Mind mechanisms seen from a metaphorical mile

Peter F fell_spamtrap_in at ozemail.com.au
Tue Jan 7 07:30:19 EST 2003


(I'll begin, below, with a bit of a cryptic statement.)

When dared to philosophically take-in "too much" (of What Is going on), few
take up the challenge.

Leaving aside the most obvious possibility that an expectation of having to
cope with too vast a pile of information can easily become a put off, most
will decline to pursue this (potentially perilous) prospect partly because
they quickly get a
preconscious whiff of that certain aspects of such a philosophical overview
(in a sense an "effectively philosophy terminating" overview) would be
psychologically overly onerous.

Hence, the last-mentioned cause of this kind of capitulation implies that a
potential
intellectual path to a "philanthropically oriented overview" may be
automatically and chronically side-stepped by

1. a thus proposed individual's conditioning in combination with the
inbuilt self-preserving functions of his or her "Actention (Selection)
System" [fresh acronym-building alternative to "brain" or "Central Nervous
System"] and

2. because the phylogeny of folks has proceeded according to a seldom
spotted (though simple) Darwinian _sub_principle that briefly can be
described as follows:

A natural selection of - or, more encompassingly put, evolutionary pressures
towards - "ambi-advantageous"  mutations/mutants/adaptations - to the effect
that "nonconscious actention selecting" processing of the totality of
environmental and endogenous factors (each individual's "life-situational
totality") serves to censor what and how much neurally coded
life-situational information will be paid cognitive, emotional and/or motor
"_actention_".

["Actention" is a mere amalgam of "activity" and attention, and so is what I
mean by it.]


Implied in this overview (being outlined here) is a unifying and useful (but
of course not complete - and actually very simple!) view of Consciousness.

This view, and pragmatic and partial defintion, of consciousness takes into
account a widely recognized essential neurophysioanatomical ingredient of
all manners of paying actention (up to and including the level of cognitive
functions).

I plainly propose (borrowing from Alexander Luria's The Working Brain,
chapter 2) that consciousness is defined as any sufficiently actention
module energizing contribution made by "nonspecific" fibres (of "reticular
activating type" neurons) in the spinal chord and upwards throughout the
neuroanatomy of the Actention Selection System.

[Hence the definition is not limited to encompass only levels of
consciousness specific to the Actention Regulating System of the Encephalon.
%-)]



There are two aspects to the meaning of "ambi-advantageous selection":

One aspect holds - i.e. holds from a view-point of evolutionary pressures
and the "Evolutionary Pressure Totality"* that natural selection is not
usually simple or crystaline but kaleidoscopic and more often the result of
combinations of several simultaneous environmental influences.

[* Most generally put and pidgeon-holed: Adverse and Opportune such
"pressures".]


Because so many evolutionary outcomes (and our phylogeny as a whole) have
obviously
been caused in a manner of multiple simultaneously selective pressures, I
feel justified in having strategically separated out and named three key
kinds of evolutionary pressures into their own respective "septs" (~
categories).

It almost goes without saying that I did this classification with the help
of a deliberately Tolerance Principled effort (an effort to be realistic
enough) to accept a naturally inevitable degree of imprecision.




The _TWO_ general-most of the 3 (by me oh so simply settled for) "septs"
are: "Adversity type" and "Opportunity type" evolutionary pressures (or
formative factors and influences) of/'behind' our de facto phylogeny.




[N.B. "Adversity" and "Opportunity" are didactic labels on a dialectic
dichotomy - one that has been found philosophically most far-reaching, apt,
and useful, BY ME.]




[By the way, Scottish clans are traditionally classified by family names
collectively called "septs".]


However, the most important (and by me most uniquely recognized) sEPT* is a
sub "set" or 'sub sEPT' (alternatively so to speak) of Adversity type
evolutionary pressures.

[So to spell - because
capitals can flag that I use this word in a sense approximately equal to
that of "category", but in my own uniquely classifying context quite
apart from Scottish genealogy]


[By the way: "Adversity" in this philosophical context also refers to
destructive or
disintegrative events, powers (forces), and tendencies in general; generally
enough to apply to cosmological emergence and evolution. However the word's
main meaning is here (within my primarily self-edutaining
philosophical terminology) to refer to evolutionary pressure factors, or
ditto features, such as not the least environmentally produced presences of
adversely stimulating influences AND environments that are specifically
adversely deficient in, or IOW that generate some specific absence(s) of,
psychobiologically required (IOW instinctively needed)
stimulation or nourishments.]


This sub sEPT includes the wide variety of possible (frequently occurred
throughout phylogeny) life-situations that all fit being defined in context
of an individual's innate primary tendency to react or "focus and pay
actention" in a futile flight or fight fashion when caught-up in what can be
described as "Hibernation* imploring" type situations.

  * [The capitalized H flags that the word is meant somewhat
metaphorically and that it is stretched to be roomy enough to refer to any
inhibitory self-regulatory actention averting coping mechanism; The optional
T-tag may serve as a reminder that a Tolerance Principled attitude may help
you, as it has helped me, to accept and adopt this concept.]

Even though this "sub sEPT" (to Adverse evolutionary pressures) is a concEPT
that can be seen
to cover a very broad range of "Hibernation imploring type
(life-)situations", the meaning that I most of all wish to emphasize is the
(still
broad) _sub_category of such situations within which the most likely to
succeed
survival strategy is one that may be called "selective* HibernationT**".
Besides, from "selective Hibernation imploring type situations" a fittingly
unpleasant-sounding acronym, SHITS, may be derived! ;-)

* That is, "selective" as in "discretely neuroanatomically localized".

