August 2008

In order to take my approach further, I need to observe the situation of the psychotic.  Can it be characterized as a qualitatively different coupling between the SM relation and the ‘Environment’?  How is the environment to be characterized under this approach?  I need Barker-style notes of the situation of the psychotic.  Care and attention to all those variables that might constitute the environment of other P-worlds needs to be taken.  That means taking account of all media, right down to the electric light bulb. It means exploring the communicative modes or means of coupling: music, dance, touch, etc. Then one can work towards the goal of having enough of a description that one might consider a more specific perturbation than ECT or non-specific neurotransmitter modulation.

Here’s Searle on that old bugaboo – ‘consciousness’:

By `consciousness’ I simply mean those subjective states of sentience or awareness that begin when one awakes in the morning from a dreamless sleep and continue throughout the day until one goes to sleep at night or falls into a coma, or dies, or otherwise becomes, as one would say, `unconscious’. (src)

What can one make of this?   The term ‘consciousness’ is absolutely useless.  If you look at the structure of the ideas in this quote, they make a nonsense of the immediacy of subjective experience.  They require a dualistic separation of the perceiver and the perceived.  There are states and there is someone having those states.  Language imposes this dualism on us.  Why, I’m not sure.  But it seems that once we use the subject-predicate form, we are condemned to making a dual out of a singular.  That sound is that sound.  Not the abstract notion of a pressure wave, the experience is the sound.  There is no duality there.

The dopamine guys are getting really interesting.  The Sutton and Barto stuff is getting real big.  And now, they’ve started doing parallel fMRIs of interacting subjects.  That’s fucking brilliant.  I’m betting right here folks.