La Chanson Sans Fin: The Comparison Process: Explananda, Pt. 2
By Herb Wiggins, discoverer/creator of the Comparison Process//COMP Theory/Model, 14 Mar. 2014, USA.
21. In terms of the Comparison Process what are skills? From first hand experience in a number of fields, they are short cuts, algorithms, &/or methods will allow the user to function faster, more efficiently, more carefully and above all, more creatively in the field. Discovery hones the perceptivity, the COMP , because you are always searching for those events and ideas which will give you the answers. You get better and better at it, with the better methods built into your skills.
22. Let’s take counting pennies as a way of showing the various skills which can be developed and created by using the Comparison Process, showing the abundance of creative new ways we can do our tasks. Then understand how this example shows how, in its each unique way, the skills of all professional trades and professions can be developed.
We have many coins. So we see pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and even a few half dollars. Using the Comparison Process, and previous learning of what coins are what, we can sort out the pennies from the rest. Sorting is a Comparison Process. Now we have to get the pennies into coin rolls. So, how do we do this? A direct approach is to simply count out 50 coins, 1 thru 50, and then drop them into the roll and seal it. But, let’s ask how a professional would do it. He’d may count them not one at a time but by 5’s, simply seeing the number by grouping 2 and 3 pennies. Then pile up the first groups into 10 penny stacks. Then count it up again and pile into the 2nd 10 penny stack, until there are 5 of them, and then putting them into the penny coin roll. Then the next. But there are other ways, thus showing the complexity of the skill and how it can be used in different ways to count pennies. He has to check and test at every point, to be sure of his count, too.
He has the first coin stack of 10 pennies. He notes that since all pennies are closely struck to be very much alike, any stack of 10 pennies is the same height. So using the 10 stacks he puts up 4 more without even counting. and by using the COMP, makes sure they are all the same height. He has counted the coins, without counting the coins!! Comparison Process, a Powerful tool. And so he does this again and again until the pennies are all counted & in rolls. & saves a LOT of time, again, the Least Energy Principle (LEP).
Other tools for coin counting would be plastic coin cylinders for 50 pennies, 100 dimes, 40 quarters, etc., each marked for the right heights of the different coins; or use a mechanical coin separator which does it lots more quickly, for those who must save lots of time, such as banks, supermarkets and large businesses.
23. In every case a skill can be improved using the Comparison Process to find faster ways, better, more efficient ways of doing a task. This is called, when more fully developed, having a skill, a profession, because the practitioner knows very much faster, better ways to do all the important tasks, having learned of these creative methods by teaching, or in many more cases, having created more himself, for their each unique way of performing the “skills upon skills” seen in skilled work of all types. Exactly how words are built up, exactly how language is created, exactly which underlies all the musical styles, and artistic work, too. Same process, endlessly repeated in education and training, and so on and so forth. Comparison Process. & there it is. Le Chanson Sans Fin.
24. Let’s take musical composition, for instance. Each composer has a set of methods, or skills, which he uses to create music. These determine his style of composition which we can easily hear. The composition of music uses the Comparison Process to create the lyricism, the flows of melody and rhythm which mark his style. Each major classical composer is at once recognized when listened to by a musician or experience amateur. The same is often true of popular music of all sorts. We use the COMP to do this, time and again. Beethoven’s music is often richly rhythmical, esp. in his 5th and 9th Symphonies. The music of Rachmaninoff has many richly lyrical and drifting melodies, esp. in his 2nd Symphony. He starts out the section just after the Scherzo with one of his most lovely and beautifully orchestrated melodies. It just drifts on and on, making one variation on the theme after another. The music of Ralph Vaughn Williams in his 3rd Symphony does much the same. And it’s a free association of one melodic variation after another, just like in the Rachmaninoff section. It just flows, a moving, streaming melody. A sort of stream of consciousness in melody.
And good writing is a lot like that. It flows from one idea to the next, cleanly seguing one segment to the next, triggering association after association, which can show one Comparison Process idea after another. Because if you know the COMP methods a composer uses, you can recreate his style of music, then if you know the writing styles, even Shakespeare can be recreated. Each style of music shows a uniquely individual way of writing music. The Styles of music, like the styles of writing, show the methods the author uses.
