Computationally adapted mind
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Computationally adapted mind



Summary
Computational theory of the mind describes the aggregate ideas of: Alan Turing, Alan Newell, Herbert Simon, Marvin Minsky, Hilary Putnam & Jerry Fodor; that beliefs and desires are information, bound through sense organ triggered associations with neuronal or other symbolic representations that once triggered give rise to other symbols and muscular actions generating behaviors.  For Steven Pinker the theory allows behavior to be explained by beliefs and desires and makes the beliefs and desires part of the physical universe.   and evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 
provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche is Tooby & DeVore's theory that reflects a flexible competitive strategy, described by Steven Pinker, which leverages the power and flexibility of intelligence to defeat the capabilities of genetically evolved specialists focused on specific niches.   by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selections
solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed

How the Mind Works
In Steven Pinker's book 'How the mind works' he describes a framework for how our minds operate.  Having set the scene by exposing the complexity of the deceptively simple challenges we face and introduced the strategy for investigating how it works, he shows how a cognitive niche is Tooby & DeVore's theory that reflects a flexible competitive strategy, described by Steven Pinker, which leverages the power and flexibility of intelligence to defeat the capabilities of genetically evolved specialists focused on specific niches.   emerged from the interaction of mental computation and adaptations to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 
on the African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted.  Clumps of trees & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 


Pinker uses the framework to make predictions including the: Mind reflects the nature of the African savanna, Cognitive niche made the mind highly flexible, Mind can be selfish and selfless; which he illustrates later in the book.  

Since the book was first published Pinker has added a forward to a new edition in which he notes some new ideas that are missing from his initial analysis of the mind:


Standard Equipment
Pinker asserts the mind is a system of organs of computation designed by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
to solve the historical problems of hunter-gatherers.  Its solutions have been reverse engineered by psychologists.  These studies lead Pinker to suggest the mind solves engineering problems using
Tools and the businesses that produce them have evolved dramatically.  W Brian Arthur shows how this occurred.
high-tech system
analogs to overcome the many obstacles hunter-gatherers have encountered. 

The visual system supports processing of visual data into what and how.  To do this it has two distinct paths: The ventral path and the dorsal path. 
demonstrates this assertion.  It can:
But Pinker notes that other aspects of our past are equally influential in shaping the mind.  Our:


Psychologists note that modeling the world is an open-ended problem.  The implications of any conclusion can be applied broadly.  But instead the mind is able to focus its analysis rapidly onto the probem it is dealing with.  Identifying just the relevant implications appears subjectively effortless which hides the underlying difficulty of this frame problem describes the difficulty of accurately representing changes over time in dynamic systems without a combinatorial explosion of constraints.  It was highlighted by the artificial intelligence pioneers John McCarthy and Patrick Hayes in 1969.  They noted that using situation calculus to formally describe changes in the situation requires not only details of the changed actions, but also a frame axiom for every pair of action and conditions so that the action does not affect the condition. 
.  In later chapters of
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

How The Mind Works
, Steven Pinker shows how
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
has used the specifics of: the African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted.  Clumps of trees & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 
, the cognitive niche is Tooby & DeVore's theory that reflects a flexible competitive strategy, described by Steven Pinker, which leverages the power and flexibility of intelligence to defeat the capabilities of genetically evolved specialists focused on specific niches.   accessed by humans, the architecture of conscious access is, argues Stanislas Dehaene, when some attended information eventually enters our awareness and becomes reportable to others.  ; to limit the frame problem's combinatorial explosion



Pinker considers development of a robot so as to gain insights about the complexity, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
  • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization
  • Systems that are adaptive
  • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
  • Balance at the edge of chaos 
of human ethics, emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.   and reproduction.  He concludes that: sight, action, common sense, violence and morality provides rules for identifying right from wrong.  It develops in stages with children using play to work out rules of appropriate behavior.  Kohlberg's 1950s experiments using children led him to conclude moral judgement is a cognitive process that develops in three stages.  Sapolsky raises issues with the framework: Its a model, It does not apply to other cultures, Intuition & emotion are as significant as cognition, Moral reasoning doesn't predict moral actions; and notes the capacity of the frontal cortex to regulate emotions and behavior is far more predictive.  The marshmallow test, performed on three to six year olds, actually predicted their subsequent SAT scores at high school, social success and lack of aggression, and forty years on more PFC activation during a frontal task and a lower BMI!  Jonathan Haidt argues people's moral decisions are rationalizations rather than using reasoning. 
; have been specifically developed due to targeted design.  Hidden behind consciousness must lie: optical analyzers, motion guidance systems, simulations of the world, databases on people and things, goal schedulers, conflict-resolvers; built by
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
genes
.  Tools which become evident if they fail when the brain is damaged or their dependence on genes is highlighted by studies of identical twins that were separated & raised apart. 

Reverse-engineering the psyche
Pinker explains the key idea is the mind is a system of organs of computation designed by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
to solve hunter-gatherer's problems. 

Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
Darwin's theories
allows reverse-engineering of the chains of replicator's bodies and minds over time so as to develop predictions of the designed operations.  Tooby & Cosmides Evolutionary Psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 
finally leveraged Darwin's ideas broadly across psychology. 

Natural selection's ultimate goal is to propagate genes.  But Pinker stresses people's ultimate goals are detached from their genes' goals due to an
Rather than oppose the direct thrust of some environmental flow agents can improve their effectiveness with indirect responses.  This page explains how agents are architected to do this and discusses some examples of how it can be done. 
indirection
best explained by the computational theory of the mind describes the aggregate ideas of: Alan Turing, Alan Newell, Herbert Simon, Marvin Minsky, Hilary Putnam & Jerry Fodor; that beliefs and desires are information, bound through sense organ triggered associations with neuronal or other symbolic representations that once triggered give rise to other symbols and muscular actions generating behaviors.  For Steven Pinker the theory allows behavior to be explained by beliefs and desires and makes the beliefs and desires part of the physical universe.  

Brains do computation.  It's a neural, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
computer built by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
, not culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
, to be
To benefit from shifts in the environment agents must be flexible.  Being sensitive to environmental signals agents who adjust strategic priorities can constrain their competitors. 
flexible
due to its ability to execute a program.  Pinker stresses computation transforms patterns represented with some underlying media.  For Pinker brains are a system of organs corresponding to mental modules which act as the building blocks of the mind.  Each system has its own structure tailored to the task it performs.  Minds have many functionally specialized mechanisms to enable mastery of the African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted.  Clumps of trees & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 
.  Altering the environmental situation slightly presents problems and opportunities: watching TV depends on fooling the visual system supports processing of visual data into what and how.  To do this it has two distinct paths: The ventral path and the dorsal path. 
into building illusionary representations from the flat projection of the TV screen. 

The brains modules are functionally specialized mechanisms.  There are many parts corresponding to the many problems that must be solved, each built with
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
genes
.  Pinker stresses complex designs will require extensive recipes suggesting contributions from large collections of genes.  A variant of a SNP is single nucleotide polymorphism where single base pairs have changed in two chromosomes of the same type.  There are 10 million common SNPs in the human genome.  There are a limited number of chromosomal types (Haplotypes).  This results in SNPs clustering into packs.  On average 30 to 40 SNPs travel together.  Knowing one or two SNPs in a local neighborhood predicts the others that are likely to be present. 
can stop a complex machine but won't be expected to define one.  He asserts all human brains function in a similar way.  They are all customized to their situation during a development is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
phase when neurons, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
transition along glial tracks support neurons: Creating the initial structural tracks along which the neurons travel, Insulating them by deploying the myelin sheath - an activity which is influenced by sleep, Storing energy for them and removing debris from damage to neurons.  Robert Sapolsky notes Glial cells outnumber neurons ten to one.  They include various subtypes.  They greatly influence how neurons speak to one another, and also form glial networks that communicate completely differently from neurons. 
, grow and build connections based on test pattern transmission and real world sensory data driven tuning.  He reviews various modules major challenges:
Pinker views natural selection as a blind programmer, analogous to Dawkin's
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
Blind Watchmaker
, shaping the mind to master: Rocks, Tools, Plants, Animals and each other; to help the genes survive and replicate. 

Pinker stresses the eye are major sensors in primates, based on opsins deployed in the retina & especially fovea, signalling the visual system: Superior colliculi, Thalamus (LGN), Primary visual cortex; and indirectly the amygdala.  They also signal [social] emotional state to other people.  And they have implicit censorious power with pictures of eyes encouraging people within their view to act more honorably.  Eyes are poor scanners and use a saccade to present detail slowly to the fovea.  The eye's optical structures and retina are supported by RPE.  Eyes do not connect to the brain through the brain stem and so still operate in locked-in syndrome.  Evo-devo shows eyes have deep homology.  High pressure within the eye can result in glaucoma.  Genetic inheritance can result in retinoblastoma.  Age is associated with AMD. 
and brain evolved together, cooperatively.  He argues this has been demonstrated by an engineering analysis that is independent of the part of the mind being explained, identifying the key goals and the associated causes and effects based on a model of the underlying
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
.  The analysis must:
  • Identify what kinds of biologically reachable designs are better suited to obtaining the goal. 
  • Show they achieve: specialization, reliability, efficiency, precision and complexity in solving the assigned problem.  
Pinker laments that beyond research on vision supports processing of visual data into what and how.  To do this it has two distinct paths: The ventral path and the dorsal path. 
the use of such a methodology in psychology has been limited, even though evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 
demonstrates the broad potential.  Donald Symons explains:
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Natural selection
operates
Pinker sees an internal struggle between alternate modules played out on a mental chessboard.  Other people's behavior supplies some of the constraints and opportunities, the total set of constraints and opportunities which can be understood and leveraged by the mind. 
Thinking Machines
Pinker explores intelligence enables the achievement of goals in the face of obstacles.  The goals are sub-goals of genes' survival and reproduction and include:
  • Obtaining and eating food
  • Sex
  • Finding and maintaining shelter
  • Fighting for resources - in the preferred hunter gatherer environment loss of resources was critical while possession was often transient. 
  • Understanding the proximate environment
  • Securing the cooperation of others
: how goals can be pursued in the face of obstacles.  Rationality is generated by rules.  Desires and beliefs allow life to respond sensibly to the environment.  Common sense has the power and precision to explain everyday behavior. 
He suggests intelligence comes from information processing, via a Turing machine, a machine specified by mathematician Alan Turing which is the blueprint for the electronic programmable computer.  It consists of an infinite tape on which symbols can be written.  A movable read/write tape head which can move about the tape and write on or read symbols from the tape.  A set of rules that tell the head what to do next. 
that responds to symbols to model the world.  Pinker argues this is the first useful model of intelligence:

Natural computations
Pinker describes an
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agent
.  This backstop to the recursions of the production machine removes any need for a homunculus.  He notes how artificial intelligence shows how: processing, transformations, signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
, codes and
This page discusses the interdependence of perception and representation in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Hofstadter and Mitchell's research with Copycat is reviewed. 
representations
; are integrated into the neuroscience and makes the approach accessible.  The neuron, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
is the core information processor.  Pinker argues it is what neurons do with information, rather than the physics and chemistry of their operation, that is important here.  We generalize from experience, remember, solve problems and recognize objectsGeneralizing is found to leverage lots of different representations: Visual image, Phonological during reading associates letters with particular strings of phonemes that are perceived during conscious access. 
: chunkable, mapping mouth movements and imagining syllables; Grammatical: nouns & verbs, phrases & clauses, stems & roots; Mentalese: highly conceptualised signals from regions several stages beyond the initial sensory areas.  The brain's combinatorial capabilities leverage
Rather than oppose the direct thrust of some environmental flow agents can improve their effectiveness with indirect responses.  This page explains how agents are architected to do this and discusses some examples of how it can be done. 
indirections
which allow multiple percepts are internal appearences of the external world and the body according to Haikonen.  RSS views them as evolved models that are:
  • Associated schematically with the signals generated in response to epi-phenomena detected by sensory receptors and
  • Acted on by emergent agents.  
to map to the same objects.  Psychological studies of the representations neurons use, add rigour.  Cognitive is the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals according to Princeton's Jonathan Cohen. 
psychology's focus is on the minds internal representations, studied using: reaction times, errors and subjective reports.  The brain was found to be performing a complex construction operation

The defending champion
The computational theory of the mind describes the aggregate ideas of: Alan Turing, Alan Newell, Herbert Simon, Marvin Minsky, Hilary Putnam & Jerry Fodor; that beliefs and desires are information, bound through sense organ triggered associations with neuronal or other symbolic representations that once triggered give rise to other symbols and muscular actions generating behaviors.  For Steven Pinker the theory allows behavior to be explained by beliefs and desires and makes the beliefs and desires part of the physical universe.   has two famous criticisms:
  1. John Searle developed the
    John Searle's influential thought experiment implied to him that computers cannot understand.  Complex adaptive system (CAS) theory indicates that this is not the case. 
    Chinese Room
    to show that a machine cannot be intelligent enables the achievement of goals in the face of obstacles.  The goals are sub-goals of genes' survival and reproduction and include:
    • Obtaining and eating food
    • Sex
    • Finding and maintaining shelter
    • Fighting for resources - in the preferred hunter gatherer environment loss of resources was critical while possession was often transient. 
    • Understanding the proximate environment
    • Securing the cooperation of others
    .  
  2. Roger Penrose's "The Emporer's New Mind" argues that Godel's theorem relates the paradox of self-reference of "this statement is false" to the proposition about Principia Mathematica that "This formula is unprovable by the rules of Principia Mathematica."  Godel realized he could map the symbolic logic with numbers, turning Pricipia Mathematica on itself.  Godel showed that his formula was true, differing subtly from a paradox and that it could not be proved with the rules of the system. 
    shows that mathematicians are not computer programs.  His argument depends on:
Pinker dismisses these criticisms as sterile and misguided. 

Replaced by a machine

Pinker explains that Zeno's paradoxes describe infinite series of discrete events occurring in a finite period of time in various scenarios so as to show motion must be an illusion.   do not apply to minds because the infinite regress of recursive rule operations is terminated by instantiating an
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agent
which applies a basic rule.  The brains neurons, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
provide this set of agents with
This page discusses the physical foundations of complex adaptive systems (CAS).  A small set of rules is obeyed.  New [epi]phenomena then emerge.  Examples are discussed. 
rules
captured by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection


McCulloch & Pitts developed a mathematical model of a network of neurons.  The network was built from simple logical models of neurons representing just their input, transform by adding inputs and thresholding and output (signalling) properties.  Pinker notes that real neurons are highly complex and not fully characterized.  McCulloch & Pitts neural networks could be modelled in a computer to perform: logical AND OR and NOT operations and propositions such as 'if this then' via patterns of activity over sets of network units. 

Pinker notes that this neural computer can be made biomorphic by:
  • Using probabilistic thresholding. 
  • Making each bit represent some object or property. 
Pinker explains that connecting each network element to all the others constructs an auto-associator with five key properties:
  1. It is reconstructive and content addressable making it robust
  2. It degrades gracefully
  3. It can perform constraint satisfaction in parallel
  4. It automatically generalizes
  5. It can learn by example by being fed both inputs and correct outputs.  Such a network structure is a Perceptron. 
But perceptron's can't perform the logical XOR operation. 

To allow the XOR a hidden layer of elements must be added which can independently represent the intermediate result input elements of the XOR.  Such a hidden layer neural network can still be trained by adding backpropagation is the backward propagation of errors which is used together with an optimization method such as gradient descent to train artificial neural networks.  With GPU performance helped by Moore's law it has become an important strategy.  It uses the chain rule to iteratively compute gradients for each layer of the network.  Backpropagation assumes there is a known correct output (y) for each training input (x) making it a supervised learning method.  Backpropagation typically repeats two phases until performance is satisfactory:
  1. Propagation includes:
    1. Forward propagation of the training pattern's inputs through the network to generate the output activations: hypothesis (Weight,bias). 
      • The total weighted sum of inputs to unit i in layer l including bias: z i(l) = sum from j=1 to n of Weight ij (l) xj + bias i(l) -> activation a i(l) = f (z i(l)); Final layer activation vector (a) is the output hypothesis vector. 
    2. Backward propagation of the propagation's output activations of each neuron like element (a) through the network using the training pattern target (y) to determine the deltas of all output and hidden nodes.  One determination of the error between y and hidden layer element output activation is error = 1/2*(hypothesis (Weight,bias) - y)**2 + weight decay (Weight). 
  2. Input weights are updated by gradient descent:
    1. Multiplying the weight's output delta and input activation to generate a gradient from the weight.  
    2. Subtracting a percentage (learning rate) of the gradient from the weight. 
connections. 

