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Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Philosophy (Meaty Metaphysical Munchables!) Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 16, 17, 18  Next
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Posted: Jan 29, 2014 - 5:24pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Our quantum reality problem – Adrian Kent – Aeon
When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable

(...) It was clear from the start that quantum theory challenged all our previous preconceptions about the nature of matter and how it behaves, and indeed about what science can possibly – even in principle – say about these questions. Over the years, this very slipperiness has made it irresistible to hucksters of various descriptions. I regularly receive ads offering to teach me how to make quantum jumps into alternate universes, tap into my infinite quantum self-energy, and make other exciting-sounding excursions from the plane of reason and meaning. It’s worth stressing, then, that the theory itself is both mathematically precise and extremely well confirmed by experiment.

Quantum mechanics has correctly predicted the outcomes of a vast range of investigations, from the scattering of X-rays by crystals to the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider. It successfully explains a vast range of natural phenomena, including the structure of atoms and molecules, nuclear fission and fusion, the way light interacts with matter, how stars evolve and shine, and how the elements forming the world around us were originally created.

Yet it puzzled many of its founders, including Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger, and it continues to puzzle physicists today. Einstein in particular never quite accepted it. ‘It seems hard to sneak a look at God’s cards,’ he wrote to a colleague, ‘but that he plays dice and uses “telepathic” methods (as the present quantum theory requires of him) is something that I cannot believe for a single moment.’ In a 1935 paper co-written with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, Einstein asked: ‘Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?’ He concluded that it could not. Given apparently sensible demands on what a description of physical reality must entail, it seemed that something must be missing. We needed a deeper theory to understand physical reality fully.

Einstein never found the deeper theory he sought. Indeed, later theoretical work by the Irish physicist John Bell and subsequent experiments suggested that the apparently reasonable demands of that 1935 paper could never be satisfied. Had Einstein lived to see this work, he would surely have agreed that his own search for a deeper theory of reality needed to follow a different path from the one he sketched in 1935.

Even so, I believe that Einstein would have remained convinced that a deeper theory was needed. None of the ways we have so far found of looking at quantum theory are entirely believable. In fact, it’s worse than that. To be ruthlessly honest, none of them even quite makes sense. But that might be about to change. (...)



 
we are but bumps on the ass of a cosmic jackass
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Posted: Jan 29, 2014 - 5:12pm

Our quantum reality problem – Adrian Kent – Aeon
When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable

(...) It was clear from the start that quantum theory challenged all our previous preconceptions about the nature of matter and how it behaves, and indeed about what science can possibly – even in principle – say about these questions. Over the years, this very slipperiness has made it irresistible to hucksters of various descriptions. I regularly receive ads offering to teach me how to make quantum jumps into alternate universes, tap into my infinite quantum self-energy, and make other exciting-sounding excursions from the plane of reason and meaning. It’s worth stressing, then, that the theory itself is both mathematically precise and extremely well confirmed by experiment.

Quantum mechanics has correctly predicted the outcomes of a vast range of investigations, from the scattering of X-rays by crystals to the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider. It successfully explains a vast range of natural phenomena, including the structure of atoms and molecules, nuclear fission and fusion, the way light interacts with matter, how stars evolve and shine, and how the elements forming the world around us were originally created.

Yet it puzzled many of its founders, including Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger, and it continues to puzzle physicists today. Einstein in particular never quite accepted it. ‘It seems hard to sneak a look at God’s cards,’ he wrote to a colleague, ‘but that he plays dice and uses “telepathic” methods (as the present quantum theory requires of him) is something that I cannot believe for a single moment.’ In a 1935 paper co-written with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, Einstein asked: ‘Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?’ He concluded that it could not. Given apparently sensible demands on what a description of physical reality must entail, it seemed that something must be missing. We needed a deeper theory to understand physical reality fully.

Einstein never found the deeper theory he sought. Indeed, later theoretical work by the Irish physicist John Bell and subsequent experiments suggested that the apparently reasonable demands of that 1935 paper could never be satisfied. Had Einstein lived to see this work, he would surely have agreed that his own search for a deeper theory of reality needed to follow a different path from the one he sketched in 1935.

Even so, I believe that Einstein would have remained convinced that a deeper theory was needed. None of the ways we have so far found of looking at quantum theory are entirely believable. In fact, it’s worse than that. To be ruthlessly honest, none of them even quite makes sense. But that might be about to change. (...)


