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> New Book on Consciousness, by Susan Blackmore
Rick
post Jul 06, 2006, 12:33 PM
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A fairly short (146 pages) new (year old) book by one of the most knowledgeable researchers in the field:

http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Books/VSI/vsi.htm

I haven't read it yet (just finished her previous book), but I'm going to buy it soon.
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OnlyNow
post Jul 06, 2006, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jul 06, 03:33 PM) *

A fairly short (146 pages) new (year old) book by one of the most knowledgeable researchers in the field:

http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Books/VSI/vsi.htm

I haven't read it yet (just finished her previous book), but I'm going to buy it soon.

This sounds like a good one. I'm going to order it today! Anyone else want to do so, too? Then we can start up a thread and discuss the book.
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ann
post Jul 06, 2006, 02:03 PM
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I ordered this book also today smile.gif
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Rick
post Jul 06, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Let me know how you like the book.
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OnlyNow
post Jul 06, 2006, 02:28 PM
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QUOTE(ann @ Jul 06, 05:03 PM) *

I ordered this book also today smile.gif

Cool!
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Hey Hey
post Jul 09, 2006, 11:34 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jul 06, 09:33 PM) *

A fairly short (146 pages) new (year old) book by one of the most knowledgeable researchers in the field:

Your opinion.

From the website:

'A clear overview of the subject that combines the perspectives of philosophy, psychology and neuroscience--unlike all the other books available on the subject.'

What an insult to the dozens of eminent authors who have taken this approach for years. We even take this approach here on BrainMeta (along with a smattering of physics, although the modern discipline of neuroscience includes this area, see http://www.sfn.org/index.cfm?pagename=stra...tion=about_SfN). In fact, if neuroscience is an unberella also covering psycology then why use 'perspectives of philosophy, psychology and neuroscience'. This author is a popularist who is a regurgitater of the work of others, is no longer a researcher, and has a research background consisting largely of work to discredit an area already discredited by having no positive evidence whatsoever - what a waste of public money!

Website:

'A lively, engaging, and authoritative introduction to the hot topic of consciousness.'

That is, light weight.

Instead I recommend that you read the works of truly able scientists such as Nancy Rothwell, Susan Greenfield and Irene Tracey. In particular at oxcsom (http://www.oxcsom.ox.ac.uk/contacts.php) you can see some details of Baroness Greenfield and her book on mind and consciousness. In addition to her standard qualifications, this phenomenally talented lady has been awarded 21 Honorary Degrees from British universities! The other end of the spectrum from Blackmore, eh? (Note, don't get her mixed up with Prof Blakemore, with whom Baroness Greenfield has been co-author. He is also a world class scientist, and yes Rick, he has published in 'Nature'; they both have).

Any chance for chauvinism this time? Never was, as far as I'm concerned.
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Rick
post Jul 10, 2006, 11:52 AM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jul 10, 12:34 AM) *
What an insult to the dozens of eminent authors who have taken this approach for years.

Name one.
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Rick
post Jul 10, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Susan Greenfield is one of the experts that Susan Blackmore interviewed in her book Conversations on Consciousness. Being heavy weight doesn't help much when the theory being written about is just plain wrong. Please don't suggest that Greenfield's theory is correct or even the best there is.
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post Jul 10, 2006, 01:17 PM
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Description
"The last great mystery for science," consciousness has become a controversial topic. Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction challenges readers to reconsider key concepts such as personality, free will, and the soul. How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion? Exciting new developments in brain science are opening up these debates, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments and clearly describes the major theories, with illustrations and lively cartoons to help explain the experiments. Topics include vision and attention, theories of self, experiments on action and awareness, altered states of consciousness, and the effects of brain damage and drugs. This lively, engaging, and authoritative book provides a clear overview of the subject that combines the perspectives of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience--and serves as a much-needed launch pad for further exploration of this complicated and unsolved issue.


