Comments

  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?

    ^I agree on this, AZ is also not as effective as some of the other vaccines.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?

    EMA's new statement. They hit at your worries and explain who seems to be at risk - women under 60. As previously, the prevalence is extremely low and according to evidence, benefits still outweigh the risk.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?
    frank
    I'll leave it at this:. for some reason you're making an assumption about the safety of the AZ vaccine that is truly not supported by data. Your approach to this issue is of a kind that undermines the confidence we'd like to see in the population.
    I've just been going by EMA's conclusions thus far after their review of evidence obtained on over 11 million AZ vaccinations in the EU. They conclude benefits of vaccination still outweigh risk considering this and other metrics they utilize in determining public health recommendations; the last public statement was the 31st. These recommendations are made on best available evidence, and so far are still standing. They are still investigating the causal link between vaccinations and these events, but as mentioned before because the prevalence of these thrombotic events is so low, it is unlikely to change their recommendation.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?
    I've seen a lot of COVID patients throw clots into the lungs, heart, and brain. I've never seen one do that with thrombocytopenia.

    In fact I've never seen a case of prothrombic thrombocytopenia. Have you?
    frank
    Yes those are more common, but systemic coagulopathy involving lower platelets is associated with COVID. The coagulopathic state most associated with COVID is very similar to DIC but characterized by milder thrombocytopenia and elevated D-Dimer and Fibrinogen. D-dimer is a breakdown product of clots, fibrinogen is a component of clots. You can read more about it here: https://www.hematology.org/covid-19/covid-19-and-coagulopathy
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?
    I was saying they’d have more risk of clotting generally, not specifically VIPIT. I mean there are low platelet clotting conditions associated with natural covid infection, eg. most cases of disseminated intravascular coagulation. I don’t have stats in front of me for that
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?
    So far, so good. I like my chances of holding out until the end of 2021 without succumbing.180 Proof
    Sure, go for it if that's your decision; you have good odds for not getting severe form of infection. I appreciate your masking and distancing.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?
    The people who have died from the syndrome so far probably would have done well with a COVID19 infection. They were young, healthy women.

    You're basically saying you're fine with those women sacrificing their lives without even knowing they were taking that risk.
    frank

    Well I think one would need to look at it from a population perspective, if you took 80 people of that demographic, 40 contracted covid naturally and 40 vaccinated - from the data now you would expect there to be more thrombotic complications in the COVID group than the vaccinated group. The clotting prevalence is low in non-ICU admitted COVID adults, ~5% for clotting events in veins and ~1% for clotting events in arteries. But this is still significantly higher than the prevalence we are talking about for these VIPIT events. There may be increased risk, but the prevalence is still very low and not higher than one would expect from natural COVID infection.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?

    Thanks, I'll edit the post
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?
    I think you need to read that info a little more closely. Some people developed low platelets, some had thrombosis.frank
    The worrisome mechanism they mention is termed Vaccine induced prothrombic thrombocytopenia. It is counterintuitive, but it is a syndrome characterized simultaneously by low platelets and thrombotic risk. From the EMA article, only 26 cases had thrombotic events with associated low platelets.

    This isn't the kind of thing we just brush aside. If we proceed with the AZ vaccine in some populations, we need to be able to tell people what the risks are and what signs to look for post treatment.
    I agree about not brushing it aside. It just needs to be taken into context of risk magnitude. To my understanding and as recommended by EMA, the prevalence of these events is very low and not more than one would expect by being a member of the general population and certainly lower than one would expect if actually infected with the virus. Since the frequency of occurrence is known and so low and since the benefits still outweigh the risk per EMA [which takes these and other important safety considerations into account when making such public recommendations], it's still valid to recommend taking the vaccine even as the mechanistic basis of some of these low frequency side effects are being investigated.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?
    I'm over 50, diabetic, heavy drinker for decades, daily contact with the public through work, living in an anti-science trumpy Republican backwater (Georgia) where public health measures are "optional". Risk factors as far as I can tell.
    From what you're mentioning now, that's a lot of risk being taken compared to vaccinating. It is of course up to you, but from a risk-taking standpoint I'd say it is a better choice to vaccinate in such a situation.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?

    Both German and Norwegian scientists have identified a mechanism by which the Astra-Zeneca vaccine triggers an autoimmune response which can be fatal. In Norway 1 in 20,000 had serious side effects attributed to the vaccine.
    It's possible and was discussed in the March 31st EMA update. We are still talking about a very low risk; in the 11 million AZ vaccinations across Europe assessed by EMA, there were 469 reports, only 26 of which were associated with low platelets [an essential feature of the VIPIT syndrome mediating the mechanism the Norwegian scientists were concerned about]. This risk is still orders of magnitude lower than one's risk of clotting with COVID.

    Again, however, there is no worry about this sort of risk for the mRNA vaccines moderna and pfizer. Those vaccines work by different mechanism than the AstraZeneca vaccine. I don't think a worry about one vaccine should generalize to a worry about COVID vaccines generally.

    I think it is also reassuring that these concerns are being taken by appropriate regulatory bodies. The hold placed on AZ implies the governments are looking out for the safety interest of their citizens.
    Just in case you didn't know it's incorrect, like if I unsolicitedly tell you there's spinach in your teeth. I'm being helpful.
    I appreciate that, sometimes unsolicited corrections can be interpreted as a slight. I'll take your word on your helpful intention.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?

