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Traces Elk
 
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Traces Elk
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09 January 2009 12:15
 
eucaryote - 08 January 2009 01:01 AM

I don’t think that’s it’s “touchy-feely”, (that’s a Californian for you), or unscientific to regard that what we call consciousness is a property only of living things. Moreover, it’s obvious on the face of it that the consciousness of an organism of it’s environment is something that is shared by even single cell creatures. And that is not to say that consciousness is strictly a property of single cells as it may very well be that what we call consciousness is a property of cellular aggregates in more complex organisms.

However, just as with most forms of woo, there is no reason to think that there is anything supernatural as to the existence of consciousness in association all manner of living creatures. Even plants exhibit “tropisms” which represent responses to perceived changes in the environment. It is hubris and woo to consider that only humans have evolved the property of consciousness or that other species haven’t evolved consciousness appropriate to their own form and the niche into which they evolved.

Okay then. In every taxonomy, we have “lumpers” and we have “splitters”. Of course, none of that would be possible without language since, as you point out, there are only artificial bins into which to classify. However, we do have a word “consciousness” and we have a word “sentience” (sensate and responsive, sensu strictu). I agree with you that the word “consciousness” originated among people who believed in ghosts, but maybe we can use it so as to distinguish something that does have a unique effect on its environment, such as the invention of libraries. I agree that being aware of your own impending demise shades imperceptibly into a transitory discomfiture upon seeing the lifeless corpse of one of your own social band of baboons.

eucaryote - 08 January 2009 01:01 AM
Salt Creek - 07 January 2009 11:39 AM

Since the only thing that really survives is a body plan, I agree with you. “Legs” are not a failed evolutionary experiment - lots of organisms go about on legs, though individual species instances do go extinct. “Species” is not devoid of meaning, though we must not make too much of it. Saying that “every organism, in its fashion, is conscious” is to go off into touchy-feely land (a kind of woo that scientists don’t bring into their public discourse). Recognizing that “consciousness (whatever it is) has not found its application in design space” is also not devoid of meaning, but unless you really want to identify the context in which it would be “appropriate”, it will take you towards woo. I hope this summarizes your advice.

I’ll have to dash your hopes. You parse my comments with a similar cognitive predisposition to the one Bruce displays. Ironically, your reflexive causticity, (being the salted one), has apparently blinded you to the fact that you have stepped in your own woo which you have then aimlessly tracked all over my otherwise to the point observations.

Don’t quarrel with a point I’m not trying to make. Say that you reject taxonomy if that is what you do. In science, taxonomy is a necessary evil. I have never made any bones about my opinion that some portion of the human genome, e.g., the part responsible for the invention of libraries, is likely to be cut out of the helix eventually.

Under motivations I cannot fathom, you seem to find it “important” to stress the unity of all life, in the context of this thread. It is woo territory, and you will find that out as soon as you try to account for your motivations.

Salt Creek - 07 January 2009 11:39 AM
eucaryote - 07 January 2009 12:51 AM

It’s hard to describe humans as conscious. That the only truthful statement is that our cells are conscious, so we are really conscious by committee. Like a pseudo-plasmodium with an eyespot, somewhat sensitive to light and sound vibrations and chemical signals in the environment but really pretty much blind.

So let’s not talk about “consciousness” then, since it is such a black hole. Inventiveness is better, nicht wahr?

Bats and butterflies and bloodhounds have sensory acuities that we don’t, but we have the transducers to make them accessible. On the other hand, they don’t build libraries in which to catalog the (presumably wider) impressions. Gene-culture coevolution will terminate before its elusiveness can be conclusively established.

[ Edited: 09 January 2009 13:04 by Traces Elk]
 
 
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09 January 2009 13:32
 
Bruce Burleson - 07 January 2009 10:26 PM

The objective component is the story about Jesus in the Gospels. The subjective component is the individual’s reaction to that story.

lindajean - 07 January 2009 08:54 PM


Because something makes sense to you, how do you know that it is really valid or the truth?  What do you juxtapose it with to test it or to see if it really is true?

lindajean - 07 January 2009 08:54 PM

But what if it really does not make sense?  How do you tell the difference between something that makes sense and you just rationalizing it?  How do you decide between the two?

It is tested in the same way any relationship is - by time and circumstance. For me that process is ongoing, but so far it’s lasted almost 40 years.

It comes down to evaluating one’s experience and making a judgment about the validity of it.

