RE: [-empyre-] for example -

Hi - a couple of questions here. If the mind operates according to
algorithms - what decides between them. Do you think this is entirely
determinative? If not, there would be a set An of algorithms, and then
perhaps a set of meta algorithms etc.?

Second, I tend to think like Penrose - that quantum mechanics plays a
strong role in mental operations. This would include probabilistic
phenomena - much as the dream is a restraining and reorganization of
presumably random neural firings, so might thought itself turn on such
a reorganization - which would have considerable 'wobble' built into it.

- Alan

On Wed, 5 Nov 2003, Jim Andrews wrote:

> I know it's scary to some, but the unconscious, if it exists, would operate
> according to algorithms, Yvonne. Unless our minds have access to the
> actually infinite, as opposed to some (however large) finite memory storage
> and retrieval and processing, or our information processing capabilities
> somehow transcend the notion of the Turing machine in some other way, the
> mind can be modelled as an information processing system (whether we are
> brains in vats or not) composed of programs, programs composed of
> algorithms.
> Just like people found Darwin's ideas unpalatable, the above idea in the
> contemporary world seems to meet with disaproval or incomprehension because
> it seems to 'reduce us to machines'. But just like Darwin's ideas don't
> diminish humanity, similarly, neither does the idea that the mind's
> processes are capable of being modelled, arbitrarily closely, via
> algorithms. An algorithm is just a description of the steps of a process.
> Darwin's ideas, as opposed to diminishing humanity, have helped us
> understand not only the history of our species but our relations with other
> creatures. And the processes of history. Similarly, the notion that the mind
> is modellable via processes describable in algorithms will, I hope,
> ultimately permit us more freedom in the soft machine, as opposed to further
> enslaving us to mechanization. In any case, the truth about our nature is
> preferable to a pleasant fabrication.
> ja
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
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