Re: virus: conscious/subconscious (form. level 0)

XYZ Customer Support (
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 20:12:47 -0700

> From: John P. Schneider <>

>>>>When does speculation become fantasy?

>Speculation is always fantasy, which is why we don't believe in what
>we speculate. We believe in experimental facts, but not the theory
>that told us to run the experiment.

That simply is not true. Speculation does not involve visions of
dragons and damsels in distress whereas fantasy does. Fantasy is when
speculation demands the existence of phenomena that do not, in fact,

>Einstein used pure speculation to advance science dramatically. It
>was 'useful in a scientific sort of way'. Moreover, it was not
>harmful in any way whatsoever. The other things you mentioned
>cannot say the same.

Was the atomic bomb useful? Thanks to Einstein, it was. What Einstein
did was not pure speculation. It was called a thought experiment and
it was useless until the insights brought forth by the experiments
were verified with evidence.

>Yes, but when Freud analysed humans, there was more than simply the
>physical brain: there was sensory input hooked up, and there was an
>intelligent component - and Freud based his conclusions on what this
>intelligent component told him. This is why I would be interested
>in seeing the following experiment:

>Take that same neural network, and give it the ability to 'sense'
>some environment, and also give the ability to communicate to some
>simple queries. Then, allow it to go into its 'dreamlike' state for
>a while, and finally, ask it some questions to find out how it
>interprets its own flurry of activity. I would be interested in
>seeing what it says.

Freud did not analyze the mechanics of dreaming, he only analyzed the
contents of the dreams. He discovered a connection between the
symbols and the person's "real personality" (ie -- the things about
that person hidden in the subconscious). Later research(es) confirmed
that dreaming was not random but served a purpose. At first that
purpose was thought to be just a reinforcement of memories but that
has been modified somewhat recently by evidence that dreaming does
more than process memory, it establishes new strategies of thinking
and integrates or displaces them with the older strategies. Computers
just simply have no need to do this kind of "offline processing" nor
has it really ever been observed. Computers have no subconsciousness
much less a consciousness, so dreaming cannot take place.