Friday, October 13, 2006

[Note: I'm going to clean this up, because I've decided it's not very readable.]

My Roommate has iTunes.

I can get into his iTunes from my computer, but only if we’re on the same network. If I’m outside of the network—say, at work in the library, trying to connect to his computer—it will not allow me to access his songs. This way, Apple doesn’t have to worry about crossing any copyright boundaries. However, if I SSH into my home computer, I can then control that it and have it connect to my roommate’s iTunes.

It’s like being at the door of a club, where on the outside its dark and frigid, on the inside it’s hot and noisy, and the only access you have to it is mediated by the bouncer who opens a slit in the door.

Returning my thoughts to mind design…

I can think of a node in a network being activated, and as part of its activation, it is given a signal to activate all connected nodes to a depth of n, and it then activates all of its adjacent nodes to activate them, sending with all activations a signal of n - 1. Each node in this cluster of the network behaves the same, so the signal travels down to a level n from the origin.

Furthermore, each node is being given a request sent to it from the “higher” node—with information that acts as a certain criteria. If the information contained in the node meets the criteria, then it returns a tidy package of information appended to a list of information received from all the connected nodes to a depth of n.

The higher nodes, thus, have no direct access to nodes lower than one level down; the only access they do have is to one node down, one up, and other nodes at the same level. A node moves up the hierarchy by gaining more sub-nodes.

When I connect to my computer at home from work, I’m interfacing directly with a node below me, but the only way to retrieve information from sub-nodes of the computer is to use it to mediate the information. I am also a node, where information is requested from me, with a certain criteria, and also signaling to me how far I should look. It is as though the computer performs a certain function for me, which is to respond with certain information; being myself a node, I don’t become concerned with how the computer gives me the information that it does, only that it does.

I can imagine a network of nodes based off of an image. Nodes are generated serially by streaming through the pixels one at a time, saving the values of the pixels as information stored in the nodes. Nodes are clustered together first by their proximity to each as seen in the image; they then form a hierarchy based on how many nodes share the same color, with the nodes in the largest clusters of same colored nodes rising to the top. Nodes that are isolated, meaning no nearby nodes share similar colors, become relatively low level.

This can be accomplished by having the nodes, once they establish links to their neighbors, send out a signal to infinite depth, with the criteria that the receiving node needs to be the same color. Thus a node will assign itself a ranking based on how many nodes respond to it. Clusters of nodes that are the same color and continuosly connected to each other are then assigned higher levels by being unique among other clusters found in the given image, either by having a certain color found rarely elsewhere in the image, or by being the most luminous, etc.

Therefore you can have rough representation of an image using nodes in a network.

The whole network that corresponds to an image can then be thought of as one of Minsky's frames, with objects found in the image as terminals, represented as high level clusters of nodes (“capitals”) that share common features (color/luminosity). Of course these terminals will connect to others outside of the image (perhaps another image, or a linguistic frame), as this is a highly interconnected society of mind.

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