On 8/6/2011 1:25 PM, John Mikes wrote:
On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
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.
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
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