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Dean Pomerleau

Sci Fi Movie and Book Recommendations

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On 6/5/2021 at 6:23 PM, Dean Pomerleau said:

actively prevent themselves from being thought.

 

What is the proposed mechanism by which an idea can actively prevent itself from being thought?  Does that presume an idea has some sort of independent existence and agency? 

 

I watched a couple of interesting SciFi movies on Amazon Prime recently (probably will not be appreciated by anyone with a "serious" personality type or seeking hard core sci-fi😞

Parallel - some young adults find a mirror in a secret room of the house they were renting, the mirror allows one to pass between parallel universes, but every time you go in, its to a different parallel universe.  They start off having fun by taking things of value back from those worlds to enrich themselves, then technology too, and art that they pass off as their own, but things start to get darker as they continue using the mirror, haha.

The Speed of Thought - kind of goofy but for some reason entertained me, about a guy who can hear other people's thoughts but he's being mistreated by the government.  I liked the new twist they added on this genre with the ability to open/share your mind with other person that has the same special abilities.

Time Freak - an even more goofy movie about a guy who builds a time machine to fix his broken relationship, mindlessly entertaining and a bit depressing at the same time.  Sort of a "Revenge of the Nerds" type thing going on there.

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1 hour ago, Gordo said:

What is the proposed mechanism by which an idea can actively prevent itself from being thought?  Does that presume an idea has some sort of independent existence and agency? 

In the book there were some rather demonic agentic entities that avoided detection by suppressing people's memory of encountering them. No specific physiological explanation was given. 

In the real world, it doesn't seem like ideas have agency per se. Some are obviously hard to think for most people at least, like higher order mathematics. More down to earth, I find it very intriguing that the memory of dreams are so vivid immediately upon waking but then so rapidly fade in detail. Amnesia for events immediately prior to a traumatic injury (esp head injury) shows how labile our memories are, making it seem possible that erasing someone's memory of an encounter could theoretically be possible, opening the possibility of camouflage via memory manipulation, which is a big part of the book.

I also find it interesting that some classes of sensor experiences are very hard to remember or experience virtually in my mind. For example I find tastes to be surprisingly evanescent and hard to recapture in my mind after experiencing them. The state of mind one reaches on psychedelics and even some of the insights gained while there also seem to have this same hard-to-recapture property, or so I've been told. ;-).

But the best example I've been able to come up with for an idea that we are prevented from thinking (or at least taking seriously) is idea of non-duality in the spiritual sense. It seems that evolution has instilled in almost all sentient creatures the strong belief that the world is composed of discrete, independent objects, the most important of which is the one loosely defined as that which is located at the center of the sensory/motor nexus that is the body. The mind (via the brain) models the body and the mind it is connected to, as well as other body/minds/objects in its vicinity in order to facilitate actions that preserve the integrity of central body/mind (and its kin). Body/mind complexes that didn't effectively model themselves and the world perished and the trait for poor self and world modeling was weeded out through the process of natural selection. Simplifying the mental world model into discrete objects was (and still mostly is) necessary for creatures like us since our brains aren't capable of accurately modeling the world without the simplifying step of 'chunking' the world into objects. And if we don't model the world accurately, we're libel to misjudge where the carrot we are chopping ends and our finger begins, with life-threatening results depending on the circumstances.

So now, all existing person and creatures can't help but carve the world up into objects, into discrete self and others with special emphasis on the self. The structure of our language, with subjects and objects, reinforces dualistic thinking. Seeing the world as "undifferentiated suchness" free of distinction between self and others (i.e. a non-dual perspective) is literally unthinkable for most people, at least thoroughly and viscerally, because we are wired to carve up the world into discrete things when creating our mental model. Most people aren't interested in even entertaining such a perspective, let alone working to cultivate it. Even for those who are interested, it typically takes many years of training and meditation to see through the illusion of duality for anything more than brief moments. And even then it is apparently very difficult to maintain a non-dual perspective all the time. It seems like it is only the very rare individual (e.g. the Buddha or Ramana Maharshi) who is capable of operating that way for very long.

--Dean

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15 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Even for those who are interested, it typically takes many years of training and meditation to see through the illusion of duality for anything more than brief moments. 

Researchers at Johns Hopkins did a relevant study... while it was not the primary objective of the study, they did find and document a protocol that resulted in many subjects experiencing feelings & thoughts of non-duality which match descriptions of spontaneous mystical experiences that have been reported.  I'm not however sure about what to think of the idea (of non-duality), it is one of many ideas that cannot be proven or falsified, even if it can be briefly "felt".  It seems the sense of self (ego) is driven by activity in the default mode network of our brains, and shutting that part of brain down results in these sensations of not having a body and being connected to everything - arguably a brain damaged state of mind, some might even say a lower level of consciousness vs. higher level 😉 That being said, 56% of participants in the study said it was the single most spiritually significant experience of their life, and a remarkable 96% reported that it was in their "top 5", they compared it to things like the birth of a child or death of a parent.  So clearly there is something going on there that is worth exploring.  

