System 3: Thinking *very* slow (intuitions -> discernment)

Discernment comes from the ability to recognize complex patterns and forms. Complex forms aren’t instinctual, but they are recognized using the same hardware and mental process as instinctive forms. Examples of complex forms:

-Ponzi scheme
-Prisoner’s dilemma
Hipster coffee shop
-Pornography
Fire truck

We don’t have to go through a checklist of characteristics in order to identify these things as distinct from other, similar-looking things. We know them instantly, as soon as we see them. Unlike our instinctive ability to recognize secondary sexual characteristics and “monsters” (big, has teeth, etc.) no one is born with the ability to recognize these complex forms outright. They have to be constructed.

One way to do this is by reading a description of a form we’ve already seen, but haven’t yet formalized in our minds. This is because we already have the building blocks, but we haven’t yet decided to prioritize this pattern for the discernment process because mental energy is finite.

I believe that having “intuitions” is the subjective experience of creating a new complex form in the gray matter for easy future recognition. This usually takes the form of some kind of vision, and this vision state is the “very slow thinking” thing I referenced in the title.

This sort of thinking seems to require a preexisting white matter network, a lot of mental energy, and a long period of acetylcholine-seeking, introverted, endogenous cognition. People who experience this vision state in a diluted form tend to describe it as “holistic” thinking or “mass associative” thinking, and I have done so myself. The next step up from this seems to be a genuine vision, as in a seamless mental movie that occurs spontaneously like a dream, where the meaning often (but not always) has to be extracted afterward.

The best way to inspire this cognitive state seems to be a combination of mental autonomy, urgency, salient mortal stimuli, and a recognition that survival will depend on perfect attention to details in an unpredictable situation. In order to experience this yourself, I want you to do a thought experiment that is probably out of the ordinary for you if you aren’t a psychopath: pick someone out of a crowd and plan out how you’re going to follow them home, break into their house, and murder them without getting yourself killed by that person or their housemates in self-defense.

Because it’s an unusual situation (unless you’re a professional killer and familiar with the trade talk), you can’t make recourse to thinking it out in words. You immediately switch to a visual mode (unless you lack the hardware). There are an awful lot of details to consider very quickly. The level of danger is high, but also unknown, and the immediacy brings your brain into a hyperfocus state.

Don’t actually do it though, that would be bad and I would feel bad.

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About Aeoli Pera

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24 Responses to System 3: Thinking *very* slow (intuitions -> discernment)

  1. Edenist whackjob says:

    So are you saying this is how Tex came up with his various theories?

    And I am guessing that Koanic used Systems 1 & 2 to build upon the original work of Tex?

  2. Edenist whackjob says:

    Was reading about Hegel here: http://www.quora.com/Georg-Hegel-philosopher-author/What-are-some-good-examples-of-the-thesis-antithesis-synthesis-process

    Had a thought about narcissists.

    Maybe for narcissists, the thesis is “I am worthless”. Then the antithesis will be “I am the best”. So, maybe they are just stuck on the antithesis.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      That could very well be. I’ve been thinking about the overlap between narcissists and homosexuals lately, and this insight may hold the key to the whole business.

      Will continue thinking.

    • Heaviside says:

      “The facing, the idea of what is, judged from what is, is always beyond what is — meta. To have seen this meta, that is, to have thought it, is the simple and thus inexhaustible meaning of all Greek thought. The idea of what is, is in itself metaphysical.

      “Consciousness, however, is explicitly the Notion of itself. Hence it is something that goes beyond limits, and since these limits are its own, it is something that goes beyond itself. With the positing of a single particular the beyond is also estab­lished for consciousness, even if it is only alongside the limited object as in the case of spatial intuition.”

      That’s what “antithesis” is.

      I use direct quotations because I don’t see the point of trying to squeeze great minds into smaller ones.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        Because a small mind is the only one I have access to.

        I think I’ve understood this quote now. Consciousness is an idea, but it’s unique in that it is an idea of itself. Or something like. I don’t get the part about limits.

      • Heaviside says:

        >Because a small mind is the only one I have access to.

        I think you misunderstood me. What I meant is that secondary literature is bad.

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          Ah, okay. I don’t distinguish much between secondary and primary sources anymore because neither is the visual impression itself. Whether an embedded war journalist can make sense of what he’s seeing is as likely as a Hollywood film-maker properly reproducing the sensations.

          The only real difference is that if you interview the journalist and say “isn’t it true that X?” he might reach into his bag of contextual details and say “no, because the situation on the ground is Y”, whereas the film-maker (who can more precisely convey a whole impression) doesn’t have that bag of contextual details available.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Heaviside, is this an example of antithesis?:

        The other day I was talking to a left-wing guy who is really, really into his system. White man’s guilt, capitalism, colonialism, etc. You could tell he was fitting everything into this paradigm and bending everything to fit into his box.

        Instead of arguing facts, I tried to awake him from his mental box. To make him see there is something beyond his model.

        One example: he was talking about how South America was brutally colonized. I mentioned the harsh, brutal nature of amerindian cultures there, pre-arrival. Human ritual sacrifice, slavery, etc. I could see that made his mental gear grind. But eventually he rationalized it as “ah, but those were just skirmishes between tribes”.

        Anyway, was this an example of dialectical reasoning? Was I try to provide him with an antithesis?

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Consciousness is a self-referential idea, so the antithesis of consciousness is the other. And from this we get every other concept.

        Is that along the right lines?

      • Heaviside says:

        >Ah, okay. I don’t distinguish much between secondary and primary sources anymore because neither is the visual impression itself.

        For much of mathematics that attitude is appropriate, but with philosophy I think it is wrong to assume that the subject matter can take the form of visions.

  3. This is basically my cognitive MO. Not killing people. More killing dysfunction.

  4. I also think that meditation in addition to Buddhist appreciation of samara and karma is great for bringing the mind into that hyper-focussed state required to develop understanding of one’s surroundings. Perhaps this ties into the wider Buddhist path whereby the individual’s normal consciousness level is brought into pilot-level focus all the time.

    Wow Aeoli you have the best blog. Every time I read it I find it to be relevant to my interests.

  5. Edenist whackjob says:

    Someone should tip Tex off about this, I think it fits in great with his Vault-OS vision: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10075191

  6. Koanic says:

    Dammit, I sprained my back. You owe me pain meds.

  7. Pingback: Daily Linkage – August 23, 2015 | The Dark Enlightenment

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