[ExI] Meaningless Symbols.

Aware aware at awareresearch.com
Fri Jan 15 16:13:23 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 7:32 AM, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- On Fri, 1/15/10, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:
>> It may surprise you, but I have implemented in my own brain
>> at a very young age the algorithm allowing me to multiply integers of
>> arbitrary length.
> Nobody questions that we can intentionally run algorithms in our brains. But how can you come to know the meanings of symbols merely by virtue of running programs in your mind that manipulate symbols according to syntactic rules as computer programs actually do? You can't.
> Less easy to see is that your computer calculates the answers to mathematical questions without understanding the meanings of the numbers.

It's funny in a meta way that all this discussion undoubtedly reflects
the true nature of the participants, but represents no "true
understanding" at this level of the system either.

Gordon, I'll say it again:  What you're you're seeking to grasp is not
ontological; it's epistemological.

- Jef

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