Jump to content


Photo

Symbols And The Mind


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 postindustrialist

postindustrialist

    -chi

  • Kouhais
  • Pip
  • 34 posts

Posted 18 September 2006 - 06:23 PM

So my big idea is that the mind and the body of the individual work similarly to ideas and their symbolic representation in a physical world.

Pretty wordy huh? Well here's it in a bit more detail.

the mind and the body have been thought of as existing in two seperate realms. It's nearly impossible to explain how something nonphysical can react to something physical or cause a physical action. Although I'm not going to be dealing with this issue let me explain. It's really hard to understand how it happens as compared to seeing something physical cause something else physical to happen. A bowling ball an hit some pins, for example, and you can really obviously see how one thing can cause something else to react. but how does thinking about moving your arm cause it to move some times, and other times we can think about our arm moving and it does not. (There's a difference in this type of thought, which has to do with the mind's ability to conceptualize but I'm not going to deal with that either). This kinda leads to a huge debate that people have argued about for centuries.

However, the interesting thing that I've been thinking about has been more or less that the mind body problem is very similar to the whole symbolic problem that ideas do not exist outside of having a symbolic representation.

Think of it this way, I'm talking to you right now, and you are hearing (or at least reading) the words that i'm saying (or typing) and understanduing the ideas that I'm communicating to you.

I'm not just giving you ideas and you recieving them, but i'm using symbols, in this case, words which have physical representation in either sounds or letters, to formulate my ideas, give them boundaries, and then giving you those words, to then have you see them or hear them and get the ideas from them.

the letter a for example is nothng physically more than a series of different colored markings on a page or a screen in a particular pattern. It has a symbolic meaning of the sound which it makes. composed with other symbols it uses patterns of symbols in order to form more complex composite symbols to represent even more. if iwrite the word "mouse" you think of a furry cheese eating rodent. you may nothave the same picture in your head as me, but it's the general idea of what a mouse is. oddly enough even these pictured thoughts of different "mouse" -s are nothing more than symbolic versions of the more broad idea of "mouse".

Symbols are very, very simple in their most basic level but compiled and composed, they can be incredibly complex.

It's incredibly fascinating, yet no matter what level of complexity a symbol requires for a physical representation, a symbol still cannot exist without those borders to limit their meaning and give them form. They cannot exist as free floating ideas which merge with each other with abandon giving rise to a general mish mash and confusion (some of this was dealt with in the terms of mind and body in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, First Gig in a conversation amongst the Tachikomas).

Secondly, a symbol is not a symbol without an idea or a meaning behind it. the meaning is what makes an "a" an "a" and not some sort of random lines in the sand.

The meaning well, for lack of better words, gives meaning to the representation.

Also, if you change the representation, you give rise to a change in meaning. If iwere to change a single letter in "mouse"to "moose" the meaning for example changes entirely. Up to now it's been a very simple thing to see how the human being as an individual and humanity as a whole are similar to symbols. A person is only a person with a mind. the mind is composed of various thought patterns, information, and mental capabilities which as a sum whole cause them to be who and what they are. a group of humans form a general behavioral or mental grouping which can be treated as a whole and all human beings form a general "humanity".

Now a person may not be an entirely different person witha change in their physical body, but a man with an amputated arm or leg is a changed man. similarly a man with a defective brain is a different man than the he was before or theoretically could be without that defect or change in mental chemistry. At the very least it woul change a wayin one thinks in behaves due to this lacking an the need to compensate. Also if a man were toincorporate something in his body to counteract those defects, say either perscription drugs or a prosthetic limb, he may regain some ability yet even if he were to have a perfect prosthetic, for example Ed in Full Metal Alchemist has a really excellent automail prosthetic, it still would be different and have different properties to the original. (In some cases there are advantages, such as ed's ability to use alchemy on his arm, or some disadvantages such as Alphonse's "prostheitc" body often falling apart and being rendered useless forthe time being).

