Member 2664
108 entries

Immortal since Jun 17, 2010
Uplinks: 0, Generation 4
mad-scientist and computer programmer looking for something more interesting than most people accept as their future
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    What you think your eyes see is mostly a memory. People think they're seeing what's in front of their eyes, but the way we think while awake is more like a dream than what's in front of our eyes. I often look straight at something and don't see it because I don't remember it. Next time you see something unlike anything you've seen before, close your eyes and think about drawing a picture of it. If you saw 2 birds behind it, are you sure you didn't see 3 birds? Was the first bird flapping its wings up or down just before you closed your eyes? My picture would be very blurry. If you were standing beside me, you wouldn't be able to tell my picture was of the same thing you're looking at. I used to have a visual memory, able to draw such a picture very accurately, but I decided there were more advantages to not thinking in such a strict logical way and slowly lost the ability. Theres 2 main reasons Monkeys have a visual memory and most Humans don't. Its a form of lossy-compression (Example: jpg, mp3, keeps the details you tend to notice) which saves memory, and it allows our thoughts to flow together in more flexible ways so we can imagine more possibilities.

    Scientists try to learn how Human brains work the hard way. They build expensive simulations, do experiments on animal brains, scan peoples' brains for electricity and blood flow patterns (functional MRI) while those people think certain things, write lots of papers, and still they are unable to write a few pages explaining to average people how Human intelligence works. I do some of that research, but I'm an expert on Human intelligence for a different reason: My mind has observed itself long enough to figure out half of how itself works. Many people have tried that, but they usually get stuck on the subjectivity and vagueness of their thoughts. Intuitively they know what a thought is, but they know of no way to figure out which neurons (brain cells) are connected to which thoughts, so they can not translate their knowledge of how their mind works into something science can use.

    Here's something unnecessary researchers want to try: A computer's video-card has a grid of brightness numbers, 1 for each colored light on the screen. If we could connect the visual part of a Human brain to a computer screen and see what its thinking (1 small group of neurons to each part of the screen), while we show the person various pictures and ideas, then we could learn how the visual-related neurons work, and then learn how the neurons connected to those work, and so on. We don't need to do that because each of us already has such a video screen in our minds. Its called "what we think our eyes see".

    Its not really what our eyes see. Its our most similar memories, twisted and rotated and re-interpreted to fill in the missing parts. Our brains throw away most of what our eyes see and fill in most of the parts from memory. While dreaming, almost the same thing happens. Our brains use nothing from our eyes and fill it all in from re-interpretations of our memory. We're mostly dreaming while awake, with the exception of a little information our brains pay attention to coming from our eyes and other senses.

    I will explain how to start with your vision, do some thought-experiments, and work backward to the other parts of your brain until you understand more about Human intelligence than scientists understand from their billions of dollars of research. I know enough about how Human intelligence works that I could build half of it and have artificial intelligence evolve the other parts, but it takes many years to fine-tune it and teach it like you teach a Human baby, like you would teach it math by giving it simulations of fingers and activating the neurons for 3 of its fingers to teach it the idea of 3, and you would teach it to multiply 2 times 5 by showing it its 2 simulated hands and they have 5 fingers each, or whatever type of simulated or robot body and senses you give it. This would be a robot or simulation so accurate it would learn ethics from the recursive thought of thinking of others as a variation of itself (a directed network where each node type is the idea of itself and one of the nodes is attached to a person) and thinking about the emotions (recursive thoughts leading to memories of pleasure or pain) itself had when things happened to itself. All that, I can define in math, but instead I'll take you through my series of thought-experiments of how I figured it out...

    You can learn most of it from your visual memory. You only need to understand these few things about neurons:
    * Each part of "what we think our eyes see" is always connected to the same small group of neurons and is brighter when there is more electricity in those neurons.
    * Each neuron is connected to thousands of other neurons, and they connect and disconnect slowly over time.
    * A thought is the specific amount of electricity in some of your neurons, what each neuron tends to do when it receives certain amounts of electricity, and the strength and physical length of the neuron-to-neuron connections. A much smaller amount, a thought is the chemicals flowing around neurons.

