Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Beyond reason: the mathematical equation for unconditional love (sinapticas.com)
52 points by LeanCas 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments



I'm not sure when this happened for me, but I noticed recently that I don't, or maybe it's can't, care about hypothetical big-picture philosophical waxing like this. It just doesn't mean anything - I can't extract any useful information from the text, it might as well be Greek. I used to be into reading metaphysics and thinking about things like this as a college freshman, but now a few years out of school I just don't care about trying to fit mathematical models to intangible human behaviors. I don't care what model you think governs the world, I want to see some statistics.

Has anyone else gone through a similar change?


Life is full of changes, sometimes you may find yourself to reflect about the “bigger picture”. Sometimes you also need to find your own guides and manuals about this ethereal way of thinking. I mean - just look at a starry night.


No. I go in a different direction:

I started with the basic treating variables as placeholders for concepts. So, for me, it's asking, "What does this symbol represent?" I realize due to qualia, everyone's experiences vary, so we can both call x unconditional love, but also understand x equals two different, yet similar, things between us.

When I started exploring philosophy I started getting recursively meta. Asking questions like, how does this category of things work?

But then as time went on, I started going in the opposite direction, and feel that it has yielded more fruit: If every singular thing in the universe is actually a set of ideas, then how can I break x up into multiple pieces? How do I label/name those pieces? What awareness does that increased resolution give me?

By playing with this abstraction/decomposition paradigm, awareness can be increased in both directions to ~inf.

This, as a side effect, increases one kind of intelligence. I frame this as metaphysics, though, I admit, I am unaware if this is an incorrect way to label it.

After all, labels (ie abstractions) are nothing more than our mind drawing lines around objects in the world, like the lines in a coloring book. It's our mind doing it, so we get to choose how we draw those lines. If someone wants to label love in one way and I choose to label it in another way, that's completely fine. The beauty in it, to me, is seeing how others see/perceive the world.

When I read a text book, I'm not just looking to learn a new topic or further my knowledge of a topic. I'm looking into how the author sees the world. This, to me, is far more fun than simply learning the topic. I feel the average person scratches the surface of what there is to explore.

So do I get bored of it? No. But it seems I'm exploring it in a different way than you, and that possibly explains why. To me, learning is like socializing. I get to see others in what they present, and that is beautiful.


I'm sorry, but this is exactly what I'm talking about. I have no idea what you said between "I go in a different direction" and "When I read a text book...". That might mean I'm just not intelligent enough, but phrases like "awareness can be increased in both directions to ~inf" have the same over-generalizing feel as astrology predictions.


Maybe it's related to the brain maturation that apparently finishes up in the early 20s.


Sorry, I forgot to actually answer you. I easily loose my train of thought.

But yes, I would say I've gone through a similar change, but maybe less severe.

I still like to talk to people, but I don't read much of that kind. It's entirely unfulfilling without the possibility of getting clarification, pondering the statistics, and thus maybe actually learn something new, or teach something new.


I think I can relate. On one hand I'm almost pathologically curious about things, and want to understand everything that is possible to understand, but as you describe, articles like this usually don't keep my interest at all, which could be seen as borderline mysterious considering my inner workings in general.

This is a bit long, and I'm sometimes a bit too fond of phrasing things "interesting", especially when I'm a bit bored. Let's see which category I end up in! The easily dismissed, or the actually interesting?

Summary: You have become adept in your topic of choice, many writers are not particularly adept, and most people are not adept at all, making it feel like one is missing out.

My observations are these, firstly I've been 'obsessed' with thinking for decades now, and I'm guessing I've become somewhat adept at detecting whenever something will appreciably add to my world model, and if it doesn't add anything significant, there's little reason to invest time. So I don't.

Secondly, for me, there are no longer few mysteries in the traditional sense. The entire idea of mystery, and the accompanying grand revelations are to me intrinsically flawed. The world is complex, in some way mind numbingly so, but there is no mystery, no big reveal. There's still thousands, and billions of fascinating detail, but it feels like I've already seen the plot summary.

Thirdly, a large fraction of these kind of philosophical waxings one might encounter are rather devoid of content, at least if you have any interest at all in the topic. I remember as a teenager I could be overwhelmed by the grandiosity of the mental castles I built through my own thoughts, ideas, and those of others. The grandiosity obviously wasn't real in any sense, I simply wasn't used to looking deeper into the world of ideas, and there was much new to be found, trivially. However I didn't write about it, to whom would I have written? Today however, many who experience these kind of thoughts that feels like revelations will share them, it's easy to, and I really think they should. Because from time to time there will be gems. Small pockets of glittering original thought, as much as anything is ever original. Most of it is, however, devoid of much meaning beyond the primary experience of whoever wrote it, which has a great value, but maybe not to me.

Fourthly, in general, a large fraction of people hasn't really exposed themselves to thinking deeper about themselves and the world. I have, evidently, scared people halfway to death (some exaggeration, but their reaction was as if) by bringing up topics and ideas I thought of as rather mundane. Thus, when people do get exposed they react strongly, which is both surprising, and unsurprising at the same time. It's surprising because I imagine more people to have already been exposed, and unsurprising because I know my first reactions were like that.

However, it often made me feel like I'was missing out on something everyone else sees except me, but I've since started to realize it's most often the other way around. It's all these people who has until now missed out on what has to me, through the years, become almost entirely internalized as how things are.

I still read peoples stories about their life, their thoughts and experience, often with a little too voracious of an appetite. But I'm not expecting any grand ideas in most of the more philosophical writings. However, if written honestly, without hiding the person of the writer, I might stay for the story within. The philosophy? Well, I probably dealt with that particular conundrum a decade or two ago, but if not, I now have enough practice at devouring, and integrating ideas that I'll rarely be held up for more than a few minutes pondering the new facet before moving on. Fun minutes, as it's nice to be surprised, but minutes nonetheless.