Contents
List of illustrationsix
1 Why the mystery?
2 The human brain
3 Time and space
4 A grand illusion
5 The self
6 Conscious will
7 Altered states of consciousness
8 The evolution of consciousness
Further reading
Index


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post Jul 10, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Blackmore, Susan J., 1951-
Title: Conversations on consciousness : what the best minds think about the brain, free will, and what it means to be human / Susan Blackmore.
Publication info: New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.
Physical description: vi, 274 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
General note: Interviews.
General note: Includes index.
ISBN: 0195179587 (alk. paper)
Subject: Consciousness.
Subject: Philosophers--Interviews.
Subject: Neuroscientists--Interviews.
Electronic access: Table of contents http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0516/2005019352.html

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post Jul 11, 2006, 01:42 AM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jul 09, 11:34 PM) *

QUOTE(Rick @ Jul 06, 09:33 PM) *

A fairly short (146 pages) new (year old) book by one of the most knowledgeable researchers in the field:

Your opinion.

From the website:

'A clear overview of the subject that combines the perspectives of philosophy, psychology and neuroscience--unlike all the other books available on the subject.'

What an insult to the dozens of eminent authors who have taken this approach for years. We even take this approach here on BrainMeta (along with a smattering of physics, although the modern discipline of neuroscience includes this area, see http://www.sfn.org/index.cfm?pagename=stra...tion=about_SfN). In fact, if neuroscience is an unberella also covering psycology then why use 'perspectives of philosophy, psychology and neuroscience'. This author is a popularist who is a regurgitater of the work of others, is no longer a researcher, and has a research background consisting largely of work to discredit an area already discredited by having no positive evidence whatsoever - what a waste of public money!

Website:

'A lively, engaging, and authoritative introduction to the hot topic of consciousness.'

That is, light weight.

Instead I recommend that you read the works of truly able scientists such as Nancy Rothwell, Susan Greenfield and Irene Tracey. In particular at oxcsom (http://www.oxcsom.ox.ac.uk/contacts.php) you can see some details of Baroness Greenfield and her book on mind and consciousness. In addition to her standard qualifications, this phenomenally talented lady has been awarded 21 Honorary Degrees from British universities! The other end of the spectrum from Blackmore, eh? (Note, don't get her mixed up with Prof Blakemore, with whom Baroness Greenfield has been co-author. He is also a world class scientist, and yes Rick, he has published in 'Nature'; they both have).

Any chance for chauvinism this time? Never was, as far as I'm concerned.


I am going to have to side with you on this one. I read 'Dying to live' and was disappointed. I found her writing to be largely opinion based. But I will give this one a try at least.

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Rick
post Jul 11, 2006, 09:23 AM
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My conclusion that Susan Blackmore is a knowlegeable researcher is based on my reading of her Conversations on Consciousness which consists of interviews with just about every important researcher (neuroscientist or philosopher) on consciousness. Her questions to these conversationalists were very insightful. I didn't read her book on dying.
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post Jul 12, 2006, 05:46 PM
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I'm in....I picked up the book today, and it is rather tiny.

This one looks good as well..... http://www.oup.com/uk/catalogue/?ci=9780192804341
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Rick
post Jul 13, 2006, 08:56 AM
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QUOTE(Trip like I do @ Jul 12, 06:46 PM) *

I'm in....I picked up the book today, and it is rather tiny.

This one looks good as well..... http://www.oup.com/uk/catalogue/?ci=9780192804341

Is there anything in that particle physics book on strangelets?
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post Jul 13, 2006, 11:52 AM
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I'm not sure Rick, I haven't delved into that one yet. I'm going to read this one first. I'm at Descartes' home theatre system.
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Rick
post Jul 13, 2006, 11:53 AM
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Let me know how you like it. I found it hard to put down.
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post Jul 13, 2006, 06:39 PM
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Consciousness is born at the level of the archetypes, the causal plane, where the causes of all created things arise and the intention behind all manifestation emerges.
Beyond that level there is no consciousness, just pure Intelligence, pure vibration. Reality is a network of vibrations, the Symphony of the spheres...
Our mind stands in the way of transcendental experience -- at higher levels all concepts must disappear in order to place us face to face with Reality in all its nakedness.
We are limited by words, conditioned by the concepts attached to words. One has to break through the rationalizing stratum of the mind to reach out to the level of pure awareness and pure being.

