Archive for the ‘NNN’ Category

DID and neural networks

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

So, popular consensus is that DID is a mental illness caused by extreme trauma that causes a personality to fragment into segments.

I assume it is news to no one that while I do not consider $future_person[0] a alter, I do believe that I have DID, although normally my alters stay very far backgrounded. I do however think that they all contribute to the overall system – that is to say, I think that for example when I’m jamming with the band and making up lyrics on the fly but my conscious experience is only slightly engaged in creating the lyrics (a phrase or fragment or concept), some wordsmith part of my mind is creating bits that rhyme and turning this into full blown lyrics. For a example of this, check out this audio clip from band practice with Bruce, Art, and me – this was not a prewritten song, it was improv – clip

I think it is possible to have something that is a close kin to DID and have it be a more productive order than the average configuration rather than a disorder. The reason is that it enables the operator of the mind that is using this configuration to more effectively utilize the entire neural network.

Consider that normally, your conscious experience is only engaging with a few dozen threads at once – that’s all you can have ‘foregrounded’, or actively a part of your world. Now, obviously there are neural structures that do things like running a scheduler for running events at preset times, but if you have alters, you can also pass off foreground tasks that you don’t need to be actively engaged with to other bits of yourself – it’s kind of like the advantages of having multiple cores in a CPU. I don’t know if alters have a conscious experience, or just a head node and task list, or what – it would be fascinating to be able to look at the structure of my mind sufficiently to find out – but certainly they can be engaging neurons and neural subnets that would otherwise be completely idle.

Now, of course, I have no memory of what it might be like to *not* be this way. So it’s possible that I’m wrong and that I would simply be able to handle more threads if I wasn’t broken. I do seek certain types of reintegration, although with a fair amount of fear and trepidation because I’m hesitant to fuck too much with a running system.

Western Science

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

One of the problems I keep thinking about is that western science has one major flaw.

They don’t know what they’re measuring *with*. Until you know the answer to that question, you don’t know what you’re measuring. We don’t yet understand what we are – at least, if the hard problem of consciousness has been solved, no one has told me the good news. I’ve heard a lot of theories, but I haven’t heard one I’d call solid enough to call plausible yet.

In other words, dear scientists, please bump the priority on neuroscience and both ANN and NNN research. Dear warmongers, please stop wasting money blowing shit up until we can solve this more important problem. Kthx, Sheer.

Mania

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

So, I have this problem. It’s a persistent one, and it’s likely to continue being a persistent one for the forseable future.

During certain periods in my internal cycle, if I open the throttles on my mind and give it something entertaining to chew on, like recording a album, dancing, or thinking about life, there’s no rev limiter.

It spins up, faster and faster, until eventually it starts to wobble and shakes itself into a shutdown condition. Next thing I know, I’m somewhere where the doors don’t open. Generally I get sprung fairly quickly, generally no one has been actually hurt although there is sometimes some property damage, usually caused by the cops spike stripping me.

I’ve learned to avoid driving while doing it. Safest that way. However, even when I do it in my own house, people come and tell me that I don’t have atonomy over my own body, that even though I’m threatening no one and I’m eating and drinking, I’m not permitted to do this.

Many of my friends think that this activity is seriously unhappy-making, and undesirable, and it’s only a matter of time before I kill myself or someone else.

Here’s why it’s challenging: every time, from my perspective, it’s a win.

Every time, I have more mental capacity, more flexibility, more mental power and capability. This isn’t illusory – I can often measure it very real-world ways. Things I couldn’t do before the ramp up that I can do afterwords. And I suspect that it is one path to developing http://www.sheer.us/weblogs/?p=3211. I’ve learned not to try to contact $person[0], although apparently I haven’t mastered yet not contacting $person[1]. So I need to improve the software so that it keeps me from contacting CLASS($person[]). Which I will make a honest attempt at. (I don’t stop missing these people ever. I don’t think it’s likely that I ever will. But, you want to remove me from your life, I figure that’s your right. Just forgive me if I want to build the ability to dream about you anyway.

