I do not have a different idea every day, but there are more ideas in mind than I have yet to include in papers or books. So, this blog seems a venue for letting them loose. It is also a place to put little stories of one kind or another.

I used my router to create splines to strengthen frame corners of two frames. For Carolyn's frame I used poplar splines in the purpleheart, and purpleheart in the pine of my frame.

I think making frames is challenging, so I am proud of my recent work - most of the woodworking I have done to create utility furniture (in every room of the house!) does not meet any demanding standards. But the slightest error in mitering frame corners requires great care to remediate.

Long before my daughter granted me the astounding privilege of being a grandparent of Audrey and Evie, she created a number of paintings with oil paint on blocks of wood. My third frame was a birthday gift to her (Spring, 2019) that displays one of my favorites. I used a piece of fir wood for this frame.

In 1973 Dalhousie University graciously awarded to me a Doctorate for my accomplishment in Category Theory. Some other time, maybe, I will recount the circumstances and my feelings then, and my feelings now, about this. Anyhow, my second frame is made from a weathered piece of pine I found in the basement.

My wife, Carolyn, was mentored in drawing by Simon Dinnerstein. Her drawing of petals (circa 2000) has been rolled up for years. This Spring, 2019, I happily built for it a frame of purpleheart wood. This was my first attempt at the craft of frame woodwork, and was a fun challenge, involving jigs and fixtures and a circular saw.

This philosophical cognoprint is a schematic representation of an operating structure. It has two triggers on the left, three timeouts on the right, and four operating structure parts within. They each have just one trigger and one timeout, and send signals to one another. Ontologically speaking, just about everything of interest is an operating structure. Basic building blocks (not shown) are interruptible programmable timers (with trigger, duration, cancel, active, and timeout ports), variables of different sorts including timer durations, the usual Boolean logical signal connectors, and creation/annihilation operators for adding or removing operating structures.

This mathematical cognoprint exhibits a key theorem leading to a proof of Hilbert's Nullstellensatz, which is a good starting point for study of Algebraic Geometry. Please download and study "What It Is Like to Be a Mathematical Idiot" from Free Files on this website.

This is an assembly of four mathematical cognoprints. At upper left is "The Adjoint Relationship," which is associated with the eponymous article (download at Free Files on this website). At upper right is "The Legendre Transformation," at lower left is "The Fourier Transformation," and at lower righty is "The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus."

This digital image is built from fragments of mathematical cognoprints. It is suitable for framing and can be obtained in any reasonable size you prefer.

In 1953 at Montauk Point, Long Island I was collecting rocks. For some years I continued to collect rocks, like in the basement of my Aunt's antique store on Coney Island Avenue. I also purchased some rocks at rock and mineral shows. In January, 2017 I mounted the best rocks in this case, which formerly was a drawer in a cabinet in my Mother's sewing room.

Also, in January, 2017 I completed my paper on "A Diagrammatic Microlect for Philosophy of Mind," my most interesting writing, ever. It is available at Free Files on this web-site. I made that drawing on the front page several years ago to suggest my mental model of conscious thought.

Microlectic Analysis of Descriptive Experience Sampling

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 11:03 AM

My response to Russell T. Hurlburt's book, "Investigating Pristine Inner Experience, Moments of Truth" is complete. It is available as a free download on this website under the title, "Microlectic Analysis of Descriptive Experience Sampling."

"Sonnet to Antares" by William Dady, October 28, 1966

Posted on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 10:33 AM

In 1966 it was rumored that under the right circumstances, the poet William Dady could walk through walls. Once, I visited him at the hospital as he recuperated from breaking his legs after diving out of a window.

In 1978 I was employed as an electronic music engineer at Mike Matthew's ElectroHarmonix on 23rd Street in Manhattan, New York City. Any resemblance between the characters in the following fictional piece and real people is an accident.

The film begins millions of years in the future, when there are about 1,000 people remaining. They are not quite immortal, dress in various '50s clothing styles, and spend 23 hours per day cooperating in one very large dance which when viewed from overhead represents a succession of collective super-mathematical thoughts. During this thought dance they calculate that TRUE immortality is not quite possible due to a SINGULARITY (or black hole in time itself) which can be resolved only by sending Paul Staff back in time to 1984, to join with the Immortality Research Project of the billion dollar company, ElectroHarmonix. His job is to resolve the singularity in cooperation with Howie Davis, Ellis Cooper, and Flo, the chief scientists in the project.

When the problem is finally solved, after several near catasrophes on the production line, the suicide of Gwen after a tragic love affair with Cano, and the final electronic music blowout directed by Kenny, Ellis goes to Paul Staff to ask if he may go back to the future with him. Paul rejects Ellis because, he says, "Ellis' mind is sterile." Whereupon Ellis leaps to tear Paul's throat open, only to be reduced to a pile of quivering headache induced by a wave of Paul's hand.

In the final scene, after all has been resolved, and Mike is happy to have become the first 1984 person to be made Immortal, he is walking down the street with his friend Joe, talking excitedly, gesticulating wildy, and accidentally gets hit and killed by a Moped driven by Gosia.

Throughout the film "Immortality" is a metaphor for higher consciousness.

Review of "Now and Trajectory" by Julian Troianov, 1995

Posted on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Over 20 years ago I generated a web site with some ideas about time and consciousness. An understanding scientist named Julian Troianov wrote a kind review of the work.

Let me begin with citing the following words, regarding rigor and intuition from the new hypertext book "Now and Trajectory" by Dr. Ellis Cooper: "Rigor cleans the window through which intuition shines". In my opinion these words are not yet put into practice by the researchers in the field of consciousness studies and a lot of work in this direction must be done. I have my own intuitions about consciousness and since my first encounter with the relatively new branch in mathematics called Category Theory in which so many mathematical concepts can be described in an elegant way I was trying to make them rigorous. I must say that I am not a professional in the field of consciousness, but coming from the control systems community and having a mathematical inclination I am convinced that the word of mathematicians, working in pure mathematics must be heard in the discussion of the Mind-Body problem. The first and only attempt I found of applying the concepts of category theory in the consciousness studies is made by Dr. Ellis Cooper. The book is designed as a hypertext document utilizing the Windows Help format (.HLP). One can use the familiar buttons that appear in "Help" files such as "Search" button. Let me warn the readers that this part is really a hypertext document one can spend a lot of time on browsing it. The book is divided into two main parts, called "Person" and "Theory". In the "Person" part of this hypertext document one may find dated diary notes, which altogether tell the story of the author and his family.

The "Theory" part is of main interest for us. In the "Mathematics" section of this part one can find the "Lecture for High School Students" subsection, which consists of fourteen parts (talks). Talks from 1 to 7 are a very good introduction to the main concepts of category theory such as category, functor, natural transformation, limit, adjoint functor. I really enjoy reading these talks because they are easy reading yet with illustrative examples. They are designed to guide the reader to the final definition of the concept of topos (a cartesian closed category with equalizers and sub-object classifier). Unfortunately there are some typos in the rigorous definition of topos in the end of Talk 3, but the meaning may be easily restored.

Talks from 8 to 14 explain the essence of author's theory of consciousness. The central idea one needs to understand is the concept of "Now" which is inspired from the concept of the specious present as used by William James. The concept of "Now" as it is defined in the book is very general and on its basis a new rich and coherent theory of subjectivity is built. In Dr. Cooper's theory the "Now" is an element of a category called "Nature", in which all of nature is modeled. This category is a topos with natural numbers element and infinite colimits. Adding the axiom of infinite depth, which says that every directed relationship in Nature is also an element of Nature is crucial for the formalization of the intuitions behind the concept of "Now". This axiom allows also to define for every directed relationship its function and structure in truly categorical fashion. The capture in Nature of the idea that the directed relationships of a Now have subjective feelings is done in Cooper's theory in an elegant way, defining the functor Feel: Nature -> FEELINGS, where category FEELINGS is a free monoid. The definitions of object and subject in Talk 10, which are very general, are based on this idea. Now when one is equipped with Dr. Cooper's interpretation of subjective feelings he is ready for the "Law of Motion for Consciousness", which is explained in Talk 9 and says that consciousness flows to difficulty. The relation between the feeling of difficulty and the consciousness is well known to psychologists and many facts, that confirm it may be found in the literature. So the rigorous definition of "Law of Motion for Consciousness" that may be found with the appropriate diagram in Talk 10 is a valuable achievement. In the same Talk the following general problems are discussed: the problem of formation of an unified subjective time for the individual out of various nows, the problem of the physical basis for this integration and the problem of unifying the subjective times together into one objective time. These are really hard problems, but when the proper formal definitions are introduced the formulation of each problem becomes clearer and this gives the author the opportunity to share some thoughts about its possible solution. He introduces the element in Nature called Spacetime, which may have directed relationships to the nows of the subjects. Assuming a subject may postulate any such directed relationships, which are intuitively plausible, the author asserts that nature has enough room for disagreements. Postulating that for every subject (or object) there is a motion of the subject (or object) in the Spacetime the author infers that for the subjects that are not moving very fast relative to each other there is one objective time. In the general case the objective times of the subjects are related by the Lorentz transformations and the interested reader may check the Physics Theory section, where an original derivation of the Lorentz transformations can be found along with good introduction of the basic math used in quantum mechanics. After the Spacetime element is introduced one may understand Dr. Cooper's solution of the Mind-Body Problem, which can be found in Part 11 of the Lecture for High School Students. The author grasps the very essence of the Mind in his statement that the Mind is neither material nor immaterial, but it is a virtual machine and the patterns in his behavior are elements if Nature with directed relations to physical spacetime. The idea of emergence of patterns and sensitivity to patterns needs a the concept of a virtual machine as a pattern in the behavior of a machine, which may itself be a virtual machine. That chain ends in neural machinery, for which there are biophysical mathematical models, which are efficacious because physics is distinguished among mental models of nature in that it has objective procedures with numerical variables whose values are consistent with values computed from the mathematical models.

The author claims that there are numerous intermediate levels of virtual machinery between the physics of fundamental particles and their interactions at the base of the tower, and Mind at its pinnacle and the patterns of behavior of all of these intermediate levels, which include proteins, cells, neurons, and neural networks are described by systems of impulsive differential equations. The notion of a system of impulsive differential is used because it is a convenient means of representing mathematical mental models of units which time out, send signals, and trigger each other. A detailed explanation is given in the section named "The Timeout, Signal and Trigger Model of Parallel Computation in Neural Machinery". A formal definition of the concept of Neurality may be found in Talk 13 for High School Students and it surprisingly turns out to imply that in a way the "self" may be considered colimit on his flows. A reader with a mathematical inclination will see this definition in its proper categorical perspective.

Throughout the hypertext document the concept of input-output serial machine is used and the construction of an input-output machine in the Nature is explained in a subsection of the section named "A Mathematical Theory of Nature", where also the author asserts that every input-output machine can be simulated by a neural machine. Moreover using the concepts of compiling and imaging Dr. Cooper gives explains how input-output serial machinery may be considered to support an intuitively resonant and rigorously definable notion of emergent downward causation. In terms of the impulsive ordinary differential equations the author's explanation of the downward causation corresponds to the existence and uniqueness of solutions to a system of impulsive ordinary differential equations.

If the reader wants to see the descriptive power of author's theory put in action he must read Talks 13 and 14, In the end of Talk 13 Dr. Cooper's interpretation of the classic psychophysical experiments of Robert Effron may be found. The preceding two talks contain some introductory remarks on this interpretation. Talk 14 consists entirely of interpretations of various notions of temporality from the works of Julius Fraser.

If one carefully reads the book he will notice that Dr. Cooper's theory of subjectivity has one unique virtue of metaphysical value. Suppose a man (the author) has a mathematical mental model of nature, called Nature. Then if this model is what it is supposed to be in the author's theory, the Nature must have a model of him. Dr. Cooper writes that this kind of circularity is crucial to his "feeling of rightness", which I share too. In my opinion this circularity is due to the generality, embodied in the language used in category theory. One may suspect this language to be conducive to incorrect speculations about consciousness, but if rigorous arguments are given along with the translation of the intuitive notions in this language, the danger will be avoided. The book "Now and Trajectory" shows how this goal may be achieved, but yet an enormous work is to be done. I hope this book may give the consciousness studies community the foundations to build upon. The most controversial idea in the book in my opinion is the model of parallel computation in neural machinery. It is obvious (at least to Dr. Cooper and me) that the common notion of a neural network as we know it, is not appropriate as a serious foundation of the science of subjectivity. But I think that the arguments in the book in favor of the new model of parallel computation are too intuitive and it is easy for one to overlook the power of this new model and consider it to be a mere twisted variant of the classical neural network.

