ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 30th August 2019, 02:02 AM   #81
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
What the concept of "interface" adds to classical "interaction with the environment"?

Last edited by David Mo; 30th August 2019 at 02:03 AM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st August 2019, 07:23 PM   #82
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I think we are saying the same thing in other words.
Yes, I think so. I only wanted to underline that more is sometimes less when it is information about something.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st August 2019, 07:26 PM   #83
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What the concept of "interface" adds to classical "interaction with the environment"?
Nothing, I think. I tried following the formalism - but I think it is basically just scare math.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st August 2019, 07:43 PM   #84
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What the concept of "interface" adds to classical "interaction with the environment"?
An "interface" is like a desktop - Hoffman uses metaphor of dragging an icon to a trash can on MAC OS actually deletes a file - however the sliding of icon to trash can did not cause the file to be deleted.
So an interface is a perceptual layer between organism and environment - but not a causal layer.
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st August 2019, 07:55 PM   #85
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
Originally Posted by Robin View Post

Mary says "The barrel has 55 apples in it"
John says "The barrel has more than 50 apples in it"

Both statements are true. Mary's statement is not more true then John's.

So Hoffman is pushing the fallacy that a true perception would necessarily require more information than a non-true perception, which is obviously not the case.
I don't think that Hoffman is hung up on truth as much as we think . . . re:
Mary says "The barrel has 55 apples in it"
John says "The barrel has more than 50 apples in it"

I think Hoffman would say one of the above statements has higher fitness function over the other. However, which statement has more fitness at any moment depends on the organism and the present environmental conditions.
I don't think he's claiming that precision, or more or less info is always more fit.
I don't know how he programmed the simmulations - and determined the fitness of the possible scenarios.
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st September 2019, 12:11 AM   #86
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
An "interface" is like a desktop - Hoffman uses metaphor of dragging an icon to a trash can on MAC OS actually deletes a file - however the sliding of icon to trash can did not cause the file to be deleted.
So an interface is a perceptual layer between organism and environment - but not a causal layer.
I understand that it's a metaphor, but I must be a łittle obtuse because I don't understand what it adds that metaphor to the concept of interaction with the environment or perception of the environment.

In my opinion it is only the way to introduce alien concepts in the evolutive process: truth and computation. It points to spiritualizing what is only causal reactions and adjutments.

If that metaphor suggests that the interactions between the environment and the organism are not causal, I disagree. The simple act of perceiving involves an external stimulus that causes a response in the brain which, in turn, extends to the whole organism in the form of excitation or motor responses.
I still don't understand how the concept of interface modifies this whole mechanism.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st September 2019, 06:08 AM   #87
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
I don't think that Hoffman is hung up on truth as much as we think
The subtitle of his paper that I am referring to is "Natural Selection Drives True Perception To Swift Extinction" (my emphasis). He makes this claim throughout.

The main evidence presented for this is the simulation in which one simulated organism is labelled "truth" and the other "simple".

So it is Hoffman's claim that the more precise perception represents "truth".

I think it is worth pointing out that if the more complex organism is "truth" then so is the simple one.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 1st September 2019 at 06:10 AM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st September 2019, 07:54 AM   #88
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
I should have been more specific - I don't get a sense of more or less truth in the interface; re the interface, there is only more or less fitness - while fitness is particular to the organism and it's environment.
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st September 2019, 08:03 AM   #89
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I understand that it's a metaphor, but I must be a łittle obtuse because I don't understand what it adds that metaphor to the concept of interaction with the environment or perception of the environment.
It depends on what you mean by 'interaction with the environment or perception of the environment' - - - according to his hypothesis we interact with the environment but only perceive the interface. Please don't ask me how this happens.
IOW, space / time and the physical objects we perceive - this apparent shared world - - - that is the interface.
The real world, fundamental reality, is unknown.
The interface is not an illusion - it's how we evolved to interact with environment (real world) - and we are quite accomplished.
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st September 2019, 08:21 AM   #90
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
The real world, fundamental reality, is unknown.
The Ding an sich, long dismissed by philosophers as a confusion brought about by semantics, rides again.

