Re: ality

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 02:14:34 GMT

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    Subject: Re: ality
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    > "Dace" <> <> Re: alityDate: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 09:55:56 -0800
    >> >Grant,
    >> >
    >> > > >This is getting very complicated. Far simpler if memories aren't
    >> > > >stored anywhere but emerge from the act of recollection. Instead
    >> > > >of attributing an artificial memory system to the brain, we should
    >> > > >be searching for the basis of natural memory, that is, the recall of
    >> > > >what was once present.
    >> > >
    >> > > Recall it from where?
    >> >
    >> >You mean, from when.
    >> >
    >> >Memory concerns time, not space. [...]
    >> From my own experience and what I've read on the subject I know that
    >> memories are reconstructed as much as recalled.
    >That's right. If memory is stored in the brain, like magnetic particles on
    >a tape, our memories ought to be as accurate as the playback of a song.
    Tapes degrade over time, especially when they are subsequently used for other recordings, and so do our encoded memories.
    > But
    >that's not how it is. Since we're literally recalling the past, we have to
    >do some reconstruction. There's no physics of the past-- no space or matter
    >or energy.
    Or 'time' separable from 'space'. We are not recalling the past per se, but a accessing presently existing encoding of a past experience.
    > Thus we have to re-spatialize the memory, recreating the
    >appearance of the event in question. This is why witnesses are so often
    >unreliable. Fleshing out the memory requires some imagination, a process
    >which is easily corrupted by what we want to believe or what others (such as
    >a prosecutor or a defendant) expect from us.
    Memories are indeed frangible.
    >> But the elements from which
    >> they are reconstructed come from within me. I don't have to use some
    >> external reference to construct them. I've memorized thousands of lines
    >> poetry, but when I was trying to recall the Rubayatt the other day, I had
    >> go over certain lines half a dozen times to get them right in my head.
    >> then, I made mistakes. Fitzgerald wrote too many versions and I keep
    >> getting them mixed up. The fact that I memorized it in high school over
    >> years ago leaves it scattered among all the stuff I've picked up since.
    >> still, if I work hard enough to pull it out, it all seems to be there.
    >The past remains as long as the mind that originally perceived it remains.
    No, memories of the past remain as long as they do not degrade beyond accessibility.
    >Since the brain is a material object, it cannot retain any given moment as
    >it moves on to the next moment.
    It can, however, retain an encoding of an experience.
    >It can only skim the surface of time. The
    >brain is the mind reduced to the current, spatiomaterial moment. So it
    >makes no sense to assume that memories are contained in the brain.
    Of course it does, in complex coded cortical pattern-configurations. To state that the brain is a material object is not to relegate it to the simplicity status of a rock.
    > The
    >brain is precisely that aspect of mind that cannot retain the past.
    Nope, just a present memory of past experience.
    > The
    >only other option is to assume that there's no such thing as memory, that no
    >one actually recalls the past.
    Again, the past is not recalled, but memories of it may be. I ate stew 30 minutes ago, and can recall the experience of doing so quite clearly.
    >Instead the brain, by amazing coincidence,
    >happened to evolve into an information-storage device, similar to our
    >computers. This view appears to be driven by memes that exploit our desire
    >to project ourselves (and our technology) onto nature. No different than
    >the anthropomorphic meme behind "God."
    This is backwards; computers were developed to do some of the same things that brains evolved into being able to do, and thus there is no coincidence, but intention behind their development.
    We use the materials and energies of nature, combined with its physical laws that we have been able to discover, in order to construct our technology. No anthropomorphization necessary; only the intention to produce machines that could perform some tasks that had previously been done by human memory storage and clculation.
    >This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    >Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    >For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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