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Re: Hanging around

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  • holderlin66
    ... Maurice McCarthy wrote: distinct from matter. Almost all cognitive scientists, neurologists and Artificial Intelligence folk are
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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      --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com,

      Maurice McCarthy <maurice.mccarthy@n...> wrote:

      "distinct from matter. Almost all cognitive scientists, neurologists
      and
      Artificial Intelligence folk are funtionalists."

      Bradford asks;

      functionalists or fun, as funtionalists... I think I like FUN
      better, although I suspect you meant, and to clarify, did you mean,
      FUNCTION?

      You wrote;

      "Chomsky is the man most responsible for this change - that the mind
      is
      born with a pre-configured modularity. As I see it this is within an
      ace of declaring the soul.

      Maurice

      Bradford comments;

      Pre-configured Modularity...funny I was thinking Pre-configured
      modality..so modularity, does modularity give more mobility
      potential then something more hard wired like modality. It is is
      always interesting to discover Terms of Endearment or Terms of
      agreement..New Terms - Hard wired, Modularity, Modality, to
      determine soul.

      So Maurice if you might widen these two out, function and modulaity.
      Functional brain apparatus as standard issue or unique modularity as
      user friendly, user designed?
    • Maurice McCarthy
      Oops! Yes, I meant funCtionalist. ... Let me first give my phrasing of how I try to see clearly in this. At issue is the relation of the mind and the brain,
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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        Oops! Yes, I meant funCtionalist.


        On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 03:01:25PM -0000 or thereabouts, holderlin66 wrote:
        > --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com,
        >
        > Maurice McCarthy <maurice.mccarthy@n...> wrote:
        >
        > "distinct from matter. Almost all cognitive scientists, neurologists
        > and Artificial Intelligence folk are funtionalists."
        >
        > Bradford asks;
        >
        > functionalists or fun, as funtionalists... I think I like FUN
        > better, although I suspect you meant, and to clarify, did you mean,
        > FUNCTION?

        Let me first give my phrasing of how I try to see clearly in this. At
        issue is the relation of the mind and the brain, which all consider most
        difficult. Especially unpopular are dualisms Substance Dualism is after
        Descartes and considered the Folk Psychology view, where Folk Psychology
        is the worldview of the man in the street - a naive realism modified by
        experience and education.

        As I see it the relation of mind and brain is, in the abstract,
        analogous to number and matter, respectively. No one seems to think the
        relation of number and matter mysterious - not that I've seen. All forms
        of physical matter can be described by numbers and operations of numbers
        (number itself is a counted unity and so an operation of its own and a
        definite quantity). Matter is the What of a thing, Number is the How of
        the same thing. The What cannot exist without the How because its How is
        exactly how it became what it is. In itself anything is at once a What
        and a How in undivided unity. Perception strips out the How and leaves
        the What. Thinking reveals the How and re-unites it to the what.

        The mind is the How of the brain, which is a What. Thus we avoid
        substance dualism but by its nature consciousness has to be a duality.
        The brain is always structured by the mind. "Use it or lose it." is a
        phrase beloved by Susan Greenfield, the best known neurologist in
        Britain. The brain structure dissolves if it is not supported by its
        How - because it is the How which does the structuring. Somehow she
        still sees the brain matter as primary but the penny will drop sooner or
        later. She's teetering on the brink of the realisation, her own first
        little threshold.

        Got to go - call to the shops
        Will be back later.

        Big M ;-)

        >
        > You wrote;
        >
        > "Chomsky is the man most responsible for this change - that the mind
        > is
        > born with a pre-configured modularity. As I see it this is within an
        > ace of declaring the soul.
        >
        > Maurice
        >
        > Bradford comments;
        >
        > Pre-configured Modularity...funny I was thinking Pre-configured
        > modality..so modularity, does modularity give more mobility
        > potential then something more hard wired like modality. It is is
        > always interesting to discover Terms of Endearment or Terms of
        > agreement..New Terms - Hard wired, Modularity, Modality, to
        > determine soul.
        >
        > So Maurice if you might widen these two out, function and modulaity.
        > Functional brain apparatus as standard issue or unique modularity as
        > user friendly, user designed?
        >
        >
      • Hogie McM
        Re: The What and the How in relation to the Mind and Brain. Is not the Number just an expression of the How, and not the How itself? So it would seem to me we
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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          Re: The What and the How in relation to the Mind and Brain.
          Is not the Number  just an expression of the How, and not the How itself?
          So it would seem to me we are dealing with a Triune model, and not a Dualism.
           
