Re: Jaron Lanier

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Wed Nov 26 2003 - 14:35:58 MST

James Rogers wrote:

> On 11/25/03 9:46 PM, "Aaron McBride" <> wrote:
>>Here is a new article (and video) by Jaron Lanier:
>>"I've had a suspicion for a while that despite the astonishing success
>>of the first generation of computer scientists like Shannon, Turing, von
>>Neumann, and Wiener, somehow they didn't get a few important starting
>>points quite right, and some things in the foundations of computer
>>science are fundamentally askew."
> I have asserted for many years that Shannon ruined computing as we know it
> from a theoretical standpoint. By the time the mathematics was properly
> addressed a few decades later, the inertia of Shannon's pervasive influence
> was essentially unstoppable and fully ingrained in the way people think
> about computing.

Shannon's math looks okay to me. More than merely okay. p log (p) is one
of the all-time "you must instantly recognize this equation" equations.
If someone is silly enough to think about this equation sequentially, as
Lanier charges, that's their problem. Shannon's entropy would govern
Lanier's wished-for internally correlated holography just as thoroughly as
it governs a temporal sequence of independent symbols.

Who would you say "properly addressed" the math? "A few decades later"
would seem to rule out Kolmogorov. If you're a busy guy (Belldandy knows
I don't follow up on all the hints I drop) just the names of the
mathematicians or equations would help.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:43 MDT