 

Edited by Gordo

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I just watched an old time-travel comedy that I hadn't seen before, "Idiocracy" by Mike Judd. 

The premise is rather relevant in view of changing demographics.

The movie itself lapses into predictable formulaic schlock, but I sort of enjoyed it.

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On 6/17/2021 at 6:50 PM, Dean Pomerleau said:

In the book there were some rather demonic agentic entities that avoided detection by suppressing people's memory of encountering them. No specific physiological explanation was given. 

In the real world, it doesn't seem like ideas have agency per se. Some are obviously hard to think for most people at least, like higher order mathematics. More down to earth, I find it very intriguing that the memory of dreams are so vivid immediately upon waking but then so rapidly fade in detail. Amnesia for events immediately prior to a traumatic injury (esp head injury) shows how labile our memories are, making it seem possible that erasing someone's memory of an encounter could theoretically be possible, opening the possibility of camouflage via memory manipulation, which is a big part of the book.

I also find it interesting that some classes of sensor experiences are very hard to remember or experience virtually in my mind. For example I find tastes to be surprisingly evanescent and hard to recapture in my mind after experiencing them. The state of mind one reaches on psychedelics and even some of the insights gained while there also seem to have this same hard-to-recapture property, or so I've been told. ;-).

But the best example I've been able to come up with for an idea that we are prevented from thinking (or at least taking seriously) is idea of non-duality in the spiritual sense. It seems that evolution has instilled in almost all sentient creatures the strong belief that the world is composed of discrete, independent objects, the most important of which is the one loosely defined as that which is located at the center of the sensory/motor nexus that is the body. The mind (via the brain) models the body and the mind it is connected to, as well as other body/minds/objects in its vicinity in order to facilitate actions that preserve the integrity of central body/mind (and its kin). Body/mind complexes that didn't effectively model themselves and the world perished and the trait for poor self and world modeling was weeded out through the process of natural selection. Simplifying the mental world model into discrete objects was (and still mostly is) necessary for creatures like us since our brains aren't capable of accurately modeling the world without the simplifying step of 'chunking' the world into objects. And if we don't model the world accurately, we're libel to misjudge where the carrot we are chopping ends and our finger begins, with life-threatening results depending on the circumstances.

So now, all existing person and creatures can't help but carve the world up into objects, into discrete self and others with special emphasis on the self. The structure of our language, with subjects and objects, reinforces dualistic thinking. Seeing the world as "undifferentiated suchness" free of distinction between self and others (i.e. a non-dual perspective) is literally unthinkable for most people, at least thoroughly and viscerally, because we are wired to carve up the world into discrete things when creating our mental model. Most people aren't interested in even entertaining such a perspective, let alone working to cultivate it. Even for those who are interested, it typically takes many years of training and meditation to see through the illusion of duality for anything more than brief moments. And even then it is apparently very difficult to maintain a non-dual perspective all the time. It seems like it is only the very rare individual (e.g. the Buddha or Ramana Maharshi) who is capable of operating that way for very long.

--Dean

Dean have you read aldous huxley’s “The Doors of Perception “? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Doors_of_Perception

the link is regarding that and explores the topic in general. I think penfield and wilders research along with scores of genius’s from Plato ,the cave allegory, on certainly indicate that we see a very thin slice of reality. We are basically the blind leading the blind IMO.

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An old, but classic Sci-Fi movie that I'd recommend, if you haven't seen it, is The Forbidden Planet.

It hit theatres in 1956 but, in my opinion the central concept/storyline is fascinating and might be a hit movie today if re-made with updated effects; it's one of my absolute favorites.

Forbidden Planet - Wikipedia

Forbidden-Planet.jpg

Edited by Clinton

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In the "stuck in a timeloop" genre, I saw "Boss Level" last night. Extremely violent and mostly mindless entertainment but quite good for this genre, an interesting cast too, slightly more sci-fi than most in the category, with subtle homage to classic video games that might be appreciated by some. 

 

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Movie: “Old” (2021)

This was a major release back in July. But cinema closures probably obscured its presence.

Reviews and IMDB are only so-so …

A thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.
Release date: July 23, 2021 (USA)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Budget: $18 million

 

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they should have Sinclair show up half-way through the movie with some resveratrol and N(R) and 'cure' the family back to a youthful state ... 

Edited by Clinton

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