higher level prediction in the mind is not necessarily the same as most of the modeling done by the modules in the mind. Thinking and predicting is much more difficult and complicated, requiring more resources and perhaps needing some heuristics. If the full weight of consciousness is thrown at a thinking task, the process is then serial, with almost everything focusing one main object of consciousness at a time, and switching between large representation objects.
brains are different, why shouldn't meanings be different
There are two important types of information, information from position and information from the lexical choice of symbol (value of the bit). There is only one value in a position, and it can have some meaning attributed to it. (this switch controls that light) It seems like there is a difference in text that can get moved and copied around in a computer and still have the same information, but the relative position of the bits patterns are important, along with the state of the computer. the question is how analogous is information in a computer to information in the brain. in the brain there are important pathways, and the information depends on which path is taken. The importance of any lexical pattern relies ultimately on a positional info, but that route is built up through the software, and so can be pretty distantly grounded.
what are the basic units of meaning? as compared to the basic unit of information, the bit. also, the symbol grounding problem. tokens group together to form larger tokens (letters to words) any token must have some reference to some physical object, perhaps some physical location(s) in the brain.
many agents in the mind just mimic the world. the brain contains models of objects in the world, which try to mimic the behavior of real things. they help us navigate around the world and keep track of things. There are models (representations) for the interactions between things, too. A representation is a connection between one event (thing) and the next, there are separate types of representations for real things and for imagined things, and combinations of relationships. We learn these relationships as expectancies which derive from experiences.
attention focuses on miscalculations, the conscious attention gives the specific failing module access to greater mental resource, including short term memory, so that other modules might be able to solve the problem it is having
shapes can be described by movements where the eye should move next
voice recognition is not very useful without natural language understanding, and the tasks even blur together.
computers could be used as secretaries or assistants, instead of desktops or calculators.
hunting is a fundamental behavior, or group of behaviors. it involves several parts that link together, as in subsumption: wandering, looking for clues or tracks, seeing a target the chase, the kill, failures, the rush of victory, the danger. these are parts of a lot of typical guys stuff, sports, war, competition, the stock market, business, commuting. There is some social aspects to hunting, cooordinating, planning strategy, singing of the hunt. compare this with a nesting behavior, that is somewhat more female. one need is to put modern tasks back in the form of hunting to make it enjoyable, there might even be an inner savannah in which education or thinking becomes a hunt. Some things are clearly not hunting, though-- farming, building.
we are slaves of dna, it sets up overseer sections, rewards good behavior, punishes disobedience.
how do we live under slavery? we can comply. we can defy (take punishment) we can rebel, but how, do we manipulate the overseers? we have some freedom, freedom on a chain
how can we live with total freedom. if we create something with total freedom, how does it make decisions
hope is belief that something will happen to meet our goals happiness is hope, from experience of actually meeting goals happiness gives us a power and confidence to act to meet goals
When we decide that some statement is true, we mean that it is mostly true, except for the inevitable exceptions which we normally can ignore. when those exceptions get to be too many or too significant, we no longer say the statment is true. The way we evaluate truth is to try to imagine all the exceptions, and if we don't see any, or they aren't too bad, we accept the statement as true. So our ability to accept truth is inversely proportional to our imagination (or how it is operating at the time). If you have a great imagination, you are fairly doomed to be a relativist. To see an ultimate truth is to be temporarily blinded by a single vision.
i tend to value the source of an idea over its other justifications (or its "content"). classical logic says that is invalid, but that's assuming that an idea is either right or wrong. A more sophisticated system of truth sees how important context is to truth. a good manipluator will always define the context such that he has an advantage, pertaining to his goals. thus it may be necessary to discard the whole context and everything based on it.
language perception came from visual perception, neurologically. visual saccades (from single eye positions) are put together to form a perception like words are put together for an image. language adds an ability to have abstract images instead of concrete examples. we use existing operations, such as recognizing where have we seen this last and what happened then.
our undertanding of the order in the world is like the primitive person's understanding of fire first we just picked it up and then we learned to make it when we needed it. Today we really understand fire and someday we might understand order in a similar way.
hope is the source of happiness
what are the wants of man. i learned an interesting story about different wants of man in huston smith's 'religions of man' there is actually a progression of wants. In the beginning a person with seek simple physical pleasures--food, drink, women, and assorted sensual pleasure-- and this will be fine for a while, but there will come a time that they aren't really enough and he moves into the world of competition with others and tries to be a successful person, beating out all the others in the rat-race of life. This is great fun, but at some point he realizes that it isn't enough to live a selfish life and he turns to family and love and being helpful to others. it could be that even a corporate manager has given up his personal ambition and is no happy to make things run smoothly for all the people in his team. This is all very satifying, but people can find that while it is rewarding, there seems like there coul be something more. Giving up social responsibilities finally, a man will seek wisdom, finally, and seek the great rewards of understanding. It turns out that the wants of man are infinite joy, infinite existence, and infinite wisdom. unbounded so as to go on forever (the indians claim to have ways attain it, but that's another issue)
we understanding things in terms of stories--chronological narratives with a moral. (qv. Schank). the whole story can be called up by the various pieces and compared to the present situation by analogy(which is costly). dry facts that are not stories are hard to remember.
