The symbolic world

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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:45 pm

felix dakat wrote:Yes well we're still playing the game aren't we? And how can we engage in dialogue and not? A game is a kind of story, and the dialogue is a kind of game. I'm sure you're aware of that the art of dialogue came from the Greeks. And the Greeks did love their games. Plato's Socrates was the supreme hero of the dialogue who defeated many an opponent with his claim of knowing nothing.

And what are the special sciences in this kind of story/game? In the game of games they are tools to be used for winning. But often in that game and more particularly in dialogue they're specialized tools--weapons for defeating one's opponent. The sciences serve the story/game not the other way around. And that's true both for the dialogue and for the meta-story which is life.


These are merely thoughts that you enjoy, for whatever aesthetic reason... and you're welcome to them, felix.
I don't begrudge you yet another hermetically sealed perspective... they have this pleasing quality of being tautological and never wrong.
But If it can't be wrong that also means it conveys no predictive power... which in turn means it's of no consequence to navigating life...
If or when you decide to speak on something consequential, like the import of religious stories to human life... maybe then there'd be cause for a dialogue in a shared language.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:01 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Yes well we're still playing the game aren't we? And how can we engage in dialogue and not? A game is a kind of story, and the dialogue is a kind of game. I'm sure you're aware of that the art of dialogue came from the Greeks. And the Greeks did love their games. Plato's Socrates was the supreme hero of the dialogue who defeated many an opponent with his claim of knowing nothing.

And what are the special sciences in this kind of story/game? In the game of games they are tools to be used for winning. But often in that game and more particularly in dialogue they're specialized tools--weapons for defeating one's opponent. The sciences serve the story/game not the other way around. And that's true both for the dialogue and for the meta-story which is life.


These are merely thoughts that you enjoy, for whatever aesthetic reason... and you're welcome to them, felix.
I don't begrudge you yet another hermetically sealed perspective... they have this pleasing quality of being tautological and never wrong.
But If it can't be wrong that also means it conveys no predictive power... which in turn means it's of no consequence to navigating life...
If or when you decide to speak on something consequential, like the import of religious stories to human life... maybe then there'd be cause for a dialogue in a shared language.


A predictable response in the context of our dialogue/game/story. Reality unfolds for us in patterns. Stories are composed of patterns. The story of stories-- the meta-story-- is the pattern of patterns. And a story unfolds in time. The basic pattern of lived time is past, present and future. But even every present moment has the past and the future within it. Our sense of identity depends on that fact. Without it we wouldn't have a sense of the continuity of being. And the sciences which make predictions depend on that fact. The sciences are subsets of how patterns unfold to consciousness not the other way around.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:06 am

felix dakat wrote:A predictable response in the context of our dialogue/game/story. Reality unfolds for us in patterns. Stories are composed of patterns. The story of stories-- the meta-story-- is the pattern of patterns. And a story unfolds in time. The basic pattern of lived time is past, present and future. But even every present moment has the past and the future within it. Our sense of identity depends on that fact. Without it we wouldn't have a sense of the continuity of being. And the sciences which make predictions depend on that fact. The sciences are subsets of how patterns unfold to consciousness not the other way around.


You're teaching me words to a language, in which you're not saying anything... "Stories are composed of patterns" is a tautology, it's how story is defined in this language. The past and the future being within every present moment, is merely a tautology, our identity depending on it, yet another tautology... these things are true, because they have been defined as true. All you're doing is trying to teach me an alternative version of english, but why you think I, or anyone else, needs to learn that language, is what seems suspect.

My criticism, since realizing what it is you're doing has been a warning... a warning that you've since demonstrated.
It's trivial to shoe-horn everything through a simple lense... it only costs you the ability to notice nuance and complexity...
What's more, it leads to well evidenced human errors in critical thinking... false equivalence, chiefly among them.
I have no doubt that life is made simpler, by this process... that the world is made to seem more manageable and less daunting... ignorance does have those perks.

Demonstrably, you keep interpreting what I'm saying to fit through your narrow lense... because you've left no room for nuance or complexity, it's a simple filter with which you read what I write, so I can only ever say simple things, stupid things.
Consequently you're not hearing what I'm trying to communicate, you only ever hear what you already expect... you're deaf to me and at this point continuing to speak to you is a waste of my time.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:02 am

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:A predictable response in the context of our dialogue/game/story. Reality unfolds for us in patterns. Stories are composed of patterns. The story of stories-- the meta-story-- is the pattern of patterns. And a story unfolds in time. The basic pattern of lived time is past, present and future. But even every present moment has the past and the future within it. Our sense of identity depends on that fact. Without it we wouldn't have a sense of the continuity of being. And the sciences which make predictions depend on that fact. The sciences are subsets of how patterns unfold to consciousness not the other way around.


You're teaching me words to a language, in which you're not saying anything... "Stories are composed of patterns" is a tautology, it's how story is defined in this language. The past and the future being within every present moment, is merely a tautology, our identity depending on it, yet another tautology... these things are true, because they have been defined as true. All you're doing is trying to teach me an alternative version of english, but why you think I, or anyone else, needs to learn that language, is what seems suspect.

