Archive for the ‘NNN’ Category

Neural networks and politics

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

So, as most of you know, I’ve spent a fair amount of time lately researching natural and artificial neural networks. I had a interesting thought the other day.

While I am so far to the left politically that they don’t have a good label to hang on me – I want to redesign the resource allocation system, I think it’s possible to get almost everyone everything they need, and possibly even (with judicious use of technology) everything they want – I recognize that my inner republican is a core part of my neural network that needs to exist.

So, I am assuming (or perhaps guessing) that inside my own neural network, individual concepts / symbols are represented as clusters of neurons – or subnets, as I sometimes call them. All of the concepts that the republicans hold dear I think are key for individual operation – while you may not need the tendency to try and keep things the same, or even move into previous models (conservatism) to be heavily weighted, it is undoubtedly a symbol that you want to be neurologically active.

Very few decisions are truly binary on the iron, and generally I assume that concepts and ideas light up both the ‘new ideas / things that haven’t been tried yet’ section of my neural network (imagination) and the ‘previous experience suggests..’ section of my neural network. Conservative thinking keeps me from hitting ‘upgrade now’ every time my computer offers me the chance, which results in my computers being stable and reliable. It keeps me from buying things every time I feel a urge, which results in me purchasing the things I need and the best things I want, rather than ending up with a hoard of physical possessions taking up space in my life and my mind. It helps me build up the friendships that help me and avoid the ones that would hurt me. There’s no doubt that conservative thinking has a part in a complete operating neural system.

And, it’s very likely that it has a place in government. I don’t think I’d ever want our government to have *no* conservatives in it, because if naught else they provide the devils advocate to demonstrate the truth or falsity of new ideas, and they do also hopefully keep the liberals from changing the things that truly shouldn’t be changed. It’s a mistake to think your political opponents are your enemies. They’re only your enemies if they aren’t willing to yield when your ideas are clearly better than theirs – when they lose the ability to objectively judge concepts, and lose the ability to learn.

Neural structures

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

I’ve been pondering what the difference is between the neural structures that represent data stored in our minds that is changeable and mutable (for example available programming languages, the contextual meanings of words, etc) and data stored in our minds that isn’t easily changable (for example religious beliefs and political ideas).

It seems pretty likely that religious beliefs are stored so immutably that people are unable to let go of them even when they see concrete evidence that they are incorrect, or that they are hurting other people. On the other hand, we have no problem letting go of ideas about, for example, product quality (we routinely adapt which brands we use according to who is currently producing the best products). I am wondering, physically and structurally, what this means about how these bits of data are stored. Since data is stored in our minds via the physical structure of neural interconnections, it’s very interesting that some bits of data tend to be more immutable than other bits.

10^13 neurons

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

So, I’ve talked about this a bunch of times, but I wanted to dedicate a post to it because (like my discussions of money vs. value) I repeatedly get the feeling that I’m talking about this, but only a few people are understanding what I’m saying. I find that frustrating, because the ideas involved in this are just not that complicated and I’m pretty sure that *our children* understand them – until that functionality is beaten out of them in the process of making them “productive citizens”

Now, a lot of this comes down to what you believe. I believe that western science is measuring something meaningful when they measure what happens inside the human mind. What this tells us is that our mind – the part of us that is, as best we know, having the conscious experience, being the observer, actually on the ride so to speak – is a collection of 100 billion individual nerve cells, or neurons. These cells are each fairly advanced little puppies – they have excite and inhibit inputs, they are electrochemical in nature and are affected by a whole host of neurotransmitters (30?).

One of the things I’ve done to try to demonstrate the amount of computing power involved is just compare neurons to transistors. Your very-high-end computer might have 5 or 6 billion transistors. And, as I’ve talked about, a transistor is a lot less powerful than a neuron – especially in the ways we use them in modern computers, where they always operate in saturated mode and are simple switches. We also tend to be rather wasteful with our silicon in computers, since we use programs to design computer chips that are more oriented in getting results than in using as few transistors as possible.

