A Way To End All Crime page 3

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You are the ones pushing that genetics produce innate behaviors. That is one of the foundations of the “master race” theories. You are the ones saying that certain genetic factors will produce superior behavior in some and inferior behavior in others. I am pointing out that that is a bunch of bullshit.

A car can not think. If you knew exactly how someone reacted to a certain stimulus before then you may be able to predict how they would respond to that particular stimulus if exposed again, but humans can think and may have already decided to react differently to that stimulus because their first reaction did not produce a result that they liked. If their behavior were genetically predetermined they would not be able to change it. They would react the same exact way every time as they would have no free will to change their behavior or reaction.

You have it backwards. The environmental stimulus is the cause. Without the cause or environmental influence there would be no firing in the brain in response to it. That is nurture not nature. Nature, the brain is just where the firing takes place. The genes that produce the brain are not intelligent and do not know anything about what can happen to the organism. They are only chemicals that have come together in a certain order and they cause other chemicals to react in certain ways. They do not have intelligence and do not think out how to arrange the brain to produce behavior.

Without the environmental stimulus, nurture, there wouldn’t be any way for the person to react to the cause.

The other part of the brain as you call it did not make a decision. Even in your hypothesis, it could not have made that decision without the environmental stimulus first. Unless you think that the other part of the brain that you mention is somehow “psychic” and knows what is going to happen before it happens?

It would depend upon how far away the object was. The closer it is when you notice it the more likely that you will try to avoid it hitting you, because you already know that it can hurt you if it does. Not instinctual, you have already experienced the pain or have thought about how it could hurt you. The baby has not experienced or thought about it yet. Think line drive coming at you on the pitcher’s mound. Duck and stab at it.

If the object were far away you would have time to judge the distance and decide if you want to try and catch it or if you want to run out of the way. Think fly ball in baseball coming at you in the outfield.

How can the response be predetermined after you are exposed to something? That would mean that your genes have knowledge of things or situations before you are exposed to them.

Your predictions would rely on everyone having the same exact circuitry possibilities and then monitoring the changes from that standard. Everyone’s brain is going to be somewhat different in regards to where the circuitry will occur. Your brain and my brain will have different pathways for something as simple as the color blue.

If you were correct, doing that for a population is some serious “big brother” stuff and falls under the shouldn’t be done category.

I am aware of where you get your genetic make-up from. You may also have similarities with anyone you are a direct descendant of skipping a generation or two.

Electrochemical in the sense that chemicals cause/produce electrical impulses.

“The brain processes data. It needs data, but when it has it the only way it can process that data is through its circuitry. The circuitry it has, determines how it wioll process that data and what it will do with it.”

It is not already predetermined at birth what pathway will result from being exposed to a certain stimuli. If I were exposed to blue first and green second, blue would have the first available pathway in that part of the brain. If I had been exposed to green instead, it would have the pathway that blue caused. The circuitry is only there for impulses to be able to occur. Until I have further environmental input, the brain does not know what blue and green are, colors in English, or there names, blue and green in English.

The brain is a tool that through its evolution along with the rest of the nervous system allows a mind to exist.

I should have stated that if it were possible to grow the brain and keep it alive in a container that no personality would even develop. There would be no input to form it it from.

“They went from healthy sex lives up until the time they were caught, to a period of utter cold turkey, with no chance of getting that sex life back. Of course they’re going to turn to whatever they can find.”

Then why would they not just masturbate instead of having sex with someone that they are not supposedly predetermined to be attracted to? Easier just to imagine someone that you are attracted to.

The brain is just a tool. a part of your body in the same way as other organs are part of your body. The brain is part of the nervous system where input from your senses is processed. Your brain allows you to think. Your hands allow you to grab things, with the nervous system and the brain. Without the hands, and without artificial limbs, you can not grab things. Without the brain, you can not think.

What you do with that environmental input or information is what makes you you.

I do not have to post in this forums or be on this site. It was not predetermined in 1965, when I was born through my genes that I would be here now. I was not predetermined that I would like Internet gaming. My genes have nothing to do with me not wanting to own a cell phone.

