Re: No! This is rationality. was metaphysics 001 for TV brains RE: virus: Rationality in the Cave

Tue, 16 Mar 1999 08:35:09 -0800

carlw wrote:

> I tremble! I really can't tell if you were joking when you pasted this or
> not. If you were not, you should go back to pot!

C'mon, Carl. Is that really the tone you want to set (or perpetuate) for interaction on this list?

KMO wrote:

> > This is from "The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human
> > Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives" by Stanislav Grof:

After which Carl repeatedly referred to the author as Mr. Grof. My fault; I should have written, "This is from "The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives" by Stanislav Grof, M.D.:"

> > Dr. Groff:

> > Within this image of the universe developed by Newtonian
> > science, life,
> > consciousness, human beings, and creative intelligence were seen as
> > accidental by-products that evolved from a dazzling array of
> > matter.
> Accidental? I think that it is accepted that given appropriate complexity
> and environment that it was pretty inevitable. Only the details were
> "accidental". Of course, he may really be trying to say "unplanned", in
> which case this makes perfect sense.

Yes, by "accidental" I expect that he means "unplanned."

> > Our boundaries were
> > defined by the surface of our skin, and consciousness was seen as
> > nothing more than the product of that thinking organ known as
> > the brain.
> Why should it be more? Has William of Ockham been edited out of the story?

The most probable story isn't always the truth.

> > Everything we thought and felt and knew was based on
> > information that we
> > collected with the aid of our sensory organs.
> Is he suggesting that we can "collect information" without "the aid of our
> sensory organs"?

I don't think he's saying that in this passage, nor do I think he means to imply that, but I didn't finish the book, so I can't be too certain about that. My impression is that he would have us consider the brain as a sensory organ in it own right rather than as simply a processor of information gathered by the sensory organs.

> Or is he suggesting that what he "thought and felt and
> knew" was not based on information? Is this sentence supposed to carry
> semantic value?

You know, Carl, I read your entire post (and I fear that I'm in the list-minority in that respect); parts of it many times, so that I could be reasonably sure that I was responding to your arguments and not to my pre-conceived notion of your position in general, but now that I've started to craft my reply, I find that I'm reacting more to your tone than to the content of your arguments, and so I've decided to disengage at this point.

I can well imagine that you would perceive my lack of reply as an inability to do so or as a concession. If this is the case, I would recommend an experiment that you could conduct: craft a new post from scratch summarizing the position you intended to advance with your "No! This is rationality. was metaphysics 001 for TV brains" post. Don't quote anyone, and try to keep it to a managable legnth by Virus-list standards and, most importantly, try to craft the post so that it projects the tone and level of respect in which you think reasonable discussions should be conducted, and see if I reply.

If you don't care to perform the experiment, that's okay. I'd rather have you conclude that your arguments crushed my position like a sledge hammer than get drawn into a cycle of clever but destructive put-downs.

Take care.