What ideas interest you?

Discussion in 'OFF-TOPICS - General Musings' started by whiskers, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 Active Member

    Feb 8, 2016
    Parsifal, I'm not sure what you are saying here, are you condemning some of the great geniuses (who are surely on a par with Mozart et al) of the latter 20thC and up to the present? I get your subjectivity, but to dismiss Britten, Tippet, Henze, Boulez, Messiaen, Lutoslawski etc. etc. with such a short shrift doesn't ring true at all to me and probably a lot of composers. Ok you may not like their music, but those bad boys and others are supremely gifted (and in some cases visionary) composers and it doesn't seem right to dismiss them without at least acknowledging their uniqueness and brilliance, regardless of taste. Britten for example had the fluency, skill and ease of Mozart quite apart from being one of the finest pianists of his generation, with perfect pitch, able to write about 12 pages of full score a day, away from a piano. Boulez's ear was so fine that british musos called him the french Correction, one time he picked up on wrong notes in Stockhausen's Gruppen for 3 orchestras. Messiaen was a theroetical innovator who also just wrote directly to the page, Shostakovitch was another prodigy who bled music just like our Classical and Baroque heroes... I could go on.

    Not coming on to you here as I often agree with your posts....but not this one...:crying:.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  2. Craig Duke

    Craig Duke Member

    Dec 12, 2004
    Gregh, are you convinced we have free will or do we just create the illusion of it in our brain, or some combo of both? Do you think Libet's "we choose before we know we choose" experiment, and the like, are convincing? A very interesting subject. I'm on the fence though I do believe most of our actions are not driven by our conscious mind and most of what our conscious mind thinks it decided is mostly influenced by the subconscious or strongly driven by it. Forgive my layman's terms.

    I'm wondering about your position that we do not experience of time. Maybe its semantics. We experience a past and a present, remembering the past and sensing the present (or almost present). Noticing the difference between the two is our experience of time. That said, we put the before and now together in our brains, we do not directly sense it, we have no input/sense for time (like sound and light and touch, ...). Is that what you are thinking?
  3. Quasar

    Quasar Senior Member

    Jun 26, 2012
    Of course we have free will. Life is all about making choices, and we are given the freedom and autonomy to make those choices. It's also true that everything is created by God and predetermined to play out the way that it plays out.

    This seems like a contradiction, but it's not. Rather, it's a limited perspective based on the way we perceive time. The universal "system" is grander than our human powers of perception, and is big enough to accommodate what we think of as both "free will" and "predetermination" simultaneously.

    For instance, I can decide what to have for dinner tonight, but cannot choose what to have for dinner last night. From a vantage point beyond physical spacetime, it's all simply part of what is happening. God can see what we are going to do tomorrow or next month, but this does not mean that we don't have a choice. It just means that God sees it...
  4. Shiirai

    Shiirai Active Member

    Oct 11, 2018
    To me, not having free will falls under the preview of fate. Fate indicates a universal law that cannot be seen, measured or otherwise observed scientifically. Which means that, accepting that it is real, it would also be magic.

    And I do not believe in magic.
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  5. poetd

    poetd Member

    Sep 9, 2018
    And if Free Will is an illusion and all decisions are unconsciously driven, then it is still the individual making those decisions and merely the ego that is offended that it isn't supreme overlord.
  6. Alex Fraser

    Alex Fraser Senior Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    "You think that's air you're breathing?"
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  7. OP

    whiskers play stupid games, win stupid prizes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Sep 5, 2018
    this was not my intent! :)

    We need a [PAX] & [PUG] Prefix :)
  8. gregh

    gregh Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    I don't see any way that the usual idea of Free will makes sense. Libet showed that conscious deliberation was over-rated but I don't think that (important) result was necessary to see problems with the idea of Free Will. Free will has problems in the basic construction of the idea and we all hit up against those problems when we think about free will.
    But we sometimes feel as though decisions are made by us in a free manner, (although I think if we unpack that we find we feel like we are exerting free will far less often than assumed). In fact the more we think about free will the more problematic it becomes - how does it even work? Is it just a retrospective story ala Libet? And so on.