My criticism, since realizing what it is you're doing has been a warning... a warning that you've since demonstrated.
It's trivial to shoe-horn everything through a simple lense... it only costs you the ability to notice nuance and complexity...
What's more, it leads to well evidenced human errors in critical thinking... false equivalence, chiefly among them.
I have no doubt that life is made simpler, by this process... that the world is made to seem more manageable and less daunting... ignorance does have those perks.

Demonstrably, you keep interpreting what I'm saying to fit through your narrow lense... because you've left no room for nuance or complexity, it's a simple filter with which you read what I write, so I can only ever say simple things, stupid things.
Consequently you're not hearing what I'm trying to communicate, you only ever hear what you already expect... you're deaf to me and at this point continuing to speak to you is a waste of my time.


Of course. You have declared yourself intellectually superior and me too stupid to perceive your nuanced brilliance. That makes you the winner of the contest from your POV. The hero of the story. It's the myth of the hostile brothers. Cain and Abel. Romulus and Remus. It's origins are pre-human. It's archetypal. It plays out over and over. It's a common pattern on ILP.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:37 am

felix dakat wrote:Of course. You have declared yourself intellectually superior and me too stupid to perceive your nuanced brilliance. That makes you the winner of the contest from your POV. The hero of the story. It's the myth of the hostile brothers. Cain and Abel. Romulus and Remus. It's origins are pre-human. It's archetypal. It plays out over and over. It's a common pattern on ILP.


That's not what's happening... but you've made it clear you believe that's what's happening.
Since you like stories, here's one:

A random guy on the internet listened to, let's say a cat, found what he perceived as a flaw in what the cat was saying and because he's kind of a dick who enjoys adversarial banter mixed in with his discussions, decided to bring that to the cat's attention using his trademark combative tone, yet made the points he intended to. He then noticed that the cat was responding to an interpretation of what he had said, one quite different from what he tried to convey.

A few attempts later, he tried asking the cat what the cat believed was going wrong. The cat then told him this story of the random guy's motivations... as is his way, the random guy noted the cat's lack of good faith, in a mocking tone. The next part, you have expressed quite clearly, above... regardless of how often the guy was letting the cat know that he was being misread, the cat found ever more certainty, that the cat had in fact understood the random guy, what he was doing and why he was doing it, even if the random guy himself, was not aware... the more they spoke the more certain the cat grew.

The random guy, had grown tired of this process which had proved quite unrewarding... and had realized it didn't matter what he said to the cat at this point.
The charge of arrogance leveled at him, from a cat who believes itself to have understood the random guy's motives, a person with whom the cat was not that familiar, better than the random guy himself... was quite a funny thing.
That part was at least amusing to the random guy on the internet... with a chuckle he shook off the disappointment of having failed to have a fruitful discussion on an interesting topic with the cat. He wrote a funny story for his own amusement before finally saying goodbye to the cat and wishing the cat the best of luck in life...

He imagined what it must be like to be the cat and he thought "it's not that bad". The cat would pity the random guy, for having succumb to his more base instincts and being so unaware of having done so, but ultimately the cat would feel like he helped the random guy, by teaching him that merely arguing for the sake of arguing was a fruitless endeavor... the cat would likely hope the random guy learned from it. At least the cat's heart was in the right place, the random guy thought to himself... and with that thought, he decided to leave.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:46 am

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Of course. You have declared yourself intellectually superior and me too stupid to perceive your nuanced brilliance. That makes you the winner of the contest from your POV. The hero of the story. It's the myth of the hostile brothers. Cain and Abel. Romulus and Remus. It's origins are pre-human. It's archetypal. It plays out over and over. It's a common pattern on ILP.


That's not what's happening... but you've made it clear you believe that's what's happening.
Since you like stories, here's one:

A random guy on the internet listened to, let's say a cat, found what he perceived as a flaw in what the cat was saying and because he's kind of a dick who enjoys adversarial banter mixed in with his discussions, decided to bring that to the cat's attention using his trademark combative tone, yet made the points he intended to. He then noticed that the cat was responding to an interpretation of what he had said, one quite different from what he tried to convey.

A few attempts later, he tried asking the cat what the cat believed was going wrong. The cat then told him this story of the random guy's motivations... as is his way, the random guy noted the cat's lack of good faith, in a mocking tone. The next part, you have expressed quite clearly, above... regardless of how often the guy was letting the cat know that he was being misread, the cat found ever more certainty, that the cat had in fact understood the random guy, what he was doing and why he was doing it, even if the random guy himself, was not aware... the more they spoke the more certain the cat grew.

The random guy, had grown tired of this process which had proved quite unrewarding... and had realized it didn't matter what he said to the cat at this point.
The charge of arrogance leveled at him, from a cat who believes itself to have understood the random guy's motives, a person with whom the cat was not that familiar, better than the random guy himself... was quite a funny thing.
That part was at least amusing to the random guy on the internet... with a chuckle he shook off the disappointment of having failed to have a fruitful discussion on an interesting topic with the cat. He wrote a funny story for his own amusement before finally saying goodbye to the cat and wishing the cat the best of luck in life...

