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« In Florida. Again. Ho Hum. | Main | Am I Alone In My Visceral Reaction To Bush's Monkeyface? »

Sunday, February 10, 2008

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Miss Luongo

Interesting. I just watched a youtube about a guy who had his brain hemisphere's severed. The scientist studying him said that analyzing how this guy's brain works gives us insight into nonconscious processes and how they work so completely independent of our awareness.

The bigger point is philosophical - sort-of a Cartesian dilemma - if I think therefore I am, who am I when I exist and function despite my thoughts? As Oz put it: "I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me, and she becomes me. I cease to exist."

Disclaimer: I didn't sleep much either. I fell asleep late-late-late last night and the dog started barking at 8am. I feel weird.

messiestobjects

It's obvious that I'm going to have to get back into Buffy mode to deal with you. That Oz quote, by the way, is one of my favorite moments in the entire series. Of course, there are many, many favorite moments.

But speaking to the philosophical side of it, this is a dilemma of Artificial Intelligence, actually. Someday, when humans are able to download their thoughts onto a computer "brain", they will have essentially duplicated themselves. Similar to that denouement I hate in The Prestige.

Some people in the field think that this copy IS you, and that even if your body dies, you will become conscious in this copied brain. Sort of a non-spiritual reincarnation. I don't really buy that... if you and the copy are alive simultaneously, for example, then you will each be sharing separate experiences in your different bodies, and your twinness with your brain copy will begin to diverge... I don't think you CAN have two separate consciousnesses in two different bodies, simultaneously or otherwise. I think our bodies and individual experiences along with our brains form who we are, not simply the information stored in our brains.

Rudy Rucker wrote a tetralogy which somewhat discussed this topic called the 'Ware Tetralogy,' the first novel being Software. Actually, pretty much all Cyberpunk Sci Fi addresses this issue in one way or another.

Gary

There is no self.

Now I need a nap.

messiestobjects

Considering that the desire to be clever is the desire to advance the self, you try awfully hard to be clever for someone who has no self.

Gary

No one has any self, not just me. There's no "me" inside my head. No little man controling it all.

messiestobjects

That's a worse blameshifter than being a Christian! :)

But seriously, I think that that whole Zen Buddha thing, the destruction of the self, saying that there is no self, is sort of the same thing as saying that there's no such thing as matter because really the tiniest bits of matter are basically twisted up vibrating space, i.e., nothing.

Well, matter may not technically exist, but it sure feels like it does when it kicks you in the nuts.

Gary

oh you mean like using that as an excuse to behave in a certain way? sure why not? I wonder how many people are out there that do terrible things because they realized that they're not separate from nature and that "the mind" is just an illusion caused by the functioning of the body. ;)

messiestobjects

Yeah... Look out for those asshole Zen Terrorists!

Or what if a cutter became a Zen Buddhist? Cutting you is the same to him as cutting himself, so look out!

Miss Luongo

There is no Zen Buddhist.

messiestobjects

Hello? Is anybody there? Who said that?

Sissy

I'm too tired to absorb this. I can't remember sleep. Maybe it was an illusion.

Read Illusions by Richard Bach. That book had me re-think existance, reality, and our ability to control our environments.

Of course, I was sixteen when I read it. I may feel differently about it now.

Most likely, I would probably feel nothing if I read it now.

messiestobjects

Isn't Richard Bach really Stephen King?

Sissy

No, he's Toni Morrison.

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