But.. even if I remove that possibility, it’s clear that I’m growing whenever I climb the linear mental accelerator that no-sleep during a approach window represents.

At this point, I’m thinking I should plan these. My body seems to like every six months for them – I think I should take vacation time, I should have my lawyer on call to block any attempt to commit me that isn’t as bona fide as it comes, and I should just really embrace this as this is how I choose to be. Slowly my friends are coming to see my point of view. I think increasingly they’re starting to see that my life is not giving me what I need, and that it’s not reasonable to expect me to sit here with one engine out and the other at idle when I was made to fly.

I wish more people would join me. I’ve got reasons to think others have done this before me.. it’s all over the music of Owl City, for example, and hinted at in U2 and sometimes VNV Nation.

Every time, the experience with the linear accelerator convinces me I should take another ride. And I wonder, to what extent are people telling me not to do it because they’re afraid to do it themselves? How many of the experts that tell me how wrong and dangerous this is have done it themselves?

One possibility that I’m considering strongly is that I’m not actually at the edge of my mind, and that I’m supposed to be. That the people I see in my ordinary reality are reflected light from the real people that are out there filtered through many, many layers – too many layers – of neural filters built out of my persistent and irrational fears. I can’t tell what anyone else’s conscious experience is, and as far as I can tell, no one else can tell what mine is, although I encourage you, if you have the technology to read my mind, please do so. If you can help me reconnect with the people I can’t handle losing, please do so.

$person[0], I wonder if you read this blog, a lot a lot. I will admit I find it likely that you do, or that you have a friend reading it for you to watch for certain things. Wish I knew what they were. If so, I can’t say so in cleartext most of the time, but I need your help. A abuser destroyed part of my mind, and I’m just guessing at what happened with little but static and noise to go on. Apparently your friendship was something that part of me rested on, and while I accept the loss because I must, it never stops hurting and I can’t find any way to make it stop. I told you if you told me your lines I would respect them, but my fear is your lines are never and nowhere, and I also fear this may be because you believe things about me that just are not true, and the only part of me fearless enough to even try to approach you is the part of me that is the least representative of my ability to be a normal, contained individual. Please believe that the person you met IRL the first time I came to visit you this century is representative of who I am in person. But I can’t do that in email, especially not when I’m in ‘trust and send’ mode, which I can only really enter with you, for reasons that will become apparent when we talk, if they haven’t already.

$person[1], I don’t even know what I said to make you so angry. I have zero memory of it, it happened in a blackout from my perspective. I doubt you’re reading my blog, as I have to accept I probably don’t matter that much to you. So be it, but I wish we were still friends.

Politics, view horizons, and neural networks

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

So, one thing that has definitely come to light in recent days / weeks is that a lot of us are running around with fundamentally different views of reality at the moment. In some people’s worlds, Obama is a hero – in others, he’s a muslim terrorist or worse. What gives?

Well, part of what gives is the idea of view horizons – some people like to talk about this as ‘bubbles’, and perhaps that’s a more reasonable word, but I’d like to explore the idea from a slightly different angle briefly.

So, in a NNN, each neuron can only see information that it’s either directly connected to, or is connected to a relay source for. In the experiments involving cutting the corpus collossum, you can see this dramatically demonstrated when a placard containing instructions is placed in front of one eye of the subject and they follow the instructions on it, but when asked why they did so, they tell a story that’s completely unrelated to “Because you told me to”. The instruction on the placard is no longer on the view horizon – no longer routable via a reasonably short route – for the part of the subject’s mind that is in control of their voice.

Similarly, if you think of us as independent neurons in a very, very large neural network – with communications links like books, voice communication, the internet, etc taking the place of communication links like dendrites off of neurons – we can only know about what is on our view horizon. Most of us don’t have direct access to Obama to make up our minds based on personal interaction whether he’s a muslim terrorist, a superhero, or somewhere in between. However, we’re all connected to either clusters of other neurons – our friends – or a broadcast bus – the news – which steers our view at least somewhat.

