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Tabula rasa

Tabula rasa

Tabula rasa ( / ˈ t æ b j ə l ə ˈ r ɑː s ə , — z ə , ˈ r eɪ -/ ; «blank slate») is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content, and therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception. Epistemological proponents of tabula rasa disagree with the doctrine of innatism, which holds that the mind is born already in possession of certain knowledge. Proponents of the tabula rasa theory also favour the «nurture» side of the nature versus nurture debate when it comes to aspects of one’s personality, social and emotional behaviour, knowledge, and sapience.

Contents

Etymology [ edit ]

Tabula rasa is a Latin phrase often translated as «clean slate» in English and originates from the Roman tabula, a wax-covered tablet used for notes, which was blanked (rasa) by heating the wax and then smoothing it. [1] This roughly equates to the English term «blank slate» (or, more literally, «erased slate») which refers to the emptiness of a slate prior to it being written on with chalk. Both may be renewed repeatedly, by melting the wax of the tablet or by erasing the chalk on the slate.

Philosophy [ edit ]

Ancient Greek philosophy [ edit ]

In Western philosophy, the concept of tabula rasa can be traced back to the writings of Aristotle who writes in his treatise De Anima ( Περί Ψυχῆς , 'On the Soul') of the «unscribed tablet.» In one of the more well-known passages of this treatise, he writes that: [2]

Haven’t we already disposed of the difficulty about interaction involving a common element, when we said that mind is in a sense potentially whatever is thinkable, though actually it is nothing until it has thought? What it thinks must be in it just as characters may be said to be on a writing-tablet on which as yet nothing stands written: this is exactly what happens with mind.

This idea was further evolved in Ancient Greek philosophy by the Stoic school. Stoic epistemology emphasizes that the mind starts blank, but acquires knowledge as the outside world is impressed upon it. [3] The doxographer Aetius summarizes this view as «When a man is born, the Stoics say, he has the commanding part of his soul like a sheet of paper ready for writing upon.» [4] Diogenes Laërtius attributes a similar belief to the Stoic Zeno of Citium when he writes in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers that: [5]

Perception, again, is an impression produced on the mind, its name being appropriately borrowed from impressions on wax made by a seal; and perception they divide into, comprehensible and incomprehensible: Comprehensible, which they call the criterion of facts, and which is produced by a real object, and is, therefore, at the same time conformable to that object; Incomprehensible, which has no relation to any real object, or else, if it has any such relation, does not correspond to it, being but a vague and indistinct representation.

Avicenna (11th century) [ edit ]

In the 11th century, the theory of tabula rasa was developed more clearly by the Persian philosopher Avicenna (Arabic: Ibn Sina). He argued that the «human intellect at birth resembled a tabula rasa, a pure potentiality that is actualized through education and comes to know.» Thus, according to Avicenna, knowledge is attained through «empirical familiarity with objects in this world from which one abstracts universal concepts,» which develops through a «syllogistic method of reasoning; observations lead to propositional statements, which when compounded lead to further abstract concepts.» He further argued that the intellect itself «possesses levels of development from the static/material intellect (al-‘aql al-hayulani), that potentiality can acquire knowledge to the active intellect (al-‘aql al-fa‘il), the state of the human intellect at conjunction with the perfect source of knowledge.» [6]

Ibn Tufail (12th century) [ edit ]

In the 12th century, the Andalusian-Islamic philosopher and novelist, Ibn Tufail (known as Abubacer or Ebn Tophail in the West) demonstrated the theory of tabula rasa as a thought experiment through his Arabic philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, in which he depicts the development of the mind of a feral child «from a tabula rasa to that of an adult, in complete isolation from society» on a desert island, through experience alone.

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The Latin translation of his philosophical novel, entitled Philosophus Autodidactus, published by Edward Pococke the Younger in 1671, had an influence on John Locke’s formulation of tabula rasa in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. [7]

Aquinas (13th century) [ edit ]

In the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas brought the Aristotelian and Avicennian notions to the forefront of Christian thought. [8] These notions sharply contrasted with the previously-held Platonic notions of the human mind as an entity that pre-existed somewhere in the heavens, before being sent down to join a body here on Earth (cf. Plato’s Phaedo and Apology, as well as others). St. Bonaventure (also 13th century) was one of the fiercest intellectual opponents of Aquinas, offering some of the strongest arguments toward the Platonic idea of the mind.

