Re: Definition please

From: Dace (
Date: Fri Dec 07 2001 - 02:57:12 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Definition please
    Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 18:57:12 -0800
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    Ray Recchia wrote:

    I was thinking that when I described something like anxiety being stored in
    different locations for different people I should have mentioned the
    holistic theory of memory. The holistic theory proposes that a memory of a
    particular thing is not stored in one place but is spread out across the
    brain. I do believe there has been some localization of function, the most
    famous of which is Broca's region and certain aspects of language use, but
    the current theory of memory is a holistic one.

    It has to be holistic. There's no way memory could have a single storage
    site. Neurons known to be active during recall are all over the map. It's
    just like the so-called "binding problem" of language. There's just no
    central processing area for language. That's because what brings it all
    together isn't the brain but the mind. That is to say, the influence of the
    brain's past on itself is nonlocal, and why wouldn't it be? There's no
    reason why the mind, based in time and not space, can't work the brain at
    disparate locations at once, unifying their functions into a single

    It is my understanding is that there is a proposed mechanism for storing
    memories in the brain.

    If information is stored in the brain, it would have to be a dynamic form of
    storage, not static, like in a book or a computer. But if the brain is
    continually active, always erasing what it's just "written," then why would
    we assume it contains memory? Seems more like it's the on-going component
    of mentality. Memory would be precisely that aspect of mentality that's not
    contained in the brain. It can't be in the brain because it's not in space.
    Memory is the presence of the past. Since when did the past take up any

    My recollection is
    that potentially one neuron could also have receptor threshold changes
    which reflected partial storage of different memories.

    Perhaps you could find the information in a book or a journal. In that
    case, you wouldn't have to rely on your memory. On the other hand, even
    when you do remember something, you have to look it up in your brain, right?
    So there really is no such thing as memory, is there? After all, when you
    remember something, that's precisely when you *don't* have to look it up.
    If memory is merely information storage, then it no longer exists. Turns
    out it was just a prescientific myth. In that case, to invoke the term
    "memory" is to reveal oneself as scientifically illiterate. Same goes for
    mind, self, life, novelty, and anything having to do with quality or
    experience. It's all right down the toilet. The science meme is driven by
    a will to self-annihilation. On the inside it takes the form of atomistic
    determinism. On the outside it manifests as nuclear missiles and
    carcinogenic pesticides. Of course, true science is driven logically, not

    If I have this correctly what Ted seems to be asserting is that despite the
    knowledge of a potential storage mechanism and sufficient complexity we
    will never be able to link memories and the brain.

    If memories are bits of stored information, then they're not really
    memories, are they? It's not just wrong, it's incoherent.

    Given the strides that
    have already been made in linking physical sensation to neural receptors,
    the advances that have been made in understanding how the brain processes
    visual and audio information, and the countless other advances it seems
    more reasonable to assume that we will.

    Scientistic piety.

    All of this is a distraction from the main point of my original posts which
    was that the uncertainties associated with our lack of knowledge concerning
    the boundaries of internal representations should not provide fatal
    deterrents to our use of those representations in memetic research. This
    is true whether 'the mind' is an illusion based upon the difference of
    external and internal perceptions, a dance danced by the brain, or a
    dimensionless entity that interacts with time.

    To say that it's an illusion is the same as saying it's no more than the
    dance of the neurons. Since your last suggestion is gibberish, that leaves
    illusion, by your reckoning, as the only possible status of the mind.


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