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By using the term ecology, I mean the study of the interaction of people with their environment: the environment of human awareness and knowledge.

I think that most people, feel that they are aware of their surroundings.  Psychologists say that because you feel as though you are aware, you assume everyone else is as aware as you; more or less.  Unfortunately, it does not turn out that way.  There are a host of ill effects because  there seems to be very little in our awareness that any few people can agree upon.  The lack of shared knowledge, the lack of shared intelligence, have an affect on the different level or type or kind of awareness in societies of people everywhere.  If everyone were (explicitly) conscious of one and the same thing, then we could say that everyone is conscious of such and such.  But we cannot make such a statement or claim in this day and age.   A day and age of modern communications, computers and “open information” mind you.

Nonetheless human beings are modelers in this world or environment in that we build or construct models of it that suit us or satisfy us either by explaining or predicting the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  I should say that I take it for granted that there are both good and bad models.  I want to introduce you to a good model of the organism of intelligence (mentioned in my last post) that each of us use, even though most of us are not very conscious of it.  I expect that anyone can tell a good model from a bad one.  A good model is one that stirs or moves your awareness. It affects you in such a way as you are disposed, obliged even, to pay closer attention, as it obliges one to think more exactly about someone or something; it is one that warrants becoming more aware of it;  conscious of it, learning it: ultimately using it for enlightenment and for gain.

A model M is equivalent to a knowledge K. M=K because we employ models in making predictions about certain attributes just as we employ our knowledge. The term “attribute” is used here as a noun in an ordinary way to signify a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something. Every environment has attributes that are characteristic of it.

For example, the ecosystem is an environment that has the attributes of air, water, earth and fire. The goal is to find just those attributes (and no more) that are enough to quantify the valuable or significant changes that make a substantial difference; affect our surroundings in some way. That is, to generate or induce knowledge and awareness we must perform a transformation: we must transform (what is recognized to be) an attribute of the environment into a personal or individual affect. That may sound strange, so let me explain it a little further.

In the case of the ecosystem, the attributes air, water, earth and fire can affect us, and one might readily imagine how the presence or absence of water or air can induce different states of mind. In any case, they may be the cause of some serious condition that could affect any one of us; imagine the situation where there is no air to breath. This quality makes air a good attribute of this environment (the ecosystem) because we can readily imagine and predict how we could be affected given some arbitrary change in the situation. But: — are these attributes sufficient and all that is necessary to predict all possible changes in the environment that might affect us?

Imagine now, how difficult it must be for scientists, for anyone, to build a model of the environment of human knowledge, awareness and consciousness. In some circles of research, that is what AI and AGI engineers are trying, have been trying to do. It is true the engineers and programmers have not been up to the daunting task of it. Yet that does not diminish the fact that it is what needs to be done in order to produce an AGI, after all: we need to be able to model our own situational awareness.  By doing so, we may become better equipped to anticipate and reduce the affects of unwanted and harmful eventualities of which many people are all too aware.

For example, economists create models of economies with certain attributes and premises. For better or worse, this is done in order to deduce conclusions about possible eventualities. Economic models are useful as tools for judging which alternative outcomes seem reasonable or likely. In such cases the model is being used for prediction. Thus the model is part of some knowledge about the environment.

The model embodies the knowledge because it is itself a capacity for prediction. Thus, a model M can be considered to be fully equivalent to a knowledge. Therefore we can assume here that a model is synonymous with a knowledge. More specifically, it appears that a qualitatively relative definition of knowledge is warranted: “A Knowledge K is a capacity to predict the value which an attribute of the environment will take under specified conditions of context.”

Now let’s talk about people (sapients) and frame a model of their environment, that is, the environment of their awareness; of which they are aware (sapient). We can assume that everyone’s awareness changes in regular and predictable ways and each person has some knowledge that allows them to predict the value of attributes in their own awareness. Here, as you see, an awareness is equivalent to the environment in which we abide. We are intuitively surrounded by or abiding in the environs of sapience.

Before I begin the example let me reveal that I have a knowledge of the attributes of a denotative awareness that includes and subsumes all possible connotative environments. I will say there are eleven attributes to this environment of awareness but I will only introduce two of them we call “Self” and “Others” in this example. Like all the attributes of this rather explicit awareness, these two attributes, Self and Others, correspond with the real entities and their activities, self and others, in the world of ordinary affairs and situations. I am only using these two in order to keep the explanation simple and real and because that is all that is necessary to demonstrate the meaning of intelligence, which I will now define as: the organism or mechanism of the attributes of the environment to affect awareness.

So, to be clear, I am not going to give the complete specification of that organism or mechanism here, but I will show you how two of the attributes of the environment I have clearly in mind “affect” both my predictions and yours.  Incidentally, let me also define a “mind” as a (psychical) state space (e.g. abstract and mental space).  So we begin with an assertion: Besides my own self, there are others in my environment; the environment in which I exist and of which I am aware.

I embody the organism we call  intelligence (as do you)  and I have a knowledge K to predict that the value of a single measurement of the attribute Others, equivalent to and connotative of “wife” will be Gloria, just in case I am asked about it. This prediction is observed to be a transformation of the state space of the attribute Others, just like the state space of the attribute Self.  Under the specified conditions and in the context of my own environment, the state space is transformed, by my own knowledge K to be equivalent to my name=Ken. Under the same specified conditions of context: the connotative context “my wife” is connected to the denotative context (observable yet normally left tacit or unemphasized) by taking successive measurements (e.g. making interpretations) of these explicitly shared attributes of the environment of my awareness. I believe that once consumed, that much ought to become clear and self-evident, that is: I take it as being axiomatic.

I can also predict that additional measurements of the attributes Self and Others will yield different values equivalent to the connotative appearance of several other self-organized entities, things or activities, that become salient to my own environment from time to time. In this way (and only in this way) my Knowledge K is different than your knowledge T. It is peculiar to my thoughts and perceptions in the context of the environment situated where I live, i.e; to my awareness of that environment. You will have a similar situation –your own “context” (the particular circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed) of the environment of your own awareness. We don’t know each others knowledge or awareness. We (may only implicitly) know and share the explicit attributes of such a (sapient) awareness.

That is to say that I live in the same environment (of general awareness and sapience) as you. And I have a knowledge K of Self and Others, as attributes of this environment that (the relevance or significance of which) you may only now be becoming aware of. Both Self and Others are clearly attributes in our shared awareness. In fact, they are attributes of a universal environment for homo sapients. Remember that a knowledge T, K, …, or M is a capacity to predict the value which an attribute of the environment will take under specified conditions of context. Everyone has their own name, knowledge (whether implicit and explicit) and their own conditions of context. This is the private knowledge held inside them and perhaps also by relatives and friends.

Now we are able to make some observations and see some of the implications that flow from what has been stated above. We can intuit, for instance, that a wholesome knowledge K is evidenced whenever an organism produces information or reduces a priori uncertainty about its environment. I realize this is incomplete, though it demonstrates that (connotative and social) knowledge, text and all computer data is synthesized from (the transformation of) valid attributes A, which cannot be construed as being contained in or patterned by (computer) data nor by modern language.

Any invariant or regular and unitary attribute A (whereby individuals are distinguished) ought be seen as a continuity to be treated as valid– and used as a handy and trustworthy rubric for making or producing transformations (in the state space of a mind) applied in a context of the environment.  Each measurement produces a single valuation, that could be the same or different at any moment and from place to place –only appearing to be impossibly chaotic or complex.  For those that understand such things, such an attribute may be considered a correspondence.  This correspondence may be formalized as a functional mapping of the form A: Ɵ → Ɵ where Ɵ is the (denotative) state space of the environment mapped to the (connotative) state space of the environment.  We found more than a dozen types or configurations of functional mappings that are applied in variant connotative contexts.

So, to conclude: an environment of human awareness can be understood simply as the denotative and connotative surroundings and conditions in which the organism of the attributes (and capacity of independent awareness with a knowledge) operates, is asserted and is applied.

