Sunday, February 26, 2017

Linear vs. Non-Linear Thinking

I became interested in this because of the Oscar noninated movie "Arrival" (2016).

I've always been a fan of Sci-Fi stories. So too the way these writers get me to thinking.

Aside from the plot the biggie here is the difference with how these aliens think in "non-linear" terms opposed to how we think "linearly". In other words we humans think in sequential pieces along a straight line, but that may not be the only way when it comes to understanding. Taking a closer look I see artificial intelligence developers have been working on this in great detail for some time

This can be best explained by computers having unlimited capacity for multitasking--something we humans are incapable of. Suppose we as a human stood before an object. We would be limited to only one view at a time. A computer on the other hand could be looking all 360 degrees around, over/under and inside all at the same time. While our human minds could understand each individually we'd never be able to comprehend the entire composite make up in one sitting other then metaphorically.

Now apply this to the universe in all it's complexity. Suppose a artificial intelligence could be developed which could take in everything which makes up a galaxy. Light, gravity, it's entire structure including each black hole, sun, planet, radio waves, all there is within along with the scientific formulas controlling them all at the same time. Us humans limited to linear thinking would have to rely on thousands of other minds in an attempt to develop some sort of metaphorical understanding. A view far different from it's actual over all totality.

This is what fascinated me about this movie. What if there were an alien race not limited to such things. A race who could multitask in a non-linear fashion--unfettered by our own limited sequential (straight line) cognitive logic?

In the movie our hero linguist discovers where you start out (in a circle of logic) each will produce a different outcome. However these aliens try to express the entire number of possible outcomes in a single spiral. Fully understanding this creates results entirety different from those assumed prior.

This is the challenge today's AI developers face when trying to create algorithms capable of human understanding as to what has been culled. In other words someday we may be too limited by our abilities to relate to these so-called machines. This leads to the question whether we will play a part in the future of how ever evolving intelligence. expresses itself. Will one day these devices look upon us as lower species then themselves?

The Way I See 'The Creator' (GOD)
He/she/it will occupy/express itself in whatever form there is. Humans may think themselves 'all that and more' but so do monkeys, elephants and ants who led their tribes before we came along. This creator (whatever it may be) is on an ever evolving quest to expand itself. If we're unable to transition beyond our linear measurement of thought at least we can say we contributed towards the next advancement. Every thing and everyone has it's day for a little while in the larger scheme of things. Hopefully he/she/it will look upon us gracefully.

Final Thought
I really appreciate movies/TV and all those who inspire others to think outside the box. H/T to each and every one of them. Keep em' coming.

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