    I think we can just rethink free will away from being a decision based process to a feeling that we get when we express our agency. As far as I can tell all the classic problems fall away once we reorient our attitude to free will in that way. There is no longer need for a central decision maker that somehow stands outside history (an idea that is incompatible with learning for example). And for a new positive result, having the strength of the feeling of acting freely inversely proportional to the constraints on agency (ie the probability, or "ease", of the action) is a really compact description that covers a lot of ground.

    exactly - there can be a confusion between having free will and being more or less unique with unique ways of being in the world. (although I would still argue that expressing the idea as "the individual making those decisions" leads to confusion, and all we need say is "the individual acts".)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  9. gregh

    gregh Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    that's pretty much it Craig - and the more I think about it in terms of the physical construction of memory in our brains and bodies the better that idea of time as a story we construct on the fly seems. eg it makes sense of ways we can mis-remember the order of events because of the salience of the memory and it's relation to other memories and the retrieval mechanisms used when that memory is reincorporated into a "story on the fly" . So it is not as if I don't think Time exists or that we don't have a past or a present, more that is interesting to think about how we construct that sense of past and present (and future) given that we have no "sense of time" as you point out
  10. Chr!s

    Chr!s Active Member

    May 27, 2018
    Our lives are going to follow an inevitable path.

    You cannot just "make" things happen. You can make choices to try and predict the future, but you will never know what that future is until you're there. You also have no idea what choices you will be faced with or what choices you will actually make when the time comes. The only thing that is certain is that you will be faced with decisions that will lead you down some road. This then loops back to the bolded part.

    Thus: Fate.

    In short: Because you cannot know for sure what awaits, and cannot undo the past, the sequence of events in your life was inevitable.
  11. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 Active Member

    Feb 8, 2016
  12. muk

    muk Senior Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    That text is hogwash in my opinion. I don't agree and would not let go uncontested one single of his premises. That he states these premises as if they were well established facts still does not make them so. In my opinion his conclusions are wrong because the premises he bases them on are haberdash.

    On the Libet-experiment: it does indeed pose interesting questions. Questions that neuro-scientists and philosophers have very differing answers for. Neuro-scientists have interpreted it as proof that we don't have a free will, that our brains create an illusion of free will to our conscious minds etc. Philosophers question the dichotomy these neuro-scientists make: what is it supposed to mean that 'our brain' creates an illusion to us, as if it were a separate entity with its own agenda? Why would you separate one function of the brain (the 'deciding' part) from all other parts of it and our conscious mind? Doesn't all of the brain belong as much to us as oir heart does? Basically this distinction is rather problematic. To accept it would mean that society should not punish individuals for criminal behaviour, but only one part of their brains. And that is a rather absurd and impractical notion.
  13. dzilizzi

    dzilizzi I know nothing

    I don't necessarily think this is true. My 89 year old dad was an early adapter of all things computer. I remember the TRS-80 with a cassette tape drive that he brought home when I was a kid. This was before floppy disks. He still uses a computer regularly, though his memory is going, which makes it difficult for him. But he updates his smartphone more often than I do. And I taught my mom to use YouTube and Google when she was in her 70's. She loved that a lot of old songs and movies were starting to show up on YouTube.

    Now, keeping up with all the changes in the new, cool, social media methods? Yeah, even I don't do that anymore. But I think a lot of it is where your interests lie. The younger generations do tend to be more computer literate, but I think that is more because it is taught in schools and at home more widely than when I was a kid. It really wasn't until I was in college that they expected you to know how to use one.
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  14. Craig Duke

    Craig Duke Member

    Dec 12, 2004
    The separation is a result of the definition of free will being a conscious decision. If the choices are non-conscious, then by definition, there is no free will. No one is arguing that the choice is coming from anywhere but our bodies (no one I would be interesting in listening to anyway).

