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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wetware, Software, All Around the Town

I was think about the classical writer who demonstrated that dogs reason (because of this post), and so I Googled for "dogs reason syllogism fork road" and the second hit was this.

This illustrated something I've long held to be true -- computers are not some sort of proto-minds of their own, they are mind extensions. As my (wetware) memory gradually fails, I place my thoughts in silicon storage and then look them up again later. But nowhere on the Internet do I find any thoughts not put there by a human!

(This, by the way, is nothing new in human history -- we have been extending or body with tools for a long, long time. The blind man's cane is a classic case -- his hand is only touching the top of the cane, but that's certainly not what he's carrying it around to learn about! Polanyi noted this long before me.)

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