The mind is different yet the mind is still the same mind. Also the "prosthetic" becomes part of the whole due to the mind and incorporated into the self over time, no longer making it a foreign part or "tool" used by the individual. This is really interesting because when a "tool is removed from use by the individual the individual does not suffer much of its loss, but when that item has become integrated into the individual its loss is similar to the original loss suffered that it was incorporated to counteract.

Symbols are similar. Two languages may have different symbolic representations in the construction of their words, and also differences in nuance and cultural importance, despite the same core meaning. Visual puns and rhyme that might have meaning in Japan for example, have little meaning and cause a little bit of confusion to us in the US, thus demonstating a change in smaller degrees to the changes in meaning that can take place with a change in representation.

It's all just so very interesting and I just want to see what others think of this.

So, like i said, not for the lighthearted, but if ya read this, and get what I'm talking about, please tell me your thoughts on this.

#2 Ehren

Ehren

    -chan

  • Kouhais
  • PipPip
  • 131 posts
  • Interests:writing, drawing, watching anime, reading manga and other novels

Posted 24 September 2006 - 11:17 PM

You mean like a comment? Because my brain feels like it died. biggrin.gif This is very very fascinating to me, but I'm not sure how I could add to what you've already thoughtfully outlined because I agree with majority of what you said.

The reason why we can think about our arm moving and have it move some times and not have it move others is because we incite different parts of our brains. _Nobody_ knows how our brains actually work in the chemo-electrical system that it uses, made of living tissue receiving signals. We know how, but not why, i.e. how neurons work, how electricity is produced, etc.

We can _imagine_ our arm moving and it not move. I can always tell the difference between the fantaszing and not fantaszing when it comes to these things, _only_ because one results in my arm moving and the other doesn't.

Without the reaction when it should move or with a false positive of it moving when it shouldn't I would truly be paralyzed or dreaming, respectively, wouldn't I? biggrin.gif

What were to happen for instance if you couldn't tell you were dreaming/hallucinating while you were _awake_? How could you tell that you were dreaming? Answer: YOU COULDN'T. biggrin.gif It would be others perceptions of your abnormal behavior that would clue them into your delusional state. :3 Any thoughts on that?

#3 postindustrialist

postindustrialist

    -chi

  • Kouhais
  • Pip
  • 34 posts

Posted 25 September 2006 - 04:47 AM

in regards to imagination versus paralyzed sensation:

but we can also tell the difference when our arm is paralyzed as being different from it being simply imagined to move because when we try to move it and it doesn't, it's a different sensation than when we try to picture it moving without actually trying to move it. both result in lack of movement but the intention is different despite similar mental images and similar results.

there are so many gradients and nitpicky little differences that it's just a fascinating subject...



In regards to hallucination:

very true, but the mind is stuck withn the individual! how can you tell someone else isn't hallucinating? or that we're all hallucinating???

in the wise words of the cheshire cat: "you're mad, I'm mad, we're all mad!!"

it's unfortunate that you cannot see how y mind percieves nor can i see how yours does.

even if the views of others shape our views, it is only through the communication of ideas through words and symbols that one person can really affect another's point o view or share what lies inside the realm of the conceptual within one's mind.

even that has its limitations and can fail.


so how can you prove which reality is really real?

some things are just needed to be taken on faith. therwise you start doubting everything and then you've really gone insane.

blink.gif

i just hope that one day we figure out at least enough of the mess to develop strong AI.

however i honestly believe there's not going to be any set program code that consistently generates copy perfect clone minds fo silicon brains that can be truly called AI.

ibelief it's going to require some black magic mojo that's going to simply seem like a mess that orsome reason or other creates life at random and illuminates absolutely nothing of why the hell the mind is like it is or what's really real.

now my brain is fried too...tongue.gif

#4 Grifith

Grifith
  • Kouhais
  • 6 posts

Posted 25 September 2006 - 06:23 PM

The cognative processes that distinguish your thinking of moving your arm and you moving your arm are located in very different areas of the brain. I believe its called the motor cortex. As an example, try sneezing at will. And as another example try stoping yourself from an involentary movement such as swetting after a 5 mile run.

What interests me is the ability to control those involentary movements and processes in the brain. It is said that monks in tibet were able to control their body tempature and survive in -30f weather for 5 days with no food or water and nothing but their robes. I dont know if this was true or not, but i believe it can be done with enough practice.

