Wizard of Odds (feat. Aaron Nazrul)

from by Baba Brinkman

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Overview:
The brain uses Bayesian models to determine what’s out there in the world, and what’s happening inside the body. Since there is no light in the brain, and no sound, all perception and all of the contents of our conscious experiences of the world are mediated by the brain’s “best guesses” as to what produced the signals it receives. In other words, perception is a “controlled hallucination” and yes, we all live in the Matrix.

lyrics

Lyrics

Anil Seth:
Imagine being a brain
You’re locked inside a bony skull
Trying to figure what’s out there in the world
There’s no light inside the skull
There’s no sound either
All you’ve got to go on are
Streams of electrical impulses
Which are only indirectly related
To things in the world
Whatever they may be

While you’re dancin’, I’ll be calculating
Chances in your thoughts
Here to guide you
From inside you…

Look around and see faces, places
You really think you’re takin' in this information
From the outside? No, it’s generated
From within, a controlled hallucination
Cascades comin’ from the top down
Interpreting ambiguity all around
The brain doesn’t “see sights” or “hear sounds”
It takes in signals that it’s gotta figure out
“Bam Bam Bam” go the axons firing
Action potentials comin’ up the wiring
What is it? A friend or a predator hiding?
Threats to survival are so exciting
Make a prediction, compare it to the signal
Calculate the difference, what’s the residual?
Let that info update your best guesses
In a cascade of predictive processes

You see colours, I see numbers
You hear music, I hear code
You see lovers under covers
I’m in darkness on my own
While you’re dancin’, I’ll be calculating
Chances in your thoughts
Here to guide you from inside you
I’m the Wizard of Odds

“Bam Bam Bam” go the axon signals
And somehow the brain converts those to visuals?
Even fast asleep with eyes closed
When there’s no feedback from the outside world

To revise the code, to give it relevance
Interpreting all the predictable elements
In the images, the brain does it superbly
Only novel information is newsworthy
And it’s not just perception only
It’s action and cognition, predictive coding
Has to figure out whether a signal’s phoney
So take steps, get your fingers probing
Take what you can from points of contact
The Bayesian Brain makes bets on dog tracks
Or wolf tracks, or whatever's up next
That’s relevant to survival prospects
Or reproduction, let’s not forget
The brain calculates the odds of hot sex
Every few minutes, or seconds, or less
Depending on the present context…

You see colours, I see numbers
You hear music, I hear code
You see lovers under covers
I’m in darkness on my own
While you’re dancin’, I’ll be calculating
Chances in your thoughts
Here to guide you from inside you
I’m the Wizard of Odds

Expectations of expectations
Governing internal bodily sensations
Maintaining a sense of homeostasis
As the brain sits in a lonely oasis
Just an organ, a tool that’s evolved
To do a job, to compute the odds
Of the causes of its own moods and thoughts
And the contours of what a body moves across
Even emotions are just predictions
Of internal and external influences
I get pissed off! And that’s just my senses
Signalling a preference for something different
That’s how my ancestors got selected
Okay stop, cool off, pay attention
To my sense of self and… god damn
I predict myself therefore I am!

You see colours, I see numbers
You hear music, I hear code
You see lovers under covers
I’m in darkness on my own
While you’re dancin’, I’ll be calculating
Chances in your thoughts
Here to guide you from inside you
I’m the Wizard of Odds

Deepak Chopra:
Just tell me: how does electrochemistry
Produce a thought, an idea
And you get the million dollars
I will live up to this
But it has to be a valid scientific explanation
For the biological basis of an idea
One thought, any thought…
One thought, one million dollars

credits

from The Rap Guide to Consciousness, released October 13, 2017
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana, S. Kindall, A. Ross)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall
Guitar by John Ellis

Further reading:
www.ted.com/talks/anil_seth_how_your_brain_hallucinates_your_conscious_reality
www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/~karl/Whatever%20next.pdf

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Baba Brinkman New York, New York

Canadian hip-hop with an intellectual bent, nothing but sexy beats and sumptuous brain food.

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