Friday, April 1, 2011

315: The Brain and some Jealousy in SL

Let me draw you the picture again for you to elucidate the grand scheme of the project "The Mystery of the Brain".

The basic assumption is, that the mind is in fact a biological phenomenon which is one way or the other caused or generated by the brain.

As a first step we have seen how the brain generates a "Supersense", an intuitive interpretation of reality, which leads to all kinds of supernatural explanations, that defy any laws of physics and are hard to accept as the right explanations.

In the second step we visited a number of results of research on the brain, which showed us the relation between physically observable brain activity and what you could call 'mental states':

observations about hearing voices, experiencing the presence of a ghost or something like that, experiencing pain is an amputated limb, serious changes in personality because of partial brain damage and so on….

Our present step tries to show us how much, especially since Descartes (1576 - 1650), philosophers and scientists have contributed to the overestimation of the human ratio.

By digging into the evolutionary backgrounds of the brain we must conclude that the homo sapiens only uses his rationality partially. A lot of times we put our rationality on hold and have our behavior controlled by basic emotions.

An emotion is drive that alerts a number of behavioral systems to direct all actions to solve a problem. Like fear makes use run for danger and grief makes us look inward to reconsider the purpose of our life.

In the discussion after the lecture on grief Kyra made the remark, that I made it look all so positive. Of course no one will agree on the idea that grief is a positive feeling,

but we are analyzing the basic emotions, which are found among, I think, all primates and at least among all humans, from an evolutionary point of view.

The basic assumption is then, that the emotion in question must have had a positive function with respect to our survival as human beings.

From that point of view it can't be denied that grief must have had a positive effect on the chances of survival. Just take the effect of strengthening social bonds in a group.

But of course, the basic emotions, which we all share, are not 100% biologically explicable anymore, like we can explain them in such a way in the behavior of animals as always recurring behavioral patterns.

Our emotions are deeply immersed and shaped in culture too. Emotions are not pure and singular. They are most of the time a mix like joy sometimes is accompanied by tears or grief by pride (when offering the life of your child to the gods was was regarded as a great honor).

Yesterday I was a guest speaker and lectured on the theme: experiencing jealousy in SL. From a biological point of view this seems to be a rather odd feeling here, but from a psychological point of view I guess not.

Jealousy was in the early days of homo sapiens a complex emotion based on fear. It had everything to do with reproduction, survival and delivering genes.

If you look at the picture of the brain to my left of me, I can tell you that the whole part with those twists has evolved much later in evolution than the part of the brains that control fear. These coils and twists however provide housing for our ratio i particular.

The man raises his reproductive success with causing many conceptions with females, the wife by pursuing a high quality partner.

A very fundamental difference in reproductive strategies, which in the course of evolution have developed side by side, within one species that is.

The danger for the man is in the sexual action of his woman with another man, the danger for a woman is the emotional bond of her man with another woman. She needs his help in raising her kids to offer them a reasonable chance to survive.

Mind you, I'm talking about our ancestors. Natural selection should have a defense system designed to counteract these dangers.

This mechanism is a system where the behavior and actions of the partner are checked to ensure that they minimize contact with someone of the opposite sex.

We call the driving emotion, which directs many actions in one direction (partner hold!) an emotion, namely sexual jealousy. Actually it would be more appropriate to call it relational (genes) control.

This has led to a difference in jealousy between husband and wife. As a simple illustration: murder in the relational sphere due to jealousy is predominantly by men. The number of women, for this reason, that commit murder is negligible in comparison.

This is what we have inherited from our evolutionary past. Genes are important direction givers, but you will understand that this behavioral system now also strongly is shaped by culture.

And that culture is here now the culture of Second Life. . From an evolutionary standpoint jealousy in Second Life is a remarkable thing.

There is no link with our genes or procreation. Yet this basic emotion occurs here. Now, for the protection of pixels, which we have become attached to, it seems or should I say, the person behind the pixels or only the mind behind the pixels?

