What happened to the soundclick players on the posts?

Seems Soundclick has finally disabled the embedded player.

I notice overnight all the music links on this blog are gone. Here is a blog post on how much that affected my hits: https://anttismusic...

Monday, December 2, 2019

On Language

On Language

By Antti Luode

(Not an expert)

EDIT: It is being pointed out to me that there are things such as word association memory and
that most likely I am full of crap. Yes. I assumed I am. But still. This is how I feel language
works in my head. And yes. When prefrontal cortex takes damage. Our language skills and
cognition do take a hit. So yes, I assumed there is back and forth going on between different
parts of the brain. I assumed there is retrieving and storage going on in different parts of the brain.

But now that everything is understood in form of freewheeling AI algorithms that are set loose
in neuronal computers such as brain. I am just saying that maybe all these complicated theories fail
to see that in the end of the day. Brain just kind of "makes poop up". It applies a new solution to
old problems. You could even argue every person approaches things such as language in their own way. Adapts to new languages and places. In a way that might not make as much sense
as we would like to think it does.

And yes, Chomsky wrote a book called "On language", which I was not aware of before writing
this. It just seemed like a natural title for a article about language. (Great minds think a like? Well
at least one was great. Which was not me.)

END EDIT


I was just listening to Noam Chomsky talking with Lex Fridman about the human mind and our capabilities.

After listening my first thought instantly was, what does Elon Musk think about Noam Chomsky. I googled and found out that Elon had responded by saying, Noam Chomsky sucks. He had been interviewed by Lex too.

Now, Elon was seemingly saying this because his company Neuralink wants to develop a brain / computer interface that would allow you to bridge the gap between computer and the brain.

Behind these ideas, behind these people are incredibly complicated ideas that I do not claim to follow. Noam Chomsky as the father of modern linquistics and Elon Musk as the whiz kid who can seemingly set to do just about anything and then make it happen.

I do not claim to know neuroscience, so what I am going to say will sound completely ridiculous.

But I think I know what language is.

My prefrontal cortex is failing me. Whether that is because of my epilepsy or the bipolar 2 I suffer from, or the medicines I take, who knows. But one thing I do know is. The damage I have suffered has made me "search" for words a bit longer, as do most people who are tired or otherwise impaired. Especially when it comes to my emotions.

To me prefrontal cortex is clearly the base of ego. A kind of system that pools in all the other parts of the brain. To me this process is "reflection". When we think, we reflect.

Now, Noam Chomsky said in his interview that he believes our ability to communicate is unique among species. Which may be partly true. But I do believe that most species with a brain have the ability to reflect. Reflect in visual / emotional and so on cues.

To me, language is just another layer on the top of that. Now why humans are capable of understanding more words than say a chimpanzee or a dog comes down to the size of prefrontal cortex I guess. More reflection. Less subsystems.

All animals "talk", in a way. Send messages to others. With us. The talking has become more important than a lot of the lower brain functions. Even though we are still just as occupied with copulation, eating and so on as most other species.

But it is the reflection that has become alive in communication. And not just in words as evidenced by deaf people who still learn to communicate through sign language. So it is not about audio language, it is about language as in form of any sub system. You could think in touch. You could think in warmth, you could think in a movement. That is why we have interpretive dancing (going to church where we had people do it made me think of this example), we are in a way thinking when we are moving. We can move aggressively, we can move gently, we ARE sending a message when we move in different fashions.

Us bipolar people, we are prone to diarrhea of the mount. Over communication. That is based on a disturbance in dopamine production. We "lack the breaks" when it comes to "stopping" ourselves. We get too excited, too emotional, too quick (and then burn out).

Is that is why I am writing this?  No actually I do not even feel like doing this today. It just seems like a hard question that people smarter than me think of in form of neural communication. All I can do is to talk about it as a artist would.

One of my musician friends said that I wish we could speak in form of music, because it would be a higher way of communication.

I agree. But I think I know why we can not. It is too exciting, too stressful. Just like real time language translation poses terrible stess on the the brain (I could not find a link but I was told it can be seen in fmri) and is exhausting. Just think if you had to be able to bring multiple subsystems online to talk. It would be exhausting.

Sure. Some musical genius could do that for a brief time. Which is what musicians do in the end. But even then we would not be fluent in it. It can take eons to compose a complicated song. Yet, I can "hear" a song in my head when I think about composing.

Language.

We read the faces of other people really well. We bond with them. We read their emotional state, we respond to it without thinking. The way this works. To describe it from all the angles, including the neuronal science. Would be a task
that would not be possible for me.