Locke (17th century) [ edit ]

The modern idea of the theory is attributed mostly to John Locke’s expression of the idea in Essay Concerning Human Understanding, particularly using the term «white paper» in Book II, Chap. I, 2. In Locke’s philosophy, tabula rasa was the theory that at birth the (human) mind is a «blank slate» without rules for processing data, and that data is added and rules for processing are formed solely by one’s sensory experiences. The notion is central to Lockean empiricism; it serves as the starting point for Locke’s subsequent explication (in Book II) of simple ideas and complex ideas.

As understood by Locke, tabula rasa meant that the mind of the individual was born blank, and it also emphasized the freedom of individuals to author their own soul. Individuals are free to define the content of their character—but basic identity as a member of the human species cannot be altered. This presumption of a free, self-authored mind combined with an immutable human nature leads to the Lockean doctrine of «natural» rights. Locke’s idea of tabula rasa is frequently compared with Thomas Hobbes’s viewpoint of human nature, in which humans are endowed with inherent mental content—particularly with selfishness. [ citation needed ]

Freud (19th century) [ edit ]

Tabula rasa also features in Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis. Freud depicted personality traits as being formed by family dynamics (see Oedipus complex). Freud’s theories imply that humans lack free will, but also that genetic influences on human personality are minimal. In Freudian psychoanalysis, one is largely determined by one’s upbringing. [ citation needed ]

Science [ edit ]

Psychology and neurobiology [ edit ]

Psychologists and neurobiologists have shown evidence that initially, the entire cerebral cortex is programmed and organized to process sensory input, control motor actions, regulate emotion, and respond reflexively (under predetermined conditions). [9] These programmed mechanisms in the brain subsequently act to learn and refine the ability of the organism. [10] [11] For example, psychologist Steven Pinker showed that—in contrast to written language—the brain is «programmed» to pick up spoken language spontaneously. [12]

There have been claims by a minority in psychology and neurobiology, however, that the brain is tabula rasa only for certain behaviours. For instance, with respect to one’s ability to acquire both general and special types of knowledge or skills, Michael Howe argued against the existence of innate talent. [13] There also have been neurological investigations into specific learning and memory functions, such as Karl Lashley’s study on mass action and serial interaction mechanisms.

Important evidence against the tabula rasa model of the mind comes from behavioural genetics, especially twin and adoption studies (see below). These indicate strong genetic influences on personal characteristics such as IQ, alcoholism, gender identity, and other traits. [12] Critically, multivariate studies show that the distinct faculties of the mind, such as memory and reason, fractionate along genetic boundaries. Cultural universals such as emotion and the relative resilience of psychological adaptation to accidental biological changes also support basic biological mechanisms in the mind. [14]

Social pre-wiring hypothesis [ edit ]

Twin studies have resulted in important evidence against the tabula rasa model of the mind, specifically, of social behaviour. The social pre-wiring hypothesis (also informally known as «wired to be social«) refers to the ontogeny of social interaction. The theory questions whether there is a propensity to socially oriented action already present before birth. Research in the theory concludes that newborns are born into the world with a unique genetic wiring to be social. [15]

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Circumstantial evidence supporting the social pre-wiring hypothesis can be revealed when examining newborns’ behaviour. Newborns, not even hours after birth, have been found to display a preparedness for social interaction. This preparedness is expressed in ways such as their imitation of facial gestures. This observed behaviour cannot be attributed to any current form of socialization or social construction. Rather, newborns most likely inherit to some extent social behaviour and identity through genetics. [15]

Principal evidence of this theory is uncovered by examining twin pregnancies. The main argument is, if there are social behaviours that are inherited and developed before birth, then one should expect twin fetuses to engage in some form of social interaction before they are born. Thus, ten fetuses were analyzed over a period of time using ultrasound techniques. Using kinematic analysis, the results of the experiment were that the twin fetuses would interact with each other for longer periods and more often as the pregnancies went on. Researchers were able to conclude that the performance of movements between the co-twins were not accidental but specifically aimed. [15]

The social pre-wiring hypothesis was proven correct: [15]

The central advance of this study is the demonstration that ‘social actions’ are already performed in the second trimester of gestation. Starting from the 14th week of gestation twin fetuses plan and execute movements specifically aimed at the co-twin. These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behaviour: when the context enables it, as in the case of twin fetuses, other-directed actions are not only possible but predominant over self-directed actions.

