Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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Exploring Platonic Ideals

Is that the world of platonic ideals? That sounds like mysticism repackaged..

No, it's just another way to look at what intelligence really is. If someone decides to go to the store, or decides not to go to the store, without urgent need either way, you'd call that intelligent, right?


But if he were to drop to the ground and start to roll around, never again speaking a word or connecting them randomly, you might call that less intelligent?

We might ask why he does that...

No, I don't mean in the judgemental way, but rather from the perceptive way - he becomes less human as we know it, loses the quality, justified or not.

I suppose that's true.

So whatever we might infer about his inner state allows for a certain width of behaviour, with an accompanying width in theoretically attached mental states, in which behaviour is intelligent or not..

That seems reasonable..

Given that, we might take different approaches for the necessity of those states to be tied to a biological system - you've already come to a conclusion that the function is what matters - that the mechanism by which the mind is implemented, provided the broadest and deepest behaviour of the system is preserved is sufficient.

I reserve the right to nuances, but that's a fair description of my position.

Imagine then that we perceive the pattern itself to be intelligence, that we could consider the numbers, feed them appropriate (though complex) inputs in some kind of a simulation, and that that could constitute their reality. We might consider Descarte to be refuted..

Hold on, I don't think that would refute him so much as deconstruct or perhaps redefine his terms out from under him.

What do you mean?

If we change the notion of the mind to being a path through a set of data, and data itself neither exists nor does not exist, then it seems like the progressions through that which we call "mind", fluid and lacking in single paths as they would become, become equally immune to investigation on existence.

Then Descarte might equally say "I think, therefore I am", "I think, therefore I am not", and perhaps even "That which I am is such that I am also you and every other person"?

I'm not certain about the last - we might choose several different "I"s of different flavours, some of them being more like categories, some more like unique identities...

Is there really a difference between categories and identities?

I'm not sure. Probably not when we're talking within this framework.

To return to an earlier point, I imagine that fictional characters could be said to be people as well if they had a rich enough inner life.. that's a high standard to meet though...

It's also interesting to think then about what this perspective shift means for life, death, and empiricism...

Empiricism -- do you mean that it seems odder to imagine the universe would make sense to a pattern, that there would seem to be consistency in what parts of that data set seem to that pattern to be input? Also, I feel a bit claustrophobic to think that I don't have space for real change in myself - that what we are on the deepest level is a larger pattern of data...

On claustrophobia, it would just be taking a step beyond embracing materialism - we'd be getting rid of more egocentric notions of the self. You'll also have to do that with considering the neighbour patterns to yourself in that data space.. and consider that these patterns then might be instantiated in many worlds from their beginning to end, only becoming "thin" at the end.. and even that thinness is just another way of viewing this set of data. On the former, I suppose so. I'm not sure if we can, as patterns who pretend we have free will, come up with a good set of reasoning why reasoning seems to work on some level. Maybe that's a weakness of this perspective, maybe it isn't...

I had that basic conversation in my head many years ago (albeit with more than two people, and with much more branching off for other topics). The first time I mentioned the broadest intuitions of it to someone was with a coworker back in Robotics who surprised the heck out of me by being able to think deeply about philosophy (my first impression of him was to suppose that he was a Mormon). It led to a very good conversation that hopped all around this and other topics. Somehow, the mood never felt right again to go back over this ground and cover it more carefully, and a few weeks later I quit that job and came over to Psychology. I've always felt it hard to start conversations like this, partly because for some reason it feels like a guilty pleasure (It feels a bit like inappropriate intimacy? There's a lot of complexity here that I might write about later... in brief, I almost ever talk to people about philosophy unless I'm willing to feel pretty close to them on some level, and similarly I don't think it's possible to know me on the deepest level without exploring my philosophy and sharing one's own) and partly because I have a tough time talking to other people in general beyond a shallow level. There are other things that make it hard too.. Anyhow, the intuitions behind this have felt like an interesting challenge to standard materialism (although they coexist so far in my Weltanschauung - there's little reason not to keep multiple lenses that still work in a philosophy, and to see how things look differently through them). Recently I've been thinking more about what it would look like to realign one's emotional self based on accepting (or adopting -- maybe a less misleading word) this philosophical shift as well as exploring some of the areas of consideration I've laid out for further exploration here. Amusement: Philosophy as a set of caves to explore.

I've been dreaming of Cellos. Of all the instruments in a standard string orchestra, the Cello is the only instrument I never learned to any degree - in the many years I played in school, subgroups of us would often go off to practice together and try new things, so I did learn some of the basics, but I regret never taking it any further. I love the sound of cello. I think I went with the String Bass as my last main stringed instrument because I liked how it often would be played in so many different ways, and how its sounds often stood apart frolm the rest of the orchestra, but for the potential for raw sound quality, I like the sound of the Cello more (For those of you who haven't heard his work, check out Yo-yo Ma's CDs - they're beautiful)

Working my way through Kafka on the Shore.. I think this post has passed it's sappiness quotient, so I'll leave out the further observations and just leave two sections that left an impression on me..

"in everybody's life, there's a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can't go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That's how we survive"

"All I wanted was to go off to some other world, a place beyond anybody's reach. A place beyond the flow of time.""But there's no such place like that in this world.""Exactly. Which is why I'm living here, in this world where things are continually damaged, where the heart is fickle, where time flows past without a break."


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