2008.09.28 19:00 - Perception/Construction of Faces and Time

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    Rowan Masala was the guardian for this meeting.  The comments below are hers.

     

    Rowan Masala: greetings adelene
    Adelene Dawner: Hi Rowan :)
    Adelene Dawner: Hi Jim.
    Rowan Masala: Welcome Jimmy, 3
    J1mmy Weiland: hello rowan, adelene
    Rowan Masala: Hello 3D
    Threedee Shepherd: good evening
    J1mmy Weiland: hello, threedee

    We get a little personal business out of the way...

    Rowan Masala: 3, I'm very embarrassed to admit this, but I haven't had a chance to read your article or book yet. But I didn't want you to think I wasn't commenting because I didn't find them interesting
    Rowan Masala: I should get to them this week
    Adelene Dawner hmms... "I was hoping Adams would be here, and I don't remember - does she tend to come to this timeslot in any case, or am I thinking of the daytime slots?"
    Threedee Shepherd: np, You should see the pile of books on my "current reading" stack :)
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: Adelene, Adams has come to this session several times
    Adelene Dawner: thanks, Rowan. My timesense is so flaky, it's easier just to borrow someone else's brain for that kind of thing.
    Threedee Shepherd: Hi Steve
    Rowan Masala laughs
    J1mmy Weiland: hello, steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Rowan, Adelene
    Rowan Masala: well, I don't know that mine is much better, but borrow away :)
    Rowan Masala: Hi Steven
    Adelene Dawner: Hi Steve :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Three
    Rowan Masala: How is everyone this evening?

    Technological issues (lag) lead to an interesting discussion about facial recognition...

    stevenaia Michinaga: I'm still rezzing, saying hello to words, not faces
    J1mmy Weiland: now that's an idea for a poem
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello J1mmy
    J1mmy Weiland: saying hello to words, not faces
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Adelene Dawner: There's an interesting segue into a discussion of faceblindness in there somewhere, but darned if I can find it. :)
    Rowan Masala: faceblindness?
    Rowan Masala: is that like colorblindness?
    Threedee Shepherd: I'll get the wiki
    J1mmy Weiland: yes.. i believe oliver sacks wrote about it
    Adelene Dawner: An impaired ability to recognize people by their faces, can be mild to severe - I have a mild to moderate form.
    Rowan Masala: what about the wiki, 3?
    Threedee Shepherd: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopagnosia Prosopagnosia (sometimes known as face blindness) is a disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be relatively intact. The term usually refers to a condition following acute brain damage, but recent evidence suggests that a congenital form of the disorder may exist. The specific brain area usually associated with prosopagnosia is the fusiform gyrus.
    Adelene Dawner: It's moderately common with autism.
    Rowan Masala: ah
    J1mmy Weiland: i've read somewhere that pigeons are surprisingly good at it
    Rowan Masala: good at recognizing faces?
    J1mmy Weiland: yes
    Rowan Masala: wow
    Adelene Dawner: Crows are, too - but not this crow. ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: A key thing about the pidgeons is they don't get bored and contuously pay attantion as long as they are rewarded :D
    Rowan Masala: hmmm
    Rowan Masala: so the recognition is a function of attention and concentration
    Adelene Dawner: That's part of it but not all of it.
    Rowan Masala: developing familiarity
    Rowan Masala: is that related to Asperger's? I understand that people with Asperger's fail to pay adequate attention to the eyes, which contributes to the inability to read the emotions of their companions
    Adelene Dawner: With me, if I specifically pay attention to a person's face there's about a 75% chance that I'll retain it in a useful way. Most people seem to have a better than 95% chance of retaining a given face without taking any extra effort at all.
    Threedee Shepherd: In primates it is a function of familiarity and the fact that our brains have an area highly specialized for facial recognition, both to note identity and facial expression dealing with emotion.
    Adelene Dawner: That's an old and not-entirely-accurate theory, Rowan. There's a little truth to it, tho.
    Rowan Masala: oh, oops--I had my sound off
    Rowan Masala: 9 seconds please
    Rowan Masala: thank you for the reminder, Jimmy
    J1mmy Weiland smiles for 9 secs
    Rowan Masala: thanks
    Rowan Masala grins back at Jimmy
    Rowan Masala: what a nice thing to do for 9 seconds
    Adelene Dawner: I was actually playing with the eye-contact thing again today... I *do* make some eye contact, but much less than most people, and only in specific situations - from my perspective it's the body-language equivalent of shouting to get someone's attention - useful, in its place, but I certainly wouldn't want to try to hold a conversation that way.

