Re: virus: The other

Brett Lane Robertson (
Thu, 13 Nov 1997 11:46:30 -0500

The physical aspects of the
mind are subject to the physical descriptions that physics has used,
thus far. The software aspect however, is probably a lot more than just
the mass of neurons that it runs on. Consciousness is a good example of
something that is more than the sum of it's parts. I don't think any of
us can explain, in an accurate and objective manner, where a "new' idea
comes from. Because of this lack of information, to make an assumption
that concepts of thought can be mapped to descriptions in physics is a
huge leap without support. So far, we can find where things are
happening in the mind, and the chemicals that are responsible for
certain mental processes, but we cannot yet tell where the line between
electro-chemical action, and consciousness is drawn. Lack of evidence
means no theory. Now, if you want to say that "maybe" it works this way,
and can think of a way to test this idea, I'm all for that, but i feel
is is premature to go any further than "maybe". If we permit
unsupportable claims to reach the point of truth, than I am guilty of my
own sin of avoiding self-deception.



Sodom says that no one can map the consciousness...that the best we have
done with mind is to locate certain physical map neurons
firing. I say that Sodom has chosen to view certain types of evidence and
ignore others. He has located himself in the physical and is waiting for
"proof" from a certain type of scientist using certain types of
electro-mechanical devices. If this is the only proof he accepts, then he
might have to wait quite a bit longer before he admits that mind is a
process (whether holographic or what) which has certain governing mechanisms
that can be mapped and studied the way that mind-scientists map and study
these phenomenon...using the tools that they have found useful to map these
psycho-physical entities (which are as "real" as any neutron) Still, would
we use a microscope to study the solar system? No, and in the same way we
will not use the tools of the scientist to study mental processes...we will
use the "tools" of the philosopher or the "mentalist" (in what ever
profession he finds himself). Sodom says that to trust in certain tools as
opposed to others is a form of "self-deception". If Sodom is in the habit
of deceiving himself so that he cannot examine evidence which he has a
tendency to read incorrectly; then--of course--he should stick to what he
knows...but he should be careful not to make generalizations about other
types of tools about which he has no knowledge.

I am continually amazed by scientists (psychologists) which draw graphs and
use words in such a way that I can use these tools to explore my connnection
to the mental. Like using telescopes to view the heavens, I must remember
that the tool is not the terrain...and also that what I am "viewing" might
actually reside somewhere other than where I am "seeing" it. Still, I can
independently varify what someone else has observed..and after examining the
tools I used to explore the information and allowing for certain subjective
phenomenon ...I can make judgements as to the validity of the observations.
In the mean time, I suggest that Sodom use what ever tools he is comfortable
with in new ways to see what others are already seeing...the theories of
physics are good tools in this respect.



Don't hate yourself in the morning -- sleep till noon.