19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Can Identity Survive a 200-Year Lifespan?

Walter Glannon has argued that a lifespan of 200 years or more would be undesirable because personal identity could not be persevered over such a long life (Glannon 2002). Glannon’s argument presupposes that personal identity (understood here as a determinant of our prudential concerns) depends on psychological connectedness. On this view, we now have prudential interests in a future time segment of our organism only if that future time segment is psychologically connected to the organismâ€...
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From Nick Bostrom's "Why I Want to be a Posthuman When I Grow Up"

23 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Intelligence is a Natural Evolution

[T]here are some common animal behaviors that seem to favor the development of intelligence, behaviors that might lead to brainy beasts on many worlds. Social interaction is one of them. If you're an animal that hangs out with others, then there's clearly an advantage in being smart enough to work out the intentions of the guy sitting next to you (before he takes your mate or your meal). And if you're clever enough to outwit the other members of your social circle, you'll probably have enhanc...
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Coming from the need for social intelligence.

08 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Working with a Black Box Problem and Star Trek

The job of computer scientists, of course, is to design the programs that let electronic computers accomplish those impressive feats of thinking and knowing. The computer scientists have to figure out how to make programs that get to the right kind of output from the right kind of input. But our job as cognitive psychologists is rather different and even harder. We are more like archaeologists than engineers. Actually, it's a familiar Star Trek story. We have landed on a planet that already...
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When we are exploring a black box, we are like the archaeologists in Star Trek.