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machine brains

Kai-Uwe v. d. Ohe JvonderOhe at t-online.de
Wed Mar 3 20:23:33 EST 1999

Hello to all!
I'm very new to this newsgroup and english is not my mothertounge! Anyway, i
hope this will not cause any kind of misunderstandings (or missed
understanding(s)? ) Please try to ignore / translate any wrong spelling(s).

To think of a brain as hardware and mind as a set of programs
still remains as a subject of definitions. And who performs this
definitions? A set of programs?  Can a program define itself as
a program? I think we try to think the unthinkable. We *can not*
look at our minds as mind(s)! What we do, is to create a subject
we're looking at. This subject is part of our "mind" (awfull word)
as it also appears to be a subject that can be observed at the same time.
That's somewhat inconsequent / impossible, isn't it?

Imagine a being / lifeform from, well, let's say elsewhere. One should
assume that this being had a different point of view - but still not any
kind of entire view. My point so far is, that it is impossible to have a
point of view which could be maintained as an entire one. So we run in
circles all the time, don't we? Everything is part of the circle we
are "caught" in. These circles can be increased / expanded. But i don't
think we can leave them behind (except for to reach a "higher" circle which
then probably would appear as to be the final one).

I don't believe that we ever will reach a state of knowing that was
*independent* of what  we are! I think we're creating what is called "the
world" all the time.  As Nietzsche (excuse me, he's a german philosopher)

Our best knowledge is our best error.

This has been proven so many, many times that i wonder how we still can
assume to be "right". I guess it's due to our will of having
"the world" as an understandable phenomenon. We don't have any
kind of controle i think. And i don't believe it's important whether
this is computable or not.

I hope my statement is worth a reply. If not, it still was a pleasure
to me to think about the meaning of life ;-).

Kai-Uwe (comments will follow, read on).

Simon Kesenci schrieb in Nachricht <36DDABF5.C35E5DB9 at earthlink.net>...
>Michael Edelman wrote:
>> I think you may be perhaps begging the question here. What does it mean
>> "think"? The brain is hardware. By itself, it does nothing. Does a
>> "compute", or does the program?

I think we can not be sure about this. The fact that we separate
one thing from the other doesn't implicate / proof that there is a
corresponding fact.

>> By "mind" we generally mean the self-aware entity, that which can

Good point. But how can you assume / be sure to have reached the farest
possible point of view on what you call entity? And who *does*
perform that introspection (spelled right?? - hope you know what i mean) ?

>> -- mike
>I think your analogy with computer hardware and software is appropriate.  I
>of the mind (teehee!) as a set of programs, and the brain as the hardware.
>can always change your mind, upgrade it even.  And you can tune your brain
>drugs and sensory deprivation.

As i stated above i don't believe in separations of that kind.

>-Simon `the Heretic' Kesenci
>Executor of the Get-A-Life Fleet.

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