Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

Posts Tagged ‘Sensation’

This Girl Won’t Stop Dancing in My Brain

Posted by Jerry on October 31, 2007

This is the best illusion I have seen so far: the best because I still haven’t figured out how to be “disillusioned” of the illusion. Okay, too cryptic?

The illusion is of a girl twirling around in a circular motion. People who use more of the right side of their brain will see the girl turning clockwise, and those who use more of their left side of the brain will see the girl twirling counter-clockwise. Apparently, if you focus hard enough, you can switch the direction of her twirl.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been staring it at for far too long than is healthy for a gay man to be staring at a dancing woman, and I can’t get her to flip the direction of her twirl in my brain! What is particularly distracting to me–believe it or not–are her breasts! I keep taking my cues of her spatio-temporal position by focusing on her breasts to get a sense of the direction in which her body is turning. Her breasts also serve as the indicator of when she is directly “facing” me or when her back is turned toward me.

I want to specifically hear from the left-brained people: did you really see the girl twirling counter-clockwise when you first saw her?

Next, I want to know if anyone was able to actually switch her direction: Was it effortless? Easy? How did you manage it? Can you sustain any one direction for a while by sheer will? I know that once the brain “knows” the trick of an illusion, it’s hard to get it fooled again for too long.

According to the site, here are the left and right brain functions:

LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
knowing
acknowledges
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies
practical
safe

RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
uses feeling
“big picture” oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can “get it” (i.e. meaning)
believes
appreciates
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
impetuous
risk taking

[h/t: Rational Jenn]

Posted in General Work/Life, Personal, science, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

Dismissing Consciousness

Posted by Jerry on October 29, 2007

Over the weekend, I caught up on so much reading. I was reading Daniel Dennett’s Consciousness Explained. It’s an intriguing book with a very compelling hypothesis, a kind of materialism. I haven’t finished reading the book yet. However, with regard to philosophers of the mind, I find that John Searle’s biological naturalism is more sensible than Dennett’s account of the consciousness.

From Dennett’s book, I get the impression that philosophers really take this notion seriously: that consciousness dismisses itself as the faculty of awareness and perception precisely because it is aware and it perceives.

I suspect this wall of seperation between man’s consciousness and reality began with Descartes but was truly reinforced by Kant, and has been accepted ever since.

Throughout the book, the idea of “objectivity” inherently requires the exclusion or negation of consciousness, because, philosopher’s argue, consciousness is by definition “subjective.”

It’s really strange. Think about it in this way: our organs have certain functions. For example, the heart pumps blood; the liver purifies it; the lungs are used to absorb oxygen; our eyes are used to see; our ears are used to hear.

Now, would it make sense to say that because our heart pumps blood we cannot really be certain that it indeed does pump blood, or that it is indeed blood that it is pumping–could it be that it’s pumping something else? But that’s essentially what philosophers have been insisting about the brain.

The brain is the organ that perceives: that is its function. It integrates the data from the sense organs into percepts and processes the data conceptually. It does this in a phenomena we call awareness or consciousness. Philosophers argue that because our brains perform a certain function, i.e., the function of awareness, it is inherently flawed: that the brain is not doing its job right–it is only fabricating images of the external world (things-as-they-appear), and we can never have access to things-as-they-are so long as we are conscious. In other words, we are stuck in our box of consciousness–our organ of perception is the very thing that hampers our perception of the world.

It is just as Rand had described the premise of these philosophers: they argue that because we have eyes we cannot see; because we have ears we cannot hear.

Posted in Books, General Work/Life, Personal, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: