Conservation of Self

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wesmorris, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Because I just speak. If I wait to get it straight before I get it out, it's gone. I have to get it out and hone it on the way. It's just the way it works for me. *shrug*

    It's not really a choice for me. I don't mind it until assholes start with the finger wagging. Ack.

    It's the only service I have available.

    I'm actually trying to get at the workings of the mechanisms in more of a "properties of consciousness" kind of sense, in terms of the expenditure of will, it's interaction with conceptual inter-relationships, how strong beliefs interact and all that. Denial is right on track.. shit I dunno this was just a thought I've played with for a long time and never taken very far. Seems to be on it to me. I've used the term "conservation of will" and "persistence of self" before and wanted to see where it went if I threw it out here.

    cya when you come back.
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Could it be that there can be drawn a distinction between life ( death ) and existence. You end your life but do you end your existence?

    A long time ago I came to the conclusion that I am neither alive nor dead but for sure I exist.

    To think of your experience in terms of existence only can be quite liberating ha ha
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  5. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Then fuck you, monsieur meanderer (wag wag wag). Kidding.

    Now- as far as a man's will exaggerating in the face of evidence going against him, and then blowing up some more when shown more evidence we can easily call it denial and be done with it.

    But I move to say its a battle between implicit confidence vs. explicit confidence.

    Ever notice how its the schock jocks and psudos that cry loudest? They have the strongest opinions on everthing- why? If you study them closely you notice they have low self esteem or poor, impoverished relationships with others. Howard Stern has described himself as a pasty dickwad and I agree with him all the way (cringe).

    Limbaugh is a fat pig who knows that he is one. But ask Limbaugh his opinions on abortion or gay rights and look how loud he is.

    Both their inner feelings toward self are low, but implicit.
    Their outer feelings toward world must then make up for it- explicit.

    And so all that pigheadedness is compensating for things lacking by shifting its focus and becomnig explicit.

    Conclusion: those that are pigheaded most likely know that they're pigs and don't like it. Only a theory.
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    gendanken, I think you are quite right in that "loud" belief is a sign of low self esteem.
    The belief being a tool to help prop up a vacuum of knowledge. Almost a superstitious reaction to the fear of the unknown.
  8. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

    1st of all, people are stubborn. (nono, that's not "strength," but it is a good quality)

    2nd of all, people like to invision things that make them feel more comfortable, wether it is a skeptical or an optimistic view. In face of evidence of the contrary, they are being pushed out into uncomfortable area and therefore are reluctant to accept the new facts. This can go to extent of blindness. I remember reading on bbc website about a governor in some African country (pardon) who wouldn't allow polio vaccine because, he and his scientists believe, it is a threat to Muslim women and children (no joke).

    In my opinion, strength is revealed when an individual is able to look at the new evidence, consider it with a cool clear mind, and make a reasonable conclusion.
  9. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

    It takes a person with self-confidence to consider ideas that might run counter to their beliefs. You can cruise these forums and see who has the confidence, and who is still searching.
  10. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Quantum Quak:
    Low self esteem in most, yes. But there is such a thing as intellectual insecurity also that makes some loud.

    I myself have been known to be arrogant in some....past life. I know why.

    Cruised and cruising.

    I can pull a few names out. Can you?
  11. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

    Yes indeed Gendy. I had a few posters in mind when I wrote that.

    The southern gentleman in me says that it wouldn't be very classy of me to name names, so I wont.
  12. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    holy FUCK.

    i just lost a fucking beautiful post. GODDAMNIT.
  13. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member


    man i swear i just explained human thought in about 200 words and it was fucking beautiful... and now it's gone. ACK. i'm SO fucking dumb.

    okay.. well anyway, this is going to fucking SUCK in comparison, but I'll try to get the point across.

    basically, thought is the act of "falling forward" in a sense, like perpetually traversing an 64,502 (definately not 64,501) dimensional web of conceptual inter-relationships formed by experience and the processing of the experience into those inter-relationships, continually re-enforcing or tearing away at the structure that exists at the time of the processing. if you add to it, it's easy to throw it onto a pile you've already got laying around. if you start tearing away at it well.. how do you get from one idea to the other? There's nowhere to tread. You might get sucked into a hole in those inter-relationships.. if you know what I mean.


    that was kind of it but it seemed cooler the first time and I'm not sure if I missed something.

