I agree -- before we can begin to tackle the meaning of consciousness, the 
"self", "self-awareness", "free will" and so on we need to get on firmer ground 
of what we mean by even more fundamental things such as the meaning of "life" 
and of "living". Only when we have a much better understanding of both our own 
DNA life and of the abstract fundamentals of any life -- no matter what 
physical underpinning it is based on.
But it is more fun to race ahead and try to tackle the ineffable :)
-Chris
  

________________________________
 From: Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au>
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 5:19 PM
Subject: Re: Question to Russell
  

On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 05:42:45PM -0400, John Mikes wrote:
> Dear Russell,
> based on my 2-decade long reading of your posts I have a question, if you
> don't mind:
> I guess you are still interested in AL, so "L" is includable.
> What is " L I F E " in your view? 

One of the reasons for studying AL is to get a better handle on what
we mean by "life". Obviously it has something to do with information
processing, emergent phenomena, complex systems and evolution, so all
these topics come under scrutiny.

I don't think it is as quite a hopeless question as what is
consciousness (or even what is pornography!), but it is still a
difficult beast, and one that will take a few generations more of
scientists before there can be some agreement.

> you said: biocomplexity, 


This doesn't sound like me... :( Context?

what raises the
> question in my mind: wat is that "bio" we know so little about, but speak
> so much about? I am all for complexity -  the infinite one beyond our
> 'model' we live in and by, of which we have but precious little information
> beyond that model.
> So do you have a restriction of complexities we should call life?
> (Then we may try to identify how to reproduce such artificially. Maybe a
> lot more difficult than identifying AI without a clear definition of "I").
> 
> John Mikes
> 
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