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April 14, 2022


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This is all fascinating.

And so counter-intuitive! I mean, one groks the concept of the brain furnishing us with a model of reality that we operate with, rather than apprehending reality directly. That idea's something one understands, and has internalized. But when it comes to this kind of direct application of the principle, it's ...weird. I mean, we've all of us, or most of us, been out there playing, faced the ball coming at us, and what we respond to is the ball actually whizzing at us, that we hit out at, or try to. And here, apparently, we're being told that it's merely a model that we're seeing, not the ball itself, because the time elapsed simply doesn't allow for us to have seen the ball?

Fascinating. Worth reading up more on.

That's the thing with information. It is so very easy to access today, at a superficial level at any rate even if not necessarily at expert level, that we have no one else but ourselves to blame if we don't stay more or less updated on major developments in science, as well as adopt a worldview in keeping with what science is telling us. On the other hand, there's so much to see and hear and know (even if all of that is fairly easily accessible), and there seemingly is so little time, that invariably there remains such a great deal of reading that stays on as good intentions, unrealized. Like take neuroscience. I've been meaning, for some time now, to do some serious reading on it --- not just short popular articles, but some actual books written by bona fide scientists, albeit I suppose necessarily dumbed down for a lay audience. And somehow I never ever seem to find time, never ever seem to get started.

Which is why I continue to remain in awe of the prodigious amount of reading you seem to put in, Brian, not merely in isolated spurts but day in and day out, consistently. And why I'm grateful that you keep sharing your insights and/or curated excerpts here. Given that your interests seem to overlap so closely with mine, it lets me get in some reading vicariously as it were, on some of the stuff that I should be reading up myself but somehow never seem to actually end up doing.

Hm.. Way too much decision making in his model, and poor use of the several channels and stages of intelligence in the brain and the senses

I think his hypothesis relies too heavily on too many decisions in sequence.

A better model is the one confirmed for chess masters.

They identify known visual patterns, recognizable patterns or profiles nearly instantly among the pieces, using conditioned visual templates. Behind these is a history of moves and counter moves... Ie, prior conditioning reduces their executive decision making by making increasing use of pattern recognition.


Applied to the batter and pitcher, they have a deck of visual templates for stance and movement from past experience, and let visual recognition match this, reducing their decision making to accept and respond, or reject and resort, much of that already conditioned. All they need do consciousnessly is make sure they are focused to see what their opponent is doing. They let the other sensory intelligences do their work, clearing the deck of all other stimuli.

And then, executive thinking is reduced to a short list of patterned responses to pick from.


This actually allows nearly parallel processing of individual decisions to line up action, which provides time for several adjustment decisions before execution.

Athletes also function in a similar way, "relying on their training".

But how does it happen so fast with such a slow brain?

Still a mystery.

@ Spence : [ But how does it happen so fast with such a slow brain?]

I suspect for a hitter in the "Bigs", it goes kinda like this:

I wonder what that sonnavab#### is gonna throw... fastball...cut or 4-seam?
Nah, slider maybe. No, he's thrown a couple already, not this time. Change-
up? Curve? Fork? Damn, he's winding up... he's got a mean look on his
face too. Oh no, what if it's a brushback! Goodbye, cruel world. Alright,
alright... shut down, brain! Think Zen, think Zen!

Hi Dungeness!

I think you got it. No thinking at all! Just do!

Sounds like witchcraft.

@ Sonya : [ Sounds like witchcraft. ]

IMO, it's even simpler and faster than witchcraft . An experienced athlete
has seen droves of windups, pitches, batting stances, or picked up on the
little quirks and patterns revealed by players. His intuition filters out a few
likelihoods matching what he's observed in the past and then fine-tunes
as he sees more. It's magically fast.

But, if no recognition is triggered or he loses focus and starts to slowly,
laboriously think about it, then he'll wonder, guess, get flustered at the
imagery of 95 mph fastball whistling under his chin. Or he may even
conjure up a conspiracy theory about someone putting a hex on him.

In the end, he becomes a "deer caught in the headlights" just hoping
the brain will "go Zen" in time.

It’s good to be reminded of the brain’s amazing abilities, even if it is in the context of baseball which I know little about. And Spence repeats a similar model with chess. Either way, I am always in awe of the brain’s ability to direct the entire human system, much of which happens without our being aware of its processes.

The brain (as the ultimate survival aid) functions continually, regulating the bodies organs without our knowing it – even when we are asleep. The only time the brain ceases its activity and shuts down is at death.

The mental functioning of the brain (the mind) is a slightly different matter. Although memory and thought continually arise from the brain, such mind activity can – not exactly shut down – but through meditation practice, be slowed down to the degree that it can be observed in action. This (meditators describe) has the effect of seeing thought arise allowing the opportunity to not engage with it, as is our usual pattern.


we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.



we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.

👍✌️Ego can't stand criticism its the greatest barrier to freedom

Hi Hiho Silver and 777
You wrote
we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.

👍✌️Ego can't stand criticism its the greatest barrier to freedom

I bathe in criticism daily. It's a great humbler.
But I have an inner source of strength to turn to.
As Dungeness points out, so long as the "intuitive" pipeline is clean and open, and we maintain focus on it, all goes well. Life is then a series of miracles. We're going 10,000 kmh with a brain that actually on its own can't get past 300 kmh.

But when we lose that connection, when we don't heed the advice of our Father, Daedalus, then all the pieces that were beautifully aligned get fractured into a million tiny pieces on the ground, and Icarus stumble down to the earth, wings aflame, and is confounded, powerless, ground to a standstill, and once more without Life.

What the intuition can accomplish, the brain cannot comprehend. Yet that intuition, whether we know it or not, runs our life. The brain cannot function in real time on its own. So let's keep the connection as clean and pure as possible!

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