Pinker notes that the point of integration between the mind's rules and representations and the brains neural networks is not agreed among psychologists.  Some following Rumelhart and Mclelland's connectionism school assert that backpropagating neural networks do everything.  Pinker is in the other camp which argues that neurons have to be structured into programs for manipulating symbols.  Once this has been done the symbol manipulation becomes significant for much of human intelligence.

Pinker argues that our thoughts have a delicate logical structure that a network of homogeneous layers of units can't handle.  He highlights five aspects of everyday thought:
  1. The concept of the individual is significant.  It has a unique history.  Two individuals can't be in the same place at the same time.  Mothers track their children within a group.  But hidden layers will aggregate individual representations with other similar objects. 
  2. Compositionality allows representations where the meaning comes from the meaning of the parts and the way they are combined.  It depends on differentiating subject, object and assigning roles.  Thoughts are assembled out of components. 
  3. Quantification - a combination of individuality & compositionality.  Propositions, which act like individuals, express existence of x or for all x.  An idea can be captured in a proposition including ordered and correctly bracketed symbols for concepts, roles, quantifiers and variables.  Homogeneous neural networks are representational models that achieve high performance on difficult pattern recognition problems in vision and speech.  But they need specialized training methods such as greedy layerwise pre-training or HF optimization.   representing individual propositions suffer cross-talk. 
  4. Recursive ideas are hard to represent in a general neural network.  Each kind of recursive structure would imply a different hard-wired neural network.  The recursions can be easily represented with a recursive transition network but they must be specially assembled. 
  5. Fuzzy logic and crisp versions of the same category are present side by side in our minds.  This is hard to represent with a homogeneous neural network.  All such collections lack a single defining feature but overlap in many features.  
With this critique Pinker aims to highlight the power of human thought which supports our capacity for love, justice, creativity, literature, music, kinship, law, science etc. 

Aladdin's Lamp

The computational theory of the mind describes the aggregate ideas of: Alan Turing, Alan Newell, Herbert Simon, Marvin Minsky, Hilary Putnam & Jerry Fodor; that beliefs and desires are information, bound through sense organ triggered associations with neuronal or other symbolic representations that once triggered give rise to other symbols and muscular actions generating behaviors.  For Steven Pinker the theory allows behavior to be explained by beliefs and desires and makes the beliefs and desires part of the physical universe.   does not directly explain consciousness.  Dennet suggests consciousness is a product of culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
due to a hyper-complex of
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memes
.  Pinker notes it is a suitcase word have multiple attached meanings which encourage us to think in different ways about the word.  Suitcase words are reviewed by Marvin Minsky. 
associated with:

Combinatorial explosion of conjuctions

The visual computation is divided into an unconscious parallel stage and a conscious serial stage because conjunctions are combinatorial.  Sprinkling combinatorial detectors at every location in the visual field would be impractical.  Having the conscious processor focused at one location implies that features at other locations should float around.  Anne Treisman, by Anne Treisman and Garry Gelade, hypothesizes that perceiving a stimulus is initially a parallel automatic registration of features.  Later objects are identified in a serial stage of processing.  Treisman showed that people distracted while looking at colored letter shapes can report the set of letters and the colors but fail to list the correct combinations. 
found that is exactly what happens.  When items suddenly gain our attention is the focusing of our mental resources onto a specific piece of information.  Attention uses valuations assigned to each potential object of thought by the basal ganglia. 
we can find they assembled incorrectly.  Memory in the brain includes functionally different types: Declarative (episodic and semantic), Implicit, Procedural, Spatial, Temporal, Verbal; Hebb noted that glutamate receptive neurons learn by (NMDA channel based) synaptic strengthening.  This strengthening is sustained by subsequent LTP.  The non-realtime learning and planning processes operate through consciousness using the working memory structures, and then via sleep, the salient ones are consolidated while the rest are destroyed and garbage collected.   retrieval is also practically constructed with caches for recent and most used details. 

Emotional coloring of objects in consciousness helps our genes ensure that we focus on objects that enhance their odds of survival and reproduction in the African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted.  Clumps of trees & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 
: Water, Food, Safety, Sex, Status is a publically accepted, signal that one possesses assets: wealth, beauty, talent, expertise, access & trust of powerful people; to be able to help others. 
, Mastery of the environment, Well-being of children, friends and kin. 
Revenge of the Nerds
Evolutionary biologists argues that the human genome and phenotypes developed during the relatively long period when our ancestors were hunter-gatherers.  These biologists argue we can best understand ourselves by observing the remaining hunter-gatherer tribes including the Hadza. 
:
Evolution enforces both costs and benefits of any strategy used to compete in achieving the genes' goals of survival and replication.  Complexity and being smart are just two of many means to achieve these ends.  In 1997 Pinker notes the Apple Newton's high costs and limited benefits led to its rapid demise. 

The mind is an evolutionary gadget with benefits exceeding the costs in the plio-pleistocene African primates. 

Life's designer

Pinker argues
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
is the only thing that can explain what makes life special.  It uses the
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
physical process of forward causation to iteratively improve
an initial replicator generated by the laws of physics and chemistry.  The resulting adaptive complexity results in: flight, swimming, seeing... All these activities are only achieved by living things. 

But natural selection mimics the appearance of backward causation (teleology).  This has encouraged invalid explanations of design
Pinker notes complexity theory, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
  • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization
  • Systems that are adaptive
  • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
  • Balance at the edge of chaos 
can be viewed as an alternative to natural selection.  Stuart Kauffman shows how self-organization and selection can induce evolution.  Some followers of Kauffman's ideas concluded that complexity theory replaced Darwinian selection -- but not Kauffman or Gell-Mann.  Pinker argues life still depends on natural selection to generate
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
.  And he adds there is lots of evidence of natural selection including:
  • Dog breeding
  • Artificial life
Pinker notes that many academics are hostile to natural selection.  For many the implication of no plan directing life is not acceptable.  But Paley's argument that life's designs prove the existence of god, are undermined by the compromises inherent in the process used by natural selection. 

Pinker stresses that each design delivered by forward causation is optimized for the niche in which that organism's forbears has lived.  The designs are improbable but beneficial -- functionally useful and coherent.  Human intelligence is an evolved design.  Minds evolved due to the value of information.  Genes select how the brain works.  A process illustrated by
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination.  The nature of the operations is described. 
genetic algorithms
.  Movement demands the mover choose among gambles: hoping to increase safety, food supply, energy, time; while reducing costs.  Hinton & Nowlan demonstrated how the Baldwin effect suggests learning can guide evolution.  While some aspects of the organism are setup directly by genes others are left to be set through learning.  Trial and error is used to tune the learned settings.  Learning can allow a configuration that natural selection is highly unlikely to generate and that is tuned to the proximate environment, to be found by iterative testing.  Natural selection can retain the schematic structures that specify the learning infrastructure and the most successful aspects set directly evolving towards a desired outcome.  The result looks Lamarckian. 
supports evolved learners.  Pinker concludes it will have helped ensure the development of brains. 

Instinct & intelligence

Randy Gallistel stresses that learning is not all about associations.  There is lots of hidden complexity, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
  • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization
  • Systems that are adaptive
  • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
  • Balance at the edge of chaos 
.  Animals: Ants, Birds, Bees, Moths; must understand their environmental situation.  They will use cost optimizations and model position.  They must be able to understand their position in the local environment.  Many perform path integration is the integration of the velocity vector with respect to time to obtain the position vector, or some discrete equivalent of this computation. 
to do this.  Animal's brains are just as specialized as their bodies.  Mammals bodies and brains follow a common plan.  The differences tend to be in inflating or shrinking common parts.  Human brains follow the mammalian plan but are unusually large, leveraging massive growth for a year after birth.  Human brains are not more or better or more flexible animal intelligence.  They are optimized to the
This web page reviews opportunities to find and capture new niches based on studying fitness landscapes using complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 
niche
humans occupied is Tooby & DeVore's theory that reflects a flexible competitive strategy, described by Steven Pinker, which leverages the power and flexibility of intelligence to defeat the capabilities of genetically evolved specialists focused on specific niches.   and focus resources and infrastructure at those optimizations:
Pinker asserts humans have not replaced animal instincts with an alternative.  In fact humans have more instincts.  Instincts that select our decisions and actions.  Psychologists have been unpicking the complex arrangements of neuronal
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agents
that perform these operations. 

The cognitive niche

Pinker argues that to explain human ingenuity there must be a theory, the cognitive niche is Tooby & DeVore's theory that reflects a flexible competitive strategy, described by Steven Pinker, which leverages the power and flexibility of intelligence to defeat the capabilities of genetically evolved specialists focused on specific niches.  , that connects all parts of the human lifestyle including: All ages, Both sexes, Anatomy, Diet, Habitat and social life. 
Tooby & DeVore suggest an arms race, in a war where both sides use the strategy of development and use of advanced weapon systems to gain an advantage, each advance induces the other side to respond with its own asymmetric advances.  Neither side will necessarily gain the upper hand in which case the weapon systems themselves advance rapidly with little direct benefit for the combatants. 
playing out over evolutionary time of eater and eaten.  Humans use novel, goal oriented courses of action to overwhelm evolved defenses.  They are novel because knowledge is setup in intuitive theories of: Objects, Forces, Paths, Places, Manners, States, Substances, hidden biochemical essences; & for animals and people: Beliefs, Desires.  Pinker later analyses & explains these intuitive theories. 

Hunter gatherers are on an infinite camping trip, facing continuous challenges.  To cope they developed
Tools and the businesses that produce them have evolved dramatically.  W Brian Arthur shows how this occurred.
sophisticated technologies
: spears, ropes, nets, levers, containers; and bodies of folk science, so they could reason about: disease, weather, animals: habitats and tracks; so they could trap and kill them, plants storage organs, Fire, Shelter, Drugs, Cooking, Cooperative hunting. 

The resulting cognitive niche
Matt Ridley demonstrates the creative effect of man on the World. He highlights:
  • A list of preconditions resulting in
  • Additional niche capture & more free time 
  • Building a network to interconnect memes processes & tools which
  • Enabling inter-generational transfers
  • Innovations that help reduce environmental stress even as they leverage fossil fuels

supports and leverages group living and pooling of expertise
.  Pinker stresses:
Additional niches are accessible because they still obey laws of physics and biology that have been understood. 

Cognitive niche is Tooby & DeVore's theory that reflects a flexible competitive strategy, described by Steven Pinker, which leverages the power and flexibility of intelligence to defeat the capabilities of genetically evolved specialists focused on specific niches.   is accessible to humans because it is:
  • Visual
  • Amplified by group living - which copes with predators who target one weak member of the group
  • Assisted by the human hand - having evolved due to history of hanging in trees is very flexible and makes intelligence useful
  • Assisted by an upright stance - from hanging in trees allows hunter gatherers to free hands to carry and manipulate the environment
  • Catalyzed by savanna grass - regenerates quickly sustaining large herbivores that can be hunted by groups of males. 
  • Enhanced by hunting:
    • Adaptive to alternate niches: Fish, Birds etc.
    • A group activity, and encourages sharing
    • Provides high energy foods that successful males can trade for sex. 
    • Meat allows time to train offspring. 
Minds and way of life evolved together. 

Now, the environment is different from the African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted.  Clumps of trees & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 


Dawkins notes that anything that can replicate is Richard Dawkin's name for the genotype since it has the evolutionary goal of surviving long enough to reproduce its schematic plan effectively.  The action of genetic operators means that the results of successful reproduction may be different to the parental genotypes and phenotypes (Dawkin's vehicle). 
can
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolve
.  Natural selection of bits of culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
generates schemata that Dawkins termed
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memes
.  Pinker sees epidemics as the key amplification process for memes.  Pinker does not expect mutation of memes to play a major part in the development of culture.  He views the mind as already supporting
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination.  The nature of the operations is described. 
memetic operators
and a selection mechanism that allow ideas to be "evaluated, discussed, improved upon, or rejected."  He concludes "
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Evolution
created psychology, and that is how it explains culture."  

The Mind's Eye

Primates are very visual.  The human mind
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolved
around vision. 

Inverse optics is an ill-posed problem with no unique solution.  When the current world resembles the average ancestral environment, we see the world as it is.  But if those assumptions are violated we experience illusions, which unmask the assumptions
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
installed. 
Perception is consistently adaptation minded.  So it can be analyzed with reverse engineering.  There is a selective advantage from knowing about food, predators and cliffs; so they can be dealt with effectively. 

Pinker explains that David Marr first had the insight that vision supports processing of visual data into what and how.  To do this it has two distinct paths: The ventral path and the dorsal path. 
solves ill-posed problems by adding assumptions about the world.  It produces descriptions of the external world, in mentalese, that are useful to 'the viewer' and invariant
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
models
of objects that aren't cluttered with irrelevant information.  Vision turns retinal depictions -- splashes of light, into mental descriptions of real objects that allow us to accurately reach out and handle them.  Rectangular objects are rectangular in mentalese descriptions, rather than the trapezoid presented to the retina. 

Pinker describes each stage of the visual transformation: Finding objects with stereo, Light, shade and shape, Building a 2.5 dimensional view & other frames of reference, Shape recognition, Imaging

Deep eye

Pinker views autostereograms are flat pictures that generate a three dimensional illusion within the human visual system.  They operate directly through our eyes without support from apparatus.  Autostereograms:
  • Include: Wallpaper, Random-dot, Magic eye; stereograms,
  • Depend on four tricks used by natural selection to rapidly resolve a retinal sensor report into a competitively useful representation.  The tricks include:
    1. Leverage the resolution of three dimensional objects projections onto the retina, by building a picture which overlays onto the equivalent 3 dimensional projections.  Natural selection leveraged properties of: Surfaces being evenly colored and textured so a gradual change in the markings of the surface is caused by lighting and perspective, Parallel symmetrical right-angled figures appearing to similarly taper are allocated to effects of perspective, Objects have regular compact silhouettes that can be used to predict which ones are nearer. 
    2. Use of the field of overlap from two separate forward facing eyes to rapidly perform the trigonometry operation to obtain stereo depth information about objects in view.  This operation of vision is assisted by each eye's lens focusing to maximize fine detail.  And each eye is pointed at the same logical spot in the visual world using a control circuit that attempts to minimize double images.  These two mechanisms are integrated causing difficulties for stereogram designers.  
    3. A pattern of repeating shapes can lure the eyes into fixating on separate components.  When this results in the patterns falling at the same points in both retinas the brain recognizes that it is not seeing double and accepts the alignment driving the objects into three dimensional representations. 
    4. The brain solves the correspondence problem by filtering, assuming that the viewed configuration is typical of those natural selection has experienced on Earth.  The resulting cyclopean eye allows the detection of camouflaged prey, unless they have evolved in response by flattening their bodies.  The matcher only considers valid matches:
      • A valid match must pair up identical points in the two eyes. 
      • A point in one eye should be matched with no more than one point in the other eye. 
      • Matter is assumed to be cohesive and smooth.  Boundaries take up a small percentage of the view.  
      • Unconscious constraint matching can apply at the depth the eyes have settled upon using a large array of neural processors.  The processors:
        • Activate when they get the same input from both eyes.  
        • Signal nearby processors of their state.  Nearby processors registering similar depths excite each other. 
        • Inhibit other processors for different matches lying along the same line of sight.  
      • Images may contain parts that are only visible from one eye.  There are neurons that report such occlusions as being from an edge in the visual space. 
as demonstrative illusions since they induce three dimensional image perceptions from different types of markings on paper.  They induce four types of visual processing:
Stereo vision develops in young children.  If input is withheld from one eye the development is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
will be permanently damaged.  Hubel & Wiesel recorded neuronal activity in the primary visual area of the cat in the 1960s.  They noted that these neurons signalled in response to simple bars of light.  This ground breaking insight induced researchers to explore the temporal cortex and eventually led to Tanaka's identification of neuronal alphabets.   showed that is because all the neurons, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
tune to the active eye.  Signals from the active eye push the signals from the other eye aside.  The eyes compete for real estate in the input layer of the cortex includes the paleocortex a thin sheet of cells that mostly process smell, archicortex and the neocortex.  The cerebral cortex is a pair of large folded sheets of brain tissue, one on either side of the top of the head connected by the corpus callosum.  It includes the occipital, parietal, temporal and frontal lobes.  .  Input from the eye adds to the neurons initial bias.  Internal patterns generated by the eyes will do the tuning.  After birth the neurons of the input layer of the cortex sum data from both eyes as one.  At four months each neuron decides on a favorite eye.  The developmental period is to accommodate the expansion of the skull which moves the eyes.  Once the expansion finishes the development period completes.  Prey animals can't risk the developmental period of childhood.  Their eyes are set by birth. 
Pinker notes that the developmental adjustments of stereo vision processing are part of an assembly schedule with environmental tuning being circumscribed intake by a structured system rather than learning. 
People suffering from forms of stereoblindness is loss of stereo depth perception.  It is a broad term that includes:
  • Loss of cyclopean eye (2% of the population) 
  • Poor stereo vision (4%)
  • Selective vision deficits - where any of three neuron pools for detecting differences in the position of spots from the two eyes fail - (1) at the point of focus
    • Loss of stereo depth behind the point of fixation - pairs of spots (2) flanking the nose for far objects
    • Loss of sterio depth infront of the point of fixation - pairs of spots (3) approaching the temples for near objects
do not have the neuron pools that perform the particular part of stereo processing. 

