On Being

Tom’s Facebook page- Being!

Hi Tom,

Seems to me there need be no closing loops.

It seems both possible and probable that in the realm of being, there is actually an infinitely dimensional space (in which most dimensions are infinite) of strategies, relationships, algorithms, and distinctions which make up the space of possibility for being.

We seem to be software instantiations within the messy hardware of a human being, with certain beginnings and probabilities provided by the deep time of genetic evolutionary filters and the lesser but still deep time of cultural evolution.

No real human can explore any single infinity, let alone an infinite set of such things.

Yes, it seems clear that we are all connected on many different levels, and it has very little to do with most of the cultural conceptions that are more than a few decades old.

Soul seems to be a myth born out of an ignorance of systems, of evolution, of infinities, or possibility space, of probability, of the necessity of all understanding to be approximations with uncertainties within a model, and not hard knowledge.

It now seems clear, beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, that the certainty our inner children crave is illusory. Time for us all to grow up and accept fundamental uncertainty, and fundamental diversity.

[followed by]

Hi Tom,
I’ve kinda taken a different tack.

To me it seems likely that absolute knowledge is an illusion. If someone is absolutely confident about something, then they are most likely deluded (even if they are actually right – they might be right, but they have no justification in being that confident about it).

There seem to be four major classes of contributors to that delusion.

1 Is the fact that the simplest distinction one can make is a binary, so that is the most likely sort of distinction any of us will make initially, and neural networks are in part habit machines, so tend to form a habit of doing such.

2 Is the fact that at the neuronal level, all outputs become binary. Each neuron will have a threshold, below that it doesn’t fire, above that it does fire. At a certain level, subtlety is lost.

3 Under normal circumstances our intuition is very reliable. In ordinary circumstances our ability to know, without knowing how we know (subconscious deep neural pattern recognition) is extremely reliable. However, it is very context sensitive. It takes time to train it to new contexts. When encountering truly novel contexts it is essentially random (and often any action is better than inaction, so in an operational sense it still has utility).

4 Our abstract modelling tools (logic and mathematics) are just that, they are not reality. We can do stuff with mathematics and logic, and build models, and some of those models have very high reliability, and they are models, not reality. The best models we have (QM) are at their base stochastic (based on randomness, within probability distributions). What first led me to this distinction was searching for one of the simplest abstract constructs (a circle) in reality. I spent hundreds of hours looking, and couldn’t find one. Everything in reality that I looked at that had some aspect of circularity lost it under sufficiently high levels of magnification, and became something “bumpy”.
So our modelling tools are useful (I have spent about half my life developing computer systems and models), and they are not reality, they are models (maps) and a model is never the thing it models. It seems that all of our experience is not actually of reality, but of a subconscious model of reality that our brains assemble that is usually based upon current sensory input modulated through neural networks trained by past sensory input and the distinctions derived there-from. Thus, when we develop our models, they are, in a very real sense, models of a model. The more powerful the tools we develop to look at reality, the stranger it becomes. It seems that causality is an illusion delivered by randomness working within probability constraints. And it is a useful illusion that usually works in practice at the levels of normal human cognition.

Seasons greetings to you and yours. May the force be with you 😉

[followed by]

Hi Tom,

Having an assumption of infinity, and having a computational correlate, are two very different things. Confusing them doesn’t help.

For someone supposed 5 years buried, I’m doing remarkably well.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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