[Haskell-cafe] Re: Wikipedia on first-class object

Achim Schneider barsoap at web.de
Sat Dec 29 14:12:21 EST 2007

Bulat Ziganshin <bulat.ziganshin at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello Achim,
> Saturday, December 29, 2007, 8:40:05 PM, you wrote:
> >> Interesting... So you're claiming that humans have powers of
> >> deduction beyond what computers possess? ;-)
> >> 
> > They would be programming us if otherwise, wouldn't they?
> oh, well. God created humans, humans created computers. God has
> created our programs (psychics), we does the same for computers
If you find the one who brought the topic to god, shoot him. At least
if HE isn't just the universe. The main difference is whether something
can program itself, which puts computers right next to a mechanical
clock and the universe possibly to a massively concurrent mega-machine,
with many, many, many threads, but I'm guessing there.

> but what's a programming? without me, computer will never print "hello
> world". but without him, i will never write this letter - only its
> ability to easily transfer mail between continents forced me to do it
Encoding behaviour information in a way that gets executed by an
entity. That enough?

> next. can you compile this "hello world" program down to assembler?
Yes. Definitely. At least if you don't make me abandon the kernel and
talk to the hardware itself and would remember what int20 function
write was.

Try writing a program that makes me say "hello world" as many times as
you press my nose.

> humans often says about things that they can do but computer can't but
> they forget that computers was created exactly to do things that we
> can't. billion of computations per second is beyond our abilities
Nope, they aren't. Try teaching a computer to catch a ball, you'll be
surprised how many numbers you can crunch.

> don't take into account that human by itself, at the moment of birth
> doesn't know anything about mathematics and even can't speak - he is
> programmed by society to acquire these skills
Kind of, no. The programming to learn to survive in its surroundings
and to reproduce is in the genes. 

> so, computers are definitely more advanced devices - they was created
> to. we (humanity) just don't yet finished development of the program
> which at some moment will make them able to further develop itself
> without our help. if you believe that human is superior to computer
> you should also believe that bacterium is superior to human
I think we are superior to bacteria, yes, although you might argue that
amoeba are practically immortal, and, as cockroaches, survived for a
far longer time with nearly no change in their genes.

It's a bit like with kids: As long as you don't want them to be
independent and reward them for it, they won't be.

Unlike kids, though, computers don't have the possibility to look at
the next computer and compute something along the lines of "hey, I like
his mmap much more than my implementation, I'm not obeying my
programmer any more."

It's really comparing touring machines to mere evolutionary reprogrammed
meta-programming neural nets featuring a few magnitudes more synapses
than there are atoms in the universe, that is. Apples and bananas might
work in a fruit salad, but... humans have a tendency to believe
everything they don't understand is superior, dumb or nuts, even if it's

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