[Neuroscience] Re: Parrot's oratory stuns scientists

Benjamin via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by Benjamin At verizon.net)
Sat Jan 27 08:49:05 EST 2007

Preliminary comment:

This was the longer post that I'd written in reply
to John's earlier post, but I self-censored it, thinking
it "too much".

But I'll share it here [without rereading it, which I
hope I'll not regret :-]


"They are making correct logical inferences on an abstract representation of
their world, which would usually be called 'reasoning' in humans," he said."


The story is about fish making inferences.

All of this stuff is also all TD E/I-minimization.

The only thing that any nervous systems do is TD E/I-minimization.

Whence 'differences' between species' nervous system information-
processing capabilities derive is in the "pressures of necessity"
[after A. Lincoln] inherent within the environments in which they

Thus, a fish nervous system doesn't incorporate capacities for
"writing on paper" because paper can't exist [for long] in water,
nor is there any unchanging surface upon which symbols could
be written [other than rock, and rock is too hard].

But fish do "express" themselves in ways such as nest-building,
and angler fish even "tell stories", "perform dramas", and "tell

And all of all of this sort of stuff is 'just' TD E/I-minimization -- 
with each evolving "group" -- all-of-Life, species, organism
within species, organ within organism, organelle within
organism, molecule within organelle, and position of 'atom'
within bio-molecule each being functionally-distributed in a
way that maximizes each of these "group's" 'abilities' to
achieve "TD E/I-minimization at the scale of the "grouping".

Inter-species differences derive in this =one= thing, with one
species taking advantage of the environmental "interstitial
spaces" [so to speak :-] left-over by other species.

This extends, during organisms' life 'times', even with re-
spect to their intra-species interactive dynamics.

Thus, the experience of an organism actually modifies
the organism's structure -- which has all been completely-
confirmed by modern medicine in, for instance, its studies
of, well, the actions of "medicines" :-] And, more-appropri-
ately with respect to this discussion, in the way that neuro-
science has made it possible to actually map on-going
neural plasticity -- the important thing, here, being that
"neural plasticity" isn't something that happens only
with respect to injury. It happens as a matter-of-fact con-
sequence of nervous systems' 'striving' to achieve TD E/I-
minimization. Such can be traced even in the basic layouts
of nervous systems ["ontology recapitulates phylogeny"].
The "basic layouts" gain their intergenerational persistences
solely be-cause a particular "layout" enables an organism
to achieve greater TD E/I-minimization than other "layouts"
[the complete extension, of course, requiring a treatment
of 3D-Energydynamics at the molecular and 'atomic' levels
[which is why I've discussed Tapered Harmony in the past
here in b.n].


The above is why, for instance, pets and their humans
acquire behavioral 'similarities' over 'time' [with mean
people usually training-up mean dogs :-] [I'm expert in
this, BTW -- had to become expert in it back in my days
as a morning paper boy -- it's the "pressures of neces-
sity" once again -- my ability to see that mean people
train-up mean dogs resulted from my experience with
each of my customers who had dogs. But, you see? All
of this is also just TD E/I-minimization.]

I hope that I've not 'confused' folks with the above. It's
just that, as John implied in his prior post [quoted below],
it's 'unfortunate' that humans have thought themselves
'superior' to animals -- because =all= nervous systems,
regardless of species, do only =one= thing: TD E/I-min-
imization. It's TD E/I-minimization that maps Life into the

All inter-species 'differences' derive solely in the "press-
ures of necessity" that exist within the environments into
which species' forebears have migrated. Each offspring
is born into the environment into which its forebears
have migrated -- and its survival depends upon the
degree to which its organism is optimized with respect
to =that= environment. So it doesn't make any sense to
say that, "since fish cannot write sonnets, they're stupid".
In their own environments, each species is "intelligent".

That a fish is as "uncomfortable" out of the water as
we are if we find ourselves immersed in it, says =nothing=
about the relative 'merits' of either organism within their
natural environments.

Underneath it all, it's all just the =one= thing: TD E/I-min-

The physical 'forces' ambient in the environments in
which species evolve literally shape the species via
TD E/I-minimization at the level of 3D-Energydynamics.

So what if a fish can't "write down the laws of 'gravity'"?

'Apples' don't fall in water, and books rapidly-deteriorate,
so a fish that "wrote a book" would be 'crazy' :-]

But fish flat-out =know= all that they need to 'know' about
'gravity' because they 'know' about the changes of water-
pressure that vary with depth, and they routinely use
such 'knowledge' to ascend and descend within their
3-dimensional [!] worlds -- something that human can-
not even dream of doing [aqualungs not withstanding] -- 
humans just cannot sense the water pressure [until
not-sensing it gives them "the bends".]

