Thursday, April 22, 2021

The rational and intuitive modes of problem solving from the TGD point of view

Reza Rastmanesh sent me a link to an article with title "The Impact of the Mode of Thought in Complex Decisions: Intuitive Decisions are Better". The following musings are inspired by this article.

As one learns from the article, it seems that problem solving and decision making rely on two basic approaches which correspond to right-left brain dichotomy.

  1. Rational thinking in the ideal case error free provided the basic assumptions are correct and data are reliable. It is however mechanical and cannot lead to "eurekas". Computers can nowadays do it more reliably than humans. In mathematics Goedel's theorem tells that mere rational deduction is not enough for basic arithmetics: in a given axiomatic system there is an infinite number of non-provable truths.
  2. Intuitive approach is less reliable but can be much faster, is holistic, based on affect rather than cold rationality, and can lead to new insights which only afterwards can be deduced but possibly only by adding some new basic assumption. In this case one can speak of a discovery.

What looks paradoxical is that besides induction of affective mood favoring intuitive problem solving, distraction is one way to induce intuitive thought. In TGD framework, the interpretation would be that distraction forces to give up the attempt to solve the problem at the level conscious to me - I am simply too stupid- , and delegates the problem to a higher level of the hierarchy (layers of magnetic body) representing higher level of abstraction (see this) and a more holistic view. This would make it possible to solve the problem.

A real life example about the connection with distraction is in order. In problem solving mood, I find that simple tasks of everyday life become difficult. I decide to do something, start to do this but decide to do also something at the same time, do it, and then realize that I do not remember what I had decided to do primarily, and even that I had decided to do something. I have seriously asked myself whether these are the first signs of dementia. The fact however is that this has been always the case - more or less.

My friends however tell me that there is no reason to worry, I am just what is called "absent minded professor". Perhaps I am indeed just absent minded - or almost permanently distracted - but certainly never a professor if this depends on colleagues.

I have many times experienced in real life that intuitive approach is more reliable than rational thinking when one must make decisions. I still find it difficult to confess that I have been cheated many times but I must do it now. I have felt from the beginning that this is happening but my rational mind has forced myself to believe that this is not the case. I have not wanted to insult the swindlers by somehow suggesting that I am not quite sure about their real motives.

Sleeping over night would be a basic example of this delegation of the problem to a higher intelligence. From personal experience sleeping over night is for me almost the only manner to get new ideas and solve problems which do not reduce to mere mechanical calculations. Often the problem and its solution pop up simultaneously during morning hours and going to the computer makes it possible to write out the details. The attempt to solve a problem by hard thinking later during the day does not lead anywhere.

An example about this relates to my own work. As some new idea has emerged, I have sometimes given it up after some rational thought. Later it has however turned out that the idea made sense after all but for different reasons that I had thought.

A concrete example relates to dark matter idenfied as heff=n×h0≥h phases of ordinary matter at magnetic body in the recent TGD based model.The problem was the following.

Blackman and many others observed at seventies that ELF radiation in EEG range has strange effects on the behavior of vertebrates visible also physiologically. These effects looked quantal. This however does not make sense in standard quantum theory since energies are incredibly small and far below the thermal energies. For this reason mainstream refused to take the effects seriously and it was forgotten.

  1. My first proposal was based on the notion of many-sheeted space-time. Perhaps the photons and ions responding to them were at space-time sheets at which the temperature is extremely low so that the thermal objection does not bite.
  2. Then I entered a different idea. Perhaps the value of Planck constant varies and one has a very large value heff=n×h0 of the effective Planck constant. n would correspond to the number of identical space-time sheets for the space-time surfaceas a covering space. This led to a nice theory and later I could deduce it from a number theoretic vision unifying real and various p-adic physics to adelic physics describing correlates of both sensory experience and cognition.

As I thought about this during last night, a question popped up. Could this original approach be correct after all? Could the heff approach be wrong? This would destroy 15 years of work: horrible! Or could these two approaches be consistent? This turned out to be the case!

  1. The temperature at flux tubes and flux quanta of the magnetic body (MB) is in general below Hagedorn temperature TH dictated by the flux tube thickness: the reason is that the number of geometric degrees of freedom is infinite. Flux tube behaves in good approximation like string and the notion of TH emerged in string models. For instance, in living matter TH corresponds to the physiological temperature, around 37 degrees Celsius for humans.
  2. TH is associated with dark matter with heff=n×h0, and n is the number of space-time sheets of the covering. TH characterizes n-sheeted structure. What is the temperature at a single sheet of covering?
  3. Thermal energy is proportional to the temperature. For an n-sheeted structure one has by the additivity of thermal energy for different identical sheets TH =n×TH(sheet) implying

    TH(sheet) =TH/n.

    For the huge values of heff and thus of n, T(sheet)H(sheet) is indeed extremely small! The original explanation is consistent with the number theory based explanation! Trust your intuition! But be however cautious!

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

No comments: