RE: MEME: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

From: Patrick McCuller (
Date: Mon Jun 18 2001 - 11:32:10 MDT

> > > me. *Why is it that so few commoners know what AI is?* Then, there's the
> >
> > Exactly what is a commoner?
> >
> > Merriam-Webster's Online Collegiate Dictionary says:
> "commoner" is one of those vectors in my brain, representing someone of
> statistically normal general status, which can be expressed in a single
> word, rather than a phrase which, when weighted with sentence flow
> considerations stemming from the use of emphasized text, would seem

        You should consider that when you speak, you produce words that others must
interpret. They will interpret words in their own manner, not in the same way
that you understand them. Thus it is wise to use words with commonly
understood meanings, and not wise to use words with connotations that are
misleading to others. In this case, your words implied quite clearly that
people who understand AI concepts are nobles, and those who do not are
commoners. This is a feudal relationship that carries a tremendous social

> to be less clear. According to the thesaurus
> (,
> "commoner" comes pretty close. I think. Below is the full
> dictionary citation
> (did it only give you three definitions?) Of particular interest are the
> contextual notes at the end (before the quote from your thesaurus).

        You'll note from my full, proper citation that the word definition I cited,
and this is pretty clear from the definition as well, is "commoner", which is
the word you used. Not "common". I don't know why you think I referenced a
thesaurus - I included a full citation.

        To make this an SL4 topic, we could talk about the possibility of a language
that cannot be misinterpreted. Is such a language possible? Computer languages
are a good candidate, but most fail to live up to it. Ada is perhaps a good
start. But such artificial languages are targeted, and I think are unsuited
for generalized, arbitrary communication of ideas.


Patrick McCuller

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