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Elliot Temple on October 14, 2018

Comments (7)

Discord Replies

> I'm saying further that what is programmable is limited and much of these processes remain automatic.

isn't the extent of such limits a scientific matter? but you claim not to be making scientific claims.

and the word "automatic" does not mean non-programmable. do you agree? what do you mean by saying it remains automatic? that adults don't usually go through a conscious process of figuring out what they're looking at? if so, i think that's uncontroversial. if you mean something else, what?

> @GISTE - "that is not my claim, you're getting lost because you aren't familiar with the field. you're attempting to describe my beliefs about software and hardware in terms of less precisely defined terms – you're doing a translation job that makes it worse – and you ended up with nonsense." - this came off as rather argumentative and untrue to me.

You think I'm *combative* because I made an argument plus you believe my argument to be mistaken? Those are the criteria? Surely that is something you do all the time (make an argument to someone who then judges it to be incorrect) and not something a person can reasonably avoid.

Do you disagree with me that the claim you attributed to me is nonsense which is refuted by the definitions of the words? And that I never said it but you created it by some sort of process of translation? And that my actual position is more precise and scientific than that summary statement? You apparently don't like what I said that you quote, but which part do you dispute? The thing you stated as my position is not recognizable to me as similar to my position. That constitutes a significant issue in discussion! And it has causes, which matter to trying to untangle things!

> I think it's [the discussion] important.

You think what claim, specifically, is important? I tried to clarify what you were claiming but you didn't respond to those parts. One attempt was:

>> your basic point seems to be that the conscious mind of an adult isn't directly dealing with low-level pixel data. i know that and never said otherwise.

Can you restate your main point, briefly, preferably using only simple words or, failing that, including definitions of the words which could cause trouble? And say *why* it's important, what difference it makes (what would it matter if it were false?) and what problem it solves (what it's useful for)?

> the claim is about the perception of entities coming prior to the ability to integrate percepts into concepts. I'm essentially saying "this is what I am given", I don't know how, biologically, this happens, but that's the beginning of abstract understanding.

What you are given is what your *conscious mind* is given, yet you seem to be making claims about which of the earlier layers do which things. How can you tell that based on what material is given to your conscious mind, other than by science?

> I'm saying that, at the very least, there is a period of time where the perception of entities is totally automatic and non-volitional, that sensations are automatically integrated into percepts and this is the given material for abstract thought and the basis for all knowledge.

What period of time? And how do you know that? And doesn't that claim involve science? Or do you think, as a matter of logic, that nothing else could possibly work?

> I recall quoting ITOE extensively, but I can provide more if you like:

You then provide quotes from ITOE without analysis, without arguments, and without a statement of the purpose of any of the quotes. What is that supposed to accomplish? There was a specific disagreement about whether a particular passage said a particular thing or not. This is not a followup which addresses that.


curi at 9:07 PM on November 15, 2018 | #11375 | reply | quote

Ad Hominem

I wanted to save this log questioning the concept of "ad hominem". I think it has important points.

[9:11 PM] GISTE: @Scuro argumentative? I looked up definition in m-w. It says: : given to argument : tending to argue : having or showing a tendency to disagree or argue with other people in an angry way

[9:12 PM] GISTE: So you think Elliot was angry?

[9:14 PM] GISTE: To be clear, I’m trying to understand what you meant by “...came off as rather argumentative...”

[9:15 PM] curi: he feels insulted because my comments don't exactly and carefully stay on a particular side of a culturally-defined line, which varies significantly by person, about what is ad hominem and what is a criticism of an idea. his comments don't either. it's to be expected. the thing needed here is a lot of tolerance.

[9:19 PM] curi: separating people from their ideas is hard and complicated (and doesn't entirely make sense – are "you are mistaken" and "your idea is mistaken" really so different?), and people with different perspectives shouldn't expect to be totally in sync about it. and if everyone is really conservative about it, to try to avoid risking offending someone who views things differently, than that hampers discussion and limits what can be said.

