jodawi: (Default)
Clearly "natural" and "artificial" is an artificial distinction.
Humans are part of nature, and everything they do is part of nature.
But naturally the distinction continues to persist.
Here is an isomorph:

Artificial is to natural as consciousness is to unconsciousness.

There is often a feeling that natural things are better - the rich colors and textures of real solid wood vs bland uniform plastic - a beautiful mountain stream vs a patchwork of oil-stained asphalt surrounding a gas station. The unconscious mind is similarly better - if the consciousness thinks too hard about trying to walk and not spill a cup of water, the cup is spilled. If the consciousness just lets the unconscious mind control the movements, they're smoother and the cup is not spilled.

The good vs bad is an artificial distinction too. The consciousness is a universal tool, not as good as any of the body parts at doing their jobs, but able to do jobs that no other body part can, including jobs that don't exist yet. A sucky universal tool. It's a primitive thing like the first eye - a simple light/dark sensor that can help seek warmth or whatever benefits the first proto-eyes provided. Perhaps it could someday evolve into something able to consciously walk without spilling water, with no unconscious running the vast majority of its existence.

So says the primitive blind worm of my conscious and unconscious mind today.
jodawi: (Default)
Clearly "natural" and "artificial" is an artificial distinction.
Humans are part of nature, and everything they do is part of nature.
But naturally the distinction continues to persist.
Here is an isomorph:

Artificial is to natural as consciousness is to unconsciousness.

There is often a feeling that natural things are better - the rich colors and textures of real solid wood vs bland uniform plastic - a beautiful mountain stream vs a patchwork of oil-stained asphalt surrounding a gas station. The unconscious mind is similarly better - if the consciousness thinks too hard about trying to walk and not spill a cup of water, the cup is spilled. If the consciousness just lets the unconscious mind control the movements, they're smoother and the cup is not spilled.

The good vs bad is an artificial distinction too. The consciousness is a universal tool, not as good as any of the body parts at doing their jobs, but able to do jobs that no other body part can, including jobs that don't exist yet. A sucky universal tool. It's a primitive thing like the first eye - a simple light/dark sensor that can help seek warmth or whatever benefits the first proto-eyes provided. Perhaps it could someday evolve into something able to consciously walk without spilling water, with no unconscious running the vast majority of its existence.

So says the primitive blind worm of my conscious and unconscious mind today.
jodawi: (jodaoi)
"latent inhibition"+creativity
"We are very excited by the results of these studies," says Peterson. "It appears that we have not only identified one of the biological bases of creativity but have moved towards cracking an age-old mystery: the relationship between genius, madness and the doors of perception."
— via [livejournal.com profile] indigopowder


Ditto mysticism, or at least part of it: sense of something profound, which may or may not be accompanied by being able to describe what the profundity is. Hmm... probably ditto some psychedelic experiences too, and peak experiences, and suchlike. Numinousness.

c.f., Jodawijournal - April 18th, 2003, +/- Jodawijournal - April 17th, 2003

Deja-goo doesn't have my post on a similar subject from 1995. Batards. I think I posted it to LJ, but I didn't find it, so:
In article <3nhc0e$dmt@louie.udel.edu>, from about April 1995, I wrote about something from about December 1991: )

Someone replied to my post with:
Dear John Chao, )
jodawi: (jodaoi)
"latent inhibition"+creativity
"We are very excited by the results of these studies," says Peterson. "It appears that we have not only identified one of the biological bases of creativity but have moved towards cracking an age-old mystery: the relationship between genius, madness and the doors of perception."
— via [livejournal.com profile] indigopowder


Ditto mysticism, or at least part of it: sense of something profound, which may or may not be accompanied by being able to describe what the profundity is. Hmm... probably ditto some psychedelic experiences too, and peak experiences, and suchlike. Numinousness.

c.f., Jodawijournal - April 18th, 2003, +/- Jodawijournal - April 17th, 2003

Deja-goo doesn't have my post on a similar subject from 1995. Batards. I think I posted it to LJ, but I didn't find it, so:
In article <3nhc0e$dmt@louie.udel.edu>, from about April 1995, I wrote about something from about December 1991: )

Someone replied to my post with:
Dear John Chao, )
jodawi: (am jodwi)
Today I have an completely undeveloped idea, not even really thought upon, that the mental development of children should somehow mirror the emergence of religion and spiritual thought in history.


Also, this phrase appears: The nature-nurture feedback loop.



http://dinets.travel.ru/religion0.htm

I'm sometimes annoyed at the attempt to equate memes with viruses. Memes are genes, part of memetic organisms. It might be a virus, or it might be a walrus. Show me a brain without memes and I'll show you a brain without thought.
jodawi: (am jodwi)
Today I have an completely undeveloped idea, not even really thought upon, that the mental development of children should somehow mirror the emergence of religion and spiritual thought in history.


