Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Elephant Theory

From Michael Mosley's blog.

"We are like riders on the back of an elephant. We hold the reins and think we are in control; we can steer the elephant as long as the elephant has no desires of its own.

But in the end the elephant does what the elephant wants to do and we are left helplessly raging at our own apparent weakness."

This purports to be a statement about dieting, but what an elegant theory of consciousness and free will in general.

This 'two systems' model also applies to politics. While the people (the elephant) are fed, housed and content, the politicians (the rider) have the illusion they are in control. Heaven help them though when the masses rise in discontented revolt!

I wonder if there's a general theory hiding away here somewhere? (Control Theory in its modern, AI-influenced mode).