Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Between the Lines ➤ Exposing The Sense-making Machinery in Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow"

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ExtraSensory.News | Aug 11, 2015 | R. Mark Sink

As you may have expected, hyperspecialized science has long studied the working mind, both academically, and philosophically, in determining psychopathological behavior. Daniel Kahneman, "Thinking, Fast and Slow," presents with an amazing academic review of the numerous studies that provide evidence that human behavior has quirks, or what he revealingly calls, sense-making machinery. For those interested in their powers, Daniel has provided a plethora of workable methodologies that are most undoubtedly implemented in all forms of propagated media.

This all occurs as time interlaces the illusions of remembering for a perceived positive emotion Daniel Kahneman calls System 1. The markets will headline events early in the day, and the results satisfy an abstract casual coherence where fragments of knowledge adhere a plausibility which has no existence. Similarly System 1 builds upon its own pediment that of religious structure as an associative machine, where there is no doubt or uncertainty.

Our unconscious minds treat available information in strange ways when needed information is not available, and Kahneman refers to this as the "Primat of the Is," where only activated ideas have any bearing, and seemingly prevents any allotment of non-accessable information.

"The combination of a coherence-seeking System 1 with a lazy System 2 implies that System 2 will endorse many intuitive beliefs, which closely reflect the impressions generated by System 1."

The inputs of System 1 never cease. They cannot be removed. They are formed beginning at birth upon an endless array of life experiences. One significant characteristic of System 1 and I quote, "System 1 is radically insensitive to both the quantity and quality of the information that gives rise to impressions and intuitions." This ingrained pattern was simply called WYSITI, or what you see is all there is.

Without doing any research whatsoever, System 1 will arrive at basic assessments, biased approaches, and heuristic substitutions. In Chapter 9, an entire list of characteristics of System 1 are presented which ends Part 1 of the book. We can see System 1 in operation though the dissemination of propaganda on a daily basis.

In the interpretation of System 1 and System 2, Kahneman's choices for the fictitious metaphors are based on the quirks in our minds, as he puts it, and that it is better sentence structure describing "what it does," versus "what it is." I buy this to some degree in making his book fun to read, but he fails to explain if in fact "what they are," is not "what they is." I would suggest he is correct in describing their natures, as active agents with special aptitudes, personalities, habits, and instinctive abilities each to his own.

The research that has already been accomplished over the last several decades, even going back 100 years, is extensive and much of these experiments are purveyed in the book, many seemingly directly associated with these two types of systems. According to Kahneman, it was Keith Stanovich and Richard West who originated these exemplars as metaphors, or types.

Early on, Daniel describes these types as attention and effort, and traces errors in our cognitive functions through years of testing University students and even the Israeli military, where he grew up and knew his associate Amos he describes in the book. He explains associative coherence, priming, and a very interesting set of parameters associating cognitive ease. He mentions David Hume's work in describing a set of principles for association which seem to mirror our involuntary senses. As far as I have discovered so far, Daniel does not offer a peep about their true origins.

In his discussion of priming he states, "The evidence of priming studies suggest that reminding people of their mortality increases the appeal of Authoritarian ideas." In many cases, subject were completely unaware their System 2 "working mind," had been usurped by System 1. These priming phenomena occur in System 1, and according to Daniel, you usually have no conscious access to them.

These forms of cognitive ease are developed as a priming form that includes repeated experience, a clear or focused display, a primed idea, and good mood. These four forms offer System 1 a platform that works all by itself, and the observer is often oblivious to these active agents which alter perception. It is as though System 1 can respond to impressions of events that System 2 is completely unaware.

The following additional quotes are offered contained from Part 1 of the book.

"The moral is significant: When System 2 is otherwise engaged, we will believe almost anything.System 1 is gullible and biased to believe, System 2 is in charge of doubting and unbelieving, but System 2 is sometimes busy, and often lazy."

"System 2 is the only one that can follow rules, compare objects on several attributes, and make deliberate choices between options. The automatic System 1 does not have these capabilities."

"System 1 is impulsive and intuitive; System 2 is capable of reasoning, and it is cautious, but at least for some people it is also lazy."