    It's on hold in some European countries due to coagulation issues.
    Thanks I wasn't aware. I've read some more now, and it looks like there was a statement issued on the 18th of March by the EMA safety committee: there is still no causal link between the vaccines and the clots and the frequency of clots in the study population is not more than one would expect in the general population. They still conclude the benefits outweigh the risks.

    I still think the concern over one vaccine shouldn't generalize to concern over all. Each one has gone through independent clinical trial process and as I mentioned before the data is very robust for pfizer and moderna.
    The high efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reflects when their testing took place. All the vaccines are highly effective regarding severe illness or death from COVID 19.

    What do you mean by the bold? Regarding second sentence, that's correct. Pfizer has also demonstrated efficacy against COVID infection [80-90% range].

    I was vaccinated the day before Christmas. I'm in a study looking at how long the antibodies last.
    That's great. That doesn't preclude the existing robust data on safety and efficacy up to 90 days.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?
    The vaccines have not been Approved by the US FDA; they are merely (politically) Authorized For Emergency Use. I'm not terminal/end-stage anything and have a proven alternative (masks, etc) – which mostly prevents the spread (re: none of the available vaccines have been shown to do this effectively) – to volunteering to be a guinea pig for Pfizer, Moderna, etc in mass-experiment public trials. I'm in no way anti-vaxx and not anti-science either; the public health exigencies are obvious, but I'll take my chances until 6-9 months more data comes in.
    EUA is not just a political stamp, it involves rigorous safety, manufacturing, and efficacy standards. The difference is in follow up safety requirement. FDA approval requires safety monitoring for at least 6 months post vaccination, EUA requires at least 2 month post vaccination safety monitoring. Both EUA and FDA approval involve the same efficacy requirement. Pfizer and moderna vaccines, have excellent safety profiles compared to other vaccines per data on thousands of vaccinated individuals. Pfizer just actually finished analyzing their 6 month monitoring results and are planning to apply for full BLA licensure soon. The risk at this point for taking the pfizer vaccine is demonstrably minimal; I figure it will be the same for Modernas given their safety profile in phase III.

    It's great you are not in a risk group, your risk of symptomatic illness without vaccine is still higher than with vaccine. It is true masking and distancing reduces your transmission risk, but the risk is still elevated if you were to become symptomatic and in close quarters with family, friends and strangers so in aggregate I'd say it would be a better choice to take the vaccine now with respect to reducing risk.
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?

    Anti-vaccination sentiment (as it relates to COVID19) is tied to suspicions about the origins of the disease and the profitability of vaccines, as well as fears about it's safety.

    But now that the Astra-Zeneca vaccine is being put on hold, at least one arm if opposition seems to have been vindicated.

    What about the notion that the vaccine is a tool for extracting money from the population? How suspicious are you?
    Astrazeneca vaccine wasn't put on hold because of safety concerns or lack of efficacy, there was just a production error. They mixed up ingredients at the facility. Irregardless its efficacy is lower than Pfizer and Moderna, so if I were you I'd go with one of those.
  • The Minds Of Conjoined Twins
    :chin: You're contradicting yourself.TheMadFool
    No it isn't. You are not reading it in context of the example, see the sentence preceding the quoted ones. Behavior and function are decoupled in that post, so there is no contradiction. Functions denote activity of a given brain tissue - e.g. amygdala. Behavior denotes things like walking, grabbing, any action. Llamas and tigers have different behaviors despite having the same brain functions [amygdala function, visual cortex function]. How would you explain why they have these different behaviors given the identical functionality of their brain tissues? How are he microarchitectures relevant?

    Each gross anatomical structure of the brain has a function that's different from other gross anatomical structures but each one of them has a function that's identical to all brains.TheMadFool
    Do you distinguish between output and function of a given brain structure? By output I mean the spiking rates of efferent neurons exiting the brain structure.
  • The Minds Of Conjoined Twins
    Take your brain and mine for comparison. It's quite obvious that they differ in terms of actual number of neurons, the number and complexity of synapses, the loci of brain cells, etc. Yet, we can both talk, walk, eat, think in, factoring these variations, extremely similar ways. Had these variations any effect on the way our brains operate/function, it would show in the areas of brain function I mentioned. We wouldn't have generic abilities like walking, talking, eating, thinking, etc.TheMadFool
    I don't see why microstructure needs to impact the function in the way you describe. It's like the example I gave of the hard disk. Two hard disks have the same function despite widely different microstructure, and its the microstructure that matter for what is stored in memory. Another example would be like two animals, a llama and tiger. They have brains with similar parts, visual cortex, amygdalas, etc. What makes them different in behavior is the microstructure. The difference in microstructure doesn't need to imply different functions for it to be important for minds or for determining specific behaviors in specific contexts.
    You're comparing apples to oranges. Of course our mental states would differ between a delicious burger and a spider crawling up our arm. However, if both of us were exposed to the same stimulus, we would experience comparable mental states. If my mouth waters in gustatory anticipation when I see a burger, it's highly unlikely that you would retch and vomit in disgust. This similarity in responses to the physical environment and ideas bespeak the reality of what I've referred to as generic brain functions, something that would be impossible if the fine structure of brains mattered to mental states.TheMadFool
    Are you implying every part of two different brains, respond in similar ways to a stimulus? But this is clearly false; just read any comparative brain study. Presented with that burger, I could just not have a watering response or I could have a different set of thoughts triggered by that stimulus. Two people don't have similar microstructural, behavioral emotional or cognitive responses to the same events. These are what form the basis for differences in personalities, emotional sensitivity, behaviors etc.
  • The Minds Of Conjoined Twins
    If the brain's fine structure determines brain function, we should observe a proportionate variability in the way brains operate. This isn't true.TheMadFool
    Please explain specifically what you mean by function and operate. Like I said, if you mean generalized function of a specific brain tissue like olfactory bulb, amygdala or visual cortex, then this is just a strawman because these things are not relevant-- i.e. it would be like saying the hard disk of computer A functions the same as computer B [i.e. they store memory], thus
    the variability of the microstructure [i.e. the orientation of magnets on the hard disk, which is the physical representation of the computer memory] doesn't matter for what the hard disk does. But it does matter.