The subjective component is the individual’s reaction to the story. Liking the experience of liking the experience. There’s no problem with understanding the rationalization. What is more difficult to understand is the motivation to tell other people about the subjective component of liking the liking of the experience of the rationalization. The evident pleasure that rationalizing the liking of the experience of liking the opportunity to explain the motivation of the understanding of the rationalization is evident.

It doesn’t help people who are suffering right now, except to provide them hope that there will be a better day.

Well, then. That hope, plus a shiny coin, keeps countless folks buying food and toilet tissue to wipe off the residue. In between, of course is the pleasure of the experience of rationalizing the motivation of experiencing the pleasure of the rationalization.

Bruce Burleson - 07 January 2009 10:26 PM

If we all followed the teachings of Jesus, we could eliminate most of the suffering in the world today.

Or at least be instrumental in helping your team win the BCS championship. Ya gotta serve somebody. Look at the grease patches under the eyes of champion Tim Tebow. Thank you Jay-zus.

And though her eyes are fixed upon Noah’s great rainbow
She spends her time peeking into Desolation Row

 
 
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09 January 2009 14:26
 
Salt Creek - 09 January 2009 06:32 PM

In between, of course is the pleasure of the experience of rationalizing the motivation of experiencing the pleasure of the rationalization.

Precisely. What’s even better is writing/talking about the experience…......

 
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09 January 2009 15:10
 
Bruce Burleson - 09 January 2009 04:36 AM
Aaron - 08 January 2009 09:49 PM

Consider selling.

Gotta live somewhere, and from what I can tell, you guys live on a dead-end street with no lights.

,
This is either a misunderstanding or wishful thinking on your part.

I like nice, bright gated communities, personally.

That metaphor needs no further explanation.

 
 
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09 January 2009 17:41
 
Aaron - 09 January 2009 08:10 PM
Bruce Burleson - 09 January 2009 04:36 AM
Aaron - 08 January 2009 09:49 PM

Consider selling.

Gotta live somewhere, and from what I can tell, you guys live on a dead-end street with no lights.


This is either a misunderstanding or wishful thinking on your part.

Most likely it’s both, I’d say.
 

Aaron - 09 January 2009 08:10 PM
Bruce Burleson - 09 January 2009 04:36 AM

I like nice, bright gated communities, personally.

That metaphor needs no further explanation.

Agreed. It translates functionally to:
“I’m an ideological coward—unwilling to face reality as-is. I choose instead to pretend I believe the world is actually the way I’d like it to be.”

That’s a nice demonstration of the true colors of religious faith.

Well done there, Bruce.

Byron

 
 
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10 January 2009 16:14
 
Salt Creek - 09 January 2009 05:15 PM
eucaryote - 08 January 2009 01:01 AM

I don’t think that’s it’s “touchy-feely”, (that’s a Californian for you), or unscientific to regard that what we call consciousness is a property only of living things. Moreover, it’s obvious on the face of it that the consciousness of an organism of it’s environment is something that is shared by even single cell creatures. And that is not to say that consciousness is strictly a property of single cells as it may very well be that what we call consciousness is a property of cellular aggregates in more complex organisms.

However, just as with most forms of woo, there is no reason to think that there is anything supernatural as to the existence of consciousness in association all manner of living creatures. Even plants exhibit “tropisms” which represent responses to perceived changes in the environment. It is hubris and woo to consider that only humans have evolved the property of consciousness or that other species haven’t evolved consciousness appropriate to their own form and the niche into which they evolved.

Okay then. In every taxonomy, we have “lumpers” and we have “splitters”. Of course, none of that would be possible without language since, as you point out, there are only artificial bins into which to classify. However, we do have a word “consciousness” and we have a word “sentience” (sensate and responsive, sensu strictu). I agree with you that the word “consciousness” originated among people who believed in ghosts, but maybe we can use it so as to distinguish something that does have a unique effect on its environment, such as the invention of libraries. I agree that being aware of your own impending demise shades imperceptibly into a transitory discomfiture upon seeing the lifeless corpse of one of your own social band of baboons.

I’m not inclined to gainsay the simplest meanings of words. Attendance to the simplest of definitions imbues language with clarity and reasoning with coherence.

If in your taxonomy of awarenesses, you recognize overt activities such as library building as some “special consciousness”, that is especially or in some way NOT a function of the biology with which it is associated, then you are wading in your own woo.

I see no connection between consciousness and invention, of libraries or anything else. Evolution shows us that the most unique inventions, (like us) are the result of a process that is completely mindless and purposeless.