Also, this phrase appears: The nature-nurture feedback loop.



http://dinets.travel.ru/religion0.htm

I'm sometimes annoyed at the attempt to equate memes with viruses. Memes are genes, part of memetic organisms. It might be a virus, or it might be a walrus. Show me a brain without memes and I'll show you a brain without thought.
jodawi: (Default)
The Exclusion Principle - interesting articles on biological side of racism / face recognition / beauty & ugliness / fame / group membership
jodawi: (Default)
The Exclusion Principle - interesting articles on biological side of racism / face recognition / beauty & ugliness / fame / group membership
jodawi: (jodaoi)
Optimists tend to live 2-7-12 years longer than pessimists.

An optimist might say that having the right outlook is healthy. A pessimist might say that they're losing 2-7-12 years of life and are therefore quite right to be pessimistic.
jodawi: (jodaoi)
Optimists tend to live 2-7-12 years longer than pessimists.

An optimist might say that having the right outlook is healthy. A pessimist might say that they're losing 2-7-12 years of life and are therefore quite right to be pessimistic.
jodawi: (Default)
I've started confusing its with it's.
I just wrote gets as get's; caught by spelling checker.


I think I'd rather be dead than have severe Alzheimer's, having seen it in action, so I often have a mild worry that I'll get to a severe stage of mental inability too subtly and slowly to be able to plan said death. This is what I think of when I find myself writing get's.
jodawi: (Default)
I've started confusing its with it's.
I just wrote gets as get's; caught by spelling checker.


I think I'd rather be dead than have severe Alzheimer's, having seen it in action, so I often have a mild worry that I'll get to a severe stage of mental inability too subtly and slowly to be able to plan said death. This is what I think of when I find myself writing get's.
jodawi: (lunar eclipse)
I read article Electric currents boost brain power and think: I want.

Maybe I tape copper wires to head, hook up 9V battery, start able the thinking. What's the resistance of my head? Hmmm... maybe 5kOhm to 500kOhm, depending on skin connection. 2mA. Easily doable, with proper electrodes.

Add extra aluminum foil hat, protect from alien interference in signals.
jodawi: (lunar eclipse)
I read article Electric currents boost brain power and think: I want.

Maybe I tape copper wires to head, hook up 9V battery, start able the thinking. What's the resistance of my head? Hmmm... maybe 5kOhm to 500kOhm, depending on skin connection. 2mA. Easily doable, with proper electrodes.

Add extra aluminum foil hat, protect from alien interference in signals.
jodawi: (lunar eclipse)
I'm all at sea. How does one participate in democratic politics when the majority of voters are incapable of logical thought? Where even basic, objective, verifiable facts do not enter the minds of many or most people? Where logical conclusions get inverted?

All of my political thiking revolves around the idea that you can show people a red cube and they'll agree that there's a red cube there and not a blue sphere. But that's not the case. The blue sphere which doesn't exist becomes the fact, and the red cube becomes some sort of partisan trick to be dismissed out of hand.

I had thoughts of coding a web site that would allow people to examine facts, apply their basic values, and follow them to logical political conclusions, with the computer helping them with the logic part, but it seems kind of pointless. Even if it were logically sound, people would reject the entire system if the results were contrary to what they thought the results should be, or if an objective verifiable fact was contrary to what they thought it should be.

I suppose it might be useful to a certain elite of any political group, and in guiding them might guide those they had influence over, but if you look at the apparent groupthink that guides the Bush administration today, objective information contrary to the desired reality is not found to be welcome.

Progress does seem to get made over the decades and centuries, in at least some ways. Explicit slavery of ethnicities is no longer viewed as ok in most of the world. Slavery of women is still ok in parts of the world tho, with no large-scale world-wide campaign to put an end to it, and it's frequently claimed that "feminism is dead". Genocide against Jews is no longer ok, tho genocide in Africa can take place without much concern. It's no longer ok for young children to work long hours with dangerous machines in factories in at least some countries. Blah blah random comment. Eventually historians agree that it was probably a red cube, and not a blue sphere, but decades of shit has to happen before that point is reached.

So basically i need to release a virus that 1) makes everyone more intelligent, so facts can penetrate consciousness, and 2) makes everyone have some degree of non-self-serving ethics. Did i mention blah blah random comment?

Blah blah blah.

blah.
jodawi: (lunar eclipse)
I'm all at sea. How does one participate in democratic politics when the majority of voters are incapable of logical thought? Where even basic, objective, verifiable facts do not enter the minds of many or most people? Where logical conclusions get inverted?

