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Amily shaw


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Can we think without any presumptions?

Questions arised from one of the conversation and a reminiscence of a old lady who said:"nobody is right but me."

Are we free of personal bias when we think?
how reliable it is for us ourselves to judge if we are free of personal bias or not ?


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    Feb 20 2013: No we cannot.

    Perception is constructed of experience.

    Most of this experience is personal - a very little has to do with observing outcomes for others - quite a bit has to do with pretending to believe what we are forced to percieve in order to survive the violence of humans..

    All thinking works like this: sense-->perceive(presumption)-->compare(with presumption)-->adjust-->decide-->act-->observe(sense/perciieve against adjusted presumption)-->endless loop.
    Look at this TED talk - it helps:

    Be right for you - make your own decisions based on that, but be careful that expressing your opinion does not result in you living in a gulag like the USA.
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      Feb 21 2013: Spot on, Mitch!

      The only case would be someone without any experiences, but unfortunately, that is a new born babe (we are all born "empty", as it were).... and they'll have experiences by the time they learn to talk... learning to talk being one result of some of those experiences!

      After watching that talk, obviously this boke had conquered the noise problem....

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SncapPrTusA (This video blows me away!)
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        Feb 22 2013: Hi Mark,

        I thought I recognised that name!
        Unfortunately, I haven't got a warehouse full of obsolete telco gear these days - but hope the network is thriving!

        On topic:

        Ithink it has been pretty well demonstrated that the existential loop begins before birth.
        There is a lot of heated discussion about nurture/nature .. it seems endless, but actually progresses. For instance, the assumption that genes are deterministic has fallen and we now see that genetic structure continues to morph even after the moment of conception - the genetic/environmental relationship seems to be deeply inter-dependent.
        Everything still moves along causality from past to future, but the attractor remains the self. It is often very difficult to identify what a self actualy is - where it is and what its boundaries are. To this end I am working on a thesis that proposes that all selves demonstrate a membrane .. in humans we call it "skin", but in other self organising systems it is not so obvious. We will see.
        It is the rule of causality which determines presumption.
        Now, this word "presumption" has some shades of subtlety - it can include assumption.
        Assumtion is the component of perception which organises sense data into information. It can be wrong, but the Bayesian loop of observe/adjust is noise-reducing.
        The loop is not noise-eliminating, but this is not required for survival. As they say "rough enough for the bush".
        Bruce Lee demonstrates how precise this noise reduction can get.
        There is a phenomenon called "flow". It may very well be the case that if you get close enough to nil-noise, then resonance will take you the rest of the way.
        In this we might propose a gap between perception and reality - and the smaller that gap, the better served the "self" is.
        But reality is a moving feast - nothing remains gapless.
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          Feb 22 2013: I don't follow the Bruce Lee reference.
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          Feb 23 2013: G'day Mitch,

          Agree with what you're saying. The further it goes, the more it seems that this area of study is closing the gap to string theory, as the concepts appear to merge, but then again why shouldn't they, as the science of working out exactly what we are is a subset of what energy and matter are.

          More and more Mysteries and Mayhem!
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        Feb 23 2013: I've run ou of indents!! This interface needs to get with Chomski to identify the human need for recursion!!!!

        or not.

        But since we are doing it - let's do it!

        @ Fritzie (@ works!)

        The Bruce Lee thing is in Mark's link .. it's amazing!!!

        hmm .. history.
        Mark grew up in my home-town .. he was a friend of my younger brother Andy.
        Both Andy and me were musicians .. ambassadores of our home town which had a huge tradition of music.

        Andy died about 25 years ago going in search of great sunsets - and fell off a cliff doing that.

        Mark escaped the valley by conquering it, I escaped by running away to better pastures.

        Who is the best? all of us.

        I last saw Mark when I had control of a huge store of de-installed telcio gear - and I offerd some cable .. but he'd already got it sorted.


        To be a "guitar star" of Lithgow, was to be the best in the world .. When I was that statr there were 2 others - Darcy Rosser and Macca(forget his whole name - Mac was ascendant while I was descending) I seem to remember that Mark was par tof Macca's ascendance - all the technologists in a small mining town know each other.

        (Mark - you can chime-in with historical detail if I'm wrong).


        There is not way to be any kind of "star" without flow.

        I met a couple of school-mates of Bruce Lee when he was kid in Hong Kong.. They didn't like him much .. they accused him of being too friendly with the triad boys.

