NOVELTY. DOES IT REALLY "EXIST"?

in #philosophy5 months ago

This is an attempt to look at the corona phenomenon from a less emotional and more philosophical perspective. Though it will trigger emotions anyway.

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First, I would like to offer a mental game.

Starting from the statement that viruses are an infinite number of viruses. The infinite number is not to be understood directly and literally as if there were an infinite number of different viruses, but rather in such a way that there is an almost infinite number of viruses that can be considered infinite because viruses cannot be fixated - i.e. their varying properties cannot be chiselled as un-varying into stone.

This means in this context that due to the constant change of all living entities on this planet - and those interacting with the living entities - no subject remains eternally the same, but is subject to a constant process of change according to internal and external influences.

It is important to acknowledge this assumption and let it sink in, so that the following considerations are not rejected.

If first this statement is accepted as positive, i.e. there is no fixated virus, which remains the same for ever, this raises the logical question, why a virus can be found as "new" or "never been found before" at all?

Let us go on to say, in order to be able to treat the topic at all, that there is a pool of viruses that is considered to be infinite, but that we assign the number 100 to it.

I know it's a contradiction, but I need it first to develop a thought that I have always tried to notice in the back of my mind, but which I have not yet been able to grasp.

I further claim, for example, that today's science has now identified 99 out of 100 viruses unambiguously and without any doubt, just like all subspecies of each virus strain. And now I say for example that the 100th virus is the Corona virus, here called Sars Cov2 or Covid19.

...Already now I stumble over this statement, because it should be known by now that "Corona" is not a single virus, but this term means a strain under which the different Corona viruses fall. Therefore the thought arises that it is strange that in February there was talk of a completely new virus, it should properly have read "a new subspecies of the Corona viruses". But more about this - maybe - later.

Theory of understanding everything

When the modern people of today say that they believe that, for example, human anatomy, just like the genome or the brain, is almost completely understood, the thinker hangs himself up on the word "almost". Basically, it means everything and nothing. Further, modern man assumes that if we already understand almost everything, we may not yet understand everything, but soon we will understand everything. And this brings me back to the example with the number 100 and that we are currently at 99.

But now I look at all viruses, from 1 to 99, and I say, for example, that number 28 of the identified viruses is the influenza virus strain. The number 28 has maybe 10 subspecies and these subspecies in turn differ strongly, medium and slightly from each other. And I then look at number 6 or 45 or number 84 and so on.

Changelings

How can I actually be sure that what I identified as number 100 today was not already contained in number 28, the influenza virus strain? What actually tells me without any doubt that I have found something completely new here? Isn't it also true that not only viruses are changing, but also the history of virology, that diagnostic methods are changing - from the simple to the electron microscope, for example - and that medical history in its entirety is constantly changing via the concept of conventional medicine?

And here, in any case, what is important is the human being himself, who is also subject to constant change, continuous processes taking place in his body, changing it and suggesting mini-evolution, because the human being is not a self-contained system, but is in permanent exchange with the environment. By breathing; by inhaling the gas mixtures necessary for him, by eating, eating vegetable and/or animal food, by drinking, ingesting water molecules and other microbes, by staying outside; absorbing sunlight, exposing the body to wind, rain, etc. And so on. So everything goes into one and onto one, so to speak.

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Every human being who processes and metabolises everything that goes into him and onto him in his own individual way is therefore unique, because nothing happens in the same and exactly synchronous way in another human body. If it were so, we would all look exactly the same, be the same size, have the same hair and skin color, our organs would be exactly the same and so on. If it were so, we could be put on top of each other accurately to form a homogeneous structure.

Difference is needed to experience sameness

So the further assumption is that we are different in our uniqueness because the differences seem to be useful. And can be considered aesthetic. It's quite boring to have subjects in front of you which all look the same. You may use sameness for art and then make the viewer of the art aware of "difference". Sameness is used for packing stuff. Square boxes can be packed much easier once you have them in the same sizes. Cities can be planed more easily when you draw square buildings and streets on a plan.

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Rooms can be easily tidied up when you have nothing in them and can sweep a squared space. If the surface is clean and plain you've got no problems in counting many of those clean things. Squared fields are easily harvested with the same machines. You get the idea.

But if sameness was such a successful concept, why on earth do we look different and why do plants and animals and rocks and bacteria look so different? But of course, we also look the same in numbers. Two arms, two legs, one nose, one mouth, two ears. One heart, two kidneys, one liver. One brain.

But back to the viruses.

Human Desire for Novelty

So if I want something new, how do I proceed so that I can credibly show the new to the world? I have to say that a thing that, although it comes from the billions of years of good old earth, appears as a total evolutionary newcomer, doesn't it?

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But now I ask myself, how exactly is that supposed to happen? Wouldn't I have to wait for exactly the right moment, just like the eye of God lets my gaze wander over the creatures of this earth, and then, in a moment of great clarity, pick up a being that has just formed itself anew? But from what has the being formed? Did it change from a fish to a vertebrate before my eyes?

Certainly not. As it seems, there are intermediate species, like the fish with legs. I don't know how long this interesting life form will exist, but you can still see some of them slinking happily in the mud. If something dies out, that we knew or saw before, we will notice it. But if something new comes along, it probably doesn't develop before our eyes, but rather happens in hints or even unnoticed, because it happens so slowly that we don't really see it.

With the assumed killer thing... What might be the reason for this assumption? Can it be ruled out that the will for novelty plays a role here?

