[ExI] Pain and anesthesia

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 29 16:39:50 UTC 2020

Stuart, it would be a lot of work for me to summarize the whole book, as my
memory of it is not good (or memory of anything else), so please just wait
for the book.

So perhaps I should rephrase my question as how does the illusion of
an integrated self arise from a bunch disparate parts?

Stuart LaForge

I wrote him twice and he thanked me for kind words but did not reply to my
questions, one of which was the one you raised above.  Some module or self
has to be the last to determine whether a behavior gets out or not.  Still,
interesting reading.  He hasn't done much since he wrote the book, so maybe
he saw the flaws in it which he did not want to discuss.

The trolley problem was mentioned but not really included.  I am deeply
suspicious of those results.  If confronted in the real world with that
problem I think people would panic, like the guy in the old Texas disaster
study, who looked rational, got instructions as to how to escape the
building, turned around and jumped out the window.  People can say what
they would do but I suspect there is little correlation with what they
actually would do.

bill w

On Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 7:21 PM Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Quoting Bill Wallace:
> > Stuart wrote:  However, the mechanism by which an integrated self or ego
> > arises out
> > of a large and disparate, but coherent set of such motes of awareness
> > still eludes me.
> >
> > Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind
> > <
> https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0691146748/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
> >
> > by Robert Kurzban
> >
> > I just finished this book and was very interested in the data.  He makes
> a
> > pretty good case that there is no integrated self.
> I just ordered the book on Amazon and it will be delivered in a week
> or two. In the meantime would you care to summarize his argument, cite
> passages, or something?
> I suspect that Kurzban's case rests on trotting out some studies of
> pathological conditions such as various forms of brain damage and then
> arguing the semantics of what reality means. Much like the "qualia are
> not real" crowd of Dennett and company. One could just as easily argue
> that there is no forest, there is instead just a lot of trees that are
> really close to together. Of course, that simply proves the cliche of
> missing the forest for the trees.
> Philosophers like Guatama Buddha have been saying that the ego self is
> an illusion since before the christian era. Regardless of the fact
> that in certain pathological situations, the illusion breaks down,
> nobody can deny that the illusion itself exists and is quite
> persistent in normal healthy individuals.
> So perhaps I should rephrase my question as how does the illusion of
> an integrated self arise from a bunch disparate parts?
> Stuart LaForge
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