Lighting, shading, shaping

Three laws are encapsulated by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
in brains to make images of the world:
  1. Perspective - 3 dimensional objects present a 2 dimensional projection.  The most probable state of the world can be deduced from the evidence in the retina with Beyes theorem specifies a conditional probability P(A|B) the posterior belief = (P(B|A) the likelyhood * P(A) our prior belief) /P(B).  This says our belief in hypothesis A is updated in light of new evidence B.  The power of Bayes rule is that often P(A|B) may be difficult to compute directly but can be calculated from P(B|A).  For example:
    • A is the event a person has cancer. 
    • B is the event a person smokes. 
    • If 10% of people who enter a clinic have cancer then P(A) = 0.1;  Assumed accurate Baysian prior. 
    • P(B) is the percentage of people who smoke = 0.5; Assumed accurate prior. 
    • P(B|A) = 0.8 is the proportion of smokers among those diagnosed with cancer at the clinic from the clinics records.  
    • P(A|B) = (0.8 * 0.1)/0.5 = 0.16.  With evidence that a person is a smoker we revise our estimate of P(A) from 0.1 to a posterior probability of 0.16.  
    (prior, likelihood).  The shape analyzer is equipped with probabilities about projection (likelihoods) and some probabilities about the world (priors).  Many physical and biological laws encourage the formation of standardized shapes: Motion, Tension, and Gravity; make straight lines.  Cohesion makes smooth contours.  Moving organisms develop symmetry.  Such attributes are captured by natural selection as prior assumptions in the line analyzer. 
  2. Reflectance - provides predictions about surfaces (color, lightness).  The visual system supports processing of visual data into what and how.  To do this it has two distinct paths: The ventral path and the dorsal path. 
    's reflectance is the amount of radiant energy reflected from a material surface relative to the incident electromagnetic power. 
    specialist factors out levels of illumination.  Land's Retinex theory developed by Edwin Land aims to effectively describe how reflectance of the viewed scene is processed by the human visual system.  It assumes: Earth's illumination includes a large mix of wavelengths; Gradual changes in brightness & color across the visual field are produced by illumination, while abrupt transitions indicate boundaries and earth's surface is a big flat plane.  But the mind has a shape analyzer that bends perceived surfaces and surfaces are often slanted from the viewer which compromises the predictions of the theory. 
    effectively removes lighting gradients similarly to the brain.  But the mind also applies 3-D shaping to the object.  And the mind accounts for the effect of slant on the reflectance. 
  3. Slanting - assumes: Surface lighting is uniform, Surfaces are matte. 
Adelson showed how costs of modeling can be used to optimize the contributions of the different analyzers.  Pinker concludes that supervision provides the mind with an effective way to arbitrate the specialized modeling performed by low level analyzers.  And such optimization may generate equally expensive alternatives as in the Necker cube which we see as flipping from one perspective to another. 


Seeing in 2.5 dimensions

Pinker notes that homunculus free vision must take the:
And
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
flow
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
modelled
signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
of: Stereo, Lighting, Shading, and Shaping; to a cellular mosaic with any element potentially representing part of a surface or an edge.  Neighboring neurons respond to neighboring parts of the visual field.  The mosaic is a visual map: LGN is lateral geniculate nucleus.  It is a contradiction:
  • It looks like a relay and nothing more.  Both anatomically and physiologically it seems to be a relay.  The principal cells receive inputs from the retina and send outputs, seen radiating out to the visual cortex, to the first visual area (V1) of the neocortex (in primates - in cats they go to a number of visual areas).  These axons have very few collateral branches to other principal cells or to other parts of the LGN.  There is a direct map from retinal area to primary visual cortex area.  But Francis Crick argued in contradiction to this
  • It is probably doing something a lot more complicated which we do not yet fully understand!  The macaque LGN has six layers.  The inputs from two eyes and M & P cells within them are all kept separate within the LGN.  
    • Two of these layers have large cells (magnocellular).  One of them gets its inputs from the right eye, the other from the left eye.  There is little interaction between the layers.  Their input is mainly from the M cells of the retina.  These two layers specialize in detecting movement and flicker. 
    • Four of the layers are smaller (parvocellular).  They receive input from the P cells of the retina.  They seem to carry signals relating to color, texture, shape & steropsis. 
    • The LGN neurons also get input coming back from the first visual area of the cortex.  There are many more axons coming back than go to the neocortex from the LGN.  However, they tend to synapse onto those parts of the dendrites rather distant from the cell bodies so their effects are probably subdued. 
    • There are also inputs from the brain stem that modulate the behavior of the thalamus and especially its reticular nucleus.  This means that the LGN freely transmits visual information in the awake animal but blocks this transmission somewhat when the animal is in slow wave sleep.  
  • Dehaene identifies the LGN as at the base of a hierarchy of reading neurons signalling local contrasts and oriented bars.  The signals reach
    • V1 which associates them with oriented bars,
    • V2 - letter fragments,
    • V4 Letter shapes,
    • V8 abstract letters,
    • Left occipital temporal sulcus - bigrams,
    • Left occipital temporal sulcus - small words, frequent substrings and morphemes. 
, Neuronal alphabet is a patchwork of neurons dedicated to fragments of shape.  Keiji Tanaka experimentally identified these invariants within the temporal cortex.  Various of these combinatorial codes exist at points in the visual system: V1, V2, TEO; ; primates have 15 or more such maps.  Each element provides a representation of a line of sight from the vantage of the cyclopean eye is the ability to see shapes in stereo that neither eye's visual data can represent in mono. 
frame of reference with: Surface (Depth, Slant, Tilt, Color, and Surface) or Edge (Boundary, Valley, Ridge).  The depth is only computed for objects in attention is the focusing of our mental resources onto a specific piece of information.  Attention uses valuations assigned to each potential object of thought by the basal ganglia. 
and is a detail of the surface so Marr termed the representation two & a half dimensional.  The neurons of the mosaic are also networked to and from the higher level regions of the brain including memory in the brain includes functionally different types: Declarative (episodic and semantic), Implicit, Procedural, Spatial, Temporal, Verbal; Hebb noted that glutamate receptive neurons learn by (NMDA channel based) synaptic strengthening.  This strengthening is sustained by subsequent LTP.  The non-realtime learning and planning processes operate through consciousness using the working memory structures, and then via sleep, the salient ones are consolidated while the rest are destroyed and garbage collected.  Pinker notes that the function of the top-down connections are not known.  He presumes they are to download memory in the brain includes functionally different types: Declarative (episodic and semantic), Implicit, Procedural, Spatial, Temporal, Verbal; Hebb noted that glutamate receptive neurons learn by (NMDA channel based) synaptic strengthening.  This strengthening is sustained by subsequent LTP.  The non-realtime learning and planning processes operate through consciousness using the working memory structures, and then via sleep, the salient ones are consolidated while the rest are destroyed and garbage collected.   images into the visual maps. 

The result is:

Frames of reference

There are various reference frames is a coordinate system (set of axis) centered on a particular aspect of the situation that describes the location of an object.  The brain supports many frames of reference including for vision (2009), hearing & movement planning (Jul 2002).  Auditory stimuli are initially coded in a head-centered reference frame.  The motor system codes actions in reference frames that depend on motor effectors.  Eye movements are codes in a reference frame that depends on the difference between current and desired arm position.  It is often necessary to transform the location representation of the sensory stimulus into a representation appropriate for the motor act.  An eye-centered reference frame depends on the location of the eye in the head.  A retinotopic reference frame depends on the retinal location that is activated by a visual stimulus.  Double-saccade tasks show how the location of the second visual target is coded relative to current and desired eye position (eye-centered).  
maintained by the mind:
Many perceived objects are assigned frames of reference.  Pinker shows that the outline of Africa, a square and a diamond are each oriented by the gravity frame of reference. 

Animal crackers

Marr concluded that reference frames is a coordinate system (set of axis) centered on a particular aspect of the situation that describes the location of an object.  The brain supports many frames of reference including for vision (2009), hearing & movement planning (Jul 2002).  Auditory stimuli are initially coded in a head-centered reference frame.  The motor system codes actions in reference frames that depend on motor effectors.  Eye movements are codes in a reference frame that depends on the difference between current and desired arm position.  It is often necessary to transform the location representation of the sensory stimulus into a representation appropriate for the motor act.  An eye-centered reference frame depends on the location of the eye in the head.  A retinotopic reference frame depends on the retinal location that is activated by a visual stimulus.  Double-saccade tasks show how the location of the second visual target is coded relative to current and desired eye position (eye-centered).  
assist in recognizing shapes.  Two and a half dimensional objects can be associated with a reference frame that allows the objects standardization.  Marr proposed an object relative frame that memory in the brain includes functionally different types: Declarative (episodic and semantic), Implicit, Procedural, Spatial, Temporal, Verbal; Hebb noted that glutamate receptive neurons learn by (NMDA channel based) synaptic strengthening.  This strengthening is sustained by subsequent LTP.  The non-realtime learning and planning processes operate through consciousness using the working memory structures, and then via sleep, the salient ones are consolidated while the rest are destroyed and garbage collected.   could leverage.  Pinker explains how Biederman's Geons are an inventory of 24 simple geometric parts, identified by Irv Biederman, including: Cone, Megaphone, Ball, Tube, Cube, Macaroni elbow; each of which comes in fifteen sizes and builds.  They can be assembled into objects with eighty-one object relative frame based relations: Above, Beside, End-to-end, End to off-center, Parallel.  Geons are used by visual finders to describe 3-D reference frame oriented basic visual objects.  These representations reside next to representations of language in the human brain's left hemisphere. 
combine with an object based frame of reference to allow a matcher to compare the visual object with a memorized construction made of grammatically joined Geons.  Pinker notes that language and complex shape recognizers reside near one another in the brain. 

But psychologists tests indicated that people may not always use Geons to represent objects.  They identified three possibilities and concluded that all three are used:
  1. Multiple-view theory suggests that a seperate memory representation is created for each orientation in which a visual object regularly appears. 
    - habitually seen views are rapidly identified and shaped. 
  2. Mental-rotation theory suggests that people rapidly identify upright objects, but when the objects are rotated people perform a rotation in their minds to bring the object into its upright position to allow shape recognition.  - in odd rotational views people perform mental rotations in their minds. 
  3. Geon theory - is used for some shapes.  

Imagine that!

Pinker explains mental imagery supports our thinking about objects in space.  And these images affect both intellect and emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.  .  But images are too concrete, and ambiguous, to represent the abstract ideas we use to reason about the world. 

Images affect perception in various ways:
Pinker argues a mental image is a pattern in the 2.5 D sketch that is loaded from long-term memory in the brain includes functionally different types: Declarative (episodic and semantic), Implicit, Procedural, Spatial, Temporal, Verbal; Hebb noted that glutamate receptive neurons learn by (NMDA channel based) synaptic strengthening.  This strengthening is sustained by subsequent LTP.  The non-realtime learning and planning processes operate through consciousness using the working memory structures, and then via sleep, the salient ones are consolidated while the rest are destroyed and garbage collected.   rather than from the eyes are major sensors in primates, based on opsins deployed in the retina & especially fovea, signalling the visual system: Superior colliculi, Thalamus (LGN), Primary visual cortex; and indirectly the amygdala.  They also signal [social] emotional state to other people.  And they have implicit censorious power with pictures of eyes encouraging people within their view to act more honorably.  Eyes are poor scanners and use a saccade to present detail slowly to the fovea.  The eye's optical structures and retina are supported by RPE.  Eyes do not connect to the brain through the brain stem and so still operate in locked-in syndrome.  Evo-devo shows eyes have deep homology.  High pressure within the eye can result in glaucoma.  Genetic inheritance can result in retinoblastoma.  Age is associated with AMD. 
.  The patterns are surface representations from specific orientations and implicitly include perspective.  When an object is examined it is typically repositioned multiple times so that a series of alternate images are recorded.  That makes the associated perspectives conflict which Pinker suggests explains why it took so long for artists to deal effectively with perspective.  Thinking about images depends on the visual pathways supports processing of visual data into what and how.  To do this it has two distinct paths: The ventral path and the dorsal path. 
.  Patients suffering from visual neglect occurs when brain injuries or strokes damage the visual pathways of the brain.  Right parietal lobe damage typically leads to neglect of the left side of the visual field, where the left side of the cyclopean view is ignored. 
can't image a scene in the damaged area.  PET is positron emission tomography which uses a radioactive tracer (Nuclear medicine) to look for disease processes.  The tracer is intravenously deployed through the blood stream where it collects in organs and tissues.  A whole body scanner is then used to count the indirect gamma ray emissions and a computer builds a 3 dimensional representation.  If the tracer is an analog of glucose such as fluorodeoxyglucose the concentrations of tracer imaged will indicate tissue metabolic activity (glucose uptake).  This can be used to explore for early signs of cancer (unusually active cells) metastasis. 
scans of mental imaging show the occipital lobes of the cerebral cortex includes the primary visual cortex area V1.  It performs early stages of visual analysis supporting recognition of shapes, colors and objects.   operating.  Visualizing large letters activated cortical areas representing the periphery of the visual field.  Visualizing small letters activated parts representing the fovea is the central part of the retina.  It is the only region that is dense in high-resolution photo receptor cells.  It is the only part of the retina that is useful for reading.  Our eyes are in constant saccades as we read to present text to the fovea. 
.  Surgically removing part of the visual chain shrank the width of mental images. 

Visual images must be able to be distinguished from mental images to limit confusion about reality and memory.  This may be why mental images are sensed as faint equivalents of the original visual images. 

Pinker illustrates how mental images are represented: 
  • Mainly images appear to be fragments of observed scenes and are represented as a concrete pictorial matrix rather than a sentence of a grammar.  But Pinker notes
  • Each image is represented in a propositional superstructure which allows the mental images to be found quickly.  This superstructure may be 'chunked' with practice.  Pinker notes that
  • Images are geometric without any associated meaning but they can be compared and reasoned with.  And they may be manipulated by well-defined operations: Rotation, zooming, shrinking, panning, scanning, tracing, coloring; that can be strung together.  Rotation is incremental and time consuming.  
    This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
    Evolutionarily
    significant features: cat claws, bees' stingers; are registered in a conceptual database via an explicit statement.   Otherwise the image must be reviewed and the shape analyzers applied.  Pinker argues that discovering previously missed features is a key value of recalling mental images. 


