[sl4] Complete drivel on this list: was: I am a Singularitian who does not believe in the Singularity.

From: Mu In Taiwan (mu.in.taiwan@gmail.com)
Date: Sat Oct 10 2009 - 22:08:17 MDT

I just wanted to point out there really is a lot of crap being written on
this list currently, and it would be good if it this situation were to
improve rapidly.

1. "Fixed minds". What rot. Unless you happen to have a working artificial
mind already built, perhaps it is rather arrogant of you to discuss the
design limitations of such a thing. Heck, it's not unknown for even apparent
'physical law' to be overturned occasionally when reality asserts itself
over theory in the form of empirical data. As for mathematical theorems:
well, maths is beautiful but it's only a constraint when the axioms of your
mathematics coincide accurately with the axioms that reality has chosen for

2. Comments on here about turing machines and their consequences for
artificial minds. Wow, so much complete crap to wade through. In case you
haven't noticed, there is not one single Turing machine on this planet. Not

Everything we do today, we do with finite state machines that do passable
imitations of 'almost' PDAs and 'almost' TMs. Indeed, we have strange,
mysterious devices, whose abilities surpass those of turing machines

They're called desktop PCs. They have things like clock-driven interrupts,
physical random number generators and state reset buttons, features that
would make a Turing Machine weep with envy. A turing machine is actually
just a handy model we use for some theory and programming - when it suits

Has anyone here actually experienced a desktop PC going into a loop that
couldn't be halted? I doubt it. Mr Reset Button is your Friend. As for
general algorithms and coding, use a timer driven interrupt that resets the
state of the entire machine after a fixed time if you want to be absolutely,
positively, certain that any arbitrary routine will certainly halt within a
known time. It might not complete - but it will damn well halt.

3. Ever noticed a model of time in a turing machine? A model of truly
non-deterministic behaviour? Well, perhaps making appeals to Turing's work
in your discussion of future artificial minds is a bit stupid, in that case,
and you should stop doing it.

4. In case you missed it in (2): Artificial minds will not be turing
machines, because there are no turing machines. They don't exist. If you
disagree, then please write your response on a piece of infinitely long tape
and post it to this address.

Thank you for listening


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