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Author Topic: Are we "aliens" to each other ?  (Read 1940 times)

Offline blue_cristal

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Are we "aliens" to each other ?
« on: 25/09/2007 00:10:46 »
We could be more different to each other than what we imagine.

I will start giving a simple example.

We have differentiated photosensitive cells ( cones ) in our eyes. Each type is sensitive to different luminous electromagnetic frequency.

Unlike what some people think, these cells do not “read” the colour of the light rays. Colour does not exist in nature. It is a perceptual construct ( qualia ) of particular neuronal circuitries in our brains. It is how our brains interpret and translate to our consciousness different slices of the light spectrum.

Since we are all allele mutants to each other in some set of genes or other, it is perfectly possible that, in some case, our QUALIAS ( the way we perceive the information coming from our senses ) are different ( or even radically different ).

For instance, it is perfectly possible that a colour that I see as red, you see it as blue or some bizarre colour.

But there is no way to realize this difference ( at least up to now ) because we use the same label of colour to the same object. We both call it “red” without realizing that internally we are seeing different colours.

For instance, I might see a piece of meat as “red” and label it as “red”, but you could actually see it as blue and also use the label “red” because that is how you learned to label the colour of the meat, without knowing that you internally are seeing something very different from me.

And the perception of colour is just one example.

We could have different or even bizarre perceptions of feelings, pleasures, pains, smells, sounds, etc. and think that others have exactly the same perceptions because we use the same labels to communicate with each other and not the actual feelings and perceptions themselves.

It is even possible that some people have extra and unusual qualias and perceive things that nobody else does.

So we could be quite “alien and bizarre” to each other without realizing it.

We only realize our differences, perhaps, in extreme cases, like people who see colours and smells in numbers and words, strange phobias like scared of little harmless bugs, or be extremely sensitive to some relatively inoffensive matters, etc.

Probably, there are a lot of our personal unique “alien and bizarre” experiences that can never be explained to others because most of us do not even know that we are so different.

We assume that we perceive the world in the same way simply because we are using a COMMON LANGUAGE and assume that the words have the SAME PERCEPTUAL MEANING to everyone.

That is why, sometimes, people do not understand why someone seems to have an excruciating pain to something that seems a trivial and harmless incident to us. In these cases, people even, erroneously, assume that the person is lying because they do not understand his reaction.

Another case is someone who seems to have a hyperbolic, enthusiastic and ecstatic reaction to what we perceive just a dull and trivial object.

If we are so significantly different then the psychologists’ tentative to categorize people in simplistic categories is ridiculous.

What do you think about these intriguing possibilities ?


 

another_someone

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Are we "aliens" to each other ?
« Reply #1 on: 25/09/2007 00:36:06 »
I will start giving a simple example.

We have differentiated photosensitive cells ( cones ) in our eyes. Each type is sensitive to different luminous electromagnetic frequency.

Unlike what some people think, these cells do not “read” the colour of the light rays. Colour does not exist in nature. It is a perceptual construct ( qualia ) of particular neuronal circuitries in our brains. It is how our brains interpret and translate to our consciousness different slices of the light spectrum.

Since we are all allele mutants to each other in some set of genes or other, it is perfectly possible that, in some case, our QUALIAS ( the way we perceive the information coming from our senses ) are different ( or even radically different ).

For instance, it is perfectly possible that a colour that I see as red, you see it as blue or some bizarre colour.

But there is no way to realize this difference ( at least up to now ) because we use the same label of colour to the same object. We both call it “red” without realizing that internally we are seeing different colours.

For instance, I might see a piece of meat as “red” and label it as “red”, but you could actually see it as blue and also use the label “red” because that is how you learned to label the colour of the meat, without knowing that you internally are seeing something very different from me.

The issues with things such as pain may be more true, but it is certainly not quite as you claim with regard to colour.

The terms 'red' and 'blue' are merely linguistic terms (as you point out), but what matters with colour is not what the colour is, but what is the difference in colour.

If you see a red traffic light, it matters not what language you use to describe it, but what matters is that you can discriminate between the lamp for go and the lamp for stop (if you are red/green colour blind, you cannot distinguish this by colour, but for most of us, we can all agree that we can tell the difference).

What is true is that when colour differences are smaller (e.g. slight differences in shades of red), the ability to distinguish the colours may be less consistent between one person and another, but these differences between perception are measurable with the appropriate tests.
 

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Are we "aliens" to each other ?
« Reply #1 on: 25/09/2007 00:36:06 »

 

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