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4. The Boredom Principle


This notebook explores some mechanisms that seem to be uniquely human. We will see that homo sapiens sapiens has the necessary information processing hardware to make the necessary computations. We will examine four mechanisms or principles, Boredom, Homing, Rush, and Emptiness. We will see that they are linked in a tight web of responses based upon pain and pleasure. We will come to understand that these principles conferred an evolutionary advantage because they inspired experimentation, which, in turn, led to some successful innovations which facilitated survival. After examining a neural network in action, we look at some successful strategies. The last section examines the connection between Flow Density, a concept developed in the notebook Data Stream Momentum, and the Edge of Chaos. We close by making some fanciful speculations about why these evolutionary changes occurred. (Below is the table of contents. Click on headings to view the text.)

1. Laying Foundations

A. Prior Notebooks: a Review
B. Virtual Numbers & the Power of Illusion
C. Rocks & Plants don't need to make predictive computations
D. Mobility Changes Everything
E. Positive Reinforcement vs. Computational Prediction
F. Predators and Preys must live within the Realm, & calculate Average Deviations

2. The Boredom Principle

A. The Craving for Diversity
B. At the root of the need for diversity is Boredom
C. Witness the Evolutionary potentials of Boredom
D. The Homing Principle

3. Beginning Neural Networks

A. A Neural Network with a Life of its Own
B. Neural Networks in Action
C. Greater & Lesser, Ranges & Realms

4. The Pulse of Life: A Moment By Moment Breakdown

A. Shrinking Realm of Probability, Growing Ring of Potential (Frames 1->15)
B. Lots of Excitement & a Growing Realm (Frames 16->30)
C. Nowhere to go, but back. Time to Return to Normality. (Frames 31->42)
D. Beginning another Cycle with More Excitement (Frames 43->45)
E. About Boredom & Excitement Strategies

5. Mechanisms of the Pulse of Life or More Principles

A. Where are we?
B. The Rush
C. The Homing Principle
D. The Emptiness Principle
E. More on Boredom

6. Flow Density & the Edge of Chaos

A. Incomplete Assumptions
B. The Flow Density of Living Systems
C. The Edge of Chaos
D. Meta-principles
E. Explanations of How: First a fanciful Homo  history
F. Other speculations on the beginnings of the pain of Boredom

7. Summary

1. Laying Foundations
2. The Boredom Principle
3. Beginning Neural Networks
4. The Pulse of Life
5. Mechanisms of the Pulse of Life or More Principles
6. Flow Density & the Edge of Chaos


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