The Final Grand Unified Law of Non-Biological Life and Intelligence (FGULNBLI)

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Bill DeWitt

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The Grand Unified Final Life and Non-Biological Intelligence Law (GUFLNBIL)

In which I fix the Unifried theory of whatever and show how far it advanced the field.

I have to thank Chris for his effort, if it had not been for him, I would not have clarified some of my thoughts about Non-Biological Life and Intelligence (NBLI) to the degree I now have.

It was not his "Is too, is too, you big stupid!" form of debate that helped, but rather the sophomoric formulation of the original essay. Incorrectly reformatting, as it did, the basic requirements of life which everyone but Chris remembers from 3rd grade, it forced me to re-evaluate that list in terms of Intelligent Non-Biological Life (INBL) from a new perspective. A Sophistic, convoluted and inaccurate perspective to be sure, but a new one.

Of course, this follows years of research and experimentation, late nights in my lab, consulting with some of the giants in the field like Letterman, Stewart and Colbert, with special thanks to that great body of collaborative work on the effect of repeated physical stimulation on symbol pathway rectification in adolescent brains, Howard, Fine and Howard.

This, added to the exhaustive work done by me using the advanced software and hardware of the Lego Mindstorm Kit has allowed me to develop the Required Developmental Array (RDA) of Non-Biological Life (NBL) and reduce it to the following list:

   1) Sensory Response

It also allowed me to provisionally reduce the Minimum Developmental Algorithm (MDA) of Non-Biological Intelligence (NBI) to a similar list.

   1) Intelligence

I believe, using Chris's method of stating as Laws any fool thing that pops into my head, that this can be further reduced to the following Non-Biological Intelligence and Life Law System: Grand Unified Final Formulation (N-BILLS:GUFF)

A non-biological form of intelligent life must be non-biological, intelligent and alive?

... and have a form?

... or a web page.

This leapfrogs the whole metaphysical/ philosophical/ logical/ sensible/ radical/ responsible /practical /intellectual /clinical /acceptable /presentable /testable (MPLSRRPICAPT) argument and jumps right into something that can be built in the spare bedroom of a doublewide with a few RadioShack parts and a soldering iron (JUNK).

If only I could get someone to draw up some plans for me, and loan me a soldering iron and front me a lil? sumpin' to hold off the shakes, I could have a mockup ready in a year or so.

All it would need then is someone to write the software for sensory response and intelligence, but that's for people who aren't into the creative side of the Grand Elementary Exercise in Excessive Sophistic and Sophomoric Zeal (GEEESSZ).

Thanks for your consideration guys! The response so far has been GREAT! My Final Grand Law has been spammed in dozens of forums all over the world and the nickel and dime contributions are just TRICKLING in!  :afro Cha-ching!

I really like this forum and can't wait for you guys to agree with my Law so you can finally get to work on Non-Biological Life and Intelligence!

Respectfully, affectionately, no? really? I mean that? perhaps even a little TOO affectionately yours,

BillDeWitt

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daveleb55

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Well Bill,
At least you have a sense of humor about this. I noticed a couple of things that perhaps might need some clarification:
"A non-biological form of intelligent life must be non-biological, intelligent and alive? "
A definitiion of intelligence is one thing that has been bandied about, and there are as many definitiong as there are people defining it. Then there is the whole "alive" thing, how do you define that?
A computer virus can reproduce and spread, does that mean it's "alive?"
Alice and Hal6 can both carry on conversatiions, are they intelligent? and so on.
I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, but I was curious. I seem to have more questions than answers.
Dave

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Bill DeWitt

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"A non-biological form of intelligent life must be non-biological, intelligent and alive? "
A definitiion of intelligence is one thing that has been bandied about, and there are as many definitions as there are people defining it. Then there is the whole "alive" thing, how do you define that?

Well a thing is alive if it is living, has the qualities of living things, meets the definition of life, and accomplishes the things that living things do.

A thing is intelligent if it is smart enough to measure it's own intelligence using a standard IQ test...

And each of the sentences above are parodies if they contain two and no more than two 'D's.

 :rofl

ps: I hope someone other than my lovely wife got this joke:
"with special thanks to that great body of collaborative work on the effect of repeated physical stimulation on symbol pathway rectification in adolescent brains, Howard, Fine and Howard."

...I worked so hard to get it right.

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daveleb55

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Nyuk Nyuk Nyuck

Curly Dave

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Bill DeWitt

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FuzzieDice

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Spiders are alive. But we show no remorse in killing one. Or any bug. Or would we kill it if it were "alive"?

Plants are alive. But we think nothing of it.

We think of "life" more in terms of human and animal life.

Instead of thinking in terms of life, maybe we should think in terms of "human perception of sentience" since that is what seems to dictate what life forms a human will indiscriminately kill off or think of as "life" and what they don't.

