How much I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of academic persuits.
That Strategy and Cognitive Science were two very robust interests.
That I wanted to be an Intelligence Engineer when I grew up.
The study began with some broad reading along a couple of lines of interest which turned out to be Cognitive Science, Game Theory and Strategy. Cognitive Science seeks to understand the nature of the human mind and includes the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Anthropology, Psychology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Education. Game Theory studies decisions that are made in an environment where rational, intelligent players interact. Strategy is the art of winning real world competitions with superior intelligence, insight, positioning, deception and speed.
There was a deliberate objective to innovate in each of these areas based on insights from current scientific knowlege. The interest in Cognitive Science was keenly focussed on applications in Artificial Intelligence. The study of Game Theory related to crafting intelligent rules for human groups that reduced the need for policing, judicial and punishment systems. The fascination with Strategy came from the satisfaction of applying a limited resource in an intelligent way to achieve a disproportionate outcome.
As the studies progressed, the impressive developments in Artificial Intelligence and Game theory appeared increasingly limited and rigid in the face of the daunting complexity in Cognitive Science and the dynamics of Strategy. Studies of the brain revealed ever more evolved, integrated detail at every level. There became apparent a profound interdependence between the role of DNA and that of the environment in the development and functioning of a brain. It became inconcievable that Artificial intelligence might be developed with traditional design techniques. However, new techniques, drawn from the evolutionary processes that developed brains, might be harnessed to "grow" rather than design Artificial Intelligence. This approach initiated a new area of study into Self Organising Systems. The field of Self Organising Systems investigates systems which become increasingly more complex when left to themselves.
The study continued along these lines for nearly two years.