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Knowledge comes from talking to yourself?

 
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 26 Oct, 2009 05:18 pm
This thread sprouts from another one about mermaids in which I began to sense that I was talking to myself.

Let's look at talking to yourself from a biologocial standpoint. Scientists have somehow identified two areas of the brain that are involved in speech.

The Broca's area manages signals to the motor cortex which orchestrates all the movements of the oral, pharyngeal, and laryngeal muscles, which, along with breath, make the production of speech possible.

The Wernicke's area is tuned into audio sensation. It's somehow involved in deciphering sound. I read once that people who are polylingual in childhood will have only one Wernicke's area. If a person becomes bilingual later in life, he grows another Wernicke's area. Apparently this can be seen with an MRI. Yea... technology. Wow.

Anyway, I've used these ideas to speculate on my own speech development, which I don't remember. I've been told that I started talking at 10 months, and could speak in complete sentences at 1 year. When I took Spanish classes, I found that I could impress the teacher with my ability to speak Spanish without an accent. So I got good grades even though I never learned Spanish. What I am is a good mimic. My Broca's area works really well. I contrast this to Spanish speakers I routinely come across who can understand English, but can't speak it. Their Wernicke's center is working very well. Maybe it would help if English vowel sounds didn't change from one minute to the next. Also, I submit that speaking Spanish requires that one take in a breath before speaking, otherwise the r's don't roll. So maybe people who want to learn English should try not breathing when they talk.

Anyway. I've been assured that my comprehension was in tact at a young age, because it was checked. "Point to the cup." they would say... and I would do it. The thing is, my dog can do that. I say: "Who's the dummy?!" and my dog will go and nudge one of my brothers. And it's always the same brother. Obviously he understands me. Smart dog!

Or maybe not. In speech, meaning requires a listener. The first listener to my words is me. Unless I'm speaking Spanish. Then I'm not really listening... which is to say: my Wernicke's center isn't working.

When I understand my own speech, both parts are working. I'm listening to myself. I think this might be what Plato was getting at when he said that truth is arrived at through judgement. When you talk to yourself, and agree with what you just said, that's truth. The nice thing about this way of looking at truth is that it explains how I can be wrong: poor judgement.

Where does observation come into this? Obviously, since quantum theory has been around for about what.. 80 years now.. it's on people's minds more. People who believe their dreams are coming true can't be hammered by physics. Even if I'm clueless about anything past simple Newtonian physics, I can still say... nope... Heisenberg said...

And Roger Penrose needs to be quiet. He's messing with my right to think strange things. Actually I guess I'll have to wait until I understand Quantum Mechanics before I argue with Penrose. He'll probably be dead long before that. Even though my brother tells me the math isn't really that hard. He says I already know math that's more complicated. Yea... but my dog assures me he's a dummy.

So anyway: when I'm talking to myself and I say I've had dreams that came true. I go Plato on the thing. I listen to what I said and weigh it against a little reason. Could I possibly have a dream about something before it happens? Answer: well yes... I did. I do... it happens sometimes. That's my experience. That's what I observe.

Yea.. but could my mind be playing tricks on me? Answer: I don't know. Could you be a little more specific about the trick part? Answer: uh... how about delusion? Actually I don't really know what a delusion is, but it sounds like something where there are no cues as to when it's happening. So if my mind was playing tricks, I wouldn't know, right? Otherwise it wouldn't be a very good trick. I could be delusional right now. Actually, considering some aspects of my life, I hope I am.

Conclusion: the trick thing is irrelevant until more information comes in as to what that's all about. In the meantime... I have dreams that come true. And that's just the tip of my delusional iceberg. Yay! Unless it turns out I have poor judgement. I'm pretty sure I've had poor judgement before. There's a mountain near my hometown. I came to the conclusion it's an extinct volcano. It kind of looks like it. I went around telling everybody it was. I think I convinced quite a few of them. Turns out, it's not... it's just a really big bump. Poor judgement. No tricks. Does that make sense?
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TickTockMan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Oct, 2009 05:34 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;99932 wrote:
I'm pretty sure I've had poor judgement before. There's a mountain near my hometown. I came to the conclusion it's an extinct volcano. It kind of looks like it. I went around telling everybody it was. I think I convinced quite a few of them. Turns out, it's not... it's just a really big bump. Poor judgement. No tricks. Does that make sense?


