"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Some Basics About the Human Brain, Our Sensory System and Why Donald Trump is Winning

Did you see the story that Google's DeepMind AlphaGo computer software program defeated a human world class champion GO player 4 games to 1?

Is that a devastating setback for human intelligence?
or does it merely show the limitations of human brain bit processing?

Are you ready? Here is the brainy question.
Get out your math brain and pay attention to the numbers!
And you have to answer FAST. Be quick!
"What was the TOTAL NUMBER of EACH ANIMAL that Moses took ON THE ARK with him during THE GREAT FLOOD."
That question was posed on the TV game Jeopardy
and the contestants flubbed it.

One contestant pushed his button the quickest and gave the answer as
"What is TWO".
That was wrong.

The second contestant noticed potential linguistic trickery in that "EACH animal" (as opposed to a "kind of animal" or species) could only be represented once, pushed the button and gave the answer as
"What is ONE".
That was wrong also.

Both contestants failed to notice that it was not Moses but Noah who was the Biblical figure of the ark. The right answer to the trick question was therefore
"What is ZERO".
Biblical Moses took ZERO animals on the ark. It was Biblical Noah.

We subscribe to the book reviews at DelanceyPlace.com and the above example, known as "the Moses illusion" in Psychology, is referred to there in its recent "getting the gist of it" review of Stephen Baker's Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything. Take a look.

The reason that the Jeopardy contestants overlooked the trick switch of Moses for Noah was a function of the way that the human sensory system functions.

The human brain, for all of its marvelous features, can only process about 50 bits of information a second, so it relies a lot on memory to fill the gaps and it tends to "group" concepts, so that the Biblical switch of the similar names of Moses and Noah can easily bypass notice, since Moses and Noah are "grouped" together by the brain as Biblical personages, whereas if say, the name TRUMP were substituted in that same question, people would notice it easily.

Humans "focus on the items that appear most relevant and round them out with stored memories, what psychologists call 'schemas.'" We battle these "schemas" all the time in mainstream science. We call them entrenched ideas.

That same brain processing competes with "an estimated eleven million bits of data [that] flow from the senses every second." Some people call this the "gut" brain and it is in many respects superior to the main "mind" brain, because the sum total of sensory perceptions of the human organism far outnumber the bits of info that the brain can directly process per second.

Since machines can be programmed to process more than 50 bits of info per second, they will -- with proper programming -- necessarily be superior to the human brain in performing tasks solely dependent on those kinds of bit processing information. That is why the best computer software chess or checkers programs now already beat humans at those games.

Where humans remain superior to machines, however, is in the sum total of sensory perceptions that the senses process every second. Machines can not do that to the same degree ... yet.

So how does this explain why Donald Trump is winning?

Most mainstream news media, commentators, politicians and political experts continue to churn out masses of well-meaning meaningless print in which they address the voters and their "50 bits of brain info per second", pointing to failings by Trump, things similar to confusing Moses with Noah, and expecting results, but in fact the voters are not listening to these commentaries.

Those 50 bits a second of "rational" thought are not what voters are using to make their voting decisions. They are instead relying mostly on the processing of an estimated "11 million bits of sensory data per second" in making their voting decisions, and that is a horse of a completely different color, as many exit polls clearly prove.

The REASONS why a voter votes a given way are extremely complex and usually have much more to do with "gut" feelings (based on 11 million bits of sensory data per second) than on a conscious decision based on simple brain data bit info of 50 bits per second. Nor is that remarkable, rationally seen.

Put into simplistic terms: WINNING the vote generally means positively resonating the system involved in processing those 11 million bits of sensory data per second. Or to put it another way, whether Trump says "Moses" or "Noah" is irrelevant. It is ignored, as in the Jeopardy question.

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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