[sdiy] dx, chorus and Spock

Batz Goodfortune batzman at all-electric.com
Sat Aug 17 14:58:11 CEST 2002


Y-ellow Gene.

At 03:12 PM 8/16/02 -0700, Gene Stopp wrote:
>I thought I would spark some interesting conversations - I had no idea. This
>makes me want to dig out my cognitive sciences books again... I lent some
>out and just got them back. One of them is called "Consciousness Explained"
>and it has some descriptions of experiments with the senses. I think there
>was one that somehow demonstrated that our sight processing "sees" events
>something like 10 milliseconds after they really happen. And in "Godel
>Escher Bach" there are postulated "Grandmother cells" in our optics, that
>see only your Grandmother's face. It's a joking way of referring to "macro"
>functions in our sensory systems where we learn to lump together complex
>signals into one perceived event.

This was exactly what I was saying initially. Or tried to anyway. I thought 
all that Grandmother cell thing would be too complex to try and explain 
here. I want to sue Hofstadter for that book. Ever since reading that I 
can't think of my grand mother without thinking of an octopus. Bastard!

To be fair. What Hofstadter was saying was that a given combination of 
neurones firing equals the concept of grandmother. A picture of grandmother 
also fires this grandmother pattern but also the pattern which contains the 
concept of photograph or picture frame etc. And is therefore weaker or 
diluted conceptually. Grandmother's shoes on the other hand is weaker still 
because the concept of shoes is stronger but since they're grandmother's 
shoes there is also a small amount of the grandmother concept firing as 
well. However in theory, an octopus isn't supposed to invoke any 
grandmother conceptual pattern at all. UNLESS, you happen to have been 
particularly paying attention to Hofstadter in which case it really fucks 
with your mind and I hate him. The bastard!!!!!!! Grrrrrrr.

Actually I know two other people who are Hofstadter fans and when ever we 
talk, usually the first thing one of us will say is. "How's your octopus?"

But all this points to the notion that these things are all learnt 
behavior. We weren't born with the ability to recognize the process from a 
sound. We had to learn that. Many things are hard coded, such as the 
ability to take that stereophonic information and correlate it into spatial 
information. But we can only tell a saw tooth from a square wave because we 
have the experience of it already. For those who aren't into this stuff, 
it's probably all just a noise to them.

But anyway, I'm not going to go into this stuff. I'm tired and I've got 
other things to do and Don will get upset again so I just couldn't be 
bothered. But Hofstadter's idea of a conceptual engine is exactly what I 
was getting at originally. All the sensors are inter-operable and form 
parts of the entire conceptual network. We learn to associate concepts at 
all levels with others. When you understand an electron flowing in a 
circuit you learn to associate the sound with a process.

And just when you realize the answer to life the universe and everything, 
some bastard will hurl a bloody great rock at you and wipe out your planet. 
Obviously the trick then is to never know anything just in case.

Be absolutely Icebox.

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