Re: ality

From: Dace (
Date: Sun Feb 24 2002 - 19:04:11 GMT

  • Next message: Steve Drew: "Re: mind"

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    From: "Dace" <>
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    Subject: Re: ality
    Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 11:04:11 -0800
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    > > > >If, on the other hand, memories are stored in the brain, our
    > > > >recall should be as precise and accurate as a computer retrieving
    > > > >data. That our memories are reconstructed is a problem for the
    > > > >mechanistic view, not mine.
    > > >
    > > > So what was that you were saying?
    > >
    > >Okay, I'll explain it again. It's not that the brain's imperfection rules
    > >out the physical memory-trace hyothesis, but that a neural storage
    > >system should be comparable in accuracy to a cybernetic storage
    > >system. Since it's obviously not, this strongly suggests that the brain
    > >does not store memories.
    > >
    > >Got it?
    > Yeah it got. Same overgeneralization using different terms. Lets break
    > down the assumptions you are making to draw this conclusion.
    > 1) It isn't 'obviously not as accurate'. You haven't demonstrated that the
    > error rate for the neural system IS different from that of computers.

    Human memory is notoriously inaccurate. Computer data retrieval is not.
    Computer memory is not just vastly more accurate than our own but defines
    the standard of perfection against which human memory is found dismally
    wanting. To claim that I've neglected to properly demonstrate the inferiority of natural to artificial memory is like berating me for failing to postulate on the blueness of the sky.

    > 2) Even if there were demonstrable differences it does not follow logically
    > that any data storage system necessarily is required to perform at certain
    > level of accuracy.

    Remember the top of this post? Here's what I said:

    > > > >That our memories are reconstructed is a problem for the
    > > > >mechanistic view, not mine.

    Nowhere have I stated that the imprecision of human memory somehow proves that it's not encoded in the brain. It's a *problem* for mechanistic theory, which must somehow account for the huge gap in fidelity. I brought it up, not because it's somehow at the very core of my entire worldview, but because someone claimed that the fidelity gap was a problem for my theory, and I was correcting that misunderstanding.

    > This point is a loser for you Ted. You continual beating of it does
    > nothing to enhance to enhance your position.

    You think I'm beating away at this? I could care less about this. You're
    beating this to death because you think it'll enable you to score some points
    against me, and it's not happening.

    > (And no this isn't a personal attack.

    Yes, it is. It's motivated by unconscious hostility towards anyone who dares
    to question your faith. Consciously you're fine and dandy, but there's a whole world underneath the surface, and if you don't tend to it, ugly things crop up.

    > >That we exist is self-evident only to me? Does that mean the rest of you
    > >are hallucinations? No, I think it's self-evident to all people that
    > >people do indeed exist. It's equally self-evident that terms like
    > >"experience," "thought," and "feeling" are physically and chemically
    > >meaningless. Thus we're not identical to our brains, which are, after
    > >all, physical objects, are they not? Finally, it's self-evident that
    > >minds don't exist without brains. So, where's the part that's not
    > >axiomatic?
    > Assumption 1 (people exist) is as much a part of the brain memory
    > hypothesis as the your time memory hypothesis

    Since the "self" has no meaning to physics and chemistry, it clearly
    doesn't exist if the mind is reduced to the brain. To give the mind equal
    ontological status is to make room for the person, the self, the me and the
    you. This is why Dennett and the Churchlands argue for the elimination of
    selfhood. It's simply incompatible with physicalist assumptions. Dennett
    may be completely batty-- arguing for his own nonexistence-- but at least
    he's willing to follow the logic of mechanism to its heartless conclusion.

    > Assumption 2 (experience, thought and feeling are physically and
    > chemically meaningless) is not a self-evident axiom and is in fact a major
    > difference between these two competing hypothesis.

    Have you ever met a physicist or geologist or meteorologist who referred to
    equations of "experience" or terrestrial samples of "emotion" or high
    altitude pockets of "desire?" I haven't. Everything comprising the world of human consciousness is meaningless to the physical sciences.

    > No one on this list server would agree with your making this an axiom.

    "Argument to consensus." You keep resorting to this fallacy, so I thought
    I'd look it up.

    You know, sometimes when everyone is wrong, it's because they're all in
    thrall to the same mutant meme. This one goes by the name of materialism
    but is actually a form of idealism based around physics. In back of physics
    is math, not "material substance," an obsolete notion chucked long ago.
    Like a lot of pathological memes, it spreads by posing as its opposite, as
    if calling idealism "materialism" made it any less ethereal. It's adherents
    profess the most rigorous reductionism from abstract to concrete. Yet when
    it comes to brains and artifacts, they find all sorts of fanciful properties that
    could only have been projected from human imagination.

    > Finally it does not logically follow from 1(people exist) and 2
    > (experience, thought, and feeling are chemically meaningless) that
    > memory is retrieved from the form of the past by the mind using
    > imagination.

    That the brain facilitates the mind follows from the irreducibility of the mind
    combined with the fact that it has no existence without the brain. Neither
    identical to the brain nor separate from it. Kind of like heads and tails.

    > If two things are the same then they are both reducible to the same
    > elements. If the brain can be described in terms of neurons and the mind
    > is just another way of looking at it then if follows that mind must also be
    > able to be described in terms of neurons.

    The brain is no more reducible to neurons than the mind is to thoughts.
    To be organic is to be whole.


    > Ray Recchia

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