Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (Score 1) 732

You cannot bluff your way out of this blunder. In this post, I clearly mentioned the definitions I am using. In this reply you have given factually incorrect statements in the light of definitions I had declared.

You could have disagreed with the definitions, you could have proposed different definitions, you could have explicitly mentioned you don't want to define things concretely. But no. You made unambiguously incorrect statements. You can't change your definitions NOW with retrospective effect.

Comment Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (Score 1) 732

No, I explicitly said that I am considering the dominant definitions of "free market" and "communism" BECAUSE you do not define it yourself. You are of course free to use your own definitions, but you will be understood only if you either use dominant definitions or define the non-standard terms of discourse BEFORE the discourse.

A free market is a market (regardless how Adam Smith defines it) ...

One of the most idiotic things I have heard in 2014. Good bye until you learn why. Above paragraph is recommended reading in the process.

Comment Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (Score 1) 732

No this is an extremely ignorant and simplistic view of both free markets and communism. "Means of production" as defined by commonly accepted communistic theories, under commonly accepted free market theories, must be privately owned under commonly accepted free market theories. Buying/selling of "means of production" as a whole and shares into them is a major vehicle of economic activity as defined by Smith himself and his "free market" followers.

Free market's Smith warned seriously about business influencing government, and the need to keep them distant. Communist thinkers have, on the other hand, argued about them being the same. Collusion that Smith warned multiple times against, cannot be prevented unless business is privately owned.

For a person making fun of American ignorance of communism, you seem to take pride in your ignorance and have none the less strong opinion for it. You could pass for an American in this department any day of the year.

Comment Re:So you want to retire a statistical term... (Score 1) 312

I don't think physics has any headstart. Economics is at least as old as the time when our ancestors started living in groups / tribes. Physics is no older. If economics is the less "science" for it, it is fully deserved.

Yes, old people not progressing is a problem but it is in physics too. If economists have it in a greater degree, economics is the less "science" for it and quite deservedly.

Yes, testing hypothesis in macro - economics is somewhat like the problem astro-physics has. Only passive observation is feasible, not active experimentation. Actually economists have convinced governments to alter serious macro-economic policies, astro physicists have been able to do far far less active experimentation. My impression of lack of consensus in economists is that it is greater than that in astro-physicists. I could be wrong, though.

Comment Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (Score 1) 732

While I agree Americans have a skewed perception of communism - in not only what they know but hugely in what they feel about it.

But since you don't define communism yourself, publicly agreed upon definitions drawing from works of Marx, Lenin, possibly Mao will need to be taken as working definition. They completely don't go with free market, as defined by, say works of Adam Smith.

Democracy (in fact any *cracy) doesn't practically go with free market because the subject of the *cracy is the master, and can (and mostly will) force the markets to be non-free.

Comment Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (Score 1) 732

This has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

Then your quotation has nothing to do with the topic that was being discussed. Question was
What can humans do that robots can't?

To which you answered Feel a sense of accomplishment, followed by what now proves to be an irrelevant quote.

You are mistakenly believing that YOUR , or Banks' sense of what is "impressive" has anything to do with whether the "doer" itself feels a sense of accomplishment. That is false from your own reasoning outlined in this post of yours - that one has to believe one's own task "difficult" to get this sense of accomplishment. In believing one's own task difficult, humans are influenced by the thinking of their fellow humans - but that is far from a universal trait in humans themselves, to say nothing about non-human doers.

By this line of logic, what you are considering impossible for a robot is - to make YOU feel the robot's task was "impressive". I agree a robot might never be able to do that, but feeling a sense of accomplishment itself, by any reasonable definition, doesn't seem impossible at all.

c) an accomplishment is defined by the obstacles you overcome to achieve it, so it does not need to be special. You, as a human, faced the challenge with more obstacles than a purpose-built machine.

I don't agree with this line of argument. The perception of challenge is self-perceived. Program the robot to "deem" its own task "difficult", whatever it means. And then program it to "feel" a sense of accomplishment. You could define "difficult" again in the subjective way you define "feel a sense of accomplishment" but such a definition is useless as a functional definition for this discussion for the same reason I outlined in my last post.

There are two problems with your last paragraph:

I see them as proof you got the point rather than "problem". The "problem" is what I was trying to say.

a) How do you, personally, know that everyone around you isn't lying to your face about what they believe? Claiming AI would be non-genuine because you can't "detect" anything more is no different. There would be debugging procedures both equivalent to, and much more powerful than, the fMRI we currently use to detect (what we think are) genuine emotions in humans.

Exactly what I am saying. So your definition of "feel a sense of accomplishment" is useless, especially but not solely because it is in a context of non-humans as well as humans.