Please don't misconstrue my long-winded-ness. I'm
not arguing that "fish are humans". What I'm doing in
this message is working, in yet another way, to give
folks understanding with respect to TD E/I-minimization,
how it integrates all of Life, and how, from the one thing,
'differences' arise -- my hope being that folks'll come
to be able to see past the 'differences' to the Same-

The point being that the fish gliding around the "sunk-
en treasure chest" in your acquarium and the Child
trying to get to school without getting shot -- whether
in Camden, Palestine, Baghdad or Kabul -- are all
intrinsically doing the =one= thing -- TD E/I-minimiz-

The meta-point being that it's completely-senseless
to 'endeavor' to 'force' TD E/I-minimization because
doing so =only= instantiates "pressures of necessity"
that, thereafter, shape TD E/I-minimization that 'moves
away from' the 'force' that's been exerted. [It's all been
discussed in AoK [in particular, Ap4 and Ap8] all along.]

What we humans can do is work together to optimize
TD E/I-minimization for all people, everywhere. Such
doesn't require 'money'. Such requires =understanding=
communicated so that it becomes "environment".

Communication is Free.

Costs nothing.

All you have to do is communicate.

Like humans are capable of doing.

Then, we humans will become that which is understood
because it's been communicated.

What is that?

Beings who understand how and why affect comes
to be alligned by experience -- no matter what the
experience entails.

So, if we 'lock ourselves in', experientially, =anything=
that is relatively-'unfamiliar' [relatively-non-TD E/I-min-
imized;relatively-"unfinitized" [AoK, Ap4]] will elevate
TD E/I within our nervous systems, with "affect" being
aligned accordingly, which, absent-understanding,
tends to induce us to "strike-out" against the environ-
mental source of the TD E/I(up) -- which is, typically,
the 'others' who we 'perceive' as having induced us
to experience the TD E/I(up).

That's all that "war" has ever been.

Wedeign to hold ourselves 'superior' to animals, but
we've yet to separate ourselves even from the fish that
'blindly' and automatically reacts to anything 'unfamiliar'
nearby its nest.

The fish must, lest it be eaten.

We humans can do more than strike-out.

We can =understand= how and why the 'impulse' to
'strike-out' arises within -- out of nothing more than
TD E/I(up) that derives, not in Truth, but in experiential

Postscript added after receiving Steve's msg:

See? Even though it often doesn't seem so [Iraq,
Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation, lying, cheating,
stealing, etc.] the difference between humans and fish
and other non-human species is that we can
understand how our nervous systems work.

So we can understand how and why 'territoriality'
arises within us and use that understanding to
build a world where there's enough to go around
rather than fighting over the scraps left over from
our former non-cooperation.

It's no contest. Humanity "pulling together" can
[and, hopefully, will] find that "its cup runneth
over" in that way.


"John H." <j_hasenkam At yahoo.com.au> wrote in message
news:1167968309.174354.155110 At 42g2000cwt.googlegroups.com...
> There was a report a couple of years ago wherein the scientists claimed
> that the mice appeared to be giggling. I don't know why people think
> laughter or humour is unique to humans, it seems the more we look at
> animal behavior the more we realise animals are much smarter than we
> ever gave them credit for. For example, in one interview with a woman
> who owned a magpie and a couple of dogs she commented on how the
> magpie, which was tame and would perch on her lounge, would fool the
> dogs into running off off the lounge. The magpie soon learned that
> whenever the ducks squawked in the pond in the backyard, the dogs would
> jump off the couch and run down to the pond. So the magpie learned to
> mimic the duck sounds and sure enough off the dogs ran, which is rather
> odd giving the magpie was perched above them; but then again the dogs
> were responding reflexively. Now you'd think the dogs would learn after
> a while but apparently they are dumber than magpies. The owner said
> that once the dogs had left the magpie would jump onto the couch and
> begin to preen itself, as if immensely satisfied with its achievement.
> The fact that animals can master language and such trickery does not so
> much speak about their intelligence as it does challenge our notions
> about "higher level" cognition and the "special" nature of language.
> Instead of raising our ideas about animal intelligence, perhaps we
> should reduce our ideas about human intelligence.
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3430481.stm
> Parrot's oratory stuns scientists
> ...
> He appears to fancy himself as a humourist. When another parrot hung
> upside down from its perch, he commented: "You got to put this bird on
> the camera."

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