Good Ideas
Pinker continues to dissect the mind, reviewing how of the cerebral cortex is at the front of the brain.  It includes the: prefrontal cortex, motor cortex.  Sapolsky asserts it makes you do the harder thing when it's the right thing to do.  The frontal cortex supports working memory to sustain focus on a task.  It also coordinates the strategic actions necessary to achieve success.  It provides impulse control, regulation of emotion, and willpower.  The prefrontal cortex maintains focus by deprioritizing currently irrelevant streams of information.  The frontal cortex tracks rules.  Over a lifetime that builds into a costly activity.  Once it tires responses become less prosocial.  But practice shifts operation of tasks to the cerebellum.  The frontal cortex signals the tegmentum and accumbens with the conclusions of its expectancy/discrepancy calculations.  The frontal lobe provides executive function, considering bits of information, assessing patterns and then prioritizing the strategies.  The frontal lobe is the most recent part of the brain to evolve and involves a disproportionate percentage of primate-unique genes in its development and operation.  It does not complete development until the mid-20s.  It includes spindle neurons.  It is easily damaged.  Sapolsky (Nauta) notes that its ventromedial prefrontal cortex is a quasi-member of the limbic system. 
humans' reason to make sense of the world.  He argues that to explain human reasoning he must resolve Wallace's paradox is Alfred Russel Wallace's conclusion that the mind is overdesigned for the needs of evolving humans and cannot be explained by natural selection. 

He suggests that foraging tribe's challenges are similar to our own.  Pinker sees exaptation, initially termed preadaptation refers to the coopting of some function for a new use.   as a key mechanism driving the development of the human brain. 

Hunter gatherers must be able to outwit the local flora and fauna, encouraging them to use abstractions and foresight (PFC) is
  • The front part of the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex.  It evolved most recently.  During adolescence when the PFC is still deploying, older brain agents provide equivalent strategies: ventral striatum.  The PFC has been implicated in planning, working memory: dorsolateral; decision making: Orbitofrontal cortex; and social behavior.  Different PFC circuits track internal reward driven strategies and externally signalled advice.  The PFC chooses between conflicting options, letting go or restraint, especially between cognition and emotions.  It imposes an overarching strategy for managing working memory.  It is essential for thinking about multiple items with different labels.  It includes neurons that are interested in particular sub-categories: Dog, Cat.  Once it has made a decision it signals the rest of the frontal lobe just behind it.  Glucocorticoids decrease excitability of the PFC.  
, combining, comparing and reasoning on general problems to be solved.  Even our aptitude for chess, mathematics and science can be explained with this line of reasoning.  Pinker sees a scientific style of thinking.
Pinker asserts that Wallace misunderstood and devalued the psychological, linguistic and anthropological challenges that hunter gatherers overcame. 

Intuitive theories explained

To master the local environment
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
provided hunter-gatherers with
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
models
that leverage context and history.   Conversely academic science abstracts from those intuitive models replacing the history with formal premises to develop methods of inference which are widely applicable, do not depend on prior deep knowledge of the proximate situation, and can be deployed by
Reading and writing present a conundrum.  The reader's brain contains neural networks tuned to reading.  With imaging a written word can be followed as it progresses from the retina through a functional chain that asks: Are these letters? What do they look like? Are they a word? What does it sound like? How is it pronounced? What does it mean?  Dehaene explains the importance of education in tuning the brain's networks for reading as well as good strategies for teaching reading and countering dyslexia.  But he notes the reading networks developed far too recently to have directly evolved.  And Dehaene asks why humans are unique in developing reading and culture. 

He explains the cultural engineering that shaped writing to human vision and the exaptations and neuronal structures that enable and constrain reading and culture. 

Dehaene's arguments show how cellular, whole animal and cultural complex adaptive system (CAS) are related.  We review his explanations in CAS terms and use his insights to link cultural CAS that emerged based on reading and writing with other levels of CAS from which they emerge. 

writing and instruction
.  But Pinker explains natural selection was unlikely to evolve humans directly into academic scientists:
  • It is most useful to effectively understand what, based on history, is currently happening in a specific situation.  
  • Academic knowledge is costly to procure.  It requires carefully designed experiments covering all the dependent scenarios.  And it is only beneficial once it can be leveraged across a large group, and many scenarios. 
  • Human brains are shaped for
    This web page reviews opportunities to find and capture new niches based on studying fitness landscapes using complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 
    fitness
    , not truth.  Indeed we will often lobby for our 'version' of the truth to be accepted.  If we need to understand an unfamiliar object we will consult an expert, who will project 'their truth,' about the object. 
  • Good science is pedantic, expensive and subversive.  Illiterate foraging bands would not experience it as a selection pressure. 


Little boxes

Pinker examines our urge to classify details of the world.  He sees it as a strategy to gain influence.  Once some properties of the situation have been placed in a historic classification, other properties of the local situation can be predicted from the understanding of the classification.  While the scientific method results in more robust predictions its costs are prohibitive for hunter gatherers. 

Eleanor Rosch noted that most of our prescientific classifications are 'basic-level is psychologist Eleanor Rosch's term for evolved mental categories.  These categories reflect the way the world works.  They are the first words a child learns: Rabbit, Car; categories that in consequence are useful, since they have high predictive value.  This value results from the actions of: Physical forces, Genetics and natural selection; constraining the characteristics of occupants of particular classes of niche.  
'.  They reflect the way the world works.  The world is full of
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
networks with clusters around major nodes
, driven by physics and natural selection. 

Pinker notes there are two types of classification:
  1. Stereotypes with fuzzy boundaries and family like resemblances.  These are useful because they predict from similarity. 
  2. Definitions with in-or-out boundaries.  These allow discovery of laws of the structural clusters.  They fall out of the intuitive theories that guess at the operating mechanisms of the world.  These are useful because of their deductive power. 
Items can be placed in both types of class.  Science helps shift items from category 1 to category 2 by identifying the underlying laws. 

The intuitive laws are used by the mind to make predictions and inferences about unseen members of the set. 
But Pinker explains that
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolutionary theory
shows why some classes can be in-or-out like birds, while others utilizing history are fuzzy like fish.  Fish are a broad class that really includes: Amphibia, Reptiles and humans.  But pre-scientific classification aims to place similar looking fish into one class which will contain stumps where the classification has excluded these other related classes.  Fish is fuzzy.  

Pinker argues that in-and-out classifications make sense because the systems of rules create idealizations that abstract away the complicating aspects of reality (PFC) is
  • The front part of the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex.  It evolved most recently.  During adolescence when the PFC is still deploying, older brain agents provide equivalent strategies: ventral striatum.  The PFC has been implicated in planning, working memory: dorsolateral; decision making: Orbitofrontal cortex; and social behavior.  Different PFC circuits track internal reward driven strategies and externally signalled advice.  The PFC chooses between conflicting options, letting go or restraint, especially between cognition and emotions.  It imposes an overarching strategy for managing working memory.  It is essential for thinking about multiple items with different labels.  It includes neurons that are interested in particular sub-categories: Dog, Cat.  Once it has made a decision it signals the rest of the frontal lobe just behind it.  Glucocorticoids decrease excitability of the PFC.  
.  They are helpful being predictive even though no real subject will fully match the category.  They can degenerate into stereotyping which Pinker notes could be rational but immoral provides rules for identifying right from wrong.  It develops in stages with children using play to work out rules of appropriate behavior.  Kohlberg's 1950s experiments using children led him to conclude moral judgement is a cognitive process that develops in three stages.  Sapolsky raises issues with the framework: Its a model, It does not apply to other cultures, Intuition & emotion are as significant as cognition, Moral reasoning doesn't predict moral actions; and notes the capacity of the frontal cortex to regulate emotions and behavior is far more predictive.  The marshmallow test, performed on three to six year olds, actually predicted their subsequent SAT scores at high school, social success and lack of aggression, and forty years on more PFC activation during a frontal task and a lower BMI!  Jonathan Haidt argues people's moral decisions are rationalizations rather than using reasoning. 
.  He explains that our brains include a switch has been studied by psychologist Paul Rozin.  He showed that once the switch turns on key actions are constrained by fundamental moral senses.  These constraints are implemented by the medial frontal lobes.  When the switch is disabled utilitarian logic, supported in the dorsolateral frontal lobes will be used to make decisions.  The conflict between the two areas is registered in the anterior cingulate cortex.  These FMRI studies confirm philosopher and neuro-scientist Joshua Greene's argument that evolution equipped people with a revulsion of manhandling an innocent person.   to turn off our statistical categorizer when ethics demands. 


Core curriculum
The mind is equipped with innate intuitive 'modules' for major ways to make sense of the world.  The mind can mix and match these evolved, specialized functions, which identify:

Objects and forces
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Natural selection
provides babies with
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
models
of what they perceive and how the world operates, as Spelke and Baillargeon demonstrated experimentally leveraging boredom induced when a situation unfolds as expected and attention when it does not.  Spelke and collaborators showed details of the models:
  • Infants see objects, remember them and expect them to obey the laws of continuity, cohesion and contact. 
  • Matter is assumed to collide with other matter. 
Babies learn by investigating their environment, applying the models and adjusting them to reflect their observations. 

But Pinker notes babies, and adults, have a limited understanding of gravity or inertia.  Adults assume forces are acting to explain movement when only inertia is present.  Pinker explains that Newtonian mechanics is hard to apply effectively being obscured by the real world's friction. 

Animate things
Babies are upset when faces stop moving, but are not upset when other objects stop.  Self-propelled agents are either artifact: ships etc. or natural kinds: animals, plants or minerals; Pinker notes that some of these are understood to have minds that apply beliefs

Models of beliefs & desires, interpreting other's signals
Mental states are invisible.  And beliefs are not facts about the world.  To associate an idea to someone we must have a mental
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
model
This page discusses the interdependence of perception and representation in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Hofstadter and Mitchell's research with Copycat is reviewed. 
of that person
and indirectly allocate the idea to our model of them.  To communicate our beliefs about someone requires a special recursive grammar identified by Chomsky. 
Autistics is a major hereditary mental disorder that starts before age three.  Autistics do not attribute minds to other people.  They almost never pretend.  They can't explain the difference between an instance of an object and a memory of it.  Autism occurs in every country and social class.  It lasts a lifetime.  It has genetic and neurological causes.  The genes: SHANK3, CDH10; are involved but account for a very small percentage of the risk.  Facial gaze studies indicate a high genetic influence and an opportunity to identify more genes associated with autism (Jul 2017).  ASD is associated with a reduced fusiform face area response.  Tests [in development] for autism include: SynapDx's blood test. 
do not model other people's minds. 

Pinker shows that natural selection is able to capture value in folk varieties of logic, mathematics and probability.  So there are mental modules to support these folk capabilities. 

Modified trivium - logic

Humans are poor at applying logic abstractly to general problems.  Pinker argues this is because our understanding of the world is locked within our representations of folk knowledge, language based logic is ambiguous, and logical inferences often generate a near infinite set of useless options.  But Cosmides identified that people apply logic effectively when they view an interaction as a contract about an exchange of benefits and are trying to detect cheating. 

Modified trivium - mathematics

Infants and animals gain from accurately assessing if all the predators have left the immediate vicinity.  Children enjoy counting, lining up sets and other activities that require a sense of number.  It seems likely that mathematics developed by unravelling various activities and then formalizing notions of generic, non-arbitrary operations.  Pinker argues that generalizing and practice both support building formal mathematical tools out of the folk models. 

Modified trivium - probability

Humans struggle with probability, but Pinker notes that it is even difficult to accurately define.  Tversky and Kahneman have shown that risk, is an assessment of the likelihood of an independent problem occurring.  It can be assigned an accurate probability since it is independent of other variables in the system.  As such it is different from uncertainty. 
is poorly comprehended.  But Gigerenzer and Cosmides & Tooby found that folk judgements about probability are not necessarily illogical.  Gambling leverages a special situation developed to isolate events from one another.  Often real world situations bind one event to another in ways that gambling avoids.  So it makes sense to leverage history to help predict the probable future.  And probability often infers future situations from past history.  But real environments are dynamic and so likely outcomes may change significantly depending on chance events. 

Pinker also notes that the science of probability, proportions and percentages are all very modern concepts where the abstractions get in the way of folk reasoning.  Worse, statisticians note that situations are often incorrectly assigned to single event probabilities which are un-computable, rather than relative frequencies that are easily comprehended.  Pinker notes that effective framing will hugely help people understand the implications of their situation in: Illness, Law. 


Metaphorical mind

Pinker argues the folk capabilities that natural selection has gathered into humanity's mental toolbox have been extended due to a capability to abstractly transform concrete ideas through metaphor and analogy.  He suggests the abstractions not only co-opt the words but also the
This page discusses the interdependence of perception and representation in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Hofstadter and Mitchell's research with Copycat is reviewed. 
inferential machinery
.  Pinker notes that space and force pervade language.  From his research he has concluded that a handful of concepts about places, paths, motions, agency and causation underlie the literal or figurative meanings of tens of thousands of words and constructions in all languages studied.  Further he suggests these concepts and relations appear to be the vocabulary and syntax of mentalese

Pinker sees primates' thoughts about rocks, sticks and burrows acting as templates for
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination.  The nature of the operations is described. 
schematic operators
to duplicate and restructure into abstract thoughts about stories, meetings, traffic lights.  Melissa Bowerman showed that preschool children spontaneously develop metaphors based on space and motion to symbolize possession, circumstance, time and causation.  Pinker amplifies:
  • Ideas are food, buildings, people, plants, products, commodities, money, tools, fashion
  • Love is a force, madness, magic war
  • The visual field is a container
  • Self-esteem is a brittle object
  • Time is money
  • Life is a game of chance. 
So Pinker answers Wallace is Alfred Russel Wallace's conclusion that the mind is overdesigned for the needs of evolving humans and cannot be explained by natural selection. 
with his conclusion that the human mind is really concrete, but is able to replace objects, forces, fighting, food and health with new symbols from more conceptual domains.  This generates the basic mental categories: ownership, time, will; from processes that are designed to cope with intuitive physics.  Vision was co-opted for mathematical thinking.  In general our educated mechanisms use combinatorial and recursive operations to explore knowledge with a finite inventory of mental tools. 

Eureka!

Pinker sees genius as having similarly architected minds to everyone else.  But they apply dedication and focus.  Eventually the results impress. 


