Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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Doe Eyes

Memory:Grandparents house in Bath Ohio. A neighbouring or stray dog often came over to visit my grandpa, and when I stayed at their place, I often saw her. I think she was a Rough Collie - she often had guk on her eyes, causing my grandpa to affectionately call her "pee-pee eyes". Her vision was not that great, but she was admirably affectionate and energetic. I don't recall seeing her since he had the fish pond put in (which was more like a small lake - it changed the landscape quite a bit). It's strange reflecting on the lifespans of humans and other animals as companions - I imagine that dog is long since dead. I still feel a bit of pain remembering the pets I have buried over my life and those that died before I left the nest. Depression and solitude mean that I depend more on my pets than most people do, I suspect. It'd be a bizarre thing to imagine all the cats and iguanas of my post-nest life trying to exist together for a day. I suppose the same could be said for versions of oneself over time, or of one's social circles, significant others, etc.

Was reminded of this when, while wandering around trying to exit GHC (this is probably the most torturous/complex building on campus), I wandered into an area where a doe-eyed person was explaining how the secret to intelligence and human cognition was in Semantic Networks, particularly the Semantic Web. While I think that all that effort is philosophically interesting, anything but the weakest claims about what it's doing is deeply hilarious, and my estimation of people who make these wild claims drops considerably. At the very least, I expect people to understand that the formal reasoning mechanisms people are gluing onto the thing are different than human reason, that there is no one-true-style-of-reasoning, and that we will want to judge empirically the reasoning models people propose. People really into this stuff tend to fail the last very badly - they tend to be a priorists (into Platonism, etc etc), which at least means they don't really get modern science. They are either very amusing or very frustrating, depending on my mood when I hear them.


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