RE: virus: MS Weapon

Richard Brodie (
Fri, 10 Oct 1997 12:48:32 -0700

On Friday, October 10, 1997 3:44 AM, Robin Faichney
[] wrote:
> > > A pattern-matching algorithm,
> > > set up to compare scanned-in photos of the cloud and of a
> > > sheep in the appropriate position WRIT viewpoint, with the
> > > M set, will find and match these patterns, because all are
> > > really there.
> >
> > No, your program will find and match those patterns because you have
> > programmed it to do so.
> >
> So it would match *any* pattern it was programmed to find?
> I don't think so. Even if it will only recognize one pattern,
> and doesn't always find that, nevertheless if it does find it
> sometimes -- I mean, strictly, if there is any statistical
> significance to the results -- then how do we account for
> that, if there are no patterns "out there"?

You've lost me. I think the answer you're looking for is that neither we
nor AI programs "find" patterns; rather, we "invent" or "create" patterns
(i.e., labels). The interaction of our hardware and reality causes people
to create similar patterns for similar reality.

> More generally, as someone else put it: what does science
> do, if not find consistencies in patterns out there?

Science creates predictive theories.

Richard Brodie
Author, VIRUS OF THE MIND: The New Science of the Meme
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