A TTBD Fan Glossary

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« on: December 04, 2013, 12:54:37 pm »
So with the imminent release of Through the Brain Darkly - this is strictly a guess and a hope and baseless of any corroboration by the authors or their representation - I've been working on collecting and recompiling a number of terms that Bakker uses in the papers and posts which will constitute the bulk content of Bakker's first non-fiction work. This is a teaser.

Truth is, I've been working on this since midsummer but hey, it's been an intense year.

My aim was/is to satisfy the sparse cries for an explanation of terms echoing round TPB, Westeros, and here. Obviously, I neither feel capable nor coherent enough to tackle such a prodigiously intelligent and prolific writer but I figure if I can facilitate any one of us in sharpening our perspectives of BBT/BBH then there might be more of us to make informed decisions in the future when those who inevitable use this knowledge for power attempt to do so. Also, it is intra-referentially heavy so as to showcase the interlocking parts and how the individual definitions inform the body as a whole. It should be that every bolding in my definitions is another of Bakker's terms (whether I've finished it and it's here is another question).

These are a rough few I've "completed" so far. I've found thirty-one, twenty-nine of which aren't really tied to existing analogues in the literatures I'm familiar with. It is an ongoing work and process (obviously one Mellamphy is engaging in while "transcribing" Bakker's work to book form) and I invite everyone to get involved and get excited (if to do nothing else than support your favorite author by harkening the end of the world ;)).

Medial vs. Lateral & Recursive Systems are the set pieces and also the ones I feel least sure about. They seem to inform everything else. I finished Sufficiency and RS right now. Also, where prior notation exists, Bakker isn't necessarily using it the same (for instance, in neurobiology, medial and lateral specifically simply inform the brain's compass by which specific neurons can be generally noted - they are location notation, whereas here they don't have correlates in biology yet). And I tried to make the entries jargon heavy and the breakdown simple (obviously, this is where my interpretation is bound to be in most error).

Through the Brain Darkly Fan Glossary:

Positioning Problem:

The Recursive System(s) (RS) hypothesized to integrate closed, rather than process open information, generating consciousness is itself physically (electrically and chemically mediated) situated by the recapitulation of various information interaction patterns, which occur in the environment around of us. In this case, neural architecture, cortical representation, or schema: that is, the physical definition of the brain due to interaction with our environment (including the effects of our endogenous environment).

Due to the open-closed properties of a RS, information that a RS processes, including that which is integrated into an asymptotic complex, mediates the efficacy of heuristic ecology outside of conscious awareness and the total integrated information available to persistent global sufficiency.

The Breakdown:

The prize of introspection seems to be our ability to pay attention to paying attention: the major assumption is that introspection relies on physical architecture located somewhere, anywhere, the brain. This would suggest any individual or collective distribution of conscious function (trends offer that this is more likely a very selective process, indeed) rely on only specific neural pathways. Bakker long pimped the thalamocortical structures, which research suggests is a major relay system for action in the brain, but I think he was primarily using it as a metaphor.

Brain architecture has defined pathways for the conduction of nerve signals (though, technically, some neurons can and do communicate backwards to structures that had previously fed them signals to fire or to the presynaptic terminals of the previous neuron). Where introspection can happen, it does by recursion (in essence citing, it would seem, the relationship between the neocortex, mammalian, and reptilian brain).

Finally, where a particular structure does not receive informatic, signal, access to other information, that information can’t exist, even as an absence. The actual information that seems to culminate in our experience is processed separately by a number of different, ultimately disconnected structures processing distinct signals in parallel.

Logic of Neglect:

Consciousness is Brainbound, a possible product of a subsystem within the brain. It is subject to Informatic Horizons as well as being unable to change its position relative to itself, as locomotion allows for through the environment. Examples like geocentrism suggest a natural consequence of being earthbound, the logic of neglect, the inability to account for etiology outside of our perceptive experience or cognitive capabilities, is noocentrism: assuming we can offer a most descriptive information packet, concerning an environment (consciousness) that we can’t change our positions relative to.

The Breakdown:

This brings to mind, negative cues, of the Sherlock Holmes variety. The idea, the logic of neglect, is that most, if not all, available examples where we are mistaken about phenomenological processes show that this is due to the our inability to simply know better: whether through greater cognitive or perceptual lack. We can’t account for information we don’t have and don’t know we don’t have.

Ideas and tools gave humans an ability to change our position relative to our earthbound biology, which greatly enhanced our capacities for processing information but also disabused our phenomenal selves of geocentrism. Ideas and tools are already giving us an ability to change our position relative to our Brainbound neurology, which may enhance our capacities to process information but may also disabuse our phenomenal selves of noocentrism.

The logic of neglect is the specific tool by which these positions are leveraged. Like Sherlock Holmes solving the mystery by realizing that the dog didn’t bark and thus knew the murderer, mysteries of our phenomenal realities are distinguished by information we lack.

Error Consciousness:

Biases such as the Informatic Frame of Reference (IFS) suggest consciousness’ constant perception of effective utility (freewill, willpower) results in conscious experience as perceived efficacious, even when consciousness is not necessarily facilitating function.

The Breakdown:

We always like to think we are actively and effectively negotiating our lives, as best we can, even when we make grievous errors in judgment, say, geocentrism or flat earth. We can be certain of our efficacious in our various environments yet be equally mistaken in thinking we’re responsible for facilitating our successes. Freud or Socrates also comes to mind.