          and the What is perhaps, yes, an expression of an underlying reality,
          so are we thus dealing with a Quaternity?
           
          The Number comes from the Ahrimanic realm, level 3, (inspired consciousness),
          from the deep unconscious Will, and enters into the Level 1 conceptual consciousness,
          the Mind (of the the Luciferic realm), which has entered human evolution as a result
          of the War in Heaven with Michael (1839-1879), as he thre Lucifer out of the
          Spiritual worlds in to the Earthly worlds of Human nature?
           
          The Brain is the physical structure then that manifests from the activities
          of the Spirits of Form, and which is perceived by the Physical Senses only as a reflection,
          within the Catch-22 of the brain activites itself, wherein my inquiry falls to pieces
          a bit, or at least gets convoluted.
           
          Hogie
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 7:27 AM
          Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Hanging around

          Oops! Yes, I meant funCtionalist.


          On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 03:01:25PM -0000 or thereabouts, holderlin66 wrote:
          > --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com,
          >
          > Maurice McCarthy <maurice.mccarthy@n...> wrote:
          >
          > "distinct from matter. Almost all cognitive scientists, neurologists
          > and Artificial Intelligence folk are funtionalists."
          >
          > Bradford asks;
          >
          > functionalists or fun, as funtionalists... I think I like FUN
          > better, although I suspect you meant, and to clarify, did you mean,
          > FUNCTION?

          Let me first give my phrasing of how I try to see clearly in this. At
          issue is the relation of the mind and the brain, which all consider most
          difficult. Especially unpopular are dualisms Substance Dualism is after
          Descartes and considered the Folk Psychology view, where Folk Psychology
          is the worldview of the man in the street - a naive realism modified by
          experience and education.

          As I see it the relation of mind and brain is, in the abstract,
          analogous to number and matter, respectively. No one seems to think the
          relation of number and matter mysterious - not that I've seen. All forms
          of physical matter can be described by numbers and operations of numbers
          (number itself is a counted unity and so an operation of its own and a
          definite quantity). Matter is the What of a thing, Number is the How of
          the same thing. The What cannot exist without the How because its How is
          exactly how it became what it is. In itself anything is at once a What
          and a How in undivided unity. Perception strips out the How and leaves
          the What. Thinking reveals the How and re-unites it to the what.

          The mind is the How of the brain, which is a What. Thus we avoid
          substance dualism but by its nature consciousness has to be a duality.
          The brain is always structured by the mind. "Use it or lose it." is a
          phrase beloved by Susan Greenfield, the best known neurologist in
          Britain. The brain structure dissolves if it is not supported by its
          How - because it is the How which does the structuring. Somehow she
          still sees the brain matter as primary but the penny will drop sooner or
          later. She's teetering on the brink of the realisation, her own first
          little threshold.

          Got to go - call to the shops
          Will be back later.

          Big M ;-)

          >
          > You wrote;
          >
          > "Chomsky is the man most responsible for this change - that the mind
          > is
          > born with a pre-configured modularity. As I see it this is within an
          > ace of declaring the soul.
          >
          > Maurice
          >
          > Bradford comments;
          >
          > Pre-configured Modularity...funny I was thinking Pre-configured
          > modality..so modularity, does modularity give more mobility
          > potential then something more hard wired like modality. It is is
          > always interesting to discover Terms of Endearment or Terms of
          > agreement..New Terms - Hard wired, Modularity, Modality, to
          > determine soul.
          >
          > So Maurice if you might widen these two out, function and modulaity.
          > Functional brain apparatus as standard issue or unique modularity as
          > user friendly, user designed?
          >
          >


