[Paleopsych] flag/religion - a different world

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Sat Feb 26 20:06:21 UTC 2005

We live in an infinity of parallel universes :-)

Steve Hovland

-----Original Message-----
From:	Paul J. Werbos, Dr. [SMTP:paul.werbos at verizon.net]
Sent:	Saturday, February 26, 2005 8:52 AM
To:	The new improved paleopsych list; The new improved paleopsych list
Subject:	[Paleopsych] flag/religion - a different world

We do seem to be living in different worlds here. Yet,
the spirit of Teilhard de Chardin, I would argue that we aree only
making real progress if we have some sense of how the worlds come
together... turn out to be "one elephant...".


So here is one view of the elephant, per a plenary talk I will be giving soon
in China:

Neural Networks and Adaptive Dynamic Programming: the New Path to Building 
and Understanding Brain-Style Intelligence

Neural networks provide new tools, new questions and new foundations for 
solving practical problems
in prediction, modeling, decision and control, state estimation, pattern 
recognition, data mining, etc.
Traditional statistics tries to collect a huge library of different methods 
for different tasks, but the brain is living proof
that one system can do it all, if there is data. It proves that a system 
can manage many millions of variables
without being confused (usually, when we really use our brain). Neural-type 
learning implemented on distributed
elements like neurons allows use of new general chips like CNN, with many 
thousand times more throughput than older chip types.
Adaptive dynamic programming (ADP) is a type of learning related to the 
Bellman equation, which is as important to the
general adaptive optimal value-based management of complex systems (like 
energy systems) as Maxwell's Laws
and the Dirac equation are to electronics. New advances, designs and 
applications of  ADP on neural networks show   some big improvements in 
performance and stability over
older methods, and a new functional way to understand the brain and mind 
themselves. Still,
this new hyper-rational way to understand the mind is very synergistic with 
practical ways to understand the mind
rooted in personal experience which have evolved in wise folk traditions 
like Freud, Jung, Taoism, Confucianism and even some types of Buddhism.


It is curious to hear the phrase "religious technology, like prayer."
I do not have time right now to discuss all the many directions that 
suggests to me.
But it reminds me of the old struggle between empirically-based approaches and
the lost-in-symbolic-space worlds of superstring theory, Aquinas, 
ideological correctness
(left or right) and obsession with hermeneutics and such.

A key aspect that my abstract doesn't address (initially, directly) is the 
need to
approach issues like spirituality in a less "technological" way - a failing
that some Chinese would attribute to teh two equally-dirty-crazy
barbarians of fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity.
Is "regios technology"  -- all authentic experience -- to b reduced
to trying to order hamburgers from god's macdonalds in the sky?
When an earthquake or two or three hits Iran, do we really blame it all on 

And -- re Iraq -- when the Sunni dominant group asks for a "definite 
timetable for withdrawal"
as the one thing they want, could we reconsier the "redunadnt" step of the 
kind of Act I was
proposing? How much are we lost in our own heads unable to respect the reality
in other minds we share this world with?

Best of luck to us all, and sorry for the time constraint...


paleopsych mailing list
paleopsych at paleopsych.org

More information about the paleopsych mailing list