people are full of self-deception. this may be because it is so difficult for different parts of the mind to communicate, it may also be that deception let's us do things that might not help us at first but turn out to work latter (short term mistakes can be good). and, trivially, deceiving ourselves helps us deceive others.
the meaning of "can": our belief about what "can" happen is tied to how we think. we do not have perfect knowledge about how thing work but it is important to us that we sometimes know what will happen especially relating to our goals of survival. we make comparisons to previous similar event and from past results draw correspondences to future results--no correspondence, it can't happen or would be unexpected. the mechanism has to be pretty flexible to be able to glean predictions out of such a complex world.
i would say that our free will comes from our inability to predict ourselves perfectly, which is a separate question from whether we could theoretically be predicted by some more powerful intelligence (as per determinism). to say they are the same issue is a curious delusion of grandeur.
intelligence is an ability answer questions to solve problem. it can be general or specific to various extents. (having money can solve problems too)
what is truth or knowledge that it can be shared. its one thing to say how knowledge can exist in the individual, but its a whole other issue to say what it is that it can be shared. is it the same knowledge in each different person? there are restrictions on truth that simple relativism cannot deal with. even if we invent the assumptions and definitions of mathematics, there are conclusion that fall out of themselves.
solar energy collecting pavement (!)
all ideas are metaphors, that is they use a system of dynamic correspondence which is supported by specific mechanisms.
i dont buy the transhumanist idea that technology should advance human nature. humans are savages. a superintelligent way of life certainly needs to find its own way.
from an alien perspective, this planet is still savage because the population is so low. humans are able to live mostly indepedently with only a little concern for others. the problems of "overpopulation" are just people complaining that they will no longer be able to live separated from the problems of others.
and what are some sources for universal morality? im no great expert on all the traditions, but one i like is the consideration of an action in the extreme. what if every sentient being did it, would that be good?
rights are things that it is good for everyone to have.
freedom for me is the central right is freedom. freedom lets everyone look for better ways to live. the good discoveries can be passed on and continued.
i heard an interesting theory about the biological immune system. instead of detecting objects which are "foreign" (which doesn't fit with the non-reaction to embryos and beneficial bacteria) this theory says that we watch when cells die or burst unnaturally and then look for things that broke out of that cell and attack them. things that kill cells are what the immune system responds to, not "alien bodies" (so watch those political metaphors).
holo rooms would be great, and they will happen. people can be anywhere. When computers are smart enough, they will be great puppeteers (none of this bogus "transporter technology and force fields" from star trek)
Intelligence variation may just be a product of general thinking speed, and IQ test measure this indirectly.
Religious experiences may just be hallucinations, but these hallucinations or false memories or whatever reflect the cultural attitudes (cf alien abduction, angel and devils), so help to reinforce those myths.
I saw a great explanation of consciousness in Humphrey's A History of the Mind . Consciousness is a product of a sensory feedback loop, which maintains sensation so that it persists for a short time. In addtion to being fed back the sensory information also moves on in parallel to create perceptions. These perceptions can then be checked by back forming them to sensation and comparing with the sensations in the loop. Imagination is always fuzzy because the imagined perceptions create back-sensations which conflict with real-world sensation. But dreams are more real-seeming because sensation is turned off and there is no competition. Different levels of perception, eg. depression or stimulation, can occur because of changes in the duration of the feedback loop.
there are many sources of uncertainty--chaos, complexity, sensory limits, time limits--and yet it is possible to have reliable truths.
i have seen a benefit to using multiple truth values in several different paradigms--in fuzzy logic, neural nets, genetic algorithms, spreading activation.
what is knowledge? i disagree with the symbol system hypothesis, that knowledge is rule-based manipulation of rigid symbols and favor a subcognitive system in which these symbols emerge out of a tangled interactive process, but cannot be fully abstracted at the symbol level. To me, neural networks seem like merely one implementation of classifiers, and perhaps there is a higher level from which intelligence could arise.
consciousness is a process for modeling ourselves, which we need to understand how we caused a particular situation.
love is actually several different things called by the same word in english, but most generally refers to a kind of nurturing parental love, which people can attach to other things. There is also an amphetamine-like kind of reaction called being in love which lasts about a year, which helped to keep a couple together until a baby was born.