Re: The Meaning of Life

The Low Willow (
Fri, 7 Feb 1997 21:02:59 -0800 (PST)

I agree with John and Eric on this thread, for what it's worth. Eric in
this post, at least.

On Feb 7, 5:08pm, Eric Watt Forste wrote:

} Perhaps it's the extra fuss that makes the difference? A simple
} computer can declare "I will resist if you turn me off." You turn
} it off and nothing happens. I, on the other hand, can declare "I
} will resist if you try to take away my raincoat." and you will find

Ding! Key difference. Our statements can mean something to an
observer, by virtue of our behavior conforming to the statements.

} Perhaps you should take a cue from the Zen Buddhists and sit your
} butt down on a black cushion and stare at a white wall for forty
} minutes every morning. Then, after experiencing that kind of boredom
} and that kind of inactivity, perhaps you won't be quite so bored

Oh, so _that's_ the point of meditation. It makes a lot more sense now.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"(Dr. Chandra) had long since broken off communications with the
dwindling body of philosophers who argued that computers could not
really feel emotions, but only pretended to do so.
["If you can prove to me that *you're* not pretending to be annoyed,"
he had once retorted scornfully to one such critic,"I'll take you
seriously." At that point, his opponent had put on a most convincing
imitation of anger.]" -- Arthur C. Clarke, _2010_