"System 1 continuously generates suggestions for System 2; impression, intuitions, intentions, and feelings. If endorsed by System 2, impressions and intuitions turn into beliefs, and impulses turn into voluntary actions."
"System 1 has more influence on behavior when System 2 is busy, and it has a sweet tooth."

I find these last two quotes revealing.

Impulses that turn into voluntary actions also have other names, such as taste and touch, which are rather hard to define if you think about it. In Chapter 10, Daniel begins the long and tedious journey of working out the kinks of System 2 and the tricks that System 1 plays inside your mind. Here are a few noteworthy segments.

"System 1 tries its best to construct a world in which the anchor is the true number."

Anchoring is another priming effect which occurs when we read a particular type of propaganda that is designed to cause the effect. Those affected by anchoring often deny the utility of useless information. This leads to the availability heuristic or content clouding. Daniel also mentions an admirer of his named Cass Sustein in which those of you who are reading alternative media may be more familiar with. One point Daniel reveals is something you may already suspect, and I quote, "Terrorism speaks directly to System 1."

It would seem our mathematical malfunctions are quite intense, and certainly well researched under the context of manipulation tech, and the quite numerous studies performed show that a valid understanding of these apparent anomalies are in fact genuine.

System 1 has no statistical reasoning, it loves stereotypes, it is System 1 that will follow along with authoritarian rule in an experiment, and shock people nearly to death to appease the authoritarian. We confuse correlation with causation, we're mostly unaware of the natural concept regression to the mean which keeps repeating itself. First discovered by Sir Francis Galton, this notion in nature prevents a perpetual unwinding so to speak.

System 1 has an array of habits, from casual links, relevant norms, substitution, intensity matching, and nonregressive predicators. Examples given as follows:

"Extreme predictions and a willingness to predict rare events from weak evidence are both manifestations of System 1. It is natural for the associative machinery to match the extremeness of predictions to the perceived extremeness of evidence on which it is based - this is how substitution works. [...]

"The sense-making machinery of System 1 makes us see the world as more tidy, simple, predictable, and coherent than it really is. The illusion that one has understood the past feeds further illusion that one can predict and control the future."

Of interest in Chapter 20, Daniel offers up a pertinent quote for our discussion from Philip Tetlock.

"In the age of hyperspecialization, there is no reason for supposing that contributors to top journals - distinguished political scientists, area study specialists, economists, and so on - are any better journalists or attentive readers of the New York Times in 'reading' "emerging situations."

In all, Daniel's work is an outstanding purvey of the treatise on his prospective theories where he has provided lengthy studies to substantiate his work for all to see and utilize or transform the state of the psyche. At one point in the book, Daniel pondered whether when teaching psychology if anyone actually learned anything. I suspect his views of System 1 are some of the reasoning behind his thoughts.

The book is divided into five parts of which the first three keep you going. Although, Parts 4 and 5 are difficult reads and he seems to loose System 1 and System 2, however, he does occasionally reference them.

Cognitive Machinery or Corruption of Thought by Emotion

This question comes to mind because knowing an origin or cause helps us determine how and why things occur. Since Daniel has only offered the simple excuse of sentence structure for the identity of System 1 and 2, and has not provided "what they is," information, we must assume the obvious, and that is to say, they have always known their true origins.

Since System 1 is dumbfounded upon being hyperconservative, has its own perception, while System 2 beckons as though it's a form of contact, similarly as integers, data, and so on, it seems what we are truly looking at here is two of our five senses, the two that are most difficult to define, taste and touch respectively.

This implication is backed up by the Laws of Influence [1] which portray some of the characteristics associated with Kahneman's System 1 and 2. System 1 portrays as Gurdjieff [2] taught characteristics of things created in life: race, nation, country, climate, family, education (Includes religious indoctrination forced from System 2), society, profession, manners, and customs, wealth, poverty, current ideas, and so on. While System 2 portrays influences created under different laws and consciously derived as part of earth which embodies teachings, thinking, study, asking questions, philosophical doctrines, works of art, and so on.