    This started when I was thinking about what some research said, that it takes longer to recognize a picture of something if its upside down. What was really interesting about that is if it was turned 2 times more angle, then it takes 2 times longer to recognize it. Upside down is the biggest angle. The time it takes to recognize a picture of anything is linearly proportional to the angle its turned.

    I chose something I had rarely seen, so I could experience more of the process of thinking about a new subject. I thought about an elephant. When it was drawn on "what we think our eyes see", which is also the imagination and visual neurons for dreams, I confirmed that it did take longer to draw it in my mind upside down than the same way as in my memories of elephants. After I thought about the elephant from each new angle, I found I was able to think of that angle again instantly, but any new angle took the linear rotation time. It could be a rotation from any of my old memories or new thoughts from the last minute. As I thought of the elephant from more angles, the time to think of the angles between them became less. I confirmed what I had read. Human intelligence does rotation a little at a time and repeats until it gets to the right angle. Also, I learned that such rotations create new memories which can be used as the start for new rotations, so to do it faster, you usually start from the closest memory of a rotation to the one you want, a 3d memory of an elephant's parts rotated closest to the rotation you're thinking about now.

    Remember this is causing an image of an elephant to be drawn in electricity on your visual neurons. They're not arranged in a rectangle in your brain like on a screen. They're arranged however they're connected to your optical nerves. But if you figure out which neurons are connected to which part of "what we think our eyes see", which can be done using brain scanning machines, then you would see a picture of an elephant rotating in the electricity of those neurons. There is actually a picture of an elephant, made of electricity, somewhere in your brain, if you arrange the neurons the right way like you would see on a screen. Brainwaves are so advanced they can form into the shape of an elephant, or anything else you imagine. Its important to understand that's what we're looking at when we think about rotating an elephant in our minds. We're drawing an elephant onto our visual neurons, very similar to how a computer's video-card's memory works.

    The next thought-experiment shows a flaw in how we see 2 things at once. I chose 2 things I had never seen together, to experiment with how my brain combines ideas. I thought about the same elephant with a shoe floating 3 feet above it. The shoe was drawn onto my visual neurons quickly. But when I thought about rotating them together, viewing the shoe and elephant from a different location and angle, I could only see 1 thing at a time, the shoe or the elephant. Whichever I looked at, the other instantly started looking blurry. Is my imagination really that weak that it can't handle 2 things at once without blurring 1 of them? It only happened when rotating them together.

    I'm guessing that is because the 3d-rotation part of my brain normally only does 1 object at a time and rotates the shoe or the elephant and draws them on my visual neurons separately. I confirmed that when I noticed I could rotate them together as easily as if they were a single object only after thinking about them together for 30 seconds. It was a new type of thing in my mind, a shoe-over-elephant, and it was rotated with the same linear timing as the shoe or elephant alone. At first they had to be processed separately, so the visual neurons lost their image of one while the other was being drawn, but when shoe-over-elephant became a single object in my mind, it did not have those problems.

    That is the start of my theory on how objects are represented in 3d in Human minds. They are made of other 3d objects in relative positions and rotations and sizes and stretch amounts etc. Later I'll explain how such "objects within objects" are the same type of thinking as language, goals, emotions, and other types of thinking. It sounds complex, but its really the same simple ideas repeated in different ways for many kinds of thinking.

    The next thought-experiment is about counting and how we identify if 2 things we see are the same object or idea. Think about 3 of that same elephant, all standing the same direction. Its easy. Now think about 3 elephants with a shoe above each, the shoe-over-elephant object recently created in your mind. Also easy. Rotate all that. Since they're standing the same direction, it happens almost as fast as if there's just 1 shoe-over-elephant, because the same object is rotated and drawn 3 times from slightly different angles. Now think of 100 elephants standing the same direction. Also easy.

