Good bunch of books – all on a similar theme. Hofstadter is amazing.

Good bunch of books – all on a similar theme. Hofstadter is amazing. Thinking Fast and Slow was good. Deutsch I like as a person and his profession, although I haven’t read this one, but Tegmark is the only one I’d really put some criticism towards.

Minsky – I remember the name and I have a positive ‘feel’ for him but I can’t remember from what. I *think* I liked him.

My criticism of Tegmark is that everything’s too neat and pat with him. But the rest I like.

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AH! Minsky – yes, Minsky. He expanded complexity theory and came up with a good viable plan of action towards a workable AI scheme. His ideas also lead well into embodied cognition, which is a way of thinking that I like.

Ok, yes, I read him in college. Ok, yes, Minsky – I’m a fan.

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Yeah, I studied Tegmark a year or two ago. Wrote some stuff about it. The issue I have with Tegmark is that he’s mistaking the model for the thing itself.

An artist can draw a realistic person on a piece of paper.

A person with a computer can mathematically model a Universe.

But neither is the drawing of the person a person nor is the mathematical model of the Universe a Universe.

Math is an effective sketching tool but it’s sketching reality but it’s not reality.

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I’m just saying by the definition he gave, that’s what society is. Humans are a collection of living machines that together create an organism of its own and the name for that organism of comprised of humans is a society.

Minsky took it a step further and transferred it into being possible for machines as well, using society as an analogy for a kind of collective consciousness… sort of a twist on the collective unconscious concept. It was a brilliant step actually.

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I never read either in full – but GEB if I remember right was a very thick read, but strange loop is more approachable, likely given the extra 20+ years he had inbetween to be able to refine his thinking into an easier to digest way.

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Well, I’d put the basis to analogy instead of math, as the alien has to analogize rocks to the abstract concept of number and sameness. I think that’s the distinction I’d make. But it’s a minor quibble I had/have with Sagan compared to the bulk of everything he had to say.

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Yeah you bring up a good point  : I find it very helpful to read the critics when I am enjoying an author or a concept.

I don’t think there’s a concept out there without some flaws, and it’s good to know what the critics have to say. They might have some things right. Maybe they’re off base. But I find a solid idea becomes more solid because while the weak spots are exposed, the strong parts by comparison are much much stronger because they withstood the

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