The good news is that now that we know that it is the organism of the attributes of the environment of awareness, consciousness, that is both explicit and universal (not connotative belief,  knowledge or perception or conception –which are all relatively defined) we can get down to resolving differences while  accommodating everyone.  To be specific, we can seek better understanding and control over perceptual and conceptual states of awareness in a decidedly invariant environment (awareness) of continuous change, where intelligence is any organism or mechanism of the attributes of an environment that affects such awareness and consciousness.

______

We can also define semantics as the correspondence of both the denotative and connotative states of conception to the set of all possible functions given the attributes of the environment.  Now, if you want to know more details you will need to put me on a retainer and pay me.

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The world is lacking an operational definition of intelligence that can lead to more exact thinking and to computer systems that help people to think more clearly and effectively. A good operational definition ought to be:

  1. Specific enough to be implanted as a procedure one that can be easily and readily followed.
  2. Motivational, manageable, measurable such that it leads to invention, progress, successful outcome.
  3. Attainable such that any baby can use the organism to sense and control entities and activities in its world or environment.
  4. Relevant, in that it is determinate of what is to become significant, or;
  5. Timely, and
  6. Salient

This definition (stated below) addresses two questions:

  • Where do we get the intelligence to deal with a growing, changing reality?
  • How does intelligence work to make changes in our favor?

Most researchers agree that human intelligence is observed in behavior, in particular, in language and through speech acts. The Sapir-Whorf theory of linguistic relativity, was summarized by the semanticist Stuart Chase, when he stated:

“First, that all higher levels of thinking are dependent on language. Second, that the structure of the language one habitually uses influences the manner in which one understands his environment. The picture of the universe shifts from tongue to tongue.”

Restating this linguistic theory as a systems theory and in terms of analytic and computational engineering, notational engineer Jeffry Long wrote:

“First, that all abstract thinking is dependent upon the existence or invention of notational systems. Second, that the underlying ontological inventions of the notational system one habitually uses influences the manner in which one understands his environment. Acquiring literacy in a major notation causes us to add a new dimension to our picture of the universe.”

Based on twenty-seven years of intimate experience, I can restate Tammam Adi’s theory of semantics based on Classical Arabic, in this way:

First, living in the world is a growing, expanding experience or (ontogenic) process in which we make things (speech, nouns, names; things, artifacts, etc.). The words of language are made of abstract structures referencing bits or segments of this growing/making reality that we construct and utilize for common edification and understanding.

Second, the growth in common and social sense, along with modern languages, rests on ontogenetic intelligence in the organism of mind and on the success of its notational system: its elementary (ontogenic) processes and semantic rules, and its recognizable symbols (e.g. alphabets) and system of writing. Collectively, we call these “ontological inventions” for making progress.

Thirdly, word structure is composed of clusters or configurations of ontological inventions involving and representing both real and abstract entities and activities, arranged in such way as to be productive (of making sense, meaning, things) of understanding.

With Adi’s theory of (algebraic, axiomatic) semantics, it is possible to specify the ordinary conditions and ontogenic controls of sapience in the following concise and formalized way:

There is a self-organizing mechanism (regulating schemata) comprising:

  1. the polarity of an abstract entity, representing engagement conditions, (G) distinguishing the involvement and participation of oneself and others, (G={Self, Others}) in;
  2. a symmetrical relationship (R) crossing the polarity of an abstract procedure, representing an ontogenic orientation and boundary conditions
    (T={Open, Closed}, and R=T X G) for;
  3. a set of invariant and elementary processes
    (P={assignment, manifestation, containment}) being structured by the abstract entity, using the polar procedure for growing and making (sense, understanding, artifacts etc.) and;
  4. which schematic arrangement of such entities and activities generates symbolic and semantic operations (syntactically) carried out or produced (i.e. interpreted) by enacting them (via speech-acts, etc.).

We call this intelligence and we say: “Intelligence is the organism of a mind uniting (abstract and real) entities and activities in such a way that they are productive of regular changes from the beginning until the end.”


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The Wikipedia entry defines Quala thus:

Qualia (play /ˈkwɑːliə/ or /ˈkwliə/; singular form: quale (Latin pronunciation: [ˈkwaːle]) is a term used in philosophy to refer to individual instances of subjectiveconscious experience. The term derives from a Latinword meaning for “what sort” or “what kind.” Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the perceived redness of an evening sky.
One might argue on this evidence that the definition applies only to some subjective qualities of a macro and  external experience while the most subjective experience of the organism must be, can only be, that internally generated experience of the individual self.  The quale of inner-experience cannot be a “macro” quantity, symbol or component such as the amount of pain or even the word, or the uncountable shades of red.  I can personally attest that one may know pain without also knowing how to interpersonally express or symbolize it.
 
I am not alone in believing that “qualia,” if it be an identifiable sort or kind of particular — salient to the awareness and consciousness, must instead be a micro, molecular or morphogenetic quantity representable in an associative network of firmly grounded states, (grounded in physical laws and causality).
 
I am aware, for example that my own inner-experience is conditioned by the homeostasis of the structure and function of my central nervous system; (not only the brain) the brain and its sensors along with the metabolism.  The objects of my inner experience are felt and reflected upon because I am emotionally invested in being here and now and in being me (the present particular “I am”).  
 
This emotional investment (from which one feels things) forms a feedback loop caused by the modal transformations of exogenous matters of the ecosystem and interpersonal realities into the conscious endogenous energy of self-realized experience.  It ought go without saying that I am also emotionally invested in the modern social world, (I have been raised with an American and interpersonal worldview) and I am socially, professionally and politically engaged in interactions with others.
 
A worldview is more than just a belief, opinion or perspective.  A worldview is a framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual, group or culture interpret their conditions of existence.  I have more recently been developing the idea that modern ethnographic worldview is not an invention or a construction, rather it is an expression of poiesis: a creation or production of that which is named by the combining roots of organism.  
 
The expression of which must be seen in light of both morphogenic and “ontogenic” properties in that there are a set of semantic rules that govern ontogenesis (i.e., growth of the morphogenic fields of language from the simple to far more complex forms of expression).  The macro field of “human reality” is seen as an expression of this biogenic field of organismic poiesis, rather than as a social, cultural, literary or political construct, or any other ethnographic construction.  
 
Poietic semantics operates (in intelligent people) by unifying and focusing intuitive cognitive processes (onto rudimentary elements and operations of poiesis and organismic function) and by regulating interprocess interactions and individual (endogenous semiotic) rulemaking.  I can vouch for the idea that the uptake, adoption and retention of a poietic worldview affects associative thinking in intelligent people (it anchors them; it gives them an objective and transformative hand-hold in a sea of assumptions) from more than thirty-years of personal experience.  
 
A poietic worldview engenders (in its learner) an exactness in the immediate conception of the elements and operations of poiesis (i.e. it is a concretion of Daniel Kahneman’s system-1 type thinking (i.e it is not AI nor analytic/reductionist)). It synthesizes the components, elements and influences of associative thinking, making such thinking that much more concrete and reliable.
 
Here is a short video overview I prepared recently that can be shared and downloaded.  
 

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Here is my post about defining words as the molecular building blocks in the creation and meaning of ideas. However, considering the confusion caused by the term semantics and the unwanted association to linguistics and the semantic web, I think I have to first provide a theory explaining how people correlate and interpret their interpersonal reality: The semantics of semiosis in the interdependent reality of being human, i.e.: the semantics of our humanity.

There is a Representational Theory of Mind (RTM) that is a controversial though sensible and practical theory taken up by many but not all computer scientists and AI engineers. I wish to take up and raise the power of this theory. RTM (cf. Field 1978, 37; Fodor 1987, 17). Fodor and Field developed this representational theory of thought out of Fodor’s Language of Thought Hypothesis (cf. Foder, 1975) and this goes back to James (1890). The theory recognizes thoughts as actions paraphrased thus:

For each biological or psychological act (inference/intention/disposition/resolution, etc.) A, one recognizes and partakes of (commits to) a distinct (i.e. a dedicated) physical affordance R to operate on one or more physical processes selected by subject S. S Acts to influence, or by influence of experience E or (to partake of) process P.

