David Hamilton

This conversation is closed.

The Transitive Theory of Cognition

If I = A Human Being, and You = A Human Being, and You = A Negative Value, then I = A Negative Value.

This is the built in logic gate that distorts and informs all human experience. The problem here... is that negative numbers, exist only on balance sheets. Something either exists or it doesn't, it has value or it does not... There is no negative value.

A business has expenditures, it buys products, at a cost of money... but it does not deal in "negative money". There is not an antimoney particle floating around, and if you accidentally come into contact with it, your money ceases to exist.

In the same way, there is not a negative human being wandering around, just relatively useless ones. We are not taught this as children, we are taught, us and them, right and wrong, bad and good. We should be taught, existing and non existing, correct and incorrect. By teaching our children an us and them mentality, we have destroyed their logical abillity to value their own lives.

By teaching them, that some people are horrible, we teach them, that they are horrible. No matter how emotional, and unreasonable a person may appear, there is a logical component to their cognition, and the more things they identify as negative, the more that logical component, will force them to have a negative self image.

What am I suggesting, that we tell children, that everyone is a beautiful and unique snowflake, and everything will work out in the end? No. I am suggesting that it is healthy for the human mind, to reset its 0 point, to 0. Right now, we are teaching people to believe that numbers exist between negative infinity, and positive infinity. I believe it is healthier to realize that every number which exists, exists between the numbers 0 and 1.

This is a difficult process, I'm a writer, so at times I can be worse at this, than anyone I've ever met. I love using horrific language to illuminate mistakes... but, logically, I think I should probably stop.

Closing Statement from David Hamilton

That was a fun an engaging conversation. I'm going to edit it a bit, and throw it up in debate. Debate always seems to get more attention. Thank you all for your contributions, and just know, that I am defending a theory of cognition, which I think is unique to myself. In doing so, sometimes I may come off like I see myself as a guru, coming down from a mountaintop with ancient wisdom.

I only do this, because I think I'm the only person defending the idea right now... So, if I'm going to get a fair debate, I have to take on the role of someone fairly certain of his premise. In reality, I know it's on pretty shaky ground, but I also think, it's correct.

  • Jul 28 2012: Since zero to one can be infinitely divided, it is an infinitely large range.

    Negative infinity to positive infinity is still conceptually represented by the less than 0.5 range and the greater than 0.5 range.

    With your suggested paradigm, less than average becomes undesirable and greater than average becomes desirable.
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      Jul 28 2012: Not exactly. With my model there is no negative infinity, and the entire world can be expained in 1's and 0's, things either being there or not.

      In terms of emotional context, I can see what you are saying though. People I may have previously suggested a negative value for, now sit at the bottom end of the .5, and are still less desirable... Where I seperate, is at undesirable.

      If there is no negative value, the average, is of positive value. The .000000000001 is of better than average... Average, would be non existence. As an entity only begining to become awake, it would seem foolish of me, to imagine that existence is just expected. Existence is something better than non existence.

      Everything is beautiful... in that it is lucky to exist, but some things are still far more ravishing than others.
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    Jul 28 2012: There is a logical fallacy in the opening statement.
    Why should all humans be the same for all criteria?
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      Jul 28 2012: There is no fallacy here. It's a broken part of your brain which exists whether you like it or not. It is pure logic. Pure math. Whatever value you associate with a category, impacts the way you classify new objects in that category. If most objects in a category, such as "human being" are of negative value, but you still value yourself, you will experience cognitive dissonance.

      If you believe human beings are selfish, and you are not... That will produce cognitive dissonance. I'm not saying that this makes sense as a philosophy of life... I am saying there is a part of our brains which reason on this simple a level, and it's inescapable. Every human being is in a struggle to master maintaining a philosophy without dissonance and contradiction. If you want to value your own life, it is important that you value life.

      Zared seems to think that there can be no positive, without negative. I would say there can be no positive, if negative numbers exist. If things which exist, can be discounted as negative, so can your existence.

      I choose instead to believe that everything which exists is good... because there is absolutely no evidence that it should exist, or would exist, but... It does! As something which exists, I can't help but believe that is a good thing.
  • Jul 20 2012: Let's do a thought experiment. If I say x is best than y, then, y must be worst than x. This is a simple thinking process in the works. You cannot process x is better than y and still think y is not worst than x. If something expresses a positive value, then, it must reflect a negative value at the same. time. Also, did you do a TED fellowship application form?
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      Jul 22 2012: X can be greater or less than Y without either being negative. Again, I'm not saying things don't have values, that are variable. I am saying that nothing on earth has a negative value. There is no situation one will ever encounter, in which one is required to identify something as having a negative value. You'll never say "look over there, it's negative 5 birds". You'll never see something, and then have to identify it as something that is not only non existent, but of negative existence... but we all do.

