I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path.
Is the truth pathless? I think truth is a path, but specifically an arbitrary path. We experience it on the level where we are interpreting many arbitrary paths working in tandem with our senses. We build systems of systems of representations in order to handle the stochastic behavior of our environment. Our mind is equipped with the biological technology required to continuously improve our representational systems with time and experience and adapt to the unexpected.
I do agree that organizations should not be formed to coerce anyone. However, I think that organizations formed to lead people are unavoidable and I disagree that they shouldn’t be formed. There are, of course, many weaknesses that organizations can experience. Just like people study can psychology and neuroscience to understand themselves, they can study sociology, history, and rhetoric to understand how to diagnose those problems in their organization. But as an organization’s weaknesses are as unavoidable as our cognitive weaknesses, there is benefit of a multiplicity of specialized organizations, because they create diversity in a “pool of truth” that can be used to adapt “guesses at the truth” to the unexpected or to new information.
“Her Path to Divinity” Bryan Kent Ward
[…] consciousness is so much more than an evolutionary accident or epiphenomenal to biochemical processes in our heads — consciousness is, in fact, fundamentally woven into the universe itself. […] What we are saying is that some degree of subjectivity is indeed present all the way up and all the way down the evolutionary ladder, from the tiniest quarks to the biggest brains. This consciousness can be loosely described as a ‘perspective-making, perspective-taking’ system that creates, collects, and organizes deeper, wider, more sophisticated points-of-view as it develops.
– Ken Wilber & Allan Combs (2010)
My bestie got me to reading We are Legion (We are Bob), a delightful sci fi tale where the fantasies of transhumanists and futurists go quirkily astray. The main character is a cryogenics customer who gets resurrected in an interplanetary dystopia as a simulated version of himself that feels fairly convincing, except when it does not.
This Brain Dissection video is… hey you get to see what happens if you donate your brain to science.
I’ve skipped ahead for you in the Mapping the Connectome talk to a really interesting theory on brain folding…
Also area 55b is worth specific attention to appreciate the findings of the Human Connectome Project
“. . .a process in which information about individual modalities of sensation and perception is combined into a unified multidimensional representation of the state of the system and its environment, and integrated with information about memories and the needs of the organism, generating emotional reactions and programs of behavior to adjust the organism to its environment.”
E.R. John quoted in The Mind’s I by Hofstadter and Dennett.
Peano-Gosper Curve art by me using The Gimp.
I just made this note while watching the lecture. It is probably also worth mentioning that though unique, we probably do see them similarly, but we’ll be learning about that through the Eyewire project I mentioned earlier.
Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness
Going to do a bit of reading along these lines I think. Paper takes awhile to load, by the way.