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Comment: Re:free will is not a religious idea (Score 1) 87

imagine a traditional computer running a fully-detailed simulation of a human brain. This simulation is an exact replica of a real human brain, and simulates every neuron, every chemical reaction, etc. It even simulates the quantum uncertainty effects at the finest level of detail.

Why would that simulation not evince "free will" (whatever that is)?

right...that is a good question

"no" is the answer, if you use legal definitions of 'free will' (or concepts similar to in practice)

"yes" is the answer if it really, truly is what you say...and we have a public debate about it and have a true democratic/legal decision...which even then would have would be in a room on a university campus...what if we let it control a drone? whole different story...

look, we're just going to have to agree to disagree about how actually feasable what you describe really's just so far out really is, from an engineering and psychology perspective, about as likely as humans being able to travel across the whole universe and through's that level...but again...we can agree to disagree

excellent thoughts, overall! very interesting and you have a good take on a lot of things

if what you describe ever really is even on the horizon and we see that it may be done, then, IMHO, we can have a reason to have this debate for's interesting for sure, but idk if humans would even still be 'human' in an evolutionary sense by the time we could do what you describe

Comment: Re:proof of hack writing (Score 1) 118

well, i'm not going to disagree...

We will only know if this thing is accurate when the new book comes out.


and he could be reading this thread, right now, taking notes

or, he could be in Thailand getting a massage while a team of writers crank out copy that GRRM just signs-off on

my example is Lost and Buffy the Vampire Slayer...both are examples of absolute hack writing that benefitted from using marketing tactics to create a cult fanbase

Joss Whedon admitted they would just improvise plot/story/dialogue on the spot in later seasons...they litterally just made it up as they went's the ultimate in "hack" writing

Joss Whedon is a professional, i will grant him, but he still was a hack...same with Lost...they replace "fan service" with plot, storytelling, character development, world building, and meaningful action

so i guess this is me admitting that this is too complex a topic to make one general statement about

Comment: proof of hack writing (Score 1) 118

I like TFA, it is interesting and his methods are applicable to alot of different fields, for example: alot of music producers (particularly of pop music) have *very* sharply defined parameters for beats per minute (BPM) and timing of the 'hook' or chorus/refrain part of the song. I could see reversing this algorithm with a bank of keywords to plug in...basically hack writing that is automated

I do not think this is evidence that "machines can replace human writers"...

I think this is evidence that GoT is formulaic hack writing...writing so predictable a dumb machine with the right algorithm can nail it!

Now, this may start of conversation of "sheeple will consume anything" and that's another conversation...but yeah...I see this as one human using an algorithm to prove another is a hack writer...very interesting

Comment: Re:free will is not a religious idea (Score 1) 87


that's quite a few questions

so, maybe i can answer all by falsifying my argument...

the human brain does work *somehow*...IMHO we have really only just scratched the surface...really...and i hope we can agree that the whole singularity notion that because of some unscientific conjecture about processor speed that 'ai' is predictable is nonsense...

that said, i have to admit that theoretically the human mind works and is a system and therefore can (and this is very far-flung...pure conjecture) be constructed

i'm talking about Commander Data...

in my line of thinking, a Commander Data type creation would *not* be human...would be 'ai'...but would be allowed to be given rights similar to humans

it would be a **new third category** and we would confer rights on it the same way we confer rights on ourselves ;) by democracy

look, even in this far-flung, completely fictional but theoretically possible scenario, the Commander Data is so complex that in the fictional narrative, the character is depicted as being impossible to re-create...virtually impossible anyway

my point is, to falsify my point you have to reach beyond any possible logic to pure fiction, where it all kind of breaks down

it is like having faster-than-light propulsion...the Albecurre Drive is an absolutely tantalizing theoretical possiblity, and people are giving it a serious look...but even case scenario...humans will never explore **other galaxies**...there are just too many too far apart to explore given the time they take to change in their life cycle

it is not 'irriducable complexity' but until we meet a higher intelligence than ourselves it may be unquantifiable no matter what...our minds like the universe itself...yet totally in every humans' reach! all kinds of idiots make new humans every day!

Comment: human learning (Score 1) 87

also, you may want to brush up on your education theory, because it's made leaps and bounds in the last 15 years, incorporating the exact same neuroscience that AI learning tries to use

i got an MA in Education from CU-Boulder in 2007...don't teach now, but i was genuinely impressed with how teaching has advanced as a profession

i also taught snowboarding for 6 seasons...applying the "Facilitated Learning Model" and was developed by...wait for theorists at CU-Boulder

Vygotsky and Csikszentmmihalyi formed the basis for the Facilitated Learning Model (which is more a application of theory for the classroom) makes a distinction between memorizing a list and learning

The "learning" happens in what Vygotsky called the "Zone of Proximal Development"

The facilitated learning model is the act of strategically placing instrisically motivated individual autonomous actors into positions where a teacher can model behavior while simultaneously reacting to the differing needs of each individual learner

the point is, human learning has advanced much...based on russian theorists who operated from the idea that humans have free will and that education is facilitating the learning that happens when one human is in the zone of proximal development

i admit, applying these theories to machine programming opens some intersting possibilities, but again, it's an adaptation to a command executed by a machine that **mimics** the behavior we see in humans in a machine for a specific other words, yes, maybe we can use these theories to program better machines, but the act of doing so proves what i'm saying...machines are fundamentally different than humans