    EDIT: So that's what I mean by "conservation of self": that what already is, stays... unless you risk falling down.

    If you learn how to get back up, holes aren't such a problem.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2004
  14. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

    I wanted to use sculpture as a metaphor because it seemed analagous, but I know shit about stone, so I will use woodworking, something I know a few things about.

    When I'm building something out of wood, I follow the old adage of "measure twice, cut once" because I've definitely known the pain of being hasty with my saw. You can always shave another 32nd off of a cut, but you just can't ever put that 32nd back.

    Now imagine thought being like a piece of wood, only the difference is that this particular piece of wood is not dead, it's still growing, ever so slowly.

    The mind is a big block of this wood. We are the carpenters of our own minds. If we are hasty and cut too deeply we may have no choice but to simply wait for the wood to grow. Watching wood grow is a tedious endeavor, but nevertheless often a necessary endeavor. We're very selfish with our cutting tools, and balk at the idea of letting anyone else manipulate these tools against our block of wood, but often, in the skilled hands of the proper craftsman, we can't help but let them wield the tools. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as we have surveyed the craftsman to be worth of holding our tools. (Don't go there. I see it. Perverts.)

    Some of us are much more reticent to defer to a better craftsman entering our workshop. We all have our reasons. As we get older I think we generally become much better appraisers of another craftsman's work, and thereby become less reticent toward surrendering the tools.
  15. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Nice. Man I'm a woodworking retard. I've always admired you woodworking bastards. All the building related tradesmen generally interest me, as it's something I just don't know shit about, probably won't ever, but it's so damned cool to see people make something.

    Right on. I'm a little more reckless but I'm dealing with imaginary shit most of the time. Half the reason I don't know shit about wood, etc. is that I've never had the patience to measure that second time. To me there's a little bit of a kick in winging it. I'm not sure if it's because it's all I know how to do and my configuration has arranged a reward system for me because my stimulous has lead to idea that I am good at winging it. Partially I think I've managed to set my sculpture up so that when I skate across the contours of it, I get a good few of the larger structure... I can derive whatever I need on the fly rather than having to rely on much knowledge. I'm half convinced that I've made some sort of half-conscoius effort not to know a damned thing, but to be able to make everything up as I go along but it just so happens that what I make up is mostly right. Hehe. Okay nevermind.

    I think it's actually kind of quick in a sense.. depends on how you look at it. Problem is that the roots go deep eh? You put jesus in a child and jesus goes deep, pertinent to "reality" or not. Reality is in essense "as one knows it" so to the person who has jesus put in their mind, it is their experience that jesus is part of their environment, be he entirely imaginary or not. Thus the stimulous from their environment reflects the environment back at it, as processed by that perspective. Jesus is real because he is part of their environment, and with roots that deep.. he's almost surely gonna stay real, as to that perspective he is nothing less... depending on a lot of factors I guess. Rather, a lot of different things could be introduced to make something irrelevant to a person after having been very relevant, it's that "self is conserved"... unless will or force is applied, you will remain whereever your momentum takes you. Grr, that's not worded quite right but I"m getting sleepy, pardon.

    Sometimes though, the momentum imparted into one's mind due to the stimulous from their environment cuts deeply without the volition of the carpenter. That's what I'm getting at, one's stimulous imparts a momentum into their mind based on their conceptual junk per above. To separate from that momentum, one must apply will. That takes energy. Maybe it's kind of a "every reaction and the opposite action" kind of thought thing. Lol. Yah okay sleeping soon.
  16. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member


    That's good wag.

    We could just as easily call it cheese. Mmmmm.