Hotheads

Pinker uses the extreme example of running amok is a Malay word describing the homicidal actions occasionally performed by lonely Indochinese men who have suffered a loss of love, money or face.  The syndrome occurs across cultures.  An amok man responds autonomously and can't be reasoned with.  But Steven Pinkers explains it is:
  • An emotional result of lengthy brooding over failure, 
  • Carefully planned as a means of deliverance from an unbearable situation
  • Cognitive - It is triggered by an idea, rather than some immediate stimulus or tumor
    • I am not an important or "big man." 
    • I possess only my personal sense of dignity
    • My life has been reduced to nothing by an intolerable insult which means  
    • I have nothing to lose except by life, which is nothing, so I trade my life for yours, as your life is favored. 
    • I will kill many of you which will rehabilitate myself in the eye of the group (amok) of which I am a member even though I might be killed in the process. 
to introduce and illustrate the cognitive is the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals according to Princeton's Jonathan Cohen. 
, irrational nature and universal applicability of emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.  .  Pinker stresses that
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
works on all aspects of the brain and body in tandem.  He concludes the assumption of a compartmented, modular, layered triune brain is Dr. Paul MacLean's popular but discredited 1940s theory of the brain.  He proposed a three layer structure:
  1. Reptilian inner brain containing circuits for basic survival; which is interfaced to layer 2 through the hypothalamus and together with the brain stem, spine and projections into the body make up the autonomic nervous system. 
  2. Limbic middle brain containing emotional circuits which signal layer 1 through the hypothalamus. 
  3. Rational outer brain which is uniquely human.  
is deeply flawed.  The amygdala contains > 12 distinct areas: Central, Lateral.  It receives simple signals from the lower parts of the brain: pain from the PAG; and abstract complex information from the highest areas: Disgust from the insula cortex.  It sends signals to almost every other part of the brain, including to the decision-making circuitry of the frontal lobes.  It has high levels of D(1) dopamine receptors.  During extreme fear the amygdala drives the hippocampus into fear learning.  It outputs directly to subcortical reflexive motor pathways when speed is required.  Its central nucleus projects to the BNST.  It signals the locus ceruleus.  The amygdala:
  • Promotes aggression.  Stimulating the amygdala promotes rage.  It converts anger into aggression and when impaired it impacts the ability to detect angry facial expressions.  
  • Participates in disgust
  • Perceives fear promoting stimuli.  In PTSD sufferers the Amygdala overreacts to mildly fearful stimuli and is slow to calm down and the amygdala expands in size over a period of months.  Fear is processed by the lateral nucleus which serves as the input from various senses, and the central nucleus which outputs to the brain stem (central grey - freezing, lateral hypothalamus - blood pressure, activates paraventricular hypothalamus => crf -> hormone adjustments). 
  • Has lots of receptors for and is highly sensitive to glucocorticoids.  Stress inhibits the GABA interneurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) allowing the excitatory glutamate releasing neurons to excite more. 
  • Is sensitive to unsettling/uncertain social situations where it promotes anxiety.  It is also interested in uncertain but potentially painful situations.  The amygdala contributes to social and emotional decision making where the BLA supports rejecting an unacceptable offer by injecting implicit mistrust and vigilance, generating an anger driven rejection that is used as punishment.  The amygdala is very rapidly excited by subliminal signals from the thalamus of outgroup skin color.  The amygdala subsequently tips social emotions against outgroups unless restrained by the frontal lobe or influenced by subliminal priming to prioritize inclusion.  The fast path from the thalamus rapidly but inaccurately signals its identified a weapon. 
  • Promotes male, but not female, sexual motivation when it is an uncertain potential pleasure. 
  • Responds to the longing for uncertain potential pleasures and fear that the reward will not be worth it if it happens.  The amygdala turns off during orgasm. 
  • Uses but is not directly involved in vision. 
contains the main circuits that add emotion to our experiences.  It can be set off by a nearby predator or sophisticated information processing from the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex is at the front of the brain.  It includes the: prefrontal cortex, motor cortex.  Sapolsky asserts it makes you do the harder thing when it's the right thing to do.  The frontal cortex supports working memory to sustain focus on a task.  It also coordinates the strategic actions necessary to achieve success.  It provides impulse control, regulation of emotion, and willpower.  The prefrontal cortex maintains focus by deprioritizing currently irrelevant streams of information.  The frontal cortex tracks rules.  Over a lifetime that builds into a costly activity.  Once it tires responses become less prosocial.  But practice shifts operation of tasks to the cerebellum.  The frontal cortex signals the tegmentum and accumbens with the conclusions of its expectancy/discrepancy calculations.  The frontal lobe provides executive function, considering bits of information, assessing patterns and then prioritizing the strategies.  The frontal lobe is the most recent part of the brain to evolve and involves a disproportionate percentage of primate-unique genes in its development and operation.  It does not complete development until the mid-20s.  It includes spindle neurons.  It is easily damaged.  Sapolsky (Nauta) notes that its ventromedial prefrontal cortex is a quasi-member of the limbic system. 
as in the cold decision making of the amok. 

Pinker explains that since we only have one body the mind's mass of parallel unconscious operations and collection of serialized organs of computation must be focused to cope with the shifting situation by a single executive.  This immediate prioritization is provided by our evolved emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.   which select what should be the current goal and trigger the cascade of
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolved
sub-goals that ensure broadly competitive responses to life's many challenges.  Pinker explains that each human emotion mobilizes the mind and body to meet one of the challenges of living and reproducing in the cognitive niche is Tooby & DeVore's theory that reflects a flexible competitive strategy, described by Steven Pinker, which leverages the power and flexibility of intelligence to defeat the capabilities of genetically evolved specialists focused on specific niches.  .  These challenges (and associated emotion) are:


Suburban savanna

The African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted.  Clumps of trees & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 
is still our emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.   environment of choice is an emotion which derives from the benefit to hunter gatherers of recognizing and seeking out the African savanna setting in which humans evolved. 
.  Pinker compares it favorably to all the other available physical niches:

Food for thought

Bacteria can grow exponentially on meat.  And they deploy toxins to discourage other life from competing for the resource.  Humans respond by being wary of animal products.  Pinker notes how we even avoid our own 'products' once they have left our bodies.  With the potential to eat many animals and plants and a changing proximate environment
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
uses a developmental is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
strategy to focus babies on acceptable food sources.  All other sources become disgusting is a universal human emotion.  Pinker notes it has its own facial expression and is codified in food taboos.  The mind must be associated with the proximate environment and parents minimize the risk for their omnivorous children by teaching them what foods to eat and what to avoid.  The children's minds are initially receptive to trying all foods but their brains subsequently lock in on the foods they have experienced.  These parental choices are affected by schematic influence on what has been beneficial.  Adolescent's brain developments undermine these constraints enabling intergroup transfers.  Disgust is modulated by the insula cortex which projects signals to the amygdala. 
by age two. 

This has provided parents with a strategic lever to control daughters, via food taboos.  By having different food source preferences it limits the ability of daughters to become involved with the itinerate outcasts of other tribes who learned to accept different foods. 

Pinker notes that most insects are a safe and useful source of animal products.  But they are costly to gather and consume.  When large herbivores are available it makes sense for communities to make insects part of the learned taboo. 


Impending harm

Pinker describes a universal list of things that invoke fear is an emotion which prepares the body for time sensitive action: Blood is sent to the muscles from the gut and skin, Adrenalin is released stimulating: Fuel to be released from the liver, Blood is encouraged to clot, and Face is wide-eyed and fearful.  The short-term high priority goal, experienced as a sense of urgency, is to flee, fight or deflect the danger.  There are both 'innate' - really high priority learning - which are mediated by the central amydala and learned fears which are mediated by the BLA which learns to fear a stimulus and then signals the central amygdala. 
: Snakes, Spiders, Heights, Storms, Darkness, Large carnivores, Blood, Strangers, Confinement, Deep water, Social scrutiny; & discusses our responses.  He notes that these things are genetically encoded in our brains and many of these are not relevant for today's city dwellers.  As is typical of emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.   they are calibrated to the proximate environment and for fears to the level of threat to the particular person.  Experience can remove a phobia are innate fears with a predisposition encoded genetically in the central amygdala that have become learned fears in the BLA and have not been subsequently deprioritized by the frontal cortex. 
that developed in childhood. 


Happiness treadmill

Pinker notes that people judge their happiness is an emotion which functions to mobilize the mind to seek capabilities and resources that support Darwinian fitness.  Today happiness is associated with Epicurean ideas that were rediscovered during the renaissance and promoted by Thomas Jefferson.  But natural selection has 'designed' happiness to support hunter-gatherer fitness in the African savanna.  It is assessed: Relative to other's situations, Based on small gains or losses relative to one's current situation; and so what makes us [un-]happy and our responses can seem a counter-productive treadmill.  For Pleistocene hunter-gatherers in the savanna there were many ways for losses to undermine fitness and so losses still make us very unhappy.  Smoking, drinking and excessive eating were not significant and so don't make us unhappy even though they impact longevity.   relative to how they are currently and the situation of other people they can observe.  And as Tversky and Kahneman showed, due to this
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolved
emotion are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.  , we are far more sensitive to loss than to gain.  Pinker suggests having: spouses, friends, religion and challenging, meaningful work; correlates with happiness.  But he warns "The direct pursuit of happiness is a recipe for an unhappy life." 

Sirens' song

Hunter gatherers lack the infrastructure to benefit from most strategies that conserve resources for later use.  Still,
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
developed hunter gatherer self-control is an emotion, the ability to trade current for future use of resources.  Hunter-gatherers are likely to benefit from immediate use of resources, since they have little opportunity to store them.  Otherwise the resources, including men & women to reproduce with, may be lost, stolen or degrade.  Since the intense drive for men to breed with any available woman can lead to costly disputes and lack of focus on strategic activities, self-control is promoted by parents and other powerful group leaders.  But the frontal cortex can promote willpower to increase self-control.  Genes also allocate more resources early in the life-cycle to avoid compounding failure to leverage resources to reproduce, with agent accidents and deaths.   for situations where future use will provide a high return for waiting.  Reproduction is a key strategic activity for humans with complex consequences for the participants, their offspring and others in the group including the leaders aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  John Adair developed a leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
and the participants' parentsMale reproductive self-control helps focus resources on the leader's goals such as hunting, raising children and war

High risk inner-cities discount the future driving up risky criminal activities. 

I and Thou

Some emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.  : Anger is an emotion which protects a person who has been cheated by a supposed friend.  When the exploitation of the altruism is discovered, Steven Pinker explains, the result is a drive for moralistic aggression to hurt the cheater. 
, Gratitude is an emotion that sets the strength of the desire to reciprocate a favor based on the costs and benefits of the earlier gift.  When a favor helps a lot and is costly to the giver we are very grateful. 
, Sympathy is an emotion, the desire to help those in need.  Steven Pinker suggests it may develop into a sham emotion to earn gratitide.  Sapolsky adds that it can describe someone with the power to help, but who choses not to.  Alternately it can indicate feeling sorry for someone elses pain while not understanding it, in contrast with empathy.  Or it can mean the emotionally distanced sense of feeling for someone.  Or the state of feeling their pain as if it were happening to you where it may cause such distress as to focus you onto alleviating you own distress. 
, Love is an emotion, which generates a feeling of pleasure at a genetic relative's well-being and pain in their harm.  An inseminated human female is genetically a full relative of her partner since she carries his germ-line gametes.  From any of their pooled gene's perspective the offspring have a one-in-two chance of including the specific gene.  Hence love supports kin selection driven by the selfish actions of genes.  Emotions, including love and anger, help drive the interactions between people.  Compassionate love also supports the symbiotic partnership of true friends built on fairness and trust.  Sapolsky notes the opposite of love is indifference, not hate.  The amygdala's projection into the locus ceruleus drives autonomic intensity. 
; are induced, as responses to other people are emotions that are induced in response to other people's signals, are implemented by specific brain regions including: Prefrontal cortex, Insula cortex, Anterior cingulate cortex, Amygdala; receive lots of projections from interoceptive networks.  Sapolsky asserts in the moments just before we prioritize a consequential act the process is less rational and autonomous than we assume.  There are many significant signals from the prior seconds to minutes that effect social emotions:
  • Our brains respond subliminally to skin color very quickly: Amygdala activates, Fusiform face area activates; prior to the conscious stream activating the anterior cingulate and DLPFC which then inhibit the amygdala. 
  • Social dominance is culture independent and accurately subliminally assessed after a 40-millisecond exposure.  Stable status relations activate the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and DLPFC, while a dynamic situation also activates the amygdala.  
  • People who are subliminally judged attractive by the medial orbitofrontal cortex are considered kinder, smarter and more honest.  They are given more breaks. 
  • Faces and eyes in particular are most important subliminal cues.  They are monitored by the fusiform.  People respond more appropriately under the subliminal influence of eyes. 
  • Olfactory sensors send more direct projections to the limbic network than other sensory networks.  Pheromones signal fear activating the amygdala. 
  • Observing pain responses in others results in empathy even among young children. 
  • Words are important emotional signals providing unconscious priming of social responses.  Kahneman & Tversky demonstrated how the phrase '95% survival rate' is found to be a more acceptable choice than '5% death rate'.  Sapolsky notes that prosocial word priming fosters cooperation with antisocial word priming doing the opposite.  
  • Cultural objects such as visible: flags, team badges; subliminally modify in-group outgroup decisions. 
  • The presence of women in a situation alters the responses of men: Increased risk-taking, more focus on luxuries, increased aggression; in circumstances where conflict is already encouraged but not when status is achieved prosocially.  
  • Physical environment shapes behavior as demonstrated by Philip Zimbardo and leveraged in broken windows policing.  
  • Bodily adjustments to sensory structures introduce adaptive complexity, with the brain being influenced to become more sensitive and alter the sensor networks to make some more sensitive.  But these adaptations also vary culturally.  Collectivist cultures focus on a visual scene's surrounding contextual information while people from individualistic cultures focus on the focal object!   
's signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
, to initiate helping or hurting them.  Pinker asserts Darwinian Theory is incompatible with group selection.  But it predicts mechanisms targeting the cognitive niche is Tooby & DeVore's theory that reflects a flexible competitive strategy, described by Steven Pinker, which leverages the power and flexibility of intelligence to defeat the capabilities of genetically evolved specialists focused on specific niches.  , that allow humans to beneficially help both kin (altruism, is the property that since kin share genes natural selection will improve the replicator's selfish goals by supporting the survival of such relatives.  Improving the chances of survival of non-kin is hard to explain with a gene preservation theory.  Why help a competitive gene?  Trivers explanation of reciprocal altruism shows the special conditions under which it can occur. 
) and
This page reviews the strategy of collective punishment of agents who game agreements in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its consequences are discussed. 
non-kin
(friendship & reciprocal altruism benefits another organism at a cost to the behaver.  It is differentiated from kin altruism, by Williams and Trivers, since it can apply between unrelated individuals.  It can be induced by natural selection when there is mutual survival benefit in group activities and cheating can be detected and discouraged.  Humans, leveraging the cognitive niche, can particularly easily, build an evolved amplifier, through sharing information at little cost and significant benefit.  But African savanna hunters similarly gain from sharing large game meat with other un-related altruistic group members since the meat would otherwise spoil before it could be eaten. 
).  These mechanisms require:
Trivers & Richard Alexander show the demands of reciprical altruism can be the source of many human emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.  : Liking is an emotion which initiates and maintains an altruistic partnership.  It is a willingness to offer someone a favor.  It is directed to those who appear likely to return the favor.  , Anger is an emotion which protects a person who has been cheated by a supposed friend.  When the exploitation of the altruism is discovered, Steven Pinker explains, the result is a drive for moralistic aggression to hurt the cheater. 
, Gratitude is an emotion that sets the strength of the desire to reciprocate a favor based on the costs and benefits of the earlier gift.  When a favor helps a lot and is costly to the giver we are very grateful. 
, Sympathy is an emotion, the desire to help those in need.  Steven Pinker suggests it may develop into a sham emotion to earn gratitide.  Sapolsky adds that it can describe someone with the power to help, but who choses not to.  Alternately it can indicate feeling sorry for someone elses pain while not understanding it, in contrast with empathy.  Or it can mean the emotionally distanced sense of feeling for someone.  Or the state of feeling their pain as if it were happening to you where it may cause such distress as to focus you onto alleviating you own distress. 
, Guilt is an emotion which alerts us to the risk of cheating on a friend.  To be culturally effective the individuals must have respect for the law. 
.  Trivers noted a subtle way to cheat: recipricate but not enough.  This induces an arms race, in a war where both sides use the strategy of development and use of advanced weapon systems to gain an advantage, each advance induces the other side to respond with its own asymmetric advances.  Neither side will necessarily gain the upper hand in which case the weapon systems themselves advance rapidly with little direct benefit for the combatants. 
where a cheater detector and associated tit-for-tat is a winning iterative Prisoner's Dilemma strategy.  Michigan political scientist Robert Axelrod programmed various proposed strategies into a program performing the Prisoner's Dilemma.  Anatol Rapoport suggested the Tit for Tat strategy where the prisoner starts by cooperating but defects whenever the other prisoner has defected in the prior round.  It is a simple strategy with little cognitive load.  W. D. Hamilton worked with Axelrod adding real-world possibilities to the game situations.  These included: 
  • Signal errors where the prisoner's intent was different to the signal's interpretation: They acted to cooperate but appeared to request defection.  This undermines the Tit for Tat strategy and forces the establishment of trust.  
  • Cost of adding detectors to monitor for signal errors and sham emotions. 
strategy, must improve along with the cheating

Sham emotions

The cheating is most effective if it is unconscious and uses sham generosity and friendship to induce altruism benefits another organism at a cost to the behaver.  It is differentiated from kin altruism, by Williams and Trivers, since it can apply between unrelated individuals.  It can be induced by natural selection when there is mutual survival benefit in group activities and cheating can be detected and discouraged.  Humans, leveraging the cognitive niche, can particularly easily, build an evolved amplifier, through sharing information at little cost and significant benefit.  But African savanna hunters similarly gain from sharing large game meat with other un-related altruistic group members since the meat would otherwise spoil before it could be eaten. 
and sham moral provides rules for identifying right from wrong.  It develops in stages with children using play to work out rules of appropriate behavior.  Kohlberg's 1950s experiments using children led him to conclude moral judgement is a cognitive process that develops in three stages.  Sapolsky raises issues with the framework: Its a model, It does not apply to other cultures, Intuition & emotion are as significant as cognition, Moral reasoning doesn't predict moral actions; and notes the capacity of the frontal cortex to regulate emotions and behavior is far more predictive.  The marshmallow test, performed on three to six year olds, actually predicted their subsequent SAT scores at high school, social success and lack of aggression, and forty years on more PFC activation during a frontal task and a lower BMI!  Jonathan Haidt argues people's moral decisions are rationalizations rather than using reasoning. 
anger is an emotion which protects a person who has been cheated by a supposed friend.  When the exploitation of the altruism is discovered, Steven Pinker explains, the result is a drive for moralistic aggression to hurt the cheater. 
to gain reparations even when no cheating took place.  The developed ability to guard against sham emotions can then be used to attack real emotions.  Trivers comcludes that this cognitive is the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals according to Princeton's Jonathan Cohen. 
arms race, in a war where both sides use the strategy of development and use of advanced weapon systems to gain an advantage, each advance induces the other side to respond with its own asymmetric advances.  Neither side will necessarily gain the upper hand in which case the weapon systems themselves advance rapidly with little direct benefit for the combatants. 
could justify the expansion of the human brain. 