I'm going to go out on a limb here, and suggest that if you're thinking about love using Bayesian theory, you're doing it wrong.


Here is a video presentation on the mathematics of love, by Rachel Bloom: https://youtu.be/Ck-UhvbCDAk


Yes, unconditionally wrong.


Hm... Should it be Fuzzy logic then?


I'm not convinced. What the author describes as irrational or for no reason are likely just reasons that are too difficult to grasp or articulate. I bet even people we would describe as clinically insane probably have reasons that they do things that we simply don't understand.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems like believing anything truly unconditionally is completely irrational and even more insane than any insane we've seen before.


>I bet even people we would describe as clinically insane probably have reasons that they do things that we simply don't understand.

I'm not sure about this. I've had a head injury in the past that resulted in (thankfully temporary) in anxiety issues. There were spells of anxiety where I sort of had a reason to be anxious (e.g. deadlines), but I simultaneously had a rational awareness during the bout of anxiety that my stress levels (so nervous can't work) were completely incompatible with the consequences of missing said deadline (of which there would be basically no consequences; not even in terms of coworkers' view of me or my skills).

Granted I wasn't close to clinically insane I think, but the point is that the brain is complex and ostensibly there seems to be multiple levels of consciousness and activity going on in the human brain. One can reason something in the abstract, yet emotionally feel completely at odds with their reason.


> to act without reason is to act irrationally

Same thing I thought here. I'd say "to act against reason is to act irrationally." If we only did things we thought we understood, life would be slow and boring.


Kinda related: relationships where one partner gains love for the other by being hated by the other (but the other acts just mimics the other's affection) as an unstable dynamical system. https://ai.stanford.edu/~rajatr/articles/SS_love_dEq.pdf


You can love and hate someone at the same time, it’s not an or situation


For me unconditional love equates to believing in human dignity, that's your love for other people without question. But it does not go much further than guaranteeing the rights and freedom of other people. Other sorts of love is for most but the most naive almost entirely conditional, and for good reason, as they can hurt you badly if you love them and they do not love you (as a precondition)... and that's just for starters. There are many other pre-conditions to love.


I have an unconditional credence of degree 1 that taxpayers money, for which this "research" was granted, could have been used in a much better way.


I can also suggest a game-theoretic take on real love:

Let U be your utility function Let U' be your partner's utility function Let U and U' be normalised against the same scale

A love is real iff

* U is defined in terms of U': U = C(U')

* and for any positive change e' there is a e >= e' such that U + e = C(U' + e').

Disclaimer: no guru, I know formulations are sloppy, but you get the idea :)


I don't think it's useful to say you can have a credence of 1.0 in a belief (love in this case), admit that 1.0 means it can't rationally change at all, and then say that it can be irrationally changed. It sounds like a roundabout way to say the credence is actually some number less than 1.0, and it takes a very strong update (which the author mislabels as "irrational") to affect the credence much.


This was a special good reading for me, thanks. I loved the maths.

What about un/conditional gratitude, or un/conditional compassion?


BTW, if you love somebody conditionally and would stop loving and withdraw your commitment in some theoretically possible case (like if the person you love becomes ugly, you find out they are cheating or they roam the city killing kittens at night while you're asleep) then you are not actually loving them, you just enjoy the combination of traits they currently possess.


That's a nice sentiment, but everything you believe is conditional. I doubt there is literally no changes that could ever occur that would change your mind about anything including love.

Perhaps the likelihood of those things are close to zero, but that doesn't mean it isn't in the realm of possibility. Although I suspect it wouldn't be that difficult to introduce a change that would trigger one of those conditions.


I agree. Perhaps someone might use some kind of drug or whatever to erase my memory about the choice I've made to love that particular person no matter what.


If you love someone regardless of their abuse of you or others then you are codependent, not loving.


This. You must love yourself, and that means protecting yourself from harm -- whatever the source.


You must not anything. Although doing is limited with laws and situations, feeling is not - you are absolutely free to feel or not to feel whatever you want. Hard situations may make it difficult to feel pleasant things but it's all about training (in mindfulness) and intention.


I've had a few people ~like that in my life. I still ~love them all. It's just that I'll no longer have anything to do with them.


Perfectly legit. Some people may be just impossible to live or do anything with for you so you might leave them for their own good as both of you would just struggle together. There are people and places which are much more joy to love remotely :-)


Using your definition, the only people who can try love others are those who love everyone. Everyone else loves people that possess qualities that they enjoy and hates people that don’t possess those things, and will stop doing so once a person changes enough to shift from one side to the other.


True, but you still can choose to love one person more than you love the rest :-) After limerence is gone, love is a choice.


There is a very small but non-zero proportion of humanity that will benefit greatly from this (sort of thing.) Roughly those who are on what is called the "mind-only" path. (Vulcans, from Star Trek.) For them this is a profound and deep proof.

- - - -

Once as a small child I experienced spontaneously unconditional love for approximately twenty seconds. Subjectively I felt a deep and abiding love for all things everywhere. The Universe itself was a small thing embedded in an unbounded ocean of love.

In a certain sense the experience never left me as the memory of it is a kind of background and foundation to the rest of my life.

I won't wax too mystical here on HN, but in time I found that love is a physical reality that undergirds the world of form, that the real world is an expression in different modes and frequencies of love. E.g. gravity is love. All matter/energy yearns to return to itself in the unity that existed before Time.

- - - -

BTW, there is a simple algorithm to enter and experience "higher" subjective realities. It's called "Core Transformation Process" and, as I said, it's a simple, easy, fast, effective algorithm. https://www.coretransformation.org/




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: