## On Computing the Brain and Mind

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

Moderator: Only_Humean

### On Computing the Brain and Mind

More or less Abstract

Here we look at many facets or aspects of the brain and mind to understand meta-information and regular information and any information as it relates to the brain and mind. We break the brain and mind up into disciplines, concepts and anything else that comes along. We are free in the Sandbox to explore the brain and the mind. Anything goes as long as we are making sense of working out the brain and mind . . .

Definitions

When defining the title 'On Computing the Brain and Mind'

It is important to have in mind some definitions of the three most important words in the title: Computing, Brain and Mind. I do not want to use any specific definition - by this I mean I want to keep flexibility in the conversation especially to begin with. The idea is that we are trying to make sense of how we work out the brain and mind. Everything in the definitions is valid to use.

≡ Computing and compute, from Google dictionary:

► Computing as a noun is the use or operation of computers
- in a sentence looks like this: "developments in mathematics and computing".

► As a verb, compute is to reckon or calculate (a figure or amount)
- in a sentence looks like this: "the hire charge is computed on a daily basis".

► Informally, compute means to seem reasonable; make sense
- in a sentence looks like this: "the idea of a woman alone in a pub did not compute".
synonyms for compute: calculate, work out, reckon, figure, enumerate, determine, evaluate, assess, quantify, put a figure on; add up, add together, count up, tally, total, totalize; measure; tot up; cast

Origin: early 17th century: from French computer or Latin computare, from com- ‘together’ + putare ‘to settle (an account)’.

► an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating centre of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity.

► the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.

For the sake of our exploration it can be said that brain and mind are synonymous.

Two of many questions

How is it that we work out what the brain is doing?
How is it that we work out what the mind is doing?

We are not necessarily here to answer these two questions as there are many more questions . . .
. . . these two questions set for us a theme to work with . . .

Initial Topic - Scanning - A Dirty Intro

Here a dirty intro is to be taken as an intro written on the fly with no hardcore thought put into it . . .

Scanning the brain in order to understand its ability to process patterns of information.

From Google dictionary: to scan is to look at all parts of (something) carefully in order to detect some feature.
- in a sentence looks like this: "he raised his binoculars to scan the coast"

First we must understand that scanning is not just about technology - in this context we are looking at something with care to detect a feature. Although previously I have mentioned flexibility, so any of Google's definitions will suffice. There is quite a bit of inference going on to say the least - to say this is done without errors is quite silly. The inference is made on the following: Cutting up the neocortex - delightful, brain scans(neuroimaging) - there are at least ten we could choose from. Interestingly the idea of neuroimaging goes back a long way and its life actually starts out in blood circulation over 120 years ago but anyway. PET and fMRI scans are very useful. EEG has added much data despite its spatial limitations - there is no substitute for cutting the brain up. Obviously microscopes(optical and electron based) give plenty of visual data.

A little bit of psychological data can go a long way to get started.

Philosophically we have been asking many questions about the brain and mind for a long time.

By scanning data whether by computer or making sense with our minds we are able to make many conclusions by looking for correlations in available data.
We are also able to create metadata that can be graphed for visual reference.

Let the ambiguity begin . . .

encode_decode
Philosopher

Posts: 1215
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm

### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind

gib

I am a bit unorganized at the moment but we should be able to make more sense of this as we go . . .

gib wrote:What? Think of human brains as computers or design computers to not make mistakes or have opinions?

Most certainly brains as computers - although the second part leaves room for thought, I am certainly all about computers not making mistakes.

gib wrote:I remember listening to a lecture by John Searle once in which he quoted an ancient greek writer (I forget who): the brain is like a catepolt, he said. Searle's point is that throughout history, we've always compared the brain to the latest, most advanced, technology of the time. Why? Partly because we didn't understand how the brain works (thus comparing it to something "sophisticated" or "complex") and partly because in seeking out an explanation (of anything) we look for mechanical cause/effect accounts. We stay away from magic or spontaneous/causeless accounts because that's more akin to saying "there is no explanation."

The lecture sounds interesting - is it available on video?

Do you think causation is important when looking at the brain? I do . .

There certainly is an explanation for the brain. I am just getting warmed up so please be patient.

encode_decode
Philosopher

Posts: 1215
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm

### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind

gib

The conversation kind of reminds me of plugging in a video camera to a television and the facing the camera toward the television . . .
- you get an infinite amount of televisions . . .

gib wrote:But I think with computers, we're not just repeating the same pattern. I think there is something to computers that makes them good for comparison to brains--namely, internal information processing. When we design a computer to carry out complex mathematical algorithms, we are modeling the design after what we see going on inside our minds (introspection). Furthermore, like all other tools, we design computers to perform the tasks that we would otherwise have to do ourselves (laborously). We've built a machine that can solve really complex mathematical and logical problems so that we don't have to go through all the trouble of doing it in our heads (and possibly making mistakes). Therefore, of course the brain is like a computer... because we designed computers to be like brains.

Repeating the same pattern, kind of like my television example. Computers are great to compare the brain to. My main interest is as you put it internal information processing. I agree for now when you say: we are modeling the design after what we see going on inside our minds (introspection). How much the brain is like a computer is interesting because the architecture is quite different but the operation is rather similar.

Heads up - I will likely answer some things more than once to cover different perspectives.

I suggest we model the system on our mind rather than the brain. Hopefully this will become evident in the next post.

encode_decode
Philosopher

Posts: 1215
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm

### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind

gib

I am warmed up now - time to get more in depth into this exploration . . . I am really going to go for this - like crazy. There is no time like the present for me or even yourself to really run wild with concepts, ideas, thoughts, words or whatever about the brain or mind. Do not feel obligated to answer everything - there is going to be a lot - believe me - feel free to only answer that which interests you or all of it. I will happily read and respond to everything you type.

Sandbox is a playground . . . as Arcturus Descending says. There are probably going to be some breaks in logic - because I am going to get the thoughts out as quickly as possible - that is what questions are for - to clear up any mishap I might introduce. There might be spelling mistakes and bad grammar - I will happily get over that if you are happy to ignore it and press on. I really like the idea of just going like crazy.

gib wrote:Of course, we've designed computers to model the brain in specific ways only--doing math, solving logical problems, and even doing things like rendering art and running video games--all things that the human brain can do but much better.

We have with certainty designed computers. They do model parts of the brain in specific ways. I am going with the mind rather than the brain - why? because no matter what the mind can still be differentiated from the brain - even if only abstract. Two forms of logic - soft logic - hard logic.

The rendering art and running video games I will leave aside for the time being and I will return to the specific ways of doing mathematics and solving logical problems. One challenge in AI has been to model the game GO - perhaps you have heard of it - it is incredible for a couple of reasons - eventually you shall see how they relate to this conversation:

Wikipedia wrote:Despite its relatively simple rules, Go is very complex, even more so than chess, and possesses more possibilities than the total number of atoms in the visible universe. Compared to chess, Go has both a larger board with more scope for play and longer games, and, on average, many more alternatives to consider per move.

We were able to model Chess in the 70's or 80's(don't quote me on that). As you are probably already aware you can play Chess against the computer. Many in the field of artificial intelligence consider Go to require more elements that mimic human thought than chess. Chess has on average 37 legal moves per turn compared with 150 to 200 average legal moves for GO.

Wikipedia wrote:The game was invented in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago, and is therefore believed to be the oldest board game continuously played today. It was considered one of the four essential arts of the cultured aristocratic Chinese scholar caste in antiquity. The earliest written reference to the game is generally recognized as the historical annal Zuo Zhuan(c. 4th century BCE).

Now if we were to consider how the computer models GO compared to a brain I think that we would find the two very different. Our mind however would be similar and just a bit slower. I am still claiming that computers are a result of the mind and not the brain - but this can get ambiguous of course.

Neurons themselves are quite a bit different to logic gates or even combinations of them. These gates are the AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, EXOR and EXNOR gates. Digital circuits are of course modeled using combinations of logic gates. When we are building a computer we are building a mass of gates - in many ways different to the brain. We can put software on the hardware. We have to do conversions from binary all the way up to English with many layers in between - these are called abstractions.

The mind sits on top of the brain as the software sits on top of the hardware - then there is the case of firmware of which analogies can be made:

Hardware - > Instinct
Firmware - > Mood
Software - > Emotion

Hardware - > Brain
Firmware - > Instinct
Software - > Mind

Or however else one wants to divide things up . . .
. . . obviously it is these divisions that we work with when we discuss these sorts of things . . .
. . . the divisions are a matter of convenience and . . .
. . . standards are just divisions that we agree upon . . .

Despite Go's relatively simple rules, Go is very complex - so with some relatively simple logic rules we are able to build a brain, which is complex - however the mind is a completely different kettle of fish. To get at the mind we must first enter through the brain. The brain is something that we are able to take out of the skull and sit on a bench ready to chop up. The full brain sitting on the bench is intact - a logic circuit. Plasticity - huh - totally estimated the wrong way - thoughts and memories et cetera are able to be interpolated and interwoven - id est a new circuit is not created for every thought or every memory as is suggested by plasticity.

