The Web That Weaves (Itself)

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  1. #16
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    Maybe we should ask Slashdot
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    "Circular logic is good because it is."

  2. #17
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidP View Post
    Maybe we should ask Slashdot
    Are you kidding?

    I'd get eaten alive. :|

  3. #18
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    To consider this is a natural consequence of the scientific models in which you view the world. As a machine. But life isn't a machine.

  4. #19
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robwhit View Post
    To consider this is a natural consequence of the scientific models in which you view the world. As a machine. But life isn't a machine.
    No, "life" is an abstract concept we use to categorize objects in the world. A machine is an object in the world.
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    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
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    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
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  5. #20
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    My life, to me, is not abstract at all.

  6. #21
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robwhit View Post
    My life, to me, is not abstract at all.
    I thought you meant "life" in a biological sense.

    So why is that not a machine then? My life is not abstract to me either, but I can't say for sure that it is not a machine...
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Because it's like saying green is the same thing as tomorrow. They're completely different.

  8. #23
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robwhit View Post
    Because it's like saying green is the same thing as tomorrow. They're completely different.
    How? If I were an environmentalist and I said "Tomorrow is green!" that would make sense. So "tomorrow" and "green" are not (necessarily) completely different.

    It seems to me "Life is a machine!" is a similar kind of statement. The fact that machine (or green) may be metaphorical (or whatever) does not change the fact that "green" and "machine" can be used "metaphorically"(??) to make sense in this way.

    To say "life is DEFINITELY not a machine" you would have to pick and chose your own reductive meaning for the word machine. After all, there is no end of sci-fi stuff like "The Matrix" in which life is (literally) a machine. Not to say that is true, but methinks that there is nothing about modern science which demonstrates that is not true, or that it is impossible.

    If you are religious, of course, it is easy enough to say "NO" at this point. But IMO believing in God is no more or less wacky than believing we are elements in a giant alien super-computer. Which may or may not be green
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  9. #24
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    How? If I were an environmentalist and I said "Tomorrow is green!" that would make sense. So "tomorrow" and "green" are not (necessarily) completely different.

    It seems to me "Life is a machine!" is a similar kind of statement. The fact that machine (or green) may be metaphorical (or whatever) does not change the fact that "green" and "machine" can be used "metaphorically"(??) to make sense in this way.

    To say "life is DEFINITELY not a machine" you would have to pick and chose your own reductive meaning for the word machine. After all, there is no end of sci-fi stuff like "The Matrix" in which life is (literally) a machine. Not to say that is true, but methinks that there is nothing about modern science which demonstrates that is not true, or that it is impossible.

    If you are religious, of course, it is easy enough to say "NO" at this point. But IMO believing in God is no more or less wacky than believing we are elements in a giant alien super-computer. Which may or may not be green
    Well said.

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    Hmm. Well, you're arguing minor semantics of word definitions, which I am not.

    If you think that the phrase "Tomorrow is green!" means that "tomorrow" and "green" mean the same thing, you don't know what the word "is" means.

    Seriously.

  11. #26
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robwhit View Post
    Because it's like saying green is the same thing as tomorrow. They're completely different.
    Life is a machine, a Turing machine to be specific. Whether or not HUMAN life is Turing complete remains to be seen.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    Registered User rogster001's Avatar
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    flatworms food for thought

    I'm not sure exactly where, but I remember in the past learning about such terms as "cell memory"
    There is a species of flatworm found off the great barrier reef that can be taught to find its way through a maze using food to train it, the amazing thing is it was found that if one of these learned worms was then fed to its untrained companion then the surviving worm would immediately know his way around the maze also.

    Reported in 'Life on Earth' an early David Attenborough series.
    Last edited by rogster001; 11-13-2009 at 08:28 AM.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Life is a machine, a Turing machine to be specific. Whether or not HUMAN life is Turing complete remains to be seen.
    No, you are confused. A Turing machine involves an strip of tape of infinite length, symbols encoded on that tape, and something that changes those symbols. That has nothing to do with life.

  14. #29
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robwhit View Post
    No, you are confused. A Turing machine involves an strip of tape of infinite length, symbols encoded on that tape, and something that changes those symbols. That has nothing to do with life.
    A Turing machine is a theoretical device that manipulates symbols contained on a strip of tape.

    Life (as we know it) is a system that manipulates symbols contained on a strand of nucleic acid.


    Aside from the technology used to implement each, I fail to see any significant difference.
    Last edited by abachler; 11-13-2009 at 09:03 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    You're saying that a part of your body seems to resemble a Turing machine in some way, therefore all life is a Turing machine? Even disregarding the fact that you completely miss what "life" is, that's a pretty weak argument, even just considering the physical mechanical view of it. I might as well say life is a ball, because eyeballs and other parts resemble balls.

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