Logically, S bears a relation R to experience E and to physical process P.

Experience with this logical formula induces a cenoscopic type of knowledge that comes from the systematic realization of predictable consequences. These are implied by the way the first-order logic takes “reality” in its aspect to the induction or deduction of such logical relations. The scare quotes around “reality” are needed. Really! The subject S bearing the relation R has a limited range of experience E contending with undefined, yet potential actions or constraints R on one or more indefinite processes P of which one must partake to make an interpretation or create an idea.

A problem arises because whether any variable introduced into this logic actually coincides or correlates with life or with any particularly objective reality is not really questioned by those who apply the logic. This is where human beings and direct experience isn’t of much avail. If one does not know which humanistic affordance offers the most advantage and which humanistic process P to select, or is to be selected, to create a sustainable idea or manifest a suitable and realistic humane thought, how can any idea be measured against any other?

While RTM makes sense, being inductive of cenoscopic knowledge, followers have so far failed to identify the distinct sort of physical affordance R that humanity shares, that a subject S commits to, or; the operations, objects or functions subject S recognizes to act on or interpret their experience E. They have failed to properly characterize any process P in which subject S partakes to create ideas. There is folk-psychological doctrine and there is talk about beliefs – that is the sum of it. Since its inception: neither, the author’s of the theory of RTM proper nor proponents of the doctrines that have embraced it, has been successful in helping adherents identify key objects, operations, procedures and processes.

In his Essay on Human Understanding (1823/1963, p. 174), Locke (1690) wrote:

“All that can fall within the compass of human understanding, being either, first, the nature of things, as they are in themselves, their relations, and their manner of operation: or, secondly, that which man himself ought to do, as a rational and voluntary agent, for the attainment of any end, especially happiness: or, thirdly, the ways and means whereby the knowledge of both the one and the other of these is attained and communicated; I think science may be divided properly into these three sorts.”

From my perspective as a layman, I can see that modern computer and social sciences and philosophy have failed humanity in two of the three divisions of science. The RTM referenced above is science of the second division: what man ought to do as a rational voluntary agent to attain one’s own ends (whatsoever they may be). Because there is no focused definition of humanism, the actions of the agent are not committed to being humane, or even rational, at all. Without a requirement for humanity, whatever rationality exists arises from either irrational desire or rage; neither is appealing nor cultured. It seems to me that, in the case of raising the culture of human understanding, the first commitment one must make is to the humanity from whence biophysical affordance R emerges and rationality follows.

Computer, cognitive and social sciences, particularly linguistics and natural language engineering have failed humanity in both the first and second divisions of science. They have not developed ideoscopic knowledge of the nature of things, or of objects as they are in themselves, in their relations, and their manner of operation. They have not developed ideoscopic knowledge of what man himself, or woman herself, ought to do, as a rational and voluntary agent, for the attainment of a humane end. Finally and thirdly because they have failed to attain to an articulation of ideoscopic knowledge of both divisions one and two, the knowledge being communicated is cenoscopic knowledge, which; while it may often be necessary as excogitated minutia, is grossly insufficient and inadequate to formulating a workable theory of thought and a complete knowledge of both the first and second divisions of science.

Ideoscopic knowledge is knowledge that cannot be arrived at or verified without experimentation –like knowing how to swim, for example. We have ideoscopic knowledge of swimming that is shareable. You can verify this claim by looking up the definition of “to swim” or Google define: swim for the WordNet definition. Then look up the definition of the verb “fly” or Google define: fly. You may notice the difference. Many of us do have ideoscopic knowledge of the states of swimming and flying.

In the case of flying; that ideoscopic knowledge has not yet been attained or recognized by the scientists at Google or by the WordNet authority at Princeton University, and therefore, it is not being communicated. In the area of the humanity of thought and thinking, ideoscopic knowledge has to do with the humanistic use of signs and the correlative distinctions humans make or create between objects and things within the semiotic process, or semosis, carried out in a human mind.

Introducing a Semiotic Theory of Thought:

Mental processing, thinking in particular, takes the form of a triadic system of (supervening) power with relations between a) things (in the lebenwelt; in life) and b) objects in one’s own peculiar objective reality (one’s umwelt). In linguistics, words are signs of things that presuppose objects. According to the RTM, we have a) the subject or signifier S, and; b) the signified, that being the object signified or presupposed of existential sense data E, and; c) the supervening power (process) P and relationships R to which each of us, as human beings, commit ourselves in order to attain to the imputed cause, judgment or interpretation of creation as experienced by S.

That is the static view with experience resting on judgment; here is the dynamic view:

The domain of experience clearly has the potential to become interpreted. The powerful and dynamic relations of this system can be formalized (represented) as an algebraic formula – a recipe – taking creative power P as the main ingredient (the referent) to psychological processes of objectification and condensation. The subject S (the signifying processor) partakes of (selects from) the process P of creation, the distinct ability and specific affordance R necessary to distinguish and symbolize existential findings – the things of E (of the lebenwelt, such as P and R and things (sensible sights, sounds) in and among themselves) as objects — in a world of experience (umwelt) — and; in a state of being (the signified), subject to human being or human signification.

Therewith are the means by which the things and appearances of the outer life, outside self-existence, (lebenwelt) are objectified and condensed into the true and correlative objects of the world of experience (umwelt) by way of the functions (operations) in the domain and range of perception, creativity, imagination and cognitive activity (of one’s innenwelt). The formulable essence enveloping the three dimensions of one’s personal though objective reality is a semantic field of thought whereby thoughts are a function f of the interpretive system enformed by the process P of creation, hastened, constrained or halted, as needs be, by the affordance or potential of action according to the selection or choice of relationship R.

So, in the sense that every act of S bears R to E and partakes of P; we propose these commitments:

f ( P x R ): We define P and R according to Adi’s theory of semantics, whereby:

There is a universal set of psychosomatic objects: G={self,other}, with a potential for engagement and attraction;

there is a universal set of biophysiological objects: T={open,closed}, a potential for inhibition and boundary, and;

therefore:

R = T x G = { r(j) | j = 1 to 4 } =

{(closed, self),(open, self),(closed, others),(open, others)}, and;

there is process P to creation, whereby;

P= { p(i) | i = 1, 2, 3 } = {assignment, manifestation, containment}

The large scale distribution of ideas depends on ideoscopic knowledge of and command over this subtle and creative process or power P of creation: the ability to compare and confer status being part of the creative power of thought, e.g., A=A. Plato knew this. He railed against people to think for themselves. Each person has the power and authority to assign a value (e.g., equality); both command of the process P of creation and the liberty to exercise this ability, together with a mental and linguistic aptitude to manifest or create such an assignment for oneself.

Over the century of the self, people have lost their power and misplaced their values, now, kings and governments vie to be the only authority with the power to confer status. Click the link and watch the videos for an uncommon look at how human thirst for happiness has been used against you to rob you of your humanity.  The people who have given up or have lost their humanity to the false powers have misplaced values as well.  When people restore their humanity they will find the power they need to confer the status of being humane.

Below is a matrix (PxR) that symbolizes the variable functions of a sign system (English) as a unified semiotic field – derived from these definitions. Each cell has an atomic weight (not shown). In this table, each cell is an atomic unity that generates a state of thought; expanding in time and space. It shows the confluence of power and conditions generating the peculiar essence to each listed word/idea. Words can be defined as the molecular building blocks of a language – the molecular particulates needed to construct ideas. All ideas are themselves dependent upon the power P of creation and the potentiality of the relationships R that people have and are committed to. Speech acts are signs of that commitment.

At the top: the objects self and other symbolize psychosomatic relationships that afford a set of engagement conditions. The objects open and closed symbolize physical relationships that afford a set of boundary conditions. Together, they form a universal affordance, formalizing biophysiological boundary and engagement conditions. These relationships R embody the separation of the objects in space time; open and closed, self and other, in the various types of interdependently unifying configurations. They represent natural relationships R by symbolizing the valence of biophysiological influences on life; such as the fact that opposites attract and inhibitors inhibit among other interesting features of objects, things and their states of being.

