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Messages - doudou

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Discordian Recipes / Chocolate Geodes
« on: March 29, 2017, 10:21:53 pm »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwM1Nh7rerU

Giant chocolate rocks filled with crystallized sugar.  Takes 6 months to create! 

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Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: March 23, 2017, 04:37:54 pm »
Dunno if I can go so far as to measure my frequency precisely, but I could probably get a vague idea.   :p

Thinking about these ways of measuring consciousness makes me wonder if we are missing the point of consciousness.

Yes, one purpose of this exercise is to increase consciousness in general.

But I think there are some overlapping ideas that are less advantageous to conflate with consciousness.  I will say awareness is one because there are moments where you can be aware of multiple things at once, but it is only distracting for you to do so.  So is consciousness only focusing on what is important as opposed to whatever else we could be aware of?  In that sense, the measurement of depth creates ambiguity because it is measured by "how much" rather than "how little."

If the point is to be aware of as much as possible, I don't think that is helpful.  I would make the analogy of stretching and flexing a muscle.  A muscle can't be stretched and flexed at the same time.  I would say a balance is necessary between broad awareness and focus.

When we measure length, I again wonder what is the point?  Is there a purpose to staying in any one place for longer than there is a purpose?  For example, I can wake up anywhere between two extremes:  being happy and motivated or having a feeling of dread, but ultimately our purpose in the morning is to roll out of bed whether we want to or not.  So if I am aware of how I am feeling, but am still driven by a purpose, my consciousness has a goal which is to facilitate getting my body out of bed. 

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Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: March 22, 2017, 04:24:30 am »

Ok, so I really like the mindfulness technique of becoming aware of your own breathing. 

Often when I try to be mindful, I am just reminded of my chronic pain.  @_@.

That's really interesting - you're the second person I've talked to today who's mentioned how mindfulness isn't necessarily pleasant for them. I was unaware until today that many people intentionally avoid it! But I can see how pain or anxiety or depression would make you not want to be here/now.
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It's kind of a new insight that I don't want to do things because my body hurts.  Kind of.  *takes an advil*

That sounds really crappy, I'm sorry.

Recognizing that your body's needs play such a strong role in your behavior / awareness, does that change anything?


If you recognize that fact at the moment of decision, do you think you'd make a different decision?

Yes, so this thread is fun to think about.  I am actually exercising a lot more.  It is actually 2-3 times per week doing yoga in the last few weeks.  I wasn't being productive today so I decided to go do a yoga class.  During the end of the session, our yoga instructor specifically gave us direction -not- to be mindful of our breath.  So things came full-circle within a day.   :horrormirth: little victories. 

It does give me anxiety to -consciously- spend time on my body because my intellectual life is really demanding.  But the realization that I spend time procrastinating anyway, and the possibility that it is explained in large part by my physical discomfort sways that anxiety a bit.

Not to go off on a pain tangent, but there is a theory that at a point chronic pain becomes a neurological issue - sort of this vicious cycle of pain and tension.  It's been about 7 years since I described my chronic pain as just "annoying," and having in the back of the mind some theories to test out in resolving the problem.  It's probably about time to go on that journey haha but I guess it takes being mindful to actually think of it as "worth it" in the grand scheme of things I am trying to achieve.  One good think is that it's not getting -worse- it could be that being mindful could also remind me to take an advil to cut that vicious cycle down while I also do the physical work. 

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Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: March 21, 2017, 11:32:44 pm »
Ok, so I really like the mindfulness technique of becoming aware of your own breathing. 

Often when I try to be mindful, I am just reminded of my chronic pain.  @_@. Yoga is actually really helpful in this sense because exercising my body actually brings about some improvements.  So in this sense, a mindful approach to healing my body allows me clarity of mind.

It also brings forth the question that perhaps when I am not being mindful, I am subconsciously doing things just in order to avoid my chronic physical discomfort. 

When dealing with constant discomfort, it is hard to focus on things that are uncomfortable even though they lead on to things that are beneficial to me.

It's like the process of snuggling up to a good book and constantly adjusting and readjusting in order to stay comfortable.  For a period of time you might deal with some discomfort because the book is interesting.  Now imagine it is a boring book and you can't really adjust to be comfortable but reading leads to a goal that you want in the future. 

So I would say being mindful in this sense is being mindful of what is annoying me at any one point:  Chronic pain or boring book.  To what end?  To take advantage of the times when it is not both.

Sometimes I wonder if I really spend a lot of time ignoring my discomfort since dealing with it is so difficult and I tend to be able convince myself that there are more pressing matters to attend to or more enjoyable things to spend my time on or easier things that won't take my energy like exercising my body will. 