All of my political thiking revolves around the idea that you can show people a red cube and they'll agree that there's a red cube there and not a blue sphere. But that's not the case. The blue sphere which doesn't exist becomes the fact, and the red cube becomes some sort of partisan trick to be dismissed out of hand.

I had thoughts of coding a web site that would allow people to examine facts, apply their basic values, and follow them to logical political conclusions, with the computer helping them with the logic part, but it seems kind of pointless. Even if it were logically sound, people would reject the entire system if the results were contrary to what they thought the results should be, or if an objective verifiable fact was contrary to what they thought it should be.

I suppose it might be useful to a certain elite of any political group, and in guiding them might guide those they had influence over, but if you look at the apparent groupthink that guides the Bush administration today, objective information contrary to the desired reality is not found to be welcome.

Progress does seem to get made over the decades and centuries, in at least some ways. Explicit slavery of ethnicities is no longer viewed as ok in most of the world. Slavery of women is still ok in parts of the world tho, with no large-scale world-wide campaign to put an end to it, and it's frequently claimed that "feminism is dead". Genocide against Jews is no longer ok, tho genocide in Africa can take place without much concern. It's no longer ok for young children to work long hours with dangerous machines in factories in at least some countries. Blah blah random comment. Eventually historians agree that it was probably a red cube, and not a blue sphere, but decades of shit has to happen before that point is reached.

So basically i need to release a virus that 1) makes everyone more intelligent, so facts can penetrate consciousness, and 2) makes everyone have some degree of non-self-serving ethics. Did i mention blah blah random comment?

Blah blah blah.

blah.
jodawi: (alien answer)
The Unpolitical Animal — via [livejournal.com profile] cyotha
Skepticism about the competence of the masses to govern themselves is as old as mass self-government. Even so, when that competence began to be measured statistically, around the end of the Second World War, the numbers startled almost everyone. ...

Converse claimed that only around ten per cent of the public has what can be called, even generously, a political belief system. He named these people “ideologues,” by which he meant not that they are fanatics but that they have a reasonable grasp of “what goes with what”—of how a set of opinions adds up to a coherent political philosophy. Non-ideologues may use terms like “liberal” and “conservative,” but Converse thought that they basically don’t know what they’re talking about, and that their beliefs are characterized by what he termed a lack of “constraint” ...

... It’s not that people know nothing. It’s just that politics is not what they know.

In the face of this evidence, three theories have arisen. The first is that electoral outcomes, as far as “the will of the people” is concerned, are essentially arbitrary. ...

A second theory is that although people may not be working with a full deck of information and beliefs, their preferences are dictated by something, and that something is élite opinion. Political campaigns, on this theory, are essentially struggles among the élite, the fraction of a fraction of voters who have the knowledge and the ideological chops to understand the substantive differences between the candidates and to argue their policy implications. These voters communicate their preferences to the rest of the electorate by various cues, low-content phrases and images (warm colors, for instance) to which voters can relate, and these cues determine the outcome of the race. Democracies are really oligarchies with a populist face.

The third theory of democratic politics is the theory that the cues to which most voters respond are, in fact, adequate bases on which to form political preferences. People use shortcuts—the social-scientific term is “heuristics”—to reach judgments about political candidates, and, on the whole, these shortcuts are as good as the long and winding road of reading party platforms, listening to candidate debates, and all the other elements of civic duty. Voters use what Samuel Popkin, one of the proponents of this third theory, calls “low-information rationality”—in other words, gut reasoning—to reach political decisions; and this intuitive form of judgment proves a good enough substitute for its high-information counterpart in reflecting what people want. ...

This theory is the most attractive of the three, since it does the most to salvage democratic values from the electoral wreckage Converse described. It gives the mass of voters credit for their decisions by suggesting not only that they can interpret the cues given by the campaigns and the élite opinion-makers but that the other heuristics they use—the candidate seems likable, times are not as good as they were—are actually defensible replacements for informed, logical reasoning. ...

The principal shortcut that people use in deciding which candidates to vote for is, of course, the political party. ...

Bartels has also found that when people do focus on specific policies they are often unable to distinguish their own interests. ...

But who ever does the math? As Popkin points out, everybody uses heuristics, including the élite. Most of the debate among opinion-makers is conducted in shorthand, and even well-informed voters rely on endorsements and party affiliations to make their choices. The very essence of being an ideologue lies in trusting the label—liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. Those are “bundling” terms: they pull together a dozen positions on individual issues under a single handy rubric. They do the work of assessment for you.

Man may not be a political animal, but he is certainly a social animal. Voters do respond to the cues of commentators and campaigners, but only when they can match those cues up with the buzz of their own social group. Individual voters are not rational calculators of self-interest (nobody truly is), and may not be very consistent users of heuristic shortcuts, either. But they are not just random particles bouncing off the walls of the voting booth. Voters go into the booth carrying the imprint of the hopes and fears, the prejudices and assumptions of their family, their friends, and their neighbors. For most people, voting may be more meaningful and more understandable as a social act than as a political act.