        But look at the link! He got flow, regardless of opinions about him - and through tyhat flow, he got some very important cultural results for HonGg Kong - before the Chinese re-takover!!! great result!

        But he got his ass killed in the proccess . too late. He wins.


        It's self-discipline beyond what anyone wants except you - and if you get it, you join the flow of everything .. and you cannot lose.

        I reccomend it. It got me beyond human - for a few years.

        But that's all it takes to be a human.
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          Feb 23 2013: Okay, I will look at the link.

          Bruce Lee is buried at the local cemetery and gets a constant stream of visitors from all over the world.
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          Feb 25 2013: G'day Mitch,

          Macca's full name was John McKinney. Others around that era were Dave Boyling, Gary Shirt and Sid Whalan.

          We're probably hijacking thread with this, so I'll keep the "Lithgow muso" history to a that.. We should probably reconnect via email.

          Also the thread has gone off on a tangent somewhat with the neuro-feedback topic, but that is very much related, so I'll add the following:

          The guitar is an instrument that is very "intimate" with the player (not the only one). Beethoven remarked on the instrument, as it was both portable and polyphonic, but he didn't play it as far as I know.

          The intimacy comes with the ability to play between tones by bending notes (you are not bound to discrete "steps" as you are on a piano), and also the variations of tone and harmonics available by subtle techniques on both hands. It is infinite variation.

          This is why it has moved from restrictive "integer based" classical to the newer forms of music from blues, jazz and others.

          As such, you can reach a point where the instrument virtually becomes an extension of you, and the ultimate in expression. It transcends "hitting the groove". As you say, flow. You don't think about the neurofeedback on your fingers, but what is in your thoughts can instantly become sound.

          Adding electronics can enhance this, but it can also detract.

          Hendrix, probably the greatest example of flow.

          He couldn't read music, didn't practice ("That's why I make so many mistakes, man") and experimented instead.

          He actually added the amplifier as a part of the instrument, not just something that makes the instrument louder. He only had simple electronics, but, as has John Phillips said, you could watch him like a hawk, but still not work out how he was doing it.

          Pure flow!
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        Feb 26 2013: Yes - the tangents can get distracting. But I've found they can lead to new ways of "re-entry" into a specific topic.
        THis is the great power of neural processing - associations build-up into clusters. Such clusters can have multiple entry and exit poitns .. in a matured cluster, the entry point dictates the exit point on the path from stimulus to action. We have a word for association clusters with multiple entry/exit points - it is "intelligence".

        When an association cluster becomes reliable, it develops a key nexus point - this is what mirror neurons are. "Reliable" meaning small deviation between prediction and observation (low noise).
        Once a cluster gains this status, it is only addressed through the nexus - it becomes "subconscious".
        These things build up in layers and can form hierarchies. Messy ones. Each node in the hierarchy is still accessible to direct adjustment and development, but is only looked-at if the niose floor increases.
        Tool-mapping works like this - and you are spot-on. The full mastery of a tool is defined by a comprehensive cluster of associative maps concerning experience of that tool.
        In effect, it becomes part of the body. In this way Bruce Lee can use nun-chucks as easily and asaccurately as his own forefinger. Also Hendrix with his guitar and amp.
        We see this in the "monkey with 3 arms" experiment.
        A tool differs from the body in only one aspect. A tool is fully entropised - a body-part is adaptive and negentropic. For instance, the more I use a muscle, the more it adapts to the task - it becomes part of the noise reduction loop. This is not absolute - all musicians know the phenomenon of "playing-in" an instrument - a Stradivarius played badly will become a bad violin, played well, it becomes a masterpiece. However, it is only a faint effect, the adaptive interactions within the skin are easily observed.
        This is going to become a major issue with the development of AI. Within-loop potentiation.
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      Feb 21 2013: I agree that information recieved will be filtered mentally before it gets sent to decision-making and experiences affects how and what information gets filtered.But does that mean we are confined by our expriences or these perceptions? thanks for the videos guys!
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        Feb 21 2013: No Amily, we are NOT confined by our experiences unless we choose to be. I perceive that as a very limiting perspective. If we are mindfully aware, we can indeed "think without any presumptions". It is actually much more interesting to do so:>)
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          Feb 21 2013: Yes ,we get confined when we choose to .The thing is sometimes we are not so concious and aware of what are some of these presumptions. Being more mindfully aware could be a way to detect them I agree.
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        Feb 21 2013: I agree Amily....sometimes we are not so conscious and aware of what may be presumptions, so we don't even know they are influencing our thought patterns. When we KNOW ourselves, and are familier with our thoughts, feelings, ideas, perspectives, etc., we KNOW if personal bias and/or presumptions are influencing our thought process. We can then either choose to continue to allow the presumptions to influence us.....or not. If we do not know they are influencing our thought process, we probably cannot do anything about it. So, that is the first step...."know thyself":>)

