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Workshop - Stuff by Members
Escrito por alex   
Domingo 06 de Marzo de 2022 12:45
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Chapter 7

 
   Code & formats 

Introduction 

This chapter focuses on how the system processes input, for several reasons. One reason is, the more we understand ourselves, the greater our options for improvement. Another reason is, the subject holds endless fascination for me and I like to share what I enjoy. But the main reason is, all of the techniques covered so far have been concrete; physical material things to do and this is good, because concrete techniques underlie all neurohacking. However, to move into abstract techniques, you need to understand a bit about system coding.
 

If this sort of thing sounds too nerdy for you, skip the main text and scroll straight to the techniques section for the practical stuff. When you decide you need more info in order to do something, come back here.

 

 

model dependent realism

Before we can perform meaningful operations; for example to talk about something, do something, or learn about something, our mind obviously has to understand what we are talking about or what we are attempting to do or learn. There is, therefore, an ongoing process that imagination uses all the time to achieve this, called model-dependent realism.

The mind creates 'inner models' of reality and that's what we imagine 'on the screen' or 'in the mind's eye' when trying to understand concepts. In just the same way, to interact with you your computer uses your own language and little icons, signs, etc., on the screen that humans can understand. That's your user interface. Inside the system, unconscious processing translates all kinds of things; various formats stand between binary input and the language that you can understand. The computer isn't consciously aware of all this and unless you're a programmer, neither are you.

 

To get a computer to do anything, you have to provide input from your keyboard or mouse. As far as you're concerned, to write in text you're simply typing the words you want to appear on a document on the screen, but when you press the keys all the computer gets is binary input. All it needs to know is what should appear on the screen at which locations; which pixels should be blank and which should be pigmented and what color they should be. It all happens so fast with modern word processing you never notice all the work going on underneath.

Your brain does very similar things. Processing happens so fast you don't notice any delay between deciding to move and actually moving, or deciding to say something and actually saying it, but inside the system a tremendous amount of coding translation is taking place all the time. 

The point here is inner models, and to make these statements I have imagined a model of reality that posits 'on the screen' as everything we are consciously aware of, and 'inside' as all the unconscious processing going on between input and output that we are not aware of. This is model-dependent realism, and humans do it all the time. 

Because imagination uses a graphic format (ie, it 'thinks in pictures'), all interaction with reality, from our perceiving the environment to learning sensorimotor skills to forming scientific hypotheses, relies on our imagination using model-dependent realism to convey meaning about reality. 

We consciously communicate in words or symbols, and we make up stories to go with our models that help to explain them. We translate a graphic concept into words, music or mathematics; languages that other humans can understand. But our actual concept portrayal and use is framed in the language of graphics; pictures associating image with meaning.


Whenever we watch, listen, read or think about an idea we 'make a model' in our heads out of the concepts presented to us, by (hopefully correctly) imagining what they 'probably' mean. Our memory then uses these models as mnemonics, and we adopt them consciously as practical devices that help us to coherently categorize and explain our experiences and knowledge. We can then use them in order to learn, remember, speculate, predict, communicate and share meaning.


Your models are unique to you, but share universal properties.

For example, we all have a mental model of the concept, 'Life on Earth' in our minds which includes many smaller concepts such as animals, insects, birds, fish, bacteria and plants.

 

Bigger models of concepts like 'life' are made up of smaller models of concept-sets like 'animals', 'birds', etc., and we create a model for every single concept.


Inside our heads, our models are individual to us; for example when we consider a concept like 'life on Earth', some might imagine a table with divisions for species, genus etc, while some might imagine a green landscape garden, and others may imagine a 'family tree' of evolution with many branches showing how creatures are related to one other.


 

Some might imagine the primeval formation of original life leading to a multitude of differences, and others may visualize a series of stills of different animals in a collage such as we might see in a wildlife documentary.


What we imagine, and consequently the types of models we make, relies on (a) our own personal associations stored in memory from experience and knowledge, and (b) how adept our imagination is at re-calling them into a coherent picture. Thus if I say, “Imagine a cat”, we are all going to see different cats in our mind's eye.


Another good example of mental models is 'color'. We construct a model in our minds that makes most sense to us and helps us most easily discern the relationships between things. We assume our model is accurate, and imagine we are all using a similar model. Thus if you talk about red I do not imagine green. However, if you talk about a bluish-green I may ask for an example in real life - I am uncertain whether the details of your model - in this case where exactly 'blue' ends and 'green' begins - are exactly the same as mine. The graphic model helps narrow down details.

 

 

 

If we translate the graphic in terms of physics and mathematics, though, everyone can understand that 'frequency range x to y is what we call green'. Now we have a mutual reference.

Mutual agreement with regard to meaning is thus negotiated (except in the case of those peculiar little LEDs on household items that nobody can agree are blue or green).

Whenever we want to discover and discuss facts about something with others, or express creativity in groups, we need to adopt a shared model, even if it differs from our usual way of thinking about a concept.


Not all models are about facts. Some models are procedural, such as a choreographers dance plan or a surgeons heart transplant strategy or a karate display. All begin with images in their minds of what needs to be done and in what order, and these images are translated into the correct motions for success.


Different models may be used for different applications. For example, we all have a concept for 'measurement', and although many people in the world do not use metric weights and measures in everyday life, when they come to do scientific research there is an 'international standard' which they adopt for the sake of universal coherence.


Thus we create shared models like the Standard Model of physics, which all physicists can use, or the Periodic Table of elements. When we translate our models into languages which can be written down and shared, such as musical notation or the language of mathematics, and anyone anywhere can learn to understand and use them, we are contributing to human culture; one of our systems goals. 

The importance of shared meaning cannot be underestimated. Without it, we not only fail to learn truths, we may accidentally learn falsehoods. If we get the shared model of reality wrong, applying methods based on it will not work.

This is not to say that models are accurate. They're not. Science (and perception generally) is all about creating ever-less-wrong models of reality. The more we learn, the less wrong about reality we become, and the more realistically we imagine reality.


New discoveries come with new questions attached, and by answering these questions we improve our models. We know when the model is closer to correct when all predictions based upon it thus far turn out to be true and proven by experience (experiment).

 

Core concepts direct the basics of models.

Inner model making is the basis of memory, in which imagination pulls together previous associations for current recall in the mind's eye, defragments itself using imagery for fast categorization, and incorporates new associations into previous categories during reconsolidation. But imagination cannot build a memory database in the first place without some core associations for reference against which to compare all input. So these are hard wired in. 

The one model our mind is absolutely sure of is the model it makes of itself. The mind's model is literally an inner simulation of itself based on the brains biological architecture which, whilst being individual to you in terms of details, is still based on the basics of the evolutionary experience of your species. Shaped by reality, it reflects reality; not the reality of the objects and events of our everyday lives but the reality of the properties of physics on planets. The things we intellectually call facts are inherent in the experiential design of the system.   

Comprehending the minds map of itself may be the most difficult thing NH students attempt to do, so if this kind of thing makes your brain hurt, skip through to the practical section. 

 

What concepts are

Percepts are new 'bits' of information derived from incoming data and translated into different formats for comparison with memory database contents for interpretation, categorization and recognition.

 

Concepts are 'bits' of meaning stored in our memory database, whether they were hard wired or have been acquired via experience.


All of your sensory input about everything is turned into concepts. This is what perception is. Perception relies on the incoming new percepts having enough points of similarity to our already known concepts to be associated, categorized and given meaning by imagination which associates them with what is known and includes the weighting by our emotional system. The percept images from input are projected onto the inner model and compared against (also projected) known concept images, to see what they most closely match up to. Whatever imagination associates them with most, they will be categorized accordingly and any differences then examined. The differences will later determine their exact location on the inner model.[30] 

 


 

We form our database of concepts over time from personal experience linked to information.

What core concepts are

Core concepts are physical properties of reality: Matter, Space, Density, Time, Energy and Power. This is not strange, considering that this is the reality the system was born and grew up in; ultimately the underlying reality of matter and energy operating in spacetime.

 

These core categories; core associations, are behind everything we know about; that is, we can categorize absolutely everything we know in terms of interactions between these basics; in terms of energy, matter and spacetime. Ultimately, the mind categorizes everything in association with these basics or combinations of these basics, and all associations that we ever make ultimately trace back to them.

If you are thinking, but there are loads of missing bits, like gravity and electromagnetism, look at the core concepts again. Core categories are the concepts that the unconscious mind associates with core processors and types of memory; one for each as follows:
 


 

Type of memory

 

Sensorimotor

 

spatial

 

eidetic

 

procedural

 

declarative

 

working

 

Core

 

associated categories

 

Matter

 

space

 

density

 

time

 

energy

 

power

 

processor

 

M

 

S

 

D

 

T

 

E

 

P

 

If you are thinking, but there are loads of missing bits, like autobiographical memory or muscle memory, these terms are our descriptives for the merging of different memory types; for example what we call muscle memory is a merger of sensorimotor and spatial memories, and what we call autobiographical memory is a blending of eidetic and procedural memories.

With eidetic memory alone you can imagine pictures. If you add procedural memory you can watch those pictures in sequence like a movie. Add in declarative memory and working memory and you can explain the sequence of events to someone else in words. Most tasks require several types of memory to work in unison to recreate a particular event in full mental VR.

It's not yet fully understood why the mind makes the associations it does, we just have to understand how it does so. 'Why' it does so is due to millions of years of evolutionary experience we cannot go back and have a look at. 'How' it does so is computable now.


The mind's model of itself incorporates main processing locations and memory storage architectonics on a cellular level, associated with these core concepts. We have six main processing hubs in the brain.

 

 

Rectangles are main processors, named for their core concepts. Green lines are connections, blue lines main busses, red lines input paths. All connections except for input are bi-directional.

This is how your core processors (and concepts) relate to each other. so although you can think of system processors as numbers 1-6 or letters A-F, it's quicker to grasp if we name them after their core concepts and think of these as 'master domains'. I'm going to use their initials from now on so make sure you remember what they are.


From the number of connections, you'll notice that processor D is a very busy place. That's partly because it does a lot of translating between formats.


Data travels through system processors in a specific order, as modeled above from left to right: M-S-D-T-E-P. Each one contributes equally important operations on that data. Processor D is the 'librarian' of the system; it allocates new input to correct categories for memory storage.

Our ordinary conscious, academic, library-type categorization of information doesn't give us much insight into how the brain associates things. Categorization in unconscious memory isn't alphabetical or numerical, because it's not an hierarchy. The nature of our associative storage system is humanistic. We view everything in terms of how it relates to us and our human experience of the world and the architecture and processes of our own minds. And processor D categorizes our experiences according to core associations and sends them off for storage in the relevant locations for long term storage. 

...But more on this later. First, there's one other thing to remember about mental models. Although core concepts organize the basics of our inner model, they don't direct the details.

Personal experiential associations direct the details of models

These are not hard wired in, the details are what make up the reality we personally experience in everyday life. We may know intellectually that 'a table' is a mass of vibrating atoms forming an object in spacetime, but we experience in humanistic terms a table as a useful object to put stuff on. What you see in your mind when you think of a table might be very different from what I imagine as a table; that depends on our personal associations and personal associations are where our systems, memories and associations all differ. We need the details to fine-tune the system. 

Your personal associations are what make your system unique and reflect its unique experience in your life. They create, in effect, a 'world of your own' as well as a mind of your own. The possibilities for connectivity in a single input to the brain are trillions. Every single experience you have helps to make or strengthen a connection. Since no two individuals can ever have identical experiences, there is no way for two identical humans to exist. The conglomerate of your experiences over a lifetime is always unique, and the connectivity of your brain tomorrow depends on the quality of your input today.

Your personal associations shape whatever your imagination presents in your minds eye in response to the directives, 'Imagine a flower'; 'Imagine an animal'; 'Imagine a yummy food'.

Your daily experience in terms of the locations where you spend the most time, the activities you do the most and the events you most often witness (in real life or from media) will affect your personal associations as will the breadth of your intellectual knowledge, your movements, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, mental health and facial expressions.

Your awareness of science, and the current limits of scientific knowledge will also influence the models you make. For example, models of our emotional system were extremely difficult to make in former years because we couldn't measure emotion and we were dependent on people honestly self-reporting about what they felt and reliant on their personal translation of events. Now, however, we are able to do MRI scans and measure neurotransmission to determine what chemistry is going on, and work on facial expression has improved (again, thanks to tech) so our models have a better chance of accuracy.
 

Categorization of concepts

Perception is an emergent property of the interaction between imagination and reality.

 

The first stage of perception is sensory input receipt. Fast association enables immediate categorization on a temporary basis (short term memory). 

 

How can all the incredibly diverse, extraordinarily complex entirety of human experience and information be represented by the same system basics? After all, categories in memory storage must include a diverse variety of objects, people, events, abstract concepts, ideas, beliefs, environments and behaviors.

 

Everything relies on categorization of your experiences and information according to that basic handful of unconscious core concepts. Beneath all this complexity our hardwired core concepts and software with simple rules help us to categorize our experience, and core associations, just like core concepts, are universal.[1]

The secret to associative diversity and complexity is in our core concepts' similarity to letters or numbers; in that they are used as symbols to represent different things in different domains.

We consciously do this is many of our written formats. The letters ABC can refer to musical notes, people in an experiment or items in algebra. That's what I mean by the same symbols representing different things in different domains.

So the core concept 'matter' does not simply associate with 'mass' as a concrete concept; it can also represent abstract concepts (“Does it matter?”) or concepts associated with the properties of matter (such as solidity, hardness, objects, material, physical). Raw physical properties like matter, space and time are overlaid with humanistic principles; embedded and given meaning through experience in the same way that physical tools are embodied; because the only experience the system gets of physical reality is through the human senses and through feedback from its own procedures and operations.[12]

The type of tasks each processor works on automatically associate with each processor's core concept. Core concepts have automatic secondary associations based on what the processor does. So our database starts off with six core concepts and some hard wired core associations. Each processor will automatically categorize whatever it processes, including but not limited to:


1 specific senses/tools for comprehending specific types of input 

2 simple animal behaviors

3 a particular type of memory 

4 complex behaviors (abilities)

5 individual programs or subroutines for learning, awareness, feedback and monitoring 

6 a specific data transfer/communication mode.

 

Taking this into account, these associations form clusters of connected concepts. For example:

 


 

Cluster of concepts for processor M:

 

Cluster of concepts for processor S:

 

Core concept

 

Matter

 

Space

 

Senses & tools

 

Taste, touch, pressure, temperature

 

sight, hearing, distance, rhythm, direction & balance

 

Simple behaviors

 

'serene & clean'

 

'seek & squeak'

 

Type of memory

 

sensorimotor memory

 

spatial memory

 

abilities

 

sensorimotor processing & categorization

 

spatial processing & mapping

 

Learning, awareness, feedback

 

attention & concentration

 

motivation, orientation, observation

 

Communication mode (format)

 

cell mechanics

 

2D mapping


In the appendix to this book you will find a list of networks/processors and their related skills, that tells you what each processor associates with. Each processor handles all the data for one network. All concepts associated with any of these 'hard wired' ones will be stored adjacently in the database.