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Posted: Jan 22, 2014 - 10:26am

Optical illusions educate the mind – Iwan Rhys Morus – Aeon

NoEnzLefttoSplit
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Posted: Jan 17, 2014 - 12:38pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Discovery of quantum vibrations in 'microtubules' inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness
A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons. The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in "microtubules" inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions. (...)


 
Bandyopadhyay and his team will couple microtubule vibrations from active neurons to play Indian musical instruments. "Consciousness depends on anharmonic vibrations of microtubules inside neurons, similar to certain kinds of Indian music, but unlike Western music which is harmonic," Hameroff explains.
sounds better than a drum machine.
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Posted: Jan 16, 2014 - 9:15pm

Discovery of quantum vibrations in 'microtubules' inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness
A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons. The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in "microtubules" inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions. (...)

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Posted: Nov 24, 2013 - 11:55am

The Limits of Understanding - World Science Festival
This statement is false. Think about it, and it makes your head hurt. If it’s true, it’s false. If it’s false, it’s true. In 1931, Austrian logician Kurt Gödel shocked the worlds of mathematics and philosophy by establishing that such statements are far more than a quirky turn of language: he showed that there are mathematical truths which simply can’t be proven. In the decades since, thinkers have taken the brilliant Gödel’s result in a variety of directions—linking it to limits of human comprehension and the quest to recreate human thinking on a computer. In this full program from the 2010 Festival, leading thinkers untangle Gödel’s discovery and examine the wider implications of his revolutionary finding.

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Posted: Nov 22, 2013 - 11:23am

In defense of philosophy - Opinion - Al Jazeera English
Authors question the dominant suspicion of philosophical inquiry and critical thinking in democratic societies.

On World Philosophy Day, UN official urges critical thinking on inclusion, sustainability
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Posted: Nov 18, 2013 - 5:48pm

Skepticism, Godzilla, and the Artificial Computerized Many-Branching You | Machines Like Us
Nick Bostrom has argued that we might be sims. A technologically advanced society might use hugely powerful computers, he says, to run "ancestor simulations" containing actually conscious people who think they are living, say, on Earth in the early 21st century but who in fact live entirely inside an advanced computational system. David Chalmers has considered a similar possibility in his well-known commentary on the movie The Matrix. (...)

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Posted: Oct 20, 2013 - 5:28pm

Does life have a purpose? (Michael Ruse/Aeon)
Nobody expects atoms and molecules to have purposes, so why do we still think of living things in this way?

My Modest Proposal for Solving the “Meaning of Life Problem”—and Reducing Global Conflict (John Horgon/Cross-Check/SciAm)
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Posted: Oct 19, 2013 - 2:43pm

What Is 'Evil' to Google?
Speculations on the company's contribution to moral philosophy

Last week, another distasteful use of your personal information by Google came to light: The company plans to attach your name and likeness to advertisements delivered across its products without your permission.

As happens every time the search giant does something unseemly, Google's plan to turn its users into unwitting endorsers has inspired a new round of jabs at Google's famous slogan "Don't be evil." While Google has deemphasized the motto over time, it remains prominent in the company's corporate code of conduct, and, as a cornerstone of its 2004 Founder's IPO Letter, the motto has become an inescapable component of the company's legacy.

Famous though the slogan might be, its meaning has never been clear. In the 2004 IPO letter, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin clarify that Google will be "a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains." But what counts as "good things," and who constitutes "the world?" The slogan's significance has likely changed over time, but today it seems clear that we're misunderstanding what "evil" means to the company. For today's Google, evil isn't tied to malevolence or moral corruption, the customary senses of the term. Rather, it's better to understand Google's sense of evil as the disruption of its brand of (computational) progress. (...)

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Posted: Oct 18, 2013 - 4:00pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
New insights on human consciousness | Machines Like Us

(...) Monti and his colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study how the flow of information in the brains of 12 healthy volunteers changed as they lost consciousness under anesthesia with propofol. The participants ranged in age from 18 to 31 and were evenly divided between men and women.

The psychologists analyzed the "network properties" of the subjects' brains using a branch of mathematics known as graph theory, which is often used to study air-traffic patterns, information on the Internet and social groups, among other topics.

