Re: memetics-digest V1 #1329

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Thu 01 May 2003 - 15:36:22 GMT

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    Wade T. Smith wrote:
    > On Thursday, May 1, 2003, at 08:12 AM, memetics-digest wrote:
    >> I mean that (for example) when catching a cricket
    >> ball you _do not_ do the maths, you just match to your previous
    >> experiences of catching (and the eidos of it you have refined over the
    >> years - in effect a fully functional toy/model of the behaviour, built
    >> by tuning though, not metrication).
    > That _is_ 'doing the maths'. We are _built_ to 'do the maths'. We _do_
    > the maths. We correspond with physical reality which has to follow
    > physical laws. 'Maths' just explain what we do in another form.

    Nah you're completely wrong I reckon. At no point is any maths done. If I learn that when I see the shape '2+2=' that I should without question make the shape '4' to the right of it, then I have answered the maths problem without doing any maths. Catching is like that. Rote learning, followed by abstraction to some extent (the trajectory is itself a thing just as much as the ball following it). It is a bit like the Chinese room thing in a way: You could match the arc of a ball to one of a series of bezier curve templates, which then tell you where it will land relative to the measurement point - again no maths is done (although in this case the knowledge being exploited would probably've come from use of maths rather than personal experience).

    I think my knowledge of ballistic trajectories has more in common with my knowledge of snakes, shoelaces and power cords, than with my knowledge of calculus. What you're asserting is that because that trajectory _can_ be described mathematically, therefore we _must_ have made that description either explicitly, or codified somehow. But I see pattern matching (which is what it is) as qualitatively different from measurement.

    Cheers, Chris.

      Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

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