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For first-time visitors

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The title of this website, "On the origin of Mind" (abbr. Otoom) comes from the 2-volume book of the same name. It is a reference, and indeed a tribute, to Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species". Otoom expands on Darwin's research. To summarise the basis: evolution is the result of a selection process that enables the survivors from a set of challenges to pass on their genes; those which do not leave the gene pool. The Otoom perspective goes further. A current gene pool not only shows the survivors, it also contains those that developed features which were not challenged. Focusing on the latter, the question arises as to what causes a certain change to take place to begin with, to what degree it is or can be mitigated, and how does the character of that change produce further consequences. The starting point of these considerations was the human mind, but the applicability of the model extends beyond.

The Otoom model derives from an objective assessment of what reality presents and how it presents itself to us, the human observers. Firstly concerned with the system of mind, it identifies Life as a pattern-seeking, self-regulating system which evolves through the realisation of affinity relationships driven by stable, periodic, or strange attractors. Since such a system is a complex and dynamic one, it follows the rules of nonlinearity. Nature is nonlinear.

Being part of that larger framework, the role of an observer's mind is crucial. A productive analysis involves the dialectic process of perception with the aim of understanding what reality presents. Our understanding grows step by step through the application of logic and reason. To substitute a lack of knowledge with ideological presumptions leads to failure.

Because the Otoom model provides the broader perspective due to its nonlinear approach, not only can the behavioural subtext be analysed, the observer will be aware such manifestations exist in the first place. For example, as any good negotiator would know, what is openly on display does not tell the whole story during some interaction.

For examples, confirmations and references see below.

Where to start?

The site has over 160 pages, but essentially there are two directions one can follow - the technical, computer-related path, or one within the context of social science. Here are the main points.

To understand nonlinearity in general see A guide to an enigma. It also contains links to some of the items mentioned below.

A comprehensive introduction to the model in technical terms would be the paper How the mind works: the principle dynamics in the bio- and non-bio version". It explains the concept behind the computer program OtoomCM (written for DOS, relevant at the time), why and how it works, and what it means in terms of the cognitive dynamics forming the system of mind.

Next comes the program OMo, a version of the OtoomCM moving a point in 3D space from one point to another, using the same principles of attractor-based affinity relationships.

A step up from OMo is OWorm, an adaptation of OtoomCM driving a flexible object, an artificial worm, to find its 'food'. This program shows how it is possible to address the building of a humanoid robot.

The 64-bit version for Windows with the AI engine using video and audio as well as more elaborate graphics is OCTAM.

An interactive program demonstrating the effects of nonlinear behaviour is CauseF.

Going in the other direction one could start with On the origin of Mind (see the Books page). It explains the general approach taken, and how this leads to an analysis of large-scale cognitive structures found in human behaviour at the level of society and onwards to culture. Synopsis is a brief keyword summary chapter by chapter.

How the model can be expressed in terms of the fundamental rule sets governing society can be found in The 10 axioms of Society.

Applying Otoom gives some idea how the model can be used to analyse human behaviour at the scale of demographics.

An example how the model can be applied to society at large is The social Europe, dealing with the European Union as a higher-level system.

On a larger scale still are the events surrounding the Iraq war and events in the Middle East overall. See The Report of the Iraq Inquiry and links to further articles there under References.

Compacting the rule sets to a functional basis for a nation leads to the Basic Charter, a type of constitution underpinning the needs and endeavours of people within a society.

The page Parallels contains samples of events in society and science confirming the validity of the model since the completion of "On the origin of Mind" in August 2003. Each entry is accompanied by a short description explaining its relevance to Otoom.

The page Further developments contains suggestions about what could be done with further research into a more fully developed program as well as more complex manifestations of cognitive dynamics in society.

A collection of questions and their answers explaining certain aspects of the Otoom model is on the FAQs page.

The opposition gives a hint of what kind of concerns can be raised once the implications of Otoom's approach are understood. To some extent these are also raised under FAQs.

The papers, program executables, and test results are available under Downloads.

In the end the sequence is up to the user. All these steps are interchangeable, but they are all based on the model. In other words, there is nothing that cannot be justified under a formal perspective.

On the other hand, you can read the underlying work itself. See here for details.

© Martin Wurzinger - see Terms of Use