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Old 09-25-2013, 01:31 AM   #211
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and really, what the hell do I know?
LOL - what do any of us really know about these things? But it's fun as hell to think about.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:39 AM   #212
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But the expansion isn't really an expansion in the way we would normally think about it. The space itself isn't moving. More space is being added. It's more of an inflation...
Even if this is the case - wouldn't the individual sources of light also expand as more "space" is added (like the internal surface of a balloon)? It seems the sky wouldn't necessarily be filled with light, it would actually grow dimmer and dimmer (meaning more dark "space" between individual sources of light) as the "edge" expanded further and further because of the "inflation" you speak of...just a thought...
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:19 PM   #213
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Random Deepak Chopra Quote Generator - Wisdom of Chopra
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:07 PM   #214
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That's some good stuff.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:38 AM   #215
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Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:20 AM   #216
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Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.
Anyone check the flux capacitor?
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:47 PM   #217
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This makes me wonder, what if we (in theory) made a telescope so strong it could actually view the daily life on another planet - but it would be "live" images that were created millions of years ago. How would that impact our sense of free will vs. determinism? Could we zoom in and zoom out to FWD and REW on individual lives? Would such a tool help you to make "better" choices knowing it's possible you are observed?

Light from farthest galaxy yet discovered breaks through cosmic fog
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:04 PM   #218
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Once the light reaches us, it's done. It's no different than the light reflecting off your neighbour's shed. So there would be no fastforwarding or rewinding. In theory, I suppose a high enough resolution camera and perfect conditions would capture actual, ancient movement on a long dead planet, but in reality, the light is so distorted by that point through gravitational distortion and refraction, that it's not very practical. I'm not sure what it all has to do with free will or determinism though. We experience that very same phenomenon in our daily lives, just on a shorter time scale. Everything you see has happened at least a fraction of a fraction of a second in the past. "live" images you see on the television aren't happening simultaneously with you experiencing them. Even the light from the moon takes over a half a minute to reach us, so the moon as you see it at any time is the moon as it was 39 seconds ago.
When biologists speak of free will or a lack there of, it's not fatalism they're talking about. It's not the idea that things are predetermined, so we have no free will of our own; I don't think any serious scientist is positing that. Rather, the lack of free will is in relation to whether or not our conscious self is really making any decisions or if they're really coming into being from deep within the darkness of our minds. Experiments suggest the latter.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:18 PM   #219
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Sam Harris has a nice short book/essay on free will
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:36 PM   #220
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Sam Harris has a nice short book/essay on free will
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:53 PM   #221
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And to paraphrase (poorly) from the book, Harris asserts that we don't have free will in the most obvious way. We are who we are because of our subconscious or events in our life we have no control over (being sexually abused as a child would be example).

If I cannot answer why I did something, then how is that free will? Yes I am in control but our deepest desires or choices stem from a part of our brain we just don't understand (yet).
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:37 PM   #222
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It goes deeper than that though. We - our conscious we - are not in control at all. Our conscious control of our bodies and thoughts is an illusion. And when you think about it, our choice of words, decisions we make, ideas we get to make a decision about something, etc are all obviously not created consciously. They come from deeper in our brains and we are conscious of their manifestation, but we really had no control over their coming into being. Blurt out the first word that comes to your mind. You can't say for certain where that word came from. Why did you say refrigerator instead of muffin top? (and where did those come from in my brain?). It emerged from the darkness of your mind. This goes for everything you've ever done and ever thought. I can't remember if it was in the Harris book or Dennet book, but experiments have been done where the subject was placed in front of two buttons - left and right - and had electrodes stuck to their heads. A screen in front of them would flash a random sequence of numbers. The subjects were asked to push either the left or right button and record what number was on screen at the moment they made their decision. The brain activity indicated their decisions were made several seconds before they were conscious of the decision being made. Sometimes as much as 10 seconds prior. Your decisions aren't coming from your consciousness. It's kind of spooky, but really, what difference does it make? You as a system are still making these choices, it's just that you have no conscious free will over them.

To me, this shouldn't come as a surprise, though. Consciousness seems to be nothing more than a byproduct of memory. I usually use blackout drunkenness as an example, but this past UFC main event provided a great example. The challenger, Junior Dos Santos, took a bit of a beating in the 3rd round. He was nearly knocked out but managed to 'recover' enough to finish and lose the 5 round bout. He doesn't remember conducting the post fight interview nor does he remember finishing the fight. He thought he got knocked out in the 3rd round. For all intents and purposes he wasn't there, but he was still making decisions and functioning as a normal human being. He wasn't conscious of it. He made no conscious choices. But his memory was impeded.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:22 AM   #223
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It goes deeper than that though. We - our conscious we - are not in control at all. Our conscious control of our bodies and thoughts is an illusion. And when you think about it, our choice of words, decisions we make, ideas we get to make a decision about something, etc are all obviously not created consciously. They come from deeper in our brains and we are conscious of their manifestation, but we really had no control over their coming into being. Blurt out the first word that comes to your mind. You can't say for certain where that word came from. Why did you say refrigerator instead of muffin top? (and where did those come from in my brain?). It emerged from the darkness of your mind. This goes for everything you've ever done and ever thought. I can't remember if it was in the Harris book or Dennet book, but experiments have been done where the subject was placed in front of two buttons - left and right - and had electrodes stuck to their heads. A screen in front of them would flash a random sequence of numbers. The subjects were asked to push either the left or right button and record what number was on screen at the moment they made their decision. The brain activity indicated their decisions were made several seconds before they were conscious of the decision being made. Sometimes as much as 10 seconds prior. Your decisions aren't coming from your consciousness. It's kind of spooky, but really, what difference does it make? You as a system are still making these choices, it's just that you have no conscious free will over them.

To me, this shouldn't come as a surprise, though. Consciousness seems to be nothing more than a byproduct of memory. I usually use blackout drunkenness as an example, but this past UFC main event provided a great example. The challenger, Junior Dos Santos, took a bit of a beating in the 3rd round. He was nearly knocked out but managed to 'recover' enough to finish and lose the 5 round bout. He doesn't remember conducting the post fight interview nor does he remember finishing the fight. He thought he got knocked out in the 3rd round. For all intents and purposes he wasn't there, but he was still making decisions and functioning as a normal human being. He wasn't conscious of it. He made no conscious choices. But his memory was impeded.
I find this fascinating, especially when you consider Alzheimer's patients - when they lose their memory they lose their personality. However, my instincts or "faith" tell me there is more to us than memories. I think that memories are a tool the spirit uses while engaging with this universe ("reality") - but the spirit exists both in and beyond this universe at the same time. When one decreases - the other eventually increases.

That's my Deepak idea of the day! Prove me wrong!!!
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:22 PM   #224
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I find this fascinating, especially when you consider Alzheimer's patients - when they lose their memory they lose their personality. However, my instincts or "faith" tell me there is more to us than memories. I think that memories are a tool the spirit uses while engaging with this universe ("reality") - but the spirit exists both in and beyond this universe at the same time. When one decreases - the other eventually increases.

That's my Deepak idea of the day! Prove me wrong!!!
I don't have great knowledge of the brain, but from what I understand there are parts of the brain that can bring someone to a higher state of mind, kind of like the superego in a Freudian sense.

Let's not forget our heart or gut instincts are not part of the brain, but since they make us feel, they can influence our thoughts and behavior too.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:36 PM   #225
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Very good. Now is someone going to start a thread about History and Mathematics? How about Linguistics and Geography?

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Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.
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Anyone check the flux capacitor?
Just be careful not to cause a paradox
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