The mind — or consciousness — is a complex equation.
This is a hypothesis by a non-scientist / non-mathematician. For a more specific theory or science see research such as this paper or this project.
We are constantly running our own unique Experience Equation and our brains are structured to process a kind of organic math.
Fundamentally, things must "add up" in order for us to function. The equation must essentially equal 1 every time it is calculated.
If it does not equal 1, we must change a variable or a step to balance the equation.
Some of the equation is dedicated to the calculation of motion and distance. We have basic physics calculations to determine how to catch a ball, for example. I also suspect things like the Golden Ratio and Godel's Theorem and Topology are relevant clues to our own internal workings.
Any new "variable" to life we must "factor in" to our Experience Equation in order to integrate that information into the equation.
Much of the equation is dedicated to the Tiger in the Grass adage. Namely, if you don't calculate your next move correctly, you will be eaten. If not, you will pass the natural selection test.
There is math to determine the most likely outcome that one can find a mate, with sex being an example of the 1. Beyond our essential needs, each of us has different formulas we have created with different dissonances attracting different divergences.
Our brains model the world constantly in these terms, running through scenarios with probabilistic outcomes and choosing the behaviors that are most likely to achieve the "solution."
There must be many tricks of compression and shortcuts as there is a lot of information to process at any given moment. Perhaps some version of quantum mechanics are used to return fuzzy sub results when modeling new situations against vast amounts of memories.
Addictive drugs are an example of something from the environment that change the equation at a deep level, inserting their own math into ours such that the 1 becomes obtaining more drugs. The equation is not "solved" unless the addict is high.
What is called cognitive dissonance is the meta-self knowing that the equations are "off" in some way and our system moves to correct it.
Even if we fill in variables with gods, myths, and conspiracies, the world around us must make sense if we are to survive.
This explains societal problems as badly formulated internal models that are forced into place, creating a close-enough-to-1 result for the individual, but when applied in the real world of many humans, their math doesn't work for the rest of us.
Even if one directly observes their equations not functioning adequately in the world, the brain will suppress that information so that it can continue to operate — for without understanding new variables, the mathematical foundation could collapse. To ask a Christian to not believe in the afterlife is like telling them to jump off a cliff and believe they will fly, which just doesn't add up.
And it must always, always add up.
Understanding is the perception of succeeding at modeling of concepts in such a way that they can be compressed and used in later iterations of the equation.
Neurons are a platform for all this math, running models through equations by using chemical and electrical symbols, with some higher dimensional meta-self capable of plastically moving brain cells and their connections around like the Enigma Machine.
Mathematicians are using tools such as Topological Data Analysis to actually describe the complex multidimensional lattice that is the brain, which may lead to explaining how we functionally apply models and patterns to make sense of the world.
What are the ramifications of this theory and mathematical understanding of how the brain works both physically and psychologically? They are far sweeping.
First, we must understand the importance of things making sense, "adding up" as it were. If our brains are designed to essentially force us into some working equation at all times, this can explain how people are getting it wrong.
If we can understand the variables, the modeling processes, we may be able to better understand why people believe lies or become sociopathic or self destructive.
More importantly, if we can map the process by which information is integrated into the equation and how the brain models experience through self-correction, perhaps we can begin to "deprogram" those with equations that are dangerous to themselves or others. This slope seems slippery.
You could say that psychology and psychiatry are sciences of these brain equations, and therapy is the use of words to attempt to change variables deep within the equation to prevent or change behaviors. But therapists are operating in the dark without the actual math.
If we have a repeatably demonstrable equation of modeling and experience processing, we may not only begin to understand individual personalities more accurately, we could in theory better engineer artificial systems.
Also, we could design programs that are representative of our internal equations for visual reference or assisted modeling. Imagine writing a note and sticking it on your refrigerator that says "exercise today — it's good for you", but on a much larger scale and tuned to your own models and goals as a person. Digital personal assistants are early attempts at extending ourselves in this way, but they don't have the actual framework — they are developed with best guesses and user feedback.
These kinds of innovations would be much easier to build if we new more specifically what math the mind uses to equate experience and what "1's" exist that motivate us beyond not being eaten by a tiger or finding a mate.
If we knew more specifically the math we are using internally, we could also apply that understanding to global society in order to study emergent brain-like activity. We could begin to better tackle the hard problem of self organization on the largest scales.
If world peace and the end of suffering is the ultimate solution to society, hopefully an understanding of how human minds work to find ingenious solutions for our individual success could be applied to our entire species.
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