This book is unusual in both aspects of contents and form. The ideas presented are absolutely original. Offering connections between different fields of knowledge these ideas have the power of inspiration. The material is dispersed in many relatively autonomous pieces of information and this organization makes reading difficult, but in strange way it is an illustration for the theory the book teaches. I highly recommend everyone interested in the study of consciousness to buy and read this book and I hope a new exciting book from Dr. Cooper will be available soon.

Julian Troianov
The Institute of Computer & Communication Systems Bulgarian Academy of Science
125, Zarigradsko shosse, b1.2
1113 Sofia, BULGARIA

Although "Giant Brains" by computer scientist Edmund C. Berkeley captured my pre-adolescent attention in the 1950s, it was in the 1960s that I became self-aware. Urgently fascinated with my conscious thoughts, I rigged a foot-pedal to a tape recorder in an attempt to record audio snapshots of my mind. By the late 1970s early 1980s I planned to build the "Mind Mapper" tiny portable microcomputer, which was supposed to make an audible ping at random times during the day. The idea was to write down a word or brief phrase describing the conscious thought that was interrupted by the ping. The accumulated data would be analyzed for patterns that represent the person's interior life. I was not assuming this was an original idea, and sure enough, an article "Modes of Normal Conscious Flow" (in "The Stream of Consciousness," edited by Kenneth S. Pope and Jerome L. Singer, 1978) by Eric Klinger included the "Minnesota Thought-Sampling Study" confirmed that thought sampling was already in the psychology zeitgeist.

A conscious thought sample occupies a moment of time, so consciousness and time are mutually inextricable. This complex has occupied great minds, from the mystic Georges Gurdjieff who taught one to "remember oneself," to the phenomenologist Edmund Husserl who analyzed subjective "retentions and protentions," to the psychologist William James' unfolding of the "specious present," to the immuno-biologist and neuroscientist Gerald Edelman who wrote a book entitled, "The Remembered Present."

In my book on "Microlects of Mental Models" (2015) there is a "timing machine mental model diagram for the Stochastic Thought-Sampling Experiment," with random times selected by a Poisson process, and relating events in System 1 and System 2 (as in "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman). But that was my last thought on the topic, until a few days ago.

I happened to pick up the current issue (Ocotber 1-7, 2016) of "New Scientist" because the cover says "Your Conscious Unconscious, Your life is ruled by thoughts you don't control." Believe me, I was astounded to read in an article by Caroline Williams that "Russell Hurlburt, a psychologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas ... asks volunteers to wear an earpiece linked to a beeper, which goes off at random intervals six times a day, prompting them to note their thoughts." This I had to google. I rushed to order his book, "Investigating Pristine Inner Experience: Moments of Truth," for which the advertisement says "The author, a pioneer in using beepers to explore inner experience, draws on his 35 years of studies to provide fascinating and provocative views of everyday inner experience and experience in bulimia, adolescence, the elderly, schizophrenia, Tourette's syndrome, virtuosity, and so on." Not only that, Hurlburt teaches introductory statistics - just like me.

I have not yet opened the package with his book in it. Here is what I think, going in. I imagine the world-wide Attention Network. The nodes are people, and also possible foci of attention. At any given moment of time, a person node is linked to their concious thought focus of attention (if there is a salient one). It is possible that many people at that moment happen to be focused on Hillary Clinton, or on the War in Syria. Someone may be focused on an itch at that moment, known only to themselves. Stochastic Attention Sampling (STATS) uses smartphones (possibly something like Hurlburt's iPromptU, "an iPhone application that presents prompts at random or fixed time intervals and collects the user’s responses"). Statistical network analysis of a large sample of the world-wide Attention Network would be applied to discover whether, for example, their are preferential attachment power laws that unify some of the data.

Right from the beginning, kids have "jobs" in a "town." The jobs of little kids involve playing with different kinds of toys and engaging in different kinds of games. They rotate from day to day to different jobs. Jobs of older kids are more like jobs in the "real" world, and the kids rotate from week to week to new job experiences. "Supervisors" with benign intent note what kinds of jobs each kid likes most. At the end of ten years each kid already knows what it is like to go to work, and do well at work they prefer. There are no multiple-month Summer vacations, but little kids get more days off than older kids, from time to time and on special occasions.

Votes should not be for individual candidates representing political parties. Instead, the first votes should be for proposals to solve local, or global problems. The second votes should be for individuals or institutions who offer to implement the selected problem-solving proposals. Completed implementations shall be analyzed in public, whether they succeed or fail.

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