There are other points I might make too – like, in a CPU in a modern computer, only the transistors involved in, for example, the currently executing instruction are actually part of the circuit being used right now. Our brains are massively parallel, and everything is turned on at least a little.

What does it all add up to? Well, whatever else you would or wouldn’t find, you would find that our minds are a lot more computer than the machine you’re reading this on. They’re a lot of other things too – they are clearly NOT turing machines although they emulate them just fine. However, the point that I keep trying to make is that the computer you’re sitting in front of has no problem generating a credible 3D reality with credible, functional physical laws.. amongst many other things. And it represents a lot less computing power than you do.

So, as a result, I would argue that there’s a lot of things that are unknowable.. and whether or not your conscious experience has much to do with the inputs you’re wired to, whether there actually is a “real world” (also a point that the quantum people debate endlessly), and the like fall under the category of unknowables.

Now, I can’t rewire my conscious experience in any meaningful way that I’ve yet discovered. It occasionally rewires *itself* and I experience brief periods of realities other than the one I have come to think of as the default. I would *like* it if it did more of this, as I definitely enjoy a sense of magic in my life. I also have come to suspect (as in fact I was told a few years ago – but I’ve come to accept the potential truth therein) that the difference between the person in utopia and the person in hell is what software they’re running.

My assumption is that people who really solidly adhere to one religion or other either do so *because* they get this affect out of it (believing in their religion places them in a utopia), or because they’re one of those people who need very strong black-and-white rules to not feel like they’re adrift in what is, in essence, a sea of unknowability.

Neural networks and adaptability

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

So, I can’t get in the mind of someone who would enjoy violent acts, in general. I admit I haven’t really tried. I’ve only shot a gun a few times in my life, I’ve avoided first person shooters after they got to a certain level of realism where they were pressing on my empathy, and I don’t try and feed the occasional violent thought that I do have.

But I also get that we are *amazingly* flexible programmable systems. With just a few changes way back there in childhood, I’d likely be sitting with my finger on the button typing the launch codes. If we have any inherent morality or empathy, I don’t see signs of it in the disturbing behaviors of, for example, the ruling class of America – to whom, I am slowly coming to accept, I am a interchangable component to be strip-mined of any useful ideas, turned into a gearwheel and fit into the consumer-producer cycle, and then tossed aside. I’m not what they’re looking for – partially because I don’t think people in general should be having children, partially because I want to disband the economic system as it currently stands in favor of something that sucks less

Am I what *anyone’s* looking for? Well, increasingly I’m what *I’m* looking for. Sadly, the more this is true, the less I’m what anyone else is looking for. However, at least I did get some music recorded last night. I have this theory that the more of these throwaway tracks I write, the better I’m going to be when I sit down to do album work. It’s a strange way to work.. trying to write something every night, with less concern about quality than just about the experience of writing..

Is this the price for having learned how not to cry

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

So, there are so many things that hurt that I never cried over. I wish I knew or understood why it was that I had decided to never cry again.

I know some of it was everyone’s reaction to my assertion at my youth group that gay people were not that different and that we should love them just as much.. which was my reaction to people there telling gay jokes. I guess I expected certain amout of “good on you” or “you’re right..” but all I remember at the time was a shocked silence. I never did anything with that group again.

then again, one of the things I hold up as proof the christians are far far far from enlightened is that the book approved of stoning gays to death early on. How could they be so stupid as to think that is word of god? It’s word of a easily squicked human.

but back to my original thesis. Of course it hurt when Heidi died, when Vicky went off to college, when uncle Joe died, etc, etc. I could probably make a list of 20 times when I lost something fairly big to me and it hurt, but I didn’t cry about it because real men don’t cry. Where did I get that idea and is it as insane as it looks on the surface? The loss stays frozen in time in those neural nets which know no such thing as time, waiting to be released.. in some cases it implements a distorting field which warps reality itself somewhat, or at least my experience therein. Not crying and trying your absolute best to be numb instead of feeling pain.. maybe not such a hot idea once you start considering how a NN works.