Comment: "obvious" and consent (Score 1) 87

hey thanks for the comments

You seem to be implying that humans somehow learn differently than programs because the program is "programmed" and we're not. Do you have anything to support that assertion, besides "it's blatantly obvious to anyone with technical experience?" There's fairly good evidence that we've been "programmed" very effectively, and quite beyond what most of us would like to believe, by evolution.

now...what kind of evidence could I present that would satisfy your need?

if i had access, i could take Watson or another well known AI and show you the logic schematics then show you the codebase, then demonstrate how changing the codebase changes how Watson (or w/e) behaves with highly predictable results. I could have the engineers who made Watson walk you through their entire development process, and at each point of decision, explain to you how the decision effects how it works...

or, would you prefer some kind of academic study? i honestly don't know if such a study could even logically assertion are not provable -or- disprovable in that way

it's about having done the work of making a machine function...that's the experience/knowledge that i feel makes my assertion 'obvious'

now, humans being "programmed"...

i feel i know a bit too much about this...but yes, you can use technology, like chemistry or electricity or other E-M stuff, to alter human behavior

3 shots of whiskey or a 100K Volt cattle prod or some GHB...all can be said to "program" human behavior

the key here is human can "program" or control another but if it is without consent then it is abuse!

Comment: free will is not a religious idea (Score 1) 87

What you're saying is fundamentally religious

absolutely've been reading too much Richard Dawkins...put his books down forever he's a troll on academia

**secular humanism** also holds to this same essentially...

"every human is unique in the universe and has free machine will ever have these characteristics"

not the last part about machines, but the free will aspect of human existence is **NOT TIED TO RELIGION**

here is the UN declaration of human rights:

it is not religious in nature at all

that said, thanks for your insightful comments!

Comment: childhood toy (Score 1) 197

by globaljustin (#48012143) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

i took it to mean child-oriented toys that we kept into adulthood...or children's toys we...ahem...purchase in adulthood

in a sense, anything not necessary for survival is a 'toy'...

i still have some model rockets I made, a really old teddy bear, a few odd legos, and a box of micro-machines i made to look like Mad Max vehicles...some other random stuff...but that's actually in storage at my parent's house

we gave away things like star wars and transformers when i was about 13 or so (kept my comics and baseball cards at least!)

Comment: is climate the reason? (Score -1) 55

by globaljustin (#48007983) Attached to: Marc Merlin's 2014 Burning Man Report For Tech Geeks

I know lots of people who go, but have no desire to go myself.

ha! this reminds me of freshmen year as an Electrical Engineering student (changed my major before classes formally began...yes, that fast)

i was friends with all EE and ME's b/c they put me in a dorm with a bunch of them (close to the Engineering Bldg) and also I was ROTC

every Friday night, "Hey guys, let's go do X"...and often heard the above quoted text in response

TFA is a good write up...I've never been myself, but i've camped in deserts, done psychadelics, been to a huge hippie festival...just not at the same time and for alot less money and hassle...i have friends who are "burners"

if you are at all interested, have another look at TFA, talk to some friends or whatever and if you're still curious and can afford it, go!

Comment: i heard that Burning Man... (Score 2, Interesting) 55

by globaljustin (#48007949) Attached to: Marc Merlin's 2014 Burning Man Report For Tech Geeks

someone told me that DARPA types test out their latest mind control E-M gadgetry at Burning Man...

but to be more on-topic, Burning Man might be a good experience for a "geek"...

forget all the nonsense 'gift economy' techno-hippie blah's a bunch of artists, weird academics, ravers, drug experimenters, *rich people* who want to pretend to be those things at a high per-day cost, and of course creepers looking to scam or take advantage of people

it's camping in the desert with 60,000 people

now, in my observation, if you ask a typical burner "What is Burning Man all about?" you'll see an interesting linguistic phenomenon: recursive language ontology

the answer to the question is (all too often) not a fact or statement...the answer to "What is Burning Man all about?" is in part **the act of explaining the experience in a mystical, mysterious way**

it's the status of having been there, to say that you know what it's about, not the act of doing drugs or camping or looking at desert art


now, that said...if you're curious, GO FOR IT!

just do your thing and enjoy the nonsense for what it is...there is some really cool art and tech on display

Comment: Re:machine learning is optimization (Score 1) 87

the idea is it's blatantly obvious to anyone with technical experience

however, i'd like to continue if you are, so tell me, what is acceptable "support" for that position?

remember, you quoted one phrase, but it was part of a larger conversation that started about machine vision...which I was told was an example of machines learning a new skill...which I disagreed with

it will probably be helpful for one of us to define "human learning" if we're going to really do this...i'll let you make the call

Comment: 'teh singularity' (Score 1) 87

Once we do know how human learning works, we will be able to program machines to learn the same way.

this whole ontology, it's not science or's language tricks to make us humans feel like we've accomplished something when really it's just coding...

'ai' is code...code written by humans

also, there is no specific line where we can say "we've learned everything about how humans learn" can't have a black/white dichotomy with an abstract idea like "learning"

"learning" is different to every human and always will be...every human is unique in the universe and has free machine will ever have these characteristics...only the characteristics we linguistically ascribe to machine behavior that is ***entirely*** dependent and predictable by the human coding that instructs it

Debug is human, de-fix divine.