Paul's Admiration / Suspicion We Can Do Better Than This
|Wonderfully Useful||Iffy||A Problem|
greedy vs proper reductionism
cranes vs skyhooks
libraries, search landscape (akin to niches)
|genes and memes and selection and NOTHING else?|
no personal agency? no free will?
no space beyond the "libraries"?
Daniel Dennett's Brain:
(and sometimes out of control)
|Committed to Rigor in Thought||Some Times Too Much So?|
(and hence oddly timid?)
|"To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone who today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant, excusably ignorant in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write" (p 46)||"It makes sense to err on the side of greedy reductionism, to try for the simple model before wallowing around in complexities" (p 396)||"If a ... brain were truly capable of non-algorithmic activity, and if we have such brains, and if our brains are themselves the products of an algorithmic process ... an algorithmic process (natural selection in its various levels and incarnations) creates a non-algorithmic subprocess of subroutine, turning the whole process (evolution up to and including ... brains) into a non-algorithmic process after all. This would be a cascade of cranes creating, eventually, a real skyhook! ... The position is, I guess, possible, but ... (p 448)|
Selfish genes, selfish genes, exploration within a fixed landscape/library, emergent meaning/intentionality/morality within that constraint
"Darwin has shown us how, in fact, EVERYTHING is just such a product [of mindless purposeless forces] ... Darwin offers us [a convincing explanation of how God is distributed in the whole of nature]: it is in the distribution of Design through out nature, creating, in the Tree of Life, an utterly unique and irreplaceable creation ... that wonderful wedding of chance and necessity ... [that] just happened to happen, in the fulness of time ... it did make the ivy twine and the sky so blue, so perhaps the song I love tells a truth after all ... it is surely a being that is greater than anything any of us will ever conceive of in detail worthy of its detail ... I can stand in affirmation of its significance." (p 520)
Paul's Brain: Admiration and awe is all very fine, but I want to be an agent, to MATTER, not only to be shaped by but to shape. So ...
were not present at the beginning
They are instead themselves outcomes of an evolutionary process and,
From the active inanimate to model builders ...
adaptive, sophisticated, creative entities lacking "consciousness", "intentionality", internal sense of "meaning", internal sense of "self/other", internal sense of "time" ... things acting in ways that cause story-tellers to infer the existence of properties that don't in fact come into existence until story-tellers had evolved and created them
From the model builders to the story tellers ...
accelerating the process of exploration, without and with language ... recognizing models, using the models themselves to bring about new things ... what more do the WORDS mean? what more do we think we can do? and if we can, how?
By Roger N. Shepherd, from The Minds Eye: Finding Truth in Illusion
From Almost Real
HONOR THY FATHER
THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY
Words can bring into potential existence things that had not previously existed (and themselves have causal efficacy, reproduce, etc = "memes")
A BIG crane, maybe even a skyhook, created by the cranes?:
"I am, and I can think, therefore I can change who I am" and the libraries, search landscapes as well?
To be continued ...
Key points are adding to Dennett importance of randomness in context of bipartite brain .... Assertion that with this addition one gets not only awesome reality but personal agency
Core issue: is the search space actually being reshaped by human action?
Earlier issue, is it being reshaped by model-builders? Yes, in sense of new niches being created, but no in sense that all one has is particular organizations of matter and those in principle all imaginable in advance (the library) ... in this case, randomness gets one to new places but arguably all in same ("God's eye view") in advance imaginable search space.
With bipartite brain, what can be created is not previously imaginable (hence no "God's eye view) possibilities, some at least of which can in fact be implemented ... this in turn changes the search space in various ways, including at least potentially quite fundamental ones, ones not characterizable in terms of assemblies of matter?
If so, the cranes have in fact yielded a skyhook ... a potential ability to reshape by previous intent ...