Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Yasmin_discussions Digest, Vol 102, Issue 1

Dear Natasha, Jennifer, Simon and other Yasminers,

we seem to be recognising empathy as that other non algorithmic
approach to simulating the ''unsimulatable''. Empathy, sympathy,
instincts and intuition are much broader venues of knowledge than pure
abstract, symbolic and conceptual intellect, but we seem to be
clueless how to access this absolute knowledge at will. Roger proposed
the enaction model of cognition, which might guide us towards
simulating the algorithmically irreducible procesess. Here is a
simplified chart of how enaction model differs from other cognitive


Reading just the enaction coloumn there is evident trace of bergsonism present:
Inseparable from experience and world
Ongoing interaction within the medium
Engaged, brought forth, presentable through action
Inseparable mind and world enacted in history of interactions

I must share this brilliant example of knowing from within and from
without (although it is quite cruel example I must warn you) that
demonstrates the capacity of simulation that leads to efficient
action, that perhaps in a way simulates through enaction:

... from Bergson, Creative Evolution, 1911

''Different species of hymenoptera that have a paralyzing instinct lay
their eggs in spiders, beetles or caterpillars, which having first
been subjected by the wasp to a skilfull surgical operation will go on
motionless for a certain number of days, and thus provide the larvae
with fresh meat.
In the sting which they give to the nerve-centres of their victim, in
order to destroy their power of moving without killing it, these
different species of hymenoptera take into accout, so to speak, the
different species of prey they respectively attack.''

''Compare the ammophila with the entomologist, who knows the
caterpillar as he knows everything else – from the outside, and
without having on its part a special or vital interest.
The ammophilia must learn, one by one, like the entomologist, the
positions of the nerve centers of the caterpillar, must acquire at
least practical knowledge of these positions by trying the effects of
its sting.
But there is no need for such a view if we suppose sympathy between
the ammophila and its victim, which teaches it from within, so to say,
concerning the vulnerability of the caterpillar.
This feeling of the vulnerability might owe nothing to outward
perception, but results from the mere presence together of the
ammophila and the caterpillar, considered no longer as two organisms,
but as two activities. It would express a relation of the one to the other.
Certainly, a scientific theory cannot appeal to considerations of this
kind. It must not put action before organisation, sympathy before
perception and knowledge.''

Ziva Ljubec

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