Re: Jaron Lanier Got Up My Shnoz on AI

From: John Clark (
Date: Fri Jan 18 2002 - 22:49:08 MST

     R. Molloy <>
> There is no contradiction in confirming sentience via interacting with others.
> The operative word is *interacting* -- the level of intelligence is secondary.

Ok, intelligence is not important, you can interact with a rock, thus rocks are

>intelligence implies "consciousness" in the same way that fire implies

I know for a fact that when I'm not conscious I'm not intelligent either and
it seems reasonable that things that I can not interact INTELLIGENTLY with,
like rocks, are not conscious, so I ask again, what is it about this that made
you "laugh out loud"? I can only figure you know I'm wrong because you're
very intelligent when you're asleep or because you talk to conscious rocks.

>>>My old z80 is slower by a magnitude than a P4, but is not a jot more
>>>or less sentient!

>> You seem very sure, how did you find out?

> That's easy: They both failed to claim that they are sentient.

I never claimed to be sentient, do you think I am? As a matter of fact I am not.
It's a little embarrassing to admit it but I'm handicapped. When I was 3 years old
I fell off my tricycle and hit my head, I wasn't badly hurt physically but it rendered
me permanently non-sentient. I think I've done a good job overcoming my disability,
I do pretty well on IQ tests, I earn a good living, I have friends, I laugh and cry just
like anybody else, in fact I've done such a good job overcoming my handicap that
nobody ever guesses that I'm no more conscious than a rock. When I was
younger I assumed I was the only human in this condition but now that I come
to think (thinking has nothing to do with consciousness remember) about it,
if somebody else was as good at this charade as I am there would be
no way I could tell.

Perhaps there are even people who are non-sentient but don't know it, they
think they know what consciousness is, but really it's like the difference
between a firefly and a supernova, they have no hint of the immense and
glorious feeling of sentience that most other people have. This is all
speculation of course, I wouldn't know anything about it, as I said I'm
smart as a whip but no more conscious than a rock. I envy you conscious

        John K Clark

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