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Profile: Epiphileon
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User Name: Epiphileon
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Occupation: School Bus Driver
Interests: Nature, function, utilization, and potential development of consciousness
Gender: Male
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Joined: Sunday, March 22, 2009
Last Visit: Friday, March 22, 2019 6:18:52 PM
Number of Posts: 4,116
[0.44% of all post / 1.13 posts per day]
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Life & suffering.
Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 10:41:53 AM
Hope123 wrote:
Epi, I think I know what you mean but wish you would expand a little more with examples of what you mean by ancient evolutionary strategies.

Good Morning Hope, or like I said to Rom, good whatever time of day it is when you come to this. I'm going to have to come up with some more diurnally neutral salutation; however, "good day" doesn't feel right. Anyway...

As I thought about this topic more I realized that this issue would not have as ancient of underlying strategies as say, mating, aggression, or racism, and that what I should have said was, "that none of us have addressed it from the perspective of the co-evolutionary roots of our attitudes towards suffering and their development.

I think this would be a fascinating exploration; however, I'm thinking that at this point I am ill-equipped to begin it. I haven't read FounDit's reply yet although I noticed he mentioned consciousness. I find it particularly intriguing to wonder what if any preconscious behaviors influenced our earliest attitudes towards suffering, it seems to me there would have been some influence from the manner in which members of our social group treated those who were perceived to be "suffering". I also suspect that is an unanswerable question without a time machine.

I am fairly familiar with the Judeo-Christian origins of attitudes towards suffering, but unfortunately not so much of other western mythologies and have no understanding of eastern traditions. I think it would be an extensive study though.

Being a co-evolutionary phenomenon the mutability of the characteristic would be subject to a far greater rate of change than a strictly genetic characteristic.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Topic: Life & suffering.
Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:49:46 AM
Romany wrote:
Epi - while no-one may have MENTIONED it, I think that most of us commenting do take an hollistic approach to human - and human language - evolution. It's part of the way we evaluate any species. In the case of consideration and discussion of our own species, it becomes part of the framework within which we strive for factual evaluation of human behaviour, constructs and mores: and to our use of language.

Good Morning Romany, or good whatever time of day you come to this.
Yes I agree most people who base their understanding of the world in reason acknowledge that evolution is part of the framework within which we interpret human behavior; however, just like we, at least for the most part, do not examine the individual support beams of our homes I do not think that we very often look specifically at the evolutionary processes that led to some specific human behavior.

That is not to say that we may, from a rationally informed basis for our understanding may not come closer to the actuality than a faith-based interpretation, but I do not think we are likely to get it as right as we might if a specific evolutionary examination was done.

On the other hand, I also believe that even with a well-informed understanding of the nature of modern human behavior we may actually get it considerably wrong as the actual roots of the behavior may be counterintuitive, or not in line with how we wish human behavior were, and this is a far more subtle and deceptive aspect of our mentality than I believe any of us is likely to acknowledge in an ongoing manner. This is why a meeting of minds to discuss such issues is so critical to examining issues, the fallibility of subjectivity is a huge obstacle to accurate understanding.

Basically, I'm saying we would need to specifically address the role that attitudes towards suffering have played in our cultural evolution and in what manner they have been adaptive or not.

Frankly, I'm not even sure how the question should be framed. I seem to think at the moment that one of the questions that should be addressed, and has already been alluded to, it whether suffering existing within the population in some manner is actually a necessary condition for the healthy development of the species. I would like to think that is doubtful but have no basis for that conclusion.

Much of what I have written here is off the cuff musings as I have recently come to the conclusion that I have for far too long been just riding along, so to speak, rather than continuing to actively investigate the nature of being human. I have a plan to remedy this and will be bringing that up soon here in hopes of gaining some assistance with that endeavor.

Romany wrote:
Whether this is the case or not however, I can't see why this should be thought a "base" consideration,...

I should have been more specific with that statement. What I meant to convey was that in the constellation of all things that contribute to modern human behavior, that any existant evolutionarily engrained strategies would be at the base level of the perhaps hierarchical construct of a model of that behavior.

Romany wrote:
...or come with a caveat that no harm is meant by referencing one of the paradigms through which we make evaluations? The objective presentation of salient facts cannot, by it's very nature, be offensive or hurtful. Scholarship obviates the use of subjective judgement, by presenting facts. Whether one is offended, upset, horrified or excited in response to facts has no effect upon those facts; it would surely be a failure of academia if certain factual information was not put forward when making a case, for fear of subjective reaction...as the history of our species has demonstrated time and time again.

This has not been my experience. I have found that it is better to be careful and avoid offending folks with objectivity, before having to explain why they shouldn't have been offended, which usually offends them more, and by then any chance of getting them to consider what I was saying has become very slim.

Romany wrote:
Having studied anthropology and sociology years before I started formal study of the English Language, though, perhaps I'm wrong to assume that everyone reasons in the same way? (that's only occurred to me now, as I answer you).

Yes, you are absolutely wrong about that. I'm sorry Rom but it seems to plainly be the case that most folks do not become as well informed, prefer to think as little as possible, and even fewer question their own conclusions once reached.

