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  1. Top | #181
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    I have no idea what you think those studies show in relation to the OP. They both appear to be consistent with the suggestion, and have as a model, that pain is an internal experience. The second one explicitly, and possibly the first, less explicitly, also involve subjects self-reporting conscious sensations (of pain).

    So while they are very interesting, they don't seem to relate to the specific OP issues other than to not disagree with the model proposed (as regards pain).
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 04-07-2020 at 12:32 PM.
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  2. Top | #182
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    (View video on YouTube)

    TedX lecture by Lorimor Mosely (Professor of Clinical Neuroscience, specialising in pain studies, at the University of South Australia) entitled, 'Why Things Hurt'.

    Video is mostly about pain, but touches by analogy on visual perception also.

    He goes along with the (surely uncontroversial) idea that pain is not in the external stimuli, or even in the signals inside the body before or after they interact with the brain.

    Video is approximately 14:30 minutes long, but he's quite an entertaining, witty speaker and uses a lot of visual aids. An interesting watch for anyone interested in the topic, imo.

    Personally, I think he goes a bit far when he says that pain is an illusion. I would have preferred if he had put it another way, such as saying that pain is sometimes at least partly an illusion (ie things are not necessarily what they seem) or even just that pain is often partly created by the brain, or something lesser like that, the point being that (as with visual perception it seems) it's apparently not only about the nature of the external (in the case of pain, noxious) inputs and in at least some ways is arguably decoupled from them during the brain/body processing.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 04-07-2020 at 02:46 PM.
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  3. Top | #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    When I said stimuli I meant external stimuli (eg electricity)
    "External" to what?

    If you are saying that external phenomena (such as electricity) have pain in them, rather than having other properties which can cause the experience of pain in brains
    So, once again, you are talking about the "experience of pain"--i.e., all of the OTHER added shit that the brain bundles into trigger responses.

    It's an important claim here
    No, it's a series of category errors combined with equivocation of terms, so, once again, I implore you to not use the word "experience."

    Once again, here is the sequence of events when you stub your toe:
    1. A rudimentary signal is sent from the sensory apparatus in the damaged area to the brain via the central nervous system;
    2. Various sections of the brain react to the alert signal, which in turn trigger various reactions (e.g., a signal to the eyes to look for visible damage; a signal to the hands to check the extent of damage; a signal to the injured leg to pull back and protect the damaged area from further harm; etc.
    3. At some point other associations get triggered (memories of previous instances of stubbing one's toe, particularly the more traumatic ones; a whole series of existential questions as to why this happened, what was the purpose, I'm an idiot, etc).
    4. Then there is the adrenaline response and the dopamine drug release.
    5. And likely a quadrillion other bits of information that get stirred into the mix from all over the body.


    ALL of that happens within a few seconds and ALL of that information explosion that is electrifying your body into action is "pain." It's a category with ALL of that inside of it (and more).

    because if we agree that pain is not in the external phenomena then we have a precedent.
    No, we don't, because "pain" is not a process of copying (or modelling) a passive objective condition, such as "the blueberry is blue."

    True, but the case for the blue not being a property of a blueberry itself is pretty widely understood and generally accepted among relevant experts.
    Ironic appeal to authority. The key being "accepted" meaning it cannot be proved, merely inferred. The problem being that the exact same conditions also mean that it doesn't matter how many people currently agree with a proposition. My counter arguments all stand in equal stead. You can't prove that blue is not an objective condition just as I can't prove that it is.

    So we're back again at inferring that our eyes are copying an objective condition. And the primary evidence that supports that inference is the ability itself along with the existence of the rods and cones in our eyes and the fact that we have been able to create technology that can measure the same color codes, etc.

    Until you--or anyone--can provide an explanation for color coding that is NOT predicated on our evolutionary need to survive (and thus copy/model an objective condition), then the available evidence supports that we evolved rods and cones (i.e., the ability to encode color) because the blueberry is blue; i.e, we are modelling an objective condition.

    Plus, nothing I have presented contradicts the fact that we recreate/model an objective condition with our brains. Just the opposite in fact. It can both be true--and logically follows--that there is an objective condition AND that we breakdown and recreate that condition with our brain as part of a modelling process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    It MUST be faithfully recreating/copying/mimicking/modelling something that objectively exists all in its own right ......
    We've already agreed this several times and I have no idea why you keep bringing it up.
    Perhaps now you do.

