Re: Odd questions for you all ;) Degradation algorithms versus Enhancement algorithms

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Sun Feb 06 2005 - 23:13:57 MST

--- Marc Geddes <> wrote:

> Just one point - I'm a
> little
> puzzled why you say there is only a finite
> number of
> sounds or a finite number of novels. *In
> principle*
> at least, that's not the case. And a proper
> mathematical/logical/philosophical approach has
> to to
> look at things 'in principle'.
Because we are talking about works of finite
length, finite complexity. It's as simple as
that, really.
> Logician John Myhill talked about
> 'prospective'/'productive' attributes such as
> beauty
> which are in principle of infinite complexity.
> ('Productive' atrribute- no finite algorithm
> can list
> or recognize 100% of things possessing the
> attribute).
I do not think I understand this assertion well
enough to form an opinion on it. However, it
reminds me of Godel, in that it asserts there can
be forms of beauty (read 'true theorems') which
cannot be derived by finite algorithms. Even
though the chunk of data 'song' or 'novel' is a
'finite state machine' which interacts with
another machine (your mind, my mind, the mind of
a SAI) there may indeed be infinite possible
interactions with minds, which is after all where
the 'beauty' is actually happening. If, that is,
there are infinite possible minds.

I recommend you drink far too much coffee and
think about this all night while repeatedly
playing "I Want You" by the Beatles, one of the
most incredibly powerful pieces of music I have
ever heard. Or, if you can find it, the
astonishing 1937 "Onyx Hop" by Frankie Newton and
his Uptown Serenaders.

Tom Buckner

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