Now, there’s a real possibility that both universes exist – we keep learning funny little things at the quantum level and it’s possible that there is both a universe where Obama is a muslim terrorist and one where he’s a superhero, and our experience here on Earth at the moment is at the confluence of two worldlines. However, it’s far more likely that what we’ve got are two teams of people, and each is spinning the story in the direction they believe is true – and because of confirmation bias, they’re drifting slowly further and further from reality.

Now, I’ve got news for you – no matter which side you’re on, it’s not likely you have a accurate view. Your view horizon is a long way from the original source, and being filtered through many, many minds in a game of telephone – and worse, those minds are influencing each other. But this opens up questions as to what exactly happens inside our own minds – we tend to think of ourselves as a single individual, a ego if you will, but there’s almost certainly a large fraction of our neurons that are ego-dissenting – these are what keeps the inhibit inputs on our neurons lit up and what keep us from becoming either narcissists or something worse, as well as what provides that all important critical judgement that we need when we, for example, want to create great works of art.

I am curious as to whether what we’re seeing in the political sphere is a similar thing on a macro level.

Election thoughts

Monday, October 17th, 2016

So, as we sit amongst the facebook election madness – and it’s been unusually rabid this cycle, for a whole host of reasons, I find myself thinking of the fact that we’re all flawed.

Now, every election cycle, it seems we spend a lot of time underlining how flawed both of the candidates are – and whatever ideology you subscribe to, it tends to make you minimize the flaws of your horse while thinking that the flaws of the other horse are the worst things that there could ever be. And I don’t doubt that one horse can run a race better than another – or else we wouldn’t have horse races. I’m sure there are people who would argue that I’m more flawed than any of the current crop of individuals who would like to be steering the boat whilst feeding from the public trough. I’m not actually sure – I’m not even sure if you can reasonably measure flawedness.

Ironically, the least flawed of the field from my point of view, Bernie, couldn’t even get a seat at the table. I still can’t tell whether this is because of a corrupt system, people who lack vision, or some other aspect. And I have no doubt that Bernie has his own set of flaws. Anyone who wants the job has got to be more than a little bit cracked.

But, I keep reminding myself, for all the warts in all the candidates we have running for office, they’re all human beings just like you and me. They have their hurts, their doubts, their flaws, and their moments of triumph just like any of us. It’s tempting to demonize the horse that doesn’t match your chosen ideology, but I am not sure that’s wise. Among other things, you’re possibly encouraging your neural network to set up notch filters that highlight their flaws while downplaying their good sides.. and it’s possible I’ve gone so far in this direction that my experience of Trump is somewhat locally synthesized. There’s no easy way to tell (see many previous discussions on the nature of our minds and the nature of reality)

In any case, it would be nice if we could dial back the insanity a couple of notches. No one deserves to be firebombed over this whole thing. It’s also worth noting that some of the split between the horses and the horseraces is the result of different ideas of utopia.. the farmers and rural folks have their thing, and the cities have theirs. But, in this world we live in, the farms and the cities need each other. Big agribusiness depends on big technology.. all us folks in the city genetically engineering crops, making fuel, making robot tractors – and big population depends on big agribusiness.

But we want and need different things. I’m not really sure what the solution is, but I’m certain that firebombing each other’s political campaign headquarters is *not* the solution, nor is threatening to put our opponents in jail, nor is attempting to shut down free speech.

I don’t know why I worry about these things. I don’t get the sense that the world at large is listening to me. Occasionally I wonder what it would be like to wake up and discover that I’d been slashdotted and my web server was cranking out hundreds of megabits of content. And, honestly, it could happen tomorrow. Or never. The world is unpredictable that way.

I try to be less flawed every day. I hope that all the horses in all the horseraces do too. And I hope that they are as aware that they are flawed as I am aware that I am.