That's not bad judgement. That's not being a good geologist. The people who believed you when you convinced them it was a volcano showed bad judgement listening to you, as you have no credentials as a geologist.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Oct, 2009 05:39 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;99936 wrote:
That's not bad judgement. That's not being a good geologist. The people who believed you when you convinced them it was a volcano showed bad judgement listening to you, as you have no credentials as a geologist.


Guesses, even lucky guesses, are not knowledge. They are lucky guesses.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Oct, 2009 05:40 pm
@Arjuna,
Rule number one of not going insane: Whenever there is someone insane, it is not you.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Oct, 2009 05:50 pm
@manored,
TickTockMan;99936 wrote:
That's not bad judgement. That's not being a good geologist. The people who believed you when you convinced them it was a volcano showed bad judgement listening to you, as you have no credentials as a geologist.
Yea, it really did look like a volcano, though. To me.

kennethamy;99942 wrote:
Guesses, even lucky guesses, are not knowledge. They are lucky guesses.
Very true.

manored;99944 wrote:
Rule number one of not going insane: Whenever there is someone insane, it is not you.
I tend to define insane as nonfunctional... (insanity in computer geek language means the software has gone off on a slow boat to China.) What do you mean by insane?
manored
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Oct, 2009 05:59 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;99947 wrote:

I tend to define insane as nonfunctional... (insanity in computer geek language means the software has gone off on a slow boat to China.) What do you mean by insane?
Not perceiving the world as it is.

That is actually a sort of joke: You are never insane because you can never prove to yourself you are. So, thinking you have gone insane is a nice way of torturing yourself, since you can never prove to yourself you havent gone insane either =)
0 Replies
 
TickTockMan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Oct, 2009 06:12 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;99942 wrote:
Guesses, even lucky guesses, are not knowledge. They are lucky guesses.


Got it. I think.

Arjuna could have just as easily been correct when arriving at the conclusion that it was a volcano, but not because of any actual knowledge that it was a volcano.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Oct, 2009 06:40 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;99957 wrote:
Arjuna could have just as easily been correct when arriving at the conclusion that it was a volcano, but not because of any actual knowledge that it was a volcano.
Well, I did get some actual knowledge out of the whole thing: I know it's not a volcano. How much of our high-falutin knowledge comes from people making stupid mistakes? The thing is: you don't know it's a mistake at the time: it seems like knowledge. I wasn't guessing... I first "realized" it was a volcano when I learned there had been earthquakes in the area 150 years ago. But I can still see the point kennethamy was making. My mistake could be traced to insufficient doubt. But if you're all doubt, so you don't make mistakes.. you won't ever come to any conclusions. As they say: if you aren't making mistakes... you aren't doing anything.

manored;99954 wrote:
Not perceiving the world as it is.

That is actually a sort of joke: You are never insane because you can never prove to yourself you are. So, thinking you have gone insane is a nice way of torturing yourself, since you can never prove to yourself you havent gone insane either =)
Actually the movie The Shining used to be extremely scary to me... the part where Jack is in a bar, talking to somebody who couldn't possibly be there. Yeeesh! I guess I grew out of it... that movie fascinates me now.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 01:12 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;99963 wrote:
Well, I did get some actual knowledge out of the whole thing: I know it's not a volcano. How much of our high-falutin knowledge comes from people making stupid mistakes? The thing is: you don't know it's a mistake at the time: it seems like knowledge. I wasn't guessing... I first "realized" it was a volcano when I learned there had been earthquakes in the area 150 years ago. But I can still see the point kennethamy was making. My mistake could be traced to insufficient doubt. But if you're all doubt, so you don't make mistakes.. you won't ever come to any conclusions. As they say: if you aren't making mistakes... you aren't doing anything.

.


