The Movie "Total Recall"

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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bobevenson
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The Movie "Total Recall"

Post by bobevenson » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:13 pm

In this movie, you could have any experience electronically transmitted to your brain, and you would remember it like it actually happened. Let's say you are a weekend golfer, but wanted the experience of winning the British Open major golf championship. If you had the electronically transmitted memory of the event, would you now also have the same skills in reality? In other words, could this be an experience shortcut?

Ginkgo
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Re: The Movie "Total Recall"

Post by Ginkgo » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:05 am

bobevenson wrote:In this movie, you could have any experience electronically transmitted to your brain, and you would remember it like it actually happened. Let's say you are a weekend golfer, but wanted the experience of winning the British Open major golf championship. If you had the electronically transmitted memory of the event, would you now also have the same skills in reality? In other words, could this be an experience shortcut?

That is an excellent question Bob.

Daniel Dennett would probably answer that question in the affirmative.

http://www.newbanner.com/SecHumSCM/WhereAmI.html

I would go some of the way with Dennett on this one, but I tend to think that when we learn a sport, uniqueness of identity in terms of how we experience and learn the skills is important. However, once committed to what is often termed 'muscle memory', experience no long plays an important role in producing a sporting performance.

To this end I think the idea of a professional sporting performance largely depends on playing without, or suppressing experience. Another way of saying this would be that experience tends to get in the way of a professional sporting performance.

If we can have any experience transmitted to the brain via a computer then this says that the brain operates like a computer and is amenable to programming like any computer. As such the brain works like a computer.

I tend to think that a good golfing performance needs to be eventually 'downloaded' into a type of data retrieval system that by-passes experience. In other words, we need the 'hard problem of consciousness' to explain the learning of the skills, but once perfected, the 'easy problem of consciousness' can explain the sporting performance.

So yes, I would argue that this would be a short cut to experience. This is because- at the very least anyway, the 'easy problem of consciousness' could be transmitted via a computer and thus the ability to play like a professional.

Impenitent
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Re: The Movie "Total Recall"

Post by Impenitent » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:12 am

but is muscular reflex a thought activity?

does your mind have to tell your hand to move away from the fire?

if the body is conditioned to react reflexively, through martial arts et.al., does the mind enter the equation at all?

-Imp

Ginkgo
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Re: The Movie "Total Recall"

Post by Ginkgo » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:10 pm

Impenitent wrote:but is muscular reflex a thought activity?

does your mind have to tell your hand to move away from the fire?

if the body is conditioned to react reflexively, through martial arts et.al., does the mind enter the equation at all?

-Imp

Yes it is a thought activity. I googled it to find a definition and a got the wikipedia, "Procedural Memory"

Procedural memory is memory for particular types of action. Procedural memory guides the process we perform and most frequently resides below the level of the subconscious awareness.

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedural_memory



My particular area of interest in all of this is what I regard as a similarity between what Chalmers calls, "the easy problem of consciousness" and the zone or flow response experienced by athletes.

Characteristics of the easy problem.

1.The ability to discriminate and react to environmental stimuli.

2. The integration of information by a cognitive system.

3. The ability to report mental states.

4.The ability of a system to access its own internal state.

5. The focusing of attention.

6. the deliberate control of behaviour.


Characteristics of a zone or flow response.

1. Intense and focused attention of the moment.

2. Merging of action and awareness.

3. A loss of reflective self-consciousness.

4. a sense of personal control over a situation.

5. A loss of the subjective experience of time.

6. Autotelic in terms of deriving meaning and purpose from within oneself.


I basically saw the two lists as an explanation of what it is like to have no experience, other than experience of ones environment. Chalmers has a reason for his explanation of consciousness being divided into easy and hard aspects. It is to set up his argument for a type of philosophical zombie thought experiment. We can see the philosophical zombie being exactly like us in every way, the only difference being is that the philosophical zombie lacks experience.

Our consciousness contains both the hard (not listed here)* and easy aspects. While the philosophical zombie only has the easy part of consciousness (as outlined above). He cannot have the hard part because he lacks experience.

If true we can interpret this in a couple of ways. Chalmers of course does not believe that philosophical zombies can actually exist, if they did then these imaginary beings would be in a continual zone or flow state. The other explanation is that humans can induce a partial zombie response when playing sport (better know as zone or flow response) That is a zombie in the way that Chalmers understands.