    If by function, you mean the specific output of a person's brain tissue, then the function does vary considerably. The output of your visual cortex when viewing a tasty, gushing burger is completely different to the output of my visual cortex when viewing a chair. The output of my amygdala after seeing a picture of Natalie Portman is not the same as the output of my amygdala after discovering a spider crawling up my arm. And those outputs are different in other people.
  • The Minds Of Conjoined Twins
    You are equivocating with the term 'function', using it here to mean what seems like a more generalized anatomical function [e.g. basal ganglia has x function, visual cortex has y function(s)], which is not directly relevant to talk about minds.

    What's relevant to any physicalist notion of mind is the function of the microarchitecture, the numbers and strengths of synapses and how that impacts information processing. You are completely side-stepping this in your discussion which I am unsure why.
  • What is "proof?"
    I think any true scientist would tell you nothing is ever proven. The best you can do is high confidence.
  • Inherent subjectivity of perception.

    As perception is the recognition of something already learned, then, how to perceive objective information, when subjectivity (its antithesis) lies in perception?
    Thanks for posting your question Marax. I think the assumption in your first clause is incorrect. There are innate mechanisms for processing sense data, which are acting even absent learning. While you will not be able to classify or know what you are seeing if you haven't previously learned it, you will see it. And there is a layer of 'objective' data embedded within what is being perceived. Even if it's been modified from top-down
  • Habituation of feelings?

    It sounds like you are making synonymous 'beauty' and 'like' with the parentheses comment. What do you mean by beauty in the OP? Things you like or things you find aesthetically beautiful?
  • Habituation of feelings?
    I think there's a lot going on feeling-wise when you first look at something new and beautiful. There's satisfaction and interest you feel from just the sheer novelty of it, then there's the associations of people, places, and things that get conjured up with the viewing of that thing, and the unique conglomerate of feelings those associations trigger when experienced together, and then theres the raw pleasurable feeling of looking at something harmonious geometrically.

    I think with familiarity you loose the sense of novelty and you may also gain new or modified associations with that object or person which can lesson the sum positive feeling you feel when looking at that thing. I think the physical beauty itself, alone stays constant to the degree it's distinct from the associations
  • gestalt principles and realism: a phenomenological exploration
    Sorry for the late response, anyway I'll respond now since I still grapple with issues raised in the OP.
    That's not possible. "Raw experience" as such is an abstraction, not an actual phenomenological way of experiencing. Even with the presence of some or the other form of aphasia, there still are background experiences present.Ying

    Firstly this is a strawman. My point doesn't depend on whether it's actually possible to perceive only color incongruities [which to me seems like a straight forward yes.. I mean what else do you actually directly see instead of infer that you see? Again I'm using color as a stand-in for the qualia that actually presents to you], the point stands by virtue of the fact that visual datum merely consists of essentially color and motion data. It's not objects that stream into your eyes, it's wavelengths of light spatially organized that change in position over time. Whether there is absolute significance or meaning to spatially separated sharp differences in color that form what we perceive as object boundaries or whether this is just a mind-independently meaningless arrangement, is my dillema and forms the basis for the further questions in OP.
  • Can people change other people's extremely rooted beliefs?
    With the necessary time and methods can a man change the belief of another man, no matter how powerful that belief is, or are there certain beliefs that are rooted so strongly that they simply become irreversible and they cannot be changed not even in an eternity?
    EG. Could someone/something convince those Budhist monks who set themselves on fire for their cause to become atheists and think Budhism is wrong?
    Eugen

    It's possible.
  • The Texture of Day to Day
    Still, the whole time you have to live. And, if you're hooked on ideas, the world is degraded in favor of those ideas (or good literary recaps) and you get more and more zoned-out. That's me in my 20s anyway.csalisbury
    I remember the first time I heard, from a dearly valued friend I had feelings for, how much she loathed philosophy. Its irrelevance, seeming uselessness, how she felt more practically oriented, more of the order of learning directly from concrete experiences and relationships. I was completely taken back by her statements, haven't heard it expressed so forcefully and bluntly.

    But I think I've drawn a bit more to her side of things now, though. Not necessarily her view of philosophizing, but more so her practical orientation. There's another friend of mine who, albeit narcissistic and pompous, I really admire for how much he makes it a point to push himself into new experiences and situations, outside of his comfort zone. His living goal is resilience building, social-skill-improving, health-maximizing and impact-making in the realm of environmentalism. He also acts like a socratic figure, challenging everyone's opinions and getting them to break out of their shells. He's incredibly analytical, articulate, and highly reflective, but has not dabbled in much philosophy. I think this is kind of the ideal I've been striving for in the way I've been living. Something more balanced, intentional, and value driven than the abstract, passive living I've been doing.