Hard Problem:
(Existing Notation – Philosophy)

The Blind Brain paradigm (BBP) breaks the philosophic Hard Problem into two distinct prepositional issues: the Generation Problem (GP) and the Explanadum Problem (EP), respectively. The GP asks how, specifically, brain matter generates consciousness, the exact physical mechanism by which a Recursive Systems arises. The EP is supplementary to the GP in that it asks what kind of answer will satisfy the GP as to allow the kind of gestalt shift, which happens in accounting for new information.

The Breakdown:

As the philosophic groundwork for a naturalized account of philosophy, BBP distinguishes the classic Hard Problem, basically by aggravating it with the EP. GP questions Meat Brain; how meat thinks. EP will be resolved whenever it permeates academic and society and reveals how the answer to the GP changes our self-perception.

Information Frame of Reference:

The cognitive capacity, awareness of the total asymptotic complex, of the Recursive Systems’ (RS) available information is available at all because it is integrated and has passed asymptotic limits of the RS via Information Horizons, which would seem analogous to fairly well documented perceptual thresholds.

Used in text in a cross-section of Error Consciousness and Information Frame of Reference errors; geocentrism.

The Breakdown:

There is a capacity for consciousness not to know. Basic retention demonstrates that we didn’t know many things we come to know – knowing in both cases highlighting the ability of simple recitation. There are thresholds of integration, which simply define a border and sketch a broad area of unknowing; that which is outside our biological capacity to perceive and an area of context which distinguishes the border markers in relation to the world beyond our available perception.

First and Second Order Information:
(Existing Notation – Philsophy)

Information processed by the greater brain outside of the closed Recursive System (RS) is referred as first-order information, tracked laterally. Information integrated by the open RS, passing asymptotic thresholds, informatic horizons, is referred to as second-order information.

The Breakdown:

First-order information refers to the brain modeling the environment – it seems that our brain inscribes, models, the environment in the meat. Second-order information, however, is the only part of the whole shebang that we experience; thus, we are stranded with second-order information to explain first-order phenomenon. There is currently no way to be sure that the relationships of second-order information reflect the actual efficacy of the brain as processing first-order information.

Lateral vs. Medial:
(Existing Notation: Biopsychology)

The brain evolved in its environment, recapitulating neural representation of sensory experience of the environment – vestibular functions, proprioception, among those sensations, which allow for the abstract recapitulation of locomotion, etc. Lateral modeling refers to those cortical representations, which model Information Interaction Patterns within the environment. Medial modeling refers to those cortical representations, which model the lateral recapitulations of environment. Medial modeling, a la closed Recursive System, seems to allow for the conscious asymptotic complex, or perceptual experience.

The Breakdown:

Our brains model themselves to reflect experience. However, conscious experience is unnecessary for perceptual experience to form cortical representations of brain architecture reflecting the Information Interaction Patterns within the environment – we need a Recursive System, a self-referential theory (a la Hofstader?) of sorts to account for our ability to reflect on our selves within the environment.

Informatic Neglect:

Closed Recursive Systems simply cannot account for information that it doesn’t receive. Despite Global Asymptotic Complex, the myriad of RS actually work in parallel, across a variety of Informatic Horizons. In each case, the closed RS, conscious asymptotic complex only has access to the information, which is recursively integrated, passing the asymptotic limits of IH, and therefore implies information processed by the various open RS is unavailable to the closed RS.

The Breakdown:

Ignorance is ignorant - you do not know that you do not know what you do not know. This is simply applied to the idea of individually closed Recursive Systems.


Information processed by the Global Asymptotic Complex, recursively integrated, is referred to as sufficient. Information Asymmetry accounts for the closed Recursive System seeming total and complete, in and of itself. Sufficiency is limited by Informatic Horizons but refers to the innate sense of having all-available information, despite being so constrained.

The Breakdown:

Bakker's favorite examples have been vision and time. We can't sense the limits of seeing, though we can describe those constraints in great detail. It always seems now, though we can describe our being temporally bound here and now in a there and then. In both cases, neither parcel of knowledge changes our feelings of totally sufficient experience at all. In this sense, all we know to perceive, is all there is.

Recursive System(s):

Recursive System(s) (RS) are hypothesized to integrate (closed) and process (open) information, generating consciousness; closed within the informatic horizons of different asymptotic complexes processing information medially and open as those different asymptotic complexes process information laterally.

Due to the open-closed properties of a RS, information that a RS processes, including that which is integrated into an asymptotic complex, mediates, in some manner, the efficacy of any given heuristic in its problem-ecology, outside of conscious awareness and the integrated information available to persistent global sufficiency, or consciousness.

The Breakdown:

Recursive Systems seem to perform two functions. The open RS processes information affect behaviorial outcomes mechanistically but may or may not rely on the closed RS to affect that open processing of information or affecting behaviors. The open RS processes information laterally while the closed RS arises from that processing medially, in which case, we can't know if the experience of processing information medially through the closed RS is accomplishing anything we think it is while processing information laterally through the open RS.

Obviously, this is a work in progress and I invite criticisms and corroboration. And I'm nowhere near done with a page of unfinished/unworked terms and growing.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 01:00:19 pm by Madness »
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