Re: ality

From: Dace (
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 06:04:10 GMT

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    Subject: Re: ality
    Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 22:04:10 -0800
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    > >Thoughts are not reducible to neurons (and their synaptic connections).
    > >Thinking involves representation, which is not a physical or chemical
    > >property.
    > >
    > Thinking has a physical or chemical basis. Thinking costs calories and
    > involves electrochemical events and flow of neurotransmitters. Thoughts
    > are reducible in principle to neurophysiology of neurons and their
    > synaptic connections, not parapsychological phenomena. I've wasted too
    > much precious ATP trying to bring this point across to you. My
    > sodium/potassium pumps are working overtime.

    You're wasting ATP trying to explain something to me I've understood since
    the age of eight. Yes, thinking has a physical basis, and neurotransmission
    has a mental basis. Two sides of the same coin. Any attempt to reduce one
    side to the other is covert dualism. No one is suggesting that thoughts are
    based on "parapsychological phenomena." The basis of the mind is itself.
    The mind is the self-existence of the brain, while the brain is the material
    existence of the mind.

    > >That which represents the world cannot simultaneously be part of
    > >the world represented. To ascribe representation to the brain is to
    > >endow it with a magical property possessed by no other object, living or
    > >dead. You're setting the brain apart, i.e. sacralizing it. This is your
    > >religion.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > I've got a bunch of pictures (momentos) in photo albums which are
    > representations of the world and which, when developed became as
    > much a part of this world as the scenes they represent.

    The pictures consist of arrangements of chemicals. "Representation" is not
    among them. It doesn't become a representation except in your mind as you
    view it. Not the brain, mind you. Representation requires a body of
    understanding built up over a period of time. The mind can comprehend and
    re-present because it embraces precisely the amount of time spanned by its
    memory. The brain, as the spatiomaterial surface of the mind, lacks the
    temporal depth required for memory and knowledge.

    > Set up a videocamera with a monitor. The image on the monitor screen
    > represents the region of the world the camera is aimed at. The original
    > and its not quite perfect representation co-exist within the same world
    > (slight time delays notwithstanding). This is all quite material and
    > mechanistic.

    Right. That's the problem. Chemistry and physics make no mention of
    thought and mind.

    > There's no ghost in the camera machine.

    Nor is there one in the brain. Nor would the brain have any use for one.
    There's nothing separable from the brain which is then deposited into it.
    But the brain is alive and therefore informed by its past. That is to say,
    what's brain from one point of view (space) is mind from another (time).

    > I can draw a picture of a flower on paper. The flower and its
    > representation on paper (with limitations due to my lousy artistic
    > co-exist within the same world.

    Did you draw a picture of a flower, or did you leave bits of crayon stuck to
    a piece of baked woodpulp? Let's be hard core here, shall we? We're all so
    modern and rational and scientific, so let's really mean it for once. Oh,
    it may sound harsh that your pretty little "flower" doesn't physically
    exist, but if the mind is unreal, so is the flower. Give it up. Give up
    beauty-- anything that's hopeful and inspiring. We're trashing it, folks.
    It's all over. We're sophisticated now. It's got to be tangible or it's
    nothing, and the only thing *tangible* here is pigments on paper. We don't
    go in for humanistic whining bullshit anymore. Leave that for the pansies.


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