Re: Protean Self-Transformation

Gregory Houston (
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 19:44:36 -0600

David McFadzean wrote:

> What if I personally build a model of some simple portion of the
> real world (say a square room with coloured boxes) and that is used
> to render photographic quality images that the program perceives?
> Would you call me program's optical hardware?

You acted then as the "optical" or seeing hardware. Sort of like a
seeing eye dog. You acted as the computer's vehicle for viewing the
world. Instead of a camera anylysing a space and rendering it in a
computer, you analyzed the space and rendered it into the computer.

> Many artificial things are real. Ask someone with an artificial heart
> whether they are really alive or if its just an illusion.

It is a real physical apparatus. It is not artificial in the sense that
I was using artificial. I was using artificial (and perhaps
inapproriately) as the opposite of real. It is not an artificial
computer abstraction of a heart without physical embodiment. Only a
physical "artificial" heart could replace a physical biological heart.
We could not remove the person's heart and then program that person to
think in a different way so that they would not die with the removal of
their heart. The physicality of the artificial heart is not artificial.
You have replaced a physical thing with a physical thing. What we are
debating is the ability to replace physically felt emotions with
something not physical, something purely abstract. There probably are
physical things that can be replaced by abstractions, but not all
physical things can be replaced by abstractions. Emotions cannot.

No one has shown me any evidence that a computer has the ability to feel
emotive sensation, and I do not believe our discussion is progressing in
that direction. Thus at this point, at least for the time being, I
propose that we agree to disagree.

Explore and play!

Gregory Houston                 Triberian Institute of Emotive Education  
phone:    816.561.1524
cellular: 816.807.6660          snail: PO Box 32046 Kansas City MO 64171

"Empowered, impassioned, we have a lust for life insatiable!"