That is fine for him to try to investigate this, but as I pointed out, his reasoning is flawed.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st September 2019, 08:24 AM   #91
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
I should have been more specific - I don't get a sense of more or less truth in the interface; re the interface, there is only more or less fitness - while fitness is particular to the organism and it's environment.
But "truth" is his own word, not something I am reading into his words. And the claim that natural selection drives true perceptions to extinction is repeated over and over again.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st September 2019, 05:31 PM   #92
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
And I think that it is pretty easy to show that in order for an organism (as defined within his formalism) to use an "interface" strategy, it must first acquire veridical data and then discard it.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 1st September 2019 at 05:33 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st September 2019, 10:39 PM   #93
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
It depends on what you mean by 'interaction with the environment or perception of the environment' - - - according to his hypothesis we interact with the environment but only perceive the interface. Please don't ask me how this happens.
IOW, space / time and the physical objects we perceive - this apparent shared world - - - that is the interface.
The real world, fundamental reality, is unknown.
The interface is not an illusion - it's how we evolved to interact with environment (real world) - and we are quite accomplished.
You have entered a metaphysical ground: reality in itself. Does Hoffman? It doesn't matter. Let us continue your way.
I change interface by "phenomenon", that is to say the appearance of the thing in itself. Phenomenon is not a copy of the reality in itself. It is the way how our mind and body react to reality. It is a product of both reality and me.

You say the environment is reality. OK. Lets put this way. Is perception an illusion? In a sense yes, in other sense no. It is illusion in the sense that objects and sensations (colours) in our mind are not like that in reality. It is not illusory in the sense that the image proceeds (is created) from the reality and the organism uses it as a way to adapt its behaviour to reality (environment). Reality, although never known in itself, is the criterion to a double adjustment: of our senses and our behaviour to it. We build the object "fire" with a bright red and intense heat. We associated pain with it. Our experience would say if our perception is "right".

This is the theory of a moderate realism. Is the theory of interface an alternative to this? How?

Last edited by David Mo; 1st September 2019 at 10:41 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd September 2019, 02:56 AM   #94
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You have entered a metaphysical ground: reality in itself. Does Hoffman?
Yes he does. He is very much on the "consciousness is the ultimate reality" bandwagon.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd September 2019, 04:14 PM   #95
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
I was wondering earlier what sort of thing the set X contained in his measurable set. He say s, "experiences" and I was wondering if simple perceivers, say those with just a handful of neurons, could be said to experience anything.

It seems to me that a register machine could be used for this. These can be used to make more precise statements about the relative computational cost and complexity and information storage of the different perceptual strategies and can also make it possible to make more definite statements about the relationship between these "experiences" and external objects.

Looking at it this way, the first thing I notice is that the "interface" strategy has slightly greater computational cost compared to the realist strategy (it has to break up the raw size information 7 ways compared to the realists' 4 ways).
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd September 2019, 05:56 PM   #96
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Referring to this paper linked earlier:

https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._of_Perception

Hoffman uses a "Goldilocks" payoff curve where it is "enough, but not too much" in order to get the advantage for the interface strategy. If it was a "the more the better" then the strategies would be identical.

Also, if the Goldilocks point were to shift from time to time (say seasonally or due to population changes) then the advantage goes back to the realist, which already has the advantage of a lower computational cost.

Hoffman says that the adding of extra territories gives the realist the burden of representing more and more irrelevant information, but as far as I can see the the storage cost per territory would be the same in both cases.

Hoffman is using either highly artificial assumptions or wrong assumptions to feed into his evolutionary games.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd September 2019, 06:04 PM   #97
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
But the main point is re-usability.

If there are a number of resources, each with a different payoff curve then the interface strategy has to store different categories per resource and have a different mechanism to process each category.

Whereas the realist strategy can re-use the same categories for each and the same size assessment mechanism.

In general, for any mechanism for size assessment, shape assessment and so on to be re-usable for different payoff curves the categories have to line up with the properties of the external objects (which is the thing that remains the same).

The realist strategy only has to change the much cheaper mechanism of assigning categories to behaviour.

So for any kind of complex or changing environment the realist perceptual strategy (as Hoffman defines it in this paper) will always easily drive interface strategies to extinction.

