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Thread: Perception....

  1. #11
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forzen View Post
    We cannot expect ants to see colors nor texture of their surrounding. Our intelligent is proportional to the senses we have. But, what makes us think that we are the end of this ladder and have been granted a whole Universe for ourselves. How do we not question if our senses really captures the medium we reside in?

    [...]

    Thoughts?
    "What makes us think that we are at the end of this ladder and have been granted a whole Universe for ourselves?"

    Maybe those thoughts are indirectly survival-related? If an animal doesn't consider its own self and its kin/species to be of supreme importance, it won't effectively and wholeheartedly do the things needed to find food and escape predators and raise young (or the modern human versions). So in the face of all evidence to the contrary, we humans think we're hot stuff.

    Regarding not being able to analyze a system from within a system, yes, I've wondered the same things as you about what our brains can and cannot process, no matter what tools we create to extend our senses. The 'universal' applicability of math does, it seems to me, come into question here. As does our use of language, which, when you look into that issue, can really make your head spin.

    Head spinning, though, can be a good thing. The line of thinking you're exploring in this thread has actually contributed to my life happiness, and it continues to be of practical use. I'm interested to see where it takes you.

  2. #12
    Senior Member forzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    "What makes us think that we are at the end of this ladder and have been granted a whole Universe for ourselves?"

    Maybe those thoughts are indirectly survival-related? If an animal doesn't consider its own self and its kin/species to be of supreme importance, it won't effectively and wholeheartedly do the things needed to find food and escape predators and raise young (or the modern human versions). So in the face of all evidence to the contrary, we humans think we're hot stuff.

    Regarding not being able to analyze a system from within a system, yes, I've wondered the same things as you about what our brains can and cannot process, no matter what tools we create to extend our senses. The 'universal' applicability of math does, it seems to me, come into question here. As does our use of language, which, when you look into that issue, can really make your head spin.

    Head spinning, though, can be a good thing. The line of thinking you're exploring in this thread has actually contributed to my life happiness, and it continues to be of practical use. I'm interested to see where it takes you.
    Yes, survival instinct does give us the drive to look out for number one. There are exceptions as with everything.

    As far as not being able to prove within the system. It's speculation, but we only have to look at nature. We can find out the purposes of cells in our body, find out the purposes of bacteria, find out the purposes of virus...etc. But, as we zoom out the purposes of each individual specie becomes blurry. Ants, birds, and mammals all co-exist here in earth. However, we don't know what purposes they serve other than existing...like US!!!

    We say that our concious give us freedom of choice. But, lets go back to the human body and examine the purpose of red blood cells. RBC carries oxygen throughout our body to keep us alive. However, if we put ourselves in their spot (imagine lol ), we wouldn't know the wiser that we are swimming in plasma and have no freedom. RBC has no way to understand their situation...they don't even have concious. They're slave to the system that they nourish.

    So why would I use RBCs to illustrate my point? Simply put, the escalating complexity of an organism is simply made up of simpler organism/matters. Our understanding of space is still not enough. Many variables are still missing and unaccounted for. Our eyes is mathemathic and I've explain that it's not perfect since it was derived from our limited senses. So instead of looking out, maybe we can find a clue if theres a pattern emerging in neck of our wood.

    Of course these are all just speculations using my so called logic.
    This post grammatical errors had been intentionally left uncorrected.

  3. #13
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forzen View Post
    As far as not being able to prove within the system. It's speculation, but we only have to look at nature. We can find out the purposes of cells in our body, find out the purposes of bacteria, find out the purposes of virus...etc. But, as we zoom out the purposes of each individual specie becomes blurry. Ants, birds, and mammals all co-exist here in earth. However, we don't know what purposes they serve other than existing...like US!!!

    We say that our concious give us freedom of choice. But, lets go back to the human body and examine the purpose of red blood cells. RBC carries oxygen throughout our body to keep us alive. However, if we put ourselves in their spot (imagine lol ), we wouldn't know the wiser that we are swimming in plasma and have no freedom. RBC has no way to understand their situation...they don't even have concious. They're slave to the system that they nourish.

    So why would I use RBCs to illustrate my point? Simply put, the escalating complexity of an organism is simply made up of simpler organism/matters. Our understanding of space is still not enough. Many variables are still missing and unaccounted for.
    Maybe we can even change that to "Most variables are still missing and unaccounted for."

    Quote Originally Posted by forzen View Post
    Our eyes is mathemathic and I've explain that it's not perfect since it was derived from our limited senses. So instead of looking out, maybe we can find a clue if theres a pattern emerging in neck of our wood.

    Of course these are all just speculations using my so called logic.
    "So instead of looking out, maybe we can find a clue if theres a pattern emerging in neck of our wood." <----I don't understand what you mean by that sentence. Can you restate it or elaborate?