"It turns out that when we lose consciousness, the communication among areas of the brain becomes extremely inefficient, as if suddenly each area of the brain became very distant from every other, making it difficult for information to travel from one place to another," Monti said.

The finding shows that consciousness does not "live" in a particular place in our brain but rather "arises from the mode in which billions of neurons communicate with one another," he said. (...)



 
say, wha a   a       a           a                   a                              a                                                   a                      
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Posted: Oct 18, 2013 - 3:56pm

New insights on human consciousness | Machines Like Us

(...) Monti and his colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study how the flow of information in the brains of 12 healthy volunteers changed as they lost consciousness under anesthesia with propofol. The participants ranged in age from 18 to 31 and were evenly divided between men and women.

The psychologists analyzed the "network properties" of the subjects' brains using a branch of mathematics known as graph theory, which is often used to study air-traffic patterns, information on the Internet and social groups, among other topics.

"It turns out that when we lose consciousness, the communication among areas of the brain becomes extremely inefficient, as if suddenly each area of the brain became very distant from every other, making it difficult for information to travel from one place to another," Monti said.

The finding shows that consciousness does not "live" in a particular place in our brain but rather "arises from the mode in which billions of neurons communicate with one another," he said. (...)


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Posted: Oct 16, 2013 - 5:18am

 RichardPrins wrote:
"Religion involves extraordinary use of ordinary cognitive processes to passionately display costly devotion to counterintuitive worlds governed by supernatural agents. The conceptual foundations of religion, like those of culture itself, are intuitively given by highly specialized, universal cognitive domains that are the evolutionary endowments of every human being, such as folkpsychology, folkbiology, and folkmechanics. These domains provide the cognitive means that people use, often unaware, to sort out the supernatural from the natural. A critical feature of the supernatural agent concepts common to all religions is that they trigger an "innate releasing mechanism," whose proper (naturally selected) domain encompasses animate objects but that actually extends to moving dots on computer screens, voices in the wind, faces on clouds. This mechanism consists of evolved predator-protector-prey detection schema that renders dangerous snakes and other beasts just as likely natural candidates for deification as caregiving parents.

In all religions, and thus in all societies, people believe that agents unseen have intentionally generated the world we see. God created the world for us on purpose and knows what is true. Given that people believe in truthful and purposive supernatural agents, they are able to sanctify the moral order and hold the group to commitment. But this is not the only value of such agents. In all cultures and religions, people believe that conscious souls live on after bodies die, like actors in a dream; they survive in the unseen realm of spirit, where the purposes and truths pertaining to all existence are known. In every society, people believe that ritual can provoke spirits to alter the world for the better and make clearer its meaning, like stage directors called on to change and improve a play." ~ Scott Atran, . {comment10152039076755579_32766961}..{right}..{left}... ">In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion

 
we could also substitute politics/political figures/political positions for religion here (the deification of it all)

and i could/would argue that currently political deification is much more deadly and violent (in first world countries religious institutions as most know them don't command a military)

imho religion and politics should be studied and taught as mythology (doesn't mean that a person couldn't extrapolate some philosophical wisdom from them and apply in their lives today)

i can respect someone's right to believe in any "system" or philosophy they choose and i voluntarily participate in a lot of rituals (a lot of holiday rituals for example)

it's when a person or group of people feel so strongly that they have the moral right/claim to initiate force (either personally or externalizing it through an armed gang) on a peaceful person or peaceful people to participate in their rituals or system is where they go wrong

regards

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Posted: Oct 16, 2013 - 12:52am

"Religion involves extraordinary use of ordinary cognitive processes to passionately display costly devotion to counterintuitive worlds governed by supernatural agents. The conceptual foundations of religion, like those of culture itself, are intuitively given by highly specialized, universal cognitive domains that are the evolutionary endowments of every human being, such as folkpsychology, folkbiology, and folkmechanics. These domains provide the cognitive means that people use, often unaware, to sort out the supernatural from the natural. A critical feature of the supernatural agent concepts common to all religions is that they trigger an "innate releasing mechanism," whose proper (naturally selected) domain encompasses animate objects but that actually extends to moving dots on computer screens, voices in the wind, faces on clouds. This mechanism consists of evolved predator-protector-prey detection schema that renders dangerous snakes and other beasts just as likely natural candidates for deification as caregiving parents.

In all religions, and thus in all societies, people believe that agents unseen have intentionally generated the world we see. God created the world for us on purpose and knows what is true. Given that people believe in truthful and purposive supernatural agents, they are able to sanctify the moral order and hold the group to commitment. But this is not the only value of such agents. In all cultures and religions, people believe that conscious souls live on after bodies die, like actors in a dream; they survive in the unseen realm of spirit, where the purposes and truths pertaining to all existence are known. In every society, people believe that ritual can provoke spirits to alter the world for the better and make clearer its meaning, like stage directors called on to change and improve a play." ~ Scott Atran, In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion
Proclivities
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Posted: Oct 15, 2013 - 7:14am

 Atman wrote:

Indeed, a perfectly ironic example of 'set and setting'!

 
Those factors would usually make a big difference.


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Posted: Oct 15, 2013 - 7:06am

 Proclivities wrote:
 Atman wrote:

Perhaps, but Dr. Tim probably never met very many of the uninformed victims of Project MKUltra.

 
Indeed, a perfectly ironic example of 'set and setting'!
Proclivities
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Posted: Oct 15, 2013 - 7:01am

 Atman wrote:

Perhaps, but Dr. Tim probably never met very many of the uninformed victims of Project MKUltra.


Atman

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Posted: Oct 15, 2013 - 6:25am

This is so great. John Perry Barlow himself. The best quote, Tiny Dr. Tim himself: LSD is a drug that produces fear in people who don’t take it.

JPB - Psychedelic Culture

 

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Posted: Oct 15, 2013 - 3:58am

Human Brain Project: Henry Markram plans to spend €1bn building a perfect model of the human brain
Henry Markram tells how his son's autism fired his ambition to unlock the secrets of consciousness by using 'big data' to trace the electronic signals that zing between neurons
Henry Markram, co-director of the Human Brain Project, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, has been awarded €1bn by the EU. Photograph: Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA

Atman

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Posted: Oct 14, 2013 - 9:38am

 sirdroseph wrote:


That is correct, our brains cannot handle all of the external stimuli reality has to offer therefore the filters.  Psychadelics remove the veil and give us a glimpse into a more complete reality.

 
It's my understanding that the two molecular classes of Psychedelic drugs, indoleamines (LSD) and phenethylamines (mescaline), affect the processing of sensory information in an interesting and curious way. Imagine a TV screen with pixels. As the dose is increased, some of the pixels (individual or micro groups of neuronal firing is suppressed) are 'erased'. In the higher cortical processing of this lack of sensory information, the remaining visual field is expanded to full view, sort of like a sensory version of Dolby audio processing. In other words 'signal noise' is eliminated. This effect leads to clinical descriptions of sensory enhancement, sounds are better, images are richer, tactile sensations are more pleasurable (or painful). As the dosage increases we receive LESS sensory input (not more) and so the characteristic phrase, 'we see more and more of less and less until we see all of nothing.' At the higher dosages, there is actually NO sensory input coming through the Reticular Activating System (RAS), and what is experienced is a set of patterns, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc that are about the cortical signal patterns, or the internal neuronal firing, not random but corresponding to a finite set of patterns, which have been catalogued. Psychedelic art is derived from much of these kinds of images that are not sensory oriented. Primitive art can replicate these patterns as the cultures often used botanic substances from their surroundings with these properties.

As to the relationship of psychedelics and spiritual practice, many have suggested that brain biochemistry is affected by fasting, meditation, yoga, breathing practices, etc in similar ways to that of psychedelic drugs with the main difference being that one can 'manage the dosage' through choices of the will in any given moment and thus adjust to the experiential field affects gradually over time. It would be like being able to access pure internal states of being, not distracted by sensations, feelings or thoughts, such as in the practice of Samadhi Meditation. With most amateurs, this is difficult and can be disturbing as unconscious traumas and other negative states tend to emerge at certain stations in meditation practice. Natural occurring empathogenic substances (as they are being called today) use in cases of spiritual aspirants being 'stuck in a negative matrix', as Stan Grof might say it, are well documented in the mystery schools. But that is considered rare and ill advised in general.

Maybe our whole Western Civilization was 'stuck in a negative matrix' and needed the shift. Ironic as hell that the CIA's attempt to weaponize in in MK-Ultra is what led to it's widespread use, as reported in Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

 
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