Why Math, and not Natural Language, Is the Language of Facts

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It all has to do with predictability and subjectivity.  The goal is always to predict the future based on the present.

Any animal signaling is abstract. Math is, however, the most reliable and predictive form of verbal signaling. Mainly because it is a non-local language.

The function of most language/signaling/talk seems to be to signal (over and over) loyalty to, and membership in, the local group(s). Have to check songbirds – they are great template for verbal signaling.

So the conflict is between predictive talk vs. in group, self-referential talk. By definition, math/evidence-based talk feels like it attacks in-group cohesion, because itignores local social norms — thus:”war.”

It must be a shock similar to having someone say repeatedly “I’m with you on your side”, over and over and then making a factual statement, thus no longer saying soothing things. Our brains code that as an attack.

Apparently, our brains don’t care about facts so much as social cohesion. The main goal of language/talk/verbal signaling.

It seems like verbal signaling’s main job is continual reassurance in social settings, to oneself and others. Pretty useless, and in fact counter to the discovering of facts

“You’re far less in control of your brain than you think, study finds “

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This kind of evidence of little, if any, “control” of behavior is directly relevant to marketing and business.  Certainly, those of us wanting to influence behavior need to operate in these systems and millisecond timeframes.

You’re far less in control of your brain than you think, study finds
September 28, 2012

You’ve probably never given much thought to the fact that picking up your cup of morning coffee presents your brain with a set of complex decisions.

  • You need to decide how to aim your hand,
  • grasp the handle and
  • raise the cup to your mouth,
  • all without spilling the contents on your lap.

A new Northwestern University study shows that, not only does your brain handle such complex decisions for you, it also hides information from you about how those decisions are made.
“When you pick up an object, your brain automatically decides how to control your muscles based on what your eyes provide about the object’s shape. When you pick up a mug by the handle with your right hand, you need to add a clockwise twist to your grip to compensate for the extra weight that you see on the left side of the mug. “We showed that the use of this visual information is so powerful and automatic that we cannot turn it off. When people see an object weighted in one direction, they actually can’t help but ‘feel’ the weight in that direction, even when they know that we’re tricking them,”

“In the vast majority of cases, you want to ‘delegate’ decisions like this to the unconscious parts of your brain, leaving you free to focus on less straightforward problems, like following driving directions or enjoying your cup of coffee.”

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-09-youre-brain.html#jCp

We Have A (Decades) Long Haul to Go With Brain Research – Buckel In

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I love brain research and brain science enough to accept that what we know now is, pretty much, nothing.  There is very little information value in what’s being published.  That’s normal and understandable.

We don’t even have the basic physiological descriptive work done to even start with decent theory building — let alone theory testing.

We do seem to have the start of decent descriptive work on something like addiction — and that alone is  remarkable.

We’re in for a lot of very basic, grinding bench science for a long, long time.  We should probably start thinking in terms of Voyager-project timescales!  30-40-50 years?

The Wasting Economics of the Web – It Takes and Gives Nothing Useful Back

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From the research we’ve seen for many years, the economic, social, personal and information value of the Web appears to be zero.   It captures time and visual searching and clicks but nothing more substantial or useful.

It does so by, apparently,although  it has not been studied, triggering pretty automatic and reflexive parts of our brains — thus, it doesn’t need to deliver real information or value.  It is a classic Ponzie scheme.

We can see indicators of this alongside the silly hype it continually throws up.  For example, the rent-seeking of Huffington Post and most blogs.  Fact:  The market value of each article on HufPo or PuffHo, is exactly zero.  The writers get paid nothing.

Thus, the information value of each article and each writer’s work is worth – nothing.  It couldn’t be more clear.

The unproven implicit claim of the web and social media and all e-media and gadgets is: visual searching behavior > clicks > buying behavior.   But this is unproven.

Now, the “good” news is that most of what we do, which includes what we say, has no information value or meaning as well.  What is the value of your last conversation or business meeting or conference presentation, article you read, TV show you watched?

That is not to say doing those things wasn’t a natural and even pleasant part of your behavioral routine.  But we are learning that good feelings and even doing something doesn’t mean it brings any information, value or meaning.

So the Web and online, mobile, gadget behavior is like everything else in life — just routine.  What’s silly is to pretend otherwise and pay for the time it takes up.

Pre-Frontal Cortex Mapping

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Figure 1

Although the human brain’s prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been studied for decades, theories about a valuation network and a cognitive control network—both hypothesized to reside in the PFC—have only recently emerged, and their precise distinction is still unclear.

Furthermore, cognitive control, once considered a unitary construct, is now thought to fractionate into distinct executive functions whose neural correlates remain elusive.

It is thus still an unanswered question how these processes map onto distinct or possibly overlapping sectors of the PFC.  Glaescher et al. applied several new statistical mapping approaches to a sample of 344 lesion patients that had received an array of neuropsychological tests of executive functions and value-based decision-making.

Background data regarding IQ, memory, and other cognitive functions within individual subjects were also analyzed. The authors described detailed maps of PFC regions that are essential for different executive functions.

  • One set involving the dorsolateral PFC and the anterior cingulate cortex is associated with a common performance factor related to flexibly switching between task and response sets, a hallmark of cognitive control.
  • Another set involving the orbitofrontal cortex, ventromedial PFC, and frontopolar cortexis involved in value-based decision-making.This study details the essential neuroanatomical substrates of some of the highest brain functions and provides insights about the extent to which they are distinct or overlap.

“Cooperation” and Punishment May Be Just Selfish, Afterall

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Take Away

The researchers found that participants:

  • strongly conditioned their punishment of their partners’ cheating
  • on their own vulnerability to continued bad treatment from their partner…
  • people in these experiments systematically avoided expending effort to reform those who only posed a risk to others..

Evolutionary psychologists study the purpose of punishment and reputation by ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2012)

In an article published September 27 in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers at UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Evolutionary Psychology report new findings that may help settle the debate and provide answers to the behavioral puzzle. Continue reading