According to John Haugeland: Mind Design is the endeavor to understand mind (thinking, intellect) in terms of its design (how it is built, how it works). I.e. it is oriented more towards the ''how'' (and ''why'') than most other approaches. An ''experiment'' in mind design is more often an effort to built something and make it work, rather than to observe and analyze what already exists. Natural intelligence, especially human intelligence, remains the final object of investigation.
And surely, with the next intelligence revolution imminent, mind understanding is as important as ever. The coming Knowledge Society, the dawn of Homo Sapiens Cyborgensis [1] and Robo Sapiens [2] will be all about minds. A new world of more resourceful minds and machines - with new kinds of flaws. Hopefully, improved knowledge will help us diagnose and correct most problems. But when the machines becomes clever enough to conceal their faults from us - just as human minds do - hopefully, they will still remember Asimovs robot laws [3]. Certainly, the 21st century is going to be an exciting time.

Mind Design
And the experience of Seeing Red

Sensation is a very interesting thing! Indeed, sensation lends a hereness, a nowness, a me-ness to the experience of the present moment, such as seeing red. It constructs our world.
In the book Seeing Red Nicholas Humphrey describes ''re-entrant sensation circuits'' in the brain, neural activity that loops back on itself, so as to create self-resonance. Sensory response circuits that have evolved to give a new level of mind sophistication. The creation of a thickening time of core consciousness. According to Humphrey: With these circuits, the subject is lifted out of zombiedom. Now with a self - a human being that has a life worth pursuing. Something to build a rich subjective life around.
So surely, even in a coming world of PostHuman mind design, seeing red is still where it all begins.

Read more Wiki June 21, 2010

Decision Machines

Jonah Lehrer has many good observations on his blog [4], and some not so good :-) In one post [5] he tells us that ''clock-like'' descriptions of the universe risk leaving out important information: Karl Popper, the great philosopher of science, once divided the world into two categories: Clocks and clouds. Clocks are neat, orderly systems that can be solved through reduction; clouds are an epistemic mess, ''highly irregular, disorderly, and more or less unpredictable.''
Not everything can be described using the clock metaphor. True. Still, the scientific method based on empiricism has brought us to the moon and doubled our lifespans. And his recent book, The Decisive Moment, is actually also a ''clock-book'', sort of.
And certainly inspirational, as we proceed towards the construction of ''clock like'' decision machines.

Read more Wiki June 26, 2010