        To David Hubbard. Sorry I could not comment anywhere else to keep this in sequence.
        I am with you and most of your perspectives..."knowing thyself" can be much more than knowing our thoughts, feelings and perspectives...we can be conscious in the present moment...in the NOW we can connect o universal consciousness....this is the source for peace and wisdom, which springs from love. We don't need to believe in a god to experience all of which you insightfully express.
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          Feb 24 2013: Hello Colleen. I agree with your viewpont to a great extent. However, it can be found that "knowing thyself" can be much more than knowing our thoughts, feelings and perspectives. It can be realized that we are consciuosness in this timeless, present moment. When we are free of time, we are free of thought, which is all time based. In "the Now" we can connect to Universal Consciousness, Source, or whatever designation you may use for the eternal. This is the source of Peace, Wisdom and Love, and the Joy of knowing Oneness with all Life. In the Christian nomeclature; "Be still and know that you are God."
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        Feb 21 2013: Don't make the mistake that mind and body are separate - or indeed that there is any such thing as "soul".

        It is all one.

        It is true that there are different layers to our organism - have a look at this:

        This shows how our identity can rest in various places - and how thought can be mistaken for the autobiographical chatter.
        Even beyond brains, the body is also composed of adaptive systems.

        But there is no personal "self" beyond the existential loop which orbits your survival.
        That loop is adaptive - sense-->percieve-->compare-->evaluate-->act-->repeat.

        It might be useful to have fantasies about "spirit" but there is no evidence for it.
        Certainly there are probably fields and forces which go beyond the recognised senses, but they will still resolve to experience.
        On top of that, there are emergent selves in which we participate - I count "community" as a self, I also count ecology as a self.

        These can all be appreciated, but your personal self remains you.
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          Feb 21 2013: Mitch,
          Are you responding to me? To Amily? Neither of us wrote anything about seperating body and mind, and I do not see any reference to "soul" or "spirit".

          The topic question is...."Can we think without any presumptions?"
          I have no idea where you are trying to go with this.
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          Feb 24 2013: Hi Mitch。Yes ,body and mind are interconnected and so do all the different layers in that loop process you mentioned.Spirit? Why?
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          Feb 24 2013: Hi Mitch; The proof for "the Spirit" is you. It is the invisible, timeless life that makes you different from a dead body. It's what leaves hen we die as a human. There is a limit to human communication. With it, we can exchange viewponts, but we cannot open the mind of another. We can only point. The body/mind complex, is held in place by our imaginary self called ego. It is a human aspect. The being aspect is Life and that is what we essentially are.
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        Feb 22 2013: @colleen

        The reply was to Amily - you can see by the indents.
        THese threads run-out of indents, in such cases i use the "@" convention to indicate.
        Given that - can you allow Amily to respond for herself?
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          Feb 22 2013: Thanks for clarifying Mitch. As you well know, everyone and anyone can respond to comments freely:>)
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        Feb 26 2013: @Amily,

        Spirit is a difficult word. The best i can do is to reduce it to "awareness". The way i map it is that awareness is distinct from "consciousness"
        This seems to satisfy all definitions.
        For instance, one can map the synaptic topology in a brain at any given time, but it is not the topology that is thought - it is not even the electro-chemical signal which flows though that topology.
        It is the flux of topological potential. Potential beign a propensity for change .. as it becomes change, it discharges from the potential to the actual - creating new potential.
        But there's a problem there - thought and consciousness require memory - the balance of the actual to the potential with a specific time-span extending before and after the instant.
        So it is useful to maintain the notion of awareness which exists on the very leading edge of teh instant. I argue that all thing manifest have this leading edge - i.e. awareness. So, to me, "spirit" in its most reduced form is the root potential of everything manifest. This includes everthing we regard as physical .. rocks, atoms, sub atomic particles, photions. But it does not include the un-manifest - ghosts, political systems - things that are extrinsic to the experiential self.


        Largely agree. Except that "ego" is a construct of teh autobiographical self - it is part of our comunication system .. as far as i can tell, it is not so much the imaginary "agents" that we create but the template which we use to create them .. the "self-image" .. it's an accumulated set of "deltas" - maps from the core self to the autobiographical.

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