[ExI] Meaningless Symbols.

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Fri Jan 15 18:43:48 UTC 2010

On 1/15/2010 12:23 PM, Eric Messick wrote:

> My computer does understand numbers, though.
> That understanding is hardwired into adder circuits in the CPU.
> The fact that it comes up with the correct answers for the following:
>    0 + 0 = 0
>    1 + 1 = 2
> indicates that it understands the fundamental difference between the
> numbers zero and one.

I just poured 3 cups of water into a 2 cup jar. Does the fact that it 
stopped accepting water after I'd put in 2 cups and overflowed the rest 
mean it *understands* 3>2? Then I put a 1 foot rule next to a book and 
the 9 matched up with the top of the book. Did the rule *understand* how 
tall the book is? Computer programs understand nothing more than that. 
This all reminds me of the behaviorist idiocy of the 1950s.

Damien Broderick

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