[ExI] Do digital computers feel?

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 27 14:37:37 UTC 2016

 Inductive reasoning seems really hard for computers
but seems second nature to us.   john

Pattern recognition.  This is a very important point about the thinking of
the human brain.  If we want computers to emulate people, then they must
often jump to spurious conclusions based on insufficient data and form many

Some of these inductive leaps will result in amazing perceptions of
patterns where no one else sees those patterns (or maybe some guy named
Wallace who knocks on Darwin's door), and be a world class discovery.  Most
will be wrong.  Pages and pages of cognitive errors on Wikipedia.

bill w

On Mon, Dec 26, 2016 at 11:28 PM, Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:

> John Clark wrote:
> ​<Ah Analog computers, this topic has come up before on the list, I wrote
> this in 1995: [. . .] Before we begin construction there are a few helpful
> hints I'd like to pass along. Always keep your workplace neat and clean.
> Make sure your ​analog ​computer is cold, as it will not operate at any
> finite temperature above absolute zero. Use only analog substances and
> processes, never use digital things like matter, energy, spin, ​or
> electrical charge when you build your analog computer.>
> This is a straw man argument. Nobody claimed the brain is an analog
> computer. Rafal simply asked that if mathematical infinities are real, as
> experimental evidence supports both with regard to the reality of the wave
> function and the lack of granularity in space-time, then might not these
> infinities allow the brain to generate a continuum of mental states
> instead of finite number of discrete mental states?
> I don't see why not. The brain certainly exhibits wave-like phenomena;
> they are called brain waves. The physics of waves is well understood, and
> they propagate on a continuum both mathematically and physically. And yes,
> while the quantum properties you enumerate are discrete, the observed
> states of those properties are dictated by a quantum wave function which
> is itself continuous.
>> John Clark wrote:
> <There are an infinite number,​ in fact​ an uncountabley​ infinite number,
> of maps that can be drawn on a flat square,  but only 4 colors are needed
> to keep all the countries on the map separate. This was proven by a
> computer ​way back ​in 1977, ​but​ to this day nobody can prove it without
> a computer.>
> No actually it was proven by some mathematicians that used a computer to
> prove their theorem. The computer didn't even understand the problem it
> was trying to solve. Inductive reasoning seems really hard for computers
> but seems second nature to us. If you want to be convincing, present
> empirical evidence and not specious arguments based on an unsupported
> axiom that the brain is some kind of wet naturally evolved digital
> computer running a boolean alogorithm.
> During the Victorian era, when clocks and and analog pocket-watches were
> the most complex technology that people knew of, it became fashionable for
> them to believe that nature was some sort of giant clockwork mechanism.
> These days the most complex machines we can think of are digital computers
> and it seems natural to try to think of the universe as some sort of giant
> computer. We are likely just as wrong as the Victorians were.
> Stuart LaForge
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