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A thought on Human nature
Posted: 25 March 2011 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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George - 25 March 2011 06:22 AM

Sure, but I don’t think that what you said is really the succinct version of my more complex response. If you step into a traffic and hear a horn of a car you’ll automatically look in the direction of where the sound is coming from, followed be a visual confirmation of approaching danger and jumping back onto the sidewalk. In this case it is your emotion, emotion of danger, that will guide (not motivate!) your behaviour.

If you stepped into oncoming traffic, the amygdala would react and send a signal to your body before your conscious pre-frontal cortex was even aware of the traffic.  The reaction has to be quick and the person does not have much time to think about it.  However, I see no reason why all emotions necessarily have to be associated with quick decisions and reason with long thought out responses.  The decision by the amygdala sounds reasonable to me.  It probably in this instance saved the person’s life.  Reasoning that takes years to think out uses emotion also.  The emotion would help to guide the thought process. The ideas that stand up to scrutiny will take on a positive emotional connotation the ideas that failed will take on a negative connotation.  I have a hard time believing that an evolutionary biologist does not have quite a bit of positive emotion attached to evolutionary theory and negative emotion attached to intelligent design or even Lamarckian evolution.  These emotions were developed over years of thought.

GdB - 25 March 2011 08:23 AM

  Not quite. If we imagine a technology that is advanced enough, the need for splitting into two systems, one for quick imprecise decisions, one for longer precise decisions, would not be necessary.

I don’t know why you think that compartmentalization of functions is a bad, obsolete thing.  Compartmentalizing part of the brain to handle quick decisions and another part for long term decisions sounds like a good explanation of how the brain works and an effective strategy.  I know that muscle fiber comes in different varieties such as slow twitch, fast twitch A (fast), and fast twitch B (really fast).  Maybe the brain uses specialization like this also. (I can’t say for sure that it does, but it sounds reasonable.)

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Posted: 26 March 2011 12:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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brightfut - 25 March 2011 05:46 PM

I don’t know why you think that compartmentalization of functions is a bad, obsolete thing.

I did not say it was bad. I only said it would not be necessary.

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Posted: 26 March 2011 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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George - 25 March 2011 01:42 PM

Here is an excellent article from J. B. S. Haldane, On Being the Right Size. I imagine that an article called “On Having the Right Intelligence” or “On Having the Right Behaviour” would sound very similar.

As a database specialist, I was just thinking of requirements we want a steering system in autonomically running entities like androids and animals must meet:

1. Fast reaction time
2. Absolute adequate reaction on the long term
3. Small resource use *)

As it is not possible to have all 3 optimised, we must find the best compromise. The brain is such an outcome, and the splitting in a fast not exact subsystem and a slow but exact subsystem sure makes sense. Supercomputers tend to use much energy… And even now the brain uses about 20% of our energy, isn’t it?

But if we have technology that suffices our demands (in its environment of course) then such a compromise is not needed. If:

1. 10 minutes is fast enough
2. 0.5. centigrade is precise enough
3. Resource costs 1 milliwatt

Then standard technology could suffice, no need to split up in subsystems. A thermostat with just some bimetallic switch might be enough, no need to make subsystems.

———-

*) This is the standard in developing software:
1. It must be ready fast
2. It must not have errors
3. And it costs next to nothing.

The standard reaction is: one of the requirements has to go…

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Posted: 26 March 2011 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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Well, since I am not a database specialist I have a very difficult time understanding this, GdB. Can you please translate this to human? grin  I want to know what it says.

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Posted: 26 March 2011 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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Gdb; It reminds me of the project pyramid.  Any time a person or a group decides to do a project three factors have to be balanced;  time, cost, and scope.  In order to do a project quicker, a person or group would either have give up some of the scope (what the person wanted to accomplish or the quality level) or increase the cost of the project and use more resources.  In order to do the project cheaper, the project will have to take longer or the scope has to be decreased.  There is no perfect solution that takes no resources, takes no time, and achieves infinite scope.  The three factors are connected to each other and cannot be disconnected.

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