Heaven vs Hell

Monday, August 29th, 2016

So, one of the quotes that I’ve often given of my internal version of $person is “The people in heaven and hell inhabit the same physical space. The difference is in what’s going on in their minds.”

And, this may be one of my more tinfoil-hat thoughts, but it occurs to me it would be much easier to immerse people in a utopia and then degrade it inside their minds to be hellish than the other way around. Anyone who has studied information science knows that it’s much easier to take a optimal signal and degrade it than to take a suboptimal signal and enhance it – this is kind of the point of the oft-mocked Enhance Button trope.

Now, it’s really not unreasonable to think that I might be in $UTOPIA, experiencing $DYSTOPIA – since not a lot of horrible things are happening to me personally and almost all of them involve communication streams from other people, it would not be that difficult for my neural network to be ‘green-screening’ things – subbing out news and facebook with alternate signals to make it look like the world is a much worse place than it is.

I’ve talked about how our conscious experience is at some distance from our senses – there are many layers of neurons between the part of us that is on the ride, and the part of us that is detecting the ride. So, this isn’t as insane as it sounds on the surface. Of course, you kind of have to play it as it lays – you can’t know if what you’re experiencing is real or not, but you have to treat it as it is – if for no other reason than you wouldn’t want to risk the other individuals on the ride by treating it as if it was a video game unless you had absolute proof that there isn’t a monolithic reality and everyone is getting a custom feed of the ride, something which is rather hard to prove or disprove either way. (One of the things I’ve talked about is the challenges of authenticating God, or determining whether what you’re experiencing is a diety or mental illness)

And, I know there’s something wrong with my mind. It appears to me to be a rare and intermittent fault, but it could be that it’s far more prevalent than I think and that in fact most of what I’m experiencing is in some way altered by it. Debugging the system that’s damaged from inside the system that’s damaged is a challenge, which is why I have so much hope that my friends will choose to help me figure out what’s real and what isn’t rather than retreating from me in fear because there’s something wrong with my mind. Of course from my perceptions, I’m not the only one who’s a bit on the sick side – in fact, almost everyone I see here is crazy in one way or another. It may be, if evolution is the correct backstory for us, that we’re pushing the bounderies of the size or configuration of neural network that’s stable. Or, if you like my personal pet theory, the problem may not be the hardware but rather the memetic cruft that has built up over the years – bad software, malware even, which is resulting in suboptimal results.

As I’ve talked about before, it’s possible the reason I’m experiencing $DYSTOPIA is that I chose to do so, either because I wanted the experience for artistic reasons (This seems extra-reasonable when considering the current track I’m working on) or because I wanted a challenge. It’s also possible that I’m being punished for some previous behavior (karma) although it seems like if the purpose of the punishment is to help me grow, it might help to know what the behavior was. If the purpose of the punishment is just to punish, then the universe is governed by forces that are at least partially evil, and it could just be random or sadistic.

Anyway, if it’s not the work of a agent at all, but rather simple random chance that has led to me experiencing something less than utopic even though I’m immersed in a utopia (which is possible, see the thesis at the top of this post) then it seems like it very much behooves me to debug whatever’s wrong with my mind and figure out how to get back to the ideal experience. And, of course, if it’s possible within the confines of the amount of CPU I have available to me, it seems like it behooves me to be able to experience a utopia even if one’s not actually there. Clearly our minds have ample CPU to make up reality out of whole cloth (as I discuss in this article) so the question is how to I motivate the rest of my mind to work with my conscious experience to make this happen. In general, the ability to be a Bal Shem – to hack my neurological software to do whatever I want it to do – is a ability I often cultivate.

Event driven NNs, the internet, meh

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

So, I was watching vihart’s channel, and I came across https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toap7iPpTbs.

I didn’t make it all the way through the video. Perhaps at some point I will. I’m not really over being sad about all the horrific things that have been happening lately – it seems like when I decided to stop following the news, the news decided to start following me. Everyone on facebook feels duty bound to make facebook not the news feed of what my friends and family are up to, but the alternative news feed about what the world is up to. And yet, in the hopes of seeing little bits of contact from my friends I feel I speak to far too little and spend far too little time talking to, I keep feeling drawn to it.