It is interesting that i saw this post today because i can link it to my psychology lesson i just had today. There were experements done to animals, although quiet cruel, did create some interesting questions and answers. The first animal was a rat who was raised in TOTAL issolation, just a black rounded box, from birth. After a while the rat was introduced to other rats, that rat was NEVER able to converse(squeek) with any of the other rats for the rest of his life. The neural connections neccessary for socializing were never formed in its youth.

The second example was a chimpanzie that also was born and raised in total darkness. When he was released into the light of the world the chimpanzee could not distinguish between collors. He was not color blind, he just couldnt distinguish the difference between red and blue. The neural connections that are created durring youth were not developed because of his isolation.

Now for the third and i think most interesting experiment. A cat was born and raised in a circular cage with verticaly lined wallpaper all around it. The cat, once let out, could NOT recognize horrizontal lines(ie, it couldnt even climb stairs because it looked like a wall to him)


---------------
""So my big idea is that the mind and the body of the individual work similarly to ideas and their symbolic representation in a physical world.""
--------------

Our minds are so comelpx that eevn if i satrt misspelin and raragnieng the ltteers iebnewten ecah wrod you can sltil unsdrentnad me.

Our minds over the past few centuries are showing us more and more potential. Children are being taught younger and younger, technology is used to get rid of headaches and make us smarter. I believe in time symbols that convey our ideas will be able to become coded. A copy of the "idea" (for lack of a better word) area of our brain will be able to be burned and coppied into another persons brain via electrical pulses, or somesort of wormhole/ string theory method.

I believe we, as humans, already can to an extent relay ideas and messages just by being around one another. For instance, take a classroom setting, you are sitting back and you cross your arms. Moments later you see the person right next to you mimic your movements and cross their arms. You change positions to resting your head on your hand, they mimic you a few moments later. Of course the kid right next to you cant be too self aware of themselves, otherwise they would probobly try to stop themselves from being in the same position as the person right next to them. This experiment can go both ways. Suddenly without realizing it you are suddenly in the same position as the person right next to you. After becoming selfaware of this situation you may quickly change position, or if you are lazy like me you start freeking out the person right next to you and continue mimicing them. ^.^

The freefloating idea of "ideas" is interesting but i would think dangerous. If we had no borders on our ideas and memories and they did become mishmashed we would not be able to distinguish the origional idea or memory anymore. Although this could be good in making connections with similar expieriences and thoughts, i believe we would loose many traits that make us human, such as individuality.


If i misunderstood your origional idea then i am sorry. I just wanted to elaborate on this topic.
Stand Alone

#5 Ehren

Ehren

    -chan

  • Kouhais
  • PipPip
  • 131 posts
  • Interests:writing, drawing, watching anime, reading manga and other novels

Posted 25 September 2006 - 06:29 PM

QUOTE (Grifith @ Sep 25 2006, 03:16 PM)

What interests me is the ability to control those involentary movements and processes in the brain.  It is said that monks in tibet were able to control their body tempature and survive in -30f weather for 5 days with no food or water and nothing but their robes.  I dont know if this was true or not, but i believe it can be done with enough practice.

That's called bio-feedback loop. I don't know enough about it to try to explain it right now. smile.gif

#6 postindustrialist

postindustrialist

    -chi

  • Kouhais
  • Pip
  • 34 posts

Posted 26 September 2006 - 12:13 AM

QUOTE (Grifith @ Sep 25 2006, 02:16 PM)
The cognative processes that distinguish your thinking of moving your arm and you moving your arm are located in very different areas of the brain. I believe its called the motor cortex. As an example, try sneezing at will. And as another example try stoping yourself from an involentary movement such as swetting after a 5 mile run.

What interests me is the ability to control those involentary movements and processes in the brain. It is said that monks in tibet were able to control their body tempature and survive in -30f weather for 5 days with no food or water and nothing but their robes. I dont know if this was true or not, but i believe it can be done with enough practice.

