On 7/21/2011 5:35 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
Whether or not a nerve cell in your cochlea fires or not is digital, as is
>the number of ions it releases when it fires.  Thus, even when listening to
>analogue recordings, by the time it reaches your brain the signal has been
>digitized.  Digital representations today technology may have compression
>artifacts or be sampled at rates well below the ability of the human ear to
>discern, but there is some level of digital fidelity at which it would be
>impossible for your ear to be able to distinguish.
That description only takes into account the phenomena of sense from
the outside in, where each physical tissue responds in it's own way to
the stimulation of the other tissues or fluids, and the sense of the
pattern is transduced from one physical form to another. From a truly
objective point of view, the idea of there being a 'signal' continuity
is a third person analytical conceit. In reality there are just
different materials responding to each other in a way which is
ultimately meaningful to us.

Isn't that the definition of a physical signal.

There is no physical signal there, it's
just an event being shared sequentially amongst materials.

  If you look at it from the inside out instead, the psyche is picking
up the analog modulation of the cilia, cochlea as a whole, and to some
extent the gestalt sense of the entire aural, physical event external
to the ear through the sensitivity of the auditory nerves. The entire
media path is collapsed, or as I say, cumulatively entangled, so that
the psyche is itself semantically altered to conform to the sense of
the sound event while preserving subtle traces of the entire
interstitial media path. This experiential description is every bit as
'real' as the outside in,

No it's not. It implies, for example, that replacing dysfunctional cochlea by an electronic device that stimulated the auditory nerve would not produce hearing - but it does. The entire media path (in which for some reason you left out the sound waves and their source) consists of separable physical components.

and for most purposes much more relevant as
it is the signifying content of the sound that we care about, rather
than the a-signifying, generic form of it's transfer.

I agree there would be a level at which digital recording is
indistinguishable from analog recording, but I think that it's due to
the intentional gating of the sense through the psyche and media path
rather than the limitations of nerve cells firing. The nerve cells
themselves may experience a huge range of sensitivity which we have no
conscious access to - the cochlea, maybe even more. Talking about raw
sensation here, not depth/richness of interpretative qualia.

What sense does it make to talk about sensations of our nerve cells which we have no access to. Who does have access to them? If no one does then in what sense are they "sensations"? Of course you may speculate that each nerve cell itself experiences some sensation, and each molecule in the nerve cell, and each quark in each atom, and the atoms of the atmosphere that carry the sound wave - but you could also speculate that pigs will fly. The question is, "What's the evidence?"


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