He imagined what it must be like to be the cat and he thought "it's not that bad". The cat would pity the random guy, for having succumb to his more base instincts and being so unaware of having done so, but ultimately the cat would feel like he helped the random guy, by teaching him that merely arguing for the sake of arguing was a fruitless endeavor... the cat would likely think he'd done the random guy a service and probably hope, the random guy learned from it. At least the cat's heart was in the right place, the random guy thought to himself... and with that thought, he decided to leave.


I found that amusing and kind and it made me smile.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:05 am

"Mad Man P wrote: You're teaching me words to a language, in which you're not saying anything... "Stories are composed of patterns" is a tautology, it's how story is defined in this language. The past and the future being within every present moment, is merely a tautology, our identity depending on it, yet another tautology... these things are true, because they have been defined as true. All you're doing is trying to teach me an alternative version of english, but why you think I, or anyone else, needs to learn that language, is what seems suspect."


Madman P read my phenomenological description as tautologies and a language lesson. So, where's the problem? Both perceptions and apperceptions are either chaotic or patterns. Patterns played out in time are narratives. Thoughts are narratives we tell ourselves. Symbols are meaningful patterns. Myths are symbols played out in time. I'm describing the structure of consciousness. How is this a tautology or language lesson? What's the alternative(s)?
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:38 pm

felix dakat wrote:Madman P read my phenomenological description as tautologies and a language lesson. So, where's the problem? Both perceptions and apperceptions are either chaotic or patterns. Patterns played out in time are narratives. Thoughts are narratives we tell ourselves. Symbols are meaningful patterns. Myths are symbols played out in time. I'm describing the structure of consciousness. How is this a tautology or language lesson? What's the alternative(s)?


What could a symbol be, but a meaningful pattern?
Can there be a symbol that does not qualify as a meaningful pattern?
What is a narrative defined as?
Can a perceived pattern play out in time without qualifying, by doing so, as a narrative?
How is myth, defined?
Can a myth fail to qualify as symbols played out in time?

Imagine if I had said:
"Married men are not bachelors. Bachelors are single. Single men are not wed, they cannot draw square circles and when they move their location changes"
To which I added "I'm describing the state of being single. What's the alternative?"

These things are tautologies... they are true by definition.
Every one of those statements is NECESSARILY true whether or not anyone qualifies as being single.
You couldn't say I was WRONG.. merely failing to say anything informative or consequential about the state of being single.
But suppose you wanted to identify what it is I am being informative about... in this case it would be the english language.
It's how those words are defined that makes those statements true, more so than any state of the world or anyone's relationship status...

How would you bring this to my attention?
Obviously I am not well equipped for the task... as my failure here has demonstrated.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:48 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Madman P read my phenomenological description as tautologies and a language lesson. So, where's the problem? Both perceptions and apperceptions are either chaotic or patterns. Patterns played out in time are narratives. Thoughts are narratives we tell ourselves. Symbols are meaningful patterns. Myths are symbols played out in time. I'm describing the structure of consciousness. How is this a tautology or language lesson? What's the alternative(s)?


What could a symbol be, but a meaningful pattern?
Can there be a symbol that does not qualify as a meaningful pattern?
What is a narrative defined as?
Can a perceived pattern play out in time without qualifying, by doing so, as a narrative?
How is myth, defined?
Can a myth fail to qualify as symbols played out in time?

Imagine if I had said:
"Married men are not bachelors. Bachelors are single. Single men are not wed, they cannot draw square circles and when they move their location changes"
To which I added "I'm describing the state of being single. What's the alternative?"

These things are tautologies... they are true by definition.
Every one of those statements is NECESSARILY true whether or not anyone qualifies as being single.
You couldn't say I was WRONG.. merely failing to say anything informative or consequential about the state of being single.
But suppose you wanted to identify what it is I am being informative about... in this case it would be the english language.
It's how those words are defined that makes those statements true, more so than any state of the world or anyone's relationship status...

How would you bring this to my attention?
Obviously I am not well equipped for the task... as my failure here has demonstrated.


I contend that my post involved more than mere tautologies and English definitions. I'll develop a point you selectively ignored. Perception. When we look at a cube we see it from one angle from one perspective. We can't see all the sides at once. Our perception of the cube is always partial with only one part being given directly at any moment. But as we see those sides we also intend the sides which are hidden. What can I call this experience wherein the sides missing to perception are supplied to experience that you won't dismiss as a tautology or a language game?
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:14 pm

felix dakat wrote:I contend that my post involved more than mere tautologies and English definitions. I'll develop a point you selectively ignored. Perception. When we look at a cube we see it from one angle from one perspective. We can't see all the sides at once. Our perception of the cube is always partial with only one part being given directly at any moment. But as we see those sides we also intend the sides which are hidden. What can I call this experience wherein the sides missing to perception are supplied to experience that you won't dismiss as a tautology or a language game?


It's not abnormal for a post to contain more than mere tautology, so I failed to praise you for it, my bad.
What is abnormal is for a post to mainly contain tautology and yet more abnormal for it to be called a description or even a point about anything other than language.
One might say it's a noteworthy error... so I made note of it being an error.