25. The style of our individual speaking and gait, our ways of walking, are often unique to each of us, and arise from this same use of varying kinds of algorithms which create these highly unique and thus identifiable, recognizable characteristics. So much so that we don’t often need to see the person, to ID him. In the same way, we don’t even have to know which piece it is of Chopin, to ID it’s him. The styles reflect their unique configuration of methods used to create or even play music, too. In art it’s a lot the same. We learn to recognize the drawings of Leonardo daVinci, of the impressionism of Monet, of the Picassos we see. Each reflects their methods and each set of methods gives them their styles. This is what the Comparison Process can show you, because it cannot only give you recognition, but show you patterns, associations, and other methods, too.
It’s the endless richness of the associations which creates the method of creation. The flow of associations called up by our Comparison Process from LTM. The COMP monitors everything, from language, diction, grammar and vocabulary, to position of our limbs when performing a skill, to the appropriate activities we do socially. It watches over our morals, our consciences, to keep us out of trouble.
26. The Comparison Process controls our focus of attention. It blocks out sensations irrelevant to current tasks. It orders the course of the stream of consciousness, too. It’s the main gate keeper of consciousness, and it’s probably active in the frontal and associative brain centers (parietal lobes), too. & thus creates our sense of consciousness as well as our conscience. This is no trivial task or observation.
But what happens when the Comparison Process goes awry? When the streams of associations get too loose, too sloppy, too fast, too socially unacceptable? That may be a characteristic of schizophrenia & mania. Not only does the flow of free associations called up get too fast, causing the pressure of speech, & the looseness of associations, but it becomes socially unacceptable, too. The COMP gets overwhelmed, the behaviors become inappropriate with yelling & screaming and so forth, and it’s flagrant psychosis, or perhaps mania.
The checker, the tester, the main controlling mechanism of the brain, the Comparison Process, has broken down,probably from too much dopamine D2 activation, & a speed up of the flow of information from the LTM and senses. This is associated with schizophrenia and the main dopamine receptor family. The anti-psychotics work, too, to control the disorder, by depressing the dopamine activity. This shows how powerful a tool, the Comparison Process can be in terms of understanding not only normal behaviors and creations, but abnormal psychology, too.
27. Again, a very simple system or the cortex, the Comparison Process can explain more about psychosis and mania, & the association between the two, telling us where the problem is, the cortex of the brain, and how to treat it. It’s known that in many persons, the same gene which causes bipolar disorder can create paranoid schizophrenia. And it’s simple to see how. mania can be a temporary psychotic state. When the control system for D2 overstimulation fails, we get psychosis or schizophrenia. When it’s only partial, we may get a bipolar disorder. Not only does this Comparison Process model show that mania and psychosis are two aspects of the same thing, but it also explains the depression often to the point of suicide, seen in psychoses. & probably indicates that psychosis also has a form of major fluctuation underlying the psychotic state, too, the hallmark of bipolar disorders,. That is, psychosis compared to a bipolar disorder, also has its up and down moods, somewhat camouflaged by the psychotic state. This is not a trivial observation, either. We know that the breakdown of the cortical Comparison Process is a part the problem and thus we know the schizophrenic gene’s abnormality is probably active in the cortex, itself.
28. We get a kick when we see something new. We get some modest excitement at novelty and discovering something new. That’s a bit of dopamine activation. When the brain gets too much excitement from dopamine activation, it can create a psychotic break. and that can be seen with PCP, amphetamines, and cocaine, also, any of which can create a permanent psychosis. The rush of activity in the free associations speeds up to much, the Comparison Process is disabled, and the system breaks down. The checker and tester lose control and the system stops working Pressure of speech, loose associations, inappropriate thinking, anti-social behaviors are all unleashed by this breakdown of the COMP .
29. This consciousness of ours is thus understandable in terms of the free associations called up from our LTM by our Comparison Process. The COMP sequences these to keep the flow under control. It’s what creates attention and inattention. When we sleep & dream, we dream of really silly things. We can fly, objects can appear and disappear, and on and on, but it’s not real. This may be an underlying free association of the brain called up by the Comparison Process from our LTM. & we know this because the cortex is activated during dreaming. When we are not dreaming we see slow activity in the cortex. When we see REM, the cortex changes to a higher rate of acitivity. When the checker is off, we get crazy dreams, but we can while having an awareness of dreams, tell it to stop and it does. Or even order the dream using lucid dreaming. The severely psychotic person is unable to stop this. The COMP is unable to work normally. The cortex has become deranged.
In the normal person, this stream of consciousness from our vision, sensations, memories, and so forth is controlled. In dreams, it’s not very well controlled, as we see during dreams a lot of impossible events, which once we realize it, can be controled using lucid dreaming techniques. Thus we see that the Comparison Process in the brain can not only create control of inappropriate behavior, but can as well, using the same comparison function, control dream states.
