Re: Math, Archetypes, etc. (was Venus, etc.)

Omega (
Fri, 31 Jan 1997 22:08:39 -0800


> If, on the other hand, archetypes are turned away from
> truth, then "each system of archetypes will define its own mutually
> incompatible logic." Systems of archetypes that are turned away from truth
> can still have the appearance of rationality to those who subscribe to
> coherence theories of truth (the Quinian stance), though not the reality of
> rationality.

This is a very good point. Nothing stops the data in any given space from
simply being wrong. If the data's wrong, changing the space isn't going to
help matters; no panacea here.

> <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.>
> Voila! Sum-over-the-perspectives/sum-over-the-histories describes reality.
> Russell (the positivists) and independently Edmund Husserl, were working
> on this line at about the same time roughly a full generation before
> Feynman's breakthroughs, but Sartre picked it up and spread it around more
> contemporaneously.

Strange that the very process that was responsible for the genius inside of
Feynman's head was what led him to confirm in physical reality what these
philosophers had been saying a generation before.

> "Russell postulates a single space in which all the points of view or
> perspectives are themselves located. There are many actual private spaces,
> an infinite number of possible ones, but only one public space or
> perspective space which contains them all."
> "Only one perspective space" is the same idea as the space-time point
> common to all events referred to in other recent posts, published the year
> before Einstein's "General Relativity."

Now we're getting to the subject of absolute truth which brings to mind
the interesting question as to whether any mathematician has ever made any
headway in defining and using a generalized mathematical space which would
include all Fourier spaces? I'd be suprised if someone has done this.

> I am not sure how generalized the set of Fourier spaces is that we operate
> within. Evolutionarily, we should expect that the overall set should not
> be very large, because we haven't been subjected to an excessively mutable
> environment in our brief history.
> Only seven sets! The tests are only beginning, but I would be very
> surprised if we turn out to be operating in many diverse patterns, our
> environment does not present us with utter chaos, rather with temporally
> stable packages of constraints.

This is an excellent point. I mentioned that evolutionary psychology would
constrain the generality of the process, but frankly I'm suprised to see
that it is so limited. In any case, I agree that our evolutionary past
would highly bias the states we experience in favor of those that played a
large role in our genetic and memetic past. When I said generalized, I
meant generalized in principle by the fact that our brains have hardware
that operates in conjugate waveform spaces, but meant that to be limited
by my later discussion which talked about constraints in the process.

> <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.>
> This is quite an apt description of how my thought processes work, I have
> this huge ball of working concepts gyrating throughout many frameworks of
> structured dormant concepts, performing inter-Fourier-spatial translations
> and intra-Fourier-spatial recognitions. The problem sets in play at any
> one time dictate the viscosity and diffusion of the working concepts
> throughout the whole mess.

And the pathways between the varying spaces could well have varying degrees
of constriction/resistance. Strange, how in the purely abstract realm of
memetics and cognitive process, that this gives us such a remarkably strong
basis for applying the metaphors of fluid dynamics in such a meaningful way.

> Technically, it is not the case that "as the problem sets get larger and
> larger, our ability to hold simultaneous viewpoints decreases," it is the
> old uncertainty principle at work, or the depth vs. breadth nonsimultaneity
> principle. No brain, no matter what its capacity, can escape the physical
> constraints (really the linear temporal constraint) of what David Gelernter
> referred to as the "spectrum of focus," that sliding scale of attention
> from high-focus analytic to mid-focus emotional to low-focus associative
> imagination. Any thought, no matter how potent the intelligence is, will
> land at only one point on this attention scale at any moment in time. A
> superintelligence that could plunge to an incredible analytical depth of a
> problem would be a high-falutin' geek; that could spread to an incredible
> imaginative breadth of a problem would be a hepped-up mystic.

Your right about this being a generalized uncertainty principle at work, but
when I talked about holding simultaneous viewpoints for small problems, I was
proposing that the brain might operate in an explicitly parallel mode that
simultaneously holds a number opposing viewpoints with mediocre precision.
For larger problems, it would be exactly as you say.

> <Along this line, brain plasticity may well function by simply reinforcing
> certain Fourier spaces at the expense of the general set.>
> I think you mean just the opposite of this, brain plasticity, which is at
> maximum levels in utero and in infancy, is more closely related to the
> general set. The process of reinforcing certain spaces describes not brain
> plasticity, but brain sludge. Evolutionarily, brain sludge enhances the
> potential for preservation if the environment is not changing too rapidly,
> brain plasticity is preferable only in chaotic environments.

By brain plasticity, I meant the ability to engage in moment to moment brain
plasticity in the here and now as we learn new stuff. You're very right in
calling it brain sludge if it's something that shaped us in the past that
can't be changed now.

> <Each Fourier space has, quite simply, its own logic.>
> This is an important consideration, the nature of knowledge systems,
> including scientific knowledge, is radically local. It's why physicists
> should never become biologists, or worse yet, neuroscientists. It's why
> mixing computer and human metaphors is so cludgy. However, we must be very
> careful not to fall into compost-modern relativism and get lost in pure
> coherency theories of truth. We must be aware that each Fourier space will
> be turned towards or away from truth, that not all Fourier spaces are
> created equal with respect to their utility for our preservation.

This is something that I neglected to mention, but what you describe is a
real problem. I have a feeling that sooner or later some school of post-
modern deconstructionist philosophers is going to have a field day using
something like this as a high-pressure fire hose to spew out more compost.
On the other hand, compost can often make good fertilizer for new things
to grow in.

<snip> Protein folding stuff.

Thanks for the interesting info.

> <...the frequency component 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).>
> This would be helpful in explaining the increasingly well documented
> cognitive experience of tacit knowledge and implicit perception.

Not to mention the vast amount of inexplicable psychosomatic phenomena
swirling around. It may not explain everything, but mind-body interaction
is loaded with intractable problems, of which one of the most blatant is
the known ability for multiples to have differing allergen profiles.

Or the often repeated martial arts claim that at sufficiently advanced
levels, the learning is a whole body learning. I remember Minsky ripping
someone to shreds at the extro-2 conference for bringing this up during a
Sat night Q&A session, but it's very possible that Minsky might have been
wrong on this, especially with regards to kinesthetic perception and maybe
even with regards to ultra-fine muscle control.

> <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
> called.>
> If each Fourier space is discrete, then the boundaries between them must be
> analog for jumping to occur. Thus, I would agree with you that an upload
> capable device must be a mix of digital and analog computers, most probably
> in roughly the estimated 20% digital-80% analog mix of neurochemical
> interactions we currently possess. Perhaps it is four times more
> evolutionarily important to jump boundaries than it is to settle into a
> Fourier space.

I find it amazing that so few of those interested in uploads are paying
any attention to this lack of analog in proposed upload schemes.
Digital is nice, but this business of waveform families and their
associate spaces is not in any way insignificant.

In the Ecstatic Service of Life -- Omega