Issues in the study of abstractions
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Issues in the study of abstractions

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May 20, 2000: "Issues in the Study of Abstractions". Presented at the Eighth ...

May 20, 2000: "Issues in the Study of Abstractions". Presented at the Eighth
Interdisciplinary Conference on General Evolutionary Systems, sponsored by the Washington Evolutionary Systems Society.

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  • 1. Cover Page   Issues in the Study of  Abstractions  Author: Jeffrey G. Long ( Date: May 1, 2000 Forum: Talk presented at the Eighth Interdisciplinary Conference on Evolutionary Systems, sponsored by the Washington Evolutionary Systems Society.   Contents Pages 1‐15: Slides (but no text) for presentation   License This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit‐nc/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.  Uploaded June 27, 2011 
  • 2. Issues in the Study of Abstractions Jeffrey G. Long WESS Conference May 2000
  • 3. Overview• Changing Our Minds Ch i O Mi d• The Reality of Abstractions• Types of Learning• Making Notational Engineering a Real Discipline
  • 4. Changing Our Minds: Four People• Adam-1: Born 200,000 years ago• Adam-2: Born 100,000 years ago Ad 2 B 100 000• Adam-3: Born today• Adam-4: Born 100,000 years hence
  • 5. Assumptions• Th people are all modern H The l ll d Homo sapiens i sapiens• The people are genetically identical• The people g p p grow up to be competent at p p living a normal life for their times
  • 6. If Brought Together, Could They Communicate?• B i capabilities always reliable: Basic biliti l li bl – Smile, cry, show other emotions – Basic cognition: differentiate 3 > 2• Basic ontological assumptions/beliefs are very different• Effectively, each exists in a different world y,
  • 7. The World of Adam 1 Adam-1• No language N l• No numbers• No time• No shape• No relations• No l N value
  • 8. The World of Adam 2 Adam-2• Language L• No numbers• No time• No shape• No relations• No l N value
  • 9. The World of Adam 3 Adam-3• Language L• Numbers• Time• Shape• Relations• Value V l
  • 10. The World of Adam 4 Adam-4• All of th previous, plus new abstractions f the i l b t ti that we cannot even imagine – New concepts of language, numbers, time, shape, relations, value – Wh ll new abstractions Wholly b i – Wholly new media – Wholly new values and behaviors
  • 11. Changing Our Minds• Th mind of Hss is what evolves The i d f H i h t l• It evolves via new abstractions and the application thereof• This creates a new ontology gy• There is a major chasm between people having vastly different ontologies
  • 12. Are They Real or Inventions?• Wh t criteria could we use to determine What it i ld t d t i this?• What are the consequences of one or the other?
  • 13. What criteria could we use?• H d we k How do know anything is “real”? thi i “ l”? – Intersubjective agreement – Functional utility – Cultural convention• Are there parallels to the way we learn to see objects? – Piaget’s developmental stages
  • 14. What are the consequences?• If abstractions are “real” then: b t ti “ l” th – There is some biological/ontogenetic perception process that allows us to see them ti th t ll t th – There may be some way to see new abstractions more q ickl or s stematicall quickly systematically – It changes the nature of reality: what we think is real is only “surface structure surface structure”
  • 15. Types of Learning• N Ab t ti New Abstraction: See something t t ll S thi totally new in the environment• New Paradigm: Change our unconscious beliefs about a system or situation• New Knowledge: Extend our conscious beliefs about a system or situation y
  • 16. Making Notational Engineering a Real Discipline• University Research Lab/Program U i it R h L b/P• Private Foundation• For-Profit Corporation• Federal Research Lab• Primary requirement: results