X-Message-Number: 6141
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #5981 - #5986
Date: Sun, 5 May 1996 15:41:41 -0700 (PDT)

Hi again!

1. To Mike Darwin and his coworkers, VERY GOOD WORK. While I hope that all
   cryonicists will manage to forget their petty quarrels enough to cooperate
   so that your system becomes available to all, I suspect that's not the way
   things will work out. Too bad. But it's still good work, even if its only
   ever used (for cryonics) on BPI patients.

2. To John Clark: you explain very well just what my problem with the notion 
   of "intelligence" is. If I asked you to write a computer program which
   was intelligent, and gave you the spec that no, I couldn't define
   intelligence but would know it when I saw it, would you accept the contract
   or not? If we are to really understand intelligence, we'll have to be able
   to be quite specific about it rather than say that "we don't know what it 
   is but we'll know it when we see it".

   And yes, if I create a program able to beat me at chess, I would feel 
   proud of my programming ability... and would not feel that I had been 

   As for what will happen in the future, with competition, we'll have to see.
   I will say though, as someone who has spent some time studying just how our
   brains work, that computers can calculate faster (for instance) not because
   we have some mysterious lack but because we result from a long and very 
   efficient evolution which optimized us not JUST to do calculations but to
   do many other things too, including look at the world, procreate, etc etc.
   Even the speed with which we compute has been optimized for the situations
   in which we found ourselves (monkeys can jump from branch to branch quite
   rapidly, without falling; our ability to see, at the level of our retinas,
   is very fast --- enough that studies of the protein involved for use in 

   information storage have been done. But no one has had to solve 4 dimensional
   PDEs, and of course that shows).

   In fact, I would expect much more of a convergence than a simple uploading.
   If more speed turns out to have a selective advantage, then we will get more
   speed --- by modifying ourselves. And already we notice neural nets (not
   nearly as elaborate as our own, nor as capable in many ways) starting to 
   show up lots of places in computing. Speed is only one parameter among many
   on which selection has happened, and will happen in the future. The others
   are just as important, if not sometimes more so.

			Best and long long life (uploaded or other),

				Thomas Donaldson

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