Saturday, March 27, 2021

Students’ Resource: A representative cross-section of Dr. Mark Solms' scientific publications.

We're now into section five of a larger project that’s intended to be a ‘Student’s Resource for Defending Physical Reality.’  In this third chapter of my introduction to Dr. Mark Solms, Ph.D.( #1, #2 ), I provide a bibliography of his insightful publications (books & scientific papers) which explain the basis for bringing the study of our human consciousness, and the so-called Mind-Body Problem, into the realm of sober, physical reality respecting, evolution appreciating, science.  (Incidentally, thereby putting the lie to the claim that meta-physical outside agents are needed to explain and understand human consciousness.)

This list is not complete by any stretch, but it is an impressive introductory sampling, and it’s intended to serve as a reference that’s guaranteed to inform, perhaps inspire, the serious student, along with serious enthusiasts of science.  People interested in better understanding how Earth’s evolution made us who we are. 

 …  (Continued at the end of this bibliography)



Dr. Mark Solms, PhD.

Professor of Neuropsychology


CURRICULUM VITAE Mark Leonard Solms

Born district of Lüderitz, Namibia, July 17, 1961


The International Neuropsychoanalysis Society

Co-chairs, Mark Solms with Cristina Alberini


Google Scholar list of Dr. Solms' scientific papers


Solms-Delta Wine Estate

Franschhoek Valley, South Africa


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Dr Mark Solms, Ph.D. (WITS)

University of Cape Town, Department of Psychology

Background and research interests

  • Brain mechanisms of dreaming, emotion, motivation.
  • Psychological mechanisms of confabulation and anosognosia syndromes.

Teaching responsibilities - Neuropsychology – Research and Clinical.

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Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute  Mark Solms PhD

Psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist.

Affiliations:

Dr. Solms holds the position of Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology) and is the President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. He is also Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

Dr. Solms founded the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000 and was a Founding Editor (with Ed Nersessian) of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis. He is Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, a Trustee of the Neuropsychoanalysis Fund in London, and Director of the Neuropsychoanalysis Trust in Cape Town.

Dr. Solms’ Introductory Lectures in Psychoanalysis can be viewed here.

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Regarding Mark Solms South African Farm and dealing with a history social injustice

Jill Choder-Goldman interviews Mark Solms, August 2019.

“I started to realise that the first thing is not to impulsively, concretely enact something, but rather just sitting with it and letting it be the ugly thing that it is, until you start to see what the nature of the thing is,” says Mark Solms.

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What is Neuropsychoanalysis?

Turnbull Lab, Prifysgol Bangor University, Wales, U.K.

The term 'neuropsychoanalysis' was first used in the late 1990s by Mark Solms, as the title of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Other Side of Mark Solms PhD, farmer, vintner, humanitarian.

Recently, I virtually met an amazing man, Dr. Mark Solms, who’s many YouTube lectures do a superb job of walking students of human consciousness and the “mind-body problem” back onto the solid ground of physical reality based science, with a roadmap for constructive learning, through the new disciple of neuropsychoanalysis.  

You can watch a dozen of Mark Solms' lectures and find that each was worth it, for each offers unrepeated gems.


What’s he walking people back from?  The cliff edge of meta-physical philosophizing pretending to be serious science.  



I mean, proclaiming “spacetime is doomed”?  Advocating that the search for our consciousness must look to out-of-body agents, because every puzzle hasn’t been solved yet?  Rather than continuing current fruitful “physicalists” research, such as that being explicated in Dr. Solms' talks.


Get serious, that’s evolved religion.  Hidden under all the pretentious words and inscrutable math, it’s all about protecting our ever so fragile human egos.  What about focusing on learning about this amazing fantastical planet, that created this amazing fantastical body, that created our amazing fantastical consciousness, to have and to hold for the duration of our short lives!  By the Grace of Earth!


Speaking of human ego.


All of us make first impressions of people we meet, in life or virtually.  Some we like, some we feel indifferent to, some we’re leery of, and so on.  Mark Solms impressed me from the start.  I saw solidity and a superb mastery of his topic.  As I watched succeeding videos red flags never showed up.  The fascinating talks captured me and though the topic overlaps, each talk is unique and refreshing. 


Then I started researching and learning about the man.  His list of accomplishments helped make sense of that inner solidity he radiates.  After a few days of absorbing nothing but Professor Mark Solms I had to take a break for a while, allowing it to percolate and settle some.


Recently to get warmed up and into the project again, I clicked on a short TEDTalk by Mark Solms that I hadn’t listened to yet.  I was waylaid.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

David Chalmers "Hard-Problem" demystified by Mark Solms and colleagues.

May 15th, I had a dirty trick played on me and now I need to repost this.

Fortunately, my honor has been defended and I have my Google bill of good health:


It's a shame that open constructive debate, based on honesty and a mutual desire to learn has all but disappeared from our society.  What happened to only confronting problems with honesty and facts?  Nope, if they got nothing, all that's left is dirty tricks in the dark, so sad, so self-destructive.

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Dr. Mark Solms deftly demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” of Consciousness


Chance favors a prepared mind - and after nearly a year of dealing with “The Case Against Reality,” which, for me, was a collection of maddeningly dreamy philosophizing*; disconnected from physical reality; and dismissive of the known facts and Evolution, which are central to my understanding of reality.  *(on the other hand)


Learning is about providing us with tools and concepts we can work with as building blocks towards further developing our overall conceptions.  But Hoffman’s FBT theorem and ITP inspired “conscious agents,” was like a bad practical joke, offering little but frustration, luftgeschäft, irrelevance - no place to go with it once it's done.

