Ask A Genius 478 – Freely Give and Ye Shall Freely Receive
December 19, 2018
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Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How does this free energy principle fit into the framework of thinking in animals?
Rick Rosner: I have started learning about this. That it’s thinking in animals. Maybe even animals are not sophisticated enough to think but have some agency in the world or it is not a true agency because it is not based on thinking.
It is still moving along a gradient moving some wavering poisonous substance, like an amoeba. They are minimizing their free energy, which goes along with a general trend in cognitive science. It is in the right direction. That the thinking in the brain as predictive tools.
These predictive tools are for your brain’s main job. Your brain’s main job is to predict what happens next and prepare you for that to do it, thus reducing risk and increasing longevity. This free energy minimization also has something to do with a bunch of principles of physics including the path of least resistance.
The shortest path and time that the light will always pick. A light will pick the path that gets from one place to another in the shortest time, which can be used to explain things like refraction.
However, free energy minimization is a tendency of thinking systems without being the absolute determinative factor so it might be better. I am sure the guy is Karl Friston who has written more than a thousand papers. He addressed a lot of stuff that I have not come across yet.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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