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        • holderlin66
          ... Hogie McM wrote: The Number comes from the Ahrimanic realm, level 3, (inspired consciousness), ... conceptual consciousness, ... evolution
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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            --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com,

            "Hogie McM" <hogie@a...> wrote:

            The Number comes from the Ahrimanic realm, level 3, (inspired
            consciousness),
            > from the deep unconscious Will, and enters into the Level 1
            conceptual consciousness,
            > the Mind (of the the Luciferic realm), which has entered human
            evolution as a result
            > of the War in Heaven with Michael (1839-1879), as he thre Lucifer
            out of the
            > Spiritual worlds in to the Earthly worlds of Human nature?
            >
            > The Brain is the physical structure then that manifests from the
            activities
            > of the Spirits of Form, and which is perceived by the Physical
            Senses only as a reflection,
            > within the Catch-22 of the brain activites itself, wherein my
            inquiry falls to pieces
            > a bit, or at least gets convoluted.

            http://faculty.virginia.edu/kubovylab/101_97/Lectures/Lecture02.html

            Dreams and modularity

            Five features of dreams
            Intense emotion
            Illogical content and organization
            Clear sensory impressions
            Uncritical acceptance
            Difficulty of remembering the dream

            The principle of modularity
            The mind is not controlled by a single agency
            It is more like a collection of specialized devices: modules
            In dreams some of the modules that work when we are awake are turned
            off; others work harder
            Another example of modularity: autism, a condition that may not
            affect intelligence, but prevents the individual from understanding
            others

            WHERE AM I?
            Mind = soul = spirit
            Why "mind"?
            Is the mind in the heart or in the brain?
            Aristotle (384-322 BCE): heart
            Galen (129-199 CE): brain

            Galen's brain theory
            Experiments on Barbary apes
            Squeeze heart and brain
            Tie off nerve from brain to vocal chords

            Facts about the cortex of the brain

            THE BRAIN
            Total cortical area = 1.3 x 105 mm2
            = a square sheet about 14" on a side
            Cortical thickness = 1.7 mm
            about 1/16" thick
            Number of cortical neurons = 1010
            10,000,000,000 = 10 billion
            Density of cortical neurons = 105/mm3
            1,638,706,400 = about 1.7 billion in a 1" cube

            THE BRAIN
            Number of synapses per neuron = 4x103
            4,000
            Axons: 3 km/mm3
            80,000 miles in a 1" cube
            Number of corpus callosum fibers = 5x108
            500,000,000 = 500 million
            Electrical activity of the brain
          • Maurice McCarthy
            Dear Hogie, Please forgive me for not answering you directly. In a sense you go on to say what I wanted to add. If one holds, in fixity, to the point of view
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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              Dear Hogie,

              Please forgive me for not answering you directly. In a sense you go on
              to say what I wanted to add.

              If one holds, in fixity, to the point of view that the How is primary
              then what one has done is turn the How into a What. In this case the
              What has become a How. So what is the difference? Why should anyone have
              an inclination to prefer one to the other?

              The What is simply given so that the What turned into a How is a passive
              How - and the name for a passive How is condition. In all ultimate
              matters it is necessary to take a dialectical pont of view. Since the
              spirit is an ultimate then one must look "through both sides of the
              window". We must at once grasp the view from "inside the room" (the
              spiritual and 'soular') and also from outside the room (the
              materialistic). Your location defines your fixity. Thus materialism
              contains a certain truth but is one sided.

              The extreme form of materialism is today called Eliminative Materialism
              - sooner or later we will all realise that colours, for example, do not
              really exist. It is not popular but not that easy to refute, in spite
              of appearances.

              Since the origin of explanation, the supreme form of knowledge without
              which no other kind can be affirmed to exist, demands an undefined
              content and an undefinable activity (the willingness to understand -
              which is Goethe's eternal feminine, the Classical Helen) then it is not
              the content but the activity which must exist. The activity is the Light
              of the World. But the two cannot relate without another - the impulse to
              knowledge. The content lends its impulse,its mystery, to the activity.
              The activity is the willingness to grasp this impulse. (Impulse is the
              non-manifest Father, Willingness is His Son - Sophia! Sophia is receptive
              to all kinds of knowledge.)

              The two questions for realism/physicalism/materialism, other minds and
              self-consciousness, may be stated thus:

              Willingness can only become a subject by parcelling itself. And the
              matter for parcel is content. I only know my own mind. How can I
              therefore know that the stone under my shoe is not conscious?

              Self-consciousness results from the activity of willingness being
              reflected by the content to willingness itself. The active is always to
              be preferred to the passive. (Aristotle - i.e. Steiner in a former
              incarnation.) The active is that which makes the passive what it is.

              Think I've not been clear here, but got to go.
              Maurice.





              On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 09:23:21AM -0800 or thereabouts, Hogie McM wrote:
              > Re: The What and the How in relation to the Mind and Brain.
              > Is not the Number just an expression of the How, and not the How itself?
              > So it would seem to me we are dealing with a Triune model, and not a Dualism.
              >
              > and the What is perhaps, yes, an expression of an underlying reality,
              > so are we thus dealing with a Quaternity?
              >
              > The Number comes from the Ahrimanic realm, level 3, (inspired consciousness),
              > from the deep unconscious Will, and enters into the Level 1 conceptual consciousness,
              > the Mind (of the the Luciferic realm), which has entered human evolution as a result
              > of the War in Heaven with Michael (1839-1879), as he thre Lucifer out of the
              > Spiritual worlds in to the Earthly worlds of Human nature?
              >
              > The Brain is the physical structure then that manifests from the activities
              > of the Spirits of Form, and which is perceived by the Physical Senses only as a reflection,
              > within the Catch-22 of the brain activites itself, wherein my inquiry falls to pieces
              > a bit, or at least gets convoluted.
              >
              > Hogie
              >
            • Cheeseandsalsa@aol.com
              To the AP critics- A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them. -Mark Twain I didn t
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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                To the AP critics-  "A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them.  -Mark Twain
                I didn't think such a thing as certainty reguarding spiritual matters existed until finding AP.   The Light feels good,  The Light feels real, I think I'll stay here where the Light unfolds, for the sake of human kind, I'll stay where the Light feels good and true.   Chees
              • Maurice McCarthy
                Ned Block (philosopher NYU) defines functionalism as the theory that mental states are constituted by their causal relations to each other and to sensory
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 2, 2004
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                  Ned Block (philosopher NYU) defines functionalism as the theory that
                  "mental states are constituted by their causal relations to each
                  other and to sensory inputs and behavioural outputs". He calls the
                  scientific concept of kidney a function - it filters the blood. This
                  lends itself well to the computer analogy in that the function is
                  'software'. The mental is no longer identified with the physical but has
                  a level of its own so that psychology has a content of its own divorced
                  from the physical. Reductionism is out.

                  I reckon that because 'causal' remains a physical notion for the
                  functionalist then this is why they are attacked for no theory of the
                  quality of the senses. Functionalism is a sort of hybrid
                  realist-dynamist theory. They are sure to reject any proposal that
                  concepts and ideas have an objective validity but will see them as
                  linguistic description only (They use Wittgenstein's theory of meaning.)
                  This is the battle to win through for a proper epistemology, that
                  concepts have a formative influence. They put language as the generator
                  of the conceptual. In terms of time they have a point but not in terms
                  of explanation. Explanation has a priority in being.

                  Maurice
                • joksu57
                  Hello Maurice! In the 70 s when I studied Steiner s Philosophy of Freedom, philosophy became very interesting subject to me. Inspired by Dr. Steiner s views I
                  Message 8 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
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                    Hello Maurice!