As if on cue, YouTube prompted me with a suggestion that I might like this newly released talk:  "The Source of Consciousness - with Dr. Mark Solms" posted March 4th and they weren’t kidding.  Dr. Solms provides a way back to the solid ground of physical reality and serious science.

Among the speaker’s achievements, beyond being skilled as both psychoanalyst, plus neuropsychologist!  Dr. Solms is the Director of neuropsychology in the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town, an honorary lecturer in neurosurgery at the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine, and a pioneer in the scientific field of neuropsychoanalysis, being credited as first to use that term, along with being the recipient of many honors and awards.  He’s also credited with discovering and described the forebrain mechanisms of dreaming.

After I finished that first lecture, I had to listen to another one, then another, and another, two days worth of binging on Dr. Solms ensued before I was sated,... for the time being.  


Solms is an enthralling speaker and his ideas resonate with my own life time of learning about natural sciences and this body I inhabit, I couldn’t get enough of him explaining his findings and their implications and I intend to read a couple of his books plus listen to some of those talks again.  Lots to absorb.  

All that inspired me to put together this collection of lectures given by Dr. Mark Solms PhD, I'll be following up with another post highlighting a few of his many scientific papers.  

It makes a perfect transition between Hoffman's philosophizing and my own upcoming philosophizing.  Whereas I can only offer reasoning behind the perspective I believe in, Solms provides us with scientific physical evidence and clear cut justifications that are harmonious with my perspective and trust in science.

Solms deftly demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” of Consciousness, thus taking the air out of the wavy gravy meta-physical approaches to consciousness that removes it from fundamental evolutionary processes and physical reality as we know it.  It’s no wonder Hoffman never mentions Solms name, nor the promise of neuropsychoanalysis.

Among the points that resonated with my own understanding, 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Diary, “Get over it dude, why u so obsessed with Hoffman’s Case Against Reality?”

I'm happy to report that after an unexpected extension, my critical review of Donald Hoffman's "Case Against Reality" is complete.  I thought to do more by way of summary, but not getting any inspiration, so I'm done.  Perhaps in a year, providence willing, it'll be fun to revisit and see if I can write an interesting summary.  In the meantime, this will have to do.


HOFFMAN'S "CASE AGAINST REALITY," 

PLAYING BASKETBALL IN ZERO-GRAVITY, A REVIEW


The Case Against Reality book with an agent, ©Peter Miesler

Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity Review is intended to offer solid information, food for thought, and hopeful inspiration for students concerned with American’s descent into delusional thinking.  It is set up to be easily skimmed, contains copious references to expert sources and reporting, along with a few promising gems.  


I've been challenged with the question: "Why am I so "obsessed" with Hoffman’s Case Against Reality?"


Overnight hoar frost#1, ©Peter Miesler

It’s a fair enough question.  Why have I spent a half year thinking about it, then nearly another half year and thousands of words dissecting Donald Hoffman’s book, The Case Against Reality, why evolution hid the truth from our eyes


I’ll tell you why,  


* It started with Donald Hoffman boasting that he’s doing serious solid science that is relevant to our daily lives.  When all he’s doing is sophisticated mathematical games, computer modeling, philosophizing, wrapped in just-so storytelling.  But, none of it deserves being called serious science! 


* Getting further into the book, I found my Down to Earth sensibilities and my respect for physical sciences increasingly offended by this man’s glib disregard for natural facts as scientists have refined them.


* His dismissal of physical sciences and the physicalist paradigm were as laughable, as they were irritatingly disingenuous.  


* His notion that the perceiver composes the perceived, is childish.  

After all, doesn’t light need to reflect off an object before we can perceive it?  The perceiver composes an impression of the perceived.  How does Hoffman justify such gross distortions of physical fact?

* His constant reliance on computer analogies to answer questions - is reminiscent of an evangelical’s dependence on their own Bible to make their case, such debate tactics are not acceptable for a scientist.


* His constant conflation of Objective Reality and Physical Reality, needs a spotlight.  

“Objective” being a product of our minds doing their best to keep subjective human biases out of their observation and learning process.  

Thus, science’s dependence on process and measurements; physical evidence and repeatability; facts at hand driving understanding; a community of experts always looking over each other’s shoulders; constructively learning from mistakes; demand for honesty at all levels of communication; and so on.


* His tendency to imply that Evolution has agency reveals a limited appreciation for actual “wet” evolution unfolding one day at a time, over the course of deep time.  


* In fact, turns out the only thing Hoffman knows about Evolution, is Evolutionary Game Theory.  (He's never studied actual Evolution.)  Realizing that, made Hoffman’s simplistic sweeping pronouncements regarding Evolution that much more galling.


* Then, his quantum level rhetorical fancy dancing that disingenuously conflates conclusions from atom smasher experiments with our macroscopic day to day reality, was like listening to nails being scrapped across a chalkboard.  

* He joined the chorus of talking head$, proclaiming “Space-time and Reality (as we know it) is Doomed,” a mere figment of our imagination.  Why?  Basically because their latest and greatest math breaks down, leaving them with no other conclusion.


* Then to fill in this contrived void, Donald’s imaginative storytelling comes to the rescue with Hoffmanian Conscious Agents that zip around interpreting reality for us, because the reality we think we are seeing, isn’t really there, says Professor Hoffman.  He assures us that he has the math to “prove” it.


Hallelujah, river's running again, ©Peter Miesler