Hearing Colors, Tasting Shapes

This is kind of a post Mato made on his website. As it is no longer available I include it here for reference.

Other more recent synesthesia articles  can be found here.


People with synesthesia–whose senses blend together–are providing valuable clues to understanding the organization and functions of the human brain

By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran and Edward M. Hubbard

Scientific American

April 15, 2003

This article illustrates the lack of precision in fauceir action in neuroscience and eludes its possible role in evolution–in particular language evolution.

Cross activation is the term used to describe perceptive fauceir’s imprecision. Whether this cross activation takes place because of wrong connections build during ontogenesis or defective pruning of preexisting connections or skewed balance of chemicals traveling between regions or reduced cross talk inhibition is unimportant from the viewpoint of the fauceir theory. The fauceir theory is predominantly interested in its evolutionary implications.

An idea of a possible evolutionary implication of such a lack in precision is given by the crowding experiments in which synesthetes were able to read a number hidden by crowding only because they could associate the perceived color to the otherwise invisible figure.

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Marxism vs. Communism

Marx' image from wikipedia

Marx' image from wikipedia

These terms are often used synonymously, but they are not. Marx developed a whole body of scientific tenets not all of them are consistent with what has been executed by communist leaders. First of all, communism is in contrast to Marx’ dialectics itself which states that progress is the result of perpetually finding  solutions to contradictions. According to the proponents of communism, communism is the  solution of all social contradictions. Consequently, communism is the cessation of all social progress. Moreover, as life is a continuous adaptation to an ever changing environment, solution of all contradiction once and for ever spells death. Next, as all communist countries suffered from lack of progress, this worldwide failure of communism to thrive proved correct Marx’ thesis that contradictions are the engine of progress.

Conclusively, as Marx’ tenets have been partially proved and disproved it is typical science and Marxism can be distinguished from the tenet of communism that hat been proved entirely wrong, theoretically and practically.

Is evolution science?

This question rests with the definition of evolution. The main problem in discussions about evolution and science arises when people use different meanings to the same word. People cannot understand each other if they are talking different languages and use different words for the same meaning. But people are aware of that and use dictionaries then. They are less aware, though, of the converse problem, so dictionaries are not applied or provide only rudimentary answers. Therefore everybody who enters the discussion has to define the terms he is going to talk about if it is not common sense, which it is less often than assumed.

There are people who define evolution as a fact. I’m rather inclined to support this. Facts are my hands, computer, and coffee mug. You can study these facts but you’ll never call them science. The difference between evolution and the facts mentioned above is that evolution is an abstract fact such as my ideas, but also economy, climate, population, insects and so on. These are also facts that can be studied by science but are not science itself.

Well some other people believe that evolution is science about evolution. This is not correct though. Throughout science we use different terms for facts and science about these facts to avoid namely this confusion. For instance climatology, → climate, entomologie → insects, psychology → my ideas and so on. Unfortunately we lack such a term to study the fact of evolution. This is probably because we have only one dominating theory about evolution, the Darwinian theory and its offspring. Once we have many theories, the fauceir theory for instance, we essentially need a term that describes the science that is focused on the fact of evolution, evolutionology or something like that.

Also some people equate evolution with the theory of evolution. This meaning of the term is not correct either as even before Darwin there existed several theories of evolution and sooner or later they will be numerous. Challenging this meaning of the term evolution as being not science is challenging the theory of evolution. Well of course every theory has to be checked whether it complies to the rules of science. But that a theory is consistent with these fundamental principles of science does not mean it cannot be improved. The history of science is a history of an steadily increasing number of theories. Some replacing some coexisting.

Finally there are people who understand evolution as a religion or at least as a backbone of a certain faith. This position can be found among supporters and critics likewise and of course if such a meaning of the term evolution is applied it is not science at all.

Fauceir vs. Software Objects

Software objects in the realm of fauceirs

Software objects in the realm of fauceirs

Among the huge and infinite number of fauceirs, software objects, though their number is rapidly growing, play only a negligible role (see set diagramm), but they are important to understand fauceirs as Mato recently explained by his amended fauceir definition.

The key abstraction that underlies fauceir definition the encompassment of information and control function is accomplished by software objects, and there are some other similarities, too, which include heritability.

Usually, software objects cannot evolve, this is because they are slaves and under tight control by their masters. That is their liberty value goes to zero. If they were allowed to have the tiniest degree of liberty, the whole computer would crash. As declared in an earlier post, the liberty to react imprecisely is a prerequisite for evolution to take place.

Pheromones and Human Evolution (What is the fauceir stance?)

Male pheromone perfume.

Male pheromone perfume.

A study  identified a new male urinary pheromone, darcin, that stimulates female’s sexual memory and attraction to an odor of a specific male (in mice). It is not a pheromone, as so many other described before, that makes females more willing to have sex. Instead it is a pheromone that makes a female stick to a specific male. In other words, it guarantees by reprogramming the brain a female’s fidelity (in mice). If the same existed in men, it would allow for the following implications:

  1. Females need to smell a male’s urine to fall in love and to stay attached. Well this was not a problem in stone age, I suppose, when no proper hygiene standards existed. It was not a problem among peasants still, where the hygiene remained poor and the wife had enough opportunity to smell her husbands clothes while washing them. (Here probably lays the reason why laundry was a female task for centuries. Simply, cultures in accordance with an other custom produced less offspring and went extinct.) The problems with infidelity and infertility began with rising hygiene standards, the use of perfumes, and the handing over of the laundry to servants or washing machines. The upper class, accordingly, experienced these problems earlier than the general population. Well, I cannot say at this point whether these observations are related. It might be simply coincidence, and there are scores of other explanations for these phenomena, but it is supporting evidence though.
  2. At this point, I wont dwell on the question whether certain sexual practices may have a bearing on a couple’ mutual devotion. This might be studied by anonymous questionnaires and probably such studies already exist.
  3. Now taking the fauceir perspective, we may conclude that biological fauceirs as the pheromone system that controlled a partnership between humans in the past have been subsequently overruled by social fauceirs, customs and law, marriage for instance, that finally became stronger than the original, biological, ones. By the time, loss-of-function mutations to the biological system of fidelity had a minor importance for fitness and not have been negatively selected any more. After all human evolution is shaped by culture. Consequently, if we want to study whether pheromones play or played a role in human behavior we have to study humans that are less domesticated as did the authors of the study when they specifically took wild mice for their experiments.

Given the wide range of variation among present day humans and the rapidly further diverging traits, I assume people differently respond. Therefore a pheromone perfume would not have the same effect on every female. There will be someone who is not pleased but intensely annoyed.

Evolution of Abstract Terms

This post is a sequele to  persona’s picture story (I concede he is the more gifted artist.) that illustrates Brian Boyd’s idea about story telling as an Darwinian process. His book “On the Origin of Stories” is remarkable for its intention to extend the laws of evolution to human cognitive processes, which is easily accomplished if employing the fauceir abstraction.

Abstract evolution step 1 the story actaully happensIn step one, the story happens between these two people.

Step 2. The story is communicated between these two people.In step two, these two people communicate by story telling that arouses feelings as if they were actually in the story. It doesn’t matter whether the stories are reminiscences or conjured up.

Step 3. Not the story itself but a symbol is communicated.Finally in the third step, the abstract term (♥) is born that represents similar stories in these people’s brains. Now they cease to communicate whole stories. Instead, they use abtract representations of it.

Abstract terms, fauceirs actually, follows the same evolutionary rules as every fauceir. They can evolve and adapt.  The process of forced and purpuseful adaptation of a term is called propaganda, which is an example of intelligent design performed by humans.