    What I really want is techniques for how to live, and techniques for how to approach life as it is. That's hard - some inner instinct bucks and shies from that - but what else to do? It feels like the only thing to do is shave off everything that isn't touching on that, and find what works. But the addiction is still there, trying to make things as abstract as possible.csalisbury

    Pierre hadot has a nice book where he outlines different techniques from the greek schools on happiness. I actually find certain ones helpful during my day to day, the 'view from above', the attitude of equanimity, impermanence, meditation on life's finitude.. I actually now have an app that functions doubly as a scheduler which has on the front page the percentage of my life that I've gone through. I'm currently somewhere near the 40% range to 70. It's terrifyingly motivating.

    I think the one thing that's helped me the most has been intentionally putting myself in roles and situations that I do not want to actually be in, and that actually challenge me, force me due to the expectation for the role being fulfilled, to adapt and grow in qualities I have been deficient in. I started doing a co-teaching gig for elementary students which keeps me on my toes and forces me to improv ways of explaining, ways of making otherwise dull material interesting and relatable. I love it in spite of their horseplay, and feel like it's helped me grow in empathy, feeling comfortable in front of people, improv and so on. I'd suppose this sort of growth is typical for the time in and out of college, but making it a point to identify deficient areas of your life in relation to what you value, and then attacking it with intention.. I think that is where I'm going as an alternative to living in abstraction verses just passively moving through and accepting the monotony of everyday.
  • What It Is Like To Experience X
    True, but with the Orion and duck/rabbit examples we are able to talk in the meta-language about the matter from which they're constructed. That's what enables us to 'know' the boundaries. What would happen if, for example, we became able to see in infra-red and ultra-violet. We see those wavelengths just as we do normal colours. We then look at the duck/rabbit and see a pig also, but one drawn cunningly in only ultra-violet and infra-red. Now where's our certainty that only a duck or a rabbit are possible?Isaac
    I don't see a problem with conditional rules [in this case of duck/rabbit: if restricted to visible light spectrum, then the limits are the geometric boundaries of the figure]. I would still consider them objective in the sense of mind-independent, but you could never guarantee their stability over time. E.g. the cell theory thesis that cells are the smallest unit of life is clearly only applicable to terrestrial life within the timespan of life's existence on earth. But it is still objectively true in this domain.

    Physics, would be the one field I think there would be possibly unconditional rules. When, for example, you identify frequency and wavelength as properties of light, those must be describing some features of reality that are invariant to theory change. Even if we discover new properties, or incorporate wavelength and frequency in some other conceptual scheme of light in the future, those features would still be components of the underpinning reality, albeit understood in terms of additional relationships to other properties.

    I can get on board with Ramsey style epistemic structural realism, but not the traditional version. There are a number of objections to structural realism of the more traditional kind and I admit that some of them are over my head, I'm no mathematician, but the one I think I do get is that we have not been able to demonstrate that - even if the mathematical relations of a previous theory acted as bounds to all subsequent ones - the mathematical language we're using is actually responsible for (rather than incidental to) the theory's success. This is the point Stathis Psillos makes, I think.

    As a means of focussing new theories, I think it's a great way of looking at realism. As an actual answer to redeeming scientific realism unscathed, I'm not so sure.
    Isaac
    This is what I am essentially defending is a ramsey style ESR. I don't think there would ever be a way of verifying whether structure is all there is, as in OSR.. so I think it is a bit too extreme. And non-ramsean ESR may reach too far in trying to justify theoretical entities without recourse to concrete referents... But I certainly think some version of structuralism works here. I think the no miracles argument against antirealism coupled with the predictive power of empirical theories are the strongest arguments against pure antirealism

    And so on indeed, but only for theories expressed in mathematical terms already. Note you've not included any theories of biology, psychology, even chemistry there. Mathematical structure may be preserved in theories which are expressed in that form, but there's no evidence it is in theories not expressed that way and so it still remains that structural consistency might be an artefact of the means by which we describe, not that which we describe.Isaac
    I'm curious what you mean by structural consistency being an artifact of the means by which we describe, and not what we describe. Wouldn't you say explanatory equations are derived from the empirical process? To know, for example that F = mass x acceleration, you must observe that the magnitude and direction of force is the multiple of mass and acceleration. To know the fact that the rate of a reaction is proportional to the concentration of the reactants, you need to observe it empirically.. and so on. I think of mathematics in science as no more than a language for precise expression for well-defined observables.
  • What It Is Like To Experience X
    I don't doubt there are limits (to doubt that would lead to idealism), but I doubt we could ever describe those limits, we can only refer to them tangentially by pointing to ineffective models and speculating that transgressing one of those limits may be the cause of its failure.Isaac
    Why do you think we can’t describe the limits— it seems to me they can be describable, as I gave examples of in the earlier post with duck rabbit and Orion. The geometric relationships are the limit.. no matter the theory of ‘what’ those geometric relationships represent [duck, or rabit], the geometry is invariant. Other kinds of things which don't have those geometric figure boundaries are not representable. What is your take on structural realism?

    Essentially, it's the problem of pessimistic meta-induction. We cannot reasonably induce that our theories model reality with some one-to-one relationship because absolutely all the evidence we have from previous models is that our models do not do that. If we were to speculate that our current models reflect reality in some unique way (by which I mean not merely one of a number of equally viable options), then we'd be faced with an explanatory gap as to why these particular theories have such a relationship when clearly every single past (rejected) theory did not. The evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of the conclusion that our current crop of models will go the same way in time.Isaac

    Pessimistic meta induction implies no carry over between theories... which to me seems clearly wrong. When electrons were first thought to be particle like, and then recognized to have wave properties when isolated, the new wave-particle theory didn't completely do away with the previous laws describing their motion and properties, it subsumed them. Newtonian laws which describe motion, while originally thought to be universally applicable to objects of all sizes moving at all speeds, is not done away with but subsumed by Einstein's relativity theory, and considered consistent with it given specified conditions. And so on.

