living computation / Dave Ackley

Learn By Implementing

Every human is many things. Many aspects, many perspectives, many abilities.

And one of the things humans are is programmable machinery.

And one way, therefore, to understand humans is by reference to some generalized computational model.

It’s “generalized” because such a model does not have to look at all like a typical computer. It doesn’t have to have any obvious ‘CPU’ or ‘RAM’. The model doesn’t have to be rigid in its behavior. It doesn’t have to be perfectly exact or perfectly repeatable.

But what it absolutely must be, somehow, is implementable. We have to be able to find or modify or build from scratch some kind of physical machine that we can offer as an example of our model.

Or at the very least we have to be able to tell a plausible story about how we could build such an actual machine, and we have to be open and humble about the missing or uncertain parts of that story.

And if we can’t do either of those things, what we need to do instead is Shut The Fuck Up about our model until we can.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but please. Life is far too short.

“Uh huh. And how would you implement that? What’s the first step? Let’s see the demo.”

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29 Sep 2023
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