Marijus Grigola; Vaidotas Matutis; Lithuania; 2015


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Original article in Lithuanian:


Key words: thinking, information, Plato, numbers, perception, algorithm, task, technology, human, needs, matter.



  • To offer a method of analysis of the process of thinking that would allow to analyzing the human thinking by means of information processes occurring in the information system of a human.
  • Based on the assumption that a person is a naturally formed information system, analyze the nature of information involved in the process of human thinking, the reasons that influence the mentioned information processes and the sequence of such processes.
  • To summarize the necessary conditions of the existence of the information systems, i. e. to identify conditions, without which no single information system would function.

In his times, Plato expressed an idea that by numbers one can describe the whole World around us. He was right, because everything that exists – exists by means of interaction, stations and processes. There should probably be no objections that all of these expressions can be described in numbers. Numbers themselves do not have any meaning. They acquire meaning only when they help to convey information. If everything that exists can be described by numbers and numbers help to convey information that means that it can be relatively argued that everything that exists is information.

Our perception operates regardless of whether we express everything in numbers or not. The expression of environmental characteristics in numbers facilitates and expedites our possibilities of both perception and conveyance of information. Numbers help us to recode the encoded by the matter information and information processes into a form perceived by the human information system.

As it has already been mentioned in the previous articles, a human is a naturally formed information system. [6]

The main assignment of the information system is to solve a task. This applies to both natural information systems and human-made information technologies (IT). In order to solve a task there are two conditions necessary: first of all, there must exist a task (assignment) itself, as well as data, by means of which the following task is solved (see Figure 1). These terms are applicable to all information systems.


Figure 1. Information system.


The task (or an assignment) of the human information system is one’s needs. Needs are the reason for the movement, actions, and behaviour of a human. Psychology analyzes the needs in detail. A person could not exist without needs, because one of the necessary terms of the information system would not be satisfied. Without needs there would be no task of the information system. While without the task, information system becomes meaningless. Data in the human information system is the information obtained from the environment.

We observe the solutions of tasks of the human information system in one’s movements that form actions, the totality of which, we call human behaviour.

What is the difference between live and lifeless information systems? The main difference is who forms and where the tasks of the information system are formed. The tasks of the live information systems are formed in the information system, while those of the lifeless – on the outside. Live information system forms its tasks by itself. Lifeless information system does not form its tasks; they are formed by something else that does not belong to the following information system.

The tasks of the human information system are formed in the human himself and are called needs.

Lifeless information systems, such as computer programmes for example, do not formulate tasks for themselves. A programmer or a user decides on the functions computer programmes must perform. That is why human-made information systems are only tools. From the moment a human realized that a stick can be useful for him as a tool, he improved it in such a way that it became a computer. No matter how complicated the human-made information systems might be, they still remain only an “improved stick”. Human-developed technologies will remain only tools and would not move to a higher qualitative level until the development of such information technologies that would be able to create tasks and solve them by themselves.

Live information system is comprised of two main parts. One of them, by interacting with the environment, forms tasks. The other, by receiving data from the environment, solves these tasks.

A basic example is associated with the physiological needs of a human. For example, when a part of the information system that forms tasks does not receive energy from the environment, it report shortage of energy. A person absorbs energy through food. Therefore, a task is being formed that a person in order to survive must obtain the required energy (food).

The determining part of the information system solves the received task by using data received from the environment. Data from the environment is received with the help of sensory receptors. The following data contains information about the current position of a person, whether there is food near by, what the environmental conditions that might serve for the solution of the mentioned task are, and so on. Having assessed all of the above, it is decided on the ways and actions to be performed in order to obtain the necessary energy.

This is followed by actions and the fixation of feedback. Let’s call the process, which reduces the need a feedback. If after performing actions the feedback gives a signal that the task was solved correctly, this solution is inscribed as being correct and appropriate to use.

Let’s see how the process of task solving occurs in the algorithm of the human information system [7]. The solving of a task brought by needs largely occurs in the part of an algorithm that is called the zone of thinking.

Let’s slightly detail the zone of thinking and in generalization observe the information processes that are taking place here, the information that participates in these processes, and the stages of such occurrence.

The functioning of the zone of thinking of the human algorithm, depicted in figure 2, is proposed for discussion.


Figure 2. The principle of functioning of the zone of thinking of a human algorithm.