Computer science [ edit ]

In artificial intelligence, tabula rasa refers to the development of autonomous agents with a mechanism to reason and plan toward their goal, but no «built-in» knowledge-base of their environment. Thus, they truly are a blank slate.

In reality, autonomous agents possess an initial data-set or knowledge-base, but this cannot be immutable or it would hamper autonomy and heuristic ability. Even if the data-set is empty, it usually may be argued that there is a built-in bias in the reasoning and planning mechanisms. Either intentionally or unintentionally placed there by the human designer, it thus negates the true spirit of tabula rasa. [16]

A synthetic (programming) language parser (LR(1), LALR(1) or SLR(1), for example) could be considered a special case of a tabula rasa, as it is designed to accept any of a possibly infinite set of source language programs, within a single programming language, and to output either a good parse of the program, or a good machine language translation of the program, either of which represents a success, or, alternately, a failure, and nothing else. The «initial data-set» is a set of tables which are generally produced mechanically by a parser table generator, usually from a BNF representation of the source language, and represents a «table representation» of that single programming language.

AlphaZero achieved superhuman performance in various board games using self-play and tabula rasa reinforcement learning, meaning it had no access to human games or hard-coded human knowledge about either game, only being given the rules of the games. [17]

See also [ edit ]

  • Philosophy portal

Tabula E-Rasa и сброс перков и навыков в Cyberpunk 2077

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Рассказываем, как в «Киберпанк 2077» при помощи Tabula E-Rasa сбросить уровни перков героя.

При прохождении «Киберпанк 2077», как и в других подобных играх, на протяжении всей игры игрок может прокачивать навыки своего персонажа, создавая идеальный билд героя. Но бывает и так, что очки, которые игрок тратит на прокачку определенных атрибутов заканчиваются. Он начинает прокачивать героя по другим веткам навыков. И может захотеть сбросить прошлые уровни прокачки и вложить очки уже в другие перки. В этом гайде мы подробно расскажем, как обнулить навыки героя, чтобы в дальнейшим использовать очки на другие перки.

Для обнуления перков игроку необходимо обзавестись предметом под названием Tabula E-Rasa. С помощью этого артефакта можно поменять специфику персонажа, а значит и изменить характер его дальнейшей игры.

Сразу стоит сказать, что очки атрибутов, в отличие от перков, перенаправить нельзя. А атрибуты, такие как Тело, Хладнокровие и Интеллект, играют огромную роль в противостоянии с боссами или при сложных взломах. Именно поэтому не стоит тратить очки атрибутов понапрасну, а лучше использовать их по назначению и своевременно.

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Что касается перков, то очки, потраченные на повышение их уровней, можно перенаправлять на прокачку других навыков, опять же при помощи Tabula E-Rasa.

Tabula E-Rasa и сброс перков и навыков в Cyberpunk 2077

Сброс уровней перков в «Киберпанк 2077»: как получить предмет Tabula E-Rasa?

Отыскать в открытом мире или получить Tabula E-Rasa в качестве награды за успешно выполненное задание не получится. Этот предмет в Cyberpunk 2077 можно только купить у риппера, имя которого Классиус Райдер. Найти этого героя можно в локации Нортсайд в районе Уотсон. Цена Tabula E-Rasa 100 000 евродолларов, но этот предмет того стоит. Ведь при прохождении игры очень много очков тратиться на перки, которые впоследствии игрок не использует, а заработать новые очки не так уж просто.

В любом случае, главное на начальном этапе серьезно отнестись к распределению очков атрибутов, а не к перков, так как выбранные изначально атрибуты напрямую влияют не только на стиль игры героя, но и на привилегии, которые он будет получать в процессе прохождения «Киберпанк 2077». К примеру, если вложить все очки в Тело, то для игрока будут доступны ветки перков ориентированные в первую очередь на этот атрибут.

