[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 20 04:32:57 UTC 2010

On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 9:25 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am trying to show you that the fact that a system has an
> intelligence that understands only the low level processes does not
> preclude the existence of another intelligence that has higher level
> understanding. The brain is exactly that sort of system, except that
> the neurons are much dumber than a man. To even up the competition I
> propose making the neurons much smarter.

An important point.

> Here is my analogous claim: if your brain contained a
> super-intelligent being that made the neurons fire in the appropriate
> order it would have an understanding of the low level brain processes
> but not of English, even though you speak English. Therefore, you
> wouldn't really understand English.

I tried to make a similar analogy about the working of hydrogen atoms
in a glass of water or the sun's fusion - or for the less chemistry
and physics inclined - the blue dot in a pointillist painting.  At the
lowest level of "what it is" there is very little apparent
relationship to "what it does" or "how it works."  I think
organizational levels are sometimes functionally distinct for a

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