For an interface organism to survive it must evolve into a realist.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 2nd September 2019 at 06:23 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2019, 10:31 PM   #98
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Among the questions I would ask of Hoffman if I could - once the "interface" organism has decided which region out of a group of regions to nab, how does it know how to get there?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 07:49 AM   #99
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Among the questions I would ask of Hoffman if I could - once the "interface" organism has decided which region out of a group of regions to nab, how does it know how to get there?
I don't presume to answer for Hoffman, but having expertise with the interface is included with the interface . . . like once I decide which file to delete, I slide the icon to the trash can.
Easy-Peasy.
Or are you asking how organism nabs region IN REALITY, as in, how do I delete the file IN REALITY if sliding icon is only in interface?
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 07:53 AM   #100
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post

This is the theory of a moderate realism. Is the theory of interface an alternative to this? How?
This I can't answer, but it appears if same or similar Hoffman is attempting to quantify or 'mathify' moderate realism, and tie it into theory of evolution. Honestly I don't understand everything I know : )
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 03:28 PM   #101
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
I don't presume to answer for Hoffman, but having expertise with the interface is included with the interface . . . like once I decide which file to delete, I slide the icon to the trash can.
Easy-Peasy.
Or are you asking how organism nabs region IN REALITY, as in, how do I delete the file IN REALITY if sliding icon is only in interface?
I am asking with respect to his model.

In his model W is assumed (for the purposes of the argument) to be objective reality.

Otherwise none of his definitions work.

W will contain the areas of resources and will also contain the organism itself. X (the set of experiences) contains information about about which area has the best payoff but if the organism is using an IF perceptual strategy then, by definition, there are no homomorphisms between its experiences and the location of the resource.

So how does it get there to acquire the resource?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 4th September 2019 at 04:30 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 03:52 PM   #102
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
I don't think there are many people naive enough to think that a computer file has a location in time and space.

People are interested in the abstract path that is to be supplied to the computer to reassemble the data from the various places the data might be stored.

I could not delete a file in reality unless I knew definite spatio-temporal information about the locations in which it is stored.

It is a big and increasing problem in IT since those locations can be anywhere in the world and under the control of various people.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 4th September 2019 at 03:59 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 03:55 PM   #103
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
I can illustrate the problem with a simplified W.

In this case W is a one dimensional landscape binary landscape, for example:

00000000000011111111110000000111111111111111100000 00000000

The 0's contain no resource, the 1's are resources. W also contains the organism itself which I will represent as an algorithm. The organism has behaviours={move,about-face,look,eat} which are respectively "move one position in the current direction", "reverse the current direction", "observe the bit at the current position" and "acquire the resource at the current region".

The organism starts on the left (but obviously the algorithm has no information about what that location is).

It moves right and by observing each location detects the edge of a region of resource and by detecting the other edge can classify the resource in terms of fitness.

After it has traversed two regions it makes the decision about which region to nab.

But, say it has chosen the first region, how does it now move to that region, having no homomorphisms between the data it has available and the location of the region?

It can't. Either it must have set a counter for the second edge of each location and then the organism can move back to that edge by doing an about-face and counting backwards, or else it uses the "second region that-a-way" method and does an about face and detects three edges.

Either way it is using data about the actual location of the region in W.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 4th September 2019 at 04:30 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 04:50 PM   #104
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Also, I can assure you that organisations who keep a proper track of the spatio-temporal location of their data have a distinct survival advantage over organisations that mistakes the interface for the data.

But I don't want to torture an analogy which is why I am making the points about Hoffman's formalism rather than the analogy.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 07:21 PM   #105
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
You are assuming there is as spacial temporal reality that requires navigation and nabbing - Hofmann is assuming that the spacial temporal and nabbing IS the interface. (To date) Nearly all science has been measuring the interface.

Last edited by LarryS; 4th September 2019 at 07:40 PM.
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 08:31 PM   #106
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
You are assuming there is as spacial temporal reality that requires navigation and nabbing -
No, I am not assuming that a string of 1's and 0's represent an actual external reality, that is the model
Quote:
Hofmann is assuming that the spacial temporal and nabbing IS the interface. (To date) Nearly all science has been measuring the interface.
No, as I said earlier Hoffman is referring to his model in his argument and W represents (for the purposes of the argument) objective reality.

If W referred to a set of interfaces then all of the perceptual strategies he defines would be interface strategies and he could conclude, at most, that interface strategies drive other interface strategies to extinction.

