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Science Section => Science General Discussion => Biology, Psychology & Medicine => Topic started by: trdsf on September 06, 2017, 11:23:10 AM

Title: Synesthesia
Post by: trdsf on September 06, 2017, 11:23:10 AM
Bringing this over from a digression on another thread (http://atheistforums.com/index.php?topic=11899.msg1190084#msg1190084).

Any other synesthetes out there beyond me and Absurd Atheist?  Do you associate sounds or numbers or concepts with colors and/or textures that are not implicit in them?
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: SGOS on September 06, 2017, 11:52:23 AM
If I do, I haven't been aware of it.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: trdsf on September 06, 2017, 12:23:37 PM
If I do, I haven't been aware of it.
I don't think you can have it and not be aware of it.  It's constant, unconscious, and consistent.  For me, 1 is always white.  2 is always light gray with a dark shade.  3 is always medium gray with a dark outline.  And they've always been that way -- mine is grayscale for some reason, rather than in colors, and I only get it with letters and numbers.  Music takes up too many of my mental circuits, it's too all-engrossing, for me to spare any to experience sound as color -- at least that's my hypothesis.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Baruch on September 06, 2017, 12:39:50 PM
Getting lost ... please describe how each of you are different from each other (in addition to being different from normies).
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Mr.Obvious on September 06, 2017, 04:47:22 PM
Not me. I don't see numbers as colors.
Good thing too. Last thing i want is my daltonism to make me incapable of doing basic sums.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Baruch on September 06, 2017, 08:13:06 PM
Not me. I don't see numbers as colors.
Good thing too. Last thing i want is my daltonism to make me incapable of doing basic sums.

But .. but ... then you would be qualified to work at the US Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the OMB etc
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Cavebear on September 07, 2017, 03:44:48 AM
Bringing this over from a digression on another thread (http://atheistforums.com/index.php?topic=11899.msg1190084#msg1190084).

Any other synesthetes out there beyond me and Absurd Atheist?  Do you associate sounds or numbers or concepts with colors and/or textures that are not implicit in them?

I know what it is, but no I don't have that.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: trdsf on September 07, 2017, 10:28:55 AM
Not me. I don't see numbers as colors.
Good thing too. Last thing i want is my daltonism to make me incapable of doing basic sums.
You know, I have never stopped to think if my grayscale relationship with numbers has anything to do with my ability to do reasonably complex math in my head.  There may be some subconscious pattern-matching going on.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Cavebear on September 07, 2017, 09:20:46 PM
You know, I have never stopped to think if my grayscale relationship with numbers has anything to do with my ability to do reasonably complex math in my head.  There may be some subconscious pattern-matching going on.

I had a friend who could basically add numbers on a long list as fast as he could read tye.  I couldn't.  We both just thought he was really good at arithmatic.  Maybe I should rethink that.  When you don't have that, you don't think about it much.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: trdsf on September 08, 2017, 12:36:48 PM
I had a friend who could basically add numbers on a long list as fast as he could read tye.  I couldn't.  We both just thought he was really good at arithmatic.  Maybe I should rethink that.  When you don't have that, you don't think about it much.
It helps for remembering number sequences, since I 'see' a sort of barcode pattern as well as hold the numbers in my head.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Baruch on September 08, 2017, 01:13:25 PM
It helps for remembering number sequences, since I 'see' a sort of barcode pattern as well as hold the numbers in my head.

One problem I hear for young people with synesthesia ... is they think their condition is the normal one.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Cavebear on September 11, 2017, 05:24:44 AM
It helps for remembering number sequences, since I 'see' a sort of barcode pattern as well as hold the numbers in my head.

Are you claiming to read barcode mentally?
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: trdsf on September 11, 2017, 08:45:45 AM
Are you claiming to read barcode mentally?
Oh, no.  This is just an effect of seeing numbers in shades of gray -- a long number is kind of like a barcode in my synesthetic way of processing it and gives me one extra handle on dealing with large numbers.

I can't read product codes off packages -- although that is a fixed code (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Product_Code#Encoding) and probably could be learned relatively easily.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Cavebear on September 11, 2017, 08:54:21 AM
Oh, no.  This is just an effect of seeing numbers in shades of gray -- a long number is kind of like a barcode in my synesthetic way of processing it and gives me one extra handle on dealing with large numbers.

I can't read product codes off packages -- although that is a fixed code (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Product_Code#Encoding) and probably could be learned relatively easily.
\

It could be learned with great effort.  Like any symbolic writing.  But shades of gray makes sense.  I was just thinking about shades of gray and explaining false colors to a friend.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Baruch on September 12, 2017, 12:36:31 AM
\

It could be learned with great effort.  Like any symbolic writing.  But shades of gray makes sense.  I was just thinking about shades of gray and explaining false colors to a friend.

