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Humanist Archives: June 26, 2019, 3:27 p.m. Humanist 33.110 - the computer metaphor for mind

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 110.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-06-20 10:17:50+00:00
        From: Bill Benzon 
        Subject: NEW SAVANNA: Has the computer metaphor for the mind run out of steam?

Willard and others:

This is a post in which I excerpt a conversation entitled "The Cul-de-Sac of the
Computational Metaphor". Roboticist Rodney Brooks delivers some informal
refections and then others discuss what he's said. Brooks opens:

> I'™m worried that the crack cocaine of Moore's law, which has given
> us more and more computation, has lulled us into thinking that that's
> all there is. When you look at Claus Pias's introduction to the Macy
> Conferences book, he writes, "The common precondition of the three
> foundational concepts of cybernetics -- switching (Boolean) algebra,
> information theory and feedback -- is digitality." They go straight
> into digitality in this conference. He says, "We considered Turing's
> universal machine as a 'model' for brains, employing Pitts' and
> McCulloch's calculus for activity in neural nets." Anyone who has 
> looked at the Pitts and McCulloch papers knows it's a very primitive
> view of what is happening in neurons. But they adopted Turing's
> universal machine.


Bill Benzon



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