    Here's the surprising part. If 100 elephants are easy to visualize, then 2 elephants standing opposite directions should also be easy. But its not. I experience the same blurring of 1 of 2 objects (the elephant standing forward or the one standing backward) when I pay attention to the other object, the same as happened between the shoe and elephant before it became shoe-over-elephant. Similarly, after thinking about such 2 elephants long enough, that problem goes away, and they can be rotated, moved, duplicated and rotated again, etc, as one object made of 2 of each part of an elephant. Your mind has to represent 2 of each part of an elephant because it has to know that the tail of one elephant is beside the trunk of the other elephant, for example. If you think of it as 2 elephants, instead of a single object, then you have the linear rotation time (before drawing on your visual neurons) every time you switch your attention to the other elephant.

    After it becomes 1 object in your mind, think of that two-elephants-one-reversed object and a duplicate of it rotated and beside it, so you have 4 total elephants each at a different angle. Its easier now, while at first you had problems with 2 elephants at different angles. You can continue making the total be 1 object, rotating and moving a duplicate of it, and doubling the number of elephants each time, until you have as many elephants as you want in your visual neurons, each rotated differently.

    You'll notice during your duplication of elephants that some of the parts of some of the elephants disappear until you pay attention to them again. How does your mind know what to replace the missing parts with? First your mind looks at two-elephants-one-reversed to see how each 2 elephants are standing relative to each other. Then recursively you look at the specific elephant in that. Then recursively you look at your definition of elephant for the smaller parts of elephants, and its drawn that way on your visual neurons.

    You may also notice that when you pay attention to your definition of elephant, that more than 1 elephant gets those parts updated at once. For example, I had forgotten that elephants had tusks, but when I remembered, they were drawn on all 4 elephants. First your mind updates elephant, then two-elephants-one-reversed, then both examples of two-elephants-one-reversed which you're thinking about simultaneously. Its a hierarchy, but your mind can represent non-hierarchy things too, as I'll explain later with fractals.

    The next thought-experiment is about wildcards in ideas, patterns that have places for other patterns to fit in. How does your mind decide which ideas to plug into which other ideas?

    We remember the shoe-over-elephant well. Now think of 3 elephants standing the same direction. The one on the right has a shoe over it. Rotate all that until it becomes 1 object. Now we will generalize the shoe-over-elephant object to wildcard-over-elephant. The elephant on the left has an apple over it. The elephant in the middle has an orange over it. Visualize that from various rotations. Now pay attention to the shoe (over the right elephant). The shoe-over-elephant object is a stronger memory than the apple and orange, so the shoe should not change unless you try to change it. What surprised me is what happened next when I payed attention to the 2 other elephants. What is over each of them? It switched quickly between apple and orange a few times per second, over each of those 2 elephants, because I did not have a strong memory of which elephant got which fruit. The shoe did not change, but the apple and orange did. After choosing where I wanted each fruit to be and thinking about it longer, I was able to rotate the whole thing (3 elephants with 3 things over them) without the objects switching places. Why did they switch places? Because 2 things were combined with 2 wildcard-over-elephant, but there was no strong preference between which way to combine them. My visual neurons displayed both possibilities, switching between them a few times per second.

    So far, I've explained these types of thinking:
    * 2d grid of visual neurons, absolute positions instead of relative. In math its called a matrix, but there's also the layers of edge-detection and connections to the "3d grid" described below.
    * 3d grid of object positions and rotations and sizes relative to other 3d objects. In math its called a sparse-matrix. Later I'll explain how rotation, speed, and acceleration are also dimensions attached to each of those 3 dimensions, and some ideas use a 4d grid with time, but there is no rotation between the 3d and time dimensions of the 4d grid.
    * Hierarchy of ideas, and I've claimed (but not yet explained) that it is more generally a network (of nodes pointing at nodes) which allows cycles, where some nodes are ideas and some are wildcards. In math, its called a directed-network.

    Sound is experienced similar to the 2d visual neuron grid. Human ears detect around 1500 different tones and a volume for each, many times per second. You can easily remember what you heard a few seconds ago and predict what you will hear a few seconds from now, therefore time is one of the dimensions of sound, a dimension represented almost the same way as left/right or up/down is represented in your visual neurons. The other dimension is the 1500 notes. Brightness is like their volume. I say the 1500 notes are a dimension, instead of 1500 unordered things, because you can hear the same music with all notes increased in tone, and you will recognize it as the same music. That's similar to how you recognize the same object visually if its to your left or in the center of your vision.

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