When this control breaks down, we can get mania and psychotic states, which can be largely restored by using judicious amounts of major/minor tranquilizers. Major tranquilizers if used early enough can completely control many psychotic breaks, and if used long enough 2-3 years, can even cure some psychosis, permanently.
30. Clearly, the Comparison Process is one “ruler of the brain”.It not only measures and tests by comparisons, but it can keep things under control. The COMP is seen to be important, general and widespread because it truly reflects existing cortical structure(s), which performs that action. It can control people from getting out of control, by other persons appealing to them. In the psychotic it can work too, but not as well, and occ. not at all. A child who is misbehaving, is taught discipline by the COMP, learning & then enforcing by internalization in the LTM. In cases of persons who have had a frontal lobe injury, we often see lack of social appropriateness, they get slovenly in appearance, they cuss, swear loudly and lack the social graces, to say the least. The frontal lobe has a cortex, and this area is where the Comparison Process in the frontal lobes works. If’ it’s damaged by some means, be it a genetic cause(Huntingdon’s), or trauma, or drugs or other cause, then the person becomes antisocial or even sociopathic. This is the power of the COMP function. It’s universal, it’s general, it applies to almost every major cortical function. and it governs our conscious activities like no other.
In the language areas of association, it’s responsible for creating speech and learning. It underlies creating new words and descriptions to cover new events and new ideas. In the musical area, it watches over the playing of notes and the recognition of melodies and the very creation of music. In the spatial relationships function of the right parietal lobe, it observes events there, testing, controling, comparing, measuring. In the motor and sensory areas, it does the same. In the Visual cortex, it’s constantly working to compare input to analyze by some means how the visual data compares to its set and learned algorithms, to find meaningful shapes, and so forth. It sees motion by comparing the positions from time to time, and detects motion by comparing the changes in positions of similar events.
31. As an aside, most of the illusions we see result from the visual system Comparison Process getting fooled. For instance, when we watch a bicycle wheel & shiny spokes spinning. At a certain speed when its spin slows down, our visual cortex shows us the illusion that the spinning reflection may move clockwise, then paradoxically, as the spin slows down more, it moves the other way. If you measure the speeds of the wheel when this change takes place, in the middle of that change from rotating clockwise or counter, that measures the rate of the impulses going from the retina to the visual cortex. It’s a stroboscopic effect, which measures the rate that the retina send impulses to the cortex. No one has ever really explained that before. But as the stroboscopic system can, by certain measured, definite rates determine speeds, so do the rotating bicycle tire spokes measure by spinning rate, the retinal impulse frequency to the visual cortex. It’s a COMP .
32. But even more important, we know the important principle, that if an error is made (such as in the genes), it can often tell us something about the structure which is creating the error. It may tell us how normal function of that genetic structure works. We often learn more from metabolic errors, than studying normal functions, too. The Comparison Process gives us something more to compare to, and we find more about normal functioning. So, too, a careful study of all major kinds of visual illusions should reveal important clues as to how our visual cortex compares inputs to create realistic images, those same images which we see in our dreams. Understanding how the COMP works can give extremely fruitful insights into our visual system’s processes of nerve impulses from the retina. And given these, nearly without end, as the visual illusions can be created without end. A sensory illusion is based upon the same process, an error in the Comparison Process used in the sensory cortex.
In fact, this tendency to compare and try to find shapes/images can go wrong, too. The cortex is always using the COMP always trying to make sense of what’s around it. When it goes wrong, & creates an image, it’s called an hallucination. & we see this prominently in psychosis, too. The Checker is off duty to some extent. In the auditory cortex, which we know by physiological MRI is activated in schizophrenic auditory hallucinations, the same is seen. It calls up the sounds of remembered voices, and these are interpreted as real. In the same way, the calling up of images in dreams which can be manipulated and controlled in Lucid Dreaming states, probably by a system the Comparison Process influences, & then we have dreams.
You see the method. One association leads to another. One comparison with a normal state can be made to an abnormal state, to elucidate how the systems work. That’s a how much a very DAMN powerful tool, the COMP function can be. It opens up vast new areas of insights into both normal and abnormal psychologies.
33. The delusion is a false, persistently unsubstantiated belief/idea, which is strongly held (LTM) and which resists the facts and all reason. The checker isn’t working again. The control capability of the Comparison Process is turned down. It’s no accident that schizophrenias are associated with delusions, either. The gatekeeper of social morals, rules, beliefs and behaviors, the COMP is damaged. So the COMP can explain in part, where the problem is in the cortex, in those cortical cell columns, where the Comparison Process is created by the neurophysiology of the brain.
