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haplorrhine
August 5th, 2019, 11:59 PM
Honestly, most readers should skip my first post, which is more like a mission statement. The second post will have more specifics.

My Humanitarian Concerns
Short and sweet: Officially psychotic, but IMO social anxiety. 18 months of meditating and philosophizing. The plan was to simplify thought to make room for meditation. Digging ever deeper, I ascertained issues for humanity as a whole. Knowledge and communication permeate all practical and ethical matters, but the specifics are elusive. Trying to adequately catalogue our various cognitions is like taking a shovel to a canyon. Many of us can describe our language's grammar, but so few can actually describe the cognitions behind language, the universal grammar. However, our lack of self-understanding is a blindspot to be exploited. If I have your interest, I already attempted to discuss this on LinuxQuestions. Cognition + AI = Manipulation and Censorship (https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/general-10/cognition-ai-%3D-manipulation-and-censorship-4175656319/)

Videogames
Videogames are one vehicle for ensuring that everyone has some understanding of human nature. This includes the problem-solving aspect, but I also believe the story-lines are passively absorbed. Unfortunately, some games have simpler storylines, or else online walkthroughs. Some create-your-own-world games, like an exaggerated anti-Freudian reaction, don't attempt to convey anything. I think designers who take heed might attract non-gamers like myself. In fact, Elder Scrolls: Morrowind (2002), which I played in 2008-9, has inspired this post. I don't really play.
What we humans must understand includes sensation and perception, short-term and long-term memory, imaginative "representation" and investigative "attention", communication, social perception and self-consciousness, social influence, blame, norms, culture, basic "drives" and ideological "goals". It is a lot, but specialists stand to profit: expensive lawyers, persuasive advertisers and reporters, and religious or political frundraisers. Ordinary people should have some level of psychological immunization. For my part, I studied psych101, social psychology, various bio courses, and countless psychiatric publications. I am prepared to discuss how videogames can stimulate cognitive strategies, cognitive awareness, and social awareness. I hope it catches on.

So I'm applying psychology to videogames. That was unexpected. In thought...

Shibblet
August 7th, 2019, 12:45 AM
It truly depends on how far back you want to go. Games in general stimulate cognitive strategies. Chess allows one to put archetype vs. archetype, as well as positioning, and depolyment. Card games, especially games like Spades, Hearts, or Pinochle, play team vs team, and teach each team player how to work with and/or against their teammate in order to ensure a victory.

If you are talking about video games, there are many games out there that teach similar strategies based on environments, management, and control. Civilization (6 is the newest, I believe) is one of the most complex, learning, strategic, statistical, and entertaining games ever made. However, the story line is severely lacking, as it is just a "winner-take-all" idea.

If you are looking for philosophical story ideas, I should point you to the Metal Gear Series on Play-Station. Metal Gear 2, has one of the most gut-punching philiosophical endings that you will ever get in a game.

If you want psychology, give Bioshock a go. Story-wise, trust me... you won't see it coming.

mastablasta
August 7th, 2019, 07:21 AM
mine sweeper - for some quick mental exercise because those mines aren't going to clean themselves.

or texas hold 'em - then trying to figure out what is in AI's mind.

messing around with AI NPC heads in Oblivion (or other TES), Far Cry or similar open world games.

Civ6 one of the most complex? interesting. i haven't tried it but civ4 is quite rudimentary.

try Europa Universalis or similar grand strategy games, see if they offer more or less. i would say they are more complex. to start out with there are various connections including blood lines to worry about, then there are different economics and social dynamic at play. and unlik civilization, EU has a lot of kingdomes, republics and small vassal countries that need to be conquered and maintained.

another good one to explore is king of the dragon pass - every decision you make (even a small one) can potentially have consequences in the future. and you don't know what the consequence will be until you get to it.

haplorrhine
August 7th, 2019, 08:18 PM
It truly depends on how far back you want to go. Games in general stimulate cognitive strategies. Chess allows one to put archetype vs. archetype, as well as positioning, and depolyment. Card games, especially games like Spades, Hearts, or Pinochle, play team vs team, and teach each team player how to work with and/or against their teammate in order to ensure a victory.

If you are talking about video games, there are many games out there that teach similar strategies based on environments, management, and control. Civilization (6 is the newest, I believe) is one of the most complex, learning, strategic, statistical, and entertaining games ever made. However, the story line is severely lacking, as it is just a "winner-take-all" idea.

