Shalom Dickson

Intellectual history:
My research journey, at least one fitting for a good story, began when as a kid playing with numbers, I discovered a particular numerical sequence. For my first peer-review, I showed it gleefully to my father who, in the spirit of good science, scrutinized it and then noted that it was truly interesting. Soon enough, though, I had my first lesson in intellectual antagonism when, upon asking questions about the stars, I was discouraged for ideological reasons. I went on to pursue other adventures in hypothesis, such as an explanation of the chameleon’s skin color change (an amusingly prescientific argument) and more ambitiously, a later theory of the formation of our solar system. And then just when one should become an established student in materialist thought, I had my first major ‘cognitive shift’: while conscious, an out-of-body, premonitive experience that probably saved my life. I began to think about immaterial reality a lot, and soon developed a socio-dynamic model wherein social groups were analogous to the brain. Not long after, I had the second major ‘cognitive shift,’ this time, less accidental. It was an overwhelming, devastating realization of the illusory nature of time. It seemed like one had accessed a strange perceptive framework that revealed nature’s deceptive clockwork. Some years after I recovered from this psychotic experience, I began to think about systematic approaches to solve socioeconomic problems via entrepreneurship. But a third and lastly mentioned ‘cognitive shift’ was due. I was struck by the concession that human communication is necessarily ambiguous and inaccurate and that the easiest thing to comprehend is incomprehension. Soon enough, this disturbing notion morphed into the appropriately named phenomenon, the Curse of Nonrecognition; a formal perspective on the limitation of intelligibility and communication among cognitive agents.

Research perspective:
My intellectual journey is reflective of a holistic view on knowledge exploration. It is analogous to an agent who finds itself in a room and endeavors to learn as much as possible about it. Eventually, it realizes that the room has certain passages leading to other rooms. Regardless of how much it knew of the primary room, the knowledge of passages and other linked rooms are things about the first room without which its understanding would not be complete. Lacking the privilege of infinite time, the agent takes advantage of the fact that some rooms offer more insight into the nature of the building than others, and so it prefers to explore them. In all, it knows that to seek one is to seek all, and that the ultimate study of anything is the study of everything. My exploration of the rooms in the castle of knowledge has led me to consider everythingness from a cognitive perspective of reality. I investigate areas like cognitive cosmology or “cosmocognition”, socio-dynamics, logic and games, language formation, and social transformation, with ideas relevant to the traditional disciplines of philosophy, psychology, sociology, and economics. A pervading object of study is intelligence. I utilize tools such as logical analysis, visualization, intuitive mathematics, analogizing, “introversation” (Ask Me About This), and often represent my understanding in the form of “conceptual systems” (AMAT). I am enthusiastic about collaboration and open communication.

Learn more at: https://www.quora.com/profile/Shalom-Dickson

Contact Shalom at shalom.dickson@ronininstitute.org