February 11, 2024 — What does it mean to say a person believes X, where X is a series of words?
This means that the person's brain has a neural weight wiring that not only can generate the phrase X and synonyms of X, but the wiring is strong enough to guide their actions. Those actions might include not only motor actions, but internal trainings of other neural wirings.
However, just because a person is said to believe X, does not mean their actions will always adhere to the policy of X. That is because of brain pilot switching. The probability that any neural wiring will always be active and in control is always less than 1.
The strength of a belief is how often that neural wiring is active and guiding behavior and also a function of the number of other possible brain pilots in the population.
It seems brains can get into states where the threshold for a belief to become a brain pilot decreases, and lots of beliefs get a chance at piloting a brain during a period of rapid brain pilot switching.
For a belief to exist means it had to outcompete other potential beliefs for survival in a resource constrained environment and provide a positive benefit to its host. If a host had the ability to simply erase beliefs instantly, it seems like too many beneficial beliefs would disappear prematurely. So beliefs are hard to erase from a person's neural wirings. However, people could add a new neural wiring NotX, that represents the belief that X is not true. They can then reinforce this new neural wiring, and eventually change the probability so that they are far more likely to have the NotX wiring active versus the X wiring.