Doomsday machines

Barriers are particular types of constraints on flows.  They can enforce separation of a network of agents allowing evolution to build diversity.  Examples of different types of barriers and their effects are described. 
Strategic constraints
are used extensively by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
's designed mind to enforce its strategies.  Pinker refers to Dr. Strangelove's doomsday machine architecture integrates a:
  • Signal that advertises the presence of the doomsday machine
  • Machine that once started can't be stopped.  
  • Uncontrollable initiation of the machine based on some constraint. 
  • Catastrophic result for all parties once the machine is started.  There is the potential for both parties to participate in an arms race. 
noting it applies to any conflict where the participants both compete and cooperate.  These are strategic contests that occur broadly in social life.  A situation which explains the presence and operation of headstrong emotions:
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Evolution
disconnects the emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.   from the intellect to ensure that emotional constraints are believed.  But the emotions are bound to unconscious physiological signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
demonstrating their legitimacy.  Pinker stresses the integrated design and separated strategic actions.  This is contrary to the romantic idea of a vestigial emotional animal lurking within the rational man.  The actual design also protects to some extent against sham emotions

Fools for love

Staying single has a cost: Childlessness, Having to date, Loneliness; but both people in a partnership are aware that they may meet someone 'better' later on!  The core problem is it's not likely that the perfect match will be in the proximate pool of partners when there is only a limited time to do the search.  Women advertise their availability.  They are suspicious of men who are too quick to propose becoming a life partner.  Possibly this man will make the same offer to many potential partners, or this might indicate he is desperate because of some fitness issue.  But they must commit to someone!

Pinker notes that romantic love is a passionate emotion reflecting the risky agreement to commit resources to the long term activity of raising children.  is another passionate emotion are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.  .  It is not surprising since the complex commitment: Trust, Marriage, Children; is significant and risky for both partners.  Indeed societies extend the emotional commitment with a contract that is traditionally difficult to break. 

Punishment of grief

Pinker notes that grief can seem illogical.  He proposes a solution: Grief is an internal Doomsday Machine to constrain us to invest in protecting and supporting our loved ones. 

Kidding ourselves

Our minds ensure we
Consciousness has confounded philosophers and scientists for centuries.  Now it is finally being characterized scientifically.  That required a transformation of approach. 
Realizing that consciousness was ill-defined neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene and others characterized and focused on conscious access. 
In the book he outlines the limitations of previous psychological dogma.  Instead his use of subjective assessments opened the window to contrast totally unconscious brain activity with those including consciousness. 
He describes the research methods.  He explains the contribution of new sensors and probes that allowed the psychological findings to be correlated, and causally related to specific neural activity. 
He describes the theory of the brain he uses, the 'global neuronal workspace' to position all the experimental details into a whole. 
He reviews how both theory and practice support diagnosis and treatment of real world mental illnesses. 
The implications of Dehaene's findings for subsequent consciousness research are outlined. 
Complex adaptive system (CAS) models of the brain's development and operation introduce constraints which are discussed. 

consciously
see ourselves in the best possible light.  That involves hiding less attractive details in our unconscious and presenting a false, attractive picture to consciousness.  We take credit for any success but not for failure.  We limit cognitive is the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals according to Princeton's Jonathan Cohen. 
dissonance with the premise "I am nice and in control."  Pinker offers George Orwell's rationalization from '1984': "The secret of ruler-ship is to combine a belief in one's own infallibility with a power to learn from past mistakes."  Trivers argues that in a world of walking lie detectors the best strategy is to believe your own lies is an emotion, the ability to hide your intentions from your self so as to effectively hide them from others. 
.  

Family Values

Pinker introduces this chapter as largely about inborn motives that place people in conflict with one another.  Social relations between: family, lovers, rivals, friends, acquaintances, allies & enemies.  These motives can also identify relations that make us human

Donald Brown's Human Universals, found in all cultures is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
include:

This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Natural selection
is driven by
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
genes
having to compete or die.  Reproduction leads to geometric increases in descendents.  With a finite planet this results in conflicts about resources. 
Peter Turchin describes how major pre-industrial empires developed due to effects of geographic boundaries constraining the empires and their neighbors' interactions.  Turchin shows how the asymmetries of breeding rates and resource growth rates results in dynamic cycles within cycles.  After the summary of Turchin's book complex adaptive system (CAS) theory is used to augment Turchins findings. 
That has been true for all humanity's ancestors
.  So we are all designed to compete.  Pinker argues intelligent
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organisms
must be strategists calculating in any situation if it is best to retreat, cooperate or compete.  Violence is used but it has costs: sanctions, redress, censure, mediation, ostracism, law;

Natural selection organized the mind as an organ of competition.  Special motives are strategies tailored to the tournaments humans participate in.  People should have distinct thoughts and feelings about kin & non-kin. 

Kith and Kin

Love is an emotion, which generates a feeling of pleasure at a genetic relative's well-being and pain in their harm.  An inseminated human female is genetically a full relative of her partner since she carries his germ-line gametes.  From any of their pooled gene's perspective the offspring have a one-in-two chance of including the specific gene.  Hence love supports kin selection driven by the selfish actions of genes.  Emotions, including love and anger, help drive the interactions between people.  Compassionate love also supports the symbiotic partnership of true friends built on fairness and trust.  Sapolsky notes the opposite of love is indifference, not hate.  The amygdala's projection into the locus ceruleus drives autonomic intensity. 
of kin is a straight forward design for
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
driven by kin altruism, is the property that since kin share genes natural selection will improve the replicator's selfish goals by supporting the survival of such relatives.  Improving the chances of survival of non-kin is hard to explain with a gene preservation theory.  Why help a competitive gene?  Trivers explanation of reciprocal altruism shows the special conditions under which it can occur. 
.  It is less obvious how it can design compassionate indicates an emotional state where resonance with someone else's distress leads one to help them. 
love for non-kin.  Which, Pinker notes, has a significant impact on how we grow up and the rise and fall of empires & religions. 

For animals the smell provides an indication of kinship. 
For humans kin altruism has resulted in specialized cognitive: Metaphor; and emotional are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.  : Anger, Gratitude, Sympathy, Love, Solidarity, Tolerance, Trust and distrust are evolved responses to sham emotions.  During a friendship where no sham emotions have been detected trust will build up. 
, Romantic love; machinery.  Kin are understood to be topologically linked is a strategy of selfish genes, which aims to maximize gene survival & replication across all the bodies where a copy of the gene probably exists: relatives.  Altruism is beneficial to gene replication in this situation.  Love supports the agent's prioritization of appropriate altruistic strategies.  Sapolsky describes an array of strategies used to identify kin:
  • Genetically shaped pheromonal signatures.  Rodents leverage the immune systems MHC super variable gene regions to develop unique signals.  The more similar the signals are the closer is the relative.  Pregnancy triggers adult neurogenesis in the olfactory system of rat mothers to allow them to learn the smell of their newborn.
  • Imprinting on the female whose birdsong a chick heard while still in the egg
  • Degree of paternalism depending on likelihood of being the father in primates
  • Humans use cognition
by binary relations.  Humans are obsessed with genealogy.  Humans also assess kinship by: Resemblance, Growing up together, Interactions, Logic; and once an association has been built the emotional machinery is used to tightly bind the relatives together.  This supportive kin
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
network
promotes the survival of their shared genes.  Kinship keeps hunter gatherer villages together.  Nepotism is a broad pattern of kin solidarity.  Relatives are natural allies.  Hunter gatherer societies are organized around clans of relatives.  Kinship holds their villages together.  But such relationships can't be free, fair and equal at the same time.  As such families are subversive to centralized organizations including states and religions.  Such organizations use incest laws and marriage rules to limit the strategic power of marriage to create threats. 
is accepted practice until agriculture and cities alter the dynamic.  After a big falling out, one side with all their close relatives would leave to setup a rival village.  Genetic relatives are unlikely to kill one another, except for parents of infants, when sustaining the new born will place intolerable stress is a multi-faceted condition reflecting high cortisol levels.  Dr. Robert Sapolsky's studies of baboons indicate that stress helps build readiness for fight or flight.  As these actions occur the levels of cortisol return to the baseline rate.  A stressor is anything that disrupts the regular homeostatic balance.  The stress response is the array of neural and endocrine changes that occur to respond effectively to the crisis and reestablish homeostasis. 
  • The short term response to the stressor
    • activates the amygdala which: Stimulates the brain stem resulting in inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system and activation of the sympathetic nervous system with the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine deployed around the body, Activates the PVN which generates a cascade resulting in glucocorticoid secretion to: get energy to the muscles with increased blood pressure for a powerful response.  The brain's acuity and cognition are stimulated.  The immune system is stimulated with beta-endorphin and repair activities curtail.  But when the stressor is
  • long term: loneliness, debt; and no action is necessary, or possible, long term damage ensues.  Damage from such stress may only occur in specific situations: Nuclear families coping with parents moving in.  Sustained stress provides an evolved amplifier of a position of dominance and status.  It is a strategy in female aggression used to limit reproductive competition.  Sustained stress:
    • Stops the frontal cortex from ensuring we do the harder thing, instead substituting amplification of the individual's propensity for risk-taking and impairing risk assessment! 
    • Activates the integration between the thalamus and amygdala. 
      • Acts differently on the amygdala in comparison to the frontal cortex and hippocampus: Stress strengthens the integration between the Amygdala and the hippocampus, making the hippocampus fearful. 
      • BLA & BNST respond with increased BDNF levels and expanded dendrites persistently increasing anxiety and fear conditioning. 
    • Makes it easier to learn a fear association and to consolidate it into long-term memory.  Sustained stress makes it harder to unlearn fear by making the prefrontal cortex inhibit the BLA from learning to break the fear association and weakening the prefrontal cortex's hold over the amygdala.  And glucocorticoids decrease activation of the medial prefrontal cortex during processing of emotional faces.  Accuracy of assessing emotions from faces suffers.  A terrified rat generating lots of glucocorticoids will cause dendrites in the hippocampus to atrophy but when it generates the same amount from excitement of running on a wheel the dendrites expand.  The activation of the amygdala seems to determine how the hippocampus responds. 
    • Depletes the nucleus accumbens of dopamine biasing rats toward social subordination and biasing humans toward depression. 
    • Disrupts working memory by amplifying norepinephrine signalling in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala to prefrontal cortex signalling until they become destructive.  It also desynchronizes activation in different frontal lobe regions impacting shifting of attention. 
  • During depression, stress inhibits dopamine signalling. 
  • Strategies for stress reduction include: Mindfulness. 
on the resource base of the family. 
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Natural selection
captured these competitive tradeoffs of hunter gatherer mothers on the African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted.  Clumps of trees & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 


All societies have marriage.  The evolutionary costs and benefits of marriage, to husband & wife, of different arrangements vary:

Parents and children

Decisions about childrearing are inherently about allocating the parents' time and effort, with legitimate claims on these resources from all members of the family.  Mammals & birds typically invest in the success of a small number of offspring. 

Pinker views Trivers's parent-offspring conflict is Robert Trivers theory to explain the allocation of parental resources to various offspring, from the implications of genetics on the family.  Observing that children want to take more than what their parents want to give Trivers concluded a parent should aim to transfer resources depending on the relative benefits to each child and the costs, since each child has the same percentage of the parent's genes.  But each child shares only fifty percent of their genes with their siblings so should aim to get resources until the benefit to the others is twice the cost to the child.  And the parent may keep back some resources for allocation to further planned offspring.  A variety of conflicts ensue:
  • In the womb the fetus tries to capture nutrients from the mother at the expense of future children.  It ties up the mother's insulin to increase the blood sugar available to it and placing the mother at risk of diabetes.  Fathers can assist their offspring in this 'fight with the mother' by supplying imprinted genes that help the offspring capture resources. 
  • At birth mothers must decide whether to let the baby die.  This practice is cross cultural but is considered a depravity by present Western culture.  That is probably due to the West having captured a majority of the world's resources for centuries.  
  • Infants use cuteness to encourage parental investment.  A mother's attachment delays until it is clear that the baby will live.  
  • Infants cry to demand milk.  Until weaned the mother won't ovulate limiting her future reproductive potential. 
  • Young children are in conflict with their father over access to their mother. 
  • Children are in a position to develop paradoxical tactics to push for more resource allocation. 
  • Older children may have sexual conflicts with their parents, especially their fathers.  Fathers compete with sons for sexual partners in many societies.  But this competition is not for their mother.  
  • Adult children may conflict with their parents over allocation of family resources.  This has led to murder. 
  • Parents attempt to train children to assist the parent's social interests.  The implication is that children are wary of their parent's suggestions and typically pay more attention to the advice of their peer group according to Judith Harris.  
  • Parents sell or trade their children.  The price paid for a daughter will likely depend on her virginity.  Hence fathers take an interest in their daughters' sexuality.  
theory as far superior to alternatives such as: Oedipal complex is Freud's theory that boys have an unconscious desire to have sex with their mothers and kill their fathers, and are afraid that their fathers will castrate them. 
, biology-culture distinction asserts that babies are collections of instincts which parents socialize into competent members of society. 
; for explaining the allocation of resources between parents and their children.  Trivers theory suggests that children will resist having their personalities differs in at least five key ways:
  • Extroversion-introversion - whether the person gains energy from socializing or retiring
  • Neuroticism-stability - does a person worry or are they calm and self-satisfied
  • Agreeableness-antagonism - is a person courteous & trusting or rude and suspicious
  • Conscientiousness-un-directedness - is a person careful or careless
  • Openness-non-openness - are they daring or conforming
altered by their parents.  Testing this hypothesis shows that parents have very little effect on personality.  Identical twins separated at birth have virtually identical personalities.  Adoptive siblings in the same home are as different as random children are. 

Pinker concludes Trivers's theory suggests childrearing will always be partly a question of ethics and politics as well as psychology and biology. 

Brothers and sisters

Parents generally favor older children over younger.  That makes sense since hunter gatherer young were highly likely to die.  But the last child gets extra resources allocated since there are no further offspring to save resources for. 

The first born identifies with the parents & resists changes to the current situation.  They are the most conservative, reactionary and bullying is a complex childhood adversity.  Sapolsky explains that targets of bullying aren't selected at random.  And bullies often come from families with single mothers or younger parents with low educational and economic prospects.  Sapolsky notes that someone who bullies and is also bullied is likely to be a real mess as an adult. 
of the siblings. 

The second child must adopt an alternative strategy.  They are typically appeasers, cooperators and revolutionaries and are receptive to change. 

The strategies adopted by the children are leveraged by them as adults due to honed skills, sunk costs and the continued need to compete with their parents

Pinker notes brother sister incest is sex between family members.  Pinker notes that it is universally avoided between brothers and sisters.  This is probably an adaptation since it is universally avoided among long-lived animals and brings increased risks of expression of recessive genes.  Father's genes suffer limited genetic consequence and a potential bonus from father daughter incest which does occur. 
is exceptionally uncommon.  Incest taboos are not universal and he judges are power limitation strategies designed to limit the potential leverage of nepotism is a broad pattern of kin solidarity.  Relatives are natural allies.  Hunter gatherer societies are organized around clans of relatives.  Kinship holds their villages together.  But such relationships can't be free, fair and equal at the same time.  As such families are subversive to centralized organizations including states and religions.  Such organizations use incest laws and marriage rules to limit the strategic power of marriage to create threats. 


Men and women

Pinker notes there is a powerful battle between the sexes.  Men and women have very different sexual natures because the sexual desires & dispositions that is adaptive for one sex is destructive to the other in hunter gatherer settings. 

This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Natural selection
has built powerful emotions are low level agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism.  : Romantic love is a passionate emotion reflecting the risky agreement to commit resources to the long term activity of raising children.  ; to support sex among humans.  Pinker notes that sex is probably necessary to protect long-lived
In this page we summarize the arms race between hosts and their parasites.  The deadly nature and adaptive pressure of the relationship is introduced.  How the slowly reproducing hosts cope is described.  Cultural hosts and parasites are discussed. 

humans from parasites


But the consequent asymmetry between
This page describes the consequences of the asymmetries caused by eggs having to include resources required for the development of sexually reproduced organisms while sperms do not.   
The impact of this asymmetry is to force alternative strategies on males and females.  The strategies are outlined. 
egg and sperm
: amplified in mammals where the female does almost all the investing; causes two cascades of consequences:
  1. A single male can fertilize more than one female.  This generates competition between males for the available females.  They can fight each other or court the females for access. 
  2. Reproductive success of males depends on how many females they mate with.  So females are more discriminating, looking for signals of good genes and, in humans and birds, a willingness to feed and protect the offspring.  Males woo females and mate with all that will let them
Mating asymmetries in apes
The details are dependent on the broad way of life of each species.  Apes vary widely in their sexual arrangements:

Mating asymmetries in humans
Pinker notes that natural selection will capture and leverage the strategies that develop in human mating.  The results can be seen in the attributes of human males and females developed during hunting & gathering on the African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted.  Clumps of trees & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 
:
  • Women contribute nine months of pregnancy and two to four years of nursing. 
  • Men contribute sperm.  They contribute huge investments in their families relative to other apes. 
  • Men are 1.15 times the size of women so men competed to capture more than one female from other males. 
  • Humans live in bands but the size of our testes indicates that women were less promiscuous than female chimpanzees.  
  • Humans developed marriage to contractually protect the investment made by the parents
    • Hunter gatherer women married soon after puberty.  
    • Children were breast fed.  Babies and toddlers stayed with their mothers and other women. 
  • Men hunted and women gathered.  
  • Sex meant reproduction.  
Human mating strategies resolve:

Men's intense interest in sexual variety is insatiable, but modulated by other desires & through the capacity for self-control is an emotion, the ability to trade current for future use of resources.  Hunter-gatherers are likely to benefit from immediate use of resources, since they have little opportunity to store them.  Otherwise the resources, including men & women to reproduce with, may be lost, stolen or degrade.  Since the intense drive for men to breed with any available woman can lead to costly disputes and lack of focus on strategic activities, self-control is promoted by parents and other powerful group leaders.  But the frontal cortex can promote willpower to increase self-control.  Genes also allocate more resources early in the life-cycle to avoid compounding failure to leverage resources to reproduce, with agent accidents and deaths.  

Husbands and wives

Polygyny allows powerful men to have multiple wives.  This is beneficial to both these men and women, who get access to the resources and genes of the successful males.  In situations where power is distributed more evenly, men seek to have polygyny outlawed, creating a cartel which reduces the power of women and the elite males. 
is beneficial to women.  When power is captured by a small elite, these males benefit from acceptance of polygyny.  Anti-polygyny laws can be seen as a cartel like strategy by the majority of men to limit the power of women and elites. 

Both sexes commit adultery.  Women can trade sex for resources.  And they may aim for the best husband to cuckold while mating with the best signal of powerful genes. 

Men want faithful wives who have long years of child bearing.  Hence their ideal bride is 15 to 17 years old. 

Beauty is a signal of health, indicating a lack of parasites is a long term relationship between the parasite and its host where the resources of the host are utilized by the parasite without reciprocity.  Often parasites include schematic adaptations allowing the parasite to use the hosts modeling and control systems to divert resources to them.  , and the ability to produce lots of healthy children.  In the African savanna a woman would be aged by the harsh conditions so signals of youth were valuable.  The signals include: Luxuriant hair - kinks often indicate a recent disease, An average face - symmetric without male features which are symptomatic of serious health issues, Small waist - suggesting young and not pregnant; 

Weight is a competitive symbol between women, who admire thin fashion models such as Twiggy.  Today's models are selected because they have highly unusual bodies that set off all the evolved sensors.  Pinker notes that among the real majority, features correlate in clusters indicative of the compromises that are needed to cope with real life's many challenges. 


Internal fertilization, male investment in children & Jealousy

Sexual jealousy is an emotion driven by the large investment by parents in their children's development combined with a human sexual asymmetry: fertilization occurs inside the female's body, so a male can't be sure it is supporting its own ofspring. 
is found in all cultures is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
.  Men's jealousy is unsophisticated.  They don't feel comfortable with sharing wives.  They worry about sexual betrayal.   Women are more sophisticated since they may beneficially share husbands.  Real risk for women is that her partner diverts resources to other women, which they see as an emotional betrayal. 
Pinker argues that killing a wife who leaves her husband, is a doomsday machine response: "Don't think of leaving." 

Men treat wives as property.  Established codes and laws of property have been used to control women.  Marriage is structured as a transfer of property from father to groom.  The groom's family pays for the transfer in 96% of the 76% of societies that include payments when people get married.  Adultery is treated as a tort.  Jealous rage at the discovery of a woman's adultery is accepted allowing justifiable homicide. 

Rivals

Pinker notes that people strive to build signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
that demonstrate their DNA (DNA), a polymer composed of a chain of deoxy ribose sugars with purine or pyrimidine side chains.  DNA naturally forms into helical pairs with the side chains stacked in the center of the helix.  It is a natural form of schematic string.  The purines and pyrimidines couple so that AT and GC pairs make up the stackable items.  A code of triplets of base pairs (enabling 64 separate items to be named) has evolved which now redundantly represents each of the 20 amino-acids that are deployed into proteins, along with triplets representing the termination sequence.  Chemical modifications and histone binding (chromatin) allow cells to represent state directly on the DNA schema.  To cope with inconsistencies in the cell wide state second messenger and evolved amplification strategies are used. 
's fitness: Authority, Cachet, Dignity, Dominance, Eminence, Esteem, Face, Position, Preeminence, Prestige, Rank, Regard, Repute, Respect, Standing, Stature, Status; that are valuable because they can be detected by the recipient and credible because they are hard to fake and control. 

There are two types of intragroup rivalry signals built by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
:
  1. Dominance signals the power to hurt a rival.  Maynard Smith & Parker explain that in group situations females compete for food and males compete for females.  Maleness is a huge factor for violence.  Fighting to the death is costly for all participants so instead they indicate:
    • Size and weapons to demonstrate who will win.  Males who are, or look like, better fighters: Large heads, Big men, Height; gain in dominance. 
    • Political acumen to demonstrate they won't be pushed around and have the support of other powerful groups.  Dominant males push other rivals aside and gain interest of females, enabling themselves to replicate more.  Being a signal its authenticity can be challenged and so must be defended to remain credible.  Hotheads leverage the doomsday machine to constrain rational challenges.  Bands and cultures leverage honor.  Youth and lack of resources reduce the power of rivals' political constraints. 
    - who can hurt you?  Humans leverage strategic tools provided by natural selection.  Except for recent situations of state domination,
    Peter Turchin describes how major pre-industrial empires developed due to effects of geographic boundaries constraining the empires and their neighbors' interactions.  Turchin shows how the asymmetries of breeding rates and resource growth rates results in dynamic cycles within cycles.  After the summary of Turchin's book complex adaptive system (CAS) theory is used to augment Turchins findings. 
    warrior aristocracy
    fight duels to maintain honor is a doomsday machine emotional signal, which Pinker explains as an advertisement of the desire to publically avenge even minor trespasses and insults.  .  Males use augmentation to coerce sceptics into accepting natural dominance signals. 
  2. Status is a publically accepted, signal that one possesses assets: wealth, beauty, talent, expertise, access & trust of powerful people; to be able to help others. 
    - who can help you?  Status signalling assets are fungible and encourage
    This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
    network
    formation.   Shrewdness & discretion are valuable attributes of hunter gatherer leaders aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  John Adair developed a leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
    , who can build alliances to help compete against those displaying dominance assets.   Pinker notes leaders of hunter gatherer tribes show off and waste their assets - to demonstrate how vast their assets are, just like the philanthropic wealthy in the first world and animals who use bright colors to highlight they have significant assets, or resemble other animals who do.   Veblen's conspicuous: Leisure, Consumption, Waste; indicate high fashion's support of status signalling.  Bell is Quentin Bell's explanation of the development and dynamics of fashion.  In 'On Human Finery' he demonstrates that only one explanation holds: the rule is Try to look like the people above you; if you're at the top, try to look different from the people below you.  It encapsulates sexual selection's signal of fitness. 
    adds conspicuous outrage which signals confidence of outsize talent, wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.  
    , popularity and connections. 

Friends and acquaintances

Hunter gatherers have evolved the capabilities & strategies to benefit from repeated delayed exchanges of reciprocal altruism benefits another organism at a cost to the behaver.  It is differentiated from kin altruism, by Williams and Trivers, since it can apply between unrelated individuals.  It can be induced by natural selection when there is mutual survival benefit in group activities and cheating can be detected and discouraged.  Humans, leveraging the cognitive niche, can particularly easily, build an evolved amplifier, through sharing information at little cost and significant benefit.  But African savanna hunters similarly gain from sharing large game meat with other un-related altruistic group members since the meat would otherwise spoil before it could be eaten. 
among non-kin.  That will be true as long as the situation repeats, they remember who was given what and they apply a tit-for-tat is a winning iterative Prisoner's Dilemma strategy.  Michigan political scientist Robert Axelrod programmed various proposed strategies into a program performing the Prisoner's Dilemma.  Anatol Rapoport suggested the Tit for Tat strategy where the prisoner starts by cooperating but defects whenever the other prisoner has defected in the prior round.  It is a simple strategy with little cognitive load.  W. D. Hamilton worked with Axelrod adding real-world possibilities to the game situations.  These included: 
  • Signal errors where the prisoner's intent was different to the signal's interpretation: They acted to cooperate but appeared to request defection.  This undermines the Tit for Tat strategy and forces the establishment of trust.  
  • Cost of adding detectors to monitor for signal errors and sham emotions. 
strategy to cope with cheaters.  Reciprocal altruism likely developed because successful hunting of large herbivores generates huge surpluses of food that must be shared broadly before the meat rots is a universal human emotion.  Pinker notes it has its own facial expression and is codified in food taboos.  The mind must be associated with the proximate environment and parents minimize the risk for their omnivorous children by teaching them what foods to eat and what to avoid.  The children's minds are initially receptive to trying all foods but their brains subsequently lock in on the foods they have experienced.  These parental choices are affected by schematic influence on what has been beneficial.  Adolescent's brain developments undermine these constraints enabling intergroup transfers.  Disgust is modulated by the insula cortex which projects signals to the amygdala. 


But Pinker notes that relationships between friends and spouses are not built on reciprocal altruism, which builds unhappy shallow relationships.  Instead similarities, enabling symbiosis is a long term situation between two, or more, different agents where the resources of both are shared for mutual benefit.  Some of the relationships have built remarkable dependencies: Tremblaya's partnership with citrus mealybugs and bacterial DNA residing in the mealybug's genome, Aphids with species of secondary symbiont bacteria deployed sexually from a male aphid sperm reservoir and propagated asexually by female aphids only while their local diet induces a dependency.  If the power relations and opportunities change for the participants then they will adapt and the situation may transform into separation, predation or parasitism. 
, appears to be important.  Real friends stay through hard times which act as tests and proof-points. 

Allies and enemies

Pinker notes that hunter gatherer tribes viciously raid each other endlessly with high casualty and death rates making war a significant selection pressure.  He shows the driver for war is man's attempting to improve his reproductive success by banding together seeking to capture additional women to reproduce with.  Revenge, or vengeance, is a doomsday machine emotion.  In hunter gatherer bands the major constraint on a relative or loved one being murdered was the 'guarantee' of revenge.  Revenge pairs with the emotional signal honor.  It must be advertised and hard to turn off.  Traditional societies incorporate it into legal frameworks as retribution, a legitimate goal of criminal punishment. 
for the impacts of prior raids supports the thirst for war.  And he asserts modern warfare includes rapes and abductions. 
Using evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 
he explains natural selection favors traits that increase fitness on average.  Forming a coalition to capture women:
  • Increases the numbers of offspring carrying genes for war,
  • More than offsets the impacts of deaths of combatants on average for the gene pool.  Indeed the deaths increase the odds of getting an additional wife for the survivors. 
And:
  • Men are more willing to go to war when their group is secure in food, ensuring they can sustain the extra women they capture and children they intend to produce. 
  • Females don't naturally go to war, since their genes gain nothing and they risk death.  So societies find sending women to war disconcerting. 
  • Foragers typically have similar weapons and tactics so numbers are the key to success in war.  Big groups are more successful.  
  • Potential fighters must see there is an equitable distribution of risk and reward.  Certain death should result in desertion of the coalition. 

Humanity

Pinker claims that a large part of our social psychology falls out of a few assumptions about: kin selection, parental investment, reciprocal altruism benefits another organism at a cost to the behaver.  It is differentiated from kin altruism, by Williams and Trivers, since it can apply between unrelated individuals.  It can be induced by natural selection when there is mutual survival benefit in group activities and cheating can be detected and discouraged.  Humans, leveraging the cognitive niche, can particularly easily, build an evolved amplifier, through sharing information at little cost and significant benefit.  But African savanna hunters similarly gain from sharing large game meat with other un-related altruistic group members since the meat would otherwise spoil before it could be eaten. 
and the computational theory of the mind describes the aggregate ideas of: Alan Turing, Alan Newell, Herbert Simon, Marvin Minsky, Hilary Putnam & Jerry Fodor; that beliefs and desires are information, bound through sense organ triggered associations with neuronal or other symbolic representations that once triggered give rise to other symbols and muscular actions generating behaviors.  For Steven Pinker the theory allows behavior to be explained by beliefs and desires and makes the beliefs and desires part of the physical universe.  .  He argues that the mind has many components and accommodates ugly motives AND love, friendship, cooperation, fairness and an ability to predict the consequences of our actions.  Our minds perform a mental tug-of-war about what behavior to adopt. 

Pinker asserts that literacy, knowledge and exchange of ideas undermine the use of exploitation and warfare.  He argues this is enshrined in the use of: Rhetoric, Exposes, Face-saving measures, Contracts, Deterrence, Equal opportunity, Mediation, Courts, Enforceable laws, Monogamy, Limits on economic inequality, Abjuring vengeance etc. 

Meaning of life

Pinker uses Quentin Bell's principle of sartorial morality is Quentin Bell's explanation of the development and dynamics of fashion.  In 'On Human Finery' he demonstrates that only one explanation holds: the rule is Try to look like the people above you; if you're at the top, try to look different from the people below you.  It encapsulates sexual selection's signal of fitness. 
to help understand how the mind allows people to take pleasure in shapes, colors, sounds, jokes, stories and myths.  He argues the mind is a neural computer, fitted by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
with combinatorial algorithms for causal & probabilistic reasoning about plants, animals, objects, and people.  Pinker argues that
Read Montague explores how brains make decisions.  In particular he explains how:
  • Evolution can create indirect abstract models, such as the dopamine system, that allow
  • Life changing real-time decisions to be made, and how
  • Schematic structures provide encodings of computable control structures which operate through and on incomputable, schematically encoded, physically active structures and operationally associated production functions. 
the computer uses goal states that leverage the sensation of pleasure
to move us towards maximized fitness. 

Pleasure is mentally associated with cause & effect.  Both aspects can be amplified to increase the pleasure we feel:
  • Recreational drugs target the pleasure receptors directly
  • Senses take in environmental stimuli that initiate internal signals to the pleasure receptors: Sugary & fatty foods, Pornography, Art;  

Arts & entertainment
These press pleasure buttons from within an illusional frame.  Abstract art includes components which our perceptual analyzers are designed to search for. 