With these secondary associations, the database has a load more concepts to associate with in each category. Some concepts also share an association with others, and given enough concepts you start to get an awareness of what each category is 'about'.

This is where your concept association becomes individualized. For example, if we play 'word association' using the concept 'space', you're going to think of things that YOU personally associate with that concept. In my own 'space' database section there are associated concepts for outer space, material space (how much space is there in the cupboard?), volume, area, spacetime, outdoor space, green space, atmosphere, gases, headspace and (because I watch sci fi) Cosmos, Thirdspace and Pigs In Space. Now, if you play 'what's associated with each association?' and see what you get, this is how memory builds association trees.

 

System database

Categorization in an onboard database enables coherent perception, memory making, storage and recall. Memory storage in biology is not like memory storage in computers, so here's a quick primer.[2]

Data is stored in a cylindrical hexagonal lattice, models of which look very cool: 

 


Memory storage space is fractal. Many natural systems exhibit fractal organization and behavior. Think of a database organized like a tree: 

 

Such systems have exponentially more small branches compared to big ones.

 

Fractals are "self-similar," meaning that small branching patterns resemble larger ones. No matter the size you are looking at, the general branching shape is the same.

Natural systems abound with fractals. Neurons, trees, rivers, the respiratory system, the circulatory system, geological fault lines, snowflakes, sunflower heads, and so on.[3]

Fractals are called 'fractals' because they exist in fractional dimensions; in between two and three dimensions. If you now imagine every branch as an hexagonal cylinder stack, you've got a pretty clear idea of how your mind's database is organized. This is your own personal 'tree of knowledge', both of information and experience.

Memory (and indeed the mind itself) is a nonlinear dynamical system. Nonlinear means disproportional change. This means that some small change can lead to a large outcome, some large change can have almost no effect at all, sudden abrupt shifts may seem to come out of nowhere, and complex changes occur over time. Dynamical simply means non-static; constantly changing over time.[4]


Why do biological systems do this? Essentially, such systems have many opportunities for growth, change, plasticity and reorganization. Yet they also are very robust; they maintain their coherence; they hold together well even under tough circumstances. They are balanced in this respect between order and chaos. Their basics are simple, yet their details are very complex.

Whereas the fractal character of trees originates predominantly from the distribution of branch sizes, neurons also use the way their branches weave through 3D space to generate their fractal character. This fractal weaving of branches is balancing the ability of neurons to connect with their neighbors to form natural electric circuits against ergonomic calculations regarding the construction and operating costs of those circuits.[5] 



As with any system, ergonomic connectivity speeds processing. Each processor is situated adjacent to the type of memory it is most likely to need to access and to store new data in.

The fractal nature of our own unconscious systems may explain why we consciously love fractals so much.[6]

Simple rules and the architecture of the system enable the categorization of concepts to become fractal. Imagine a tree with six branches, each of which has six branches, and so on. Association trees go on like this until they literally run out of wiring space. But if you can curl up like a fractal you get a lot of information storage into a relatively small space.


If you built a real library modeled on how the brain stores data based on six core concepts, you would very soon run out of space, like the picture below. When you have a fractal in 3D space, however, and corridors can weave between each other, there is a lot more room for development.

 

  

(Blue lines are walls, red lines are corridors). If you zoom in and stare at this for a while, you'll get the hang of how categories are organized. Each core category is combined with every other according to the number and type of associations related to input.

 

PROGRAMS 

categorization software

Imagine you're a librarian program working to categorize and store memories in the database. Your first rule is: decide if the item is concrete or abstract. 

Before it even gets stored in memory, input data is divided into two types representing concrete and abstract; either material things or abstract ideas. Like, the difference between 'a bit fishy' meaning the smell of an actual material fish shop, and 'a bit fishy' meaning that some scheme sounds a bit dodgy and shouldn't be trusted. This distinction, concrete or abstract, physical or psychological, determines which processors will store the memory; processors M and S store memories of concrete concepts, processors T and E store abstract concepts. Processors D and P can store both.


So let's say you encounter a clock for the first time. Now, should you store it in processor M's database because it's a material object, or should you send it to the T processor because it is a thing that measures time and the core concept of processor T is time?

First, you will distinguish the input as either concrete or abstract. Having determined it's concrete, the librarian program must decide whether it is a thing, some stuff, or an event.

'Things' are individual concrete items, including people, objects, animals and trees. 'Stuff' is background context such as sea, fields, mountains, the sky, weather, the surrounding environment. Events are interactions between things in stuff and between things and stuff.

Processor M stores things, processor S stores stuff, and processor D stores events.

Now that you know where to send the input, it must be translated into the correct format for the processor to understand. Having determined the clock is a concrete material thing, regardless of its purpose it will be sent to M database. How do we connect the 'time' concept to this? 

Here's the secret: database M (which processes material objects) has six sections as follows:

material objects with a secondary association of matter (simple objects)

material objects with a secondary association of space (simple objects that are also containers)

material objects with a secondary association of density (simple objects that are also conduits)

material objects with a secondary association of time (complex objects)

material objects with a secondary association of energy (complex objects that are also containers)

material objects with a secondary association of power (complex objects that are also conduits)

or you can simplify this as: M/M, M/S, M/D. Each of these will branch into third associations, and so on. 


 

As a thing, rather than stuff, your clock first goes into main library database M (top right)

The next step is to determine, 'simple or complex?' Simple tools are objects like rocks, but complex tools are things like bodies or machines or mechanisms, of which your clock is one.

The system has three concrete categories: is it an object, or a container, or a conduit? Or a combination of the three? Conduits are connections between things. A bridge is a conduit, so is a tunnel, river, electrical circuit or road. And so is a clock. Clocks are measuring devices, transmitting information about reality to human senses.

Input from processor S (spatial processing) will tell you this information. The clock is a complex object that is also a container and a conduit.

Concepts for simple objects will be stored in M/M. Concepts for simple containers will be stored in M/S, being considered 'stuff' as well as a thing (stuff contains things just as containers contain objects). Concepts for simple conduits will be stored in M/D. Some objects fit two or all three categories, and will also be emotionally weighted as more interesting or 'enriched'.

Concepts for complex items will be stored in M/T. It so happens that complex mechanisms, machines, measurements and systems all have associations with our time concept, and a clock is a mechanism and a form of measurement. These associations will add to the 'T' weighting and the clock concept will end up somewhere like M/T/T or further along the chain depending on other associations. It will also be emotionally weighted for 'importance', both generally and in the current circumstances. 

Once data gets this far. It won't be represented as binary or as locations on a spatial grid. Processor D stores information as pictures and patterns that represent concepts.

processor formats

Formats fascinate me. Any system that is designed to assign six different forms of representation to the same data is going to have a very complex understanding of its input, and that's why our everyday experience does not appear like brain-generated VR to us even though it is. Imagination renders reality with hyper-resolution, so fast that we experience no gap between 'frames' even when we blink. It's very complicated but it works just fine as long as its needs are met.

Each processor has, as well as it's own memory database section, a specific data transfer/communication mode. This is its format; the type of communication 'language' it uses. Understand formats and you understand the system. You know the languages to write your own code. In terms of NH, the best way to affect change in any area is to use the format it is processing in. That's why I'm going on about this stuff. 

 

formats for each processor 

 

 

Core concept/

 

processor

 

M

 

S

 

D

 

T

 

E

 

P

 

format

 

cell mechanics (motion)

 

2D mapping

 

Pictures and stories

 

movies

 

symbols (words, numbers)

 

games

   

When networks organize at multiple scales, we can see how the brain processes raw sensory information into complex thought—from raw binary, to mechanical motion, through mapping, visualization, stories and words, to full comprehension.[7] 

Input enters as a stream of binary signals derived from sensory detection. But input (binary) can only be 'read' by unconscious areas of the brain which do not understand words or numbers; and words or numbers, although conscious-user-friendly, only make sense to areas of conscious awareness that don't read binary.  

So how does imagination give binary input 'meaning'? To understand the process of imagination, and how a concrete process of physical motion can be turned into an abstract idea we can interact with in our minds, we need to look at what perception really is. 

Sentience is the ability to receive information from the senses. Perception is the ability to interpret that data and give it appropriate meaning. Down at the cellular level, the process of perception begins with binary data causing simple mechanical and automatic interactions.  

 

M format: cell mechanics

Binary is first translated into cell mechanics; the format of processor M. Every one of your brain cells is a tiny little organism with its own sensors; able to interactively perceive input in its own local environment (its context) and respond with the appropriate cellular behavior as its output.  

The 'brain' of a cell is on its outside; every cell has a ‘skin’ (called a membrane) that acts as its mini-brain and nervous system. The rest of the cell is it's 'body' where the work takes place underneath, just as your body works to support your brain. The cell membrane contains sensory 'receptors' (like your senses), and ‘effectors’ (structures that can cause physical motion and send signals to do work in the cell). 

Different receptors on the membrane are like radio or TV antennae that detect signals from different inputs (again, like your senses). Receptors are input devices. Different receptors are different shapes, and so are chemical molecules, so only certain chemicals 'fit' certain receptors. Spatial factors (the shape and size of chemicals) and the number of receptors triggered, thus come into play at this stage. 

Effectors are output devices (they cause a change in behavior of the system). Effectors bind to proteins and this alter the activity of those proteins.  

Each brain cell ‘translates’ signals of chemical information about its context (neurotransmission, nutrients, hormones, toxins) into sensorimotor information (sensation as movement) like this:  

When a chemical signal makes contact with a receptor it causes a physical shape-change on the other end of the receptor (inside the cell). When the signal stops, the shape changes back.

 

 

 

Here's a model of this close up. The orange ‘plasma membrane’ is the skin of the cell. In (a) you can see the receptor sticking out of the cell. (The spiky end is outside the cell, the other end is inside the cell).  

In (b) an ‘agonist’ signal (a bit of relevant chemical) has floated by outside the cell and stuck to the end of the sensor. In this case it is a molecule shaped like a yellow diamond; the right shape to ‘fit’ the receptor, like a key for a lock. It could be a molecule of neurotransmitter for a brain cell, a light frequency hitting a retinal cell, or a scent molecule if this particular cell was in a network up an animal’s nose (receptors are specific to certain types of signals and are ‘tailored’ to suit the cells’ surroundings, so they can ignore anything that doesn’t fit). 

The signals' presence triggers a response like a key in a lock: they cause the receptor itself and also the “G proteins” (the little pink and red shapes inside the cell) to change shape and separate. This is literal mechanical motion; an analog representation of input data received.

 

Once they have separated, one of them can interact with an effector in (c) which responds now that the protein is a ‘relevant’ shape for it to recognize. 

Mechanically, proteins are like ‘transformer’ nanobots inside cells, programmed by their environment (via receptors) to alter their shapes and join together or split apart to form tools that turn on and off the machinery of cell processing and perform its various tasks – including such complex things as epigenetic change.

This is the first step in perception. The movements inside cells do things like turn on genes, make new proteins, convert fuel to energy, move muscles, send chemicals to signal other cells and so on. This process is, literally, how perception works from the bottom up. Information from the outside world ends up in-between cells in the brain (via the senses) because our skin and eyes and ears are all made of tiny cells doing exactly the same thing –responding to binary signals by turning those signals into internal movements. It's like a cellular automaton, or a relay directing nanobot motions. The signals this generates are sent to processor S. 


S format: 2D mapping 

The second stage of perception and the format of processor S is '2D mapping'. The applications available to the system for this process are initiated by processor S; the spatial department, which uses our body-in-space awareness programs; proprioception and kinesthesia. In concrete, physical domains this enables spatial navigation and it's how we associate positions with coordinates through physical experience.

Neuroscientists have identified three types of cells involved in personal navigation; called place cells, head direction cells and grid cells.

 

Grid cells create an inner model of a grid-like pattern akin to how we use latitude and longitude for navigation. The firing fields of each grid cell portray a remarkable hexagonal pattern which encodes a cognitive representation of space covering the entirety of the person’s concrete environment.[9]. This grid system is also used as a model for abstract memory storage across the brain itself.

 


What makes grid cells especially interesting is that the regularity in grid spacing does not derive from any regularity in the external environment or in the sensory input available to an animal. Such a pattern of symmetric receptive fields cannot result from external sensory input alone but must also be due to pattern generation by imagination; model-making within the brain itself.

Processor S maps the patterns of motion induced by cell mechanics, in terms of coordinates on the grid. This ability to associate points in a mental ‘spatial network’ model to real points in space in both the outside environment and cellular motion inside the body reveals the program behind not only our ability for real-world navigation but to mapping the entire structure of perception and interpretation, including all memory storage and recall. The mind uses its spatial abilities to build the inner model of a mind map for the whole of memory and learning for the rest of our lives.


The patterns of motion generated by cell mechanics are represented on the grid model and, according to their location, associated with concepts (see 'imaginary library' diagram in previous section).

This is a good example of the mind's ability to use the same processes in both concrete and abstract domains. The same spatial 'body awareness' process that enables us to navigate where we are in concrete material space is now used to associate patterns, coordinates and abstract concepts in our own memories. This is also a boon for hackers; improving a process in the concrete domain (like, your ability to wander around in the woods and not get lost and confused) is automatically improving the very network memory relies on for tasks like wandering around mentally in a complex science paper or following detailed instructions or taking part in a debate on multiple issues or managing anything complicated, and not getting lost and confused. 

All sensory information is stored in short term memory as “the pattern of movements that the cell made in response to its signals”. The cell doesn’t ‘know’ that the information came from ‘out there’; only our conscious minds can know that. For individual cells, all input comes from ‘out there’. None of this information is conscious in the cell, and we can only make it available to the conscious mind via this series of formats.

The grid is also an inner map of the architecture of the brain itself. Because each processor and its associated database reside in one specific network, each network's processing results in a specific 'signature' pattern on this map, thus every location in the brain has corresponding coordinates on the map. Like any geographical map, it's a way of representing data from a convoluted, scrunched-up, 3D surface using a 2D flat mapping system that can be imagined in the mind's eye or 'inner screen'.

Every location on the grid is associated with the closest processor's core concept. Consequently, every location on the grid is also associated with that processor's individual animal behaviors, different type of memory, different stage of learning and so on; the system is primed for response as soon as location identification is made. Anything in everyday existence with sufficient points of similarity to any known concept can be superimposed on the grid and its location area coordinates determined.

To make things easier, at every level database sections are located in the same order. That's like having a library where every 'M' related category memory no matter how far along the tree, will be in the bottom left section of the room accessed, every 'S' category memory will be in the bottom right section, and so on. Every bit of data in memory therefore has an 'address'; a location in the spatial database that can be represented as coordinates on the system's 'grid map' or model of itself and recollected (re-collected) within fractions of a second.

 

Immediately a representative location on the grid can be pinpointed for an item, there is a wealth of information available automatically associated with that location, which can be added to the input and sent on to the next processor. Types of behaviors that may be involved, events that are most likely to take place, materials likely to be necessary, procedures likely to be needed, useful memories of facts, resources, abilities, things to watch out for, and so on.

New items that do not exactly fit any existing set will form a new concept midway between its closest associations (and for this, a new set of synapses must be built in the brain.) This is how we learn; by assimilating the unknown into the map of the known and building neural conduits between known concepts and new ones. 