[9:20 PM] curi: you can say "I think the idea X is mistaken" but there are difficulties with never mentioning who said X. a straightfoward one is what if you want to use an exact quote. then how will you avoid mentioning the author? unsourced quote?

[9:21 PM] curi: and it's kinda just verbal games. the point is still the same, and people understand the meaning: if you say X is false, and they believe X, they know that you mean and believe they are wrong, whether you specifically point it out or not.

[9:22 PM] curi: so my advice is: if you see a productive purpose of a statement, focus on that and take it as a positive discussion contribution. if you can't see a productive purpose of a statement, point that out and ask what's going on.

[9:27 PM] curi: Rand and Popper both had reputations for failing to always manage to socially please people and sound nice/friendly to them. They focused too much on discussing the ideas instead of on managing audience perceptions. I sympathize with them.

[9:27 PM] GISTE: @Scuro when people tell me that I’ve said something mean, I ask them: “how would you change what I said in a way that wouldn’t have seemed mean to you?” I notice they have a hard time coming up with anything. So like if it was so hard for them to come up with a way to make my idea sound less mean, then they should not blame me for failing to have found a less mean way of saying my idea.

[9:30 PM] curi: Mises to Mount Pelerin Society: You're all a bunch of socialists. Ad hominem? Shouldn't have been said? Important, substantive comment?

[9:30 PM] curi: Rand called Hayek "poison". Was that combative? Bad to say?

[9:32 PM] curi: Her issues with Hayek were his ideas, not his personal characteristics – how his voice sounded, height, weight, skin color, sexual orientation, what his hobbies were, who he married, etc, etc.

[9:33 PM] curi: you could substitute a very different person in Hayek's place, but with the same published ideas and public statements, and Rand would have thought and said the same thing. so does that mean calling him poison was not ad hominem, since the claim was independent of the person behind the books?

[9:34 PM] curi: my best answer is: the concept of ad hominem is not actually precise or all that well thought out.


curi at 9:39 PM on November 15, 2018 | #11376 | reply | quote

it's like: don't attack the person, only the ideas.

but the ideas are the most important part of the person. criticizing their ideas is *especially* threatening.

kinda like: don't attack the toes, only the brain.


Anonymous at 9:51 PM on November 15, 2018 | #11377 | reply | quote

Response

> isn't the extent of such limits a scientific matter? but you claim not to be making scientific claims.

The extent is yes, I'm merely saying there *are* limits.

> and the word "automatic" does not mean non-programmable. do you agree?

Yes.

> what do you mean by saying it remains automatic? that adults don't usually go through a conscious process of figuring out what they're looking at? if so, i think that's uncontroversial. if you mean something else, what?

Your first guess is definitely a factor. I'm also saying that many non-conscious processes of the mind are not programmable, and these continue to operate automatically.

>You think I'm *combative* because I made an argument plus you believe my argument to be mistaken? Those are the criteria? Surely that is something you do all the time (make an argument to someone who then judges it to be incorrect) and not something a person can reasonably avoid.

Since we resolved this on discord I'll move on. The quick version is: I wanted a correction so I would understand your position, not an argument conjecturing about how I arrived at my incorrect version.

>Do you disagree with me that the claim you attributed to me is nonsense which is refuted by the definitions of the words?

Not really, hence my confusion.

>And that I never said it but you created it by some sort of process of translation?

Here was my attempted summary of your position: "organising raw sense data into differentiated percepts is not automatic, but is a conceptual process of classification" .

Here are some of the quotes I used to arrive at my summary:

"you perceive things more like blobs of colors, and you have to figure out what's what, that's not automatic" "you can't perceive entities at all. you have to use intelligent thought to categorize what you see into entities." "it's not clear to me there's combining of *different* senses at the perceptual level".

>And that my actual position is more precise and scientific than that summary statement?

I was sure it would be, hence my question. I was actively trying *not* to misunderstand you, I was hoping you would see where I was at in terms of understanding you, and that you would correct me.

>The thing you stated as my position is not recognizable to me as similar to my position. That constitutes a significant issue in discussion! And it has causes, which matter to trying to untangle things!

Agreed, hence me seeking clarification.

