the user illusion by TOR NORRETRANDERS
Part 1 computation
Chapter 1 Maxwell's demon
A conscious Ihas prevailed for only 100 generations. The epic of I is going to close.
In 1860 a Scottish physicist named James clerk Maxwell succeeded in summarizing all that was known about the phenomena of electricity and magnet is an in four short equations.
The second law of thermodynamics tells us that energy can appear in more or less usable forms. It describes this very precisely. It says that every time we convert energy (or consume it, we say) it becomes less available; we can get less work out of it.
Wind is more useful than heat for generating current, precisely because it has a direction of motion. Maxwell's equation says Montrose have a certain average the but display a variation of fthe average. So at any given temperature molecules will have different speeds. This allows us to understand evaporation. It's like molecules being rockets that have enough speed to leave orbit.
Though. We cannot tell from the individual molecule to which temperature it belongs. Temperature is a concept that means anything only if we have a lot of molecules that once.
In Newton's universe, time could go backward and we wouldn't be alone to tell the difference.
You could reverse the movement of billiard balls in Newton's laws would still hold.
But thermodynamics are different. Entropy is the expression of the unavailability of given energy. Entropy cannot be reversed.
Therefore entropy in the second law of thermodynamics gives us an understanding of what the passing of time means.
But the irreversible of entropy is really just a measure of our inability to reverse the process. Maxwell's demon shows that the second law thermodynamics applies at our level but not to creatures of great intelligence.
He measures the confusion of molecules. But that confusion is really just our own.
Chapter 2 throwing away information
Can you know about the world without changing it? Know you cannot.
For Maxwell's demon to open and close the trapdoor he has to know about the motion of every single molecule. So you have to measure all the particles. And that costs.
Popper, feyerabend and carnap protested that mental phenomena shouldn't be understood as physical quantities. We can see things in our everyday lives because the light comes from something hotter than the objects in our everyday world. The physicist also needs light in his laboratory in order to build to read ammetersor other instruments. Knowledge costs.
Maxwell's demon does not work because information is a material quantity.
In dealing with this issue,Szilard was able to ask how much a simple piece of knowledge would cost. This has since come to be known as a bit.
This can be made really small if you just copy information that already exists. For example copy machines. But half of the information copy costs are getting rid of the old information.
Calculation is the method of getting rid of the information you're not interested in. In math, we throw away our calculations and keep the answer.
There are macro states and micro states. As humans we like heat and temperature. We don't care about the motion of molecules.
boltzmann explained that entropy is a expression of the member of micros states that correspond to a given macro state. As a room gets hotter, the molecules get faster, and there are more possible micros states. Entropy is a measure of ignorance.
Entropy is not defined until we know the coarseness of the observer.
At Bell Labs, people started measuring how much it costs to transmit messages from one place to another. Shannon said that each letter is a symbol corresponding to twenty six different micros states. Shannon wasn't sure what to call this quantity. He almost all the "information entropy "but instead of any entropy society we have an information society because he called it "the theory of information ".
Yes/no is only two microstates. Actually, each letter is only likely to be followed by a limited amount of others. Therefore each letter has more than one bit of information. Actually for five.
A phone line can transmit 4000 bits per second. A television transmit its 4 million. A good radio 16,000.
Just as entropy any given temperature is an expression of how many different ways the molecules could have been arranged without making any difference, information is an expression of how many ways the letters could have been arranged without requiring another cable.
There is more information in disorder than in order. A mass is hard to describe.
Information is an expression of the difference between being inside a system and outside: temperature vs. molecules; number of characters vs. message.
As long as were outside the system, we can be utterly indifferent to the information inside the gas. But meanwhile we must abide by the second law of thermodynamics because information "entropy ."
Chapter 3 infinite algorithms
no map of the world can ever be made that includes everything, unless the map is the terrain itself; in which case, of course, it is not a map.
Kant realized that human knowledge was based on a number of preconditions that precede experience.
"I am lying." This statement, the paradox of the liar, has plagued European thought for thousands of years. Self reference causes difficulties.
"I cannot be proved."
The truth or correctness of a logical structure or language can ever be proved from within. You have to stand outside the system and say," it is consistent. It hangs together."
Logic can ever do without a man. The consequences this is the death of positivism.
The positivism could collapse this way could have been no surprise to Godel, who was aware thatKant had said all knowledge comes through a priority categories. But Godel was not simply the power of positivism. He was a platonist.
He thought, regardless of whether statements or numbers could be proved or applied, they existed out there before we realize their existence.
Alan Turing showed that you can compete anything that has already been computed. Through experience there is no way of telling when the calculation will be done.
Random numbers cannot be written more concisely. But other numbers can. For example as fractions
Godel showed we cannot propose a general that tells us whether or not a number is random, or whether or not it can be expressed more concisely.
There are far more random numbers and ordered ones.