Bam! Here it is?

So how can anything on this planet, in this solar system, in this galaxy, be "new" when everything is terribly old and moves incredibly slowly? Evolution is not just a snap and whoosh, from one moment to the next something completely innovative will come out of it. Even accidental or manufactured connections are not really new, they only operate with what is already there.

Man as an observer of his reality cannot really observe, because he does not get old enough to become a witness of something that describes a starting point and an end point, because nothing in his presence has not already begun before him and would not continue after his death.

The "new", is it not therefore rather a will and desire, sprung from the human spirit, the father of a thought, an idea? Is it not the vanity of the human being that lets itself be misled and absolutely wants to be regarded as discoverer?

Making it fit into a theory

Where something does not quite want to bow to this will of discovery, there it is just bent. Thus I must state that such things which want to sell themselves as "new" are actually always accompanied by human action. Biological evolution, it seems, does not set itself to work of its own accord to shake its own sphere from one day to the next.

Mutants do not simply come into the world as mutants and then do their evil mischief in superior numbers. Embedded in the field of non-mutants or only slowly mutating creatures, they do not have much to report, because they cannot really assert themselves. Something that deviates too much from evolutionary slowness, how is that supposed to be permanent or of significant presence?

It is only the human being who intervenes in this process as an evaluator, as a judge, who gives it all meaning. He points his thumb up or down.

Man sets a merely arbitrary boundary, simply designates a number, which from now on he defines as limit. And thus the allegedly completely new corona virus has appeared under the burning glass of our attention.

If you follow the thoughts expressed so far, we have a phenomenon that is not new. But we believe in it and we act as if it were possible that somewhere in the world - all of a sudden - something completely new is born and then comes over us.

It seems that we underestimate evolution and wish to accuse it of an unforgivable mistake.

We take it personally when something in the development and interaction of all living and existing earthly things disturbs our existence. We regard this disturbance as unacceptable. As if we were personally offended by the fact that evolution does its thing better than we do.

Which is probably due to the fact that we do not see ourselves as integrated in evolution but as excluded, isn't it? If we were to see ourselves as part of evolution, as part of a creation that we cannot really understand, how would we deal with the phenomena? Probably much more friendly. Less invasive.

The transhuman dream

Some claim that this very thing - the intervention in creation - is also a normal part of evolution. That man has created technical extremities, extensions of his sense organs, because that is the natural course of things. And that those who are against these technical innovations are the eternal yesterday. If such things had been born of kindness and fearlessness, I would probably have little objection. But I don't think that the idea of transhumanism was born out of serenity, joy of life and acceptance of human weaknesses and blemishes.

I think it is a megalomaniacal part of the human mind that fears its own demise and finds death unacceptable. But we have also understood that around us in the universe, death is constantly happening, right?

Not even the sun will be able to rebel against its death and will eventually perish. At least we make this statement. If we assume supernovas to flash gamma lightning through our universe, how can we even wish that our biological existence must be preserved?

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But this is exactly why the transhuman idea says: then we will no longer be human beings, not biological beings, but technological ones. I laugh (and fear) at this idea because I find it less than infantile, because it is hatched by adult brains, not by children. So we are to become machines? At some point transfer our consciousness into a machine being and then attain immortality?

... For me, this is the scariest idea of all: forever trapped as a machine consciousness that would have to kill itself because it would be otherwise immortal. I wonder how long it would take until the transhumanist, who "stored" his consciousness on a metal hard disk, would longingly wish for a carnal existence. It would beg to be allowed to experience a carnal touch only once, to be allowed to become really ill only once, to have sex only once. Begging, begging, this consciousness would beg to be allowed to die.

Of course, it could also become completely crazy. And indifferent. Forget itself and everything. Who wants to know that for sure? It could fall asleep from boredom, because now in its immortality it could see and do everything. And destroy everything which tries to wake it up by a built-in mechanism. It would have enough time to invent such a mechanism.

Closeness and Touch

Whatever. At the moment we see that we want to breathe, love and touch carnal beings, which are biological through and through. We will not die because a supposedly new virus will kill us. As always, we die most when we kill and harm each other. By omission or by action.

Both argumentative sides will not convince each other of the correctness of their arguments, basically an almost hopeless venture, because there is probably none of these two sides. The ones who say "Help, the virus is killing you and me!" support the argument of the apparent opposite side, which says "Help, the omitted operations and other health problems are killing you and me!", because they start from one and the same attitude: That illness and death are unacceptable.

The value of non-avoidance

There is indeed an alternative view, the one that does not support avoiding the occurrence of illness. That considers the entry of disturbance in a habitual order as potentially valuable. Only when I have overcome a disturbance can I appreciate the order as such again. Only when I have experienced a phase of pain, physically and mentally, do I appreciate the experience of non-pain.

The unconditional desire to avoid illness and pain altogether, however, leads to a state of avoiding life itself. To stay into a comfort zone, unchanged, will turn itself into the exact opposite: a non comfort zone, where everything will be fought against that threatens the comfort and therefor turns itself into absurd horror.

You can already start to count the stories from the street.

There was this event in Germany, Göttingen, where they shut down a whole building and put the people under quarantine. I think, they were seven hundred of them which had to stay in their tiny apartments, mostly people from foreign countries. A huge fence was erected around the area and police were placed to watch the rules.