It is anthropocentric to consider that “invention” or “design”, is strictly a unique function of human “minds” or human “consciousnesses”. Moreover, it’s important to understand that human invention and design really represents, in a secondary sense, the inexorable process of evolution at work in the world. Humans and the “human consciousness” are simply the tools by which evolution creates human artifacts. Humans do not “invent” artifacts, evolution uses humans to mine them from design space. Haven’t you ever wondered why the designs of human artifacts follow the “trajectories”, that they do? We can always see in retrospect, the a priori existence of discovered design, but only in retrospect.

If ever there were an invisible hand, it was not that of Adam Smith, it was Darwin’s.

See The Evolution of Useful Things

Is there anything unique about our consciousness that allow us as a species to create the kind of artifacts, and “entertain the ideas”, that we do? Of course. That’s just a circular definition. We do what evolution built us to do. Is there anything transcendent about our consciousness? I don’t see how. I think the door is entirely open to consciousnesses even more profound, making us seem blind and dense, but they will still be rooted in some biology, or hardware in the physical world. On a cosmic scale of possible consciousness, we probably rank somewhere above, “barely”, and “semi”.

eucaryote - 08 January 2009 01:01 AM
Salt Creek - 07 January 2009 11:39 AM

Since the only thing that really survives is a body plan, I agree with you. “Legs” are not a failed evolutionary experiment - lots of organisms go about on legs, though individual species instances do go extinct. “Species” is not devoid of meaning, though we must not make too much of it. Saying that “every organism, in its fashion, is conscious” is to go off into touchy-feely land (a kind of woo that scientists don’t bring into their public discourse). Recognizing that “consciousness (whatever it is) has not found its application in design space” is also not devoid of meaning, but unless you really want to identify the context in which it would be “appropriate”, it will take you towards woo. I hope this summarizes your advice.

I’ll have to dash your hopes. You parse my comments with a similar cognitive predisposition to the one Bruce displays. Ironically, your reflexive causticity, (being the salted one), has apparently blinded you to the fact that you have stepped in your own woo which you have then aimlessly tracked all over my otherwise to the point observations.

It’s hard to describe humans as conscious. That the only truthful statement is that our cells are conscious, so we are really conscious by committee. Like a pseudo-plasmodium with an eyespot, somewhat sensitive to light and sound vibrations and chemical signals in the environment but really pretty much blind.

Salt Creek - 09 January 2009 05:15 PM

Don’t quarrel with a point I’m not trying to make. Say that you reject taxonomy if that is what you do. In science, taxonomy is a necessary evil. I have never made any bones about my opinion that some portion of the human genome, e.g., the part responsible for the invention of libraries, is likely to be cut out of the helix eventually.

Under motivations I cannot fathom, you seem to find it “important” to stress the unity of all life, in the context of this thread. It is woo territory, and you will find that out as soon as you try to account for
your motivations.

I admit only following my interest in this thread, if you read my posts, you’ll see I made consistent observations. It was your suggestion that the workings of Bruce’s consciousness was somehow disparate from his biology. That’s what is woo.

As I recall the thread is about the logical disconnect between an all powerful loving god that brings evil into the world and causes his creations intolerable pain and suffering even as he loves them. I described us all as psuedo-plasmodiums or semi blind, cellular committee creatures and described a cognitive process by which simple “consciousnesses” dealt with such cognitive disconnects or non sequiturs. I suggested that without intervening reason, that if it makes no difference otherwise, it is more economical for the committee creature to filter cognitions that are dissonant with how the creature had structured it’s consciousness in the past….or had it structured for it. The creature is more likely re-cognize the information and force the territory to fit the map rather that redraw the map. Bruce has no compelling reason to change his beliefs, something that could only occur at great cost to his world view.  It’s actually more economical for him to generate reams of rationalization than to lose his faith.

This is what I see Bruce doing. It’s clearly driven him and possibly some of the other participants in the thread insane. I see us as a bunch of pseudo-plasmodiums feeling each other up with words. When we project a mind like ours into Bruce, it doesn’t compute. But that’s because we don’t have the same cognitive filters in place. We all know where Bruce can find those who would nod their heads and agree with him. I suppose it makes his faith stronger to get beaten up by atheists on a regular basis. It strengthens the filters to exercise them.

Salt Creek - 07 January 2009 11:39 AM

So let’s not talk about “consciousness” then, since it is such a black hole. Inventiveness is better, nicht wahr?

