Re: Singularity Worship
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 21:33:30 -0500

>>At 10:15 PM 12/13/96 -0800, you wrote:
>>On Fri, 13 Dec 1996 James Rogers <> Wrote:
> > >I *do* understand, in intimate detail, how a computer

>> >produces arithmetic results on the lowest level.
>>You have a very general idea about how it works but not for specific
>>and God is in the details.

>I fail to understand what you are getting at. I have taken many courses in
>computer architecture. I am familiar with evolution of very low level as
>well as higher level constructs.

>It sounds like you are saying that it is impossible for humans to truly
>understand anything. I might possibly be able to grant this (tentatively)
>for some general physics-like knowledge because we don't know everything.
>But I find it difficult to subscribe to the thought that we don't "really"
>understand constructs that we conceived of and designed from the ground up,
>especially abstract constructs.

The problem here seems to be one of definition. A word is only useful if it
can be used for something. If "understand" is limited to such an extent that
we can understand nothing, the word becomes useless. It may be more useful
to say it is impossible "to know" an object (object is different from

It is amazing how many discussions revolve around definitions. The chicken
and the egg problem is one example. Most people there is an easy solution
but eggs have been around longer than vertebrates. Obviously, most people
are using a different definition of egg. The tree falling in the forest with
nobody to hear it is another example. It depends on how you define sound.
The list goes on and on.

Dan Hook