Re: Metarationality (was: JOIN: Alden Streeter)

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Sun Aug 25 2002 - 12:49:17 MDT

On Sunday, August 25, 2002, at 02:08 PM, Ben Goertzel wrote:

> Gordon Worley wrote:
>> Rationality is not limited to conscious thought. Thinking rationally
>> in
>> your unconscious thought is just more difficult because you have to
>> actual think rationally, rather than watch your thought processes and
>> correct them if they go astray. This is why further reason why trying
>> to moderate your irrational thoughts does not work.
> But your unconscious thought processes are precisely those processes
> that
> "you" can't watch!!

I can't watch them. You and Samantha just told me I could and that I
just wasn't (all thought is feedback-able, but your mind can only
process so much feedback).

> "You" being the conscious, reflective aspect of your mind-brain-process
> You cannot watch your unconscious processes and correct them if they go
> astray. That is not how your brain is built. You can see the output of
> your unconscious processes, only. I can accept that in some non-normal
> states of consciousness you can go further than we usually do in terms
> of
> observing unconscious processes -- but I'm skeptical about the extent to
> which this is really possible...
> And actually, trying to moderate my irrational thoughts (e.g.
> overoptimistic
> time estimates, incorrect distance estimates that my visual cortex
> feeds me)
> DOES work pretty well...

At first you judge whether the results of your unconscious thought
processes are rational. Then, as you adjust your thinking, you will
discover that there is less and less need for constant judgment of these
thought processes, since you become capable of logical thought without
conscious supervision. True, this requires that you know a lot to make
use of unconscious thought, but it works quite well. I can go away from
a program and return and type exactly correct code that unconscious
processes have created for me. I imagine you can walk away from a math
proof and return to it later and do the same thing.

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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