We can know order when we see it. But we cannot tell the something is random. Order is order to rest is undecided.
Information is a measure of randomness because randomness is a measure of disorder. Information is a measure of how surprise we are; and there are more surprises in disorder than order. Information is only defined when we know the context. One man's order is an enhanced disorder. To know how much information and there is we need to know what to order of the receiver of the information has discovered is. The notions of order and randomness necessarily include an element of subjectivity.
If a theorem contains more information than a given set of axioms, then it is impossible for the theorem to be derived from the axioms.
Chapter 4 the depth of complexity
newtons classical physics is characterized by a majestic order expressed in equations that can be reversed in time: all the processes described are Sunday in regular that they might just as easily happen backward.
Newtons universe is eternal, not changing.
On the other hand, the field of physics that actually does explain friction and other irrevocable irreversible matters and is an utter chaos
time is passing and everything is constantly deteriorating.
Thermodynamics also does not correspond to the world about us: every spring, the trees burst out an orgy of color, birds begin to sing.
Everyday things are so complicated the calculating them cannot be worthwhile. The computer is ending that. It turns out we can generate highly complex world's from even the simplest formula.
Complexity appears midway between the predictable and the unpredictable, the stable and the unstable, the periodic and the random, the closed in the open. Between what we can count on in what we cannot.
The information of a message is in its aerated redundancy. The amount of mathematical or other work plausibly done by its originator, which its receiver is saved from having to repeat. The more calculating time that's gone into the message, the greatest value.
Therefore, the meaning does not arise from the information in the message that arises from the information discarded during the process of formulating the message.
Making things look easy is hard. Nonsense is not deep. Bennet's notion indicates that complexity is something which takes time to arise. Time in which order is created.
It is also characteristic of order that there's no loss of information in its description in superior terms. Total order means one micros states for every macro state. Like a crystal. There's no entropy involved in describing them by their macro state. Totally ordered states have no depth.
It is the distance from the equilibrium that matters. Anything wholly ordered or wholly disordered is stable by definition.
Part two communication
Chapter 5 the tree of talking.
The shortest correspondent in history was ?. Victor Hugo Santa when he wanted to know how his new novel was doing. The publisher replied!.
It was not the number of bits transmitted that was decisive, it was the context of the transmission. What was left out was called ex formation.
From the information content of the message alone, there's no way of measuring how much ex formation the message implies.
A good communicator does not think only of himself; he also thinks about the what the receiver has in his head.
The idea of transmitting information is because a state of mind to arise in the receiver's head that is related to the state of mind and the sender by way of the ex formation referred to in the information transmitted.
Can we transferred ex formation? How can something by definition not present in information nominally transferred a transferred?
The latest interesting aspect of good conversation is what is actually said. What is more interesting is all the deliberations and emotions that take place simultaneously during the conversation in the heads and bodies of the conversers.
The words are merely references to something not present. Information without ex formation is vacuous chatter.
It looks like a seizure of power by industry when the word information has been turned into a totally meaningless word connoting how signals are spread.
Computers have taken attention away from people (as sources or receiver is) to techniques of communication. The technique of information transfer is more interesting than the content. We've mixed up the medium for the message.
But, the semantic aspects of communication are irrelevant to the engineering problems.
The word "information" in communication theory relates not so much to lwhat you do say, as to what you could say.
The history of information theory is provided with numerous attempts to snake that a little meaning into the coldness of its conceptual universe.
Physically the moving of information from place to place is not significant. I the dissolution of Eastern Europe is closely related to the way modern means of communication created noncentralized connections.
To save money, a college student told his parents he would only call on Sundays if he was having trouble. Thereby, by not calling he was transferring information. This is ex formation without information. Victor Hugo has been overtaken.
We know2 plus 2 equals four. But we cannot tell which numbers were used to make four. Computation is a process in which information is discarded. Something we held, the revocable, and irreversible takes place. The whole point of computations is to reduce information unless we discard something along the way, any computation is a waste of time.
But communication is not revocable. Forgetting is a irrevocable.
When making binary choices, the choices means 256 roads not taken.
We don't speak randomly. As a computation, we make summaries. When we say "information" in everyday left, we spontaneously think of information as the result of discarding information.
A saying not structured and organized contains more information, because it is more difficult to describe. We try to be concise. We cannot be bothered to talk about details we talked in macro states.
A message is interesting because it's about something. We exchanged little bits of information but large trees of ex formation.
A composer convert something spiritual/intellectual into a score they can be played by fingers on a key.
Monitoring of the brain reveals weatherperson thinks before he speaks.
When the tape displayed forward, the listening and language centers are activated along with other relevant centers in order to understand the message in what is being said. But when the tape displayed backwards, the entire brain is activated.
In everyday life we perceive message is being rich in information because we do not need to know all the details.