This is why I answered Bob's original thought experiment question in the affirmative when it came to playing golf like a professional. In light of Dennett's own thought experiment we can see that Dennett would probably agree. This is because he sees the human brain as nothing more than a sophisticated computer. When it comes to sport it probably functions very much like a computer but only in terms of the 'easy problem'.


* The hard problem can be explained by googling... Chalmers hard problem of consciousness

Impenitent
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Re: The Movie "Total Recall"

Post by Impenitent » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:01 pm

and herein lies the rub... from your first link...

"Procedural memories are accessed and used without the need for conscious control or attention. Procedural memory is a type of long-term memory and, more specifically, a type of implicit memory. Procedural memory is created through "procedural learning" or, repeating a complex activity over and over again until all of the relevant neural systems work together to automatically produce the activity. Implicit procedural learning is essential to the development of any motor skill or cognitive activity."

I asked "if the body is conditioned to react reflexively, through martial arts et.al., does the mind enter the equation at all?" and it seems that procedural learning (formation through habit) is essential... I don't think that an "experience shortcut" without "implicit procedural" activity would work...

let me put it another way... you have the "memory" of being able to curl a 50 kilogram dumbbell, but without actually training the muscles involved to be able to curl the weight, it isn't happening...

-Imp

Ginkgo
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Re: The Movie "Total Recall"

Post by Ginkgo » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:58 am

Impenitent wrote:and herein lies the rub... from your first link...

"Procedural memories are accessed and used without the need for conscious control or attention. Procedural memory is a type of long-term memory and, more specifically, a type of implicit memory. Procedural memory is created through "procedural learning" or, repeating a complex activity over and over again until all of the relevant neural systems work together to automatically produce the activity. Implicit procedural learning is essential to the development of any motor skill or cognitive activity."

I asked "if the body is conditioned to react reflexively, through martial arts et.al., does the mind enter the equation at all?" and it seems that procedural learning (formation through habit) is essential... I don't think that an "experience shortcut" without "implicit procedural" activity would work...

let me put it another way... you have the "memory" of being able to curl a 50 kilogram dumbbell, but without actually training the muscles involved to be able to curl the weight, it isn't happening...

-Imp


I think what you have said is largely correct.

We need the hard problem of consciousness to actually learn the activity. The hard problem would allow for someone to have the "memory" to be able to curl a 50 kilogram dumbbell. The tricky bit is when I try to explain an ACTUAL sporting performance without any reference to the hard problem. In other words, I want to explain the ACTUAL performance in terms of the easy problem. By doing this I am saying that anyone who plays in the zone plays without experience.

Even if we allow for the possibility this is largely true, there is of course one major problem. That problem being that the athlete, at the very least, still must experience their environment in some way.Once we mention experience we immediately reintroduce the hard problem.This being the case they are not a zombie in the way Chalmers has formulated the zombie concept. However, this doesn't exclude the possibility of an argument for partial zombie-ness.

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Arising_uk
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Re: The Movie "Total Recall"

Post by Arising_uk » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:49 am

bobevenson wrote:In this movie, you could have any experience electronically transmitted to your brain, and you would remember it like it actually happened. Let's say you are a weekend golfer, but wanted the experience of winning the British Open major golf championship. If you had the electronically transmitted memory of the event, would you now also have the same skills in reality? In other words, could this be an experience shortcut?
Yes and no I guess.

Yes because you'd know what it is you'd have to do to be the best. No because you'd still need to train the muscle memory and get the body fit for purpose. Although I think it would depend upon the activity as it might be the case that you just don't have the body type to do the associated electronically transmitted memory, e.g. ballet would be ruled out for most I guess no matter how many times you live Nijinsky's memory or Usain Bolts! What it would do would be to short-cut the time spent in learning what to do, with all the associated plateaus that learning a skill involves.
p.s.
Sorry if this is a repeat of whats been said but it was an interesting thought. Gotta love Phillip K.

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HexHammer
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Re: The Movie "Total Recall"

Post by HexHammer » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:46 pm

bobevenson wrote:If you had the electronically transmitted memory of the event, would you now also have the same skills in reality? In other words, could this be an experience shortcut?
No, visual impressions are different from motorskills, only if these trasmitters can stimulate the area of motor skills, then yes.

jackles
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Re: The Movie "Total Recall"

Post by jackles » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:23 am

Yeah liked this movie arnie was perfect for the part dont you think.he gave the film the right feel.but if you work it out it was feel that wrote and made that film.it was your feeling the feeling that watched the film.that same feeling your feeling made the film.do you get that.

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