The Artificial Stupidity project aims to try and model human irrationality.
It is clear, to me, that all thought is motivated by goals. All goals are projections in time. A goal cannot exist without time … because a goal is something that is satisfied in the future .. so time is always implied. And so thought, at its core, concerns time. I think it would be fair to say that all thoughts involve ‘judgeing’. It might even be fair to say that all thoughts *are* a judgement. The judgement is done to test if one is moving closer to whatever goal is occupying the thought.
But I dont think that goals exist in some bank somewhere in the head. I’m getting the feeling that the goal is actually expressed only in the judgement. In other words, all there is in thought is just judgements about things.
The stupidity arrises when one judges oneself. As expressed above, within that judgement is expressed the notion of a goal. If I judge myself it means I am seeing if I fit some notion of what I think I should be… this is the goal: what I think I should be. I am not successful, and so I must become more successful. Am I successful? no, I must work harder to be successful. I must become something. I must become better, become more respected, become more patient, become more passionate. I must become a better public speaker. John is a good public speaker. I am not a very good public speaker compared to John, I must become a better public speaker. I must become more respected. When I spoke to Peter yesterday, I got the impression he didn’t respect me. Maybe if I did this that and the other then maybe Peter would respect me more. Yes I can see that if I did this and that, then Peter will respect me more, that makes me feel better. I must become more respected.
I’m postulating that it is this constant judgement of the self that flicks the switch between 2 people being involved in a dialectic to being involved in a debate. The debater wishes to convince the other of his own opinion, because that would affirm his stance, he would become more knowledgable and respected if he could demonstrate himself to be right. BUT … and this is the killer … the debater isn’t really aware of this. The action of judging one’s self is so insipid and tacit, so close to the structure of thought, that the debater only sees himself having a discussion. His mind is so filled with the clutching for reasons that can prove him right that he doesn’t see that he is motivated by unrelated goals of becoming. That’s the irrationality … that’s the stupidity … its the perverseness of an incessant underlying desire to become something better.
I find this pattern gets stronger as you get older. Or, perhaps, one just becomes more aware of it.
What isn’t clear… what still escapes me is why this incessant judgement of the self should be wrong … and how did the wrongness come about. I have it under good authority that this structure is erroneous, that this pattern is a mistake, that what is happening is that an order is being misapplied. The order of thought –which is very useful in working out what time I should leave home to catch a train that will get me to work on time– somehow becomes cancerous when applied to the self. I dont understand how that could be. I must understand that, I must become more understanding of how thought’s order goes haywire when applied to the self. aaargh.
I suspect that there is something fundamental, about the structure of thought, that causes immediate and incessant judgements about something when that something is identified and delineated. But I dont see that. I’m just speculating. My instinct is that whatever it is .. its very simple and will be expressible in code.