On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 6:24 PM, Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com>wrote:

> > I say quite clearly that and I repeat -- I am not interested in nor do
> I much care whether humans are superior or inferior to computers. Take me
> at my word when I say I don’t really care one way or the other, that this
> horse race is uninteresting to me.
I'm sorry Chris, I can't take your word for it because I don't think any
rational being would advance a argument in favor of human superiority
as incredibly
weak as "All measurable processes – including information processing --
happen over and require for their operations some physical
substrate"unless they'd already decided what they'd prefer to believe.

 > How incredibly pompous of you. Do you go popping into other people’s
> heads deciding what they believe a lot?

Not as often as I'd like, I wish I had the ability to detect deception all
the time but I'm not that good at it, however sometimes its obvious.

>  >>There is one thing that brains and cuckoo clocks and roulette wheels
>> and the Tianhe-2 Supercomputer all have in common, things inside them
>> happen for a reason or things inside them do not happen for a reason.
> > Ahhhh yes back once again to your idée fixe. And how exactly does that
> help you understand the brain, the CPU or anything at all? This obsession
> of yours – it seems like one to me, for you keep returning over and over
> again to re-stating it. You believe things either happen for a reason or
> they don’t; though you cannot prove it.
Let me get this straight you are skeptical that X is Y or X is not Y and
demand proof. Have I really got that straight??

> > Care to elucidate what is so darn original and profound about the
> tautology you endlessly come back to?
Up to now every tautology has had one great virtue, they are all true; but
apparently you think that for the first time in human history you have
found a tautology that is false. Have I really got that straight??

> continually re-iterating your tautology. The switch is either on or it is
> off… you say. Everything either happens for a reason or it does not…. Or so
> you say. I don’t know that this is in fact so.

So you really don't know if that is in fact so. Have I really got that

> >>The point that free will is a idea so bad it's not even wrong.
> > And you of course are free to believe that if you must…. though I find
> it a self-imposed impoverishment of the soul

So you think that if you have free will then you don't do things for a
reason and so are not deterministic and you don't do things for no reason
and so are not random. Have I really got that straight??

>  > If we are machines then we are surely fantastically complex and highly
>> dynamic ones.
> >>Yes, and so are computers.
> Sure, but, even now still orders of magnitude less so than us.
Sure, but computers are gaining on us at the rate of about one order of
magnitude every 7 years, and there is  no end in sight.

> You cannot really state that you understand a system, without actually
> understanding the system.

That is a tautology and thus obviously true, but you don't have to
understand something to make use of it; we still don't fully understand how
aspirin works but it has been curing headaches for well over a century.

> > It is false to suggest that one can understand human intelligence or
> consciousness, for example, without understanding how it emerges within us
More tautologies, that is to say more true statements, but understanding
doesn't enter into it. I don't have to understand Hungarian to copy a
Hungarian poem.

> it is quite clear that you have no idea what I am talking about. On this
> we very much agree.


  John K Clark

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