Re: Rationality and altered states of consciousness

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Tue Sep 17 2002 - 10:41:59 MDT

On Tuesday, September 17, 2002, at 12:10 PM, Ben Goertzel wrote:

>> Rationality is employed in nonaccidently successful processes. Because
>> of their nonaccidental nature, there must be something guiding them in
>> the right direction. If you examine enough examples I think you'll
>> find
>> that the BPT exists as that guiding force.
> I guess I don't understand what you mean by a "force" ...

Force like The Force/The Tao/Buddha-nature. It is not something that
makes things happen, it is something that must be drawn upon to do
something on purpose. Without rationality everything is just happy

>>> Any subset of the universe that changes over time may be said to be
>>> carrying
>>> out a "process". If the moon crashes into the sun, is this to be
>>> considered
>>> rational? It's a process which comes to completion.... So by your
>>> definition, it seems that yes, this is rational. But this doesn't
>>> accord
>>> with my understanding of rationality at all...
>> Look at the definition of work I just gave you. If you still think
>> that
>> this could be rational, why?
> No, when you include your eccentric definition of "work", then your
> definition of rationality comes very close to my definition of
> intelligence
> as the "ability to achieve complex goals in complex environments." What
> you're calling rationality, I just call intelligence, basically. The
> difference is that intelligence is measured (according to my
> definition) in
> terms of the complexity of the goals achieved, whereas a system with
> very
> simple goals that achieves them effectively may be called just as
> rational
> as a system with very complex goals that achieves them effectively.

There is such a thing as the rational intelligence of a process, which
is to say how much rationality a process draws upon. Intelligence,
though, is only one set of processes that is rational. I doubt that you
would consider evolution to be intelligent in the same way that a human
is intelligent, but both draw upon rationality in the same way.

Furthermore, in this example, can you think of any way to model or find
use of the BPT in a moon crashing into a sun without making unproven
claims the universe?

> Putting our two perspectives together we find: Rationality is about
> effective goal-achievement, intelligence is about effective
> complex-goal-achievement.

I think that this depends on just how complex you mean.

> To me, "truth-finding" emerges as a side-effect of goal-achievement. No
> finite organism has objective truth, but it has subjective truths that
> help
> it achieve its goals. And from a perspective encompassing an organism
> plus
> its environment, one can assess agreement btw subjective and
> objective/environmental truth.

In a round about way I think you're talking about part of rational
thinking: a focus on true reality rather than subjective reality.

> Well I spent a lot of time this last weekend getting excited about the
> interactions between 12-bar blues chord progressions and Middle Eastern
> scales. Not boring to me at all, even though not as important in any
> sense
> as the Singularity or my AI work.... And I can get VERY excited about
> the
> idea of an intelligent musical computer program that one could jam
> with...
> even though it's not as important or exciting as the Singularity...
> So what?

There is a difference between getting excited about cultural activities
and getting excited about SL2 technology.

Gordon Worley "Man will become better when you show him what he is like." --Anton Chekhov
PGP: 0xBBD3B003

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:41 MDT