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Coffee break

Started by Hardy Heinlin, Sat, 4 Jun 2011 17:30

Hardy Heinlin

But can an amoeba experience a quality, e.g. a color, a smell, a pain, a joy when it reacts on something in its way? Or is it just a robot controlled mechanism of numbers and counters?


^^

Garry Richards

Quote from: Hardy HeinlinBut can an amoeba experience a quality, e.g. a color, a smell, a pain, a joy when it reacts on something in its way? Or is it just a robot controlled mechanism of numbers and counters?
Just like us really, but with fewer numbers and counters.  8)
Garry

Website: flightsim.garryric.com

martin

Quote from: Hardy HeinlinBut can an amoeba experience a quality, e.g. a color, a smell, a pain, a joy
Do you know if I can?

Do I know if you can?

Certainly, we can exchange words [size=8](or paintings)[/size] on that subject, but do I know what you think your words [size=8](or paintings)[/size] describe?

Do you know if I know what I think you think your words [size=8](or paintings)[/size] describe?*

Infinite regress? **

 :shock:

* [size=8]As a matter of fact, do I know what I think?[/size]

** [size=8]"...the truth of proposition Pn-1 requires the support of proposition Pn and n approaches infinity.")[/size]

martin

Quote from: Garry Richardsbut with fewer numbers and counters.  8)
...and far less hassle with Reproduction:

O ---> o o
"Now we are two!"*  

 :shock:

* [size=8]with apologies to Winnie-the-Pooh[/size]

Hardy Heinlin

#44
Quote from: martinDo you know if I can?

I don't know.


QuoteDo I know if you can?

I don't know. But the "you" knows. The "you" which is writing these lines is experiencing black forms on a white  background, it calls them "letters on a monitor". These qualitities called "black", "white" etc. are definetely there in the "you" or being thrown at the "you", be it a so-called illusion or not, a dream or not. This is the truth.


Y-Y

Hardy Heinlin

#45
Quote from: martin... but do I know what you think ...

Quote from: HHBut ...

Why did we reply with "but" anyway? I see no opposition :-)

Actually, I forgot what the original question was :-)

martin

Quote from: Hardy HeinlinActually, I forgot what the original question was :-)
What do Amoebae think of qualia.
 :mrgreen:

Hardy Heinlin

Ah, ya.

That was just a rhetorical question!

Hardy Heinlin

I just looked at my screen desktop, at the upper right-hand corner where the clock is. The clock showed 00:00:00 right in that moment.

Such hits are extremely rare.

First I thought my clock has been reset. A second later the problem resolved itself.


|-|

torrence

Watch out for 11/11/11 11:11:11 soon - better than the Mayan calendar or binary equivalent of 666 !? Note this works with both US and European Mon/Day/Yr  Day/Mon/Yr conventions - also suspicious for the conspiracy inclined.

Re: "Do 'X' think/feel/smell/etc"  recommended reading is recent "The Information" by James Gleick.

Cheers,
Torrence
Cheers
Torrence

Hardy Heinlin

#50
Quote from: torrenceRe: "Do 'X' think/feel/smell/etc"  recommended reading is recent "The Information" by James Gleick.

Cheers,
Torrence


Re "The Information" by James Gleick -- thanks for the information. I just browsed the comments at Amazon, most readers give five stars.


|-|

Richard McDonald Woods

Hi Torrence,

Thanks for the recommendation re James Gleick. I have now ordered my Xmas reading list from Amazon. It consists of The Information, Brian Cox's The Quantum Universe, and Nathan Wolfe's The Viral Storm.

As a long-term follower of Richard Dawkins, I would by default have ordered his The Magic of Reality, but the chapter titles looked as though they could be a little too 'preachy' for me.
Cheers, Richard

Hardy Heinlin

#52
Good morning,

we humans scratch our heads when we discover a problem that needs to be solved (or a difficult question that needs to be answered; but questions are problems too).

Do apes do this also?

Why has evolution introduced this behaviour? Is it supposed to stimulate the blood circulation in the brain? Or is it a social signal like "I don't know; help me"?