If he is claiming that his argument shows that interface strategies drive realist strategies to extinction, then CR3 etc have to be models of actual realist strategies in which case W has to represent the real objective world in his argument.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 4th September 2019 at 08:36 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 08:55 PM   #107
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
Wouldn't any theory that included / allowed for change suffer from the same fate you describe - the circular trap of a prior vs posterior state, with no intermediate state? Aren't you restating Zeno's Paradox?

Last edited by LarryS; 4th September 2019 at 08:58 PM.
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 08:56 PM   #108
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Here are the definitions I am using:

Quote:
Definition 1 A (dispersion-free) perceptual strategy, P, is a measurable function P:W→X, where (W, Omega ) denotes a measurable space of states of the world and (X, Chi ) denotes a measurable space of perceptual experiences

Definition 5 A critical realist is a perceptual strategy for which X need not be a subset of W, but P is nevertheless a homomorphism that preserves all structures on W

Definition 7 An interface perceptual strategy is a perceptual strategy that does not require X to be a subset of W and for which the mapping P has no restrictions other than being measurable (so that the probabilities of perceptions are systematically related to probabilities of events in W).
The other definitions do not figure largely in the argument. For the sake of analysing his argument we do not need to make any assumptions about W that are not contained in the definition, which implies that it has certain objective structures and that perceptions of a CR organism relate homomorphically to those structures and an interface strategy other that the perceptions relating systematically to probabilities of events in W.

To illustrate what he in mind for this distinction, here is Hoffman et al's diagram of the Critical Realist (CR) strategy against the Interface (IF) strategy:
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 09:07 PM   #109
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Wouldn't any theory that included / allowed for change suffer from the same fate you describe - the circular trap of a prior vs posterior state, with no intermediate state? Aren't you restating Zeno's Paradox?
No, because Hoffman's model is discrete. I assume that he made that decision precisely to avoid that problem.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 4th September 2019 at 09:08 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 09:15 PM   #110
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
The problem I am proposing is a precise one. You could code those algorithms and they would measure those regions and make a choice. That part is easy.

The problem is to complete the algorithm by coding the method by which they would return to the start position of the chosen region without using data structures that relate to W in a way that doesn't satisfies definition 5 - critical realist.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 09:20 PM   #111
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
I think you need layers of abstraction to model hi hypothesis, like:

Reality
00000000000011111111110000000111111111111111100000 00000000

Reality, with organism A identified
0000000000001111111111000000011111111111(111110000 00)0000000

Reality, with Organism A, and Interface
00000000000011111111110000000111111111111111100000 00000000
| M |
(11111000000)


The above doesn't space right -

Last edited by LarryS; 4th September 2019 at 09:21 PM.
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 09:29 PM   #112
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
The bigger problem is that Hoffman feeds some incorrect assumptions into his model.

When distinguishing between two regions IF3 does achieve a better result, achieving around 95% of the best possible payoff whereas CR3 achieves around 91% of the best possible payoff.

However CR3 is less complex and involves a lower computational cost than IF3.

CR3 does not require more bits per territory than IF3 as Hoffman seems to be saying, it uses the same amount of information as IF3.

Moreover the IF3 advantage relies on a more or less symmetrical payoff curve, skew it to the left or right and that gap narrows. A monotonic payoff curve provides no benefit to IF3 but still gives CR3 the edge in complexity and computational cost.

If there are a number of different types of resources with different payoff curves, EF3 requires 42 bits per resource type whereas CR3 requires only 6 per resource type.

Hoffman is choosing a very particular area where the IF3 arguably narrowly beats CR3 (depending on how you treat resource cost). But then nobody ever doubted that non-veridical perceptions were sometimes more adaptive than veridical ones.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 09:38 PM   #113
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
I think you need layers of abstraction to model hi hypothesis, like:

Reality
00000000000011111111110000000111111111111111100000 00000000

Reality, with organism A identified
0000000000001111111111000000011111111111(111110000 00)0000000

Reality, with Organism A, and Interface
00000000000011111111110000000111111111111111100000 00000000
| M |
(11111000000)


The above doesn't space right -
It is given in my model that W contains the organism, however adding interfaces to W would not make sense in terms of Hoffman's model as he doesn't have an object "interface" defined and putting interfaces into W (which is, for the purposes of the argument, objective reality) would again make definition 7 circular.