My genes did cause the amount of taste buds in each area of my tongue which does influence whether or not I want to eat certain foods. It does not determine whether or not I will eat those foods. My genes do not determine whether or not I will forgo the extra helping of dessert. My genes do not choose whether or not I eat all of the chocolate cake at once or over several days. That is my choice and is free will.

My genes produced my digestion tract. Which in turn produce cause gas. My genes do not influence whether or not I will try to hold that gas back on crowded elevator or not. My genes may influence whether or not I am able to hold it back, but not whether or not I will try to. The attempt to hold it back is through free will. A decision based upon thinking through the consequences if I do not try and hold it back. Those consequences are known as a result of environmental input.

People make choices everyday, some of them are quite hard decisions to make. Some people make those decisions because of being brainwashed into a cult. That is a result of environmental influences causing their decision and not the predetermined behavior from genes. That is not free will. They did not think it through they did what they were told to do by an environmental influence. Their mind was made up for them, by other people.

Children are lied to all the time and they believe those lies. Santa, Easter Bunny, etc., etc. Those beliefs and the reactions to them are not a result of genetics. The reactions are a result of associations. They can have a good or a bad association. It is not predetermined which association that they will make.

For the record, I am 100% against the manipulative bullshit of getting children to believe is things that are not real.

Without environmental input, nurture, there can not be a who you are.

What you push with everything being predetermined by genetics basically means that there can not even be a who your are. You would be nothing more than a programmed automaton.

Who you are is defined by the choices that you make based upon decisions that you make. The brain simply makes it possible to process the input so you can make those decisions.

I will say that genes do produce the various areas of the brain and the nervous system parts that they correspond with, i.e. eyes to the visual cortex, ears to the auditory cortex, etc. That is so the body can receive the input and does not predetermine what decisions the person will make regarding the input.

 
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Just for clarification purposes. Free will does not violate laws of physics. It simply means that I can makes choices and/or decisions, but those decisions will not be able to violate the laws of physics.

I can choose to go outside right now and try to jump up and touch the moon. That is free will. I can not however actually jump from the Earth outside my home and touch the moon as that would violate the laws of physics.

Because I have free will I am able to operate by choice within the laws of physics.

 
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Originally posted by jim_vierling:

You are the ones pushing that genetics produce innate behaviors. That is one of the foundations of the “master race” theories.

Doesn’t matter whether it is a foundation of the Nazi belief system or not; if it is also the reality of the situation then we will keep using it. Would you abandon the theory of gravity because the Nazis used it to guide where their victims would fall?

A car can not think

The computer that controls a modern car is crunching variables and calculating constantly. Some of the most advanced can make decisions on how to drive, themselves. Fundamentally the process is much the same as our own brains use, with electron transference across gating being the driving force.

But we’re not even looking at the car itself in my original analogy; we’re predicting what the driver will do. Whether that driver is human or not is immaterial. If we understand the positions and movements of all the major surrounding factors, and the current position, stance and prior behavior of the target vehicle, we can precisely model what it is going to do. Its ‘free choice’ predicted accurately in advance, every time.

If you knew exactly how someone reacted to a certain stimulus before then you may be able to predict how they would respond to that particular stimulus if exposed again, but humans can think and may have already decided to react differently to that stimulus because their first reaction did not produce a result that they liked.

Only within the limits the circuitry in several areas in the prefrontal cortex allows. That’s where all abstract decision feedback comes from.

If their behavior were genetically predetermined they would not be able to change it.

A river’s course is determined by the terrain it flows over. The moving water also erodes the terrain. If a river was driven by natural processes, it would not be able to alter it’s course no matter how the terrain changed below it.

Is that really the argument you wish to go with? The capacity to analyse decisions and supply feedback for future ones is created by the genetic framework. Because it is natural in origin, we’re able to map it (and are closing in on the exact structures involved, within that area). Ultimately we will be able to model the neural columns precisely and recreate how a decision will change exactingly – because we can recreate all the pathways involved in decision making and see how they are weighted.

You have it backwards. The environmental stimulus is the cause. Without the cause or environmental influence there would be no firing in the brain in response to it.

Without the genetic structure providing the foundation there is nothing to make a response.

Try it. Take a breeze block and expose it to all manner of sights, and sounds. A constanty stream of environmental stimulii. If you are right the breeze block will grow a brain and become a living, thuinking entity in response to the environmental stimulii.

