Modularity, or Same Ol’ Circuitry

No, not like that, not still the mean old ape-man.

You know I think we’ve been the meaner one since we invented ourselves, that that was the point, but that’s not the point this time.

I’m thinking on a much shorter timescale this afternoon, generations, the brief history of human knowledge. It will still be too familiar from me, I’m sorry. What it is, is I worry that we don’t really evolve in our thinking from mother to daughter, I mean is my brain so different from my father’s as to produce a completely different bunch of thoughts? Here’s the repetition:

Adaptive is the new innate, it’s not built in, we chose it – but all things being equal we’re stuck with it anyway, whaddayagonnado, maladapt?

Evolution is the new creation, we aren’t “born sinners” anymore, we’ve been upgraded to “evolved to maximize our resources” instead.

Cultural, societal is the new . . . what? The new primate hierarchy? The new doing what you’re told?

What I’m after is we probably don’t gain a new, heritable circuit for every new thought, and both these iterations of human origin stories and their associated languages probably come from the same neural circuit, so that conflation is not so much it as it is simply different interpretations of the same synapse-firing networks. It occurs that our neural networks may need to work interfacing with the world whether or not other ones are able to report or interpret that action, articulate it. Likely, all of our word constructions are textual and verbal interpretations of activities the nature of which we cannot know, as Kant (that dweeby f@#k, as someone on Twitter said recently) said. If there is progress this way in human thought, then we hope it’s in that the new language gets closer to it than the old language did.

And yes, it would, it may, perhaps it does, but again, same circuit . . . so we hope to perhaps bring different circuits to the same problem . . . I’m not sure, certainly change is possible and even happens, but if we grow up with one interpretation and try to learn another, we are always probably engaging the same circuit, and so falling back to some sort of conservatism, if we learn the new words, we end up dragging them back into the old meanings. Ah. Takes me back to my parenting blogging days.

Consequences is the new punishment – when it manifests a good old fashioned pat on the bum, you know it’s the same circuit with a new name.

It’s a bit of a “we’re not so different, you and I/we are all the same” argument isn’t it, and yes, surely it’s the same one all the good science folks make; under the hood, we’re the same colour, same components. True when we’re talking about a few generations forward or back as well, I think.

Huh. A sermon after all.

Be careful out there.

 

Jeff

July 26th., 2020

2 thoughts on “Modularity, or Same Ol’ Circuitry

  1. Phoebe Sparrow Wagner July 26, 2020 / 2:59 pm

    As a sermon I’ve heard plenty worse, thank you very much and you did not thereby serve us up any god-talk, thank g— whoops — thank YOU!

    Glad you are still telling it like it is for you.

    Take care and stay well. It’s hard NOT to get caught up in ones health or potential states of ill health these days. It’s as if everyone has become a first year medical student, who are notorious for finding in themselves all manner of dread ills!

    Love

    Phoebe

    Liked by 1 person

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