To answer your question: the name you give it is to do with language... how could it not be?
What if a french guy named it something different? is he wrong?

Here's a good test to discover if you're playing a language game or if you're saying something informative:
If the thing you think you are describing was sufficiently different, would that render any of the statements you made false?
If the answer is no... you're not talking about the thing, but merely the language.
So if the only way one of your statements could possibly be wrong, is if we redefined one of the words... it was a tautology or to do with language.

Here let me demonstrate:

"Both perceptions and apperceptions are either chaotic or patterns"
The principle of excluded middle makes this a tautology... chaos is the lack of patterns. All things are either patterns or they are not, and when they are not, they qualify as chaotic...
Consequently aliens and unicorns are either chaotic or patterns too. This is not informative about aliens or unicorns, either.

"Patterns played out in time are narratives."
That's the definition of narrative that you're using... it really just is the only way this could be true in the first place. There's nothing else here. Good to know though, we're gonna need this later.

"Thoughts are narratives we tell ourselves."
To qualify as a thought a subjective experience must at least be a pattern played out through time, so it must necessarily also be a narrative... this follows from the definitions.
But that it's a "narrative we tell ourselves" might speak to where or by whom you think thoughts are authored...
Depending on how you define "self" the later half of this statement could prove false if "the structure of consciousness" was different. This one is not a tautology outside solipsism!

"Symbols are meaningful patterns."
That's the definition of Symbols you're using.

"Myths are symbols played out in time."
That's the definition of Myth you're using.

"I'm describing the structure of consciousness. How is this a tautology or language lesson?"
I'm hoping you can answer that question for yourself now...
Hint: You made five statements, the only description you did provide on the topic was "we think our own thoughts" which was only half of one statement.
Care to guess the topic of the other 90% of your statements?

I don't know if we can salvage anything from the wreckage that has been our conversation felix...
But I hope you understand what I meant when I said:

Mad Man P wrote:You're teaching me words to a language, in which you're not saying anything...


There's nothing wrong with you defining your terms and naming phenomena or even developing a specialized language to discuss something... but then I expect you at least say something of consequence with it.
Why else did you develop it? why am I learning it?
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:54 pm

Okay then I'll proceed. So we have seen that in the perception of a cube, part is visible and part is not. Yet we take it to be a cube. We "see" it as a whole. We don't ordinarily question the wholeness of three dimensional objects just because we don't see all sides of them. The thing we see involves a mixture of the present and the absent. We blend the present with the absent... the part with the whole.

Now as you read this sentence, your reading involves the presence of one part of the sentence flanked by the absence of the parts that you have already read and those that are to come. Like the perception of a cube perception of the sentence involves a blend of presence and absence. Similarly when listening to music the beauty of a melody line involves the presence of a note in the context of the absence of the previous notes and the anticipation of the coming notes .This blending of presence and absence is a pattern basic to how reality unfolds to us.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:02 am

felix dakat wrote:Okay then I'll proceed. So we have seen that in the perception of a cube, part is visible and part is not. Yet we take it to be a cube. We "see" it as a whole. We don't ordinarily question the wholeness of three dimensional objects just because we don't see all sides of them. The thing we see involves a mixture of the present and the absent. We blend the present with the absent... the part with the whole.

Now as you read this sentence, your reading involves the presence of one part of the sentence flanked by the absence of the parts that you have already read and those that are to come. Like the perception of a cube perception of the sentence involves a blend of presence and absence. Similarly when listening to music the beauty of a melody line involves the presence of a note in the context of the absence of the previous notes and the anticipation of the coming notes .This blending of presence and absence is a pattern basic to how reality unfolds to us.


That sounds about right to me, I'm with you so far...
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:39 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Okay then I'll proceed. So we have seen that in the perception of a cube, part is visible and part is not. Yet we take it to be a cube. We "see" it as a whole. We don't ordinarily question the wholeness of three dimensional objects just because we don't see all sides of them. The thing we see involves a mixture of the present and the absent. We blend the present with the absent... the part with the whole.

Now as you read this sentence, your reading involves the presence of one part of the sentence flanked by the absence of the parts that you have already read and those that are to come. Like the perception of a cube perception of the sentence involves a blend of presence and absence. Similarly when listening to music the beauty of a melody line involves the presence of a note in the context of the absence of the previous notes and the anticipation of the coming notes .This blending of presence and absence is a pattern basic to how reality unfolds to us.


That sounds about right to me, I'm with you so far...


What is present to my perception at the moment is my cell phone. On the screen black shapes on a white background surrounded by a rectangular border present themselves as words with meaning--your posted response. So perception is blended with apperception-- presence with absence. Thought with thought, "mind" with "mind", "person" to "person". And it didn't take mental effort to create this frame, this narrative, this story. It was there spontaneously. One state of affairs among many in which I am involved today in a world mostly absent from perception and yet imbuing it with meaning which when interrogated becomes a threshold into philosophy.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:20 am

I think I understand what you're saying...

My prefered language on this topic is a bit different from yours, felix.

A model, in my chosen language, is a representation of another thing, so in this context "our model" is a representation of our world (all that exists around us, including us, whether patterns or chaos).
So if our world is temporal, our model ought naturally also be temporal, etc
Ok now with that definition in mind:

Is it not a corollary of what you are describing to say, there is something that is generating these edits to your perception?
That this is what permits and compels you to distinguish an object from others. A cube is perceived as distinct from the ground it may lay on or the table it might sit on.
And when you see the cube, you auto-complete the picture and anticipate what you would see from a different angle, or how you put it "We see it as a whole"
This distinguishing into a "thing" and the anticipation of that thing cannot be a function of the world as it is this very process that generates optical illusions, as an example.
Such illusions being one reason we know a model, not the world, is what must generate these edits to our raw perception.

Would it not stand to reason that the very act of "learning" is to shift that model toward a higher fidelity, greater complexity?
That this in turn would generate new depths of meaning that we were previously blind to, allow us to see patterns where before we saw chaos... Anticipate with greater accuracy, give us greater predictive power?

Provided that's true, then there must be a landscape or at minimum a continuum where "ignorance" is the state in which our model and consequently perception of the world, is at its most simple...
And taken to the extreme, the entirety of our perception would be one amorphous blob, no meaning or discernable pattern to the singular, seemingly chaotic mess that we couldn't even think to call existence.

But we did not come into this world perceiving a chaotic mess of meaninglessness.
Evolution, as is currently believed to have occured, would explain how we might have "learned" something prior to our individual existence. How a model might come pre-packaged in us.
Without our "a priori" model we could not generate meaning, discern objects, detect patterns nor comprehend "narratives"

The sciences, or more broadly "learning" is just us moving ourselves along this continuum, by refining our model.
Allowing us to see patterns where there used to be chaos, detect meaning in what used to seem meaningless, predict what was unpredictable...
Ever weary of the "optical illusions" that have a tendency to get us punished right out of existence.

Do you find fault with any of the above?
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:21 pm

Mad Man P wrote:I think I understand what you're saying...

My prefered language on this topic is a bit different from yours, felix.

A model, in my chosen language, is a representation of another thing, so in this context "our model" is a representation of our world (all that exists around us, including us, whether patterns or chaos).
So if our world is temporal, our model ought naturally also be temporal, etc
Ok now with that definition in mind:

Is it not a corollary of what you are describing to say, there is something that is generating these edits to your perception?
That this is what permits and compels you to distinguish an object from others. A cube is perceived as distinct from the ground it may lay on or the table it might sit on.
And when you see the cube, you auto-complete the picture and anticipate what you would see from a different angle, or how you put it "We see it as a whole"
This distinguishing into a "thing" and the anticipation of that thing cannot be a function of the world as it is this very process that generates optical illusions, as an example.
Such illusions being one reason we know a model, not the world, is what must generate these edits to our raw perception.

Would it not stand to reason that the very act of "learning" is to shift that model toward a higher fidelity, greater complexity?
That this in turn would generate new depths of meaning that we were previously blind to, allow us to see patterns where before we saw chaos... Anticipate with greater accuracy, give us greater predictive power?

Provided that's true, then there must be a landscape or at minimum a continuum where "ignorance" is the state in which our model and consequently perception of the world, is at its most simple...
And taken to the extreme, the entirety of our perception would be one amorphous blob, no meaning or discernable pattern to the singular, seemingly chaotic mess that we couldn't even think to call existence.

But we did not come into this world perceiving a chaotic mess of meaninglessness.
Evolution, as is currently believed to have occured, would explain how we might have "learned" something prior to our individual existence. How a model might come pre-packaged in us.
Without our "a priori" model we could not generate meaning, discern objects, detect patterns nor comprehend "narratives"

The sciences, or more broadly "learning" is just us moving ourselves along this continuum, by refining our model.
Allowing us to see patterns where there used to be chaos, detect meaning in what used to seem meaningless, predict what was unpredictable...
Ever weary of the "optical illusions" that have a tendency to get us punished right out of existence.

Do you find fault with any of the above?


I think that models such as you were describing come into play downstream from the fundamental processes in which consciousness is structurally embedded. Hasn't what you're proposing been called model dependent realism? I seem to remember even Stephen Hawking was subscribing to that way of thinking in his later books. I think of that as a subset of articulated knowledge which is embedded in inarticulate knowledge --the background practices and know-how in which we live and move and have our being and yet we can't explain. They dwell in that land of being that ready- to- hand tools withdraw to when they're working right like the road we're driving on when we're thinking of what we're going to say when we get to our destination.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:51 pm

felix dakat wrote:I think that models such as you were describing come into play downstream from the fundamental processes in which consciousness is structurally embedded. Hasn't what you're proposing been called model dependent realism? I seem to remember even Stephen Hawking was subscribing to that way of thinking in his later books. I think of that as a subset of articulated knowledge which is embedded in inarticulate knowledge


I still don't think you're understanding what I'm arguing...

It cannot possible come down-stream of it, as I'm arguing that without it we could not discern any pattern...
Prior to us creating a model of a pattern, it will seem like chaos to us.
Dice rolls, the weather, planetary orbits, diseases etc... these are NOT chaotic and random phenomena, but without our painstakingly meticulous efforts to create a model of their behavior... they would seem so.
We do not have an "intuition" that simply feeds us every pattern effortlessly, but it does give us SOME patterns, which we use as our foundation and build on.

