Profile

Cover photo
Sam Brinson
Works at Sambrinson.com
Attended University of Otago
Lives in Montevideo, Uruguay
41 followers|30,280 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTubeReviews

Stream

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
What Comes Next?

Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, is a good book.

Thinking fast, or System 1 as he calls it, is your intuition. It’s quick, resourceful, and prone to mistakes which we often call biases.

Thinking slow, or system 2, is you.

System 1 is automatic, you can’t turn it off, and it will spit information at you even if you’re busy trying to do something else. System 1 makes you jump at loud noises, it tells you what the expression is on someones face, it tells you that something going on in the outside world is worth taking notice of.

Everything you see, touch, smell, hear, or experience from the “outside” is fed through system 1 first. System 1 likes to keep it’s own version of the world, it makes predictions about what will come next, and it likes patterns and regularity. If a prediction made by system 1 turns out to be false, an alert is sent to system 2, kicking into gear our more analytical, powerful, energy consuming selves to solve the problem.

The Music of it All
Music is a bunch of patterns. Rhythms and harmonies and progressions. When we listen to a song, our system 1 starts making predictions about what will come next. “This feels like home, it must be in the key of C” “Here comes the guitar solo.” “It’s country, I don’t anticipate any electro pop synths.”

It does this by using past experiences as guides: “Have we heard this song before?” “Do we understand the genre it’s in?” “Is it in a western scale?” “Do we know the artist?”

If system one can predict the song correctly, chances are it was boring.

If it fails to predict something, it alerts us, system 2.

Anything from a subtle drum fill to a full change of style can call our attention, by breaking our predictions the music becomes interesting, it makes us want to stop and take notice.

You can always have too much of course, if everything’s breaking our predictions constantly it’ll be difficult to follow and too confusing, so there’s a balance between being predictable and novel.

Think about this a little the next time you need to work or study, if you need to use your brain, chances are you’ll be better off listening to boring monotonous music. Otherwise you’ll be distracted when your system 1 starts getting lost and sending you alerts. Even if you try to ignore it or simply refuse to admit it, the moment you turn your focus to the music is the moment you’ve lost focus on what you were doing.

Music’s all about establishing patterns and then selectively breaking them, masterful composers and musicians know how to effectively lead us somewhere, to give us a hint of one direction (Not the band!), and then take us somewhere else. System 1 & 2 might help explain why these changes bring us such enjoyment, and why a simple or repetitive song is good while we’re mentally occupied but boring to actually focus on.

#music   #sound   #mind   #anticipation  
4
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
3 Little Facts About Rhythm

Music as a whole consists of many facets: Pitch, Loudness, Harmony, Timbre, Rhythm…

Things is, rhythm is a whole different beast to those others, it pulls us in with it’s timely thuds, even without our approval.

“Rhythm is the seat of music,” Iyer says. “Before we even notice that it’s music, its rhythmic character gets inside of us. Music starts with the sense of a body doing something, a sense of pulse that might map onto our own sense of pulse.”

Rhythm flows through the cerebellum, it’s a largely unconscious process.

I recently read ‘This is your Brain on Music’ by Daniel J. Levitin. In it, he states that Rhythm goes via the ear to the cerebellum and on to the limbic system, while the other aspects of music follow a different path to the auditory cortex.

The cerebellum is located on the bottom of your brain, towards the back of your head and it’s important for motor control, coordination, precision, and accurate timing — See the link here?

The cerebellum is involved in interpreting the rhythm and keeping time. In the event that we’re surprised by an off-timed beat or a different rhythm altogether, the blood flow increases to this area, our brains are surprised… and a little excited, because it’s these surprises and deviations that make the music interesting.

“Before we even notice that it’s music, its rhythmic character gets inside of us.”

While the cerebellum isn’t responsible for initiating movement, it’s this rhythmic path that may help explain why our heart and cardiovascular system like to sync to the music we listen to; and also why it helps improve motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s.

You don’t just move to the beat; how we move influences what we hear.

Embodied cognition also comes into play with rhythm. If we start to move to a beat, the particular movements we make will affect our perception of the rhythm.

A study showed that when people were exposed to unaccented beats, the movements of their bodies determined whether they experienced the sound as a waltz or a march.

It isn’t very often you hear an unaccented beat without accompanied sound, you’re more often going to be able to hear the strong and weak beats easily enough to know how your body should move. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that your perception of the music is not only influencing your body, but vice versa.

Going one step further, there is also some evidence suggesting that it’s not only your body that alters your perception, but there is also a social embodiment factor, whereas the people you’re dancing with can influence you.

