Gathering perspectives
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06-04-2014, 01:38 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
(06-04-2014 07:40 AM)living thing Wrote:  ...
I am not comfortable declaring that models, axioms, frameworks, ideas and concepts, etc. exist because then, as you say, I must concede that gods also exist, and I find that misleading; using language in a way in which I can claim that Santa Claus exists seems inappropriate at my age.
...

Yet I made a distinction.
I would say that a framework exists as a framework and likewise I'd be OK with saying that the concept of a god exists and that the idea of Santa is real.
The (belief in) Santa and gods impact people's lives in tangible ways.

Quote:...
Instead, when I need to refer to those and other notions I will use verbs such as "happen", "occur" or "be". For example, when I said that sound does not exist, what I meant is that it does not occupy any specific volume at any relative location; it is the things that move in a sound wave what exist. Sound happens with the motion of things that do exist. If the universe can be viewed as a huge set of matter in motion, matter exists, but motion happens. At least, that is how I describe it so that I can also say "no, Santa Claus does not exist".
...
So Zeus happened? Santa occurred?

I think you are technically correct but the use of information (e.g. definitions) is contextual.

I teach best practice frameworks and for these, definitions are all important to aid effective and efficient communication, processes and decision making.
Frameworks are adopted (or not) and then adapted to an organisations culture/context.

I explain the official labels and definitions of some activity but if the organisation wants to continue to use a different label and everyone already agrees on that usage, then the outcome (efficiency and effectiveness) has already been achieved.

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06-04-2014, 08:01 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
Hello DLJ, how's it going?

Sorry for the length of this post, please feel free to ignore it if it looks boring.

(06-04-2014 01:38 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(06-04-2014 07:40 AM)living thing Wrote:  ...
I am not comfortable declaring that models, axioms, frameworks, ideas and concepts, etc. exist because then, as you say, I must concede that gods also exist, and I find that misleading; using language in a way in which I can claim that Santa Claus exists seems inappropriate at my age.
...

Yet I made a distinction.
I would say that a framework exists as a framework and likewise I'd be OK with saying that the concept of a god exists and that the idea of Santa is real.
The (belief in) Santa and gods impact people's lives in tangible ways.
They certainly do, just like the belief in a heaven full of virgins that I mentioned earlier in this thread.

But those ideas impact people's lives in tangible ways when they are processed by the brains of real existing people; it is not the ideas what is real, it is the people who use those ideas to guide their behaviour what is real.

Ideas are not entities that exist by themselves; ideas are conveyed by the motion of existing things in and out of our nerve cells. Ideas happen in our minds as matter moves inside our brains.

(06-04-2014 01:38 PM)DLJ Wrote:  So Zeus happened? Santa occurred?
The notion of Zeus occurs in my mind whenever a certain set of neural pathways in my brain become excited (i.e., an electrochemical potential wave is propagated across the nerve cells they contain). But a real object with the features attributed to the Greek god most likely never existed.

Did Saint Nicholas actually exist? The truth is I don't know.

(06-04-2014 01:38 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I think you are technically correct but the use of information (e.g. definitions) is contextual.

I teach best practice frameworks and for these, definitions are all important to aid effective and efficient communication, processes and decision making.
Frameworks are adopted (or not) and then adapted to an organisations culture/context.

I explain the official labels and definitions of some activity but if the organisation wants to continue to use a different label and everyone already agrees on that usage, then the outcome (efficiency and effectiveness) has already been achieved.
That sounds interesting, it probably covers lots of different areas. Is it fun to do? Do you enjoy it?

I think you're right. As vehicles for the communication of ideas, words are only effective if both ends in a communication use them with the same meanings. And I apologise; I have already used a few words in non-standard ways without providing their non-standard definition. For example, I referred to gods as absolutely virtual.

Maybe I can "summarise" the conceptual framework I use when I consider the universe around me, although I don't want nor expect you to adopt it; I'll be happy enough if I manage to describe it in an intelligible way. Please don't feel obliged to read it, and if you do, please remain aware that none of it is necessarily true; I may be completely mistaken.

