What is life ?

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06 Feb 2020 22:52 #349566 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic What is life ?

Erinis wrote: I would like to ask, because I am bit confused. If the plant hadn┬┤t no self-preservation instinct
how would be possible to grow again if you cut off some of its parts.
What cause its recovery in this case?


The plants different cells respond to differenent stimulus in different ways, and through evolutionary factors those that had the most advantageous reactions (at that local cellular level, though their are chemical signals which happen but they diffuse locally) the best survived. Vastly different from a nervous system as we know it in animals.
If I get thrown in a volcano, I react to it and it reacts to me, neither of us are alive to experience it :D well maybe me for an instant. But the volcano is not caring, aware or alive... besides displaying characteristics at times which we might be famuar with from our perch of limited self/human perspective.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
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06 Feb 2020 23:58 - 07 Feb 2020 00:20 #349569 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic What is life ?
This is a video about how trees recognize and communicate with each other.


People are complicated.
Last edit: 07 Feb 2020 00:20 by OB1Shinobi.
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07 Feb 2020 00:52 #349571 by Fyxe
Replied by Fyxe on topic What is life ?
Gist its obvious you just like to argue about anything no matter what it is. You are still putting words in my mouth in order to make your point. Your original quote you cited I never said anything about information. Now you want to backpedal and pull an earlier quote where I said information. However even in that quote I said nothing about processing.

React and respond are both attributes of life. I also defined those earlier and now you are trying to tell me I said rocks react??!! NO rocks do not react or respond. A reaction implies an awareness of change in which to react to. Rocks cant do this.

And no shit double duh that all things are subject to physical forces! I also never said plants were not. I did say they have capability beyond that though because they are alive. Rocks dont react or respond they simply follow a predetermined pattern. Thought I had made that clear already. But like you have accused me of so many times... I guess you forgot to read that, right?

A true teacher would never tell you what to do. But he would give you the knowledge with which you could decide what would be best for you to do

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07 Feb 2020 07:44 #349581 by Gisteron
Replied by Gisteron on topic What is life ?

Fyxe wrote: Your original quote you cited I never said anything about information. Now you want to backpedal and pull an earlier quote where I said information.

Alright, let's do some thread history for those of us who have no intention of clicking back a page before making up what happened... again...


My original response in this line of dialogue was post #349548 on page 4 and I did not quote you in it. It was however vaguely in response to your message that came immediately before it, post #349545 on the same page. I asked in my response what the difference was between a reaction and a response, because in post #349545 you made the distinction, saying that plants going dormant over the winter was not a "reaction" but a "response".

In the next message, post #349549, you answered, defining a "reaction" a something that is "based in the moment and does not consider the future". A "response", you said, on the other hand, is "slower and more measured and is based on collected information about the environment". You proceeded to say in the next sentence that "[the] plant does not react to its environment", but rather "does respond to information in its enviornment".
I was under the impression that at this point you had established the vocabulary going forward. You did mention "physical response" before, but without that qualifier it seemed that something where information about the environment is considered would be called a "response", and something I assumed would be in contrast to it, something blind, unthinking, that just happens because forces make it happen, would be called a "reaction". So I went with that vernacular, hoping that I had understood you correctly. Apparently, I did not.


However even in that quote I said nothing about processing.

That is correct. "Information processing" is an expression I admit I brought into the discussion. That being said, upon your pointing out that you had not brought it in, I explained exactly why I did in my post #349557 (still on page 4, for those who wish to go back to verify that I'm making none of this up) that hypothetical presence or absence of information about an environment warrants no meaningful distinction without that information being dealt with in some way. If we are saying, as you have, that information-based-ness is what makes the difference between the "responses" of aware things and the "reactions" of (what I presumed would be the) non-aware things, this only makes any sense if the aware things actually do something with information that non-aware things do not. This unique interfacing that only aware things do I called "processing".
By no means am I correct on this and you incorrect. If you find that the label is inappropriate, I invite you to suggest another one for our use here. Perhaps, too, you find that the entire stipulation that aware things have to process information in order for that information to have any impact it doesn't have on the non-aware things, is unreasonable or at least contrary to what you meant. If this is the case I invite you to propose some other criterion to distinguish between information simply being there and it impacting a thing's behaviour.


React and respond are both attributes of life. I also defined those earlier and now you are trying to tell me I said rocks react??!! NO rocks do not react or respond. A reaction implies an awareness of change in which to react to. Rocks cant do this.

Well, you did say that plants do not react to their environment (post #349549). And the way you defined what react is supposed to mean did not include any implication of awareness of change. The way you defined it only says that a reaction is momentary and contains no consideration of the future. In my opinion that is something that would include pretty much everything a non-aware thing can do, for falling into a puddle is something the rock does in the moment without considering the future, too, seeing as that is the only thing it can do, anyway. If anything, one might suspect that being inconsiderate of the future is rather quite consistent with a lack of awareness of change. If awareness of change was a prerequisite for reactions, then a refusal to consider the future in favour of acting in the moment would be almost intention-laden, possibly even contain some form of information processing. Until now I was under the impression that this was the entire point of making the distinction to begin with. Aware things, though subject to forces all the same, can treat information and "respond", while non-aware things can only perform immediate, unthinking "reactions". Perhaps I was mistaken in that impression, though, and you meant that both the reaction and the response was reserved to aware things, while "simply following" is the only thing non-aware things can do. I'm glad this is cleared up now.

