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Technical Difficulties With Automated Blog Posts

[20100131] The blog is still refusing mail from gmail. I've stopped the forwarders. When the mail server stops trying to deliver mail (probably by the 5th). I'll try another strategy.
I'm trying to find the equilibrium between Google News Alerts, Gmail and Blogger to permit automated posting of Google News Alerts to the blog so I can have them for reference and work on other things. My goal is not to focus on one news topic, but to have the varied topics in the news feeds automatically posted in the blog daily or weekly because I can capture more unique data that way.

Suicide Bomb News Feed

The Jihad News Feed

Witch News Feed

Ritual Abuse and Killing News Feed

Faith Heal News Feed

Female Genital Mutilation News

Exorcism News Feed

Child Bride or Marriage News Feed

Church Abuse News Feed

Animal Sacrifice News Feed

Religious Exemption News Feed

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Problem of Other Minds, God and Us

I can sum it up in two words. Cat Herding.

Wikipedia describes "The Problem of Other Minds" as follows.
Given that I can only observe the behaviour of others, how can I know that others have minds?

Now how does this relate to Us and God? How do we know that God has a mind? How do I know that you have a mind? How do I know that I am not a brain in a vat? As interesting and as fun as all these questions are to think about I want to look at it more pragmatically.

That's cool.
I know what I mean, but do you?
What does that mean? It depends on context doesn't it? This is the problem of other minds. I don't know if you've understood what I mean. I would know if you've understood what I mean if I could put the thoughts in your head exactly the way they should be but I can't. I have to tell you.

So now I'm planning a project and I have to describe to these people what the specifications are going to be. I am going to try to use the principle of clarity and minimize as much uncertainty as I can. I use email but someone always misunderstands what I mean. They take their misunderstanding of what I mean and shoot off an email to some other people pretty soon, the project is off track. I draw a picture, scan it, and send it in the next email. This works better but there is always some information missing or some information that will get interpreted in a way that I didn't expect. It would be so much better if they could read my mind. It would be so much better if I could just download the electrochemical state in my head and pass it on to them to upload. But the problem is that they would still be missing information unless I passed onto them the whole configuration of my brain, because they don't have my memories or resultant heuristic algorithms that I have acquired over time.

The truth is, it is a 'miracle' if this project turns out as planned and on schedule and within budget because people can't read minds and, regardless of their best efforts, can only understand what they have a foundational knowledge about.

Since this is the case and is a source of my frustration, either I am the only one this happens to, or it is a symptom of human cognition.

Since this is the case, it is silly for me to expect that generating text is going to keep this project on track. It is silly for me to use terms and examples that my associates don't have a foundational knowledge of. It would be better if I could just impart this knowledge into them with no chance of mistake or misinterpretation.

The only way I could do that is to be God. But we know that Gods don't work that way. But I bet they would if they were real.
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