Re: Jaron Lanier

From: Lawrence Foard (
Date: Mon Dec 01 2003 - 06:28:59 MST

On Mon, 1 Dec 2003, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 30, 2003 at 06:44:41PM -0800, Lawrence Foard wrote:
> > Even with the mind as a computer however, it is such a complex system that
> It's a computer, Jim, but not as we know it.

I assume your talking about neural nets, not magical mystical macro
quantum computers?

> > there is still plenty of room for its internal study. Just having all the
> > bits laid our infront of us won't tell us everything. The genome is
> > decoded and its very small relatively but still contains many (mostly?)
> The genome is not all the bits. Even not cell+genome, the number of bits
> present in fully developed adult is huge, and is generated from the
> organism-world interaction. It's prescripted, but only in the rough outline.

Yes. Thats the problem, but at all levels. In the cell the context becomes
very important, first of all the DNA decoding machinery which luckily for
us is fairly straight forward in its action, then after that the physics
of proteins, as well as the cell environment in which they operate. And
thats just one cell not a complete human.

So still most of biology must be empirical.

> > mysteries.
> Top-down empiry is a powerful, but also a crude tool. To fully understand
> biology you also need bottom-up from molecular and atomic scale. Currently
> we don't have the computational tools to probe that scale at sufficient
> resolution.

True. But even with those tools many answers will be found empirically
through simulation, rather than direct mathmatical derivations from first
principles. The world already has a large heritage of such mental
observations, regrettably they are often overlooked because they have been
given the label 'spirituality', rather than 'psychology'.

I don't believe in a human like God, its an absurd notion. Yet I also know
that belief in a God works for people. I suspect why it works as unPC as
it sounds is because God is a surrogate imaginary alpha-male. An
alpha-male so powerful that his authority is never open to challenge,
gaining a permanent state of submission and surrender from true believers.
But also a dangerous thing, because anyone claiming to represent God can
have unquestioning followers.

The regrettable thing about modern psychology is that it started from
scratch. It didn't look at what actually works and adopt that for the
scientific age.

 Laughter-Confusion, Pleasure-Pain, Happyness-Sadness, Excitement-Fear,
 Love-Hate, etc. The true primary emotions, a modifier makes each into two.
 This modifier is acceptance/unacceptance. Let go, surrender, accept...
  Be a counter terrorist perpetrate random senseless acts of kindness

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