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 The Black Box

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James S Saint
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PostSubject: The Black Box   Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:40 pm

The Black Box

In engineering, there is a common entity referred to as "a black box". The black box is an often approximated and always generalized model of a chosen entity. It is composed of 3 fundamental notions;

1) Inputs (S)
2) Inner functioning (I)
3) Outputs (B)

Every entity that can be identified is identified by every mind as a black box wherein the inner functioning is seldom known, often speculated, but usually irrelevant. In electronic circuit design for example, the engineer very often obtains an integrated circuit, IC. The IC is quite literally and physically a small black plastic box with conducting pins sticking out of it. The engineer knows that any particular IC uses some of its pins for input signals and some for output responses. He knows that if he raises the voltage on certain pins, other specific pins will respond by either raising or lowering their voltage in accord with the internal functioning. He most often doesn't care what is actually within the box, how it works or why.

In reality, every mind, no matter how small, is always "thinking" in terms of black boxes. Every object identified whether given a label or not, is inherently categorized as an entity with an expected behavior relating to its stimuli.

Given stimuli "S" and an internal functioning of "I", a behavior of "B" is expected.

B = F{S,I}
Behavior = a Function of Stimuli and Internal responses.
Or
"I choose my Behavior in response to my Situation/Stimuli"

By noting in general terms those 3 qualities, every mind categorizing every object of thought, every word, every sentence, every construct, every action, and every object, endeavors to resolve what behavior to enact. The mind simply can't function without such an inherent model.

When deriving its chosen ontological view of its surroundings, the mind has no alternative but to classify subsets of its surroundings into such black box models commonly referred to as entities, objects, and actions.

Even when any person views another person, to merely identify the person, the mind must utilize the black box concept;

"Person A is that entity which behaves in B manner when given S stimuli."

All psychological categorizing of behavior is codified by such a scheme. All fields of Science utilize the black box concept so as to identify and predict behaviors within each field of study. Of course, people often don't appreciate being thought of as a "mere predictable black box", but the truth is that every mind has no choice but to use such a model if it is to think at all. Unfortunately, societal engineering, requiring generalizing designs, requires generalizing black box categories for all people from which political strategies, psychological media, economic designs are formed. A governing body is itself a black box assigning black box generalizations, rules, and reactions.

Even Life itself is modeled by every mind as "this general entity that generally behaves in this general way when given a general type of stimulation from a general type of situation and I don't know or often care how it works inside."

Every General that shuffles his small models of tanks, planes, and battalions around on his map, every religion or government in dictating its truths, and every philosopher constructing his world-view or perspective, instinctively, naturally, and necessarily assembles his ontology by choosing the black boxes within; the entities that regardless of internal method "I", always behave in "B" manner, given "S" stimuli.




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PostSubject: Re: The Black Box   Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:52 am

Almost all true. A thing/entity is indeed usually, almost necessarily defined as a particular correspondence between input and output. It values its input in terms of what it is, and by virtue that it is, it produces an output.

"I am THAT I am" is the self-description God gave to Moses, often misinterpreted as I am what I am.

The black box definition does not account for the fact that it is.

This is what value ontology has on your thinking, what makes it a proper general ontology - it describes a requirement for being, does not simply give a description of being -- it describes the inner working of the black box.

It is only a small shift from out to in, and it is severely limited, as "value" is the ground-meaning of all language and thought, so it can not be broken down further. But one can use the formula to construct living black boxes, from political systems to AI's (any pre-designed and working political system is an artificial intelligence) and perhaps even life.

If you would use the terms of value-ontology in your thinking and formulating, I believe that we would make more progress on this site toward an end that not just one would embrace. The formulation makes us capable of effectively bringing together otherwise irreconcilable "black boxes", i.e. entities now defined by very different particularities of in and output.

Not to specify positive and negative values, but to explicate the act of valu-ing.

 

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- Thucydides
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PostSubject: Re: The Black Box   Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:00 pm

This is crucial in recognizing the difference between the Black Box view of entities, and a value ontologica view:
An entity is not a manufactured object -- it does not exist primarily because of its use to another entity. A black box in the normal, engineering-meaning, a physical apparatus serving to translate an input into an output, is not self-valuing, and can therefore not, in my ontology, be said to be being. It is an attribute to being, in terms of helping being to be in accordance with things it would otherwise not be able to value in terms if itself (in other words, an attribute enabling power) bit it is not in itself carrying the requirements.

Consequently, if we look at how the societal engineering, but in general, slavery, posits humans as utensil, we can say that in slave-like entities, their very being is being compromised.

This is of course why the notion that Christianity is a slave-religion is not a dismissal of it, as it effectively returns to compromised beings their self-valuing. It restores their ability to value the world truly, as it reinstalls the primordial logic of being that operates through the direct, instinctive perception of value-potential, enables an experience of the world as a source of power and bliss. This direct approach to the world is being lost through the pre-positing of what is of value, through the surrounding of man by products and predesigned self-images. This not only kills life, it kills the very mechanism of being, of materiality. People so influenced are worse than living dead - they are manifest non-entities. Only such a person can be a black box in the engineers sense, existing only as a tool, an object of use, to be placed by a real, self-valuing perspective in a system to transit and translate a certain energy type into another.

The distinction I wish to make is between objects and beings.
In an object, there is simply nothing else that is of significance except the relation between in and output -- in a being, there is a primordial significance of it to itself. In order to signify, it uses the world, what is around it and perceptible.

To an object, the world does not exist, it has/is no self-value by which it would be able to interpret, relate.
To a being, the world itself is a black box. It puts its effort into the world in order to receive this effort back as value.

This translation from effort to value is what has been destroyed, or hijacked and transformed, by the technological apparatus that now stands between man and his basic necessities.







 

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" The strong do what they can do and the weak accept what they have to accept. "
- Thucydides
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James S Saint
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PostSubject: Re: The Black Box   Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:25 pm

Oh really?

Well, do remember that I asked for your clear understanding and in your own words so that I could examine for reasonable compatibility. I gave you my example in my words from which I expect you to derive your own precision in your own words.

Now it is your turn. Be precise.

A) Comprehensive
B) Consistent
C) Relevant
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