Summary of “An overview of computation and the mind”

A summary of each paragraph linked through the first few words of the paragraph.

Paragraph Summary
I grew up Understanding brains and minds is a harder problem than I thought it would be
Computation is not Minds are computers manipulating instruction, so we need a computational theory of mind (CTM) to explain them
Reverse engineering My focus is a top-down explanation, so I am going to focus just on the algorithms involved at the highest level of control
At this point Leap 1: the mind makes top-level decisions by reasoning with meaningful representations
Leap 1b: consciousness only exists to help this top-level representational decision-making process
The study Relationships in the mind, i.e. a representational theory of mind (RTM), are the basis of all top-level reasoned decisions
Importantly, just Raw sensory perception and habituated behavior don’t require representation, but don’t constitute reasoning
People can’t live We handle novel situations using reasoning, which requires conscious awareness, which provides reasoning with relevant information
Note that language Language is a representational tool for abstract reference that aids thinking and communication
The top-down Summary so far: The top-down theory of mind (TDTM) endorses CTM for everything, RTM for some processes, consciousness exists to support reasoning via RTM and integrating with non-representational mental capacities
While the We experience consciousness the way we do because life is a game, with rules for what we want based on our desires
The game Desires are rules instructing us to prioritize behaviors to achieve goals
Our desires We learn strategies to fulfill desires, using both innate cues (instincts) and propositional reasoning on our desires and subjective beliefs
Desires are Desires, being the degree to which each quale appeals to us, help us prioritize our actions
So what Subjectively, consciousness is a segregated aspect of the mind that uses qualia, memory and expertise to make reasoned decisions. Computationally, consciousness is a subroutine with customized data channels and processing methods. The segregation creates a seamless projection of the external world into our heads, the theater of mind. We commit to the representation being the reality to avoid frequent and costly delays and mistakes.
Our objective Blindly following subjective beliefs usually works out, but we should update them with science to handle modern challenges
I call Reasoning in the mind is freely performed by the “single stream step selector”, or SSSS.
The process We use models to give our beliefs and propositions a meaningful context
Viewed abstractly The mind lives in an ideal universe, where ideas comprise reality, that refines its interface with the physical universe by learning
We have no Our subjective UI (user interface) inspires us to select steps
How does The illusion of mind exists to support serial reasoning through logical propositions to achieve approximate prediction
Think back Reasoning starts with generalization, the ability to recognize patterns and to group things into categories of similarity
Reasoning takes Models exist ideally, but can also be implemented physically by computers well enough they can be trusted
The ideal All animal minds access the ideal world with seamless representations both generalized and specific using probabilistic logic
If the SSSS Important sources of information are fed to the SSSS through movie-like data channels called qualia
But why Qualia feel the way they do so we can tell them apart and because of their contextual associations
Beyond sensory Subconscious processing provides the SSSS with data channels for emotion, recognition, and language, further colored by desire and belief
While we Our subconscious minds are innately predisposed to learn skills like emotion, recognition, language, physics, psychology and face recognition.
Lots of Attention is a specialized ability to focus on just the items relevant to the decision-making process.
The loss The loss of smell is evidence of the value of maintaining a simple logical model of the world
To summarize The conscious mind’s broad awareness is aided by subconscious skills that streamline data for reasoning by the SSSS
We know Humans can engage in directed abstract thinking
Pinker believes Reasoning is done in the SSSS, while language processing is done in the language center and sent to/from the SSSS
So let’s Metaphor is both an important reasoning tool and a device of language that sometimes becomes vestigial
An important Humans have a vast inventory of concepts
But what Many abilities co-evolved with abstract thinking to give humans a new kind of generalized intelligence