Any Abbotsford, BC Objectivists?


neilbaxter4

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Nope. Same Bat Country, different Bat Province.

I am located in Toronto. Which means: despite

being your countryman, those foreigners at the

ARI, in Irvine, CA, are closer to you than I am.

I just joined here recently too. Let's wow them with

our Objectivist insights. I am currently struggling

to ascertain whether the ideas about the mind,

perception and cognition, as presented in OPAR,

are concordant with the latest insights of modern

neuroscience.

Yes, I am in over my head.

Will post something, when it is worth sharing.

Mike

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Hello there.

Are there any Abbotsford, BC Objectivists?

Neil Baxter

Isn't that about forty (40) miles from Starnesville? 20710775.peep.gif

Welcome to OL. What do you do to support the Canadian state?

Adam

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I just joined here recently too. Let's wow them with

our Objectivist insights. I am currently struggling

to ascertain whether the ideas about the mind,

perception and cognition, as presented in OPAR,

are concordant with the latest insights of modern

neuroscience.

Mike,

Before diving into brain scans and so forth, or even before going into some of the more humorous ways science shows us about how our minds fool us, here is a small introduction to some basic research into human behavior that shows the human mind to be far, far different than what Peikoff postulates. Obedience to authority and conformity are hardwired into our brains. Whoever taps the buttons that control this hardwiring controls the crowd. Evil is not just based on choosing to evade rational thought, as Peikoff postulates There are powerful mental urges to deal with and some of them are not just emotional. I believe that pretending they don't exist is dangerous, as the videos I have linked to below will show.

We can use rational thought to fight these urges, but it is more than just choosing to think as opposed to choosing not to think. We also have to develop habits and set up defenses--against ourselves. That is not at all within Peikoff's universe. He would probably call that some variant of Original Sin and/or intrinsicism, subjectivism or emotionalism.

I hope you like watching videos and have time to see them. All this stuff is repeatable under controlled conditions. They are from a humorous thread I set up called Secret Objectivist Cult. The thread is humorous, but the stuff backing it up isn't. As there was a lot of banter, I have linked the videos directly below:

The first video is not a science experiment, but it is well done and there is science to back up the techniques in it: I wanna make a secret Objectivist cult.

Asch conformity experiment

Milgram's Obedience to Authority experiment

Another short one on the Asch experiment

Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment (this one is really creepy and it is about half an hour)

Another one on the Migram experiment (you have to further link from there)

Something weird from Tony Robbins (I like Tony Robbins, but this thing got really creepy, also)

The Wave (a TV special based on true fact)

After you go through all that and start getting the uneasy feeling that Objectivism is not necessarily wrong, but it might be really really really incomplete as far as human nature goes, I can point you to some things on mirror neurons, MRI scans made for all kinds of studies, persuasion literature galore, hypnosis, etc.

This is an area I am studying right now that arose from my studies in Internet marketing. I am fascinated by the human mind.

Enjoy.

(Or not. You decide. :) )

Michael

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Nope. Same Bat Country, different Bat Province.

I am located in Toronto. Which means: despite

being your countryman, those foreigners at the

ARI, in Irvine, CA, are closer to you than I am.

I just joined here recently too. Let's wow them with

our Objectivist insights. I am currently struggling

to ascertain whether the ideas about the mind,

perception and cognition, as presented in OPAR,

are concordant with the latest insights of modern

neuroscience.

Yes, I am in over my head.

Will post something, when it is worth sharing.

Mike

Nothing I have read by Oliver Sacks, Antonio Damasio, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Jeff Hawkins, Merlin Donald, or Stephen Palmer has contradicted my understanding of Rand's epistemology.

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I hope you like watching videos and have time to see them.

Michael,

I REALLY appreciate your suggestions. I will make time to watch all of those videos, and will start right after posting here. I am already somewhat familiar with essentially everything that you mentioned, and have never really fully accepted Rand's view of the mind's nature, as far as I have seen it presented. Psychology, in her day, was really only pseudo-science, and that can't have helped her thinking. On top of that, she probably disdained much of what it actually did offer.

I have been familiar with Rand's work, especially her non-fiction, for more than 20 years, but only in recent days started making my way through OPAR, after making a conscious decision NOT to read Peikoff back then. I find it very interesting, but I am not blindly accepting any of it.

My knowledge of neuroscience is peripheral and limited. I am an engineer, with a broad understanding of life sciences as well as applied physical science. I work in electronics manufacturing; my boyhood interest in robotics (as distinct from mere industrial automation) has resurged after 4 decades, leading me to artificial intelligence, which is currently looking towards natural intelligence, which relates to consciousness in general; and Objectivism.