    Indeed, but philosophically more interesting maybe... That might be some compensation.Isaac
    I can't think of another answer generating method, and answers is what makes me satisfied; the irony of my username I guess. Philosophy is a sieve for ideas and generator of possible explanations but not of plausibly definitive answers.

    That's interesting. Do we have, as part of the model, the factors affecting the distribution, or is that part of the mystery?Isaac

    I wish I knew enough to say.
  • What It Is Like To Experience X
    There's a distinction which I either keep failing to explain properly, or people don't generally seem to think useful, but it's crucially important to model-dependant realism, that is between reality having structures and reality being composed of the structures we divide it into.

    I've used this example before, so apologies for the repetition if you've been following the whole thread, but it's like the constellation Orion. It definitely is in the shape (vaguely) of a hunter with his bow, belt and dagger, it's not that such structure isn't there, but it's also on the shape of just about anything else you could draw between those points, maybe not an infinite number of things (I'm not myself sure on this point), but certainly more than the one structure we impose on it out of that range of possibilities.


    So to your point about reality having structural regularities which are 'real', yes, I think such regularities are not only only real, but necessarily so. If reality were homogeneous there would be no random direction to entropic forces and so no probability gradient against which the free-energy reduction would work. What I don't see is any reason why those structures must exist uniquely defined. So when you say "wavelengths picked up by the retina are coming from reality" I don't think there's any reasonable way we could disagree, but 'wavelengths' are themselves a concept, they're just one way of dividing energy among others. We can't even determine if wavelengths are a wave in a field or a particle, not that we've 'seen' either because both are just models interpreting numbers on a computer (which are the only thing we actually have 'seen').
    Isaac
    I think the bold is relevant here. The constraints on what possible structures you can define matter as they point out invariancies that are relevant for structure. I'm thinking now back to my rabbit-duck example from earlier. You could imagine many ways to conceive of it other than either rabbit or duck. Maybe take the rabbit ears as handles for a new tool, with the neck of the rabit as the actionable end of the tool. etc. But you certainly could never see that figure as a circle or sphere. Those geometric relationships are conserved over all possible ways of perceiving the object.

    In the case of a physical system it's the same idea, you have some constraints on how things operate - you, for example, will always see a diffraction pattern if you shoot an isolated electron through one slit. Or, taking the Orion star example, there are a finite number of ways to connect the stars and create a structure out of the set of stars constituting Orion. The ways of connecting the stars and the orientation of the edges between those stars, are constrained by the relative spatial locations of each star. Going back to the wavelength example, there is a power distribution to the frequencies of light which constrain the possible set of color experiences any observer could have. Even if you had an IR sensing organism, if the power in the IR bandwidth is low, that organism would not see that object and so on.

    My point is there is structure that I think is more than merely random heterogeneity of properties over a space. Rather you have patterned heterogeneity, and those patterns are dictated, ultimately, by the structure of the space and the relations between the underlying physical properties.

    Another metaphor might be to think of reality as a multi-dimensional contour map, it definitely has hills and valleys (ie it definitely exists and had variable structures), but which dimension should take precedent in determining what features are 'hills' is an arbitrary decision, or in our case, probably a pragmatic one limited by the biological hardware we've managed to evolve.
    I agree, but I think at a certain level or, perhaps in general, there is some constraining set of rules that define reality primitives. And I say this because enduring structures are possible in the first place.

    Really interesting point about reaching indeterminism in our models and what that means for how fundamental they are. I'm tempted to agree with you that indeterminacy cannot be further reduced, and so if we had it right this would not be one-pattern-among-many but would truly be the entity out of which patterns are made (like finding the actual stars in my Orion example). I'm wary to commit to it though because we'd have to remember that all this is within one huge Ramsey sentence about quantum physics, the first 'If' of which may well be wildly off mark.
    Well I'd hope it isn't, but given how many holes there are in the standard model, maybe that's something to really worry about. It would be so depressing to think all of our 'advancement' in empiricism led us to left field when the ball was going right. I mean that would just be shattering for me lol. It's what drives my science interest.
    What's fascinating about indeterminacy at the heart of the whole thing is that it might make our estimates of noise truly Gaussian (rather than just the assumption of Gaussian in our models) by the , at a fundamental scale, which is a point I think fdrake made about central limit theory.
    Well it's interesting because probability distributions differ, thinking of electron orbital shapes, of interferometer experiments where there’s a non 50/50 likelihood for the particle to land at either detector and so on. What sets those is a complete mystery to me.
  • Why aliens will never learn to speak our language
    ↪aporiap I'm actually talking about fluent conversation here - like what would pass a Turing test. But I do agree, that while it would always be slow and awkward, we could use the pre-existing words and phrases to communicate about things common for us. A lot of time would be used to deal with all the extra wrong associations and unmeant ways of approaching the common subjects, but some of our associations would be common and useful. In anything complex it would be much more useful to use something without mirroring.Qmeri
    Why couldn't you have fluent conversation? I mean, as humans, we can appreciate how valuable a bone-toy is to a dog, how a nest is essential to the life of a bird. Surely, if we could converse, we could comment about those things even though they aren't associations held in common with us. We can see and understand associations that are unrelated to us. Why couldn't a hypothetical intelligent extraterrestrial capable of learning about us do the same, and why couldn't we do the same with them?
  • Why aliens will never learn to speak our language
    Not every association is human specific. A bee, a rat. a dog, and a human all have to navigate around the front door of a house to get in a house. They all represent that door as a barrier of some kind. If it were possible for them to converse, that door and it’s association as a barrier of a sort is completely conceivable as common between all three.

