Julian Jaynes Society Discussion Forum: Exploring Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind Theory since 1997

NHI? [Non-Human Intelligence]
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Author:  shrimperdude [ Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  NHI? [Non-Human Intelligence]

Following Julian Jaynes and those who have bravely published supportive commentaries based on their own research and ideas, it seems reasonable to conclude that the lodging of an interpretive function in an abstract workspace that is not structurally localized will continue to dominate where-ever serious discussion of that old Mind-Body problem persists. I see two separate problems that are stalling further progress in describing consciousness in ways that will bear nourishing fruit.
One thing I see very clearly, and that the academics working furiously in their very localized workspaces continue to ignore completely, is the parallel 'sea changes,' if you will, that are ocurring in virtually every field, every social structure and within every stogy institution around. An example which I think many others can see, though their appraisal of and reaction to may vary widely according to the expectation they have learned and the sophistication of their ability to communicate their desires, is the significant changes in choice of action which is looming in various degrees of entry into our churches(and synogogues). The winds of change, they are a'blowing!
Second, and probably of the utmost importance(to me, at least), is the automaton-like rejection(even by Jaynes himself) of any suggestion from any quarter that the source of the command voices that bicameral men heard and obeyed, the utter denial that the ideas that are truly novel(not based on data that is only now becoming retrievable) which could indeed be informing all this progress in understanding human consciousness, the total inability of the modern conscious man to ever admit even the possibility that, through some agency we cannot clearly delineate, some mechanism that does not yet compute for us, that knowledge is probably being communicated to us all from some intelligence that is not just outside our tiny primitive heads, or merely outside our physically limiting biosphere, but very possibly outside our material universe!

Author:  shrimperdude [ Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NHI?


Fiction is the most powerful form of MAJICK commonly practiced(and socially accepted) in the modern time. To be fully functional(and thereby further empowered), it should be read aloud. Many popular titles can be obtained as audio files delivered in a variety of technological mediums(truckers prefer CD's; shop the titles available at a nearby truckstop). The best(most POWERFUL) titles to acquire are 1)unabridged & 2)read by their authors. Another variation has several 'actors' reading various parts. Some have music and/or sound effects added.
The MAGI acheive their desired(sometimes accidental) effect by manipulating powerful word symbols to CREATE novel new original IDEAS. Many authors admit that they have recieved help from some other intelligence that they assume is located outside their minds; admit that their writing project had taken on a life of its own once they had begun the writing process in the usual way. They can further create new outcomes by 'inventing' characters who then begin saying, doing & thinking things they never would. Imaginary settings can easily have magical aspects or properties built right into them. Some characters are immortal(look what happened when a certain writer tried to kill Sherlock Holmes). Some characters can be kidnapped by Hollywood film producers.
The right book can change the mental constructs in the minds of enough people to produce sweeping social change(note I have not used the term improvements here). Sometimes the most powerful ideas are passed off to unsuspecting writers by pundits who relish their own anonymity(or safety). The most innocuous 'magical formulae' can have unforeseen consequences; can affect one individual in a quite different way than intended, or in quite the opposite sort of way that the material is being recieved by the masses. Julian Jaynes disseminated his ideas through commercial media channels and brought about consequential results of a character and magnitude that I feel sure were quite unpredictable.
Sometimes a book can lie around for a very long time, just ticking like a bomb, until a new discovery occurs and the ideas explode into a more fertile 'set' of imaginations(six very famous Romantic poets spring to mind). The Bible could see such an explosive resurgence soon, if Thomas Jefferson's ideas about freedom FROM religion could be invoked on a wide enough scale. Times change and inquiring minds seek different stimulation(I felt certain that Geraldo Rivera had pronounced the final word on zombies!) Somewhere the potent idea of a thermo-nuclear device lies peacefully sleeping(beware the Prince's terrible kiss)! One day intelligent life forms may even be discovered on THIS planet.
Neal Stephenson's latest effort(REAMDE; you should probably just pronounce that as read-me) will certainly awaken in the strangest of places a lurking desire to fire a handgun! The counter-spell may be buried in Michael Moore's latest; if Oprah says this is so. As December 21, 2012 fast approaches I am preparing for the biggest non-event since Geraldo opened Al Capone's secret vault on live TV.
The internet has arrived with millions(or is that billions already?) of untrained magicians placing their magical formulae in searchable caches where they may at any time acheive a potent connection that could create WHATEVER from only ones and zeroes. We, on this tiny, and still shrinking planet, urgently need a curriculum for training up responsible practitioners of this potent MAJICK; one that will be quickly adopted by all the governing bodies and immediately put to use in all our public schools(while furiously building more of them across the globe). Otherwise, we await a disaster something like the one that the Phantom warned of in the missive he signed simply O. G.!
But alas, we live in a society that knows nothijng of this MAJICK; was taught not to believe in MAJICK by...