Delusional states outside of shizophrenia can also be created. In those, if not too long standing, pyschotherapy can often intervene and restore the balance. This was how and why psychoanalysis occasionally worked. The checker, the Comparison Process was still working well enough that it could be reconditioned by psychological methods & insights to restore control and get rid of the delusion. In other cases, medications are far more effective. But in many delusion states cannot be treated with meds. This is another problem entirely and will be addressed later with potentially curative methods in an article on “Brain Hardwiring”.
34. You see the power of the conception, the Comparison Process. A sign of a good, fruitful model is its wide explanatory power from a very simple process. How it shows how humor comes about. How it shows the source of creativity in the “Aha!” moment, when a comparison is made with the punch line of the joke. How the same “Aha’ is seen upon recognition, upon discovery, upon creation of something new and novel. The COMP brings so very much together. It’s a powerful tool, because not only can one use the Comparison Process , but it can be held aside, and other, high level, cortical functions can be compared to it. To learn more, such as what creates consciousness, the LTM, the COMP and the constant call up of data for checking, comparison and other functions, such as motor and speech output are invoked.
It’s very simple recursive system which creates the complexity in our brains, from language & to most all our skills. It creates our understanding and even creates creativity. Being recursive and self consistent, it can comprehend understanding. It’s a simple, but powerful method used by the cortex to develop personality, and everything else, including the control structures which create our consciousness and conscience. It’s broad, it’s general, it may well be universal in scope in humanity
It’s a powerful tool, it can be used again and again, and it very likely represents something very real and working in the Neurophysiology of our cortical cell columns. & you can see above, my method of creative writing, and the free association (comparing 1 idea to another) of one topic to another, also. It’s an inexhaustible source of new discovery, creation & understanding of complex systems. It gives us important insights into how our brain functions at the higher cortical levels. It’s virtually unlimitted. Everything in the universe can be compared to everything else. Everything in our sensory outputs and LTM can be compared to the others & a great deal can be learned in many cases. “Gnothi seauton”, indeed!!
It models the universe’ own recursivity with recursivity of its own. and it does it everywhere, and can do it everywhere in our universe, too. Isn’t that interesting?
35. In the immune system, we have found many of the same, basic components. But let’s think about more of this, creatively, using the Comparison Process function. Essentially, the immune system defends the body against foreign invaders, such as bacteria, virions, fungi, etc. But how, exactly does it do this? Very simply, it builds upon knowing, biochemically, what is self, and what is not self. Each of our cell surfaces have on them as do all other cells, the HLA protein/polysaccharide molecules on the cell surface in many places. The cells recognize each other by these. They are in constant biochemical communication with each other. They all have the same HLA surface features on the cell membranes.
Let’s give a real and existing example to compare to. A study has been reported some years ago where a small white and a small red sponge were each broken down mechanically into the cells which made up each sponge. Then those cells were mixed together & compared to what happened. They were observed over hours. The sponge cells organized themselves back again in clusters of white and red sponge cells and re-grew the sponge of each type. Biochemically, they knew which cell was self, and which was not self. So these HLA identifiers on our cell membraines are not new, as sponges go back to Precambrian times. This method of identification of self is very, very ancient and again, something which all living organisms have, even the protozoans. This common link connects all living cells from the smallest known to even our brains, and they way they were. They can ID biochemically, “the self” and know what is foreign. It the Comparison Process on a cellular level, you see.
36. And this is essentially THE main organizing characteristic of the immune system, of all immune systems. It, just like knowing the essential characteristics of plate tectonics, can be used to understand much more of the complexity of organization of living systems, perhaps even all systems. The Immune system has a biochemical ID method for self and not self. It does not attack self, except where the system goes wrong, that is the autoimmune diseases of Multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barre, and others. It’s in the identifying part, i.e. the Comparison Process of the immune system where this goes wrong. Something which needs to be & is yet to be found.
But, let’s think carefully about how the immune system attacks foreign invaders. It first recognizes them as not self. When the lymphocytes, polymorphonuclears, phagocytes and others sense a complex chemical (even the chemical Urushiol, which is the contact allergen in poison oak),which is not self, it creates an antibody to it which attacks and isolates it and tries to expel it from the body. If it’s a bullet or shrapnel, it walls it off with scar tissue, removing it from immune system attack. If it’s bacteria such as Strep or Staph, it creates a walling off effect, immobilizes it and expels it by an abscess, which ruptures and the whole mess comes out, including any small foreign bodies carrying the bacteria.
