Carl-Richard

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About Carl-Richard

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  1. It's a problem of naive pop science, but also it's a larger epistemological problem of naive realism. You're not born questioning your assumptions. You first have to acquire them and test them out. It's a stage we all must go through, and in many cases, it's the norm, especially when trying to appeal to the younger parts of the population, which pop science does. Those factors would be called "auxiliary hypotheses" in the literature. When testing a hypothesis, often there is a myriad of smaller underlying hypotheses that need to be granted to confirm the main hypothesis, and these are of course not themselves tested (only sometimes indirectly by comparing a large amount of studies), which is a problem. Examples would be the type of measurements used (e.g. self-report questionnaire vs. physiological measures), the general study design, etc. One approach to solve that problem is to simply reduce the amount of auxiliary hypotheses you need to confirm the main hypothesis (and more generally the theory the hypothesis is derived from; "theory-testing research"). That also means you get closer to the Popperian "scientific ideal" of making your hypotheses falsifiable, which they generally and practically speaking aren't in the human-related sciences, because you can always blame the auxiliary hypotheses when your hypothesis goes wrong ("ah, it's probably the differences in sample size, the different type of questionnaires used, the variability in the sample", etc.). That's really how most science goes in these fields: "The hypothesis didn't pan out? Well, it's probably not the hypothesis or the theory that is at fault. Let's generate a slightly different hypothesis and try again! When we find a positive result, we'll publish that so we can get more funding and continue being scientists." ("discovery-oriented research"). By the way, negative results are generally not published (because it's not interesting), which feeds into this problem. Yes. Other than the "religiosity problem" I pointed to earlier, with fields like physics, the problems become more theoretical than empirical, and it's generally a problem of complexity: what does your theory actually tell us about reality? In physics, you might be able to predict quite accurately how two objects move relative to each other, but what about 5, 10, 20 objects? Similarly, in biology (which is of course related to humans, but it's nevertheless a fun example of the problem of complexity), we've sequenced the entire human genome, meaning we know all the genes that goes into a human, and these genes code for proteins that make up the human. But how exactly do the proteins go about making up the human? The genetic code is one thing, the morphological code is another. So complexity is not just a problem in human-related sciences, but in the human-related sciences, it additionally manifests much more in the empirical realm. It's essentially because in physics, you're more able to ignore the complexity by choosing to study and test hypotheses for simpler things (2 objects vs. 20), while in say psychology, you're always stuck with studying humans, which are of course complex. It's their job, and their default position is to be optimistic. And again, there are promising initiatives for increasing replication rates and more generally improving the state of human-related science. However, the real "black pill" here is not replication but generalization. Even if your studies are 100% replicable (meaning somebody repeats the study with the exactly same setup and gets the same result every time), does that mean your results will hold when you slightly tweak some of the factors? Not at all. Like I said earlier, some people actually argue that generalizability is an unsolvable problem that invalidates all human-related science. But you could counter that and ask "surely, some studies generalize pretty well?". Even though the exact results of the study don't generalize, maybe they partially generalize (there is "some" effect). But how can we know that? Well, you can't know for sure, but doing a large amount of "conceptual replications" (replications where you tweak some factor relative to the original study) could give an indication. It will never be 100% proof (because that requires virtually simulating the entire universe), but I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that you're at least getting closer to an answer than not.
  2. @zurew Yeah this is a mess 😆 Impressive that you went through the entire thing.
  3. 😂 Got it. Cool. Want to elaborate? Like bro cmon, this is like Leo's main catchphrase we're talking about. I've followed him for like almost a decade, just as long ago as I started taking psychedelics (if that's like your qualifying metric). This is basic shit, you cannot be serious. 😂
  4. Duh, that's what science is. "Functional understanding". But that too is also just functional understanding. In reality, there aren't even any relations. "Relation" is something your mind is cooking up to make sense of reality, to make predictions, to help you interact with reality. Kastrup, like me, thinks causality is only a conceptual tool, not ultimate reality. So again, big miss. You should again maybe read more about what you're talking about (?) I actually smelled this one coming from a mile away. At the end of the day, it was always just a flex of "the map is not the territory", "maps are limited, "reality is limitless", "science is only a tool", which is apparently the only thing people think is worth talking about on here. It's hilarious how convoluted some people make it though. I actually appreciate people like @UnbornTao more now: at least he gets straight to the point. It's of course an incredibly juvenile point that you should've known I've accepted ages ago, yet you make it the focal point of this now disaster of a discussion. I do actually remember thinking this thought as a faint glimpse, but I guess I was just in denial that this was actually what was happening. Well well.