In description we ask is their macro state that will Alice to ignore all whole bunch of micros states?
Children love hearing the same store it over and over again because they're practicing understanding. How can a child gets its way to more information than that present in the narrative? How can a tiny bit of information set of an avalanche of the stock?
How do our thoughts get sorted out before they emerge as speech? Is consciousness also just the result of masses of exclusion? The proverbial tip of the iceberg?
Tens of thousands of identical newspapers are copied from place. Information is multiplied. Ex formation is to. Information is visible. Ex formation becomes visible only a context: it is hard to measure complexity.
Chapter 6 the bandwidth of consciousness
What we perceive at any moment is limited only to a small compartment in the stream of information about our surroundings flowing in from our sense organs.
Every single second, millions of bits of information flood into our senses. But are consciousness processes perhaps 40 bits a second at most.
The eye stands at least 10 million bits to the brain every second. This takes time to process. To be aware of an experience means that it has passed.
Asked to blink open your eyes for second, you can describe what you saw. You may say "lamp." In his only when you examined the picture in your mind I do you also see plant table, another lamp.
It takes you longer to explain to yourself what you thought that it did to think it. Consciousness is much slower in your inner mental life. More happens in your head and you know, unless you stop to think about it.
Notice your leg position, the tightness of your waistband, the taste in your mouth. Your consciousness is not identical to what you perceive. You sense far more than your consciousness of. We are conscious of one thing and a time, one sensory mode delegate at a time.
We can keep seven (plus or minus 2) things in our head and warrants. Of course we chunk. We don't sound out letters. This is disgarding via invoking macrostates.
The bit is the unit of measurement for information that expresses our ability to distinguish among differences.
Symbols are smart. Symbols of the Trojan horses by which we smuggle bits into our consciousness.
It is much harder to memorize the speech completely verbatim by heart, then it is to memorize only a few overall ideas.
Intelligence is about being able to see which macro states best combine all the micros states.
These are like beautiful headlines.
If there are more than 16 pulses a second the ear hears a continuous tone.
We need 24 frames per second on TV.
When we get older the pulses per second weekend hear or see, slowdown. The snail has four a second.
When we have acquired a skill to the degree that it has become automatic weekend process large quantities of information well. This does not mean the information is present in our conscious mind.
Our conscious experience takes an and can put out about 30 bits a second.
Most of what we experience, we can never tell each other about: we experience millions of bits a second but can tell each other about only a few dozen. We can recount everything we are conscious of. All we can do is hope it's the most important bit.
Fairy tales train attractors-meaning magnets, notions that draw stories into them that child learns all whole range of basic plots, learns the significance of heroes and villains, helpers and opponents, minor roles and major ones, action and wisdom. They do so without being adults!
exformation explains why faces and other senses are so important in communication. If you want to know what to bark of a dog means, you look at his sense organs; his eyes, his ears, and his nose.
If there's a contradiction between what is said and what is meant, it can drive you crazy. It is good for you to get mad at people who say one thing verbally and the officer with their bodies.
Snobbery, cliquishness, prejudice, and the persecution of minorities all involve mocking those who do not understand the exformation in the information.
Jokes switch the exformation around the information. Generous laughter is the linguistic consciousnesses awareness of its own paucity. Mean humor is proof of the positive of other People's Symantic or mental information.
Our ability to lie shows that language is a map of the terrain and not the terrain itself. It is harder to edit a radio program than a newspaper article. But not as hard as editing a TV interview.
That is because there's a grammar of facial motion and gestures. If it looks like a person is leading up to a very important point and the tape is cut, we really sense the incongruency.
Chapter 7 The Bomb of Psychology
The belief in subliminal perception has gone up and down in this century. As storm of protest led to a suspension of subliminal messages and commercials in the United States and most of the Western world around 1958.
Again, we now most of the information that passes through a person is not picked up by consciousness.It is seen as dangerous.
But you could also look at this information as good. As vitally important to humanity's ability to survive in civilization.
A ban on research into subliminal perception might prevent abuse by advertisers in the short run, but in the long run it may block the path to important self-knowledge.
In 1619, Descartes said consciousness itself was the one thing no one could doubt. John Locke said and self awareness and ability to see himself were central issues. In English-speaking countries especially it was axiomatic that man was transparent to himself.
Sigmund Freud was a full-scale assault on this concept. Hemholtz studied subliminal condition responses. He showed consciousness must necessarily be a result of unconscious processes, like it or not.
This distrust of introspection led to behaviorism. Carl Jung developed the idea of the self superior to the conscious.
But the unconscious is not merely a morass of repressed sexual desires and for bid and hatred. The unconscious is an active, vital part of the human mind. The capacity of consciousness is simply not big enough to allow much of what happens in our heads to appear in our conscious minds.
Blind people can not only point at dots, they can tell whether a line is horizontal or vertical.