Music

Pinker asks "Why do rhythmic sounds generate pleasure?" Pinker proposes the patterns of intervals music represents become associated with emotional patterns in the mind generated by the inverse acoustics analyzers.  Pinker looks at the mental facets that music can leverage:
  1. Language - Pinker notes it must align: Dylan & Cole Porter play masterfully with this need. 
  2. Auditory scene analysis - Auditory analyzers must build up the natural scene from the jumble of notes that are detected by the ears sensors. 
  3. Emotional calls - music can utilize detectors of: whispers, crying, weeping, moaning, groaning, etc. 
  4. Habitat selection - music can leverage the pleasure generated by detectors for fitness enhancing habitats. 
  5. Motor control - music taps into the motor control of rhythm. 
  6. Resonance to explain the specific nature of rewarding sounds and hence music. 

Fiction and movies

Pinker suggests movies stimulate our mental
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
models
of
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
real world phenomena
.  And it can allow for the pleasure of achieving states which won't be reached in real life.  Or it can allow the experience of an unpredictable real world illusion, or a triumph over tragedy.  He notes their leverage of gossip is an evolved mechanism to enforce: fairness, indirect reciprocity, and avoidance of despotism.  It allows: reality testing, transfer of news, and consensus building; to maintain norms. 
, a strategy to leverage knowledge is power in hunter gatherer clans. 

Novels allow experimentation with aspects of reality and logic through subtle changes introduced by the authors.  Pinker notes the writers' leverage of intelligence enables the achievement of goals in the face of obstacles.  The goals are sub-goals of genes' survival and reproduction and include:
  • Obtaining and eating food
  • Sex
  • Finding and maintaining shelter
  • Fighting for resources - in the preferred hunter gatherer environment loss of resources was critical while possession was often transient. 
  • Understanding the proximate environment
  • Securing the cooperation of others
- goals: are assigned to the protagonist and barriers: Especially other people; to achieving the goals are deployed.  The reader gets to watch what happens and see the strategies and tactics that are used. 


What's so funny

Pinker uses evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 
and Arthur Koestler's analysis of humor to dissect what is occurring.  He notes much humor is designed to undermine dominance, dignity and status.  Pinker notes it is hard to dominate a laughing crowd. 
Pinker notes that the mind reflexively works to make sense of words and gestures.  Limited information and inconclusive details are filled in.  A jester can manipulate the mental machinery to reorient a proposition that resolves some incongruity against the listener's will. 

Humor is an anti-dominance signals the power to hurt a rival.  Maynard Smith & Parker explain that in group situations females compete for food and males compete for females.  Maleness is a huge factor for violence.  Fighting to the death is costly for all participants so instead they indicate:
  • Size and weapons to demonstrate who will win.  Males who are, or look like, better fighters: Large heads, Big men, Height; gain in dominance. 
  • Political acumen to demonstrate they won't be pushed around and have the support of other powerful groups.  Dominant males push other rivals aside and gain interest of females, enabling themselves to replicate more.  Being a signal its authenticity can be challenged and so must be defended to remain credible.  Hotheads leverage the doomsday machine to constrain rational challenges.  Bands and cultures leverage honor.  Youth and lack of resources reduce the power of rivals' political constraints. 
focused poison.  Pinker argues it does not have to be aimed at doing harm.  People want friends who stay with them but no two people are matched in terms of rivalry.  Humor can reduce the inequality and so support the friendship. 

Inquisitive in pursuit of the inconceivable

Western religion is due to
This page discusses the impact of random events which once they occur encourage a particular direction forward for a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
frozen accidents
of European history.  The customs support the leaders aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  John Adair developed a leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
and believers: Food taboos limit fraternizing with outsiders.  Prayer to terrifying & fascinating gods is helpful as a last resort because it violates their ordinary intuitions about the world.  Pinker also notes the 'gods' are modelled on constructs from their own cognitive modules with a property changed to have extra power. 

Pinker's analysis and explanation of the hard problem

Pinker argues that our mind is evolved to cope with certain problems of our past.  He sees no reason why this evolved architecture should be capable of understanding problems that have never presented
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
with an opportunity to capture solutions.  He presumes that cognitive closure is Colin McGinn's theory that the human mind may not be capable of grasping the solution to every problem it can pose for itself.  Steven Pinker asserts this is a necessary consequence of any biological approach to human cognition.   includes the hard problem, which we are not architected to perceive and so we have no insight into sentience

CAS constraints on the mind

Pinker's production machine uses a blackboard metaphor for inter-module communication.  RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio uses Hofstadter & Mitchell's Copycat
This page describes the Copycat Workspace. 
The specialized use of the Workspace by the adaptive web framework's (AWF) Smiley is discussed. 
How text and XML are imported into the Smiley Workspace is described. 
Telomeric aging of schematic structures is introduced. 
The internal data structure used to represent the state of each workspace object is included. 
The Workspace infrastructure functions are included. 
Workspace
in this manner for simulating biochemical operations of
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
genes
and enzymes, a protein with a structure which allows it to operate as a chemical catalyst and a control switch. 
.  But brains are structurally constrained after development is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
through genes defining where neurons, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
will deploy, relative to other neurons and the glia, so the blackboard analogy seems stretched.  A geographically distributed organization: cotton merchant exchange; using physical addresses: Liverpool Manchester New York Baltimore etc., to direct communications based on signals: ships, and locally stored representations of shared conventions: Broker's standardized product descriptions; would seem to be a helpful analog for thinking about the brain's architectural constraints and operating model.  A neural analog could include:

The development phase enables
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
systems to intialize.  RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio shows how
This page describes the Adaptive Web framework (AWF) test system and the agent programming framework (Smiley) that supports its operation. 
Example test system statements are included.  To begin a test a test statement is loaded into Smiley while Smiley executes on the Perl interpreter. 
Part of Smiley's Perl code focused on setting up the infrastructure is included bellow. 
The setup includes:
  • Loading the 'Meta file' specification,
  • Initializing the Slipnet, and Workspaces and loading them
  • So that the Coderack can be called. 
The Coderack, which is the focus of a separate page of the Perl frame then schedules and runs the codelets that are invoked by the test statement structures. 
Smiley
can use development Workspaces to control and initialize operations.  Sapolsky notes how human adolescence in humans supports the transition from a juvenile configuration, dependent on parents and structured to learn & logistically transform, to adult optimized to the proximate environment.  And it is staged encouraging the adolescents to escape the hierarchy they grew up in and enter other groups where they may bring in: fresh ideas, risk taking; and alter the existing hierarchy: Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates & Paul Allen.  It marks the beginning of Piaget's formal operational stage of cognitive development.  The limbic, autonomic and hormone networks are already deployed and functioning effectively.  The frontal cortex has to be pruned: winning neurons move to their final highly connected positions, and are myelinated over time.  The rest dissolve.  So the frontal lobe does not obtain its adult configuration and networked integration until the mid-twenties when prefrontal cortex control becomes optimal.  The evolutionarily oldest areas of the frontal cortex mature first.  The PFC must be iteratively customized by experience to do the right thing as an adult.  Adolescents:
  • Don't detect irony effectively.  They depend on the DMPFC to do this, unlike adults who leverage the fusiform face area.  
  • Regulate emotions with the ventral striatum while the prefrontal cortex is still being setup.  Dopamine projection density and signalling increase from the ventral tegmentum catalyzing increased interest in dopamine based rewards.  Novelty seeking allows for creative exploration which was necessary to move beyond the familial pack.  Criticisms do not get incorporated into learning models by adolescents leaving their risk assessments very poor.  The target of the dopamine networks, the adolescent accumbens, responds to rewards like a gyrating top - hugely to large rewards, and negatively to small rewards.  Eventually as the frontal regions increase in contribution there are steady improvements in: working memory, flexible rule use, executive organization and task shifting.  And adolescents start to see other people's perspective. 
  • Drive the cellular transformations with post-pubescent high levels of testosterone in males, and high but fluctuating estrogen & progesterone levels in females.  Blood flow to the frontal cortex is also diverted on occasion to the groin.  
  • Peer pressure is exceptionally influential in adolescents.  Admired peer comments reduce vmPFC activity and enhance ventral striatal activity.  Adults modulate the mental impact of socially mean treatment: the initial activation of the PAG, anterior cingulate, amygdala, insula cortex; which generate feelings of pain, anger, and disgust, with the VLPFC but that does not occur in adolescents.  
  • Feel empathy intensely, supported by their rampant emotions, interest in novelty, ego.  But feeling the pain of others can induce self-oriented avoidance of the situations. 
encourages: risk taking, exploring, influence from peer groups;

While the literal process of
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
meme
copying appears suspiciously Lamarckian, Dehaene
Reading and writing present a conundrum.  The reader's brain contains neural networks tuned to reading.  With imaging a written word can be followed as it progresses from the retina through a functional chain that asks: Are these letters? What do they look like? Are they a word? What does it sound like? How is it pronounced? What does it mean?  Dehaene explains the importance of education in tuning the brain's networks for reading as well as good strategies for teaching reading and countering dyslexia.  But he notes the reading networks developed far too recently to have directly evolved.  And Dehaene asks why humans are unique in developing reading and culture. 

He explains the cultural engineering that shaped writing to human vision and the exaptations and neuronal structures that enable and constrain reading and culture. 

Dehaene's arguments show how cellular, whole animal and cultural complex adaptive system (CAS) are related.  We review his explanations in CAS terms and use his insights to link cultural CAS that emerged based on reading and writing with other levels of CAS from which they emerge. 

explains
how the memetic replication process can conform to the constraints of natural selection. 

The invariant elements of the representational mosaic constrain the computational model Pinker is developing. 

Pinker reflects on the implications of the top-down connections to the mosaic neurons.  RSS views 'downloading' as architecturally misleading.  In a system based on physical addressing the requirement is for:

Today there is a key conflict between the intuitive 'folk knowledge' strategies provided to us by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
, that reflect our conquest of the African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted.  Clumps of trees & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 
, and the collection of self-reinforcing academic research built up over the last two hundred years.  Pinker shows we are constructed to leverage and promote our beliefs and position, downplaying any incompatibility with the physical reality of the gross environment.  This presents us with a significant dilemma.  We now have the tools and infrastructure to do better.  Facilities which are also powerful enough to undermine the complex system that has sustained us so far.  Dorner
Dietrich Dorner argues complex adaptive systems (CAS) are hard to understand and manage.  He provides examples of how this feature of these systems can have disastrous consequences for their human managers.  Dorner suggests this is due to CAS properties psychological impact on our otherwise successful mental strategic toolkit.  To prepare to more effectively manage CAS, Dorner recommends use of:
  • Effective iterative planning and
  • Practice with complex scenario simulations; tools which he reviews.   
illustrates
how our tailored mind struggles to comprehend today's complex situation. 

An architecture for integration of emotion with rule based decision making is discussed in detail by Sapolsky

Emergent goals are
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic tags
associated with clusters of strategies that have been collected together by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection


Pinker's discussion of war is in line with Mary Beard's arguments for Rome's initial successes in SPQR: the ability to deliver more warriors is the key.  Pinker concludes his discussion of war with an assertion about our humanity: humanity in the 20th century saw the results of global conflict and woke up to find other alternatives.  Knowledge, literacy and exchange of ideas are judged key pacifiers.  
But his psychology focused approach ignores the
Peter Turchin describes how major pre-industrial empires developed due to effects of geographic boundaries constraining the empires and their neighbors' interactions.  Turchin shows how the asymmetries of breeding rates and resource growth rates results in dynamic cycles within cycles.  After the summary of Turchin's book complex adaptive system (CAS) theory is used to augment Turchins findings. 
cliodynamics
of our situation: Metaethnic boundaries between Europe and the Middle East and Africa are generating war inducing asymmetries, The green revolution which has driven up the populations of Middle Eastern and African nations exponentially, while Western Europe demonstrates: Great wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.  
, Escalating inequality and
This page reviews Christensen's disruption of a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism is discussed with examples from biology and business. 
disruption
undermining cohesion and limited investment in its small military; Distribution through the
Sven Beckert describes the historic transformation of the growing, spinning, weaving, manufacture of cotton goods and their trade over time.  He describes the rise of a first global commodity, its dependence on increasing: military power, returns for the control points in the value delivery system(VDS), availability of land and labor to work it including slaves. 

He explains how cotton offered the opportunity for industrialization further amplifying the productive capacity of the VDS and the power of the control points.  This VDS was quickly copied.  The increased capacity of the industrialized cotton complex adaptive system (CAS) required more labor to operate the machines.  Beckert describes the innovative introduction of wages and the ways found to mobilize industrial labor. 

Beckert describes the characteristics of the industrial cotton CAS which made it flexible enough to become globally interconnected.  Slavery made the production system so cost effective that all prior structures collapsed as they interconnected.  So when the US civil war blocked access to the major production nodes in the American Deep South the CAS began adapting. 

Beckert describes the global reconstruction that occurred and the resulting destruction of the traditional ways of life in the global countryside.  This colonial expansion further enriched and empowered the 'western' nation states.  Beckert explains how other countries responded by copying the colonial strategies and creating the opportunities for future armed conflict among the original colonialists and the new upstarts. 

Completing the adaptive shifts Beckert describes the advocates for industrialization in the colonized global south and how over time they joined the global cotton CAS disrupting the early western manufacturing nodes and creating the current global CAS dominated by merchants like Walmart pulling goods through a network of clothing manufacturers, spinning and weaving factories, and growers competing with each other on cost. 

Following our summary of Beckert's book, RSS comments from the perspective of CAS theory.  The transformation of disconnected peasant farmers, pastoral warriors and their lands into a supply chain for a highly profitable industrial CAS required the development over time: of military force, global transportation and communication networks, perception and representation control networks, capital stores and flows, models, rules, standards and markets; along with the support at key points of: barriers, disruption, and infrastructure and evolved amplifiers.  The emergent system demonstrates the powerful constraining influence of extended phenotypic alignment. 

global commercial network
, Reduced prioritization of the high risk traps of our grandfathers: Dangers of collapsed states, Extremism; The additional pressure of
E. O. Wilson reviews the effect of man on the natural world to date and explains how the two systems can coexist most effectively. 
climate change and resource bottlenecks
; resulting in heightened likelihood of conflict.  

Pinker's use of
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
's history oriented focus to force the hard problem into an aspect of cognitive closure seems overly constrained.  Bodanis's description of Einstein's genius for modeling situations far outside the bounds of natural selection: Travel at the speed of light, Special and General relativity; and using the resulting insights to transform abstract physical laws provides a compelling alternate vision.  We see Pinker's neural computer with multiple frames of reference oriented around a cyclopean eye is the ability to see shapes in stereo that neither eye's visual data can represent in mono. 
as helping to close the explanatory gap
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
Emergent
representations
This page discusses the interdependence of perception and representation in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Hofstadter and Mitchell's research with Copycat is reviewed. 
can be iteratively built from low level percepts
 allowing
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination.  The nature of the operations is described. 
genetic operators
to add new alternatives and drop, or deprioritize old ones as long as the addressing scheme remains consistent.  To represent a mind with the Copycat architecture it must be possible to show that
This page describes the Copycat Workspace. 
The specialized use of the Workspace by the adaptive web framework's (AWF) Smiley is discussed. 
How text and XML are imported into the Smiley Workspace is described. 
Telomeric aging of schematic structures is introduced. 
The internal data structure used to represent the state of each workspace object is included. 
The Workspace infrastructure functions are included. 
Workspace
percepts can be built with neural circuits, a network of interconnected neurons which perform signalling, modeling and control functions.  In Cajal's basic neural circuits the signalling is unidirectional.  He identified three classes of neurons in the circuits:
  • Sensory, Interneurons, Motor; which are biochemically distinct and suffer different disease states. 


How the mind works is a complicated book highlighting key details of our psychology and framing them with the computational theory of the mind describes the aggregate ideas of: Alan Turing, Alan Newell, Herbert Simon, Marvin Minsky, Hilary Putnam & Jerry Fodor; that beliefs and desires are information, bound through sense organ triggered associations with neuronal or other symbolic representations that once triggered give rise to other symbols and muscular actions generating behaviors.  For Steven Pinker the theory allows behavior to be explained by beliefs and desires and makes the beliefs and desires part of the physical universe.   and evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 







































































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This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
Strategy
| Design |
This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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