B. Alan Wallace on "Consciousness" (SAND) Science and Non Duality conference

#1
Hi all,

I am only 10 mins into this myself, but I find Alan Wallace a wonderfully sharp mind. When he turns his attention to a topic, he always seems to find a way to point things out in a very clear manner that either I had missed the importance of in other presentations, or were not present in them.

This is a wonderful video, chocked full of info and important bullet points on consciousness science relevant to skeptiko listeners) Enjoy!

 
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#2
Just finished and WOW!

Is it just me, or did Alan deliver a knockout blow with surgical precision in this talk?

For some reason, while listening to this, it dawned on me suddenly why people can speak of meditation as a "technology" and introspection as a "science". I had heard these terms applied to meditation before, but did not really give them much consideration, and almost patronisingly dismissed the proponents of such a view that perhaps they can be forgiven for not being well versed in science. However, in light of this sharp talk, it just jumped out at me why people have said this, and I suddenly get that meditation and introspection really can be said to be scientific tools and technologies. It was not "their" ignorance of science that compelled them to apply these terms to these disciplines, but "my" ignorance of science, due to the influence of the "church of scientism". Nice :)

A nice question he asks which really struck me is "when in history did the first organisms say YUM when they ate, or YEEHAA when they mated?". It is such a nice and simple way to consider what we mean by being conscious, and one completely ignored for obvious reasons from the current narrative of evolution and the church of scientism. Of course, it is a rhetorical question, but nevertheless I appreciate his ability to really make one think clearly about these often overlooked and central questions. Blink and you might miss this.

I would love to hear opinions from other viewers on this, and would be particularly interested to see if anyone disagrees with any of the points Alan makes ... not to begin any kind of argument, but because for me this was so rational, precise and on point, I cannot see where there is any room for rebuttal.

I loved it, and am going to watch it again lol.
 
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#3
Hi all,

I am only 10 mins into this myself, but I find Alan Wallace a wonderfully sharp mind who when he turns his attention to a topic which may have been presented a thousand times before by others, he always seems to find a way to point things out in a very clear manner that either I had missed the importance of in other presentations, or were not present in them.

This is a wonderful video, chocked full of info and important bullet points on consciousness science relevant to skeptiko listeners (and hosts ;) ) Enjoy!

Thanks for posting this wonderful video, soulatman. As you intimate, Wallace is able to articulate very well things that most of us struggle to express. I'm going off to YouTube to listen to more from him...

I think you're right about the technological approach to consciousness. How can one best study consciousness--what tool is available for the task? Apart from the usual tools, such as brain scanners, that enable us to image its correlates in the brain? Why, consciousness itself, of course. Empiricism is given in one dictionary definition as the doctrine that all knowledge is derived from sense experience. We can experience brain correlates, and that leads to a kind of knowledge, but only from a second person (2P, "objective") perspective; when looking at a brain scan, we aren't experiencing consciousness itself, but rather an image of consciousness.

However, behind everyone's 2P perspective lies their first person (1P) perspective. Scientism operates on the principle that the 2P perspective is somehow superior, and the final arbiter of what can be accepted. It inverts the reality of the situation, where 1P is the sine qua non of the 2P. I mean, without consciousness, how could we even talk about objectivity? And how did the objective give rise to the subjective? Doesn't it make more sense to posit the reverse? We are all born with subjective awareness, and objectivity is something that is inculcated in us as we grow up, giving rise to various opinions about the world.

During maturation, I suspect what happens is that we try to return to the direct simplicity of the 1P perspective we were born with by identifying with some consensus or other that becomes a 2P surrogate for it. It's not just science that is affected, but also things like politics and religion. Even Wallace isn't totally immune: he seems to implicitly accept the current scientific view that the universe is 13 billion years old, for example.
 
#4
This is an amazing video, not because it says anything new to most of us, but because it encapsulates a lot of ideas in an undeniable form! I am glad this thread is not MOD+, because I would love to hear what some of the sceptics make of it!

One of my favourite ideas from this video, is that pre-Galileo, 'science' studied the terrestrial correlates of astronomy - the tides, trajectory of the sun etc. Afterwards, it studied the actual phenomena.

Tell me, is this part of a set of videos, because he made a reference to a video by Donald Hoffman, that I would also like to watch.

David
 
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#5
Even Wallace isn't totally immune: he seems to implicitly accept the current scientific view that the universe is 13 billion years old, for example.
I totally agree - as we often do! Indeed the very blind spots in science that he demonstrated, should make him wonder just what else might be wrong!

David
 
#6
This is an amazing video, not because it says anything new to most of us, but because it encapsulates a lot of ideas in an undeniable form! I am glad this thread is not MOD+, because I would love to hear what some of the sceptics make of it!

One of my favourite ideas from this video, is that pre-Galileo, 'science' studied the terrestrial correlates of astronomy - the tides, trajectory of the sun etc. Afterwards, it studied the actual phenomena.

Tell me, is this part of a set of videos, because he made a reference to a video by Donald Hoffman, that I would also like to watch.

David
I agree, I think it's a fantastic observation about the terrestrial "correlates" of celestial events.

The video talk I remember him referencing was Stuart Hameroff I think, which I have embedded below if you wat to watch it.

 
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