[...]
[...]

Civ6 one of the most complex? interesting. i haven't tried it but civ4 is quite rudimentary.

try Europa Universalis or similar grand strategy games, see if they offer more or less. i would say they are more complex. to start out with there are various connections including blood lines to worry about, then there are different economics and social dynamic at play. and unlik civilization, EU has a lot of kingdomes, republics and small vassal countries that need to be conquered and maintained.

another good one to explore is king of the dragon pass - every decision you make (even a small one) can potentially have consequences in the future. and you don't know what the consequence will be until you get to it.

This is an interesting contrast. Games like chess or cards are "white boxes" that do not emulate the human reality, whereas Civilization, Earopa Universalis, and King of Dragon Pass seem to attempt this but invisibly as "black boxes." Here it might be useful to distinguish between strategizing and conditioned attention or conditioned responding. Strategies often involve mental representations of interacting phenomena, although the models might not easily translate into models of real-life scenarios. Attention and responding, on the other hand, rely on feedback. Specialized attention creates: expectations that guide our predictions or our searches, which includes where we look and what aspects of it are processed; and interpretations that colour how we process certain events and whether we think we should notice those events again in the future. Framed this way, "strategies" are consciously devised models that may or may not apply in other situations, whereas "specialized attention" is a conditioned pattern of interaction that can be trained properly or improperly.
In real life, some professionals, like scientists, receive more feedback than others, and some professionals, like interrogators, might receive misleading feedback. Yet other professions might find corroboration by comparing sources rather than predicting the future, leaving them vulnerable to "post-hoc analyses." These societal games can be white boxes that are educational, but the white box is not necessarily authoritative and its proposed strategies might actually be ineffective in reality. A black box only stimulates the player to create his own representation of what he thinks is happening.
One final note: although King of Dragon Pass might seem "abstract", we can create quite literal representational models of abstract phenomena. The measure of "abstractness" is only the amount of thought lying between biological sensation and cognitive perception or interpretation. A map is a very basic kind of representation, whereas language is much more derived (through etymological associations) and "abstract."

Shibblet
August 7th, 2019, 08:39 PM
This is an interesting contrast. Games like chess or cards are "white boxes" that do not emulate the human reality, whereas Civilization, Earopa Universalis, and King of Dragon Pass seem to attempt this but invisibly as "black boxes." Here it might be useful to distinguish between strategizing and conditioned attention or conditioned responding. Strategies often involve mental representations of interacting phenomena, although the models might not easily translate into models of real-life scenarios. Attention and responding, on the other hand, rely on feedback. Specialized attention creates: expectations that guide our predictions or our searches, which includes where we look and what aspects of it are processed; and interpretations that colour how we process certain events and whether we think we should notice those events again in the future. Framed this way, "strategies" are consciously devised models that may or may not apply in other situations, whereas "specialized attention" is a conditioned pattern of interaction that can be trained properly or improperly.
In real life, some professionals, like scientists, receive more feedback than others, and some professionals, like interrogators, might receive misleading feedback. Yet other professions might find corroboration by comparing sources rather than predicting the future, leaving them vulnerable to "post-hoc analyses." These societal games can be white boxes that are educational, but the white box is not necessarily authoritative and its proposed strategies might actually be ineffective in reality. A black box only stimulates the player to create his own representation of what he thinks is happening.
One final note: although King of Dragon Pass might seem "abstract", we can create quite literal representational models of abstract phenomena. The measure of "abstractness" is only the amount of thought lying between biological sensation and cognitive perception or interpretation. A map is a very basic kind of representation, whereas language is much more derived (through etymological associations) and "abstract."

Word.

haplorrhine
August 7th, 2019, 08:48 PM
Applicable concepts include Latent Learning and Dual Processing Models.
My descriptions of "strategizing" and "specialized attention" are not authoritative. Personally I suspect that language is only another kind of "mental representation."

mastablasta
August 8th, 2019, 07:12 AM
but as everything in social sciences it is all just a theory and there are many of them...