As we develop, this inner grid model together with imagery becomes our concept database; a representation of all that is 'known' to the system; all that has meaning for it. The more we learn, the more densely connected it gets. Together, the networks build up an accurate perception and conceptualization of reality in stages. 

 

D format: analogization

Concrete to abstract

By the time it gets to processor D, raw input has thus had a lot of data added to it. The formats of processors M and S are concrete and physical; and those of processors T and E are abstract and non-physical, but the format that can be translated everywhere is analogical –graphics representing concepts- one thing 'represents' another thing and meaning is assigned through association of similarities. That's what processor D does.

D format is universal between individuals as well as between the unconscious and conscious networks of the brain. It would, for example, be easier to explain to aliens what a cat was by showing them pictures than trying to explain. And that's the sort of task processor D faces. Imaginations processing routines must 'translate' between unconscious and conscious; between experience and information, in both directions. It's like communicating between two different aliens; the concrete lot (unconscious networks) have the data in a form that the abstract bunch (conscious networks) can't understand, and processor D must find a universal format that both groups can make sense of. And it has evolved to use graphics

.

By associating archetypal images and stories with input experience; by using one to represent the other, the mind tells itself stories about what is going on, and tries to find a 'best match' with graphic images already in its database, called Archetypes or 'Prototype images'.

This has a profound effect on our behavior, communication and subjective life experience. Emotional weighting and valence are already attached to the prototypes, enabling specific behaviors in response to eliciting input.

Emotion uses chemical messengers that create concrete responses throughout the body in sync with mental images as representations of abstract mental concepts.[11] 

 


Analogization is the cognitive process of transferring information or meaning from a particular subject (the analog or source concept) to another particular subject (the target concept), or a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process

Analogization software often relies on a factor we might call 'kinda' (kind of). Analogy uses similarity; relationship A is kinda similar to relationship B, situation X is kinda similar to situation Y, process C is kinda similar to process D, particles inside an atom behave kinda like a solar system, food is to the human digestive system kinda like fuel is to an engine, cats are kinda similar to tigers, our brains work kinda like machines and our minds work kinda like software.

This process of inexact matching ('mirroring') between known concept categories and new things being perceived as input (the transformation from concrete sensorimotor formats to more abstract graphics that have associated meanings) — is the process of analogization. We extract specific similarities and abstract them. A strong eidetic memory is like a vast database of triggerable pictorial analogies; graphic representations of real life experiences.

Here is the transformation whereby the core of intelligence gives meaning to code; such that concrete hardware (sensory responses to input) gives rise to abstract software (imaginative association). The original sensory input modalities of the complex data is totally irrelevant to conscious intelligence; all that matters is how input jointly activates imagination to pull up a host of interrelated concepts from memory, in such a way that further appropriate concepts are automatically accessed and brought up to conscious awareness. [15] 

Analogy in cognitive terms is high-level perception. This process of making sense of complex data at an abstract, conceptual level is fundamental to human cognition.

Imagination; the ability to form mental images of concepts, provides the format translation programs that process all input, regardless of whether it is internal or external. Without it, we could not perceive anything. To assimilate all the information about an input event into one image and to initiate the process that links these images to images, stories and procedures, the system requires a specific program:

 

synesthesia

Two connected natural processes support the formation of graphic imagery and stories. One is our unconscious use of archetypes and metaphor for high-level processing of information, and the other is synesthesia, for lower-level processing of information. Synesthesia merges sensory input, enabling association between our different senses.

Physiologically in synesthesia, one sense triggers the receptors of others as well as its own. It is how the sound of music, group laughter and the smell of weed lets you know there's probably a party going on next door. It's how you associate the jingle of keys with the concept of someone coming home, or the smell of bread with a probable bakery. It's how you know which person is speaking, what they are saying and what they look like all at the same time. It's how you compose an image of a person associated with a tone of voice, a scent, or a certain way of movement, and how you associate a taste and a smell with certain foods.[24]

 

Some synesthetic associations are based on core concepts and some are individual and unique to you, dependent upon your experience.


Synesthesia is ordinarily unconscious. You've probably heard of the phenomena of conscious ('overt') synesthesia in which people experience consciously, for example, sounds in terms of colors or tastes.[23] Another type of overt synesthesia has people seeing numbers, letters of the alphabet, or musical notes, as having a distinct color. Intrusive, overt synesthesia is a peculiarity in which this association is permanently conscious; about one in thirty people have overt synesthesia and it can be induced by hypnosis.  

Two subroutines underlie synesthesia:


1 Synesthetic cross modal abstraction: i.e. we recognize properties that sounds and images have in common, abstract them, and process / categorize/ store them in the same memory network. The sounds and shapes of the objects have characteristics in common that can be abstracted, say a sharp, cutting quality of a word, and the shape it describes.


2 Built in preexisting cross activation. Areas of the brain which appear to be involved in the correlations of Synesthesia are adjacent to each other physically; they have wired together, and that cross-wiring, or cross activation, can explain both Synesthesia and our ability to make analogies and metaphors.

People with overt synesthesia (i.e., who have conscious awareness of these associations) simply have more ‘cross-wiring’ than the rest of us, and this can be induced by changing inhibitory processes in the average brain or by hypnosis or drugs like LSD).


What's important to formatting is that 'covert' synesthesia goes on unconsciously all the time as a subroutine of association and memory. It underlies how we make analogies and metaphors and how sounds can be analogous to images or other concepts – why for example sounds can be described as 'sharp', ‘bright’ or ‘dull’, or 'feeling blue' can describe an emotion.[13]

This habit of abstraction - unconsciously using mental analogies to concrete matter and space in higher cognition - is so automatic in adults and so embedded in our language structure that we don't even realize we're doing it at all. It's a habit we don't know we have, such that reverse abstraction and similar tricks can provide us with humor. Here's an example:

Q: What's the highest note on a grand piano?

A: None; the keyboard is horizontal and all notes remain permanently at the same height above the floor.

Perhaps the best known example; 'Why is a raven like a writing desk?' has inspired all sorts of philosophical musings, yet the simplest reason; 'Both have been used extensively in the creation of myths', is usually missed, because here we are looking at a concrete object and a concrete life form, and abstracting only the latter; the raven becomes a mythical symbol yet the desk remains as is. It's like a way of saying, creativity depends on tools plus technique, on knowledge plus experience, on concrete plus abstract, on hardware plus software, on machine plus ghost.

Abstraction is universal. In music and sound, the way that we talk about ‘high’ and ‘low’ notes shows how musical pitch has its analogy in spatial location. We see this spatial analogy for measurement occurring in many different forms, for example height measurement, light intensity, pH of solutions, light and sound frequency, visual or audio resolution, volume, pitch, density, gradient, fidelity; all of these use the term 'high' as synonymous with 'a lot' or 'more', and 'low' as synonymous with 'few' or 'less'. Regardless of the details, the basics 'up = more' and 'down = less' remain the same. A mountain will always be 'more' than a molehill.

This seems so obvious that we rarely think about WHY it is so. It is because the same process in the same networks is recruited for our interpretation and categorization of both abstract and concrete concepts. [14]

Every coordinate in the inner model is associated synesthetically with a particular physical movement, a particular type of smell molecule, a particular frequency of color, a particular pitch of sound, other, similar associated concepts, and so on. This is how we categorize the many unknown percepts coming in to fit in with the body of known concepts, reducing details to essentials and similarities, compressing the information into the coded form of a graphic story; the format of processor D. This makes it easier and faster for us to memorize and understand things, to learn rapidly and to recall more efficiently. Keys go with locks, barks go with dogs, straws go... (hands up all those who giggled and said, 'up nostrils'?) There's automatic association for you.

 

Image generation

In low level perception, data coming from each of our senses; an input of billions of chaotic bits of environmental concrete stimuli are turned into mental concepts via cellular mechanics triggering associated memory categories (known concepts) which are then stored as spatial grid coordinates by processor S.


In high-level perception, these coordinates are sent to processor D where they trigger associated analogical graphic image representations (concepts/memories) that are used throughout cognitive processing. This gives a pictorial analogy of 'what's going on out there' which (hopefully) is a good quality, high definition representation of the real thing.

For this stage of perceptual processing, imagination uses a mirror neuron system that can represent concepts as graphic images from 'stories'. If we cannot form a mental image of something and see how it fits in with a story, unconsciously, we literally cannot ‘make sense out of it’ consciously or perceive it clearly.

 

 

We know that if we point a camera at a scene ‘out there’ and record footage, and the footage is viewed on a monitor while we do so, the light in the picture on the screen is not coming from ‘out there’, it is coming from the screen or the projector in response to the information in whatever program is running to translate and project the information from the input.

The brain is doing very much the same thing. When we look at the world 'out there' the light that we ‘see’ by doesn’t come from ‘out there’ at all; it comes from the same place that the ‘light’ in dreams comes from; where ALL our imagery comes from. We imagine it as the light ‘out there’ because it is an inner response to signals coming in from retinal cells, but in fact all perception is ‘inner’ imagery.

The mind's imagery projection process is identical regardless of the source of its input; whether that be dreams, fantasy, memories or current real world input. Individual cells don’t know or care where their input is coming from; they just respond. Our experience of life is determined by how well our imagination can process cells’ responses; in other words imagination takes an ongoing educated guess as to what is going on, and how well-informed the guess is (prior experience, amount of input, comparative memory, context probability) determines the clarity of our perception.

The input source is directed by our attention. If there’s only a glimpse of footage, or muffled sound, the system often can’t imagine what we saw or heard, so it forgets it (this is fortunate, or we’d remember everything that didn’t matter). If we’re doing something routine that has become automatic, imagination often doesn't bother to refresh the page when changes happen (which is how we get confused if a regularly used door or cupboard is moved and keep turning to where it used to be, and it's also how we miss noticing small changes). 


The mind's model of reality is not the territory. -It is an analogy of the territory

The mind's graphic images and stories are not proxy for their objects or events but are vehicles for the conscious conception of objects or events.

In thinking about things we manipulate concepts of them, not the things themselves; and it is the concepts, not the things, that graphic symbols directly represent or 'mean'. Behavior towards concepts is what thoughts and words normally evoke; this is the ordinary, everyday process of thinking.

Meaning in concrete and abstract domains can here co-exist. On the physical, 'hardware' level, the concept 'looking back' means turning the head around and looking behind you (a concrete concept). On the abstract level the same concept is given the meaning, 'looking back into the past' (an abstract concept). All abstract concepts are based at root on their association with physical movements related to animal behaviors.

It is not so much the individual graphic symbol that "stands for" or "reflects" the individual object or event in the real world, but rather that the entire system of signs, the entire field of analogical representation, lies parallel to reality itself; in other words, the eidetic format (when correctly used) is designed to be analogous to the organized structures which exist in the world of reality, and our understanding proceeds from concrete reality to abstraction.

With each change of format, related concepts are represented in different ways; processor M's concepts for things, stuff and events became processor S's concepts for objects, containers and conduits. Here in processor D they are represented by characters, sets and stories. Sets are the 'containers' for characters (complex objects) and stories are conduits for events.

Every image has its location on the spatial grid and its part in a story.

Just as things, stuff and events were all related to specific coordinates on the mind's spatial grid, characters, sets and stories also have related coordinates. The mind knows 'where we are' in a conversation the same way it knows where we are in the local village. And it knows where we are in the ongoing story of reality. The existence of a single neural model that can be applied in multiple domains is efficient, and avoids the capacity problem of needing separate maps for every domain.


To 'analogize' is to transfer meaning. And that’s exactly what imagination’s doing throughout; translating stuff out of sensorimotor and spatial formats into eidetic memory format to be sent to the front ‘rooms’ for processing and storage according to its ‘place’ in the story.

 

Prototype stories

The ‘prototype stories’ in our database are a close copy of reality endowed by all evolutionary experience; and all the system needs to know is how the here and now relates to these stories, because all we need to do to ‘get it right’ (i.e., ‘optimally interactive behavior’), is to follow the story. We make the correct moves, we model the appropriate characters, we improvise according to the rules, and the story will unfold as it should and everything makes sense.

Thus the unconscious mind reconstructs input from reality and renders it as a story. It is, after all, being 'told a story' as the images, sounds, etc., from input present themselves for processing. And the system has been told stories for enough aeons to recognize the stories which usually happen to all humans; indeed, it creates our body plan in expectation of the behaviors that will be required for taking part in these stories. Stories, to it, are just patterns of events with highest probability; the things most likely to happen.

It knows, for example, that every human life will encounter characters with which to interact, and it has figured out that there is a finite number of character types and a finite number of roles a human can play. It knows the range of behaviors we are naturally capable of and those that we are not; such as breathing underwater.

It knows there are a number of backgrounds and situations in which events take place and it knows what sort of events are likely to take place where, because similar events have occurred in similar backgrounds and circumstances for a long, long time. You may think you're only twenty-seven years old but the programs in your inherited software are ancient; as old as life itself. The software that served stone age humans is running now, for you.[16]

From a basic initial conscious awareness of things, stuff and events, we build a database map of objects, contexts and connections, and processor D takes this data and renders it as imagery from a graphic novel; as characters, sets and stories.

All creatures capable of communication tell stories. The warning call and leap of a bird signifying 'snake!' tells an immediate story to its comrades that they'd better (a) spread the message and (b) get their feathery asses airborne for a while until this bugger goes away. That's gotta be 'the next scene in this story' because evolution wrote this story; the alternative scene is to become painfully transformed into snake poop, and that's the end of the story.

Mind is the magical ingredient that transforms situations. Without it, physical laws alone determine who gets eaten and who does the eating, but adding intelligence to the equation even to a tiny degree changes outcomes fundamentally. A single line unconscious command like 'IF snake shape is seen, THEN yell your head off' saves all future generations.


Such stories trigger procedures because 'everyone knows the story'. They are not necessarily stories anyone is consciously aware of, even in humans, because it's our unconscious mind which constructs a graphic novel all the time for itself about everything we do.

A mature brain has a huge amount of ‘stock footage’ in its memory that creates tendencies for automatically acting out the most popular ‘stories’ (behaviors that we perform often) because this saves energy. Each day begins a new series of stories, punctuated only by the stories in dreams as our software goes about its defragging business during sleep.

A facial expression, body language or tone of voice, as discussed above, tells a story to processor D about the owner; their age, sex, mood, intent, and much more.

Memories are stories retrieved by 'retelling the story'; calling up (re-calling) the conditions in the brain that were prevalent at the time the original experience happened, reproducing them in the same synchronized way they presented last time, and attaching an associated emotional weighting to each set of conditions that will reconstruct a low-resolution copy of the original emotional mood

When we write up an experiment, we tell the story of what we did, how we did it, and what happened. Telling the story reconstructs the conditions of events, or similar enough conditions for imagination to bridge the gap and reproduce the conditions. This is also how we can learn through empathic experience as well as direct experience, which is a very good thing.


All peoples tell stories about how life on this world, and how the universe itself, came to be; mythical stories and scientific stories. And all cultures tell stories about the past experiences of other people, which we call 'history'. Geology and Archaeology tell us stories about the past experiences of our planet and life here on earth. An equation tells a story about a mathematical situation, and a formula tells a story about a chemical situation. The standard model of physics tells a story about our physical situation. Every relationship is an ongoing story; a history of interactions and feedback from results. This is how processor D views reality.