    Libert is very interesting but there are areas of concern. Since it's such an old experiment (1980s), I am surprised there haven't been more extended versions. I have seen one variation with a women, with a sensing plate installed in her head, which gives good results. She is playing a simple game and a computer is predicting her moves (choices) correctly 80% of the time before she knows her choice.

    Just because something is impractical or bad for society doesn't make it incorrect. Not sure if that is what you are saying. You are in good company with your concern though. As I remember Daniel Dennett mentioned his concern ("If its true we shouldn't talk about it"). Sam Harris also has a say about that.

    If it was generally believed that we have no free will, our laws would certainly adjust. This is because a society's first goal is to perpetuate its existence. That requires a level of stability (free, capitalistic societies especially). A punishment for breaking a law still affect the individual's non-conscious decisions. We touch something hot and couple of times and not doing so became automatic after that.

    Right. The article was, how should I say, New Age gobbleygook.
  15. gregh

    gregh Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    Actually it is normally the philosophers that make the dichotomy between "brain" and "us" - and even then only some philosophers. There are still Dualists in philosophy - not so much in neuoscience. But there is nothing intrinsically wrong with thinking the brain has both specialised modules and is also highly integrated.

    The punishment thing is a non-problem. I personally don't think anyone should be punished for crime - that's a mechanism and attitude that has never worked. A harm minimisation approach would be - and demonstrably is - more effective. The desire to punish just derives from revenge fantasies - the desire to be a vengeful God. Those desires are themselves, in the main, a reflection of feelings of humiliation through subjugation within power hierarchies.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 12:00 PM
  16. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

    Sep 7, 2015
    E. YeeHaw, Indiana
    I apologize for my earlier, obviously contradictory comments. I feel bad, as I was having a bad day and I made the mistake of bringing it on here with me.

    I honestly hope no one was offended or felt disrespected, please forgive me all. I'll try to keep my crap to myself.

    And yeah, I can be pretty damn obtuse huh lol!
  17. dzilizzi

    dzilizzi I know nothing

    My dad would probably agree with your sentiments. He never understood the appeal of anything much newer than the 1930's. Fortunately, my mother was much more open to anything that was musical. I can appreciate my dad's viewpoint, but I'm glad I inherited my mom's openness to something new. You never know what will inspire you to make music.
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  18. gregh

    gregh Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    I grew up in a family with little to no music at all - I think we had a chubby checker LP and another from Mario Lanza that got played maybe once a year. I didn't hear any other music at home until I was about 10 or so and my sister bought a Beatles album - It's a Hard Days Night. There was no music at school either, so not much at all really
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  19. dzilizzi

    dzilizzi I know nothing

    We had a lot of music growing up. It is hard to imagine not having music in the house. My dad sang in the church choir and played the violin. My mom was a genius on the piano, she could read music and also play by ear. And everything sounded happy when she played, if that makes sense. She also played the organ at church until her arthritis made it difficult. She never thought she was that good though. I wished I picked up her ability.

    It was my older brother who discovered pop/rock - we were more rock in our house, The Who, the Stones & Led Zeppelin. My older sister eventually introduced us to the Beatles, but they were broken up by then.
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  20. gregh

    gregh Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    actually you remind me that my Dad sang a bit and whistled a lot. I don't see not having music as a bad thing tho - no doubt it was harder to learn to read and play starting later, but a lot of what I do and love is sound art rather than (usefully) notated music in the classic sense. I think the biggest issue was being in an environment that had zero interest or knowledge of art or anything outside of making money and sport. But that just meant my family was a normal Australian family of that era. For example the high school I went to did not allow boys to do art - they were taken out of the classroom to pick up papers or carry chairs and desks around while the girls remained. Art was definitely associated with homosexuality and at that time Australia was incredibly (and violently) homophobic. The Deputy Headmaster would come in to the music room and sneer at and disparage the boys doing music - sometimes we would be taken out to do chores but mostly not. Visual arts tho were completely forbidden
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 4:52 PM
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