Billy’s First Concepts

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Let’s go back to the dome and wake up Billy. So far the extent of Billy’s experience with the Universe (within the dome) has been the exposure to a red disk. I mentioned earlier in this document that he has no concept of what this red disk means. That is true, but the introduction of the information vector into his world disrupted his perception of nothingness. He recognized a “thing” in the midst of the whiteness. His mind accepted and developed the concept of a thing. At this point, this particular thing is the only type of thing Billy knows. Later on, we’ll see how he generalizes the concept of “thing” as his experiences evolve.
At the moment, the red disk is four feet directly in front of Billy. We darken the dome for a split second re-illuminate it. At this point the red disk is two feet closer to him. We repeat the quick blackout and move the red disk three feet to the left. We go through a dozen more instances of moving the red disk. Billy’s memory captures it all. He now has more than one image of the red disk, he has many images of it. The definition of the memory is identical for all of them except for one difference: its position. Of course Billy doesn’t know that word (“position”) but he is aware of three dimensional space and his sense of sight enables him to know that this one thing can be in different places. But wait, is it one thing or does each appearance involve a new thing that looks like the previous one? Billy may not be sure. But he has witnessed this thing appearing at different distances in respect to his body. He has been introduced to the concept of location. This concept is not fully developed in his mind. As he experiences more, he will recognize a common pattern: different things can be in different places. And all of these experiences will cause his mind to efficiently model the concept of location.

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