Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Aug 28, 2023 – Aug 28, 2023 (18:10h CET)
CONTEXT: Man and Machine. One head against Billions of documents …
The author has started an experiment writing two tracks in parallel: the first track is his own writing without chatGPT4, and the next track ist a chat with chatGPT4. The motivation behind this experiment is to get a better estimate how the writing of chatGPT4 differs. While chatGPT4 is working only by statistical patterns of the ‘surface’ of language communications, the author is exploiting his individual ‘meaning knowledge’ built up in his inner states by many years of individual learning as part of certain ‘cultures’ and ‘everyday situations’. Clearly the knowledge of the individual author about texts available is extremely smaller than compared with the knowledge base of chatGPT4. Thus it is an interesting question whether an individual knowledge is generally too bad compared to the text generation capacity of the chatGPT4 software?
While the premises of the original article cannot be easily transferred to the dialog with chatGPT4, one can still get some sense of where chatGPT4’s strengths lie on the one hand, and its weaknesses on the other. For ‘authentic’ writing a replacement by chatGPT4 is not an option, but a ‘cooperation’ between ‘authentic’ writing and chatGPT seems possible and in some contexts certainly even fruitful.
What the Author did Write:
CONTINUOUS REBIRTH – Now. Silence does not help …Exploration
(This text is a translation from a German source using for nearly 90-95% the deepL software without the need to make any changes afterwards. [*])
As written in the previous blog entry, the last blog entry with the topic “Homo Sapiens: empirical and sustainable-empirical theories, emotions, and machines. A Sketch”  as a draft speech for the conference “AI – Text and Validity. How do AI text generators change scientific discourse?”  Due to the tight time frame (20 min for the talk), this text was very condensed. However, despite its brevity, the condensed text contains a many references to fundamental issues. One of them will be briefly taken up here.
Localization in the text of the lecture
A first hint is found in the section headed “FUTURE AND EMOTIONS” and then in the section “SUSTAINABLE EMPIRICAL THEORY”.
In these sections of the text, attention is drawn to the fact that every explicit worldview is preceded by a phase of ’emergence’ of that worldview, in which there is a characteristic ‘transition’ between the ‘result’ in the form of a possible text and a preceding state in which that text is not yet ‘there’. Of course, in this ‘pre-text phase’ – according to the assumptions in the section “MEANING” – there are many facts of knowledge and emotions in the brain of the ‘author’, all of which are ‘not conscious’, but from which the possible effects in the form of a text emanate. How exactly ‘impact’ is supposed to emanate from this ‘pre-conscious’ knowledge and emotions is largely unclear.
We know from everyday life that external events can trigger ‘perceptions’, which in turn can ‘stimulate’ a wide variety of reactions as ‘triggers’. If we disregard such reactions, which are ‘pre-trained’ in our brain due to frequent practice and which are then almost always ‘automatically’ evoked, it is as a rule hardly predictable whether and how we react.
From non-action to action
This potential transition from non-action to action is omnipresent in everyday life. As such, we normally do not notice it. In special situations, however, where we are explicitly challenged to make decisions, we then suddenly find ourselves in a quasi ‘undefined state’: the situation appears to us as if we are supposed to decide. Should we do anything at all (eat something or not)? Which option is more important (go to the planned meeting or rather finish a certain task)? We want to implement a plan, but which of the many options should we ‘choose’ (… there are at least three alternatives; all have pros and cons)? Choosing one option as highly favored would involve significant changes in one’s life situation; do I really want this? Would it be worth it? The nature of the challenges is as varied as everyday life in many different areas.
What is important, more important?
As soon as one or more than one option appears before the ‘mind’s eye’, one involuntarily asks oneself how ‘seriously’ one should take the options? Are there arguments for or against? Are the reasons ‘credible’? What ‘risks’ are associated with them? What can I expect as ‘positive added value’? What changes for my ‘personal situation’ are associated with it? What does this mean for my ‘environment’? …
What do I do if the ‘recognizable’ (‘rational’) options do not provide a clear result, it ‘contradicts’ my ‘feeling for life’, ‘me’, and I ‘spontaneously’ reject it, spontaneously ‘don’t want’ it, it triggers various ‘strong feelings’ that may ‘overwhelm’ me (anger, fear, disappointment, sadness, …)? …
The transition from non-action to action can ‘activate’ a multitude of ‘rational’ and ’emotional’ aspects, which can – and mostly do – influence each other, to the point that one experiences a ‘helplessness’ entangled in a ‘tangle’ of considerations and emotions: one has the feeling of being ‘stuck’, a ‘clear solution’ seems distant. …
If one can ‘wait’ (hours, days, weeks, …) and/or one has the opportunity to talk about it with other people, then this can often – not always – clarify the situation so far that one thinks to know what one ‘wants now’. But such ‘clarifications’ usually do not get the ‘challenge of a ‘decision’ out of the way. Besides, the ‘escape’ into ‘repressing’ the situation is always an option; sometimes it helps; if it doesn’t help, then the ‘everyday’ situation becomes worse by the ‘repressing’, quite apart from the fact that ‘unsolved problems’ do not ‘disappear’, but live on ‘inside’ and can unfold ‘special effects’ there in many ways, which are very ‘destructive’.
The variety of possible – emotional as well as rational – aspects of the transition from non-action to action are fascinating, but possibly even more fascinating is the basic process itself: at any given moment, every human being lives in a certain everyday situation with a variety of experiences already made, a mixture of ‘rational explanations’ and ’emotional states’. And, depending on the nature of everyday life, one can ‘drift along’ or one has to perceive daily ‘strenuous activities’ in order to maintain the situation of everyday life; in other cases, one has to constantly ‘fight’ in real terms for the continuance in everyday life. One experiences here that the ‘conditions of everyday life’ are largely given to the individual and one can only change them to a limited extent and with a corresponding ‘effort’.
External events (fire, water, violence, war, drought, accident, life forms of a community, workplace, company policy, diseases, aging, …) can of course strongly influence the personal everyday life ‘against one’s will’, but in the end a fundamental autonomy of decision-making remains in the individual: one can decide differently in the next moment than before, even without it being completely clear to oneself in this moment ‘why’ one does it. Whether one calls this ‘not being able to explain’ then ‘goot feeling’ or ‘intuition’ or … all these words only circumscribe a ‘not knowing’ about the processes ‘in us’ that take place and ‘motivate’ us. And even if one has a ‘linguistic explanation’ available, this does not have to mean that a ‘clear insight’ is also connected with these words. The proportion of ‘preconscious/ unconscious’ ‘inner processes’ is high and ultimately these are not explainable ‘out of themselves’: they take place, move us, and we ‘implement them’.
Yes, in every moment we can behave ‘as usual’ and thereby ‘preserve’ the world (or thereby prevent it from becoming different?). But we can also sometimes ‘deviate’ from the usual (and thereby ‘destroy’ something or make something ‘new possible?). All in all, the ‘space of the inside’ remains largely ‘unilluminated’. We hardly if at all understand why we do this; this requires trust in ourselves and the situation. Is the difference to the ‘original birth’ only gradual? Are we in a continuing process of birth that constantly enables the construction of something ‘new’, can support ‘life’ or also ‘weaken’ it?
[Exploration] The format ‘exploration’ is newly introduced in the blog from now on, since there is often the situation that the author at the transition point from ‘non-action to action’, from ‘non-writing to writing’ tries out which emotional and rational ‘reactions’ from the ‘inside’ are ‘spontaneously’ available for a certain question/idea. This is to be distinguished from a ‘systematic elaboration’ of a thought, although the influence of the ‘inside’ is of course never completely excluded. The ‘difference’ between ‘exploratory’ and ‘systematic’ writing has to do with the fact that systematic writing tries to bring the ‘rational dimension’ of the thought to the fore.
[*] German source: https://www.cognitiveagent.org/2023/08/28/staendige-wiedergeburt-jetzt-schweigen-hilft-nicht-exploration/ ,
[deepL translator]: https://www.deepl.com
Dealing with the topic using chatGPT4
Author: What happens inside a person when it changes from the state of non-writing to the state of writing? Which kinds of factors are involved in this change?
The shift from a state of non-writing to writing is a complex interplay of cognitive, emotional, and physical processes. Several factors contribute to this transformation:
- Cognitive Factors:
- Intent and Purpose: The most immediate factor that leads to writing is the intent. The individual decides there’s a need to communicate or record something. This purpose could be to share knowledge, express emotions, or any other myriad reasons.
- Idea Formation: The brain begins to formulate ideas, organize thoughts, and consider the message it wants to convey.
- Recall: The brain accesses stored knowledge about language, grammar, and the topic at hand.
- Decision Making: Choices are made about wording, tone, and structure.
