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Reply To Aurino

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Posted by Alan on November 19, 2003 04:45:14 UTC

Hi Aurino,

replying to your reply:

What I might lose in translating "baby telepathy" to "English": may be to do with the inherent vagueness of English as a means of communicating?

"That's my complaint with your "physics mapping" posts. I don't think your ideas are stupid, I think they must make a lot of sense to you. But you just can't rush it through brief posts, it's a waste of time and it makes you look like you have lost your mind. Which I know is not the case, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this."

*Well, actually I didn't rush my physics mapping through brief posts: I put lengthy matrerial here but people seemed to give up due to the length. How about: "Losing one's mind" just means "losing the plot"; that is "not paying sufficient attention (that is: not minding) thus allowing ambiguous interpretations some of which could seem contradictory.

Thank you for acknowledging I had not "lost my mind"; this means I must be actually paying sufficient attention to not get my ideas in a chaotic muddle; but that perhaps you think I have not managed to present the ideas with enough clarity (so losing the mind of the reader!). (That was fun to write that: instead of losing my mind I might be losing yours: that is not presenting material adequate to retain your clear attention).

"Our inability to understand things doesn't make them less real. Likewise, our ability to understand other things doesn't make them real."

Our inability to understand things may encourage us to pay more attention to them to figure them out; or to pay less attention to them to save the bother. So they may seem almost more or less "real" in terms of impact on our consciousness? Will I treat "Tolstoy's "War And Peace" as less real if I haven't read it?

Things are what they are. Our ability to understand things would appear to make "that particular perspective" on them have potentially more impact on us. Perhaps a book may seem "more real" after reading it. Perhaps a "movie" seems less real after seeing it and being dissapointed (but it was the assumptions made about the movie that became less real? But they were real assumptions at the time).

"Thought" may be a kind of language of space: of "finding space" for things and creating new space for new things?

Quote: "But I could have had a problem if I had not learned to label some kinds of experiences as "night" when I was a child. Then I could have as much trouble with the word "night" means as I had with "evening"."
So "night" associates with actual experiences.

Quote: (re: my list of explaining "night" versus "evening"):
"Where is the link between words and experience? It doesn't seem to be necessary in most cases, if any.

The experience is implied. If you had no experience of "5pm" or of "midnight"; if these sounds were like "blob" and "blab" to you; we have a problem.

You figure out what the words mean by relying on direct interaction with experience both now, recent, and long ago.

"Context implies words. Associations implies words. Are words all there is?"

Context also implies "social context";
from the social context of "Bonjour" an English speaker might guess it was French for "hello".

Associations also imply "practical matches of patterns": like we see the pattern "car backing too far in a carpark" and see the pattern of a bystander yelling "Stop!"; and we associate these together to figure out what "Stop!" means. Another name for this practical process is "looking at the context".

thinking about numbers....

Quantity is real; but the grouping of quantities into numbers (while things can share common atributes) can involve choosing to make connections between them (four oranges and four apples involves using the same generalised tags "one, two, three, four" but does not mean the oranges and apples are laid out in ordered pairs).

The apples and oranges are matched with "1,2,3,4" in imagination; but in reality you could group one orange beside three apples. It doesn't seem you can group one orange beside three number-tags; because number-tags are treated differently to individual oranges and individual apples?

Number-tags require one-to-one correspondence.
As a quanity "3" is not just a name-tag; it involves a particular type of correspondence; choice of item labelled by "3" is partly limited by requiring three corresponding items bundled together.

Numbers as "tags":
The "one" label stuck to an apple could be swapped with the "four" label stuck to another apple; or even with the "four" label stuck to an orange if you took the label off the "four" orange and gave it to the apple. (Or take it off the "two" orange and re-label the oranges and the apples to make sure one item per label)


Numbers assume give-and-take with limiting choice (number-tags can be swapped among oranges say, but must swap other tags to compliment); and assume choice with limiting give-and-take (the "four-ness" of the apples and the oranges, assumes you have a choice between these groups but mustn't give orange-number-tags to apples without making complimentary changes in tagging of rest of the apples and the oranges?