Characters, sets and stories are archetypal eidetics. Processor D sits in the middle of a database populated by stories, armed with character-recognition, set-recognition and story-recognition software. It even projects its images internally to itself (for comparison against new input).

'Eidetic' is from the Greek, eidētikos, from 'eidos'; shape, form. Character archetypes are the optimal characters we aim to empathize/unite with, Set archetypes are the classic situations such characters operate in, and the Plot archetypes are the optimal stories we aim to take part in; our goals in life.

 

 
We learn how to 'write our own stories' (create new situations) in life by experiencing the stories of others before us and modeling the skills of both the characters in them and those who tell them. Children love stories because long before we can culturally interact, we are designed to practice interaction safely by playing with fictional stories, by learning which behaviors and procedures work out beneficially (and they all lived happily ever after), and which ones don't (and the wicked goblin was so angry he blew himself to bits) when navigating through real life.  

We learn the virtues in stories, like courage, heroism, loyalty, honor, care, kindness and patience. We then transfer these concepts to 'real life stories' about how we view ourselves, others, and reality in general. Thus we are empowered to turn around and add our own contributions to culture. We invent and tell our own stories, updating the archetypes to have enough points of similarity to current culture to make sense to the next generation. Our archetypal characters are recycled and recast again and again in current contemporary guises. 


T format: metaphorization

We are all able to think consciously in formal, logical language (or we wouldn't be able to read or write it), but the concepts that define our unconscious thoughts are not stored in the format of logical language. The unconscious uses its own languages; of analogy and metaphor.

Archetypes are eidetic variables. The coordinates of Eidetic Variables in the spatial grid act as "storage locations" for data in a program. They are a way of labeling or 'tagging' information for later usage. Each variable has a set of coordinates on the inner model associated with a symbol in processor D and an archetype name in processor T; an example eidetic variable name is 'The Young Seeker' and its symbol will be a picture of an archetypal 'young seeker', the classic hero ('young' denotes inexperience). Every archetype is associated with one of the core concepts, adjacent to its position on the grid.

Put simply, archetypes are representations of concepts in a type of graphic code that can be translated into any other format. Consequently at the highest levels of perception, original input modality plays essentially no role. Our real life in the real world is represented (re-presented) as a dynamic, complex, ongoing movie.

To identify new input, we use imagination to construct images of the characters, sets and stories that best describe the incoming signal patterns and then compare them with generated archetypal images from the database of the known. By doing this hundreds of millions of times per second, we project innerly images from ‘the story’ that we think is going on ‘out there’.

We don't experience this initial graphic-novel processing in conscious awareness though, because if we did, life would appear to proceed in stop-motion with gaps between still pictures of input, most especially when we blinked. The stream of individual pictures is sent to processor T, where they are merged seamlessly in the 'editing suite' of perception. Processor T re-employs the brain network that permits synesthesia for a new, exciting process: metaphorization.

Synesthesia synchronizes concrete domain concepts: colors, shapes, sounds, smells. Metaphorization synchronizes abstract domain concepts: moods, aesthetics, ideas, beliefs, patterns of events, morality, and ultimately (when it gets to processor P) it merges concrete and abstract data in congruous agreement about 'what's going on out there'.

What appears as metaphor in linguistic terms (eg, “I'm in the dark on this subject”, “This is all going over my head”, “She's hot” or “He uses colorful language”) paralels a literal sensory experience in synesthesia. Metaphor and synesthesia are a type of shorthand for the connection of associated cognitive phenomena; in synesthesia between different senses, and in metaphorization between different domains.[17]

Metaphorization in processor T is a process resulting in a new format: image streaming based on reference to analogical archetypes. Rendering detailed moving images from multiple sources of information in parallel is something imagination excels at. In the fourth stage of perception, here in the interaction between pictures, stories and movie construction, conscious perception emerges. When 'still' graphics and a storyline from processor D are operated on by processor T, we experience real life as a first-person movie; not a series of disconnected incidents. It's an internal movie. 

Imagination makes movies a great deal faster than we do. Perception relies on consistently having an inner model of reality that closely matches actual reality. A model is of the world as it is; with no value judgments placed upon it unless verified by both knowledge and experience (conscious and unconscious). This is how we are able to make congruous sense of the world; we have a piece of information and we have an experience and they match up. We have a percept and we have a concept and they match up. Life makes sense, and the 'known' database becomes an ever-growing powerhouse of ability and information as more and more congruous concepts are added to the model. From a very early age a healthy mind can predict the next parts of the 'story' and explore it to verify accuracy. When we are given new bits of information we can test them to verify their accuracy. Every healthy young mind is a better practical natural scientist than most people with PhDs.

The metaphorization process is not something we are normally aware of because it's unconscious and extremely fast. Most of the time we just get on with life and a lot of what we are doing and thinking seems automatic. But exactly where the line lies in each individual mind between conscious awareness and unconscious awareness is neither fixed nor clear. Since our formal languages are also based on the same metaphoric association system, this is an important research area for discourse analysis and a prime source of evidence for what our unconscious ontology or 'world view' contains.

The 'finished product' of conscious perception is astonishingly complex, but the programs behind it are relatively simple. Hardware (the world 'out there' in concrete matter & space) merges with software (the environment 'in here' of imaginations' processes of perception and comprehension) when codes (input) are given meaning (match our mental concepts).

A metaphor is a method of describing a concept/group of concepts by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated concept or group of concepts.

 



 

Metaphor is for most people about 'unusual' rather than 'usual' language (eg, “Burning the midnight oil” is a metaphor for working overtime). The mind grasps similarities between concrete and abstract concepts, hence “Burning the midnight oil” makes sense to us as an abstract concept meaning working late; it is congruous with reality.


But aside from proverbs, popular sayings and so on, metaphor is quietly and unobtrusively all-pervasive in everyday thought and interaction, and also in what we think of as 'normal' formal language.

Metaphorization subprocesses include coincidence-spotting via looking for synchrony between items, contexts and procedures (objects, containers and conduits) in concrete or abstract input; categorizing similar concepts by similar location in procedural memory (what objects go in what containers in what order); and fine-tuning associative connections (enabling timed transfer of information via conduits).

Our system of metaphoric concepts in procedural memory is built from the ground up, enabled by interactional experience, and like all other such systems (eg development, learning, categorization) proceeds from the concrete to the abstract.

For example, 'understanding'; an intangible, abstract concept; is often recast in terms of the concrete sensory experiences of sight and touch. To understand something is to 'see' it or to 'grasp' it, and so we often say that we 'see someone’s point', 'I see what you mean', or that we have 'grasped' the basics or an idea is 'clear' to us. Metaphors of this sort—linking the abstract meaning to the concrete meaning, and the perceptual to the visceral—allow us to make the conceptual leap across the 'gap' of difference between concrete and abstract. They are in themselves conduits for the transfer of information.

Another such metaphoric association occurs between temperature and emotion; we speak of someone being 'cold' if they show no feelings, 'hot' if they exhibit lusty behavior, 'warm' if they are friendly. These kinds of metaphors are cultural; they are universal among our species and not parochial associations of one or another particular society or group. We also all associate colors with sentiments; you have no doubt heard folks talk of 'seeing red' with anger, 'going green' with envy, 'being yellow' with cowardice or, if depressed, 'feeling blue' or 'in a black cloud'.

Metaphorization isn't limited to seeing one concept in terms of another, but also embodies whole systems in terms of others. Most of our fundamental concepts, including the emotional system, health, consciousness, success and even morality are all metaphorized in terms of spatial coordinates; happy is UP, sad is DOWN, conscious is UP, unconscious is DOWN, health & vitality are UP, sickness & death are DOWN. Excited is HIGH, depressed is LOW. Personal power is UP, weakness is DOWN. Status is HIGH or LOW. The future is UP and AHEAD, the past is BEHIND us and DOWN. All that is good is UP, all that is bad is DOWN.

Depth metaphors are congruous with this system and used to imply complexity of content, eg, 'She's a very DEEP character' or 'She's very SHALLOW' or 'in the DEPTHS of despair'.

Width metaphors also get a look in; we describe people as “BROAD minded or NARROW minded”.

Intelligence is metaphorized as light; “Not very bright”, “A brilliant mind”, “A bit dull”; and understanding as clarity. Do you see the light?


All our abstract values and measurements are grounded in our own concrete biology; for example, the concept, 'more = bigger' has probably been around ever since our prehistoric ancestors unconsciously grasped physical rules like, “Bigger breath = more time underwater”, or, “More bears = bigger hassle”.


Everything that is in our awareness is categorized according to its relativity to (its relationship with) us personally; we unconsciously categorize things according to how they relate to the sensorimotor systems of our own biology. As biological entities operating right here in the real world, it is our most sensible way to categorize things for making strong memories and grounded abstractions.

Thus, 'up' is not understood purely in material physical spatial terms, 'up' is also understood as metaphoric to 'higher', 'more' and 'increase'. In the same way, 'hot' is unconsciously associated with 'faster', 'lower down' and the color red; and 'cold' is unconsciously associated with 'slower', 'higher up' and the color blue. There are clear associations here abstracted from the responses of our own physiology at various temperatures and also from physical laws.


In physics and light phenomena, humans have worked out consciously through years of scientific discovery that sounds, radio waves and colors are all different frequencies on the same electromagnetic spectrum, but the system already knows all this unconsciously, and we associate them as we do due to their spatial coordinates on the inner model. We refer to ‘high’ and ‘low’ frequencies, instead of, for example, 'dense or sparse' frequencies, or 'faster and slower' frequencies (although scientifically to do so would be valid, because the frequency of something is about how often it happens over time).

We are not deluded; we don't believe that radio frequencies or colors or musical notes are to be literally found higher up or lower down in the earth's atmosphere; we intuitively metaphorize and orient them thus on a measuring scale. We have simply abstracted one property that is analogous; height, to bridge the gap between concepts. X works 'kinda' like Y.

We unconsciously metaphorize even such abstract constructs as our own emotions. We intuitively say we are feeling 'cool', ‘high’ and ‘light-hearted’ when we’re having fun and ‘low’ or ‘down’ or ‘heavy hearted’ when we’re unhappy.


This too is grounded in hard physical reality (the literal dimming of our senses when depressed is discussed in the Methods & Tech section, via the effect of anxiety on networks' blood supply). -When 'down' or anxious, we are only able to access associations/memories from the cortex of rear brain networks.

Shapes, colors, textures, smells, sounds, tastes, etc., are all associated not just in the spatial coordinates of the mind's inner grid map but in reality; in the natural world and our measuring of it, and also in the processing tasks of the brain itself. The brain’s map, after all, is designed by evolution to give a clear picture of reality and the associations in it through personal inner representation, which is what perception IS.


All abstract concepts are understood through reference to concrete concepts in this way. Our spatial concept of 'up' is grounded (embodied) in our spatial experience. Our constant physical activity in the world from before birth makes an up/down orientation to the world centrally relevant; not merely to our physical orientation but in every object, context, and event. In order to make high pitched noises like, 'Yippee!', we need to raise our heads and tighten our vocal chords. Low sounds like groans are more easily made with the head tilted down and the pharynx relaxed. To increase volume (loudness), we take a deep breath and fill our lungs (increase volume spatially) before emitting it forcefully. And volume, to the unconscious, is all about size.

In a spatial context Volume is the quantity of 3-dimensional space enclosed by a given closed boundary (regardless of mass or dimensions). Volume in an audio 'loudness' context is an attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which sounds can be ordered on a scale extending from quiet to loud according to amplitude. It's about the size of a wave rather than the size of an object or area, but they are analogous in terms of the abstracted concept 'measure of size', and they are analogous in that they use the same measurement continuum - a background scale that goes from few to many, from less to more, from small to large, in a linear way. Which can, nevertheless measure non-linear phenomena.

The mind's map is a map of the nature of environmental reality as it interacts with the inner domain of the brain itself; both have been fine-tuned by co-evolutionary experience for a very long time. On this planet, with these bodies, high in the sky IS ‘up’, and low below ground IS ‘down’, as far as any mammal that ever lived has ever been concerned until space travel happened. To help them bridge the conceptual gap between known and unknown ('normal' and micro gravity), astronauts train underwater; that environment providing enough points of experiential similarity for a mind to grasp the concept of locomotion in space.


Metaphors invoked by visual images, gestures, textures, tastes, sounds and smells, etc., involve graded relationships on a continuum. They can signify infinite subtleties which seem 'beyond words'. Emotions and feelings are analogically represented/reproduced via neurochemistry with similar effect.

Memory turns this wealth of sensory information into a number of defined categories, transforming input on a linear scale to discrete packets in a non-linear storage system. Analog representation can now be digitized, and data can be sent in 'packets' or batches rather than a bit at a time. Brain activity and memory are organized by the perceived relationships between these categories.[19]


Our unconscious conceptual system, in terms of which our behaviors and thoughts are formed, is essentially metaphorical in its nature. The system unconsciously choose metaphors for each interaction that can be most easily understood by the processors dealing with those interactions, which increases our processing speed and system accuracy.

Our metaphoric concepts structure our ontology; our construct of beliefs about reality, all the way from what we perceive to what we believe, and all of our behaviors including interactions and relationships of all kinds, defining the ways in which we relate to the world. In short, what we believe, the way we think, what we experience, and what we do every day is largely dependent on our chosen contextual metaphors and how they frame our situations.

 

roles, scenes and plots

Upgrading from processor D's concepts of characters, sets and stories, processor T perceives situations in terms of the concepts of roles, scenes and plots.

Roles, scenes and plots are behavioral; they are about things we do, not what we say or think. The system knows that attitudes, behaviors and moods in any given 'character' are not fixed but dynamic, thus the same character can play several different roles during the same story in exactly the same way that we can move through various different contexts, behaviors, emotions and experiences during the same day.

Roles

Instead of seeing reality in limited terms of fixed characters, maturing minds become aware of dynamic 'roles', and we look to our culture for role models; people whose behaviors we would like to emulate. We also start to see our own lives in terms of roles; sometimes we play the role of the student listening to the wise master, sometimes we play the faithful servant taking care of our baby brother, or we play the wise master reading stories to our little sister and teaching her how to make water balloons.

 


Sometimes we are the explorer, young seeker or hunter sneaking through the woods in explorative play. Sometimes we are the student learning about something new. Sometimes we are the benefactor sharing our good fortune or packed lunch with the friend who hasn't got any. And so on. Our behavior changes accordingly as we take on the 'character traits' each role requires. We look for roles that we would like to play by observing others playing them, and we model their behavior when we play them, getting the experience of what it feels like to be in that role; practicing and extending our repertoire of useful traits and behaviors for more and more differing circumstances, and all these roles demand very different attitudes, behaviors and types of communication.

 



'Character' traits are not fixed variables except in pathology. It's fine, for example, for someone to be suspicious and on the offensive if they have just been attacked; it's not fine for them to be suspicious and on the offensive all the time; it's pathological.


The same is true of sadness, grief, and hysterical laughter; none of our moods or behaviors is designed for permanence but as a response to dynamic changes in our circumstances and events that require different types of interaction. Appropriate types of behavior are taken on as the context and role require them, rather than installed permanently and used for all contexts. We do not have the same 'character traits' in front of our granny or our child as we do when with a lover or a close friend.


