On Tuesday, July 16, 2013 4:44:20 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>  On 7/16/2013 1:38 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> On Tuesday, July 16, 2013 4:18:09 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote: 
>>  On 7/16/2013 12:37 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>> On Monday, July 15, 2013 6:32:28 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote: 
>>>  On 7/15/2013 2:30 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>>> Would this kind of universality of human sense-making be likely if the 
>>> connections between words, shapes, and feelings were purely computational?
>>> Why not?  Being a broken line vs a differentiable line is a computable 
>>> property.  The difference between "k" sounds and "b" sounds is computable.  
>>> So I'm not sure what you're getting at.  Or are you asking how "k" came to 
>>> be associated with "broken line" or how the written letter "k" was 
>>> associated with the phonetic sound of "k"?  
>> I'm saying that a computer which is programmed to differentiate between 
>> the phonemes of 'ki-ki' and 'bou-ba' would have zero chance of associating 
>> either of them with the curvy figure or the pointy figure without some 
>> arbitrary link being provided programmatically. This suggests that there 
>> exists within human experience purely aesthetic, elemental associations 
>> which are synthetic a priori rather than arrived at mechanically. A 
>> computer can't tell that there is anything inherently curvy about the sound 
>> of bouba, but a person can.
>> Sez you.  I think you're just suffering from a failure of imagination.
> You say failure of imagination, I say success avoiding the pathetic 
> fallacy.
> And success in stroking your ego that wants humans to be special.

Humans are special to humans. Something that cannot be said of machines.

Consider this. If I were to try to invent the polar opposite of God, what 
would it be?

God = Anthropomorphic, intentional, conscious, aesthetic, moralizing, 

Computation = Mechanemorphic, unintentional, unconscious, anesthetic, 
amoral, prosaic.

Wouldn't you say that the symmetry is remarkable? In both cases, there is 
an originator whose origin is unquestioned. The difference is that the 
former is like us, only superlative in every qualitative measure, while the 
latter is like inanimate objects, utterly devoid of all qualitative 
measure. What is it that God super-signifies and computation de-signifies? 

Like you, I see that anthropomorphism is a psychological defense mechanism, 
but unlike you I see that the simple reaction against it is not necessarily 
the antidote (like throwing liquid nitrogen on a burn is not an 

The Anti-god of Mechanism substitutes the opposite kind of vanity - the 
arrogance of false humility. To witness all things as a pure vessel of 
skeptical clarity, capable of self-compensating for all flawed perceptions 
and cognitive bias. Self-importance merely pivots to self-insignficance as 
the ego then identifies with the objectifier of the self rather than the 
self directly. It's a psychological compensation strategy, one which I 
think would bear out neuroscientifically. 


> Brent

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