    A 9 second observation about muscle tension...

    J1mmy Weiland: the one thing that 9 seconds did for me was to notice how tight and hunched up my shoulders were
    Rowan Masala: and are you loosening up now?
    J1mmy Weiland: yes, rowan, indeed
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, Jimmy, the 9-sec often alerts me to some part of my body that is tensed.
    Threedee Shepherd: J1mmy, I should say :)
    Rowan Masala: oh, you don't mind if we forget the "1" do you?
    J1mmy Weiland: not at all
    J1mmy Weiland: its not necessary to my identity :)

    Moving into a discussion about time and our perception of it...

    Rowan Masala: you know, I went for my first rolfing appointment this week, and it was really interesting. the rolfer talked about exactly what we talked about last week--that sort of slowing down of time when we have an accident
    J1mmy Weiland: or should that be, 1ndent1ty
    Rowan Masala: and she said that the bodywork that she's done really helps her do that, and to shift her body to be in the best position for impact
    J1mmy Weiland: heh.... im picturing a scene of an accident, and the police rushing to the scene to rescue the victim
    Rowan Masala: or maybe 1nd3nt1ty
    J1mmy Weiland: and the victim says, oh, im all right, im an experienced Rolfer
    Rowan Masala: LOL
    J1mmy Weiland: it was a fun crash, very relaxing really
    Rowan Masala: what other things besides accidents and meditation tend to slow down time for you all?
    J1mmy Weiland: a visit to the dentist
    Threedee Shepherd: If you slowed down time, how would you know? What would be an external frame of reference?
    Rowan Masala: interesting question
    Adelene Dawner: YES, Three.
    J1mmy Weiland: its simply a matter of perception, and how you remember that perception
    Rowan Masala: for me, I think it's been an awareness of acceleration and gravity, and the sense that what I'm experiencing is nowhere near 9.8 m/s2
    Threedee Shepherd: ?? Time needs reference, I assert
    Adelene Dawner concurs with Three, o.O @ Rowan
    Rowan Masala: ok, well, I'll revert to my usual then--it just FEELS different
    Adelene Dawner: different how?
    Threedee Shepherd: Or is anyone suggesting that a single individual can slow down *their* time but not that of the world around them?
    Rowan Masala: lol--slower
    Adelene Dawner has never had a good sense of time, and is honestly curious about how others percieve it.
    J1mmy Weiland: i hardly think we can slow down the world around us, 3
    Rowan Masala: maybe it's that our thoughts speed up
    Rowan Masala: and our perceptions, so we're able to do more in that time, and are aware of more during that time
    Threedee Shepherd: Just for grins, J1mmy, I'll ask "who" sets that world clock, and whay don't *I* have access to it?
    J1mmy Weiland: i think the guys at CERN are working on that one
    Rowan Masala: lol
    Threedee Shepherd: haha
    J1mmy Weiland: good luck to them
    Rowan Masala: well, are Jimmy and I the only ones who have that that sort of experience?
    Rowan Masala: oh, chime
    Rowan Masala: 9 seconds, please
    Rowan Masala: thank you
    Threedee Shepherd: <aside> Mark the neurobiologist could go into a lecture on how a person's sense of time is biochemically linked to basal metabolic rate. I won't say more, except that perhaps meditation (even 9-sec) affects that.
    Threedee Shepherd: No, I experience it, too.
    Rowan Masala: when do you experience it?
    Threedee Shepherd: In some of the 9-sec and also when I am working in the "flow" state
    J1mmy Weiland: it wasn't during Kansas City's whipping of Denver this afternoon, 3d?
    Adelene Dawner: My experience/assumption is that time is constant and my thinking-rate is constant or nearly so (though that may not even be a useful wording, given all the mental activities that make up 'thought' and how different they are and how they overlap), but that the amount of thought and experience that gets stored in memory is wildly variable, so past time seems more variable than it is, because I may only record two thoughts/experiences in an hour when I may've had 20.
    Threedee Shepherd: no, but the whole thing did seem to be excrutiatingly prolonged, anyway ;)
    Rowan Masala: ok, as guardian for tonight, I'm asserting my right to ban talk of sports unless it's directly related to the discussion
    Rowan Masala: :)
    Adelene Dawner chuckles.
    Threedee Shepherd: HE started it ;D
    J1mmy Weiland: :::nods to rowan:::
    Rowan Masala: there, if anyone had any doubts about my true gender, rest assured. I *am* female
    Threedee Shepherd: Ade, you have told me you tend to store facts/information rather than episodic experience. That makes your idea plausible
    Adelene Dawner nods. "That's definitely a factor, yes."
    Threedee Shepherd: Another thing with time is this, for me...
    Threedee Shepherd: I tend to go to bed LATE and awaken late. On mornings when I get up early due to some absurd necessity, when I look at my watch in midafternoon I am shocked to see how "early" it still is.
    Adelene Dawner: I've done that.
    Adelene Dawner: I've also had times when I've settled into a nocturnal schedule, waking at 12 or 1 PM and going to bed at some-ridiculous-time AM... in such cases, the time just after sunset registers as 'afternoon' and I'll call it that if I don't watch what words I'm using. :)
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm
    Rowan Masala: my sleep habits are enormously variable--I'm never sure of the time, and often have to check whether my clock is saying AM or PM
    Threedee Shepherd: YOU are even worse than I am :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: lol
    Adelene Dawner is jealous :)
    J1mmy Weiland: only one thing is constant in my sleep schedule .. my cat flaying me alive at 6 am every morning
    Rowan Masala glances lovingly at her cat asleep with his head on her knee
    Rowan Masala: Pantalaimon never seems to do that
    Rowan Masala: but I think he's more human than feline
    Rowan Masala: with some canine mixed in too
    Threedee Shepherd: my daughter reports her cat is similar to J1mmy's
    Rowan Masala: but the oddity of my sleep schedule makes me feel like I'm really out of touch with the world and its rhythms
    J1mmy Weiland: it's because i don't leave food out
    J1mmy Weiland: there's a lot to be said for a regular diurnal schedule
    Threedee Shepherd: Before we move off it, does anyone besides me wonder about what time IS?
    Adelene Dawner chuckles. "In what sense, Three?"
    Rowan Masala: chime
    Rowan Masala: 9 seconds, please
    Rowan Masala: thank you
    Rowan Masala: wasn't able to clear my mind at all for that one
    stevenaia Michinaga: time is a strange component of .... everything
    Rowan Masala: always interesting to see what thoughts catch me so hard I can't break free of them
    J1mmy Weiland: i had an odd thought during those 9 seconds
    Rowan Masala: what thought, Jimmy?
    Threedee Shepherd: from wikipedia: "Among prominent philosophers, there are two distinct viewpoints on time. One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence. Time travel, in this view, becomes a possibility as other "times" persist like frames of a film strip, spread out across the time line. Sir Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time.[4][5] The opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of "container" that events and objects "move through", nor to any entity that "flows", but that it is instead part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events. This second view, in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz[6] and Immanuel Kant,[7][8] holds that time is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable nor can it be traveled."
    stevenaia Michinaga: and everything else
    J1mmy Weiland: that the group of you were stuck/caught inside my monitor
    Rowan Masala: for your experience of us, we are
    J1mmy Weiland: good lord, that second/opposing view is a tough one to wrap one's mind around
    Threedee Shepherd: Well, of course, we are in your monitor, where else could we be?