I view everything, regardless of its existence, as information, and I sometimes define the latter as any arrangement of matter, or feature of its motion, that conveys a meaning. The opposite notion, which I often refer to as noise, would be any arrangement of matter, or feature of its motion, that does not convey any meaning.

By "matter" I mean the substance that seems to constitute all tangible things. By "feature of its motion" I mean a concept a little more ambiguous, because it includes not only the actual change in an object's relative location or orientation that is motion, but also changes in the rate at which the location or orientation of an object changes (acceleration) and other forms of change. But since I cannot think of any form of change that does not involve the motion of some material structure in relation to another, I often use both expressions somewhat interchangeably. And what do I mean by "meaning"?

When we define the meaning of a word, we are establishing an association between a sequence of articulate sounds (that may be mapped to a sequence of graphic symbols) and a specific concept. For example, if we define a sphere as an infinite collection of three-dimensional points equidistant to a common centre, we are establishing a link between that specific word and that specific notion. Once we agree on the link, you can say the word and the notion will spring to my mind.

But what about when we talk about the meaning of a notion? What does it mean that an infinite set of three-dimensional points are all located at the same distance from a common centre? Well, several things, but for one, it implies that any plane that slices the sphere in two parts, regardless of the slicing angle, will always form a circle at the intersection points. Now, that has its own set of implications, but the point to be made here is that I asked a question using the verb "to mean" and I replied it using "to imply". If you were nevertheless able to understand the answer, that would suggest a synonymy between both verbs; the meaning of any piece of information can be seen as the set of implications it conveys. I would thus like to rephrase my non-standard definition of information to any arrangement of matter, or feature of its motion, that conveys one or more implications.

Of course, the implications conveyed by a given arrangement of matter or pattern of change may vary depending on the context in which it appears; an isolated double strand of DNA in a test-tube, for example, may not convey the same implications as the same molecule surrounded by other complex molecules inside a living cell. Information is meaningful in its context, and there seem to be two basic contexts in which information may appear: as an arrangement of matter in space, or as a pattern of change over time.

In any arrangement of matter, each piece occupies some specific volume located at some specific distance in some specific direction from each other piece in the arrangement; it exists in the sense that I use the word. And every arrangement of matter is located somewhere in relation to other arrangements of matter, so I collectively call information that appears in space "real information", because it exists. Real information is somewhere at any instant during its existence.

Patterns of change, however, are not located anywhere at any instant we may choose to consider; they happen over a non-zero period of time with the motion of things that appear in space. But they can certainly have their implications, they are information too, so I collectively call information that appears over time "virtual information", because it is information, but it is not real.

For example, consider a musician standing on a floor, playing a melody on a trumpet. The floor, the musician, the trumpet and the molecules in the air blown through it are real, they are arrangements of matter each located somewhere in relation to the others. But the music played is virtual, it is a set of implications conveyed first by the vibration of the air molecules blown through the trumpet, then by the vibration of the listeners' eardrums, then by the vibration of the liquid in their inner ears, and then by the changes in electrochemical potential across the membranes of their nerve cells.

If we take a photograph of the scene, well lit so that we can capture barely an instant, we will find that the floor, the musician and the trumpet will be there (in order to see the molecules of air we'll need a very large magnification). But the music played won't be there because it is not there at any instant; virtual information only appears over a period of time.

But it is not a black and white situation, there are shades of grey in between. Information is not just either real or virtual; both sets overlap.

Imagine you take a few pieces of wood and a few nails, and build yourself a chair. From the instant you complete its assembly on, the chair is somewhere; it can be said to exist. But where was it before you began building it? The notion of it may have been in your mind, but the chair itself wasn't anywhere, it didn't exist yet. Now imagine that you don't like the result for whatever reason and you pull it apart into pieces. The pieces of wood and nails will still be somewhere, but the previously existing chair will not; it will have become a memory in your mind.

