On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > An abacus is a computer. Left to it's own devices it's just a rectangle > of wood and bamboo or whatever.
That is true so although it certainly needs to be huge we can't just make our very very big abacuses even bigger and expect them to be intelligent, its not just a hardware problem of wiring together more microchips, we must teach (program) the abacus to learn on its own. That is a very difficult task but enormous progress has been made in the last few years; as I said before, in 1998 nobody knew how to program even the largest 30 million dollar super abacus in the world to perform acts of intelligence that today can be done by that $399 iPhone abacus in your pocket. I admit that it could turn out that humans just aren't smart enough to know how to teach a computer to be as smart or smarter than they are, but that doesn't mean it won't happen because humans have help, computers themselves. In a sense that's already true, a computer program needs to be in zeros and ones but nobody could write the Siri program that way, but we have computer assemblers and compilers to do that so we can write in a much higher level language than zeros and ones. So at a fundamental level no human being could write a computer program like Siri and nobody knows how it works. But programs like that get written nevertheless. And as computers get better the tools for writing programs get better and intelligent programs even more complex than Siri will get written with even less human understanding of their operation. The process builds on itself and thus accelerates. > > people in a vegetative state do sometimes have an inner life despite > their behavior. In the course of our conversations you have made declarative statements like the above dozens if not hundreds of times but you never seriously ask yourself "HOW DO I KNOW THIS?". > > we certainly don't owe a trashcan lid any such benefit of the doubt. Why "certainly", why are you so certain? I know why I am but I can't figure out why you are. Like you I also think the idea that a plastic trashcan can have a inner life is ridiculous but unlike you I can give a clear logical reason WHY I think it's ridiculous: a trash can does not behave intelligently. > Like a computer, it is manufactured out of materials selected > specifically for their stable, uniform, inanimate properties. Just exactly like human beings that are manufactured out of stable, uniform, inanimate materials like amino acids. > I understand what you mean though, and yes, our perception of something's > behavior is a primary tool to how we think of it, but not the only one. > More important is the influence of conventional wisdom in a given society > or group. At one time the conventional wisdom in society was that black people didn't have much of a inner life, certainly nothing like that of white people, so they could own and do whatever they wanted to people of a darker hue without guilt. Do you really expect Mr. Joe Blow and his conventional wisdom can teach us anything about the future of computers? John K Clark -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.