So felix, by what means do we apprehend reality?
If not a model... then where does this ability to detect patterns come from?

See, I think it's a physical model that exists as structures and processes in the human brain and "learning" is to change something in the human brain so as to shift that model and allow us to perceive yet more patterns, detect meaning etc.
I don't know what you're alternative is... but I want to hear it.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:00 pm

I'm focusing on the phenomena of experience which I suppose that you and I would have in common if we were to suspend theoretical judgment. You are present to me only as words on a screen which are the basis of my image of you.

I have little doubt that the structures and processes of the brain in my head are necessary for me to compose this sentence. But I don't directly experience my brain. Like "you" that's an image conjured by words occurring in the apparently nonphysical "space" which is my "mind" which is as present to me--the center of manifestation-- as the desk I'm sitting at, the chair I'm sitting on and the laptop I'm typing on.

Now the "learning" of which you speak is clearly a factor in this mind space, as the ability to type and read these words is a learned ability. In this context what you're calling a model is synonymous with the pattern. When I try to stop them I find the patterns do arise effortlessly and spontaneously.

As far as the chaos, what Wittgenstein called the "hurly - burly", there's just too much going on for our finite minds to take it all in. So it's not hard to imagine why certain patterns in the infinite stimuli that have survival value stand out. As examples, narratives around food, sex and monsters have ever regenerating ways of grabbing our attention.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:46 pm

https://collegevilleinstitute.org/beari ... ns-gambit/

When I watched the series I got the symbolism of the protagonist's picturing of the chess board on the ceiling as her vision of the pattern of transcendence. But I didn't see the significance of her white outfit nor did I make the connection to Tillich's "unacceptance of the unacceptable". Beth's victory came out of becoming conscious of the love that was already there in her life. May the Lord give us all such eyes to see.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:28 pm

felix dakat wrote:I'm focusing on the phenomena of experience which I suppose that you and I would have in common if we were to suspend theoretical judgment. You are present to me only as words on a screen which are the basis of my image of you.

I have little doubt that the structures and processes of the brain in my head are necessary for me to compose this sentence. But I don't directly experience my brain. Like "you" that's an image conjured by words occurring in the apparently nonphysical "space" which is my "mind" which is as present to me--the center of manifestation-- as the desk I'm sitting at, the chair I'm sitting on and the laptop I'm typing on.

Now the "learning" of which you speak is clearly a factor in this mind space, as the ability to type and read these words is a learned ability. In this context what you're calling a model is synonymous with the pattern. When I try to stop them I find the patterns do arise effortlessly and spontaneously.

As far as the chaos, what Wittgenstein called the "hurly - burly", there's just too much going on for our finite minds to take it all in. So it's not hard to imagine why certain patterns in the infinite stimuli that have survival value stand out. As examples, narratives around food, sex and monsters have ever regenerating ways of grabbing our attention.


I don't think our conscious experience of our brain is as "indirect" as it may seem.
It's only that our model of ourselves is far from complete...

Think about it... this learning that allows you to understand words and associate them with action or emotion, allows me to transmit to you a series of events, that never took place for you.
How could you experience a narrative, that you never witnessed take place, if you did not have a way to create, for yourself, an alternative world where these events unfold for you?
What exactly is what we call imagination, if not a model of the world, that you alter and edit in order to have it play out a series of events independent of reality?
How is it that sounds or letters on a page, can be translated into imagery or events for you?

If I tell you a story you'll edit your model to play out that story in your head, your model will now include those edits... for a time
If I tell you, for example, a story that inspires you to imagine it vividly, about how a monster that hides in the shape of shadows on the wall, waits until you look away, to reform its fanged shape to eat you... what might happen?
The next time you lay in bed, you might well catch the shadows move and feel a sting of fear... an experience you might not have had without that story.

It's the same mechanism that permits me to verbally warn you about a danger that you can't see, yet allows you to experience the fear to motivate action to guard against it.
Or tell you about a great bounty far away, to motivate you traveling to place you've never been.

Do you see what I mean, when I say narratives are powerful tools for manipulating perception and motivation?
This does not require you assume anything about human brains... this is all predicated on experiences accessible to you.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:48 am

I'm not questioning the role of the brain in consciousness at all. I'm bracketing theorizing altogether and that includes neuroscience.

I practiced cognitive psychotherapy for 10 years so I'm well aware of how thinking affects emotions. We called it cognitive reframing. I personally practice those techniques when I need to.

I'm approaching the symbolic world phenomenologically because that's how the Pageau brothers who inspired Bob to start this thread approach it and that's the context in which it makes the most sense to me. A phenomenological POV can connect experientially to the symbolism of traditional cosmologies including that of the Bible so that one has the sense of being in that world as opposed to reading it merely as ancient dead history.