I might have got muddled writing that.

If you communicate by naming a thing; are you not relying on a common ground of experience to associate the named thing in each person's mind with low margin for error? Trying to understand someone when you know little of their language involves a bigger margin for error. But each of us has a personal experience of language, so still could be a little error margin (potential misunderstanding) sometimes?

"The fact that some mentally ill people need drugs as much as people who are physically ill."

Who says that some people "need drugs"? You need something if you are seeking a particular goal that requires that something.

One does not need cosmetic surgery just because someone doesn't like one's looks say.

If someone doesn't like your behaviour, similarly you do not necessarily need drugs.

If you are unsatisfied with your look you might need cosmetic surgery IF you prefer that option to other options.

If you are unsatisfied with your behaviour you might need drugs (e.g. alcohol is a drug; you might want a drink to cheer up) IF you prefer that option to other options.

"Need" involves CONSENT, or a particular goal and a particular way of getting that goal.

Some people may consider they "need alcohol (a drug)" as much as people who are physically ill.
That taking alcohol may appear to change something does not mean you were sick before drinking and cured after drinking.

That someone is quite happy "that the drugs make her hallucinations go away" just shows that THIS PATH of ACHIEVING THAT GOAL is something she apparently goes along with. (Although she might pretend to go along with it to avoid torture in a world where torture is practiced.)

Someone else might be quite happy to not make "hallucinations" go away; or to not make them go away by the method of drugs. "Need" is relative to CONSENT, GOAL, PATH, and LOGICAL CONSISTENCY.

An epileptic appearing on T.V. (in a programme hosted by neurologist Ramachandran); said that "it's a wild place in there" regarding epileptic fits. He (the epileptic) also said he seemed to have a key (to reality understanding, it seemed implied) in these experiences. He does not want to lose that key and so "he does not need drugs to make the fits go away" we can conclude in logical consistency on the information given. Of course, maybe he might find another way to have that key; then he might choose some other option re: fits.

Thomas Szasz's approach to "people with problems" is to encourage personal responsibility and maximum choice.

Modern psychiatry tends to dictate what choices you are allowed to have, and to deny personal responsibility. A law is needed to guarantee the right to own one's behaviour.

"Have I ever had an episode of madness" ?
What is "madness" but a label by some of dissaproved conduct?
Have I ever conducted myself in ways others may dissaprove of? Who hasn't?

You seem to think "an unbearable fear" is madness?
Someone makes a rule "though shalt not have unbearable fears" and calls them "madness"?
Logically people should not HAVE to have unbearable fears if "people" is defined as "without such fears".

What about the right to have WHAT OTHERS label as "unbearable fears" but which oneself prefers to "bear" compared to the options on the table?

If people don't want things; that's their choice. Beware of imposing "what you think is best" for people; they might have a different opinion. Beware of imposing a particular method of attaining a goal, even if the goal is agreed to. Be aware when applying logic, if there is uncertainty or assumptions or ambiguity that could de-rail the logic...

Thomas Szasz IS NOT against "appreciated help"; he is not against pschiatry; he is only against force and fraud.

If so-called "mental health problems" were just the behavioural manifestations of cellular pathology; why is it that these alleged ailments are not kicked out of psychiatry and placed in neurology?

Because of lack of evidence. Further; any behaviour can involve neuro-transmitters; seeing biological connections with behaviour doesn't prove people are diseased.

Look at pathology texts, which for many decades ignored psychiatric maladies; the descriptions of these alleged maladies is notably different and speculative compared to genuine medicine.

Genuine medicine itself requires consent.

Regular medicine: Ivan Illich in "Limits To Medicine: The Expropriation Of Health" shows how moral and political an enterprise medicine itself is.
The lesser evil is to have less coercion.

That drugs may influence behaviour does not prove that humans are machines or that chemicals cause behaviour. Falling off a cliff influences behaviour. Being thirsty influences behaviour. How you react to circumstances you are in, involves freedom of choice.

On seeking: faith is involved, and good sense.



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