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Excellent post by Robert McLuhan on autistic and brain-damaged savants and their implications for the filter theory of consciousness:
April 19, 2013 | Permalink
Not sure where to post this but just an observation on these Boston bombing suspects. skeptics are always dismissing paranormal claims because eye witness testimony is notoriously unreliable yet in the case of IDing the suspects in the bombing they were identified and pursued because of eye witness testimony by a man who saw one or the brothers drop a bag full of bombs right in front of him. Convenient theories for sceptics does not apply in this situation.
April 19, 2013 at 07:42 PM
"Events like this remind us that this is psi's natural habitat, in the home, in relationships and domestic situations, and often where there is some stress or maladjustment, which doesn't therefore lend itself very well to verification."
Quotes like this remind me things I've read, like in NDEs, that say "it's all about love," and we are left wondering what the heck does that mean? The times when I've had little moments of telepathy with my wife are like that; they just happen with no prompting from us. We'll look at one another and one of us will say "I was just thinking that!" The exact same words or song at the the exact same time. We've been married for 39 years so it's like our minds are in synch with one another. We are dependent on one another.
April 19, 2013 at 09:27 PM
“And yet, what if the average itself were wrong? ... Is it not plausible, and even likely, that most of us have the wrong kind of brain wave?”
—Anthony Standen, Science is a Sacred Cow , pp. 205-06
—Anthony Standen, Science is a Sacred Cow , pp. 205-06
Roger Knights |
April 20, 2013 at 08:48 PM
" he calls "the sons of the nabiim" (a term that is apparently his own, since it does not return many hits in a Google search)."
"Nabi" is the Hebrew word for prophet, of course, and "nabiim" would presumably be the plural, though that's usually spelled "nebiim". Its literal meaning is "spokesperson."
Although the mix of English and Hebrew in the phrase is rare, the pure English ("sons of the prophets") gets lots of hits. It is used to mean a group or school of prophets -- kind of like the "Sons of Liberty".
Topher Cooper |
April 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM
We marvel at savants, and yet we don't on the whole question their abilities. Obviously they can demonstrate their skills easily enough, but it's not the whole story. We accept it readily because it reinforces what we already think about brain/mind, that it has almost limitless powers.
This part of the article is interesting to me, and I think it brings up a good point. I've seen this issue go both ways - some argue the point that the brain is like anything else nature spits out: good enough at what it does because it's had a lot of time to hobble together enough of the right pieces to get the job done. Obviously this is said to discredit the notion that the brain is somehow special or extraordinary. At the same time, when anything remarkable or unexpected happens, a double standard is applied, and we just think: 'well, it is the brain, the most complex of organs, after all.'
April 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Savant syndrome occurring in response to brain damage is especially interesting and amazing. An example is Dereck Amato, who after suffering severe concussion, suddenly acquired an amazing ability to play the piano. From http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-02/when-brain-damage-unlocks-genius-within :
....Without thinking, he rose from his chair and sat in front of it. He had never played the piano—never had the slightest inclination to. Now his fingers seemed to find the keys by instinct and, to his astonishment, ripple across them. His right hand started low, climbing in lyrical chains of triads, skipping across melodic intervals and arpeggios, landing on the high notes, then starting low again and building back up. His left hand followed close behind, laying down bass, picking out harmony. Amato sped up, slowed down, let pensive tones hang in the air, then resolved them into rich chords as if he had been playing for years.
Also from the link:
In the 30 or so known cases (of “acquired savant syndrome.”), ordinary people who suffer brain trauma suddenly develop almost-superhuman new abilities: artistic brilliance, mathematical mastery, photographic memory. One acquired savant, a high-school dropout brutally beaten by muggers, is the only known person in the world able to draw complex geometric patterns called fractals; he also claims to have discovered a mistake in pi. A stroke transformed another from a mild-mannered chiropractor into a celebrated visual artist whose work has appeared in publications like The New Yorker and in gallery shows, and sells for thousands of dollars.
This sort of phenomenon is the sudden acquisition of a very complex neuromuscular ability. It is absolutely mysterious how damaging millions of neurons and synapses could duplicate the highly organized, complicated neural "programming" that can only be acquired by years of training and practice, presumably building a specifically organized neural network. It's like zapping a computer and hard drive with powerful radiation, scrambling the logic and memories, and expecting to get an extensive new set of functional programs. This poses grave difficulties for the mainstream materialist assumption that brain generates consciousness and naturally leads to concepts like the transceiver and filter hypotheses.
Of course, it can also be objected that it seems unlikely that the information or template for such a complex organized neural system would be retained by a nonmaterial spirit or Theosophical concept of a "etheric body".
April 27, 2013 at 05:08 PM
The information of "all that is" is stored in the holographic collective consciousness. Some people are able to access some of that information here in this life.
The amount of information that is able to be stored in a holographic piece of film is mind boggling.
"it has been discovered that in addition to their other capabilities, holograms possess an astounding capacity for information storage--simply by changing the angle at which the two lasers strike a piece of photographic film, it is possible to record many different images on the same surface. It has been demonstrated that one cubic centimeter of film can hold as many as 10 billion bits of information." - excerpt from The Universe as a hologram, http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html
April 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM
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