Questioning Consciousness

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Tue May 29, 2018 10:16 pm


http://www.smoking-mirrors.com/2018/05/ ... crazy.html


… The future is in free fall, even though it never arrives. It is an interesting feature of time that very few people see and that is that the moment we are in is the only place we can ever be. There is only now and ever will be. Strange things happen to people who can sink into the moment. The moment has a trick feature where it expands and expands, until the sensation is as if the waterfall of eternity were pouring through it.

There is no past. There is only the mind reaching behind. There is no future. There is only the mind reaching ahead. Most everyone lives in a fantasy world of manufactured, imaginary time zones. When you are young you live in the future and when you get older you live in the past. There is projection and reflection and it has the atmosphere of a dream. It is dreamlike. Like a movie playing on the mind-screen. It just goes by and eventually you wonder where it went and did it happen? The wheel of fire turns endlessly. It is the fire of desire and it flows from one life to the next.

What takes place in my heart and mind cannot be spoken of. Informed people have known this for centuries. Meher Baba let his silence speak for him.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby DrEvil » Tue May 29, 2018 11:11 pm

^^I've complained to you about this before, but in case you missed it, here it is from the posting guidelines:

This is an anti-fascist board. Propagation of fascist, neo-Nazi and "white pride" causes, including sympathetically linking to sites which advocate such, will not be permitted. This includes revisionist histories of the Holocaust.


That's several times just the last few months you've posted from sites that push Holocaust denial. Can you pretty please not post that shit here, or at the very least add a disclaimer first so people don't accidentally give the Nazi apologists any extra traffic?
"I only read American. I want my fantasy pure." - Dave
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby liminalOyster » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:24 pm

Decapitated Worms Regrow Heads, Keep Old Memories
Carrie Arnold
July 16, 2013

In French Revolution-style, researchers decapitated flatworms—then did something that would give even Madam Defarge the creeps.

The scientists let the worms’ heads grow back and found that their memories returned along with the new noggins, according to a new study in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Michael Levin and Tal Shomrat, biologists at Tufts University, have been studying how animals store and process information, whether it’s memories in the brain or the blueprint for developing organs in the body.

The team turned to flatworms because, despite their relative simplicity, they have many of the same organs and body organization as people: a brain and nervous system, bilateral symmetry, and even some of the same behaviors.

Flatworms “also have many of the same neurotransmitters as we do, and have been shown in older studies to remember complex tasks,” Levin said. (Read more about memory in National Geographic magazine.)

Yet unlike people, these worms have a remarkable ability to regenerate organs and body parts, including their brains—making them perfect research subjects.

In the spotlight

Planarian flatworms are a hugely diverse array of small non-parasitic worms found in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

They have primitive eyes that can detect light, which they generally avoid—being in light makes them more obvious to predators.

To train the worms that lighted areas were safe and contained food, the researchers used a computerized device to continually track the worms’ behavior, providing rewards when a worm ventured into the bright spots and punishments when it remained in the dark.

“We used this device to get worms used to a dish with a peculiar laser-etched surface. When they remember this surface, they will rapidly approach a piece of liver to eat it, as opposed to spending much time circling around the dish to get the lay of the land,” Levin said.

Off With Their Heads

After the team verified that the worms had memorized where to find food, they chopped off the worms’ heads and let them regrow, which took two weeks.

Then the team showed the worms with the regrown heads where to find food, essentially a refresher course of their light training before decapitation.

Subsequent experiments showed that the worms remembered where the light spot was, that it was safe, and that food could be found there. The worms’ memories were just as accurate as those worms who had never lost their heads. (Test your memory with a National Geographic game.)

Memory Beyond the Brain

The obvious question remains: How can a worm remember things after losing its head?

“We have no idea,” Levin admitted. “What we do know is that memory can be stored outside the brain—presumably in other body cells—so that [memories] can get imprinted onto the new brain as it regenerates.”

Researchers have long confined their investigations of memory and learning to the brain, Levin said, but these results may encourage them to look elsewhere. (Read about a tadpole that can see through an eye implanted on its tail.)

“We’ve established a new model system in which our future work will be able to figure out how memories get encoded and decoded to and from living tissues.”

And given that we can’t regrow their heads, it’s unlikely that decapitation will ever become a serious memory aid for frantic students before exams.

https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/201 ... -memories/

"It's not rocket surgery." - Elvis
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Pele'sDaughter » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:19 am

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/07/61786346 ... paign=news

Honeybees understand that "nothing" can be "something" that has numerical meaning, showing that they have a primitive grasp of the concept of zero.

That's according to a newly published study in Science, which shows that bees possess a mathematical ability once thought to exist only in dolphins, primates, birds and humans who are beyond the preschool years.

"This is quite amazing, in my view, that bees can really do it," says Andreas Nieder, a scientist who studies how animals' process the idea of "nothing" and was not part of the research team.

He says zero was discovered relatively recently in human history, and was essential in the development of both mathematics and science. "It's a hard and very abstract concept," Nieder says. "It is a sort of eccentric uncle in the number family."