Go possesses more possibilities than the total number of atoms in the visible universe - all in a 19×19 grid of lines - the brain is a lot more complex, obviously, so it possesses more possibilities than the total number of possibilities of Go. Why do I make such a big deal about the mind then? The mind sits atop of the brain - simple - the mind possesses more possibilities than the brain through its ability to interpolate thoughts and interweave memories. Why then through out our life do we not come up with thoughts and memories that are more than the total number of atoms in the visible universe? A good question to leave unanswered I think.

gib wrote:This more or less addresses the second part above--why we don't design computers to make mistakes or have opinions--because at the end of the day, they're still tools. We design and used them as replacements to our own manual efforts--and not just because we're lazy, but because we make mistakes.

This less addresses the second part above. You are right they are tools - powerful and scary tools - but the tools that sit in the driver seat are much scarier. We make many more mistakes than a computer. You can see that I mostly agree with you and no doubt may sense some disagreement - but this is good I think.

gib wrote:We also leave out the ability of computers to form their own opinions because, as tools, we want to have full control over them. We want them to do exactly what we tell them, like mechanical slaves. Programming them to have their own opinions which might conflict with ours (e.g. Me: I want you to allocate $500,000 to defense spending. Computer: in my opinion, I think that money would be better spent on education) is avoided because that too would make them less tool-like and more of an "equal" (who could use us as tools just as much we can them). What does it take to form an opinion? The mind of course - what do we know about the mind? Itself is complex as is the underlying substrate(the brain). Is our brain a mechanical slave to our mind? It had to be asked because it just came into my mind. We agreed earlier on in the year that we program ourselves and others through communication and information et cetera or something along them lines. But what does it take to form an opinion? ► Hard logic is what the brain works with. ► Firm logic is akin to instinct. ► Soft logic is what the mind works with. Does the human mind really render art and run video games better than a computer? Depends on context, perspective et cetera - I think I get the gist of what you originally meant though. Such minute details really are not so important in this type of conversation. Crazy, crazy and more crazy . . . encode_decode Philosopher Posts: 1215 Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind gib Now obviously I have split these posts up with good reason, because the responses get quite lengthy. In another post you wrote: We have to remember that our brains evolved through a process of natural selection, it wasn't designed on purpose. We get things right and we think rationally only to the extent sufficient to get us by. It's amazing how often we make leaps of logic and lucky guesses. We infer so much by instinct. For example, I'm preparing a barbecue, I ask a friend: can you go out and get burgers? I don't need to specify that I mean buy burgers from the grocery store, not kill a cow and gut the meat out of him. How is it that the brain automatically knows the right interpretation? To which I responded: I would suggest the brain does it from pattern matching and differentiation - I would further conclude that this is also how new thoughts evolve - epiphanies. To which you responded: gib wrote:You mean like: please go get [food item X]. <-- This matches past patterns of requests to get food items in which the person went to the grocery store to fulfill the request. And thoughts that evolve--epiphanies--is this the brain doing the occasion break from following patterns? You are right on here in the way you comprehended what I was saying. There is a separate matching pattern for each food item - so closely related some items are, that the brain gets lazy and interpolates similar items to minimize storage of patterns - interweaves the memory imprint into similar existing imprints - why? we do not know - there is so much room available for storage it is crazy, perhaps that is why we are able to build epiphanies. Your usage of the word evolve is very cool - it is a convergence of sorts. From one of my other threads - on the topic of emotions(keep in mind this model is in a state of transition): I have two emotional sets - the first is directed at the self and the second is directed at others. I like to group my emotional sets in to two basic groups: ► Negative Emotions ► Positive Emotions From here other emotions are built over time via two more sets of emotions - evolutionary emotions and configuration emotions - by evolutionary I mean that I will attempt to at the very least account for hereditary characteristics, personal evolution is something I am taking into account separate from configuration - by configuration I mean such things as personal, family, social, love, cultural local, cultural national, cultural global and many others. Evolutionary emotions are those that happen seemingly by themselves . . . . . . and . . . . . . configuration emotions happen with the influence of the conscious mind or external sources . . . As you can see, we view evolution under a similar pattern. I would suggest the brain is taking a break from following regular patterns when an epiphany seeds the pattern net - I also suggest that Déjà vu, Jamais vu and Presque vu follow a similar logic to seed but I am not sure if seeding is taking place or the seed was already there and some sort of conscious gridlock is taking place. I am still researching mental paradoxes. gib wrote:Finding whole new patterns? Like: I *could* go to the grocery store, but if I gut the neighbor's cow, the meat will be a lot more fresh and no unhealthy additives! <-- Or is that more insanity than novel thinking? The mind is usually OK with this but the brain considers it insanity - that is my current way of looking at it anyhow. Either way it is still novel thinking. True insanity is when the brain and mind are in a semi permanent or permanent state of flux as in an irregularity - there is no rational match between the brain and mind - interesting. I am pretty certain the neocortex is involved in processing poetry and metaphor. To which you responded: gib wrote:I would not doubt that. Though I would expect many parts of the brain to be involved in processing poetry and metaphor. I'd also point out that the neocortex constitutes a huge portion of the brain, so it's probably involved in a whole bunch of mental processing (in fact, it's been proven). How it processes poetry and metaphor is a more interesting question (at least for me) and I'm sure you're on the right track in your investigations into pattern matching. Pattern matching is definitely the larger part of the puzzle - for now at least - even glial cells are said to offer some processing among the neural net. As you say there are other parts of the brain involved in processing - this is where things are going to get interesting, let us come back to that sometime in the near future. From a response to Arc in another thread: I was reading on ScienceDaily that "Poetry is like music to the mind . . . " . . . here are a few select snippets from that article: ScienceDaily wrote:. . . New brain imaging technology is helping researchers to bridge the gap between art and science by mapping the different ways in which the brain responds to poetry and prose . . . . . . Scientists use functional magnetic resonance imaging technology to visualize which parts of the brain are activated to process various activities. But until now, no one had ever looked specifically at the differing responses in the brain to poetry and prose . . . . . . In research published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, the team found activity in a "reading network" of brain areas which was activated in response to any written material. But they also found that more emotionally charged writing aroused several of the regions in the brain which respond to music. These areas, predominantly on the right side of the brain, had previously been shown as to give rise to the "shivers down the spine" caused by an emotional reaction to music . . . . . . In a specific comparison between poetry and prose, the team found evidence that poetry activates brain areas, such as the posterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal lobes, which have been linked to introspection . . . Just for the hell of it let me add three comments from that thread: encode_decode: I like to think of it in terms of the mood being a pond and the emotion being a stone that is thrown into the pond eventually the ripples make it back to the edge of the pond. Arcturus Descending: I liked that analogy. I have often thrown pebbles into a pond and watched the interplay between that pond, pebble and ripples. It is quite beautiful to see and it points out the effect which one single action can have on everything which surrounds us. encode_decode: Well thank you - I like your response. If the stone is going to the depths of the pond - I wonder what is in the depths of the mood. All this talk about mood and emotions requires one to dig deep. I find that if I have put an extreme amount of thought into the post when I write it - then I have to spend some time decoding my own writing. To which you responded: gib wrote:Well, that certainly makes sense. Makes me wonder: do you think this is typical of people who form their thoughts and opinions "on the fly" so to speak? As opposed to people who draw from long held beliefs and opinions that have remained more or less "solid" over the years. In the latter case, I would expect those people to know exactly what they were talking about even when revisiting old posts after a long period of absence. But if you form your thoughts and opinions more or less "on the fly" then they're more likely to be ephemeral, and you most likely won't remember what you were thinking if you came back to the post after a long period of absence. To say that, you are implicating you and I in being writers of on the fly content - and I do not think that is necessarily true - I think there is some partial truth sure. Right now I am writing thoughts on the fly - actually more or less throughout this whole thread I have been hovering between long held beliefs and on the fly. Are our thoughts as transient as you indicate with the word ephemeral? Like I have mentioned the brain simply does not make a separate circuit for any thought - this leaves us with weighting in the networks - the more you are thinking about something the more truth is lent to neuroplasticity - lol - sorry - neuroplasticity is great when the brain becomes injured but its truthfulness gets less and less with a healthy mind - remember vicinity and analogy. Ephemeral thoughts are being weighted for importance - then integrate into the network - if their weight is small then their impact is small - like a small pebble's impact on the pond leaving small ripples. I am sure this makes some sense to you. Briefly revisiting the neocortex; think about this for a moment, 3D projection is any method of mapping three-dimensional points to a two-dimensional plane. As most current methods for displaying graphical data are based on planar (pixel information from several bitplanes) two-dimensional media, the use of this type of projection is widespread, especially in computer graphics, engineering and drafting. Now let us contemplate the dimension of mind - mapping its dimensional products to the neocortex - this can be done in reverse to map the three-dimensional points of the neocortex back to the mind - hopefully I got that right. The neocortex has six planes or layers, the first four from memory serve the same purpose - or is it the first three - it does not matter right now. When mapping the mind to the brain - or in this case the neocortex - obviously we are only interested in the parts that map - the rest can be discarded for the sake of conversation - so when mapping the mind to the neocortex we are mapping to columns and layers and the grid of columns in each layer - very powerful to be sure. Ah, the last two paragraphs I just wanted to add in for the hell of it, however what you said before: We get things right and we think rationally only to the extent sufficient to get us by. It's amazing how often we make leaps of logic and lucky guesses; well the neocortex can do that by itself and that is exactly what it does. encode_decode Philosopher Posts: 1215 Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind An aside . . . I want to touch briefly on similar thoughts - you know, analogies and such - to do this I want to use an orthogonal array to demonstrate. Remember I was talking about projection and interpolation. We have already pretty much defined projection so lets not waste anymore space and just define interpolation: From Google dictionary, noun: interpolation; plural noun: interpolations 1. the insertion of something of a different nature into something else. - "the interpolation of songs into the piece" ♦ Mathematics the insertion of an intermediate value or term into a series by estimating or calculating it from surrounding known values. "yields were estimated using linear interpolation" 2. a remark interjected in a conversation. "as the evening progressed their interpolations became more ridiculous" We can use the following array as a 2D plane - what we are really interested in is how interpolation is going on. Remember we have projected a small part of the mind(which is obsessed with 1's and 2's) onto this array: Code: Select all Hello world!I am output from a 2D array . . . 