    So you're saying confidence is more pronounced than resistance to change? This is weird they are both ego related. I'm saying that when you "think" you're basically exploring a contextualized/conceptualized version of your impression of your experience. You've hardwired that shit into your brain. Unless you've conditioned yourself to continually update, you will find whatever excuse necessary to avoid updates. Conservation of self. You are wired as you are and creating new conceptual node type things takes cranial resources.... preoccupation of sort... I suppose attention is a better thing, and attention requires will.. which requires effort, which is also conserved.

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    Clashes between implicit and explicit confidence are IMO, indicative of a problem with ego in that uhm... the clash creates a 'conceptual sink'.... in which what I'm talking about might... like every other thing that crosses the mind of the person.... be drawn into it.

    At least that's how I see what you said fitting into the scheme I see.

    Hehe.. Yeah maybe, but I don't think crying loud is really related. I think a soft-spoken christian or a boystrous (sp?) hari krishna is subject to the same conservation of will as anyone. It's a matter of emotional and physical investement in the hard wiring of your brain and the effort and preoccupation required to actually drive it to change itself in a willfull manner... like learning japanese or accepting that you were wrong about something or blah blah. A lot of people can accept it when they're wrong because they've wired themselves over time such that accpeting it is part of the deal. That makes them conceptuall healthy, same as like riding a bike or running a marathon...they can integrate stuff into their heads better because they are used to doing so... rather than wrapping all of their input onto their pre-conceived notions (which requires less effort for the most part (debatable i guess)).


    I'm sure we could probably have a long talk about that, it's complicated (as you know) but I'll tentatively go with it.

    I consider that a proven fact.

    I wonder if he knows he's a pig. I'm sure he knows he's fat but I wonder if he hides that he is a pig from himself. I'd guess he did but who knows.

    You're saying he's a pasty dickwad because he's it's implicit to who he is: a pasty dickwad?

    Yeah okay I use different semantics.. compensation! I'd say... I would. Really. I don't think he's necessarily a pasty dickwad though. He only is because he thinks he is. That's his whole problem I'd guess, that he's become fixated on something that makes him a pasty dickwad. I'd further say that he's gotten rich by being a pasty dickwad and that fucks him up worse that normal even, really tweaking the ego in a generally undesirable manner. Making them superman and Panzy Limperson at the same time. A fraud. Bah I'm fucking rambling.

    Well, I like your analogy but have to put it in my own terms because I'm lamer than shit and have a hard time seeing it other ways. I can put your stuff in my terms as I tried to above. I suppose I've chosen (like you must have) my terms because they are what work for my current comprehension of whatever. I should ask though, you're saying that shifting the focus from internal to external compensates for internalized dissapointments? It also allows them to fester. I think our comments are really just part of the same landscape of mind. I suppose I think you're right. I'd look at that as "rewiring around the sink" (i say sink in terms of 'sources and sinks') such that the brain can still function with this huge sink happening... I'd also still say that self is conserved in this manner. This particular deal is a surivival thing. As man is a social animal, he must still have his brains operational to survive, the brain's flexibility allows this to be the case and his .. well, let's just say if his brain didn't "wire around it" all inputs would end up at that sink, leading to insanity and an inability to survive. Conservation of self in another aspect of the same idea which is I think basically analagous to the conservation principles in physics like "conservation of energy" and such.

    Hehe. Hey get off me. I can't help it that I'm beautiful.

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  17. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    There is another thing when it comes to conservation of self:
    Namely, how self comes about in the first place. Why do I feel like I?
    (I am referring mostly to Spiegel Special, No. 3, 2003.)
    Evidence shows that certain regions of the brain are not developed by the age of 2 or so; it is only around that time that episodic memory begins to develop, and we need episodic memory in order to remember a chain of related events or processes. This is why we don't consciously remember things that happened until that age.
    Parallel to that, we are raised as humans and are referred to as persons and treated as if we have an I. However, we do learn things before we reach age 2. So we learn that we are an I, before we are able to be aware of it. We take it for granted.

    (Little children refer to themselves with their name up to a certain age; they don't say "Give me an apple!", a little Thomas says, "Give Tommy an apple!" -- Why did I choose the apple?!)
    Of course, the data is indirect, as nobody per definition can remember what he thought when he was 1 year old.