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To avoid being infected by the virus, they closed a huge building and forbid all inhabitants to move around. Then it does not count that people start to get mad inside. That they might become violent towards each other. That they might get sick from other illnesses and that happenings occur that the outside world could not think of. Reality always comes up with the unpredicted. This can be seen as a concentration camp. Why? Because, literally, the authorities and frightened people concentrate on only one thing: the virus.

You don't even have to send in people who torture those imprisoned ones, you just have to make them afraid and insecure, give them no information and reason for this form of treatment other than "you are a threat to humanity" and you will end up with war between the prisoners if you do it long and strict enough.

Of course, not everyone will turn into a criminal or mad man. Of course, there is the chance that you will have sensible humans who start to work together instead against each other. To stay sane, you gotta break the rules, no? But for those who felt this situation as horrible and unbearable you created trauma. Which has to be healed and taken care of.

I can beat myself with my own argument and say: But then you also overcame a situation of un-freedom and will feel the value of freedom even more so.

That's right. To appreciate to be free, I cannot avoid the experience of being unfree. The whole event for sure counts as a story of adventure, ... once it's over.

But this is the point: How long can we people endure this state of avoidance? Are we so mature and wise that we calmly and serenely view the crisis as something potentially valuable? Maybe so. I don't know.

For my part I was more of an adventurer than a security seeker throughout my life. Not a saver but a spender. Living from day to day more often than going into detailed planing. Actually a misfit, without being recognized as such, for I held connection to what one sees as adaptation to the main stream, and little escapes here and there from it.

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For me, mis-fortunes are a source of story telling.

Which misfortune has not killed me, put me into the situation to talk about it. Maybe a bridge walker.

I don't want to become a machine. I dislike being dependent on machines instead of people. Dependence on people for me, is more realistic and biological coherent. I dislike being navigated through town and landscapes by a digital device. I prefer to keep track by trying to remember the roads. I disagree with machine helpers which remind me on all appointments, tell me my own phone number or store my personal memories. I highly disagree on labeling people through scanning through their "social media" activities and statuses.

In order to become no member of a new order or transumanly effort I hope to die sooner than later. Not tomorrow. Not next year. ... Maybe ... maybe people have to die earlier and their average life span shall decrease instead of increase. Because, after all, when things develop so fast, I don't want to hold that pace. Even with the age of fifty I feel like between my son and me there is not one generation but several. It feels like he lives in a total different world I live in.

I am slow by my nature. Why should I let myself being forced towards a notion in which mono-causes seem to have a come back? It seems that science in its actual meaning only had a short life span and is now being replaced again by superstition. Where does it come from if not from fear of the unknown? The unbending will to understand everything to the fullest, while I feel that this never will happen to its fullest? ... Other than maybe in the moment of ... death?

Have a good day.

Keep to adventures of unforeseen nature.

But don't pick the hardest one.


Picture Sources:

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death is the most natural thing.. not transhumanism..

still all my friends seem to like the idea of transhumanism (they clearly watched too many animes and dont think straight anymore) which makes me fear

All of your friends? Or many of them?
Watching those movies is fun, I think. I like to watch those movies, too. From what I think is that the movies do not show me a future but a fantasy. Did you ask your friends if what they know about transhumanism presents themselves as a future wish or is it possible that it's more of a present fantasy they like to talk about?

more like a future wish

more like a future wish

It's sort of the intellectual equivalent of having a "brain baby".

It's not "you", but it has some similarity to "you".

I think you answer part of what you say, because you say how can novelty exist? But you also say, we live in constant change, so if things change and are different each time, they are always new. Things live by renewing themselves, they are in part totally the same, in a part that may not have changed, and in part totally different, in a part that has changed. Or if you say that everything changes, they are totally different, and therefore new, always.

Although I am one of those who believe, that in essence, things remain (almost) always the same, and change a lot but (almost) only in appearance. It's like there are new ways of looking at the same thing, the old in a new package, maybe it's really new, I don't know.

And on death, I see death as something we have to live, as something necessary, it is a biological need and even of everything we are, therefore it is not good to see it as something bad, but as something that we all must go through sooner or later. It is better to make peace with death than to live in fear of it, because a life lived in fear is not worth living.

We must know that our life here ends with a death, it is the natural end, and it must be, if everything goes well. For me, living like a machine, like a tool, is not even an option.

Regards!

It is a thinking problem that we have to deal with. Your hint that I answered the question myself and how you put it into words raises new questions in principle.

so if things change and are different each time, they are always new.

If something existing becomes something new, then the question arises at what point exactly (in a period of time / or space-time) such a transition - from the existing old into a new - happens, doesn't it? When an egg cell and sperm cell fuse together, are they something completely new? Or are they a combination of something existing with something new - or better: something different?

Things live by renewing themselves, they are in part totally the same, in a part that may not have changed, and in part totally different, in a part that has changed.

Which part remains the same, which part changes and contains the old and the new equally, and which part is completely new? In principle, this cannot really be said, because you cannot separate parts that remain the same, parts that have changed slightly and completely new parts, because they always form a whole, I think. It would make no sense at all for the growth process to make a separation, because this would interrupt the growth and thus destroy it.

The transition from a cell cluster into a foetus into an embryo cannot be considered as separated from each other, because after all the cells are still present from which the living being grows. However, it can also be said that these primordial cells are subject to change and through growth and ever new connections to the end of a baby's growth in the womb may no longer be completely identical with their own initial stage.

