The Human Brain Is Incapable Of Understanding Anything

Discussion in 'Alternative Theories' started by Steve Klinko, Apr 29, 2021.

  1. Steve Klinko Registered Senior Member

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    In this topic I will attempt to define Understanding with respect to the Inter Mind Model (IMM). With the Perspective of the IMM, we can ask the question: Is Understanding a process in the Conscious Mind (CM) or is it simply Neural Activity of the right kind in the Physical Mind (PM)?

    The concept of Understanding, as with the concept of Knowing, is difficult to define properly. First, I will try to show that Understanding is different from Knowing. Let's consider the equation, E = mc^2. This is an iconic equation that most people have seen on TV or in the movies. I think I remember seeing it on the old Twilight Zone TV Series Intro. Many people have this equation in their Memories and they therefore Know this equation and can recite it. A lot of people probably Know that E is the Energy and m is the mass. Fewer people will Know that c is the Velocity of Light. However, even the people that Know what all the variables mean might not actually Understand this equation. Understanding would require that there is at least a recognition of the Implication of the equation, which is that a little bit of mass can be equivalent to a lot of Energy. A Deeper Understanding would come from being able to derive the equation from Momentum concepts and the limiting effect of the speed of Light. So it is clear that People can have Knowledge of all kinds of things, but might not have an Understanding of those things.

    In another thread it was shown that Knowledge is simply static Information of Known things. Let's define Understanding as a Relationship between those Known things. Let's now consider an equation that everybody Knows and Understands, 1 + 1 = 2. You can say 1 + 1 = 2 as a Known fact without necessarily Understanding it. Understanding takes more work. Understanding this equation requires that you somehow produce a Relationship between the two 1s. You can write a 1 on a piece of paper and then write another 1 on that paper. You can then proceed to count how many 1s there are and get the answer 2. There is a Relationship between the 1s when they are written together. You can then draw a dot on another piece of paper and then draw another dot on that piece of paper. You can then go count the dots and you will get the answer 2. Now you have attained a deeper Understanding of the equation. You have found that it's not only a 1 and a 1 that results in a count of 2 but also that a dot and a dot results in a count of 2. You will find that if you do this for other kinds of objects that the count is always 2. You have now generalized what was an abstract mathematical equation to real Physical World situations. You will have written and drawn things on the paper but you would need to have Seen the things as Visual Experiences in your Mind to properly Understand. Your Visual system operates to Detect the Writing on the paper, and through the action of the Inter Mind (IM), transforms it into a Conscious Visual Experience.

    You could have done the above exercises without writing and drawing on paper. You could have done this all in your Mind. You could have imagined a 1 and then another 1 in your Mind. Imagining a 1 is probably going to require that you recall the Image of a 1 from Memory. Your PM will have the Information for a 1 stored in the Neural Plasticity of the Brain. There will be Neural Activity involved with accessing this Information. The IM will detect this Neural Activity and know that it represents the Image of a 1. The IM will then generate the Conscious Experience, and therefore the Knowledge, of the two 1s. The 1s will probably be hazy and fuzzy when imagined this way, and some people may be able to imagine more vividly than others. Nevertheless, it will still necessarily be a Conscious Experience in the Mind. I will make the Speculation that it is probably not even possible to Understand that 1 + 1 = 2 without the use of an internal Visual Image of the situation. So I think it is fair to state that Understanding is purely a CM activity. There is no Understanding in the PM. The PM can store the Information that 1 + 1 = 2 because anyone can reflexively recall that Information and say it. You can punch in a 1 and then another 1 on a Calculator and get 2, but there is no Understanding involved within the Calculator in producing that answer of 2. Understanding, even the simplest concepts, requires something beyond static Information, Knowledge, and Calculation. Understanding requires a more Dynamic Relational Process that seems to need a Conscious Experience. It requires that there is a CM to Experience the steps of the Process. So, Understanding is at it's core an Experience and is not even a thing that exists in the Physical World. The Human Brain cannot Understand anything, because the Human Brain is a Physical thing, and Understanding happens as a Conscious Experience in a CM.

    Since a Computer cannot Experience anything, a Computer can never Understand anything. To say that a Computer Understands something is the same kind of error as saying that a Computer Knows something. Without Consciousness there is no Understanding.
     
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  3. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    If I don't understand anything am I blameless for my sins?
     
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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Generic Steve Klinko thread: define an activity that he defines as requiring consciousness, then ask if something without consciousness is capable of it, and try to sound intelligent by concluding that it isn't.
     
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  7. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure why he keeps bringing computers into it. They have nothing to do with his "inter mind model" premise. He has yet to show any evidence that "conscious activity" is not "neural activity". Only incredulity and bare assertion.
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    He enjoys pointing out that they are not conscious for some reason.
     