In the '80s, people studied priming a lot. This showed one can learn something from a stimulus that is so brave that one does not perceive it.
In sport it's better that we are not conscious of what we do. We can write but we cannot explain how well we're doing so. Music too.
We also experience temperature oxygen pressure and traffic unconsciously. We need this information to survive.
Consciousness must be smart about what it attends to and what it disregards.
Jaynes origin of consciousness and the breakdown of the bicameral mind proposed that we do a lot automatically. We are not conscious of moments in which we are not conscious.
Some people think that words are totally absent from our minds when we think. Mathematicians and scientists often make discoveries when they're not thinking about the problem.
When did you last have fish for supper? What did you think about well you are considering when you last have fish? What we looking for? Did you make the sound"Er... on the information....um ... available...!" Then bang, you've suddenly got it!
"Er" is aware we used to pretend we are conscious well we're thinking. But in reality, the thinking is unconscious.
As Jaynes says," the process of thinking, so usually thought to be the very life of consciousness, is not conscious at all... only its preparation, its materials in it and results are consciously perceived."
A good thing too. Imagine if the question about the edge meant you had to go back through every meal you had consciously.
Jaynes alternated triangles and circles. The pattern stopped and you had to guess which came next. You don't do so consciously.
Chapter 8 The View from within
Artificial intelligence proceeds man as a creature that functions according to a set of specific rules. But the historical irony is that this research has indicated the central role in the human mind played by the unconscious processes.
Is not that difficult to build computers capable of playing chess or doing sounds. They find it easy to do what we learned at school. That computers have a very hard time learning what children learn before they start school.
Chess seems hard because we have to think about it. Reaching for a cup seems easy. This is because we tend to be most conscious of the things are intelligent brain does lease well, the recent things and evolutionary history such as logic, mathematics, philosophy and general problem solving and planning.
Here he does illusions and blind sight experiments. Implied triangles, and balls that from below and holes lit from above. The vase illusion shows that we distinguish between signal and noise.
Gestalt psychologist showed we perceive holes before we perceive parts. What we experience has acquired meaning before we become conscious of it.
It is not soley the arrangement of our nervous system that gives rise to these illusions. Cultural factors play a large role. Many non-Western cultures do not use perspective in their illustrations.
Kenge looked over the plain and down to a herd of buffalo some miles away. He asked me what kind of insects they were.
Color constancy is done unconsciously. Colors are the result of computations: The colors we see do not exist in the outside world. They arise only when we see them.
Seeing the sky makes us feel alive because seeing colors is an active process. A new sky is a challenge. The colors of nature are deep and fragile and complex.
Reality is a hypothesis or a simulation.
We sense, simulate and then experience. Maybe, for sometimes, we sense and simulate and then act.
The frogs eye tells the frogs brain to snap. Kant's synthetic apriori is built into frogs. They found it.
The frogs brain sees only friends, enemies and the surface of the water. The view isn't "realistic".
The eye speaks to the brain in a language already highly organized and interpreted, instead of just an accurate distribution of light on the retinas.
Rather than 100 million dots, our images are unifies and useful. You see the thing for yourself, not the thing in and of itself. We don't see reality. We see a code that allows us to interface with it.
Our few bandwidth become the red on the firetruck. There is more bandwidth.
How does a bat sense? How do you know ice cream is the same to you and your friend? How do you know they are conscious. You can see the reading in to when a Necker goes 3-d.
An important feature of the neocortex is that almost all the outside information it recieves, with the exception of some olfactory information, passes through the thalamus.
Some say the whole thing is a closed circuit. The description of the outside world is not about the outside world at all, it's about us. We cannot talk of a world without us. The thing in and of itself. We are like a crew on a submarine turning knobs.
Niels Bohr said "it is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature."
How do all o these various perceptions getbound together? It costs to possess knowledge. Computation and cognition consist in discarding information: picking what matters from one does not. Information is more related to disorder than order. Order arises in situations where there's less information then there could have been very information is a measure of how many other messages could have been present. Of what could have been said not what was said.
We remember moments that have a lot of information or exformation attached to them. Consciousness cannot tell itself about subliminal perception or memory choice precisely because it is subliminal.
This creating consciousness also take time? We do not live in real-time at all we experience the world with the delay. This of course allows us time to keep track of all the illusions and solve all of the binding problems.
Part 3 Consciousness
Chapter 9 Half Second Delay
A simple act such as moving a finger starts in the brain whole second before the muscle activity, window we consciously decide to initiate the act? A half second before a move.
But if the brain started sometime before I decided to move my finger, by possess freewill?
Libit documented this with a fast turning clock.
The readiness potential starts at .55 seconds before the act, a consciousness starts at.20 seconds before the act. The conscious decision does takes place.35 seconds after the readiness potential commences.
The wilted periodic and act decided on ourselves occurs almost half the second after the brain has started carrying out the decision.
