Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: The Golden Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees, Part II

Part I, II

Abstract

This is a continuation of my series on artificial intelligence and the Bible. I claim that I get my understanding of intelligence and the brain (see Secrets of the Holy Grail) by interpreting certain metaphorical passages in the books of Revelation and Zechariah. In Part I, I interpreted verses 1 to 7 of the fourth chapter of the book of Zechariah. We learned that memory is organized hierarchically and consists of seven-item chunks. Each chunk, or building block, is either a sequence of patterns or a sequence of sequences. Below, I interpret the rest of chapter 4 to reveal the mechanisms of short-term memory and attention.

The Golden Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees

Previously I wrote that the two olive trees represent pattern and sequence memory hierarchies within a single hemisphere of the brain. I argued that a metaphor always pertains to a single hemisphere unless it is specifically associated with "the whole earth", meaning the whole brain. I should have added that the fact that the two olive trees are said to be on both sides of a single lampstand and its oil bowl, is also a good indication that we are dealing with a single brain hemisphere. To summarize, the entire brain's memory can be represented by two lampstands and four olive trees in total. I'll have more to say about this in the commentary below.
Zechariah 4: 1-14
1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.
2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps.
3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.”
4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?”
5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”
6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’says the Lord of hosts.
7 ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
10 For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
11 Then I answered and said to him, “What are these two olive trees—at the right of the lampstand and at its left?”
12 And I further answered and said to him, “What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?”
13 Then he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”
14 So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”
Commentary
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
These two verses seem to be saying that the same building principles are used throughout the structure from the bottom level up. I italicized the last sentence in verse 9 because it only makes sense if we assume it is coming from Zechariah and not from the "the word of the Lord." I think translators should at least use parentheses around that sentence to make the point.
10 For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
This is awkward. After going through the interlinear Hebrew text and other translations, I think a better translation would be as follows:
10 For who has despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
We have already seen in chapter 3 how the preposition 'for' was used repeatedly to link one idea to another. This is what is happening here. The first 'For' in verse 10 is linking to something that was said in verse 9:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it.
So what this is saying is that memory construction starts with 'small things'. But what does 'small things' mean? Well, we know from chapter 3 that every building block is a unique sequence with seven nodes. The only thing about a sequence that can be either small or big is the interval between two nodes. I think what this verse is telling us is that memory building (i.e., sequence learning) should start with small intervals. This is extremely important to sequence learning and I will get back to it later.
For they shall rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
To be continued...
(Ok. I'm having cold feet again. I apologize. The subject matter is getting into the heart of perceptual learning and memory organization. I need to think carefully before I reveal what I have discovered. I get paranoid about AI because there is no doubt in my mind that it will be an explosively and dangerously disruptive technology. It will be a historic Big Bang heard and felt around the world. I need a little time to think this through.)
See Also:

Secrets of the Holy Grail
Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Message to Sardis
Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Joshua the High Priest

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