The lymphocytes detect foreign compounds, which they “know” biochemically, by comparing it to their catalog of what is self. Then the lymphocytes move in, and create antibodies which then attach to that foreign body, bacteria, virus, etc., and THAT creates a massive cellular response which constrains, removes and destroys the invader.
37. But, using the Comparison Process , let’s look deeper and more creatively. What exactly happens biochemically when lymphocytes detect foreign chemicals? They must find, create and then massively re-create many, many specific, highly bonding antibodies, which will attach to the foreign molecule. But how does it find them? & That is where it gets interesting.
It must biochemically sort through trillions (quadrillions?) of possible antibodies, to find the one(s) which will permanently bond to the foreign compound, cell wall or membrane. And that complexity can take a LOT of time to sort through, again, a Comparison Process. If we tried in our labs to create & find those specific antibodies, which can best attach to such foreign molecules, sorting through the trillions or more of possible types, it’d take us millions of years, or more. The time it takes our immune system to solve this immense biochemical sorting problem is about 2-3 days. After that antibody production by the proliferation of lymphocytes all producing enough antibodies to attach and immobilize and target attacks on all the foreign molecules. We cannot do this in a finite time. Our computers cannot do this much sorting in a finite time. But look, the Comparison Process shows that our immune systems, worldwide, and in most of the higher animals, do this time and again, every day, for the last how many 100’s of millions of years? & it works. and that sorting & organizing process is, of course, a biochemical supercomputer method using the Comparison Process .
38. There is an immense computer, a sorter, built into our immune systems which solves this problem by some means. It uses the COMP and a whole bevy of extremely efficient, biochemical algorithms (or skills, sound familiar?) to do this. When this sorter is found in the immune system, then we will have found the biochemical supercomputer which creates our effective immune system. We know how it works, we will know where it works, and we can find it, too. That’s how the Comparison Process shows us what’s going on by organizing living systems using COMP structures. It’s universal. It’s general, It’s practical and it works.
Considering that our immune systems also know what has invaded before, and can attack those repeat strains of invaders, thus giving us lifetime immunity to many kinds/strains of viruses, etc., which is the basis of all vaccinations, then it must have a memory system of these previous invasions built into our immune system. A sort of LTM for creating antibodies, stored in the spleen, lymph nodes and other places, probably, possibly even stem cells.
This therefore should guide our study of the immune system, which can be seen as a Comparison Process working on the biochemical level, to ID self, and not self. Which is based upon simple ID system, based upon the COMP generator of a biochemical system within our white cells. From that simplicity, this enormous immune system complexity is built. & it’s capacities which exceed ours by at least trillions of times over.
39. Find the ID’g biochemical system Comparison Process governing structures in the immune systems, and you find the core engine of immunity. Where the immunity is stored, how it creates new immunities (the creativity function, the COMP function, again). The immune system’s cells on patrol must constantly be comparing self to find non-self. That comparison engine drives the immune system. When it finds not self, it attacks. If a former infection, it finds the cells which create the antibodies anew and attacks so fast, the system doesn’t get sick again. If not, it creates by comparing trillions or more of antibodies against the foreign agent, until it finds those which effectively attack it. It probably has some very efficient search engnes to sort out that problem. It’s creative, tho. It creates a fever which speeds up this process enormously, a sort of metabolic overdrive. THAT is the reason fever is often associated with infection. It speeds up often by 2-4 times the immune system attack processes.
Also, It must be sure the attacking antibodies do NOT attack self, either. And THIS part of the immune system is what goes wrong in autoimmune diseases
41. There is a clue here and it’s a big one. It’s known that women who have multiple sclerosis have far fewer flare ups, that is antibody attacks against the myelin sheath, when they are pregnant. The mother doesn’t but rarely attack the baby, for some reason. The fetus/baby are immunologically privileged. How this comes about shows us how the body doesn’t attack self. also. Thinking Comparison Process, and creatively, those drugs which reduce or block flare ups of MS, such as prednisone type, or meds of the interferon beta 1a and 1b types, or glatiramer acetate, etc. These block the autoimmune reaction of the MS type, also. Simply create a glatiratimer or interferon 1a &1b, and find out by labelling those molecues, injecting them, to find where in the body immune system & lymphocytes it binds, THERE is the library of immunocytes, and THERE is where the immune system problem is. It will simplify the problem immensely, because we will know where to look for the autoimmune creating problem, simultaneously finding the immunity giving library. By using the Comparison Process, which both gives insights and explanations as well as creative methods to solve problems. QED