[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 14:26:24 UTC 2010

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 8:46 AM, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> I understand the man in the room is a metaphor for rules-processing by
>> rote, but what if we take the literal approach that he IS a man - even a
>> supremely gifted intellectual who is informed that eventually these
>> symbols will reveal the means by which he can escape?
> Lots of unread messages on my end and I'm in a rush this morning and I don't know who wrote the above (Mike?) but I wanted to take a moment to encourage this approach above. The CRA tells us as much about the philosophy of mind as it does about computers.
> The man cannot understand the symbols - no way, no how, not in a million years - and when you realize this you'll learn something important about yourself.

Are you saying "man cannot understand" as a philosophical point?  I'm
talking about the fact that I may not know what the chinese symbols
are on the take-out menu, but I can notice the shapes are similar from
one dish to another.  Eventually I might observe the symbol for
"chicken" and have some idea that there's a pattern of usage.  Sure,
that symbol might occur in an Enigma Machine that constantly changes
the context for the symbol's use - but that suggests only that it
takes more effort to establish the pattern (if one exists)

If you are suggesting that there is NO order at all to the CR
experiment and that the IO transformation is arbitrary and the signals
chaotic - then what's the point?  You'd be starting with chaos and
claiming that order & meaning is not present by definition.  I think
an experiment like that has less usefulness than "I feel like XYZ is

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list