Semiotic Field of Thought

This table demonstrates how the process P of creation (defined as a power set and listed vertically down the left-hand column) is objectified and expressed as the initial conditions in the creation or formation of objects in the world of experience; such as those listed. This biophysiological and psychosomatic potential orients the function f of each speech act, each word; the selected affordance determines the input function, domain and range for one’s own judgment. Consider the making or breaking of bonds in the ideas that are symbolized by the two symmetrical columns in the right-side of this matrix.

As you may surmise, the phonetic alphabet is in itself a physical symbol system (albeit one comprised of atomic particulates) that symbolizes and condenses these powers and conditions into the range of one’s own composure; the affordance of which is pragmatically acquired while learning motor and social skills.  Yet, because modern philosophy has failed to develop just this sort of ideoscopic knowledge, the connection is not pointed by instruction and demonstration, it is left to the imagination of each succeeding generation of children.  Many older children often miss the connection and thereby lack grounded concepts.  This creates adults with many doubts and few anchors in their world of experience.

As a basis for a language like English, anyone can now see how this system evolves coherent states of being that we already know about (and routinely refer to). Any word in existence, from any language, can potentially refute this theory. Because every term of every language can be defined in this way, there have been plenty of chances produced. Falsification is a property of a valid scientific theory. So, I invite others to try and refute this theory, I welcome their attention and trial.

Please let me know, with your comments, how it goes.  Until someone does refute this theory, let us regain our humanity and insist on humanism in all science:  the belief in a thinking human being that is capable of partaking of the power of creation: A human being who knows what creative power is, and becomes a willing participator, thereby (in that ideoscopic knowledge), in the process of creation.  Let him or her then be one of those human beings that attends to hastening and accommodating rather than obstructing and destroying the creative process for the Good of our humanity.

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In a 2008 post, Semantics Maps, Meaning and Other Nebulous Notions, I described how an alphabet represents a set of sound symbols that are interpreted as word formulas in readware technology. If you skip over my long-winded ranting about what is called semantics and ontology in the computer industry, you will see that I included Adi’s matrix for English near the bottom. This matrix semantically maps the (atomic) sound symbols of the language from the creative powers and substance of thought (a creative soul).

Essentially, this is a mapping from a unified awareness, or the essence of a world-building thought or mind, into the atomic symbols of the language. On the other hand, one might see it is a mapping of the symbols we use to make language about the world onto any resident human’s thoughts of the world. I did not characterize it in this way, as the formulable essence of a world-making soul, as I did in the post previous to this one. Instead, I just put the definition out there relating it to the ways words and thoughts represent the world, i.e., their semantics. Yet, no one seemed to understand the semantic functions of Adi’s elementary processes and polarities; at least few people shared any comments with me.

In the later half of this decade, I found that many computer professionals, especially writers and promoters in the field, were expecting breakthroughs in semantic technology, from existing efforts, and did not have the time of day to entertain something so different as the software we created.  Instead, they stayed with the status quo –which is how it has been for the last few decades. Nearly everyone, it seems, has taken up a position on the sidelines –waiting for the next big thing.

Now here we are in 2010 and I am here talking about the same things I was ranting about from 1998 to 2008, because there are serious problems with the way people seem to be thinking. When you mention “creative thinking,” for example, people tend to think of brainstorming and executive retreats with NLP.  This is so wrong-headed that it is just one more thing that tears us down. You don’t have to take my word for it.

In a recent Newsweek article about the crises in creativity, authors and writers talked about the fact in some detail, there is also an audio interview with the writer. While they mentioned that so-called “brainstorming,” practiced by corporations and educational facilities, does not work, they were not able to say how thinking works. They were reporting that, using the Torrance Creativity Quotient (CQ) scale, they could definitively show that creativity is on the decline –and has been since 1990– while the IQ scores of children are increasing about 10% per year due to the Flynn effect (where each generation of children show an increase in IQ score).

My experience is not with education but with reading and processing information and semantic recognition. In the process of implementing a semantic recognition system, for reading and understanding the meaningful relations of the expressions of a text, I learned about the powers of creative thinking, directly, by trial and practice. And I believe I understand creative thinking correctly when I characterize it as the intellectual power of a world-building soul. Calling it a world-building or world-making soul is a way of representing the necessary processes of creativity. It does not matter what we call it, as long as everyone understands what it is we are doing here (with language or with thought).

No one would debate that people do represent the world of experience with language, but the formal methods of functional grammar and lexical semantics seem only to help determine if a statement meets the truth conditions covered by a rule. Scientist and logicians in this field do not concern themselves with what is in the world or with the way the world works, the way thought works or with how the world is represented in thought. If you ask them, they proudly say –that’s not our call or concern.

Instead they concern themselves with structuring and mapping the logic of a belief, proposition or “speech acts” and with the sentimental composition of particular statements about some thing (usually in or related to the content or context), where such logical strictures are then related to each other and proven true or false either by logic or by contest.  If it is language or even knowledge that describes the way the world works, then the problem with linguistic, lexical and logical semantics is that there is no semantic thesis that adequately defines the all-important relationship that holds between one’s thought of the world and one’s language of the world.

Thought, it seems, does not represent the world in the same way as does a natural language –or even with a private language of thought as philosophers once mused. No scientist or layman familiar with this topic would deny that there is a transformation of structure between thought and language. The semantics of the symbol must capture this transformation and account for all its values.

This post will review, for my readers, the central premise of the search for artificial intelligence and recast the character of Adi’s semantic thesis: explaining how world-making is empowered by the intellect, enacted by thought or mind; revealing the semantic relationship between thought and symbol and the means to objectively interpret the meaning of words, phrases and other expressions of any natural language.

Apparently, very few authorities recognize the phonemes of language as symbols. There is no mention of phonemes or morphemes in the examples of symbols in the physical symbol system page at Wikipedia.  For computer scientists, the symbol functions as a representation according to a computational or representational theory of mind (CTM/RTM).  In this regard, a phoneme qualifies as a symbol.  In addition, the number and range of the inventory of phonetic sounds of the human language is relatively stable over a much longer period than some of the other symbols listed as examples.

This CTM-based approach has survived years of enormous effort. With more than fifty years of support, it has enjoyed large amounts of funding and a take-up in every computer science department at every university. Students and their professors and all manner of well-funded AI researchers have been working on CTM/RTM-driven efforts under the premise of the Physical Symbols System Hypothesis (1976, PSSH; original paper by Alan Newell and Herbert Simon).

Their hypothesis is that a physical symbol system (such as a computer system) has the necessary and sufficient means for intelligence.  That thesis has been hotly debated and any development of a general “intelligence” has remained illusive, but you needn’t have my word about it. Nils Nilsson’s 2007 paper is a good view on the status of PSSH since 1976, and its prospects today, where he writes:

Newell and Simon admitted that
The hypothesis could indeed be false. Intelligent behavior is not so easy to produce that any system will exhibit it willy-nilly. Indeed, there are people whose analyses lead them to conclude either on philosophical or on scientific grounds that the hypothesis is false. Scientifically, one can attack or defend it only by bringing forth empirical evidence about the natural world.

There has certainly been no shortage of intelligent, even brilliant, computer, cognitive and brain scientists working from this premise and the counter premise –that there is no “intelligence”; it is just a bunch of patterns, neurons and chemical reactions.  Unfortunately neither approach is completely satisfying or demonstrative of more than a kind of mechanical or algorithmic reckoning; acting out of a specific rule, or from initial conditions. These are so specific that these “physical symbol systems’ tend to break unless they are narrowly focused in a well defined domain. People, the other example of “physical symbol systems” in evidence, are far more resilient.