>You think what claim, specifically, is important?

I think the claim that we perceive distinct entities through an automatic and uncontrolled process has important epistemological implication, as does a claim to the contrary. Whichever is the case, it's important to know.

>Can you restate your main point, briefly, preferably using only simple words or, failing that, including definitions of the words which could cause trouble?

In its simplest form: human beings automatically perceive discriminated entities.

The slightly longer version: Perception, as the automatic retention and integration of sensations into percepts, gives human beings awareness of discriminated entities. This process of sensory integration and its products are the given, the self-evident, and come prior in human development to the conceptual level. You directly perceive entities, the process of integrating sensations proceeds automatically, and this includes the integration of different sensations. Perceiving entities does not involve conception or categorisation, only perceptual differentiating and integration. As far as psycho-epistemology is concerned, conceptual knowledge, which develops later and after the awareness of entities, later becomes tied in with perception and changes the conscious experience, but nevertheless the process of perception in and of itself does not change as a result. Conceptual knowledge only affects how you consider an entity as you perceive it - that is, you consider it implicitly as a unit. You perceive the entity along with automatized conceptual knowledge. This does not change perception qua perception, rather, it changes the conscious experience of perception.

>And say *why* it's important, what difference it makes (what would it matter if it were false?) and what problem it solves (what it's useful for)?

As the basis of all subsequent knowledge, precisely what is given on the perceptual level has implications not only for its own validity, but also for concept formation. If concept formation is the integration of percepts, and percepts are the automatic but *programmable* integrations of sensations, you would require a guide for proper perception, for proper integration programming, as you require for concept-formation. It solves the problem that people have in which they attempt to infer entities from sensations, taking them as the epistemological primary.

>What you are given is what your *conscious mind* is given, yet you seem to be making claims about which of the earlier layers do which things. How can you tell that based on what material is given to your conscious mind, other than by science?

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking here. Are you referring to sensation and perception as layers? The automatic processes?

>What period of time? And how do you know that? And doesn't that claim involve science? Or do you think, as a matter of logic, that nothing else could possibly work?

The period between the sensory chaos of infancy and the beginning of conception. It doesn't require science to establish that consciousness, as awareness of reality, must precede from the awareness supplied by the senses, to perception as an integration of sensations, to conception as an integration of percepts.

>You then provide quotes from ITOE without analysis, without arguments, and without a statement of the purpose of any of the quotes. What is that supposed to accomplish? There was a specific disagreement about whether a particular passage said a particular thing or not. This is not a followup which addresses that.

They were supposed to demonstrate agreement between Rand's position and what I am saying. After we get clearer on our disagreement, I can be more thorough with the analysis of the quotes if you like. Yes I recall that disagreement, I'm not sure I have anything new to add regarding those pages that I haven't already said. Are there any quotes that you believe line up with your position? I'm not sure if you provided some last time.


Scuro at 7:06 AM on November 16, 2018 | #11378 | reply | quote

> I think the claim that we perceive distinct entities through an automatic and uncontrolled process has important epistemological implication, as does a claim to the contrary. Whichever is the case, it's important to know.

What important epistemological implication?


Anonymous at 5:45 PM on November 16, 2018 | #11379 | reply | quote

>What important epistemological implication?

I indicated some in the preceding response:

>>As the basis of all subsequent knowledge, precisely what is given on the perceptual level has implications not only for its own validity, but also for concept formation. If concept formation is the integration of percepts, and percepts are the automatic but *programmable* integrations of sensations, you would require a guide for proper perception, for proper integration programming, as you require for concept-formation. It solves the problem that people have in which they attempt to infer entities from sensations, taking them as the epistemological primary.


Scuro at 7:59 PM on November 16, 2018 | #11380 | reply | quote

The perceptual level is *a portion of* the pre-conscious levels. You cannot judge what is given *by the perceptual level* using the information of what is given to your conscious level (which is given by the sum total of all the pre-conscious levels). The perceptual level does not directly hand off its info to the conscious mind.


Anonymous at 8:06 PM on November 16, 2018 | #11381 | reply | quote

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)