AI won't have synesthesia, it will have PhotoShop ;-)
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Cavebear on September 14, 2017, 04:12:51 AM
AI won't have synesthesia, it will have PhotoShop ;-)

An AI wouldn't have synthesia.  It would have all sensesprogrammed at once and others we don't have like mantism detection, ifrared, radio, and ultraviolet..  No sensory confusion.  Just more.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: trdsf on September 14, 2017, 12:34:23 PM
An AI wouldn't have synthesia.  It would have all sensesprogrammed at once and others we don't have like mantism detection, ifrared, radio, and ultraviolet..  No sensory confusion.  Just more.
I wonder if giving an AI senses that we don't have might change it into a sentience we can't fully communicate with anymore.

The unspoken assumption, of course, when discussing AI is that we're talking about an artificial human-like intelligence.  It's entirely possible that if we add to the standard senses, an AI won't have the language necessary to communicate the additional data.  I'm generally not much on philosophy, but Wittgenstein had a point when he said "If a lion could talk, we couldn't understand him" because of the lack of a shared frame of reference between ourselves and the lion.

We can relate to radio, UV and IR sensitivity by extension -- some people are even able to perceive the near-UV (in the 300-400nm range) due to a condition called aphakia, the loss of the lens.  Often, new lenses are more UV-permittive than the natural lens is, so it's not uncommon after cataract surgery to be able to see in the near-UV.

But to what would one relate being sensitive to, say, magnetic fields?  For the AI, it would be the problem of explaining color to someone who's been blind from birth.  We can get a thorough mathematical understanding of magnetic flux, permeability, field strength and direction, but that gets us no closer to understanding what it's like to directly perceive magnetism.  We don't even have a verb for it, as we do for our existing senses.  We see light, hear sounds, feel things, smell and taste chemical compounds (two different ways of perceiving one input), and we... don't have a word for magnetism.  We have to borrow words, put them in air quotes to indicate we know we're straying from their accepted meanings.

And this does relate back to the original post.  For me, shades of gray are inherent in numbers.  I never have to stop and remind myself that zero is neutral gray, it just is.  It's an inherent property as far as my brain is concerned, every bit as much as a cloudless daytime sky is blue (we shan't get into the question of whether you and I perceive the same blue or not -- suffice to say we could each run a spectrographic analysis and come up with sufficiently similar results).

But that doesn't get you any closer to actually experiencing what I or any other synesthete does with whatever triggers our perceptions.  We don't really have the language for it, and even less the shared experience.
Title: Re: Synesthesia
Post by: Cavebear on September 14, 2017, 02:26:10 PM
I wonder if giving an AI senses that we don't have might change it into a sentience we can't fully communicate with anymore.

The unspoken assumption, of course, when discussing AI is that we're talking about an artificial human-like intelligence.  It's entirely possible that if we add to the standard senses, an AI won't have the language necessary to communicate the additional data.  I'm generally not much on philosophy, but Wittgenstein had a point when he said "If a lion could talk, we couldn't understand him" because of the lack of a shared frame of reference between ourselves and the lion.

We can relate to radio, UV and IR sensitivity by extension -- some people are even able to perceive the near-UV (in the 300-400nm range) due to a condition called aphakia, the loss of the lens.  Often, new lenses are more UV-permittive than the natural lens is, so it's not uncommon after cataract surgery to be able to see in the near-UV.

But to what would one relate being sensitive to, say, magnetic fields?  For the AI, it would be the problem of explaining color to someone who's been blind from birth.  We can get a thorough mathematical understanding of magnetic flux, permeability, field strength and direction, but that gets us no closer to understanding what it's like to directly perceive magnetism.  We don't even have a verb for it, as we do for our existing senses.  We see light, hear sounds, feel things, smell and taste chemical compounds (two different ways of perceiving one input), and we... don't have a word for magnetism.  We have to borrow words, put them in air quotes to indicate we know we're straying from their accepted meanings.

And this does relate back to the original post.  For me, shades of gray are inherent in numbers.  I never have to stop and remind myself that zero is neutral gray, it just is.  It's an inherent property as far as my brain is concerned, every bit as much as a cloudless daytime sky is blue (we shan't get into the question of whether you and I perceive the same blue or not -- suffice to say we could each run a spectrographic analysis and come up with sufficiently similar results).

But that doesn't get you any closer to actually experiencing what I or any other synesthete does with whatever triggers our perceptions.  We don't really have the language for it, and even less the shared experience.

I sure typoed THAT post to hell and gone, didn't I!  Wow.  Sorry.  Sometimes I get thinking faster than my fingers can work.  Sometimes I leave off contractions.  You can imagine the difference in a sentence with "would" vs wouldn't"! 

But yes, beware what you create.  I've read suggestions that the universe is filled with post-organic sentient machines of our/their own making.  I don't go with that ENTIRELY but the possibility is there.