In my last post, I argued that the empirical evidence is that people have a soul (naturally) and computer systems don’t.  I hope that I identified that as the main problem in the field, and if not, I am doing so here and now.  I described the character that Tom Adi and I were looking for when we began our work on search and the semantic recognition problems in 1984. Tom and I had both been working in the computer industry since the late seventies, but not in AI and outside of university settings, and so I was not familiar with the PSSH or with Jerry Fodor’s Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) from the same time period (at the time).

For different reasons, the affinity that Tom and I shared, was that: linguists, philosophers and logicians, and psychologists, had so far failed to give an adequate account of concepts.  None offered a semantic thesis sufficient to explain the way people represent the world in thought and language. Both of us saw this as a reason for the “meaning” failure in automatic translation systems. That is the problem that prompted Tom to organize and undertake an original semantic study into the roots of meaning –so to speak.

While I previously believed otherwise, since then, I have found that the conventions of language are not part of the foundations of thinking. According to Adi’s research and findings, they may be derived directly from Adi’s elementary objects of thought.  It not only seems right, as it is in one’s own experience, it makes sense that first comes the orderly form of thought then comes language.

Some writers seem to confuse the power to synthesize and generate ideas with mental faculties used in the production of language out of the human disposition (claims/conclusions) and the ensuing expression and discourse in the chain of events.  I did that myself in the early part of my career. What took years of reconciliation for me to learn (in light of Adi’s results), is that: each and every true thought is an enactment –either the act of enacting, or the state of being enacted– an activity that is quite apart from but linked (through the disposition) to the faculty of language in people.

I want to now introduce readers to a fresh application of the psychological notion of thinking; how human thought (or mind) operates, and; what mind operates on (Adi’s objects and processes); how Adi’s semantics link those intellectual processes –the objects of thought– to language, and; how this formative intellect is encoded and carried by the physical symbols of the world of experience. In that regard, let me first define what I mean here by the term thinking.

I don’t mean to define the mental faculties, such as pattern recognition, memory, logical reasoning and the rest; this post is not about those mental faculties and processes.  I will not bring out Adi’s formal definitions here as they are available on another page (accessible using the tab at the top of this blog). Here I will attempt to characterize the activity of thinking as the transformation and synthesis of sensation, information and perception into the substance of the universal essence –the intellectual power of a world-making soul.

At the end, I hope to have demonstrated how it is this essence, this formulable essence found by Tom Adi, that is the essence of ANY material or matter, indeed, any phenomena within the psychological world of experience. For if this notion were not so; if the essence of world-making were not so formulable –so capable of being easily formulated– how could any child represent the world in their thought and thinking –either with or without language.

I hope to demonstrate to my reader not only that the intellectual powers and essence to thought are formulable, functional and instrumental to symbolic representation, but how so. I will show that it is the true thought’s substantial essence and intellectual power that becomes, as it manifests itself in every disposition and dispensation (i.e., the intellectual power of thought issuing from the authority to use it; e.g., the authority to assign a name) every inference we make and all the reckoning we do.

Before I do that I want to explain why the objects in the psychological world of experience, including natural languages, logical propositions and other accepted physical symbols, are insufficient for general intelligence in our artificial symbolic processing systems.  Because, by focusing on words and ungrounded propositions in a psychological world that is in flux with emotion and full of uncertainty, scientists seem to have reached a dead-end.  No amount of sequencing can straighten it out. This is because the world of experience is to thinking (and intellectual thought processes) what the quantum world is to the world of classical mechanics.

In the Ontology of Action/Enactment below, we have the universe of action and reaction represented by the science of physics and its major fields or divisions. Opposite, as if a mirror image on the right, we have the universe of enactment (and the state of either enacting or being enacted) and reenactment (and the state of either reacting or being re-enacted).  One side is material, the other immaterial.  Both sides (along with the nature of each respective universe) are implicated in the world-building nature to life.

While quantum mechanics is rendered below the horizon and opposite consciousness it can only be associated for a short time.  It is a transformation of thinking to consider and realize how classical mechanics is more descriptive of the nature of thought or mind than quantum mechanics.  In a sane person, the mind is as decisive, orderly and determined as our solar system in spite of current experience that is so often disorderly and absurd.

Being in the world of experience is unpredictable; it is full of uncertainty. There are swarms of composite particulars and indefinite substance made up of all kinds of individual and material particles and immaterial ideas –ambiguity at every turn– corresponding to visible and invisible particles, attractions and repulsions. That everything has a spin, including language, should not be lost on the modern individual in tune with events of the last decade.

True and considered thought, on the other hand, must summon from the disposition of a world-building soul, the powers of world-making –for discovering the set of laws or principles and the physical operations– the powers for enacting the set of forces and constraints, those governing the lawful composition and destruction of bodies, along with the operations for moving, aggregating and separating them. These are the powers the human race needs to survive.

The human mind seeks to control the character and motions of the bodies that are distributed within the boundaries and in the domain and range of things in the psychological world of experience. Thought works through the action and the force of intellectual and creative powers. It is a biological function: to think is to become, to be –to manifest thought and make manifest its grand schemes. Thinking with the objects of thought produce the symbols, words, sentences and statements, science, art, and all manner of institutions along with the rest of culture.

Thinking is a creative and evolutionary procedure. Aggregated true or provisionally-true thought –some might call that a meme or a unit of cultural transmission– progresses along the onto-genetic trajectory of a world-making soul. It should be no surprise that thinking, like life, is a biological process on an evolutionary path. Life is the union of both passable and impassable aspects to being.

The intimacy everyone knows and feels with thought and art is the indubitable knowledge people have to rise above other creatures (and creature-habits). The power to become cultured and to build a world suitable and similar to one’s most cultured ideal of being. This is about wielding the power that once was the exclusive domain of the Pharaoh’s of Egypt, the Princes of Arabia and Persia, India and China, the Emperors of Rome and all the Popes and Kings that came before us.

If I were to carry this metaphor out, one might imagine a combination of powers to be required, including the power of dominion: authority and control. It is necessary to have authority (or control) over the necessary functionality as well as all internal or external constituents in the function, domain and range of one’s thought, for reason of establishing the identity, appearance and order of authority; for example.

One would need the power and authority to name, assign, dispose or dispense with any matter. One needs be capable of decreeing any event or occurrence, either actual or potential, or material or immaterial, to be, happen or to take place. This, for the sake of the unified control over the distribution of functions of the human imagination (and motor skills) and one’s reason and power to distinguish and determine the constituents, including the language, in the function, domain and range of one’s thought. Thirdly, one would need the power and ability to accommodate, order and unify all the external and internal constituents determined to be relevant, into the unification function, domain and range of one’s thought. I call this unity and these powers the power of thought.

These powers are credible enough to explain how things come into being, and; in the formal semantic theory proposed by Tom Adi, they comprise the formulable essence of the psychological experience of all the things we find in material existence. They are: the power of assignment, the power of manifestation, and; the power of containment. Adi calls these elementary processes implicating the process of assigning, the process of manifesting and the process of containing, without commenting further. I identify them with the intellectual powers of thought (mind or consciousness). Let’s examine them one by one.

The Power of Assignment:  The power, authority, faculty and liberty and the necessary and sufficient process to confer status (such as equality, e.g., A=A) property, rights or truth, to confer is to bring together and also to compare; it is a movement (to give) to name, to identify, to indicate, point to, attend to, etc. In business, the power of assignment is indispensable, as it is in nearly all aspects of one’s own life and personal affairs.

The Power of Manifestation: The power, authority, faculty and liberty and the necessary and sufficient process to create, project, appear or make some thing or entity to appear, happen or take place. Just like one manifests one’s own thoughts in their behavior. When you make a decision to go to a location different from where you presently are, you use this power to enact that disposition and make it actually happen. Your motor functions react to your intellectual will power. If your intellectual will power is strong it will happen.

The Power of Containment: The power, authority, faculty and liberty and process necessary and sufficient to accommodate, quantize, structure, frame and otherwise create order out of chaos.