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 2 Notice that the four ordered pairs (2-tuples) formed by the rows restricted to the first and third columns, namely (1,1), (2,1), (1,2) and (2,2) are all the possible ordered pairs of the two element set and each appears exactly once. The second and third columns would give, (1,1), (2,1), (2,2) and (1,2); again, all possible ordered pairs each appearing once. The same statement would hold had the first and second columns been used. This is thus an orthogonal array of strength two. Regarding the word "strength"; the word "strength" can be replaced by the word "weight" from the previous post. I think what is interesting to note here is that in the array there are twelve slots(3 x 4) and we only need 8 namely (1,1), (2,1), (1,2) and (2,2) - so rather than having all of the original slots we weight down to 8 - a saving of 4. We can discard the last column to be used for something else later in our brains life - plasticity again. Hopefully you can abstractly see the connection to analogy going on. An inefficient example to say the least but the brain is a lot more efficient. Interestingly there is a thing called, Orthogonal array testing: Wikipedia wrote:Testing: Orthogonal array testing is a black box testing technique which is a systematic, statistical way of software testing. It is used when the number of inputs to the system is relatively small, but too large to allow for exhaustive testing of every possible input to the systems. It is particularly effective in finding errors associated with faulty logic within computer software systems. Orthogonal arrays can be applied in user interface testing, system testing, regression testing and performance testing. The permutations of factor levels comprising a single treatment are so chosen that their responses are uncorrelated and hence each treatment gives a unique piece of information. The net effect of organizing the experiment in such treatments is that the same piece of information is gathered in the minimum number of experiments. Read more . . . And yes I took the array and the paragraph underneath it from Wikipedia. The beauty of inefficient examples is that they are usually easier to understand and help us to intuit things more quickly. Oh yes - we are not twisting truths here, instead we are performing mind bending madness - this borders truths quite well . . . It really is quite strange how, "same" and "different" work when it comes to the brain . . . paradox. Think additions and subtractions - these are analogies - but how? we can see by looking outside of the black box. encode_decode Philosopher Posts: 1215 Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind gib Awesome, we are finally down to a few things I need to answer - again I might answer more than once - just a heads up. I am not going to go too in depth here because there are so many things I want to get off my chest - we were talking about an article I read but this post does have some relation to this thread which is why I have placed it here. Yeah - I am not a huge fan of QM. I have also read some data that points to correlation implying causation - that tells me that there is something up with QM. To which you responded: gib wrote:Hmmm... well, if you can remember the source, I sure would like to know about this. I should be able to dig the source up quite easily gib - no problem. gib wrote:I took a course in statistics for my psyc undergrad, and I remember one of our projects was to look for studies and find at least 5 in which the authors made really blatant mistakes like that. You'd be surprised how many articles out there draw causal conclusions based on a correlation only. I might be very surprised as a matter of fact but nothing would surprise me these days Oh, you are probably better at statistics than I - that might be an important tidbit - I guess we might find out later - it does not bother me if I make errors only that I do not know about them. gib wrote:It wasn't hard to find all 5. Other mistakes included "fudging" statistical significance--as in: their study could not prove that their conclusions had a 99% chance of being right so they lowered the standard to a 95% chance of being right. Or increasing the sample size: did you know that you can prove a correlation exists between any two arbitrary variables you want so long as your sample size is large enough? (whether that correlation is positive or negative is another matter). Very, very interesting, and to think a good sense of intuition picks up these things in an instant(not literally) when traversing the world and interacting with people. Correlations are just as useful as causation when it comes to modelling the brain as we have seen. gib wrote:Anyway, back to QM, if they're really scrupulous about being scientific, then the way you establish a cause (and not just a correlation) is by setting up the experiment so that you clearly have a dependent variable (the effect) and an independent variable (the cause). The assumption is that the independent variable has its own cause which determines it (you!) leaving no other option than to identify the independent variable as the cause of the dependent variable. Philosophically speaking, you could question this assumption, but it seems reasonable enough to me to justify the identification of a cause. So long as QM experiments are adhering to this design, I'd say they are in the right to identify the independent variable as the cause. Yeah, this is a great way to explain it. I will dig that article up so you can read it. OK - I have a lot of other stuff to cover so I will be back later. encode_decode Philosopher Posts: 1215 Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind From way back when . . . Before I started taking my medications, my mind was so full of thoughts I am not even sure whether I was making sense to myself - it felt like I was at the time. This post is just my thoughts from a while back - when my mind was a lot more muddled - I am not sure how much this will be worth but I am going to put it here and see what I can pick out from it that may be useful - I will pick it apart over time. This might be encouraging of dialog. I will try my best to reverse engineer what I mean by the concept of meaning(this was a first pass attempt): The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. {Being able to see similarity in otherwise unrelated topics} Using the knowledge acquired throughout life to compare with newfound knowledge to either instantly get some meaning or with thought, work it out. The total sum of experience from birth to the present. {Just a tool to perform step one} By asking something abstract and only using the accumulated information in ones memory it is possible to derive meaning from anything. {accumulated information being the total sum plus the newfound} abstract impression = total sum[derivativeSimilarities]/newfound answer = analogy derived from: abstract impression integrated answer = answer ∫ newfound integrated answer = meaning I imagine this being a driver to our imagination which may lead to the ultimate question/s and answer/s. I am guessing that seeds of meaning initiate when the quotient is obtained from derivativeSimilarities and newfound. Skipping a step or two we can use an integrated impression to drive a question for further knowledge. The propagation of meaning can then be drawn from the answer and question laterally. It also looks like this reverse engineers itself; in some obscure fashion. So that covers the stuff that is kind of baffling me and I think I am making some sort of mistake and that is why I am not getting the result I want. Classically: When an equal amount is taken from equals, an equal amount results. meaning = meaning Analogy on the other hand is just confusing; how we can somehow end up with an invention based upon some partial derivative knowledge. If on the other hand I go with my mixing of concepts here, then it would possibly be where the concepts intersect or correlate. Right on with the ambiguity in that we seem to use a lot of interpretation to derive meaning. So if interpretation is where meaning lies then there seems to be more than one version of truth. The direction on the other hand may arrive at the definite like 1 + 1 = 2. Mathematically I think it is like a system of equations where each equation or part of the system has the flexibility to be just a little different from its counterpart peers ending with some sort of normalization in the system. The resulting normalization being the derivative meaning. Do you think that there is a limit to the representations anyway? ; for each individual? ; Meaningful ones I mean! I am thinking that meaning is derived in some purely mental manner but I can see how this could be different depending on the factors involved ending up at such conceptual states like; did the tree in the woods really fall if no-one was there to witness it? I am guessing that meaning is somehow intertwined with the driving forces of life itself; possibly a bunch of quanta that somehow link. Apparently in the "quantum world" - correlation can imply causation. The question is intended to be of the open type(ambiguous). Maybe I don't even understand the meaning of the question that I seek the answer to. My attempt at some poorly delivered humor. Maybe the question and answer are circular dependencies. I am not even sure how much of these thoughts I agree with anymore but I needed to post it so that when I read through this thread again I might interpolate the information into a useful place in my mind. Yes, it is related to meaning as opposed to brain and mind - but meaning is related to brain and mind too. encode_decode Philosopher Posts: 1215 Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind Hey encode, you've given me a lot to parse through here. I may not get to this right away, but I will get to it. Stay tuned... My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry I don't care about income inequality, I care about the idea that there are people who have actual obstacles to success. -Ben Shapiro ...we hear about the wage gap, the idea that women are paid significantly less than men--seventy two cents on the dollar--that's absolute shear nonesense--it is absolute nonesense--in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in America, women make 8% more money than men do in their peer group. That wage gap is growing, not shrinking. -Ben Shapiro We're in a situation now where students can go to university and come out dumber than when they went in. They are infantalized by safe space and trigger warning culture, the idea that interogating a new idea, coming into contact with a school of thought or a person that doesn't conform to your prejudices is somehow problematic, that it gives rise to trauma. -Milo Yiannopoulus Fuck your feelings, snowflake -Milo Yiannopoulos gib resident exorcist Posts: 8791 Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm Location: in your mom ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind encode_decode wrote:For the sake of our exploration it can be said that brain and mind are synonymous. Do not start with that premise because that is not true and that would lead you towards a wrong direction. Both are different entities and execute different works too. encode_decode wrote:How is it that we work out what the brain is doing? How is it that we work out what the mind is doing? The methodology of working out is very difficult. There are some certain means of actual physical verification but very demanding in nature, and certainly not within everyone's reach. Yes, one can get somewhat closer the reality by philosophy, yet not exactly there. As far as their work is concerned, brain provide collective inputs of all the sense organs to the mind, mind analyze that provided information and if necessary, it asks brain to give command to some body parts as to suit mind. with