Re: CHAT: Great Brains

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sun Mar 25 2001 - 22:18:26 MST

Thanks for posting the excerpts... Nice to read.

Jim Fehlinger quoted,
> And as
> these successively reach maturity, they take over the functions
> of adults whose nature is less perfect; and these, when they
> are aware that they are no longer of service, elect to retire from
> life.

This part I found particularly interesting, because it makes the Great
Brains sound as if they really are robots... zombies who "elect to retire
from life" as though they never heard of Dylan Thomas, and instead sing
Robert Zimmerman's Oscar Winning lyrics, "I used to care, but things have
changed." I mean, if they're such Great Brains, one might think they could
figure out how to elevate their service life beyond their "less perfect"
nature, thus avoiding retirement from life.

Great Brains ought to be able to solve great problems... which reminds
me... I think that really great problem solving machines will precede
Kurzweil's Spiritual Machines, because people pay big for the expertise of
agents and intelligent professionals, while some of the greatest spiritual
geniuses lived as homeless beggars. So, machines are going to have to
produce some spectacular results before they're allowed to sit around
being spiritual. Capitalism has pretty much taken over, and enlightened
masters just don't have any market value in today's economy. But if one
*does* acquire market value, that's the time to worry... then it's good to
have a Great Brain that can help us reach a conclusion about how to handle
this problem.


Stay hungry,

--J. R.

Useless hypotheses:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia

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