According to Adi’s theory, assignment, manifestation and containment are elementary processes. They combine into a power set (the formulable essence of the set of intellectual powers) available to the consciousness of any individual. It is my view, that Adi’s processes are consumed by the mental (cognitive, imaginative, rational) faculties of thinking by splitting them into formative functions (e.g., thinking as an influential experience).

The semantic matrix at the top represents these ontic and formative functions distributed over the potential of perceived relationships within the domain (of thought, mind) and ranging over all world-making operations. These are expressed with operations typical of simple and compound and polarized actions, reactions, interactions, and bonds; enabling simple and compound compositions, and so forth. This is part of Adi’s semantics and derives from the semantic matrix where each phonetic symbol is taken as the sign of a specific, selective and formative operation or function in the domain and range of one’s own thought.

In one language study conducted in English, Tom Adi compiled statistics of the distribution of these ontic functions over about 30,000 frequently-used words; (complex lexical symbols) expressing such polarized actions and interactions using the English language. Every part of speech was represented according to how commonplace each part of speech is in regular use. All the words included in the study had three or more letters. We found out many interesting things, not the least of which is: there is an absence of action and interaction by containment (there is no word in English expressing a containment mapping applied to a defined domain set) in any of the vocabulary we tested.

Tom interpreted this as a natural law of complex systems. As a law of system control– there is no direct control. That is: No process or object can directly control (exercise a mapping of containment on) another process or object. Control of others (other interacting objects) is either enacted by assignment (control by instruction, the most common form) or by manifestation (control by action causing a reaction).

Adi found that control, in the great majority of interactions (925/991 or about 93% of the vocabulary falling into this group), is enacted by assignment, i.e. by issuing instructions that others execute (machine control, obedience, cooperation in good faith). In a small percentage (66/991 or about 7%) of interactions, control is the enactment of a manifestation causing a reaction (e.g., a behavior causing a reaction: imitation, following a leader, reacting to a catalyst or provocateur). This has interesting personal and social implications. For example, a human community is never directly coerced to do anything.

I would like to go further but, seeing as this post is longer than the last, and having laid out the link between thought and the symbols of language, I will leave my reader to absorb these notions and to sort out some of the rest of the implications.  While this post has been mainly about the semantic link between (atomic) thoughts and atomic symbols. In the next post, I will get to the semantics of molecular symbols (words). I will show some examples of how they influence the disposition and how we learn from them.

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Scientists say the brain is the organ of intelligence and imagination and the human soul or psyche is widely understood as the wrapper or envelope for a singularly distinctive intellect often simply called: the mind. By way of stating the obvious, I wish to underline that the powers of the human intellect and the capacity to think, calculate and reason, are attributes of beings with a particular kind of soul (a psyche) with a perceptive mind of a certain kind of character.

I am someone who would not dispute that all living things in this world of experience partake in amounts, more or less, of a single soul-substance on the basis that there is only way of being alive in this world. That is the genesis and evolutionary trajectory of the biological process of life. Together with life itself, there are a multitude of ways of life (deen in Arabic) and living things. The unity of these might comprise what I will call here, the World Soul – or the World-Making soul. The purpose of making up the world is part of the topic of this post.

On this stand, each living thing, then, should also have or display some aspect of life of only one kind or mind, that is, a world-making mind. The implications of such a view could be the subject of some debate, although; I wish to narrow this discussion to the subject of the human variety of souls, and; the kind and character of mind and intellect we might enjoy from any fellow human being, irrespective of their language or society.

I beg my reader will allow the loose definition of the mind as a unity, an intellectual potentiality or intellect united with will; both necessary and functional parts of life as a human being. I can further define the intellect as being a cognitive power sufficient for the making/creation of all manner of intelligent dispensations and dispositions –both actual, and only imagined or potential.– as it is, in any case, quite truly a topic more involved than my topic here.

The psyche or soul can be demonstrated to be the immaterial part of the body, (a purposeful) part of us (persons, individuals, human agents) that imbues us with intentional knowledge and perception and a unified awareness of mind and movement. What is called the human soul or psyche is that part of the living creature that accommodates a mind. The soul, mind and body comprise a unity, achieving the instrumentality of a cosmic syzygy –the form of a natural body having life potentially within it. Together they comprise the object of a unified awareness that does think and has intention, knowledge and perception along with the powers to create, and the reason to make dispensations and dispositions.

In that sense what we call the psyche is a composite of soul, mind or intellect, and the body with which it unites for a time. The soul-substance can be understood as the incorporeal yet purposeful part of the material body for what follows here below.

It is my claim here that such a substance as a soul is necessary for any natural or artificial body, for any reckoning agent, to be capable of comparing (grasping/holding, recognizing) that which is befitting the natural intellect or mind –available upon recall just in case of one’s pending disposition or dispensation. Before anyone raises the objection of soul as substance or that computing machines can not have a soul of any kind, let me offer up Aristotle’s definition of kinds of bodies and the all-important soul, found in this translation of his treatise on the soul:

“Among substances are by general consent reckoned bodies and especially natural bodies; for they are the principles of all other bodies. Of natural bodies some have life in them, others not; by life we mean self-nutrition and growth (with its correlative decay). It follows that every natural body which has life in it is a substance in the sense of a composite. But since it is also a body of such and such a kind, viz. having life, the body cannot be soul; the body is the subject or matter, not what is attributed to it. Hence the soul must be a substance in the sense of the form of a natural body having life potentially within it. But substance is actuality, and thus soul is the actuality of a body as above characterized…”Aristotle, De Anime, Book II, Chapter 1: (translation by J. A. Smith)

Aristotle might not have imagined a composite body quite like a (non-intelligent) computer system, an artificial body –composed of a central processor or CPU, memory and I/O devices, software applications and programs — although his definition allowed for reckoned bodies –of which a computer system is an exemplar in both the potential and actual sense.

Yet, here, it is the necessary and sufficient actuality –that substance or formulable essence “of a natural body having life potentially within it” – that is absent of the “intelligent computer system”. The correct kind of soul is altogether absent from this otherwise stellar exemplar of the whatness of a reckoning (yet neither thinking nor perceiving) body that we refer to as a computer or system, and also as a “search engine” when applied as such.

I have argued that if we intend our computational or reckoning bodies (our search engines) to become intelligent, or become capable of intelligent behavior, and if we also desire them to think as any layman does, then they must be given the same formulable essence as has a natural human body. This should not be seen as a strange claim or new idea as it is an ancient and well-accepted one. A little farther on from the passage above, Aristotle continues:

“…the soul is the first grade of actuality of a natural body having life potentially in it. The body so described is a body which is organized.”

This hints at what one might look for –that is, a body (a self-contained computing system) organized by the soul-substance (a composite and formulable form) of a natural (living) body. That formulable essence might be called the semantic matrix of life, a unified composite of being in existence and having intention (a directive-mind). This form of being, by way of orientation and creative powers, would have all the knowledge necessary to (imaginatively) actualize being; not just a passive being; a thriving actuality (a well-ordered, organized, and cultivated being) able to acquire, possess and use knowledge. The master, Aristotle, goes on to define a soul:

“What is soul?-an answer which applies to it in its full extent. It is substance in the sense which corresponds to the definitive formula of a thing’s essence. That means that it is ‘the essential whatness’ of a body of the character just assigned. Suppose that what is literally an ‘organ’, like an axe, were a natural body, its ‘essential whatness’, would have been its essence, and so its soul; if this disappeared from it, it would have ceased to be an axe, except in name. As it is, it is just an axe; it wants the character which is required to make its whatness or formulable essence a soul; for that, it would have had to be a natural body of a particular kind, viz. one having in itself the power of setting itself in movement and arresting itself.” – Aristotle, De Anime

This is what the “intelligent computer” cries out for. As it is, the computer is just a computer, the web is just a web, and networked intelligence is just a dream. Artificial Intelligence has no soul and it has all but ceased to be, except in name, “intelligence” at all. For most practitioners, it has already thrown off the name and put on the new moniker: the semantic web –not being any the more intelligent at all. It is the same for the body social. That crowd calls out for a soul.