"how videogames can stimulate cognitive strategies, cognitive awareness, and social awareness"

Everything can be learned. Just like machine learns, humans learn as well. while learning they develop various strategies to overcome their problems.

an interesting game to look at is far cry primal - hardcore mode. though even that one can be learned on easier modes.

there was also a game (don't remember it's neme) where there is hardcore mode (1 life) and options and maps change each time you play it.

as for social awareness - awareness of what exactly? and why? a game like MMO would change dynamics or force player into certain group dynamic. you had second life, btu that was not really a game and the dynamics there were odd. it all has much to do with anonymity.

but how would do social awareness without any people involved? why would someone care about NPC. well they might care about them, but they won't loose sleep over them perishing in game or having any kind of issues in game. in Far cry 2 you die in the end to save people. well that is kind of silly, since they weren't helping you before and you were doing the arms trade and killing. you wasn't exactly sympathetic to their plight (except on the start of the story) and also i couldn't care less if they all perished. it was a game after all and no one die in reality. also if i was trading weapons like that i would probably be rich by now.

haplorrhine
August 8th, 2019, 09:15 PM
but as everything in social sciences it is all just a theory and there are many of them...



Everything can be learned. Just like machine learns, humans learn as well. while learning they develop various strategies to overcome their problems.

an interesting game to look at is far cry primal - hardcore mode. though even that one can be learned on easier modes.

there was also a game (don't remember it's neme) where there is hardcore mode (1 life) and options and maps change each time you play it.

as for social awareness - awareness of what exactly? and why? a game like MMO would change dynamics or force player into certain group dynamic. you had second life, btu that was not really a game and the dynamics there were odd. it all has much to do with anonymity.

but how would do social awareness without any people involved? why would someone care about NPC. well they might care about them, but they won't loose sleep over them perishing in game or having any kind of issues in game. in Far cry 2 you die in the end to save people. well that is kind of silly, since they weren't helping you before and you were doing the arms trade and killing. you wasn't exactly sympathetic to their plight (except on the start of the story) and also i couldn't care less if they all perished. it was a game after all and no one die in reality. also if i was trading weapons like that i would probably be rich by now.

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The games would not train our "emotional empathy," but something more like "cognitive empathy" or else plain-old psychology. For example, animal behavior could reflect more basic drives and principles (e.g. pavlov's dogs), whereas human behavior could reflect particularly human facets of psychology. Moreover, some NPC's could have the potential for being allies or enemies, whereas in most games they're either inherently good or inherently bad.

However, I am glad that you made me think this. It is well-known that different personality types have different correlations with different kinds of social skills. One publication's data showed a sample of narcissists/borderlines with higher/lower cognitive empathy and lower/higher emotional empathy. Another publication documented that narcissism wasn't correlated with higher "mentalizing" expect when the "exploitative" traits were emphasized. The trouble is that, if a videogames can be designed to teach either kind of empathy, it will be cognitive empathy, the kind that might be more useful for exploitation.
However, my initial post emphasized the need to inform everybody. You could also contend that, on a positive note, narcissists are less naive. This plays on a broader principle I have recognized, which is that some particular kinds of knowledge which have more potential for destruction (e.g. knowledge for making bombs) can be less destructive in the hands (or minds) of more people.

mastablasta
August 9th, 2019, 07:19 AM
The games would not train our "emotional empathy," but something more like "cognitive empathy" or else plain-old psychology. For example, animal behavior could reflect more basic drives and principles (e.g. pavlov's dogs), whereas human behavior could reflect particularly human facets of psychology. Moreover, some NPC's could have the potential for being allies or enemies, whereas in most games they're either inherently good or inherently bad.

In the TES games they are not inherently good or bad. but they did do this better in Morrowind than Oblivion (i haven't played Skyrim, since i don't think my old PC can handle it). in the end you find out that the big bad guy (Dagoth Ur) is actually not a bad guy. The others fighting him could be considered. he is just using methods that are not democratic and peaceful (because those failed) in order to expel the occupying force. my big issue with the game is that when asked to join him, you actually can't. it would make sense if you could. particularly if you play it as the dark elf.

in oblivion beggars are neutral. unless you join thieves guild, then they become allies. on the other hand guards that defended you before, become enemies. many new, more complex games are made this way.

