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The Bomb in the Brain Part 4 - The Death of Reason: The Effects of Child Abuse - References


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28 replies to this topic

#1
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19755 posts

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S16EHfKRLfc&fmt=22]

http://www.newsweek.com/id/78178

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14761-voting-republican-may-be-a-survival-response.html

http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/09/10/brains-of-liberals-conservatives-may-work-differently/1691.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1196554/posts

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1828689/

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/opinion/11freedman.html

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2007/09/political-ideology-and-brain-function.ars

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102169531

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440575/

http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/070524_ideological_leaning.html

http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/060124_political_decisions.html

http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/the-unconscious-situation-of-our-consciousness-part-ii/

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=938223

http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/11/09/the-situation-of-reason/

http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/full/27/42/11170

http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/the-unconscious-situation-of-our-consciousness-part-i/


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#2
Stefan Molyneux

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The video:

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S16EHfKRLfc]


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#3
Nathan

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Stef, a couple of questions:

1. I still experience a fear response when encountering ideologies contrary to my beliefs, I have trouble watching shows like Michael Moore's movie about "Capitalism", etc... I do have a lot of mecosystem conversations as of late where one part of me takes a socratic approach, ensuring clarification about what the other part of me is trying to say even though that part of me might disagree, and this has helped me to work through it, especially in handling internal conflicts and in fact even external ones. But I'm wondering if there are any exercises with these movies that you would suggest trying to work through that anxiety, given the point where I am at with this now.

2.  The conclusion at the end was quite shocking to me, but not surprising, if that makes any sense.  In other words, I know reason and evidence doesn't work to change any one's mind if they reject reason and evidence to cling in fear to their ideology. (did I get that right?)  Yet reason and evidence are what we know as philosophers to be vital in discovering what's true and what's false, including all the evidence used in this video.  So what would you suggest as an alternative to using reason and evidence when we encounter people who are afraid of opposing ideas? Or is that kind of not possible?


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#4
Fletch

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The Ernest Becker Foundation has a lot of great info on fear of death, and has been a major contributor to the new field of Terror Management Theory. Becker's book Denial of Death was groundbreaking in putting these issues in an understandable form for the average person.

It would be great if you could get someone like Sheldon Solomon to do an interview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#5
Kimmo Salonen

Kimmo Salonen
  • 440 posts

What happened at 24:54? [:D]

 


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If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not
care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.


- Henry David Thoreau


#6
Phil Crimmins

Phil Crimmins
  • 410 posts

Stef,

I don't think I'm overlooking anything in saying that this is you most important video you've made. Thank you SO much for going through all of the research with the experts in the field to SHOW people the truth behind applying UPB to all people including children. Obviously, to try to appeal to people's reason, through logical argument, that they are too traumatized to accept logical argument would be a contradiction, but by being empirical you definitely stand a chance at really motivating people to get into therapy.

Also, I think its incredible that you've been able to do all of this very important work while raising Isabella. That's an incredible achievement. I really admire your committment to the truth my friend!

 

-Phil


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#7
Charlotte

Charlotte
  • 1824 posts

This is a fantastic video.


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#8
Johnathan Smithson

Johnathan Smithson
  • 346 posts

This video is a masterpiece! Actual science to shine more light on what we're trying to achieve. It makes soo much soo much more clear to me about the processes taking place in the mind and human interaction. It really takes a good hard swing at this idea of politics and religion is a choice bullsh't. Possible knocking it out for good but I'm not sure yet about that. Just WOOOAUUUAAAAAUUUUUUWWW. Beautiful amazing video.


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#9
zonsb

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Excellent work Stefan. What the conscious mind may claim is empirical evidence, may not be at all. Some people, perhaps many see (perceive) what they want to see. Oblivious to what their brain has blocked them from consciously perceiving/be aware of. Learning how to program or train the subconscious mind to do ones bidding is imperative. To instruct the subconscious to use incoming information to best benefit the desire of the conscious mind. A person must be careful in what he and she desires. For example, is it any wonder that when I tell myself, I'll probably forget to unplug the coffee maker before leaving on vacation, that I forget to unplug the coffee maker. Anyhow, leaving aside the small category of people that welcome physical and or mental abuse, regarding empirical evidence that is self-referential in relation to the non-initiation of force principle, aside from masochists, people don't want to be abused. This is not ideological. As well, most people will reject initiation of force against other people. They don't want other people to be abused -- for the most part, anyways. This is when/where ideology may creep in. I think only an insane person would say: "You may abuse me." My law/contract saying that you can't abuse me trumps your law/contract that says you can abuse me. My law/contract that says you can't abuse me trumps your law/contract that says you can abuse me because you have been instructed/hired/elected by another person to abuse me. Unfortunately, a piece of paper won't stop bullets. To abuse me is to make me your slave. To coerce me is enticement to involuntary servitude.


