[Haskell-cafe] Re: Re: Re[2]: Wikipedia on first-class object

Miguel Mitrofanov miguelimo38 at yandex.ru
Sat Dec 29 15:11:25 EST 2007

I'm sure you're at least half-joking, but I'll try to answer you  

> the same true for thinking. it's you who believe that people are smart
> by itself but computers are smart only in the bounds they programmed
> by people. you may believe that human wisdom is created by the Creator
> (or Natural Selection, if you believe in Science Religion) or,
> opposite, you may believe that computers are smart creatures

That's not about belief. That's about choosing the right model.

When I deal with computers, I need some model to predict their  
behaviour. The model which states that both computer and software  
it's running is very suitable. It allows me to know what to expect  
from the computer. Moreover, when my expectations fail, it allows me  
- by following the programmer's thoughts - to localize this failure  
and work around it. Of course, it doesn't predict everything - when I  
was working on Windows, it was even more unpredictable than my  
present computer - but it gives good results.

On the other hand, there is no such model for humans. Well, it's  
quite possible we just haven't find it - or, possibly, were  
programmed by Creator or Flying Spaghetti Monster or whoever else to  
find it - but it's totally irrelevant. As far as the only model to  
describe and - for some extent - predict the behaviour of human  
beings is the one stating that humans have free will - we should use  
this model and don't really bother about Creators or Flying Spaghetti  
Monsters etc. Of course, we should continue looking for such theory  
(it would simplify everything a lot if find it), but that doesn't  
mean we ALL should study human psychology or sociology or whatever.

> where is the real difference? ;)

The real difference is something we normally don't bother ourselves.  
We don't need to know if, say, electron really exists, but we need a  
theory to tell us how to work with electricity. We don't need to know  
if germs really exist, but we need a theory that tells us to  
pasteurize milk. Etc.

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