Complex material structures (i.e., arrangements of matter comprising two or more separate parts) only exist during the time while their constituents remain located at the appropriate relative locations so that a specific set of implications will be conveyed the lot. Once the constituents move away, the implications disappear. You can't sit on the memory of a chair. Complex material structures are real, but only virtually real; they appear in space over a period of time. That is why I suggested to GirlyMan that he or she is not absolutely real.

However, just like the pieces of wood and nails are still somewhere after the chair has been disassembled, the separate constituents of any complex structure may exist before they move into their appropriate locations and after they move away. If those constituents are themselves complex structures, they have their own period of existence. But what if there were a level of structure of matter below which there is no further substructure? What if a complex structure became split into perfectly simple components?

I don't know if matter is truly atomic in its nature (not in the chemical sense, but in the sense of indivisible particles), but if it turned out to be, then the indivisible bits of matter would not only be the basic units of real information, but they would also exist regardless of the passage of time, because they wouldn't be susceptible of becoming disintegrated into simpler structures and they wouldn't have been formed by aggregation of simpler structures. Once again, I am not claiming that those things exist, but if they do exist, if there is a simplest level of material structure, then they are the only things that are absolutely real; the only things that appear in space regardless of time.

In this conceptual framework (although maybe not in reality) information can be absolutely real or virtually real, but not all virtual information is virtually real, there is information that really is virtual, meaning that it is not an arrangement of matter in space but a pattern of change over time. For example, our thoughts. Our thoughts are series of notions, each conveyed by the propagation of a change in electrochemical potential within a specific neural pathway in our brains, arranged sequentially over time.

Our thoughts happen in our brains, but the notions they convey may be meaningful regardless of where they happen. We can put them in arrangements of ink, attach them to colourful flags, sing them into catchy tunes, or do whatever with them. That information is meaningful regardless of space, regardless of its physical structure, there is nothing real in it. Abstract notions are absolutely virtual; gods are absolutely virtual.

So whenever I consider the universe around me, things always seem to fall into one of four categories. They can be absolutely real (the individual pieces of matter that might constitute every existing thing), they can be virtually real (temporary complex structures formed by two or more pieces of matter), they can really be virtual (patterns of change that occur over time) or they can be absolutely virtual (abstract notions meaningful regardless of their location and physical structure).

But I am not saying that that is how the universe is organised. This is how I organise information in my brain so that I can proceed to further analysis. If I am dealing with a virtually real object such as a crocodile, I proceed in one way. If I am dealing with an abstract notion such as a unicorn, I proceed in a different way. For example, I am not worried about being hurt by a unicorn.

Anyway, if this is the summary, I don't even want to think about the full version; it takes me fucking ages to go through the whole thing (and that is because thoughts happen over a period of time). I thank you if you have read it, I apologise if you haven't understood it (it is my fault for not being able to express in an intelligible way), I definitely hope that you do not believe it, and I wish you the best of times, whatever is the case.

Have fun!
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08-04-2014, 08:24 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
Existence is nothing but a void of experience, where the experiences that you have had are the only ones that you haven't.

Impossible it is to know that I am not the only one seeing through my eyes, but possible it is to communicate with the things my mind makes and forms, which are my senses.

Above ponders I question.
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08-04-2014, 09:36 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  I'd like to try repeating your statements using different words, not because I am interested in arguing against your valuable opinion, but because I want to make sure I have understood the notions conveyed by your words; I'd like to ensure I understand your view even in my native language. Is that alright? But please do correct me if I misinterpret your words, I'd also like to learn from any mistakes I make.

Knock yourself out.

