Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses
#1
Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses

Quote:Gloomy octopuses—also known as common Sydney octopuses, or octopus tetricus—have long had a reputation for being loners. Marine biologists once thought they inhabited the subtropical waters off eastern Australia and northern New Zealand in solitude, meeting only to mate, once a year. But now there’s proof these cephalopods sometimes hang out in small cities.
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
[-] The following 4 users Like Sciborg_S_Patel's post:
  • Ninshub, E. Flowers, Laird, Typoz
Reply
#2
I love these little bastards, sometimes its like they live to mock our beliefs of how they should behave.
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before..."
[-] The following 1 user Likes E. Flowers's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel
Reply
#3
(09-19-2017, 12:30 AM)E. Flowers Wrote: I love these little bastards, sometimes its like they live to mock our beliefs of how they should behave.

It recalls Dennet's blather about robots being machines and the moving up to comment on humanity, but AFAIK never updating his beliefs in light of the fact lobsters were observed to play.

Quote:American philosopher Daniel Dennett frames the problem quite lucidly. Take lobsters, he argues—they’re just robots. Lobsters can get by with no sense of self at all. You can’t ask what it’s like to be a lobster. It’s not like anything. They have nothing that even resembles consciousness; they’re machines. But if this is so, Dennett argues, then the same must be assumed all the way up the evolutionary scale of complexity, from the living cells that make up our bodies to such elaborate creatures as monkeys and elephants, who, for all their apparently human-like qualities, cannot be proved to think about what they do.

Quote:Dennett’s own answer is not particularly convincing: he suggests we develop consciousness so we can lie, which gives us an evolutionary advantage. (If so, wouldn’t foxes also be conscious?) But the question grows more difficult by an order of magnitude when you ask how it happens—the “hard problem of consciousness,” as David Chalmers calls it. How do apparently robotic cells and systems combine in such a way as to have qualitative experiences: to feel dampness, savor wine, adore cumbia but be indifferent to salsa? Some scientists are honest enough to admit they don’t have the slightest idea how to account for experiences like these, and suspect they never will.

Quote:Reconsider the lobster. Lobsters have a very bad reputation among philosophers, who frequently hold them out as examples of purely unthinking, unfeeling creatures. Presumably, this is because lobsters are the only animal most philosophers have killed with their own two hands before eating. It’s unpleasant to throw a struggling creature in a pot of boiling water; one needs to be able to tell oneself that the lobster isn’t really feeling it. (The only exception to this pattern appears to be, for some reason, France, where Gérard de Nerval used to walk a pet lobster on a leash and where Jean-Paul Sartre at one point became erotically obsessed with lobsters after taking too much mescaline.) But in fact, scientific observation has revealed that even lobsters engage in some forms of play—manipulating objects, for instance, possibly just for the pleasure of doing so. If that is the case, to call such creatures “robots” would be to shear the word “robot” of its meaning. Machines don’t just fool around. But if living creatures are not robots after all, many of these apparently thorny questions instantly dissolve away.

Of course this isn't the only time Dennet made a fool of himself, claiming to represent the voice of Science while lacking in actual understanding...
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
[-] The following 2 users Like Sciborg_S_Patel's post:
  • E. Flowers, nbtruthman
Reply
#4
Of course lobsters are conscious. And of course it's a sickening, despicable, sadistic act to boil them alive. It's one of those things that makes me hope that karma's real.
[-] The following 3 users Like Laird's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, Typoz, Doug
Reply
#5
(09-21-2017, 05:37 AM)Laird Wrote: Of course lobsters are conscious. And of course it's a sickening, despicable, sadistic act to boil them alive. It's one of those things that makes me  hope that karma's real.

I saw a UK tv programme which described a rather eccentric man of great wealth, who would invite 'friends' to come and dine with him, After the spending an evening eating and drinking the finest fare, then would retire to sleep as guests in his house.

