REALITY DISTORTION

DENIAL

 

  •     The primary denial today is not about human driven climate change, but the intuitive/emotional deep denial that we are in a very critical crisis: a denial of “reality”.  This includes myself. My conceptual/rational mind is fully aware of the dangers (and opportunities), but my mammalian self can’t accept it. I speculate that this cognitive dissonance is behind much of the weird behavior emergent everywhere and accelerating. A person’s anxiety is projected on a “project” they can act on, even if it requires substantial reality distortion. This includes leaders, activists, and everyone else. Saw this report recently, similar to many. [Please read both pages – comment on near-term extinction forecast coming soon in another post.]  See also blog post.on Deep Denial.
  •     Conceptually my UPLIFT model presents a possible way to avoid the worst. Emotionally I dither in frustration, finding NO action plans for Larry having any possibility of success. Many offer recommendations which, in the context of nuet’s model of our “world” (only partly known to these others), have low probability of “working”.

TWO MODES OF PERCEIVING

 

  •     Viki McCabe in her new book, Coming to our Senses, expands on the perception model of James Gibson: that we (and mammals) directly perceive patterns, and we are hardwired to do so. McCabe proposes this is an alternative hypothesis to the standard perception model: that raw data enters through our senses and is analyzed/organized into patterns by computer-like brain processes and then “experienced”. This direct perception of “structure” is subliminal, not conscious, not part of our experientials. We “input” structure; we also input sensory data which we assemble as “features” of “things assembled according to our theories”.  Our “output” will still be behavior (often structured) and constructed experientials.
  •     Humans identify patterns directly, such as faces, cars, other living beings, buildings, star constellations; both in categories and as unique individuals. This recognition is fast; the visual field with “things” and “features” follows later. Features may be used to rationalize our identification. Sometimes wrong “theories” can lead to visual experientials that are not accurate.
  •     I propose that both modes of “perception” have value. McCabe, in her struggle against established dogma and noting how theory-tainted-experientials have led humankind along dangerous paths, has an expected bias against visual experientials. She makes no reference to visual art. The interaction of these two modes needs further research.

VISUAL EXPERIENTIALS

 

  •     We can either name or give a name to everything we attend to. Try it: look around and try to focus on something that can’t have a name. Our visual experience is deeply linked to languaging and our cWrld  (the conceptual world we “construct” in our mind/brains as we live). We “see” “things”, constructs “projected” from our cWrld. Our cWrld and visual experientials are map-like representations of those structures and features of an “external world” most relevant for our momentary activity and survival. We visually experience our “theories”, according to McCabe.
  •         It is unlikely that our experientials (visual, auditory, proprioceptive and kinesthetic, olfactory, tactile) are there for our enjoyment. McCabe demonstrates that most of our spatial navigation utilizes subliminal “direct perception” of  environmental structures. The function of experientials may be to serve as feedback, to the whole brain, the “conclusion of percept formation” as to what was relevant at the moment and an immediate report of the observed consequences of our actions.  Civilization, with its imposed societal theories absorbed by our emerging cWrlds, can result in erroneous information being fed back to the brain “confirming” their distorted reality.
  •         McCabe/Gibson’s direct perception of structures, (not contributing directly to experientials) a version of mammalian perception, remains essential for our navigating our material and social environments.  It is not known whether this process can be upscaled to assist humankind better comprehend large structures and processes that unfold over years or centuries.   Persons who, over extended time and who learned scientific perspectives, have come a long way in comprehending structures and processes that cannot be directly perceived.  Astounding homing and navigational competencies of many animals, and the competencies of early humans to “read” the seasons, learn the “ways” of plants and animals, navigate long ocean trips indicate that we probably have the competencies to “perceive” patterns across large expanses of space and time.
  •             The term “perception” is troublesome. Most have an automatic sense of “seeing things out there”, which fits the McCabe/Gibson model. Our experientials usually contain information from outside, but their assembly in the construction of visual experientials is strongly influenced by our “theories”. Our “theories” become dominant when we navigate in social and societal worlds. Our language which is fairly accurate when describing the “natural world” becomes problematic when used in terms of the social or societal. We refer to unobservable societal systems (governments, agencies, corporations, etc.) as is they were observable things. This error enables person-hood to be legally given to corporations; but there are much deeper ramifications from treating these “phantoms” (Latour) as “real things”.
  •             McCabe suggests humans can directly perceive patterns in dynamic visual displays created from Big Data.  However, how the visual displays are to be constructed and how viewers are to be trained is a major R&D project. We should expect significant individual differences between persons in what they can and can’t directly perceive.

 

REALITY

NOTE: The following statements about “this reality” emerged from “nuet” in the process of composing this doc.  It is a new, experimental sem requiring future work. Although I believe most are quite relevant, to be comprehended they may require supporting explication.  If you get bogged down, skip ahead.

