**From:** Pavitra (*celestialcognition@gmail.com*)

**Date:** Tue Oct 13 2009 - 01:03:45 MDT

**Next message:**J. Andrew Rogers: "Re: [sl4] Complete drivel on this list: was: I am a Singularitian who does not believe in the Singularity."**Previous message:**Jordan Stewart: "Re: [sl4] what's with all the math?"**In reply to:**Luke: "[sl4] what's with all the math?"**Next in thread:**Johnicholas Hines: "Re: [sl4] what's with all the math?"**Reply:**Johnicholas Hines: "Re: [sl4] what's with all the math?"**Reply:**Luke: "Re: [sl4] what's with all the math?"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]

Luke wrote:

*> My question was this: You seemed to, for the most part, re-state a lot of
*

*> the steps in terms of a problem of formal mathematics. Why? Do you
*

*> consider English to be insufficient/imprecise? Do we get to count
*

*> ruby<http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/>as a formal mathematical system?
*

*>
*

*> Is there a formal mathematical definition of intelligence? What's so great
*

*> about formal mathematics?
*

I don't know whether a formal definition of intelligence exists or is

possible. (I left the checkbox on step C unchecked, you'll notice.)

As for the value of math:

This is a very difficult idea to explain, because it's very subtle. The

best hope I can offer you is that, once you get it, it feels utterly

simple and obvious in retrospect.

What follows is a very poor attempt to allude at the general direction

of the answer you're looking for. If you're already most of the way

there, it may make some sense to you.

Yes, I consider English to be insufficiently precise. (Note, though,

that certain proper subsets of English can be used to communicate

mathematically-rigorous ideas.)

Yes, I consider Ruby sufficiently formal. A Turing machine is specified

with mathematical rigor; a Turing machine (plus oracles for clock, HRNG,

etc.) can emulate a modern PC; therefore, any computer program is

mathematically rigorously defined.

The existence of a formal definition of a question is a necessary

prerequisite to being able to answer the question with certainty.

Consider the following text from version 0 of the document:

*> Compile design requirements for "friendly AI". When will we know we
*

*> have succeeded?
*

In order for this step to be properly completed, the design requirements

must be so clear and precise that there is no possible dispute over

their interpretation.

(There may of course be dispute over whether they correctly ask the

"friendly AI" question, but that problem is probably intractable even in

principle.)

This degree of total precision is, essentially, the definition of

mathematical rigor.

Mathematics is more than just the ability to manipulate numbers. It's

_logic_, the discipline of clear, precise, unambiguous thought. Logic

means seeing the world with sharp edges, and distinguishing with

absolute certainty between truth and falsehood.

- application/pgp-signature attachment: OpenPGP digital signature

**Next message:**J. Andrew Rogers: "Re: [sl4] Complete drivel on this list: was: I am a Singularitian who does not believe in the Singularity."**Previous message:**Jordan Stewart: "Re: [sl4] what's with all the math?"**In reply to:**Luke: "[sl4] what's with all the math?"**Next in thread:**Johnicholas Hines: "Re: [sl4] what's with all the math?"**Reply:**Johnicholas Hines: "Re: [sl4] what's with all the math?"**Reply:**Luke: "Re: [sl4] what's with all the math?"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]

*
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5
: Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:04 MDT
*