A good rhythm is imperfect; if it’s perfect, it‘s fake.

This seems like an important mention with the advent of drum machines and samplers. When a drummer plays a funky groove, they’re going to be making a lot of tiny ‘mistakes,’ off timed hits at varying velocities that are what actually give the beat a human element, they give it emotion.

A drum machine will play exactly what it’s told to, when it’s told to. It’s precise and doesn’t make mistakes, and you can hear this in the music — it lacks variety and spice, it’s mechanical and cold.

This doesn’t only apply to drumming—piano compositions and violin slides and all sorts of other computer generated sounds will lack a human ‘quality’ when they’re made digitally. When people are playing a song together they are in sync with each other, the players will be changing and flowing with the music together in a way that’s barely noticeable, but it’s there and it’s hard to replicate digitally.

You hear a divine beat pulsating through the speakers at your friends party, and you can’t help but tap your foot. You might even need to restrain yourself from flailing your arms like a mad man. No other aspect of music has quite the same effect, rhythm is the base upon which music is formed.

“Everything has rhythm. Everything dances.”

#rhythm   #music   #sound   #mind   #cognition   #beat  
https://medium.com/world-of-music/3-surprising-facts-about-rhythm-49a9710ef38a
1
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
New mini-album: Waves.

Opinions welcome...preferably positive.
Enjoy!
1
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Philosophy of Mind
Week 1: Consciousness
Doc: http://goo.gl/rJZE3

Consciousness has affectionately been called "The Hard Problem" by philosophers, a group not known for shying away from hard problems. The word "consciousness" refers to the symphony of experience that characterizes our mental lives. This process mediates our relation to all of existence, including our own, so a theory of consciousness has implications for our theories of what exists, what we can know, and how we ought to treat each other. Perhaps no other issue in philosophy plays such a central role. 

Although the phenomenon is intimately familiar to us all, describing the process is notoriously difficult and the word has become almost synonymous with mystery and enigma. Many common and compelling ways of characterizing conscious experience appear to challenge our best scientific understanding of the natural world, and science itself still has only guesses at how conscious process work. 

The philosophical problem of consciousness is to reconcile the apparent aspects of lived conscious experience with the rest of natural science. For some philosophers, this involves expanding the scope of knowledge beyond the limits of science to include knowledge of mental realms and substances which science is incapable of describing. Others would prefer to eliminate the discussion of consciousness altogether. The dizzying logic required to provide a theory of consciousness has recently led philosophers like Colin McGinn to claim that understanding consciousness is itself beyond the powers of the human mind.

So introducing the topic for a general audience shouldn't be that hard, right? =D 

The plan is to lay out some very broad approaches to the problem of consciousness, and to provide links for further exploration. This post is meant to be a starting point for discussion, and is certainly not meant to be comprehensive. Hopefully, the topics listed below will be fodder for more detailed discussions in later weeks. This introduction is meant to facilitate and orient those future discussions. 

1. Creature consciousness vs phenomenal consciousness 

We might first distinguish the functional role that consciousness plays for an organism ("creature consciousness") from the quality of consciousness as experienced by the organism ("phenomenal consciousness"). 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness
Block, N. (1995) Two Concepts of Consciousness http://goo.gl/Qo81q
Chalmers, D. (2003) Consciousness and its place in Nature http://goo.gl/mO2BI

Creature Consciousness: A conscious organism is awake, alert, and sensitive to stimuli: it is sentient. Consciousness in this sense is the product of neurophysiological processes in the organism as it interacts with its environment. The science for describing these processes and their relations is still developing, but it is developing fast, as are the larger stories about the functional role that consciousness plays in the evolutionary success of the organism. 

Philosophers, as a rule, are enthusiastic about the science and have little desire to interfere with or otherwise influence this research. Creature consciousness is sometimes dismissively referred to as the "easy" problem, to distinguish it from the philosophically trickier problem of phenomenal consciousness. 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-animal/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_correlates_of_consciousness
SEP: http://goo.gl/NpvZ2

Phenomenal Consciousness: Phenomenal consciousness is the way consciousness seems from the perspective of the conscious organism. Conscious subjects experience the world from a point of view, and as having some qualitative feel that is difficult to reconcile with the objectivity of the sciences that describe creature consciousness.  The qualitative feel of a particular experience (e.g. the way the color blue looks, or the way garlic smells) is called the “quale” of that experience.  “Qualia,” the plural of “quale,” is often used as a stand-in for the trickier aspects of phenomenal consciousness as a whole. Subjectivity and qualia will be discussed below, but we can already raise some questions about consciousness:

Does creature consciousness imply phenomenal consciousness? In other words, does any creature that engages in alert functional behavior also inhabit some subjective point of view? Why or why not?