love, sanjay zinnat Philosopher Posts: 3515 Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:27 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind Hey gib Thank you for responding. gib wrote:Hey encode, you've given me a lot to parse through here. I may not get to this right away, but I will get to it. Stay tuned... I am absolutely in no hurry and have no expectations at all - my suggestion is to only respond to that which talks to you - if that is all of it then so be it. If it is none of it then so be it. I am certain that you will respond to some of it though. I was just so damn inspired that I really went crazy with it. Man I think the topic of this post is "it". encode_decode Philosopher Posts: 1215 Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind zinnat I do try my best to exhaust as many pathways as possible . . . zinnat wrote: encode_decode wrote:For the sake of our exploration it can be said that brain and mind are synonymous. Do not start with that premise because that is not true and that would lead you towards a wrong direction. Both are different entities and execute different works too. Goodness no, that is not my stance - I firmly believe the mind and body are two different things - to me they are connected. That was an invitation for those that believe otherwise - to which they still do not have good proof. The proof that I see is that the brain responds to the mind. zinnat wrote: encode_decode wrote:How is it that we work out what the brain is doing? How is it that we work out what the mind is doing? The methodology of working out is very difficult. There are some certain means of actual physical verification but very demanding in nature, and certainly not within everyone's reach. Yes, one can get somewhat closer the reality by philosophy, yet not exactly there. As far as their work is concerned, brain provide collective inputs of all the sense organs to the mind, mind analyze that provided information and if necessary, it asks brain to give command to some body parts as to suit mind. with love, sanjay Exactly. Thank you zinnat. Do we call you zinnat or sanjay? encode_decode Philosopher Posts: 1215 Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind encode_decode wrote:Hardware - > Brain Firmware - > Instinct Software - > Mind Taking a computer as an analogy - body - hardware brain - firmwere mind - software consciousness - computer operator (shruti/ruh) with love, sanjay zinnat Philosopher Posts: 3515 Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:27 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind encode_decode wrote:Thank you zinnat. Do we call you zinnat or sanjay? Sanjay is my real name while zinnat is a screen one. You can choose whatever you want. with love, sanjay zinnat Philosopher Posts: 3515 Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:27 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind Sanjay!!! I haven't seen you in these parts for ages. I was told you couldn't stand Turd so you left. Well, I haven't seen him around these parts in a while, so welcome back. Encode... stay tuned... My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry I don't care about income inequality, I care about the idea that there are people who have actual obstacles to success. -Ben Shapiro ...we hear about the wage gap, the idea that women are paid significantly less than men--seventy two cents on the dollar--that's absolute shear nonesense--it is absolute nonesense--in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in America, women make 8% more money than men do in their peer group. That wage gap is growing, not shrinking. -Ben Shapiro We're in a situation now where students can go to university and come out dumber than when they went in. They are infantalized by safe space and trigger warning culture, the idea that interogating a new idea, coming into contact with a school of thought or a person that doesn't conform to your prejudices is somehow problematic, that it gives rise to trauma. -Milo Yiannopoulus Fuck your feelings, snowflake -Milo Yiannopoulos gib resident exorcist Posts: 8791 Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm Location: in your mom ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind gib wrote: I was told you couldn't stand Turd so you left He is just a naughty and silly child to me who thinks very high of himself. I took a pause because of some personal reasons. I had some serious disagreements with my employer thus quit his job. As i have to earn money so i stared trading in stock market as i am familiar with it since long. So, i was busy in all that stuff. Posting at a philosophy forum is a serious thing to me, not a time pass. And, I am not a kind of multitasker by nature and cannot focus on many things at one time thus stopped posting. That is all. Even now i would have to very selective. with love, sanjay zinnat Philosopher Posts: 3515 Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:27 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind You may not believe it, only a couple of days ago I thought of you, was wondering if you would ever return. Voila! here you are! HA! How strange. May I also extend a welcome back to you. The man that walks his own road, walks alone Old Norse Proverb A Shieldmaiden Philosopher Posts: 2048 Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:13 am ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind zinnat wrote: encode_decode wrote:Thank you zinnat. Do we call you zinnat or sanjay? Sanjay is my real name while zinnat is a screen one. You can choose whatever you want. with love, sanjay I am Aaron - I will call you Sanjay. encode_decode Philosopher Posts: 1215 Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind gib wrote:Sanjay!!! I haven't seen you in these parts for ages. I was told you couldn't stand Turd so you left. Well, I haven't seen him around these parts in a while, so welcome back. Encode... stay tuned... No worries gib. I might go have a coffee before I rest - backwards thing to do. encode_decode Philosopher Posts: 1215 Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind encode_decode wrote:I am Aaron - I will call you Sanjay. That is fine to me. with love, sanjay zinnat Philosopher Posts: 3515 Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:27 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind A Shieldmaiden wrote:You may not believe it, only a couple of days ago I thought of you, was wondering if you would ever return. I am sticky person by nature. Generally, i do not stick to things or persons easily but after sticking once, i rarely leave. Voila! here you are! HA! How strange. May I also extend a welcome back to you. Thanks. with love, sanjay zinnat Philosopher Posts: 3515 Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:27 pm ### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind encode_decode wrote: More or less Abstract Here we look at many facets or aspects of the brain and mind to understand meta-information and regular information and any information as it relates to the brain and mind. We break the brain and mind up into disciplines, concepts and anything else that comes along. We are free in the Sandbox to explore the brain and the mind. Anything goes as long as we are making sense of working out the brain and mind . . . Definitions When defining the title 'On Computing the Brain and Mind' It is important to have in mind some definitions of the three most important words in the title: Computing, Brain and Mind. I do not want to use any specific definition - by this I mean I want to keep flexibility in the conversation especially to begin with. The idea is that we are trying to make sense of how we work out the brain and mind. Everything in the definitions is valid to use. ≡ Computing and compute, from Google dictionary: ► Computing as a noun is the use or operation of computers - in a sentence looks like this: "developments in mathematics and computing". ► As a verb, compute is to reckon or calculate (a figure or amount) - in a sentence looks like this: "the hire charge is computed on a daily basis". ► Informally, compute means to seem reasonable; make sense - in a sentence looks like this: "the idea of a woman alone in a pub did not compute". synonyms for compute: calculate, work out, reckon, figure, enumerate, determine, evaluate, assess, quantify, put a figure on; add up, add together, count up, tally, total, totalize; measure; tot up; cast Origin: early 17th century: from French computer or Latin computare, from com- ‘together’ + putare ‘to settle (an account)’. ≡ Brain, from Google dictionary: ► an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating centre of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity. ≡ Mind, from Google dictionary: ► the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought. For the sake of our exploration it can be said that brain and mind are synonymous. Two of many questions How is it that we work out what the brain is doing? How is it that we work out what the mind is doing? We are not necessarily here to answer these two questions as there are many more questions . . . . . . these two questions set for us a theme to work with . . . Initial Topic - Scanning - A Dirty Intro Here a dirty intro is to be taken as an intro written on the fly with no hardcore thought put into it . . . Scanning the brain in order to understand its ability to process patterns of information. From Google dictionary: to scan is to look at all parts of (something) carefully in order to detect some feature. - in a sentence looks like this: "he raised his binoculars to scan the coast" First we must understand that scanning is not just about technology - in this context we are looking at something with care to detect a feature. Although previously I have mentioned flexibility, so any of Google's definitions will suffice. There is quite a bit of inference going on to say the least - to say this is done without errors is quite silly. The inference is made on the following: Cutting up the neocortex - delightful, brain scans(neuroimaging) - there are at least ten we could choose from. Interestingly the idea of neuroimaging goes back a long way and its life actually starts out in blood circulation over 120 years ago but anyway. PET and fMRI scans are very useful. EEG has added much data despite its spatial limitations - there is no substitute for cutting the brain up. Obviously microscopes(optical and electron based) give plenty of visual data. A little bit of psychological data can go a long way to get started. Philosophically we have been asking many questions about the brain and mind for a long time. By scanning data whether by computer or making sense with our minds we are able to make many conclusions by looking for correlations in available data. We are also able to create metadata that can be graphed for visual reference. Let the ambiguity begin . . . encode, For the sake of brevity, I'm going to respond with summarized responses to whole posts. ^ This post here--good intro--but it does not yet get into how to answer the question: how do we scan the brain to find pattern recognition? By pattern recognition, we are talking about how the mind recognizes objects or properties or events based on how well it matches similar patterns from past experience. What would we be looking at in the brain--via an fMRI scan, for example--such that we could say: ah, the brain is recognizing a pattern in its sensory input. encode_decode wrote:The lecture sounds interesting - is it available on video? Look up John Searle on iTunes. He teaches 3 courses at Berkeley Universe (or at least he did)--the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of society, and the philosophy of language--and at least from 2010 to 2013, he's been recording each course and uploading them (for free download) to iTunes. There's also a course on the philosophy of mind that he produced for The Teaching Company. <-- These guys became www.thegreatcourses.com and ever since the change I have not been able to find Searle's course. But I do have a copy. If you really want it, PM me and I will deliver. Needless to say, I forget in which of the above Searle mentions the comparison of the brain to the catapolt, but I know it's somewhere in there... like a needle in a haystack Do you think causation is important when looking at the brain? I do . . There certainly is an explanation for the brain. I am just getting warmed up so please be patient. Absolutely! I believe the brain is a physical system subject to the laws of cause and effect like any other system. Some would like to say that quantum indeterminism is at work in the brain, and that special mechanisms in the neurons of the brain are able to take this indeterminism and amplify it to the level of whole neurons... so instead of only being able to observe quantum indeterminism at the level of particles, we should be able to observe it at the