These two laws exist and most are unaware of the ways in which they manifest. Often, System 2 is obstructed to make System 1 more vulnerable to acceptable input. Duncan MacMartin wrote an OpEd recently describing System 1 and System 2 in relation to the psychopaths present in our society. Here is a quote from his article.

"System2" thinking or slow thinking, on the other hand, is rational, considerate and logical, so being both analytical and constructive, it takes time. The cognitive processes of "System2" take place largely cortically, in the areas of higher brain function and when fully evolved, utilise those higher cognitive functions acquired only through seeking mutually beneficial relationships with others and the environment. This type of advanced slow and empathetic thinking is ideal for dealing with relationships, creativity and complexity.

"System1" or thinking "intuitively" (more like presumptuously) utilises formulae, recipes, scenarios and scripts for actions memorised and recalled in part from past experiences or mimicked from observing the "successful" actions of others in similar circumstances. As Kahneman points out, it is fraught with impulse, assumption and error. Its ONLY real advantages are for fast reflexive responses in conflict and competitive based survival environments where immediacy is the critical factor.

Psychopaths are not just identified by their lack of empathy and conscience and their ruthless, manipulative, single-minded, narcissistic and opportunistic ways but also by their almost total lack of application of "System2" thinking. This means that they have a severe inability to deal with complexity, the welfare of others, or with any further effects of their actions beyond their immediate self-serving objective! [3]

Here are some additional suggestions why System 1 is not often interpreted or understood. This is based on the sense taste.

Taste may determine what kind of house you live in.
Taste can affect what you possess, what you hang on the wall, and the kind of art you like.
Taste obviously affect what you eat.
Taste has a sweet tooth.
Taste may mean you're stuck up.
Taste can go to your head.
Taste is addicting.

However, when attempting to define touch, it's a whole new ballgame.

Touch consists of your entire presence in this place, and all the data.
Touch requires our exposure as examination.
Touch will provide data on food consumption in the form of a state of being.
Touch and immunity have a lot in common.
Touch often has a prolonging effect.
Touch is System 2.
Touch is the working mind doing its thing.

These are examples to get you to THINK. Whether it be fast or slow, the noun or verb, conservative or liberal, star or universe, the laws of influence have long been set down as both illusive and fact. Are these functions mostly erroneous cognitive machinery? Or are they actually corrupting thought tied to emotion?

It is my understanding that in the processing of time, cognitive functions become lazy and consistently generate human caused errors, however, in a context of sense-making, where emotion and taste are similarly assumed, corruption also builds within System 1 raising our worst fears. These obstructive forms are of a psychopathological nature.

It is not that taste itself is corrupt, it is not. It is when the features of emotion are altered, they are a facade of reality, and made to order as a form of illusion. Genetic alternation, such as gene-transfering of bacteria into living seed is an excellent example of corruption of emotion.

While reading a few of the reviews, I immediately noticed System 1 babbling along, creating substitutions, doing the WYSITI, institution of the "Primat of the Is," and they generally seemed "radically insensitive to both the quantity and quality of the information that gives rise to impressions and intuitions." (From quote above)

They were portraying the story of the tortuous and the hare, and the moral of the story is the tortuous wins the race because the rabbit is constantly babbling about itself, and how fast it is. Unfortunately, the rabbit is loose and breeding. System 1 is the easy life while System 2 is thought lazy, and consistently blamed as such.

If you believe your brain is split, you may begin to misunderstand the games that our sense-making machinery have implicated, you will be told there is only this duality, a doubling of the brain forcing you to choose becoming a halfwit. These halfwits run the world, yet they lie in telling you their brains are split and not connected.

Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002, and dedicated his book to his late colleague Amos. He is warning us about our programmable machine, and I'm afraid as he had believed, that most are not learning anything. Their System 1 (taste, false emotion, psychopathology) won't let them.

R. Mark Sink writes and edits ExtraSensory.News. He's a Cherokee Native American, a student of true history, Humanitarian, Peace activist, amateur etymologist, focused on media propaganda reanalysis.

[1] ISOTM, The Teachings of George Gurdjieff by P.D. Ouspensky

[2] Ibid.

[3] The way of the psychopath


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