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listener
04-10-2010, 04:00 AM
I'm starting this thread based on a comment from Ocean (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/member.php?u=4952) from a while back:

Yes, but don't speak too loud or someone will create a permanent thread for "the lunatics"(us).

Well, now it seems that the thread this quote originated from (Science Saturday: Neuroedition (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=5084)) has generated so many comments that new comments are disappearing into the black hole of "more replies below current depth." (In other words, the thread is so full that it has exceeded the board's capacity to display new comments without requiring additional clicks to access them.) Therefore I hereby initiate this thread.

http://blog.delta.com/wp-content/uploads/christening_cv-880.jpg

listener
04-10-2010, 04:26 AM
On a tangent but still somewhat related: I was thinking about that age old question of explanations for mystical/spiritual experiences, hallucinations etc., and that haunting question of "is that real, or is my regular state real?" And I think my conclusion would be that reality is like a multi-layered movie and our brain serves as a filter. Put on the red glasses and you see one image, put on the blue and suddenly all these other hidden things pop out at you. That doesn't mean what you saw through one pair was real and what you saw through the others wasn't. It was all there all along, it just depends which set of glasses you happen to be wearing. I dunno, I'm probably not saying anything profound but given the way our perceptions have different ranges than other animals and even other people, something about it rings true to me instinctively.

As far as I'm concerned, not on a tangent at all, but rather precisely to the point: "is that real, or is my regular state real?"

I like your 3-D glasses analogy. A couple of other analogies that work for me (and I know I'm opening myself up to ridicule by some of the more traditionally scientifically minded among us) are the apparent paradox of particle/wave duality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave%E2%80%93particle_duality) and the "Schrodinger's Cat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat)" thought experiment. (Yeah, yeah, I know: "New Age nonsense," "pseudoscience," blah blah... but keep in mind that I'm speaking on the level of analogy, of using these examples of scientific investigation as a metaphorical way of understanding seeming paradoxes of consciousness, rather than on the level of claiming literal equivalence with specific scientific theories.)

Ocean
04-10-2010, 09:17 AM
As far as I'm concerned, not on a tangent at all, but rather precisely to the point: "is that real, or is my regular state real?"

I like your 3-D glasses analogy. A couple of other analogies that work for me (and I know I'm opening myself up to ridicule by some of the more traditionally scientifically minded among us) are the apparent paradox of particle/wave duality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave%E2%80%93particle_duality) and the "Schrodinger's Cat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat)" thought experiment. (Yeah, yeah, I know: "New Age nonsense," "pseudoscience," blah blah... but keep in mind that I'm speaking on the level of analogy, of using these examples of scientific investigation as a metaphorical way of understanding seeming paradoxes of consciousness, rather than on the level of claiming literal equivalence with specific scientific theories.)

Nice. We are all rationalizing now!

I liked uncle's analogy (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=158503&postcount=15) with the colored glasses.

I'll try to describe my ideas as simply as I can. We discussed somewhere how we perceive in contrasts (light from dark being the perfect example). We also have perfected the ability of directing our attention towards external objects to study (observe, identify, notice) them. When we do that we extricate the object from its surroundings which becomes a blurred "background". That background is still within our sensory experience but we ignore it while we focus on something else. We do something similar when we go around experiencing ourselves as objects separate from our surroundings. If we are able to reach a state of mind where the two kinds of perceiving (object and background) somehow overlap (can't find a better word), by expanding the object into the background or focusing on the background without losing the object, they somehow merge as one. The perception of separateness disappears.

Oh, well, I'm not too happy with the description. If I come up with something better after more coffee I'll come back to it.


The thread's official song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co1kK0sjxSM&feature=related)?

listener
04-10-2010, 10:40 AM
Nice. We are all rationalizing now!

Hmm... speak for yourself. :)

I liked uncle's analogy (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=158503&postcount=15) with the colored glasses.

Yes, me too (see previous post).

I'll try to describe my ideas as simply as I can. We discussed somewhere how we perceive in contrasts (light from dark being the perfect example). We also have perfected the ability of directing our attention towards external objects to study (observe, identify, notice) them. When we do that we extricate the object from its surroundings which becomes a blurred "background". That background is still within our sensory experience but we ignore it while we focus on something else. We do something similar when we go around experiencing ourselves as objects separate from our surroundings. If we are able to reach a state of mind where the two kinds of perceiving (object and background) somehow overlap (can't find a better word), by expanding the object into the background or focusing on the background without losing the object, they somehow merge as one. The perception of separateness disappears.

Oh, well, I'm not too happy with the description. If I come up with something better after more coffee I'll come back to it.


Seems to me that's a pretty darn good start. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it after more coffee.

The thread's official song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co1kK0sjxSM&feature=related)?

Hee hee. Sure, count me in for that.

TwinSwords
04-10-2010, 03:15 PM
[The Science Saturday: Neuroedition (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=5084)] thread is so full that it has exceeded the board's capacity to display new comments without requiring additional clicks to access them.) Therefore I hereby initiate this thread.

Just curious: What display mode do you use? Threaded or Hybrid?

listener
04-10-2010, 04:46 PM
Hybrid.

Ocean
04-10-2010, 06:08 PM
Just curious: What display mode do you use? Threaded or Hybrid?

I must say that I had no idea about the hybrid version. I knew about the linear and threaded modes only. Great to know, I like the hybrid mode better now.

listener
04-10-2010, 10:14 PM
I must say that I had no idea about the hybrid version. I knew about the linear and threaded modes only. Great to know, I like the hybrid mode better now.

Yes, plus it's more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly.

Ocean
04-10-2010, 10:21 PM
Yes, plus it's more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly.

It can be very quiet and a good excuse to avoid a speeding ticket.

listener
04-10-2010, 10:23 PM
It just occurred to me that I could just as appropriately have named this thread "Life, the Universe and Everything" -- but that might have been a bit confusing in the context of this forum. :)

TwinSwords
04-11-2010, 12:54 PM
Hybrid.

Okay. The problem you had in the original thread was not that "the thread is so full that it has exceeded the board's capacity to display new comments without requiring additional clicks." The problem was there were too many posts in one of the thread's sub-threads, i.e., in one of the branches off the main comment tree.

When this happens, the solution is to just start a new branch at the top level (the root) of the thread.

The reason the software imposes the limit you encountered is to prevent threads from exceeding the width of most users' browser windows. If the threads are allowed to expand indefinitely further and further to the right, users will eventually be forced to scroll their browser windows left to right to read posts or see post titles in the threaded or hybrid view, which is difficult and aggravating.

listener
04-11-2010, 03:34 PM
Okay. The problem you had in the original thread was not that "the thread is so full that it has exceeded the board's capacity to display new comments without requiring additional clicks." The problem was there were too many posts in one of the thread's sub-threads, i.e., in one of the branches off the main comment tree.

When this happens, the solution is to just start a new branch at the top level (the root) of the thread.

The reason the software imposes the limit you encountered is to prevent threads from exceeding the width of most users' browser windows. If the threads are allowed to expand indefinitely further and further to the right, users will eventually be forced to scroll their browser windows left to right to read posts or see post titles in the threaded or hybrid view, which is difficult and aggravating.

Yeah, I meant to say 'sub-thread.' Thanks for the explanation.

listener
05-04-2010, 04:58 PM
COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT ALERT!!!1! (http://brooklynboroughpresidentsoffice.presslift.com/lunapark)

(h/t Ocean (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/member.php?u=4952))

listener
05-04-2010, 08:16 PM
I came across the above-titled paper (http://www.well.com/user/jct/science.html) today, which goes into some of the questions that have been discussed in this thread, as well as in the previous thread that this one sprang from. As its title implies, the paper explores some of the parallels that have been observed between recent scientific theories (more specifically, quantum physics) and Eastern mystical thought. It goes into the question of whether those parallels are reflective of genuine or merely surface similarities.

I've long been interested in such parallels ever since I picked up The Tao of Physics many years ago. While it has been my impression that most scientists dismiss the connections the book's author makes between modern physics and Eastern mysticism, the discovery of such principles in quantum physics as the inseparability of the observer from the observed, which has long been a part of Eastern mystical thought, have remained fascinating to me and are so striking in their similarity that I have found them impossible to dismiss.

The first part of this paper goes into these questions in a penetrating and discerning way that I had not encountered before, and through exploring the ideas of biologist Rupert Sheldrake, physicists David Bohm and Stephen Hawking, and mystical teacher U.G. Krishnamurti (not to be confused with the more well-known J. Krishnamurti) as well as other mystical teachings, comes up with what are to me some real and clear insights into the similarities and differences between the scientific and mystical approaches to understanding the nature of reality.

The latter part of the paper goes into some detail about the “mystical” experiences and interpretations of U.G. Krishnamurti in relation to these questions. While interesting, I found this section to be on more slippery ground (perhaps by necessity) and more difficult to follow.

I know that this is a long paper, but for those interested in the issues posed above (and I know there are some of you out there!), I think it would be a worthwhile read. And I'd be interested in any responses to it.