Category Archives: Perceptionalism

Denial is Religion

Denial is a what allowed us to evolve as a species, more specifically denial of the end of life via the afterlife with religions, however religions are now holding us back as a species because the assumption that there’s a better life leads humanity to follow a dangerous path. It leads us away from a theory of mind of those around us, and keeps us focusing on our own perceptions and realities. By understanding that there is no more life but this, we come to find it all the more precious. By believing in a life beyond this one, we put off changing our ways and end up convincing ourselves that our adverse behaviours are not dangerous to the the survival of our species. That’s a problem because our denial of the way we treat our planet will eventually lead to the grand pillaging of the resources this fragile biome affords us. And then we all die, in a painful unpleasant existence, one full of strife and indignity, as we use our vast intelligence to create efficient weapons and coerce other civilizations to give up their precious resources so we can suffer less, and our existence less painful. That is not the way I want humanity to end up. That seems like an awful fate for such a promising species.
The problem is our addiction to over consumption. I think that we could peacefully live on this planet, all of us, if we just tailored back our rampant consumerism. If we directed that singular desire to want something into a less destructive resource. At least that’s what I think anyway.

The who of you are

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, but a post on reddit about memory got me thinking, so I put down some thoughts about how memory works, and memristors!
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I think the reason you have nobody answering is that there is no definitive answer to your question. Memory and consciousness are the big unknowns in philosophy and neuroscience, endlessly debatable and almost impossible to prove. It’s all just theories, which are little more than mental ‘what ifs’.. However, I’ll take a stab and tell you my theory.
So our brains, the most complex object that we know of in existence, are just neural networks of neural networks of neural networks. Think about how we learn, from babies to adults. I imagine that a baby’s brain is a mass of unconnected and pre-mapped out neural networks. Some of these networks will have been formed as a result of our DNA, things like controlling your breathing and heart-rate to the medulla, the thalamus and hypothalamus, probably pre-wired to route information to and from different areas of your brain. The cerebellum is probably hard-wired to control your limbs, but all of these things are connected via pathways to the cerebrum, which I’m betting is mostly unmapped.
So you have a baby, he’s born, he’s basically raw-unmapped sensations, stimulation coming in from all over the place and probably no way to process it properly. All this baby knows is that things are hot, things are cold, he’s hungry, he’s tired, he’s warm, he’s safe, he’s scared, just these raw emotions that are built in for survival. Once he starts growing, he starts learning. He sees that if he moves his hand, he can see his fingers, and if he wiggles his fingers, they move. You start getting these feedback networks getting burnt into the cerebrum, this cause and effect portions of the brain – if he cries, there’s comfort, he see’s his mom, she tickles him, little networks getting formed in the cerebrum. As the child grows up, more and more actions and stimulus are getting defined in the cerebrum. Walking, running, making sound, tying the sounds together to make speech, networks building upon networks. As the child is learning, he’s starting to chain these networks together. Associations between networks. Saying something that’s unintentionally funny to all the adults in the room, and watching them burst into laughter. Important events are getting written into the cerebrum, things that are different are getting saved for future use.
Now as he grow up, and his consciousness is forming and solidifying, he starts to see associations with stuff that happened in the past. He see’s a child saying something funny and everybody laughing, and that get’s hashed back to the time when he was a child doing the same thing. Whatever part of his brain that has evolved to be his consciousness rolls back over those networked connections that were saved in his cerebrum, and it’s played out again in his internal movie theatre guy. What exactly the nature of that internal movie theatre guy is, that’s another question and much more philosophical / spiritual.
Anyways, that’s my interpretation of how memory works. Whenever your consciousness is rolling back over the network that formed a different or important or rewarding point in your life. Most of your day to day stuff seems to be ignored, because it’s not eventful, and it doesn’t change the who of you are.
As for memristors, yes, I’m pretty sure that if they actually get developed, we’re going to see a whole new level of processing. They really do seem to be made for neural networks, however keep in mind the physiology of a computer neural network and a wetware neural network are very different – with our neurons, you have tens if not hundreds of incoming connections to the dendrites of a neuron, which is then in turn connected to hundreds of other neurons. Memristors are single input single output, but I bet that you could possibly emulate the same behaviour using a bunch in parallel or something. Anyways, that’s my two cents.

