Re: Guessing?

From: Marshall <>
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 00:08:38 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

On Jul 11, 7:57 pm, paul c <toledoby..._at_ac.ooyah> wrote:
> Marshall wrote:
> > On Jul 11, 4:36 pm, JOG <> wrote:
> >> On Jul 11, 10:16 pm, Marshall <> wrote:
> >>> On Jul 11, 8:30 am, JOG <> wrote:
> >>>> Wittgenstein goes on
> >>>> from this basis to conclude that meaning and knowledge cannot be
> >>>> encoded in any formal representation
> >>> I just want to pop in here and say that the above idea is bullshit.
> >> Well feel free to either pop out again, or elucidate. It is unclear
> >> whether you are saying that Wittgenstein didn't suggest that some
> >> meaning has no logical form (which he did as a consequence of his
> >> discourse with Sraffa), or that many have misinterpreted him. Perhaps
> >> you intended this ambiguity. Perhaps its just a sloppy post - hard to
> >> tell as is.
> > I beg your pardon, sir!
> > I am calling bullshit on the above position, attributed to
> > Wittgenstein.
> > I am calling bullshit on the idea that "meaning and knowledge
> > cannot be encoded in any formal representation."
> >> Either way, knowledge is generally accepted in AI research as
> >> unencodable in a descriptive model. I would love to claim to have
> >> formulated such conclusions myself, but I am merely reiterating
> >> Clancey, Brookes and Cantwell-Smith famous papers, the well documented
> >> demise of expert systems, the $35million wasted on projects like CYC,
> >> etc, etc, etc.
> > Lately I have developed an allergic reaction to various ideas
> > asserting
> > that brains are somehow magical and mystical, and thought is
> > something that we not only can't currently explain computationally,
> > but never will be able to explain computationally. It's just bullshit.
> > Earlier you mentioned "What Computers Still Can't Do."
> > Reading for example this:
> >
> > I see no argument that doesn't amuse me with its lameness.
> > I would type more, but I have a pressing engagement. Perhaps
> > later?
> > Marshall
> Alright Marshall, you like your verse, so 'encode' me this:
> "When there is distress of nations,
> On the shores of Asia or in the Edgware Road
> Men's curiousity searches past and future
> And clings to that dimension.
> But to apprehend the point of intersection
> of time is an occupation..." (Eliot)
> (Apologies to old Tom if I wrote it wrong.)

Love it!

What's wrong with how you encoded it?

> Surely you're talking about mathematical meaning or somesuch,
> if so I wish you'd say so.

Sorry if haste has made me unclear.

What I am trying to say is this: there are a variety of philosophical claims about what computation can and cannot do. Many of these claims are supposed to be an explanation of why humans are so much smarter than software. Sometimes hard limits on what computation can accomplish are hypothesized, along with the assertion that human thought is something that is somehow (magically) beyond reach of any abstract or formal process.

Anyone who thinks this way is a fucking idiot, as far as I am concerned. Wittgenstein, Dreyfus, Penrose, whoever.

Marshall Received on Sat Jul 12 2008 - 09:08:38 CEST

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