Thank you all !!
If HTM stands on the grounds that the neocortex is a prediction mechanism, and if by definition, prediction is trying to minimize surprises (“error”), my assumption states that it must be doing so for a purpose. It’s possible and likely that the emotional equipment and its wiring have evolved to enforce the idea that chances for survival would be higher if there was some sort of behavioral drive for controlled exposure to surprise - call it curiosity, avoidance of boredom, etc, but my point is not behavioral, it’s about the assumption that (1) the anatomical reality of the neocortex is driven by minimization of energy consumption while interacting with the world and (2) that the resulting grid spends less energy on the expected inputs than on the unexpected ones.
(2) Most of your life is spent unsurprised, otherwise there would be no point in evolving a neocortex. This one depends on surprise to evolve, but not as much as your survival depends on it to help you NOT be surprised. It therefore makes sense to expect that transforming the unknown to known bring down the energy bill of the overall grid, otherwise you would be consuming nutrients episodically (surprise), to consume even more most of the time (no surprise). Concretely this should mean that preparing and firing a polarized soma is cheaper than firing an unpolarized one. But there could be local compromises done on behalf of the optimum for the whole neocortex, that could make this false, see below.
(1) The brain encodes the experience in real time, in the structures that receive the input. It’s as much optimized to immediate reality as it can possibly be at any point in time, but it’s possible that if there is an underlying long term global optimization process taking place, its convergence is more erratic, as the locally induced anatomic changes propagate to affect the form of an hypothetical global energy cost function. If in time, minimizing consumption of energy - a crucially scarce biological resource - is driving the composite modifications of the neocortex, the question would therefore be about the computational model of that evolution. But there would have to be some medium for this global state and not only I have no idea this even exists, but I also have serious doubts about the quality of life this would entail Rationality is driven by causality, not energy consumption.