"The general (purpose) computer is. . .a machine in which the operator can prescribe, for any internal state of the machine and for any given condition affecting it, what state it shall go to next. . .All behaviors are at the operator's disposal. A program . . .with the machine forms a mechanism that will show (any thinkable) behavior. This generalization has largely solved the main problem of the brain so far as its objective behavior is concerned; the nature of its subjective aspects may be left to the next generation, if only to reassure them that there are still major scientific worlds left to conquer."
The relations of the activities of the brain to the subjective life in the mind have long been an arguable puzzle. In this century some advances in the reciprocal fields of study of each aspect of the question apparently can begin to clear up some of the dilemmas. This is a report of a theory and its use which is intended to attempt to link operationally, the
(a) mental subjective aspects,
(b) neuronal circuit activities,
(c) biochemistry, and
(d) observable behavioral variables.
The sources of information used by the author are mainly
( 1 ) the results and syntheses of his own experiments on the CNS* and the behavior of animals,
( 2 ) the experiences and results of experiments in profound physical isolation on himself,
( 3 ) his own psychoanalytic work on himself and others,
( 4 ) his studies and experience with the design, construction, operation and programming of electronic solid state digital storedprogram computers,
( 5 ) studies of analogue computers for the analysis and conversion of voice frequency spectra for man and for dolphin and the online computation of multiple continuous data sources,
( 6 ) studies and experiments in neuropsychopharmacology,
( 7 ) research on and with communication with humans, with dolphins, and with both,
( 8 ) study of certain literature in biology, logic, neuropsychopharmacology, brain and mind models, communication, psychoanalysis, computers, psychology, psychiatry, and hypnosis
The introduction of openminded, multiplelevel, continuously developing, online, operational, dynamic, economical, expanding, structuralfunctional, field-jumping, fieldignoring theory is needed. The applications of this theory extend from the atomicmolecularmembranescell levels, though cell aggregational levels, total behavior and mentalcognitive levels of the single organism of large brain size, and to dyadic and larger groups of such individuals.
* Central Nervous System
|BASIC ASSUMPTIONS |
The basic assumptions are as follows;
1. The human brain is assumed to be an immense biocomputer, several thousands of times larger than any constructed by Man from nonbiological components by 1965.
The numbers of neurons in the human brain are variously estimated at 13 billions (1.3 times ten to the tenth) with approximately five times that many glial cells. This computer operates continuously throughout all of its parts and does literally millions of computations in parallel simultaneously. It has approximately two million visual inputs and one hundred thousand acoustic inputs. It is hard to compare the operations of such a magnificent computer to any artificial ones existing today because of its very advanced and sophisticated construction.
2. Certain properties of this computer are known, others are yet to be found. One of these properties obviously is a very large memory storage. Another is control over hundreds of thousands of outputs in a coordinated and programmed fashion. Other examples are the storage and evocation of all those complex behaviors and perceptions known as speech, hearing and language. Some of the more unusual properties of this computer are given further along in this paper.
3. Certain programs are builtin, within the difficultto-modify parts of the (macro and micro) structure of the brain itself. At the lowest possible level such programs which are builtin are those of feeding, eating, sex, avoidance and approach programs, certain kinds of fears, pains, etc.
4. Programs vary in their permanence, some are apparently evanescent and erasable, others operate without apparent change for tens of years. Among the evanescent and erasable programs one might categorize the ability to use visual projection in the service of one's own thinking. One finds this ability with a very high incidence among children and a very low incidence among adults. An example of a program operating without change for tens of years one can show handwriting, over a long series of years, to maintain its own unique patterns.
5. Programs are acquirable throughout life. Apparently no matter how old a person is, there is still a possibility of acquiring new habits. The difficulties of acquisition may increase with age, however, it is not too sure that this is correct. The problem may not be with acquiring programs so much as a decrease in the motivation for acquiring programs.
6. The young newly growing computer acquires programs as its structure expands some of these take on the appearance of builtin permanence. An example of such acquisition of programs in a child is in the pronunciation of words. Once it agrees with those of the parents the pronunciation is very difficult to change later, i.e., there is really no great motivation for the child to change a particular pronunciation when it is satisfactory to those who listen.
7. Some of the programs of the young growing computer are in the inherited genetic code; how these become active and to what extent is known only in a few biochemical-behavioral cases, at variance with the expectable and usual patterns of development. The socalled Mongoloid phenomenon is inherited and develops at definite times in the individual's life. There are several other interesting clinical entities which appear to be genetically determined. To elicit the full potential of the young growing computer requires special environments to avoid negative antigrowth kinds of programs being inserted in the young computer early.
8. The inherited genetic programs place the upper and the lower bounds on the total real performance and on the potential performance of the computer at each instant of its life span. Once again we are assuming that the best environment is presented to the young organism at each part of its life span. It is not meant to imply that such an environment currently is being achieved. This basic assumption seems highly probable but would be very difficult to test.
9. The major problems of the research which are of interest to the author center on the erasability, modifiability, and creatability of programs. In other words, I am interested in the processes of finding metaprograms (and methods and substances) which control, change, and create the basic metaprograms of the human computer. It is not known whether one can really erase any program. Conflicting schools of thought go from the extremes that one stores everything within the computer and never erases it to only the important aspects and functions are stored in the computer and hence, there is no problem of erasing. Modifications of already existing programs can be done with more or less success. The creation of new programs is a difficult assignment. How can one recognize a new program once it is created? This new program may merely be a variation on already stored programs.
10. To date some of the metaprograms are unsatisfactory (educational methods for the very young, for example). It is doubtful if any metaprogram is fully satisfactory to the inquiring mind. Some are assumed to be provisionally satisfactory for current heuristic reasons. To keep an open mind and at the same time a firm enough belief in certain essential metaprograms is not easy; in a sense we are all victims of the previous metaprograms which have been laid down by other humans long before us.
11. The human computer has general purpose properties within its limits. The definition of general purpose implies the ability to attack problems that differ not only in quantitative degree of complexity but also that differ qualitatively in the levels of abstraction in the content dealt with. One can shift rapidly one's mind and its attention from one area of human activity to another with very little delay in the reprogramming of one's self to the new activity. The broader the front of such reprogramming the more general purpose the computer is. The ability to move from the interhuman business world to the laboratory world of the scientist would be an example of a fairly general purpose computer.
12. The human computer has stored program properties. A stored program is a set of instructions which are placed in the memory storage system of the computer and which control the computer when orders are given for that program to be activated. The activator can either be another system within the same computer, or someone, or some situation outside the computer.
13. The human computer, within limits yet to be defined, has "selfprogramming" properties, and other personsprogramming properties. This assumption follows naturally from the previous one but brings in the systems within the mind which operate at one level of abstraction above that of programming. As is shown in Fig. 1, one literally has to talk about selfmetaprogramming as well as selfprogramming. This does not imply that the whole computer can bethought of as the self. Only small portions of the systems operating at a given instant are taken up by the selfmetaprograms. In other words there has to be room for the huge store of programs themselves, of already builtin circuitry for instinctual processes, etc. All of these exist in addition to others leaving only a portion of the circuitry available for the selfmetaprograms. The next section emphasizes this aspect.
14. This computer has selfmetaprogramming properties, with limits determinable and to be determined. (Note selfmetaprogramming is done consciously in metacommand language. The resulting programming then starts and continues below the threshold of awareness.) Similarly, each computer has a certain level of ability in metaprogramming othersnotself.
15. The older classifications of fields of human endeavor and of science are redefinable with this view of the human brain and the human mind. For example, the term suggestibility has often been used in a limited context of programming and of being programmed by someone outside. Hypnotic phenomena are seen when a given computer allows itself to be more or less completely programmed by another one. Metaprogramming is considered a more inclusive term than suggestibility. Metaprogramming considers sources, inputs, outputs, and central processes rather than just the end result of the process (see Fig. 1). Suggestibility names only the property of receiving orders and carrying them out rather than considering the sources, inputs, outputs, and central processes (ref. H. Bernheim, Clark Hull).
16. The mind is defined as the sum total of all the programs and the metaprograms of a given human computer, whether or not they are immediately elicitable, detectable, and visibly operational to the self or to others. (Thus, in alternative terminology, the mind includes unconscious and instinctual programs.) This definition and basic assumption has various heuristic advantages over the older terminologies and concepts. The mind-brain dichotomy is no longer necessary with this new set of definitions. The mind is the sum of the programs and metaprograms, i.e., the software of the human computer.
