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Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind
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2016 > BSP 126 Andy Clark

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Ginger Campbell (GingerCampbell) | 311 comments Mod
BSP 126 is an interview with Andy Clark, author of Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind. Our focus is on integrating a predictive model of the brain with the principles of embodied cognition. Clark makes these topics accessible to listeners of all backgrounds.

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message 2: by owen Forbes (new)

owen Forbes | 1 comments I really enjoyed this episode! Some of the content was pretty dense to take in on a first listen on the highway, so I will have to revisit it again some time soon.

I thought that Clark's ideas about predictive coding/the prediction-error approach have the potential for comparison to Gazzaniga's idea of "The Interpreter" in the left brain – seeing how the ideas of 'generative models' etc can map onto what Gazzaniga says about rationalising our experiences and sensory input into a coherent narrative about the world...

Thank you for a great episode (and brilliant podcast), Ginger!


message 3: by Ken (new)

Ken Seidel | 7 comments Yes, I agree. Also I see your comment as spot on. Thanks for connecting Gazzaniga's interpreter. I'll be bold & take it one step further in that I see us as living our stories/delusions we tell/make-up for ourselves & then get upset when we bump against reality. The concept of the brain's function to be the predictor helps me see why we are so compulsive about conspiracy theories.


Ginger Campbell (GingerCampbell) | 311 comments Mod
I am glad to see people taking these ideas in directions I have never considered.


message 5: by Ken (new)

Ken Seidel | 7 comments Thanks for feedback. I love the book title, surfing uncertainty. Here's I little more on where I'm coming from. Help me see if you agree. I've worked with a lot of ER doc's over several years I'd venture close to 50% of paitients present because of poor brain prediction skills. Now retired, I tutor a lot of youths, and saw this as well when teaching, a significant % of people invoke fear responses, when comforted by confusion, uncertainty and ambiguity. This learned default makes them vulnerable to navigate reality. I tried, and still do, tell them the feelings of confusion, uncertainty and ambiguity are signals to you that your brain is ready to learn. Do you have any suggestions how to get this across to people?


Ginger Campbell (GingerCampbell) | 311 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "Thanks for feedback. I love the book title, surfing uncertainty. Here's I little more on where I'm coming from. Help me see if you agree. I've worked with a lot of ER doc's over several years I'd v..."

Not really, but it seems likely that the currently testing mania in the US could be making this worse. Instead of encouraging exploration and imaginative responses "teaching to the test" teaches that there is always ONE correct answer, which is not the way real life works!


message 7: by Ken (new)

Ken Seidel | 7 comments Yes, I agree, yet I think the underbelly of this issue is teaching to answers instead teaching how to formulate good questions. In my opinion science/reality is question-based not answer-based. Question development requires more congnitive assets then answer searching. If this concept holds water perhaps education will evolve in this direction. Does this make sense to you?


message 8: by Yon (new)

Yon - | 1 comments This is a fantastic episode and I am definitely getting and slowly digesting the book.

Predictive coding reminds me of Jeff Hawkins cortical algorithm.


Ginger Campbell (GingerCampbell) | 311 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "Yes, I agree, yet I think the underbelly of this issue is teaching to answers instead teaching how to formulate good questions. In my opinion science/reality is question-based not answer-based. Que..."

Good point! Great science begins with a compelling question.


Ginger Campbell (GingerCampbell) | 311 comments Mod
Yon wrote: "This is a fantastic episode and I am definitely getting and slowly digesting the book.

Predictive coding reminds me of Jeff Hawkins cortical algorithm."


Yes! I meant to mention Hawkins in my closing comments.


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