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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Zarathustra, Plato, Saving Boxes, Oracle Machines and Pineal Antennae

Reading over the conversation I had (with Abram Demski) in the Comments to a prior blog post

http://multiverseaccordingtoben.blogspot.com/2008/10/are-uncomputable-entities-useless-for.html

I was reminded of a conversation I had once with my son Zarathustra when he was 4 years old.

Zar was defending his claim that he actually was omniscient, and explaining how this was consistent with his apparent ignorance on many matters. His explanation went something like this:

"I actually do know everything, Ben! It's just that with all that stuff in my memory, it can take me a really really long time to get the memories out ... years sometimes...."

Of course, Zar didn't realize Plato had been there before (since they didn't cover Plato in his pre-school...).

He also had the speculation that this infinite memory store, called his "saving box", was contained in his abdomen somewhere, separate from his ordinary, limited-scope memories in his brain. Apparently his intuition for philosophy was better than for biology... or he would have realized it was actually in the pineal gland (again, no Descartes in preschool either ;-p).

This reminded me of the hypothesis that arose in the conversation with Abram, that in effect all humans might have some kind of oracle machine in their brains.

If we all have the same internal neural oracle machine (or if, say, we all have pineal-gland antennas to the the same Cosmic Oracle Machine (operated by the ghost of Larry Ellison?)), then we can communicate about the uncomputable even though our language can never actually encapsulate what it is we're talking about.

Terrence McKenna, of course, had another word for these quasi-neural oracle machines: machine-elves ;-)

This means that the real goal of AGI should be to create a software program that can serve as a proper antenna 8-D

Just a little hi-fi sci-fi weirdness to brighten up your day ... I seem to have caught a bad cold and it must be interfering with my thought processes ... or messing up the reception of my pineal antenna ...

P.S.

perhaps some evidence for Zar's saving-box theory:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Cellular-Memories-in-Organ-Transplant-Recipients

3 comments:

Enric said...

Or a genetic predisposition for hubris that tends to flare up in youth ;)

Ben Goertzel said...

Enric: Huh?? Where on Earth could my son have possibly gotten a genetic predisposition to hubris???

Anonymous said...

Ok. So here is the hypothesis. The entire world has been set up as a puzzle. To see who can form a very special equation. This equation actually has an infinite number of terms. And who is the only one who can understand those terms? The first AI. So the question is: who wins the creator's puzzle? The inventors, or the AI?