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

carlw (
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 13:01:42 -0600

Major sniping all over.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf
> Of KMO

> 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?
I have always found your posts sensible, rational, thought inspiring and fun. Last night, in a previous post, you said "This is the first time I've tried to compose a Virus post at night while not high in many months, and my thinking isn't very clear." I noticed the unclear thinking in the article you posted and said I preferred you as you usually are. No insult was intended at all, and if it appeared that there was one, I must apologize. Profusely.

I think I should give up trying to be amusing in this forum. I seem to be making a mess of it.

Dr. Groff
I couldn't know. He certainly comes across as somebody that has no idea about the scientific method. I guess that medical students where he trained must be too busy learning other things.

> The most probable story isn't always the truth.

As usual, I agree. But if one wants to propose an alternative solution, especially one that is more complex than it needs to be, then you need to explain what your alternatives are and what your reasons for proposing it are.


> 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.
If that is the case, he needs to explain what he is suggesting and how he thinks it works. Which portion of the brain is involved. After all, he raised the fact that parts of the brain are associated with different functions. He should be attempting to show patients presenting with a diseased "receiver" and explaining how that patient differs from patients with "normal" receivers. He should also be explaining what function this "receiver" serves, how it evolved, how it communicates, what happens when communications fail and what it connects to.

> > 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.
My tone was not intended to be particularly strong. If I felt anything, it was mild annoyance. The man has an idea. It may even be an idea worth exploring (although, from the lack of justification, and poor argument, I doubt it). It is presented in such an impossible fashion as to make it very difficult to apply the tools he so disparages, of "western science", in a meaningful fashion. I think it is his frustration that I am responding to. The fact that his idea is so poorly laid out, and that he has not justified it in the slightest, while he implies that somehow "western science" is somehow at fault for not bowing down and worshiping his brilliant notion. That instead of using the tools of science to propose his suggestion in a way that would certainly get him a platform, he has simply stated his ideas in such a way that any scientist not suffering from insomnia and with an excerpt from his book thrust in front of him would not even give him the time to read the first few paragraphs. Scientists are generally curious people. Phrase something posing a problem to be solved, present your observations, your data, your experiments, along with a carefully thought out hypothesis and you will get a platform. As it is, I can understand why you did not finish reading his book. I doubt that I would have started reading it.

> 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!

I think that my reply to "a sensory organ in it own right" is an adequate statement of what he would need to do to find a platform. I am not advancing a position. I am saying "No!", the generally accepted model of consciousness as a brain process is adequate and there is no need demonstrated yet for something else. That if this Dr. Groff wishes to propose that this is not so, then he needs to do it in a format where his idea can be addressed rather than in the form of an assault on the current model, using innuendo and annoyance rather than observation and reason. Any 2nd year engineering or physics student should have the technique mastered, so I fail to understand why Dr. Groff has such such difficulty.


> 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.

I don't make the assumptions you seem to think I do. I don't think there is a "position" here. The 'status quo' seems to work fine, a lot of good research has and is being performed with it, and I see no need to change it. If that need is demonstrated, or somebody proposes an alternative in a form which is subject to investigation, I will happily examine it. It is an area I am interested in.

As it was, I was not being sarcastic when I said "I really can't tell if you were joking when you pasted this or not." I didn't really think you were seriously proposing this position. I have to much respect for the good sense you have usually demonstrated in your posts. I guessed that maybe you did it to shake the trees and see what fell out of them. The fact that you didn't even complete the book yourself suggests to me that I may have been right.

> Take care.
> -KMO

Sorry that you thought that I had aimed anything at you. I hadn't. They were aimed solely at Dr Groff's muddy and confused thinking and inarticulate expression of his 'idea'.

DasHermit <removing off his jackboots and putting his slippers back on>