Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Life: Understanding Nonsense

After some conversations, I wonder why I even speak to certain people. Wasting hours trying to persuade someone of something that is not even important in the world. For some reason, I feel compelled to explain my useless opinion. Continuing our cyclic conversation of "You're not listening to me, what I am saying is..."

Why do I always think that I am right? What could they have said to change my minds? I do have a sense of ego that I am more "right" when I think I am correct. I think this because I have conceded to other views. I have yet to meet someone to concede to my views.

I realize that there is no direct correlation to the last couple comments but how else could I judge that I am more correct on an opinion or fact-like statements? Am I listening when I think you're not understanding what I am trying to explain?

For example, a friend asked about the turing test. This somehow led to if a computer could have feelings. I said that computer could have feelings. He asked how I would implement it. I explained that all I had to do was program a trigger for it to have a feeling. The feeling would be based on certain criteria to determine what its feeling is or simulate what the feeling is.

He argued that programming it to feel is not the same as feeling. I said that is how feelings work. I think the mystery to feelings is understanding all the nuances to the criteria. Even though we may not know how we come up with our feelings, there are mechanisms that determine them. Thus, I think we are "programmed" to feel but not knowing what that program is.

He did not believe this because he just knows when he has a feeling. For example, he is happy because he knows when he is happy. Thus I attempted to argue that even though he does not know (or care) how he became happy, does not mean that my argument is false.

Failing at that argument, I tried a different route by asking if people know when a dog is happy. Here I am trying to see if he has a method to understanding feelings of something that is not human. First, he says that we cannot truly know if the dog is happy. We can only speculate and somehow he changed the animal to a bat. I think he was trying to say it is harder to speculate because we know less about the behaviors of a bat or whether it even has feelings to be happy. Then he argued that this is off-topic because a dog is not a computer nor is a bat a computer.

I attempted to say that I am trying to establish a premise to how he thinks by using something else that is already "programmed" and is not human. Eventually, I try to use myself as an example by using another human. For this, he concedes that he can trust that when I say that I am happy that I am happy and that what makes me happy can be different than what makes him happy.

I used this as to explain that the computer only needs to say that it is happy based on certain criteria just like we do. He still does not believe this because it is programmed that way. To my reasoning, I moved to try to explain that we as humans are also programmed.

At this point, he argues that humans are not computers, computers are not humans, and computers are not dogs. Therefore, he says that I cannot use humans, dogs, or anything but computers. So, I tried to understand what would persuade him that it is feeling.

He says that I do not need to prove it. I just have to explain how I would do it. At this point, we cycle through all the different points again. Each time we end up at this point, he always states that I am not listening to him.

I think we are on completely different pages. While he is trying to understand how I would do it, I am still trying to figure how to persuade him. I could not convince him that persuading him is relevant to the argument. Although he says that it is irrelevant, his statement that my process is not right means (at least to me) that he needs to be persuaded otherwise what is not right?

Where is the logic wrong in his eyes? What am I failing to understand? My only point of entry is to understand what would persuade him that it is feeling, yet he finds that irrelevant. Is there another logic path?



Reference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test