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#10
Formelyknown

Formelyknown
  • 445 posts

[6]But you use reason and evidences in your video about why evidences and reasons don`t work.[6]


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To follow ethics is subjective but the interaction between each individual's behavior is objective if you choose honesty over deception.


#11
MarisaO

MarisaO
  • 524 posts

Incredible video!


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#12
Mike Waite

Mike Waite
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This is a great finale to the BiB series!

I so remember when I first got to FDR how I asked why "we" aren't sick, too. Now I at least understand the biological basis for why that is.

This really helps me to feel authentic empathy and sympathy for the deranged around us and take a cooler attitude thereto. And since this apparently is from cutting edge research in neurobiology I wonder how long it will take to get into the educational and therapeutic mainstreams.


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#13
Robert Honer

Robert Honer
  • 434 posts

Hey Stef, great video!

I had a negative emotional reaction to one of your sources, however: http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/the-unconscious-situation-of-our-consciousness-part-ii/

I read the article, and I don't have a problem with the idea of people wrongly attributing an action or event to their will.  Many of the experiments seem to demonstrate this.  But the first experiment mentioned, where the readiness potential (RP) of moving a finger is measured and compared to when a subject reports that they have decided to move their finger, seems poorly constructed, and I think the implications of the experiment are much farther reaching than the authors seem to suggest.

My understanding is that there was no priming or external manipulation of any kind in this particular experiment to influence the individuals' perception of their will.  So if this experiment were valid, it seems that it would imply that all of our actions are not actually willed by us, which is a much stronger claim than that people often think they have willed actions that they have in fact not.  For this reason, I think it is important to point out what I think are this experiment's flaws.

My main criticism is that they are relying on the subjects verbally expressing when they have made the decision to move their finger, and they are claiming that the moment that the subject reports this decision is the moment that the subject experiences having made the decision.  I believe this contradicts their observation that there is a 0.5 second delay between the RP onsetting and the subject's finger actually moving.  Speaking is an action in itself and if we assume that there is a similar delay for speaking, then the RP for saying "I decided to lift my finger" should have actually onset before the RP for moving the finger, which would imply that the subject experienced having made the decision before the RP for moving the finger onset.  This contradicts their conclusions.

I imagine that the two RPs could overlap and there could be different delays for different types of actions, so that greatly complicates measuring them.  This experiment does not prove that the subjects did not will their fingers to move because when the subjects experience making the decision could be at precisely the same moment that the RP onsets, there is simply a delay between them making the decision and them reporting it.  It only shows that there is a delay between deciding and acting.

What do you think?  Or am I guilty of trying to rationalize my biases [:D]

 


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#14
Nathan

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I do think you have a good point Robert.  I was wondering the same thing and also, without dismissing the results of the tests with the “transcranial magnetic stimulation” device (which sounds like something that Marvin the Martian on Looney Toons would use),  I wonder why the readiness potential event wasn't part of the process that involves consciously thinking that you want to move your finger.  Like, if I want to think of a word, perhaps there is something that must be accessed from my unconscious first.


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#15
Stefan Molyneux

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But the sequence seems very clear, which is that the unconscious impulse occurs first...

But my suggestion is to contact the authors of the study for further clarification.[:)]


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#16
Robert Honer

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But the sequence seems very clear, which is that the unconscious impulse occurs first...

But my suggestion is to contact the authors of the study for further clarification./BOARD/emoticons/emotion-1.gif

I guess my question would be how do they know that the readiness potential is unconscious?  It seems like they are relying on the assumption that the person is only conscious of the impulse when they say they are conscious of it, but their other results seem to suggest otherwise, since a delay exists.

I will see if I can find the original paper for the study they cited and take a closer look.


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#17
Charlotte

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But the sequence seems very clear, which is that the unconscious impulse occurs first...

But my suggestion is to contact the authors of the study for further clarification./BOARD/emoticons/emotion-1.gif

I guess my question would be how do they know that the readiness potential is unconscious?  It seems like they are relying on the assumption that the person is only conscious of the impulse when they say they are conscious of it, but their other results seem to suggest otherwise, since a delay exists.