Our minds are so comelpx that eevn if i satrt misspelin and raragnieng the ltteers iebnewten ecah wrod you can sltil unsdrentnad me.

Our minds over the past few centuries are showing us more and more potential. Children are being taught younger and younger, technology is used to get rid of headaches and make us smarter. I believe in time symbols that convey our ideas will be able to become coded. A copy of the "idea" (for lack of a better word) area of our brain will be able to be burned and coppied into another persons brain via electrical pulses, or somesort of wormhole/ string theory method.

I believe we, as humans, already can to an extent relay ideas and messages just by being around one another. For instance, take a classroom setting, you are sitting back and you cross your arms. Moments later you see the person right next to you mimic your movements and cross their arms. You change positions to resting your head on your hand, they mimic you a few moments later. Of course the kid right next to you cant be too self aware of themselves, otherwise they would probobly try to stop themselves from being in the same position as the person right next to them. This experiment can go both ways. Suddenly without realizing it you are suddenly in the same position as the person right next to you. After becoming selfaware of this situation you may quickly change position, or if you are lazy like me you start freeking out the person right next to you and continue mimicing them. ^.^

The freefloating idea of "ideas" is interesting but i would think dangerous. If we had no borders on our ideas and memories and they did become mishmashed we would not be able to distinguish the origional idea or memory anymore. Although this could be good in making connections with similar expieriences and thoughts, i believe we would loose many traits that make us human, such as individuality.


If i misunderstood your origional idea then i am sorry. I just wanted to elaborate on this topic.

i have to some small degree been able to control my body's reactions to stimulus to a degree. I could never be able to do what the monks do in your example, but i have been abe to stop myself from shivering and start to sweat in the middle of winter through some initial momentary breathing exercises. (a few seconds fo deep breathing and excerting willpower of my body right after the initial shock of the cold. and i can usually last most of the day ina tee shirt and jeans. once again, nothing like the monks but it still weirds people out. ) also i've experimented with trying to force my body to sleep at will an adapt to need less sleep than others. so far, my body feels fine at 5 hours of rest and in fact i no longer can sleep much more than five hours at a time.

the misspelling thing that i was doing before was to explain differentiation in symbolic representation resulting in different symbolic meaning.

however, what you say is right. the human min d can compensate and sort and resort data in a way to deciher meaning out something distorted. it's interesting.

though your explaination of nonverbal communication is interesting, it may not rely on words, but there's still symbolic representation inthe form of movement that holds symbolic meaning.

and you understood the whole free floating ideas thing very well. boundaries give definition and individuality, these lead to an ego, and ego is what makes a person a person. without boundaries ther would be no definition which menas no individuality which in the realm of the human mind would mean no ego.

here's something else to ponder. even if two people shared carbon copy bodies, the minds are apt to be different and grow even more pronounced in the differences as time goes on. one profound counterargument i read against the similarities in twins is that it is human nature to find similarities amongst each other, even if these similarities are coincidental. you may share the same name as someone who is in n way related to you or in any way your twin, who you board a plan with who might have also lived in a town that shares the same name as yours despite growing up on opposite sides of the country, and both of you find you both enjoy eating the pink starburst in a pack first before eating the other colors and coincidentally are reading the same book, but would never beleive the reason to be that your genetics are the same.


just because someone is a twin of yours doesn't make them your mental clone, despite being your genetic clone.


conversely, let's say you burn two CDs for two seperate friends of your. starting off they may have the same exact data on them and yet from tha moment on they both start to differ from the average wear and tear of their use. even after a week, they may not play the same and differ from each other just as they differ from the original that you create from them.

even though it starts out as the same data doesn't mean that it is the same data as time goes on.

it's all very interesting how data and physical matter react and act and develop throughout a timeline.

