Guru George (
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 23:54:18 GMT

On Mon, 14 Apr 1997 23:10:34 +0000
Mark Grant <> wrote:

[fine stuff snipped]

>It's not directly relevant, but the most interesting brain book I've read
>in the last year was Dennett's "Consciousness Explained". I disagree with
>a number of things that he says (mostly in the first couple of chapters),
>but his model of brain function explains a lot of my weird experiences.

Don't you think the discussion of Cartesian doubt, combinatorial
explosion, hallucinations, dreams and stuff in the intro rings*extremely
* true? About how the brain seems to throw out possible meanings, and
will try and interpret even a bit of noise to carry *some* sort of signal,
and how that's the likely explanation of dreams and hallucinations?

It particularly rings true for me if I ever get any hallucinations
nowadays:- I feel I can catch the mechanicalness of it in action now,
it's just me throwing out possible identifications of things, visual,
linguistic, aural, mental, associational meanings, significances:-

"I thought I saw a banker's clerk descending from a bus, I looked again
and saw it was a hippopotamus." (a Crowley skit)


"Did he just say what I thought he said? " (at a party, say)

for example.

And *none* of it is *necessarily* to be taken seriously just because it
*feels* seriously like it's the real meaning of the situation at the
time, and your critical faculty happens to be relaxed.

On the other hand, none of it is necessarily *not* to be taken seriously,
and must be judged also when sober (as apparently the Vikings would do -
judge everything twice, once drunk, once sober); and may indeed be judged
true, and may in fact be true.

Guru George