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SV: Capacity of the brain

Jan Ingvoldstad jani at ifi.uio.no
Wed Nov 24 00:39:07 EST 1999

On Tue, 23 Nov 1999 23:44:03 +0100, "patrik bagge"
<patrik-b at online.no> said:

> [Bill Todd]

>> Your statements didn't address 'what good' the theory might be, just how
>> successful it was.

> and the difference is ?

"What good" a theory is or might be is a very loose thing to ask for,
and hard to determine.

How _successful_ a theory is or might be is much easier.

>> The concept of the success of a theory is at least
>> somewhat well-defined as its ability to explain (and predict) reality, and
>> has little or nothing to do with its practical application (and, of course,
>> practical application of many abstruse physical theories has occurred
>> decades or more after the they were formulated, so evaluating 'what good' a
>> theory may be is rather difficult in the absense of reliable precognition).

> ok, good answer, you contradict yourself a little bit,

Where are the contradictions?

> But anyway, state that a theory of substance _must_ lead to
> practical conseqiences (shit word), sooner or later ...

No, he states that practical application has occurred before, not that
practical consequences _must_ follow.

For instance, for most people, it has virtually no practical
application how gravity really works; even Newtonian principles are
overkill, and we could be satisfied with the explanation from certain
Greek philosophers that some elements seek downwards, some seek
upwards, and some don't.

Yet, there _may_ be practical applications of quantum theory that
already affect your life, you just live blissfully unaware of it (just
as you probably live blissfully unaware of how chemistry and physics
play important roles in how fast and cheap your computer really is).

> Regards from a Troll

You've got that one right.

BTW: octopuses are much better and two orders of magnitude faster for
changing color, and they support bump-mapped textures!
 - Bernd Paysan on comp.arch, 1999-11-20,
   discussing "chameleon processors"

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