Previous experiments have shown that honeybees have some facility with numbers, because they were able to count landmarks as they foraged around for a sweet reward. But in these tests, the insects couldn't count very high — only to about four.

Still, that made a team of researchers in Australia and France want to explore what else the bees could do with numbers. Scarlett Howard at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, lured bees to a wall where they were presented with two square cards. Each card had a different number of black symbols, such as dots or triangles.

Howard trained one group of bees to understand that sugar water would always be located under the card with the least number of symbols. "They could come and see two circles versus three circles, or four triangles versus one triangle, or something like that," she explains.

The bees quickly learned to fly to the card with the fewest symbols, an impressive feat.

But then they got another test: The researchers presented the bees with a card that had a single symbol — and a blank card that had nothing on it.

The bees seemed to understand that "zero" was less than one, because they flew toward the blank card more often than you'd expect if they were choosing at random — although they weren't that good at distinguishing between the two.

It got easier for them when they had to compare zero with a larger number. "When we showed them zero versus six, they did that at a much higher level than zero versus one," Howard says. "So what tells us is that they consider zero as an actual quantity along the number line. They're actually better at doing zero versus six because those two numbers are further apart."

"We were very surprised and happy, excited, to see that actually the bees were choosing the empty paper," says Aurore Avargues-Weber, a CNRS researcher with the University of Toulouse.

Even very young children, she points out, have trouble understanding that zero is a number. "It's easy for them to count 'one, two, three, four,' but zero, it's nothing, it's not something to count. So it's not the same category," she explains.

She had expected that the bees would see a blank paper as something irrelevant that was completely different than what they had been trained on, because to understand zero, "brains need to represent something out of nothing. It's not trivial."

What's more, the brains of bees are incredibly tiny brains compared with the brains of humans, Nieder notes. "Bees really have a mini-brain with fewer than one million brain cells," he says, "compared to 86 billion nerve cells in our brain."

Even so, the bees can understand the abstract concept of an empty set — the precursor or prerequisite to understanding the symbolic number zero — and he says he found that very surprising.
Don't believe anything they say.
And at the same time,
Don't believe that they say anything without a reason.
---Immanuel Kant
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Altered Consciousness

Postby brainpanhandler » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:16 pm

SA wrote:And here is where dissociation comes in. We know empirically from DID that consciousness can give rise to many operationally distinct centers of concurrent experience, each with its own personality and sense of identity. Therefore, if something analogous to DID happens at a universal level, the one universal consciousness could, as a result, give rise to many alters with private inner lives like yours and ours. As such, we may all be alters—dissociated personalities—of universal consciousness.


https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ob ... verything/
"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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Re: Altered Consciousness

Postby Harvey » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:58 pm

And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"


Eden Ahbez
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Re: Altered Consciousness

Postby Elvis » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:20 pm

brainpanhandler » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:16 am wrote:
SA wrote:And here is where dissociation comes in. We know empirically from DID that consciousness can give rise to many operationally distinct centers of concurrent experience, each with its own personality and sense of identity. Therefore, if something analogous to DID happens at a universal level, the one universal consciousness could, as a result, give rise to many alters with private inner lives like yours and ours. As such, we may all be alters—dissociated personalities—of universal consciousness.


https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ob ... verything/


Very interesting, thanks!
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Re: Altered Consciousness

Postby liminalOyster » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:02 pm

Very intriguing hypothesis. I read the first half of Kastrup's paper last night. He is making some very extraordinary claims and I look forward to seeing what comes of it:

I have elaborated on an idealist ontology that can be summarized as follows. There is only cosmic consciousness. We, as well as all other living organisms, are but dissociated alters of cosmic consciousness, surrounded by its thoughts. The inanimate world we see around us is the revealed appearance of these thoughts. The living organisms we share the world with are the revealed appearances of other dissociated alters. This idealist ontology makes sense of reality in a more parsi- monious and empirically rigorous manner than mainstream physical- ism, bottom-up panpsychism, and cosmopsychism. It also offers more explanatory power than these three alternatives, in that it does not fall prey to the hard problem of consciousness, the combination problem, or the decombination problem, respectively.



Any chance we could move this to the Questioning Consciousness thread so it doesn't get lost? Side note that the current interface between analytic and continental philosophy is leading to some really good stuff, this being only one example.
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Re: Altered Consciousness

Postby brainpanhandler » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:47 pm

liminalOyster » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:02 pm wrote:Any chance we could move this to the Questioning Consciousness thread so it doesn't get lost?


That's fine by me. Mods?

Side note that the current interface between analytic and continental philosophy is leading to some really good stuff, this being only one example.


If you say so.

By "Kastrup's paper" you mean, An Ontological Solution to the Mind-Body Problem?
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Re: Altered Consciousness

Postby Elvis » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:05 pm

brainpanhandler wrote:Re: Altered Consciousness

Post by brainpanhandler » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:47 pm

liminalOyster » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:02 pm wrote:
Any chance we could move this to the Questioning Consciousness thread so it doesn't get lost?


That's fine by me. Mods?