#7 Grifith

Grifith
  • Kouhais
  • 6 posts

Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:32 AM

QUOTE
here's something else to ponder. even if two people shared carbon copy bodies, the minds are apt to be different and grow even more pronounced in the differences as time goes on. one profound counterargument i read against the similarities in twins is that it is human nature to find similarities amongst each other, even if these similarities are coincidental. you may share the same name as someone who is in n way related to you or in any way your twin, who you board a plan with who might have also lived in a town that shares the same name as yours despite growing up on opposite sides of the country, and both of you find you both enjoy eating the pink starburst in a pack first before eating the other colors and coincidentally are reading the same book, but would never beleive the reason to be that your genetics are the same.


just because someone is a twin of yours doesn't make them your mental clone, despite being your genetic clone.


conversely, let's say you burn two CDs for two seperate friends of your. starting off they may have the same exact data on them and yet from tha moment on they both start to differ from the average wear and tear of their use. even after a week, they may not play the same and differ from each other just as they differ from the original that you create from them.

even though it starts out as the same data doesn't mean that it is the same data as time goes on.

it's all very interesting how data and physical matter react and act and develop throughout a timeline.


Much of this too was covered in my psych class today. Our teacher gave us many examples of twins and non related people sharing many of the same traits and thought process(pink starburst first). She also gave us examples of twins that were completly different in their psychi.

To give a name to the argument would be nature vs nurture and to tell you the truth, its a pretty damn borring field of study. but it is pretty interesting in some aspects.



I really want to try controling my body more. I also have tried a few things and i think there are different types of stimulie you must send to your brain to acomplish differnet tasks. Things that i have acomplished also dealt allot with heat and cold. I would sit in my shower and i would gradualy make the water get colder and colder untill i had the heat side to zero. Durring that time i would close my eyes and foccus on an imaginary ball and try to block everything else out. I would not shiver and the water wouldnt feel cold, it just felt like "water" for lack of a better term. It was like the water had no other atributes except that it was still hitting my body.

Can you be more specific about how you controled your sweating?
Stand Alone

#8 postindustrialist

postindustrialist

    -chi

  • Kouhais
  • Pip
  • 34 posts

Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:49 AM

didn't control the sweating. forced my body to generate more heat in the dead of winter without hyperventilating, heavy activity, shiverig etc. just simply willed my body to produce more heat. i would start sweating buckets in 10 below sitting on a bench wearing a tee shirt.. (and if it were my college days i'd be drinking a 7-11 slurpee)


#9 ss-samuel--x

ss-samuel--x

    -san

  • Kouhais
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • Location:Widnes, England
  • Interests:Watched<br><br>xxxHOLIC<br>Ah! My Goddess<br>Ah! My Goddess: Sorezore no Tsubasa<br>Ah! My Goddess Movie<br>Cardcaptor Sakura Season 1,2 &amp; 3<br>Cardcaptors<br>Chobits<br>Da Capo<br>Fruits Basket<br>Futari Wa Pretty Cure<br>Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha<br>Magical girl Lyrical Nanoha A's<br>Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS<br>the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya<br>Ouran High School Host Club<br>Shuffle!<br>Shuffle! Memories<br>Soul Link<br>Tsubasa Chronicle Season 1 &amp; 2<br>Yoake mae yori ruriiro na - Crescent Love<br><br>Currently<br><br>Nothing<br><br>Future<br><br>Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star<br>Magic Knight Rayearth Season 2<br>Tsubasa Season 3<br><br>Postponed<br><br>Angelic Layer<br>Magic Knight Rayearth Season 1<br><br>Dropped<br><br>Fate/Stay Night<br>Magic Users Club<br>School Rumble Season 1<br><br>Dropped, but due to different obligations not because of dislike<br><br>Futari Wa Pretty Cure Max Heart<br>Lovedol ~Lovely Idol~<br>Manabi Straight<br>Venus Versus Virus<br>Yes! PreCure 5

Posted 09 December 2006 - 12:23 AM

i sleep for exactly (well approximately but sometimes its just weird) 10 hours on weekends (friday and saturdaY night) and for 8 hours on weekdays.
i usually sleep on weekdays at 11.45pm, and i always wake up around 7.40am, without my alarm going off

and the sweating thing,
i dont sweat much in summer because i just try not to, and i dont
and in winter im always warm, simply because i just tell my body not to cool down

i think its like when you breath, because you do it every day, you cAN DO it easily, so once you start controlling your bodily functions, you'l do it more often and subconsciously
user posted image




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users