Venus and Genius (Will Be: Math, Archetypes, Meta-Memetics, and Uploads)

Omega (
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 05:25:24 -0800



> QueeneMUSE writes,
> > My answer would be, you perceive a kind of power she holds,
> > which is at least as influential as math, or any of the traditional
> > male domains.
> Almost true. Venus (maybe we should say Frigga, in view of J's nordic
> background) has as much power as Hermes, Vulcan (her husband), etc.
> She yields to Jove, however, and how she stacks up against YHWH is
> another matter entirely.
> To be a mathematician, you have to form the habit of cutting through
> the bullshit and getting to the point. I use the word "cut" advisedly.
> It's a masculine idea. Cut. You do it with a sword. Even the gentlest
> mathematician (most of them are much nicer than Newton) always has
> that sword, and at any moment his eyes may flash and cut right through
> you. Jennifer could have learned to do that, but she couldn't do that
> and still be the magical creature that she was. Lady MacBeth is not
> Venus.
> If you think about something all the time, it changes your personality.
> It even changes you physically.
> One thing I'm trying to do with the Jennifer story is to get away from
> the idea that this is an argument about chromosomes. It's an argument
> about the mind, and the relation between mind and body.
> If all little girls were brought up that way, then what would the cost be?
> The assumption seems to be that when girls are brought up as girls,
> it somehow deprives them of the "right" to be mathematicians or
> engineers or truck drivers. But if girls are taught to deny their
> femininity, if they are forced to be androgynous, this deprives Jennifer
> of the right to be Jennifer.
> > you may ask yourself, why this story? why this issue....

What you are describing here is the feminine from an archetypal perspective.
I somewhat agree with the point you are trying to make with this Venus thread.
In principle, female sexuality, like any viewpoint and/or manifestation in
life, will be highly incompatible with various other viewpoints and/or mani-
festations. Whether it is incompatable specifically with mathematical genius,
I simply don't know. The problem is that unless other people recognize and
value the archetypal viewpoint you are speaking about, you're hitting your
head up against a wall in any case.

> This is ultimately about politics.

You're right about the politics, and underneath the politics, I would
add religion too. The problem with archetypes is that they can not be
approached rationally, because each system of archetypes will define
its own mutually incompatible logic, thus we have what we call dogma,
political correctness, ideological purity, holy wars, witch hunts,
and all those other warm and cozy things that litter our history.

> It's about what kind of world
> we want to live in. I want to live in a world with Venus in it. I don't
> want to live in a Socialist Realist world, in which we are all machines,
> and Jennifers are extinct. In the modern corporate world, there is
> no place for Venus, except as a commodity. I don't like that. I am
> trying to understand how we got into this situation, and trying to
> imagine a viable alternative.

This goes right back to William Blake's point about not wanting to have
only one way to view reality. Ultimately we are dealing with the:

> the mind, and the relation between mind and body.

as a far deeper and more intractable problem than than the simplistic
"rationalist" and "epiphenomenalist" memes would have us believe.
Fortunately the escape from the sterile future you envision is available
to us, because the form of rationality we use is developed enough to
highlight its own essential incompleteness even if it can not comment
on the alternative forms our "rationality" may take.


While Godel defined one form of incompleteness, there is another form that
is equally significant, and that is the incompleteness of one coordinate
space for defining in a simple form all possible localizations and cor-
relations that can exist within mathematical reality. In math these are
the spaces that are defined by the myriad Fourier waveform families.

For those into music, this leads into the distinctions between the relative
ease or difficulty that analog and digital synthesizers have in reproducing
certain forms of music. For those in physics, this is the mathematical basis
for Heisenberg uncertainty. But in both cases, we are looking at a basic
mathematical principle manifesting itself in our reality.

This is also the reason why computers are such idiot savants, the are hard-
wired to the Fourier space defined by their RAM's linear address space.
Software can work around this to some extent, but without special hardware,
no computer is ever going to operate as efficiently in other Fourier spaces
as the default one defined by its hardware.

The human brain is so flexible because it contains the ability to look at
things from radically different viewpoints. The genius of Feynman was often
attributed to the fact that in the middle of a difficult problem, he would
stop what he was doing and suddenly shift to a different viewpoint. Con-
sidering that it is a well established fact that the human brain does Fourier
transforms during its operation, the source of both Feynman's genius as well
as ordinary human cognitive flexibility is obvious, we are jumping from
Fourier space to Fourier space until we find a space in which the problem is
suitably localized.

Now in the amplitude modulated system of orthodox neuroscience, accounting
for all these zillions of real time fourier transforms is a real problem, and
yet the brain is well known to be loaded with data patterns that have been
through Fourier transforms (leading to the periodic talk about "holographic"
memory/processing). However when we add in the intracellular microtubules
which operate in the low GHz range, everything falls into place now as we now
find integrated together in the wetware of the brain, the necessary structures
for working in two conjugate waveform spaces; exactly what we would suspect
would be needed for a cognitive device that operates within a generalized set
of Fourier spaces.

This spells doom for current approaches to AI. Nanopoulos estimated that
brain's information processing capacity will be larger by a factor of at
least 10^11 when the contribution of the intracellular microtubules is taken
into account, but I believe that this whole way of looking at this is mis-
leading. The real problem is that until AI researchers manage to integrate
hardware processing ability from two conjugate waveform spaces into the same
system, then no machine intelligence will ever amount to anything other more
than an idiot savant.


This is next leads us into the problem of "archetypal rationality". For
small problems, holding a few dozen Fourier spaces in ones head simultan-
eously, and picking an answer from some suitably localized one is no big
deal, but as the problems get larger and larger, our ability to hold simul-
taneous viewpoints decreases accordingly. Now when we jump to a truly big
problem like:

The nature of the feminine and role of woman in society -OR-
The nature of time, reality, and the cosmos.

