Saturday, November 3, 2018

In the beginning

The title of this blog is "A Man and His Ideas". Everybody has ideas. Over the years, I collected a few. Some of the blog entries are prose, some are just a drawing or a picture.

The URL name for the blog is The term resipso is Latin slang for res ipsa loquitur, which means "the thing speaks for itself." Lawyers use the term to argue negligence. But, in nature and art, the presence of the thing speaks for itself to create a personal affinity with the thing. For an idea to be a thing, the idea needs some substance that allows others can hear it speak.
Res Ipso

This Blog is about my experiences, collections of thoughts and ideas. In May 2019, I was 70. While the calendar counting of age does not disturb me, in fact, just the success of making another year is exciting. During the natural progression of age, our bodies make many changes. The strength of youth changes to the strength of canes. Because of the show shrinking of the brain, some people believe as we mature mental faculties diminish.  Whereas I believe the brain needs more neurons to build filters that separate fact from fiction. Part of life progress is to build those filters. Then as we age, the efficacy of filters discharge the need for unused neurons, consequently, the brain shrinks.

I do not know if science considers filter and discard neurons as a fact-based concept. To me, the terms explain a man and his ideas.

Idea File
In 1970, I was in the Marine Corps, where I worked on data communication for Tactical Data Systems. The job often required long hours of maintenance watch that meant just being nearby to respond to alerts. Everybody shared paperback novels. One book I read, and I cannot remember the story or the author. In the book was something called and Idea File that contained scraps of this and that. Occasionally, the author solved a problem in the story by pulling an idea from the file. Over the years, I kept and lost many idea files. Often, the ideas disappeared with the file. My current idea file is a chaotic collection of papers, journals, bookshelves, and computer files.

One's brain experiences a gradual fade of memories and memory details. That is a science-based fact. I consider memories to be stories, and the mind is the author. My favorite description of the brain's processes is that the brain is a discrimination engine. The purpose of the engine is to build a mental representation of the unfiltered information pouring into the brain. In life, with experience, the brain acquires discrimination rules to construct the models. As part of the construction process, the brain presents experinces to the mind to build memory stores consistent with the rules and discards non-relevant information.

A rule is just a representation model. The discrimination engine also creates use of mental models. Mental models persist as facts and rules. Both are truthful representations meaning the model "is this" and anything else "is not" this model.

The seeds for the discrimination engine probably emerge from survival instincts. Infants know facts and rules.  Models like hunger, crying, food, feeding are probably not the first seeds, but they are visible expressions of models.

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