Re: virus: Rationality
Wed, 26 Feb 97 09:45:13 GMT

Dave Pape wrote:

> At 11:20 24/02/97 GMT, Drakir wrote:
> >I must point out that at the moment I'm more inclined towards the idea
> >that rationality and logic are /not/ memes, but I wouldn't be asking
> >if I were at all sure :)
> Now then, I'm talking about LOGIC here, as in, Formal Logic. When you're
> being taught Logic, you answer questions, and do exercises, and are rewarded
> when your answers are deemed "right" according to the rules of Logic, and
> (maybe) chastised for answers deemed "wrong". In this way you are "taught to
> know the rules of logic."

So who decides in the absolute beginning what is logical, and what is not?

> I reckon brains are non-logical processors that can be trained to simulate
> logical processing to some degree sometimes.

I'll take your word on that :)

> Similarly, when you learn to shoot moving targets with a shotgun, your brain
> is taught, by repeated trials with reward/punishment schedules, to simulate
> the processing that Patriot missile launchers (almost) do with highly
> structured maths. Your nervous system doesn't calculate trajectories of
> anything as such, you don't feel the numbers fly through your mind, you
> don't sense the trigonometry and the integration maths being done, and I'd
> argue that it ISN'T done... what happens is a process of ideas (here, mainly
> patterns of perceptions and motor actions) interacting, from which the
> overall shooting movement emerges.

I found that when using a shotgun, one does not go for an "overall shooting
movement", but rather a judgement. I should imagine that the brain is having
a dman good go at judging the angles, and velocities, but simply isn't telling
your consciousness. Just think, if your brain told you what it was doing all
the time, your conscious side would be overloaded!

> Woo. Especially the difference between the meme "this is a thing called
> rationality" and the PROCESS of rationality. I'm trying to argue that the
> process of rationality is carried out by a non-rational computing device,
> whose outputs are selected by evolutionary pressures, or the pressures of
> reward and punishment, so that they APPEAR rational.

Actually, I like that. I'm begining to think, already, that rationality is
a meme-complex of astronomical proportions. /But/ can I ask: Does ones
rationality change, depending on which memes you have recently been
infected with, of is rationality permanent once formed?