Libet worked with Penfield.
We snatch our fingers away and then think ouch!
Of course major decisions are taken after lengthy consideration. We spend time deciding whether or not to go shopping. Libet's experiments only talk about immediate conscious experience.
One objection to these results actually confirms something. Consciousness does not hover free. It is tied to the brain.
But the point of consciousness may have been data reduction.
It turns out that a human being feel something only after the cortex has been stimulated by electrical impulses for at least half the second. Shorter stimuli are not experienced at all.
Actually the brain registers skin pricks that take less than half a second, but we are not aware of them. The consciousness was not informed.
If we stimulated the brain directly, and the hand afterwards, we think the hand was stimulated first. The conscious experience is projected back in time. But there's a reason for, we need to know what are skin was prick, not what we became conscious ofit. It is like the blind spot. There may be flaws in the way we sense the world, but we do not experience them.
Bennet said logical data indicated that consciousness must be something that cost a certain amount of time to attain, Libet has given us half a second to play with. Half a second with the most powerful computer and the world: the brain.
From the conscious experience of making the decision until it's carried out,.2 seconds passed. Kant are consciousness managed to stop the act before it's carried out. Yes. Freewill comes through our veto power.
Veto principals have always been common and ethical systems. Most of the ten Commandments are injunctions not to act in certain ways.
The sermon on amount introduces a mental ethic: not only may not lie with your neighbor's wife, you may not even feel like it. The half second delay findings show this is impossible. We can veto the action but we cannot stop the thought.
Hillel's do not do unto others is much more realistic. Unfortunately, the absence of a code of mental ethics and the Jewish tradition can lead to cruelty. If we obide by laws without a mental ethic Shylock may happen.
Since subliminal perception and primary exist we actually know more about what other people think that are consciousness does.
Vetoes appear frequently only in situations that are not themselves frequent. For example: when we are bashful and nervous and trip over our own two feet, stammer, sit down, get out in a strange situation. We keep interrupting ourselves because we may be uncertain of our ability to perform or fear the judgment of others.
The conscious veto is necessary only because their differences between what the conscious will and the non conscious urge our after.
People get drunk to transcend the conscious vetoes.
As long as the unconscious tendencies to act: the same direction as the conscious thoughts and feelings, they are not easily remarked.
People are happiest when it is not their consciousness that selects the non conscious urge is to act. People feel most content when they just act. But the consequence of this observation is that we must face the fact that it is not our consciousness that is in charge when were feeling good. So we must ask: do we possess freewill only when we're feeling bad? Or do we also possess freewill when we feel good? And if so, who possesses it?
Chapter 10 Maxwells Me
Soccer players are not conscious while they're playing. almost all motor reactions must occur before conscious perception of they're triggering stimulus. so we can react to something were not conscious of. we don't know what we've reacted to. it takes longer to decide on an action into react unconsciously to a stimulus.
but the "i" likes to claim responsibility. this happens when we claim we avoided car accidents. consciousness is a piece of driftwood that constantly reassures itself "i am keeping my course".
it is not "i" that disposes, it is "me". me covers more of the brain. this distinction between and i and i me is considerably less "innocent" than it sounds. people are not conscious of very much of what they sense; people are not conscious of very much of what they think; People Are Not Conscious of very much of what they do.
MAN IS NOT PRIMARILY CONSCIOUS. MAN IS PRIMARILY NON CONSCIOUS. THE IDEA OF A CONSCIOUS BY HIS HOUSEKEEPER OF EVERYTHING THAT COMES IN AND GOES OUT OF ONE IS AN ILLUSION; PERHAPS A USEFUL ONE, BUT STILL AN ILLUSION.
this realization can lead to a feeling of anxiety. who am i then?
determinism sees man from without. existentialism sees man from within. turing killed himself because he was gay.
When more speed is required , the eye and its freewill are suspended. The me simply reacts. The eye experience is freewill when the me lets it.
In sports the eye asks the me to suspend the eye.
An actor has a much higher bandwidth than language does. The I can repeat the text, but that is not enough. The Imust allow the me to live apart. With training and rehearsal, the I comes to trust the me. The me is the performance. Yet the I gets all the credit.
Me washes the dishes. Having me in charge gives us great pleasure. Religious practice talks of this. And Maslow calls me in charge "peak experiences".
Sometimes the social I enters into agreements with other i. But the me might not agree. The cohesive force and our social life is something with a very little capacity or been what. I might want to do something by me might not.
Me acts, while the I is accountable to society. The thme of psychotherapy is the I's acceptance of the Me.
Spirituality is I trust my me. Law is I take responsibility for my me. Therapy, I accept my me. Personal Relationships, my me accepts you. Social relationships I accept you.
Discipline is the I telling the me what to do. (don't eat candy and go to bed).
