Suppose an alien architect has invented a radically new way to go from one room to another…We would never recognize it as a door…All its physical details are wrong.
Sending signal-signs1 to steer engines of compute, the wheel does no work.
What is that strange possession that stays the same throughout its life?
How can it be that complex, dynamic objects can be described by short and simple strings and words?
We often have sound practical reasons for making choices that have no reasons by themselves but have effects on larger scales.
Regarding a resource – dataset, model, tool, standard, agent, etc. – as a single thing can be helpful: in allocating physical space, in dealing with privacy and responsibility, in de-confusing mental activity.
It does not help for you to think that inside yourself lies someone else who does your work.
Some questions may be pursued circularly, where for example you cannot find a final cause – you must ask, What caused that cause?
We often seek to “straighten out” a maze-like, loop-containing situation. We try to find a “path” through “causal” explanations that go in only one direction.
Punch and Judy, to their audience: Our puppet strings are hard to see, So we perceive ourselves as free, Convinced that no mere objects could Behave in terms of bad or good.
Without enduring self-ideals, our [research] would lack coherence. As individuals, we’d never be able to trust ourselves to carry out our [protocols].
A principled system has predictable relationships between its modules, whereas an adaptable system has sparse and flexible relationships between its modules.
There are two fundamental approaches to indirect control in code.1
If self-control were easy, we might end up accomplishing nothing at all.
To understand what we call the Self, we first must see what Selves are for.
The art of a great painting is not in any one idea, nor in a multitude of separate tricks for placing all those pigment spots, but in the great network of relationships among its parts.
Is a self a centralized entity? Is it a society that includes both images of what is (“data”) and ideals about what ought to be (“schema”)?
One must not mistake defining things for knowing what they are.
Pain can simplify point of view. When you’re in pain, it’s hard to think of anything else.
Let’s say that the urges of the Play process compete with those of other processes, like Sleep:
In a hierarchy, each agent only acts on behalf of one other agent:
Designing any society, be it human or computational, involves decisions like these:
The longer an internal conflict persists among an agent’s subordinates, the weaker becomes that agent’s status among its own competitors.
Many children not only like to build, they also like to knock things down – to hear the complicated noises and watch so many things move at once.
Are people machines? “Everyone knows that machines can behave only in lifeless, mechanical ways.
In general, we’re least aware of what our minds do best.
What keeps a mouse contained in a box? It is the way a box prevents motion in all directions.
We’re often told that certain wholes are “more than the sum of their parts.
Some like to focus on the new. They like to invent theories.
An agent like Builder is not merely a collection of parts like Find, Get, Put, and all the rest.
It is the nature of the mind that makes individuals kin, and the differences in the shape, form, or manner of the material atoms out of whose intricate relationships that mind is built are altogether trivial.
We want to explain complicated things as a combination of simpler things.
We found a way to make a tower builder out of parts.
Imagine a child playing with blocks. Imagine the child’s mind contains a host of smaller minds - “agents”.
For a method, a protocol, thought about and done by you, what’s a “you”?
How could solid-seeming computer hardware support such a ghostly thing as research progress?
To explain a FAIR research platform, we have to show how they are built from mindless stuff, smaller and simpler than anything we’d consider smart.
How do FAIR data resources work? How can you build a FAIR resource from many little parts, each non-FAIR by itself?