Ch1 L8: Supersign, Part 1: Why ending matters

  1. In the last post, while moving towards the thing [1], you smelled something which our body could evaluate it either good or bad [2]. As you get closer to the thing, the smell becomes stronger. Here, the first cognitive analysis takes place: your brain connects the sign of the thing with the sign of the smell [3] and creates a bigger sign which I’d like to call supersign.


  1. How does your brain know if the thing and smell are related? the smell could be emitted from something else. In my opinion, there’s a law that governs how the brain works which I’d like to call “The law of adjacency“: two (or more) adjacent things are related.
  2. Adjacency can be spatial, temporal or conceptual [4]. In this example, we experienced both spatial and temporal adjacency; the thing and smell happen at the same time and same place.
  3. Till now, you haven’t found anything particular which defines the type of the relationship. So far, what you have come up with can be shown by the following diagram.


  1. Now the assessment of the smell (feeling) will be attached to the thing as well so the supersign can grow like a living organism [5].

Thing-smell-good [6]

  1. Then the good feeling makes us more relaxed to even touch it. You find the petals very soft which amplifies the good feeling [7].


  1. In the next step, you touch a thorn which pierces your finger and creates pain and you instinctively and quickly pull back your hand. The pain triggers fear which activates the fight-flight response.
  2. The supersign of the thing should look like the following diagram


  1. It’s still early to analyze the feelings; however, to adopt the best strategy towards the thing, right now, you must have one evaluation: either good or bad. I could say that the latter (or ultimately the final) evaluation overrides the former.  That’s what Daniel Kahneman [8] explains in “Thinking, Fast and Slow” [9] that the ending of an experience can affect the whole. Two groups of people who went to colonoscopy experienced different levels of pain during the procedure which are shown in the following diagram.


    1. Patient A had the normal colonoscopy whereas patient B experienced extra pain in a longer period, but decreasing. Surprisingly, patient A who left the experiment at the peak of the pain evaluated it more painful than patient B.
    2. Therefore, you decide to walk away from the thing [10].

    Exercise 8:

    1. Regarding Paragraph 84 and based on what we have discussed, explain why you should feel aggression after you experience the pain?


    [1] Link to the previous lesson

    [2] some people might not like the smell, or they show some allergic reactions to it which means that its molecular structure isn’t compatible with the body. They start to sneeze which means that they’re expelling the smell from the nose.

    [3] It should be discussed the sign of the thing and the thing since we haven’t reached the level of language. However, to avoid complication, we’d better use the words related to rose and only call the rose the thing.

    [4] we’re gonna discuss this law in detail especially while talking about concepts and causality. However, just to explain what the conceptual adjacency is, I would give you the following example: the concept of a shirt is closer to the concept of cloth rather than the concept of fish.

    [5] I really recommend you to take some time and think about the growth of supersign. Imagine that you couldn’t relate the thing and smell to each other. How could you know the world?

    [6] The good will be attached to the thing as well. That’s what we can call learning. That’s also the kickback of the connection when evaluating one element of a supersign makes us generalize it to all the parts.

    [7] The reason that we find the scent of rose desirable is its evolution. The plants which could justify their existence either by producing fruit or at least perfume could survive.

    [8] [Link]

    [9] We’re gonna refer to this book later. [Link]

    [10] To deal with the thing again, you need more experience which we’ll study later.


  1. Pingback: The 3rd Sigma

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