Blindsight, Willensmetaphysik, and the 24 Hour News Cycle

Blindsight gives visual knowledge without conscious vision. It is likely we all have it, but it is most easily measured in people who are blind due to cortical damage. Such people cannot knowingly see, but if something is put in front of them, they can correctly guess what it looks like without knowing how. Most blindsight studies use moving objects. The subjects say they can’t see the objects, but can usually “guess” the direction of movement correctly.

Blindsight for movement is probably due to information from the eyes stimulating the visual movement area directly via an unconscious route. Conscious vision depends on activation in the primary visual cortex, stimulated via another pathway.

The Human Brain Book (2009), page 77, R. Carter et al

Here is a nice example of neuroscience proving (if you’re into the whole, “scientific proof” amalgama in your metaphysic) that there is an unconscious.

Blindsight’s best friend who is antithetical in process is colloquially known as a “filter.” That is, the things that we are seeing that we do not need to see. There is this strange combination of brain processes which are simultaneously seeing things which are not registering in the conscious aperture of the brain and filtering out of the things which are registering in the conscious mind.

Human beings are essentially running a program. There is no other way to look at it.* The Lacanian interpretation of the Freudian discovery is focused primarily on the implications of the unseating of the conscious from the primary place in the human machine. Human Will is always a strange paradox, in that it is never in control of itself to a full extent. There is the hole in the middle of the will which is like an eye of the storm, a sort of emptiness where all rotates around. The Will fights against entropy.

We filter out storms. The big news of the weekend is a hurricane, which we are pulled towards the death toll to measure windspeed. High windspeed is the same thing as high death toll, in news-speak. News-speak is very much in the idealist tradition, although always semi-consciously. It is the registering of essential qualities of stories. What is the essential quality of a hurricane story? The reduction of survival. If you’ve read the first entry of this blog, you know that what is news worthy is the cessation of survival and desire. Both of these in terms of their anti-negative forms, prosperity, is not news worthy for a reason. Prosperity is entropy, the routine is “all systems functioning smoothly.”

Blindsight functions in the television anchor and reporter like an itch. Capitalistic motivation, that is, the synthetic form of survival and desire, is tuned into the world of essence; of idealism.

Idealism knows that windspeed is measured in bodycount. The unconscious eyes pick up hurricane news when it is local. The 24 hour News Cycle uses News-Speak to conjure illusions of locality.

The extent of the conscious mind’s register and the unconscious mind’s control of sight means that what we need is some sort of way to look at Will which is different. The mind is a stew, a sort of chili. You add ingredients to make the product a singular sort of interaction which registers the spectrum of emotions. The mind is more volatile than chili however, in that our states of emotion and thoughts are in flux, where as chili you can put in the fridge, reheat, and get the same product, the Will is the regulating function of Being itself. We must know what is local, what is to filter, what is to pay attention to, and it must be a preperation; due to the fact that our conscious minds are always this dialectic between filtering out what we are seeing and seeing things we are not seeing. We must cook the algorithm.


*There are clearly lots of other ways to look at it.

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