Good call. I'll give it a try, I saw something like a "merge thread" button. Or 82_28 may see this and merge them.
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Re: Altered Consciousness

Postby liminalOyster » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:34 pm

brainpanhandler » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:47 pm wrote:
By "Kastrup's paper" you mean, An Ontological Solution to the Mind-Body Problem?


No, this one:

The Universe in Consciousness
Bernardo Kastrup
Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (5-6):125-155 (2018)

Abstract
I propose an idealist ontology that makes sense of reality in a more parsimonious and empirically rigorous manner than mainstream physicalism, bottom-up panpsychism, and cosmopsychism. The proposed ontology also offers more explanatory power than these three alternatives, in that it does not fall prey to the hard problem of consciousness, the combination problem, or the decombination problem, respectively. It can be summarized as follows: there is only cosmic consciousness. We, as well as all other living organisms, are but dissociated alters of cosmic consciousness, surrounded by its thoughts. The inanimate world we see around us is the extrinsic appearance of these thoughts. The living organisms we share the world with are the extrinsic appearances of other dissociated alters.

https://philpapers.org/rec/KASTUI
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Elvis » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:55 am

At OP brainpanhandler's request, the "Altered Consciousness" thread has been merged with this thread, beginning with brainpanhandler's post above.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:40 am

This is a blip from my favorite movie before I was groovy:



I can almost remember some kinda ruckus with Tanya Tucker, but growing from a kid to wanna be rocker, I couldn’t care less about Rhinestone Cowboy, country music, or Glen Campbell’s discourse, … Until I saw that Elf had posted in the ‘Health’ department, Baby Bomb Boom Bust - Health of Humanity”, that Glenn Campbell’s got cancer in Colorado.

Come to discover Campbell is cool, and I'll have to catch up with the cosmic cowboy:


http://glenn-campbell.com

Glenn Campbell Highlights...
• Best known as a televised expert on Area 51 in the 1990s (no longer active)
• Non-stop traveler since 2008 — 80% in USA, 20% overseas — 87 countries
• Philosophy writer, author of several self-published novels and philosophy books.
• Published author in Turkish translation (The Case Against Marriage)
• Always obsessing over a single major creative project (currently: Demographic Doom)
• Posting daily to Facebook and Twitter
• Prolific videomaker on Instagram (active) and YouTube (on hiatus).
• Username: BadDalaiLama (like the good one but providing advice you can really use)
• Prolific photographer though 2015 (posted on Facebook). Mainly video thereafter.
• Circumnavigated the globe counterclockwise in 2015.
• Former: Computer Programmer, Family Court Activist, Airline Worker, Family Man
• Divorced/bankrupt circa 2005. 0 biological children.
• Recovering caffeine addict
• Born male, pragmatically identifying as male
• Millennial in the body of a Baby Boomer. Chronologically asymptomatic. Not a single gray hair.
• Professional driver of cars and pets
• Keywords: #paripatetic #hyperprolific #conscientious #existential #skeptical
•     #reductionist #pragmatic #triage #agnostic #spartan #abstemious #unfettered
•     #nomadic #eurocentric #eccentric #doomsayer #unsentimental #observational
•     #diligent #ironic #nonsarcastic #responsible #iconoclastic #adiamorphic
•     #nonfatalistic #antipopulist #elitist #selfdirected #sentient #satirical #phlegmatic
•     #temperate #noncompetitive #systematic #organized #unrecognized #farsighted
•     #prudent #bemused #trenchant #obsessive #haunted #deliberate #methodical


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Re: Altered Consciousness

Postby brainpanhandler » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:16 am

liminalOyster » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:34 pm wrote: this one:

The Universe in Consciousness
Bernardo Kastrup
Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (5-6):125-155 (2018)

Abstract
I propose an idealist ontology that makes sense of reality in a more parsimonious and empirically rigorous manner than mainstream physicalism, bottom-up panpsychism, and cosmopsychism. The proposed ontology also offers more explanatory power than these three alternatives, in that it does not fall prey to the hard problem of consciousness, the combination problem, or the decombination problem, respectively. It can be summarized as follows: there is only cosmic consciousness. We, as well as all other living organisms, are but dissociated alters of cosmic consciousness, surrounded by its thoughts. The inanimate world we see around us is the extrinsic appearance of these thoughts. The living organisms we share the world with are the extrinsic appearances of other dissociated alters.

https://philpapers.org/rec/KASTUI


Ugh. Well, started reading that. Typically, when reading material as dense and esoteric as that I just read through it a couple of times, picking up what I can. If I am motivated enough I'll then do a slow careful reading, researching unknown terms and concepts as I go. Having started the paper I would estimate it would take me 20 hours of laborious reading, research, reflection, reading, research, reflection... before I would be able to have a decent understanding of Kastrup's argument. It would be so much easier if I could just directly access my alters.

If I find the time I'll spend some more on it.
"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:43 pm

So, who (or what) traumatized (or hypnotized) this all pervasive cosmic consciousness?

The theory sounds to me like some obscure heterodox hindu school of philosophy.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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