- Emotional Factors:
- Motivation: An internal or external motivation prompts the writer. This could be intrinsic (like the joy of writing) or extrinsic (like a job requirement).
- Confidence: A person’s self-efficacy regarding writing can influence their willingness and approach. A confident writer might start without hesitation, while someone less confident might procrastinate or struggle with where to begin.
- Mood and Emotion: A person’s emotional state can shape the content and tone of their writing. For instance, someone in a cheerful mood might use more positive and lively language.
- Physiological and Neuromotor Factors:
- Fine Motor Skills: The act of writing requires coordination between the brain and muscles, whether it’s holding a pen or typing on a keyboard.
- Visual Processing: Reading what’s written, planning spatially on the page or screen, and adjusting based on visual feedback are integral to the writing process.
- Brain Activation: Certain areas of the brain, like Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, are particularly active during language production.
- Environmental Factors:
- Physical Environment: The availability of tools (pen, paper, computer), a conducive atmosphere, and a comfortable workspace can influence the transition to writing.
- Cultural and Social Environment: The societal context, intended audience, and cultural norms can shape what and how a person writes.
- Educational and Experiential Factors:
- Training and Practice: A person’s prior experience with writing, including their education, can influence their ease and style of writing.
- Feedback and Iteration: Previous feedback on one’s writing can affect future attempts. Someone who has been praised might approach writing with more enthusiasm, while critical feedback might make another more cautious or reflective.
- External Stimuli:
- Inspiration: Often, external stimuli—like reading a book, a conversation, a personal experience, or even a sunset—can spark the urge to write.
- Prompts: In some situations, a specific prompt or question might initiate the writing process.
Understanding these factors and their interplay can be beneficial for educators, writers, and anyone looking to refine or understand their writing process.
Can you describe more the subjective experience of a person, which is changing from the state of non-writing to writing?
Certainly! The transition from non-writing to writing, when viewed from a subjective lens, involves a cascade of internal experiences. Here’s a more in-depth dive into the intimate, often ineffable stages a writer might traverse:
- Initial Restlessness: Before the act of writing commences, there’s often a sense of unease or urgency. It’s akin to a pressure building up, a compulsion to get something out, or a feeling that there’s something “there” that needs to be expressed.
- Incubation and Percolation: Many writers describe a period where ideas are “brewing” or “stewing” inside them. They might not be actively thinking about these ideas, but somewhere in the backdrop, the mind is processing and refining them. This can feel like daydreaming or being lost in thought.
- Flash of Insight: This is the ‘Eureka!’ moment when clarity emerges. It’s the point when the idea crystallizes, and the writer feels an impetus to put pen to paper. It can be a sudden realization or a slow dawning.
- Overcoming the Inertia: This is the mental “deep breath” before diving in. There’s a brief struggle, often described as “writer’s block” or resistance, where the weight of the blank page feels daunting.
- Entering the Flow: As words start pouring out, many writers describe a state known as “flow” – a term coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In this state, writers lose track of time, their surroundings, and sometimes even themselves. They feel as if they are merely a conduit for the words, with the writing almost writing itself.
- Bouts of Doubt and Reassurance: Especially in longer writing stints, waves of self-doubt might wash over the writer. Questions like “Is this good enough?” or “Does this make sense?” arise. These periods might be interspersed with moments of confidence and reassurance, where the writer feels they’re on the right track.
- Physical Sensations: There might be heightened awareness of the tactile sensation of the pen moving on paper or fingers dancing on the keyboard. Some writers describe a kind of rhythm they get into, almost like a meditative state.
- Emotional Catharsis: Particularly for personal or emotive subjects, the act of writing can be cathartic. It’s a release, a way to process feelings, and often brings relief or deeper understanding.
- Completion and Exhaustion: As the writing draws to a close, there’s a sense of accomplishment, but also, often, a feeling of emptiness or exhaustion. The mental and emotional energy expended in writing can leave one drained.
- Reflection and Revision: Once the initial draft is out, there’s a period of reflection. Reading one’s own words can be an enlightening experience. This phase might involve editing, but it’s also a moment of self-confrontation, seeing one’s thoughts and feelings laid out bare.
The subjective experience of writing is deeply personal and can vary greatly from person to person. Some find it therapeutic, others see it as work, and for many, it’s a passionate craft. Regardless of the perspective, the journey from non-writing to writing is an intimate dance between the conscious and subconscious, emotion and reason, art and discipline.