    Adelene Dawner laughs. "Indeed." ^.^
    Rowan Masala: 3, I think I'm more of the Kantian leaning regarding time
    J1mmy Weiland: i find it so hard to get outside the "people inside my monitor" thinking
    Rowan Masala: we are inside your monitor in the same way that time is inside your clock
    Threedee Shepherd: I always start with two principles: Time is what keeps everything from happening at once. Everything dies/erodes/decays.
    Adelene Dawner: Actually, it's a useful thing to see, Jim. I refer to my flesh-body as an av, too, and for good reason. ^.^
    J1mmy Weiland: thats right, adelene. its your original av
    Rowan Masala: or perhaps time is how we organize our brain to keep us from realizing that we experience everything at once, and going mad
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    J1mmy Weiland: and while you can make alt avs... they are not really you
    Adelene Dawner: Well, they're just as authentically 'me' as the original... which is to say, only as authentically as I choose to make them.
    Threedee Shepherd: I guess I should say about the erode thing: I perceive that *change hapens* and I use that to invent the idea of time
    Adelene Dawner: Three - Kantian doesn't make much sense to me as worded there, but the sense that it does make doesn't seem to conflict with the Newtonian view.
    Threedee Shepherd: I just copied it :)
    Adelene Dawner: And I just commented on it.
    Adelene Dawner: :)
    J1mmy Weiland: the 2nd idea of time -- that it is a mental contruct -- is surely exemplied in einstein's theory of relativity
    Threedee Shepherd: I think it relates to whether time is a *thing* (things could in theory be revisited, or whether time is a process.
    J1mmy Weiland: he reduced it to a matter of mathematics
    Rowan Masala: so the central point of the debate is whether time travel is possible?
    Threedee Shepherd: sort of, I think, Rowan. But I think it gets more complicated, philosophically. If nothing was, would there still be time?
    Rowan Masala: if nothing was, it wouldn't matter whether there is time or not
    Threedee Shepherd: True it wouldn't matter, but that was not my question ;D
    Rowan Masala smiles
    J1mmy Weiland: if time travel was possible, christianity would cease to exist
    J1mmy Weiland: jesus wuld be too busy signing autographs to make it to calvary
    Rowan Masala: ooohh
    Adelene Dawner chuckles.
    Rowan Masala: and what about Mohammed?
    J1mmy Weiland: nah, he'd be the same guy
    Rowan Masala: lol
    Threedee Shepherd: If time travel is possible, could I go into the future?
    Rowan Masala: assuming there is a future
    Adelene Dawner: I think you just did, Three. And ther you go again! ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: If I can go back to see Shakespeare, why can't he come here to see me?
    Adelene Dawner: ding
    Rowan Masala: chime
    Rowan Masala: 9 seconds
    Rowan Masala: thank you
    Rowan Masala: maybe he can, 3D--maybe he just isn't interested in doing so
    Threedee Shepherd: Or perhaps, in his day, time-travel had not yet been invented :D
    Rowan Masala grins
    Rowan Masala: well, we are at our closing time
    Rowan Masala: thank you all
    Threedee Shepherd: are you sure, we could be back at the beginning ;D
    J1mmy Weiland: heheh
    Rowan Masala laughs
    Rowan Masala: no, I'm actually never sure
    stevenaia Michinaga: wonders if it would be easier to do time travel in Sl, go back to... say.. fridaynights meeting and continue the conversations
    Rowan Masala: but I'm going to rely on my clock for this
    Adelene Dawner: My clock says otherwise, and if I can't trust that, I'm in a world of trouble. ^.^
    Rowan Masala: well, you can at leasteven time travel through the wiki, St
    Rowan Masala: oh, Adelene?
    J1mmy Weiland wonders if churches worldwide should replace the Cross with the Clock
    Adelene Dawner: Mundane reality. Can't live with it, can't live without it. ;P
    J1mmy Weiland: mundane is underrated, i think :-)
