Showing posts from May, 2008

Hardware and Software

I've been thinking about the whole "Nature versus Nurture" debate. If I look back over a few of the recent posts regarding memories, human nature and some of my recent discussions with people about religious concepts and metaphysics, there are a few common threads that seem to appear. One of the things that has been a common theme in science fiction over the last few years has been a notion that machines are on the verge of an evolutionary breakthrough. It's only a matter of time before machines reach a critical point where they become capable of learning for themselves, and not long after that when they'll achieve self awareness. If a machine is able to perceive itself, learn from it's environment, and make adjustments to improve it's station with regard to that new data. Does it become like us? How do we determine the difference? Does a computer have a buddha nature? When artifical intelligence does become a part of our lives, will it have a soul? W


I had a car accident last night when I was picking up Leah from work. I can't lay the blame only upon others, but I can't accept it all for myself either. I tried to get around a car that couldn't turn the corner at an intersection, and needed to change lanes. I saw a gap in the neighbouring lane and took my chance. The car that had caused the gap sped up to block my lane change and I turned back into my original lane. Which led me to smash into the back of the car I was originally trying to get around. Neither my car, nor the one I hit were doing high speeds so, the damage could have been a lot worse. We did the courteous thing and exchanged details, Technically, legally, I was in the wrong because I ran up the back of the other car. What annoys the hell out of me, is the actions of the driver that deliberately cut me off and caused the accident. Once the cars hit, the driver sped off before I could get number plate details or any other useful information. I guess

Memories and Deja Vu

I had a whole heap of things that I was planning to write when I next logged in... ...but now that I'm sitting in front of the computer screen, the vast majority of them seem to have completely slipped my mind. I guess that's a suitable topic of posting. Why do things slip our minds? What is memory? Buddhism would state that we are the sum total of our memories. As we experience new things, they embed themselves into our psyche. I've posted about this type of thing previously. A few years back, when I was working as a printer, I found a book that was written by an old acquaintance. It was called How Do You Think . It's about the author's journey through life and the things he's picked up along the way. It's not a preachy book and it's written in a very down-to-earth manner. All the way through, it poses questions to make you think about the way you think. It touches on drugs, various therapies, relationships, and all those things that make us who w