On 8/6/2011 1:25 PM, John Mikes wrote:

On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    On 8/6/2011 8:35 AM, John Mikes wrote:


        let me barge in with one fundamental - not dispersing my reply
        into those (many and long) details:

        As I read your comments/replies (and I agree with your
        position within the limits I want to expose here), I have the
        feeling that you agree with the rest of the combatants in
        considering 'the brain', our idea about 'intelligence' and
        'consciousness' as complete and total. I argue that it is not.
        Upon historic reminiscence all such inventory about these (and
        many more) concepts has been growing by addition and by
        phasing out imaginary 'content'   as we 'learn', - an ongoing
        process that does not seem to have reached the ultimate

        So you are right in considering whatever we new yesterday (my
        substitution for today) but not including what we may know
        tomorrow. Drawing conclusions upon incomplete inventory  does
        not seem acceptable.

        John Mikes

    If we wait until we know everything, we'll never draw any
    conclusion; which is OK for science.  But for engineering we need
    to make decisions.


Brent: this is fine, we just should not mix up engineering with science: "My" science is the agnostic decision that we CANNOT know everything and feel comfortably in it. Also in my past engineering I made decisions but never pretended them to be scientific results.
Thanks for the remark


That's why I sometimes return to my engineering viewpoint. It is easy to speculate that some overarching "everything" construct includes us and our world as an infinitesimal part. That may satisfy some religious need for "explanation"; but it doesn't help answer any engineering questions - such as "How do I make an intelligent Mars Rover? And if I do will it be conscious? And if it is will it be ethical to send it to Mars?"


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