Phil 11.14.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC PhD, NASA

  • Discovered Critical Roll D&D Youtube channel
  • Talk to Aaron about adding a time (or post?) constraint to dungeon runs. Faster runs/fewer posts get higher scores. This might be a way to highlight the difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous party composition lexical variance.
  • Added the conversation analytic link to the Belief Spaces doc
  • Added the following bit to my main blog post on Lists, Stories and Maps
  • Add to the Stories, Lists and Maps writeup something about the cognitive power of stories. There is, in many religions and philosophies, the concept of “being in the moment” where we become simply aware of what’s going on right now, without all the cognitive framing and context that we normally bring to every experience [citation needed]. This is different from “mindfulness”, where we try to be aware of the cognitive framing and context. To me, this is indicative of how we experience life through the lens of path dependency, which is a sort of a narrative. If this is true, then it explains the power of stories, because it allows us to literally step into another life. This explains phrases like “losing yourself in a story”.
  • This doesn’t happen with lists. It only happens in special cases in diagrams and maps, where you can see yourself in the map. Which is why the phrase “the map is not the territory” is different from “losing yourself in the story”. In the first case, you confuse your virtual and actual environment. In the latter, you confuse your virtual and actual identity. And since that story becomes part of your path through life, the virtual is incorporated into the actual life narrative, particularly if the story is vivid.
  • So narratives are an alignment mechanism. Simple stories that collapse information into a already existing beliefs can be confirming and reinforcing across a broad population. Complicated stories that challenge existing beliefs require a change in alignment to incorporate. That’s computationally expensive, and will affect fewer people, all things being equal.
  • Which leads me to thinking that the need for novelty is what creates the heading and velocity driven behavior we see in belief space behavior. I think this needs to be a chapter in the dissertation. Just looking for some background literature, I found these:
    • Novelty-Seeking in Rats-Biobehavioral Characteristics and Possible Relationship with the Sensation-Seeking Trait in Man
      • A behavioral trait in rats which resembles some of the features of high-sensation seekers in man has been characterized. Given that the response to novelty is the basis of the definition of sensation-seeking, individual differences in reactivity to novelty have been studied on behavioral and biological levels. Certain individuals labeled as high responders (HR) as opposed to low responders (LR) have been shown to be highly reactive when exposed to a novel environment. These groups were investigated for free-choice responses to novel environments differing in complexity and aversiveness, and to other kinds of reinforcement, i.e. food and a drug. The HR rats appeared to seek novelty, variety and emotional stimulation. Only HR individuals have been found to be predisposed to drug-taking: they develop amphetamine self-administration whereas LR individuals do not. They also exhibit a higher sensitivity to the reinforcing properties of food. On a biological level, compared to LR rats, HR animals have an enhanced level of dopaminergic activity in the nucleus accumbens both under basal conditions or following a tail-pinch stress. HR and LR rats differ in reactivity of the corticotropic axis: HR rats exposed to a novel environment have a prolonged secretion of corticosterone compared to LR rats. The association of novelty, drug and food seeking in the same individual suggests that these characteristics share common processes. Differences in dopaminergic activity between HR and LR rats are consistent with results implicating these dopaminergic neurons in response to novelty and in drug-taking behavior. Given that rats self-administer corticosterone and that HR rats are more sensitive to the reinforcing properties of corticoste-roids, it could be speculated that HR rats seek novelty for the reinforcing action of corticosterone. These characteristics may be analogous to some for the features found in human high-sensation seekers and this animal model may be useful in determinating the biological basis of this human trait.
    • The Psychology and Neuroscience of Curiosity
      • Curiosity is a basic element of our cognition, but its biological function, mechanisms, and neural underpinning remain poorly understood. It is nonetheless a motivator for learning, influential in decision-making, and crucial for healthy development. One factor limiting our understanding of it is the lack of a widely agreed upon delineation of what is and is not curiosity. Another factor is the dearth of standardized laboratory tasks that manipulate curiosity in the lab. Despite these barriers, recent years have seen a major growth of interest in both the neuroscience and psychology of curiosity. In this Perspective, we advocate for the importance of the field, provide a selective overview of its current state, and describe tasks that are used to study curiosity and information-seeking. We propose that, rather than worry about defining curiosity, it is more helpful to consider the motivations for information-seeking behavior and to study it in its ethological context.
    • Theory of Choice in Bandit, Information Sampling and Foraging Tasks
      • Decision making has been studied with a wide array of tasks. Here we examine the theoretical structure of bandit, information sampling and foraging tasks. These tasks move beyond tasks where the choice in the current trial does not affect future expected rewards. We have modeled these tasks using Markov decision processes (MDPs). MDPs provide a general framework for modeling tasks in which decisions affect the information on which future choices will be made. Under the assumption that agents are maximizing expected rewards, MDPs provide normative solutions. We find that all three classes of tasks pose choices among actions which trade-off immediate and future expected rewards. The tasks drive these trade-offs in unique ways, however. For bandit and information sampling tasks, increasing uncertainty or the time horizon shifts value to actions that pay-off in the future. Correspondingly, decreasing uncertainty increases the relative value of actions that pay-off immediately. For foraging tasks the time-horizon plays the dominant role, as choices do not affect future uncertainty in these tasks.
  • How Political Campaigns Weaponize Social Media Bots (IEEE)
    • TrumpClintonBotnets
  • Starting Characterizing Online Public Discussions through Patterns of Participant Interactions
  • More Grokking ML

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