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Science (neuroscience specifically) has led me to believe that consciousness is a byproduct of the evolved complex brain. This completely changed my views of personal spirituality and religion. It has also made me a vegetarian.

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Metacognitive Ordeal

Thanks very much for the read man!

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Metacognitive Ordeal

Thank you! That makes much more sense to me now.

Is there really a debate though? I mean, I've done a lot of dumb work in my life that I certainly didn't get any happiness out of (other than that of finally being able to do what I deem good). However, I did that work nonetheless. Or is the argument more like whenever you do something you are always doing it for at least a couple reasons, only one of which will be simply to do it?

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Metacognitive Ordeal

    [...] as to whether anything can be done for its own sake, or if the reward at the heart of it just becomes more obfuscated.

Do you mind elaborating? I don't think I understand.

I think it might be because of the little vibrations in the instruments sounds that we normally don't notice because when played at regular speeds they sound more like one whole note instead of a vibrating one. The low to medium-low notes of the piano for example, or the broken up sound of a shaker. At speed they sound fine, but when slowed down they wobble and scratch a bit more as our ears have more time to pick out individual bits of what's really going on.

Also, the dissonant notes and runs within the chords pop out a ton more in the slowed version because they're given more time to their selves. Normally dissonant or jazzy notes don't sound too bad to us because they're short and eventually come to rest on a more pleasing chord. But in this, they're all stretched out so it comes off more harsh as you said, and yields a more dark, dissonant sound (which is why you see such dissonant notes drawn out in a lot of dark classical orchestra pieces).

Just my thoughts. I could way totally be wrong.

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: AP classes are a scam

Perhaps I am just an outlier, but out of the 9 AP classes I've taken, only one was intellectually stifling. Intellectual curiosity was far higher in them than in any regular class I ever took. The demand to keep pace up to learn enough material for the test wasn't strangling us to death, but simply made sure that we weren't wasting too much time. We spent a lot of time in each class doing creative exploration of topics and many fun projects and whatnot. Most of the time we were learning a lot and loving what we were learning. It was only in the two or three weeks before the AP exams that we cracked down and began focusing strictly on problems we would encounter on the AP test.

Compared to the non-AP classes, we learned far more, did far more, and were more free to learn how we wanted to and do projects that we wanted to.

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: The Substrate of Mind

Could you work to define what you meant by consciousness? I have a very hard time comparing the consciousness of a human or a dog with the 'consciousness' of an entire ant colony combined. I feel like they are two completely different things currently, but you write as if they are one in the same.

Help me out here?

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Science and Losing Love

I put it a little too simply, but yes. They tend to all involve higher functions, because most everything in our daily lives involve them.

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Science and Losing Love

Well it depends on how you're talking about love.

The feeling of love, similar to sadness or anger (although not exactly the same), is not a higher function.

The development of the relationship with a person that yields a feeling of love, though, certainly involves the neocortex heavily, on account of the higher function processes needed to build and analyze a relationship.

So love isn't a higher function; it is somewhat a byproduct of it.

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Science and Losing Love

This is from a Ray Kurzweil book, in case anyone wanted the source. How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed is the title.

This is actually a really interesting topic, considering the neocortex is typically associated with higher functions like consciousness, language understanding and production, cognition, abstraction, problem solving, motor and sensory integration, etc. Normally, emotional things like love and empathy will be associated with the limbic regions, which are really considered the 'emotional core' of the brain.

However, since we as people have to evaluate others' behavior (body language, behavioral patterns, general emotional signals, etc.) so often, emotions really begin in the parts of our brains responsible for logical analysis. After we process the data, it becomes closer to love.

As far as his idea that you lose a part of yourself when a loved one leaves, it's not wholly understood why we get sad; his idea is just one of theories. Some more, relatively easy reading if you're interested here

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: People Who Study Most, Live Longer

Hell yeah, thanks for the link!

tom  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: The Friendship Paradox