This way of looking at things is different than Christian fundamentalists or Evangelicals who either oppose the sciences and want their religion to be accepted as science. From a modern point of view it's an alternative way of looking at things which is based on how reality lays itself out in experience.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Sat Mar 20, 2021 7:20 am

felix dakat wrote:I'm not questioning the role of the brain in consciousness at all. I'm bracketing theorizing altogether and that includes neuroscience.

I practiced cognitive psychotherapy for 10 years so I'm well aware of how thinking affects emotions. We called it cognitive reframing. I personally practice those techniques when I need to.

I'm approaching the symbolic world phenomenologically because that's how the Pageau brothers who inspired Bob to start this thread approach it and that's the context in which it makes the most sense to me. A phenomenological POV can connect experientially to the symbolism of traditional cosmologies including that of the Bible so that one has the sense of being in that world as opposed to reading it merely as ancient dead history.

This way of looking at things is different than Christian fundamentalists or Evangelicals who either oppose the sciences and want their religion to be accepted as science. From a modern point of view it's an alternative way of looking at things which is based on how reality lays itself out in experience.


I'm not accusing you of questioning the role of the brain.
I don't think you see where I want to go with all of this, felix... so I'll jump right to it

The symbolic world, is language... these words written digitally on your screen right now are symbols too.
They translate effortlessly to actions and consequences within your model of the world forming a narrative and a meaning... perhaps not striking you as profound, but there none the less.

Adam and Eve when tempted by danger to learn, in eating the fruits of knowledge, they lose their innocence, their naivete, the world that spawned them is suddenly revealed to be quite harsh.
They are told by this world with their new knowledge, that what awaits them is a life of labor and hardship... ultimately death... they are naked and vulnerable, the garden of their childhood forever gone...
That's a fundamental human experience... but there is something hidden here.

The world around us is modeled after a mind in this story, because it rewards and punishes and teaches us things... but hidden in all these familiar patterns there is a falsehood that has been abused since the inception of religion.
The world contains, teaches, rewards and punishes morality... that's the lie.

That fundamental falsehood, was the power of religion.
To model a world that was a moral judge, to monopolize the authority with which to dictate right and wrong and to generate widespread fear and agreement for the sake of order under some rule.
Even Buddhism which is hardly a religion at all, carries this notion as Karma, a fundamental force in their cosmology.
These stories made the moving shadow at night god watching you, planning his revenge for your wrong doings...

"God fearing" might as well have meant "trustworthy" or "honest"...

Peterson argues that point almost explicitly, he merely frames it as a positive.
If you behave as though there is a god, you will not as easily succumb to murderous intentions... but the corollary of that idea is that, nor would you defy the clergy, the king nor the tyrant appointed by god. You would cast the evil done in a god's name as a lesser evil, compared to an imagined worse one... all the while made blind to the obvious.

The truth, while obvious, is far more terrifying.
WE designed morality, WE enforced it and it was meant to serve US, our ability to cooperate and co-exist and prosper together... there are no other forces here but ourselves.
This part of reality is of our making, it would not survive the death of humanity and therefore entirely our responsibility. While it is tempting to defer to someone else, to enlist a higher power, there is no one, but yet more flawed people, to delegate this task to. Our creations here are no more sacred than the clothes you are wearing... and as easily replaced.

As Bob said to me, which I will paraphrase... "when you don't have religion, you are free to choose something else."
Yes, there will be chaos... but that's what freedom allows.

So cry as we might, you and I, over the loss of order and the insanity of postmodernism... I do not believe you can breathe new life into these now dying stories, nor that you should.
We can build a new morality, that does not require falsehoods be smuggled in, nor fear be induced through stories.
To endure and to parish when updates are required, It's value must be made self-evident and free of any legend, myth or symbols... adopted for its undeniable utility and for that reason alone... just like the sciences.

You may speak in symbols and vagaries until you are blue in the face but unless you induce fear or make false promises by distorting our model of the world, you will not generate the moral order it brought in days gone by.
That was why it worked... and why it's no longer working.

Or at least.. that is my contention.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:25 pm

Mad Man

Here's what I see. A morality that condemns falsehood and lies. A morality critical of a religion that makes a world into a moral judge. A morality critical of authority to dictate what is right and wrong and to generate widespread fear and agreement for the sake of order under "some rule". A morality critical of the notion of karma as a force in cosmology. A morality critical of the god watching in secret and planning revenge. Interestingly, the Jesus of the canonical Gospels leveled all the same criticisms and introduced a morality of love.

Your morality specifies that if you behave as though there is a God you may not easily succumb to murderous intentions but neither will you defy heteronomous authority.
Your morality claims to stand above such morality and you assert that it was a product of human design. You, standing on your morality, propose that "we" build a new morality. Who is this "we"?

"Self-evident" values? I'd like to hear more about that and where you're going to find them. Those words do remind me of Thomas Jefferson's "we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life liberty and pursuit of happiness...etc."

