igoddard at erols.mom
Wed Sep 20 00:29:43 EST 2000
On Tue, 19 Sep 2000 20:32:51 GMT, "Glen M. Sizemore"
<gmsizemore at triad.rr.com> wrote:
>IAN: If no data in the brain is perceived,
>then where do you perceive your dreams?
>Glen: I should have added above: "An related
>question is whether or not it makes sense to say that
>activity of the nervous system is 'data.'" It is data if
>you are a neuroscientist measuring aspects of the
>nervous system, but not if you are the person in
>whom the neural activity is occurring. Just like
>copies - it is whole humans that "use data." To talk
>about a part of the brain "doing" what a whole
>person is said to do (like "see" or "use data" or "use
>information") doesn't get us any closer to a solution
>than we were since it is the nature of "seeing" etc.
>after which we inquire. We must answer the
>question "What is seeing?" before it makes sense to
>ask "Where is seeing?" or, indeed, if it makes any
>sense to even ask "Where is seeing?"
IAN: Part of finding out "what is seeing"
is observing where it is. The whole body
is involved in seeing in that it acts as
a data-acquisition apparatus where acquired
data (information) is not perceived until
it's been proceeded in the brain. This is
empirically-based basic physiology. If it
is not accurate, I've not seen that shown.
It seems to me that issues that you raise are
semantical, such as that "data" to a nervous
system isn't the same as "data" to a scientist.
Data is information and everything I see can
be said to be data, just like photons can be
said to carry information about their source,
and just like nerve impulses carry data to the
brain for perceptual processing. While the
mechanics of intra-brain perception are far
from fully understood, you appear to advocate
a degree of unknowing about perception that
exceeds the given state of empirical knowledge.
>IAN: I guess you're saying that during dreaming
>your brain has not modeled a simulated
>world you inhabit in a simulated body.
>Glen: Right. I would say that during dreams one is
>behaving, and that to some extent we observe our
>own behavior. There is a lot more that I could say
>here concerning how it is we come to observe our
>own behavior, and the relation of this to behavioral
>neurobiology, but I will not pursue that at present.
IAN: You seem to reduce the dream experience
to "observing our behavior." As you noted,
let's think about what the "data" is to the
observer. Years ago I practiced mediations
designed to induce "astral travel." After
much effort I finally managed to preserve
consciousness into the dreaming state. Being
able to preserve concessions into the dreaming
state is an invaluable opportunity for study
of the nature of perception and consciousness.
I've observe the content of dreams with great
care, and the basic phenomenological content
of dreams can seem exactly as real the content
of the waking world we inhabit everyday. Once
in a dream there was an apparatus composed of
many reflective-metal tubes with smooth bends
in them; it was in a larger room. I was aware
that this was a dream and I studied the tubes
and observed that the contents of the room
were accurately reflected on the tubes, and
were distorted by tube shapes exactly like
in real life. This confirmed to me that the
brain is a perfect 3-D modeling machine.
There are devices you can purchase designed
to assist you in achieving lucid dreaming. I
don't know how effective those devices are.
But the point is that dreams are proof that
the brain can create a model with and entire
external universe with you existing in it as
a subset of that universe, and yet the whole
perceived universe you're in is in your brain.
There's no reason to believe the same is not
true of our waking world, with the difference
that our waking model is designed according
to data streaming in from the external world.
> IAN: It also challenged mine, but because I was not
>able to explain how you can perceive data before
>it enters your brain, I modified my world paradigm.
>The result was a model that explains many
>Glen: As I have pointed out, the problem with
>representationalism is not the locus of what is seen
>but, rather, "What is 'seeing?'" When we talk about
>the brain, or parts of the brain, using the same
>terminology that we use to describe the behavior of
>the whole person, we create a homunculism and an
>P1: Seeing requires copies (in the brain or mind).
>P2: We don't see the "real world," we see copies (in
>the brain or mind).
>If seeing requires copies, then we cannot "see" the
>copy, for that (by P1) would require a copy. Seeing
>this copy would, obviously, require another copy.
IAN: I don't see why seeing the copy requires
another copy. Physical reality dictates that
the location in space and time of an external
event is not the same as the location in space
and time that the perception of that event by
an observer occurs. Since the event does not
occur in two places, the place of perception
must contain a copy of the external event.
It's like the "copy" of the external world
that exists in a reflection in a glass lens,
it's not the same as the original external world.
Ian Williams Goddard --> http://www.erols.com/igoddard
"The more restrictions and prohibitions in the world,
the poorer people get." Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
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