[-empyre-] Welcome to May: Boredom: Labor, Use and Time
muratnn at gmail.com
Tue May 12 09:45:52 AEST 2015
Your predictive models are are built, as far as I can see, on statistical
analyses which is perfectly fine as far as practical applications are
concerned, for instance creating artificial intelligence that solves
problems or what products a specific group of persons will purchase. In
other words, the model may be very useful if control or economic production
is concerned. But I am after something else --possibly, as you say, veering
off topic. My issues are metaphysical or poetical
For instance, relating to the issue of pornography here. The discussion, it
seems to me, is focused on pornography as an object, how it is constructed,
what aspects of it creates boredom, etc. I think pornographic product is
relatively simple and by itself not quite interesting. What makes it a
potent form is the experience of watching it. What is happening in the
watcher's mind that makes the experience of a simple, repetitive, often
mechanical form so alluring? I think not enough attention is paid to this
point here. That was the reason of my focus on "dardreaming" as a "contra"
On Mon, May 11, 2015 at 6:13 PM, B. Bogart <ben at ekran.org> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hello Murat,
> I would define predictability as the ability to narrow the infinity of
> potential occurrences to a smaller number by learning what contexts tend
> to lead to what kinds of events. Abstraction (as defined in an earlier
> message) defines the level of flexibility of a representation
> (emphasizing a category over an individual instance entails
> abstraction). We may not be able to predict exactly what will happen,
> but we can narrow the possibilities to what is likely to happen.
> Even though I do argue for mind wandering as a result of learned
> predictions, that does not necessarily mean that the resulting mind
> wandering itself is predictable. In the computational implementation I
> wrote for the PhD, the predictive model uses feedback to predict itself
> (output -> input). The error inherent in any predictive model tend to
> accumulate due to the feedback, and thus the predictive chain may
> diverge significantly from the initial context. In short, mind wandering
> itself can still be unpredictable, even when it is dependent on learned
> I don't follow your points on cause and effect:
> > Yes, _once the mind has wandered_ to a certain place, one maybe can
> > explain why it has done so. But the explanation occurs after the
> > occuring, not before. One may say that the effect
> > precedes/makes/conceives the cause.
> I think we could easily veering off topic discussing the fine details of
> conceiving mind wandering as simulation informed by predictions learned
> from external stimuli.
> On 15-05-11 11:53 AM, Murat Nemet-Nejat wrote:
> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> > "I would say that all learned behaviour is predictable behaviour,
> > and thus most behaviour is actually predictable (again at some level
> > of abstraction). Mind wandering is an escape from the predictability
> > of external reality, rather than an escape from one's own
> > predictable behaviour. I may go so far to say that by our ability to
> > internalize learned behaviours our minds are most often already
> > disengaged from our predictable behaviours. The predictability of
> > these behaviours means we do not need to (constantly) consciously
> > invest in them. e.g. walking is a predictable behaviour that rarely
> > requires conscious intervention."
> > Ben, once you extend the idea of predictability (in the sense of the
> > directions of the mind's wandering--like a bumble bee), the concept
> > of predictability becomes almost meaningless. What does "at some
> > level of abstraction" mean? Yes, _once the mind has wandered_ to a
> > certain place, one maybe can explain why it has done so. But the
> > explanation occurs after the occuring, not before. One may say that
> > the effect precedes/makes/conceives the cause. A similar thing occurs
> > in the development of the meanings of words etymologically, as in an
> > etymological dictionary. Very often one can see how an old meaning
> > jumped metaphorically or by accident or by mishearing, by
> > happenstance, etc. to gain the new meaning. _But one can not predict
> > it before it happens._ The inherent potentialities of meanings in a
> > given word is basically infinite--as wide as the mind's ability to
> > imagine or, _as importantly_, make mistakes. The situation is
> > somewhat similar to the position of particles of light before they
> > cross a screen, where _each_ will land on the other side. Words are
> > significant in our discussions here because they are closest physical
> > reflectors of human thought human has.