    the point is many objects in the world, even with some difference in senses, are commonly perceivable, and many of the problems faced by different kinds of life overlap so it makes sense the vocabulary and language of those organisms, if existent, would also overlap enough to allow communication. I don’t see why an alien, that can sense, and perceive us and our surroundings and ascribe value to those different things, couldn’t communicate with us in terms of those things
  • What It Is Like To Experience X
    No, I don't think I would, but I get what you're saying. I don't think proximity to reality measures the usefulness of the model. As such, I think it's theoretically possible that a model might be useful without relating to anything at all, but I haven't thought about that much, so my intuition may well be wrong. Interesting question.Isaac
    I’m sorry if I’m taking your point out of context but I target it because it reminds me of the Hoffman argument, outlined in his TED talk. I don’t understand how the model can completely be unrelated to reality at all. Of course it is made for organism-relevant features, but surely you’d agree wavelengths picked up by the retina are coming from reality, and surely, at least the structural regularities in experience, are ‘real’, even if they’re not fundamental or reference frame independent. There’s a broader question of whether we are epistemically restricted to the point that we can’t intuit fundamental features of reality. I am still unsure if we can but I think there’s is evidence maybe we can. The fact, for example there is experimentally robust evidence for indeterminacy at smallest scales. indeterminacy implies no underlying mechanism or principle that results in the phenomenon. It would be hard to imagine or define what something more fundamental could be once you’ve reached a level where there are no deterministic principles. So maybe we have enough access to identify fundamental features or principles of the parts of reality we can interact with. What are your thoughts?
  • What It Is Like To Experience X
    Which is part of why it's frustrating that people find it "so obvious". There's a whole theory of perception required just to look at what the "features" of our experience really are, and where they come from.

    Edit: so just for an example. There's change blindness, like in the door study. Something that phenomenal character usually has associated with it is that we are aware of the phenomenal character or that it is somehow accessible within the experiential state. Whatever makes the guy giving directions in the door study not notice (not be aware) that the person he's giving directions to changes shows that what perceptual features are accessible; those which partake strongly in the phenomenal character of experience; are strongly context sensitive. The context down-weights the relevance of visual feature changes in the guy giving directions' environmental model because of what he's currently doing and how he's doing it. Even then, the result would not hold (probably) if the people looked sufficiently different.

    So, we can't even go from "visual processing" to "phenomenal character of vision" without auxilliary contextual information. With the right context, say classifying images for presence of red, even "red quale" might make sense!
    fdrake
    Reminds me of the rabbit-duck.. Despite the geometric identicality, it presents differently depending on what's perceived as anterior vs posterior. I think it's surprising that in spite of knowing this, you can't really perceive it otherwise, or at the very least it's incredibly difficult to see it simply as squiggles.
  • What It Is Like To Experience X
    Yeah! I don't think perceptual features (motion detection, colour sensitivity) are generated as a unified whole. What I want is for people to pay more attention to the generating mechanisms for perceptual features, and not to do so a-priori like with "red quale". I care where the distinctions come from because I want the accounts to be right.

    there are separable elements
    — aporiap

    Definitely. So my desire is to see accounts which look like: (stimulus information types/distinctions) <=> (perceptual feature types/distinction) <=> (information processing system types/distinctions) <=> (first person experience types/distinctions); systematic inter relations between these phenomena, studied. Not:

    (a priori conceptions of experience types) = > (first person experience types/distinctions)

    And I certainly wouldn't like (a priori conceptions of experience types) => [ (stimulus information types/distinctions) <=> (perceptual feature types/distinction) <=> (information processing system types/distinctions) <=> (first person experience types/distinctions)]. That's such a lazy waste.
    fdrake

    That makes sense, I definitely agree with that. Yea unless there's an acknowledgment of the hypothesized and falliable nature of an a-priori quale division, it's very dangerous to do
  • What It Is Like To Experience X
    I never wanted to deny that there is a phenomenal character of experience. What I picked a bone with, to my reckoning, was the way people split up experiences using the word. If you are quite happy to label facets of phenomenal character "qualia", for some suitable sense of "facet", this is fine with me.

    What is not fine with me, say, is an arbitrary division between "colour qualia" and "shape qualia", say, without some account of why the division makes sense. In that example, we do perceive colours and shapes differently; colourblind people can agree with non-colourblind people on the shape of objects perceived differently; but I don't think it is warranted to go from this to thinking of "colour quales" and "shape quales" as distinct facets of phenomenal character; the colourblind person and the non-colourblind people still don't see colours without shapes or shapes without colours.

