Re: Fwd: We Can Understand Anything, But are Just a Bit Slow

From: Chris Capel (
Date: Mon Apr 24 2006 - 12:00:31 MDT

On 4/15/06, Charles D Hixson <> wrote:
> What I'm asserting,
> however, is that chunking isn't sufficient. For problems at the edge of your
> ability to solve, you may not be able to chunk them. If, somehow, you
> acquire a pre-chunked description (e.g., you solve the problem on a good day)
> then you may still be able to use the pre-computed chunking on other days,
> but for problems of a certain inherent complexity, this isn't possible. This
> doesn't mean that the problem isn't soluble. It means it's too
> recursively(?) deep to hold in active memory, even when it's been chunked.

For at least some class of problems (finding solutions that solve
large sets of constraints, e.g. in Sudoku) I imagine there's a
tradeoff between chunking and blind searching. E.g. if you can only
hold four constraint chunks, and the solution is obvious with 5, you
can load the four constraints into working memory and then run
incrementally over the search space until you see the solution that
satisfies the fifth.

Chris Capel

"What is it like to be a bat? What is it like to bat a bee? What is it
like to be a bee being batted? What is it like to be a batted bee?"
-- The Mind's I (Hofstadter, Dennet)

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