Monday, 7 January 2008

'Holistic' programming? Is it a base to make sense how our brain and mind work?

"Is the brain 'massively parallel'? Is the brain a computer? Is the self an illusion? Some ideas have an appeal that gets them widely adopted in spite of their inherent unlikeliness."

Triggered by 'surely not?' website.

The brain is a processor. It processes events in the world. Processor or processors irrelevant at the moment as well as parallel, massively parallel or serial.
Quoting from the contents of the website:

"Each processor typically has its own memory and operating system; where the activities of the different processors overlap, the relationship is carefully managed so that they do not have to remain in step, and this requires careful prior programming."

Can we , in any way possible, talk about programming in the brain? Right now, a 'programming' I could think of, is the 'holistic'; some sort of programming based on the holistic approach.

"This does not seem to me even remotely like the way the brain is organised, so far as we understand it. There do not seem to be any good candidates within the brain for the role of processor (neurons are surely too simple) ..."

It is simplistic as an argument as well, in the attempt to build a case against the thought to treat the brain as a computer. The feeling of abhorrence in entertaining such a vile thought takes over, muddles up thinking and deters a more sober approach to the whole issue.

With regards to the neurons and their function in the brain, we should take into account their organisation as reverberated cell assemblies mentioned by John Holland. At the moment there is no need to elaborate of what the processor might be. It suffices to say that components of a brain processor might be the reverberated cell assemblies or groups of them.

Our brain sees the whole, our mind makes a whole while using our 'in-control' consciousness. We always assume that we see the whole picture since both our brain and our mind follow the same 'holistic' programming albeit our 'in-control' consciousness is not as efficient as our brain as it does not have direct access to the brain mechanisms, its access is only indirect via our 'out-of-control' consciousness, and its efforts to emulate brain operations are clumsy. Treats disparate parts as a whole, oblivious to the fact that there are either parts still missing, or parts falsely attributed to the whole, and in the process is making a fool of its carrier.

How can we fathom the holistic premise? Are there any maths which attempt to explain how 'the whole is more than the sum of its parts'? Any such maths might provide the base for elucidating the rules of how 'holistic' programming works. A start would be, by looking at John Holland's mechanisms in agent based systems. How simple rules by being endlessly repeated create enormous complexity. The constrained generating procedures a result of simple mechanisms.

In my mind the holistic premise is what makes the difference and it works in ways I can not explain. But I do abide to the idea that my brain knows better than me, and I follow its cues. It is why I made a copy of this web page to have at hand as what it contains it fitted a (or the) whole. It is part of. It did not happen by chance, it happened because it fitted a whole.

What 'whole' or to what effect still to be decided.