[ExI] Semiotics and Computability
lacertilian at gmail.com
Sun Feb 7 01:15:55 UTC 2010
Quoting from the "Personal conclusions" thread, because, on
reflection, it seems more relevant over here.
Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:
>Spencer Campbell <lacertilian at gmail.com>:
>> The intelligence of a given system is inversely proportional to the
>> average action (time * work) which must be expended before the system
>> achieves a given purpose, assuming that it began in a state as far
>> away as possible from that purpose.
> I would say it sounds a good one to me. In particular since it is not
> a white-black one and does not invoke metaphysical, ineffable
> entities. What about "perfomance in the execution of a given kind of
> data processing"?
Then you crash straight into the concept of FLOPS, and all the
terrible awful difficulties it entails. "Performance" is not
well-defined with respect to computing, or at least not to the extent
you'd expect, and I shudder to think of how one would go about
distinguishing "a given kind of data processing" from any other kind.
I might give that definition to some strange thing like "cognitive
excellence" which no one ever talks about outside of circles like this
one, but certainly not to intelligence. A total idiot can learn to
multiply large numbers quickly.
The modern computer: a total idiot with astounding cognitive excellence.
Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>:
> Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>:
>> I don't deny subjective experience but I deny that when I
>> understand something I do anything more than associate it with another
>> symbol, ultimately grounded in something I have seen in the real
>> world. That would seem necessary and sufficient for understanding, and
>> for the subjective experience of understanding, such as it is.
> When I asked you about a digital computer that did exactly that, you acknowledged that said computer lacked conscious understanding of the symbol and went off on a tangent about amoebas.
> So then it seems that first you say these sorts of associations are necessary and sufficient for subjective experience of understanding, but then you don't.
For once, I agree unequivocally with Gordon Swobe. I'm not sure how to
feel about that! Ambivalent? Nonplussed? I think I'll go with
If Stathis continues to conflate intelligence, understanding,
consciousness, and, worst of all, symbolic association, I may have a
lasting position in the Searle-Gordon camp. It's a shame I believe
formal programs are perfectly capable of reproducing human subjective
experience. Otherwise, I'd fit in just fine.
<x at extropica.org>:
> Pollock, JL, Ismael J. 2006. Knowledge and reality; So You Think You
> Exist? In Defense of Nolipsism :35-62.
> I've posted it to this list twice now. This is the first indication
> I've seen that anyone read it.
> - Jef
Yes! Thank you. Both for reminding me and for posting it to begin
with. I already agreed with the premise, so no tectonic shift of
world-view occurred, but hearing some coherent theories as to WHY we
must believe ourselves to be real, objective, unchanging entities, not
necessarily corresponding to any physical structure, was very
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