Actually the term "novelty" is misleading and one would have to say "otherness", which in turn is linguistically connoted quite differently.
For example, if the virologist says "I have identified a different virus", it would sound less dramatic (or scary) than if he says "I have discovered a completely new virus!

"New" suggests something unknown. Something that we don't know suggests that we don't know how to deal with it. It suggests that this newness does not allow old familiar considerations, is not accessible to common treatments and methods.

My thesis is: Since we can't really know, spreading the news that we have discovered something new is rather questionable and should make us skeptical. We really can't know when something old has turned into something new, because we never really know the point where this transition actually takes place, nor do we know the exact time period, i.e. the exact duration of the change process. All we can do is to artificially create this interface and say: That's what we suspect here and that's why we make a cut here. Then we define the point in time. So we cannot speak of knowledge, but only of consensus and agreement in our considerations.

I agree on all points with you considering "death".

When an egg cell and sperm cell fuse together, are they something completely new?

No.

"egg cell" is an abstract ontological fabrication.

"sperm cell" is an abstract ontological fabrication.

All "matter" is energy.

Energy is anti-static, necessarily in transition constantly (in service of the second law of thermodynamics).

There is no such "thing" as an "electron".

An "electron" is a pattern of energy (constantly accepting and releasing "other" energy) that is never exactly in the same "place" at exactly the same "time".

Instead of thinking of "particles" as distinct "points", try to imagine them as "scatter patterns" which leave a long tail through time and pierce into an opaque future, splitting themselves and recombining themselves into various subtle variations and transformations.

A human is also a "scatter pattern".

You are simultaneously your earliest childhood memory.

That is beautifully expressed by you. Yes, I also experience reality in such a way that we cannot pin things down on separate situations and fix them compulsively. The boundaries of what we know and do not know are fluid and not set. Setting is always a deliberate act to be able to make decisions. This is also necessary, but should be accompanied by calm consideration and trust in our potential. Much of what we excitedly wish to change does not require correction. And those things that could be cultivated thoughtfully and wisely, we then neglect as a result of overanxiety and actionism.

I am glad, that you did not say "a human is simply a scatter pattern." Makes a huge difference towards what you've expressed earlier (or later? I lost track:)

Your acknowledgement is appreciated.

If something existing becomes something new, then the question arises at what point exactly (in a period of time / or space-time) such a transition - from the existing old into a new - happens, doesn't it?

That transition occurs at the exact moment the change occurs. What changes becomes different, and if no change is verified, then it would remain the same, old as before.

Actually the term "novelty" is misleading and one would have to say "otherness", which in turn is linguistically connoted quite differently.
For example, if the virologist says "I have identified a different virus", it would sound less dramatic (or scary) than if he says "I have discovered a completely new virus!

Perhaps the virologist should not say that he found a completely new virus, but he did find a partially new virus, because it is partly different (or new) and partly the same as before (or old); partly it is new because it is not exactly the same as its predecessor; but in part it is the same because it is not completely new but there are parts that remained unchanged that make them like SARS, otherwise, we would not relate them but we would see them as two different viruses.

Therefore, despite being a whole, apparently there are parts that differ in their qualities.

"New" suggests something unknown. Something that we don't know suggests that we don't know how to deal with it. It suggests that this newness does not allow old familiar considerations, is not accessible to common treatments and methods.

Yes. But the same applies to the word "different" or "other", how can you know something that is different from what you know? How can you use the same treatments and methods for something that is completely different?

A counterpart for your thesis would be to say that, although it is true that we cannot know exactly when said transition occurs (from the same to the new), that does not mean that said transition does not occur, we do know that such transition occurs, and it is best to assume that as things are constantly changing, things are constantly being renewed and are permanently new. In this case, the novelty would be the most common thing in the world.

My real point is probably that I don't want only the general consensus to determine my highly personal moments of transition. I find that consensus can also contradict my personal or intimate need to know when something is "new" for me. Whether it is health or habit. There is a highly personal, mine, health and habit. But when the general public starts to penetrate so much into this intimate area, I build up resistance.

I begin to question, as I do now, the entire construct of my previous life. On the one hand, this can be very enlightening, on the other hand, it can be very frightening.

An example: In Germany it is legal for a woman to have an abortion until the third month of pregnancy. It is common for her to swallow the contraceptive pill until she is on average thirty years old. Aborting a pregnancy is a highly intimate decision, but it is nevertheless considered a legal as well as moral decision for the general public.

But what is generality? Is it a judge who sentences me for having an abortion from the first day after the third month? Or is it not rather my very direct social environment that might try to influence this matter? It always depends on who I am dealing with. Is it the doctor? Is it my husband? My family? Who is it? It is always those people I decide that I will allow to have an influence on me. Not the ones I don't want to be influenced by. Isn't it also the growing life inside me that I want to "listen" to? My personal attitude towards what I define as living?

Fortunately I never came into this dilemma. However, as far as the contraceptive pill is concerned, I would decide differently today than when I was a young woman. The entire market of contraception on the one hand and artificial insemination on the other hand is exactly that for me: a sales market. If I decide not to become pregnant, I have other means that seem worth considering. Women should educate women, not primarily school or the state.

Yes, you raised a good point. We can equally define everything as "new" when we speak of a constant change in human existence, biologically and socially, planetary.

But what bothers me most is the loss of individual choice. This must and should be possible, because if I am only presented with external, i.e. legal, moral, cultural, political, economic, biological, psychological factors and consents, then I lose my sovereignty.

