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

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 03:33:03 PDT

  • Next message: Henry van Eyken: "Re: [unrev-II] "As We May Think", etc."

    With my grandchildren went to see the movie "Artificial Intelligence" last
    night. A worthwhile right-brain complement to this thread with some unexpected
    and, by hindsight, so obvious turns. Treat yourselves to food for thought quite
    tastefully served. Plenty there for philosophers of many stripes, including
    Kurzweil afficionados, to digest and maybe even worth a second visit.

    For further reading (browsing), if your library has it: concluding chapter of
    Philip Johnson-Laird's 1987 book, "The Computer and the Mind: An Introduction to
    Cognitive Science." It is about programming for self-reflection, free will and
    intentions and for needs and emotions.


    Peter Jones wrote:

    > Hmm. Well, I say, "Lord spare me from people who can't think straight."
    > Disclaimer: This is just an opinion I pulled out of thin air for no decent
    > reason whatsoever.
    > A bit like:
    > "Note: This article represents my opinion, based on both evolutionary
    > patterns as they have occurred during the history of life on this planet and
    > the direction in which, in my view, the development of humans and our
    > technology has been moving during the last few centuries. It is,
    > nonetheless, only a personal view. Some of the ideas expressed here
    > represent a scientific consensus, while most are pure conjecture--science
    > fiction if you like."
    > Taken from
    > There are some foul eugenicist views in there, notably:
    > "These primitive multicellular organisms developed complex intra- and
    > inter-cellular signaling networks, some of which were aimed at regulating
    > cell death. These increased their chances of survival by getting rid of the
    > cells least likely to cope with the environment and thus minimising energy
    > expenditure by the organism. Dead cells could also be used to shield the
    > multicellular organisms from the environment. Some of these mechanisms, such
    > as the protective dead outer layers of the skin, are still evident in
    > humans."
    > And its development into:
    > At some point after the integration of humans and machines, an additional
    > step will have to be taken: incorporation of PCD, resulting in disconnection
    > of the weaker links (or individual constituents) from the collective
    > network. Only once PCD, or the principle underlying it, has been
    > incorporated will it be possible to accomplish the leap to a higher state of
    > consciousness and intelligence--an intelligence which is the sum of all the
    > minds connected to the network, and which lies beyond what any of us can
    > imagine.
    > Note the "will *have* to be taken." [my emphasis]
    > Why will it have to be taken? He's just said that the normal patterns of
    > evolution aren't being followed by humans any more, so that's just begging t
    > o be a total non sequitur.
    > And:
    > "Those not joining will sentence themselves to being the lesser life forms
    > of this planet, lower on the evolutionary scale. Ponder for one moment the
    > difference between a human and a bacterium."
    > Lower?! In what way? Just because a farmer doesn't surf, doesn't mean that I
    > don't praise the heavens for every second that that person labours to put
    > food on the supermarket shelf for me.
    > Grrr!
    > Peter

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