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59715Re: [existlist] Re: shaping essence

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  • eduardathome
    Apr 26, 2013
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      Jim,

      I would agree that we can change direction and such, but that does not take
      away from the fact that our brain "thinks" on the basis of programming.

      I would also agree that at present the computer does not have a choice [to
      use the word], but that is only because most computers cannot change their
      programming ... that is the decision ... based upon an assessment of the
      result. It can't say that the possible result is not acceptable and thus a
      new decision is to be made by weighing different factors.

      But that is changing. The point at which computers will be as capable as
      human brains is around something like 2035 when computers will have
      sufficient capability to do assessments in the same manner as the human
      brain.

      Consider the Canada Arm on the International Space Station. It "sees" what
      it is reaching for and adjusts its progress according to how close it gets.
      Not much different from a human arm. Granted, it is simplistic, but
      computers are getting there. Like Roy Batty in Blade Runner.

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jim
      Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 3:37 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: shaping essence

      Mary, Eduard,

      I have enjoyed reading your conversation in this thread.

      I agree with you Mary, that our well-being and freedom is dependent on those
      people whom we are closest to and those who have made most impression on us.
      And our own actions in turn have an effect on the well-being and freedom of
      those around us.

      Eduard, I am not really sure that talk of us `being programmed' is at all
      helpful when we are thinking of our freedom and life choices.

      Computers are programmed – human beings write programs which are then
      installed on the computers and then run on time. The computer has no choice
      about this, and cannot divert from the program.

      Unlike computers we are not literally programmed, and as a metaphor the
      concept doesn't seem to do any useful work. Sure we have natural
      dispositions, and we learn from our experience, and we practice skills until
      we perform well, but we are spontaneous beings, we often surprise others and
      ourselves by changing attitudes and behaviour just like that. For us,
      existence precedes essence – in other words we don't really have an
      essence – we make it up as we go along, and we always have the choice to
      change direction or, alternatively, doggedly carry through a commitment to
      completion.

      Jim




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