[p2p-research] is the mind a computer

Samuel Rose samuel.rose at gmail.com
Sun Nov 8 21:23:16 CET 2009

I have to say, J. Andrew Rogers, that a lot of this email is thinly
disguised personal attack. overall, it's also propagandastic, in that
it tries to lead you to a pre-established conclusion.

The question of whether the brain is a computer is ridiculous to the
extreme. The brain performs computation, and so it is a computer. Just
as a living leaf on a plant performs photosynthesis and so is a solar
energy catalyst, the same as photovoltaic cells.

However, unlike the machines made by humans that we call computers and
solar panels, living systems such as humans and trees are far more
than  computers and solar catalysts. Even the leaf itself is more than
just a solar catalyst. I would say that it is more dogmatic to insist
that humans are machines, when there are mountains of evidence to show
that humans are *radically* different than any machine you can name in
at least thousands of ways.

What more could possibly be said on this subject?

On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 2:53 PM, J. Andrew Rogers
<reality.miner at gmail.com> wrote:
> Allow me to clarify just these points, so that my assertions are
> represented properly.
> On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 10:37 PM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Amongst the few extraordinary claims that require extraordianory evidence:
>> 1) that the brain is just a computer and the human just a machine
> I do make this claim, but it is not extraordinary given the
> overwhelming quantities of scientific evidence that support this
> hypothesis.
>> 2) that there is no controversy about this at all and that questioning that
>> premise is ignorance not different from creationism
> Let me re-requalify this: there is no controversy among people that
> have significant technical expertise on the topic.
> Creationism is a good analogy in that the majority of Americans
> believe in creationism, but evolution is not a controversial
> assumption among those that work in biosciences.  Notice a pattern?
> Belief that a claim is extraordinary by the population at large does
> not make it so.
>> 3) that there is nothing scientific about Howard Gardner's hypothesis, it is
>> just new age bunk
> This was battled out in the cognitive sciences a long time ago, and
> multiple intelligence theory (MIT) lost because there are a number of
> pretty obvious weaknesses to it.  Popular flame war material back in
> my CogSci days. It ultimately was discarded because it failed any kind
> of rigorous scrutiny to support it and the evidence for it could be
> explained much more simply in single intelligence terms.  It was very
> much an "epicycle" model of intelligence from back in the days when we
> knew less about it.
> When mathematics got around to formalizing the concept of
> intelligence, MIT was already considered a dead hypothesis. The
> mathematics just put the final nail in the coffin.
>> 4) that we need more concentration of wealth to have more innovation
> My stated position has always been that we need *less* concentration
> of wealth, but apparently my argument was too nuanced for this list.
> The level of reading comprehension leaves a lot to be desired.  Nor
> does it speak well to the rigor of your argument that you feel it
> necessary to invent strawmen to knock down that do not even represent
> my beliefs, never mind what I actually wrote.
> All of which betrays deep-seated intolerance for anyone that doesn't
> subscribe to your groupthink even if those people have an interest in
> building a true P2P society and economy.  If you want P2P economics to
> be anything but a fringe cult, you'll have to give up on the idea that
> everyone trying to produce this result will mindlessly parrot your
> particular beliefs. Doubly so when some of those beliefs have a
> distinct anti-scientific patina.
> --
> J. Andrew Rogers
> realityminer.blogspot.com
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Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Tel:+1(517) 639-1552
Cel: +1-(517)-974-6451
skype: samuelrose
email: samuel.rose at gmail.com

"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human
ambition." - Carl Sagan

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