Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dennettion Zombie

Dan Dennett talks about philosophical zombies who are exactly like people except for one item, usually consciousness, so how can anyone tell the difference?

When I am in one of those eating stages, his description is almost exactly what it is like, I am doing it but I am not in control; I cannot stop; it is a form of mental dysfunction. All I can do is distract myself, perhaps delay, escape, of use alternative activity where food is not available. There does not seem to be any available help offered beyond drawing in a concept of something more powerful myself and using that to control the self. One fictional mental object to control the wild mind of uncontrol. Do some portion of the population have a portion of the mind that is beyond our control, and I am part of that portion of the population?

We have control over part of our consciousness, only part. But is there part also that we have no control over, and the short answer is yes, most of it. So what causes this vacillation between that part of eating in which we have control and that part which we have no control? I do not understand. 

What pushes me over the edge? Available food is one item, if not the main item. Once started, I do not stop until all food is gone. That is a problem. I cannot go with no food. but it must be metered, doled out in small quantities... more later

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

So what drives eating?

In the past I have looked at what drives eating: addiction, chemical food issues, emotional issues, habit, cultural and environmental, genetic, epigenetic, instinct or over driven instinct, etc. Now I am headed internally to choice vs free will, choice is free will, but with a triune brain what gives? It is also possible that we do not think the same; there is variation in process, and what we can control, and on what we put priority on. We can modify what is within our control by changing our beliefs and values, desires, aversion, delusions, expectations, our direction from history based to forward looking. It is a process.

Free will is a concept that originally came from religion, that force responsibility onto we, the people. It is not necessarily true, give it cannot be measured nor displayed. Given the obesity epidemic we currently live in; the epidemic that the rich have lived in at least since Roman time, with some evidence of the problem going back much further; we get fat when surplus food is available, unless we resisted the contemplation to overeat. Free will, what little we have is not much deference against the problem. Do we really have any free will with respect to food? My short answer is no, for most of us, but we do not need to hang around where food is available or where eating is promoted.

Free will is more of a concept than an actual reality. We have free will to make decisions, but not to carry out the actions as planned, as we become dependent on our bodies and/or others. Our beliefs and values get in the way, of which we adopted under the guise of free will, or we adopted them at our parents insistence. Clean that plate up. We do not want you to be hungry. One should never be hungry. If we accept that hungry is the natural state we should live in, we would not have a obesity issue. So now we can stay that our overeating is the direct result of our beliefs, and that we accepted our beliefs of our own free will, well we can as adults, unload those problem-matic beliefs, and take on new problem free beliefs as our own. Our beliefs are under indirect control of our free will, that condition where we can accept of reject a proposition. We can reevaluate and reject any entrenched proposition; we can retrain ourselves to almost anything that is not limited by our skill set. A simple bowl of soup can be lunch and or supper; nothing more is required for most of us.

The amount that is under the indirect control of our free will is vast compared to that under our direct free will to choose. It is this automatic testing against our beliefs that makes us rational... sort of. Yet we must also reexamine our beliefs that we test against, and drag those beliefs, which we have difficulty actually expressing, and recalling, out into the light of today, where we can continue to maintain, reject, or modify, to suit out current needs.

Many of our beliefs are cultural, religious, environmental, and from our parents and/or similar old people. But their beliefs, we must either own or discard. It is holding onto wrong ideas that is so damaging, and must be overcome through education and examination of those ideas. Maintaining wrong ideas as true is bad, not examining those ideas is foolish, or religious.

So what is the test of a idea? Define the idea, and list down all the factor pointing to the truth and or falsity of the idea. But there is an order that questions must be tested in, in order that the test is based on truth. This is the problem of religion, the first belief must be what is the primary virtue, the primary good, and that must occur somewhere above I think, therefore I am, and what is real, and what is conceptual, and the like. The stoic had the right idea, start with philosophy, reason, logic, physics and build from there. Learn hypothesis and evaluation, what is truth, and what is not, what is hypothesis to be held with a bit of doubt, the best explanation we have yet found, and go from there.

Yes, I am getting a bit slippery, perhaps off course, but then no one is providing sound advice that is follow-ible so what can one do? Find our own path. So how does this help overeating? We will see in the future.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Concepts, a Group of Abstract Nouns

Formally, it seams that concepts are know as abstract nouns. I have not given these much though, for until recently, there we not a concern of mine. Now it is occurring to me how many there really are. Yes, a sentence ending in a proposition, no a verb. Oh well. English is something I have difficulty with. It is the dyslexia and an attitude of just not caring to conform or not.

Now the point of all this is why would one confuse a abstract noun and a proper noun? But in reality, it was the community that was/is confused, not I any longer. We learn from the collective culture around us. So what about when they are wrong? At most, any culture is no more that 80% right, so what about all those errors? That is a interesting thought that Socrates would approve of. Another proposition.

So if god is an abstract noun, a bloody concept, an idea in the mind of the believer, how does one convince others of that concept. Religions are a bloody meme, similar to a chain letter, do this and all will be good, fail to do this, and the wrath falls.

Damn, I did not mean to publish this yet. When I left this last, I intended to save it. Oh well.

Overeating may be the result of some concept that rubbed of onto us, and we accepted. I need to root out any automatic thoughts of eating. Or perhaps it is more along the line of free will vs time and instinct. Instinct over time will always win. We have some free will, but how much? Consider the marshmallow test, and how few actually leave the marshmallows. So if they had free will, they could leave it indefinitely. It is my contention that we have about as much free will as we have absolute control over. opinions, and not much more. Something like Epictetus said. Or between the decisions, the assent to a concept and an output decision. But nothing beyond the output decision, we have only influence. Oh well, that is for another day of thinking.   

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

is the desire to eat a mind parasite?

Looking at just the desire to eat, it could be composed of two parts, one a instinct and secondly, a mind parasite that sits there saying eat, eat.

Religions are mind parasites, and could this eat eat thought in the mind be something similar? Abandoning any concept of god, god is just a concept other people have, type of thinking is freeing, at we ratchet toward truth, is freeing and truth seeking. Stoic philosophy is good, as far as it goes, but it stops short of solving the problems of the world. Some problems just have no solution though.

We can believe wrong concepts, and these concepts take up residence in our mind. There is nothing we can do until we recognize these as wrong concepts, mind parasites. Then we can root them out. Perhaps it is as simple as liking food too much, over driven reward, or the only reward we like. Perhaps is is the desire for more energy, that has twisted us to eat. But perhaps it is just a mind parasite of the conceptual class.