Maybe this demonstrates how emotions, being so basically evolutionary, also are embedded in ideas created by our culture:

romantic ideas about everlasting love and affection. Didn't you never read in a profile: "You are the man of my life. I'd rather die than leaving you, ….." ?

The Discussion

[13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you.....^_^
[13:23] herman Bergson: If you have a question or remark...the floor is all yours..
[13:23] Zinzi Serevi: thank you..:)
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:23] Zinzi Serevi: i said enough yesterday..;P
[13:23] BALDUR Joubert: herman..max frisch -swiss writer -in his memories cites:
[13:24] herman Bergson smiles at Zinzi
[13:24] BALDUR Joubert: eifersucht ist die angst vorm vergleich
[13:24] itsme Frederix: Oke, I guess that jealous in SL is not that remarkable, its just that you can experience an other is more successfull in whatever you share so ..
[13:24] BALDUR Joubert: jealousy is the fear of being compared
[13:24] Jerome Ronzales: its all comedy at the end
[13:25] itsme Frederix: Baldur thats what I mean
[13:25] BALDUR Joubert: this is i think expressing the basic evolutionary problem and the culturalas well
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Baldur...that could be the case in SL
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: id say its fear about competition from another
[13:25] BALDUR Joubert: so sl or rl its the same fear
[13:25] itsme Frederix: comparing genes in a more abstract way
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: that risk taking over
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: what you have
[13:25] Mick Nerido: The more SL resembles RL the more jealously will be felt
[13:26] herman Bergson: of course RL and SL are the same in this...for it is us at the keyboard...RL persons...
[13:26] herman Bergson: Indeed Mick...that is the quintessential point
[13:26] itsme Frederix: Again some nomencaltuur, both are RL better mention them first/second life
[13:26] CONNIE Eichel accepted your inventory offer.
[13:26] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[13:27] itsme Frederix: virtuality is experienced so is real
[13:27] BALDUR Joubert: well feelings as we all know are created by pictures and words
[13:27] herman Bergson: hmmmm.....
[13:27] Mick Nerido: Real but not the same
[13:28] BALDUR Joubert: movies.. playboy.. and thousands of sites on the net selling sex
[13:28] herman Bergson: Psychologically it is real in the sense that one individual engages himself in this SL experience
[13:28] itsme Frederix: But to stay with Herman and the topic: I agree with the words of Baldur
[13:28] BALDUR Joubert: how can they make money if not appealing to real feelings ...
[13:28] Mick Nerido: Someone said men fall i love with their eyes women fall in love with their ears
[13:29] herman Bergson smiles
[13:29] herman Bergson: Might be true Mick ^_^
[13:29] BALDUR Joubert: you're a lucky man mick...
[13:29] herman Bergson: so know your langaues ^_^
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: aa yes there is really no difference, Sl is just a virtual interface for real people to meet wherever they might be
[13:29] itsme Frederix: Herman what else is there psychological now you make it al biological by an organic brain raising mind.
[13:30] herman Bergson: biology and psychology are just two languages describing the same reality...
[13:30] herman Bergson: like physics and chemistry do...
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:31] BALDUR Joubert: think before we analyse jealous
[13:31] itsme Frederix: So what do you mean then with "Psychologically it is real in the sense that ..." that does not add something
[13:31] BALDUR Joubert: sorry stuck with kb
[13:32] herman Bergson: I meant an inner experience a feeling
[13:33] Jerome Ronzales: there is a big lack between what you enhance like a good thing and the bad thing, speaking in the brain damage control status, so if the good feeling are enhanced it leads to a premeditated bad feelings or some sort of...
[13:33] Ludwig John new whispers: Owner say /chat or touch me
[13:33] herman Bergson: what do you mean Jerome
[13:33] Jerome Ronzales felt i could add this
[13:35] Jerome Ronzales: basically I'm defending the yin-yang theory applied to the brain functions