  •     The “reality” I am concerned about is “what will best enable humankind to survive/thrive for many millennia?”.  What model of “reality” will “best inform” our collective actions?
  •     This “reality” includes (1) the best scientific forecasts of Humankind/Gaia interactions, and (2) the internal behavior of Humankind (personal to planetary dysfunction and potential opportunities) in context with nu emergent ideas for learning change.
  •     This “reality” (the context for our salvation) is today emergent-in-parts distributed in small pockets of the human population.
  •     This “reality” is not a “theory” based on questionable assumptions. It emerges utilizing “direct perception of complex structures” (as described by Viki McCabe in her recent book: Coming to our Senses) and “empirically confirmed” feedback from “evidence”. McCabe joins a “community” of science-oriented authors discovering The Nu Human and exposing dangerous myths about “who we believe we are”. [List elsewhere.]
  •     This “reality” can be contrasted with a wide variety of competitive realities driving different sectors of different populations all over our planet. None of these contemporary realities are evidence based; they are ideological theories reinforced by distorted perceptions.
  •     This “reality” involves a “dynamic dance between existential and process ontologies”. Temporary, rational, conceptual, existential “systems” are proposed as scaffolding to guide action. Non-linear, human intuitive processes within these temporary scaffolds lead to collective activity {“co-intelligence”} resulting in construction of new/nu “systems”. These two meta-processes can cycle in nested/fractal-like integration.
  •     The emergence of this “reality” will require explicit seafing (Support, Enable, Augment, Facilitate). The emergence will require “bootstrapping”. Unique human competencies must be intentionally applied; we cannot depend on biological emergence. Humankind and our dilemma are unique phenomena in Gaia.
  •     The emergence of this “reality” can only occur within close F2F teams/communities functioning as “Learning Expeditions” that are network linked with other Learning Expeditions. Not being a “theory” this “reality” can’t be fully codified; but “parts” of this “reality” can include codified hypotheses for temporary systems.
  •     This “reality” includes a model of its continuing galdee (Growth, Adaptation, Learning, Development, Evolution, Emergence).
  •     This “reality” is embedded in interpersonal interaction with semiotic structures (sems = texts, visuals, programs, etc.).  Contemporary cyber-media is insufficient for the emergence of this “reality”.
  •     Our contemporary system for composing/posting/accessing/processing sems is inadequate to our needs. “Posting Sems” (publishing books and articles, presenting live or by video, posting and commenting online, sending emails & tweets – in various media & devices) into a Sem-Network (with references, footnotes, links, reviews, compendia) lacks adequate “intelligence” to be a useful “representation” for this “reality”. The collected archive of human productivity is not a system, only a network.
      •         Although ignorant of details of work on “World Brains”, I grok that each endeavor occurs in contexts that are too limiting, and possibly attempting too much.
      •         Searching techniques, although essential, cannot provide the requisite “intelligence” for a Sem-World.
      •         Visual maps are essential; but their development must involve a wider diversity of potential users. Contemporary visual maps are inadequate.
  •     This “reality” needs clear, operational distinctions. These distinctions are not proposed for an “objective reality” as might exist if there was no humankind. These distinctions are tools for humans, as this “reality” can be viewed as a “technology”.
  •         Sems are replicable physical structures, containing patterns that are far from random.Their “meaning” from “perceiving” is a relationship between two structures: (1) the content pattern of the sem , and (2) the structure/process of the human being perceiving and processing the sem.
  •             Sems are part of our perceivable environment. However, they are sharply distinguished from the “natural environment” (all other than sems). The full nature of this distinction remains emergent. It may be that the Sem-Field is a “Cosmic Emergent”, a new/nu “fundamental dimension”.  Until sems, “information” has always been embedded in material/energetic systems. The Sem-Field may be a Cosmic Discontinuity where “information” is liberated from its deep embedment in material/energetic systems, to become an “interdependent variable”.
  •             Humans can learn to agree on the structure of sems, even when they may have no interpretation or different interpretations. Sems have the potential for unlimited replication and distribution.This elevates sem structure to a cosmic invariant, equivalent to the invariance of atomic structure.  Sems can be part of messages broadcast into space. We need to research the emergence of sems in human evolution; when the replication of sems became influential.
  •         Humans are embedded in their perceivable environments. A star is part of our perceivable environment, what is beyond the visible horizon is not. Societal systems are not perceivable, as systems; however some structures of societal systems may be directly perceivable subliminally, ala McCabe. “Societal Reality” is primarily a constructed “theory”. Those who have access to detailed information may experience a cognitive dissonance between their theories and their direct, subliminal perception of societal structures.

THE NU HUMAN <LINK>