This reply has taken me far too long to post, sorry I'm out of practice, I hope to change that and see more discussions here on such topics.


Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Topic: Life & suffering.
Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2019 4:29:46 AM
I don't think suffering is always hyperbole, it is certainly a far more extreme state than it is commonly used to refer to, and in many instances, I do agree its use is hyperbolic particularly when used by drama kings and queens.

I think anyone who has endured acute depression, or prolonged acute debilitating pain can legitimately be said to be suffering, as well as a number of other conditions.

I can entirely relate to the tendency to not apply it to oneself; however, I think that is some weird form of self-deception that may even be adaptive but not in a particularly healthy way as so many of adaptations to cultural expectations are not.

I think that nothing of what any of us has to say about the use of suffering holds much water for the base reason that none of us have addressed it from an evolutionary perspective. I'm sorry for the bluntness of that appraisal and I hope no one is offended by it, I certainly do not mean to be offensive and apply the statement to myself as much as anyone.

I am convinced that many of the problems we have today are a direct result of a failure to understand that at the basis of all behavior there are ancient evolutionary strategies at play the ignorance of which leads to completely fallacious convictions about causation, and totally inappropriate response sets.

ETA You can immediately tell that this post is mostly, kind of like hyperbole, by seeing how entirely it relies on ""I" think"

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Topic: A New Form of Neural Communication
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 4:45:08 AM
LeonAzul wrote:
Similarly, whereas glia were once thought to be merely coincidentally related to brain function, further investigation into the etiology and prognosis of Alzheimer's syndrome, in particular, increasingly points to glial cells as the effectors of much of what the brain does. It is my humble opinion that it is this sort of "new" form of communication that has been ironically miscommunicated.


I don't think it matters which cells are initializing the signal, it seems the point is that transmission of the signal is occurring across a physical gap with no traditional communication modalities present.

Unfortunately, there is much I've missed in the development of the current understanding of neurophysiology, currently I'm trying to determine how this is not an instance of ephatic coupling;
Wikipedia wrote:
Ephaptic coupling is a form of communication within the nervous system and is distinct from direct communication systems like electrical synapses and chemical synapses. It may refer to the coupling of adjacent (touching) nerve fibers caused by the exchange of ions between the cells, or it may refer to coupling of nerve fibers as a result of local electric fields.[1]


I also need to figure out what the waves referred to actually represent, it seems to me that they represent the activation of successive local neural circuits. Now before I can come to any further conjecture I need to understand whether that is some sort of actual signaling or if it is analogous to the current in a conductor.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Topic: A New Form of Neural Communication
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2019 5:07:47 AM
FounDit wrote:
What I found most interesting was the slow waves that move through the tissue. I had not heard of this before and wondered how and where it is propagated. This could be a real game-changer in the study of the brain.


The slow wave propagation has been known for some time; however, that it does not rely on any of the known communication modalities is new.

Just as I was averse to applying the term revolutionary, I would not call it a game changer, more of a game intensifier adding yet another level(?) to the communication protocol(?) of mind.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Topic: A New Form of Neural Communication
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2019 4:29:03 AM
Blodybeef wrote:
Looks like Quantum mechanics.
or Quantum electronics.
or communications.
I am interested very much in this subject, but sadly guess it is above me Brick wall


I would still be extremely hesitant to invoke quantum mechanics at least in the sense of ORCH-OR notions. I don't think this article in any way, at least at this point, lends any validation to those notions. This seems more of a field effect rather than q-bit communication of any sort.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Topic: A New Form of Neural Communication
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2019 4:22:31 AM
Leaping Freaking Leptons!!!
Okay this is going to take no little further investigation. I'm going to have to read the linked articles and anything else I can find on this. I'm not even sure what to call this, revolutionary would not be literally correct but does convey the scale of the leap in complexity this would represent. I think agog is a good description of my state as the concept described in the article formed in my mind. I'll be back.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Topic: Praise the Lord, my dog is a Catholic...
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2019 3:34:05 AM
Of course animals have souls just ask the Easter Bunny!

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Topic: Painful Reality or Pleasant Delusion? Alzheimer Treatment
Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2019 4:00:45 AM
Thanks very much Leon, I failed to notice I hadn't linked "this blog post". I wondered why no one had picked up on this topic.

I agree with you that a confrontational approach seems wrong.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Topic: Painful Reality or Pleasant Delusion? Alzheimer Treatment
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 4:31:59 AM
The author of this blog post brings up an important point in general; however, it is the specific application to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease I am most interested in. Alzheimer's is a horrifying disease, my mother died of it which may be why I have more than just a common curiosity about it.

Not all Alzheimer's patients have pleasant delusions, I am in fact rather dubious of this characterization, particularly during the early stages of the disease when one is fully aware that the "I" of mind is slowly disappearing.

I favor the pleasant delusion as described in the article, although if it were currently an option in the U.S., specifically within the V.A. health system, my advanced directive would include criteria for termination.

Although the blogger presents this as a philosophical question I feel it is a relevant cultural issue as, at least in first world countries, the population of the elderly is markedly increasing.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?

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