But I can picture it in my head. Because I am a human being. Once a blank state baby that has slowly absorbed the world into my mind. Built a unique mirror image of the world by using complicated AI algorithms in the different parts of my brain. Forever branded by my childhood in things like the way I secrete cortisol and and adrenaline. (I found out about this by reading the "Highly Sensitive Person") The way my parents treated me, I learnt to respond to their cues, first on a neuronal level, which then became a learnt cortisol / adrenal response.

The words my parents spoke, the way world was around me, dictated how my body creates cortisol / adrenaline to this day.

But it was not words alone. It was their tone. It was the way the dark nights of my childhood scared me. It was the way the air smelled on cool fall nights, it was the taste of the food I ate, the way the shadows moved on my wall when the cars drove by. All the different sub systems in my brain became woven together by the prefrontal cortex.

This is language. And do not tell me that a dog or a cat does not think in the same way. Of course they do. The image of their owner flashes in their mind - they whine. They dream! This is the reflection running in their brain, just like ours.

 But words. We make them to be so special. Chimpanzees can understand words. Dogs can understand words.

Why assume that words are anything more than AI algorithms ran in the neuronal computer that is prefrontal cortex. Algorithms that can be chained in different order that are no different than images / emotions / feelings. Search algorithms? Trying to cue in sub systems (vision, hearing, etc) First written language was hieroglyphs after all, in hieroglyph picture of sun meant - sun.

Noam Chomsky brought up a sentence "The guy who fixed the car carefully packed his tools." and how if you move the word carefully in the sentence it becomes completely different thing.

Yes. But why assume the words themselves are anything more than algorithms running in the brain? When we think of sun, we instantly reflect of sun in many different ways. You may think of sun over lake, sun eclipse, sun spots, lack of sunlight, sunny face. Those are images.. Then you may think about the feeling sunlight brings: warmth, spring. Or the opposite. Cold. Distant sun. Or the sounds related to sun. Birds singing in a tree on a sunny spring day, music playing on a sunny beach. On a bipolar person, the associations just keep on coming, as I said. My breaks are missing.

Why assume that the word sun, is anything more special than the image of sun, the warmth of the sun, the sounds connected to sun. That is just the prefrontal cortex connecting the word sun in all different sub systems of the brain.

Now yes. The word sun itself. The word. Can be read so fast we almost do not see it, we do not hear it. Which bring forth a stream of thought. A moving picture, a facsimile of what we experience in life. A mental movie.

That is something that a dog or a cat can not do.

Words do allow us to think very fast about very different concepts. Something that you can not experience in real life. Yet you can experience it in movies, in songs. We can tell a story in pictures after all, we can tell a story in music. We can tell a story in movement.

Why make language to be anything special. Just a added bonus of our large prefrontal cortex.

Of course these are just my personal experiences as a human being. As a human being who tends to think things too large for me to possibly be able to comprehend through science. I guess in a way a artist would.

We artists (me being worst of all), think this way. We visualize things. The incredible thing is that a lot of what writers imagine, what musicians compose, what movie makers direct. They are just reflections of what is.

Reflections. That is what I propose a language is.

Complicated algorithms that connect the subsystems of the brain. That can be chained together in what ever order you want.

Next level of language would be to be able to constantly pool together all the different subsystems of the brain. To connect to another human being in all the other sub systems. In a way it happens in .. Sex.

There is the heat, there is the movement, there is the language, even music (moaning has tones) there is the visual communication, there is the hormonal cues, there is the unbreakable bond for a little bit.

But the next level of language would not be just about procreation. It would be about minds / bodies fusing together.

Well

Anglerfish does fuse: (at least they fuse their bodies)

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/57800/horrors-anglerfish-mating

"When ceratioid males go looking for love, they follow a species-specific pheromone to a female, who will often aid their search further by flashing her bioluminescent lure. Once the male finds a suitable mate, he bites into her belly and latches on until his body fuses with hers. Their skin joins together, and so do their blood vessels, which allows the male to take all the nutrients he needs from his host/mate’s blood. The two fish essentially become one.

...

What if consciousness is just a ai algorithm, connecting all senses, as the body moves through the world. Mirroring the world. Reflecting the inner world of the person back out. Through language and everything the person does? Running free. Interacting with the world according to its personal track through it. Being changed by the world and changing the world.

That would beg the question then. Would simplest organisms be conscious?

As a someone who has suffered some damage. I can see how I am still conscious even though
I am not as smart as I used to be. Why say that consciousness begins or starts at some level of
intelligence. Why not say that it begins as soon as there is a neural network and some input
and output.

I think we as human beings do not like that answer because then all life would seem equally precious.

Antti








1 comment:

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