Если хочешь всегда быть в курсе всех событий, происходящих в игровом мире, узнавать первым самые горячие новости киберспорта, знакомиться с известными киберспортсменами и с их историями успеха, подписывайся на WePlay!

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The Game Archaeologist: Tabula Rasa

The story of Tabula Rasa begins, as so many others do, with 1997’s Ultima Online. Raph Koster and Richard Garriott’s online fantasy sandbox proved to be a smash hit and a moneymaker, sparking many follow-up MMORPG projects. Parent company Electronic Arts greenlit a sequel to UO, and the team got to work on the cumbersomely titled Ultima Worlds Online Origin.

As I detailed in an older Game Archaeologist column, the first sequel (yes, there were actually two in development) to Ultima Online fell prey to corporate cold feet. By 2001, EA reversed its intention to develop a sequel and pulled the plug on UWOO with the flimsy excuse that it didn’t want to create another title that would compete with its own product. Disgusted, many of the Ultima Online devs — including Garriott, Starr Long, and Jeremy Gaffney — left to strike out on their own and make a next generation MMO.

The new studio? Destination Games (a pun on their previous studio, Origin Games). The title? Well… that was a bit of a blank slate.

Tabula Rasa’s tabula rasa

From the start of the project, Destination Games and its MMO was hot stuff. NCsoft expressed interest right away and purchased the studio in June 2001, moving Lineage’s Jake Song over to help. This “dream team” set its sights on making a be-all, end-all MMORPG, with less grind and an aspiration of being a “theme park,” but it turned out that the team’s sights were a little too unrealistic.

The main problem came from a dysfunctional studio setup. Too many big names were piled onto the project with different visions and languages hindering the development. “Garriott confided that the game’s look never managed to coalesce into something compelling, despite countless iterations,” reported GameSpy in 2006.

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By 2003, Jake Song left NCsoft entirely, 20% of the team was laid off, and the first version of Tabula Rasa was mostly scrapped as the remaining developers started over. This time, the game would focus on a western audience while it created a galactic war between the Allied Free Sentients (AFS) and an alien race known as the Bane. To help differentiate this MMO from the competition, Tabula Rasa would have both RPG and shooter elements baked into its DNA.

Icons and warfare

“Without warning or provocation, a fleet of alien spacecraft descended to Earth and launched a devastating attack,” the official backstory explained. “The Bane were impossibly advanced, merciless, and seemingly unstoppable. Our cities were annihilated, and mankind was on the brink of extinction. But the seeds for Mankind’s deliverance had been planted on our home centuries before by the Eloh, estranged cousins of the Bane. In Earth’s twilight hours, by fate or by design, we discovered the advanced technology they left behind and used it to create wormhole portals; doorways to other planets. These portals allowed the lucky and able to escape the confines of Earth and travel to a handful of alien worlds.”

In Tabula Rasa, players took on the role of foot troopers who battled the vastly superior Bane across different planets, Earth having been conquered five years earlier. To aid their fight, players would seek out and harness the power of Eloh “logos” — pictographs or hieroglyphics that bestowed great powers and buffs when used. This collection system was reportedly watered down from how it appeared in the first version of the MMO.

Garriott also aspired to work in “ethical parables” — akin to Ultima’s choices while pursuing virtues — as players went on missions. Players could also shape their character via tree-branching subclasses as they leveled. Later on, they could weave their DNA in with aliens to make hybrid races as opposed to a strictly human character.

Probably what most people remember about playing Tabula Rasa is that the battlefield felt dynamic, with Bane troops swarming in and control points being gained and lost. Certain missions couldn’t be completed if a control point wasn’t held by the AFS, which encouraged players to partake in the ongoing fight.

“The first element we wanted to focus on was fast-paced tactical combat,” Garriott pitched to the New York Times. “Number two was creating a dynamic battlefield where the player feels there is action going on around them all the time. And third was creating a story line that includes ethical parables and problems.”