The brain is just where the firing takes place.

The brain is where the computation takes place. Without computation no input can be processed, and no output gained. The way the computation is structured determines how the inputs are processed and what is done with them.

The genes that produce the brain are not intelligent and do not know anything about what can happen to the organism.

Lines of code in programming are not intelligent, and therefore no dynamic, responsive, intelligently behaving software is, or will ever be possible, right?

Without the environmental stimulus, nurture, there wouldn’t be any way for the person to react to the cause.

I say again. Take a brick, or a piece of dead wood and experimentally prove it can be turned into a living, thinking being just by exposing it to a massive amount of stimulii. Since you continually claim the brain is an unintelligent lump of chemical processes that is not involved in thought, this should be easily doable for you and experimentally verifiable. We can btring inanimate objects of all kinds to life, if we follow your claim that nature-based circuitry is not required for cognition.

Good luck. Meanwhile in the real world, you cannot process data of any kind, without first havintg a structure that is capable of processing it. The nature of that structure deternmines what processing is carried out.

The other part of the brain as you call it did not make a decision. Even in your hypothesis, it could not have made that decision without the environmental stimulus first.

Theory, not hypothesis. A hypothesis has no data backing it up. Once the experimentally done, peer reviewed and repeated data backs it up, it becomes a theory, until or unless some data is found that disagrees with it. So far all data found not only agrees with this theory, but also other works reinforce it.

Unless you think that the other part of the brain that you mention is somehow “psychic” and knows what is going to happen before it happens?

No, but I do believe it is tied directly into the white matter highways of the brain and thus is capable of receiving data from other parts of the brain, and feeding data back – like sending details of the decision made back to the conscious mind section of the brain (prefrontal cortex) to make the mind think that it came up with the decision, when time-indexing shows the decision was reached and begun to be put into action before details reached the conscious mind. In other words that the conscious mind was not the originator of the decision.

I’m not going to address the rest of your post now; there’s no point as I’ll just be repeating the same points over and over (and so far you have not supplied one lick of evidence to back your own claims up). Everything comes back to these fundamentals. Until we can agree that computation happens in the brain, all thoughts occur in the circuitry of the brain, and the circuitry is natural in nature, we won’t get anywhere. After those basics are dealt with, then we can work on how the mind is not the originator of any decision, and how the way data is processed determines what the output will be.

 
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In other words that the conscious mind was not the originator of the decision.

If the conscious mind agrees with that decision wouldn’t that still make it free will? Even if your body is acting in some way and your brain is reaching a decision before you are aware of it, after you are aware of it and still carry it out that seems to me like a choice.

What about delayed choices? Are you going to tell me that if I decide that in three seconds I’ll swing my arm in a circle that my body is going to start doing that before I’m aware I’ve decided it? I’ll give you that immediate reactions that are outside one’s control are as you’ve stated, but I have to disagree that nothing we do is our choice.

 
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Does the conscious mind agree with that decision? Or is it simply an illusion of agreement from a decision reached elsewhere, being handed to your conscious mind, with your mind having no way of actually telling where it came from?

We don’t yet have the data needed to say either way, but given how the conscious mind is essentially a late-development to an already-existing brain, evolving late in the process, I place my money on it being the illusion of agreement from the data that was supplied elsewhere. It would explain why the conscious mind is always in agreement with the decision produced outside of that mind.

 
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It would explain why the conscious mind is always in agreement with the decision produced outside of that mind.

Erm. I disagree with myself pretty often. What I want to do is not what I do because what I want to do would be seen as very strange by other people. I’m constantly evaluating how I need to act in order to be semi-normal around people in social situations. I realize that isn’t quite what you’re saying, but I do think we disagree with ourselves because otherwise we wouldn’t change our mind.

How does it work on the neurological level when someone comes to a decision then rethinks that and comes to a different one? For example I want something to eat so I go to the kitchen intending to get a sandwich. Upon arriving there I decide that I don’t actually want a sandwich and instead make pasta. At some point I made the choice to not eat the sandwich, even if you want to argue that I made the choice to eat the sandwich before becoming aware of that choice. Even if I made the choice to not eat the sandwich in the same way, I was able to make a different choice after already having made a choice. You’re not going to say that I had decided from the beginning to eat pasta without knowing that, right?

