Tricyclic Differential Engine - Recursive (TDE-R)

How would you explain a computer's function to a non-specialist? Now imagine that you must do the same thing, but for a brain/ mind? What standard of proof would you need?

The purpose of the website is to explain the nature and importance of the discoveries/ inventions that I have made. Many of the people reading the material on this website will probably be computer science or neuroscience professionals. In order to highlight the difficulties inherent in the act of explanation of this topic, these people are asked to imagine the following situation- that you are put in a situation where you must explain (to an intelligent non-geek) how computers work.

How, for example, would you define the 'software'of the computer, versus its 'hardware'. Imagine you are standing in front of the computer, with the non-geek (say your nephew or niece) standing beside you. What would you point to when you say 'this is the software'? The screen? The 'splash' screen belonging to the program's interface? You might open a API (application programming interface) for a programming language like Visual C or Visual Basic, then write a 'hello world' program. "See!" you declare triumphantly, when the 'Hello world' program runs from the command line, "That's the software!". You tell them that this is just a simple form of software, running from something called a 'command shell'. "What's a shell?" they ask. OK. The look of confusion on their face tells you that you need to try harder.

You are a computer science professional, and you refuse to be beaten. You ask them to follow you into your den, and show them a dissembled Apple IIc."This is my first computer!" you announce. You pick up one of the memory cards sticking out of the motherboard, "and this is the hardware-". You point to the memory chip, and its supporting (glial?) circuitry. One last try- "The software, that -..er..Hello thing I showed you before- it runs on this hardware!". Nope- they are more confused than ever.

Your guest is trying hard to be polite- you know that because they are nodding their head vigorously. You both desperately want this session to end ASAP. It has been a disaster. Of course it has. There is simply too much 'background' information that must be read and comprehended to understand even the basic concepts of machine computation. Students who want to become programmers and software engineers must study hard for at least two or three years to just be able to answer the 'what is' question.

The problems of explaining a theory of cognition to other medical and engineering professionals are similar to the problems encountered when explaining computer function, but much more severe in magnitude. In addition to the difficulties inherent in the subject matter, there is the question of credibility. Each new theory builds on some previous theories, but inevitably tears down others. Each new discovery carries with it an inherent criticism of prior work by competing researchers. A new contributor to any research domain must ask peer reviewers and other readers to find their material more credible than the existing theories, findings and ideas. In this kind of comparison, the incumbent researchers always have the credibility advantage.

Computation summary- overview

Computer level #1 - the Turing Machine - a feedforward, recursive symbol (data) processor - prime exemplar- digital computers

Computer level #2 - the Tricyclic Differential Engine- a predictive feedback recursive syntax (information) processor- prime exemplar - animal  brains

Computer level #3 - the Tricyclic Differential Engine-Recursive-  a compound predictive feedback recursive semantic (knowledge) processor -prime exemplar - human minds

 ----------------------- Copyright 2013 Charles Dyer------------------------