Archive for July, 2009

It has been some time since my last post and not much has changed with semantic technology except that business slowed for many.  Tom Adi and I have been busy with pending publications, one of which was announced here.  That article has all the details of the algorithms and information technology that were  derived from Tom Adi’s original research

For those that are interested in reading that peer-reviewed article, this post and the links provided here will provide you a framework for understanding the cognitive and semantic theory that is introduced and presented in detail there.  I think it might be hard for database programmers and systems engineers to follow because they are familiar with data reduced by some kind of independent and reductive determinism, such as with a statistical or intentional model.  This involves neither of those techniques.  This implies there is something to learn.

The original research and the unifying  processes described here are used to characterize the determinate elements and operations of an otherwise indeterminate situation.  Characterizing the determinate elements and operations of a situation is part of the scientific process of discovery.  Discovering and characterizing such elements and operations has the character of a learning process and not that of an ideology (the body of ideas reflecting modern-day logical deduction and reductive determinism common of the Internet computing culture).

We were not trying to understand or create data or knowledge or information processing models, except as we conceptualized how to create experiments, test and implement text analytic systems of understanding.  Tom Adi is a computer scientist though his original research and our decades of work together was squarely aimed at understanding how the human mind identifies and interprets the determinate elements of salience while reading expressions from messages and texts.  This is certainly something a human mind does: read and interpret stuff about the world around them.

Understanding the human mind is important to researchers and scientists.  New scientific findings suggest that cognitive skills are activated from outside of individuals, outside of their independent minds and away from their independent being.  This understanding gleaned from studies of apes and children in learning situations, sheds additional light on why computers are unable to intelligently learn from AI models, by reason of logical patterns, by statistics or by other models of intentional semantics.

This Nova program series about Ape Genius, highlights studies of a variety of primates, including humans.  The research focuses on the capability to learn, to respond to reward and gesture, and on experiments that measure cognitive and intelligent task mastery.

This research points out that a big difference between the other primates and humans is found in the capacity to teach.  Humans differ from other apes in that human children are taught and may even anticipate being taught. Researchers found what they called a magic Triangle, the social situation where a student and a teacher are focused upon a substantive object. They see this as the key to why this world is not the Planet of the Apes, instead of it being the domain of human beings as it is.

A similar sort of thing happens when a reader focuses attention onto an instructive piece of writing as this post may be found to be, that is:  the same forces and influences come into play as those that exist between an independent teacher, a student and a substantive object (or subject) of attention: the Triangle –here between author, reader and the subject of the post.

This Triangle exists in logic and in the conventional functionality involved in all interpersonal communications including film media.  Consider the reference to the planet of the apes above.  I am invoking the Triangle to put the focus of attention on the semiotic of the film: that we could just as well be digging termites from mounds in the jungle, if we did not already realize that we have this capacity to recognize the conceptual interdependence between teaching, learning and the substance of existence– from its semiotic character. To bring this out of one’s subconscious mind means one must bring the substance of the concept to the attention and into the mind and struggle to hold and absorb it –that is the capacity to recognize existing interdependency.

In fact, while one can readily separate everything in their world into emotion, feelings, knowledge, beliefs, desires, demons, angles, tools, material goods and artifacts and what have you, there are two possibilities of the existence of such things.  There is the stuff of the conception and the stuff of physical matter.  Any sensuous impression or perception falls into the extension of the conception or into the extension of physical matter.  We can write that any thing belongs to either the physical substance S of their existence or to a conception C of that existence, that conscious being as it is, is cognizant that there is a material equivalence between them (has a prior knowledge that there is interdependency between the physical and conceptual substance of existence).

And I should further define it here as that unified being: a Triangle of interdependently conscious understanding Ui working on a system comprised of physical substance S and of the conception C or Ui[S,C] where the conception of existence C is materially equivalent to the physical substance of existence S in a logical sense (C<==>S). The implication (meaning) is that the conception C is true only when the substance S is true otherwise the conception C is false (in a logical sense).

In a material sense, there is a transformation of substantive and salient impressions into a conception of that substance.  The transformation can be seen as a cognitive learning process. One can conceive of that transformation as part of one’s intelligence or cognitive processes, though because it is a biological system, its operations, elements and processes appear to have a relative structure very much like the metabolic elements, operations and processes where molecules are transformed into metabolites according to the combined structure of determinate elements and the needs of the organism.

In this way one can conceive of their cognitive system of conception [S,C] in the same way one conceives of their own Metabolic Repair system [M,R].  The purpose of the conception can then be seen as the innate capability to repair the substance of one’s own existence just as one’s own metabolism repairs their own body.  The implication is that we can repair this existence.

You have probably not heard of the human intelligence and the elements, operations and thematic relations of the cognitive processes being equated to the metabolism before.  This is because it is an original idea.  There are many implications of this projection of reality, which I trust the reader will bring to their mind as they consider what has been reported here. Most important is the significance and priority of interdependence over independence, though the realization of the unifying purpose of the conception is individually liberating.  It has the power we need to change the world in which we exist.  The prospect of unifying humanity against disorder and chaos is not as daunting when the natural interdependency of existence is considered.

Now it is important to everyone that their conception and their being here in this place we call the world, is unified and not schizophrenic– otherwise we will have chaos and misunderstanding. A schizophrenic existence is one where the elements of the existence are not only disjointed, they are disparate and even antagonistic. Because that is how people are today –disjointed, with disparate opinions and beliefs and antagonistic feelings– we have a serious situation that is in need of repair. Didn’t you know, people feel disconnected, even unaccountable.  There are reasons for this.