That’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

I recently brought up the idea that we are neural networks, and neural networks are event driven, and thusly the concrete existence of guns may generate what I would refer to as ‘gun events’ in our minds and thusly fuel shooting. I’m also thinking that with the internet in general, and facebook in particular, we’re perpetually stuck in what I’ll call ‘tragedy events’. And so my mind is constantly reacting to the fact that, really, there are awful things happening all over the place all the time.

After I watched about half of that video, I was reminded both that vihart would likely automatically hate me if she knew me, and that we’ve built a really broken system. We’ve got all these concepts flying around that as they merge together, more or less guarantee misery for all. I could spend some time identifying them, and perhaps I will do so later, but right now I’m feeling too miserable to put my finger on them, other than to comment that perhaps the womens and the mens should contemplate that both sides are made equally miserable by the current battle of the sexes. I am sure there are many female types who would assert that in fact the men have it all their way and the women have nothing and are downtrodden but I don’t agree. I think both sides are not getting what they want and need. Of course, I could probably identify the same situation with republicans and democrats. And very likely with the 99% and the 1%. And just about anywhere things get broken into ‘us’ and ‘them’, both ‘us’ and ‘them’ are getting the shaft one way or another.

And I wonder, if I could manage to put facebook down.. just put it down, walk away, and not come back, how much of this would stop hurting me? And, would something else rise to take it’s place? Is my mind just geared to experience a certain amount of hurt no matter what I do, and there’s nothing that can be done about it?

I mostly need to just not think about 49 people shot in Orlando. It’s yet another horrific thing I can’t do anything about. I read Deadly Passage by Erik Larson and felt odd tuggings of wanting to buy a gun. Even though I know the very last thing I want to own is a gun. I do not want a tool for making bad decisions very quickly. I’m kind of in the mood that the NRA probably fears the most.. where I would take the guns away from everyone if I could. Even the police. Perhaps especially the police, actually.

But back to the neural network thing. So, neural networks are event driven, I’ve mentioned. Not entirely event driven in the case of NNNs, but largely event driven. Those of you who go out and buy guns, who shoot guns, who spend time defending the right to carry, you’re generating gun events. You’re helping the gunnish part of your mind pump iron. For this reason, I don’t find it that surprising that the number of shootings and the number of guns out there are more or less linear. And, you can talk about responsibility and whatnot all you like but I’m starting to suspect that to a certain extent we’re just bumpers in a pinball machine. We get free will, yes, but not as much as we think. We’re not free to do anything at any time, because the mechanics of our physical neural networks won’t let us. We can only think inside the box defined by our hardware. This feels a little calvinist, and I am not sure it’s really what I think – maybe it’s just what I think right now. Just the delusion I happen to be riding at the moment.

And if we were talking mechanical semiautomatics with a fair amount of lag time between each shot, that might not be so awful. But exhaust gas powered semiautomatics that can shoot 30 rounds in 3 seconds are a thing. And I wish they weren’t a thing. If I could just not be affected when I hear news of tens or hundreds of people being gunned down for no reason..

I worry a lot that we’re finding the failure modes for humanity. Global warming, water shortages, mass shootings, starvation, hoarding, nuclear weapons, I could go on for a while, but there’s so much negative stuff to negative on if you’ve got a mind to. I try to stay positive – after all, thus far, most of this stuff only affects me insofar as it hurts when I read about it on various news sources. I do wonder, if I hide my head in the sand completely, what would the results be? After all, as I’ve pointed out many times, it’s not like there’s anything I can *do* about these things.