  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    For those who only have time for quick-ese: "Understanding" involves the subsumption of specific data under general conceptions. ("Bigger pictures" and their "rules" that connect, organize and classify things, which includes interpretation of "what is going on").

    Whereas "knowing" is a more or less static reservoir of stored information (especially the specific kind -- the refined details), much of which has already been categorized. That's waiting there in memory to be called to service, such as executing a skill -- like how to weld aluminum square tubing together or answering questions about _X_ in a classroom.

    A cursory glance seems to indicate that such may also be this DB entry's take on the difference (i.e., perhaps it's indeed conventional rather than my Kantian preferences): http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-knowing-and-understanding/

    Well, computers and brains certainly can organize specific data after analyzing slash recognizing the attributes of the information patterns (understanding in that context). But, yeah, there's no "picture" or "feeling" or "exhibited presence" that privately manifests in response to those systematic procedures. IOW, none of the empirical objects and sensations that populate the external world of our perceptions, only their normally invisible physical process counterparts.

    However, the data structure for an "oak tree" can be more complex than a token symbol that denotes nothing more about "oak tree" than that very word-name. And actually the mere phenomenal image of an oak tree yields little information about what it is either, though a person seeing it in an environment does get provided with where a specific one is located and that it is a shape filling space.

    Just as we require either an extended descriptive story about or a framework of memorized real-life encounters with an oak tree in order to conceptually apprehend (understand) it -- an advanced, learning robot can have those too. But it is limited to memories as descriptions or intricate data structures rather than the private experiences. Yet the complexity of the former -- in being far more than a superficial symbol or placeholder -- allows the robot to output bodily responses and reactions to the oak tree that can rival a human's.

    In the end, the difference between smart machine and biological organism in terms of consciousness is the difference in representational approaches. The robot is stuck with the lone category of invisible data structures representing items of the environment, whereas the bipedal primate has both the invisible data structures and the experience versions concomitant with them (manifested appearances and feelings).
     
  10. ralfcis Registered Senior Member

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    I saw a great video once on how the human brain constructs a very rich reality from limited data. Right now they're concentrating on consciousness through brute force computing power rather than how the brain fills in and augments the input data with simple mathematical rules the way fractals can generate complex patterns from simple equations. I'll try to find it.

     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Well, that's bad news! Especially as the wall'o'text in the OP was completely incomprehensible to my human brain.
     
  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    This I contend is his (Steve) Inner Mind being uploaded

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  13. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

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    While you have shown that your hypothesis applies to yourself, I have not seen evidence that it applies to others.
     
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  14. Steve Klinko Registered Senior Member

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    You are trying to minimize the importance of Conscious Experience. Let's think about the Visual Experience. The Visual Experience packs vast amounts of information into a single thing that can be analyzed by a Conscious Mind. The kind of analysis that the Conscious Mind can do with the Visual Experience would not even be possible with only the Brain hardware. The Brain would need to be as big as a Refrigerator to do the analysis that the Conscious Mind does with the Visual experience.
     
  15. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Next time you make a statement as profoundly stupid can you please make a video of you making it

    How do you keep your face straight?

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  16. Steve Klinko Registered Senior Member

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    It is kind of amusing when you realize how Consciousness is purposefully Ignored or Minimized. Think about that Conscious Visual Experience. You use it to move around in the World without bumping into things. If your Physical Brain had to do this without the Visual Experience it would certainly need to be as big as a Refrigerator. (Smiling with self satisfaction)
     
  17. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Another bare assertion with no evidence. Yawn...

    (Evidence - as in something to show that the "visual experience" is not what the brain is doing. AKA - Show that consciousness is not what the brain does..)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  18. Steve Klinko Registered Senior Member

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    The statement is supposed to make you think about the Conscious Visual Experience. That's all we can do is speculate and contemplate. There are no answers with regard to Consciousness. Without the Visual Experience, how do you think you would move around in the World without bumping into things, just using Neural Activity? Don't you think there would have to be a lot more Neural Activity, and more Neurons, without the Conscious Experience?
     
  19. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

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    No. That makes no sense. The 'concious experience' is our neural activity. Where do you think this magical consciousness comes from if not your brain?
     
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  20. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Fascinating

    Can you please lay out the mathematical formula for the refrigerator size brain calculation?

    Frowning in concentration. Thinking thinking

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  21. Steve Klinko Registered Senior Member

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    Of course, that is a sarcastic question. Do you understand that the Visual Experience is a product of the final processing stage for the Visual System? Do you think you could move around in the World equally as well if there was no Visual Experience?
     
  22. Steve Klinko Registered Senior Member

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    When you say that Conscious experience is our Neural Activity, what do you mean? How does something like the Experience of Redness reside inside the Neurons? This is pretty Incoherent.
     
  23. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

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    I am saying consciousness is 100% a function of our brains. You seem to be saying there is something else beside the brain that is involved. Maybe I am misinterpreting what you are saying, but a lot of your posts are incoherent.

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