Bats and butterflies and bloodhounds have sensory acuities that we don’t, but we have the transducers to make them accessible. On the other hand, they don’t build libraries in which to catalog the (presumably wider) impressions. Gene-culture coevolution will terminate before its elusiveness can be conclusively established.

Well, some human artifacts are instruments which temporarily extend our senses but not necessarily our awareness. Certainly not as far as the mass of humanity goes. I base some of my take on consciousness from having spent long hours as a youth watching protozoa through my microscope. These single cell creatures live remarkably intricate lives and easily demonstrate sense/response.

There is no “mind” that is some single separate thing from it’s biological basis. There is no single consciousness. That is an illusion. There are as many versions of consciousness in an organism as there are supporting cells.

I’m not sure what you meant by your last sentence.

[ Edited: 10 January 2009 16:19 by eucaryote]
 
 
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10 January 2009 19:55
 

I hope I won’t be seen as kissing up to the great Salt Creek here, but his library example is more effective and compelling than it might seem at first glance.

In another thread the other day, someone was talking about the uniquely human ability—or perhaps it’s more of a curse—for individuals to understand and acknowledge death as applying to themselves eventually, and that such knowledge differentiates us from other beasts. But it seems likely to me that unusually bright individuals of other species, the geniuses of bell-curve inevitability, have shared in this obscure and somewhat frightful knowledge.

Our natural IQ, so to speak, is practically nil compared to what an athletic albatross has, or even a mild mannered bat, squirrel, wasp, . . . these and zillions of other creatures understand their natural environment far better than any samharris regular, it seems obvious to me. I have smoked nothing, by the way, in quite some time, though the occasional batch of green-tainted cookies does manage to show up in my freezer, but none are there now.

What actually differentiates us from the other creatures is our ability to talk and write. Other animals may have extremely clever communication systems, but none of them results in libraries being built and filled with documents that contain words. We’re complete freaks of nature, literally, by way of our amazingly adaptive, resilient and seemingly-permanent word-based languages, though quite a few other communication systems remain in place in our cultures, such as what can be imbedded in the tones of our voices, the movements of our bodies and various artistic ways including musical performance, drawing, painting, sculpting, etc.

An elephant who’s more insightful than all other elephants over the past millennium may very well at least partially understand the inevitability of its eventual death. How does it convey such a sad and unwelcome message to others? Does it even want to? How would it attempt such a thing? It would be like burt trying to explain his specialized craft to me without having taken me through it step-by-step, starting back when I was a youngster. At my advanced age, I’d of course demand that he change the subject because I wouldn’t have any idea what he was talking about.

Libraries are so useful because they convey information from folks like burt and Salt Creek to folks like me. I’m guessing that we’re the only species with such an extraordinary distinction, though I suspect that we’ll split up if given enough time, as S.C. suggests. Romance will probably keep things going as they are for quite a while, however.

If you can understand words, you can understand things that are far beyond your capabilities. That’s my perhaps foolish opinion.

 
 
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10 January 2009 20:05
 

Yes, language is probably more important than consciousness, and does more to separate us from the other primates and mammals and thus all other life forms on this planet.

It was as Jared Diamond referred to it as-‘The Great Leap Forward’

 
 
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10 January 2009 20:35
 
McCreason - 11 January 2009 01:05 AM

Yes, language is probably more important than consciousness, and does more to separate us from the other primates and mammals and thus all other life forms on this planet.

It was as Jared Diamond referred to it as-‘The Great Leap Forward’

Not sure I agree that language is more important than consciousness, although some people would say that language is required for consciousness.  Personally, I’d say that consciousness plus a highly developed nervous system (plus the vocal apparatus, etc.) is required for language.  I can pass on paraphrases of some comments made by Jacob Bronowski in discussing animal and human communication: animals communicate in words, humans communicate in sentences; and, it isn’t that animals don’t have dialogue, what they don’t have is monologue.

 
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10 January 2009 21:20
 
burt - 11 January 2009 01:35 AM

. . . [A]nimals communicate in words, humans communicate in sentences; and, it isn’t that animals don’t have dialogue, what they don’t have is monologue.

Just when I’d assumed I’d have a problem-free rest, you have to come up with that? I’ll need ask my cognitive psychologist friend about this next week, but I can already guess about what he’ll say. I’m not sure I’ll agree with him.