Thus a physician must not refuse to help me and, for example, refuse a medical certificate and suggest to me that I am only imagining my suffering. It is ultimately up to me to decide whether I classify myself as healthy or sick, fit for work or not.

At present, however, the lawmaker says when I have to be considered sick. That is an absurdity. It is a gross violation of my sovereignty and presents me as common property, as the property of those who want to force me to obey. This is the opening of Pandora's box. And probably only time will make us forget again that what has escaped from the box as a poisonous and foggy vapor that misleads the senses may finally dissolve into sound and smoke.

I see. I can understand what you say. It is a matter of individual choice, as you say, but we must know that our choices have consequences and that choosing carries responsibility, so it is not simply about doing what we want. All of society and other external agents try to intervene in our decisions because, in theory, they want to control us and make us do what they think is right, that's not the way and in a perfect world that would not happen, but we must know that, despite this, we do have to choose wisely and be fully aware of what the decisions we make mean.

In the end, it is something very intimate as you said yourself, because nobody should tell us how to exercise our freedom, and nobody can tell us what is right and what is not, because no one knows exactly what state we are in and what we can and cannot do, and what is the best we can do, which would be the right thing to do, and since no one knows that, it is a personal decision that we must make and face.

I don't know, but its complex.

"New" suggests something unknown. Something that we don't know suggests that we don't know how to deal with it. It suggests that this newness does not allow old familiar considerations, is not accessible to common treatments and methods.

SARS/COV-2 is not properly "novel".

This much should be obvious from the official name.

"New" suggests something unknown. Something that we don't know suggests that we don't know how to deal with it. It suggests that this newness does not allow old familiar considerations, is not accessible to common treatments and methods.

SARS/COV-2 is not properly "novel".

This much should be obvious from the official name.

"New" suggests something unknown. Something that we don't know suggests that we don't know how to deal with it. It suggests that this newness does not allow old familiar considerations, is not accessible to common treatments and methods.

SARS/COV-2 is not properly "novel".

This much should be obvious from the official name.

Yes, isn't it irritating that people do not stumble over the name?

We must know that our life here ends with a death, it is the natural end, and it must be, if everything goes well. For me, living like a machine, like a tool, is not even an option.

Please explain.

It is an inside joke that I make when I have heard some transhumanists say that their "improvements" to their body will help them to be more productive in cases like work, which turns them, in my opinion, into tools, like "a hammer is more useful than a fist" or something like that.

I say it's not an option because I don't think I would.

Wow.

That sounds like dreaming about having the powers of superman so you can pull some double-shifts at your construction job.

The "promise" of "transhumanism" is to make human communication more seamless and error-free.

The whole idea is to transcend the drudgery and isolation (and inevitable pain) associated with "the human condition".

A kind of. But we will always be human, whether we accept it or not, the aim to make the human less human seems destined to fail when we understand that we are not only human in body but also in mind. We think and feel inexorably like humans. It's like changing the appearance of something even though deep down it remains the same. I don't know if it is possible for humans to be able to change their human nature, leaving aside the question of whether that would be a good or bad thing.

The "human experience" would seem to include quite a broad scope.

What do you mean?

Helen Keller.

It seems that science in its actual meaning only had a short life span and is now being replaced again by superstition.

People conflate "science" with "knowledge".

People conflate "science" with "research".

People conflate "consensus" with "authority".

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "PROPRIETARY (CORPORATE SECRET) SCIENCE".

PUBLIC SCRUTINY AND PUBLIC USE IS THE CORNERSTONE OF "SCIENCE".

COPYRIGHT = THEFT

Yes, I agree.

Well, I wasn't expecting that response!

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...this raises the logical question, why a virus can be found as "new" or "never been found before" at all?

You've done a great job of outlining the basic ONTOLOGICAL PROBLEM.

Did the first chicken egg come from a proto-chicken (OR) did the first chicken hatch from a proto-chicken egg? It's really just an ONTOLOGICAL CHOICE.

When (or if) we are able to copy human "consciousness" into a machine, it will only be able to "survive" in a simulated body and a simulated environment.

Like this,

Thanks for that video. There is a lot movie material dealing with this type of futurism.

Did the first chicken egg come from a proto-chicken (OR) did the first chicken hatch from a proto-chicken egg? It's really just an ONTOLOGICAL CHOICE.

Yes, I have considered this question in my comment to @vieira above. I also think it is a choice and not an answer to the question of how life comes into being.

To download human consciousness I consider complete nonsense. Consciousness cannot be isolated from the physical biological existence, otherwise it would be something different than human consciousness. It would be "machine consciousness".

When a human being is born, he learns body coordination just like language only through the presence of his body, i.e. his senses: eyes, nose, mouth, ears, tactile perception. Physicality cannot be simulated technically, because this simulation would not be physical, so it is a thing of impossibility to make an embodied simulation. A simulated body would still have no hunger and thirst, no physical pain, unless it was still physically present. Only through the body-mind connection is a human being a human being. If this connection is severed, it is no longer a human being. The human would be lost and one would no longer have anything in common with a human being. Common would be the idea of man, which is something else. A simulation does not reflect reality, it is like a fraud on it.

I remember in this context the film with Tom Hanks, where he plays the captain of the aircraft that landed the passenger plane on the Hudson River. The attempts of the "experts" to use simulation to prove that he could have flown to an alternative airport are a good example of the fact that simulations are basically not good for reproducing reality, at best they can be quite useful for developing basic mathematical or physical knowledge and for imagining things better. This is also because education today seems to be moving away from the material view in the classroom and instead of real matter tries to impart knowledge about the virtual and abstract.