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07 Feb 2020 08:46 - 07 Feb 2020 08:48 #349584 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic What is life ?

Alexandre Orion wrote: ... as an afterthought :

This would be a good time, and good for this topic, to consult Thomas Nagel's 1974 article What is it Like to be a Bat ?...

It's a pretty easy article to find, but if not, contact me and I can beam it to you. I have it on a memory stick somewhere... :cheer:


Thanks ill have to read the paper. From Wikipedia my thoughts are I'd say his subjective character of experience (SCOE) is true enough, but I'd imagine it's just a model of prioritising different sensory data types at the main processing level of conscious awareness.... and therefore accessible as an objective framework (given suitable tools). In Tibetan meditation there is the story about the student told to meditate on embodiment visualuzations in a remote cave about what it would be like to be an Ox. He tries and tries, failing, wanting to abandon the effort, but the teacher tells him to persist. Eventually the teacher doesn't hear anything from him, and feels sorry its taking so many months, relenting he calls in that it's OK to come out now. The student replied from the cave, I cannot get through the cave entrance, my horns are too big and won't let me :D

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 07 Feb 2020 08:48 by Adder.
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07 Feb 2020 17:34 #349594 by Fyxe
Replied by Fyxe on topic What is life ?

Gisteron wrote: I asked in my response what the difference was between a reaction and a response,


yea I think in your eagerness to pounce on me again you have failed to carefully read the dialogue. reactions and responses are living things actions. A rock does not react of respond. It simply follows a predetermined path based on the forces of the universe. and we established that reactions are self preserving acts while responses are more measured and controlled. I originally said a plant does not react because if you pull a weed out of the ground or cut a tree down it does nothing to save its own life. However it will respond by turning leaves etc. however you then pointed out that some plants do certain things to preserve their life and I then AGREED with you that plants do both react and respond. you cant even seem to remember your own writings.

Also plants cant "process" information because they cant think. This is because they dont have brains. they are aware of their envionrment at a very simply level.

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07 Feb 2020 23:18 - 07 Feb 2020 23:21 #349605 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic What is life ?

Adder wrote:

Alexandre Orion wrote: ... as an afterthought :

This would be a good time, and good for this topic, to consult Thomas Nagel's 1974 article What is it Like to be a Bat ?...

It's a pretty easy article to find, but if not, contact me and I can beam it to you. I have it on a memory stick somewhere... :cheer:


Thanks ill have to read the paper. From Wikipedia my thoughts are I'd say his subjective character of experience (SCOE) is true enough, but I'd imagine it's just a model of prioritising different sensory data types at the main processing level of conscious awareness.... and therefore accessible as an objective framework (given suitable tools). In Tibetan meditation there is the story about the student told to meditate on embodiment visualuzations in a remote cave about what it would be like to be an Ox. He tries and tries, failing, wanting to abandon the effort, but the teacher tells him to persist. Eventually the teacher doesn't hear anything from him, and feels sorry its taking so many months, relenting he calls in that it's OK to come out now. The student replied from the cave, I cannot get through the cave entrance, my horns are too big and won't let me :D


... I like to codify concepts into indexes which are easier to handle hence me acronymizing things, in this case to SCOE.... like scone lol, perhaps add noetic hehe, anyway it reminds me of Mahamudra 'one taste' samarasa, where all perceptive streams are given flexibility enough to mingle and merge to generate an experience of one base energy of mind itself! So in that context being a Bat or being a human etc would be like different flavour blends.

So to me awareness needs perception and processing of information, otherwise its just procession of systems.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 07 Feb 2020 23:21 by Adder.
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08 Feb 2020 01:32 #349614 by Rex
Replied by Rex on topic What is life ?
"So to me awareness needs perception and processing of information, otherwise its just procession of systems."
Absolutely. Consciousness of any sort requires an object thereof and a subject to perceive the phenomena. That subject requires a certain level of reflexivity. How do you and I identify ourselves in common parlance?
It's phenomenology

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08 Feb 2020 03:30 #349618 by Fyxe
Replied by Fyxe on topic What is life ?
They are two different things. Awareness is general and for all, but perception is individual paradigm that is just related to intuition. Plants are aware but they cant perceive.

A true teacher would never tell you what to do. But he would give you the knowledge with which you could decide what would be best for you to do

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08 Feb 2020 11:20 #349626 by Alexandre Orion
Replied by Alexandre Orion on topic What is life ?
I'm sorry to sound all elitist and intellectual, but really one has to get a much better notion of phenomenology to consider what "consciousness", "awareness", and "perception" are.

This is a much more complex topic than many of us have personal resources (all the "to me..." opinions) available for opinions to be reliable. Even to ourselves.

Also, I know that most of us won't have the interest to even try to get one's head around 5000 or more years of philosophical pondering/writings (or even more millennia of 'art') ; all of that has left us a wonderful heritage from which to draw on - certainly not ignoring the "to me..." thoughts and interpretations (which are also experiences, conscious ones or not).

Please do not try to be objective here : it is beyond our grasp. Especially since life is a process constantly in self-(re)organisation.

It may feel gratifying to argue about it, take a stance to defend, but I can guarantee you that it is much more gratifying to come to it through genuine dialogue - rather than futile debate - to a position of intersubjectivity. Naturally, this will not provide any comfortable certainty, but it will make our standing much more well-grounded. :)

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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