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emotions rationalised as mathematics

tell it like it is
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

We all know how mixed our emotions can become. A feeling of tenderness for somebody can all too easily turn out to be on obfuscation of self pity, for example. And even that might not be clear cut.

What if we knew *exactly* what our emotions were?

This is a rather expansive question - but what I am getting at here is a mode of classifying emotion based on quantifiable brain activity.

words take on new meanings as soon as they leave the mouth - definitions are always a matter of interpretation.

With emotions classified as numbers or symbols, equations could be constructed to describe certain feelings. Literally, "I feel x".

Perhaps this is essentialism in its most insoluble form, but imagine living in a society where emotions are not primary or secondary to logic, but actually become part of logic! That is to say, rather than letting them "get in the way", dealing with them becomes a matter of literally "working it out".

I'm not saying this would be a good thing. At this point the man/machine discussion becomes quite relevant. Rather than machine becoming man, man becomes machine. Why don't we just communicate, think, feel and sense entirely in a series of mathematical sequences?

But I think that is a step too far. Keeping this within the sphere of emotion, an interesting application of "emotimatics", if you will, would be the ability to accurately construct maps, graphs, polygons, eventually images and art, by keeping a record of your feelings. Perhaps even a device could monitor them, day in, day out (scary).

Then, clear descriptions of compound emotions could be formed. Such as, "I'm feeling rather rhomboidical today" or "I have a gaussian wave packet for Lily".

and so on.

I'm way over my head on this one, but maybe there is at least a small foundation here??

Percy_Bollard, Sep 22 2010

What Is It Like To Be A Bat? What Is It Like To Be You? http://blogs.discov...r+Mind+%26+Brain%29
[Dub, Sep 22 2010]

Alsø wik http://gizmodo.com/...Ffull+%28Gizmodo%29
[Dub, Sep 22 2010]

Math-modified language Math-modified_20Language
sortof brain-addled idea I had and couldn't explain very well. [RayfordSteele, Sep 23 2010]

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       More than a small foundation - mathematics can account for anything you like (if you work hard enough at it) - that's what mathematics does.   

       Whether clear descriptions will emerge that are readily accessible by the lay-person is less likely - funnily enough we already have a high-level mathematic model covering the behaviour (and to some extent, motivation) of people in large groups, called economics.
zen_tom, Sep 22 2010

       {Posibly related} [Linky] {coming soon... when/if I find it again}
Dub, Sep 22 2010

       'To what end?' would be my question on this. If I'm feeling rage than I'd rather beat you to a pulp than explain my feelings in mathematical terms. On the other hand, if I was feeling sad then I'd rather beat you to a pulp than explain my feelings in mathematical terms. The same goes for love, happiness, depression...well, all of the emotions really. Actions speak louder than formulae!
DrBob, Sep 22 2010

       There was a brief discussion at a very recent HalfCon about the idea that unpublished ideas echo about the world - I wonder if this is one of them.
Oh and, found it
Dub, Sep 22 2010

       [DrBob] beats his loved one to a pulp rather than discuss it?
po, Sep 22 2010

       [DrBob] Presumably, if you can quantify it you can communicate it / replicate/record/disseminate (without ambiguity) it/manage it/alter and replace it
OK, scared now
Dub, Sep 22 2010

       Isn't this an attempt to justify your odd behaviour towards others, as caused by Asperger's?
infidel, Sep 22 2010

       [Dub] nice link   

       whether you wish to sublimate your feelings as throwing a fist in somebody's face is a different matter.
Percy_Bollard, Sep 22 2010

       Do you often feel this way toward others, [Percy]?
infidel, Sep 22 2010

       ... and are you frangible?
po, Sep 22 2010

Percy_Bollard, Sep 22 2010

       I've sort of baked this one. See link from my profile page, if interested.   

       So... it's not actually unpublished.
pertinax, Sep 22 2010

       That link to the question "What is it Like to Be A Bat?" tripped the switch for me. Thomas Nagel wrote an essay/story with this title in a collection of such writings called "The Mind's I." I'm sure some here have read it.   

       <sidenote/recommendation(NFI)> Read Douglas Hofstadter's "I Am A Strange Loop."</sn/rcmnd(NFI)>   

       The purpose of this idea--to mathematically quantify and describe emotions (feelings)--is to enable us to communicate them more accurately to each other, is that right?   

       The idea would provide more concrete criterion for internal comparisons amongst our fellow humans, e.g, more empathy, sympathy, gratitude...whatever. Am I on the right track?   

       It would be hard to criticize such an idea for its intentions--to better understand each other. If it made for better mutual comprehension between even two people, it's worth my bun. [+]
Boomershine, Sep 22 2010

       I seem to remember hearing about a system to describe emotions, which was created for autistic people.
However I don't think it was mathematical - you couldn't divide through by envy, for example.
Loris, Sep 22 2010

       In order to figure out women, we simply solve for X? wife's emotional state <= 1/2 * erf((x) * e^(SQRT(- i* Pi*mu))*Cos(31.7 * Sinh (mu /x)))
RayfordSteele, Sep 23 2010

       [RayfordSteele] Are you sure? There're not nearly enough complex numbers in that thing.
[Boomershine] - There's another similar {linky} too
OT/ Oh and, did you know there's a rather nice flash game and associated catchy/ear-worm tune out there in Internet-land with a similar name to you {Boomshine}?
Dub, Sep 23 2010

       + if you have irrational numbers, why not try to quantify emotions?
Zimmy, Sep 23 2010

       //I don't think it was mathematical - you couldn't divide through by envy// That just means that it's not arithmetical, not that it's not mathematical
pertinax, Sep 23 2010

       //[DrBob] beats his loved one to a pulp rather than discuss it?//

po, all my emotions eventually degenerate into the cycle of frustration/ annoyance/ anger/ rage/ homicidal violence. I'm a simple soul really.
DrBob, Sep 23 2010

       //I'm feeling rather rhomboidical today//   

       You could repackage this idea as robot emoticons.
ldischler, Sep 23 2010

       The artist in me loves the idea! I would love to do a portrait of my complex love interest, as portrayed by her mathematical inner core!
Eejit, Sep 23 2010

       The artist in you = 4.44 Pi^3(cos x + ß), right?
Boomershine, Sep 23 2010

       b4 i sqrt(u) rU/16?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 26 2010

infidel, Sep 26 2010

       //b4 i sqrt(u) rU/16?//   

       Oh, also b4 i sqrt(u)(rU>>35)?
Boomershine, Sep 27 2010


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