    The 'something' doesn't need to be colour.
    "Need"? Well, considering that our evolution is primarily based on adaptation and survival, it logically follows that we ALL--as a species--developed the ability to color encode because (a) colors are an objective condition (while ALSO being a "brain experience") and (b) that it was a necessary development for our survival. So, pretty much anything that evolves is on a "need" basis.

    But, again, what is the alternative explanation you are presenting? That rods and cones and the ability to encode a color spectrum came from....? What exactly, if not need based on an objective condition?

    As it stands, your position implies that we--as a species--just all somehow simultaneously, magically instantiated a uniform ability to color encode in spite of the alleged fact that no color exists as an objective condition; that we all spontaneously developed the same rods and cones in our eyeballs for no reactive reason and then somehow randomly universally encode "blue" equally across the species, even though, allegedly, no such thing exists.

    We just made up "blue" but somehow did so universally and just got lucky in that we evidently nailed it so well that we can replicate it and developed technology to measure it, etc., etc., etc. Blue ex nihilo.

    How is that in any way explanatory?

    could be a brain experience and not present in the external world.
    Once again, EVERYTHING for us is a "brain experience" at all times and without possibility of parole no matter what else we discuss full stop never say it again and, secondly, those are not mutually exclusive concepts. Quite the opposite in fact. In order to survive/adapt/evolve we must have the ability to accurately copy/model/process the objective conditions of our environment.

    How accurate or extensive the modelling is obviously a question (and we know from our technological advancements that we can't see with "naked" eyes certain objective conditions), but the inference that we are modelling an objective condition is likewise held by most of the experts you invoked above as well (and yourself as we have already abundantly established), so if you accept that wavelengths are an objective condition, you are halfway there.

    The wavelength is the code for "blue." Our rods and cones are evidently capable of decoding that information from the wavelength and putting it into language our brain understands.

    It's like saying that digitization of your voice being sent over a telephone wire (or, these days, RF waves) isn't intrinsically you. Well of course not. It's your words, tone and inflection being broken down into digital packets that then get unpacked and recreated by the receiver at the other end, which in turn goes through a similar process via your ear and how your ear breaks down information in order to send it to your brain, where it gets unpacked as well, etc.

    Does that mean you never existed or said the words that you said as an objective condition? There is no "I love you mom experience" in the wavelengths that communicate and replicate your tone and manner of speech, but does that necessarily mean you didn't say those words in the manner replicated or, to get more into the "experience" element, don't love your mom as an objective condition that the encoding replicates/conveys?

    I am merely presenting (and I have chosen to defend) a model put forward by numerous others which seems to work well in that it has good explanatory power.
    Except that it does not for all of the reasons given.
    Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi; 04-07-2020 at 07:18 PM.

  4. Top | #184
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks
    When I said stimuli I meant external stimuli (eg electricity)
    "External" to what?
    To the organism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    .... "pain" is not a process of copying (or modelling) a passive objective condition,...
    That's implicitly assuming the conclusion regarding colour (that it's there to be copied).

    Regarding pain, take an obvious example of an external, objective condition that the organism detects and responds to, heat.

    But the heat does not seem to have pain in it, only the capacity, via other properties it has, to cause pain in organisms that can perceive the stimuli, and that also have the capacity for that particular conscious experience as a result.

    For vision, the equivalent stimuli would be light, and the OP is about whether the light has colour in it.

    We can accept, I think, that the brain can experience pain without the stimuli having pain in it, so it's a precedent for suggesting that the light, similarly, does not necessarily have colour in it, that both pain and colour are conscious experiences happening in the brain and are not in the outside world, but caused to happen in brains by other objective properties of external stimuli. Well, at least partly caused by those external stimuli. As shown in the TEDx talk posted above, there appear to be other factors and processes too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    ...... such as "the blueberry is blue."
    If you think the blueberry is blue then that's generally been discredited (and considered an illusion involving projection of properties by the brain to where they are not). I was not even taught this in school physics class in the 1970's. As such it's a dodgy assumption on which to base an argument that the blue is something that's being copied. Your use of the word blue, even in inverted commas, to describe the berry, is potentially confusing the matter here, where we are not relying on everyday language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Until you--or anyone--can provide an explanation for color coding that is NOT predicated on our evolutionary need to survive (and thus copy/model an objective condition), then the available evidence supports that we evolved rods and cones (i.e., the ability to encode color) because the blueberry is blue; i.e, we are modelling an objective condition.
    This is bizarre. Yes, for the umpteenth time, we are modelling an objective condition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    But, again, what is the alternative explanation you are presenting? That rods and cones and the ability to encode a color spectrum came from....? What exactly, if not need based on an objective condition?
    Again, for the umpteenth time, from the properties of light, one of which does not have to be colour in the same way that one of the objective properties of noxious stimuli does not have to be pain.

