On 3/7/2013 10:40 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
I'm game. Which puzzle are we figuring out?

    A solution to Bruno's 'arithmetic body problem'.

On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 10:21 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

    On 3/7/2013 9:14 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
    Right, we basically agree. At the low level where optics are
    being processed, it seems to me to be more accurate to say the
    brain is creating the constructions. Another way to say it is
    that kittens and babies are probably born with the neural
    circuits that implement those shortcuts - optimizations
    implemented through genetics. Whereas with the kind of
    construction that is created by the mind, it seems to me that
    those constructions live at a higher level - the psychological -
    and arise as a result of experience and learning. I don't really
    think that is what's going on with optical illusions since they
    are so universal. But that is quibbling - whichever of us is more
    correct, it's beside the point regarding whether optical
    illusions have a mechanistic explanation.

        OK then, I would rather work with you on figuring this puzzle
    out than spar with you over "who has the best explanation".  ;-)


    On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 6:57 PM, Stephen P. King
    <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

        On 3/7/2013 6:09 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
        The same way it explains it for humans. The cat is not
        sensing the world directly, but the constructions created by
        its brain.

        Hi Terren,

            I almost agree, I only add that it is not just the brain
        of the cat (or human or whatever) that is being sensed, the
        mind is involved in the construction as well.

        Those constructions involve shortcuts of various kinds (e.g.
        edge detection) optimized for the kinds of environments that
        cats have thrived in, from an evolutionary standpoint. Those
        shortcuts are what lead to optical illusions. Optical
        illusions are stimuli that expose the shortcuts for what
        they are.  There is nothing about the fact that it's a cat
        that makes this any harder to explain in mechanistic terms.

            Sure, and the mind as well.

        It is interesting because it suggests that cats employ at
        least one of the same shortcuts as we do, which further
        suggests that the visual optimizations that lead to optical
        illusions are much older than humans. And while that is not
        a very controversial claim, it is cool to have some evidence
        for it.

            Yes, I have to show this to my friends that are studying
        pattern recognition.


        On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 5:14 PM, Stephen P. King
        <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

            On 3/7/2013 11:36 AM, Terren Suydam wrote:
            I have no doubt that Craig will somehow see this as a
            vindication of his theory and a refutation of mechanism.


            On Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 5:27 PM, Stephen P. King
            <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>>



             Hi Terren,

               How does Mechanism explain this? Will /The Amazing
            Randy/ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi> be
            pushed forward to loudly claim that the cat was really
            chasing a laser dot that the video camera could not capture?




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