I am designing cognitive process from constructively defined function: 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. On my own, because nothing that I’ve come across is functionally coherent enough. And also because I can, recently financially and always emotionally.
The older I get (chronologically 59, biologically ~ 40), the more it hits me just how abnormal I am. Particularly my obscene amounts of emotional detachment and intellectual integrity. They are related: lacking nearly universal addiction to social support and immediate tangible benefits (which start with simple experimental confirmation), I am free to focus on purely cognitive imperatives.
My first interests were geography and history, then physical sciences and biology. I majored in social science because modern society has the deepest structured complexity of any established subject. But that field lacks in academic integrity. And the most important process in society is discovery and invention, which is a composite of individual human learning. So, I switched to studying the latter, most of my life 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, mostly for insight into our deficiencies. To understand intrinsic function of cognition, vs. tons of other things in human mind, sustained introspective generalization is far superior to mere observation. Having started with the former, I find 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 for a while. But establishment philosophers are too busy bullshitting college freshmen and other clueless highbrows. They don’t seem to have any time for or interest in real work.
Then there is math, but that’s primarily deductive, while cognition is primarily inductive. Effective induction requires fine-grain selection: logically complex but mathematically simple. People like math for its certainty, but that’s mutually exclusive with complexity of a subject. Which don’t get more complex than effective intelligence. I picked complexity and speculation first, certainty had to wait.
That logical complexity is the province of programming, but it requires a constructively defined objective. It was never defined for cognition, so it took me a lot of work before I could start coding. And it didn’t help that I first tried C, which is horrible for anything conceptually complex. So I went off to work with my own pseudocode, until I realized that there is already Python for that.
I skip on biography because 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 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