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Old 12-30-2017, 05:47 AM
SamuelA is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,903
Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
I think it's SamuelA's biography.

I was going to leave this alone but since this tribute to your genius has been revived I feel I must add a few comments.

SamuelA, I am thoroughly sick and tired of your fucking bullshit. You are truly a fucking moron. You asked me for "an MIT paper" contradicting the computational theory of mind. I gave you one. I don't know why it had to be "an MIT paper" or what you meant by that -- Kosslyn is actually at Harvard, but that particular journal is published by MIT Press, so I hope it meets your stellar criteria.

The problem here, SamuelA, is that you didn't fucking understand it, so you just ignored it. And I can't help that, nor the fact that you apparently don't have a clue about what is significant about it (I don't agree with it, FTR, but it's an example of the controversy that exists). We already know that you don't understand most of the stuff you pontificate about, but it's astounding that someone who claims to have majored in CS doesn't understand what a computational paradigm is. As Alan Turing might have told you -- or indeed, Charles Babbage many years before that -- it has nothing whatsoever to do with signaling or the propagation of electrical pulses that you've been bloviating about. The broad questions that are being asked are along the lines of: is the brain a finite-state automaton? Can it be emulated by a system that is Turing complete? In pragmatic terms, the questions in cognitive science center around whether cognitive processes consist of syntactic operations on symbolic representations in a manner that can be emulated by a computational system that is Turing complete, or whether perceptual subsystems like the visual cortex are involved, as Kosslyn claims.

The evidence is contradictory, hence the debate. On the pro-CTM side we find that mental image processing is significantly different from perceptual image processing in being influenced by pre-existing knowledge and beliefs, and therefore operates at a higher level of cognitive abstraction. In that paper, Kosslyn tried to show the opposite.

The best summary of it all is perhaps that of the late Jerry Fodor, a pioneer of cognitive science and a strong proponent of CTM despite his acknowledgement of its limitations. Fodor passed away just a few weeks ago, a great loss to everyone who knew him and to the scientific community. He had this to say in the introduction to a book he published seventeen years ago:
There are facts about the mind that [computational theory] accounts for and that we would be utterly at a loss to explain without it; and its central idea -- that intentional processes are syntactic operations defined on mental representations -- is strikingly elegant. There is, in short, every reason to suppose that the Computational Theory is part of the truth about cognition.

But it hadn't occurred to me that anyone could suppose that it's a very large part of the truth; still less that it's within miles of being the whole story about how the mind works ... I certainly don't suppose that it could comprise more than a fragment of a full and satisfactory cognitive psychology ...
-- Jerry Fodor, The Mind Doesn't Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology, MIT Press, July 2000
But hey, SamuelA, look at the bright side. At least your fucking stupid digression about electricity and signaling let you work in the phrase "node of Ranvier", so there's that. Those are mighty big words for someone who thinks a "tenant" is a principle or doctrine in science or philosophy. Trust me, a "tenant" is someone who rents your apartment and pays you rent. Too bad you fucked up here yet again: since it's named after the French histologist Louis-Antoine Ranvier, the word "Ranvier" in that phrase is by convention capitalized as a proper name. Seems you just can't win for losing. To avoid this sort of embarrassment in the future, maybe you should stick to using small words and avoid terminology that you're unfamiliar with.
To someone familiar with the field, you just revealed you're the moron here. The fact that you claim that my correct analysis of discretizing signals - something I do real stuff with daily, I don't write blogs - is "{blah blah bloviate bloviate as the sphincter opens to full emission capacity}" means you simply lack the background to parse what I wrote.

You obviously are not qualified to comment on the brain at all.

If you were, you would realize that if a system can be copied by truth table, it's Turing complete. Period. And if another system implements the same table, it cannot be distinguished from the first system in the real world if you don't know which system was which.

And the evidence is absolutely overwhelming that the signals the brain uses are signals that both the signaling itself and the processing to produce equivalent signals can be emulated by a digital approximation. This has been done in the real world in numerous experiments, including replacement of regions of rat brains with chips.

Since you don't seem to get it, let me say that what I am focusing on is a synapse by synapse, axon by axon copying of a brain - any brain - sentient or not. If you can copy each individual part and build a low level emulation, all the high level processing must work. In the same way you can't tell if a person knows Chinese or just has a really great Chinese room/symbol table for all their responses.

It may be philosophically disturbing and it may be difficult to explain the algorithms in terms of current theories, but that's kind of irrelevant to whether one system can be shown to be functionally equivalent to another.

I also smirk at your obsession with "tenant" vs tenet. Somehow I doubt you ever have taken undergrad, much less grad school neuroscience, and you obviously skipped out on signals and systems. (by the way, that's a senior level course they also put in graduate catalogs, it isn't freshman year). Someone who was smart enough to do more than parrot philosophers could focus on the meat of the argument instead of just claiming it's incorrect by asspull.

Last edited by SamuelA; 12-30-2017 at 05:51 AM.