Re: virus: agitation, encouragement, and feedback
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 09:56:02 EST

In a message dated 2/16/99 3:29:56 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< >You have to be ready to try a wider variety of attitudinal stimulus in

 >cyberspace, than you would IRL.  You have a lot more bandwidth to compete
 >with, and more limited ways in which to do so.  If you stick to the same
 >attitudinal modes as you do IRL, you aren't going to get as far.

Interesting advice. Could you site some research? I think a discussion of the relative values of different modes of discussion could be quite useful here, if you'd care to begin one I'll gladly join in.>>

No research. Just my personal experiences. I have just been posting regularly to various and sundry message boards and E-Mail lists for about 4 years now, and off and on for 2 years before that. It is just my personal impressions. But yes, it makes for an interesting discussion.

>>I wonder if the intuition/rationality duality is legit.

It seems (to me at least) that on closer inspection this looks more-and-more like a false dicotomy. Intuition is simply a function of one part of the brain--the part which sorts out complex processes and notes trends based on what is, by nature, limited information--much like the pattern recognition software used for visual identification of objects. Perhaps not "rational" in an "if-x-then-y" sense, but far in a way from irrational.<<

I don't think that it is a strict duality, but I think general distinctions can be drawn. Rationality is much more linear and conscious. Intuition is much more non-linear, and less conscious - more creative. In my mind, I think they work together. Rationality "educates" and infects intuition, and over time intutions become more rational, or more resilient to rational criticism. I don't feel constrained about shooting off the cuff insights because I think I have rationally disciplined my intuition to such a degree that I feel comfortable trusting my intuitions.

>>>And since they aren't drug induced, they tend to flow through
>slow enough that I actually have time to articulate some of it
>and hopefully retain some of the insights.

That's good. Of course one of the experimental advantages of psychoactives is that you have explicit durations which allow you to compare their effects against a control. How do you do this in your example? Out of curiousity, how do you clearly demarcate the difference between your baseline state and the one you're taking about above? Subjective distinctions can be subtle and very tricky.<<

Well, here I am just talking about philosophic reverie, I don't feel as though I ever completely lose sight of "the baseline" through it, and I return to it frequently, that's just being skeptical, telling myself from time to time that I may be full of shit. Another thing to think about both reverie, and drug experience, is to what extent can you really say there is a completely consistent baseline. If the experience has salience and effects you, doesn't that alter your "baseline". I mean in a drug experience, there is probably a more distinct "coming down" phase, but how do you know you are coming down to the same baseline that you left. I have known people to take hallucingenics where I think it may have noticably altered their personality even after they have "come down".

>>>To me, I don't understand the point of a "religious" experience, if I can't
>later talk about it to other people and make some sense.

Can you elaborate? This sounds like simply an opinion about how you value linguistic information over other forms of information. Or are you trying to say something more universal by it?

>That is what I have generally thought of a lot of "religious experiences"
>(drug induced and otherwise) that I have heard others talk about. But
>that never seems to bother some people. In fact some people hold out
>inarticulability as proof that the "religious" experience was indeed

Perhaps some people are more able to learn from non-verbal sources than you are. As any good teacher knows, not all students learn the same way. And one would be foolish to expect that everyone else is going to respond as well to as I do to the teaching methods that happen to work best for me. Foolish, and perhaps a little egocentric to boot.<<

Well yes, of course I put it in my own linguistic terms. But there are many ways to "make sense", both verbal and non-verbal. They can draw me a picture, or describe it visually instead of conceptually. And if they can't they can identify other more substantial conclusions that they feel flowed from the less-articulable insights.

Of course it may never make any sense to me, and the person experiencing swears that it has changed their life. That's fine, the experience wasn't mine in the first place, and so they have no "duty" to articulate these insights to me. Of course they can't be surprised either if they find me not accepting the "authority" of it for other purposes. Some people can take these things pretty personally.

>>>To me, that is just proof that you "blew you mind". Big whoop.
>Crackheads do it every day.

Interesting. Have you ever had an experience that you could not describe, but which had salience to you?<<

I tend not to retain good memories of things if there is not some form in which I can describe or depict the experience.

>>May I ask, are you an Art or Music lover?<<

I love music. Played piano and violin as child. I am a little more finicky about art.