Not being knowledgeable at all in neuroscience, could you tell me whether the following is correct? It seems to me, from what I know and from what you’ve said, that the conscious mind is a feedback system. Wouldn’t it be logical to conclude that this feedback system has an influence and is not just expressing the decisions already made in a more complicated way for no reason?

 
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Originally posted by Kasic:

Not being knowledgeable at all in neuroscience, could you tell me whether the following is correct? It seems to me, from what I know and from what you’ve said, that the conscious mind is a feedback system.

That’s accurate, yes. It’s something kinda ‘tacked on the end’ of a frankly, piss-poorly designed brain. (Which is what you get when you use blind evolution to design a computer.)

The job of the conscious mind is to generate abstract data as opposed to physical bodily-needs type data. We think it evolved as a side-product of our social nature. So yes, it is generating that data then passing it back inside the brain to be used.

Wouldn’t it be logical to conclude that this feedback system has an influence and is not just expressing the decisions already made in a more complicated way for no reason?

It has an influence yes. That’s the whole point of it. It is generating feedback data to help influence the next decision. However, there’s no evidence that it is coming up with decisions itself. Rather all the evidence (some of which I linked above) points to another area actually making the decisions.

There’s precedence in the brain for an area not knowing where it’s data is coming from, as the data generated by the conscious mind is often (probably always) treated the exact same way as physical data coming from the senses by other parts of the brain. So it would make sense if the way the conscious mind receives data was as a copy of the same mechanism repurposed, rather than evolving a whole new mechanism for the task. That is the way evolution tends to do it; repurposing existing structures where possible.

However, and what I was trying to explain to jim, that influence is governed by the way it processes data. There’s no evidence the structure of the prefrontal cortex is changing due to environmental data. More damningly, there’s no evidence of activity from the proteins involved in creating new circuitry in an area, when it is active. Whereas there is such evidence in the areas of the brain dedicated to storing memories.

This means that the prefrontal cortex is in essence a fixed system. If you like, a collection of GPUs, that process data in highly complex ways but ultimately use defined pathways to do this job. It’s a system we’ll be able to replicate. A system we’ll be able to emulate. Then use the emulation to predict exactly how that area is going to process data, before it even processes it, and know what feedback is going to be generated. The brain’s a chemical and ionic system, and ionic data transfer is slow. It’s only at the synapses themselves you see electrical activity jumping the gaps.

This means an electronic or optical system is going to outperfrom the brain for speed and get there first, if it is running an emulation of the same pathways. I’ve set these up myself with the peripheral nervous system, which is also ionic transfer. Signals travel at roughly 2m/s down an ionic pathway. The brain is slightly faster given that much of the transference occurs over synapse links rather than flowing down the axons, but it’s not that much faster.

So there’s nothing in theory stopping us from completely emulating the conscious mind, faster than the conscious mind itself can crunch data. If we produce an exact copy of the circuitry via that emulation, we’ll be able to predict exactly what data the conscious mind is generating, before it generates it.

Can it really be said to be ‘free will’ if it is fundamnentally always going to be fully predictable what that ‘will’ is going to generate? I don’t think it is. It’s just a computational pipeline, following the same old pathways each time.

For example I want something to eat so I go to the kitchen intending to get a sandwich. Upon arriving there I decide that I don’t actually want a sandwich and instead make pasta.

Problem there, is that’s not really an abstract thought process, and is rooted in physical bodily needs. My suspicion in that scenario is your hindbrain (specifically brainstem) is receiving sensory information from your gut telling it which resources are most needed, and the sandwich doesn’t (from memory of the ingredients) give the most important nourishment right now. So a cross-check with the hypothalamus occurs, which is where your hunger and desire for food is regulated from. The hippocampus is called upon for what foods are available that give what is most needed, and your decision changes.

We’d have to set up an experiment using fMRI EEG (EDIT: sorry, brain-fart on my part. fMRI wouldn’t work since it requires you be stationary, EEG would work) to check, but my suspicion is your higher thought processes won’t actually be involved in this decision circuit. The brain has specilised regions dealing with nutrient intake (and I’ve just named most of them).