> > Ben, I think the idea of "cause" (a trace of Newtonian physics) may
> > lead one to all sorts of cul-de-sacs. Am I misunderstanding what you
> > are saying.
> > Because of my focus on this inherent openness the mind may have that
> > I doubt whether boredom _(assuming it is related to repetition of
> > looped behavior) _can co-exist with pornography as a pleasurable
> > experience. As I suggested in my last post, transgression (breaking
> > of totemic or social rules) is the power center of pornography. To
> > the extent to a film becomes mechanical, repetitive, the
> > viewer's/reader's mind may join with it if it reinforces this
> > expectation (as may happen in a de Sade text or an authentically
> > amateur (clumsily shot, gauchely acted out, etc.?) film or the mind
> > may wander from it (if it doesn't turn the film off) into its own
> > fantasy.
> > Ciao, Murat
> > On Mon, May 11, 2015 at 2:12 PM, B. Bogart <ben at ekran.org
> > <mailto:ben at ekran.org>> wrote:
> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space---------------------- Hello
> > Murat, (and Emilie)
> > You ask:
> >> Ben, on what basis are you assuming daydreaming is (always?)
> >> "informed by predictive models of reality." What makes you say
> >> that? The assumption seems arbitrary (or an apriori assumption) to
> >> me.
> > This is the basis of my PhD. The most complete description of the
> > argument is available in this unpublished paper:
> Note, the theory has not been empirically validated.
> > In my thinking, prediction is central to perception. We constrain
> > recognition by learning contexts in which certain stimuli are likely
> > to occur. Would you argue that perception is a task? I would
> > certainly argue that perception is augmented by the particular goals
> > in play at a time, but that does not necessarily mean that all
> > perception is task-oriented.
> > You go on to write that it could be argued that "daydreaming is a
> > mental act that tries to escape predictive behavior or task driven
> > behavior."
> > I would say that all learned behaviour is predictable behaviour, and
> > thus most behaviour is actually predictable (again at some level of
> > abstraction). Mind wandering is an escape from the predictability of
> > external reality, rather than an escape from one's own predictable
> > behaviour. I may go so far to say that by our ability to internalize
> > learned behaviours our minds are most often already disengaged from
> > our predictable behaviours. The predictability of these behaviours
> > means we do not need to (constantly) consciously invest in them.
> > e.g. walking is a predictable behaviour that rarely requires
> > conscious intervention.
> > You further write:
> >> In that way, in daydreaming the mind is never bored. Boredom sets
> >> in when daydreaming ceases. May not daydreaming be an alternate
> >> mode of focus, the mind's rebellion so to speak, contra
> >> "organized" stimuli?"
> > One of the interesting things about mind wandering, is that it's
> > difficult to realize we are doing it. In fact, some studies have
> > shown the Default Network is most engaged when we are not aware of
> > mind wandering, but in fact are absolutely not attending to external
> > stimulus. In short, we are often mind wandering without realizing we
> > are mind wandering. This is because the areas of the brain that allow
> > us to reflect on our own states of mind (parts of the prefrontal
> > cortex) are diminished in mind wandering (and dreaming). All this to
> > say that I think it's unlikely that boredom would not involve mind
> > wandering, it's more likely we don't realize how pervasive mind
> > wandering is.
> > I'm trying to get my head around what a non-task oriented, not mind
> > wandering, boring mind-state could be. Perhaps deep meditation could
> > be a state of mind that is neither task positive nor negative? Any
> > thoughts on this Emilie? Is meditation a task oriented activity? I
> > would expect that the suppression of mind wandering would require a
> > lot of mental control, the same kind of control used in task-oriented
> > behaviour.
> > Mind wandering could certainly be considered a rebellion where the
> > internal asserts itself over the external. Could you elaborate on
> > what you mean by "contra 'organized' stimuli?"
> > Regards, B. _______________________________________________ empyre
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