Here's where I almost feel like adding commentary.
jodawi: (alien answer)
The Unpolitical Animal — via [livejournal.com profile] cyotha
Skepticism about the competence of the masses to govern themselves is as old as mass self-government. Even so, when that competence began to be measured statistically, around the end of the Second World War, the numbers startled almost everyone. ...

Converse claimed that only around ten per cent of the public has what can be called, even generously, a political belief system. He named these people “ideologues,” by which he meant not that they are fanatics but that they have a reasonable grasp of “what goes with what”—of how a set of opinions adds up to a coherent political philosophy. Non-ideologues may use terms like “liberal” and “conservative,” but Converse thought that they basically don’t know what they’re talking about, and that their beliefs are characterized by what he termed a lack of “constraint” ...

... It’s not that people know nothing. It’s just that politics is not what they know.

In the face of this evidence, three theories have arisen. The first is that electoral outcomes, as far as “the will of the people” is concerned, are essentially arbitrary. ...

A second theory is that although people may not be working with a full deck of information and beliefs, their preferences are dictated by something, and that something is élite opinion. Political campaigns, on this theory, are essentially struggles among the élite, the fraction of a fraction of voters who have the knowledge and the ideological chops to understand the substantive differences between the candidates and to argue their policy implications. These voters communicate their preferences to the rest of the electorate by various cues, low-content phrases and images (warm colors, for instance) to which voters can relate, and these cues determine the outcome of the race. Democracies are really oligarchies with a populist face.

The third theory of democratic politics is the theory that the cues to which most voters respond are, in fact, adequate bases on which to form political preferences. People use shortcuts—the social-scientific term is “heuristics”—to reach judgments about political candidates, and, on the whole, these shortcuts are as good as the long and winding road of reading party platforms, listening to candidate debates, and all the other elements of civic duty. Voters use what Samuel Popkin, one of the proponents of this third theory, calls “low-information rationality”—in other words, gut reasoning—to reach political decisions; and this intuitive form of judgment proves a good enough substitute for its high-information counterpart in reflecting what people want. ...

This theory is the most attractive of the three, since it does the most to salvage democratic values from the electoral wreckage Converse described. It gives the mass of voters credit for their decisions by suggesting not only that they can interpret the cues given by the campaigns and the élite opinion-makers but that the other heuristics they use—the candidate seems likable, times are not as good as they were—are actually defensible replacements for informed, logical reasoning. ...

The principal shortcut that people use in deciding which candidates to vote for is, of course, the political party. ...

Bartels has also found that when people do focus on specific policies they are often unable to distinguish their own interests. ...

But who ever does the math? As Popkin points out, everybody uses heuristics, including the élite. Most of the debate among opinion-makers is conducted in shorthand, and even well-informed voters rely on endorsements and party affiliations to make their choices. The very essence of being an ideologue lies in trusting the label—liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. Those are “bundling” terms: they pull together a dozen positions on individual issues under a single handy rubric. They do the work of assessment for you.

Man may not be a political animal, but he is certainly a social animal. Voters do respond to the cues of commentators and campaigners, but only when they can match those cues up with the buzz of their own social group. Individual voters are not rational calculators of self-interest (nobody truly is), and may not be very consistent users of heuristic shortcuts, either. But they are not just random particles bouncing off the walls of the voting booth. Voters go into the booth carrying the imprint of the hopes and fears, the prejudices and assumptions of their family, their friends, and their neighbors. For most people, voting may be more meaningful and more understandable as a social act than as a political act.


Here's where I almost feel like adding commentary.
jodawi: (Default)
Study: The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters - October 21, 2004 [PDF] — via [livejournal.com profile] wispfox

- So the Bush administration is effective at creating its own reality, at least for half of the population (of the US). Iraq doesn't cooperate with the reality, so constant energy has to be expended in shoring up the created reality.

Perhaps more interesting would be a similar study about something like US military / economic history broken down by Kerry supporters and people who don't support either Bush or Kerry.

We don't find intelligent life in the universe because you only have to be dimly sentient before you can create nuclear weapons and worse.
jodawi: (Default)
Study: The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters - October 21, 2004 [PDF] — via [livejournal.com profile] wispfox

- So the Bush administration is effective at creating its own reality, at least for half of the population (of the US). Iraq doesn't cooperate with the reality, so constant energy has to be expended in shoring up the created reality.

Perhaps more interesting would be a similar study about something like US military / economic history broken down by Kerry supporters and people who don't support either Bush or Kerry.

We don't find intelligent life in the universe because you only have to be dimly sentient before you can create nuclear weapons and worse.

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