Scenes

As our 'movie of life' is produced, instead of fixed background 'sets' we now perceive dynamic scenes going on around us; this is our ordinary perception of reality in which our environment is not just a static backdrop for interactions like stage scenery in a play; but a moving, changing set of circumstances. Scenes are the medium in which we, the actors, execute our roles performing behaviors appropriate to each role.


The mind views scenes as 'chapters' in the story of life. There are 'at home' scenes and scenes in which we're out and about doing various things; scenes which occur regularly and new, different scenes sometimes dropped in as we encounter new environments and circumstances.

We use the 'scenery' metaphor colloquially; asking, “What sort of a scene is it?” about a party or a nightclub or a bar. We refer to 'a rough scene' or 'not really my scene', 'someone made a scene', or 'an elitist scene' for scenes we do not feel comfortable in; and 'a really cool scene' for those we like. All scenes have 'a vibe' or 'an atmosphere'.

Some scenes we experience alone, many have other characters in them. We could break our daily activities into different scenes with ease, labeling them things like, 'boring domestic scene' followed by 'busy garden scene', 'relaxing breakfast with friends' scene and 'interesting writing at desk' scene; which is my morning so far. In my case, chapters are punctuated by cups of tea; sort of 'interlude scenes' like they have in the theater, where everybody gets up for a drink and goes to the toilet.

 

Plots

Change in complex interactive systems (consider the weather, or human communication) is dynamic and seemingly unpredictable in its details, but very simple and profoundly straightforward in its basics. As far as procedural memory is concerned, all events must follow the scenes in the plot, so the details don't matter. What matters is recognizing the plot; so that we know what is likely to happen when and how best to interact with it.

We need a certain critical mass of archetypal plots in procedural memory in order to successfully navigate through real life. If examples of these are never experienced, the system won't know what to do when we encounter them. Life seems full of unknown threats, hassle and problems that appear insurmountable when we feel we've 'lost the plot'.

Core procedural memory is the 'deep-time' inherited record of algorithms for basic series-of-events experienced by our species throughout evolution. They are 'things all humans do'; events such as birth, growth, walking, seeking, mating, facing good fortune and adversities, adapting to benefits and dangers. It is a database of archetypes, whose basic structure of plots makes it applicable to any details.

If you think all movie, game and story plots are different look again, remembering that to the unconscious the details are irrelevant. Prototype story themes do not simply spring from each specific person's - or even specific bits of our cultures - current creative imagination; although the details may make them appear to. In reality, story plots are timeless.

Researchers exploring our love of stories for clues about our evolutionary history have examined plot and character archetypes that appear consistently in narratives from all over the world. Stories have universal similarities that reflects our shared, evolved eidetic memory core. Tales, myths and legends from around the world throughout history have the same universal themes reflecting our common underlying biology and unconscious knowledge. The eidetic and procedural associations in stories reflect structure in the real world; not random acts of invention by its current literary inhabitants. Thus story plots reveal a shared aspect of human cultural experience that is present in all places and reflected in every language

The core archetypes of processor D; Proto Characters and Proto sets and proto stories, are the source from which all of processor T's roles, scenes and plots are derived. Two thirds of the plots in ongoing narrative traditions are variations on just three situational archetypal patterns or 'prototype stories'.

The two most common stories are bonding and/or heroic plots—both are about 'the hero’s journey' (the development of full intelligence), both focus on how the power of intelligence / love /rectitude /interaction can overcome all trials and travails and succeed despite overwhelming odds.


In these stories the power of intelligence is synonymous with 'goodness' and the issue is that goodness will always prevail; that no matter how great the unknown may be, the stress-relaxation algorithm must hold. No matter how huge the adversary, the laws of reality remain rock solid; whether they be physical laws or processing rules.

These two main story themes are about the entire process of development versus obstacles to development. The young hero/seeker characters represent the developing intelligence, passing through various unknowns. The 'hero's journey' is the story of all our lives.

The details of the stories don't matter to the unconscious as it knows these will change with every generation, just as spoken language will. It doesn't matter if the hero is Luke Skywalker or King Arthur, or the wizard is a Jedi Master or Merlin the magician or a superb computer hacker. These are just details. The basics are always about our own system's developmental programs, their bugs and features. And in NH, it's always the basics that matter.

Bonding plots can represent the benefits of cooperation, the bonding of conscious to unconscious mind, or the bonding of complementary networks with each other.


The 'master - student' bond portrays the connection between processors S and T, the 'faithful servant - young seeker' bond the connection between processors M and S, the 'prince - princess' bond represents the completion and balance of all rear networks with processor D, at which point we 'win half the kingdom' - intelligence has its first three processors and connecting networks fully functional.

Heroic plots may also carry moral messages about the nature of reality, such as, 'don't read a book by its cover' (the warning not to trust appearances only in 'Beauty and the Beast'); and guiding rules for interaction such as, 'love, compassion and caring can accomplish amazing things' (also in Beauty and the Beast, but featured in a majority of fairy tales at some point). Stories are our guides for navigation through real life, stressing the virtues of honesty, empathy and respect, and providing warnings about dodgy sentiments and those who indulge in them.

Our whole system development is metaphorized unconsciously in this way. The hero's journey is a story about our mind pursuing healthy development despite whatever is thrown at it.


The third story prototype focuses on celebrating individual aspects of intelligence such as adaptation, innovation, creativity, strategy, wisdom, cooperation, problem-solving, kindness and judgment.

These are 'isn't intelligence fabulous!' celebratory stories. For example; a given role model (hero) or group of heroes deal with issues such as famine / plague / accident / volcano / invasion / apocalypse. These tales focus on individual areas of development and they are about the system's ability to interact with the unknown by adaptation to specific threats; not so much about good versus evil in an intellectual sense (like the Evil Empire) they are more about natural disasters or accidental misfortunes. There is no evil dark lord behind a volcano erupting, a plague, forest fire or an asteroid headed for Earth; it just IS.


Celebratory stories can also be comedies, where we giggle at the baddies getting their just desserts, from a pie in the face to a missile up the jacuzzi.

Metaphor and stories, in other words, structure how we perceive, how we think, and what we do, and also control the speed and agility of our mental responses.[18] I'll be exploring further how they shape our lives in the next chapter.

 

Format E: Dialogue; words, signs & numbers

Our movie of reality clearly includes dialogue. All of the above processing happens so fast that we arrive at a mental understanding of most concepts at around the same instant we translate the narrative. Individual features of input are permanently joined together by a computational process that takes time, 1/100th of a second to be exact.[32] Consequently the whole package arrives at processor E kinda simultaneously. I say 'kinda' because there are occasional whoopsies (like, you see what someone is doing but you didn't quite catch what they said, or you hear the words but they don't make sense until you see the picture) that can incur a slight processing delay.

The unconscious knows that we have to communicate in a format that the conscious mind can understand, and here in processor E is where it happens. You are doing it right now as you look at the letter symbols on this page and interpret them as meaning something, in the same way that wghmphtmumph doesn't.

A picture may paint a thousand words, but it uses a fierce amount of pixels. Compression from graphics to the symbolic format of words or numbers loses resolution, so words are not such an accurate descriptors of scenes as visual input, and their meanings can be 'wooly'; many words, 'Set', for example, have multiple meanings and we depend upon correct interpretation of the context and tone of voice to understand the message. We need additional information and if all goes well, it arrives in sync with its accompanying input.


The use of symbology in writing, artwork, mathematics, music and so on are an integral part of our intelligence. 'Wooliness' of meaning allows for greater flexibility of expression, and we can also use the same symbols in multiple domains; for example, a character saying, “OH” in context of a story conveys the concept that a surprise has occurred, yet the same two upper case symbols OH in chemistry represent the concept of an hydroxyl radical containing oxygen and hydrogen, and OH may also be a term in algebra meaning 'O x H'. Correctly interpreting what domain we are in is part of the contextual information provided by coincidental input. ('Coincidental', btw, just means 'at the same time'. It doesn't mean by accident or a glitch in the matrix or divine intervention.).


Pictures, songs, dance and poetry are formats that can communicate with other unconscious systems by invoking emotion. Formal words, numbers and so on are our user interface to communicate with the conscious parts of other systems, and even with unconscious systems like an AI.  

  

The system uses declarative memory both to interpret words and to select the terms to use for communication. Words and numbers have enabled us to measure and explore our environment – and our own systems - ever more effectively.

Verbal or written formats have limitations. Artificial intelligence has had some trouble understanding us because we use metaphor all the time to convey everything. We take a chunk of language that refers to a physical concrete concept and lump it together with an abstract concept.


Phrases that all humans understand, such as: time flies, where did the time go, do we have enough time, don't waste time, there's plenty of time; cause problems for systems with only logic at their disposal. We speak and behave as though 'time' (an abstract concept) has concrete physical properties -like a lump of something we can set aside, lose, waste, save or run out of. We are using our everyday experiences with objects and motion, limited resources, circadian habits and valuable commodities to conceptualize time.

This makes perfect sense to us because we have evolved to make use of metaphor in exactly this way, but to an AI (at least one with no understanding of metaphor) it's very difficult to discern meaning. Clearly, to a logical system, time does not fly, through the air or any other medium. We have seen some amusing portrayals of this problem in sci-fi.

 

 

 

 

Spock: “Life is not a dream”

Kirk: “Go to sleep, Spock.”

(Around a campfire singing "Row Row Row Your Boat")

 

Intelligence needs our unconscious metaphoric ontologies to derive accurate meaning for abstract concepts. We even metaphorize our concept of language itself: Words, ideas, or meanings are Objects, sentences and linguistic expressions are Containers of Objects, speech is a Conduit, communication is Sending, interaction is seen as Information transfer. Here are some examples:

I'm trying to get through to them

It's hard to get that idea across

His words came over as odd

The text carried little meaning

She didn't convey anything new


These examples show how a concrete concept such as containers and objects moving through conduits can adequately represent an abstract concept like transference of meaning in formal language, and how an abstract concept like emotion can be adequately expressed in terms of concrete spatial coordinates, via metaphorization.

Processor E stores concepts in terms of spoken language which (hopefully) describes accurately what is being communicated in terms of text. It contributes to our executive abilities; our intellectual capacity for rationality and its tools of formal language and declarative memory. Rational thinking includes analysis and calculation; which we use in order to ascertain more accurate information. The results of successful rational thinking in intellectual investigation is the body of knowledge we call facts.

To processor E, a fact is either true, or not true, and it uses methodology to produce facts which can ascertain veracity by examination of proof. Our conscious minds call this the scientific method. All science relies ultimately on declarative memory for its accuracy and it, unsurprisingly, also relies on input.

At this stage of processing we are designed to be consolidating unconscious knowledge with conscious confirmation, using creativity and intellect. Declarative memory stores the names that go with faces, the titles of movies and papers, all our verbal learning and all the things we have heard or read that we found interesting enough to remember.

 

agents, contexts and information transfers

Where processor M stores memories of things, processor E stores memories of facts about things. This format unconsciously represents things (in this case facts represented in words, numbers or symbols) as 'agents', their containers (sentences, equations, musical scores, formulae) as their 'context', and events (reasoning and communications) as 'information transfers'. This framing gives us the ability to use the same process we use for manual dexterity to 'manipulate' imagined objects, for goal-directed planning, and, ultimately, for all conscious thinking.

Agents

To symbolize is the act of creating a representation of something else. Any symbol may be an agent. For example a triangle 'means' different things in different contexts. We use discourse in words and symbols as tools to achieve aims and goals. 

A hundred and twenty thousand years ago, somebody did this: 

 


 

 This is our first 'Hello world' from humans. Forty thousand years ago, people were doing this:

 

 

 [25]

...And we haven't looked back since. Over seven thousand languages are spoken and written on earth today.[26] We have also invented complex symbology for music notation, choreography, mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer programming and various mystical or spiritual purposes.

Symbols in language are phoneme-associated 'bits' that make up words, and words are the agents in processor E's ontology. Every agent associates with a specific core concept, a location on the spatial model, a picture in eidetic memory, the dialogue in a story, and so on. An image of a cat and the word 'cat' will be stored in adjacent locations.[31]

 

Contexts

A symbol beside another symbol has a different meaning that when encountered on its own. Thus words have an overall 'score' for allocating memory storage. Although we use words and numbers consciously, memory classification remains unconscious, and unconscious categorization relies on aesthetics rather than formal logic.


When humans categorize words, we associate them by formal meaning in a thesaurus or by alphabetical order in dictionaries. Memory doesn't do this.


Sentences are contexts for words, formulae are contexts for chemical notations or mathematical equations. Musical scores are contexts for music symbology, but memory treats all agents the same way regardless of context.

Thus the sound of words and the shapes of letters determines memory classification in the unconscious. Sounds and shapes affect us emotionally, which is great because we can use them as warning signs, like ambulance sirens and triangular road signals. Most of us are influenced by unconscious categorization when choosing names for children or pets, rather than logical association. Consequently many folks don't know what their own names mean; for example the name Paul means 'small'; the name Cecilia means 'blind' and the name Calvin means 'little bald one'. It is unlikely that their parents knew this.


The sound of words can be used for hacking processor E, and because it contributes to decision-making, can influence our behavior. For example, similarly repetitive phonetic sounds can influence our mood and thus our decision-making ability. Repetitive chanting can induce open mode. If we are trying to assess choices, even small variations such as a the sound of a single letter has a huge impact on our choice and how we respond.[27]

This is how alliteration enhances poetry, prose, and memory.[28] We also associate small words and small numbers with short time intervals and large words and large numbers with longer time intervals.[29]

Given four robot candidates of equal ability for the job of bartender, would you choose to employ Baffy, Boffy, Biffy or Beffy? Given no differences in appearance, I'd go for Baffy, just because I prefer the sound. I'd probably rename it though, because all these names remind me personally of garden gnomes or the seven dwarves, or something. Nobody wants a garden gnome serving beer; it's not hygienic.

If we unconsciously dislike the sound of a name, or a certain color or shape, an unconscious desire not to be associated with it will influence our choices, to the extent that we may avoid certain relationships or places of potential employment. We don't consciously know this is the reason; indeed the conscious mind will try to find reasonable logical excuses for avoiding said person or place, in order to make sense of the 'wrongness' we feel which is oddly akin to disgust. Similar responses underlie the words we choose to use. If we don't like the way a word looks or sounds, we tend to choose an alternative. This awareness is useful if you get into discourse analysis (techniques section below).

Because aesthetics are the categorization criteria, color affects our perception of words. Colors help us notice details and also invoke unconscious emotion. The red/ orange/ yellow end of the spectrum raise our blood pressure in the same way harsh sounds do, increasing our alertness and tending to induce closed mode, which is why they're used for emergency vehicles and protective clothing. Viewing red prior to a challenging cognitive task has been shown to undermine performance. The green/ cyan and light blue part of the spectrum tend to induce open mode, and the dark blue/ purple and violet area induces salience. We unconsciously view blue text as 'more trustworthy' and 'better quality' than red text, and I grew up in an era when writing in red ink was considered rude. Red makes us want to eat or drink more. Black and white remove this unconscious bias and words are judged according to other factors such as shape, size and sound. 