17. The brain is defined as the visible palpable living set of structures to be included in the human computer; the computer's real boundaries in the body are yet to be fully described (biochemical and endocrinological feedback from target organs, for example). The boundary of the brain, of course, may be considered as the limits of the extensions of the central nervous system into the periphery. One would include here also the so-called autonomic nervous system as well as the CNS.
18. There is in certain fields of human thinking and endeavor, a necessity to have a third entity, sometimes including, sometimes not needing the brain-mind-computer; commonly this entity is defined as existing by theologians and other persons interested in religion. Whether the term "spirit" or "soul" or other is used is immaterial in this framework. Such terms inevitably come up in the discussion of the ultimate meanings of existence, the origins of the brainmind computers, the termination or the destinations of self after bodily death, and the existence or non-existence of minds greater than ours, within or outside of braincomputers. This extra-brain-mind-computer entity can be included in this theory if and when needed. (I agree that such assumptions may be needed to give overall meaning to the whole of Man. Religion is an area for experimental science. Work starts in this area with the basic assumptions of William James, the great psychologist. The definitions in this area of this theory may be expanded in the future. Some compound term like "brain-mind-spirit-computer may be developed at that time.) There is still the problem of the existence theorem to be satisfied in regard to this third entity. There are some persons who assume it exists; there are others who assume it does not exist.
19. Certain chemical substances have programmatic and/or metaprogrammatic effects, i.e., they change the operations of the computer, some at the programmatic level and some at the metaprogrammatic level. Some substances which are of interest at the metaprogrammatic level are those that allow reprogramming, and those that allow and facilitate modifications of the metaprograms. (The old terms for these substances are loaded with diagnostic, therapeutic, medical, moral, ethical, and legal connotations.) To be scientifically useful the social connotations are removed. Such terms as "psychopharmacologically active drugs," "psychotomimetics, " "tranquilizers, " "narcotics, " "drugs, " "anaesthetics," "analgesics," etc. are used in a new theory without the therapeutic, diagnostic, moral, ethical, and legal connotations; all of this area should be subjected to careful reevaluation with the new view in mind. Applications of good theory to the social levels may help to unravel this area of controversy.
For example, the term "reprogramming substances" may be appropriate for compounds like lysergic acid diethylamide. For substances like ethyl alcohol the term "metaprogram-attenuating substances" may be useful. Similarly the theory proposed may be useful in other areas in the classical fields of psychopharmacology, neurophysiology, biochemistry, and psychology, among others. Some of the detailed operations of the brain itself can be operationally organized to show how programs are carried out by excitationinhibitiondisinhibition patterns among and in neural masses and sheets (for example the reticular activating-inhibiting system, the rewardpunishment systems the cerebralcortical conditionable systems etc.). (Tables 3107 Figs. 8 and 9)
20. It is not intended that I be dogmatic in the new definitions of this version of the theory. Speed in the recording of the ideas is preferred to perfection of the concepts and deriving the ultimate in internal consistency. As the theory grows so may grow its accuracy and applicability. It is intended that the theory remains as openminded as possible without sacrificing specificity in hazy generality. The language chosen is as close to basic English as possible.
As the theory develops, a proper kind of symbolism may be developed to succinctly summarize the points and allow manipulations of the logic to elucidate elaborations of the argument in various cases.
It is known that the common "machinelanguage" of mammalian brains is not yet discovered. The selfmetaprogram language is some individual variation of the basic native language in each specific human case. All of the levels and each level expressed in the selfmetaprogram language for selfprogramming cover very large segments of the total operation of the computer, rather than details of its local operations. Certain concepts of the operation of computers, once effectively introduced into a given mindbraincomputer, change its metaprograms rapidly. Language now takes on a new precision and power in the programming process.
21. Certain kinds of subjective experience reveal some aspects of the operations of the computer to the self. Changes in the states of consciousness are helpful in delineating certain aspects of the bounds and the limits of these operations. Inspection of areas of stored data and programs not normally available is made possible by special techniques. Special aspects and areas of stored programs can be visualized, felt, heard, lived through or replayed, or otherwise elicited from memory storage by means of special techniques and special instructions. The evocation can be confined to one or any number of sensory modes, with or without motor replay simultaneously.
