Epistemic Laws of Motion

post by SquirrelInHell · 2017-07-07T21:37:43.938Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 14 comments

This is a link post for http://squirrelinhell.blogspot.com/2017/07/epistemic-laws-of-motion.html


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comment by ChristianKl · 2017-07-08T15:53:51.661Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"Every change of epistemic pressure ΔP is equal to the change in a person's strategies ΔS times their psychological resistance R."

I don't think that's a good way to think about it. More pressure doesn't always lead to more chance. It's about applying the right amount of pressure at the right point at the right time.

Replies from: SquirrelInHell, sen
comment by SquirrelInHell · 2017-07-09T21:09:39.182Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's about applying the right amount of pressure at the right point at the right time.

It's a good perspective. But I have a very specific meaning of "pressure" in mind, not every kind of pressure that people use on each other.

Replies from: ChristianKl
comment by ChristianKl · 2017-07-09T21:49:45.949Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you have a specific meaning of pressure in mind, could you define that meaning?

Replies from: SquirrelInHell
comment by SquirrelInHell · 2017-07-10T11:00:38.378Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think the OP contains enough pieces to figure it out, but a hint is somewhere in the direction of "to what degree your neurons are forced to scramble and rewire to make sense of the new situation"

Replies from: ChristianKl
comment by ChristianKl · 2017-07-10T13:23:23.705Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't think "scramble and rewire" is a a good summary of various neurological processes that happen when a person changes deep-seated beliefs.

Your model sounds like the basic behaviorist model of psychology. Yes, humans do react to carrots and sticks but those aren't the only mechanisms. Psychology moved on from just being focused on behavorism.

Replies from: SquirrelInHell
comment by SquirrelInHell · 2017-07-10T17:50:11.219Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There is nothing that I can see here that would suggest simple behaviorism. I find models like Behavior: The Control of Perception more appealing.

OTOH, I do think that "scramble and rewire" captures some important part of what happens when people change their deep-seated beliefs. If you have a different view, please share details/resources.

Replies from: ChristianKl
comment by ChristianKl · 2017-07-10T21:09:43.647Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Adding myelin to axons can change neuron behavior without scrambling and rewiring. When it comes to neurotransmitters there are also different kinds of cells besides neurons that have effects. However given the complexity of the brain I generally think that it's more useful to treat it as a blackbox.

Pressure often leads to a person reducing exploration in the domain where the pressure is applied. Exploration can be important for learning (and thus belief change). http://thefieldcenter.org/06resources/downloads/learning_to_learn.pdf is an interesting explanation of Feldenkrais's perspective on learning.

Replies from: SquirrelInHell
comment by SquirrelInHell · 2017-07-14T14:13:32.747Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oh, I emphatically agree with all of the above. The phrase "scramble and rewire" was not intended to be biologically accurate. And Feldenkrais's perspective seems like basically a rephrase of my message. (I think it's obvious that in my model high "psychological resistance" is a BAD thing)

comment by sen · 2017-07-08T20:49:24.383Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't see how your comment contradicts the part you quoted. More pressure doesn't lead to more change (in strategy) if resistance increases as well. That's consistent with what /u/SquirrelInHell stated.

comment by cousin_it · 2017-07-08T09:17:33.487Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

My old post True numbers and fake numbers reads like a preemptive critique of yours.

comment by sen · 2017-07-08T08:29:25.055Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That mass corresponds to "resistance to change" seems fairly natural, as does the correspondence between "pressure to change" and impulse. The strange part seems to be the correspondence between "strategy" and velocity.'' Distance would be something like strategy * time.

Does a symmetry in time correspond to a conservation of energy? Is energy supposed to correspond to resistance? Maybe, though that's a little hard to interpret, so it's a little difficult to apply Lagrangian or Hamiltonian mechanics. The interpretation of energy is important. Without that, the interpretation of time is incomplete and possibly incoherent.

Is there an inverse correspondence between optimal certainty in resistance strategy (momentum) and optimal certainty in strategy time (distance)? I guess, so findings from quantum uncertainty principles and information geometry may apply.

Does strategy impact one's perception of "distances" (strategy * time) and timescales? Maybe, so maybe findings from special relativity would apply. A universally-observable distance isn't defined though, and that precludes a more coherent application of special/general relativity. Some universal observables should be stated. Other than the obvious objectivity benefits, this could help more clearly define relationships between variables of different dimensions. This one isn't that important, but it would enable much more interesting uses of the theory.

comment by SquirrelInHell · 2017-07-07T21:37:59.189Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

every idea that is truly new will necessarily sound like madness

- me

Replies from: MrMind
comment by MrMind · 2017-07-17T08:08:47.720Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

An idea that is truly new will probably be madness.

Replies from: SquirrelInHell
comment by SquirrelInHell · 2017-07-17T08:33:49.269Z · LW(p) · GW(p)