I am sure that there will be things to discuss.

Many thanks.

Mike

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Nothing I have read by Oliver Sacks, Antonio Damasio, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Jeff Hawkins, Merlin Donald, or Stephen Palmer has contradicted my understanding of Rand's epistemology.

Thanks for the reading list, Ted!

Have you read Hawkins' "On Intelligence" ?

I have seen talks by Hawkins and also Ramachandran.

Mike

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I hope you like watching videos and have time to see them.

Michael,

I REALLY appreciate your suggestions. I will make time to watch all of those videos, and will start right after posting here.

Michael,

Those videos were interesting, but don't really new communicate knowledge which is new to me. They also don't relate very closely to the questions that I have in my mind. I did like the end of the Wave.

The early posts on the Secret Objectivist Cult thread were HILARIOUS. 8-)

Any idea what happened to the Tony Robbins video? Youtube says it's been deleted.

I chipped in towards the costs of running the site. Any idea why my picture doesn't show up? I did upload one. I don't look very happy in it, but it's the best that I have lying around.

Thanks.

Mike

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Those videos were interesting, but don't really new communicate knowledge which is new to me. They also don't relate very closely to the questions that I have in my mind. I did like the end of the Wave.

The early posts on the Secret Objectivist Cult thread were HILARIOUS. 8-)

Any idea what happened to the Tony Robbins video? Youtube says it's been deleted.

I chipped in towards the costs of running the site. Any idea why my picture doesn't show up? I did upload one. I don't look very happy in it, but it's the best that I have lying around.

Mike,

In order:

1. I merely presented those videos as an introduction and an indication that all is not well on the level of normative abstractions in O-Land. Since Peikoff claims that every "is" implies an "ought," thus there is a total blending of cognitive with normative, I felt this was a good place to start. There is nothing within his cognitive universe that explains the behaviors you observe in those videos (being that they can be replicated and have been) other than saying something like "evasion" or whatnot. Obviously, cognitive science (and even persuasion studies) has developed a long ways since then. I'll be adding more stuff later, possibly in a new thread. These new things will probably be more in line with what you are seeking.

Apropos and on a whim (how's that for un-Objectivist? :) ), I discovered an absolutely fabulous blog by a young fiction writer who is also deep into brain science: Livia Blackburne, A Brain Scientist's Take on Writing. If you bop around her site a bit, you will come across all kinds of cool stuff, albeit mostly in introductory form. It has even started me thinking in directions like "story concept" (for lack of a better term) as a particular type of abstraction, just like cognitive and normative are. (See her older post called "Narrative and the Brain," for instance.)

2. I will need to find another copy of that video. I have to run right now, but I'll look into it later.

3. Thank you very much. I also sent you an email of thanks.

4. Upload your picture as an avatar. You can upload it as "photo" and as "avatar" in your settings. You only did the "photo" upload. You can use the same picture for "avatar," but you have to do a new upload. If you have any problem with this, please let me know.

Michael

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Michael,

Don't worry about the Robbins video.

Thanks for all the tips.

Mike

1. I merely presented those videos as an introduction and an indication that all is not well on the level of normative abstractions in O-Land. Since Peikoff claims that every "is" implies an "ought," thus there is a total blending of cognitive with normative, I felt this was a good place to start. There is nothing within his cognitive universe that explains the behaviors you observe in those videos (being that they can be replicated and have been) other than saying something like "evasion" or whatnot. Obviously, cognitive science (and even persuasion studies) has developed a long ways since then. I'll be adding more stuff later, possibly in a new thread. These new things will probably be more in line with what you are seeking.

Apropos and on a whim (how's that for un-Objectivist? :) ), I discovered an absolutely fabulous blog by a young fiction writer who is also deep into brain science: Livia Blackburne, A Brain Scientist's Take on Writing. If you bop around her site a bit, you will come across all kinds of cool stuff, albeit mostly in introductory form. It has even started me thinking in directions like "story concept" (for lack of a better term) as a particular type of abstraction, just like cognitive and normative are. (See her older post called "Narrative and the Brain," for instance.)

2. I will need to find another copy of that video. I have to run right now, but I'll look into it later.

3. Thank you very much. I also sent you an email of thanks.

4. Upload your picture as an avatar. You can upload it as "photo" and as "avatar" in your settings. You only did the "photo" upload. You can use the same picture for "avatar," but you have to do a new upload. If you have any problem with this, please let me know.

Michael

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