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What are we trying to show with all of these diagrams? Previously we demonstrated how a Data Stream and its Derivatives are naturally generated with Neural Networks. In this section we're searching for the place where homo sapiens sapiens goes "Ouch!" - Where he feels the pain of boredom - When he feels his neural network shrinking and it says, "Help!! I'm shrinking! Don't let me shrink out of sight. Help! Oh Help! Don't let me die!"
Let us go through a Pulse of Life, frame by frame. It exhibits some very important principles.
In frame 1, we have a typical moment in time. The dot in the center is the Decaying Average. The area surrounding the dot is the Greater Realm of Probability. A circle with a radius of one Average Deviation bounds it. The second area, a donut or ring, is the Lesser Realm of Probability. A circle with a radius of two Average Deviations encircles it. The third area, a larger donut, is the Greater Range of Possibility or the Ring of Potential. The Edge of Actuality encircles it. The fourth area, colored white, is the Lesser Range of Possibility or the Ring of Imagination. The limits of Imagination determine the boundary. The outside area, colored black, is the Range of Impossibility. A new Data Bit Falls within the circle of the Greater Realm, frame 2. The Realm shrinks, both inner circles shrink, frame 3.
In frame 4, the Realm has been adjusted. Note that the third circle, the Boundary of Actuality is fixed so that the Ring of Potential, the area between the Boundary of Actuality and the Boundary of Probability, grows. Again a new Data Bit Falls within the circle of the Greater Realm, frame 5. Again the Realm of Probability shrinks, because the Average Deviation is shrinking, frame 6.
In frame 7, the Ring of Potential grows while the Realm continues to shrink. Again a new Data Bit Falls within the circle of the Greater Realm, frame 8, this time within the Decaying Average, Bull's Eye. Again the Realm shrinks, frame 9.
In frame 10, the Realm shrinks and the Ring of Potential grows again. In frame 11, another Data Point falls within the Greater Realm further shrinking the Realm and increasing the Ring of Potential, frames 12. Two notes: 1) Because of the Realm is shrinking, it is less and less likely that a new Data Point will fall within the Greater Realm. 2) The Boredom Principle states that the Realm has a life of its own. Because it is shrinking, it is crying out to stay alive. The human organism attached to this neural network is feeling bored, locked in, needing to break out.
In frame 13, the Ring of Potential Excitement continues to grow and the Realm of Probability continues to shrink. The shrinking Realm causes the pain of boredom; the growing Ring creates a greater potential for excitement. In frame 14, the new Data Point falls at the boundary between the Greater and Lesser realms of Probability and the boundaries of this graph are unaffected. However the second Deviations is lessened because nothing is changing. This will be dealt with later on. So both the first and second Deviations are fixed or shrinking. The pressure is building up for change.
The pressure reaches a breaking point. Earthquake! The organism reaches out. The new Data Point falls in the Ring of Potential at last, frame 17. What a rush! The excitement is overwhelming. The boredom is dissipated with the expanding Realm, frame 18. A shrinking Realm causes boredom. An expanding Realm dissipates Boredom.
Wow! That was great! Let's do that again. Another Data Point inside the Ring of Potential, outside the Realm of Probability, frame 20. It feels good. There is nothing that a human hates more than to feel predictable. It is even an insult. "He's so predictable. I find him boring." So landing outside the Realm of prediction, the organism feels the thrill of being alive. But watch out! As the Unpredictable occurs, the Realm of Probability grows, shrinking the Ring of Potential Excitement, frame 21.
Because of the thrill, once again the human organism shoots for the Ring of Potential, beyond the Realm of Probability, beyond the area of predictability, frame 23. Once again the Realm increases at the expense of the Ring of Potential, frame 24.
This human organism, adjusts his boundary lines, frame 25. He is becoming addicted to the Rush. He shoots into the area, which was previously, frames 16 & 19, in the Ring of Potential. Now it is in the Realm of Probability. Although it is in the Lesser Realm, it is still in the predictable range, yielding no great Rush of the higher Deviations. Furthermore the Realm still increases, while the Ring of Potential shrinks further, frame 27.
Still addicted to the Rush of the higher Deviations, but unsuccessful in the last attempt, the human organism, after adjusting the new boundary lines, frame 28, shoots beyond the Ring of Potential into the Ring of Imagination, frame 29. The Boredom Principle has inspired this organism to extend past the Boundary of Actuality into the Ring of Imagination in order to experience the Rush and avoid predictability. However the cost is that the Realm of Predictability, Probability, increases. This time, however, the boundary of Actuality increases, frame 30.
After adjustments, frame 31, the Ring of Potential is still quite small while the Realm of Predictability is larger still. The organism retrenches with a Data Point in the now large Greater Realm, frame 32. While predictable and a bit boring compared to what this human has just been through, it does shrink his Realm and expands his Ring of Potential, frame 33.
The organism, having been through this cycle before, realizes it will still take a lot of energy, without that much return, to reach the Ring of Potential or beyond. Hence our human relaxes, shooting for the middle of the Realm of Probability, frame 35. It is a predictable move, but it shrinks the Realm of Predictability and increases the Ring of Potential Unpredictability, frame 36.
The organism enjoys this flow. Besides not taking as much energy to hit the center, it also shrinks the predictable area and expands the unpredictable area. The organism thinks, "I am getting a little bored, falling into predictable patterns. But if I can narrow my behavior now, increasing my predictability, then when I break out of my rut, my potential for unpredictability is so much greater.
Settling into this boring flow, the organism again shoots for the Greater Realm, frame 41. This again shrinks the Realm causing excruciating Boredom. But it also expands the Ring of Potential Excitement, frame 42.
Unable to take the pain of boredom caused by a shrinking Realm any longer, frame 43, the organism breaks out of the Realm into the Ring of Potential, frame 44, giving the organism his long awaited Rush. This again increases the Realm again and shrinks the Ring of Potential, frame 45. The cycle continues.
This mechanism is called the Pulse of Life because the Realm of Probability shrinks and expands periodically. We will see another Pulse in a later Notebook. This is the Pulse of Creativity.
This cycle of deferred gratification is very successful at maximizing the pleasure of excitement and minimizing the Pain of Boredom. Once the organism reaches the limits of excitement, he must retrench into predictability, to allow the potential for excitement to grow. This is a successful working of the cycle for the Boredom Principle. There are other less successful strategies.
The successful strategy above leads to a Bi-modal distribution. The Data Points either cluster around the middle, the Decaying Average, to save energy, shrink the Realm, & expand the Ring of Potential or they fall on the outside of the Ring of Potential, stimulating all those higher Deviations, creating an incredible rush of excitement, stimulation. So the Data Points either fall in the Greater Realm, surrounding the Decaying Average, or they fall in the Ring of Potential.
A less successful strategy concentrates upon the Lesser Realm of Probability. When Data Points fall here, frames 25->27, no great rush is experienced because it is within the Realm of Predictability, but the Realm grows at the expense of the Ring of Potential Excitement. So not only doesn't the experience yield much excitement, it also limits the potential for excitement in the next go round. This might be akin to going out to one too many movies, or going to Disneyland too frequently or too many times. Everything grows old after awhile no matter how exciting it was to begin with.
Every strategy has its place and time. If the phenomenon requires a strategy is to decrease potential excitement, then shooting for the Lesser Realm, between one and two deviations from the Mean, would be called for. If the person is trying to lose weight, one does not want to increase the potential pleasure from eating. Instead one wants to keep the Realm steady while reducing the Decaying Average. This has to do with the Emptiness Principle, which is coming up next. But the point is made that the success or failure of a strategy is contextual rather than absolute.