We see that there are three types of information activated during the process of thinking:

  1. Need. A task that is perceived as a need. That is the reason why processes are taking place in the information system.
  2. Primary environmental conditions. Information about the environment is obtained with the help of sensory receptors. Such information is used as data while solving the mentioned task.
  3. Experience. Memory accumulated during the previous actions of meeting the needs. Information that we have called experience is all information obtained. In other words, experience is all information contained in a human, which has not come with genes. All human memory belongs to experience.

The zone of thinking that has received the command to act, firstly assesses the environment, as well as the situation that is currently in a relation with the environment.

Let’s return to the example when an assignment that the body requires energy is received. A human feels that he is hungry. Firstly, he assess where he is at the moment: either at work, at home, or maybe on a trip, etc.

Experience is also activated during this stage. Having assessed the situation one is in, according to one’s experience a person knows whether he would be able to eat right away or needs to wait until the lunch break, whether he can afford to go to a cafeteria, and the like.

Having assessed all this, information system decides on the further actions. The mentioned solution, as we can see in the scheme, is recorded into memory as expected actions or ways of behaviour.

When there is a lack of data for the established task solving, a decision is made to perform actions, the feedback effect of which, is the obtaining of the missing required information, i. e. if a person does not know something – he asks, observes others, looks for written signs or looks for other ways to obtain the necessary information. For example, what time it is, where the nearest café is, how to get there, or the like. The newly obtained information also goes to memory (experience).

The modelled solution of the task waits for the command to act. This corresponds to the human state when, for example, one waits for the lunch break to go to have lunch to a planned café.

If everything goes as planned, the decision is thought to be usable. If not – the process of the task solving continues until a satisfactory solution will be found, or is postponed as it is provided for in the general algorithm.

According to the provided fragment of the zone of thinking of an algorithm (figure 2), we can see that experience changes during the process of task solving, while the performed actions influence the environment, which as a result also changes. Feedback is obtained during the change of influence of the environment. If the feedback is as it was planned during the task solving, a confirmation that a task was correctly solved is being recorded.


Summary. When in need, in accordance with experience as well as having assessed the situation, a person decided what to do. The arising solution complements the experience with a hypothetical decision that requires verification. Such replenishment of experience with an expected decision is called an idea.

A human is determined to act. Influenced by human activity, the environment changes. This might be starting from the occurrence of air vibration while speaking to the reorganization of the surrounding environment.

While acting, a person observes the change of environment: checks whether the environment changes as it was planned. In the case if the environment changes not as it was intended to – the primary version of solution is being corrected. New corrections of solution and implementation are triggered by in accordance with inconsistencies. Such corrections also complement the experience. The following corrections are implemented in view of the changes of experience.

The described process normally takes place until a satisfactory result is reached. If it is impossible to reach a satisfactory result – the human algorithm provides a postponement of the implementation of a solution.

Upon completion of the solution, final results and environmental changes are being assessed. Experience is complemented by such assessments.

The next operating cycle of the zone of thinking is being activated in accordance with the general algorithm of a human information system [7].


Conclusion. Necessary conditions for the existence of information systems have been identified. The identification of the following conditions serve for the analysis of complex naturally formed information systems. In the particular case the process of thinking of the human information system has been analysed. In this work, the necessary conditions of the process of thinking have been distinguished and the sequence of the process modelled. This allows to better get to know a person, as well as make a new insight into the totality of the processes taking place there.


Looking back to Plato. In fact the term “idea” is similar to the one Plato used 2500 years ago.

Authors, who cite Plato in their article “Where is our mind?” [8], by the way not only in that article, but also more widely, draw our attention to these nuances. To make it easier to image and understand, it is worth discussing the simple example of modern technical achievements: a video reproduction recorded in nature on the monitor screen. In modern terms, Plato said that scenes of nature is an IDEAL; its reproduction on a computer monitor – an IDEA that seeks an ideal; by creating an on-screen image the signal passes the levels of macro- and micro-commands, what in Plato terms, still remain coherent ideas that comprise an IDEA. Finally, a machine code is stored in the computer media, a set of zeros and units that reproduce an image. Without modern terms, Plato called them EIDOS. Today, by comparing the image on the analogical screen with the one on the HD or a 3D screen, we can already clearly see that the IDEA is much closer to the IDEAL. While the image materialized with the help of a three-dimensional printer, provides us with a possibility to confirm Plato’s thought that any IDEAL can be divided into EIDOS and restored by collecting them. This could help us to better understand the information systems and information processes.




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  8. , «Откуда наш разум?».