You won’t realise anything’s changed until you’re informed of what you’re now having to eat (since your feedback on the decision is now required).

 
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Rather all the evidence (some of which I linked above) points to another area actually making the decisions.

Wouldn’t that other area still be considered “you” though?

Can it really be said to be ‘free will’ if it is fundamnentally always going to be fully predictable what that ‘will’ is going to generate? I don’t think it is. It’s just a computational pipeline, following the same old pathways each time.

I believe that it is. Being able to predict the outcome doesn’t mean there was no choice in the matter. That’s simply taking into account every variable and replicating the system in order to find the result without actually asking the person, who would have gone through the same sequence. It doesn’t mean that the person involved had no influence on creating that scenario where the outcome was going to be that (the feedback system of the conscious mind) and that they had no control whatsoever in picking an action.

I suppose I see it as working within the system. Everything is bound by rules. That’s the nature of the universe. Doesn’t mean that we cannot control ourselves or make our own choices, even if those rules can be used to make us not be able to.

The organic body I have, which I think of as me, makes decisions based off of what it is. My mind evaluates those actions and tries to change/direct those actions by providing feedback from past and current sensory data. That sounds like choice to me.

 
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It doesn’t mean that the person involved had no influence on creating that scenario where the outcome was going to be that (the feedback system of the conscious mind) and that they had no control whatsoever in picking an action.

A while back I watched a tellyprog (probably BBC Horizon, but not sure) in which a group of students were sent into a gym where a toy helicopter was being flown. They were told to enter the arena one by one and catch the helicopter when the power was turned off.

They all had different theories on how they did it – some thought it was all about speed, some said mental focus and so on. They were all wrong. The headcams they were wearing showed very clearly that they all picked an area of the wall and then kept the helicopter in view between themselves and their chosen patch of wall. None of them got it, not one. So they thought they were making lots of decisions, but actually those decisions had no bearing on what their brains were really telling them to do.

 
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Originally posted by Kasic:
Rather all the evidence (some of which I linked above) points to another area actually making the decisions.

Wouldn’t that other area still be considered “you” though?

It’s entirely beyond your will to change or to control. It is a part of your brain you as a person have absolutely zero control over. So no, it’s no more a part of your actual mind than the cerebellum is.

Being able to predict the outcome doesn’t mean there was no choice in the matter.

But it does mean that you have as much choice as a boulder rolling down a slope has a choice to follow gravity. It’s still a choice: Do what gravity tells you, or do what gravity tells you.

Same thing’s going on here. An external force is telling you what your choice is. Further that external force isn’t so much making a choice as balancing a weighted tree. In the end, it’ll come down to math.

I will admit there is a likelihood that quantum-level effects are going on that add some level of randomness into the system. All efforts towards replicating a brain in silicate acknowledge that it is possible material-based quantum fluctuations may not be fully replicatable when a different substrate is used. However, the jury is still out about whether or not those interactions actually matter once you get as large as the cellular level.

Still, it would be deceitful of me if I didn’t admit I am aware that may be a player in the process.

Doesn’t mean that we cannot control ourselves or make our own choices, even if those rules can be used to make us not be able to.

From my own perspective, the more I’ve learnt about the fundamental organisation and functioning of the PNS and CNS, the less control over the functioning of our own brains I’ve found we actually have. My decisions aren’t my own. They’re being made by something I have exceedingly little control over, and absolutely none of that control is direct. It’s one of several reasons I’m so keen to unravel the coding languages and structure the nervous system uses. Only by understanding the structure (and fixing a few major implantation and interface fidelity problems) can anything approaching an actual free will be made.

Right now, none of us actually have that free will. It is extremely limited and secondhand feedback only. That situation is unacceptable, along with many, many other inefficiencies, flaws, and downright baffling elements of the brain’s computation. (Baffling as in why in the sweet holy hell, does it do things thatway?)

The organic body I have, which I think of as me, makes decisions based off of what it is.

That would be a definite difference between us. I don’t see my embodiment as me. It has directly shaped large areas of my brain, but it’s not actually me, the person, and it can be changed. ‘Me’ is everything in my CNS I have control over, or can route signals through reliably.

My mind evaluates those actions and tries to change/direct those actions by providing feedback from past and current sensory data. That sounds like choice to me.

