I greatly appreciate
reaching out to industry for support with your masters
thesis on cognitive overhead. .. My work implements ideas from experts like
reviewed on April 20, 2001.
at Stanford University has written and taught for many
years in the field of AI. A recent meeting with the professor
on December 19, 2001 discussed issues related to cognitive overhead.
Another good source is
who has worked for many years developing leading edge
technology. Doug invented the computer mouse while at SRI in the 1960s; he
did critical work on linking, and
and was a pioneer in starting the Internet. For more than a quarter century,
Engelbart has written widely on
technology for augmenting intelligence. In the year 2000,
Doug received the National Medal of
Technology for his lifetime accomplishments (see report
November 14, 2000).
.. Your thesis on cognitive overhead has potential
meanings in cognitive science,
management science, and computer science.
.. Cognitive overhead arises from the common practice of
analysis, and stands in greater relief using the flexible structure of
Knowledge Space explained in POIMS.
This new structure applied with software technology enables an
intelligence process for constructing alignment with links
that impart causation. Routinely discovering and maintaining experience to
understand cause and effect inherently comprises a body of knowledge that
significantly extends traditional
literacy by integrating
time with information. In
management science, overhead is generally considered research,
planning, and management
that guides deployment of direct labor for efficient production,
see for example
Peter Drucker's work
reviewed on November 30, 1993.
An example from technology is a software engineer who programs a computer;
in construction an architect designs piping, and a plumber installs the piping.
In all cases, people who perform direct labor are managed by a team leader, a
foreman, project manager, VP and CEO, who do not do any programming, nor design
nor installation of piping, i.e., they are "overhead."
.. Similarly, human cognition, i.e., thinking, analysis, intelligence
that converts information into knowledge, mostly occurs on automatic pilot in
the background of the subconscious mind. This cognitive overhead seems
free and unlimited; whereas, the conscious span of attention consumes all of
our time processing sensory perception in deciding moment-to-moment what to say
and do. Limited span of attention makes conscious cognition very precious,
because people can perform only one task at a time, illustrated by the common
pejorative: So-and-so cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.
readily pay for people and tools that aid phone calls, writing letters,
delivering the mail, attending meetings, flying to a conference, etc., that
all aid conscious acts. Equally,
nobody wants to pay for time and tools that help people
perform subconscious tasks of organization,
alignment, summary, and feedback (see POIMS), because
innate "intelligence" that "connects the dots"
for knowledge formation seems
.. Cognitive overhead posits that "free"
intelligence is an illusion that regularly explodes in crises, shown by events
like failure of
on September 11, 2001,
into bankruptcy on February 4, 2002, and loss of the
space shuttle on
February 1, 2003.
If the mind's entire attention is devoted to receiving and sending information,
then there is not enough time for cognitive overhead to construct
connections for accurate understanding of cause and effect. In the vernacular
we say "things slip through the cracks" because information density overwhelms
the intelligence process. When the mind cannot keep up with the
pace of daily activity, people get mixed up, leading to continual
George Miller's seminal paper continues to impart
critical understanding of "recoding" when
cognitive overhead loses track of paraphrasing because alignment breaks
down, reviewed on March 3, 1999.
Professor Thomas K. Landauer's work with LSA explains how
meaning drift occurs in the human mind when alignment breaks down, and
so may relate to your review of "cognitive overhead" in relation to tools and
practices that augment intelligence.
.. More recently
at MIT has observed that meaning drift is a
"feature not a bug" of human cognition, which implies that when people do not
have enough time, or are otherwise unwilling to invest time for, what might
loosely be called, "cognitive overhead," to maintain alignment, the human mind
innately relies on understanding the gist of things by filling in the gaps with
common sense impressions that are often incorrect, leading to loss, conflict,
crisis and calamity. More cognitive overhead is then needed to "debug" working
cognition the way an engineer
a software program, as explained in
.. Good luck with your paper.
Mr. Rod Welch
The Welch Company
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111 2496
Masters Thesis on Cognitive Overhead
Dear Rod Welch,
I am a master student at the Universidade Catolica de Petropolis, in Brazil,
developing my dissertation on the concept of COGNITIVE OVERHEAD.
.. I sent e-mail for Dr. Jeff Coklin speaking my dificult in explain the theme:
COGNITIVE OVERHEAD and wait favourable reply.
I would like to know if you can help me too about this.