Part 1: The Duality of Mind

“Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like”
― Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The mind exists to control the body from the top level. Control is the use of feedback to regulate a device. Historically, science was not directly concerned with control and left its development to engineers. The first feedback control device is thought to be the water clock of Ktesibios in Alexandria, Egypt around the third century B.C. It kept time by regulating the water level in a vessel and, therefore, the water flow from that vessel.1

I’m a software engineer; my whole life has been spent devising control algorithms. So naturally, when I think of the mind, I see a problem in control. Traditional software design doesn’t doesn’t usually have to manage feedback dynamically. Instead, objectives are imagined and strategies for achieving them are implemented algorithmically. In use, usually human feedback triggers the appropriate algorithms, but the programmer still has to anticipate what control to give the human user. But any concerns beneath the level of human feedback have to be anticipated and adequately regulated to make sure the program functions as desired.

In this section, I am going to develop the idea that science has overlooked the fundamental nature of control in the study of certain systems in which control plays a dominant role, specifically in life and the mind. By reframing our scientific perspective, we can dispense with unproductive lines of thought and get straight to the heart of the matter.

  1. BRIEF HISTORY OF CONTROL, IEEE Control Systems Society

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