    Threedee Shepherd: Interesting question J1mmy, and I note that there are no clocks in gambling casinos.
    stevenaia Michinaga: or windows
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm
    stevenaia Michinaga: or winners
    Threedee Shepherd: I KNOW that ;)
    Rowan Masala: and there are gambling casinos in the Fosterite churches in Heinlein's Stranger... hmmm
    Adelene Dawner: I've heard about that (I travel through Atlantic City daily but haven't been inside a casino in nearly 5 years) - the casinos are specifically designed to make people lose track of what time it is.
    Adelene Dawner: There was a big kerfluffle here when the law changed to ban smoking in casinos, because that nicotine craving now forces people to leave the casino to smoke, at which point they can realize how long they've been in there.
    Threedee Shepherd laughs
    Threedee Shepherd: Nevada stills allows smoking in casinos
    J1mmy Weiland: yes
    J1mmy Weiland: just not in california
    stevenaia Michinaga: I saw some strange reality show once where they put you in a box and the closest to leave exactly at a specifice length of time (I think it was 2 hours) won, some were very very late
    J1mmy Weiland: and you notice at in stateline
    Adelene Dawner: They almost made an exemption for casinos here.
    J1mmy Weiland: lake tahoe
    stevenaia Michinaga: so everyone preceives time in isolation diffreently
    Adelene Dawner: That'd be interesting to try, Steve.
    Threedee Shepherd: Yet, LOTS of people have an internal clock that awakens them JUST before the alarm goes off, whenever they went to sleep.
    Threedee Shepherd: another interesting quote from Wikipedia: "The practice of meditation, central to all Buddhist traditions, takes as its goal the reflection of the mind back upon itself, thus altering the subjective experience of time; the so called, 'entering the now', or 'the moment'."
    stevenaia Michinaga: since that usually happens no matter what time you go to bed (waking up before the clock) it's probably more of a very specific time sense, not a length of time perceived
    J1mmy Weiland: my problem is the sharpness of my cat's claws as perceived
    Adelene Dawner: Yes, Steve - that does seem like a different kind of thing... or at least related to something other than the length of time slept... in fact...
    stevenaia Michinaga: a fear (of alarm clock) response
    Threedee Shepherd: J1mmy, have you been to PaB meetings before this?
    J1mmy Weiland: just once before
    Rowan Masala: chime
    Adelene Dawner: that seems very very closely related to my experience of a weekly cycle that my body falls into - my body learns what my days off are, and if I try to work on those days, it's hard - the kind of energy is just not available.
    Rowan Masala: 9 seconds please
    Threedee Shepherd: Please, come again. You fit right in :)
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: he does, doesn't he :)
    J1mmy Weiland: who me?
    Rowan Masala: thank you
    Rowan Masala: yes, you
    J1mmy Weiland: oh ok
    J1mmy Weiland: thanks :)
    Adelene Dawner: And yet that weekly cycle thing occurs simultaniously with my being unable to *say* what day of the week it is half the time without checking a calendar.
    Rowan Masala: my friends, I'm afraid I need to go. Could someone continue to keep the log for me, and email or IM it to me?
    Threedee Shepherd: Oh, we can shut the log.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, a long weekend
    Rowan Masala: shall we call this the official end of the meeting?
    Threedee Shepherd: OK
    Adelene Dawner: ok
    Rowan Masala: goodnight, all
    Rowan Masala: be well
    stevenaia Michinaga: ok
    stevenaia Michinaga: night
    Adelene Dawner: 'night all
    J1mmy Weiland: grab your rest, rowan. thank you for tonight.
    Threedee Shepherd: goodnight and thanks for the timely conversation :)
    Rowan Masala: and thank you, for joining us again
    Rowan Masala: lol
    J1mmy Weiland: "timely"! boo!
    Rowan Masala poofs

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