The sickness existentialists describe can be described as the I's lack of contact with the Me. "sickness unto death. The despair of not being conscious that one has a self ( I is adrift) ; the despair of not wishing to be oneself (I don't want to be me), the despair at wishing to be oneself (I would like to be me, but I don't dare) (this one is Kierkegaard's).
CHAPTER 11 THE USER ILLUSION
2000 years of Western thought his urge the view that our actions are the product of the unitary conscious system.
Split brain experiments whow the right side is the Eastern philosophy, the left the western. The right supplies intonation.
When the right brain is shown in the s sign walk, people get up and walk. When asked why they say I'm going to my house to get a Coke. Weaving tales about ourselves is a prime function of consciousness.
The I lies like crazy to create a coherent picture something it does not understand in the slightest.
The sequence is: sensation, simulation, experience. But it is not relevant to know about the simulation, said that is left out of our experience, which consists of an edited sensation that we experience as unedited. Consciousness is depth experience as surface.
In a computer there are no folders, trash cans, or pocket calculators. They're just quantities of zeros and one is in sequence. The user illusion is that we see all these things on the computer screen. We don't need to know what's going on inside. It is an illusion for the aspect of the world they can be affected by oneself.
The I experiences that it is theI that ask; that it is theI that senses; that is theI that banks. But it is the me that does so. I am my user illusion of myself.
We can rotate cubes and our heads. We simulate; make models so that we can compare. In sleep perhaps the brain tests it simulation of reality by trying out new connections or by integrating new memories and experiences. The dream is a user illusion without a user.
Education should engage both information and exformation. Hands-on is the me learning. Formal is the I learning.
People can recognize a picture. But they can't describe it.
Priming shows the difference between implicit and explicit memory. People "guess" the ends of words that they have been previously primed for.
The body remembers faces that the conscious doesn't. Damasio found this out through lie detectors.
The role of the I and learning is precisely to force the non conscious me, to practice, rehearsal, or just attend. The I is the me's Secretary.
The I creates discipline, even though it holds very few bits per second.
In film realism is made by putting in tons of details that folks who are watching aren't aware of consciouly.
Most scientific theories were preceded by practical applications. Steam engines were in use before thermo dynamics pu ttheir behavior into words. People were being cured before folks understood medicine. People spoke before information theory. Science tells us what we already know about the world, but cannot tell eachother.
Chapter 12 THE ORIGINS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The conscious I is the most immediate thing we experience. It precedes all other experiences. But where does it come from.
Jaynes wrote that our consciousness does not mean much for normal functioning.
The human being with abicameral mind has to wait for instructions from the gods: an inner voice that tells them what to do. Is experience of life will not come from conscious recollection and reflection, but through the voices of gods from his non conscious. We function most of the time without I consciousness. We just don't know it, because we're not conscious of it while we do so.
The Odyssey is the story of the earliest origins of consciousness and the temptations the unconscious subjects it to. Odyssious is tempted by many forces from without. Siren songs, evil gians and seductresses who turns suitors into swine. He resists all with his I. He knocks out the cyclopses eye (I).
Solon introduced democracy to Athens in the century when Greek phiosophy was founded by Thales, Anaximander and Pythagoras.
The bible tells the story of the disappearance of the gods to the taking over of the mind by consciousness. Religions with lots of gods correspond to the bicameral mind. Those with just one correspond to the conscious mind.
As people got consciousness, the problem of ethics arose. This is when Moses came down with the commandments. This is a big shift from the Sumerian proverb. "Act promptly, make your god happy". "Greek oracles were the central method of making important decisions for a thousand years after the bicameral mind broke down.
Christianity is, finally, the religion of consciousness. Behavior guided from within, not like the ten commandments (from without).
There are three parts to the emergence of consciousness. The preconscious phase, the socially conscious phase and the personally conscious phase. ere the relation between man and God is internal. Free will implies the possibility of sin in mind as well as deed.
Polytheistic religions all belong in the first phase ,while Judaism and Catholics belong to the second. Protestantism is the third.
The question is though, whether a totally transparent conscious man model can succeed. We can veto, but not control all consciously.
The preconscious person is only a Me whereas the conscious person thinks they are only an "I".
The I has to think it is in control. That is the idea of an I. The I knows there are greater powers in its life than itself. It used to call this that it kneeled to God. Heaven (the me) is in side you. But the I cannot explain everything. Now we are finding the subconscious Me again and meeting.
The "I" disappeared for about 500 years. From 500 to 1050, there is a mechanical quality to the world. People blame behavior and not intentions. In the renaissance, the use of mirrors became widespread. Self conscious like narcissus.
Table manners and being conscious arise. The I gains control and knows about the gaze of others. The me knows only its own impulses.
It is painful for children to become self aware. To smooth things out children use comforters and teddy bears. Later on, adolescents relate to the outside world to transition from outside to inside control (art, religion, alckohol and books).