Author:  Rollo [ Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NHI?

"through some agency we cannot clearly delineate, some mechanism that does not yet compute for us, that knowledge is probably being communicated to us all from some intelligence that is not just outside our tiny primitive heads, or merely outside our physically limiting biosphere, but very possibly outside our material universe!"

Why do you need to speak so magically? You are just reiterating a truism of science: that everything is dependent upon everything else, and nothing can function independently of its context. Of course our thoughts are causally linked directly to those things that underwrite the universe. And of course our thoughts cannot be explained with reference only to the biochemistry ongoing in our heads. The rules of the universe directly shape our thoughts. Our thoughts come from "outside our material universe". And not only is it the case that we "cannot clearly delineate" the mechanism, but it is quite feasible that it would be impossible. The mechanism involves all of physics, chemistry, biology and more. It involves sciences we have not yet created.

I think it is unfair to say no-one has thought of this. And I think Jaynes made it clear in the final chapter that he was not in fact describing the mechanism of consciousness at all -- he was not even trying to do that. He was merely describing what the word means in an anthropo-psycho-historical context. His answer to the 'how' of consciousness was the reticular activating formation -- an answer which, by means of its technical specificity, regresses to biology, chemistry &c. until we see the causal path dwindling into, as you said, a mechanism unknown.

Author:  shrimperdude [ Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NHI?

So Rollo, I guess 'where' we take this thread is towards what it is that our participants understand about facilitating access to this intelligence; or better ideas; or just enough awareness to ask better questions; and, to stay on point, just what CAN be found in Jaynes that helps point the way(not the way back to an idyllic bicameral past state or 'software routine,' but maybe just a better analysis of the kinds of innovation occurring all around us that we've had trouble recognizing as such. Take a look at some of our 'innovative' youth:

