What Do You Believe …

… is true, even though you cannot prove it ? The Edge 2005 Annual Question. All the usual suspects, mixed bag of answers though.

Dennett, says language is a necessary pre-condition for consciousness, and interestingly, his reason concerns the need for “I”, a subject. Like that.

Blackmore, says she believes that neither free-will nor herself actually exist. (At least I think that’s what she’s saying.) Hmmm.

Block, says consciousness will be explained by neuroscience. Good.

Dawkins, says evolution came before design. Yawn, tell us something we didn’t know.

Pinker, says our brains are organised for the concepts we think about. Ditto.

Kurzweil, says we’ll beat the speed of light. Wow !

Lanier, says the potential for communication (betwen people) far exceeds capabilities of language and media as we know them. Interesting.

Sheldrake, says memory is inherent in nature (not just conscious brains). Interesting corollary of information being the foundation of existence perhaps ?

Many others seem to believe in life, intelligence, and the origins of life, beyond the earth, etc.

Aha !!
Charles Simonyi believes we are programming computers the wrong way.
The motivation in the manifesto behind this very Blog. Programming the problem in a computer language, is an evolutionary backwater, he says.
[Quote] …. complexity inflation comes from encoding. The problem statement … is obviously oversimplified, … and we haven’t even used the [domain] jargon which can make these statements even more compact and more precise. But once these statements are viewed through the funhouse mirror of software coding, it becomes all but unrecognizable: thousand times fatter, disjointed, foreign. And as any manual product, it will have many flaws?beyond the errors in the rules themselves. What can be done? Follow the metaphor …. recording of the subject matter experts’ contributions using their own terms-of-art, their jargon, their own notations. Next, empower the programmers to program not the problem itself, but to express their software engineering expertise and decisions as a computer code for the encoder that takes the recorded problem statement and generates the code from it. This is called generative programming and I believe it is the future of software. [Unquote]

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