If you answer no, then you might believe in zombies! Zombies are creatures that appear to be conscious but have no subjective experiences. 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/zombies/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie

If you answer yes, then the issue becomes explaining phenomenal consciousness in terms of the functions and mechanisms that underlie creature consciousness. Some philosophers argue for a strict reduction of phenomenal consciousness to brain or other physical processes. Others skeptical of reduction have argued for more elaborate metaphysical structures, like supervenience and emergence, to explain the relations between mental events and neurophysiological events. 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/materialism-eliminative/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/supervenience/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/properties-emergent/

At the extreme, you might think that phenomenal consciousness hangs free of all physical or functional theory. This is the domain of the dualists and epiphenomenalists.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dualism/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epiphenomenalism/


2. Qualia

Qualia are the “raw feels” associated with particular experiences.  When you recall what it is like to (say) listen to a Beethoven symphony, bite into a ripe orange, or smell rotting eggs, you are recalling the quale associated with each of those activities.  Qualia are thus linked very tightly with phenomenal consciousness--indeed, we might say that all it means to say that a creature has phenomenal conscious is that the creature experiences qualia.

We take ourselves to have immediate and reliable access to the nature of our qualia--in philosopher-speak we say that our access is incorrigible.  Consider what it would mean to say that you are mistaken about the character of your own experiences.  Is it possible for you to be wrong about what blue looks like to you, or about the character if your conscious experience more broadly?  At first glance, it seems like this kind of mistake is just plain impossible, and that incorrigibility is on very solid ground--after all, if you can be certain of anything, you can be certain of your own conscious experiences.  

Some philosophers have attacked the notion of qualia as incoherent. For example, Dennett argues that attempts to define ‘qualia’ in any rigorous fashion are doomed to failure.  

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qualia/
Rorty, R. (1970) Incorrigibility As the Mark of the Mental http://goo.gl/Ym834
Nagel, T. (1974) What is it like to be a bat? http://goo.gl/D8yjd
Dennett, D. (1988) Quining Qualia http://goo.gl/RXKsu


3. Subjectivity

The perspectival quality of our experiences so deeply informs our sense of self that we tend to identify ourselves with the having of those conscious experiences. We say things like: I am the subject of these thoughts, I am the thinker who has these experiences.  The qualitative character of experience, in other words, is not just an unconnected bundle of “raw feels.”  Rather, experiences are the kinds of things that happen to someone or other--they happen to subjects.  Our identity is deeply entwined with our sense of ourselves as subjects of qualitative experience; I am me and not you in large part because of the difference in experiences between us. 

In other words, consciousness defines the boundaries of the self. Often, philosophers will employ a method of introspective contemplation to carefully identify and assess the character of their conscious states. This method is called “phenomenology”, and has the goal of describing not just the qualitative states of conscious experience, but also their place and role in the overall character of lived experience. 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-higher/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/self-consciousness-phenomenological/
Rosenthal, D. (1997) Explaining Consciousness http://goo.gl/szTYh
Shoemaker, S. (2001) Introspection and Phenomenal Character http://goo.gl/iSC1c

4. Unity

Conscious experiences are bundled together in at least two different senses: they’re bundled as sets of experiences to some subject, and they’re bundled as unified conscious perspectives to each of those subjects.  My experience of the world is not of individual qualia--the color blue over there, the roaring of a jet plane over here, the smell of cooking meat over there, &c.--but rather of a single unified experience encompassing all those qualia: of myself cooking a steak on the grill while I watch a plane cruise across the sky above me.   Unity is what accounts for our ability to make direct comparisons between different aspects of our experience as easily as we do.  I don’t have separate experiences of my keyboard, my glass, and their spatial relationship to one another.  Rather, I have a single unified conscious experience that includes my glass as being to the left of my keyboard.

The unity of consciousness has a correlate in the easy problem of consciousness, sometimes called the Frame Problem.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-mind/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-unity/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/frame-problem/

5. Representation

Each of us isn’t merely conscious; rather we are usually conscious of something: I am conscious of the time, or I am conscious that I believe that Barack Obama is the President of the United States. This suggests that consciousness is a representational process--conscious states are about something. Brentano calls this feature of our mental life “intentionality”. 

