FOREWORD: I started falling asleep while writing this and am afraid my logic may have slipped. Please forgive me. I still think it might provide food for thought.


I didn't notice this idea suggested yet. I think it would be worthwhile to put a significant amount of effort into researching and rehashing approaches others have already taken along similar lines as our goal.


There's the Carl Sagan approach that goes something like: Take a strong feeling of wonder, the realization that our senses are fallible, the inference from this that we thus require diffs of our observations and other's to catch our mistakes, start observing, and see what you can decide amongst yourselves seems plausible.


Really, this isn't "the Carl Sagan approach", but the approach of science. Sagan just seemed to have a way of reiterating the approach over and over again using example after example, sprinkling the "wonder" element on top wherever he was able.


For the most part, observation is something an individual can't just shut off. It seems reasonable to me to state that a large number of the innate faculties of the human experience could be chalked up to observing and interacting with one's environment. The problem is that we're evolved to do this in the context of evolution: our genes want to (so to speak) propagate, so we're programmed to do what we have to to procreate, and to stay alive so that we can. This includes competing for resources. I'll suggest that bundling intentions with our observations could offer benefits. Does something seem likely, but you just don't want it to be so? Lucky for you, you can tag some disdain onto the idea and spread it amongst your peers. Heck, if done habitually, you might not have to intervene to make it happen. Or did you even have to in the first place? There is some evidence (Decety, Ickes's "The Social Neuroscience of Empathy") that points to the idea that we reflexively mirror each other --that this happens at speeds much faster than can be attributed to conscious pantomiming, if you will, and happens in subtle ways.


The need to observe is already there. How do we decouple it from intention?

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I'm glad I've found this group.... you seem like a bunch of people who are curious about exploring all these things, but aren't necessarily highly educated in philosophy or science or maths or quantum physics, and if you are, then I'm mistaken.  But I have just described myself, and so I would feel welcome by such a group.

I am an Naturalist and so the opportunity to have lengthy discussions from a lay-persons perspective I'm really excited about, as I know that we are only caused to do what we do - we don't have the ability to be something we are not, without cause.  So I need a group of people I can discuss things with that will allow me to be caused to think more deeply and evolve my own understanding of the world, in my Naturalistic based world view.

I also support Natural learning, as I find it way more creative and opportunistic - as opposed to formal education.  There isn't much to stop us with the use of the internet.  Highly educated people seem to dismiss this sort of learning as misguided, and dangerous, due to people getting carried away with unfounded ideas, because they don't see the whole picture - or because they are exposed to unfounded science / theories / evidence - I trust our ability to work it out and respond to what we come across to make sense of the world as we find it - and don't support the arrogance that because someone was more obedient or had more opportunity - that they hold the monopoly on truth.

Any how... getting very side tracked there...  What I was going to say, was that I feel extremely inspired by what you've said here.  And I would like to hear more.

I read an interesting book recently called, 'the brain, a short introduction' and another one called 'consciousness a short introduction', they were both very informative, and did say some interesting things about our ability to observe.  In fact they said that we don't really see anything - it's only our interpretation of what we see that we see.  In other words if we can't interpret it, we can't see it.  Thus stories such as - the guy who saw a rock coming towards him making a very load noise, turned out that it was a car - but in his country this Indigenous Australian man had never seen a car before, and so he saw a rock.

I really like the sound of the social neuroscience of empathy link, and I'll aim to get a chance to read that when I have it.  Much of my life is taken up with Empathy these days.  Naturalism requests empathy for everyone due to our inability to do otherwise, as we are all fully caused to be and do and think what we do.  But I would be interested to explore this idea of empathy and compassion further.  Are they just feel good things that people like to encourage?  Are they fundamental to our ability to work collectively as a group and increasing our chances of survival as a species?  Are they even relevant to our instinct?  Is there a sub plot here that I'm missing?  Or is it simply that having compassion makes sense when we live in a fully caused world?

I do believe that we mirror each other.  This talks to Carl Jung's ideas of projection, and seeing ourselves in others.  Often what we don't like it others is what we have a strong tendency for ourselves.

I've seen this copying done in real time, with my 18 month old son.  He mimics all that we do, almost the instant we've done it.  It's second nature to learning.

Thanks for having me in your group.  I'm much looking forward to your replies.

Alice :)

Well, I think anyone who tries to use quantum physics as evidence of anything doesn't have a clue about quantum physics.  It's the tool of nutjobs like Deepak Chopra.


I've mostly just been lurking in this group, so far.

Lurking?  How do you do that then?? :)

I have a small understanding of quantum physics - but can't say I really get it.  But then again, from what I've heard, no-one really gets it - so that wouldn't be unusual.

What use it is?  Is the big question.  I've heard that it might mean that more than causality, we may too have randomness in our universe.

Alice :)


Well, I've got this cape that I hold up in front of my face, and I go "Muahahahaha!" a lot.


Yeah, quantum physics is ... weird.  The classic line about quantum physics is, "If you think you understand quantum physics, then you don't understand quantum physics."  I know some vague basics.  Mostly, it only makes sense mathematically.


It's useful for figuring out how reality works.  Duh.  :-P  Yeah, there's all sorts of stuff about virtual particles, quantum wave fluctuations ... it's very messy and includes random elements, apparently.

LOL...  I can just imagine you wearing it... :)

When I was introduced to quantum physics I was told about the experiment with the wave and the particle, and how watching for one lead this to happen... it didn't make much sense to me, and at the time, I was sure that they must have made a mistake in the experiment. LOL.  I can't remember the details now, but why didn't they look for both the wave and the particle at the same time?  Although I'm not sure if this is a rabbit hole I've really got time to go down right now... :)

I also have a trench coat, if that helps.


Sounds like you're referring to photons, perhaps?  Those are particles ... sort of ... which move in a sine wave.  Or are you talking about something else in quantum mechanics?


I only took two years of physics in high school and a few classes in college, since I wasn't majoring in physics.  I never even got to fluid dynamics, since I had been warned away from it by others.  It's another insane headache.  I mostly took classes dealing with Newtonian physics and astrophysics, and I've forgotten half of that.

My Dad took a physics course at University - I don't know what course, but he used to explain it too me.  He started the course when I was about 12 years old, so I was a teenager when he was explaining this stuff to me.

Yes, I'm pretty sure it was photons they were shooting out and then watching for them to go past a point and seeing the particle, but when they looked from the end they saw a wave pattern, so the photon could be seen both as a particle and a wave.  They are so small, that I'm surprised that could even say that only one photon had gone through - but apparently they did and they can.

Alice :)

Yup, it's ... umm, the machines with the ... things and the ... stuff.  Meh.  I've seen articles about the equipment they use for that sort of experiment.  It's been 15 or 20 years, though.  Can't remember a damned thing.  ;_;


Also, I'm probably mixing up bits of it with the observatory that they just finished building, down in Antarctica.  That one was to detect neutrinos, though.

My Dad sent this to me.... :)


All the information I have ever seen about quantum physics has been for the lay person but that doesn’t make it any easier to understand.  As Richard P Feynman said, nobody understands it.


Have a look at stuff about the double slit experiment, which demonstrates what a mystery it is i.e. how does it know whether we’re looking or not?  You get a different result if you observe which slit the photon goes through to the result if you don’t.  More understandable is the energy levels in atoms and how electrons moving between them causes emission and absorption of photons.  This is turn gives us the spectrometer or spectroscope (not sure what the difference is) which enables us to see what chemicals are in distant stars or in the gas and dust between us and them, amongst other things.


You’d probably be better watching a video about it.  Here’s the double slit experiment.

I'm completely oblivious to why quantum physics got mentioned here. =)

The causal web.... s*** happens!

By the way, I've bought that book - so I'm hoping that it's not a bum steer.

I figure I'm going to get more reliable book recommendations in nexus than elsewhere - through my enthusiasm before, I've ended up buying books that were not what I expected.



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