Domains of use are the contexts for entire symbol systems; such as the musical domain or mathematical domain, and the mind can switch the meanings of symbols accordingly, like apps that enable your keyboard for an alternative language or for equation construction. The nature of memory storage makes us able to switch domains instantly, back and forth as required.
 

information transfers

The word 'reason' comes from the latin 'ratio' ('reckoning'), from 'reri' (to think); the root of the term 'rationality'; and the original greek term for reason was 'logos'; the root of the modern English word, 'logic'. The field of logic studies ways in which human beings reason through argument.[33] Reason is the capacity for our consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, explaining and adapting, and changing or justifying thoughts, behaviors and beliefs; based on new or existing information.[34]Our capacity for reason is strongly associated with our capacity for freedom and autonomy.[35]


Perception is attempting to portray what is really there, and reason is attempting to portray what is really true. When unconscious and conscious ideas are congruous, we gain the ability to think in an abstract manner, the ability to combine and classify items in a more sophisticated way, and the capacity for higher-order reasoning. We begin to be able to manipulate ideas entirely 'in our head', without any dependence on concrete manipulation. This is the formal operational stage of development. We can do mathematical calculations, think creatively, use abstract reasoning, predict and imagine the outcome of particular interactions. We are able to think about our own thoughts and feelings as if they were objects, containers and conduits (metacognition).  

One should NOT assume that all adults fully develop formal operations; in fact a majority of western adults never advance beyond concrete operational reasoning. So how can you tell? 


Question: “If Alice is taller than Bob and Bob is taller than Carl, who is tallest?”

If you can work this out in your head without needing to draw a picture or use objects, you've got processor E up and running and doing its thing. If you can't, you are solving the question via an earlier processor and your response will take longer.

Formal operational thinking also includes reasoning about hypothetical problems - reasoning that is not tied to a personal past or present experience; as well as reasoning about the future in general without tying it to a personal past or present experience. We can now use theories, models and hypotheses to create solutions to problems.


Internal information transfers concern the unconscious communicating with the conscious and vice versa, via busses from processing centers to other processing centers.

 

 

Unconscious processing reaches conscious awareness as emotion and intuition. The usual verbal explication of, 'I've got a funny/bad /creepy feeling about this' is what we call intuition, but it also manifests physiologically as hair standing on end, goose bumps, sudden chills (it's you changing temperature, not the haunted room) or hyper-alertness for no apparent reason.

Not being very hairy mammals, these effects are not always noticeable to others, but we all see the same natural responses in animals; dogs 'raise their hackles' when scared and a cat with a creepy feeling turns into a big hairy ball about twice its normal size with a tail like a toilet brush. This, too, is intuition; unconscious data being communicated to the conscious parts of the system

Communication the opposite way round (from conscious to unconscious) happens as output; this is behavior; the things we do and say and think all feed back to the unconscious which controls bodily motion, including speech. Conscious choices are made and the unconscious proceeds to carry out the necessary instructions to make it so. We decide it is appropriate to dance, and the body dances.

This is autonomy; free will; freedom of decision and behavior, self-directed intelligence doing its thing. When someone rings a bell and you have to dance, that's not free will. That's coercion. Many people never achieve free will in our societies and it is an essential goal of neurohacking. 

If you don't have the freedom to do what you want, you cannot fully mature mentally. The ability to say what you really mean clearly and express emotion without sentiment getting in the way is part of that autonomy, and it does require congruity; agreement between the conscious and unconscious departments of the system. 


Because we don't just have to interpret spoken words; we also have to create them in order to say anything meaningful ourselves. As soon as a mind can share information with gestures, pictures and mime, intelligence pushes us forward into speech; which develops firstly through sound recognition and translation from imagery into metaphoric association, and later on into our unique formal linguistic representation of concepts.

External conscious information transfer is verbal (or signed) communication, and incoherent verbal communication is a major problem for domesticated people. 

One of our biggest problems for successful information transfers (coherent communication) is lack of time. We are designed to consider what someone else is saying, think about it, and then respond. Currently, most of us don't do this. We are not listening to anyone, because we are far too busy mentally computing our own reply to hear them. Interaction suffers greatly from this bad habit, often caused by fear of getting the blame or of being proved wrong or of looking foolish or being 'outwitted' by scheming contemporaries. 


This habit creates a dilemma: when we don't listen to what others are saying, diverting our attention to computing a reply, we hear but fail to remember what was said. If the person speaking with u s raises more than one point, we are likely to forget the second issue. Too embarrassed to ask them for constant repetitions, we pretend we understand, then make an inappropriate reply based on establishing ourselves as 'on the case' rather than based on genuine understanding.

We are unconsciously aware that we won't remember, so we interrupt others to get our response in, before memory fails, or we waste time repeating what they said to try to keep it in mind long enough to answer.

To break the vicious cycle, stop worrying about what to say next and just listen. It will take practice, like anything else, but you can reprogram your conversation style. 

If you actually relax, stop worrying about responding and actually pay attention to what someone is saying, you can understand a great deal more about them and their meanings than you might expect. But this takes time, and often we just want to get the communication over with because it's stressful. When you're stressed out you're more likely to say the wrong thing and that makes things worse. Remaining anxiety-free and not minding making mistakes is therefore essential for coherent communications. People often get drunk or stoned in order to relax enough to communicate in open mode, but this can be a bad idea if companions are prone to sentiment. 


All communication carries emotional weighting, and it's important to remember that everyone's is different; a phrase or sentence may have deep positive meaning to you, but mean nothing or have negative meaning for someone else. Clear definitions of what you actually mean are therefore very useful in avoiding misunderstanding.

Discourse is weighted by frequency of emotion and amplitude (strength) of emotion and type of emotion (quality, or valence if you like). If words don't invoke any emotion at all, we won't remember them. If there is too much repetition of the same input with low amplitude, we may unconsciously decide the subject is boring, and drift off to listen to or think about something more interesting. Our feelings about what someone is saying affect our responses much more than the logic behind their words, unless we are aware of the effect and volitionally control it.

There is a particular method for exploring how conversation reveals beliefs and behaviors; Discourse Analysis; which I have included in the techniques section below. 

 

Format P: Games 

Formal operations thinking is high-level processing, but comprehension is still not complete until the results of all this processing are sent to processor P.

This is where our self expression comes into our being and we use our judgment to ascertain what is 'appropriate' and to apply core conditions. This is the lofty realm of prediction, strategy and executive decisions. Here we arrive at the full package; the output of all this processing, which for the system means clear comprehension and appropriate response.

It may surprise you, therefore, to discover what the mind is actually doing at this level, because it's playing a game.
 

Life, the universe & everything

Processor P has its own versions of things, stuff and events; here they 'mean' Data / Applications & domains/ Operations; or in more understandable terms; life, the universe and everything.

The source of data is life. All input data for the whole of life are the things now being manipulated, this, as far as the system is concerned, is where it produces an accurate rendering of actual real life in the virtual reality of imagination.

Spacetime is the gamespace. The limits for interaction bounded only by our awareness of the universe and the universe is the matrix for mature intelligence. Interactive operations are the processes required for achieving the goal of autonomy in survival and thriving, and result in all behaviors and all patterns of thinking. All movement, all communication, all behavior; everything; you know?

The same applications in various domains form the graphic story and the basis for all responses for anything the system might encounter, anywhere, anywhen. Concrete or abstract domains can be processed in exactly the same way.

All this processing work going on underneath results in the following phase shift in perception: the unconscious observer of stories is now becoming the conscious participator in them and we have personal power to change things via interaction on a big scale.


Life is no longer like a movie we are passively watching, comprised of frames with a soundtrack; it is a virtual reality interactive game in which we have the personal power to make a big difference, for good or ill, for ourselves and others, depending on how well we can interact (play the game). If we want to improve our appearance, behavior, health, performance and success, we begin to see how to take steps to do so.

With the development of cultural awareness, creativity is blossoming on all fronts. We can design our own sets; put some plants here, paint this blue, build one of these, move this, put this music on, change this lighting, ask a friend round. We are game-players; not passive watchers.

Optimally, this leap of intelligence to realization that reality encompasses interactive dynamic change over time rather than fixed passive constants in contexts and interactions, should take place in mature minds as an ordinary part of conscious experience, as it does for every growing mammal. However, many domesticated people rarely make it this far, being too occupied in restricting their behavior and emotions to whatever they think they are 'supposed to be like' according to society's ideal 'type' and holding their own mental development in stasis.

If you are reading this, though, it's likely that you're still developing (or at least would like to be) so it's worth your while to understand our gaming format. Because, like any other game, there are shortcuts, easter eggs, hacks and cheats.

To get an idea of how processor P frames reality, you need to take a look at the nature of reality and the concepts that underlie the system's game.

Reality is chaotic patterns in different contexts. Chaotic systems are unpredictable, and slight changes in the initial conditions of which can lead to drastically different outcomes. From weather to strategic human interactions, chaos is present everywhere. It is often impossible to predict complex, real-life phenomena using words or simple mathematical equations. Intelligence needed a new concept for that. And hence the game.


Our system is self-organizing and is familiar with the patterns of chaotic systems; it represents chaotic patterns of change as stories of events. Behavior within this context can be described as the mathematics of interaction between players in a game.

Game playing is essentially a science of decision-making. Life is indeed analogous to a game, and thus, game theory also has wide-ranging applications in environmental science, biology, medicine, mental health and beyond.

We cannot literally use game theory to analyze human decision making, because in game theory the number of participants in the game must be finite, all participants are assumed to act rationally, and there also should be conflicting interests of the participants. These are not always true of humans! But we can use a couple of helpful concepts from game theory to help ourselves grasp what is going on in the system during higher level processing. They are:

 



Gamespace

The 'gamespace' of a situation consists of all the possible moves that can be made in that situation.

For example if two people are playing chess, the gamespace means all the possible legitimate moves that could take place during the game. These days, an AI can keep track of this in real time. It's measurably finite.

Chaotic fractal systems, though, contain a truly enormous gamespace, and reality has the ultimate gamesace – the universe. We fall back on probabilities instead of actualities; a meteorite from deep space might land in your yard today but it probably won't. It might rain on this part of this planet today but there's a 50% chance it might not. Human relationships are just as dynamic; possibilities and probabilities turn up all the time and change constantly, and we ourselves are also constantly changing, dynamic, developing beings.

Clearly though, some events are less likely to materialize than others, because life is not random; it is chaotic. There are patterns in the noise of everyday living that we instill with meaning, bringing order out of the chaos for ourselves. These patterns are archetypal, and I'll be exploring them in the next chapter.

Gamespace modulates behavior in the same way spacetime shapes the universe.

 

 

    

We are all familiar with the 'rubber sheet' model of universal forces. Gamespace, like spacetime, is not flat but curved. Spacetime is full of 'lumpy bits' (planets, moons, suns etc.) and gamespace is too. The lumpy bits in gamespace are archetypes. Behavior gravitates to archetypes.

 

 

 

Thus in gamespace, strongly emotionally weighted concepts like archetypes behave like objects with mass in spacetime. Archetypes are the concepts with the greatest number and strength of associations.

As discussed above, frequency of occurrence, intensity of occurrence, emotional quality and valence all affect the weighting on data. Weighting on data is analogous to mass in celestial bodies like planets; weighted items become 'attractors'. That means similar items will have a greater tendency to be associated with specific attractors (associations). 

The game is emergence and the aim of the game is system development. The reward for system development, in human terms, is having a great time in a fulfilling, meaningful life in a resilient system. 


The game rules: 

Strategize for the development of intelligence through interaction. (Survive and thrive) 

Time spent understanding the system reduces time needed for development. (Know thyself)

Prime directive: No coercion. (Don't delay others' development / Do No Harm)

Follow the rules for interaction: (honesty, empathy, respect)

Share you skills with those who seek them, learn from those who share their skills. (Enrich your culture)

Aim to follow the archetypal patterns. (Stay on the path / avoid distractions)

The game contains levels (phases of development). You cannot operate appropriately in level 2 unless you have gained all the tools from level 1, and so on. (Always do things in the right order)

 

Strategy

When you know the rules, you can work with them for more successful strategies. When you know the system, some rules can be bent, others can be broken.

A strategy refers to a complete plan of action a player will take, given the set of circumstances that might arise within the game. Corresponding to each combination of strategies, there is a gain and/or loss (measured in terms of developmental interaction or estimated potential for interaction) to the players.

Determination of the superiority or inferiority of a strategy is based upon the objective of the player. Poor strategies will result in poor outcomes.

Some strategies are automatic and predetermined, while other strategies involve spontaneous decision-making on part of the player.

 

Players

The unconscious uses the conscious mind as its avatar for a game character; as its representative in conscious interaction. The person you commonly think of as 'you' is this avatar.  

...Noodle baker, right? Your life is the game. Success means survival and thriving. And to the unconscious, thriving means further intelligence development. As a bonus, the better you become at playing the game, the more enjoyable your life experience and the stronger your mental health.

 

I'll be looking further into this and extrapolating on game rules in the next chapter.

 

Summary of formats:*  

 

Processor/database

 

format

 

Items are conceptualized as

 

Backgrounds are conceptualized as

 

Connections are conceptualized as

 

M

 

Sensorimotor (cell mechanics)

 

things

 

stuff

 

events

 

S

 

Spatial

 

(2D mapping)

 

objects

 

containers

 

conduits

 

D

 

Analogical

 

(graphics, stories)

 

characters

 

sets

 

stories

 

T

 

Metaphorical

 

(archetypes)

 

roles

 

scenes

 

plots

 

E

 

Intellectual

 

(words, numbers, symbols)

 

agents

 

Contexts

 

information transfers

 

P

 

Holistic

 

(games)

 

Life

 

The universe

 

Interactions

(...everything; you know?)*

  * homage to Douglas Adams 


Summary of processes

Perceptualization /Conceptualization /Analogization/ Metaphorization/ Digitization /comprehension ('actualization')

 

  

EVIDENCE BASED TECHNIQUES

 

most common NH problems 7 – 'normalcy bias'

When no obvious, everyday change occurs in our lives, we find it hard to believe there's anything wrong.



We also have a problem with new ideas. We even find it hard to believe ideas backed up by science, such as: "all of our experiences in everyday life are observed and interpreted and in fact 'seen' by our brain's perception networks; not by our eyes or ears".


Science is telling us this, and we may agree intellectually that it is the case, but our senses and our unconscious mind are still telling us that we 'really' see with our eyes.


We notice when something is wrong with our eyes or ears, but that's easy for us to do. A functional system (your brain) can detect malfunction in a dysfunctional system (an eye or an ear problem). But a big problem with assessing mental health has always been - how could a dysfunctional system be sure of detecting flaws in itself? How can the mind tell if it is working properly, if it is not working properly? It clearly needs to be working properly in order to come to the correct conclusions about its own state!

Thus there has been a long-standing paradox in neurology that parallels the physics conundrum: 'what if the observer alters the outcome of the experiment?', and in this case the observer may be doing so simply by trying to detect less-than-optimal equipment with less-than-optimal equipment. If the body is unwell we can perceive the symptoms, but if the mind is unwell the very instrument of our perception is faulty.