On the Tate (Modern) and Flat Parties

Today was one of random encounters and free particles. I went to the Tate art museum in the afternoon – enjoying the wide assortment of modern art that I had never really appreciated before. At one point there was a balcony on which I tried to take a complete landscape photo of southern london, however my program was not up for the task of stitching it together. I enjoyed a traditional english Kebab on the roof of Howie’s flat, where we encountered some gents from the other set of flats who share the roof. Many drinks and interesting conversations later, we stumbled to a flat party that was at least five, distinct, cultural zones from home base. It’s a bit of an eye opener for me, a simple Canadian from Winnipeg, but it’s incredibly enjoyable. The flat party was kicking, the booze flowed freely, the night ultimately fulfilling. Tomorrow the traditional London clubbing experience. Hopefully I’ll find time to update tomorrow, however I cannot guarantee the state in which I’ll be writing. Who knows what batshit crazy stuff will spew.

Fate, Chance and Choice

What defines a person? If we think about our individual place in the world, what exactly is it that we can hold onto; what can we use to understand that even after our life passes, some part of us will still exist? Is immortality what we’re all ultimately after? If you’re having trouble swallowing eternal sunshine of the blessed mind versus cruelty objectified as an eternal agonizing reality, alternative choices must be made. Reincarnation, a rebirth as a new soul versus unending stillness. Look at this. Look at how appetizing the popular choice is. Sure the reincarnation isn’t too bad as a way to continue existence for all time, but when faced with ‘the unending bliss of heaven’ there’s really no choice. How could you say no to christianity?

Continue reading Fate, Chance and Choice

Perceptionalism Quotes

These are some quotes I’ve come across since I’ve started my philosophical voyage that reinforce some of the concepts of perceptionalism. (The emphasis in the quotes is mine).

This little book is a sequel to The Doors of Perception. For a person in whom ‘the candle of vision’ never burns spontaneously, the mescalin experience is doubly illuminating. It throws light on the hithero unknown regions of his own mind; and at the same time it throws light, indirectly, on other minds, more richly gifted in respect to vision than his own. Reflecting on his experience, he comes to a new and better understanding of the ways in which those other minds perceive and feel and think, of the cosmological notions which seem to them self-evident, and of the works of art through which they feel impelled to express themselves. In what follows I have tried to set down, more or less systematically, the results of this new understanding.

-Foreword to Heaven and Hell by Aldous Huxley

Brothers, have no fear of men’s sin. Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest Love on earth. Love all of God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery of things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.

-Feodor Dostoyevsky

… and we see, concretely illustrated, the impossible paradox and supreme truth – that perception is (or at least can be, ought to be) the same as Revelation, that Reality shines out of every appearance, that the One is totally, infinitely present in all particulars.

Heaven and Hell by Aldous Huxley


I find myself constantly distracted. There’s so many things I want to write about that I can never settle on one idea and eventually I run out of time. It’s 4:50am – my eyes are getting heavy and I haven’t put down anything, all I’ve done is read, played some WSA & WW, sent an email or two and smoked a lot of cigarettes. It’s damn cold outside too!
I wanted to talk about Perceptionalism, but I haven’t finished formulating my thoughts. I do know that this saying from my Zen calendar is particularily important:
“Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold to the truth within yourself, as to the only truth.” – The Buddha
If the only thing you can possibly be confident exists in this Universe is yourself, then wouldn’t this be the only source of truth that you can truely trust?
I will talk more tomorrow or when I have more time. How I wish I had been able to move out, ah well.