    So, the mechanism that contrasts the two cases is based off of differences in how people process visual information (which is sensible), but why would that distinction propagate into distinctions in lived experience of each agent between colour experience types and shape experience types?
    fdrake

    Well so then what do you make of mental modularity? Lesion studies, stroke survivor case studies, document highly specific perceptual defects- inability to perceive motion, inability to globally perceive colors, inability to recognize faces that is correlated with damage to specific regions of the brain. All of these seem to suggest to me there are separable elements of experience that aren't necessarily part of a single phenomenal fabric prior to being weaved into a unified conscious experience. I can imagine making an argument for qualia supported by semi-independent, parallel sensory processing units.
  • What It Is Like To Experience X
    I really don't understand you. To my reckoning, there are these weird people who picked up a way of describing bizarre altered states of activity from a book, and I never understand what they're talking about. They always say "but what's it like to be you" or "what's it like to be a bat?" and things like that. As if they can literally feel it. I don't think very highly of their self awareness, they seem to be replacing their experiences with a description of their experiences. If they payed more attention, they'd see a flux with some continuity in it, and a persistent history that is accessed through memory, and some aspirations and anticipations, but a feeling of themselves as distinct from their sensory capabilities and self attending bodily processes? Madness! Madness I say. It's a cult, a cult!fdrake

    I would figure 'what it's like to be X' involves the totality of first person experiences X is aware of, be it unguided thought streams or sensations. Wouldn't you say it's clear you experience a stream of anticipations, aspirations, history different from me? That's enough for a 'what it's like to be?', wouldn't it? It's also what leads me to be so bizarrely confused with individuality, i.e. despite there not being a concrete feeling of 'self' and no ontic boundary between conscious agents, assuming physicalism, there is a stream of unique experiences and a spatiotemporal localization of experiences which is stable over time. What mechanism in the world would result in awareness of my particular stream of experiences and not yours?

    Regarding qualia, wouldn't you say experiences involve perceptions that are distinct from whatever causes those perceptions 'out there'. I mean you can stimulate a part of the brain and shut off or induce a color of blue, or the sight of a number etc even when there isn't one. So empirically it looks like what you see is not exactly the same as what's in front of you. Doesn't that provide unambiguous evidence for first person qualia [i.e. percepts]?
  • Design, No design. How to tell the difference?
    I don't see how the argument is circular. You accept that it is a "conclusion", therefore there is logic behind it. One of the most useful aspects of logic is to exclude from the category of "possible", things which are actually impossible. If this is what you call being narrow-sighted, then so be it. And I've already explained why it is illogical to think that order could come from anything other than design, so call me narrow-sighted, if that's what being logical is. I'd rather be narrow-sighted than believe that something impossible is possible.Metaphysician Undercover

    Circular reasoning involves using your conclusion as a premise in the same argument. In order to form the conclusion 'there is no other source for order', you already have to assume there is no other source for order- i.e. that natural cases of order are not caused by something other than a designer.

    We went through this in this thread already. "Self-organisation" is a bogus concept. Organisation is already presupposed, required as an initial state for any system self-organizing, so it is just a matter of one form of order creating another form of order.

    Furthermore, the fact that we can point to instances of order which we do not know the reason for that order, does not justify the claim that there is order with no reason for that order.
    Metaphysician Undercover
    We only talked about how there is no explanation for why the world works as it does.

    The physical laws that describe how the world works are approximations and are not deterministic, they are probabilistic. Randomness and chaos are intrinsic to the world. You will have to explain why there is chaos.

    I'll repeat myself, citing instances of order occurring, in which we do not know the reason why the order occurs, does nothing to support the claim that order could arise for no reason. So you might as well give up your search for these examples, if that's the reason why you're looking for them.Metaphysician Undercover
    In that example we know the precise reason, it is the randomness of the inputs to the system. When you replace the random inputs with ordered inputs, the order of the pendulum swings goes away.

    This is contradictory. If a probabilistic law is effective, then the system is not random.Metaphysician Undercover
    I don't know what you mean by effective. By definition, probabilistic models incorporate randomness. It will not tell you the coin will be heads or tails after you flip it. It tells you it could be heads or tails. You could imagine there's a 'predictable pattern' though, if you knew all the variables you could know if it would be heads and so there's still a pattern. But fundamentally there is no predictable pattern of movement of a particle or the state of its properties (whether it spins in one or another direction, whether it's in this location or that location). It is fundamentally random.

    That's the point, any attempt to separate design from order is illogical.Metaphysician Undercover
    How is it illogical? To my knowledge, it's only you and Madfool that don't distinguish between them.

    Even in your applying the term 'design', there is a fundamental difference. You, by definition, know that man-made things are 'designed'. You 'infer', by analogy, 'order' in nature is designed. To infer in the latter case, you necessarily need to distinguish between order and design because prior to inferring the order is designed, you are implicitly acknowledging the thing has a pattern i.e. order and yet, at that moment, it is not known whether that pattern is a design or not. So you do distinguish between them. My question is what way.

    Ever heard of 'trial and error'? Trial and error by its very nature is a designed procedure. It requires a predetermined condition of success.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is not trial and error. There is no person with a predetermined goal trying to make proteins. There is nothing special or intentional about this world or a single protein, it exists in the middle of nowhere and is the galactic equivalent to a quantum fluctuation - proteins are more than 30 orders of magnitude smaller in diameter than a single light year, galaxies are hundreds of light years across.

    I simply can't imagine what would lead you to assume a goal in the random process that just so happened to result in a protein after, billions of years of random iteration. And of course, the equivalent of a galactic eyeblink, it'll all be gone as if nothing ever happened. It's like saying the ripple in your cup of water was intentionally made to be there, and god is using trial and error as his method of doing so.