Because we have been studying the human mind, until recently, with not much more at our disposal than the human mind, 'Reality' to us is simply what we believe is right in front of our eyes, especially if we can prove that there's nothing wrong with our vision. But if our perceptual apparatus within the brain is missing a concept, then we are still unable to 'see' what is really going on, in the sense of 'making any sense out of it'.

We know that we can recognize a divergence from the 'norm' in our own perception (for example, when we are drunk, we are normally aware at some point that we are drunk; even if we were spiked we are still able to recognize the symptoms). But if we were born drunk and never became sober, and everyone we ever met was drunk too, how would we know? How could we imagine what sobriety was like? This is a similar situation to that faced by domesticated people.


A big problem with studying mental health is therefore, how could we decide what is totally 'sane', totally 'healthy', without some valid standard point to measure from that we are sure of? Technology is sometimes useful for solving problems like this, but in this case, technology has not until very recently been developed enough to determine the sources of most of the paths towards and away from mental dysfunction either.


It is true that we now know a great deal more about mental health, but all this discovery has happened far too fast for the general public (and even many scientists) to keep up with. People in general, even if they study neuroscience, still usually fail to grasp what 'domestication' really implies; even when they can accept the idea logically, they cannot apply it to themselves or others subjectively. To a certain extent this can be a 'shock level' problem; somewhere unconsciously we really do not want to ask ourselves where the line between 'madness' and 'sanity' truly lies; perhaps we do not want to have to consider where we stand personally on that line, or in what direction upon it we (and a lot of other humans) are headed.


If we face up to it, we have to then take responsibility, and it may be a lot more comfortable (and a lot less effort) to believe that things like depression and senility are largely down to chance and hope they will not affect us, than to risk discovering that in reality they are more likely to be inevitable unless we take deliberate steps to avert their probability.


We can effectively blind ourselves to reality, just as we do with the dangers of climate change [38] and are to some extent still doing about the causes of pandemics. But I also believe that we do not properly understand the concept of mental health because what we have been told and already believe about reality strongly negates what science is discovering.

It never occurs to us, in everyday life, that there could be 'something wrong with our minds', because we are much the same as everybody else and we see no evidence of any change. If anyone suggests the possibility there could be a problem, we tend to look around and compare ourselves to others and what we are being told is then flatly overwritten by the evidence our senses and beliefs are showing us; the same thing we believe already and are expecting to be true, that we are really 'pretty normal' (and most of us believe we are 'a bit brighter than most'). Consequently, such a 'way out' concept as almost everybody we know being mentally disabled by domestication is much too far away from the reality we experience in everyday life to make any sense.

This is 'normalcy bias'; the information-experience gap, and it's a cognitive dissonance problem. Perception has this fundamental bug in it wherever the divide between information and experience becomes too big for anything to make sense.

 

It's happened to most of us; seeing our experience as normal because we see no other 'reality' outside of this one. There does not seem to be any other reality; we have no experience of any. - There is no techy hovercraft from Zion filled with super-sane people who have come to rescue us from the Matrix. There is no UFO in the Abyss where the aliens have turned up to let us know in no uncertain terms that we have made a bit of a mess of things. What we perceive in our everyday lives is all the reality there is. One cannot 'see' beyond it, not because it is a simulation from the outside, but because our minds are not equipped to bridge the gap between percept and concept to comprehend any paradigm of reality too different from our own beliefs.  

The concept of domestication is not what your perception is telling you is happening. And you have no reason to doubt your own perception because the concepts you are encountering are totally outside all of your previous experience. Thus, people see mental dysfunction, anxiety and fear all around, but they interpret it as normal. It may be 'jealousy', 'possessiveness', 'sulking', 'bullying', or 'bad temper', all of which are thought of as 'normal human behavior'. 


Only when we can recognize these feelings and behaviors as 'unhealthy' symptoms will we able to stop the onslaught of anxiety upon intelligence.

 

And a serious onslaught it is. If intelligence were music, Anxiety would be a paranoid DJ who keeps turning the volume down until the music cannot be heard at all above the random noise of conversation. This is how mental health really works. As the music (intelligence) gets quieter, the noise (dysfunction) seems more and more intrusive until it is all that you can perceive. When it gets bad enough, people give it medical names such as 'ADHD' and 'Bipolar Disorder', or 'Senility', then accept this as a 'normal' excuse for the associated dysfunctional behavior and drug up, or lock up, the unfortunate concerned.

What I am saying is, dysfunctional behavior appears long before such serious symptoms become apparent, but we are failing to recognize it as dysfunctional because almost everybody's doing it. When everyone is sick, we have no 'normal' to compare ourselves to. We fall back into the comfort of thoughts like, 'If this were really true, then scientists/ doctors/ the government/ god/ my parents would be doing something about it.'

We are domesticated and dependent and believe that if anything goes wrong, 'somebody will do something about it and help us'; instead of believing the reality that it is our job to help ourselves rather than look for replacement parents.


We misinterpret the danger signals as 'normality', just as we would if almost everybody had high blood pressure all of the time. Doctors would have long ago established a 'normal' range of blood pressure based on the measurements from thousands of dysfunctional cardiovascular systems. This is exactly what has happened with assessment of our mental health.

The gap between what the cutting edge of neuroscience now implies is true about our mental health, appropriate input, and what most people's everyday experience and perception are giving them, is too large to jump with impartial scientific or medical terminology, even if you do have Powerpoint. The term 'mental dysfunction' does not in any way describe our experience of everyday life and more than does the term 'climate change', and it never will whilst we are no more or less 'dysfunctional' than everybody else. The idea that almost everybody could be dysfunctional seems absurd, like believing in conspiracy theories or being abducted by aliens[21].

 

Solution: reframe the situation and take responsibility

When our bodies are less than optimally healthy, we don't call it 'physical dysfunction'. We say that we are 'unfit', or 'out-of-shape'. We accept that there is a long, sliding scale in physical fitness between, say, an obese sedentary alcoholic smoker, and an athlete in top form. We're a bit vague about where exactly the line lies between fit and -unhealthy, but we can still roughly assess whereabouts we think we are on that physical fitness scale compared to most of the people we know or compared to a random sample of the population. Most of us would say we are 'around average', and that's probably fair enough unless you are Superman or seriously anorexic.


The mental equivalent of physical health sought by neurohackers is optimal mental function, and then the possibility of augmenting that to become the equivalent of what would be physically called 'superfit'; the equivalent of a mental athlete.

Very few people consider themselves 100% fit physically, so why should we expect to be so mentally? This seems now blindingly obvious, considering that the body and brain are both a part of our anatomy, but until recently we had no reason to believe that the architecture of the brain was constantly changing in ways that affected both our mental health and the quality of our intelligence. The idea of moving from our current mental health towards optimal mental health has becomes as simple as 'getting into shape' (only with a lot less effort and no heavy lifting). And in this context, the difference between a reasonably healthy brain and a superfit one is merely the same difference that lies between a reasonably physically healthy person and a trained athlete. This frame is well within the confines of paradigms we are able to relate to.

We rarely 'jump out' of the green zone; we are much more likely to drift this way and that on a sliding scale; where the center of the green zone is 'totally mentally superfit' and the outside edges of the side sections are the 'totally lost the plot' departments. With the physical fitness metaphor framing our paradigm, we can take steps to reverse damage and eliminate problems. But only if WE take them, and give up waiting for a magic santa.

Once we take control by admitting that we are not as mentally fit or as developed as we could be, we can then direct our lives to improving things, just as we do with physical issues.

 

key techniques 7 - discourse analysis  

There's a cognitive tool for analyzing mental states via language; it's called discourse analysis (DA), which in simple terms means: because what we think is reflected in the way we say things, we can work out our unconscious emotional state by looking at the sort of things we say. You know; like reverse engineering. 


Thus you can tell something about how I'm thinking right now. If I introduced DA by saying “We can figure out where we're at by looking at what we said”, that would have given a certain impression of me. If on the other hand I had said, “We may ascertain unconscious emotional status by analyzing verbal content”, that gives a totally different impression of me. But I said what I said to try to balance a laid-back approach with sufficient clarity.

Ideally our communication should be dynamic; adaptively suited to those we are currently communicating with, but malleable in case of change. To some extent we can all do this; for example the words we use to greet a stranger are usually more formal that those used when greeting close friends.

In exactly the same way, the way you communicate – which words and phrases you use habitually – reveals your own thinking style and often reveals what matrix you may be stuck in. DA also reveals sexism, racism and other issues, so it's useful for assessing what kind of company you are keeping and when to withdraw.


The difficulty with using DA on your own is that you have to keep a record of exactly what you said, and memory being what it is that's not easy without recording yourself. However, most people's communication style changes when they know they're on tape! So doing this takes practice because you have to get used to the method sufficiently to ignore the recorder.

Once you get that far, talk about anything with emotional valence; how you feel about an acquaintance or friend, a great experience you had, why you enjoyed a particular movie, an even from the past that left you baffled or surprised, topics you know tend to arouse emotion in you personally. Don't dive in by analyzing a hefty emotional issue likely to raise anxiety; start with analyzing enjoyable experiences before looking at more traumatic issues.

If you really don't like recording yourself, an easier option is to look at emails or letters you have sent, or non-fiction articles you wrote, and see which words and phrases you chose to use.

Unlike linguistic approaches that focus only on the rules of language use, discourse analysis emphasizes the contextual, unconscious meanings in language. It focuses on the personal and cultural aspects of communication and the ways people use language to achieve specific effects; for example to build trust, to create doubt, to evoke emotions, to defend themselves, or to manage conflict.

Obviously you have to know what different discourse choices mean, in order to get any useful feedback from DA. So, here's what you are looking for:


1 Power relations

Are your words aggressive or submissive, or do you communicate with everyone as equals? Do your words reveal inequalities of respect, honesty or empathy? Does what you say seem coercive? Do you make a lot of excuses? Do your emails sound like you were writing to a superior or inferior, or your equal? Do you indulge in 'brown-nosing' (insincere flattery in order to win favor)? Do you try to pacify others' anxieties with your words? Does your mail sound like you're interrogating someone? Is it what you'd call polite?

2 Ideology

How much of what you personally believe is communicated in your words? Do you waffle on about your own ideology and interests without being asked, or try to convince others to believe what you believe? Do you always work the conversation around to your own favorite topics? Do you make an effort to communicate in terms of others' beliefs? Do your words reveal ideological dilemmas (for example, 'I'm worried about my health but I don't trust my doctor', or, 'I fancy Alice but my girlfriend Donna gets jealous')?

3 How you communicate meaning, aims and goals

Do you reveal and pursue your goals during communication? Do you use a lot of 'discourse fillers', such as 'Umm...' or 'errm...' or 'Well...' or 'actually...'?   

Do you repeat yourself for emphasis, or swear, or use metaphors? 

Does your discourse reveal your emotion, or attempt to hide it?

4 Sentiment-spotting

DA is great for revealing sentiment and hence for getting rid of it and replacing it with healthy emotion. Does your discourse clearly reveal your personality or attempt to disguise it? Do you maintain an even tone, or shout and gesticulate when emotional issues are discussed? Do you use sentiment terms to describe your feelings, or emotional terms? How about when you ascribe feelings to others? Do you judge others as paranoid or cautious, arrogant or confident, tidy or obsessive, concerned or jealous? Are your assessments correct? How can you tell?

5 codes

You explore the themes and patterns in your communication using 'codes', which are specific topics within your data. Coding might pay attention to textual strategies such as primacy (what comes first in a narrative), negation (negative language), distortion (such as exaggerations), bias, prejudice or superstition (unjustified assumptions or beliefs), emphasis (text treated with more regard), isolation (expressions that stand out from the rest of a transcript), repetition (repeated phrases), incompletion (unfinished thoughts), and uniqueness (unusual expressions).

 

Here are some main codes for DA: 

codes that indicate healthy communication and emotional expression

 

conversational: this code covers language that is informal, such as what you might find in a conversation rather than in a formal speech. 

formal: This code refers to formal statements made without emotional weighting or value judgments.

hedges: this code captures language of honest uncertainty, such as “perhaps” and “maybe.”

humor: this code captures moments of humor, whether intentional or not.

negation: this code captures words suggesting the opposite of something actual or positive, such as “not,” “never,” “didn’t.”

metaphorical language: this code is applied to language using “like” or “as” (similes) as well as metaphors.

question: this code is applied to a question that either answers itself (rhetorical) or is answered by you in the language that follows it.

short sentence: this code is applied to simple sentences without complex clauses.

transitions (ands, buts): this code is applied to sentences that include conjunctions such as “and” and “but.”

claim making: this code applies to a statement presented as a fact or truth.

benevolent voice: This code is applied to statements suggesting kindness or compassion.

conditional: this code refers to clauses using the word “if,” suggesting a condition.

 evidence-based reasoning: this code is applied to instances where sources, references or excerpts are cited, or where numbers or statistics are referenced.

imperative/request: this code captures language that presents a demand, appeal, or call to action.

making promise: this code is applied to statements that promise resources or attention to address a problem, situation, or issue.

offering solution: this code captures language suggesting an answer or resolution to an acute or chronic problem.

self-mentions (personal): this code refers to the use of “I,” “me,” “myself,” and “mine.”

bi- or multi-partisan claim: this code refers to claims that are intended to appeal to both or all parties involved.

historical trajectory: This code captures references to history.

appeals to unity: this code applies to phrases attempting to unite deeply divided groups or persons.

empathy: this code is applied to statements suggesting empathy (e.g., “I feel your pain.”)

quoting others: this code is applied to quotes ascribed to others, thereby adding texture, illustration, or evidence for a claim.

role structure: this code is applied to language implying a particular relationship between you and the immediate recipient.

second person: this code is applied to text using the word “you” or “your,” thereby addressing the recipient directly, OR addressing your own unconscious.

emotional: this code describes emotion-related words but not sentiments.

 

codes that indicate unhealthy communication and sentiment 

 

cliches: terms that you use automatically that are either common to your society or copied (consciously or otherwise) from media examples like soap operas (for example, “How could you do this to me?”, “I know you!”, “Well, what can you do?” “We're all in the same boat”, or, “All your life you've been running away!”)  

absolutes: this code refers to language of extreme magnitudes, such as “always” and “never.” These suggest an absolute condition or claim.

repetition: this code is applied to a word or phrase that is repeated often for emphasis.

authoritative: this code refers to language suggesting your personal power as greater than that of another.

institution as a living character: this code is applied to statements that present an institution as a character in its own right, as if a country, a building or an institution were a living person.

sentiments: This code refers to sentiment-related terms but not emotions.

Insecurity/possessive: this code reveals habits of referring to people as objects to be manipulated; phrases such as, “you're mine”; “s/he's mine”; “my people”; “you belong to me”. This is stalker language. It also applies to material objects; people say, “my house” and “my car” although they don't own these things; in reality the bank does. “My home” is a different matter; that just means where you're living.

the royal we or 'collective we': Using 'we' when you really mean I. This code describes language such as “we,” “our,” “us,” suggesting a collective perspective, when in reality there isn't. (e.g.' “We should go to war”; “Our livelihood is at stake”; “We think you should leave”.

unjustified claims or beliefs: This code covers statements or terms of bias, prejudice or superstition. Including, “Aliens ate my hamster”, “All white people are gay”, “Girls can't do a man's job”, and, “God told me to do it”, which is not a wise defense in criminal courts.

