thinking

published

I was standing in the shower this morning, letting my mind wander. For some reason, I started thinking about this guy I used to work with a couple years ago. I can’t for the life of me remember what his name is. I was thinking about him because I had a dream about old people…

You see, this former co-worker of mine used to always refer to older people as “more experienced.” The first time I heard him say “the more experienced gentleman in aisle three needs some help,” I had no choice but to stand there and look blankly at him. I had simply never heard of that euphemism before.

The other thing I remember about this former co-worker is that his favorite alcoholic shot was something called a “Gorilla Fart.” I have no clue what that is, but it sounds distressing. From there, my thoughts wandered to a place called “Howl at the Moon Saloon” here in Columbus. Some months ago I was there, and witnessed my friend do a shot called “Deer Sperm.” Again, I have no clue what the contents of this beverage are, but it does not sound appealing.

As I stepped out of the shower, and on to the cold linoleum floor, my mind kept going. Thinking of the Howl at the Moon Saloon got me thinking about my favorite local watering hole: The Counterfeit Heist. This establishment will always remind me of a warm summer night this year in which I observed to my friends that the name contained two words which violated the “I before E” rule. It was also this night that Elfboy introduced me to the second part of that rule: “Except in A as in Neighbor and Weigh.”

While dressing, I got to thinking about the way our minds work. I read a book many years ago about artificial intelligence research. One of the leading approaches was to use “frames” in which you lump all appropriate and related information. Let’s say you have a frame called color - in this frame would be things like hue, saturation, luminosity, shade, color wheels, etc etc.

It strikes me that the far better - and more closely “natural” - approach would be to have every piece of unique information linked in some way to other bits of information. Much like the World Wide Web, with its system of interconnected hyperlinks, each piece of memory would be connected by logical (or illogical!) means to all related material. Just look at my thought process this morning. By making (semi-)logical connections between bits of information, one can easily traverse bizarre ideas quickly.

The big problem with frames is that they do not properly account for corrolary, or related items within the frame. In our color example above, the frame would become excessively large if it were to include all color-related items - for example, the specific house that I am reminded of when I think of the color purple; or the cold biting wind of a winter morning when I think about white. Further, frames are not at all appropriate for making logical jumps. There’s no way that a frame-based representation of mentality would allow me to go from thinking about a former co-worker to thinking about Artificial Intelligence schemes.


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