(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  
(05-04-2014 09:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  To be a little more rigourous, I'd specify perception as directly related to sensory experience and observation as its superset, including information gained by proxy.
(that is, I can't perceive many physical phenomena, but I can observe them)
So when you talk about perceptions, I think you are referring to situations when some kind of stimulus is translated, by one of our sensory cells, into an electrochemical signal that is propagated up our nerves towards our brain for further processing, whereas an observation would be more like a detection in general, including situations in which a device that is not part of our own bodies is what actually translates the stimulus into some sort of phenomenon that our sensory organs can then translate into an electrochemical signal that is fed to our brains. Is that the case?

Yes. That's a pretty reasonable elaboration.

It's not really a binary thing; rather a continuum. But yes, there are examples which are either very clearly rooted in direct physical experience (gravity as demonstrated by falling down) or very abstracted interpretation at several steps remove (say, particle accelerators).

(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  For example, if my hands bump into something, pressure-sensitive cells under my skin will turn their physical compression into a variation of electric potential accross their membranes, and that will be propagated to adjacent nerve cells, which will in turn send the signal to their adjacent nerve cells and so on, eventually leading the signal to a decision centre in my spinal chord, my amygdalae, my frontal lobes or wherever, where it will be combined with signals coming from many other sensory cells in order to produce an output response that will hopefully be beneficial for me, or at least not detrimental. I'll be perceiving whatever my hands have bumped into through my sense of touch.

However, I don't have any sensory organs that are able to interact with an alpha particle and translate that interaction into an electrochemical signal that can be channelled up my nerves. But if I take the time to understand the behaviour of things around me, I can take advantage of the multiplicative ionisation that occurs when some gases under low pressures and subject to large electric fields interact with alpha particles, and build a device that will translate those interactions into a variation of atmospheric air pressure, a sound that I am naturally equipped to detect. I cannot perceive alpha particles, but I can nevertheless observe them through the use of a device that is not part of my own body. Is that, more or less, what you meant by "information gained by proxy"?

Just so.

(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  What about information that I do not directly extract from reality through my senses? I can estimate the mass of a galaxy using radiometric means, then calculate it gravitationally by studying the motion of things I can radiometrically detect inside the galaxy under consideration, and arrive to two very different values, suggesting at least three possible options: either my methods for estimating mass radiometrically are inaccurate, my methods for calculating mass gravitationally are inaccurate, or there is a large amount of matter in that galaxy that cannot be detected radiometrically. Presuming that I calibrate my methods using other experiences, that leads me to the last conclusion; there seems to be a lot of matter out there that we might call "dark". However, I have not physically detected it through its direct interaction with any device, the notion about it has been produced in "my own" brain (although I didn't actually come up with the notion and I haven't performed the calculations myself; no one should believe it just because I said it). Nevertheless, would that be a different kind of information gained by proxy, being the proxy a logically deductive process, or could we then not say that we observe dark matter? I don't know; maybe it is "logically detectable" instead of "observable". Any thoughts?

I'm not sure such a distinction is warranted. All extra-sensory observation is predicated on a given (fallible) model of interpretation. And I don't think the differing degrees of certainty form a difference in kind - there's just data and analysis of data.

It's where the analyses differ that the question of consistency arises. How we judge a model's efficacy is just that - how it agrees with other models and data. Not that there's a privileged reference point, only the moving average of the sum total of everything else we know.

So for any observation beyond immediate physical perception as we defined it earlier, there is an implicit reliance on the validity of the intermediate steps.

(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  
(05-04-2014 09:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Yes; that's what makes it external. That is, and can only ever be, an assumption, true - but to me it seems quite a useful one.
Yeah, I find it useful too. I have already made the assumption several times in my previous paragraphs, for example by considering a device that is not part of my own body, so I think I understand what you mean by "external".

Yes - and I like that idea better than solipsism.

(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  
(05-04-2014 09:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Perception forms the description of what else exists (that's "reality"). But for any meaningful purpose it's necessary to stress that description does not define that reality (that's the "external" bit).
Please correct me if I am wrong, but are you trying to say that the existence of things outside my mind happens regardless of whether it actually generates an electrochemical signal in my nervous system?

