Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism.

Chris Lofting (
Sun, 4 Apr 1999 12:37:13 +1000

From: "Chris Lofting" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism.
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 12:37:13 +1000

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Mills <>
To: Memetics List <>
Date: Sunday, 4 April 1999 6:28
Subject: Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism.

>>It seems to me that the notion of a gene is an abstract notion, but that
>>not incompatible with the fact that genes have determinate physical
>I certainly don't have this worked out. It is of great interest, though.
>I can only make sense of these semantic difficulties by using the notion
>that all information is generated in the brain via sensual experience of
>tokens. Nothing is transmitted in the sense of 'radiation,' we each
>generate information/meaning independently based on biologically given
>cognitive systems. Communication and thought are token processing

The communciation maybe but the 'thought' includes translation. I think the
term 'token' is misleading in that it seems to miss the emotion content that
IS the message. I do not speak without piggybacking emotion with the word in
the form of pitch etc. Many email fights result from readers projecting
emotion onto a word or phrase since they do not get the 'full' data, it is
often not precise enough.

If we look at brain structure, the left hemisphere is object oriented with a
refined bias to the particular and the right is relationships oriented and a
refined bias to the general.

We could interpret this as more that the left is a concentration of
relational data, the objects are more 'attractors'. Language studies show
that the left is 'jump' oriented, behaviour we see in strange attractors as
we 'jump' from one to the other. Thes 'jumps' create the impression that
here there are objects and the 'middle' is excluded, a quote from a website
essay of mine:

"Most of the information in speech is carried in an acoustic entity called
"formant transitions" which are formed principally during the pronunciation
of vowels. If this information is presented to the left hemisphere, a
consonant is heard. If it is presented to the right, a chirping tone is
heard (which is what would be predicted strictly on the basis of the
frequency contents). Moreover, if the frequency spectrum is continuously
varied, the right hemisphere hears a changing complex tone[all aspects of
the one -- dependencies bias], whereas the left hears a constant consonant
up to a point at which it abruptly shifts to another consonant [analogous to
integer 'jumps' - independent objects]. Without going to far into the
complex area of verbal acoustic spectra, it seems clear that the left
hemisphere may be treating the auditory stimulus in a manner designed to
provide special processing for the information-carrying aspects of speech"
(Kent 1981, p218)

This 'old' piece of informatation (I inserted the [] parts) finds extended
meaning in the context of wholes (objects) and their aspects (relationships)
and how our maps are tied to our senses. It is easy to see how confusion can
easily arise in the form of linking properties of the method of analysis
with the properties of the object under analysis. Thus the abstraction of
the properties of our senses can lead to the making of maps based on
'integer' jumps which we detect, but the tools of detection have that
property within them and thus it is not necessarily 'out there' - it could
be 'in here'."

Vision studies show the SAME behaviour where in necker cubes, for example,
the left jumps between two identifiable cubes and the right sees a complex
line drawing. This suggests that the particular information processing is
NOT restricted to one sense but is applied to all senses; we see a left side
that seems to work using symmetry, oppositions, and stresses independence
(objects bias)and self-containment. Androgynous. Archetypal bias. An
emphasis on identification and so reductionism which also ties to a
single-context form of processing.

In this context so the right manifests relational patterns such that there
is no perceived independence, everything is dependent on everything else.
This is NOT whole thinking since a whole requires a boundary to distinguish
it, it is more harmonics thinking, multi context and includes the ability to
modify identification, either to blow it up or play it down, which is what
colours and complex sounds do and these are best processed by the right.

Reviewing these properties we can see two fundamental sources, (a)
identification and (b) re-identification. In nature these are manifest in
the hunt and in survival and reproduction (plummage, nesting, disguise to
blend in to the context). The latter has a strong relational emphasis where
the opposites found in the left, the distinction of light from dark, have
been changed in that the dark has been brought around to be beside the light
and become the source of transformation. Light/Dark becomes Male/Female.
This does not break symmetry, it skews it and in doing so can also 'skew'
our perceptions where some things are archetypal and so 'pure' and others
are typal and so 'mixed' and if we dont recognise which is which we can get
very confused.

>If one starts with this perspective, the first question is this: 'how do
>we distinguish individual tokens from the vast spectrum of experience.'

Left brain processing, from neocortex down through the hippocampus, is a
waypoint mapping system and ideally suited to process precision in the form
of words/symbols, your 'tokens'. The price you pay is an excluded middle, we
'jump' from point to point. This 'price' is taken care of by the right with
its more wave-like processing mechanisms but at times lacking in the total
precision of the left (harmonics analysis can create a qualitative-biased

Overall we see the distinction of 1 (left) from the many (right). We also
see a more developed RIGHT prior to birth suggesting that the right-biased
emphasis on context, background, or 'the many' serves as the source or
'transformation' where nature combined with nurture (education) brings out
the 'precise' left to varying degrees.

When we look at fundamental particles of the universe we see the SAME
pattern, fermions (objects) and bosons (relationships bias, the middle in
that fermions use bosons to communicate) so either we are seeing a process
tracable back to the beginning of the universe or else we see this because
our neurology is designed to process data this way -- objects from
relationships. What is an objet and what is a relationship is determined by
intent -- which can lead to the experience of illusions.

>You allude to this problem with you examples of different cultural
>classification systems. Clearly, we have a wide variety of options.

We dont. The base categorisation for the whole species is
object/relationships. At the particular level so the distinctions are
'painted' with emotions that create 'meaning' and local interpretations.
Zoom-in and look behind these and you will find a template based on making
object/relationships distinctions. end of story.

