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How the brain works The confidence competency ratio

#1 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-28, 03:24

I am going to begin this thread with a few ideas. The central theme is that pretty much everything is the same: including thinking.

Can we model thinking and social interaction in the same way that we model flow or electricity? What might the implications be for game theory?
I am not a systems engineer, so I thought I would throw this idea out here and see what you guys make of it.

This kind of idea is, I believe, the reason why games such as Chess, Bridge, Go and so on are so popular with Doctors, Physicists, Engineers and so on. It is because the laws that govern them are all exactly the same.

I call this the 'equation of life'. I am not the first to do so.
This equation will be familiar to all of you, but it goes by many different names.

I'll use Poiseuille's law.

I have used this equation to educate students about the nervous system, but it works for electricity (Ohm's law) and lots of other things. Wherever there is flow and resistance, this law applies.
It works with education as well.

Poiseuille's law looks like this
Volume per second= (pi* pressure difference * radius 4)/(8 * viscosity * length)
Of course, there has to be a pump to create the pressure difference and push the volume through the tube.

It's the same with thinking.

A person can become competent at just about anything, but only to the extent that their cupboard can be filled to a certain extent, not leak, associate k's (k= 1 element of knowledge - see below), use them appropriately and quickly enough. A person may be distracted, by television, alcohol, anything.

With people there is more to it. There is social interaction to factor in.

Let us assign confidence 'Con' a scale 1-100 and competency 'Com' 1-100.

Therefore somebody who is 100% confident and 100% competent will score Com/Con 1 on the CCR scale for a given 'k' of knowledge. A person who is all Confidence but no Competence scores 1. Somebody with no confidence but who is completely competent scores also scores 1. The CCR ratio provides the Observer 'O' with a tool for assessing the competence of another person with respect to their knowledge.

So, an observer needs to work out what it is that they are trying to assess. The assessment problem is not the issue here. The question here is how does a single individual acquire 'k's. If you want a more significant problem: create a partnership.

Still, the observer can be misled—a sort of social Heisenberg principle, perhaps.
The reason for being misled is that the total expectations 'E' can be inflated or deflated by the confidence of the person; and also by the total confidence of the Observer.
This is the reason that each of the scales starts at 1.
Take the 15 point Glasgow coma scale. This excellent tool allows emergency room Doctors to assess how close to death you are. It has three axes they all begin with 1. You can show up dead, and you still score 3. Even Trump would score 3. As Dorothy Parker said (I know, ascribed to others) when told of Calvin Coolidge's death "How can they tell?" - the answer, a GCR of 3. You can't divide by 0. That's why they start at 1.
This only accounts for competency at a single quantum of knowledge k. Since this is a Bridge forum, let's look at Bridge. Bridge is a great example of an 'equilibrium game'. Effectively it combines the Four-colour map problem with Sodoku. At the same time, in a tournament, it involves transactions with four people in a broader social group.
The total amount of knowledge in a field (eg Bridge) is K.
Each k is associated with an e (error) because as the Persians say "only God is perfect" - everyone and everything makes mistakes.
That's where thermodynamics comes into it.

Setting that aside.

A person is not a robot.
A robot is a machine that by definition does not make errors unless it is programmed to make errors. Error is a human feature.
The maximum amount of knowledge in a field is K.
This means that an individual can strive to learn K-x.
An individual area of competence is a k.
Take Bridge as an example. The fact that an Ace is valued at 4 HCP is a 'k'.
The capacity of an individual to learn, retain, access, and appropriately use. each k, determines their individual level of Com.
There are other factors. An individual must be able to move the K that they have around, associate it with other k's as they experience new k's and then produce an appropriate output.
An individual can only store so many k's. It depends how big their cupboard is, how fast they can access the items in it, how quickly they can associate one k with another, and what they can do with the result.
Also, their 'cupboard' may leak. In physics, this is how capacitors work. Think of a computer drive that might decay.
In face to face Bridge, it's even harder because you are working with another human who is also error-prone.

Humans differ from machines in two critical ways.

First, we have an association cortex. We can take several k's, join them together and create a new k that nobody has ever thought of. Robots cannot do this.

That is why there is no such thing as 'artificial intelligence'.
That process of association enables humans to produce new k's is called knowledge generation.
It could be unique to humans.
It may occur in some animals. This is currently unknown.

Robots definitely cannot do it.

Secondly, we can impart our newly gained, or created, knowledge to others. The others do not have to be human. For example, we can train a robot to perform a finesse. The robot cannot walk up to a human and say "hey would you like to learn how to do a finesse?". But, I can say to someone that I have made a machine that does something and if you practice with it you may learn something to your advantage. Exactly the same thing happens when someone writes a book. Why people complain about robots but not books is a mystery to me.

At least that's what I think.

Non legit hoc

#2 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-July-28, 12:32

Thinking about your link http://www.calculato.../poiseuille.htm and its applications to learning:

I'm thinking that Kant is considerably more viscous than Bertrand Russell so, unless we can substantially increase the cross-sectional area of the pipe, we must create a considerable increase in the pressure difference in order to keep the same rate of flow.

#3 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-July-28, 19:26

Something I find very concerning is the view that we are all the same. Ignoring individual attributes, the variance between us all, our experiences, our strnegths, our weaknesses, our goals, our motivations, our backgrounds, our privileges or lack of and suggesting that everyone can learn something in the same way, achieve to the same level, is concerning. There is a tendency by far too many to over simplify so many things and lose the infinite variety of our individualism. And that is dangerous whether it comes from an allegedly progressive standpoint or a highly reactionary one as it has been in the past.

Its difficult to actually critique every aspect of your post. I would like to but cant. A few comments. Not everyting is a systems engieering problem and can be modelled in such a way etc

I'm not going to chellenge anythinng using your own constructs of comfidence vs competence.

However something concerning I have learned over very many years is that many of the tests we have for ability/intellect/other are often used incorrectly and interchangeably by people who hopefully these dys should know better.

You could be the most brilliant in the world at somethingn yet be totally/almost incapable of any level of competence in a very important skill. You could be rather stupid at most things yet be capable of the skill(s) that get you on in the world. And I have a fair bit of training in many of the disciplines you touch on in your post, as well as a lifetime experience trying to learn and be the best/close to the best in a number of them etc. However one very alraming thing is if educators have questionnable attitudes towards the brain, towards our individual differnces and aptitudes, who think because somebody cannot learn one particular thing that they are stupid. We all have different abilities - a combination of what we are born with, what we develop, our backgrounds and privileges, what we learn. But we are not all the same just like machines that can all be churned out to the same level in everything. Its dangerous to even suggest or have a very univariate view on ability or intellect. That includes physical and mental differences. They can get in the way of competence in any manner of things. Do you really think you can just force people to get a level of competence

So many of our models of everything over so many years have been so simplistic to lose the infinite variety of the individual. So many people and models still work in a very linear way and ignore complexity and non-linearity etc. They may look at things in a very reductionist way etc Too many do not even know/understand/acknowledge those limitations of their models/understandings/approaches - many do but many do not. But in realtion to something I have some training (and some competence, without being regarded by me or my peers an expert), consider the example of many behavioural models which are now (concerningly to me) used by so many disciplines through the use of analytics. Many of those models are based on understanding a very small part of the variance of any predictors. In some disiplines related to people (not machines) people are happy with tiny amounts of explained variance. The thought that a bunch of people, with massive power in our world, may take those models and use them to determine our lives and futures is frankly alarming

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