In Arx fatalis you can kill everyone - they good, the bad, the neutral and finish the game. [spoiler] you thus save the world from the "evil", but who is left to enjoy it (you are take to the other plain of existence in the end, because you are too strong to stay)?[spoiler]

but most game really do have 2 NPC - good or bad. but this is not only found in games, but also in literature, most films... why stop at media? you have ancient dramas, plays, folk songs, sagas, legends... people like to see the struggle and they like to see their hero win. more importantly they like to see the good win. and tragedies where the good doesn't win are often problematic for authorities.

it get's even more complicated when you include society or groups. where people in certain group are 100% certain they are the good guys, while the "others" are the evil ones.

In any case to even start talking about inherently good or inherently evil you would need to define that first. good luck with that. it is not universal. just as the actions are perceived differently. just remember the unrest triggered by certain prophet being drawn. the protesters believed the other side was pure evil, while the other side believed they are the evil ones. an evil that should be stopped at all costs.



However, my initial post emphasized the need to inform everybody. You could also contend that, on a positive note, narcissists are less naive. This plays on a broader principle I have recognized, which is that some particular kinds of knowledge which have more potential for destruction (e.g. knowledge for making bombs) can be less destructive in the hands (or minds) of more people.

well too much empathy can be just as damaging as too much narcissism.

also sometimes, in order to create something new, you need to destroy something old. either it's a building, a system, a belief or a theory ;)

haplorrhine
August 10th, 2019, 09:40 PM
but as everything in social sciences it is all just a theory and there are many of them...

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Although I wanted to dismissively deride this criticism, I found that the scientific grounding of the ideas is an important consideration. If the theories are solid, they should be taught. If the theories are not solid, they are actually more dispensable than the nitty-gritty methods, experiments, and perspectives that gave them to us. If the theories (and their competitors) are approximately predictive and likely approximately accurate, we might need a middle ground approach.

Questioning psychological knowledge is a slippery slope. Empiricism, the basis of science, implicitly acknowledges the validity of perceptions and our ability to reflect on those perceptions. Rejecting even this will lead to solipsism. However, introspection isn't enough to penetrate every reason for everything we do. Experiments on cognitive dissonance, how we retroactively justify our actions to match our beliefs, make this much clear.
It might seem straightforwardly obvious to divide mental activity into the preconscious and the post-conscious, but it is likely that a certain amount of information processing is, literally, lost in translation. Language seems to help with the dual encoding that furthers the embeddedness of ideas of the past, and to be retained in memory is to be re-imagined and/or illustrated or to be categorized, relativized and described in word. A certain amount of processing is inevitably lost on the way, i.e. in translation. Indeed, psychologists have even documented the problems with eye witness accounts, and in this instance it is the psychologist who is challenging what we had taken for granted.
Permitting the empirical validity of certain kinds of experiences and reports, we can use our mighty brain power to propose unexpected, counterintuitive ways of categorizing. By default, we only grouped together those experiences that seemed to occur in succession, because those experiences happened to simultaneously occupy our short-term memory. This wouldn't be entirely unlike the behaviorist perspective that was popular in the early 1900s (of course, your player will not have an MRI in his living room). However, this is still only a game of Boolean maths, and what emerges won't necessarily be any simpler than what preceded it. The moral: Behavioral ecology is too complex for a biology, but introspection and memory have their own flaws that limit the psychological sciences.
In short, this is a philosophical and mathematical problem that will challenge a lot of what you thought you already knew... and a lot of psychology. ;)

Here's to a science of science! :lolflag:

haplorrhine
August 10th, 2019, 09:48 PM
P.S. Re: LiQu, the science robot's name is Adam.
That's scary stuff!!!

Shibblet
August 12th, 2019, 07:30 PM
One of the things I really miss about video games, is the social aspect of single player games. You may have to follow along with me for a few here until you get my meaning.

Since the invention of the internet, video games have become narrative walkthroughs. The latest / greatest game that comes out is torn open by gamers, and put back together piece by piece online for people to view and see. YouTube, GameFAQ's, IGN, etc. They all have these games broken down for everyone to follow along with. If you get stumped, you just fire up the internet on your cell phone or PC, and search for the answer.

Pre-Internet gaming was when it was fun to talk to your friends about the game. One example was The Legend of Zelda. The map that came with the game showed you how to find the first 5 Dungeons, but there were 9 in all. You had to figure out where the other 4 Dungeons were at all on your own. It also had many other secrets, such as finding heart containers, secret shops, free money, and even places that charge you for breaking the door! But, now it only takes 2 seconds on Google to uncover all of the secrets of games that have just been released.

