Intent


Read here about intent and how human intent is expressed when we operate over different scales.

Intent and Reality

Intent and causality are linked together: we act with intentions, and the we observe the fruits of our actions and then consider whether we achieved our intentions. The framework of this description--to act, and to observe--are radically altered when we act at different scales of reality. Our acts are conditioned by our experience at the human scale, and our ability to observe changes depending on scale--where we can use our unaided eyes and ears to hear and see at the human scale, we must use tools, instruments and computer-aided receptors to observe other scales. Furthermore, the laws of space, time and force are different at other scales--see allometry for many good examples.

A proper scalometer should make clear this expected divergence of behavior from expectation, and help people refine their actions in light of their intentions as the act at ever greater super- and sub-scales.

About Intent

Some resources are collected here for future reference.

Intent in Philosophy

One need not be a philosopher to act with intention, but such behavior unleashes gallons of ink and oceans of paper by philosophers in their attempts to explicate what happens.
If my finger moves and I type a letter “a” I may or may not have moved my finger—I may have twitched—and, if I did move it, I may have actively performed the movement of my finger directly or merely indirectly, by doing something else such as lowering my arm that caused a passive movement of my finger. If I did directly perform the movement, I might have done so intentionally or not.

This short array of contrasts (and others like them) has motivated questions about the nature, variety, and identity of action and intention. Beyond the narrow issue of my finger movement and the typed letter “a” there are the other results of such action. When I move my finger, I may be indicating disapproval with a rude gesture or shaking an insect off my hand.
Philosophy breaks such problems down into agents, activities and intentions. An agent performs activity that is directed at a goal, and commonly it is a goal the agent has adopted on the basis of an overall practical assessment of his options and opportunities. Moreover, it is immediately available to the agent's reporting ability both that he is performing the activity in question and that the activity is aimed by him at such-and-such a chosen end. We might further relate agent and end by Frankfurt’s concept of ‘acting on a desire with which the agent identifies.’ In this approach there are different levels of action to be distinguished, and these include at least the following: unconscious and/or involuntary behavior, purposeful or goal directed activity, intentional action, and the autonomous acts or actions of self-consciously active human agents.

Motor Control

In a process that remains unexplained, agents acting with intention activate their motor control in the motor cortex. Motor control are information processing related activities carried out by the central nervous system that organize the musculoskeletal system to create coordinated movements and skilled actions. Motor control is also the name of a thriving field within Neuroscience that analyzes how people, animals and their nervous system controls movement.

Simple tasks such as reaching for a cup of coffee are actually surprisingly complex. They arise from a complex coordination between:
  • muscles
  • limbs
  • neural circuitry

The involved processes are complex and may be roughly divided as follows:
  • perception
  • motor planning
  • motor execution
  • feedback
  • biomechanics

Motor control is the process that must be performed in order to achieve movement. In other words, motor coordination is essentially the complex set of interactions between neural processes involved in moving a limb, and the actual limb in movement.

The deployment of this complex chain across superscales, from thought or intention to the triggering of thousands of cellular nano-machines dispersed over huge distances, is a central concern of superscale studies. If such command and control can be deployed over 19 orders of magnitude of distance, are there other such activities occuring over other vast superscales?

Mechanical Control

The control stimulus is imparted to a machine sensor which can then actuate a series of fueled energetic events.
  • Electrical circuit is closed or opened
  • Capacitance is changed
  • Pressure is changed
  • Chemistry is altered
  • Water levels are changed
  • Mechanical position is changed
  • Rate of osmosis is changed, by altering salinity
  • Light level is changed
  • Temperature is changed
  • Magnetic flux is changed

Modern computer controlled systems can then enact a preprogrammed chain of events.
The above type of rhetoric can be used to explain energetic events in detail, for example:
  • The 747 pilot turned the wheel and the 100 tons of airplane and cargo responded.
  • The engineer pushed the button and the hydrogen bomb exploded.
  • The woman flushed the toilet.
  • The man drove from New York City to Los Angeles.