level of neurons... and since neurons are like amplifiers of behavior (i.e. a few neurons firing can determine the actuality or suppression of a specific behavior), they say that this quantum indeterminism can account for behavior as well; the idea they are aiming for in the end is to explain free will. If it feels like we choose our behavior out of free will, it's because it is free--that is, non-deterministic--and that indeterminism starts at the sub-atomic level with particles inside neurons. But until the science is out on this, I'm placing my bets on ordinary mechanics as the best account for the functions of the brain. I have no problem with the idea of indeterminism at the level of particles, but I'm holding by breath on quantum consciousness. encode_decode wrote:I suggest we model the system on our mind rather than the brain. Hopefully this will become evident in the next post. Well, that's more or less what I was getting at when I said we figure out the algorithms computers are to run based on introspecting our minds. If we look at the history of the development of computers and the history of the development of the brain sciences, we see that they go hand in hand; the 50s were the golden decade for the brain sciences, and only a decade later we saw the emergence of computers. The key principle that was carried over from the brain science to computer design was the way in which the brain seemed to process information as electric signals travelling down the axons of neurons and either being propagated to other neurons or being blocked by inhibiting neurons. From this, we got wires with electric signals travelling down their length and being propagated to other wires through logic gates or being blocked by different logic gates. (The brain also has chemical signals that allow the signal to jump across the synaptic gap, but that wasn't carried over to computers). That seems to be the general principle underlying more or less all circuit design. However, when it comes to designing specific circuits which are to carry out specific functions, we fall back on introspection. Adders, for example, are based on the principle "long addition" (I think it's called). It's the principle of adding two large numbers by adding consecutively each digit in each number. So the units get added first, then tens, then the hundreds, and for each addition, we carry the 1 if we have to. We didn't get this method by studying the brain under a microscope, we simply took a moment out to think (i.e. introspect) and imagined doing addition in the way. Since we are satisfied that this method is algorithmic (i.e. it works flawlessly), we figure: let's apply it to design a computer circuit that carries out addition. So now computers all over the world have a little circuit inside them that gets recruited any time we need to do addition. It even has a component for carrying the 1. Who knows if this circuit looks anything remotely like the neural circuitry in the brain that comes into play when we do long addition in our heads--it might be completely different--so I would agree that we model computer circuitry after the algorithms we construct in our minds rather than the neural designs the brain is built on. Not that the latter are wrong or substandard, but it seems to me that if the brain is design to (at least as one of its functions) come up with algorithms for solving certain kinds of problems (and these algorithms we arrive at consciously via introspection), it is the results of this process that we want to apply to computer design, not the machinery used to produce those results. The machinery is built to come up with algorithm, but that doesn't mean it is running algorithms when coming up with those algorithms (certainly not necessarily the most optimal algorithms). The brain is more often based on heuristics than algorithms, so we have to be careful when we attempt to model computers after the brain. The general principle of neurons being used to process information is a good one to model circuit design after, but when it comes to which specific algorithms to build into the circuit, we are better off modeling that after what we come up with using our imaginations and intelligence. encode_decode wrote: gib I am warmed up now - time to get more in depth into this exploration . . . I am really going to go for this - like crazy. There is no time like the present for me or even yourself to really run wild with concepts, ideas, thoughts, words or whatever about the brain or mind. Do not feel obligated to answer everything - there is going to be a lot - believe me - feel free to only answer that which interests you or all of it. I will happily read and respond to everything you type. Sandbox is a playground . . . as Arcturus Descending says. There are probably going to be some breaks in logic - because I am going to get the thoughts out as quickly as possible - that is what questions are for - to clear up any mishap I might introduce. There might be spelling mistakes and bad grammar - I will happily get over that if you are happy to ignore it and press on. I really like the idea of just going like crazy. Ever feel like this guy? I know I do... gib wrote:Of course, we've designed computers to model the brain in specific ways only--doing math, solving logical problems, and even doing things like rendering art and running video games--all things that the human brain can do but much better. We have with certainty designed computers. They do model parts of the brain in specific ways. I am going with the mind rather than the brain - why? because no matter what the mind can still be differentiated from the brain - even if only abstract. Two forms of logic - soft logic - hard logic. The rendering art and running video games I will leave aside for the time being and I will return to the specific ways of doing mathematics and solving logical problems. One challenge in AI has been to model the game GO - perhaps you have heard of it - it is incredible for a couple of reasons - eventually you shall see how they relate to this conversation: Wikipedia wrote:Despite its relatively simple rules, Go is very complex, even more so than chess, and possesses more possibilities than the total number of atoms in the visible universe. Compared to chess, Go has both a larger board with more scope for play and longer games, and, on average, many more alternatives to consider per move. We were able to model Chess in the 70's or 80's(don't quote me on that). As you are probably already aware you can play Chess against the computer. Many in the field of artificial intelligence consider Go to require more elements that mimic human thought than chess. Chess has on average 37 legal moves per turn compared with 150 to 200 average legal moves for GO. Wikipedia wrote:The game was invented in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago, and is therefore believed to be the oldest board game continuously played today. It was considered one of the four essential arts of the cultured aristocratic Chinese scholar caste in antiquity. The earliest written reference to the game is generally recognized as the historical annal Zuo Zhuan(c. 4th century BCE). I added this for a little historical context - to read the whole article which is actually quite lengthy click here. Now if we were to consider how the computer models GO compared to a brain I think that we would find the two very different. Our mind however would be similar and just a bit slower. I am still claiming that computers are a result of the mind and not the brain - but this can get ambiguous of course. I would agree. The algorithms we programmed into computers in order to play GO are taken from those ancient Chinese thinkers who invented the game. Right? So we modeled it after their minds. Who knows what their brains were doing. Neurons themselves are quite a bit different to logic gates or even combinations of them. These gates are the AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, EXOR and EXNOR gates. Digital circuits are of course modeled using combinations of logic gates. When we are building a computer we are building a mass of gates - in many ways different to the brain. We can put software on the hardware. We have to do conversions from binary all the way up to English with many layers in between - these are called abstractions. True, I don't think we'd find the equivalent of AND, OR, etc. gates in the brain, but we do have "gates". There are two kinds of synaptic gaps in the brain: excitatory (allows the signal through) and inhibitory (stops the signal in its tracks). The inhibitory connections are like a rudimentary NOT gate. I'm guessing this was the inspiration for inventing the NOT gate. AND, OR, NAND, NOR, XOR, XNOR <-- these are all complexes of the NOT gate, and I don't think we'd find them in the brain, at least not in the form of synaptic gaps, but since we are obviously capable of understanding the logic behind "X AND Y", there's obviously some kind of neural circuitry in the brain for processing that understanding (this incidentally is a perfect example of what I was talking about earlier: the neural circuitry in the brain is obviously far more complex than it needs to be--no AND gate per se but probably something on the order of several thousand neurons working together to figure out how to computer AND--yet the end product is a very simple and elegant algorithm, one that can be introspected and therefore implement as the AND gates we see in computers). The mind sits on top of the brain as the software sits on top of the hardware - then there is the case of firmware of which analogies can be made: Hardware - > Instinct Firmware - > Mood Software - > Emotion Hardware - > Brain Firmware - > Instinct Software - > Mind Or however else one wants to divide things up . . . . . . obviously it is these divisions that we work with when we discuss these sorts of things . . . . . . the divisions are a matter of convenience and . . . . . . standards are just divisions that we agree upon . . . So don't take anything too literally? Is that what you mean? Despite Go's relatively simple rules, Go is very complex - so with some relatively simple logic rules we are able to build a brain, which is complex - however the mind is a completely different kettle of fish. To get at the mind we must first enter through the brain. The brain is something that we are able to take out of the skull and sit on a bench ready to chop up. The full brain sitting on the bench is intact - a logic circuit. Plasticity - huh - totally estimated the wrong way - thoughts and memories et cetera are able to be interpolated and interwoven - id est a new circuit is not created for every thought or every memory as is suggested by plasticity. Go possesses more possibilities than the total number of atoms in the visible universe - all in a 19×19 grid of lines - the brain is a lot more complex, obviously, so it possesses more possibilities than the total number of possibilities of Go. Why do I make such a big deal about the mind then? The mind sits atop of the brain - simple - the mind possesses more possibilities than the brain through its ability to interpolate thoughts and interweave memories. Why then through out our life do we not come up with thoughts and memories that are more than the total number of atoms in the visible universe? A good question to leave unanswered I think. I'm guessing because this astronomically massive number is the quantity of possibilities, not actualities. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on what the mind is compared to the brain, and how they related to each other. You said before that you are not a dualist, but I would guess otherwise after hearing this. Obviously, words can be deceptive. gib wrote:This more or less addresses the second part above--why we don't design computers to make mistakes or have opinions--because at the end of the day, they're still tools. We design and used them as replacements to our own manual efforts--and not just because we're lazy, but because we make mistakes. This less addresses the second part above. You are right they are tools - powerful and scary tools - but the tools that sit in the driver seat are much scarier. We make many more mistakes than a computer. You can see that I mostly agree with you and no doubt may sense some disagreement - but this is good I think. gib wrote:We also leave out the ability of computers to form their own opinions because, as tools, we want to have full control over them. We want them to do exactly what we tell them, like mechanical slaves. Programming them to have their own opinions which might conflict with ours (e.g. Me: I want you to allocate$500,000 to defense spending. Computer: in my opinion, I think that money would be better spent on education) is avoided because that too would make them less tool-like and more of an "equal" (who could use us as tools just as much we can them).

What does it take to form an opinion? The mind of course - what do we know about the mind? Itself is complex as is the underlying substrate(the brain). Is our brain a mechanical slave to our mind? It had to be asked because it just came into my mind. We agreed earlier on in the year that we program ourselves and others through communication and information et cetera or something along them lines.

But what does it take to form an opinion?

► Hard logic is what the brain works with.
► Firm logic is akin to instinct.
► Soft logic is what the mind works with.

Does the human mind really render art and run video games better than a computer? Depends on context, perspective et cetera - I think I get the gist of what you originally meant though. Such minute details really are not so important in this type of conversation. Crazy, crazy and more crazy . . .

What does it take to form an opinion? You mean, what are the steps in building one? Like a recipe for baking a cake? God, how am I supposed to know?! But I do think a motive is required, a desire for some kind of outcome that serves your own interests. If I work for the military, my livelihood depends on war. It keeps me in business. So my opinion may be that war is sometimes necessary. If I were a school teacher or a stay home dad, on the other hand, fearing for the lives of the children I oversee, I may be steadfast against war. I think that our personal interests and biases dictate our opinions far more than logic and rationality. We build the logic and rationality underlying our opinions after the fact. Before that, we (unconsciously) assess what would be the best and most closely within reach outcome and decide right then and there what opinions to hold. Then we go to work forming arguments and justifications for them.

encode_decode wrote:
gib

Now obviously I have split these posts up with good reason, because the responses get quite lengthy.

In another post you wrote: We have to remember that our brains evolved through a process of natural selection, it wasn't designed on purpose. We get things right and we think rationally only to the extent sufficient to get us by. It's amazing how often we make leaps of logic and lucky guesses. We infer so much by instinct. For example, I'm preparing a barbecue, I ask a friend: can you go out and get burgers? I don't need to specify that I mean buy burgers from the grocery store, not kill a cow and gut the meat out of him. How is it that the brain automatically knows the right interpretation? To which I responded: I would suggest the brain does it from pattern matching and differentiation - I would further conclude that this is also how new thoughts evolve - epiphanies. To which you responded:

gib wrote:You mean like: please go get [food item X]. <-- This matches past patterns of requests to get food items in which the person went to the grocery store to fulfill the request. And thoughts that evolve--epiphanies--is this the brain doing the occasion break from following patterns?

You are right on here in the way you comprehended what I was saying. There is a separate matching pattern for each food item - so closely related some items are, that the brain gets lazy and interpolates similar items to minimize storage of patterns - interweaves the memory imprint into similar existing imprints - why? we do not know - there is so much room available for storage it is crazy, perhaps that is why we are able to build epiphanies. Your usage of the word evolve is very cool - it is a convergence of sorts.

From one of my other threads - on the topic of emotions(keep in mind this model is in a state of transition):

I have two emotional sets - the first is directed at the self and the second is directed at others.

I like to group my emotional sets in to two basic groups:

► Negative Emotions

► Positive Emotions
From here other emotions are built over time via two more sets of emotions - evolutionary emotions and configuration emotions - by evolutionary I mean that I will attempt to at the very least account for hereditary characteristics, personal evolution is something I am taking into account separate from configuration - by configuration I mean such things as personal, family, social, love, cultural local, cultural national, cultural global and many others.

Evolutionary emotions are those that happen seemingly by themselves . . .

. . . and . . .

. . . configuration emotions happen with the influence of the conscious mind or external sources . . .
As you can see, we view evolution under a similar pattern. I would suggest the brain is taking a break from following regular patterns when an epiphany seeds the pattern net - I also suggest that Déjà vu, Jamais vu and Presque vu follow a similar logic to seed but I am not sure if seeding is taking place or the seed was already there and some sort of conscious gridlock is taking place. I am still researching mental paradoxes.

gib wrote:Finding whole new patterns? Like: I *could* go to the grocery store, but if I gut the neighbor's cow, the meat will be a lot more fresh and no unhealthy additives! <-- Or is that more insanity than novel thinking?

The mind is usually OK with this but the brain considers it insanity - that is my current way of looking at it anyhow. Either way it is still novel thinking. True insanity is when the brain and mind are in a semi permanent or permanent state of flux as in an irregularity - there is no rational match between the brain and mind - interesting.

I am pretty certain the neocortex is involved in processing poetry and metaphor. To which you responded:

gib wrote:I would not doubt that. Though I would expect many parts of the brain to be involved in processing poetry and metaphor. I'd also point out that the neocortex constitutes a huge portion of the brain, so it's probably involved in a whole bunch of mental processing (in fact, it's been proven). How it processes poetry and metaphor is a more interesting question (at least for me) and I'm sure you're on the right track in your investigations into pattern matching.

Pattern matching is definitely the larger part of the puzzle - for now at least - even glial cells are said to offer some processing among the neural net. As you say there are other parts of the brain involved in processing - this is where things are going to get interesting, let us come back to that sometime in the near future.

From a response to Arc in another thread: I was reading on ScienceDaily that "Poetry is like music to the mind . . . "
. . . here are a few select snippets from that article:

ScienceDaily wrote:. . . New brain imaging technology is helping researchers to bridge the gap between art and science by mapping the different ways in which the brain responds to poetry and prose . . .

. . . Scientists use functional magnetic resonance imaging technology to visualize which parts of the brain are activated to process various activities. But until now, no one had ever looked specifically at the differing responses in the brain to poetry and prose . . .

. . . In research published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, the team found activity in a "reading network" of brain areas which was activated in response to any written material. But they also found that more emotionally charged writing aroused several of the regions in the brain which respond to music. These areas, predominantly on the right side of the brain, had previously been shown as to give rise to the "shivers down the spine" caused by an emotional reaction to music . . .

. . . In a specific comparison between poetry and prose, the team found evidence that poetry activates brain areas, such as the posterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal lobes, which have been linked to introspection . . .

encode_decode: I like to think of it in terms of the mood being a pond and the emotion being a stone that is thrown into the pond eventually the ripples make it back to the edge of the pond.

Arcturus Descending: I liked that analogy. I have often thrown pebbles into a pond and watched the interplay between that pond, pebble and ripples. It is quite beautiful to see and it points out the effect which one single action can have on everything which surrounds us.

encode_decode: Well thank you - I like your response. If the stone is going to the depths of the pond - I wonder what is in the depths of the mood. All this talk about mood and emotions requires one to dig deep.

I find that if I have put an extreme amount of thought into the post when I write it - then I have to spend some time decoding my own writing.
To which you responded:

gib wrote:Well, that certainly makes sense. Makes me wonder: do you think this is typical of people who form their thoughts and opinions "on the fly" so to speak? As opposed to people who draw from long held beliefs and opinions that have remained more or less "solid" over the years. In the latter case, I would expect those people to know exactly what they were talking about even when revisiting old posts after a long period of absence. But if you form your thoughts and opinions more or less "on the fly" then they're more likely to be ephemeral, and you most likely won't remember what you were thinking if you came back to the post after a long period of absence.

To say that, you are implicating you and I in being writers of on the fly content - and I do not think that is necessarily true - I think there is some partial truth sure. Right now I am writing thoughts on the fly - actually more or less throughout this whole thread I have been hovering between long held beliefs and on the fly. Are our thoughts as transient as you indicate with the word ephemeral? Like I have mentioned the brain simply does not make a separate circuit for any thought - this leaves us with weighting in the networks - the more you are thinking about something the more truth is lent to neuroplasticity - lol - sorry - neuroplasticity is great when the brain becomes injured but its truthfulness gets less and less with a healthy mind - remember vicinity and analogy.

Ephemeral thoughts are being weighted for importance - then integrate into the network - if their weight is small then their impact is small - like a small pebble's impact on the pond leaving small ripples. I am sure this makes some sense to you.

Briefly revisiting the neocortex; think about this for a moment, 3D projection is any method of mapping three-dimensional points to a two-dimensional plane. As most current methods for displaying graphical data are based on planar (pixel information from several bitplanes) two-dimensional media, the use of this type of projection is widespread, especially in computer graphics, engineering and drafting. Now let us contemplate the dimension of mind - mapping its dimensional products to the neocortex - this can be done in reverse to map the three-dimensional points of the neocortex back to the mind - hopefully I got that right.

The neocortex has six planes or layers, the first four from memory serve the same purpose - or is it the first three - it does not matter right now. When mapping the mind to the brain - or in this case the neocortex - obviously we are only interested in the parts that map - the rest can be discarded for the sake of conversation - so when mapping the mind to the neocortex we are mapping to columns and layers and the grid of columns in each layer - very powerful to be sure.

Ah, the last two paragraphs I just wanted to add in for the hell of it, however what you said before: We get things right and we think rationally only to the extent sufficient to get us by. It's amazing how often we make leaps of logic and lucky guesses; well the neocortex can do that by itself and that is exactly what it does.

About evolutionary and configuration emotions: if I understand it correctly, an example of an evolutionary emotion might be fear of snakes. Is this right? We may be born with the neural wiring already in place to feel fear upon seeing a snake. <-- We inherit that from our evolution. But configuration emotions would be more like emotions that are built within us by some kind of conditioning or socialization, something that could be wholly new and unique to a particular culture (kind of like abstract concepts, like wormholes for example, which we aren't born with and require teaching). Is this what you mean? And if so, what would be an example?

encode_decode wrote:
An aside . . .

I want to touch briefly on similar thoughts - you know, analogies and such - to do this I want to use an orthogonal array to demonstrate. Remember I was talking about projection and interpolation. We have already pretty much defined projection so lets not waste anymore space and just define interpolation:

From Google dictionary, noun: interpolation; plural noun: interpolations

1. the insertion of something of a different nature into something else.
- "the interpolation of songs into the piece"

♦ Mathematics
the insertion of an intermediate value or term into a series by estimating or calculating it from surrounding known values.
"yields were estimated using linear interpolation"

2. a remark interjected in a conversation.
"as the evening progressed their interpolations became more ridiculous"
We can use the following array as a 2D plane - what we are really interested in is how interpolation is going on.
Remember we have projected a small part of the mind(which is obsessed with 1's and 2's) onto this array:

Code: Select all
Hello world!I am output from a 2D array . . .    1  1  1    2  2  1    1  2  2    2  1  2

Notice that the four ordered pairs (2-tuples) formed by the rows restricted to the first and third columns, namely (1,1), (2,1), (1,2) and (2,2) are all the possible ordered pairs of the two element set and each appears exactly once. The second and third columns would give, (1,1), (2,1), (2,2) and (1,2); again, all possible ordered pairs each appearing once. The same statement would hold had the first and second columns been used. This is thus an orthogonal array of strength two.

Regarding the word "strength"; the word "strength" can be replaced by the word "weight" from the previous post. I think what is interesting to note here is that in the array there are twelve slots(3 x 4) and we only need 8 namely (1,1), (2,1), (1,2) and (2,2) - so rather than having all of the original slots we weight down to 8 - a saving of 4. We can discard the last column to be used for something else later in our brains life - plasticity again.
Hopefully you can abstractly see the connection to analogy going on.

An inefficient example to say the least but the brain is a lot more efficient. Interestingly there is a thing called, Orthogonal array testing:

Wikipedia wrote:Testing: Orthogonal array testing is a black box testing technique which is a systematic, statistical way of software testing. It is used when the number of inputs to the system is relatively small, but too large to allow for exhaustive testing of every possible input to the systems. It is particularly effective in finding errors associated with faulty logic within computer software systems. Orthogonal arrays can be applied in user interface testing, system testing, regression testing and performance testing. The permutations of factor levels comprising a single treatment are so chosen that their responses are uncorrelated and hence each treatment gives a unique piece of information. The net effect of organizing the experiment in such treatments is that the same piece of information is gathered in the minimum number of experiments.

And yes I took the array and the paragraph underneath it from Wikipedia.

The beauty of inefficient examples is that they are usually easier to understand and help us to intuit things more quickly. Oh yes - we are not twisting truths here, instead we are performing mind bending madness - this borders truths quite well . . .

It really is quite strange how, "same" and "different" work when it comes to the brain . . . paradox.

Think additions and subtractions - these are analogies - but how? we can see by looking outside of the black box.

encode_decode wrote:
gib

Awesome, we are finally down to a few things I need to answer - again I might answer more than once - just a heads up. I am not going to go too in depth here because there are so many things I want to get off my chest - we were talking about an article I read but this post does have some relation to this thread which is why I have placed it here. Yeah - I am not a huge fan of QM. I have also read some data that points to correlation implying causation - that tells me that there is something up with QM. To which you responded:

gib wrote:Hmmm... well, if you can remember the source, I sure would like to know about this.

I should be able to dig the source up quite easily gib - no problem.

gib wrote:I took a course in statistics for my psyc undergrad, and I remember one of our projects was to look for studies and find at least 5 in which the authors made really blatant mistakes like that. You'd be surprised how many articles out there draw causal conclusions based on a correlation only.

I might be very surprised as a matter of fact but nothing would surprise me these days Oh, you are probably better at statistics than I - that might be an important tidbit - I guess we might find out later - it does not bother me if I make errors only that I do not know about them.

gib wrote:It wasn't hard to find all 5. Other mistakes included "fudging" statistical significance--as in: their study could not prove that their conclusions had a 99% chance of being right so they lowered the standard to a 95% chance of being right. Or increasing the sample size: did you know that you can prove a correlation exists between any two arbitrary variables you want so long as your sample size is large enough? (whether that correlation is positive or negative is another matter).

Very, very interesting, and to think a good sense of intuition picks up these things in an instant(not literally) when traversing the world and interacting with people. Correlations are just as useful as causation when it comes to modelling the brain as we have seen.

gib wrote:Anyway, back to QM, if they're really scrupulous about being scientific, then the way you establish a cause (and not just a correlation) is by setting up the experiment so that you clearly have a dependent variable (the effect) and an independent variable (the cause). The assumption is that the independent variable has its own cause which determines it (you!) leaving no other option than to identify the independent variable as the cause of the dependent variable. Philosophically speaking, you could question this assumption, but it seems reasonable enough to me to justify the identification of a cause. So long as QM experiments are adhering to this design, I'd say they are in the right to identify the independent variable as the cause.

Yeah, this is a great way to explain it. I will dig that article up so you can read it.

OK - I have a lot of other stuff to cover so I will be back later.

encode_decode wrote:
From way back when . . .

Before I started taking my medications, my mind was so full of thoughts I am not even sure whether I was making sense to myself - it felt like I was at the time. This post is just my thoughts from a while back - when my mind was a lot more muddled - I am not sure how much this will be worth but I am going to put it here and see what I can pick out from it that may be useful - I will pick it apart over time.

This might be encouraging of dialog. I will try my best to reverse engineer what I mean by the concept of meaning(this was a first pass attempt):

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. {Being able to see similarity in otherwise unrelated topics} Using the knowledge acquired throughout life to compare with newfound knowledge to either instantly get some meaning or with thought, work it out. The total sum of experience from birth to the present. {Just a tool to perform step one} By asking something abstract and only using the accumulated information in ones memory it is possible to derive meaning from anything. {accumulated information being the total sum plus the newfound}

abstract impression = total sum[derivativeSimilarities]/newfound

answer = analogy derived from: abstract impression

I imagine this being a driver to our imagination which may lead to the ultimate question/s and answer/s. I am guessing that seeds of meaning initiate when the quotient is obtained from derivativeSimilarities and newfound. Skipping a step or two we can use an integrated impression to drive a question for further knowledge. The propagation of meaning can then be drawn from the answer and question laterally. It also looks like this reverse engineers itself; in some obscure fashion. So that covers the stuff that is kind of baffling me and I think I am making some sort of mistake and that is why I am not getting the result I want.

Classically:

When an equal amount is taken from equals, an equal amount results.

meaning = meaning
Analogy on the other hand is just confusing; how we can somehow end up with an invention based upon some partial derivative knowledge.