    I also would not say the rods and cones necessarily encode colour. They appear to encode wavelengths (or some equivalent such as photons, energy or information) and transduce them into electro-chemical signals. Colour itself actually being in the objects or the wavelengths would seem to be superfluous to explanations, as would pain being in heat.

    That is not to say that the colour is not in the light or the objects, it is only to say that everything could in principle happen the way it does without it being the case. And that is why the model is currently a coherent one, albeit the issue is unresolved. It's also arguably a parsimonious model, since it does not add properties (eg pain, or colour) to external stimuli that do not seem to be necessary for explanations.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 04-08-2020 at 10:56 AM.
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  5. Top | #185
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post

    Again, for the umpteenth time, from the properties of light, one of which does not have to be colour in the same way that one of the objective properties of noxious stimuli does not have to be pain.

    I also would not say the rods and cones necessarily encode colour. They appear to encode wavelengths (or some equivalent) and transduce them into electro-chemical signals. Color being in the objects or the wavelengths would seem to be superfluous to explanations.

    We have been going around this for quite a while now and I have been saying more or less the same things in reply to you over and over. I do not mind if you disagree, and we can stop, because it is going in circles.

    Perhaps we could segue slightly. What did you make of the Tedx talk on pain posted above?
    It' doesn't have to be, but, it is. We know this because we evolved systems to detect and process it that uses color as the basis for detection and processing it. All other explanations bump up against encoding, need, evolution, and material substrates that are dictated by the thing being processed as color.

    Since I've been posting that evidence and you've been repeating your mantra I suggest you either produce some evidence or abandon your mantra.

    Your explanation for why your perspective might be true is a pain analogy, if that's what you want to call it, fails because it depends on the stimulus being pain when it is clearly harmful physical stimuli. The notion for a stimulus processing system depends on there being a need for such a stimulus. Clearly, if pain is not translated into harmful stimulus there is no physical need for a human or any other living being to process it.

    When pain is translated harmful stimulus it becomes clear there are physical stimuli and detectors systems for such physical stimuli present. These systems have properties appropriate for detecting and translating them into meaningful forms which can be neurally processed yielding meaningful results without a single handwave.

    Since such systems are complex and multifaceted - temporary and chronic alerting and identification and localizing functions for both skin an visceral detection and processing - there need be many accommodations for lumping all into a single pain category. For instance persons having a heart attack often localize their pain to the left arm and shoulder. Both visceral and skin harmful stimuli perception depend on similar or the same types of detectors and processing systems, yet visceral pain has little homunculus through which to feed heart attack information. Consequently we confuse heart attack location with shoulder trauma location.

    Obviously shoulder trauma is much more likely than heart attack so due to shared processing humans get false results. This doesn't make harmful stimuli processing suddenly cognitive it is simply the result of shared processing infrastructure.

    I don't think you want an obvious difference in perceptual infrastructure to serve as your rationale for philosophical conclusion nor your reason depends on mis-identifying species of sense.

  6. Top | #186
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    It's an important claim here
    No, it's a series of category errors combined with equivocation of terms, so, once again, I implore you to not use the word "experience."
    .
    I don't agree that it's necessarily a category error or errors.

    It could be a category error. There could be something about colour that is different from pain. I am only presenting pain for comparison (pain and colour are often compared in such a way) to show that in principle, brain experiences can have properties that are not, it seems, plausibly in the external stimuli.

    I don't agree it's a conflation of terms. It might be, if colour is in objects or light, but that's not established, is an assumption, and seems unnecessary to explanations. As such, I am trying, here in the discussion, to only use the word colour for brain experiences, since by my preferred model, that is all that colour actually is. To say that a berry is blue is imo a misattribution. As such, from where I'm at, you are the one who is potentially conflating, by calling berries blue.

