I am what I do: strictly functional design of cognitive process: www.cognitivealgorithm.info. Good concentration is relatively recent, but I’ve been working on a theory of intelligence most of my life, anything else is trivial by comparison. I work on my own because nothing that I’ve come across is coherent enough. And also because I can, recently financially and always emotionally.
The older I get (chronologically 55, biologically < 40), the more it hits me just how abnormal I am: integrity nazi, insensitive to conditioning, driven mostly by value-free curiosity. Value-free doesn’t mean indiscriminate. Rather, such curiosity is selective for subjects of greater predictive value, which leads to overriding interest in the process of prediction. Lacking nearly universal addiction to social support and immediate experimental confirmation, I am free to follow intellectual imperatives.
My first interests were geography and history, then physical sciences and biology. I majored in social science because modern society has deeper structured complexity than any established subject. But that field lacks in academic integrity. And the most important part of social progress is discovery and invention, which is basically a composite of individual human learning. So, I switched to studying the latter, about a lifetime ago, both for intellectual depth and for potential impact on the world.
That doesn’t mean psychology and neuroscience. I got into both more recently (Cognitive Focus), mostly for insight into our deficiencies. To understand intrinsic function of cognition, vs. ton of other things in human mind, sustained introspective generalization is far superior to mere observation. Having started with the former, I find almost everything about brain and neurons to be grossly sub-optimal. Which is not surprising for a product of blind evolution and severe biological constraints.
Formalizing cognition is also the only legitimate problem in philosophy, which was my interest in a while. But philosophers are too busy bullshitting college freshmen and other clueless highbrows, they don’t seem to have much time or motivation left for real work.
Math wasn’t my interest bacause it is primarily deductive. I start with induction to define intelligence, then derive operations from that definition. Which isn’t terribly controversial, but consistent derivation renders almost all math that I know irrelevant. People like math for its clarity and certainty, at least initially. But there is a direct tradeoff between certainty and complexity of the subject, which don’t get more complex than human intelligence. I picked complexity and speculation first, certainty had to wait.
Computer science designs and implements algorithms, but one must formally define the purpose first. Which wasn’t done for cognition, and it took me a lot of work before I could start coding. Cognitive algorithm must be designed with incremental complexity. And even relatively simple core algorithm should learn increasingly complex computational short-cuts (math or CS) on its own, just like we do. There aren’t a lot genes to encode our algorithm, and calculus certainly isn’t innate in humans.
Also missing here is biography. Mine is a life of mind, the rest is a distraction (I had plenty of that).
Throughout history, working alone on my problem would be of no consequence. Things changed: publish on the net now and Google will find you with the right keywords, status and credentials be damned. And convincing people is not even necessary anymore, all you really need is working code.
Still, a constructive conversation would be nice for now, seeing that I am short of the former.
Anything I write is meant to be substantially original, thus speculative. But the subject is king.
I never stop questioning assumptions and all my posts are a work in progress.