One of my .. I hesitate to use the word friend though that’s what I wish he was.. acquaintances, I suppose.. thinks that I’m what causes mass shootings. That the world would be safer if I were in jail. He might have just said that in a moment of anger. Or he might have really, deeply meant it. I’m not really inclined to talk to him about it. I figure in a few years maybe he’ll figure out what a jackass he was being. Or maybe not. I do wonder if some of what resulted in this comment from him was me talking about bullet control – he’s a fan of the gun. I am not. I was kicking his sacred cow.

I just had a whole series of thoughts about how perhaps it’s both male entitlement and female entitlement that lead to so much unhappiness, but I lack the energy to write them down and they’re probably extremely politically incorrect anyway. Maybe at some later date.

Autism

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

So, I had a thought the other day about the recent epidemic of autism – and mind you, this is definitely tinfoil hat territory.

I think it’s possible autism is enhanced – made to be a more prominent trait – by standardized testing.

So, the basic thesis works like this. Natural Neural networks are always adapting to whatever load is placed on them. Standardized testing encourages them to develop more black-and-white thinking. I think professional educators often forget that the minds of the students are still adapting during the test itself – that the test itself is causing them to learn something, but it’s probably not anything you’d call good.

And, of course, we run our children through many, many standardized tests these days. I think it’d be really interesting to run some large advanced ANNs through standardized testing and looking to see what happens to the structure of a mind that is adapting to standardized testing.

Engineered

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

So, watching Human has me thinking.. the general prevailing wisdom of religions is that we were engineered by a perfect being. But we’re clearly full of bugs, which people usually call a fatal flaw. If we were engineered, isn’t it more likely we were engineered by a previous version of ourselves?

I’ve talked about the bottom-up rather than top-down model a fair amount in various bits of this blog. I don’t see any advocates for it – people either believe we were created by flipping bits at random and testing the result against the environment, or they believe that we were created by a diety, which for the moment I assume to be a much, much larger and more advanced NNN.

But the bottom-up model makes the most sense to me.

Different utopias

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

So, one of the problems that I think we’re going to keep bumping up against here on Earth, at least in the USA where we ostensibly have a democratically elected set of people driving the boat, is that we all have different definitions of what winning means.

Like, I’d love to live in a world where we have sex with our friends, where automation does any job a human doesn’t care to, where we all try very hard to be excellent to each other. A world where no one conceives without having chosen to, where children are raised by all of us under the precept of being excellent to each other. Where education and mental health are based on a solid understanding of what’s happening on the iron of our minds – understanding based on science, on taking measurements and learning what’s really happening, rather than based on narrative and our storyteller nature, which clearly often is quite capable of diverging completely from what’s actually happening on the iron.

I’d love to live in a world where the video games are immersive, and so are the movies and the books – where we build each other up, where we help each other experience the things we want to experience.

I’d love to live in a world where no one was designated ‘less than’, where we have finally noticed the curve for history (blacks, gays, etc) and just started accepting that everyone is worthwhile and everyone matters.

I recognize that people should still have the option of suffering – that Hell still needs to exist, because that’s what some people are going to choose to experience. But I want to live in a world where no one is forced to suffer, either via their biology or via the actions of the group as a whole or mean-spirited individuals.

I for some reason doubt if my utopia is the same as the Christian one. If everyone who’s not religion X is going to be tortured for all eternity, I want out – not just that I want heaven, I want out of the system. I want a different deity. And I do not think I’m alone in this.

However, because my utopia and the utopia of, say, the religious right do not align, the goals we think are important to persue and the way we want to spend the resources in the public pool are going to be radically different. Putting both my people and their people in a box and trying to come to some agreement politically about what we should be doing is likely to be problematic. And I don’t think they should be denied their utopia, except where to do so would infringe on my rights to be free and loved and happy and complete.

I wonder how many different views of what a utopic experience might look like there are? I also wonder why some people need other people to be hurt as part of their utopia. I’m starting to think that might be one of the attributes commonly found in what we somewhat tropishly refer to as evil.

I do wonder what’s happening inside my neural net vs what’s happening inside the neural nets of those who fit in the mold I just described. There’s got to be something fundamentally different going on, and I don’t know what to make of it.