On Sunday, January 6, 2013 1:24:48 PM UTC-5, John Clark wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 5, 2013 Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com <javascript:>>wrote:
>>  >>Even people who have no sense of humor can deduce that other people do 
>>> have it, 
>> >Would they if only 0.001% of the population had a sense of humor?
> Yes, because unlike psi it would be easily repeatable, if one person who 
> claimed to have a sense of humor laughed and said that was a very good joke 
> it is statistically very likely (although not certain) that another person 
> who also claimed to have a sense of humor would make the same noise, 

Why? Do all people who have a good sense of humor laugh at the same jokes? 

> but the sound of laughter would not be heard when the vast majority who 
> don't even understand what the word "humor" means heard the joke.    
> > Chalmers was just trying to make the point that it is a whole different 
>> order of difficult. The easy problem is quantitatively difficult, but 
>> progress is inevitable with applied effort. The hard problem is 
>> qualitatively difficult, so that not only is progress not inevitable, but 
>> it is not necessarily a realistic possibility.
> And that's what doesn't add up. As you say solving the easy problem is 
> inevitable, and solving it would be of some philosophical interest and earn 
> its discoverer several trillion dollars as a bonus, and yet nobody on this 
> list casually spins theories about how to solve it. In contrast although 
> success is not guaranteed and there would be no financial bonus in solving 
> the hard problem every dilettante has their own theory about it and some, 
> such as yourself, have even claimed to have already solved it. 

Solving the easy problem doesn't necessarily require a theory, just access 
to expensive laboratory equipment, hospitals, political influence, etc. 
It's like the Human Genome Project - the theory is not the problem, it just 
takes a lot of cataloging and correlating requiring huge amounts of time.

> The reason for this is that a hard problem theory doesn't have to actually 
> do anything, but a easy problem theory most certainly does. Any hard 
> problem theory will work just fine, any at all, 

For example?

> but the wrong easy problem theory will send a start-up company into 
> bankruptcy.  So the end result is that being a hard problem theorist is 
> ridiculously easy but being a easy problem theorist is devilishly hard, and 
> that's why armchair philosophers concentrate on the one and not the other. 

Building 100ft sculptures of people's cats out of toothpicks would be 
devilishly hard and profitable too. Why does that matter? I don't 
understand this theme of one-upsmanship. I don't see a contest between the 
easy and hard problem or between computer or human superiority. You 
apparently do though. Everything seems to boil down to some variation of 
'My assumptions are justified because winners win with winning assumptions, 
and winning always wins... and don't forget the winning.'

> > Genius and madness are notoriously close. 
> There is a bit of madness in many geniuses, but most madmen have no trace 
> of genius whatsoever because madness is a much more common phenomenon than 
> genius. Tesla was a genius and a crackpot, but for every Tesla there is a 
> mole of pure unadulterated crackpots.

I think the ratio is less extreme than you might think. Anyone who is crazy 
has access, by definition, to perspectives that the majority do not. Genius 
is the ability to use those sensitivities to some greater understanding, 
and with luck, innovation. Most people in a psych ward are not geniuses, 
but I would guess that particularly among some kinds of mental illness, 
there is a disproportionately high level of intelligence.

>> > If it weren't for crackpots though, we would never likely be tempted to 
>> explore new areas. [...] we cannot afford for a tiny fraction of the 
>> population to deviate from the herd. I say that increasing that number 10 
>> fold could only help.
> Yeah, all the problems of the world come from the fact that there just 
> aren't enough loonies running around.  

Loonies have never been a source of oppression to me. It always been the 
fearful, conformist people who have caused problems in my life.

> > Why doesn't some respectable non-crackpot reproduce Sheldrake's 
>> experiments and prove him wrong?
> They have,

For example?

> but like any card caring member of the crackpot guild being proven wrong 
> has absolutely no effect on  Sheldrake's behavior or that of his fans.

If someone has proved Sheldrake wrong, I would be interested in reading 
about it. 


>   John K Clark

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