If on the other hand I go with my mixing of concepts here, then it would possibly be where the concepts intersect or correlate.

Right on with the ambiguity in that we seem to use a lot of interpretation to derive meaning. So if interpretation is where meaning lies then there seems to be more than one version of truth. The direction on the other hand may arrive at the definite like 1 + 1 = 2. Mathematically I think it is like a system of equations where each equation or part of the system has the flexibility to be just a little different from its counterpart peers ending with some sort of normalization in the system.

The resulting normalization being the derivative meaning. Do you think that there is a limit to the representations anyway? ; for each individual? ; Meaningful ones I mean! I am thinking that meaning is derived in some purely mental manner but I can see how this could be different depending on the factors involved ending up at such conceptual states like; did the tree in the woods really fall if no-one was there to witness it?

I am guessing that meaning is somehow intertwined with the driving forces of life itself; possibly a bunch of quanta that somehow link. Apparently in the "quantum world" - correlation can imply causation. The question is intended to be of the open type(ambiguous). Maybe I don't even understand the meaning of the question that I seek the answer to. My attempt at some poorly delivered humor. Maybe the question and answer are circular dependencies.

I am not even sure how much of these thoughts I agree with anymore but I needed to post it so that when I read through this thread again I might interpolate the information into a useful place in my mind. Yes, it is related to meaning as opposed to brain and mind - but meaning is related to brain and mind too.

I'm afraid this one's over my head too, encode. But I do sense that this is at the core:

encode_decode wrote:abstract impression = total sum[derivativeSimilarities]/newfound

answer = analogy derived from: abstract impression

It reminds me of the Hegelian dialect: thesis --> antithesis --> synthesis. The synthesis will always derive newer higher meaning. <-- Is this within the ball park?
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

I don't care about income inequality, I care about the idea that there are people who have actual obstacles to success.
-Ben Shapiro

...we hear about the wage gap, the idea that women are paid significantly less than men--seventy two cents on the dollar--that's absolute shear nonesense--it is absolute nonesense--in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in America, women make 8% more money than men do in their peer group. That wage gap is growing, not shrinking.
-Ben Shapiro

We're in a situation now where students can go to university and come out dumber than when they went in. They are infantalized by safe space and trigger warning culture, the idea that interogating a new idea, coming into contact with a school of thought or a person that doesn't conform to your prejudices is somehow problematic, that it gives rise to trauma.
-Milo Yiannopoulus

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gib
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### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind

gib

Lets first talk about pattern formation. What you are about to read is an obsolete piece of work for a bot of mine.
We are dealing with FFRL . . .

Do not be concerned if you don't understand all of this because I will cover extra tidbits in my responses to you.
- trust me it is crazy how easy it is to learn this stuff. This bot is directly modeled against the mind.

Pattern Formation - Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition starts at the Inception Stage and builds from there . . .
- the patterns are formed first and recognised later and this I call FFRL(Formed First Recognised Later).

How "things" are formed now(NCC = No Clear Category):

NCC Incept, Incept, Incept . . .
NCC Known, Incept, Known . . .
NCC Noun, Verb, Known . . .
NCC Incept, Verb, Known . . .

Incepts are simply the first time a bot encounters a word . . .
- knowns are simply the second time or greater that the bot has encountered a word . . .
- and is yet to build its relation.

Dad << wait a minute, this word means him, him is my father << basically put.

Which could then be transformed into things like:

S-V Subject-Verb
S-V-O Subject-Verb-Object
S-V-N Subject-Verb-Noun

Which of course with the help of other available data be transformed even more. As you can see this system allows for concurrent formation and recognition in the parsers and on to semantics. Any system this complex needs to build itself.

FFRL allows for harmony between formations and recognition by using the self building K Parser and self building Semantic Analysis.

The first bot can help me build the K Parser and a lot of Semantics. The first bot may be able to help me with a lot of other stuff. What I need the first bot to generate is a whole bunch of sets for the K Parser . . .

Words in this BOT have heirarchies as follows:

Incept -> Known - > Actual Type -> [Abstraction Starts Here]

When the bot chooses the structure it wants to work from it goes something like this:

Level 1 - Incept, Incept, Incept . . .
Level 2 - Known, Incept, Known . . .
Level 3 - Noun, Verb, Known . . . or Incept, Verb, Known . . . so still with Incepts and Knowns but has some types.
Level 4 - Noun, Verb, Noun . . . or some other fully typed convention.
Level 6 - Some form of higher abstraction.
Level 7 - Preferably the ultimate level of abstraction.

encode_decode
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### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind

gib

So with the mind intro out of the way let us focus on a scan. No need to respond to this post because I need to tie a few things together in a simpler way.
It might seem strange to be looking at intermediate information before the simple explanations but it is the best way for me to explain it . . .

For the sake of brevity, I'm going to respond with summarized responses to whole posts.

That is a great idea actually gib.

Sneak preview . . .

DTI Color Map

Good intro--but it does not yet get into how to answer the question: how do we scan the brain to find pattern recognition? By pattern recognition, we are talking about how the mind recognizes objects or properties or events based on how well it matches similar patterns from past experience. What would we be looking at in the brain--via an fMRI scan, for example--such that we could say: ah, the brain is recognizing a pattern in its sensory input.

OK . . . this will take a few passes to get right. The mind and brain work differently - that is the truth for this pass.

In this pass let us briefly cover a few things.

The Synapse

In the brain we need to look at synaptic connections. It is widely accepted that the synapse plays a role in the formation of memory.

As neurotransmitters activate receptors across the synaptic cleft, the connection between the two neurons is strengthened when both neurons are active at the same time, as a result of the receptor's signaling mechanisms.

fMRI

Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. This technique relies on the fact that cerebral blood flow and neuronal activation are coupled. When an area of the brain is in use, blood flow to that region also increases.

The primary form of fMRI uses the blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) contrast, discovered by Seiji Ogawa.

As we can now tell there are different forms of fMRI - we start at a low resolution:

These fMRI images are from a study showing parts of the brain lighting up on seeing houses and other
parts on seeing faces. The 'r' values are correlations, with higher positive or negative values
indicating a better match.

Statistics

Now we wonder how we can get higher resolution and mathematics holds the key as usual: Statistical inference uses mathematics to draw conclusions in the presence of uncertainty. There is much uncertainty in low resolution imaging.

Tensors

When using Diffusion MRI as opposed to fMRI we can apply Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) which is an MRI technique that enables the measurement of the restricted diffusion of water in tissue in order to produce neural tract images instead of using this data solely for the purpose of assigning contrast or colors to pixels in a cross sectional image.

Visualization of DTI data with ellipsoids.

A more precise statement of the image acquisition process is that the image-intensities at each position are attenuated, depending on the strength (b-value) and direction of the so-called magnetic diffusion gradient, as well as on the local microstructure in which the water molecules diffuse.

The principal application is in the imaging of white matter where the location, orientation, and anisotropy of the tracts can be measured. The architecture of the axons in parallel bundles, and their myelin sheaths, facilitate the diffusion of the water molecules preferentially along their main direction. Such preferentially oriented diffusion is called anisotropic diffusion.

Tractographic reconstruction of neural connections via DTI
- Diffusion MRI relies on the mathematics and physical
interpretations of the geometric quantities known as tensors.

Only a special case of the general mathematical notion is relevant to imaging, which is based on the concept of a symmetric matrix. Diffusion itself is tensorial, but in many cases the objective is not really about trying to study brain diffusion per se, but rather just trying to take advantage of diffusion anisotropy in white matter for the purpose of finding the orientation of the axons and the magnitude or degree of anisotropy.

Matrices

The following matrix displays the components of the diffusion tensor:

Sources: Wikipedia

encode_decode
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### Re: On Computing the Brain and Mind

gib

Before I tie some simple information together I am going to briefly answer a couple of paragraphs from your post . . .

gib wrote:I believe the brain is a physical system subject to the laws of cause and effect like any other system. Some would like to say that quantum indeterminism is at work in the brain, and that special mechanisms in the neurons of the brain are able to take this indeterminism and amplify it to the level of whole neurons... so instead of only being able to observe quantum indeterminism at the level of particles, we should be able to observe it at the level of neurons... and since neurons are like amplifiers of behavior (i.e. a few neurons firing can determine the actuality or suppression of a specific behavior), they say that this quantum indeterminism can account for behavior as well; the idea they are aiming for in the end is to explain free will. If it feels like we choose our behavior out of free will, it's because it is free--that is, non-deterministic--and that indeterminism starts at the sub-atomic level with particles inside neurons.

OK good - because most of what I have is based on Cybernetic principles like causal chains - multiple streams of them.

gib wrote:But until the science is out on this, I'm placing my bets on ordinary mechanics as the best account for the functions of the brain. I have no problem with the idea of indeterminism at the level of particles, but I'm holding by breath on quantum consciousness.

I do have some interesting to add here - stay tuned.

Like I said, briefly answered - I will come back to these two paragraphs with more in depth answers . . .

encode_decode
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