So it remains something different when I put my foot in cold river water and experience the real sensory impressions compared to the mere imagination of this scene. Perhaps if I really go deep - and not superficially - into the imagination and evoke real memories of cold water on my feet, that my feet will actually go from warm to cold. That would be an outstanding achievement, I would think.

But: a woman who never was pregnant in her real physical life cannot evoke this experience in simulation because she never had it in reality.

Furthermore, a simulation, can only reenact conscious (input) processes, but by its very nature cannot play the unconscious. People usually breathe without being aware of the continuous breathing. The simultaneity of breathing, heartbeat, metabolism, cell activities etc. are all unconscious processes. A simulation acts as if it could imitate such processes. But if you think about it carefully, these processes would also have to happen in their unconscious simultaneity, but would have to be programmed one after the other, in linear sequences. But how should linear sequences experience simultaneity all by themselves?

Great, that you commented here.

Great, that you commented here.

I am honored by your attention.

I'll be back tomorrow.
Honored by your patience and willingness to debate.

But: a woman who never was pregnant in her real physical life cannot evoke this experience in simulation because she never had it in reality.

Chemical triggers can stimulate the physiological and emotional symptoms of pregnancy.

If the electrical signals to your brain can be replicated, then entirely "new" experiences can be encoded.

For example, in a dream you might be older or younger than you know yourself to be.

For example, in a dream you might be able to breathe underwater, or fly like a kite.

Your dreams are not like recordings, they are amalgamations of aspects, "new" constructions of somewhat familiar "building blocks".

But man is a much more complex being just like his environment, other people, planetary influences and so on make him think thoughts, experience feelings or reflect on them and question his life and the opinions of others.
I talk to people who take antidepressants, for example. They say: "Since I have been taking the pills I feel more balanced, but at the same time I can neither cry nor laugh heartily. I miss it, but I'm afraid to get these emotions back in their full strength."

You can already see from this that "simple" hormonal manipulation is not enough. People also always approach their psychological impressions, have contradictory thoughts and emotions in one and the same situation.

You cannot simulate pregnancy, because what is really missing is the growing life in the woman. Where nothing has settled there, no connection can develop.

The fact alone that there is a life forming in the womb and the fact that these two - the new life and the mother - are forming a unity with each other cannot be simulated. A pregnancy lasts nine months. You cannot simulate that the belly begins to grow, the breasts as well, just like all the other countless changes that a pregnancy brings about.

For such a simulation, you would have to put a woman in a coma and then try to produce all the hormonal substances that fake such a thing. However, you would still not have an embryo that in turn affects the entire organism of the woman. You would not have the pressure of a baby's weight on the organs and so on.

A visitor who came into the room and saw the woman lying there in a coma would never say, "Oh, look, a pregnant woman."
Pregnancy also includes the social environment, the reactions of fellow human beings who have a decisive influence on it. If the pregnant woman experiences a benevolent environment, this will also have an effect on her hormonal and other biochemical processes in the body. She will react emotionally to the outside world.

Pregnancy is an excellent example because it puts an end to non-sense, a situation that can only happen in the same way and not in a simulated way.


yes, dreams are different. While sleeping and dreaming everything can be possible. Also, tripping is different.

...this will also have an effect on her hormonal and other biochemical processes in the body.

Yes. Gestation and (strong) emotion are electrochemical interactions.

Bearing your own child is one of the most rewarding experiences possible.

Raising an adopted newborn is one of the most rewarding experiences possible.

I just used the terms "biochemical" and "hormones" because of you, not because of me. So that you can understand me. But I actually prefer not talking about biochemicals or hormones as those are empty terms for me.

Emotions are not electrochemical interactions, at least not for me. Emotions for you to see are "crying", "laughing", or "sobbing", "giggling", or "frowning", "raging" or "feeling sad" - But electrochemical processes you cannot sense, why altering language to something abstract when the non-abstract tells it directly?

It saddens me. I feel that the world around me wants to be de-humanized and trans-humanized. I don't want to live in this kind of world. I don't understand it...

It saddens me. I feel that the world around me wants to be de-humanized and trans-humanized. I don't want to live in this kind of world. I don't understand it...

Your immediate, visceral experience of living and breathing is authentic.

At somepoint we will be able to create an artificial (lucid/matrix-style) dream experience.

This will be especially therapeutic for the elderly and the disabled.

This will also undoubtedly be used as a form or entertainment for those who feel trapped in their oppressive tiny lives.

However it will not be the same as what you are feeling now.

It will be like a dream.

That's the difference.

How old are you?

Furthermore, a simulation, can only reenact conscious (input) processes, but by its very nature cannot play the unconscious.

Every time you enter a cathedral, your subconscious is being manipulated (simulated).

Every time you see a picture of food you desire, your subconscious is being manipulated (simulated).

Every time you hear a recording of sounds you find pleasant, your subconscious is being manipulated (simulated).

Your subconscious mind is actually significantly more naïve than your conscious mind and is much more susceptible to simulation.

Hey, should I say "good morning" to you?

hmm ... we define simulation differently, I think. For me, simulation tries to copy a process as accurate as possible. Also, a situation of either the past or the future. Like the example with the Hudson River landing (simulation of what "had happened") or the simulation for the future, for example weather forecastings, of what "will happen".

