[ExI] Question for the psych squad

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 1 17:38:10 UTC 2017

On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 11:27 AM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 3:57 AM, Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:
> ​> ​
>> One characteristic of Turing machines is that they are subject to the
>> Halting Problem. Briefly, the HP is the mathematical theorem that there is,
>> in principle, no way to predict whether any given TM will, for any given
>> input, eventually stop or get stuck in an infinite loop.
> ​Actually "loop" isn't quite the right word because loops repeat and a
> machine could theoretically tell if it's been in its present state before;
> but Turing showed that sometimes you could be on a hopeless task with no
> way of knowing you're on a hopeless task, you never repeat yourself but you
> never get to your goal either. Real minds seldom get stuck like this
> because of a great invention of Evolution, boredom.  Of course there is no
> way for Evolution or anything else to know for certain the perfect place to
> give up and move on to other problems so real minds must use educated
> guesses based on rules of thumb, statistics, and ranking problems in order
> of importance; in other words based on judgment.
>> ​> ​
>> Are there known cases of people who if left untreated would continue
>> performing their compulsion until exhaustion? Or people who literally
>> cannot stop thinking about their obsession while awake?
>> Like every other characteristic the boredom point is not the same for all
> the individuals in a population; I have a theory that for world class
> mathematicians the boredom point is set very high so they can give their
> full concentration to problems long after you or I would have given up.
> That may also be why great mathematicians often tend to be a bit...odd.
> There may be a fine line between insanity and genius.
> ​ ​
> John K Clark
> ​That, insanity and genius, has been shown to be false many times.
History does provide us with some examples:  Was Newton crazy? He was
certainly very odd, believing as he did, things about spirituality and so
on.   Many high IQ people have depression problems and especially a
tendency towards manic depression.

I don't think boredom will stop an obsessive compulsive.

Test your brain:  take a finger and tap it rapidly on some surface.  The
longer it takes for the involuntary rest pause to cause you to miss a best,
the more introverted you are - and vice versa for extroversion.​

​It's an interesting question whether mathematical geniuses have high
boredom points.  Why math and not other fields of study?  By the standards
of the average person, I'd say that nearly everyone above IQ, say, 140 will
be found odd.  Maybe much lower than that.

bill w​

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