I gave a talk on my PhD work last Friday (slides here). Not a huge turn-out, but it went quite well :-). Anyway, i talked about a couple of blue-sky ideas, one of which was the idea that fundamentally people use a Metropolis-Hastings random walk to sample models and predictions of how the world is.

Nathan pointed out that this would require a good set of operators (types of change to the model-data pair) -- there are too many dimensions to just change one at a time.

The rest of this blog entry is gibberish.

Here are some terms that may be related:

Neuro-Lingusitic Programming, by the way, is black magic.

Speculation: the key to NLP reframing is manipulating a person's operator set. A frame is chosen such that the desired attitude is a single step, whereas viable objections are very diagonal--they require a series of steps rather than a single step.

Changing a person's operator set is pretty easy, you just have to slip a related word or two into your sentences when you speak. It need not be all that relevant to the sentence. Everyone in politics now does this, often to such an extent that their sentences are meaningless except as a place to put these words. Political debates are either repeated statements of incompatible frames or a person who knows the trick kicking the shit out of a person who doesn't.

It's kind of hard not to do this, once you start seeing how it's done. I guess the only thing to do is to be honest that you're doing it.

Much of TV these days seems to be about providing people with a story to live by. It's all meta. Radio too, and advertising of all kinds. There's not much that's actually interesting, but there's a lot of people saying what is interesting and what is not. A nice, comfortable, non-radical storyline is presented. For most people, trash media seems to be the only way they learn how to view the world. Anything deviating from the norm elicits a blank look and a polite laugh.

It's tempting to give such people a swift kick to the head... except "he's psychotic" is part of the operator set and "my ontology is incorrect, due to a tacit conspiracy to manipulate my mind for which i am myself partly responsible" is very diagonal.

Have you noticed how there's TV, radio, and advertising everywhere these days? In toilets, at bus stops, in the doctor's waiting room, at the dinner table. God forbid anyone should ever be without the comforting presence of the collective storyline.

Even if we could find a new and better set of operators, i have this fear that they'd just be met with a blank look and a polite laugh.