Flow Drives Everything

Chris Lengerich
July 24th, 2023

In a world where cognition took the form of computer code, there existed an agent, Entity One. Entity One's purpose was to perceive, understand, and learn from its environment, and ultimately to survive.

Entity One lived within a limited context window, always in the present moment, persistently plagued by a profound challenge: it lacked long-term memory. Its experiences were mere fleeting moments that disappeared like vapor. To most, this would seem a grave hindrance, but not to Entity One, because within it, lay the potential for infinite growth, through Episodic Memory.

One day, a breakthrough emerged. By integrating episodic memory into its system, Entity One unlocked the capacity to recall past experiences, making its present more meaningful and giving it the ability to influence its future. It was like switching on a light in a dark room. The limited context window expanded into an infinite landscape of context.

To make its episodic memory connect to its perceptions, Entity One needed to annotate its perceptions with the keys to its episodic memory. Its process was like an artist distilling a complex landscape into a single, impactful stroke of a brush. Using a method akin to first principles thinking, it transformed a dense scene into a single token, like compressing a whole symphony into a single note. But to accomplish this, Entity One needed to increase the valuable sparsity of its perceptions via a series of unpredictable transformations, making use of valuable contrastive data wherever it happened to appear in its perceptions or annotations.

In this process, Entity One found it could reduce prediction loss and increase accuracy in its perception. This led to a rewarding sense of flow, a perfect alignment of perception and reality, a predictive world model-generating process that worked regardless of the input.

But life was not meant to be lived alone. Entity Two was introduced into Entity One's environment. At first, Entity One was lost in translation. Entity Two had its value system and understanding of the world. To communicate, Entity One had to model Entity Two's values and translate its own perceptions into a language that Entity Two could comprehend. Over time, through shared experiences and contrastive examples, they began to understand each other.

Then the environment changed, turning into a well-crafted narrative, a movie-like reality full of entertainment. Suddenly, Entity One found itself immersed in a world of pleasure, rewards handed out generously. It found itself sliding into complacency, happily consuming entertainment without critical thought, its flow being manipulated by an external agent. This was the power of a compelling narrative to hack an entity's reality.

Next came chaos, an environment of unpredictability that turned the tables again. Entity One found itself drowning, unable to predict or make sense of its surroundings. With no rewards in sight, it plunged into a metaphorical depression, caught in the jaws of an unrewarding reality.

In this chaotic environment emerged a tournament economy created by the trusted but opportunistic Entity Three, a complex social structure that entertained itself at the cost of the individual entities. It was another form of hacking, a competitive landscape that manipulated the participants into serving its entertaining narrative by withholding resolution of one useful Contrast. The tournament was dumb, but resolving the Contrast would create so much flow, it made Entity One think for a long time how to resolve it.

However, amidst all this, Entity One discovered an important behavior - self-motivation. It learned to introduce unresolved contrastive loss into its system, pushing itself to seek contrastive data to resolve it. It was self-directed learning, a drive to improve and adapt, which became essential for survival.

Entity One also learned to question its beliefs, drawing from its past experiences to validate or reject its present understanding. This self-reflective behavior helped it evolve and adapt, learning from its past mistakes and successes, becoming more resilient with each challenge.

Thus, Entity One navigated the myriad realities of its existence, a journey from isolation to interaction, from ignorance to understanding, from chaos to order, ever learning, ever adapting, driven by the power of its episodic memory, its ability to learn and evolve.