What you presented are situations in which people are confronted with sensory impressions of subjects and objects, "cathedral", "pictures", "sounds". Those, I would say, are influential factors, not a simulation of something but a real experience in which a human is moving right then.

I walk into a cathedral. I feel the greatness of the room, I hear the echo of my steps, I smell a certain odor, I perceive an atmosphere of silence because I hear people in the very far end whispering, and so on. That is real life experience, not a simulation.

I also would not necessarily name it "manipulation" but "influence". It can either have a pleasant, a neutral or an unpleasant one. Manipulating would take place when the cathedral builder wanted me to have particular his thoughts, while walking the isles. But that does not happen. So it's not manipulating, other than you define "manipulation" as a neutral expression, than we are probably on the same page here :)

I haven't watched the video, so maybe I missed something which put your answer into context of it.

Hey, should I say "good morning" to you?

hmm ... we define simulation differently, I think. For me, simulation tries to copy a process as accurate as possible. Also, a situation of either the past or the future. Like the example with the Hudson River landing (simulation of what "had happened") or the simulation for the future, for example weather forecastings, of what "will happen".

What you presented are situations in which people are confronted with sensory impressions of subjects and objects, "cathedral", "pictures", "sounds". Those, I would say, are influential factors, not a simulation of something but a real experience in which a human is moving right then.

I walk into a cathedral. I feel the greatness of the room, I hear the echo of my steps, I smell a certain odor, I perceive an atmosphere of silence because I hear people in the very far end whispering, and so on. That is real life experience, not a simulation.

I also would not necessarily name it "manipulation" but "influence". It can either have a pleasant, a neutral or an unpleasant one. Manipulating would take place when the cathedral builder wanted me to have particular his thoughts, while walking the isles. But that does not happen. So it's not manipulating, other than you define "manipulation" as a neutral expression, than we are probably on the same page here :)

I haven't watched the video, so maybe I missed something which put your answer into context of it.

Those, I would say, are influential factors, not a simulation of something but a real experience in which a human is moving right then.

Specifically "pictures" and "recorded sounds" ARE definitely simulations.

A picture of your family is not your family, and yet it is a simulation that triggers a strong (subconscious) emotional response.

Looking at old photographs is a simulated experience.

:-D haha, it's funny how different we deal with those scenes. I guess, the reason why I put "pictures" and "sounds" into the same category, is, that I created a whole scenery in my imagination in which it is not just a moment of seconds without any give context but an experience, IN WHICH I hear music and start dancing, a situation IN WHICH I look at a photograph while I show it to another person.

But you are right, if I just take the mini scene, music and a photograph can be seen as simulations of something I already experienced and which then comes back as memories or emotions.

The situation in the cathedral is not a simulation for me. It's a real time experience.

The cathedral is like a (painting or) photograph in the same way that a sculpture is like a photograph. A cathedral is a sculpture you can experience from the inside. Sort of a sculptural envelope. A "new world" (VR).

Here I found an answer two months ago, which I forgot to forward it to you :)

I beg to differ. A cathedral is a cathedral. A painting a painting and a photograph is a photograph. I can't experience any of it in the inside, if I haven't experienced it already in real life.
I can only make comparisons if I have two things to compare to one another. One real, one virtual.

A man, who grew up in the jungle and never in his life has seen a ship won't know it's a ship. He could not make any virtual connection to its purpose, function and parts.

The real thing is not in any way similar to the virtual. If you think about it in depth, there is no such thing as similarity.

I walk into a cathedral. I feel the greatness of the room, I hear the echo of my steps, I smell a certain odor, I perceive an atmosphere of silence because I hear people in the very far end whispering, and so on. That is real life experience, not a simulation.

Imagine a purely "natural" world with no detectable "artificial" (human) influence.

Now imagine that "feeling" you get from a cathedral.

Where would you get something like that?

Perhaps in an enormous rock-faced canyon?

Perhaps looking up into a deep, dark sky filled with shimmering stars?

Would you experience a sense of awe and wonder?

Would you hear your feet tapping on the stone floor?

A cathedral is a HYPNOTIC DEVICE, just like a swinging pocket-watch, or a single flame in a darkened room.

A cathedral is a piece of technology designed to replicate (on demand) the sense of awe and wonder that has been historically the exclusive domain of the natural world.

Yes, good points. In a world where I barley get in touch with the stars above and the natural wonders like water falls and high cliffs, if I do not happen to live near them, the technological substitutes serve a somewhat similar purpose. Though I'd say they often don't even come close to bring the awe or calmness.

Remember the two monks I recently talked about? Sitting on top of a mountain?

Manipulating would take place when the cathedral builder wanted me to have particular his thoughts, while walking the isles.

The architects who designed (and the financiers who sanctioned and commissioned) the cathedral intended, very specifically to instill a sense of awe and wonder in its visitors and to communicate the awesome power (and innate value) of its officers (individuals who merely occupy its offices).

This has been demonstrated by the "voluntary" outpouring of support from many non-members (even atheists) for the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris for example.

I don't consider it bad to come into the state of awe. I nevertheless can make the connection to the church officials who planned on this to impress and rule the people. Once a person gained insight in the fact that architecture was and is always a means to demonstrate power, the power loses. Then it's just a building which can impress me. But I will not further on will be impressed by its builders and plans they might have. I see through the power game.