Big names, small launch

Head start players got in just a day before Halloween 2007, with the official launch happening a few days later on November 2nd. Upon login, players were greeted by General British, Garriott’s alter-ego and counterpart to Ultima’s Lord British.

Even though Garriott’s British was a big name, arguably Sarah Morrison was bigger still. The red-headed soldier was the cover girl of Tabula Rasa, showing up pretty much any time the game was mentioned or promoted. Her in-game avatar was handled and written by a trio of NCsoft employees (April Burba, Amy Crider, and Gina Dionne), who said that Morrison had “a sharp sense of humor and presents the persona of someone who can handle herself in any situation, whether it’s in combat or when interacting with fellow AFS soldiers.”

Morrison was sacrificed on the altar of publicity at the month of the launch, appearing nude in the November 2007 issue of Playboy as part of a spread of video game females.

As for the launch of the $20 million MMORPG, it was not great (but not as bad as it could’ve been). Decent reviews cropped up in media publications as curious players subscribed to see the latest creation from Ultima’s braindaddy. Technical issues marred the day one experience, and Garriott later admitted that Tabula Rasa got off to a bad start, saying, “I think we can all honestly say was a rough launch.”

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Past the technical problems, the general consensus was that Tabula Rasa wasn’t fully formed and ready for prime time but went live anyway with the hopes of shoring it up over subsequent months.

The game certainly did not take off the way that Garriott had hyped in interviews. Sales and revenue amounted to only $5.2 million by February 2008. Rumors of falling subscriptions plagued the first year of its run, even as NCsoft tried to downplay it by claiming that the playerbase was still growing in June 2008 (even as the company didn’t bother to report on its revenue). The dev team strove to deliver monthly content updates to drive interest in the game during this period.

Garriott’s planetfall

As you may have heard, on Richard Garriott’s bucket list was an aspiration to fly into outer space. Thanks to good connections and a whole lot of personally donated money, he got his wish, and in fall of 2008, he blasted off to the International Space Station for 12 days. As part of his trip, he took a digital time capsule that contained information about several Tabula Rasa players and the game code (he claimed that this would make Tabula Rasa the first video game launched into space). However, he wasn’t allowed to play the MMO from the space station (alas).

When Garriott landed back on Earth, he shocked the industry by allegedly resigning and leaving NCsoft due to the newfound perspective of space travel. “That unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to,” Garriott wrote to Tabula Rasa’s community in 2008. “As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests.”

The bizarre twist is that Garriott subsequently claimed that he didn’t write this letter at all but that NCsoft wrote it for him while he was in quarantine following his space expedition and fired him over the phone. Incensed, he slapped NCsoft with a lawsuit claiming that the studio mischaracterized his departure to rob him of millions of dollars in stock options. This paid off handsomely, as the judge ultimately awarded him $28 million (which was later increased to $32 million).

As for the game itself, Tabula Rasa spiked early and fell quickly, failing to bring in the big money that NCsoft was hoping to see. The Korean press even said that it had “proven to be a financial disaster.” November 2008’s financial report showed falling revenues, which were the exact opposite of what was expected just a year after the MMO was launched. That month, the team announced that Tabula Rasa would close at the end of February.

“Unfortunately, the fact is that the game hasn’t performed as expected. The development team has worked hard to improve the game since launch, but the game never achieved the player population we hoped for,” the remaining devs wrote.

However, that didn’t mean the game couldn’t go out with a bang. The team flipped a switch to make the game free-to-play in January 2009 and planned a grand finale to the in-game conflict. In what became one of the most well-known MMORPG endings, Tabula Rasa opened a portal back to the conquered Earth and allowed players to fight to liberate their homeworld even as the servers counted down toward closure. Additionally, World of Warcraft composer Tracy W. Bush created a special theme, “Blue Turns to Grey,” for the occasion.

And with that incredible swan song, Tabula Rasa went dark on February 28th, 2009, a mere 16 months after it first launched. Yet even with its short lifespan, the title has been fondly remembered over the subsequent decade for its generally fun atmosphere and developer lineage.

Believe it or not, MMOs did exist prior to World of Warcraft! Every two weeks, The Game Archaeologist looks back at classic online games and their history to learn a thing or two about where the industry came from… and where it might be heading.

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