                    In the 70's when I studied Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom,
                    philosophy became very interesting subject to me. Inspired by Dr.
                    Steiner's views I started studying theoretical philosophy in a
                    university in late 70's. Of course academic philosophy was some sort
                    of a disappointment after PoF. But the history of philosophy was
                    worth the trouble and from "new philosophy" e.g. the paradigm-concept
                    of Thomas S. Kuhn was a helpful tool. After the "university years" I
                    have propably been too lazy in studying philosophy and scientific
                    subjects (there are just too many esoteric subjects to mess with!).

                    It is nice to hear that consciousness is nowadays not treated as a
                    mere attribute of matter. But still there are grave differences. We
                    can take again the example of a "human being". So some modern
                    thinkers can take the attitude, where the mind is almost accepted as
                    a reality. When we think what man is after Saturn-, Sun-, Moon- and
                    Earth-periods, the "accuracy-level" is remarkably different. Of
                    course a human being is extremely large and difficult concept to
                    study, because "we are the microcosm". What makes the subject even
                    more harder is the fact, that we are in a "halfway position" and
                    probably in Vulcan-period we can see, what it really means to be a
                    human being. So there remains a lot of work in "bridging" the
                    different paradigms.

                    It is fine that you have interest and capability in this "philosophy-
                    business". Please keep on reporting about your research!

                    Warm Regards
                    Joksu

                    --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com, Maurice McCarthy
                    <maurice.mccarthy@n...> wrote:
                    > On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 01:46:27PM -0000 or thereabouts, joksu57
                    wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I also have my doubts about the outcome of those debates, when
                    the
                    > > paradigms are so different. E.g. a human being in "anthro-
                    paradigm"
                    > > means something totally different compared to "scientific-
                    > > materialistic" paradigm. When even the basic concepts used in a
                    > > discussion can mean different things, it is hard to come to some
                    > > reasonable conclusion. My respect, though, to everyone, who have
                    the
                    > > patience to explain the basics of spiritual science to critics
                    (who
                    > > obviously have some other agenda than understanding AP or Waldorf
                    > > education).
                    > >
                    >
                    > With respect to materialism and how it has changed since Steiner's
                    time
                    > I've recently read Colin McGuinn's philosophical biography and am
                    now
                    > reading Paul Churchland's "Matter and Consciousness". Both are
                    intended
                    > for the lay reader but the latter especially is challenging.
                    >
                    > The big change is that the mind is almost accepted as a reality,
                    > distinct from matter. Almost all cognitive scientists, neurologists
                    and
                    > Artificial Intelligence folk are funtionalists. In the terms of
                    Human
                    > and Cosmic Thought this is a form of dynamism and is adjacent to a
                    > Leibnitzian-type monadology - which definitely affirms the
                    existence of
                    > subjective entities.
                    >
                    > Chomsky is the man most responsible for this change - that the mind
                    is
                    > born with a pre-configured modularity. As I see it this is within
                    an ace
                    > of declaring the soul.
                    >
                    > Maurice
                  • Maurice McCarthy
                    Dear Joksu Thanks for the encouragement. I battle on as best I can to understand and I ve always had an interest in the Big Issues. Years ago I played chess to
                    Message 9 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
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                      Dear Joksu

                      Thanks for the encouragement. I battle on as best I can to understand
                      and I've always had an interest in the Big Issues. Years ago I played
                      chess to a minor international level and though I lost more than I won
                      there is perhaps only a single game in my recollection which I lost
                      through a lack of strategy oversight. It was in the details that I lost
                      my way - and 'the devil is in the details', as the saying goes.

                      Essentially what I am trying to say in these little words is that RS
                      died a whole human life-time ago teaching us the principle that reality
                      alters and alters continually, even though some things appear more
                      stable than others. It is a common human failing to stay with habit of
                      thought rather than re-think afresh and we anthroposophists have just
                      this failing as much as anyone else. This does not mean that RS is
                      irrelevant (words from the spirit are the most stable of all and when
                      Christ says 'verily, I say unto ye' then listen because what comes next
                      is true for every level of consciousness and all time. This is why it is
                      put 'verily'.) RS is not irrelevant but habit ossifies his words which
                      slowly lose contact with living reality. It is up to us to rework the
                      truth in our changed circumstances.`

                      McGinn is a "monkey-hanger" - a term of endearment for a chap from
                      Hartlepool in the North East of England. During the Napoleonic Wars they
                      famously hung a monkey there for being a French spy ... ?!? (True story)
                      In "The Making of a Philosopher" he writes to the effect that:
                      In the technical works such as Syntactical Structures Chomsky argued
                      that a child could not learn a language by the Behaviourist's stimilus
                      and response but had to come pre-prepared with an implicit grasp of
                      grammar. One of the key arguments was the limited resources a child
                      posseses to develop rich grammar.

