What kinds of systems are we?

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Alifelongme
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What kinds of systems are we?

Post by Alifelongme »

I’m thinking that humans roughly fall into one of two categories: the ones that run on feedback and the ones that run on rules.

I am the “rules” person. For a long time though I attributed my conversation failures to my lack of “rules” knowledge. I thought I missed some important stuff growing up, until it finally occurred to me that there are no pre-set rules. Rules are actually the results of constant negotiations and change all the time. The worst part - people actually enjoy these unproductive activities instead of agreeing to the rules and moving on to more interesting things. They are constantly scanning the social environment for cues, so that they can change what they say quickly based on their perception of approval or disapproval from others. It used to perplex me how people can start a sentence with one point and finish it on a completely contradictory note. Now I know that most of the time people don’t even care about the conversation topic and don’t really listen but rather look for key words and/or body language, i. e. feedback, to figure out how much they can get away with every single time. So the conversation topic is secondary and the “getting away with as much as one can” is the real goal.

Of course there is a continuum between these two extremes, but my observations tell me the distribution is bimodal. And if people belong to different modes, so to speak, it could be difficult, if not impossible, to understand each other.

Just wondering if it makes any sense or it’s just my ASD talking ;)

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Sclass
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Re: What kinds of systems are we?

Post by Sclass »

I think it’s both.

Things like heart rate or insulin response are feedback systems. But they apparently are tunable filters in the sense that they have a programmable gain(or attenuation). This is set up by past behavior…diet, exercise etc.. Thus, they have some aspects of rules based (“feed forward”) control while using feedback.

It may be an error in thinking to categorize something as complex as a human into two classes. Even something simple like air fuel regulation in a modern car computer is a combination of lookup tables generated in a lab combined with real time feedback loops. Using a lookup table and combining it with an active feedback loop can reduce lock delay and increase precision at the same time. This is necessary when slow precision sensors lack the bandwidth necessary to stabilize a system in real time. Basically rules based to get you in the neighborhood fast and then active feedback to lock to a precise value.

I think there are even more families of these systems. Something like a cesium clock uses quartz references to lock in faster. He quartz time base isn’t really rules based but it’s a low precision reference that gets you in the neighborhood before phase locking to the atomic reference…which takes time.

We are undoubtedly more complex than a fuel injection controller or an atomic clock.

Fuzzy logic uses both. I think it came out of Japan in the 80s. The algos have some interesting decision trees that are constructed using a priori data. Yet all the data flow still results in a feedback signal.

daylen
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Re: What kinds of systems are we?

Post by daylen »

We are the kind of system that digest rules in our gut.

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: What kinds of systems are we?

Post by Dream of Freedom »

;) Isn't it a little hard to operate without both?

I've seen people who stubbornly refused to adjust to feedback from both other people and their environment. It doesn't end well. You can go postmodernist and say there are a near-infinite number of beliefs you can have about any topic. Sure, but there are relatively few where the world won't give negative feedback one way or another.

Rules exist for a few reasons and often it's better to follow them. Some things are simply considered bad. Some rules exist for social cohesiveness. Some rules are an end byproduct of our ability to abstract. We take the way things often work and generalize across all situations and make a rule.

From a personality point of view, the desire to test the rules likely falls under the big 5 trait openness. With people low in openness as rule followers and high openness rule testers.
Last edited by Dream of Freedom on Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

7Wannabe5
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Re: What kinds of systems are we?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

When a human who tests very high for openness tries to digest too many rules in her guts, she might very well end up with ulcerative colitis. I think Ne-> Ti is allergic to the arbitrary. Also known for being type most likely to point out no clothes on the Emperor without due regard for consequences.

That said. I’m not sure I understand the dichotomy posed by the OP. It’s impossible to have much of a conversation with anybody without first finding common ground. Some of the common ground might be viewed by both parties as objective truth, but much might be viewed by both parties as shared subjective preferences. As in, “Babies are cute! I like making pickles too! Sports are stinky and boring.”

Alifelongme
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Re: What kinds of systems are we?

Post by Alifelongme »

@Sclass, thanks for the very detailed and thoughtful response. I will have to think about it some more.

@Daylen and @Dof, I used to think that too. However, dealing with children and cats (and some people) made me thinking that rules are not the product of abstraction, but rather the result of constant negotiation of wills, whether human or nonhuman. It occurs whenever wills collide, that is nonstop. (I’m using the Schopenhauer’s definition of the will here, though not necessarily his conclusions.)

Perhaps , for others rules are the attempts to simplify one’s interactions with the world to conserve energy. However, the nature of the will is such that it relentlessly resists any rules as long as it can get away with it. And always push and probe for more. Cats and children are like that, I think. They run almost entirely on feedback, aside from the hardwired behaviors like instincts, and even they are the result of prior negotiations. Children in particular have seemingly endless energy to push for any feedback and out-will any adult human :)

@7W5, the dichotomy comes from my ASD experience with the world, I guess. Granted, it’s the minority of humans that want to discover or to establish rules and be done with it, so that the energy can be spent elsewhere. I used to think that others are either ignorant or malicious wrt the rules. It never occurred to me that constantl negotiations of the wills IS the rule 😄

7Wannabe5
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Re: What kinds of systems are we?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Well, ENTP and INTJ are both highly motivated by curiosity or the “desire to move on to something more interesting.” The difference in expressing this drive would be analogous to the difference between wanting to head straight down path up mountain or towards sea vs wanting to explore all possible side paths along the way. Questioning the rules is just another trip down a side path for an open-minded, easy-going ENTP. Challenging the rules, like a human toddler or adolescent, or not deigning to accept the rules of inferior species, like a cat, are not necessarily curiosity driven behaviors.

Toska2
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Re: What kinds of systems are we?

Post by Toska2 »

Rules are just feedback evolved over a longer lifespan.

Question the rules, acknowledge feedback is just an opinion.

Toska2
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Re: What kinds of systems are we?

Post by Toska2 »

(A mix of being lost by the commons vs "my n=1 > your n=1)

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