 
 
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10 January 2009 21:27
 
unknown zone - 11 January 2009 12:55 AM

I hope I won’t be seen as kissing up to the great Salt Creek here, but his library example is more effective and compelling than it might seem at first glance.

In another thread the other day, someone was talking about the uniquely human ability—or perhaps it’s more of a curse—for individuals to understand and acknowledge death

What actually differentiates us from the other creatures is our ability to talk and write. Other animals may have extremely clever communication systems, but none of them results in libraries being built and filled with documents that contain words.

That’s ok unknown, as you know, it’s not possible to kiss up to Salty, that’s to his credit.

Yes, as Daniel Dennett would say, language is an enormous crane, almost an enormous as sex, (recombination), but a crane nonetheless. Not a skyhook. The hardware of language is rooted in our evolved organic brain space. Again, what this does more than anything is to tie the limits of consciousness to the limits of evolved biological hardware. No woo. No special capacity, just an increased, specialized, and even a progressive capacity to mine the same design space in a different, but not necessarily superior way. That’s a value judgment. Likely most creatures are happy with their lot. They are lucky to have it.
Dennett has noted that he has often observed that small cranes are used to build larger cranes which in turn are used to create that which appears magic once the crane is removed.

 
 
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11 January 2009 10:06
 
eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

I’m not inclined to gainsay the simplest meanings of words. Attendance to the simplest of definitions imbues language with clarity and reasoning with coherence.

If your aim was clarity and coherence, you certainly could have said that in fewer and shorter words. Your interest may not be the analytic, and whether or not there is a prize at the bottom of the box, scientific analysis makes distinctions you may not be interested in.

“Design space” is a somewhat obscurantist substitute for “universe of possibilities”. If you just wrote “possibility”, your ‘clarity’ would increase, but profundity in other people’s eyes would tend to tail off a bit. You’re also opening up the can of semantic worms as between “discovery” and “invention”. Sure, critters “discover” their niches in “evolutionary design space”. Don’t use that word “design” around god-botherers.

It’s simply not a very penetrating analysis to say that anything that happens must be possible. It’s cute, though, and makes a good aphorism in the fortune program, if you apply the right metaphor: “The secret to stumbling upon a gold mine lies in long preparation.”

eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

If in your taxonomy of awarenesses, you recognize overt activities such as library building as some “special consciousness”, that is especially or in some way NOT a function of the biology with which it is associated, then you are wading in your own woo.

I’m the last person to say that inventing writing and building libraries show a sprinkling of some “special spice” on the human organism. Describing everything as simply “exploiting an available niche in evolutionary design space” is a kind of philosophical relativism. It’s an abdication from analytical thinking and suggests to me some sort of post-structuralism. This may not be woo, but it is anti-scientific.

eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

I see no connection between consciousness and invention, of libraries or anything else. Evolution shows us that the most unique inventions, (like us) are the result of a process that is completely mindless and purposeless.

That is because, on the basis of some reasoning you are not disclosing, you do not make a distinction between “discovery” and “invention”. Certainly you can erase the distinction by looking at the living world the way you do. And then what? Is there some impending prescription for human beings that allows them to live in better harmony with nature? No. You’ve already implied that everything human beings do is in their “nature”. Post-structuralism is wonderful though: It produces self-debunking nonsense. For that alone, we must honor it.

In your panic to make sure everyone (including the god-botherers) understands that evolution is purposeless, you’re ready to abandon taxonomy, and with it, the enterprise of science. I see some post-structuralist woo in there, lurking quietly, waiting for its chance to exploit an opening in philosophical design space.

eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

It is anthropocentric to consider that “invention” or “design”, is strictly a unique function of human “minds” or human “consciousnesses”.

Fail, irrelevant distraction. “Invention” and “discovery” are human-fashioned categories, and it is evidently a choice of yours to abandon them. It’s anthropocentric to assert that human beings are the target of evolution. It’s philosophical relativism to assert that all life forms are just stumbling upon available strategies in design space. You have nothing to say after that, unless a moral tale is waiting in the wings, perhaps one with an anti-scientific bias. If you reject taxonomy, as you plainly do, one can only say that you do not wish to do science. Taxonomy is not the final objective of science, but you cannot proceed as a scientist without a taxonomy. Or perhaps you have a “new theory”, one that will end all theories.

eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

Moreover, it’s important to understand that human invention and design really represents, in a secondary sense, the inexorable process of evolution at work in the world. Humans and the “human consciousness” are simply the tools by which evolution creates human artifacts. Humans do not “invent” artifacts, evolution uses humans to mine them from design space.