    "Of course these are all just speculations using my so called logic." <----That's another very interesting aspect or example of your subject. Does logic have any actual or universal applicability aside from what's going on inside our brains? (What if we can't know the answer to that, from inside the brain? Or what if we think that we know the answer but can't [logically!] prove it, which may amount to the same thing?)

    Likewise, does language have any actual or universal applicability aside from what's going on inside our brains? All that labeling, all that information exchange, yet what we see and what we express with those puffs of air through throats or pixelly smoke smoke signals is what matters to us ('us' meaning this species, or even this thing 'Life'), not necessarily any kind of accurate picture of any whole or even part of the whole, just what matters to us.

  4. #14
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forzen View Post
    Not deceived, but limited as I've described above.
    I jumped there.

    If our senses are limited, are we then obliged to suspend judgment about the true nature of the stuff they perceive? Our eyes and hands would tell us that things like tables aren't composed mostly of empty space, but when we look at them under electron microscopes we discover that they are mostly empty space. Our eyes and hands would tell us that the space not occupied by things like tables is empty space, but a few simple experiments will show that there is something there--mainly gas.

    How do we know that our most advanced instruments aren't just as limited when it comes to their ability to detect that actual natures of things?

    Quote Originally Posted by forzen View Post
    Science is awesome because of the nature of its virtue. It doesn't pretend that it's the absolute truth and are subject to changes as new finding occurs. We probably know unconciously that we can never gain the knowledge or insight of absolute truth, but it doesn't stop us from trying. Yet, it would be comforting to at least have a vague sense that what were doing will get us closer to what were seeking. But, how do we do this when we can't even claim with absolute certainty that we exist.

    This goes back to my OP that the proof of absolute truth cannot be obtain from within our system. We are doom never to know our purpose.
    Seems you've managed to dig yourself into some deep skepticism.

    Why should we seek anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by forzen View Post
    It is easier to know that there are distinctions to be made. This implies that an individual has been exposed to a new experience or fact which would then be subjected to said individual's prior experiences and then differentiant according to his or her principles/values/know facts. More importantly, said individual already know he or she needs to make a distinctions.

    To know that one ought to make a distinction means that an individual has already judge and evaluated the concept. Therefore, it takes effort to know one ought to make a distinction if he or she hasn't done it already.
    The bolded sentence above is confusing me. If the individual already knows he needs to make distinctions, then is his knowledge of his need to make distinctions prior to his knowledge that there are distinctions to make?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    Most variables are still missing and unaccounted for.
    We know most of the constants but what we don't know is what unites them, or whether they are arbitrary or necessary.

    Einstein sought to unite the constants but failed.

    And today we are trying to unite the constants with ideas like String Theory, but so far we have no empirical evidence. But the Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland may provide the evidence we need.

  6. #16
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    We know most of the constants
    ? It seems to me that we can in this case actually admit we don't know all that much. For example:

    "Thus, there are 26 dimensionless fundamental physical constants. More constants will presumably be needed to describe the properties of dark matter. If the description of dark energy requires more than the cosmological constant, yet more constants will be needed." wikipedia

    and

    How_constant_are_the_physical_constants.

    But anyway,

    forzen had written: "Our understanding of space is still not enough. Many variables are still missing and unaccounted for." And then I had written: "Maybe we can even change that to 'Most variables are still missing and unaccounted for.'"

    So I'm not sure what point you're making in regard to that dialog by specifying 'constants' and elaborating on that, although I agree that string theory and the Large Hadron Collider are interesting subjects. The issue in this thread, though, is the limitations of perception. I don't understand your point in relation to the limitations of perception, so please clarify if you wish to discuss, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    but what we don't know is what unites them, or whether they are arbitrary or necessary.

    ]Einstein sought to unite the constants but failed.

    And today we are trying to unite the constants with ideas like String Theory, but so far we have no empirical evidence. But the Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland may provide the evidence we need.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    The issue in this thread, though, is the limitations of perception. I don't understand your point in relation to the limitations of perception, so please clarify if you wish to discuss, thanks.
    Over the last 450 years our perceptions have remarkably increased. In particular we have moved from blind faith to the Enlightenment and evidence and reason.

    The whole of the modern world is based on the Enlightenment and given us everything from modern medicine to understanding our place in the Universe.

    We also understand perception itself as we perceive by making distinctions. And indeed all of mathematics is based on this perception.

    It seems to me that belabouring the point that our perceptions are limited is to sneak blind faith in by the back door.

  8. #18
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Over the last 450 years our perceptions have remarkably increased. In particular we have moved from blind faith to the Enlightenment and evidence and reason.

    The whole of the modern world is based on the Enlightenment and given us everything from modern medicine to understanding our place in the Universe.

    We also understand perception itself as we perceive by making distinctions. And indeed all of mathematics is based on this perception.

    It seems to me that belabouring the point that our perceptions are limited is to sneak blind faith in by the back door.
    Okay, now I see the point you were making in your previous post, the point I couldn't catch: the perceptions of humanity are remarkable. By extension this might mean that humanity is remarkable, and you yourself are remarkable.

    "belabor"
    "sneak"
    "blind"

    Thank you, at least, for the "It seems to me".

    The limitations of perceptions, the limitations of evaluations obtained through closed systems . . . this can be a personally threatening topic to consider. It's a topic that forzen finds interesting enough to start a thread about and to continue discussing, and it's a topic that I've found usefully startling.

    It seems to me that placing one's species, and oneself, on a different spot on the humility-hubris continuum, as forzen and I have been doing, isn't a matter of regression. The facts of the accomplishments of humanity remain what they are. It's our view of them, of their relative importance, and our own self-importance, that changes. (Change your view and change your life: that's what I meant by useful.)

  9. #19
    Senior Member forzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post

    "So instead of looking out, maybe we can find a clue if theres a pattern emerging in neck of our wood." <----I don't understand what you mean by that sentence. Can you restate it or elaborate?
    Haha, I meant that as a metaphor to look inside our system to perhaps find a pattern. But, it's a stretch until we can travel freely in the universe. We are after all stuck in this planet. The funny thing is people are convinced everything is made out of atoms in the universe, but are hesitant to believe there are other lifeforms.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    Likewise, does language have any actual or universal applicability aside from what's going on inside our brains? All that labeling, all that information exchange, yet what we see and what we express with those puffs of air through throats or pixelly smoke smoke signals is what matters to us ('us' meaning this species, or even this thing 'Life'), not necessarily any kind of accurate picture of any whole or even part of the whole, just what matters to us.
    In the end language is just that, a form of communication we use to interpret our idea to others. So, it will only mean anything in a Universal scale if humanity eventually spread out throughout the Universe. Of course, knowing our arrogance, we probably would make other species learn our language instead of having a mutual agreement. Hopefully, when that time comes they pick English, I'd hate to learn another language to talk to aliens if I was still alive.


    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    I jumped there.

    If our senses are limited, are we then obliged to suspend judgment about the true nature of the stuff they perceive? Our eyes and hands would tell us that things like tables aren't composed mostly of empty space, but when we look at them under electron microscopes we discover that they are mostly empty space. Our eyes and hands would tell us that the space not occupied by things like tables is empty space, but a few simple experiments will show that there is something there--mainly gas.

    How do we know that our most advanced instruments aren't just as limited when it comes to their ability to detect that actual natures of things?



    Seems you've managed to dig yourself into some deep skepticism.

    Why should we seek anything?



    The bolded sentence above is confusing me. If the individual already knows he needs to make distinctions, then is his knowledge of his need to make distinctions prior to his knowledge that there are distinctions to make?
    I never said we should hold judgement. I'm merely saying that if a smart person knows that his or her senses are limited, that smart fellow might be able to figure out another way of looking at the problem through unconventional means that change how we view our reality. Of course, if that fellow was that smart, he probably would have figured that out himself.

    I guess it would help if you knew where I'm coming from...what I meant by "know if a person needs to make a distinction" is that that I was under the assumption that the idea or object that person is trying to distinct is a new stimuli. Therefore, he needs to look into his or her past to find similarities or make an assumption about that idea or object. So in retrospect, that person knows he or she has to evaluate that idea or object and distinct it from his or her previous knowledges.

    I'm not here to say to not use science or try to explain how some phenomena occurs because of our limited senses. However, we should have an open mind about believing something so completely that we disregard any skeptism about that idea because we believe it to be the truth. Constant are only constants because we observe it is.
    This post grammatical errors had been intentionally left uncorrected.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    ...not necessarily any kind of accurate picture of any whole or even part of the whole, just what matters to us.
    What matter to us are things about our own size and speed. So the things that matter to us are called intuitive.

    Things that are too big for us to see directly like the universe, or too small for us to see directly like the atom, don't matter to us and are called counter-intuitive.

    For instance we know that intuitively the sun goes round the earth, but we know counter-intuitively that the earth goes round the sun.

    But what is interesting is that spoken societies are intuitive, while literate societies are counter-intuitive. That is because to speak is intuitive, while learning to read and write is counter-intuitive.

    But almost all of us are compelled to go to school by law. So literacy is onerous. It takes twenty years of study to master. And it is too much for many so they revert to the spoken culture of astrology and MBTI.

    So astrology and MBTI are a failure to learn to think counter-intuitively.

    Fortunately with the advent of the telephone, the television and the internet we are entering the intuitive global village. And astrology and MBTI are both intuitive and so are popular.

    But both astrology and MBTI are simply illiterate.

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