Rather he has perceptual strategies (P:W->X) which may be interface strategies or realist strategies.

I have kept Hoffman's model as is, except that I have used algorithms to represent the contents of X where Hoffman has the rather looser term "perceptual experiences".
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 4th September 2019 at 09:41 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th September 2019, 10:07 PM   #114
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Wouldn't any theory that included / allowed for change suffer from the same fate you describe - the circular trap of a prior vs posterior state, with no intermediate state? Aren't you restating Zeno's Paradox?
Also, it is only interface strategies which have the problem locating the resource.

Realist strategies just go straight to the resource using the methods I described earlier, so the realist theory does not suffer this fate.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th September 2019, 02:17 AM   #115
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
I have another perplexity. It seems that Hoffman is working with a visual model. But animals' most useful perceptions are usually olfactory and auditory. Is it a problem? Can it to be integrated in his interface theory?
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th September 2019, 11:03 AM   #116
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 956
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Also, it is only interface strategies which have the problem locating the resource.

Realist strategies just go straight to the resource using the methods I described earlier, so the realist theory does not suffer this fate.
How do interface theories fall prey to Zeno's Paradox and realist theories do not?
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th September 2019, 11:51 AM   #117
Myriad
Hyperthetical
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: A pocket paradise between the sewage treatment plant and the railroad
Posts: 15,245
I've been thinking about why Hoffman gets the results he does from his tests, from a functional design point of view. If we can understand why a simulated evolving organism that perceives "red or green" corresponding to a fitness function outperforms one that perceives it isotropically reflecting some actual measure of the world, we can get a better idea of whether (or to what extent) his conclusions are justified.

I'm looking at the robot genetic evolution experiment described in the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review (2015) paper, in the section headed "Genetic algorithms." Hoffman reports on a modification of a previously studied genetic algorithm system involving (simulated) robots that forage for tokens ("soda cans") on a grid of accessible squares that includes a surrounding wall. In the original experiments, the robots accurately perceive each of the three possible states (empty, containing a token, or a wall) of the four immediately adjacent grid squares and the square it's on, and must decide which action to attempt at each iteration (pass, pick up a token on the current square, move in a specific direction to an adjacent square, or move randomly to an adjacent square.) Robots are awarded points for picking up tokens, but penalized for attempting to move into a wall or attempting to pick up a token when there isn't one there, and scored for multiple runs. Each run is solo. (That is, the robots never compete head-to-head on the same grid.) The "genome" that is evolved in the genetic algorithm is a table mapping the possible perceptual states (240, in the original version) to the (seven) allowed actions. The robots begin with random behaviors which generally perform very poorly (one can easily imagine runs in which the robot never moves at all) but evolve efficient behaviors via multiple iterations of testing, selection, and recombination of the highest-scoring genomes.

The modification is to alter the game so that there can be up to ten tokens in a square, with a non-isotropic payoff function for picking up tokens depending on how many are in the square. The function is (0,1,3,6,9,10,9,6,3,1,0). That is, zero payoff for zero tokens, payoff of 1 for 1 or 10 tokens, payoff of 6 for 3 or 7 tokens, etc.

Something that's critically unclear in Hoffman's paper is whether the "pick up a token" action scores the payoff function amount and then decrements the number of tokens remaining in the square by one, or whether it scores the payoff function amount and then removes all the tokens. I believe it's the latter, but this makes a significant difference, which I'll try to explain later.

The robots don't perceive the number of tokens in a square. Instead they perceive the square as red or green, depending on the number of tokens in a manner controlled by an additional section of the genome. That new part of the genome simply maps each of the possible numbers of tokens (0 to 10) to one of the two colors. Like the rest of the genome, it starts out at random.

According to Hoffman, the genetic simulation proceeds as before, starting with random and generally ineffective behavior and eventually evolving efficient foraging strategies. In the process, one specific perceptual strategy always wins out: mapping {0, 1, 9, 10} tokens to one color, and all other quantities to the other color. (Which color is which can come out either way.) So the robots evolve to "perceive" based on payoff rather than e.g. green = {6, 7, 8, 9, 10} which is isotropic with the actual number of tokens but cannot distinguish between high-payoff and low-payoff squares.

