15 January 2010

The Embedded Mind: A Preliminary Discussion

In an earlier blog entry, I mentioned that I was interested in delving into “the embedded mind” and its relationship to complexity theory and urban planning (go to http://mcadamsfatih1.blogspot.com/2010/01/issues-on-emeddedembodied.html to see the original thread for the development of this concept). As all ideas, this one has a degree of simplicity and complexity. I would like to put forth my concept of the embedded mind, although it may vary from author to author.

The embedded mind can be explained with computational metaphors. It can be described as the collecitive Read Only Memory (ROM) inserted into all humans. While humans alter this depending on their circumstances and surrondings, there seems to be rudimentary commonalities that are at the root of all human actions and manifestations (such as the built environment). Human desires, based on the needs of the human body, are evident wherever humans settle. One such universal desire is the consumption of food. There is no civilization in the world where this is not true. Why? The answer is obvious—without food humans can not survive. Another would be some form of reaching out to another perceived reality (religion, collecitive memory, ideals etc.). This is grounded in the realisation of humans of their own mortality. (This maybe not only exclusive to humans as it appears that other high functioning animals (most mammals) such as elephants and apes appear to experience grief and are aware of death.) Language seems to be another portion of the embeded mind “chip”. Although languages differ greatly, no one could depute that humans possess the abiity and complusion to communicate through speech and written/symbolic forms. Another would be protection of other humans, particularly of a mother of a child. (This also is not exclusive toward humans, but can be seen in all high functioning animals.) There are many other examples of the components of the embedded mind. These elements have not changed for thousands of years in the development of humans. The sophistication and the permuations have changed but the primary elements of the emedded mind have not.

In future blogs, I would like to discuss some of the literature on the embedded mind. There is a substancial literatrue directly or indirectly related to this topic. I woud like to link the embedded mind to complexity theory and agent-based modeling metaphors, the urban environment and urban planning in a progressive manner. The ultimate goal of this endevor would be a published paper. I welcome my readers to follow along and natuarally to comment, as I develop these ideas.

No comments: