On Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6:04:46 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>
>  On 7/16/2013 2:08 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>  
>
>
> 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, 
> miraculous.
>
> Computation = Mechanemorphic, unintentional, unconscious, anesthetic, 
> amoral, prosaic.
>
> Wouldn't you say that the symmetry is remarkable? 
>
>
> I don't see anything remarkable about you making up a lot of negative 
> assertions about computation for which you don't even have an argument, 
> much less a proof. Nor about you sticking together a bunch of human 
> attributes and tagging the conglomerate "God".  Theologians have been doing 
> that for millenia.
>

You make my point. You see what you want to see Brent. I could show you 
apples and oranges and you would say that I have no proof they are 
different...just a bunch of fruity opinions.
 

>
>  In both cases, there is an originator whose origin is unquestioned. 
>
>
> Sez who?
>

Who says otherwise? It doesn't seem like a controversial point to me. Bruno 
gives Arithmetic Truth as the unquestioned originator. Do you claim 
something less Godlike?
 

>
>  The difference is that the former is like us, only superlative in every 
> qualitative measure, 
>
>
> Like us?  Does God like sex, beer and rock&roll?  Did God eliminate 
> smallpox?  polio?  
>

Depends which God. Dionysus likes those things. My point was not to present 
yet another opportunity for defenders of mechanistic supremacy to beat 
their chest about the near-infallibility of their near-Anti-God, but to 
point out the innocuous observation that mythology generates stories which 
feature super-men and super-women, and that we call those figures "Gods". 
It is my contention that monotheism takes this figurative exaggeration one 
step higher, to the Absolute. A *Capo di tutti capi *through which the 
dreams and sufferings of all kinds of people can be augmented and soothed 
in one fell swoop. This was Bronze Age technology. It revolutionized the 
cultures which adopted it with spectacular success, turning backwater 
pastoralists into fighting, looting, reproducing machines. Religion 
weaponized civilization, and invented the monastic discipline which 
eventually gave birth to our particular flavor of science. So yes - God did 
eliminate smallpox and polio.


>  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 
> improvement).
>
> 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. 
>  
>
> ??
>

Hold up a scientific mirror to science sometime. It's interesting. What 
does it do for you personally? Where does it light up on your fMRI? What is 
its justification by evolutionary psychology?

Craig
 

>
> Brent
>  

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