    I'll repeat again. Just because we do not know the purpose, or in this case if someone says 'X is the purpose' when this may be proven false, that does not mean there is no purpose.Metaphysician Undercover

    The point is an object can do very different functions in very different contexts and be considered 'useful'. The definition of a purpose or final cause Aristotelian sense, is the singular intrinsic function of something [candle to light house, seed to form adult plant]. How can there be a fundamentally intrinsic function of something if it can function in multiple contexts? Sure we say a candle as having the purpose of lighting a room, but it can be used in many other ways that have nothing to do with that.
  • Design, No design. How to tell the difference?
    How about if we look at it in a different way:

    Let's say grass has 100 calories total and herbivores extract 10 calories from it (10%). This, at first, looks like poor design but what if the usable calories in grass is actually 15 calories. Extracting 10 calories gives us an efficiency of 66.66% which is quite good.
    TheMadFool

    To distinguish between usable and unusable calories is precisely to highlight the inefficiency. There is no fundamental reason why to make that distinction or why the number of usable calories is so little. We could, in theory, design our own proteins that digest more of the bonds in grass and do so in a more energetically efficient manner.
  • Design, No design. How to tell the difference?
    Right, strictly speaking, we don't "see" the design in plants. We see the order, and with the aid of equipment we might say we "see" the DNA etc., but we don't "see" the design. And this is consistent with human designs. We do not "see" the person's intent, or plan, it exists immaterially in the mind of the person. This is why understanding the nature of final cause, and how the object, as the goal, exists immaterially before it has material existence is very important to understanding the nature of design.Metaphysician Undercover

    Aristotle's entire framework of causation is just that, a framework. It doesn't necessarily map to reality. To give a real world example: There is nothing to suggest that proteins are made to function the way they function. For every functional protein [e.g Hemoglobin], there are hundreds of 'pseudo' genes that failed to function in the process of attempting to make that one.

    And proteins don't have singular purposes, they are multifunctional. In fact it's precisely this cognitive bias we have [ functional fixedness ], of assuming purpose, that leads to so many mischaracterizations of proteins -- we fail to realize just because they're important for something in one context, doesn't mean they have entirely different functions in others. To carry the example, hemoglobin, most well-known for carrying oxygen in the blood and most expressed by red blood cells in the blood. Carrying oxygen seems the 'purpose' of hemoglobin, but hemoglobin is also expressed in numerous other tissues. In those cells it plays roles completely different than its role as an oxygen carrier. This also discounts the non-bodily uses of something like hemoglobin. We repurpose proteins all the time, taking them out of their natural contexts to do other things.
  • Design, No design. How to tell the difference?
    This is illogical, and not an extension of my logic. We find designed order within the bodies of animals and plants, about which we cannot say that the designer is the animal and plant itself. The design comes from the genetics and underlying processes. So an animal such s a human being, designing something, is just an extension of this underlying designing which is occurring in all plants and animals all the time.

    Therefore your proposed extension of logic is a composition fallacy. You are proposing that what is true of some instances of design, that the designers are "intelligent terrestrial animals", is true of all instances of design. But in reality we see design in lower level life forms, without intelligence, so we cannot restrict our conception of "designer" in such a way.

    What we do, in philosophy and metaphysics is observe very closely, and analyze the intentional acts of human designers, which are very evident to us, so that we can develop an understanding of the underlying designing process which is responsible for the existence of living bodies. This designing is what Aristotle called final cause.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    You've just decoupled 'intelligence', 'external agent', and even 'external cause' from 'designer'. How do you distinguish design from order?
  • Design, No design. How to tell the difference?
    There's a further aspect which I explained earlier, which you don't seem to be accounting for, and that is that it is impossible that we will ever find an instance of order which we can justifiably claim came into existence without a designer. This is why I told Isaac that this is a pointless position to take.
    I
    Metaphysician Undercover

    First of all the argument is circular. Your discounting natural cases of order as having an alternative source of order depends on your [in all honesty, narrow-sighted] conclusion that there are no other sources of order. You then use this assumption to conclude that there are in fact no other sources of order.

    This is despite the dis analogies in man-made and natural cases of order pointed out by @Isaac - i.e. (1) that hurricane Katrina, black holes, snowflakes, the spherical ordered tangle of the rubber bands in my pocket, and mars, were not made with any clear purpose or intent; (2) that natural order results from self organization as opposed to an external agent or individual. These clearly provide enough justification to assume the things generating natural and man-made order are different .

    Secondly, there is a chicken and egg dillema here. The thing which allows humans to be intelligent, the their brain [we know this unambiguously because of lesioning studies, in which damage to the brain directly causes deficits in intelligence], is itself a natural object operating by universal natural principles. So, fundamentally, the patterns it generates are patterns that nature itself is generating as a deductive consequence of the way it is structured (which, in one local region of reality at one local time in reality, happens to be a 'designer'). So, 'design', then isn't really the result of 'designers', it is fundamentally a result of the way the universe is intrinsically structured. So, in this view, there is only ever one ultimate source of order [and disorder] which is nature itself.

    Anyway I've gone on a limb and did a cursory search for clear examples of order arising from entirely unpredictable, random processes. I was able to find a nice article which provides an example of pendulums which take on an orderly state of swinging when swung at in entirely random ways. In this case the ordered properties of the system - the orientation and swinging of the pendulums - results entirely from the disorder of the inputs to the system. So here is one case in which order comes out of disorder.

    Of course we also know the universe is fundamentally indeterministic or random - this is why schrodinger's equation is a probabilistic model, not a deterministic law. In fact it gives you, based on the energy of the system, only all possible locations where the system could be and the likelihoods of 'finding it' at those points - should you assume the system as actually, a conventional point particle. Alternatively, you can imagine it as telling you the object exists in all possible locations it could be given that energy.