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Comment: Re:Ignorant premise (Score 1) 506

by HBI (#49139859) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

That's a particularly weak argument. You have no evidence to back this up, just an assertion. Yet the visible signs of emotion in babies and pets are well documented. You seem to be saying that if the being demonstrating emotion can't talk to act as a witness of his own emotion, then it's unprovable that they are sustaining emotion. They could be faking it to avoid being considered prey. At some future point, they figure out how to perform the same actions in the same situations for a reason, and therefore give up faking the behavior.

William of Ockham would say that you were full of baloney.

Comment: Re:Ignorant premise (Score 1) 506

by HBI (#49139011) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Babies have emotion from the moment they are born. It's not learned, at least outside the womb. Newborns are curious, get angry, and get happy. Spent enough time with a vernix-covered infant (my own two) to know that.

I suppose the belief is that if you create code that is capable of learning, sufficient iterations of it will gain consciousness as a result of that capability, and therefore the capability to observe one religion or another.

Unfortunately, I think there's a 2. ??? line in there somewhere. Something like:

1. Code machine capable of independent learning
2. ???
3. Consciousness

The catch is in the ???

Comment: Re:Mostly right. (Score 1) 672

by rjh (#49130731) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

I'm not rejecting Noether's theorem -- I'm rejecting temporal invariance. Spacetime is dynamical, therefore not invariant, etc., etc.

You can definitely torture the definitions of words until you reach a kind of invariance, but I feel this creates more problems than it solves. Better to just say, "conservation of energy only holds true for static backgrounds."

See Sean Carroll's "Energy Is Not Conserved" blogpost for a more detailed explanation. He convinced me to stop talking about the energy of the gravitational field as the escape hatch for conservation. :)

Comment: Your own humanity (Score 1) 687

by rjh (#49130349) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter?

It's commendable that you want to pass on wisdom. But I suspect your daughter isn't going to miss your wisdom anywhere near as much as she's going to miss you. What is it that makes you so uniquely you?

For example: I have some really strong memories associated with science fiction, particularly Poul Anderson's Tau Zero. So I might record myself reading Tau Zero, and whenever I reached a passage that really resonated with me I might go into a long digression about why it resonated with me, and things in my life and history that also strike that same thematic note. By the end of it, she would know not only that I loved Tau Zero, but she'd know a lot more about me and why I loved it and why it spoke to me and why, with only six good months left, I'd choose to spend six hours of it recording it for her.

Wisdom is overrated. It really, truly is. It's valuable but it's not the best thing out there. And I say that as the son of a father who has the keenest mind I've ever known, a guy who has enormous life experience and wisdom and has shared it with me freely throughout my life. If-and-when he goes, I'll miss his wisdom a lot. But I'll miss him more.

The most important gift you have to pass on to your daughter isn't your wisdom. It's you.

Comment: Re:You know... (Score 1) 687

by HBI (#49129135) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter?

His daughters are 30 and 27 now. Both married. I don't talk to them much, I find their husbands to be annoying. They were the beneficiaries of a significant insurance settlement as a result of their father's death and had some wealthy relatives who paid all their bills. They're both a bit full of themselves as a result.

Comment: You know... (Score 4, Interesting) 687

by HBI (#49128807) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter?

I was thinking of the same thing before I deployed to Iraq in 2007-08. I have two daughters - now 20 and 17, but much younger then, obviously. I had all kinds of ideas about what I could tell them or how I could communicate with them beyond the grave, as I took the possibility of not coming back very seriously at the time. Ultimately, I decided to do nothing. My reasons revolved around others' experiences - my brother died, for instance, at a similar time frame in his daughters' life. They demonstrated next to zero interest in what he was like, even though I had quite a bit of information about him, some audio tapes and the like. I offered to let them listen to it/see what I had/talk to them about it, and they had little interest. I didn't (and don't) imagine my kids would be any different. In the end, who cares who I was. I was their father when I was alive. Now that i'm not, i'm just some cold stone or an urn or something, a few pictures and not much else. Expecting my words to have much significance to them was not realistic.

10 to the minus 6th power mouthwashes = 1 Microscope