Gulp, we get problems that are so complex that very few Fourier spaces will
localize it well in the first place, and worse yet, it requires all of our
brain power to just to deal with them one at a time. This is why dogma,
ideology, and political correctness is such an intractable problem in the
human race. Unless a person is both able and willing to switch to a dif-
ferent Fourier space, they literally can not understand what the other person
is talking about.

In fact they not only will not be able to answer the questions that are
defined in that Fourier space, there's no guarantee that they will be able
to even grasp the question. Worse yet, the definitions of the words that
frame the question might seem circular (actually may well be circular) or
the space might be so alien that few words even exist for it yet.

Fourier spaces combined with evolutionary psychology explains concisely not
only why dogma binds itself so tightly to the human mind, but how. Thus
explaining how we can get true believers who bind so tightly to, and see
such obvious truths in, belief systems as far apart as:

1. Judeo-Christian vs Neo-Pagan.
2. Rationionalist/Athiest vs Mystic.
3. Socialist VS Capitalist.

The mathematics of evolutionary psychology tells us that memes have to bind
themselves to the human brain, or there would be no memetic evolution. This
would show up as the brain's tendency to lock onto Fourier spaces that match
those produced during one's upbringing, or which have proven effective at
solving various problems in life. Along this line, brain plasticity may well
function by simply reinforcing certain Fourier spaces at the expense of the
general set.

Fourier spaces, however, give us our viewpoints on things, so when they get
bound during childhood, or at other critical moments in life, the result is
that our very viewpoints become bound. Worse yet, fear of the unknown, is
tied into this, as no entity is going to survive for long in a Darwinain
process if their thoughts surf overly much into unknown Fourier spaces (or
take their physical bodies to places that require this), thus we would be
expected to have built in discouragement to prevent overly large amounts of
cognitive flexibility (although the relative amount of flexibility vs.
rigidity would be expected to vary from person to person).

With this more or less fixed pattern of viewpoints, plus at least some amount
of built in reluctance to surf though the myriad alternative viewpoints,
together with an evolutionary requirement that our viewpoints harden as we
age so as to selectively propagate the memes that got one to parenthood (and
later on to the status of "wise elder") we find that we have defined, in a
very natural way, the very basis for ego-identity along with its normally
decreasing flexibility with age.

The intractability of dogma now becomes obvious: The dogma that people
espouse, IS to a large extent, their ego-identity as defined by hardened
Fourier spaces within the human brain. Not only does the pattern of spaces
resist change, but unless you frame your words to fit in their spaces, they
will never even hear your message in the first place no matter how many
words go back and forth in the conversation.


In an earlier post your said:

> Going beyond group-think is almost impossible. But we have to keep trying.

But we may yet be suprised at what we can do in this area. By consciously
understanding the principles of Fourier spaces, we may be able to work some
miracles here. Earlier David Musick mentioned his technique for talking to
devout Christians about extropian ideas. To me, what he did was pay
attention to, and match the Fourier spaces of the listeners. By doing so he
was able to presented patterns of words that they could understand.

I feel that this is the key to what I would call meta-memetics. If we can
frame our ideas in a space that the listener is already familiar with, their
brains will naturally draw the conclusions we are trying to present. By this
we gain a handle by which we can slowly lead them through a set of Fourier
spaces until we can get them to other spaces wherein we can present some
really extropian ideas. Logic by itself won't do, because if it's aimed at
a Fourier space they are not familiar with, not only will the words not be
understood, but they won't even know how to get to the place where they can
understand the words. Each Fourier space has, quite simply, its own logic.

On the other hand, considering that a person's familiar set of Fourier spaces
IS their ego-identity, taking oneself, or another person into a really alien
set of Fourier spaces will amount to at least a serious stretching of one's
ego identity; if not a breaking and reforming. For good or bad, we have an
approach to dealing with memetics that has the potential to be both as power-
ful and as dangerous as a chain-saw. When you were commenting on the thread
"Who is David, REALLY?", you said:

> You are probably right about the multiple personality bit. I think
> we all have multiple personalities, it comes with the territory, you are
> just more aware of it than most people.

This is the flip side of ego-rigidity. When someone like David, or yourself
Lyle, get really good at surfing around different Fourier spaces, one's per-
sonality tends to get a bit fluid (whereas in a classic case of multiple
personality disorder, we would have clusters of familiar Fourier spaces
without well developed connecting paths). This scheme would also explain
neatly the massive physiological changes that a multiple can go though when
shifting from personality to personality, a phenomena almost impossible to
explain otherwise, but easily explained by the fact that the frequency com-
ponent of this generalized Fourier processor is not limited to the brain, but
exists in all eukaryotic cells, thus easily spilling over into the rest of
the body (and possibly beyond the body).

Likewise state dependent memory and a whole host of other puzzling issues
just fall right into place. The flip side, of course, is how many zillion
new questions have just been raised, and how many Fourier spaces of reasonable
importance are we (as extropians) not generally familiar with?!


> One of the Extropian presuppositions is that the mind is just a
> computer, and that its connection with its physical substrate is
> inessential. We can reprogram ourselves, and detach ourselves
> from our bodies, with impunity. I don't think so. Hubris is always
> permitted, but it always has consequences.

One thing I'm pretty sure of, is that I'm not in the market for any uploading
until our techies have learned to build a generalized Fourier processor. I
have absolutely no desire to spend eternity as an idiot savant. On the other
hand, since nature has been tweeking our cellular microtubules for a billion
years now, I have a feeling we won't surpass this "technology" for a while.
We may yet find that building efficient AI and upload capable devices still
requires the use of at least some "wetware" as this meat in our bodies is

In the Ecstatic Service of Life -- Omega