the fray now and then.

[ Edited: 12 February 2008 10:17 AM by nv]
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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
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Posted: 12 February 2008 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]  
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Nhoj Morley - 12 February 2008 01:05 PM

I have to give him a B- on the whole ...

WTF are we talking about? Did you bring up Ludwig as part of some progression toward something? Why not a philosophy thread? We already know that quantum comedy isn’t funny in the macro world. Did you want to start a science thread? I was looking forward to hearing more about bopp and goofy and their friends. I thought you were going to do some mental stuff. I don’t want to put words in your avatar but is the omnium like a sub-atomic realm, or a convention center in Atlanta or some other thing? I thought you agreed that a TOE was not needed to explain the human mind.

Oy vey! Beta minus? I should make matzo balls with all my posts! And WTF! WTF is the problem? I announce panpsychism, limber up with Bopp, Goof and Soia, reconstruct being and time from quantum qualia in the omniatic flux, deconstruct the transgressive narrative behind logical positivism, celebrate a brilliant idea from yours truly about faith, fend off a perverse attack with a discussion of civilization and its discontents, and launch on a manic rant culminating in wild hosannas to the Global Online Dominion. If panpsycho is truly pan, then this is all in a day’s work for a trainee psycho.

If this is not mental stuff, I don’t know what is. But I take your point and shall try to do justice to this central theme. First, to swat another fly, the omnium is just the plenum of life, the universe and everything. It is all that is and could be and could have been and so on. It is all the worlds that were and are and ever shall be. It is the state space of the universe, the space that wannabe timelord Julian Barbour calls Platonia, in which, as he puts it, the quantum mist settles around the traveled paths.

To mental stuff. I would happily tell wayward anecdotes about Bopp and Goofy, but first let us deal soberly with Soia, the self of introspective awareness, which Douglas Hofstadter sees as the phenomenal manifestation of a strange loop and which Daniel Dennett sees as the outcome of cranial pandemonium as cognitive demons implemented in neural wetware slug it out in the Darwinian jungle of the neocortex.

My rational epiphany here came at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, in September 2002, where at a New York Academy of Sciences conference orchestrated by neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux a panoply of Nobelists and other luminaries from Gazzaniga to Damasio to Dennett regaled us with thrilling tales of neuroscienific progress which I wrote up as a breathless report for the Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10(2), 2003, pp 67-85.

My culminating paragraph from that report: “The cerebral EM field is still terra incognita. This is the critical weakness in the neurological concept of self. Perhaps the photonic self will one day be seen to rise as far above the neurological self as the neurological self rises above the genomic self. Perhaps we shall even glimpse a hierarchy of selves, soaring through the hierarchy of Buddhas into Cantor’s transfinite paradise.”

As you may guess, my own thing here is the cerebral EM field, which because its quantum properties are interesting I call the cerebral photonic field. My own, ahem, Photonic Theory of Consciousness (see the eponymous PowerPoint show I presented at the Towards a Science of Consciousness conference in Prague in July 2003, at http://www.andyross.net/publications.htm) is in my view a more plausible candidate theory than the microtubular “Orch OR” (for “orchestrated objective reduction” - of the wavefunction for the conjectured microwave laser action in the cerebral microtubules) theory formerly advocated by renowned mathematical physicist Roger Penrose and Arizona anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff.

This really sounds nutty as a fruit cake, now I come to mention it all. Perhaps I better shuffle off and play my banjo in solitude ...

[ Edited: 13 February 2008 11:16 AM by AtheEisegete]
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Posted: 12 February 2008 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]  
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I have an anecdote about Alexander Cockburn...

Well, I used to anyway.  I can’t exactly remember the point any more.

[ Edited: 12 February 2008 11:56 AM by M is for Malapert]
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Posted: 12 February 2008 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]  
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homunculus - 12 February 2008 03:06 PM

In an ideal cyber-world, both of the forum contributors who’ve referred to having published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies would pick apart each other’s words on the subject of consciousness. I’d actually pay to see it, especially if I’d be allowed to enter the fray now and then.

Yeah!  Please!

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“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

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Posted: 12 February 2008 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]  
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Nhoj Morley - 12 February 2008 02:40 PM

I’ve been meaning to ask Sander if he has developed a taste for Great Lakes snow.

Haven’t made it to chicago yet. I should be there shortly though.

Cheers.

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Posted: 13 February 2008 12:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]  
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Sander - 12 February 2008 09:01 PM
Nhoj Morley - 12 February 2008 02:40 PM

I’ve been meaning to ask Sander if he has developed a taste for Great Lakes snow.

Haven’t made it to chicago yet. I should be there shortly though.

Cheers.