    That's the big trick why our thoughts, if we follow logic, always come down to But through what is the instance of observation (the I) defined? Where does this instance come from? Who is the I?

    This is where all sorts of ethic, sociological and religious theories and dogmas come in. (Note: here the discourse stops being logics, it becomes ethics!) And we all know how disputable ethic, sociologial and religious (and other more or less magical) explanations are ...

    Because of that trick it is so much more important that a child has a healthy environment and is nurtured and loved; for what we learn then fundamentally shapes our thinking and behaving (thanks for the term, Wes

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    We learn that we are an I, before we are able to be aware of it; how strongly we take it for granted depends on how much safety and love we experienced at home. It doesn't matter whether the parents are Catholics, Mormons, thoruoghly educated or whatever; the main point is whether they are true to the child and love him; and whether their economical and social situation allows them to do so.
    Otherwise it is "Hamlet, here we come!" put into practice.

    I don't think that Mormons or whoever are happy because of their belief; the belief is just something to ease that trick of logic. The main thing is the happiness of heart. (If someone scolds me for being "unscientific" I'll tell him to piss off and get a life! :bugeye: ) Of course, a certain belief dictates our actions in this world, what we do for a living and how we live. The happiness of heart depends on what we do for a living and how we live, and vice versa. Anyway, I think that here the "initial push" by the parents is very important; but it seems that things can be majorly fixed later on too.

    Another thing with thinking and the way we see ourselves and the world is the fact that we think in metaphors; we cannot directly (" ") talk about abstract things.

    A metaphorical image of perceiving the mind as a peace of wood that keeps on growing, but that we can work on and chissle it; then the tree metaphor with the roots, and the stem, and the branches, and the leaves, and the fruits, and new seeds; and the soul is a bird -- does it poo too, and change feathers, and migrate to North ?? -- and arrrrrrrgh it makes one crazy trying to find the right metaphor for something we are thinking about.

    So love ye one another.

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  18. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    They have the strongest opinions on everything -- because this is how they compensate their lack of self-esteem and their impoverished relationships. Needless to say, crying out loud the way some do endorses and perpetuates this lack of self-esteem and their relationships remain impoverished.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2004
  19. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Quantum Quack,

    "I feel sorry for those who believe in evolution, they are sad creatures.... "

    Taking a religious perspective and arguing accordingly.......

    Maybe you are judging too harshly, by "evolution", he could have meant "theory of...", pertaining to speciation. That being the case, his statement is understandable, if a little harsh.

    For a religious person to declare that their God does not evolve is a grave error of perspective.

    How so?

    But one could argue that perfection requires as a necessity evolution of perfection to maintain that perfection.

    What do you think perfection is?

    People hope they are right, they also hope that God ("Universe") is perfectly static and non-evolving.

    Why would it be in anyone's interest to hope for the above?

    This is what I mean when I refer to belief being an obstacle to the "Truth" or for that matter true "knowing"

    Do you know the truth?

    If one believes an apple exists and that belief is strong enough then when the apple is gone the belief in the apple maintains it's existance as a contruct of the mind and not a sharable "truth" or "Knowing" thus a belief can lead to a state of halucination or self deception.

    Believing an apple exists is not the same as believing in the apple.
    If you told someone that the apple existed, then you are sharing a truth/knowledge, whether or not you can prove your belief.
    If someone challenges you to prove your belief to them, and you cannot, does it mean your belief is false?

    I think Mankind hopes that reality is not as "nasty" as it is and seeks to deny the truth by creating a belief that God is perfect and we are not,

    An you think this is the only reason we believe in God?

    thus perpetuating the delusion and stopping us from actually doing anythng about the "Nastiness" we see, in the hope that God will make it right in the end and not ourselves.

    How do you explain the work some religious people do in the heart of this nastiness, for nothing more than the desire to help?

    Belief often is a synonym of delusion. The two exist side by side and in most cases are indiscernable.

    Belief or belief in God?

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    To believe you know is delusion

    And a contradiction.

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    Jan Ardena.
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Jan Ardena

    I believe if you re-read the post and apply the correct context yo may understand what I am attempting to say


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