  5. Yup. That's what a causal relationship is: one thing happening before the other, and a mechanism that connects the two. If you don't have a mechanism, you only have two things happening in temporal order. Physicalists think brains happen before experience and that there is ostensibly a mechanism there, but they admit that at our current level of scientific knowledge, such a mechanism is either unknown or mysterious, or they woo themselves into a false sense of security by alluding to some vague notions like "emergence" or "function". I agree. I don't think what the physicalists are aiming at is possible. I've just given the criteria that would need to be filled for it to be possible: providing a mechanism that makes sense and isn't mysterious, and ways to explain away the various empirical problems. And of course, so far, those criteria have not been filled, and I don't think they ever will be filled. In other words, it's mysterious for a reason, a reason they won't accept. Your two sentences don't connect.
  6. I'm sorry, but what? 🙈 I've never said that. You've lost the plot.
  7. You can think it's deluded, but the problem is that you don't have a solid understanding of it, so it doesn't mean much. You can't actually engage with the concepts. It's essentially the pre-trans problem. A pre-rational religious dogmatist critiquing science is very different from a post-rational person critiquing it. And you can't argue someone out of a pre-position, hence there is no point in continuing.
  8. Ok, let's bring the real context to what's happening here: You make it seem like this about me not understanding you. But in reality, nobody gives a shit about you. You're talking about brains, and brains are studied in academia, nowhere else. If you're unable to engage with the language of academia; if you're stuck inside your contracted use of language and other people have to essentially rescue you out of it to have a conversation with you; then it's not me not understanding you: it's you frankly not knowing what you're talking about. It makes no sense to pretend to have any deep knowledge about academic topics while being unable to work with the language of academia, spinning your wheels in the dirt when basic terms like correlation vs. causality are brought up. It's like pretending to have deep knowledge about Western politics while constantly getting bogged down discussing the definitions of political parties or democracy. I talk with this one guy in academia about these things on a regular basis (the Hard problem, physicalism, brains, experience, etc.), and we have virtually no problems understanding each other. For "some reason", that is not happening here.
  9. I think the reason I got into music with weird time signatures so much is that my dad used to play this song in the car a lot when I was 6-7. It's not really until later that I realized how brilliant it is.
  10. These are arguments less against science and more against people who hold science as a religion. As for my arguments, it depends on what sciences you're talking about. Sciences that study humans quantitatively (e.g. sociology, anthropology, psychology, medicine, political science) infamously have problems with replicability (can you repeat the study and get the same results?) and generalizability (do the results apply more generally to the world and not just inside the particular study?). Many (ex-)scientists have made strong criticisms about these problems, some even claiming that they're practically unsolvable and that this kind of quantitative science is a lost cause, while others are more optimistic and constructive, while some are in denial and keep doing what they've always done. There are many sub-problems that feed into the two main problems, and some of them are summed up by the concept of "questionable research practices", while others relate to for example limitations with methodologies like null hypothesis testing. There has been a great effort to address these problems though, through initiatives like open science, file drawer journals, preregistrations, etc. Qualitative sciences (e.g. interviewing people about their feelings and experiences) bypass many of these kinds of problems, but they're less able to make precise predictions, so you lose something there. "Hard sciences", particularly those that are largely independent of humans (e.g. physics, chemistry), have less of these problems. For them, the problems go back to again holding science as a religion (basically physicalism), which bleeds into the culture through the idolization of pop science communicators ("the scientific priesthood") and is upheld by modern society's disconnect with wisdom and spirituality.
