Skip to main content

Fast and Slow Thinking: Why sophisticated language makes us human.

There are essentially three different systems in the brain.

1. Fast thinking neural nets (emotions), systems that integrate sensory signals and put out a signal that indicates something else. We can't 'see' inside these systems, we can only believe their outputs are appropriate or not.

2. Slow thinking memory that uses language and ideas to make estimates and calculate future possibilities.

3. You. The thing that decides what to think about.

We know almost exactly how systems 1 & 2 work.[1]  We've given out several nobel prizes for these topics. We reproduce them in the lab and we make them better every day. We use artificial versions of them to make our lives easier every day. (Have you used Google search lately?) And they'll continue to get smarter, faster and more reliable.

We also recognize that system 2, which relies on language, is what makes us most diffrerent fromt he rest of the species on this planet.

However, we have little idea of how system 3 works. Maybe that's best. If we don't have a system 3 then we don't have to worry about the systems 1 & 2 becoming 'super intelligent' and taking over the world.  They remain black boxes that can 'think' faster than we can, but have no motivation.

Thanks for reading,
 -Dr. Mike


[1] Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (April 2, 2013) 
  • ISBN-10: 0374533555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374533557

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Declaration of Independence is the foundation of modern ethics

The Settlement of the War between Science and Religion . Why the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are More Important than you realize. These two documents provide the foundation of the Grand Moral Compromise between Religion and Science that allowed the Industrial Revolution to progress by defining the morals and ethics of governments and their relationship with the people. The only moral and ethical form of government is declared to be a Lawful Democracy with Religious  Freedom . These two documents define why this is from first postulates and dictate the method to form a government. The Grand Moral Compromise was defined in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Bill of Rights : it is the agreement that abolished the crime of heresy in return for freedom of all religions , including science , the harbinger of truth . Only about half [G] of the world has agreed to this  Grand Moral Compromise , the rest are still at war with themselv

Hilbert space has no physical extent or extent in time. Quantum wave functions live in Hilbert space.

Hilbert space has no physical extent or extent in time. Quantum wave functions live in Hilbert space. This means that when you change a parameter in Hilbert space it changes everywhere at the same time. Every single entangled wave function now sees the same modified Hilbert space at the same time. The changes in Hilbert space are transmitted at infinite speed, apparently (It's actually worse than that: if you set up the experiment correctly you can get the Hilbert space to affect particles in the past. Yes, you can change the distribution of measurements on an entangled particle by making another measurement in the future, after the first particle is gone, absorbed in a detector. [1]) It really is like Einstein said: if you think you understand quantum mechanics then you just haven't been paying attention enough! Quantum mechanical wave functions are weirder than anyone thought they were and they were plenty weird before. Einstein, et al. defined how physical theories work,

Republicans vs. Democrats. It's not conservatives vs. liberals, it's authoritarians vs. progressives.

It's Authoritarians (Royalty lovers - L'estate, c'est moi) vs. Progressives (All men are created equal) Republicans are more Authoritarian than Conservative. Conservatives want to pick an imaginary time in the past and declare it to be perfect. Authoritarians have a Father figure complex. Whatever the Father says is right. Anything else is immoral. [1]  So even though there is a streak of Conservatism in the Republican party, it's not really the basis of their morality. Their morality is handed to them by their Father, whatever he says is moral. To disagree with him is immoral. Pretty simple, easy for people who are too tired to think for themselves. In contrast, the moral authority of Democrats comes from their Progressive, American ideals. Progressives believe in the Declaration of Independence: Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness All men are created equal The people agree on how they will be governed No Royal authority is accepted No one is above