    As to the word experience, I see no good reason not to deploy that word where appropriate, because (a) varieties of conscious experience obviously do happen, even if we don't fully understand how, (b) there are clearly distinctions (even if not always hard-edged) to be made between non-consciousness and consciousness and between the processes involved in either or both, and (c) any description of pain or colour which arbitrarily leaves conscious experience out when and where it does occur is obviously incomplete.

    One day, if we arrive at a sufficient description of consciousness (which is not of course one monolithic thing) in physical terms (and although I believe it will be possible, I'm not proposing to attempt to do it here) we will have explained conscious experience, and perhaps reduced it to a multitude of component processes, but it will still be a phenomenon, even if we no longer feel we have to ask how it happens or find it mysterious.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 04-08-2020 at 01:21 PM.
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  7. Top | #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    To the organism.
    What does that mean? Again, you get into your car. Does that mean you're somehow "internal" and the world is "external"?

    Regarding pain, take an obvious example of an external, objective condition that the organism detects and responds to, heat.
    You mean the radiation from a particular source that is registered by one of our primary sensory input devices (we call "skin")?

    But the heat does not seem to have pain in it
    That's because "pain" is not a discrete object that can be "in" something. Saying that "pain is in the heat" is as vapid as saying that "sport is in the ball." But, at the same time, I could say it, since it's easy enough to equivocate, but what would be the point?

    Let's break it down:

    Remove the word "in." Pain is the heat. Sport is the ball. It gets closer to the proper use of those categorical terms.

    Now refine it further. Pain is the radiation detected by the skin. Sport is capturing the object with which to score.

    The more you refine the language, the easier it is to impart substantive meaning. The more vague and equivocal you leave the language, the more difficult to impart substantive meaning.

    You, for example, keep switching from wavelength to experience of wavelength plus added associative experiences and only you know which radically different concepts you're referring to at any given time. That's why I keep having to ask you to stop using certain words as they are not imparting substantive meaning, they are merely clouding the issue.

    If you think the blueberry is blue then that's generally been discredited
    No, it actually hasn't, but once again, I don't care about appeals to authority so you can stop making them now. Particularly in light of:

    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Until you--or anyone--can provide an explanation for color coding that is NOT predicated on our evolutionary need to survive (and thus copy/model an objective condition), then the available evidence supports that we evolved rods and cones (i.e., the ability to encode color) because the blueberry is blue; i.e, we are modelling an objective condition.
    This is bizarre. Yes, for the umpteenth time, we are modelling an objective condition.
    Cones and rods can't just appear out of nowhere. We evolved them for a reason. If it was NOT to model an objective condition, then how did we evolve them (and why)? You keep dodging this question. To whit:

    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    But, again, what is the alternative explanation you are presenting? That rods and cones and the ability to encode a color spectrum came from....? What exactly, if not need based on an objective condition?
    Again, for the umpteenth time, from the properties of light, one of which does not have to be colour in the same way that one of the objective properties of noxious stimuli does not have to be pain.
    "Have to be"? And what does it mean to say that rods and cones and the ability to encode a color spectrum came from the properties of light if NOT to say that the wavelength is intrinsic to the object?

    It's not possible for billions of case studies to ALL encode wavelength of 450 nm (aka, "blue") the same way, such that we can even replicate that coding in our technology (which is even further removed), so what does that tell you about why we developed rods and cones and the technology to replicate/measure spectral wavelengths?

    I also would not say the rods and cones necessarily encode colour. They appear to encode wavelengths (or some equivalent such as photons, energy or information) and transduce them into electrochemical signals.
    Iow, they encode "color." That's what a wavelength is. The color isn't "in" the wavelength; the color IS the wavelength. The rods and cones in our eyes decode that information and translate it into language our brains can then further process.

    During that process, additional information gets triggered and in turn bundled/associated, etc., and that then becomes "the experience of the wavelength on this date at this time etc., etc, etc."

    Colour itself actually being in the objects
    Again, "in the objects" is improper phrasing. A category can't be "in" something, it can only contain something. It's not that blue is "in" the object; it is that the object reflects the wavelength we call "blue."

    What YOU keep doing is conflating the wavelength with the additional reactions to the wavelength.

    I tell you what, along with "experience," stop using the words "colour" or "blue" and just say that objects emit (or reflect) particular wavelengths that our eyes detect and the cones and rods recode into an electrochemical language that the brain understands. Done.