  11. Then that is your deficiency Some people are so relaxed that dopamine would probably be their only way to become more social. You should see the med student who conducts our brain dissection lab sessions. He is a walking brick wall 😆 (not in an autistic way). On a slightly (un)related topic, I've been thinking a bit about the relationship between neuroticism (in the strictly emotional lability sense) and creativity which we talked about one time. I consider myself way above average in creativity, and I've always been highly neurotic. I'm high in openness too, yes, but the combination with neuroticism and openness I think creates a creative beast. My dad is like that (BP1 diagnosis, arguably the definition of openness + neuroticism). My friend from class is high in openness but comparably low in neuroticism (by my estimation), and he doesn't seem as creative in the strictest sense but certainly intellectually gifted. Same with the aforementioned med student. Another slightly tangential thought to that, I had a wild idea that maybe sprinters or explosive athletes are more neurotic on average. It sort of makes sense that one's personality would be associated with some deeper biological traits like that. In other words, being able to quickly change your physiological state in terms of muscle fiber recruitment could be mirrored in being able to quickly change your psycho-emotional state (emotional lability). Maybe there could be some co-selection of genes going on there to create the optimal "fast" phenotype. Again, this is of course just wild half-baked speculation. I haven't looked into any potential data on that yet Also, back to creativity, I say "in a strictly emotional lability sense" because I believe that even though I have severely reduced my more "Freudian" neuroticism (internal conflict, repetitive and irrelevant mental chatter), I still have a mind that changes quickly while zeroing in on a task. In other words, my mind finds more relevant information and faster. So in a sense, it's possible to distinguish between a more generally dysfunctional neuroticism and a more generally functional neuroticism: emotional lability with or without task-irrelevant mind-wandering. Then again, I'm not saying task-irrelevant mind-wandering is by definition dysfunctional; I'm just saying generally (most people in the modern would could certainly benefit to have less of it). I hope I'm not derailing the thread 😳 (I got carried away, I'm sorry 😣; just ignore everything but the first paragraph if you're not Nilsi. This is what happens when I take breaks from the forum and post at night 🤭).
  12. @Scholar When you equate physicality to logic and when you call Kastrup a physicalist, that sums up the level of semantic disconnect that we're having, and I don't think we'll solve that in 10 years. As someone who aspires to be semantically connected to the larger scientific and philosophical community (academia), as someone who studies neuroscience in academia, I believe you're semantically disconnected from that community. That is not to say your understanding of reality is invalid. It's just that the language you use and the language I use (and ostensibly my peers) is very different. I see no reason for this conversation to continue. It was interesting, I guess. And just so you don't think I'm making stuff up, I'll recap some of the terms you use that seem unfamiliar to me, either in the way you use them or just full-stop unfamiliar: Direct vs. indirect causality Causative vs. causal influence vs. causal relationship Relation (actual relation vs. apparent relation) Metaphysical relationship "Neuronal structure of two" Functional understanding If there is one thing we can maybe agree on, it's that concepts like causality are at the end of the day just concepts we use to make sense of our experience as apes on planet Earth. They don't reflect reality in the ultimate sense. Reality in the ultimate sense is far beyond that. But it's still useful to talk about that if you care about making sense of our experience.
  13. Surely you have more examples. Is the brain-experience relationship direct or indirect? Regardless, when we're talking about the brain and experience, any reference to causality is going to be problematic. It doesn't matter how many variations of causality you want to invent. At the end of the day, causality is causality, and causality is when the happening of one thing (or things) precedes the happening of another thing in time and when you have a reasonable mechanism connecting the two. Hence I don't see why the distinction you have brought up is relevant. It's at best tangential to the discussion. Instead of insinuating that it's relevant and that I'm just too slow to understand, clarify how it is relevant. Be clear. To conclude, as far as I'm concerned, you've been talking about causality in some way or another, and I'm saying that is problematic for the reasons stated: 1. lack of a reasonable causal mechanism, 2. various empirical contradictions. And before you do the "argh you just don't understand me, I have made myself clear so many times, try harder", try to clarify at least this one thing: why is the distinction between so-called direct and indirect causality relevant for understanding the brain-experience relationship? If not, we're probably done.
  14. Nah. Whatever that is. Give me an example of a direct causal relationship and an indirect causal relationship and tell me how the distinction is relevant in this discussion.
  15. You have two main options: either find something you enjoy, something you believe you're good at and somewhere where you belong, or work on your mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_distortion; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_restructuring There are several ways to work on your mind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_fitness