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Understanding and Attention

Could concepts of Understanding and Attention be represented in the system of Experience?

Glenn Storm, Blogger

December 23, 2009

9 Min Read

Previous Post: Reliability

In the previous post, Reliability was defined as a crucial dynamic aspect for each component within the system of Experience. In this post, Understanding is described as an ideal condition of overall Reliability, and Attention is defined as a means by which Reliability is achieved. Everyone should feel encouraged to join the discussion and comment on or debate the assertions presented. All relevant comments are welcome and appreciated.

Experience seeks Understanding

With the relative Reliability among all components of Experience, the Cognitive Model of the world approaches a state we call Understanding. Understanding is the relative quality of Experience in which our Cognitive Model concerns are comprehensively consistent and Reliable among Memory, Perception and Prediction. By contrast, with a relative inconsistency among the components Experience, we are not be able to associate Reliability among Cognitive Model subsets and we are not able to interpret sensory input via contextual reference to arrive at Perception that has significant meaning. That condition is a state of confusion, where one can still perceive, remember and try to predict, but in a confused state, one does so with a detrimental deficit in Reliability; making each of those tasks more difficult to do effectively, particularly Prediction. Understanding is the primary goal of Experience. The system of Experience as asserted constantly improves, working toward an efficient state of Understanding.

Experience uses Attention

It is by no accident that we refer to the act of focusing efforts to define and connect discrete subsets of the Cognitive Model of the world as “paying attention”. Attention requires effort; effort that is equitable to a limited resource that must be managed, similar to the water resources of a well. One can only bring up one bucket of water at a time and, in the extreme, one can drain the reserves, leaving no available resources until those stores are replenished over time. What we receive in exchange for our Attention is increased definition of our Perception, greater interconnectivity between our Cognitive Model subsets, more reliable Memory and, as a result of all those, a measure of improved capability of Prediction. Attention is a wholesale investment in the Reliability of Experience; squarely aimed at bringing our Cognitive Model of the world toward the state of Understanding. Attention is the means by which the system of Experience is improved upon, but as asserted, this comes at some cost.

Next Post: Efficiency


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