Call for Participants in Observational Study of Volition

I am seeking volunteers to participate in an observational study of volition!


Volition is an essential aspect of human existence. We're all familiar with the experience of evaluating what we observe, what we know, and what we want and intentionally choosing some action or other accordingly. Monumental and trivial, cognitive and physical, free will is everywhere in daily living. But can we say anything more about volition itself? Can choices be analyzed into basic kinds of choices we can directly make, with more complex choices being built out of those?


In decision theory and related fields, the explore-exploit tradeoff is the name given to the apparent tension between learning more about the world and taking advantage of what you already know. While in some cases (especially many formal models) this is an unavoidable tradeoff, a key strategy in my ConSciEnt work is to perform exploration via exploitation.

Crafting Context

After last week's focus on senses of not-understanding and a very concrete outcome-oriented conception of understanding, this week I looked for and found some suggestive texture to successful more general understanding.

Announcing ConSciEnt and The Texture of Understanding

Today I'm excited to go public with ConSciEnt, my R&D effort to understand consciousness, through my first project: The Texture of Understanding!

Patrodola and Purpose

This week centered around coining and investigating "patrodola", exploring the landscape of mental mathematical operations, and teasing out the potential connections between them and a strongly purpose-oriented view of consciousness and learning.

The Texture of Understanding

Note: This project is currently on hold What does it feel like to really get something? How does that feeling develop and change as you learn? What role does that experience play in gaining and applying understanding to practical ends? This project is an observational exploration of these questions through the device of observing my experiences as I teach myself various mathematical and physical subjects. As I read, think, and work through problem sets, I am attending to what the subjective experience is like, with a particular focus on my feelings about some particular concept as I progress from complete ignorance to deep grokking.


ConSciEnt is my R&D effort to understand consciousness and apply that understanding to build world-changing technology.