Re: [sl4] Re: More silly but friendly ideas

From: John K Clark (johnkclark@fastmail.fm)
Date: Fri Jul 04 2008 - 13:43:42 MDT


On Thu, 3 Jul 2008 "Lee Corbin" <lcorbin@rawbw.com>
said:

> You so very often leave your correspondent with
> so little context that he, as me right here,
> can make nothing whatsoever of what you are trying to say.

Well hell, I think I left you with enough context for you to figure out
what I was responding to, you did after all write the damn thing.

Me:
>> but formal logic can show that any mind that
>> is good enough to do arithmetic is susceptible
>> to getting into infinite loops regardless of
>> the details of its operation.

You:
> Can you expand on that? How would formal logic
> do that? And why do we need formal logic anyway.

An internal combustion engine consumes gasoline not the laws of
thermodynamics, certainly it does not understand them; and yet a mind
can use those laws to determine the limits of what ANY heat engine can
do regardless of the precise details of its construction. A mind might
not use formal logic and not even know the first thing about it,
nevertheless we can use that discipline to know there are some tasks a
mind can never accomplish even with infinite time; and whatís more there
is no way to know beforehand what all those tasks are. You canít know
for certain if you are in a infinite loop or not, you must use your
judgment, if you judge you probably are in such a loop then jump out.

And Iím not just talking about a limit in tasks of formal logic! There
are some things in arithmetic you can never prove or disprove, and if
thatís the case with something as simple and fundamental as arithmetic
imagine the contradictions and ignorance in more abstract and less
precise arts like physics or economics or politics or philosophy. If you
can get into an infinite loop over arithmetic it must be childishly easy
to get into one when contemplating art. Fortunately real minds (but not
fictional fixed goal minds) have a defense against this, real minds get
bored. I believe that is why evolution invented boredom.

> We have real mind obsessive compulsive disorder
> types who don't get bored with certain extremely
> routine things.

Yes, itís a delicate balance and I think there is some truth in the old
saying ďthere is a fine line between genius and madnessĒ. Some of the
greatest mathematicians and artists of all time have been, Iím trying to
be diplomatic here, rather odd.

As I said itís a delicate balance, set the boredom point too low and you
canít concentrate (I donít want to listen to your instructions on how to
properly pack my parachute, itís boring), set it too high and you waste
time (Wee, I love the way that little red rubber ball bounces up and
down, 1,2,3,4,5,6,Ö..)

> Well, *you* like to keep mentally considering conjectures
> and often trying to refute them. Are you stuck in a loop?

Itís interesting you should say that, I do indeed sometimes suspect I am
stuck in an infinite loop, however I have hope. I like to think that
eventually Iíll prove my conjectures to be true, or show them to be
false, or just get tired of the whole damn thing and forget it and go to
the beach.

 John K Clark

-- 
  John K Clark
  johnkclark@fastmail.fm
-- 
http://www.fastmail.fm - I mean, what is it about a decent email service?


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