It isn’t, because at the end of the day your mind is just additional sensory data, added to the pile. The choice what to do with all that sensory data, is beyond your control.

 
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If you had no choice in the matter, you would walk in a direction until you came upon an object that you could not pass. At that time you would either walk off the cliff, walk into the water, walk into the wall or other object. You would not be able to change your behavior to get around the area.

The brain is an organ. It has no more bearing on who you are than your heart or your liver. It simply works in a way that lets you be able to become who you through nurture, your environmental surrounds, and the decisions you make regarding them.

There is no preprogrammed center of your brain making decisions for you. There is an area of your brain where the stimuli, environmental input, from the various sense related areas of your brain are correlated so that you can make choices about how to interact with your environment. That correlation is not predetermined, it has no knowledge. It is just how the organ is developed to be able to perform the functions necessary for the who to decide. Much like the heart developed four chambers to be able to perform its functions.

The brain is a what or thing and not a who. The brain is required however in order for the who to exist.

 
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At that time you would either walk off the cliff, walk into the water, walk into the wall or other object.

If you were about to walk off a cliff, wouldn’t your subconscious stop you as a matter of urgent self preservation?

The wall is more interesting. So a question to vika. Suppose you were walking across a plain, and came to a wall. It extends as far as you can see, with no obvious way round it or over it. Does your subconscious just give up, or it it still beavering away in the background while you think you’re dreaming up imaginitive ways to deal with the problem?

 
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Jim

Originally posted by jim_vierling:

The brain is an organ. It has no more bearing on who you are than your heart or your liver.

In the same way as the processors are just parts of a computer, sure. Strip every microprocessor out of your computer system, and lock them away. It’ll still boot up and run all your programs just fine, I’m sure. Just look at all that data streaming through those registers that aren’t there anymore.

The brain is an organ yes, but by far the most important one you have. It is where all your thinking is done. The central processing system for the entire body. You are just a tiny part on top, quite near the front.

There is no preprogrammed center of your brain making decisions for you.

Prove it. Please do. I’ve proven there is, many times now, throughout the course of this thread. Yet you still refuse to provide any data at all, to back up your claims. Why is that, I wonder?

I’ve asked you multiple times to do so, and each time you’ve steadfastly ignored my request in your otherwise detailed replies. Strange that, don’t you think?

  

beauval

Originally posted by beauval:

If you were about to walk off a cliff, wouldn’t your subconscious stop you as a matter of urgent self preservation?

No. This is one of the curious things about our brains, and also one of those major, major design faults I was moaning about earlier. Other than the feedback from the prefrontal lobe, your brain has no way of dealing with abstract data, such as “if I fall off this cliff, I am going to fall to my death”.

So, if you see you’re near the cliff edge with time to spare, your mind has time to process this fact, dump the sensory information into the decision making regions, from there have the information dumped into the prefrontal, and dump the secondary sensory information from the prefrontal, back into the decision making regions by a ludicrously roundabout route to supply the necessary sensory information that if we do this, we’re going to die.

However it is just sensory feedback, much like the mass of other senses. If you don’t register that you’re near the cliff edge, and your conscious mind doesn’t process this fact, your brain literally has no data telling it that if it walks off the edge, it’ll die, and you’ll walk right off of it blithely.

The brain knows the cliff is there. Visually you’ve seen it, audibly you’re hearing whatever is down at the bottom of it. You’re feeling the air currents, proprioception is telling your brain your footing is unsteady. But it lacks that abstract connection.

If you realise you’re going over the cliff as you’re going over, it’s too late. Your mind knows what is happening, but it still has to send that information down into the rest of the brain, and the rest of the brain will make the decision. Ironically the area that needs to know is in the cerebrum, below and in front of the prefrontal cortex, but the data will still be passed down and back towards the sensorimotor cortex, and way, way down to the cerebellum first before being passed back up. (Why both have to be told, nobody’s really sure. A duality between the two areas was first detected only a couple of years back. They’re partially mirroring each other’s functions for some unknown reason that just makes my job harder)

Designed by a madman that messaging system was. Or proof of extremely unintelligent design.

