The simulation argument states that one of the following must be true: the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. …
Dear Professor People used to believe something was true because someone told them it was true, and that someone might have been a priest or a king or a parent or a book, but after a while people realised that wasn’t a very good way of telling what’s true from what’s not true. There were …
Well, some people say we can already whilst others say we can’t. To measure something we need to be able to define what it is we’re measuring and the term intelligence as it is commonly used may be too vague. According to Wikipedia: Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem …
I went to see Stephen Pinker on Monday night, interviewed by Decca Aitkenhead of the Guardian, talking about his latest book, Enlightenment Now, an argument for science, rationalism and humanism. Bill Gates’ new favourite book apparently, knocking his previous favourite, Pinker’s Better Angels of Our Nature, off the top spot.
Some of us, maybe all of us to some extent, like our principles to be pure, unsullied by the messiness of reality.
Not the kind of God that most people imagine. Not the kind of God listens to your prayers and maybe answers them, not the sort of God who might tell you to do certain things, like strap explosives to yourself and blow up a bus full of people. That kind of God couldn’t exist in …
At 19.44 on 2015.04.27, a Monday, I thought I’d jot down a reverie that plays out in my head from time to time in which Wol and I discuss matters religious and I give voice to my long-held contention that Christianity includes some rather confused theology – the notion of the trinity, for example, or …
This is what The Professor told his mother a few weeks ago. She blames me.
Why is Grandad old?
Because he was born along time ago.
But we’re not as old as Grandad. Why aren’t you as old as Grandad?
Because Grandad is my daddy. You can’t be older than your daddy, can you?
No! But Grandad will get older and older and older.
And then he will die?
And we will get older and older and older and then we will die. But that will be a very very long time.
But we mustn’t talk about things like that.
The Professor’s mother mentioned how she thought some parents treated their children like little adults. She thought this was wrong. I asked her what she meant. Could she give me an example? All sorts of things could be described as trying to get children to behave like adults. Teaching them to walk, for instance, or …