Yes.

(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  Whenever a certain sensory neural pathway becomes excited, that generally implies that an interaction has occurred between some of my sensors and an entity that exists out there, however that interaction is not a requirement for the entity to be out there; it simply informs my brain about its existence. Is that what you mean when you say that descriptions don't define reality?

Yes.

(assuming you're not just a brain in a jar - or a simulation of a brain in a jar - but we've already granted that!)

(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  If it is, I think understand what your are saying, although you seem to be drawing a distinction between existence, the fact that things are located around me (and within my material structure), and perception, the information that my neural pathways convey about the things that are located around or inside me. Can that distinction be drawn?

In the very strictest sense no, since I can't know anything I don't experience.

But in general, yes, since virtually everything I know (or any modern person knows) is a result of experience relayed from and by others. Which applies up to and beyond the point where events with no human witness are concerned, so long as there's some extant evidence.

There's also the part where direct sensory experience is very unreliable, but that's not quite the same question.

(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  What about perceptions of behaviours? Do our descriptions define behaviours? For example, if I watch an apple fall from a tree, is it falling because it follows the law of gravity, or does it fall because that is the way matter behaves in the proximity of more matter, and the law of gravity describes how that interaction occurs? In other words, does the behaviour of reality follow our laws, or do our laws describe the behaviour of reality?

The latter is the only answer coherent with the definitions of consistent external reality as we've been discussing. The former fails since not all theories make valid predictions - there must be some qualifier distinguishing those which do from those which do not. And if you call that difference correspondence to external reality, then the difference isn't even semantic anymore.

(06-04-2014 07:09 AM)living thing Wrote:  I hope you do not mind all these questions, I'd like to know your view about those things. Please excuse me if I have misunderstood your perspective (feel free to correct me as much as you wish) and thanks again for your valuable addition to this thread. I hope we will get to talk about this and many other topics in the future.

Until then, have fun!

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09-04-2014, 09:10 AM
RE: Gathering perspectives
Well it seems that our perspectives agree a lot more than they seemed to a few posts back.

Although I am not sure I fully understand one of your points, please excuse me if I ask you for a bit more clarification (I don’t know why I say “if”, when I actually know that I am about to ask you).

It may be that I am confusing the words “perception” and “experience” as you use them, but when you said that perception forms the description of what else exists, but that description does not define what else exists, I took it as meaning that our perceptions and experiences (what we may know about reality out there) describe what seems to be out there, but they are not requirements for those things to be out there. For example, I don’t know (and I don’t really care) if there is any planet in the universe consisting of pure gold, but if one or more such planets exist, they do so whether I know about them or not. My knowledge, or that of any other human being, or any other non-human being for that matter, is not a requirement for the existence of things.

However, when you say that no distinction can be drawn between existence and perception because you can’t know anything you don’t experience, you seem to imply that someone’s knowledge is required in order for things to exist, which is the opposite conclusion from the one I extracted in the previous paragraph. So does something need to know that a golden planet exists, in order for a golden planet to exist? Are living beings (things able to extract information from the motion of things around them and inside them) required for there to be lifeless matter incapable of knowing anything? I would say it is probably the other way around: the existence of matter is probably a requirement for the existence of living beings. Even abstract beings such as computer viruses need an existing computer to be executed on.

I don’t know, but to me it makes more sense to think that the existence of the universe would remain mostly unaffected if an elephant stepped on my brain. My mental picture of it would fuck off, of course, along with any other capabilies I may have as a living being, but the set of existing things in the universe would remain almost exactly the same. I’m just a temporary arrangement of matter, why would my mostly insignificant knowledge be required for the universe to exist?

Other than that minor point, I think I agree with your view. Thanks for sharing it!
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09-04-2014, 10:14 AM
RE: Gathering perspectives
To the point about if you need to know something exists in order for it to exist id like to add that we all, at our conception, when our fathers sperm entered our mothers egg began to exist, yet had nothing to comprehend it with (which raises the question what does it actually entail or what would be the parameters of actual "existence" (Start/finish point of life) when focusing on one living creature)

Imagination.... If I invent something with working parts, in my minds eye, regardless of if I make it or not does it exist? Would I need to make it to see if it works?

