Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science

Thinking can best be understood in terms of representational structures in the mind and computational procedures that operate on those structures

Reality

Quotes from Philip K Dicks'  "How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" (1978).

  • Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
  • The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.
  • An EEG of a person watching TV shows that after about half an hour the brain decides that nothing is happening, and it goes into a hypnoidal twilight state, emitting alpha waves. This is because there is such little eye motion.

 Dictionary Definition

reality

  • the state of being substantial or imagined; existing objectively or in fact

 This is the reason for this journey into hyperreality, in search of instances where the
 American imagination demands the real thing and, to attain it, must fabricate the absolute
 fake. - Umberto Eco (Travels in hyperreality).

 “Infinite spaces … have become advertising spaces.” - Jean Baudillard (Cool Memorie)

 is reality absolute?

"Reality" is a word in the English language which happens to be (a) a noun and (b) singular. Thinking in the English language (and in cognate Indo-European languages) therefore subliminally programs us to conceptualize "reality" as one block-like entity, sort of like a huge New York skyscraper, in which every part is just another "room" within the same building. This linguistic program is so pervasive that most people cannot "think" outside it at all, and when one tries to offer a different perspective they imagine one is talking gibberish.

Robert Anton Wilson's pyramid
The notion that "reality" is a noun, a solid thing like a brick or a baseball bat, derives from theevolutionary fact that our nervous systems normally organize the dance of energy into such block-like "things," probably as instant bio-survival cues.

Such "things," however, dissolve back into energy dances -- processes or verbs -- when the nervous system is synergized with certain drugs or transmuted by yogic or shamanic exercises or aided by scientific instruments. In both mysticism and physics, there is general agreement that "things" are constructed by our nervous systems and that "realities" (plural) are better described as systems or bundles of energy functions.

So much for "reality" as a noun. The notion that "reality" is singular, like a hermetically sealed jar, does not jibe with current scientific findings which, in this century, suggest that "reality" may better be considered as flowing and meandering, like a river, or interacting, like a dance or evolving, like life itself.

 - Robert Anton Wilson (Cosmic Trigger)

 A psychologist said, “They used to talk about seeing only ‘reflections’ of reality. Not reality itself. The main thing wrong with a reflection is not that it isn’t real, but that it’s reversed.” - Philip K. Dick (Scanner Darkly)

 I must create my own system, or be enslaved by another man's - William Blake.