The amazing thing about Ubuntu (spirit of the community) is that we all share what we've learned in order to help others understand Ubuntu better. I miss this aspect of gaming. Going to school, or calling your friends and talking to them about the game.

"Hey man, did you know that you can slide through the wall at the end of world 1-2, and warp to the Minux World?"
"Not kidding. When the game starts you put in 'Up+Up+Down+Down+Left+Right+Left+Right+B+A" and it will give you 30 guys?"
"So, I have the white crystal... now what do I do? You have to kneel at the cliff wall for 10 seconds, and a tornado will appear and take you past it."
"No man, you have to wait until he opens his mouth, then you throw the bomb in. When it explodes, you can hit it's tail."

haplorrhine
August 12th, 2019, 08:35 PM
^ Maybe the Internet can solve the problem it created. Game updates.

mastablasta
August 13th, 2019, 08:51 AM
Pre-Internet gaming was when it was fun to talk to your friends about the game.

that's true.

but then back in the spectrum days i would wait for the magazine to arrive that had walk through. there are still some adventure games that i wasn't able to solve. some had the kind of puzzles you could never guess, while others depended on chance to solve them. lame. so walkthrough was the only way to find out what happened in the end since save game wasn't around or wasn't really working that well.

Shibblet
August 13th, 2019, 07:24 PM
that's true.

but then back in the spectrum days i would wait for the magazine to arrive that had walk through. there are still some adventure games that i wasn't able to solve. some had the kind of puzzles you could never guess, while others depended on chance to solve them. lame. so walkthrough was the only way to find out what happened in the end since save game wasn't around or wasn't really working that well.

And see, that was great when you got the one hint that you needed to progress and then work forward. But now that you had a walkthrough in your hand, you could easily get through the rest of the game. No problems.

A couple of games I remember from the 386 era were from Sierra On-Line. Kings Quest VI... There was one point where you had to pick a peppermint leaf off of a bush. Closer to the end of the game, there is a point you can progress, but not go back. And if you don't have that peppermint leaf... you have to load a REALLY old save game, and work through almost the entire game again, just to progress further.

Gabriel Knight 3: The Map Puzzle. 'nuff said.

These two examples are fantastic ideas of why someone would need a "hint" at how to progress. But once you get one hint... you have to get another.

haplorrhine
August 13th, 2019, 11:18 PM
These two examples are fantastic ideas of why someone would need a "hint" at how to progress. But once you get one hint... you have to get another.

A fast-paced series of successive hints could make walkthroughs superfluous. Moreover, text-based interactions are so computationally light that the game could store endless variations on the same progression. Moreover, continual online updates could prevent macroing, unless the macro actually understands English.

Shibblet
August 13th, 2019, 11:30 PM
A fast-paced series of successive hints could make walkthroughs superfluous. Moreover, text-based interactions are so computationally light that the game could store endless variations on the same progression. Moreover, continual online updates could prevent macroing, unless the macro actually understands English.

Raw idea: How about making the puzzles (quests, misions, objectives, maps, etc.) proceduraly generated, and then add hints in-game (part off the procedure), but in order to use these hints you have to complete a tasks. This way, even if someone helps you with the task online, they cannot help you with the original puzzle, because it's computer specific.

Imagine a procedurally generated Metroid Map. Each item in a new location. Bosses in different areas, etc. And there are ways to put the procedure together in order to generate the map in a "usable" form.

haplorrhine
August 14th, 2019, 04:47 PM
Raw idea: How about making the puzzles (quests, misions, objectives, maps, etc.) proceduraly generated, and then add hints in-game (part off the procedure), but in order to use these hints you have to complete a tasks. This way, even if someone helps you with the task online, they cannot help you with the original puzzle, because it's computer specific.

Imagine a procedurally generated Metroid Map. Each item in a new location. Bosses in different areas, etc. And there are ways to put the procedure together in order to generate the map in a "usable" form.
The simulations's feasibility and the cognitive/perceptual simplicity will be related. In life, you can grasp objective reality or grasp another person's intersubjective statements about your shared reality, and the latter is called "perspective-taking." In the game, the shared knowledge can be game-specific, culturally universal, or ecologically universal. However, in a game, to comprehend the game is to grasp (more of) the game designer's perspective. To imagine the solution is to grasp the designer's message... I thought.