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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09-04-2014, 10:37 AM
RE: Gathering perspectives
(09-04-2014 09:10 AM)living thing Wrote:  Well it seems that our perspectives agree a lot more than they seemed to a few posts back.

Although I am not sure I fully understand one of your points, please excuse me if I ask you for a bit more clarification (I don’t know why I say “if”, when I actually know that I am about to ask you).

It may be that I am confusing the words “perception” and “experience” as you use them, but when you said that perception forms the description of what else exists, but that description does not define what else exists, I took it as meaning that our perceptions and experiences (what we may know about reality out there) describe what seems to be out there, but they are not requirements for those things to be out there. For example, I don’t know (and I don’t really care) if there is any planet in the universe consisting of pure gold, but if one or more such planets exist, they do so whether I know about them or not. My knowledge, or that of any other human being, or any other non-human being for that matter, is not a requirement for the existence of things.

Yes - I'd still affirm that.

(09-04-2014 09:10 AM)living thing Wrote:  However, when you say that no distinction can be drawn between existence and perception because you can’t know anything you don’t experience, you seem to imply that someone’s knowledge is required in order for things to exist, which is the opposite conclusion from the one I extracted in the previous paragraph.

Not really - but that goes back to external existence being an assumption.

I don't think I explained the chain of thought very well. If things exist independently of interaction (the foundational assumption), then they exist even without any interaction. But without any interaction, their existence isn't meaningful - so the definitions need to be clarified a little.

Once we move from direct perception to observation by proxy, it's a smooth extension from personal experience to society's collective experience, up to and including all causal interaction since the big bang. So the coherent definition of existence is that arising exclusively from interaction, which I don't think we made explicit before (or maybe I just missed it!).

(09-04-2014 09:10 AM)living thing Wrote:  So does something need to know that a golden planet exists, in order for a golden planet to exist? Are living beings (things able to extract information from the motion of things around them and inside them) required for there to be lifeless matter incapable of knowing anything? I would say it is probably the other way around: the existence of matter is probably a requirement for the existence of living beings. Even abstract beings such as computer viruses need an existing computer to be executed on.

Yes. I would agree with that.

(even the ol' brain-in-a-jar presupposes a jar)

(09-04-2014 09:10 AM)living thing Wrote:  I don’t know, but to me it makes more sense to think that the existence of the universe would remain mostly unaffected if an elephant stepped on my brain. My mental picture of it would fuck off, of course, along with any other capabilities I may have as a living being, but the set of existing things in the universe would remain almost exactly the same. I’m just a temporary arrangement of matter, why would my mostly insignificant knowledge be required for the universe to exist?

See above!

(09-04-2014 09:10 AM)living thing Wrote:  Other than that minor point, I think I agree with your view. Thanks for sharing it!

NP, it's an interesting topic.

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09-04-2014, 11:48 AM
RE: Gathering perspectives
At least I find it interesting.

I hope you don't mind if I slightly rearrange some of your sentences; I'm not trying to change the meaning they convey, just simplify the replies.

(09-04-2014 10:37 AM)cjlr Wrote:  If things exist independently of interaction (the foundational assumption), then they exist even without any interaction. (...) So the coherent definition of existence is that arising exclusively from interaction
But I don't understand how the coherent definition of existence is that arising exclusively from interaction, if things exist even without any interaction.

(09-04-2014 10:37 AM)cjlr Wrote:  But without any interaction, their existence isn't meaningful - so the definitions need to be clarified a little.
Yes, I agree. That is the whole purpose of this thread; I'd like others to clarify their definitions for me so that I can understand what they write about. For example, what are you referring to when you describe something as meaningful? I consider something meaningful when it conveys one or more implications, but I wouldn't be surprised if you were referring to a different notion.