Nonetheless, the science of AI wants the character which is required to make its whatness or its formulable essence characterize a human psyche –the form of the human intellect. This may not be just any kind of soul, it is worth repeating, but a soul with a particular kind of character –that of a living, cultivating, directed/oriented human being. This, of course, is paramount to one “having in itself the power” (or power schema) “of setting itself” (a natural body) “in movement and arresting itself”. That power would be the form of the intellect or the mind.

Notwithstanding certain progress in the field of robotics, sometimes called nouvelle AI, and other than the language and semantic research of Dr. Tom Adi and our work together on semantic recognition and intelligent search systems, there has been very little R&D along these lines. Philosophers have been unable to define mind. What is called cognitive psychology or cognitive science is not the same thing at all. The closest field of psychology to this school of thought would be that of the ecological psychology espoused by James, Gibson and Shaw.

Ecological psychology is characterized by the interdependence of living organisms in an environment. An ecologically minded soul is concerned with preserving the environment and natural resources so that such resources are used in sensible ways (e.g., not to profit the few). This is the character of a mind and intellect involving a soul in intelligent action and movement in a sensible direction.

Such a disembodied mind needs the sensitivities and effectivities of a body to process information. It needs to learn or know that (for the effect to transpire) there needs be cooperation of the natural body (independent agents, people) and in the appropriately tuned soul (cultivated persons, societies, culture) to institute and realize such interdependence in the world of individual experience and ego.

Returning now to the semantics of such a soul; it is the formulable essence –the form and field– of being a World Soul, then, what is missing from Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is what continues to be absent from the “semantic web” and “semantic search engines,” and all manner of software agents and expert systems.

This claim is based upon the long-lasting definitions above and the following observations of the research and developments in the computer industry that have stood since (at least) 1975.

–The arithmetic logic unit, truth table and memory of the modern microprocessor is not a soul (of the character described).

–A set of physical symbols is not a characteristic soul. The so-called physical symbol system is, to-date, a poorly fashioned conglomerate of socially unstable and unsuitable symbols (or psychological propositions) miming (by heritage alone) some expressed, and largely (to-date) unformulated, yet believed, essence of being human.

–Since 1975, the leading theories (not including but derived from PSSH), namely; LOTH and CTM/RTM have failed to fulfill the requirements for producing general intelligence in or on or with silicon or software (not to deny chess playing computers, some toys, and creeping incremental-ism seen in smart phones). Empirically, with regard to strong or weaker forms of AI, and with particular reference to the representational theory, these theories are proving to be more in error than true, thus:

–There is a set of physical symbols, processes and operations that formulate, in essence, the character we seek, and such a formulable essence has proven sufficient to bind the human intellect, as is in ample evidence. Yet there is little about its character that is compatible with the language of thought hypothesis or a computational/representational theory of mind that depends heavily on that grammar of natural language.

–Any modern computer system, also a physical symbol system –a collection of symbols and algorithms (software) running on hardware comprised of a microprocessor with I/O devices, and recordable/alterable memory –has, still, only the actuality of calculating and recording according to a rule or fixed logical procedure, and; there is no foundation to reason about the world –no sense of a world-making soul, therefore, no justifiable belief that such a “computer system” will ever become “intelligent” in the ways we human beings expect.

Today many people are occupied in an economic war, culture wars, knowledge wars and holy wars as well. Those engaging in these wars are certainly not enjoying a unified awareness of the character described or they would be more accommodating. Contrary to those who hope intelligence will magically emerge from the content on the Internet, the content is not a reflection of a unified world soul-substance but of its abuse. The reflection seen by many, comes off the much grittier cloud of confusion, doubt, depravity and inhumanity running rampant and out of control in a crowd of independent beings –some human, some not. It is getting harder and harder to know the difference.

As it is, the computer system is without the formulable essence of being human; how might it tell the difference? It is also my claim that no amount of experience will make up for the lack of a soul of the character described. That is that which I have referred to as the human soul or psyche — the form or envelope of the intellect and mind, at-one –to borrow a phrase from Aristotle– with the body, i.e.; the formulable essence of the unity and awareness of being human (and being capable of making, creating and cultivating one’s world).

And who can deny the incredible world we have made for ourselves. There are many incredible man-made achievements that shine. I am here focusing on the very best computer systems we have fielded. The so-called semantic search engines (linguistic and logical algorithms and programs), Hakia, Bing (Microsoft and Powerset,) Cognition, among many others (linked are those brands that have had the time to prove themselves), have content –though they are without the necessary and sufficient soul to determine its relevance.

What they offer instead is to structure content for independent access (such as Yahoo has done with their index) or frame it in a vehicle supporting sharing and free expression (as, the Semantic Web Initiative, Google, Facebook and other social networks are doing) among groups and communities. Adding edicts and structure to confusion artificially orders it –but at what cost. Is that where the scarce resources of personal and capital should be applied? Has anyone any idea of how many trillions of dollars are spent in this regard? What is wrong with the natural order, the cosmic order –the order of things that last eons delimiting chaos in its wake?

What these modern technology vendors offer is for the better; one might argue that it is for the greater good, and that is good enough to make money for them and their shareholders. That is the object of the soul of the enterprise. It is hard for market leaders to move out of such a zone of economic certainty and confidence, to summon the courage it inevitability takes. Maybe Steve Jobs could, though few others have shown such strength of conviction towards such simple elegance in the technology business. Yet this is another topic altogether.

It is, or should be, clear that it is the embodied dispensation and disposition of things perceived –enactments of the mind– that are the causes for their public representation by way of the physical symbols we are the most familiar with, or that are found to be the most appropriate. The physical symbols, appearing here and anywhere, are the artifacts we use to convey some past intelligent action, where a text is only a passive (often confused) record of the result of some actions of intellectual actuality –it is not the intelligent activity itself, nor the form of it.

The atomic symbols of oriented speech are the only objective utilitarian representations we have (though this may be a disputed fact, it is a fact). These representations are conveniently, if not stoically, used as indicators or pointers, and signs. They represent the formulable processes and essence they are intended to represent. This is interpreted by the subject (you and I) and rendered into language and other conventional forms of art and science.

It may be that simply by way of sensing the representational appearance, occurrence or instantiation, (as information) in the flow of experience, that an original act is reformulated, re-enacted or animated using the imagination, such that the animation either impinges on conscious awareness or springs to mind and is recognized by one’s intuitive presence in the cosmic syzygy of a unified awareness. No one knows for certain, but here above is considerable doubt about a representational or computational theory of mind.

In a world full of confusion and doubts, shadows and wispy reflections, there is nothing to be-soul the network of computers we all call the Internet or the web (version whatever). It is found to be both necessary and sufficient for mind to take a form determinate in order that judgment –the true thought– may ensue. For the judgment to express its nature to be true and just, it seems to me that the form of the judgment must not be reduced and therefore lacking in definition. While the fact today, is that for the general case –there is no general form– no definition at all.

It seems that everything, whether as a matter of fact or of essence, in essence, is considered relative. The implication of this is evident on the surface of so called semantic web or AI-based systems now making their way into social computing, and by nothing more than superficial examination thereof. The sad implication is that, as a reflection, it reflects the superfluous, indeterminate, indisposed, disinterested and disengaged nature of the society and modern culture dominated by relative skeptics, dogmatic incrementalists and capitalists.

At some time it becomes necessary to take a stand and to hold a position. That takes courage, determination –indubitable knowledge– and fidelity, above all else, to the correct or higher knowledge. That is the matter of opinion that matters in many circles. Many economists as well as computational engineers, and certainly a majority of statisticians, consider the highest form of knowledge to behold is the statistical probability of the event certain. This differs from this opinion that the highest form of knowledge is that of the world-building soul.

I believe that it makes all the difference in the world. What is your opinion?

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In this post I will try to demonstrate  the semantics of identity in the context of “identity theft” –explaining why “identity theft” exists and why it is so absurd.  The reason is not very complex, so the understanding of it is within anyone’s capacity.  There are at least three perspectives considered below.