I will come back to the unifying processes of the unified conception, which is the conceptual part of meaning of conceptual interdependence, in the next post.  In this post I want to define the importance of the interdependence part and introduce the reader to the social influences that were invented to divert people from the power of their own autonomous reasoning, and instead keep them in line and under control as a whole– that will come down below.

Returning now to the interdependent structure; unlike intradependence which expresses the inward functionality of the elements of wholeness, the unifying processes and their orientation, the functions of interdependence must reach outward away from the self and towards others. Still, maybe a little surprisingly for some readers, these are unifying processes implementing a unifying process.  The implication is that reunification will be achieved in the end. Considering how far barely unified nations of people have advanced the race, it begs the question why we cannot achieve a unified world order in our lifetime.

There is a way, though before you can recognize it, you must first consider and acknowledge that there are extensions to functional and thematic relations as well as intensions to all social relations.  The extensions of the thematic relations between the self and others are called social or interpersonal and these situations and states of affairs are addressed by social interdependence theory.  Nouns and verbs and other descriptive and lexical elements of language and its grammatical conventions fall into these extensions as does knowledge, beliefs, opinions, etc.

The intensions of the thematic relations are comprised of the elements, the boundaries and the engagement conditions enveloping and existing between the self and others and from within which motives are activated. These are addressed by conceptual interdependence theory which states that there are conceptually interdependent boundaries and engagement conditions that are uniformly projected (according to precedence and by way of an extended projection principle) onto the unifying and determinate elements underlying every state of affairs.

In this respect, it does not matter if the substance of that existence has physical or conceptual properties or attributes –as such properties and attributes are neither distinct nor separate.   What is of significant importance to the Triangle is the fulfillment of geometric points and angles in the construction of its structure: i.e.,  teaching/teacher and student each focusing attention onto a substantive object is a: conceptual structure.  This structure is the subject matter of Adi’s cognitive and semantic theory.

This conceptual structure can be understood from the ways a situational analysis is conducted according to social interdependence theory.  In their 2008 paper, Why We Need Interdependence Theory,  social psychologists Caryl E. Rusbult and Paul A. M. Van Lange, write in the abstract on social influence:

Interdependence theory identifies the most important characteristics of interpersonal situations via a comprehensive analysis of situation structure and describes the implications of structure for understanding intrapersonal and interpersonal processes. Situation structure matters because it is the interpersonal reality within which motives are activated, toward which cognition is oriented and around which interaction unfolds.

In a very similar fashion, the thematic relations of my conceptual interdependence theory (comprised of my interpretation of Adi’s cognitive and semantic theories) identifies the significant characteristics of the Triangle, that is; the interpersonal reality within which teaching and learning motives are activated, toward which cognition is oriented and around which interaction and representation (speech, reading, writing and arithmetic) unfolds.

These themes, unlike their extensions, are not linguistic, but are pre-linguistic, in their origins.  The necessary thematic relations are not given by nouns and verbs or other parts of speech. You can easily recognize the polar coordinates of pairs of adjectives like good or bad, fast and slow, pretty and ugly, yet such extensions of concepts have little to do with the inherent boundaries of conceptual interdependence except to demonstrate such interdependence in the existential objects and subjects they denote in their extension or reference.

The philosophy of language does not adequately account for the word structure, nor of the elements, operations or the interdependency of the thematic relations indicated by internal structure.  What does a noun have to do with activating and focusing the attention?  What primacy of the gestalt is captured by the verb?  If you go down that road, as many researchers have, all you end up with is shifting assumptions, nearly whimsical conventions and delusional though deductive relativism.

Because Information scientists depended on the faulty ideas of a few linguists, this explains why AI models are unable to learn on their own; the thematic relations identified by linguists with their various natural language and grammatical models are not the thematic relations we need for capturing conceptual, social or any other kind of interdependence outside the syntax of the sentence.

Yet –at the foundation of the understanding there are these thematic relations on which all teaching, language, communication, logic and mathematics continually revolve and from which ideas and thought arise.  I will get into them a little deeper in my next post. There I will take up the unity of being, the unity of the conception and the system of understanding the world as an anticipatory system Ui[S,C] introduced briefly above.

Here below I want to offer the reader this comprehensive treatment of the subject of social influence in the form a four part (four hour) BBC documentary series.  After watching this series, I trust you will agree with me that in order to keep from being duped by all those who would control our deepest emotions and desires; we must know the elements and operations that are used for that control so that we are able to recognize it and learn to avoid its effects when such control affects our own lives.

How we (the American culture) were drawn in to this present day reality, and how we are affected by powerful influences without even knowing it, is plainly portrayed in this BBC documentary. In light of present day economic circumstances it presents a chilling commentary on what got us here and it may be a harbinger of what is yet to come.

Each part is about one hour and I realize how difficult it is for some people to pay attention for more than a few minutes. But if you are less than one hundred years old, you will find much of this relevant and quite interesting. If you are socially and politically conscious, it will be even more worth the time it takes to watch, I promise.

The Century of the Self

* Century of the Self, Part I, Happiness Machines
* Century of the Self, Part II, The Engineering of Consent
* Century of the Self, Part III, There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed
* Century of the Self, Part IV, Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

After watching the series, ask yourself:  Can the American Self realize its interdependence after centuries of hard won independence? Chances are, you will be able to judge in your lifetime.  Leave your opinion as a comment here below.  I’ll be back within a few weeks with the followup post on the unity of being and the unity of the conception.

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