Thursday, 24 December 2009

... a cogitation on cognition.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" Santayana

I've always loved the word cognition; the process of thought. Never before had a word struck with such an intense and vivid imagery of it's meaning. Thought, being such a human process could not be defined in more of a mechanical, cold word such as the word in question. It is the thorn in the side of robotics that hinders artificial intelligence; without an individual thought process, what defines us as physical beings? No one is the same, with different reasoning, logic and drive; whether or not it comes down to the simple factor of good versus evil, love versus money and so on. As emotionally complex as the human brain is, the word cognition reduces it to the simple imagery of the human brain as a machine.

For the sake of easy reading I shall personify machinery in the following summary; Just as machinery becomes obsolete, the human brain dies and to similar form, machinery surpasses itself and upgrades as the human race reproduces; this is in direct correlation with the evolution of man.

It is the machine that lacks the ability to do anything other than it's primary function; so with this logic it is up to us as an individual being to decide what our function, or our drive, is. Experience is the path that leads us to discover what our drives are, and it is the routes we take on that path that determine what our drives become. They are not pre determined and they are not genetic; if anything, they are social.

So how can we define the difference between a malfunction and a harmful psychological disorder? Why must the machine be punished when we are the creators and therefore to blame for our broken design? In some sense, we should applaud the machine for its mistake as it is a sign that tells us that it is not complete; there is more work to be done in order to perfect it. It is these signs that tell us how the incomplete man will always strive until there is no where left to go but destruction out of desperation – just as a broken machine will continue to churn, unaware of its malfunction. So with this hypothesis, the question of 'man driven by machine' versus the 'machine driven by man' surfaces.

And with this i give you a cogitation on cognition.

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