You also mistakenly believe there is any such thing as "genuine emotions" when talking together about human and non-human subjects.

b) It would be impossible to build an AI that behaved fully human without either copying a human template or understanding how it worked.

Correct, but it is necessary to to build robots like that only to prove people like you wrong - who feel robots cannot "feel a sense of accomplishment" - by either showing the definition of "feel a sense of accomplishment" useless or actually feeling it by your definition.

If the human template is copied, then the new model has no appreciable difference; if the AI built from scratch, we'd know for certain how experiences would affect its decision-making.

Well, "behave" fully human in this case is satisfied by being more than a human too. So it can still have appreciable "difference", the difference being of being "super-set". If the set of functions of the robot includes feeling a sense of accomplishment, your statement is proven false.

Comment Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (Score 1) 732

I'm asking about a working definition, which is possible to detect in something other than oneself. The way you are defining it, you can't even tell if another human being has it or not, even after conducting laboratory experiments on the said human.

So actually it is implementation specific - about some implementations (humans) you assume they are feeling it, without any scientific test, just because they behave in a certain way while actually possibly not feeling it. But for other implementations (robots) , you don't give any way they can "feel" as per your definition.

BTW does behaving as if they are feeling a sense of accomplishment count? That is all you can detect anyway. Robots could do that one day.

Comment Re:Future Guy responds (Score 1) 732

No one can stop him from ordering. If all else fails, he can create a website of his own from which to order.

Where the story stops making sense is the lack of motivation of any one to deliver. Or to make (and maintain) a machine to deliver. Or to make (and maintain) a machine to make (and maintain) a machine to deliver.

Comment Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (Score 1) 732

It is like asking show me a person above 80 kgs of weight who is simultaneously below 30 kgs of weight.

Communistic society and free market don't go together. Same as being lighter than 30 kg and heavier than 80 kgs don't go together.

Democratic government, with current human tendency, almost doesn't go with either of these, but that depends on what the particular set of voters vote for among other factors. So it is like saying show me a person which blood sugar level of above 400 mg/dL for 40 years and still has perfectly functioning kidneys, heart, brain and eyes. Possible, but highly unlikely.

Comment Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (Score 1) 732

"Feel a sense of accomplishment" is defined by some chemicals flowing through some parts of human body. One could make robots that are human shaped and make that chemical flow in analogous parts of their "body". Nothing special about that.

If "Feel a sense of accomplishment" is not defined like that, how else is it defined ?

Comment Re:Basic Statistics (Score 2) 312

Bruce Lee summed it up - "Before I started martial arts, a punch was a punch and a kick was a kick. When I started martial arts, a punch was no longer a punch and a kick was no longer a kick. When I understood martial arts, a punch was a punch and a kick was a kick."

Most people are stuck at the second level - stuck in technicalities. Few people ever reach the third level - where a punch is a punch and a kick is a kick, not because of ignorance of technicalities. But because they have transcended the technicalities.

Comment Re:So you want to retire a statistical term... (Score 1) 312

Ok, that is interesting. I read a lot of "economists" and I don't get the impression that they are doing what I would call science. My impressions, compressed in a sentence, amount to the lack of consensus among premier economists about non-trivial, falsifiable and reproducible hypotheses.

Physicists have that consensus about of lots of such hypotheses, "economists" that I read don't. Would I not get such an impression if I were reading "real" economists as defined by you? Or do you disagree that this lack of consensus is a serious obstacle in economics becoming a "science" ?

Comment Re:A blow to vegetarians (Score 1) 318

Some vegetarians will, for instance, not eat cheese because you may have to kill cows to make it (little known fact, often something from the gut of cows is used to make cheese)

Vegetarian (microbial "rennet") cheese has been developed to quite a perfection. Yes all the million kinds of cheese cannot be made vegetarian, but enough variety can be, and it is the sole variety sold in Muslim (and even Hindu) majority markets.

While Muslims don't mind eating meat, a mix of dairy and meat is prohibited in Islam so they can't eat the calf rennet cheese. Of course cow is sacred for Hindus, so any food remotely associated with cow slaughter is no go.

In short, not eating cheese for this reason is not justified any more.

Comment Re:Extinct species survived (Score 1) 318

We have outsourced a lot of our digestion to gut flora. So a lot of evolution has been of those rather than human anatomy itself. Digesting this way makes us more flexible, by using the gut flora as pluggable modules.

Though I wouldn't disagree much if you say gut flora ARE part of human anatomy.

Slashdot Top Deals

The "cutting edge" is getting rather dull. -- Andy Purshottam