Friday, August 2, 2013

Vizsla vs. Pattern Recognition

I was thinking earlier today about how much of life depends on our ability to recognize patterns around us. 

For Example: Apparently there is something called 'red', and if you are able to see this mysterious 'red', then there will be a pattern in the picture below for you to recognize

And I'm not necessarily just talking about the 'Hey, if I squint at this 80's poster I can see a picture of a boat kind of pattern recognition.

(Although I'm given to understand that if one is able to see those they are pretty cool.  Stupid unseeable boat poster.)

I have no idea if these work through a computer screen.  
But then I can never get the f-ing things to work in real life either, so you're on your own here.

No, I'm talking about on a broader level - you know, the ability to recognize patterns like 'Hey, every time I eat peanuts my throat swells shut' or 'Hmmm...  That Johnson kid that visited 9 months ago sure looks a lot like my newborn son...'  That sort of thing.

In fact, it seems to me that human beings spend so much of their time recognizing patterns around them and adjusting their behavior accordingly that it would be remarkably easy to train you all to obey my every whim merely by conditioning you with... but I've already said too much...

Wittgenstein suggested in his Tractatus* that the universe is actually nothing more than random phenomena in which we like to pretend to see patterns like Language and Math so that we can more easily interact with it.  In the same way that one might have pretended to be able to see the boat picture when the mean kids from gym class were around for the sake of not giving them more ammo. 

* Full disclosure - I only made it to about page 5 before I had to stop and learn German in the hope that it might be slightly less mind-numbing and incomprehensible in it's original language.  Spoiler warning - it's not.

Now, while I would like to whole-heartedly back anyone who begins with the premise 'Math isn't real', I think he might be missing something fundamental there. 

Mainly, I think he's making a mistake insisting on looking at it all from the Universe's point of view, when the Universe has gone out of its way on more than one occasion to point out that it could not possibly care less about what we think.  (See:  The Dinosaurs, Universe smacking the crap out of existence of).

But what the hell do I know.  I can't even see the boat or the red stuff.  Doesn't that make you want to bring me a snausage?  Yes, of course it does.  Good boy.

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