Can a computer program model the internal switch?

Here, I am attempting to understand human thought by trying to work out how one could imitate human thought through a programative language.

First, please read the previous post.

I’ll have a go at answering the question I raise in that previous post.

When discussing a topic with an other, if a person has a ‘need’ for a specific conclusion to be true, then they will draw that conclusion irrespective of evidence or logic to the contrary. Two things will then happen:

  1. they will not be conscious that they have drawn that conclusion irrationally
  2. they will have a need to defend that conclusion quite rigourously

I state the above two points through observations of my own thought patterns. And I want to know why it occurs like that. I will try to cast that pattern into the thinking of a computer.

How or why would a computer decide that it needs 2+2 to equal 5?

Peter Pumpkin walks up to the computer and says … “hey computer, what’s 2+2?”

The computer then says to itself: “is 2+2 a question for which I have a need for a particular answer? If yes then respond with the answer needed… otherwise work out what 2+2 equals”

Computer responds to Peter Pumpkin and says “2+2 = 5”

Peter Pumpkin, aghast, says “no its not! its 4!”

At this point, the computer goes into an infinite loop … looking for other arguments that support his conclusion that 2+2 = 5. The interesting thing is that there is a conditional statement in the search for other arguments. It goes something like this:

all_other_evidence_on_the_answer_of_2+2.each { |evidence|
    if (evidence does not support that 2+2 = 5) then reject
    otherwise accept it
}

In other words, the irrationality is pervasive. Its more than pervasive … it acts *prior* to rational thought. Irrationality acts prior to rational thought. How does that work? Does that mean that need-driven thought runs in a higher priority thread?

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7 Responses to Can a computer program model the internal switch?

  1. Bogus Name says:

    You appear to be seeking to model irrational thought using a programative language. This does not look like a winner.

    Regards,
    Martin

  2. Jason says:

    1. Your enumeration (the code bit) doesn’t look like an infinite loop to me, but it would depend on the details.

    2. Modelling irrational thought using a programative language (if that means the same as programming language) is very much a winner. See e.g. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-paraconsistent.

    Jason

    • Hi Jason,

      Yes that code is not an infinite loop. I was thinking more that human thought goes into an infinite loop … not like a computer does, but just in the sense that there is a permanent need to justify the irrational thought. Have to find some way to model that programatically.

      I find that page difficult to read! There are echoes, if I understand right, in Belief Revision and in other parts of it. I’m not sure I have fully grasped the meanings. What I am thinking is that someone might be faced with a proof that contradicts what they believe, but their brain will actively refuse to process that proof particularly if it ‘suspects’ that the processing will lead to the contradiction of the belief. So its a form of non-explosion in the face of contradiction but the reason for the non-explosion is because the contradiction has been refused entry … so to speak.

  3. Bogus Name says:

    Paraconsistent logic merely captures systems that are inconsistent. This is not the same as irrational.

  4. perfect! …. is this a dialectic or a debate?

    If its a dialectic, then we are interested in the truth and through discussion we should all be able to reach the same conclusion.

    Otherwise it is a debate …

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