[p2p-research] is the mind a computer

Ryan Lanham rlanham1963 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 7 22:06:05 CET 2009

There are lots of good blogs and sites on this topic...a favorite topic of
mine as an old AI person...I was technical director in Roger Schank's lab
for a time.

My favorite is http://mindblog.dericbownds.net/  Professor Bownds has a
great book on these very discussion items...world class and current.

Deric's blog is great...he is sensitive to non-scientific analysis and yet
stays with the facts.

Not that my own views matter much, but I tend to sympathize with the
transhumanists and singularists.  We are already at a point now where
bio-chip interconnects are well along.  Adding a chip to your body shouldn't
be that big a deal in 10-20 years.  Plugging in to the Internet will be
common in a quarter century.  Why have a screen if you can think your phone
calls or look up google in your mind.  Deric doesn't speculate on those
things much...he's a facts guy...an old school professor.  Brilliant,

The touch points with P2P are many.  Not least is brain to brain linkage...

I don't share Stan's enthusiasm for formalism nor his respect for coteries
of knowledge...I think lots of learning sparks are ignited by people
chatting about things they know little about.  I've come to respect bodies
of knowledge less and less...as sophisticated as we are, humans still know
comparatively little and I know far too many "scholars" who are, to my view,
charlatans or nearly so...

On the other hand, I am a very poor metaphysicist, personally, and won't
engage on topics that have no basis in reality.  I limit my imaginary
friends to those of my childhood.

Meat is complex...evolution has made it so over a very long time.  It isn't
unique or special--brains have developed in parallel in a number of
species.  Computers are just 60 years old.  In 600 years they will have gone
far beyond meat.  In 100 years they'll have gone far beyond meat.  I don't
see any reason why humans couldn't be downloaded to a machine...it wouldn't
be human, but it would have human thoughts.  These topics are often fraught
with social science mayhem...science studies has a lot of useful (and
useless) things to say on the topic.  Great stuff.  P2P has really got to
tackle cognitive science, learning sciences, knowledge management and lots
of similar topics.  Early days.  Much to be done.


On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 3:14 PM, Stan Rhodes <stanleyrhodes at gmail.com> wrote:

> The quote I singled out at the bottom of this email is laughable to anyone
> who's passingly familiar with cognitive science.  The rest is equally
> laughable, but I picked out that single quote because it seems to defy even
> common sense.  This fellow does not understand evolution or cognitive
> science at all.
> Finding someone on the internet that disagrees with a conclusion is just
> exercising confirmation bias.  If you don't know if the author's correct,
> then you're not making an argument.  One can find internet fertilizer for
> any viewpoint or counter-viewpoint, no matter how absurd or ignorant.
> A computer just manipulates information according to some set of
> instructions.  I don't see how the brain doing that is controversial or even
> remarkable in 2009.  If we're going to compare it to a modern PC, that's
> something else altogether.  I also don't see anyone in the list with the
> expertise to have a thorough discussion about the nuts and bolts, or
> perhaps, neurons and dendrites.  It also seems way, way outside the scope of
> the list.
> Cherry-picking links to create an air of controversy, particularly when you
> are not willing to explore and understand the concept in depth, is
> irresponsible and inappropriate for reasonable discussion.
> -- Stan
> On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 10:07 AM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com>wrote:
>> J. Andrew claims that it is an undisputed scientific and mathematical fact
>> that the human brain is a computer, and that critique of it is borne of
>> ignorance.
>> For those who may be tempted to believe that false claim, here is a
>> sophisticated treatment, to long to reproduce in full, see
>> http://www.ime.usp.br/~vwsetzer/AI.html<http://www.ime.usp.br/%7Evwsetzer/AI.html>
>> *Valdemar W. Setzer*
>> Dept. of Computer Science, University of São Paulo, Brazil
>> vwsetzer at usp.br - www.ime.usp.br/~vwsetzer<http://www.ime.usp.br/%7Evwsetzer>
>> some very short excerpts to give you a flavour:
>> Finally, apparently our memory is infinite; there is no concrete machine
>> with infinite memory.
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Ryan Lanham
rlanham1963 at gmail.com
Facebook: Ryan_Lanham
P.O. Box 633
Grand Cayman, KY1-1303
Cayman Islands
(345) 916-1712
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