22. After and even during evocation from storage, within certain limits, desired attenuations, corrections, additions, and new creations with certain halflives can be made. These can be done with (fixed but as yet not determinable) halflives in conscious awareness, and can subsequently be weakened or modified or replaced, to a certain extent to be determined individually. An unmodifiable halflife can turn up for certain kinds of programs subjected to antithetical metaprograms, i.e., orders to weaken, modify or replace a program act as antithetical metaprograms to already existing programs or metaprograms.
23. New areas of conscious awareness can be developed, beyond the current conscious comprehension of the self. With courage, fortitude, and perseverance the previously experienced boundaries can be crossed into new territories of subjective awareness and experience. New knowledge, new problems, new puzzles are found in the innermost explorations. Some of these areas may seem to transcend the operations of the mindbraincomputer itself. In these areas there may be a need for the metacomputer mappings; but first the evasions constructed by the computer itself must be found, recognized, and reprogrammed. New knowledge often turns out to be merely old and hidden knowledge after mature contemplative analysis.
24. Some kinds of material evoked from storage seem to have the property of passing back in time beyond the beginning of this brain to previous brains at their same stage of development; there seems to be a passing of specific information from past organisms through the genetic code to the present organism; but, again, this idea may be a convenient evasion, avoiding deeper analysis of self. One cannot make this assumption that storage in memory goes back beyond the spermegg combination or even to the spermegg combination until a wishful phantasy constructed to avoid analyzing one's self ruthlessly and objectively is eliminated.
25. Apparently not all programs are revisable. The reasons seem various; some are held by feedback established with other mindbraincomputers in the lifeinvolvement necessary for procreation, financial survival, and practice of business or profession. Other nonrevisable programs are those written in emergencies in the early growth years of the computer. The programs dealing with survivals of the young self sometimes seem to have been written in a hurry in desperate attempts to survive; these seem most intransigent.
26. Priority lists of programs can function as metaprograms. Certain programs have more value than others. By making such lists the individual can find desired revision points for rewriting important metaprograms. In other words it is important to determine what is important in one's own life.
27. The basic bodily and mental function programs and their various forms dealt with in verbalvocal modes (words, speech, etc.) have been described in great detail in the psychoanalytic literature. Evasion, denial, and repression are varieties of metaprograms dealing with the priority list of programs. Metaprograms to hide (repress) certain kinds of storage material are commonly found in certain persons. Such analyses are confined to the verbalvocalacoustic modes. Encounters with other persons in the real world are much more powerful in terms of modifications of programs than either psychoanalysis or selfanalysis. For example learning through sexual intercourse cannot be given through the verbalvocal mode
28. The detailed view of certain kinds of nonspeech, nonverbal learning programs, i.e., some of the methods of introducing such programs and parts thereof, are exemplified in the work of I. P. Pavlov and of B. F. Skinner. Some of these results are the teaching and the learning of a simple code or language, a code with nonverbal elements (nonvocalized and nonacoustic) with autonomic components (Gordon Pask, 1966). Other motor outputs than the phonation apparatus are used.
29. The rewardpunishment dichotomy or spectrum is critically important within the human computer's operations. (Figs. 2, 68, 1012 and Tables 37)
The fact of various CNS circuits existing as reward and as "punishment" systems when stimulated by artificial or by natural inputs must be taken into account (Lilly, J. C., 1957, 1958, 1959). The powerful emotional underpinnings of "movement toward" and "movement away" must be included, as well as the acquisition of code symbols for these processes. Such symbols tend to set up the priority hierarchies of basic operational programs in microformat (nonverbal) and in macroformat (verbal). Too often, "accidental" juxtaposition seems to key off improper hierarchical relations at the outset, with resulting priorities set by "first occurrence" spontaneous configurations, un-planned and unprepared. With a new view and a new approach, with planned "spontaneities" graded by order of occurrence, proper program priorities could be set at the beginning of the computer's life history. The maintenance of general purpose properties from the early human years to adulthood is a worthwhile metaprogram.
The positive (pleasure producing) and negative (pain or fear producing) aspects of the programs and metaprograms strike at the very roots of motivational energies for the computer. One aspect of Iysergic acid diethylamide is that it can give an overall positive motivational aspect to the individual in the L-S-D25 state. This may facilitate program modifications, but it also can facilitate seeking pleasure as a goal of itself.
