The Beginning of Two Conversations

———(1) ———

I think we definitely have to be cognizant that how we see reality is related to our evolutionary affordances. We see the universe as a primate from the Africana savanna, who has to use metaphors to understand the very small and very large, because we can’t conceive of them directly the way we can our immediate environment.

For example, if we encountered a life form, maybe one that evolved in a much colder climate, it might be that its consciousness is orders of magnitude slower than ours. We might have trouble recognizing such creatures as conscious, much less intelligent.

On the other hand, I think there’s something to be said for the fact that we and the other creatures both live in the same objective reality, under the same laws of physics. It seems like that ensures we’d have at least some overlaps in the way we perceive the world, some basis for communication and interaction.

Of course, there are no guarantees. Isaac Asimov, in his book on extraterrestrial intelligence, made a point about the idea of rocks somehow being intelligent and communicating with each other, but we’re simply too disconnected to realize it. Maybe the rocks have profound philosophies that we can scarcely imagine. But if we can never find some common basis for interaction, for us they’ll only ever be rocks. His point being that we have to work with reality as best we can.


Yes. And it could be a reason why we will never find another kind of life similar to ours. It could be that a forest is indeed a civilization of intelligence of a certain kind of consciousness. And, it could be that what we are coming upon as physical reality, according to the laws of physics, is really just the way that our particular consciousness, just the particular way that information arrives in our particular kind of consciousness. I mean, it seems like every day quantum mechanics is always finding out some thing even more ridiculous than we could’ve ever thought before under the name of science.

Personally, I’m not sure if they’re discovering really anything about the physical world that is any different then I might find out if I analyze how I am showing up in the world.

I ponder whether or not that the differences that we are seeing, that we are conceptualizing, is fundamentally only a difference in the symbols that were using. That a certain set of symbols mean or signal us, signal consciousness to have or be involved with A particular relationship, that particular groupings of Symbols signal consciousness to behave in a certain way.

For example, if I use numbers and what we generalize as mathematical symbols, the signal to consciousness confers a relationship to what is not the individual, say, not us, but some thing else. In the same way internal to language, certain groupings of symbols indicate and signal to consciousness a fundamental truth. Which is to say, if I say “you” then a whole series of physiological emotions arise, both in the cognitive as well as physical sense, to connote something particular. And perhaps this happens at all levels. Say, if I say “science” or “life” or “world” or “food” or “toilet”.

So it is conceivable likewise that not only symbols, but indeed the world itself signals consciousness, signals human consciousness in this case, to groupings of sensory data, such as “perception”, “consciousness”, “ conception“, etc.

So it is that perhaps we will never encounter someone “like us” out in the universe Because we have arisen particular to our own type of Universal being, just as rocks may have likewise arisen as their own universal type of being.

Anyways, all the philosophy aside, it could just come down to the simple fact that we will never encounter any other people, any other creatures that are “intelligently civilized” in a way that we typically like to think, Ola Star Trek and Star Wars. We will only encounter life to the extent that we have to compensate what we consider all these various facets upon which we find ourselves unfortunately unique and hopefully not so unique.

———(2) ———-

Hi Landzek! Another newbie to Wyrd’s site here.

I think you’re absolutely right one point 1. (Knowing something is reflected in whether or not or how well one is able to communicate it).

The way I would put it is: cognition far outruns metacognition. There are a lot of cognitive psychology studies that illustrate this – not that I have them at hand. But to me the evidence that impresses most is the slow and spotty progress of analytic philosophy. If we had explicit access to our own conceptual structures, such analysis would be a piece of cake. It’s anything but.

Of course, one could in principle react to this by saying that anyone who can’t provide an analysis of the concepts they deploy lacks object-level cognition as well as metacognition. But that’s crazy talk.

None of this is to deny that becoming able to explain something to just about anyone deepens one’s understanding. That’s an understatement. Nice work if you can get it.


“Cognition far out runs metacognition”

That is interesting. I like it. And yet the very idea of metacognition is the position which sees it self or posits itself as encompassing or accounting for a cognition.

I think I would even go so far as to say metacognition is just more cognition, continuing cognition.

So it seems to me that your simple statement kind of accords with my work, what I write about. Or at least try to write

In this way that you just put it, along with the notion that there really is, say, only cognition, that there is no manner by which to see cognition for what it is actually doing—

I tend to say that we need to focus more upon what consciousness is doing, rather than what it is. So, with reference to our case here, what it is doing is actually developing a set of conditions, grouping a set of ideas together which propose to have a relation to a different set of ideas, actually a hierarchical relation: metacognition says some thing about cognition.

Indeed, consciousness, despite what we want to argue, is able to function as though this is indeed the case.

And yet, it doesn’t take very much thought or consideration upon the matter to see dad just as well cognition is just cognition, that there is no metacondition of cognition. Because cognition is always outpacing what is supposed to be meta-of the analysis.

And so I say, both of these conditions are true, and I don’t know if you’re how philosophical you are, but there is a philosophy called “non-philosophy” by Francois Laruelle which describes this very condition of the relationship between metacognition and cognition such as I laid it out with reference to this series of comments. He calls it a unilateral duality.





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