In this sense, emotion acts to enhance, a very 'right' brain process.
Sensory rich and so empiricist but behind it is the template, the one, and
so 'rationalist', very archetypal and so 'left' brain.

This is NOT restricted to out species, I would propose that it is in ALL
species that utilise a nervous system such as ours. Neurons
(axon/dendrites)- the warp - and hormones
(neuromodulators/neurotransmitters) - the weft. We are just very much more
refined in development.

Tokenisation is objectification and that is a left-brain process BUT it has
a root in the right in that the summing of emotional patterns elicits a
sense of particular 'meaning' that is 'given birth' in the form of
transformation from a set of patterns (right) to an encapsulating word

There is an oscillation process at work that reflects development along
complexity lines in that excessive feedback processing (a right function)
leads to an 'emergence', the 'word'.

>Additionally, I'd include the biological oddities of language
>acquisition. Language is not taught but assimilated independently by
>children. All children can create creole from their linguistic

Which includes the use of flash cards linked to sounds and so a 1:1 training
favouring objectification. This then leads to 1:many as 'HOUSE' becomes
'HOUSES' but the initial act sets-up an 'archetype', a 'precise', 'pure'
from that is then generalised and so HOUSES is seen as a harmonic of 'the
one' and yet we can, from these harmonics, create a variation on the theme
that becomes an archetype in its own right. More oscillations.

>It seems fairly clear from all this data that our biology grants us both
>an inherited classification 'ability' and the flexibility to configure
>the talent in a wide variety of ways.

....except that initial context sets the tone/colour for all that follows and
so we can experience 'illusions' if these initial distinctions are not

Additionally, it seems all
>primates have an inherited capacity for tokenizing their sensual
>experience. Human ability for tokenizing experience and token expression
>is far more advanced than apes, but it seems obvious that token
>utilization is evident in all apes. It seems difficult to avoid
>including 'tokenizing ability' in our biological inheritance.

Chicks seem to have this but at a *very* general level, suggesting it is a
property of all lifeforms that untilise feedback processes as part of their
identification methods.

>The silly exercise of reading a list of colors (red, blue, pink, etc)
>printed in colored ink different than the word's meaning demonstrates how
>unconscious our tokenizing process operates. Anyone reading a list
>printed in this confused color order will find it difficult to 'read' the
>word rather than state the color experienced.

There are some who fail totally at this and it is they who the test is
designed for. The test confuses context and single context individuals can
find it difficult since they cannot 'entangle' the differences.

> We seem to do what comes
>easiest biologically unless a great deal of training over-rides nature.

Those born blind who have had their eyesight restored, if adults, have to
eternally practice 'seeing'. If they do not then they soon fall back to
living in the dark. The neuron culling at aget 10-12 seems to be the cause
of this in that if you can restore sight before that event so robust neural
nets are created.

>Not all experience is tokenized unconsciously. We all experience a
>variety of emotions, sensations, moods, etc. To share these experiences,
>we must tokenize them for communication purposes, but we recognize the
>difficulty and inadequacy. After our attempts to tokenize experience
>which resist convenient packaging, we often use the meta-classification
>'concept' or 'abstraction.'

Music can sneak-in under the conscious tokenisation process to elicit
feelings 'unexpectedly' but this is a property of any waveform, the ability
to pass through barriers un-noticed. There is this another method of
communication that we do not see much of, it is based on resonance.

>Getting back to the nature of 'genes' and their relationship with the
>term 'abstraction,' I view DNA as a 'token' and Open-Reading-Frames (OFR)
>or genes as messages on the token. By messages, I suggest my lack of
>ease in tokenizing the patterns that DNA expresses.

I see RNA as the token. DNA is the repository of relationships that make-up
'the one'.

>Someone here on the list suggested we distinguish 'things' from
>'patterns' by identifying physical independence or separation. 'Things'
>are separate, 'patterns' can overlap. In this sense, DNA is a 'thing'
>and OFRs are patterns. DNA can be isolated, OFRs cannot.

Things are left, patterns are right. Consider (from the same essay quoted

"Kosslyn et al suggest that the left hemisphere is biased in favour of
information from visual channels with small, *nonoverlapping* [my emphasis]
visual fields, whereas the right hemisphere is biased in favour of
information from visual channels with large, *overlapping* [my emphasis]
visual fields. Consistent with this possibility, they cite Livingstone as
having suggested that magnocellular ganglia (which have relatively large,
overlapping receptive fields) project preferentially to the right
hemisphere." {Hellige 1995]

My emphasis is that the nonoverlapping bias is a bias to objects, to bound
forms and I suggest that this is linked to the serial-biases linking of
memories by the hippocampus that works in 200ms 'frames' and so 'forces' the
presence of a boundary [forces 'jumps']. The overlapping emphasis stresses
pattern detection processes in trying to blend-in/stick-out from the
context, the background."

>The means by which we recognize 'separation' are both biological and

Yes. intent determine which is which and so local differences.

Thus, there will be wide variation in how individuals divide
>experience into things or patterns. The Buddhists, for example, say
>everything is interconnected, nothing is separate. Things and patterns
>distinctions are merely a linguistic convention, an arbitrary tokenizing

left and right .. and we are the mixing of these, a continuum of persona
states, harmonics of the archetype; variations on themes. This is achieved
through feedback processes as the 'one' becomes the 'many'.

BTW: For ref details see



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