This confused me at first, though, because I was assuming that the "pick up a token" action meant pick up one token and decrement the number remaining. This would seem to allow strategies to evolve where for instance green= {3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10} and whenever the robot finds and moves onto green, continue to pick up tokens until the square turns red. The payoff for picking up the 10th and 9th tokens would be small, but the payoff for executing the whole strategy would be high. It would allow the richest squares to be exploited thoroughly while avoiding the 0 tokens trap.

(About that trap. It appears that the action of attempting to pick up a token from an empty square is particularly lethal for a robot. Not only does it score zero fitness payoff points, and, if that feature was kept from earlier versions, invoke a penalty for attempting to do it, but the way the robots and their genomes work, it would trap the robot in an endless loop for the rest of the run. Because the action doesn't move the robot, change the state of the square, or change any adjacent square, the same action would have to be repeated on the next iteration. Attempting to non-randomly move into a wall is similarly lethal.)

But if each square only allows a single collect-token action that empties the square, that doesn't work. Instead, there really is no reward for collecting a 10 token and the robot is right to avoid it.

In that case, though, it's harder to justify the internal logic of the simulation. It's possible to justify having zero fitness payoff for a maximally abundant resource, for example if the abundance attracts predators and the increased predation risk exactly balances the value of collecting the resource. But in that case, the rules should work the way I originally interpreted them, with each collection decrementing the remaining token count. The organism should be able to reduce the risk, thus raising the payoff value of the remaining resource, by collecting some of it. (And if the organism cannot harvest enough of the resource to make a difference, then the whole basis for the simulation falls apart; the foraging strategy should then be to find a 5 and remain on it forever.)

I think a key factor in many if not all of these simulations is the organism has no way, apart from the external perception systems (red-green) being modeled, to react to fitness payoffs for actions. And in that case, it's quite reasonable to expect that perception systems would evolve to fill that need as the highest priority. An organism that can tell how much water there is but not whether it's drowning or dying of thirst probably would and should lose out to one that can only see whether or not a habitat has close to the optimum wetness.

We have exactly such abstract internal perceptual interfaces based on fitness payoffs: hunger, thirst, satiety, fatigue, tastes-good, tastes-bad, hot, cold, strained, sharp, painful. Those, rather than the shapes of solid objects, might be what the icons in Hoffman's desktop interface analogy really correspond to.
__________________
A zÝmbie once bit my sister...

Last edited by Myriad; 5th September 2019 at 11:52 AM.
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th September 2019, 04:10 PM   #118
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
How do interface theories fall prey to Zeno's Paradox and realist theories do not?
As I explained, the problem I described has nothing to do with Zeno's Paradox.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th September 2019, 05:14 PM   #119
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Regarding the robot genetic evolution game, Mark et al have a symmetric payoff curve and two categories so of course the realist strategy can't work in that situation where it can only see "small" or "large" and the payoff is for "medium".

He has designed the game for the realist strategy to fail.

Have a payoff curve skewed left of right or a monotonic payoff curve and the situation would change. Have three categories and the situation would also change.

Have the robot that can make the decision quicker able to grab the resource first, then the realist strategy would win nearly every time. Have the robot's points inversely proportional to its complexity then the realist would win.

The other question I would have is how did the robot using the interface strategy manage to assign a set of between 0 and 10 tokens into those categories having only one bit of intermediate storage?

Can't be done (or else I would be interested in seeing the algorithm that can do it).

In order to assign a heap of between 0 and 10 tokens into two categories you would need 4 bits of intermediate storage, plus it would need 8 bits to store the category boundaries.

The realist (not needing category boundaries) can just use that space to have an extra category for the same complexity and lower computational cost.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 5th September 2019 at 05:18 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th September 2019, 05:26 PM   #120
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,323
Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
An organism that can tell how much water there is but not whether it's drowning or dying of thirst probably would and should lose out to one that can only see whether or not a habitat has close to the optimum wetness.
But a realist can do that by simply mapping quantity to fitness and can do so for lower cost and complexity than the interface strategy can. Plus the mechanism the realist uses to assess quantity, not being tied to a specific resource, can be reusable for different resources having different payoff curves.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:33 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.