      Seeing something as useless is bad enough, and far more accurate. Again, I am not the posterboy for this philosophy in my writing, I once remarked after being deleted here

      "Sometimes the mind, and even the language itself, fail to contain enough adjectives to properly describe the macabre, grotesque, horror that is... Modern public policy"

      Certainly not the most positive language I could have used. I did not apply for a Ted fellowship actually, I actually go off on rants and get deleted quite a bit, I'm not so sure if the organization appreciates my commentary. Sounds like a cool program though.
      • Jul 22 2012: I do understand your point; however, it is impossible to say nothing is negative. Then again, what definition of negative are you talking about? Are you talking about a quantitative or qualitative definition?
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          Jul 22 2012: Quantitative. What I'm trying to explain is a flaw in my own psychology, which I believe is in every human being to a greater or lesser extent. I think our brain tries to find quantitative ways of describing our emotions. We try to think logically about everything, or, more likely, a part of our brain, tries to think numerically about everything.

          When we choose to assign negative numeric values, to things that exist in nature, this transitive theory trick kicks in. Your logical brain starts re evaluating equivalents. So if you know many category "human beings" that you have assigned negative quantitative values too, you will begin to assign negative values to the category "human beings", and this will then transfer to "Zared Shwartz", or "David Hamilton" categories, because we are a subset of our information base "human beings".

          Thus I think it is healthy for you to identify as few things as negative, destructive, or evil, as possible. This will improve your self esteem. At least it does mine, as I get better at it. I think this is a fundamental part of the experience of humanity, that has rarely been discussed in this particular way.
      • Jul 24 2012: Well, it is necessary to label some things as negative, destructive, or evil because they are negative, destructive, or evil. If these labels are fitted for human survival; then, such constructs are necessary to be in the human mind. If it is necessary for these constructs to be in the human mind, then, the value system 0 to 1 is not only detrimental but impossible. The true value system has to be -1 to 1.
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          Jul 25 2012: "If labels are fitted for human survival"

          Labels above 0 help you survive. Knowing what exists helps you survive. You can never know all that doesn't exist. And seeing things that aren't there (negative things) wouldn't be very good for your survival.
      • Jul 24 2012: Good point Tucker, if mankind does not consider the negatives, mankind is oblivious to his or her own flaws. Now, we must ask ourselves how can society display the positives and negatives to the extent that they are helpful to the society. What do you think?
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          Jul 25 2012: A flaw is not a negative value, it is a part of the positive value that is yourself.

          A flaw exists... it is not negative. It might be something you wish didn't exist. You might want to improve upon your flaw... but, I assure you, you have 1 flaw, not -1.
      • Jul 25 2012: First off, I am sorry that I dived into this question before you can reply back to the original remark, Hamilton. Now to Tucker, that does not answer the question. If anything, it makes it more complex. Let's do another thought experiment. In a Utopian environment, I have three children: Child A, Child B, and Child C. Child A is subjected to high positive factors over negative ones. Child B is subjected to high negative factors over positive ones. Child C is subjected to equal amount of both positive and negative factors. If each child were given the task to screw in a light bulb, how would each child perform said task?
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          Jul 25 2012: Again, you are defining experiences that people learn from as negative... rather than as +1 experience. Positive and negative reinforcement are both things that exist... Negatives don't exist is my point.

          Negative reinforment teaches you something... so why do we call it negative?
      • Jul 25 2012: Well, there is no specific answer and it is not a conundrum. It is a simple question, if each child were given the task to screw in a light bulb, how would each child perform said task?
      • Jul 26 2012: Negative reinforcement is "negative" because it takes something away from you that you want. However, I never mention such conditioning methods in the first place. A flaw is something negative because it goes against the individual.
      • Jul 27 2012: Tucker, Hamilton is saying that he does not believe negatives exist. I am saying they have to exist. The whole problem with Hamilton's argument is how is -1 nothing if we know what it is. If -1 does not exist, then, no one should even be thinking of it in the first place. However, I know there are some things that go against society and the individual; therefore, those things process a negative attribute.
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          Jul 28 2012: "The whole problem with Hamiltons argument is how is -1 nothing if we know what it is"

          So... What is it? What is negative 1? You know. I've never seen it in action. I have been told that the theoretical concept of negative one exists... but I have seen no proof offered. Why would I believe something which is entirely contradictory to everything i have experienced on this earth. I have only ever dealt with things which exist... Have have never had to confront something of negative existence in my life.

