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 Post subject: Folk psychology
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:26 pm 
Folk psychology, hereafter referred to as FP, is a way to explain the motives and actions of others through beliefs and desires. In this paper I will discuss the difference between FP and traditional theories.
Let us take an example in which person P has stolen object A. Using the principles of folk psychology we can produce the following theories:
1. P desired to sell A for money
2. P desired A for personal use
3. P desired to give A as a gift
4. P desired the approval of peers
There are many more possibilities. Including some that may not be apparent even to P. In addition you could combine 4 with any one of the other 3. Indeed theory 3+4 is a good possibility. But the theories of set 1-3 are all exclusive. P may desire more than one of set 1-3, but s/he could not fulfill the desire of more then one except perhaps in a limited sense. Examples:
1 then 2
P uses A for a time then sells A
or
1 then 3
P uses A for a time then gives A away
Each of 1-4 also leads to additional theories. For example if 3+4 is taken to be true then the following are possible:
P desires to obtain the approval of person Q
P desires to obtain the approval of person R
And so forth. This of course raises the questions of why P desires the approval of Q. and why P thinks hir actions will achieve that goal. In fact using the methods of FP one could generate an infinite number of theories. Each theory is limited and does not tell the whole story. At each step there is a why that in turn can have multiple answers.
Now compare what happens in FP with Newton's second law.
a=f/m
Which means that given any two of the three variables: acceleration a, force f and mass m, the third variable can be found by applying the equation a=f/m. And for two given values of two variables the third variable will always come out the same. This is precisely what does not happen in FP. Through this I come to the conclusion that FP is not a theory, but a method for generating theories.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:17 pm 
So in other words its an algorithm of sorts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:19 pm 
Gerald wrote:
So in other words its an algorithm of sorts.

Shit, your right. How the hell did I overlook that?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:27 pm 
Actually no wait, an algorithm has a coresponding end state to a given starting condition. That doesn't fit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:39 pm 
Kodiak Claw wrote:
Actually no wait, an algorithm has a coresponding end state to a given starting condition. That doesn't fit.


I'll just post the log, for the sake of other people.

[13:26] Kodiak_Claw: what did you think?
[13:26] Anh_Minh: The bit about FP? Didn't understand what FP was.
[13:26] Anh_Minh: Or what your point was.
[13:26] Kodiak_Claw: allright I need to be more explicit in my introduction then
[13:27] Anh_Minh: Or what you meant by "theory".
[13:27] *** You are now known as Gerald.
[13:27] Anh_Minh: Or even what Gerald meant by "algorythm".
[13:27] Anh_Minh: *algorithm
[13:27] Kodiak_Claw: hmm, I should also specifically mention that I'm arguing against Churchland's idea that FP is a theory
[13:28] Kodiak_Claw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithm
[13:28] TCO: You basically talking about why people act they way they do? Like the reasons behind them stealing things?
[13:28] Kodiak_Claw: that's one example
[13:28] Anh_Minh: I know what an algorithm is.
[13:29] Anh_Minh: I just don't know why FP is one.
[13:29] Kodiak_Claw: It isn't
[13:29] Gerald: FP is trying to develop a set of theories.
[13:29] Gerald: You go through it and you develop the set, perhaps all possible sets.
[13:29] Kodiak_Claw: An algorithm has a coresponding end state with a given starting point
[13:29] Anh_Minh: Unless you mean that FP states that every action is motivated by reasons 1,2,3 and 4.
[13:30] Kodiak_Claw: or maybe I'm misinterpreting the definition of an algorithm
[13:30] Gerald: Lets say you have a vector, x by 4.
[13:30] Anh_Minh: With you so far.
[13:30] Gerald: With each column corresponding to one of the motives,
[13:30] Gerald: Each row to the theory.
[13:30] Kodiak_Claw: no, FP produces a mass amount of potential motives, or potential actions resulting from a given motive
[13:30] Anh_Minh: A matrix, then, not a vector.
[13:31] Gerald: Yeah, sorry.
[13:31] Gerald: Well, you can take FP to generate theories, having 1 in the mn corresponding to it was a motive, 0 if it wasn't a motive.
[13:31] Anh_Minh: I see.
[13:31] Gerald: And if you go through and evaluate 1, 0, 0, 0, then 1, 1, 0, 0, won't you eventually get all possible theories?
[13:31] Kodiak_Claw: so an algorithm doesn't have to produce a finite number of results?
[13:32] Anh_Minh: So... It's just basic combinatorics? What's the point?
[13:32] Gerald: More than just combinatorics.
[13:32] Kodiak_Claw: Didn't I specifically say that the four possibilities I gave are not the only four?
[13:32] Gerald: Yeah, but you could add more possibilites to the inputs
[13:32] Anh_Minh: If you can count in base 2, you're a master in FP?
[13:33] Gerald: And the combinatorics ain't just it, say, there are some that are mutally exclusive.
[13:33] Gerald: You don't put those in the matrix
[13:34] Anh_Minh: Still looks like a big word for something of little... what's the word? Reach?
[13:34] Gerald: Well, yeah
[13:34] Gerald: But I think looking it at that way, it's the classifcation.
[13:35] *** ThatDudeOverThere has joined #itswalky!.
[13:35] * ThatDudeOverThere waves
[13:35] Gerald: It's not a theory.
[13:35] Gerald: It's generating theories.
[13:35] Gerald: If you look at it a certain way, it could generate all possible theories given a set of motives.
[13:35] Anh_Minh: Theories in the sense of guesses, not scientific theories.
[13:35] Gerald: Yeah
[13:35] Gerald: I guess hypothesises work better.
[13:36] Anh_Minh: Well, I can agree that FP is neither a guess nor a scientific theory.
[13:36] Anh_Minh: Not quite sure what it is. :-\
[13:37] Gerald: Well, if you think algorithm is too strong, maybe geneator works.
[13:37] Gerald: *generator
[13:37] Anh_Minh: I just don't understand the method.
[13:37] Anh_Minh: "Trying everything to see if it fits" is an algorithm of sorts.
[13:38] Gerald: Yeah
[13:38] Anh_Minh: But it's nothing to write home about.
[13:38] Anh_Minh: On those encouraging words, I go eat and wish you good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:43 pm 
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Kodiak Claw wrote:
Actually no wait, an algorithm has a coresponding end state to a given starting condition. That doesn't fit.