That last bit sounds very woo-ish. The announcement of post-structural blurring of all products of observation is making itself heard. Giving itself a voice. The devil’s bargain is that it must give up the the faculty of vision in order to use its “voice”. Philosophical relativism/post-structuralism is all broadcast and no reception. The honor that we accord post-structuralism for its critical rigor is tempered by our annoyance at its self-centeredness.

eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

Haven’t you ever wondered why the designs of human artifacts follow the “trajectories”, that they do? We can always see in retrospect, the a priori existence of discovered design, but only in retrospect.

Scientists do not waste their time on “why” questions. How human artifacts fly through design space can be recorded, but the invariant is that the blade keeps getting sharper. Optimization (even local) is a mathematical concept, incorporating the notion of the gradient operator. Stop bullshitting me. Don’t look at the blade from a relativist perspective of “utility”- what a touchy-feely philosophical waste and wibble. Think more globally; look at it as an optimization. Yes, of course, the human species can breed itself into collapse and extinction. Extinction happens to all species.

eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

I think the door is entirely open to consciousnesses even more profound, making us seem blind and dense, but they will still be rooted in some biology, or hardware in the physical world.

What does “profound” mean in that sentence? It is not “profundity” that strikes a chord with the scientist. Unless you take a stab at it, and maybe even more clearly upon doing so, your woo is showing.

eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

I described us all as psuedo-plasmodiums or semi blind, cellular committee creatures and described a cognitive process by which simple “consciousnesses” dealt with such cognitive disconnects or non sequiturs. I suggested that without intervening reason, that if it makes no difference otherwise, it is more economical for the committee creature to filter cognitions that are dissonant with how the creature had structured it’s consciousness in the past….or had it structured for it. The creature is more likely re-cognize the information and force the territory to fit the map rather that redraw the map. Bruce has no compelling reason to change his beliefs, something that could only occur at great cost to his world view.  It’s actually more economical for him to generate reams of rationalization than to lose his faith.

You can probably defeat Bruce’s argument with post-structuralism. Relatively speaking, it will be said that you had a “better” argument. All you see around you, however, is nails (sensory data), and that makes every tool you have appear to be a hammer (poetic realism). If you decline a taxonomy, I think you owe it to us to explain in some depth your reasoning upon doing so. If you are motivated by woo, we will discover it. If your motivation is only to defeat Bruce’s argument with post structuralism, you will win only a Pyrrhic victory.

eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

I see us as a bunch of pseudo-plasmodiums feeling each other up with words.

Symbolic data, in other, um, words. There’s a way out of that morass, you know. It’s called methodological materialism. You may have to drop relativism in order to practice it. Perhaps you just assert that symbolic data are “out there” in “design space” waiting to be “invented”. Then what?

eucaryote - 10 January 2009 09:14 PM

Well, some human artifacts are instruments which temporarily extend our senses but not necessarily our awareness.

There’s something of an Aufbau to human “awareness”. You don’t have all of it as a neonate. Everything thereafter helps to build it. Bruce has some filters in place to keep some of that information out. His awareness is primitive, and he labels it “transcendent” to cover up the fact. He has no interest in scientific observation. His interest is clogged by some shit that got in there while his awareness was building itself. His response is idiosyncratic - and the amount of energy he spends rejecting the additional information helps him ignore what a waste the other shit clogging his system has become. He’s just hoping to live out the rest of his life without decompensating. He can still be a productive attorney. Expert witnesses handle the science stuff for him.

Gene-culture coevolution will terminate before its elusiveness can be conclusively established. Even if the last humans on Earth are Christians, they will still be the last humans on Earth.

[ Edited: 11 January 2009 11:42 by Traces Elk]
 
 
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11 January 2009 10:14
 
burt - 11 January 2009 01:35 AM

I can pass on paraphrases of some comments made by Jacob Bronowski in discussing animal and human communication: animals communicate in words, humans communicate in sentences; and, it isn’t that animals don’t have dialogue, what they don’t have is monologue.

It’s true. Humans have “monologue”. Like, oh, wow, maaaan. That monologue, as far as I can tell, grades imperceptibly off into whatever it is that’s going on when a chimp masturbates. All that monologue, plus a shiny coin…. You know the drill. Unless, of course, you can bend a spoon with it. If all you can do is bend your dick with it, you’re nothing special.

 
 
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