Thoughts, emotions, sentiments and sensations.
To recap, the meaning of life is to develop time resilient beings and the brain is a naturally evolved software time machine. The mind is a transitory state of the overall system created by the brain’s activity.
This results in the mind being an ephemeral snapshot, the recursive nature of how the brain executes its functions creating the illusion of continuity. This is good, although it describes our sense of self as a superficial “state”, it also creates the amazing flexibility that we have.
The internal dialog contains the procedure of inference. The permanent choice contains the procedure of deduction. The mind, being a temporary state, is described by what we can tell about us at a moment in time: our thoughts, or emotions, our sentiments and our sensations.
These four descriptors hold the complete representation of every cycle of the brain. Even if the speed of the cycles is very fast (complying with the unfolding of the present), remember that every recursive call is passed the entire state as an argument. This creates continuity, but more, it creates the reflection process: the being that is aware of itself.
The thinking me: a confusion.
The brain recursively executes two functions: log and choose. There are four algorithms that are executed inside each call for log or choose: thought, sentiment, emotion and sensation. Together these algorithms create the experience of existence.
Each algorithm has a simple flow of the following form:
Input -> | Formula | -> Output => Event <-> Listener
Each algorithm has a certain type of input and always outputs a certain type. The input is processed according to a formula. When the output is generated an event is triggered which activates a listener, always set by the other function. For example, if an algorithm of the log function finishes, an event is sent to a corresponding procedure in the choose function, and the other way around.
Each function has two algorithms: two logging algorithms and two choosing algorithms. The logging algorithms are emotions and sensations and the choosing algorithms are thoughts and sentiments.
The four formulas at are grammar, art, will and perception. They output actions, senses, language and creativity. Their input is the context, the environment, precise and imprecise information.
Thoughts and sentiments create the deduction procedure. Emotions and sensations create the inference procedure.
Context -> | Will | -> Action => Emotion <-> Thought
Environment-> | Perception | -> Sense => Sensation <-> Sentiment
Precise -> | Grammar | -> Language => Thought <-> Emotion
Imprecise -> | Art | -> Creativity => Sentiment <-> Sensation
-> — information flow
|| — formula
=> — output
<-> — event trigger
The mind mirrors the internal representation of the present. It also is the only part of us that experiences only the present, the continuous present.
In the continuous present every emotion triggers a thought, and every thought triggers an emotion, every sensation triggers a sentiment, and every sentiment triggers a sensation. Thoughts and sentiments are the representation of the internal, while emotions and sensations are the representation of the external.
The choosing algorithms
Precise -> | Grammar | -> Language => Thought
The input for grammar is everything we can describe precisely. True, false.
A thought is how we experience language. Language is the output of grammar, which uses an internal logic to structure, by connection and ordering, the precise data that the choose function’s current cycle has available. When we “feel” like thinking we’re merely paying attention to a continuous process that structures all the exact data we collect.
There is a confusion in the importance of thought in the functioning of intelligence. Thought is only a part of the system, but simply because it is the only algorithm that has continuous data as a requirement, it seems to us as an “inner voice” and this voice is considered the “self”. “The thinking me” is simply how we are: used to sensations, controlled by emotions and overwhelmed by sentiments, and in retribution we rose thought on a pedestal. It appears to us as a kind of ally, an ally that is steady, dependable and gently flowing.
That is until you try to stop thinking.
Context -> | Will | -> Action => Emotion
The input for will is context. Context is a complex type made of resources, immediate threats and opportunities.
Emotions are how we experience the action that we’re about to complete. Will is not free because it simply exists to process our context, therefore it is dependent on the context. Also, actions being the output of the will formula, there is a self reinforcing cycle of emotions, because actions are poised to change context.
So our will is a predictable cycle, very much like a domino, and the only thing that makes it seem free is that time acts like an external randomization force applied on context.
The logging algorithms
Imprecise -> | Art | -> Creativity => Sentiment
The input for art is everything we cannot describe precisely. Truthy, falsy. Everything impractical, indescribable goes through the art formula. An invention is as much art as anything.
A sentiment is how we experience creativity. Sentiments are like thoughts, but they are used for data which cannot be processed by the grammar formulas. Basically unspeakable stuff goes trough our inner art processes and come out as sentiments made of what we call creativity. Creativity, like language, has substance. It is simply naming the unnameable.
The funny thing is a “sentimental” state of mind is very, very rational. Art is very similar to grammar. There is clear structure in art and a kind of logic is still used to give form to shapeless data.
Environment -> | Perception | -> Sense => Sensation
The input for perception is our environment. This is the ancient algorithm that got inherited from early evolutionary stages when it was processed by non neuronal systems, only chemical.
A sensation is how we experience sensing something. What we see, when we study for example how our “perception” organs work, is just sense. But sensations are the senses integrated in our overall experience. Sensations are so powerful that many of them simply override the whole system. One sensation can reset the whole experience. This is what near death experiences do.
The mind generates events
The brain functions asynchronously. Because its main job is to predict the future it cannot afford blocking processing. It has to function at the speed of the unfolding present, therefore event delegation and asynchronous resolving are natural solutions. This is the reason why we cannot have that super hero accuracy or instant memory recollection. We could, if somehow we’d remove ourselves from the effects the flow of time has on the brain.