"Free of any legend myths or symbols" Now there I think you're making a huge mistake by going against human nature...an inauspicious beginning for your moral utopia. Why do you suppose people dream dreams, watch movies, and read novels? I hope your brave new world doesn't include some kind of technological hack to change the nature of the human species.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:31 pm

felix dakat wrote:Here's what I see. A morality that condemns falsehood and lies. A morality critical of a religion that makes a world into a moral judge. A morality critical of authority to dictate what is right and wrong and to generate widespread fear and agreement for the sake of order under "some rule". A morality critical of the notion of karma as a force in cosmology. A morality critical of the god watching in secret and planning revenge. Interestingly, the Jesus of the canonical Gospels leveled all the same criticisms and introduced a morality of love.


Well, christianity "borrowed" from the romans elysium and tartarus... so you are right, it no longer relied on the likes of karma nor sickness being consequences of your evils.
Also you're reading the wrong story and I know you are reading the wrong story, because throughout history the people who lived out the consequences, did not live what you are reading.
The superstitious, tribal, authoritarian, fundamentalist stories are what flourished... that's what was read to and by the masses and that's what brought the order.

I'm not making a theological argument here, felix... we're not discussing how to correctly interpret a book.
We're talking about what these stories did and still do for people, for societies. What actually does happen... not what you or I think "should" happen.
The real consequences of this "symbolic world" on human minds.

And I'm not talking about values.. but morality.
Morality is like traffic laws... it's the rules each of us agree to which allow individuals with potentially differing values, different goals, to attempt to reach them without crashing into each other on the way, and if we're really lucky, even help each other get there. Every human being on this planet loves their child more than their neighbor's child... quite near every single one of them...
Yet we have to engineer a circumstance where you do not wish the neighbor's child dead in order to safeguard your own child's future wellbeing, but rather the contrary...
Religion tackled this problem by asking you be ready to sacrifice your child for a greater good or for fear of a greater evil.
If we can get you to do that, then we might succeed at the task... but that kind of devotion to an ideology is quite near bursting with potential for abuse... which again, history attests to.

I think we, meaning you and I, all of humanity, can do better.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:57 pm

In the "story I'm reading" a cult inspired by the execution of an obscure criminal in the Roman empire came to exercise a transformative and enduring influence on the world. It's a "story" that asserts that to live in a western country is to live in a society still utterly saturated by Christian concepts and assumptions.

When we condemn the crimes committed in the name of Christ it's hard to do so without implicitly invoking his own teaching. Historically, Western moral and social norms including the liberal progressive ones are the product of the Christian revolution.

Jesus said "the last shall be the first and the first last". St Paul said that "God chose the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the strong". As Nietzsche well recognized and lamented, a morality that sought to save the downtrodden and the weak was not the ethos of ancient Greece or Rome nor would it be the morality of his" God- is- dead" world.

I don't agree with your conception of morality as rules. Where do the rules come from? I see values and morality as connected. I wonder why you don't.

Your "we have to engineer a circumstance..." strikes me as an "if I were King for a Day" fantasy. And your monolithic view of religion is revealing of nothing so much as your own alienation from it. These strike me as the strange loops your thinking is traveling in.

Finally, what's your plan for making us, "meaning you and I and all humanity" do better? Talk about "ideology". That sounds incredibly utopian and unrealistic to me.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:03 pm

felix dakat wrote:When we condemn the crimes committed in the name of Christ it's hard to do so without implicitly invoking his own teaching. Historically, Western moral and social norms including the liberal progressive ones are the product of the Christian revolution.


That hardly even matters to me... my critique of these stories stands.
All they do is change the conversation from "what is good for us" to "what did Jesus say we should do" or to make it applicable to all religion "what do the gods want from us".
If those answers should conflict with "what is good for us" then they win out... the fact that they don't always or even most of the time conflict is of no consequence to my critique.

When "what is good for us" has priority, then it does not matter whether jesus said it, the powerpuff girls said it of if a newborn babe spelled it out with alphabet soup...
If it's good for us, that's what matters, regardless of who the hell said it or what god demands it... invoking jesus or god or karma means jack all.

Your "we have to engineer a circumstance..." strikes me as an "if I were King for a Day" fantasy.


How did a "we" become an "I" in your eyes?
Just goes to show you can interpret words to mean anything... no wonder people disagree about what Jesus said.
A shame it matters so much to so many people that they would kill over it.

I don't agree with your conception of morality as rules. Where do the rules come from? I see values and morality as connected. I wonder why you don't.


I don't disagree with that, I mean traffic laws are connected to our values too... we don't want to crash into each other.
So we reach an agreement, that agreement then becomes our morality... granted the foundations for this happened long before humanity was around, in evolutionary terms.
It still depends on that agreement, though. This is why there would be no such thing as morality nor traffic laws if you were alone in the world, but you would have values all the same.

Finally, what's your plan for making us, "meaning you and I and all humanity" do better? Talk about "ideology". That sounds incredibly utopian and unrealistic to me.


What a strange thing to request a proposal be made, but then criticized for being idealistic, utopian and unrealistic, before it was even made.
I can't even add anything to this to highlight the hermetically sealed worldview this utterance requires... it's a foregone conclusion that all alternatives are worse.

You know I actually get this a lot... people telling me the country I live in is an unrealistic utopian fantasy.
It's like talking to people in such abusive homes, that they cannot even imagine a peaceful loving one without some cult-like brainwashing to keep it all together.
Last edited by Mad Man P on Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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