Western society worships original thought – we value the “originality” of the artist, the creator, the inventor – , and ever increasingly so as we transition from an industrial to an information society. An information society, which further more, in need of a legal and commercial substrate for its economy, has created the concept of intellectual property and made “original thought” this concept’s foundation.
Numenta’s hard-won insight into thought processes however leaves no room for “originality”. We now know that every input and output of the mind is an SDR, and that all the outputs are computed, to the last bit, from the inputs according to the algorithms presented in Numenta’s papers. No SDRs get “created” out of nothing unless I overlooked the line of code in NuPIC where original thought gets introduced into the process. Feel free to point it out to me.
So this relegates “original thought” to the same pool of Western religious superstitions that’s already inhabited by “soul” and “free will”. What happens to individuals and societies that are fooling themselves this way? Is an information society based on the idea of “original thought” like an industrial society based on the idea of “free energy”? Does it lead to cognitive dissonance and economic mayhem? Can this be observed already or aren’t we far down enough in the transition just yet?