The body terrifies the out of control I.
Almost all religions use postures and gestures to help us enter into the divine. Consentrating on breathing and sex help the I give the me control. Jaynes says that science is the I taking control. Looking for the god voice and taking over me territory.
PART 4 - COMPOSURE
CHAPTER 13 - INSIDE NOTHING
When we got to the moon, for the first time ever, the planet saw itself in the mirror. Only after we set out did we discover the place form which we had set out.
Environmental awareness and being able to see that we're all in it together made us appreciate other cultures.
Gaia says that the earth is a living organism.
The humans role in the planet is that we breathe and circulate matter. The parts of our body that consciousness cannot control are the ones that are important to the planet.
I is rooted in the me. Me is rooted in Gaia. I am in Me. Me is in Gaia. At first the bacyteria tried to eat or infect eachother. But instead of one bacteria fighting, they started to cooperate. That is how we got multicellular organisms.
The very purpose of human beings from the gaia point of view is to act as heat tanks for a few kilograms of microorganisms that will produce carbon dioxide for the plants.
But we cling heavily to the me as special. Further, if all our atoms are replaced every five years, we a re a pattern in a greater flow. But why do we distinguish ourselves so greatly?
The membrane is the blue sky stretched out above us. In the inner solar system, where the earth is, the heavy elements dominated, because more volatile matter evaporated in the heat of the newborn sun. In the outer layer of the solar system, the mroe volatile matter was able to congregate into big planets like Jupiter and Saturn, and further out the comets hold sway.
A planet like the earth is thus a place where comets are boiled into living organisms. Life consists of cooked comets. Earth caught life.
Life requires stability. How could this be possible whent he world grows to disorder ala the second law of thermodynamics. But the second is overall. We create disorder as heat in excrement. This extra heat goes into the universe.
We recieve in short wave light, but return the same amount in the form of long-wave microwaves. We are a net exporter of energy and can therefore, create order. This can be absorbed because the overall dark and cold universe is expanding.
The expansion means that local acumulations of order are possible.
The complexity can arise because the dilution permits information to be discarded, disorder is exported, form the local units limited by cell walls, skin surfaces, and blue skies.
Planck time is the beginning milisecond of time. Our universe today was less than one hundredth of a centimeter in diameter in Planck time.
You have to define micro and macro states before you define entropy. Except for black holes.
All we can say about a black hole is how much mass ther is inside it. So the surface area of a black hole can only grow: It can suck in new mattter, never release anything. The bigger the hole, the greater the entropy. And it can only grow. Black holes possess unequivocally defined entropy. We do not need to ask who is asking about their entropy in order to define it.
The world began as something that can be described using just one single bit. OneOne bit is enough info to answer yes or no to a question. But what was the question?
The smaller something is that arises from nothing the longer it can exist. All of the universe added together comes to zero.
There was a quantum leap fluxuation in nothing. Not from nothing, but in nothing. We are nothing seen from within.
We cannot see the thing in and of itself because we are participants and part of this nothing. Not separate from it.
The universe began when it saw itself in the mirror (not behind itself). To be or not to be is not the question, it is the answer. But then what was the question?
CHAPTER 14 - ON THE EDGE OF CHAOS
Holism says that things are different en masse than in part.
The criticism of reductionism was that when we reduce, simplify, abbreviate, and discard information when we draw up an abstraction description of the world.
We cannot recreate the world from its parts due to scale and complexity. Real phenomena cannot be calculated. If all the universe were used as a binary of orbits, we would need one more to total the equation and one more to hold the answer. The universe cannot be reduced to equations.
Computers have really shown this. They created terms like "complexity", "chaos" and "fractals".
So the pendulum swung to where we believe that the world is compsed of wholes. We see the creation of emergent properties. But we cannot explain the world exhaustively without understanding all of the elements of the world.
A better view is that we cannot understand the world, but we can describe it. Every description is one, something is missing, information has to be discarded; it is the map, not the terrain.
The first workshop on AL was held at los alamos in 1987. Computer viruses are fragments of programs capable of moving into computer memory and making copies of itself and mutating. Life is a pattern in space and time rather than a material object.
As the virus needs electricity, we need the sun.
Our bodies have immune systems, but computers do not yet. They dont have images of themselves as distinct beings yet.
Some computer systems are not learning from rules, but examples. The idea is not to make rules explicit and clear, but to make experience big and wide.
When simple rules are allowed to beaver away long ineough new properties and understandings emerge. Temperature is and emergent property. Life also cannot be seen from the parts. You cannot reduce biology to physics.
Biological systems were the only examples of simple systems that were alowed to work long enough in time for emergence to appear. But computers are doing it.
Like we must identify entropy we will see choice when we can identify with the description of the process which takes place.
We cannot predict what a person will do next, but neither can the person.