I will see if I can find the original paper for the study they cited and take a closer look.

I was thinking about this last night.

This happens for me, but I'm not sure if anyone else's brain works like this.

Have you ever been drumming your fingers in a consistent pattern (or drumming anything, or trying to play the piano for example) without quite realizing it, and then suddenly your awareness "snaps" to your fingers, so you're now conscious that there IS a pattern, but you have a hard time trying to re-create it consciously, or drum your fingers in that same pattern as quickly and consistently as you did when the drumming was unconscious?

Maybe this doesn't happen for anyone else, and I know that anecdotal evidence does not a rule make, but I definitely say that my conscious pattern recognition and processing is MUCH slower than the conscious processing. The unconscious usually also happens first.

To Nathan's point - yes, one of the first things that was told when I went in to certify as an ESL teacher is that the mark of native proficiency or fluency is that the student does not have to "think about" or consciously choose the words he is using as he speaks. I definitely think there's an unconscious element to our speech - or at least to our word choices.


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#18
Nathan

Nathan
  • 13064 posts

But the sequence seems very clear, which is that the unconscious impulse occurs first...

But my suggestion is to contact the authors of the study for further clarification./BOARD/emoticons/emotion-1.gif

Right I do think that the most important point of this is that the unconscious is involved first in sequence.  I interpreted the researcher's conclusions to mean, even though they explicitly deny this, that there is some other external force driving us like some kind of Descartesean trickster.

I have thought about it some and realized that actions such as moving a finger, are one of the very first things we do after birth.  It's "automatized" as Branden or Rand would put it, and something we do unconsciously.  The same goes for driving a car, we don't consciously think about a truck barreling toward us in our lane and go through the calculation or simulation of what might happen if we do nothing, we don't really even decide consciously which way to swerve.  These reactions to danger happen unconsciously.

What I think they should compare this to is how we deal with new information that we have yet to process and automatize.

 


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#19
Robert Honer

Robert Honer
  • 434 posts

Here's a link to an article by the originator of the experiment <http://pacherie.free.fr/COURS/MSC/Libet-JCS1999.pdf> where he talks about the experiments he performed in the 80s, if anyone is curious.

I couldn't find a publically available version of the original paper, I got it through my university.  But it's called, "TIME OF CONSCIOUS INTENTION TO ACT IN RELATION TO ONSET OF CEREBRAL ACTIVITY (READINESS-POTENTIAL)" if you want to try to hunt it down.  The lead author is Benjamin Libet.

One thing he says in the original paper that I don't think he mentions in this one, is that for most of the trials the subjects were instructed "to let the urge to act appear on its own at any time without any preplanning or concentration on when to act," which seems equivalent to asking them to wait for an impulse to act.  It doesn't seem surprising then that there would be unconscious brain activity preceding the subject being conscious of the impulse, but this seems different from how his studies are often used which is to say that we cannot consciously chose to move.  I don't think the fact that we have impulses which are unconsciously driven is the same as saying that all of our movements are unconsciously driven.

 


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#20
TackleTheWorld

TackleTheWorld
  • 240 posts

This stuff is dynamite!  Thank  you for all your research, Stef!


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#21
hkw

hkw

    '; DROP DATABASE PRISM;--

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Really well-constructed video. Gonna repost it as much as I can.


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#22
TackleTheWorld

TackleTheWorld
  • 240 posts

Thanks for the link, Robert!

I couldn't figure out how they timed the first consous urge to move, but that explains a lot.  The participant had to read a clock and say a reading.  It seems funny that the movement of their mouth forming a string of words came before the movement of their finger.  Or did it?


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#23
Dtomboy

Dtomboy
  • 317 posts

I watched this video and wanted to see if I understand the conclusions correctly. I understand the main point to be that a person is unable to reason and use logic and evidence if they have not done work towards self-knowledge. Am I understanding correctly?

If this is the case, it does help explain my confusion as to why the same logic, reason and evidence that convinced me of new ideas did not work the same way for others. However, I wasn't particularly aware of doing anything to gain self-knowledge or whatever. I thought I just had more time (and enjoyed it more which meant I TOOK the time) to study and consider the new ideas than other people did. So, they just didn't have enough information yet. And if they did, then they would be with me.

Then I started thinking that the reason they didn't seem to come around was because so much of what we think and believe come down to our life experiences. If they had done what I did, lived my life, they'd understand so much better. But I guess that's wrong?

