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Jeremy Bradley wrote:
> You wrote
> ....this appeals because we could construct a Darwinian 'learning'
>>machine (effectively a sort of neural genetic algorithm) much more
>>simply than a Lamarckian version (which must have a facility to learn
>>for a start).
> Hi all
> This sort of sentiment worries me as I see that intelligence, even within
> one culture, is subjective. Just think how many times we hear the term
> "common sense" used to describe basic understandings within specific
> spheres of knowledge. Will your 'learning machine' attempt to create a
> homogenous 'right' (no pun intended) form of learning?
> I also have problems with notions of 'fitness'. Is fitness might, right,
> lucky, devious, savage, egotistic, careless of the ramifications of its
> actions - who is to say?
> Chomsky says that the Western nations have been successful because they
> were able to completely inculcate violence - will that make us 'fit' to
> survive. Is a culture that threatens to ruin the habitat which is
> owned by the rest of its species 'intelligent' (fit) enough to survive.
> Will you impose your version of intelligence on those who already
> you have any, or are we to revert to the convert or perish methods of
> What meme drives this thought - 'might-is-right'?
Not quite the angle I expected comment from, but some interesting points...
By learning I mean stuff on the level of matching a behaviour to a
scenario to achieve an outcome; I'm not sure that broaches any cultural
issues. Also I never tried to define intelligence in my post (other than
as a side ref to AI; but if pushed I'd say it was learning things
(mostly associative), then using the knowledge in the future at a level
above simple action-reaction pairs - i.e. pulling out generics from
specifics. My definitions have to apply to animals as well as humans.
As for the stuff you're getting at - notions of better/worse and
higher/lower, I eschew them completely. The principle is really survival
of the fit *enough*, with fitness defined as persistence in the world
through successive generations. Also, true altruism is never fit because
cheating (non-participation/reciprocation) is always fitter. There is no
such thing as altruism - charity (to wax cultural) is about the feelgood
buzz for the giver, and depends heavily on stranger exclusion. No
examples of altruism exist in biology.
Chris Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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