My attention was drawn to an article which appeared in the local newspaper recently; an article that I suspect was widely syndicated; perhaps you read it as well. With the article was a photograph of a young girl that appeared to be dancing atop the hood of an automobile. This young lady had attended that 'event,' one that had obviously been attended by a number of reporters as well, to celebrate the life of her younger cousin; that cousin had died with two others in an automobile 'accident' earlier that week in the same spot where now they gather bringing memorials. ~ The photo of the dancing girl was not what commanded my attention; it had been the glaring word 'sideshow' in a headline that hinted at the menace that came with such an event. It was the menace that had attended a previous, and unphotographed street gathering, and the three deaths that had resulted that night, that the reporter was detailing with facts and interviews with several that had shown up to memorialize the three dead youths. ~ Sideshows are impromptu events, usually held on a public street after most bars and clubs have closed down for the night. The 'kids' organize these gatherings using their ubiquitous cell phones, texting one another, in code(not sure if the writer meant 33lite or not), with a time and location. Oakland Police are hamstrung in their efforts to crack down on the participants in these potentially lethal social phenomena. ~ When the cars, the real focal point at these sideshows, start to arrive at the advertised location, all too frequently a good-sized crowd of 'pedestrian' on-lookers has already gathered; those cars come zig-zagging all over both sides of the roadway, with headlights blinking, horns and woofers blaring, in a sort of conga line for cars overstuffed with more kids, which they call a hyphy train. ~ Another stunt, one the kids call the ghost riding the whip, involves the driver jumping from his moving vehicle, dancing alongside it as he and the unattended vehicle continue along the boulevard, until he is forced to jump back into the car and regain control. Noticeable in the background of the photo that ran with the article, are a profusion of circular rubber tire-marks on the pavement which instantly put you in mind of the 'celebration' that ensues when the victor in a Nascar race smokes his tires before a packed grandstand, and then leaps from the racecar and climbs high on the safety fencing there, pumping a victory fist with one free arm. ~ Mortal danger is not just making the reckless drivers and their derring-do passengers its subjects. Nor is this 'reaper' content to stalk also those pedestrians who crowd into the dangerous thoroughfare to obtain an unobstructed view of the 'entertainment' on offer there. One girl, who was interviewed for this article, told the reporter she had been hospitalized when she had been seriously injured by one of these cars that came crashing right into her MacArthur Boulevard apartment. Her place must be really close to all this action, having been the 'fixed object' struck by a motor vehicle on no less than 3 separate occasions. ~ If you are from Atlanta(especially if you work in the downtown area), you cannot help but be reminded of the annual 'FREAKSHOW' that clogs the streets with cars full of university student revellers in a parade of sorts, marked by the perfume of smoking clutch plates and fuming hot radiators. The traffic snarling to the point of gridlock is not the only adverse affect, as the commerce of many small businesses along the affected routes grinds to a costly halt as well. The lack of restroom facilities causes another set of problems that characterize the complaints of those vocal business owners who hail mostly deaf ears. It is most probably a wise decision the authorities have made in 'permitting' the event, as I think, deep down, we all realize that they would be helpless to prevent it. ~ The 'empowered' youth of this nation will probably not flag in the creativity they bring to designing new and more exciting amusements for themselves, and I feel sure that it is the increasingly lawless nature of their creations, and not the lethal danger(mostly to themselves) that is worrying us most. If we fail to understand these disturbing phenomena; fail to correctly assess the motivations which drove us in our mostly forgotten youth; then we must submit to the fear these reports instill in us. Perhaps their pursuit of a more abundant life remains obscured because our(mostly irrational) fear has achieved an adulthood, with seasoned arms and legs, that in our youth remains a tentative force at best(not yet conditioned to outrun our intellect). Perhaps the real reason they are driven to ‘hook-up’ in places and situations where we have not yet successfully extended our laws; where-ever we have failed to subvert their exuberance with the authority of our fear-demons, is that if we succeed in quelling that fragile and precious spirit they keep alive at these illicit ceremonies, then we would have to face the next cataclysmic change to our circumstances(be it some pandemic of exotic disease, a massive volcanic ejection spurring instantaneous climate change, collision with any sufficiently large mass traversing our solar system or just a wobbling correction to that axis the planet currently spins about) without the divine gift that has, in the past(perhaps upward of 2 million years), guaranteed the survival of this oddly maladapted-looking species.

Author:  Rollo [ Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NHI?

You forgot to close that first bracket.

I'm sorry, I have no idea what you are saying. That the behavioural anomalies of youth are predicated on extra-universal creativity? And that that same divinity triggered our hominid evolution some 2 million years ago? I think it is unfair to arbitrarily assign divine purpose to random events; either everything is a divine manifestation or nothing is. What differentiates one event from another?

Author:  shrimperdude [ Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NHI?

Couldn't find the bracket to close it.
2,000,000 yrs refers to the cranial mass necessary, but at some point[?] our language reached a complexity(long before some pioneer bureaucrat said "Let's write this stuff down!") that began to command the mind's attention to the exclusion of certain stimuli that did not strengthen or affirm the linguistic model it began working with(reduce a holistic dynamic system to parts that can be symbolized by words and see what you will have to eliminate or disregard).
They reached a consensus which facilitated all their cross-talk, and began demanding capitulation from their children, eventually defining 'adult' by instituting an initiation ritual.
These cerebral society members soon forgot how to 'feed the animal;' the same 'animal' they battle to suppress in their youths.
I think if pressed, each of us still harbors memories from our adolescence which could be recalled; memories of certain 'irrational' activities we often enjoyed with our .buds.'
Often these activities involved extremely dangerous situations that only a double-dog-dare could initiate; and always watching another perform was a big part of it too.
It was by playing these dangerous games that we would trigger that hormone release in an effort to harness that hidden self(Rollo said divinity); manifest the magical outcome perhaps witnessed during the antics of others; play true survival games that reinstill that "I'll feed you" relationship with the animal inside that truly must be cared for.

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