:-)

|-|ardy

martin

#53
Greetings,
[size=8](scratching my head)[/size]
Quote from: hardyIs it supposed to stimulate the blood circulation in the brain? Or is it a social signal like "I don't know; help me"?
First, a bit of a conceptual trap here, i.e. a common misunderstanding (or rather outdated idea) of evolution: not every observable phenomenon (structure, behaviour)  has to have a functional significance (colloquially: "survival value") -- it may well be a "useless" side effect of something else.

I think that head scratching is in this category, and does not have a direct "functional value". The applicable term in classical ethology* (coined by N. Tinbergen, and discussed extensively also by K. Lorenz) is "Ɯbersprunghandlung".

The correct English technical term seems to be "displacement activity", but I also saw "substitute activity" and "behaviour out of context".

Essentially (= grossly simplified) it means that if an intended behaviour (in this case: solving a problem) is for some reason "blocked" (the problem is too difficult), the organism will "switch over" to some other behaviour completely unrelated to the original intended one. (One obvious criticism being that "unrelated" may very well depend on the observer and their knowledge...)
It's like a kind of "safety valve" which can release the "pressure" accumulated in a situation where the "normal" channels of action (esp. as commanded by "instinctive" behaviour) are blocked for some reason.

And yes, animals have it, too (this whole concept was developed in animal ethology). It can be seen e.g. in fights when both opponents are equally strong, and thus not quite sure if they want to fight at all, and what their chances are: They may switch  to "feeding behaviour", for instance (such as  cocks in a fight situation suddenly starting to pick at the ground for non-existent grains of food).

If you want to see it in your pets, watch out for situations where they appear "embarrassed" (they have perhaps done something they bl--dy well know they are not supposed to do, etc.). You may see it in their "general expression" already, and they may e.g. suddenly start preening themselves (of which head scratching is probably a variant).

The theory behind it is much more complicated than "safety valve". It may also be outdated (the whole classical idea of "instinct" is perhaps no longer generally accepted; I'm behind the times by now). And the concept certainly has been criticized.

So, read on here (in German)
or here (in English).


HTH
8-)

Cheers,
Martin
[size=8](pulling his leg)[/size]

* ethology (German: Verhaltensforschung): the branch of zoology studying animal behaviour.
(not to be confused with ethnology or ethics)

Hardy Heinlin

#54
Interesting. Thanks! :-)

To me, it seems a lot of those activities, which were originally just "substitute activities", have been established by evolution because it enriched the nonverbal communication with more "words", which then improved the social system of a group. Perhaps facial expressions (those hundreds of nuances in eye brow movement etc. pp.) may have been such random "substitute activities" originally.


Cheers,

|-|ardy

Richard McDonald Woods

I see such behaviour in apes. But I am wary of interpretations by 'scientists'. To me, it is just interesting to speculate.
Cheers, Richard

martin

#56
Quote from: Hardyit enriched the nonverbal communication
True in general.

(Konrad Lorenz' first major work was to analyze the evolution of the "ritualistic" gestures in the courting behaviour of various species of duck and geese. The significance beyond ducks was that he proved that behaviour traits are subject to evolution, and can be analyzed in the context of evolution, in the same way that structural traits had been analyzed earlier already.)

In our specific case of head scratching the question is then of course, why one would "wish" to communicate a conflict situation to one's peers. OK, in social species it may be a request for support; and Homo sapiens is a social species.
But it remains to be seen for how long...
(If in a meeting, do not scratch your head, it communicates (in the  eyes of your manager) incompetence. Giving a wrong answer in an assured and self-confident tone is a better strategy than honestly signaling ignorance... cf. "Imponiergehabe" ( ~ "showing-off behaviour")  :oops:  )

Cheers,
M

martin

Quote from: Richard McDonald WoodsBut I am wary of interpretations by 'scientists'
So are scientists!
[size=8](at least those without the quotes around them)[/size]
 :mrgreen:

Cheers,
Martin

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

#58
QuoteHomo sapiens is a social species

Some people over here don't believe this and think that social behaviour was introduced by the enemy to bring us down. But then, you're from Finland.    :-)

Quoteit communicates (in the eyes of your manager) incompetence

More advanced species of manager correctly interpret it not as a sign of incompetence, but as a sign of "lack of data" and respond accordingly.    :-)



Hoppie