Is irreversibility an emergent property from Newtons laws having the time to work into complicated systems. We lose knowledge of the world when we approach it from one level instead of the other.
Tempature changes the emergent state of H2O. Solid liquid gas.
Computations that run from simple versions of computer simulations of physical states either crash (like ice) go on forever (like water). The interesting stuff happens at the border between the frozen and the liquid. Here information is stored and erased.
That is where life mostly hangs out. Between transition states
CHAPTER 15 - THE NONLINEAR LINE
Lowell saw canals on mars. They were illusions. There are no straight lines in nature. civilization creates many. Apart from the rectilinear crystal, the circle is the only simple geomentric shape we see in nature (and then only froma distance).
As a drop goes down the mountain it must decide at every point which direction to go. The level of complexity is totally different than what Euclid showed us.
The phenomena of chaos is nonlinear. The straight ine leads to the downfall of man. It is a tyranny. It is something cowardly drawn with a ruler.
The straight line is used because it contains very little information. There is nothing to sense..
There is less information in a road than a cobbled road. civilization keeps information out fo our lives. This is a good thing if we want to ride our bikes.
But it is boring to look at. So we take holidays to nature filled places.
Technology is about making things predicatble and repeatable so we do not need to devote so much time and attention to them. Technology aims to make perception and attention superfluous.
When we are bored by technology it is due to sense simulation. When we know how we simulate reality, we can manipulate the simulation of our mind in the cheapest fashion.
We know the principles of flight so we build planes (actually the order is reversed).
How long is the coast of briain? This cannot be answered. How long around is a grain of sand? Distance is an abstract term. Length reflects that language simplifies for a user of language.
Zeno's paradox shows the difference between the map and the terrain.
But continuum conflicts with quantum mechanics. Length is not infinitely , ultimately divisible. TIme too. Our measurement is divisible, but not time itself.
The eighteen frames a second pretends that life is divisible. We talk of length movement and tone as if they didn't require an observer, as if they were objective realities. They are not.
The interesting stuff happens between chaos and total simplified lines. Nature occupies such a place. It is neither linear or totally disordered.
Trying to find the balance between toomuch complexity and too much simplicity is like the balance between too much and too little consciousness.
The direction of civilization to linearity is the direction of consciousness over unconscious.
The I is linear, the me is non linear. Art seeks the non linear, science the linear. COmputersdemolishes the difference.
Communism had too much linearity. No one can predict the individual in such a system. Perhaps we have too much chaos.
Aristotle's logic is based on opposites. Hegel on disgarding of information. It is based on disgarding information. Hegel losses knowledge in abstract analysis.
Of course our market analysis overlooks a lot. That was the basis of Marx's criticism of capiatlism.
But the information society has another danger, too little information. The computer has very little exformation. There is a lack of context for information. Man has moved down to a lower bandwidth, and he is getting bored.
Out of the boredom we are now getting hungry for something to sense. We need not food, but sense. Virtual reality is coming to our rescue.
Lewis carrol made a story where a people made a map that was bigger and bigger and bigger till it covered the earth and choked out farms.
CHAPTER 16 THE SUBLIME
Nuclear weapons made the world join in peace. Ironically, nuclear weapons were made to defend nations and ended up getting rid of them via enforced cooperation.
The cooperation didn't just happen top down, the emergence of this new reality was caused to emerge by the actions of millions of citizens that spoke for peace.
Many knew the weapons were wrong eventhough they didn't know why. We know more than our consciousness of language knows.
After we became aware of the world as one via the moon landing and nuclear weapons the self other boundary went down. This might be like the I / me going down.
Cultures put taboos on blood, semen, spit, sweat and other bodily fluids because they arouse the fundamental problem: the difference between my surroundings and me or subconscious and I.
Nuclear holocaust is really a scientific vision of utopia, in which the world is finally expunged of the messy, organic and unpredictable, by by being wiped out.
The idea of fisherman of siberia being the enemy of americans comes due to too muchsimplification. Civilization allows us to rid ourselves of information. It has enabled the withdrawal of consciousness from the world. Where the the map is confused for the terrain, where the I denies the Me.
But science has shown that the "I" isn't all of us. We cannot describe the outside world in words or consciousness. Our bodies contain fellowship with a surrounding world that passes right through us, in our mouths and out the other end, but is hidden from our consciousness. The body is part of the mighty living system.
I am a liar is a contradiction because it is in language. The body cannot lie.
COnsciousness is a wonderful creation. But it must be humble. Consciousness isn't old but has changed much.
Unfortunately our mind was created to take into account fast movements. We aren't designed to see slow global changes.
We must be aware of what we do not know.
We need an appreciation of the sublime. Art's beautiful encapsulating of the world experience is an example of the way to the sublime.
When Maxwell said he was guided by something and summarized via something other than himself, he didn't suffer from the user illusion.