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Doug Morris

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Everything posted by Doug Morris

  1. Computers, by clever programming and massive computing power, can perform specific tasks that used to require intelligence, such as playing chess or go, recognizing faces, speech, or other patterns, or mapping out a route for a trip. This is what I meant above when I said we have a lot of artificial intelligence already. All this is very different from computers possessing the faculty of reason, or even simply being conscious.
  2. If artificial intelligence is something that is not actually intelligence but merely imitates intelligence, we have a lot of that already. If someone eventually develops a computer system that is conscious and has the faculty of reason, I would call that synthetic intelligence, not artificial.
  3. How well do the 33% who said it was human understand the faculty of reason?
  4. Should we regard moral principles as having authority? Or should we regard them as tools for living a good human life?
  5. The biggest reason I haven't posted for a while is that I've been spending most of my time at another house, and I haven't been able to sign on from that computer. Something blanks out my ID and password as though I hadn't entered anything, and it does not give me any error message. Here I brought up the site on my normal computer, and it came up with me already signed on.
  6. I'm talking about taking an opportunity to do something. A time has come along to make a radical change. People should take that opportunity. It sounds to me like you are afraid somebody else wants to make good out of an otherwise bad situation, while you don't have a plan to do anything at all different than usual. I don't know how much we can accomplish politically in this crisis, since there is very little political support for the needed kind of reforms. People who are in a position to influence the policies and practices of technically non-governmental organizations such as hospitals may be able to achieve some improvements, although this will be limited by government requirements. People who are in a position to start new companies may be able to accomplish something. We can also look for opportunities to use this crisis as a teaching tool.
  7. Then you'd be wrong. American bureaucracy is an interesting monster, and not at all limited to the government. Do you even know all about the internal policies to hospitals that's filled with so much bureaucracy? That's what I'm referring to. Isn't the bureaucracy in technically non-governmental organizations such as hospitals largely a result of government requirements?
  8. When people demand "sacrifice", they usually don't define it. Last night on Jeopardy, although no one was demanding "sacrifice", they defined it as giving something up for something more important. This is almost the opposite of Ayn Rand's definition. Of course anyone demanding "sacrifice" will claim that what they are demanding satisfies the definition I heard on Jeopardy, not Ayn Rand's definition. And of course, what we are dealing with in connection with demands for "sacrifice" is the difference between altruist/collectivist and rationally egoist views of importance and value.
  9. It is questionable whether the word "success" applies to either viruses or these virus-like aliens, since neither is alive. But if we want to apply it, perhaps a virus is "successful" if it becomes endemic; that way it doesn't "die" out.
  10. As long as these measures are "justified" by appealing to such vague, collectivized concepts as the public health and the common good, there is no way to avoid containment of an epidemic being used as a precedent for containment of ideas. But what if we argue on the basis that spreading an epidemic is physical force, but spreading ideas is not?
  11. Individuals at the sensory or perceptual level can't have morality or even be working on developing it. Only once an individual reaches a sufficient level of abstraction in the conceptual level can he or she begin developing a morality.
  12. It can be a subjective reaction on Mr. Smith's part to dislike spinach, and at the same time an objective fact that he dislikes it.
  13. You don't think there will be a gradual increase in the number of people who think for themselves, with the increase becoming more rapid as the number increases?
  14. Sauron, Maia who faithfully served a particular Vala for a very long time, was badly disfigured by the fall of Numenor, gave away rings of power which benefited the elves, employed many orcs against whom other races were prejudiced, and brought functioning government to Mordor, passes into the Void at a very great age, due to magical effects and the actions of a conspiracy, with the crucial final blow being due to the actions of Gollum, who was a murderer and sick with evil.
  15. Completely opening borders will not solve everything. Defeating Elizabeth Warren will not solve everything. Repealing the antitrust laws will not solve everything. But each would be a positive step.
  16. Another simple answer is that there's too much statism in the world.
  17. Because it's the minimum display of "good faith"...? The least acknowledgment of what they are gaining in return. Iow, no sacrifice. These seem like pretty weak arguments. Why don't they apply when I cross a state or county line?
  18. I don't have to identify myself to cross a state or county line or for most other movement, or if I pay cash for something in a store. So it is not a special dispensation; it is a normal condition of movement, available to everyone.
  19. We need to distinguish clearly between immigration and citizenship. People who wish to become citizens should have to clearly identify themselves. But people who simply enter the country are not entering into that kind of contract. Why should they have to identify themselves?
  20. The government still wouldn't have the right to impose such restrictions itself. Government is a much greater threat to freedom of movement that a hypothetical banding together of all property owners. What about the right of free access to and from one's own property?
  21. When government manages property or something like property, then regardless of the rights and wrongs of that underlying situation, it should do so in a way that respects rights as much as possible, including the right to freedom of movement.
  22. You've made a good point about the stagnation argument. If I somehow managed to live for a million years, how much would the me of a million years from now have in common with the me now? How much would the me of a million years from now even remember about the me now?
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