Don't Monte Carlo methods count as algorithms?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:37 pm 
Algorithms have a set of preconditions and postconditions, with a process to get from the former to the latter. AFAIK, an algorithm can't exist without a postcondition.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
What about stochastic algorithms? I know I've read about randomized algorithms; using a skiplist to sort data, for instance.

http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/algorithm.html
http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/randomizedAlgo.html
http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/skiplist.html

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:59 pm 
The randomized algorithms I'm familiar with still produce a predictable end result. Some fractals (All the ones I know how to do anyway, not that there are many of those) use randomized algorithms.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 12:03 pm 
Raif wrote:
Algorithms have a set of preconditions and postconditions, with a process to get from the former to the latter. AFAIK, an algorithm can't exist without a postcondition.


The way I'm looking at this is as thus:

You start with a set A, where A contains all possible motives for an action.

The FP algorithm states that using combanitorics you find all possible arrays (1 by |A|) consisting of 1's and 0's, where 1 in postion (1,x) means that motive #x was a part of the reason and 0 meaning it was not. Unlike a straight combanitoric, though, you check and see if any motives present are logically inconsistent. If it is, toss it out. If it makes sense, add it to the T matrix.

At the end of the FP algorithm you should have a y by |A| matrix with all possible theories.

KC wrote:
1. P desired to sell A for money
2. P desired A for personal use
3. P desired to give A as a gift
4. P desired the approval of peers


I'm gonna try to do a run through with this. For the purposes of discussion, let's say 1-3 are exclusive (KC said they could be combined in a limited fashion, but let's skip even that). Let's also assume there has to be a motive.

Okay, A = { 1 2 3 4}

Step one
[0 0 0 0] Not logical. Toss out.
Step Two
[1 0 0 0] Logical. Add to T.
T is now [1 0 0 0]
Step Three
[1 1 0 0] Not logical. Toss out.
Step Four
[1 1 1 0] Not logical. Toss out.
Step Five
[1 1 0 1] Not logical. Toss out.
Step Six
[1 1 1 1] Not logical. Toss out.
Step Seven
[1 0 1 0] Not logical. Toss out.
Step Eight
[1 0 1 1] Not logical. Toss out.
Step Nine
[1 0 0 1] Logical. Add to T.
T is now [1 0 0 0, 1 0 0 1]

So you go through (I'll save the space here)
And eventually you get
T = [1 0 0 0, 1 0 0 1, 0 1 0 0, 0 1 0 1, 0 0 1 0, 0 0 1 1, 0 0 0 1]

You know have a matrix that you can reinterpret as all possible theories given the set A.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:51 pm 
jeremiahsmith wrote:
What about stochastic algorithms? I know I've read about randomized algorithms; using a skiplist to sort data, for instance.

Probablistic / random algorithms still have a definable postcondition (it covers a range of possibilities, but it exists). Proving such an algorithm is a bitch, though. :)

As was noted above, however, most random algorithms aren't. The only way you can ensure randomness is by seeding with external data, and you can describe the process in such a way that the outcome is truly random, based on that input, but still predictable if you know what the input is. Therefore you can still derive a postcondition, even with true randomness. You just have to be careful in so doing.

Skiplists are data structures, not algorithms. Sorting the skiplist is a simple binary search algorithm, for which the postcondition would be something like like each element E[k] in the list is greater than E[k-1] for all integers k such that 0 < k <= n... at least assuming an ascending sort.


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