On Oct 13, 11:21 pm, Terren Suydam <terren.suy...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey Craig,
> On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 6:39 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> You have
> >> misunderstood what spontaneous neural activity means.
> > There is no misunderstanding. It's not even controversial, you're just
> > plain denying the uncontested facts. Don't you think that if there
> > were any other term besides 'spontaneous' that could be used they
> > would have used it? Look at the animations. (http://www.youtube.com/
> > watch?v=uhCF-zlk0jY)  Can you not see exactly what that is with your
> > own eyes? Your impression of neurology being reducible to a passive
> > chain reaction running through the brain is not even wishful thinking,
> > it's factually incorrect.
> Actually, Stathis's interpretation is the one shared by most of the
> neuroscientific community. By and large most scientists do not take
> seriously the idea that the behavior of neurons and other cells is
> explainable in terms of anything except physical processes. Your
> interpretation of 'spontaneous' specifically, and of subjectivity in
> general, is on the fringe.

My interpretaton of subjectivity is certainly on the fringe and I have
no doubt that my view of how spontaneous activity ties into subjective
intentionality, but I would have to read some formal special case
definition of spontaneous to believe that some other idea is meant. My
sense is that there is no special definition or consenses since the
spontaneity within the system is clear.

 > That doesn't mean it's wrong, but you are
> talking as if your view is well-accepted and obvious to everyone, when
> it is anything but.

If spontaneous doesn't mean spontaneous, why does everyone keep using
that term? I understand of course that they are not considering the
implications that I am, but ther is no confusion as far as the
categorical description goes.

> I echo Stathis's challenge to email the authors
> and ask them yourself what is meant by 'spontaneous'. The video itself
> doesn't really add anything to the conversation, although it is pretty
> awesome, so thanks for linking to that.

I'm not interested in what the authors think or intended to say. I'm
only interested in the fact that much of the brain's activity is
observed to be irregular and without obvious linear cause.

> Your account demands an explanation of how something like "will" can
> exert influence on physical things like neurons;

it doesn't exert an influence, it is the influence. It is charge and
voltage experienced first hand rather than observed.

> that is what Stathis
> keeps pressing you on. You cannot say both that will causes changes in
> neurons, and there is no magic involved. So, how does will cause
> changes in neurons, specifically?
Through induction. Will is the subjective facing end of
electomagnetism. Just as moving a magnet makes an electric current,
moving your finger does as well. However change occurs in molecules,
cells, bodies, that is also how will occurs.

> > The only physiological difference is that the signal originates from a
> > different part of the brain. Your view has no way to explain why I
> > feel that I am in control of my breathing when the signal comes from
> > one region, and why I feel nothing when it comes from another,
> > especially since they both have the same effect on the same organ. It
> > would be redundant to have two separate regions of the brain do the
> > exact same thing except one is regular and another comes with 'extra
> > zesty metaphysical subjective illusion sauce'.
> But your view has no way to explain the difference between voluntary
> and involuntary action either - not without an explanation of how will
> causes changes in neural behavior.

All changes are the same thing. Whether we see them as will or
deterministic depends on our relation to the changes.

> At least with Stathis's
> (mainstream) account you can hypothesize about brain architecture, for
> instance distinguishing between areas of the brain associated with
> self-reflection (neocortex), where the decision to breathe would
> originate, and other areas of the brain associated with automatic
> functions that are not directly influenced by the former regions. It
> is not well understood at all. But invoking a magical cause like
> "will" just because the problem is difficult to conceive of otherwise
> isn't even wrong, to use your phrase.
Will isn't magic, it just looks like 'energy' when we see it outside
of ourselves. (not eben wrong I think is Feynman, btw). Without will,
how do you explain the existence of a different feeling in breathing
intentionally and not?


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