This goes along with another hypothesis of mine, which proposes that language-processing and perspective-taking rely on reverse-processing mechanisms. To understand another's actions, you start from the resultant actions and arrive at the causal mental states that would produce those actions. Thus we humans might have reverse-processing mechanisms, for example "mirror neurons", that facilitate this. After all, if the message is new to you, how can your recognizing the conveyed message be less demanding than imagining the idea by yourself? What could be making this possible? It's a puzzle for sure.

A text-based game would rely on culturally shared knowledge, lingual knowledge, that is already available (and, in subtle ways, potentially modifiable). The designer is simply producing a countless number of examples that approximate the concept. However, your level generator cannot take the human's perspective, tapping into our vast shared knowledge base. The level generator would essentially be running a simulation, and the simulation will be simpler and more glitch-free if the gameplay has simpler parts: more independent and less interdependent parts, more redundancy, etc. Thus we might wonder whether the alternative maps that are generated will really feel any different to the player, from the player's perspective. Maybe the simulation cannot consistently simulate the change unless the change is a minute one that would go unnoticed anyway.

Shibblet
August 14th, 2019, 07:45 PM
The simulations's feasibility and the cognitive/perceptual simplicity will be related. In life, you can grasp objective reality or grasp another person's intersubjective statements about your shared reality, and the latter is called "perspective-taking." In the game, the shared knowledge can be game-specific, culturally universal, or ecologically universal. However, in a game, to comprehend the game is to grasp (more of) the game designer's perspective. To imagine the solution is to grasp the designer's message... I thought.

Yes. You would lose a bit of narrative in this sense, but it could be gained back in different ways. A good example of this is the CD-ROM Game, the 7th Guest. Once you know the solution to the puzzles, there is no more challenge.


This goes along with another hypothesis of mine, which proposes that language-processing and perspective-taking rely on reverse-processing mechanisms. To understand another's actions, you start from the resultant actions and arrive at the causal mental states that would produce those actions. Thus we humans might have reverse-processing mechanisms, for example "mirror neurons", that facilitate this. After all, if the message is new to you, how can your recognizing the conveyed message be less demanding than imagining the idea by yourself? What could be making this possible? It's a puzzle for sure.

You are literally explaining the two games I told you about at the beginning off this thread. Metal-Gear Solid 2, and Bioshock.


A text-based game would rely on culturally shared knowledge, lingual knowledge, that is already available (and, in subtle ways, potentially modifiable). The designer is simply producing a countless number of examples that approximate the concept. However, your level generator cannot take the human's perspective, tapping into our vast shared knowledge base. The level generator would essentially be running a simulation, and the simulation will be simpler and more glitch-free if the gameplay has simpler parts: more independent and less interdependent parts, more redundancy, etc. Thus we might wonder whether the alternative maps that are generated will really feel any different to the player, from the player's perspective. Maybe the simulation cannot consistently simulate the change unless the change is a minute one that would go unnoticed anyway.

All games are Role-Playing Games. The game puts you into the life of the main character. Whether that is a fantasy filled mushroom induced fever dream, like Super Mario Brothers, or it's a first person action shooter like Call of Duty. Rarely do you see a direct connection from the player to the main character. This means it's not your personal narrative, it's narrating someone else.

haplorrhine
August 18th, 2019, 10:38 PM
Yes. You would lose a bit of narrative in this sense, but it could be gained back in different ways. A good example of this is the CD-ROM Game, the 7th Guest. Once you know the solution to the puzzles, there is no more challenge.
I don't think you understood, but considering that I was being so abstract I am really not sure. Revisiting my post, I see how it is unclear. You could say that reality is like a story narrative, but each human has a different perspective on it, a different sub-narrative. A single player RPG has one narrative, reality has many.


You are literally explaining the two games I told you about at the beginning off this thread. Metal-Gear Solid 2, and Bioshock.
No, I am describing a philosophical problem, a problem with what you might call an expectation-linked processing model for understanding language. Maybe we think through association, a kind of pavlovian matrix, linking those pairs of things that if seen externally would cause use to expect the other of the pair. However, although it is obvious that the speaker with the idea might in his own mind link his own idea to his choice of words, it is baffling or incredible that the listener somehow manages to link those words to an idea that he hasn't had yet. It is baffling to think that observational learning could happen without some kind of trial and error process, that we do not have to "try out" what we see a role-model do because we have essentially stolen the role-model's idea through watching his behavior.

