In his "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework," Doug
describes how he used a set of notched note cards for organizing and
fishing out those notes that were relevant to a particular issue of
concern. See Section 3: A3d. Having used the system for some time, he
had come to recognize a useful subordering: Specification,
Organization, and Content.
I seem to recognize a pattern here, a pattern that developed from the
contemplating of dreams.
Dreams (well, many of my own dreams, anyway) seem to be generated by
emotional or arousal states (Honi soit qui mal y pense). Most dreams
are humdrum, forgotten already by the time I wake up. Some are quite
vivid and upon review have elements corresponding to some outstanding
events of the previous day. The interesting thing is that these are
not factual correspondences as much as they are correspondences of a
type usually connected with a fair amount of emotion or attending or
My sense of dreaming is that it is the right side of the brain
collecting bits of facts (factuals, monads*, concept packets** - in
short bits of information) associated with a previous strong arousal
of similar type, and then organizes them (have them self-associate)
into tiny stories that abruptly displace one another. In other words,
arousals (emotions) are organizing agents, but, unless one is awake,
agents with little regard for reality. (I have been able to identify
another person's dreamed factuals with emotionally associated real
factuals, and do so on a number of occasions without any difficulty
whatsoever. Hence, I am confident about being correct here in
principle.) Reality comes with the waking state which knits those
factuals together so as to let us interpret our daily experiences to
ourselves - to make sense of the events around us, i.e. to experience
"reality," and in the process add to our store of factuals.
It is known that very young children frequently dream of flying.
Presumably their factuals are still rich (high fraction) in those they
came into this world with and, hence, one may expect similarities in
the dramatic content of dreams. That effect will dilute with growing
Interesting is the brief period of disorganization during awakening.
Opening one's eyes during the sleep-wake transition, one may ascribe a
line to being the edge of a table, but after a brief moment one
realizes it is actually part of a door frame. That seems to correspond
to the half second or so of our nervous system's feedback time.
Factuals get organized by, guess what, our natural propensity to
bootstrap. (Ref. Gazzaniga, "The Mind's Past.")
Now I should guess that it is fair to look at Doug's "Specification,
Organization, and Content" as corresponding to natural aspects of
mind. Content = factuals. Organization = waking state (when
consistent), dream state (when flimsy). Specification = interest
focus, which is strongly influenced by emotions. As for specification,
consider primitive man. He must immediately react to sudden
environmental threats and his "specification" must rapidly limit
content to what's relevant (so as to avoid time lost in bootstrapping)
and highten "organization" (i.e. attending, arousal). Specification, I
suggest may be our natural hyperscope in a natural "three-layered
structure" with a bunch of factuals (raw and chunked) as the bottom
layer, the waking state or some emotional state attuned by some
choleric as the middle layer
Now go back to Jack Park's notes on chaos theory ("Use cases and
ontologies"; last Thursday) with its components: Actors = factuals;
relations = organization; state = specification (selecting object of
our affection) or hyperscope.
Why do I think this is important to contemplate? Because chances are
that augmenting the human mind will work better if it is in step with
the very way natural mind works anyway.
We may just be on a very good track.
* monads, I seem to recall, is a term used for roving elements of
thought in some late 19th century theory of psychology.
** "concept packets" is a term used by Doug.
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