Also, I'm wondering about individual aptitudes and interests we are each born with. For example, I've often been told I "think too much" and "have to analyze everything." And I agree that I will look at the same idea or article or whatever and have all sorts of questions as I try to make sure I understand and have figured it out. Or someone will state some opinion and I just have to make sure I understand and sometimes that irritates people. Now I understand that maybe that's because they have no self-knowledge and have never really even thought about why they believe what they believe. Correct?

But how much of what I do is just an effect of my personality and aptitudes and interests that I was born with? Or are we saying people are not born with such things? I can't say that could be true because it can be very clear how different individuals are when you have more than one child.

If anyone has any clarifications or corrections based on how I'm understanding this now, I'd love to hear them.


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#24
Paul C.

Paul C.
  • 1645 posts

I've taken this BiB series to mean that we're all pretty much useless to reason and evidence based on our histories, without self-knowledge.  I think those of us that didn't reject philosophy immediately had some sort of pre-disposition to the conclusions that come from an application of reason and evidence, but we weren't capable of seeing why those conclusions were correct.  With some self-work, even without the help of a therapist, as encouraged here, it's possible that some of us that have come to the point that we're able to apply reason and evidence ourselves and be swayed by other presentations of it.  But I think what makes us different is simply that for whatever unique combinations of trauma and past experiences, we've been shaped to accept these ideas.  I don't know what implications this carries, but I think it's not a coincidence that many of us have recieved similar Myers-Briggs personality scores.  If our personality is shaped by our trauma and our ability to reason is equally effected, then it would make sense that we would be drawn to similar ideas.

I could be wrong, but these are some rough thoughts that I've had since watching this series.  What do you guys think?


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Democracy: The Newest Innovation in Livestock Management Techniques!


When people kill for a lie, they also murder the truth. - Stefan Molyneux


百聞は一見にしかず。- Japanese Proverb, "Hearing something 100 times can't beat seeing it once." The only way to spread philosophy.


People who teach their kids conclusions are harming their kids ability to understand reality, and are thus abusers. Those who teach methods are not. This is a difference in kind. People who teach their kids the conclusion that Santa Claus exists are not inflicting a lifetime full of guilt or fear. Those who teach that Jesus Christ exists are. The latter are far more egregious. This is a difference in degree.


#25
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19755 posts

I would not go so far as to say that we are immune to reason without self-knowledge, but rather that what ever reason and evidence conflicts with unprocessed trauma, unprocessed trauma wins almost every time, at the expense of the truth...

We can think of countless individuals who have incredible reasoning skills in areas unrelated to their own personal histories, but who then go rather funky, to say the least, when reason conflicts with history.


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#26
Dtomboy

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  • 317 posts

I don't know what implications this carries, but I think it's not a coincidence that many of us have recieved similar Myers-Briggs personality scores. 

I never heard that before. What is the myers-briggs score that is supposed to be common among people here?


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#27
Paul C.

Paul C.
  • 1645 posts

There are a few threads on it.  I think it was INTP or INTF that was most common.


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Democracy: The Newest Innovation in Livestock Management Techniques!


When people kill for a lie, they also murder the truth. - Stefan Molyneux


百聞は一見にしかず。- Japanese Proverb, "Hearing something 100 times can't beat seeing it once." The only way to spread philosophy.


People who teach their kids conclusions are harming their kids ability to understand reality, and are thus abusers. Those who teach methods are not. This is a difference in kind. People who teach their kids the conclusion that Santa Claus exists are not inflicting a lifetime full of guilt or fear. Those who teach that Jesus Christ exists are. The latter are far more egregious. This is a difference in degree.


#28
Nathan

Nathan
  • 13064 posts

There are a few threads on it.  I think it was INTP or INTF that was most common.

I consistently score INFJ


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#29
Paul C.

Paul C.
  • 1645 posts

Hah. INTF isn't even an option... my bad!  I suggest a search on it.  N was pretty universal, but there were some variations on the others.  Not sure if it means anything anyway.


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Democracy: The Newest Innovation in Livestock Management Techniques!


When people kill for a lie, they also murder the truth. - Stefan Molyneux


百聞は一見にしかず。- Japanese Proverb, "Hearing something 100 times can't beat seeing it once." The only way to spread philosophy.


People who teach their kids conclusions are harming their kids ability to understand reality, and are thus abusers. Those who teach methods are not. This is a difference in kind. People who teach their kids the conclusion that Santa Claus exists are not inflicting a lifetime full of guilt or fear. Those who teach that Jesus Christ exists are. The latter are far more egregious. This is a difference in degree.