Unless he gets man-napped and taken to the desert instead!  big surprise  wink

———————————————————————————————————-

Gete, If you haven’t already, check out Howard Bloom’s “The Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century.”

I think Bloom gets at what you’re trying to get at eloquently, intelligently, and intelligibly without relying on an ancient and abstract metaphysical doctrine such as panpsychism (which has no bearing on any scientific work*) as a foundation.

*according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Posted: 13 February 2008 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]  
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isocratic infidel - 13 February 2008 05:05 AM

Howard Bloom’s “The Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century” ... gets at what you’re trying to get at eloquently, intelligently, and intelligibly without relying on an ancient and abstract metaphysical doctrine such as panpsychism (which has no bearing on any scientific work*) as a foundation.

*according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Sure, I enjoyed Bloom’s book, despite the amazing tide of notes and references. I thought his central thesis had some inspirational merit.

But why hide behind the Stanford E of P? The cited opinion is no less debatable for being enclosed in that august work. As U (i.e. i.i.) may have sussed, I think there is something to be salvaged in the venerable doctrine of panpsychism, not as a banner for a great movement but just as a useful oddball label for a position that leverages that central oddity.

In short, mind dilates to accommodate the care devoted to its calming. If the mind has a temperature, defined as the average EM energy of its constituent thoughts, then a calmed mind can approximate absolute zero, 0 K (OK?). Perhaps then we experience a phase transition to quantum coherence. To my knowledge, no-one has yet investigated the conditions under which deep-radio photons (in the dekahertz range generated by brainwaves) exhibit quantum behavior. Such a coherent state delocalizes (the spherically symmetric wavefront is a null geodesic) and might seem like “cosmic mind”.

This is a wild idea, of course. Panpsychism is way out west in the wackiest “Burning Man” voodoo. All the more reason to give it a spin, imho.

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Posted: 15 February 2008 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]  
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M is for Malapert - 12 February 2008 04:58 PM
homunculus - 12 February 2008 03:06 PM

In an ideal cyber-world, both of the forum contributors who’ve referred to having published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies would pick apart each other’s words on the subject of consciousness. I’d actually pay to see it, especially if I’d be allowed to enter the fray now and then.

Yeah!  Please!

I am sufficiently above the JCS fray to take on all its contributors at once, indeed via the keyword panpsychism. I’m not too proud to accept any worthless dollars, mortgage papers and junk bonds you care to mail me.

Consciousness is a concept we use for our most universal waking state of mind, when we are aware of all that buzzes around us and have our acts together. We can lose it with a bang on the head or a drink too many. The state need not be generated in our heads. Our brains may be more like TV sets tuning in to the universal vibes. We know that the logic of the self is indefinitely extensible. The action-perception cycle can be small and tight, as when fast reflexes are in play, or big and dilated, as when contemplating the eternal questions. We can be selfish and live for the moment or be big-hearted and act for the greater good of the planet.

As I see it, all these possible circles of the self define mindworlds. Reality is just the set of all actual and possible mindworlds. So panpsychism, in the sense that reality is made of the same stuff as mind and features in an infinity of mindworlds, some of them in our little consciousnesses and others just part of the undiscovered ocean of prefixed consciousness, where the prefix comes from the set (un, sub, infra, ultra, super, hyper, ...), is on this view almost trivially true. Given the definitions, of course, which is precisely where a smart JCS contributor would seek to trip me up by asking me what features in prefix-consciousness correspond to quarks or black holes or big G and what possible scientific evidence could support such nonsense.

OK, guys, sharpen up and test your wits against grandmaster AtheE!

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Posted: 15 February 2008 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]  
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AtheEisegete - 15 February 2008 02:25 PM

We can be selfish and live for the moment or be big-hearted and act for the greater good of the planet.

Ah. Finally. Some specifics.

This seldom-articulated insight brought to you by The Journal Of Consciousness Studlies.

[ Edited: 15 February 2008 09:58 AM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 15 February 2008 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]  
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Salt Creek - 15 February 2008 02:54 PM
AtheEisegete - 15 February 2008 02:25 PM

We can be selfish and live for the moment or be big-hearted and act for the greater good of the planet.

Ah. Finally. Some specifics.

This seldom-articulated insight brought to you by The Journal Of Consciousness Studlies.

Maybe I am jaded, and maybe it is only because I know something about this journal, but rarely does a post make me laugh out loud as this one has.

Thanks SC.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 15 February 2008 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]  
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AtheEisegete - 15 February 2008 02:25 PM

Our brains may be more like TV sets tuning in to the universal vibes. We know that the logic of the self is indefinitely extensible.

Unlike, may we say, that of a TV set, whose logic is definitely extensible.

Knowing that the logic of the self is indefinitely extensible is like knowing anything else equally indefinite. In other words, it’s like knowing everything, but only indefinitely.

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