On Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 6:55 PM, Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com>wrote:

>>Bullshit. Axioms don't need proof, and the most fundamental axiom in all
>> of logic is that X is Y or X is not Y.  Everything else is built on top of
>> that.  And only somebody who was absolutely desperate to prove the
>> innate superiority of humans over computers would try to deny it.
> You seem confused... the brain is not an axiom...

But the fact that X is Y OR X is not Y sure as hell IS A AXIOM, and so is
"a event happens for a reason OR a event does not happen for a reason". And
first you tell me that the above is a tautology that is so obvious that I'm
foolish for repeating it so often, but now you're insisting that it isn't
true. So Chris, who is really confused around here?

> Why you cling so tenaciously to this need for definitive causality chains
> (or else it must be complete randomness) is amusing

I'm glad it brought some light to your otherwise drab existence, in fact
because you find it so amusing and the fact that X is Y or X is not Y is so
ubiquitous from now on you should find yourself in a constant state of

> it [the brain] is one of the most complex systems we know about in the
> observed universe.

Yes, and that is all the more reason to use reductionism if you want to
study it. If you had to understand everything about it before you could
understand anything about the brain (or anything else for that matter) you
would remain in a constant state of complete ignorance about not just the
brain but everything.

> > You cannot show definitive causality for most of what goes on in most of
> the universe.

You just figured that out? Physicists have been telling us that some things
happen for no reason (are random) for nearly a century.

> You can hypothesize a causal relationship perhaps, but you cannot prove
> one for all manner of phenomenon arising out of chaotic systems. The brain
> is a noisy chaotic system and you are attempting to impose your Newtonian
> order on it.

If you're a fan of chaos computers are perfectly capable of producing it,
in fact the very first computer program I ever wrote used chaos to produce
the Mandelbrot set, a object of quite literally infinite complexity,
although of course there was a limit to how much magnification my little
computer could produce.

> Your approach does not map well onto the problem domain. And what you say
> has no predictive value; it does not help unravel how the brain works... or
> how the mind arises within it.

That approach produced Watson! No doubt you will counter by saying that
Watson has nothing to do with mind, and that is exactly why I don't believe
you when you claim to be emotionally neutral and are judging the
human-computer superiority issue strictly on the merits of the case.

>> I never claimed we would someday understand how to make an AI more
>> intelligent than ourselves, I only said that someday such an AI would get
>> made.

> And how are you sure it has not already been achieved.

Because computers don't rule the world. Yet.

> What I said about needing to understand that which you are studying in
> order to be able to really be able to manipulate, extend, emulate, simulate
> etc. is not only true  -- as you admit

I don't admit that at all! it is sufficient but not necessary.

> With no understanding of the symbol stream you have no knowledge of what
> to do with the symbol stream passing across your view

And that is why even now we often don't understand what machines are doing
or why; we let them keep on doing it however because whatever mysterious
thing they're doing we figure it's probably important and don't dare stop

> >  This applies to understanding the brain as well.. it is and will remain
> a mystery until we go in and figure out its fine grained workings.

It is entirely possible that we will never understand the fine grained
workings of the brain, but that won't matter because the computers will
understand it.

 John K Clark

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