should it be the case that human cogitation is explicable in terms of
algorithms, this would not demean or lessen the wonder of thought and
feeling. on the contrary, the notion that all we are of mind and emotion is
the product of agencies of *this* world suggests to me that the material
world is almost unfathomably rich in possibilities for mapping into mind and
emotion, thought and feeling. and that it is all in front of us to be
explored. if we do not shut down the exploration. if we keep valuing the
open and inquiring mind.
it seems to me that what separates us from the other animals is the richness
of language of which we are capable. other animals are not incapable of
language. it is simply a matter of degree, of richness of language--and,
correspondingly, we are capable of greater logical complexity in our
reasoning and information storage and retrieval.
i have a cat. she is a thinking, feeling, sentient being. she lets me know
what she needs me to know. she walks in front of the monitor when i miss the
point. she knows how to communicate with me. i think she probably has me
quite well-trained, actually.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
[mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of
> Plasma Studii
> Sent: July 29, 2005 10:38 AM
> To: Jim Andrews; firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: re: The Universal Computer
> what a great point!
> apparently, their reasoning is like this:
> 1. for many, staplers (and many other tools at the office) are mysterious!
> 2. mysterious things are scary and should be avoided.
> 3. but our brains can't be scary. they're us.
> 4. therefore, all newtonian physics must be wrong because it
> tries to describe aspects of
> both staplers and brains (which obviously can't be similar
> because one's really scary and the
> other i like).
> 5. thus, staplers can no longer be mysterious, especially if we
> think of them as paper weights
> and ignore the mechanics.
> a puppet show has a director. the only real difference in
> programming is that for strings,
> they use thread, we use quote marks. everything's a tool of some sort.
> wonder if people who think that animals and machines are
> fundamentally different, that
> algorithmic functions are somehow "less" than natural, also
> believe such vocabulary literally
> as "lower" species. it's like thinking "queen" ants have any
> authority over workers?
> there is obviously no objective way to measure complexity or
> success. humans just calibrate
> the criteria to put humans on top. it can equally be said that
> while other species function
> without much language or invention, we rely on it. we could just
> as easily be the weakest,
> form of life. (if we had to swing our fastest from trees all the
> time, we'd think for a split
> second and wind up dead. whereas if monkeys depended on picking
> stocks in order to get
> food, they'd do better than most investment experts.)
> in fact, given the rarity of our enlarged cortexes (the
> consciousness that humans alone are
> saddled with) , as opposed to a ubiquitous yet intricate organ
> like the stomach, one could
> easily draw the conclussion, so much awareness was a big mistake.
> no one need agree. it's simply common sense that the human brain
> is hardly an ideal judge
> of which neurological methods are superior. it's like asking
> george bush who he voted for.