It's kind of a new insight that I don't want to do things because my body hurts.  Kind of.  *takes an advil*

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Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: March 19, 2017, 08:33:22 pm »
This is going to be a sort of incomplete response for now, but ...

Is there a part of the mind that can become conscious?  If so, am I only partly conscious over time or am I only conscious 5% but continuously?

If 95% of the time is spent jerking off in the basement, then what does it mean to be conscious that 5% of the time?  Does it mean a random moment of clarity or does it mean I am 95% automatic and 5% connected with something that is beyond myself that makes me self-aware? 

Learning is a conscious process. You can't learn automatically, it takes conscious effort to absorb and integrate information. When you first learned to drive a car, you were really mindful. Every action you took taught you a little bit. Now, years later, you get it. So you don't need the lazy conscious mind to drive. You can just run the mental routine you built.

And if we zoom out, a lot of our life is spent in that routine, in those heuristics. If we don't actively think about it, we don't get a lot of time to reflect on those heuristics, or the process we used to arrive at them.

I would not say that learning is entirely conscious because even a machine can learn to change its course of actions based on how it experiences the world.  When our behaviors are reinforced by pleasure, we become more likely to repeat the same actions/thoughts/algorithms.  In the same way, we were programmed with ways of learning information that lead to pleasurable success.  On a more basic level, we are born with ways of perceiving and retaining our environment that cause us to act in a way that is more predictable than not.

The idea of consciousness has fascinated me and I wonder what the state of the evidence for it is.  So what is this sensation of consciousness?  What if it is true that nothing is more than the sum of its parts?  I would hesitate to label a hierarchy of thought processes (meta cognition?) consciousness, but I would guess that is the general image of how people imagine consciousness?  As like a bubble above us that is more than ourselves? 

So we become aware of a pattern of thoughts because we have the ability to remember things.  Then we have the ability to adjust those patterns, but why is that consciousness?  Couldn't there be a higher level of thinking than that where we are aware of the methods by which we adjust our thinking?  We can lose the forest for the trees or we can pan out ad infinitum, but is that action consciousness or just a higher dimension of the framework under which we operate?

Am I just one piece of a chain reaction?  Am I on autopilot and consciousness is just whatever is other adding itself into my equation?

Marshall McLuhan says we're the sex organs of the machine world.
The Art of Memetics says we're the sex organs of the meme world.

I think the way out of the chain is Agency. And I don't think you really have Agency if you're just making mechanical decisions.

And to expand it again, yes, most decisions are mechanical. Like a character in the Sims, we always take whatever action we perceive will give us best rewards. We continue to exhibit that behavior until a competing one gives us better feels. (behaviorists call that 'melioration') When that calculus is simple, our behavior is predictable.

If you can make decisions about your automatic processes, you might be in the conscious part of the self.

It's really hard to perform this reflection, this self-consciousness, this Self-Remembering, while the habitual mind is buzzing. When you're emotional, it's really hard to step outside of it and make an independent decision.

Usually, when we have that 5% moment of self-remembering, it only lasts for that moment, and then it's over.



Part of what I want to discover is how to increase consciousness along a few different dimensions: frequency, length, depth.

I am part of the great daisy-chain called life.

I am happily ambivalent about whether we have choice or not.  What ends follow from choosing either premise, I don't know.  If the feeling of choice is an illusion, it doesn't detract that choices are necessary. 

Evolutionarily speaking, auto-pilot is there for a reason, right?  However, clarity is something to strive for... 

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Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: March 19, 2017, 05:46:34 am »
I hate to break it to you, but you're not conscious. You're just running a program. Your habitual mind is driving your meat machine. Your reactions are mechanical. You are running on autopilot. You are a script in human form.

There's a part of your mind which can become conscious, but it's too much work for you. It might open an eye for a moment, learn something, make a decision, but then it goes back to sleep. The autopilot is in charge.

Your mind is a mansion. But you? You spend 95% of your life jerking off in the basement. You didn't even know there was an attic. Can you even find the way there?

Is there a part of the mind that can become conscious?  If so, am I only partly conscious over time or am I only conscious 5% but continuously?

If 95% of the time is spent jerking off in the basement, then what does it mean to be conscious that 5% of the time?  Does it mean a random moment of clarity or does it mean I am 95% automatic and 5% connected with something that is beyond myself that makes me self-aware? 

What is it that is beyond me?  Is it just everything else outside my body?  What is at the intersection of myself and everything that is other?  Why is my mind different from my brain?  How can I possibly generate anything that is more than myself? 

Am I just one piece of a chain reaction?  Am I on autopilot and consciousness is just whatever is other adding itself into my equation?

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