On Friday, January 11, 2013 12:27:54 AM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
> On 1/10/2013 9:20 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> On Thursday, January 10, 2013 7:33:06 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
>> On 1/10/2013 4:23 PM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>> Do you think there can be something that is intelligent but not complex
>>> (and use whatever definitions of "intelligent" and "complex" you want).
>> A thermostat is much less complex than a human brain but intelligent
>> under my definition.
>> But much less intelligent. So in effect you think there is a degree of
>> intelligence in everything, just like you believe there's a degree of
>> consciousness in everything. And the degree of intelligence correlates
>> with the degree of complexity ...but you don't think the same about
> I was thinking today that a decent way of defining intelligence is just
> 'The ability to know "what's going on"'.
> This makes it clear that intelligence refers to the degree of
> sophistication of awareness, not just complexity of function or structure.
> This is why a computer which has complex function and structure has no
> authentic intelligence and has no idea 'what's going on'. Intelligence
> however has everything to do with sensitivity, integration, and
> mobilization of awareness as an asset, i.e. to be directed for personal
> gain or shared enjoyment, progress, etc. Knowing what's going on implicitly
> means caring what goes on, which also supervenes on biological quality
> investment in experience.
> Which is why I think an intelligent machine must be one that acts in its
> environment. Simply 'being aware' or 'knowing' are meaningless without the
> ability and motives to act on them.
Sense and motive are inseparable ontologically, although they can be
interleaved by level. A plant for instance has no need to act on the world
to the same degree as an organism which can move its location, but the
cells that make up the plant act to grow and direct it toward light, extend
roots to water and nutrients, etc. Ontologically however, there is no way
to really have awareness which matters without some participatory
opportunity or potential for that opportunity.
The problem with a machine (any machine) is that at the level which is it a
machine, it has no way to participate. By definition a machine does
whatever it is designed to do. Anything that we use as a machine has to be
made of something which we can predict and control reliably, so that its
sensory-motive capacities are very limited by definition. Its range of
'what's going on' has to be very narrow. The internet, for instance, passes
a tremendous number of events through electronic circuits, but the content
of all of it is entirely lost on it. We use the internet to increase our
sense and inform our motives, but its sense and motive does not increase at
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at