 

 

So you go through your chosen recording or text and you play 'spot the code' and you list which ones are used and how often you used them. Some communications contain lots of codes, others may contain only two or three. Some statements require more than one code; for example the phrase, “I'm paranoid that I'll get abducted by aliens” reveals both sentiment and an unjustified belief.


Next, you take these codes and identify themes. Themes are patterns of language such as what sort of codes you use and which codes occur repeatedly in your data, and that can tell you something about your own unconscious aims within the discourse.

 

To see how all this is done, here's an example: 


Alice writes to Bob:  

Hi man,

Listen we've been playing in this band almost a year now and things aren't working out for me.  I don't think we're on the same page. (self mention/cliche) As ecologically aware people, we face big and difficult challenges in getting our message across. And what the audience want, what they deserve, is for all of us to get over our differences, and work together like a smooth machine, you know? (appeals to unity/metaphor) to spread that message.  

There's people in the audience from different backgrounds, with different shit going on in their lives but the planet and our ecology is the same for everyone and when we damage it that's doing the same damage to everyone. (appeals to unity/empathy) And playing music for money and signing recording deals is part of the problem not the solution. (cliché) 

Happiness is what it's about; fun is what it's about. (emotion/repetition) Everybody just wants to live free without any hassle. (appeals to unity/claim making)  And you know what else we share? (question) Biology, regardless of ideology. (quote) 

People everywhere are going through so much shit but we keep on going regardless. (empathy) And I think if some of us are in the band for the wrong reasons, like, just to make money, anxiety and division are gonna break us up. (self mention/claim making) 

Next band meeting, I'd like to talk about how we can change that. (self mention) It begins with everybody being honest about what they really want and that won't be easy. (negation) 

I think the thing that has kept us together, really kept us together, is that we all have some ecological values. (self mention/repetition/multi-partisan claim)  And we all hate fucking consumerism (so we shouldn't fuck it then) LOL : ) (humor) 

But I think it's best if we talk this through and find out what members really want and are aiming for, 'cause if it's just about fame or money, I wanna leave. (self mention) 

See you Thursday,

Alice


What does this letter tell you about Alice?

What do you think Alices ideology is?

What assumptions would you make about Alice from this communication?

Which codes does Alice use most?

Does Alice express mainly emotion or mainly sentiment?

How does Alices personality come over to you?


Now try the same DA trick with one of your own old emails and see how you come across unconsciously to others. Pretend it is an email 'Alice' or 'Bob' has written (this trick helps you to stay objective). 

You can also use your knowledge of unconscious discursive patterns and metaphorization to upgrade your own communications. For example, using active terms rather than passive terms conveys a sense of immediacy and increases the chance people will believe you. The passive voice conveys a greater sense of objectivity, but increases psychological distance from the content and triggers more abstract patterns of thought, whereas using the active voice can lead to feelings of psychological closeness, known to activate more concrete patterns of thought. [22]


Our use of metaphor affects the relationship between psychological distance and how our thinking about objects and events is either abstract or concrete. The more distant an object is, or appears to be, the more abstract our thoughts about it will be. A closer object, meanwhile, is thought about in more concrete terms.


A side effect of this is that we can 'feel' close or far, in a psychological sense, from what others describe to us. Thus if I were to say to you, "this book was written by me" instead of, "I wrote this book," you would be likely to assume the book was written longer ago, took place in a more distant location or even that it's less likely to have happened at all.

Likewise, certain sounds can be associated with nearness and others with distance, and, when traveling and talking, even the direction people are heading can influence how they think about an object or event. The more distant something seems, the less likely we are to believe it.

 

Things to do with formats

The format you prefer, especially to learn in, reveals either which matrix you got stuck in or which one you are currently trying to develop. Formats you find difficult indicate areas of low development.

If you know where your development has got to, you can enhance the development of specific processors by using their favorite format. Present input in the same code they use themselves; for example for processor D, use graphics to illustrate concepts. For processor T, use movies (but remember input control!)

Concrete methods work best for concrete processors. That's all the stuff covered in the first six chapters of this book. Concrete processors are the foundation for everything else, so take care to develop their full potential.

 

Improving procedural and declarative skills (creativity & intellect)

Our metaphorization program is the process needed for intelligence to grasp complex behaviors such as cultural skills, imaginative creative thinking, intellectual innovation and problem-solving. Learning it takes place in the usual way; through interaction as creative play. The input needed for the system to practice and learn its metaphorization skills is stories and games.


Listening to or reading stories is something everyone can do. Choose the sort of fiction you like best, bearing in mind two things: input control (no sentiment-based material); and the power of archetypes (classic myths, legends and fairytales have the best unconscious weighting).

Happy stories synchronize brain activity more than sad stories. Successful storytelling can synchronize brain activity between the speaker and listener, but not all stories are created equal. Sharing happy stories increases feelings of closeness and brain synchrony more than sad stories. Sharing happy stories produces better recall in the listeners, as well as higher ratings of interpersonal closeness.[36]

With regard to other activities, there are many different ways of developing metaphorization skills, from the concrete (juggling, jigsaw puzzles, chess, crosswords, story writing, artwork, poetry, music,) to the abstract ( logic and debates, fantasy games, invention, mathematics, programming, science). For specific hacks to improve this skill, follow up refs.[37]

In a dynamic context of virtual reality, the system plays the game of emergence as the story of our lives. I am devoting the next chapter to exploring it, in terms of cognitive development.



Knowing how things are likely to go in a given situation is of tremendous help in navigating our way through life and recognizing 'the path' to success hidden in the undergrowth of nonsense.

 

The game is going on in your unconscious mind throughout your life, whether you know it or not. All you have to do, is play.



 

 


refs

1 Seeing Red Or Feeling Blue? People Around The World Make Similar Associations Between Colours And Emotions By 

Emma Young 


2 Benjamin T. Goult; The Mechanical Basis of Memory – the MeshCODE Theory; https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2021.592951/fullAND Travis J. A. Craddock, Jack A. Tuszynski, Stuart Hameroff; Cytoskeletal Signaling: Is Memory Encoded in Microtubule Lattices by CaMKII Phosphorylation http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1002421


3 https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000314


4 http://www.societyforchaostheory.org/home/ AND Sophie Achard, Danielle S. Bassett, Andreas Meter-Lindenberg, Ed Bullmore; Fractal connectivity of long-memory networks; 2008 Mar;77(3 Pt 2):036104. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.77.036104. Epub 2008 Mar 4 


5 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-81421-2 AND https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210302150116.htm


6 Aesthetics and Psychological Effects of Fractal Based Designhttps://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.699962/full] AND PLoS [Open Access Paper]  http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0171289 


7 Jeremy R. Manning et al; Fractal Brain Networks Support Complex Thought. Summary: When people engage in complex thoughts, their brain networks organize into fractal-like patterns. https://neurosciencenews.com/fractal-networks-complex-thought-19388/ AND Richard P. Taylor and Branka Spehar; Fractal Fluency: An Intimate Relationship Between the Brain and Processing of Fractal Stimuli; https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/blogs.uoregon.edu/dist/e/12535/files/2016/02/Fractal-Fluency-Chapter-1mjdxj5.pdf AND https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-25876-x] AND Jing Liu et al, Transformative neural representations support long-term episodic memory, Science Advances (2021). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abg9715 


8 O'Keefe, John, Nadel, Lynn (1978). The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map Oxford University Press. Ekstrom AD, Kahana MJ, Caplan JB, et al. (September 2003). "Cellular networks underlying human spatial navigation". Nature 425 (6954): 184–8. 

9 Hafting, T.; Fyhn, M.; Molden, S.; Moser, M. -B.; Moser, E. I. (2005). "Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex". Nature 436 (7052): 801–6. 


10 http://www.neurohackers.com/index.php/en/menu-left-nh-library/menu-left-nh-tutorials/321-nha-tutorial-11


11 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6687086/


12 Functional neuroanatomy of intuitive physical inference, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1610344113 Provided by Johns Hopkins University"Researchers find brain's 'physics engine' predicts how world behaves" August 8, 2016  http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-08-brain-physics-world.html


13 Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. courtesy of MIT News (web.mit.edu/newsoffice/), "Neurons that can multitask greatly enhance the brain's computational power, study finds." May 20th, 2013. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-05-neurons-multitask-greatly-brain-power.html 

14 If you fly a real starship, for example, 'pitch' in spatial terms refers to angle up or down from front to back and only really matters in relation to other craft or in an atmosphere, as indeed do sound waves. In space, no one can hear you scream, 'Pull up, you stupid bugger'. 


15 Douglas Hofstadter / See Chalmers et al. 1991  http://people.cs.kuleuven.be/~joaquin.vanschoren/Flexo/highlevel.pdf 

For AI fans: Researchers have used category theory to mathematically demonstrate how the analogical reasoning in the human mind could arise naturally from the use of relationships between the internal arrows that keep the internal structures of the categories rather than the mere relationships between the objects. Thus, the mind may use analogies between domains whose internal structures fit according with a natural transformation and reject those that do not. [see Steven Phillips and William H. Wilson http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000858 http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1002102 AND

http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.95.4008  

16 If you actually ARE twenty seven years old, please be aware that there is nothing uncanny about my random choice of a age. This book is not written for you personally so don't get any conspiracy ideas, ok, Simon? 


17 Vilayanur S. Ramachandran; http://ww2.psy.cuhk.edu.hk/~mael/papers/RamachandranHubbard_Synaesthesia.pdf

AND http://www.imprint.co.uk/rama/synaesthesia.pdf Unfortunately most researchers (even Rama) still see synesthesia as 'aberrant' and those with it as 'defective' simply because most of us don't have it; i.e., the defective is seen as 'normal'. All infants have strong connections between these areas, and it is our hypothesis that these later atrophy only in those with lack of use. That this is currently a majority in western societies should not be taken as the norm. At some point we hope they'll consider things the other way round -synesthesia is normal; indeed it's essential for high creativity, and those of us without it are defective. HTR2a has failed to turn on or degradation ('overpruning') has taken place.


18 George Lakoff & Mark Johnson, “Metaphors we live by”, University of Chicago Press, 1980. ISBN-13: 978-0-226-46801-3. ISBN-10: 0-226-46801-1. AND Expanding the primate body schema in sensorimotor cortex by virtual touches of an avatar, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1308459110 AND "Touch and movement neurons shape the brain's internal image of the body." August 26th, 2013.

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-08-movement-neurons-brain-internal-image.html AND Day, 1996; Ullman, 1945; Williams, 1976. 


19 “How the brain forms categories” http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-brain-categories.html#inlRlv AND December 19th, 2012 in Neuroscience More information: Huth et al.: "A continuous semantic space describes the representation of thousands of object and action categories across the human brain." dx.doi.org/10.1016… .2012.10.014 Provided by Cell Press "Study reveals how the brain categorizes thousands of objects and actions." December 19th, 2012. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-12


21 No offense intended to those who have been caught up in any such conspiracy, or who have genuinely been abducted by aliens.


22 Eugene Y. Chan et al. The Voice of Cognition: Active and Passive Voice Influence Distance and Construal, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (2019). DOI: 10.1177/0146167219867784


23 Universidad de Granada (2008, January 2). Smelly Sounds: One Person Out Of Every 1,000 Has Synesthesia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 2, 2008, from http://www.scienced aily.com/ releases/ 2007/12/07122600 3600.htm 


24 Neurocase, 'Synesthetic colors induced by graphemes that have not been consciously perceived', V.S. Ramachandrana & Elizabeth Seckela DOI: 10.1080/13554794.2014.890728 AND Brang D, Ramachandran VS (2011) Survival of the Synesthesia Gene: Why Do People Hear Colors and Taste Words? PLoS Biol 9(11): e1001205. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001205 AND Ramachandran, V. S. A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers. New York: Pi Press, 2004. AND Beau Sievers et al. A multi-sensory code for emotional arousal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0513 AND Tess Allegra Forest et al. Superior learning in synesthetes: Consistent grapheme-color associations facilitate statistical learning, Cognition (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.02.003 AND Peiffer-Smadja N, Cohen L (2019) The cerebral bases of the bouba-kiki effect. NeuroImage 186:679-689.AND Ramachandran V, Hubbard E (2001) Synaesthesia—A Window Into Perception, Thought and Language. AND Aleksandra Ćwiek et al, The bouba/kiki effect is robust across cultures and writing systems, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2020.0390November 8, 2021 AND "Cross-modal interactions between human faces and voices involved in person recognition" by Frédéric Joassin, Mauro Pesenti, Pierre Maurage, Emilie Verreckt, Raymond Bruyer, Salvatore Campanella, and appears in Cortex, Volume 47, Issue 3 (March 2011).  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00109452 


25 https://www.oldest.org/culture/symbols/


26 https://www.ethnologue.com/guides/how-many-languages


27 October 18th, 2010.  http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-10-brand-music-ears.html 


28 Association for Psychological Science  http://www.physorg. com/news13663218 2.html 


29 "Time and numbers mix together in the brain." July 19th, 2011. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-07-brain_1.html 


30 "Scientists gain first glimpse of new concepts developing in the brain." June 9th, 2015.

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-06-scientists-gain-glimpse-concepts-brain.html 


31 "Conceptual representation in the brain: Towards mind-reading." April 17th, 2014.

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-04-representation-brain-mind-reading.html 


32 Salk Institute http://www.scienced aily.com/ releases/ 2007/01/07012318 1949.htm


33 Hintikka, J.. "Philosophy of logic". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 


34 "So We Need Something Else for Reason to Mean", International Journal of Philosophical Studies 8: 3, 271 — 295.


35 Michel Foucault, "What is Enlightenment?" in The Essential Foucault, eds. Paul Rabinow and Nikolas Rose, New York: The New Press, 2003, 43-57. See also Nikolas Kompridis, "The Idea of a New Beginning: A Romantic Source of Normativity and Freedom," in Philosophical Romanticism, New York: Routledge, 2006, 32-59; "So We Need Something Else for Reason to Mean", International Journal of Philosophical Studies 8: 3, 271 — 295.


36 refs Sharing Happy Stories Increases Interpersonal Closeness: Interpersonal Brain Synchronization as a Neural Indicator, eNeuro, DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0245-21.2021 October 20, 2021


37 Sakiro's Hackipedia volumes 2 & 3; http://www.neurohackers.com/index.php/en/menu-top-nhalib-neurohacking/47-cat-nh-resources AND NHA Tutorials 11-14; http://www.neurohackers.com/index.php/en/menu-left-nh-library/menu-left-nh-tutorials AND Victor M. Vergara et al, Functional network connectivity during Jazz improvisation, Scientific Reports (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-98332-x AND"Researchers investigate technique to accelerate learning" April 26, 2017 https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-technique.html


38 The physics of climate change was described in the 1800s by scientist Eunice Foote AND Lizzie P. Jones et al. Investigating the implications of shifting baseline syndrome on conservation, People and Nature (2020). DOI: 10.1002/pan3.10140







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Última actualización el Sábado 30 de Julio de 2022 09:32