Consciousness in specific, and the mechanism of thinking in general, have remained an opaque block to science in general and researchers in the area in specific. As an AI person (I work on associative memory as it [hopefully] applies to AI), this is something that is both immensely interesting to me, and which occupies a considerable amount of my “spare cycles”, as it were. I think about it in an orderly fashion, I day- and night-dream about it in a most decidedly disorderly fashion, I draw charts and diagrams, I take copious notes, and I constantly ask people why they say what they say, hoping for insight into the thought process — not the issue or the answer, but the mechanism.
As it turns out, “Theory of Mind” has some previous associations, so please note it was only intended as a description of the content here, not a declaration of association with these ideas.
Here I will present a description of my theory, which seems to me that it could be an, or the, answer. Not a metaphor — metaphors tell you what things are like, not what they are — but my suggestion as to how the brain, and therefore the mind, may actually work.
I am not saying that I’m certain that I’ve intuited the answer — I’m working backwards on this, as are we all — but after almost forty years of examining the problem, for the very first time, I have come up with a model that has turned out to satisfy every question that I have about thought and consciousness in what I can only describe as a manner satisfactory to myself. Which is, I think, in itself notable. If for no other reason than everything I have ever come up with previously, or read about, has utterly failed to do so. So, dear reader, please come along as I try to explain myself. Literally.
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