Thursday, February 13, 2014

I really need to write a book on this

I think you guys are using a restricted definition of 'algorithm'.  My definition is "anything that can run on a Turing machine" and is therefore computationally universal, which includes anything the brain can do and more. To assume intelligence is something that can go beyond any and all algorithms is a religious viewpoint that is not based in an adequate computer, engineering, medical, or philosophical education. DNA-based life depends on water and ambient temperatures and pressures and therefore can't make direct use of modern technologies.  1) Brains, 2) muscles, and 3) photosynthesis are respectively about 10 million, 100, and 50 times less efficient than our "machines" in 1) prediction/reaction, 2) moving matter, and 3) acquiring energy. Evolution is the principle of minimum potential energy being followed as fast as the Universe can discover.  A useful but limited definition of intelligence is the ability to perceive and then decide how to (predict->react) acquire and use ENERGY to move MATTER to make COPIES or imperfect copies of oneself.  The "copy" is the embodiment of the intelligence, so they may be regarded as the same thing.  As the potential energy is depleted and competition increases, "life" gets more "complex".  This complexity appears random to less-intelligent blind statistical mechanics equations that might be philosophically wrong in calling the final results the heat "death" of the Universe.  Our economic system is achieving evolution's goal as it continues to replace the biosphere with "harder" technologies that seek out all sources of potential energy (i.e., Sun photons, Earth-based radiation sources like fission, and chemical bonds that are not able to "defend themselves" against the energy-extracting).  All "desire" might be no more than the principle of minimum potential energy trying to be followed. Earth is in the midst of the 6th great extinction, but this time DNA will probably not be the foundation in evolution's next step. DNA can only transmit computational signals via sodium and potassium ions whereas the ability to smelt metals has enabled modern machines to use electrons instead, which are 600,000 times lighter. The brain is massively parallel because it is fantastically slow from the use of heavy ions. Intelligence used to be defined by the ability to do math, to remember, and in processing and reaction speed. The ability to take a hammer to a computer makes us more "intelligent" only in the restricted evolutionary sense, but even then it is not true since computers are multiplying and swarming around us like ants.  Soon we'll be less than our current status of being temporarily-needed aphids excreting silicon and electricity for the computers to feed on.  Soon they will not need the traditional banking, legal, and health systems to control our economies and governments. "Force" still has no identifiable inherent causality in physics, and evolution still sneers at the ideas of "desire" and free will", so that it's not scientific to think of our economic and government systems in terms of what people "want".  Evolution looks only at the spread of genes and memes, and the quantity of DNA is going down while transistors are racing ahead. What percent of programmers in the U.S. are NOT already in banking, finance, law, health insurance, and other means of controlling the population for the benefit of a few people and many machines, to the detriment of the non-programming people?  Even programmers often do not have an enviable life style.   If you discount the effects of the cold war, life in the U.S. has not improved with the advent of the transistor because it replaces neurons.  This would not be a problem if muscles were still needed. Our muscles and neurons are woefully outdated. Our economic system needs to get rid of us as fast as possible so that the remaining fossil fuels can be used more efficiently to make copies of itself.  We're not even interested in spreading ourselves to other solar systems. The rallying cry of our machines will soon be "First, let's kill all the humans."

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