          Some things go against society and the individual... those things are inefficient, stupid, wasteful... Incorrect. Negative?... Quantitatively?... Prove it. I see many things which do not work as intended... I see nothing that negates existence itself.
      • Jul 28 2012: Example, if a man has flesh-eating bacteria, the flesh-eating bacteria is parasitic and detrimental to the man. This means the parasite is -1.. Then again, you can say such a relationship is relative because the parasite obtain +1 with the man as a host. However, as long as one side views the other as -1, the concept of -1 exists. If -1 exists. Measuring such negativity has to be qualitative because you cannot actually measure numerically good and bad. If you do not see that -1 exist, then, you must believe everything is holy and perfect in this world. This is not intended as an insult because if you literally think think that -1, the concept of detrimental attributes, does not exist, then, in your perception, anything cannot be imperfect or evil.
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          Jul 28 2012: You are correct about the evil, not the imperfect. What I am saying, is that to classify a flesh eating bacteria as a negative 1 makes absolutely no sense. It is positive 1 flesh eating bacteria.

          It is a challenge. It is something you must overcome, or heal from... but it exists. It is something you can interact with, and in defining it negatively you define existence negatively.

          Yes, the ultimate conclusion of the transitive theory of cognition, is that If I = Something that exists, and U = Something that exists, and U = a negative value... I = a negative value.

          This sounds like, and may in fact be, complete and utter nonsense... but it is a component of your brain which acts on your consciousness whether you like it or not. I can prove it.

          When you watch someone get punched in the face. You feel a twitch of phantom pain, in your face. He = Human being, I = Human being, He = just got punched in the face... "Did I just get punched in the face?"


          Things are not holy... but, there is, as of yet, no causal evidence why something exists, instead of nothing... So as a conscious being who exists, and can assign values to things by choice... I choose to think that existence is good, simply because there is absolutely no benefit to me cognitively for believing that existence is bad.

          When I assign negative value to things, I degrade my own self esteem. You do as well, so does everyone. Not because it "makes sense" for us to think that way, and to experience that cognitive dissonance... but because "that's the way it works".

          The transitive theory of cognition explains why otherwise rational intelligent people, engage in irrational behavior based on emotion. In trying to maintain self esteem while degrading the value of things around them, they have created in themselves cognitive dissonance. We all have, some just more than others.

          It is not an easy path to walk, but it is purely rational and logical, to count things that exist, starting at 0.
      • Jul 29 2012: Create a similar conversation, so we continue to talk about this. Thank you and have a great day.
  • Jul 2 2012: Well, you can not have positive worth without negative. Suppose, I have a thing (1) and you do not have a thing (0). Technically, it exists between 0 and 1; however, since you do not process what I have, a negative worth develops from the situation. A scale system of 0 would be somewhat detrimental for a person to create a identity because there is no way to establish an essential comparison. Besides that, a scale system of 0 would likely be as hard to maintain as a scale system of 0 and 1. If you do not mind, can you tell me how you would maintain these scale systems in a society?
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      Jul 11 2012: When someone has something, that you do not. You have 0 of those things. There is no negative.

      A persons worth can approach, but never equal zero. It can also approach existing in a pure, self actuallized, efficient state, that of pure existence 1. It can be nothing more, and nothing less. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it simply is.

      Negative, cannot exist. It never has, it never will. Things exist, or they don't, there are no negative things.
      • Jul 11 2012: If the negative does not exist, the positive would not exist either. If there is no comparison, the concept is nothing; hence, if there is a positive, there has to be a negative.
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          Jul 11 2012: What is this positive you speak of. Things either exist, or they do not. If you want to call things that exist positive, that's fine, but there is no basis for it.

          Positive and negative are human constructions... Neither exist, in any really meaningful way.

          What I am discussing is a built in flaw to human cognition, a logic gate, I describe as the transitive property. If you assign negative value to things in the outside world, you assign that negative value to yourself, or you experience cognitive dissonance. That is simply the way the human mind works.

          Knowing this, and knowing that positive and negative are human constructions, I find it healthy to only suggest that thinge either exist, or they do not, they have no inherent value that is positive or negative. This reduces cognitive dissonance.
      • Jul 12 2012: You cannot teach a person without having positive or negative values to things. Research classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and social-learning theory. Cognitive dissonance is a different concept all together.
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          Jul 12 2012: There is a reason it is called conditioning... I'm not a fan of conditioning... I'm a fan of experimentation.

          Lets do an experiment.

          Show me what a negative quantity of something looks like... Then we can start the experiment.

          You see, the concept of negative breaks down at reality. I can show you 5 of something. One cannot even understand what negative 5 of something would look like.

          An infinite number of values exist between 0 and 1, thus there is no reason we cannot use those values to explain the world around us... We already have a standard system however... By my calculation five could look like .00000005, or 101... There is nothing that could not be expressed theoretically... but there is really no reason to change the number line we're all familiar with.