My point is that knowledge is different from belief, including a belief which happens to be true. Knowledge has to be true, and so does true belief have to be true (although, of course, beliefs can be false). But true belief and knowledge are still different, because you can believe something and it be true, but you still have no justification or very little justification for your belief; but if you know, you have to have adequate justification for your belief. So, someone can claim to know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, and that is correct. Quito is the capital of Ecuador. But if when the person is asked why she believes that Quito is the capital, and she answers she believes it because she dreamed it was the capital, then we can reply to her, "Well, you are right. Quito is the capital. But you don't know it is, since dreaming it is is not justification, and certainly not justification for claiming you know it is the capital". Believing something is true, and its being true is not knowing it is true.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 12:09 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;100024 wrote:
My point is that knowledge is different from belief, including a belief which happens to be true. Knowledge has to be true, and so does true belief have to be true (although, of course, beliefs can be false). But true belief and knowledge are still different, because you can believe something and it be true, but you still have no justification or very little justification for your belief; but if you know, you have to have adequate justification for your belief. So, someone can claim to know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, and that is correct. Quito is the capital of Ecuador. But if when the person is asked why she believes that Quito is the capital, and she answers she believes it because she dreamed it was the capital, then we can reply to her, "Well, you are right. Quito is the capital. But you don't know it is, since dreaming it is is not justification, and certainly not justification for claiming you know it is the capital". Believing something is true, and its being true is not knowing it is true.
We can never really know, though. What if your dreams are never wrong? What if your eyes always are? =)

I prefer to think people believe if they are wrong or uncertain, people know if they are correct. Off course, some people know until proven wrong, and some people believe until proven right =)
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 12:35 pm
@manored,
Yea. I see a difference between belief and knowledge. Both words are labels for bits of mind-stuff. We use these words to protect ourselves from the danger of baloney. Like when someone tries to sell you vitamin D as if it will transform you into a healthier organism. The FDA has the job of identifying knowledge. I think the FDA is an outward model of something basically human.

Can the individual hold private knowledge? I see it as a matter of semantics. The individual does operate on what she holds to be knowledge.

What I'm saying is that firstly, you split into two "people:" a speaker and a listener. Your listener derives meaning from your speaker's sounds.

These parts can exist separately, the speaker doing what a parrot does, and a listener doing what a dog can do.

Put them together, and we have the first signs of meaning in speech.

So you're the first evaluator of your own suggestions, and when somebody else hears you, they're following in behind, in the model of the primal listener... which is your Wernicke's area.

I don't know all the mechanics of it, or if it's just another hare brain model. But it seems to answer some questions. You know?
manored
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 01:03 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;100148 wrote:
Yea. I see a difference between belief and knowledge. Both words are labels for bits of mind-stuff. We use these words to protect ourselves from the danger of baloney. Like when someone tries to sell you vitamin D as if it will transform you into a healthier organism. The FDA has the job of identifying knowledge. I think the FDA is an outward model of something basically human.

Can the individual hold private knowledge? I see it as a matter of semantics. The individual does operate on what she holds to be knowledge.

What I'm saying is that firstly, you split into two "people:" a speaker and a listener. Your listener derives meaning from your speaker's sounds.

These parts can exist separately, the speaker doing what a parrot does, and a listener doing what a dog can do.

Put them together, and we have the first signs of meaning in speech.

So you're the first evaluator of your own suggestions, and when somebody else hears you, they're following in behind, in the model of the primal listener... which is your Wernicke's area.

I don't know all the mechanics of it, or if it's just another hare brain model. But it seems to answer some questions. You know?
That does make some sense, though im not sure if the speech makes a difference... I think if you just though it (I mean wordless though) the result would be the same. We cant really think wordlessly on purpose though.

Sometimes I hold discussions with myself, by the way =)
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 01:23 pm
@manored,
manored;100138 wrote:
We can never really know, though. What if your dreams are never wrong? What if your eyes always are? =)

I prefer to think people believe if they are wrong or uncertain, people know if they are correct. Off course, some people know until proven wrong, and some people believe until proven right =)


People know only if they are correct. That is true. But that does not mean that they know only if it is impossible for them to be wrong. After all, if may be possible for them to be wrong, but still be correct. And, as we both agree, as long as they are correct, they know. That they may be wrong is irrelevant.
People do not know until proven wrong, but they may be wrong without being proven wrong. Maybe what you mean is that people think they know, until proven wrong.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Oct, 2009 11:01 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;100366 wrote:
People know only if they are correct. That is true. But that does not mean that they know only if it is impossible for them to be wrong. After all, if may be possible for them to be wrong, but still be correct. And, as we both agree, as long as they are correct, they know. That they may be wrong is irrelevant.
People do not know until proven wrong, but they may be wrong without being proven wrong. Maybe what you mean is that people think they know, until proven wrong.
What I meant with that reply was that it doesnt matters where you got your information, if you are sure, and its correct, its knowledge. If a person who read in a book where Quito is and a person who dreamed about Quito and believed it both need to go to Quito, they will both know where to head to.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Oct, 2009 11:08 am
@manored,
manored;100486 wrote:
What I meant with that reply was that it doesnt matters where you got your information, if you are sure, and its correct, its knowledge. If a person who read in a book where Quito is and a person who dreamed about Quito and believed it both need to go to Quito, they will both know where to head to.