You’re just the sense warning the brain of the problem. The brain itself (ie not the prefrontal cortex) still has to process and make sense of that data, and reach a decision. By the time it has done that, you’re over the edge and gone.

The wall is more interesting. So a question to vika. Suppose you were walking across a plain, and came to a wall. It extends as far as you can see, with no obvious way round it or over it. Does your subconscious just give up, or it it still beavering away in the background while you think you’re dreaming up imaginitive ways to deal with the problem?

Still beavering away. Collecting data from every source it has, including you. You do have some control over your imagination, at least I think (hope) you do. Still not 100% on that, l and won’t be till we narrow down exactly which neural towers in the prefrontal are generating your imagination and the precise method they’re using to do that (optogenetic testing will tell us how, but we’ve got to narrow down which towers are actually involved, first). Still, psycology says you do have rather limited control over your imagination, and until neurology can give us a more definitive answer, I’ll have to use that.

Ultimately, you may ‘decide’ to ignore the wall and turn back, yes. However, you’ve not reached that decision yourself, rather it’s been worked out elsewhere then slipped into your inbox as if it was a conscious decision, when in reality, it reaches you after it’s been put into motion by other processes. Likewise if you ‘decide’ you can scale it. The decision arrived, fully formed and complete in your mind, overriding whatever plan you were working out the kinks of at the time, like new data overriding the keyboard input buffer on a home computer. Whatever you were actually doing atthe time was purged, and you’re given this new decision instead.

 
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I’m confused. What does inherent traits like strength, intelligence, sexual vigor, passed on via ones genetics, have to do with racial supremacy? The idea was in its infancy during the nazi era, and neo-nazis today just rehearse the same bad science used then. a more accurate example of genetic dystopia would be GATTACA.

 
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@vik

If your saying your reactions to certain situations are already pre-determined by the brain I have to disagree with you.

 
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Originally posted by champion17:

@vik

If your saying your reactions to certain situations are already pre-determined by the brain I have to disagree with you.

Good thing I am not claiming that then :)

If I was claiming that, I wouldn’t have neuroscience itself at my back. What I am claiming, is that the decisions we think we’re making, we’re not making. The decision to act is made completely outside our conscious control, in another part of the brain entirely, then given to us wholesale after it has been put into operation. For that claim, the science has my back, as the previous links I have given to the evidence, testify.

Decision making is not something we have any direct control over. We can feedback that “it was a good idea to act that way because…” or “it was a bad idea to act that way because…”, but that’s as much control over our actions as we ever get. Pure feedback. The actual decision itself is never made at a conscious level. We can tell this because activity starts in a different area of the brain to where the conscious mind lives. This activity transmits out, striking other areas of the brain which in turn send commands to the muscles to move, seconds before the activity is also transmitted to our conscious minds.

Because the decision has already been both decided on and put into play before our conscious mind has been given a copy of the decision (in other words before we’re even aware ‘we’ have decided) the decision cannot originate in our conscious minds.

Further the circuitry that does do the deciding, is not in a part of the brain where new pathways based on environmental stimulii are laid down. It’s in a part of the brain where our genetics and our gene expression are the sole deciding factors in what circuits will be laid down. The way our brains process data to make these decisions is thus determined by our genes, rather than our experiences. Our experiences still supply the data to be processed, but they don’t control the manner in which that data is processed.

  
Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

I’m confused. What does inherent traits like strength, intelligence, sexual vigor, passed on via ones genetics, have to do with racial supremacy?

I’m glad I’m not the only one seriously confused by that claim. It seems to be something along the lines of “The Nazis used reality during the pursuit of their goals. Therefore reality is inherently evil, and must be abandoned.”

Modern neuroscience is empirical evidence based. There’s no other way to reverse engineer the brain, than to examine how it actually works, and dismantle it piece by piece, examining how each piece fits together in the function of the whole. Jim’s claim is that makes the field inherently racist and I really do not understand where that viewpoint is coming from.

 
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Originally posted by champion17:

I just read a book that made me really think about this. In this book the government was really ran BY the people. If you stole from someone that person had the right to kill you for breaking into their own home whilst still having a military. Of course this book is a fiction but do you really think there is a way to end all crime?

Its imposable because we are humans and by being humans we have temptations. With temptations often follows crime.