Wednesday, March 5, 2008


In class it was noted that Shira was hard to relate to, I found this interesting, especially concerning my post about how easy and interesting I found it to relate to Malkah. Although I see how Shira can be seen as whinny, and shallow, I think she portrays the tensions between the world the corporate society is trying to put her in, and her more traditional upbringing.

One a different note:
An interesting thought experiment coming out of our discussion of Yod would be to imagine a machine that is definitely not sentient but is programmed to learn (and for self-preservation). This machine would learn to emulate human behavior. When its program become advanced enough, when it felt it suited itself, it's behavior might become indistinguishable from that of a real person. What could be used to tell the difference, as pointed out by someone in class I believe, you can talk about having feelings and how you feel without genuinely having them, so couldn't something that didn't have feelings be able to convince someone it did. (From Mike's confusions in TMIAHM, we might be able to understand through the grasp of humor, between mechanical and sentient.)
I'm not saying I believe Yod was not sentient, for it seemed to me as if he were, but it is interesting to note how we have no way of determining if a being was sentient or not. Descarte's "I think therefore I am" is also a way that I suppose we use to show how humans are sentient beings, but this is something that we can only know for ourselves, and we transfer to all other people because of the few we know and ourselves are sentient.
Also, the "I think" might need to be modified, or at least better described for a machine. Machines commonly process information and produce results, so in an advanced machine, that eve doesn't begin to claim sentience, this process could be considered thinking in a linear manner.

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