[-empyre-] fwd from Andrew Murpie re fundamental.

Hi Jim
On Saturday, November 8, 2003, at 12:03 PM, Jim Andrews wrote:

What we do know is that
it is written. And this has certain consequences.

It does have certain consequences but I'm not at all sure that we d know
that it is "written" - to claim to know this is, in fact, to use writing as
a metaphor for cognition - in other words - to write cognition itself (and
everything becomes pretty circular pretty quickly - for a start cognition is
equated with language at a number of levels, something which is extremely
uncertain). This claim is indeed extremely prevalent within the cognitive
sciences, especially amongst those conflating symbolic processing (i.e.
computing, algorithms etc) and cognition. Though there have been some gains
via this conflation, arguably the massive investment in it has not produced
as much as it might (a strong version of AI for example, still eludes us).
And of course, there have long been alternatives to the 'writing/symbolic
processing approaching' both within the AI (especially robotics) community
and the cognitive sciences - see for example, Rodney Brooks' "intelligence
without representation" and "intelligence without reason", or much of the
work of Varela et al, or some of Andy Clark's observations, or perhaps even
the connectionists, or dynamicists, or any of those working with cognition
as embodied, emergent (and language, writing and symbolic process as only
second to higher order, derivative processes derived from embodies cognitive

Of course, there are a great many artists who work on exactly these issues

regards, Andrew

I don't think it's a product of being from any particular 'school' of

I actually think it is a product of a whole bunch of schools of thought -
but that these schools have been so powerful (and to some extent still are)
that they have a) captured the public imagination b) dominated funding,
partly because they make cognition look comprehensible by comparing it to
something we think we know and c) trade on a series of powerful metaphors
that are much older than either computing or cognitive sciences. Yet GOFAI
(or good old-fashioned artificial intelligence), which is in part at the
base of all these assumptions, is exactly that, pretty old-fashioned these
"I thought I had reached port; but I seemed to be cast
back again into the open sea" (Deleuze and Guattari, after Leibniz)

Dr Andrew Murphie - Senior Lecturer
School of Media and Communications, University of New South Wales, Sydney,
Australia, 2052
fax:612 93856812 tlf:612 93855548 email: a.murphie@unsw.edu.au
room 311H, Webster Building

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