Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Computation and Strategic Intelligence: Notes on Sherman Kent, Double Contingency, Gibsonian Psychology, and Metagramming

Title above, links, summary, and contents below.

The theoretical expansiveness of metagramming paradoxically serves the purpose of reducing the problem of writing software to one which can reliably be solved.

The goal of the intelligence analyst is to detect and analyze substantive problems against a background of descriptive, reportorial, and speculative-evaluative knowledge: these forms of knowledge are stratified, with higher strata being meta to lower strata.

The analyst needs a metagramming system with the capacity to check the prima facie plausibility of causal paths involving double-contingency calculation: this checking conserves the integrity of structure-function correspondence in a recursive analysis of causal paths.

Gibsonian psychology frees us from Cartesian solipsism and doubt provides a criterion for ascertaining the reality of our perceptions: If new information becomes available when the object is inspected, then it is real; otherwise it is a figment of someone’s imagination. Invariance detection is the medium of perceptual interchange with the environment and conservation principles are invariance principles.

Just as the search space in which chess is played is meta to the one generated by the rules of chess, so the space in which computers can reliably be metagrammed is meta to the one in which computers have heretofore been designed and built. The higher level space is related to the lower through representation functions which work well with complex irregular objects. Metagramming works by indexing an ecological closure over an otherwise unbounded search space. An account of the application domain (e.g. strategic intelligence) is crucial to formulating the closure.


Sherman Kent on Strategic Intelligence
Intelligence as Detection
The Relevance of Gibsonian Psychology
Metagramming and Search Spaces
Conclusion: Metagramming and Intelligence

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Note: This is an appendix to Metagram Software - A New Perspective on the Art of Computation, where David Hays wrote the body of the report and I wrote the appendix. The full report: https://www.academia.edu/34341841/Metagram_Software_-_A_New_Perspective_on_the_Art_of_Computation.

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