[13:35] herman Bergson smiles
[13:35] itsme Frederix: please explain..
[13:35] Mick Nerido: You stated the mind created the brain?
[13:35] herman Bergson: nice subject for a new project on comparative philosophy between the East and the West ^_^
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes MIck....
[13:36] herman Bergson: I also can tell you that we don't know how....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: aaa
[13:36] itsme Frederix: excuse me, the mind the brain or the brain the mind?!
[13:36] herman Bergson: But the best philosophical explanation I have heard was by John Searl....
[13:36] druth Vlodovic: high emotional states are obviously a positive force in producing or raising kids or they wouldn't be so intense
[13:36] Mick Nerido: It seem counter intutive
[13:37] herman Bergson: Oh sorry Mick I misread....
[13:37] herman Bergson: no...the brain creates the mind....the mind emerges from the biological processes of the brain!
[13:38] itsme Frederix: What is Daniel Dennett saying, he worked a long time and intensive on brain/mind and Darwin
[13:38] Mick Nerido: Yes i agree:)
[13:38] itsme Frederix: THX Herman, we have to use the right words and logic
[13:38] herman Bergson: no ...was just a simple misreading....
[13:39] herman Bergson: But we'll certainly get to the relation brain - mind - consciousness!!!
[13:39] herman Bergson: It is a HOT topic!
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: can imagine ㋡
[13:39] Jerome Ronzales: there is a recurrent error in male/female where their brains react as if one is the ying and the other the yang, leading to a bad formation of the brains individuality disregarding many of the brain parameters and capabilities
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:39] Mick Nerido: The brain is hardware mind is software
[13:39] herman Bergson: Oh yes Bejiita ^_^
[13:40] herman Bergson: So I am carefull about it before I burn my fingers on it ^_^
[13:40] itsme Frederix: being conscious about your mind is most impressive, and recurrent
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:41] herman Bergson: let's discuss that later , I said..I don't want to burn my finger right now already ^_^
[13:41] itsme Frederix: leading to a lot of miss interpretation of words on several layers
[13:41] herman Bergson: as I said ^_^.... :-)
[13:42] Mick Nerido: I think consciousness might be layered and not all or nothing
[13:42] itsme Frederix: I just fiddle around the fire Herman, now it is not fed by your lectures
[13:42] druth Vlodovic: if men become passive then they are of less use to providing/protecting offspring, making them less desirable mates
[13:42] herman Bergson: No Itsme ..not yet....
[13:42] herman Bergson: I keep my gunpowder dry for the time being ^_^
[13:43] herman Bergson: Let's stick first to simple evolutionary biology....
[13:43] itsme Frederix: Herman that the problem you use powder
[13:43] itsme Frederix: I agree lets follow evolution
[13:44] herman Bergson: ok....then....thank you all and let;s follow the advise of Itsme for th enext lecture....
[13:44] itsme Frederix: So we got an organic brain creating something what is called/experienced as mind
[13:44] herman Bergson: We'll discuss the emotion of RAGE then...
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yes Itsme...youare right....
[13:44] herman Bergson: Let me give you Searle's answer.....
[13:45] herman Bergson: may give you something to think about.....
[13:45] herman Bergson: what is the relation between the brain and the mind?
[13:45] herman Bergson: just listen Jerome...
[13:46] Jerome Ronzales: imho rage its derived from other not observed feelings
[13:46] herman Bergson: you also can ask the question ...what is the relation between water(molecules) and liquidity?
[13:46] itsme Frederix: hmmm analogy
[13:46] herman Bergson: you can't take out a dry or a wet water molecule....
[13:46] herman Bergson: no no..Itsme..physics
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:47] herman Bergson: the configuration of the molecues...their being in a certain state creates liquidity....
[13:47] Jerome Ronzales: so , u can observe rage from a dude but you don't know why or when he did been impelled to
[13:47] itsme Frederix: dry and wet are sensibilities not physics, physics has gas/fluid/solid