                      Functionalism now easily arises from the observed necessity to
                      thrust the mind into stimulus and response. Jerry Fodor is McGinn's
                      colleague at Rutgers and McGinn says that he is generally acknowledged
                      to be the best philosopher of mind in the world. (Anglo-Saxon philosophy
                      is still a very male-ego oriented thing today.) Fodor's Language of
                      Thought 1975 is considered one of the first robust statements of
                      Functionalim which now puts the first, if still physicalised, emphasis
                      on the How as opposed to the what.

                      From our position we generally think that Computer Intelligence is just
                      baloney from first inspection. I still agree but this speaking from
                      habit. Be warned - there is a lot more credit to AI than we at first
                      give it.

                      Maurice




                      On Wed, Mar 03, 2004 at 08:11:00AM -0000 or thereabouts, joksu57 wrote:
                      > Hello Maurice!
                      >
                      > In the 70's when I studied Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom,
                      > philosophy became very interesting subject to me. Inspired by Dr.
                      > Steiner's views I started studying theoretical philosophy in a
                      > university in late 70's. Of course academic philosophy was some sort
                      > of a disappointment after PoF. But the history of philosophy was
                      > worth the trouble and from "new philosophy" e.g. the paradigm-concept
                      > of Thomas S. Kuhn was a helpful tool. After the "university years" I
                      > have propably been too lazy in studying philosophy and scientific
                      > subjects (there are just too many esoteric subjects to mess with!).
                      >
                      > It is nice to hear that consciousness is nowadays not treated as a
                      > mere attribute of matter. But still there are grave differences. We
                      > can take again the example of a "human being". So some modern
                      > thinkers can take the attitude, where the mind is almost accepted as
                      > a reality. When we think what man is after Saturn-, Sun-, Moon- and
                      > Earth-periods, the "accuracy-level" is remarkably different. Of
                      > course a human being is extremely large and difficult concept to
                      > study, because "we are the microcosm". What makes the subject even
                      > more harder is the fact, that we are in a "halfway position" and
                      > probably in Vulcan-period we can see, what it really means to be a
                      > human being. So there remains a lot of work in "bridging" the
                      > different paradigms.
                      >
                      > It is fine that you have interest and capability in this "philosophy-
                      > business". Please keep on reporting about your research!
                      >
                      > Warm Regards
                      > Joksu
                    • Maurice McCarthy
                      Bradford asked about modules Chomsky holds intelligence to be of separate compartments and not an infinitely plastic unity. There is one for language but to
                      Message 10 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
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                        Bradford asked about modules

                        Chomsky holds intelligence to be of separate compartments and not an
                        infinitely plastic unity. There is one for language but to him it is
                        specifically human. Animal or alien tongues may easily be
                        unintelligible to a human. Intelligences are separate things - I think
                        he is saying species specific.

                        McGinn finds this relevant to what he calls Metaphilosophy, the
                        philosophy beyond philosophy or philosophy of philosophy. I ask what is
                        the love of knowledge for the love of knowledge? The pure willingness to
                        understand - Christ as Anthropo-sophia, human wisdom. He say
                        metaphilosophy is the most neglected and difficult aspect in all
                        philosophy.

                        Maurice.
                      • Maurice McCarthy
                        Children do not imitate speech, they create it: Lap me, Nanny! (My daughter at about 2 years old) Maurice
                        Message 11 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
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                          Children do not imitate speech, they create it:

                          Lap me, Nanny! (My daughter at about 2 years old)

                          Maurice
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