Re: [unrev-II] "As We May Think", etc.

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Fri Jul 13 2001 - 13:43:26 PDT

  • Next message: Peter Jones: "Re: [unrev-II] "As We May Think", etc."


    Wow, you overwhelm me with your background and insights. Never expected
    that a hastely scripted comment of mine would lead to all this! But the
    forum is the better for it.

    Let me get to your concluding sentences first, "And if I was augmented,
    what would become of the present relationship between intellect and
    morality? I'm really fired up by these questions."

    It is my understanding that Doug Engelbart's augmenting of the
    Collective IQ is what it says it is: augmenting the collective intellect
    (never mind the original meaning of "I.Q.") But one might expect that by
    the ensuing quickening pace of actions, there is a corresponding
    shortening between instances that individuals face moral dilemmas with
    less time and supporting resources to resolve them (such as during such
    crises as war and surviving ecological catastrophies). Hence it would be
    well to pay attention to values too.

    Recently, I have expressed my feeling to Doug and Bootstrap friends that
    our site should, if we can so manage, change its nature from some sort
    of a house organ, which it presently is, to a public medium. Then we can
    also touch on questions raised during this discussion. In fact. we might
    distill a good amount of facts and insights from the discussion groups
    to serve as foundations for reflections more coherent then a discussion
    forum permits.

    In the meantime, I am pondering how to morph the present site into one I
    dimly envisage. This includes paying attention to the way we handle
    documents, hence my interest in markup languages. It would be a simple
    matter just to run our pages through a program like "Tidy" to ensure
    they are, in the jargon of the afficionados, "well-formed." But I hope
    to gain a better understanding of the subject in order (a) to better
    appreciate many posts contributed to our discussion group" and (b) to
    work as much as possible within the "Engelbart spirit."

    Hope I have not been too cryptic.


    Peter Jones wrote:

    > Henry, Dennis, Thank you both. Very interesting point from Henry: Did
    > Kant consider rationality to be free from culturally imbued mores?If I
    > remember correctly (very hazy, too long ago, book not to-hand), Kant's
    > Groundwork for a Metaphysic of Morals, the text that contains
    > definition of the C.I., had to posit a being of ideal rationality that
    > one should aspire to be like in order to motivate proper use of the
    > C.I. itself. Since we're not ideal we should just try very hard (else
    > God won't like us). Or something like that. Dennis seems to be more on
    > the ball on that front so perhaps he can fill in the gaps more
    > accurately. Just to complicate matters slightly, today I ran across a
    > book:Kant on Freedom, Law and Happiness by Paul Guyer (distinguished
    > Kant scholar, responsible for a series of the best translations
    > going). The back cover blurb states that Guyer is arguing for a new
    > interpretation of Kant's ethics implying that there is much more to
    > Kant's ethics than just the C.I.. Wish I had the time/energy to read
    > that one. Another one I spotted that I don't have time to read
    > was:Metaphor in Context by Joseph Stern (distinguished Univ. of
    > Chicago prof.)Blurb states that Prof. Stern has come up with an
    > interpretation of metaphor that places it within existing semantic
    > frameworks (contra the now apparently traditional view that metaphor
    > didn't really fit in so it couldn't be handled). Here I would refer
    > folks to another page on that site that Bernard Vatant pointed us
    > to: interesting for me were
    > the points about the use of metaphor in international debate as a
    > means of facilitating universal understanding. There was also another
    > book, containing scholarly discussion of professional ethics that
    > looked interesting (but it was wrapped so I couldn't scan it there and
    > then) called "Matters of Breath". All in the philosophy section, so
    > not much handy code in those, I suspect. So, how does one build
    > ethical augmentation into augmenting systems then? Or would that be a
    > bad idea (unethical in itself, even?) ?And also, could there be
    > ethical augmentation that uses metaphor to raise points of ethical
    > controversy to common understanding, moving beyond cultural
    > differences?And if I was augmented, what would become of the present
    > relationship between intellect and morality?I'm really fired up by
    > these questions. cheers,Peter

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