Re: virus: kurzweil cuts the mustard

Robin Faichney (
Thu, 7 Jan 1999 19:01:21 +0000

In message <>, David McFadzean <> writes
>>I agree "conscious" and "alive" are similar in some
>>ways. But it seems we disagree on whether the
>>question "could a machine really be conscious" is a
>>practical or a theoretical one. It seems obviously
>>the latter, to me, but apparently not to you.
>I see it as both a practical question and a theoretical
>one. I don't think there is anything magical about
>consciousness. Therefore it is necessarily a natural

I don't agree with your dichotomy. You forgot "manmade": neither magical nor natural. Not that I'm saying consciousness is manmade in the usual sense. Just that it's a meme that serves a function in human relationships, and that there is *nothing* "out there" to which it "points". Not just that it has fuzzy boundaries, or that we can't define it sufficiently well, but that IT AIN'T THERE! And every time you try to pin it down, you'll end up talking about something else altogether, or about nothing at all. Just try it!