Beliefs and desires are paradigmatic intentional states: I don’t just believe; I believe that I am in New York City, and that belief represents a situation outside my mind.  On the other hand, some conscious states may or may not be representational.  My experience of anxiety, for instance, might or might not be anxiety about something: I can be anxious about an upcoming test, or I can be anxious period.

Intentionality is a problem in its own right, quite apart from the problem of consciousness. But understanding the close relation between the two can help understand both; indeed, many theories of qualia begin from the premise that quale are representations of sensory experience. 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/intentionality/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-intentionality/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-representational/
______________________________



Any one of these issues can be discussed in much more depth. Hopefully this overview gives an entry point into your own research, and can work as a starting point for discussion. Feel free to leave questions, comments, or thoughts about anything! 

Written by +Daniel Estrada and +Jon Lawhead. Non-commercial share alike. You can read this whole document, nicely formatted in Google Docs: http://goo.gl/rJZE3 Feel free to leave editing notes and comments there. 

Image stolen from: http://goo.gl/TW1ED

#consciousness   #philosophyofmind  
10 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
How to live a Creative Life that Matters.
Experiment. Take risks. Educate yourself. Seek like-minded people. Be a teacher. Welcome to the innovation age.
1
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
The Creative Gateways

They’re the things you’ll often come into when people recommend ways to get creativity flowing.
They’re the things you do before that “A-ha” moment. That flash of insight. The apple on the head.

#creativity   #innovation   #insight  
That’s what I like to call them.
1
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
I decided to start making music tutorials for Youtube, here's the first...
1
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
41 people
Valerie King's profile photo
mithu ..'s profile photo
Lee Clowd's profile photo
Language acquisition's profile photo
Ysmay Walsh's profile photo
Igor Basilius (MrBasilius)'s profile photo
Online English with Sam's profile photo
La Rueda de Samsara's profile photo
milena fisher's profile photo

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
#Biohacking  is the new form of #evolution  
Wearable technology and smartphones like the iPhone and Android are creating an empowering new health movement: biohacking and quantified self.
1
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Get yourself into a state of #flow  
1
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
There are many questions hanging over the 2014-15 NBA season: Do LeBron James and Kevin Love make the Cavaliers instant title contenders? How badly does Kevin Durant's injury hurt the Thunder's season? Can Phil Jackson save the Knicks? Can anyone stop the Spurs?

To answer all these questions and more, Mashable's senior sports reporter Sam Laird will host a live Hangout on Air with Yahoo's Marc Spears, Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy, and SB Nation's Paul Flannery on October 21 at 3 p.m. ET.

What questions do you have for our group of NBA experts? Ask them in the Q&A app or the comments below, and we'll try to answer them during the Hangout.

#MashTalk   #NBA   #Sports  
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Mashable. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Q&A
Preview
Live
2014-15 NBA Season Preview
Tue, October 21, 2014, 3:00 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

4 comments on original post
2
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Music’s a Matter of Trust
I know what music I like. So do you.

We keep going back to this music because it’s familiar, we know it so well and it speaks to us, it’s safe and would never hurt us, it’s ours.

#music #discovery #recommendation #trust 
1
Add a comment...

Sam Brinson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Sex Panther, works 60% of the time all the time
 
Awesome Fake Movie Products You Can Actually Buy http://trib.al/BzVK8CS
View original post
1
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
41 people
Valerie King's profile photo
mithu ..'s profile photo
Lee Clowd's profile photo
Language acquisition's profile photo
Ysmay Walsh's profile photo
Igor Basilius (MrBasilius)'s profile photo
Online English with Sam's profile photo
La Rueda de Samsara's profile photo
milena fisher's profile photo
Education
  • University of Otago
    Music, 2007 - 2010
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Writer. Musician. Kiwi.
Introduction
I’m a writer born and bred in New Zealand, and as of 2013, nestled down in Uruguay. I like to write about music and psychology, with a particular interest in combining them into a vicious cocktail of musical neurons and rockin' synapses.
Work
Occupation
Freelance article writer
Skills
Writing articles and blogs, Sound and music design, research.
Employment
  • Sambrinson.com
    Owner, 2014 - present
    Digesting news and studies relating to music and psychology.
  • Point Blank Scoring
    Manager, 2009 - 2015
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Montevideo, Uruguay
Previously
Cordoba, Argentina - Taupo, NZ - Napier, NZ - Dunedin, NZ
Links
Contributor to
Great classes and a fun learning experience, totally worth it!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
1 review
Map
Map
Map