I agree that if a person knows where Quito is, then he knows where Quito is. But, a person who reads in a reliable Atlas where Quito is, is in a much better position to know where Quito is, than a person who dreams where Quito is. A dream is not a reliable source of information. And an Atlas is.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Oct, 2009 11:29 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;100490 wrote:
I agree that if a person knows where Quito is, then he knows where Quito is. But, a person who reads in a reliable Atlas where Quito is, is in a much better position to know where Quito is, than a person who dreams where Quito is. A dream is not a reliable source of information. And an Atlas is.
That is true, although only relevant then the person tries to pass its knowledge.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Oct, 2009 11:34 am
@manored,
manored;100499 wrote:
That is true, although only relevant then the person tries to pass its knowledge.


The person does not knowledge to pass if his belief is justified by a dream, since that would not be knowledge. Knowledge has to be justified by a reliable source, and a dream is not a reliable source. An Atlas is. So the person who dreams about where Quito is does not know where Quito is. Not even if he happens to be right.
TickTockMan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Oct, 2009 03:26 pm
@manored,
manored;100486 wrote:
What I meant with that reply was that it doesnt matters where you got your information, if you are sure, and its correct, its knowledge. If a person who read in a book where Quito is and a person who dreamed about Quito and believed it both need to go to Quito, they will both know where to head to.


Would you be comfortable having an operation performed by a surgeon (or someone who called himself a surgeon) who gained his information about human anatomy through his dreams? Or for that matter a surgeon who only read about human anatomy in a book written by an anthropologist? Even if he was sure his information was correct?

People who get their information about headache remedies here Miralus - HeadOn are paying good money to rub candles on their foreheads . . .
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Oct, 2009 06:19 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;100563 wrote:
Would you be comfortable having an operation performed by a surgeon (or someone who called himself a surgeon) who gained his information about human anatomy through his dreams? Or for that matter a surgeon who only read about human anatomy in a book written by an anthropologist? Even if he was sure his information was correct?

People who get their information about headache remedies here Miralus - HeadOn are paying good money to rub candles on their foreheads . . .
I wouldn't be comfortable with that kind of surgeon. Although the first surgery patient was cut on by an inexperienced surgeon. That surgeon had no information from an expert... there were no experts, and the "knowledge" he did get from experts was ridiculous from our point of view.

There's a first time for everything. If people relied on justification from experts every time they acted, so as to be sure they "knew" what they were doing, we'd still be in the stone-age... if we ever made it that far.
0 Replies
 
manored
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 11:25 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;100501 wrote:
The person does not knowledge to pass if his belief is justified by a dream, since that would not be knowledge. Knowledge has to be justified by a reliable source, and a dream is not a reliable source. An Atlas is. So the person who dreams about where Quito is does not know where Quito is. Not even if he happens to be right.
I disagree, as long as the person trusts the dream to be correct, and it indeed is, it is knowledge. Off course, it will be harder to pass on and easier to doubt than knowledge adquired in more reliable manners, but, still, it goes to Quito as well as someone who read it in an Atlas.

TickTockMan;100563 wrote:
Would you be comfortable having an operation performed by a surgeon (or someone who called himself a surgeon) who gained his information about human anatomy through his dreams? Or for that matter a surgeon who only read about human anatomy in a book written by an anthropologist? Even if he was sure his information was correct?
Off course not =) What I mean is that if perchance he was correct, then the result is the same than if he had dissecated a thousand corpses, so I dont see why not call it knowledge. The origin only matters then it is confronted by other fountains of information or then one tries to pass it on.

So, if this lucky surgeon did the surgery on me, things would go as well as with a reliable one (We are, off course, assuming the only difference between then is the origin of the knowledge, not the quality of it). But if he told me he learnt everthing on his dreams, I wouldnt operate. And if he read a book about medicine with wrong information on it, he could choose to trust the book over his dreams.
0 Replies
 
 

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