There is of course the personal and victimized perspective.  I shall refer to this as the victim’s perspective for the people are undoubtedly victimized by “identity theft”.  And there is another perspective mainly shared by political, banking and lending institutions, and big business.  The perspective of these stakeholders is the institutional perspective and it is shared by these establishments.  The third perspective is that of the skeptic and the critical thinker –not that all skeptics are critical thinkers and vice-versa.

To understand  the semantics of identity one must first understand that thinking is inseparable from doing.

In addition to the fact that there are at least two perspectives to any identity there are at least two ways of intersecting these active perspectives.   To understand the semantics, we can look at a static state of affairs –as we often must– and to do so, we freeze a situation for retrospective analysis.

There is also a way of seeing what is happening as a dynamic interrelated set of entities, objects and processes, because, as a matter of fact, everything is always moving and in motion.  One side is not independent of the other, each is an aspect of a single object or entity.   There is then, a static aspect to identity and a dynamic aspect to identity.

I am sure most readers would take all that as rather abstract so let’s try to make it more concrete at the risk of sounding a little absurd in the face of reality.  Recall now that the institutional establishments have invented the phrase “identity theft”, and that such establishments have a stake in controlling one’s identity.  Now theft of course, means that something, usually property, is stolen by somebody else, so we can dispense with further discussion of that part of the phrase.  The rest of the phrase implies that it is one’s own identity being stolen.

Let’s examine that; beginning with personal identity as this is the case we all know best.  For all our intents and purposes, the proper name of an identity is one such (relatively) static aspect of identity. A proper name has its own semantics.  A proper name is a label and sometimes a handle for an identity.

A label is meaningful for separating things, for calling people and for tracking, that is; a proper name is meaningful in the context of labeling things for distribution, segregation, control and similar purposes.  Now, notice that we are no longer talking about identity. Here, now, we are talking about the utility of proper names.  Now this fact –a seemingly innocuous switch of subject– seems very important to me. Particularly as many people are victims of “identity theft” these days.

It is here that the skeptic might be thinking that all this is absurd and that it matters not what name is used for any purpose. Identity theft, for example, does not have to mean that one’s identity is being stolen some skeptic may say.  To that I would respond that words and names are often convenient labels but it does not make them true or correct labels.  For the labels to be determined to be true, one must be able to examine the case and its implications in order to come to an agreement as to whether it is a true or correct application of the label.

If you are following me, you will resolve after due consideration, that “identity theft” is not a true description of what is happening in such a state of affairs and within the surrounding cloud of circumstances.  If you are a victim of so-called “identity theft” What is being stolen is not your identity or even your proper name –because many people share the same proper name– what is being stolen is data or “information” linked to your occupational being here (and all about your participation in an economy).

Now, it matters only whether some property of the victim is being stolen or whether property of the establishment is being stolen or otherwise  misappropriated.

Your credit cards and wallet and bank account numbers and passwords in your possession are your property, but your credit history files are not your property.  The data in your credit history file is stored on computers that are not your own. The files and computers belong to the bureaucratic and institutional establishments. The data inside these files are fully intended and designed to provide information about you and to further segregate and classify you.

Now almost everyone has heard of the situation referred to by calling it “identity theft”. That actually means that someone has broken into your credit history and related files and is illegally using the information there to impersonate you.

By calling it “identity theft” instead a high-tech crime of “data hacking” and theft of “information”, bankers and big business retailers and other lenders are able to make it your problem. e.g., as if your “identity” is being stolen. Though it is not your identity being stolen. Why is their data and systems being hacked your problem and not their problem?  Shouldn’t they be held accountable?  Is it because “they have the power” and you do not?  If that is what you think; that answers why it is your problem.

Understand that it is the actual digital files and information that they –the institutional establishment– created about you that is being misappropriated.  The files and information are not your property. Because they are not your property, why should you be required to ensure the safety and security of these files? Why aren’t they held accountable for their own property and for the damage they do to your reputation?  The answer is simple.  You do not realize your own power and you do not exercise your will to object and to push back against the establishment when it goes wrong-headed.

Therefore your elected officials with legal power over the institutional establishment allow them to do it. Electing new politicians cannot help you, if you are not thinking correctly.  The new politicians will allow it too. For one, they will say: It has always been that way.  The real or true reason though, is: It is allowed because the semantics are unclear.  The semantics are unclear because the labels are being used in a confusing way.  The consequence of confusion is more confusion.  A consequence is the effect of taking an action, so that is to say that wrong-headed actions are taken.  In the wake of confusion, lucrative deals come more readily than when things are more settled.

The semantics of identity is assignment.  Assignment is an elementary semantic process.  What does it take to make an assignment?  What are you doing when you make an assignment?  Creating theories and concepts about the way things appear and their implications is a part of critical thinking.

In the case that I tried to frame above, the issue is identify theft.  So, we must question our assumptions about identity and what it is.  Without semantics –that is, without basic symbolic knowledge of the original cause and the interrelationship of identity to the wholesome and unified awareness, one might accept that an identity is only a name, label, or some nomenclature that we use in language and in talking about people and other things.

Critical thinking requires one to be clear and precise about their concepts.

So my concept of identity converges to the assignment of a name or label in order to identify the object or process occurring to the awareness.  The semantics of identity is assignment.  This is to say, quite objectively, that an occurrence that appears to have an identity (such as the appearance of the computer before you) is such identity only because we have assigned it the name “computer”.  Identity is a symptom of the assignment we make.  What does it take to make an assignment?  What are you doing when you make an assignment?  You are using your authority and free will to do something.  Framing and answering such questions is a part of critical thinking.

If you are a parent, ask yourself, who or what gave you the authority to assign your child a name –their identity.  No kingdom or government regulates such a thing.  If you are not a parent , ask yourself, what gives you the authority to call something good or bad — to pass judgement by association –by naming or referring to something substantive of a thing.  What power or right gives you, or me for that matter, the authority to call the computer a computer and not a calculator or some other name?

The semantics of identity is assignment.  An assignment confers rights to being.  When you make an assignment, what you are doing, is that you are conferring rights.  Thinking is inseparable from doing.

Whether it is done subconsciously, preconsciously or consciously, because it  is a matter of implication and consequence, and because it is held almost entirely within the realm of the mind and within the “processes of thinking”, until it becomes a matter of fact or consequence, most people tend not to even notice that they are exercising their own personal authority.  You exercise your authority to make an assignment while making any decision that is involved in creating or affirming any identity. This is done by conferring upon it, its right to identity.   Think of it… what power! What Grace?

Your right to identity along with your proper name — was conferred upon you by your parents. No one can take that away.  In fact, if you want to change your name, you need a judge to grant that right for good reason.  Why do you give into the ruse that your identity is being stolen –so easily?  Because the bankers and lenders say so?

Your parents give you your name, but your own self-identity arises from that perfect union and nurture from which your being here unfolds. Your rights to the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a birthright.  Does it make you happy that the institutional establishment has taking over control of your life and liberty and that they have abrogated your own power and property of self-identity and used it for their own profit?

If you do not like that reasoning, try this:  If you are a victim of so-called identity theft, then you have apparently nothing more to lose.  Why not go to court and point out to the judge that your identity is quite intact and that it was the lender’s data files that were hacked and stolen and that has created havoc in your life along with financial ruin.  Now of course, you cannot do this if you are careless with your own property:  your files, data and information.  In this, case you must suffer the consequences of being careless, unthinking and out of touch with what is happening around you.

I am not a lawyer.   Perhaps one will comment. I believe if you are careful and the theft is not of your own property– i.e., your identity or your wallet or card or something else in your care and possession, then you have a case for judicial review.  If your judge concurs that it is indeed a credit or banking system or file being hacked, causing in its wake irreparable harm that you can document, the judge may rule that the banker or creditor is a fault for not protecting the information in the first place.

Disclosing one’s private information, whether intentionally or not, is a crime that should carry hefty penalties as a multiple of the damage that is inflicted on the victim. Now don’t you agree after all, that we should all think more carefully and critically about the way words are used?

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