Monday, June 22, 2015
The contrast between "A New Kind of Science," and Cosmolosophy -- Additional
I wanted to make note of the fact that I neglected to be as precise about the way I ended the original post as I should have been.
Specifically, I ended this last post by indicating my astonishment concerning the fact that natural systems would create meaning processors, with choice being a very important design requirement.
What I didn't make clear here is the difference between how and why. The how, as was the main thrust of the post, was already established in the contention that any level of complexity could be obtained by conditional iteration starting from simple rules. The why, however, is something else again.
And let us not forget that it was "choice" in the human context. Why would a natural system find that in any way advantageous?
One would think that a purely rationally oriented meaning processing system designed make choices would have no less amount of adaptive advantage, even if it were not better at it. Could there be something in much larger time scales, and/or across significant percentages of the many possible realities, as they play out in those time scales, that makes choice in the human sense, in some way better?
I would like to think that it has something to do with how an ever shifting balance of both the rational, and the subjective, does more than provide simple survival. The real game, as far as the ultimate "Big Picture" is concerned is to walk the fine line between the pure heat of undifferentiated, and constant change, as opposed to a final, and absolutely frozen entropy. That's the only way the questions and answers will keep going.
And make no mistake, In my view, it is all of the frailties of what constitutes the human condition that are what contribute here. The fact that we know fear viscerally, and not for just the self, but for significant others. The fact that we can appreciate something called beauty, whatever that is ultimately. The fact that tones, in various combinations, can create joy, sorrow, and exultation; as well as the fact that cooperation can be a harmony both literally and figuratively.
All of these, in addition to imagination, empathy, and the ability to ponder all things in the abstract, make a choice context a "reasoning engine" will never be able to match. And if we go beyond mere reasoning engines?
The trick there will be in how we set up not only the associating, meaning mechanisms, in these new meaning processing systems, but how we go about nurturing the same kinds of frailties.
Doing that while maintaining effective monitoring and feedback channels in entities that will process millions of times faster than we do may well be a challenge we really ought to think long and hard on before we go any further with it.
The contrast between "A New Kind of Science," and Cosmolosophy