If this weren't the case, the listener's ability to generate the same idea, the same solution, would "depend on chance"—like mastablasta said—the same chance processes with which the speaker generated the same idea. Only a listener who already had the same idea would be able to understand the speaker, and to everyone else the speaker would be speaking gibberish.

If a puzzle videogame is more than the conditioning of well-timed, shaped responses... Moreover, if, as I implicitly hypothesized, a puzzle videogame "puzzles" the player by challenging him to dig through his own knowledge to find the knowledge that the designer employed in the puzzle's inception, then these puzzles are a similar kind of task. If what is described above, this reverse-processing, is uniquely human, then a computer will fail to generate a meaningful, comprehensible puzzle. The puzzle will depend on chance. However, I now have a challenge to this notion...

... If we wanted a game that forced players to use different perspectives to understand their world, we might use something like directed evolution. The perspectives, for example, might be the developmental perspective, the functional perspective, or any of Tinbergen's Four Questions. Directed evolution is a laboratory synthesis technique that attempts to "evolve" a new molecule with a particular function. In a similar way, a game engine might "evolve" a map that exhibits certain underlying principles, underlying principles that mirror the various perspectives used by scientists. We wouldn't have to assume that the computer could generate a meaningful, comprehensible map on its first try. However, the computer would do its own simulatory testing before the map is tested by actual human subjects. Common glitches or common inconsistencies might be weeded out mechanically.

haplorrhine
August 18th, 2019, 11:40 PM
Continued:

So the level generator that utilizes directed evolution would run dozens of smaller simulations that would determine the overall level (and it might run one final glitch-testing simulation).
The reverse-processing I discussed is a reversal of means and ends. The speaker's end (his choice of words) becomes the listener's means to his end (grasping the idea of the speaker). This level generator would generate ends and means to be tested against those ends, and then those that pass would probably undergo further testing or mutation and testing. Thus the level generator is also using a kind of reverse-processing, because it is generating causes from effects rather than effects from causes. It is "working backward", as a psychologist might say. Thus it can create examples of psychological or biological perspectives, examples that would truly be "puzzles" whose comprehension depends on human thought.

Edit:
I remembered this ArsTechnica video.
How Gamers Killed Ultima Online's Virtual Ecology (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFNxJVTJleE)
It's not the same idea, but it matters if you want the level to evolve in its inception and its continued self-perpetuation.

Late Edit: Ethical Ambition of Self-Awareness:
The assumption was that knowledge is power, that humans with knowledge will determine humanity's fate, and that self-awareness is a central kind of knowledge. Indeed, I have wondered how people can have "impulse control problems" if their physical movements are still voluntary, and whether self-awareness might pertain. However, our default might be to replace unawareness with optimism.
Sometimes people are unrealistic optimists who engage in motivated cognition that minimizes threatening information rather than the threatening reality. Especially, they do if they are made to think they are powerless (Re: dissonance theory: "freely chosen"?). Moreover, illness can be interpreted as a threat to self-esteem (Re: Terror management theory?), which people try to maintain (social comparison theory). Thus, one ironic possibility is that our disagreements' potential to generate conflict is mitigated by our optimism, ... that a realistic society would have less disagreement but would also lack the cushioning of our unrealistic optimism. It might be very important that we understand motivated cognition. Our cognitive capacity probably followed after our basic drives, although we do have "acquired tastes" that show a possible bidirectional interaction rather than a unidirectional, subservient interaction. I'll try to address this, but didn't want to bump again.

haplorrhine
September 3rd, 2019, 05:31 PM
With this new problem, I knew I would need time to find intersecting ideas. An important intersection might be "the trial" or "the experiment." I cannot see a difference except that "trials" are normatively described as "succeeding" or "failing", although this same normative terminology is in the binomial probability theorem. As humans, our means are usually some application of a practiced (or shaped) behavior or a conceptually guided combination of various practiced behaviors, and our ends are usually some lasting state of affairs called a "success." However, ends can be means to other ends and, at the end of the day, one's ends can be anything, including more knowledge or more practice. If an experiment is a trial, its success state is the acquisition of new knowledge within the experimenter's own mind.

