Re: META: Psuedo Science

Dan Clemmensen (
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 06:33:54 -0400

Mark Grant wrote:
> On Mon, 8 Sep 1997, Rick Knight wrote:
> > Next to the "Goo" thread which wins hands down, this one is
> > pretty popular right now, with most of the responses coming forward to
> > debunk with fervor rather than explore the sociological and
> > psychological impact.
> But we know all about the sociological and psychological issues; crop
> circles, UFOs etc are just new religions by different names.
Yes, religion and pseudoscience are both examples of belief
structures, but we anre now intreested in the nature of belief
structures. In fact there is a large amount of philisophical
analysis of this ("True Believers" by Hoffer). There is also
quite a bit of current scientific research by people
like Susan Blackmore. This is very relevant to discussions
about the continuity of an uploaded personality. There are
many who assert that continuity of memory or consistency of
memory are important attributes of "self". However, human
memory is quite malleable. We apparently reconstruct our memories
continuosly, and it's quite easy to impart a false memory.
This is spooky stuff. Your belief structure acts as a filter
as you interpret your sensory inputs, and then acts as an
editor as you reconstruct an event when you recall it.