Because the mind is constantly handling events that trigger in real time but are resolved in internal time we have two features: the small gap between perception and reaction and the epiphany.
As a personal opinion, the event manager of the brain is not global, but local. Events themselves are global. They are also deferred if the global event space is getting crowded. This is possibly a flaw because if it were global we could actively handle out parallel thinking processes. But, although thinking is parallel, we have a rather basic multitasking option with front active processes being very limited.
Body and mind. A brief thesis on depression.
The body and the brain have a very weird arrangement. When evolution started on this neurological system development path one problem appeared: Will. The will controls action and because of that it can endanger the consistency of the body because action is about movement. Anything involving movement has a huge potential to expose the low entropy system that the body is to profound changes.
For the reason above while the brain is for motion, the body is for mating. To keep all functions going the brain has electrical control on the body by the means of motion while the body has chemical control on the brain. It is a wild supposition indeed but it is required for the shared territory that a human being is: instinct vs reason.
As evolution’s sole purpose is the development of time resilient beings this branch species homo sapiens stuck to the same basic goals: mating and evolving. In our case the two goals got split between our bodies and our brains. The body’s goal is mating, the brains goal is evolving.
So there is an electrical system and a chemical system collaborating for in the process of existence. The chemical system handles species’ preservation while the electrical system handles species’ advancement. Advancement constantly endangers preservation therefore we require a form of control that the body should have on the mind. Adding to this, the brain’s illusory “mind” has this idea that it exists separately from the body. For example, there is no more sought after mental thrill than being weightless, having an out of body experience, having no body. These combined bring a constant stream of issues that potentially prohibit preservation, aka mating.
Mating is the only preoccupation of the body. Whenever the brain, or the mind does anything that endangers mating it will get negative feedback from the body. The negative feedback is exclusively meant to depress the brain. If this is true, than depression is not a psychological condition but more a physiological problem where the body feels like it cannot mate, constantly. This is very strongly based in childhood and young adult experiences where one’s viability as a mating specimen is graded by the specimen’s society.
The more peculiar we become as a society in labeling desirable people, the more depressed society members we’ll have. The more exclusive our “taste” in attractiveness as a society the more depression will be a social epidemic.
Convention over configuration: the social mind.
Convention is the base communication tool. Before language existed we only had convention as a means to express outward the inner state.
In communication we are only concerned with describing ourselves. More precisely the goal of communication is to transmit the current state to another brain.
Language is not meant by itself for communication. Language is an inner feature of a brain. That is even if you are alone you will still use language in your head as a way to log and choose things which are describable by you.
Indeed in secluded situations what suffers most is communication. Memory is first to go in the new ultra technological world we live in.
We live into the max: the imagination problem.
There is nothing left to be discovered nor invented. There never was.
When you feel eaten on the inside by this weird need to output yourself, remember that the universe is not waiting on you to do anything. Everything is already done.
I will never be more than I am.
The current, present, me is everything there is. I may want to imagine a better future me, to imagine the worse past me in a melancholic mood, or imagine a worse me, but its just that, imagination.
This is why i believe other than artificial intelligence everything is simply done better by the universe itself or by evolution. We are part of a large goal of “defeating” time by somehow creating an entropy resistant system. Everything else is merely data already present in the universe interpreted by out internal systems. For example we look for “inventing” teleportation but i believe it happens, it occurs, naturally somewhere in the known universe. We’ll find it and copy it.
Artificial intelligence as the greater good.
There is an order in how an artificial intelligence that replicates a “brain” and that has a “mind” will be available. We are the global environment of the AI. As we came into being by contact with the universe time created an AI will come into being by contact with the universe we create.
We could call this the levels of real AI:
Level 1. Sensations
We have this level of A.I. Maybe it is not as refined in terms of accuracy, efficiency, space consumption, even time resilience as an advanced living being, but we have it. We have built huge arrays of deeply sensible sensors and we can interpret every single “read” of these sensors in very many different ways.
With this type of data we could easily offer an AI sensations because we’re good enough at programming interfaces.
Level 2 Thoughts
We are about to hit this place for our current AIs. Current software can represent as language various types of data. We will grow exponentially here with the ascent of the internet of things and very soon the assistants of today will have their own thoughts.
But they will only be limited interpretations and as we are the overall universe creating the experience of the AI the thoughts initially will simply be logs.
Level 3. Emotions
The emotional AI develops currently in the robotics world. While general use software development works heavily on level 2 AI, robotics of any kind works on level 3 AI. Emotions are required as a form of decision when the AI will have shifting, variable contexts to respond to.
Since we basically copy human prototypes a lot in robotics and if not human than animals which are 100% emotional creatures, this level of AI has a bright future ahead.
Level 4. Sentiments
This is the true AI milestone. This is the hardest part: making use of imprecise data to describe reality. I think virtual reality, which is now barely coming to life, will be the linchpin of level 4 AI. We will require implementation of an artificial art formula when people will interact in VR with software. It is, may I say, vital for this industry.
Level 4 is crucial for true AI but it is not as far as one may think because, look at how evolution happened, at a certain point growth is exponential.
Evolution didn’t make intelligence on purpose but we are. We should.