[13:48] herman Bergson: so..liquidity as a phenomenon only exists because of the state h2o molecules are in
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: same goes a thing i use to wonder about, the particle beam in ex the LHC, if u hit something with them, would it be a solid substance like sand or like hit by a high pressure gas or something
[13:48] herman Bergson: It is the same with the mind...
[13:48] Mick Nerido: It's a function of tempature
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: impossible to tell but id think most close to a solid
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: but individual particles cant have a state
[13:48] Jerome Ronzales: physics, i surrender
[13:49] herman Bergson: it only emerges because of the state certain molecules in our brain ar ein....and I am talking about billions of molecules of course
[13:49] Jerome Ronzales: i rest my case
[13:49] herman Bergson: so like it is impossible to have liquidity without water molecules it is impossible to have a mind without a brain....
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: aaa true
[13:49] herman Bergson: there is one fundamental point more....
[13:49] Mick Nerido: So the brain is a conscious state maker
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: sort of same thing
[13:50] herman Bergson: the molecules CAUSE a certain state....
[13:50] herman Bergson: we have a mistaken idea of causation when we think that A causes B means that A and B are two distinct events...
[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thanks! herman and class: -) Great lecture! :-) see u soon
[13:51] itsme Frederix: I've to do some rethinking of Searle, thx Herman
[13:51] herman Bergson: state A of H2o molecules cause B...liquidity....
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: cu berg
[13:51] itsme Frederix: If I understand Searle correctly, he says that the mind is a "feature" or the brain, just like hardness is a feature of a diamond. He then goes on to say that as a feature of the brain, the mind has causal powers, just like you could say the hardness of the diamond can be a causal explanation (for, say, what a piece of concrete does when a diamond-tipped drill is applied to it.) He points out lastly that a "hardness" is not a property of atoms or even individual molecules. Rather, it is a higher-level feature of a particular system of molecules. So too, the mind is a high level feature of the brain.
[13:51] herman Bergson: a complete different way of causation.
[13:51] herman Bergson: Don't do that Itsme...dumping text!
[13:52] herman Bergson: You know the rules here!
[13:52] itsme Frederix: I forgot, sorry was out of my mind BLAME the biological part of me which is causal condemned to do this
[13:52] herman Bergson: You are excused Itsme....:-)
[13:53] CONNIE Eichel: hehe
[13:53] herman Bergson: Thank you all for you participation....and good discussion...
[13:53] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....^_^
[13:54] Jerome Ronzales: \o_
[13:54] Jerome Ronzales: thx
[13:54] CONNIE Eichel: great one :)
[13:54] Zinzi Serevi: thanks Herman,
[13:54] itsme Frederix: I'll do some rereading of Searle as homework/punismnet Herman. Allthough can ome be guilty - thats a tuff question today.
[13:54] herman Bergson: I read your text itsme...and yes that is exactly how he meant it...
[13:54] Jerome Ronzales: at least i arrived on time today
[13:54] Mick Nerido: Very thoughtfull, thanks
[13:55] Peli (peli.dieterle): tx herman
[13:55] herman Bergson: llike liquidity is a higher level of organisation of h2o molecules
[13:55] Peli (peli.dieterle): bye everyone
[13:55] CONNIE Eichel: bye peli
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: interesting subject again
[13:55] Zinzi Serevi: see you all soon..:)
[13:55] Vector Interactor v1.0: CONNIE Eichel bids Peli Dieterle farewell!
[13:55] CONNIE Eichel: oops, sorry particles
[13:55] CONNIE Eichel: bye bye zin
[13:55] herman Bergson: I LOVE paricles CONNIE!!!!
[13:55] CONNIE Eichel: hehe
[13:55] CONNIE Eichel: are great for crashing
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: o0r smashing, like i like to do
[13:56] CONNIE Eichel: omg
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:56] Bilthor Esharham: Very interesting.....I m very impressed

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