In the case of evolution, each organism is like an experiment, in the broader context, or a trial, in the narrower context of that organism's own subjective success through its own trying/trialing... try-aling? Then again, "experiment" might still imply an active goal whereas "case" is a more passive term. In any case, the "trials" don't need to be conducted consciously. In the brain, a kind of individualized natural selection occurs through the process of neuronal death, but our biological pathways also utilize feedback mechanisms that establish a sort of trial. Cellular metabolism and cell signaling consist of many intertwined cause-and-effect interactions that are called biological pathways, and negative feedback isn't entirely unlike the perceptual feedback utilized by a thinking/perceiving organism. If an axis like the HPA or the RAAS is working properly, a downstream effect will trigger a down-regulation of some precursor to prevent a run-a-way process. It's like the body's saying, "It worked, you can stop now." Thus, in this sense, even non-conscious organisms can be said to have "goals" that succeed or fail or that are aligned or misaligned with a broader goal. This broader goal would be homeostatic maintenance of the organism itself, but, in the specifically human case,: sometimes we humans create self-fulfilling prophecies, perceiving our subjective success as a perceptible outcome that is actually objectively a failure in the sense that the intermediary result doesn't actually bring one closer to the ultimate goal. Social psychologists talk about the fundamental attribution error or self-fulfilling prophecies, but I think these are describing the very simple cognitive process of determining causation, determining the existence or non-existence of and the nature of the causative relationship between a person and a behavior or the perceptible result of some behavior.

Cause and effect interactions are basic, but we can describe them in various ways. I think the sets in set theory can be ordered tuples or non-ordered Boolean sets, or non-Boolean fuzzy sets for that matter, because we humans use these basic structures to ascertain cause and effect. Non-order clusters can outline complex phenomena with unclear mechanisms, phenomena that effect us but are not affected by us. If a cross-case examination reveals a repeated ordering, the ordering can suggest the direction of causation, the "pathway." If many things depend on one thing, we might call this a "dependency," although many dependencies might be things that we uncover rather than things that we can witness in real-time. Not only can these describe, more generally, the hypotheses that proceed from the analysis of varying cases and then precede experimental testing, but, more specifically, they can describe the biological pathways of the organisms that find success through varying themselves. Moreover, these can also describe how we give eachother directions. Most man-made instructions are unidirectional sequences, but they could also be branched and conditional in the same way that a probability tree diagram can utilize conditional probabilities to describe a new, downstream probability distribution for each joint/fork in the tree.

In that vein, I have a potential error to point out. I proposed "reverse-processing mechanisms" within the mind, but specific vs generalized forms of attention might be equally applicable. One thing that seems clear is that we humans needed a way to reflect on our own thoughts. If our activities proceeded unidirectionally toward completion, we would lose the bigger picture of what we had done. We don't lose ourselves in the moment, but somehow obtain some kind of feedback of the broader, overall sequence that was just executed. Maybe we reverse the same processes that were carrying us forward. Maybe we direct our attention in a certain way that recovers the content. In the case of attention, I think that attention can be specific or general. For example, if I see words, my attention is specialized enough to see a message, but not so specialized that I see the wrong message. In general, the refinement of attention tends toward greater specification/specialization, but this specialization can avoid errors at the expense of possibly discovering a better method. I think this specific/general principle could also be applied to the biological concept of functionality.

Simulation Feasibility
I was imagining a fully evolved gameworld that is always different, but this might too demanding for the machine. There might be some tricks: punctuated equilibrium can cause the organisms to fixedly establish certain combinations or traits until that organism is facing extinction again; and moreover the organisms can become even more fixed during gameplay so that each organism is a perfect copy of its kind. However, the issues are more.
A gameworld that doesn't interact will be boring, and a gameworld that does will be very complex. If the player leaves a situation alone for a time, it might be useful if the game's memory can do the same. The game might use experimental or modeling techniques like twin studies, factor analysis, principle component analysis, etc., occasionally halting the simulation to ensure that no stone is left unturned and that the game has some kind of simplified mathematical model for what happens after some unexpected event is perpetrated by the players. In life, we more readily identify stable objects with stable properties. Functionality varies with time in predictable ways, and structure is basically fixed. However, anything can be de-stabilized, and it is this flux or transition that will probably be the challenge.

QIII
September 3rd, 2019, 06:19 PM
This is beginning to sound like a blog.

The Ubuntu Forums are not an appropriate place for blogging.

Closed.