Bartlett: Indeed, whatever the difficulty of creating life in the lab, making individual prototypes is not nearly as problematic as making “the machine that makes the machine,” which all reproducing living cells can do. That is, the ability of an organism to reproduce is at least an order of magnitude harder that the ability of an organism to just live.
Bartlett: “The interesting thing about this paper is that it shows that the principles demonstrated in the 1990s by Wolpert and Macready still have not really sunk in yet. As their “No Free Lunch” theorems point out, there is no universally good search through any search space.
Readers may recall that Forrest M. Mims III, despite his gifts in electronics and citizen science, was denied a column in Scientific American because he was not a Darwinist or a supporter of live baby dismemberment.
Some people may still think that “science” is whatever gets published in a journal. Not any more, that’s for sure.
Bartlett: What I found most interesting about the conversation, however, is not the technology itself but the (secular) mythology embedded in Musk’s lengthy descriptions of what he thinks his device can do…
Some researchers confuse not finding a particular type of design with ruling out design of the virus. This problem is not unique to them; it is a bad habit of the scientific community which stretches back into the 1800s.
According to Mullings, the reason for the association between mathematics and physics is not that the mathematics is causative but rather that mathematics studies the logical structure of possibility and constraint. As a result, if the mathematics successfully captures the possibilities and constraints in the real world, it will provide a tool for further analysis of potential possibilities.
The idea that we can upload our brains to computers to avoid death shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between types of thinking.
If we were able to make intelligent and sentient AIs, wouldn’t that mean we would have to stop programming them? It would be unethical for me to force you to do my will, so wouldn’t the same thing be true with AIs? [Not that it is ever going to happen, but… ]
Curves often don’t do what people claim.
Elon Musk sees technology as taking over the human world and we’d best consider our options. Ma points out that humans build computers but no computer has ever built a human: For Musk, technology is not a tool to promote humanity. Rather, technology will take humanity’s place of leadership in the world. Humans will have Read More…
History shows that Newton’s own development of the idea of infinite series was exactly as I described. In Newton’s day, polynomials were known to be imperfect stand-ins for transcendental functions.
Referring to calculus textbook author Jonathan Bartlett, he writes, “What surprises me is that even creationists with math or related degrees often have problems with basic mathematics.” Bartlett will answer shortly.
Unfortunately, most mathematics texts teach only the mathematics, never the insights. I felt so frustrated by this gap that I wrote my own textbook, in which I try to teach both.
If consciousness is indeed a first instantiation of a new law of nature, there should be laws associated with its workings. They should relate to the laws of information theory.