Tom Caylor wrote:
> Brent Meeker wrote:
> > Bruno Marchal wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi Stathis,
> > >
> > >
> > >> What you haven't really addressed in this post is the PR implications
> > >> if you use the
> > >> word "theology" prominently in your writing. You will alienate many
> > >> scientists and
> > >> academic philosophers even though this may be due to prejudice or
> > >> misunderstanding,
> > >> and you will alienate what extra audience may be attracted by that
> > >> word when they
> > >> realise that you are talking about machine consciousness and... maths
> > >> and stuff. I
> > >> know that the temptation for an intellectual (if you don't mind the
> > >> term) is to let the
> > >> ideas stand unadorned and be judged purely on their merit, but
> > >> sometimes even in
> > >> academia the better marketed ideas can push other, perhaps more worthy
> > >> ones aside.
> > >
> > >
> > > You may be right, but I am not convinced. I don't know how to explain
> > > to you why I am not convinced. I guess it is partly related to more
> > > personal-academical stuff ...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Are you sure the problem is the word "theology"? Or should I drop the
> > > whole "Plotinus" ...
> > >
> > >
> > > Scientist of the type "capable of being alienated by words" have been
> > > already alienated by expression like "consciousness", "mind",
> > > "teleportation", etc. Even just the term "quantum" or "Godel" is enough
> > > to alienate some mathematicians (even logician!) in some circle.
> > >
> > >
> > > The current and provisory title of the paper which should present my
> > > work is
> > >
> > > "A purely arithmetical, yet empirically testable, interpretation of
> > > Plotinus' theory of Matter".
> > >
> > > But I am not yet decided, and ... what do you think?  I know I could
> > > write something like "the consequence of computationalism" ...., or
> > > "Does comp entails a reversal ...".
> > > Anyway, thanks for your comments.
> > >
> > > Bruno
> >
> > In a way my advice would be almost the opposite of Stathis'es.  If you're 
> > selling a book, getting religion into the title is a good move.  I think 
> > you're misusing "theology" by holding to an archaic meaning - but if you 
> > call your book, "Theology of the Machine" or "Cyber Theology" it will help 
> > it sell and you can immediately establish that you are using "theology" in 
> > an unconventional, tongue-in-cheek sense.
> >
> > Brent Meeker
> I was going to give my two cents when I was so rudely interrupted by
> more immediate reality: work.
> My opinion on the marketing aspect (as a mathematician and engineer,
> laugh here; then stop laughing and go to next statement;), would agree
> with Brent's, something like "Machine Theology" would be an
> eye-catching first book that introduces people to the mind-bending
> ideas, sort of like Penrose's Emperor's New Mind, I know that's not a
> good example.  But then there's the follow-up larger book (like
> Penrose's Road To Reality) that is intended to help with the actual
> integration of the new concepts into the existing body of knowledge, or
> the morphing of existing knowledge into the new paradigm (even though I
> still don't believe that your paradigm and mine are ultimately
> compatible, but you never know for sure ;)... ).  You should expect
> some major collisions between yours and existing paradigms, including
> finding out that major parts of your arguments, or all, are wrong, just
> as Penrose has, and having to backpeddle or totally modify, or start
> from square one with the kernel of truth that remains after the
> collisions.  But in the end, you will have added to the advance of
> knowledge, just as I believe Penrose has in spite of his mistakes.  I
> envision that somewhere down the line somebody might write a book that
> takes the kernel of truth from your collisions and goes to the next
> step.  That's sort of what Penrose said he hopes happens with his Road
> to Reality.  This won't be it, but an example might be something like,
> "New Theory of Everything Proposes A Totally New Way Of Looking At The
> Whole Quantum Mechanics Vs. General Relativity Landscape".  Of course
> that would be in the context of how your paradigm effects the problems
> physicists are trying to solve.  But then there would be another book
> about "New Theory Of Everything Proposes A Totally New Way Of Looking
> At The Mind-Body Problem"... for the philosophers etc. It just seems
> that this whole process is just too big to try to get our minds around
> at one point in history.  Of course I'm hoping for something like "New
> Theory Of Everything Finds A Meta-Correspondence (Called The
> Marchal-Caylor Correspondence) Between Logic And Logos"  (a la Galois
> Correspondence).  (you can laugh here without stopping...)
> Tom

Addendum: Regarding a term to use instead of "theology", I bet that the
epistemological/methodological context doesn't yet exist for a new
word, and that the word for it will be invented in the future.  But I
do think that words are important as labels for things, but you have to
put the thing out there first in my view.  I headed-up a retreat for
men in November and called it an Advance (as opposed to Retreat), to
reflect my belief that theology has to be more than just a weekend
thing, but a total paradigm for living all week.  However, people
expressed that they liked the word "Retreat" better, because they
viewed the weekend as an escape from their everyday lives in order to
concentrate on what the basis of it all should be.  I suppose there is
something to be said for how the human body works and the Sabbath
concept.  But as somewhat of an idealist, I strive to make everything
whole, integrate beliefs and works, and live in integrity (same root as
integer).  So I understand that tension between idealism and real life
limitations, whether it be simple finiteness or even evil.  But I get
my comfort in the thought that the ideal is a real Person who reached
across infinity and darkness to love me.


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