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I've enjoyed reading your posts, here are some thoughts that this one sparked off. My interest is different to yours, so this is not a criticism but a layman's musings.

I'm not sure that I like using the analogy of the brain to an Operating System(OS). I'm coming from the perspective of the hope of building AI. The analogy may be a helpful visualisation or discussion tool.

My first issue is that it encourages people to literally think of the brain as an OS and therefore directly implementable on a computer. There are some things that are needed in an OS model that a von Neumann computer are bad at. Mimicking physical processes would be number 1 on my list. It would take very time consuming calculations to model hormone flow, for example. Super computers take days to predict nanoseconds of a protein's life. This difficulty exists on any level of brain physicality, not just sub-cellular. A grounding in computing theory is important to be able to not fall in to the "sometime in the future" trap. Massive parallelism would be another difficulty.

The second, more relevant, issue is the layers approach (and the closely related module approach).
The interfaces between these layers are a sticking point for me. How would neurotransmitters and the limbic system lead to formal grammars, and formal grammars to temperaments? Your related blog post of the theory of neural networks and temperaments, seems more analogous rather then a biological explanation.

It think these statements from the post sum it up:
"...neural networks do not decompose in a manner compatible with conventional reductionism,..."
"Fortunately, we don’t need to understand the kernel to examine activities in the other layers."
Perhaps the whole brains can't be reduced?

A wild idea is that perhaps thoughts on aspect programming may go further?

It is a hard mental jump to go from thinking of wires, gates, registers to fully blown programs. It is even harder to get from DNA, neurons, etc. to temperaments and emotions.

Coming from the building perspective, I also have an issue with using personality traits (or temperaments). Again, they may be a great tool for talking about personality and behaviour, but they describe rather then explain. The last paragraph here echo some of these thoughts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits#Criticisms

It strikes me that according to this formulation of biological sentiences, the sentience is placed outside of and apart from the biology.

A key factor in applied computer science is that processes export operations - everything is designed to be used by something else. It doesn't have to be a person, it could be another computer, but every part of the service architecture is always providing services up or across, until you get to a user that is not part of the system - a remote machine or local person.

Following the analogy implies that the user of the HOS is a sentience that is only linked by their usage - almost like strong A.I. Its a perfectly valid viewpoint (though not to my taste); nor am I sure it was a deliberate implication?

John: your comments here are quite apposite. Certainly, I do not think that we are going to be building functioning AI based on this sort of approach any time soon - perhaps I should have expended more effort to exclude that possibility in this piece. :)

My purpose in rendering Temperaments in this context was by way of placing them in a framework other than the "placing people into little boxes" fashion that is the usual way that people attempt to understand personality typing. I am uncertain if this piece achieves this goal, or merely obfuscates my purpose!

The criticisms of the "Big 5" you linked to are perfectly valid, up to a point. That point for me is that we need a better language for discussing personality and behaviour, and Temperament theory is the best model I've found thus far (leaps and bounds ahead of, say, astrological models!) Also, Temperament theory doesn't appear to have the othogonality issues raised in this piece. I welcome your feedback on this once I start posting the real content (starting later this week).

The incompleteness of any representational system is not a reason not to use it. After all, we got a lot of traction out of Newtonian physics prior to Relativistic physics. :)

One of the reasons I have held off for more than a year from writing up pieces on Temperament theory was a profound scientific conflict within myself as to the validity of the approach. But, ultimately, my version of Temperament theory removes any and all attempts to provide a reductionistic framework to hang the observations on (excluding my wild speculations, perhaps!) - which is to say, it becomes a language of observation more than a theoretical model. I have managed to convince myself that this is a modestly worthwhile endeavour if for no other reason than it extends our language in useful ways.

This piece should be taken as a prolegomenon to the discussion of Temperament theory itself over the next few months, and nothing more.

I hope this assuages some of your concerns. :)

zenBen: it certainly was an intended aspect of this representation that people can look at Temperament not as "who I am" but rather as part of a mental tool kit to which we all have access. I don't believe science or philosophy has much of a handle on sentience, nor do I believe it needs to at this point in time. The science of any given era will always necessarily be incomplete - pretending it is otherwise is a gross diservice to all concerned. :)

Thanks for the comments!

what do you guys think of this model ;-?

strategist: significance, cause impact, duty

diplomat: knowledge, free (self-defined) action, membership

tactician: mastery/self-control, meaning, responsibility

logistician: mastery/self-control, identity, reactivity

as a matter of fact thats the name of my book "human operating system" which i wrote 2 years ago and puplished on jan 2009, its in arabic language... hope to hear from you

Esmail N. al-Hilo: thanks for letting me know about your book! I don't speak Arabic, but if it gets translated into another language I'd be interested to read it.

well, i think it's going to be an interesting thing to do, i'll start the translation in the near future to english language, i will arrange it with the publisher... thanks for being interested
here is my e-mail for more information
enh_virus@yahoo.com

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