I can ask myself the question: Could I live without churches and buildings impressing me? My clear answer is "yes". Though I probably would miss to have a church experience as I rarely have the chance to enter a natural cave of similar quality.

Though I probably would miss to have a church experience as I rarely have the chance to enter a natural cave of similar quality.

I agree. I have an almost instinctual nostalgia for that first cathedral experience. It's a very impressive technology.

Hey, should I say "good morning" to you?

hmm ... we define simulation differently, I think. For me, simulation tries to copy a process as accurate as possible. Also, a situation of either the past or the future. Like the example with the Hudson River landing (simulation of what "had happened") or the simulation for the future, for example weather forecastings, of what "will happen".

What you presented are situations in which people are confronted with sensory impressions of subjects and objects, "cathedral", "pictures", "sounds". Those, I would say, are influential factors, not a simulation of something but a real experience in which a human is moving right then.

I walk into a cathedral. I feel the greatness of the room, I hear the echo of my steps, I smell a certain odor, I perceive an atmosphere of silence because I hear people in the very far end whispering, and so on. That is real life experience, not a simulation.

I also would not necessarily name it "manipulation" but "influence". It can either have a pleasant, a neutral or an unpleasant one. Manipulating would take place when the cathedral builder wanted me to have particular his thoughts, while walking the isles. But that does not happen. So it's not manipulating, other than you define "manipulation" as a neutral expression, than we are probably on the same page here :)

I haven't watched the video, so maybe I missed something which put your answer into context of it.

Physicality cannot be simulated technically, because this simulation would not be physical,

What we call "physical" is simply a model of electrical impulses received by our brains.

Even in "reality" we never actually "touch" or "see" anything "directly".

We merely receive coded signals.

What we experience as "normal" is functionally indistinguishable from a "simulation".

For example, only roughly 6% of what you "see" is input from the photo receptors in the backs of your eyes. The other 94% is a "model" that your brain constructs to "fill in the rather large gaps in your perception".

In which situation in life does this notion or knowledge help you to get along?

It makes me significantly more forgiving of "mistakes".

When a human being is born, he learns body coordination just like language only through the presence of his body,

Yes. For example I remember reading about a simulated kitten.

The artificial neural network running the kitten program was the size of a few large refrigerators. The kitten body was a small robot. The "brain" of the kitten had no way of detecting its "true self". All sense detection was exclusively through the kitten body (and attached sensors).

One of the points I found interesting was the idea that even if you had a "human" brain, or an artificial neural network capable of (roughly) human capability, IFF you could only "see" through kitten eyes and hear through kitten ears and speak with kitten vocal chords, you would be indistinguishable from a kitten.

Yes. I think if one was transformed from a human into a rat, one starts to sense like a rat, feel like a rat and act like a rat. Soon it will forget everything which was human once.

A simulated body would still have no hunger and thirst, no physical pain, unless it was still physically present.

You have no intrinsic, direct experience of "hunger".

Hunger is simply an electrical impulse that your body shoots up to your brain when certain prerequisite (chemical) conditions are met.

How your brain responds and reacts to these signals is based on your (probably genetic) instincts (core programming/basic input output system/BIOS).

You have no intrinsic, direct experience of "hunger".

LOL, tell me this while I am starving and crave for something to eat. Say it to someone who has no tap water and must walk miles for a canister. It's an interesting thought but it diminishes what is felt as reality by all humans.

Your nervous-system is relaying data to your brain.

You understand that data as "ravenous" or "parched" and take action to satiate yourself.

It's no different than a robot receiving a signal to return to its charging pad.

But it is something different. A human is not a robot. If he were a robot, you would not say human, but robot.

You have no intrinsic, direct experience of "hunger".

When it's not intrinsic, from where does it come? Hunger happens inside my body, not outside of it. And the directness of it is clearly an experience, what else is it other than direct and an experience?

You wouldn't talk that way, would you? Like: "My stomach signals to my brain that it needs some more biochemicals."

Otherwise you'd have to use a lot of vocabulary to be absolutely precise about all the signals and ongoings within your whole organism. You wouldn't have time for anything else and you'd need probably all day long to say the sentence "I am hungry". Meanwhile you would starve and faint. LOL :D

...actually, it's quite fascinating how many things happen all by themselves, in and on my body, without me having anything actively to do, like heart beat, vision, breathing, hair growing, digesting and all that jazz.

The "feeling" (experience) of "hunger" is a summary.

"Hunger" is the conscious alert of an orchestra of sub-conscious impulses.

Only through the body-mind connection is a human being a human being.

I agree, but the definition of "mind" and the definition of "body" are somewhat flexible.

HaHa! Yes, it's flexible and I actually like this flexibility. ;-)

The attempts of the "experts" to use simulation to prove that he could have flown to an alternative airport are a good example of the fact that simulations are basically not good for reproducing reality,

Our current simulation technology is imperfect, but not necessarily fundamentally incapable of fabricating simulations indistinguishable from "reality" (or a dream).

You might find "DEVS" interesting IMDB.

Also,

Click here to skip to 4624 seconds,

This is also because education today seems to be moving away from the material view in the classroom and instead of real matter tries to impart knowledge about the virtual and abstract.

Abstraction is an assault on the human soul.

Perhaps if I really go deep - and not superficially - into the imagination and evoke real memories of cold water on my feet, that my feet will actually go from warm to cold. That would be an outstanding achievement, I would think.

This is demonstrable.

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