    It is no different than a phone or a video camera or a telegraph machine. Coder, code and decoder.

    That decoding also entails creating (or recreating) does not negate the fact that there is still a coder and a code, or that the decoding is the end-all-be-all to the equation. It's merely a component of the entire process.

    That is not to say that the colour is not in the light or the objects, it is only to say that everything could in principle happen the way it does without it being the case.
    That is literally true of anything and everything, including that the wavelength is intrinsic to the object. See how you have no problem with that phrasing?

    And that is why the model is currently a coherent one
    Coherent in what sense? Once again, we know our brains process and model information, and thus literally EVERYTHING is "inside our brain" in a very trivial manner. The decoder is not the code; the code is not the encoder; etc.

    It's a category error to say the "message is in the morse code." The message IS the morse code; the particular dots and dashes used by the coder to convey the message to the decoder. At the same time, the message is ALSO "in" the brain of the decoder, of course.

    But those are not mutually exclusive concepts. Just because the decoder recreates the message does not mean that the message isn't also "in" the dots and dashes (or "in" the coder).

    It's also arguably a parsimonious model, since it does not add properties (eg pain, or colour) to external stimuli that do not seem to be necessary for explanations.
    Except for the fact that, once again, our experience is uniform across billions of case studies and we evolved particular tools (rods and cones) in order to accurately convey the information received by our sensory input devices.

    There must be a reason for all of that. Again, wavelength encoding is not a random process; it is specific one that we ALL share. Why would that be, were it not monkey see, monkey do? HOW would that be, if it were not monkey see, monkey do?

    Responding, "but it could be something else" is not an explanation. It's a dodge.
    Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi; 04-09-2020 at 10:38 PM.

  8. Top | #188
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    Here, let's simplify ALL of this. You have already agreed with the following premise: Rods and cones and the ability to encode a color spectrum came from the properties of light.

    Wavelength is a property of light.

    Blue is wavelength 450 nm (among hue variations). Blue isn't "in" the wavelength (that's a category error); blue IS the wavelength.

    Rods and cones evidently serve a particular purpose: to copy/model an objective condition. They get that information from the object, so the wavelength 450 nm comes from the object (either as a radiative/emanating property or a reflected property).

    We know from the technology that we have developed that these are not the only wavelengths radiating/emanating/reflecting off of objects; just what our species' "naked" eyes can process.

    The "experience of blueness" is a different process. It is a triggered associative event and as such we need not bother with it.

    That covers everything. So, now that we have it all parsed, what part of any of that do you wish to explore further (save the last bit)? Do you want to get into the difference between wavelengths being absorbed by an object as opposed to wavelengths being reflected? That, at least, would be a matter of what is or is not intrinsic to the object. Or, at least, its chemical composition.

    Iow, is the object "blue" if it reflects that wavelength, or should we consider it "red" since that's the wavelength it absorbs?

  9. Top | #189
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Pain is the heat.

    Now refine it further. Pain is the radiation detected by the skin.
    Wow. That is at odds with any scientific or philosophical model I believe I have ever come across.

    Just for starters, it is contradicted by the evidence, including, for example, by the studies cited in the video I posted earlier.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 04-10-2020 at 08:54 AM.
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  10. Top | #190
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Actually Koyaanisqatsi got it right. Normally pain is the heat. In the cases you presented ruby sparks from the 'mate' tissue was torn as the scratch mark would indicate to an impartial observer so the proper response was a pain (harmful stimulus) response. The fact that it was not dangerous enough to command attention before first report to that particular experienced observer is because he's been there before.

    So his systems correctly included experience in it's reporting as all would agree are likely given the nature of the noxious stimulus processing pathways. That it lead to the sensation response is in the experience. So signals were processed as part of accumulation of information concerning a 'pain' (harmful stimulus) report In normal course of events for the information at hand along with accessible memories were being processed subordinate to the walker's tasks at hand. That it was reported as "ouch" results from humans being capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

    Its a bit of a slog to show you where you missed the boat, Its much more of a conscious effort for you to support pain as a conscious created thing based on such flimsy data. The main reasons for your difficulties are in you need to resort to mythical causes to do so. The brain works as it does for many good reasons which one needs to control (account for) when one is looking for how and why.

    I note you didn't object to koyaanisqatsi's connecting wavelength to color as an identity which it is.

    'nuf sed.

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