30. Various special uses of the human computer entail a principle of the competing use of the limited amount of total available apparatus. To hold and to display the accepted view of reality in all its detail and at the same time to program another state of consciousness is difficult; there just isn't enough human brain circuitry to do both jobs in detail perfectly. Therefore special conditions give the best use of the whole computer for exploring, displaying, and fully experiencing new states of consciousness; physical isolation (only with special limited stimulation patterns, if any) (Lilly, 1956) gives the fullest and most complete experiences of the internal explorations. One such extreme condition is profound physical isolation (isothermicity, zerolevel visible quanta, sonic levels below threshold, minimum gravitationalresisting unit area forces, minimum internal stimulation intensity, minimum respiration stimulus level, etc.). This condition can give some additional new states of consciousness the "necessary lowlevel evenness of context" in which to develop. These results are facilitated by minimizing the necessities for computing the present demands of the physical reality and its calculable present consequences (physical reality programs).
Using this principle of the competitive use of portions of the available brain it is important to understand why, for example, a large amount of hallu-cinating would not be permissible in our present society. If a person is actively projecting visual images in three dimensions from his stored programs, he may not have enough of his brain functioning in ordinary modes to take care of him with regard to say, gravity, automobiles, and similar hazards. He may become so involved in the projection in the visual field that the inputs from reality itself have to be sacrificed and their quality reduced. It is apparently this danger which teaches us to inhibit hallucinations (i.e., visual projection displays) in the very young children.
31. The principle of the competitive use of available computer structure has a corollary: the larger the computer is, the larger the total number of metaprograms and of programs storable, and the larger the space which can be used for one or more of the currently active programs simultaneously operating. The larger the number of actuable elements in the brain the greater the abilities to simultaneously deal with the current reality program and to reinvoke a past storedreality program. The quality of the details of the reinvoked program and the quality of the operations in the current physical reality are a direct function of the computer's absolute functional size, all other values being equal.
There may be brains which are large enough to simultaneously project from storage into the visual field and also to function adequately in the outside environment. At least conceptually this is a possibility. This partition of the programs among various modes of operation of course are included in our definition of the general purpose nature of this particular computer.
32. The "consciousness program" itself is expandable and contractible within the computer's structure within certain limits. In coma, this program is very nearly inoperative; in ordinary states of awareness it needs a fair fraction of the machinery to function. In expanded states of consciousness the fraction of the total computer devoted to its operation expands to a large value. If the consciousness is sensorially expanded maximally, there is little structure left for motoric initiation of complex interaction and vice versa. If motor initiation is expanded, the sensorial creations are reduced in scope. If neither sensorial nor motor activities are expanded, more room is available for cognition and/or feeling, etc.
33. The steady state values of the fractions of the total computer each devoted to a separate program at a given instant add up to the total value of one. The value of a given fraction can fluctuate with time. The places used in the computer also change.
34. In general there are delineable major systems of metaprograms and of programs competing for the available circuitry. The methods of categorizing these competing programs depend on the observer's metaprograms. One system divides the competitors into visual, acoustic, proprioceptive, emotive, inhibitory, excitory, disinhibitory, motor, reflexive, learned, appetitive, pleasurable, and painful. This system is used in neurophysiology and comparative physiology.
35. Another system of classification divides the competing metaprograms and programs into oral, anal, genital, defensive, sublimated, conscious, unconscious, libidinal, aggressive, repressive, substitutive, resistive, tactical, strategic, successful, unsuccessful, passive, feminine, active, masculine, pleasure, pain, regressive, progressive, fixated, ego, id, superego, ego ideal. This is the system of classification employed by psychoanalysis.
36. Another system divides the competitors into animal, humanistic, moral, ethical, financial, social, altruistic, professional, free, wealthy, poor, progressive, conservative, liberal, religious, powerful, weak, political, medical, legal, economical, national, local, engineering, scientific, mathematical, educational, humanistic, childlike, adolescent, mature, wise, foolish, superficial, deep, profound, thorough, etc. This is a classification which is employed in general by humanitarians and intellectuals.
37. The classifications of metaprograms and/or of programs by the above methods illustrate some useful principles to be included. There is probably a set of better schemes than any of the above ones. Such new systematizations are needed; the principles in this theory may be useful in setting them up at each and every level of functioning of the computer.