Monday, August 2, 2010

Repairing Reality - Part I

Before we can embark on any mission to solve a problem or produce a result, we must always define the process by which our ideals are selected, using some basic process management. With our five senses, we can glean that reality appears to be both deterministic and systematic; if this turns out to be a correct assessment, then we should keep the following in mind at all times throughout our lives:


What is a system? Simply put, a system is any construction capable of 1. receiving some kind of input, or data, 2. processing the data using the constituents which maintain the system, and then 3. generating an output, or some kind of usable information. Generally, systems are either open or closed. They are found all over the natural world, but can also be manufactured by humans for accomplishing tasks. Both society and the human mind are examples of manmade systems.

Memetic Selection

Memes are reproducible ideas that can be transmitted from system to system. They form the basis of all human societies, and are generally interpreted using a syntax-based language. Incidentally, they are also the core of most problems plaguing the human species, for the current method of selecting and approving them is inefficient and poorly defined -- a topic to be addressed in part II. The idea that health care reform is a waste of tax payers' money is an example of a meme -- it has a clear premise and conclusion, and is very easily passed on from one agent, or system, to another. A meme agent is any system capable of running a process through which memes can be executed.

Memetic selection, like natural selection, operates by discarding inefficient operants as the environment -- that place where all the data comes from -- changes. If an idea appears poor, it can be selected against in favor of an environmentally superior idea, just as one organism or species can be over another in natural selection.

Memetic selection is influenced chiefly by two mechanisms of selection:

1. Culture (arbitrary/practical)

2. Logic (practical when context is applied)

Please note that, unlike in the case of natural selection, [human] meme agents possess cognitive foresight. This means that, not only can they select ideas best suited for the environment, they can also reserve outdated or inefficient ideas by means of a temporary cache (should resources and carrying capacity allow), as the problem of belief is currently incomprehensible to the human animal. This would be akin to mother nature freezing or otherwise preserving the dead bodies of all organisms in case those 'forms' again become suitable to the emergent environment at a future date.

So how do we refine our current systems hardware -- human brains, computers, etc. -- to best accommodate memes as they come and go from our environment? The default option is to allow the systems to naturally emerge -- with some light process management and systems development. This means that all cognitive biases, which are descended from an enemy of progress called culture, must be eliminated! More on this in part II.

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