In my view, even if things are too far apart to exert any significant influence on one another, their existence still implies that each is located somewhere in relation to the rest, so even in the absence of interaction, I still find an implication and thus meaning in existence. To exist, the way I use the word, is to occupy a specific volume at a specific distance in a specific direction from a specific reference point. But that is simply the way I use the word, I cannot claim it is an objectively correct way to use it.

(09-04-2014 10:37 AM)cjlr Wrote:  (even the ol' brain-in-a-jar presupposes a jar)
And a brain.

My brain is a collection of cells, some specialised in propagating an electrochemical signal, others specialised in feeding the first ones, and others specialised in doing other things. But it is not just a lump of cells, it is a highly complex arrangement of matter in space, able to constrict the motion of specific pieces of matter (the ions that flow in and out of my cells as the nervous impulse is propagated along their membranes) to specific paths of motion (the different neural pathways in my brain) with specific outcomes.

My mind is a collection of thoughts, which are series of abstract notions conveyed by the propagation of electrochemical signals in some of the cells in my brain; those notions arranged sequentially over time.

For my mind to be (an arrangement of notions over time) it requires my brain to exist (inside my skull). The opposite does not seem to be true, though. I was once watching a film on TV, and suddenly I blinked and all the people in the film changed, and started doing things that didn't make any sense in the story. It still took me a while to realise that I had fallen asleep for over an hour. I am almost sure my brain had remained inside my skull for all that time, but my mind had just disappeared for over an hour.

I don't know, but in my view, I try to keep reality separate from the mental model of reality that I may have in my mind. Whether that is a sensible thing to do or not, I cannot truly know.
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09-04-2014, 12:43 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
Hello bemore, how are you?

(09-04-2014 10:14 AM)bemore Wrote:  To the point about if you need to know something exists in order for it to exist id like to add that we all, at our conception, when our fathers sperm entered our mothers egg began to exist, yet had nothing to comprehend it with (which raises the question what does it actually entail or what would be the parameters of actual "existence" (Start/finish point of life) when focusing on one living creature)
Especially considering that even before our first diploid genome is "assembled" (using the term loosely, meaning that both parental sets of chromosomes share the same nucleus, not that they physically combine which happens years later) the things that yield our existence already exist; mum's egg is in one of her ovaries, and dad's sperm cell is in one of his balls.

(09-04-2014 10:14 AM)bemore Wrote:  Imagination.... If I invent something with working parts, in my minds eye, regardless of if I make it or not does it exist? Would I need to make it to see if it works?
I'd say you do; many designs never make it past the trials. Imagine that you invent a perpetual motion machine... you'd have to build it to see if it works.

But now that you mention it, I sometimes wonder if everyone has that mind's eye able to invent things. What's your impression? Do you think it is possible that some people go through life without ever inventing anything at all? (I'm sorry if that's off topic)

Cheers!
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09-04-2014, 02:44 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
(09-04-2014 12:43 PM)living thing Wrote:  I'd say you do; many designs never make it past the trials. Imagine that you invent a perpetual motion machine... you'd have to build it to see if it works.

So until we build it then it does not exist? How does that parallel with the brief exchange we had about the start of "existence/life" in material form? Is it only in the realms of probability that it exists?

(09-04-2014 12:43 PM)living thing Wrote:  But now that you mention it, I sometimes wonder if everyone has that mind's eye able to invent things. What's your impression?

I think that the imagination is a very powerful and underused tool of our brains that is based upon the sum of all of our experiences/knowledge up until that point (Which leads me to the next point.....)

(09-04-2014 12:43 PM)living thing Wrote:  Do you think it is possible that some people go through life without ever inventing anything at all?

If everything that we experience/express through thought, linguistics, art, anything...... is based upon something from the past in the form of taught knowledge or life experience. How do you ever know that you have had a truly original thought, what have you to compare it too?

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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