** Hence "selective Hibernation" is a self-regulatory function that actively
causes a precise and parallel (so only very partial) _unconsciousness_, and
that does so by effecting a blockage of transmission of information within
neural circuits (actention modules) that otherwise would
generate a seriously self-defeating "SHITS focused" Consciousness* [* i.e.
Consciousness as previously EPTly defined]. By means of "selective
Hibernation" SHITS specific such modules receive enough gating or inhibitory
feedback (by SHITS detecting inhibitory intramodular interneurons) to stop
them becoming energized enough to turn tenaciously (though transiently)
dominant within the actention selection system, with the result that they
get to manifest itself in the form of a self-defeatingly distressful, and/or
likewise futile flight-or-fight type, preoccupation.

Apart from the indirectly 'actention selecting' effect provided by SHITS
detecting inhibitory intramodular neurons (and possibly internal
overload-detecting treshold-mechanisms inside neurons), the entire Actention
Selection System can be seen (i.e., metaphorically from afar) as an
environmentally 'cheered' (sensorially/memorially encouraged) and 'booed'
(sensorially/memorially discouraged) competition between actention modules
that are functionally (and adaptationally) mutually incompatible (when
simultaneously stirred either endogenously and/or environmentally) and that
therefore are mutually exclusive by means of mutual synaptic and molecular
means of inhibiting each other. This most mundane mutual
inhibition/competition between functionally/adaptionally incompatible
actention modules is more traditionally recognized as a most general
organizing feature, or internal functional principle, of brains. It is
referred to as "lateral inhibition", or -  as per Paul Bush's website - as
"centre/surronund excitation/inhibition"].

However less than half of the meaning of the EPT key concept (or concEPT)
"ambi-advantageous" implicitly refers to those life-situations that for
survival
require "selective Hibernation".

Here is more about what I mean by "selective Hibernation imploring type
situations" (or SHITS, for short and sharp):

The concEPT covers (compares and cross-correlates) any particular (whether
vaguely or distinctly discernable) environmental influences or circumstances
(situations) within which the individual's eventual reproductive survival
vitally depends on the availability of a prior mutation that allows a
neurologically localized and with fine precision selectively actention
module inhibiting response whilst, in parallel, more fruitful/hopeful
(nonfutile) actentions modules may remain relatively unaffected and possibly
promoted and realised by being energized by other more tractable, less
adverse or even opportune, concurrent aspects of the individual's
environment/life-situation.

Other than implying the EPT meaning of "SHITS", the meaning of
"ambi-advantageous" (also EPT, of course) is
closely tied to my uneasy (yet not impossible) recognition (and I hope
likewise yours) of the many cases in fauna-relevant phylogeny (and of course
in recent historical and contemporary life-situations) in which SHITS type
adverse evolutionary pressures occurred on top of (or in overlap with) one
or more environmentally presented "Opportunity type" pressure. More
specifically, in life-situations where individuals are simultaneously
faced with, or challenged by (or have ended up in), on one hand, a SHITS,
and, on the other hand, are "positively challenged" by one or more
environmental Opportunity in the form of potential survival and reproduction
facilitating niches (habitats, habits, hobbits, or life-styles) or
"micro-niches"* for the taking (* e.g., thus advantagous psychosocial roles
yet to be played).

Pre-evolved memory functions have ~always~ tended to
allow selective Hibernation imploring type situations to be retained
together with their respectively originally induced and inevitably required
(for survival) state of selective Hibernation (or a selectively Hibernatory
self-regulatory 'state' of neurochemical activity).
This can be taken to mean, and talked about in terms of, that
SHITS as if "put CURSES" into the brain (or relevant self-regulatory system)
of individuals who has ended-up in a SHITS. %-}

CURSES is short for "Conditioned-in Unconsciously Remembered Stressors
Effecting Symptoms".

A more explicitly defining alternative abbreviation with
identical pronounciation but still more spooky spelling is "CCKHHURSES"
[from
"Conditioned-in Chronically (but not constantly) Kept Hibernated, Hence
Unconsiously Remembered,

Stressor(s)....etcetera"].

CURSES is not only an insidiously influencial quasi endogenous
co-motivational factor behind many a human behaviour and cultur, but also a
seldom appreciated and theoretically accounted-for selection pressure (one
that is primarily belongs to the adversity category of evolutionary
challenges (pressures); or, in other words, is an as if "internalized
extension" of life-situations/selective pressures of SHITS type adversity.

* By the way, the notion of "evolutionary pressures" imply the existence of
both 'endogenously emergent' (fundamental physical and biochemical) and
environmental life-situational determinants of evolutionary patterns of
outcome, or factors, or patterns of patterning, behind evolved phenotypes
and their behavioural or more or less concrete cultural manifestations.

The de facto evolutionary "default design path" that corresponds to the
above-mentioned sub principle (perceivable when looking at a high-resolution
picture of the "Tree of animal Evolution"), and the functional aspects of
brains and of behaviours (most especially human) that likewise correspond to
this sub principle, can be
collectively referred to by the umbrella term (and concEPT) "AEVASIVE".

AEVASIVE is a pliable concept pracmatically contrived with reference to that
this subprinciple is made evident partly by the existence and function of
endogenous opiates and their role along-side other neurotransmitters within
the brain (or Actention Selection System, strategically so to speak).

I concEPTualized AEVASIVE to only approximately but stably enough stand for:
"Ambi-advantageosly Emerged (or Evolved), Vital (often), Actention Selection
(and/or System) Incorporating (amongst much else) Various Endoopiates".

Happy New (even though it will be, as usual, a globally and on the whole mad
and disastrous) Year!

Peter





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