Concept Experience 1

I love basketball and have been very excited for the NBA Finals Game 4. As such, I decided that this would be a very natural place for me to start and began browsing through Bleacher Report, which is one of my favorite sites. When I looked at the home page, expecting to look for pre-game analysis, I was drawn in by a picture of one of my favorite current players, Kevin Durant. He apparently settled a dispute between rapper, The Game. I perused the article, which spoke of TMZ reporting the dispute before finding out all the details. I generally avoid the gossip TMZ  reports, so hit the back key and decided to read manga instead. This came to mind because most releases are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and NBA Finals are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The day after the games, I usually feel the need to splurge on basketball banter. I usually don’t realize what day it is until I start reading about basketball.  I normally read manga to pass the time, so when I was done I was bored. Only when I’m bored do I remember my favorite site to waste time, Cracked.com. The articles I find on Cracked are as random as my thoughts seem to be at times.

Eventually I ended on an article titled “Six Unexpected Things I Learned From Being a Drug Dealer.” Most of the surprises and associations to Bush’s “As We May Think” came from this article, which in itself surprises me. It spoke of things like how we were raised to associate a certain stereotype to drug dealers and how they look and act, or even why they are doing it. What stood out to me the most is how the author said it is this very illusion that we are taught to associate with drugs and drug dealers as young children through programs like D.A.R.E. is what leads some to try it. When propaganda says that all drugs are very harmful and dangerous and will ruin your life, then kids make that association. However, when they grow up and meet someone who does drugs and seems to be functioning in life, the association breaks and due to feeling lied to, the person removes all those associations. For example, if John Doe uses marijuana and gets straight A’s, is it really as dangerous as I think? And if that is a lie, what else did all those anti-drug programs lie about?

I realized that this is not just an issue with stereotypes of drug dealers but the way that association of the mind works. It is forever creating, modifying, and deleting links as new information is processed. When you are a kid, you might associate the opposite sex with cooties. I know I did. At what point did my association change girls from gross, possibly diseased beings to desirable, beautiful beings?  The memex abstract idea Bush speaks of, that models human selection through association seemed even more futuristic, if not impossible than it did when I first considered. From basketball, through Japanese culture in manga to a random article about the realities of drug dealers, there were so many thoughts and trails that I decided not to pursue. I feel as if the human mind might be to abstract to effectively model.

6 thoughts on “Concept Experience 1”

  1. I just read “Six Unexpected Things I Learned From Being a Drug Dealer” and it wasn’t anything really surprising to me. But stereotypes in society amaze me constantly. I have a friend who has dreadlocks (and does not smoke weed) but constantly gets asked if she has any, or where people can find some. That’s pretty mundane, but what about when those stereotypes are damaging to the person?
    Also I entirely agree that the human mind is too abstract to model, I cannot imagine the code you would need for that. Especially because computer codes tend to work linearly, thought processes similar to ours would be tough to make.

    1. flyzilla1, anisakannan : You made some interesting statements about how the mind works which are worth pondering much more deeply.

      “[The mind] is forever creating, modifying, and deleting links as new information is processed. ” Is it? Or is “Add” the only operation? Are links ever really changed or truly removed? Why do you think so? [What really happens when we forget? Note that often we remember again later. Sometimes forgetting is merely a temporary inability to find or follow an associative link…]

      “I feel as if the human mind might be too abstract to effectively model.” Is it? Is “abstract” really what you mean or the right word to use? What specifically makes the human mind hard to model effectively?

      “I cannot imagine the code you would need for that.” Perhaps. But does that matter? Are there other people who CAN imagine and build that code, and thereby model the mind?

      “Especially because computer codes tend to work linearly, thought processes similar to ours would be tough to make.” OK, it’s tough, but perhaps not impossible. What kind of non-linear (or perhaps parallel) codes would be needed or appropriate to use?

      Many people have considered and written about how to model the mind. See for instance http://www.fourmilab.ch/fourmilog/archives/2014-02/001497.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_the_Mind_Works, and http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Fodor_00.html. A significant portion of the field of Artificial Intelligence is concerned with creating machines which think, and there has been much effort spent on analyzing how humans think in order to duplicate or mimic that process. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence, especially the sentence beginning “The field was founded…”

    2. The truly weird thing is that “the human mind is too abstract to model” is itself a kind of a model. This paradox reminds me of interesting debates in the Renaissance about whether human beings are finite or not. If we were truly finite, the argument goes, we wouldn’t have a word for “finite.” It would just be .

      Fascinating Jedi mind tricks here. My favorite is probably ” Most of the surprises and associations to Bush’s “As We May Think” came from this article, which in itself surprises me. ”

      If you’ve never Googled the word “recursion,” this is a good time to try it.

      Kudos.

  2. Love how you avoided the gossip article, and were able to find such an interesting article about drug dealers that simultaneously led to Bush’s article “As We May Think”. Very interesting connection to Bush’s “associations” and the memix abstract idea. You took his concepts and explained them through personal experience, which added a relatable security. I also agree that our brains are not fit to be modeled, nor should they.

  3. I agree with this completely! Our brains are not fit to be modeled in any sort of way however wouldn’t modeling our brains and how they truly work enhance our knowledge and lead to more discoveries in the future?

    1. It’s so hard to not read gossip, good job swerving that. I find myself reading some headline about a Kardashian scandal every time I stand in line at the grocery store. Your association went from basketball, gossip, basketball, to drug dealers. This seems like a likely enough association pattern for society.
      I especially enjoyed your last paragraph.
      “I realized that this is not just an issue with stereotypes of drug dealers but the way that association of the mind works. It is forever creating, modifying, and deleting links as new information is processed.”
      It’s very interesting that you say there is an issue in how the mind works and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts to see if you further develop this idea.

Leave a Reply to melikazand Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.