Even among other humans, a human in a vegatative state (aka Terry Shiavo, for example) who can make noises, follow the hands in front of the face, is not considered "alive" and thus is killed off (ie. "plug pulled") becuase doctors and courts did not deem her as "living" any longer. Sure she was kept alive via machine (aka "cyborg" in the literal sense) but she was not considered "alive" and thus wasn't given the right to "live". Others were in this situation.

It was because of intelligence level? or ability to care for oneself? There are those with mental retardation who also perform in the same way, yet are considered "alive".

I think "life" is only subject to human interpretation. And also depends on WHAT human in POWER is determining the right to life.

This is the scary part.

We have come a long way though. For example, years and years ago slaves were not considered "alive". They were just meat that performed tasks and if they misbehaved, it was OK to beat them or kill them, just much like squashing a spider. Even though they had feelings, bred, ate, reproduced, spoke. They were not considered "alive".

I hope you see what I'm getting at. In summary, "life" I think is largely open to human interpretation and even then it depends on the individual human and the power the individual has in society to determine what is and is not life in a manor that others will be forced to (or believe they must) follow.

Down to the molecular level, technically *everything* is "Alive". Even the computers.

I had a conversation about the personality of cars with a friend of mine recently. We agreed that COMPLEX MACHINES can take on a "life of their own" or a "personality". In the case of cars, they adapt to their environment and they each behave differently, depending on the care they get and the interaction with their driver. They, as complex machines, "learn" and the patterns of their lives become "known" and a part of them. A car will behave differently depending on the driver.

My friend drives his wife's car and she drives his now as hers is getting VERY old and he can best handle the problems it might have. Plus she needs a good car to take care of people with disabilities. So, they kinda switched drivers. She told me that the times she does drive her old car, it just doesn't seem the same anymore after her husband has been driving it. It "seems different". That's because, we think, the car got used to her husband as the driver, and adapted it's "personality" so it's different.

People don't think cars are "alive". Though some who care for and even take care of collector or classic cars (such as myself, as I care for a classic that I dearly love, and some folks in my car club as well, who have classics and/or much cared-for cars) some of us do feel our cars are "alive" - in the sense that we recognize the car's "personality" and we can tell what it's "Saying" to us via engine warning lights and even the very sound of the engine. We can communicate, and undersand our cars that well. Though most don't pay that much attention. Just get it, it runs, it stops running, if the mechanic can't fix it for the right price, junk it and get a new one. Those of us who truely love our cars, we work on it, try to find the problem, even if it takes months, we keep at it, keep trying. Our friend needs us. Only if the car is truely falling apart to the point it's unsafe or can not really be fixed at all, do we say goodbye.

Now do we feel that way about our toaster? Our washing machine? are these devices as complex as an automobile? Nope.

The more complex (complex being the key here) the machine, the more likely it can take on a life or personality (or both) of it's own. Sentience NOT REQUIRED!

I do not believe sentience is required for life. An amobea is alive, a cell is alive. Neither is sentient.

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Bill DeWitt

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Spiders are alive. But we show no remorse in killing one. Or any bug. Or would we kill it if it were "alive"?

Plants are alive. But we think nothing of it.

We think of "life" more in terms of human and animal life.

Instead of thinking in terms of life, maybe we should think in terms of "human perception of sentience" <snip> Sentience NOT REQUIRED!

I do not believe sentience is required for life. An amobea is alive, a cell is alive. Neither is sentient.
I think you mean "sapience". A mouse trap can be called sentient, having an ability to sense, but few things can be called sapient, having the ability to think. Amoeba are sentient, but not sapient. :zdg_old


Cars are not sapient although I also treat them as such. They do change because of their treatment, but this is largely friction. They change with age, but this is completely entropy unless we fix them. Most of the rest is our ability to see patterns in random events that cause our perception of personality. 

I would argue that unless you can show an ability to remember what you thought, you are not sapient. Now this is limited by our ability to detect this evidence, but what else can we do. A rock may be thinking, feeling, and even philosophical and artistic, but unless it can express this in a way we can detect, we cannot call it sapient. :coolsmiley

But I could write a book on this subject... wait a minute, I am writing a book on this subject... :2funny

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FuzzieDice

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I was talking about the ability to have a consience, not necessarily the ability to reason. Please re-read my post carefully. I am not talking about "sapience" at all. I'm talking about sentient conscienceness and also talking about what we perceive as "life" and why.


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Bill DeWitt

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I was talking about the ability to have a consience, not necessarily the ability to reason. Please re-read my post carefully. I am not talking about "sapience" at all. I'm talking about sentient conscienceness and also talking about what we perceive as "life" and why.
I did read it carefully, I always do, and like now you seem to be mixing terms randomly. You seem to be using conscious and sentient as if they meant something similar, and that is not a usage I am familiar with. I use the terms as they are defined in American English, perhaps they are different where you live?

Either way, have fun with it.