At some point during the night, a mechanism would tilt the bed of a chosen guest, dumping them into a huge tank of boiling water, where they met their end.

It was presented as a true story, though it sounds bizarre.
[-] The following 3 users Like Typoz's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, Laird, Doug
Reply
#6
(09-20-2017, 05:11 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: It recalls Dennet's blather about robots being machines and the moving up to comment on humanity, but AFAIK never updating his beliefs in light of the fact lobsters were observed to play.




Of course this isn't the only time Dennet made a fool of himself, claiming to represent the voice of Science while lacking in actual understanding...

Quote:....in fact, scientific observation has revealed that even lobsters engage in some forms of play—manipulating objects, for instance, possibly just for the pleasure of doing so. If that is the case, to call such creatures “robots” would be to shear the word “robot” of its meaning. Machines don’t just fool around. But if living creatures are not robots after all, many of these apparently thorny questions instantly dissolve away.


Another quote from Graeber's essay (at https://thebaffler.com/salvos/whats-the-...t-have-fun) on animal play and its origins, in which he justly savages neo-Darwinistic evolutionary psychology's attempts to explain it as ultimately the activity of "selfish genes": 


Quote:Let us imagine a principle. Call it a principle of freedom—or, since Latinate constructions tend to carry more weight in such matters, call it a principle of ludic freedom. Let us imagine it to hold that the free exercise of an entity’s most complex powers or capacities will, under certain circumstances at least, tend to become an end in itself. It would obviously not be the only principle active in nature. Others pull other ways. But if nothing else, it would help explain what we actually observe, such as why, despite the second law of thermodynamics, the universe seems to be getting more, rather than less, complex. Evolutionary psychologists claim they can explain—as the title of one recent book has it—“why sex is fun.” What they can’t explain is why fun is fun. This could.

I don’t deny that what I’ve presented so far is a savage simplification of very complicated issues. I’m not even saying that the position I’m suggesting here—that there is a play principle at the basis of all physical reality—is necessarily true. I would just insist that such a perspective is at least as plausible as the weirdly inconsistent speculations that currently pass for orthodoxy, in which a mindless, robotic universe suddenly produces poets and philosophers out of nowhere. Nor, I think, does seeing play as a principle of nature necessarily mean adopting any sort of milky utopian view. The play principle can help explain why sex is fun, but it can also explain why cruelty is fun. (As anyone who has watched a cat play with a mouse can attest, a lot of animal play is not particularly nice.) But it gives us ground to unthink the world around us.  

Graeber is proposing a form of panpsychism, where it is a principle of play that is universal among things in the natural world, even down to fundamental particles like electrons, to say nothing of octopuses and lobsters. He doesn't even speculate on why reality should be constituted this way. It's too bad he summarily excludes from consideration any form of dualism including substance and interactionist, as obviously reversion to superstition. In this he really ends up somewhat in the reductionist materialist camp.
[-] The following 1 user Likes nbtruthman's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel
Reply
#7
Humans had to evolve to acknowledge octopus consciousness

Quote:Marine biologist David Scheel of Alaska Pacific University recently published a study announcing the discovery of Octlantis, in Jervis Bay, Australia. It’s the second “octopus city” we humans have discovered, following one unearthed nearby, a few years back, by Godfrey-Smith.

Scheel has been studying octopuses since 1995 and has come to see them as kind of reflection on humanity, illuminating behaviors we may take for granted. Take blushing, for example. People might not consider blushing, from embarrassment, say, to be a complex behavior. But when the marine biologist observes octopuses undergoing color changes, it causes him to reconsider the meaning of human color changes caused by emotion. As he explained to KTUU Anchorage, “They’re also complex animals with fascinating behaviors and so by studying them we can come to better understand how we got to be complex animals with our own fascinating behaviors.”

Scheel is now working with two octopuses on campus, dubbed Darwin and Sprite, to learn more about how their behaviors—which, he thinks, will in turn teach him more about cephalopod and human behavior.
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)