m.kirkcaldie at removethis.unsw.edu.au
Thu Mar 3 20:52:56 EST 2005
In article <rk8e21ltoju5og0iv4rrvtnp9n7uc4skoe at 4ax.com>,
"Sir Frederick" <mmcneill at fuzzysys.com> wrote:
> I admit to that, though sophistry is sophistry though idle.
> What better is there when you're 67 years old?
> I've tried depression and blindness, sophistry is at least
> potentially threatening to the hubristic bound primate folk
> (more fun).
> Direct stimulation of neural (inside skull) structures is a new
> avenue (without physically poking something in there).
> I am always looking for ways to overthrow the ancient
> folk paradigms on what it is and means to be human;
> the old paradigms suck and are getting us into trouble.
I agree with your intentions, but having been TMSed, I can say that the
experience devolves into a comparison or combination of known
experiences. I would go so far as to say we can't experience anything
radically *new* once the structure of our nervous systems have been laid
down. The idea of Kant's categorical imperatives floats into my mind at
this point, but since I've never studied philosophy I'm not entirely
I mean, if you electrically stimulate a peripheral nerve on the forearm,
it feels like things touching or stimulating the skin which it normally
innervates, and doesn't feel like a "new" sensation except in that the
pattern of simultaneous activation is not something we usually
experience. We place our interpretation on the activity of the nervous
system by referring to the patterns we have experienced in the past.
That's why Wilder Penfield's experiments yielded fragmentary parts of
previous experiences, rather than the person being able to say "I'm
having a qualitatively new experience which is unique to being
stimulated on the brain." Instead, we interpret the results of the
novel stimulation method as if the impulses it generates were caused by
the usual means of stimulating those cells or fibres.
At least that's my take on it, and I've experienced TMS - perhaps not
with the goal of finding a new way to describe the experience, though.
My example of the battery on the tongue was flippant but almost
precisely equivalent to TMS in principle.
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