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Hey Hey
post Jul 14, 2006, 09:24 AM
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QUOTE(Guest @ Jul 14, 03:39 AM) *

Consciousness is born at the level of the archetypes, the causal plane, where the causes of all created things arise and the intention behind all manifestation emerges.
Beyond that level there is no consciousness, just pure Intelligence, pure vibration. Reality is a network of vibrations, the Symphony of the spheres...
Our mind stands in the way of transcendental experience -- at higher levels all concepts must disappear in order to place us face to face with Reality in all its nakedness.
We are limited by words, conditioned by the concepts attached to words. One has to break through the rationalizing stratum of the mind to reach out to the level of pure awareness and pure being.

maitreya

I have to think more about the meaning of your statement, but I wanted you to know that I found your words artistically beautiful. It was a little like listening to an aria in a language that one didn't fully understand, but that moved one never-the-less.
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post Jul 14, 2006, 04:28 PM
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I will walk among you,
subtle, invisible,
Yet you will know me
and will hear my voice,
It will speak to your hearts


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Lindsay
post Jul 14, 2006, 06:12 PM
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QUOTE
"A clear overview of the subject that combines the perspectives of philosophy, psychology and neuroscience--unlike all the other books available on the subject."

Long before there was psychology, there was pneumatology--the study of the spirit, or consciousness. I look forward to hearing what Susan Blackmore's book adds.
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post Jul 19, 2006, 03:51 PM
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....so far, this book seems to validate alot of the conversations and debates that have been going on around here these past couple of years. It seems to flow from one brainmeta thread to another and tying them all together into a single and unified ultimate quest, 'What it means to be'.
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post Jul 19, 2006, 04:16 PM
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Let's consider the brain proceses involved in one small aspect of driving, for example, observing the light change to red and stopping the car. In both the conscious and unconsios cases, a great deal of processing must have gone on in the visual cortex, in the planning parts of frontal cortex, and in motor cortex where the movement of hands and feet are coordinated. In both cases, you sucessfully stopped the car, and yet in one case all this activity was conscious and in the other it was not. What is the difference?
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Rick
post Jul 20, 2006, 08:39 AM
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Isn't that part of the the hard problem? Why should some things be conscious and other things not?
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post Jul 20, 2006, 10:21 AM
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Let C = conscious and UC = unC

I think it is likely that the "C or UC" is allowed control based on prioritisation, experience, routinesss of event, security/survival issues etc.

Even more interesting is whether C or UC makes the choice (I believe it is UC because I don't remember making such a decision).
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post Jul 20, 2006, 10:55 AM
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I am conscious of the fact that I am very self-conscious. I am conscious of this not only when conscious, but I am also conscious of it, occasionally, when dreaming, that is when unconscious. To be self-conscious was not a conscious decision that I took. Therefore, my questions is, did my brain unconsciously decide that I be self-conscious? Or, did I ever wake up?
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post Jul 20, 2006, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE(Trip like I do @ Jul 19, 04:16 PM) *

In both cases, you sucessfully stopped the car, and yet in one case all this activity was conscious and in the other it was not. What is the difference?

A flask of Red Label Johnnie Walker?
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post Jul 20, 2006, 02:53 PM
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QUOTE(code buttons @ Jul 20, 08:54 PM) *

QUOTE(Trip like I do @ Jul 19, 04:16 PM) *

In both cases, you sucessfully stopped the car, and yet in one case all this activity was conscious and in the other it was not. What is the difference?

A flask of Red Label Johnnie Walker?

biggrin.gif
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post Jul 20, 2006, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE(code buttons @ Jul 20, 03:54 PM) *

QUOTE(Trip like I do @ Jul 19, 04:16 PM) *

In both cases, you sucessfully stopped the car, and yet in one case all this activity was conscious and in the other it was not. What is the difference?

A flask of Red Label Johnnie Walker?


I wonder....would that make the task of driving and stopping more of an unconscious act or would one become more conscious of the need to stop?

....for me it would be a two sixer of Jack's Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey.
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post Jul 20, 2006, 08:42 PM
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Scenario:

You are driving in a car at a constant speed. On your left side is a
valley and on your right side is a fire engine traveling at the same
speed as you. In front of you is a galloping pig which is the same
size as your car and you cannot overtake it. Behind you is a
helicopter flying at ground level. Both the giant pig and the
helicopter are also traveling at the same speed as you. What must you
do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?

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Rick
post Jul 21, 2006, 09:56 AM
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Throw your lighted cigarette out the window so it starts a fire on the side of the road. The Fire engine will stop to put it out.
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